Characters: Hotline Miami

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The characters of Hotline Miami and its sequel, Wrong Number. Beware of spoilers!

Hotline Miami

    Protagonists 

Jacket / The Masked Maniac

"So this is what the end looks like..."

A seemingly ordinary guy in a varsity jacket, hence the nickname. At some point, he gained the attention of a mysterious person or group that sent him a chicken mask, along with letters and phone calls encouraging him to kill Russian Mobsters and threatening consequences should he not comply. He also periodically experiences strange nightmares where he's visited by a trio of masked figures.

  • Anti-Hero: Yeah, most of the people he kills are criminal scumbags, but the manner in which he kills them is so brutal that he's an Unscrupulous Hero at the very best and a Nominal Hero at the very worse. The implication that the killings are driving him insane doesn't help.
  • Adventures in Comaland: What the Dream Apartment ultimately turns out to be for him.
  • Ax-Crazy: By the end of the game. He seems to have gotten himself together in the sequel, judging by his trial, but exactly what's going on in his head is still unclear.
  • Badass Normal: The "Normal" may be a bit off, depending on whether the masks do actually give Jacket new abilities, or if it's all in his head.
  • Cool Car: Drives a DeLorean. It gets defaced by vandals late in the game.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Sort of. While Jacket gets more focus, it is the Biker that actually gets to the bottom of the mystery while Jacket plays right into the Janitors' plans. Notably, this is the canon version of events.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: What the masks do to him. It's probably just a gameplay mechanic... Probably.
  • Famed In-Story: In Wrong Number, his criminal trial has a full audience, there is a movie being made about him, and he has misguided "fans" who try to be just like him.
  • Heroic Mime: For a given definition of "hero." He does have a single line of narration in the first issue of the Wrong Number prequel comic.
  • Iconic Outfit: His letterman jacket. Interestingly, it's portrayed somewhat inconsistently — official art depicts it as brown with yellow sleeves, while in-game it's yellow with white sleeves.
  • Kill 'em All: He almost never leaves any survivors. Except for his girlfriend.
  • Mask of Power: The various animal masks he gains gives him different abilities, some of which beneficial, some of which not so beneficial and some of which simply result in cosmetic change.
  • No Name Given: He's never given a name in-game, not even a nickname. As such, fans simply refer to him as either Jacket or The Hitman. However, by the time of Wrong Number he's become known as "The Masked Maniac".
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: For certain characters, he finishes them off by brutally bashing their heads into a bloody pulp, putting out their eyes with his thumbs and in one case, setting the corpse on fire.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Normally dies in a single hit unless he's wearing certain masks.
  • One-Man Army: Through the game, he demonstrates a talent for clearing buildings filled with angry thugs. It even culminates in him assaulting the police station by himself, with the police chief and his men actively fearing him.
  • Pinball Protagonist: Goes through the whole game apparently never questioning what he's doing until the ending, and even then he gets played like a fiddle by the Janitors. Richard even tells him just before his Roaring Rampage of Revenge that nothing he does from that point on will mean anything.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After learning that his girlfriend has been murdered, he escapes from the hospital, puts his Iconic Outfit on, and mows through a fortified police precinct just to find the assassin.
  • Sanity Slippage: Starts the game as a somewhat sane individual. Then things get worse.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Pukes his guts out after he's completed his first assignment, indicating some degree of remorse.


Biker

"I want out! And you're gonna tell me how!"

A murderous motorcyclist with rather garish tastes in home decorating. He receives the same phone calls as Jacket, but has decided to take matters into his own hands. The epilogue shows his side of the story from Chapter Two onwards, although in this version of events, he survives and kills Jacket at Phonehom. His story from then on seems to be non-canon, though it does answer some of the game's larger mysteries.

  • Awful Truth: If you collect all the puzzle pieces, Biker learns the truth of what was going on. It doesn't faze him from either leaving the job or killing the people responsible.
  • Badass Biker: Unsurprisingly.
  • Badass Normal: More so than Jacket since he relies only on two weapons (a cleaver and three throwing knives) and doesn't wear any special masks.
  • Blood Knight: Unlike Jacket, there is no question that the Biker loves killing. On the opposite side of the coin, unlike Jacket, Biker seems to have some degree of control over his bloodlust.
  • Hero of Another Story: He is the protagonist of the epilogue, though his actions eventually begin to contradict the canon version of events.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Biker seems to get an obvious thrill out of confronting the other assassins and has a very dramatic attitude.
  • Hidden Depths: Biker is implied to be a DJ and/or musician, as a hobby if nothing else, judging from the turntables and keytar in his apartment.
  • Kill 'em All: Subverted. He'll lay waste to all the thugs, but he can spare some people, and you have the option to not kill anyone at Phonehom, and the janitors at the end.
  • Knife Nut: Uses a butcher knife as his weapon as well as a limited supply of throwing knives.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Very agile, and capable of bisecting people with a cleaver.
  • No Name Given: Like Jacket, the game doesn't give him a name of any sorts.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: How he wears his hair underneath the helmet.
  • Villain Protagonist: While Jacket's character is rather ambiguous, the Biker is much more openly psychotic, only wishing to get out of the assassination game because he finds it boring. Of course, he's only a villain in the sense that he is bloodthirsty. He opposes the Janitors, can spare the workers at Phonehom, and doesn't kill informants needlessly.


    Friendlies 

Richard

"Do you like hurting other people?"

A man wearing Jacket's clothing - including his chicken mask - who appears in the Dream Apartment. Cold and mysterious, he offers only questions and predictions, though he ultimately tells Jacket the truth. Or at least part of it.

  • Color Motif: Yellow, the primary color of Jacket's Iconic Outfit.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: He encourages Jacket to do just that. In the end, he tells Jacket that he'll never see the big picture - and sure enough, Jacket gets played like a fiddle while Biker finds the real truth.
  • The Generic Guy: The mask itself has no special characteristic aside from revealing what might be Jacket's real name.


Don Juan

"And who do we have here?"

A woman wearing a horse mask who appears to Jacket in the Dream Apartment. She wears the same clothes as the Hooker. Friendly but spacey, she believes that Jacket should stop trying to remember his past.

  • Color Motif: Blue, representing her relaxed, serene attitude.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Her kind and soft-spoken attitude remains constant, despite the Dream Apartment slowly decaying into ruin.
  • Dynamic Entry: The mask itself allows players to kill enemies by kicking open doors.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: Thinks it's better that Jacket doesn't remember the things he's done, as he might not be able to handle it. It's worth noting that her calm demeanor continues even as the Dream Apartment falls into disrepair, so she seems to practice what she preaches.
  • Nice Girl: Is the first of the Masked Figures to express concern for Jacket.


Rasmus

"You're no guest of mine!"

A man wearing an owl mask who appears to Jacket in the Dream Apartment. He wears the same clothes as the mobsters that Jacket is tasked with killing. Posh and aggressive, he provides Jacket with little more than insults.


The Hooker

"Just get it over with..."

An abused, drug-addled working girl who was being kept as a sex slave by Wilson Fisker. Jacket saves her after raiding Fisker's mansion. Over the next few months, she slowly begins to clean herself up, and helps Jacket do the same. Also known as "Girlfriend."


Beard

"Oh, don't worry about it. It's on the house!"

A clerk that appears at various different establishments after every chapter. Well, almost every chapter. He provides Jacket with friendly advice and some items on the house each time they meet. Also known as "The Friend."

  • Creator Cameo: His appearance is based on one of the game's composers and concept artists, Niklas "El Huervo" ┼kerblad
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: He is apparently murdered in part three. All his appearances afterwards are filled by Richter, likely as a result of Jacket's memories blending together.
  • Muggle Best Friend: He always gives something to Jacket. He even gets genuinely worried for him later on.
  • No Name Given: He's never mentioned by name in dialogue, and never introduces himself. The game files refer to him as "Niklas" (keeping with his status as a Creator Cameo for El Huervo), while Word of God has identified him in passing as "Rouven Blankenfeld."
  • Nice Guy
  • Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?


    Antagonists 

Wilson Fisker

"Gotta do everything myself, huh..."

A sadistic film producer with ties to the Mafiya, who keeps The Hooker drugged up and handcuffed to his bed. Jacket raids his mansion at the behest of the phone calls at the end of Chapter One. Wears a bulletproof vest that can only be pierced by shotguns.


Richter

"Hey, you! VIPs only tonight. I think you better leave."

A rather rude man who starts taking over for Beard at a few stores and bars some time after Phonehom. That is to say, he kills Beard and takes his place. He is eventually sent to kill Jacket and Hooker, but only succeeds in killing the latter. Jacket later tracks him down, and is then given the choice of either executing him or leaving him to his fate.

  • Face Death with Dignity: He decided that he wouldn't bother to beg for his life as he's sure Jacket will kill him.
  • Nothing Personal: He insists he had no ill-feelings towards The Hooker when he shot her.
  • Not So Different: He only killed The Hooker because he's been getting the same phone calls as Jacket. He even lampshades it.
  • Walking Spoiler
  • Wham Line: "Have you been getting those weird phonecalls too?"


Police Chief

"Follow protocol, and we'll all make it out alive."

The overweight Chief of Police, who is investigating the masked killings. Barricades himself in a room with several other officers once Jacket storms the precinct in search of Richter. Wields a pair of MP5s, which he fires from his fortified position in the center of the crime lab.


Mafiya Underboss

"You must be one of the assholes killing my men..."

The twitchy, deranged underboss of The Mafiya. Jacket encounters him in the final level, where he sends Ninja Girl and his pet panthers to fight for him. Despite this, he can still hold his own with dual SMGs.


Ninja Girl

"Leave him to me..."

The Underboss's henchwoman. Creeps around before charging with her katana. Goes down with surprising ease.


Ivan Lebedev

"Ah, so you're the one causing all the ruckus?"

The elderly leader of Miami's resident Mafiya family. Jacket raids his mansion in the final level, seeking vengeance. He isn't fond of phones. That's important.

  • Affably Evil: Has a short but polite conversation with Jacket before he dies.
  • All There in the Manual: His name is only revealed in the first issue of the Wrong Number prequel comics.
  • Big Bad: He is the guy who commands all those mooks you've been fighting, after all, and the evidence seems to point to him being the game's mastermind. At least, that's what they want you to think.
  • The Don
  • Evil Cripple: He's confined to a wheelchair and unable to move by himself.
  • Evil Old Folks: His old age is part of the reason he's unable to fend for himself.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Has no problem with Jacket putting a hole in his head - he knows he deserves it.
  • Foreshadowing: Professes his distaste for phones and answering machines just before he is confronted. Sure enough, he's not behind the messages.
  • The Mafiya


The Janitors

Click here for the image 
"If you don't understand why we're doing this, then why should we tell you?"

A pair of ultranationalist terrorists, and the true masterminds of the phone calls. They are part of an underground movement that desires to sabotage relations between Russia and the USA in the hopes of making America "strong." They do this by scouting for violent individuals through their political activist group, 50 Blessings, then sending anonymous threats to them, intimidating them into killing Russian mobsters.

  • Author Avatar: They physically resemble cactus and Dennis Wedin. Their dialog not only alludes to independent game development, but it is more or less addressed to the player, telling them that the only thing that matters was that they had some fun from the experience.
  • Awful Truth: They will mock the Biker for not getting the big picture if he doesn't read their files, and tell him that he's better off killing them anyway.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In Jacket's ending, where they successfully manipulate him into destroying The Mafiya. Even in Biker's ending, they claim that their plan has already succeeded.
  • Bigger Bad: The Mobsters may be criminal bastards, but these guys are even worse - and they're responsible for all of Jacket's woes.
  • Defiant to the End: If you kill one of them, the other will stand his ground and flip off Biker.
  • Dialogue Tree: The only time the Biker has the option to select what to say, and none of them lead to anything helpful.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Remember those weird Janitors from Clean Hit? Yeah, they're the Bigger Bads.
  • Oh, Crap: If Biker manages to unlock the password to their computer and read their files, they're shocked that he managed it, dropping their Psychotic Smirks and revealing the truth.
  • Psychotic Smirk: They give one to Jacket whenever he walks by. They also give one to the Biker when he interrogates them. It drops rather quickly when he reveals that he knows their secrets already.
  • Walking Spoiler: Gee, what gave you that idea?
  • Western Terrorists: They're part of a Neo-Nationalist organization that's attempting to topple the Russo-American Coalition by threatening people into murdering The Mafiya.


Wrong Number

    Protagonists 

Martin Brown

"It's just a film..."

An actor portraying a fictionalized version of Jacket in the movie Midnight Animal, wearing the Pig mask ("Aubrey"). His character in the film is referred to as the Pig Butcher. He is haunted by nightmares of the real Jacket, who torments him over his role in the film.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the game, Martin is is a Fat Bastard without the prettiest of faces. In the digital comic, he's slimmer and considerably more handsome when he takes his pig mask off after filming.
  • Becoming the Mask: The version of Jacket in his nightmares tells him that this is happening.
  • Fat Bastard: Notably overweight; combine this with his role and growing psychosis...
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: He would like to think so. The nightmares beg to differ.
  • One-Handed Shotgun Pump: While playing his role as the Pig Butcher, he cocks shotguns in this manner.
  • Through the Eyes of Madness: He views his film shoots as actual murders while playing his role as the Pig Butcher, and sees a change of scene as a pink phone calling him with instructions on who to kill. This is reinforced by the digital comic's third issue.


The Henchman

"I'm getting too old for this."

A senior member of the Russian Mafia who wants out of the business.

  • Badass Normal: Like Manny and Evan, he doesn't wear a mask - but he's just as deadly as the other protagonists.
  • Dirty Communists: His crime family seems to view the Soviets in a positive light, adorning their HQ with the Hammer and Sickle.
  • Hollywood Silencer: Combined with a pistol, this adds up to his weapon of choice.
  • One Last Job: Before he is allowed to leave the family, he has to do one last hit job.


Jake

"Show some goddamned respect!"

The original owner of the cobra mask from the first Hotline Miami.

  • Animal Eyes: His eyes resemble those of a serpent, fitting the theme of his various snake masks.
  • Bald of Evil: He has a shaved head in the game. The comic shows that it used to be a mullet.
  • Big Ol' Unibrow
  • Deep South: Owns a stereotypical Confederate flag, and wants a tattoo of the "good old Dixie". Truth in Television, for the record - many southerners still idolize the Confederacy today.
  • Eagle Land: He is xenophobically patriotic, so much so that in the comic he joins a group of Americans protesting against the "Russian menace" and assaults a Russian couple walking down the sidewalk nearby.
  • Fat Bastard
  • Fat Slob: He's about as fat as both Mark and Martin Brown, and lives in a very poorly-kept apartment.
  • Flash Back: Jake is found dead in the tenth chapter of Hotline Miami at the day spa, but because Wrong Number is both a sequel and a prequel, his story is explored.
  • Jerkass: In the comic, he is incredibly crass to his boss at the junkyard he works at. He also punches a woman in the face simply for being Russian.
  • Non-Indicative Name: One of Jake's three masks is named Irvin and its perk is "invincibility." It's unclear what exactly it does, but it's not that.
  • One-Handed Shotgun Pump: Cocks shotguns in an identical manner to Mark and the Pig Butcher.


Manny Pardo

"You wouldn't believe what they have me doing."

A police detective working with Evan to investigate the events of the first game. He's doing so as part of the ongoing trial and investigation surrounding Jacket and the Russian Mob.

  • Badass Normal: Like Evan and The Henchman, he doesn't wear a mask - and he's still as deadly as the rest of the protagonists.
  • Hard Boiled Detective: He is a police detective investigating the various crime sprees across Miami. He also tends to act as a first responder, brutally slaughtering the violent criminals plaguing the town.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: He appears to be based on a real-life Miami spree killer who murdered nine suspected drug dealers in 1986.


Evan

"Help! Somebody call an ambulance! There's been an accident..."

A reporter working with Manny to investigate the events of the first game. He's doing so as research for a book about the killings.

  • Badass Normal: Along with Manny and The Henchman. Notably, he's the most normal of the three - he's not a cop or a hardened mobster, just an average reporter looking for information on the killings.
    • Badass Pacifist: He attempts to avoid killing enemies, and can potentially knock out a whole nightclub of armed Russian mobsters alone.
  • The Berserker: If he ends up killing more than two enemies, he removes his jacket and the screen turns red, making all his attacks lethal and allowing him to pick up guns. He can prevent this from happening by attempting a resuscitation on downed enemies.
  • The Coats Are Off: When he goes berserk, he tosses his coat.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: If he grabs a gun, he automatically unloads it and drops it to the ground. If enraged, however, he will use guns.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: If he finishes off a downed enemy, he might accidentally beat them to death. If the player pauses afterwards, he stares at his hands in horror and attempts to resuscitate them. It lasts several seconds, leaves him vulnerable, and will invariably fail, but completing it awards bonus points and nullifies the "kill" penalty.
  • Technical Pacifist: While he doesn't kill his enemies and will not use guns, he's able to use melee weapons and leave them writhing in pain.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: He generally avoids killing his enemies. If he accidentally kills a downed enemy, he can attempt to resuscitate them to no avail, removing the kill from his total.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: He runs on this. While outright killing enemies is possible with him, doing so awards less points than knocking them out or attempting to revive them.


    The Fans 

Jacket's misguided vigilante fan club, introduced in Wrong Number. While they are technically protagonists, their status as a singular team and the game's only mask-wearers post-1989 warrants their own folder.


Tony

Killing punches, no weapons

The leader of The Fans, who claims to be in possession of Jacket's original tiger mask (also named "Tony"). Very aggressive.


Corey

Roll under bullets

A member of The Fans, wearing a zebra mask. Doesn't talk much.


Alex & Ash

Chainsaw and guns

Members of The Fans. They're twins, sister and brother respectively, wearing swan masks and working in tandem on rampages. They are rather hard to differentiate between - they're dressed almost identically, and the numbers on their masks are the only way to tell them apart.


Mark

Two machine guns

A guy wearing a bear mask. A member of The Fans, he rampages with dual SMGs.


     "Midnight Animal" Production Crew 

The Director

"But don't be afraid to be rougher. You're supposed to be killing people! Make it look like you really hit them."

The director of Martin's movie. Seems more concerned with getting good footage than the wellbeing of his employees.

  • Mean Boss: His first reaction to finishing the controversial rape scene is to scold The Actress and tell her she needs to be more "girly" and "helpless."
  • Snuff Film: In the final scene of "Midnight Animal," The Actress whips out a pistol and guns down Martin's character. It's implied that the gun was actually loaded, though she didn't realize it at first, and it's unclear whether the Director was involved.


The Actress

"You heard him, Martin! Time to get up!"

An actress playing a fictionalized version of The Hooker. In Midnight Animal, she is the Pig Butcher's kidnapped victim, who he rapes and tortures. She seems to get along with Martin, despite their roles in the film's story.