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Thief II Gold was a planned rerelease of Thief II: The Metal Age. Being developed alongside Thief III,[1] it was intended to contain new levels, an updated version of an existing level, and a new weapon. With Thief II having gone through a rushed development cycle and being released in an incomplete state,[2] Looking Glass Studios planned to release an updated version with cut content restored, like Thief Gold was to Thief: The Dark Project. However, LGS went out of business before it could be released, with most of the intended additions of Thief II Gold never making it past the early stages of development.

Although Thief II Gold was never officially announced, there are at least two primary sources for planned additions. Designer Emil Pagliarulo's development journal, acquired by a fan in 2004, contains sketches, brainstorming, and progress reports for Thief II Gold. In 2006, Dishonored level designer Daniel E. Todd posted an outline of planned changes alongside some rough DromEd map files on TTLG, which he received from an undisclosed source[3] (although the presence of multiple former Looking Glass personnel at Arkane Studios could easily explain how he might have acquired these materials). How close these leaked files are to the most complete versions of the missions that ever existed is unclear. Thief II Gold was also mentioned by lead designer Tim Stellmach in an interview shortly after LGS's closure, although he did not elaborate on it.[4] As a matter of intense interest and disappointment to stealth game fans, Thief II Gold has also been the subject of rumors and speculation as to what the finished product would have been like; due to the limited amount of verifiable information on Thief II Gold's troubled development, these unsupported claims should not be taken as established fact.

According to Todd, Thief II Gold was planned to introduce four new levels:

  • Raid on Willard Square[5], a mission set in the slums, was the furthest along in development of the missions that were to be added in Thief II Gold. Although the developers struggled with finding a way to depict a raid within the confines of the game engine,[6] it was considered to be in a good state.[7] A DromEd map of it survives, featuring what appears to be close to complete level geometry and much more detail than the other leaked maps. It was intended to introduce the player to the City Watch and would likely have been placed between Shipping... and Receiving and Framed.[3] It was being designed by Rob Caminos.[8]
  • A mission with no known name described by Todd as an "Undercover-like mission"[3] where Garrett could largely roam freely was also planned. It was set in a college. Pagliarulo seemed very pleased with how it was coming along,[9] and a DromEd map of it survives. The map is undetailed but contains enough geometry to give a good idea of what the level's final layout might have looked like. It was being designed by Mike Chrzanowski.[10]
  • Culture Break[3] was a mission set in a museum. Details are unknown. It is not mentioned in Pagliarulo's journal, although a rough DromEd map survives. The very featureless map provides little indication as to what the plans for the mission might have been.
  • Waking the Dead[11] was to be a horror-themed mission set in the mountains to steal and destroy a tome called the Book of Ash, which had previously been mentioned in a journal in the Thief Gold level The Mage Towers and encountered in the Thief II level Life of the Party. It was to feature necromancers and zombies as enemies. It was in this mission that Garrett would have acquired an envenomed dagger as a new weapon.[12] It was meant to break up the pacing of the late game and would have been unrelated to the overall plot.[13] It may have been placed between Casing the Joint and Masks.[14] It was being designed by Emil Pagliarulo, and a significant portion of his development journal consists of notes and ideas for the level. Thus, although the DromEd files for this mission have been lost, of all the Thief II Gold levels it is the one of which there is the most surviving information as to what the final product might have been like.
  • In addition, there were plans for a mission titled Fallen Hammers[15] set in an old Hammerite church, although Todd implies this may have been scrapped at some point before Looking Glass Studios was shuttered. It would have provided additional detail on Karras's backstory. Although a build of the level existed at some point before it was canceled,[16] any files related to this mission have been lost. It may have been placed between Masks and Sabotage at Soulforge.[17]

In addition to new levels, Thief II Gold would also have contained an updated version of Framed from Thief II. The full extent of the changes is unknown, but would have included visual upgrades. A surviving DromEd map contains upgraded textures and geometry changes.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Broken Looking Glass". PC Gamer. Vol. 7 no. 8. United States: Imagine Media. August 2000. p. 42.
  2. Game over - Salon.com
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Thief 2 Gold Missions Released & T1 Outtakes
  4. [1]
  5. Pagliarulo, p. 18
  6. Pagliarulo, p. 18
  7. Pagliarulo, p. 30
  8. Pagliarulo, p. 21
  9. Pagliarulo, p. 26–27
  10. Pagliarulo, p. 19
  11. Pagliarulo, p. 20
  12. Pagliarulo, p. 1
  13. Pagliarulo, p. 25
  14. Pagliarulo, p. 22
  15. Pagliarulo, p. 21
  16. Pagliarulo, pp. 27–28
  17. Pagliarulo, p. 22
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