Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (Sly Raccoon in PAL territories and Kaitou Sly Cooper in Japan) is a platforming video game created by Sucker Punch Productions, and released on the PlayStation 2 in 2002, subsequently republished as a "Greatest Hits" title. It is the first game in the Sly Cooper series, and received a sequel, Sly 2: Band of Thieves, two years later.
The game managed to get past the one million sales mark it was acknowledged as a commercial hit mainly due to the low production cost of the game. Ever since its release, the game has acquired a strong fan-base.
The game focuses on the eponymous protagonist and master thief, Sly Cooper and his gang, Bentley the Turtle and Murray the Hippo, as they seek out the Fiendish Five to recover his family's "Thievius Raccoonus," a book with the accumulation of all of Sly's ancestors' thieving moves.
The game uses cutscenes to present the background of the eponymous Sly Cooper, a raccoon who is descended from a long line of master thieves. However, that lineage became crippled when a gang known as the Fiendish Five, led by Clockwerk, a cyborg-like owl with a hatred for the Cooper line, killed Sly's father while Sly was eight years old. The Fiendish Five also took the "Thievius Raccoonus", a book recording the journeys and skills of all the ancestors of the Cooper line. The Thievius Raccoonus was split into five pieces among the Fiendish Five, and dispersed to their various personal lairs. Sly was taken to an orphanage where he became close friends with the intelligent Bentley, and the happy-go-lucky Murray. Sly and his friends eventually left the orphanage and formed the Cooper Gang, pulling off amazing heists and robberies. Their activities attracted the attention of Interpol Inspector, Carmelita Fox, who made it her mission to capture Sly. Sly takes a subtle romantic interest in her.
At the present of the game, Sly learns of the location of the Fiendish Five by stealing the information from Carmelita's office, and plots with Bentley and Murray to retrieve the stolen book. Sly takes down every member of the Fiendish Five each time, recovering several pages of the book and reassembling it piece by piece until finally, he discovers the location of Clockwerk's lair, all the while being furiously chased by Carmelita. After an assault on Clockwerk's fortress using Bentley's and Murray's help, Sly is able to defeat Clockwerk and fully reassemble the "Thievius Raccoonus"; though is quickly captured by Carmelita. However, Sly suddenly kisses Carmelita, distracting her, and after touching her lips where Sly kissed her, she discovers that Sly had handcuffed her to the catwalk while he was kissing her. While she throws a fit of rage, Sly and his gang are able to make their escape. After the credits, a severely wounded and seemingly dead Clockwerk still seems to be active as he opens his right eye while floating in a river of lava; showing a little effort of struggle to survive.
- Prologue: Police Headquarters
- Tide of Terror
- Sunset Snake Eyes
- Vicious Voodoo
- Fire in the Sky
- The Cold Heart of Hate
- Sly Cooper, voiced by Kevin Miller — He is a young adult male raccoon who is part of a long line of master thieves. Early in his life, he witnessed the death of his mother and father when the Fiendish Five stole his family's Thievius Raccoonus. He was forced into an orphanage, where he met his best friends, Bentley and Murray. With them, he forms his gang of thieves, the Cooper Gang. He is nimblest of the gang, so he is sent out the most on missions. He is therefore the most played character. He uses a hooked cane, a family heirloom, as a multi-purpose tool. (Age: 18)
- Murray, voiced by Chris Murphy — He is a strong, muscular, but slightly dim-witted and rotund hippopotamus who serves as the getaway driver for Sly's gang. He met both Sly and Bentley when the three of them were growing up in the same orphanage. Murray's driving skills came from his job as a pizza delivery boy, during which he hot wired cars and was eventually fired for eating too many pizzas. Murray is quite large and has an enormous appetite. (Age: 18)
- Bentley, voiced by Matt Olsen — The brains of Sly's gang, Bentley is a turtle, a trusted friend of Sly, and an expert in computer-hacking and other electronic devices. He's also quite well-read, often stating "I've read about this..." when deducing something new and alien to the team. Bentley is also a loyal friend of Sly's. He met Sly and Murray in the orphanage. (Age: 18)
- Carmelita, voiced by Roxanna Ortega — Carmelita Fox acts as a love-hate interest to Sly. She is the inspector of Interpol and always chases after Sly, attempting to arrest him and put him in solitary confinement. Of course, deep down, she has romantic feelings for Sly. (Age: 21)
- It is, however possible to play with these characters in different settings, with Murray's two racing missions in the second and fourth episode, Bentley's hacking mission, and Carmelita's shooting mission, both in the final episode.
The Fiendish Five
Sir Raleigh was born into a life of nobility and privilege, but grew bored with it. On a whim, he tried his hand at piracy, and discovered that he enjoyed it. Becoming addicted to crime, his tinkering genius earned him a seat in the Fiendish Five as Chief Engineer because of his fondness to make monster machines. After the attack on the Cooper home was completed, Raleigh took off with the notes of Rioichi Cooper. Years later, Raleigh had established himself near the Isle O'Wrath, situated in the center of his artificially created Welsh Triangle. Using his Storm Machine to wreck the local weather conditions, Raleigh also wrecked a large number of ships.
Muggshot is a massive anthropomorphic American Bulldog. As a young dog he was the 'runt' of the litter, and was frequently bullied by larger dogs. He found solace only in mobster movies, and came to admire the tough, brutal criminals and how they took no guff from anyone. Inspired, he strove to be like them and started to lift weights and take steroids. Growing to massive size, especially in the arms, he eventually took revenge on his former tormentors and became a well-known enforcer and gunman, eventually being recruited by Clockwerk and taking part in the raid on the Cooper household that killed Sly's father. Muggshot took the section of the Thievius Raccoonus that contained "Tennessee Kid" Cooper's notes on rail walking and rail sliding, liking the pretty pictures but not really understanding all the big words. He eventually parted ways with Clockwerk, much later taking over Mesa City in Utah, installing a massive casino there and driving off the vast majority of the residents.
A large, anthropomorphic Haitian Alligator who came from a long family of voodoo mystics. She was feared throughout her childhood for her abilities, becoming incredibly lonely and finding solace only in her undead companions. Growing up, this loneliness turned to bitterness; Mz.Ruby refining her art until Clockwerk recruited her as the mystic specialist for the Fiendish Five. She took part in the raid on the Cooper house, taking the section of the Thievius Raccoonus that contained Slytunkhamen's notes on how to become invisible. Once this job was over, she went out on her own, intent on using her magic to punish the world for fearing her as a child. According to her own words, her plans were to harvest bones and body parts and create an army of zombies to take over Mexico.
Panda King resided in the Kunlun Mountains of China. He loved fireworks, and invested in them. One night, he showed them to the leader. However, the leader was not pleased, depressing the Panda King. Enraged, he started using his firework creation to bury villages in snow. This skill is what made him the demolitions expert of Clockwerk's Fiendish Five.
Sly Cooper is primarily a platforming video game presented in third-person that incorporates stealth elements; as noted by an Official PlayStation Magazine retrospective. The game "tries to mix one-hit-kill arcade action with Splinter Cell sneaking." The player primarily controls the title character, Sly Cooper as he moves between each lair of the Fiendish Five and the sub-sections of those lairs, avoiding security systems and the watchful eyes of the minions. While Sly is equipped with a cane to attack his foes, Sly typically cannot take even a single hit before collapsing; thus, the player is urged to use stealthy maneuvers to move around potential threats or to silently take down a foe from behind.
To assist in these stealth moves, the player is shown special points colored with blue sparkles of light, identified in the game as Sly's "thief senses". The player can trigger actions at these points, such as sidling along a narrow ledge or wall, landing on a pointed object such an antenna or streetlight, using the cane to grapple onto something, or climbing along the length of a narrow pole or pipe all by pressing the circle button. The player must avoid detection by security systems or minions, otherwise an alarm will sound and the player will either have to destroy the alarm, avoid or defeat foes alerted by the alarm, or hide for several seconds until the alarm resets. The game uses a dynamic music system that is tied in with the state of alarm in the area. The music will increase in volume and pacing when Sly attacks or is detected, and then will quiet down as the disturbance goes away.
Each sub-section of a lair contains a number of Clues in a Bottle, which when all are collected, with the help of Bentley,will reveal the combination to a safe in the level that contains a page from the Thievius Raccoonus (one of the vaults in the level would contain the level's blueprint). These pages grant Sly new moves to use to aid either in movement, stealth, or combat, such as creating a decoy, or dropping an explosive hat. Defeating each of the bosses also gives Sly moves, these are typically necessary to pass later levels. Defeating enemies or destroying objects in the levels generates coins, and coins can also be found scattered about the levels; for every 100 coins, Sly gains a Lucky Charm that will allow him to take extra hits, or if he currently has two, he'll get an extra life. If Sly collapses and loses a life, the current sub-level will be restarted or at a special "repeater" that acts as a checkpoint. If the player loses all of Sly's lives, they must restart that bosses' lair from the start. Besides this gameplay, there are mini-games that include driving levels (based on Murray), shooting to protect Murray as he ascends certain levels, and a cyber-tank game representing a hacking attempt by Bentley. One notable boss battle includes a rhythm-based sequence.
Levels can be returned to at any time to gain additional coins or to seek out special moves. When a level is completed, and all of the clue bottles and the secret moves are found, the player can then attempt a "Master Thief Sprint", a timed sprint on the level to try to beat a set time. The player can unlock additional artistic content by completing all the levels in this fashion.
Bringing up the binocucom will be the best way for finding clues and breakables. The binocucom won't move during the story lines, but the heads in the binocucom can be moved. The left stick is for Bentley and Murray, and the right stick is for Sly.
- Raleigh's level was originally going to be completely underwater with a ship that could turn wings.
- Sly originally had a cane with multiple unique functions, including a sort of water cone that could reveal a hidden maze with the spray of some water, freeze crabs, making them crust over and die, and freeze fish to create walkways.
- During development, Sly was mostly immune to water. Sly had a funny walk, sort of a squeaky cartoon- developers commenting on him possibly being a "burn victim, back problems, or fused spine."
- The original coins were dancing cash bundles, but were changed since the bills would have to be different colors for different countries.
- The cash used to fly into Sly's pouch, which was a satchel around his left arm.
- During development, there were also a lot of money bags.
- The Panda King's level was originally going to be the first level. That is why it is such an easy boss fight. His page from the Thievius Raccoonus was a "climb move". For proof, the information is in the Sly Cooper: ATTR demo.
- The 100% speed run record is 2h 55m, while the any % (just completing the game, not collecting everything) speed run record is 1h 4m.
The game was critically acclaimed as a "top notch" platformer; particularly praised for its platforming/stealth gameplay, its engaging story, and its cell-shaded visuals, which gave a "noir" feel to the otherwise lighthearted game. On the downside, the game was criticized for its short length, though many reviews have stated that apart from finding all the pages of the "Thievius Raccoonus," the game has moderate replay value.
- IGN: 8.5/10 (Received "Editor's Choice") 
- GameSpot: 7.8/10 
- Game Revolution: B+ 
- Gaming Age: B 
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