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Thread: A Thief Retrospective – 25 Years of Hiding in the Shadows

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2021

    A Thief Retrospective – 25 Years of Hiding in the Shadows

    Introduction
    Thief: The Dark Project turns 25 later this year. Back then, I was a kid. Two parents and two homes. I was not running messages or picking pockets to keep my ribs from meeting my spine. My father owned a PC that he had gotten through a deal with his work. I can still see it in my mind: an off-white, large and bulky piece of hardware. I think it was a Hewlett-Packard, or possibly a Dell. It wasn’t the fastest, but it worked, and allowed me to enter worlds I could barely dream of. This PC played a big part of my formative years, as I had just started to move away from the home consoles and instead began exploring what I considered to be “more mature” games.

    A friend had lent me his copy of a game called Thief. My friend had hyped up this cool game where you play as a thief, sneaking around forbidden places and stealing things that don’t belong to you. This sounded like fun, but he also warned me that it was kind of scary. I got even more intrigued.

    I was probably 14 years old at the time and very impressionable. The presence I felt playing Thief was something I have never felt since; how I submerged myself in the game world was never recreated in me while playing other games. Also, the older I got and the more real life distractions came my way, my ability to truly immerse myself in a game weakened. How I experience Thief now still feels faintly familiar, like a hazy memory somewhere deep inside my brain. But mostly it feels different. Almost new. Those sensations I had as a teenager are likely lost to time.

    This is probably true for everything in life and not just games. It’s probably just a sad part of growing up. Nearing the big 40, I find myself thinking about this a lot. I have never been able to find or create a life where I have that sense of joy or hopefulness that I had as a child. Everything just feels… less. Again, this happens to everyone to some extent, and it’s likely that it’s a bit more severe for me, due to some underlying conditions.

    This text is about Thief, though, and I have recently been replaying these games. Even though I have revisited them before every once in a while between 1998 and now, this playthrough is the first one that has awakened a very strong and very specific sense of nostalgia, even though the sensations are different from how I felt 25 years ago, and despite my personal change in perspective. It turns out that Thief 1 and Thief 2 are still two of the finest and most brilliantly designed games ever made.

    Patches and Mods
    Installing the games was made easy thanks to GOG, and the TFix patch was too easy to install. I don’t know all the technical details, but the NewDark engine feels like a perfect remaster of an old game, where both T1 and T2 are kind of synced to match each other in graphical quality and gameplay mechanics. People also suggested playing with one of several HD mods that are available now. I remember even in the early 2000’s that someone had found a way to port over the higher quality textures of T2, to T1. These new mods do a lot more than that, though.

    At first, I was a bit confused as to which to pick. It turns out, though, that both HDMod and NecroAge act more as overhauls and redesigns than simple upgrades, though, and I did not want to mess with the original aesthetics and look of the games too much. The authors for these mods have done an outstanding job, though, and a lot of people seem to love the new look, so kudos to everyone who has worked on this. There is a third one, called an Enhancement Pack, which doesn’t upgrade all the textures, but seemingly keeps the design as true to the original look as possible. This is the one I prefer, but I didn’t use that, either. So what I ended up playing was the GOG version of the games, with the full TFix 1.27 installed, and nothing else.

    I also installed OpenAL to get the sound quality upgraded, and did some personal configurations of controls and UI size, to make things feel just right. Overall though, I didn’t change much from whatever TFix does by default.
    Being Garrett
    I am immediately shocked by how fluid and responsive the controls feel. I did not recall them feeling this good, and part of that is probably due to TFix, but controlling Garrett feels great overall. There is still some jank with mantling and hanging on to ropes, but sneaking from shadow to shadow, traversing the levels and climbing obstacles, is no problem for me. I also foolishly revisited Thief 3, and I’ll talk more about that later, but the main issue I have with that game is how awful the controls are and how unresponsive Garrett feels. In T1 and T2, however (at least with TFix), Garrett is a pleasure to control.

    Spooky Monsters
    I really struggled getting through this game the first time around. As I said in the introduction, I was very impressionable and had a really easy time immersing myself in a story or setting, and empathizing with the characters involved. Basically, the game was too darn scary! I usually did fine in Bafford’s Manor, and remember loving the gameplay and atmosphere, but already in the second mission, there were scary zombies that moaned loudly and chased me around. I did eventually get past the mines and into the prison, and remember enjoying that part a lot more.

    Little did I know then that the third mission would be nothing but monsters and spooky ghosts. Yes, I was one of those people who hated the supernatural element of Thief, and would instead replay Bafford’s manor over and over again, or eventually get through the Bonehoard on the normal difficulty setting, with brightness set to maximum! The first time I reached Return to the Cathedral, I remember walking up to a door and hearing a bunch of Haunts and Zombies shuffling about on the other side; and I got so scared that I immediately shut down the game and turned on the light in my room. I didn’t go back to the game for several days after that.

    Revisiting these missions today, I have no issue playing them. In fact, I absolutely adore the Bonehoard today, and I consider it a personal favorite of mine – it is extremely well designed and I love trying to find my way in this maze of monsters and traps, hunting for hidden treasures. I get why people are glad to be rid of these kinds of missions in T2, and I was one of them, but nowadays, I miss them. They definitely lended T1 a bit more variety than T2, and to me, that’s definitely a good thing.

    Sprawling Levels
    I don’t remember how I felt about some of the games’ more sprawling levels back in the day, but I definitely enjoy them a lot today. The Haunted Cathedral is brilliant, and I already mentioned how much I love Down into the Bonehoard. One thing that surprised me, though, was that I would end up loving Sabotage at Soulforge as much as I did. I never disliked it when I was younger, but playing it now, I think it’s a masterpiece of design. The mission is absolutely humongous, but so expertly put together, and every room offers a unique challenge that truly tests the player on all the skills they have learned up until then.

    Even more surprising is that I ended up enjoying The Thieves’ Guild mission. There were always exceptions, but the consensus seems to always have been that it might be the worst mission in the game. I don’t know what changed, but the level suddenly clicked for me, this time around. How the restaurant connects to the casino, and how underneath the casino is the guild, which in turn connects to the bosses’ houses via the sewers. Yes, I still got lost a bunch of times, and many rooms feel a bit empty, but in general, it’s a fine mission.

    The Bad Missions
    Surprisingly, there are only one or two stinkers. I was never a fan of Escape, but it works out alright as an introduction to the Trickster’s minions and offers a very different biome than what you are used to; something you got a taste of during The Sword, but that is expanded here, as a warm-up for the final mission. In-between this and Into the Maw of Chaos, though, you have Strange Bedfellows. That mission is still miserable to play, and what I would consider the only truly bad level of the first game.

    As for the second game, I remember it feeling more even throughout, offering very few objectionable moments. I’m having a good time in all the missions. Ambush and especially Trace the Courier can feel a bit frustrating at times, sure, but in general, they are nice levels. This is still the case, and I’d say T1 offers higher highs but lower lows, compared to T2. There is a case to be made, however, for Casing the Joint being a bad mission.

    I never thought about it until now, but this mission is basically an unfinished version of Masks. That means you are having an incomplete and worse experience than if you were playing what I’d call the “real” mission. So you are having a bad or mediocre time playing through it, and worse still, it harms the experience you will have with Masks next. You have already been through this house and seen almost all it has to offer, but you still have to do it again. I consider Casing the Joint a bad mission because it makes the otherwise good mission that follows it feel worse to play. I will be skipping this mission in the future, that’s for sure, and go straight for Masks instead.

    The Great Missions
    Most of the missions I remember being fantastic, are still fantastic. Bafford’s Manor is the perfect first mansion level, and the concept is developed further and refined in Assassins, only to be turned on its head as it culminates in The Sword. All three of these are expertly crafted missions and still rank among my favorites in the series. Song of the Caverns is still great, as well. I mentioned before that Down into the Bonehoard has found its way into my heart and I have a newfound appreciation for how well designed The Haunted Cathedral is. Both of those rank very high for me.

    From the second game, the first mission doesn’t feel as interesting and fun to explore like Bafford’s Manor, but I guess that’s partially because it was meant to act as a tutorial of sorts; it just feels a bit too simple. I really like Shipping and Receiving, though. I always did, but I got the sense that it was never anyone’s favorite. I don’t know why I like it, and maybe it’s tied to some form of nostalgia I feel for this level, but I always enjoyed the warehouse setting and how all the areas interconnected. Framed is a masterpiece in level design, and has always been a favorite. The same goes for The Bank, of course – both are superbly crafted missions with a high challenge rating and lots to explore. Life of the Party is right up there (lol), possible at the very top, of the best missions of T2. I loved it as a kid, and I love it as an adult.

    Back then, I also often played through the T2 demo mission, which was a bit of a remixed and altered version of LotP. I remember trying to modify the full mission to include some of the objectives found in the demo, and to also replace some of the guard conversations with those of the demo. I guess I thought they were better. I don’t think I ever managed to figure out how to make it work, though. I did fix some inaccessible loot in Kidnap, though! I recall digging around in DromEd, learning how to “Floor it!” or something, to make sure some gemstones would appear above ground rather than underneath it. It seems this bug was fixed along the way.

    Comparing the Games
    Listing my favorite missions like this makes it seem like T2 had a larger amount of great missions, but I still find myself enjoying T1 just a bit more. They are both superb games, and it’s clear that the level designers were more confident when they started work on the second game, but there’s just something… different. It might be the variation that I talked about earlier. T2’s missions are not all the same, but they do feel more sterile and maybe a bit held back, as compared to T1’s. Part of it makes thematic sense, of course, but it also seems like the designers were more willing to experiment and have more fun, designing T1, while their work on T2 felt more focused.

    Whatever the case, the things that make both Thief 1 and Thief 2 such unforgettable classics, are difficult to pinpoint. I’ve talked a lot about good and bad missions, so level design is obviously a factor. We also have the general atmosphere, which is heightened by incredible sound design, ambient music, and the many interactions between NPC’s – as well as Stephen Russell’s unforgettable performance as not only Garrett, but many other amazing characters in the series. Those amazing briefing videos and cutscenes help set the mood before each mission, and it’s one thing I loved to see restored in the mod overhaul for Thief 3 (again, more on that later). The setting of the games is also important. The design of The City and its many factions makes the world feel unique, fascinating, and a little unsettling all at once. It’s not a kind world, and it’s a bit of a scary world, but it’s a world I love to immerse myself in, nonetheless.

    At the end of the day, I love both games more or less equally, but my heart prefers T1 while my brain might prefer T2. If that makes any sense.

    Thief 3
    I was quite active on TTLG during the time leading up to Thief 3 and after its release (my old username was Kindo). I often joined online forums and communities for games I liked, and while I might not have been particularly prolific here, it still had that sense of belonging that I often looked for. I feel naïve now, but I and I think many others here kept our hopes up for Thief 3 being a worthy end to a trilogy. We knew early on that it would be a console game this time around, sure, but we had faith in the developers behind it, and we clung to the hope that it would be alright. Even after the release, when we had the end result in our hands, we kept trying to love and care for it. There were mods released to make the UI less of an eye-sore. There were mods to make the textures look better. Some people were looking into how to fix the AI bug that it had shipped with, which resulted in the AI resetting to lower difficulties after each scene transition.

    A mod overhaul (or compilation of mods, really) has since been released, which combines most of the community’s efforts to fix Thief 3 in one, mostly easy-to-use package. I tempered my expectations – I did not expect a miracle, nor did I even hope for one. I just wanted to check out Thief 3 again and see how it felt to play today.

    Thief 3 is an awful game.

    The worst part, by far, is the controls. None of the responsiveness of T1 and T2 was translated into T3 – instead all movement is clunky and difficult to predict, where even a simple act of performing a standing jump makes me feel queasy to my stomach. I tried flipping on and off various settings in the Sneaky Update, but nothing made moving around the game world feel any less terrible.

    The second worst part is the level design. Even back in 2004 did we moan about how cramped the levels were, and how they were made even smaller by adding a loading zone in the middle of them – one you often had to traverse multiple times in order to complete all the objectives. The mod update removes these zones from missions, but not the City, and even with these loading zones gone, the missions still feel cramped and limiting.

    I did not enjoy a single minute of gameplay, replaying Thief 3. I have no idea why I accepted it back then, and how I managed to play through the game not once but several times after release. I did enjoy most of the story, though, both then and now The new briefing cutscenes in the style of T1 and T2 are a great addition. The general atmosphere is also quite good, where light, shadow, and sound design mostly work wonders for setting the mood (even if most of it carries the same shade of blue). But playing the game was a miserable experience, as I was running back and forth through multiple loading zones in the City, wrestling with some of history’s worst game controls, and suffering an almost total lack of freedom in how to approach any given task.

    I’ve left a note for myself on my PC to never replay this game ever again. In it, I advise my future self to simply read or watch a story recap online instead, but never to replay it myself.

    Mission Ratings
    So instead I will only focus on Thief 1 and Thief 2, whenever I come back to this series. They are both masterful games, full of moments that are unsurpassed even by most games developed today. I’ll round this off with my personal ratings of the missions in these games, as is popular to share on Thief forums.

    Key:
    BAD = I do not enjoy the mission and I never look forward to playing it.
    FINE = I mostly enjoy the mission and I usually have a good time playing it.
    GOOD = I enjoy the mission a lot and I usually look forward to playing it.
    GREAT = I love the mission and always look forward to playing it.

    Lord Bafford’s Manor – GREAT
    Break from Cragscleft Prison – GOOD
    Down in the Bonehoard – GREAT
    Assassins – GREAT
    Thieves’ Guild – FINE
    The Sword – GREAT
    The Haunted Cathedral – GOOD
    The Mage Towers – FINE
    The Lost City – GOOD
    Song of the Caverns – GREAT
    Undercover – FINE
    Return to the Cathedral – GOOD
    Escape! – FINE
    Strange Bedfellows – BAD
    Into the Maw of Chaos –- FINE
    Running Interference – GOOD
    Shipping… and Receiving – GREAT
    Framed – GREAT
    Ambush! – FINE
    Eavesdropping – GOOD
    First City Bank and Trust – GREAT
    Blackmail – GREAT
    Trace the Courier – FINE
    Trail of Blood – GOOD
    Life of the Party – GREAT
    Precious Cargo – FINE
    Kidnap – GOOD
    Casing the Joint – BAD
    Masks – GOOD
    Sabotage at Soulforge – GREAT

    How About You?
    I wrote this because I wanted to get something down in writing about my feelings for Thief, now that we’re nearing the 25th anniversary of the series. But I also was curious to see what everyone else is up to, here on TTLG. What’s been going on here the past 15-or-so years? Were either of you around back when we were waiting for Thief 3, or when we did some unofficial speedruns of certain levels of the games? What do you remember from that time? What games are you looking forward to today? What are some new, cool fan missions to check out?

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2015
    Location: Germany
    I made my first steps in Thief on my Dad´s PC, in my teenage years I got my own PC and played Thief until it had a hardware fault.
    Some years later I found out about Thief 2, the existence of the Thief Community, Fan Patches and found my way back to Thief again in my college years.
    Nonetheless, getting the Thief Games running was hard work. I really enjoyed Thief 2, made a quick progress through the game and then I began playing fan missions.
    Lovely memories, for sure.

    Lord Bafford’s Manor – GREAT
    Break from Cragscleft Prison – GREAT
    Down in the Bonehoard – GREAT
    Assassins – GOOD
    Thieves’ Guild – BAD
    The Sword – GREAT
    The Haunted Cathedral – GREAT
    The Mage Towers – FINE
    The Lost City – GREAT
    Song of the Caverns – BAD
    Undercover – FINE
    Return to the Cathedral – GREAT
    Escape! – GOOD
    Strange Bedfellows – BAD
    Into the Maw of Chaos –- FINE
    Running Interference – GOOD
    Shipping… and Receiving – GREAT
    Framed – FINE
    Ambush! – BAD
    Eavesdropping – FINE
    First City Bank and Trust – GREAT
    Blackmail – GREAT
    Trace the Courier – BAD
    Trail of Blood – GREAT
    Life of the Party – GREAT
    Precious Cargo – GREAT
    Kidnap – GOOD
    Casing the Joint – BAD
    Masks – GREAT
    Sabotage at Soulforge – GREAT

  3. #3
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2021
    Quote Originally Posted by Thinking Robot View Post
    Nonetheless, getting the Thief Games running was hard work.
    Yes, I remember it being quite tricky before we were blessed with GOG. Nowadays it was piece of cake - the game runs just fine with just the GOG version, but applying the full TFix patch was no hassle for me. Apart from the HDMod, the HD upgrades are also just drag and drop, if you want to update the textures.

    Interesting, by the way, that you consider Song of the Caverns a bad mission. It's usually considered a good level by most. What is it about it you don't like?

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2015
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Kapten Teo View Post
    Interesting, by the way, that you consider Song of the Caverns a bad mission. It's usually considered a good level by most. What is it about it you don't like?
    There are multiple reasons I didn´t like Songs of the Caverns, but you see I didn´t like any other TG missions either.
    In my opinion these TG missions seemed to be hastily made, had large chunks of empty, uninteresting space, almost like Casing the Joint from T2.
    I didn´t like the cavern layout or the opera setup itself, the main hall was just a big chunk of empty space, presenting in only a single texture. The same goes for the caverns. In comparison to the caves of the Lost City or the Bonehoard these caves were really boring.
    Also I liked the adventurous design of most Thief 1 missions like the Bonehoard, the Sword, the ruined old quarter from The haunted Cathedral or the Lost City.
    A cave exploration sounded great for me, this could had been the only mission away from civilisation, just the wilderness.
    Imagine to descent further and further in a cave system full of plants, maybe waterfalls and lots of craybeasts or spiders. Not as the Lost City was, just pure wilderness. Like Trail of Blood from Thief 2, but as a cave mission. That would had been much more fitting than the Opera layout.
    Maybe remove the Downwinder Thieves Guild from the game (another awful mission) and swap it with the Opera mission as a single one without caverns, but refurbished.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2021
    I see. I partially agree, and I did feel before that both Thieves' Guild and The Mage Towers were kind of sloppy and uninteresting (I appreciate them more today), but Song of the Caverns always felt solid to me, and today I really like it. Your idea for how to make a more interesting cavern mission sounds intriguing, though.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Point Nemo
    Quote Originally Posted by Kapten Teo View Post
    I see. I partially agree, and I did feel before that both Thieves' Guild and The Mage Towers were kind of sloppy and uninteresting (I appreciate them more today)
    Thieves' Guild feels a little weird at times and maybe far too big but still a fun and frustrating mission to play through over and over again. The Mage Towers was far too large in scale in my opinion and was only interesting and fun when you got into each tower. It was insanely difficult for me to play through each tower the first time but I had not developed the same gameplay skills that I have now. These days the towers seem pretty simple and easy to get through even when I forget most of the areas and how to get around them.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: May 2018
    I remember back at the end of 1998 or the beginning of 1999 we(parents and me) bought the Eurobox version of Dark Project - der Meisterdieb(so, the german version) in a store dedicated for games in a run-down area in Berlin near the metro station Frankfurter Tor. Before that, IIRC I played a demo version that was on a gaming mag.
    Yeah, back then there were privately owned and operated game stores. Long gone now of course thanks to gentrification!

    The only thing left of my original copy of the game is the CD with scratches and the rather rough-handled booklet...well, the rest was lost in time . Thanks to ebay I got myself various better preserved copies with big box, including the then rare Gold edition.

    I played TDP first on the familys PII PC. The load times were sometimes abysmal. After getting a PC with Celeron III things improved vastly.

    Still, I remember some oddities. I swear I blowed the tail of a burrick off with a mine in Haunted Cathedral. But then it was just the glitchy OD engine. I also thought at first glance the training partner in Training was supposed to be made out of cardboard because he looked so boxy. Until I saw the Bafford guards looked the same . I also remember when I was stumbling around in Undercover that a Hammerite slinged Garrett high up into the air!

    Got the Eurobox for Thief 2 on sale later then. I thought it was lost and bought a 2nd copies years later, then I found my original one, haha!

    How do I remember the games?

    Well, TDP was a bit of a love-hate relationship for me...as impatient teenager. I switched then to rather playing Carmageddon and splattering grannies and cows for a while .

    Things improved when I got Thief Gold and 2 around 2002, and beat them on expert.

    Regarding the extra content of Thief Gold, overall I like the new levels, even if Thieves Guild can be really annoying. I like Mage Towers for the atmosphere, and Song is also alright.

    In regards of liking levels, I´m ok with all of them, but sure there are some I don´t like much. Lost City is kinda annoying with all the climbing and finding ways around the destroyed paths, so...not the biggest fan.
    I also can dislike Haunted Cathedral for the annoying "sawing" sound that is constantly played in the open areas. While I like the OST overall this is really obnoxious and I have to say I´m on the edge of detesting this sound piece.
    Return is another story. I used to play it with the skip tricks, first time I played it the way it is intended was 2019. Maybe it was good as I saved this experience for later years, so I could enjoy the atmosphere there. It´s a great level I now admire.

    Thief 2, while I like the game overall, I still don´t like it as much as Thief 1. I like the atmosphere of 1 better. Also I found it silly that they placed female guards in the game. Makes not much sense and is unrealistic.
    My biggest issue is the story of the endgame, which is not really that good. I mean, playing in Gervasius mansion two times in a row doesn´t make so much sense. Why routing this place if Garrett didn´t that before?
    Later I read that they had to cut parts of the story which then were meant for the never released Gold edition. Makes a bit sense. So we never will really know how the servants work(necromancy was suggested) and other things.
    To be honest, I also didn´t like the overall "let´s work together" stuff with Victoria. Ok, the idea of joint forces sounds good, but then it´s just mostly bickering between Garrett and Victoria, and some of the errands are questionable.
    Party is a great mission, yeah, but all this effort for finding out about the stupid submarine Cetus Amicus? While I like the levels and even the former annoying Lost City is ok to play now, for me it doesn´t make much sense. They find out about the submarine, only that it becomes forgotten shortly after that, then we have the kinda half-hearted revelation of the masks and then the big finale is already there? TBH, I really have the impression LGS didn´t know which direction to take after a while working on the game. Consider that the demo with Party suggests some other things(Truart not dead and such things).
    That being said, despite the weaknesses T2 still is a great game.

    In regards of HD mods, TBH I don´t like them. I appreciate the effort, but they are just too different from the original style. Therefore, I decided to ditch them. Only expection is T2X necro age, as this is fan content anyway and the NPCs there look too low-res even for 2005(I prefer the Necro version). I grew up with even more pixelated games like platformers with MIDI music, Lands of Lore and Warcraft 1, so I surely can handle the Thief look.

    Thief 3, well, in 2004 at first I liked the demo. I still thought they would bring a fully localised version. Then, due to cost-cutting they didn´t. Well, in retrospect it wasn´t that bad. For some odd reasons Eidos seemed to have taken a liking on Torsten Michaelis, actor and voice actor(who also is the german voice for Wesley Snipes). The stupid thing was he voiced Garrett in the TG missions, so the game has two Garrett voices. And he voiced Garrett in T2. He even was hired as voice of Agent 47 of the Hitman series.
    While I like his voice he isn´t the best choice. I just can´t unhear Wesley Snipes in the movies! The voice actor for TDP was much better for the role of Garrett...but well.

    But back to TDS. To be honest, I never really liked it. My criticism from back then still is the same. Too small levels, too much changed game mechanics, you can kill on highest difficulty...nah.
    And the story is kinda hamfisted. The GTA-like city is more a nuisance than everything else. And there still remains the big plot hole that the hammerites don´t get hostile at Garrett after he destroys the clocktower(which is also just...WTF?) because he just killed some rust-mites for them. Eeeh?
    Also, even if it´s a minority opinion, I don´t like the Cradle at all. It just doesn´t fit into the game. For me it´s a breach of style.

    I gave TDS a 2nd chance some years ago, and to have it played with 100 % loot on expert. Well, I have no real desire to play it again. It has it´s moments, but chances were botched.

    In regards of language choice, while I occasionally still play the localised games and like some voices even more than the original voice actors(I learned later that Stephen Russell voiced many characters which is a bit odd IMHO) I´m now used to the english version. I´m considering to change the translated files of the german version - I want a more consistent style, especially with the polite form of adress. It´s just a mess, they mixed Ihr(the outdated version) with Sie.

    Thief 4? Nah, don´t get me started. I already posted why I didn´t like it. I also highly doubt there will be a commercial Thief game ever again. The gaming landscape has changed too much. I just want some old-fashioned and slower paced stealth. Not swooshing, hour-long tutorials and all that kind of nonense.

    Thankfully, the fan content is a nice addition to it. I discovered and played T2X in 2019 and still like it. Even if these are two very different games, it´s also a gread addition like the Eternal Damnation mod for Postal 2(another favourite of mine).

    Well, Postal 2 got 20 years old this year, and they added some nice additions to it(kudos to RWS!). Unfortunately we know it will not happen to Thief...

    I´m also grateful for TDM. If there is a worthy spiritual successor, here it is!

    So, that´s my thoughts on Thief after around 25 years. Let´s see what will become.
    Last edited by Udo; 17th Sep 2023 at 05:45. Reason: Corrected some typos

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2001
    Location: Marlboro, MA, USA
    I rarely read these sorts of things all the way through, but I kept agreeing with so much you said Udo! Thank you! T1 > T2, TDS not so great, T4 not good, TDM great, etc
    The Keep for Thief 1 and 2 FMs, Shadowdark for Thief 3 and Dark Mod FMs

  9. #9
    Hoo boy! I know exactly what you mean about a mission just "clicking" suddenly, because this is what happened to me with Mage Towers on my last playthrough.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2018
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by Komag View Post
    I rarely read these sorts of things all the way through, but I kept agreeing with so much you said Udo! Thank you! T1 > T2, TDS not so great, T4 not good, TDM great, etc
    Same here, usually not a fan of these posts but this one is great ! A pleasure to read

  11. #11
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2021
    So, that´s my thoughts on Thief after around 25 years. Let´s see what will become.
    Thanks for the reply and sharing your own experiences with the series. Nostalgic stories of how people discovered Thief are just what I wanted to hear. I love the fact that you thought the guard in the training mission was made of wood!

    What I found curious though is that you find the idea of women guards in Thief 2 to be "silly" and that it's unrealistic. Why doesn't it make sense to you to employ women to guard estates or act as police officers in a world rife with crime?

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2022
    What levels from Deadly Shadows do you consider good/great and why?

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Point Nemo
    Quote Originally Posted by weylfar View Post
    What levels from Deadly Shadows do you consider good/great and why?
    Is that a real question?

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2022
    Quote Originally Posted by mxleader View Post
    Is that a real question?
    Yes. I really liked Moira's mansion.

  15. #15
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2021
    Well, like I wrote in my original post, Thief 3 doesn't have a single good mission. I was more forgiving 20 years ago, but even then I felt the missions were lackluster. It's mainly the tiny size of them all and the horrible controls. Nothing in the game is enjoyable to me, even if a few missions at least have a nice atmosphere to them. Moira's mansions is one of them, that you mentioned, and the Cradle also has a good vibe to it. I still don't like playing them, though. In general, the entire game just feels wrong.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Point Nemo
    Quote Originally Posted by weylfar View Post
    Yes. I really liked Moira's mansion.
    I was joking.

    But really?

    No, just kidding.

    The cradle has to be my favorite but that's also where I stopped playing the game and went back to playing FM's from T1 and T2. TDS could have been a better experience if it hadn't been so weighted towards console users and more towards the PC, but I get why they did that. The atmosphere and maps are pretty cool to wander around and do Thiefy things but the constantly regenerating AI and loot made for too much repetition. And everyone hates a visible loading zone. You have to do far to many system adjustments to remove all the features meant help new players to the series for it to not be annoying. The graphics were great but then there were no rope arrows and suddenly Garrett was allergic to water. There were moments when I got that sneaking fear and outright scares that T1 and T2 offered in the early days but those moments were often ruined by glowing loot and other things. A couple of weeks ago I sat and watched YouTube walk through videos of all the missions past the Cradle and I don't feel that I lost anything by not finishing the game. The buy and sell shopping feature was also pretty annoying to me. I'm sure the game appealed to some people but it was just too far removed in style, game engine features and time from the first two to really grab and keep my attention. Oh and I had to build a new PC back then just to play the game when my old PC played everything else I owned just fine. I haven't played it on a console and maybe the experience is better on those platforms.

  17. #17
    New Member
    Registered: Nov 2023
    I too love the Bonehoard mission. Partly because it was so very different from the first mission but it was one of the first missions to portray the City as more than just manors to be looted. It gave a sense of bigness to the Thief world

    Anyway....

    Lord Bafford’s Manor – GOOD. Okay I know I'm risking borderline heresy here but Baffords is basically a good level. What makes it great to many is it was the first taste of Thief so it has a special place in peoples hearts. The music is great too. Especially the upper level music.
    Break from Cragscleft Prison – FINE.
    Down in the Bonehoard – GREAT
    Assassins – GREAT
    Thieves’ Guild – BAD. Just too maze like for my taste and sewers are ugly.
    The Sword – GREAT. Especially the giant furniture room!
    The Haunted Cathedral – GOOD
    The Mage Towers – GOOD
    The Lost City – GOOD
    Song of the Caverns – GOOD
    Undercover – GOOD
    Return to the Cathedral – GREAT
    Escape! – FINE
    Strange Bedfellows – BAD
    Into the Maw of Chaos –- FINE
    Running Interference – FINE
    Shipping… and Receiving – GOOD
    Framed – GOOD
    Ambush! – FINE
    Eavesdropping – GOOD
    First City Bank and Trust – GREAT
    Blackmail – GOOD
    Trace the Courier – FINE
    Trail of Blood – FINE
    Life of the Party – GREAT
    Precious Cargo – FINE. The bit with the submarine though was far too James Bond for my liking.
    Kidnap – GOOD
    Casing the Joint – FINE
    Masks – FINE
    Sabotage at Soulforge – Either GREAT OR BAD depending on my mood!


    I've never played Thief 3 or 4 to be honest.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Point Nemo
    Quote Originally Posted by LordBooford View Post
    Strange Bedfellows – BAD
    I don't think it's bad myself. It's definitely strange and slightly annoying to play though. I'm watching a play through right now on YouTube because I don't feel like playing the game right now.

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