22 December 2011
Author : LarryG
Contact Info : LarryG @ TTLG
Homepage : N/A
Version : 1.0.0
Date of Release : 22 December 2011
This, Finals at the Academy, is the first mission in my planned 3 mission Prequel campaign (Finals at the Academy, True Dreams, and Graduation). The campaign is set prior to the start of The Dark Project . . .
Artemus brought Garrett to the Academy when Garrett was old enough to begin his formal training as Keeper acolyte. Garrett excelled under the careful, balanced class work. This mission begins as Garrett undertakes his final examination as a candidate for initiation into the Keepers' Delphanic Order.
Game : Thief 2 - The Metal Age
Mission Title : Finals at the Academy
Mission File Name(s) : Miss22.mis
Difficulty Settings : YES
Equipment Store : NO
Map : YES
Auto Map : YES
New Graphics : YES
New Sounds : YES
New Objects : YES
Multi language support : NO
Difficulty Level Info : Normal, Hard, Expert
Known Bugs : If GarrettLoader is used to install this mission, it may not clean up all of the installed folders correctly when deinstalling the mission. In particular, the “Strings” and “Books” folders may have to be deleted manually.
Video Briefing Length : N/A
Video Briefing Size : N/A
Base : Scratch
Build Time : 1,182 days
This mission utilizes assets from Thief Gold, The Metal Age, and Deadly Shadows. Please do not play this mission if you haven't purchased copies of all three games or don’t otherwise have legal rights to use those assets.
Most lights in this mission can be turned off and on, either by frobbing a switch or by frobbing the light directly. This is true for all gas lights and candles. Some electric lights have switches built into their bases and can be switched off/on by frobbing them, others are controlled by wall switches. Torches and fireplaces can be doused with water or KO gas, and can be reignited by fire arrows or other sources of intense heat.
In this mission there is a money box which you can pick up, put down, and then unlock and open. File cabinets, dressers, and wardrobes have drawers you can open and look inside. Dresser drawers work like other containers, footlockers say. If anything is inside, when you frob to open them you get the contents, if any, in your inventory to inspect and decide whether to keep or discard. When you open wardrobe doors, wardrobes can have things hidden inside like a safe, or can give you their contents like a footlocker, or they can do both. File cabinets act like real world file cabinets. You have to open them to look at the files. The 1st frob opens the drawer selected. If there are contents that Garrett wants to read, the 2nd frob reads the files inside, otherwise it closes the drawer. If there were files inside, then the 3rd frob closes the drawer. File drawers can also act like containers, so a 1st frob may deliver an item into your inventory. Just because it does this does not mean there is nothing to read inside; that’s an independent issue. My suggestion is to always close file cabinet drawers after you open them.
W A R N I N G W A R N I N G W A R N I N G W A R N I N G
Firstly, this mission is right on the edge of what the Dark engine can support in terms of numbers of objects and terrain / scene complexity. It plays best on up to date hardware, and should be OK on most systems. However if your rig is marginal, there may be sections of the mission map which will stress it. Should you experience frame rate degradation, that’s a tip off that your hardware may not be up to the demand. The mission, however, can be completed by avoiding those areas. While fun, those areas are optional. There are other paths to follow. I did my best to have multiple solutions and multiple routes, so if you get blocked one way, try another.
Secondly, this mission has LOTS of readables. Instead of hiding one or two essential readables with clues in hard to find locations, the readables are all pretty much easy to find, it's the clues that need to be sifted from the texts and interpreted. Meanings may become clearer as you progress through the mission, reading more and adding what you have read before to what you are reading now.
To make your life a little easier, the most important texts are copied to your map notes pages when you first read them, including any glyph images. You will hear a scratching sound of a pen on paper to let you know that you have a new note. If the text is less important, you will simply hear Garrett "Um" or "Ah" or "Hmm" after reading the text and nothing will be copied to your notes. That doesn’t mean the text has no information of value to you, just that what it has is less important than other texts.
Can you complete the mission without actually reading the texts? There is one puzzle only which is essential to completing the mission and depends on your reading and interpreting the relevant clues correctly. All other puzzles can either be solved without reading or are optional and may be skipped. But there are a lot of fun things you can only do if you bother to read everything and think about what you have read.
In part of this mission you will have an objective to avoid detection by anyone. Ghosting is encouraged but not required. BJs are allowed as long as you do not cause other AI to alert. Be warned, though, that the discovery of a body during this part will cause you to fail the mission. In particular, you need to understand that Keepers have highly trained senses, so be extra careful around them. If you knock someone out, be sure to hide the body in a dark place well away from where any Keeper is likely to pass; it might get detected, even through a closed door, if the body is left too close to the door with the lights on inside.
Finally, a note about the spells and the spell recipes:
All spells in this mission are OPTIONAL. They are prepared by gathering together the necessary ingredients and combining them with the aid of a magic kettle and spell wand. When done correctly, this results in the creation of magical glyph scrolls, potions, or other magical artifacts, all of which may be used in the mission.
Each spell has a recipe, written in the form of a series of riddles. This is done to keep the spells safe from ignorant hands and to ensure that the person completing the spell has sufficient knowledge and wisdom. Some of the less important readables can provide you with information to help you decipher the riddles. Some of the riddles you will have to figure out on your own. They are all variants of historic riddles, set to rhyme and structured into a common "Who am I?" format. Some are simple to figure out, others are difficult. But then, if they were all easy, there would be little satisfaction in solving them.
To discourage you from just gathering up all the objects in the mission and throwing them into the kettle, willy-nilly, not every object that you can pick up and store in your inventory is of use in a spell. Some are, some aren't. And the attempted use of some items as spell ingredients may actually backfire and cause you harm. My suggestion to you is to think about the puzzles and riddles every time you encounter a new object and only pick it up if you think it could answer a need. Some objects are just there because a character in the mission likes or uses the object (or because I do!). You might consider typing the location of objects you don't pick up onto the maps to facilitate finding them again should you need to. You can of course pick up and keep everything and sort it out later, but then don't complain to me about how many objects you are carrying about!
So ... if you don't like reading as part of your gameplay, you may not like this mission. If you don't like riddles and puzzles, you may not like this mission. And if your hardware is in need of replacing, this mission will let you know. You have been warned.
First and foremost I have to thank everyone at the TTLG Editors' Guild. I began constructing this mission as green and naive as any new mission designer ever was. I had big ideas and no notion of what was possible. I had started Komag’s tutorial but got bored and skimmed the later sections. Whenever I had a problem (and it was frequent!) the folk at the Editors’ Guild were always patient and helpful, pointing me at resources, correcting my assumptions, offering advice. Without their kindness this mission would not exist. I hesitate to list anyone specific for fear of offending those I don’t list, but I must mention a few who repeatedly went out of their way to help: Nameless Voice, Ottoj55, R Soul, Schwaa2, Shadowspawn, Telliamed, and Yandros. Thank you.
I also have to thank the authors of all the fan missions that have been released in the past ten plus years. I learned from you all. I stole your ideas shamelessly and gave them my own twist. I soaked up the sense of wonder you invoked and have tried to inject it into this, my first mission. To the extent that I succeeded, you all share the credit with me. Thank you.
I also must especially thank pavlovscat. Gretchen was my first consultant, my email buddy, my booster. She encouraged this mission through all its twists and turns as I grappled with what Garrett’s early Keeper training would have been like and morphed an innocent game of tag into what you now have before you.
My alpha testers are the best! Peter Smith, nickie, and ffox have driven me mercilessly to make this as clean and entertaining a mission as possible. Peter in particular I must thank for sticking with me from the 1st Alpha, suggesting that Garrett take notes, and persevering with suggestions to cut the fat and make the mission better.
What can I say about my beta testers? They humble me. They found more things wrong with this mission than I ever imagined were possible. And they were also collaborators, making suggestions that truly improved the mission. I must thank ffox specifically for his DromEd knowledge. He found several ways around problems that had stumped me. But all of them, Dawggon, ffox, Gloria Creep, jonescrusher, karstenpontoppidan, nickie, nightshifter, Nightwalker, Peter Smith, Ravenhook, Tannar, and undead gamer, all contributed more than you can imagine to this mission. A better bunch of testers I could not hope to work with.
nickie, thank you for all your advice. You helped me more than you know.
edudrekib, thank you for a great Keeper over-voice. I think you really captured just the right amount of sang-froid for a Keeper Elder under stress.
Dussander, thank you for hosting the Thief & Dark Mod Mission Beta Testing forum. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to attempt alpha and beta testing without it. You are a truly generous person.
German: Chiron, gnartsch, and Zappen
Russian: clearing, Dront, S.Siamsky, and Soldi.
I also want to thank all those generous people who have publicly shared their Thief resources, some of which are included in this mission, all of which inspired and taught me something which was incorporated into this mission: Althalus, Antimatter_16, Asgaroth, Atolonen, Balatro, Beauty-Man, BrendaEM, BronzeGriffin, Cafinatedzombeh, Chris Page, Christine, clearing, the COSAS team, Da_Masta_Thief MicahGee, Dark Arrow, Dario, DarkFate, Darklurker, DarkMax, Datoyminaytah, David Gurrea, Dhin, Diebesgut, DJ Riff, dlw6, Don Willadsen, dOom, elektrobar, Elvis, Eric Ladd, Eshaktaar, Flecha das Sombras, Garras, Gaylesaver, glen, Greenhorn, IndependentThief, Jason Otto, John P, JTaylor, Judith, Kevin Telford, OminousCowl, Melan, MichaelMyers, Nameless Voice, Nielson74, paweuek, pdackel, Pietroschek, RandomTaffer, raetsel, redface, R Soul, Schwaa2, Sensut, Shadow Sneaker, ShadowSpawn, SimonOC, SkyMatter, Sluggs, SlyFoxx, Sterlino, Stuffprojekt, Syi, Targa, tdbonko, Telliamed, thief_gotcha, TheThief, Thorins, Timon, Vigil, vonEins, Watcher, Wille, Xenith, Yandros, Zappen, ziili, Zontik, and ZylonBane.
The following printed materials were read during the development of this mission, with ideas, images, and short passages excerpted under the doctrines of fair use / fair dealing and adapted to fit the needs of the mission. The original authors have my deepest respect and I urge you to go out and buy their books.
Alphabet of Thorn by Patricia A. McKillip
Art of War by Sun Tzu
Gardener’s Art Through the Ages revised by Horst de la Croix and Richard G. Tansey
La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri, translated by David R. Slavitt
Le Viandier De Taillevent: 14th Century Cookery, Based on the Vatican Library Manuscript, translated by James Prescott
M.C. Escher: His Life and Complete Graphic Work by F. H. Bool, J. R. Kist, F. Wierda and J. L. Locher
Mathew Arnold Selected Poems (Bloomsbury Poetry Classics) by Matthew Arnold
Mine Tracks, Their Location and Construction: Treating Briefly on the Materials Used and the Principles Involved in the
Design and Installation, With a Set of Rules for a Standard Practice by Jerome McCrystle
Princess, Priestess, Poet: The Sumerian Temple Hymns of Enheduanna by Betty De Shong Meador and John Maier
Square Foot Gardening: A New Way to Garden in Less Space with Less Work by Mel Bartholomew
The Bacchae by Euripides
The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge Vol I and II by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge
The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake by William Blake, David V. Erdman, Harold Bloom and William Golding
The Earthsea Trilogy: A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening by the staff of Organic Gardening Magazine
The Forme of Cury: A Roll of Ancient English Cookery Compiled, about A.D. 1390 by Samuel Pegge
The Golden Bough by James George Frazer
The Oxford Book of English Verse by Christopher Ricks
The Rodale Herb Book edited by William H. Hylton
The Story of the Stone by Barry Hughart
Finally I have to thank all the wonderful folk who host websites for textures, inspirations, sounds, art, poetry, archeology, anthropology, history, and religion. In particular, I am indebted to:
The Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay cut is from the album “Mechanical Music Hall: Street, Penny & Player Pianos” and is used by permission of Saydisc Records, The Barton, Inglestone Common, Badminton, S. Glos. GL9 1BX, England, www.saydisc.com. I highly recommend their site. They have quite a lot of interesting music for sale there.
GarrettLoader and Darkloader Ready. DO NOT UNZIP THIS FILE!!
This level was created by LarryG 22 December 2011
Distribution of this level is allowed as long as it is free and the package is kept intact and unchanged.
You may not include this level in any map pack without my permission.
No one may edit this mission or modify it in any way without my permission. This restriction includes the making of any unauthorized translations.
This level was not made and is not supported by Looking Glass Studios or Eidos Interactive.