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Thread: FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 5)

FMs - Ghost/Perfect Thief Results (Part 5)

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2000

    The Greyfeather Gems 1: The Shipment

    FM: The Greyfeather Gems 1: The Shipment

    Play mode: Perfect Thief (success)
    Time: 3 hr 27 min
    Loot: 2675 of 2675
    Pockets picked: 12 of 13 (all)
    Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
    Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
    Killed: 0
    Secrets: 4 of 4


    There's not much to say except that I took quite a bit more time and got more stuff than Vanguard. This is a very fine ghosting mission. The city streets architecture and atmosphere were fun to play. Lots of nice little sneaking spots, so you have to stay on your toes most of the time, but it's not too difficult. There was no place that gave me a lot of trouble, ghost-wise. I thought at first that the bank alarm, which has a timed shutoff switch in the City Watch station, was going to give me a little trouble, but that was fairly easy, too. There's plenty of time if you prepare the route by dowsing lights, opening doors, etc.. Of course, it is desirable to arrive at the bank with the safe combination and the two safe deposit keys.

  2. #52
    Wow, almost 3½ hours playing The Shipment? I'm surprised you found enough to do for so long. I had ghosting in mind while making the mission, but never tested if it was possible. Glad to know it is.
    This message has been brought to you by Morrgan's sleep-deprived and highly caffeinenated brain.
    Morrgan's Dark Projects - updated 03.12.2005

  3. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Thanks for stopping by, Morrgan. The problem is not simply running through it. That can be done in 30 minutes or less with a BJ, I would guess. The problem is finding all the loot and secrets in ghost mode, the first time playing it, which entails a lot of creeping, waiting, and retracing of steps until it is done. I went through every building 2-3 times. It helps to be familiar with the mission. Speed ghost may be a 20 minute proposition, but that takes practice and resolve.

  4. #54
    Even if not ghosting but when playing on Expert difficulty level, you cannot alert the Mechanists (other than 1st alerts). It doesn't matter if they see you. They will alert - to you - if you make noise, too, or if you toss the frogbeast egg, or if you douse the butt of a bot and another AI discovers it. Any 2nd-level or greater alert by any Mechanist, whether the one back in the starting mansion or later in the seminary, means the mission aborts. I even got an alert that ended the mission by opening the door behind the female archer you see as you use the gear key and first enter the seminary; somewhere a male voice rang out, "oh-ohhh", when I opened the door and the mission ended due to an alert by a Mechanist. Later opening the door didn't cause the alert because whomever was the AI that alerted before didn't alert that time. A yellow alert my a watcher is likely to put a nearby Mechanist on alert, too. So it's hard to complete this last part in Expert mode whether ghosting or not.

    I can't believe I missed the 2 crates for loot in the Mechanist warehouse; I did the usual checking but must've not been close enough or at the right angle of view to get them to light up to show they were frobbable. But even then, and later going back through on a blackjack run (except for the Mechanist seminary), I still couldn't find all the loot. The mission must have a bug in that it reported "3 of 1 secrets found" so I don't know if there are 3 of them which meant I found them all or if there some more secrets to find but also don't know how many more. I'm a couple hundred short. Congrats to Peter on a perfect ghost run.

  5. #55
    Originally posted by Vanguard
    So it's hard to complete this last part in Expert mode whether ghosting or not.
    I like to make the difficulty live up to its name. On Expert, the point was that the Mechanists weren't supposed to suspect anything; not hear you, see you or otherwise get suspicious. The bug with failing the mission for opening a door was unfortunate though.

    The mission must have a bug in that it reported "3 of 1 secrets found" so I don't know if there are 3 of them which meant I found them all or if there some more secrets to find but also don't know how many more.
    Hmm, I've never heard of this bug before. The number of secrets was fine for me and the betatesters. There are 4 secrets in the level.

    As for loot, I put up a loot list on my site as soon as I get some spare time. Quite a few people seem to end up a couple hundred short.

  6. #56

    (01) Locked-In (Sluggs 3-pack)

    FM: (01) Locked-In

    There are 3 missions in this .zip file. The title for the FM was somehow taken from the 3rd mission. Maybe the .txt file was put into the .zip file for the 3rd mission and that's what Darkloader reads. The missions are:

    (01) Setup
    (02) Ferrying the Iceman
    (03) Locked-In

    <b><u>1st mission: (01) Setup</u></b>

    Play mode: Ghost (success)
    Time: 19 min
    Loot: 339 (Perfect Thief)
    Pickpockets: 4 of 6 (5 max)
    Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 2 (required by objective)
    Damage dealt: 2 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
    Killed: 0
    Secrets: 0 of 0

    - You are required to knockout 2 guards. Actually, the objective says, "Score <i><b>at least</b></i> two knockouts". That means you can knockout 2, OR MORE, guards (except for the front desk guard which has an objective to not touch him). So, by this objective, you are allowed to knockout all the guards except the front desk guard.
    - So many gas lamps. Absolutely no water arrows. This author despises Garrett slithering in the dark and instead seems to want him to go on a rampage. Sluggs likes slugfests, which becomes even more evident in the second mission.
    - I had to hunt around for the loose coins: 2 where you hear a loud tick tock, one in the office upstairs but didn't light up to be frobbable until I got close to it. The coins behind the drapes were spotted early.
    - There is danger of getting stuck in a dead zone, and area from which you cannot escape. Climb up to the top of the ladder to the metal catwalk and jump over the fence wall. End of mission since there is no way out.
    - An upstairs small room has 2 guards that contantly watch the door. There is 50 in loot behind them in a wood chest. You MUST get this loot; they author didn't put in much loot you have to get almost all of it, especially the big loot items. The max available loot in the entire mission is 339. The loot objective says to get 300, so 339 max - 50 = 289 which is less than 300. So these 2 guards became the means to satisfy the knockout minimum required by an objective.
    - You MUST snatch the gold urn in the upstairs hallway. It is worth 100. However, taking it will slide the painting to reveal a watcher (that I could not sneak down the hallway to get back out without it yellow alerting or without the patrolling guard getting back before I got completely dark again). Since there is only 339 max loot available, 339 - 100 = 239 which is less than the 300 loot objective. However, there is no objective to get back out or to get anywhere. So I snatched this loot last from a dark corner. The game ended without any alerts, even from the watcher since I was still in the dark corner.

    <b><u>(02) Ferrying the Iceman</u></b>

    Play mode: Ghost (failed)
    <i><small>other stats unimportant</small></i>

    Causes for failure:
    - Cannot get into office. Not keys outside the office. Cannot frob key from guard behind window into office. Had to draw him out by alerting him.

    - You only have 3 water arrows in this entire mission. There are electric lights that can be switched off but almost every electric light has a companion torch that is lit. You don't have enough water arrows to make enough areas dark so you don't get spotted by guards, patrons, or servants.
    - Even when not ghosting, being sneaky is obviously not the objective of this mission. You cannot blackjack any of the guards, and blackjacking them (without result) will alert the other guards. You can kill them with the sword but this alerts all guards, even those in other rooms with intervening doors closed. You essentially have to make a dark area and then lean forward while picking them off with the sword. Even if you douse all electric lights and torches, moving with the sword drawn will light you up and get you spotted, so hope the guards come at you single file while you are cowering in dark waiting to lean-and-swing with the sword.
    - The office doors are closed and locked. The only keys for the office are in the office. You cannot get close enough while atop the windowed shelf to snatch the key from the guard inside. The only way to get at the keys is to draw out the guard in the office that has a key. But once dispatched, you find that he unlocked the office door when he came out so you don't need his key. You just need to get him to come out of the office so you can then get into the office.
    - I managed to get the loot purse and urn in the alcove with the fireplace using 1 water arrow. I got to the "private" area with a gal glued to a bench. Managed to get around the coffee table and in the corner opposite of the gal guard in there. The patrolling guard would 1st alert as paced through this room. I could get into the kitchen and still was ghosting okay. But once I discovered that the only way to get in the office was to alert the guard in there to get him to come out and leave the office door unlocked, ghosting was over and I went into lean-and-swing-with-sword-from dark spot mode to take out the guards.

    <b><i>(03) Locked-In</i></b>

    Play mode: Ghost (failed)
    <i><small>other stats unimportant</small></i>

    I didn't play this one for very long. You are expected to rabbit hop in and out of red-tinted liquid (hot water, lava, who knows what it is supposed to be) to snatch the key to the door on the 2nd level. However, touching this red-tinted liquid causes damage so you immediately bust your ghost attempt. Even when not ghosting, it would take a lot more tries than I bothered with to get lucky enough to hop in, crouch, frob the key, turn, and hop back out before you get killed. Turning off the generator after sending the elevator up did not help, so it's not that the water is electrified. It is also unlikely, even with hopping over the gas clouds coming up from the floor, that you will not incur damage from the gas. This got boring real quick so I quit.

  7. #57

    Lord Matt

    FM: Lord Matt

    Play mode: Ghost (failed - but very, very close)
    Time: 3 hr 24 min
    Loot: 24796 of 25421 (20000 required)
    Pockets picked: 8 of 12 (actually 11)
    Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 3 (2 for the kill objective, plus 1 that busted my ghost)
    Damage dealt: 3 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
    Killed: some, others=1 (actually 2, as per objectives)
    Secrets: 0 of 0

    Cause(s) of ghost failure:
    - The archer standing by the elec. room door (labs) could not be nudged in a position that allowed me to get through the door without being seen by him. When he alerts, all the guards alert in that area. Blackjacked him and lugged out of view to ghost rest of mission.

    - Flipping the lever up on the boardwalk near where you start is a no-no. It opens a gate that releases 7 Hammerites that will eventually wander over to the town square and have a melee with the guards there. Since it is obvious an overt action, flipping this lever and you causing the melee is a ghost bust. You don't need to release them, anyway.
    - Managed to creep out and back along the wood boardwalk with only 1st alerts from the guards. This let me get into the area with the Hammerites where there is a house with lots of loot masks and loot plates (a little over a 1000 in loot).
    - Nudge the servant on 1st floor of Lord Matt's house so I could reach the frontmost stack of coins.
    - Found Lord Matt in his cottage (dressed like an assassin). An objective says he must die, but slaying him would make too much noise. I blackjacked him by leaning into the door after dousing the torches outside his door. One way to quietly kill him would be to drag him elsewhere and repeatedly pummel him with the blackjack. I instead decided to toss him into his still lit fireplace, leave, and close the door. You could hear him make noise as he slowly died but the guards only had 1st alerts. At one point, he stopped making sounds but the kill objective wasn't satisfied. Opening the door restarted his ongoing damage, so I closed it again, and waited until the kill objective got checked off. I knew he was dead when the objective tone sounded.
    - To get in Mikus' house, I used 2 crates to get in through a side window. The room has dark spots where I could hide from the guard, Mikus, and still pick open the chest in there. I then would wait until the guard walked in, turned around, and headed back out at the same time that Mikus would turn and walk away in his restrictive pace route. I blackjacked him and dragged him into the corner where I was somewhat darker and would only get 1st alerts from the guard. I would follow the guard from behind to get into the opposite corner nearer the door, and did the same thing to get outside with his body. In the meantime, I'd get behind the guard to loot the place. There is a dark spot along the wall in the room with the treasure chests and the guard doesn't get close enough to detect you. When I got outside with Mikus' body, I went behind his house to the bathhouse and dumped him in the water to drown.
    - Nudged both the guard and Mechanist in the building marked "Plant" on the map. This was to get to the side of the guard and past the Mechanist into the small room with the wall safe with lots of money. After getting into this small room, I then found it had an open window opening that I probably could've used a crate or two to get up and through.
    - Nudge a Mechanist forward in the Generator Plant to get at a wall switch. Turns out the wall switches are not involved in the objective to turn off the generator but they do make the room quieter (so you can hear your own noise that AIs can hear despite all loud sounds).
    - The hardest place to get into was the electrics room and lab. I got into the secret passage and used a broadhead to take out the glowing mushroom by the door into the labs area. But there was a guard standing in front of the door. I got close enough to lean forward and hit the lever to open the door. I wanted to come back into the passage from the other side later. I then headed all the way back outside the castle and used rope arrows to get up to the wood platform by an outside door to the labs. There is a guard up there, so I roped up on the backside of this platform and nudged the guard off the platform. Although he falls a very long ways and would die if he had been blackjacked and hurled down from this high up, AIs that are awake don't incur damage during falls. I would then following behind the patrolling guard while opening the elec. room door with a key and also to nudge the archer to the side and into the wall some more hoping that he could get positioned so I could get through the door unseen. Since you can only nudge when an AI moves their legs, it took a LOT of trailing the patrolling guard and pausing for a second at the archer to see if I might happen to get him nudged a bit. Eventually he got nudged as close to the wall as possible and the workbench preventing nudging him any further along the wall and farther from the door. I could not get this archer out of position so he wouldn't spot me going into the elec. room. I eventually had to blackjack him, pick him up, and get behind the patrolling guard before he turned around, and then deposit him on the outside platform around the door and out of sight.
    - The metal door to the elec. room is invisible to the AIs. You cannot see through but the AIs can. This meant the patrolling guard would spot me on the other side of this door when he was across the room and had a better angle to see me. So I would follow him around until he was on the opposite side of the room and then slide sideways through the door. That gave me the time he would walk a bit further, turn around, and walk near the door but would be to the side and looking forward and I would be at 90 degrees to his view. When he passed the door, I had only a short time to get the door closed and sneak behind the guard near the door before the patrolling guard turned around and would spot me through the metal door.
    - I had to nudge the guard inside the elec. room forward from the wall to sneak past and behind him. I could then hit the switches to darken the room and to disable the particle beam, the 2nd half of the "turn off generator and particle beam" objective. To get the lab key, I mossed the top of the switch panel (because I made a thump when jumping onto it no matter how I tried to hit the wall first or land on its edge), jumped onto the switch panel, and leaned sideways to reach the key. Then snuck out.
    - You do not need to get inside the apebeast cage to flip the levers that open the lockers. You can frob right through the locker doors.
    - The assumption is that you get the teleporter key from the safe in the apebeast cage in the lab room to get back to the start (an objective). Instead, I left the lab, following the patrolling guard outside the labs, went back into the secret passage (now dark and with the guard inside nudged back out of the way of the door into the passage), and made my way back to the town square. I mossed the ground and used crates to mantle back up to the roof on the building where you came out from your start area, and then went back to the start area. The teleporter just makes it easier and quicker to get back to the start area. However, I wasn't going to spend another 40 minutes, or more, trying to figure out how to sneak past the apebeasts in the cage.

    So if it weren't for the keen and overly wide eyesight of the archer standing by the elec. room door, I could've ghosted this mission. But the rest of it was plenty tough to ghost.

  8. #58

    Lord James Retreat

    FM: Lord James' Retreat

    Play mode: Ghost (success)
    Time: 1 hr 14 min
    Loot: 2737 of 2862 (2000 required)
    Pockets picked: 11 of 12 (all)
    Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
    Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
    Killed: 0
    Secrets: 2 of 3

    - There is a frobbable barrel in the passage to the basement (with the cage containing the skull). There is also a frobbable barrel by the ladder leading out of the sewers after you get past the apebeasts. I don't know what that frobbable barrel was for.
    - When I exited the sewers and came out onto the grounds, I saw a servant guy running so fast down the lane from the bridge and into the wood drawgate that I only saw a jerky slideshow of him running. Haven't a clue what that was about. The frame rate is very poor in these front grounds area.
    - Nudged kitchen gal to the side to make room to get gold plates on top shelf cabinet.
    - Several times I used a moss arrow to hit a light switch to darken the area. You get lots of these.
    - I placed 2 barrels (one frobbable and the other pushed) in front of the exit holes in the walls where the fire arrows should exit when you press the button to open the cage door. However, the fire arrows are spawned only about 20 feet each side of the button so they exist after the barrels. You can lean forward to position yourself just within reach of the button but release the lean when you push the button to be out of the way of the fire arrow explosion. No AIs get alerted from the noise (I immediately ran back up to check).
    - After ghosting was completed, I went on a blackjack but could not find the remaining 125 of loot. Also could not find last secret so maybe that has the missing loot.

  9. #59

    Cop in the shadow

    FM: Cop in the shadow

    Play mode: Ghost (success)
    Time: 1 hr 25 min
    Loot: 2204 of 2344 (2000 required)
    Pockets picked: 4 of 6 (actually 5 max)
    Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
    Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
    Killed: 0
    Secrets: 0 of 0

    - This is a big mission. You run around in a big city. However, for its size, there isn't much fleshed out inside the buildings so a later revision that added a lot more interior space could make this a new mission in itself (like with Lorgan's Web). I started to actually feel lonely because there aren't enough AIs to fill up this big mission and there were long stretches and large areas where there were no AIs at all and none were pathed to go there.
    - Be careful about trying to slide off a roof onto a street light or barrel. A lot of these have no substance (i.e., no boundary) so you will fall and damage yourself.
    - There were lots of opportunity to rope up high and maybe get onto roofs but not much there. Where you needed to get high a ladder was provided so I don't remember if I needed rope arrows or they were used very little.
    - There are scripted kills based on a boundary trigger. When you are in the warehouse with the robots, I did not see a Mechanist anywhere but when I got to a certain spot in a back room then I hear him speak and the robots attacked him when they came upon them in their patrols. I suspect he gets spawned based on a boundary trigger. The other scripted kill is in the estate's pool room. When you pass the metallic monolith, you hear an arrow fire. Never saw the arrow even after repeating reloads and retries in this indoor garden area. The mace wielding AI kills the guy with the safe key. The mace guy has the pool key so you have to wait until he wanders out of the pool room. Both of these are boundary triggered melees and probably qualify as non-busts of a ghost. For the warehouse kill, only the robots get alerted. In the estate kill, 2nd floor guards will get alerted even if they are at the opposite side of the estate. They will go off high alert and resume their patrols, so just wait to continue your ghosting.

    Ghosting this one was straightforward. I spent a lot of time roping up to roofs or looking around thinking there just to be more to find and to do in this mission. Needs more AIs, too, and some watchers and turrets, or something more to sneak past. The hearing of the AIs might need to be tweaked up a bit. I could easily walk on tile at a distance that the AIs should've still heard me but didn't even a 1st alert. After done ghosting, I went back and alerted the robots in the warehouse and lured them out to the other AIs to cause some melees. I thought I could drag the robots around and have them off lots of guards but the robots turned out to be too fragile and got killed off after 1 or 2 scuffles. The addition of the robots was okay but their warehouse was too advanced and out of place in a Thief 2 mission, along with the inclusion of an alien. I'm not a fan of X-files and I find it disruptive and undesirale to put in UFOs, aliens, rocket ships, stealth bombers, and the like into a Thief 2 mission. It ruins the atmosphere of the game.

  10. #60

    Worlds Collide

    FM: Worlds Collide

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Failed
    Time - 00:57:47
    Loot - 1642/2492(or 3292)
    Pockets Picked - 5/12
    Backstabs - 0 Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 0 Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0 Kills - 0
    Secrets Found - 4/4

    Comments - This is a pretty small mission. But searching for the objectives makes the mission seem epic.

    The moat in the beginning pretty much leads to no where, but after making huge metal clang noises when trying to sneak onto the drawbridge, I was looking for any other alternative. Unfortunately, there wasn't one, so I had to creep onto the edge and slowly drop myself onto the bridge. The keep doesn't take long to traverse through, and I didn't even bother dousing any torches. Many of the rooms had convenient light switches as well. But sneaking through the basement took more effort. There were alot of orcs patrolling around and sometimes their first alerts were loud and seemed like a second alert.

    The first objective I checked off was mapping out 75% of the keep. I really don't know progress was made until I reached the secret barracks with the idle troll. I had gone through every room on the first floor and the basement. I don't think I had finished exploring the second floor.

    From the electric chair room in the basement, I noticed a button and a lever in the next room barred by a gate. Hitting the button and flipping the lever caused a bed to fall from the ceiling like a lift. I did remember that the floor underneath one of the beds upstairs had a distinct outline, suggesting it slid open. My assumption was correct and the bed in the blue room lead to the torturer chamber with the keeper needed for the objective. He was in a crucified position against a mechanist gear in the back. At this area, I was also able to explore the prison area and pick the orc archer's arrow. Only one door in the prison area was unlocked and contained a gold eyeglasses in one of the bedrolls.

    The next objective completed was finding Sir John. I was fortunate enough to have hit a button while randomly right-clicking around the statues in the dining room. In one of the adjacent rooms was a note with a poem about rocks. I suppose this gave hints about finding the switch I just hit, but the back bookcase lead to a small alcove with Sir John's corpse and his diary on his belt. Reading the diary gave me some background information so I knew why orcs and trolls were co-existing with human guards and servants.

    Notable situations:
    -Lt. Leffel in his room in the basement apparently cannot see pretty well. I was able to sneak into his room and pick the chest on the left without him noticing. I was pretty much in his field of vision though.
    -I found out the hard way what happens when you press buttons without thinking. In the ward/ritual room was a garden with a button and pressing the button while standing against the edge of the ledge resulted in immediate death when a rain of magic darts came at me at all sides. Pressing the button only revealed a diary of Medivh on the pedestal.
    -The orc in the church area did not seem to be too alert either. It was quite easy to run into the room and passed the banners without him becoming alert.
    -The portal in the basement did not seem to be there for any significance. I do remember reading about it in relation to the little girl, but it only confused me further about where to go next.

    Searching for the crown is pretty much an endless maze for any ghoster or perfect thief'er. Only after going on a knockout run did I happen to find it. It was in a crate on the shelf in the store room next to the kitchen on the first floor. Destroying the crate was, obviously how it was found. But something bizarre happened after picking up the crown. When the mission ends, the loot count is changed from 2492 to 3292. So I really don't how much loot there was total. I assumed the first loot count is correct, so I was only missing 50 loot. I did search for quite some time and still didn't find anything.

    The objective to make 10 airborne knockouts was of course optional and I didn't bother attempting it. Basso will have to be content with me ghosting. After completing all objectives the only thing left was to find a back exit out of the keep. It took me a while until I started using the lift on the right side of the keep. At the second floor level there is a lockbox in the lift chasm. The lockbox was pickable and revealed a single button. After pressing the button I was sent to the bottom level and found a scroll implying this was the back entrance.

    Secrets: statue under bed in the bedroom on second floor, button behind statue in the dining room, coathook in bedroom on second floor opens a dresser to secret barracks, button on ledge of small garden in ward/ritual room.

    Hard to find loot: a loose coin beside one of the desks in the basement, diamond in the wisp aquarium, statue under the bed in the bedroom on second floor.

  11. #61

    Ominous Bequest

    FM: Ominous Bequest

    Play mode: Ghost (failed)
    Time: 2 hours 18 minutes
    Loot: 7540 of 8000 (5000 required)
    Pockets picked: 7 of 7
    Backstabs: 0 Knockouts: 0
    Damage dealt: 0 Taken: 0 Healing: 0
    Killed: 0
    Secrets: 6 of 8

    Cause(s) of failure:
    - Property damage required to get the horn (an objective but damage is not included in objective).
    - Burricks alerted by horn used to open exit from trap.

    - Even after cutting power to the horn and sceptre displays, you will still get hurt by the electric fences atop the outside walls. I don't know why there are electric fences there or why some vines on those walls let you climb up since there is nothing there but the electric fences are still on.
    - Dousing any torch on the outdoor gazebo will put the striking guards on full alert.
    - Once you find the lost testament, a new objective appears telling you to get the horn. You can't take the horn (and sceptre) without damage until you turn off the power to their protective shields (which you cannot see). However, to turn off the power requires you use the sword to cut a wire. This would be similar to the author forcing you to slash a banner. To satisfy the objective you have to commit property damage but that is not allowed for ghosting. Busted.
    - You can use the wall safe key through the banner and also frob the switch behind it to reveal the painting objective.
    - You can frob through the banner at the front stairs to reveal a floor panel.
    - If you come through the door closest to the stairs for the upstair's party room, a creak noise will alert the guy sleeping in front of the fire. So go through the other hallway door or use the secret passage.
    - To get at the loot on the inside balcony with a lone guard, drop down from the attic roof onto the railing and then slide off onto the table. I had to nudge this guard forward to get past him from behind to leave.
    - When caught in the burrick trap, you can sneak to the exit without alerting the burricks. However, you have to use the horn to open the exit floor panel and this alerts the burricks. Ghost busted again.
    - There is a wall in the upper crypts area leading to the family tombs near where there are 3 skulls on a shelf (one has a gem in its eye). I could not figure out how to open this wall. You cannot walk through it. However, you can lean through it to frob the loot behind it.
    - The sword can be ghosted by getting as far away from the altar with the sword (after hitting it with the holied sponge) on the side away from the entrance door. When you frob it, run down and behind a pillar to avoid getting spotted by the ghost mage that gets spawned near the door. Then just circle around the opposite side of the pyramid mound to stay out of sight and to leave as the ghost mage wanders around.
    - I roped up onto the symbol near the ceiling in the church without being seen and even got to the book without being seen. An objective says to kill Kadar (the guy you just helped to reincarnate). This requires you slash the book with the sword. While the objective says to kill Kadar, all the other haunts will die, too. This might be a ghost bust but it doesn't matter since there were 2 ghost busts already that cannot be avoided.

    Before exiting the church, I did a save and went back through in blackjack-em-all mode to find the last 2 secrets. Never found them.

  12. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Congrats, Vanguard, on your work in Ominous Bequest. You did all the right things. FYI, there is another way onto the interior balcony. Turn on the light in the corner room adjacent to the balcony (where you find some goodies). The balcony guard will come out to check. Follow him back into the balcony.

    The secret door you mentioned in the entrance passage to the family tomb
    Not knowing what other secrets you have found, I cannot say what else you missed. The loot is all possible, but some is devilishly well hidden. I have a loot list if you want it.

    I think this is a satisfying mission to ghost even though you are busted in those two places.

  13. #63
    Thanks, Peter. That helped to get my secret count up by one (for the crypt wall that I could lean through to get the loot). The other secret was in the library with the moving ladder after you escape the burricks. I had climbed the ladder but must not have been looking in just the right direction. So now I have all the secrets and upped my loot count to 7640 out of 8000 in loot. Gave up looking for the last 360 - for now.

  14. #64

    Lord Peter Requests....

    [Peter Smith]

    (Folks -- we actually had an e-mail exchange about this, but Peter suggested it would be of general enough interest that it should be posted on the board. Hence....)

    Amazing job of ghosting A Keeper's Betrayal!

    But I'm a little uncertain... if banner transmigration is disallowed on the count that it just exploits a quirk in the Dark engine, and isn't anything "natural" that a person could conceivably do -- then shouldn't your incredibly ingenious "squirting spider" method for getting around Shelob in the maze be likewise disallowed? How is it any less unnatural to lean on a giant spider and have her not only squirt down the corridor but make a right-angle turn to the left and end up down a different corridor?

    Also, is there any indication in any previous FM, or in this one (in text, say), that if you drop the notes, they will float, rather than fall? Now I feel like a dunce that I didn't figure that out... but I've never actually heard of it before.

    I was able to ghost everything except the two problem areas -- the banner leading to the Bouros key and the spider blocking the corridor. Now that I see how to do it, I may go back and try again. But I have to wonder: is it best to design a mission that can only be ghosted by somebody at the level of a Deadman or a Peter, or is it best to design levels that can be ghosted even by ordinary mortals?

    I understand that it's a great challenge to ghost something previously thought unghostable. One possibile compromise: one could design a level with optional objectives that are seriously hard to ghost, perhaps requiring exploiting the Dark engine; that way, the rest of us could at least be able to say we ghosted the required part of the mission, even if ghosting the optional objective is beyond our capability.

    Again, fantastic job; my hat would be off to you, were I wearing one!


  15. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Thanks Dafydd. I really enjoyed that one. Notes you can step on are something unheard of before and since. Same applies to spider squirting.

    There have been many discussions about changing the ghosting rules to disallow things that are unnatural or quirks in the engine. As far as I know, none of them have been officially adopted. I personally think that all these "refinements" are revisionist nonsense. So far as I am concerned, anything goes, so long as you do not alert an AI to second alert ("Must've been rats" is OK), give or take damage, or do property damage. The original rules are can be found in a link in the archives / FAQ thread. That is what I go by.

    There have been some interpretations, from a long time back, that are a matter of record, such as a kill is OK if it is explicitly required by the objectives ("kill the haunts" is OK in RTC), but one cannot kill simply because it is necessary, indirectly, to achieve another objective. Alerts are OK if they are part of a script and you did not cause the alert (e.g., the archers' fight in LOTP). There are others that I can't think of now, but I know a ghost when I see one.

    I think it takes a benevolent interpreter. Hard nosed rules spoil the fun, in my opinion.

    As for level design, I am not sure I like the idea of designing a mission to be ghosted by everybody. I often recommend in beta testing to remove barriers that absolutely prevent ghosting a mission. I think the designers of the OM's did not consider ghosting criteria, but a lot of the OM's can be ghosted, some with unusual tricks. I think the success ratio is so high because the designers had a criteria to design for stealthy play. They did not put swordmen facing you in bright light. They made it possible for you to avoid trouble. That was the point of the game. I think that is all designers need to do if they want a stealty mission. Let the ghosting chips fall where they may, and present a few challenges and uncertainties.

  16. #66

    Designing missions -- for ghosting?


    As for level design, I am not sure I like the idea of designing a mission to be ghosted by everybody.
    Well heck, neither do I! Neither does any right-thinking person.

    We wouldn't want it to be so trivially easy to ghost that the feat became meaningless.

    The question I was asking: should missions be designed that can be ghosted except for one or two instances... but to ghost those instances requires weird manipulations of the Dark engine?

    Consider A Keeper's Betrayal, which is a good real-world example. Every inch of it is ghostable -- you proved that -- but those two instances (the key and the spider) can only be ghosted by what might fairly be called "cheats," in the sense that they only work because the engine is imperfect. (I don't think Immortal Thief intended the books to float when you drop them; and I know he never once even considered spider squirting.)

    It's one thing to make ghosting some piece of loot dastardly hard... for example, in that same FM, the loot on the wall in the Hammerite auditorium, or the loot at the end of the dining hall with the Child of Karras. Those require infinite patience, daring, a deft hand at the controls, and even some luck.

    But they don't require banner transmigration, book levitation, or immaculate spider transplantation. They're what I would call "fair" loot as far as ghosting is concerned (note that I didn't get the bottle in the dining room... I'm not defining "fair" as loot that I, personally, can get).

    If a mission is obviously unghostable from the git-go, that's one thing. You don't build your hopes up. But I had ghosted all the way -- until I came to the banner blocking the route to the key. It was really frustrating and infuriating; not knowing about the floating books, for which there was no textual indication, I was completely stymied, not because of my own inability to sneak, but because Immortal Thief didn't realize that slashing a banner busted a ghost.

    Same thing with the spider: I don't know the weird quirks of the Dark engine (though I'm trying to learn!), and without them, there is no way to ghost Mrs. Spider.

    From a level-design perspective, I think one should either design a level that cannot be ghosted at all, and it's obvious from the start, so players don't waste a lot of time ghosting, only to discover after several hours that they must give up the ghost -- or else, design them so they can be ghosted without having to abuse the engine.

    (Imagine some loot in Tomb Raider that could only be reached by using the "corner bug." That would be immensely frustrating to players who don't know about it.)

    That is, I'm not saying your ghosting should really be disallowed; I'm more saying that tIT should design his next level so you don't have to squirt a spider to successfully ghost it.


  17. #67
    I would consider banner transmigration legal for ghosting. I think it first came up in the "Shipping and Receiving" OM to get to the loot chests in the captain's quarters on the ship. I've also used "door springing" to leap farther than normally possible: brace yourself while squatting against a door, open the door, and then move a little away. You might have to fudge around in your position to get it to work. You get flung backwards (because you had to face the door to open it) something like a hundred feet at high velocity. If you hit a wall, SPLAT, you're dead, but I have used it to fling myself across a wide gorge. It doesn't work a lot of the time, about as often as the sudden heart attack syndrome.

    The author also probably doesn't plan on us resourceful taffer accumulating lots of crates to get over a wall. Or that the crates can be offset atop of each other with no supporting crates underneath to get over a moat and up to the top of the castle wall. Or that running or falling too fast at a rope can make it act like a big rubber band and make you bounce off almost farther backward than where you started (but land lower down, of course). Or waddling while pressing the run key and leaning left and right to wrangle your way under a couple beams that the author thought was sufficient to block a doorway. Or that jumping on a table makes noise to alert an AI but landing on its very edge won't. Or using a torch or gas lamp to land on while getting down from a height but you don't get burned whereas all other fire results in damage. On the other hand, is it fair that the author deliberately made a ledge at the height of your knees or at a ledge that you can manage to jump to and have your head above or higher no mantle-able? You managed to get there but the author doesn't want you there and didn't bother using some other obstacle to prevent you getting there so instead they make it so you fall when it is so obvious that it wouldv'e been easily mantle-able? How about banners or walls that you can lean through but cannot jump through? How about carpets that the author placed too high so it is above the floor and your feet get stuck underneath so you cannot jump but you also don't make noise on the tile floor underneath?

    I figure if the author can putz with the engine's quirks or make deliberate changes to behaviors or attributes (like arms that are 20 feet for reach or so short you have to shove objects in your nose to frob them) that we players are also to make use of whatever we can in the mission. Although we tend to think of Thief as a reality-based theme game, there's too much that isn't real to get hung up on trying to equate it all to what would happen in reality. In reality, you come home and your dog is quietly sitting on the front porch. Do you know that he alerted to the mailman during the day? No. But when ghosting, the rules say that you cannot alert that dog. We're allowed to alert rats (which just don't squeek louder but often run away, too) yet we cannot alert spiders (to which no other AI would alert or notice the change *while* there still was a change).

    Although banner transmigration, nudging, and spider squirting (which is really nudging) are quirks, they are allowed when ghosting. So are stacking crates so they overlap with no supporting crates underneath. That's the physics of world in which you are playing. In reality, you could bowl over a guard or mage by running into them. Not in Thief ... yet. Maybe in T3 they'll let me use my inertia to push AIs around, but that means that I can also be pushed around. Shove match! Imagine your humiliation at being held down by a bunch of civilians while a couple others go get the cops. You don't want to be in prison with the other inmates knowing that you got nabbed by a citizen's arrest. Garrett the wuss, oh geez, the shame.

  18. #68

    Parsing closely...


    Parsing closely, we're really not disagreeing that much.

    I wrote:

    That is, I'm not saying your ghosting should really be disallowed; I'm more saying that tIT should design his next level so you don't have to squirt a spider to successfully ghost it.
    You respond:

    Is it fair that the author deliberately made a ledge at the height of your knees or at a ledge that you can manage to jump to and have your head above or higher no mantle-able? You managed to get there but the author doesn't want you there and didn't bother using some other obstacle to prevent you getting there so instead they make it so you fall when it is so obvious that it wouldv'e been easily mantle-able? How about banners or walls that you can lean through but cannot jump through? How about carpets that the author placed too high so it is above the floor and your feet get stuck underneath so you cannot jump but you also don't make noise on the tile floor underneath?

    I figure if the author can putz with the engine's quirks or make deliberate changes to behaviors or attributes (like arms that are 20 feet for reach or so short you have to shove objects in your nose to frob them) that we players are also to make use of whatever we can in the mission.
    My point is that authors shouldn't "putz with the engine's quirks," and they shouldn't build missions that require players to putz with quirks to ghost. If such putzing gets to be the standard, then the game becomes an insider's club, with only select people who frequent particular newsgroups to learn the latest bizarre quirk of the Dark engine being able to ghost missions.

    I don't like that as a game philosophy or as level-design philosophy. Had A Keeper's Betrayal had a really sneaky button to open the banner, and had there been a complex path through the maze that didn't require leaping over a spider (or squirting it), the entire mission would have been ghostable by a good, patient, innovative player without having to have arcane knowledge about the bizarre failings of the game engine.

    I think that makes for a better game; that's my position.


  19. #69
    Well, some missions aren't made to be ghostable. We ghosters usually tell the FM author to first design the mission to be fun by all and forget about planning for ghosting. If ghosting is planned into the FM, too often it's the easy route and always used, so it's just a modicum harder. I've ghosted lots of missions, and other than nudging, most were done by taking a different route, getting somewhere the author didn't plan for, stacking crates (if you have the patience), trying to land on edges instead of on the flat part of a table or other ledge, waiting until the torch is out of sight so the guard doesn't alert to it getting doused. The technical ghosts from using quirks really isn't that satisfying. I had more fun trying to figure out how to ghost down a tower past a female mage in Sammy Pays His Dues which is just skill rather than the boredom in trying to squirt spiders around using crates. If it ain't fun and requires a super high number of reloads then often I just give up. Sneak might wait around to leave the game running for hours and hours just to see if an AI gets repositioned just right, but not me. I can't stand scrounging so rarely do I ever Perfect Thief a mission.

    The best ghosts are when you have to use ingenuity and patience. To me, it's not a ghost unless the effect or action is repeatable; dumb luck, especially because of a quirk, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But if the author appears to have gone out of their way to make a mission unghostable to spite us then I'll spite back by using any means I can to thwart that author. Ha! Did it anyway! Take that you taffer torturer.

  20. #70



    And now we're totally in agreement. I was pretty sure we weren't that far apart to begin with.


  21. #71

    A Keeper's Betrayal

    FM: A Keeper's Betrayal (version 2)

    Or, "How I learned never to believe Peter about spider squirting ."

    Ghost - Success
    Perfect Thief - Are you nuts?
    Time - 06:19:47 *
    Loot - 2076 / 2181
    Pockets Picked - 2 out of 3
    Backstabs - 0
    Knockouts - 0
    Damage dealt - 51 (Bouron)
    Damage taken - 0
    Healing taken - 0
    Kills - 1 "other" (Bouron)
    Secrets Found - 3 / 3

    I'm not exactly sure how Peter managed fourteen pockets picked... did he mean fourteen locks picked?

    * I should explain about the time: I opened the secret door atop the weapons shop just to check off the secret; but no matter how I dropped into the water, it always alerted the sewer spiders. Thus, I decided to leave it until later.

    I returned later (after swimming in the dock to get the sewer key), hoping one of the spiders would have drowned. But no such luck; both were still active. I sat still behind the rat, watching and waiting for about fifteen minutes, but no dice.

    Since I knew from experience that it's impossible to jump into the water without alerting one of the spiders enough to get him to stop -- busting a ghost -- I decided I was just going to wait it out. I left the game running and went off to do some errands.

    When I returned, I checked... and sure enough, one spider had committed suicide while I was out. I saved the game there, and the time differential was about two and a half hours. But I have no idea at what point the spider self-destructed; it could have been a minute after I left or a minute before I returned or anywhere in between.

    Thus, the actual playing time was really only 3:50 or so; still a long time (I go VERY slow!), but not the ridiculous time shown on the clock.

    I won't go into much detail; since I'm (I think) the third person to ghost this, it's well-traveled ground already.

    I will note that I found it very easy to get into the Mechanists' temple: I snuck past the guard who patrols between the temple and the town square; then, while he was away, I strolled up and jump-mantled up the wall right in front of me. I ended up on the peaked roof that leads to Priest Malvyne's balcony, and I didn't even get a first alert from either of the door guards. Was this changed from version 1? Was it harder back then?

    I nudged the guard in the guardhouse so I could get past him to Keeper Troy's body and fulfill an objective; I nudged the stationary guard by the docks so I could get behind him to the door; and I ended up having to nudge the Antique Dealer.

    That was weird. When I entered his building, I found him awake but unalerted on the bed. I reloaded and crept in so very slowly and quietly, but the same thing. I never made any noise in that area of town, so it couldn't have been anything I did; even getting down from the roof of the weapon's shop, I jumped onto the signpost, which made no noise, eased onto the doorjamb, and finally down to the ground without even bouncing up out of my crouch... so it wasn't me, babe; no, no, no, no, it ain't me, babe.

    I have no idea why he was up; but this created a problem for getting to the switch that opens the bookcase where the skull is kept. I leapt onto the bed behind him without getting any sort of alert, then slowly nudged him to the edge of the bed. At that point, I was able to creep along the bed and frob the switch on the painting.

    I forgot all about the archer on the balcony; so I had to return later and pick his arrow -- which you can do right through the closed glass door (which is good, since opening the door alerts the Dealer).

    And of course, I nudged the spider.

    I had a heck of a time with the floating books, but I persevered and managed to get Bouron's key without slashing the banner.

    Now we come to the big tamale: how did I get past the spider?

    I tried Peter's spider-squirt technique, but I had no better luck than Vanguard; I think you need to be a bit more descriptive, Peter: I backed her all the way along the corridor into the corner before the ell... but nothing I did made her squirt to the left, let alone around the corner into the blind alley.

    I even got her to the point where she was almost entirely embedded in the wall, with just her face and front legs sticking out; I leaned in hard, but she just kept twisting left and right without squirting. I must have been standing in the wrong place... hence my request for more exact instructions.

    Finally -- just once -- she squirted... backwards! Right through me and back along the same corridor I had just nudged her (but without any alert). I tried edging up and nudging her again, this time the other way, but she alerted every time after two or three nudges and killed me.

    Finally, it occurred to me that since I had all the objectives ticked off except the book and the Bouron, and both were ahead of me, I didn't need to go back this way. So I reloaded again and crept away from her, down the corridor the way I needed to go.

    I slew Bouron by first shooting him in the back -- well, in the left shoulder -- with a fire arrow. Then I started shooting him with broadheads. I discovered (after wasting about eight or nine arrows) that only a shot to the throat or head would produce any blood; so I focused on that area. I killed him at last with but two arrows to spare, and the game ended. Ghost successful! Me three, me three!

    (The last time I played, which was not a ghost, I had not yet gotten the golden skull when I killed Bouron, so I was able to investigate that door behind him. As I recall, none of my keys opened it, and it was unpickable.

    (I had a mine, and I should have blown it open just to see what was on the other side; my guess would be that there is no other side, that it's a door to nowhere.)

    I know I didn't get the nugget in the pool in the Keeper compound; I don't know what else I missed, but I was 105 short on loot.

    My ghosting doesn't count for much, since I just followed a trail blazed by others. But it's certainly the most difficult ghosting I've ever completed successfully, so I'm pleased.


  22. #72

    Official Ghost Rules Question


    Could we get some sort of official ruling on the possible incompatibility between the following two ghost rules?

    Amendment #1 : Any mission requirement that demands that the player break one of the rules or amendments is OK to complete.
    Amendment #4 - A clarification is needed. No KO's are allowed at all, under no circumstances, regardless of the alerted or unalerted status of the AI.
    This arises naturally in the case of, e.g., Vanguard's near-ghosting of Lord Matt. Here's the (objective) killing of Mikus:

    I blackjacked him and dragged him into the corner where I was somewhat darker.... I went behind his house to the bathhouse and dumped him in the water to drown.
    Vanguard did not consider this a ghost bust; his ghost failed because he later had to BJ a guard he was not required to kill.

    The conflict also arose in A Keeper's Betrayal: somebody, I forget who, said that he dropped onto the Bouron platform and skipped around behind him before he alerted; then he KOed Bouron and beat the unconscious body to death.

    The question: is it allowed to blackjack an AI, despite Amendment 4, if there is an objective in place to kill that AI? I'm sure we all agree that Amendment 1 takes precedence over Amendment 4 if there is a requirement to blackjack some AI (or, presumably, kidnap, since you cannot "herd" an AI anywhere ). But if the requirement is merely to kill, are you allowed to blackjack first?

    In the case of A Keeper's Betrayal, it's not even necessary to blackjack Bouron; you can shoot him with a fire arrow and then pepper him with arrows until he dies without you taking any damage at all. I have no idea about Lord Matt and can only assume Vanguard is correct that this is the only way to carry out the objectives to kill Matt and Mikus.


  23. #73
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Where did these ammendments come from? They do not look familiar to me. If they are a part of Clayman's attempt of a year ago to revise the rules, they were never agreed by the community. Certainly not by me. The wording is contradictory, as you point out.

    So far as I am concerned, a mission objective to kill an AI can be met by BJing him, carrying him elsewhere, and finishing him off. That is common and accepted procedure to avoid alerts of other AI caused by sword whacks. It satisfies the objectives, the AI is dead, and there were no secondary alerts. That is the idea, isn't it? The no blackjack rule does not apply to the requrement to kill. If you wanted to, you could kill him with your blackjack.

    As I said in a post above, the rules I go by are the original rules posted in the FAQ area, with amendments and interpretations agreed a long time ago. I hope that we don't have another debate about this, not so much because I dislike debate in general but because the last couple of times it has been a rancorous affair and a waste of time. If we do need to discuss it, then please start another thread. The last one was well over 100 posts long.

  24. #74



    Peter, I'm not trying to start a rancorous debate. For one thing, I have no opinion on the matter.

    I got those amendments from here:

    I forget where I found this, but it might be on the thief-thecircle board under some title like "Official Ghost Rules" or somesuch; alas, I can't check it right now because that board has been down for some days now, it seems.

    I note that the corresponding post from

    ...which is linked to by the FAQ here, omits rule 4. But I don't know which one is "official," if such a designation exists.

    Honestly, Peter, I have no dog in this fight, and I'm not trying to stir up some long-dead debate I didn't even know about. I am just a stickler for rules by nature, so I like to know exactly what they are.


  25. #75
    The objective says to kill him. It doesn't say how. You can blackjack an AI to death. You can hack at them with the sword. Perforate them with arrows. Drown them (by blackjacking or luring them in over their head or running around a pool until they fall in). Fire arrows, mines, crushing underneath an elevator platform, luring into an active trap, like splatballs or fireballs. Yell boo at them (i.e., let them see you) and have them run away where you can dispatch them alone. As long as you don't alert other AIs then it's okay. If the kill objective said something like, "You must kill so-and-so in the middle of the party crowd using a fire arrow" then you don't get a choice of trying to perform a covert assassination and the objective is a mandatory ghost bust. In fact, there are objectives that are mandatory ghost busts. In one FM, the objective was to make an example of killing the target. You are required to kill the guy amongst several AIs so they went on alert. Even though you could perforate him with a broadhead while remaining completely undetected, this just was not a ghosty maneuver at all. In another FM, the objective says you must get a vase but the vase is inside a crate. The objective does NOT leave you an out by saying you can smash the crate so getting the vase requires smashing the crate which is a ghost bust.

    Note that killing an AI can be scripted to alert other AIs. You could kill the target somewhere far away but the other AIs will still go on alert. This is completely artificial and something the author didn't think of. It's as artificial as the boundary trigger you cross that causes the melee in the Life of the Party OM. Some AIs are linked to an event that occurs within the same room, like readying your sword or blackjack. The AI couldn't possibly see this event but they are tied to alert to it. In some FMs, when you kill an AI (required) a door opens so you can continue the mission. Now that's really getting fakey and unrealistic. So at times it can be damn tough to determine if there was really a ghost bust or not. Some authors change the AI vocalizations so much that sometimes you cannot distinguish between a 1st and 2nd level alert for an AI.

    Since Clayman isn't around (and often he didn't like make rulings, anyway), there's a certain feel that you must be unseen, unheard, with no trail left behind of damaged objects (although leaving doors open and throwing vases around is okay but there are more stricter ghost modes that make you put everything back the way it was). If the author isn't planning on you ghosting their mission then you get objectives that obviously wouldn't be considered ghosty, like having to kill someone even if done completely unseen and unheard and even dumping the body where it wouldn't be found. Having to kill someone is more like super stealth assassin mode than ghost mode. That's why I try to make it look like an accident. If possible, drown them in their bathtub, have them fall off a high balcony (even if it takes several drops to kill them), drop them into a fire, throw them into a trap, so somehow it looks like it was an accident and they were killed by something other than you. I don't go to extremes on this, either, since I don't want to be lugging around an unconscious body for miles (and them dying so far away would itself be suspicious).

    If the loot objective weren't almost always there in the OMs and FMs, I probably wouldn't bother looting much. After all, wouldn't the missing loot go noticed so you really didn't ghost the mission? But without that objective, there wouldn't be much to force you into dire situations. The feel you strive for is like when the guards open the vault to find all the money is gone but have no clues how it was done. So really you are being a super thief rather than a super ghost. Some authors want violence so you are sometimes forced to be a super assassin. I have to wonder how Garrett can be this super thief if everyone seems to know about him to hire him or to arrest him. Most of the time, he can't even walk the street in plain sight along with other civilians. Apparently he was very sloppy before, got well known, and is now forced into ghost mode to keep from getting into trouble everywhere!

    If you have a question about whether something you did is a ghost bust, my advice would be to ask in a separate thread to get a consensus, and note that the bust (or not) was based on what the ghoster community felt. We all have opinions. Some are vehement, some are weak, and some are just too damn wordy, like me.

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