Video Game: Thief: Deadly Shadows

Thief: Deadly Shadows is the third game of the Thief series. It was developed in 2004 by Ion Storm, with many Looking Glass employees moving there, and published by Eidos Interactive. A new sequel didn't emerge until a decade later.

Along with missions like in the first two games, you can now control Garrett through The City to go between areas and missions, pickpocket occasional passersby and obtain additional sidequests. It also included perspective switches and the ability to stand against walls as a stealth mechanic.

The same year also saw a mobile phone tie-in.


This game includes examples of:

  • Ascended Fanboy: By this time, Garrett seems to have a lot of admirers among co-workers as well as foes. One petty crook tries to pass himself off as Garrett to a possible customer (and fails). A female example that occurs is Marla Madison, a young fence that is basically Garrett's "greatest fangirl". Predictably, Garrett has a good laugh at the impostor's expence and is fairly annoyed by Marla's ditzy advances.
  • Bedlam House/Abandoned Hospital: The Shalebridge Cradle was this before it became an abandoned wellspring of evil, but after it was an orphanage. Notes left around the place tell how bad it was. Word of God (Jordan Thomas, overall director and designer of the level) was that its creators honestly meant well and were quite forward-thinking, but tremendous costs, the class divide, primitive techniques and a series of disasters turned the place into a nightmarish cage. For example, a clockmaker checked himself in after a nervous episode, was treated, and pronounced fit to leave. Due to a mix-up, he was then accidentally given extremely painful electroshock therapy, turning him into a massive headcase who had to be locked up with the most dangerous patients.
  • The Blank: The Shalebridge Cradle has the staff of the orphanage-turned-asylum, shadowy silhouettes created from the memory of the Cradle, representing the faceless authority of the adults keeping order between the children and patients.
  • Body Horror: Pretty much anything to do with The Hag. She does much worse than eat children alive. In fact, eating a child alive would be kind compared to what she does to at least one. Then there's her body, which is a vaguely humanoid mass of flesh studded with eyes and mouths, most of which do not appear to be under her control.
  • Book Ends: Ends the same way that The Dark Project began, only Garrett stated Artemus' lines at this time.
  • Crystal Ball: First Keeper Orland keeps a scrying bowl in his office so he may spy on other Keepers.
  • Cute Ghost Girl: Lauryl from the infamously haunted Shalebridge Cradle isn't all that scary once you get to know her. She's a subversion of sorts, since she appears as a ghostly blob of light with the shadow of a small girl. She's helpful and kindly, showing Garrett various clues about the Cradle's dark past and guiding him out. After both of them leave the Cradle and enter the alleys of Old Quarter, the guards start fleeing in terror at the sight of Lauryl's ghostly appearance. For once, Garrett can take it easy with stealth in the City's streets. Funny stuff.
  • Due to the Dead: Inspector Drept has a plaque in his office honoring Lauryl, promising to avenge her death.
  • Fate and Prophecy Tropes: Prophecy has always had an important place in the series, but as Deadly Shadows focuses strongly on the Keepers, this particular game is swarming with applicable tropes.
    • Blind Seer: Interpreter Caduca is blind, but can "read" the glyphs by touching them. Blindness isn't a requirement of the position, and her predecessor praised her for the unique clarity she had when reading the glyphs in this manner when he recommended her for promotion into his role.
    • The Fatalist: The Keepers, right up until they reach a prophecy that suggests the end of their role. Then they're all in favor of trying to Screw Destiny. Garrett fits this more by the end of the game than they do.
    • Not So Omniscient After All: The Keepers love to play The Omniscient and their Omniscient Morality License for all it's worth, given they have a vast body of accurate (if vague) prophecy that they've used to successfully influence the City over centuries. This game is one big Not So Omniscient... moment for them as the edifice of prophecy starts to fall down around their ears by prophesying its own end.
    • The Prophecy: Prophecy is a mess. It's not a single prophecy, but untold hundreds of fragmentary prophecies uncovered through scribes engaging in automatic writing, as well as from ancient books. Most of them refer to one another, providing clues for how to interpret each other so that with intensive study one might glean a useful fact about the future. "Useful" if you can guess accurately who they even refer to, since they identify people not by names but by titles like "Brethren and Betrayer," which may get reused across different prophecies as different people play the same roles. (Garrett was almost certainly the Brethren and Betrayer of earlier games, but it seems to point to the Big Bad in this game.) And some of the glyphs are rewriting themselves immediately after being written.
    • Prophecies Are Always Right: They're often vague, but glyph prophecies haven't been proven conclusively wrong once in the series. Garrett has managed to thwart the previous two dark ages warned about by the glyphs, but the prophecies are not merely warning the Keepers about the Unwritten Times, they are coming.
    • Prophecy Twist: Several. A big one in particular is that when "time stops" then the "evil one(s)" will be pointed out. Garrett stops the clock tower, but in so doing accidentally causes it to collapse and point straight at First Keeper Orland's office in the Keeper Compound. But it wasn't pointing at Orland so much as the Keepers in general, calling them out on the dangers of their secrecy and complacency.
    • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Keepers want to watch what happens, because they don't think it's their place to get involved, even when glyphs and events refer to them directly. Their reluctance to act enables certain prophecies to come true.
    • Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: Firmly on the side of Because Destiny Says So but the Unwritten Times come with the destruction of glyph magic, suggesting all along prophecy would eventually screw itself.
    • Tomes of Prophecy and Fate: Hundreds if not thousands of tomes of prophecy collected in the Keeper Compound, with one that Garrett has to find (along with a magic key to open it). The Big Bad has spent years stealing away important tomes with secrets of her defeat.
    • Vagueness Is Coming: The "Unwritten Times" where the Keepers' prophecies fail are foretold in some of their rarest tomes. There's precious little detail on what these Times actually involve or how to avert them. Garrett causes them because it's literally the only way to stop the Big Bad now that she's warded herself to invulnerability with glyph magic.
    • Waif Prophet: Translator Gamall, Caduca's apprentice. She is very young but has uncanny insight in translating the glyphs despite her age, though she has been shown to require correction from Caduca at least once. Subverted as she is secretly the Hag, the true villain of the game who used shapeshifting magic to steal the form of a young girl years ago so she could insinuate herself into the Keepers as an apprentice and work her way into a position of power and control. Gamall carefully crafted everything about this persona.
    • You Can't Fight Fate: The Unwritten Times may not have come true if the villain hadn't worked so hard to prevent it. Everything she did resulted in the pieces being in the right place for Garrett to find them and put together her secrets.
    • Humanoid Abomination: Gamall's true form.
  • Hub Level: The City streets that Garret visits between missions. This is a departure from earlier games in the series, where Garret can go to fence his ill-gotten goods, pick up a little extra loot, buy the tools of his trade, and even do a few Side Quests should the mood take him.
  • Lockpicking Minigame: Tumblers are represented by three to six rings (depending on the lock complexity) that appear in the bottom-right corner of the screen when picking a lock. Each ring has an opening on it that is invisible at first and has to be located with the mouse-controlled pick based on subtle clues (like sounds made by the lock). Once the opening on the outermost ring is found, its tumbler is set, and Garret moves on to the next one; setting all tumblers opens the lock.
  • Fertile Blood: The intro for the first mission dealing with Pagans shows a Pagan cutting his palm in order to "water" a plant, which then grows exponentially faster than normal.
  • Foreshadowing: A very subtle and well-done job throughout the whole game foreshadowing the Hag as the true villain. Frequent but low-key references create a constant background hum that builds up the feel of a creepy urban legend very effectively.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Garrett can't swim anymore. Thankfully, no one else can, either, not even the Big Bad.
  • Title Drop: A Keeper prophecy talks of "deadly shadows" rising.
  • Villainous Breakdown: "Come back to me.... come back to me...."