Anyone who read it learned to be especially sneaky, which is why we specialize in stealing from criminals. After all, there's no honor, no challenge, no fun in stealing from ordinary people. You rip off a master criminal and you know you're a master thief.
― Sly Cooper describing the Thievius Raccoonus[src]
The Thievius Raccoonus is an ancient tome handed down from parent to child throughout the centuries that acts as both a handbook describing many of the skills of the Cooper Clan, and a record of accomplishments and events, such as heists, that involved or affected the members of the Clan. The current holder of the Thievius Raccoonus is Bentley, as Sly Cooper (the rightful owner) is trapped in Egypt sometime in the past, due to events related to Cyrille Le Paradox and time travel.
The Thievius Raccoonus is a leather-bound book with gold corners and a gold lock on the right side. On the front cover is the Cooper symbol, book-ended by the "T" and "S" of the word "Thievius" which lies below in gold, and "Raccoonus" below that in blue. It has visible aging, as there are circles of red rot in some places. It also has a blue ribbon bookmark. Sly mentions that through the book's teachings, the Coopers specialized in stealing from criminals, due to the lack of challenge and honor in taking from "ordinary people."
Slytunkhamen Cooper began writing the Thievius Raccoonus sometime before 1300 BC, filling it with stories of his exploits of stealing from corrupt pharaohs and greedy noblemen, as well as the instructions on how to use his ability of invisibility. He eventually handed the book down to his son, Slytunkhamen the second, who also filled the book with his own adventures, though it is unknown whether or not he recorded or even created any abilities.
As time went on and the book was passed down, many other Coopers filled the book with their knowledge, largely making it what it is now.
Theft and reclamation
On the night Sly Cooper was meant to inherit the Thievius Raccoonus from his father, five strangers came to their home, killed his parents, and stole the book, dividing its pages among themselves. The mastermind of the theft, Clockwerk, allowed Sly to live in an attempt to prove to the world that without the book, the Coopers were nothing.
After ten years, Sly Cooper, with help from his friends, tracked down the criminals and recovered the Thievius Raccoonus piece by piece, eventually defeating Clockwerk and freeing his family of a menace that was as old as, if not older than, the Coopers themselves. Afterwards, Sly began recording his own adventures in the great book.
After Sly left the life of a thief behind to strike up a relationship with his law-woman love-interest, Inspector Carmelita Fox, Bentley began to take care of the book, becoming the first non-Cooper in known history to write in the Thievius Raccoonus. As Bentley and his girlfriend, Penelope, worked on a time machine, the pages of the Thievius Raccoonus began to disappear, beginning the events of Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. This forced Sly to join back up with the gang, forgoing his simple life as partner and boyfriend of Carmelita.
The gang headed back in time, leaving the book in the care of Dimitri Lousteau in the present, who used the disappearing pages to direct the gang to their next destination, eventually completely preventing the destruction of its contents. The Thievius Raccoonus was restored back to normal and is currently in the care of Bentley, who is still decoding all that it has to offer as the rightful owner, Sly, is trapped in ancient Egypt.
List of known techniques in the Thievius Raccoonus
- Dive - An ability that allows a Cooper to roll forward while spinning their cane. Can also be done in mid-air to slam to the ground.
- Roll - An ability that allows a Cooper to curl into a ball, and roll along the ground at incredible speeds. Can also be electrified to damage any enemies.
- Slow - An ability that allows a Cooper to slow down time while on the ground or in the air, extending the opportunity to dodge projectiles.
- Coin Magnetism - An ability that allows a Cooper to pick up coins and other pickups from farther away than before.
- Ninja Spire Jump - An ability that allows a Cooper to balance on any small point without falling.
- Mine - An ability that allows a Cooper to throw their hat down, then detonate it with a lethal explosion.
- Fast - An ability that allows a Cooper to speed up time when on long stake-outs.
- Water Safety - An ability that allows a Cooper to take no damage from falling into otherwise lethal water.
- Decoy - An ability that allows a Cooper to throw out a decoy of his or herself to confuse guards into attacking it.
- Rail Walk and Slide - An ability that allows a Cooper to walk or slide on rails.
- Computer Hacking - An ability that allows a Cooper to hack into computer security systems and obtain delicate information.
- Invisibility - An ability that allows a Cooper to turn invisible if an enemy does not already know that they are there.
- Defy Gravity - An ability that allows a Cooper to take no damage from an otherwise deadly fall.
- Stun - An ability that allows a Cooper to freeze all guards in the vicinity for a short amount of time.
- Disguises - Abilities that allow a Cooper to hide in plain sight with disguises, as well as be able to get information, or simply get past someone, without drawing much attention to themselves.
As previously mentioned, the Thievius Raccoonus contains details on almost everything relating to the Cooper Clan.
- Unknown writings by Bentley, as seen in Sly 3.
- Vehicle enhancements by Otto van Cooper.
- Diagrams of what appear to be measurements for Sly's cane.
- An image of a Cooper bringing a cane down to strike.
- The proper arc for attacking with a cane.
- A picture of a lock, possibly a diagram on how to pick them.
- Several pictures of thief masks.
- The icons for Sly, Bentley and Murray.
- Pictures of Sly's most distinguished ancestors, all of which have a silhouette Clockwerk flying in the background.
- Biographies of the members of the Fiendish Five.
- In addition to this, there are also detailed descriptions of the functions for each of the Clockwerk Parts.
- Checkmarks for mission objectives, only seen in Sly 2.
List of techniques excluded from the Thievius Raccoonus
Several members of the Cooper Clan developed techniques that were not included in the book. In addition, adventures of Coopers existing before Slytunkhamen the first were not recorded.
A partial list of excluded techniques is as follows:
- Various members of the Cooper Clan
- Stealth Slam/Silent Obliteration - An ability that allows a Cooper to take down an enemy with one quick motion if they have not already been detected.
- Crawl - An ability that allows a Cooper to sneak under tables or through vents, completely avoiding detection.
- Charge Attack - An ability that allows a Cooper to charge up their cane and use it to attack with a variety of different moves ranging from spinning to leaping in the air and slamming their cane down.
- Combo Attack - An ability that allows a Cooper to attack with a much stronger hit while in combat.
- Hook Launch - An ability that allows a Cooper to latch onto Wall Hooks with their cane, then pull back and launch themselves high in the air.
- Rioichi Cooper
- Leaping Dragon technique - An ability that allowed Rioichi to leap great distances from a small point with speed.
- Sir Galleth Cooper
- Catapult Crash technique - An ability that allowed Sir Galleth to break through barriers while doing a hook launch. An advanced variation of the hook launch.
- Shield Dash - An ability that allowed Sir Galleth to produce a shield that can be used to ram into enemies, causing heavy damage.
- Salim al-Kupar
- Climbing Cobra technique - An ability that allowed Salim to rapidly climb ropes and poles. Often used to avoid breaking chains or cobras.
- "Tennessee Kid" Cooper
- Crackshot mode - An ability that allowed Tennessee to target multiple objects or enemies and fire at them all with pinpoint accuracy and guaranteed one-hit kill.
- Conner Cooper
- The manuals included with the original PlayStation 2 trilogy are designed to look like the Thievius Raccoonus, aging more and more with each release.
- The Japanese name of the book is known as the "Rakuuna no Hidensho" (ラクーナの秘伝書, lit. Raccoonus' Secrets Book).
- There is no mention made of Clockwerk, though he is clearly visible in all of the ancestor's pictures. It is possible that the section of the book that Clockwerk stole during Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus contained information on him, though Sly did not describe it upon recovery.
- In Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, if a character other than Sly is highlighted in the safe house, Sly may pull out the Thievius Raccoonus and start to read it.
- The Thievius Raccoonus makes appearances in another series by Sucker Punch Productions, inFAMOUS.
- In the mission "Torn" of inFAMOUS 2, Zeke Dunbar can be seen reading the Thievius Raccoonus in a cutscene.
- In inFAMOUS: Second Son at least four different versions of the Thievius Raccoonus appear in Abigail "Fetch" Walker's "assassin's den." Each one looks different, and they are all labeled as "collections," such as collection 5, 6 and 8. There is one more copy, but the collection number cannot be read as it is hidden under collection 5.
- Since photography was not properly realized until the 1800s, it is unknown how Coopers before this time, such as Slytunkhamen Cooper I, were able to include their photos in the book (or indeed who took the photos, except for sly himself in thefts in time).