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Thread: TMA20AC Mission Into The Odd (Mar 24, 2020)

  1. #151
    Member
    Registered: May 2015
    I think I've done most of everything i needed to do in this mission but i am now standing in front of
    spoiler:
    Murmeron the eyeless and i have no idea what to do here,am i just down here to collect loot or i have to do something with murmeron's tomb,can I get a direct hint please?

  2. #152
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2011
    Location: ���&#5671
    Quote Originally Posted by dedaki View Post
    I think I've done most of everything i needed to do in this mission but i am now standing in front of
    spoiler:
    Murmeron the eyeless and i have no idea what to do here,am i just down here to collect loot or i have to do something with murmeron's tomb,can I get a direct hint please?
    Check inside the eye socket of the demon face near Murmeron's tomb entrance.

  3. #153
    Quote Originally Posted by ticky View Post
    How do I get into the marketmaster's mansion? He is blackjacked btw, I hope that's not a problem.
    That's interesting because on my playthrough he was unblackjackable (and believe me, I tried!). He would see me from quite far away, come to investigate but never go to the 3rd state alarm, even when he was right in front of me in full light. I initially thought he had been made invincible for a purpose, i.e. so the player doesn't knock him out before hearing about the new objective, now I'm sure it was a bug, so I'm reporting it.

    PS. I still feel this mission doesn't get enough love here

  4. #154
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    Location: Krull Island, in the pub
    Quote Originally Posted by nihilon_traveller View Post
    That's interesting because on my playthrough he was unblackjackable (and believe me, I tried!). He would see me from quite far away, come to investigate but never go to the 3rd state alarm, even when he was right in front of me in full light. I initially thought he had been made invincible for a purpose, i.e. so the player doesn't knock him out before hearing about the new objective, now I'm sure it was a bug, so I'm reporting it.

    PS. I still feel this mission doesn't get enough love here
    I blackjacked him right after the conversation in a small, but dark enough spot! That seems to be a bug in your playthrough, yes!

  5. #155
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    Location: Krull Island, in the pub
    Finished.

    First frustrating, then satisfying/stunning! Daylight surreal steampunk mission with unique vibe. It feels like a strange dream. Incredible amount of detail and fun everywhere. Highlights: mechanist golden child walking around with a tray in the company of a spider bot (feels so trippy), pipe worker with flamethrower (maybe the coolest thing I ever saw in an FM), water zombie guarding a valuable mask, tall buildings and industrial areas with treasure in the water - all in daylight. Also, the sewer guards with candles on their heads felt funny in a good way, yet suitable for the whole surreal setting. The whole slum-like setting feels very unique. Also, maybe the best ambient design ever. The sounds are really in place and well fit the atmosphere.

    The only letdown was the start - starting from a toilet with a nearly non-existent story feels really unprofessional for the first time, and going around without any weapons or lockpicks in daylight feels frustrating. But as things develop, the player can feel soon that this is a quality mission. Based on some posts in this thread, I also expected the sanctuary to be a bit of a letdown with invicible enemies - it's a thin line, but there were enough dark spots to avoid them properly.


    This whole thing feels like the best moments of Emilie Victor, the skacky/Melan style of vertical building, DrK's dark and sinister vibes, and the cramped design of Whistling of the Gears mixed together in a top quality manner.

    I would really appreciate to see a mission in a similar setting someday. I mean the daylight and the industrial, and steampunk-like areas together.

    Bottom line: Thank you for the nice trip!

  6. #156
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2004
    Location: Pennsylvania
    What do I have to do to get into the aqueducts ?
    I feel so stupid why do I always find the answer AFTER I ask here ??? bleh

  7. #157
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2014
    Quote Originally Posted by McTaffer View Post
    Just an alert, it's possible to do a sequence break the first time you visit the sanctuary by mantling on one of the buildings near a statue and climbing up from there. You can't get super far without the lockpicks, but you can explore a lot more than you're supposed to and get a fair bit of loot early on.
    I came here to post this. I actually managed to jump down into the area with all the frozen NPCs and triggered the invisible monster. I just wanted to mention this because my impulse is usually to try to mantle anything that looks like it could possibly be mantled....

    Anyway, although I'm not finished yet, I'm greatly enjoying it so far, quirks and all.


    Edit: I have finished. What an utterly deranged mission, in the best possible way.

    Missed a ton of loot, in part because I didn't hang around on my second visit to the sanctuary. Nope! I'm not often a fan of "creative" horror segments in Thief FMs (though I like regular undead type stuff) but this one was truly imaginative AND well-executed, well done. I agree with a previous comment about some of the underground areas being a bit on the darker side. Especially when you can fall to your death--the initial aqueduct area in particular gave me some grief. As for the defenseless start (and in broad daylight no less), I usually dislike that sort of thing, but I though the mission looked good enough that I persevered past my initial frustration and ended up having fun with that aspect of the mission.

    As for the story, there are good and bad aspects. I think we are used to missions telling a story (both through readables and other methods) that develops over the course of a mission--we learn more as we play and advance. Here I think there was a lot of effective scene setting--we visit this bizarre underground "sanctuary" filled with horrors, that is somehow connected to this creepy Constantine's mansion joint, but--unless I missed something--we don't learn that much about it, nothing is really resolved.

    Now personally, this is all fine with me. I thought the setting--this highly detailed section of the city, all the stuff below it--was absorbing enough, I was content just to explore it. And I can really feel myself in Garrett's shoes, just wanting to GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE while also collecting enough to pay the bills.

    And there's just so much detail. Like the dead girl in the pool. Or the creepy dark room with the cradle--I ignored it at first, but came back to see if I had missed something--and I saw some beast reaching its arm out between a gap in the brickwork! So that's why the room next to it is sealed off! WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?! And when I jumped into the well near the wizard's house, after getting out I heard a voice say "You got all wet" or something like that--it gave me chills!

    I do have one question--there's some kind of valve, on the lower level of the mansion, in an area you can't access the first time you visit. The best way I can describe it is, when you dive into the pool, swim past the caged crayman, and surface on the lower level, there's initially a grate--the valve is on the other side of the grate. What does it do? I couldn't figure it out. Also, can you free the crayman? Just curious...

    Congrats on this mission. I'm on the lookout for FMs with a proper Constantine's Mansion vibe so I'm glad this came along!
    Last edited by lpowell; 15th Apr 2020 at 02:02.

  8. #158
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    I agree with your sentiment that although much of the story is left unexplained, I'm ok with it. I don't always enjoy missions, books, movies, or fiction in general where everything is explained outright. If it isn't, it leaves more room to ponder and reflect. And you are right, Garrett wouldn't always know everything going on in the city. After all, he's just reading snippets of journals and overhearing some chatter here and there. To me, missions built around atmosphere and theme, rather than a narrative, works better if executed well. Especially in Thief, which is so built around the audio-visual experience.

    About that valve, it doesn't do anything. But from what I understand, it might have been supposed to do something. Perhaps free the crayman?

  9. #159
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    After going into Dromed, it seems the valve doesn't do anything. They probably just forgot to make it FrobInert.

  10. #160
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2013
    Location: Finland
    At the start of this mission, I felt quite frustrated and annoyed. But as I went forward the mission got better and better and now it feels just glorious!

    spoiler:
    In the beginning: Streets were narrow (not that many shadows) and Garrett had no equipment. Also a lot of guards were patrolling in the city and all those metal surfaces kind of a irritated me in the beginning. I really liked seeing the daylight outside because it is rarely used!

    Sewers: Now things got a bit more interesting. I kept thinking that what did I miss (areas, secrects) because it was so dark in the sewers. Regardless, the darkness really creates unrelenting atmosphere! It's true that this mission didn't feel that much like a conventional Thief mission in the beginning, but it became more and more interesting as I advanced! I think sometimes it takes awhile to get used to something new and this mission is a shining example of that!

    Once I came to the underground city I knew I liked this mission! This area reminded of TDP and the mansion above somewhat connotes The Sword mission's mansion. Also, this mission's soundscape is terrific!

    Now I'm in the city again and got back to the beginning area. I haven't found lockpicks yet and there's so many unopened doors left behind. At this point I feel that this mission is amazing!What an imagination the authors have!
    Last edited by Lord Taffer; 15th Apr 2020 at 09:55.

  11. #161
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    Regarding the story, personally, I'm not just fine with it; I absolutely adore the way the story is told here.

    If you've finished the mission and thought that the plot felt like a series of unrelated events or that some things felt random, you're not entirely wrong.

    The two main events occurring in the mission are Garrett escaping an ambush and then finding himself a new opportunity to steal something, a golden egg. These two events are not really connected, so the mission basically has two acts that happen in the same place.

    "But what about that weird underground city?" you might ask. Well, this is what this mission does so expertly. It subverts expectations by throwing in this intermission between two main, rather mundane events (as far as Garrett's routine goes, anyway). The sanctuary is the most intriguing area in the mission, yet there are no objectives related to it, and once again, I love this.

    How often would you find something odd in a mission and have an objective like "Oh no, this evil wizard is up to something! Stop him" pop up? But not here. For Garrett, this place is a means an end, just another point on the way to his real destination. He doesn't give a damn about this place, which is entirely in his character.

    But what is this place exactly? Well, the authors have clearly thought through what this place is and how it came about but only left a few clues, which may or may not explain that. Once again, this was a right move as the sanctuary is not a part of the main storyline, so it doesn't need neither extensive exposition nor any story development happening in it.


    This mission has the most unique premise I've seen in any FM, and it's perfectly brought to life.
    Last edited by marbleman; 15th Apr 2020 at 04:06.

  12. #162
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2014
    That's a really great perspective, marbleman.

    Certainly I'll be thinking about this mission for a while.

  13. #163
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Agreed marbleman - I (eventually) loved the minimal storyline and environmental cues, and the atmosphere is top-notch.

    It's just let down by the unbalanced, frustrating gameplay. It's just not very fun. Your enjoyment of the mission will entirely depend on whether you are someone that can overlook annoying gameplay and just soak in the amazing atmosphere, or find that the atmosphere is ruined by the constant frustration of the moment-to-moment gameplay.

    For me, it *just* nudged into the former category, but I'm not sure I could recommend it without some heavy caveats.

  14. #164
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    I didn't find gameplay frustrating either. On the contrary, as I ghoster, I was happy with the many challenges this mission presented. The starting area is no different from how I usually play, so I'm obviously biased there, and I've ghosted much worse scenarios. The only gameplay annoyances I can think of are mantling issues in a few places.

    I also don't think there is anything transcedental about this mission's gameplay either since it relies exclusively on gameplay loops found in OMs: exploring the spaces and evading guards. There are no unique gameplay quirks here, and even structurally, the mission doesn't invent the wheel with the way it progresses. It's just that there has never been a mission of this type so well-made and polished as this one.
    Last edited by marbleman; 16th Apr 2020 at 04:23.

  15. #165
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2017
    Location: France
    Honestly once you get to the sewers the mission isn't even hard anymore, and that's like 15% of the way into the mission. Yes, this includes the revisit to the fake city

  16. #166
    Quote Originally Posted by marbleman View Post
    Regarding the story, personally, I'm not just fine with it; I absolutely adore the way the story is told here.

    If you've finished the mission and thought that the plot felt like a series of unrelated events or that some things felt random, you're not entirely wrong.

    The two main events occurring in the mission are Garrett escaping an ambush and then finding himself a new opportunity to steal something, a golden egg. These two events are not really connected, so the mission basically has two acts that happen in the same place.

    "But what about that weird underground city?" you might ask. Well, this is what this mission does so expertly. It subverts expectations by throwing in this intermission between two main, rather mundane events (as far as Garrett's routine goes, anyway). The sanctuary is the most intriguing area in the mission, yet there are no objectives related to it, and once again, I love this.

    How often would you find something odd in a mission and have an objective like "Oh no, this evil wizard is up to something! Stop him" pop up? But not here. For Garrett, this place is a means an end, just another point on the way to his real destination. He doesn't give a damn about this place, which is entirely in his character.

    But what is this place exactly? Well, the authors have clearly thought through what this place is and how it came about but only left a few clues, which may or may not explain that. Once again, this was a right move as the sanctuary is not a part of the main storyline, so it doesn't need neither extensive exposition nor any story development happening in it.


    This mission has the most unique premise I've seen in any FM, and it's perfectly brought to life.
    Good points! I agree about the strengths of the story - at least in theory.

    Like many here it seems, I didn't like the gameplay and overall structure much. In the early parts, there were some cramped spaces where I got physically stuck, and some very gnarly platforming where I had to save scum a lot. And when I reached a certain point, I got real worried that I had missed the lockpicks and would have to go back. Some more hints that I was at least going in the right direction would have helped. Getting the loot objectives after returning to the streets felt like a big distraction. In hindsight it made more sense, but for a first playthrough it was a pretty big hurdle.

    Aesthetically, however - holy hell, this mission was beyond the beyond! I'm hard pressed to think of a more atmospheric piece of level design. The sheer amount of creativity and invention going on here - even ignoring the fact that it was all vanilla assets - was quite breathtaking.

    Every few steps, it seemed, I would stop to take in some detail - beautiful, horrifying, funny, bizarre - or all at once. I too was especially creeped out by the room with the cradle and the hand poking through the wall. I'm a jaded horror fan, but that made my skin crawl. "The Sword and The Cradle on a bad acid trip" is how I would describe the atmosphere of this mission.

    Also, the "papuros of SMABAN" was an inspired piece of writing, to the point where I wonder what the authors' influences are (literary, chemical, or otherwise ).

  17. #167
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Quote Originally Posted by Psych0sis View Post
    Honestly once you get to the sewers the mission isn't even hard anymore, and that's like 15% of the way into the mission. Yes, this includes the revisit to the fake city
    If wanting all the loot and ghosting, the sewer part after you get the lockpicks before the sanctuary is very hard. But doable.
    Last edited by klatremus; 18th Apr 2020 at 02:16.

  18. #168
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2004
    Location: Cape Breton Nova Scotia Canada
    the room with the cradle and the hand poking through the wall.

    I was way too close to that wall when entering, and It made me shriek. The best part no silly setup with music so I wasn't prepared for it.

  19. #169
    New Member
    Registered: May 2018
    Location: swamp
    I love this mission. It is so surreal, fairy-tale like, a Garret's nightmare. Eclectic with architecture, bizarre with writing. Personally I like the flow of it with beginning where Garrett is in the worst situation, but slowly taking it to his advantage. Digging through areas that are meshed together with space and time. . I read it as Garrett dream, or one of tales about him. Changed through mouths and time so it's not anymore a gossip, but a legend, or ballad.

    Personally I am okay with lack of plot, the situation Garret is in, the fight or flight scenario is immersive enough, and through whole context of Garret and Thief, player doesn't need to know details why the thugs wants to kill him. I wish though, the golden egg would be optional, so only player's determination and curiosity is why they are going deeper into the areas.

    Here I just ramble about map design from point how it looks like, not how it plays like. It may contain minor spoiler:
    In general I love how the areas are meshed and connected together. The buildings are taken by newer generations and changed the purpose. Like the Hammerite grave in a "modern" sewer area. Or how in marketplace the fortification stone tower 12th century like stand next to a classical 18th century mansion. I love that, it is greatly shows, how The City evolves, changes, and how old it is suggested to be. Giving opportunity, how much more is hidden and meshed in other areas of The City, but it is ignored in citizens eyes. The amount of intricate, clutter details is amazing and brings life and personality to spaces, and people who live there. I can imagine the pain but dedication to preparing everything in dromed.
    Due to fact there are areas, that reminds me theater backstage, gives me interpretation the whole mission is bizarre stage-play. I am also glad the mission took place in the daylight and the darkness is exaggerated, which expands colors, and richness of them. Very, very medieval palette, with rich saturated hues and gold, and with the odd of places, and characters I can sniff the inspiration with book illuminations from the middle age. Also thank you for the work with bringing small details to the character models to enrich them, giving thugs different weapons, or bringing to the guard smoking pipe, or giving some character hats. It gives them personality, and makes them more human, without naming their names when picking them up.


    From the gameplay point. Without doubt it is feel like a roller-coaster ride.
    spoiler:
    with going back to some areas it is a double ride. Of course it is changed with different enemies, and destinations where the player should go, but I feel like it removes a bit of charm, while for example I like how sewer area was treated, that it is revisited only in one place. I am glad the hidden "theatre"-city with monsters was revisited, same with Marketmaster? mansion. But the city streets, I feel meh, to go back to it at the third time, and I rushed to get the egg and run to the end-game spot. Maybe I was tired, but I noticed a crowd of people next to the jail? place, and the mechanists close to the public toilet, but I really have no strength to check them if there is extra info about the two situations besides, making the streets still alive.


    What I can call as flaws, are:

    -Writing in letters and such. It was very overwhelming for me. I read the words, but wasn't able to read the sentence, or get the general message from the text. I couldn't able to focus on the paragraphs, so in the end the texts were for me a gibber, that only spiced up the surrealism, psychedelia the whole mission have.
    spoiler:
    I am glad, they don't include clues or mission details, otherwise I would be doomed with migraine.


    -Also don't know, I have mixed feelings, if the amount of motifs (as for example, the cannibals/zombies from the sewers) doesn't overwhelm the mission in general, making it as some mash up, of everything author thought of. I guess the border between taste, and tasteless is very thin by width and opacity.

  20. #170
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Question: What exactly triggers the door to the basement with the torturers on Chitterling Court to open? I'm almost done ghosting the mission, but that basement isn't open, so I can't get the purse on the guy down there.

  21. #171
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2011
    Location: ���&#5671
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    Question: What exactly triggers the door to the basement with the torturers on Chitterling Court to open? I'm almost done ghosting the mission, but that basement isn't open, so I can't get the purse on the guy down there.
    I checked, normally it's opened the second time as it's the control panel from the sewers, the one that opens the pressure door above the gears pit, that unlock it.

  22. #172
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    Quote Originally Posted by klatremus View Post
    Question: What exactly triggers the door to the basement with the torturers on Chitterling Court to open? I'm almost done ghosting the mission, but that basement isn't open, so I can't get the purse on the guy down there.
    The lockbox+control panel that you use the mangled key on also controls that door. Don't ask why.

  23. #173
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    LOL That is too funny! I went to great lengths and planning to make sure to close that lockbox and return the mangled key before I left the sewers the second time. It is required for Supreme to do so. Not sure if I'll be able to return at this point, as I have locked all doors behind me. Hmm...gonna have to think about that one.

  24. #174
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    You can easily do that on your second run through the sewers after you return from the aqueducts. That's how I do it for my regular Ghost run.

  25. #175
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Yes thats true. I just spent so much time double checking and thinking for Supreme making sure i didnt lock up doors that i would later regret. Now i have to return to an earlier save because i locked the gate controlled by the sanctuary key. I have to leave the mangled key hatch open, then redo Balnebrichs basement, get the purse from the torturer, then go back again through the sanctuary/sewers to close the hatch/return mangled key again. Phew! All that couldve been avoided had i known that door was operated by me. I thought it was opened as a triggered script.

    Sometimes Supreme can be more annoying than its worth. Oh well.

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