A Mysterious Thief

A Mysterious Thief
Company: Vidco
Model #:
Year: 1983
Yes (see below)
Released by Suntek as Criminal Persuit


Talk about a game with convoluted history!  It was once thought that A Mysterious Thief, along with Pizza Chef, Immies and Aggies  and Spinning Fireball, were all original games developed by a PAL company called Suntek.  However after much research it has been determined that these are in fact original NTSC games released by two different companies called Zimag and Vidco, which may have been related somehow.  While Suntek released A Mysterious Thief as Criminal Pursuit in Europe, it appears that the German company Quelle also got a hold of this game and released it as Eddy Langfinger, Der Museumsdieb.



As you might have guessed from the title, this game is about a mysterious thief (ie. you).  Your goal is to steal as many items from the building before the timer expires.  However to accomplish this task you're going to have to sneaky, because as we all know a clumsy thief is a dead thief.  Unfortunately you're not alone, killer guard dogs and the local security man have been alerted to your presence and are out to put and end to your one man crime spree.  


The building is separated into four floors each with five windows.  The top floor is the roof which has no windows or enemies, so you can hide up there if things get too hot for you.  To move between floors you will need to watch for an access hole (purple square) which appears somewhere on the floor above you.  There are permanent access holes on the left or right edges of the levels, and one that moves around randomly on each floor.  To use an access hole simply jump up and press up, and you will use your grappling hook to go through the hole.  However make sure there are no enemies close by when moving between levels and there is a slight pause after you move up in which you can't jump.


Each floor except for the top and the bottom have a guard dog which will run after you the moment you enter the level.  Guard dogs can be easily jumped over, but they are fast and will constantly race back and forth around the level.  Also making your life miserable is the security guard who moves through the windows on each floor. The guard is fast, and if he catches you as you move in front of a window you will lose a life, so it's best to wait until he moves to another floor.  Also appearing in the windows are various treasures, these are what you are after so make sure you grab them as soon as they appear.  If you manage to grab enough treasure a helicopter will appear, this is your cue to run to the roof and make your escape.  You will receive bonus points for each second on the timer remaining.


A Mysterious Thief isn't a bad game, but it doesn't have enough variety to keep it interesting.  You simply wander about grabbing treasure until the helicopter appears or you get caught.  The game is also rather tough and unforgiving, which combined with the general lack of gameplay doesn't make one want to come back for more.  Still, if the gameplay was fleshed out a little, Vidco may have had something here.


Version Cart Text Description
?/??/83 A Mysterious Thief Only known NTSC prototype


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