I’m a big chicken

I’ve been playing Thief: Deadly Shadows, and this evening’s session had me breaking into a haunted asylum. I played for about an hour, sneaking around while listening to creepy noises, the voice of a ghost-child I’m supposed to save, and the chilling strains of “mood music” from the game’s soundtrack. I kept waiting for the cat to jump out, or the zombies to materialize, and boy was I on edge.

And then I said “screw it.” I play to have fun, not to be startled or terrified. So I saved, quit, and looked up a walkthrough on this “internet” thing I’ve heard so much about.

Sure enough, the level gets creepier. But now I know what’s coming. I also know that I’m about 80% of the way through the game, which is nice information to have. I didn’t read any further ahead — I just counted “milestones” in the walkthrough. I mean, it may be even scarier further along, but I’ll take that chance.


16 thoughts on “I’m a big chicken”

    1. It’s available for XBox, and you can probably pick it up used.

      Note– there are some problems with it: sometimes the sound goes dead, for instance, and in this game you can’t play without the sound. The solution: Save in place, restart XBox. It’s nice in that you can save exactly in place — none of this “start at the beginning of the level” crap.

      1. Does that happen ont he Xbox, too? Console versions of games don’t tend to have bugs like that. Although I’ve seen them on occasion. Still, thanks for the heads-up on that account.

        I sure hope that you don’t need stereo sound to play it properly. My Xbox telly is mono.

    2. You know Thief is the same people, right?

      (technically Deadly Shadows was done by a different studio… after that studio had hired a good number of people from the original studio)

  1. Ah, yes, I remember the first time I played “Resident Evil”, with zombie mutant dogs crashing through the windows unexpectedly, and the room with the giant spiders (which really creeped me out). That one kept me jumpy for quite a while. 🙂

  2. Best Scary Level

    The Greatest and Best Scary level of all time in video gaming history is in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. It is only for PC, sorry for you console types. It is just a single level, and it is just so excessively well designed that it doesn’t matter that there isn’t a single enemy in the level, it’s scarier than things like System Shock 2.

  3. A first-person game that is unable to startle me from time to time or have me on the edge of my seat with intensity probably isn’t a lot of fun, to me, to play. This is why I liked the original Quake so much — the atmosphere was incredible. There were several levels, like Azure Agony and the Pain Maze, which had the most wonderful air of imminent ethereal menace, a world of ancient hurt just waiting for some unlucky or careless intruder to happen to.
    Quake II completely lost that atmosphere. Strogg cyborgs…. <yawn> More Stroggs…. And what’s next in this new level? <yawn> MORE Strogg cyborgs…. but somehow there was never any suspense to it. It was just more of the same and still more of the same, level after level. It was still a technical challenge, but the suspense was gone.

    On the other hand, I never bought Doom III. Because while Doom III did introduce new features like cinematic-quality graphics and smarter monsters that would stalk you and cooperate against you, from what I’ve heard, three quarters of the game is spent stumbling around in pitch darkness where you can’t see your hand in front of your face without a flashlight, and the game won’t let you use a weapon and your flashlight at the same time. (I guess 23rd Century Terran Marines have lost the technology for duct tape. Fortunately, I understand a lot of modders invented it in pretty short order.)
    That’s not suspense. That’s just annoying. Shadows and gloom, sure, appropriately used. Gratuitous pitch darkness without night vision gear? For entire level after level after level? I’ll pass, thanks.

  4. LOL! Same thing happened to me on both “Enter the Matrix” and “Splinter Cell: Something or other” – it was *too* thrilling. I’d much rather “shoot-em-up” in “Star Wars: Rogue Squadron” and know that I am not going to be poopie-pants-ed by the end of it.

  5. Oh, the haunted asylum! Scary scary indeed! ‘Specially when you sorta time-warp and take on the form of previous inmates, and have to sneak around. BOY it’s creepy. Thanks for NOTHING, creepy voice-of-dead-kid.

    The first two games are great, too, but I don’t know if you can get them for XBox. Zombies and giant spiders… hoo boy. Spoooooooooooky! Where’s my gun?? What?! No SIDEARM?! WHAT KIND OF A SICK GAME IS THIS?!

    Good times.

    One of the features I loved about that game was the ability to see your own body when you look down. None of this “where did my feet go?” crap. I wish the game had done better, but oh well.

    Note: if you ever do want to borrow the PC versions, let me know. Also, there are gajillions of fan-missions that are extremely well-crafted. I think it could be the one game you play for all of 2006 without much trouble. Unless you’re spending more time playing games than you ought.

    Speaking of which — I need to get back to Medal of Honor. Those Nazis aren’t gonna kill themselves! (Unless they’re Hitler, I s’pose.)

  6. Thief 2 did that to me, when I had to break into the haunted cathedral. It was eerie and creepy. The funny thing was, after I had made it a certain percentage of the way through, and was jumping at every strange creak and self-closing door, I started saying to myself “THEY should be scared. I’m the scariest thing in here!”

    Surprisingly it worked. For the rest of the game, I fearlessly went where no spectre, zombie or whatnot would fear to tread.

    I’ll be playing Thief 3 just as soon as I can afford to upgrade my video card to something recent.

    1. That was Thief 1, actually, but I agree with you. The chain-rattling, murmur-whispering that signaled there were Hammer Haunts in the area? No sound was creepier… at least, until they suddenly started laughing and you realized that HOLY CRAP YOU’VE BEEN SPOTTED!

      I perfected my backstabbing skills that level, just to shut every last one of them up. Ah, blissful silence. So much better.

  7. I tend to cope with my fearÂą by intentionally getting very, very angry. This allows me to ignore the scariness and concentrate on my goals.

    ÂąOf scary video game levels.

  8. I share your chicken-hood. If the game is cute and fun I’ll wander around each level for days, exploring every nook and cranny. If it’s a scary one, I download the walkthrough from somewhere and just .. don’t.. look .. into the shadows. yeeeep.

    I’ve even been known to do that with creepy dungeons in the MMORPG’s I play.

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