• Welcome to The Foxhole Forum Archives.

Definitive FMs

Started by Doc_Brown, October 08, 2012, 06:19:47 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


One of the projects I undertook during my lengthy absence from the forums was to finally get around to playing Thief 1 and 2 FMs.  The problem is there are just so damn many of them!  I used this fairly comprehensive list as a starting point, but now I wanted to turn to you guys to see what you'd recommend.

What I'm looking for are those FMs that any self-respecting thief simply must play.  I'll tell you the ones I've already played later on (which I liked and why, which I didn't and why) so as not to subconsciously influence your suggestions.

P.S.  On a somewhat related note, I have been unable to get either Cult of the Resurrection or Order of the Vine to work.  I'm using GarrettLoader, and when I attempt to install either one the program freezes.  If it helps any, the install button turns a light green when either FM is selected, whereas for every other FM I've played it's been dark green.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.


These will get you going just fine.

Gathering at the Bar
The Docks
Lord Edmund Entertains
The Vigil
Autumn in Lampfire Hills
Events in Highrock
Calendra's Cistern
The Mystery Man
Turning the Tables
Lorgan's Web
Trial By Night
Business at Midnight

The Seventh Crystal
Mission X
Calendra's Legacy

look for multi mission FM's by Melan, DrK, Gaetane,Lady Rowena
and frobber.

Gathering at the Inn
Rose Cottage
Ominous Bequest
Broken Triad

As for Garrett Loader, in my experience it's more trouble than it's worth....don't use it for any of the dark engine games.  Use Darkloader.  It has fewer features but it does do the one thing you really need it to do and that's load the missions.  You might have to manually uninstall the FMs in question....in fact I recommend you do just that.  Once your thief directories are clean install darkloader.  Hit the thread below and scroll down to clean up files to see how that's done. 


You should also look at TTLG thief general discussion and update your Thief installs with the 1.19 patch.




Well, I think SlyFoxx gave you the classics. These are certainly the "must" play. I don't think there is a definitive list though as the Thief community is far from dead and very good FMs are released regularly. Sometimes one even has surprises like the 1.19 patch Sly mentioned which came out of the blue and brought a wave of renewed interest in the future development of T1 and T2 FMs. I could come with an additional list of FMs but my basic list would pretty much be the same as above and it's enough to get started if you never played any FM.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein


I've played some of these already, but not all of them, so I'll get back to you in a bit with my thoughts.  In the meantime, a couple of questions:

Is it odd that no one mentioned T2X?

Is there any particular reason, SlyFoxx, that you include both Gathering at the Bar and Gathering at the Inn?  I thought the latter was a remake of the former.  Does that not render one or the other redundant?

Lastly, I am pleased to see you mention Melan.  While I'm not a fan of some of his earlier maps (wait, is Melan a he?  I will continue to refer to "him" as such for now)  once he started focusing on the vertical instead of the horizontal they really took off.  I actually went backwards, playing Dark Mod FMs first, and that's where I first discovered his work.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.


QuoteIs it odd that no one mentioned T2X?

It isn't "odd". T2X is not a FM technically speaking. It's a full campaign with over a dozen missions. When you ask about FMs it's normal that it's not the first thing coming to mind. I recommend it though if you're in the mood for a full game.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein


GATB and GATI are similar in story but in practice completely different missions.  GATB was the first real fan mission.  It was the proof of concept so to speak that a regular person with no real special knowledge about game design could create something of substantial worth.  It convinced Looking Glass Studios to release Dromed to the public.  So just for that fact alone it's worth a play.

GATI is the first Circle of Stone and Shadow (CoSaS) mission.  Though a small mission in size it is one of the grand achievements of the fan community.  It was the effort of dozens of people all directed by Dan (Digital Nightfall) Todd.


I disagree. Disregarding the history, GATB is not that stunning an FM. Likewise, GATI wasn't one of my favorites; I actually preferred Mission X instead from that same COSAS storyline. But 7th Crystal, Ominous Bequest, Calendra's Legacy, Gaetane's FMs -- all awesome.

Silver Sorrow

Ah, but GATB is *historic*. That's supposed to count for something.  :ok:

Oh, I really don't have anything to add (as usual). I'm in Mass Effect mode right now. But I will second Rose Cottage and Broken Triad as...well, they're the last ones I remember playing. :ss-nuts
It is the scent of garlic that lingers on my chocolate fingers


Also GATB has an Easter Egg. 


I'm back!  Sorry for the delay, took awhile to play through these (well, most of them--I don't have Thief Gold so I was unable to try Business at Midnight).  Note: Before I go any further, I should mention that I may be getting into SPOILERS, so fair warning.

As for my thoughts, I find Calendra's Cistern to be my favorite Thief 1 FM by far.  In fact, it is the only Thief 1 FM I've played that I like enough to keep.  The impression I have of most Thief 1 FMs is that, even when they're based on a sound idea, they seem to be rather small and visually bland.  The most impressive FMs tend to be for Thief 2, whether due to the larger level size, technological advancements, or simply FM makers having moved on to Thief 2 rather than continuing to develop for Thief 1.

I will, however, give an honorable mention to Ranstall Keep, whose black and white motif helped curb some of my concerns about the visuals.  I enjoyed the atmosphere of being the last surviving human in a town where everyone else had been dragged off by demons.

As for Thief 2, I actually have a top five (in no particular order):

  • Gathering at the Inn
  • Mission X
  • Equilibrium
  • Rose Cottage
  • Saturio Returns Home
I don't normally care for ghosting as a hard requirement, but in the context of Gathering at the Inn it makes perfect sense.  I also like how Dante's test is only part of a larger scheme (the insurance scam), something that carries over into Mission X (you're not just committing a robbery, you're involved in a turf war between rival Wardens).  Very impressed with the 'multiple thieves' angle of the latter, as well as how you actually have some choice in regards to what/if you do certain things.  Shame we've only the two FMs, CoSaS was shaping up to be an amazing campaign.

Equilibrium gets a nod simply due to the fact that it does something no one else (to my knowledge) has done, presenting a truly unique gameplay experience.  Such a pity that Ion Storm wasn't able to handle the Keeper Assassins anywhere near as well as the rogue Keepers here were.

I actually enjoy Rose Cottage more when I consider it as having nothing to do with the Thief universe.  After all, what kind of paranormal investigator would go into such a place without holy water arrows, flashbombs, and explosives when the undead are such a well known fact in the City?  Instead, I prefer to think of it as a Victorian era ghost story (note the presence of telephones, something far too advanced even for the City), and in that regard it really works.

Lastly, I must give props to Saturio Returns Home, which was the first FM I played that I really loved.  It feels like a real place, the mystery is engaging, and there are multiple ways to approach playing it.  I also have to say that, for a 'mansion mission' it is just the right size for me.  I've played some similar FMs (notably The Seventh Crystal and Ominous Bequest) that just rubbed me the wrong way in how long it took to play through them.

As with Thief 1, there is one Thief 2 FM that didn't make the cut I wish to mention nonetheless: Raid on Washout Central.  Not a great FM, mind you, but the rain effects in that one are amazing.  I've yet to play another FM that can match its mood.

Oh, and before I forget, I want to make special mention of something: I do not like Camvator.  It's not the concept I'm opposed to, but the execution.  Just because you have a different way of telling the story does not necessarily make it a good storytelling device.  While act 2 of The Seventh Crystal is damned good, having to sit through the Camvator sequences of act 1 and act 4 drove me up the wall.  And as for A Keeper of the Prophecies, well let's just say I loathed that campaign in large part for its Camvator sequences.


Now that you (and I, for that matter) know my tastes in FMs, I am open to further suggestions.  Furthermore, if there's an FM you'd like to hear me go into detail on (whether I like it or not), by all means ask.  I take a very analytical approach to things, so I genuinely enjoy elaborating on why I feel a particular way about an FM.

P.S.  Forgot to mention: I also really like The Uninvited Guest.  Yes, it's a standalone demo.  Yes, it's an earlier version of the Thief 2 OM Life of the Party.  But frankly I've never been much of a fan of Thief 2 itself, and I consider The Uninvited Guest to be superior to Life of the Party.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.