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Media Essays: Sly Cooper: What SHOULD'VE Been Done

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Written by The Wandering Fox

You know, we have that kind of franchise which just hit a dead end yet said dead end could’ve been dodged if you simply just stepped back and thought of what to do. Of course, Sanzaru didn’t think of it once it came to Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, thinking it’d be okay to leave the game on a cliffhanger which hasn’t been sorted for over A DECADE. Yeah, smart idea guys, you bring back a franchise which was dormant for eight years then its left for ELEVEN years.

Yes, I know Sanzaru was planning to do a DLC of the Ancient Egypt cliffhanger, but still they didn’t make it and it doesn’t help Thieves in Time has aged badly since it was released, with the characterisations of the Cooper Gang, Carmelita and Penelope, the lacklustre Le Paradox not helping for fans who now kinda wish Thieves in Time wasn’t made.

Yet hey, I am a keen guy on time travel, alternate universe and different broads of creativity, so I thought I’d take you guys down the time vortex and explore what they could’ve done instead. I’m the Wandering Fox and I say we go back to the mid 2000s.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

Yes, I know, Bentley teased he was making a time machine at the end of Sly Cooper Honour Among Thieves, so you would try and note id be silly to dismiss Thieves in Time as a whole. Yet the thing is I like the idea of Thieves in Time, going back and playing as Sly’s ancestors, it’d be cool to do so. Yet the whole time travel thing including Sly lying to Carmelita and itching to go back to crime doesn’t work.

If I did Thieves in Time, I’d approach it like how Assassins Creed have done it, Desmond Miles is often in a machine which helps him relive his ancestor’s memories. So instead of Bentley making a actual time machine, its more like Sly going in a machine and reliving his ancestors heists. The plot is pretty much just about that, Sly reliving his heritage, though there is a plot reason for why this is going on.

For Sly and Carmelita, it's revealed Carmelita knew Sly was faking amnesia and Sly knew she was tricking him, as they couldn’t ignore their feelings anymore, hence Sly talks with her in a flashback and asks her why she tricked him and she asks why he faked amnesia, with them confessing their love for each other. Carmelita helps Sly dodge a prison sentence in exchange for him helping Interpol stop other criminals. Sly is all for it on the condition Bentley, Murray and the others are left alone by the law. From there Sly has held the title of Special Agent Cooper.

There has been several robberies going on only its much more complex than the common thieves and Sly finds a note left for him at one of the crime scenes, a silver feather with the message “We will come for you Cooper, your bloodline will end with you at the hands of the Silver Talons”. Sly draws the connection to Clockwork, so he and Carmelita go to Bentley and Penelope for help. With this, they finish creating their machine which will allow Sly to look through his ancestor’s memories.

From here you keep Thieves in Time the same only there’s no Le Paradox, El Jefe is instead retro fitted into Feudal Japan as is Sherif Toothpick, the Black Knight is reimagined as a robotic servant of Clockwerk, and Decible, the ice age level is gone. You start the story in Ancient Egypt as well, given Sly recognises thats where it began with Clockwerk.

Here you see the rivalry which started between Slytukahmen and Clockwerk, the latter of whom was a wealthy individual yet his greed led to him taking over several places and stealing their items, hence Slytukahman would steal them back then fight Clockwerk, who had his own forces called the Talons. Clockwerk was thought to have been killed and the Talons fled Egypt.

Knowing well Clockwerk survived, Sly tracks the known sightings of Clockwerk through the Thieves Raccoonus, finding him in encounters with Rioichi, Tenesee, Sir Galleth, and Salim, who all encountered the Talons who were killed or fled from each encounter, up until Tennessee who was the most recent in the encounters until brief skirmishes with others in the 20th century.

The final level is Sly’s father Conner, Sly learning Conner sought to end the Talons and fought the Black Knight. This led to Conner and his gang splitting and Conner retired, Sly figuring Clockwerk killed him not just to have the Thievius Racoonus,but to also get revenge on him for almost getting rid of his followers.

This version of the game allows you to focus on the world building of each ancestor, like if Rioichi is Henriette’s father, if Tennessee maybe helped fight for the freedom of others in the Wild West, you hence have a strong feeling for these characters as well as the strong love Sly has for them.

Ancestors teammates and lovers

I think I will start with Slytukahmen given its him with our time jump begins.

I think Slytukhamen’s gang should have a fennec to serve as his spy and info gatherer. With this in ancient times you can’t use tech so with the fox you have him use his size and he makes use of things more practical like a glass to help him find clues, with him being small he can dig tunnels, he can jot his info on some bits of paper. I’d call him Finnius. Finnius’s story is he likes to invent little things to help others and wants to see the world yet given his small size he’s often made fun of. Slytukahmen helps encourage him to keep on making things and promises to help him travel the world.

For the muscle a crocodile would work, he is able to swim and do a lot of lifting. He’s a big softie yet has a temper on him. I’d call him Alox. His story is he’s in the guard for the Pharaoh yet has grown unsure of his place in life and wants to find the biggest sea he can find joy in. He’s friends with Slytukahmen’s love interest, he likes to have fun with Finnius and feeds him and Slytukahmen info of what the Pharaoh is doing.

Slytukahmen’s love interest is a lioness called Heba, a high ranking captain in the Pharaohs’ guard who at first follows the orders of her boss yet has doubts once kids are ending up hurt, with her confessing this to Alox who helps her and Slytukahmen together. Though she was often trying to lock him up, Heba is wanting help liberate the people from the Pharaoh and Clockwerk.


His info guy is a Copper pheasant, who helps craft different tools and gadgets for Rioichi, while also helpful in gathering information. I might call him Kentarko, he often is somewhat tired by Rioichi’s blunt and stern behaviour though he wouldn’t have him in any other way.

For the muscle there’s a wild boar who’s as skilled in the arts of fight as Rioichi is, he quite enjoys farming and wants to help free the land from El Jefe. His name is Watanai. He’s helpful in hiding in plain sight so he’s good for beating up a few stronger thugs.

For Rioichi’s love interest I’m thinning of a Tanuki, with her she has the drums which can help with vibrations and her drumsticks work as a clubbing tool. I’m thinking of calling her Kimiko. Unlike Rioichi Kimiko is snarkier and happier go lucky which both confuses and attracts him.

Love interests

Tennessee Cooper

For info, a rattlesnake who is quite good at spying and crafting different guns for Tennessee. He makes himself a steampunk suit to help him fight and lift things or little gadget straps. His name is Slippery Sam.

For muscle there is a horse, he is the muscle and is quite the hard puncher and kicker. His name is Dashing Derek.

For a love interest, she is a wolf girl named Naru, who has a strong howl which can deafen her foes. Tennessee helps her recover the items the colonials stolen.

Sir Galleth

With him we have a pig who serves as his potions and gadget creator, given pigs are clever animals. His name will be Guile. He often is mocked for his weight so he makes up for it by donning chainmail. Sir Galleth notes to him its not his figure which matters its his heart and mind.

You have a badger as muscle, skilled with his rock staff and loves long sleeps in the day, so he can only be helpful in the night here.


Love interest is a squirrel girl named Hazel who is an archer. She is a fine bowwoman who can bounce on her tail or hang from it.


His info man is a rat called Yami, his small size and his whispers help distract others and makes them fight.

His muscle is a lion who will only fight the lowest scoundrel. His name is Al.


Salim’s love interest is one of those cat guards, with it revealed the cat guards are enslaved while Salim’s lover, Sadie, is trying to save them. She’s good with lassoing.

With those done, I’ll move onto Clockwerk himself and his Talons.

Clockwerk and the Talons

You know well I already have El Jefe, Sherif Toothpick, and Black Knight as villains still for this version of the game, yet they help the Talons, Black Knight is an old robot made by the Talons. For Salim, I think giving him his own villain in the form of a Ox.

Yet for Clockwerk, I think what could be interesting is explore how he was in each encounter, for he went to cybernetics in the 20th century, so what else did he have on him which helped him stay immortal?

Clockwerk Ancient Egypt

In Slytukahmen’s story he’s an ordinary owl who often has spears as his primary tool, either throwing them or using them as a clubbing tool. He also has a projection glass which helps him grab the sun’s rays and converts them into lasers, hence he wears a helmet to help with the lenses.

Clockwork Rioichi's time

In Rioichi’s time, Clockwerk is an ageing owl whose eyes glow yellow after consuming the blood of unicorns to prolong his life, with him armed with a flaming sword and feather daggers.

Steampunk Clockwerk

In Tennessee’s time, Clockwerk is more steampunk in appearance with a oxygen tank and mask on him and his wings have long died and is now relying on gauntlets which can blast off bolts of electricity, his eyes hidden by goggles which emit a gold glow.

Medieval Clockwerk

Sir Galleth’s Clockwerk has him in armour with mechanical wings helping him fly, with battling arrows on him.

Salim’s Clockwerk has the hypnotic eyes and has several jewels on him which help him manipulate the sand.

His top bosses are mostly different species for though he trusts his birds, he wants to kill these guys once they are done so he doesn’t face any reprisals.

The boss who serves Clockwerk in Conner’s era is a hawk, who long has dedicated to working for Clockwerk. He survived Conner’s try at killing him and has helped reform the Talons in the Silver Talons.


With Sly figuring the Talons have reformed as the Silver Talons and are bent on keeping up Clockwerk’s legacy, it ends with Sly helping Interpol find them, you have a sequel teased without upsetting the fans, leaving everyone interested in where this goes for the Coopers.

If it were to me to do a sequel then I’d have Sly and the guys hunting for the Silver Talons who are in fact different species of birds, wanting to achieve the level of godhood Clockwerk kinda had, with them also key rich figures who Sly and the others have to bring down, maybe reintroduce the Black Knight or have a different villain leading the Silver Talons.

I know this was only a small one yet I hope this was worth a read, if you think this idea could’ve worked then leave a comment below and if you want you can suggest a few more ideas for this one.

I’m the Wandering Fox and I’ll see ya thieves.

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While the time travel story could have worked, living through past ancestors' experiences is also a cool take on it.

Also liking all the new designs for the ladies and Clockwerk here.

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This way you can still focus on the Coopers without Sly or his lot butting in on their story.

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