Thief Gold (1998): Splinter Cell Before There Was Splinter Cell

Author’s Note: [NO IMAGES ARE MY OWN!]

I’m starting to believe that the golden age of gaming was from 1992 to 2007. Thief Gold is an illustration of how great games from then could be.


Game: Thief Gold: (1998)

Developer: Looking Glass Studios

Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Price: $9.99 on

Background: Stealth games nowadays are a dime a dozen. We have our Hitman, Splinter Cell, Metal Gear Solid, and of course the freedom to be stealthy in DeusEx and its prequel successors.   Also we have games like Root where we can be stealthy. Thief Gold (The Dark Project) was truly groundbreaking as it was the first person sneaker and it was starkly different than its contemporaries in the first person perspective on the marketplace as it was certainly not a shoot em up. Nor was it a hack ’em up as it is set in a world similar to Dungeons and Dragons and my own work Paul of Pinningdale.


The First Person Sneaker: Games on the marketplace in the first person persepective were violent and combat driven. Some of the best were Rainbow Six, Dark Forces II Jedi Knight, Duke Nukem 3D, and Quake and its sequel. I’ll admit, back in the time of this game I had only played Dark Forces II Jedi Knight. Other games for me back then were point and click adventures. I was too young to explore FPSs of a more violent nature, and I doubt I would have comprehended Thief at the time as it was a stealthy game. And the games I played then were far from this, being Rainbow Six and Dark Forces II.

In Thief, terrain mattered. Would the ground you were walking on create noise? Would you be seen in the light? Would going through the front door have the guards coming towards you after a fast footed one tripped the alarm once they observed your entry? Your tactics matter like in Rainbow Six, when you take out guards you need to hide the evidence. How ill you handle that? And when they discover the evidence, what will the guards do?

These are questions the player must answer in this ground breaking game.



The Environments: The player will explore the world of Thief’s manors, castles, mines, prisons, and city streets, temples are there too along with other great medieval and science fiction driven atmospheres. This allows for an immersive and enjoyable romp through the world of Thief, the weapons are of interest as well.

The Weapons: You have a bow with various arrows ranging from broadheads, water arrows, moss arrows, and other specialties, but your number one friend will be your ‘sap’ or your blackjack.

A sap or blackjack, a common weapon for police in the first half of the 20th Century. Also a good weapon in Thief.

Final Analysis: If you want a stealth game in the first person, check this out. This is not Oblivion, nor is it Skyrim. This is a total stealth game.



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