Home Reviews Thief Fan Missions [T1] The Order Of The Vine
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Written by Silver Sorrow   
Tuesday, 17 October 2006 18:00
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[T1] The Order Of The Vine
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Game: Thief: TDP/Gold
Title: The Order of the Vine
Author: Conor Armstrong (SilentSleep)
Filename: TootV1-1.zip
Filesize: 7.89mb
Languages Supported: English, German
Download: From Cheap Thief Missions


http://starfoxweb.com/rimage/T1ssrevs/tootv_001.jpg

Rating Revision: Once again, I'm converting to the more flexible 1 to 10 scale for rating these things, which may revise the score downward; that means nothing to the fun faction, but it is strange to go around giving maximum ratings to half-decade-old mods for an old (but much beloved) game.

Preliminary Note: Once again, this is a recycle from Hangar 16. I've updated it somewhat, but I haven't redone the screens. Let's not get nuts, is what I'm saying...

Note: I use custom recolors -- my own -- for Garrett’s arms and weapons, as well as the visibility gem. The rest of what you see is what you get. Except for the Haunt. He’s mine.

Note #2: This FM is cut into three parts; a prologue, the main mission, and an epilogue.

Note #3: I know...the screenshots more or less suck. Bite me.

http://starfoxweb.com/rimage/T1ssrevs/tootv_002.jpg

Abstract:
Stupid rope arrow bug. I firmly believe that Thief had a different bug for every different system configuration. I may be exaggerating, but I doubt it. Maybe I’m just letting the bitterness wrap its testic--uh, tentacles around my soul, but multiple reloads do not a happy Silver make...especially if the problem is technical instead of procedural. After about ten reloads, I consider fashioning the rope into a noose...for whom, isn't exactly clear.

On a completely unrelated note, does anyone else find it unnerving when, as you’re sitting in front of the computer typing, household pets take it upon themselves to sit at the very edge of your peripheral vision and stare at you?

The Basics (of the main mission):
Equipment Store: Yes
Skill Settings: Yes
Map/Automap: Yes/Yes
Puzzle Difficulty: Medium
General Difficulty: Yikes
New Stuff: Yup
Gameplay: Human AI; Inhuman AI; Castle-like stuff; A Mystery

Briefing/Story?
You -- Garrett -- have been contacted for a job. The guy’s gone through a lot of trouble to track you down, so you might as well listen to him. The first “mission” is actually the prologue wherein you go to meet with the individual and go through the ordeal of dealing. The second part is the actual gameplay mission, where you must infiltrate the mansion/castle belonging to a group of nature-lovers (READ: nervous sheep) called “The Order of the Vine” and find some sort of relic called “The Seal”...somehow, you doubt that finding it will be as simple as prowling the halls with a bucket of fresh fish and making kissing sounds.

Since this mission is supposed to take place before the events in Thief 1, the enigma of nature freaks (or as I call them, “plant owners”) has no bearing on you whatsoever. So get inside, find that Seal -- just follow the sound of bike horns honking “Yankee Doodle” -- and get out. Simple, right?

http://starfoxweb.com/rimage/T1ssrevs/tootv_003.jpg

Onward!
In the prologue, you face the horrifically insurmountable task of walking through some streets to find your contact. Okay, I’m just being sarcastic. But there is loot to find here (one pedestrian has a purse and there’s a chunk of gold hidden away somewhere) to help you with the equipment store; just be sure to pick up the 1,000 in loot when you talk to the guy, otherwise you’ll regret it.

You’ll get your objectives from the guy you meet -- I reveal nothing here -- and you’ll be able to go on to the next mission, which we in the Idiot Sector like to call “the main mission.”

This is where I had to pause and think about the restrictions placed upon me. Did I want to play on Normal? No. Too easy. Did I want to play on Hard? Perhaps...it has a higher loot requirement, is more difficult, and has a kill restriction on humans. Interesting, but what about Expert? Well, there’s the problem as far as I’m concerned: I like the extra objectives, can even handle the no-kill stuff...but there is a KO limit. Eight, to be precise.

http://starfoxweb.com/rimage/T1ssrevs/tootv_004.jpg

Now, I realize that this being sometime in the early days of Thief FM-age, authors tended to monkey around with Garrett’s perceived expertise. Hell, they still do that today (may they rot in Hell). But even though I have to grit my teeth and bear the problem of no-kills in Thief 1, I absolutely HATE no-KO directives without a damned good reason. There is a reason given here, but it’s not a *convincing* reason. What the hell do I care if nobles don’t like me for beating them unconscious?

No, don’t get me wrong: I’ve played this mission on all settings, but I prefer the KO jamboree of Hard. So that’s what I played for this review, and it’s still difficult enough to bless the player with Thiefy enjoyment. Whatever that entails.

Okay, okay...enough of that. Let’s get on to the mission itself. The Order of the Vine is a collection of people who enjoy nature, hunting, hating the Hammerites, humping bunnies, etc. Of course, this society is based on one scant mention in a book in the original mission, “Assassins.” But if we get a full, wonderful FM out of it, so much the better. Just make sure you’re white and Protestant, otherwise they won’t let you in the club. Nice golf course, though.

Okay, loadout...hey, an equipment store! And what’s this? Sand arrows? What are sand arrows? Hmmm...they act like a flashbomb, but only if the (human) guard is not alerted. And they even put out torches! Slot seven, where my gas arrows *should* be. Oh, well. On to the main mission.



 

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