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Thread: Missions with the best story development?

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: North Carolina

    Missions with the best story development?

    Being gone as long as I have been, I'm looking forward to the FM's of the last 10 years or so. But what I'm really hoping to find are some great missions with story-development.

    Not necessarily storyline, though. Here's what I mean. A mission may have a great backstory in the README file, and a few readables that set the stage and promise a really interesting story... but then in the end fail to actually develop the story. Instead it just turns into another "find the forbidden cursed book of soul-stealing NecroSorcery" or whatever. Plus, get 1500 loot, because rent.

    Ominous Bequest is my all-time favorite FM because it hits all the story-development notes that I love. The README begins with some basic info: brothers fighting over an inheritance, and a rumored secret mage order. But by the end of the mission, you've got generational curses, suicides, insanity, hauntings, terrifying rope noises in a boarded-up room, and an underground church, and hidden crypts under that and a hidden order of mages under that, each of which adds more awesome details to the story.

    And puzzles. I loved OB's puzzles. They fit in nicely with the story - didn't feel just bolted on.

    I also love it when the story progression of a mission
    • adds new objectives your list, or even better
    • causes mission objectives to change entirely because, wow, that was unexpected


    So... what FM's can I play that will give me that same sense of satisfaction that Ominous Bequest did?


    Here are two I don't need suggested:
    1. Broken Triad, because I'm saving it for later. Surely if Eshaktaar made it, it's gonna be good.
    2. Rose Cottage, because I'm a wimp and don't need a heart attack. Still haven't fully gotten over What Lies Below yesterday (thanks, Yandros)

  2. #2
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    There are a lot of them, actually, but the first one that comes to mind is The Black Frog by GaŽtane. It's the culmination of her Emilie Victor campaign, and is a campaign in its own right. And the story most definitely is furthered and leads to a conclusion. I'll return with more suggestions when I've had a moment to think about it.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Saints and Thieves
    It hits all those points just like Ominous Bequest.
    It's older than 10 years, but if you haven't played it...

    Stones and Glass Houses
    It's been a while since I played it, but I remember the story was captivating.
    Last edited by marbleman; 12th May 2017 at 18:24.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: Texas
    Anything by Lady Rowena has a good story. Adriana was one of the best story writers in the Thief world.

  5. #5
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    I would humbly submit The Drymian Codex which I did in 2013 with Random_Taffer and Tannar. It has a story that is revealed as you play and features several twists and turns which directly impact gameplay and objectives as you requested. Since you had issues with What Lies Below (sorry bout that ), you may want to turn all the lights on when in the haunted portion of the crypt - although it's a small part of the total mission, unlike WLB where that's pretty much all there is.

    And while I'm pimping my own stuff, if you're into the detective noir genre (Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade), I may as well suggest Waterfront Racket which I did with Tannar last year. It's very non-Thiefy since you're playing a private eye, but is also very story-driven.

    I'll also second The Black Frog and anything by Lady Rowena, especially The Seven Sisters.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: North Carolina
    Boy, you tend to forget the names of the missions you played. Or at least I do. I'm quite sure I played all the "Calendra" series, and I would be surprised if I didn't just play everything Lady Rowena made. "Emilie Victor" certainly sounds familiar, but now I'm getting confused with "L'Arsene", which also was a multi-part campaign (as I recall). Bah. I'll have to do some googling and hope I can find familiar screenshots. Of course what's fun can be fun again if you're as forgetful as me, but I might as well concentrate on the ones I know I haven't done.

    (one of those levels had a delightful play in it, as I recall, that involves someone constantly falling over, getting up, acting some more, and collapsing again. I think I watched that play a lot.)

    Anyway, I shall look into every level mentioned here, and hope for more replies! And I shall probably play Sepulchre of the Sinistral! again, although as I recall the walk/run key bindings in Thief Gold are really wonky, and I could never make them work as well as T2 no matter how hard I tried. (Plus, zombies.)

  7. #7
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    L'Arsene, yes. Sorry to confuse you. Emilie Victor is a character, and the name of one of the missions, in the L'Arsene series. So yes, it's the same thing. And The Black Frog is a five mission campaign that is the culmination of the Emilie Victor story.

    And I'll echo Yandros and say that while Waterfront Racket isn't Thief, it satisfies all of your criteria.

    Here are some more for you:

    Godbreaker, by Random Taffer (4 mission campaign)
    Morbid Curiosity by Pukey Brunster
    Coaxing the Spirit by _Dale (this one can be a little scary at times, but there are no zombies)
    When Still by Eternauta (4 mission campaign)
    The Last Lighthouse Keeper by Eternauta
    Sturmdrang Peak by nicked

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2013
    I would also recommend all Eternauta missions. Not all have been mentioned by name yet, they are all excellent.

    If we're talking purely from a story standpoint, The Bathory Campaign is one of my all time favorites and the gameplay is pretty good too.

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Someone needs to mention A Keeper of the Prophecies by frobber. It's possibly the FM/campaign where I was immersed in the story the most. Although the atmosphere was even more immersive.

  10. #10
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Quote Originally Posted by Motley Fool View Post
    . . . as I recall the walk/run key bindings in Thief Gold are really wonky, and I could never make them work as well as T2 no matter how hard I tried.
    Have you tried copy/pasting your T2 user.bnd file to your TG folder? I find TG controls work the same as T2.

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: North Carolina
    A progress report:

    I am now up to level 3 in The Black Frog, the first of the thread recommendations I decided to play.

    I am now worried that that choice might have been a mistake. Where can any other FM's go but down from here? Because, my word, this is an amazingly good campaign! Developing storyline, puzzles, locked doors and towers that tantalize you long before you ever gain access to them, terrifying creatures that are still not too hard to kill... this FM has it all!

    And I believe "Songs and Laughter" is the funniest Thief level I have ever seen. I should have remembered that GaŽtane did that kind of thing before. Just marvelous.

    A request: could someone give me a quick recap of who Emilie Victor is? I'm quite sure I played through that campaign, but I really can't remember who she was. I had in the back of my mind that she was a child, perhaps even the ghost of a dead child... but that clearly seems to be wrong given the context of The Black Frog. How did that earlier campaign end?

    Quote Originally Posted by nickie View Post
    Have you tried copy/pasting your T2 user.bnd file to your TG folder? I find TG controls work the same as T2.
    I have not. It's worth a try. I think the problem was that I used "W" for walking forward, and "[Shift]-W" for running. It works just fine in T2, but when I made that binding in TG there was an oddity about it. I'm probably not remembering it correctly but it was something like "If you're already walking ("W" is pressed), then you cannot press to begin running. You have to release "W", then press and hold [shift], then press "W" again. Again, that might be wrong, but it was something subtle that just keep messing up the muscle-memory of my left hand.
    Last edited by Motley Fool; 15th May 2017 at 22:07.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: Formby, NW England
    Quote Originally Posted by Motley Fool View Post
    Where can any other FM's go but down from here?
    They can travel a different path.

  13. #13
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    Well if you think it can't get better, it does. The 4th and 5th missions are the best IMO. Just spectacular.

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: in your second eyelids
    Quote Originally Posted by Motley Fool View Post
    A request: could someone give me a quick recap of who Emilie Victor is? I'm quite sure I played through that campaign, but I really can't remember who she was. I had in the back of my mind that she was a child, perhaps even the ghost of a dead child... but that clearly seems to be wrong given the context of The Black Frog. How did that earlier campaign end?
    Hehe, I played the L'Arsene campaign myself something like 8 years ago and I don't remember the story too well myself. But I think she was really only in the story in mission 2 - Emilie Victor and I think mission 3 - The Korrigans. The first and the last ones I remember being distinctly about L'Arsene. Yeah, pretty useless overall, but maybe L'Arsene is worth being replayed altogether.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: North Carolina
    Having finished 4 of the levels of The Black Frog, I can now make the following observations:

    • GaŽtane is a big advocate of Garrett eating healthy meals. Food is everwhere! If Garrett leaves a level with less than 13 apples, 6 cucumbers and 3 turkey legs, then he didn't explore everywhere.

    • (Related to that, the healing power of food is amazing. Really, hospitals should get on board with this and stop prescribing so many drugs. "Got a broken leg? Eat this cucumber. If that doesn't heal it, continue eating cucumbers non-stop until you're completely healthy. Bleeding to death from sword wounds? A couple of pieces of fruit will clear that right up.")

    • Who knew that the most terrifying places in the world were old fisheries?! In GaŽtane's fishery, there is apparently absolutely nothing there to hurt you, and I don't ever want to go there again.


    This is a great campaign. I'm playing level 5 slowly now, because I don't want it to end.

  16. #16
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Motley Fool View Post
    ... and I don't ever want to go there again.
    LOL! I felt the same way, even after testing it a gazillion times.

  17. #17
    Desperately dodgy geezer
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: The Wailing Keep
    In one way, the fishery in mission 4 inspired the haunted catacombs in The Drymian Codex.

  18. #18
    Moderator
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Wales
    Quote Originally Posted by Motley Fool View Post
    This is a great campaign. I'm playing level 5 slowly now, because I don't want it to end.
    Like Tannar, even after the complete delight of testing this so many times, I didn't want it to end either. It's just superb.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Georgia
    There are so many good stories! That's why I still play Thief after all these years. The community here is so creative

    I haven't seen it mentioned, but one of the first fan missions I played, Lorgan's Web, really struck me as an amazing fan mission. In fact, I doubt I would have gotten into fan missions all that much if not for that one. Thanks, Shadowspawn!

    Edit: The original post! http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14590

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: North Carolina
    Good evening! I just thought I would give a brief report about my progress through the 5th level of The Black Frog.

    I HATE YOU ALL! ALL OF YOU WHO RECOMMENDED THIS CAMPAIGN! HATRED!! GAAAH! WHERE AM I? WHAT IS THIS NIGHTMARE AND WHY IS THERE SO MUCH BLOOD??! I WILL NEVER GET OUT AND IF I DO I WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN THAT THING IS RIGHT BEHIND ME GAAAAAAH...


    More tomorrow! Good night.

  21. #21
    Moderator
    Registered: Jul 2008


    It's kind of fun reliving this vicariously through you.

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2006
    Location: Antarctica
    Quote Originally Posted by Yandros View Post
    In one way, the fishery in mission 4 inspired the haunted catacombs in The Drymian Codex.
    The torches going out in the catacombs is indeed brilliant, incredible suspense
    Last edited by Tannar; 19th May 2017 at 03:32. Reason: Added spoiler cover

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: North Carolina
    Quote Originally Posted by Tannar View Post


    It's kind of fun reliving this vicariously through you.
    Well, maybe my visit to The Cradle will also entertain you. I have a history of not doing well on creepy levels.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2005
    Location: North Carolina
    Done! That was an intense but delightful campaign. (and more fan missions ought to conclude with end credits/movies!) Very satisfying, especially after I got to dump that creature into the lava pit. (not sure there was a "right" way to do it - I just ran around the pit with him chasing me until he seemed to step into it and die.)

    Anyway, I appreciate the recommendation! For a thread called "Missions with best story development", The Black Frog was right on the money.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2014
    Because of you Motley Fool, I decided to check out this campaign! Unfortunately I don't have much time to play fan missions these days so I only managed to get through Songs and Laughter before having to quit, but it was a very promising start and overall hilarious! Brought back a lot of Thief nostalgia (it's been a while since I've played). Very eager to continue!

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