@ Jah: Thanks for the review of Bloodsport. I've never played this one. Will have to give it a go now.
Thanks Quakis. I enjoyed those - sort of! And the earlier ones you did which I missed somewhere along the line.
@ Jah: Thanks for the review of Bloodsport. I've never played this one. Will have to give it a go now.
Hello folks. Not gonna review anything much but post some rambling anyway cause this thread feels like an FM home for me in many ways. :>
So I've been playing some FMs for the pasty month or two again; with the rate of several per week. The method of playing them That I've grown most fond of is find an awesome mission and then play the rest of that author's missions.
The written text under would porbably have been told way better in screens but if you're very bored and in a very nerdy-for-FMs mood, maybe you'll find these bunch of paragraphs bearable.
I know I certainly hit a jackpot with Morrgan (& Vigil).
Like years ago I had played Greyfeather Gems both FMs and remember them fondly, however, never cared to explore deeper (silly me).
Recently (well, not all that recently), however, I played "The Inventor's Tower". The story (IIRC) was that a thief was in debt to you and went to rob the inventor's tower so he could pay back, but never returned, so here you go to investigate yourself!
So it's a cute, old little FM that manages to be awesome with the stock materials. Custom materials got more common after 2002 or something. I actually played that a while ago but it was very memorable in some aspects. It's linear in the essence but sometimes offers 2 routes to get to a spot and that's about right for just a 64x64x64 mission (I think cause it was a contest mission or something). I liked the inventions downstairs and the neatly wrapped up story with the thief & even the guards.
Then I played "Into The Maelstrom". I had memorized it as something I owe myself a playthrough ever since I read/skimmed Mike's top 10 review of scary missions. It ended up being far more amazing than I had anticipated. The story, for starters, was immersive enough (I guess I've just always liked sea wolf stories & such), but then the graphics kicked in. The architecture/gameplay was very well done and balanced. The distant art contributed greatly to the mission. The difficulty was just right. Then again, I might've gotten tired of ghosting it, but I was too in love with the mission to be bothered. I think I did end up using hints/spoilers for very silly reasons I should've avoided but still...
Then... then... I played "Returning The Favor" just last thursday. That one was for TDP. I never technically finished it because I ended up coming short in loot and I know I would never find more of it. Grr, that sucked.
But the mission itself was fantastisch. It was a detective story and I actually cared to make notes and guesses. And everything added up (every mentioned character's deal & stuff). The environment started out with lots of mechanisms/engineered devices eyecandy. Then the other part was like a church mission but still very nicely done with good use of space and my favorite - rafters (that I can climb)!
Uh, yeah, I think for Morrgan I still have a mission or so left, not to mention the fact that the only way I might end up not replaying Greyfeather Gems is over my dead body!
To be short about Morrgan's FMs, I can say that what I always love and respect in her missions is how they always explain everything and add every detail together, all story makes sense. It's quite rational indeed. Reminds me of eshaktaar, but with much less supernatural bullshit.
Similarily, I remember playing "Cistern" godknows when by Gumdrop. It was an awesome, awesome FM inspired by Tomb Raider and it adds up to my memories of Tomb Raider as well when I played it like 10 years ago or something (so they may be twisted & such).
I never bothered to see more of this author's FMs back then. Now I replayed and reappreciated how nice & green "Cistern" was and checked out other gumdrop's FMs.
I played Berkshead which was somewhat blocky, the textures were a bit ridiculously placed and the architecture (secret areas, mostly) made no real sense. But it was a very fun little mission nevertheless. I don't even know why for sure. Because I was doing so well and didn't get stuck? Maybe. Maybe I was just in a good mood.
Then I played Hedgehogs & Hedgerows or something. 2 names I know not what they mean, but the mission was very fun. It's basically a garden and a hidden crypts complex under it. Very lovable gameplay except that my ego got murdered by a puzzle and my inability to find loot. But at least I exnded up finding every single bit of loot, ha!
Run Thief Run is craziest fun FM I've ever played I think and the musical execution is pretty much perfect, as is the challenge. Replayability is higher than usual here.
I still have 1 or 2 of Gumdrop's FMs to play through that should be played, but what I love about this author is his ingenuity with FMs. I GUESS you can say that to nearly everyone and it's a very general term, but if you play The Cistern or Hedgeh...something I think you'll see what I'm talking about.
Also intruder is awesome. I draw a close paralell with Morrgan for intruder. All of his missions pretty much make sense, the environments rhyme perfectly with my taste (steampunk with intriguing engineered mechanisms, ships, sea, docks, nature!) and they are all in all solid.
His latest mission "Trail of Blood 2" I played with sparkling eyes. No really, I don't feel like it now, but I was pretty much enjoying Thief all anew. It has what I think is the best nature environment ever executed in Thief, not to mention the story of mechanists invasion with their cute tanks. Lovely, fun objectives and river streams & the biggest tree ever.
Anyway sorry about all the rambling, I just felt like expressing my joy about certain authors and growing to them (& getting to know them through their missions! Heh, yeah, the reflections are a fun thing to look at) and their work. I was pretty boring though, wasn't I? Kinda tired, that's why!
I wonder if the old posters/visotrs of this thread are still about & around. (Quakis is, I guess, then Summer, The Mike, SJ and anyone I forgot) Hmm, I wish I had screens but fraps was a cretin and I lost motivation for screens. Hey, wasn't planning on posting this anyway!
Last edited by Thor; 23rd Apr 2011 at 17:02.
Good to hear from you again, Thor
I noticed you've been playing some author-oriented missions. Nice.
Still... Gotta ask... You kinda left us hangin' there with the rest of T2X... Gonna finish those reviews? No pressure, man
Gotta get back to playing more missions myself. Dunno what I''ve been doing lately... Know I haven't been playing. Hmm... Monday head, all confused
Oh crap, T2X!
I know I played like the mission after the 7th mission and when I was up for reviewing it way too much time had passed. So Now I'd have to replay that... hmm, crap, I totally forgot about it...
Well I am also in a very very cofnsued monday head... all dizzy & tired...
Thank you for the review, quakis!
I've always wanted to give a review of my favourite fan mission, and it appears to be the only one not in this thread yet – so I’ll do the honours
Now I have to say by now that Ruins of Originia, by Ycatx, is only one among a handful of FM’s that take my #1 spot (Ominous bequest, Broken Triad, Calendra’s legacy, and Ink and Dust being a few others). It’s an incredible campaign consisting of 4 huge missions: Mines of Margroth, Guilded Rivalry, Fire and Ice, Ashes to Ashes – it was originally meant to be a 13 mission campaign, but the other missions never got completed (last I read on the forums, Ycatx’s hard drive containing the other mission files crashed and all the files got lost. Also, his wife died not long ago as well I heard ) But we do have 4 complete, magnificent missions, the first one, Mines of Margroth, being one of the largest single missions ever created (if not the largest). A version of it also exists for Thief 1, but it's much smaller. I love everything about this campaign - even the briefing videos are worth it. A masterpiece overall.
I’ll start off with Mines of Margroth, post some screenshots, and then do the other 3. I’ll give a loose overview, without giving too much away. I'll do my best - reviewing isn't my strong point.
Plot - watch the briefing here
In Mines of Margroth, you start off in search of a renegade Hammerite mage-priest, named Bantar. The latter escaped into a huge mine complex, having stolen an amulet and a Pagan book, with the Hammers and City watch after him. You start off in a busy mining town near the entrance to the mines – there’s a bar, inn, armoury (very well stocked), Hammerite temple, barracks, and living quarters. There are a gang of thieves who work for Bantar in the inn, upstairs, plotting an attack strategy, and at one point they lead an assault on the mining town, unleashing a huge killing spree – I usually hide as the battle rages on, wait for the thieves and guards to kill each other, then knock out anyone remaining, and case the place. Then proceed to the Hammerite quarters, take care of the Hammers and guards, and loot the place, grabbing also a magical gem that illuminates everything around it (the effect is astounding, and really well done). Off to the mines then, where you discover a passage leading to an underground Necropolis, full of undead. In that Necropolis you’ll discover a passage leading further down into a strange complex, with a huge water tank, Craymen, bugbeasts, and other creatures, and a few puzzles – eventually leading to a face to face encounter with….you’ll see… After this, you return to the mines, go up, and you’ll find a strange surreal maze, full of the Trickster’s minions, wherein you’ll solve some new puzzles, and find a way to teleport to another area. Then on to the next mission.
Overall, the mission keeps you hooked all the way. If you’re into huge quests (like me), you’ll love this mission. I’ve never seen so much variety and different worlds, creatures, puzzles, and areas crammed into one mission – while at the same time very well built and coherent. It is a very complex campaign overall, and the first time I played it I had to consult a walkthrough, and it took me over 3 hours to finish. I’ve played it over 30 times now, and I still can’t get enough of it. For Mines of Margroth alone, if you’re starting out, gameplay time should take at least 2, probably 3 hours (yes, it’s that huge) – time well spent
Thank you Ycatx, you're a genius
Entrance to the mining town
The thieves planning their assault
The Gem of Oldorf
Leaving the Necropolis up to the mines
Warrior haunts in the Necropolis
The Trickster's area in the mines
Under the Necropolis
Tank of the Deep ones, under the Necropolis
Last edited by Azaran; 13th May 2012 at 17:39. Reason: Fixing link
You know, much as I've tried, I haven't been able to get into Ruins of Originia. It looks like an innovative set of missions, but something about it makes me bounce off it.
In Guilded Rivalry (briefing) you continue the quest to find Bantar. You start off in an underground complex of ruins, not unlike the Lost City, full of passages, and sealed doors. The place is inhabited by Thieves who set up their guild in an upper part of the complex. After finding your way into the Guild (where you’ll find an insane amount of loot and tools) you’ll come across a sealed passage protected by elemental wards. You then have to go back down to the ruins and acquire the Talismans somehow (I won’t get into details). Having found the talismans and opened the passage, you’ll also open the dozen or so sealed rooms in the ruins, where you’ll find a host of relics that you’ll use to proceed further. Then go back into the guild, up the passage sealed by the talismans, use the relics, and you’ll open a passage to the surface, which leads to Bantar’s lab…and the showdown .
Again, this is a huge mission, with many areas to explore, and lots of puzzles again, with the talismans, sealed doors, etc. Really well done again, with a great soundtrack, tons of different enemies and creatures, and lots to explore. Superb overall
Entering Bantar's lab...
Some of Bantar's minions
Last edited by Azaran; 11th May 2012 at 00:02.
This mission looks weird
It's surreal...psychedelic at times. Very unique
The entire Originia series has that "whoa, what?! " feel. Trippy visuals, non-standard gameplay that's in between Thief, Ultima Underworld and an adventure game, and a very high level of difficulty.
Somehow I can't get used to such missions. I never really enjoyed some of the T1 OMs like The Sword or Escape! for the same reason.
Among the other missions from this campaign that got lost, there were a couple from which we still have the briefing or cutscene videos:
Mission 23: Fair Game (supposed to be the 1st of the series)
Mission 24: Hook line and sinker (incomplete cutscene)
Last edited by Azaran; 27th May 2011 at 05:19.
The 3rd mission, Fire and Ice (briefing), the simplest one of all, has you transition into an underground complex of caves and tunnels, in search of a way out through an eastern passage. You start off in a maze of frozen tunnels, then end up in a ruined area with a series of cells (apparently some kind of dungeon), and then move onto a cave complex with lava lakes. The frozen area is inhabited by ice burricks, while the other by fire burricks (the latter are extremely dangerous, but can be killed with water arrows – they don’t actually die per se, but turn to stone…). The mission is pretty simple and straightforward, but you risk getting lost in the maze of burrick tunnels, especially in the second area. Although less detailed than the others, it’s still a neat mission. Reminds me of the Bonehoard and the Maw in many ways.
The way out
Last edited by Azaran; 11th May 2012 at 00:04.
This campaign is absurdly awesome. Weird at its best.
I never made it past MoM, it was just too damn hard for me (at least at the time... probably, 2004).
Of all FMs I played for Thief, Ruins of Originia campaign was definitely the weirdest in a good sense. I enjoyed craziness of The Sword and Into the Maw of Chaos in TDP, and I was delighted to see this mood recaptured in Ruins. A master class of Thief FM design.
In part 4 of the campaign you find yourself on the edge of a volcanic chasm. After going down you find a passage leading to a small shrine, from which you teleport into the Museum of the Ancients.
The museum itself is a huge maze dotted with exhibits, most of which are portals leading to other dimensions - although you can return to the museum fairly easily. The exhibits are accessed by using coloured spheres as keys you acquired in Mission 2 from Bantar's lab, but you only have a handful of them and they can't be retrieved after usage - so your first objective is to find a clear sphere that can access all exhibits and can be used an unlimited number of times - you'll find it in the "Power Cells" exhibit, which you can access directly without a sphere. You’ll need to check your map often, otherwise you’ll undoubtedly get lost. Throughout you’ll have the museum’s caretaker guiding you and explaining each exhibit. You’ll have a series of objectives to complete, and some that will get triggered along the way. You’ll often have an objective in one exhibit which requires items from other exhibits, so visiting all the exhibits is crucial.
Again, like the others, this is a huge, multifaceted, and very challenging mission. The museum, and all the different worlds packed into a single mission are amazing. Another masterpiece
Entrance to the Museum
Inside the Museum's psychedelic halls...
One of several magical gems you need to steal
First Temple exhibit (a Mayan pyramid)
Rainbow Rose exhibit
Royal tomb exhibit
Crown Jewels exhibit
The Fountain of Lamneth
Last edited by Azaran; 11th May 2012 at 00:08.
Mechanist workshop in the Mines of Montserrat
Mines of Montserrat
Here's the map:
So there it is. If you haven't played it, now's the time
Last edited by Azaran; 11th May 2012 at 00:10.