Determinance screenshot

Paul’s Re-education: Thief – Mysterious Juju

As some of you may be aware, there are some prominent chasms in the landscape of my recent gaming history which I am attempting to fill with the glorious soil of…oh, sod it: there’s some famous games I haven’t played and I’m playing them now, ok? What? Calm down and have a lemonade.

The mono-string drone-harp was a particular highlight of this year’s Medieval GlowerCon.

After recently finishing Half Life 2, I’ve now ventured back into the dark (ah-ha-ha) corners of 1998 to experience the wondrous Thief, Looking Glass’ superlative progenitor of stealth.

Despite it being one of his favourite games, Ian’s been unable to replay it because of its retrospective graphical horror. The triangular-headed stick-people aren’t too much of an encumberance to mortals like myself however: I actually find a lack of smeary shaders and over-waxed migraine-inducing lights somewhat soothing. Mm, jagged.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how I get on in due course, but I thought I’d share with you some of the mysterious juju which is required to actually get the blighter to run on today’s machines.

There is a story within this story, and it is that story which I have chosen to narrate to you first. Upon loading the training mission, I was presented with a slightly pixellated room. “Go down the hallway, young acolyte, where your test and a biscuit await you,” [or something – my memory for spoken dialogue is thinner than the folder in Sven Goran-Erikson’s office marked “Do Not Use These Atrocious Stratagems”] said the disembodied voice of my tutor. On attempting to follow his instructions I was presented with…a lovely crash which refused to let me tab out, restart, or do anything remotly sensible to rectify the situation.

1. Genitalia, 2. A nice Muscadet, 3. Freeview.

A quick recce of the utterly terrible Sold Out budget-backwater-50p-Welcome-to-Didcot-bucket-o’-tat menu system on the DVD revealed that I had installed the most recent version available (that’ll be 1.33, patch aficionados), so in my shame I resorted to Google.

I’d ask Jeeves if I hadn’t just shot him sixteen times.

For once, Google had the answer.

Well, Google was a bit braver than usual and found the answer here, in this deeply suspicious locale. Daring to click on that link reveals a terrifying arcanum of batch files and downloading and inserting of things gingerly into scary parts of Windows, but I was so determined to play this game that I pressed on.

People, it worked. It worked, and Windows has managed not to transmit its soul through any black portals so far – if you’re having the same problem, go to that page and do the thing today.

“Welcome to Lego: Oblivion! Press tab to see how many..brick goblins…you’ve…collected.”

Anyway, the game is highly compelling and it has secured its place on my critical path, so I will be sure to present my findings at an appropriate juncture.

4 Responses to “Paul’s Re-education: Thief – Mysterious Juju”

  1. Random:

    I hate to head off entertaining Google searches, but if you have further troubles this thread should cover just about everything: http://www.ttlg.com/forums/showthread.php?t=75031 It links to the solution you found.

  2. Paul:

    Thanks, Mr. Random. That was, in fact, my first port of call for help after Google, so well done for getting a mention in there when I neglected to give you one! That thread is incredibly useful for getting those games to work correctly.

  3. Binster:

    Can I also recommend the wonderful System Shock 2? It’s wonderful.

  4. Paul:

    I have played that – it is indeed wonderful. Warren Spector ftw!