- 1999 Survey   -

The Results of the 1999 Survey


Escape. After a really scary cutscene you find yourself in the temple in the garden of Constantine's Mansion - with only 5 hitpoints. You have no equipment but the invisible sword. You should escape, as fast as possible, and additional get some informations about Constantine's plans with the Eye. The normal way through the garden is overgrown, and so you enter the tunnels under the basement. You encounter enemies of a completly new style: Apebeasts, Bugbeasts, Frogs. And additional the friendly and well-known Spiders and Fireelementals. After you have left the basement, you find Constantine's mansion in a pretty changed appearance.

[Descriptive Data], [Scores], [Comments], [Final Comments]

Descriptive Data about this mission

Mission Name

Well, the majority of the subjects was not very impressed by that mission, it seems. Both the mean score and the modalvalue are low. And the relative small StD indicates that the ratings did not differ very much from each other.

The distribution of the scores

Scores for Escape
Y-axis: "N", X-axis: "Score"

he distribution of the scores is indeed indicating that this mission was one of the least preferred missions of the game. ~ 50 % of the people rated it between place 9 - 11.

'Escape' correlates with 'Sword' (-17 *) and with 'Bedfellows' (-28 **). The correlation with 'Sword' is easily explained: It's almost the same place. With 'Bedfellows': Both are missions where you encounter the Trickster beasts in areas that you had visited before. Both are missions where a meteor seems to have hit into the former tidy areas. Both have odd tunnels below the already known areas.

It correlates significantly negative with the first few missions: With 'Training' (-17 *), 'Bafford' (.29 **), 'Cragscleft' (-19 **), 'Bonehoard' (.26 **), 'Assassins' (.20 **). This is no indicator that the missions are opposite to the more realistic missions (then it would not correlate so highly negative with 'Bonehoard', and it should correlate higher negative with 'Undercover'). It seems to be more a effect of the sequence of the missions: 'Escape', and also the following two missions correlate all such negative with the first few missions. At this point I should point at the fact that some of the subjects seemed to have not finished the game, when they filled it out. Those people had most probably given the missions that they had not played already a lower rating than the well-known earlier missions of the game. This is only one possible explanation.

'Escape' correlates significantly with Age (-.16 *) - the older the subject the higher the rating of the mission. This correlation is not extreme enough to make deep interpretations of it. But it is a funny fact, that could be interpreted in the way: To enjoy 'Escape' you need some life-experience... :-)


Short Summary

The negative comments were in the majority.

The positive aspects were the concept (start without weapons), the scaryness, the monsters, the treehouses and the changes in the mansion.

The negative points were about the huge number of opponents, about the toughness of the monsters. About the Frogs and the Bugbeasts and the Spiders. About the confusing tunnels. About the surreality of the place.

Positive Comments

The monsters. The 'ratmen'.
The level-design (the crazy tunnels, and the devasted upper floors)
It required a lot of stealth.
More try and error than others.
'Oh my god! The most exciting mission!'
The treehouses.
'And you thought this house way nuts before!'
'Wow. The clips before Escape is great!'
The background informations about the Trickster.
'I love the idea of starting with no weapons.'
'Fun. I hate the trickster's minions. I just had to kill them all.'

Negative Comments

he monsters. The Frogs are too small. The Spiders. The 'mantis guys'. The 'huge number of undead roaming the place.' :->
Lack of purpose.
Too much fighting.
Beginning too hard.
Too few shadows. Too dark.
Too scary. Too chaotic. Too linear.
The architecture had too few different textures here.
Too many monsters.
'In short: Less realistic, less enjoyable.'
'Nothing kills fun like the tried and true: 'Let's cripple him to spice up the game-play' syndrome.'
'Not this silly house again!!'
Too surreal.

Some personal comments

Ohh... time for my coming-out. I am in the minority here. I loved the mission. Err... after I had enough courage to enter the mission - remember that 'RTC' had scared me like hell (not knowing how easily the Undead can be eliminated) and I knew that the mission was designed by the same guy. To be honest: I had watched the cutscenes, and was scared like hell, again. I had entered the mission and was scared about the fact that I had only a quarter of my hitpoints (playing in Normal). I found the items and snuck to the entrance area. And then I did some experiments with the Bugbeast and the Apebeasts. It was scary, because they had really good eyes, and somehow one had snuck behind me and slayed me from behind, after I had eliminated his friend. And then, I had a break, and ... hehe.. forced my lover to play the mission. Not that he had already some gaming experience with 'Thief' at that time. I watched, and learned something about the place. And then, finally, I was encouraged enough and dared to play it myself.

I got very good at Spider-slaying here and in the art of knocking someone out while being leaned forward. And I did not bother to play it in Hard, I did it in the second time directly in Expert. I love the fact that you have to count your arrows and that you should not waste one of them. I love the tunnels, and I love the mansion. I love the voices of the Apes, the odd sounds of the Bugbeast (none of them had killed me ever, as far as I remember), and I love the giggling Froggies - shortly before they explode. And I love the fact how intelligent the Spiders are here: One time, a Spider chased me for more than half an hours through the tunnels; it knew the place better than I did and found me everywhere. Tough and new monsters for the last few missions - great. :-)

And no, I did never run in the last parts. I snuck to the ideal sniper positions, and introduced the bunch of monsters in the entrance of the mansion to my gas arrows. I would even more enjoy that if I could throw the sleeping Frogs as grenades...

That mission, together with the cutscenes, and with 'RTC' is the absolute climax of the game for me. The cutscenes caused some really nasty nightmares, and I love being scared. And these missions seemed to have touched some well hidden fears in my soul.