Thief: The Dark Project

aka: Dark Camelot, Dark Project: Der Meisterdieb, Dark Project: L'Ombra del Ladro, Dark Project: La guilde des voleurs, TDP, The Dark Project, Thief: o Projeto Negro
Moby ID: 357
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 2/26 11:26 AM )

Description official descriptions

Garrett, discovered on the streets as a beggar, is taken in and trained by the secretive organization known as the Keepers. However, Garrett's plans for his training is different than that of his masters and so Garrett soon parts company. Surfacing as a master thief, Garrett must enter forbidden places and appropriate the treasures of the rich and the powerful. Of course this line of work is offensive to many people including the rich nobles, the town guard and the religious order of the Hammerites. If Garrett can keep his head while he relieves these forces of their valuable trinkets, he should be able to do quite well....

Thief: The Dark Project is a first person game focused on stealth. It is set in a metropolis called "the City", a medieval fantasy world with some elements from the industrial revolution era of technology. Garrett's main skills are in using the shadows to avoid being seen (the level of visibility indicated by a "light gem") and to avoid being heard (different surfaces make different noises). Guards can be alerted by either, and remaining hidden is ever important. Entering combat against armed opponents is not recommended, though some enemies (notably the various undead) can be taken on directly or avoided. It is also possible to silently sneak on guards, incapacitate them with the blackjack, steal their keys, and move their bodies.

At Garrett's disposal is a wide range of equipment, including lockpicks, a blackjack, a sword, flash bombs, holy water, explosive mines, and a bow which fires normal arrows in addition to water, fire, moss, rope, and noisemaker arrows. Each type of arrows has a unique purpose: water extinguishes torches, moss covers the ground to soften the sounds of footsteps, ropes can be used to climb in certain spots or cross chasms, etc.

The levels in the game are fairly open, and most of the time there are several paths and ways to accomplish the objective. Certain objects can be interacted with, moved from place to place, or destroyed. The game has three difficulty levels distinguished by the amount of goals needed to fulfill. Lower difficulty levels may allow the player to skip some of the harder areas due to the lack of a mission objective leading there. On higher difficulties, additional requirements (such as completely non-lethal way of finishing a stage) may be added. Loot gained from Garrett's thieving can be used to purchase additional equipment for the mission ahead.

Spellings

  • 神偷 - Simplified Chinese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Videos

See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (Windows version)

144 People (125 developers, 19 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 91% (based on 35 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 175 ratings with 15 reviews)

Original & fun.

The Good
I bought this game without even playing it first, I was reading about it for months and was pleasantly satisfied with it. I'm sure most would agree, this game broke some ground on improving NPC's A.I. and implementing the use of light and darkness in the game. It was something me and my friends hadn't really seen before. This backed up by beautiful textures and a smooth running game engine, this game was definitely in a class of its own. Eavesdropping on guards, knockin' people unconscious, hiding dead bodies around castle basements trying to cover your tracks.... just a sweet game. I love the use of the bow and the various types of arrows you can buy....

The Bad
I can't think of anything bad about this game... im not being biased, I seriously can't think of anything worth complaining about..maybe in a way, I thought it could maybe use more items and a different way of buying the items. Also maybe not as linear....stages get kinda boring.. I think it would have better if it would have been a large world you could wander freely and explore...

The Bottom Line
Original...very original, It definitely broke some ground on certain areas of PC gaming.

Windows · by OlSkool_Gamer (88) · 2004

An excellent game which defined a genre.

The Good
Being sneaky was not generally a priority in early first-person games. The famous "Doomguy" from the Doom games readily mowed down rooms packed with hell monsters with a double-barrelled shotgun and probably did not think much about trying to quietly evade them instead. Good thing, too. Who would want that in Doom? But game designers, somewhere along the way, realized that it could be fun to create a first-person environment in which the player would actually want to avoid direct combat. The result was the "first-person sneaker". And one of the earliest and best games of the genre, one which would influence the whole genre ever since, was Thief: The Dark Project.

When Thief came out, it was different than anything I had ever played. I remember getting it on a demo disc from Eidos. The first time I tried it, I was blown away. It was an experience which opened new possibilities of gaming for me.

Thief casts the player as expert rogue Garrett in a fantasy steam-punk world which resembles in many ways the middle ages. Although the world's mythology was not well fleshed out in The Dark Project, there was certainly enough information to provide distinct character. Whether reading a secret letter from a noble or listening in on a guard conversation laced with fantasy slang terms, there is a good sense of place in the game.

As a "sneaker", Thief is appropriately centered around stealth. The action is by no means fast. Rather, being slow and careful with bursts of speed at key moments tends to pay off. Garrett is not very good at direct combat, despite carrying a sword in case it should be required. If you do need to remove someone, a carefully aimed arrow or a swift smack with a blackjack is a far better way. Then quickly drag the body away before someone notices. Vanish into the shadows once again, using the interface's light indicator to show you how visible you are, to return to your business.

Atmosphere is heavy in Thief. The constant threat of being caught keeps things interesting. While observing guard routes carefully can put you ahead, longer or more complex patrols can be more difficult to predict. As a result, the game is constantly tense. Even when traversing ground already travelled, the player thinks twice about leaving the shadows.

Environments in Thief are rich and detailed, especially for their time. Exploration itself is a pleasure. The most impressive levels, perhaps, were the noble's castle with its grand decor and the magician's home with its insane design. In both cases, the player feels driven forward by the desire to see more.

A good thief will use sound to his advantage, whether by silencing himself or listening to his enemy's movements. The sound in Thief is great for its time. Certainly, it serves the purpose wonderfully.

Garrett carries a variety of tools with him to slant things to his advantage. Gadgets such as water arrows to douse lights and moss arrows to soften footsteps enhance gameplay options. There is definitely a variety of ways to achieve objectives and this keeps the game fresh throughout.

The Bad
One thing that can kill any "sneaker" game is thrusting the player into direct combat. Later in Thief, missions involving areas full of undead were frustrating and an unwelcome break in the otherwise brilliant gameplay.

Additionally, some objectives or puzzles are obscure and frustrating. This is common of older games. Nonetheless, it is a pain.

The Bottom Line
Even now, Thief is a fantastic first-person sneaker. It set forth many ideas which would become standards of the genre.

Windows · by Steelysama (82) · 2009

" The definitive single player FPS..."

The Good
Everything. When this game fist came out the gaming world had NEVER seen anything like this: the introduction of the first-person sneaker. The graphics, while not being anything fancy, are detailed and portray the environments very well. The sounds are amazing and have scared the hell out of me on many occasions.

The Bad
That it ends...

The Bottom Line
In my opinion this is the best single player PC experience ever. Even better than...gasp...Half-Life!

Windows · by Unrealist (103) · 2000

[ View all 15 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
Duality hribek (28) Mar 24, 2009
What can/ could You take away (add?) hribek (28) Mar 22, 2009
Garrett on steroids hribek (28) Mar 22, 2009
Garret looks like Nicholas Cage? hribek (28) Mar 13, 2009

Trivia

1001 Video Games

Thief: The Dark Project appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Basketball

Like other Looking Glass games like System Shock and System Shock 2, this game also contains a hidden basketball court. (See Tips & Tricks for details on accessing it.)

Development

Originally, Thief was to be a game called Dark Camelot where Merlin was a time-traveler but it eventually became Thief... before that it was a game involving Communist zombies!

Editor

Thief fans requested the level editor, so Looking Glass Studios released DromEd (subsequently included on the Thief (Gold) and Thief II disks), there are now hundreds of fan missions available for download.

Hammerites

"The Hammer of Light" in the game are a group of religious warrior/knights, similar to the Knights Templar during the height of their power in Europe

Inspiration

Members of the design team have said that books by Umberto Eco (The Name of the Rose among others) were a big inspiration for the atmosphere and setting of the game.

Taffer

According to an interview made by the now defunct PC accelerator to project designer Steve Pearsall the word "Taffer", which many fans went to great lengths to define as some sort of long-lost "olden" word, was actually created by level designer Laura Baldwin. It was originally meant to be some sort of slang for common criminal but it evolved from that point on.

Thievery

There is a group of people working on a free Thief inspired conversion for Unreal Tournament. It can be accessed it from http://www.thieveryut.com.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 1999 (Issue #177) – Runner-up as Best Action Game of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #40 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #45 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
    • Issue 03/2000 - Most Innovative Game in 1999
    • Issue 12/2008 - One of the "10 Coolest Levels" (For "The Sword". It uses the player's expectations against him - instead of the usual quick burglary, it sends him on a horror trip which manages to wear out Garret's earned self-confidence.)
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #27 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games Poll" (tied with Tribes)
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2000 - Best 3D Stealth Game in 1999
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1999 – Best Action-Adventure in 1998

Information also contributed by Jack Lightbeard, Neon Hammerite, PCGamer77, Scott Monster; WildKards and Zovni

Analytics

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Thief: Gold
Released 1999 on Windows
Thief II: The Metal Age
Released 2000 on Windows
Dark Souls
Released 2011 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Thief: Deadly Shadows
Released 2004 on Windows, Xbox
Dark Parables: Rise of the Snow Queen
Released 2012 on Windows, Macintosh
Dark Sun: Wake of the Ravager
Released 1994 on DOS
Dark Tower
Released 1984 on Commodore 64, 1985 on Commodore 16, Plus/4, 2019 on Antstream
Dark Parables: The Exiled Prince
Released 2011 on Windows, Macintosh, 2012 on iPad
Dark Mysteries: The Soul Keeper
Released 2012 on Windows, 2013 on Macintosh

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 357
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

Additional contributors: Trixter, blade51, Zovni, Indra was here, Rantanplan, Shoddyan, sfabien, Jack Lightbeard, Havoc Crow, Ms. Tea, Kidofthecentury, Patrick Bregger, FatherJack.

Game added November 1, 1999. Last modified January 22, 2024.