[[caption-width-right:358:"What the hell is a [[UnusualEuphemism taffer]], anyway?"]]

''Thief: The Dark Project'' is a 1998 first-person stealth game, and the first of the ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'' series. It was designed by Creator/LookingGlassStudios and published by Eidos Interactive.

It begins with Garrett as a young street urchin being found by an organization called the Keepers, who taught him in the ways of stealth and balance before he left the organization to pursue a career as thief. He soon finds himself entangled in a conflict between the forces of order and chaos.

The following year, ''Thief Gold'' was released, adding three new levels and a host of bugfixes.

Along with ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' (released the same year), it is regarded as one of the first video games to pioneer the modern stealth genre.

!!This game provides examples of:
* AbsurdlySpaciousSewer: The Downwind Thieves' Guild is headquartered in the sewers beneath the Overlord's Fancy tavern and illegal casino.
* AdvancingWallOfDoom: A Keeper outpost has one as a booby trap.
* AffablyEvil: Constantine, [[spoiler:at least until [[TheReveal his reveal]]]].
* AlwaysNight: There are only two missions set during daytime, and even in those, you spend most of your time indoors or in an abandoned old mine.
* AncientTomb: The missions "Down in the Bonehoard" and "The Lost City".
* BigBad: [[spoiler:Constantine, a.k.a. [[TricksterArchetype The]] [[DevilInDisguise Trickster]].]]
* DevilButNoGod: Partially averted. [[spoiler:We never see [[BigGood The Builder]], but we do see (and kill) [[BigBad The Trickster]].]]
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: By the end of the game, you [[spoiler:kill The Trickster, the devil figure of the entire in-game universe, with a magic bomb]].
* EldritchLocation: Besides the Old Quarter and the Lost City, Constantine's mansion. The first few halls are quite conventional, but once you infiltrate it deeper, the weirdness starts, and it's quite unsettling.
* EyeScream: Garrett suffered from one [[spoiler:when the Trickster betrayed him]]. We later see a brief, detailed close-up of the shriveled, bloody gap in his face.
* MarathonLevel: The Thieves' Guild level. First there's the restaurant, then the casino, then the sewer passage to Reuben's place, then...you get the picture.
* NightmareFuel: ''Return to the Cathedral'' and the Hammer Haunts. Oh Builder, the Haunts.
* PlotCoupons: At one point, Garrett has to find the four keys to a locked cathedral.
* RefusalOfTheCall: Garrett does not want to be a Keeper or to be involved in their plots. [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive This doesn't stop The Keepers from seeking Garrett out.]]
-->'''Artemus:''' You cannot run from life as you did from us, Garrett. Life has a way of finding you, no matter how artistic a sneak you are.
-->'''Garrett:''' Tell my ''friends'' that I don't need their secret book, or their glyph warnings, or their messengers. Tell them I'm through. Tell them it's
-->'''Artemus:''' ''(after Garrett departs)'' I will tell them this: [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive Nothing has changed. All is as written.]] [[spoiler:The Trickster is dead.]] [[SequelHook Beware the dawn of the Metal Age.]]
* {{Retirony}}: A variation - Garrett expresses his intention to retire after stealing the Eye from the cathedral in the first game, before [[spoiler:the Trickster betrays him and leaves him for dead.]]
* TheOrder: The Hammerites, a group of anti-Pagan, anti-nature, intensely conservative[[ChurchMilitant Church Militants]] that Garrett runs into on occasion. However, they're not as much of a problem in this game as they are in the sequel.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Well, you can either simply bypass guards and/or knock them out with your blackjack. ''Or'' you could run around stabbing them from behind, knocking them out and throwing them off cliffs/into water to drown/into lava...
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: Only on harder difficulties does doing the above yield a mission failure (usually, some missions require no death whatsoever), but it's still there.
* ThatOneLevel: Escape. All the thieving/robbing gameplay up to that point is thrown out in favor of a long, long, ''long' combat sequence with nary but your sword.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:Constantine]] to Garrett, [[spoiler:in a [[EyeScream memorably horrific fashion]] after revealing himself as The Trickster]].