Lucky Charms, also commonly called Horseshoes, are items that appear in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus. If Sly Cooper collects one, he gains an extra hit-point. If he collects another while still holding one, he gains a golden Lucky Charm, allowing him to take two hits.
Lucky Charms can be obtained in two ways. They can be found hidden within levels, or obtained if the player has a silver Lucky Charm or lower and collects 100 coins. If the player has a golden Lucky Charm and collects 100 coins, an extra life will be granted instead. A Lucky Charm is automatically given to the player if Sly die several times in a level.
If the game is manipulated to allow the player to gain a gold Lucky Charm through coins, as well as by collecting a charm that is on the ground, either the charm that would come from collecting coins does not drop (if the stationary charm is collected first), or the charm will bounce in the air (if the former charm is collected first). It will continue to bounce in the air as long as Sly collects it before it touches the ground. Once it touches the ground, it will disappear.
When the player has a Lucky Charm, falling into water or a bottomless pit allows the player to skip the animations of Sly splashing or falling by pressing . Without the charm, the animations are unavoidable.
When the player begins a Master Thief Sprint, Lucky Charms will disappear instantly regardless of type. It is possible to gain a Lucky Charm during the sprint by collecting 100 coins, though all charms that appear within a level will be gone.
Behind the scenes
The Lucky Charm was replaced by a conventional health bar in all following games. They were slated to make a return in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time in a New Game+ mode called "Horseshoe Mode," as mentioned by Mat Kraemer on the Second Funniest Podcast. This was cut from the final version of the game, as the developers ran out of time.
In the Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus E3 preview alpha, Sly was able to gain from the vaults the ability to use more than two Lucky Charms at a time. By unlocking the sixth vault, he gained the ability to equip three Lucky Charms at a time, and the ability to equip four Lucky Charms at a time by unlocking the ninth vault. When he had three Lucky Charms, the horseshoe on his back would turn blue, and when he had four Lucky Charms, the horseshoe would turn black.