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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.


Thief: The Dark Project Windows Undead cannot be killed, unless you use holy water or shoot them with fire arrows.
Thief: The Dark Project Windows Deep underground, strange insect creatures roam.
Thief: The Dark Project Windows Fire arrows are a powerful weapon and can light torches. However it will also light up any shadows you may be trying to hide in
Thief: The Dark Project Windows Ratmen? Something strange's going on here for sure.

Promo Images

Thief: The Dark Project Screenshot
Thief: The Dark Project Magazine Advertisement
Thief: The Dark Project Screenshot
Thief: The Dark Project Magazine Advertisement


Alternate Titles

  • "神偷" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "Thief: o Projeto Negro" -- Brazilian title
  • "The Dark Project" -- Second working title
  • "TDP" -- informal name
  • "Dark Project: L'Ombra del Ladro" -- Italian title
  • "Dark Project: La guilde des voleurs" -- French title
  • "Dark Project: Der Meisterdieb" -- German title
  • "Dark Camelot" -- First working title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Novelty and perfection Unicorn Lynx (181391) 4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars
An utterly unique game in a world a copycats Jeff Thomas (19) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
If you like impressing yourself with your own cleverness, this is the game for you! Saborlas (4) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
A stunning game for people who want thinking with their action. Bluddy (13) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
Meet Garrett, he steals from the rich and gives it... to himself! Stijn Daneels (85) 4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars4.29 Stars
An excellent game which defined a genre. Steelysama (106) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
Steal this one if you have to!! Zovni (10623) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
Gripping, innovative, and truly addictive. A dark masterpiece from one of PC gaming's most undeniably inventive developers. Cory Buttler (5) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars
Excellent Ashley Pomeroy (233) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
" The definitive single player FPS..." Unrealist (197) 4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

Critic Reviews

Just Adventure 2000 A+ 100
Game Revolution Dec 01, 1998 A 100
PC Player (Germany) Jan, 1999 91 out of 100 91
Jeuxvideo.com Nov 25, 2011 18 out of 20 90
Gamesmania.de 1998 90 out of 100 90
Svenska PC Gamer Jan, 1999 90 out of 100 90
IGN Dec 11, 1998 8.9 out of 10 89
Game Over Online Dec 03, 1998 88 out of 100 88
GameStar (Germany) Jan, 1999 86 out of 100 86
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Dec 12, 1998 80 out of 100 80


Topic # Posts Last Post
Duality 7 hribek (41)
Mar 24, 2009
What can/ could You take away (add?) 3 hribek (41)
Mar 22, 2009
Garrett on steroids 3 hribek (41)
Mar 22, 2009
Garret looks like Nicholas Cage? 3 hribek (41)
Mar 13, 2009


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.


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.)


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!


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.


"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


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.


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.


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.


  • 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

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robotriot (9068) added Thief: The Dark Project (Windows) on Nov 01, 1999
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