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Thread: T2 FM: Malazar's Inscrutable Tower (18th July 2020)

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2007
    Location: Cragscleft, Bedfordshire, Eng.
    OK, finished. A little short on loot, but that's usual for me.
    Congrats on the mission, nicked. I loved it - I enjoy these type of fms. None of the puzzles were too difficult, I always knew what to do, if not where to find things. That's probably because I'm not as observant as I should be and tend to rush through a bit too quickly.
    Will definitely go into the 'play again' pile!

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2010
    Location: Switzerland
    With timecodes for every important task but it's just for urgent needs....keep on with the the individual help and interactions

  3. #78
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2009
    Location: thiefgold.com
    Great surreal mission, just finished.

    And real crafty that last part, after I get the crystal and go back down the stairs. I thought I was going crazy

  4. #79
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2009
    What a delightful, surprise-filled, brain-twisting adventure. If I tried to list all the cool moments in this mission, I'd end up describing the entire journey. (I will say that the statue in the greenhouse gave me a good jump. Nice placement.) I really enjoy this kind of map progression, where you open up new connections and stitch parts of the level together into one unified whole. Lots of "access" puzzles and fun spatial reasoning tests. I was able to solve it without hints. There were several times when I was stuck running in circles for a while, but I always managed to find the clues eventually. This is definitely in my top 10 list for puzzle/adventure-style FMs.

    EDIT: Also, I liked the amount of deadly hazards. They added greatly to the atmosphere. A sorcerer's residence should feel like a dangerous place, IMO, for this type of you're-not-supposed-to-be-there adventure.
    Last edited by Wormrat; 20th Jul 2020 at 21:22.

  5. #80
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2017
    Location: Sleeping
    Finished on Normal with 4350/4850 loot. rather pleased with myself on that amount.

    absolutely loved the visuals throughout this one, especially the autumn colours of the outside. each room really stood out well where i had no issue navigating or backtracking without a proper map, which is usually a quick test of my patience otherwise. also wanted to say how glad I am to have tricked a few Ice Beasts into falling to their demise on the unstable bridge pieces. Oh so carthatic.
    Last edited by irg; 20th Jul 2020 at 23:57.

  6. #81
    Member
    Registered: May 2002
    I really liked the gameplay of Malazar's Inscrutable Tower, I hope to find again this surreal atmosphere in other future missions.

  7. #82
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: California
    Finished with 4105 loot on expert. Another great puzzle mission! Loved the architecture, the enemies, the surreality of it all. Thank you!

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2012
    Location: Sweden.
    Had a blast experiencing this surreal atmosphere as this has sentimental values embedded given I can recognise all the assets being used in The Sword OM from Thief - The Dark Project, thoroughly enjoyed taking my time getting used to the crazy creative logics and not once did I feel stuck nor frustrated, this is exactly the kind I would love to see more of in a fan mission.

    Made it all the way through with only 300 loot missing in total.

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: Santiago / Chile
    Nice FM, Looks beautiful. Puzzles are great, and having many objects to pickup, it opens your mind about what to do with them. Excellent Nicked!!

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: May 2017
    Location: USA
    Very interesting mission! I finished in about 90 mins, getting almost all the loot. I only needed to check the forum once (I didn't notice that the vice on the desk would frob).

    Definitely had a good time with this one. I'd say I spent 85% of my play time experiencing joy/wonderment; 15% experiencing frustration while looking for stuff; and 100% experiencing severe envy of Nicked's creativity and skill. (Yes, they add up to more than 100% because they're not mutually exclusive.) How does he manage to churn out TWO top-caliber missions within a couple months of each other?!?!


    Highlights:

    1. The statue women---freaked me the F out on a number of occasions. And just such a brilliantly conceived and executed idea!
    2. The Escher-esque room---I couldn't tell, was each iteration actually created from 90 degree rotations of a base room? It seemed like it was changing in other ways, as well.
    3. The non-euclidean geometry throughout. Very creative use of teleportation.


    Overall: 9.5/10. My only real gripe is that the world is rather cluttered with stuff which makes it difficult to know, at a distance, what objects are interactive versus just there for the vibe. This is a matter of personal taste, of course. Personally, I prefer more of a "Chekov's Gun" approach to mission design. Of course, this is likely why some players find my missions overly sparse.
    Last edited by trefoilknot; 24th Jul 2020 at 11:38.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2014
    Location: Texas
    OK. I have a question. I'm trying to work my way around and
    WHAT THE F IS THAT???

    Oh, man. That is diabolical. (I think I peed just a little. Well, my wife was watching and she definitely did!)

  12. #87
    Member
    Registered: May 2003
    Location: West Seattle
    thank you, nicked!
    I had a very good time (took 1:30 but missed ~700 loot)
    I needed help in a few places, mostly around using the horn, but there were some great neuron-firing moments when I realized I had unlocked a new path to reach an area that was blocked previously. Also, some really cool new models?
    I didn't particularly like the initial shoot-off-the-lock mini-puzzle, or the times where the weeping angel statues couldn't be avoided (since they can't be neutralized).
    My favorite moment might be walking out of the cave into the sunny late-afternoon autumn environment, with the sunlight picking out the swords planted in the ground

  13. #88
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2005
    Location: Germany
    Shooting out one mission after another! Can't wait to play it, but sadly I have little time these days

  14. #89
    New Member
    Registered: May 2020
    I just finished the Mission. I like this Kind of riddle missions where you ve to use your brain cells to progress. Best puzzle for me was the library puzzle . The puzzles where fair and doable with some thinking and had no annoying endless searching. The only Thing i didnt like was the Shoot the lock with an arrow task.
    Atmosphere and Soundtrack were great 9/10. Level design was good 8/10. The Sky with the sunset is one of the best looking I ve seen yet. Highlight was the view above the sunset valley from the top of the Tower.
    Riddles belong to the best we had in any thief Mission yet = 9/10.
    Overall the Mission is great and a 8,88/10

    Thanks for the good map. Keep on doing great Riddle stuff. A Riddle map with some more Hd Textures and Objects (trees etc.) would be great.

  15. #90
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Germany

    I'm usually not a fan of rather linear missions resembling some of the earliest adventure games. Haplo's missions often fall into that category, and this one as well. My problem with such missions is that things come to a sudden halt once I cannot solve one of the puzzles needed to win. Can be pretty discouraging.

    However, I only experienced that once in this mission, near the end. I had a hard time reaching the charred remains of the unlucky apprentice and the Ifrit, and after that, only found the way to where I could get rid of the Ifrit by accident. Well, I can survive one such problem in a FM, I guess.

    Other than that, some objects that were either very helpful (mostly readables) or even needed to get through the mission, were placed in a way that I often overlooked them. For example, there was the main part of the Serpent staff as well as a readable in one corridor, and the readable was barely visible through a window, so I needed several visits to the windows to find these two objects.

    However, since the mission was just short of being too long, I still like it.

    I disagree with Corsair's idea to make the Ice beasts invincible. I could just get past them on easiest difficulty level with the fire arrows found in the mission and climbing onto a roof to be able to fire on them without getting killed beforehand. One fire arrow less, and I would not have passed the third beast up on a ledge - it neither let me pass by, nor did it fall down by any event. Maybe we could settle on making the beasts invincible only on Expert difficulty?

    Something else... The "Descr" field in the fm.ini file is overloaded with extreme amounts of text. AFAIK, this field is not meant to hold all the information from the Readme file of a mission, but rather some short description, like "Garrett tries to steal a gem from a deceased mage's tower". In fact, the contents of the Readme did not fit in there and are cut off. And if one just adds a few characters to one of the fields above this field, FMSel gets severe problems handling the file, and even refuses to let the player view another Readme file (e.g., the one in the player's native language). At least that happened when I fumbled around with a slightly modified version of that fm.ini file.

    Oh, by the way... The runes on the right of the Golem diagram do make sense after decoding, while the ones on the left side appear to yield something in a language I don't understand. Is that really a language, or is it a fake one?

  16. #91
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    Golem readable runes - if I recall correctly, I think it's just gibberish to fill the space.

  17. #92
    New Member
    Registered: Aug 2017
    Location: Gloomwood
    Fantastic mission. Loved the mixture of impossible geometry, wizard tropes and riddle solving. The statue enemies were generally unsettling and there's a lot of neat looping in the level that makes the space feel quite interconnected despite the non-Euclidean nature.

  18. #93
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2010
    Location: A Former Forest
    Thank you Nicked for this FM. I played on expert and did not get all the loot, but I almost never do. I was about 200 or so short? Made the objective though. A few glitches here and there for me, but that is what saves are for. Overall a nice FM and fun.

  19. #94
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2017
    This is a wonderful fan mission. The story is simple: Garrett has to break into a sorcerer's tower and steal his magical crystal. I can highly recommend "Malazar's Inscrutable Tower" to those who like puzzles, but even those who have other preferences will probably still enjoy it, because the mission does not contain any obscure riddles to solve. Rather, it involves searching for certain items and keys required to progress further in the level. Gameplay is pretty much linear, though the tower is big enough to allow some freedom of movement. At some point in the mission, players will encounter foes that may not seem dangerous upon first seeing. After closer examination, however, they present a real challenge to Garrett's skills. I will not reveal what is so specific about them, but they can be quite scary and unsettling when dealt with incorrectly (I have to admit that initially I was frustrated by their presence). That being the case, the level is primarily about exploring and not fighting or sneaking. I have thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it, even when I had to backtrack a couple of times. There are not many readables in the mission, as the author prioritised environmental storytelling over long-winded stories in the manuscripts. I have absolutely no issue with this, as I am not overly fond of reading marathons. The tower and its exterior surroundings are beautifully designed. "Malazar's Inscrutable Tower" is one of the few fan missions with typical autumnal atmosphere. Due to the fact that autumn is my favourite season, I was captivated by the beauty of russet leaves, pale sunlight, haze in the chilly air, and the sound of shrews or crickets featured in the level. The view from the top of the tower was breathtaking and highly rewarding! All in all, "Malazar's Inscrutable Tower" is a unique masterpiece of autumnal magic and beauty.

    My rating:

    Atmosphere: 10/10
    Gameplay: 9/10 (a few minor issues here and there, but still great!)
    Story: 10/10

  20. #95
    Member
    Registered: May 2015
    Location: Hungary
    My other favorite mission recently (and it can be said, in general as well Enchanting! Congrats

  21. #96
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2003
    Location: Frederikssund, Denmark
    nicked,
    thanks for this great mission.
    A bit had at times but very nice and scary.

  22. #97
    Member
    Registered: Sep 1999
    Location: Texas, hhhwweeee hawww
    Just finished, very fun. I loved the vibe throughout, and interesting tech. I had so many self-imposed jump scares lol. It shows you a well made 2 hour mission can be way better than a less polished 4 hour mission.

  23. #98
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2014
    Location: Texas

    Impressive

    OK. I thought this mission was flat out brilliant!

    I admit I did have to resort to hints from this thread, but not to the point I felt that it was ruined. Mostly it was me overlooking something that should have been obvious.

    Great mission design. It felt very fresh and new to me, and I've played just about every other FM available.
    Any quibbles I might have are overshadowed by the overall impression the mission has made on me.

    And those statues!!!
    Soiled me undies I did.

    Congratulations on a great release!

  24. #99
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2006
    Location: France (Saint-Gobain)
    Mission finished in 2 hours and 14 minutes in "normal" difficult, at the beginning i was a bit of afraid since i knew this is a puzzle mission, but the mission is so interesting and full of new impressive surprised that i was able to solve all puzzles without checking spoilers here. The places have at the same time relaxing and tense atmospheres, places are surreal and beautiful to explore, what impressed me most was the statue females, never thought it was possible to set up a ai creature to play "game of statues" it's the kind of game we kids used to play , here we have literally statues playing that .

    Many thanks for this sweet experience Nicked

  25. #100
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    mission complete on expert ,had to get a bit of help on a few parts,wow i am very impressed with this mission,tons of detail,a legendary mission for sure,nicked you are a true drom ed master,it was a honor to play this mission

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