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There's a new thief in town!
"On this mission, I would either become a master thief like my ancestors before me... or fail, and allow my family name to bite the dust!"
Sly Cooper
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The first game of the Sly Cooper series, released in 2002 for the PlayStation 2 console. Also known as Sly Raccoon in European and Australian territories.

Young raccoon thief Sly Cooper is the latest member of the Cooper Clan, a lineage of master thieves who listed all their thieving skills and knowledge over the years in a grand book known as the Thievius Raccoonus. Years ago, a rival gang known as the Fiendish Five killed Sly's parents, stole the book, tore out its pages and scattered them to their lairs across the world.

Now, having formed a gang with his old orphanage pals, the tech-genius Bentley and getaway driver Murray, Sly must recover the pages of the Thievius Raccoonus from the Fiendish Five through prowling their territories and taking out their operations. Meanwhile, Sly and the gang must keep ahead of Inspector Carmelita Fox, an Interpol police officer who vows to one day capture Sly and put him away for his crimes.

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This game has the examples of:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Sir Raleigh the Frog only wears a hat, gloves, and spats.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The game uses "Black Jack" as the theme song for the Japanese version.
  • Anti-Frustration Features; The game is hard enough as is, so it throws you a bone here and there.
    • If you die enough times on a level, the game will grant you one or even two extra horseshoes off the bat, or even an extra life on rare occasions.
    • The Game Over is basically a formality in this game, and only sets you back in the level you died in last and allows you to keep what you already collected.
    • There's some minor Dynamic Difficulty at play in some levels, making certain enemies vanish if the player is failing too many times on one level.
    • Some of the Thievius Raccoonus pages provide very convenient gameplay bonuses, such as not losing a horseshoe from falling into water or a bottomless pit, or being able to move while staying invisible.
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  • Attack Its Weak Point: In the final battle, Clockwerk needs to be hit in the areas where Carmelita has recently shot him with her shock pistol.
  • The Backwards Я: Used in the title of The Cold Heart of Hate. Or more properly, Tне СФLD НеДЯT Фf НДTε.
  • Beast in the Maze: Mz. Ruby's giant snake, which is contained in a magically sealed area. When Sly had to traverse the swamp it resided in, the final third of the level involved him needing to keep ahead of it once it appeared onscreen.
  • Big Bad: While every episode has an Arc Villain, the game's Big Bad is Clockwerk.
  • Big "OMG!": Bentley belts one out in "Descent into Danger" when he first sees the body part-laden waterfall.
  • Breath Weapon: Sir Raleigh's welder mooks use their equipment to breathe fire in Sly's direction.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Mz. Ruby's voodoo-themed Haiti level.
  • Bullet Time: The Slow move, which allows Sly to slow everything down to a crawl and thus giving an effect like this.
  • Character Name and the Noun Phrase: The title up on top of the page says it all.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: An eerie owl-shaped silhouette appears in three of the four Cooper ancestor scenes. In the cutscene that plays after defeating Panda King, Sly even points them out, and they're revealed to be Clockwerk.
  • Death Dealer: One of the enemies in Mesa City throws a spread of cards at you.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Name of the level "Flaming Temple of Flame."
  • Derelict Graveyard: The level "The Gunboat Graveyard," which is home to various junked vessels, including old and modern ships, submarines, and planes.
  • Drop the Hammer: The weapon of choice for the mallet-wielding walrus guards, a.k.a "Thor McCracken", from "Tide of Terror".
  • Early Installment Weirdness: This game was vastly different to every Sly that followed it.
    • It plays like a more traditional platformer, where you simply have to get to the end of the stage and collect as many keys and bottles as you can, compared to the later games where you have to complete jobs to set up a big heist (while still collecting bottles).
    • The game's story is very simplistic and lighthearted with only one major twist at the end. In contrast the sequels go for much bigger stories, a darker tone and more twists before the endgame.
    • Sly is the character you play as for roughly 85% of the game; Murray is only playable during the racing minigames, Bentley gets one hacking stage to play, and you get to shoot enemies as Carmelita in one stage near the endgame. Compare that to the sequels, which include all of the Cooper Gang, as well as a slew of other characters, to play as.
    • Murray is not the Large Ham Blood Knight "The Murray" he would become from the second game onwards, being more of an example of The Load who was just there to drive the gang around. His role was also much smaller.
    • Every playable character and enemy is a One-Hit Point Wonder unless you get some lucky charms to protect you. In addition, this is the only game that has extra lives.
    • New moves are found by reclaiming Thievius Raccoonus pages instead of being bought off ThiefNet with coins, which themselves are only used to grant horseshoes and extra lives.
    • The artstyle is also different compared to the later games which had a more consistent look.
    • The game's soundtrack has a more techno vibe to it when compared to the smooth, jazzy beats of the later games.
  • Effortless Achievement: "Sucker Punched!" from The Sly Collection. You just need to boot up the game to receive this bronze trophy.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: This is the only game in the series, so far, that does not end with a Bittersweet or Downer Ending.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The Stinger has the decapitated Clockwerk lighting up one of his eyes, frightening Murray.
  • Enemy Mine: Carmelita pulls this off near the end of the game after serving as one of the main antagonists for most of it. Though it would not be until the fourth game that she finally allies with the gang.
  • Epunymous Title: The game was titled Sly Raccoon in Europe.
  • Exposition Fairy: Bentley and Murray serve this role to Sly, communicating advice to him from far off.
  • Expressive Health Bar: As you whale on the bosses and their health gets lower and lower, their faces go from angry, to worried, to eventually, bruised and beaten up.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: Muggshot's flashlight guards do this if they manage to hit you. Muggshot likewise indulges with his twin machine guns.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Clockwerk's motivation is that he is driven by jealously and hatred of the Coopers being more famous thieves than himself. So much so that he willingly turned himself into a robotic owl so he could live long enough to overtake their reputation.
  • Hero Antagonist: Carmelita Fox, who's an Inspector of some sort that lets her travel all over the world, typically chasing Sly.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Sir Raleigh's base of operations resides in the Isle O'Wrath of the Welsh Triangle.
  • Interface Spoiler: In the controls menu, the third option you can change is for the jet pack. This doesn't come into play until the final boss.
  • Law of 100: Collect 100 coins to get a horseshoe. If you have one horseshoe, your horseshoe will turn gold, denoting that you can take three hits before dying. If you already have a gold horseshoe, you'll get an extra life. If you have 99 lives and a gold horseshoe, you won't be able to collect any coins; they will also cap at 99.
  • Lawful Stupid: Sly actually calls Carmelita out on her dogged pursuit of him through the China stage, ignoring the large-scale, illegal fireworks factory and how the Panda King destroyed a village because she's so fixated on arresting him.
  • Lovable Coward: Murray usually drives the getaway van, and fears for his life in the field, but he's still a Big Fun goofball when he's not afraid.
  • Mercy Lead: Carmelita offers Sly a ten-second head start at the end. Sly spends nine of those seconds standing there, and then kisses her on the tenth one — which distracts her enough that she doesn't see him handcuffing her to a railing.
  • Mercy Mode: If you die enough in a level, the game will give you a free horseshoe or two, similarly to how Crash Bandicoot games after the first will give you a free Aku Aku mask.
  • Nintendo Hard: Thanks to One-Hit Point Wonder and unforgiving levels that are practically designed to make you tear your hair out.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Sly, as well as the mooks, die after one hit. Sly can collect up to two extra in the form of silver and gold horseshoes by collecting 100 coins or just finding them in the game world.
  • Ominous Owl: Clockwerk, an immortal, mechanical owl who is determined to eliminate the Cooper line and overtake their thieving reputation.
  • Power Up Letdown: The Fast move. While moving around quicker is a nice bonus, its useless in combat because everything else speeds up to match Sly's movement as well. Fortunately, the Slow move fills in for it in that regard.
  • Regional Bonus: The North American version lets you unlock the alternate opening from the Japanese version. The European version also lets you unlock the Japanese ending.
  • Running Gag: Every time you beat a boss and Carmelita arrests them, the headlines of the newspaper make a crack about how attractive she is, referring to her as "Hot Stuff With Badge", "Hot Chick With Gun", or the like. Similarly, the top-right of the paper always reads "Dude! That's [adjective]!"
  • Salvage Pirates: Sir Raleigh's operation depends upon scavenging vessels shipwrecked in the storm of his own creation.
  • Sequel Hook: Clockwerk's eye lights up in his body's mechanical ruins within the volcano.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: In addition to the game's opening, Clockwerk's shadowy figure appeared in the background of photos of Sly's ancestors. Sly soon began to realize this was no Contrived Coincidence.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Towards the end of the game, and again in the fourth game, Sly finds Carmelita, trapped in the Big Bad's lair. Despite Bentley mentioning that it's an obvious trap, the plot will only progress when Sly tries to rescue her.
  • Time Trial: The Master Thief Sprints, accessed by collecting an hourglass that appears near the start of a normal platforming level after completing it. You're given a limited time to reach the end of the level, and any horseshoes you bring with you are stripped away. Beating the time gives you a developer commentary for that level, as well as a bit of percentage toward 100% Completion.invoked
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: This exchange from learning the Spire Jump:
    Bentley: To landeth safely upon diminutive points, leapeth lively and presseth the triggering device with the round geometrical object emblazoned upon it.
    Sly: So... jump and hit the circle button to land on narrow spots.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: A couple of the Thievius Raccoonus pages are required for Sly to do ridiculously trivial and specific things, like rolling and swimming. The rest of the books benefits are specific enough to avert this, though. However, you’ll have to beat the game to get the last one — Clockwerk was able to write the last code himself and Bentley won’t be able to translate it until he’s been defeated.

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Clockwerk

Clockwerk is the leader of the Fiendish Five, immortal enemy of the Cooper Clan and the Final Boss of the first Sly Cooper game.

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