For this level, I’ll need to make my way across the rooftops to the fortress of the Mechanists. I start high above the streets don’t want to be falling off from this height.
There is an amusing scene on the way where two sets of guards argue about their masters virtues and it ends up in a fight between them where just the one guard survives. I leave him be and keep going.
While I’m up here, I’m taking the chance to explore every house I can get into. I need a lot of loot to complete this mission. For this house, I play Santa Claus and get in through the chimney (first extinguishing the fire with a water arrow).
A lot later and I find my destination. It’s an impressive building. I’ve actually spent that long on the rooftops that I was starting to assume that the building itself would be in another level but that isn’t the case and it’s still a huge building. The level size really takes off for all these missions today and I’m surprised at just how much they pack into each one.
Getting into the fortress is achieved through the ventilation system. This being a mechanist building, it’s full of the usual contraptions including a lift to speed me around between floors once I’m in.
I find one of those recording devices that I had to steal in an earlier mission. I try using it and get to hear Karras giving a speech. It turns out he hasn’t attended his own party and is giving a guided tour using these devices instead. I now have to find all 6 to see what he is up to.
I’ve noticed an art-deco feel to a lot of the Mechanist buildings and this room (also containing a gramophone) is no different.
I need to find more of Karras’ new scripture while I’m here and this is going to become a staple mission requirement for today. I stumble across it while I’m looking for gramophones.
The little cherubic figure in the corner is a new one for me in this game. It acts as an alarm but appears to be invulnerable. I’ve cleared out this floor by the time I see it so I don’t worry about it too much.
I started at the bottom and have been gradually working my way up the floors. I get into Karras’ office. There is another gramophone here but when I use it I get a personal message saying that he knew I was coming. I’m expecting a load of guards to show up immediately but nothing happens.
It’s a brief respite as when I open the safe at the back of the room to get the blueprints an alarm sounds. I still can’t leave the building either as there is one final gramophone to find.
The alarm doesn’t make getting around the building any more difficult and I quickly find the last gramophone. I’ve not learned too much from Karras’ tour. He has made some sort of mechanical servants (presumably from the dead bodies) which he gave as gifts to the nobles. They have to occasionally return for adjustments which sounds highly suspicious and I suspect they are weapons in the important houses of the city but I don’t learn more. The alarm does make my trip all the way back to the start harder with a new set of alert guards to cope with. As long as I make it through them, I don’t concern myself with them seeing me and I’m back at the bell tower within 5 minutes.
The blueprints had the name Cavador on them and Viktoria already knows the name and where to find him. It appears all I’ve been doing is confirming her suspicions but now I’m sent off to kidnap the guy and bring him back for interrogation.
He is hiding out near a cavernous area according to one of Viktoria’s agents (Lotus). Along the way I need to try to speak to this agent and also pick up some loot.
The level starts off with a long climb up a lift shaft. Taking the lift would alert all the guards so I have to climb up a load of vines to sneak my way to the top. Halfway up, a Mechanist is standing guard over a couple of switches which open the gates to the next part of the level.
At the top of the area is a lighthouse + attached shack. I need to find a globe in the shack but I decide to get it on my way back which turns out to be a mistake when the mission goals change at the end of the mission. There is a habit of changing the goals in all these missions.
At the top of the lighthouse was a key to the cold storage area which is an outbuilding not far away. I make my way in here to see what I can find.
And what I find is Lotus, Viktoria’s missing agent. He was captured by the Mechanists and shoved in here. He isn’t in great shape but does tell me a bit about this project of Karras’ which involves some sort of underwater ship. He also gives me a spoke off a ships wheel – I know where to use this from earlier.
Back in the lighthouse, I attach the spoke to this wheel and then give it a spin.
The floor drops away and I descend into another cave system.
I spot the Cetus Whateveritwas on my way through the caves through a crack in the wall. It’s a full fledged submarine. Love or hate them you have to be impressed with the fact that these Mechanists seem to be about 300 years ahead of the rest of the world.
I discover a note explaining a bit more about what is going on but I still don’t know what the Mechanists ultimate goals are.
One of my subgoals here is to find some pirate treasure. It’s not difficult to spot and I just have to swim through an underwater cave to find a whole boat down here. On the way out I’m attacked by the ghost of the Captain but a few sword strikes sort him out.
After much more exploring, I make my way onto the submarine itself. The art deco theme is still present. I find a letter and get a new goal to hide myself away in cargo hold 5 to stow away to the KD area (whatever that is) but I’ll need to find the key to the cargo hold first. Cavador is somewhere in the KD area and since he isn’t around here, my goal to take him back to the start of the level has now gone. This means I need to trek all the way back to find this globe near the lighthouse that was one of my mission requirements.
Finding this is a right pain. I have to spot a near invisible hole in the ceiling and vine arrow my way up it. There is a switch in the darkness to throw which opens a secret door in another dark area which has the globe in it.
With that out of the way, I head back to the sub area and head off to explore a side cavern. I soon locate the keys for the holds but the one I need is #5 which isn’t here.
Another requirement I haven’t fulfilled is to find more scripture. This note tells me where to look.
I keep exploring and find a rust sample to take back to Viktoria. I think this is related to the red gas that was used when I was eavesdropping in an earlier mission and caused the victims bodies to instantly rust reducing them to powder. I’m sure I’ll be seeing this later.
The scripture is floating in a flooded out living area. On the way to this I also stumble across the key to cargo hold 5 without really looking for it.
That is everything I need to do on this mission so it’s back to the sub to hide away in the cargo hold.
I start off the next mission not knowing where I am but my goal is still to find Cavador and kidnap him. I’ve no subgoals here except for finding the obligatory bit of scripture.
I soon learn where I am – it’s the Lost City. I didn’t especially like this level back in Thief 1 but I’m going to get to play it all again. There are a good few changes at least.
The Mechanists are performing a series of archaeological digs in the city. I’ve no idea where I’m going so I just follow my map around exploring each area and each site as I get to it.
Each level is giving me trickier situations to cope with. This dig site had four guards and I can’t for the life of me see a good route sneaking through them so I charge in, attract them all to close range and take them all out with a single gas arrow. Gas arrows are about the single most useful thing in Thief when you aren’t allowed to kill anyone but they are extremely scarce so I try to hold onto them.
I explore every site, one by one with no sign of Cavador. When there is only one left I find a note nearby telling me that it is the one I want. It’s fairly typical that it’s the only one I haven’t searched.
I’m wondering if I’ve missed the scripture somewhere along the way but I find it in Site 5. Now I just need Cavador.
I know I’m on the right track when the accommodations get more luxurious. Cavador is extremely difficult to get to though. He is in a small room with 3 guards, one of which has a metal helmet and is unknockoutable. I have to take near suicidal measures to knock out one guard conventionally. This then alerts the 3 of them and I have to gas mine the helmeted guy and then blackjack the other until he runs away.
Cavador has run off in the meanwhile but I grab his diary.
Cavador hasn’t gone far and he drops with a single blow. I now just have to carry his body halfway across the level.
This doesn’t prove to be too hard, mostly due to me already having cleared out most of the route. My biggest problem is finding the exit – I had enough trouble with this back in Thief 1 and it’s no different here. After 10 minutes going round in circles I find it and soon spot daylight.
Viktoria handles the interrogation of Cavador and we learn that he was supplying Karras with masks for his robots and also agricultural equipment and that somehow the two are linked. I now have to search another mansion to try to grab some of these masks. There is going to be an exhibition of artifacts here which should include some of these masks but for no apparent reason, I’m going to be doing this in two trips, the first of which involves just mapping out the place before the masks arrive. This has the added complication of me once again not being able to be seen or knock anyone out.
There is supposed to be a secret passage to gain access somewhere but I end up sneaking around all the guards and then smashing a window to get in on the 1st floor. I do find the secret entrance eventually but only from the inside of the house.
The house is, as ever massive. It’s not exactly crawling with guards but there are enough of them considering that I can’t knock anyone out. The floors here are extremely noisy except for where there is carpet running down the middle. I have noticed that guards can be very slow to react in this game and as long as you are quick you can quickly get out of sight and keep going while they search around.
One of the requirements of this mission in to find 7 secrets which seems like a lot and in the end I find exactly 7 having explored what seems like every square inch of this place. Most of them are along the lines of this with a secret door into a passage than runs behind a row of rooms. They upon up using small round switches that are easy to spot when I know to look for them. Once the doors are opened up it makes an easy route to speed around the mansion without having to worry about guards.
I’m really liking the art-deco theme again in this level. For it’s age some of the levels don’t look bad at all.
I wander around the house for ages exploring but not finding much. Eventually, in the one place I haven’t looked I find a library complete with ghosts that give me clues as to the locations of various books on the shelves.
CHECK PICTURE. After finding 5 or so of these books (1 of which opens a panel with some bodies in), the documents I’m looking for magically appear on the top floor of the library.
I still need to find this secret stairway to get out of the level. I discover a cuckoo in the exhibition room in the middle of the house which I then use on a metallic grandfather clock to open up a stairway to the top floor. This stairway acts as my last secret. I explore the top floor but don’t’ find anything useful I can do here and so I make my way back out of the house to complete the level.
For the next level, I need to go back into the mansion again to steal the masks. I don’t fancy playing the same location again straight away so left it there for now.
Out of the four missions here, the first was the most fun. I liked the story it told through Karras’ recordings and the sheer scale of the level. Karras is coming across as quite a sinister and Machiavellian figure although I’ve not actually seen the guy yet. I have a feeling he may not be what I’m expecting. The others were all decent levels – they were occasionally verging on too difficult but I’m impressed with the balance that the game is striking and I’ve barely had any frustration at all. Finding the cuckoo was especially annoying on that last level but I think I might have missed a hint about it’s location earlier. With not being able to clear out the level, I couldn’t get around the map as quickly as I would have liked when I was searching for things I’d missed. The Lost City was certainly a lot more fun this time around. I get the feeling that I could have skipped 75% of that level if I’d know what I was doing but I’d have been missing out.
I think I’ve only got 2 levels left so I’ll be putting in a concerted effort to finish the game tonight.