Ha! Oh it's tough being this tough, it sure is, yeah.
― Jean Bison[src]
Jean Bison (pronounced jŏn bī-sŏn) was a member of the Klaww Gang who was in possession of the Clockwerk lungs, stomach and talons. He utilized his restless Iron Horses to distribute the Klaww Gang's spice throughout North America and also delivered the final piece in their plan to revive Clockwerk. He was the main antagonist of "He Who Tames the Iron Horse" and "Menace from the North, eh!" of Sly 2: Band of Thieves.
He was voiced by Ross Douglas.
At a young age, Bison traveled across Canada in search of gold during the Gold Rush of 1852. He took some chances and blew up the side of a mountain. The result of this was an avalanche that buried him in the deep snow and froze him into a block of ice. The quick freeze kept him alive, and after 120 years later, he thawed out due to global warming. A product of his time, Bison dreams of taming the Wild North by damming every river and chopping down all the trees with progress delivered at the sharp end of an axe. He eventually joined the Klaww Gang.
After the Klaww Gang robbed the Museum of Natural History in Cairo, Bison was given four of the Clockwerk parts: both lungs, the stomach and the talons. He established his base of operations in Nunavut Bay, Canada. From there, he attached the lungs and stomach to the engines of his three best trains, allowing them to run all day and night without stopping. He called these restless trains his "Iron Horses."
Party in India
Sometime after the theft of the Clockwerk parts, Bison was invited to a party by Rajan at his palace. While there, he unknowingly watched Sly Cooper dance with Carmelita Fox. Although Rajan was enjoying the dance, Bison wished that spice shipments moved as well as the couple danced. When the Cooper Gang crashed Rajan's party and left his reputation in shambles, Bison returned to Canada to continue his regular operations.
Preparing the Northern Light battery
After defeating Klaww Gang members Dimitri Lousteau, Rajan and The Contessa, the Cooper Gang traveled to Nunavut Bay to retrieve Bison's Clockwerk parts from him. At the same time, Bison was gathering energy from the aurora borealis in preparation for the shipment of the Northern Light battery to Arpeggio. The battery was the final piece in Arpeggio's plan to take over Paris.
Soon, Bison found out about the theft of his Iron Horse blueprints and eventually the Clockwerk lungs, though he was not aware that the culprit was the Cooper Gang. To defend his final Clockwerk part, Bison reinforced the stomach into the engine of Iron Horse 3. Despite his efforts, the Cooper Gang was able to steal the Clockwerk stomach as well.
With his Iron Horses out of commission, Bison's entire shipping operation came to a halt. He then fled to his lumber camp to continue with his other plan: providing Arpeggio with Northern Light energy. He utilized the lumber camp's lighthouse - containing a giant attractor – to gather and concentrate the energy inside a battery, which would then be shipped to Arpeggio. Bison was also given the Clockwerk Talons, which he used to increase the amount of land he cleared.
Bison's arrival at the camp coincided with the annual Lumberjack Games, hosted by Bison himself. To attract more participants, he decided to make the Clockwerk Talons the winning prize. This was overheard by the Cooper Gang, who worked to ensure their victory in the competition. They also drained the Northern Light battery so that they could stow away inside of it and get onto Arpeggio's blimp.
As the Lumberjack Games were about to begin, the Cooper Gang showed up and challenged Bison for the prize. Bison, who believed that he would win as he did every other year, agreed to let them compete. Murray and Sly attained perfect scores in the first two events, the Log Chop and Wall Climb, respectively. While Bison was taking his turns in both events, he was caused by the Cooper Gang to receive a lower score. Intent on not losing the competition, Bison intimidated the judges to give him a perfect score. The Cooper Gang took note of this, and decided to disguise themselves as the judges. When Bison finished the final event, the Log Roll, the fake judges gave him a low score. He realized that it was Sly, Bentley and Murray who were the judges and became furious, knocking each of them out with the Clockwerk Talons.
Bison took the unconscious Cooper Gang and threw them into a room in his logging facility. He and his men then proceeded to raid the gang's hideout and found all of the Clockwerk parts. He notified Arpeggio of this, who offered a large amount of money to Bison in return for the parts, along with the talons. Bison gladly accepted the offer. He then returned to the facility where he found Bentley free from captivity. Bentley engaged Bison in battle with the former emerging victorious. As Bison was defeated, Arpeggio's blimp was about arrive to pick up the Northern Light battery. The Cooper Gang quickly left to stow away inside it.
After the defeat of the Klaww Gang and the destruction of the Clockwerk parts, Bison began to work for the EPA. One of his assignments was to rescue a group of baby penguins. He was able to save the penguins, but fell into the frigid water and froze once again.
Jean Bison is a large red bison with yellow horns, blue eyes, a purple nose and purple feet. He wears a hide tunic and purple gloves. He carries a horn around his neck, a bear trap over his shoulder and a canteen on his waist. He uses a large wooden club with a crook on the top as a weapon. It has a purple strap on it holding several animal tails, and occasionally has the Clockwerk Talons attached to use as a makeshift (though very powerful) axe. Over his left eye is a scar. He also has a scar on his right eye during gameplay, but during the cutscenes, the scar over his right eye is absent.
Bison was arrogant and boastful, believing that he could "tame" the Wild North with no one standing in his way. He showed no respect for nature, as he worked to cut away all trees, dam all rivers and even put satellites on the local bears. Bison also showed prejudice because he ridiculed Bentley for being a turtle, which he believed were "too stew-pid to know a woodcutter from a woodchuck". He's also rather extreme having threatened the judges what would happen if they gave him any score other than 10 and even severely punished a judge from last year's competition who made that same mistake. He was also rather greedy, as he attempted to make a deal with Arpeggio to get the parrot's share of the Clockwerk parts despite already having his. Much like Rajan, he went very mad whenever something on his property was put out of commission.[notes 1]
Bison was a skilled lumberjack, able to clear an entire forest alone with nothing but an axe. After coming into possession of the Clockwerk Talons, he was able to complete the same job within several hours.
Bison also possessed strong physical abilities. During his battle against Bentley, he managed to endure having lumber equipment being dropped on him, quickly recovering from the attacks and continuing his fight. When Bison discovered the judges were replaced by the Cooper gang, he knocked all three members out with a single blow, hinting that he has good aim.
- In promotional materials, his name was spelled "Jean-Bison."
- Bison is the only villain not to be arrested, incarcerated or deceased at the end of Sly 2.
- He is also the only villain in the series to reform his criminal ways without having been incarcerated beforehand. In fact, there is no indication that he was ever captured or even taken into custody after he was defeated by the Cooper Gang.
- Jean Bison thawed out in 1972.
- Jean is one of three characters whose species is included in their name, the others being the Panda King and Carmelita Fox.
- Bison's weapon bears a resemblance to Slaigh MacCooper's weapon.
- Bison's logging camp, along with the Contessa's estate and Mz. Ruby's swamp, is one of the paintings in Octavio's coffee houses.
- In his cabin in Nunavut Bay, Bison can be engaged in combat, but he has no health bar, and as such, he can not be defeated here.
- Though Murray can knock him into the air and burn him, it still has no effect. If Sly or Bentley engage him, he makes noises similar to Dimitri when hits are being delivered.
- Bison is one of nine villains never to fight Sly alone; the others being Rajan, Arpeggio, Octavio, the Mask of Dark Earth, LeFwee, Wildman Weezner, Grizz, and the Moat Monster.
- In the opening sequence of the character, Bison is shown frozen. The music and scene itself is a reference to the final scene in 1980 Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.
- He is the only Klaww Gang member not referenced at all in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time.
- In Menace from the North, eh!, he may say over the safe house radio "My back is killin' me!" This may be in reference to his hunchbacked posture.
- He is the first villain in the whole series who had managed to see through one of the gang's Disguises. The second one was General Tsao, who saw through Sly's photographer disguise, as mentioned in the second half of their battle. Coincidentally, both of them are also the only villains to discover the safe house.
- Bison is the second boss to be defeated by Bentley; the first being Neyla and the third being the Black Knight.
- He often uses the term "boys" when addressing his guards. The ones he recruited could possibly always be males.
- Jean is the second oldest villain in the series after Clockwerk. He was born in the 1820s, then frozen during the Gold Rush and thawed out 120 years later.
- Bison was really mad to find out that the Cooper Gang put Iron Horse #1 and #2 out of commission before they did the same to Iron Horse #3.
- Episode: He Who Tames the Iron Horse; Cinematic: The Setup.
- Episode: A Starry Eyed Encounter; Job: Recon the Ballroom.
- Episode: A Starry Eyed Encounter; Job: Tango with Carmelita.
- Episode: He Who Tames the Iron Horse; Job: Cabin Crimes.
- Episode: Menace from the North, eh!; Cinematic: The Setup.
- Sly 2: Band of Thieves; Cutscene: Credits.
- Episode: Menace from the North, eh!; Job: Operation: Canada Games.
- Episode: An Opera of Fear; Job: Guard Duty.
- Episode: Rumble Down Under. Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves (the Mask does not fight Sly alone, but creatures it possesses do.)
- Episode: Menace from the North, Eh!, job: Operation Canada Games. Sly 2: Band of Thieves
- Episode: A Cold Alliance; Job: Laptop Retrieval.