--> ''"'Cause No One Lives Forever... but evil never dies."''

[=UNITY=], a British international spy organization, is having a bit of a problem: someone is killing their operatives. What better solution than to hire an ex-cat burglar as a new operative that the enemy doesn't know about yet in order to find the culprit? Enter Cate Archer, also known as "The Operative" in: ''The Operative In: No One Lives Forever''.

''No One Lives Forever'' is a FirstPersonShooter series developed by Creator/MonolithProductions and published by {{Creator/Sierra}}. A spoof of 1960s spy movies, it was followed by a Sequel, ''No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way'' (which involved ''fighting ninjas in a trailer park in Ohio during a tornado'' and an ''evil assassin French mime'', among other things), and a MissionPackSequel called ''Contract J.A.C.K.''.

Some of the other noteworthy elements include the use of gadgets -- introduced at the beginning of each mission much like the Q scene in every Bond movie, the outrageous action set-pieces, and the hundreds of miscellaneous documents to read, including ''purchase orders for death traps''.

Both games involve vehicles in the snow at some point, which is also just like most ''Bond'' movies.

!!''No One Lives Forever'' provides examples of:

* ActingUnnatural: An early level in a Hamburg nightclub has Cate being followed by a HARM spy. The tail is immediately suspicious with his fedora and raincoat, and Cate mentions that he's so obsessed with following her blindly that he'd probably wander into traffic just to keep up with her. As expected, he follows her right into the women's restroom and gets himself iced.
* ActionBomb: The plot of the first game involves a chemical which, when injected into [[strike: humans]] any mammal, turns them into living time bombs that explode after a period of time. The only warning signs are being very gassy and burpy before you go boom.
* ActionGirl: Cate Archer.
* AliensInCardiff: In this case, Ninjas in Akron, Ohio.
* AlliterativeName: John Jack.
* BatmanGambit: In the first game, [[spoiler: Bruno feigns his demise to draw out the real traitor in U.N.I.T.Y.'s organization.]] As far as Need To Know, Cate didn't[[spoiler:; her reaction needed to be genuine]]. [[spoiler:And when Bruno reveals all at the end, after the fight with the Goodman imposter]], Cate's understandably upset by this and ''very much pissed off'' about [[spoiler:being kept in the dark]].
* BananaPeel: Played rather hilariously in the multiplayer part of [=NOLF=] 2. If you walk over a banana, you slip and are helpless for some seconds before getting up. This makes for some very entertaining encounters.
* BilingualBonus: In "Contract J.A.C.K.", Il Pazzo throws in a lot of gratuitous Italian swearing, as well as a few other phrases that make you realize that yes, he really is as crazy as his name suggests.
-->'''Il Pazzo:''' Bring his testicoli to me.
* BlatantLies: in [=NOLF2=], you can overhear a Red Army soldier saying "This is the [[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Union of Soviet Socialist Republics]] -- people don't just disappear in the middle of the night!"
* BlindIdiotTranslation: The Inge Wagner boss fight has a German poster that reads: "Der Erstaunliche Inge - Der beste Oper Sänger!" Spelling errors aside, both the article "Der" and the "Sänger" imply that Fräulein Wagner is in fact ''male''. This, along with several other questionable German translations, was corrected in the German version of the game.
* BonusMaterial: The Game Of The Year edition of the first episode has a long extra mission which starts after the ending credits. The [=PS2=] version adds yet another mission, a flashback on Cate's past activities.
* BoringButPractical: The Hampton 9mm SMG in the first game. Accurate, good rate of fire, ammo is plentiful and varied, and can even be silenced. Similarly, stealthy players will likely stick with the 9mm Pistol throughout most of the game due to those same reasons, minus the massive fire rate of the SMG.
* BossBonanza:
** Basically all of the bosses and mini bosses can fall under this aside from the first boss (which is like a half way boss). You fight Armstrong in "The Indomitable Cate Archer Scene 2". Once this chapter ends and you get to "A Very Large Explosion Scene 1" this is when the frequency of boss fights really starts pick up as you are first put to the test against the 3 elite guard chicks (seen in cut scenes throughout the game mentioning how bored they always are) which are each treated as tough mini bosses. In scene 2 you are forced to fight off several helicopters that all either bring several shots to take down or some luck in surviving long enough to get a shot at the gunner when they open the helicopter doors once close to you to get more precise shots in at you. Immediately after, in the same scene, you are forced to duke it out with Volkov while he starts with an AK-47, and you start with nothing as you are forced to find a gun before he kills you. Once you beat him, you move on to "Such is the Nature of Revenge Scene 1" where you are forced to have a quick fight with Baroness Dumas, and finally in Scene 2, you have to beat Tom Goodman, the final boss of the game.
** In the sequel, ''No One Lives Forever 2'', the boss format is very similar, but a little less epic than in the first game. It's got a halfway boss, and then a high frequency of bosses at the end. This includes Pierre the Mime King near the end of Chapter 13, Volkov followed immediately by Isako at the end of Chapter 14, and then, surprisingly a bit anti climatic, a Super Soldier Lieutenant at the end of Chapter 15 who is basically a miniboss, but serves as the final boss of the game. His fighting style is very similar to that of a regular Super Soldier and he doesn't even get a health bar as he only has about 2.5 times as much hp as a regular one (however, if you fail to shoot him with the anti super soldier serum in time he will still recharge to full health just like a regular one). In fact, a Super Soldier Lieutenant is encountered two times in Chapter 10, but just can't be beaten without cheating since you don't yet have the anti super soldier serum to permanently get rid of them.
* BrawnHilda: Inge Wagner, one of the antagonists in the original game is this.
* BusmansHoliday: The aforementioned [[BonusMaterial extra mission]] of the first episode, called ''Rest and Relaxation''. After the events of the main game, Cate is taking a well-deserved vacation, but involuntarily stumbles into trouble and cannot keep herself out of H.A.R.M.'s way.
* CaneSword: At the beginning of the second game Isako has a sword hidden in her Japanese-style umbrella.
* ChekhovsGun: Throughout the first game, Cate will find pieces of an item simply referred to as the CT-180, without any clue as to what it actually is beyond that it's a brand new, experimental device of some kind. She may also occasionally find a note referring to it. In the second game, [[spoiler:Cate is given the CT-180 Utility Launcher, one of the most useful pieces of equipment ever created for a first person shooter, capable of launching everything from camera disablers, to sleeping darts, to tracking beacons.]]
* CallingCard: Volkov's rose in the first game.
* TheCameo: In Contract J.A.C.K., Cate is briefly visible at the beginning of the Czechoslovakia mission (no clue if it was just thrown in or if there was a reason for her to be there), and once or twice in "Wanted" posters.
* ClassyCatBurglar: Cate's backstory.
* CombatHaircomb: With a poisoned blade no less.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: The "Man-Handler", which smashes henchmen into "man-crates".
* CoolBike: In some sections of the last levels of Contract J.A.C.K. you get to drive a Vespa scooter ''with twin guns''.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: [[spoiler:After Cate kicks Magnus Armstrong's arse in the first game, he (reluctantly at first) helps her out in the sequel.]]
* DefectorFromCommieLand:
** Dr. Schenker, an East German scientist.
** Also Misha, the pilot who gets you in and out of Siberia (though he may just be a sympathizer or a factionless hireling and not a full-out defector).
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: In ''[=NOLF2=]'', [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE6df_tCfPU one conversation]] between the {{Enemy Mime}}s concerns the reasons why not many women find employment in the criminal industry. In it, the same points are brought up that often appear in arguments about why not many women find employment in the ''games'' industry.
* TheDogWasTheMastermind: The Evil Mastermind behind H.A.R.M., the Director, turns out to be [[spoiler:a middle-aged drunk who appeared in almost every level of the first game as a civilian background character.]]
* DuelBoss: ''[=NOLF=]'' ends with an ItsPersonal gunfight between Cate and [[spoiler: Tom Goodman]] inside a cemetery. You and [[spoiler: Tom]] are both armed with the same weapon (a revolver) and can take roughly the same amount of damage, so it's an even fight (although he cheats a bit by using poison-laced bullets). If you're being gutsy, you can run out of cover to grab the bottle of anti-toxin in the middle of the cemetery, which will nullify his poison and level the playing field.
* {{Elaborate Underground Base}}s: Of course. Could it be a spy story without them? [[JustifiedTrope Explained]] in the second game when two mooks talk about how expensive and inconvenient it is to build elaborate bases as compared to leasing office space, but notes the necessity of it in that potential clients expect to see such lairs or they won't believe that an evil organization is evil enough for high-profile jobs.
* EnemyChatter: Stealthy players will catch hundreds of different conversations between civilians, guards and various henchmen, ''even'' the mimes. Most of which are [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3LS3vWlg0c utterly hilarious.]]
* EnemyMime: The Mime King. At one point there's a tricycle chase.
* EscortMission: Never aggravating ones, luckily. During the first game, you'll have to bring Dr. Schenker with you twice, but when a firefight ensues, he stays put until you go and recall him. In the second game, you'll have to protect Armstrong for a little time, while he tries to force a door open. You also have to escort your kidnapped Russian pilot to safety in a brief rescue mission. Like Schenker, he takes cover until you tell him it's safe to move. Though the "evacuate the civilians" missions (thankfully only one per game) can get a bit annoying after having to reload the game several times because the sheeple have no sense of self-preservation and keep getting themselves killed.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Averted -- The Director reacts to his mother's frequent phone calls with utter disdain and the latter at one point expresses her utter shame at her son's criminal actions, going so far as claiming a relative jailed for arson was a "saint" in comparison.
* EvilCounterpart:
** The Baroness points out the similarities between her own life and Cate's when the two of them finally meet face-to-face.
** Cate also points out several similarities to her superiors, but also points out where their paths had diverged.
* EverythingFades:
** Justified in that you have to do the fading yourself, using "Body dissolving powder". Within the first game, it's stated that Cate, as a woman, lacks the upper-body strength to move the bodies, thereby requiring the body dissolving powder (or arranging to kill everyone before they can find the bodies). In the second game, she not only gains the ability to move the bodies on her own, but the villains in-game do the body dissolving if you don't, [[ComedicSociopathy with hilarious dialogue.]]
--->"Sorry, comrade, but there's less paperwork this way."
** Bodies fading away can also be turned on in the game options with the stated purpose of decreasing the load the game puts on the computer. It has the side effect of helping with stealth.
* EverythingsEvenWorseWithSharks:
** At one point in #1, you must scuba dive to a sunken ship which is now, you guessed it, filled with sharks.
** And again later on, while you're crossing a bridge in [[SupervillainLair the BigBad's secret lair]], [[spoiler: a HaveANiceDeath sign (complete with smiley face!) pops up in front of you and the bridge drops out from under you, dumping you into a shark tank.]]
* EvilVersusEvil: Many conversations between henchmen mention rival organizations, some even previously worked for them. In Contract J.A.C.K. you fight against Danger Danger on behalf of H.A.R.M.
* ExposedToTheElements:
** Avoided -- She wears coats in the snow levels.
** And when you go through a frozen lake, your immediate objective is to [[RealityEnsues find a place to warm up before you freeze to death.]]
* {{Expy}}:
** Bruno is an Expy of a retired Film/JamesBond.
** The fez-wearing mooks in the first game strongly resemble and sound like Will Farrell's character in ''Film/AustinPowersInternationalManOfMystery''. Around the middle of the first level, you can interrogate one by asking him the same question three times. He even lampshades it!
** Inge Wagner is an {{Expy}} and ShoutOut to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Foster_Jenkins Florence Foster Jenkins]].
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler:Tom Goodman, who is actually an imposter.]]
* FisticuffsBoss: Magnus Armstrong in the first game.
* FlyoverCountry: One of the very few video-game levels ever set in Ohio.
* FunWithAcronyms:
** Parodied. Nobody outside of H.A.R.M. knows what H.A.R.M. means. They rub it in your face by ending a lot of the various memos you find sitting about with what appears to be one of their slogans: "Remember what H.A.R.M. stands for". There's possible implications that almost nobody within H.A.R.M. knows what it stands for either.
** Monolith appears to like this. H.A.R.M., Contract J.A.C.K., [[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon F.E.A.R.]]...
** Some of the aforementioned intelligence documents you come across even mention a lawsuit lodged against H.A.R.M. by the "Hair Alternative Replacement Membership" for trademark infringement. (In ''Film/AgentForHarm'', it means Human Aetiological Relations Machine.)
** A special bullet you get in the last mission of [=NOLF2=] is called [[spoiler:Anti Super Soldier Serum]]. Try to spell the initials only.
** One of the rival criminal organizations mentioned is Evil Alliance, whose initials coincidentally happen to be the same as a [[Creator/ElectronicArts competitor video-game company...]]
** There's also UNITY, but nobody mentions the acronym, or what it means.
* GeneralRipper: Hawkins in ''[=NOLF2=]''. A pea-brained, trigger-happy, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking ugly]] idiot who's a bit too happy about the idea of starting a third world war. And he's a ''five star general''. There may be some TakeThat on American militarism.
* GhostlyGlide: The Mime King in the second game moves like this. Turns out he's actually a dwarf on a unicycle wearing an oversized long coat.
* GiftedlyBad:
** Inge Wagner, and ''how''.
--->'''Sailor 1:''' You okay? You look terrible.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' I have a really bad headache. I went to this club last night? It took me two hours to get in.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' Popular, eh?\\
'''Sailor 2:''' I guess so, although I don't know why. The music, it was the most horrible thing I've ever heard.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' Hey, I've been to places like that.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' No, you don't understand. I thought I understood what bad music was. This place... imagine that bad music is its own art form. The woman who was singing would be the Beethoven of bad music.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' Come on.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' First of all, it was operetta, which is bad enough.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' Ugh.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' What made it truly painful wasn't that it was completely out of key, although that was certainly unpleasant. It was that it was so... vicious. Like she was trying to kill the audience with her voice.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' Maybe she was.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' No, if you'd seen her you would know. She didn't realize how bad she was.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' What did she look like, anyway?\\
'''Sailor 2:''' Very large with bright, rosy cheeks. Dressed kind of like a milk maid.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' You're kidding.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' No, I'm not kidding.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' Was her name Inge Wagner?\\
'''Sailor 2:''' How did you know?\\
'''Sailor 1:''' She came aboard an hour ago.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' What?!\\
'''Sailor 1:''' It's true! Didn't you read the memo in the galley?\\
'''Sailor 2:''' I never read those!\\
'''Sailor 1:''' We're supposed to assemble on deck after breakfast tomorrow. For a motivational concert.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' I get it. Very funny! You really had me going for a moment there.\\
'''Sailor 1:''' I'm not joking.\\
'''Sailor 2:''' Please tell me that you are... I have to get off this ship. Maybe I can hide somewhere? Do you think they'll notice if I'm not there?\\
'''Sailor 1:''' I doubt it. Hell, I'll join you.
** That conversation becomes a [[BrickJoke Brick Joke]] later when you find a letter that announces anyone who skips the "motivational concert" is automatically volunteered to be a test subject for HARM's next project.
* GilliganCut: Armstrong gets one in the second game when Cate asks him to assist in providing information on H.A.R.M. "Well... I suppose I could make a few calls, but DON'T EXPECT ME to get involved! *cut* "Jamal? Magnus... I'm coming to India."
* {{Gonk}}: [[BrawnHilda Inge.]]
* GratuitousItalian: Il Pazzo ("The Crazy One"), the BigBad in "Contract J.A.C.K.", speaks with a lot of Italian swear words thrown in.
* HeelFaceTurn: One of your partners in the second game was a major antagonist in the first.
* HeelRealization:
** [[spoiler:Kemal, Cate's contact in the Indian branch of H.A.R.M.]] You can find a letter where he explains why he got sick of being among [[GenreSavvy "cartoon villains"]].
** [[spoiler: Armstrong]] has a rather reluctant one at the end of the first game when Cate points out how many innocent people are going to die to satisfy the Baroness's urge for revenge.
* HeroicSacrifice: Cate's mentor Bruno (an OlderAndWiser {{Expy}} of James Bond) takes a bullet for Cate near the beginning of the first game ([[spoiler: He gets better.]]). Armstrong attempts one of these in the second game when he stays behind to jettison an underwater base's escape dome before the base itself explodes ([[spoiler: again, he gets better]]). Finally, Super Soldier Lieutenant Anders [[spoiler: shoots down the nuclear missile at the end of the game, saving Cate and preventing World War III, an act which causes him to overheat and die.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: Isako owes an unspecified debt to the Director of H.A.R.M. who happily abuses it to use her and her underlings for his dirty work. She keeps obeying in spite of her obvious disgust with the man until he tries to reward her [[YouHaveFailedMe failure with death]], which is stopped by Cate.
* ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice: Isako does this to Cate at the end of the first level in [=NOLF2=]. Fortunately, UNITY agents were able to retrieve Cate and save her life, even though she was supposedly stabbed through her heart. Oh, well.
* ImplacableMan: H.A.R.M.'s Super Soldiers in [=NOLF2=] are like this, being essentially unkillable until you finally acquire specially treated chemical bullets that make them overheat and explode in the game's last mission. Lieutenant Anders in particular follows you halfway across the world (by walking on the ocean floor!) because Cate reminds him of his own daughter.
* InsecurityCamera: As is common for games, the cameras give off an audible (and visible) warning when you are spotted, and only sound an alarm if you remain in sight for more than a couple of seconds. At least here actually destroying a camera causes an instant alarm. In the first game one of your gadgets is a camera disabler which is described as functioning in a perfectly realistic manner: it records a cycle of the security camera's normal view with its own camera and then displays that in front of the lens using a small built-in view screen.
* IOweYouMyLife: The only reason competent and honorable AntiVillain Isako works for abusive CardCarryingVillain The Director is because he saved her life after a botched assignment. Isako remains loyal to the Director even after learning he set the whole thing up in order to recruit her. Only after the Director tries to kill Isako and Cate rescues her does she consider her life debt paid, at which point she promptly defends Cate from the Director.
* KickingAssInAllHerFinery: Cate's wardrobe is often quite fancy for someone in her line of work.
* LaserHallway: Played straight when you try to crack a high security safe. The first two hallways have mobile lasers that you must dodge normally. The third has a truly ridiculous amount of lasers and [[spoiler: you can just pull up a nearby airvent and go underneath them.]]
* LavaPit: Subverted. At one point, one villain is showing another around his underground base. The villain remarks "Ah, lava. Very nice." At one point you drop the first villain into the lava, and find out afterwards it was actually a glowing lava-like substance designed to ''look like lava at room temperature'' because real lava is just annoying to deal with. You even find barrels labeled as containing fake lava. Both the "Ah, Lava." line and the revelation of it being fake lava can also be considered a LampshadeHanging on how [[SpecialEffectsFailure badly the lava is rendered]] (it's just a plain orange bump mapped undulating texture). Also lampshaded by a conversation stating that lava made to look [[RuleofCool cool]] is better than realistic lava.
* LowerDeckEpisode: The Co-Op campaign is based around generic U.N.I.T.Y. agents filling in the gaps around whatever Cate was doing.
* MeaningfulName: Baron Archibald and Baroness Felicity's surname, Dumas, although pronounced "Doo-mar" is an obvious contraction of "Dumbass", because Baron Dumas is an incredibly stupid man-child who only got by because of his wealth inherited from his family.
* MissionControl:
** Volkov during part of "Contract J.A.C.K."
** In ''[=NOLF2=]'', you get Santa talking to you through a robotic Myna bird
* NebulousEvilOrganization: H.A.R.M.
* NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Subverted when a character who was "killed" with no body found returns, only it turns out later he is an evil impostor. This comes as a surprise to everyone because it's generally assumed by the characters that no body means no death.
* NotSoDifferent: Cate and Baroness Dumas.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler:Tom Goodman, or at least his imposter. "Tom" pretends to be a {{Jerkass}} unable to believe a woman could be a successful agent, but he's actually pushing Cate into danger. He may have underestimated her skills, but his estimation of her skills were much higher than he betrayed.]]
* ObstructiveBureaucrat: While not containing any bureaucrats, but still in the same sense why Bureaucracy is hated, in the Underwater Base mission, one of the objectives has you on a wild goose chase looking for a requisition form for a computer manual to hack into a H.A.R.M. supercomputer, only to find the first manual you get does not work with the supercomputer.
* ObviouslyEvil: [[spoiler:Mr. Smith. Considering that he spends the entire game either belittling Cate, insulting the head of UNITY ''to his face'', and constantly trying to drive a wedge between Cate and the rest of Unity, its amazing that he maintained his cover for as long as he did.]]

** [[spoiler:Another huge (and possibly the most foreshadowing) example of this is in Such is the Nature of Revenge - Scene 1. When Cate Archer finishes phoning in her report on obtaining the list, Mr, Jones says: "She's got the list!", and how does Mr. Smith respond? A simple "Unbelievable.", in a rather monotone, unenthusiastic, and very uncaring tone of voice. For Cate's superior, you'd think he'd show even a ''hint'' of being proud of her after all that she's been through. If that wasn't enough yet again, he just rubs the back of his head in a seemingly [[Main/ButForMeItWasTuesday very casual manner]] after that comment. To add irony to this, Mr. Smith says in Scene 2: "I am overjoyed to be proven wrong.", which ''very clearly'' contradicts his earlier attitude in Scene 1, and shows he really truly wasn't. All of this further shows how evil and sociopathic he truly is.]]
* OddlyNamedSequel: An unexpected aversion, in that the original game was setting up a Bond-like title sequence, but when they actually released a sequel they called it No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In HARM's Way instead of The Operative In: A Spy In HARM's Way.
* OneManArmy: Subverted (plot-wise at least). Rather than not finding anything unusual about Cate mowing down hundreds of enemy Mooks per mission, her superiors find it so unbelievable that they mistakenly assume she's making the whole thing up on her mission reports.
* TheOnlyOne: Justified: Previously to the first game, Cate Archer was only given extremely low-profile assignments. This meant that when H.A.R.M. started picking off top agents, she was the only one capable of investigating without being assassinated herself, as barely anyone had even heard of her.
* OptionalStealth: For the most part. Technically, you can complete most levels in ''NOLF'' with guns blazing, but stealth is a much better solution. Breaking stealth is not as heavily penalized as in other {{Stealth Based Game}}s (which the ''NOLF'' series strived to be).
* ParasolOfPain:
** The plot of the first game involves these being used to turn people into living bombs.
** And the sequel has Isako pull a katana out of a secret compartment in hers.
* PinnedToTheWall: In ''2'', if you kill an enemy next to wall with a crossbow bolt, he will remained pinned to it. If you then search his body, you can almost always recover the bolt, and [[DevelopersForesight the body will slump onto the ground]].
* PrettyInMink: Cate wears a designer fur-trimmed coat in each game.
* ProfessionalKiller: Volkov, H.A.R.M.'s "Vice President of Executive Action" (a.k.a. chief assassin). John Jack in his game, with Volkov as the employer. Also Pierre, the Mime King and the whole ninja clan.
* PunchClockVillain: Virtually every enemy character in the series except the ninjas. Magnus Armstrong especially, as he's only a "villain" because he got in so much trouble for fighting, and even then, he only fought with people that wanted a fight or deserved a beating, having never ever bullied anybody and refusing to harm Cate because she's just doing her job and also Scottish.
* PuzzleBoss: Inge Wagner.
* QuirkyMinibossSquad: A trio of multiracial go-go girls who you fight in the final parts of the first game. Before you encountered them, they lounged around their dressing room moaning about how ''so very bored'' they were.
* RailingKill: Any enemy near some railing will inevitably fall from there when killed. Similarly, if near stairs or some sloping surface, he'll tumble.
* RealityEnsues: Attempting to disable security cameras by shooting will disable the cameras, and raise an alarm, as the guards on monitor duty ''will'' notice cameras suddenly malfunctioning. Same goes for searchlights.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Cate lays a big one on the Baroness. The Baroness shoots back, "[[ShutUpKirk Well, aren't you an arrogant little]] [[ThisIsForEmphasisBitch bitch?]]"
* RegeneratingShieldStaticHealth: In the first game, damaged body armour can be replaced during missions but health can only be restored at the end of the mission. This makes opponents with [[ArmorPiercingAttack dum dum rounds]] a top priority in a gunfight.
* RunningGag: The continuous phone calls from the Director's mother.
* ShootTheDog: You can shoot the [[spoiler:monkey]] in Morocco [[spoiler:but that will lead to a game over for "Unacceptable Simean Casualties"]].
* ShoePhone: Each mission introduces new gadgets you get to use, including a lockpick disguised as a hairpin, sleeping gas in a perfume bottle, and goes all the way up to ''bombs disguised as poodles and angry cats'' and ''a [[BriefcaseBlaster rocket launcher suitcase]]''. Then averted in that not all of the spy gadgets and weapons you get are disguised as things, which just makes you wonder what the point is of disguising anything at all.
* ShoutOut:
** In both games, Cate refers to UNITY via the codename ''[[Franchise/MetalGear Foxhound]]'' at some point.
** H.A.R.M. probably takes name from the bad 1966 ''Film/JamesBond'' ripoff movie ''Film/AgentForHARM'', although it is an American secret agency there. Monolith must have a large culture on the ''whole'' spy genre.
** One of the random items that ninjas drop is a ticket for ''[[Film/DestroyAllMonsters Kaiju Soshingeki]]'', which was indeed released in 1968.
** Baroness Dumas is based on Katherine Hepburn.
** Two scientists can be heard discussing the dangers of dehyrdating a human body and then rehydrating the remains with "heavy water", which happens in ''Film/BatmanTheMovie''
* TheSixties: Even the ''space station'' you visit has a ''go-go lounge''. PoliticallyCorrectHistory is Averted. Cate has to deal with a lot of sexism, downplayed in the sequel which features a black guy as a liaison from the American branch of UNITY.
* SkillScore: The second game introduced upgradable skills that improved Cate's in-game performance.
* SniperScopeSway: In the second game, you can level up your sniper skill to get rid of it.
* SnipingMission: The first part of the first level of the first game is a sniping shooting gallery.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: That's '''Cate''' Archer, not Kate.
* SpyCatsuit: In the first game, Cate's outfit for some levels is incredibly tight leather spy outfit. Played with in that it's bright orange and has a little leather miniskirt. She later trades it in for incognito clothes, winter outfit, and for the second game a short leather trenchcoat/jacket.
* SpySpeak:
** One mission involves doing these. They all turn out to be crass come on/rejection exchanges, and the spies are apologetic.
--->'''Contact:''' Guten Abend Fraulein, do you make love to strangers?\\
'''Cate Archer:''' Certainly not!\\
'''Contact:''' Then allow me to introduce myself.\\
'''Cate Archer:''' Why not just introduce yourself to a police officer and spare me the trouble?\\
'''Contact:''' Who makes up these ghastly code phrases anyway?\\
'''Cate Archer:''' Someone in the cryptography department -- someone in need of a girlfriend, apparently.
** Later:
--->'''Contact:''' Want to come in for a game of Twister?\\
'''Cate Archer:''' I'd rather run over you with my car.\\
'''Contact:''' These code phrases have a somewhat confessional tone to them, don't you think?\\
'''Cate Archer:''' Yeah, now that you mention it...
* SpyVersusSpy: UNITY vs H.A.R.M.
* StayInTheKitchen:
** It is 1960s Britain. The SpySpeak and lady-themed {{Shoe Phone}}s are the attempts to haze the girl ([[InsultBackfire although they wind up embarrassing the informants more than Cate]]).
** Not so much in the sequel, since she proved herself in the original, but you do get the American general talking down to her and making clumsy passes.
* StealthBasedMission: Not so much an UnexpectedGameplayChange given that Cate's supposed to be a ''spy'', except the unforgiving nature of them (i.e. in some missions you fail if you're so much as ''seen'') in the first game turned them almost into puzzles, and the closest thing the games had to a ScrappyLevel.
* SuperSoldier: The plot of the second game involves these.
* TitleThemeTune: Quoted above, complete with dancing silhouettes. See it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7JI1_lKdPc here]]
* TokenGoodTeammate: In the first game Armstrong is notably more moral than the rest of H.A.R.M. [[spoiler: He defects near the end after Cate first beats him up and then guilt-trips him]].
* TragicMonster: The first Super Soldier you meet, Lieutenant Anders, a U.S. soldier and family man kidnapped and experimented on by H.A.R.M. Although, other than your first meeting (where he chases you around the Arctic Base), you never actually fight him in the game.
* TrailerParkTornadoMagnet: The second game has a trailer park hit by a tornado; you have to fight off ninjas inside one of the trailers as its picked up by the twister and beginning to disintegrate.
* TranquillizerDart: A stock weapon in the series, essential in the levels where "no casualties" is the requirement.
* UnexpectedGenreChange:
** The second game subtly does this twice, with the comedy action/stealth most of the game is centered around shifting to a horror-based atmosphere for two levels; [[spoiler: The Tom Goodman imposter's house and Antarctica]].
** Just before the spooky level in [[spoiler:the Antarctic base]] you get the most ridiculous situation: [[spoiler:Cate and Armstrong, riding a kid's tricycle, chasing an ''evil dwarf mime on a monocycle'' in the streets of Calcutta]]. Here the game momentarily changes to a RailShooter, complete with unlimited ammo (you just have to reload every 50 bullets). "Contract J.A.C.K." has a RailShooter level too, one of the few genuinely good parts of the game.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: You can use the blowtorch to set [=NPCs=] on fire. It doesn't damage them so there are no consequences apart from causing them to run around screaming:
-->'''Indian Police:''' "What horrible agony!"
* ViolentGlaswegian: Magnus Armstrong. Also a ManInAKilt, as befits someone so incredibly Scottish. He views Cate this way too, at least after she beats him in a fistfight. In fact, after this incident, he refuses to harm Cate in any way.
* WhatMeasureIsAMook: Probably taking a cue from the first ''Film/AustinPowers'' movie, both games sometimes evoke this sentiment in the player, if you overhear the conversations among common enemies or read their letters: many of them are just {{PunchClockVillain}}s with friends, family and hobbies. Sometimes you'll feel compelled to sneak past them even if it's difficult, or just neutralize instead of killing them. An example bordering on the TearJerker happens in the second game: [[spoiler:you are escaping the collapsing underwater base and there's a blocked door with two men. One is trying to open it while the other cries remembering his brother who died in the space station - the one Cate blew up in the first game. Ouch.]]
* [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Her?]] - Frequently played with.
** Several times during the first game Magnus Armstrong refuses to shoot Cate because they're both Scottish, and he won't slay a fellow Scot without a fair fight or a specific grudge.
** Towards the end of the second game, Cate hangs the lampshade on the trope as she's about to be forced into an elaborate torture machine and deathtrap, asking, "Why didn't you [shoot me]?" to which [[BigBad The Director]] replies, "Too easy- for you!"