1. THIEF Walkthrough overview

Approach

Welcome to the Thief walkthrough. This game is an action-adventure game and falls into the stealth genre. There is an over-arching story which is event driven. To complete the story, you trigger plot events in sequence. This may seem to imply the game is linear. It is not. There is much to do outside of the main story. The protagonist, Garrett, can choose many paths to reach the various milestones throughout the game. In fact, if you explore everything the game has to offer, you could easily be overwhelmed by its magnitude.

This walkthrough will present players with an effective and efficient roadmap to all achievements. It is intended to assist a player unaccustomed to stealth games to complete the game in under 20 hours of active playing time and a player experienced in the stealth genre to complete the game in a 10 to 15 hour range of active playing time. Note that this time estimate does not include a 10 to 15 hour interval where the game is on but idle. One achievement requires a playthrough to last at least 15 hours. Our only complete playthrough is a streamlined one that will only take a fraction of that time and could easily take under two hours. So, in order to get the achievement, the active game time must be extended using an extended inactive interval. The player leaves the game on--not paused or interrupted by a menu display--and does not play the game.

Although we will obtain all achievements, that does not mean we will touch upon everything the game has to offer. To the contrary, the game is full of common loot to steal as distinguished from collectibles. There are 1,114 items of common loot—575 in the prologue and 8 story chapters, 398 can be found exploring the city, and 141 can be found in special side quests called client missions. If we were to collect every item of loot, we would double or triple the fifty hour playing time of this walkthrough.

In order to play the game in a very efficient manner, we will use a unique approach. We will start the game on a custom difficulty which is harder than the hardest set choice—Master. We will run through the main story with a minimum of detours and get an achievement for doing so. Then, we will start a new game on the lowest difficulty setting—Rogue— and play through about three quarters of the story with detours as required to mop up achievements. There are two reasons for doing this:

First, if you finish the game on a custom difficulty assessed at 700 points or more, you do not have to finish the game a second time. The final encounter is relatively unaffected by difficulty so the walkthrough is structured so you only have to finish the game once. If you finish the game on any other difficulty, you will still be required to finish the game a second time on a custom difficulty assessed at 700 points or more.

Second, in order to get an achievement, we must complete 25 thieving objectives. Thieving objectives are awarded by meeting certain conditions while playing through a chapter or a special side quest called a client mission. If you started the game on the easiest difficulty setting, Rogue, you might find it difficult to satisfy these sometimes tricky conditions. By postponing them to a second playthrough that we will be playing at the easiest setting, you will have acquired the skills to make the challenges seem simple. Having played the game on a Master level difficulty will give you the confidence to execute risky maneuvers at the Rogue difficulty level.

In the interest of not being pushy, though, the above recommended approach is not a mandate. For those who are uncomfortable starting the game off at a high level of difficulty, you can reverse the order of the two main sections of the walkthrough. They are on different pages to assist you in keeping them separate and following them in the order of your preference.

This walkthrough is not restrictive. It provides a streamlined path through the game to get all achievements. It does not discourage players from exploring on their own.

There is only one achievement related to collecting common loot. The walkthrough addresses that at a point where it can be most easily obtained. Other than that one achievement, there are only two benefits to collecting loot. First, it is one of three ways to accumulate wealth. The other two ways are picking pockets and completing challenges & meeting milestones. Wealth is used to buy upgrades, tools, ammunition, etc. We will be getting most of the cash we need for the few items we need to buy through normal story progression that rewards us for meeting milestones and completing challenges. The second reason is completing thieving challenges associated with an achievement. The walkthrough will track all loot required for achievement-related thieving challenges and provide a tracker to assist you.

Garret can employ stealth or violence to progress past adversaries. Insofar as there is a major achievement for completing the game without kills or knockouts, we will be adopting stealthy tactics. Even in our second playthrough, after we have earned the achievement for nonviolence, we will continue to avoid direct confrontation although we will employ surreptitious knockouts. This play-style substantially reduces our need for items and upgrades and goes hand in hand with our disinterest in going out of our way to steal common loot.

Thief has a high true achievement ratio. This is because there are a number of achievements that can be quite daunting. This walkthrough is structured to take the trepidation out of unlocking the more difficult achievements. Below is an overview of these difficult achievements and how the walkthrough will assist you in unlocking them:

  • During our first bare-bones playthrough, we will unlock the ‘Something to Prove’ achievement for finishing the game at a custom difficulty of at least 700 points. This will also unlock ‘Hard Times’ for finishing the game on Master Difficulty. Master difficulty is the base we use when establishing our custom difficulty of over 700 points. Our custom difficulty will automatically prevent us from employing violence and using focus. This will make it easier for us to unlock achievements for nonviolence and non-use of focus. Were we to try to do this on our own, we might inadvertently slip without realizing it. Ironically, the higher custom difficulty setting ends up making it easier for us to unlock some of the most demanding achievements in the game.
  • There are achievements for stealing all 82 special collectibles and finding all 73 special areas. During our second playthrough we will accumulate all of these. The walkthrough will keep track of these and give you a running count. The routes the walkthrough takes are specially designed to find all collectibles and reveal all secret areas.
  • You will be amply prepared for completing 25 optional thieving challenges that would otherwise be troublesome. Again, the walkthrough will keep track of these numerically so that you can concentrate on game play.

Save often. The game will automatically save at checkpoints. It is in your best interests to augment these automatic saves with manual saves of your own. The game allows you to liberally save. Take advantage of this feature. I will be repeating this tip throughout the walkthrough.

There are three main aspects to the game:

  • The main story line or quest
  • Side quests and challenges
  • Exploration

This walkthrough is spoiler free to the maximum extent possible. Plot revelations will not be discussed in order to minimize exposure to spoilers.

In summary, this walkthrough reduces the complexity of a very elaborate game. Its main purpose is to allow the player to unlock all achievements without undue difficulty and in a reasonable time. It provides trackers for all collectibles that must be obtained and all locations that must be discovered. Nevertheless, it leaves the door open for players who want to experience more of the game’s content.

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