The Impossible Thief

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So a character concept I am utterly in love with, just in general, is that of the “impossible thief.” Basically, a thief that can steal more than just items off a shelf or from a museum.. Like, more. I suppose it’s easier to show via examples, so here’s an excuse for me to post a TOP X THINGS blog post, because let’s be honest I’ve not done that for a while.

Skyrim: You!

You know, every time I start a new character on Skyrim, I think “this time, things will be different! I’ll use swords and shields, or maybe magic!” and then I loot a bow and some arrows, and oops I’ve become a sneaky archer thief yet again.

I mean when they give you arrows in such a manner, it’s like they’re trying to tell you something

So I go around and steal a load of stuff, join the Thieves’ Guild, level up sneak and pickpocketing slowly but surely, and those two skills are where the REAL impossible thievery comes into play. With the right amount of those two skills and the correct perks (Perfect Touch as a minimum, probably 5 ranks of Light Fingers and Stealth too) you can literally steal the clothes off someone’s back and the weapons from their hands from in front of them in broad daylight, and somehow not only do they not notice, they don’t even react! As if they were feeling a draught already so this is nothing out the ordinary.

This, however, is nothing compared to what you can do to a particular type of enemy. Over in The Reach, the city of Markarth has a problem with the Forsworn, rebels who are trying to reclaim the area from Nord and Imperial control. One type of Forsworn enemy you can encounter is a Forsworn Briarheart, powerful high ranking men who usually act as the leaders of the various groups you encounter in The Reach. The story goes, they performed a ritual, offering their human heart to Hargravens, and in exchange receiving power and a new heart, the Briar Heart. Well yes, if you’re sufficiently sneaky and pickpockety, you can creep up behind them, steal the heart from their chest, and watch them drop dead instantly!

Final Fantasy Tactics: The Thief Class

We like short shorts

A staple class in a lot of Final Fantasy games, even those without an explicit job system (example: Rikku in X, Zidane in IX, Vaan in XII), the Final Fantasy thief is one character I always try to include. I mean, free shit, right? Just gotta pry it from their hands!

Thieves in Tactics go a little further though. Not content with stealing weapons, shields, armour and accessories, the Tactics thief can also steal the enemy’s heart (not in the Skyrim Briarheart way), charming them into fighting for you. They also go a bit metaphysical, being able to steal the experience right out of someone’s head! Yes, with Steal EXP they can prevent an enemy levelling up by just filching the experience points from them! They can’t take them below 0 though, and thus cannot level someone down, which is a crying shame. They can, however, steal an enemy’s money without using Steal Gil! One ability gives them gil equal to damage they’ve taken! Literally picking the pockets of someone swinging a sword at them, amazing/.

The thieves from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance can steal whole abilities from an enemy! That black mage got a spell you haven’t? Go right over to them and steal it outta their mind, and become an instant master of magic!

Disgaea: The Thief Class

YOINK

Statistically rather weak, and with rather bad weapon aptitudes (though they eventually get okay ones with Gun and Bow), the thief is best used as, well, a thief! Boasting double the success rate for stealing items compared to other classes in the game, and with the best items coming off of really strong enemies, you’re going to need an even stronger thief to relieve them of those precious things! Much like the previous thieves, they are capable of tearing the clothes off your back and the sword outta your hands, but Disgaea’s thieves also have another trick up their sleeves: they steal STATISTICS.

While it picks a stat at random, Snag Heart actually permanently raises the stat of the thief at the cost of the same amount from your target. It’ll never be enough to cripple an enemy’s statistics (you’re better off stealing their armour and weapons for that, plus have you SEEN the crazy numbers they can reach in that series?!), but the fact remains you’re stealing something highly intangible! In Disgaea 2 they can also inflict status ailments through stealing; Steal Memory causes the Amnesia status, making the target unable to use abilities, whereas Steal Health inflicts the Poison status.

LOOK AT THOSE STATS

Final Fantasy X-2: Thief Class AGAIN

Popping back briefly to Final Fantasy, in the much maligned (but secretly very very good) X-2, thieves had access to Flimflam abilities, and these had a couple of interesting effects!

Girls, how are you not cold?

There’s the typical stealing of money or items, but Borrowed Time literally stole your enemy’s time, inflicting the nasty Stop status! Similarly, using Soul Swipe they could inflict Berserk, making the enemy unable to use anything other than physical attacks (with the trade-off of making those attacks hurt a LOT more), and with Steal Will they could literally steal the enemy’s enthusiasm to fight, making them flee the battle!

I just made them all Dark Knights though. They looked cooler.

so edge

THE ORIGINAL, THE BEST: CARMEN FUCKIN’ SANDIEGO

I mean let’s just recap some (not even all, SOME) of the things this genius has stolen over the years:

  • The shine of the Hope Diamond. Not the diamond itself! The shininess of it!
  • Portuguese. Yes, the language.
  • The alphabet.
  • The Spanish letter ñ.
  • A TV channel.
  • The internet.
  • The Mona Lisa’s smile.
  • All the goulash for some reason.
  • K2. An entire fuckin’ MOUNTAIN.
  • Gandhi’s glasses.
  • A beach.
  • All the salsa. ALL.
  • Saturn’s rings.
  • Montezuma’s headdress.
  • George Washington’s face from every $1 bill that ever existed and, somehow, ever will exist
  • Maths.
  • Dance.
  • The International Date Line, which is imaginary but she stole it anyway.
  • The steps to the tango.

Look, when it comes to impossible thievery, Carmen Sandiego just cannot be beaten.

She’s my fucking HERO.

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3 thoughts on “The Impossible Thief

    Lord of Icecrown said:
    November 11, 2018 at 11:10 am

    On occasion on Fallout games I’ve gone the sneaky thief way instead of the gun blazing murder hobo strategy xD
    (I pick pocketed the valuables of my targets, and leave grenades in their place. Good times 😂

    Real life examples, this reminded me of the russian group who stole bridges (yes, actual bridges) overnight.

      ikralla responded:
      November 11, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Oh my god I am going to have to look them up! :O That’s some Carmen Sandiego shiz right there!

        Lord of Icecrown said:
        November 16, 2018 at 3:58 pm

        Read something this week that might interest you, look up the Chinese Art Heists of the last years. It is movie worthy: quick, efficient, nearly impossible 🙂
        A series of heists where ancient valuable pieces of Chinese art are stolen, most of them pieces from the treasure in the Summer Palace that was pillaged by foreign armies.

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