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Fear the Murray!
Murray is an anthropomorphic hippo and one of the main protagonist of the Sly Cooper series. He has no known surname in any of the games, although he is often referred to as "Murray the Hippo" or "Murray Hippo" when full names are listed, a long going tradition in animation by having the characters' species be their last name.
Murray is a strong, muscular but slightly round hippopotamus who serves as the getaway driver and later team tough guy and fighter for the game's title character. He met both Sly and Bentley when the three of them were growing up in the Happy Camper Orphanage. Murray's driving skill came from his job as a pizza delivery boy, during which he hot-wired cars and was eventually fired for dropping too many pizzas.
Murray is quite large and has an enormous appetite. He is depicted as a weakling in the first game, and unbelievably strong in the second game. Murray is by far the strongest of the Cooper trio, and arguably is also the most battle ready of the three. Murray is also known for saying some of the series' most hilarious lines (i.e. "Another barrier stands before you. Fear not, I shall bend it like the truth!") and having a peculiarly strong love of his van, the team's getaway vehicle (he cried after it floated away in Sly 2 and was unstoppable in his quest to bring it back in Sly 3), having worked on it, throughout his life. Murray throughout the games wears a blue t-shirt that looks a bit too small for him, and a light blue scarf to go with his driver motif and no pants. In the second game and on Murray dons a maroon mask over his head and matching fighting gloves over his hands when donning his "The Murray" persona in battle. Murray also appears to wear thick rim glasses... although they could also be goggles or perhaps a strange hybrid of the two. Goggles would certainly go with his driver motif and he shows in Sly 3 that he doesn't really need glasses like Bentley does.
Murray seemed more chubby and laid back in Sly 1 and although still rotund by the second game and on, looked considerably tougher and a bit more muscular. Murray is officially listed as being 20 years old during the first game, and since the second takes place two years after Murray would be 22 by the time of Sly 2 and 23 by the time of the third game.
Although he is generally a very nice guy, Murray has shown that he has quite a bit of repressed anger. Whether this is due to his experiences in the orphanage or something else is never explored in any of the games. This is highlighted during Episode 4 of Sly 2, where the Contessa points this out. This is also evident by his violent outbursts when any of his friends are harmed, and could also be a reason for his decision to leave the team due to feeling responsible for Bentley's injury at the end of Sly 2. Although this is quelled seemingly by Sly 3 due to his time with the aboriginal Guru, Murray still seems quite comfortable with his hot-blooded inner rage when he needs it.
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
Murray first meets Sly and Bentley in the local orphanage, seemingly having known Bentley prior to Sly's arrival after his parents' tragic murder. How Murray ended up at the Orphanage is never explained. From here, the three formed an inseparable bond. In Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, Murray is portrayed as a reckless, somewhat jumpy race-car driver. While Sly still does most of the work, Murray does still do some field work to aid Sly when needed. Murray drives his beloved van in order to win Sly certain keys needed to progress in the game. At times, Murray also makes a daring run for a key where Sly is charged with his safety, sniping enemies who threaten him at a distance. Murray cowers if he comes across these enemies, so it comes to a rather great surprise that in Sly 2: Band of Thieves, he transforms into a fearless, masked professional wrestler like fighter who calls himself "The Murray". Still daring, Murray no longer cowers at the sight of an enemy but rather makes them cower in his wake (this is even a trademark move of his, Guttural Roar). Sly states at the end of the Thievius Raccoonus, that it took some real bravery for Murray to step out on the field, and that he has more heart than he'll ever know.
Sly 2: Band of Thieves
Unlike Bentley's gradual change in Sly 2, this change in Murray comes out of nowhere and has seemingly been around for a while prior to the game. It's usually assumed that the two years between the first and second game simply changed Murray and has grown as a character. However, some sources say that Murray's transformation has been caused by hours of watching masked wrestling on TV. Having already done some field work, its not hard to imagine that Murray had eventually discovered that he's got quite a bit of potential in a fight, as his features would possibly allow him to be much of a threat. He has also taken on the habit of referring to himself in the third person. Even with his new-found combat prowess however, he still has a passion for driving. He helps the team greatly with the many uses of his great strength, his driving skill, and his excellent ability in battle. Murray's sheer power saves the team on multiple occasions. Murray takes quite a few psychological blows during the course of the game however. First heavily insulted by Rajan, whom refers to him as a "Fat, Pathetic Weakling". His inner rage is also shown by his love of smashing stuff.
Although this doesn't faze Murray much, The Contessa profiles a captured Murray and attempts to culture him as a form of brain washing. Although Murray fights this off eventually and turns the tables, Murray's inner anger is brought to spotlight. The greatest blows to Murray come in the last leg of the game, when Murray's beloved van must be sacrificed in order to get the team onto Arpeggio's airship, although he quickly overcomes his loss and works his best to defeat Clock-la while in sync with Sly and Bentley. His loss of the van pales in comparison however to what happens next. At the climax of the game Murray must hold open Clock-la's mouth to allow Bentley to perform an important task. Unfortunately, Murray let go of the mouth and, while not paying attention, it closes violently on Bentley and cripples him for life. Murray picks up Bentley from the beak as he can no longer walk and leaves Sly shocked as he walks away with Bentley in hands, leaving his gear behind. His wounds were deeper than it seemed, which later set his mood for the next game.
We tried to console him, but going out on his own was something he needed to do. He said he wanted to find his spiritual center.
A simple character at first, Murray gets a bit of depth to his character after the events of the second game. Although the band of three is successful in their endeavor, Murray becomes increasingly timid of his own actions. As depicted in the one short DC comic that acts as a prologue to the third game, Murray begins to blame himself for almost everything that goes wrong and starts to show a lack of confidence in him that Sly had never seen before. After rescuing Bentley from the hospital he was confined in, Murray reveals to his friends that he feels that he's too much of a burden and danger to the team and leaves, much to their surprise. Although Sly and Bentley are heartbroken by this, Sly later reveals in the third game that he knew deep down that it was something Murray needed to do, presumably in order to get his thoughts straightened out after the heavy psychological blows of the Clockwerk exploits of the second game.
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
In Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, Murray has given up his violent ways and becomes a pacifist under the guidance of a mysterious indigenous Australian shaman known as the Guru, contending with himself over the guilt he feels for Bentley's paralysis as well as his own anger. Eventually finding peace in himself, Murray is told by the Guru to travel the world on a soul-cleansing journey. He eventually winds up in Venice, Italy where Sly and Bentley find him. Sly and Bentley not only need him back for their next big heist, but also because they miss him terribly. Murray is at first reluctant because he wants to continue his journey "until the black water runs clear". Sly and Bentley figure out that this is because the local crime boss, Octavio, has been polluting the waters of Venice for dastardly reasons. When Murray meets Bentley the reunion is rather dramatic as Bentley emotionally pleads to Murray that he doesn't blame him for what happened.Eventually the team confronts Octavio but he hurts Bentley in the process by knocking him off his wheelchair. In a rage, Murray casts aside his ceremonial necklace and says "THAT DOES IT! I'LL FLOSS MY TEETH WITH YOUR SPINE!", and comes to his friend's rescue fists blazing. After defeating the opera mobster, "The Murray" returns for real. Tough as ever, his training under the Guru has also served to better focus him as well as give him a few impressive abilities he learned making him even more of a threat than before. Although despite all this, deep down he's still lovable silly old Murray. Murray even manages to salvage the van that he had thought he lost in Sly 2. When recovering his van under immense pressure and danger, his perseverance and dedication to his goal inspires the Panda King and becomes one of his deciding factors in finally joining the Cooper gang as a full-fledged member. Murray is often referred to as the team's "Heart", as he seems the most compassionate. At the end of Sly 3, this seems to be true. When Bentley begins to have doubts about Sly's true loyalty to his friends and the glue that holds the team together starts to fade a bit, it's Murray who quells all doubts reminding Bentley of their undying brotherhood bond. Dr. M, the third game's ultimate antagonist also reveals in the end that Murray is far stronger than the strongman predecessors of past Cooper Gangs.
...recently he's been trying to break into the pro racing circuit. Things are looking good; he's got a unique talent of living through crashes others would of found fatal, just always bounces clear.
After the events of Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, Murray, Bentley and the rest of the Cooper Gang at first believe Sly has amnesia due to an injury sustained at the game's climax. Taken in by his arch-rival Carmelita Fox seemingly unknowingly, the group goes their separate ways. Murray, however, stays in close contact with Bentley and the two are still considered close friends. Murray completes his spiritual training with The Guru, and eventually gives into his racing passion and becomes a professional in the stock-van racing circuit, using the team van as his winning ticket. Bentley reports that things are looking very bright for Murray's racing career. It's assumed however, that if Sly were to ever come back and Murray was needed, that The Murray would be there in an instant to help out his best friend.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
This article contains spoilers concerning recent or upcoming titles in the Sly Cooper series. Read at your own risk.
Murray reprises his role as the Brawn of the Cooper Gang, as well as the driver of the Cooper Van in the upcoming game, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. The developers have said that he has matured since the last game.
After Sly 3, Murray entered the pro-racing circuit, stock-van class, but had to switch to demolition derby because no one would sponsor him, a result of his high insurance premiums. Bentley asks Murray if he would rejoin the gang, and he quickly agrees.
One of the few comic relief characters in the game, Murray started off as a coward in Sly 1. In between Sly 1 and Sly 2, his love for masked wrestling, and learning that he can put up a fight in the field, made him discover his strength. He is much more bolder in Sly 2, but witnessing Bentley get crippled and his eventual Soul Search gives him compassion and represses his rage to a point where he can call upon it when need be. It is implied by several cut-scenes that Murray is still a child deep down inside mainly due to his unstable behavior, and despite his incredible strength and his bold personality in both Sly 2 and 3, he is shown often as the first person to cry in any situation. Murray is also extremely determined and loyal, as he helps mend Bentley's fear of Sly not being his friend, and refuses to give up on his associates at any cost. During the rescue of his van, he is told multiple times that it is far too dangerous, but refuses, as the memories of his time with the gang in there is far too precious to him. His determination is so strong, he even moves the Panda King, who notes that Murray shows extreme compassion and heart.
Like Sly and Bentley, Murray possesses his own abilities. One of his abilities, probably the most important, is his incredible strength and power. And as shown in Sly 3, Murray has a 'ball form' that he learned from the Guru while in the Australian Outback. This allows him to curl up in a pink, glowing ball and roll around and bounce down with hard impact upon anything, including enemies. Another ability that he gained from his training with the Guru is a temporal lock that freezes everything in place for a short amount of time. His most famous ability was revealed in Sly 2, called the Thunder Flop, a massive belly flop that sends out a shock wave destroying anything around Murray. He admits the Thunder Flop is dangerous when he says,"the Thunder Flop knows neither friend nor foe, only destruction".
Most of Murray's abilities center on his strength, brute force, etc., but other involve fire such as his Fists of Flame, where he claps his hands together, causing them to ignite with fire to add a burning effect to his punches.
Otherwise, Murray serves as the Team Getaway-Driver, Strong-Man, Back-Up, as well as a Thug/Enforcer. He's also a Mechanic, given the time and effort he puts into the care of the Team Van, and given his taste for destruction and tendency to "break stuff", he can be considered a sabotage expert or arsonist.
Unlike his pals, Sly and Bentley, Murray doesn't have the "finesse" or "precision" to pickpocket guards without them noticing, so he resorts to mugging: punching them, picking them up, and shaking them to loosen any coins or valuables they hold in their pockets.
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
- Sly 2: Band of Thieves
- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
- Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
- The Adventures of Sly Cooper
- PlayStation Move Heroes
- PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale
- Murray's signature color is magenta, often mistaken for pink.
- Murray was the only member of the Cooper Gang (Not counting the newly recruited members) who didn't get to go into the Cooper Vault.
- After defeating Muggshot in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, during the video sequence looked closely, he is wearing a hat with WW on it. This is a reference to Whoopie World from Rocket: Robot on Wheels, Sucker Punch's first game.
- Despite being a hippo, Murray, like Sly and Bentley, can't swim, as it is stated in the Sly 2 instruction guide, it's because they didn't take swimming lessons at the orphanage.
- The headband Murray wore whilst being a child is actually Japanese, as can be seen by looking at the red design on it that resembles the Sun.
- His appearance in the ending of Sly 3 was a resemblance to Speed Racer.
- In the Cooper Vault Job he worked "Recovery Team".
- Dr.M says that Murray is far more powerful than McSweeny ever was. However Murray cannot defeat Muggshot and if Sly's Father is able to than that must mean McSweeny can. However, given Dr. M is able to gene-splice and create mutant henchmen, it's possible he performed some gene-splicing on himself to increase his physical strength and stamina.
- Murray's voice was different as shown in the E3 demo disk. He shown to have had a crackly voice that didn't really seem to suit him.