Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (Furry Crime Adventure)

No fancy header for this one, my poor tortured artist didn’t have enough time rip him.

A long time ago, a company named Sega decided to make it’s counter to Mario in the form of Sonic T. Hedgehog, a sassy blue animal friend. Thus was the start of what can be known as the “Mascot Platformer” genre, which if you’re generous can include a lot more than just straight action platformers because the feel is more about having a (typically sassy) cute animal player character, which also doubles as the developers mascot. Many people tried their hand at this, no more than Sony that basically pumped out like, at least a hundred of these. It had Crash Bandicoot, which was terrible. It had Spyro, which was really good up until it suddenly wasn’t and no one knew how to recover it. It had Rachet and Clank and the…other, main character and side kick duo which shall go unmentioned due to being t h e f o r b i d d e n in this household, and while the first of those was good the latter is um…well given my response to it you can guess how much I like it.

But on top of all of that, one of the last, was a simple game by Sucker Punch studios. You may know them from Rocket Robot On Wheels, or their later inFamous series. But here is where it all started. A game about a raccoon man, his turtle friend, his hippo buddy, and their global crime spree adventure. We’ll have fun, excitement, and more than a few close calls. This is one of my favorite games of all time, as well as one of my favorite series, so you can rest assured I’m getting 100% on this and am going to have a pretty fun time. As always, no spoilers please, try and keep the talk about the game, etc etc. I’m going to be trying to get 2 or maybe 3 levels in a video, barring for time. Without further ado, lets dive on in.

Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus [1] Tide of Terror

Video Length: 20:55

And so our adventure games, in media res as it where as Sly sneakthieves his way into the Paris police department. Mechanically this game controls incredibly well, movement being fluid and everything rolling into each other very well. The animation has always been a high point of this series, with a lot of effort put into making it all look sneaky. Everything Sly does carries with it this feeling of light footed intentionality, with a mild cartoon exaggeration that really sells home how it all looks. Joining Sly on this little heist, though in the getaway van and not out in the field, are Bentley the turtle and Murry the Hippo, the brains and driver of the gang. And after we steal the file, it’s time to meet the Zenigata to our Lupin, Carmalita Fox. This interpol agent packs a powerful proton pistol and is generally pretty acrobatic as well, and is probably one of the biggest threats in the game. Which is saying something given you die in one hit. We evade her, and make our escape.

Which of course leads into the other really iconic “bit” from Sly Cooper. The animated cutscenes. I’m a big fan of the kinda pulpy comic book style the Sly series uses, and it works really well here. We get our backstory here, and it’s a good one. Sly is the latest in a long line of master thieves, who own a book of thief knowledge passed down from one member of the family to the next; the Thievius Raccoonus. A group known as the Fiendish Five attacked Sly’s family and killed his parents, stealing the book. Poor Sly ends up in the orphanage where he meets his friends, and together they work on the big plan to steal back the pages of the book and return ourselves to infamous glory, as it where. This leads us to the first hideout of the game, Sir Raleigh’s pirate base.

SIr Raleigh was a rich frog who got bored so he decided to do a pirate. Turns out he liked it, and he used his mechanical know-how to create a weather control device to rob more ships. All in all not the most impressive villain in the series, but he’ll make a good first target. We infiltrate his hideout, in the process finding the main collectable of the game (clue bottles that let us unlock safes in each level) and then get a little message from the frogger, showing how deranged he actually is. All in all, a good first outing.

Hope you all enjoyed the start of this new LP. I’ll see you guys next time for more crime.


Sly Cooper is such a good game in my opinion, definitely going to follow this one!

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Oh man I have so many fond memories of this series. The second game was definitely my favorite but this one was great too.

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I loved this game and the second one as a kid. I also loved Crash Bandicoot, what’s wrong with him/you?

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This is going to be the thing that kills me but I’ve just not had any fun with Crash at all. Running towards the screen style platforming is a hard sell, and it has not aged well.

Yeah the perspective screws with everyone eventually, either you love it or not.

Let’s continue with furry crimes.

Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus [2] Tuck and Roll

Video Length: 15:35

In this episode, we go through the next two stages in Raleigh’s hideout, and technically the first stages in the game. We get to see the extent of our sneaking ability as we fiddle our way through a fiery engine room, and we get to slip past security in a fancy library type area. The level design in this game feels really good, with the actual aesthetic design being fantastic (not to mention all the small details in the backgrounds) so even if it is relatively simple to navigate these levels, they look really cool if you stop and take a peek at em, which I will from time to time. We also encounter some pretty cool set pieces, the rotating van area from the first stage and the statue garden laser security system from the second. And of course the lilypad jumping, which is something I distinctly remember always seeing from the trailers/commercials for the game as a distinct “thing”.

Clue bottle wise, we find a new move and also find that not every safe is gonna have a piece of the Raccoonus in it. We get the roll, which is decent at getting around fast but has the problem that it reacts to physics as you’d expect a rolling move to do in reality, and since this is a cartoon world it’s full of things in the way and bumpy, uneven terrain so it ends up not actually being super useful. It has it’s places though. In the second stage we get the blueprints to Raleigh’s hideout, letting us use our binocu-cam to find breakable objects and clue bottles. It’s a little vague about it (I don’t recall ever using it to find bottles myself) but it’s definitely useful to have in a pinch. Each hideout has it’s own blueprints though, so once we’re done with the frog we won’t have much use for them. Still, nice to have.

And that’s the episodes. One of the “both good and bad” sides of this game is that it’s a lot more simpler than others, so I end up having not tooo much to talk about, so we get shorter posts like this. But that’s not a bad thing, sometimes we need to take a step back and chill. But yeah, hope you all enjoyed today’s episode. See you guys next time for further crime!

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I have to ask Zodi, did you ever try Thieves in time?

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I have! I um…may have platinum cleared all of the Sly games. I like them a lot >_>

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Nice. Do you happen to have any tips for beating Murray’s training regime for the prehistoric level?

Little late an episode because I stayed up Too Late watching Coco.

Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus [3] Barrel Friend

Video Length: 16:00](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxFgzr0y8-c)

In today’s episode, we finish up the final two stages of Raleigh’s hideout…or at least, this half of it. Most hideouts are split into two sections, with the first set of levels getting you deeper into the compound due to some manner of trickery (in Raleigh’s case, smashing his electrical defense grid). This is also the first real time that I miss some clue bottles, so you can get a feel for how I’m gonna edit that in the future. If you’d prefer speed ups to cutting directly to it just tell me and I’ll see how that looks.

The first level is the main engine of the storm machine, a huge furnace of heat and fire, and the first (and I do think only) instance of a redundant tutorial. We already needed to know how to to run on the flywheel to get INTO this stage, after all. But of note, the game…doesn’t FORCE the tutorial on you, you have to trigger it. But that begs the question of why it’s triggerable here when, again, you had to learn how to operate the wheel to get in here in the first place. It’s a strange sort of interaction that makes me curious about the development of the game, is all. In this stage we get access to the S L O W ability, letting us slow down time to a crawl…while we’re jumping. Not super useful, but it allows us to better maneuver in the air. It’s more useful than you’d think.

The next level we deal with is the episode namer. It’s time for the perfect disguise; a barrel. Getting into it’s a little finicky, and movement is reasonably slow while wearing it, but it’s a pretty cool mechanic all things considered? I like the turrets we need to sneak by, and given that Raleigh is a mechanist it makes sense that he’d have some ridiculous security like this. Unfortunately for him, nothing can defeat the power of banded wood. Also his guards are as dumb as Moblins. I think my favorite feature of this stage, however, is the two little token security lights on the rafters of the library. It’s like…you’ve got so many auto turrets that are truly unavoidable, but you’ve still got that little extra layer of security. So silly. For this stage we get an addition to the Dive attack, letting us do a downward dive in mid air. It’s a sort of AOE, and can collect stuff rather quickly, but overall is um…not suuuper useful. It’s got it’s merits though.

And that’s the episode! Hope you all enjoyed. I’ll see you all next time, where we finally take a cane to Raleigh’s dumb frog face.

@Loquacious_Ghoul I sadly do not remember that at all. I last played Sly 4 when it first came out so I’m completely blanking on that.


Slightly later than I’d of liked because I’m having some difficulty sleeping woo!

Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus [4] Raleigh Croaks

Video Length: 12:03

Today’s video, we finish up Raleigh’s hideout and then take on the big frog himself. But first, lets talk about those two stages we deal with before getting to him. First up we have a stage that introduces a fun little mechanic. Every hub has at least one stage where the boss will comment on your progress. It’s not a big thing really, but knowing that he’s watching and aware of what we’re doing gives a nice feel to the game overall. He knows we’re here, but he doesn’t know WHERE and it’s fun to see him threaten to flog his entire staff to stop us. Onto this stage in general, we have a really cool aesthetic, a graveyard of sunken boats and hanging airplanes being salvaged for parts. It’s a really cool design, underlining the fact that Raleigh’s kind of caused a LOT of damage over the years he’s been doing his thing. Makes it a bit more satisfying when we cane his face in. More importantly though is our reward. The book page in this stage gives us the Magnet Pull ability, a passive ability that’s always on that makes basically any other means of collecting coins redundant since it gives us an aura of pick up. It’s a great power, just one I’m surprised was put in so early considering.

Theeen we have the next stage, and the final treasure key of Raleigh’s hide out. And our first dip into the Sly Cooper franchise’s obsessive love affair with minigames. It’s not as bad in this game, and even with the…lets be truthful here and just say “overuse” in Sly 3 in particular, I still think these are all good games you can play. But gosh, this series loves it some nonstandard video game minigame levels. This first one is a top down two stick shooter style game where we need to blow up the chests these crabs are trying to get. 40 chests total, if we miss even one we lose. I feel like I lost at least three in this but maybe my timing was just completely perfect? Regardless, the one saving grace of these minigame levels is that there is no clues and no master thief sprints to worry about, which I’m glad for. Also yeah the red thing on each level is a Master Thief sprint, an hourglass that lets us start a time trial of the stage. We’ll be covering those at the end of the game for bonus material cause they’re REALLY HARD actually. But yeah, this shooter minigame is…alright. It’s probably the least bad of all the minigames in Sly 1.

And so, with the last two treasure keys, we can fight Raleigh himself. Raleigh is…an odd duck when it comes to the series. Not to spoil things but this series has a lot of animal types in it, and Raleigh’s the only one who’s like…really realistic with regards to how he’s presented? Like he’s basically just a frog with some cuffs and a fancy hat. Now, lets, he gets huge and tries to crush us to death with his massive body, but before that he’s basically just a frog with a weird man face. What I’m saying is that the designs in this series are good but also weird sometimes. Rayleigh as a boss is fairly easy, having three phases (and one final trump card for the fourth and final hit) where he jumps around trying to squish you, only really changing it up at the end. The platforms are the real danger here, as is the water. Overall this is a pretty good first boss though. It also introduces us to a really good UI feature I wish more games had. Boss portraits alongside their health bar that changes as you beat on them. It’s cool and makes you feel like your actually progressing. Also having bosses have health bars in general is a good feature.

With Raleigh defeated, we retrieve a piece of our ancestral book and hot foot it out before Carmelita and her goon squad bust in and arrest the place. Raleigh’s put behind bars and we return home to plan our next heist, and we also study the last page Raleigh has, featuring probably the single best move you can get in the game, the ninja spire jump. We’ll talk more about this next time though. And speaking of, next time we’ll be heading off to Mesa City, Utah to fight the big bruiser of the Fiendish Five, Muggshot the bulldog. See you guys then.

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It’s time to go to America.

Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus [5] Sunset Snake Eyes

Video Length: 10:40

Bit of a short one today, due to this being the end of my first recording session and thus still back when I wasn’t entirely sure how I was gonna cut up this series. Today, we head off to Mesa City Utah to take down Muggshot’s operation. Before hand of course, we get a little bit of insight into Muggshot’s character. The runt of the litter, he was always picked on. Then he saw The Dogfather and got…lets say inspired, to get large. With dedication and training and a whole lot of sweat, the little puppy became so large he can walk on his fists. AND he’s packing heat for extra measure. Now he’s the big crime boss of Utah, and the big muscle of the Fiendish Five. Taking him down won’t be easy, I imagine.

The approach to Muggshot’s turf is far longer than basically any stage in Raleigh’s hideout, including a total of 40 clue bottles! Longer levels tend to be the norm from this point on, which is another reason why I only stopped after the one here. It also introduces the first out what will be many uses of Ryuichi Cooper’s Ninja Spire Jump technique. The Ninja Spire Jump is, to me, the final piece of the puzzle on what truly makes this game reach the aesthetic of “super sneaky sneaksthief”. When you press circle in the air near a sharp point, Sly does this spin towards it from any direction, homing in on the point and landing on it gracefully like a ninja. He stays perched up there until you leap off, usually off onto another sharp object. You do this repeatedly over pits and security guards and so on. It feels incredibly satisfying to use, despite being a very simple thing to do mechanically, and it feels really stylish. Sly Cooper is a game that tries beyond all else to deliver on the feeling of being a sneaky thief, and this is the final thing it needed to really sell that image.

Anyway, lets talk a bit more about the contents of this approach level. Enemy wise we have the somewhat confusing guard dogs that are chained up and clearly just regular dogs. Given the crabs and rats from Raleigh’s hideout, I think the only implication we can have is that there just are regular animals in this universe in addition to animal people, which feels weird to me. Then we have the prison hound dogs that spin their chain gang chain around, threatening to both hit you with a very heavy object AND send you flying with it. There’s the dalmation card shark that throws playing cards at you which is just generally really stylish, and finally the labradour with a two by four who’s definitely gonna hit you with his stick if he can ever actually approach you fast enough to be a problem. There’s also dobermens with tommy guns and flashlights, because this is a mafia inspired group, gotta have tommy guns. A nice stock of enemies, and unlike Raleigh’s engineers they actually seem like they’re skilled at this. As for security systems, we’re introduced to the laser floor. A strange name for it, but basically it’s an alarmed floor. Don’t touch it while it’s glowing or you’ll turn on the death lasers. Simple enough, but even in just this stage they do some interesting things with it, plus the level environment.

To round us off today lets discuss the move we get from the safe for getting all 40 clues (which is trickier said than done, given some of these hiding spots!). We get the hat mine, which is probably one of if not my all time favorite power in this game. You throw your hat, and at any moment in time you can just press triangle again and it’ll explode, simple as that. The explosion is…incredibly underwhelming, to a degree that I feel like it’s an asset that wasn’t finished, but given you ARE meant to be stealthy, having a sneaky explosion also makes a degree of sense? It still feels wrong to have this huge build up with the methodical placement of the hat, the elaborate tapping of the cane, just to end with a “fwoof” smoke bomb effect. That said it’s effective, and can let us take out lighthouse guards without fear of reprisal. It’s also got a lot of style to it.

But yeah, that’s the episode. Like I said, bit of a shorter one today due to just poor planning on past Zodi’s part. Rest assured that will not remain the case for the future, I’ve got things planned out yo. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you guys next time.

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People always mention this when fiction with anthropomorphic animals also has regular animals, but is it any weirder than our world, where chimpanzees continue to exist when there are humans?

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I mean no, that’s an entirely good point. So having non sentient animals alongside animal people makes sense. Though it’s still fascinating to me that for some reason, it feels wrong, even though it really isn’t.

Probably because we’re used to thinking of animals in only one way, so having sapient and non-sapient versions coexisting feels weird.

New episode! Slightly late someone please help me get to sleep.

Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus [6] Murray Episode

Video Length: 16:16

In this episode, Zodi remembers that the game is far more minigame loaded than I had initially remembered, which…really just proves the point I was making about this series kind of having a sordid love affair with minigames. Starting us off, it’s a turret section where we must protect Murray from harm! Murray can only take one hit, and is in no way able to defend himself so we’ve gotta shoot down the enemies coming for him, while avoiding shooting destructive barrels that could blow him up or…as I show, while avoiding shooting HIM. This level is also ENTIRELY breakable in that if you don’t shoot the first Doberman guard before Murray runs off the building he gets stuck forever and you have to shoot him in he face to restart the entire level. Overall, KINDA TERRIBLE. The music is good though.

The second minigame ALSO includes Murray, in which we do a race car driving. Mechanically this one is pretty bad, the van goes just a little bit faster than the enemy vehicles, but to such a degree that passing them without using the nitro boosts are basically impossible. But with the nitro boosts, passing them is juuust slightly possible, though again given the relative speeds if you DO pass someone you’re basically never getting PASSED by them either. It’s…a really strict back and forth that I’m not a big fan of to be honest. The controls for the van are a little finicky, and it turns way too sharply. The Nitro, like said, is required…but enemies can pick it up. Them picking it up doesn’t do anything though, which is a saving grace for this. The music is also pretty good, and I appreciate that one of the cars is a mariachi band. But yeah no overall this is also basically just filler. While this and the turret section (and other minigame levels later) are not super compelling, I do at least understand why they were in. The gameplay for Sly 1 is rather simple, so having a completely unbroken chain of sneaking levels might get a little stale. But I kinda wish they were spread out a bit more. Also, another perfectly valid reason for these minigames is they might of just ran out of ideas for thiefbook pages. I think that’s…fair, at least.

Now, this actually happens in the middle of the episode, but I wanted to get past the minigames first before talking about the actual…level, in this video. It’s time to explore Muggshot’s Casino, and it’s actually a really good level with a ton of iterative platforming challenges and some really cool set pieces and also like, a thousand dollars inside of it because surprising no one, this casino has lots of money in it. It also features me getting stuck and almost having to restart the level due to some poorly though out geometry, though I was able to get out so it’s not as big a problem as it could be. It’s still kind of a big problem though! This level also has 40 blue bottles, continuing the trend of levels past Raleigh’s hideout just being longer and more full in general. It’s not that bad if I’m being honest, though when you miss one (or it looks like you miss one!) it becomes kind of troublesome trekking through the whole level to find it. This really won’t be much of a problem for Muggshot’s turf, I basically have it all memorized somehow, but…suffice to say I’ve finished recording and next world after this and hoo boy is it a HOT MESS. For getting all the clues we get the Fast power, which does nothing of real note. Hold triangle and the game moves at a faster speed. You’d think it might be useful during Master Thief Sprint runs, but it also speeds up the in game clock so it doesn’t ACTUALLY move you faster, not REALLY.

But yeah, that’s today’s episode! Hope you all enjoyed this large pink hippo and his raccoon friend. See you guys next time, for further crime.

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I wonder if the casino is flooded in some parts because mugshot wanted a swimming pool, maybe went a bit overboard. That or Raleigh requested a water section to for comfort during visits.

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Onwards, to more crime.

Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus [7] Outfoxed

Video Length: 14:43

A note before we begin. Someone pointed out that I had accidently not shown off Muggshot’s little announcement at the start of this hub area! I’ll include that in a video the next chance I am able. Anyway, continuing on.

In this one, we infiltrate the main building of Mugshot’s operation and prepare to do further devious, dastardly crimes against him. Starting with a level in which I try very hard to explain a concept that I only really succeed at explaining at the very end of I think the next video. It is Tall instead of Long, so as a result it feels small while having some length to it in what you do and so on and so forth. It has 40 clue bottles after all, it’s definitely a long stage with regards to the amount of time spent within it, but in terms of physical space it’s tall instead of long. I feel like this is an important differentiation and the fact that I tried very hard to come to these terms is over all silly, but I think also a good indicator of how much I like this game, and how well put together it is. This stage also hides like five clue bottles in a cement mixer and that’s kinda funny to me. Other highlights from this stage in particular is that this is the level Muggshot decides to mug for the camera, so to speak. Taunting us from his manager’s room, threatening to give us new shoes for Christmas and generally being a bad dog. The safe combo in this level gets us Muggshot’s blueprints, but I’ll note they actually come in handy for once!

Moving onto the next one, we get one of my favorite stage gimmicks in Sly Cooper. Carmalita Fox isn’t just going to wait around for us to take out the baddy, she IS actively doing stuff. And in this next level, she does just that, pursuing us throughout the rooftops of Utah, causing massive amounts of property damage with her shock pistol. She’s not super accurate here, but the shots actually have a really strong homing effect so it kinda balances out. And really, the intent for this is to get you used to the idea that this fox lady is trying to gun you down while you’re expected to do some pretty quick platforming to escape. All the clue bottles in this stage are front loaded to the front half and that’s pretty cool since it lets you focus on dodging (and it’s pretty clear they knew that too, since Fox is way more aggressive in the second half of the stage). Our reward for getting all the clues is the ability to not drown like an idiot, which rules. And reminds me that I should scrounge up the instruction book for this game so I can actually take it to my Dad’s at some point to scan it, like I said I would. Other just interesting things to talk about for this one; like I said in video the ambiguous animal face plus the S shaped dollar sign, while making sense as an indication that this is fancy and money related, also feels like a really interesting way to lead the player’s vision. It’s an S, and we’re Sly, so we definitely would pay attention to this. The animal face relates to this as well. It’s just a fun little thing I noticed is all, and while it might not even be intentional it’s fascinating to think about.

But yeah, that’s actually it for this video. A lot to talk about, but not a lot happens all together I think? I guess the video is also tall instead of long. At any rate, hope you all enjoyed! I’ll see you guys next time for when we finish up our time in Utah and also probably punch a dog directly in the face.

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It’s time to punch a dog directly in the face.

Zodi Plays: Sly Cooper and the Thingus Raccamagoocus [8] Last Call

Video Length: 12:07

Starting us off, we head to the last level before we can take down Muggshot. This is a weird, but really stylish one where we’re EFFECTIVELY side scrolling, though mechanically speaking you’re not actually side scrolling it just has that appearance. It’s a clever twist to keep the standard gameplay formula fresher, while still delivering on the idea of being a fancy sneakboy. Overall this is a pretty good level, though if you miss some of the clue bottles you have to restart the entire stage which can be a little frustrating if you DO miss those bottles. Our reward at the end is the Decoy trap, which…doesn’t seem particularly useful? I’m sure it has it’s uses, but at the end of the day it might just be more effective to bop the enemy over the face with a cane as opposed to distracting them so you can get past. That said, since the decoy is implied to take focus AWAY from you, I can see using it to cause a searchlight enemy to shoot at, then using that window of opportunity to GET IN and bop them on the face. So yeah, it’s situational. Most thievery tools should be situational anyway, so I like it.

Now then, let’s go wrestle a dog. Now, I say that Muggshot is the hardest boss in the game, and arguably the series. And I stand by that for multiple reasons, even if it might not actually be right. But one think I will say for sure is that Muggshot’s is probably the most video game-y and weird of all the boss fights…baring an exception I’ll get into later. Muggshot is of course this big huge idiot bruiser with guns. Sly isn’t buff he can’t ACTUALLY just punch a dog in the face. So instead we have to…hit mirrors around Muggshot’s office room that will refocus the light streaming in through the stained glass window so they’ll shine on the crystals around the place, causing it to get so hot that Muggshot’s guns explode and he has to get new guns up stairs. The second phase involves a slightly harder version of that, and the third phase is a gimme that you basically cannot fail unless you’re amazing at video games like me, Zodi, who is good at games. Ultimately, NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE and is probably the most stand out “thing” in the series as just…being really weird and being completely ridiculous. That aside the fight is relatively simple, Muggshot’s only means of attack is that if he sees you, he shoots you. You can dodge these bullets pretty effectively if you know what you’re doing and are agile enough, but if you aren’t you will just die. Lucky charms of course help, but given how accurate he CAN be, they won’t help you for long if you can’t dodge bullets.

A friend of mine theorized that Muggshot was originally intended to be a vampire, thus the method of our taking him out. Honestly that makes sense, especially given that if you dressed Muggshot up better he might look pretty smooth. Anyway, we beat up Muggshot by…making his guns melt, and in return we get a page from the raccoon thief book that lets us learn how to do rail grinds and rail slides. Muggshot tells us where the next member of the Fiendish Five is; Haiti, which IS NOT IN SOUTH AMERICA ZODI PLEASE LEARN TO DO MAPS. Hope you all enjoyed, I’ll see you guys next time…for swamp crime.