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          Sunday, June 29, 2008

Strife by Ricebug Released!
- 2:42:19 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released June 27, 2008 - Strife a mission for T2 with English & French support by Ricebug

The Mission:
The Hammerites want their Sacred Chalice returned. They will pay Garrett big bucks to get it back. So, Garrett heads off to recover the Chalice and pick up some loot for himself.

Impressions:
This mission is based on the old PC game Strife. If you check the readme, there is a link to a game play video of the original. You will notice that Ricebug has done an excellent job recreating the look of the original. In the original game, the first mission is designed to be a hub to other missions, so you will find several doors marked "This door opens to future missions." Ricebug's plans are to make those future missions. I can't wait.

You need to read all the scrolls & things that you find. This will give you extra objectives and help you progress through the mission. The Easy level is just that. You will be given hints through out the mission which walk you through step-by-step. If you choose Easy, I would suggest that you take the hints, but do not read them unless you get stuck. Overall, I found this to be a fun mission with a reminiscent feel of the Doom engine which the original game used. If you're in the mood for nostalgia or just want a fun mission, give this one a try.

Stats:
I finished on Normal in 44:36 with 1765/2308 loot, 5/9 pickpockets and 5/5 secrets.

Screenshots:

Post your comments or ask questions at the Forum Discussion Thread.





          Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lord of the Thieves: Attack of the Orcs Released!
- 5:27:13 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released June 27, 2008 - Lord of the Thieves: Attack of the Orcs a mission for T2 by Cavalorn

The Mission:
The Keepers have once again come to Garrett for help. The city of Nahoras has been over-run by Orcs. They need Garrett to sneak into the city and discover the Orcs' plans. While he is there, he also needs to recover a broken, ancient sword, The Flame of the North. Garrett hates being called on by the Keepers, but he decides to check out Nahoras.

Impressions:
This is an enjoyable mission with lots of creepy Orcs. They make strange noises and are rather spooky, not to mention ugly. Wandering through a city where almost every human has been slaughtered by these Orcs is not a comfortable thing. As you search throughout the city, you will find several keys and lots of loot. This is a pretty normal city style mission if you discount the Orcs. It was challenging, but not extremely difficult. You should definitely give it a try.

Stats:
I finished on Normal in 01:33:12 with 4450/4785 loot and 11/16 pickpockets.

Screenshots:

Post your comments or ask questions at the Forum Discussion Thread.





          Friday, June 27, 2008

Southquarter Interview with Eshaktaar
- 8:10:46 PM - pavlovscat
Interview with Eshaktaar
Posted June 26, 2008 - Southquarter's 15 Questions with Eshaktaar by Brethren

With the recent release of the masterpiece, Broken Triad, as well as the classic FM Ominous Bequest and SSR Contest winner Keyhunt, this is a perfect time to focus on the creator of these excellent missions, Eshaktaar. Eshaktaar speaks about the making of Broken Triad, his favorite missions and other topics. Brethren has done a top-notch interview you won't want to miss.





          Saturday, June 21, 2008

ShadowSneaker's Thief Music Downloads
- 1:18:27 PM - pavlovscat
Thief-Inspired Music by ShadowSneaker
ShadowSneaker's Thief-inspired music is now available for download in MP3 format.

Crypts
Mechanist Massacre
Midnight Whispered My Name
Twilight Trickster
Dreams of Dead Thoughts

This is very good Thiefy mood music. These four tracks left me wanting more! Hopefully, we will see more tracks from ShadowSneaker in the future. Post your opinion of this music at the Forum Discussion Thread.

Edit: A fifth track has been added, Dreams of Dead Thoughts!





          Thursday, June 19, 2008

Good Vs Bad for TG Updated!
- 1:48:24 PM - pavlovscat
Updated Mission
Released June 17, 2008 - Good vs Bad v2.5 a mission for TG by sNeaksieGarrett

The Mission:
The Hammers have asked Garrett to help them. The Builder's Chisel is missing. It was stolen by a another Thief named Jacob. The Hammers will be there to fight by Garrett's side, but he must find and return the Builder's Chisel. And, fill his pockets with any loot taken by Jacob.

Impressions:
You have a group of Hammers who will fight anything to regain their beloved Builder's Chisel. They are excellent allies as anyone who's been on the wrong end of their hammers has found. Use your allies to help you recover the Chisel. This is a small level, but watching the mayhem is quite entertaining.

Stats:
I played on Normal and finished in 10:32 with 4902/4902 loot and 2/2 secrets.

Screenshots:

Post your comments at the Forum Discussion Thread.





          Monday, June 16, 2008

Dominus' Thief: The Dark Art Book ready for download
- 8:24:29 PM - pavlovscat
Thief: The Dark Art Book by Dominus
The Dark Art Book is available for download in PDF format or in JPG format.

Dominus has taken official Thief art and compiled it into book format for the enjoyment of Thief fans. The layout and design of this book are very well done. This is a must have collection for every taffer. Dominus has worked within the limitations of size and clarity of the original images, many from more than 10 years ago, to make a cohesive collection and an excellent presentation.

The quality of this collection comes as no surprise to me as Dominus is a talented 2D artist in his own right. Visit his website, www.pandemoniumart.net, and check out his blog and portfolio. Don't miss his Gallery which is set to some very familiar music.

There is a Forum Discussion Thread for anyone who would like to comment on Dominus' work.





          Thursday, June 12, 2008

Updated TG Gold in Fort Knocks released!
- 11:40:46 AM - pavlovscat
Updated Mission
Released June 10, 2008 - Gold in Fort Knocks Revised a mission for TG by darthsLair

The Mission:
The Hammers have a facility in an ore rich mountain area called Fort Knocks. An associate of Garrett's would love to have some of the Hammers' most treasured artifacts - for a price of course. Fort Knocks is very secure, but Garrett believes he can get into the Fort through a secret passage. His best chance for escape will be through an old mine shaft near the Fort.

Impressions:
There are several special items to find in this mission. It is fairly small, but full of loot and Hammers. It takes me about 35 minutes to finish. The revised version is a conversion from Thief 1 to Thief Gold which features improved lighting ambient. If you haven't played Fort Knocks before, it is a solid mission that I always enjoy. There are a few zombies, but it is not hard to sneak past them all. Or you can always introduce the zombies to the Hammers for some fun.

Screenshots:
Original Version:

Revised Version:

Let darthsLair know what you think at the Forum Discussion Thread. Need a hint? Check out the Help Thread from the original release.There is also a Walkthrough available for this mission.





          Thursday, June 05, 2008

Valley by Flux for T3 Released!
- 10:00:42 PM - pavlovscat
New Mission

Released June 4, 2008 - Valley for T3 by Flux with English & German language support

The Mission:
The pagans are planning a war with the Hammers. Garrett doesn't really care for either group, but a war would certainly make things uncomfortable for him. An undercover Keeper agent has infiltrated the pagan settlement. Garrett needs to contact this agent to get all the inside information he can so that this war can be stopped. While he's there, Garrett has some personal business with one of the pagan shamans to attend to as well.

Impressions:
I enjoyed the exotic locale. There are several interesting puzzles to figure out to complete the mission. There is a scary new monster that completely unnerved me. Also, the shamans have some unusual powers from which you will need to defend yourself. However, there are clues given throughout the mission to help you beat the bad guys.

I would classify this as a city-style mission though the setting is a pagan settlement located in a remote valley. The settlement is a multi-level complex with several distinct areas to explore much as in a typical city. The surroundings are quite different because the pagan settlement is built into the caves of a mountain valley. Like Flux's previous mission, Cabot, this mission has much of the feeling of the original Thief missions in its gameplay which makes it a good starter mission for someone who has never played a TDS FM before.

Screenshots:
Here are a few samples from Flux's Gallery of Screenshots for this mission.

Have questions about this mission or want to comment? Check out the Forum Discussion Thread.






          Monday, June 02, 2008

Broken Triad by Eshaktaar Released!
- 11:39:57 AM - pavlovscat
New Mission
Released May 31, 2008 - Broken Triad a two mission pack for T2 by Eshaktaar

Part 1: Arkford
The Mission:

Garrett is getting tired of the small town of Arkford. There is a bizarre killer on the loose. He has one last heist planned before he heads back to The City. There is a stone bust called The Sleeper displayed at Harrogate, the local museum. Garrett had a replica bust made, and he plans to beat the unbeatable museum security system and swap his fake bust for the original.

Impressions:
After years of awaiting the sequel to Ominous Bequest, there is no disappointment here. Eshaktaar has created a beautiful city with his excellent attention to detail. You will notice a new sound as you crunch around through the snow. Both flames and water dance with a life of their own. Visually the mission is stunning. The music used adds to the ambience without being distracting.

The game play is amazing. There are many puzzles and secrets for the experienced taffer to enjoy. Many of these are side quests which are not required to complete the mission. Take your time with this one because the side quests are a pleasure to pursue. However, you can still have a great experience completing the minimum requirements of the mission. For the full experience, go for the gold. And either way, take your time and enjoy yourself. You must read everything. Generally, the readables are short, but they are vital clues for completing your mission.

Stats:
If you choose Normal difficulty as I did, you will still have access to the same areas & puzzles, but with fewer enemies. So, you won't miss out on anything exciting. I finished Arkford in 05:19:54 with 1535/2010 loot, 5/8 secrets and 1 bonus objective.

Screenshots:

Part 2: Tempest Isle
The Mission:

Garrett finds himself on Tempest Isle after following the directions of the mysterious Keeper Aleph. He must explore the island to find a way home.

Impressions:
Tempest Isle exceeds the mark set by Arkford. Visually, this mission is a masterpiece. The ambiance of Tempest Isle is very creepy with a swirling red sky and lots of dangerous new foes. The setting is reminiscent of ancient Egypt with the horror dial turned way up. The water is alive, and the lava looks real. The new items and original story line make for a stunning mission.

Again, there are puzzles and secrets. Many of these puzzles are not easy. You will need to read everything as valuable hints can be found anywhere. Again, the readables are vital to completing the mission. Some of them are a bit lengthy, but you need to read everything. This is another mission where you will need to take your time and think things through. Broken Triad scores very high on my must play list. I played carefully, but there is so much more to find. I look forward to starting all over again.

Stats:
I finished Tempest Isle in 03:29:09 with 1420/2010 loot and 3/8 secrets.

Screenshots:

Broken Triad is the sequel to Ominous Bequest Gold. If you've never played Ominous Bequest or have only played v3.0 released in 2003, you will want to play the Gold version with updated graphics released in May 2008. This is a classic mission and a favorite on my replay list.

If you need a some help or want to post your comments on either part of Broken Triad, check out these Forum Discussion Threads: Broken Triad Pt 1: Arkford and Broken Triad Pt 2: Tempest Isle.





          Sunday, June 01, 2008

June FM Update
- 10:37:22 AM - The Phantom
A FM Update written for The Circle, based on the update messages in the List of Upcoming and Abandoned Fanmissions.

Intruder makes an appearance in the upcoming missions list. He is working on his first dromEd project, called "Keeper Investigations". It will be a city mission that promises a lot of rooftop exploration. Check out the screens he posted on the forums.

One author is no longer mentioned as upcoming. "Unite the Dead" by slipknot was removed because of new thread criteria. More is explained in this post. Whether or not it reappears in the list is uncertain, since there hasn't been news about the project for nearly a year.

Several missions have been removed from the list because they weren't 50% complete yet, or because they were mentioned while an earlier part of a series wasn't released yet. They might return in the list at a later time, depending on the plans/progress of the author.

The wait for two highly anticipated missions is finally over. DrK released the third part of his impressive Night in Rocksbourg series, called "Ink and Dust". It continues where part 2 ended, and promises to be just as visually impressive. Secondly there's Eshaktaar, who brought us "Broken Triad", the sequel to Ominous Bequest. It cost the author years to finish it, but the result will surely be worth the wait. Both belong to the top of FM design, and are not to be missed by any thief fan. Grab them from The Circle or from one of the other FM archives.

Another most impressive project is "CoSaS Mission X", which is still in development by Digital Nightfall and crew. Recently the mission's beta stage was announced, including many new screens, hidden by several questions regarding Cosas that had to be answered first. Clicking the upper latest news link at the author's profile brings you to the related thread on the forums.

With "The Flying Age" released, Sterlino has continued the work on "Horns of Canzo Part 2". A video preview has been made that gives reveals several new gameplay features of this long-awaited mission pack. There's also a release date given: Fall/Winter 2008.

Short news:

  • HipBreaker is making good progress on his upcoming mission. He also posted several new screens.
  • First Snow, Nightstroll's debut mission, is almost ready. The author is now looking for voice actors, beta testers and translators, and posted several new screenshots.
  • Saturnine's upcoming horror-themed mission is called "Rose Cottage" and is currently under beta testing
  • Mystic Gems Part 2's release is scheduled for this summer
  • eepcat's latest mission should be ready for beta testing in a week or two

    Two projects have been moved to the List of Abandoned Fanmissions:

  • First there is "Dark Metal" by Rob Hicks. It's silent around the project for two years, and it's creator can no longer be contacted.
  • The second is "Thief 2 Gold", which progress came to a hold after the team, formed to finish this incomplete mission pack, fell apart.

    For the full list of changes, see this message in the FM thread.

    Until next update,

    The Phantom






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