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#88682 - 10/06/03 11:12 AM Thief I the Dark Project
bigmamma1 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 842
Loc: florida
Just finished this terrific older game-released in 1998, by a now defunct publisher, with somewhat outdated graphics. Min requirements:P200, Win95/98,32RAM.
Never mind! This game is so addictive, so compelling and so elegantly presented, this dosn't detract from it one bit.

With all the hoopla about Thief 3 coming out in Dec. I'm glad I've at least played the first one.That being said....

You begin the game with a training mission, so don't worry-you'll soon learn the basic moves and how to use the weapons, then you're on your own, kid-get ready for the wildest expeditions of your life!

You're Garrett, a one-time street urchin with no parents and no home. You have rare talents for thieving and looting from the rich. You are recognised by the "Keepers" as a potential acolite,but you refuse their offer and decide to go out on your own and become a master thief-a "Taffer" You're in what appears to be a Medieval German village with narrow cobblestone streets.

Your first job- break into Lord Bafford's Manor and steal the jewelled dagger. Now you get to put your training into practice. You need to sneak and outwit, grab keys from or knock out many human guards to finally grab the dagger and get out. There are dark shadows to hide in and areas are lit up by flickering lights. Although much of the game needs darkness, there are bright, rich colors to offset this: the guards are dressed in bright red, purple, gold and red tapestries are on the walls. And then there are the sound effects: sharp click of shoe on tile, soft steps on carpet, footfalls on stairs, clang of shoe on metal.....OK-you get the dagger. Now What?

The Bafford Manor job sets the pattern for the 11 missions to follow, as the story unwinds the environments get more difficult and complex and the enemies get more agressive and scary, not to speak of more and more strange and bizzare creatures which could be from a Star Wars movie.

To make a long story short, you lose the payment from the Bafford job-your accomplice is caught and is now held in the Hammerite prison-you must find him.....Welcome to the Age of the Hammerites!You may be in the past-or in the future, who knows? But now the real story begins. In order to even find the prison, you now face much more formidable enemies-negotiate through an abandoned mine with "undead" zombies lurking around-they can only be killed with holy water arrows-or somehow avoided altogether.(not easy)Then when you reach the prison area, you see the Hammer factory-where they forge their steel hammer-weapons.Oh Oh! now you must get past the Hammerite guards who can demolish you with one swipe of their hammer....

And so it goes. Each level is unique and has different challenges. There is also loot to find in each level consisting of valuables you can sell to get money to buy weapons for the next level, or actual weapons themselves-fire arrows, water arrows, moss arrows, regular arrows,rope arrows-for getting up to high places-(like Indiana Jones' famous whip) land mines, gas mines, flash bombs.You always have your trusty sword and blackjack though. And, of course it's nice to find health power-ups. You'll need 'em! So a lot of the quest in each level is sneaking around,finding these helpful things as well as dealing with your enemies in order to find the final goal at the end that lets you into the next level. and there's always something to find as Garrett is pushed along by his own greed, desperation...and forces he's not aware of....yet.

In each level he gets a rudimentary hand-drawn map, which will give you only a vague hint of an old city plan, a floor plan, a cave, ect.Also a compass is provided, which can be helpful.

The elegantly drawn black and white cut scenes help explain the story of what's happening to Garrett and what he has to accomplish in the next level and why.As you go along through the levels you will run across books with pages you can read, skeletons with notes nearby, tables with scrolls on them-that you can read to get cryptic clues about what's going on. As the game progresses things will become much clearer about the forces that are moving Garrett along through the story....and setting the stage for Thief 2.

Of course in addition to finding loot, finding your way throuh the levels,finding the final element in each level, and finding your way out, you need to figure out how best to avoid, sneak past, or defeat your enemies. Here's where you need to learn how to use the right weapon-or decide to avoid or evade. The decision is yours. Fortunately there are 16 save slots and unlimited quick-saves, which it is wise to use, as you'll probably die a few times before figuring out the best moves. I sure did!

Because, you'll meet some really tricky critters: Burricks, a cross between a small dinosaur and a pig-it breathes lethal green gas on you. Undead-scary zombies who can only be killed with holy water arrows-just try to find holy water when you need it! Craymen:lethal man-like creatures with huge knife-like hands that go "click click" Edward Scissorhands gone berserk! If you enter a cave-expect to meet a spider-and they move fast.Later on there's also a spinning spider who will snare you in her thread if she sees you. Then there's the Bugwoman-she sends deadly flies your way.You'll have all kinds of fun with these delightful friends! eek thumbsup
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People do not remember how much you know,only how you make them feel
finished Gray Matter, playing Alice Madness returns and Deponia

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#88683 - 10/06/03 06:56 PM Re: Thief I the Dark Project
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
I loved all the details in this review -- especially the way you described the sounds in the game. Would you say that this game provides a gaming experience that is completely different from what you would encounter in a "pure" adventure game?

I sort of ignored Thief too because it sounded so difficult. Is the learning curve impossibly high for an an all-thumbs adventure gamer?

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#88684 - 10/06/03 07:54 PM Re: Thief I the Dark Project
bigmamma1 Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 842
Loc: florida
Becky, I would for sure put this game in a category all its own-not a pure adventure because it is action oriented and has no puzzles to speak of except at the end where there's an upside down river that you have to figure out and also what to do to trigger the end sequence.However it is not a real "shooter" either 'cause you rely on cunning and stealth, using you brain to figure out how to hide or outsmart enemies, sneaking up on them and knocking them out rather than just charging ahead with 6-guns and blowing'em away.

I must admit, I did go to a WT a few times for ideas on what weapons to use and how to defeat enemies when they got too overwhelming and I probably had to practice moves and "die" more than the average 19 year old player, but I still enjoyed the experience of beating all the levels and exploring the different environments.
_________________________
People do not remember how much you know,only how you make them feel
finished Gray Matter, playing Alice Madness returns and Deponia

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#88685 - 10/06/03 10:24 PM Re: Thief I the Dark Project
hagatha Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 11/19/00
Posts: 4413
Loc: West Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Great review. It's nice to see that people are still discovering these wonderful games for the first time. Thief Gold, Thief 2 and Deus Ex rank as my favourite games of all time. I still play them, years later.

There is now a bundled set of the two Thief games available for anyone who wants to check them out. And once you're finished with those, there are fan missions to fill in the gap until Thief 3 comes out.
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