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Thread: FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results [SPOILERS]

  1. #51
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Amazing work here marbleman!

    I love how you prioritize Supreme in your missions. Since all the regular Ghost rules are already included in the Supreme Ghost rule set, you essentially play both modes simultaneously. For the loot that you end up taking for regular Ghost, do you go back and get it after completing the mission for Supreme, or do you bring it along as you play and "pretend" you skipped it for Supreme?

    I can't comment on any specific scenarios, as I haven't played the mission myself, and I don't want to spoil too much in case I do. But again, great work on the playthrough and the report! Ghosters are few and far between these days, so we need write-ups like these to boost our motivation.
    Klatremus' Supreme Thief Site - Walkthroughs, Loot Lists & Ghost Reports
    Let's Supreme Ghost Thief - YouTube Channel with Thief Let's Plays

  2. #52
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Thanks! A Job Well Done deserves more love!

    To answer your question: I make two runs. First, I play regular Ghost/Perfect Thief in prepearation for the Supreme run. I don't make a report of it though. So in my Supreme run, I really do skip the loot and don't come back for it.
    Last edited by marbleman; 30th Mar 2018 at 20:03.

  3. #53
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Your recommendation makes me want to try it one day. It'll be on my list of to-dos for sure. Sometimes I play like you do, one run for each mode. Usually I try to finish the mission Supreme clean, then return for regular Ghost loot. If that isn't possible, I have resorted to "pretending" i skipped some loot for Supreme. As long as you include the information in the report, I see that as ok.

    Also, be prepared for a massive update to the thread in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully something that will encourage more players to try out ghosting.
    Klatremus' Supreme Thief Site - Walkthroughs, Loot Lists & Ghost Reports
    Let's Supreme Ghost Thief - YouTube Channel with Thief Let's Plays

  4. #54
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Really looking forward to that! Meanwhile...

    Game: Thief Gold
    FM: Shadow Politics

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Supreme Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Supreme - Failed
    Time - 46:05
    Loot - 3900/3900 (Supreme: 3700)
    Pockets Picked - 5/7
    Locks Picked - 6
    Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0, Other Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
    Consumables - None

    Shadow Politics was Skacky’s first ever Thief Gold mission. Garrett is tasked with stealing a diamond staff from Duke Whitehall who is staying at the Hightowne embassy. The mission takes place between Thieves’ Guild and The Sword, and it does actually feel like it could have easily been a part of Thief Gold since it doesn’t use a single custom asset. On Expert, apart from stealing the staff, I also had to steal a pagan tome from one of the mansions in the district and to get 3000 loot.

    The readme states that Ghosting is possible but Supreme is unachievable. Unfortunately, that’s true, but we only have to take a single bust. Most of the mission can be Supreme Ghosted, even though it’s tough. The guard patrols, especially in the embassy are dense, but with good timing, all of them can be bypassed without any alerts. I should also mention that the mission has plenty of well-hidden loot, which I won’t be pointing out. I will discuss the tricky-to-get loot pieces though.

    Cleared out the starting area without much trouble, crossed the canal, and entered the butcher’s shop. Picked up some more loot and roped to the ventilation shaft that led me to a room with a nobleman. Getting the green vase on the end table required following him to the spot and taking it while his back is still turned. Then, had to wait a bit until the patrollers on the street level went away before jumping out of the window to the jeweler’s courtyard across. Inside, picked up some more loot and since the courtyard door couldn’t be opened, roped my way back onto the street level.



    Willard Estate past the Hammer Priory was my next goal since that’s where one of our objectives is located. Had to time the patrols of the hammer and the guard before roping up the well-lit ledge. From there, enter the estate through the window. The inside is patrolled by two guards, but with careful timing, they are not a problem to pass without any alerts. Grabbed the book and some loot, and went back outside.



    Took the street leading North next. The plaza here has a passage to the embassy, which is too bright to take, and a pickable door to the sewers, which is also brightly lit and unnecessary to pick anyway. There is also a keeper’s apartment, where you could rope up. Luckily, there is enough shade to avoid any alerts, but getting down without taking damage is tricky. My preferred way of doing this was to mantle the bakery sign on my way down and descend from there.



    Since I couldn’t get any further here, went all the way back to the butcher’s to take another street leading North. Surprisingly, the archer here was not an issue at all. Just had to wait for him to turn the right way. Roped up to Lady de Ravencourt’s mansion next and picked up loot from there, as well as from the window opposite. To get down without taking damage, had to land on the sloped part of the ground.



    The embassy can’t be entered through the front door (not that I would have chosen to), so took the street leading West next. The guard at the end of the street was far enough away to allow me to sneak through without alerts. Roped up to another apartment, picked up some loot, and jumped to a balcony across.



    Before entering the embassy, took a small detour. Across the street is a thief’s apartment that leads to the warehouse area. Had to be really careful since the archer below saw me easily. There is another pickable sewer door, which is also unnecessary to use. Roped down to the hammerites’ warehouse. Here, we can only pick up loot up on the rafters. There is 200 more loot behind the locked door that responds to the Forsaken Key. That we have to skip for Supreme for two reasons. Firstly, grabbing that loot is impossible without getting an alert from the zombie. Secondly, the key would have to be returned, which is also impossible (you’ll see why in a bit). Went back outside, through the thief’s apartment and entered the embassy through the wooden shutter.

    Last edited by marbleman; 1st Apr 2018 at 19:01.

  5. #55
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Now, here is where the real fun begins. We enter on the second floor, and our main objective is locked in the basement vault. The key to that is in the Duke’s room on the second floor. The key to Duke’s room is carried by a guard who patrols the first floor. Thus, I had to go to the first floor to pickpocket him, go back to the second floor to grab the vault key, go to the basement to get the staff, and then return both keys. This means that I had to pass the main foyer four times, which is, of course, the most difficult room in the mission. The archer here covers it pretty well, but it is possible to pass him without alerts by sticking to the walls and moving as slowly as possible. The catch is that there are three more people passing through the room from time to time. Also, going up the ledge while using the slow walk is impossible because it’s too steep. Fortunately, speeding up a bit doesn't cause any alerts.



    Another tricky room was the library downstairs. Getting the gold candlestick and picking the nobleman's purse required precise timing as he was doing his small patrol loop. Fortunately, the carpet allowed me to make a running jump into the room without alerting him, and with Thief Gold’s long jumps, that was a huge benefit.



    After getting into the Duke’s room, left his door open and lock-blocked it so that I could drop the key on the guard’s path downstairs right away. None of the guards seemed to mind the door being wide open, which is great. And here is our bust. The vault key only opens the room where the staff is kept, but the portcullis lock has to be picked, and that always alerts the guard stationed here. There is also the third and last pickable door leading to the sewers, and that’s the one I’m going to take.



    The sewer guard was easy to dodge. Waited for him to leave and jumped into the water pipe. There are two ways to go. First, there are crayman caves with some loot. The most difficult piece is the silver nugget in the bone pile, which required me to wait until the crayman turned the right way and his buddy wasn’t patrolling nearby. This crayman also has the Forsaken Key on his belt, and this is the second reason why it is pointless to take it. For Supreme, we’d have to drop t back onto the stone floor, which would cause at least a first alert. Second, there is another part of the sewers patrolled by a spider. Dodging him in the narrow corridor is impossible, so had to wait at one end and then follow him. Had to also wait for him to leave before opening or closing the metal hatch. Here is some thieves’ hideout with loot in the safe. The guard is a heavy sleeper, so he is not an issue.



    Returned to the embassy’s basement, dropped the vault key back in the Duke’s room closed the lock-blocked door behind me, left the embassy through the same wooden shutter I took to enter. Then, it was just the matter of getting back to the starting area, which wasn’t too tough.

    Notes:
    - Took a first alert from the vault guard by picking the portcullis lock. Unavoidable Supreme bust.
    - Skipped 200 loot in the "forsaken" room. Couldn't get the loot without taking a first alert from the zombie; couldn't return the key without alerts either.
    Last edited by marbleman; 1st Apr 2018 at 19:03.

  6. #56
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Magnificent work again, marbleman! Picking locks and returning keys are common hickups for Supreme, as you probably know. Skacky's missions are always classic, although I haven't played this one yet.

  7. #57
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Game: Thief Gold
    FM: The Chalice of Souls, Mission 1: With the Snow As Sole Witness

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Supreme Ghost - Success
    Perfect Supreme - Failed
    Time - 2:51:29
    Loot - 3900/4000 (Supreme: 3825)
    Pockets Picked - 3/3
    Locks Picked - 14
    Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0, Other Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
    Consumables - None

    See the entire report with screenshots here!
    Loot list here!
    YouTube Let's Play here:Part 1 & Part 2!


    Comments:

    The first mission released for the Summer 2015 FM Challenge contest. And when I heard it was a sequel (albeit a loose one) to the classic Endless Rain, there was no turning back. It was a two-mission pack at that, where FireMage and Squadafroin join skacky as coauthors. The first mission, ‘With the Snow As Sole Witness’, takes place in a strange, but mesmerizingly wintered city called Fidgewick’s Hollow, and the tunnels below. I knew Ghosting this would be fun, but difficult. The latter only fueled my motivation.


    My main goal was to find the brothel called The Dark Hollow. Along the way I had to pick up 2,500 in loot, a precious stone from the diamond dealer, and a magical cup from Messer Yharnam. As always, I hoped for a successful Supreme run. If unsuccessful, I’d still limit busts to an absolute minimum. Time to get started.


    PART 1

    Balancing Acts
    The winter atmosphere struck me immediately. I could tell this was gonna be good. Climbed the first set of pipes I could find. It led me to Theedsblot’s balcony in the southeast (image below). I love the fact that quite a few recent missions make effective use of NewDark’s mantle mechanics. It leads to more vertical missions, which this one was certain proof of.



    Theedsblot manor gave me no trouble. The Sir himself was the only patroller, alternating between the two floors. Snagged his key to enter the bedroom, and flipped two hidden switches to open the safe (image). It gave me the required tunnels key, which I knew would have to be returned later. I relocked the bedroom door and left the key on the carpet for Supreme on my way out.

    Found a well-hidden coin stack on a windowsill just south of Theedsblot’s (image). This roof was a dead end, however, so I started to circumvent the city counterclockwise, along the northeastern rim heading west.

    Had to cross the streets below at Goldenbaum Castle. Entered the uppermost window into an empty storage area (image). The gallery here had a mesmerizingly eerie feel to it. The lack of explanation to go along with the paintings also added to the horror. Sometimes less is more, I guess. The door at the end of the gallery was locked, but pickable. I don’t like picking locks if I don’t have to, so I wanted to find a different way down to the lower floors. There was another open window below the one I entered earlier. I could rope arrow down to it, but not without leaving the arrow behind. Instead I dropped onto the window itself and entered the floor that way (image). A tough move, but repeatable. It circumvented picking the aforementioned lock.

    The main floor held a few intricate rooms protecting an inner vault with a valuable stone. It involved picking a few locks and disabling two security systems (image below). The latter is not allowed for Supreme due to rule #8, so I skipped the item worth 75 for that mode. The rule is a little vague in specifying what constitutes a “security system”, but I imagine the aforementioned mechanisms apply.



    Entered Pr. Walstrand’s Grandhouse through an open window. Why are so many windows left open on a cold winter night? One of the trickiest places in the mission coming up. I had to enter Messer Yharnam’s inner study by dodging a patrolling guard and a roaming female servant (image). One of the main objectives was in there. Evading the patrollers wasn’t that bad, but picking the lock on the study door without triggering a first alert was. The woman alternated between an upper walkway and the laboratory below. She even entered the small hallway going straight past the door in question. I also couldn’t avoid the swordsman’s gaze while picking the lock, plus they both came close enough to hear the lockpicks and give a comment. The best idea was to wait until their patrols synchronized enough to give a longer window of opportunity. Still, the servant gave comments even when stationed on the walkway above. This proved to be one of those situations where if you play regular Ghost, you can get through in 2 minutes; playing Supreme, well, let’s just say it’s a tad more difficult. I got there in the end and could check off my first objective when stealing the magical cup. Going back out was a breeze in comparison, as I didn’t have to pick the lock this time.

    Made my way south along the city’s western wall. Passed through what I believe to be the Grinning Boar, an inn of some sort, without any problems. Made a difficult jump from the inn’s attic to a patrolled walkway above the canal (image). There were plenty of guards in the streets below also, and their potential alerts were tough to notice. A split in my path forced me to reenter Goldenbaum Castle. Descended a rope arrow from a conveniently placed beam on the south side (image below). Tough to get inside without alerting a guard there also, plus you had at least one patrolling hammer across the canal to the southeast who occasionally commented. Hid on a box to the left immediately upon entry (image). This floor was somewhat tricky, due to tiled floors and little shade. Left through a ceiling panel and looted an empty attic space across a pair of pipes. Returned to the aforementioned canal overpass afterwards.



    Two buildings with loot in the far southwest. Both were easy to loot. One had a single patroller, while the other had a pickable balcony door, but no enemies inside. Nothing to report except smooth sailing.

    The last place to visit up here was the hammer priest’s tower in the southeast. I could maneuver along the ledges in this area, but not without monitoring the patrolling archer from before. I imagine he could give first alerts from quite a distance. There was a ruthlessly difficult piece of loot in a windowsill just outside the tower image below). I remember missing that one first time through this mission. I ended up placing a rope arrow from above, leaning out from the icy ledge. I had to place it so I could reach the loot from the rope, without bumping into the outcropping statue. However, I could only reach the rope from the tower window.



    The tower itself had a wandering hammer priest, with a rather obnoxious head piece (image below). A funny book in the bedroom too. Some loot, including some hidden wine on the rafters. Found a hidden attic space, but no loot in there, only an arrow. Left the tower and descended to the streets by use of some pipes and a slanting roof. Had to dodge another patrolling hammer in the snow down there.



    Middle Ground
    Next I hit the old clockworks manufactory. A single roamer on the lower floors. A tough-to-find necklace in one of the control rooms (image). Although it was just lying there, I had a tough time spotting it. There was a gas arrow on the metal beams above this room also. On the top floor there were a few gamblers and more loot (image). A pulsating light made me able to get the purse from the footlocker quite easily. There was a hidden area behind one of the bookshelves too. Had to mantle up when the light was off to avoid detection. The top of the shelving units were permanently dark; that helped a lot. Got the method down pretty quickly and could leave without any comments from the two. Supreme still intact. Nice!



    Passed through the southeastern part of the cardinal’s townhouse, picking up some more loot along the way. Used a rope arrow to enter a gallery with a single coin further east. Some nice new artwork from the mission designers here. (Look to the screen capture above for my favorite piece). This area was a dead end, however, so I made my way down to the streets instead. Had to use a few sills and pipes to lighten the drops, plus time a walking hammerite below. One more hammerite was stationed outside the chapel south of here. He had a purse that proved more difficult to obtain that I expected. Remember, I play Supreme Ghost, which requires the elimination of all first alerts in order to be successful. He had to face south for me to accomplish this, as seen in the picture below. Then you had the aforesaid patroller who provided me with little time to work with. I basically had to reload until he turned south within the first 10 seconds.



    Slick Street Swipin’
    There were a total of six patrollers and a few stationary guards on the street level. Luckily, the city provided enough shade to move around quite freely. I looted the apothecary and the dungeons below next. No enemies except for the trap in the tomb (image). It was easily avoided once I knew how. Just loved the sounds and the atmosphere down there. It gave me chills without anything even happening. Just how it should be.

    Back up in the streets I dodged a few guards and made my way northeast. A purse on a patrolling guard and some coins behind a lockpicker (image) were all of interest. Don’t think I’ve ever seen head turning quite like that lol. Great little scenario that. Moved west and dropped into the canal. Difficult to do without taking damage, but I managed to half-mantle up the wooden walkway on the opposite side. Followed the canal to the northeast and readied myself to leave the city.


    PART 2

    Into the Depths
    The junction station gave access to the tunnels using, well, the tunnels access key. This had to be returned for Supreme. I did that after lock-blocking the tunnels door, knowing there was no need to return to the city later. Remember, relocking all doors while also returning all items is required for the Supreme Ghost mode. Lock-blocking is sometimes the only way to accomplish this, thus the reasons for my aforementioned actions. This is not considered an engine exploit, and therefore does not break rule #11.

    The underground tunnels provided a very different atmosphere than the city streets. So much so that it almost looked like a different mission, and perhaps it should have been. Regardless, finding my way around this maze-like compound was the first challenge. I somewhat remembered the layout from my first playthrough, although planning my route for a Ghost run is a vastly different animal. I took a left after the power station (dodging a few guards along the way) and opened the first door to the sewers. A pivoting archer overlooked the main bridge ahead. I could monitor his positioning from a shadow behind the left door frame (image).

    Mantling into the window on the right I could circumnavigate the bridge room and approach the archer from the south (image). This was a tricky hallway as he had to stay facing west long enough for me to sneak down the steps and into the shadows past him and to the right. He turned quite frequently and more often than not pivoted towards the stairs. It took 10-15 tries or so before I could reach safety undetected.

    The next rooms were even rougher. First there was a guarded control room of some sort. One camera and two stationary guards (an archer and a swordsman) watched the middle of the room. There was a floodlight, but it wasn’t strong enough to illuminate a path down the middle and in the back corner (image below). Beyond the next door, however, it was very bright. Enough for one of the guards from before to give a comment the instant I passed the doorway. I was out of his view not more than a foot inside the next room though, and this gave me an idea. The less amount of time you spend in an enemy’s field of view, the lower the chance of detection. Reduce the time visible to but a fraction of a second, and you can even avoid first alerts. Scuttling in, hugging the open door, I managed to avoid the comment.



    A similar approach had to be taken with the people in the following room (image below). The partially blocked entrance to the tombs was in the southeast corner . Two workers were facing a bloody generator; one slightly more with his back turned than the other. The guy in brown commented when I tried to round the corner of the room. It almost seemed as if the author had done this on purpose, as it was literally a matter of inches. Again, I could rush into the room and come to an immediate halt and prevent the alert. However, this was more difficult than with the previous guard. Probably not more than a 10% success rate.



    The tombs were easy enough. The shadow monsters could be evaded by heading up the stairs before they entered the room. Coming back to the generator room yielded the same problem as before. Again I avoided any and all alerts by rushing past the doorway corner. Nice to get all the loot here without any Supreme busts. I left through the sewer hatch in here. Stole a tiny coin in one of the drainage rooms next (image). I remember this was the last piece of loot I found during my first playthrough. From here I climbed some ladders in a drainage room and emerged through a back door to the engine area.

    Downwinders
    Dodged a few guards on my way to the thieves’ hideout, but nothing worth reporting. Found two coin stacks on a walkway with a stationary thief (image). The easiest way to get them was by use of a rope arrow from below. Previously I had climbed the back of the walkway from a furnace room, but this usually alerted the guard. Next I entered the thieves’ main hideout. It was a large machine room with no less than three stationary rogues (image below). One of them was on an upper walkway, pivoting quite frequently. I needed to reach two pickable chests in the back corner for some more loot. The best way was to mantle and cross the large metal structure on the left. It was noisy, but traversing slowly kept me silent. Getting back up was the more difficult move. Using the chair and slightly strafe-running got me up there unnoticed. I expected to get a first alert when leaving through the door on the north wall, but nobody said a peep.



    Found a dead guard with a key in some sort of interrogation room not long after this. His key unlocked a door at the end of this section that took me closer to the brothel and the end of the mission. Problem was, you needed to pass a room with two guards and a flooded sewer to proceed (image below). Getting into the water always alerted at least one of the guards. It was only a comment, so plain Ghost was in the clear. But for Supreme, I needed to figure something else out. I knew there was a back door to the brothel area, but it required some backtracking. I didn’t know whether that area was Supreme ghostable, but I’d give it a try. Also, I don’t like picking unnecessary locks, and this would prevent me from having to open the door to the interrogation room with the dead guard. So I reloaded and never even entered that area.



    The last piece of loot was hidden in the so-called “hallucinations” room. Its “mysterious” key was found on a metal walkway just past the thief machinery room (image). I was able to unlock the door without alerts from the nearby worker. He commented occasionally, but not always. I couldn’t find a consistent pattern though. Anyways, taking the golden skull in the inner chamber triggered a fire trap. This is against Supreme rules and prevented me from taking the loot for that mode. Also, the noise from the fireballs alerted three miniature keeper apparitions to hunt mode. I’m not sure whether this would count as a Ghost bust or not, as they didn’t attack me or detect me before taking the loot. They did, however, alert normally to the use of a regular fire arrow. I simply treated them as blind enemies and skipped the loot for plain Ghost as well. Too bad, as this meant Perfect Thief busted on the final piece of loot. I guess you could argue these creatures merely to be Garrett’s visions and therefore shouldn’t count. I think that would be stretching the Ghost rules a bit too far.

    Headed back to the upper levels to approach the brothel from behind. The door by the main bridge had disappeared since last time. This meant I couldn’t close it. Annoying, but obviously not a bust. Overheard the conversation between the guards in the barracks and snuck through the bedroom (image). Caught the two readables in here as well before finishing the mission Supreme clean. Nice one!

    Notes
    - Skipped the valuable stone (75) in the vault at Goldenbaum Castle for Supreme. Disabling the security system to enter the vault isn’t allowed.
    - Skipped the golden skull (100) in the hallucinations room in the sewers. Taking the skull triggers a trap, which isn’t allowed for Supreme, and the trap’s noise alerts the three mini-apparitions to hunt mode, forcing a Ghost bust.
    - Couldn’t close the bridge gate when returning the final time. It had disappeared due to a glitch, so no bust.
    Klatremus' Supreme Thief Site - Walkthroughs, Loot Lists & Ghost Reports
    Let's Supreme Ghost Thief - YouTube Channel with Thief Let's Plays

  8. #58
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)

    ***Major update to first 2 posts***

    The first two posts have now been updated to reflect every existing ghost report from the Eidos, Square-Enix and TTLG forums from 2001 until present day, as well as all the missions that are currently unreported on. Hopefully reading some of these reports can rekindle some players’ love for the ghost mode. I have had to shuffle around a few of this thread's reports to make room for these lists. Please private message me if you discover any typos, broken links, incorrect reports, etc. This thread primarily focuses on new reports or comments thereof.
    Klatremus' Supreme Thief Site - Walkthroughs, Loot Lists & Ghost Reports
    Let's Supreme Ghost Thief - YouTube Channel with Thief Let's Plays

  9. #59
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Game: Thief Gold
    FM: Between These Dark Walls

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Supreme Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Supreme - Failed
    Time - 45:48
    Loot - 4000/4000
    Pockets Picked - 7/7
    Locks Picked - 5
    Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0, Other Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
    Consumables - None

    Between These Dark Walls is a mission by Skacky that came before the well-acclaimed Endless Rain. Since I’ve recently ghosted Shadow Politics and since there is a report on Endless Rain already, I have decided to complete the circle. This one is a city mission with a huge emphasis on verticality. Our objectives are very straightforward: break into Messer Beric’s castle, steal his necklace, steal some other valuables (2850 on Expert), and leave the district. Funnily enough, we have to once again take only one bust, and once again, it is from picking a lock.

    Took the thieves’ highway right away. The guard on the parapet wasn’t too much of a problem to pass without any alerts. He was a bigger issue to deal with when traversing the fairly well-lit ledge of Castle Spaulding across the street. Tried timing his patrols at first, but that didn’t work as he always gave a first alert. However, moving sideways and crouched did the trick. After looting the area, made my way to Public Works building by going through Tyrell Estate.



    Before taking the ventilation shaft to the roof of Public Works building, I had to pick up a key from a hammerite priest’s chambers nearby, which posed an unexpected problem. Normally, he’s supposed to be patrolling the room and the garden outside, which he did on all my previous runs. However, this time he decided to get stuck inside the hammer statue while facing the armoire, where the key is lying. I decided to work with the situation instead of restarting the mission and soon enough, found a way to grab the key without alerts. The biggest issue here was a flickering light that had a random yet very high chance to give me away and alert the priest.



    Looting Grimshaw Estate was not difficult. The biggest issue was jumping onto the rope from the slanted roof. Next, jumped back and looted the alchemist’s by entering through his attic. Followed the guard patrolling the parapet outside and entered Beric’s Castle. And here’s the bust. Picking the door to Lady Beric’s chambers alerts her, and there is no way around it since there is the basement study key inside, which we need. Amusingly, I could later drop the key back onto the marble floor without her giving a first alert.



    Across the Lady’s chambers is another room that leads to a balcony. This one I had to pick to get the goblet from the windowsill. At first, I wanted to get to the goblet from the parapet across the street, but the guards below always caught me. Obviously, I couldn’t get to that parapet from here either, so I had to take another way.



    Made my way down to the basement study and picked up the wine cellar key. Before entering the wine cellar, decided to clear out the sewers. Most importantly, there is a hammerite stash, whose door responds to the key from the priest’s chambers. The problem here is that there is no shade to hide inside the room, so I had to get it, grab the loot, and get out back into the shadows while the hammerite was doing his small patrol loop. I could never take all the loot in one go though, so had to make two.



    Entered the wine cellar and took the secret passage into the keeper sanctuary. The patrols in this area are well spaced-out, but ghosting is difficult because the sound doesn’t propagate perfectly well in several places. Thus, I had to be extra careful and avoid the line of sight with the keepers in problematic areas to make absolutely sure that I didn’t get any alerts. The only tough move was entering the first keeper’s room to get the shrine key. The balcony guard turns randomly, but the entrance to the room is well-lit, which creates a blind corner. Had to be lucky to move in while he was facing the opposite direction. Given that I needed to return the key, I had to move in and out of this room twice.



    Took a secret exit through a vent in the library to return to the city and grab a purse from the machine room, which I could not get into earlier. This is the same room that leads to the parapet across Beric’s balcony. Then, returned to the keeper sanctuary and exited it through the wine cellar.



    Returned the wine cellar key into the basement study, returned the basement study key to Lady Beric’s chambers. Left the castle the way I came. Next, I had to return the hammerite priest’s key. Went back through the Public Works building to close all the gates that I left opened there. To my surprise, the priest was patrolling again. Apparently, he freed himself somehow. Well, this made my job of returning the key much easier! Afterwards, jumped down to the street level. To avoid taking damage, caught the fence below and mantled it. Now, I only needed to make my way back to the start and pick a few purses along the way. No issues there.



    Notes:
    - Took a first alert from Lady Beric by picking the door to her chambers. Unavoidable Supreme bust.

  10. #60
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Game: Thief 2
    FM: Conspiracies in the Dark

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Supreme Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Supreme - Failed
    Time - 1:04:06
    Loot - 2225/2225
    Pockets Picked - 9/11
    Locks Picked - 8
    Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 1
    Damage dealt - 1, Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0, Other Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
    Consumables - None

    Conspiracies in the Dark is the only mission from what was supposed to become a campaign titled Transitions in Chaos. It is one of the best mansion missions ever, and my second favorite one after Ominous Bequest. There is a Ghost report on it already, but no-one has attempted a Supreme run yet. Unfortunately, achieving Supreme is impossible. We have to take a few unavoidable first alerts from opening doors and picking locks. However, it is still interesting to try and minimize those.

    Before we begin, I need to note something: this mission is huge, and it has a lot to do. We need to get into Lord Marton’s bedroom to find out who killed him, steal his scepter, find some information about Raputo, loot all six guestrooms, discover at least nine secrets, and steal 1600 loot. Besides, several new objectives will spawn as we progress through the mission. If I start describing my path in detail, the report will be massive and confusing. Therefore, I’ll try to structure it logically by mainly describing the points of interest.

    Getting Inside

    There are two ways into the mansion. Firstly, we can pick up the Enterprise Key from a sleeping guy and use it to get inside Harper & Sons building. From there, we can get into the sewer that leads to the mansion basement. However, we would need to pick a lockbox to open a gate. The gate itself can be closed by flipping a lever on the other side, but the lockbox can be re-locked as well. It responds to the Sewer Key, the only copy of which is on the belt of a stationary guard nearby, and returning this key to his feet alerts him to hunt mode. Therefore, picking the lockbox leads to a Supreme bust. The second way inside is to climb the wall. There are three guards here: a patroller on the wall, a patroller down below, and a stationary guard near the front door. To avoid first alerts, I jumped to the roof over the front entrance and descended from there.



    To pick the stationary guard’s purse, had to wait for him to face the opposite direction and for the patrollers to be away. Then, had to mantle the fence, grab the purse, and get back down quickly enough. Entered the mansion through a door leading to servant’s quarters.



    First Floor

    Firstly, if we climb a ladder to the lutist’s room, we can find out that his instrument was confiscated by the head butler. This is a small side-quest, where we can find his lute and bring it back. Picking it up spawns the lutist, who reacts to Garrett. However, this is a scripted conversation and not an alert, hence no bust. Arguably, it is not in the spirit of Supreme to help out the servants of a mansion that you rob, but the reward is loot and a hidden bonus objective, which is more of a priority to me.



    Secondly, the lord’s scepter is located in the fountain room. This is a tricky area since it requires to quickly creep-crouch from alcove to alcove. You are supposed to turn the lights off to hide there, but it is unnecessary.



    Finally, there are a few loot pieces, getting which is easier than it seems. Grabbing the vase in the foyer is not an issue since the balcony guard’s vision doesn’t reach the bottom floor. Grabbing the two swords and the crown around the bar only requires to time the guard who patrols between the two floors. These swords are also an optional objective that spawns by reading a journal in the notary’s room. In my case, it will already be completed.

    Last edited by marbleman; 19th Apr 2018 at 16:29.

  11. #61
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Meeting Lord Marton

    The lord’s bedroom is located on the third floor of the East wing where the bar is, so virtually, it is just in a couple of rooms from where I am. The corridor leading to it is occupied by a pivoting guard. The intended way is to take a vent shaft above him; however, opening the grate triggers a first alert. Therefore, I used a more direct approach: timing his turns, as well as the patrols around, to slip past him.



    The triumph didn’t last long though since opening the door to Dregger’s room across the lord’s bedroom triggered a first alert. I also needed to pick the key off Dregger’s belt to open a lockbox in the lord’s room, which is part of the objective to loot all guestrooms. Couldn’t return the key to Dregger’s feet, so dropped it on an armchair. Two busts in total. Also, picked up information about Raputo in Dregger’s room.



    In the lord’s bedroom, I met his ghost who offered me to complete a few tasks for him in exchange for the evidence that I seek and told me to meet him in the garden near the greenhouse. There are two ways to get there: through the backyard and via a coal chute in the basement. The former is impossible within Supreme since there is no way to enter the backyard without first alerts. So to the basement we go!



    The coal chute gate setup is similar to that of the sewer gate: a lockbox on one side and a lever on the other. However, this one we can use. The algorithm is: pick up the coal chute key in the furnace room, unlock the lockbox, enter the chute, re-lock the lockbox, flip the lever to open the gate again, exit the chute, and drop the key back in the furnace room. Now, the chute is open, and we only need to flip the lever back before finishing the mission to close the gate.



    Before meeting lord Marton, I also cleared out the basement. There is another gate with a lockbox, but this one doesn’t respond to any keys and cannot be relocked, so picking it is no bust. From there, took a secret tunnel into the wine cellar and picked up a few valuable bottles.



    Pagan Sanctuary

    Lord Marton wants me to save his daughter Scarlet. He gave me an ankh key, which opened the gate to the sanctuary. The key disappears, and there is no way to close the gate, so no bust. The sanctuary itself is one of most tense areas in the mission. Had to time the pivoting ratman and a few other patrollers to grab Scarlet (and the green mushroom), but in the end, managed to avoid any alerts. Next, had to bring Scarlet to Garance’s room, where lord Marton was awaiting me with new tasks.


  12. #62
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Lord Marton’s Tasks and Guest Rooms

    My next goal was to change the lord’s last will in the notary’s room and to bring it to his bedroom. I also had to drop the notary in the sewers. The latter implies that I had to knock him out. This is not a bust since it directly follows the objective.

    Looted Madame DuMoulong room first. Needed to pick the key off her husband who was sleeping outside. Dropped it back close enough for it not to be a bust. To loot Marton Jr.’s room, needed a key found in the sewer, so skipped it for now. Entered Brother Reseda’s room. Fortunately, he didn’t alert neither to the door nor to the vent grate. Was also able to pick the key off his belt, loot his lockbox, and drop the key back since he was standing on a carpet. Entered notary Caladon’s room next and knocked him out before he could alert. Afterwards, looted his room and changed lord Marton’s will.



    Before dragging the notary to the sewers, took another vent from his room leading to the lord’s bedroom, where I dropped the new will. Along the way, looted Olivatre Fiancaille’s room. Picking her lockbox made her wake up, so that’s another Supreme bust. Before she settled, opened the vent as well simply to get the count for another secret. Opening either grate wakes her up as well, but since I am not using the vent, I don’t see that as another bust.



    My original plan to deliver Caladon to the sewers was to take a water tunnel from the furnace room in the basement. However, the notary died each time I tried it. Therefore, had to go all the way to the starting street and take the Harper & Sons entrance by climbing over the wall. Without new mantling, this would not be possible. Dropped the Enterprise key as close to the sleeping guy as I could. I say, no bust



    Wrapping Up

    Lord Marton’s final task was to poison the Old Woman who cooperated with the pagans to get Scarlet killed. No issues there. Had to pick the key off the Old Woman, but was able to drop it near her. Got my incriminating evidence and received another task: to drop it in Brother Reseda’s room. Along the way, went to the sewers to pick Marton Jr.’s key. To my surprise, there was enough shade underwater to not get any alerts from the stationary guard. Delivering the evidence and looting Marton Jr.’s room checked off the last objectives on my list. All I had to do is drop the key back in the sewers and exit the mission by going through the pagan sanctuary again. The next mission in the campaign was supposed to pick up right afterwards. Alas.



    I needed to close the grate to the sanctuary by flipping switch behind the pipe, but there was enough time to do that and descend, so managed to avoid a bust. Passing the ratman required timing his pivots to mantle over the fire pit since I wasn’t able to go around and avoid alerts.



    Notes:
    - Got a first alert from Dregger from opening his door. A Supreme bust.
    - Couldn’t return Dregger’s key to his feet, so dropped it on a chair nearby. A Supreme bust.
    - Got a first alert from Olivatre Fiancaille by picking her lockbox. A Supreme bust.
    - Left the wine cellar portcullis opened. It cannot be closed, so no bust.
    - Knocking out Caladon is not a bust since it directly follows an objective.
    - Dropped the Enterprise key as close as I could to the sleeper. Probably not a bust, but doesn’t matter too much.

  13. #63
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Amazing work again here marbleman! Encouraging to see these reports, although I don't read them with too much detail in case I'll play it later. Seems like we are two of a very few group of regular ghosters, buddy. Keep it up

  14. #64
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    You haven't played Conspiracies in the Dark?
    Thanks! I play normal Ghost all the time, but there aren't that many missions I'd like to Supreme and write a report on, so there might be a while until my next one.
    Still waiting for the report on that mystery mission

  15. #65
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Yeah the report is all ready, but I wanted to wait until the recording is done. It's a video in 3 parts, where the middle part got lost on my external hard drive. Less than a year old hd and it broke; don't buy Seagate. Gotta replay that part, then I'll upload it.

    It's not Conspiracies, if that's what you were hinting at.

  16. #66
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Game: Thief 2
    FM: Ruins of Originia, Mission 1: Mines of Margroth

    Ghost - Failed (but only one bust, in my opinion)
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Supreme Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Supreme - Failed
    Time - 3:59:36
    Loot - 10412/12862 (Supreme: 9312)
    Pockets Picked - 24/24
    Secrets - None
    Locks Picked - 12
    Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0, Other Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 10
    Consumables - 1 Explosive Charge, 2 Fire Arrows, 3 Water Arrows, 2 Moss Arrows, 1 Invisibility Potion, 3 Rope Arrows (left behind)

    See the entire report with screenshots here!
    Loot list here!
    YouTube Let's Play here!

    Comments:
    Hands down one of the best, yet most difficult missions I have ever played. And it’s certainly unlike anything I have ever ghosted. Very difficult to describe, it’s a mission that must be played in order to be understood. That OldDark was capable of something this grand and complex, is very surprising. The fact that YcatX put this together by himself is even more astonishing. And it’s only the first in a four-mission campaign... Hats off to a very talented author.

    A renegade hammerite by the name of Bantar had taken off with some of their precious relics. Apparently, he was hiding deep below an old miner’s complex, with the rest of their organization and the bluecoats trailing. I needed to sneak in disguised as a guard, procuring some maps and information about the mines. In the hammerite headquarters was located a soulstone called the Gem of Oldorf, which I needed to steal. Supposedly, it had some strange powers. Furthermore, I had to enter the mines, find and kill Bantar, steal his amulet, along with his Book of Darkness. My final object of interest was an enchanted whistling stone, besides 6,000 worth of loot. Evidently, there was also a different way out of the mines, once all my other objectives were finished.

    I knew this mission was nowhere near Supreme Ghost attainable, there were just too many confrontational scenarios for that. I focused instead on basic Ghost, with the intent of trying to minimize the amount of busts for both modes. I never throw caution to the wind once I bust the first time, not caring about the remainder of the mission. The end stat ‘success’ is a nice bonus, if possible, but shouldn’t kill the joy if unachievable. Instead, I many times challenge myself to successfully ghost individual situations within missions. To me, the types of busts I take also matter. Getting spotted (rule #4) to me is worse than a knockout (rule #2), which is worse than bashing a door or breaking a window (rule #6). As long as busts are reported and the choice of bust justified, you are covered. Also remember that taking damage from falls or traps, drinking potions, or even severely exploiting the engine, although frowned upon, are allowed in plain Ghost mode. In this difficult of a mission, you need all the help you can get.

    Miner’s Town
    As long as I didn’t use any weapons or got caught pickpocketing, I was safe in the entrance caves and in the miner’s town. There were no less than 8 stationary guards in the main cave, plus 2 patrolling archers that occasionally entered the hammerite headquarters. If I went in there, they’d all come chasing. Found a lone coin by one of the carts (see image). I needed to use the upcoming thieves vs. city watch fight to my utmost advantage. It is allowed to replay fights in order to perhaps get a more desirable outcome. It is not allowed, however, to manipulate circumstances in order to maximize casualties, like leaving a door open to make individuals hear the commotion and come looking. I was particularly thinking of the door to the weapons shop. In order to get the loot in there without alerts, the two shopkeepers needed to die. You can get the loot without busting Ghost, but it necessitates dousing the torch and taking a first alert. I still wanted to avoid Supreme busts and reduce consumables where feasible. I could get both of their keys without any comments, along with some of the equipment from the corner table (see image below). They freaked out if I took any of the arrows, unlocked any of the safes or got the nugget/potion on the island.



    My only chance to get the shop loot without Supreme busts was to hope they got killed in the upcoming fight. Before that, I cleaned whatever else I could. I challenged myself to try and get all the pickpocket counts. Of course, this meant I had to get them while they were still alive and without getting spotted. Neutral guards will not react as long as you steal their pockets without them reaching a second level alert state. This can be difficult to detect since they don’t give any verbal remarks. The patrolling archers in the outer cave stopped once I took their barracks keys (see image). Although it slightly changed the circumstances for the upcoming fight, it shouldn’t count as busting ghost. I wasn’t manipulating the situation to my benefit. The archers only spent a few seconds inside the barracks before heading back out anyway. A similar thing happened with three guards carrying keys in the miner’s town. They needed to unlock the kitchen door as a part of their route. They stepped no more than three feet inside before turning around and leaving, but after I stole the keys, they took a whole different route to get there. They instead went through the bar, across the upper walkway, and down the stairs to the kitchen, only to head back again the same way. It seemed like they had to flag this spot in their path by whatever means necessary. To prevent this, I tried leaving the kitchen door open when triggering the fight, but this led to other issues. If the kitchen door was unlocked, the first thief archer that runs out from the upstairs meeting headed west instead of east. That’s because his primary goal was to fetch the two undercover thieves in the west guard post, and through the kitchen was the easiest route. If it remained locked, he headed east like the other five thieves, which was highly desirable. So I left the kitchen door locked and dealt with the abnormal guard patrols. Again, it shouldn’t count as a bust of ghost rule #5. It wasn’t intentional, plus it didn’t benefit my cause. In fact, I’d say it made it harder.



    The “two on the inside” in the guard post also had purses. The woman’s along the south wall was easy enough to obtain, but the man’s purse was worse. I found I had to rush in and wait in the northwest corner until he settled from an assumed alert. It took about 30 seconds before I could safely grab it (see image above). Nice to get the count for that one.

    Then came the fight. Since I wanted to get all 7 pickpocket counts from the plotting thieves, I had to find somewhere close, yet dark and grab them as they emerged from their meeting room. Once they got involved in the fighting, there was no chance. By that time, they were too spread out. At first, I thought I’d have to douse the torch on the east walkway and grab it all from atop the stairs. This worked, but most of the time the thieves alerted to the torch being out, which made them stop on a dime for about 5 seconds, plus I wanted to avoid that consumable if at all possible. I finally found the southeast corner at the bottom of the stairs to be dark enough. It wasn’t a perfect shadow, but crouched I could grab all the pockets without leaning and without being detected (see image below). The thief swordsman did give an alert as he was heading down the stairs, but I think it was from spotting the archer through the guard post window. I know it wasn’t a Supreme bust because he gave the same alert if I was hiding underneath the stairs, completely out of sight.



    From here, I had a plan. Three of the thieves headed directly for the east guard post, fighting the three bluecoats there. If they won (which they usually did), sometimes they ended up searching around the room before settling to a standstill. Other times, they would run down the hall towards the town entrance. The latter was the preferred scenario, as that’s where the other thieves most probably were fighting other guards. The more people by the entrance also meant a higher chance of the shop door opening and the two shopkeepers getting caught in the crossfire. After a few tries, that’s exactly what happened (see image)!

    The more thieves left standing at this point, the better. Now some of the guards from outside were most probably in hunt mode. With some luck, I could monitor the situation from inside the bar and watch as the thieves headed out the main entrance (see image). Luckily, thieves are more adept fighters than bluecoats, so even though they had the rogues outnumbered, the odds were even. I replayed this scenario 5-6 times until the perfect outcome occurred. Only one thief remained, the male swordsman from the west guard post. He eventually headed back to his station, completely out of sight. In addition, one of the swordsmen by the western sloped entrance from the starting cave survived; everyone else was down and out (see image below). Even the guards by the entrance to the ancient miner’s residence had fallen. This was a better result than I ever could have hoped for, so I continued on my merry way.



    Grabbed everything from the shop and from the bar area. All the items I couldn’t take without getting detected before. A readable from the shop safe told about hidden gems on one of the outside carts. The only way to get them was to smash the crates with the sword or with a fire arrow. This is considered property damage and disallowed for both Ghost and Supreme. In total, 800 worth of loot. That was a high amount of loot to skip this early. Luckily, I knew the loot requirement was less than 50% of the total available in the mission. There was also a hidden weapon’s cache in a locked room to the east. A boarded up back exit was also found here. It led to the sewers, and furthermore to an underground entrance to the hammerite and guard headquarters. This was a much more desirable way in than the front door. Dodging the guard inside the main entrance was possible, but not without a “semi-bust”. However, breaking boards is property damage, and in violation of ghost rule #6. After a bit of fiddling though, I found you can quite predictably squeeze between the boards on the left side. With a half-crouch, lean forward and jump, along with a few mouse-wiggles, before too long I fell into the water on the other side (see image below). I repeated this move effortlessly a good 5-6 times.



    Hammerite & Guard HQ
    The biggest issue in this place was getting the Gem of Oldorf. As an objective, there was no way around obtaining it, but doing so required dealing damage, and lots of it. 3-4 flash bombs were my best bet. However, I had read on the forums long ago that somebody had once found the gem on the floor ready to be picked up after the fight with the hammerites. This gave me hope. After a few tries I discovered its weakness. Apparently, the priests’ flying hammers deal damage similar to flash bombs. 5-6 shots and it fell. The vault where the gem was kept opened when I read the scroll in the southeast bedroom upstairs. Luckily, two of the swordsmen from downstairs were triggered to come up and fetch the priests and the hammerite guards. Their bedroom doors were usually already open, but if not, the guards made sure. The gem’s shots were loud, more than enough to lure everyone downstairs. One of the priests was unfortunately stuck in his bed (see image), but strangely enough I was still able to sneak in undetected to get the loot. I was afraid I’d have to shut off the lights. The hammer mace guard in the northwest bedroom was stuck in a similar way, but he more easily freed up on his own. It was also in my best interest for the swordsman by the front door to die. That way I could avoid the Supreme bust when leaving, as I’d have to turn off the lights if he lived. His state was difficult to monitor though, as I couldn’t go down to check until the gem had been slain. I stole the upstairs loot while the hammerites were away. Then I watched part of the fight from the staircase (see image below). The gem and the priest duked it out all right. When low on health (or so I assume), the gem fled into the bedroom, where it was downed by a final shot (see second image below). The hammerites took the situation surprisingly well and returned to their bedrooms within a matter of seconds. I hid in the kitchen and waited. To my joy, the front door guard was nowhere to be seen.



    Only two patrolling swordsmen remained, which meant the rest of this floor was lootable without too much trouble. They were extremely jumpy, however; running upstairs to alert the hammerites when reminded of their lifeless workmates. This was most problematic in the chapel, where there were 4 pieces of loot, tiled floor and no real shade. Plus, the guards loved spending time in the long hallway due south. They were so edgy that the smallest glimpse of me at great distances either made them come chasing or running upstairs to get their friends. Either way I was caught. There were two spots in either back corner where I could monitor them from complete darkness (see image). I could rush out to pick the locks on the chests to get the loot there. I thought I was safe behind the wooden fences, but the guards apparently could see through those.

    The big blue gem attached to the outside of the pulpit was a light source that disappeared when taken. Those are not allowed to be removed for Supreme, so that mode had to skip it. The same applied to the gem above the headquarters main entrance. Furthermore, the 10 diamonds in the caves below the chapel were impossible to reach for any ghost mode (see image below). You have to use two fire arrows on the sun symbols above the chapel’s hanging ceiling first. That makes enough noise to alert anybody in the vicinity, fire elementals as well as swordsmen. There are four elementals guarding the diamonds, and two more that spawn if you take the pile of 40 fire arrows. The elementals were already on high alert, I assume from the gem fight earlier. Another grand worth of loot skipped. 1,800 so far for regular ghost.



    Into the Mines
    In the ancient miner’s residence came my first inevitable Supreme bust. A bugbeast lady (the ‘woman’ sent by Bantar mentioned in one of the readables) stationed in one of the eastern rooms gave a first alert when crossing the way. There was no way to avoid her gaze. If sneaking along the western wall (see image below), she didn’t actually give the alert, but she did a high-pitched remark as I left her view, indicating a settling remark. I did it several times and she always gave the same verbal cue, so it most certainly was a bust.



    Next I was forced into the tombs by the shadow burricks. They guarded the entrance to the upper mines, but there was no way to fool them. They reacted to everything except for perfect shadows. They did have a 30-degree or so blind spot directly behind them. Luckily they preferred darkness, and two of them did a scripted run and ate two mushrooms before stationing themselves in the first sloped cave. Unfortunately there was one more lit fungus in a crack in the wooden wall outside the tomb entrance. It was enough to prevent travel further north than shown in the capture below. I could sneak past the first critter ever so slowly, only spawning a first alert. Quite frankly, I was surprised I made it that far. If I had an invisibility potion, I reckoned I could make it up the cave system unscathed. I’d probably need to use some moss arrows too. I kept that idea in the back of my mind for now.



    Garrett gave some comments as I headed into the lower catacombs. The entrance gate was pickable, but also responded to the barracks key. Strange. This meant I’d either have to leave it unlocked or not return the key for Supreme, either of which was a bust. I locked it and kept the key, it felt more Supreme-like. If I had decided not to lock it, I would’ve had to leave the key behind before coming down here at all, since returning it would’ve spawned another two first alerts from the bugbeast lady in the ancient miner’s residence.

    Next I found the embalming chambers. The northern one had three sleeping hammer zombies (see image). I could enter without any alerts, but it required staying elevated, using at least two rope arrows. Sleeping zombies trigger only to proximity at the floor level. As long as you stay above them, they remain silent. However, this method was inconsistent at best, and the zombies all woke when I passed an invisible border close to the middle of the room anyway. There was a purse on the floor close to one of the zombies. It was the only thing of interest in there, except for a scroll and the exit at the opposite end of the room. If wanting to obtain that purse, it seemed like waking the zombies (which only counts as first alerts by the way) was inevitable. I decided to leave this room untouched and instead approach from the east later. The south chamber was harmless, but contained some goodies.

  17. #67
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Catacombs of the Ancient Ones
    The tomb of the commoners had nothing to pick up. White ghouls occasionally ventured into this area. The merchants sections had three rooms in the northwest. The two northernmost ones had hidden mines that had to be disarmed before entering. It doesn’t count as picking locks, I realized. The last one was protected by four spiders patrolling in a room below. I had to sneak by a few bright portions before reaching the tomb. The mine protecting it was invisible, but I could still disarm it once I knew where it was (see image). It’s supposed to become visible using the Gem of Oldorf, but that didn’t work for me. NewDark, maybe? Lots of loot in there.

    My goal was to reach the north embalming chamber, so I passed the Halls of Sorrow into the Well of Lost Souls. To get the whistling stone, I must admit I used a walkthrough the first time playing it years ago. That is disallowed for Ghost, so to be fair I should report it as a bust. I remember pulling my hair out trying to figure out what to do at the well. The problem was the whistling stone is a mandatory objective, and there was no hint anywhere in the mission on where it can be found or how to obtain it. If this section on the map had been called the Whistling Well, or something of that nature, then maybe, but it is outright cruel to practically require the player to get hints in order to find it. In the end, I assumed the well was just a challenging way to obtain all the potions and vials at the bottom, eight in total. They could all be retrieved without the use of a breath potion and without taking damage. I needed two dives to do it. Regardless, I had to drop the nearby rubble piece into the middle of the well (see image below), and wait for it to land on the pressure plate in order to spawn the red, merry gem.



    Back to the embalming chamber. From this (the east) side, I could sneak by the first hammer zombie. The readable gave very useful hints on how to access a tomb called Viper VI. More on that later. Experimenting for a bit with the zombies, I found there was a certain radius around the purse where all zombies growled simultaneously, then if Garrett was still positioned within that radius after a few seconds, they stood up, facing the player. If Garrett was visible, they’d come chasing; if not, they would reposition themselves to the previous angle, except they’d remain on their feet. This type of behavior is normal for sleeping zombies going to an awaken state. The problem is, once woken up, they alert to visible and audible cues just like a normal stationary guard. However, if I simply rushed out from between the caskets on the north wall, grabbed the purse and headed back as quickly as possible, none of the zombies got up (see image below). They still grumbled, indicating a first alert and of course a Supreme bust, but I was totally ok with that. Another room passed.



    The next challenge was the second time I needed walkthrough assistance when I played 3-4 years back. Due to the aforementioned embalming chamber readable, I should perhaps have tried a bit harder. I think I was somewhat frustrated at the mission’s difficulty level. Resorting to hints seems more justified then, I suppose. No excuse though, as I personally do whatever I can to figure puzzles out on my own. I’m talking about how to access the crypts in Hall of Lost Heroes South. Each crypt had a lever that opened another crypt, six in total. Except the only way to open the door to the Viper VI crypt was to flip the switch in the generator room in the northwest of the Merchants section. Once you do, you have about 25 seconds to run through the crypt door and pull the lever that keeps the door open. The author’s intention was to use the speed potion in the starting inventory. Problem is, if you at any point use it for some other purpose, there are no other speed potions to be found anywhere in the mission. Fortunately, you can make the run without the potion, but there’s no more than a few extra seconds to spare. If you miss your chance, there is no second attempt possible, as the generator causes an overload that blows two of the red crystals. The real problem was the crystal bursting outside the entrance to the south halls, since it was right in the path of all the wandering ghouls (see image below). They all alerted without fail, hunting for my presence with their distinct reptilian sounding hisses. That was a serious Ghost bust and not acceptable. Instead I tried to enter the crypt by other means.



    The readable had mentioned using an explosive charge, so I knew that was possible. With a fire arrow shot and avoiding the blast, I got the door open without taking damage (see image below). However, the ghouls back in the outside halls still alerted. It was quite the distance, but they still heard it. Upon a reload I went back to the entrance to the south halls and listened for their patrols. Soon after, they faded. Back to make the shot again and ran over to hear for alerted ghouls. Nothing. At least that avoided a hunt mode bust, which I see as one of the worst types in the entire rule set. Opening the gate by use of explosives is strictly speaking still a bust due to property damage. Some would probably react to my use of the words “strictly speaking”. After all, it’s not any different than bashing in a locked door with a sword…or is it? Rule #6 states: “No property damage is allowed. No banners cut, no doors bashed in, no things burnt or destroyed, and no broken glass.” Cutting a banner, breaking glass, destroying a crate, those are all irreversible, clearly visible and destructive acts that leave evident signs of forceful behavior. When a regular door is bashed in with a bomb or a sword, the locking mechanism opens, as if using a key, indicating a broken lock. That implies damage to the property item, hence the rule. Here, nothing was broken. The gate simply opened, whereupon it could be reclosed with the inside lever, returning it to its previous state. In fact, if doing so, I could now go back and use the generator to open the gate normally. If the gate had become frobbable and able to be opened at will, I could see the argument that the magical seal that kept it closed had been destroyed. But that wasn’t the case. There was no way to tell I had used the explosive charge to begin with. If so desired, I could even use a second explosive charge to open the gate again. I imagine you could do this as many times as you had charges available. To me, that made this situation distinctly different than the ones rule #6 was targeting. Although I can see the argument to count this as a bust, it was “only” property damage (viewed by me as perhaps the rule that least violates the spirit of the regular Ghost rules), and it was a doubtful one at that. In fact, I vote a no bust here.



    Tank of the Deep Ones
    I opened all the crypts in this section, but didn’t touch the loot. I knew of the spawning enemies and wanted to deal with them later. The crypt of Questorus revealed the entrance to the flooded part of the tombs. There was a map of this entire area in a side tunnel, but it was guarded by another shadow burrick and impossible to take without getting seen. Only an invisibility potion would work, and I wasn’t about to waste it. The upcoming section wasn’t difficult to navigate anyways. A secret entrance took me to on overgrown basement. Quite a bit of loot but no enemies, so nothing to report.

    The top floor was patrolled by craymen and some fast-moving, chatty zombies. I ascended to the top of the aquarium first. Circumnavigated the tank along the eastern wall and flipped a switch that turned on some of the lights. This is ok for Supreme; only the removal of light sources (except for those you turn on yourself) is disallowed for that mode. Along with the lights, a manhole cover also opened in the northwest corner of the tank (see image). It held a red gem. I had a very hard time finding any predictable pattern when it came to the tank’s piranhas. They exploded and killed me on impact, alerting the patrolling crayman in the process. They moved a lot faster than any of the other fish, but weren’t confined to any set areas. They didn’t follow me, but occasionally were drawn to my general location, only to relocate soon after. Upon further investigation, I realized they always started swimming faster the instant I entered the pool. This was a clear enough indication of a second level alert, and I thus ended up skipping the pool (and the gem) completely. On my way back down through a nearby chute, I found more hidden loot in a wall depression (see image).



    The button puzzle to find Bantar’s hideout was very cool, although I needed help to progress when I played the mission first time around. This was the third and last situation where I needed help from a walkthrough. The first button had to be pushed by climbing the wall by the only stationary zombie (see image above). He was very jumpy when dropping back to the east side. I managed to fool him with no alerts if inching slow enough. For the next three buttons I used the Gem of Oldorf. However, the latter of those three alerted the aforementioned zombie when the gem landed. I could use a moss arrow to soften the landing, but I wanted to avoid the Supreme bust here. Instead, I found I could drop a potion straight down, then without moving, look straight up and throw the gem. If done perfectly, it would land directly on the potion, then bounce a few feet away (see image below), but without making too much noise. I did this successfully on the first try, without as much as a first alert.



    Used a water arrow to click the fifth button, which accessed Bantar’s lair. I was pulled up further by some kind of vacuum. Protecting the cave entrance were two monkeymen and the tricksterling. The latter was down a side cave to the left, while the two primates partly blocked my path. I didn’t find a way to sneak by them using conventional means, so I had to resort to nudging. That’s considered an engine exploitation and only allowed for regular Ghost as a last resort, which this was a case of. I could nudge either monkey, although I chose the one to the right (see image). Another Supreme bust.

    The innermost cave held two thieves (a female arbalist and a swordsman), Bantar on an elevated plateau, plus a will-o’-the-wisp floating in the distance. The wisp would prove to be the biggest issue. Two torches and a small bonfire kept the cave illuminated. The margrothian pillars also lit the cave some. Once I entered the cave, the thieves and Bantar started conversing. Upon concluding, they all got hostile, where Bantar downed both thieves with one shot each. If I was in view once this happened, he turned to me and kept attacking. “Eyeball!” If dousing the eastern torch during their conversation, I could sneak along the right wall and hide in the northeast corner until their fight was done. Bantar would keep searching for a bit, before settling by his throne. Dousing any light before the conversation triggered a second level alert from the woman. I could now swim through the tunnels and approach Bantar’s lab from the back. It could be done without a breath potion, but there was only a fraction of a second to spare. It also had to be done without touching the crystalline walls of the tunnels. Tough, but repeatable. Mantling out of the pool without getting hurt was also a bit tricky.

    Bantar was hyper sensitive at this point. Leaning around the corner behind his back triggered instant alarm mode. If anything was to be done, it would necessitate the use of an invisibility potion. But even with that, he heard me approach. Using a moss arrow on the ground behind the throne fixed that problem. One overhead swing killed him, permitted by the explicit directions in the objective. However, his gasp alerted the wisp, a ghost bust of the worst kind. It was very tough to detect the wisp’s alert levels, but it clearly changed its patrol path, indicating hunt mode. Furthermore, getting the loot and the readable in the back cave was nearly impossible at this point. The readable was necessary to change two of the mandatory objectives. So I tried experimenting with different weapons; holy water, flash bombs, etc. All yielded the same result, an alerted wisp. Alas, the issue wasn’t the choice of weapon, but simply the fact that Bantar was dying, an inevitable consequence of dealing lethal damage.



    My only chance to get out of this without a bust was by having someone else kill Bantar. But could that be done? I decided to replay the Bantar-thieves fight a few times, just to observe. Perhaps the archer could get enough shots in to kill him? I eventually spotted something that would be crucial. Every so often, the archer’s shot would repel Bantar’s eyeball (see image above). It would go off, but without dealing damage. It occurred merely by coincidence, if the arrow happened to meet the eye’s trajectory. It meant she would get a couple more shots in before dying. What if I could quicksave each time she got a deflection in, then reload until another one followed? Cheesy, but it might be the only way to get this done. Well, it worked, sort of... It took about 15-20 minutes before Bantar died. On average, one in every 8-10 shots got repelled. Immediately following a deflection, she got anywhere from 1-5 shots in before getting hit again. When he finally fell, he landed with the front half of his body suspended outside the upper ledge. The wisp got alerted of course, but this was no longer a bust, as I didn’t cause it. It started shooting, which attracted the monkeymen in the outer cave. They killed the thieves, returned to their spots and everything seemed fine. Well, when emerging after diving through the flooded tunnels, I realized the next problem. Every time the wisp floated out towards the throne, it saw Bantar’s body and started searching. Since it would see his body every 30 seconds or so, it never really lowered its alert state. This was bad news, as it was difficult for me to go for the items in the back cave, let alone be able to leave without making sure I didn’t get spotted. Unfortunately, the whole scenario needed a redo.

    Something I had noticed during Bantar’s battle was that he had slid a significant distance forward during the shootout. So much that I could see the tips of his shoes from my hiding spot below. On replaying the fight, I noticed it was his shooting motion that pushed him forward. This time I wanted to make sure he got as many shots in (and deflected) as possible before keeling over. Between each block, the archer would get at least one shot in before Bantar’s next blast. If I reloaded until it only took two arrows until the next blocked shot, Bantar might slide so far forward he would fall off the edge (see image below). That is exactly what happened! It took longer, probably 20-30 minutes in total, but after about 11 blocked shots, Bantar dropped into the water below. Occasionally, he’d even fall into the crystal cave. This required a reload, as there was no way he’d die down there. He was immune to drowning, it seemed. Once firmly in the water though, the swordsman ran down and went for the kill. It didn’t take more than one or two swings before Bantar was down and out. The swordsman returned to his previous spot soon after. Then, like before, the wisp would start shooting and attract the monkeymen. This time, the swordsman downed one before falling. Next, the tricksterling showed up and killed both the second monkeyman and the archer (see second image below). Killing the monkeyman was an accident, but could easily happen due to its blow dart gun’s enormous blast radius. This was the absolute best conceivable outcome. Every enemy bar the wisp was gone, and the tricksterling shortly returned to its hidey hole. Eventually, the wisp would settle, playing its normal, calm tune. This time I could easily get the drill bit and the maps from the back cave without risking any alerts. I left the top cave by sneaking out and jumping onto the plateau with the thieves.



    In order to safely return from Bantar’s lair, I had to use two slow-fall potions when dropping through the chute. One soon after letting go of the rope, then another just before landing. Following the rule set, falling damage is only allowed as a last resort and is “frowned upon”. Using potions is likewise not ideal, plus it brands the run as a “chemical success”. Since potion use isn’t listed just as a last resort, I figured it was better than taking the damage.

    Dwarf-Monkey-Haunts
    Had to use another water arrow to close the lair entrance and reopen the way out to the Tank of the Deep Ones. Returned to the Hall of Lost Heroes to tackle the crypts there. Getting all the loot in this area was a big challenge, so I braced myself for some creative gameplay. The halls were laid out in two sections, north and south. Each part had six crypts, twelve in total. Each crypt held a golden skull, while three crypts in the south had some more loot as well. Only the skulls were interesting for this report. When taking a skull, an enemy would spawn in a specific location somewhere else in the halls. The enemies had a dwarfed stature, with the sounds of a haunt, yet moved like monkeymen. The map below illustrates the crypts in blue, as well as the spot where the dwarves for each crypt would spawn. For example, when taking the skull in crypt 10 (blue), a dwarf would spawn in the location marked with a red 10. This happened to be in crypt 8, just northeast of crypt 10. All the dwarves were stationary and spawned facing south. They were very jumpy just after spawning, almost as if they appeared in an already alerted state. After 30 seconds or so, they were much easier to work with, although they never gave any audible cues to indicate this. Even still, a certain radius to their front or side would automatically alert them, even if I was dark. If yellow or red, they could even spot you directly behind. They had no first or second alerts, but instead jumped straight to third level or alarm mode. This way, at least busts were easily detectable. My goal was to get all twelve skulls without any Ghost busts. No easy task, nuff said.


  18. #68
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    The layout almost felt like a puzzle. As if the author had carefully placed each dwarf to make it difficult, yet possible. I seriously doubt YcatX designed the mission with ghosters in mind, but one could always imagine. The biggest problem I noticed when returning from the Bantar kill. Crypt 9 (Viper VI) had closed on its own, without me being able to take the skull within. After some testing, I gathered as long as the switch in the generator room that operates the Viper VI gate hadn’t been triggered, upon each reload the game checked if the gate was open. If it was, it closed immediately. The only thing that stopped it from closing was Garrett being in the way. Nothing else would impede it. The only way to get it back open was to use the lever inside the crypt itself or to use another explosive charge. Using another charge was out of the question, and the only way to use the lever was to reload to a save when Garrett was already located inside the crypt. Ultimately, this meant two things. First, I would have to reload and deal with the crypts before heading towards Bantar’s. Second, robbing crypt 9 would have to be my top priority. All the other crypts would need to wait. And therein lay the rub.

    You’d think it shouldn’t be that hard, perhaps. After blowing open crypt 9, I could just take the skull then, right? Well, it wasn’t that easy. Try to follow. Skull 9 spawned a dwarf in crypt 7, so I’d have to take skull 7 first. Taking skull 7 spawned a dwarf in crypt 2, so now that would need to be robbed prior to both 7 and 9. See the problem? But that wasn’t all. Crypt 2 spawned a dwarf in the hallway just outside, in plain view of the entrance to crypt 5, so now that also had to be emptied. Crypt 5 spawned a dwarf in crypt 3, which then became the priority. Luckily, it stopped there, as the skull in crypt 3 triggered a dwarf in the far western end of the northern hallway. You can see it in the top right in the image above. I had to start in crypt 3 then, if I was to have any chance. Of course, since the crypt 9 gate closed upon every reload, I had to do as much as possible without needing to reload, or go back to crypt 9 and make every save in there. Safe to say, I was mentally exhausted even before starting. I have laid out my escapades below:

    • Took skull 3; returned to crypt 9 to save
    • Snuck into crypt 5 and took the skull there
    • Crept back to the hallway and into crypt 2 to take the next skull
    • Waited for the outside dwarf to settle, then rushed out and hid behind its back (difficult move, since it had to be done in one swoop)
    • Nudged the abovementioned dwarf into the doorway of crypt 5 (see image below)
    • Snuck east and rushed past the view of the dwarf now present in crypt 3 (another very difficult move)
    • Finally back to crypt 9 to save again
    • Took the loot in crypt 7
    • Lastly, I could get the crypt 9 skull and not worry about the gate closing any longer



    Three skulls in the northern halls were left. Since I now could safely save and reload, there was a greater margin for error. Got the crypt 6 skull without issues, though this spawned another dwarf in the north-south going hall in the far east. This meant I couldn’t use that path to get back south, so I’d have to leave out the west exit. That doorway was guarded by the dwarf spawned from crypt 3, however. To deal with this issue, I had to nudge it out the doorway and partly into the lit halls with the patrolling ghouls (see image). Getting in behind it to start the nudge was tough, as the red gem on the wall was partly in the way. Before leaving I took the last two skulls in this area. The crypt 1 skull spawned a dwarf just outside. I believe this to be the same dwarf as the one I nudged earlier when taking the crypt 2 skull. At least that dwarf had now disappeared and seemingly got relocated. I used a similar method to before; rushed in behind it and pushed it back into the doorway of crypt 5. Then I took the crypt 4 skull. This spawned a dwarf in crypt 1, but that wasn’t a problem because I could leave out the western exit. I had to time the pulsating lights, but no big deal.

    At this point, I returned to the south halls and redid the whole tank area, including Bantar’s lair. I managed to avoid using any slow-fall potions this time. Before entering the lair, I placed four rope arrows into the wooden frame at the bottom of the chute (right image above). With a bit of luck, when coming back down, I would catch hold of one of them and not take damage. Excellent!



    The four remaining skulls in the south part of the halls were a breeze compared to the previous. I cleaned crypts 12, 11, 8 and 10, in that order. Pulled the levers to close as many of the crypts as I could. Had to leave crypts 8 and 10 open. The only real challenge was passing the view of the dwarf in crypt 7 (see image). Like before, I had to rush from shadow to shadow. I started on the north side of the hallway, close to the east corner of the gate. From there I made a near running leap, except I went from a crouching position to standing, then quickly back to crouching again. The clue was to only spend a fraction of a second upright with a yellow light gem. The dwarf’s reaction was slightly delayed, which allowed a brief window of opportunity to get by unseen. It was enough to create a repeatable and fairly predictable method. The last dwarf by the western exit required a similar method, though a lot easier. I rushed in behind him from the narrow doorway. Then timed the lights as I left this area towards the north. Eleven dwarves were left standing around the Halls of Lost Heroes, completely oblivious to all their loot gone missing.

    The stairs up by the Halls of Sorrow was the intended way towards the exit. However, it was guarded by two air elementals; impossible to pass by orthodox means. They were set to ultra-sensitive, which means detection at anything but perfect shadows. I could get as far as the corner before the bottom of the stairs (see image). I recognized the elementals from the air mages in Thief Gold. The slightest flicker, and it would come flying. A first alert was detectable as a minor change in its sound. It went from a regular windy howl to a slightly more angry gust. Hunt mode was a change of direction and a slow float. Third alert was a swift hover with intent. Up the stairs was a larger room with an encircling icy staircase; very difficult to navigate. The second elemental was hiding behind a large pile of dirt. I could get all the way past both elementals with no less than two invisibility potions and one speed potion. Got a first alert from both of them also. I used an invisio and a speed potion to get in behind the pillar after the first bend in the icy stairs. This gave me hardcover. The second elixir of concealment got me the rest of the way. Unfortunately, this was too costly to accept. I expected I could do a lot better heading a different route.

    Fiends & Burricks
    Instead I went back to the shadow burricks in the lower mines, right before the tomb entrance. With an invisibility potion, I was able to get past them. I needed a moss arrow too, plus all three burricks gave a first alert as I passed. I shot the moss arrow just below the middle portion of the slope. Then I snuck over to the east wall as far as possible and readied my potion. From the time I drank it I had 10 seconds to get to safety. I instantly started half-a-second crouch-run taps. This got me to right underneath the wooden frame, from where I could leap onto the moss and run in behind the second burrick. As the potion wore off, the two closest gave first alerts, but that was ok. Next, I crept up the slope to the left of the third burrick without further alerts (see image below). They both settled as I rounded the next corner. Since potions are “frowned upon” in the ghost rules, being able to remove two of them using this method was well worth it.



    To get into the upper mines, I had to blow away some of the rubble blocking the collapsed path using a fire arrow. I didn’t count this as property damage. Nobody owns the rocks, do they? Since the rules (along with the ‘interpretation of the rules’ section) only mention man-made items like crates, doors, banners etc. but never reference natural objects, boulders should be fine. I could mantle over the boarded up doorway, otherwise breaking the planks would’ve been a bust. I could get past with only one blast if I shot from atop the fallen beam outside. Neither the burricks behind me nor the fiends up ahead heard the commotion.

    Two red, headless fiends patrolled the next section. They sounded like a mix between burricks and spider bots, but moved like treebeasts. I needed the rope arrows from the hidden toolbox to traverse the crystal lake. Six ropes were required to pass this area. I found a neat method where I could leap from one rope to the next while retrieving the arrow I was jumping from (see image below). That way I didn’t leave any ropes behind, and avoided the Supreme busts. Taking them in the first place was necessary, so no bust there. Cool area of the map this, if not my favorite.



    I absolutely loved the atmosphere in the shadow burrick caves. The feeling of desolation was gripping. The caves weren’t that hard though, as long as I stayed crouched. It seemed the author had placed the burricks so that their line of sight got blocked if I stayed at the lowest point in each of the adjacent caves. I could get all the nuggets this way, even the ones by the burricks’ feet. The most difficult one was in the far southwest (see image). If I moved a hair too fast or stood up, I got caught. There was another exit from these caves, towards the south, but it wasn’t practical for ghosting. I returned north and moved on to the fiend caves.

    Take a look at the map below for details. There were 5 red fiends and 3 blue ones. I think the blue ones had more hit points. One broadhead would kill an unalerted red fiend, while I needed a few more arrows to down their blue buddies. Irrelevant for my run, but interesting nonetheless. If you want to kill them, flash bombs are the best. My biggest problem was the noisy gravel, plus a few lit up segments. All the fiends seemed to patrol down every shaft, bar the one marked in green. This was the safest spot in the mines, if I could get there. I arrived from the north, while my exit awaited to the south (red arrows). 10 grey nuggets were scattered throughout the system, most of them at the end of side shafts. The six westernmost ones were fairly easy. Plenty of shade and the fiends didn’t seem to venture into this area too often, at least not for me. The four to the east were much, much worse. The central hallways going west-east were very bright, and most of the fiends used them frequently. I found a few near-black spots safe from most alerts. However, if a fiend patrolled right into me, they usually gave a growl indicating a first alert. One area against the east side of the middle pillars was probably the best one. It was central and I could monitor most of the key hallways from here.



    Getting to the nugget marked with a blue arrow was hard, and it was a pure nightmare getting back. The entire shaft heading north was bright enough to get caught if someone passed, plus the halls beyond were unpredictable and out of view. I had to guess their locations by listening for footsteps and growling. If a fiend started coming down towards the end of this shaft before I got out, I had to shoot a rope arrow into the wall and hide in the upper corner to avoid an alert (see image). It was only first alert comment, but I was adamant to keeping this portion Supreme clean. I escaped undetected, but only with patience and some luck.

    One area where the fiends tended to get stuck ended up making this whole area easier. They always got crammed into a corner by a pile of dirt in the north (see image below). They would free up on a reload, but sometimes 5-6 of them would be roaming around there. Not sure if other players have had the same thing happen. At any rate, it certainly made my escape less troublesome.



    On my way through the crumpled mines ahead I was forced to trigger a rolling boulder trap. It activated when crossing an invisible tripwire on a steep downslope. Nothing to be done, but another Supreme bust.

    Tricks
    Although a couple of arguable situations lay behind me, in my opinion, I still had the Ghost mode intact. Alas, the inevitable bust came next. The entrance to Tricks necessitated breaking the glassed barrier (see image below). It was a clear example of property damage, explicitly stated in the rules. I had known since the first time I played the mission that this probably would seal the deal. That made it easier to handle, but nevertheless frustrating. Honestly, I don’t understand the reasoning behind forcing the player to break a window here. A monkeyman patrolled the inside, but his route was long and easily outwaited. Although the mission had failed the Ghost, I at least wanted to complete the map with no second level alerts.



    Another piece of loot had to be skipped in the first section to the east. A tomb was sealed by two locked doors, only accessible by sword bashing (see image). One of the doors was permanently left open, while the other one opened and became frobbable. It could be closed again, but the lock was clearly broken. Both were cases of property damage, and the torc worth 350 gold was thus avoided. An easy skip.

    The only tough area remaining was the temple, or at least that’s what I called it. It was a circular room with a three-pillared division in the middle. The northern end held an elevated, pulsating holy water font; in the south was the exit to a lower garden, defended by a lone, stationary monkeyman. Patrolling around the central pillars were an apebeast and two will-o’-the-wisps. The ape could patrol both directions and turn around at set points. One of the wisps had a clockwise route around the pillars, at eye level or so. The other wisp I couldn’t figure out. I seemed completely random in its movements. It never left the temple, but other than that it floated all over the place, even vertically. Above the garden entrance were two raised plateaus that eventually accessed two chests with loot in a couple of side tunnels. The intended way to reach them was to shoot the mana seed from the adjacent tomb with a holy water vial, and then climb the spouting tree. Problem was this alerted everybody and usually ended up killing the monkeyman. The seed getting hit let out what seemed like a fireball, which made too much noise. If I was to get the loot up above worth 600, I’d have to figure out something else. Unfortunately, there were no spots to attach ropes. Also, whatever I did I had to be extremely careful around the monkeyman. While the wisps were around, the slightest speed enhancement set them off. I was safe right at the edge by the garden drop-off, or directly on the south side of the large, central pillar. The wisps illuminated a certain radius around them, but they didn’t get close enough to either of those spots.



    How about a stack? I had picked up plenty of handy items for that exact purpose. First I tried a stack behind the monkeyman. I needed to get far enough out from the ledge to clear the ceiling frame, then build it from there. However, the wisp lit me up when passing and there was no way to make the entire stack in the time it took for the wisp to patrol one loop. Not even close. Then I thought perhaps I could get on top of the thin walls between the blue pillars. From there I could leap to the plateaus, maybe? I decided to go for this. Making the stack here was no problem. I used 12 potions, 5 vials and 1 fruit. I imagine you could get away with a few less items also. Mantling the ledge was also easy, but the top was metal and the mantling noise alerted the wisp. It also saw me up here when rounding the middle pillar, so I had to make the jump across the gap before it arrived. This just couldn’t be done without a moss arrow, so the gems would have to be skipped for Supreme. When I come to think of it, you can’t stack items on a patrol route for that mode either, and the ape and the wisp did patrol quite close. The moss arrow had to be shot from atop the stack, but I had to make the arrow strike the ledge on the way down, after reaching the top of its trajectory. This was a tough shot to make. I ended up removing 2 items from the stack before getting it, otherwise even the slightest of pullbacks made the arrow hit the ceiling. I could tell it had landed on the top ledge when I saw moss clumps carpet the floor on the south side. Now I could mantle up fine, with no noise whatsoever. As the wisp rounded the corner to the west, I had to mantle and do an angled running jump from the ledge to the outcropping (see image above). I imagine this jump to be impossible in OldDark, but that was none of my concern. I got the hang of it after not too long. Getting both pieces of loot from up here took a lot of sneaking and patience. If I was in view of the wisp, I stood still until it left my view. That was the safest bet. I had to use rope arrows to cross the dips in either side chamber. Luckily, I could attach the ropes from up here and not from the ground below, which I’m sure was the intended approach. I had to use the ledge along the south wall to get to the western side (see image below).



    To get back, I leapt and mantled onto the eastern ledge above the stack. I then dropped back onto the items from above. If fortunate, I’d slide off quietly and land on the small red ledge by the floor. If I had to do this whole setup again, I’d probably make the stack a bit farther away from the wall. If you make it too close, it’s almost impossible to land firmly on top coming from above.

    Another problem arose when leaving the temple. The other non-patrolling wisp had seemingly gotten stuck on the north side between the two westernmost pillars. As soon as I rounded the corner it saw me, no matter how I approached. First I thought I’d have to use another invisio potion, but decided to replay and try again. I found that each time it gets stuck in a random location. I think it was trying to reach an area beyond the pillars, but couldn’t find a logical way around. I played it over until it got stuck in the niche to the right of the holy water font (see image below). I could now sneak out along the base of the font’s pedestal unseen, but even then it was difficult. I managed to avoid needing to use an extra potion at least, which I’m happy about.



    To exit the mission I had to use and leave behind three rope arrows. There is no way to retrieve them and still end the map, so these were more Supreme busts. This remains one of the most astonishing achievements in the creative history of Thief fan missions. Despite not yet having played the other three missions in this campaign, I can honestly say Mines of Margroth already has become one of my favorite maps of all time. And given the amount of years I’ve been playing this game, that’s impressive.

    Notes
    - Skipped 4 diamonds worth 800 on one of the mining carts in the starting cave system. Property damage isn’t allowed for any mode.
    - Skipped 10 diamonds worth 1,000 in the fire elemental cave below the hammerite chapel. Opening the panel to access the cave requires the use of two fire arrows. Impossible to do without severe alerts.
    - Skipped the blue gems in the chapel pulpit and outside the hammerite headquarters main entrance for Supreme. They are considered lights sources, and cannot be removed for that mode. Worth 100 total.
    - Got a first alert from the bugbeast lady in the ancient miner’s residence. Our first Supreme bust.
    - Couldn’t return they barracks key after locking the entrance gate to the catacombs. It’s either this or never bringing the key, leaving the gate unlocked. Either way it’s a Supreme bust.
    - Skipped a purse (100) in the north embalming chamber for Supreme. Taking it necessitated at least one first alert from each of the sleeping hammer zombies.
    - Used an explosive charge and a fire arrow to open the gate to the Viper VI crypt in the Hall of Lost Heroes South. A debatable Ghost bust of rule #6. I vote no, as there was neither visible damage nor lasting effect.
    - Skipped a red gem worth 300 in the big fish tank for all modes. I wasn’t sure about the piranhas’ alert levels, but it seemed like they detected me as I entered the pool, so I played it safe.
    - Nudged one of the monkeymen outside Bantar’s lair forward in order to pass safely. A Supreme bust.
    - Used a water arrow to douse a torch in Bantar’s lair. Another Supreme bust.
    - Used the save-and-reload technique to lure Bantar over the edge so he’d get killed by the thieves. Arguably an engine exploit and thus a Supreme bust.
    - Had to skip 3 golden skulls (300) in the Hall of Lost Heroes for Supreme. Taking them required nudging enemies out of the way in order to escape.
    - Had to leave two gates open in Halls of Lost Heroes South. Supreme busts.
    - Took three first alerts, used a moss arrow and an invisibility potion to pass the burricks in the lower mines. Supreme busts. Potions are allowed for regular Ghost, but “frowned upon”.
    - Triggered a rolling boulder just before reaching the Tricks area. Supreme doesn’t allow the activation of traps, so another bust.
    - Broke the window to access the Tricks section. This ended up being the mission’s only Ghost bust, due to property damage.
    - Skipped a torc worth 350 gold in the Tricks section for all modes. Getting it necessitated bashing in two doors, with visible damage to the locks.
    - Skipped two purple gemstones (600) in the Tricks section for Supreme. Reaching them required a big stack very close to patrol routes, plus the use of a moss arrow on a ledge above.
    - Had to leave behind 3 rope arrows in order to reach the mirror room and finish the mission. Supreme busts.
    - Used a walkthrough to find the whistling stone, enter the Viper VI crypt and find Bantar’s lair the first time I played this mission several years ago. Since I used that information to complete this ghost run, I’ll report it as a Ghost busts.
    - The bodies discovered were from the multiple scripted fights in the miner’s town, the hammerite headquarters and in Bantar’s lair; none attributed to me.
    Klatremus' Supreme Thief Site - Walkthroughs, Loot Lists & Ghost Reports
    Let's Supreme Ghost Thief - YouTube Channel with Thief Let's Plays

  19. #69
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    I knew it, you are certifiably insane! My hat's off to you, sir, for even attempting to ghost that one.

  20. #70
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Norway (currently Phoenix, AZ)
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    I knew it, you are certifiably insane!
    I'll take that as the greatest of compliments, Yandros. It's definitely up there among the top 3 craziest Ghosts of my thief career.

  21. #71
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    i need to see you ghosters do dront missions like "plot" /etc then i would be impressed i found his missions very hard even for a skilled player

  22. #72
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Wasn't expecting that

    I look forward to watching it this evening

  23. #73
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Game: Thief Gold
    FM: The Valley of the Burned

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Success
    Supreme Ghost - Failed
    Perfect Supreme - Failed
    Time - 43:38
    Loot - 2765/2765 (Supreme: 2535)
    Pockets Picked - 0/0
    Locks Picked - 0
    Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0, Other Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
    Consumables - 1 water arrow

    Hey, it’s been a while!

    It’s time to Supreme another mission – two missions in fact – The Valley of the Burned and The Widow’s Ire. Released in 2013 as a two-mission campaign for Thief Gold, they were later re-released as a part of a four-mission campaign titled Gems of Provenance. The author, StinkyKitty, is apparently working on three more missions that will complete the story, and I’m eagerly awaiting those.

    It’s important to note that I’m playing Gems of Provenance and not the original Widow’s Ire since the re-released missions contain a few noticeable structural changes. I might also play the other two missions in the campaign later.

    The first mission is pretty straightforward. We have to make our way through the Valley of the Burned, an old hammerite crypt and crematorium complex, into an underground mansion where our main objective is located. However, this journey from point A to point B goes through a pump station, a surreal garden, a haunted mine complex, a Bonehoard-style crypt, and a few more strange and wonderful places. Along the way, we also need to pick up the mask of High Priest Callone.

    The Elevator Shenanigans

    Cleared a couple of side passages on my way to the pump station. Picked up two nuggets and a gold hammer. The only way to get the latter without an alert is through a small window; if I enter the room, the sleeping zombie gives a growl.



    The pump station entrance was my first challenge. There are two guards here. One is patrolling, and the other one is operating the elevator. When I enter the area, a scripted sequence begins: the first guard starts moving towards the elevator and upon reaching it, signals his buddy to move him up. Then, he is supposed to patrol further into the pump station, but in my practice, he does that only if I run past him, use the elevator myself, and send it back before he reaches it. If I follow him and stand on the elevator when the second guard operates it, the patroller simply stations himself there and does not move further. While interrupting the scripted sequence this way might be considered an exploit – though I’d argue that it is not the case – the alternative definitely busts Supreme. While in their scripted sequence, these guards do not give first alerts. However, they give settling remarks later, and it is quite obvious that running past the first guard through a well-lit area and shooting a water arrow into the elevator button next to the second guard would normally yield first alerts from both of them.



    Therefore, I slowly followed the patroller onto the elevator and rode up together with him. Afterwards, he may face either his buddy or the pump station doors. The first option is preferable since otherwise, I would not be able to sneak past him and would have to send the elevator back down. While the mission begins with the elevator in the lower position, I am not the one who raises it, so sending it back down is a Supreme bust in my mind. Thus, I waited for the first guard to face his buddy and entered the pump station. I also checked whether these two gave first alerts, which they did, meaning that they were not in the first alert state. One arguable bust so far, but we’ll have to take a few certain ones later.

    Last edited by marbleman; 4th Aug 2018 at 17:47.

  24. #74
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    The Pump Station

    The lobby is occupied by a pivoting guard in the portcullis alcove and a patroller who walks between here and the machinery room. Inside the machinery room, there are two more guards, one of whom is watching the lobby through the window. There’s barracks to the left and a hatch leading to the machinery room on the right. First, I waited for the portcullis guard to turn away and ducked into the barracks. Dodging the patroller with no real issues, I picked up two goblets and a wine bottle from the kitchen. The captain’s room holds the hatch key, but even though the captain is sleeping, he still gives a first alert when I enter. Were I to take this key, I could drop down into the water and emerge at the bottom of the machinery room, There, I could pick up a gear worth 50, which I have to skip for Supreme, and flip the lever to distact the guard facing down the staircase. Having skipped the captain’s room and the hatch key, exited the barracks.



    Waited for the patroller to leave and opened the portcullis by reaching the lever behind it. To avoid alerts from the window guard, had to creep-crouch-strafe along the back wall – still dodging the pivoting guard and the patroller – all the way to the door into the next room. Surprisingly, and fortunately, I managed to do it with no alerts despite the area being plenty well-lit. However, I had to skip another loot piece, a purse worth 100, in a footlocker behind the window guard. There is no way to enter that room or to reach the footlocker from outside within Supreme rules. For regular Ghost, it's not a problem however.



    In the next room, picked up a purse and exited into a small outside area where two guards were having a conversation. Waited for the archer to leave and slowly approached the ladder to climb up without being seen. From here, I can either drop into water, which alerts the guard below or jump over to the walkway that leads further. The choice is obvious. On the walkway, I also picked up one rope arrow since I’ve started with none of those, and I certainly need at least one. Then, entered a grassy tunnel leading to the crown of a large tree. To avoid being spotted by a burrick, hugged the wall to the right and crept towards an opening down into the garden.

    Last edited by marbleman; 4th Aug 2018 at 17:51.

  25. #75
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    The Garden

    Had to wait until the archer on the walkway below went away before dropping down myself. Managed to avoid taking damage by landing on the edge of the stone fence. Next, roped up the grassy tunnel opposite the walkway.



    First, took the tunnel all the way to the end and picked up a vase and a coinstack. Then, went back to the hammerite warehouse. Above the entrance, picked up three more coinstacks, but could not enter the warehouse through the windows, as the spider saw me instantly. Therefore, dropped down and entered the warehouse from below. Picked a ring from a footlocker and roped up the crate stack on the right. By creep-crouch-strafing along the wall, managed to avoid any alerts from the spider and pick up a gold candlestick through a window. Getting down without an alert was trickier but doable if I approached the edge as slow as possible. Finally, picked up a goblet near the staircase and went all the way back to the walkway with the archer. Passing him with no issues, opened a panel at the end of the walkway and entered the next area.



    Roped up the opening on the left and picked up a pair of glasses. Next, shot a rope above and to the left of the stationary guard below. This is a tricky shot because the rope needs to hang high enough for me to catch it out of his view but low enough to be able to reach it from the ground. Plus, I can’t pull the string all the way back since otherwise, the guard alerts. Waited for the patroller to move away and jumped down. Unfortunately, this is as far as I can get without busting Supreme for certain. I need to move up the stairs, and there is no way to do that without at least a first alert from this guard. In the keep entrance area, timed the three guards to enter the rampart, pick up the compound key, and read the book, which spawns an objective to find the keep key. Afterwards, entered the compound.

    Last edited by marbleman; 4th Aug 2018 at 17:54.

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