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Characters: Max Payne

Max Payne

Voiced by: James McCaffrey

"There was no glory in this. I hadn't asked for this crap. Trouble had come to me, in big dark swarms. The good and the just, they were like gold dust in this city. I had no illusions. I was not one of them. I was no hero. Just me and the gun, and the crook. My options had decreased to a singular course."

The titular protagonist. A former NYPD detective and DEA Agent, his wife and daughter were murdered by junkies three years prior to the events of the first game. This causes him to go undercover hunting for the source of the drug, 'Valkyr'. In the second game, he returns to the NYPD and crosses paths with Mona Sax, an assassin that he falls in love with. Three guess as to how that went. The third game takes place a decade later, with Max having left the NYPD to pursue a life in private security in Sao Paulo, Brazil. As with most of his career moves, it ends only in blood and tears. (Emphasis on the former.)

  • Anti-Hero: Max is quick to resort to gunning down anyone in his path, will engage in morally dubious acts to pursue his man, and will never give up until he dispenses nine millimeter justice to them. But he only targets those who deserve it and is still a true cop at heart, protecting innocents, upholding morality and honor, etc. He's also fully aware that he is by no means a hero, in no small part because of how many lives he's taken without hesitation.
  • The Alcoholic: Jim Bravura believes he is one in the second game. But Max first truly becomes this by the time the third games comes around.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Max rose though the NYPD with the help of Alex Balder, a DEA officer and frequent sidekick (as shown in their gun-waving photo-op). Alex would frequently try to tempt Max into becoming his partner full-time, but no way was Max going to trade a desk job for working undercover in some dive. Once Max's family is killed by junkies, however, he grimly accepts Alex's offer to transfer over. We don't see much of Alex in person, but it's clear that Max valued their friendship greatly, recalling their times together while in a hellish Valkyr-induced stupor:
    "Alex and I had a few moments of glory between us. Crime fighting comrades, the best in NYPD-DEA collaborative team. Good-hearted macho bullshit like that. I would have given anything to have him here as my backup."
  • Badass: Max spends most of his time doing one of two things: Tearing himself down, and tearing other guys to shreds.
  • Bald of Awesome: Throughout part of the third game.
  • Because I'm Good at It: Why Raul comes to Max with an offer. It's work that only a guy like him can do.
  • Becoming the Mask: Max dreads turning into a violent killer like the mob he's infiltrating, and later the "rent-a-clowns" who have their boots on the necks of the poor in Brazil.
  • The Berserker: Hinted to be the source of Max's power. However, he still has the bullet-time ability in the scenes leading up to his wife's murder. Maybe he picked up that ability dodging his father's thrown beer bottles.
  • Blood Knight: Max becomes this after his wife and child's death. It takes him til 3 to fully accept it, though.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Although Max's rage is of the Tranquil Fury variety.
  • Byronic Hero: Max hits a lot of the criteria, being extremely cynical, moody, self destructive, haunted by a Dark and Troubled Past and also sports an incredible drive to accomplish whatever goal at hand, even when he thinks it may all be for nothing.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: You better believe it. His home and offices get trashed in every game!
  • Calling the Old Man Out: While he never did so vocally, the young Max, with no hints that he was kidding what-so-ever, pointed a very realistic looking gun-replica at his father's head after his mother had been driven to an early grave due to his neglect and abuse, making it very clear what he thought of him.
  • Cartwright Curse: Max believes himself to suffer from this. Between the fates of his wife and Mona, he doesn't really have that much room to doubt.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: When pointed towards a case or a conspiracy, Max will always put his life on line and follow it through to the bitter end to ensure that Justice Will Prevail, no matter how hopeless his odds are and how much he is going to regret it afterwards.
    Vlad: "What the fuck is wrong with you, Max? Why don't you just die? You hate life, you're miserable all the time, afraid to enjoy yourself even a little! Face it, you might as well be dead already. Do yourself a favor, give up!"
  • Cool Shades: Briefly in the third game.
  • Cowboy Cop: In the first two games. Go ahead and cry "Police brutality," it won't make a difference.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: He has his moments throughout the series, but this trope hits him worst in 3. Whenever he is out of the player's control, he manages to get disarmed, incapacitated, or forced into combat several times through his own clumsiness or impulsiveness. This comes to a head when he decides to storm a room where his principal, Fabiana is being held at gunpoint. He is promptly disarmed, and Fabiana, shot.
    • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: It should be noted that throughout 3, Max is either intoxicated in some manner, or suffering from withdrawal.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Max can't do much of anything without provoking a blood feud with somebody. He managed to get into a shooting war with yet another New York crime family while sitting on a bar stool minding his own business.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Max's father, Jack, was a severely traumatised Vietnam veteran who would constantly take out his frustrations out on his wife Helen and his son for what he considered weaknesses and lack of respect. It drove the former to the bottle, which eventually killed her, and the latter openly fantasized about killing him.
  • Dating Catwoman: Max keeps threatening to slap cuffs on Mona, and never does.
  • Deadpan Snarker: The very bitter kind of Deadpan.
  • Determinator: Nothing stops Max, when someone has wronged him and needs justice done to them, as long as he is conscious and able to move, he will hunt them down and get his revenge. Other characters repeatedly lampshade that he never knows when to quit, and the irony that even though he's given up on his own life, he won't give up the chase.
  • Drunken Master: The third game implies it pretty strongly. Max is even more of a badass when he's on the sauce than when he's off.
    • Subverted later, though: as good as he is when he's drunk, he's much more focused and destructive when he's sober. Taking down Favela thugs while drunk is nothing compared to utterly ruining an entire police station full of corrupt, heavily-armed and -armored special forces cops without missing a step.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Don't hit women. You won't live long if he sees it.
  • Dye or Die: Before venturing into the favela, Max shaves his head as an admittedly feeble disguise.
  • Expy: Loses his family. Uses military grade equipments. Slaughters wise-guys in dozens. Has ties with shady figures working for government. Can't stand women getting hurt. Max Payne or The Punisher?
  • Failure Knight: The poor guy can just never, ever catch a break. It gets worse with every game, too.
  • Forgets to Eat: His diet consists of bad coffee, week-old-donuts, and booze.
  • Guilt Complex: It doesn't help that half his friends betray him in each game, and the other half die messily.
  • Guns Akimbo: A frequent style of Max's when he's using pistols or submachine guns.
  • Going Cold Turkey: In the beginning of the first game he quits smoking. In the third game he has started smoking again on top of his alcohol and pain-killer addiction, but in the middle of the third game he decides to kick the bottle, and by the end of the game it seems that he has successfully quit drinking.
  • Hawaiian-Shirted Tourist: With no money or Passos to watch his back, Max's choice of disguises are limited. He reluctantly dons a luau shirt in the second of act of Max Payne 3 (labeling it "ridiculous"). It should be noted that Max's gangster persona in the original game also wore a garish Hawaiian shirt.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: An undisputed master of it. Every monologue Max has regarding himself is about how fat, depressed, weak or alcoholic he is. The third game also makes him proverbially kick himself for failing to protect to Borgia family, and how he can't seem to see what's going on around him.
  • Important Haircut: The story reason for why he shaves his head in Part 3.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: In an ostensibly realistic Film Noir-inspired series, we get absolutely no explanation as to how Max, a supposedly ordinary (former) policeman, has Super Reflexes, only needs painkillers to shrug off ridiculous amounts of damage and fighting skills that special forces would weep in envy over.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: In the third game Max is not only voiced by James McCaffrey, but his face is also based on him as well.
  • Interface Screw: The camera in Max Payne 3 is constantly flickering and throwing up bright sparks across your field of vision. This is because Max is either really drunk, hung over, or in detox during every single level in the game.
  • Jerkass: Sarcastic? Check. Gruff in his manners? Check. Will act violently, even when the situation can be solved through diplomacy? Check? Kind of a dick, even to his friends? BIIIIIGGGG check on that one.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite the above, Max is still a fairly standup guy, and fights for justice, always willing to help the weak.
  • Justice Will Prevail: Max treats the idea that his Roaring Rampages of Revenge can be considered "justice" or "heroic" with bitter scorn. Regardless, he has a very clear idea about what is right and wrong, and, when push comes to shove, an unwavering dedication to always do what is right despite how high the odds are stacked against him. It is arguably the main part of what keeps him from becoming a Nominal Hero.
  • Karma Houdini: After singlehandedly wiping out a New York crime family, Max has all charges dropped due to Alfred Woden's machinations. In the second game, after he shoots all the mobsters he missed the first time and kills his own partner, Max manages to make a strong enough case against Winterson and Vladimir Lem that the NYPD pensions him off rather than prosecuting him. In other words, he's killed hundreds of people and he manages to skate.
    • Tropical Epilogue: This trend continues for him in 3 after managing to bring Victor Branco to justice. No concrete explanation is given as to how he managed go from shooting up half of Sao Paulo to kicking back on a beach in Bahia, but it's possible Da Silva had a hand in helping him along.
    • Max lampshades his status as this in the start of 2, at the same time not appreciating it much.
    " I had wanted to be punished for what I had done. But Alfred Woden had kept his word. With his influence, ridiculously, I had emerged from my history of violence unscathed, a hero. I didn't thank him. I couldn't stomach it."
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Some of the most sour to be found but he presses on in spite of it.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Word of God states that Max aspires to be a deep thinker, but his plans invariably go awry. Strategic planning and common sense are not in his repertoire. However, when Max chooses to physically act, he is nigh-invincible.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Max owns, apparently, precisely one tie. The jacket was lampshaded during a gunfight; when Passos offers him a dead mobster's threads, Max sticks with his leather dubs because it repels blood.
  • Love Martyr: Possible can be seen as this in the second game after he falls in love with Mona.
  • Made of Iron: Especially in the second game. Shot in the chest, the head, thrown out of a building: guy just keeps on trucking.
  • Mighty Whitey: Max is characteristically glib about it ("a fat bald white guy with a bad temper"), but he's indeed a hero to the underprivileged of São Paulo. He smashed up the guerrillas who were oppressing them, the policia who were straight-up murdering them (and harvesting their organs), and the politician who was exploiting them.
  • Morality Pet: Ironically, he's Mona's.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Max views every Damsel in Distress he meets as this, which is tragic since they all die, too.
  • One-Man Army
    Nicole Horne: "What do you mean, 'He's unstoppable'? You are superior to him in every way that counts. You are better trained, better equipped, you outnumber him at least 20 to 1. Do... your... job!"
  • The Other Darrin: Developer and scriptwriter Sam Lake was originally his model, followed by Timothy Gibbs. James McCaffrey (of Viper fame) voices him in all three games, and was his motion capture actor in 3.
  • Private Eye Monologue
  • Riding into the Sunset: At the conclusion of 3, Max kicks back and retires to the beach.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge
  • Sociopathic Hero: Implied by the fact that you can kill any NPC in the first game, including random druggies that don't attack unless provoked (then again).
  • The Stoic: Max is quite unflappable, and he rarely raises his voice, even in dangerous situations.
    • Not So Stoic: His normally calm exterior does break a bit when he confronts Neves with his organ thievery in the third game.
    Max: "YOU'RE TURNING HUMANS INTO GLUE! THAT'S WHAT MY FUCKING PROBLEM IS!"
  • Survivor Guilt: Has this in spades, to the point that his self-blame for what happened to his family makes up the bulk of his nightmare sequences at certain points in the first game.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: In the second game, mirroring Mona's injury.
  • Tranquil Fury: One of his trademarks.
    • Unstoppable Rage: His personality is more livid in the third game but nothing compares to his disgust upon discovering the organ harvesting operation. When someone like Max Payne is thoroughly sickened by what he sees, you know you've gone too far. He ultimately ends up killing everyone involved. Everyone. And even for him, that's saying something.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Without Woden to protect him, Max finally gets the boot in the aftermath of 2. It doesn't help that the press keep accusing him of murder of Winterson, so Bravura and Max decide it's better for Max to retire.
  • Vigilante Man
  • Walking Disaster Area: Max's boss in 3 is hip to his reputation. "Max, try not to completely destroy the place?!"
    • Summary of each Max Payne game: Everybody dies, except Max Payne. He's quite aware of it; the message "Everyone I touch dies" is scrawled on the monster-ridden cellar of his brain.
  • Weapon of Choice: Max's weapon of choice is the Beretta 92F, of which he usually carries two. In Brazil he transfers to the Brazilian copy, the Taurus PT92.

Mona Sax

Voiced by: Julia Murney (Max Payne), Wendy Hoopes (Max Payne 2)

"Relax, Max. You're a nice guy. I don't kill nice guys."

An assassin that is revealed to work for the Inner Circle. She's the sister of Lisa Punchinello, and Max's equal in combat. Over the course of the second game, she falls in love with Max.

  • Broken Bird
  • The Cameo: Appears very, very briefly in Max Payne 3 as an easter egg on It's Drive Or Shoot, Sister- should you watch TV on that level, after newscast, there's an ad for Hotel Mona, with Mona's voice actress saying "An unforgettable place to stay". Max immediately turns the TV off.
  • Creepy Twins: She and her twin sister, Lisa Punchinello. Lisa is also implied to be a psychic.
  • Dark Action Girl
  • Femme Fatale:
  • Hitman with a Heart: You're a nice guy, Max. She doesn't kill nice guys.
  • Killed Off for Real: Despite surviving in the hardest difficulty level in the second game, she dies in the canon ending.
  • Made of Iron
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: She spiked Max's drink with Valkyr to prevent him from killing Angelo first. Unluckily for Mona, she got got caught and thrown in a torture chamber, albeit only briefly. Then, Nicole Horne muscled in and killed the mob boss before either of our heroes could do it.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: As evidenced by a family photo.
  • Professional Killer: Of the assassin variety.
  • Schrödinger's Cast: Beat Max Payne 2 on "Dead on Arrival" difficulty level and she survives.
  • 'Tis Only a Bullet in the Brain: In the first game she gets shot in the head but her body mysteriously disappear. She is shown to have survived in the second game, but the details on how, remains rather vague. Following her death, Max comments on the bullet "coming to the end of its slow-motion journey."
  • The Vamp
  • Weapon of Choice: In both games, Mona's default weapon is a Desert Eagle.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: Set out to brutally kill Punchinello in retaliation for beating her sister. She even drugged Max rather than risk him beating her to it.

Vladimir Lem

Voiced by: Dominic Hawksley (Max Payne), Jonathan Davis (Max Payne 2)

A charming Russian crime boss that comes to Max's aid in the first game. They quickly become friends which makes his betrayal in the second game even harder to stomach for Max.

  • Affably Evil
  • The Apprentice: Formerly to Alfred Woden.
  • As the Good Book Says: With his smooth features, white suit, and vampiric name (named for Dracula, itself Romanian for "Devil"), Vlad is clearly patterned on Lucifer in Paradise Lost. Vlad rationalizes his deeds as coping with circumstances foisted upon him, he feels neglected and unappreciated by God (Woden), and ignites a civil war within the Inner Circle in a bid to take over.
    Woden: The killing has gone too far.
    Vlad: I have only begun. It's better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven.
    Woden: You flatter yourself!
  • Big Bad: Of the 2nd game
  • Big Bad Friend: In Max Payne 2. A pivotal chapter is titled, fittingly, "Dearest of All My Friends."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: He wears ordinary street clothes in the first game, but in the second he upgrades to a classy white suit.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
  • Blond Guys Are Evil
  • Calling the Old Man Out/Klingon Promotion: Vlad is angling to take Woden's spot at the head of the Inner Circle, even going so far as to put the old man on notice.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Oddly inverted. He happily quotes Milton, yet still carries himself as a gallant gentlemen and thinks of himself as the 'real' protagonist.
  • Catchphrase: "Bang! You're dead, Max Payne!", "Have no fear, Vlad is here!", and "Dearest of all my friends." (He refers to everyone as this.)
  • The Chessmaster
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: He betrays Woden, his former mentor, and Max, his friend.
  • Disney Villain Death: Perishes when the spire above Woden's manor crashes through the ceiling, taking him with it.
  • Enemy Mine: The mob war with the Punchinellos will be lost for good if they're allowed to get away with Vlad's gun freighter. Vlad offers protection for Max in exchange for changing the ship back under his flag.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: His love for Winterson is genuine, so much so that he decides to personally confront and attempt to murder Max for killing her.
  • Evil All Along
  • Hoist by His Own Petard/Karmic Death: As Max invokes, in the final level of 2, the only weapon he has at first is Lem's discarded Desert Eagle. While you'll find other weapons by the time you confront Lem at the end of the level, you are in full rights to keep to Max's Trouble Entendre of "[giving] Vlad his gun back, one bullet at a time."
  • Legitimate Businessmen's Social Club: Ragna Rock aka Vodka, styled as the hippest restaurant in Manhattan... if he can ever get the bloodstains out. A more sinister example is the Squeaky Cleaning Company, who's shadowy "boss" is none other than Vlad himself.
  • Neighbourhood Friendly Gangsters: Certainly moreso than the Punchinellos, who peddle V, blackmail their unsuspecting johns, and strangle each other with video game controllers.
    Max: "Vladimir was one of those old-time bad guys with honor and morals, which made him almost one of the good guys."
    • Altought in Max Payne 2 it's revealed it was all a facade.
  • The Mafiya
  • Man in White: In the sequel.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Meet the New Boss: Just like Nicole Horne, Vlad sees himself as the heir apparent to the Inner Circle. He succeeds where she failed by wiping out the last remaining member, Alfred Woden, though not without getting killed himself. Max even defeats him using a similar method.
  • The Movie Buff: Vlad is a sucker for Old Hollywood, quoting Casablanca and The Godfather in his dealings with Max.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: He dismisses the Inner Circle as an organized crime outfit, no better than he is and deserving of punishment.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite being a gangster boss, he is one of Max's few genuine friends and helps him in his vendetta in the first game. Ramped up in the second game. Despite his role as the true main villain, he is shown to genuinely care for Winterson and her blind son (the former's death at Max's hand upsets him quite a bit), and he is generous donor to the Brooklyn School for the Blind.
  • Reformed Criminal: Or so he claims at the beginning of 2. His restaurant is only a front for the Cleaners.
  • Renegade Russian
  • Rule of Symbolism: In keeping with the biblical theme, Vlad battles his way to the top of Woden's manor, only to fall into the fiery pit below. A painting of Adam and Eve behind the wreckage completes the picture.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters
  • Shadow Archetype: Of Max, especially played up in the second game. Surface-wise, he wears a flashy, white suit, where Max has his trademark black leather jacket. He is a carrier-criminal, Max is a cop. Where Vlad is loud, bombastic, and emotional, Max is quiet, gloomy, and stoic.
  • Vanity License Plate/Vodka Drunkenski: In both games, his vehicles read "Vodka."
  • Weapon of Choice: Vlad, like Mona, prefers the Desert Eagle as his sidearm, but he's even more well known for using bombs.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: A phone message makes it clear that he viewed Alfred Woden, his mentor in the Inner Circle, as a father figure, and was angry about him not respecting him as a son. So he settles for killing him instead.

NYPD Deputy Chief/Lieutenant Jim Bravura

Voiced by: Peter Appel (Max Payne), Vince Viverito (Max Payne 2)

A by-the-book cop whose seen it all, done it all, and drank it all (oops) in a long and storied career. Hunts Max throughout the first game while he's undercover and is his immediate superior in the second.

  • The Alcoholic: He has managed to beat the bottle in the second game. A fact he is very proud of.
  • Badass Grandpa: In the second game he gets shot repeatedly by a submachine-gun, but he still manages to survive despite his age. Seeing footage of him lying on a operating table, Max mentions that he is simply "too stubborn to die."
  • Benevolent Boss/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Perhaps best shown by the message he leaves on Max's answering machine:
    "Payne? Where are ya? You're late again. Look, this insomnia crap isn't fooling anyone. I know what it's like, I just want to help. You should come to an AA meeting with me." *click*
  • Da Chief
  • A Father to His Men: Despite his hash attitude, he is quite concerned with the well-being of his fellow officers, and he turned down a promotion to be able to stay close to them. He also the only officer who stays on friendly therms with Max, after the latter is forced to leave the NYPD after the events of the second game.
  • Hero Antagonist/Inspector Javert: He pursues Max throughout the first game, always trailing behind. The news coverage records his flummoxed reactions to Max's handiwork.
  • Life Will Kill You: He eventually dies from a heart attack between the events of the second and third game. This is likely what spurred Max to move to Hoboken.
  • Worthy Opponent: As he's taking Max into custody by the end of the first game, Bravua grouses that he gave them "one Hell of a ride." ..And it's only just begun.

Alfred Woden

Voiced by: John Randolph Jones (Max Payne), John Braden (Max Payne 2)

A United States Senator with ties to the Inner Circle, a very old and powerful secret society/criminal syndicate.

  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Inner Circle convenes in a strange catacomb, confirming every urban legend about Illuminati and New World Orders. However, the Circle has become old and infirm, and they're no match for a corporate hotshot like Nicole Horne.
  • Big Good: In the first two games.
  • Big Fancy House: His manor, which comes under siege in The Fall of Max Payne.
  • Bodyguard Betrayal: His bodyguards join forces with Vlad's gangsters. Luckily for him, he is locked up safely in his panic room at this point.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Grins smugly while standing above the bodies of his dead partners, and later when Horne is defeated. Max describes it as the face of a "winner."
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Now that Max has become a liability in the second game, he sends Mona to kill Max. Ironically, that's exactly was Horne tried to do in the first game. Both times Mona refuses to kill Max.
  • Convenient Terminal Illness: He's wheelchair-bound and dying of cancer in the second game.
  • Defiant to the End/Throwing Off the Disability: Woden spends much of the final level hiding from the Cleaner commandos and his own personnel inside his panic room. However, when he's finally smoked out, Woden gathers the strength to leap out of his wheelchair.
  • Dirty Old Man: A regular visitor of the prostitute, Candy Dawn. It comes back to bite him as she videotapes his visits and sells it as blackmail material. Both Nicole Horne and Max gets hold of a copy.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Woden, furious at Vlad's senseless violence, lunges out of his wheelchair and makes for the cocky Russian's throat before getting shot and fatally wounded.
  • Evil Cripple
  • Eyepatch of Power: One of Woden's lenses is blacked out.
  • Faking the Dead: When Horne's men bust in on his meeting, Woden plays dead while his colleagues are gunned down. Max sees the camera footage and still can't figure out how he did it.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He is the cause of Max's entire crucible in the first game. It is he who sends Valhalla files to Max's wife.
  • Mr. Exposition/Mysterious Informant: As Max suggests, he's a dead-ringer for Deepthroat from The X-Files.
  • Mysterious Watcher: He aids Max over the phone, alerting him when Horne's men come hunting for him. He keeps his promise to shield Max from prosecution for his crimes, and Max is freed not long after the credits roll.
  • Sleazy Politician: He's a Senator in public, but his real job is the head of a Freemasons-type group of movers and shakers.

Vinnie Gognitti

Voiced by: Joe Dallo (Max Payne), Fred Berman (Max Payne 2)

"Well, that was fun... in a fuckin' terrible, sick, not-at-all-fun kinda way."

A mid-level, high-strung Mob boss that Max is forced to deal with. He's got the brains to run the business, but he lacks the balls, and often takes out his frustrations on underaged addicts and call-girls. After being left to bleed after a shootout with Max in the first game, he returns in the second game, where he is now the leader of his own gang, and is the process of waging a war against Vlad and his men.

  • Butt Monkey
  • Determinator: Despite getting shot in the stomach by Max, he manages to run across several rooftops, while losing blood all the way.
    Max: "I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings."
  • Dirty Coward/Lovable Coward
  • The Mafia
  • Nerd in Evil's Helmet: He is a fan of Captain Baseball Bat Boy and has his apartment decked with merchandise from the show. Vlad uses this to humiliate him before killing him.
    Vinnie: "What? I'm a collector! There's nothin' nerdy about it, I'm a collector! Lots of tough guys are into this stuff!"

Nicole Horne

Voiced by: Jane Gennaro

"All this because your wife stuck her nose into things that were none of her business."

The CEO of Aesir Corp., a rich and influential pharmaceutical corporation. An utterly cold and ruthless woman with an army of mercenaries at her command. A member of the Inner Circle, she is the key figure behind Project Valhalla, the twisted mind behind the nightmare drug Valkyr, and the one behind the murder of Max Payne's family.

Michelle Payne

Voiced by: Haviland Morris

Max's wife. She worked at the New York D.A.'s office before she was murdered for getting too close to the Valkyr Conspiracy.

  • She Knows Too Much: The Payne family was targeted not as part of a personal vendetta, but because Woden leaked info on Valkyr to the D.A.'s office where Michelle Payne worked. Max suddenly recalls this in a flashback, but Michelle doesn't seem to realize what she's uncovered. Ironically, she probably would have let the story fall through the cracks, but Nicole Horne overreacted a bit.
  • The Lost Lenore

Valerie Winterson

Voiced by: Jennifer Server

A respected female detective and Max's partner in the NYPD in the second game. Max comes to realize that she has personal stakes in the case he is investigating.

  • Blondes Are Evil
  • Deal with the Devil: Her new boyfriend proves to be Vladimir Lem. According to her, the mob boss Lem has acted as a caring father figure to her son and is a generous financial donor of the Brooklyn School for the Blind. D'aww.
  • Dirty Cop/The Mole: Max discovers in Chapter 2 that Winterson is stonewalling the Cleaner investigation and leaking details of the case to someone who's involved.
  • Family Values Villain: Winterson is a divorced and single mother raising her only blind son.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Her phone messages to Vlad's machine reveal her motivations.
  • Foe Yay:invoked Winterson is hinted to harbor some attraction to Max Payne, but nothing came of it. Once she became infatuated with Vlad, she began actively trying to frame Max for the Cleaner killings, along with Mona.
  • Foregone Conclusion: The Fall of Max Payne opens with Max standing over her cadaver in the morgue.
  • Ice Queen: As befitting her surname.
  • Last Breath Bullet: After Max caps Winterson in the chest with his Beretta, he turns his attention to Mona and advises her to leave. This gives the dying Winterson an opportunity to shoot her partner In the Back, sending him tumbling into a quarry.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Max holds his partner up as a symbol of everything the badge should be. He overlooks several clues that Winterson's police work isn't up to par.
  • Reverse Whodunnit: Winterson is revealed to be DOA in the hospital, and Bravura accuses Max of murder (though Max denies it). What follows is a retelling of how Max ended up in this situation.
  • Shadow Archetype: To Mona, mirroring the same way Vlad is Max's shadow. Winterson is dressed in blue, Mona is dressed in red. The former is a cop, the latter an assassin. Winterson appears on the surface to be a By-the-Book Cop, while Mona appears to be quite unprofessional as she constantly lets personal feelings getting in the way of her job. However; as the plot progresses Winterson is shown to actually be a very immoral Hypocrite, who aids a mob boss due to her personal feelings for him, while Mona always remains true to her strong personal principles. To add more too it, Winterson's relationship with Vlad is shown to be very stable, while Max and Mona's ditto is very chaotic and largely unspoken.

Angelo Punchinello

Voiced by: Joe Ragno

The head of the Punchinello Crime Family.

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Once Max shows up in his office inside his mansion, the Don pleads with him to be spared. He then tries the same with Horne's mooks.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: When we meet him at last, Angelo pleads on the telephone for Horne to come rescue him, but Max is already at the door. Angelo cries that wasn't his choice to frame Max; someone way more powerful than the mob wants Max's investigation closed.
  • Dirty Coward: Without his men to back him up, Angelo's real persona is actually a feeble, helpless old man. He even tries to run away when Horne's hit squad arrives, but does not succeed.
    Max: He was trying to buy more sand for his hourglass. *click* I wasn't selling any.
  • Disc One Final Boss
  • The Don
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: "No! I told him nothing—"
  • The Unfought: He falls to pieces and pleads for his life the moment Max enters his office, and is mowed down by Horne's mooks shortly after.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After he has thrown every he has at Max, and failed to kill him, Horne pulls this on him.

Jack Lupino

Voiced by: Jeff Gurner

"The flesh of fallen angels! Come to me, all!... Astaroth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Baphomet, Lucifer, Loki, Satan, Cthulhu, Lilith, Hela! Blood to you all!"

A high-ranking lieutenant in the Punchinella Crime Family with some serious issues.

Frankie "The Bat" Niagara

Voiced by: Bruce Kronenberg

An assassin hired by the Punchinellos to hunt down and kill Max. Has a love of violent comic strips such as Captain Baseballbat-boy.

The Trio (Vince Mugnaio, Pilate "Big Brother" Providence, and Joe "Deadpan" Salem)

The Don's notorious henchmen, a trio of killers hired to deal with Max.

Rico Muerte

Voiced by: Joe Maruzzo

A hitman hired by Punchinello to oversee a Valkyr deal going down in Lupino's hotel. He meets his end at Max's hands at the hotel bar soon after servicing Candy Dawn. In Act 2, he's revealed to have been sent by an unknown party (later revealed to be Nicole Horne) on an assassination job on the Mayor himself, but never had the chance to pull it off.

  • Ax-Crazy: While not as nuts as Lupino or the Trio, Rico does have his moments, such as strangling two mad dog killers to death with video game cables because he was depressed after watching them settle their differences with a fighting game instead of murdering each other like he'd hoped they would do.
  • Dirty Coward: Literally.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Max walks in on him with hooker Candy Dawn, and the ensuing fight takes place with Rico's pants down around his ankles.
  • The Mafia
  • Professional Killer: Of the hitman variety.
  • Psycho for Hire

The Finito Brothers (Joey and Virgilio)

Joey: Ladies an' gentlemen, it's the Pain in the butt!
Virgilio: Pain to the Max!

Voiced by: Tye Reign

The first two mobsters to try to kill Max when his cover is blown at Lupino's hotel.

Alex Balder

Voiced by: Chris Phillips

Max's best friend and long-time partner in the DEA. His murder at the start of the first game kicks off Max's one-man crusade against the Punchinello family.

B.B.

Voiced by: Adam Grupper

Max's other partner in the DEA, who first sends Max to Roscoe Street Station. He's revealed in the middle of Act 3 to be the one who murdered Alex and set Max up to take the fall.

Mike the Cowboy

Voiced by: Gary Yudman

"You are the sheriff? Well, how about making me your deputy?"

Lem's second-in-command that thinks he's in a Western.

Kaufman

Voiced by: Gregory Sims

An elite member of the Cleaners.

Raul Passos

Voiced by: Julian Dean

Max: "I might have written the book on bad ideas, but Passos wasn't afraid to quote from it."

A friend of Max's from the police academy, or so Max thinks. He offers Max a private security gig in Sao Paulo, which is what prompts Max to leave New York.

  • Ace Pilot: Subverted. He's a very competent helicopter pilot, able to weave between skyscrapers and dodge an RPG. However, since Max was hanging on over the helicopter's side, compensating for the helicopter's movements while shooting mooks, his skills don't get much appreciation from Max.
  • Becoming the Mask: Despite his deceit when recruiting him, it is made quite clear that he has come around to genuinely view Max as a good friend and brother-in-arms.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Saves Max's painkiller addicted-ass several times throughout the game, most notably at The Imperial Palace Hotel.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Max reveals early on that he was aware of Passos' relationship with Giovanna. He was not aware, however, that by the time he had met her, she was already pregnant with Passos' child.
  • Dashing Hispanic
  • Deadpan Snarker: Is snarky enough to engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat with Max.
  • The Lancer: He's Max's sidekick for a couple of levels, although he always seems to be doing the least dangerous job that he possibly can be.
    • Fire-Forged Friends: He's been through so much with Max that the latter is willing to forgive him for his deceit and apparent betrayal.
  • Lovable Traitor: Passos lies about his nationality and his shared past with Max, gets Max embroiled in a scheme to grant Victor Branco the popular mayoral vote, almost skips town with Giovanna to leave Max at the mercy of their enemies, and always tells bad jokes at Max' expense, yet Max just can't resolve to hate him.
  • Love Redeems: If Giovanna wasn't pregnant with his kid, he might not have survived. Passos ducks out of the game's plot the moment he finds that out.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Justified. If you compare Passos' Portuguese accent with that of other Portuguese-speaking characters, it sounds a little... different. It turns out he's actually Colombian, and was ordered to hide his true nationality by Victor.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When he learns Giovanna is pregnant with his kid, he wisely decides to skip town with her.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: More like Max' Vitriolic Only Bud, but much of their interaction seems to be composed of playfully vicious insults directed towards each other.

Anthony DeMarco

Voiced by: Ray Iannicelli

During a drunken dispute in a bar in Hoboken, Max kills Anthony DeMarco's only son. DeMarco promptly sets out to waste Max, sending dozens of armed thugs against him in a berserker rage.

Rodrigo Branco

Voiced by: Frank Rodriguez

"You pay a couple of million dollars and you expect to... to push a button to... be able to make all your problems go away. All I got was some useless junk and a bit of false confidence."

Max's new boss in Sao Paulo. He is an industrialist who is paranoid about kidnapping attempts. He gets killed by a crooked cop during an attack on his company's headquarters while Max is busy fighting off the invading paramilitary goons.

Fabiana Branco

Voiced by: Benedita Aires Pereira

Rodrigo's trophy wife and the subject of the kidnapping attempt in the third game. She's killed during the rescue about midway through.

  • Always Save the Girl: Subverted. Fabiana neither becomes Max' new Love Interest nor is she saved in the end.
  • Damsel in Distress: Her entire impact on the plot of the game, in a nutshell.
  • Gold Digger: Rodrigo admits he's not in the dark about this so it's clear that they're tacitly using one another (Rodrigo gets a trophy wife to tote around town at all the ritzy gatherings while Fabiana gets to live it up on her husband's money with the party-hearty Marcelo and her sister).
  • Kill the Cutie: She's killed by Serrano midway through the game.
  • May-December Romance: By Max's cynical appraisal, Fabiana mostly married Rodrigo for his money, and the two now mostly ignore one another.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: At the hands of Serrano.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Fabiana doesn't do a lot, really. She gets kidnapped before she receives any real characterization, but every time she's seen before that point, she's partying on her husband's dime.

Victor Branco

Voiced by: Robert Montano

Max: "Guy was smoother than an oil slick on an iceberg and about as toxic."

Rodrigo's brother. He is a local politician that wants to clean up the city. In actuality, he is the mastermind behind a human organ trafficking ring, and the Big Bad.

  • Big Bad: The closest thing there is to one in the game.
    • Non-Action Big Bad: He does nothing but gives orders to Max and Becker. The one time he tries to do something by pointing a gun at Max he's easily disarmed and headbutted while delivering a monologue. To top it off, Max defeats him in a cutscene by easily breaking his leg instead of the usual gunfight that occurs in the games.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Victor keeps an excellent facade going of being a caring brother, but as the game goes along, we really find out what kind of person he really is.
  • Corrupt Politician
  • The Evil Prince: Da Silva notes that among wealthy families in Brazil, the eldest living brother has control over all the family money. True enough, this was Victor's motivation in having Rodrigo, Marcelo and Fabiana killed.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • Glory Hound: Max notes early on that Victor is a particularly sleazy candidate for mayor in the upcoming elections, though he is initially unaware that Victor is sleazy enough to hire a gang to kill the other Brancos, fund the mayoral campaign with money made from another gang's Organ Theft ring, and then have bent cops destroy both gangs and clean everything up to let Victor win both the sympathy and law & order votes.
  • It's All About Me: The guy is willing to murder his family just so he can get the family fortune.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: In the epilogue of the game he is found hanged in his cell a few days before his trial. The official explanation is suicide, but the media very openly speculates that many in the prison knew about his crimes and had plenty of reasons to seek retribution for them...
  • The Man Behind the Man: He was, apparently, manipulating everyone to suit his own plans, possibly including all of the different gangs in Sao Paulo and especially his own family.
  • Manipulative Bastard
  • Sleazy Politician: Max gets this wipe from him.
  • Smug Snake: See Tempting Fate.
  • Tempting Fate: After his final confrontation with Max, he laughs and says he'll walk, so Max breaks his leg.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Though luckily, he's exposed at the end of the game.
  • Walking Spoiler: He's actually the Big Bad of the third game.

Marcelo Branco

Voiced by: Dillon Porter

Rodrigo and Victor's younger brother, he is a party-loving playboy.

  • All Love Is Unrequited: Judging by his actions, it's implied he's secretly in love with Fabiana
  • Kill It with Fire: He is killed via necklacing: a legendary Brazilian gang execution which involves immolating the victim while he is trapped in a stack of gasoline-soaked tyres.
  • Life of the Party: One of his few arguably positive traits is that he knows how to throw a good party. Too bad one such party turns out to be a cover for a money laundering scheme he was helping Victor run, and gets all his guests killed by Panamanian rebels.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Marcelo's not so much a person as a device used to dispose of cocaine.

Giovanna Taveres

Voiced by: Shirley Rumierk

Fabiana's younger sister, Giovanna lives in two worlds. By day, she's a social worker in Sao Paulo's impoverished lower-class neighborhoods, but by night, she parties with her sister in Sao Paulo's night spots.

  • Action Survivor: She gets into her own set of scrapes alongside Max after he rescues her from the Crachá Preto and she performs admirably, given the circumstances.
    • Badass Driver: The crowning moment of her badassery occurs when she jacks a tourist bus and uses it to allow Max and herself to (clumsily) escape the Crachá Preto.
    • The Load: However, she fits this trope during their first meeting, which becomes an Escort Mission as Max covers her (very clumsy) escape with a rifle from a helicopter. It's fair to say she Took a Level in Badass in the days since then.
  • Bodyguard Crush: She plays the role of the liege in her relationship with Passos, and she reciprocates his feelings, though Max is initially unaware of the extent of their relationship until she reveals she's pregnant.
  • Pregnant Hostage: It's only revealed later in the game that she's pregnant with Passos' child.
  • Responsible Sibling: To Fabiana's Foolish Sibling. Fabiana wilfully makes such decisions as going out to party soon after a public attempt on her life was made. Any bad decisions Giovanna makes (such as going after the kidnapped Fabiana) can be chalked up to duress.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After revealing she's pregnant with Raul's baby, the two decide to skip town.

Wilson Da Silva

Voiced by: Stephen Girasuolo

Da Silva is a reasonably honest cop and a family man in Sao Paulo, which requires him to have a certain amount of moral flexibility. He's an unexpected ally to Max after Fabiana's kidnapping.

  • Badass Driver: At the game's climax, he breaks into an airport runway in his dinky sedan and ferries Max across the runway to catch up with Victor's escaping plane, and all the while, Max is blasting Victor's UFE detail to shreds with a Grenade Launcher
  • Brains: To Max' Brawn.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: To Max
  • Cowboy Cop: Not to the extent Max once was, but Max wouldn't have been able to bring Victor to justice if he hadn't bent a few rules to feed Max information, start a Prison Riot, and gain access to an airport runway.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not as much as Max or Passos, but he has his moments too.
  • Friend on the Force: Downplayed. He's a perfectly competent investigator on his own, and he only needs Max to get evidence that he already knows exists, but is in the possession of a party that will kill him if he tried to take it himself.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Inverted. He's practically the game's most avid cigarette smoker, but he's actually a good guy. See Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's an arrogant and smug bastard, but he actually wants to help bring justice to crime and turns out to be Max' most dependable ally. And the only one that remains throughout the last few chapters.
  • The Lancer
  • Loophole Abuse: His entire role in the game's plot is essentially to point Max in the right direction, because while da Silva's hands are tied - either by the vast wealth and influence of the person he's after, the corruption of the local police forces, or his target being a large heavily-armed organization of some kind - Max's aren't.
  • Non-Action Guy: Da Silva invokes this in order to avoid the bad guys pulling a He Knows Too Much on him. It works.

Armando Becker

Voiced by: Bira Castro

Becker is the commanding officer of the Unidades Forças Especiais (UFE), a spectacularly corrupt special police organization in Sao Paulo.

  • An Arm and a Leg: loses an arm after Max shoots a live grenade inches away from him.
  • Dirty Cop
  • The Dragon: He is the right-hand man to Victor.
    • And Bachmeyer is his Dragon
  • Final Boss: Becker is the half-dead guy who Max is about to execute in his early flashback to the end of the game.
    • Flunky Boss: He's completely protected behind a riot shield, so the final fight is essentially you mowing down a few dozen UFE troops while he occasionally lobs grenades at you. Once he runs out of troops, an interactive cutscene is automatically triggered in which you beat him in 1 shot.
  • General Ripper: Initially, he appears to be an exceptionally ruthless police commander in a city wherein his ruthlessness is somewhat justified. This is subverted when you find out he's actually trafficking human organs.
  • The Napoleon: There are two things you'll notice about Becker when you first see him at the party: 1. He's the shortest guy in attendance. 2. He's a total Jerk Ass.
  • Stop or I Will Shoot!: His and his subordinates' modus operandi. According to Max's terse description, they're "the other cops. The cops who shoot on sight."

Bachmeyer

Voiced by: Gilberto Romagnolo

Bachmeyer is the second-in-command at Unidade de Forças Especiais, and the right-hand man of Becker.

  • The Brute: He is notably larger and bulkier than any other character, which compliments his notably shorter commander.
  • Bald of Evil
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Appears in the end cut-scene of the first mission by Becker's site. The trope name becomes quite literal, as he is the one who assassinates Rodrigo.
  • The Dragon: To Becker
  • Idiot Ball: He assassinates Rodrigo while dressed in full UFE uniform in pain view of a surveillance camera. He is clever enough to steal the surveillance tape, but he then decides to keep a copy of it in his office instead of just destroying it.
  • Number Two
  • Puzzle Boss: Max has to repeatedly draw him out in the open before he can put bullets in him.

Serrano

Voiced by: Babs Olausanmokum

Serrano is the leader of Comando Sombra, a powerful São Paulo street gang with ties to South American drug cartels. He and his gang kidnap Fabiana Branco in the hopes of collecting a hefty ransom from her wealthy husband.

  • Asshole Victim: After he murders Fabiana before Max's eyes, Max later encounters him as a prisoner in the Imperial Palace Hotel, having been brutally tortured after getting arrested in the favela raid.
  • Big Bad Wannabe
  • Enemy Mine: Max and Serrano comes to an unspoken truce when confronting Athur Fisher, as Max lowers his gun and allows Serrano to kill the doctor with a scalpel.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge: Gives one to Dr. Fischer offscreen after Max uncovers the organ harvesting operation at the derelict hotel.
  • The Heavy: His kidnapping of Fabiana kickstarts the whole plot and keeps it going until the halfway mark, at which point, he unceremoniously kills Fabiana. He is then later captured as an unwilling "donor" for an Organ Theft ring.
  • Karma Houdini: Possibly, if he managed to escape the collapse of the Imperial Palace Hotel. Though given his condition, it's highly unlikely.
  • Kick the Dog: He kills Fabiana simply for shit and giggles.
  • Scary Black Man: The first time Max identifies him, he is called "the slab of meat" in Max' Private Eye Monologue.
  • Unwitting Pawn: The entire kidnapping operation was secretly set up by Victor Branco, who sent Comando Sombra the information they needed to carry it out as part of his plan to get his other family members killed to gain control of the family fortune.
  • Walking Spoiler: He's not the true Big Bad. Victor is.

Álvaro Neves

Voiced by: Gil Cardoso

Neves is the commander of the Crachá Preto, a company of mercenaries composed of former cops and military men who also secretly run the harvesting end of an Organ Theft ring with ties to Victor Branco and the UFE.

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