We are finally caught up to the first of the actual video games! It is Codename 47, developed by IO Interactive and published by Eidos in the year 2000. Yes, it looks old now, but trust me, the gameplay still holds up (I would know, I had to replay the game for footage), the music is absolutely amazing and it is, of course, the proper start to the story of agent 47 and this is what we’re interested in today. Here we go.
47 wakes up in a strange place strapped to a bed. Suddenly a voice is heard. His father calls him to obey him and makes him go through a training session to re familiarize himself with his body. 47 takes this opportunity to escape the basement and the Romanian facility. But even though he finally manages to flee, the scientist closely watches his every move… and laughs… like every evil scientist or bad guy.
Welcome to the top secret ICA training facility somewhere along the 74.2° North Latitude. 47 arrives here via helicopter and is immediately welcomed by a young, redheaded woman who introduces herself as Diana Burnwood. She has been assigned to a “handler” program, most likely due to her recent promotion. They have a small talk as they walk down the corridor and we can see a mysterious figure observing them from a walkway above…
The duo is supervised by the ICA Training Director – Erich Soders. Previously, an agent for the organization, most famous for the assassination of Jasper Knight. We will come back to this momentarily. Soders trusts neither Diana or 47. The “boy”, as he calls 47 (seriously, how is 47 a “boy” in this scenario?! The man’s 35!) has no known past, so to dig it up, the Agency sends a team to the Romanian facility. On the contrary, the young woman seems ambitious and fond of her soon-to-be-agent. She tries her best to convince Soders to give him a chance. To give her a chance.
Apparently, the ICA has a lot of random funds laying around as well as a huge amount of people that get hired to take part in training scenarios. A make-shift yacht ends up being the first of 47’s tests as he is to eliminate Kalvin Ritter, codename: Sparrow. This is a simulation of an actual mission the ICA has received back in the day. 47 takes a bit of a different approach, however, as the first thing he does is disguise himself as a mechanic. “You took his clothes!”, Diana exclaims. Their relationship has a good start to it, doesn’t it?
Soders isn’t as impressed and his team found nothing in Romania (that’s either a really bad team you have there or Ort-Meyer is a literal magician). He doesn’t believe 47 can be a good addition to the ICA and purposely makes the next (and Final!) test harder. Soders wants 47 to fail. And drag down Diana as well.
Thankfully, he isn’t the only one to play dirty. As the simulated air base comes into view, Diana informs 47 over the radio that she will help him to complete the mission to spite Soders. This contract was actually originally completed by the Training Director himself and the mission was considered a textbook clean operation. Walking around the base, 47 hears mentions of a mysterious man going by the name of Janus – the KGB top spymaster. With Diana’s help, 47 manages to “assassinate” Jasper Knight and therefore – complete his training making Soders a very unhappy man…
47 gains a title of agent and is now working for the ICA – International Contract Agency. He is also being assigned a controller – Diana Burnwood who we don’t get to hear in this game… (Later they changed it to “handler” probably because “controller” doesn’t really roll of the tongue, but I like to use the original names.)
A year later, the Agency sends 47 to Hong Kong where he is to eliminate a powerful leader of the Red Dragon triad – Lee Hong. Before doing that though, he has to weaken the triad. He uses their enemy – an organization going by the name of Blue Lotus to turn their members against the Red Dragon as well as assassinates Lee Hong’s contact – the Head Chief of the Hong Kong Police and Hong’s bodyguard Tzun.
Also obligatory “I need to use the bathroom”. Ughh… why is that a meme?…
Using the name Tobias Rieper, 47 seeks out information around the restaurant. He meets a double agent working for both CIA and the ICA – agent Carlton?… Smith (his name is revealed in the ICA Blake Dexter Files Trailer for Absolution, which is weird to me, because I always though “Smith” was just a codename) and helps him escape in exchange for information and he is introduced to Lei Ling – yes, Lei Ling, not Mei Ling, it Is the name she had in Contracts and, as we’ve discussed, Contracts isn’t the most reliable source of information – a Chinese prostitute that reveals to 47 the combination to Lee Hong’s safe (that she got from his trousers, unsurprisingly) after the agent sneaks her out of the brothel. The mission ends up being successful and Lee Hong is killed.
Next, 47 is deployed to the Colombian jungle. He is set to kill Pablo Ochoa – a drug lord specializing in trafficking cocaine. Ochoa is paranoid about getting assassinated so he spends his time in his hacienda surrounded by guards. The specific location is however unknown to the Agency. 47 has to work with what he has. He finds a lost religious idol used by Ochoa as a cover up for his drug transports and brings it to the U’wa people as well as rescues their fellow tribeman from a certain death. The chieftain is in awe with 47’s actions and gives him the directions he needs. The mission is a success as 47 kills Pablo Ochoa and destroys his underground drug lab.
Interesting little tidbit – everything about the U’wa tribe and their believes is actually based on real life. I did some Wikipedia surfing and I found a bunch of info to be genuine! Good job, lads! Oh, and the jungle looks mighty nice with the Draw Distance Unlocker. Highly recommended by yours truly!
Another contract, another location. 47 is sent to Budapest’s Thermal Bath Hotel to eliminate Frantz Fuchs – an Austrian terrorist threatening to set a chemical bomb inside of the building. Diana states that the Agency would normally not care about the terrorist attack, but preventing it might create interest in their services. She also mentions that the client would like to retrieve the weapon Fuchs is planning to use. 47 finds both of the Fuchs brothers, eliminates them and prevents the terrorist attack by securing the bomb.
Interestingly enough, we can see the third of the Fuchs brothers – Fabian – trying to make a deal with a Russian Commander Sergei Bjarkhov in one of 47’s flashbacks in Hitman Contracts. As it is 47’s memory, we have no idea what actually happened during the mission, but it is fascinating nonetheless.
Apparently Lee Hong, Pablo Ochoa, Frantz Fuchs and 47’s newest target – Arkadij Jegorov, AKA Boris all served under the French Foreign Legion. Diana comments that “if that’s a coincidence, it is one weird coincidence”. Arkadij Jegorov – a known terrorist working with the Russian mafia (that part is important, remember that for later) – is hiding somewhere in Rotterdam, presumably on one of his ships. 47 is to find his location and kill him. The Agency sets up a meeting with the target’s contact – Ivan Zilvanovitch and that situation allows 47 to place a GPS tracker on his car and let Ivan lead him to Jegorov. The surprise comes in form of a nuke that the target is carrying onboard of the ship. Thankfully, 47 manages to disarm it, eliminate the target and escape. And thank the rubber duck deity, because that mission is a pain. Personal note: I hate Platinum Runs Loose. It’s the worst mission in the series. Even worse than Hidden Valley. /endnote
47 receives a message from Diana telling him about the recent revelations regarding his last few missions. The Board of Directors assumes that every single one of them was contracted by the same person. A client so powerful that the Agency decides to work with him one last time and agrees to the condition that the contract will be fulfilled by agent 47. Diana seems worried, even telling 47 to “stay cool no matter what happens”.
The target is Odon Kovacs – one of the doctors working in a Romanian mental hospital. 47 once again uses the name Tobias Rieper to get inside the facility. (The way to Kovacs’ office is through the operating theater that is located in the middle of the facility. May I ask why?) He unknowingly falls into a trap. Kovacs declares that the hospital they’re in is the same one as the one Ort-Meyer conducted his experiments in and 47 mentions he remember Kovacs. “He was the one with the needle.” He keeps his calm though. Kills Kovacs and finds agent Smith sedated and barely able to speak. He is able to mutter that 47 has to remember he was here before. After giving him the antidote, Smith shows 47 the way to the basement where he is to be finally confronted with the last of his Fathers.
Can I just say that Smith is probably the most important character in this entire series because of that moment? Think about it – if not for Smith, 47 would be stuck as this superhuman assassin following the Agency’s orders and never really questioning if what he does is right or wrong. He would never learn the truth and it would never shape his character.
Yes, 47 and Smith don’t like each other very much, but 47 owes him a lot. And people still forget about Smith or just call him that redhead that always gets captured. That he’s a comedic relief! Look what he’s done! Look! You’d never have the amazing story arc of Silent Assassin if not for Smith. Now think about what you’ve done and go play some Tubeway Torpedo or Flatline to thank him.
The client is revealed to be Ort-Meyer himself, setting up contracts on his fellow legionnaire friends and then bringing 47 – his “prodigical son” – back to the lab. It appears that he hasn’t stopped experimenting – the new series of clones – the 48s are here to greet their brother (see what I did there? Because the mission is called Meet Your Brother!… I’ll see myself out… No, don’t hold the door for me, what are you doing?). Ort-Meyer gives a speech about his favorite son, but no-one that’s actually playing the game is probably paying attention to that, because he also throws an army of 48s at the player, so here is, I think, all of it. It’s actually quite an interesting little monologue.
The return of the prodigal son – now this calls for a celebration! Heeeeere’s daddy! Welcome home!
I gave you the best start in life – perfect genes! You are a perfect diamond, but it would seem there is still more grinding to do before you’re finished!
You little ingrate! I should have known you would rebel against your old man – not at all like No. 48. Now there’s a loyal and trusting clone.
Man was made at the end of week’s work, when God was tired. I greatly improved on all of the built-in flaws. I’ll prove to the whole world who’s right – and decide who will be left! A little play on the words right there, my boy – I know you like that sort of thing.
Son – I hope you know this will hurt me more than you. The effort to make you! Every little manipulated gene! Oh, you were so pampered! You are an apotheosis of Man! When I created you, I was standing on the shoulders of midgets. But I ironed out all the wrinkles – and you still turn on me!
I discovered the true power of 47 chromosomes. Do you think that was easy? As always, I was ahead of my time. They shook their bony little heads, looked at me with their beady little eyes and said I was crazy! You, my friend, are the living proof that I’m not!
I know you want me dead, my boy and I forgive you! But let me tell you – dying is the last thing I plan to do! You wouldn’t believe what my experiments with recombinant DNA have made possible!
It’s such comfort to see you working so perfectly – I knew I was on the right track. I will close this chapter, and turn a fresh page! You have problems with subordination and we can’t have that, can we?
I have the power to create life, to mold, tailor and perfect humans – do you have any idea of the potential – no mushy sentiments, no quirky traits, no betrayal! – DO YOU HEAR ME?
If you only knew what painstaking research went into this project. I had a clear vision of it – but you look into the sun, and all you see is darkness! I had to shed a new light, erase all previous scientific knowledge in this field. I was setting new standards – don’t you understand?
You have proved to be my favorite son – I’m so proud of you!
47 manages to find a way into the room he’s hiding in. Using barcode scanners installed in the facility and a dead 48, he gets access into Ort-Meyer’s hiding spot and kills his creator.
“You broke my heart, my son. What good is a bulletproof vest when death strikes from inside”.
(I dunno, from my point of view, it looks like he snapped your neck, not broke your heart. But whatever you say, you crazy old man.)