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Thief that can’t pick a simple lock? SEMI-SOLVED

I love thieves in games. The poor man in a bad situation who turns to stealing to help himself and others is one of my favorite kinds of thief story. I blame reading Robin Hood as a child for it I suppose.

I was excited, then to see the master thief Garett make a return in Thief. Who does not love a good rogue, and Garett was one of the best.

I pre-ordered the game and played it on Master difficulty through to the last boss battle, then ended up having to set the game aside for a time.

Returning to the game I decided I would do a fast refresher course on normal mode before I dove back into my master save. Everything went beautifully. I stole everything in the first room and snuck out leaving the guy scratching his backside completely unaware he had not a valuable left in his room. Out, across the street, into the bird attic. Everything was going Garett’s way. Oh.. painting… a bit of investigation and a tap of the R2 button on my Power A controler and the painting lifted up without a sound. I’m sure Garett’s smile was much like my own as he slipped the lock picks into the safe lock.


I found the sweet spot on the first pin and tapped R2 again. Again, nothing.

After trying and trying and getting upset because my controller was broken I tore the controller apart to try to fix it. No luck. I had played the game thru in 40+ hours of game time, on MASTER difficulty. I knew how to pick locks, but… nothing. Not even with a new Afterglow controller.

I tried to change which button set the pin, but could not do that.

Mystified I gave up, bought another new Power A pro controller and went back to Final Fantasy XIV. Total controller count trying to pick that lock on Thief: 1 wireless Power A pro controller, 2 wired Power A Pro controllers, 3 Afterglow controllers, and 2 standard PS3 factory issued controllers.

I don’t think it was a controller malfunction.

I forgot about the issue until I tried to play Thief a few minutes ago and once again was stopped cold by a lock that would not open.

I’ve gone over everything again with the exception of I have not broken open any controllers this time. Still no luck. It looks like this is a rather common issue for PS3 users, however, so I will keep trying to find a fix. Hopefully the one that says kill all old saves is not the only fix. >.< I do not want to lose well over 40 hours of gameplay on Master difficulty with with all sidequests done and many of the chapters cleared with no alerts or kills.

Not that it was not fun getting there, I just would prefer not to start over from scratch while also trying to play Heavensward.

I suspect the issue may be with the downloaded version I had for a time corrupting my save data – but am not sure about this. I just know the disk verson worked for me, I picked up the free copy off the PS store when it was a Plus member special, and now it does not work even with the downloaded version removed and me using the disk.

I’ll keep trying and will let you all know if I find a fix for this. This is too great of a game to not be able to play it anymore.


I can not call this a fix, since it forces me to use the original Playstation  controller, but at least I got the thing to work. You have to start the game from scratch using the original controller that came with your system (don’t have one… not sure what to say.)

Once the game is started, and you have began picking up things in the first room where the guy is asleep, then plug in your after market controller and reassign it to port 1.

You should now be able to open the lock using the aftermarket controller.

The pain is – I do not know if this will allow you to still pick locks when you restart the game later on. You may be able to do the same controller swap for save points – I do not know yet.


Good point, you can get past the first safe lock and enjoy this great game.

Bad point, this is not actually a fix for those of us that hate the too-small standard layout controllers that come with the systems.

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