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He's rumored to be perfecting some new firework technique high in the unstable Kunlun Mountains of western China.
― Sly Cooper, from the episode's introduction

"Fire in the Sky" is the fourth episode of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. It was set in the Kunlun Mountains of China, and the main antagonist was the Panda King.



The Panda King learning the art of fireworks

As the Cooper Gang made the trip to the Kunlun Mountains, Sly learned that the Panda King was born a poor child but was always amazed at the fireworks rich noblemen set off every New Year. After spending ten years learning the art, he tried to offer his fireworks to the noblemen, but they chased him away because of his shabby clothes.

Humiliated, the Panda King decided to seek revenge on those who shunned him by using his explosives to destroy several villages throughout China. He was recruited by the Fiendish Five as their demolitions expert. From that point on, his explosive touch became feared worldwide. He created a giant panda statue of himself, which was where he would perfect his new firework technique, Flame-Fu.


"A Perilous Ascent"
Sly and the gang arrived in China, where the Panda King resided. After seeing the Panda King destroy a village with one of his fireworks, Sly had to find a way up to the statue the rocket came from.
"Inside the Stronghold"
Sly needed a couple of more treasure keys to open a ceiling hatch. Once done, he needed to collect more to unlock a set of rockets that would help him reach the Panda King's statue.
"Flaming Temple of Flame"
Sly ventured through a huge temple, which appeared to be a training ground, therefore Sly was advised to stay on his toes.
"The Unseen Foe"
Sly explored an area that was perfect for his Invisibility move. With this move, he could sneak past several guards and spotlights without being detected.
"The King of the Hill"
Sly had to use a blasting station to protect Murray as he traveled up the mountain to obtain a treasure key.
"Rapid Fire Assault"
Sly used another hover blaster to navigate through a long path guarded by several groups of foes.
"A Desperate Race"
Once again, Murray had to win a three-lap race to obtain another treasure key.
"Duel by the Dragon"
Sly entered an area surrounding a huge dragon statue. He encountered Carmelita once more and had to escape custody while trying to find the key.
"Flame Fu!"
After collecting all of the Panda King's keys, Sly battled him inside his giant statue. Once he was down, Sly recovered another page of the Thievius Raccoonus and discovered the location of the next and final Fiendish Five member, Clockwerk.


After retrieving the Panda King's section of the Thievius Raccoonus, Sly was able to learn about his technically-minded ancestor, Otto van Cooper. While not known for his physical dexterity, Otto relied on vehicles to aid in his criminal endeavors. Armed with his designs, Sly was sure that Murray would be able to make some cool modifications to the Cooper Van.

The Panda King in police custody

Inspector Fox placed the Panda King behind bars after failing to capture Sly. This put an end to his avalanche protection services and ensured the safety of mountain villages throughout China. The gang then took a little time off and shopped around in Hong Kong. Thoroughly relaxed, the gang went home to plan their next move.



Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus - Fire in the Sky - Introduction


Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus - Fire in the Sky - The Panda King on Ice

Behind the scenes[]

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"Fire in the Sky" was intended to be the first episode of the game, instead of "Tide of Terror." Sucker Punch Productions developed "Fire in the Sky" after all of the other episodes because they assumed their experience in building the other episodes would help make the game's first episode "exceptionally good," but this plan backfired. In focus tests a few months before the game's release, players found "Fire in the Sky" to be too difficult and could not even make it past the first job "A Perilous Ascent." Sucker Punch decided to push "Fire in the Sky" to the fourth episode and created a new move to learn for the episode, namely Invisibility.[1]


  1. Zimmerman, Chris. Looking Back on Twenty Years of Sucker Punch. PlayStation.Blog. Published 2017-09-25. Retrieved 2017-09-25. (archive)