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Thread: pavlovscat's 2008 Second Quarter FM Review

  1. #1
    Moderator
    Keeper of FMs

    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA

    pavlovscat's 2008 Second Quarter FM Review

    In the second quarter of 2008, the FM releases are again plentiful. This is a refresher of everything that has happened this quarter. Here is the break down of the 35 FMs and related releases: 10 missions for TG – 8 new, 2 updated; 18 missions for T2 - 14 new (2 GER), 4 updated, 2 demos; 2 new missions for T3 ; 3 lagniappe releases; 1 new forum. I cover Lagniappe first including a brand new forum. (What’s Lagniappe? That’s Louisiana talk for a little something extra thrown in.) Then, the Missions are listed in order of release dates.

    Before I get to the new stuff, I’d like to remind everyone about the two on-going contests. The French forum’s The Historical Contest has a deadline of September 01, 2008. Uncadonego has posted In-Progress Screenshots from contestants in his Classic Thief Experience Contest with a deadline of September 15, 2008.

    LAGNIAPPE
    • Dussander’s FM Beta-Testing Forum; Forum Discussion Thread
      Dussander created this new forum specifically as a resource for beta-testing FMs. You will find a group of people here available as beta-testers. Also, Dussander will set up your very own forum, moderated by you, and will host your beta for download. There is also an informative FAQ about beta-testing in general and what Dussander’s forum offers for FM authors.
    • May 02 – T2X Developers’ Package; Forum Discussion Thread The “Comment” file includes a video walkthrough of every level with commentary nicely done by fett & Raen. The “Making of” file includes many fun extras like the soundtrack, documentation, artwork, mission development notes, and unstripped mission files for every mission. This is an excellent resource for FM designers, but there are many interesting things here for those who only play the game. You can get the package details at the T2X Website.
    • June 16 – Thief: The Dark Art Book by Dominus Dominus has taken official Thief art and compiled it into book format for the enjoyment of Thief fans. The layout and design of this book are very well done. This is a must have collection for every taffer. Dominus has worked within the limitations of size and clarity of the original images, many from more than 10 years ago, to make a cohesive collection and an excellent presentation. Downloads are available in PDF or JPG format.
    • June 20 – Thief-Inspired Music by ShadowSneaker These original tracks are offered in MP3 format for download. Check them out. This is great Thiefy mood music.


    MISSIONS
    Warning: The mission comment sections may contain spoilers; however, the mission descriptions do not.

    APRIL
    • 01 – We Miss You Bob by Monastiri for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Lord Marboby has kidnapped baby Bob and is holding him for ransom. Garrett must sneak into Marboby's well-guarded mansion and rescue Bob.
      Comments: This mission is the first FM by Monastiri. It is a small mission, 10-15 minutes, but quite enjoyable. I was surprised by the amount of game play packed into this mini-mansion. There were a lot of guards, more than I expected, and several objectives to complete. This baby must be worth a fortune!
    • 06 – The Crazy Maniac Mr. Timms & The Wooden Shack by John-The-Begger for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: That crazy maniac, Mr. Timms, has stolen Garrett’s spoon. Garrett’s really mad, so he decides to kill him.
      Comments: This is a very quick mission. In fact, I think the name might be bigger than the mission. You have a sword and need to kill things with it. You will find a helpful inanimate ally here, but you must deliver the final killing strike to Mr. Timms yourself.
    • 07 – Five Tigers 2: Eye of the Tiger v1.01 by Catman for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Master Thief Nekosan has been hired to obtain the set of gemstones known as the Five Tigers. He is off to recover the first of the five stones, the Eye of the Tiger. This stone is held by the Walker family. He obtained a copy of the Walker key during his previous adventure on the Iron Butterfly. His employer has provided maps of the heavily guarded estate to make things a bit easier. He must get that gemstone.
      Comments: Catman has turned out an excellent mission. This is a large, challenging mission. You will need to pay attention to the readables for hints on finding hidden treasures as well as how to find and safely reach the hidden Eye of the Tiger. Don’t expect to rush through this one. The architecture & artwork are worth attention, and the complex puzzles take some thought to solve. This is the second chapter in the Five Tigers series. If you haven’t played the first mission Five Tigers: HBS Iron Butterfly, I recommend you play it first. The story will make a lot more sense as there are references to the previous mission throughout this one. I highly recommend both missions and eagerly await the third in the Five Tigers series.
    • 18 – Castle of the Dead vREV by darthsLair for TG; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Your last trip to the Bafford Estate gave you The Dead Maker, a very powerful sword. Your associate Blacky has run off with your newest prize. There is a plague spreading throughout the city. The residents are turning into zombies. You need to find out the cause of this and stop it. To do this, you will need The Dead Maker back, so find Blacky and get your sword. While you are around, find some trinkets to make saving the world (again!) worth your time.
      Comments: This mission has the gritty, dark feeling that I loved from the Original T1 missions. There aren't any fancy textures or new objects. What darthsLair has given us is an engaging story and good game play. The whole bit about Blacky making off with Garrett's sword & selling it for practically nothing is great. The zombie mystery kept me interested in finding how & why these poor people are turning into zombies. The Cathedral has been recycled from the original Haunted Cathedral, but darthsLair has made some important changes. This is an enjoyable mission which I recommend playing.
    • 24 – The Mirror (Revised version released April 29th) by zontik for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Mr. Garrett W. Spector has a strange vision in which he has been hired to locate and retrieve a mysterious mirror in a world that has never seen one before.
      Comments: This is an excellent mission. It is quite challenging, and you must read everything carefully to find your way. Overall, this mission was well thought out and well executed. The replay potential for the mission is also very good as the mirror's location is randomly selected each time you play, and the location does not depend on which difficulty level you choose, either. I highly recommend playing this mission if you like a challenge and like to solve puzzles.
    • 26 – Lord Julian’s Labyrinth by massimilianogoi for T3; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: With the upheavals since Gamall is gone, Garrett has become the First Keeper. But in his heart, he's still a Master Thief. It is rumored that a great treasure in hidden within Lord Julian's Labyrinth. To keep his skills sharp, Garrett decided to see for himself what is there. But, no one can know that he was there...NO ONE!
      Comments: This is a maze map. There are no clues and few visual markers. You need to wander the labyrinth and avoid the guards to find Lord Julian’s treasure. This mission requires quite a bit of patience to complete. If you like the idea of being lost in a maze, then give this mission a try.


    MAY
    • 02 – Chat Noir by Gambit for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Chat Noir, the Black Cat, a small time criminal has come to Paris to make his mark in the City of Lights. He has been hired to liberate some goods from a local warehouse. His best way in lies through the House of Little Deaths.
      Comments: This mission has a mature theme. If you are easily offended, then I will warn you to avoid reading the literature scattered throughout the House of Little Deaths. This is a brothel, and the reading material is all business related. You will also be expected to kill your informant’s ex-boyfriend on Hard & Expert difficulties.
    • 09 – Sir William’s Keep by Wille for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Sir William is purchasing a Hammerite relic called the Golden Book of Stone. Garrett must sneak into Sir William's and steal the book, not to mention anything else of value he can find. Once Garrett has the Golden Book and some loot, he should leave through the Old City sewers.
      Comments: This is a fairly small mansion mission. Wille uses multiple levels to make the mission play larger than it is. This is a straightforward 30 minute mission. There are a few vital keys to find, but no difficult puzzles. Definitely give this one a try.
    • 10 – Plot a three mission campaign by Dront for TG; Part 3 of Plot was released two days earlier on May 08 as a solo mission, The Kill for Life Forum Discussion Threads: Plot, The Kill for Life
      Description:
      In The Jewelled Sword, Garrett must break into Lord Fevler mansion and steal his prized Jewelled Sword. Garrett heard about a secret way into the heavily guarded mansion, so he’ll try to get in that way. Next is To the Meeting where Garrett is supposed to enter his client’s mansion and ascend to the fourth floor to deliver the Jewelled Sword. In the last chapter, The Kill for Life, Garrett discovers that his employer, Walter, is actively trying to get Garrett killed. Garrett needs to find Walter and kill him before he succeeds in killing Garrett.
      Comments: Dront doesn’t make fancy missions. If you can overlook the plain graphics and simple architecture, you will find tough game play and a good story. This is the toughest Thief Gold campaign I’ve played. The first two missions are very reminiscent of the wild colors & bizarre construction in Constantine’s mansion. The Kill for Life is the plainest looking of the three, but also the hardest requiring close attention to health levels. This is a challenging campaign that I thoroughly enjoyed playing.
    • 10 – Your Last Breath, Island of Iron 1: Fortress of Steel and Island of Iron 2: Confrontation by Dark Assassin for T2; Forum Discussion Threads: Re- Release Thread and original mission help threads for Your Last Breath (Aug. 6, 2002), Island of Iron 1: Fortress of Steel (Jan. 25, 2003) and Island of Iron 2: Confrontation (May 24, 2003)
      Description: In Your Last Breath, Garrett is investigating reports of a strange “iron boat”. Instead, he finds an underwater Mechanist facility which he must explore. The Island of Iron missions follow Garrett’s pursuit of Friend Arbez through the Fortress of Steel to the Old Hammerite Sanctuary. Garrett must stop Arbez and his horrid experiments with the undead.
      Comments: These are the last of John D's missions that Dark Assassin will be re-releasing. These 3 missions are the remaining missions to complete the Quick Cash series which includes the following missions: Dark Beginnings (Burglary in Blackbrook, Spooky Interlude, Quick Cash), Your Last Breath, A Brawl in the Tombs, and Island of Iron 1 & 2. Play the whole dark series.
    • 13 – A Night in Rockbourg 3: Ink & Dust in English and Une nuit à Rocksbourg 3: Encre et poussière in French by DrK for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: This is the third mission in the A Night in Rocksbourg Series. It continues the story where Discovery, the second mission ends. Garrett is in the Rocksbourg sewers trying to escape the city. Zombies are everywhere. As Garrett tries to find a way out, he comes to a dead end and is sure that this is it...when a portal suddenly appears and a voice invites him to step through to save his life. Garrett has no idea where the portal leads, but it's got to be better than the horde of zombies chasing him now. So, he steps through the portal...into a strange place much like a monastery. No one helps someone else without expecting something in return. Garrett's savior is no different. He will show Garrett the way out, but first Garrett must find a certain object for him.
      Comments: You can get no movie and movie only versions at the Forum Discussion Thread. This wonderfully dark and creepy mission is an excellent addition to the popular Night in Rocksbourg series: ANIR1: A New Beginning/Un nouveau départ and ANIR2: Discovery/Découverte. In Ink and Dust, the graphics and mission design are incredible and must be seen to be believed. I had total immersion in this mission. The Dark Zone is unquestionably the creepiest, scariest place I've ever seen. There are so many secrets and puzzles that I will be replaying this one many times. I rate this as an absolute must play series.
    • 14 – Ominous Bequest Gold by Eshaktaar for T2; Forum Discussion Thread and Original Release Help Thread
      Description: Garrett has been hired to obtain some items from the estate of Lord Farrington who recently died. Several items are mentioned in his will. Garrett needs to find this will and get all the items mentioned in it. Also, Garrett's employer wants to know if rumors of abandoned mages' quarters located beneath the manor are true.
      Comments: This in an update to the original Ominous Bequest released on August 12, 2003. The game play remains the same however the mission has received a major facelift. Textures have been remade at higher resolution, the water looks much nicer, some objects were replaced with improved versions from Nameless Voice's EP pack, and hidden switches have been enhanced so they are easier to locate. If you liked the original, then you will love the new look. If you never played the original, this is a must play mission.
    • 15 – HookShot Demo by thief0 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: This is a modified weapon demo. This weapons mod is based on a tool from Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It is a special arrow that, when shot into a wooden object, will propel the player across any terrain towards that object. This is a neat little demo mission to show you what the HookShot can do. I had a lot of fun fooling around with it. Now, let’s see a mission that uses the HookShot.
    • 17 – John Dosio’s Compound by cardia1 for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Once again, Garrett has been caught in the act. This time the Mechanists caught him trying to steal a holy item from a Mechanist monastary. Now Garrett finds himself on the planet of Venus at John Dosio's Compound. He must survive if to have any hope of leaving this place.
      Comments: This is the third arena-style combat mission from cardia1. This mission has two different playing stlyes. I like Original difficulty the best. You are part of a team of thieves fighting against Hammers, guards, cops, pagans and Dosio's guardians. You are trying to find a medallion & a rosary and make it back to the entrance. The team with the most loot wins. In Powerfull & Tough difficulties, you are looking for the same items, but all by yourself. In addition, you must kill Dosio's trophy guardian before returning to the entrance area. Sharpen your sword and dust off you melee skills. You will need them here.
    • 17 – Legende der Vier Elemente by Theker for T2; Forum Discussion Thread; followed on May 28th by the German/English release Legend of the Four Elements, Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Lord Xaldin has inherited the Plate of the Four Elements. The Keepers have instructed Garrett to go to Lord Xaldin's estate and steal the Plate. Also, Garrett needs to get Lord Xaldin's Horn and whatever else happens to fall into his pockets.
      Comments: Theker has made a small but beautiful mission. There are clever clues to help you find the four elements which you will need to obtain the Plate. There is even a freakish new monster to deal with. I enjoyed this mission very much. If you are looking for a 30-45 minute mission, then play this one.
    • 22 – Captured by Beasts by Dront for TG; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Though Garrett defeated the Trickster, some of his minions escaped. These beasts have captured Garrett. He is knocked over the head while purchasing some equipment. The next thing he knows, he awakens on the third floor of a strange building filled with the creatures of the Trickster. Garrett needs to find a way out of this place.
      Comments: This mission is made in Dront's typical style - dark & rough looking, but with good gameplay. It is not an easy mission. This mission is filled with the weird creatures spawned by the Trickster: ratmen, bugbeasts, crawmen, exploding frogs, green spiders & red spiders. There are a few humans around for variety, but most of your foes are beasts. Fans of the Maw of Chaos should definitely try this mission.
    • 22 – Carneval a demo by Silencium for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: This is a 10 minute demo mission set in a Carnival. You have to find a special mask & some loot.
      Comments: I like the setting and would love to see it expanded. It has great atmosphere for such a small mission.
    • 22 – Bruder Snuck in German only by Silencium for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: This mission is in German only, but the objectives are basic: find a scroll and find some loot.
      Comments: This is another 10 minute mission but worth playing. It is surprisingly challenging.
    • 24 – Admiral’s Compass by Dront for TG; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: Garrett robbed Captain Regalio during his visit to the Mage Towers. Now, he has been hired sneak on board the ship of Admiral Regalio, the Captain's brother. Garrett needs to retrieve the Admiral's compass.
      Comments: In a similar style to Dront's previous missions, this is a plain-looking mission. It is a pleasant, but fairly short mission with basic gameplay. It is not a difficult mission to complete, especially compared to Dront's other missions. I like how he links his story back to the original TG mission The Mage Towers.
    • 25 – Returning the Lock Picks by Dront for TG; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: As Garrett stolls along the street, he runs into Philip, a rival thief. After that, Garrett's lockpicks are missing. It's not hard for Garrett to figure out what happened to them. Now, he must get back his lockpicks.
      Comments: This mission had me running back & forth a lot hunting for the right keys. Philip's place had some interesting areas including a secret passage to a Hammerite area. There was a bit of climbing with rope arrows and some interesting puzzles to solve. I like this mission. As usual, Dront has made a simple but believable story work in the dark, gritty TDP universe.
    • 26 – Holy Hammer by Dront for TG; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: The Hammers have asked Garrett to recover their Holy Hammer. The hammer was left behind in their temple which has been taken over by the Trickster's beasts. Garrett needs to gather some gear and get that hammer.
      Comments: This was a very tough mission. The ending was extremely hard as there were large numbers of beasts & few places to hide. It took me several attempts to make it all the way through the mission. If you are looking for a challenge, this mission is it.
    • 31 – Broken Triad a two mission campaign by Eshaktaar for T2; Forum Discussion Threads: Part 1: Arkford and Part 2: Tempest Isle
      Description: Arkford: Garrett is getting tired of the small town of Arkford. There is a bizarre killer on the loose. He has one last heist planned before he heads back to The City. There is a stone bust called The Sleeper displayed at Harrogate, the local museum. Garrett had a replica bust made, and he plans to beat the unbeatable museum security system and swap his fake bust for the original. Tempest Isle: Garrett finds himself on Tempest Isle after following the directions of the mysterious Keeper Aleph. He must explore the island to find a way home.
      Comments: Broken Triad is the sequel to Ominous Bequest Gold, so play OBG first to understand the whole story. These missions require close attention to details. There are many readables which will help you find your way through the missions. Broken Triad is an amazing experience. The game play is outstanding. The architecture is phenomenal. The story is compelling. The trilogy of Ominous Bequest & Broken Triad is an absolute must play series.


    JUNE
    • 04 – Valley by Flux for T3; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: The pagans are planning a war with the Hammers. Garrett doesn't really care for either group, but a war would certainly make things uncomfortable for him. An undercover Keeper agent has infiltrated the pagan settlement. Garrett needs to contact this agent to get all the inside information he can so that this war can be stopped. While he's there, Garrett has some personal business with one of the pagan shamans to attend to as well.
      Comments: I would classify this as a city-style mission though the setting is a pagan settlement located in a remote valley. The settlement is a multi-level complex with several distinct areas to explore much as in a typical city. The surroundings are quite different because the pagan settlement is built into the caves of a mountain valley. Like Flux's previous mission, Cabot, this mission has much of the feeling of the original Thief missions in its gameplay. This makes Flux’s missions good starter missions for someone who has never played a TDS FM before. If you like TDS FMs, then Valley is a must play mission.
    • 10 – Gold in Fort Knocks Revised by darthsLair for TG; Forum Discussion Thread and Original Release Help Thread
      Description: The Hammers have a facility in an ore rich mountain area called Fort Knocks. An associate of Garrett's would love to have some of the Hammers' most treasured artifacts - for a price of course. Fort Knocks is very secure, but Garrett believes he can get into the Fort through a secret passage. His best chance for escape will be through an old mine shaft near the Fort.
      Comments: This is fairly small mission that took me about 35 minutes to finish. The revised version is a conversion from the November 23, 2006 Thief 1 release to Thief Gold which features improved lighting ambient. If you haven't played Fort Knocks before, it is a solid mission that I always enjoy. There are a few zombies, but it is not hard to sneak past them all. Or you can always introduce the zombies to the Hammers for some fun.
    • 17 – Good Vs. Bad v2.5 by sNeaksieGarrett for TG; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: The Hammers have asked Garrett to help them. The Builder's Chisel is missing. It was stolen by a another Thief named Jacob. The Hammers will be there to fight by Garrett's side, but he must find and return the Builder's Chisel. And, fill his pockets with any loot taken by Jacob.
      Comments: This is an updated version of the February 14, 2004 release. You have a group of Hammers who will fight anything to regain their beloved Builder's Chisel. They are excellent allies as anyone who's been on the wrong end of their hammers has found. Use your allies to help you recover the Chisel. This is a small level, but watching the mayhem is quite entertaining.
    • 27 – Lord of the Thieves: Attck of the Orcs by Cavalorn for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: The Keepers have once again come to Garrett for help. The city of Nahoras has been over-run by Orcs. They need Garrett to sneak into the city and discover the Orcs' plans. While he is there, he also needs to recover a broken, ancient sword, The Flame of the North. Garrett hates being called on by the Keepers, but he decides to check out Nahoras.
      Comments: This mission introduces the Orcs. They are ugly, noisy and bad-tempered. If you can overlook the Orcs, you will find a good city mission with varied environments and puzzles. It is rather creepy to travel through a city where nearly every human is dead. The ambiance of this mission gives a good scare without needing to resort to hordes of undead – just a bunch of nasty Orcs. I enjoyed the mission a lot.
    • 27 – Strife by Ricebug for T2; Forum Discussion Thread
      Description: The Hammerites want their Sacred Chalice returned. They will pay Garrett big bucks to get it back. So, Garrett heads off to recover the Chalice and pick up some loot for himself.
      Comments: Strife was a PC game released in 1996 made with the Doom engine. Ricebug has done an excellent job of reproducing the nostalgic feel of the old engine. His use of graphics and colors really gave the feeling of the Doom engine. In game play, this is a basic city mission with interesting puzzles. The original was designed as a hub, so you will find several doors marked as entrances to future missions. I hope that Ricebug carries on the series. I thoroughly enjoyed the vintage feeling and hope to see more FMs based on Strife.
    Last edited by pavlovscat; 25th Jan 2010 at 22:34.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    Been waiting for this, many thanks again . Time for sticky?

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2006
    Location: A little here, a little there
    Great job as always,pavlovscat!

  4. #4
    L'architecte de Rocksbourg
    Registered: Nov 2005
    Location: Narbonne, France
    Now that's why it's called "Super May" : I never realised there were so many missions released during that month

    Thanks again for your work Pav

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: Great. Now I can't get back in
    Quote Originally Posted by Wille View Post
    Time for sticky?
    Well...if you insist (but I'd prefer "SF" or "Fingers" )

    Great stuff, pavlovscat - your reviews just get better & better.

  6. #6
    Moderator
    Keeper of FMs

    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA
    Thanks a bunch, y'all!!

  7. #7
    Summer Vacation Contest Winner 2010
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: PacificNorthWest...Near Forks

    Great Review Pavlovscat!

    You are so

  8. #8
    Clearinghouse
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia
    Thanks again, pavlovscat

    Quote Originally Posted by pavlovscat View Post
    wrong name The Mirror Revised. Name of mission - The Mirror.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    Keeper of FMs

    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA
    Thanks darthsLair!

    Clearing, I'm going to make you proof read these things from now on!!

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Germany
    Thanks for your efforts, pavlovscat!

    Your list helps immensely to not miss any missions that are released and thanks to your regular schedule one should be close to the release (to find help threads etc.)

    I also admire your talent to find good aspects on less than mediocre missions. You make them sound worth playing even if they are the most basic and rushed time wasters that ever graced the DarkLoader directory. You really should go into marketing or something like that!

    Don't misunderstand me - I'm not flaming you in any way. I'm just thinking that in the last quarter many "missions" were unearthed that should have stayed in the dark earth of oblivion like all those crypts that - when digged up - let out a stream of many undead creatures...

    Calibrator

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Keeper of FMs

    Registered: Oct 2004
    Location: Meraux, LA
    Hey, Calibrator,
    You're not the first person to say I should be in marketing. I take it as a compliment!

    I'm not a critical reviewer. My main objective is to let people know what missions are available and a little something about what kind of mission it is. I do make recommendations to play those above average missions and series that I particularly enjoyed. I know that not everyone will like every mission, but I've tried to give every mission a chance to find the right players. I hope I have succeeded.

    ~pav

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