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  #226  
Old 08-24-2008, 11:54 AM
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Default The Temple of the Tides

FM: The Temple of the Tides (WC_TempleoftheTides,The)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 1:14:37
Loot - 1300/1500
Pockets Picked - 0/2 (??)
Locks Picked - 0
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 3 of 3
Consumables - none

Comments:

Despite having just 4 AIs, this was not trivial to ghost. Simple to ghost, perhaps, but not trivial. All of the AIs were elementals: 1 fire elemental and 3 water elementals (!!). The water elementals were tres cool! So, since it hard to tell where an elemental is facing, it was a bit hit or miss if the elemantal was standing still. But other than that, ghosting was no problem.

I don't know what the stat 0 of 2 pockets picked is all about. There was a purse on the dead archaeologist, but that is scored as a pocket pick, and besides, I found it. And you can't pick the pocket of an elemental, can you? Do they even have pockets? What would they put in a pocket?

I'm sure perfect thief is possible, I just didn't look hard enough.

This was a great mission to play, ghost or no. There are some really clever tricks employed by the author. I recommend it highly!
  #227  
Old 08-26-2008, 04:39 PM
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Thumbs down Pirates Ahoy: Cast Off!

FM: Pirates Ahoy: Cast Off! (piraten.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 3:12:59
Loot - 4352/5524
Pockets Picked - 9/13
Locks Picked - 0
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1 of 2
Consumables - none

Comments:

For some reason I found this mission awfully boring and predictable. The ghosting was trivial, and while the city was artisticly done, it was also sloppily done. There were several spots where objects (textures?) were not lined up correctly, missing entirly, or transparent. Also, there were, apparently several (3?) optional quests which were supposed to get added to your objectives list, but for me only showed up after I had completed them.

For example when you find a specially named doll which goes in your inventory, read a journal about a kid who wants a doll for a present, and have a table which is frobble at that kid's house, it is pretty obvious that you should frob the table with the doll, despite not having an objective to do so. There three such tasks that I encountered without having any of them show on my to do list until I had done them. Not good.

The mission starts as a "find your gear" hunt with an objective for each missing item, sword, black jack, and lock picks. There are enough open doors and folk wandering about with keys to make this pretty simple, if time consuming. Then with the lock picks in hand, you loot the town, and correct injustices that you stumble across.

The only problem that I had was one door which did not open to my lock picks, nor could I find a key. From the number of missed pick pockets, I surmise that Sgt. Bill might have been wandering about with the key to his house, and I missed him, or perhaps the key is lying about on some surface and I over looked it. I suspect that the missing loot and secret are in that house. Oh well. I'm sorry but the mission did not interest me enough to take any more time with it.

There was one place where I had to nudge a thief a bit so that he would not alert as I went by, but nothing else was close to difficult. I suppose this might be a good mission for a new ghoster to use to hone their craft. But I suspect it is too easy even for that purpose.

I'm sorry. I'm sure that the authors, Christine Schneider and Greenhorn, are wonderful people. And they are clearly very talented. But this mission, for me, was not what I look for in a ghosting mission.
  #228  
Old 08-27-2008, 04:25 PM
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Default Pirates Ahoy: Pirate Island

FM: Pirates Ahoy: Pirate Island (piraten.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 0:59:32
Loot - 2502/2837
Pockets Picked - 5/7
Locks Picked - 3
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1 of 1
Consumables - 2 water arrows

Comments:
Like mission one in this series, Pirate Island is trivial to ghost. The AIs are all either blind, or deaf, or blind and deaf, or blind, deaf and drunk.

The only things of interest to me in the mission were the giant dragonflies, which would sting you with flies if "alerted," and little red crabs, which would, I don't know, maybe pinch you if "alerted," the pyranahs and sharks which would bite you. None of them seemed to alert in the normal sense. Their behaviors did not change, nor did they make noise to indicate that they saw you. If you bumped into them, your health suffered, but that was it. The crabs were the sole exception. If a crab "saw" you, it would give slow motion chase. So you only knew that you had alerted one if it followed you a great distance. Otherwise, it might just be its normal wandering that made it look like it was after you. So for me, the crabs were the hardest to ghost since I was never really sure if one of them alerted. They were easy to avoid, and if you don't mind giving a miss to a bunch of loot, you can bypass them and still complete the mission.
  #229  
Old 08-29-2008, 05:45 AM
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Default Ghost Ship

FM: Pirates Ahoy: Ghost Ship (piraten.zip)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failure
Time - 8:48:18 (This reflects that I left the mission up while elsewhere, and not actual playing time)
Loot - 2020/2080
Pockets Picked - 0/0
Locks Picked - 2
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 0 of 0
Consumables - 2 water arrows

Comments:
Ghost ship was a bit more of a challenge than the first two in this campagn, primarily due to the nearly invisible snakes. The snakes are neatly camouflaged by their skin pattern, make no sounds audible until it is too late. And just to make things fun, you cannot approach them without taking damage, at which point they do alert and get really nasty. The mission has burricks and spiders and flaming headed pirate spooks as well, but they are no problem to ghost. The snakes, on the other hand, gave me a little trouble, especially the first two I encountered near the raft.

The caves are a maze and difficult to be sure that you have explored everywhere. Which is a little annoying. I dislike getting lost and having to backtrack, and this mission had a lot of that for me.

Other than the snakes, the rest of the AIs remained pretty much there for decoration, and no threat to a ghoster.
  #230  
Old 09-15-2008, 05:03 PM
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FM: Ominous Bequest Gold

Ghost - Failed
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 3:11:25
Loot - 8000/8000 (Supreme: 6865)
Pockets Picked - 2/7
Locks Picked - 15
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 1
Secrets Found - 8/8
Consumables - 3 Water Arrows (vault entrance, sponge & riddler’s tomb) & 2 Fire Arrow (vault entrance & riddler’s romb)

See the entire report with screenshots here (FMs).
Loot list here.


Comments:

This is perhaps my favorite single-mission FM release ever. I had played through the “regular” edition back in ’03, but never attempted Supreme Ghost. Well, the new and updated version was just the excuse I needed. Unfortunately, I knew the mission wasn’t ghostable in any mode because of two unavoidable scenarios (which I will mention later), but I still wanted to try and Supreme the rest. The reason I Ghost isn’t exclusively to be successful, but to have fun attempting. I have mentioned most of the hard loot, with some explanatory screenshots. For an entire list of pickups, see the link to the left above.

The art collector Grimworth had sent me on a quest to retrieve the lost will of Lord Farrington, and the items it mentioned; as well as information on a possible mages order below his manor. My blackjack was lost so I needed to find a replacement, plus 5,000 gold worth of loot. My night started on the south side of the front doors.


Into the Lion’s Den

I entered the manor through the coal chute. There was an alternate way in on the west side, but the gazebo strikers saw me climbing the vine. The guard by the chute gave a comment as I turned on the sprinklers, but I assume this to be a triggered script. He never paired it with a settling comment either, so I am quite sure I was clear.

Immediately grabbed the cold storage key from underneath the kitchen dumbwaiter. Wanted to finish the basement entirely before moving upstairs. Noticed early how guards were set up perfectly for Ghosting. Tough enough to challenge any player, but at just the right level not to be daunting. Melted the lump of ice in the furnace instead of using a fire arrow (see image). It made a lot of noise but didn’t seem to alert anyone. Found a hidden pair of lucky coins in the armory (see image). Brought a rope arrow along for the ride; knew I would need one later.

Went up through the kitchen again, returning the cold storage key and lowering the elevator. Got the skillet and the loot from in here as well. Used the secret passage in the hallway to enter the captain’s office. He had a patrol back and forth from his desk to the bedroom, stopping at either end for a few seconds. I had to wait in the bedroom corner and rush out to steal the contents of his safe as he had his stop. Needed to do it in three runs to get everything and lock up the safe afterwards. The contents were hard to get without accidentally closing the safe. Waited in the office corner when he returned each time (see image). Dropped the key on the bedroom floor before leaving. Found a tiny ring on a skeleton going back through the crawlspace dungeon (see image).

Left the captain’s letter in Benny’s locker to check off my new objective. Found a couple of coins among his donuts. A few of the donuts fell out also, so I put them back before leaving.


Making Choices

The centre courtyard on the first floor was a key spot for Ghosters. On a balcony above, a stationary swordsman had his nightshift, preventing all travel in the north-south direction. This only caused a problem as far as the vital greenhouse sponge was concerned. It meant I had to get it coming from either of the southern doors, the southwestern being the easiest. It was possible to crouch across the south wall in the courtyard unseen, but this was very difficult dodging both the archer and the roaming servant. I actually preferred traversing the main foyer to the south. An alternate path would be to enter the greenhouse from the outside using the house key, but as a Supreme perfectionist I try to avoid picking up what I don’t need, and I felt I could leave the house key alone and still finish the mission happy. I needed to loot the rest of the foyer anyway.

I utilized the two pillars in each display wing for cover as the patrolling archer passed (see image). As I crossed the ground by the front doors I noticed all footsteps from upstairs were gone. All the patrollers had long routes down the long narrow hallways, so these quiet moments occurred from time to time. I seized the moment and quickly stole all the loot from the railings. Even had time to grab the gems below the foyer floor panel; the switch was fortunately frobbable through the Farrington banner. Crossing the foyer again after grabbing the sponge was a harder, since I this time was moving against the archer’s flow of traffic. When I also realized I had forgotten about the nifty purse in the chandelier (see image), I decided to head upstairs and continue from there. Again most patrollers were away so I could steal the purse using a rope arrow and seek cover in the southeast dining hall.

The remainder of this floor was standard Ghosting procedure; basically moving from room to room dodging the hallway patrollers. I eavesdropped on all doors not to spawn first alert comments. The first major bust came from cutting the electrical forcefield wire in the northwest tower (see image below). There was no way to circumvent it, and property damage is strictly forbidden in all modes of Ghost. It allowed me to take the Horn of Dloren, which was a main objective. Some players have argued this bust to be waived due to the instructions in the objective. As an answer to that I simply refer to the official Ghost rules: “It is not acceptable [...] to incur a ghost bust that the player thinks is "necessary" to meet another objective. For example, it is not allowed to KO an AI or slash a banner simply because they stand in the way of meeting another objective, such as stealing something.” When intended by the author and part of the mission’s storyline, a bust is easier to accept; that was the case here. There was no way to turn the forcefield back on afterwards. Had to skip some loot in the southernmost guest room for Supreme. The chanting hammer alerted on both opening the door and when spotting his prized hammer was missing. The guest room next door had two more pieces of loot, including a tiny ring I almost overlooked (see image).



The stationary swordsman on the inner balcony seen from downstairs couldn’t be reached in normal fashion. His door was locked and unpickable. I could lure him out by shutting off the lights in the main office, but that was against Supreme rules. I had something else in mind for later however, so I shoved it to the back of my mind and continued with the rest.

To finish upstairs I needed the attic pole from the vault. Needed to use a water arrow and a fire arrow to open the secret entrance; neither of these is mentioned in the Supreme rules (except when dousing torches), so no bust. Got the default combination from the vault manual in the library. Cleaned out the valuables, not forgetting the lucky coins by the table (see image). The switches in the next room followed the description on the Hunting Dragon (see image). Had to take the ancient tome to reach the loot behind the concrete wall; it wasn’t replaceable. (As it would turn out later, the tome was a huge part of the story) As mentioned, the crooked pole here was needed to access the attic. Locked up all the doors as they were, except for the hatch to the vertical passage, which wasn’t closeable.

On my way to the second floor I brought the single water arrow from the burrick stables; I knew I would need one later in the mission. I don’t like cluttering the inventory with unnecessary weaponry for Supreme, so I wanted to avoid getting multiples. Also found a pair of lucky coins under the northwest spiral staircase (see image). Back on the second floor I found a hidden purse in Farrington’s bedroom. It was tucked away in the mouth of a giant vase (see image). Cleaned the rest of these rooms easily. When entering Elizabeth’s bedroom, the light got turned on as a part of the ghost effect. Supreme rules only prohibit to the removal of light sources though, so no additional bust. Wetted the sponge in the toilet before cooling Sunspark; saved another water arrow that way. This time the lights went out when taking the gemstone, but this was a direct result of the objective and that is allowed. Brought the key from the attic and headed for the library. The antiquary letter there couldn’t be dropped back, but fulfilled my objective regarding the mages order. Returned the safe key afterwards.

Found a quiet moment and entered the attic in the main foyer. There was a hidden diamond in a tiny niche just below the rafter above the entrance hatch. The guards below didn’t alert to the hatch staying open, but they could partly see me even though it was closed. Got the key for the attic windows and traveled to the opposite attic crawlspace. This area was impossible to reach from downstairs, due to a large shelving unit blocking the hatch. In here I found the last gemstone Bloodtear.

Up on the roof I suddenly heard the patrolling guards inside comment on something. Rushing down to check, it appeared one of the guards had accidentally opened the small closet to the northeast rounding the hallway corner. I bet two of them met in the hallway, pushing one too close to the door and it automatically opened. Every guard from then on commented, thinking something was up. This was way out of my control as I had never even touched that door; naturally it was no bust.

With the roof being done I now pointed my eyes to the inner balcony, located between two metal fences. The goblet and the golden plate on the table below looked tempting. I could drop onto either fence from the tiled roof without making noise. I could furthermore drop down on either side of the guard undetected and without losing health. Unfortunately, the guard was positioned too close to the wall so I couldn’t pass his back without accidentally nudging him forward, which isn’t allowed in Supreme and only as a last resort in plain Ghost. I tried dropping to the courtyard from the east side after having taken the loot, but he commented every time. If I could have leaned in and grabbed everything from the west side, then I could have left through the door, returned to the roof, and drop the key quietly onto the apple from above, but alas, only the plate and the apple were reachable. Without the key I was screwed from that side. And from the other side I couldn’t leave without a comment, so I ended up outright skipping it for Supreme. For plain Ghost I lured him out by switching off the light in Farrington’s office; he gave a comment but that was allowed for normal Ghost. Remembered to drop the windows key back onto the attic footlocker also.


Into the Depths

The main manor was done, so I moved on to the chapel below. Snuck counterclockwise along the metal to reach the door that led upstairs. Fetched the crypt key from Rieleg’s chamber. Had to go across his bed and flip the hammer from behind his back. Couldn’t pass him on the floor without nudging, so I dropped from the bed on his left. He didn’t notice the sounds from the secret door. Went down the stairs and slowly crept around the hall to the double doors. Didn’t return the key right away, as I knew there would be a better opportunity for that later.

The three hammers by the altar all turned quite frequently, but eventually they would have their backs to me and I could leave safely. The crypts provided a sudden change in pace; few AIs, but numerous puzzles and traps. I really loved this variety, which also gave a break from tough Ghosting. The only things to watch out for were traps and closing up all passages and hatches (where possible). Nothing to report until I returned after having switched on the holy water to the chapel fonts. Couldn’t reach the western font without getting spotted, so I circled the chapel to the opposite side. I hid behind the northeastern pillar and observed the two closest sentries. Took my chance and frobbed the font when no-one was looking, then swiftly snuck into the nearby barracks. The holy water arrow only lasted 30 seconds and I needed to drench the sponge within that time. The hammers heard the splash anywhere in the chapel, but the bedroom was safe. Made my way down to the crypt again afterwards.

The hallway leading to the family tomb held a secret treasure cache. The button was in the top corner of a nearby relief (see image). One of the skulls in the background also held a tiny gem.

Brother Sorven’s note gave me hints to the whereabouts of another secret. A loose brick on the wall in the upstairs hall (see image) revealed a button that lowered one of the coffins encircling the central tower. It eventually led me to the Tomb of the Nameless Riddler. I won’t give away spoilers on how to solve its puzzle, but it involved dousing a torch, which isn’t allowed for Supreme. Thus the 935 loot was skipped for that mode. This cave system also took me to Xedormicost, the famous artifact sword mentioned in one of the manor’s readables (see image). That book also mentioned it could be released using holy water, which is what I brought the sponge for. After grabbing the sword, a spirit appeared and started circling the elevated center. It always appeared on the west side and patrolled clockwise around the room. It was no hassle to avoid.

Back in the crypts I tried replacing the loose brick, but only managed to partly (right image above). Supreme rules say to put them back in the nearest logical spot, so I figured I was ok.



Further down I found the trapped hallway leading to the talisman, my as of then final objective. The right image above shows the various tiles and how they triggered. Tile 1 sprung a boulder trap in the ceiling. The rock landed on tile 2 springing a spitfire trap behind me. The third sprung another spitfire to the front. There was no way to avoid springing all of these; the gap was too far of a leap. After all, I needed this and another boulder to open the gate beyond the turn. Sorven’s body was also needed as a sacrifice to open the talisman chamber, but his body turned haunt when I stole the artifact. He wasn’t that big of a deal to dodge, with plenty of shade around the room. I left through the secret passageway in the bedroom. After picking up the loot down there though, I returned to the talisman chamber and snuck out behind the haunt’s back. Being as Supreme as possible, I wanted to lower the gate and put the rubble pieces back to their original positions.

This finished all my objectives, so I went for the sewer exit, on the way switching the chapel pipe back to normal water.


Endgame

Unfortunately, Robert Farrington’s burrick trap required the use of the horn, alerting all the critters to hunt mode. Although bittersweet, I did it without them ever seeing me. I can understand people claiming the wire-cut in the manor shouldn’t be a bust, but this situation settles any dispute. ‘Ominous Bequest’ is unghostable and that’s it. His letter was actually droppable, so I put it back before blowing the horn.

Passing the crayman caves was easy enough, with the exception of the final worship chamber. The two dancing craymen were in a trance far beyond this world, but the sentry was on alert. I snuck around him to the left, but alas he gave a chirp as I opened the floor panel.

The tomb of Armion Drake had a little puzzle element to it, but nothing incomprehensible. Made sure to frob back the three skulls after having opened the inner chamber. The panel and rope in the final resting place couldn’t be closed up or pulled back in, so I left them like that. Finally, there was a skull-trap in the next narrow passageway. I think it must have had a proximity trigger, as I couldn’t notice any floor depressions.

The last task was to kill Kadar, by cutting the Book of Souls in half using Xedormicost. I emerged via the burrick stables of the manor and had to make my way back down to the chapel. I returned the (holy) sponge to the greenhouse first. Kadar was using Elizabeth Farrington’s body for some bizarre ritual, in the true spirit of occultism, no pun intended. I snuck upstairs and ascended the ceiling rafters on the south side. It took a few tries reaching the rope without alerting the spirit below, but in the end I got to the book unseen. Kadar didn’t look too good, before plummeting to the chapel floor lifeless.

I returned the crypt key, put Elizabeth to rest, closed the crypt ventilation hatch, and left through the streets in the east. And yes, I locked both double doors from the inside and left the key lying on the chapel carpet. Finally took the hammer from the pew and the ring from the street alley, before ending this glorious night!


Summary:

- Had to cut the wire to the electrical forcefield in order to obtain the Horn of Dloren. The property damage is considered a bust. Although the horn is an objective, cutting the wires is not.
- Had to skip a hammer worth 100 gold in the second floor guest room for Supreme. The stationary hammer alerted to opening the door (and to taking the loot).
- Had to skip another 100 loot on the inner balcony for Supreme. The door was locked from the inside, and dropping to the courtyard coming from the roof spawned a comment.
- Skipped 935 loot in the Nameless Riddler’s tomb for Supreme. Dousing the torch to get through the puzzle wasn’t allowed for that mode.
- More Supreme busts were necessary to reach the Talisman of Life. Two boulder traps and one spitfire trap were triggered on the way. Inevitable, I’m afraid.
- Escaping Robert Farrington’s burrick pit required blowing the Horn of Dloren. This alerted all burricks to second level hunt mode. Without a doubt a Ghost bust.
- The stationary crayman in the worship chamber alerted to me opening the escape hatch. Supreme bust.
- Leaving Armion Drake’s tomb triggered a skull-trap. Another inevitable Supreme bust.
- The body discovered could possibly be from cutting the Book of Souls and killing Kadar. He might have spotted one of the dead haunts before dying himself.
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  #231  
Old 09-15-2008, 06:11 PM
Klatremus Klatremus is offline
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Browsing through some of the older reports I found goldsla's Ominous Bequest successfully ghosted, with Peter Smith confirming his success: here. As one of the mission's beta-testers and an ample ghoster, I assume Peter knows his game. Does this mean my judgement is wrong on the busts I had? For normal Ghost I mean, not Supreme.

Help!
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  #232  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:42 PM
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Unhappy Mea Culpa

Quote:
Originally Posted by Klatremus View Post
Browsing through some of the older reports I found goldsla's Ominous Bequest successfully ghosted, with Peter Smith confirming his success: here. As one of the mission's beta-testers and an ample ghoster, I assume Peter knows his game. Does this mean my judgement is wrong on the busts I had? For normal Ghost I mean, not Supreme.

Help!
Honestly, I don't remember the mission. In looking back on the report, I appear to have liked it, so, tell you what, I'll replay it and let you know what I think.

* * * * * * *
U P D A T E D Sept 17, 2008
* * * * * * *

OK. I have replayed Ominous Bequest. And I see that there are two problematic areas:
  1. Cutting the wire to turn off the security system
  2. Blowing the horn to open the trap door

I can't imagine what I was thinking to not consider both of these ghost busts. The 1st is a clear property damage, and the second clearly alerts the burricks. (You can get into the alcove without alerting them, but blowing the horn clearly busts the ghost when they alert.)

In looking at an earlier posting by Vanguard he says:
  1. "However, to turn off the power requires you use the sword to cut a wire. This would be similar to the author forcing you to slash a banner. To satisfy the objective you have to commit property damage but that is not allowed for ghosting. Busted."
  2. "When caught in the burrick trap, you can sneak to the exit without alerting the burricks. However, you have to use the horn to open the exit floor panel and this alerts the burricks. Ghost busted again."

I have to agree. Busted. I'll edit my original posting to indicate failure. I have no idea what I was thinking about when I wrote that posting. I don't remember any clever approaches to avoid those two busts. I'll have to plead old timers disease.

Maybe I was thinking that since those actions were needed to complete objectives, they were OK. But that is wrong thinking. From the ghosting rules "It is not acceptable, however, to incur a ghost bust that the player thinks is 'necessary' to meet another objective. For example, it is not allowed to KO an AI or slash a banner simply because they stand in the way of meeting another objective, such as stealing something." My Bad.

Last edited by goldsla; 09-18-2008 at 12:22 AM. Reason: After replaying Ominous Bequest Gold
  #233  
Old 09-16-2008, 04:09 PM
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Default The Gambling Man

FM: The Gambling Man (GamblingMan,The ENG.zip)

By Rayner the Bug_Cloud

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Time - 01:46:46
Loot - 815/815
Pockets Picked - 10/11
Locks Picked - 0
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 1
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 1 of 1
Consumables - 2 water arrows

Comments:

This is a mission from 2001, originally released in French, and sort of translated into English. That is, the words used were English words, but often a near homonym was used instead of what I think was the intended word, making the readables ... interesting.

Let me deal with the one KO right off the bat. This objective is "Before leaving the mansion, make sure you bring Mr. Lazarius with you" which gets shortened to "Kidnap Mr. Lazarius." In prior discussions in this forum, it was deemed acceptable to interpret such objectives as license to KO, as there really is no other way to kidnap someone in this game. (I believe the mission discussion I am remembering was about L'ARSENE, but it could have been another by the same author.)

In all this mission is not difficult to ghost. The most difficult part of the mission is finding your way around the mansion without a map. It is a warren. The second most difficult part of the mission is identifying Mr. Lazarus. There are 5 or so people dressed like they could be Mr. Lazarus, and the only way I found to determine who was who was to KO someone and pick him up. If the objective ticked off, it was Lazarus. If not, I restored and went on my way. The real Mr. Lazarus was (by definition) the last one that I KO'd. That could have been thought out better.

Beyond that, getting Lazarus out of the mansion was a bit sticky while ghosting. He did not look particularly hefty, but he really slowed me down! Bluntly, he should go on a diet.

Other than that, this mission really did not have any difficult spots to ghost. There was nothing tricky to do.
  #234  
Old 12-04-2008, 10:52 PM
Klatremus Klatremus is offline
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FM: A Night In Rocksbourg: Discovery (mission 2)

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Failed
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:56:13
Loot - 5728 out of 5828 (Supreme: 4753)
Pockets Picked - 8/15
Locks Picked - 19
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 5/5
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (FMs).
Loot list here.


Comments:

The second chapter in the Rocksbourg saga was next on my list. A brilliant campaign by the very talented French author DrK. I was really looking forward to ghosting this one.

After having been attacked in the underground tunnels, I woke up in the apartment of an unknown speechless individual. Rubbing away the stars from my eyes and disregarding the constant pain shooting through my body, I rose from the bed and started tonight’s quest. The mute’s name was Estobiaz, an acquaintance of Artemus, whose key was left here for me. Apparently, the city had recently gotten infested by zombies, putting a majority of the streets under quarantine. To make more sense of the situation and to retrieve my equipment, I was to head for Artemus’ room at the inn. My inventory was utterly stripped for now. 4,500 gold was my loot objective for the night.


The Night Is Still Young (Safe Zone)

I skipped the equipment in the footlocker for now. The rope arrow was highly needed, but I knew there were a couple of single arrows to be found later. I don’t like cluttering my inventory, especially not for Supreme. Estobiaz’ message was stuck to the inventory, but the key was not, so I planned to return with it later.

The streets were full of guards and civilians, none of which paid much attention to me. But they all gave settling remarks indicating first alerts. I have mentioned similar conditions in other reports, but will explain once more. All AIs have paired comments indicating their awareness to Garrett’s presence. These comments are different every time depending on type of AI, source of trigger (noise, vision, etc.) and alert level (first, second, third). In this case we are talking about first alerts only. Initial comments trigger when an AI initially reacts to something being out of sorts; “Did I see something?” or “What was that?” being common examples. If the enemy isn’t fueled with additional exposure, he will settle down fairly quickly and forget the incident, indicating this with the last part of the paired comment, such as “I’m getting too jumpy” or “Too much coffee this morning, I’m twitchy as hell!” Both types of comments are always given in circumstances where Garrett isn’t allowed to roam freely. In conditions where Garrett is just another citizen however, even though enemies aren’t supposed to alert, they might still give the last of the paired comments. This ultimately has to do with settings in Dromed, or so I’ve heard. I haven’t seen this discussed in terms of it being a potential Supreme rule violation, so I don’t know what the general consensus is. Being a strict ghoster, I generally rule against myself. Supreme didn’t make it anyway by a long shot. Plain Ghost was untouched, as first alerts are allowed across the board.

Sucking in the gorgeously dark atmosphere, I traveled the streets and brought along whatever loot I could find. Two pieces were fairly well-hidden; a ring behind a statue in the starting alley (see image), and a hammer in an abandoned side street next to the inn (see image).

I went for Artemus’ room to receive further instructions. His note had information pointing to the Soul Heart as the source of the city mayhem. I was to steal it and bring it back. I also needed to find two keeper brothers slain in battle, and drop them off at Artemus’ and Estobiaz’. Lastly, I had to find a sword. With the lockpicks I could enter two more rooms down Artemus’ hallway. The room at the end had two very well-hidden coin stacks in the corner (see image). The necklace in the footlocker had to be skipped for Supreme though; the guest woke when I picked the lock. Despite facing the lit stairway, he couldn’t see me leave. He must have been blind, as I was right in his view. In addition to this loot, a footlocker in the barracks and a sleeping chamber downstairs were now accessible. I noticed the locked sewer entrance beneath the staircase also; my exit for later.


Security Zone

Two pickable gates accessed the security zone. I entered through the one leading to a stationary captain studying some scrolls. There was a pirate’s hideout with some loot in this area also (see image). From the rooftops I passed an apartment with an assassinated tenant. Some coin stacks were hidden behind his bed. The toughest spot was an open court with lots of burning bodies and a robot. An additional archer was overlooking the area from a plateau nearby. I could enter the metal walkway above via an empty apartment in the southeast corner, but couldn’t pass the stony ledge without a comment from the archer. About halfway over, the bonfire below got too bright. Approaching from the opposite side took me across a very narrow banner frame; this time without any comments from either the bot or the archer. My goal was a hidden hammer study on the ledge directly above the canal. A tiny switch in the wall behind some pipes opened the entrance (see image). Five pieces of loot inside made me 195 gold richer. The remaining loot in this area had to wait. Five lucky coin pairs in the well were impossible to reach in any mode. Making a splash was unavoidable and the well was too close to the aforementioned archer. Also, a ring in the canal probably needed to be skipped for Supreme, but I would return later after obtaining a rope arrow.

I entered the mechanist factory from the upper balcony. Dodging the crossbow lady wasn’t too hard. Grabbed the tunnel 21 key and brought whatever loot I could find. The last piece was downstairs on a beam in the entry area; quite hard to spot that one. The factory workers weren’t too threatening though; standard ghosting.


Danger Zone

The ‘tunnel 21’-key took me through the sewers to the most hazardous area of town. Along the way I found another pirate hideout with more loot (see image). The switch for this entrance was located behind some pipes below the waterline. There were some whispering voices when approaching that section of the sewers. I couldn’t make out the words entirely, but think they mentioned something about a “secret lair”. In fact, they reminded me of similar voices heard by the burning court outside the mechanist factory. Anyhow, the streets surrounding the Red Quarter were heavily guarded, but the shadows were plentiful, and with patient timing getting around wasn’t that bad.

A stationary guard blocked the bridge leading southward. I knew the canal below held a hard-to-reach purse, and the intended entrance was via the underground tunnels directly below the sentry. However, plunging into the water from there alerted him to hunt mode, so I needed to figure out something else. I could creep-drop onto the grate in the western end of the canal from the garden above without alerts, but I lost some unavoidable health points in the process. This is allowed for plain Ghost, but frowned upon and far from my fancied outcome. The eastern end right above the purse had multiple pipe levels, seemingly inserted by the author for this exact purpose. I could reach that side of the canal with an angled mantle from the stairs leading down to the Black Market. The bridge guard didn’t notice me dropping, and I could finally reach the waterway alert-free and unscathed (see image). Nice piece of ghosting if I may say so. Well, I guess I just did.

I now approached the Black Market opposite of the intended direction. The only place to obtain a sword was in the armor shop underground. Unfortunately, picking the lock on the door alerted both the storekeeper and the thief outside. They only commented, so plain Ghost was still good. I couldn’t avoid this bust for Supreme though. Some of the equipment could be taken through the display window without detection, but the footlocker with the sword was positioned too far back. Since I had to enter, I also brought along a rope arrow. The jewelry store nearby was skipped for Supreme only, lowering the total loot amount for that mode an additional 600 gold. Again, picking the door lock was too loud.

The streets to the east were blocked in the middle by a bot and a stationary mechanist. They stood in a dark alley, with the bot facing the bright area of the street. I could leap through the area quickly and only spawn comments, but those were additional busts for Supreme. I reached the east side from the underground tunnels. I found the wounded keeper Ramy in an abandoned apartment up above. Stole the purse off the patroller here also. To get to the opposite side of the bot I had to mantle up by the stairs just east of the Red Quarter; near the broken window with a spider and some loot. There was a hard-to-reach coin stack in a chest on a ledge in this area, as well as a hidden wizard’s study in the alley corner (see image). This took me past the loot requirement for plain Ghost.


Wizards!

One of the few complaints I have of this mission is the entrance to the wizards’ compound. It was located on one of the walls in the underground tunnels, not far from the Black Market. It opened by frobbing a glyph on the wall a few feet away. I needed help from the forums to find it, and even then it wasn’t that obvious. The second time around I noticed the odd texture on the wall and the whispers as I approached the area, but for a first-time player, it was a tad too hard.

The souls in the compound all spoke French, which took a bit getting used too. For plain ghosters I imagine it doesn’t make that much difference, as you can still see them entering hunt mode if busted. But for Supreme, I needed to know which comments were alerts. Soul Tenethorm by the desk in the first room definitely alerted from opening the door. Most of the compound required standard sneaking. Two frobbable books in one of the libraries opened the cage to the Soul Heart and the gate to the dungeon downstairs, respectively. The wandering mage had a random patrol, which turned out to be a little annoying.

By far the toughest spot was on the lowest level. Two haunt-souls protected the main cage, patrolling back and forth from a nearby study. One of the souls in the study carried the archives key, highly needed to finish the mission. The other stationary soul in there watched the entrance. Both of the walking dudes had haunt-like alerts, thus easily recognizable. They did pivot turns a few feet inside the study, and I could rush in to the left before they headed back. The stationed soul saw me enough to comment, but that was acceptable considering the circumstances. I circled the room counterclockwise to reach Tahsel’s key. Grabbing the Soul Heart took the most amount of time. Both guards were quite jumpy and the wizard upstairs also spotted me on occasion. My path involved using the semi-dark corners and following the souls around the room. I used the left pillar by the opening to dodge the incoming patroller when leaning in for the snatch. In the end, I managed to avoid any comments from this room. Fetching keeper Lucien from the dungeon posed no real problems.

Hung on to the archives key when leaving the compound. Couldn’t enter the study again without further comments, and there were no good places to drop the key without causing noise. The tunnel 13 key was stuck to my inventory, so I wouldn’t have to return to the wizards later. Remembered to flip back the books to close the gates downstairs before exiting. Another comment spawned from the sitting soul up top when opening the sliding door.


Wrapping it up

Brought Lucien to Artemus’ room. Also fetched the secret bag of spice from the ledge west of Estobiaz’ (see image). Firing the rope arrow had to be done from total darkness. The guards still alerted to hunt mode occasionally, but I managed to avoid any busts. Back in the danger zone I went for the last missing secret: a hidden apartment northeast of the Red Quarter (see image). All it took was a rope arrow into the beam above, but it was unreachable for Supreme. There was a stationary mechanist in the upper streets nearby; he caught me going past the lamppost and the bonfires. Only a comment, so plain Ghost was good. Brought Ramy with me and left the danger zone for the last time. No big deal.

Dropped off Ramy and Artemus’ room key at Estobiaz’. Returned the tunnel 21 key to the mech factory and headed for the last hard piece of loot. It was a ring in the canal below the open court with burning bodies mentioned earlier (see image). With an accurate jump from the banner frame above, I could reach the canal ladder without notice. I had to leap from the frame’s silent edge not to alert the patrolling mechanists inside the factory. To get back up I fired a rope into the sloped wooden overhang above the banner frame. The rope ended just above a steam vent in the streets below. To reach unseen I tried traversing the canal fence from the top of the ladder, but the archer caught me halfway through. A torch beyond the portcullis further west was the source of trouble. Instead I had to mantle the canal corner directly from below (see image). Angle-running from the waterline got me high enough to reach the edge of the fence above, but there wasn’t much in it. Sometimes the mantle took me straight into the light, causing the archer to throw a hizzy fit. Two times I managed to mantle up without hitting the light and keeping it within Supreme rules. The rope was ascended slowly, past the shiny window on the wall.

From there I returned to the inn and exited the mission through tunnel 13. The best map I’ve played in a long time!


Notes:

- It was impossible to move around the safe zone without spawning first alert settling remarks. Whether these are Supreme rule violations is a tricky question. I have ruled against myself, but am open for discussion.
- Had to skip a necklace (worth 200 gold) at the inn for Supreme. My lockpick woke the sleeping guest.
- Ignored five pairs of lucky coins (100 gold) in the well by the mechanist factory in the security zone. The female archer stood too close for the splash to remain unheard. Busted Perfect Thief.
- Couldn’t obtain the sword from the weapon’s store at the Black Market without alerting the store owner and the thief guard. They both commented on picking the door. Busted Supreme.
- Had to skip the 600 gold from the jewelry store at the Black Market for Supreme also. Again the door alerted the stationary thief.
- The soul in the first study commented on the door opening. Inevitable, but another Supreme bust. He also commented when I left.
- The stationary soul in the deepest study commented when entering and leaving to grab the archives key. I didn’t moss the floor, but was unable to avoid him noticing anything.
- Didn’t return the archives key as this involved more comments from the aforementioned soul. There wasn’t any silent place to drop it either, except for on a stack of books on a nearby desk.
- Had to skip more loot for Supreme (175 gold total) from the hidden apartment northeast of the Red Quarter. The stationary mechanist nearby couldn’t be passed without a comment.
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  #235  
Old 05-06-2009, 04:07 PM
Klatremus Klatremus is offline
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FM: Mystic Gems I: Unlucky Soul

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 36:17
Loot - 2500 out of 2500
Pockets Picked - 7/8
Locks Picked - 6
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 2/2
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (FMs).
Loot list here.


Comments:

I beta-tested the sequel ‘Heart of Bohn’ a while back, and based on its quality I wanted to give the original a shot. Once again the Mystic Soul was on my list of to-dos, located in the mansion of Lord Gillian. In addition to the gemstone I needed 2,000 in loot. To reach the inner city of Bohn I had to finish the mission catching a ride in one of Gilbert & Son’s express crates. It’d been some time since my last Thief encounter, so I was up for anything.

I started in the Eastport warehouse, with one patrolling hammer covering the night shift. There was nothing to report here or in the sewers. Also passed Lord Gillian’s basement patroller without any trouble. Standard Ghosting was all. The subtle ambiance and high attention to detail made the trip around the ground floor enjoyable, despite posing few challenges. The kitchen floor was tile, but the maid took long enough breaks for me to steal the room unnoticed. There was even a spot on the counter where I was completely hidden (see image). The spice bag on the mantelpiece was cleverly placed, and hard to spot. Had to approach from the eastern side-door to reach the front yard swordsman’s purse (see image). The alley here was dark, plus he was stationed on the east side of the stairs.

With only one guard roaming the top floor, reaching the prized gemstone proved effortless. The guard had a rather lengthy route at that. Fiddled a bit with the keys back and forth; three of which was needed to get all the loot. I was certain replacing the safe key would wake Gillian and bust Supreme, but he must have had a fair bit of wine this night. His chest key unlocked the chest (surprise!) in the living room attic, containing the Mystic Soul. The opposite end of the crawlspace was available from the hallway hatch. The lost ring mentioned in one of the readables was placed here (see image). Locked up all doors and left the bedroom key along the patroller’s path.

Supreme got busted on my way toward Gilbert & Son’s. First of all, I had to leave the sewer gate open after pulling the lever. Unsure whether that is a bust as it is impossible to close it and also complete the mission. Supreme was busted from not being able to return the control room key without waking the drunk anyway, so it didn’t matter much. There were no soft spots close by to dampen the noise of the key. After all these years of playing, I am still baffled as to how Garrett is completely unable to quietly lay a key (or any metallic object) onto a hard surface. Oddly, he seems compelled to drop it from waist height.

The warehouse almost had more guards than the rest of the mission combined, which says more about the rest of the mission. Gilbert & Son’s was the best area in terms of layout if you ask me (at least for Ghosting). An easy way for authors to up the challenge on higher difficulties is to give one or more guard a lantern. You don’t have to cramp a floor full of people to increase tension. Well-positioned AIs and awareness of light sources can serve the same purpose, with a better outcome in my opinion. The basement guard was a good example of where this came into effect. Giving him a purse also provided an optional challenge for purists. Excellent Wille!

Entered the upstairs office through the window. Found a hidden room with a purse frobbing one of the books (see image). Could steal the stationary guard’s purse through the door, but I assumed this to be a glitch so I grabbed it coming up the stairs to his left instead. Stole the remaining objects from the crates and finished by hiding in the large shipping container. Nice mission!


Notes & Busts:

- Hung on to the control room key heading for Gilbert & Son’s. Couldn’t drop it by the drunk without reaching second level alert state. Supreme bust.
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  #236  
Old 05-06-2009, 04:20 PM
Klatremus Klatremus is offline
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Default Two reports in one day !!

FM: Mystic Gems II: Heart of Bohn

Ghost - Success
Perfect Thief - Success
Supreme Ghost - Failed
Perfect Supreme - Failed
Time - 1:23:01
Loot - 3600 out of 3600
Pockets Picked - 5/8
Locks Picked - 12
Backstabs - 0, Knockouts - 0
Damage dealt - 0, Damage taken - 0
Healing taken - 0, Kills - 0, Bodies Discovered - 0
Secrets Found - 5/5
Consumables - None

See the entire report with screenshots here (FMs).
Loot list here.

Be sure to check out the report for the first mission, posted directly above!


Comments:

My next stop was the Baronial Museum in Bohn, where I was picking up the Mystic Heart. I also needed to find some additional information on the gemstone twins, as well as 3,200 in loot. I had gotten my hands on a brochure with a crude map; at least it was better than nothing.

Nothing worth buying at the store, so I clicked my way through the loadout screen. I started in the streets close to the museum basement’s back doors. It was possible to enter that way, but it was far from the most discrete approach. I went for the sewers instead, after picking up the coins from the apartment above the canal. Skipped sergeant Willy’s armory key from the sewer basin support beam. I knew the armory didn’t contain any valuables except for a hint regarding the vault code, but I remembered that hint from beta-testing. It would save me a trip back to replace the key later. The sewer key was also unnecessary, as I could enter the museum without it, through a secret passage in the tunnels (see images here & here). I emerged in the first floor library.


First Floor

Each floor was split into two main wings, separated by an astonishing central foyer (see image). I have included some extra screenshots simply to advertise, in my humble opinion, one of the best looking FMs to date. Coupled with a beautiful background score, this mission provides nothing more than perfect atmosphere. The layout is made so that traversing the rooms is exciting yet challenging; plenty of loot to keep you busy, but enough shade to help you along. The loot placement and guard patrols seem realistic as well, which is not the case for all indoor missions. Even though ‘Unlucky Soul’ was a solid first creation, ‘Heart of Bohn’ is a huge step up for a very talented author. I will play anything Wille comes up with in the future, I promise!

I made my way westward, cleaning the various display rooms. Nothing too challenging, and few situations worth noting. The exquisite precursor gallery to the southeast was tiled, and the patroller didn’t step out for long. One of the caskets had a convenient dark spot where I could time my runs properly (see image). One small piece of loot was found in the library, a coin by the foot of one of the tables (see image). I imagine it could get overlooked easily.


Second Floor

I ascended to the second floor in the far west and cleaned this floor eastward. The most notable test came north of the main foyer, where two masks hung on the hallway wall. Stationary guards covered both entry points, plus several patrollers had this hall as part of their route. I ended up coming from the east, dodging the female guard through a patch of shade by the potted plant. She had two facing angles, and timing her movements I was able to pass the lit area by the banner (see image). Got caught several times from downstairs patrollers, so this was a tricky spot indeed. Needed to return the same way, as the male sentry further west blocked that path entirely.

The next challenge lay to the southeast, above the precursor exhibit. There was a smaller gallery in the upstairs corner, well guarded by an outside swordsman. So well in fact, that it was impossible to get in that way. I improvised with a rope arrow outside the arched window and entered the display room by hopping from the metal railing (see image). Getting back was a bit fiddly though. I had to utilize a tiny ledge outside the window and reshoot the rope arrow closer to the walkway. There was also the patroller downstairs to worry about, but most of that part of the room was dark enough.


Third Floor

After clearing the rest of the second floor, I moved upstairs via the double stairway in the de Moren gallery. The rafters above the top flight of stairs held a blessed candle needed later (see image). Robbed the captain’s quarters and the private study, in that order. Found information on a golden rosary in the library, spawning an optional objective to retrieve it.

Geniality from the author to have two pickable doors accessing the curator’s quarters. He had a small walk between the two rooms and I could eavesdrop to track his movement. Had to make sure he didn’t hear the lockpicks, otherwise Supreme was busted. This was a tough task, as several patrolling swordsmen came by on a regular basis. Luckily, both doors were covered in darkness. Finally got inside and could sweep the premises within a couple of minutes (see image). A letter on the desk explained the workings of the abnormal holy water vial found in the spider-shaped jewelry box. I couldn’t remember the order of which to put out the torches, so I’d have to find the poem mentioned in the message. One of the coat hooks in the bedroom also opened a wall-safe with some loot. One of my favorite parts of the mission this.


Accessing the Shrine

The new objective ordered me to gain access to the shrine. This could only be done by extinguishing the four torches in a specific order. Unfortunately, three of them spawned comments from nearby patrollers (see image), thus busting Supreme. I remember discussing this situation with Wille during beta testing, and even though we both agreed it was a bust, it seemed too fiddly to fix. Besides, it’s only natural that guards would react to unlit torches that supposedly have been burning for centuries. While putting out the second torch in the basement, I also cleaned the vault. The code was de Moren’s birth date.

The fourth and final torch was the hardest by far. One can clean the yard by the main entrance in two sweeps; the west side coming through the door, and the east emerging from the basement window. I didn’t bother with such a long route, which meant I had to pass the lit part of the yard west to east, circumventing all three guards. But before that I had to get off the entrance patio without getting spotted by anyone, which was more than a pickle. Both doors were locked, and picking it from the inside meant eavesdropping for comments, while also dodging the inside patrollers. After successfully getting the door open, I could stand in the doorway’s dark patch to monitor the situation (see image). As the guard passed the door eastward, I slipped out and dropped past the western pillars to the bricks below (see image). This corner served as a breathing spot while timing the rest of my runs. The dry fountain to the southwest contained a few lucky coins, while the cemetery held the second of the blessed candles. Once lighting the last torch, my objectives changed to enter the shrine itself. It was surprisingly easy to reenter the museum coming from the east. Somewhat lucky I opened the door when nobody was around.

Grabbed the rosary by placing both candles in the holders in the old library to the southeast. The secret door couldn’t be closed, so no bust. Returned the book with the hidden objective, the vault key and the private study key (dropped it along Willy’s route), before plunging into the great unknown and ending the mission. What a ride!!


Notes & Busts:

- Got comments from patrolling guards after lighting three of the four magic torches. The procedure is necessary to finish the mission, without being explicitly articulated in the objectives. Supreme busts.
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  #237  
Old 05-06-2009, 06:49 PM
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goldsla goldsla is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klatremus View Post
After all these years of playing, I am still baffled as to how Garrett is completely unable to quietly lay a key (or any metallic object) onto a hard surface. Oddly, he seems compelled to drop it from waist height.
Have you ever considered dropping a soft item first and the key on that, then picking back up the soft item? A fruit or a Dewdrop come to mind. I've used both to soften landing noises in touchy areas. I don't see why that wouldn't work for dropping a key. Worth a try, no?
  #238  
Old 05-08-2009, 04:17 PM
Klatremus Klatremus is offline
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Just tried it, unsuccessfully. Muffled the drop all right, but once I remove the healing potion the key still makes the clunky noise and wakes the guard. For keys it doesn't seem to depend on the height at all, but rather the underlying surface.

No biggie, it was fun to ghost nonetheless.
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  #239  
Old 05-12-2009, 06:11 AM
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goldsla goldsla is offline
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Oh well. I suppose leaving behind a healing potion with the key would bust the spirit even though the rules don't say you can't leave extra stuff behind, do they ...
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  #240  
Old 05-12-2009, 05:57 PM
Klatremus Klatremus is offline
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Supreme rule #7:
"Put Everything back that can be put back: doors closed and re-locked if they are re-lockable, chests and gates closed if closable; keys returned, books/scrolls/letters returned to their original place."

This is the reason for me having to put back the key. This rule refers to every object taken that can be replaced, thus erasing any trace of my presence, in the true "spirit" of Supreme Ghosting. If I left the healing potion I might as well have skipped returning the key in the first place.

No big deal though, but thanks for the input.
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