Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / The Art of Theft

Go To
"As I said, I like stealth games. Kicking the door in and holding down 'fire' until all organic matter has fused with the wallpaper feels like it should be a last resort, while getting out unnoticed feels like the real show of skill."
Yahtzee on Stealth Based Games in general

A spinoff of the Chzo Mythos game series by Ben Croshaw. The game features Trilby in his former life as a master thief and your goal, of course, is to steal various things using a grappling hook and other gear.

Unlike the games in the main series, this is a Stealth-Based Game rather than an adventure game. The plot is also unconnected to the Chzo Mythos, apart from Trilby's presence.

This Stealth-Based Game uses the following tropes:

  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: Various outfits are unlocked throughout, such as a reference to the source material, an outfit to make you all but visible when not pressed against the wall in complete darkness, an outfit to eliminate all alarm and taser limits, or an outfit which, combined with the right perk, makes you completely invisible, even in full light.
    • That said, though, both said outfit and the perk are difficult to get. In order to get the outfit, you need to A-rank the story mode, which only leaves the bonus heist that you might not have completed yet, and any level on which you don't already have the Trilby-rank, to use it on, and the perk costs a lot of reputation points. Still worth it, though.
  • Anti-Hero: Much like Garret of the Thief series, Trilby steals partly for himself, but also mostly out of a personal crusade against what he sees as idleness and greed, only stealing things that the owner does not need, and targeting mainly the rich in a Just Like Robin Hood fashion. Yahtzee himself later has noted that this behaviour is slightly delusional, and Trilby eventually discards it during the Chzo Mythos when he realises that this goal is utterly insignificant compared to much, much more terrifying problems...
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Incriminating files you can find at Protocorp include sex scandals, participation in Ku Klux Klan rallies, illegal toxic dumping and covering up work-related injuries, connections to the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, and a complete list of Protocorp employee salaries. "Maybe this will interest middle management."
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: Amoral thief versus the undeserving rich and an evil conspiracy with a penchant for brainwashing.
  • Brainwashed: Almost befalls Trilby.
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": Although Trilby gets money from his various heists, he never actually does anything with it. Instead, in-game skill upgrades are purchased with "Reputation Points," which he earns for particularly impressive exploits.
  • Call-Forward: In the best ending, Trilby decides to go back to England and start breaking into manors of the recently deceased, figuring it would be safer. He does this in 5 Days A Stranger: It backfires horribly.
  • Coat, Hat, Mask: Trilby.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Dominic Perota. You get to steal some files that show just how corrupt he is.
  • Denser and Wackier: The game is much more lighthearted and campy than the Chzo games. For a change, Yahtzee emulated 60's and 70's spy films instead of Lovecraft.
  • Double Agent: Elizabeth Perota. Or rather, a triple agent.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Trilby will automatically abort the mission if he sets off too many alarms or tases too many guards. The upgrade that lets him tase more guards is called "Sadism".
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: Trilby's grolly, which has a grappling hook in it. Amusingly, he doesn't actually fire the grappling hook—all he does with it in this game is use its crook to reach up to pull himself up through thin platforms.
  • The Group: The Company - a secret conspiracy that makes dangerous tech and occasionally brainwashes people for use as secret agents.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The guards' habit of shrugging what they see off as nothing if you get out of their sight in time already applies, but if they do sound the alarm, all they do is stand in place and act scared... Even though they're supposed to apprehend you.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: But being a cat burglar, it's expected.
  • Lighter and Softer: While life as a burglar isn't all sunshine and roses, it's not a patch on some of the horrors of the parent series.
  • MacGuffin: The XJ unit. Its purpose is never explained, but the Company are very keen to have it.
  • Nintendo Hard: But so, so worth it.
  • Parasol of Pain: Trilby's grolly, which has a taser for knocking out guards.
  • Rank Inflation: Your overall grade can be C, B, A or Trilby Hat.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: As Trilby recovers the pictures of his face that were used as blackmail against him and got him involved the whole Company business in the first place, he notices they are incredibly blurry and that even the best analysis equipment would be unable to get anything useful of them, meaning that the Company's threats of revealing his identity were completely empty.
  • Smoke Out: If Trilby has to abandon the heist because he triggered too many alarms or tased too many guards, he'll drop a smoke bomb and disappear.
  • Spiritual Successor: Gunpoint, a game developed by someone who once interviewed Yahtzee, so it's likely that some inspiration was taken.
  • Static Stun Gun: The business end of Trilby's umbrella has a taser in it, which can knock out any human guard in a single zap. You need to use it to disable the Battlesphere at the end of the game, suggesting it's got a much bigger electrical charge than it appears.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: There's no way to identify which wire you need to cut in the fusebox for the first time. It's always the same wire, at least.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: One of the skills you can buy. It lets you move through enclosed spaces, as well as being somewhat quicker than walking.

Alternative Title(s): Trilby The Art Of Theft