Playing this mission may be difficult if you are not familiar with the many tricks and exploitations that can be achieved with the Thief game engine. This document should help you get through the mission, and answer most of the questions you have. Some tips that would reveal a puzzle or surprise have been masked in blue boxes. To read the hidden text, click and drag a selection over the blue area.
Luthien is perhaps the most accomplished climber in Thief. He's been many that seemed impossible to climb to. The most famous of these being the top of the blue antenna on Angelwatch tower in Life of the Party. Luthien invented the staircase method of crate stacking, and was the inspiration for the crate dispenser in this mission.
Azal is another accomplished climber, and was the first to reach the roof of Angelwatch in Life of the Party. He is also famous for his Collector's Edition of Thief where he takes a screenshot of every carryable item in a mission.
Lytha is perhaps the most famous Thief player. She was the first to climb to the roof of Angelwatch in The Unwelcome Guest, as well as climbing over the wall of the Hammerite Cathedral in the Old Quarter. She is also well known of a method of gameplay that involves receiving no damage, and not damaging any other creature.
The relative difficulty of each playing mode is not necessarily related to their order on the "New Game" screen. Luthien happens to be the easiest, but while Lytha gives the player a single hit-point, Azal may be considered the more difficult. The collection objective is not quite as straight-forward as it sounds, and the lower air supply makes swimming through the tunnel a challenge. So these should be considered more as game modes than difficulty levels, and you should attempt at least both Lytha and Azal.
This mission was built with the intention of being a climbing challenge. But you are not required to stack or climb just to complete the objectives. And there are plenty of other things to do than just stack crates.
As well, you can climb using vine arrows. There are a few places where vines will stick on the outside of the Tower. In particular, it is possible to climb to the first ledge of the Tower using just vine arrows. What you may not realize is that vines will stick to the outside windows. Also, there are small, hard to see grates at the first and top ledges of the Tower.
The water tunnel can be very frustrating. The first thing to know is that you can gain extra distance by jumping into the water from a high place. The top of the Tower is the logical place, and is very exciting to jump from. But starting from the first ledge of the Tower is just as effective. Using every bit of air efficiently is crucial here, so you want to move through the water as quickly as possible. Remember that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so don't wander around too much. There isn't anything to explore down here. Don't drift down too far. Once the tunnel turns horizontally, hug the top and watch for the spot where it turns again. Then just point your view straight up and swim with everything you've got. The fastest way to move in Thief is by strafe-running. Run forward, and at the same time press the side-step key. You'll move diagonally, but about one-and-a-half times faster than just running normally. It makes moving in a straight line, but the speed boost is necessary.
Using the crate dispenser (or Frobozz Magic Crate Device, as I like to call it) is quite simple. First you have to pick it up. The dispenser is sitting next to the front door of the Tower. It looks a little like a normal crate, but with rust-colored corners. When you have it selected in your inventory, give it a frob and a new (normal) crate is created right in front of you. If you're standing next to a wall or something, it may be too close to actually see. If you look at your inventory, you'll notice that the icon has shrunk, indicating that you can pick up the newly created crate. Now that you have a new crate, you can stack it. One of the things you should know about a crate is that there actually is a "top". Look forward, with your view level to the ground, and drop (don't throw) the crate. You should see that the wood grain of the crate is vertical. In this position, the top of the crate is sturdy enough to support any stack. If the grain is horizontal, then the crate is actually on its side, and the stack will only be sturdy if it's perfectly centered. To make a staircase stack, the crates must all be standing upright.
The traditional way to stack crates is to be holding a crate, then look straight down. Drop the crate, then jump right away; almost at the same time, actually. The crate should then land under your feet. It will be on its side, but as long as you drop every crate straight down, and down move away from the center of the crate, then the stack can be as high as you want. When standing on a stack, you can dispense new crates by looking up. Then the dispenser will drop the new crate right on your head, and you can pick it up. Sometimes, you can jump after dropping a crate, but if you've moved even the slightest bit, even just turning your view, it won't work.
Climbing something as tall as the Taffer's Tower can be tedious, and for some people even impossible. So I provided a shortcut for getting to the top.
On the base of the spotlights on the ground, there is a locked hidden panel. Open that to reveal the shortcut.
Where would you go to look for vines?
The arrows are in the branches of the tree.
Yes. Follow the frog.
The eggs are in the water, under the outer branches of the tree.
Sure. Knockouts don't count as damage in Lytha mode. Keep in mind that most people can't be knocked out if they can see you.
If, for whatever reason, you can't manage to get through unaided, there is a speed potion hidden inside the Tower.
Take the lift to the catwalks. Go to the opposite corner from the lift. Look up at the I-beam. The hanging metal cables can be climbed to get up there.
Some of the machines operate like ones in Soulforge. If you've forgotten the directions for those machines, here they are again.
Obtain a Iron Chassis, a Metal Plate, and a canister of Quicklime Mixture.
Process the Iron Chassis and the Quicklime Mixture with the Amalgamating Machine in Factory Bay B. A Mine Bulb will be manufactured.
Merge the Mine Bulb and the Metal Plate with the Sealing Machine in Factory Bay D.
Obtain a Metal Plate, a canister of Quicklime Mixture, and a canister of Acidic Mixture.
Process the Quicklime Mixture and the Acidic Mixture with the Amalgamating Machine in Factory Bay B. A canister of Flare Mixture will be manufactured.
Transform the Flare Mixture with the Rolling Machine in Factory Bay A.
Obtain a bolt of Spring Wiring, a Bantam Node, and a canister of Acidic Mixture.
Put the Spring Wiring and the Acidic Mixture through the Fusing Machine in Factory Bay E. A Flux Spheroid will be manufactured.
Put the Flux Spheroid and the Bantam Node through the Bellowing Machine in Factory Bay C.
One of those can't be made; it should be obvious which one. But remember the secrets in Soulforge? There's one more thing that can be made.
Put a Mine Bulb in the top slot and a Bantam Node in the bottom slot of the Sealing Machine. An Explosive Device will be manufactured.
The outside isn't the only climbing challenge. It is possible to climb from the ground floor to the very top, and even onto the roof, without using stairs or the lift. Most of the surfaces are wood so vine arrows are all you need.
Not only wood, but metal surfaces like railings and catwalks.
You can climb out onto the roof by shooting a vine arrow at the ladder.
The railings on the first floor have gaps in them. You can also climb and stand on top of them.
The loot, all of it, is just those five very large masks.
The Keeper's book contains some clues on how to retrieve speed potions and breath potions.
The speed potions are gotten by setting the spider on fire. If you kill the spider, you can pick it up and drop it on the fire.
The breath potions are gotten by taking the "Holy Relic" (the basketball) and throwing it at the Guardian (the will 'o wisp). When you hit it, it drops a breath potion.
Use a flare or fire arrow. Duh.
Pretty much. Other than providing items for the collection objective, it's really quite useless. You can eat the spider meat, however. But I wouldn't recommend it. It's poisonous.
Not really. That is, you can try translating them if you like impossible challenges. But it's not important to know what they say.
The "arvraqua" scroll reads:
Come Guardian of the waters
Come granter of wishes, giver of gifts
Come hear our prayers
And be blessed with the Holy Abb-Telklas
The "uvretsraq" scroll reads:
I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus garden in the shade
He'd let us in, knows where we've been
In his octopus garden in the shade
Two bedrolls, a crate dispenser, a metal stool, three gears, six bottles, the bodies of Garrett, Benny, Murus, a Keeper, a Spider, two ancient scrolls, and a holy relic of Abb-Telklas (the basketball).
Broadhead arrows, vine arrows, mine bulbs and flux spheroids. Also the items that can be manufactured.
Frog eggs, fire arrows, water arrows, healing potions, breath potions, and speed potions will regenerate. Also the supplies for manufacturing and the things that can be made from them. And crates too, obviously.
Breath potions and speed potions are created by the Guardian and the spider, respectively.
The other items that don't come from a machine will reappear where you picked them up after a period of time. You can't have more than 99 of any one item, however.
No. There's too many flares in Thief already.
The large rooms can cause problems, this is the nature of Thief. Some of the ambient sounds are very long too, which takes a lot of memory. And inside the Tower, there's a lot of objects and complicated architecture. It's just a matter of trying to do too much with the game engine.
There is a bug near the top of the lift. When moving in that area, the game may seem to freeze. The freeze should be momentary, but can sometimes be as long as five seconds.
Yes, one thing. But you'll have to find it yourself. (And I don't mean the BBB's.)