The Wickerman – MaJiC (Mark Cole)
Released: December 12, 2001
Hello, it’s been quite awhile since I posted a review/reaction to a fan mission. I did play a bit of the original Thief 2 this past month and wanted to play some more FMs, so this is what I ended up playing. Having just watched a Nostalgia Critic review of The Wicker Man film with Nicolas Cage, I stumbled upon this mission and was intrigued. I found while playing that there is little in common with the film, but there was definitely a wicker man involved. The mission objectives involve destroying the wicker man and rescuing a child along with her doll, and don’t forget the choice piece of loot from the Priest! They must also be exposed to the city guards so that they can be stopped from their sacrificial ceremonies.
I started in a cramped cave, the sounds of a spider lurking about were my first warnings that I had somehow found my way into a spider hole.
It was a bit frustrating here to kill the spider somewhere it would not impede me from escaping the cave. His web was also in the way, but I took care of that with a slash of my sword. This was all well and good until I found it difficult to squeeze my way through, I managed to wriggle out (past the maddeningly tightly wrought cave entrance). A wicker man cultist walked around checking the shadows, they must be expecting me or someone to rescue the girl.
Given a blackjack and sword, with no limitations on killing, I was able to knock out each guard and stow their bodies in the wicker man. I had plans for these guys.
I found a fire arrow and a powder-keg; no doubt these were meant for engulfing the wicker man in flames.
This is a very small scale mission and I wonder if it was ever part of a “build the smallest functional mission” contest? I think it took me about 20 minutes or so on this one. I never did get a screenshot of my stats at the end. Funny story there, I forgot to take the picture on the first go round, but when I tried to complete the mission for the second time I was unable to walk through the cave entrance.
I’m currently getting ready to attend college classes this fall semester (September through December 2014), and so I will most likely not be doing any reactions for a good long time.
Rest assured, I’m not done with my little project and will back at it whenever I can.
Benny’s Dead – The Gingerbread Man
Game – Thief 2
Released – September 12, 2000 (V1.2)
Download at Thiefmissions.com
I’ll try to keep spoilers minimal.
“It seems that the Captain of the Moth Town Watch had met a strange fate while serving as the Personal Bodyguard of a visiting Noblewoman. The Seers told me he was found yesterday morning by the Household Staff, quite dead, and with two arrows protruding from his neck”. – The Gingerbread Man
I sat at my computer, waiting with rapt attention, the milliseconds ticking by as the page loaded: Had anyone reviewed “Benny’s Dead” yet? Oh my joy, when I discovered I could be possibly the first to review this gem of a mission. I first started playing FMs back in about 2004, and this is the very first fan mission I ever played! I re-read the ReadMe file and prepared myself to re-experience this spooky, kooky, and outright insane escapade.
If you like readables, this one will sure tickle your fancy. Make sure you do as the ReadMe file suggests, the background story and written briefing crafted by the Gingerbread Man are excellent. Many of the readables found throughout this mission are lengthy and go into detail; some are definitely jokes on the GBM’s part. I found the notes left by the researcher to be the most interesting and I was left wanting more. Many readables alluded to future plans of the GBM as well as contained nods and references to the original games.
The mission is rather difficult if you play on “Extra Spicy” difficulty, but you fellow experts know it’s a matter of pride to play on expert level. A strange thing to note is that you can kill guards in this mission. The stipulation is that you cannot kill, knockout, or alert a police officer. You can only have 5 knockouts, but it says nothing about not killing anyone else… This can create a free for all, or you can stealth assassinate every non-police AI. I prefer to ghost, but I had to take down a few guards as well as the bogeys. The sewers were a great build up for suspense, especially when I found the first note from scientist Catalin van Ordt.
I had to reload a few times, but after a while I could hide in the proper places as the bulls trotted on by.
The sewer immediately exudes a certain charm.
The Hotel is a pretty imposing building from the outside.
I found many richly decorated rooms throughout the mission.
I loves me a nice kitchen!
A fountain area in the hotel added elegance.
This jolly statue always gives me a laugh.
“…and then the A1 Steak Sauce!”
Love, respect, and props for a sweet classic!
Will there be a sequel someday I wonder?
Willow Island – Gonchong (James D. Roberts)
Released – October 21, 2000
Game – Thief 2
Mission type – Hammerites/Mechanists/Pagans/Outdoors
Download at thiefmissions.com
“You’ve got cabin fever. You’re hungry. You’ve had nothing to eat for seven days but a few stale ships biscuits. Seven days spent stowed away in a cramped, mildewy cargo hold of the Hammerite vessel ‘Hammerhead’, crossing the ocean to Willow Island.” – Gonchong
Since there are already excellent reviews of this mission by SneakyJack and Daniel Todd, which are well written and go into depth, I’ll try to keep my review brief and my screenshots of differing content.
There are readables scattered about the Hammerite premises which I found particularly interesting. The characters are represented perfectly and I like the Hammerite-Mechanist rivalry references. There were also quite a few unique items; I had myself one delicious “Mechanist Sandwich”. The particular food item you must find also has an interesting, if not quite totally appetizing, name.
What I like the most about this mission is how expansive it is. It involves a search for food and escape which spans Hammerite and Mechanist complexes, as well as sprawling pagan areas outdoors which (though a bit dodecahedron-y) capture a certain atmosphere. The hedge lined path, lit here and there by mushrooms, feels cold and wet as if after a rain.
Some things are better left for the mission to explain…
This is some of Gonchong’s best work and is worth playing!
Hammerhead: Return to the Docks – Gonchong (James D. Roberts)
Released – January 18, 2000
Games – Thief 1
Mission type – City/Hammerites
Download at thiefmissions.com
“I’m leaving tonight… I can’t stay any longer as the Hammers are breaking down the door of anyone they suspect of this crime – and heads are rolling.” –Gonchong
In this mission, Garrett must escape Hammerites from the moment of starting the mission and then proceed throughout town to find his fence: Fleur. Hammerites are scouring the city for you, but the townsfolk seem unfazed by manhunt.
I was impressed with Gonchong’s work in this mission. There is more complexity in architecture, as well as objectives, than in the previous two missions I reviewed from him; it’s cool to see the progressive development of this FM artist’s skill.
Caption: “Doest this pouch makest mine vestments appear overlarge?”
I especially liked the unique contraptions I found throughout the mission, and I like the way this guy sets up machine areas.
I was again happy to find more instances of Gonchong’s fun sense of humor, including a basketball hoop along with a basketball, but I don’t think there was anyone in a barrel this time… sort of thought that might become be a running joke in the series. I did find a Hammerite vigilantly minding a Burrick wagon though.
Caption: “Hearest ye hearest ye! Burrick wagon rides for all thy little Hammerlings! Only a small donation of gold to thy local Hammer Church is requested…”
Shunned – Gonchong (James D. Roberts)
Released – Originally: September 11, 1999; newest current version: March 16, 2000.
Games – Thief 1
Mission type – Haunted Mansion/Zombies
Download at thiefmissions.com
“Recently a party of Hammerities set out to see if they could obtain and destroy the book and raze the house to the ground. They were not heard of again.” – Gonchong
If you’re the type who enjoys a haunted mansion type mission, then “Shunned” is the perfect spooky little mission for you. In this mission, the objective is to find the Necronomicon then desecrate a grave for a woman’s wedding ring; if that isn’t asking for trouble then I don’t know what is! I took my time and explored the outside area thoroughly before going in… I wasn’t scared, I swear!
I’m continuing to enjoy Gonchong’s sense of humor. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a zombie wear a barrel before. There are also curious things peppered throughout the mansion including a statue’s head rubble named “Great Big Rock”, and this…
Eerie surprises awaited me in the mansion, trying to successfully ghost this mission was difficult in one or two places due to what I can only describe as… um, well… is there a word for when computer generated objects are larger than they appear? Vehicle mirror syndrome? (Thief isn’t the only game where that happens) I especially kept getting hung up on invisible borders in the room of the main entryway (aka the biggest hole in the side of the building on the first floor).
Gonchong engineered some pretty amazing effects for this early Thief 1 mission. I really couldn’t tell you exactly what it was that I fought down there, but I recommend killing it with holy water arrows before it sees you.