Great work, pavlovscat! Really impressed!
I promised more frequent reviews, so here is the first quarterly review for 2008. The beginning of 2008 brought some new missions, many updated missions, and some nice lagniappe. (What’s Lagniappe? That’s Louisiana talk for a little something extra.) This is a refresher of everything that has happened this quarter. The break down of FMs and related releases is as follows: 25 missions for T2 - 9 new (1 GER) & 16 updated; 3 missions for T3 - 1 new & 2 updated; 3 new Enhancement Packs; 1 Soundtrack; 2 Contests. First Lagniappe, then Contests, and finally Missions are listed by section in order of release dates.
Warning: The mission comment sections may contain spoilers; however, the mission descriptions do not.
We are fortunate to have so many taffers who seek to improve upon the original Thief material. Here we have object, sound and texture enhancement packs, as well as the Thief Gold Soundtrack.
January 01 – Object Enhancement Pack by Nameless Voice for T1-G & T2; Forum Discussion Thread
This pack has easy to install patches to replace many stock objects in both T1-G & T2. The new objects are better in details and texture. They update the look of FMs nicely. When playing older FMs without custom content, the updated objects can look out of place, but the patch is easy to uninstall as well. Check the forum discussion thread for instructions or to ask questions.
January 23 – Sound Enhancement Pack T1-G and Sound Enhancement Pack T2 by Child Of Karras for T1-G; Forum Discussion Thread
When the original missions were created (nearly 10 years ago!) the sound technology wasn’t what it is today. Child Of Karras has taken the original Dark Project and Metal Age mission sounds and cleaned them up for your listening enjoyment. Check the forum discussion thread for instructions or to ask questions.
January 26 – Texture Enhancement Pack v1.12 by thief_gotcha for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Many of the T2 building and terrain textures are upgraded and given a fresh look in this pack. With this mod, thief_gotcha has added polish to the overall look of T2 OMs. This patch can be installed with the Object Enhancement Pack or as a stand alone. Check the forum discussion thread for instructions or to ask questions.
February 17 – The Golden Soundtrack by Child Of Karras; Forum Discussion Thread
This is a wonderful compilation of the music from the Dark Project/Gold. A big thanks goes to Child Of Karras & Beleg Cúthalion for all the work involved in this project. If you always wanted to hear that catchy tune that plays for Viktoria, you can find it here along with the rest of the original music.
March 16 – The Historical ContestThis contest is brought to us by Medd and members of the French Thief Forum Ariane. The object is to create a mission by selecting one of two styles and to avoid using anachronistic elements. Detailed rules, scoring and other information can be found in both English Rules and French Rules. The mission is to be created in English with other language support allowed. The deadline for entry submissions to this contest is September 01, 2008.
March 17 – Classic Thief Experience Contest Do you think you can make a mission that feels like the first time you played Thief? Then read the contest rules. This zip file also includes the .mis file which must be used as a base for all contest submissions. If you would like to participate or have questions about the contest, then uncadonego has provided contact instructions in "READ THIS!.doc" in the zip. This FM forum thread has more discussion and information, and the Editor’s Guild thread shows the discussion and consideration of parameters that went into designing this contest. The deadline for entry submissions for this contest is September 15, 2008.
To help out those taffers with an aversion to using the Forum Search, I have added links to the Forum Help Threads. Because of the large number of older, re-released missions, I have provided links to the original help threads in addition to the new release announcements.
01 – Doschtles’ Labyrinth in German only by Doschtles for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Garrett wakes up as he is thrown into a well in a strange place lit only by mushrooms. He can hear noises nearby. He must explore the area and see what he can find to help him escape. [/b]
Comments: This mission was released in German language only. If you would like to attempt it, there is plenty of help in the forum discussion thread. I found it to be a very enjoyable mission with some interesting puzzles. I was able to complete the mission without too much trouble.
07 – The Book of Prophecy, Pt 1 v1.1 by Shattenglide for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: During the ascendancy of Karras, the Mechanists were determined to control the city. They have banned weapons & public assemblies to minimize chances for resistance. However, there are many who rebel. A mysterious organization is aiding the refugees. They have called on you to find the "Book of Prophecy" which could control the fate of the city.
Comments: This mission was released on December 31, 2007 in German language only. English support was added in version 1.1. This is a gorgeous city. Game play starts at ground level but quickly moves to the upper floors, roof tops and ledges. Your progression through the mission is fairly linear, but the action is fast-paced and you travel through so many new locales, that it does not feel restrictive. The villains are a new breed of Mechanist, uglier and nastier than the original, and they are out for blood. This is another quality German mission that I am happy to see get an English translation. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
07 – Time for Culture v2 by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Miss Broken Arts has asked for assistance. Her job at the museum is being threatened. Garrett must head to the museum to find out who is threatening Miss Broken Arts' job, her good name & her earwax sculptures. Of course, he will make the trip worth his time by lining his pockets.[/b]
Comments: This mission was updated to version 2 on February 23. Time for Culture is a keyhunt, but the keys are not terribly hard to find. You begin in the Museum Director's house where you find a series of keys that will lead you to the museum. There are more keys to be found in the museum. Cardia1 has created a beautiful, modern museum with more artwork in one place than I have seen outside of a real life museum or a book. There are also a few surprises to add more interest, like the teleport doors. The architecture of the museum is very well done, and I thoroughly enjoyed finding my way through it. The music was chosen perfectly. It is not overwhelming, but it adds to the atmosphere. This mission is dedicated to BrokenArts.
10 – Cabot v2 by Flux for T3; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Cabot, a cartographer, had a sudden change in fortune allowing him to buy a nice mansion. He also has hired lots of security. A man with that much security surely has something to hide. Garrett’s job is to break into his mansion and find out how Cabot gained his wealth. [/b]Comments: This mission was updated to version 2 on February 15 and includes multi-language support (ENG, GER, RUS, ITAL). This is a must play FM. It is well executed and the mansion layout is very nice. The mission is part keyhunt, part Thiefy fun. The only thing I missed was being able to climb, though there was one nice jump through a window. There are ample readables to point you in the right direction. The mission was larger than I expected, but I was pleased that there were no mid-game loads. If you’ve never played a T3 FM, Cabot would be a great starter.
12 – Hearts and Minds by Ziemanskye for T3; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Basso's master key ring has been seized by the City Watch. Garrett has to help out his friend, so he must break into the Rue Du Maine Officer's Club to find the key for the unpickable safe where Basso's keys are kept. Once he has Basso’s keys, he must get out again without anyone knowing he was there.
Comments: In this mission, you are given no weapons and must ghost. You are allowed to be seen only once at all difficulty levels. The second time will fail the mission. The building is large and has many places to explore and hide. You will need to look, listen and sneak around carefully to avoid being seen. I found this to be a long mission due to the enforced ghosting. Patience pays off in the end, though.
16 – Bestest FM 4: Wishy Washy by Sluggs for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Garrett has broken into a beautiful, but smelly, mansion. He explores and discovers that there are no bathrooms, so what stinks? The people! YUCK!! So, he must give them all a bath before he is able to steal them blind.
Comments: This is another farcical mission in the Bestest FM Series. If you’ve played the others, you know what to expect, and Sluggs delivers as usual. The entire series is a hilarious take on “normal” FMs. If you haven't played them yet or need a good laugh, play the whole series: The original Bestest FM, Bestest FM 2: Fairground Attraction, and Bestest FM 3: In the Link of an Eye.
07 – Silence Pt 1 v1.1 by CrackedGear for T3; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: The setting for this mission is far in the future from TDS. The main character is a pagan. The pagan needs to cross the city to reach his contact at the shaman house. He does not have a blackjack, only a dagger and a few of the standard arrows. He must rely on sneaking to get around. He can kill guards and others, but this will often alert other people and result in an untimely death. Traveling unseen is his best solution.
Comments: This mission is an update of a mission originally released October 29, 2007. This update is a vast improvement from the original release which had many problems. It has been interesting to me to see CrackedGear’s progress and growth from one version to the next. The improvements in this re-release make it feel like a completely different mission. It has kept the feel of TDS remarkably well. Original city areas were used in a completely new mission. This is a challenging mission and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I am looking forward to seeing Silence Pt 2. I recommend Silence Pt 1 for anyone who likes TDS or Ghosting.
08 – Sly’s UT Arena 2 by SlyFoxx for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Garrett has managed to steal so many things from all the wrong people that the angry mob has tossed him into the Death Match Arena. To survive, Garrett must kill or be killed. His goal? The lonely red button all the way up...
Comments: You fall out of the sky into complete mayhem - the ultimate Death Match Arena. Everyone is trying to kill you. You must fight, run, hide, whatever it takes to make it all the way to the top. There are many challenging jumps & climbs on your way to the top made even more challenging by the rain of arrows and other attacks. If you want a break from the traditional Thief mission, give this one a try. You certainly won't be bored! If you enjoyed this mission, don't miss the original Sly's UT Arena for more mayhem.
11 – Brawl in the Tombs Remix v2c by Dark Assassin for T2; Forum Discussion Threads: Re-release, First Release Help and Map
Description: Garrett enters an underground tomb system. There are lots of undead, Hammers & Mechanists he must avoid. He will get some help from the local thieves & Keepers. His mission is to find information about the Mechanists while avoiding getting killed and (of course) liberating some treasure for his own use.
Comments: John D turned all his missions over to Dark Assassin for updating. This is the first mission to come out of that arrangement. Dark Assassin has breathed new life into a classic mission originally released October 22, 2002. The Keeper's enclave received an extensive remodel, and the catacombs have been improved. You will find more potions & weapons are available. There are many custom objects used which play a large part in modernizing the look of the mission. If you never played the original, you must play the updated version. If the original was a favorite, play it again and see what’s new.
20 – Dark Beginnings by Dark Assassin for T2; Forum Discussion Threads: New Series Release, Burglary in Blackbrook Help, Spooky Interlude (Shadows of the Past) Help and Quick Cash Help
Description: This mission pack includes Burglary in Blackbrook, Spooky Interlude and Quick Cash. In Burglary in Blackbrook, Garrett’s old friend Brenner has convinced him the time is right to loot the Blackbrook Hammerite Temple. Garrett must find his way into the Hammer temple, break into the Hammer jail, explore some haunted crypts & escape through the sewers with several valuable items the Hammers won't appreciate him taking. In A Spooky Interlude, formerly titled Shadows of the Past, Garrett is off to liberate some treasures from the dead and find the Bloodstar Gem. Then, he must escape with your life. The final mission in this campaign is Quick Cash where Garrett must sneak into a small Hammerite complex and get out with all the loot and his life.
Comments: This is the second John D mission revamp from Dark Assassin. Three original missions (Burglary in Blackbrook, Shadows of the Past, Quick Cash) have been combined into one mission pack. Burglary in Blackbrook needed minimal updates as it was already an excellent mission. It remains much as the original conversion to T2 released July 21, 2006. The T2 version was converted from the T1 version released March 31, 2003. The second mission, Shadows of the Past, was an entry for the SSR contest on March 17, 2006. It was renamed to Spooky Interlude which is a fitting name for this short but well constructed mission full of green fog. It is also my favorite 10 minute mission. Quick Cash is the final mission in this triad and another great 10 minute mission. The original release date was July 16, 2002. It received the most obvious changes. The textures have been upgraded so that this small mission appears much more polished. If you never played the originals, give the new ones a try. If you have played them, check out the changes. Becoming reacquainted with these missions was well worth the time.
Note: Cardia1 updated several of his missions and released them simultaneously. I have listed them here in order of original release dates.
23 – Pereira’s Mansion by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Garrett is in pursuit of the Battle Horn of Saint Miguel. It is supposed to be located somewhere at Pereira's Mansion, so he starts there. The Horn won't be lying around on a shelf somewhere, so Garrett is going to have to find its hiding place.
Comments: There are several well hidden switches in the mansion. You must locate and flip all the switches to open the secret passage way to the catacombs. When you reach the catacombs, you will have to sneak through a horde of undead to reach the Horn. This is a spooky mission. Even the mansion itself is creepy due to the footsteps of a wandering, invisible person. This mission was originally released on August 24, 2006 and is dedicated to Flecha das Sombras.
23 – Vadrigar’s Prison by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: You must find your way into this escape-proof prison, kill Vadrigar's 4 Generals, recover the Eye so that Vadrigar can no longer create his undead minions, and finally defeat Vadrigar himself.
Comments: Turn a prison break-out mission inside out and you get an idea of what Vadrigar’s Prison is like. You are breaking in, not out of this place. The ghosts are harmless, but the haunts will kill you. You must defeat 4 nasty bad guys. Then, you go on to fight the boss bad dude and steal his favorite toy. This mission was originally released on September 29, 2006 and is dedicated to Mystic Night.
23 – Citadel of Douro by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Douro, Portugal is a lovely place for a vacation. Too bad you've come here on business. Search the city and find the Hand of Dreams.
Comments: This is a nice city mission with a variety of opponents. It is a nice showcase for cardia1’s talents. This mission is mostly a typical city quest with a few interesting twists thrown in to keep your interest. This mission was originally released on January 19, 2007 and is dedicated to Nightwalker.
23 – Broken Heart by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: The protagonist was once a noble King; however, his most trusted servant fell in love with the Queen. The servant murdered her when she refused his attentions. The King has haunted this castle for almost 300 years waiting for the chance to take his revenge. That time has finally come.
Comments: This mission is a keyhunt with some very cleverly hidden keys. Once you have found all the keys, you will have to kill your enemy and all his minions. This was an unpleasant surprise for many players. You are given an armory full of weapons to kill them all. Remember, this King has been waiting hundreds of years to get revenge for his beloved Queen’s murder. This is his one and only chance to avenge her death. This mission was originally released on February 16, 2007 and is dedicated to Nameless Voice.
23 – Teddy Bear’s Curse by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Mr. Ascenso has hired you to investigate his mansion to find the reason behind the flying teddy bears made by his wife, Gloria Creep. He is concerned for her safety and sanity. Find out what is really making these bears fly.
Comments: I liked this mission a lot. The flying teddy bears were certainly an original story element. The story was also interesting, and the mansion was nicely put together. The mission is a keyhunt with some tough to find keys. And, who could pass up a tribute to Gloria Creep? This mission was originally released on June 08, 2007 and is dedicated to Gloria Creep.
28 – All for a Night’s Sleep v1.1 by Morrgan for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Garrett’s neighbor has acquired a very noisy wind chime. This dratted thing has kept him awake for a week. He had to do something about it because everyone needs his sleep...even a Master Thief!
Comments: This mission was updated to version 1.1 on March 10. This 30 minute mission marks Morrgan’s return to making FMs, and what a perfect way to tell us that she hasn’t lost her touch. This small mission has a surprising amount of action packed into it. There are rooftop areas & climbing, sneaking, loot hunting, secrets & bonus objectives. It is an exciting mission that will leave you wishing it wasn't over! I highly recommend this as a must play mission.
02 – Playground of Doom by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Garrett was caught for stealing a valuable item. The authorities have sent him off-planet to the Playground of Doom on Saturn. Garrett’s only chance is to survive. If he lives, he will be freed, so he must make sure that he is the last one standing.
Comments: Temple of Death isn’t about stealth. It’s kill or be killed. It’s that simple. Well, not really. Some of your enemies will fight each other and save you the trouble. There are also power-ups scattered around which make this feel even less like a typical Thief mission. Also, you get to loot the dead. It seems like they don’t take away all your valuables when they dump you off here, so steal what you can. This is a good mission to practice your melee fighting skills. This mission was originally released on September 01, 2006 and is dedicated to Komag.
02 – Temple of Death by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Garrett was caught in the City Watch’s trap. Now, they have sent him off-planet to the Temple of Death on Mars. Garrett has been given several tasks to complete. If he can accomplish these tasks and survive the experience, he will be pardoned.
Comments: Like its predecessor, Playground of Doom, this is a very different type of mission combining some stealth elements with direct combat. Your primary opponents in this mission are skeletons. You are given some weapons, but distraction is often a better way than direct combat. Noisemaker arrows are your friends as are broadheads & hard surfaces. You will need to find and dispose of 4 individuals while avoiding the skeletal guards. There are power-ups throughout the level which will be helpful in surviving. This mission was originally released on May 02, 2007 and is dedicated to Sensut, Sluggs & Yandros. You can also get cardia1's Eric Cartman Sound Mod for this mission.
05 – UnMasked by Nielson74 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: You are approached by a stranger who wants you to acquire a certain collection of 8 masks for him. There's one small problem. These masks are part of someone else's collection. The offer is a generous one, and there is sure to be plenty of other loot to sweeten the deal.
Comments: This is a small mansion mission. It plays well and is entertaining. The mansion is well appointed with lots of things to find. This is a great mission if you're looking for something under 30 minutes. I recommend playing this one.
08 – Deep Trouble: City Under the Sea by Dark Assassin for T2; Forum Discussion Threads: New Series Release, Deep Trouble 1 Help and Deep Trouble 2 Help
Description: In Deep Trouble 1, Garrett is hiding in a shipment of goods to penetrate the security of a certain Count's castle. The ride is long and very turbulent. When he exits the crate, he has no idea where he is. He must get out of there. In Deep Trouble 2 (Pt 1): Nasty Surprise, Garrett is hidden in the old, familiar Cetus Amicus which is headed for the Lost City but ends up taking him to the Mechanists' Central Aquatic Facility! While still in hiding, something horrible happens to the crew. He must find the control room and escape. In Deep Trouble 2 (Pt 2): Mother's Playground, you reach the main complex of the Aquatic Facility. This place is filled with Mother's strange and deadly creations. You must avoid the patrols and guards and get out of this place. While you're searching for the exit, grab some loot too. You may need it to get out of here!
Comments: This is Dark Assassin's release of John D's original missions Deep Trouble from January 04, 2004 & Deep Trouble 2 (Pts 1 & 2) from October 29, 2004. They have been combined into a single campaign titled Deep Trouble: City Under the Sea. The underwater setting is unusual and very well executed. This is a creepy set of missions. There isn't much loot to find, and your main concern is finding a way out of there. If you are looking for a mission with a lot of exploring, try this campaign. You have no maps, and the corridors are often confusing because of their similarities in appearance. You are either in a submarine or at the aquatic facility, so don't expect any of the usual scenery. If you want something different and like submarines, try this campaign.
20 – The Flying Age v1.18 by Sterlino for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Garrett has entered The Flying Age, many years after the death of Karras. Dr. Zeppellinger and his co-conspirator the Duke Von Braum are threatening the safety of the city. Dr. Zeppellinger has created strange new machines that fly through the air! The pagans are convinced that these machines are dangerous. They have created the pagan guild, Green Leaf, to stop Dr. Zeppellinger and his machines for good. Green Leaf needs Garrett’s skills to do this. Expecting his reluctance, Green Leaf has ensured his cooperation with a little green crystal in his drink. If Garrett wants the antidote, he must stop Dr. Zeppellinger. This time Garrett’s life is the biggest prize to be won. And, he has only 36 hours before the poisonous crystal ends his life.
Comments: This mission was updated to version 1.18 on March 20 and lootlist links were added to the readme. Sterlino has created a top flight mission pack. The Flying Age or The Abominable Flying Machines of Dr. Zeppelinger brings something entirely new to the Thief universe – believable flying machines of many varieties. You will not only get to fly, but you will have to make your very own flying machine. One part finds you in prison where you escape into Duke Von Braum’s mansion which is full of surprises like deadly plants, a ghost girl and several mysterious stone tablets. Much of the time you will be in one flying machine or another though you do get back on the ground to build your own machine. The different machines are fascinating and very well designed. I highly recommend this mission for its originality, creativity, design and execution.
30 – Counter-Thief by Gambit for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
Description: Lord Hostag is hiding out in a heavily-guarded warehouse. Garrett needs to get into the warehouse by any means necessary, and kill Lord Hostag.
Comments: Counter-Thief is the first release from new FM author Gambit. The mission is based on the Counter-Strike Assault map, so fans of Counter-Strike will certainly recognize their locale. This is a small mission which can be completed in a few minutes. The level is sparse but functional except for one ladder near the warehouse door which is very difficult to navigate. I would like to see what Gambit can do with a little more time spent making the next mission as this was put together in one afternoon.
04/23/2008 – Added Book of Prophecy Pt 1: Dead Letter Box, English release, entry, Jan 07
04/23/2008 – Added Sly’s UT Arena 2 entry, Feb 08 (& updated mission count)
Last edited by pavlovscat; 25th Jan 2010 at 22:34. Reason: Updated
Great work, pavlovscat! Really impressed!
Whoa! Someone has been a busy, busy gal
Nice quarter in review! Must've taken a while to get that list up... grats, and, thanks!
Wow! I felt like the first quarter had been a slow and uneventful period for the Thief community, but this excellent review has shown me the error in my thoughts!
Excellent round-up, pavlovscat! It must have been a lot of work. Well done!
Thank you all for your support & appreciation. Glad y'all liked it! As I was putting this together, I realized just how much has happened in only 3 months. With all the exciting new missions in progress, I expect this year to be another great one!
The German version of Book of Prophecy was covered in last year's review, but I should have added it here for the release of the English version. And, I will.
How in the world did I completely miss Sly's latest? I can only plead the insanity of celebrating my 10th Wedding Anniversary on Feb 13th (And, yes, I was married on Friday the 13th! ) for distracting me from anything else that week. Sorry, Sly! That will be remedied pronto! BAD CAT!! No snacks! And no catnaps until it's done!
As always, this review is for all you taffers, so please let me know if anyone catches anything else that needs to be fixed.
No problem kitty. It's not like it's a proper mission. Make sure you ready a slowfall potion ASAP or you'll be a smear on the floor.
Update done. Thanks for the advice Sly! You are one crazy taffer!
This is really something, pavlovscat. I especially like that you rounded up the enhancement packs in one area, I don't frequent this area much and didn't know about these.
Thank you so much pavlovscat - without your revews I would never know what I'd missed. All the work you put in - amazing. Another of our unsung heroes (yes I know some would say heroine).
excellent work - that you so much for taking the time to do this. People like me who are sporadic ttlg visitors and FM players seriusly appreciate this type of info. Based on your comments, I have just finished dling a bunch of new fm.
You are all very welcome! I am so happy that my reviews are serving their intended purpose. Keep an eye out. The Second Quarter review will be out in a few weeks.
Thanks for the review. Reading this is a great way to catch up if one doesn't have enough time to follow all the fm releases.
If at first you don't succeed...reload and try again!