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Thread: Why do so many people hate T1 OM: Escape?

  1. #1
    Registered: Dec 2015
    Location: Germany

    Why do so many people hate T1 OM: Escape?

    I am curious to learn why so many people hate the T1 OM "Escape!"? I just replayed this mission and it is one of my most-loved missions in the game (after the Bonehoard, the Sword and Back to the Cathedral - probably on par with the Lost City).

    Things the mission does well:

    - most of the loot was placed in the upper floors near the final exit where most enemies are - a classic "high risk, high reward scheme". Many fan missions could really profit of this idea to place loot not randomly but as a reward for the player. In Thief Gold, Garrets purse is placed near the exit in good visibilty in the main hallway in the ground floor, which is better than just placing it near the beginning (as seen in Thief the Dark Project).
    - a high diversity of enemies while constantly supplying a lack of perks (gas arrows, mines, fire and broadhead arrows...) - like in "Back to the Cathedral", most perks must be carefully found, often they are hidden in well-guarded areas, so the player is forced to think about a careful approach. For instance, the Maw of Chaos had an excess of perks (just think about all the gas- and fire arrows which can be found in the very beginning of the mission and enemies could be easily avoided by ghosting - this lowers the difficulty and the fun drastically)
    - many little rooms, no large, empty spaces - contrary to the Mage Towers or the Opera (two poorly executed missions for my taste)
    - room efficient, the overall layout is not huge, but provides 60-90 minutes gameplay - the Maw of Chaos can be finished in about 20 - 30 minutes and is inefficient in room usage - much empty space, a good chunk of the mission is only for the flying mob egg transportation and "inaccessible" for normal gameplay
    - huge and clever room diversity - while being mazey on the one hand, the upper rooms are textured differently, showing the player a progress when finding these passages, contrary to some mazey Fan Missions, which can easily frustrate the player

    What are your thougths?

  2. #2
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    its my fav level also in thief 1

  3. #3
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    I can´t answer that, since I love all missions of T1 and T2 equally including Escape.

  4. #4
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2015
    The upper areas are challenging and suitably creepy, especially since you're revisiting Constantine's mansion in its more "honest" state. The underground areas are much less refined however- especially after RtC’s outstandingly precise design, Escape’s plain caves, erratic lighting, and generally confusing layout are really noticeable. The Dark Engine can sometimes pull off engaging subterranean environments (Cragscleft), but Escape's endless spider tunnels and ramp passages don't feel terribly inspired.

    The Ape Beasts/Rat Men are also a bit underwhelming as primary opponents. They’re not strong or fearsome enough to provide a real challenge, so the game just throws more and more of them into the mix (similar to the spiders) alongside an exaggerated amount of power-ups. IMO it just doesn't add up to an in-game experience that lives up to the narrative of Garrett's betrayal (again, in some ways these Trickster missions just suffer by comparison to the previous levels).

  5. #5
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha1 View Post
    I can´t answer that, since I love all missions of T1 and T2 equally including Escape.
    So you're saying you have no capacity for critical thought.

  6. #6
    Registered: Jan 2011
    Location: Wild and Wooly West of Ireland
    IMHO, the layout of the caves only serve to enchance this OMs only objective, "Escape". Even more confusing when you've unwittingly aided and abetted a maniacal Daemon in his quest for an arboreal utopia, and just had your next trip to the opticians made considerably cheaper. I believe the mission design mirrors the chaotic state you find youself in. You may also note that our typically loquacious protagonist has nothing to say in this mission. Although the premise of Thief is that you play as Garrett, his constant mordacious quips make it feel like he's your wingman, guiding you through the various levels, as he scoffs at the inadequacies of late medieval security arrangements. In Escape, however, you're on your own.
    It also has the highly amusing mini-game, where you get the Fire Elementals to do your dirty work for you!

  7. #7
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    the idea you start where the cut scene leaves off is amazing,then you enter caves area,pretty decent size then into the woodsie area's also decent in size,then into basement of mansion cool as you never were able to get into this area from early mission,then into the mansion itself,in all its twisted glory,and get out 2 different ways either upstairs balcony/window or right through the front door area

    one part of the map always stuck out to me,right as you get to basement part there is a doorway out to space if you look up you see part of that broken stairway,i always figured its a small safe area if you tryed to run from start to that point :P

    the real star of that mission are the "frogs" in tight hallways what a blast :P

    and yes purg that one ledge to let off a noise arrow so the fire balls do the work but even better if you can do it where the fireballs never see you :P and you are able to grab fire arrows ,even though i never used them,maybe on balcony before you end mission fire them in air like fireworks ending

  8. #8
    A few reasons...

    * I don't like the pagan stuff so much anyway

    * The layout is confusing and IMO poorly designed

    * It's annoying and borderline unfair if you want to ghost it properly

  9. #9
    Escape is fine. It's the next mission that's crappy.

  10. #10
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2017
    Escape is now one of my favorite missions but early on in my Thief experience, that certainly wasn't the case!

    As I suspect with others, my first play throughs were slightly awkward affairs. The Dark Engine's subtleties had yet to translate into muscle memory, resulting in several frustratingly failed attempts to rope arrow into the starting balcony. Ghosting was an unknown concept and whilst over time I would re-approach the level with higher difficulties, the low health, lighting and close proximity of enemies would often turn the whole thing into a sweaty, frantic affair. It was also the first point at which enemies seemed to gain quicker reflexes, with the close proximity and number of opponents often resulting in a escalating 'pinball-style' cause and effect of detection. I think on more than one occasion I'd resorted to the classic 'book it' strategy on the upper floors, desperate to get to the end point to bring closer to the whole mission and move on.

    These days, it presents a very different challenge. The pursuit of the 'ideal ghosting playthrough' has resulted in a certain degree of familiarity with missions and the limitations and boundaries of the dark engine reduce some of the anxiety associated with Escape (though not entirely!). Escape runs against the grain to some extent, still presenting new ways to complete the mission without feeling like 'going through the motions'.

    Escape is also special to me in that it comes at a pivotal point of the game. With the exception of The Sword and perhaps Bonehoard, it feels like the first time that the aesthetic really kicks into the surreal. It follows an absolutely brilliant FMV (which itself includes the blocky pillars and altar) and brings this design in the mission straight from the get go. The carpets, the vines ... its the first time in TDP where I feel like I've been put in Garretts shoes. That sense of hopelessness and isolation, and the only way is down. The previous FMV seems to almost demand a sense of pace to the mission; the ratmen shift their feet quickly, the ambient beat is high tempo (if I remember correctly?). In earlier play throughs, the low health and lack of equipment almost compel you to take risks, to seek out your equipment. And it's this for me that I still enjoy, that whilst I'm now more familiar with the game as whole, it's very nature fights against my experience of the game, pulling me to do something daft. Which, you know, still happens

  11. #11
    There are two primary reasons 'Escape' (and 'Strange Bedfellows') get such a bad rep:

    # Introducing new gameplay elements during the endgame.

    # Dragging out the endgame (which is a No-No).

    Thief 1 was just about right in length, except the aforementioned missions should have been merged into one somehow. Thief Gold only makes the problem worse by adding three extra missions before 'Escape' comes up. By that time most players will be thinking "Get on with it!" and seeking that objective above all others. Players don't have time/refuse to allocate time to learn about new things this far into the game. (Thief 2 also suffers from this problem, but that's another discussion.)

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