Now, just lay back and relax. Go to your happy place... and stay there... forever.
― The Contessa to Carmelita in the re-education tower[src]
The Contessa is a black widow and a secondary antagonist in Sly 2: Band of Thieves. She was a famous, wealthy warden working for INTERPOL that was secretly a member of the Klaww Gang. She was the main antagonist of "Jailbreak" and "A Tangled Web" of Sly 2.
She was voiced by the late.
While a student majoring in criminal psychology, she fell in love and married a wealthy aristocrat. However, only a few weeks after the ceremony her husband died of poisoning. Using her knowledge of the criminal mind and her newly inherited estate, she opened a rehabilitation clinic for criminals. The Contessa supposedly used hypnosis to cure criminals of their illegal urges and gained a prominent position within INTERPOL.
Sly 2: Band of Thieves
The Contessa first appeared in Episode 2 at Rajan's ball, accompanying Inspector Carmelita Fox and Constable Neyla undercover. She later appeared with them at Rajan's spice temple where she placed Sly Cooper, Murray and Carmelita under arrest following Neyla's betrayal of the three. Tracking her to Prague, Bentley bugged her with his sleep darts (after discovering that the feathers vibrate near and transmit the sound of her voice after making contact), resulting in her unwittingly revealing Sly's location in her prison. Later on, the two discovered that Murray was being held hostage by the Contessa who was working on controlling his mind with her hypnosis. Bentley discovered her to be a secret member of the Klaww Gang, hypnotizing both law enforcement and thieves to learn the location of their loot. She was also using illegal spice to help with the hypnosis and contributed hypnosis light wave generators to Arpeggio's blimp.
After failing to hypnotize Murray, the Contessa fled from her clinic and escaped to her castle estate, where she had possession of the Clockwerk eyes as well as Carmelita bound to an Irontech 2-50 in her re-education tower. She planned to brainwash Carmelita with the eyes through the use of a mind shuffler.
Whilst the gang headed there to get the eyes back, a war broke out between the Contessa and Constable Neyla, in which both had their own respective armies at their disposal. The Contessa's immediate plan, (one Sly and his friends would not allow) was to brainwash Carmelita with a mind shuffler into becoming her personal slave, so that she would take the fall for her at INTERPOL. However, Sly, Bentley and Murray stopped her plans and Sly defeated her in combat.
Apparently, the Contessa knew all about Sly's family line and even taunted him into fighting. Even after losing once and playing the innocent routine, she still declared herself mentally superior to Sly's gang. However, after fighting and defeating her for a second time, it is clear that Sly, Murray and Bentley are a much tougher match. The Contessa is then arrested and stripped of her title.
She is mentioned by Arpeggio later on in the game when he reveals his master plan to Sly, speaking of her skills in hypnosis aiding the plan to hypnotize Paris. During the credits of Sly 2, it is said that after her incarceration, the Contessa became a highly successful real estate broker, with her clients displaying eerie hypnosis-like symptoms.
The Contessa is a spider, possibly a Black Widow spider due to the recurring theme of an hourglass symbol associated with her character. She has the upper body of a pale blue-skinned human woman with long blue hair and red eyes where the spider head should be and has scorpion claws covered in long arm-length red gloves instead of hands. She wears a red dress with orange web patterns and a gold belt with a red hourglass symbol on the buckle and also has a pocket on the back on her abdomen.
It was assumed Contessa was Italian in origin, given her name means Countess in Italian, but further research showed she is of Czech origin, given the thickness of her voice and locations in which she chooses to live.
Coward! You're a disgrace to INTERPOL. I'll make it my life's work to destroy you!
― Carmelita to the Contessa in the re-education tower[src]
Aside from Arpeggio, The Contessa was the most malevolent Klaww Gang member, firmly believing in "humanity's" baser, primitive instincts and that good and evil were insipid, emotional illusions. Selfish, fearful and sadistic, Contessa cared solely about her own desires and believed it foolish that anyone should do any different. She had no quarrels about her corruption or ruining the lives of others for her own gain, be it minor or massive. This included poisoning her husband to gain his wealth.
Contessa was very driven and intelligent and had a history of high education, probably in criminal psychology or criminology. Though less intelligent than Bentley, she could at least challenge and knew certain things that rattled him. Also quite overweening, Contessa coerced treasure locations from criminals via hypnosis simply out of greed. As a warden, she was intimidating and psychologically abusive, especially to Murray. For all her pride, Contessa was only confident if her adversaries were restrained or incarcerated. Once the Cooper Gang and Carmelita were free, Contessa chose to flee. Though fleeing from the former could be due to her knowing she was no match for them, she was, however, moderately respectful of Sly's physicality and will.
Additionally, even after Contessa's release from prison, she hypnotized her real estate customers to ensure her sales, indicating her presumably indefinite lack of morals & ethics.
The Contessa is highly intelligent and manipulative, able to trick INTERPOL into sending her criminals who she then steals from. She is also an accomplished hypnotist, able to hypnotize criminals into revealing where they hid their treasure. She is able to spawn spiders that can explode or attack her enemies. Her hypnosis is also increased by the Clockwerk Eyes, although strong minds like Sly and Carmelita are able to resist her. She is also skilled enough in fighting to temporarily hold her own against Sly, before being defeated.
- Sly 2: Band of Thieves
- Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
- 5. "40 Thieves" (mentioned)
- Bentley's Hackpack (mentioned during loading screens)
- Contessa means "countess" in Italian.
- The Contessa's estate, along with Jean Bison's logging camp and Mz. Ruby's swamp, is one of the paintings in Octavio's coffee houses in Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves.
- The Contessa shares some similarities with Mz. Ruby: they are both cold-blooded animals, their levels have obviously mystic vibes to them and they are both some of the few females in their gangs.
- The Contessa is the only arthropodic boss in the series.
- Across the bridge at the Contessa's rehabilitation center, a projector projects an hourglass, the symbol of a black widow.
- The Contessa was originally planned to make a cameo in a cutscene for Thieves in Time. At the end of the game where Bentley tells the players where all the character are now, Carmelita was shown beating up and arresting a criminal. The artist for the game said that he originally planned The Contessa to be the one Carmelita was arresting but that did not work out for various reasons. One of the artist on Deviant Art confirmed this on the artwork for the particular scene.
- It is highly likely that the Contessa poisoned her husband in order to obtain his fortune:
- It fits in with the Contessa's animal theme, as the female widow spider is known for eating her mate after laying eggs.
- If players look closely at the wine glasses during her level intro, they will notice olive green fizz bubbling out of her husband's glass seconds after the toast during their wedding.
- There are some paintings/photos of her husband in her castle in A Tangled Web, suggesting she misses him or at least feels that her "success" is partly credited to him.
- She is mentioned by Bentley in Thieves in Time during the job "Copy Cats."
- She is the only Klaww Gang member whose voice was never heard on a loudspeaker.
- Contessa is the only known boss that can give Sly a particular feat, not allowing him to fall from heights. Everytime Sly falls down from heights during boss fights with her, Contessa will always use the web to capture Sly and pull him back up to resume the fight.
- She is one of five characters in the series to either be a hypnotist, have the ability to gain mind control over others, or both; the others are the Guru, Clockwerk, Miss Decibel and the Mask of Dark Earth.
- The Contessa is one of few criminal villains not to be arrested by Carmelita Fox. The others are Jean Bison, Arpeggio and LeFwee.
- She is also the only one to be arrested at all. In the Contessa's case, she was arrested by the authorities. Jean Bison escaped the circumstances that would have gotten him arrested before working for the EPA and both Arpeggio and LeFwee died.
- She is the first character to bear a resemblance to a human at any extent. The second (and only other) one is the Black Baron.
- Contessa is one of six characters in the series to drink alcohol. The others are her husband, Dimitri, Raleigh, Carmelita and Sly.