Sleep darts are a form of gadgetry utilized by Bentley in the Sly Cooper series, starting with Sly 2: Band of Thieves, that allow him to knockout guards with ease by placing them in a sleep-like trance.
Sleep darts can be used by opening the binocucom (click ), then pressing to fire a dart. If a guard is hit, they will be put to sleep for a few seconds. From there, Bentley can either sneak on past or eliminate them; any guards put to sleep via sleep darts (or Snooze Bombs) are vulnerable to one-hit KOs with a single bomb by pressing , regardless of their current health. Careful aim is suggested when shooting the darts; darts that fly near guards will provoke them to investigate the exact position Bentley fired the dart from, regardless how far away he is. He can also use the darts to flee from pursuing guards by putting them to sleep via darting them. After firing a dart, about 1–2 seconds is required for Bentley to reload another shot.
As sleep darts can only be used while in binocucom view (requiring Bentley to remain stationary), along with the reload time required between shots (therefore, requiring him to be accurate with his shots), they are generally ineffective while fighting multiple opponents.
Sly 2: Band of Thieves
In Sly 2: Band of Thieves, Bentley used a crossbow to fire a sleep dart.
At various points in the story, Bentley's sleep darts were modified or utilized to a different effect:
- For the "Leading Rajan" mission in "The Predator Awakes," Bentley equipped each of his sleep darts with a sonic disruptor, which drew the attention of Rajan and guards, provided they were within earshot. Bentley used them here to lure Rajan to the Indian watermelons around the area in order to steal his blueprints.
- During the "Eavesdrop on Contessa" mission in "Jailbreak," Bentley realized that the feathers on his sleep darts vibrated at a particular frequency near sounds. He used this knowledge to fire the sleep darts at The Contessa in order to listen in on what she was mumbling about, allowing Bentley to find out the location of Sly and Murray during their time in her rehabilitation prison.
- Bentley can also use his darts more tactically by firing them at explosive drums, causing them to explode and damage anyone within the vicinity.
Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves
As with Sly 2, there are various times in the game where the darts were modified or utilized to a different effect:
- During the "Operation: Moon Crash" mission in "Rumble Down Under," Bentley attempted to use these to sedate Inspector Carmelita Fox when she was possessed by the Mask of Dark Earth. Unfortunately, that only made the situation worse by causing Carmelita to grow even larger.
- For the "Giant Wolf Massacre" mission in "Flight of Fancy," Bentley added skunk balm to the tranquilizers so that the Lupus gigantormus in the area could be affected by the darts.
- During the "King of Fire" mission in "A Cold Alliance," Bentley used them to light the fireworks on pinwheels, in order to reach the Panda King.
- Along with using darts to blow up explosive drums, Bentley can also fire darts at switches, which will activate traps from afar.
Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
In Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, sleep darts are not available from the beginning of the game, and the default darts are instead explosive darts. However, the Sleep Ammo power-up from ThiefNet can be purchased immediately starting from the beginning of "Turning Japanese," which will grant Bentley access to sleep darts and sleep bombs. In order to switch to using sleep darts, the Sleep Ammo must be selected by holding and using to highlight the Sleep Ammo before releasing . The sleep darts here are used in much the same way as they are in previous games, though since there are many more varieties of darts, their importance in completing missions is diminished, thus not required to beat the game.
- In Sly 2, the sleep darts that Bentley fires resemble green spherical projectiles. From Sly 3 onward, the darts resemble actual darts.
- In Sly 2 and Sly 3, the sleep darts appear to produce a green explosion cloud upon impact. This visual effect is not present in Thieves in Time.
- During Sly Cooper's confrontation with Dr. M in the job "The Cooper Vault" in Sly 3, Bentley is shown firing a sleep dart at the latter. This marks the only time Bentley is seen shooting darts outside of his binocucom's point of view.
- In the same cutscene, close observation shows that Bentley "throws" the dart with his hand, using the same animation as when he throws bombs.
- In Thieves in Time, the effect of the currently equipped dart is also the effect of the currently equipped bomb. So, after using a sleep dart, the ammo type must be changed from Sleep Ammo to Explosive Ammo in order to blow up a sleeping guard the same way as in Sly 2 and Sly 3.
- However, unlike Sly 2 and Sly 3, guards that are put to sleep via sleep darts/bombs can be defeated in one hit with any attack, eliminating the need to drop a bomb on them.
- Almost every case where Bentley modified or used the sleep darts to a different effect was due to the target displaying an immunity to the standard tranquilizer in his darts. Rajan and the Lupus gigantormus were outright stated to be immune, the Contessa would have to be immune given the circumstances, and the Mask of Dark Earth-influenced Carmelita only saw the sleep darts as an annoyance.
- In Thieves in Time, it is unknown what Bentley uses to fire darts, as neither Bentley nor any other character made any mention in-game on what exactly he uses to shoot them; it is unclear as to whether or not the wheelchair that he uses during the events of Thieves in Time retains the dart launcher from his previous chair.