Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (Sly Raccoon in PAL territories, Kaitou Sly Cooper in Japan) is a stealth-action platforming video game created by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released on the PlayStation 2 in 2002 and was subsequently republished as a "Greatest Hits" title. It is the first video game in the Sly Cooper series, and it received a sequel, Sly 2: Band of Thieves, in 2004.
The game managed to sell over one million copies and was acknowledged as a commercial hit due to the low production cost of the game. Since its release, the game has acquired a strong fan base.
The game focuses on the eponymous protagonist and master thief Sly Cooper and his two friends, Bentley the Turtle and Murray the Hippo, as they seek out the Fiendish Five to recover his family's Thievius Raccoonus, a book with the accumulation of all of the thieving abilities of Sly's ancestors.
The game uses cutscenes to present the background of Sly Cooper, a raccoon descendant from a long line of master thieves. However, that lineage became crippled when a gang known as the Fiendish Five — led by Clockwerk, a cyborg-like owl with a hatred for the Cooper line — killed Sly's father Conner Cooper while Sly was eight years old. The Fiendish Five also took the Thievius Raccoonus, a book recording the journeys and skills of all the ancestors of the Cooper line. The book was split into five pieces among the Fiendish Five and dispersed within their lairs. Sly was then taken to the Happy Camper Orphanage, where he became close friends with the intelligent Bentley and the happy-go-lucky Murray. Sly and his friends eventually left the orphanage and formed the Cooper Gang, pulling off amazing heists and robberies. Their activities attracted the attention of INTERPOL Inspector Carmelita Fox, who made it her mission to capture Sly. He takes a subtle, romantic interest in her.
Sly learned the location of each Fiendish Five member by stealing the information from Carmelita's office. He then plotted with Bentley and Murray to retrieve the stolen book. Sly took down each member of the Fiendish Five in their respective lairs, recovering a majority of the pages from the Thievius Raccoonus and reassembling it piece by piece until finally, he discovered the location of Clockwerk's lair, all the while being furiously chased by Carmelita. After an assault on Clockwerk's fortress using Bentley, Murray and even Carmelita's help, Sly was able to defeat Clockwerk and fully reassemble the Thievius Raccoonus. Carmelita, keeping her word on an earlier promise, gave Sly a ten-second head start. However, Sly suddenly kissed her, which was enough of a distraction for him to handcuff her to the catwalk on which they stood, allowing him and his gang to make their escape.
After the credits, a severely wounded and seemingly dead Clockwerk, floating in lava, opened his eye, showing that despite his defeat, he was still somewhat alive, which set up the premise for the next game.
There are five episodes in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, as well as a prologue.
- P. "Police Headquarters"
- 1. "Tide of Terror"
- 2. "Sunset Snake Eyes"
- 3. "Vicious Voodoo"
- 4. "Fire in the Sky"
- 5. "The Cold Heart of Hate"
- Cooper Gang
- Sly Cooper (Age: 18) — The main playable character in the game. He is a young adult male raccoon who is part of a long line of master thieves. Early in his life, he witnessed the death of his mother and father when the Fiendish Five stole his family's Thievius Raccoonus. He was forced into an orphanage, where he met his best friends, Bentley and Murray. Together, they formed the Cooper Gang. He is the nimblest of the gang, therefore he is sent out the most on missions. He uses a hooked cane, a family heirloom, as a multi-purpose tool. Sly is voiced by Kevin Miller.
- Murray (Age: 18) — The muscle of Sly's gang. He is a strong, muscular but slightly dim-witted and rotund hippopotamus who serves as the getaway driver for Sly's gang. He met both Sly and Bentley when the three of them were growing up in the same orphanage. Murray's driving skills came from his job as a pizza delivery boy, during which he hot-wired cars and was eventually fired for eating too many pizzas. Murray is quite large and has an enormous appetite. Murray is voiced by Chris Murphy.
- Bentley (Age: 18) — The brains of Sly's gang. Bentley is a turtle, a trusted, loyal friend of Sly and an expert in computer hacking and other electronic devices. He is also quite well-read, often stating, "I've read about this...", when deducing something new and alien to the team. He met Sly and Murray in the orphanage. Bentley is voiced by Matt Olsen.
- Carmelita Fox (Age: 21) — Carmelita Fox acts as a love-hate interest to Sly. She is an INTERPOL inspector who always chases after Sly, attempting to arrest him and put him in solitary confinement. Of course, deep down, she has romantic feelings for Sly. Carmelita is voiced by Roxana Ortega.
- The Fiendish Five
- Sir Raleigh — Raleigh was born into a life of nobility and privilege but eventually grew bored with it. On a whim, he tried his hand at piracy and found it to his liking. As he became addicted to crime, he was eventually recruited by the Fiendish Five as chief engineer because of his fondness to make monster machines. After the attack on the Cooper home was completed, Raleigh took off with the notes of Rioichi Cooper. Years later, Raleigh had established himself near the Isle of Wrath, situated in the center of his artificially created Welsh Triangle. He used his storm machine to control the local weather conditions and wreck a large number of ships, that way he could plunder them for loot. Raleigh is voiced by Kevin Blackton.
- Muggshot — Muggshot is a massive American bulldog. As a young dog, he was the runt of the litter and was frequently bullied by larger dogs. He found solace only in mobster movies and came to admire the tough, brutal criminals and how they took no guff from anyone. Inspired, he strove to be like them and started to lift weights and take steroids. Growing to massive size, especially in the arms, he eventually took revenge on his former tormentors and became a well-known enforcer and gunman, eventually being recruited by Clockwerk and taking part in the raid on the Cooper household that killed Conner Cooper. Muggshot took the section of the Thievius Raccoonus that contained "Tennessee Kid" Cooper's notes on the Raccoon Rail Walk and Rail Slide, liking the pretty pictures but not understanding all the big words. He eventually parted ways with Clockwerk, much later taking over Mesa City in Utah, where he set up a massive casino and drove off the vast majority of the residents. Muggshot is also voiced by Kevin Blackton.
- Mz. Ruby — Mz. Ruby is a large Haitian alligator who came from a long family of voodoo mystics. She was feared throughout her childhood for her abilities, becoming incredibly lonely and finding solace only in her undead companions. Growing up, this loneliness turned to bitterness. Mz. Ruby refined her art until Clockwerk recruited her as the mystic specialist for the Fiendish Five. She took part in the raid on the Cooper house, taking the section of the Thievius Raccoonus that contained Slytunkhamen Cooper's notes on how to become invisible. Once this job was over, she went out on her intent on using her magic to punish the world for fearing her as a child. She planned to harvest bones and body parts and create an army of zombies to take over Mexico. Mz. Ruby is voiced by Presciliana Esparolini.
- The Panda King — The Panda King resided in the Kunlun Mountains of China. He loved fireworks and invested in them. One night, he showed them to the rich noblemen. However, they were not pleased with his shabby clothes, which disappointed the Panda King. Enraged, he started using his firework creations to bury villages in snow. This skill is what earned him the position of demolitions expert of the Fiendish Five. The Panda King is also voiced by Kevin Blackton.
- Clockwerk — Clockwerk is a huge Russian Eurasian Eagle-owl, the main antagonist and arguably the arch-enemy of Sly Cooper. A long-time rival of the Cooper Clan, Clockwerk was directly responsible for the murder of Conner Cooper and made it his goal in life to destroy Sly's line. This obsession led him to slowly replace his organic body parts with robotic ones until his entire body (including his internal organs) was mechanized. This, combined with his jealousy and hatred of the Cooper Clan, made him essentially immortal. Ten years before the events of the first game, Clockwerk, along with the Fiendish Five, attacked Conner and killed him before stealing the Thievius Raccoonus. Despite his knowledge of Sly's existence, he spared Sly's life in an attempt to prove to the world that the Cooper Clan was nothing without the book, a belief that Sly quickly proved wrong. Clockwerk is also voiced by Kevin Blackton.
Sly Cooper is primarily a platforming video game presented in third-person that incorporates stealth elements. As noted by an Official PlayStation Magazine retrospective, the game "tries to mix one-hit-kill arcade action with "Splinter Cell" sneaking." The player primarily controls the title character Sly Cooper as he moves between each lair of the Fiendish Five and the sub-sections of those lairs, avoiding security systems and the watchful eyes of the minions. While Sly is equipped with a cane to attack his foes, he typically can take only a single hit before collapsing; thus, the player is urged to use stealthy maneuvers to move around potential threats or to silently take down a foe from behind.
To assist in these stealth moves, the player is shown special points colored with blue sparkles of light, identified in the game as "stealth auras." By pressing , the player can trigger actions at these points, such as sidling along a narrow ledge or wall, landing on a pointed object such an antenna or streetlight, using his cane to grapple onto something or climbing along the length of a narrow pole or pipe. The player must avoid detection by security systems or minions, otherwise, an alarm will be triggered, and the player will either have to destroy the alarm, avoid or defeat foes alerted by the alarm or hide for several seconds until the alarm resets. The game uses a dynamic music system that is tied in with the state of alarm in the area. The music will increase in volume and pacing when Sly attacks or is detected and then will quiet down as the disturbance goes away.
Each sub-section of a lair contains several clue bottles, which when all are collected, with the help of Bentley, will reveal the combination to a safe in the level that contains a page from the Thievius Raccoonus (one of the vaults in each lair contains the lair's blueprints). These pages grant Sly new moves to use to aid either in movement, stealth or combat such as creating a decoy or dropping an explosive hat. Defeating each of the bosses also rewards Sly with moves, which are necessary to navigate through later levels. Defeating enemies or destroying objects in the levels generate coins, which can also be found scattered about the levels. For every hundred coins, Sly gains a Lucky Charm, which will allow him to take extra hits, or if he has two, he will receive an extra life. If Sly collapses and loses a life, either the current sub-level will need to be repeated or he will respawn at a signal repeater, which serves as a checkpoint in most levels. If the player loses all of Sly's lives, they will need to restart the current episode from the beginning. Besides this, some minigames include racing levels (completed by Murray), shooting to protect Murray as he ascends certain levels and a cyber-tank game representing a hacking attempt by Bentley. One notable boss battle includes a rhythm-based sequence.
An additional gameplay feature is Master Thief Sprints, which can be played in certain levels after they have been completed and their vaults have been opened. They are timed sprints that the player must perform within the level to try to beat a set time. The player can unlock additional artistic content by completing all the sprints. However, this content has been removed from the PS3 remaster but is retained in the digital release from the PlayStation Network.
Each hub world includes a map, which can be used to keep track of which keys they have collected, which vaults have been opened and which Master Thief Sprints have been completed. Levels can be returned to at any time to gain additional coins or seek out special moves. Each map can be viewed at any time in an episode but can also be viewed from the hideout after the respective episodes have been completed. The maps can be used to access areas that have already been explored and also return to the hideout.
Bringing up the binocucom is the best method for finding clues and breakables. The binocucom is not controllable during character conversations, but the characters' heads can be moved. The left stick is for Bentley and Murray, and the right stick is for Sly.
Graphics and visuals
According to an interview with Sucker Punch, the team decided to go with a rendering style they called "Toon-shading," which is the process of comparing cell-shading foregrounds with detailed backgrounds to those seen in animated movies. The reason for this is because they wanted to make the world of Sly Cooper look illustrated but realistic as well. To create the backgrounds, the team gathered up hundreds of reference photos and drawings of places they wanted to include in the game. Each of the characters went through many revisions before they were finalized.
The game was critically acclaimed as a "top-notch" platformer; particularly praised for its platforming/stealth gameplay, its engaging story and its cel-shaded visuals, which gave a "noir" feel to the otherwise lighthearted game. On the downside, the game was criticized for its short length, though many reviews have stated that apart from finding all the pages of the Thievius Raccoonus, the game has moderate replay value.
- IGN: 8.5/10 (Received "Editor's Choice") 
- GameSpot: 7.8/10 
- Game Revolution: B+ 
- GameSpy: 4.5/5 
Sony sponsored a Toonami giveaway for the game on January 3, 2003. Contestants would watch Toonami on that date for a toll-free number. Calling it would enter the contestant into the competition. There were a total of 25 grand prize winners who received a copy of Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus and a PlayStation 2 console, and 500 first-place winners received a copy of the game. This was the first Toonami giveaway for the Sly Cooper series.
The soundtrack for Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus was composed by Ashif Hakik, though it was never officially released. Because of this, there may be more songs than listed, and the names of the songs may not be correct.
Three different covers were created for the game — North American, European and Japanese. While named Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus in North America, it is named Sly Raccoon in Europe. An additional cover was made for the "Greatest Hits" release in North America.
The Japanese release of the game includes a vocal theme song named Blackjack, which was sung by the group Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra. Also, the Japanese version features full, anime-style animation for the introduction and ending sequences, as opposed to the limited flash-style animation seen in other animated sequences in the game.
While the Japanese introduction is available in the North American and PAL versions, the Japanese ending is only available in the PAL version. The actual Japanese version of the game was well known for two separate sets of Japanese voice actors used for Sly, Bentley, Murray and Carmelita. Since Sly 3, different Japanese voice actors were cast for the characters, which carried over to the Japanese version of Sly Cooper Collection. Also in the Japanese release of The Sly Collection, other voice actors were changed, and practically all of the Japanese dialogue was revised.
Since Sly Raccoon released in 2003 in European regions, it was originally released under each European country's rating system, such as ELSPA and SELL. However, it was re-released at an unknown time with either a PEGI 3+ or PEGI 7+ rating, depending on the region.
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus E3 Trailer
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus E3 Demo Part 1/3
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus E3 Demo Part 2/3
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus E3 Demo Part 3/3
- Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus Jampack Winter Demo