Thumper's Guide to

Thief: The Dark Project

The Strange and Unusual

Rev. 1, June 14 1999


Introduction

"What a friggin great game!!!"

-Talisman

Warning: Thief may radically alter your expectations of current and future game play. Your favorite games may seem boring and pointless after prolonged exposure to Thief: The Dark Project.

"What do you do when you're scared, but just MUST play Thief?"

- Knife

Warning: Although I have tried to preserve most of the surprises that await you in Thief, the following document does contain some spoilers. Ok, a lot of spoilers. These spoilers may deprive you of certain hair-raising experiences. On the other hand, they may prevent heart related medical conditions and premature aging. Caveat emptor.


Note: This is only draft #1. There will probably be one more draft before the "final" document. What can I say? Reality intrudes. Especially when someone rattles your cage.


Welcome to my favorite game. Inside this document are secrets of many ages, the sages, and the mages. Things they don't teach you of in school. Things you learn the hard way and die trying. Things you're dying to try again. Things out of the ordinary and into the strange and unusual.

Thief is a game of puzzles, but the vast majority of them are not ordinary puzzles. The puzzles in Thief force you to think in different ways. Of course, there are a few find-the-key puzzles, but most are much more devious. A typical puzzle is, "How do I handle that guard?" or "How do I get across that open floor when I'm scared witless?" It doesn't sound all that hard does it? In fact, there are usually many different solutions. The problem is that if you are seen, then quite likely you will soon be dead. Garrett is not a fighter and doesn't hold up well in combat. The mere problem of survival helps make this one of the scariest, most immersive games ever.

It seems like each time you think you've got it all figured out, you'll have to deal with a new set of challenges. The skills you thought you mastered may no longer seem to be very effective. The best thieves however, will find new ways of handling the challenges and realize that many of the skills they learned just need a little polishing.

"I swear, I spent about half an hour trying to regain my composure and stop shaking. For the next few days I went around turning on all the lights."

Angelfire

There are three levels of difficulty, normal, hard, and expert. Playing on Hard and Expert don't just increase the number of guards and monsters. They also decrease your health, reduce your resources, and often require that you avoid killing. New areas open up, some areas disappear, and there are new objectives you have to meet. It's like playing a whole new game. There are new things to do and the skills needed to finish a mission are often quite different. If you play like a space marine on shore leave, you'll be in for a rude shock on Expert. Unfortunately, you'll be able to make a fairly good start on Normal. The trouble is, you'll miss opportunities to practice important skills and most of the game as well. You'll hit a point where killing is a chore and running is a bore. I recommend playing on Normal first and playing through again on Expert to fully appreciate the game. If you still want a challenge, try playing the game using one of the alternate playing styles. Thief has an incredible amount of replay value.

If you've never played Thief before, I strongly recommend making a sign that says "Caution: Thief in Use" and putting it in a prominent location outside the room in which you're playing. This will help prevent injuries to you, your PC, and nearby furniture in the advent of an unexpected interruption. It's also a good idea to eject any pets from the room and remove edibles from the immediate flailing area.

"Scared the bejesus outta me!!!"

johnwink

Terminology note: Occasionally, I will generically refer to the creatures (guards, animals, monsters, etc.) in the game as AI's.

One final bit of introductory strangeness. Occasionally, I'll pose a question. On the slim chance that you might actually want to find the answer out for yourself, I've hidden it. The answer looks like this:

Answer: What did you expect? There was no question!

To see the answer, drag your mouse from one corner of the box to the opposite corner.

Know your Tools

Sword. Like Duncan MacLeod, Garrett has the strange talent of being able to hide his sword (in fact, all his weapons) in the folds of his clothes and seemingly summon them from thin air. Why a sword and not the more traditional dagger? Well, it's kind of like a security blanket thing. Not really necessary, but it feels better in your hands when confronting a hulking horror than an oversized toothpick would. It's also handy for breaking and entering when you've misplaced your keys, and for vandalizing wall hangings.

"I've been startled so many times by the creatures and happenings in this game, I've considered getting a medical alert bracelet with the words "Thief: The Dark Project" engraved on it. That way when the paramedics come screaming to my house, they'll immediately understand the catatonic state they find me in."

- BurrickBreath

Blackjack. Many creatures can be rendered unconscious with your handy blackjack. Usually, if they have a brain, they can be knocked out. Heh heh, try it on a Zombie or a Haunt though and you're in for a surprise. The undead, fire elementals, frogs, and spiders can't be knocked out. Burricks, believe it or not, can.

If you lost the element of surprise, or you whack something that can't be knocked out, your blackjack will still do a small amount of damage to your target. In fact, even though you can't knock out the undead, your blackjack is still effective against them. You can whack Haunts and Apparitions fast enough that they don't have time to recover, eventually killing them, albeit very slowly.

Spend some time trying to blackjack someone while in mid-air. If you're successful, at the end of the mission in addition to regular knockouts, the stats screen will show the number of knockouts while airborne...

Broadhead arrows. Very versatile. They damage every creature to some extent. They are not very effective against Haunts or Bug men. They are surprisingly effective against Fire elementals. They are cheaper than noisemaker arrows and work nearly as well for creating a diversion. They can be retrieved if they hit something soft like wood or grass. They are useful for pressing buttons that are out of reach.

Challenge: Kill a Haunt with just broadheads. Hint: Make sure it's the right Haunt.

"Had to turn the damned game off I was shaking so badly."

- BigJ

 Rope arrows. Take a bunch of rope arrows and fire them into a tree or the ceiling near a wall. Then take a fire arrow and fire into the middle of the hanging ropes. The resulting explosion of ropes is very strange. You have to see it to believe it. See also Rope Climbing.

On a curious note, rocks (rubble) bounce off rope arrows.

A note about the crystal arrows. There are four and each corresponds to one of the classic Greek elements (fire, air=gas, water, earth=moss). Fire and Gas arrows don't arc because their corresponding elements don't behave that way in nature. Of course, knowing that fact is not going to stop you from cursing, the first few times you watch them sail over the heads of your intended victims.

Water arrows. Always nice to have. Putting out a torch does make a little noise. Once in a while a guard might actually hear it or see it go out and react. Most of the time, they don't seem to care that the torches around them are going out one by one. They just stand there in the darkness, whistling to themselves. It must leak a lot when it rains too. They don't even seem to notice a burst of water in their face. Not surprisingly, they work very well against Fire elementals.

Fire arrows. They don't arc. They have infinite range. They can be used to re-light torches. They blow up boxes and gunpowder barrels. They make a lot of noise and are useful for creating diversions. They can disperse insect swarms. You also stick out like Rudolph's nose when you have one of these in your bow.

"... I was utterly terrified by the Haunts. I'm sorry, but they are easily the most frightening enemies in any game."

- MarkA

Moss arrows. While it is possible to creep silently across any floor with patience and enough time, the Rat men that are about to appear any second now probably won't give you that luxury. Moss arrows are essential for quickly quieting a noisy floor. If you have an abundance of them and no other junk handy, they can also be used to mark your passage.

Gas arrows. Like fire arrows, they don't arc and have infinite range. They have a large blast radius and can knock out most creatures in the game, making them very powerful. They also put out fires, and disperse insect swarms. But, they are not terribly effective against Fire elementals.

Noisemaker arrows. These arrows are indestructible. They are good for creating diversions when you know you will be able to recover them later. They are a little too expensive to just throw away. Use broadheads for that. Noisemakers are good for a moderately long lasting source of noise. They also bounce so, if you're not careful, you could find the arrow back under your feet rather than in the corner where you wanted it. Ooh, that is so embarrassing. Of course, you can use the bouncing to your advantage too. Finally, noisemakers are good when you want to make a noise in an area that has only soft quiet surfaces. Of course, you can use fire arrows for that too.

"... i turned a corner around a pillar and was face to face with an ugly dead thing...it wasn't so bad tile he raised his hand and said RAHHHHHHHH! *chop chop* dead Garret...i couldn't fight back or run cos i was shaking too bad"

Ghost

Flashbombs. Very useful when you need to blackjack a group of guards. They are surprisingly effective against the undead. They are the most effective weapon against Haunts and Apparitions. Originally, it seems that flashbombs were supposed to blind Garrett as well if they went off in your field of vision. That doesn't happen in the game, but you can see what the effect would have been, by typing ":flash" and pressing enter.

Mines. They tend to slide a bit when you throw them, so you need to compensate by throwing them at a sharper angle into the floor. A sadistic feature of these toys is that they can be picked back up if done a second or so after arming. Oops, I didn't mean to drop that, I'll just pick it back up again... BOOM.

How do you make a mine float? Take one mine, two scoops of glowing mushroom ice cream, and er... no, sorry, I meant in mid-air...

Answer: Drop a mine, activating it. Immediately pick it up and watch it in your inventory. As soon as it disappears, back away quickly. The mine will be armed and floating in mid-air about waist height.

Gas mines. They are just mines that release gas when they detonate. They have the properties of both gas arrows and mines. You can use them to extinguish fires if they are not too high.

Hammers. The Hammerite's hammers have a couple of interesting properties. One, they make a fairly decent weapon. To get the best effect, throw the hammer while running towards your target. Two throws of a hammer will kill a Haunt. Two, hammers will open many locked doors! Just throw the hammer at the door at it will open. This is a good way to open many of the doors in Undercover. The Hammerite guards don't seem to care that you're running around throwing hammers at the doors.

"JoinUsJoinUsJoinUsNOW!"

Anonymous Haunt

Boxes. The primary use for boxes is building stairs for climbing. You can jump onto a stack that is up to two boxes high. With enough boxes, you can go almost anywhere. Boxes can also be used for blocking doors. Be gentle with the boxes though. Too much damage will destroy them.

Barrels. Common barrels are indestructible. That can be a hassle when you just pushed one in front of the only doorway out. There are two other types of barrels that are not common. Red gunpowder barrels and skull-and-crossbones barrels. Red barrels explode when hit with fire arrows.

Breath potions. You never need breath potions. There is always somewhere to catch your breath.

From 1000 clues that you have been playing thief way too much...

#11 The word "Taffer" is a permanent addition to your daily vocabulary.

Digital Nightfall

Speed potions. These don't seem to be terribly useful. Certainly not in the entertaining sense. They only act for a very brief time. Their most interesting use is for increasing the distance you can jump. Unfortunately, there are few places where this is useful. Another somewhat interesting use is to take one while swimming against the current.

 Special Skills

A good thief possesses a wide range of skills. The first part of this section deals with skills that are actually useful in achieving the mission objectives. A few esoteric skills are listed at the end. These are mostly useful for getting into places you are not supposed to be.

Touch your toes. How do you whack something at your feet? Ready your sword or blackjack, then release your arm and crouch. The swing will reach lower than you normally can. Especially useful for swatting spiders and such that have gotten a bit too close for comfort.

"... trying to climb on some ladder while zombie is approaching and being unable to remember the jump/climb ladder function! i yelled and screamed i got up from the chair tryin to mentally persuade Garret to immitate me and climb! my housemates run in and gave this "you are so pathetic" look!"

lothril

Rope climbing. You can always recover your rope arrows. You never need to lose a rope arrow. To recover the seemingly impossible ones, grab the arrow as you jump off the rope. It's still a good idea to have several rope arrows though. They are handy for creating escape routes and some of the more advanced tricks require multiple ropes. Also, while you can't lean forward while hanging from a rope, sometimes when near a wall, it is possible to extend your reach by spinning around in one direction or the other.

Mantling. You can mantle up lots of places. Some places look like they are too high to reach. Try anyway. Sometimes running and jumping help you reach the higher places. Sometimes, you have to run and jump and then immediately jump again. Some places look trivial but mantling just doesn't work. Usually, that's because you don't have enough room at the top. You can even mantle up angled surfaces. Occasionally, you'll find a place where you can mantle up but then fall right back down. If you are quick, you may be able to turn, run, jump, mantle, etc. to a nearby secure surface. Also, you can leap across a gap onto a wall and mantle up. Be persistent. The margin for error in some places is very small and it may take many attempts before you are successful. See precision quicksaving.

"... I'm yelling at Garret to move his stupid ass, knowing full well he can't hear me, but the Haunts can."

NightHawk

Hiding in the shadows. Shadows are everywhere, even in some places you might not expect. Watch your indicator carefully, the next time you're in a doorway. In almost all doorways, there is a spot where you are in total shadow. Having your bow out makes you more visible. Keep that in mind before picking up those lovely arrows you just found. Naturally, fire arrows make you stick out like a sore thumb. Movement can also make you more visible for brief periods, so have patience and wait for your friends to look the other way before you pass by. Leaning around a corner makes you a tiny bit more visible, which usually doesn't matter unless you're borderline visible. You can hide in the shadows, just inches away from some creatures (like Spiders), but don't try it with Zombies or angry Fire elementals.

"Thief should come with a 'Do not play if you have a heart condition' warning!"

MarkA

Moving silently. Garrett is a stylish thief. He insists on wearing hard leather dress shoes to every occasion. The key to moving silently in dress shoes is speed. The slower you travel, the less noise you make. Go to the Training mission and practice until you can walk across the metal floor without being heard.

You move slower when walking, even slower when crouching, and slowest when crouching and creeping. You move slower when you have your sword out, and even slower when you are carrying a body! You move slower when moving sideways or backwards. You make less noise if you pause frequently. You can move arbitrarily slowly by sliding against a wall and controlling your angle. If you don't have a wall handy, the slowest way to move is crouching and creeping, with either the sword or a body in your hands. If you just have a sword, move sideways, backwards, or pause a lot.

From 1000 clues ...

#16 When you pick up something by mistake you hurl it across the room because it's much easier than remembering how to just set it back down ;)

Ghost

Dropping things. Ok, now that I've picked up this worthless vase, how do I get rid of it without throwing it and waking up the whole house?? Drop it using the "R" key. Augh! It still makes a lot of noise! What kind of clumsy thief am I? The quietest way to drop something is to crouch, look down at the floor, and then drop ("R") it. The less distance it falls, the quieter it is. So, dropping it on a shelf or crate is even better. I shouldn't have to mention that the type of surface also matters.

Running. Can't catch that guard? Put away your sword! Some say Garrett has two speeds, slow and slower. But, in reality, he is as fast or faster than most creatures in the game. Only haunts can keep up with him. By the way, the fastest way to move is running and jumping.

Don't fall. If you want to take a peek over that ledge, do it slowly. If you move slowly enough, you'll be safe. Crouching and creeping help, but they aren't necessary. When you get to the edge, you'll do a little half-step as you regain your balance, but you won't fall. Oh yeah, don't forget you can lean forward.

"FlamesNothingButFlamesNothingButFlames."

Anonymous Haunt

Safe and silent falling. Land on something besides the ground. A box, a slanted ledge, a monster - anything is better than just hitting the ground. Don't run off the edge. Often, you can just slide off the edge of something down to the ground, completely silently.

Breaking and entering. Can't get past that locked or boarded-up door? Try whacking on it with your sword a few times. Thrown hammers also are amazingly effective for opening locked doors.

Suicide. You can dispatch some opponents by tricking them into committing suicide. Try running around the pool in Bafford's with a guard chasing you. In Cragscleft, the water also facilitates suicide. In Down in the Bonehoard, there are several places to zap Zombies without lifting a finger. Also in Bonehoard, there are a few insect swarms. Throw something into them with a Burrick nearby and, well you can guess what usually happens.

Don't take the rap. Get someone else to do the dirty work. Fire elementals don't like Burricks or Craymen. Zombies don't like Burricks. Hammer guards don't like Zombies, etc.

Tailgating. If you want to get somewhere, just follow a guard. Watch out for sudden direction changes though. Stand on his left and tap him on the right shoulder for a little fun. ;)

Diversions. If someone is not where you want them or they just aren't moving, create a diversion! Diversions are often very effective. Use your noisemaker or broadhead arrows. Or, throw a piece of junk. They'll often investigate. If you want them to come towards you, just jump up and down. Fire arrows are nice because they make a lot of noise and will attract attention from farther away.

Escape routes. Always have an escape route planned. It's a good idea to leave a rope arrow or two behind so that you can quickly reach higher ground. Most levels have "safe havens", places that the rest of the creatures can't reach. Know where they are.

I plug 'im three times and see him fall. "HA!," I say, and then run up into the room to gloat over my victim. Just as I get there the friggin' thing stands back up! I literally scream and flail at the keyboard, causing myself to fall down the mine shaft, take lots o'damage, and then get eaten alive by the irritable spider at the bottom of the pit.

TJ

Swimming against the current. Some places the water current is just too strong to make any headway. Or is it? Stop swimming and walk along the bottom. You can get a lot more traction there. Too bad you have to come up for air... A speed potion helps. A breath potion would too if one was available, but they aren't if I recall correctly.

Blocking doors. While a small item like a goblet will seemingly prevent a door from opening, it won't prevent creatures from walking through the door. The guards and monsters think they opened the door and aren't bothered by our perceptions of reality. To fully block a door, you have to ignore the door for the most part and block the doorway. A barrel is effective for blocking a doorway, but pushing barrels around is hard work and often you have trouble unblocking it later. A couple of stacks of boxes may be effective if they are stacked close together. Monsters have a nasty habit of walking right through the boxes. Also, the opening door may move the boxes out of the way. But, little goblets won't budge. Strange isn't it? Useful though. Put a goblet (or some other piece of junk) down to prevent the door from pushing the boxes.

Dr. Kevorkian. So you realize after awhile that your blackjacked friends aren't ever going to wake up and you decide to help them "move on". You find your options are only limited by your sadistic imagination. I'm not even going to ask how many you can find. I can think of at least a dozen ways. And, the noises they make...

From 1000 clues ...

#30 When attending a funeral, you bring along a vial of holy water 'just in case'.

Arliza

Reduce, reuse, recycle. All that junk lying around can be put to good use. It can be useful for causing a diversion or for marking places where you've been or want to go so you don't get lost. Stack body parts, rubble, boxes, whatever you can find and use it to climb to fun places the level designers never intended. You can also use junk as weights to activate floor traps and other such things.

Swimming against the current. Some places the water current is just too strong to make any headway. Or is it? Stop swimming and walk along the bottom. You can get a lot more traction there. Too bad you have to come up for air... A speed potion helps. A breath potion would too if one was available, but they aren't if I recall correctly.

Precision Quicksaving. If you have a fast system, this technique will help prevent a great deal of frustration. If you have a slow system, only use it if you are desperate. Line up for a tricky maneuver and quicksave before trying it. If it didn't work then reload and try again. If, after a few times, it still doesn't work then restore, move slightly to refine your position, quicksave and start again. Some maneuvers have very little margin for error.

Lean forward. You can walk up some slopes that you might not otherwise be able. To do this, press and hold run forward first and then lean forward. You might need to move from side to side a bit. This is useful in The Haunted Cathedral and a few other places.

Lean forward again. You can get into some spaces you might not otherwise be able to by leaning forward, turning around a corner, and jumping. There are places in Sword and The Haunted Cathedral where this is possible.

Know your Enemies

The longer you play, the more you'll come to think of this section as "Know your Friends" instead.

Note, this section is incomplete...

Zombies. These slow moving horrors are one of the best monsters in the game. They still give me shivers. Sure, they have their faults. They can't carry a tune and they are lousy dancers, but their witty comebacks make up for their lack of social graces. They are slow and easy to run around. You don't really have to worry unless there are a lot of them or you let them cut you off.

You can't knock them out and they are hard to kill. Despite that, there are lots of ways to kill them. Holy water, fire arrows, flash bombs, mines, drowning, luring them into traps, etc. You can even get the Hammerites to kill them. Burricks, however don't stand much of a chance against a Zombie. One Fire arrow or Holy water arrow is enough to kill a Zombie unless it is alert. Zombies seem to have a weak spot near their navel (or rather, where their navel would be if they still had one). One shot with a Fire arrow there will blow them to pieces, even when they are alert. Otherwise, it takes two arrows.

They seem to have the ability to sense your life force if they are close, so don't expect to remain hidden in the shadows as they shamble by. Being brainless, they are quite dumb. They will quickly get discouraged and give up chasing you if you are out of sight. When all else fails, you can hack at them until they fall over. There is a good chance that when they get back up, they'll be facing the other way and wander off, forgetting all about you.

Fire elementals. I really like the Fire elementals. The sound they make when they are mad is great! They are also quite fun to play with. Most people have a little trouble sneaking past fire elementals. The key is to move when they are not looking in your direction. Well duh! How do you know when that is? They look where they're going just like everyone else. Move when they are moving away from you. You can tell which direction they are going by looking at their smoke trail. When angry, Fire elementals turn red and are a lot hotter. They are hot enough to toast their friends and you too, even if they don't see you gibbering in the corner. Which, curiously enough, they usually don't...even though they put out a fair amount of light, it doesn't seem to be enough to illuminate your hiding place. The funny thing is, if they do toast you, you'll cry out (who wouldn't? :) ) and they'll often hear that! An angry Fire elemental is also hot enough to re-light torches as it passes by.

Fire elementals can fly BUT they can't fly very high and are limited to the same paths as any other creature. If you are standing on a ledge in an area that walking creatures can't reach (safe havens) neither can the fire elemental. He can shoot at you though. J

Challenge: Backstab a fire elemental.

How do you make a Fire elemental shrink?

Answer: Make it mad.
If you're still alive, hit it with a broadhead.
If you're still alive, hit it with another broadhead.
Fire elementals shrink when damaged!

They look so cute when they're small and still strutting around making noise like a big kid. Now, how do you make it grow again? Think about it.

Answer: Hit it with a fire arrow! Fire heals fire elementals.

Frogs. These beasties are much more intelligent than their earthly counterparts. They are quite deadly, kind of like a mobile land mine. They are almost always moving and leaping about, so it is very hard to hit them. Fortunately, they'll freeze for a few seconds right before they blow you to bits. These guys can't be blackjacked. They explode with any amount of damage. They can be gassed though. Strangely, you can't pick them up. It's not like they are too heavy. A number of people have wished that you could pick up their unconscious bodies and use them as grenades... Incoming...

Alternate playing styles

A common theme amongst most of the alternate playing styles is stealing all of the loot on Expert difficulty. The reason for this is simply because it is the most challenging way to play. Stealing all the loot forces you to solve all of the puzzles and navigate the most difficult sections of the level.

This section is still in progress...

The Missions

#1 Training compound

Back to basic training for you! Make sure the difficulty level is Expert.

Practice makes perfect. Keep at it until you can cross the metal floor without alerting the keeper.

Go climbing. There are three known locations to go climbing in this level. The first location is the balcony in the corner of the courtyard where you get your bow and sword. There is a ledge to the right of the bow and sword table. Jump from the ledge onto the tree and then mantle up to the balcony.

Retrieve your practice arrows. After shooting a few arrows at the target, go get them. It's somewhat tricky to mantle over the barrier, but it is good practice for the climbing to come. Notice that your arrows will disappear if you do not get to them fast enough.

Play basketball! Enter the cubbyhole your sparring partner came out of. There is a door there that only appears on Expert difficulty. Whack it a couple of times with your sword and it will open. In the unpatched version, this method of entry avoids getting caught in the cubbyhole when the gate goes back down. Alternatively, you can take the key that appears after sparring and use it to open the door.

In the unpatched version, in addition to the basketball, there is a zombie head on one of the poles. No one knows why is it gone in the patched version. There is a bedroll in the corner. Pick it up and use it. You'll be treated to strange and bizarre quotes from the developers. Take the basketball and the bedroll with you back into the courtyard.

Experiment. What happens when you shoot your sparring companion? Does the basketball float? Does the water current affect it? What else can you think of to try?

Go climbing again. The second location for climbing is the roof across from the first climbing rope. Jump and mantle up to the beam that holds the rope. Then, run, jump, and mantle up to the flat roof in front of you. This will probably take a few tries, so it would be a good idea to quicksave before attempting the jump. A lovely view awaits you.

The third location is the roof above the exit door by the second climbing rope. This one is very hard. Don't get discouraged if you can't do it, there are lots of other places to climb in the game that are easier to reach. Again, jump and mantle up to the beam that holds the rope. Aim your next jump for the left most section of the roof. Back up as far as you can. Run, jump, mantle, turn left, and mantle again onto the sloped roof. You can get over to the flat roof on the right side, if you want, by jumping off the top of the tall roof on the left.

For these last two locations, it can be helpful to be standing on the bedroll before jumping. Align the bedroll in the direction you are going to run before dropping it. The additional height makes a small but noticeable difference.

It is also possible climb onto the right side of the roof at the third location. This is extremely hard, maybe harder than getting to the left side. The trick to this is to run and jump to the beam that holds the rope and immediately jump and mantle to the slate roof (aim for the right side). If all goes well, quickly turn to your right and mantle onto the stone wall that juts out. It's very hard to get to either side of this location, but if you manage it, it's also very satisfying and an interesting view.

#2 Lord Bafford's Manor

Don't forget to visit the spiders. On your way in (through the sewers), don't miss the underwater tunnel and a bit of loot. Say hello to the spiders there. Note, they are not in the demo.

Challenge: Go in through the front door instead. The switch is on the right.

Challenge: Tango with the guards. Take them out with just your sword. No other weapons. Expert difficulty.

Challenge: Try it again. This time just avoid the guards. If you're quick, you can do the whole mission (normal difficulty) in less than two minutes. The best times though, are under a minute.

Lovely night for a rooftop stroll. Go to one of the little garden areas on either side of the pool. Go up the stairs and climb onto the railing. From there, it is an easy jump and mantle to the far wall (over the trees). This gives you access to not only Bafford's roof, but most of the city as well. Some parts of this trip may be one way, so be sure to save first... Whilst walking on the roof, you should stop and watch the guards around the well house. If you're lucky, you might see them skating about.

Go for a midnight swim. The pool is a safe haven if you're in trouble. It's also a nice place to swim. Practice your high dives from the roof. If you want to be more conventional, there is a nice little high dive platform a bit lower and a lot easier to access. Either way, it's quite fun.

Slash the banners. Slash the banners with your sword. Behind one is a secret entrance to the throne room. If your lucky, a guard will happen by and notice your vandalism while you're in the area. His reaction is rather funny. You'll have to slash a banner on a guard's patrol and wait around to hear this. It's worth it.

Secret within a secret. Find the secret entrance to the throne room. Just inside the "door", look up and see a wooden ceiling and a gap. If you jump, you can peek into a rather large "room". To get a better view, face the north or south walls and move as close to them as you can. Now lean forward and jump, holding down both keys. You should be mostly inside the room. It doesn't seem possible to get all the way in, but if you're lucky, you might succeed. It's been done. Once.

If you move farther down the passage, you'll find another wooden roof. You can peek in here too, but you'll need to stand on some boxes for a good look. Or, use the rope arrows in the demo.

New Objectives. Bafford's is a perfect place to get your feet wet in some of the alternate playing styles. It's possible to sneak through the entire mission without being seen. Without ever even alerting the guards, in fact. If you can do that Lytha-style, you are a very good thief indeed.

New Objectives. Lock a guard in the well house. Feed a guard to the spiders. You get the idea. Do something interesting with each guard.

#3 Cragscleft Prison

#4 Down in the Bonehoard

#5 Assassins

#6 The Sword

This is definitely a strange level, in more ways than one. By the way, stop to admire the paintings in Constantine's collection. There will be a quiz later.

Go roof climbing. At the start of the mission, shoot a rope arrow into the end of the wooden beam to the left of the balcony. Climb up all the way. Turn around and jump onto the ivy covered stone ledge. From here, you can jump down to the wall or climb onto the roof. The wall walk is kind of interesting. Especially, the unfinished "pool".

Getting onto the roof is not too hard. Staying up there is a bit trickier. From the ledge, inch left as far as you can go, then mantle up the sloped roof. Turn right and "Run" towards the right side. You're too tall to fit under the roof there so, when you get close to the edge, you need to continually toggle the crouch key while you run under the overhang and onto the next roof. The stars are rather low tonight so your sojourn will be a bit limited, but amusing anyway.

Strange doors. There are no less than six doors in this mission that can't be opened and one that can, but doesn't lead anywhere. Two look like they should lead to a cellar area, one is in the ceremony room, and the other two are ... well, just too small. You'll find out where two of these doors (one cellar door and the ceremony doors) lead in a future mission. The other cellar door is never explained.

The ceremony doors are a little strange in this mission. My X-ray camel vision shows a room behind them... I wonder if the strange blue key was supposed to open these...?

Climb inside a tree. The tree in the courtyard area that is surrounded by water can be climbed. It's a bit tricky since rope arrows don't tend to stick in the top branches. Be persistent. Eventually, you'll get one to stick inside the tree. Climb up. Surprise! You are inside the tree. Now you can see what's actually in those little windows around the courtyard.

Pick mushrooms. Off the garden area, there are two trees. Inside the bottom of the tree with the red flowers is a pickable mushroom. No one knows why this mushroom is here. For a long time it was thought that this mushroom was unique, which made it even stranger. Recently, I found another pickable mushroom and it's only a short distance away. It is extremely hard to reach though. For more info see "What's inside?" below.

By the way, this tree has a small tunnel in its branches. Move a little to the right of the "mushroom" tunnel, and look up. Fire a rope arrow into the greenery for a look. You can get inside, but just barely. It quickly becomes too small to proceed.

The Blue Key. Nearby is another tree, the one with the blue flowers. In this area, you'll find a strange blue key lying on the ground. It is strange because it does not seem to unlock any lock. Many people have spent long hours trying to find a use for this odd key. Only god and the level designer know why this is here. I haven't heard a word from either of them, despite repeated queries.

Climb inside another tree. Walk around the tree with the blue flowers, looking up. You'll see a hole in the foliage. Shoot a rope arrow in the hole and climb up. In one direction is a tunnel that is a shortcut into the upper levels. Read on to find out what is in the other direction.

What's inside? If you jump to the other side of the passage, you can look down into the hollow tree trunk. There is a mushroom down there and something else very strange. You can climb down to the bottom of the tree with a little patience. This is a one way trip so be sure to save before attempting it. Crouch, jump, and go as far left and forward as you can. You can sort of climb up into the crack on the left. Now, lean forward and shoot a rope arrow into the wooden ceiling, near the opposite wall. While leaning forward, spin left or right slowly around until you are looking around the edge of the trunk inside the tree. Still leaning, jump forward a few times. You should be mostly inside the tree. You might want to try jumping sideways, etc. as well. Leaning helps. Keep this up and you can make it all the way in. You'll probably want to quicksave a few times to preserve your progress. You might not realize when you're inside and fail to catch the rope on your last jump. On the ground is the only other known pickable mushroom and what other strange thing?

Answer: A moss arrow! Beats me as to why.

Go rope climbing. Off the courtyard area, there is a little room with a sliding door in the ceiling. Open it and use a rope arrow to climb up. This is goal #1. There is a sideways room there with a gold candlestick. In the roof, there is a hole. This is goal #2. An arrow in the "floor" will do the trick. Climb up into the sideways table and chairs. Look up. The hole is goal #3. An arrow in the side of the hole is what you need. Climb up. You might want to take a moment to play on the table and chairs. This is another "shortcut" into the upper levels.

#7 The Haunted Cathedral

#8 The missing mission

#9 The Lost City

#10 Undercover

#11 Return to the Cathedral

#12 Escape!

#13 Strange Bedfellows

#14 Into The Maw of Chaos

This is one of my favorite levels for strange and unusual stuff to do. It's easiest to do the activities with Normal difficulty since you need a lot of health for some. You'll also need two or three rope arrows.

Go climbing. You can climb onto the beams above where you start. What's unusual about the mushroom up there?

Answer: It's floating it mid-air and it's not even oriented towards the ceiling.

Go riding! You can jump onto the floating monsters and ride them! Find the ledge over the place where the floaters exit before making their final ascension. You can see it by going to their arrival ledge and watching where they exit. Go there. Wait for a floater to pass under you and jump on. If you time it right, you can ride all the way up to the exit ledge.

Go caving. There is a extensive cavern system off the beaten path. It's the one the floaters travel through. This is usually a one way trip so be sure to save before attempting this. It is possible to get back on track by jumping through the hole in the floor, but you're likely to lose even more health doing it so you probably won't want to. You'll want a lot of health for this (i.e., normal difficulty).

First, go back to the ledge where you went riding. Now look at the opening carefully. There is a tiny ledge on the right of the opening. Aim for that. Save. Jump! If you fall off the ledge, you may get lucky and land still alive. Or you could die (it's still a long way to the floor), so you might want to try to stay on the ledge before making your second jump. If you stopped at the ledge (not an easy feat), save again. Now, jump over to the ledge where they are coming out or jump to a wall and hope you can slide down alive. Use the floaters to break your fall. Once down, explore! There is something slightly odd about these caverns... What is it?

Answer: A section of the caverns leads off to nowhere. The floaters don't need it, why is it there?

Ride again. Jump off the "interesting bridge" onto the floaters and ride them into the caverns. This is very tricky, for several reasons. One, you have to time your jump just right, otherwise you'll miss your ride. And, you need a fair amount of health because the drop to your ride hurts a bit. Second, the floater changes direction a few times and it's somewhat hard to compensate. You have to keep a close watch on your position relative to your ride. Third, getting into the caverns is tough. You have to align yourself on your ride so that you are crouching and centered under the tunnel's peak. Otherwise, you get pushed off into the lava.

From 1000 clues ...

#395 Your baby brother struggles mightily to reach the water fountain and you tell him, "Just MANTLE it!"

Risquit

Go all the way. It's possible to climb the giant tree all the way to the top and bypass the creepies within. You'll need at least two, possibly three rope arrows.

 

 

 


Credits and Conclusion

Special thanks to Catalyst, Lytha, Digital Nightfall, and the many fine thieves in the Thief forum.

Extra special thanks to LGS for creating such a fine game.

By the way, if I quoted you and you'd rather not be quoted, send me mail and I'll remove you. On the other hand, if you're feeling left out, my apologies. Maybe you'll show up in the next draft. If not, it's nothing personal. J

See you in the shadows.

- Thumper