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Thread: T1 FM "CALENDRA'S CISTERN" official release (July 5th, 2000)

  1. #226
    Vertical Contest Winner 2009
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: The Great White North
    i might just be me, but i wasn't impressed by calendra's legacy. yeah, it was big, and interesting, but the second mission, sprawling, too many bonus objectives, took forever to get through it. mostly because i was dodging monsters. when i finally got the cup thing back and melted it i was like, "what, thats it" i've heard there are other objectives involving special jewels and stuff, but the clues were spread to far for me to even care. in the third mission whats with the key that destroys itself? you have 3 doors you'd like to open with a key, but only get to use it once. so if you open the armory gate for more gear, well your stuck.

  2. #227
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2007

    Voice Acting on Calendra's Cistern

    Who did the voice acting on Calendra's Cistern? it sounds like one or two people might have done the original TDP/T2M voice acting? its really well done (in some areas)

  3. #228
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Bohn Museum
    Loanstar did Garrett, I'm not sure who did Mercedes. Was it Ms Ledd?

  4. #229
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2007
    i wasn't talking about them... i meant the guards like the one that says "Do u remember when the Baron's police took down the gate?" it sounded like it was the same actor that voiced a guard in the original TDP.

  5. #230
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Bohn Museum
    Well, I'm pretty sure it wasn't, but don't know who it was. If you had asked a more specific question in the first place, you wouldn't have gotten an answer you weren't looking for.

  6. #231
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Hmmm I gotta say I do not understand the "hype" about the calendra missions. I played calendras legacy even before calendras cistern, but didn´t enjoy it much and dropped it after like half an hour. Now I really gave calendras cistern a try and tried to like it since I can see that it was made with alot of effort, but I just can´t get into it and dropped it after 1 hour. It has a story and all but I just felt pretty bored playing it.

  7. #232
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2004
    Location: Germany
    The Calendra missions are surely not everyone's taste. The Cistern mission has a city part which players may or may not find interesting, and a part where the player finally goes about his main business among Calendra's people. I found all that very hard when I played this mission for the first time, but when I played it a second time many, many years later, I liked it more. Still not my absolute favorite, but it worked better then.

    Calendra's legacy has several missions, and the first one is a bit uncommon: Either you mainly stick to the objectives and/or the task at hand, in which case you will play a rather small and short mission, or you explore a bit and find a monstrous (or so I thought, at least) side quest in a secluded place. The second mission has a time limit and instructions which I did not find very precise, and I do not like that very much. The third mission maybe had some kind of bug or other problem when I played it years ago, but my old notes are not very elaborate on that subject.

    Maybe the missions just don't fit my preferred playstyle. I don't know.

  8. #233
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2003
    Location: Phoenix, AZ, USA, Earth
    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha1 View Post
    I played calendras legacy even before calendras cistern, but didn´t enjoy it much and dropped it after like half an hour.
    Are you talking about giving legacy or cistern half an hour? I interpreted it as the former. Now I know these missions can be a bit hit or miss with people, but you are looking at a good 8-10 hours of gametime for the whole campaign, if you want to experience everything it has to offer and find most of the loot. So 30 minutes would be like watching 6 minutes of a 2 hour movie and saying you didn't like it.

  9. #234
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2006
    Location: On the tip of your tongue.
    I think the hype is because it was a big leap forward at the time in terms of what could be achieved in Dromed. Does it hold up to fresh eyes today? Hard to say. Most of what it does that wowed people back in 2000 has been surpassed many times over since. It's painfully linear, the architecture is inconsistent and often overly simple and blocky by today's standards. There's a lot of important information about the story and objectives which is conveyed through blink-and-you'll-miss-it conversations, which can leave you confused and directionless. The "adult" themes feel very tryhard and starkly at odds with the otherwise painstaking attempts to blend the lore seamlessly with the original games. The story is fun though, but I'd say if you're playing through for the first time ever in 2021, having a walkthrough up, not trying to complete every side objective and bonus, and adjusting your expectations by 20 years will make for a more enjoyable experience.

  10. #235
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2021
    I can see how CC would not hold up to the polished NewDark missions of today, but CL somehow does.

    The great thing about CL is that if you don't follow a walkthrough, you won't discover all the little secrets and special areas. You can play it five or six times and still find neat things you missed earlier.

  11. #236
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2020
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by RippedPhreak View Post
    I can see how CC would not hold up to the polished NewDark missions of today, but CL somehow does.

    The great thing about CL is that if you don't follow a walkthrough, you won't discover all the little secrets and special areas. You can play it five or six times and still find neat things you missed earlier.
    I think that is what I didn´t like about both of the games. Like, they are very difficult. Like not in the difficult way that I enjoy, but in the difficult way of me wondering how I´m supposed to know about certain things.
    I´m someone who wants to find out everything in a mission (except maybe finding all the loot), and I love missions like the scarlet cascabel in which you have so much to do and actually can do it without a walkthrough. If I need a walkthrough cause the stuff is just not explained, too well hidden or too hard to find, I quickly lose interest. I think the calendra missions are missions like that. I never needed a walkthrough or anything for the OMs and I feel it should be like that for FMs aswell.
    Also what nicked said "The "adult" themes feel very tryhard and starkly at odds with the otherwise painstaking attempts to blend the lore seamlessly with the original games." I´ve always felt kinda aversed from the story line of calendra, especially the mercedes topic. I think that´s also sth. that makes me instantly dislike the calendra fanmissions.
    It´s plainly obvious that both of the missions are very well-done with alot of thought and effort put into, I can just say that they are just not my cup of tea

  12. #237
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by Samantha1 View Post
    It´s plainly obvious that both of the missions are very well-done with alot of thought and effort put into, I can just say that they are just not my cup of tea
    I'm with you on Cistern. I just played it for the first time in 20 years and it really didn't hold up for me. More interesting as a historical marker in FM development: big collaborative project, lots of tech experiments, custom assets & briefings, etc. But it's wild to imagine the mission was released without the expectation of a walkthrough. The body part scavenger hunt is...impossible? And so much of the map is just empty sewers and tunnels.

    I loved Legacy, though - the first two missions at least. Big atmospheric city maps with tons of secrets and puzzles. My cup of tea And the undead twist in mission 2 didn't bother me at all, though I get that it turned others off.

    Mission three though....it's a weird one. Some great atmosphere and Keeper architecture, but it felt sort of tacked-on, like it wasn't part of the original planned story. Lots of empty warehouses, a random serial killer, and a grudge match with another thief we've never met before - it's just not very coherent. And yeah, the romance just flat-out doesn't work. Impossible to take seriously when the femme fatale is named (no joke) Mercedes Lexus. Oy.

  13. #238
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: France
    Quote Originally Posted by Brodo Swaggins View Post
    Mercedes Lexus
    Mercedes Porsche Lexus.

  14. #239
    New Member
    Registered: Jan 2020
    Quote Originally Posted by marbleman View Post
    Mercedes Porsche Lexus.
    Oh good lord

  15. #240
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2015
    I think CC is better appreciated by comparing it to other T1 fan missions of its time rather than holding it up to "modern" standards (which are already shaky for a 20+ year old game). As other have noted, the custom skins, art, and dialogue were groundbreaking- most FMs used stock resources, and CC was among the first real signs of how far an author's vision could take Thief beyond the LGS missions. This also helped create a more vivid story and characterization (which, while not to everyone's tastes, was clearly more memorable than most contemporary FMs and arguably even some OMs).

    On that note, CC really deserves credit for blending elements of Gothic fiction and dark fantasy with the Thief universe (which was expanded further in CL: witch covens, vampires, etc). This DnD-inspired vision of the City has proven to be especially enduring, as seen from Rowena's missions to many NewDark releases.

  16. #241
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2015
    Location: Shawano County, Wisconsin
    Quote Originally Posted by Brodo Swaggins View Post
    Mission three though....it's a weird one. Some great atmosphere and Keeper architecture, but it felt sort of tacked-on, like it wasn't part of the original planned story.
    Funny you should mention that, because according to the design doc included in the zip file for Calendra's Legacy (check the goodies folder), "Midnight in Murkbell" was originally intended to be the only mission. Then Purah came up with "A Meeting with Basso" as a prelude mission, which might explain why the Old Widow Inn's location doesn't match up between the two missions (the maps overlap if you try to put them together). At some point later on, the team added "A Winter's Eve" as an epilogue mission with hints of a sequel (namely the flying scroll and the plaque in the ancient vault), which sadly never materialized after Purah decided to move on from making Thief FMs.

  17. #242
    FKA Buccura
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Location: Yeah.
    is it controversial to say that the writing in CC is worse than Thief 4? In hindsight the attempts to make it "adult" are juvenile at best, cringy at worst. I'm not against the idea of a more adult Thief but there are FMs that certainly did it far better. Can't think of any but I know they are out there. Also the use of vanilla Garrett dialog along Mercedes' lines always just felt awkward to me, though I know it was because Lonestar went on haitus. I played through the entire CC campaign a couple years ago though and despite what I just said, I did enjoy it and find it endearing. Like it took me back to a place in time. Whether I'd enjoy it as much if I played it for the first time today there is no way to know. Plus time limit issue aside I found Murkbell really fun to explore. Plus, A Meeting with Basso actually has really good atmosphere to it. But yeah a Winters Eve does feel really tacted on.

  18. #243
    New Member
    Registered: May 2018
    Location: swamp
    The more I think about these missions writing, I feel like those tried to be something like Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines - with being over the top edgy, yet self aware and serious, but it ends up like experiencing washed out My Immortal - where it fails with being funny.


    Congrats to Purah for using measures that brings so many emotions and confusion after all these years. It is not something many can achieve.

  19. #244
    New Member
    Registered: Sep 2015
    Not that this series needs any defending, but I don’t think it was going for a playful VtM: Bloodlines tone (great game, but it came out 2 years after CL btw). Again, the closest reference point is clearly Dungeons and Dragons, which has a more over-the-top fantasy vibe than vanilla Thief, which is why it may throw some people off.

    In terms of writing, the Mercedes stuff is hit and miss, but she actually barely shows up in any of these missions (Garrett has about 2 brief conversations with her in all of CL if I remember right). It’s the world building and memorable locations that really stand out, with well-developed subplots and great foreshadowing (the Zjilich amulet, Arkhyn’s tomb, the Larloch society, etc). There’s a reason other classic FMs have been inspired so much by the lore from these missions (like Fidgewick’s Hollow in The Chalice of Souls, or Rose Garden).

  20. #245
    New Member
    Registered: May 2018
    Location: swamp
    I have nothing against the the playability, the places and in general gameplay aspect. It is great, aged well and at times when it comes out, it stretches new ways to create fanmission.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGaston View Post
    Not that this series needs any defending, but I don’t think it was going for a playful VtM: Bloodlines tone (great game, but it came out 2 years after CL btw). Again, the closest reference point is clearly Dungeons and Dragons, which has a more over-the-top fantasy vibe than vanilla Thief, which is why it may throw some people off.
    Yes I am aware that vtmb is younger than cc, but I meant goals with character writing: mixing of serious elements with humor. Sorry, if that wasn't clear in previous post.

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