The intro cutscene from Thief: The Dark Project was a wonderful mood-setter, cutting between one of Garrett’s heists and creepy supernatural imagery, heavy on eyes to suggest he’s being watched. It’s also a neat “here’s how not to play the game” warning, with Garrett killing a guard, an act that summons three more and results in him having to beat feet. Now, thanks to the original game’s cutscene director Daniel Thron we’ve got another introduction to the world of City: a fan film called Thief – Cutscene Zero.
It’s another of Garrett’s jobs gone messy, with Thron joking on Twitter, “I guarantee you he’s loading his last save right after this”. Cutscene Zero gets the fantasy-noir vibe down pat, from the unsuspecting guard seeing his reflection as he looks out the window into the rain, to the narration provided by Viktoria, Thief’s femme fatale, voiced once again by Terri Brosius. I need this modded into Thief Gold somehow.
Another member of the original Looking Glass development team, artist Jennifer Hrabota-Lesser, provided the painting seen 30 seconds in. It seems like everyone at Looking Glass wore a lot of hats, and Hrabota-Lesser was also credited with A/V support and the website, while Brosius was a designer and the cutscene writer as well as an outstanding voice actor (most famously, she voiced Shodan in the System Shock series). Thron’s own credits on Thief include cutscene direction, art, and animation, the box art and manual illustrations, particle effects, and voice acting for characters as diverse as a comedically wheezy ApeBeast and the terrifying voice of The Eye, as well as Cutty, Ramirez, Brother Renault, and several guards.
While Thief is still entirely playable today, with the Gold edition available on Steam and GOG, and the unofficial patch pack TFix adding things like widescreen support, I’d love to see a remake. Now that the System Shock remake is out, maybe it could be Nightdive’s next project? Though there’s always Gloomwood for more of those modern Thief vibes.