[[quoteright:358:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/t1-boxart.jpg]]
[[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.

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!!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".
* AndIMustScream: The Hammer Haunts are in eternal torment, judging by their patrol dialogue.
* 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.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: How [[spoiler:the Trickster]] eventually meets his end.
* 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.
* OhCrap: Garrett, when he realizes not only that [[spoiler:The Trickster is real]], but that [[spoiler:The Hammers' crazy prophecy about the end of the world is really happening]] AND [[spoiler:Garrett's own greed made it happen!]]
* 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.
* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything: The Keepers. They have access to prophecy and have master spies in every shadow, but they don't seem to actually act on any of this information, even when catastrophe looms. Somewhat justified, as this is one of the implied reasons Garrett quit.
* 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.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:Constantine]] to Garrett, [[spoiler:in a [[EyeScream memorably horrific fashion]] after revealing himself as The Trickster]].
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