The Night Watch

a 4-mission Gold Magick Story

Essential must read quick info and snap briefing:

Director's Cut level is judged too difficult first time out. Only play it if you...

. like making notes of clues for much later; even later missions.

. like stubbornly analyzing, climbing, searching.

. have read all the game info in this readme file - you'll need it.

. accept you might get stuck and have to get help. OR...

. finished on Hard or Expert and want a replay without nudges.

You miss nothing much on Hard and Expert and get ALL loot, terrain, etc. so why frustrate yourself? Just use Director's Cut for replay without extra hints.

Jack Midcoat, young acquaintance of Garrett, loses his job as nightwatchman at Lord Drakon's mountain retreat for romancing Drakon's ward Gwendoline. Jack wants Garrett to help him rob Drakon to fund an elopement with Gwendoline who is expecting Jack's child.

Jack helps Garrett get his old job as nightwatchman and provides a rough map. Courtyard, kitchen, and sick room are freely accessible (if you behave); elsewhere is risky.

Gwendoline will innocently admit Jack by the east gate to her garden. Jack, bringing Garrett's equipment, plans to rope up the old watchtower. Garrett should meet him there. They will take what they can then venture further into the retreat. One possible avenue is via the outer access door to an unused attic that Jack noticed. Garrett will scout ahead and show a glove to signal when it is safe to advance.

Play if you're in a hurry but here's more important info and tips that will help...

It is only fair to point out that on all levels but especially on Director's Cut you will need to think out what to do from the story and hints in the readables as well as the maps and objectives. Almost all text carries the story and has clues. Some clues refer to later missions in the story. Even some objectives are used as nudges. Don't be too put off playing Director's Cut but just be aware you have to read and re-read the readables and study them. What might seem a casual frivolous sentence may actually be critical for you to work out what to do. I cannot say it too often: If you get stuck, read the readables!

Full story by Garrett himself:

Long ago extremist Hammerites took street waifs and levered and bruised their minds through dominant persuasions to their dogmatic beliefs. The boy Jack was one such - grateful when I freed him whilst unshining a bloated temple of its gold one stormy night. Though my seeming compassion was styled only for fear he'd rouse alarm, I did pity him a little, gave him provision, and set him up to go his own way. Indeed, he later took the name Midcoat from an old grey cloak with which I warmed him.

Jack Midcoat, now a young man and loosed of Hammerite influence 'cept their flowery tongue, surprised me recently turning up with information for a job - my kind of job. I was cautious and unenthusiastic... till He said he'd worked as nightwatchman on Lord Drakon's estate - a retreat in the mountains.

Now Drakon was never a lord - but lorded himself round in grand style after adopting a dragon symbol as his crest to pretend some ancestral credibility. They say he even invented the surname because of a notion his forebears were blooded from dragons in the old world when both black, white, and even gold alchemy held sway.

The building has been inhabited by different sects and over the centuries has been abandoned and partly rebuilt several times leaving a bad mix of styles but its outer perimeter is very secure. No burgling thief, not even I, had ever managed to enter this mountain stronghold, though I'd scouted near several times. There's no weakness in its high stone walls hoisted on steepest rock and the few outer doors yield only from within. Below, in the forests, Drakon has imported strange dangerous beasts from far lands to restrict access to walled or raised paths. You could hear these creatures shrieking terrible cries in the night but few had seen them and lived. Huge striped cats, giant horse-like creatures with long snouts, and monstrous lizards thought dead long ago. It is an evil place and I will not venture there.

Jack had been discharged for trysting with Gwendoline, warded as a child to Drakon by her father - a soldier with whom Drakon had been acquainted but gone to the wars. She pined for freedom from the arrangement and now grown, still does. The young couple kept their affair secret until it became obvious to all that Gwendoline was with child.

Drakon was furious and refused to agree to a marriage. With my skills and his knowledge of the place, Jack hopes to fund an elopement with booty. He has always had nerve - naive courage when needed, I'll grant him that.

With false papers and Jack's help I've secured the empty nightwatch post for myself under the name Treskit. Jack tells me I will have access to the courtyard, the nearby staff kitchen for refreshment, and probably the sick room through the guardroom. Most guards and servants will know I am in service so I should not be challenged or attacked here but I need to take great care - especially if I poke my nose into rooms I should not. It might not be easy to tell where I can walk freely so I'd better be cautious everywhere. And if any of Drakon's personal elite guards even see me they are not likely to show any mercy. They guard the private household and secure areas. They are even feared by the ordinary grunts.

Drakon has been investigated by the local police many times for various suspicious activities but nothing proven. The police commissioner, Lord Henry Sharpe, is Drakon's sworn enemy. Drakon despises him for his persistent inquiries. Knowing Sharpe's usual methods, he may well have a man on the inside so I had better be extra careful. Hard to be sure though because Sharpe himself has been unavailable for some time.

Jack says Drakon dotes on his treasures, most specially his boasted pride, a gold shield and perhaps a sword he calls his 'Edge'. There is also a gold dragon and possibly a gold book. He even saw Lady Drakon wearing a very valuable bracelet. The old place creaks like a tree crouched with heavy fruit!

I can only smuggle in my smallest tools: lockpicks and such. Gwendoline will innocently admit Midcoat to tryst one more time in the garden balcony she loves. From there, Midcoat will bring my other equipment, including an interesting power shield potion I've not tried yet and hope I never do. He will climb the old south east watchtower with a rope arrow I've given him, then wait for me to meet him up in the tower.

One possible avenue of deeper entry into the private areas of the retreat is via the outer access door to an unused attic that Jack spotted. Probably an old equipment hoist or loading bay long abandoned.

I explained a few do's and don'ts to Jack if he's to work with me. Most especially he's to keep back while I'm scouting ahead and only advance to where I signal - I'll show him a glove. The blabber already told the girl about this. At least she only thinks he's going exploring for buried treasure but I wish he'd just keep his mouth shut.

I work alone, and once further inside I plan to divert Midcoat to some easy route to garner what he can while I do the real harvesting. He has the heart of a cornered bull burrick but knows naught of thieving and will probably fall over his own feet. Well, I sure as hell don't go out nights to babysit and any distraction might serve me well.

We'll escape by the unused east gatehouse. Midcoat procured the only keys long ago and pleased Gwendoline there many nights. She keeps some provisions and possessions there so we can lie low in it as a safe house if necessary before leaving. Alternatively, I've heard Drakon is somehow tapping mountain spring waters that used to flow freely down to the village. Now, with less water flowing to them they have to pay Drakon especially during the summer. Perhaps a waterway might offer an alternate route of some kind. I always like a backup plan.


Background to Gold Magick:

Long ago there were many great mages practicing white magic. But some were alarmed that spells developed for good were used for evil. A thunderbolt to strike down a monster could also be used against the innocent. Several sects dedicated themselves to finding an answer. They needed unity of mind to give them strength so they sought a common focus. Precious gold presented an ideal centre for them to use in their inner incantations. But they were weak and distracted by temptation. They spelled in unison to purify themselves for long months, purging their thoughts and binding together in purpose.

At long last they succeeded. Their integrity shone like the gold they used. They formed the Golden Sects: the Sect of the Gold Magic, the Goldcraft, the Gold Waterlight and many others, all united in one purpose. And the spells they now evoked could no longer be used for anything but good. Should any try then this new magic would turn on its user and destroy him utterly.

But the very weaknesses they had purged out unified too and formed a dread spirit, an immortal demon that lived only for treasures. The Horath crystalized in form, awful and empowered, and threatened to take all man's wealth for itself alone. So the Gold Magick mages spelled it captive in lonely isolation where it endured its gold lust without hope of satisfaction, festering in agony and hatred.

Long years it suffered there, till it could suffer no more. It must have treasures or its immortality was worthless. It called on Death itself for help. Swore away its eternal life in exchange for a mortal life with some treasure. The deal was made but the Horath was paid only in Death's own cheap coin. The Horath, in a fury, threw away the miserable token, hoping to break the agreement. But Death's deal once done ... cannot be undone. Ever.

Now they watched and waited, guiding and influencing mankind's destiny. But a greater threat came to their attention. They foresaw the Beast itself, a fearsome dragon, long gone in ancient times, might rise again. It would seek not merely man's treasures but his blood and his soul.

Yet they also foresaw one who, without realizing or even caring, would be most instrumental in its downfall.

They prepared, preserving themselves for a thousand years so focused in gold they froze, minds completely still, unknowing, with but one of their number, the Lady of the Gold Waterlight, who remained in dread wakefulness, to watch over them. A challenge of guile and courage was arranged to filter out the unworthy; proving the one who should come, the lowest of the low, a common thief, and to release the full might of their influence at the rightful time...


Bummer! Sounds like Garrett has his work cut out this time! Maybe you'd better give up now.


. Nightwatch is really one mission split into four.

. TIP: If you get stuck then the first thing I recommend is that you recheck your readables (or any notes you made about them.) And the second thing I recommend is also that you recheck your readables. Did I mention that you should recheck your readables? In most cases a clue will be there.

TIP: If you don't like making notes, write down (exactly) a distinctive string of characters, eg, "venture to town" NOT just "I shall". Next time you exit the game browse to the folder 'Thief\books' and RIGHT click 'english' Do an internal text search for the string, open as a text file and print it.

. The first mission in Nightwatch is partly an 'undercover' mission where you can walk freely amongst the guards and bystanders near the start where indicated but not elsewhere. It IS possible (but more difficult) to finish the mission even if you alert them. It is recommended that you do NOT alert them because that part of the terrain was not designed for stealth!

. Epilepsy sufferers please note: there is some continual strange coloured flickering or flashing in one room but you can see it easily well ahead of you before you even get near. If you think it might be a problem for you then do not enter. There is nothing critical in that room that you will not see elsewhere. Trust me, you're not really missing anything. Those of you who do not suffer from epilepsy : Hey! find that room! It's really important! Not.

. Some doors can only be used by guards and servants, etc. They are just to give depth and destination to AI movements so don't worry if you can't go through them.

. I think virtually all visibly readable text can also be frobbed to read it in the normal way so if you are struggling to read anything just check to see if it highlights then frob it. But if you like the atmosphere of trying to read some strange text actually visible in the game then remember zoom and flares etc. More fun in my opinion.

. If you come across something intriguing but can't see how to do anything with it then it might relate to a later mission in the game and is just part of the continuity of the storytelling.

. You will miss nothing significant on the easier difficulty levels except a few extra guards, etc. and can still complete all the same tasks even if they are not mission objectives.

. On the easier levels, Garrett makes notes to clarify and reinforce your understanding of the situation. You might prefer to only read them if you get stuck. On Director's Cut level you are expected to make these deductions yourself.

. There is a little continuity text added to the stats at the end of a completed mission. I wish I could have done videos.

. The compass I bodged from a Dedex barrel model then realized its north and south is backwards when viewed from below! Decided to leave it in. Note that you can drop it if you don't like compasses cluttering up your inventory.

. Once you set certain events in motion, an objective might complete itself later so don't be puzzled if you suddenly see 'Objective Complete' - it ought to be obvious though. For the same reason, you might get 'Mission failed' when you are doing nothing special. Look at the objectives and see what is 'X'-ed through. Probably you left a friend in danger?

. Frame-lag slow-down hopefully will only affect older PC systems in a few bigger or complex areas. If you find the very start reasonable then you should be OK. I found it tolerable on an old 1.2Ghz machine.

. One AI sometimes walks in a zig-zag. I could never find the cause but saving the game position, exiting to Windows then reloading, seems to clear it. Weird but not mission-critical.

On one system, but not others, a couple of surfaces were over-sensitive to guards hearing. Inexplicable. Moss provided nearby.

. You might find invisible obstructions here and there on the floor in the final mission. You can jump these or go round though they do seem to disappear if you back off and try again mostly. Not been able to resolve this.

. There is one place in Mission 3 where it might crash to the Windows desktop but you can reload and go past the same place OK. I could find no explanation or solution.

. Do NOT game save while on a rope unless you are certain you can get off!

Extra notes not important to getting started on the game...

Ambient light is very low to give good contrast and strong, realistic shadows. To calibrate your ambient light setting for the best effect you should just be able to make out the texture of walls etc where there is no other physical light in the game. If completely black then too low. But colours, and a sense of 'presence', seem to come out much more vividly when played at night. You may have to turn up your gamma settings and/or monitor brightness during the day. If you type eg, gamma 0.5 in the command console (I get this with Key A but check your keys) then you can adjust the brightness/ contrast beyond what the in-game normal control provides. The gamma values are 0 to 1 where 0 is bright white and 1 is total black so if in doubt try gamma 0.5 first then decrease to say 0.3 to make it brighter.

Build: This is my first mission started as a small editing practice mansion heist not long after doing Komag's Dromed tutorial (and it shows!) early 2003. But I got carried away as ideas started to flow. Contents of missions 1, 2, and some of 3 rough finished as one mission sometime in 2004 but there were massive frame lag and render problems so it was all totally abandoned for months. Restarted, split into three missions, and patched and bodged off most of the severest problems. Virtually 'finished' early 2006 but Mission 3 then split into 3 and 4. Finally 'finished' end August 2006. Alpha test playing through September, October, into November. Beta testing and polishing till early months of 2007.


Many thanks to the abundance of help I have been given in making this game, particularly from those on the editing forum whose assistance has been awesome, rapid, inexhaustible.

More especially I would like to thank:

Rob Hicks for his magnificent Dedex gamesys, all its many additions and all the many who contributed to it. It has been an impossible task working through the Dedex documentation to be certain of finding all who should get credit. Here is my best effort at this but apologies if I have missed anyone!
Voices: AWang, YCatX. AI: Schwaa, Nameless Voice, Dark Arrow, Daemonite, Black Ruin. Objects: Schwaa, Nameless Voice, Athalus, Von Eins, Phantom, Ernie, Dark Arrow. Sounds: ShadowTemplar. Textures: Dhin. Like many of the originals, some of the new Dedex items have been reskinned, resized, reshaped and/or renamed to fit my mission but I claim no ownership.

Gaylesaver for use of his great scripts. This is included with the mission pack as Nightwatch.osm but no ownership is claimed by me. Likewise miss16.osm is also included as Nightwatch2(miss16).osm. It is critical for time delays and I was worried someone might not have it present.

Shadowspawn for his excellent universal limb model creator. Seems to work with any human like figure.

Various extra super objects from the following...

mopgoblin, Nameless Voice, R Soul, Yandros, Schwaa, Sluggs, Flecha das Sombras, Targa, Syi, Jari Mäkinen (Dark Arrow), von.Eins, Nielsen74, Naks, Don Willadsen.

Random Taffer for Jack Midcoat's voice. This has added enormously to the character and brought him to life.

The beta testers : Nightwalker, Peter Smith, ffox, Preno, mrsmr2, and pavlovscat whose feedback and creative input has been of incalculable value. They helped the adjustments along with experience, viewpoints, comments, suggestions, and ideas.

And anyone who I may have forgotten or didn't know to mention here I apologize and thank you.

APART FROM THE ABOVE IMPORTED THIRD PARTY MATERIAL, please feel free to use any part of this mission that originates from me, any mods, images, or ideas, or whatever, anywhere you like, on your web site, wallpaper your bedroom, in your own mission, etc. No credit or acknowledgement is necessary. You don't need my permission. You can edit, re-edit, distribute, re-distribute, upload, download, beg, steal, borrow, burn, or bury this mission in any way whatsoever except, due to copyright restrictions by the original creators of the Thief games it should not be sold.

However, it should be noted that much of the extras I have added are simply reskinning or modifications to objects already existing in the original or Dedex gamesys. Although most (but not all) of my additions have the prefix NW this is only to help me assess what needs including in the zip and no exclusive ownership is claimed by me nor any special rights and you should use your own judgement as to what, if anything, might need consent for your own use.

Believe it or don't, this level was not made and is not supported by Looking Glass Studios or Eidos Interactive.


- Fidcal