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Thread: TDP20AC Mission ó Rose Garden (11/30/2018)

  1. #151
    Registered: Feb 2006
    Location: Nulli Secundi
    What an amazing mission!! Four and half hours of exploring, climbing, exploring, searching, finally achieving one objective after 3 hours, and then persevering through to the end! Never became bored and always new things to find and see. 10 out of 10!

  2. #152
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Land of enchantment
    Does anybody know what this thing is and what I can do with it, other than admire it?

    I found it in Cistern Court. A water arrow stops the fireball and leaves red gas balls, but I can't make it do anything useful.
    Last edited by smithpd; 5th Jan 2019 at 03:59.

  3. #153
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: MalmŲ, Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by smithpd View Post
    I found it in Cistern Court. A water arrow stops the fireball and leaves red gas balls, but I can't make it do anything useful.
    This is one of the many 'suspected red herrings' I asked about earlier. It's only there to taunt/confuse us.

  4. #154
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Quote Originally Posted by HauntHunter View Post
    I've looked everywhere I can think to look around his house. Spoil me please!!!
    Look high up.

  5. #155
    Registered: May 2005
    Another spectacular mission in the contest! This one is incredibly large. It just keeps going. Up until the end, I was never sure how many areas I had left to explore. Vertical climbs, dangerous jumps and crawling through narrow passageways make this Hightowne district exceedingly difficult to navigate. There are also lots of hidden areas to discover. I felt I really had to work hard for all the trinkets I collected along the way.

    I finished on Normal without hints and without sustaining any wounds in just over 5 hours. The real playtime was probably around 8 hours. Got 3112 of 4319 total loot. If I were to replay the mission, I am sure there would be many areas with more loot I have yet to discover. At least I found the hidden rooftop memorial for Lady Rowena, MsLedd and Sir Taffsalot and the room in Cistern Court that is unlocked with the key from Rose Garden.

    One question to the author: Am I supposed to pull levers and pick locks through metal grates in this mission? I was running in circles at around the 3 hour mark. Just when I was about to give up, I noticed I could highlight a lever through a gate when I was approaching it from the right angle. This opened the area of the Hammerite prison. I repeated the same approach with two more gates later on.

  6. #156
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    No, you are not supposed to. Every location is accessible in a fair way.

  7. #157
    Registered: May 2005
    Alright, I will play it properly should I ever replay this mission. I must say glitching through the gates improved my experience the first time though. Walking in circles for an hour with no progress had become frustrating. Finally being able to move on to the next area was quite a relief then.

  8. #158
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2019


    This mission sent me mad, my gameplay counter listing 8 hours at the end but in truth it's probably more like 10-12 maybe even 14. I couldn't work out how to get to the end building for ages and it drove me nuts, making me explore every other inch of the map and uncover everything. At the end I felt very accomplished and feel like I've learnt everything I need to know about advanced thieving (particularly now mega accurate diagonal jumping). A clear winner for me, currently (12/23 played so far). Still 1000 loot off though...crazy!

  9. #159
    Registered: May 2010
    i'm stuck,Bernalt doesn't do anything,he's just standing in front of a building on thin alley?is that where i'm suppose to proceed?
    or was i following the wrong one?great mission so far...

  10. #160
    Registered: May 2010
    maybe i should aks what does Bernalt look like? is wearing yellow? or is he the bald guy in grey?
    i found baldie dead in the streets,but the mission still goes on...

  11. #161
    Registered: May 2005
    Bernalt is wearing a blue tunic with a grey hood, brown trowsers and light-brown gaiters. Most notably, he is wearing glasses.

    Shortly after you ring the bell, he leaves Hightowne Archive, which is right next to the belltower, and walks through the streets to Grandmauden manor.

  12. #162
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: The Netherlands
    How do I get the gem in the vault. If I shoot a holy water arrow it get's stuck into the air.

    Never mind, the fourth time around it worked. I reloaded.
    Last edited by Gloria Creep; 11th Jan 2019 at 16:25.
    There're angels who playThief and angels who don't ........ both go to heaven ............
    Dare to join .............

  13. #163
    Registered: May 2005
    I did not get the gem in the vault in my playthrough, but the issue with arrows getting stuck in mid-air resolved whenever I reloaded the mission.

  14. #164
    Registered: May 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    Bernalt is wearing a blue tunic with a grey hood, brown trowsers and light-brown gaiters. Most notably, he is wearing glasses.

    Shortly after you ring the bell, he leaves Hightowne Archive, which is right next to the belltower, and walks through the streets to Grandmauden manor.
    Thanks.i found him in the manor.but he was already dead.
    poor bastard

  15. #165
    Registered: Mar 2018
    The second run (ghosting run) is usually faster than my first ďfiguring out where to go and what to doĒ run. This time it was different. This mission took me 5 stat hours, but in reality with all these reloads it was probably 7 or 8 hours. The first time I played, I had huge problem with navigating this city. The map wasnít really helpful. There is so many scribbles and I had a problem to notice where are streets and where are walls on this map. Thatís why I used it the least as possible. My ghosting run wasnít that confusing. Still I donít like a map, but from the first time I remembered the paths pretty well. And still it was the longest run so far.

    Partially the reason for that is the fact that I was fixated about loot. The first time I explored everything, but still got barely enough loot. So I decided to look very carefully everywhere to get as much loot as possible. I was also worried that some loot will be impossible, because it will alert some NPC. I was wrong. I managed to finish loot objective in Rose Garden and I still had 3 big area to explore. I finished this mission with 3544 loot and there is still so much to find.

    The second reason is guards. Their patrols are short and tight. Even though most of the time itís just 2 guards at once itís still tough. Guards are easily alerted, just a second in medium light in front of them or short sound on noisy floor is enough to second alert them. Not only that their placement is really strategical and also their range of seeing is really big. Another thing to worry is that they are placed on different levels. Sometimes when you are high above street, guards walking on street can still notice you. Sometimes I even got ambushed from unexpected direction (for example archer walking on Lord Haskell bridge noticed me when I was jumping on the left or walking on the ramp below him). But there is one advantage Ė guards usually canít see you when you are crouching in full shadow.

    This mission is really tricky and I love it. Mortesaigues Manor was really tricky. I was forced to use 1 moss arrow on the little balcony to retrieve rope arrow without making any noise. That was the only moss arrow I used, I didnít use water arrow except holy water arrow on cursed gem. I didnít douse any candles. I douse light mushrooms though, but mostly because it was easier to blindly frob everything. Al-Asri tower was pretty tough as well. I was forced to go behind archer and quickly hide in the shadow near his standing point. The second archer across was also tricky. By the way is there a key to door in the separate little area under this archerís patrol point?

    Rose Garden was probably the toughest place with 4 guard and bartender woman. It was really hard to ghost. Burrick was surprisingly easy to deal with. Escorting Bernalt was surprisingly easy. I managed to do that on my first try. Grandmauden was also tough. At the beginning I was scared by ghosting the thief and guard patrolling long balcony leading to the window. But it went really well. Unfortunately opening ventilation grate wakes up sleeping woman. Is it a second alert or first? I donít know. I assume itís first, but Iím not entirely sure. Later I discovered that lever of the gate leading out of the library can be activated through wall, but I was too tired to redo the whole Grandmauden.

    Haskell Manor unfortunately activated haunts. To my surprise sound of the curse alerted guard, so I waited for him to go farther. Originally I planed to use a bridge and Skull Secret shortcut, but I forgot about that. I used door to outside and unfortunately activated fight between haunt and guard. So thatís 1 body count for me. Plus all NPC became extra twitchy. Citizen were randomly starting to ran away and I couldnít move in full shadow, because guard nearby would immediately attack me even when I was crouching behind him. So I went left through tavern, then through whole Mortesaigues again, then jump to the Al-Asri tower and jump across the street where roof access was located. But I closed that passage, because I thought that it will not be needed. So instead I dropped onto red roof and dropped on the street. Thatís a shortcut I discovered the first time I played. Then I should use my shortcut onto wooden bridge to the Skull shortcut, but instead I went north on the street. I noticed drunken guard, so I dropped onto lamp below and then on the street. And after this overly complicated detour I went to Stonemarket.

    I have no idea if going through the bridge donít activate fight between haunt and guard. Last minute thought: there is note in Master Forger about destroying curse by blessing. But there is also a note about destroying an effect with fire. I wonder if shooting fire arrows at pedestal around safe will disable spawning of the haunts. I wonder if itís possible and I wonder if itís actually possible to shoot fire arrows without alerting guards.

    I managed to help thief this time and also found hidden cemetery. Though I think it was unitended way Ė by climbing steep metal roof. I also managed to get secret gas arrow at the rooftops. I did it again probably unintended way. I roped up to big tree above corpse with 2 gold nuggets.

    This was really interesting and long mission. What annoyed me though was bugs. It was really annoying to try to rope to a place and this bug with arrow stuck mid-air or I couldnít drop items. Luckily reload fix the problems, but while ghosting it appeared many times. I also donít like that haunts are fighting with guards. I would prefer if they would cooperate with them, just like they cooperate with thieves. And one more thing Ė after picklocking Lord Haskellís gate, I can lock it with lever. If I go quickly outside without getting Vault Key and finishing cursed gem objective, I get permanently stuck. I canít pick the lock again, because itís in the open state and I canít reach the lever through wall.

  16. #166
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Thanks for your detailed comments, Galaer!

  17. #167
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: France (Saint-Gobain)
    Replaying this mission on expert, there's only one goal left for me, and its's getting on my nerves , iīm suppose to get the golden plate from Master Forger's house , but iīm not sure i was able to identify its building, iīve check the map, and still iīm not sure, iīve been trying to find a way in , but i can't, i found a closed door in a narrow balcony but it needs a key. how do i get inside the Master Forger's house ?

    Nevermind... i understood better now the map, i was in the wrong building, found the right one and complete my goal
    Last edited by Cardia; 21st Jan 2019 at 18:59.

  18. #168
    Registered: Jan 2009
    Expert, 3:18, 3632/4319 loot. Man, talk about interconnected. Other people's comments made me afraid of getting overwhelmed and stuck at the beginning, so I decided to play naturally and explore whatever route seemed most interesting at the moment without worrying about missing stuff, and the mission flowed pretty well that way. I had to take notes on points of interest to return to later, but the backtracking was fairly painless thanks to the gates that open up connections to previous areas. Even more so than Disorientation, this mission captures that "just passing through" feeling where you never know what neat little area you'll pop your head into next. A door in the attic leads to a garden, then an air vent, then a broom closet, then the rafters of a bar, then a secret passageway behind the throne room, that kind of feeling. Small atmospheric details and loot were expertly placed, which is no surprise considering the author. I also appreciated the lack of a no-kills objective on Expert, because I like to try to fight my way out of trouble if a make a small mistake instead of quickloading.

    I did encounter the object limit bug (arrows freezing in midair) but I only had to restart the game once to fix it, so it didn't ruin my playthrough.
    Last edited by Wormrat; 4th Feb 2019 at 23:12. Reason: spoiler tag

  19. #169
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU

  20. #170
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    Location: Essex, UK

    I can hear him singing!

    I'm in Dead Cat Alley, near Thin Alley and I can hear a drunk singing and hiccupping but I can't find him! I think he's up high as the higher I go the clearer I can hear him but just can't find him. There was a gold goblet on a windowsill over Thin Alley, accessible by mantling a statue but I can't get higher in this area and this is where he's loudest, Is he findable? Can anyone help?!

  21. #171
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: MalmŲ, Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Thiefcat View Post
    I'm in Dead Cat Alley, near Thin Alley and I can hear a drunk singing and hiccupping but I can't find him! I think he's up high as the higher I go the clearer I can hear him but just can't find him. There was a gold goblet on a windowsill over Thin Alley, accessible by mantling a statue but I can't get higher in this area and this is where he's loudest, Is he findable? Can anyone help?!
    Yes - he is high up on roofs.

    It's somewhat difficult, but you can get up near the door you need a skull to open.

  22. #172
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2018
    Location: Essex, UK
    Quote Originally Posted by jiansonz View Post
    Yes - he is high up on roofs.

    It's somewhat difficult, but you can get up near the door you need a skull to open.
    Ah the skull! Thank you! Just remind me where the skull is again?

    I had been to that door and read the inscription but then got sidetracked by the rest of this epic city!

  23. #173
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Comments on the mission, courtesy of Yandros. I haven't read them yet, but here they are. Thanks to everyone who has played it, and taken the time to post impressions on it!

    "Great atmosphere, this city really looks like a place where something terrible happened.

    The gameplay is very classic but still good.

    But above all, the story is tell perfectly. It's rating shall be (26/30)"

    this mission was epic,had alot of stuff to do and see,must play for any thief fan

    "This is, hands down, the best FM I've ever played. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this flawless city mission, it does everything incredibly right.

    Melan's depiction of Hightowne is dark and tall, with several gothic and industrial-looking buildings. Castles, courts, greenhouses, gaudy palaces, oriental/Calendra's Cistern-looking spires, pubs, overlook restaurants and plazas... this mission has it all. The winding streets and tall structures create a very oppressive atmosphere, which is reinforced by the choice of textures and especially the use of sound. The titular Rose Garden is a moody and sinister location that sees very little human activity, and is quite unsettling in its own right.

    As usual with Melan, you will climb everywhere in this mission. While relatively linear and funneling until you reach your contact in Rose Garden, the mission drastically opens up later and you can go pretty much everywhere you like. The mission loops around quite a lot and it is easy to get disorientated until you get your bearings. The player starting in the middle of town also contributes to this. The main objective with the hired muscle is quite fun and interesting, and works relatively well overall (though making a hard save before ringing the bells is a good idea).

    Story-wise, this is also quite flawless with a dark, pulpy noir story and excellent reading material. Every stone in Hightowne has a story to tell. Often dark, sometimes mysterious but always interesting. As you can imagine, I had an absolute blast playing this mission and I cannot not give it the best score. A masterpiece."

    Great city mission with plenty of places to explore and a great variety in environments. Atmosphere is top notch, the story is interesting and there are some unusual elements in its gameplay. It felt a bit too linear at the beginning though, as there is only one path to progress at first until you finally manage to open the locked gates throughout the district.

    Insufficient clues, unhelpful map. too many readables. Gave up.

    7 hour 43 min to finish. Wow. The true and deep spirit of Thief is here. so many things to do and to see !!! i'm amazed. i've spend better times in this mission than in thief 4. Bravo

    The only real complaint I have is the difficulty I had in navigation, and the number of readables I ended up with in my inventory. It was otherwise stellar work.

    A masterfully created FM any way you look at it. However there are too many readables and many of them are too long. Also some of the paths are too circuitous. I had to climb on top of the buildings (areas with no footstep sounds) to gain access to Humphrey's and Haskell's because that was easier than locating the intended routes.

    Loved the big areas of city exploration but didn't love the large amount of rope work and "find the place you need to jump to". Also, the "protect the person" goal of later portion of the mission was different. In general, lots of ropework and having to protect civilians that enemy are trying to attack are not my cup of tea. That said, this was a well-done mission in terms of the city areas and secret areas all over the place.

    "Finished, almost 3 hours of gameplay, What an amazing experience i had with this one, The map is giant and so beautiful, an insane level design that made the scenarios stand out in a very dynamic way, warm atmospheres everywhere, sweet enjoyable gamelplay, interesting readables, ambient sounds well chosen and well placed, beautiful constructions that creates a magical scenario. Gabor thank you so much for making this gemstone, i hope youīll do more beauties like this one for thief 1/G or thief 2
    my score for this mission is 9 out of 10.
    THANK YOU !!!"

    "A bit overcomplicated at times, certainly not for new players to the thief universe.

    I'm being objective here, I like the climbing on buildings and using rope arrows a lot.

    I really searched the Rose Garden for a secret behind two metal covers, to no avail, but I did find the Mystery key to the apartment and the secret ""necromancer"" room there.

    And that key also fitted into a lock on a flat roof.

    What the fog?

    I didn't find any use for the explosive device and all the fire arrows though.

    Very well done overall."

    Excellent Melan Mission. Lots of verticality and a huge sprawling city area to explore. Plot was interesting and well developed, though I agree it ended a bit abruptly. Had to play twice as I failed to figure out how to get to the Hammer section for ages the first time. Escort mission was well executed with ways to prevent encounters.

    Gameplay is fun, very often actually. But as a contest entry, this mission is far far too long... It would be better to split it to at least two missions.

    This is the longest and the most exhausting mission in the whole contest.

    "This mission is definitely unique, and there's a lot to say about it.

    It left a peculiar feeling, and during all the mission, I felt like something had to happen later, which gave a good climax. The main objective was really long to reach (at least, it was, for me), for the streets were difficult to reach one to another, and I was often lost in this vast part of the City. Talking about it, it was really nicely designed, with a vertical architecture I enjoyed and many places to explore and rob. The Rose Garden place itself was really creepy at the end, and the author did show originality there, as well as for the near-final part of the mission, when you have to protect that guy from assassins downtown. Hard but original and pleasant. I also liked the bell ringings thing, with the guards vanishing then from the streets.

    The design of the city, I said it, was well polished. However, I regret many places were hard to reach because of difficulty to not be seen by a urban guard/archer and the numerous luminous places over the roofs. I also lost my nerves several times with this metallic pipe/beam over the streets, which helped you to reach the roof above, but was impossible to reach down without being injured by the fall. And I felt this at several moments again throughout the mission : a place you can reach in a direction but not in the other without having trouble. I'll also point out the numerous places with nothing to find there. These things spoiled my pleasure often in the mission.

    I also felt there were too many AIs by moment, and in luminous places again or with a lot of tile. I also had pain or just couldn't reach some places without being spotted : the shop in the covered street with the ghost dead-ahead, the Grandmauden castle (if someone found a way to reach the window without getting rid of the archer outside ?), etc. Again, I don't like when an author forces the player to use his/her blackjack/gas arrows/mines, it's not fair for it's possible to play the rest of the mission without doing so, even if hard at times.

    For all of that, the mission occasionally brought me frustration and felt very very long for me, I could even say too long. I thought the mission would end after the town pursuit and would have left the mission with a good impression. But then came the Grandmauden castle to trespass on, the impossible-to-dodge archer, tile, the guest blocked into the tree thus harassing me when I try to cross the hall... I think it was a bit too much to add this part of the mission, which was already long and hard enough. Maybe a two-part mission would have been more reasonable in my humble opinion.

    As for the story, nothing to say : it was excellent and complex, and was original, justifying the numerous places to visit. The person who contacted Garrett felt like a dangerous and ominous guy, and that gave a good feeling. Good twist when you finally discover the last floor of the inn and what awaits you at the end, and again, much originality with that guy to follow and protect. I'd just say there were maybe too many readables ; even if they weren't all conntected to the main plot, that made a bit difficult to assimilate so much information and remember what was useful or not for the different objectives of the mission.

    So it's hard to say what I felt the most in this mission : pleasure or frustration ? Somewhere in my mind, I think it was still more pleasure, but many things spoiled it sometimes because of the frustration they generated. I still think the mission was too long to be in one part, but I won't deny its great quality, whether it concerns the originality of gameplay, the fascinating story or the well-designed architecture."

    A very impressive city mission, but the complex layout made it tricky to determine if I making progress or well off track.

    Huge city, 3D, massive explore but difficult to navigate at times. Game-play suffered a bit.

    Too mazelike, too obscure. Very atmospheric, but man does this mission make me feel stupid.

    I found this one very confusing, but enjoyed the "thieve's highway" style.

    "Absolutely fantastic atmosphere. Notes were of special interest here; literature felt completely legitimate and was not overbearing. The city was a real treat to explore with very decent verticality and detail. If there's anything stopping this from being a 9, I'd say that it lacked originally in some areas - barring the Rose Garden. Atmosphere was the highlight of this FM, by far.

    Gameplay suffered intensely from the complex layout of the city; I spent a VERY long time trying to figure out where I was trying to go. I'll add that some of the jumps to traverse the more vertical elements of the city were a tad frustrating at times, as well. I had so much fun playing this - the verticality alone was lovely - but I can't deny the amount of frustation I got along the way.

    Story was fairly standard, decently polished, etc.

    Definitely one of my favorite FMs as of late!

    Also loved the throne room and cucumber jokes. Hilarious.


    Other random ratings:

    FM Name:


    "(I have substituted 'Design' for 'Story' when rating submissions in which Story would score lower)


    Design=9 (Architecture/asset usage/room layout)


    Personally, I think Disorientaton edges out Rose Garden as Melan's best, it being both slightly more elegant and somewhat more clearly laid out than this one -- the forums indicate that many people are struggling to find the 'correct' way into the titular garden, and I have my own doubts about whether I did it correctly! In addition, after playing for >3 hours I felt as if the narrative payoff was somewhat underwhelming.

    However, these criticisms are all in the context of Melan's own portfolio, which is one of immense quality. Rose Garden is easily his second best and a solid contender for first, and it still towers above the large majority of all FMs ever made. In many ways it exceeds Disorientation; one really only needs to play it to realise that its scope and architecture are basically unparalleled in the Thief canon.

    Relative to how massive it was, I have very few complaints. It is also a technical marvel. The framerate never dropped below 120 fps for me, even from the highest points on the map (out-of-bounds included). DromEd reveals a super efficient approach to managing brushes/objects/backface counts etc., just like Disorientation -- a sign that an author cut their teeth in the 1.18 days. It is amazing to see Melan make full use of NewDark.

    Overall, the abundant mantling opportunities in a realistic and multifaceted city were glorious good fun, and the architecture is beyond reproach... but it is not quite perfect, and I can think of two others in this competition that were."


    This is a large and complicated mission with great architecture. Lots of complicated route finding with vertical content. Easy to get lost but very fun to play. I found myself going through the same areas repeatedly trying to find a new route. I played it for 16 hours clock time because I felt compelled to find some places on the map I had missed. The map was hard to understand since many of the routes were vertical. One thing that left a blemish for me was the need to escort a bookkeeper past lots of hostile AI. Playing in ghost mode, there were a lot of enemies chasing me (us), so I made it to the end only a few times out of many replays. Even then, the objective surprisingly did not check off when the bookkeeper was delivered safely.

    From a technical point of view this is a disaster. The author ignored more than 100 warnings and errors in DromEd. I hope this FM will be polished soon.

    "Ah. One of your previous FMs, Disorientation, happens to be one of my favourites and yet... I bounced off this one quite hard; awkward, considering I love missions as sprawling and vertical as this one.

    I think that might've been due to the start of the mission, which I feel set a precedent for the rest of it. I was stuck for quite a while until I found the way to progress in the ""Throne Room"" (which I think is the only way to progress) about half an hour later. Maybe a fault on my part, but there were plenty more instances were I was left stumped about how to proceed - Haskell's and Grandmauden's come to mind in particular.

    Graundmauden's was also a bit disappointing, considering the rest of the mission prior to it felt like one big buildup to infiltrating the mansion. Still, considering the size of the level, I imagine adding anything more would make Dromed implode.

    The one thing I absolutely can't fault you on is atmosphere. There was a constant tension throughout the level, whether that was skulking through the streets, looming over them; and of course, when going through Rose Garden as well. So many beautiful details through small homes and readables did wonders for the immersion.

    This may also be the first time I've enjoyed an escort quest in any game, let alone mission, although a quick reload was needed once I realised what all those markings were about (and that they could be frobbed)!"

    "Atmosphere - 9

    You can't help but marvel at the design of the city. It is nothing short of absolutely stunning. The individual places to visit were given nice ambience and distinctiveness. I also liked some AI mash-ups. All in all, a very nice looking map.

    Gameplay - 4

    Lots of reservations here. The city gives the impression of being very accessible and open. However, as most of the “natural” ways are impassable, many places are only reachable from a single point, and often requiring finding bizarre secrets. Similarly, to unlock new areas and proceed with the mission you almost always need to visit one particular location, making the mission extremely linear. Paradoxically, whilst many seemingly accessible locations proved unreachable, I was able to access one soundless rooftop section (near the door you unlock with a skull). From there you could get some cool views of the city and take a shortcut to some blocked-off locations. One side-effect of requiring so many unorthodox moves was the necessity to often quickload. Unfortunately, due to the sheer size of the map every reload took that several seconds, and with the number of loads counted literally in hundreds, that proved really frustrating. Make no mistake, this mission is one difficult piece of a puzzle which will require numerous unusual solutions, giving very little help, with written tips often cryptic to the point of being useless. I would accept obscure hints, but definitely not obscure goals. Unfortunately, both the “follow Bernalt to his destination” and the “Bernalt must not be hurt” objectives, as well as the note from the client were completely bogus and totally off what actually must be done to tick off the objectives. It really stretched my nerves to the point of nearly abandoning the mission altogether with endless repetitions and trying to figure out what's going on. Some minor points - the provided map was a bit like the whole mission in a nutshell - beautifully and meticulously crafted, but not really usable - it included some completely useless names you won't even find in the city, while missing some really important ones. Also, a few ladders must have been misplaced as you couldn't get off them normally.

    Story - 7

    The main story of the mission was well presented and very well accentuated in the in-game world. I was also impressed by the number of side stories that were considerably developed. The written parts mostly stayed coherent with the world and its atmosphere. A really beautiful work in this department. I didn't like that the mission ended so abruptly and without giving any resolution or at least some event which would serve as a clever, convincing closure."

    This mission was truly ambitious, and the exploration was immense and rewarding. The story was sometimes confusing given the sheer amount of information found along the way in the mission. What is ironic, is that your readables are some of the best I have ever read in any FM, but there were too many of them in the mission altogether, and most of them went into inventory. Even so, I think your writing is excellent and you have a wicked fun sense of humor. There were some simple design flaws like outward opening doors and places in the terrain where the player can get stuck, but these seemed to hint more of a time constraint issue, given the size and complexity of your map. Overall, I had a great time playing it, and never needed to consult the forums on how to proceed. I hope we may see more and more and more of your work for years to come.

    This is an amazing city layout with tons of thieves highway shenanigans, lots of hidden areas to find, new large areas of the map continually opening up, natural and organic layout of the city, clever ideas for gameplay including trailing the mark, removing X's in advance to help keep him safe, cleverly hidden caches and strange goings on that were inexplicable but all the more fun for that. The atmosphere was moody and thrilling in some areas, though a bit lacking in others, but overall I walked around smiling inside all the time at having such a playground to explore. The story was engaging and interesting, though I felt it to be overly complex at times. It was almost as if this story was meant for a much larger mission, or even a campaign. Either that, or I just missed discovering some things, which I hope is the case, because I intend to replay this mission many times! An example of this is the numerous symbols placed on walls throughout the map. Some seemed to mark caches of illicit goods, while others seemed to have no purpose I could ascertain. I hope they are all meaningful, although I failed to divine the meaning if so. Perhaps I will discover it on a replay. The readables are inspired and among my favorite in any FM. You are truly gifted at turning a phrase, and many are immensely funny. My only complaint is that there were too many of them, and many were overly long. The map was useful, thought the font was a bit hard to read. My only other complaint was that there was a bit too much tile coupled with touchy guards. But I realize that this might have been due to time constraints for the contest. At any rate, it's a blast to play, and I was engaged from start to finish. Certainly one of my top favorites of the contest. Well done, and thank you for such a gem. Can't wait to play many more from you in the future.

    For all the comments about it being challenging and obtuse, I found Rose Garden a fair bit easier than Disorientation. It also might be the most gorgeous TG FM so far.

  24. #174
    Registered: Jan 2002
    Location: City on the Edge of Tomorrow
    First of all, thanks for another gem, Melan.
    I'm a little late to the AC - dropped by TTLG for something and BAM! lots of great missions again. (It's amazing that Thief still has this amazing, dedicated fan base and FM builder base)

    As soon as I started the mission, your special touch became apparent. There is a certain atmosphere to your missions that just makes them extremely recognizable.
    I love how you're able to "cram" that much story into such a tight space. The mission always feels more alive because of all the little bits like the part with the hidden crystals, or the audio cues

    It is one of my new favorite missions. I loved the story and even the excort part (funnily, I had frobbed most of the "X" before knowing what they were for - I didn't connect them to the letter. I simply frobbed them because I could - I thought it was just some weird thing, like the frobbable mushroom
    Regarding the "X"s and the spawning of the assassins: I had a couple assassins spawn with no X near them. Bug or intended?
    It was great stumbling onto all those stories in progress the grieving, murder-suicidal noble with his dead son or how at the end of the mission the guards are back and also the nobles return home (or whatever that singing fop in yellow is supposed to be

    The writing was great. Sadly, there are so many unfnished teases: half-open doors with somethingbehind them. Bricked up doors with ssmbols next to them.
    I found 2 Keeper compounds with 1 Keeper watching me before disappearing.

    And yet the mission kept frustrating me again and again with its maze-like layout. There apparently only ever is one way to progress from one choke-point to the next. It's true that the mission opens up after a while and I could have done my exploring after that but ... well, I only realized that after that happened.

    This doesn't really make this mission any less great - it just means that I had to take several breaks after being stuck in a dead end once again had me lost my enjoyment plaing the FM.
    I noticed a couple others felt similar - but as it would seem we all kept returning to the mission to finish it - it is after all the frustrations still a wonderful mission.

    Didn't solve the puzzle with the 383. I think it's to do with the antique scroll and the pavillion thingie in the garden near the Rose Garden But haven't a clue what to do.
    Finished with 3717/4319. It's crazy that there's still so much loot left - I thought I'd been everywhere.
    I will definitely play this FM again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Melan View Post
    his mission was, indeed, inspired by Reversing the Order (and of course Calendra's Cistern - without outright copying either), and it attempts something very different from Disorientation. Which has a worthy successor in Burrick, in any case.
    Caught this quote, and I'm curious what this "Burrick" mission is since I can't find one called that by you.
    Last edited by Meisterdieb; 11th Mar 2019 at 18:39. Reason: typo

  25. #175
    Registered: Nov 2018
    Quote Originally Posted by Meisterdieb View Post
    Caught this quote, and I'm curious what this "Burrick" mission is since I can't find one called that by you.
    He's referring to 'The Sound of a Burrick in a Room' by skacky. It's another entry in this contest.

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