Thief Gold Sneaks Onto GOG.com

By Craig Pearson on January 31st, 2012 at 4:33 pm.

Shhhhh.
I can’t believe that writing about a 14 year-old game is getting both me and Adam so excited (He: “This is the best thing ever!”), but Looking Glass’s genre-defining classic Thief is now available to download on Good Old Games. I’m downloading it right now, Taffer.

What to say? Oh, yeah – it costs £6.54, or $9,99. It’s the game that utterly defined what I expected out of first-person games. More than Half-Life, more than Doom, Thief ruined my ability to play anything other than a stealthy character when given the opportunity to choose. It’s too good of a game to have played in my formative years: no 16 year-old should be presented with a Looking Glass game written by Ken Levine. The only thing that’s manged to worm its way into my heart in a similar fashion is System Shock 2.

Modern PCs have left Thief behind. I’ve been hankering for a playthrough for a few years, but Windows 7 just doesn’t play nicely. I’m about to double-click the the icon. There are tears in my eyes. Goodbye, RPS.

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118 Comments »

  1. dangermouse76 says:

    My old Thief copy does not work on 64bit windows 7.

    Does this one definately work ?

    • Contrafibularity says:

      It looks a lot better in action. Actually, with one or two easily applied graphical patches (google Thief Enhancement Pack, for Thief 2 it’s Tafferpatcher), it looks stunning on modern systems, the visual (and very importantly: auditory) atmosphere is still unbeaten, it’s that strong. Or have you forgotten how the human mind is capable of filling in the blanks, as it did with all games of the era. It helps that so much of the game is beautifully DARK, and I’m not talking about the high-gamma blue-ish pseudo darkness which pervades all modern games.

      Case in point: Thief’s undead are the most terrifying thing in a video game ever. I guarantee you that despite the low-poly appearance, their sounds, animation, and behaviour will make your Garrett shit himself as silently as possible in whatever shadow-rich niche you can find, and then it’ll take you at least 5 minutes to muster up the courage (and plan) to get past them, and then you will die, but you will learn and try again because these are intelligent games (also, those mansions aren’t going to rob themselves).

      This game, in two words: perfect gameplay.

    • db1331 says:

      Exactly. That one early mission, “The Bonehoard” or something like that, used to scare the absolute shit out of me. I was too scared to even complete it for months. It might even have more atmosphere than the Cradle level from the third game.

    • Danny252 says:

      I never really found the zombies themselves that scary – especially once I realised I could outrun them practically whenever I wanted, and that mines made for explodey zombie times when low on holy water.

      Now, the undead hammers, those were scary as crap. And the big spiders – landing on top of one was about the only time I actually screamed at a game.

      (My mum asked me if I was okay.)

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      brb having horrible flashbacks of the cathedral. that cathedral. That Cathedral. THAT CATHEDRAL.

      why is the building talking to me in a scary voice mommy oh god

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      JOINUSJOINUSJOINUSJOINUSJOINUSJOINUSJOINUSJOINUSJOINUS

    • InternetBatman says:

      Yeah, the undead terrified me to the first time I heard them. A fun part of Thief was that you could hear trouble getting closer before you knew what it was. Personally I found the ratmen pretty damn creepy. Something about the way they said Tricksie and the power behind their hits.

  2. Unaco says:

    What about those of us who already own the game? They’ll be releasing the patch/fix for us to play our already owned copies on modern systems?

  3. Bluerps says:

    I’m confused. Shouldn’t that game be called Thi1f?

  4. molluskgonebad says:

    After a ton of fiddling I got my disc version of Thief Gold working on Windows 7 last week. Still haven’t played. Disc is still in the drive.

    Now I’m tempted to drop more cash on the GOG version. What is WRONG with me?

    • kolo says:

      I’ve got both 1 & 2 on disc years ago, never played them until a few month back. Getting them to run on Win 7 x64 is not the impossible task it first appears to be. Here’s the guide I used:

      http://www.saleck.net/creations/gamefixguides/thief.php

      Yes it requires amending some cfg files and whatnot, but the result is a flawlessly running game. It’s nice GOG are making the process as painless as possible, but let there be no confusion about alternatives for the diy enthusiast. There are ways and they do work

  5. Bioptic says:

    I’d say they’re being a bit cheeky with the price (given that you can pick up all 3 Thieves on a disc for less than this costs), but the amount of value this game holds for both newcomers and nostalgics makes it definitely worthwhile. Still reckon the sequel is better in every measurable way though, except possibly for getting lost in a terrifying pitch black hole in the ground.

    Voodoo47 on the GOG forums has a really handy document with the mods you’ll want for full hardware compatibility and stuff like running it in native resolution.

    http://www.gog.com/en/forum/thief/tgfix_widescreen_resolutions_fixedimproved_graphics_etc

    • Torgen says:

      You should keep in mind that GOG programmers work on these games so that they behave on modern Windows OSes, which costs money. Yes, you *might* be able to figure out some sort of hoodoo trickery to get it to run yourself, but I don’t mind supporting a venture that brings out of print classics from my youth available once again.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Hehe in one case they released a craced exe from some scenegroup :p

    • Contrafibularity says:

      @Torgen; what’s wrong with doing both? There are some excellent graphical patches for Thief Gold for example, which aren’t included in the GoG release (but are compatible with it).

    • MellowKrogoth says:

      @Torgen “GOG programmers”, my ass. 95% of the time they just package fixes that game fans/abandonware communities came up with. I purchased their Heroes I and II releases only to discover my own Dosbox installs with ISOs (which *they* disguise with the .gog extension, ha ha) from original CDs were working much better, with a more recent version of Dosbox to boot.

      I sincerely hope people who already have the game spend the hour necessary to find and apply those patches or dosbox configs, since the end result is often better than what GOG releases. Otherwise you’re just spending money for no reason, none of which go to the original devs.

    • Prime says:

      “Otherwise you’re just spending money for no reason, none of which go to the original devs.”

      …or you could, you know, support the GoG team who work incredibly hard to find, license and repackage these beloved old games for modern gaming audiences. It’s not like they’re wanting a small fortune for them either.

  6. Ian says:

    Never played the first one at the time.

    Does it still hold up for people playing it for the first time?

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Absolutely. Thief is as much about sound as it is about sight. The engine is also optimised to display 16k shades of black.

    • Jackablade says:

      As long as you’re not scared of extremely low polygon characters and environments, you’ll love it. The models in Thief were kind of rudimentary even when it was first released, but the fact that the characters are made of about 100 polys each doesn’t diminish the atmosphere one iota.

    • Telzis says:

      Can confirm this. I played Thief last year for the first time and it was great. After a few hours I got used to the old graphics and then the sounds and atmosphere had sucked me in. By my experience the best stealth in any game and it contains probably one of the most amazing level designs.

    • edwardoka says:

      It requires an element of suspension of disbelief sometimes as the AI isn’t clever with regards to pathfinding.

      Eg, if a guard chases you down a dead end, they won’t realise that there’s no way out, they will eventually give up the chase and won’t guard the entrance to the dead end. Also, being chased by more than one guard tends to be a bit like a Benny Hill chase (pardon the pun), as they won’t split up to cut you off.

      Still my favourite game by a very long way, though.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Did they fix the bunnyhopping in a patch? That was the best thing about the first Thief. In one particular area you could die by jumping into a wall after bunnyhopping to massive speed through a corridor.

    • deke913 says:

      Thanks Edwardoka, now I have that damned chase music playing in my head. :)

      /salute to Benny

  7. Morlock says:

    I replayed this and Thi2f a few years ago. Still gems.

    Are there any attempts to prettify this baby? Something similar to what John P. did with his Thi3f textures?

  8. diebroken says:

    Hmm, that’s strange there should be a ‘making of Thief II: The Metal Age’ video as part of the ‘Bonus content included for FREE with the game:’ on GOG – is it included or not? It was on the second CD on the UK edition of Thief: Gold (at least)…

  9. edwardoka says:

    I only just bought this from Amazon. Oh well. It can’t hurt to have another copy.

  10. db1331 says:

    I might have to get this as well. I still have my disc, but if it’s as much of a pain to get it working on Win 7 64bit as everyone suggests, It would be well worth the $10. I’m more excited about the upcoming Thief 2. That might be a day 1 buy for me. I loved that game. I let my sister’s boyfriend borrow it back in the day (along with a shit ton of other games) and of course they broke up, leaving me with no way to get it back. I’ve missed it.

  11. jonfitt says:

    I decided not to buy Th1ef back in the day thanks to a review by either Zone or Gamer. As I recall they described the later levels containing zombies in crypts and not being about robbing houses. I just didn’t fancy that, the zombies sounded rubbish.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      You should at least try Th2ef. They toned down the zombies and focused on level design.

    • jonfitt says:

      Yes, I always meant to play 2. My PC at the time couldn’t handle it, and I never got around to going back after I upgraded.

      Ah those were the days. When PCs use to come on leaps and bounds every few months, and games were blazing a fidelity trail and not shackled to 5 year-old console tech.

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      They creeped me out a bit in 1 when I got to the Bonehoard. So I stopped and played 2 instead. That had steampunky robots in.

      Then I played 3, and after The Shalebridge Cradle I found the zombies a bit easier to deal with for some reason, so I went back and completed 1.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      The second and third missions (out of 15 for Gold, not counting training) have the most zombies actually, once you’re past… I don’t want to spoil anything, but you’ll see more of The City. If you quit playing there you’ve missed most of the game.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      I decided not to buy Th1ef back in the day thanks to a review by either Zone or Gamer. As I recall they described the later levels containing zombies in crypts and not being about robbing houses. I just didn’t fancy that, the zombies sounded rubbish.
      That was a bad bad mistake, but one you can now atone for.

  12. Stense says:

    Thief 1 is one of my holy triumvirate of favourite games (the other 2 being Half-Life 2 and System Shock 2 for what it’s worth). I only had the regular version myself, so I’m pretty thrilled to see the Gold version, with its extra levels of sneakiouscity, on GoG.

    Anyone that hasn’t played it but is curious, this game has one of the best atmospheres in any game I’ve played. It is terrifying, hilarious, has brilliant level design and a wonderful art direction.

  13. Crazy Hippo says:

    this will be purchased this evening when i get home. one of my favourite games ever if not the best.

    dont screw up thief 4 Ubi!!!!

    • BULArmy says:

      You’ve got me sacared for a moment, Ubisoft have nothing to do with Thief, it is Eidos Montreal which is developing(Deus Ex:HR).

  14. Prokroustis says:

    At that price it’s a steal.

  15. Burlypenguin says:

    Please don’t forget about this place.
    http://www.thief-thecircle.com/media/patches/
    Lots of patches and texture updates to make the game look better. They should be compatible with GoG.

  16. Jahandar says:

    This has now replaced Psychonauts as the best game on GOG. If you ever buy anything on GOG, buy this.

  17. dogsolitude_uk says:

    The first thing I do when I get home from work is unequip coat and shoes, equip slippers, grab a snack and navigate to RPS for half an hour of Manly Firegazing Time.

    This is one of those times I’m very grateful for this little routine. Thief currently has 15min download time left. It’s 6.11pm. My g/f is due in at about 8, so allowing for downloading times I should get a good hour of Thieving in before having to stop and pretend to be interested in other stuff.

  18. Grey Ganado says:

    Finally! I never got around to finishing it.

  19. kud13 says:

    I am weary of this. I insta-purchased hitman last week, and it’s as unplayable as the Steamversion on my win 7 dual core.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      What precisely is the problem if I may ask? I was playing the first Hitman from Steam a week or so back with no problems aside from wonky resolution options on my modern monitor.

      I’m running a dual core on Win 7 64 bit myself.

    • kud13 says:

      the game speeds up ridculously. the voice captoins cut off half-finished.
      it’s a well-known bug, that IO never actually fixed.

  20. BULArmy says:

    So Square brought back Deus Ex, now Thief, what is next, Legacy of Kain/Blood Omen?

  21. Regis says:

    So, how is EAX working on Win7? You know, because you don’t really play Thief without it.

    • Sic says:

      Don’t mention anything Creative, please, I might go green and rip off my clothes.

    • SquidgyB says:

      I don’t know about the GOG version (I’m about to make a pur-chase) but the original (with a few tweaks) works with Win 7, EAX and all. All you need for EAX is a couple of .dll files and to tell ALchemy where Thief is and you’ll have hardware sound.

      I only just re-installed my gold disks in the last few days, funnily enough. It did take a couple of hours and one or two reinstalls to get it properly set up for Win 7, but this GOG version might enthuse some people to get back into texturing/updating some models – though, personally, other than having the Thief 2 character models I think the graphics can stay as they are.

      I did read somewhere on my travels a rumour that the source code might be released along with the GOG release, or at least theat Eidos were looking into/sorting out the legalities.

      Completely unfounded speculation, but it’d certainly be interesting for anyone looking to update the game further.

  22. DocSeuss says:

    I pirated this game recently, because I couldn’t get a legal copy to work.

    Despite much tweaking, despite the fact that it wouldn’t install on my computer, despite the fact that my desktop still can’t run it, I finally got it working, after half a dozen downloads and only getting it to run through Darkloader… Thief is mine.

    …then GoG comes out a month later, when I’m in between paychecks.

    DAMMIT.

    I almost don’t want to delete the pirated copy because I feel like this is An Accomplishment Of Great Proportions, but at the same time, YES. I will buy this on GoG as soon as I’ve got my next paycheck.

    If it’s anything like System Shock 2, it will be the Best Game Ever. Just one week… just one more week…

    Does the GoG version have widescreen?

    • dogsolitude_uk says:

      I doubt GOG are going to run out of stock by the time you get paid, so hang in there :)

    • DocSeuss says:

      It’s not about running out of stock, it’s about having to wait a week to play Thief.

      …Shit.

      It’s two weeks.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      Don’t delete it PLAY it!

      You own the game legally, so play it. Don’t be fooled that the GOG version is different; it’s merely a different installer with only the most basic fixes (if that, for example the indeo codec fix wasn’t included at first, although it is now). The GoG version does NOT support widescreen resolutions out of the box, BUT with a very simple patch called DDFix (which fixes everything, including washed out colours on textures with some videocards) it will do every imaginable widescreen resolution with correct AR in a few clicks.

      So yeah, don’t wait two weeks; play it. NOW.

      Install game.
      Install DDFix
      Play.

      (Optionally you can get the Thief Enhancement Pack, which replaces some textures and models with those from Thief 2).

      For Thief 2:

      Install game using Tafferpatcher (instead of the default installer)
      Choose fixes & gfx updates you want.
      Play.

      Any questions can be asked here:
      http://www.ttlg.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=153

  23. Casimir's Blake says:

    Shock, Horror. RPS are covering a FIRST PERSON GAME. For a change. :(

    I’m pleased to see this on GOG as well, but where are all the new first person immersive simulations? Apart from Arkane’s effort, there are NONE.

    • DocSeuss says:

      Don’t Thief 4 and Deus Ex count as immersive sims? What about Far Cry 3 and STALKER? Fallout 3, particularly when you removed some of the silly RPG nonsense like accuracy, had some pretty strong immersive sim blood as well. Same’s true for Skyrim.

      Also, some classmates and I (we’re game design students) are building one. Think of Looking Glass’s Deep Cover and Deus Ex having a baby. Unfortunately, I’m not sure we have enough people, and we’re only in the early stages of the project. So… you may see something by late 2014, and, then again, you might not. Kinda dependent on my ability to recruit more people, particularly animators and programmers.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Dishonored.

      That’s all I got. Though I would argue that the first Crysis game was an immersive sim, albeit a very action-oriented one, but I won’t actually type that because when I do, people yell at me. :(

    • Casimir's Blake says:

      Sounds encouraging, Doc. Good luck. Just with the volume of content required for such a game, you’ll need it. I’m literally depressed whenever I read a story about Thief or System Shock or Looking Glass: there simply is no-one (again, other than Arkane) bothering to create games with such depth any more. Though the people behind The Dark Mod and Stalker Lost Alpha deserve a hefty dose of props for trying…

      Resonance: I thoroughly enjoyed Crysis, right to the end. Though certainly the most enticing aspects were it’s semi-open world segments. Underutilised by Crytek themselves, I wonder if anyone has bothered to make some fan-campaigns worth playing? I have no desire to play Crysis 2, too linear.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Speaking of mods, there’s also Arx: End of Sun, the Doom 3 total conversion. That one looks like it’s actually going to get finished. Like the Dark Mod, the guys making it are no slouches.

      edit: As for Crysis, not really, unfortunately. There are some OK fan missions, but honestly, even the “good” ones (9+ rating on moddb) didn’t impress me much. It takes a certain kind of designer to get the balance right, and I don’t think anyone is really quite there yey.

    • DocSeuss says:

      When I write, I write like a madman, so on the writing front, we won’t have a problem. Since we’re going cel-shaded (yeah, yeah, I know, I’d prefer a realistic-looking game myself, but our team simply isn’t capable of that level of fidelity), content generation itself shouldn’t be nearly as hard as one might expect.

      Biggest issue, once we’ve got the game working, is PROBABLY going to be voice acting, of all things.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Local theater, dude. You’d be amazed at how many professional or semi-professional actors would be willing to lend their voice talent. There are lots of video game nerds in the acting community.

    • SiHy_ says:

      This man speaks the truth.
      Or local college/university acting courses. The students are always looking for things to put on their CV and the institutions like the students to get hands-on experience. (Plus there are LOADS of video game nerds).

    • ffordesoon says:

      @DocSeuss:

      Voice acting? Fie and fo! It’s never as good as it could be, and it limits what you can do. Go with text, and MAYBE voice acting for major lines.

      Zelda doesn’t need voice acting, and that’s a AAA title. Don’t give in to IGN’s madness!

      /cranky bastard

    • John P says:

      Don’t Thief 4 and Deus Ex [HR] count as immersive sims?

      No. If even Eidos says HR isn’t an immersive sim, why do you claim it is? Too early to know about Thief 4, but I doubt it’ll be any more an immersive sim than, say, Splinter Cell. The HR devs made it clear they think immersive sims are too slow and boring for the Modern Gamer.

      (I’m not exaggerating by the way. The game’s lead designer said Deus Ex 1 was ‘kinda slow’ and that ‘There weren’t enough exciting, memorable moments. It was aimed more towards a simulation rather than a game experience.’ Direct quotes. They completely rejected the immersive sim roots.)

    • DocSeuss says:

      @SiHy_: Actually, I’ve been considering looking into our drama department here at school. It’s just not something I’ll be looking into until the team’s actually got the game working, and to do that, we need to recruit more people somehow. The present plan is to get some crude equivalent of a target render/demo up and running, demonstrating multiple playstyles, so we can get people going “okay, I see what you’re trying to do and that you’re serious.” Ideally, we can recruit some of those people.

      I dunno. I might try to convince everyone to go for something less ambitious and work our way up to this.

  24. Davie says:

    I wonder if this will run well on Vista, because I’d love to play through it again.

    I originally bought Thief at a garage sale in 2003 when I was but a child, and played it on a fifteen-pound laptop from 1994. Those mantis demons scared the crap out of me. Ah, nostalgia…

  25. Godwhacker says:

    The entire business model seems to be trying to sell me things I already own. No longer interested, sorry.

    • DocSeuss says:

      They’re not just selling stuff you already own. They’re making it work on modern machines.

    • Kleppy says:

      Surely you don’t own every game on GoG. Also, some of those games are only playable via their respective GoG versions, e.g Heroes of Might and Magic 4 which wasn’t playable on an x64 machine before GoG fixed it. Thief is playable otherwise, but requires quite a bit of tinkering. So, I don’t see your point.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Er, they sell old games. That’s their business model and, indeed, their name. As they’re older games, there is a good chance you’ll already own some.

      I don’t really see your point – it’s a bit like walking into an antique shop and saying in a loud voice “But this stuff is all second hand!”

    • Godwhacker says:

      No, seriously, I stand by that. Read the customer reviews for any game you care to mention- they’ll all be written by people who played it when they first came out. Perhaps they do some extra work to package them up, but most of it seems to come from the DOSBox compatibility list. And they don’t always do a very good job- the copy of Ultima Underworld 2 I bought from there ran like a dog.

  26. Faxmachinen says:

    I literally started crying when I read this article. I had given up hope of ever finding a copy of Thief Gold.

    Dare we hope for SS2?

  27. alundra says:

    Looking Glass Studios is back…
    GIVE ME THE SYSTEM SHOCK SERIES NOW!!!!

  28. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    As much as I love the news in the abstract for other gamers and fellow Thief aficionados (I already have Thief I & II running on Win 7 at widescreen resolutions with an appropriate FOV)…

    GIVE ME DETAILS ON THIEF 4 EIDOS-MONTREAL! Even just whisper; ‘rope arrows‘ and I’ll send you weekly cheques and all my loose change.

  29. ffordesoon says:

    I’m not sure I ever got past even the second level of Thief when it came out, because I was young, and I’ve never been able to find the game and play it since. But those two levels exert more of a hold on my imagination to this day than many novels I’ve read.

    So yeah, I’m pretty excited.

  30. MuscleHorse says:

    Completely with Craig on this one; Thief 1 & 2 are two of the definitive PC experiences. Nothing else in first person quite lives up to it.

    Just in response to those of you saying you can’t get the games to run on modern systems – yes you can. Go to http://www.thief-thecircle.com and onto their forums. There’s a widescreen patch on there somewhere too. The fan mission community is still quite active too.

  31. NathanH says:

    Hmm, I never expected to play Dark Project again (I think Metal Age is mostly just better) but I have never played Gold so I might have to give this a go.

  32. foda500orama says:

    Well played CD Projekt, here’s my money.

  33. I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

    Forget about the rambling zombies, this game has bloated, jumping, howling spiders. Howling! Spider enemies are not exactly uncommon in this little hobby of ours, but these, for me, are the very worst. If you’re not an arachnophobe, they might make you into one. The only other game I can remember where spiders come anywhere close to this level of horrific malevolence, apart from Thief 2 of course, is System Shock 2. Surprise, surprise.

  34. jamesgecko says:

    When I picked up Deadly Shadows for cheap on Steam, I didn’t realize it was a horror game. I made it to the plant cultist level, then decided that it was way too tense and went back to ghost around in the starting castle.

    I may be a wimp.

  35. ziusudra says:

    So much love for Thief… best gaem ever ;_;, hold me RPS.

  36. Sigma Draconis says:

    Thief is stellar and certainly worth $9.99 if GoG managed to actually get it running on modern systems, something that enraged many a gamer looking to play the game.

    And if GoG managed to get Thief running on modern systems, then certainly issues with other Dark Engine games have been resolved and their releases are on the way. Other Dark Engine games like System Shock 2. Right? Right? RIGHT?

  37. codename_bloodfist says:

    Don’t forget about Thief2x, the fully voiced, campaign length fan expansion. By far my favourite. :)

    http://www.thief2x.com/

  38. nope says:

    This is the first time I’ve felt genuinely emotional about any game release in a long time.

    Please let Omikron: The Nomad Soul be next.

    Please…

  39. Shadowcat says:

    Craig: Did you never just open up your web browser and see if anyone had solved the compatibility issues with modern PCs? The Dark Engine games are quite remarkably well supported, thanks to the hard work of some gifted fans. I’m thrilled to see Thief on GOG.com, but you didn’t need to wait for them to get it.

    Oh, and if you weren’t aware of that, you also may not be aware of the incredible collection of fan missions which have been crafted over the years since the games were released. You have some treats in store.

  40. ThaneSolus says:

    Ya baby! Runs to GOG to give hugs.

  41. oceanclub says:

    So does anyone know exactly what the difference is between (a) the boxed version of Thief Gold and (b) GOG’s version? I have the former, and while I may pick up GOG’s version in a sale, want to know exactly what I’m getting for me tenner.

    P.

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