Thief — an All Difficulty Level complete-loot walkthrough (Original Thief and Thief Gold)

Version 2.0b ©Alex Fung, April 2005.
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Up-to-date version available at my Games page and at The Spoiler Centre.

The Spoiler Centre has exclusive rights for this guide: do not copy or replicate this guide to any other site.

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Thief III released

Have a look at the official web site: Thief Deadly Shadows. It was developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos. Ion Storm closed down in February 2005.

After so many years, it is a shock that a developer of so many excellent games could have gone bankrupt. In the commercial world, companies have to struggle to continue to exist. While we call it “survival of the fittest”, the “fittest” is very often not the one who is good. At least not in the normal sense of the word. The fittest is good at only one thing — survival.

Similar things happen to genes and memes. Evolution does not make progress to produce “better” animals. Your genes care nothing about your well-being, other than your ability to survive and produce offspring carrying copies of your genes. The world is full of memes spread by mind viruses, all competing for a share of your mind, your perception, your attention. They care nothing for your well-being, but instead add to your confusion and subtract from your fulfillment. To learn more about genes and memes, go read Virus of the Mind. The first chapter (Introduction) is available on-line, free.

Thief II

Thief II: The Metal Age has been released in April 2000. It uses the same Enhanced Dark Engine like System Shock II, with better graphics than Thief I. Read about it at its Eidos home site (the original home site is long dead) and get a demo there.

I have started writing the walkthrough for Thief II: The Metal Age. Again, it will be exclusive for the The Spoiler Centre, and is posted at this URL.


Version History

2.0bApr 2005
2.0aFeb 2004
2.0Mar 2003
1.2Jan 2003
1.1Mar 2002
  • Mission 1 (A Keeper’s Training) uses the new script to show loot count in three components (gold;gem;goods) for easier tracking. The total loot is also shown at the end of the mission.
  • Mission 7 (The Haunted Cathedral) uses the new script to show loot count in three components (gold;gem;goods) for easier tracking. You can select the difficulty level, and the cumulative pick and loot figures will adjust automatically. Finally, a total loot is shown at the end of the mission.
  • Mission 9 (The Lost City) uses the new script to show loot count in three components (gold;gem;goods) for easier tracking. You can select the game version (TDP or TG) and the cumulative loot figures will adjust automatically. Finally, a total loot is shown at the end of the mission. Reader Chris Proctor also presented a quick way to leave the Tower.
  • Mission 10 (Undercover) use the new script to show loot count in three components (gold;gem;goods) for easier tracking. A total loot is also shown at the end of the mission.
1.0Nov 2001
0.16Dec 2000
0.15.7Aug 2000
  • Added full walkthrough for mission 7 (Haunted Cathedral) (thus the version name 0.15.7).
  • Added channel files so that you can easily download a copy of the walkthrough for offline reading.
  • Enhanced walkthrough of mission 4 (Down in the Bonehoard) for a better way to cater for Normal and Hard Difficulty Levels.
  • Enhanced walkthrough of missions 4, 11..14 to include loots and powerups specific to Normal and Hard Difficulty Levels.
  • Enhanced walkthrough of mission 4 (Down in the Bonehoard) for a better way to handle the Fire Shadow.
  • Adding a link (under By The Same Author) to “Games that I like and Games that I don’t”.
  • The outline script (the click-expand, click-disappear code) has been modified. In the past, you click a paragraph and it will collapse (disappear). It is a bit annoying because if you try to drag your mouse to select a few words, the paragraph collapses when you release the mouse button. Now you can select/highlight words safely. Note that you still (single) click the section headings to expand/collapse the section. This part stays unchanged.
  • Another script enhancement is use to the new attachEvent method when the browser supports it (IE5 or above). This bypasses my daisy chain logic and results in even faster event handling.
  • One minor change is now the tooltips appears at the mouse pointer instead of the text element you points to. Seems much more natural this way. Also you can click the text to make the tip stay (does not disappear even if you move the mouse away). Click again to unstick, or double click the tip itself to hide. Or you can just move the mouse to another element (with tips), in this case the sticked tips will go away and the new tip appears at the new element as usual.
0.15Jun 2000
0.14Apr 2000
0.13Mar 2000
0.12Feb 2000
  • Added full walkthrough for mission 12 (Escape!).
  • Guidelines for mission 4 (Down in the Bonehoard) completely rewritten and is now a full walkthrough for both Thief and Thief Gold.
  • Added description on Fire Shadow (new AI in Thief Gold).
  • Mission 6 (Sword) is heavily modified to walkthrough the new area available in Thief Gold, to add pick statistics and to fix errors.
0.11Jan 2000
  • Added full walkthrough for mission 11 (Return to the Cathedral).
  • Fixed errors in missions 3 (Cragscleft Prison) and mission 4 (Down in the Bonehoard)

    One day I will rewrite these two missions into full walkthroughs
  • Added mailing list to notify readers of updates.
0.10Dec 1999
  • Modified all walkthroughs to use internal mission numbers
  • Additional information on enemies
  • Added full walkthrough for mission 10 Undercover
0.7Nov 1999
  • Information on new enemies, weapons and background story
  • Added full walkthrough for mission 7, now called mission 9 (Lost City)
0.6Oct 1999
  • Added additional notes on enemies behaviour
  • Added notes on missions 4 and 6, now called 5 (Assassins) and 7 (The Haunted Cathedral)
  • Added full walkthrough for mission 5, now called 6 (Sword)
0.3Sep 1999
  • Initial release with general notes and notes on missions 1 through 3
  • Included maps for part of Mission 3 (for the Halls of Echoing Repose), now called mission 4

About the Guide

Copying this guide

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Historical Note

When I start writing this guide (1999), I have just read an excellant FAQ at The Spoilers by The Brigadier. His FAQ (v4.7 at that time) included a superb walkthrough for the first six missions of the game, but as at September 1999 he has not yet posted anything for the remaining six missions. I tried to send him supplementary information on those missions and look for walkthroughs on new missions, but failed to contact him (he changed his email address).

At that time, it was originally meant to be a supplement to the FAQ of The Brigadier, which contained walkthroughs for mission 2 (Bafford) through 7 (Haunted Cathedral). For the other missions, it is a regular walkthrough (since they were not covered in the FAQ). Later, I start writing complete walkthroughs for the missing missions. Before I can finish, Thief Gold is available so I keep revising the walkthrough to incorporate Gold information. As of today, it is a complete walkthrough covering Thief Dark Project (TDP, usually referred to as Original Thief in this walkthrough) and Thief Gold (TG).

Difficulty Levels

Thief has three difficult levels: Normal, Hard, and Expert. At harder levels, you have a longer list of mission objectives, and higher loot values to achieve. You cannot kill unarmed human in Hard Difficulty, and you cannot kill any human in Expert Difficulty.

At The Spoilers you can find a walkthrough by Brian Smith. His walkthrough is for the normal level (and does not cover all loots). If you want to play the expert level, you simply cannot follow him: you are asked to kill people, and you would not have sufficient loot to complete the game, and you would not be able to collect items or perform actions required by the expert level,

At lower difficulty, you have in general more powerup items to pick up. Note also that the location of some loots are different at different difficulty levels. Finally, the number of pockets to pick varies with difficulty level as well.


I am nosier than other writers, so I may lead you to places that has no purpose in the game (that is, nothing to collect or achieve) just for sight seeing. These routes are marked as excursions in the walkthrough and you can easily skip over them in case you do not want to go there.

Mission Numbering

Originally, Thief consists of 12 missions, plus the Training Mission. Up to version 0.7, I aligned with Brigadier and used the relative mission numbering: starting with mission 1 for Lord Bafford’s Manor up to mission 12.

However, this is not how the Thief missions are internally numbered. Looking Glass starts their numbering from A Keeper’s Training so the Lord Bafford’s Manor is Mission 2 for them. Moreover, there is no Mission 8, and ends up with the last mission numbered 14. During the development of Thief, three missions had been removed, which reappeared in the form of Thief Gold. Mission 8 is the last one removed, and Looking Glass just left a hole in the mission numbering.

As time goes and I notice the problem of using relative mission numbering. Thief Gold is released, and has three new missions in the middle of the old twelve missions. When Brigadier released his FAQ v7.5, he used Gold mission numbers, so what he called mission 5 (Thieves' Guild) doesn’s appear in Thief, and what he called mission 6 (Sword) is mission #5 in Thief. I found this very confusing. Therefore I painfully switched to use the internal mission numbers. So Original Thief (not Gold) missions will be called 2...7, 9..14. Using internal mission numbers, mission 7 is Haunted Cathedral, and mission 9 is Lost City, and it is how I can going to call them. Note that the starting_mission cheat uses relative mission numbers (starting from 1 for Lord Bafford’s Manor).

In Thief Gold, there are FOUR new missions internally, although only three is announced. The four new missions are numbered 15, 16, 17 and 18. Mission 15 is after Assassins, it is the Thieves’ Guild. Mission 16 is after The Haunted Cathedral, it is The Mage Towers, where you get the Earth Talisman from the new enemy type. Mission 17 is after the Lost City, called Song of the Caverns, where you go for the Water Talisman. Mission 18 is a secret mission Blooper Reel.

Each mission is described in a separate HTML file because of its size. These sub-documents use separate version numbers. They start with 1.0 and are indenpendent of the verison number of this page.

Because of the change in mission numbering, the file name of these subdocuments are also renamed. For example, Lost City is renamed from thief07.htm to thief09.htm.

Mission 18 is a secret mission. You couldn’t start it simply by finishing all other missions. Instead, you should first complete all other missions, and then modify the dark.cfg to start it. For details refer to the mission 18 (Blooper Reel) walkthrough. The information is at “Before you start” ? “Starting the mission”.

Game Play and Tips

Moving Around

Despite your conceived running speed you can actually outrun everything — if you have to place to run to. And if you are not running fast enough, the following should help:

  1. stand up! I frequently run and forget I am still crouching.
  2. put away your weapon: they are the chief reason why you move slowly
  3. jump while running — you can outrun Hammer Haunts and even the flying skulls from Apparitions!

When you run, keep turning corners and they will lose sight of you. And avoid doors because opening doors takes too much time. Soon after you have shaken them loose, they stop chasing and look around for you.

When you run, you can choose where to run to. You are not forced to run out. In some missions, you can run inward. For example, in mission 2, you can run from the factory to the prison to get away from the guards. It does not always work because some guards will pull the alarm and seals your fate.

Climbing. I always find climbing ladders and ropes very difficult. Do not stand too close to the object: walk towards it and press jump when it is getting near. If you have a better method to climb, let me know. System Shock 2, which uses an enhanced version of the Dark Engine, has much improved on this aspect. Walk up to a ladder, look up, continue to walk and find yourself alreayd climbing up the ladder. But in Thief, we have to continue to negotiate with the jump key.

Mantling. Just as difficult at times. I found that it is easier to mantle up when you are looking downwards. Just press and hold the jump key. Most important, do not press the forward key.

To jump down quietly, find something to jump upon: almost anything other than the floor will do. Dropping on a wooden box is also noisy, but if you drop to the edge of the box, you slip down to the floor noiselessly. Or crouch and then jump, which also reduces the damage you take.

Note that all your enemies are not capable of mantling (they walk up stairs, but cannot mantle up higher obstacles like Garrett does) or jumping (they only jump when attacking, not as a means to overcome obstacles). They are not capable of riding elevators, nor use the Rope Arrows you left dangling around. They cannot really swim, but they can walk under water, and some of them can hold their breath for quite some time.

AI States

As a generic term for all the enemies in the game, I call them AIs. They have five different states of awareness about you. The higher their awareness, the more difficult it is to kill to them. In particular, when they are unaware of you, you can Blackjack most AIs, and or kill most AIs by backstab (strike at them with your Sword). A single Broadhead Arrow kills many lesser AIs, provided that they are unaware. Once they are aware of you, you need to deal much more damage to them in order to kill them. Moreover, it is impossible to Blackjack AIs who are aware of you (but by repeatedly using the Blackjack, you can kill some human beings — failing your mission if you are required not to kill anybody).

Note that the same applies to you as well. If you are caught unaware, or attacked from behind, you received a deeper damage than otherwise.

  • Idle

    Most AIs are idle until you approach their room. You wake them up by arriving at a certain area (not by being seen by one of them). Once you wake them up, they will start wandering around or picking up their patrol path or start talking to each other.

    Therefore, it pays to act fast (quick but not run): especially for Zombie-infested areas. If you get into a place and move fast, you may be able to roam around unhindered.

  • Unaware
    They will be doing their routine patrol. They can have more than one patrol path depending on whether certain triggers have been fired. For example, many guards idly wait till you arrive and start talking and patrolling. Some patrol paths have difficult corners or obstacles that Guards and Zombies are especially prone to getting stuck. They end up staying there for a very long time, giving you more freedom elsewhere. But this means that there’s a high densitydensity of enemies at certain spots. For example, some narrow corridors in the Halls of Echoing Repose are clogged with Zombies as the game progresses.
  • Think you may be there
    They change their behaviour visibly and some (especially the Hammer Haunts) make new types of noises. For many AIs, you can listen to what they are talking to determine their state. They are aroused but you are safe. You can stay or move quietly away, just do not make new noises.
  • Seen or heard something
    They will search for you so you had better stay in deep shadow and stop moving. Many enemies show a different behaviour pattern than in the previous state. They give up after variable lengths of time.
  • Spotted you

    You are in deep trouble. Some will scream and run away, others will search real hard. They will become impossible to pickpocket. They will forget about the patrol path and search everywhere. They will find you even if you are in good shadows. However, there are corners that they will never find you — if in deep trouble, press yourself into a corner, crouch and hope for the best.

    The other alternative is to get away. Do not try to hide before they lose sight of you. When you lost them, they will start searching and so you have to hide somewhere still further away.

    The third way is to knock them down. Do not knock the forehead, several blows and you may kill him. Keep running behind the guard and knock from behind. If a maid is running away screaming, you had better run after her and knock her down. Probably others have not yet noticed her.

AI Types

Warning! This is quite a spoiler. I suggest you do not look up an AI until you have met him in the game.

  • Human. Starting from the first mission, you see them frequently. Contrary to popular belief, they are seldom bothered by opening of doors, or doors left opened. However if you stand behind an openned door, it is a separate matter — so do not stand behind a door you are trying to open. Moreover, openned doors transmit sounds better, so the noise beyond the door can attract the attention of the guards to investigate.

    The standard weapon against them is, of course, the Blackjack. In the later missions, you can also use Gas Arrows or Gas Mines since they are not lethal.

    There are several subtypes of Human:
    • Hammerites: including guards, noives, priests, and corpses. Priests can throw purple projectiles from their arms, so watch out.
    • Guards (not Hammerite Guards) have swordsman and bowman, with obvious differences.

      Believe it or not, Bowman carry one single arrow only. You must have seen him shooting one arrow after another, but it is actually the same arrow reused time after time. When you shoot a Broadhead Arrow and hit a soft surface, you will find a Broadhead Arrow standing there. When a Bowman shoots you and missed, you never find any arrow standing anywhere. Because he magically draws the same arrow and shoot again.

      If you are close to a Bowman when he shoots (if you crouch at a corner and he finds you, very often he stands right next to you), you can pick his arrow. That is fun but exhausting. You can only do it after he start pulling the bow. His arrow will disappear, and your inventory will get one more Broadhead Arrow.

      After you picked his arrow, he draws his bow again. Since he is always drawing the same arrow, you will find that your inventory mystically loses one Broadhead Arrow. Keep picking each arrow he pulls and you keep gaining and losing Broadhead Arrows. And you will get shot when your finger get numb from repeated clicking.
    • Mage is new in Thief Gold. There are four types of Mages: Fire Mage, Water Mager, Air Mage and Earth Mage.

      Each has its own type of attack. Water Mages, Fire Mages and Air Mages have different projectiles shooting at you. Earth Mages are more outstanding. They wrap you in vines, somewhat like the Spider Beasts. You will be continuously losing health until you can mouse click five times to disentangle yourself. They are persistent in their attacks so they are even more dangerous the Spider Beasts.

      Other than their attack, Mages are just like the priests and guards, waiting for you to knock.
    • Other subtypes include thief, keeper agent, and bystander.

    When you are allowed to kill human beings, you can try to shoot a Broadhead Arrow at their lower neck. Reader Monette found out that you can kill them this way using a single arrow. However, The Potted Plant believes that the location of hit does not matter. I tend to believe in Josh. I have bBlackjack a guard on his lower leg (I was crouching under a table) and he falls down as if I hit his head. Also, I have once tried to shoot at the leg of a Hammerite with the intention to arouse him, but he drop dead. However, remember that what you think to be a body part may not really be real. You can shoot at Spiders and find that many arrows pass directly through his body as if it is thin air. Just another Dark Engine curiosity.
  • Spider. There are Spiders (black) Sewer Spiders (grey), and comes in different sizes. They are annoying because big Spiders like to jump on your head: if they do that, immediately run forward and then turn around to face it. By the way, Jumping Spider in our world can even leap 10 to 40 times their body length. If they are unaware, you can kill them with a single Broadhead Arrow or a single sidestroke of your Sword. They do not have very good eye sights. More interesting is you can reduce your visibility by crouching, even though that means you are at their eye level. Since they like to spin around, move towards them when they are not looking and strike fast.

    If they have found you, your best bet is to run away. Best is to jump into water, you either lose them, or they follow you and get drown.

    If you need to kill it, use your Sword. Let it walk towards you. Turn yourself slightly so it is coming at about 30 degrees. Melee like against any other enemy: its front right patte works like a sword (it never strikes with its other pattes). At the right distance, lean and give it a side stroke (I find it more effective than an overhead one) Retreat immediately to evade its counterattacks. If the room is wide, keep strafing to keep yourself on its left: so that you can hit its abdomen but he cannot hit you. Four strikes and it turns over.
  • Burrick. Start to appear in the Bonehoard (mission 4). Like all other living creatures, can be handled with the Blackjack. That is, when it has not sensed your presence. Otherwise it takes aweful lots of Broadhead Arrows to kill.

    Another way to deal with them is to use your Sword. Keep on its side so that it cannot breath at you. Continue to hack at its back until it yields.

    Note that the green breath of the Burricks penetrates the walls a bit. It may be just a program bug, but just as deadly.
  • Crayman. The first one appears in the walled city containing the Haunted Cathedral (mission 7). While they can deliver hard brows, they are noisy and slow. To hit Crayman, sneak behind and use a Blackjack. Much cleaner (figurative and physical), and saves you a handful of Broadhead Arrows.

    I have a hard time telling which side of a Crayman is the front. Both the front and the back look pretty much the same to me. Seems they bent their head a bit forward, and usually spread the left arm leftward, and most important, lifts the right hand up a bit. Just remember that they move like they are holding a sword and you can remember how to tell which side is which.

    It is not possible to carry an unconscious Crayman around. Therefore choose the location before you attack, once he is down, he stays there for others to see.
  • Zombie. You probably did not expect to meet them in the mines under the Cragscleft Prison. The noise they make are hair raising. Glad to know that Thief II has less Zombies.

    The most troublesome aspect of Zombies is that they are difficult to kill. You can only kill a Zombie by Holy Water Arrows (usually two) or a Fire Arrow, or several Flash Bombs (two or three). Remember undeads cannot be knocked down by your Blackjack, or be killed by any other conventional weapons. When you finished them, they explode into corpse parts that you can pick up and throw around.

    To my surprise, reader Matthias Benkmann told me that one can kill Zombies with Land Mines, and easily so. One Land Mine is sufficient for a Zombie, and it works even if the Zombie is alert (on the other hand, an alerted Hammer Haunts cannot be killed by a single Land Mine).

    Some Zombies looks dead on the ground, but among these dead-looking Zombies some rise up if you get too near. They are Zombie Possums. Much more rare are the Hammerite Possums who wake up and attack you like a normal Hammerite.

    Warning: when you attack a Zombie and he drops down immobilized, don’t assume it is over. If he does not explode, he has very likely become a Zombie Possum and will rise up again if you get near him.

    Zombie do not have very good eye sight for distant objects, but at close quarters they can sense you even if you are in complete darkness. Do not stay less than a meter from any of them! If you have really to, crouch and stay as far away as you can.
  • Hammer Haunt. You first meet one when you are getting the Mystic’s Heart in mission 3. They are those sword-carrying skull-faced guards who make noises as if they were dragging a metal chain behind them. And when you aroused their suspicion they keep saying join us, join us, join us NOW!

    They are actually just called the Haunts, but the mission objectives call them Hammer Haunts so I stick with the more visible version. The Haunts ranked top at gamespot as the Scariest Monster in Gaming History. The description says you meet it in Return to Cathedral, which is of course incorrect. However, it is there where Haunts are the scariest.

    They are spirits of the Trickster who have inhabited the dead bodies of Hammerite warriors. They retained their swordsmanship and can slice you quickly. Like the Zombies, Hammer Haunts can be killed with a single Fire Arrow or two Water Arrows. Rather unexpectedly you can also kill one via more mundane means: backstab them with your Sword, a single Land Mine, a score or two of Broadhead Arrows, or even melee with him. When it dies, it leaves a normal corpse behind that you can carry around.
  • Apparition. You first saw them in the sealed Haunted Cathedral (two of them at the Cathedral entrance, two roaming around the city). They are spirits of the Trickster who took the form of dead Hammerite priests. They have a human face, but are translucent. They walk with loud, solid footsteps. They like to suddenly start saying "What?" and then keep babbling. When they die, they disappear in a puff of smoke.

    They are much toucher and requires about twice as much ammunition to kill than a Hammer Haunt. They survives backstabs, even if it is an overhead stroke of your Sword. You need to add another side stroke to reduce him to smoke.
  • Brother Murus. Although he doesn’t try to attack you, nor can you hurt him, he is more annoying than anybody else. Meet him when you Return to Cathedral (mission 11).
  • Fire Shadow. Fire Shadow only appears in Thief Gold (Bonehoard and Lost City). The most effective weapon against them is, of course, a Water Arrow. When is badly hurt, he run away like Superman (stand in his way and he is fun to look at). You will find a Fire Arrow at the place where you hit him. But he never dies, and insists in coming back after a while. It is interesting to note that each time he runs away, your statistics have one more “others killed”.
  • Ape Beast. First appearing in Escape! (mission 12), it is a a big noisy animal standing on its hind legs with a long up-pointing tail (when did apes have tails?), and carries a sword around. They look more like a standing rat who loves to chat. And Eidos (and many walkthroughs) actually call them ratman.

    For those who have missed their biology lessons, the most noticeable difference between monkeys and apes is that monkeys have tails, while apes do not. Also, “New World” monkeys have prehensile tails (they can hang from trees by their tails) while “Old World” monkeys do not.

    Talking about their round, thick and hairly tail, notice that it is an optical illusion, sort of. You can’t step on it, you can’t cut it, shoot at it and nothing happens, and they can move into walls and rocks, and into Garrett as well!

    When they are down and if you look them closely, they are unmistakably apes. The best way to handle them is with the Blackjack, or a Broadhead Arrow before it notices you.
  • Insect Beast. Also starting to appear in Escape!, and they look like a big mantis. They are internally called BugBeast (and at Eidos also and by most writers), but mission 13 refer to them as Insect Beasts so I stick with this name. They walk very slowly. You can club him if he doesn’t see you. On the other hand, they cannot be killed by a single Broadhead Arrow under any situations.

    I usually reserve my Gas Arrows for them because of their most annoying feature — ranged attack. Once it sees you (or when you find out that your Broadhead Arrow didn’t kill it), it can send a projectile of Fly Swarm at you. The Fly Swarm sort of explodes on impact and it hurts a lot. Sometimes they left behind a Fly Swarm that operates like a mine. Get close and the Fly Swarm explodes.
  • Frog Beast. Again starting to appear in Escape!, so you know what that mission will look like. Frog Beasts are annoying frogs. They are small like frogs and are difficult to see. But they are noizy like frogs so you can hear them early on.

    Once they are awaken, they leap around. If they find you, they leap at you like the Kamikase troops in the Second World War. And works similarly because they explode when they make a hit, taking away half your health.

    You should kill it with a Broadhead Arrow before it starts leaping. When it first sights you, it stands still for a few seconds — long enough to draw to arrow to full tension and give it a clear shot. If you miss, you do not have a second chance. Since they are leaping rapidly, they are difficult targets. Just keep running and shake them loose.

    Actually they can be knocked out by Blackjack. Normally it is near impossible to hit them unless you have pitch dark room, but you have a chance for this in the secret mission (Blooper Reel).
  • Spider Beast. Starting to appear in Strange Bedfellows (mission 13). They look like big Spiders but have a red body. They are harder the kill so refrain from fighting it with the Sword. A single Broadhead Arrow from behind is sufficient when they are not aroused.

    When they see you, they can two different projectiles at you. A greyish one fly fast, and when it makes a hit, you got webbed: you lose the ability to attack, and moving around become very difficult. Right click ten times to disentangle yourself from the web (watch the web count on the screen: clicking too rapidly doesn’t work). For Thief Gold players, you should recognize that the Spider Beast’s web-throwing attack resembles the crushing vine attack of an Earth Mage.

    They also spit a brightly colored projectile at you. This one flies slowly so you can easily evade the it. But when it hits, it hurts badly. Fortunately they are not very keen in chasing down you for a kill. So when you are webbed, keep moving around and hide back in shadows.
  • Cray Beast. Appears only in Into the Maw of Chaos (mission 14). They are nearly identical to the Craymen except for some bright red patches on their body. Tougher, more difficult to kill, better avoid them. No new attacks, but their strike are even stronger than before.
  • Trickster. Appears only in Into the Maw of Chaos (mission 14). When you meet him you will know who he is. You can never kill him with your weapons so don’t bother trying. However he has a large bag of tricks so save your game and fiddle with him to see the show. He throws webs at you like the Spider Beast, and it takes twenty right clicks to disentangle. He can also cast a spell that hurts you continuously no matter where you are. So if he sees you, you are doomed.
  • Fire Elemental. While Fire Elementals do not seem to have eyes, they still only see in the forward direction. So you can sneak behind them just like with other enemies.

    The most effective weapon against them is, of course, a Water Arrow. It is also possible to kill it with Broadhead Arrows or Blackjack from the behind, but it is not easy. Note that Burricks are capable for “blowing out” a Fire Elemental, and so does your Gas Arrows, but both are very difficult.

    Note that their flame are harmful even past walls. So if you are hiding in a hut and Fire Elemental is chasing you, do not stand near the outer wall. Otherwise, it can still kill you from outside a wall!

    I have been changing this name several times. Internally it is called Fire Element. However some papyrus in the game refer to them as Fire Elementals. As always, I side with the more visible name in the walkthrough and therefore call them Fire Elementals as well.

  • Air Elemental. There are plans for an Air Elemental in Thief Gold but it never appeared. Probably belongs to Thief 2.
  • Security Camera 2, aka Eye of the Builder. Why is it called "2"? I don’t know. Appearing only in the Cragscleft Prison, it is an AI of its own. Treat it like any other AI: when it looks at you, hide in the shadows and do not move.

    You can kill it too! Shoot a Broadhead Arrow at it and it stops spinning around. The game statistics will show you an "others killed:1".


Many types of equipment are weapons. Whichever weapon you use, remember that it doesn’t matter which part of the body it hits. Blackjack on the lower leg is just as effective as on the neck. However, due to many problems of the game engine, some parts of the body are not considered targets. For example, you can shoot arrows through hands or heads, and they may pass through unhindered. You will also notice that guards can frequently stuck their head or their sword into a wall, or through doors. Just remember which parts of the body are ignored in the collision detection. The center (eg the belly) is generally a good target.

Your most important weapon is of course the Blackjack: you are using it more than anything else. It is also your most powerful weapon: beats nearly everything (except small stuff like Spiders, which I have difficult to reach them) — when they are not aware of your presence. And better still it never runs out of ammunition. One useful technique is lean and knock: so that you do not have to catch up that close to your target.

Remember that your ordinary Sword increases your luminosity and gives you away, while the Constantine’s Sword does’t. In case you need to strike at Spiders or Frog Beasts, ready your Sword, release and crouch. You can also use your sword to break (unlock) wooden doors.

You have quite some types of arrows. You need to left click to pull an arrow. Wait for the arrow to zoom in, so that the hit is more effective. You can also use the arrows as a telescope, zooming at places too difficult to see clearly. If you have pulled an arrow and decide not to shoot, press the put-weapon-away key.

Notice that drawing an arrow makes you more visible. Reader Kronic Knight confirmed that pointing an arrow at an AI does not make you more visible.

The first major class of arrows are regular arrows the Hammerites made:

  • Broadhead Arrow is just an arrow. But you can use Broadhead Arrows as noisemakers. They are much cheaper. Actually you can usually find something to throw: plates, bottles, or skulls (but corpses do not make much noise).
  • Rope Arrows are cute, allowing you to climb up places you otherwise can’t. Sometimes you cannot retrieve the Rope Arrow after you have jumped down. Instead, jump from the rope and right click it when you are in mid air.
  • Noisemaker Arrows are seldom useful, since there are plenty substitutes.
  • These three types of arrows look very similar to each other. At least I cannot tell one from another. Reader Stefan Dietz pointed out to me that you can tell by looking at the marking at the feathers (the end of the arrow). Noisemaker Arrows have a blue marking, the Rope Arrows have some kind of brown stripes and the Broadhead Arrows are just unicolored. Yet sometimes the engine gave them the wrong color.

The second major class of arrows are the elemental arrows. The four elemental arrows (earth [moss], water, fire, wind [gas]) are actually crystals. Supposedly they are the crystal of the elemental forces, fitted to arrows for specific purposes. And that is why they look like crsytal rods before you pick them up. And they look like crystals in some drawings of Garrett. And are referred to as crystal in the books and scrolls you read in various missions. Supposedly you should attach the crystal to some arrows and shoot them, but it is too troublesome and ends up the way it is.

  • Moss Arrows can always be substituted by slow motion, but when you need speed to catch up and backstab your target, Moss Arrow comes in handle.
  • Water Arrows are of course useful. You need plenty of them to douse torches and make Holy Water arrows. Yet living things do not mind being showered by Water Arrows.

    An interesting use of Water Arrows is to wash bloodstains. If you kill somebody, blood will spill on the ground. It will go away eventually, but if another AI is getting near, you had better wash it away with a Water Arrow or the AI will notice the blood when he arrives.
  • Fire Arrows are powerful like a rocket launcher, but not really effective. It easily kills Zombies, and two Fire Arrows is usually good enough to kill an Apparition. Yet you can hardly kill living things like Hammerites or Burricks with Fire Arrows. Most important thing to remember is, when the target is close to you, do not use Fire Arrow: you will kill yourself!
  • When a Gas Arrows hits the target, it emits a gas to bring down nearby live forms. Gas Mines are similar in effect but operates like a Land Mine. What’s most important: these Gas only knock out the victim. They are not counted as kills, and therefore can safely be used on human even in Expert levels.

While Flash Bomb can be used to kill the undeads (especially useful when lots of them crawls around you), you can also use it like the SWAT teams. Dropping a Flash Bomb immobilises and blinds your enemy for a few seconds. I used to tell people to throw Flash Bombs, but reader The Potted Plant informed me that you should drop it or else the target may not see it. Therefore, drop for human and throw for undeads. Now you may run away, or run behind them to knock them with a blackjack. In the earlier patch levels, Flash Bomb blinds Garrett as well, but this feature seems to get lost in 1.33 and Thief Gold. In Thief 2, the self-blinding effect comes back and you will need to turn your head when using Flash Bombs in Thief 2.

When using Land Mines, remember that they are noisy to deploy. If the AI is close, he will be disturbed by the sound, and an alerted Hammer Haunt may survive a Land Mine. Gas Mines are a cross between Gas Arrows and Land Mines and so inherit the benefits of both. It is not after I have written walkthroughs for 14 misssions that it occurred to me there is a better way to use the mines. Instead of using the right mouse button, use the keyboard key you assigned to drop. It makes the same amount of noise (alerting most AIs), but the mine will not fly as far away. Look down and drop, and you can control exactly where to plant the mine (remember not to step on it yourself). To make mine planting (on hard surface) noiseless, use a Moss Arrow.

Hammers! It is a great weapon. Available in many places, although difficult to carry around. Just throw it at AIs (or even locked doors) and they are sometimes more effective than your Sword! Run towards the target when throwing to make an even greater impact. Better still, they are not counted as kills (it is more like a bug than a feature)! That is, you can do it even when the mission requires you not to kill anybody. On the other hand, the boulders are useless. I keep throwing boulders but it seems nobody can be harmed by them.

AIs, why not? AIs fall into groups, and those within the same group won’t fight against one another. However, AIs of different groups go into battle when they meet. It is often not easy to bring them together, but you have a good chance in mission 9 (Lost City) (the in-game tips and the walkthrough will suggest ways). Even among human beings, guards and thieves are against each other; for example, in mission 15 (Thieves’ Guild).

A particular kind of AI weapon came as a big surprise. The Potted Plant taught me an interesting way to kill Archers. A method that works at all Difficulty Levels, even if you are forbidden to kill human beings — you can make an Archer kill himself! First you have to understand how an Archer normally behaves when he attacks. First he walks away from you to a distance, stop and turn towards you. Then he draws his bow. Since that point of time, he would stop turning around. If you think that you can side step to evade his arrow, you are deadly wrong (probably you have been killed many times for this). His arrow is not shooting in his forward direction — his arrow shoots towards you! Now this is the method: you need to let an Archer notice you, wait till he start pulling the arrow, then you run to behind him. If you arrive there fast enough, then his arrow will shoot backwards, into his own body. Astonishing, isn’t it?

Potions are not weapons, but are part of your equipment. In particular, notice that Healing Potion takes time to be effective. After swallowing, it takes a few seconds for your health to increase a few points, one point at a time. Wait till its effect is over before deciding to use another vial.

Sound card and speakers — are not for Garrett, but for you! Sound is the most important sense Garrett needs. In fact, Thief is probably the first game where sound plays an utmost important role. Many missions (especially Return to Cathedral) are impossible without careful listening. And Thief is the game where you should not play without 3D sound card and 4 point surround speakers (better with 5.1 speakers, like the Creative SB DE5.1 and DTT3500 I recently upgraded to). After you installed sound card and speakers, remember to turn on Thief audio hardware support and EAX support from the option menu. BTW notice that 3D sound is actually 2D: the vertical distance seems not to matter at all. So when somebody is above you, you can hear him clearly; and so can he you.


The following is a list of important terms used in the game. Knowing them makes it easier to understand the mission briefings and the storyline.

  • Master Builder. Deity worshipped by the Order of the Hammer. God of law, construction, industry and vigilance. The believers build factories and machines. And they uphold the law and despise thiefs.
  • Order of the Hammer. Religious order worshipping the Master Builder headed by a High Priest. Under the High Priest are Master Forgers.
  • Hammerites. Members of the Order of Hammer, believers of Master Builder.
  • Wallbuilder. A term used in the prayers of the Hammerites to express the wish to leave something good behind.
  • Trickster. Also called Woodsie Lord, Honey Maker, and Leafman. God of chaos, nature and fear. The arch enemy of the Master Builder.
  • Order of the Vine. Obscure organization devoted to magic, opposing the Order of the Hammer.
  • Magic. Energies other than those the mechanical ones understood by the Hammerites. Does not necessarily implies it is science or sorcery.
  • Keepers. The strange guys who raised Garrett. They are devoted to uphold the balance between rigid laws and forces of chaos through active non-intervention (they should come and rule Hong Kong). They maintain extensive libraries to gather information and knowledge.
  • Taffer. A thief. Hammerites used it as pejoritive, but among thieves it is an honorable name.
  • Manfool. Name Trickster and his followers used to call (normal) human beings.

Key Bindings

Until recently, I thought it is not documented anywhere. I now found that they are printed in the small booklet in the CD jewel box (I shelf the booklet as soon as I insert the CD, and forgot about it). Your PF9..PF12 is mapped without your being told. Unless overridden, PF9 is the Compass. PF10 takes a screen shot (saves as a PCX file in the Thief directory). PF11 does a quick save, PF12 does a quick load (can be dangerous!). Use them wisely.

Mission Timing

Usually I do not pay attention to the reported time for completing my mission, because I always take more time than most people. The Potted Plant pointed out that on slow machine the reported mission time is shorter than the real time. His machine is very slow, and a mission that took 6 hours was reported to complete in 2!

Game Guides

Read Alastair Gebbie has an unhappy incident with Thief II game guides. He bought a book called “Thief II: Prima’s Official Strategy Guide” from Prima Games. It has the logo of Eidos and Looking Glass, and is called Official Guide. On the front cover the book says “loot locations revealed” leading him to believe it was a complete loot walkthrough. On the back cover it also says “all mission secretes revealed”.

To his utter disappointment, not all loots are listed, and he found secrets not mentioned in the guide. When I go to Prima Games online, I found that they say “Information on getting all the necessary loot”. I suppose that means the book only lists enough loots for you to fulfil the mission objectives. And for the secrets, it says “Secrets for every mission”, no more mentioning of “all”. I haven’t seen the book myself, but from what we can see and learn, it obviously is not a guide comparable to the depth of my walkthrough. So beware when spending money on game guides.

Saving Saved Games

When you save a game, a file is written to the "saves" subdirectory under the Thief directory. If you want to keep more than 15 saved games, just copy them away. One tidy way is to create subdirectories under the saves directory, naming by mission number or mission name (or both). Since saved games are huge (2MB each!), you should consider ZIPping them, reducing the size of a saved game to about 1/5 of its original size.

Notice that saved games are version specific. Games saved by TDP cannot be read by TG — TG will only bring you to the start of the saved mission, not where you are saved.

AIs and Doors

In many missions, some of the doors are locked. You need to unlock it with a key, or pick it using a lockpick (available starting from Mission 5: Assassins). Either way, you unlock the doors after which you can open the door normally. Once unlocked, you are not capable of locking it back.

If a door is locked, even AIs cannot open it. However, many AIs carry keys with them to unlock doors. Some of their keys are placed on their belt. In those cases, you can steal the key from them (and add towards your total pick count). AIs can also carry their key “inside” them, and you won’t be able to steal (or even see) these keys.

When an AI need to move through a locked door, he first uses his key to unlock the door (you can hear a click sound). Then he opens the door (curiously, they just need to waive their hand and doors will open for them) and walk (another craziness in the game engine: if the door is blocked, you can often see them walk through a partially opened door). Once he is past the doorway, he locks it back (another click sound) and slam shut the door (actually the door will shut itself behind him, from what you can see).

From the above, you can arrive at many important conclusions:

  • You can pass through locked doors by tail-gating an AI. Wait till the door is closing behind him, and use the door again to reopen it before it is shut.
  • If a door is locked, not all AI can pass through it. By unlocking a door yourself, you are giving the AIs additional scope of movement, allowing them to go to places that they may not be able to arrive before.
  • Since AIs can lock back doors you unlocked, you can repeat this process and get an infinite “locks picked” count.
  • If you steal a key from the belt of an AI, he may stop being able to open some doors. A good demonstration is at Reuben’s Mini Casino in mission 15 (Thieves’ Guild). There, the guards may stop walking, or they may get trapped within an area where all doors around him are locked.

Readable Material

Many stuff in the game can be read by Garrett. It may be a scroll, a papyrus, a book or a plate. Besides the actual physical form, they also differs by the way they react to you.

Most of the readable material are grabbables. That is, you pick it up and take it into your inventory. You have to select it from your inventory, and use it in order to read it. Then you see a full screen of the paper or book. Sometimes there are more than one pages, and you need to click to paper corner or edge to flip pages.

In particular, two of the grabble books are more interesting. When you first get it, you and read it like a normal book. When you get to the right place, use it again and Garrett will read it alone. Both of the books are prayer books.

The second type is of course the ungrabbables. They behave like the grabbables when reading, except that you cannot take them into your inventory. For example, many of the poster scrolls will stick on the wall or desk. That means you have to read it at where ever it happens to be. If you want to read it again at a later time, you have to come back to the same place (if you still remember where it was).

A third type is what I called HUDs (Head Up Displays). Instead of a full screen of paper, you remain in the 3D space of Garrett, and the words just appear on your screen for a few seconds. This usually happens with plates (for example showing the name of the hall). Notice that unlike the other two types, the world keep on spinning while you read. If you are absorbed in reading, you may be seen or even attacked by AIs around you.

Thief Useful links

Developer: Looking Glass, now out of business

Publisher: Eidos

While Thief Dark Project and Thief 2 are still available, it seems Eidos is not longer selling Thief Gold. If you want to buy Thief Gold, contact me directly.

Game review available at Adrenaline Vault

Home page at Eidos. Demo version is available for download. Home page for Thief Gold is at Eidos Interactive, demo also available.

Publisher technical support links: Eidos Thief support on may common hardware problems.

Thief Gold wins position 7 at the Sharky Extreme 1999 First Person Shooter Shootout.

For Thief Dark Project, you need the 1.33 patch to get rid of several bugs and to get EAX/A3D support (there is no patch for Thief Gold). Strangely, the v1.33 patch is not available at the home page (which is sort of abandoned). Get it from Eidos, choose Thief at the drop down list and then click Customer Support. You may also be able to download the v1.33 patch from The Patch Scrolls.

A few cheats are available at The Adrenaline Vault. Notice that the trainers there do not work with v1.33.

My games pages available at My Home. Look under My Favorite Games.

Thief Dark Project ranked 40th in the GameSpy's Top 50 Games of All Time (Aug 2001).


Mission 1: A Keeper’s Training v1.1, March 2002

Mission 2: Lord Bafford’s Manor v1.4, February 2004

Mission 3: Break From Cragscleft Prison v1.3, October 2001

Mission 4: Down in the Bonehoard v1.8, December 2009

Mission 5: Assassins v1.5, November 2001

Mission 15: Thieves’ Guild (mission available in Thief Gold only) v1.3, March 2003

Mission 6: The Sword v1.7, September 2001

Mission 7: The Haunted Cathedral v1.4, November 2001

Mission 16: The Mage Towers (mission available in Thief Gold only) v1.5, July 2010

Mission 9: The Lost City v1.7, December 2002

Mission 17: Song of the Caverns (mission available in Thief Gold only) v1.3, September 2003

Mission 10: Undercover v1.4, December 2002

Mission 11: Return to the Cathedral v1.6, March 2006

Mission 12: Escape! v1.3, November 2002

Mission 13: Strange Bedfellows v1.4, April 2005

Mission 14: Into The Maw of Chaos v1.3, August 2000

Mission 18: Blooper Reel (secret mission of Thief Gold) v1.4, March 2003


First of all, of course, is to Taffer formerly known as Brigadier. I would have been dead at the Bonehoard without his help. And his FAQ led me to writing this very game guide.

Reader Stefan Dietz helped me distinguish between Broadhead Arrow, Noisemaker Arrow and Rope Arrow.

Reader Michele L. Worley and I independently located Felix and Marcus. She also helped me to understand the dealings between Bafford and Ramirez where the English used in those correspondences are beyond me. Finally she wrote the walkthrough for mission 16 (The Mage Towers) and 17 (Song of the Caverns).

Tels helped me a lot to confirmed the non-existence of many scrolls and tips.

There are also a number of readers who chose to stay anonymous (or semi-anonynous like MSB), but the contribution is just as important (and in some cases, more). One of the most outstanding contribution is to settle the question asked by nearly everybody in mission 7 (Haunted Cathedral): what if I kill the Hammer Haunts inside the Cathedral? Read the walkthrough to find out the answer!

Reader Roman helped in hunting down broken links, spelling mistakes and grammetically errors. He also contributed many ideas to various missions, where I'll separately acknowledge when presenting his idea.

By the same author

Which other games do I like? Find out here.

See also my other game guides available at my home page [under My Favorite Games] and The Spoiler Centre:

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