Thief II: The Metal Age is the second game in the Thief series, which honed both the original's stealth gameplay, and its Immersive Sim mechanics. It was also, sadly, the final game created by Looking Glass Studios before it filed for bankruptcy. Four years later, another sequel emerged, developed by Ion Storm.
Following the events of The Dark Project, Garrett returned back to his old profession as he observed more technological advances in the hands of the Mechanists, an offshoot to the Order of the Hammer. When overhearing its leader making deals with a corrupt sheriff, Garrett sought to investigate the intentions of the new sect.
Since Looking Glass folded very shortly after release, Thief II Gold, which similarly to Thief Gold will add levels and bugfixes, never saw release, but there have been attempts by fans to do a remake based on existing documentation.
This game provides examples of:
- All in a Row: A few groups of police and guards act this way, e.g. Cavador's bodyguards follow Cavador.
- Automatic Crossbows: The Mechanists sometimes wield small pistol-styled auto-crossbows.
- Bad Moon Rising: The second-to-last mission, "Masks", has a red full moon in the night sky.
- Bank Robbery: The sixth mission, "First City Bank and Trust", is one of these. Oddly enough, the main target is not money, but an incriminating recording. Still, there's plenty of cash to be picked up.
- Bittersweet Ending: On the sweet side Garrett and Viktoria succeed in sabotaging Karras' plans to destroy the world and remake it in his own insane, metallic image. Saving the City, the world, killing the madman and bringing the downfall of the Mechanist order in the process. On the bitter side, Viktoria is forced to sacrifice herself in order to do so, devastating Garrett. To make things worse, Garrett is informed that more trouble awaits him in the Keepers' glyph books.
- Bilingual Bonus: The name of the Mechanist's archaeological excavations in the Lost City is named Cavador, i.e. "digger" in Spanish and in Portuguese note .
- Blood Oath: When Viktoria and Garrett forge a truce in Thief II, they seal it with this. It's more of a "Sap Oath" in Viktoria's case, since she's a dryad and bleeds sticky green fluid.
- Blow Gun: A certain type of (relatively harmless) enemy in the service of the Pagans uses them.
- Body Horror:
- The Mechanist Servants. Being made into one of these is so horrific, some will thank you for killing them.
- The Necrotic Mutox. You never actually see it used on a person, but you hear it. The person it is being demonstrated for reacts with both horror and fascination.
- Can't Refuse the Call Anymore: After spending his life running away from it, after Viktoria's death Garrett finally resigns himself to it.
- Cool, but Inefficient: The grenade-launching robots can be tricked into destroying themselves by firing their grenades into the wall they are pressed against. Also, they can be disabled by water arrows in the open boiler on their back. This weakness is mentioned within the game; apparently the smith just never got around to fixing it. What's more strange is that those big ugly death machines can be broken easily by Stuff Blowing Up (if you have enough), but the annoying "steel cherubs" cannot.
- Cutting the Knot: "Life Of The Party" has a locked armory with the key inside the Angelwatch Tower, forcing you to backtrack if you wants the goodies inside. Or with a bit of snooping earlier in the level, you can find an explosive Sunburst Device you can use to blow open the door.
- Dead Man's Chest: In "Precious Cargo" where you find the wreck haunted by a pirate's ghost.
- Deadpan Snarker: As usual, Garrett shows this off a lot. Perhaps the best example occurs when Viktoria nonchalantly declares he'll join them and help them. Garrett immediately blurts out "Join you ?" in what sounds like a mix of surprise and irritation, and then follows it up with a sarcastic "Not exactly my first choice...".
- Dirty Cop: Sheriff Truart, but not in The City's traditional way. The organized crime in The City is used to buying off the authorities, but Truart has been on an almost zealous crusade to bring The City's organized crime to heel. However, this is only because Karras has already bought him off for a price no petty crime lord could match. For his part, Truart simply sees the law as an instrument of will, not of justice.
- Elaborate Underground Base: The Markham's Isle complex in the mission "Precious Cargo".
- First-Person Ghost: As in The Dark Project.
- Friendly Enemy: Garrett and Viktoria are a somewhat odd case. Garrett sees Viktoria as the monster who betrayed and mutilated him, while Viktoria sees him as a jerk who ruined everything and slew her god. Only because Karras is the threat do they work together at all. There is absolutely no alternative. They do gradually grow more fond of each other, though, making it closer to this trope than just a usual Enemy Mine.
- Gender Is No Object: In contrast to The Dark Project, this game features female private guards, female City Watch, and female Mechanists. The later in particular is a departure from the all-male Order of the Hammer they spun off from, and evidence that they are not beholden to older Hammerite dogmas.
- Gratuitous Latin: The Mechanists called their submarine the Cetus Amicus, Latin for "friendly whale".
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Karras planned to unleash the Necrotic Mutox gas on the City, wiping it clean of all life while he is safe in his isolated cathedral and then repopulate with mechanical creatures. Garret turns this around on him by sending a signal which calls the Servants carrying the gas into the cathedral where it can be let loose to destroy Karras and be contained without affecting anything else.
- I'm Cold... So Cold...: The Servants will occasionally utter the phrase "So cold...So very cold..." Considering the nature of their servitude, one can imagine why they feel like that.
- Insecurity Camera: The Mechanist surveillance cameras can be shut down easily by finding their fuse boxes and pulling a lever or two. However, if there's one central generator room for all of them, then it's usually well guarded or pretty hard to sneak into. An alternative, much noisier way of disabling the cameras, is to simply blow the cameras up with your fire arrows or by placing an explosive mine under them and triggering it with your broadhead arrows.
- Mission-Pack Sequel
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Mechanist servants.
- Remixed Level:
- "Ambush" has Garrett escaping the City Watch in the streets between a pub and his house; "Trace the Courier" takes place in the same streets, but this time Garrett is tailing a City Watch lieutenant, Mosley, to find out about a letter she's delivering.
- "Kidnap" is a heavily-altered remake of "The Lost City" from the first game.
- "Casing the Joint" and "Masks" are nearly identical and occur back-to-back. The only major difference is that in "Masks" you can fully explore the third floor of the mansion both missions take place in, whereas you could only look around a bit in the previous mission.
- Sequel Hook: The ending cutscene.Garrett: All this... it was written?Artemus: All.Artemus: All is, as it was written.
Garrett: And there's more?Artemus: Yes.
- Shout-Out: One of the items you need to unlock doors in Blackmail is called a Metal Gear.
- Steampunk: Of the three games in the trilogy, this one has the most overtly steampunk aesthetics (with some Art Deco mixed in for good measure), in no small part thanks to the presence and influence of the Mechanists.
- Take Your Time: The objective description for "Eavesdropping" stressing that the meeting you need to listen in on will begin at midnight makes it sound like it's going to be a Timed Mission, but in reality midnight conveniently arrives only when you've made it to one of the doors to the conference hall that the meeting takes place in.
- Thank the Maker: The Mechanist robots reeeally love this trope. "Praise Karras", "All should hear the words of Karras, the words of Karras...", etc. A full list of the phrases can be seen here. This trope is slightly played with though - every robot uses a voice track recorded by Karras himself.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Several levels require Garrett to get in and out without killing anyone. Higher difficulty levels require Garrett to complete several of the missions without even so much as knocking someone unconscious.
- Trail of Blood: Literally the name of a mission, wherein Garrett pursues a wounded Pagan agent through a destroyed Pagan village, and then through the Maw of Chaos from the original game. The trail goes on for so long that Garrett begins to hope that the agent doesn't run out of blood. He does, but not before leading Garrett right to Viktoria.
- Turned Against Their Masters: How Garrett defeats Karras.
- Underground Level: Parts of "Trail of Blood", parts of "Precious Cargo", "Kidnap".
- Would Hit a Girl: Depending on the player's decisions - and whether the difficulty level or mission parameter allows it - the female guards and soldiers are viable targets for Garrett, and they're just as good at swordplay and shooting arrows as the male characters.