Artwork of Penelope from Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
Little is known about Penelope's early life other than her apparent enormous wealth and her Dutch nationality. As her interest in plane fighting grew, she invented a disguise that she called the "Black Baron" to get past the competitions' strict age limits. She still identified herself online as Penelope, but no one was the wiser about her double life.
The Black Baron soon became a celebrity, and Penelope found herself wearing the costume and assuming the alias more and more often. At some point, Penelope wanted a challenge to her expert skills. So, she set up a yearly international competition called ACES in an effort to attract worthy opponents. Every year she would win the competition, either by shooting down everyone else or getting her gunships to shoot down anyone who was about to win.
Joining the Cooper Gang
When the Cooper Gang met Penelope online, they expressed their interest in a specialist with remote-controlled inventions, something that Penelope was also very adept with. She gave false information, claiming to be one the Black Baron's mechanic, but told the Gang that if they wanted her on the team, they'd have to beat the Black Baron in the upcoming ACES competition. She did not anticipate them to potentially win, as she had full trust in her piloting skills as well as her tricks. The Gang accepted her challenge and traveled to Holland.
Some time before the ACES Semifinals, Bentley contacted Penelope via ham radio requesting her help to defend the Cooper's Hangar from Muggshot and members of the Baron's staff whom he had bribed, as they attempted to destroy their plane. Penelope, who was against cheating between teams, fully supported the Gang in defending the hangar.
During the Finals of the competition, Sly Cooper managed to nearly destroy the Black Baron's biplane, and the latter called in his gunships and a passenger plane for backup. Bentley, having anticipated the gunships, utilized the nearby windmills to destroy them, and Sly battled the Black Baron on the left wing of the plane. The costume was destroyed and Penelope was revealed to be inside it. She later explained the purpose of the suit, and joined the Cooper Gang without hesitation.
The Cooper Vault Heist
Between her joining the Cooper Gang and the heist itself, Penelope assisted in recruiting two more members to the Gang - the Panda King and Dimitri Lousteau - through the use of her RC devices. First, she was captured by General Tsao's dragon, which Sly managed to free Penelope from. Then she was captured by Captain LeFwee, who had planned to make Penelope his wife until the Gang intervened. Penelope even demonstrated her ability in sword dueling against LeFwee on his ship's mast, the latter of whom lost and fell to the ocean. She also realized that she held strong feelings for Bentley, leading her to heroically save him and becoming his girlfriend.
As part of the heist, Penelope was crucial to eliminating the threat of guards in Sly's path as he climbed his way towards the Cooper Vault. After the heist failed, Penelope utilized her RC car to destroy the nearby radar towers; had she not, Sly - who later used his biplane to clear the skies of enemy fire - would have been under attack by homing missiles.
If only Bentley hadn't been brainwashed by Cooper's "honorable thief" nonsense! We could have made billions in weapon design!
After the heist was a success (even though Sly had disappeared) and the Gang disbanded, Penelope remained with Bentley and the two formed a relationship. They worked on a number of inventions, the most notable of which was a time machine. After just finishing the time machine, Penelope just vanished, much to Bentley's dismay. Bentley later discovered that the Thievius Raccoonus was beginning to disappear right before his very eyes, so he had to put off searching for Penelope to get Sly and Murray back together to save the Cooper legacy.
As it turns out, Penelope's disappearance was somehow intentional; Cyrille Le Paradox had somehow hired her at an unknown point in time to steal Bentley's time machine plans and to create a completely separate (and slightly superior) time machine. Bentley's suffers from a tragic flaw: it requires an item from the era the user wishes to travel to. Penelope's version does not - the year itself can just be input. Le Paradox also entrusted Penelope to steal Sir Galleth Cooper's cane and stand guard over Medieval England, using a new suit, The Black Knight, to achieve this goal.
Penelope's intention was to double-cross Le Paradox and convince Bentley that the two of them could be the greatest minds in the world, using their combined intellect to make billions in weapons designs. Bentley, however heart-broken he was at Penelope's betrayal, stuck by his friends and their code of honor. Disgusted by her greed and rudeness to him, he realized the truth that she was completely blind to--that Le Paradox was the one calling the shots, not her. He defeated Penelope and her suit with his own (made from parts of the Moat Monster), and by the end of the game, she was sent to Europe's highest-security prison...only to escape sometime later, no doubt using her mechanical prowess to do it. But recently, Bentley has been receiving some very strange postcards, with Penelope's symbol (a pink mouse face) on the picture.
Penelope initially comes off as a nice and outgoing person. She enjoys utilizing her RC talents against enemies, and while doing so she can get a little excited. While Penelope had only been a member of the Cooper Gang for a short time, she was dedicated and loyal to her new-found friends, eagerly supporting them whenever they needed help. Unfortunately, her lack of physical prowess and abilities makes her rather timid when actually confronted by an enemy, but when someone she loves - namely Bentley - is threatened, she becomes a powerful combatant.
Time to make this breakup official!
Unfortunately, at some point during her relationship with Bentley, despite the events that took place during Sly 3, she somehow became possessed by the belief that Bentley was being held back and controlled by Sly's morals. She began to develop a similar mindset to Dr. M, despite once being a moralist herself when she was an extremely firm opponent of cheating during the ACES competition. Of course, it's possible that her dislike for cheating and her violent reprisal against those who betrayed her Black Baron persona were a result of them going against rules she had set for the tournament, but only added to the point of her being moralistic. This is also backed up by her thinking in a way that Sly is evil and that his thieving capers are nonsense and for his own selfish gains, drawing a parallel to Carmelita. With their combined intellect, Penelope started to believe that she and Bentley could have made billions in weapon design, and they could have ruled the world; she shares the trait of greed for money with the other Le Paradox subordinates, who all went to the past not just to follow Le Paradox's orders but also for personal monetary gain. She began to use and betray anyone to get what she wanted; in some cases, drawing a parallel to Neyla. She also began showing a more aggressive and angry side of herself, prominently when trying to finish off Sly and then, after a failed attempt to reason with her, tried to waste Bentley as a means of making their breakup official.
Later, in Thieves in Time, Penelope become very arrogant, proud, and vain. She believes herself the greatest genius, but knows - and refuses to admit - that she falls second to Bentley, blowing off Bentley's critique to her moat monster as a "prototype." She hates to admit when she's been outsmarted, especially when Bentley and Sly are involved.
She also became surprisingly cruel and gained a dark sense of humor as she even went as low as to torture Sir Galleth physically and mentally by putting him in the circus, and even joking about making a rug out of what was left of Sly once the Moat Monster was done with him. She also considered turning the Cooper Van into a clown car, even saying behind Bentley's back that she finds him "cute when he's being dumb."
At this point, Penelope's true character is a mystery. She also seems to be huge on masking her identity. Whether these are her true colors that were hidden from the Cooper Gang for a period of time or that they were somehow newly-developed is unknown, and disguises like the Black Baron or the Black Knight may not have been her first. Some might even think that Penelope might not be her original name. Even how she obtained her skills is a complete mystery. Who Penelope really is may be unknown for quite some time meaning it is possible the personality she had in Thieves in Time may also be fake as well. Her actions, however, suggest more of an anti-heroine than an actual cold blooded villainess, since she openly admitted she was just using Le Paradox for her own personal gain.
Powers and Abilities
Other than boxing or sword fighting, the latter of which she probably had to self-teach quickly in order to fight LeFwee, Penelope does not have much in terms of physical abilities. This makes her a potentially easy target when out in the field, shown by her constant capture by certain enemies in Sly 3. To make up for this shortcoming, she has multiple fields in technology, including piloting, using remote-controlled devices, and machinery. She is also capable of using disguises to get through certain bumps in the road. In her debut, she mostly only utilized her RC capabilities, using the RC Car and RC Chopper. Where she acquired any of these talents is unknown.
Penelope is currently a fugitive at large, and her whereabouts are as of yet unknown. Neither Bentley (occupied by searching for Sly, who has disappeared once more) nor Carmelita (occupied by her own investigation into Sly as well as other criminals) seem to be spending any time in searching for her; they may not consider her an immediate threat. However, she has spray-painted a symbol bearing similarity to her features - a calling card of sorts - in various parts of Paris. She's sent postcards with images of these calling cards to Bentley, likely either to taunt him, keep him thinking about her, or to tell him that it's "not over yet."
- Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
- Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
- Paris Prologue (cutscene)
- Turning Japanese (mentioned; picture in Bentley's Binocucom)
- Go West Young Raccoon (picture in Bentley's Binocucom)
- Clan of the Cave Raccoon (mentioned; picture in Bentley's Binocucom)
- Of Mice and Mechs
- 40 Thieves (mentioned; picture in Bentley's Binocucom)
- Paris Epilogue (cutscene)
- Bentley's Hackpack (appears on treasures)
- Penelope is the only female character in the series that has been flirted with and admired by more than one male character in the Cooper Gang, namely Bentley and Dimitri, though at first she only had eyes for Sly.
- Like Le Paradox, Penelope is very vain when it comes to her work. The Black Knight Suit, and on postcards she's sent Bentley, Penelope brands them with an insignia shaped like her.
- Due to the lack of a tail in Sly 3, some fans were confused as to what kind of animal Penelope was. It was confirmed by Sucker Punch that she is a mouse, and this became more obvious with her tail added along with her new redesign in the next game. To be more precise, Penelope is technically a Dutch Mouse.
- Penelope's signature color is lavender. Ironically, her aliases consistently begin with the word "Black." There is a very good possibility that these are her two favorite colors. However, it is most likely that her signature color is the way it is because it's her fur color.
- In Thieves in Time, her hair color appears to have been changed from full-blond to a light-orange color, at least during cutscenes, but it is still full-blond during gameplay, however. This could be because her jumpsuit would've blended in with her hair, making it harder to animate her movements. While other characters have some manner of change like this, such as Sir Galleth Cooper, Penelope takes this a step further by having glasses in gameplay and a visor of sorts in cutscenes, changing her appearance a bit more drastically in this regard.
- She is the only member of the Cooper Gang to later betray it. Constable Neyla was the first person to betray the Gang, but was never an official member.
- She is one of two characters positively known to have escaped from prison (Along with Dimitri), whereas Muggshot's possible escape is unconfirmed and unknown.
- According to some concept art for Thieves in Time, Penelope was supposed to remain a protagonist at one point in development, as confirmed by the scrapped mole character and Penelope's revamped original design.
- In that same piece of concept art, there is a crazier version of the evil Penelope alongside her current design. This was scrapped because she looked too obvious, and the developers needed a design that made it hard to tell she had become a villain.
- Penelope's Thieves In Time outfit bears a striking resemblance to the famous "Kill Bill" catsuit.
- Penelope in the Japanese version of Sly 3 is voiced by Ryouko Shiraishi.
- Annete Toutonghi, the voice of Penelope, also voices her Black Knight alter ego and the computer voice during Bentley's hacking minigames in Thieves in Time.
- In the Finnish dub of Sly Cooper-series, Penelope and Carmelita Fox has the same voice-actor, Elise Langenoja. In Penelope's boss fight in Thieves In Time, it's hard to tell their voices apart. But Penelope has a softer voice, when Carmelita has a much stronger, womanly voice.
- Inside Le Paradox's blimp, to the right of Le Paradox, Penelope's emblem is on one of the pieces of the time machine. If players can catch a glimpse of this emblem in Go West Young Raccoon, it would potentially act as a spoiler for her role in Of Mice and Mechs.
- Penelope bears a similar resemblance to Coco Bandicoot from the Crash Bandicoot games. She also bears an abundance of similarities with the Rescue Rangers character Gadget Hackwrench.
- Penelope is the only other female character besides Carmelita and Neyla (as Clock-La) to appear in more than one main game.
- Much like how Panda King and Dimitri turned from evil to good, Penelope is the only character to turn from good to evil (however her personalities suggest her to be more in line of an anti-hero since she was just using Le Paradox).