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Spy Fiction

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"There's a man who leads a life of danger
To everyone he meets he stays a stranger
With every move he makes another chance he takes
Odds are he won't live to see tomorrow."
Johnny Rivers, "Secret Agent Man"


Related to the Action Series, although not necessarily a series, and not necessarily even action-heavy, it's any work in which the main character or characters are spies, secret agents, double agents, or some other form of espionage professional. Spy Fiction tends to fall along a spectrum of what we've dubbed "flavours": From "Martini" to "Stale Beer".

  • Martini Flavored (shaken, not stirred) Spy Fiction is what you might call the Tuxedo Approach. This involves glamorous parties, fast cars, hot women, high-risk casino games, cool gadgets, brutal fights involving guns and fists and big explosions (swap those adjectives around as you wish). Despite the glamor, spying is not for the faint heart and is fraught with danger, and the stakes are massive. A Death Trap is par for the course. The main example here is of course James Bond (the movies in particular). This is the Hotter and Sexier spy game, with Spy Catsuits and Sex Face Turns by the dozen. The Tuxedo Approach as a whole is more glamorized and idealistic with clearly defined "good guys" and "bad guys", they often have a bit of an "action movie" feel, sometimes to the point where nobody ever actually spies on anyone.
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  • Stale Beer Flavored Spy Fiction could also be called the Trenchcoat Approach. It is "more realistic" in that it does not romanticize the profession. It pre-dates the other approach. It involves Dead Drops, brush-pasts, blackmail and morally iffy things. Spying is stressful and you may end up an alcoholic or worse. This is the approach taken by Len Deighton and The Bourne Series, John le Carré, and by Callan, the classic counterpoint to James Bond. This is the Darker and Edgier spy game. Ironically, the original James Bond novels are like this and both Timothy Dalton and Daniel Craig played the character this way. The Stale Beer approach as a whole is more gritty and morally ambiguous, spying reflects power politics between whichever nations or organizations are involved and other nations and people are caught in the crossfire. Consequently, the stakes tend to be a lot lower: rather than dealing with plots to Take Over the World or completely destroy the rival, Stale Beer plots typically involve seemingly minor plans for the possibility of incremental gain—or which might not in the end significantly change the state of play among the powers.

In other words, the Tuxedo Approach would have a Soviet defector be a gorgeous, aloof Slavic beauty with whom the hero will probably elope at some point; the Stale Beer Approach would have a Soviet defector be a shaken, morally gray individual looking more for personal profit or some other material benefit (e.g. trying to get out of the way of an impending purge) than for any virtues of right or wrong.

  • Dirty Martini Spy Fiction (also referred to as "Stale Beer Served in a Martini Glass") is the gritty style of espionage taking place in glamorous international or domestic locations, such as Japan, Italy, Spain, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Hawaii, etc. I Spy and the Daniel Craig James Bond films exemplify this trope.
  • Bathtub Gin Flavored Spy Fiction applies to civilians drawn knowingly or unwittingly into the world of espionage that is either "martini flavored," "stale beer flavored," or a "dirty martini." They may have or not have transferable skills to help them survive, and they may or may not become realized agents at some point. Examples include: Mrs. Peel (The Avengers (1960s), in the opening voiceover intro, she is introduced as a "talented amateur"), Chuck (Chuck); Amanda King (Scarecrow and Mrs. King), Mrs. Polifax (The Mrs. Pollifax series) or some Bond girlfriends (On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Goldeneye, Spectre); the show Masquerade (where civilians with special occupational or avocational expertise are drafted to help the government on one-off missions; and Tom Hank's character in The Man with One Red Shoe. Alfred Hitchcock also exemplified this to a tee in his earlier films, especially in such stories as North By Northwest, The Man Who Knew Too Much, and The 39 Steps (1935). A contemporary example of this is the TV series The Night Manager starring Tom Hiddleston.
  • Layered Drink Flavored Spy Fiction applies to a Byzantine-style of espionage full of intrigue, twists, misdirection, etc. Example: The novels of John le Carré, such as: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, The Russia House, and The Tailor of Panama to name a few.
  • Absinthe Flavored Spy Fiction applies to those missions that are in (or touch on) the realm of Speculative Fiction, defined by Wikipedia as: "A broad category of fiction encompassing genres with certain elements that are nonexistent in terms of reality, recorded history, or nature and the present universe, covering various themes in the context of the supernatural, futuristic, and many other imaginative topics." Examples of Speculative Fiction in Spy Fiction: The James Bond Films: Live and Let Die, Bond encounters: Solitaire, a psychic who uses tarot cards, and in the film's tag, the Voodoo God Baron Samedi; in Die Another Day, Bond encountered genetic manipulation so advanced that actual physical changes could be brought about in a subject. Television series: In The Wild Wild West, James West was once shrunk to doll-size, was imprisoned in an alternate reality inside a painting, entered the dimension of Limbo, and even encountered the Philosopher's Stone of alchemic lore; in The Avengers, Steed was once shrunk to doll-size; and in Alias, the “Rambaldi Devices”. The Prisoner is probably the codifier for this subgenre, with surrealist science fiction elements and social allegory taking precedence over literal plot. In literature, the writings of William S. Burroughs offer a particularly Mind Screw-y form of this.
  • Bleach and Ammonia Flavored A common variant of this genre full of Government Conspiracy plots in which Anyone Can Die, often filled with disposable henchmen - a situation in which even the protagonist may even find himself/herself. Naturally Darker and Edgier than other versions of this genre. Examples include films such as Safe House and Three Days of the Condor.

The Martini Flavored and Stale Beer Flavored tropes as well as the various trope permutations (Dirty Martini and Bathtub Gin) may involve a Cloak and Dagger agency, Agents Dating, or any of the full gamut of Espionage Tropes.

Spy Fiction can often overlap with some other genres. Any stories which concern international espionage, military intelligence, geopolitical conflicts (both hot and cold wars), will obviously overlap with Military and Warfare Works. Stories about (undercover) police detectives or law enforcement agents investigating domestic criminal activity tend to fall under Mystery Fiction and Police Procedural, though they're not always classified as being in the spy genre. Conspiracy Thrillers are very closely related, as they also tend to revolve around people who work for (or have close encounters with) secretive organizations pursuing their own political agendas. There's also Ninja Fiction, which may sometimes feature ninjas conducting espionage for intelligence purposes in addition to covert assassinations.

Spy Stories:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • 009-1: Technicolor Ninja cyborg spy girls with miniskirts and machinegun breasts, traveling the world and looking great doing it... while taking part in stories about betrayal, tragedy, and moral ambiguity, with happy endings virtually nowhere to be found.
  • Cat Planet Cuties, when it's not being a harem comedy, is a show about the intelligence community's chaotic response to First Contact. This is a show with catgirls in catsuits, Otherkin who steal misplaced Russian missiles, and dog aliens selling arms to the CIA. Contains Bathtub Gin, as the male lead is probably the only person in the city who is not a spy for anyone.
  • From Eroica with Love — Stale Beer with occasional Martini flavoring. Specifically, the spy character enjoys stale beer while the thief he's after drinks his martinis from diamond glasses.
  • Mission: Yozakura Family
  • Najica Blitz Tactics — Martini, complete with a soundtrack straight out of a '60s spy TV series.
  • Night Raid 1931: The first half (most especially the first episode) started out as Martini due to the protagonists using their Psychic Powers (in place of tech and gadgets) and the setting being in Shanghai which in Real Life is the City of Spies. Then the second half went to Stale Beer, particularly the episodes detailing historical events such as the Mukden Incident which leads to the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and Emperor Puyi's coronation. The epilogue episode deals with the February 26 incident, which paves the way to the Second Sino-Japanese War.
  • Princess Principal — he Principal Team's adventures are outwardly glamorous, with car chases, Fancy Steampunk gadgets and a very stylish (Elegant Gothic Lolita) wardrobe. On the other hand, they're teenage killers who will Shoot the Dog if the mission requires it, and there are quite a few hints at the psychological issues their life brings with it.
  • Release the Spyce
  • Spy X Family — Dirty Martini. At a glance, we have a super-spy tasked to infiltrate the high society where his target resides. Look deeper, and we see an exhausted man being worked like a dog, so traumatized by his past experience of war that he'd do anything to prevent it, in the service of an agency staffed with people broken in their own ways from the spy business.such as 

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • 24 — Stale Beer
  • Adam Adamant Lives! — Martini
  • The Agency
  • Agent X - Mixture of Stale, Bathtub Gin and Bleach.
  • Alex Rider
  • Alias — Martini
  • The Americans focuses on the dangers and stresses of living a double life as KGB agents in 1980s USA and how far one can go for one's country.
  • The Assets is a Based on a True Story miniseries about Aldrich Ames.
  • The Avengers (1960s) — Martini, or rather Champagne.
  • Barbary Coast - Tequila and Bolo Tie (Maritini and Tuxedo in The Wild West)
  • Berlin Station — Stale Beer
  • The Blacklist — Stale Beer
  • Blindspot — Stale Beer
  • Burke's Law — In its incarnation as Amos Burke, Secret Agent.
  • Burn Notice — Michael Westen's fashion sense and the Miami setting suggest martini, but the work he gets is more or less stale beer (Westen emphasizes the boredom a lot in his voiceover narration) with a few flashy scenes/explosions per episode. A good description might be "Stale Beer in a Martini Glass." On the other hand, the work Michael was doing before he was burned was distinctly Stale Beer, and (patriot that he is), he wants to go back to that life.
  • Callan — Extremely bitter Stale Beer.
  • The Champions (1968) — Spies with Psychic Powers.
  • Chuck — Martini and Bathtub Gin (Affectionate Parody)
  • Condor
  • Counterpart — Stale Beer. The show is very much a classic Cold War espionage thriller — spies working under the noses of diplomats, sleeper agents and intelligence sources, dead drops and covert assassinations — but with a Science Fiction twist: the "other side" isn't a foreign government, but an Alternate Universe.
  • Covert Affairs — Dirty Martini. It looks like regular Martini, but a lot of emphasis is placed on how hard the job is and the stresses it places on the agent's personal life.
  • Crisis (2017) — Stale Beer. The Public Security Mobile Investigation Unit Special Investigation Team gets involved in meeting up with informants, setting up sting ops and surveillance in arresting high-profile criminals/terrorists.
  • Danger 5 — Parody of Martini-flavoured thrillers from The '60s.
  • Danger Man aka Secret Agent — Mostly Stale Beer, at the insistence of star and co-producer Patrick McGoohan; he found the Martini style both unrealistic and ethically questionable.
  • Department S — Most definitely martini
  • Deutschland 83
  • Diplomat Kuroda Kousaku - Stale Beer. This involves a career diplomat who uses his diplomat status and his foreign affairs ministry reputation to get things done by using his language skills, his wits and knowledge on political matters. He has help from a friend of his in the CIA and a female Dojikko detective.
  • The Equalizer
  • Fauda
  • La Femme Nikita — Martini with hints of Stale Beer.
    • Nikita — Martini with hints of Stale Beer.
  • Fortune Hunter — Martini
  • The Game (2014): Realistic spy drama set in 1970's Britain.
  • Get Smart — spoof of Martini. Arguably celery soda. Or an egg cream. Mmm, egg cream.
  • Homeland a gritty and dramatic post-9/11 thriller series.
  • I Spy — Stale Beer Served In a Martini Glass. The "Stale Beer" element comes from the grittiness of espionage work coupled with the main characters often discussing and wrestling with their consciences regarding the moral ambiguity and the ethics of their profession. The "Served In a Martini Glass" element is that the assignments occur in glamorous international and domestic locations: Tokyo, Italy, Spain, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, etc.
  • Intelligence (2006)
  • Intelligence (2014)
  • Iris
  • It Takes a Thief (1968)- Whatever's in the fridge.
  • Jack Ryan
  • JAG swung in its depiction of the espionage business. While CIA officer Clayton Webb often is portrayed as a martini spy on the superficial level, there's also a whole lot of morally ambigious stale beer stuff in his line of work as well, and often used story-wise as a stark contrast to the morally superior JAG officers (and the U.S. military in general). Other than Webb and a couple of other exceptions, people in the spy business tends not to be trustworthy at all. Webb himself is morally ambiguous being something of a Well-Intentioned Extremist. His main saving graces are that he is not personally corrupt, is devoted to his country and is usually loyal to his friends at least at the end of the episode.
    • NCIS varies in its depiction of spying. Sometimes it's the martini approach - Ziva described it as "It's not all fast cars and sex...Well, there was a lot of sex." One of her flashbacks is shooting someone from the back of a motorbike. Later, the series seems to favor the stale-beer approach a lot more, with plenty of extremely boring stakeouts featuring.
  • Jean-Claude Van Johnson - Dirty Martini.
  • Jericho (1966) — Short-lived series about a multinational trio of Allied spies behind enemy lines during World War II.
  • Killing Eve
  • London Spy - Bleach and Ammonia Variety with a dash of Bathtub Gin, as the main character is a civilian who falls in love with a programmer who works for MI6. When the MI6 programmer is ruthlessly murdered by his own handlers in an effort to destroy the technology he created, his civilian lover gets pursued by the ruthless and unscrupless agents of these various shadowy organisations who all seem intent on ruining his life.
  • MacGyver (2016) — A Mix of Stale and Martini.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. — Martini, mixed with Bathtub Gin in that civilians often get mixed up in the heroes' adventures.
  • Man in a Suitcase — Stale beer, served in anything from a martini glass to an unwashed ashtray (depending on the episode).
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • M.I. High — Lemonade flavoured, with a group of James Bond style teen superspies operating out of an Elaborate Underground Base under their high school. And their handler is a retired top field agent posing as the school caretaker.
  • Mission: ImpossibleDefinitely Martini.
  • Mossad 101: Alternates between gritty and smooth.
  • Murder, She Wrote episodes featuring Michael Haggerty of MI6 are Stale Beer in a Martini Glass, or as stale as you can get while also being a Cozy Mystery. (Stale beer with a pot of tea?) The episodes where Jessica gets involved are also Bathtub Gin.
  • My Own Worst Enemy — Swings between Martini and Stale Beer every episode. For example, the missions JANUS performs (protecting a foreign political candidate from assasination, thwarting a bomb plot, interrogating targets, retrieving a government employee from enemy hands) fall under Stale Beer, their workplace and its equipment are clearly Martini; in addition to all of Edward's stuff.
  • The New Adventures of Beans Baxter — Lemonade
  • The Night Manager: The spying takes place in glamorous locations (Switzerland, Majorca, Cairo) among people of wealth and taste, but back in London, the spymaster works out of a distinctly unglamorous warehouse office and constantly has to deal with bureaucracy and politics. Made with Bathtub Gin because the hero Jonathan Pine is a civilian hotel manager who is recruited to the spy trade.
  • Person of Interest often crosses over into the Bleach and Ammonia flavor.
  • The Prisoner (1967) — Martini flavor, but gives a hangover worse then any flavor of beer (stale or otherwise), or (for that matter) any alcoholic beverage period (red wine and tequila included). Also, it feels like someone dropped a tab of LSD into the glass.
  • The Professionals: The protagonists, Bodie and Doyle, are visibly working-class, street smart and prepared to bend the rules on their assignments - particularly in comparison to the polished style of John Steed and Emma Peel of The Avengers (1960s), Brian Clemens' earlier series. And they drove Ford coupés rather than Aston Martins or Ferraris.
  • Reilly, Ace of Spies — There are touches of Martini, as Reilly was a playboy on his off hours, but the series is based on Sidney Reilly's real life during the early 1900s naval arms race and features plenty of sordid betrayal and real politics.
  • Rubicon — Primarily focuses on a group of analysts digging through piles of intelligence with one supporting character bitterly bored while another has taken to partying and drug use to cope.
  • The Sandbaggers — extremely Stale Beer (characters often comment, "this isn't James Bond.")
  • Scarecrow and Mrs. King - Affectionate Parody of 80s Cold War Martini-flavoured, and its clash with suburbia. A spiritual predecessor of Chuck in many ways.
  • Seventeen Moments of Spring — 1970s Soviet Union miniseries about a Russian spy who has spent years as a Deep Cover Agent in Nazi Germany, conducting The Infiltration and rising to the rank of colonel in SS intelligence.
  • The Six Million Dollar Man — as Martini as the 70s TV series budget allowed.
    • The Bionic Woman comes closer to stale beer than martini as Jamie Sommers eschews glamor for working in her non-spy hours as a schoolteacher and living in a loft above a farmhouse. But when she is sent on missions the stakes are often of the "save the world" level, and she does get to put on fancy clothes when the mission calls for it.
  • Slow Horses
  • Spooks — Martini, but with major Stale Beer elements.
  • The Spy is based on the real life Israeli spy Eli Cohen, who posed as a wealthy Arab playboy to ingratiate himself into the highest levels of the Syrian government.
  • Stranger Things — Eleven's backstory mixes the glamour of Psychic Powers and parallel dimensions with the inhumanity of the secret government program (based on the real-life MKUltra program) that tried to weaponize them and turn her into a Teen Superspy. The third season also introduces a group of villainous Soviet spies trying to steal and copy the research done at Hawkins National Laboratory. The Absinthe elements of their story include the Elaborate Underground Base, the sci-fi technology they use to open a portal to the Upside Down, and the Upside Down itself and its inhabitants, while the Stale Beer elements include the ruthless hitman they send to cover it up, the tragic defector Alexei, and the fact that it all takes place in a (seemingly) ordinary, boring American small town.
  • Tehran: It involves a female Mossad agent of Israeli-Iranian heritage to infiltrate Tehran and take out Iranian military defenses. It shows the problems of how something unexpected can potentially ruin an entire op. It also shows Mossad's cooperation with the rest of the Israeli military in conducting joint operations.
  • The Time In Between and the novel on which it's based: Bathtub Gin, as it revolves around a seamstress whose closeness to the elite gets her drawn in as a spy for the British in pre-World War II Spain.
  • Treadstone — A prequel to The Bourne Series.
  • Turn is set during the American Revolution and focuses on the Culper Spy Ring in New York City, Long Island, and North Jersey, spying on the British for George Washington's army (which spent a lot of time on Long Island at first, but later spent most of its time in the upper reaches of the Passaic Valley in what is now Morris and Passaic Counties, New Jersey). The intelligence work is distinctly unglamorous.
  • Ultraseven X, while having some franchise-traditional elements, is this, having trenchcoat agents investigating some alien incidents in Cyberpunk setting.
  • Vagabond (2019)
  • A Very Secret Service
  • Whiskey Cavalier deals with international espionage in both glamorous and grimy situations.
  • The Wild Wild West — Martini all the way. Don't let the Western setting fool you.
  • X Company
  • The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles has a sub-arc within the overall World War I storyline, in which Indiana Jones (who was already volunteering for the Belgian Army) gets recruited by a French intelligence agency to conduct undercover missions around Europe. While one episode where Indy travels to neutral Spain is a relatively comedic Martini story, other episodes set in wartorn countries are (usually) Stale Beer, not shying away from the overall War Is Hell theme of the WWI episodes. Especially the one where he visits Petrograd during the onset of the Russian Revolution, which ultimately concludes with a tragic Downer Ending.


  • The Secret Service pinball game zigzags between playing it straight and doing a lighthearted parody of the Martini genre.

  • Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG is based upon LEGO Alpha Team, listed above under Martini, so naturally it shares many of its Martini characteristics. However, compared its source material, the RPG is considerably Darker and Edgier, tackling more serious themes such as death (a subject avoided entirely by the LEGO toyline) which causes it to dip into Stale Beer on occasion.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Delta Green — This Call of Cthulhu campaign mixes Stale Beer and Absinthe with the Cthulhu Mythos in a Conspiracy Kitchen Sink.
    • World War Cthulhu (the The Darkest Hour and Cold War settings) — As spies, the player characters are in incredible danger, paranoid in case the Gestapo, KGB or cultists have uncovered them, always aware that capture or worse could be right around the next corner.
  • Demon: The Descent, a 'Techgnostic Espionage' game under Chronicles of Darkness, where the player characters can lie so well even magical truth detector would be ineffective, the conspiracy theorists are the ones properly paranoid, revealing your true identity will result in the enemy's agents zeroing on you immediately, and the opposition is literally godlike mechanical intelligence existing across the universe and different planes of existence.
  • Night's Black Agents
  • Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution: A Bleach and Ammonia Bathtub Gin Jägerbomb. It's self-consciously punk as all get-out, with the default PCs as terrorists cum ravers fighting against The Agency, in a world where Anyone Can Die, evil conspiracies fight to control the world, and people's heads explode from out-of-control psychic powers. Tradecraft is de-emphasized for the protagonists (who are kids with serious emotional problems and powers that make them living weapons), but highly important to their enemies.



    Video Games 
  • Alpha Protocol takes the action, gadgets, explosions and sexy women of the Martini genre, but mixes in the moral ambiguity, power politics, betrayal, and some of the gritty combat of the Stale Beer genre. In particular, it starts out more Stale Beer-flavored (with Saudi Arabia being the kind of mission you might expect MI6 or Delta Force to be sent on in the real world) and adopts more Martini characteristics later on. Oh, and Steven Heck is spiking the drink with something really weird.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops, oddly for a Call of Duty game, took a Stale Beer approach, as it had a plot about secret, morally nasty operations done in secret by both the US and Russia. Much of the game really took place in a dingy torture room, along with a very gritty atmosphere and secret story underlying the game. The game did have some Martini flavoring, in the vein of a James Bond-esque attempt at destroying the US and some gadgets — but due to just how dark the plot is, it dives right back into stale beer.
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops II is, for the most part, significantly less gritty, focusing more on a Bond-esque hi-tech plot to destroy the superpowers of the world, and done with gadgets and a super-villain that's very reminiscent of a Bond villain, but the flashbacks still contain much of the grittiness and moral grayness of the first game.
    • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
  • Confidential Mission — Being an arcade Light Gun Game, there's not much actual spywork being done, but elements such as the protagonist being a tux-wearing James Bond Captain Ersatz, the soundtrack and the campy plot invoke this flavour.
  • Covert Action
  • Dragon Age II - Mark of the Assassin: Wyvern poison. Hawke and co. think they're taking part in The Caper, until it turns out the "thief" they're helping is Qunari (the local super-determinist religion). She's there to stop a defector from giving the Orlesian Empire military secrets that could hurt her people and get plenty of civilians killed in the crossfire. The result: a Cold War story with wyverns, giants and elves.
  • Evil Genius, except you play as the villain and must fend off attempts at the Forces of Justice infiltrating or attacking your island base. Enemy superagents are (more or less) expies of James Bond, Rambo, Bruce Lee, Honey Ryder, and Natasha Romanoff.
  • Fallout 4 gives us Stale irradiated Beer mixed in with Bleach and Ammonia, if a certain path is taken. The Stale Beer is the Railroad faction, which uses a lot of spy tradecraft including dead drops, code names, signs and counter signs, covert speak, disguises etc. The beer is considered irradiated, as the setting is in a post-apocalyptic death world with horribly mutated creatures coming out of the woodwork everywhere and trying to kill you, and radiation poisoning being a constant threat. Although, you can try to Martini it up by walking around in a nice suit or dress, the post apocalyptic setting makes that Martini very dirty. There is also an unhealthy dose of bleach, what with the Institute kidnapping people to replace them with synth doppelgängers and conducting experiments to turn those kidnapped people into Ax-Crazy super mutants. For added measure, you can even find bottles of actual 200-year-old stale beer everywhere.
  • Fox Hunt
  • Fur Fighters
  • The Hitman games certainly have some trappings of classic spy fiction, starring an elite assassin with a nice suit whose job entails going on globe-trotting secret missions to kill people; but his motives boil down to his own greed and bloodlust, rather than politics, ideology, or fighting evil. Superficially resembles Martini, but dark and gritty enough to be closer to Stale Beer.
  • KGB aka Conspiracy - extremely stale beer produced in state-owned Soviet brewery struggling with constant shortages of raw materials.
  • The Mass Effect trilogy has you play as a SPECTRE super-agent who is given unlimited authority to preserve galactic security. For most of the game, you just go to places in Powered Armor and shoot people. But two instances where you actually have to do some covert intelligence gathering become very Martini, with you infiltrating a party at a swanky upscale locale in either a futuristic tuxedo, or a Little Black Dress.
  • Metal Gearfriggin' Absinthe. To elaborate:
  • MySims Agents
  • No One Lives Forever — An Affectionate Parody of '60s Martini spy movies in the manner of Austin Powers, the protagonist being a glamorous Distaff Counterpart to Bond who wields a ton of gadgets and battles over-the-top villains and their outrageous henchmen.
  • Perfect Dark
  • Phantom Doctrine: Stale beer with a touch of bleach and ammonia. Anyone Can Die, brainwashing, torture and suicide bombing are on the menu for everyone including the good guys, anyone and everyone could be a double agent, and there are no indications that your best efforts actually make anything better.
  • The Psychonauts franchise is overall an Absinthe example; the premise involves an international espionage organization composed entirely of people with Psychic Powers, all missions either being done as research into the mental world or averting disaster caused by paranormal terrorism, their exploits made public in the form of a Science Fiction comic book. The first game has the plot of Bathtub Gin, its protagonist Raz being a fan of the Psychonauts who aspires to be one and winds up uncovering an internal conspiracy where one of its agents had gone rogue and aspires for world domination.
    • Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin is a more conventional Martini-plot (including a Bond-style Title Theme Tune) where they try to rescue the head of the psychonauts from a supervillain in an underwater layer.
    • Psychonauts 2 adds Bleach and Ammonia into the mix, the plot less concerned with the typical Psychonauts mission and more of a conspiracy surrounding its founding and the presence of a mole out to undermine them.
  • Secret Agent Clank — Martini Parody Spin-Off (of Ratchet & Clank) IN SPACE!
  • Shadow the Hedgehog may to be this if you choose to be G. U. N. agent. Game trying to be Stale Beer, but the elements from other Sonic the Hedgehog games make it closer to Martini.
  • Soldier of Fortune — Extremely bloody Stale Beer
  • Sly Spy — Blatant Americanization of James Bond.
  • Spider and Web
  • The Splinter Cell series of video games are stale beer spy fiction, and every installment gets progressively darker and grittier as time goes on. It should be no surprise it's a Tom Clancy property.
  • Spy Fiction — Martini; otherwise, well, where would the game be?
  • SPY Fox
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic — The Imperial Agent's base storyline has on the surface Martini action, infiltration, flirtation, taking on The Conspiracy etc. But it becomes apparent that Imperial Intelligence is literally the only thing enabling The Empire to function. Officers and Sith kill each other for promotion, Fantastic Racism results in short term alliances, the list goes on. And then it turns out Imperial Intelligence does secret brainwashing on all agents, the player included, to ensure they follow orders, driving them to the brink of insanity. Finding all this crap leads the frustrated agent's best ending to be where they make themselves Un-person just so they can help The Empire however they see best.
  • Syphon Filter
  • Watch Dogs: Legion: The big hook of the game is that you can play as anybody you see on the streets of London, and among the character types you can recruit are spies, who each get a silenced pistol, a spy watch that lets them remotely jam enemies' weapons, a spy car (which resembles a classic Jaguar or Aston Martin) that comes equipped with missiles and an AR cloak, and a nice suit. The tutorial has you playing as one such spy, named Dalton Wolfe. Playing as anyone else, however, is closer to Dirty Martini with a shot of Bathtub Gin, with some Bleach and Ammonia thrown in if you have permadeath enabled, with other character types ranging from ordinary construction workers and nurses to professional killers to Football Hooligans. And when you add in the fact that every character is a hacker, you can throw in a side of Club-Mate.

    Visual Novels 
  • Banshee's Last Cry — Stale Beer, involving Japanese spies working for various intelligence agencies in Nagano as they try to get the drop on the other rival spy.
  • Queen's Gambit

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Spy Drama, Spy Fi


Power Grid hacking op

Tamar Rabinyan assists a Mossad team already in Tehran to upload a hacking program to disable the city's power grid to knock power out in Evin prison.

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