Sabotage at Soulforge

General Gameplay:

The first thing most players want to do when they find themselves wandering around Soulforge is to visit Karras in his impenetrable chamber to say hello (take the elevator at position 'K' shown in the map in the Strange section for this mission). However, many are somewhat hesitant to do this in fear of failing the objective, "Don't let Karras find out what you are up to, or he won't trigger the Servants".

Luckily, this is a very unique objective in that it is impossible to fail. You can try as hard as you might, but nothing will cause that objective to fail.

Karras was never any good at playing charades
Karras was never any good at playing charades

Even taking the Guiding Beacon and a Stage 3 Piece* and putting them on his windowsill won't make him realise what you're up to. With this weight off the player's back, they are free to express themselves however they want.

*Despite there being enough material to manufacture two Guiding Beacons, the game will only let you build one.

This mission has only three objectives. We've already examined that you can ignore one, but what about the other two?

One of the other objectives states, "When the rest of your goals are accomplished, get outside before Karras seals up the cathedral and detonates the servants." This doesn't mean that you need to rush to get out. You can take as much time as you wish as the servants only arrive in the cutscene and not during gameplay.

So, that's two objectives you can safely ignore. The third?

It states, "Sabotage Karras's plan by using the Guiding Beacon to draw the Servants to the Mechanist cathedral. First you must learn how to use the Guiding Beacon." You cannot ignore this one. Even if you make a Beacon and switch over every signal tower, the mission will not end. You need to read the correspondence between Father Karras and Brother Kelsus.

Soulforge has some stunning architecture, so why not take a break from saving the world every now and then and just marvel at its beauty.

Oooooh, pretty
Oooooh, pretty

Many of the bays and rooms are huge and have grand pillars and arches. Stepping back occasionally and enjoying the eye candy lets you have a breather from what is a very demanding mission.

Speaking of refreshing yourself, there's a healing fountain near the Northern Apse where you can take care of any damage received during the mission.

Restore yourself
Restore yourself

The fountain will heal up to 4 health points at a time, but you can only use it once every three minutes. Nethertheless, it should be more than enough to keep Garrett alive, despite all the nasties wanting to take a piece out of him.

In the cutscene before this mission we witnessed the fall of Victoria. If you climb up onto any of the handy machines in Bay A, where you start the mission, you will be able to take a look at all that remains of her.

It may seem cruel, but one cannot help thinking how much her remains look like a giant cabbage.

One giant cabbage plus one large deep fryer. You do the maths.
One giant cabbage plus one large deep fryer.
You do the maths.

In several places in the mission are handy objects for you to climb onto if the fancy takes you. Some of these items can be dangerous. The large cauldron shown in the above image contains molten metal. As you might expect, standing on top of it leaves Garrett up to his ankles in what is basically lava, and it will slowly kill him.

There are several machines scattered around the mission that have long, spinning gear thingies (see image below). When the thingies are spinning slowly you can climb onto, and stand on, the object safely. But when it is spinning quickly, if you climb onto it, you will die almost instantly.

Beware the spinny thingies!And the entrance of the boulder-O-matic
Beware the spinny thingies!And the
entrance of the boulder-O-matic

Given that Soulforge is the steel heart of the Mechanist order, it isn't surprising to find a wide variety of machines working away doing unfathomable things. Some of these machines seem to be dedicated to recycling (whoever would have thought that mindless fanaticism and conservation could go hand in hand? Certainly not PETA or Greenpeace). In Bay E there is a large pit of lava that an endless series of rubble falls into via a small tube.

The tube is too small to fit into, but if you look closely you will noticed that the inside of the tube is lined with the same non-slip surface first seen in the underwater sections of Kidnap. These surfaces will take a vine arrow and if you shoot it at the right angle (see above image), you will be able to climb up to the tube and block the boulders from coming out.

When an object in the Thief series is in motion you can't grab it. Only when it is at rest will you be able to pick it up. When the boulders on their conveyor belt come to a stop, you can pick them up. With a bit of patience, you can amass an insanely large pile of them.

Soulforge's infinite junk
Soulforge's infinite junk

The above image shows a full hundred boulders and fifty each of the sword hilts, spikes and doorknobs (from the room described below).

In one of the rooms in the latter half of the mission (go through the huge room with the giant flame that comes out of the ground every few seconds) are two more conveyor belts with an endless stream of junk passing along them into a pool of lava. If you jump onto the lower section of the conveyor, crouch and walk up to the higher half of the belt, you can block these pieces of junk long enough to be able to pick them up.

Doing this allows you to collect infinite numbers of door handles, sword hilts and metal spikes (see image above).

When you have too many items gathered together at one place, the Dark Engine that powers the game will hiccough and turn some of them invisible. It can only handle displaying so many polygons at one time and will 'vanish' whatever it can to reduce that load when stressed.

Invisible generators
Invisible generators

Even the giant machine in the room where the Golden Child is found is susceptible to this. Take a huge pile of junk into the room and, despite its truly massive size, the machine will turn invisible.

When you collect even greaternumbers of junk in a mission, say two hundred boulders and a hundred each of sword hilts and doorknobs, then the Dark Engine takes even more extreme measures to avoid becoming overloaded. It will turn any water/lava in the mission invisible and will occasionally do very strange things with the surface of the water/lava. This will be covered in more detail in the Strange section of this Guide.

Scattered across the mission are several diaries and journals from the Mechanists who lived at the cathedral. Reading them will illuminate just what has been happening in the order before Garrett's arrival. In Bay C you can read the account of Friend Manus and how he was the one who gave Karras the bright idea of turning his faithful followers into Slaves. Oopsie!

This mission is unique in that it gives Garrett the chance to build a wide variety of items. Also, unlike other missions, the secrets in this mission are items that you can build rather than (with one exception) locations/objects you need to find. Given that there is so much you can build in this mission, an entire section will be dedicated to it later in this Guide.

Between Bays B and C is a darkened room where a SpiderBot patrols. If you look closely at the ceiling here you will be able to find a hidden attic with a few items secreted away. It's very difficult to see it in the gloom and only goes to reinforce the message that can never be stated often enough:

In Thief always look closely, look twice.