I hadn't played a lot of FMs.
So I decided to make it my quest to find the best T1/TG FM in existence.
I played many FMs. I enjoyed many FMs.
Then I played "Sepulchre of the Sinistral."
My quest is over.
Very good, young acolyte. But thy quest isn't over yet. First the gods demand thee to review this mission!
(Just a try to lure more people in the review trap...)
Just wanted to say that I had a few minutes for Thief this weekend (Hectic schedules suck) and got the chance to play the 4th and 5th missions from Intruder's Keeper Investigations series.. Holy smokes! Fantastic missions with a sense of scale that is off the charts in some areas. Great stuff.
Nice to see you back around SneakyJack!
Thank you Tannar! Personal life is slowing down somewhat so I hope to get everything updated and some stuff added within the next week
Well, I haven't been able to contribute to this thread quite as much as I normally like too lately what with all of the stuff that has been going on with me in that annoying "real life" thing, but I finally managed to finish a new top 10 list! Not only that, but this one I made especially for Halloween month. I'd have served it up to you with a batch of pumpkin-shaped sugar cookies but SOMEONE had to go and eat them all (you know who you are).
I've made no secret of my love of zombies. It's a hard love to have as it is doomed to remain unrequited as they will never stop lumbering towards me, arms outstretched, longing for the sweet gooey nectar of my plump amateur writer's brain. Still though I love them: I love them for their refusal to give up as they pound on my boarded up windows, I love them for their never-subtle social commentary*, I love them because they don't care what people think of they're outward appearance as they proudly march through the streets with their lower jaw and an eyeball or two missing. Most of all though, I love them because of their way of making good things stupidly badtastically awesome things. And yes, as you might have realized I was leading up too you astute reader you (you win a cookie- FETCH!**), that includes Thief FMs.
*OH I get it, they're mindless and they're in a mall! It's a comment on consumerism! LET'S SEE YOU SURVIVE THAT STINGING BARB, AMERICA!
**Hey, I said "Fetch"! Yeah, I realize it landed in the middle of that zombie hoarde. You'll be fine; I'll be watching from that shrub over there.
Of course, the fact that FMs benefit heavily from a liberal smattering of zombies is something that I've mentioned before. However, I get the feeling that it hasn't sunk in with many of you yet. You all seem so content to knock out human guards while zombies sit by themselve in a seperate room with nary a brain to feast upon, the poor little fellas. So, to support my case, I've assembled a list of the top ten missions made better through the use of zombies. PLEASE NOTE: this is not a top ten list of my favorite undead missions. This is a list of missions that I feel were genuinely improved because of the addition of the shambling undead. Now you know, and knowing is half the banana....or something*.
*As an unrelated side-note: I have a spellcheck program open to help me out with the words whose spelling I'm not so sure of, and at the moment it now reads "Consumerism banana". I don't know why, but I want one.
10. The Seven Sisters
What it would have been without zombies: ...Probably still the greatest city FM ever. This mission is huge and beautiful and has an intriguing storyline with many very human elements to it which makes it easier to get into, even if Garrett does seem to be a little bi-polar: "Here, have this journal where this guy like OH MY GOD totally says he likes you! Also I'm gonna go steal your life savings and spend it on booze."
What it is WITH zombies: Just about the greatest city FM ever which is huge and beautiful and has an intriguing storyline and a possibly skitzo Garrett...and then there are zombies. Okay, so this is why I placed this one so low on the list. It isn't really made all that much better because of zombies, I still added it though because I enjoyed the whole undead plague storyline more than just about anything else in this incredible FM. Shooting zombie citizens with holy water and having them turn normal again never got old, and I actually felt like I was doing some good for once; though most of them would turn human only to yell "OH NO A THIEF!" and force me to KO them. What a way to get shafted out of being the hero. Imagine if Superman saved someone and they were like "OH NO, AN ALIEN!" and started running around in circles screaming. They should just be grateful Garrett doesn't have heat vision.
What kind of twisted curse even turns our beloved HOBOS into zombies? Is nothing sacred!!
9. The Inverted Manse
What it would have been without zombies: Garrett is in possession of an ancient pagan artifact, and needs to learn it's true meaning quickly, as it has every faction in the city breathing down his neck to get their hands on it. He has no choice but to travel to the Magical Gumdrop Village and see Mayor McBunny immediately, for there was it forged, and only there shall it's true meaning be revealed. Along the way, he meets a pack of dancing squirrels who sing to him about the joys of friendship and must do battle with a platoon of happy gnomes who Garrett can only banish by shooting them with rainbows shot from his Wand of Love*.
*That wasn't an intentional innuendo.
What it is WITH zombies: FAR, far less horrifying.
Also you have to admit that the level design, while not bad by any means, isn't anything special- but GOD is the atmostphere great after you fill it with hot zombie sauce*!
*That also wasn't an intentional innuendo, you sicko.
Before zombies were implemented into the storyline, this was a happy little elf rolling around in a puddle of strawberry ice cream. I know, I'm scared too.
8. Ack! There's a Zombie in My Basement
What it would have been without zombies: Pretty much exactly what it is now, except it would have been titled "Ack! Nothing is Really Going On I'm Just Easily Horrified".
What it is WITH zombies: Either way this would have been an above average small mansion mission, but you have to admit, with the addition of a zombie in the basement it became much more intriguing. So many questions! How did a zombie get in the Basement? Is it suppose to be there? Should I be alarmed? Have I checked for zombies in MY basement today? Most of all, who's reaction to a zombie being in their basement is "Ack!"? Though I guess "HOLY ******* **** THERE'S A MOTHER ******* ZOMBIE IN MY BASEMENT, GET THE ******* CAMERA I'M ******* YOU-TUBEing THIS ****!" would be a pretty unwieldy title.
Sure his unholy moans keep the kids up, but he's so well behaved!
7. Yume No Rozen
What it would have been without zombies: Honestly, I don't know what this mission is WITH zombies, so I can't even begin to guess.
What it is WITH zombies: God, I don't KNOW! It's just absolutely crazy! So uh...Garrett breaks into this house where a few maids are aimlessly patrolling and goes upstairs where uh...a possessed doll appears and suddenly everyone becomes a zombie and Japanese pop music starts playing. This is like one of those "I'm trying to be funny but only coming off as intensely creepy" Japanese commercials, except there's no one trying to sell me hairspray at the end of it. Instead it ends with Garrett learning he died long ago and is now doomed to continuously re-live his last job. Wow, deep man, DEEP. In short, I don't know what the hell this is, but I'm pretty sure that zombies made it better.
"Hey, don't ask me what's going on in this FM, I just work here."
What it would have been without zombies: This is a hard one because the mission is basically just Garrett's house, the zombies pretty much ARE the mission. But let's look at the facts- not only do Garrett and his wife clearly sleep in seperate rooms, but he's so afraid of her that he keeps a chest full of fire arrows near his bed for protection. He also for some reason goes to sleep spooning with his quiver of rope arrows. I don't know what it would have been like if zombies hadn't shown up other than real awkward.
What it is WITH zombies: "Huh, the sound of my door opening? OH GOD IT'S MY WIFE SHE MADE THE FIRST MOVE I'M DEAD MUST MAKE LEAP FOR BOX OF FIRE ARROWS. Oh wait, it's just an army of zombies in the hallway and she's already been eaten. PHEW! Shhh my precious rope arrows- now no one will come between us."...well, this may or may not have been Garrett's intended mind set at the start of the mission, but the point is a whole swarm of zombies has annihilated Garrett's unheard-of-before-now wife and now it's time to get even Van Damme style: by blowing things up indiscriminately. This mission is oddly therapeutic in a way that few others are. I love it for its simplicity: here are zombies, here are fire arrows, enjoy. By the way, the key is on the rafters in the room with the statue; there, I just made it much easier for you to get straight to the zombie splattering. You're welcome.
You know the zombies in an FM are really overachieving when they present you with their portfolio.
5. Bloodmist Tower
What it would have been without zombies: Pretty much exactly the same- an absolutely crazy trip through an insane level designed by a mad genius (KFort), though at one point you would be like "Y'know what would have been great here? A rave party that ends with everyone becoming a zombie. Ah well...you can't have everything I suppose..."
What it is WITH zombies: ...but OH WAIT you can, in fact, have everything- BECAUSE THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENS.
This has to be my favorite "moment" in FM history, and it wouldn't have been possible without the help of zombies. Come now, tell the nice zombies "thank you". Come on, say it! DO IT OR SO HELP ME I WILL TURN THIS LIST AROUND.
"Whoa, back up man! No one gets in unless they on the list!"
4. Happy New Year Mr. Lambert
What it would have been without zombies: A tense, well-made murder mystery; however instead of all the killings having been commited by a rampaging zombie, they would have been commited by....uh...hmmm....well actually considering the supernatural elements involved in all the murders there really isn't anyone other than a vengeful spirit that could have commited them. If this mission was zombie-less, everyone would probably do the only sensible thing and blame all the killings on Harrison Ford. He'd be innocent of course, but at least we would get to see a chase scene on the roof of a train or something.
What it is WITH zombies: I should say that this mission represents a bit of childhood wish fulfillment for me. Every frigging week I would watch Scooby-Doo and hope to GOD that it would actually be a monster this time and not some old guy in an absurdly elaborate ghost costume. Is it asking too much, I would think, to just ONE WEEK have Shaggy reach to pull off some monster's "mask" only to pull on actual skin and have the tied up abomination bite his face off*? Well guess what? This time it actually IS a monster behind it all; it's about DAMN TIME. My ten your old self would be floored. For that reason alone I have to say that this mission was made better with zombies.
*At which point the monster would be all "Oh HEY, all this time he was just a bunch of blood and viscera in disguise; and he would have gotten away with it too if not for me biting his face off, lawl!" ....too much?
Alright, the jig is up Old Man Henderson! Take off the mas- OH GOOD GOD MY ORGANS!
3. Weekend Getaway
What it would have been without zombies: Given my natural fear of hotels, probably only slightly less scary. And I'm not just talking about the proven fact that all hotel rooms have been haunted ever since the day I read "The Shining". Have you ever stolen a towel or something from a pricey hotel room and then turned in your key to the room at the front desk? I swear those clerks can stare into your very soul and feed upon the guilt within!
What it is WITH zombies: Every time I stay in a hotel room I expect the door to the room to burst open and a zombie hungering for human flesh to stumble in. This mission proves that my perhaps outlandish fear is justified. I HATE hotels, and this mission shows exactly why- they're an evil spirit infestation just waiting to happen. With its inclusion of zombies, this mission is like something out of my nightmares, and I respect that. Had it featured no zombies it would have painted an entirely false picture of hotels: that you can stay in them without the possibility of an undead monster eating you in your sleep.
Oh GREAT. First the overpriced room service now zombies! I'm paying $85 a night for this freaking room!
2. Left For Dead
What it would have been without zombies: Well, considering the fact that the mission starts with Garrett being dead, if the whole zombie thing had never come into effect it would have been an FM simulating what it's like to be a rotting corpse. This I suppose means that "Left for Dead" is one of the missions that is most improved via zombies, as I can't imagine gameplay elements such as "tap 'w' to decompose" and "click left mouse to be stinky" would have been all that compelling.
What it is WITH zombies: You play "Zombie Garrett". I mean...do I really have to say anything else to sell this mission to you? Zombie Garrett! I think I said it best earlier, so instead of being clever I'll just quote myself:
"GARRETT! LIVES YE STI- oh....oh...I'm so sorry. Wow...awkward."
1. Deceptive Perception
What it would have been without zombies: Right near the end of the FM, Garrett finds a note that reads "We're here.", he turns around to witness a horror that turns the blood in his veins to ice water! It's the entire cast of the popular-for-some-reason 90's tv show "Friends", and they're each holding a script for pilot episodes of their own seperate spin-off sitcoms. As the horrible barrage of pitches for terrible prime time comedies begins Garrett sees no other option, and throws himself out of a nearby window; he faintly hears the sound of David Schwimmer saying "-and what if my character had a monkey for a roommate? Wouldn't that be WILD?!" before he hits the pavement and sweet merciful darkness takes him.
What it is WITH zombies: An FM with THE GREATEST FREAKING "HOLY CRAP I JUST SIMULTANEOUSLY HAD A HEART ATTACK AND MESSED MYSELF" ENDING EVER! Maybe it's possible to use zombies in a more skillful way than shocking the player by having them turn around after reading an eerie letter and seeing a previously empty room now being full of undead all moaning and stomping towards them with arms outstretched: maybe, but I haven't seen it done yet. The ending to "Deceptive Perception" is one of the most shocking moments in FM history, and might I add, it's brought to you by zombies. You might say that it's kind of a downer of an ending, but HEY, the screen goes black so who knows what happened next? Yeah...I guess anything other than "Garrett gets eaten eyeballs first" seems pretty unlikely, huh?
Well there you have it boys and girls, my list of the top ten missions whose entertainment value was given a big shambling brain-eating shot in the arm thanks to zombies. In the slightly paraphrased words of Homer Simpson "...Is there anything they can't do?". No. No there isn't.
OH, one more thing. WE'RE HERE.
Admit it, you turned around! And uh...if a dozen or so zombies did in fact appear behind you I apologize profusely, though I do find it quite awesome that I apparantly have zombie-summoning super powers.
NEXT UP: Ah...uhm...I dunno. Any ideas?
Last edited by The Mike; 20th Nov 2016 at 11:39.
A wonderful read, Mike; maybe your best yet!
And, how about "The 10 Strangest FMs"?
And after that, the top 10 FMs with burricks.
Another great read, The Mike.
The Mike - Legendary review. Big thumbs up from me!
AW YOU GUYS. Thanks a lot for the comments, I really enjoy reading them (that means "keep em' coming").
And Stickyfingers, you and me are on the same wavelength (I'm so sorry for you) as Top 10 Crazy FMs is exactly what I was thinking of doing. Though...that would mean for the sake of the list I would have to finally play JIS' Elevator mission. THE FEAR, IT'S SO OVERPOWERING .
Also, I'd love to do a top 10 burrick list, but they're so underutilized I don't know if I could think of even 10 for Thief 2. It's a shame I tells ya.
Last edited by The Mike; 7th Oct 2009 at 18:43.
Well, kfort's The Adventures Of Burrick Boy would be a good chance to be #1.Also, I'd love to do a top 10 burrick list, but they're so underutilized I don't know if I could think of even 10 for Thief 2.
Also, that heart-melting, tissue-soaking part in The Seven Sisters where you rescue the pet baby burrick (sob) which should be included by law
But they're about the only two I can think of.
Last edited by The Mike; 8th Oct 2009 at 13:17.
Don't rescue them, Burricks are the enemy
OB has burricks!? Apparently it's been too long since I played that...
Yes! They're an integral part of the mission from which you must escape at one point.
I've got so much catching up to do. Darn wifi rubbish! The Mike - you have surpassed yourself. I'm in total awe of this new format and am eagerly awaiting your next top 10 - burricks or otherwise!
Anyway, I've thought of a few ideas...trying to decide which to do next:
"Top Ten Strangest FMs": TOTALLY my idea, if StickyFingers says otherwise it's obviously because Sticky is coming down with a case of delirium.
"Top Ten FM Moments": I'm really liking this idea, though I might be covering a lot of old ground....and not to spoil anything but it would be the third time now that I've described Deceptive Perception's ending, and frankly I'm sick of the damn thing. WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO AWESOME?!?
"Top Ten FMs No One Has Played": I kinda like this idea, a list of the ten best missions that no one ever talks about. Missions that are great but not very popular for some reason. I mean, EVERYONE knows "Seven Shades of Mercury" is good, but what about "Forbidden Rites"? It's one of the best Hammer missions I've ever played an no one ever mentions it!
So anyway, those are the ideas floating around in my head at the moment. Comments? Suggestions? Cheese sandwiches?
How did you know? (then again, to prevent all-out copyright war I demand 10,000 free Mike Points - you have 7 days...)Sticky is coming down with a case of delirium.
"The Top 10 FMs No One Has Played" (maybe with the addition "/Or Has Played But Completely Forgotton") sounds like a great idea - I love 're-discovering' FMs I'd forgotton about.
So (in the interests of satisfying my perverse obsession with lists) here's some suggestions - none of which are less than 3 years old:
Gervasius' Archery Tournament
Cathedral Of The Damned (listed as 'Beta vers 0.6' but fully playable / finishable)
Mad As A Hatter
By Order Of An Unknown
Forbidden Rites (think somebody else may have mentioned this...)
The Ghost House / The Haunted Hospital
Lord Gibson's Estate
Some more possibles (well, I liked 'em anyway) -
More Time To Foil Karras (think this is the 5th ever released T2 FM)
Sammy Pays His Dues
The Karrassinian Threat
Bafford's Last Stand (BJers' heaven )
In Dubio Pro Garrett
BTW; if you're looking into strange FMs, try Chon Migoroshi - if you can figure it out please let the rest of us know!
Last edited by Sticky Fingers; 17th Oct 2009 at 12:18. Reason: Had to stretch the ultimatum (The Mike's obviously hiding!)
I'm a little late to the party, but: great review Mike! Hope we will see another one of your absurd lists in the near future.
Though I must say I missed the first mission of Ruins of Originia here, I'm still in the middle of the level and don't dare to continue... It's like the Maw but with undead!
(And by the way, I guess when you will do the Top 10 Strangest FMs you also should play the super-duper-hard Rebellion of the Builder. Good look with that!)
It's not really my best review and I wrote it a long time ago, but I did start reviewing the Love Story series, didn't I?
Game: Thief II
Author: john9818a (John Denison)
Mission: Love Story II
Released: 20th Aug 2005
"You have just arrived at your old apartment to find all of your stuff is gone. The landlord must have evicted you while you were in jail. To make matters worse, the girl you took the ring to wasn't really Jeni at all. Apparently she moved to Victorian Estates while you were in jail.
The first objective is to get the ring back. It shouldn't be too hard considering you were just there earlier and the city is completely accessible... at least until the city becomes aware...
The second objective is to get to John's house and wait for further instructions in the basement."
You start things in the same city you were in before. You do the easy objectives given, be amused by everyone sleeping outside like homeless people (it's meant for realism, since chances are you KOed everone) unless you took ghost difficulty and...
...Oh, wait, that's not the end of it yet, sorry!
This mission has a part 2, by my pleasent surprise (well, I was expecting something more, just not that much more). So there you've come - another place of the same city, climate is completely changed, but their hate for you remains scary as ever. You now venture in a completely different and larger section of the city and personally I like it. I was a bit fed up with that part city anyway.
It's a (surprise, surprise) city type of mission. There is a lot of stuff going on like in a true city and it's just wrapped in fun! It practically consists of many little things. The author likes to go in detail. For example take a look at this fella sleeping! Isn't he cute?
I would gladly give him something warm, like a cup of tee and a blanket, but I just couldn't find those. All I ever find are dewdrops and apples!
There are many choices to climb onto some ledges and show off your taffer skills by finding those pieces of loot or trying to climb out of the map.
This mission looks architectually very good. Many random house layouts and the crooked strets give a taste of... what's the word... realism? Yes, I think that's the word! The choice of textures was also generally ok, but some really didn't fit in my opinion (more in the start). It was just beautiful later on in the mission. And the lights... Made the mission a joy to look at.
Comparing this mission to the prequel mission, I think it's safe to say, that it sounds better now. The rain, some other atmoshperic ambient sounds here & there, so at some points you should get really immersed. If not, try calming music.
Personally, it got tedious after all that searching around, but when I tried it another day, I was just happy about all the exploring there. Either it was me or not, but I did kinda wanted more interesting readables tool.
These guys here united in killing me. Amusingly, when I hid myself, they decided to just kill each other. Good riddance
I was both interested and amused by a mage in a random city apartment.
I love that lightening! I want some more of that.
From one attic... To another attic.
It was cool to see some crooked streets, as it most likely was in medieval ages. Bonus point to realism.
Just another piece of architecture I enjoyed to look at
I saw definite improvements in just about every aspect of this mission. It's really hard to judge this mission, though. It's fun, just misses something in my very humble opinion. Then again, I played this FM a long time ago and I had some more stress back then. Maybe it's that... I guess I'll find out when I play it at a better time.
Last edited by Thor; 17th Oct 2009 at 09:42.
Mission: Heading Out
Released: 10th Aug 2008
Game: Thief II
Mission Thread: here
Last week at the pub, I overheard two men talking about a strange sword they had recovered during an expedition. The bartender told me that they were archeologists working for a man named Jones, and he was very willing to part with an address when I presented a purse of coins. He also told me this Mr Jones had already used the sword and some other trinkets from his last expedition to pay off a debt to a local small-time lord.
Luckily this Lord Wizer lives close by, in an old keep he bought from the Hammerites when they left to guard the more important locations in the city.
I love this FM. The structure of most buildings is pretty much created for Thief le parkour, including rope arrows. I run and run and almost regrettably check every door. About a half of them aren't frobbable, so the amount of gameplay may be deceptive, but the good thing is this FM never keeps you in one place. I think without the extreme loot requirement this FM would be perfect for speedrunning. About the loot - I myself luckily enough found all secrets and I was psyched about it, but I still ended up missing short of the required loot. I think the author should have made the difficulties, even if just for the loot drop.
This mission does not have as much readables as one might wish (kinda like in OMs), but it is all there in the game. There are signs to rooms that matter and notes about stuff needed to be explained. Personally I prefer it that way, that's why I like this FM and it's idea. Of course I don't mind more readables that go into detail or just some random stories, but sometimes just keeping to the base is just good enough.
This mission has a great city designs, where the unenterable doors kind of help out. It's only annoying, when you have to check each and every one of the doors to make sure ye don't miss everything. But once you know your way around, you're free to experiment and virtually overcome your fear of heights and become crazy!
Even when the big houses threathen to look boxy and boring from the outside, the author managed to save that by adding different textures to various levels and make some balconies or make some balconies or something. Same with everything else, the author made the design realistic and logical throughout the map, which was something I don't see that often around and what I didn't quite appreciate the first time I played this FM, because it was one of my first.
The Author sure liked to build everything open and big. If you ask me, it's a good change from all the short claustophobic streets.
I wonder what happened here...
Well... a fall from this height could hurt...
Should I put him out of his misery?
A nice evening by the fire.
I let this picture show off just for the ceiling. Actually, there's a lot of this ceiling throughout the map.
This kitchen rocks. This is the place where I noticed, how the author implements torches in wooden houses and make it more fire safe. Not that any of that could happen in Thief. Sad, when you think of the beautiful bonfire of a mansion you would witness.
This place also rocks. Even if just for the high resolution textures.
I think this FM is nice and very interactive and got relatively little attention from the public. That and this FM burdening me for over a year and replaying it motivated me to make this review, hope ye liked it.