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Thief 2 Setup and Modding Guide
By Saleck
Thief 2 was built for Windows 9x systems and has a hard time running on modern computers.
This guide will help you set up the game using the latest unofficial patches and teach you how to apply mods.
You'll also learn about Fan Missions here aswell as Thief 2X and how to play them.
This guide will help you get Thief 2 running on your computer.
The Steam version of Thief 2 is actually the GOG version. They did an OK job of setting up the game and getting up and running for players but that still isn't enough for some people who report crashes and general instability.
The Program Files folder
Let's start off with some important information.

The Program Files folder is a protected folder within your Windows installation that works differently from other folders on your computer.

The long story short is that if you have your copy of Thief 2 located within either the Program Files or the Program Files (x86) folder, you may encounter problems and some, or all, mods may not work at all. This varies from machine to machine and some people may not have a problem at all.

If you think you might be being affected by this, try moving your copy of Thief 2 from the Program Files folder into another folder like 'C:\Games' and launch it. If mods are installed correctly, they may start working for you.

If this is the case, you can make another Steam Library Folder using the Steam Library Folders feature. Go to View > Settings and Click the 'Downloads' Tab to find it.

Click Add Library Folder and make it anywhere you want.

Once you've done this, you can reinstall Thief 2 into this new folder and move any save files and mods you have from your old installtion into this new installation!
Getting the game set up for play
There are two ways to get your copy of Thief 2 up and running. You can use either of the following tools on your Thief 2 installation.

The first is a tool I made called T2Tool. If your looking for a quick and easy way to get Thief 2 running with great default settings and the ability to install mods and bugfixed levels easily then this setup is for you.

Download T2Tool v1.0.4.4[www.saleck.net]
Download T2Tool v1.0.4.4 from Dropbox[dl.dropboxusercontent.com]
Version History[www.saleck.net]
Last Updated 22nd September 2014

Please bear in mind that this tool is programmed not to function at all if the game is found to be in your Program Files or Program Files (x86) directory. You MUST move them outside of this folder as described above.

The other way to get the game setup is to install TafferPatcher; a huge setup file containing community mods, bugfixed levels and other added extras all bundled into one package. It's a bit more advanced than T2Tool and you'll need to do some additional altering of settings once installed.

Download TafferPatcher[www.ttlg.com]

For this new version of Thief 2, you will need to have Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 SP1 C++ runtime libraries[www.microsoft.com] and the latest version of DirectX[www.microsoft.com] installed on your computer.

Now, I hate to break it to you but That's it! Once you've used one of these tools, (Almost) no more work needs to be done! Your copy of Thief 2 is up and running. Of course, you can dive right into the game right now but you can also edit the cam_ext.cfg file with Notepad and you can alter anything you want like post-processing effects, Bloom and 16x AA for some extra added visuals.

Some of the commands works on a Boolean system, 0 is off, 1 is on. Turn features on or off by changing the numbers. Also remember to remove any semi-colons ; in front of the command you want to enable (to disable, just re-add the semi-colon again)

Be sure to make a backup of the file first before you go altering something you might wish you hadn't.
How to install mods
Mods usually come in Zip files. Inside these files you will find one or more folders. Fam, Mesh, Snd and Obj are just a few examples of what these files are called.

To install any mods, you will need to go into your Thief 2 installation folder. In here, you will see 2 important folders: DataPermMods and DataTempMods. These are the folders in which your mod files will go.

DataTempMods (DTM) is a testing folder where you can place your mod files to see if you like them or if they work. They will overwrite any mods stored in DPM that would otherwise conflict with the mod you are testing.
DataPermMods (DPM) is for any mods that you are 100% sure that you like and want to use. Put the mod files in here so you can free up the DTM folder for testing any other mods you might like.

You can keep mods in both files if you like. DTM will load ahead of DPM when playing so you don't have to overwrite any files in DPM. if the game all of a sudden stops working properly, you can delete any recently added files in DTM without affecting any of your mods installed in the DPM folder.

To install any mods, you will need to go into your Thief 2 installation folder. In here, you will see a folder called MODS. Any mod files you want to apply will go in here.
Bugfixed Levels
Some of the levels in Thief 2 have small amounts of bugs in them ranging from loot being placed outside the game world to broken scrolls and misaligned objects.

Luckily for us, a nice Taffer called AntiMatter_16 went through every single level in the Thief 2 editor and fixed all of the bugs!

There are two versions of the Bugfixed levels; one version (1.1e) requires NewDark 1.21 to be installed and the other (1.0e) can be run on any version of Thief 2. You can install these automatically using either T2Tool or TafferPatcher but if you fancy a manual download instead, you can download the fixed levels from the following places:

1.1e - Requires NewDark 1.21 or above
My website[www.saleck.net], My dropbox[dl.dropboxusercontent.com].

My website[www.saleck.net], My dropbox[dl.dropboxusercontent.com].

Right click and Save to your desktop. You can extract the contents of the 7-zip files into either:

1) Your Thief 2 'DataPermMods' folder (done automatically by T2Tool if selected)
2) Your Thief 2 root folder (done automatically by TafferPatcher if selected)
EAX through the OpenAL Library (TafferPatcher Only)
If you have used T2Tool, this section does not apply to you as the installer has set up EAX support for you.

EAX will now work in Thief 2 through the OpenAL library. You can get the OpenAL installation file (oalinst.exe) from here:

OpenAL Download[www.dropbox.com]

Alternatively, the more up-to-date "OpenAL Soft" can be found here[kcat.strangesoft.net]. It will require a manual installation but isn't very difficult.

Once you have installed the library, Start Thief 2 and go to Options > Audio and click on Hardware Acceleration until it shows the Option 'OpenAL'

Now when you play the game, you will have all the echoey hallways you could possibly dream of.
Fan Missions
If you want to try something a little different after you've played Thief 2, you could always try one of the many (over 700 and ever growing) Fan Missions released for the game.

You can find Thief 2 missions at the Thief Missions[thiefmissions.com] website.

Once you have a few, you may be tempted to put them straight into your DataTempMods folder but hold on there! It's not that easy.

Long story short, Fan Missions (FMs) may not be 100% functional if you do this. Luckily, The NewDark version of Thief 2 comes with a Fan Mission loader called FMSel.

To use FMSel, Right click on Thief 2 in your Steam Games list and click Properties.

Click Set Launch Options and in that box, enter in -fm and click OK.

When you launch Thief 2 again, FMSel will start and ask you to create an FMs directory. Click Yes.

Once you've done that, FMSel will ask you to specify a folder in which you keep your FMs so put all your FMs in one folder and have FMSel use that folder.

Once you've done that, FMSel will list all the FMs it finds in that folder.

From here you can do many different things:
Skip FM - Will Launch Thief 2 without using any FM.
Play FM - Will Launch Thief 2 with the currently selected FM. It will ask you to Extract Archive which, when Yes is selected, will install the FM into the FMs folder.
Start FM - Will Launch Thief 2 with the currently selected FM and set your Status to 'Playing' (I presume this is used for things like Windows Live Messenger and other software)

You can also rate your FMs, Search for an FM in the Name text bar, Read any Readmes inside (Right click > View Info File) and many other things.

Here are some questions you may have:
All my Thief 2 save files have gone! What have you done?!
Don't Panic! Your save files are still there. When Thief 2 is launched with an FM, you get to have seperate saves! These are stored in your FMs folder. Every time you launch that FM, you'll see your saves there again from the last time you played.

Will my installed mods work with an FM?
They should do but it depends on the FM; some use custom health indicators and light gems so they will take priority when loaded. Other than that, mods should work OK.

Can I install mods this way too?

Will Thief 1/Gold FMs work in Thief 2?
That's a question with many different answers but the short answer is they should do. Thief 2 FMs will most likely not work with Thief Gold due to the extra content Thief 2 has.

Can I hold you responsible for anything daft I do like try to install System Shock 2 FMs into Thief 2?
How to play Thief 2X: Shadows of the Metal Age
If you've never played, or heard of, Thief 2X, you should correct that right now and get it. It's an amazing unofficial expansion pack for Thief 2.

Thief 2X: Shadows of the Metal Age[www.thief2x.com]

There are numerous ways on getting Thief 2X running depending on which way you have fixed up Thief 2.


Installer Method for an unmodified Thief 2 installation
Want to play Thief 2X Without going through any installers or modification processes? This section is for you.

Install T2X Into your Thief 2 installation, then download the following package and extract it into your Thief 2 installation.

T2X NewDark Only[www.saleck.net]

Once you've done that, you will be able to play both Thief 2 and Thief 2X from an unmodified installation.


Installing it as a Mod after using T2Tool
This method has its advantages and disadvantages:

  • You can use the Steam Overlay and chat to friends whilst playing, take screenshots etc.
  • Constant resolution instead of switching back and forth like the default T2X installation does,
  • Any cam_ext.cfg settings will now apply to T2X. Anti-aliasing, Bloom and other effects will work,

  • You will need to rename your DTM or DPM folder to something else to play Thief 2,
  • Any T2 saves can be accessed by T2X and vice versa,

Simply Install T2X into your Thief 2 installation and, once completed, delete the Darkinst.cfg file located in the T2X folder and move the contents of the T2X into either the DataTempMods or the DataPermMods folder. When you start Thief 2, Thief 2X will start instead.


Installer Method after using TafferPatcher
If you have the T2X Installer, go ahead and install it now into your Thief 2 installation folder.
Once installed, you will need to download a replacement Darkinst.cfg file and place it into your T2X folder.

T2X Darkinst.cfg after TafferPatcher[www.saleck.net]

Once you've done this you can run T2X from the Shortcut on your Desktop!

The End
OK, you should now have a fully working copy of Thief 2. It should now be playable on Windows Vista/7/8 in glorious widescreen with EAX and fully mod ready!

Here are some pictures of the game in 1920x1080 I took after following my own guide.

Now, go get your sneak on and enjoy this incredible sequel either for the first time or for a re-visit. Just make sure you go and play the original too at some point :)

Thanks for reading. This guide is from my own website at http://www.saleck.net/creations/gamefixguides/thief2.php. If you have the retail version of the game, you will be able to find out more information on installing the game there.
If you feel like donating anything, you can also donate at my site.

Be sure to check out my other guides:

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Florin Apr 29 @ 10:51am 
I installed the tool, I can watch the intro, but shortly after the intro, it's crashes and it's exiting the game. What else can I do to play the game ?
Saleck  [author] Apr 29 @ 10:47am 
It's a case of one of the other. T2Tool is the most vanilla like and will only apply bug-fixed levels. It does not add any texture mods. TafferPatcher is a bit more complicated for non-savvy users but provides additional features and graphical mods.

I am aware of the HD texture mod that is out there for both Thief 2 and Thief 2X and I suppose it wouldn't hurt to explain how to apply it. I'll update the guide in due course.
Verrufen Apr 29 @ 10:37am 
hi, I was wondering if I can use the traffer patch in addition to t2tool, and what the specific benefits of either would be. In addition, this list does not mention the mod used to get the textures to decently high quality (unless I'm being really daft!)
Saleck  [author] Apr 18 @ 12:05pm 
You can but it's not recommended. You are really best off making a new Steam Library folder and installing the game in there.
erikstaley Dec 5, 2014 @ 12:07pm 
I have a question. It's probably a silly question, but I'm not the most tech savvy guy out there.

I downloaded your Thief 2 Tool and moved Thief 2 out of the Program Files (x86) so I could install the Thief 2 Tool.

Now that I have the Thief 2 Tool installed (and OpenAL), can I put Thief 2 back into the Program Files (x86) Steam\SteamApps\common and still be able to play the game?
Saleck  [author] Dec 1, 2014 @ 9:19am 
You have to have T2X installed first. T2Tool will recognize certain files and enable the option to get T2X working.
TheShockmaster Dec 1, 2014 @ 6:43am 
There a reason why I cant select Thief 2X Shadows of the Metal Age when installing your T2Tool?
J'ico Nov 22, 2014 @ 4:24pm 
Wow, thank you so much! I love this tool you made there, it really helped me. I think I can't thank you enough for that.
Bibliotek Aug 20, 2014 @ 8:13pm 
This guide helped me relive the good old days. Thanks for all your hard work!
Sk8rBoi Gaming Aug 17, 2014 @ 9:49am 
Wish there was a Co-0p mod guide, I know games like System Shock and Thief are truly amazing by yourself, but as there is nothing for me to achieve by replaying them, I find it hard to without a friend, SS2 is amazing in coop (although it was meant for 1 player, it's a little bit more enjoyable with 2)

I bet Thief 2 Co-0p (when I get it to work) will be AMAZINGLY GREAT.

Btw, awesome professionally organized guide dude!