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Thread: Thief Revisited: Assassins

  1. #1
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2012

    Thief Revisited: Assassins

    It used to be absolute favorite for many fans. Let's see.

    1. On the surface, it has all qualities of a classic Thief mission. Purely "Human" level, rival gang of thieves steps on our toes, we follow them secretly to Ramirez compound - which happens to be an immensely rich mansion, full of guards, servants, tapestries and gold. To teach him respect, Garrett not only cleans the house of all goods, but also creeps down to a secret chamber - a treasury of sorts - to pickpocket the boss himself. In the final act, underwater passage leads us to safety, far away from manor walls. Fin.

    2. Opportunity to wander around City streets sets this mission apart from run-of-the-mill "mansion" levels. It's not obligatory to explore - iirc there is no loot lying around - but I guess most players goof around and absorb the sleepy atmosphere of this Steampunk/Gothic world. Unfortunately it serves no other purpose as you can easily infiltrate Ramirez mansion from the front gate and none of the buildings is open to explore. With that said, "Assassins" offer the biggest chunk of The City in original Thief, for what it's worth.

    3. The mansion has both ups than downs. Visuals are very good, the walls, banners, bedrooms, the library - all look fine and ooze that unmistakable "Thief atmosphere". Experience is bolstered by secret passages, burrick basement, plentiful guards and some readables here and there. I just wish there was more to do - it suffers from empty hallways and corridors a bit, although Bafford was worse in this regard. What's more, "Assassins" don't offer too many thrills - it lacks tension of Cragscleft or Undercover, not to mention vast undead lairs of Bonehoard/Haunted Cathedral mold. Even though Garrett is infiltrating base of operation for a notorious criminal-millionaire, I always loosen up here and treat it as relaxation session. Which isn't a bad thing.

    4. Ultimately, the mission leaves a good impression. Going down to Ramirez basement and maneuvering behind his back was always fun - I appreciate that Garrett is more interested in humiliating the man (rather than eliminating the threat). "Assassins" lives off haunting visuals, great soundtrack and cool atmosphere, and time only proved its formula was more appealing to the public than cavernous labirynths or apebeast nests. Today it feels a bit generic and, dare I say it, bland - but back in the day it was a quintessential THIEF mission, a stepping stone for future manors (Truarts, Gervaisius) as well as City levels (Ambush, Courier, Deadly Shadows hubs). It deserves a good grade, even though it tends to be overrated by some (undisputed no. 1 in Lytha's survey).

    Grade: A-
    (Tiers: S / A / B / C / D / F)

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2018
    Another mission that I really like. First I liked challenge of tailing assassins through the city. And I like Ramirez Mansion. Though there is some oddity. There are some unnaturally empty rooms in the basement. And also 2nd floor is barely protected. This mission is also introduction to lockpicks and it works really well.

    I don't really like city part. It's very empty, there is absolutely no reason to explore it. It basically serves only 2 purposes. First is of course tailing assassins. Second purpose was for many years unknown to me and I just learned about it from youtube, where player that discovered it was also surprised. Few years ago I managed to activate and from that time it always happens to me. Maybe AI in Newdark is more sensitive or I'm just playing clumsy. I'm talking of course about objective of going home. It activates after alarm will be launched or AI will notice a body or I think AI will go into search mode. Then city gets filled with angry guards searching for Garrett and we get objective of returning to Garrett's house.

    So for me it's a Grade: A.

    Also a question. What do you mean about leaving mansion via underwater passage? I thought the intended way was leaving through main entrance.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Galaer View Post
    Also a question. What do you mean about leaving mansion via underwater passage? I thought the intended way was leaving through main entrance.
    Well it's an option. Maybe not "underwater" as in a "flooded tunnel", but there is a canal below the Library balcony and it goes down a small slope. You can exit that way and I feel it's elegant

  4. #4
    New Member
    Registered: Jun 2019
    Location: Deepest Sussex
    You can also enter by that route if you want.
    Follow the guys that tried to kill you. Watch them enter the mansion from as far away as possible, such that Garrett says “So these are Ramirez’s boys”. Turn straight round and take first left along to where the water flows out. Jump in and swim against the current. After a bit of practice you can do it every time. Stay under water, turn right and swim to the ladder before surfacing. From there you can get full loot, hopefully with nobody knowing and in a very good time, once you've worked out the optimum order to visit rooms. Ideally leave by the way you came in.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2016
    Assassins was the first mission in TG that I didn't feel like it was better than the previous one. Bafford's is a great intro and Cragscleft was a really spooky, atmospheric follow up. Bonehoard topped that again for me, and so it was kinda disappointing when Assassins was next.

    I do like the mission, but I feel like it's just a bit bland. The manor isn't that fun to explore but the sneaky tracking at the beginning is super fun. Somehow I found it really hard as a kid to manage to grab all the item's from the shop and then catch up with the would-be killers.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Assassins was a good mission for first time players, nicely introducing the City's underground. However, it has aged very poorly. You are right yyzable, it feels very bland, extremely easy, and sometimes boring and empty when you know the layout. When i first saw initial players' votes on TG's best mission being Assassins, i was perplexed, but ive since come to understand, although not agree with it.

  7. #7
    New Member
    Registered: Mar 2020
    I remember Assassins used to be my favorite mission ever, mainly because of the story of Garrett 'coming back from the dead' and clearing Ramirez' mansion of treasures like a whirlwind. It was especially satisfying to pickpocket his purse without any first alerts.

    But now, I can agree with yyzable and Klatremus that it's much too bland and simple. The first four or five minutes of trailing doesn't help with its replayability either. Having said that, I still think the revenge story is top notch, and the only reason I'd put it above Bafford's.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    Location: Krull Island, in the pub
    I really like the unique colors of the Ramirez mansion - I mean yellow (gold) and green is not that common for such a medieval/victorian/steampunk game, but it really works. I also found the mansion painfully small - there could have been a lot more to explore.

    As for the city, I think it's a huge mistake that basically there is no purpose to run around, only plain "sightseeing" for the player. The portion of the city presented here is waaay to big for not serving any real purpose besides sightseeing and following those thugs. There should have been at least one accessible pub with rooms to rent, guests and loot. Maybe some small thieves hideout opening from the sewers as well. Just to make this sadly empty part of the city more lively.

    Generally, I always felt this mission like the "you are obliged to love this, because others do so" mission. Which is unpleasant for me. It's not bad, however, it has nearly zero replay value for me.

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