Cheeky Charlatans – Sly Cooper

Let’s get this out of the way, Sly probably isn’t the first character that comes to mind when one thinks of video game charlatans. He’s a thief, but he specializes in stealing from criminals rather than normal folk. So he’s not exactly a charlatan in the normal sense. He does have to don disguises every so often and trick his targets, but other than that Sly is actually fairly forthright. However, “cheeky” absolutely fits this guy. So much so that his enemies probably wouldn’t outright hate him if he could just keep the snark in check.

When we first meet Sly in Sly Cooper and the Thevius Raccoonus, he’s every bit the snarky, overconfident thief one would expect him to be. He’s got the skills he needs to bring down his enemies, he knows it, and he always makes sure that they know he knows it. It’s not until the very end of the game that Sly shows anything other than mocking defiance to his enemies. In short, he’s the kind of guy many of us would probably like to be when dealing with unpleasant people. He doesn’t take their garbage, and he sends plenty back at them.

Video from YouTube channel: WhiteKhakis

Sly is more or less the same at the outset of Sly 2: Band of Thieves; he absolutely does not take Dimitri seriously (though really, who would?) and he makes pretty quick work of the lizard’s counterfeiting operation. Of course, he makes sure to get a good jab in before leaving the former fashionista to the cops. He does lose a little bit of that spark after his confrontation with Rajan, and but that doesn’t stop him from dealing cutting remarks to the tiger once things are finally settled. Events continue to test both the resolve and character of Sly and the rest of the Cooper Gang, but not even a tragic injury can snuff out their spunk.

Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time show us more matured versions of Sly and the gang, but you gotta love how they still do their utmost to push their enemies’ buttons. Even when he’s in the most dire of situations, Sly never quite loses that snarky charm of his, and I think that’s a big part of why he’s still a highly beloved character. Many characters today are so forgettable due to a lack of distinct personality and/or charm, so I hope Sly influences more charmingly cheeky characters in the future.


What do you think of Sly Cooper? Did you find him charming or just annoying? Does he remind you of another game character? Whatever the case, Cheeky Charlatans month still has some more overly-cool dudes to come, so stick around!

Image edited by Hatmonster