Wei Shen (Voiced by Will Yun Lee)
Protagonist of Sleeping Dogs
, Wei Shen is a Chinese-American undercover police officer from the San Francisco Police Department tasked by the Hong Kong Police Force to infiltrate the Sun On Yee and bring it down from within. A talented officer of the law, he moved to San Francisco with his mother Margaret Shen and sister Mimi Shen in hopes to get the latter off her drug habit. Unfortunately, she couldn't kick the habit and overdosed; Margaret later committed suicide following Mimi's death. Throughout his career, Wei has showed a deep understanding of the triad structure operating in San Francisco, making him the perfect undercover operator, yet beneath his exterior lies a psychologically exhausted and stressed man who wants nothing but vengeance on the gangs that destroyed his family and life.
Catching the eye of Hong Kong Police Force Superintendant Thomas Pendrew, Wei is recruited for undercover operations in Hong Kong, returning back to the city where he was born.
- Ambiguous Disorder: While the game proper never gets into it, the police files on Wei make it pretty clear that contrary to his perfect social functioning he's pretty far gone into something.
- Anti-Hero: Unscrupulous Hero
- Beware the Nice Ones: He's actually a well balanced & caring individual during normal times. But you can't forget that anyone who has threatened his friends & family has never came back, alive.
- Becoming the Mask: Wei's psychological profile indicates that this is a potential danger due to how malleable his persona is, but it's also what makes him such a great mole. When he's with the triads he's a full-on gangster; when he's in police mode, he suddenly shifts gears mentally. Nevertheless, it's his main source of conflict with Raymond, particularly when Superintendent Pendrew's orders are for Jackie to be brought in.
- Bully Hunter: According to his biography, Wei has been reprimanded 6 times for violence and/or fighting when he was in high school and he has zero criminal record and tested negative on all drug test. This means that he never joined any criminal gangs or was ever arrested for committing any crimes growing up in the US. He being reprimanded in high school yet still graduating with honor could stem from him either fighting bullies or possibly other gang members.
- Byronic Hero: Wei at first appears like a generic cop Anti-Hero, with a heavy aversion to killing anyone except the target of his revenge: Dogeyes, whom he plans to murder. Then after the warehouse gunfight, where he is forced to kill many people for no reason other than survival, the trauma of it wakes up Wei's dark side and he quickly becomes this. Attractive? Check. Brooding to the point of setting up titanium thick emotional walls? Check. Haunted by both a significant loss AND a past crime? Check. Passionate in his beliefs? Check. Heavy conflict with other's philosophies and especially with authority that results in (temporary) rejection/exile from the police force via Pendrew and social isolation from the surviving Triad members ? Check. His transition to Byronic Hero is exemplified as the takedowns he can use get more and more brutal as the game goes on, starting with simple (if harsh) knockouts when he is still just an upstanding Anti-Hero and eventually evolving into impaling people on Sword-fish heads or burning them to death as he is more and more convinced that underground Hong Kong (barring his branch of the Sun On Yee) deserves to burn.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Raymond grows unsure about Wei's loyalty when he achieves the rank of red pole, fearing Wei will hesitate between keeping playing his act or fully embracing his role as a Triad. The end of the game has him sticking with the cops despite Pendrew's backstabbing, if only because he ends up getting back at Pendrew in the end, but he tells Inspector Teng at the end that he's not sure what he'll do next.
- Considering that during Wei's captivity a henchman can be heard voicing his belief that the revelation of Wei being a rat is only an excuse to wipe out his faction, it's entirely possible that the secret of Wei's undercover status died with Big Smile Lee's faction, while Broken Nose Jiang and Pockmark Cheuk may not have told anyone else.
- Cunning Linguist: Zig-zagged; Wei clearly knows Cantonese and uses that knowledge to his advantage multiple times but never speaks it himself in the game. This article explains how not doing so keeps the audience from being alienated and emphasizes him as having been raised as an Asian-American.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Life has never been kind for him. People that he cares about keep on dying on him. And it could only get worse after coming back to Hong Kong due to undercover work. Luckily, he manages to earn his own albeit, Bitter Sweet Ending.
- Determinator: In the last two missions, Wei gets sliced, drilled, hammered, shot and pistol whipped (and those are just the cut scenes), yet keeps on going to ensure that "Big Smile" Lee pays for Jackie's murder.
- Extreme Melee Revenge: His epic beatdown on Mr. Tong's smug face. Hard to argue it wasn't deserved though.
- Fantasy Helmet Enforcement: Wei always wears a helmet when riding a motorcycle, even when stopping to put it on is inconvenient. The exception is when he's already wearing headgear, like a hat.
- Field Promotion: Within the triads, Wei becomes Winston Chu's lead enforcer after earning his trust. When Winston is killed, Wei inherits de facto leadership of Winston's Water Street Boys gang, which is later formally confirmed with a promotion to Red Pole.
- Genius Bruiser: He pretty much has to be this as a undercover cop given how this is almost a mandatory requirement for many police and government agencies. Also he graduated high school with honors despite being reprimanded 6 times for for violence and/or fighting.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Spends the game teetering on the edge of this. His suitability report says he has been suspected of ignoring the line between undercover work and enforcing the law in order to settle personal vendettas when he was in San Francisco and he is often threatened by Raymond of being taken out of the field because he's becoming too much like the people he's pursuing.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Averted; Wei can eventually carry a concealed handgun on his person, but heavier guns and melee weapons have to be either found in the environmentnote or taken from disarmed/beaten/killed enemies and cannot be stored anywhere. Additionally, the amount of ammo Wei can carry for firearms never exceeds four magazines plus the currently-loaded magazine.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Compare Wei's facial appearance to Will Yun Lee.
- It's Personal: Jackie's murder causes Wei to throw away all restraint and he comes for "Big Smile" Lee's head with no mercy for anyone who would dare oppose him.
- Made of Iron: Especially during the second to last mission. He's given small cuts with a scalpel, gets a drill through his legs, his toes hammered and punched around before he's had enough and tears the goons a new one.
- Magic Tool: Wei's battered police-issued smartphone can do things such as hacking security cameras, computers and safes, but can also trace a phone signal in mere seconds and calibrate a spy microphone. For greater absurdity, it can send pictures with a high enough resolution to be used as legal evidence in literally a few seconds.
- Male Gaze: Checks out Sandra's behind in the cutscene at the beginning of their date.
- The Mole: Not just against the Sun On Yee, but against the Tongs back in California.
- One-Man Army: By the end of the game, he would have wrapped up a kill count that can rival Frank Castle.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Practically standard operating procedure as far as Wei is concerned.
- Rabid Cop: A rare well-intentioned example. Though he is a dangerous man, he gets away with the kind of things that would get any other detective thrown in jail, but only because most of the people he reports to don't care how many mooks have to die to bring down Sun On Yee's top echelons (though one of the people assigned to work with him worries that his time as an undercover cop could bite them in the back if they let him get too close to those who hurt him in the past). In the Year of the Snake DLC, he's busted down to beat cop, because the superiors dislikes his exploits and excessive violence.
- Revenge Before Reason: His dossier says he tends to be a loose cannon when left to his own devices, often trading his role as a law enforcer in order to get legitimate revenge while working undercover.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: In a way, the game doesn't force you to have Wei wear a suit but by the end game he'll wear a lot of them for quests. Also the games clothes all are somehow conveniently limited to colors aligning with Wei's winter complexion.
- The Southpaw: It's not brought attention to but Wei holds his phone and most one handed objects in his left hand (guns are the logical exception, though he holds a pistol in his left hand on the cover). In fights he also always punches first with his left hand.
- Tattooed Crook: Subtly played with; his left shoulder and upper arm bears a tattoo of Guan Yu, a Chinese deity who as a patron deity of brotherhood has been worshipped by both Hong Kong police and the triads.
- Technical Pacifist: Early on, Jackie expresses alarm that Wei killed a guy, but Wei says, "Nah, he'll live. He'll have to eat through a straw for a while, though."
- Wei actually gets called on this trope slightly later on when he advises his fellow Water Street Boys not to kill their targets because they're also Sun On Yee. Conroy then tells Wei about a previous member with a similar backstory and attitude who turned out to be an undercover cop, so now they know how to spot a rat...
- After the Warehouse Mission, this is dropped
- Unstoppable Rage: Go ahead, just try to hurt/kill anybody he cares about. WE DARE YOU.
- Vigilante Man: He was the was the one who killed Ming Ming Trin, the drug dealer that sold the heroin his sister OD'd on. Also killing many of the Triads also counts too.
- Your Cheating Heart
Jackie Ma (Voiced by Edison Chen)
A low-level street affiliate to the triads, Jackie is Wei's childhood friend from the Old Prosperity project who knows several of the Water Street Gang members, but is not considered part of the group. After being arrested from a drug deal gone bad, to which Wei was undercover, he meets Jackie in lock up, reminiscing about the old days. Wei offers himself as extra muscle for the Water Street Gang and Jackie goes to put in a good word for him with gang leader Winston.
Throughout the game, Jackie is enamored with the glamorous lifestyle of the triads, wishing he could be a part of it.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Jackie reminds Wei during their first outing for the Sun On Yee in the night market that Wei was the only other kid who was nice to Jackie when they were growing up, and that their friendship means more to him than a boss-subordinate relationship (such as Jackie's to Winston), though this is made moot when Wei formally succeeds Winston as Red Pole, officially confirming his inheritance of the Water Street Boys.
- Break the Cutie: Jackie has a lot of ambition about becoming a Sun On Yee but even from the very beginning you can kind of tell he probably wouldn't be cut out for the ruthlessness of being a full-on career criminal. Slowly but surely his veneer cracks and he becomes less-and-less enthralled by the lifestyle until finally it breaks after he's buried alive and turns totally cold. His enthusiasm is completely shattered after that, as is his worldview. And can you believe that isn't even as low as it goes for him?
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Is disemboweled and hung...and this is after Wei saves him from being buried alive.
- Driven to Suicide: While not actually happening, the gist of this occurs. After being saved from being buried alive, he purposely refuses protection and hanging out with Wei, for some time alone...next mission he is found dead.
- Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster : Subverted later down the line, after Jackie performs his first kill in order to be initiated into the Sun On Yee, and completely gone after the mob war between the Water Street Boys and the "Big Smile" Lee-backed 18k.
- Distressed Dude: Played with in one mission, where Jackie gets locked inside an 18K truck with an angry 18K member after a heist gone wrong. When you stop the truck and bust open the back to save him, you discover he curbstomped his opponent alone and walks off just fine.
- I Just Want to Be Badass
- Kick the Dog: Wei's designated "dog", beginning when he's roughed up by one of Dogeyes' men early in the game. The kicks get much harder along the line.
- The Lancer
- The Peter Principle: Jackie is a mildly competent low-level crook. But he clearly doesn't have the stomach or skill to handle the higher echelons of crime.
- Retirony: Shortly after he starts dropping hints about getting out of the Triads and starting a new life with Jiu Mei he's kidnapped, tortured and killed.
- Stuffed into the Fridge
- These Hands Have Killed
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Rescuing Jackie from his live burial at least points to a possible happy ending for him, even though he's severely burnt out on being a gangster. However Big Smile Lee has Jackie brutally murdered a little while later, using him as bait in order to get Wei to come to him.
Winston Chu (Voiced by Parry Shen)
Winston is the leader of the Water Street Boys gang, a subsidiary faction of the Sun On Yee. He's also a Sun On Yee red pole who controls North Point. Headstrong, cocky and brutal (it's implied steroids has something to do with it), Winston grew up in the Old Prosperity housing project with numerous Sun On Yee members, including Sam "Dogeyes" Lin. Although he mentions the two of them were close, the triad lifestyle has turned them into bitter enemies. Engaged to long-time girlfriend Peggy Li, he runs the Water Street Boys out of the kitchen of his mother's restaurant "Golden Koi". Winston has been under fire from Dogeyes' Jade Gang repeatedly, stealing his businesses and territory from the Night Market for over a year before the game takes place.
- Bling-Bling-BANG!: Winston owns a gold-plated Desert Eagle. During one story event, he uses it to threaten Wei after one of his drug dealers accuses Wei of being The Mole, but ends up killing the accuser instead. Wei picks it up after Winston's death to tell Big Smile Lee's henchmen "Ponytail" he doesn't feel in any way intimidated by Lee's threats. And then starts with it in the next mission.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Shot up into Swiss cheese on his wedding day.
- Dumb Muscle: While his gang overall tends towards this, Winston himself has shades of this, with his HKPD field report describing him as "ambitious without the brains to achieve his goals", as of 2010 (almost two years before the events of the game) he was described as sometimes unable to "even master street-level criminal conspiracies", and his lack of sophistication means that even though he answers directly to Uncle Po, other red poles eclipse Winston in power and influence.
- Gang Bangers: How Winston's Water Street Boys gang is portrayed, though this has essentially created a glass ceiling for them and Wei's predecessor as undercover, Charlie Ho, had written off the entire gang as unable to move up.
- Honor Among Thieves: Believes that the only people who they can rely on in their line of work are their fellow Water Street boys and places a clear value on loyalty. He even goes as far to say that fellow gang members are like blood to him. A sentiment echoed by his fiancee. Sadly for them Dogeyes does not share this sense of honor.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Besides his relationship with his fiancee and his mother, in his first meeting with the adult Wei he has the decency to apologize for his overtly sexual attitude towards Wei's sister after Wei mentions that she's dead, clearly setting him apart from Dogeyes.
- Momma's Boy
- Morality Pet: Peggy Li
- We Used to Be Friends: He and Dogeyes used to be close until he was betrayed. Now they're at each other's throats.
Conroy Wu (Voiced by Robin Shou)
Another member of the Water Street Gang born in the Old Prosperity projects, Conroy initially shows hostility and suspicion of Wei being an undercover cop. In one mission, Conroy mentions the fate of a previous gang member who turned out to be an undercover cop before him, and requests Wei to commit murder in order to prove himself. However, after Wei happens to kill rival muscle in the process of kidnapping drug maker Siu Wah, Conroy apologizes to Wei for his animosity and begins to cooperate with him.
- The Dragon: To Winston, though his being promoted signaled that the Water Street Boys had become mere Gang Bangers.
- Dumb Muscle: So much so that according to an informant, Conroy actually makes Winston look worse (instead of "better by comparison") since he cements other red poles' belief that "Chu cannot attract or cultivate effective subordinates"; Conroy is also "a frequent steroid and drug user and has few skills beyond brute force violence".
- Gang Bangers: Just like the rest of the gang, described by the late Charlie Ho as "pure thug".
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Liu Kang, what are you doing in the Triads?
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Initially with Wei.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He believes a reluctance to kill and Wei's background are similar to that of previous undercover cop. However when Wei kills several rival thugs during the warehouse shootout, Conroy believes he's proven himself. However he doesn't understand what kind of ally Wei is or consider that if a police officer stumbled onto that scene he'd likely be forced to use his sidearm in self-defense.
Ricky Wong (Voiced by Ian Anthony Dale)
Ricky Wong is a member of the Sun On Yee who assists Wei in his search for Johnny Ratface, the man who assassinated Winston and Peggy during their wedding
, and makes several appearances as "Big Smile" Lee's liaison with Sonny Wo. He is also quite aware of the dramatic changes within the triads and its codes. Ricky is currently in a relationship with film starlet/singer, Vivienne Lu.
- Character Development: When Wei first meets him he seems very aloof and cocky, but as the game goes on he gets more anxious and emotional.
- In Love with the Gangster's Girl: He's the gangster in question. Subverted in that she's sleeping around with other guys at the behest of Sonny, although that's how she and Ricky got together in the first place.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: His response to the situation with Wei and "Big Smile" Lee. With a little prodding, of course.
- Undying Loyalty: Even in the face of what Sonny puts him through regarding his girlfriend, he still remains loyal. Once Sonny's behind bars and the conflict with Big Smile Lee escalates he decides to simply leave, rather than take sides.
Sam "Dogeyes" Lin (Voiced by Ron Yuan)
A Sun On Yee red pole and leader of the Jade Gang, another Sun On Yee subsidiary faction, Dogeyes is Winston's archrival in North Point. Despite being close friends with Winston as children, Dogeyes resented him for having a better environment and mother, whereas his mother died and his father was abusive. It was he who lured Wei's sister Mimi into drugs and prostitution.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Overlaps with I'm a Humanitarian. Before being butchered by Mrs. Chu, she feeds him soup made from Johnny Ratface's remains.
- Disc One Final Boss
- Dirty Coward: When Wei finally is sent after him, Dogeyes elects to run away while putting as many mooks as possible between him and Wei. When cornered, he attempts to explain away his actions as only business and warns that killing him will start a war. It doesn't work.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: Dogeyes' reaction when Mrs. Chu calls him "Sammy."
- I'm a Humanitarian: Albeit in an unwilling manner: the soup Mrs. Chu cooked up for him? She made it with what's left of Johnny Ratface after she was done hacking him to pieces.
- Greed: An informant revealed that Dogeyes was paid off to encroach on Winston's Water Street Boys instead of the 18k (not Sun On Yee and thus fair game) in Dogeyes' own territory, and that Dogeyes was "too greedy to say no and too stupid to be afraid of discipline by Sun On Yee elders."
- Ironic Echo: After begging with Wei that what happened to his sister was "just business" and nothing personal (to set Wei up for an ambush), Wei says the same thing when Dogeyes begs for real to be saved from Mrs. Chu.
- Jerkass: Right in his first appearance, he taunts the just-returned Wei about having used Wei's late sister Mimi for sex.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: And he deserves it.
- Nice Hat
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: As noted on the main page, he sets himself up to be screwed by having Winston killed, as Wei's immediate assumption of leadership (indirectly sidelining Conroy) only makes the Water Street Boys gang far more legitimate and dangerous than they had been under the late Winston's command. It's stated elsewhere in the game that hierarchy is everything to the triad gangs, and Dogeyes clearly wasn't observing the hierarchy of the Water Street gang while plotting or aware that Wei had already secured his position before the hit and rescued Uncle Po during the massacre, so instead of fracturing the Water Street Gang, Dogeyes indirectly united that gang behind Wei with Uncle Po's endorsement.
- Smug Snake
- We Used to Be Friends: With Winston; Mrs. Chu even mentions that Dogeyes used to eat at her restaurant and addresses him by his childhood nickname "Sammy".
- Your Sister: When he comes back as a ghost in the Nightmare at North Point DLC, he tells Wei he just had sex with his sister in Hell.
Henry "Big Smile" Lee (Voiced by Tzi Ma)
Henry "Big Smile" Lee is a red pole of the Sun On Yee, with the heaviest ties to drugs, prostitution and pornography in the triad. Considered the most powerful red pole inside the Sun On Yee, he is disliked by the other red poles and many rank and file members of the triad. Lee’s power stems from his willingness to use extreme (even by triad standards) levels of violence and the overwhelming amount of liquid cash generated by his various business ventures. Because of this, Lee believes himself to be the natural successor to the leadership of the Sun On Yee once current chairman, David Wai-Lin "Uncle" Po, steps down or passes away.
- All There in the Manual: According to Word of God, he's actually motivated by the fact he wants his daughters in America to be obscenely rich no matter who else gets hurt in the process.
- Ambition Is Evil
- Big Bad: Interestingly it doesn't even come up until the final act. Up until then it looks like if he does become an enemy, you'll be powering through him to get to someone else (possibly the head of the 18K, since it appears he was in cahoots with them). Instead Lee himself becomes the final obstacle when he makes things personal by having Jackie murdered.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Death by ice chipper
- Glasgow Grin: Has half of one, with a huge scar on his face that starts at his chin and extends past the left side of his mouth, giving him an oddly appropriate perpetual sneer.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Why is Baba Ling and Cheng Zhi voicing the Big Bad?
- Meaningful Name: "Big Smile" in Cantonese is a slang on the term "older brother" or "boss". Given how being Chairman is all he really wants, him being the Big Bad was likely foreshadowed right off the bat. It may also be a reference to the half-Chelsea Grin carved on his face. Or, given the Chinese love for clever wordplay, both.
- More Dakka: Big Smile Lee's plans... lack subtlety.
- The Starscream
- Waistcoat of Style
Sonny Wo (Voiced by Chin Han)
A depraved pervert who is responsible for laundering the Sun On Yee's via the entertainment industry. He forged his media empire by launching the careers of countless Hong Kong popstars. Hated by pretty much everyone who isn't Big Smile Lee, it's made abundantly clear that absolutely no one likes spending time around him.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: His production company launders Sun On Yee's money, and if any of his starlets fail to perform they end up working in the triad's prostitution business.
- No Social Skills: Loudly discusses his dirty fantasies in the same room as the person that fantasy is about, will offer to prostitute one of his singers out to a business partner while that singer is standing right there, will sometimes make blunt sexual advances right to someones face — the list goes on an on...
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Any singer who argues with him, or even just fails to top the charts is quickly handed over to Big Smile Lee and used as a prostitute.
"Broken Nose" Jiang (Voiced by Elizabeth Sung)
Another Sun On Yee red pole, Broken Nose Jiang is a successful feminine prescence in a masculine-dominated socity who distrust, use and abuse others of her gender. Undercover investigators have been unable to determine her real name, and she has crafted a reputation based on fear of her alleged ruthlessness towards threats to her power base. Considered Big Smile Lee's arch-rival, Jiang is less than supportive of Sun On Yee's prostitution and pornography production rings.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Jiang sends Wei evidence against Pendrew, addressing Wei as "Officer Shen", and at the end of the main story she tells "Pockmark" Cheuk that Wei is to be left alone, as a token of his loyalty to Uncle Po's vision of the Sun On Yee and for helping her becoming the new Dragon Head by removing the competition.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Her rise to the position of red pole was getting rid of the competition by murder.
- The Chessmaster
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: In her first meeting Wei, she claims that there are much more profitable (probably not legal) ways to make money than "Big Smile" Lee's archaic business of forcing women into prostitution and pornography if she were elected as Chairman.
- Dragon Lady: Overlaps with Cool Old Lady.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Even the police don't know her first name.
- Lesser of Two Evils: When compared to "Big Smile" Lee.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only named female member of the Sun On Yee. Justified given how hard it would be for a woman to get anywhere near her level of power. "Big Smile" Lee addresses this matter while they're in crisis mode over picking a new chairman.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Pulls this when after "Pockmark" Cheuk refuses the position of temporary Chairman while Uncle Po convalesces, she recommends "Two Chin" Tsao before "Big Smile" Lee can nominate himself.
Howard "Two Chin" Tsao (Voiced by Conan Lee)
Howard "Two Chin" Tsao is a Sun On Yee red pole with a large estate in Kennedy Town and is Uncle Po's nephew. After Uncle Po is left hospitalized, Two Chin became temporary Chairman of the Sun On Yee
. An extremely superstitious man, Tsao delves deeply into feng shui
and relies on luck. According to Old Salty Crab, Tsao often gambled and rarely won, losing his money fast.
- Fat Bastard: He's named "Two Chin" for a reason. He's less malicious than many members of the Sun On Yee, but he's still very far from heroic.
- The Gambler: And not a very good one, as he's constantly losing all his money.
- Properly Paranoid: Delves so heavily into feng shui that one mission involves messing with his home to spook the hell out of him in order to incapacitate him as temporary Chairman of the Sun On Yee, so as to pave the way to elect a formal Chairman.
- Punny Name: His last name is pronounced like "sow", i.e. a pig.
- Unwitting Pawn: Jiang only recommends he be placed in power so as to occupy the Chairman role and keep "Big Smile" Lee out of it. She has no intention of letting him actually act as the full Chairman and immediately sets about trying to discredit him and bring about a proper nomination.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Disappears towards the final third of the game, though it's revealed after Uncle Po's funeral that he's gone into seclusion and drug abuse.
David Wai-Lin "Uncle" Po (Voiced by James Hong)
The dragon head and Chairman of the Triad organization, Sun On Yee, Uncle Po has cultivated an image of a negotiator and business-oriented pragmatist. But this "reasonable" visage stands in stark contrast to Po’s criminal history: his rise to Chairman was marked by extreme violence at every stage. He revitalized the triad's murder-for-hire business and is suspected of being the brains behind its alliance with Sonny Wo. To keep his hands clean, he appoints Big Smile Lee to handle the day-to-day financial operations, yet much of the profit ends up in Po's pockets.
Uncle Po's hold on the Sun On Yee remains unchallenged, with certain red poles simply waiting for their opportunity to seize his position after he retires or dies.
- Affably Evil: Is capable of horrible crimes, yet he seems genuinely to treat it as a family business, praising Wei as a foot soldier possessed of now-uncommon loyalty and discretion and never bringing up Wei's "disappearing" Dogeyes.
- Beware the Nice Ones: His rise to Chairman of the Sun On Yee was bloody, according to the police reports.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Expresses extreme disgust with the factions that butchered everybody at Winston's wedding and shot him; his tone during this hints he would never have stooped to that level.
- He may not be cool with drug dealing to children: after a dealer refused to stop, "making an example" of that dealer becomes Wei and Jackie's initiation challenge.
- The Don
- Genre Savvy: Knowing of the aggressive infighting within his red poles, Po initially tries to make his more reasonable adviser temporary chairman.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Absolves Winston and the Water Street Gang for their retaliation against Dogeyes' Jade Gang, since the latter was the one provoking Winston, and compliments Wei's effectiveness as a foot soldier before confirming him as Winston's successor.
Roland Ho (Voiced by Robin Shou)
Roland Ho is a money lender, loan shark and debt collector. Wei can accept jobs from Roland after he is referred to him by Uncle Po. Roland's missions involve collecting unpaid debts and intimidating his debtors. Notable for over-the-phone quest givers, Wei seems to actually consider Roland an acquaintance of sorts rather than a just another business partner.
Old Salty Crab (Voiced by Tzi Ma)
One of the only veteran triad members who still does his own dirty work, he is somewhat of a prankster, and often gets creative when doing work for the triad. Extremely spiritual, but only for pragmatic reasons, his expertise on Chinese mysticism often becomes surprisingly handy.
The Sun On Yee's chief interrogator and Torture Technician
. Whenever someone greatly displeases the Triad, such as being found out as an undercover cop
, the offending party is sent to him for punishment. Despite his calm, even affable nature, he clearly takes a dark joy in torturing his victims.
Vincent (Voiced by Osric Chau)
A member of the Water Street Gang members, he is initially distrustful of Wei, but grows to trust him after Wei proves himself. Later murdered for his organs by an 18k member.
Jackie's uncle and owner of the first vehicle chop-shop in the game, he provides Wei and Jackie with the vehicles they need to pass the initiation missions. After that, he fades into the background as one of the people Wei can call to receive missions for quick cash. He's notable only because a strange glitch rendered him both killable and aggressive
- Berserk Button: Drive too recklessly around his lot and he may run after you with a wrench. It's probably not intentional.
- Death Is Cheap: If you lure him far enough, you can throw him onto spikes or into a tub of electric eels — And yet the next time you visit his chop-shop he will be perfectly unharmed.
- Demoted to Extra: Originally a minor character who provides Wei and Jackie with cars as they try to get initiated, he vanishes into the background the moment you unlock the better car dealers.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: He is not only damageable, he is easily killable as well. And unlike other quest givers Tran will actively chase Wei if angered or attacked.
- Punny Name: Probably a play on "Transmission", AKA a part of a car.
- Suicidal Overconfidence: Will attack Wei.
The Sun On Yee's chief scientist (yes, they're a gang with a science division, that's Hong Kong for you). Develops various gadgets to help the mob commit crimes and ropes Wei into testing some of them.
- Absent-Minded Professor: He's a bit of a goof, which may or may not explain why he's working for the mob rather than in the legitimate scientific community.
- Ascended Extra: He only appears in a couple of side quests in the main game but takes a starring role in the Wheels Of Fury DLC.
- Reluctant Mad Scientist: He doesn't have the same lust for money, power or respect that most triads do. He just wants somebody to fund his research.
"You give a guy anything less than a proper burial, chances are he's gonna come back as a ghost. You turn him into cat food, it's pretty much guaranteed."
—Old Salty Crab.
The Big Bad
of the Nightmare in North Point
In the days before Wei returned to Hong Kong one of the Sun On Yee's most ruthless members was a man by the name of Big Scar Wu, who was feared as much by his fellow gang members as by his enemies. Eventually, Uncle Po decided that he was too violently insane even for the triads
and ordered his death, having him run over in a staged "traffic accident", then stabbed 42 times for good measure. Finally his body was disposed of in a pet food factory and he found his final resting place in the bellies of the cats of Hong Kong.
But his story doesn't end there. After he got to the underworld his fellow dead gangsters mocked him mercilessly for the undignified manner of his death, refusing to call him by his street name, instead referring to him by the name of the catfood brand he was made into. Thus, Smiley Cat was born.
After many years in Hell, growing even more bitter and insane than he was in life, he has assembled an army of demons, vampires and hungry ghosts and returned to Earth to seek revenge on the Sun On Yee.
- Accidental Misnaming: Even his army of demon-possessed gangsters call him Smiley Cat, much to his annoyance.
- Cool Mask: Wears a creepy mask depicting a smiling cat face.
- Got Me Doing It: He's been called Smiley Cat so much that at one point he even calls himself it. He quickly corrects himself.
- Insistent Terminology: It's Big Scar Wu!
- Large Ham
- Rasputinian Death: How the Sun On Yee killed him in the first place. See the above description.
- Tiger Versus Dragon: Has tiger stripe tattoos in contrast to Wei's dragon ones. Better, he's associated with the color white, which represents death in Asian cultures, making him a perfect Bai Hu (white tiger) to Wei's (who, as a policeman is often dressed in blue) Quing Long (blue dragon).
Superintendent Thomas Pendrew (Voiced by Tom Wilkinson)
A 28-year veteran of the Hong Kong Police Force, Superintendent Pendrew is the one who brought Wei Shen to Hong Kong for the undercover operations into the Sun On Yee. Having built his career by taking down the triads, Pendrew has plenty of experience in the field, much of which began years earlier when he took down "the Three Tigers of South Point" – former, prominent leaders of the Sun On Yee. With Uncle Po the only one remaining of the triad's leaders, Pendrew will do what's necessary, even if it means bending a few rules, to bring it down and move on with a clear conscience.
As Wei contines his duty undercover, Pendrew insists to be in charge of Wei's job and won't hesistate to cut`` his operative loose if he crosses a certain line.
- Bigger Bad
- Dirty Cop
- Evil Brit
- Karma Houdini: Despite almost sinking the whole operation and selling Wei out to Big Smile Lee, Pendrew ends up promoted to Interpol for bringing the Sun On Yee on their knees.
- Thankfully averted when Broken Nose Jiang sends Wei the proof that he murdered Uncle Po and that his career was kickstarted by a deal between them, though how Jiang got surveillance video could be a Deus ex Machina of sorts.
- A Justified Trope since Jiang knew virtually everyone wanted Uncle Po dead and having video evidence would be a good bargaining chip.
- Knight Templar: His only concern is bringing down the Sun On Yee, even if it means planting evidence and letting his undercovers flagrantly violate procedure to do so. He later turned out to be a dishonest person who's only serving his own needs. Luckily, Wei had enough of his manipulative lies and sent his ass to jail, which is rightfully a death sentence considering how many people that want him dead are in there.
- His IA investigation file specifically mentions that he's not getting bribes for his cooperation with the Triads - apparently it really is about serving "the greater good" as far as he's concerned.
- Not So Different: Gets called out on having risen to the top by similar means from Uncle Po — after which Pendrew poisons his IV line.
- Says this to Wei earlier in the story.
Raymond Mak (Voiced by Byron Mann)
Wei Shen's handler during his undercover into the Sun On Yee, Raymond Mak warns Wei not to underestimate the triad, in spite of the differences between his experience with the American gangs back in San Francisco. Over time, Raymond begins to question Wei's mission, fearing he will turn it into nothing more than a personal vendetta against the Sun On Yee. Despite the relay of information from Wei, Raymond continues his duty as a handler, while Pendrew assures him that Wei is perfectly capable of completing his tasks.
- By-the-Book Cop
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Frequently calls Wei out but his objections are fairly reasonable since they're supported by in-game logic.
- Verbal Tic: Has a habit of ending sentences with 'alright?'
- What the Hell, Hero?: Seems to believe Wei is going over to the Triads. Understandable since Wei is talking about a gang war to avenge his dead Triad buddies.
Inspector Jane Teng (Voiced by Kelly Hu)
A proud, young officer of the Hong Kong Police Force, Inspector Jane Teng is aware of making compromises, finding it much difficult to do so at certain times with such grace. Politics from the department continuously sideline her requests, who forces her to maintain a stoic, cold facade. When Wei Shen is arrested in the process of assaulting and extorting a Dogeyes-affiliated drug dealer, Teng is told of his undercover operations. Despite the unfriendly alliance (alongside being forced to tolerate Wei's actions), after he offers to support her operations in the process, she assigns him unsolved cases to help bring down criminals around the city.
- By-the-Book Cop
- Defrosting Ice Queen: She dislikes Wei at first, but eventually warms up to him after he offers to help her with her own cases and proves he's not like all of Pendrew's other undercovers; after cooperation on several cases she gives him a heads-up when three Water Street Boys' corpses were found under Aberdeen Bridge.
- Fair Cop: A subdued version of it. It's still Kelly Hu's voice and there's similarity.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Her Establishing Character Moment is giving a heartfelt lecture to an arrested Wei that he shouldn't throw his life away by hanging out with triads and scumbags. Of course, she shortly thereafter finds out he's an undercover cop, but it goes a good way towards demonstrating she's not the "All perps must be PUNISHED!" type of cop.
- Jackie said he got the same lecture after his arrest but chose to ignore its message. However by the end of the next mission he will sorely wish he hadn't.
- Ship Tease: Some fans have seen this.
Amanda Cartwright (Voiced by Emma Stone)
An American tourist who Wei encounters outside of his apartment. She's exploring Hong Kong as part of a desire to find herself and Wei offers her directions.
- Action Girl: Implied she wants to be one.
- All There in the Manual: Why does she disappear? Turns out, she tends to be the type to have one-night stands.
- Really Gets Around: Her police report reveals her Gender Inverted Yellow Fever.
- Shout-Out: Her last name may or may not be a reference to James Hong's character's mispronunciation of George Costanza's last name in the Seinfeld episode The Chinese Restaurant.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Due to her VA and high profile, everyone playing generally assumed she'd play a big role. After a single story mission, and her photograph quest, she vanishes completely.
- However...she also reveals the location of all 'health shrines' on the map.
Tiffany Kim (Voiced by Yunjin Kim)
A Karaoke hostess who works at Club Bam Bam.
- Hypocrite: Yells at you for cheating on her when you confront her but her police file makes it clear that she's been juggling multiple relationships with men (several of them from Triads) before she met Wei. Also their relationship was really just one date and sex.
- Really Gets Around: According to her police files, she juggles multiple relationships with different triad gangsters... though that arguably comes with the job.
- What the Hell, Player?: If you cheat on her with Not Ping, she calls you out on the double standard (that Wei might consider her to be cheating while he's got another woman on the side) and leaves you.
- Subverted by the revelation she was cheating on you (and other guys with you) well before this.
Owner of an electronics store, she hacks into security cameras for fun.
Mrs. Chu (Voiced by Irene Tsu)
The mother of gangster Winston Chu, she encouraged him to become a Triad gangster in hopes of him making something of himself.
- Gratuituous Chinese: All of Mrs. Chu's dialogue is in Cantonese.
- It's All My Fault: She blames herself for encouraging Winston to join the Triads after his death as a result of being a gangster.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: According to Peggy
- Mama Bear: The men responsible for Winston's death find this out the hard way.
- Never Mess with Granny:
- When a group of Big Smile Lee's goons attack the Golden Koi looking for Wei, one holds her at gunpoint. When he turns his back on her as Wei comes in, she almost takes the guy's arm off at the shoulder with her cleaver.
- After Winston gets blasted to Swiss cheese at his wedding she interrogates Johnny Ratface and then chops up his body into soup meat, which she later fed to his boss, Dogeyes.
Peggy Li (Voiced by Lindsay Price)
Winston's kept fiance, she is enthusiastic about her husband-to-be's job as a gangster and eager to welcome Wei into the family.
Vivienne Lu (Voiced by Lucy Liu)
A famous pop musician who owes her success to the Triads, Vivienne Lu is secretly dating Ricky Wong, the triad liaison to her management.
- The Danza: Of sorts. Her last name is very similar to her voice actress'.
- Mafia Princess: Subverted to a degree; Vivienne doesn't work with the Sun On Yee, in as much as they finance her career as a singer/actress and she's dating Ricky Wong, the Sun On Yee liaison to Wo.
- Rape as Backstory: She's been used as a reward for Sun On Yee by her boss several times — in fact, that's how she and Ricky got together! She obviously doesn't like it and has been threatened with being forced into pornography otherwise.
- Rich Bitch: Seemingly a vapid girl who is willfully in denial about her boyfriend's gangster ties. It turns out she is much more aware than she lets on, considering how they got together.
The speed obsessed debutante daughter of a rich Hong Kong businessman. She is best friends with Vivienne.
- Covers Always Lie: Has a spot on the cover implying a bigger place in the game than two dates and by her placement that she is part of the Sun On Yee.
- Mafia Princess: Zigzagged. Sandra socializes with Vivienne, who has direct ties to the Sun On Yee, but we aren't told whether Sandra actually works for the triads or involved with their operations.
- Given she says she's always wanted to date a gangster, it's highly unlikely she's anything other than just a rich friend of Vivienne.
- Her second date with Wei ends when she gets a call from "daddy" and Wei ends up dropping her off near "Two Chin" Tsao's mansion.
- The Tease: She tries this with Wei. He manages to convince her otherwise.
An illegal underground racing driver infamous for cheating and manslaughter.
Sakinder Sajan Naz, aka "Naz Singh" (Voiced by T.J. Ramini)
An Indian expat, an associate of the 18K and a police informant, he's aware of Wei Shen's role as an undercover cop.
- Crying Wolf: He's the first to clue in that Ricky Wong and Vivienne Lu are pursuing a serious relationship, and suggests in his report that this could be exploited to turn Ricky away from the Triad. However another, more reliable CI dismisses this theory and states that Ricky and Vivienne's relationship is, at best, based around casual sex and not worth looking into. Noting Naz's consistent unreliability and with all the available evidence supporting the other CI's conclusion, Raymond ultimately drops the lead.
- Evil Counterpart: He is basically in the same position as Wei, except he uses it for his own personal gain.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Naz keeps a powerful position in the underworld safe by playing the Triads and Police against one another. It comes to bite him back in the ass when Wei, who has even stronger ties to both himself, comes calling.
- Meaningful Name: His code name with the HKPD is "Scoundrel". Raymond lampshades that, for once, the code name is highly appropriate.
- The Mole: He snitches on the 18K to Inspector Teng, but as his police files show, he's usually more interested in using his status as an informant to protect his own criminal dealings than providing any useful info to the police.
- Nice to the Waiter: Averted, big time. His treatment of Jackie is what brings him down.
- Sunglasses at Night
Sifu Kwok (Voiced by James Lew)
Wei Shen's former Kung Fu instructor.
- Badass Mustache
- Genre Savvy: Kwok is aware Wei's aligned with the triads, but his dialogue suggests he also knows his pupil's working undercover. Wei subtlety acknowledges this, to which his master hopes his fight against the gangs doesn't rob him of his duty and morality.
- The Obi-Wan: He is the Obi-Wan to Wei Shen's Anakin.
- OOC Is Serious Business: The return of his statues is rewarded with a new technique and a snippet of dialogue concerning mortality, ethics and the general state of the world. When returning the last statue and preparing to learn Dim Mak, all you get is "Pay attention, because this technique is dangerous, and if you abuse it, I'll kick your ass."
- You Fight Like a Cow: He constantly throws insults around during training sessions.
- In a Subversion...it's mainly to everyone BUT Wei, and for the good reason that they are getting their ASSES kicked.
Wei Shen's deceased older sister, she was both a drug addict and a prostitute.