Did you know:

Life of the Party was first seen as 'The Unwelcome Guest' when it was released as the Alpha demo for Thief II, but there have been substantial changes in the mission from when it was first seen. The main thing most people notice is how much easier the mission is now that it is no longer necessary to jump and mantle from each and every building. The cityscape surrounding the mighty Angelwatch tower has been shrunk and rearranged and there is now only one main approach to the section of city where the tower lies rather than two.

And, of course, the demo gave the player the ability to climb up inside the chimneys of Angelwatch to the roof of the tower where two Mechanist swordguards patrolled. In the final version, all the chimneys have been blocked off and the patrolling guards removed. Actually reaching the roof in the release version of the game was considered impossible until a dedicated climber called Luthien made it up there using almost every last object in the mission (and a great deal of effort).

This feat was accomplished before the very same Luthien discovered how to staircase crates, a technique which makes reaching the roof of Angelwatch almost mundane. If anyone reading this guide has not played the demo, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's around 130Mb in size and well worth the download. You can find the demo at Thief: The Circle.com in the Files and Multimedia section.

Before we get into the Guide for this mission, there are a few definitions and techniques to go over.

Orb Mantling: This climbing technique has been covered before, but for those who've forgotten, here's a brief refresher course. When you have multiple copies of certain items, such as scouting orbs, in your inventory and look down and drop them, they will stop at Garrett's chest height. You can jump up to three times and gain height each time, though any more than twice is a bit iffy. This can help in getting that little extra height when climbing resources are slim. Note - the last object of any type will not work, i.e. when you only have one scouting orb, it will fall all the way to the ground rather than stopping half way.

Frogbeast jumping: (Also known as Frogbeasting) There is a bug...I mean feature...in the Dark Engine, which causes Garrett to take no damage from a fall if he lands on an AI. In missions with stationary guards, you can jump from even the highest roof onto their heads without harm. In this mission, Garrett gains access to Frogbeast eggs, these are AIs he can carry around in his pocket.
If you jump from a height, look down and throw the egg just before you land, Garrett will land on the newly emerged Frogbeast and take no damage. With this technique, jumps from _any_ height can be made without taking a single hitpoint of damage.

Frogbeast Juggling: Very similar to Frogbeast jumping, but uses several eggs. When Garrett throws an egg he will stop in midair, and on top of the Frogbeast, for a brief instant. During this time he can run forward. Repeating this step several times, with several eggs, can allow Garrett to gain considerable forward travel during a leap.

The Magic Cooking PotTM: This pot is unique to this mission and, given its very special properties and uses, deserves it's own special place in the definitions section. It is a holdover from the Thief II Alpha demo when you could still pick up pots and pans as you could in the first game in the series. In the Metal Age, Garrett has sadly lost his ability to pick up many simple household items. This pot can be picked up as it is hidden inside a wooden footlocker under the stairs in the Shemenov Estate and when 'dropped' or 'thrown' floats in midair. You can also stack items on top of it.

Stack upon the Magic Pot

But, as Garrett can no longer pick up pots, it is a one-use-only item. So be careful where you put it. Once dropped, the pot is large enough to mantle onto. Thus, this mission gives the player a very special climbing aid which, when used carefully, can make otherwise impossible feats enter the realm of the possible.

Roof Block: A roof that is made out of a solid, rectangular block rather than being a 'real' roof. They look like a real roof, but have a transparent, flat top that you can easily mantle onto and walk along, despite it seeming that you're walking on thin air. It's like those specimens you played around with in science class in high school where you could handle insects encased in a clear block of plastic. Except in this case, rather than a scorpion or giant green huntsman, it is a roof that is safely enclosed in the transparent block.

And now, on with the show...

Life of the Party

At the end of the previous mission, Garrett met up with his old adversary, Victoria, the being who took his eye in Thief: the Dark Project, and reluctantly joined forces with her so that together they might combat the growing threat of the Mechanists. At her request, Garrett must now enter a Mechanist stronghold, Angelwatch tower, to find information on the rumoured 'Cetus Project' and read more of the Hammer texts that are being rewritten by Karras, the leader of the Mechanists. Of course, Garrett's thieving instincts aren't so easily put aside that he does all this without taking home a few things for himself.

Everything about Life of the Party is huge. From the height of the buildings to the expanse of Angelwatch, this mission is writ large. So it is no surprise then to find that, when it comes to the available objects you can use and carry, the list is also (very!) huge.

I spied with my thieving eye:

That's a lot of stuff. In fact it's such a huge pile that, due to the Dark Engine making objects invisible when there are too many onscreen, it takes three screenshots to capture it all; two for all general items and one for the crates.

Even the Magic Cooking Pot
made an appearance in this one

Karras' office after the party

The amazing crate balancing act

And the situation is similar when it comes to the AIs. LotP has them squirreled away everywhere, some walking along on the ground, and some "safely" behind windows. LotP never scrimps on things for the player to do, and collecting all the AIs is such a quest that it will be covered in its own section later in the Guide.

The body politic

By the way, if you're wondering why the above screenshot looks so strange it's because it has been rotated 180. When I arranged the bodies, I had hoped to take their picture from the wall closest to Angelwatch, but that proved unworkable. And rather than move all the bodies again, I just climbed onto the opposite wall, took the screenshot and flipped it upside-down.