Thief II: The Metal Age

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Thief II: The Metal Age
Thief II - The Metal Age Coverart.png
Box cover of Thief II: The Metal Age
Developer(s) Looking Glass Studios
Publisher(s) Eidos Interactive
Director(s) Steve Pearsall
Designer(s) Tim Stellmach
Composer(s) Eric Brosius
Series Thief
Engine Dark Engine
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s)
  • NA March 23, 2000
  • EU 2000
Genre(s) Stealth
Mode(s) Single-player

Thief II: The Metal Age is a 2000 stealth game developed by Looking Glass Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. Like its predecessor Thief: The Dark Project, the game follows Garrett, a master thief who works in and around a steampunk metropolis called the City. The player assumes the role of Garrett as he unravels a conspiracy related to a new religious sect. Garrett takes on missions such as burglaries and frameups, while trying to avoid detection by guards and automated security.

Thief II was designed to build on the foundation of its predecessor. In response to feedback from players of Thief, the team placed a heavy focus on urban stealth in the sequel, and they minimized the use of monsters and maze-like levels. The game was made with the third iteration of the Dark Engine, which had been used previously to develop Thief and System Shock 2. Thief II was announced at the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo, as part of an extended contract between Looking Glass and Eidos to release games in the Thief series. Looking Glass neared bankruptcy as the game was developed, and the company was kept running by advances from Eidos.

Thief II received positive reviews from critics, and its initial sales were stronger than those of its predecessor. However, the game's royalties were processed slowly, which compounded Looking Glass's financial troubles. As a result, the company closed in May 2000, with plans for Thief III cancelled. The third game in the series, entitled Thief: Deadly Shadows, was developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos in 2004. Thief 2X: Shadows of the Metal Age, a widely praised expansion mod for Thief II, was released in 2005. In 2013, Eidos Montreal announced a reboot of the series (Thief), and it was released the following year.

Gameplay[edit]

The player holds the blackjack and hides in a shadow from a patrolling guard. The light monitor in the bottom-center of the screen is completely dark, indicating that the player character is invisible.

Thief II is a stealth game that takes place from a first-person perspective in a three-dimensional (3D) graphical environment.[1] The player seeks to complete mission objectives and to evade the notice of opponents such as guards.[2][3] The player must minimize the visibility and audibility of the player character, Garrett, to escape detection. Players try to avoid lit areas and loud flooring in favor of shadows and quiet flooring. A light monitor on the heads-up display (HUD) indicates the player character's visibility.[4] While it is possible for the player character to engage in direct combat, he is easily defeated.[3]

The game's 15 missions take place in large levels that can be confronted in multiple ways.[1][5] Guards may be knocked out with a blackjack or killed with a bow or sword, and their fallen bodies may be picked up and hidden.[4] In addition to human enemies, the game features security automatons and surveillance cameras.[6] While completing objectives such as frameups and blackmail, the player steals valuables that may be used to purchase thieving gear between missions.[3][4][5] The player's main tools are specialized arrows, including water arrows to douse lights, moss arrows to dampen the player character's footsteps and rope arrows to reach higher ground.[1]

Thief II is designed to be played methodically,[1] and the player plans ahead by scouting, reading the game's map and observing patrol patterns.[4] The player character has a zooming mechanical eye, which connects to throwable "Scouting Orb" cameras.[2][6] One Scouting Orb may be deployed at a time; when it lands, the player views the game world from its perspective until normal play is resumed.[4] The player listens for noises, such as footsteps and humming, to determine the locations of enemies.[2][4] On the highest of the game's three difficulty levels, killing humans results in a game over,[4] and in certain missions the player must not knock out any guards.[3]

Plot[edit]

Setting and characters[edit]

Like its predecessor Thief: The Dark Project, Thief II is set in a steampunk metropolis called the City,[4][7] whose appearance resembles that of both medieval and Victorian era cities.[7][8] Magic and steam technology exist side by side,[9] and three factions—the manipulative and enigmatic Keepers, the technology-focused Hammerites and the "pagan" worshippers of the Pan-like Trickster god—are in operation.[9][10][11][12] Thief II takes place one year after the first game,[13] in the aftermath of the Trickster's defeat and the failure of his plan to revert the world to a wild, primitive state.[2][9][14] A schism in the Hammerite religion spawns the "Mechanist" sect, which fanatically values technological progress.[9][15] The new inventions of the Mechanists are used by a resurgent police force to crack down on crime.[9][13] The pagans are in disarray, and have been driven into the wilderness beyond the City.[2][9] From there, they engage in guerrilla warfare against the Mechanists.[9] The Keeper faction is dormant as the game begins.[2]

The game continues the story of Garrett (voiced by Stephen Russell), the cynical master thief who defeated the Trickster.[1][2][4] Pursuing Garrett is the new sheriff, Gorman Truart (voiced by Sam Babbitt), who has imposed a zero tolerance policy on crime.[4][13] Viktoria (voiced by Terri Brosius), the former ally of the Trickster, eventually joins with Garrett to combat the Mechanists.[5][16] The game's primary antagonist is the founder of the Mechanists, Father Karras (also voiced by Russell), a mentally unstable inventor who despises the natural world.[5][15]

Story[edit]

The game begins with Garrett continuing his life as a thief. However, he is ambushed while returning to his apartment after an early mission, and he determines that Truart is hunting him.[1] Keepers take Garrett to hear a prophecy about the "Metal Age",[17] which he ignores.[18] As Garrett leaves, one of the Keepers informs him that Truart had been hired to kill him,[19] and he gives Garrett a letter that directs him to eavesdrop on a Mechanist meeting.[20] There, Garrett overhears Truart and Father Karras discussing the conversion of street people into mindless "Servants",[21] who wear masks that emit a red vapor capable of reducing themselves and nearby humans to rust.[22] Truart promises to provide Karras with twenty victims for the Servant project,[23] not realizing that Karras is recording his words for use in blackmail.[24] Garrett steals the recording from a safe deposit box, in order to coerce Truart into revealing his employer.[25]

However, Garrett finds Truart murdered at his estate.[26] Evidence at the crime scene leads him to spy on the police officer Lt. Mosley. Garrett sees Mosley deliver a suspicious letter, which is carried through a portal by a wounded pagan. Garrett enters the portal and finds himself outside the City,[27][28] and he follows the pagan's trail of blood to Viktoria, who persuades Garrett to join her against the Mechanists.[29][30] On a lead from Viktoria, he infiltrates Karras' office to learn about the "Cetus Project",[31] and inadvertently discovers that Karras is giving Servants to the City's nobles.[32] Garrett travels to a Mechanist base to find out more about the Cetus Project,[33] which is revealed to be a submarine. In order to locate and kidnap a high-ranking Mechanist named Brother Cavador, Garrett stows away in the vehicle.[34]

After delivering Cavador to Viktoria, Garrett steals a Servant mask to learn about a Mechanist technology called a "Cultivator". Meanwhile, Karras hides inside the Mechanist cathedral in preparation for his plan.[35] Garrett and Viktoria learn that it is the Cultivators inside Servant masks which emit red vapor, or "rust gas". Karras had provided Servants to nobles with gardens in order to set off an apocalyptic chain reaction.[36] Viktoria plans to lure the Servants into the hermetically sealed Mechanist cathedral before Karras activates their masks, but Garrett believes this to be too dangerous and leaves.[37] Viktoria goes to the cathedral alone and dies while filling it with plants,[38] and Garrett completes her plan, killing Karras in the rust gas. Afterward, Garrett is approached by a Keeper who explains that Karras' scheme and Viktoria's death had been prophesied. Garrett demands to know the rest of the Keepers' prophecies as the game ends.[39]

Production[edit]

Early development[edit]

Looking Glass Studios began designing Thief II in January 1999.[40] The team's goal was to build on the foundation of Thief: The Dark Project,[41] a game that Thief II project director Steve Pearsall later said was an experiment.[9] He explained that the team had played it safe by including certain "exploration ... or adventure oriented" missions with "jumping and climbing puzzles" in Thief,[11][42] and that the new game was significantly more focused on stealth.[9][13] Combat was given less prominence than in the original.[8][13] Based on feedback from players and reviewers of Thief,[8][13] the team decided to scale back the use of maze-like levels and monsters such as zombies in favor of urban environments and human enemies.[8][41][43] Pearsall stated that Thief's monsters were negatively received because, unlike the game's human enemies, they did not clearly indicate when they noticed the player. The team sought to remedy this problem by improving the audio cues given by non-human enemies in the sequel.[40]

Production of Thief II commenced in February.[44] Looking Glass chose to compose the game's team of "half the original designers and half new blood", according to executive producer James Poole.[43] The company tried to select people who meshed well both personally and creatively, in an attempt to guarantee a smooth development cycle.[42] Adrenaline Vault editor-in-chief Emil Pagliarulo was hired as a junior designer, in part because of his positive review of Thief.[45] Rich "zdim" Carlson and Iikka Keränen joined from Ion Storm's Daikatana team, and Looking Glass contractor Terri Brosius was hired as a full-time designer.[9][46] One-third of the team was female, which Pearsall believed contributed to a strong group dynamic. As was typical at Looking Glass, the Thief II team worked in a wall-less space called a "pit", which allowed them to converse easily.[42] Describing the work environment at the time, writer Laura Baldwin noted that "conversations dash madly about the room, [and] when someone is demonstrating something interesting everyone gravitates over to look."[47]

Fritz Lang's film M inspired the visual design of Thief II.

During the first months of development, the team regularly gathered to watch films pertinent to Garrett's character and to the game's visual design, such as The Third Man, The Castle of Cagliostro, M and Metropolis.[8][44][47] Pearsall said that the latter two films were Thief II's "biggest aesthetic influences", while the main inspiration for its plot was Umberto Eco's novel The Name of the Rose.[47] The team also drew influence from Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.[9] The game's story was written in the three-act structure: Garrett was intended to transition from his "cynical self" in the first act to a private investigator in the second, and to a character similar to James Bond in the third.[8][10] The City's technology and architecture were influenced by the appearance of Victorian London, and certain areas were given an Art Deco theme to provide "sort of a 'Batman' feel", in reference to the 1989 film.[8] Lead artist Mark Lizotte captured over two-thousand photographs during his vacation in Europe,[11][46] and these were the basis for many of the game's textures.[10]

Thief II was built with the third iteration of the Dark Engine, which had been used previously for Thief and System Shock 2.[8][13] According to Pearsall, the Dark Engine had become "a very well understood development environment", which made for an easier production process.[42] Engine updates created for System Shock 2, such as support for 16-bit color, were carried over to Thief II. The average character model in Thief II was given close to double the polygons of the average model in Thief, with much of the added detail focused on characters' heads. This was an attempt to give the characters a "more organic" look.[10] Certain artificial intelligence (AI) routines written into the Dark Engine, which allowed enemies to notice changes in the environment such as open doors, had not been used in Thief or in System Shock 2 but were implemented in Thief II.[40] Weather effects such as fog and rain were added,[10] and technology from Flight Unlimited III was used to generate the sky and clouds.[13]

Announcement and continued development[edit]

Thief II was announced during the Electronic Entertainment Expo on May 13, 1999, as part of a contract between Looking Glass and Eidos Interactive to release four new games in the Thief series, beginning with Thief Gold.[48][49] The deal had been signed on May 7, roughly three months after Thief II entered production.[44] A tech demo of the game, which Bruce Geryk of Games Domain described as "about three rooms with some Mages", was displayed on the show floor.[10][50] The demo was used to showcase the updated Dark Engine, which featured support for colored lighting, higher polygon models and larger environments.[41][50] The team revealed their intention to include more levels with human enemies,[41] and announced a projected release date of spring 2000.[50][51] Plans to include a cooperative multiplayer mode were also detailed at the show.[50] IGN's Jason Bates noted that the Thief II display attracted "a bit of a buzz and a small crowd of dedicated onlookers".[44]

By July, the team had begun initial construction of the game's levels.[40] Thief II's increased focus on stealth necessitated new level design concepts: the most stealth-based missions in Thief had centered on urban burglary, but Pearsall explained that this "would get tired pretty fast" if repeated in every level. The team diversified Thief II by designing missions with such objectives as kidnapping, blackmail and eavesdropping.[9] The first two levels were designed to seamlessly introduce new players to the core game mechanics, without a tutorial mission that might lose the interest of experienced players.[10] When creating a mission, the team would often begin by deciding on the player's objective, after which they would produce a rough level design. The mission would then undergo a peer review to determine if it should be added to the game.[43] Each of the game's levels was a team effort rather than the work of a single designer.[8] Designer Randy Smith explained that, while Thief's levels had been designed to fit a pre-existing story, the Thief II team "tried to think of really good missions first" and then adjusted the plot to suit them. He noted that it was highly difficult to harmonize the two.[46]

The game's sound team was composed of Kemal Amarasingham, Damin Djawadi and audio director Eric Brosius.[4][52] According to Brosius, each member of the audio department did "everything", without clear demarcations between roles.[52] Like Thief, Thief II features a sound engine that simulates propagation in real-time.[10][53] To achieve this effect, each level's geometry was input both to the level editor and to a "separate [sound] database", which mapped how sound would realistically propagate based on "the physical room characteristics [... and] how all the different rooms and areas are connected together".[10] For example, noise travels freely through an open door but is blocked when the door is closed.[53] The team used the new "occlusion" feature in EAX 2.0 to make Thief II's sound environment more realistic and to allow the player to listen through doors.[40] The game features more sound effects, music and speech than the original Thief.[9][13] Thief II's score, as with that of its predecessor, was designed to "blur ambient [sound] and music" together. However, Brosius later stated that, while Thief's soundtrack is composed of "simple and hypnotic" loops only a few seconds in length, Thief II features longer and "more thoughtfully" constructed pieces. He believed that this method had positive aspects, but that it resulted in a less immersive audio environment.[54]

Artist Dan Thron returned to create the game's cutscenes, with assistance from Jennifer Hrabota-Lesser.[13][52] Thron later called Hrabota-Lesser "one of the greatest artists I've ever seen".[55] The cutscenes, which Computer Games Magazine called "unique", feature multiple layers of artwork and footage of live actors filmed against a green screen. These components were combined and animated in Adobe After Effects.[10][52] The technique had been developed for the original Thief, as an evolution of designer Ken Levine's suggestion to use motion comic cutscenes. David Lynch's films Eraserhead and The Elephant Man were important influences on their style.[55]

Final months[edit]

By October 1999, the team had cut the game's multiplayer feature.[11] Pearsall explained that Looking Glass did not "have the resources to do a new kind of multiplayer and ship a finely tuned single-player game".[13] Plans were announced in January 2000 to release a multiplayer-only Thief game shortly after the completion of Thief II.[56] As Thief II's development continued, Looking Glass experienced extreme financial troubles. The company's Marc LeBlanc later said that "Eidos was writing a check every week to cover our burn rate" during the last months of the project. The game's final cost was roughly $2.5 million. According to company head Paul Neurath, Eidos informed Looking Glass that "it was not an option" for Thief II to miss its release date, and that there would be "dire consequences if [we] missed by even a day". An anonymous Looking Glass staffer later told Salon.com that Eidos "told us basically to ship [Thief II] by their fiscal quarter or die".[57]

By January, Pearsall confirmed that the game had reached beta, and that most of the team's energy was being spent "tuning, polishing, and fixing bugs".[9] He noted in early February that Thief II had been produced almost entirely on schedule.[42] The company slipped behind near the end of the project and entered crunch time to make up the loss.[57] On February 24, Thief II producer Michael McHale announced that the game had reached "feature freeze", and that the team was in "super crunch mode". Numerous game testers from Eidos joined the project. However, McHale said that the team was energized and that "spirits [were] high".[58] Certain employees slept in the office and avoided bathing so that the game could reach its March deadline. LeBlanc later stated his belief that the game was rushed, and that its quality suffered as a result. Nevertheless, the team met their goal,[57] and the game was released on March 23, 2000.[59] Eidos expedited the company's payment for completing the game.[57]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 89.14%[60]
Review scores
Publication Score
Computer Gaming World 4.5/5 stars[1]
PC Zone 82%[5]
PC Gamer US 89%[6]
GameFan 95 out of 100[61]
Computer Games Magazine 4.5/5 stars[2]
GamePro 4 out of 5[62]

Thief II debuted high on the bestsellers list for computer games,[57] and its initial sales were better than those of its commercially successful predecessor.[63] In the United States, the game sold roughly 67,000 copies and earned $2.37 million by the end of 2000.[64] It received positive reviews from critics, with an aggregate score of 89.14% on GameRankings.[60] Computer Gaming World's Thomas L. McDonald wrote that "everything in Thief II is bigger, sharper, better, and more effective" than in its predecessor. He enjoyed its story and called its levels "vast and intricate", with "astonishingly complex and often beautiful" architecture; but he found the game's graphics to be somewhat lackluster. McDonald summarized Thief II as a unique "gamer's game".[1] Jim Preston of PC Gamer US considered the game to be "more focused and polished than the original", and he praised the removal of "zombie battles". While he faulted its graphics, he summarized it as "one hell of a good game".[6]

Jasen Torres of GameFan wrote, "If you liked Thief, you'll love Thief 2: The Metal Age; it's more of the stuff that made Thief great, with less of the annoying stuff". He applauded the removal of "zombie killer" missions and believed the game's sound to be "superior to any other game". He considered its story to be "good" but "nothing great" and its graphics to be "decent"; but he commented that the game was "really all about the gameplay", which he praised as "quite compelling and fun".[61] Benjamin E. Sones of Computer Games Magazine considered the game's story to be "quite good", but he faulted Looking Glass for failing to detail the events of the first game for new players. He wrote that Thief II's graphics were passable but that its sound design was "phenomenal". Sones praised its missions as "very well crafted", and noted that they gave the impression of being in "a living, breathing world." He summarized, "It may not be perfect, but Thief 2 has got it where it counts".[2]

Charles Harold of The New York Times called the game a "refreshing alternative to games that glorify violence". He found its story to be "slight", but he lauded its world as "amazingly alive" and its AI as a "remarkable impersonation of real intelligence".[3] Writing for GamePro, Barry Brenesal commented that Thief II "provides a solid gaming experience" but "doesn't startle like its predecessor". He wrote that its missions featured a "great deal of variety", and he praised their "ability to casually suggest a much larger world", but he complained that they were linear. He considered the game's writing to be "among the best in the business". While Brenesal enjoyed the game's textures and lighting, he noted the low detail of the game's human models, whose animations he found to be "arthritic".[62] PC Zone's Paul Presley wrote that the game's levels were larger but easier than those of Thief, and he considered their objectives to be somewhat linear. He found Thief II's graphics to be dated and wrote that its lack of real-time lighting "tends to give each environment a sort of 'false' quality". However, he believed that the game "still has enough atmosphere to immerse you", and he praised its sound design. Presley considered the game to be a straightforward rehash of its predecessor, and he finished, "A more clear-cut case of sequel-itis there has never been."[5]

Post-release[edit]

While Thief II performed well commercially, Looking Glass was not set to receive royalties for several months.[57][63] The company had struggled financially since the commercial failures of its self-published games Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri and British Open Championship Golf. Looking Glass's Flight Unlimited III had flopped at retail, and the development of Jane's Attack Squadron had gone over budget and fallen behind schedule. A deal to co-develop the stealth game Deep Cover with Irrational Games had recently collapsed.[63][65][66] According to Looking Glass's Tim Stellmach, the delay in Thief II royalties "faced [us] with the prospect of running out of money."[63] Looking Glass management signed a deal in which Eidos Interactive would acquire the company, but Eidos fell into a sudden financial crisis, in part because of the failure of Ion Storm's $40 million game Daikatana.[57][63][65][66] These factors led to the closure of Looking Glass on May 24, 2000,[67] with the planned Thief II successors Thief II Gold and Thief III cancelled.[57][63]

Sequels[edit]

The Thief series had been planned as a trilogy,[57] and work on Thief III was "in a fairly advanced stage" when Looking Glass closed, according to PC Zone's Keith Pullin.[68] Randy Smith and Terri Brosius were appointed as lead designers, and they spent several months concepting the game.[69] In an open letter published after the company's bankruptcy, Smith wrote that the third game would have taken place in an "open-ended, self-directed city", and that its plot would have centered on the Keepers.[70] Brosius suggested that Thief III would have seen Garrett "accept[ing] that there are consequences to his actions", and that he would likely have become "ready to give, rather than always take."[57] The player would have uncovered the game's story gradually, while exploring a free-roam environment.[71] Serious plans had been made to include co-operative multiplayer,[13][43] and a new engine, Siege, had been in production.[71] When Looking Glass closed, its assets were liquidated and the Thief intellectual property was sold at auction.[63][72] This raised doubts that the Thief trilogy would be completed,[57][70] a situation that Salon.com writer Wagner James Au compared to Lucasfilm closing after the release of The Empire Strikes Back.[57] However, following rumors, Eidos announced on August 9, 2000 that it had purchased the rights to Thief.[72]

Development of Thief III was delegated to the Warren Spector-supervised Ion Storm Austin, which had recently completed Deus Ex.[72][73] According to Spector, Thief III would have been given to Core Design or Crystal Dynamics had he not accepted it.[72] The game was announced for Windows and the PlayStation 2.[73] On August 10, Spector commented that Ion Storm's first goal was to assemble a core team to design and plot the game, composed in part of former Looking Glass employees.[74] Thief II team members Randy Smith, Lulu Lamer, Emil Pagliarulo and Terri Brosius were hired to begin the project.[71][75] On August 16, Ion Storm announced its hires, and stated that concept work on Thief III would begin in September.[76] The team planned to "wrap up [the] loose ends" of the series,[74] and they built directly upon the Thief III concept work done at Looking Glass.[77] Thief III was eventually renamed Thief: Deadly Shadows,[78] and it was released for Windows and the Xbox on May 25, 2004.[79]

In May 2009, after several months of rumors, a fourth game in the Thief series was announced by Deus Ex: Human Revolution developer Eidos Montreal.[80] It was unveiled in the April 2013 issue of Game Informer.[81] The game, entitled Thief, is a reboot of the Thief series; it does not feature the Hammerites, pagans or Keepers.[82] Its plot follows Garrett (voiced by Romano Orzari in place of Stephen Russell) in the aftermath of an accident that leaves his protégé, Erin, missing. Garrett has amnesia following this incident, and the City is beset by a plague called the Gloom.[83][84] The game was released for Windows and the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in February 2014.[85]

Fan expansion[edit]

Soon after the bankruptcy of Looking Glass, a fan group called the Dark Engineering Guild began developing an expansion mod to Thief II, entitled Thief 2X: Shadows of the Metal Age.[86][87] Initially, they hoped to fill the void left by the cancellation of Thief III,[87] but they continued to work on the mod after the announcement and release of Thief: Deadly Shadows.[87][88] Released in 2005 after five years in development, the mod follows Zaya, a young woman who is robbed while visiting the City and who then seeks revenge.[86][87][88][89] She is mentored by a pagan hermit named Malak, who trains her as a thief but who has ulterior motives.[52] The team designed Zaya to be physically capable and to have a "middle-eastern/north-african look", but made an effort to avoid similarities to Mulan.[52] Chronologically, the story starts near the end of Thief and ends in the middle of Thief II, depicting the rise of Gorman Truart and the early days of the Mechanists.[52][87] Thief 2X features 13 missions, with new animated cutscenes and roughly 3,000 new lines of recorded dialogue.[86][89]

The mod was praised by critics and by the Thief fan community.[89] Brett Todd of PC Gamer US awarded it "Mod of the Month" and wrote, "It doesn't quite have the mysterious allure of the original games, but it's awfully close".[86] A writer for Jolt Online Gaming praised the mod's visuals and considered its missions to be "incredibly well designed". While the writer commented that Thief 2X did not perfectly follow the series' tone and that its voice acting was "not the best", they finished by saying that fans of the Thief series had "no excuse not to play T2X."[87] PC Gamer UK's Kieron Gillen wrote that he had expected the mod to be cancelled, given that the "web is full of [...] five-percent finished masterworks from people who aimed far, far too high." After Thief 2X's release, he lauded it as the best Thief fan work, and as "one of the most impressive achievements of any fan community for any game."[88]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h L. McDonald, Thomas (May 9, 2000). "Stealing Beauty". Computer Gaming World. Archived from the original on February 11, 2001. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i E. Sones, Benjamin (April 4, 2000). "Thief 2: The Metal Age". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on May 17, 2003. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Herold, Charles (July 6, 2000). "GAME THEORY; Thief II Stress Stealth Over Strength". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 14, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hart, Dorian (2000). Thief II: The Metal Age manual. Eidos Interactive. pp. 5, 9, 11, 12, 17, 18, 20, 26, 27, 30, 34. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Presley, Paul (April 2000). "Thief II: The Metal Age". PC Zone (88): 68–71. 
  6. ^ a b c d Preston, Jim (August 2000). "Thief II: The Metal Age". PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on December 28, 2001. 
  7. ^ a b Doke, Shunal (February 20, 2014). "Thieving Through the Ages". IGN. Archived from the original on February 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Laprad, David (July 28, 1999). "Emerging From the Shadows: Thief 2 Developer Interview". Adrenaline Vault. Archived from the original on January 19, 2000. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Aihoshi, Richard (January 26, 2000). "Thief 2: The Metal Age Interview". Vault Network. Archived from the original on August 15, 2000. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sones, Benjamin E. (February 4, 2000). "Thief 2". Computer Games Magazine. Archived from the original on February 28, 2003. 
  11. ^ a b c d Ward, Trent C. (October 20, 1999). "Thief 2: The Metal Age". IGN. Archived from the original on November 17, 1999. 
  12. ^ Weise, Matthew (June 29, 2011). "Looking Glass Studios Interview Series - Audio Podcast 5 - Ken Levine". Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab. Archived from the original on April 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Pullin, Keith (March 2000). "Thief II: The Metal Age". PC Zone (87): 42–47. 
  14. ^ Looking Glass Studios (1998). Thief: The Dark Project. Eidos Interactive. "Trickster's Note: The world as I once knew it was a place of magic—full of mystery and inhabited by creatures of glamour and terror. The men who lived there lit their bonfires and wondered at what crept and lurked in the darkness outside their weak circles of light. All their dreams, their aspirations and dreads, come from that darkness. Now, as the forces of "progress" cover the meadows in brick and cobblestone, as they replace the majestic loft of tree with the blocky ponderousness of building, they also light the world in their electric, actinic glare. With the lighting of the shadows, man loses his ability to fear, and to dream. [...] I have conceived of a plan to revive the darkness, to bring a resurrection of the ability to fear and dream." 
  15. ^ a b Dean, Paul (October 7, 2012). "Thief 2: The Metal Age retrospective". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on January 12, 2013. 
  16. ^ Staff (2000). "Readers' Choice - The Ten Best Female Characters". GameSpot. Archived from the original on February 10, 2001. 
  17. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal AGe. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: Nice poem. / Keeper: Not poetry: prophecy. The Metal Age is upon us." 
  18. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: Well, you've got the danger part right anyway. Tell you what: you Keepers can plant a few shrubs about town and I'll take care of me. I'll find my own way home." 
  19. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Keeper: You have trouble, my friend. Danger from someone who hired Truart to kill you." 
  20. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Letter: If you seek the private knowledge of the Sheriff, go to the Eastport Mechanist seminary tomorrow night. With stealthy discretion, overhear what you may, at a certain very timely meeting." 
  21. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Karras: Behold, Sheriff Truart! From the lowly street rot emerges the loyal worker. That which I call 'The Servant.' / Truart: This is one of the tramps I delivered to you? The transformation is spectacular! / Karras: And neither want nor worry has he." 
  22. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Karras: I must ask thee to step away from the Masked Servant. That's right. And meanwhile, I will retrieve our 'volunteer.' A most unfortunate guttersnipe who waits just outside. Come, come, gentle beggar. And stand ye just there, next to the masked man. [...] / Truart: My word! The mask emits a red vapor! [...] They're gone! And what remains in their stead? Sand? No--rust!" 
  23. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Truart: You need subjects for your Servant project, and I can supply them. Vagabonds, street scum, prostitutes: those who will not be missed by anyone of consequence. They'll be rounded up, charges invented, et cetera. Still, there's always risk. So I will give you twenty; no more." 
  24. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Karras: Now, behold, my wax cylinder machine. I've used it to capture the Sheriff's very words, even as they moved through the air, today. [...] With his voice thus preserved, Truart dare not betray me or he'll have the scandal he fears so much." 
  25. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: That recording should let me exert a little pressure on Truart to find out who hired him to kill me. [...] The Mechanists put the recording in a safety deposit box earlier today but since I have a copy of the key, I should be able to open it. [...] It didn't take much to learn that the Mechanists do all their banking with First City Bank and Trust, one of the wealthiest establishments in town, catering to the financial needs of the city's upper crust." 
  26. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: Damn! Someone beat me to the Sheriff. I better keep a low profile or else I'll be pinned as the killer." 
  27. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: The keyring I found at Truart's house belongs to Lt. Mosley of the City Watch[. ...] And sure enough, she just left the local Watch station well before schedule carrying a letter. This is my chance. If I can trail her without being spotted, I should be able to find who's on the other end of this little conspiracy." 
  28. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: The portal from the graveyard deposited me in a grove of trees and the wounded pagan I was following is nowhere in sight. He's carrying Mosley's letter and I'd still like to know where he's heading with it." 
  29. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: I'm hoping he's in too much of a hurry to stop and tend to that wound so he'll leave a trail of blood that I can follow." 
  30. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Viktoria: Sometimes enemies must join forces to overcome a more terrible foe. So tell me, Garrett, yes or no. Are we agreed to work together, sharing knowledge and skills against the Mechanists? / Garrett: I... agree." 
  31. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Viktoria: ...you must find out whatever you can about the Cetus Project, a name our agents have overheard repeatedly. Karras has an office in the tower. Try to obtain some information there." 
  32. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Viktoria: You say he's giving these 'Servants' as gifts? / Garrett: Yes[. ...] The servants are weapons, and the nobles have just invited them into their homes." 
  33. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Viktoria: And the schematics confirmed what my agents presumed: Markham's Isle is the staging area for the Cetus Project." 
  34. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: And now I know more about the Cetus Project than I ever wanted to. They've built a ship that can can sail underwater. [...] The only way I can reach him is to hitch a ride in its belly. [...] 'Course it's not enough just to find Brother Cavador at this mysterious "K.D. site", I said I'd bring him back in one piece." 
  35. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Viktoria: ...and some sort of agricultural device called a Cultivator. / [...] Garrett: I think I know where we can lay our hands on one of those masks. There's a collector named Bram Gervaisius with an interest in masks and headdresses. / [...] Viktoria: Gervaisius is planning an exhibition. He's bringing his collection with him from his summer home. / [...] Garrett: Karras is holed up inside the Mechanist cathedral and it looks like whatever he's up to, we're running out of time." 
  36. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Viktoria: The reaction will continue if it finds more organic material. [...] Garrett, for what purpose would the Mechanists use these Cultivators? / Garrett: Well, we know Karras has installed them in the masks of servants. / [...] And the servants have been placed in the homes of the wealthy. / Viktoria: Yes! The homes with the gardens. The plants there could sustain a reaction large enough to destroy everything!" 
  37. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Viktoria: We must go to the Mechanist cathedral. The beacon you've heard about, you could find it, try to activate it, to draw the servants to the cathedral! Then you must somehow get Karras to signal them, to release the rust gas! You see, if I fill the cathedral with plants, enough to fuel a chain reaction, then it should cause the same effect we just saw, but it would take Karras with it, instead of the City! / [...] Garrett: Your plan is suicide. I'll think of a better way. And I work alone." 
  38. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Keeper: Viktoria has begun an assault on the Mechanist cathedral. / [...] Viktoria: I'm plant enough!" 
  39. ^ Looking Glass Studios (February 29, 2000). Thief II: The Metal Age. Eidos Interactive. "Garrett: Viktoria's death... and Karras... was it written? In your books? / Keeper: All is... as it was written. / Garrett: And there's more? / Keeper: Yes. / Garrett: Tell me!" 
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