To date, there have been five games released in the series, with a sixth entry being a remake:
Hitman: Codename 47 (2000)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (2002)
Hitman: Contracts (2004)
Hitman: Blood Money (2006)
Hitman: Absolution (2012)
Hitman HD Trilogy (Updated Rerelease of Silent Assassin, Contracts and Blood Money, released in 2013)
There have also been two tie in novels- Enemy Unknown and Damnation, written (respectively) by William C. Dietz and Raymond Bensen.Each title follows the story of the "Cloned Super Assassin" and eponymous Hitman, Agent 47, as he executes various contracts around the globe. Cold, merciless and pragmatic to a fault, 47 never fails to complete his mission, even if it means taking the lives of innocent civilians.Despite this, 47 prides himself on professionalism, and the game will reward players for taking the stealthiest and least bloody route to achieve their objectives.Hitman has developed a strong fan-base over the years, and remains a popular series to this day.In 2007 it received a film adaptation, described here.If you're looking for the trope for the hitman character type, see Professional Killer.If you're looking for the comic book by Garth Ennis that Crosses The Line several billion times, Look no further!
The Hitman series contains examples of :
100% Completion: In Absolution, there are 278 challenges (essentially mini-achievements) to obtain by killing the target in various ways and utilizing different disguises. Fortunately you only have to complete 100 of them in order to obtain the "Grand Master" achievement/trophy.
A.K.A.-47: Your default "Silverballers" are a pair of AMT Hardballers, a notoriously-flawed pistol which nevertheless appears in a lot of John Woo movies.
There is a reason for this: in Codename 47 they were called Hardballers. They became 47's signature weapons in Silent Assassin, heavily modified and now called Silverballers (though only 47 calls them that).
The games in general avoid using real names for the firearms. This is usually done either by giving them a generic designation such as "9mm pistol" or "revolver", or by taking the weapon's real name and shortening it. For example, Sig-Sauer P220 becomes a "SG 220".
If a guard sees you gun down a civilian in cold blood, he'll shoot you in the face. If a guard sees you running in public wearing nothing except a pair of swimming trunks, he'll shoot you in the face. If a guard sees you walk into the EMPLOYEES ONLY bathroom, he'll sternly warn you. Then shoot you in the face.
So all the guards in the game are The End?
Taken to extremes in the New Orleans level of Blood Money, where a bouncer for a perfectly normal bar will shoot you in the face without warning for walking into a party without chef clothes.
In a funny sort of way, also applies to the targets 47 gets hired to take out. Ruthless, amoral arms dealer? Death. Highly skilled hacker? Death. Spoiled rich kid who accidentally kills a stripper in a drunken rage? Death. A too curious journalist and an innocent priest? Death. He's simply just the man paid for the job.
Absolution averts this somewhat. Entering a low-level restricted area without a disguise will first result in a warning, followed by an arrest if the player lingers, and the "shoot on sight" rules will only apply in the highest security areas, or during missions where certain types of enemies are actively hunting 47.
The All-Seeing A.I.: In any level of Blood Money in which 47 must avoid or eliminate rival assassins before they can get him, the rivals can always see through his disguise instantly, whatever it might be.
Already Done For You: The opening level of Contracts, "Asylum Aftermath", picks up right where the original game left off. As such, there's nothing to do in the basement but stroll past the corpses of the Mr. 48s.
This extends to the enemies, as well. The ghoulish orderlies are armed with puny stun guns, and they're quickly riddled with bullets fired by the police, besides.
The final level, "Hunter and Hunted", is similar in that the pause menu lists two of 47's targets as already hit.
American Accents: Blood Money takes 47 to New Jersey, California, the Rockies, New Orleans, the Deep South, Las Vegas and Washington D.C.; appropriately, a wide range of accents are represented.
Absolution alternates between Midwestern accents for the missions in Chicago, and Southwest accents for those taking place in Hope, South Dakota.
Anachronic Order: Contracts and Blood Money are all over the shop. In chronological order, the individual missions would go: the second mission of Blood Money, the third mission of Blood Money, the entirety of Contracts (which itself consists primarily of flashbacks to earlier missions, which are themselves not in chronological order), the first mission of Blood Money and then the fourth mission of Blood Money onwards.
Axes are found in a few of the missions in Absolution. They can be used as throwing objects (to distract, or to hit someone with) or to kill someone from behind.
Anti-Villain: The Agency and Agent 47, as almost all of their targets are terrorists, scumbags, and all-around evil.
Armor Is Useless: In Absolution, body armor seems to make almost no difference with regards to how much damage an enemy can take; if it makes any difference at all, it's only against low caliber rounds at long range. Only SWAT officers and Agency heavy troopers, who wear the heaviest armor in the game, can survive noticeably more damage than normal.
The "A Vintage Year" mission in Blood Money is set on Chile, in a winery/drug-lab described to be outside Santiago. The place happens to be in the middle of a rainforest with an enormous waterfall behind it. There are no rainforests to be found in Chile, specially around Santiago, which is a semi-arid and subtropical region.
The Valdivian Temperate Rainforests and Magellanic Subpolar Rainforests are mostly in Chile, though far south from the wine-producing regions. There are still some forests near Santiago, though given the low amount of rainfall (360 mm on a good year), they're not at all dense.
Artificial Stupidity: The AI is generally pretty good, but it has quirks that can easily be exploited. For example, you can walk up to a target, drop a mine in front of him, walk away, and detonate it. No bystanders will point you out or otherwise alert security.
Agent 47 is normally portrayed to be asexual, though there are some good reasons- number one, he is a clone engineered to be the perfect killer, and two- he has almost no social interactions with anyone at all except for Diana. In a scene in the first game, 47 rescues a Chinese prostitute from a brothel in Hong Kong. When thanking him, she kisses him goodbye- to which he actually recoils in disgust.
Interestingly, in the third game, which consists of 47's flashbacks of past missions, addled quite a bit with his own subconscious, his reaction to the prostitute's kiss is more one of surprise and bafflement than disgust, which is the only time he is seen smiling. So perhaps he's not asexual, but simply too socially awkward to show his sexual side.
Going by real-world psychology, having a mild or no reaction to the kiss would suggest asexuality more than a strong emotional reaction, even if it is disgust.
Absolution invokes this with the Blackwater Hotel mission. Following Layla into her panic room while not on alert will result in her attempting to seduce 47, only to try and shoot him; while easy to miss, 47 automatically equips his Silverballers, suggesting he wasn't all that distracted.
Absolution seems to have this as a recurring theme. Most (possibly even all) of Agent 47's marks in this game are sexual deviants, perverts, or weirdos in some fashion, whereas the only "heroic" characters (if they can truly be called that) are reserved, polite, and not sexually inclined in any visible way at all. 47 is his traditional completely unfazed self, Victoria is virginal and sweet. Diana, who does in fact survive 47's hit on her, is as professional as ever, though she's somewhat warmer then in previous games.
The objective of the Blood Money mission "A Murder of Crows" is to kill other assassins before they can kill their target.
Also the objective in the penultimate mission. In this case, the target you have to protect is the President of the United States.
Absolution has "Attack of the Saints", a level in which 47 has to assassinate a group of killer nuns as they hunt for their target. Namely, you.
Asshole Victim: Almost all of 47's victims tend to be either criminals or just plain corrupt individuals. There are exceptions, such as a private investigator that has failed his job and was captured, a journalist who got too close (and was also captured), another journalist and a priest, and an unlucky amusement park owner whose unmaintained ride accidentally caused the death of the client's son (and several other people)... and hired a hitman to dispose of any naysayers.
The Atoner: 47 at the beginning of Silent Assassin. However, he soon returns to his career, if only to initially save the priest who took him in. At the end, he leaves the Priest to go back to working for the Agency.
A few of the major super-criminals, notably Pablo Ochoa in the first game, Big Bad Sergei Zavrotko in the second game, and Lee Hong in the first and third games can survive significantly more damage than standard Mooks (they can take a few dozen 9mm rounds to the chest, as opposed to just 2 or 3 for everyone else). They all die instantly from headshots or assault rifle fire, though, so it's not too noticeable. In Blood Money, final villain Jack Alexander has a little over twice as much health as a standard enemy despite being a half-crippled man in a wheelchair, and is also equipped with one of the game's best pistols. Likewise, Blake Dexter. in Absolution isn't quite as tough as some of the villains from the earlier games, but can still survive noticeably more damage than the basic Mooks and is equipped with one of the best weapons in the game.
May be justified in that these guys would be expected to be wearing body armor.
And also Pablo Ochoa was coked up to the eyeballs, causing a Tony Montana style fight. If you bring along a sniper rifle, you can put a bullet to his head through a window before he snorts the cocaine, killing him instantly.
If you're concerned with your rating for the mission, any gun other than a suppressed pistol or sniper rifle is this (except in two levels of Blood Money, where you can used unsuppressed firearms without penalty in certain areas).
The dual-wielding upgrade in Blood Money looks awesome and still counts as a concealed weapon, but it doubles your already lengthy reload time, and also throws your aim off when quick-drawing, which means you'll probably never use it if you're at all concerned about stealth.
Awesome Yet Practical: Sure, you could take your target with your high-tech customized silenced sniper rifle. Or you could push them over a railing into the river, hit them with a hammer, or drop something on them.
One of the assassins towards the end of Blood Money, should you wind up alone with her, will trigger a cutscene in which she leaps on top of you and stabs you to death while shrieking insanely. Instant Game Over. As there's no way to stop this once the scene triggers, it also manages to turn into Paranoia Fuel, as you try to deal with her WITHOUT the scene going off...
Malcolm Sturrock, brother of the Meat King from Contracts is also revealed to be an Ax CrazySerial Killer during the Meat King's Party. When you find him, he is dancing around in his underwear in front of photos of his freshly mutilated and murdered victim.
There are a number of characters in Absolution who fit the bill. Blake Dexter, Wade, The Saints. To these psychotics, the words "collateral damage" may as well be in Aramaic.
Beat Them at Their Own Game: In the gun store mission of Absolution, the most straightforward way to complete the mission is to beat a sharpshooter at the range.
Bedlam House The Asylum from Codename 47 is even more nightmarish in flashbacks. The so-called Operating Theatre has a corpse lying on a gurney in full view. The patients are being exploited for Ortmeyer's clone research; the actual asylum is in extreme disrepair and exists mainly as a front.
Multiple references to Danish soccer team FC Copenhagen, which is the developers' favorite team, and phrases written in Danish such as "Ægte pizza med lort på" (Real pizza with crap on top).
In Blood Money, some of the newspapers that report on your hits at the end of a stage are foreign. Though all the articles will be in English so you can read them, look around and you'll see bylines for stories like "Eiffel Tower built by aliens from Jupiter" in French (for instance)
Bling Bling Bang: 47's silverballers are decorated with wood polish grips, custom-fitted for his hand, and engraved with his insignia.
In Absolution, the leader of the Saints, Lassandra Dixon uses a high-caliber revolver, painted black with white ivory grips bearing the Agency logo and a white thorn vine pattern along the barrel. Layla Stockton meanwhile has a customized golden pistol with etched wooden grips.
Bloodier and Gorier: Contracts, full-stop. Though to be honest, the gore is concentrated in the first two levels only — but it's plenty enough.
Bloody Hilarious: Some of the "accidental" deaths are pretty much straight out of Looney Tunes or are deliberately silly cliches. Among the objects you can drop on targets are an opera chandelier and a piano.
Silent Assassin opens in the Gontranno Sanctuary, with 47 Easing Into The Adventure, shooting some melons, and visiting confession. The final hit of the game takes place inside the very same sanctuary.
Also, the end of Blood Money shows 47 about to carry out an assassination in a Chinese brothel, recalling the Hong Kong setting of the first missions in Codename 47.
In Absolution, both the tutorial and final mission are called "Personal Contract".
In all the games, one of the most useful bits of equipment is the simple fiber wire garrote. Its silent, can't be detected in metal detectors and is always sure to kill a target. Absolution adds in the feature that using the fiber wire lets you automatically drag away bodies to hide.
In the gun store mission of Absolution where 47 must recover his Silverballers, he can sneak through the store and firing range for the key to the cases...or he can simply beat the local sharpshooter in a shooting competition, after which the store owner will let him buy the guns...
The ability to pick up random items in Absolution, which can give you either a handy improvised weapon or a quick and convenient way to distract guards.
Briefcase Full of Money: In Absolution, the ICA delivers a suitcase with $10 million dollars to Blake Dexter in exchange for Victoria. At the end of "Countdown", Victoria dumps the money over Blake's dead body before she and 47 leave.
In the Blood Money levels "A Murder of Crows" and "A House of Cards", 47 can use cases full of money to hide his equipment past a frisking. Or, deliver them with a bomb inside.
Butt Monkey: Agent Smith. Shot, stabbed, drugged up and tortured, having his head smashed into a steering wheel, and yelled at.
Bullet Time: A Max Payne ability is present in the original Codename 47 as an easter egg press the scroll lock button to activate bullet time during gameplay. In Blood Money, the game will go into bullet time mode when 47 runs out of health; if you can achieve 3 headshots during this short period, you're given a second chance (but taking 1 more hit will result in instant death).
Chekhov's Gunman/Call Back: Sergei's mysterious advisor from Silent Assassin appears in the Hitman: Sniper Challenge game released as build-up to Absolution. In the achievements he's named as "Mr. X".
Cloning Blues: Averted. 47 never angsts over being the clone of some of the worst criminals on the planet and its not until Blood Money that his being a clone becomes really relevant to the plot.
Blood Money, in turn, reveals that Dr. Ordmeier's cloning techniques have passed into the hands of various organizations... but because 47 stole his documents to prevent further Agents from being made, all of the clones are flawed. Specifically, they're all albino.
Conspicuously Selective Perception: 47 reaps both the rewards and the pitfalls of this. On the one hand, guards and witnesses take no note of the six-foot-tall bald guy with a bar code tattoo on his head hanging around the scene (as long as he doesn't do anything criminal directly in their line of sight) and are always taken in by his Paper-Thin Disguise, no matter how little he resembles the person he's posing as. On the other hand, security and police pay attention to him and only to him. NPCs can traipse through restricted areas, pass through security checkpoints without being scanned for weapons, and run around openly carrying firearms without upsetting anyone. If 47 does any of these things in front of a guard, the penalty is death. This is justified in one level of Contracts: The targets have only done business anonymously, and the target you can disguise yourself as is a tall, bald guy.
Averted somewhat in Absolution, where disguises aren't foolproof and there will be people that will at least get suspicious towards your disguises (usually the people 47 is disguising himself as).
Cover Identity Anomaly: In Silent Assassin, 47 can adopt a disguise of a "Lord Sinclair" to get close to his target (a female doctor). If she asks 47 for the name of "his" wife, though, he won't know what to say before eventually randomly coming up with "Elsie" (which is way off the mark), blowing his cover.
Cruel Mercy: In Absolution, after 47 is done interrogating Lenny Dexter, he orders him to start walking. 47 then has three options: he can shoot him, or simply drive away and leave him in the middle of the desert, or trigger an easter egg that ends up with Lenny being run over by a speeding Ice Cream truck that comes out of nowhere(shown here). If you leave him out in the desert unharmed, the mission ranking screen will have a voice over of Lenny panicking over what to do now that he is stuck out there.
Cruel and Unusual Death: Most "accidental" deaths are especially gruesome and ironic compared to the alternative of being garroted or shot, such as killing Dr. Green by dropping him into a pit of pigs in Absolution.
The Meat King's Party has a bath. Replace "bath" with "gore-streaked meathouse bloodbath with sweaty fat guy dancing like an idiot", actually.
Death By Falling Over: The "Accident" gameplay mechanic in Blood Money leads to some quite ludicrous results at times. Shoving someone off a high balcony which overlooks a frozen lake? Fine. Shoving them down a ten-foot flight of stairs? Not quite so believable, but plausible. Shoving someone into a three-foot deep pool of water? Oh come on...
Death Glare: In Absolution, Birdie asks 47 if he's crazy. 47 responds with a glare that says, "I know where you park your car (and I own C4)."
Deep South: Death On The Mississippi and Till Death Do Us Part in Blood Money.
Depraved Bisexual: Skip Muldoon, a redneck drug smuggler who is sleeping with several male pursers aboard his riverboat, while also having an incestuous affair with his niece. He'll chase you around if you're dressed as a purser.
It'spossible to get a Silent Assassin rating in Blood Money's training level.
Many levels offer a broad spectrum of options - the Opera, for example, allows you to, among other things, replace the prop gun for the execution in the play with a real one for the actor to do your job for you, you can do it yourself by taking the actor's place, you can shoot the target with a gun from a hidden vantage point at the appropriate moment in the execution scene of the play, you can drop the stage lights on him... Though you can always try to do it with More Dakka or Stuff Blowing Up, being inventive is quite possible.
In Absolution mission "End of the Road", Lenny has several responses to various weapons you brandish at him, including a silenced pistol.
Since it's possible to dress as a priest in Blood Money and as a judge in Absolution, the player is allowed to perform a wedding ceremony and dismiss a court case in the respective roles.
Donut Mess with a Cop: In one level of Blood Money, the least risky way to bypass the security checkpoint barring entry to the target's house is to inject a box of donuts with sedatives and give it to the FBI agents in the surveillance van across the street.
In Absolution, certain items can allow 47 to hide in plain sight if he has the right disguise; while an electrician outfit lets you pretend to fix a cable, the cop outfit naturally allows you to hang around the donut box.
Drop the Hammer: An ordinary household hammer is one of the many weapons that 47 can use to execute his targets (or anyone else for that matter). Made all the more gruesome by a special head-crunching animation when 47 successfully pulls off a sneak attack on his victim.
Duel Boss: In Blood Money, during the "Dance with the Devil" mission, one of the rival assassins will challenge 47 to a one-on-one duel to prove the superiority of good old fashioned Badass Normal against cloned super soldiers. If you accept his challenge, the two of you go to an empty storage room and duel it out. This lets you kill the guy without risking the involvement of guards or civilians. The room is set up to give him lots of cover and prevent you from just running up to him and shooting him point blank, but he doesn't really have that much health (he takes about 9 to 10 pistol shots to kill, compared to just 1 or 2 for standard Mooks). It's also noticeable as challenging him to a duel is also the only way to assassinate him "silently", since he normally never leaves the public area.
Early Game Hell: For a game which promotes stealth, Hitman 2 is hilariously difficult unless you resort to indiscriminate shooting, even in the opening level. The series gradually softens up after this.
Though it is a positive walk in the park compared to trying to complete the levels of Codename 47 stealthily.
A very subtle one in Blood Money is on A New Life. It's a ranking called The Russian Hare, based on the real life exploits of a WWII sniper for those who one-shot kill combatants with the sniper rifle.
During the Skurky's Law mission in Absolution as you reach the holding cells and crawl through the vent. You can oversee one of the prisoners named Kane waiting to his daughter, Jenny. Huh guess he did get caught after that craziness in China.
The first game, for starters, didn't have the iconic Silverballers (technically you could have a Hardballer, but you couldn't go Guns Akimbo with two of them and they couldn't be silenced) and there were much more sequences that wouldn't feel out of place in a third person shooter. Codename 47 was much more akin to a game that was throwing darts at a wall to see what stuck, and it was when Silent Assassin rolled around that the trademark style of the Hitman games was being truly developed and polished.
Actually, you can go Guns Akimbo with two Hardballers, it's just you need to have one from the start and find another on the level itself: if you pick up second Hardballer, while wielding first, you will dual wield. Still, chances to find a second Hardballer outside of training level are really slim.
Elite Mooks: SWAT officers are equipped with body armor, assault rifles, and have a unique A.I. that actually sweeps through the level in squads searching for you, instead of simply guarding one location and reacting to your actions like every other enemy type in the game. They also attack much faster than regular enemies. Absolution has commandoes in full body armor and wielding assault rifles, and the final confrontation is against a 3-man team of the Agency's best commandoes, codenamed the Praetorians.
There are Elite Mooks up the wazoo in Absolution. Chicago SWAT officers wield sub-machine guns and wear body armor, Blackwater Tactical Team members come equipped with body armor and silenced weapons, and the mother of all Elite Mooks, the Agency Heavy Troopers, who are covered head to toe in armor and use the most powerful assault rifles in the game.
The Saints are played up in the promos to be a Bad Ass group of assassins dressed as nuns, and 47 just barely survives the encounter. In-game, however, they are as susceptible to all the One Hit Kills the normal mooks are, from headshots to garroting.
Establishing Character Moment: Seeing what Blake Dexter does when he first runs into 47 in Absolution is all it takes to know how revoltingly evil he is.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Some of the guard conversations you overhear involve them talking about their families or girlfriends. Dexter himself loves his son Lenny very much too, which is evident when you kill Lenny. Dexter takes it very hard. He's also willing to risk his life by staying behind to wait for Layla when evacuating Blackwater.
The various Mark clones in Blood Money, most prominently Mark Parchezzi III. Amusingly, radios throughout the game will report on an "Albino-American Anti-Defamation League" protesting the government's insensitive response to a string of assassinations by albino assassins.
Upon close examination, the Praetorian Elite Mooks from the final battle of Absolution are albino, and appear to be remarkably identical in appearance. This, combined with their unique Made of Iron durability (it take about 20 assault rifle rounds to kill one of them), may be a hint that they're Class II clones, like the Franchise's Mark series were.
There's also Mark Purrayah II, one of the assassins you kill in the Mardi Gras mission, although he's not particularly remarkable. He supposedly was a partial clone, but it's rather vague.
Evil Cripple: All over the place in Absolution. The prosthetic voice box-equipped owner of the gun shop who keeps 47's Silverballers locked up, the prosthetic-handed Benjamin Travis, the prosthetic-legged Dr. Green...
Evil Detecting Dog: Dobermans in the Rotterdam levels from Codename 47 and hunting dogs in Beldingford Manor from Contracts will attack 47 on sight and alert nearby guards. Pets dogs in Blood Money are inoffensive yet still detect 47. It's possible to shut them up with drugged sausages.
Evil Twin: The various other Hitman clones, namely the ten Mr. 48s in the final shootout of Hitman: Codename 47, and Mr. 17 towards the end of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.
Executive Meddling: This is also the reason why there's been such a long gap since Blood Money. Apparently the developers started work on a new game for release in 2009 or 2010, but Eidos decided that the Kane and Lynch franchise (also developed by IO Interactive) was going to be the next big thing and ordered them to produce a sequel to that game instead.
A (probably) unintentional example, but the reporter in the cutscenes from Blood Money acts a lot like Togusa, save for appearing older and having a career change away from detective work to journalism. It helps that they have the exact same voice.
Vinnie Sinistra is probably one of Tony Montana. He doesn't look anything like Al Pacino, but his backstory is practically identical.
Pablo Ochoa is also one of Tony. Guess Scarface is quite popular in the IO Interactive office.
The Faceless: Diana, 47's handler at The Agency. In the first three games, she's just a voice on the phone. In Blood Money, she's mostly seen at a distance and from behind (though you do see her face reflected in the window in the game's final cutscene). She's also seen in the tutorial mission of Absolution, where she's the target.
Faceless Goons: You come across some sent from ICA in Absolution. Most frustratingly and bizarrely illogically, when you disguise yourself as them, you take everything but their masks.
Faking the Dead: Discussed in Absolution's final mission (of the same name). Benjamin and the ICA decide to exhume Diana's coffin because they aren't sure if 47 killed her or not. In the final cutscene, it's revealed that Diana faked her death, and she thanks 47 in the post-mission result screen.
False Flag Operation: During a Peace Conference between two Triads in the mission The Seafood Massacre in Contracts, 47 must kill both delegates and the mediator while making sure one of the groups takes the blame for the hit.
Fan Disservice: The shower assassination at the beginning of Absolution, considering who 47 is killing.
Fed To Pigs: One of the targets in Absolution subverts this - According to some factory workers, when he was just a kid Marcus Green and his little sister got dumped in a pig sty by a burglar, left alone and defenseless against the ravenous hogs. One of them charged his sister and Green got in the way to protect her, somehow managing to kill the pig. Unfortunately for Green, the pig collapsed on top of his leg, trapping him. It wasn't until a couple of days later that the police found them and by then Green's leg had to be amputated. This created both a phobia and hatred of pigs which persists into his adult life... making his ironic kill all the more horrifying - you can shoot out a glass floor where he stands to send him falling into a pit filled with swine. Luckily for him, the fall may have killed him.
Film Noir: The later games started to veer into this territory by virtue of aiming for a more Darker and Edgier feel. Several missions in Contracts and Blood Money are genuinely noir in tone, as well as the two missions in Rotterdam from Codename 47. Absolution, instead, goes for something of an Exploitation Filmthrowback feel.
First Person Snapshooter: In one level of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, you are given a camera and instructed to photograph two thugs after killing them.
555: The barcode 47 is tatooed with is a... wacky intentional example. It's a fully legal bar-code in a day where bar-code scanning apps for smart phones are common, making the fact that it belongs to a dildo holder all the more noticeable.
Foreshadowing: The main menu of Blood Money shows a group of people attending 47's funeral. As one plays through the game, it quickly becomes apparent that each "mourner" is actually a target from one of the game's missions. As each level is completed, the corresponding "mourner" disappears, until, in the end, only Alexander Cayne is left...just in time for the final mission.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: In-story, a single bullet to the gut disables 47 and necessitates an emergency operation. In gameplay, he can be shot through the leg, the heart and the skull and be fine as long as his health bar isn't empty.
General Failure: Benjamin Travis is shockingly incompetent for a leader of an organization which seems to consist entirely of Consummate Professionals. He is unable to keep calm under pressure, makes hasty decisions that end up costing his subordinates their lives, bungles a ransom handoff losing $10 million of the Agency's money in the process and allows himself to be outsmarted by both 47 and Diana Burnwood. He also looks disheveled and out of shape, all of which begs the question: how could someone like that rise to the upper echelons of the Agency?
Genre Savvy: At least one soldier in Absolution has seen what 47 is capable of, so when he hears that the Saints' attack on him at the Waikiki motel fails to produce a body he suggests just leveling the building 47's in and letting him die in the rubble.
Genre Shift: The gameplay is fairly consistent, but in terms of story and tone, Codename 47, Silent Assassin and Blood Money are rather akin to conspiracy/political thrillers, while Contracts is very much in the vein of a Psychological Thriller. Absolution evokes a style akin to Grindhouse cinema, as noted in Pastiche/Homage.
Going by the Matchbook: In Absolution, this is how 47 retraces Wade's steps back to the town of Hope, South Dakota. Better played than the usual as the only reason why Wade had a matchbox on him in the first place was because Blake asked Lenny to give Wade a light in a previous cutscene and he just grabbed a nearby matchbook and gives it to Wade.
Gray and Grey Morality: Depending on your outlook, the games fall into either this or Black and Gray Morality. 47 is a violent, unrepentant killer who has no qualms about killing for money and is not above killing innocent people in order to get his man (although he does feel some guilt about his actions, as Contracts makes apparent). However, his targets are almost exclusively people even nastier and more vicious than him. Almost exclusively.
Graying Morality: Contracts has the first time 47's primary target is an innocent man. In Blood Money, he kills more other innocent men, signaling a shift from the earlier games' morality - and what's more, Blood Money is the first game since Silent Assassin in which the player is not penalized for killing innocent people who are not targets (47 can kill as many people as he likes as long as they are unseen "accidents").
Gray Rain of Depression: Every mission in Contracts, save the last one (which takes place when 47 awakens). Since the majority of the world exists in 47's drug-addled skull, and it never rained in Codename 47, we can surmise the rain signifies 47's current mood.
Apparently the penalty for running in public, using the wrong bathroom, walking into the EMPLOYEES ONLY lounge, or setting off a metal detector is always a bullet to the head.
In the Mardi Gras level of Blood Money - if you enter a (perfectly normal, ordinary-bar, not-very-fancy) party without a costume? The bouncer at the door will open fire (By the way, nobody else is wearing a costume). Instantly. In the middle of a huge crowd. On the same level, turning the lights in the hotel foyer on and off repeatedly sends a woman running to the nearest policeman, who decides that the best way to deal with a man harmlessly playing with a light-switch is to open fire.
Starting with Contracts, it's possible to kill some people "by accident". When civilians see the target go down, they will run in panic and 47 can watch them try to alert the guards who stand with a Flat "What.". Eventually, one will approach 47, try a search for weapons, and upon finding nothing of interest, returns to his guard post.
The whole idea of accidents is lack of any connection with the hitman, so there is no reason why the guards should harass a bald guy in a suit only because someone got nailed by a falling piano.
In the Deep South mission "'Til Death Do Us Part" 47 can actually openly carry guns without provoking return fire. Justified by it being a really, really redneck wedding; out in front, a bunch of guys are going shooting, presumably at frogs or something, and several other guests openly carry as well.
When 47 starts the level (the boat dock), those particular rednecks are shooting at alligators. (Shoot the alligators to get them to stop to watch you in awe. Or jealously.) The rest of the wedding participants will just shoot up into the air whenever they're collectively happy.
In the "Operation Sledgehammer" mission in Absolution, 47 and Sheriff Skurky have a showdown in the Hope Springs Church. Notably, a woman sitting in the pews immediately yells out that Skurky is brandishing a gun in the church.
Gun Porn: The whole series. You can slap a ton of mods to your five custom weapons in Blood Money.
Smith&Wesson Model 500 in Contracts and Bull.480 in Blood Money.
Plus, the Desert Eagle in every game.
There are also Agent 47's Silverballers. While they fire "only" a .45 ACP round, they are still amongst the most powerful handguns in the game, and often send people flying. It's at least justified in Blood Money, where you get customized magnum ammo for double the damage.
Have a Nice Death: Perhaps taking a page from Batman Arkham Asylum, the last third of the levels in Absolution will play special Game Over sequences. Skurky gloating over you taking too long? Blake Dexter blowing up the roof? Travis mocking 47's decision to defect from the corrupted Agency? Talk about a good reason not to die or be detected.
Hell Hotel: Hotel Galar's east wing, where there's been a brutal murder; it's also the only place in the series where you will find a ghost.
Hero with Bad Publicity: At the end of Blood Money, 47 takes the blame for a terrorist attack on the White House that claimed the life of the Vice President. Which is similar to the truth, but a completely negative spin on what happened.
If the dark, bleak fever-dreams of Contracts mean anything at all, 47 certainly does feel some guilt about his crimes. Not that that's stopping him...
Agent 47 has a heart, it's just a subtle one. It's suggested he donates large sums of money to churches, and for all that he gets paid huge sums of cash for his assignments, he lives an incredibly spartan lifestyle (his suits being his one luxury), suggesting what doesn't go into emergency funds, weapons, and explosives is effectively given away. He also is strongly loyal to Diana Burnwood thanks to their long-term working relationship.
Absolution cements this, with Agent 47 willing to betray the Agency in order to carry out Diana's request to protect Victoria. He is also shown to be visibly bothered when he performs the contract on Diana, having to convince himself she's just another target. It also helps that he and Victoria are Not So Different, and he has no desire to see an innocent girl getting turned into a supersoldier against her will.
Lampshaded abit: When 47 brings Victoria to the orphanage, he attempts to repay the favor for sheltering Victoria with a envelope full of cash. The Nun respectfully refuses the gesture.
Hollywood Silencer: In Blood Money, if you spring for the premium suppressor for your Silverballer, you can shoot someone in the head and guards standing less than 10 feet away won't hear it.
Averted in Silent Assassin suppressed weapons can be heard by people nearby, sometimes even through doors/walls.
Elite Blackwater Guard: Cute guy. Too cute... almost.
Human Shield: You can do this in Blood Money, and it's usually a very easy way to manipulate a pesky guard or civilian. Once you have the gun to their back, you can march them to wherever you want, and buffalo them into unconsciousness.
Hyperspace Arsenal: In Blood Money, 47 can conceal anything up to the size of an MP 5 SMG under his clothing. A nameless female assassin, also in Blood Money, despite wearing an extremely skimpy outfit turns out be carrying five different stiletto knives if you examine her body.
Special mention goes to the coins which 47 can throw to create a distraction - there is always one available from the inventory, no matter how many have already been thrown. 47 can even walk through metal detectors with them.
In Silent Assassin, 47 can hold all of the pistols in the game (well over a dozen), two knives, a scalpel, chloroform, fiber wire, a sub machine gun and numerous miscellaneous objects all at once. The only thing he can't have more than one of on his person are rifle-sized firearms.
In Absolution it's now used entirely, where 47 can now conceal his Silverballers, two identical handguns, a light machine gun, a sniper rifle, a remote explosive and an entire gasoline can on his person with no change in mobility (For reference, a syringe takes up as much inventory space as an ax).
How We Got Here: The main menu of Blood Money displays scenes from 47's impending cremation. How he has ended up on that cremation table is for you to find out.
I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: In the Absolution mission "Rosewood", Wade goads Lenny Dexter into trying to threaten the head nun at the orphanage. As Lenny is yelling at Wade that he's tough (with his back turned to the nun and his gun pointed at her), he accidentally fires the gun, instantly killing her.
IKEA Weaponry: 47's sniper rifle. He assembles & disassembles it with ease, but even with his speed, there's still a five-second wait.
In the mission The Bjarkhov Bomb in Contracts, 47's two targets are a terrorist and an arms dealer who never did business in person before. One of the simplest ways to clear the mission is to eliminate the former first and take his place during his private meeting with the latter. The impersonation is not much of a Paper-Thin Disguise in this occasion because the terrorist is in fact a tall, bald man with European features.
Another example from Contracts. In the mission Rendezvous in Rotterdam, 47 can intercept and supplant a journalist who is supposed to meet one of the targets (a gang leader) in a well-protected hideout.
Semi-subverted in another mission from Contracts. In The Seafood Massacre, 47 can pretend to be a Triad's emissary who is expected to arrive to a restaurant for a Peace Conference. The disguise is enough to pass the guards at the entrance, but it doesn't work that well with the other attendees because they know who is supposed to join them at the meeting.
In Blood Money, you can disguise yourself as a South African white supremacist in order to get close to two other targets in "A House of Cards".
Implacable Man: 47 can take a bullet to the face and keep walking (and shooting).
Improbable Aiming Skills: In Absolution, the Instinct mode can be used to kill multiple targets with extreme precision in a short amount of time, similar to the level 3 Dead Eye in Red Dead Redemption. If you're not careful, you can get misses or non-lethal hits.
47's face and body is modeled after that of his original voice actor, David Bateson. In Absolution, 47 is modeled after the actor William Mapother, who was originally set to voice 47 in said game until IO decided to rehire Bateson.
Several of the characters in Absolution are modeled after their respective voice actors (who also performed the motion capture work). Powers Boothe (Travis), Keith Carradine (Blake Dexter), Stephen Bauer (Birdie), Isabelle Fuhrman (Victoria), and Vivica Fox (Lasandra Dixon), among others, become this.
One of the objectives of the last mission of Contracts showed Richard Delahunt as a completed objective. He was one of the two targets in "Curtains Down", implying that Contracts takes place during Blood Money, after which Diana informs 47 of ICA agents getting picked off. (There is a bit of a continuity gaffe, however, in that the opera singer changed names from Philippe Berceuse to Alvaro D'Alvade between Contracts and Blood Money.)
This explains the ominous Dramatic Gun Cock in the ending cutscene of the opera mission in Blood Money, and in the next mission Diana asks, "How's that wound healing up?"
It's also implied that Albert Fournier, the Inspector you were to kill in Contracts was tipped off to 47's location by the Franchise.
Seeing as how Blood Money takes place during a very long timeframe, almost two years, with sometimes months between missions, there is plenty of time inbetween the missions for 47 to have been doing other missions.
Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: The guards in the Silent Assassin levels "Hidden Valley", "At The Gates" and "Shogun Showdown" are called ninjas in-game, complete with black suits and katanas, though more of them seem to prefer MP5s.
Mostly averted in-gameplay, where killing enemies (or other NPCs) depends on your weapon, where you hit them (even more so if they're wearing body armor), and random chance. Sometimes, they'll still be able to run, they'll be knocked out, they'll be incapacitated and might bleed to death or just die. Mostly averted because it doesn't apply to you.
It's also played dead straight with head shots. Head shots are universally fatal, regardless of caliber, distance traveled, or angle of impact. Victims crumple to the ground instantaneously and without a sound.
In Silent Assassin, head-shots with the suppressed .22 are not always fatal. Same with the SG220 in Contracts.
However, in Silent Assassin, the M195 anti-vehicle sniper rifle can kill the target no matter what part of the body is shot.
I Surrender, Suckers: In Absolution, if 47 is caught by a guard, he can pretend to surrender. The guard will then approach him, giving him a moment to disarm and hold said guard hostage.
The first time 47 runs into his brother, Mr. 17, he's grazed by a few harmless shots before 17 ducks into a crawlspace. If you follow him, you'll be caught in the blast of a bomb.
Its Always Mardi Gras In New Orleans: The New Orleans level in Blood Money centers around preventing an assassination during a Mardi Gras parade — all fine and dandy, except that the mission takes place in late October. (To be fair, Bourbon Street often does look like that in late October, but for entirely different reasons.)
Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: 47 does a non-physical variation of this in Absolution, where he forces Lenny to dig a hole in the middle of the desert while he simply eats an apple and calmly asks where Victoria is, threatening to kill him if he either stops digging or doesn't tell him anything soon. It's effective enough to make the poor guy piss his pants.
Joisey: The setting of the first mission in Blood Money.
Joke Weapon: The air rifle. Also, some of the sillier melee weapons.
Lethal Joke Weapon - For some bizarre reason, some people consider it this, but considering it takes forever to kill someone with it...
The gun is as silent as the Silverballers with the fully upgraded silencer, and is still a One-Hit Kill if you aim for the head.
Any throwable object you care to pick up in Absolution is potentially a one-hit kill, including Bibles, radios, hula girl bobble-heads, plungers...
Jump Scare: In the '"Absolution'' mission "Terminus", opening a door on the eighth floor reveals a bust of a bear with his front paws up ready to attack, complete with requisite Scare Chord.
Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: 47 himself. Initially he's sort of like a paid vigilante, going around the world exclusively assassinating vicious, amoral criminals, and suffering significant penalties if he ever kills "innocent" people. Then in Contracts he's hired to kill an undercover journalist who messed up. And by the time of Blood Money he's able to kill perfectly innocent people who have nothing to do with his target with no penalties whatsoever, so long as he makes it look like an accident. Darker and Edgier is right.
In Silent Assassin, he tracks down a target by murdering the man's son and planting a tracker on the corpse.
Justified Tutorial: Four of the five games in the Hitman series (Codename 47, Silent Assassin, Blood Money and Absolution) have this. Contracts has a dreamscape training ground instead.
Kick the Dog: Absolution has the villains murder their way through an orphanage run by nuns.
A gangster in the tutorial level prepares to douse the hapless divorce attorney in gasoline. That's one way of getting out of paying alimony.
In "Flatline," 47 can kill one of the mobsters by messing with the gas stove he has hidden in his room.
In "A New Life," 47 can coat a barbecue in lighter fluid, causing it to set the target's wife on fire when she uses it. (She isn't a target, but it counts as an "accident," so it doesn't affect the rating for the mission.)
A reoccurring accidental kill in Absolution is from the use of a spilling gasoline pump. A flicked cigarette is the usual starting spark, but in one challenge, the player must spill out three separate gasoline pumps, then set off a remote explosive which blows up the entire gas station and hopefully your two targets with it.
Another one from Absolution is centered on a scientist trying to find a cure for his hair loss. You can mix in "fire paste" into his glowing beaker full of hair tonic, turning it red. He applies some to his head, which catches fire. Presumably the radiation from the mysterious hair tonic wouldn't have killed him fast enough.
One of 47's targets in "The Beldingford Manor" has dozed off in a recliner in front of a fireplace. He can be killed by dropping a gas can down the chimney.
Knife Nut: The psychotic female assassin from Blood Money.
Laxative Prank: In one level of Contracts you can poison some soup with laxative to help lure your target to the toilets.
Leave No Witnesses: The final mission of Hitman: Blood Money starts with a whole lot of people learning something 47 can't afford for them to know (namely, that he's not actually dead). He has a way of fixing that.
Method of the Saints in Absolution. One wonders how firing off an RPG at a crowded motel is unreported by anyone.
Let's You and Him Fight: In the sub-mission "Chinese New Year" of Absolution, one of 47's targets is trying to buy info on Birdie from a Dirty Cop. If 47 steals the files without them noticing it, they start an argument which quickly descends into a Quick Draw fight, resulting in the death of the target.
There's also the more recent LP by TheAuZZieGamer, who goes through every mission with vulgarity, running gags, carnage and general surgical precision. There's only one mission he doesn't get Silent Assassin on, and it's the tutorial (which, as mentioned above, isn't very easy to get Silent Assassin on).
Literary Agent Hypothesis: Contracts and Blood Money use framing devices reminiscent of this trope. The other games use it in a more subtle manner also.
Little Useless Gun: The .22 in Silent Assassin. It's both inaccurate (due to its integral suppressor) and, in a game where if you're shooting someone you want them to go down fast, pitifully weak.
Despite this, metal detectors won't register it, which is likely a Good Bad Bug.
Made of Iron: On the default difficulty, 47 can withstand noticeably more damage than other stealth game protagonists such as Sam Fisher, Solid Snake, or Garrett. Likewise, each game usually has a handful of unique enemies who are part of the main plot and can survive significantly more damage than the regular Mooks.
Mad Scientist: Dr. Ortmeyer, 47's megalomaniac creator. In Absolution, any scientist you have to "deal" with.
Make The Dog Testify: Apparently so, because if you leave a pet dog alive after killing its owner, it counts as a witness.
Meaningful Name: In Absolution, Sheriff Skurky's name is similar to the Scandanavian word "skurk", meaning crook or villain. Travis' bodyguards and the last enemies in the game, the Praetorians, are also all named after Greek and Latin words for shields. Jack Aegis, John Hoplon and Carey Scutum.
Miser Advisor: Not exactly an advisor, but 47 fits this trope. When the Agency had 47 perform a job for them in Silent Assassin, a mission after the information exchange, he said that he was to be paid triple the going rate (which is 100,000 USD), in gold.
Monster Clown: In Blood Money, there's a level where it's possible to put on a clown costume and cut people's throats open with hedgeclippers. Hilarity does not ensue... unless you're that sort of person.
Mook Horror Show: In the last stage of the "Attack of the Saints" in Absolution, you have the opportunity to disguise yourself as a scarecrow and stalk and kill your way through the commandos sent against you.
Also in Absolution mowing through enemies like a One-Man Army will give you Enemy Chatter during the battle with them shouting things from "who the hell are you" to shitting themselves when you get a few head shots in a row. This is most obvious with the Chicago Police Officers and Wade's goons.
47 picks up a canary and keeps it as a pet over the course of Blood Money. He then kills it at the end of the game, because he thinks his hideout is being raided, and the bird is giving away his position by chirping. There's also Mei-Ling, a Chinese prostitute that 47 ends up saving in each of the first 3 games.
Although, since the third game was mostly a series of recapped (an often incorrectly remembered) memories of missions from the first game, he technically only rescued her twice. She's nowhere to be found in Blood Money... instead, Agent Smith is in her place.
She's mentioned in Blood Money in one of the newspaper's advertisements. An Easter Egg, really, since it's a dish named after her.
His background story also mentions that he kept a mouse and later a runaway laboratory rabbit as pets when he lived at the asylum. They indirectly lead to his Start of Darkness: when an insane clone killed them, he retaliated and ran away. A man later gave him lunch before returning him to the asylum, leading him to believe he was rewarded for killing.
In Absolution, 47 is tasked with protecting Victoria as per Diana's final wishes. Because like him, she is genetically engineered and suffered through painful experimentation, he is very sympathetic towards her.
Murder By Cremation: How the Big Bad tries to deal with 47 in the final chapter of Blood Money. Whether it works or not depends on if you spin the joystick/press W enough to wake 47 out of his drug induced coma, which in turn gives you the opportunity to kill everyone assembled.
Murder Simulator: Surprisingly the game itself had not been condemned by this however there have been controversy over portrayal of the Shi'ites as killers as well as a smart phone app where you could send a contract to Mr. 47 to kill real people, which was quickly closed down.
My Rules Are Not Your Rules: Averted; every time a rival assassin shows up, there's a hidden body somewhere nearby, like you'd need to do, and they can take about the same (or less) punishment as 47.
Mythology Gag: In Absolution, Birdie tells 47 that he ought to run from Blake Dexter's men. 47 responds with "I don't believe in running". A bit of a joke towards the extremely twitchy guards who would react to 47 running with gunfire in the first few games, such as Silent Assassin, no doubt.
Nail 'Em: Why, yes, you can use a nail gun. Not very effective from anywhere but point-blank, and it requires a headshot to take down someone. Still, it's a weapon you can carry openly if you're wearing a worker's suit.
A Nazi by Any Other Name: Dr Ort Meyer in the first game (of the Mengele sort). And Hendrik Schmutz in Blood Money to some extent (white race supremacist).
Nazi Grandpa: According to his small biography in the first game, Frantz Fuchs is one.
In Blood Money, 47 does this to a target instead of garroting them if the kill takes place on an uneven surface. There's even a sound effect.
47 performs this on Sanchez (with his legs) during the Cutscene Boss battle in the Absolution mission "Fight Night". He can also perform this as a quicker alternative to knocking someone out in a stealth melee attack.
Never Trust a Trailer: Absolution's "Attack Of The Saints" trailer shows 47 engaging the entire group of Saints in direct hand-to-hand combat, brutally killing them with different hand-to-hand techniques. The game itself doesn't include any of this, and has the Saints blowing up the apartment 47's in, and his hunting them down as they're spread out in pairs across the hotel and nearby cornfield, with the leader (Lasandra Dixon) off by herself near the unit's command post.
In the second and third games, it's very hard to achieve a completely stealthful mission, because the guards are extremely skittish and will instantly raise the alarm if they see you doing anything even remotely suspicious. Blood Money tones this down a lot; so long as you have the right disguise and don't commit any criminal acts, the guards will generally ignore you.
IO Interactive has promised that the Purist mode in Absolution will be this and IO delivered. Not only does it reduce your health and your instinct capacity, it removes the new HUD so you have no idea how much ammo you have left, what weapon you're equipped with, or if you're being spotted.
Even without Purist mode, Absolution rivals Codename 47 and Silent Assassin as the most difficult Hitman experience yet. Unlike Contracts and Blood Money, the guards in Absolution will quickly detect you even with the proper disguise if you do not use instinct. Moreover, the save system has been replaced by checkpoints, many of which are found in rather obscure locations. These can lead to a lot of frustration if you're going for a Silent Assassin run.
Nobody Here But Us Statues: In one mission of Absolution, 47 can wear a samurai armor and hide in plain sight as long as he stands still on a few designated places inside an exhibition room. Doing it at the right time it also allows him to ambush the mission's target.
In the Cornfield level it is possible to obtain a scarecrow outfit and hide in plain sight by posing like one. Ironically you'll soon have several crows perching upon you.
Lorne de Havilland in Blood Money is a clone of Hugh Hefner and the drug dealer leader in the tutorial is one of Snoop Dog, named "Scoop".
The two targets during the Murder at the Bazaar level in Hitman 2 are clones of Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden.
No-Gear Level: Especially the last two missions in the second game, where you start with only your trusty strangulation wire. The last level takes place in your home base, and it is immensely satisfying when you get to your weapons storage after skulking around extremely vulnerable.
Happens again in Absolution, though it doesn't take long to recover your pistols. Along the way a power cord taken off a computer takes the place of the fiberwire.
You can get two in cutscene form in Blood Money, the first one at Lorne de Havilland's party, where a Franchise assassin stabs you in the neck if you don't kill her quickly enough, the second being stabbed to death by the completely psychotic Eve at the Heaven and Hell party, once again if you stand still and let her kill you.
Also, at the end of Codename 47, if you let Dr. Oort-Meyer get too close to you without killing him, he'll stab you with a syringe and you black out... and wake up in the sanitorium again, in a sequence that's disturbingly similar to the very start of the game...
In Absolution's "Operation Sledgehammer" mission, if 47 waits too long to shoot Sheriff Skurky before he fires, 47 slowly dies as Skurky stands over him and gloats.
Again in Absolution, in the Factory Compound level, there is a room with what appears to be a large bomb suspended from the ceiling. Hit the bomb too many times and the scene flashes white. You are then treated to a special cutscene involving a giant mushroom cloud before the game over screen appears.
No OSHA Compliance: Frequent, especially in Blood Money and Absolution, in which most levels have the option of making a hit look like a horrible accident.
Taken Up to Eleven in "Dexter Industries", as Dexter has mines and explosives in the main lobby of his company to reassure potential partners on their storage safety. Naturally, they can all be armed and/or detonated, including the active nuclear warhead hanging precariously over the main desk.
Nostalgia Level: Many of the missions from Contracts are remade from Codename 47.
Not Distracted by the Sexy: 47 casually brushes off the attentions of rather loose members of the opposite sex at several points in the series. Towards the end of Absolution, Layla, Dexter's Dragon, attempts to distract 47 by stripping off her clothes before quickdrawing a hidden pistol on him. Throughout the scene he's clearly unimpressed, and the only reason he lets her get even that far is because he wants information from her.
Notice This: The Instinct Mode of Absolution, which highlights enemy patrol paths and objects of interest.
For Absolution, the original voice actress for Diana (Vivienne McKee) was replaced by Marsha Thomason (best known for her roles on LOST and White Collar).
Agent 47 himself nearly got this in Absolution too, when his voice actor, David Bateson, was revealed to have not been contacted by IO. Following many fans protesting/begging/protesting and begging at the same time, Bateson was called back and did the voice work again in Absolution.
Once an Episode: There'll be a sniper mission, a mission at a crowded party, a mission in the snow (or at least with it), a rescue mission involving Smith, a double-cross in the penultimate mission, and a firefight at the end.
Although Absolution is the first game in which Smith is completely absent.
Paper-Thin Disguise: The main game-play premise of the series. In Absolution however, a disguise will still arouse suspicion from certain people who will then try to approach you. In response, 47 can lower his head and raise a hand over his face (which consumes Instinct) or "pacify" them if they get too close.
Pastiche / Homage: Absolution kind of does a 180 with the tone of the series so far and weaves a strange 70s grindhouse tone in with the game's modern-day setting. Creepy evil cripples and corrupt hicks make up a significant portion of the cast, there's a subtle film-grain filter applied to the visuals, and notable moments include taking a stripper's place in a birthday cake, bursting out, and slaughtering all the nearby guards in slow-mo, fighting evil stripper hitwoman nuns, and participating in a target-shooting contest with a southern belle in a cowboy hat.
Pay Evil unto Evil: 47's targets are invariably incredibly depraved criminals. It's only in Blood Money that 47 is seen killing "innocents" as part of the story. In a cutscene, 47 is seen rather pointlessly killing a postal worker for delivering a message from the Agency.
Perpetual Frowner: You'd be forgiven for thinking 47 is actually physically incapable of smiling.
Psycho for Hire: Often times, a target will have a few of these working for him. Absolution is filled to the brim with these. Blake Dexter, who is hardly the picture of sanity himself, has a mercenary named Wade on his payroll, who gleefully shoots an orphanage full of nuns to pieces to get one target. The Saints, meanwhile, were all recruited by Agent Travis from prisoners, domestic abuse victims, refugees and the like. Naturally, they are extremely violent and callous with human lives.
The Rashomon: minor differences exist between several missions in Codename: 47 and their remade versions in Contracts: which versions are "true" is never made explicit.
Rated M for Manly: This is a series about a genetically-engineered assassin violently killing arms dealers and drug barons whilst wearing awesome suits and finding big guns.
Reality Bleed: The cutscenes in Contracts play with 47's fever dream hallucinations. In one, the hotel bathroom reverts to a meat locker, and in another, the hotel room door opens vertically like a cargo hold entrance, with a Russian foreman shouting instructions.
Redemption Failure: In the second game, 47 abandons the life of crime to become a gardener for a priest, yet he's forced back into it when his employer is kidnapped. In the end, he realizes that, being essentially a Super Soldier, he can't turn his back on the business of death and goes back to being an assassin.
During "Fight Night" in Absolution, 47 is required to turn over any weapons before leaving the training area that starts the level. Even if he's disguised as a trainer or the fighter himself, he promptly gives his silenced Hardballers with custom ''fleur de lis'' logos to the guard and warns him not to lose them. Nobody bothers to question it.
The level itself could be counted as such. You can impersonate the target's next opponent and actually go toe to toe with him, smashing his skull in and breaking his neck. In front of hundreds of witnesses with his mask off. No one questions this because they assume it was part of the fight, and no one can identify 47 because he looks so generic.
Really, the whole series can be seen as this. A bald guy with a bar code on the back of his head with a distinctive suit manages to sneak in, murder a target or targets under heavy armed guard and sneak back out again, often using contrived and ridiculous means to set up "accidents" such as falling pianos and making someone accidentally shoot the target while just happening to be there at the scene of all of them? Absolution even lampshades this, with a frustrated Chicago PD detective openly questioning why nobody can ever identify such a man.
Regenerating Health: Added in Absolution, although it only restores up to a portion of your total health. Also, unlike most examples it is extremely slow, so much so that it's not at all practical for combat purposes. It mostly fills up quietly while you're exploring, and is more to prevent you from getting stuck by making sure you always have at least enough health to survive a few bullets should you stumble into a firefight. Not that it matters on Purist.
Remember the New Guy: Absolution introduces Birdie and Tom the Tailor. The former is an information broker 47 apparently often uses, whilst the latter is the creator of 47's suits. Neither had been seen or mentioned prior to Absolution.
Remixed Level: The Hong Kong, Budapest, and asylum levels from the first game appear in Contracts. The maps are, for the most part, perfectly replicated. Little touches are added to the asylum, such as a discarded syringe used by 47 to kill a patsy, Dr. Kovacs, which is still lying on the floor.
Right Hand Versus Left Hand: "The Murder of Crows" in Blood Money. 47 is there to protect the Interior Secretary from assassins. So are the bodyguards, police officers, and the National Guard soldiers. But they don't know that's why 47 is there, and they'll kill him stone-cold dead if they see him with a weapon or catch him sneaking around a restricted area.
Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: Many of the missions allow you to kill your targets through the use of indirect and often ingenious methods, though most are rather obvious or hard to pull off without getting spotted.
In Contracts, you can also tamper with a thermostat and bar the door trapping a victim with coronary problems inside.
Save Scumming: Initially averted. The first installment had no in-mission saves, with limited saves being available on later games. The number of saves decreases until you reach professional, where you only get a saved game slot as a progress bonus (but don't count on it). Blood Money introduced a "Rookie" mode, which allowed infinite saves. In Absolution it sort of brings it back to the classic games with in game check points instead of manually saving. Weirdly they don't check event flags, so if you reload to the last check point after you've set up an accidental kill before it actually killed your target you'll have to go and set it back up again.
Scannable Man: Agent 47. Right on the back of his head. In Absolution, however, he tries to cut it off out of grief and a desire to cover his tracks, and covers it with a band-aid for the rest of the game. It heals up exactly the same though...
Scenery Porn: Many missions have beautiful scenery, with the embassy grounds in "Invitation to a Party" from Silent Assassin, and the Heaven Party in "Dance with the Devil" from Blood Money standing out in particular.
Schedule Slip: Hitman 5 was first announced in 2007. Development apparently only got going in 2009, only to stall again (if not be canned completely and subsequently restarted; reports vary) because Eidos wanted more Kane and Lynch games.
Schmuck Bait: Shooting a bouncer in the middle of a crowded midwest saloon? Sure, nothing could possibly go wrong there! Well, unless you count 47 being turned into a human colander as something wrong...
Secret Level: The final mission of Blood Money. So secret that, on the Xbox, you get an achievement for finishing the game before you get to it, and then a second, separate achievement for completing it.
Jack Alexander's summary of the missions afterwards are completely different from what actually happened, or leave out vital details. Not surprising, since he's the Big Bad.
47 himself also counts: his recollections of events from the first game as he remembers them in Contracts paint him in much kinder light than he was presented in the first game itself. For example, when Mei Ling kisses him in the first game, he shudders in disgust, but in Contracts he's merely surprised.
Shoot The Television: In Absolution, part of the 'Sore Losers' level challenge in the Deter Industries mission demands the player destroy a video game console two guards are enjoying by shooting (or otherwise breaking) the television screen.
The animation of someone in elevator being strangled from above is a tribute to The Professional. As is the option to dress as a SWAT member and cooperate in their armed raid in Contracts. Whee!
In the newspaper article after "The Murder of Crows" level in Blood Money, the police chief investigating the murders is named Police Chief Wiggum, and if you've run around, blowing up targets, and generally being visible, he STILL doesn't know who you are. A previous newspaper had the non-existent month in which Groundskeeper Willie died in its date - Smarch.
Jesper Kyd's score for Blood Money features snippets, samples and remixes of tracks from his various previous works - most notably, "Apocalypse" is based on a track from Scorcher, which was in turn based on "Spinner", a track from Red Zone.
Absolution has a small level, in which the sole objective is to "Suit up". Barney learned from the best... Bonus points for the picture accompanying the objective.
Absolution also features conversations about "Sanchez" and "The Patriot", a nod to the rivalry between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets, who had as a quarterback at the time... Mark Sanchez.
Shower Scene: In Hitman: Absolution, 47 plugs Diana through her shower door.
Shown Their Work: All of 47's incredibly badass Quick Time hand-to-hand combat moves are real-life techniques from escrima, krav maga and jujitsu.
This is something of a plot point in Blood Money. The journalist is rightfully skeptical of the claim that the FBI took down 47, someone that the agency itself denies existing, and needs hard proof. Each and every piece of evidence given to him is taken from the missions the player has to play.
In the Absolution mission "Terminus", Blake refers to 47 as "the ghost, the myth... the Hitman!", and in the mission "Skurky's Law", a detective trying to piece together the murders is in disbelief that no one can ID the titular assassin.
Sliding Scale of Silliness Versus Seriousness: The games have always been hitting a blend between the two ends of the scale, but Absolution leans a bit more towards the silly side. Some reviewers have said that the plotline is comparable to that of a Tarantino flick. Whether or not that's a good thing is up to you.
Sniper Scope Sway: Depending on your weapon. If you are using a fully upgraded W2000, there is little sway, though it only gets a single shot. Also, sway is affected if you move and by the length of time you hold the rifle after sighting. Sway can be eliminated by canceling the sighting and adjusting your position to the next target before sighting again.
"Ave Maria" is the main menu song and on some maps, upbeat music is playing while you can happily slaughter your way through the innocent crowd. Furthermore, the Ave Maria returns at the very end of the game, where it plays in the background of the final mission when 47 wakes up at his funeral and starts blowing mooks away left, right, and center. Specifically, the scene starts with Ave Maria goes into a downer tune as the shooting begins, and goes back to Ave Maria as 47 leaves the church to finish off the survivors.
"Ave Maria" shows up again in Absolution: it plays at the end of the mission "Skurky's Law", where 47 pulls an Unflinching Walk while Hope, South Dakota burns in the distance.
"The Meat King's Party" in Contracts. Finding a mutilated body while Paul Anka's "Put Your Head on My Shoulder" is unnerving, to say the least.
Spanner in the Works: In Blood Money, it's possible to ruin the plans of the person who hired you for The Deep South missions by killing her. If you can't tell, she's the bride in the wedding. It's a bad idea, since that means you fail the mission. However, she does show up in a later mission, where you can kill her and get away scot-free.
The Straight and Arrow Path: In Hitman 2, 47 brings along a crossbow for his trip into the Japanese snow mountains. Sound obviously carries far there, and a gun wouldn't be as practical for long-range shooting.
In Blood Money, arranging an "accidental" drowning is as simple as pushing an NPC headfirst into a hot tub.
Or better yet, pushing someone over into a pool as they're walking into it for a swim instantly kills them.
Surprisingly Similar Stories/Whole Plot Reference: An old Soviet-Polish movie called "Deja Vu" introduces its protagonist in a scene that can be recreated shot-for-shot in this game with the Opera level - here, too, a hitman has to assassinate a performer in a play of "Tosca", and his on-stage execution scene is the perfect opportune moment for it. In the movie, he is shot with a sniper rifle, though other options are also available to 47.
The Stinger: The final stage of Blood Money starts with the credits rolling while 47 is laying on a cremation table at his own funeral.
After the epilogue of Absolution, a scene plays where Birdie approaches a detective tracking down 47 and offering to help him.
SWAT Team: 47 has to deal with various special police forces, mainly in Romania (penultimate level of Codename 47 and first level of Contracts) and France (the GIGN in the last level of Contracts). They're usually deadlier than previous mooks, armed with the best submachine guns and equipped with bulletproof vests.
Tap on the Head: In Blood Money, 47 can knock people out by smacking them on the back of the head with his pistol. If you leave them where they lie and someone stumbles onto them, they can be revived almost instantly. It's probably justified in the fact that 47 is slightly super-human.
Throw It In: According to Word Of God, Absolution's Instinct mechanic began life as a developer tool to determine pathfinding after the AI became so insanely complex they could no longer playtest properly. It was later added to the game proper, provoking much outcry, but it doesn't do much in higher difficulties other than helping you blend in.
In Blood Money's "The Murder of Crows", once the courier delivers the payment to Mark Purayah, the Secretary will be assassinated after taking a couple of laps of the parade route in his float. Stopping the courier from making the payoff allows you to Take Your Time (and makes it easier to fulfill the optional objective of keeping the case).
The "Countdown" mission in Absolution is exactly what it means - 47 has four-and-a-half minutes to stop Blake Dexter before he leaves the building's roof with Victoria.
In "Deadly Cargo" from Contracts, the target will eventually detonate a nuke, causing the mission to fail, although it takes a long time to happen.
Too Dumb to Live: In Absolution, many of the signature kills involve taking advantage of the target's own stupidity. A short list of Darwin Award winners include: a thug who decides to smoke next to a gas pump and pile of fireworks, a nightclub owner standing under a disco ball he knows has a high chance of falling on him, a scientist who stands on a non-reinforced glass floor several stories above the ground, and a scientist who decides to test an experimental hair growth formula on himself
So, Dexter, your gargantuan bodyguard has incapacitated 47 and has him helpless at your feet. Do you a) shoot him between the eyes and vamanos, or b) frame him for murder and leave him alive? Guess which he chooses. Oh, and later, when 47 is captured by Skurky, he does it again.
The second time he's justified because 47 has kidnapped his son so if he killed him he would have no chance of finding him
47 himself. The aforementioned incapacitation and framing only happened because when 47 encountered that gargantuan bodyguard, completely alone an unarmed, he tries to garotte him! That's right, the so called "master assassin" tries to choke to death a guy twice his size and far more muscular. Yeah, that's sure to work!
47 admits afterwards that he had gotten overconfident and paid the price.
Tragic Bromance: Tommy and Natt, two of the cops from the Absolution E3 demo.
Trailers Always Lie: After watching the trailer for Blood Money you'd rather expect Parchezzi to be your nemesis throughout the game rather than two rather lackluster encounters. It also portrays the game as more of an action shooter than a stealth game, leaving dozens of dead bodies would give you a terrible score in any Hitman game, but is especially out of place here, where the game gives you much more of an emphasis on stealth. It also shows 47 taking a bead on a senator with a sniper rifle; in the actual game, your mission is to save that senator.
Translation Convention: Cringe-inducingly played straight in Codename 47, and notably (and thoroughly) averted thereafter.
Two Shots From Behind The Bar: In the "Massacre at Cheung Chau Fish Restaurant" level of Codename 47, if 47 pulls a weapon on the bartender, he will duck behind the bar and unload a sawed-off shotgun on him.
In Codename 47, the final battle is a shootout in a maze-like arena against a respawning opponent (10 clones that are released one after the other) that constantly run around while shooting instead of standing still and aiming like every other enemy in the game. So, after a game of witty, disguise-based stealth gameplay, the finale is an Unreal Tournament deathmatch. The level opening suggests that the intended method for winning the fight is not to go toe-to-toe against the clones, but rather to use your brain and camp using a convenient nearby minigun and ambush the clones as they appear one by one.
The final mission of Blood Money expects 47 to win a shootout against a horde of agents and the Big Bad (although it is possible, albeit very difficult, to kill them all with "accidents").
Jack Alexander in Hitman: Blood Money. Turns out he's the Big Bad.
And 47 himself in Contracts: all of the missions are really him remembering past missions, but his memory is clearly colored by his present state (i.e.: ambushed, shot and dying alone in a shitty hotel room).
One could argue that all of the games, even those without an explicit narrator, feature this to one degree or another.
Even if he doesn't do anything criminal in front of them, you'd think witnesses would remember the tall bald guy with a barcode tattoo on the back of his head who was hanging around shortly before the murder(s) and disappeared shortly after. Especially since, absent a disguise, 47 always retains his Badass in a Nice Suit look, even in situations where wearing a suit and tie makes him stick out.
This trope is referenced (and explained using the above description) in Absolution by a detective at the beginning of "Skurky's Law".
Updated Rerelease: Half of Contracts is composed of facelifted missions from Codename 47, tweaked to allow for a less bloody approach. A notable absence is the Columbia missions; however, the Chilean mission in Blood Money has a similar jungle/drug lab setting (Don Fernando even wears a similar outfit to Pablo's).
Upgrade Vs Prototype Fight: At the end of Hitman: Codename 47, the genetically engineered clone Agent 47 faces not one, but an entire army of the new-and-upgraded "48" clones. He manages to defeat them, of course... (though it helps that he finds a minigun lying around.)
To be fair, he has to kill one of the 48s to get said minigun.
Up to Eleven: In fairness, the whole series runs on this, but it really reaches a crescendo when a whole army of ICA commandos takes over the entire town of Hope, slaughters most of the police force and is implied to have burned it to the ground.
Vertical Kidnapping: You can do this via hiding at the top of an elevator and scooping up unlucky victims with your fibre wire, though the whole "kidnapping" part might be averted in the fact that the victim is dead...
Video Game Caring Potential: Absolution has a few challenges or optional methods to save innocent bystanders from being killed by the antagonists.
Video Game Cruelty Potential: While the series puts an emphasis on stealth from Silent Assassin and onwards, players can complete a mission by using any means available to them.
Some people see how many people they can murder with a hammer without being discovered in Blood Money.
Even more so, it's possible to complete nearly every mission in the second game with the golf club alone, with a Silent Assassin rating.
Most of the settings take this Up to Eleven— nothing says heroism like slaughtering the entire population of a quiet suburb or massacring all the patients and staff of a rehab clinic. It's entirely possible to kill everyone on most levels; sometimes, you can even do so stealthily, though obviously that requires a bit of patience.
The "End of the Road" mission in Absolution is all about letting you get creative with how you dispatch a certain target... or driving away, leaving him exposed to the elements in the middle of a desert.
Large number of possible ratings (Terrorist, Mass Murderer, Sociopath, Deranged Slayer etc.) motivates one to experiment.
Here's a fun trick in Blood Money: in one mission, a woman will invite you to a private room, only to reveal herself to be an assassin herself. After you kill her, a guard passes by outside. Sedate him, take his clothes, and hide the body in the other room...by dragging him on top of the assassin's body. What's he going to think when he wakes up?
One of the achievements in Blood Money is to get exactly 47 kills. This game encourages reckless abandon and merciless slaughter. Especially made fun on the "A New Life" when you set up a sniping spot and gun down each and every FBI agent and neighbor they can manage.
Happens a lot in Absolution. In the very first mission, you come across a guard getting the good news that he does not have prostate cancer, declaring that nothing can screw up this day. In another, you find a Dexter Industries employee who just had a baby girl the day before, with another employee congratulating him.
Video Game Remake: Contracts remade several levels from the PC-exclusive original Codename 47.
Villainous Incest: In the "Death on the Mississippi" mission in Blood Money, 47 is told to recover photographs proving that his target, drug runner Skip Muldoon, has been having an affair with his niece. It is heavily implied that the niece is the client who hired him for the job in question. Also, the bride and groom in the "Til' Death Do Us Part" mission in the same game are cousins, which means that the bride was the niece from the previous mission and she was the one who hired 47 for both missions.
Weapon of Choice: 47's signature weapons are a pair of custom silver AMT Hardballer pistols with stylized fleurs-de-lis engraved on the grip. He also carries a Fiber Wire for silent, stealthy strangulations.
What The Hell Is That Accent: Phony as they may be, most of the accents in the series are identifiable, with the notorious exception of the bartender from 'Gunrunner's Paradise' in Codename 47, who can't seem to decide whether he's Russian, Scottish or German.
White Void Room: The original game ends in one; its loose remake, Contracts, begins in that same room and has you escape from the facility before the SWAT team busts in.
One cutscene in the second game will use this effect regardless of 47 where actually is, as if to convey that nothing else matters at the moment. The entire background will disappear until the cutscene is over.
Should 47 be caught by the female counter-assassin in Blood Money, the above effect will occur.
Worst News Judgment Ever: The newspapers ending each level in Blood Money will always give the 72 point treatment to whichever assassination 47 has just pulled off. Meanwhile, stories like the death of the United States vice president are relegated to minor blurbs. Vaguely justified in that the report about the Veep's death is in a foreign newspaper.
You ALL Look Familiar: Quite a few points in the games, but most notably the crowd in New Orleans in Blood Money, which consists of no more than a dozen individual character templates, cloned across hundreds, if not thousands of people. Needless to say, it's quite noticeable. Having said that, Blood Money was one of the very first games to have such a huge crowd of completely autonomous polygonal characters, so they probably had to make compromises somewhere.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Dr. Ort-Meyer had 47 kill the other four genetic donors of the cloning project so he wouldn't have to share the fruits of his work, and he tried to have 47 killed off, deeming him obsolete after completing the 48 series of clones. Naturally, 47 doesn't take that well and kills his last father and all of his brothers.
Zombie Apocalypse - No, seriously. It's an Easter egg on the "Death on the Mississippi" level of Blood Money. Everyone is given limping animation or the dragging animation, and anything but sufficient damage from explosives or a headshot can kill them. They use melee attacks, which are incredibly ineffective against 47, so the mission's a cakewalk. Having to kill everyone on the cruise ship gets you a much lower ranking than Silent Assassin, but whatever.