Favorite Mission Five – A Friend in Need

I always wanted to play the original Thief-games, but back in the day I was a teenager and I had no money for PC games. Then I bought a PS4 and guess what? One of the very first games I played on my brand new console back in early 2015 was the Thief-reboot.

Why this game?
Its a stealth game.

Oh, you need more convincing?

Well, master thief Garrett is also not your average hero. All he really cares about are prizes and plunder, the perfect heist, that leaves no clue as to what really happened to the necklace that miraculously disappeared from the hidden safe it was in just a minute ago.

Turns out that he does care about more than that, at least when the very few people he – well, trust is such a strong word – when the very few people he does not actively distrust are getting hurt. Like in this mission very aptly dubbed “A friend in need”.

Also, I think that the City, where this story takes place, has an awesome, dark atmosphere.

And I like the soundtrack.

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A friend in need
Garrett does not have friends. What he’s got is associates. One of them, an up-and-coming  brash cutpurse and cutthroat named Erin, he could not care for less. When she is killed during an especially daring heist, though, Garrett blames himself for her fall. As he should, since it really is his fault. Alas, there’s nothing he can do to bring her back and he’s soon got problems of his own, since he’s become top of the To-Hang-List of the brutal Thieftaker General, the City’s version of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. That guy actually pops up at the end of almost every mission, like some Jack-in-the-box, to try and get the drop on Garrett. With mixed results, one should clarify. Until this very night…

See, while Garrett dislikes Erin, he’s got a soft spot for his old fence, Basso. So naturally, when Basso is arrested in the wake of Garrett’s latest heist, he sets out to free him from the cells of the forbidding Tower.

That is the primary mission.

But there is also another objective, one Garrett needs to complete and really, really wants to complete: to break into the fabled vault of the Tower.

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The safe combination: To get it, Garrett needs to do some stealing first.

 

Part One – The Architect’s Manor
Basso has been taken to the Tower and the only way to break in is by consulting a guy who’s in no disposition to speak when Garrett finds him, on account of his being dead. Luckily, there’s  a chance that the blueprints of the massive fortress can be found in the manor of its architect. All Garrett has to do is steal inside and get the plans. Yet just as he makes his approach, the Tower is rocked by a massive explosion. With the fortress apparently under attack, time is running short.

Unfortunately, the Baron’s Watch also wants a word with the architect who apparently has locked himself in his study. Which means that Garrett needs to get in and get out of the manor while guards patrol the grounds.

Stealth, as you may have guessed, is key.

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Getting to the manor involves some sneaking across the rooftops and listening in on some interesting conversations. Also, grabbing a rare trinket off the streets.

The approach
There are four guards in the courtyard. Two patrol the premises, one stands on the steps in front of the main door and the last one is playing lookout on the balcony. Also, there are two dogs. In Thief, dogs are kept in cages, which is nice insofar that they don’t roam. They’ll stark barking if they notice Garrett, though, which makes sneaking past them tricky.

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The best way in is on the first floor to the right.

There are three possible entry points into the manor. One is the front door, but if you are not into frontal assaults, you can pretty much forget about that.

The second is a garden shed to the left that features a hidden entrance leading into the manor’s wine cellar. It is a pretty good entry point too. Beware the traps, though.

The third is my preferred entry point: On the right side of the building is a scaffolding Garrett can climb up onto. So let’s do that. BTW: Garrett could now sneak onto the balcony, past the guard and use a rope arrow to get onto the roof of the shed with the hidden entrance to the cellar. Instead, let’s get into the ventilation shaft on the right and drop lightly down into the master bedroom, where the architect’s wife and her maid are busy packing.

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Picking locks has never looked so smooth and stylish.

With good timing, Garrett can steal the lady’s earrings  – yes, actually pluck them from her ear lobes! – and also pick up some other loot, including a valuable trinket hidden away in a safe in the wall. There’s a birdcage next to it, so be sure not to make any sudden moves!

Once that is done, sneak into the bathroom, pick up anything you want in there, then get into the hallway, where there’s one guard on patrol. Move up the hallway and you’ll find a small room to your left with a staircase at the back. That would be the ordinary way to get to the study, but unfortunately the architect has barricaded the entrance. You’ll need to find another pathway. And steal the painting from behind the back of yet another guard.

While there is more loot to be found on the ground floor, let’s move on. After all, Basso is waiting.

(Did I mention? Sneaking through the manor is great fun, especially when trying to play as a ghost, without anyone knowing you were even there.)

There’s another room opposite from the master bedroom, a library, actually. One guard and one maid occupy it. Oh, and one bird in a cage, which you really should take out using that gas-arrow-type. That taken care of, quietly make your way to the table the cage sits on then climb up and on top of the adjacent bookshelf. Move slowly along the bookshelves and drop down on the other side. Beware the broken glass on the floor since it will give you away when you move across too fast.

The bookshelf to your right features a hidden lever and if you time it right (or distract/take out the guard and the maid), you can slip into the pathway beyond unseen. There’s an elevator that will take you up to the study, one that you could also have accessed via the garden shed-entry. But that would have been only half as much fun. Right?

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There’s a puzzle here: Align the Tower dummy with the real thing outside and you’ll open a secret stash.

And finally in the study – surprise! – you’ll discover that the architect has taken his own life. Now, while the guards do their best to break down the door and are seemingly succeeding, Garrett needs to quickly solve a puzzle to finally get at the blueprints. Just as he makes a grab for them he’s discovered and promptly identified as the architect’s killer. Which, considering the man hanged himself, is really absurd. So much for the Baron’s Watch.

Garrett makes a run for it and that’s it for Part One.

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Garrett’s daring escape from the manor is immortalized in the trailer, btw.  Love this one section, where he drops in on the guards.

Part Two- The Tower
Garrett takes to the roofs to sneak into the burning Tower, where fiery mayhem await. Be sure to pick up any food you can grab as you’ll need it, since Garrett’s stamina is really being tested during this section. Funny enough, I found myself hastily picking up loot even while poor Garrett coughed his lungs out from the biting smoke permeating the room. That’s me. The perfect role model.

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The Tower is in flames. But what about Basso?

There are no guards left inside the Tower, but there is some precious loot you should keep an eye out for.

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A collectible! that’s what I’m here for! Err, Basso? I’m also coming for you, don’t you worry.

Now, once Basso is free, only one thing remains: the Vault. Basso advises against it and the man has a point, yet Garrett decides to push on. Stealing is his calling, after all, and he cannot resist a challenge such as this one. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Thieftaker General was counting on.

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Look who’s gloating. The Thieftaker General has anticipated Garrett’s move and used Basso as bait for his trap.

It’s a trap!

Now, injured and with a dozen or so guards in the room, Garrett needs to move fast. Really fast.

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There’s too many guards for just one (master) thief to handle. Best thin their numbers. 

Garrett is no fighter, but, depending on your upgrades and the ammunition you carry, he may be able to take out some of them. I prefer the non-lethal approach.

The trick is to turn off the lights, by getting to the section on the leftof the safe’s door. You’ll also find a pretty trinket there, btw.

Once the lights are out, use the baton to take down the guards and sneak back to the Vault. Dial the last three numbers left and get inside.

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GET IN, DAMN YOU!

There is a Primal stone fragment you need to pick up, then it’s bang back inside the
nightmare world of Erin’s spirit, which Garrett has encountered already during a previous mission.

Erin leads him through what appears to be an asylum. This, she claims, is where he has to go to find the truth (Actually, the Asylum was one of the scariest missions I ever played). And Garrett, guilt-ridden and angsty, decides to face his fears and find a ghost.

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And that’s a wrap, Garrett!

That’s it for this mission!

Have you played the Thief-reboot? Which one is your favorite level?
The next Favorite Mission is Splinter Cell – The Black List, Hawkins Seafort.


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