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Video Game / Hitman: Absolution

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"I shall not refer to him as 'my target'.
Nothing so clinical will do. This is personal."

Hitman: Absolution (2012) is the fifth game in the Hitman series by IO Interactive, and the only one to be (exclusively) released for the seventh generation of consoles.

We open in Chicago. Mr. 47 is sent to kill his handler, Diana, who has unexpectedly gone rogue and flushed The Agency's accounts. With her dying breaths, Diana reveals she's been protecting a young girl, Victoria, whom The Agency is grooming as an assassin. His job done, 47 mulls over the debt he still owed Diana, and he assumes her role as Victoria's guardian. Now, 47 is the one to turn rogue... and The Agency will stop at nothing to get their property back.

The plot is more 'grindhouse' than Hitman is generally known for, with a heavier emphasis on action. Whereas the old cast would feel right at home in The Replacement Killers, these characters are ripped straight from Machete, with a third of the game spent avoiding polizia in the desert. Along with the graphics, the gameplay got a major facelift: This is very much a modern shooter, with more linearity (instead of single sandbox map, each mission is divided into segments), QTE battles, stop n' pop, and scripted spectacle events. Here's the rundown:

  • 47 can drag around fresh kills with the fiber wire, using the noose as a leash.
  • "Point Shooting". This activates Bullet Time and guides bullets before you fire them.
  • Subduing is quick and clean: snap necks or put 'em to sleep.
  • No Suspicion Meter. It's a line-of-sight based timer from 'undercover' to 'detected'. You spend "Instinct" to buy yourself more time. Instinct is replenished by performing silent takedowns or completing objectives.
  • Instinct also lets you use Aura Vision the walking paths of NPCs and various traps.
  • Enemies aren't quite as stupid this time: they will get suspicious even if you're wearing the same clothes as them. Just turn on Instinct Mode and guards will give you the "these aren't the droids we're looking for" treatment.
  • 47 can feign surrender when detected by enemies, holding his hands in the air before disarming and knocking unconscious whoever is holding him at gunpoint when they approach him. If other enemies are nearby, 47 will instead take them hostage as a human shield, giving the player an advantage in the gunfight to follow.
  • As mentioned above, 47 can take cover and peek around corners. He can also reach across wait-high objects to grab bad guys. Hell, he can even hang onto a ledge and yank them through windows to their deaths.
  • "Hold Breath" makes 47, well, hold his breath, making him a more accurate sniper.

On the multiplayer front, there was an online mode called Contracts which let players create different, well...Contracts for each other. The gist of it was you could load any of the missions found in the game and set new objectives. You could mark up to three random NPCs found in the level as targets, kill them and then leave via an escape route of your choice. It was a modest way of adding 'multiplayer' to a single-player game while keeping Square Enix's server costs down.

An Updated Re-release of the game is part of the Hitman HD Enhanced Collectionnote  for Playstation 4 and Xbox One, along with its predecessor Hitman: Blood Money. Both games run on 4K and 60 FPS, and come with various other graphical improvements such as shadow quality.


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    Tropes #-D 

  • 100% Completion: In Absolution, there are 278 challenges (basically 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.
  • Aborted Arc: The game ended with Victoria living with Diana and Birdie betraying 47 to Chicago PD. Neither character is ever seen or even mentioned in the newest incarnation, Hitman (2016).
  • Abandoned Hospital: Rosewood. Played with in that its level takes place as it's being abandoned.
  • Absurdly Short Level: Chapter ten, around the game's midpoint. The entire level is a small section of desert and it can be completed just by getting in the car nearby. It does contain the game's most well known easter egg, which is slightly more involved.
  • Actionized Sequel: This game is more suited to Hollywood-style gunplay than the previous installments. There are plenty of foot chases and exploding buildings and other sequences ripped straight from a Mission: Impossible film.
  • Actor Allusion: The leader of the Saints is voiced by Vivica A. Fox. This isn't the first time she's played a member of a team of assassins.
  • Affirmative Action Girl:
    • Lilly is an expert marksman on par with the Hitman himself. The way to 'win' back your Silverballers is to beat Lilly's high score at the shooting range. She is in fact so good that it is impossible to beat her without entering Point Shooting. Though, to be fair, female sharpshooters have been an attraction in the American West since Annie Oakley.
    • An element to this with Victoria, who is essentially a female 47. Though not formally-trained as an assassin, she has some intrinsic knowledge of CQC—disarming/killing ten of Dexter's guards in less than a minute—and knows how to handle herself in a gunfight, as well.
    • It's also deconstructed by Diana's last wishes: Victoria's career as an action heroine is cut pretty short, and though she annihilates a half dozen guards in "Countdown", she spends the bulk of the game lying in hospital beds or fainting. And unlike 47 (who accepts the fact that he's literally Born To Kill), Victoria wants nothing to do with the business.
  • All of Them: Hey, big spender. When asked how much cocaine he's planning to buy, The King of Chinatown simply says "all" of it, then threatens Snowman if he doesn't return with an answer in five (not ten) minutes.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Saints are a parody of it. Some of the ICA bigwigs are skeptical of the Saints' methods, and at least one of Travis' co-workers complained that the fetish gear completely defeats the purpose of them dressing as nuns.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing:
    • If an "Accident" should befall one of the Cougars, the townsfolk will shrug it off as "karma".
    • The plant workers don't seem too worked up over the scientists' deaths. The best we get is one worker whining about why it had to happen on his shift. (In fact, the idea of 'accidentally' dropping Green in a chum bucket is overheard from one of the workers.)
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The game may have introduced a lot of new problems, but many forget that this title did introduce fixes to several annoyances from the older games - fixes that would later be refined or reintroduced in the World of Assassination Trilogy.
    • The introduction of choke holds lets 47 knock out NPCs unarmed, giving you more options when it comes to dealing with them. Previously non-lethal options were extremely limited (sedating people) or required cheesing the game mechanics (human shields in Blood Money).
    • Almost anything you can picked up can now be thrown to distract people in your way.
    • Containers can now store two bodies at the same time, rather than one, and you are able to hide in any container, so long as there's not two bodies in there already.
    • Disguises can now be taken from hidden bodies, so you're no longer screwed if you forgot to change your clothes before hiding the evidence.
    • The game is a lot more generous in showing what you can interact with than the earlier games - the HUD now shows button prompts when something can be climbed, poisoned, picked up etc. This is especially helpful when it comes to accidents, and unlike Blood Money (a game that was frustratingly inconsistent when it came to using ledges; some had invisible walls, others did not) you can now tell what ledges allow pushing people/bodies off of.
    • Instinct, or "Focus", for all its other faults, does let you see guard routines and let you blend in better. While this was changed in later games to be more informative, this is still quite useful, so long as you have enough Instinct to use it, that is.
    • Sanchez's fight uses consistent button prompts for the QTE's, so it's actually quite a lot easier than the actual guard brawls, which randomises these each time you start a new fight.
  • Are These Wires Important?: Just tugging on a cable fries the main server and "destroys" all of Ashford's research? Sure.
  • Armor Is Useless: 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.
  • Art Evolution: The art style is much more realistic (e.g. less graphic novel-like), but the bloom is still overused.
  • Artificial Brilliance: The A.I in Absolution is noticeably upgraded from past games. Enemies will no longer run up to a corpse, run back and forth while swiveling their heads, and then walk away like nothing happened. Now they will sweep the area if they notice a body on the ground, gather fellow guards to assist in their search by calling for help, and are able to identify the player as the perpetrator if they stand next to the body or bloodstains.
    • But the most impressive improvements are seen during combat. Enemies will flank the player aggressively, take cover, and duck back into cover if they come under fire, making them difficult to take out. The toughest enemies in the game, the Agency's heavy troopers, are especially aggressive and will charge the player when he reloads, move as groups, and pin the player down with automatic fire.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • In "Attack of the Saints", you should see Dijana (one of the killer nuns) and a guard on the other side of the reception desk. Sneak over and take cover at the desk. Even though it looks risky, you can actually grab Dijana and yank her over the desk right in front of the guard, and all he'll do is ask where she went!
    • As is typical for Hitman, guards get antsy if they see you enter Sneak mode. That's not the unrealistic part. The problem is their attention spans are so short, all you have to do is break their line of vision. Meaning that it is possible — and this is something you can even do in your plain suit in an off-limits area — to let an enemy follow you for a little while, then crouch behind some crates, then reappear in the guard's line of sight a second later to move to a new cover. It reaches outrageous levels when eliminating the Praetorians who are said to be the best, being alone in an abandoned area and still allow you to casually sneak across without them even reacting to it. Now, in real life, a construction worker would surely get more suspicious of a guy hopping around behind pallets than if he was just beelining to where he wanted to go.
    • Another funny thing about the AI is how you can just throw C4 charges and the AI will treat it like any other distraction in the game. However if they see you carrying C4, they treat you as armed and open fire.
    • Sometimes in the Testing Facility, landmines being tested will kill guards when exploding. Even if the player isn't responsible, the score will still be reduced.
  • Attack of the Town Festival:
    • It's the Chinese New Year! There's a fireworks display going off in the square by the time you return to Chinatown. Perfect cover to dispose of Wade's "people" before they reach Birdie.
    • "Operation Sledgehammer". The Agency descends upon Hope's annual Food Fair, sending everyone into a panic. The police are completely overwhelmed by Travis' forces, tear-assing around town in trucks and ATVs, overturning tables and flipping a fuel tanker in the heart of town.
  • Audible Sharpness:
    • The katana.
    • The bear also makes this sound when you approach.
  • Bad News, Irrelevant News: The Wakiki Inn is reduced to cinders, but it's not all bleak. If Mr. 47 saves the manager from being shot, he will waive your bill.
    "I'm gonna tell my Congressman about this!"
  • Bad Vibrations: As tacky as the motel room is, it ends up saving your bacon when The Saints' bus rolls up outside. This causes a bobble-head on the mantle to inexplicably stop moving.
  • Bag of Spilling: The "Dexter Industries", "Death Factory", and "Fight Night" missions all take place in the same facility, but 47 starts each in his suit, Silverballers and fiber wire regardless of the equipment you exited the previous level with.
  • Bald of Evil: Parodied with Valentine, who is fixated on inventing a hair growth formula. Averted with 47.
  • Bar Brawl: 47 can ignite one in the Great Balls of Fire tavern by cutting power to the jukebox; he can also do it by stealing the drink off an intoxicated man who's in the middle of a bitter argument with his (also intoxicated) friend, causing them to start trading blows.
  • The Baroness: Hitman: Absolution sets a new record by having three Baronesses in one game, one for each honcho.
    1. Jade Nguyen is the de facto second-in-command of ICA, contrasts Diana's voice of reason, and the final target of Absolution.
    2. Layla Stockton ("I should've been a nun... But I like to fuck.") is the personal assistant of Blake Dexter. 47 was made asexual to get him out of situations like this.
    3. "Mrs. Cooper" is a full-fledged dominatrix who doubles as an interrogator [!] for the Hope police force. The other officers resent taking orders from Skurky's side-piece, but they allow the Sheriff to do what he wants.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: In the gun store mission of Absolution, the most straightforward way to complete it is to beat a sharpshooter at her own range.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Blake Dexter, a southern billionaire and de facto ruler of Hope, South Dakota. His main rival in the game is Benjamin Travis, the rather inept head of the International Contracts Agency. Both are locked in a race to reclaim a genetically-engineered assassin, Victoria, who represents the future of weapon development. Dexter is the most proactive of the two and the focus of most of the game, but Travis is at the periphery for much of the game and serves as the target of the final level, not to mention being the one responsible for Victoria's creation in the first place.
  • Big Damn Heroes: 47 kicks in a church door when he comes for the Sheriff. This causes a panic in the pews, until they grasp that Skurky is the one to worry about.
  • Big Fun: The rotund manager of the Wakiki Inn must be the densest man on earth. A Scarface-looking type with a "don't fuck with me" expression stomps into the joint, checks in under "Ben Franklin", and shoves a $100 note under the guy's nose, and what's this guy's reaction? Offer him a two-for-one deal on Mai Tais and a complimentary bobble-head on the nightstand?
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Lenny discovers there is no phone reception in the desert.
      "You can put a man on the moon, but you can't give me one lousy signal! AAAUGH!"
    • The People vs. Tinfoil Hat Man. Stickland calls a recess and exits to his chambers, where you can subdue him and take his robe and wig. Now it's your turn to be the long arm of the law. The moment he steps up to the bench, 47 brings down the gavel and mumbles, "Case dismissed.", causing Tinfoil Hat Man to whoop in victory and the prosecutor (John Turner) to throw a fit. "What the HELL was THAT shit?"
      Plaintiff: I ain't payin' tax dollars for THIS!
  • Black Bra and Panties: Layla will occasionally step into the panic room where Victoria is held as part of her route. If you follow, a cutscene will be triggered in which Layla strips to her underwear and tries to seduce 47.
  • Bond One-Liner: Diana's not around to sneak puns into the briefings this year. So it's up to IO Interactive:
    [crush guards beneath a statue]
    Your work just knocked him flat.

    [set Valentine's scalp on fire]
    He was always a hot head.

    [electrocute Louisa]
    She sure was stunning.

    [dump 5 bodies out of windows]
    It's raining men.
    • Frank provides his own if you try to 'accident' him in Chinatown. See "Retirony" below.
      • The laundry room in "Blackwater Park" seem to have unlimited amount of space for you to get rid of bodies. Dispose of 3 in a row undetected and you will get the "Laundry Day" achievement.
    • 47 himself even gets in on this trope after wiping out The Saints when he answers Travis' attempts to get a sitrep over the radio.
      47: Mission failed.
  • Broken Bridge:
    • In the last segment of "Run For Your Life", 47 is instructed to hop on a train. The station is brought to a standstill by the police blockade, so 47's just going to have to reset the signals himself.
      Dispatcher: I got 400 angry commuters to string along! Asshole! *hangs up phone*
    • In "Rosewood", Wade cuts the power to stop anyone from going in or out. As long as the blackout's in effect, 47 can't use the service elevator to link up with Sister Mary in the basement.
    • There are a number of security systems at Dexter Industries that need sabotaging.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: This is the top informant in the city? Birdie lives in/works out of a derelict prison bus which is rife with pet birds, even though he has plenty of money. His nickname derives from three things: the bird poop covering his jacket, his association with and love for birds, and a wink at his "stool pigeon" role.
  • The Cameo: Kane & Lynch each make an appearance, as an unassuming man in the "Great Balls of Fire" saloon and a foulmouthed shooter with a hatred for garden gnomes at the gun store/range, respectively.
  • Cardboard Prison: The easiest way to beat the Courthouse level is by taking the rap for the garden gnome murders. Once you are found guilty, the bailiff will escort you to your holding cell. All the guards will be facing away from you, so it should be safe to pick the lock on the door. Granted, you will then have to probe deeper into the prison.
  • Casual Kink:
    • One of Dexter's toughs can't help himself: he gets randy just being around Layla, in spite (or maybe because) of her being ten years older than him. Another guard in the hotel makes a tortured analogy about how "some people" like to "tie a plastic bag around their heads until they come." Sure, fella.
    • Don't go looking for the Sheriff at the police station. Skurky's..."office" is in the courthouse basement, where he and assistant "Mrs. Cooper" pass the time with bondage games and spanking. Huh, guess 9-11 really is a joke. He seems to spend as much time (if not more) in the pokey than actual prisoners do, a fact which Dexter chews him out on.
  • Casualty in the Ring: It's implied this is relatively common in the underground fighting circuit Sanchez is involved in. 47 can disguise himself as Sanchez's latest opponent, a masked fighter known as "the Patriot", in order to pull this trope on him.
  • Cat Scare: A stuffed grizzly on the 8th floor landing of the hotel.
  • Catchphrase: "We have a mutual problem." Used by Birdie to pit every side against each other—or more accurately, to play every side against 47.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: In "Fight Night", players can take two routes to Sanchez: the sporting way, and the stealthy way. The first method involves disguising yourself as his challenger, a masked wrestler billed as "The Patriot", and facing Sanchez in the ring. If Plan A is chosen, 47 will unmask himself to Sanchez and get him to reveal where Skurky took Victoria.
  • City Noir:
    • With the exception of the prologue, the Chicago missions all take place at nightfall. The Terminus Hotel and Blackwater Park are both prestigious, Art Deco buildings in a seedy part of town. 47 knows exactly what genre he's in, popping his collar like a Frank Miller hero.
    • The name of Dexter's building, Blackwater Park, is a reference to The Woman in White, considered one of the earliest examples of crime fiction.
  • The City Narrows: The alleyway between the Roxy Theatre and the Vixen Club. The manhunt for 47 is just heating up, so Birdie advises him to skip the front door and enter the club via an underpass. Winos are the only eyewitnesses here. (You can steal an empty bottle from them as a weapon.)
  • Continuity Drift:
    • In "A Personal Contract", a bloodied Diana hands 47 a white envelope with a 1889 Morgan silver dollar inside it. 47 is also seen holding it in the epilogue, suggesting it has some relevance to the plot which was lost in rewrites. You can't even use it as a distraction item in this one.
    • Travis' whole back-story was wiped from the game, including his PTSD from the Gulf War, his history with Diana, and even the loss of his hand. So it's up to interpretation whether he jumped off the deep end or was just always this greedy; it's not really clear.
    • It's pretty obvious the setting of Hope, South Dakota was intended to be located in Texas based on the climate, wildlife, fashion sense of the inhabitants, and prominence of the HS football teams, among many other things. Only the cinematic at Mt. Rushmore is uniquely South Dakotan, and it could easily be a late addition. It looks like the setting was changed to South Dakota very late in the game's development, presumably because there are 27 million potential customers to offend in Texas and less than a million in South Dakota, and moving the game setting to an even less populous state would have made the the disparities even more noticeable.
    • The Gun Shop is called MacGarmond's Guns & Firearms, yet in Contracts mode the owner's surname is S.Dukes. The same goes for Lilly, even though her name is MacGormand on the scoreboard.
  • Continuity Reboot: Downplayed. Tore Blystad, the game's creative director (who also played a major role in past Hitman editions), when asked in an interview if Absolution was a good title to introduce people to the series, stated that yes, it is a great way to be introduced to the style of the series and that the story won't be lost on them.
  • Continuity Snarl: From Hitman (2016) onwards, this game is scarcely referenced in later games. The "Legacy" trailer from 2016 shows 47 shooting Dom Osmond through the reflected mirror in the club, but that's the most concrete info on its canonicity. There are multiple minor references to Blake Dexter, a similarly-named Expy NPC in Hokkaido (Amos Dexter, who is also a stereotypical Texan that may or may not be related to Blake Dexter), and in Hitman 3, pointing a gun at Diana will make her quip she's getting a sense of Deja Vu, and claims that Blake Dexters' death happened in a Parallel Universe. All this suggests that the events of this game still take place, but what's the same and what's actually different is...well...IO Interactive clearly don't want to say.
  • Cool Boat: Travis' "mobile headquarters" is a yacht, currently moored in non-territorial waters.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Blake Dexter is praised as a great benefactor to the town of Hope, and according to Hope News Times, he intends to turn it into a major tourist resort. The local economy hinges on the revenues from Dexter Industries as half the citizenry are employed by it. Because of this, most of the town is on the take from Dexter, but it hasn't paid off for everyone. Newspapers blare headlines like CITY IS BANKRUPT" and "CHICAGO MURDERS CREATE HOPE JOBS". (Check out the paper sitting in Tyler Colvin's office; the assassination of a Stallion Armaments exec is treated as a ''good'' thing.) Between waning profits and Dexter slowly outsourcing jobs to Chicago in the months following the Stallion merger, it's looking very bleak for the citizens of Hope.
  • Custom Uniform: The leader of the Saints, Dixon, wears a cornette (made famous in The Flying Nun) to set her apart from the other assasins. Dixon also has a teardrop tattoo below her eye.
  • Da Chief: Sgt. Meyer, the cop in charge of canvasing the library for 47. He can be heard berating Fizano, the rookie, in the background throughout the level and generally giving his officers a hard time.
    Fizano: EVERY DAY he's yellin' at me! Just like my mom.
  • David vs. Goliath: This is lampshaded in two of the "Fight Night" Achievements.
    1. If you opt to beat Sanchez cleanly and complete all of the challenges, the game brands you a modern day David and Muhammad Ali.
    2. However, if the sniper rifle is used correctly, 47 can make it look as if the real David (The Patriot) won the fight.
  • Defiant to the End: Amazingly, the motel manager will refuse to cooperate with the ICA wet team before being shot, instead telling them to go kill themselves.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: 47 is called various slurs, "fagarino" being one of them, during the shooting contest. Of course, this was done to make Hopes' citizens backwards ethics in how they treat minorities.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: Defied when 47 infiltrates Layla Stockton's penthouse. He does find himself sharing an elevator with a sushi deliveryman, but chooses to climb out through the escape hatch rather than take the man's outfit. Good thing too, as the trigger happy guards riddle the poor sushi guy with bullets as soon as the elevator doors open.
  • Denser and Wackier:
    • While the games in the series beforehand had a very strong noir feel, Hitman Absolution, with its cast of eccentric and oddly-dressed characters, had a distinct 70s exploitation feel to it. Seeing 47, dressed in a floral dressing gown, sipping a Piña Colada, look out the window only to see a nun with an RPG looking back at him saying "go with God motherfucker" is the perfect level of ridiculousness. Scenes like this make Hitman into a parody of itself, along with other over-the-top action games.
    • Where could those hit-girls in the trailer possibly have been heading? Slutty nun/gun convention?
    • Even during a mass shooting there's still time for dick jokes.
      • Not to mention this is an integral part of the game.
    • In "Fight Night", 47 is required to turn over all weapons all the security booth. Even if he's disguised as a trainer or the fighter himself, he promptly forks over his giant-sized silenced Hardballers with custom fleur de lis logos and says not to lose them. He sounds exactly like a Yuppie warning a parking attendant not to scratch his Lamborghini. Of course nobody in the queue blinks at this. This is also the mission where ripping off your mask and snapping Sanchez's neck in full view of cheering spectators counts as a "Silent Assassin". It's almost as if IO has schadenfreude for the introverted types who like these games for their slow and deliberate nature.
    • "Skurky's Law". This mission is a laugh riot. Whereas in previous games, high-profile targets known to the person could not be impersonated (at least not without a face covering of some kind), Hitman can steal the identities of either the defendant (Tinfoil Hat Man) or the Judge, then walk into a trial still in progress and throw the case. The bailiff won't see through the disguise, despite personally escorting the (bearded!) Tinfoil-Hat Man to jail numerous times for past offenses.
  • Destination Defenestration: 47 can now cling to the sides of window panes and yank guards to their doom, like with "prostate" guy.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • In “End of the Road”, Lenny himself poses absolutely no threat to 47 on his own, but if the player chooses to shoot the boxes of dynamite at point blank, they’ll be treated to an explosion and a Non-Standard Game Over where Lenny gloats over 47’s dead body.
    • Instead of causing immediate death like most toxins in the Hitman series, the U'Wa venom will cause hallucinations and disorientation in Layla, who giggles at visions of ladybugs swarming above her head. The whole thing ends with Layla—having decided that she has wings of her own—taking a flying leap to her death. Best of all? Instinct mode allows you to see the ladybugs.
  • Dies Wide Shut: Skurky dies in mid-scream, having submitted to 47's torture. His associate, "Miss Cooper", has eyes as big as dinner plates when Dexter removes her execution hood.
  • Dirty Cop: The lawmen in this game are all (conveniently) on the take. Detective Faulkner appears to be America's only honest cop. Even when not actively hunting 47 half of them would be brought up on charges for their frankly unprofessional conduct.
  • Disguised Hostage Gambit: When the revelations about his friend Clive's sexual habits come to light, Dexter just groans and shrugs it off. But it seems he was somewhat appalled by Skurky's private games, as he kidnapped his lady-friend and forced her to impersonate Victoria. Once Travis makes the money drop, Dexter immediately caps "Victoria" in the head, revealing Mrs. Cooper — still wearing her gimp suit under the blouse and skirt. This almost causes Travis, a man of sturdy stomach, to lose his lunch.
  • Disposable Sex Worker:
    • 47 finds a dead stripper in the Vixen Club basement. According to the NPC chatter inside the club, at least two strippers named Laurie and Amber were sent to the Hawaii Room as punishment for their disobedience. The corpse in the cellar is presumed to either be Laurie's or Amber's. Toss the cadaver over a railing and she lands in the crawlspace with a crunch, spooking the cops who are investigating below.
      "SHIT! T-That...wasn't there a minute ago."
    • Once the Sheriff is dead, Dexter no longer has any need for Clive's associate, Mrs. Cooper. He then dupes Travis into believing it's Victoria before callously shooting her in the head—all for a laugh.
      "You got to [the count of] three. Three." BANG.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Zig-Zagged during one possible elimination of Layla where she strips into her underwear in an attempt to distract 47 before she gets out her firearms. According to the lore, 47 had his libido removed as part of making him a focused assassin, though he's still under the control of the player who might react differently.
  • Down in the Dumps: There's a scrapyard right behind the Cougars' garage. You can dump multiple bodies into the wide-open tank of oil sitting in the scrapyard.
  • Drugs Are Bad: In the "Shangri-La Garden", 47 kicks in the wrong door and inadvertently starts a drug bust. It's possible to lure the bent cops into a rave room, then detonate a bomb while they're toking up, unlocking an achievement. Just say no, kids.
  • Duel Boss: Wade, Skurky, and Layla (optional). Murdering Layla in a quick-draw duel is a fun (and unique) way to complete the mission. This duel is triggered by meeting her in a private panic room.
  • Dumpster Dive: In addition to hiding bodies in them, 47 can now leap into dumpsters — but only if you haven't exceeded the allotted storage space (2 people per bin).

    Tropes E-H 

  • Eagleland Osmosis: The rebooted Agency is based in and around the Windy City, whereas in the old days, it was secretly run by the British government. It's mentioned that 47 first got in touch with The Agency through Tom, a tailor working out of Little Italy (how in the world did 47 end up all the way in Chicago?), and Diana — a British national — now has a cliffside residence overlooking the city. Her ICA profile also listed her as a U.S. citizen. This is despite that, in the previous game Diana and 47 are explicitly said to be the last two members of The Agency left alive before they kill Jack, and Diana revives The Agency but claims 47 couldn't be contacted. Why did she give up heading her own revised Agency?
  • Easter Egg: Numerous throughout the game, often tied to performing specific actions.
    • Shooting all the vultures while in the desert with Lenny will cause an ice cream truck to appear out of nowhere and run him over.
    • When reach the crematorium for a face-off against the Praetorians, you will spot numerous angel statues scattered about. These trigger an easter egg if you destroy them: start blasting each and every angel statue to see a rainbow. Keep checking the sky; once you have destroyed the last one, a second rainbow will appear.
    • Most specially scripted deaths can be considered at least minor forms of these, but special mention goes to poisoning Layla Stockton, who experiences hallucinations of butterflies before plunging to her death - 47 can actually see them too using Instinct mode!
  • Elite Mooks:
    • The Agency Heavy Trooper. Finally, an outfit with a protective helmet which 47 actually wears. As you probably guessed, it provides more endurance against bullets than the standard.
    • Blackwater tactical team disguises are more difficult to obtain. However it is worth it since you'll be able to freely move over the entire penthouse (except for Lenny's bedroom), worrying only about avoiding Layla's personal guards.
    • Along with Blake Dexter, the Praetorians are the most durable enemy units in Absolution. It takes more than a dozen Silverballer shots to the torso to kill each, and at long range they can even survive a pistol headshot. By comparison, the Agency Heavy Trooper is the most durable normal enemy unit in the game, and can be killed with just 5 or 6 torso shots from the Silverballers.
  • The End Is Nigh: "Look, sir, uhh...'Reverend', is it?" Two cops question a clearly-insane homeless man about whether he's seen 47 in the area. He just continues his rant about the "Deliverance."
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil:
    • African-American Valentine is a weapons scientist for Dexter Industries.
    • LaSandra Dixon, the head "nun" in "Attack of the Saints".
    • Travis provides a perfect foil to Jade and Diana's 'softly, softly' approach, but to his credit, he also favors women in the organization. Travis' lieutenant is female, he hand-picks Victoria to replace 47 as ICA's top killer, and his experimental unit (The Saints) is comprised entirely of women. In "Attack of the Saints", the titular killers act as field captains to the roving wetworks team, who are comprised of males.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Many of Wade's henchmen are very uncomfortable with shooting up an orphanage full of nuns.
  • Everytown, America: Hope is permanently stuck in the 1950s, with tail-finned Cadillacs, varsity jackets, and pennant strings hanging from buildings.
  • Evil Counterpart: Sanchez is a former test subject of Dr. Ashford, the result of a defective "super-soldier" serum back in the eighties. As a side effect, he developed gigantism. Mr. 47, born in the 60's, was the pet project of a mad scientist who sought to create the perfect human specimen. Subsequent attempts to re-make 47 have mostly met with failure; the clones are lacking a necessary ingredient (implied to be his "47th chromosome"), causing albinism, shorter live spans, and other ailments.
  • Evil Laugh:
    • Wade cackles to the ceiling when Sister Mary is shot, despite Lenny's shock and remorse at the act.
    • Dr. Green whoops with joy each time a pig explodes. He never tires of it.
  • Evil Versus Evil: Let the epic battle of Manchild vs. Mallcop begin.
    Travis [from chopper, on megaphone] Sheriff Skurky? We're takin' over your town.
    Skurky: Who the fuck ARE you?! This is MY fuckin' town!
  • Exact Eavesdropping: If you don't feel like fighting Sanchez, or want to take the sneaky route, 47 can hide in a locker room ventilation shaft. Here you will overhear Sanchez on the phone with Blake, desperately assuring him that Victoria is safe and sound. This completes the main objective of finding out where Victoria went, and now you'll have to kill Sanchez some other way.
  • Executive Suite Fight: The hit on Layla Stockton takes place on the top floor of Blackwater Park, an upscale housing complex.
  • Explosive Barrels: When push comes to shove, you can aim at a gas cylinder (basically a flammable barrel) for a quick, messy kill. In "Blackwater Park", another Accident involves hurling a jug of gasoline into the fireplace, a nod to Hitman: Contracts.
  • Explosive Stupidity: The Chinese New Year mission has loads and loads of fireworks just lying about unprotected. Also, if you interact with a gas pump in the area, it will "accident" Frank when he steps in the puddle. Depending on your preference, you can either shoot at the gasoline pooling around Frank's ankles, or wait for him to die after throwing a lit cigarette [!]. Darwin Award winner, right here.
  • Eye-Obscuring Hat: 47 will subtly (as in, not as all) dip his hat while in Instinct mode. If he lacks headgear, he might tuck his chain and pretend to massage his neck. Sometimes he will hide his face with his palm.
  • Fake Kill Scare: A dark variation occurs when Dexter and Travis meet to exchange a bound and hooded Victoria. Travis claims not to have the money promised, which prompts Dexter to shoot Victoria in the head... and quickly pull the hood off, revealing that "Victoria" is actually Sheriff Skurky's office assistant/dominatrix/interrogator dressed in Victoria's clothes. Travis immediately agrees to hand over the money.
  • False Reassurance:
    • In "Hunter and Hunted", the best place to jump Larry (one of Wade's hitmen) is a side alley located at the far end of Chinatown. You will notice that Larry meets with one of the NPCs and orders him to into a secluded alleyway. Larry will proceed to interrogate the cook about Birdie's whereabouts. You should step into action only after he knocks the man to the ground, threatening to shoot him on the "count of 10". If you're slow, the hitman loses patience and caps the chef at "six".
    • The Hawaiian manager of the Wakiki Inn is one of the few survivors of the rocket attack. One of the ICA cleaners takes him aside and promises they'll pay for the "damages" if he just tells him where 47 is. You can probably guess how well that turns out for him. Also, in the cornfield, one of the Saints (Jacqueline) will call out to 47, claiming that Travis wants to cut him a deal. (The Agency doesn't cut deals, as Travis says when delivering his "ransom" suitcase.)
  • Fanservice Extra: Jade doesn't really do anything evil and never affects Agent 47 directly. Though he comments that she could have been a valuable ally, and might have straightened up and flown right (i.e. betrayed Travis) to avoid punishment, ultimately she was just a loose end to be tied up.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Diana in the Absolution trailer, Jade, and The Saints.
  • Fisticuffs Boss: Sanchez in "Fight Night" is a combination of this and Cutscene Boss if the player opts to dress up as The Patriot. If you don't feel like getting your hands dirty, this can be skipped by simply shooting him or dropping a lighting gantry on him.
  • For Science!: Dr. Ashford, a long-time employee of Dexter Industries, is put in charge of examining Victoria and testing her capabilities. He's also responsible for turning Dexter's bodyguard Sanchez into the muscular giant he is today. Though he is depicted as being ruthless in his research, his vlogs reveal that his main interest is in scientific progress rather than military application, and document his frustration at Dexter for overlooking the girl's real value.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: Judge Strickland wears a terribly stereotypical, geographically-misplaced and slightly anachronistic British ceremonial Lord Chancellor's wig and robes. Then it turns out he is just a very enthusiastic anglophile who has ties to British nobility. He even draped his office in Union Flags.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: The best way to eliminate Bill, one of the hitmen in "Hunter and Hunted", is to frame him so he gets killed by a crooked policeman.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: When one of Dr. Green's scientists tells another one that Green's hatred of pigs was caused by his leg being amputated after he was thrown by robbers in a piggery and trapped under the carcass of a hog at the age of twelve, the other guy finds himself feeling unexpectedly sorry for Green. His companion still points out that the trauma makes Green no less of a sick jerk.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Birdie makes his nest here. 47 must come to his aid twice: first to rub out a rival gangster, and again to protect him from Wade's roving hitmen.
  • Gang of Hats:
    • The bodyguards patrolling the Terminus Hotel are each wearing a blue variation of Dexter's outfit: shoulder yokes, giant belt buckles, cowboy boots, and black Stetson hats. Even Sanchez is wearing a dinky little cowboy hat.
    • Wade's hitmen are identified by their brown (or purple)-on-red suits with patches, bolo ties, and goofy Converse shoes.
    • Lenny's gang. "The Cougars" consists of some washed-up former football players (the Cougars are a local team) who have turned to crime. They each wear a blue bowling shirt or varsity jacket with the Cougar insignia stitched on it.
  • Gas Leak Cover-Up: The plan of attack on the Wakiki Motel is to torch the complex along with the guests inside, then blame the whole incident on a freak gas explosion.
  • Genre Shift: Absolution's is a fairly standard "Revenge Movie" premise. The story ties you down to rural America and you spend most of your time in bleak, monochrome locations, particularly those blasted factories and labs. What happened? Development was entrusted to the team behind Kane & Lynch. They fundamentally changed what the Hitman series is about. It's clear in the linear level design, and the emphasis on Colliding Criminal Conspiracies. The game prefers to let you watch events unfold, rather than actively participate in them.
  • The Giant: The defending champ in "Fight Night" is meant to represent the God-fearing, hard-working citizens of Hope—so naturally, they picked Sanchez as their avatar! The challenger (The Patriot) is billed as a "city slicker" and carpetbagger who gets heckled as he walks down the apron. "This ain't no beauty pageant!"
  • Girls with Guns: Lilly.
  • Goofy Suit: "Charlie the Chipmunk", a festive disguise. It can be found in Chinatown.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: There are 3 fuses to collect in the orphanage, and they're all scattered about.
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence:
    • When Dom surveys the bachelor party, he will shove the dancer out of the way and berate her for dancing under a defective mirror ball. That's your cue to flick the "on" switch and drop it on Dom's melon, shattering both. Ow.
    • While disguised as a cop in the Shangri La Garden, go ahead and switch on the synthesizer in the dance room. The cops will proceed to get high and boogie (poorly) on the dance floor! It has officially become a rave! Officer 47 can play a few licks on the keyboard and no one will mind.
  • Greaser Delinquents: The Cougars are stereotypical girl-chasing, social misfits from 50's Americana (see: Rebel Without a Cause.)
  • Groin Attack: If you lose a duel to Layla in the panic room, she will stomp on the camera with her stiletto heel and crush 47's crotch in his last moments. To add insult to injury, Layla calls 47 a fucker before walking away and leaving him to die.
  • Handicapped Badass:
    • 47 has his pick of tailors from all across the globe, but he always comes back to Tommy Clemenza, in spite of his vision problems. The fact that he can identify 47 before he speaks (not by sight, but by the sound of his footsteps) and tell that he needs a new suit by touch suggests that his other senses are more acute than normal.
    • In keeping with this game's theme of stuff happening in twos, the gun store owner needs a voice synthesizer to speak.
  • Happy Dance:
    • Sheriff Skurky, after he zaps you into unconsciousness. Dexter's also prone to dancing whenever things are going his way.
    • Tinfoil Hat Man does one in the courthouse, after the Honorable H. Itman lets him off the hook for vandalism.
  • Happy Fun Ball:
    • There is a running gag in the game involving garden gnomes and paranoid individuals who think they are sentient. Kane is nearly ejected from the gun range for targeting gnomes instead of the target placards.
    • The "Shagri La Garden" is a psychedelic loft, full of picket signs with slogans such as "MAKE LOVE NOT WAR" and "SAVE THE WHALES'. Now, have a look inside the stoners' safe: It's a remote bomb! Once all the cops herd in to canvas the scene, you can go ahead and detonate it. Case closed, we guess. The AM radio is tuned to a conspiracy show: Looks like the hippies were prepping themselves for an assault by Big Brother.
    • Gotta love all the conversations about "Hawaii". Everyone is talking about how the strip club owner takes his women to Hawaii, which is code for rape and murder. Good stuff. Later, 47 makes the mistake of taking refuge at the "Wakiki Inn."
    • There is toy room next to the chapel in Rosewood Orphanage. Pay special attention to the ball pit: Inside this container you can hide up to five bodies.
  • Harder Than Hard: While the Hitman series is notorious for its grotesque misuse of the word "Easy", Absolution rolls out the new "Purist" difficulty. To summarize; the game gives you zero help, no HUD, no instinct mode (the game is very hard without it), nigh-omnipotent enemies, low health, high suspicion, no checkpoints, and extra enemies. The difficulty description even warns you that even learning the game by heart will not stop you dying. Obviously, Purist mode was bundled into Absolution in order to assuage fans of the classics.
  • Harpoon Gun: "Blackwater Park". In the same room as the skeleton is a mounted harpoon gun, which Dexter supposedly used to bring the whale down. Using the gun in a crowded room will cause quite an uproar. The "Whaling" achievement can be completed by killing a total of three enemies with the harpoon.
  • Have a Nice Death:
    • Wade announcing his intention to rape your corpse? Lenny telling you how much of an idiot you are for blowing yourself up? Sanchez standing victorious over your dead body in the arena? Skurky gloating over you for taking too long to shoot? Leader of the Saints smoking a cigar and telling you to say hi to Jesus? Layla Stockton shooting you in the head and grinding her stiletto heel in your groin while wearing nothing but a bra and panties? 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.
    • If you manage to kill yourself in "End of the Road"—a mission with no hostile enemies—by shooting the dynamite while standing near it, it will show a small cutscene of Lenny claiming that he killed the Hitman (which really rubs in what an idiot you are for doing that). You can also kill yourself by standing in front of the Ice Cream Truck that's supposed to hit Lenny.
  • Have You Tried Rebooting?:
    • Hitman eavesdrops on a phone conversation between one of Dexter's employees and a computer-illiterate. His very first suggestion is, "Have you tried turning it on?" a sure sign of a KKK cross-burner. Terminate with extreme prejudice. (Yank him out the nearby window.)
    • In the Hope County jail, his good ol' boy counterpart is trying to coach someone through a CD player. ("Remember tape decks?")
  • Hazmat Suit: You can find a ready-to-wear decontamination suit in Green's weapons factory. These show up again on the ICA exhumation team at the end.
  • Hell Hotel: "Terminus". This is a run-down 19th century building whose history contains a lot of bullets and blood. (Very similar to Lupino's hotel in Max Payne.) In addition to the Accidents you can perform, we see a maid cleaning up after a 'suicide' involving a wrench.
  • Hellhole Prison: The example to beat is "Skurky's Law", a real life medieval dungeon which lies underneath the Hope courthouse. Here prisoners are routinely beaten and suffer 'accidents' shortly before giving a trial testimony. Skurky enjoys torture so much, he even chains himself up down here and allows a dominatrix to whip him.
  • Henpecked Husband: It's funny how a private security guard at Diana's house is too terrified to pick up a phone and call his wife's divorce lawyers. ("You've been in combat! How hard can this be?" "Man, you don't know Angie...") Another male NPC is complaining to a police officer on the train platform. "I gotta get home, I got a fucking bitch of a wife!" The cop threatens to arrest him for obstruction.
  • Hide Your Children: The munchkins all left on a conveniently-timed field trip, and most of the clergy are gunned down on sight. You and Wade have the whole orphanage to yourselves.
  • High-Voltage Death:
    • You get more opportunities to zap your targets than in previous Hitmans. Sabotage the generator in the flooded Terminus basement, and the electrician will go up in smoke.
    • "Hunter and Hunted": In addition to the usual method (throttle him during a pissbreak), there is a more high-tech solution to dealing with Bill: rig a power cord to the truck he's whizzing on, electrifying the stream of urine. Ouch. (There is a very similar trick in "Shaving Lenny" when Mason whizzes on some electric wiring.)
    • "Shaving Lenny": There is a generator next to the fence behind Gavin's garage. Plug the cord into the fence and wait for Gavin to approach the gate. Pull the lever when he opens it; Gavin goes up like a Christmas tree.
    • In "Attack of the Saints", the last remaining nun can fall prey to an 'accident'. Here you will find a power generator next to a shed in the cornfield. Louisa will come in here to rinse her gloves in the sink. There is a cable for this unit that you can attach to the water pipe. Plug it in and watch the magic happen.
  • Hobos:
    • On his first go-round in Chinatown, 47 thoughtlessly scatters a few coins in a bum's outreached cup. "Agh! There's COFFEE in there, ya fucker!" On your return trip, we see the hobo is back, fiercely protecting his cup to avoid 47 throwing something into it again: "You owe me a coffee, asshole!" 47 throws a $20 at him.
    • The hobo makes his last appearance in the C.P.D. as he's being grilled by Detective Faulkner. His eyewitness testimony is completely useless (it's possible that the hobo is feigning insanity to throw off the cops, but this is up to interpretation), so Cosmo gets fed up and throws him out.
  • Holding Out for a Hero:
    47: Dexter Industries...The Cougars...the police.... Hope is a town under siege. Someone ought to clean the place up. But I am not that man.
    • 47 pulls some favors for the residents of Chinatown: Taking out the local racketeer, a drug dealer, the crooked cops and (possibly) rescuing a fry cook from Wade's henchman.
  • Hollywood New England: The Chicago NPCs are typical Irishmen, talking in broad accents and constantly busting each others' balls over trivial matters ("You want mah phone numbah? It's 1-800-SUCK MY DICK."), but occasionally displaying some camaraderie, too.
  • Homemade Sweater from Hell: To compliment Tinfoil Hat Man's stylish headgear.
  • Hot Pursuit: It should have been called Escapeman Absolution, since half of the game is you running from helicopters and SWAT Teams, and sometimes you get arrested.
    • "Run For Your Life". Early in the game, when 47 is eluding the CPD, he is spotted by a police helicopter and has to avoid gunfire by fleeing inside a pigeon coop as the walls get torn up. Later, 47 sneaks through a room full of junk while rock music blasts in the background. This is in the middle of a segment where the player is given a lot of freedom to bypass the cops, and feels like an obligatory 'cool' scene, especially if you've been stealthy up to that point.
    • "Operation Sledgehammer": After being interrogated by Sheriff Skurky, 47 escapes captivity just in time for ICA's private army to invade. The Sheriff tries to escape, but is struck by an SUV and chased down the street by a helicopter carrying the maniacal Travis. 47, meanwhile, is left to skulk around the town square and avoid detection by armored troopers.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Dominatrix Nun Assassins in latex fetish gear, a level set in a strip club, Diana's shower sequence (shown repeatedly in the opening), Layla Stockton doing a striptease, and more. This actually got I/O Interactive in quite a lot of hot water with the general public, as the risque content drew the attention of multiple Moral Guardians (including several mainstream national newspapers), with some even using selectively edited footage to make it appear the goal of the game was to torture and murder sex workers. The subsequent World of Assassination Trilogy would pull back hard on the sexual content, being much Tamer and Chaster than the prior games in the series and also emphasizing the team's socially conscientious credentials both in the games' writing and an Our Lawyers Advised This Trope disclaimer at the beginning of each game.
  • Human Shield
    • Brace yourself when you confront Wade and Skurky, because they'll both take a member of the clergy hostage as human shields.
    • Lenny escapes with Victoria by holding her hostage with a grenade.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: While 47 loses his long-running ability to carry over a dozen different pistols and submachine guns at once, he gains the ability to somehow conceal 2 long arms (1 sniper rifle and 1 long rifle or shotgun) under his suit, something he was realistically unable to do in all previous games.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the Terminus, there's a Dexter goon bitching about his vertigo, threatening a mechanic and demanding to have the elevator fixed. The mechanic tries to smooth things over and admits to having a nail clipper phobia, which the hood laughs at, like it's the girliest thing in the world.

    Tropes I-Q 

  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice:
    • The sample robot. Once the manacles clamp shut on him, Ashford can only watch helplessly as the robot arm plunges a big spike into his chest cavity.
    • The obvious way to jump Layla Stockton is to approach one of the samurai armors, throw on the helmet, and start hiding. 47 will make like Robert Patrick and stab his way through Layla's mouth with one lunge.
    • In the "whaling" room, there is also conspicuous harpoon gun sitting right beneath the skeleton. Just lure her into its crosshairs and fire. Thar she blows.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: It's possible to use proximity mines as melee weapons by bludgeoning the victim over the head. Hilariously, this will actually arm the mine and make it explode, usually causing you to die on the spot.
  • In a World…: One of the beat cops patrolling Chinatown tries to spice up his beat by speaking in a hardboiled narration, which drives his poor partner up the wall.
  • In Case of Boss Fight, Break Glass:
    • It's difficult to be alone with Dom. He'll eventually make use of a lapdance booth with a two-way mirror; Once "the show" ends and the dancer leaves the booth, Dom is completely at your mercy.
    • The floor of Dr. Green's control booth is lined with glass, to enhance the vista. Turn him into fertilizer by shooting the glass while he's standing on it.
  • Incessant Music Madness: "Blackwater Park". Pressing the switch on Dexter's scale model of his factory causes a jingle to play. Layla will lose her temper right away, threatening to smash it to bits.
  • Incoming Ham: Dr. Green spends so much time around pork that he's starting to sound like it himself. "ENGAAAAAAAAGE!"
  • Information Broker: Birdie is an eccentric, reclusive Latino gangster who lives well below his means, so as not to attract attention. He may not look like much, but he's plugged into Chicago's entire crime network—The Agency included.
  • Injured Player Character Stage: 47 starts "Attack of the Saints" already heavily injured, to the point where on Expert difficulty, he cannot survive any damage until the player first a First Aid Station and he also starts "Operation Sledgehammer" injured.
  • Instrument of Murder:
    • The grand piano at Diana's place needs tuning. Just as the guard is peeking under the hood, knock out the lid to shatter his neck. Ouch. This can be done in later missions, also.
    • Killing Dom with a falling disco ball is a nice touch.
  • Insufferable Genius: One of the plant workers grumbles that Valentine might be tolerable if he applied his brain to "curing cancer" instead of baldness remedies.
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures: One of the levels ("Hunted and Hunted") is set at Chinatown during the Chinese New Year, but you can find a katana as a weapon.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Sarge appears to have some running beef with the Sauganash division.
    "Ah, the Saw-ganah boys! Ready to play policeman?"
    "Ah, Sergeant Meyer! I see you still can't sniff a fart out of your own ass."
  • It Only Works Once: Unlike the one in Ort-Meyer's lab, the biometric scanners you run across in the plant are state-of-the-art. Not only will using a dead enemy not work, but forcing a hostage's head into the scanner will also fail, since the device will detect that he's under duress (presumably via pupil dilation and rapid eye movement). The only way to trick a scanner is to either use disguises to trick an authorized person into opening it for you. ...Or you can just hack the computer and register yourself as authorized. Spared no expense!
  • It's Personal: 47 says this of Dexter in the final level. Also, Travis seems to have a personal enmity toward 47 for skipping town with his "asset" Victoria. In a moment of weakness, he sputters that 47 "humiliated" him back at Diana's, which is the real reason for the manhunt.
    • While 47 says in the prologue that he tries to ignore who is target is to not make it personal, once he reaches the end and kills Travis, the mission notes will explicitly state that this kill is very personal.
  • Jive Turkey: Dixon, leader of the Saints. ("Give a what-up to J.C. for me.") In the cornfield, she can be heard radioing in to her boss, "Mister T". Sadly, it does not segue into footage of the A-Team van.
  • Jump Scare: In the 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 Out of a Cake: It's possible to take out a bunch of guards by doing this at an office birthday party.
  • Just Desserts: This can be done in the "Death Factory" level where a maniacal, pig-hating scientist can be dropped into a pit full of them. However, unlike Blood Money, where the bodies are actually eaten (and can make the sharks quite fat), looking down into said pit will reveal the body lying above where the pigs are lazily milling about as crunching and eating noises are heard, so its best to just listen and leave it to your imagination. Ah, well.
  • Just Like Making Love: One of the electricians in the flooded basement of the Terminus compares his job to romancing a woman.
  • Kangaroo Court:
    • Stickland's court. Despite having a reputation for being "fair", he is completely aware of Sheriff Skurky's corruption yet shows no objection to it. According to a news radio station, Strickland was under investigation by the FBI in connection to a bribe scandal. The previous year, he was under investigation for his obvious lack of objectivity in cases involving Dexter Industies, mostly those related to worker compensation (suggesting that he is on Dexter's payroll as well). It's also a running gag that he keeps acquitting James Seth Lynch (of Kane & Lynch), despite his rap sheet and documented schizophrenia.
    • This is parodied by 47 if he borrows Strickland's robe and wig. Case dismissed!
  • Kevlard: Despite his flabby exterior, Sanchez is built like an M1 tank. He weighs almost half a ton according to his dossier.
  • Kick the Dog: Wade's peccadilloes are no secret; he gets aroused by beating, torturing, and killing women. So even if you haven't done anything wrong, if one of Dom's friends happens to be in town, he'll happily punch your ticket.
  • Knight's Armor Hideout: Various levels allow the player to hide in a stationary position if they are wearing the correct disguise.
    • In the Cornfield level, it is possible to obtain a scarecrow outfit and hide in plain sight by posing like one.
    • In Dexter's penthouse, 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 also allows him to ambush Layla.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Certain special enemies, namely SWAT officers, Agency heavy troopers, the Saints, the Praetorians, the Patriot, and Dexter, can deflect a barehanded melee attack; however, a second follow-up attack will take them out just like a regular Mook.
  • Laser Hallway: The armory in "Blackwater Park" has several moving laser traps inside.
  • Last Lousy Point:
    • Finished the stage stealthily? Well, make sure to play again and kill everyone with a paperweight. Killed everyone with a paperweight? Well, make sure to play it again and kill everyone with a brick while cupping your balls and singing "Ave Maria".
    • "Attack of the Saints" features the most difficult Challenge bar none. For this achievement, you must kill every Saint and guard in all three sections without being seen once. To make things worse, you CANNOT use Checkpoint Restart if you screw up. If you do, then you can't complete the challenge; you have to restart the entire chapter from scratch. Considering how many people that you have to kill for this Challenge (fifty), the lack of a checkpoint seems like a design oversight.
  • Last-Name Basis: Edward Wade, Sanchez, Sgt. Meyer, Fazzano, and Mrs. Cooper.
  • Laughably Evil:
    • Dexter is one of the meanest characters to appear in a Hitman game. He's also the funniest one by a mile.
    • Sheriff Skurky, oozing visible slime, was mo-capped by the always amusing Jon Gries. Makes up for his brief screen time.
  • Left Hanging: The story ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger, not so much to be frustrating, but enough for players scratch their heads. In this regard, it is sad that the reception to the game coupled with the sales figures render such a follow-up unlikely.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Bar fights are commonplace in the Great Balls of Fire tavern due to the preponderance of bikers and truckers, two cliques that hate each other. The cops are called here almost nightly. You can start a brawl to distract the bar patrons... at the expense of poor Kane!
    [Kane smashes a biker's jaw]
    Trucker: Haw haw! Pussy biker!
    Nearby biker: Who you callin' a pussy? [decks him]
  • Level Editor: Contracts. Pick up to three NPCs, a level, and a designated weapon, and go nuts. Some fans attempted to overcome the (long-exhausted) possible combinations through a mixture of eschewing puzzle-based gameplay for a more realistic portrayal of how a hit may go, as well as writing in-depth missions and campaigns for the description.
  • Limited Loadout: 47 can only carry one of each weapon type (pistol, rifle/shotgun, sniper rifle, melee weapon), though semi automatic pistols can be carried Guns Akimbo if a second one is found and both the fibre wire and the Silverballers have their own separate dedicated weapon slot.
  • Lord British Postulate: Tom the Tailor. 47 cannot throw any objects in his store, nor can he attack the tailor in any way, including in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Lost in the Maize: "Attack of the Saints". It's fun sneaking around in the corn, killing people with a tanto knife while dressed as a scarecrow. Good times.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: In the "landmine testing area" of Dexter Industries, cages containing hogs emerge from the ground a la Jurassic Park and explode into porkchops when they trip a mine. Dr. Green oversees the tests from a control booth high above the fray, laughing with joy at each explosion.
  • Mad Scientist: The head researchers in "Death Factory" don't get a lot of depth beyond their reactions when you kill them with a LEGO robot.
  • Magnetic Weapons: Dr. Valentine is toying around with with a gigantic rail gun (hilariously dubbed a "Mega-Tazer", in keeping with the company's family-friendly image) which is targeting some human dummies.
  • Man on Fire: Now you no longer need rely on the remote mines. There are plenty of explode-able objects lying around the levels, if you know what to look for.
    • The ol' "exploding stove" trick from Blood Money makes a comeback here, only you now shoot the oven after turning up the gas. This can be done multiple times in the game.
    • If you want to reenact Hiroshima, try swapping Mason's special hot sauce for lighter fuel.
    • Sometimes it's just plain silly: After tampering with Valentine's hair restorer, his scalp will immediately catch on fire, and Valentine will run screaming off the catwalk and topple into a bottomless pit.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Wade's strike team. In "Rosewood", they each don a stocking and/or a mask for the raid. Goalie, gas and surgical masks are among the outfits on view.
  • Masked Luchador: The Patriot is an out-of-state challenger who is scheduled to face Sanchez in a cage fight held at the plant. 47 can use his mask to get into a ring with Sanchez, as the locals laugh and make fun of your tights.
  • Mauve Shirt: Expecting company, 47 sends Sister Mary to Rosewood's boiler room for safety. The unfortunate nun gets captured and used as a hazing ritual for Lenny.
  • Meet the New Boss: Dr. Ashford is an amalgam of the doctors who gave 47 his regular rotation of drugs in the asylum. It's interesting that 47 flashes back to his childhood when Victoria mentions the grotesque experiments she has had to undergo.
  • Minecart Madness: The Sawmill stands between 47 the plant where Victoria is imprisoned. Dodging guards while crossing razor-thin planks, hanging from railroad tracks, and avoiding proximity mines can be quite demanding.
  • Moby Schtick: Parodied with Dr. Green and his pathological hatred of pigs. He was attacked by one as a child, and while he did kill it with a rake, he became pinned under the dead hog's weight. This resulted in his leg developing gangrene and having to be amputated a few days later.
  • Modesty Towel: 47 shoots Diana Burnwood while she's taking a shower. Despite being clearly nude seconds before the shot, she's suddenly in a well-wrapped towel lying on the floor of the bathroom later.
  • Mook Horror Show:
    • In the last stage of "Attack of the Saints", you have the opportunity to disguise yourself as a scarecrow and stalk and kill your way through the cornfield.
    • Just in general, mowing through enemies like The Punisher will generate unique enemy chatter during the gunfight, with enemies 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.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution:
    • Why does Dexter set his hotel room on fire? Is he trying to kill 47? Then why kill the maid and frame him? Does he want to frame him for a murder (that has no motive)? Then why set the room on fire?
    • On the other side, you have a shadowy 'super secret' hit man organization, firing RPGs at motels and launching armies on small town parades.
  • Mushroom Samba: One method of killing Dexter's moll, Layla, is to spike her food with "U'wa Poison" used by the indigenous warriors in Columbia, which is conveniently on display in the boss' showroom. This causes Layla to hallucinate and jump off the building while attempting to imitate an insect. Oops. (Fun fact: The U'Wa tribe was first encountered in Codename 47 when the player touched down in Columbia.)
  • My Car Hates Me:
    • Skurky attempts to flee town in the Hearse, but it's locked, so instead he hobbles into a church. Presumably, 47 hotwired it later.
    • If you dawdle for too long in "End of the Road", Lenny will limp over to 47's car in an attempt to drive away. If he makes it, however, the car doors are locked.
  • Mysterious Middle Initial: Lilly S. Dukes.
  • New-Age Retro Hippie: It's kind of cute how the hippies invite the cops onto their recreational plantation . "We don't believe in private property."
  • New Meat: Fazzano. If you harm him, it unlocks the achievement "Picking on the New Guy".
  • Never Trust a Trailer: "King of Chinatown" (shown in the demo) and "Streets of Hope" were similar to old Hitman, but missions like the hotel are nothing more getting from point A to point B without being spotted. Instead of the sandbox format, we've got helicopter chases, library hunts and a lot more corridor walking. Also, tons of cutscenes and QTE boss battles.
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The licenses plates on cars in "Hope County" suggest that it is really Rapid City (South Dakota plates that start with "2" indicate Pennington County). However, an order from a Chinese company (seen in the Blake Dexter ICA File) lists Dexter Industries' address as "1 Prosperity Road, 54893-1101", which is in Wisconsin.
  • No Cutscene Inventory Inertia:
    • Beginning with the shower scene with Diana, 47 will mysteriously stitch together a brand new three-piece suit and change into it between segments. This has happened before in the mission "Basement Killing", when it made logical sense that 47 would hide civvies underneath his firefighter's uniform. Here it just happens, and you lose whatever disguises you picked up in the previous area.
    • In the "Terminus" mission's first cutscene, 47's tie is missing, but in the actual game and in cutscenes to follow, his tie is back.
    • At the beginning of "One of a Kind", 47 has burns and cuts on his face. Once he acquires a new suit from Tom, his face is perfectly clean.
    • During the funeral shootout, the coffin lid may shut when you shoot through Skurky, but it will be upright when you continue. Also, in the cutscene there's a body lying in the coffin, but it's gone during the duel with Skurky.
  • No-Gear Level:
    • "Operation Sledgehammer". After being captured by Sheriff Skurky and stripped of his gear, 47 must escape captivity and kill him, all while dodging his ex-cohorts from The Agency.
    • For most of the game in general 47 is operating with minimum equipment, being cut off from Agency resources and having traded his general purpose kit (including his trusty silverballers) to Birdie for information.
  • No-Harm Requirement: Downplayed Trope. An early mission requires you as 47 to hunt down Lenny Dexter, the son of the CEO of Dexter Industries. After you take down his gang, 47 has to pacify the son to interrogate him. However, after Lenny spills the beans, the player has the choice of killing him directly or leaving him at the mercy of the desert and vultures.
  • No Kill like Overkill:
    • "Attack of the Saints". What is even the point of dressing up as traveling nuns if they announce their arrival with rocket-propelled grenades?
    • Travis announces his arrival in Hope with armored ATVs, a chopper, and a megaphone. When Skurky tries to beat a hasty retreat, he gets shot in the leg and hit by a runaway SUV, causing a domino effect which flips a gasoline truck and sets the town on fire. Just another day for ICA.
    • In the final mission, Dexter is planning to flee Blackwater Park with Victoria via helicopter. He also plans to destroy the building in a desperate bid to kill 47.
  • Nobody Could Have Survived That: "Run For Your Life". It's late and the Chicago P.D. are getting irritable. Smart money says the bald assassin died in the hotel fire. (He's survived being "cremated" once already...)
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: In the Cornfield level it is possible to obtain a scarecrow outfit and hide in plain sight by posing like one. Amusingly, you'll soon have several crows perching upon you.
  • Non-Standard Game Over:
    • “End of the Road” only has Lenny as the sole human NPC posing absolutely no threat to you whatsoever and leaving you free to kill him as you please, or you can just leave him to die in the desert. But if you decide to stand next to the boxes of dynamite and shoot them, a unique cutscene plays in which Lenny gloats about having killed the Hitman.
    • An atomic bomb is hanging from the ceiling in the Dexter Industries lobby. Anyone tempted to shoot it will immediately discover it is not inert.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • "The King of Chinatown" should be a walk down memory lane for older players. Push the King down a manhole ("The Seafood Massacre"), sneak in the pagoda and poison his thermos ("Slaying a Dragon"), or trick him into ingesting some fugu ("Tracking Hayomoto").
    • Tommy Clemenza's store. In the basement, there are several newspaper clippings related to Mr. 47 lining the walls, including a few from the end of the Blood Money missions. Tommy is also playing the score from Tosca on his record player. Tosca featured heavily in the opera house mission, "Curtains Down".
  • Note to Self: Dr. Green ambles around the testing area, making notes for R&D—Among them his idea for a miniature bomb which explodes in your stomach. He also makes plans to cancel his anger management sessions. "Therapy is for the weak!"
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here:
    • The private security firm working Diana's mansion obviously has no idea what they've gotten themselves into.
      "I tell ya, this gig is like watching paint dry." [takes knife to the cranium]
    • Nice community you have there, Sheriff. It's be a shame if something...happened to it.
  • Not So Stoic: 47 goes from pointing a gun in Victoria's face to shock, horror and revulsion upon learning that she was subject to the same barbaric experiments he was, leading him to protect her no matter what.
  • Oddball in the Series: Absolution is very different from the other games in the Hitman franchise. The missions are relatively linear, and some of the levels don't even involve killing specific targets at all, requiring just to get from point A to point B stealthily. Even plot-wise, 47 being against the ICA is very different to the usual status quo of the series of working with them.
  • Old Master:
    • Tom the Tailor.
    • The Dukes run a gun range where you win back the Silverballers. The patriarch is a wily bugger, make no mistake.
  • Ominous Fog: The plan is to stop Blake Dexter before he detonates charges on the rooftop and flies away with helicopter. In this race against the clock, stealth is critical, which is why the fog is a double-edged sword: it helps you evade the guards, but makes them harder to spot as well.
  • Ominous Multiple Screens: In an examination room, Dr. Ashford has screens situated all around Victoria's chair to document his specimen.
  • Only Sane Man: Jade cleans up after Travis' faeces, and it is presumed she plans to steal his job once the ICA gets sick of his mismanagement.
  • Open Secret: Previous games in the series had the International Contract Agency as an extremely secret clandestine organisation, connected to most major nations' secret services and the UN, only ever operating through proxies' proxies. After their reformation in Blood Money however, something changed, as they began to send large squadrons of highly conspicuous operatives in garish ICA uniforms and marked vehicles to take over urban centres, where they cordon off streets, search houses and round up civilians like a paramilitary force. So much for secrecy. At one point in the game, Travis swoops down on a South Dakota courthouse in an ICA helicopter and declares to the town's sheriff over megaphone that they're taking over. Like with many aspects of Absolution, the following game; Hitman (2016), would later retcon this behaviour and the ICA goes back to being a secretive clandestine organisation, and Hitman 3, without spoilers, further retcons it.
  • Orphanage of Fear: "Rosewood". 47 stashes the girl here for safekeeping, unwittingly dooming the nuns and vicars inside.
  • Ow, My Body Part!: Put sleeping pills in the guard's coffee at Diana's house. It yields this gem: "Ack! My ulcer didn't like that last cup one bit."
  • Permanently Missable Content: With the shutdown of the servers for Contracts mode in 2018, the entire weapon and disguse collection aspect and a few achievements/trophies are completely neutered. Unlike previous games, you cannot select your loadout when replaying a mission in Absolution.
  • The Pigpen: Birdie's jackets are all covered in bird feces.
  • Pipe Pain: Collect one in an alley and apply it to some skulls.
  • Pornstache:
    • Travis.
    • Lenny is sporting some bum fluff, as is Gavin (the Cougars' mechanic and wheelman)
    • The Vixen Club is owned and operated by...wrestling commentator Mean Gene Okerlund?
  • Praetorian Guard: Name-dropped in the final mission. Instead of being larger than life superheroes Travis' last line of defense could well be realistic stand ins for John Clark, Chris Kyle and Dan Capel. The trio operate as a small team, similar to the Saints, and their names are references to protective items in Ancient Greek and Roman culture: Aegis (a large cape worn to show that one was protected by a religious authority), Scutum (Latin for "shield"), and Hoplon (another kind of shield carried by Greek infantry). The term "Praetorians" refers to the personal guards of a Roman Emperor — Travis himself.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: The Saints' squad leader (Dixon) announces her arrival with, "Go with God, motherfucker" before launching an RPG directly at your room.
  • Press X to Not Die: In Absolution, the Cutscene Boss battle against Sanchez.
  • Professor Guinea Pig:
    • Once Victoria is dragged to the plant, Dr. Ashford is assigned to figure out what makes this girl tick. This involves restraining the subject in a chair and probing her anatomy with needles. Now comes the fun part: Just as players were able to exact revenge on Dr. Kovacs in the original game, you can kill Ashford by waiting for him to sit in the biopsy chair, then jam a very large needle into his chest as the old man shrieks for help.
    • Dr. Valentine is always irritable about something, and will go from room to room, examining his inventions and berating the techies for handling them improperly. Regardless of which machine he's examining, you can take the controls and turn the Doctor into strawberry jam. Try frying him with a rail gun as he's straightening the test dummies, or mixing some fire paste into his hair tonic. ("I can feel it prickling!") For added irony, Valentine will shove aside a chemist and insist on trying it out on himself.
  • Psycho for Hire: Absolution is filled to the brim with these. Blake Dexter, who is hardly the picture of mental wellness himself, has a mercenary named Wade on his payroll. Wade 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 favor explosions over stealth, and are callous with civilian lives.
  • Punch-Clock Villain:
    • Jade and Layla don't approve of all this gore and mayhem, but they go along with it in the interest of their jobs. Layla protests the hiring of Edward Wade to his face, and is distraught when Dexter murders a cleaning lady at the Terminus Hotel to cover his tracks, which she considered very unnecessary.
    • Many of Wade's henchmen are very uncomfortable with shooting up an orphanage full of nuns. Likewise, some of Ashford's colleagues are wary about experimenting on an able-bodied teenage girl.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...:
    • Sanchez is the only character to survive 47's garrotte.
    • Patriot's punches don't seem to faze Sanchez. Even if he lands a hit (in the stomach, not the face which is Sanchez's weak spot), he will stupidly turn to the crowd to pose. Right before Sanchez whomps him from behind.

    Tropes R-Z 

  • Real Men Wear Pink:
    • Not much is revealed about The Patriot personally, other than that he is quite superstitious, and has a pink teddy bear which he carries as a good luck charm. If it goes 'missing', he will harangue everybody and refuse to wrestle until someone finds it.
    • John Turner is the prosecutor assigned to the case of Timothy Hawke, a man who was caught smashing garden gnomes at Baldwin's Garden Shop. After the trial, he goes to the church, where he denounces Sheriff Skurky in front of the citizenry. Turner is also a "successful lawyer and heterosexual" who just happens to "collect and restore antique dollhouses" in his spare time, something he can be overheard defending on his phone.
  • Redshirt:
    • That poor sushi guy.
    • If you are slow to stop Larry, he will shoot the fry cook in the middle of an interrogation.
    • The Saints are first seen interrogating a man in Panama when LaSandra gets the call from Travis. She then hurls a knife at the hostage's forehead, and the group packs up and leaves.
  • Redshirt Army: The body count in this game reaches truly outlandish levels. At least twenty nuns and priests are killed when Wade shoots up the orphanage, followed by another dozen or more guests blown up by LaSandra's rocket. By the time Travis sets the entire town of Hope on fire, we have officially lost count.
  • Remilitarized Zone: "Death Factory", the weapons testing area of Blake Dexter's plant, is quite vast. Of particular note is the minefield testing area, where Dr. Green sits in his skybox and detonates hogs in a facsimile of 1950's American suburbia. Dr. Green informs you over the intercom that the whole place is honeycombed with mines. If you wander into the path of one, it won't be fun.
  • Remixed Level:
    • "The King of Chinatown" is a breeze. 47 makes a return trip to Chinatown later in the game; now there are three targets to take care of, along with numerous cops.
    • "Operation Sledgehammer." You're still in the Hope County jail, sans Ballers. You'll have to reclaim them and then work your way backwards.
  • Reset Button: Absolution renders the entirety of the events of Blood Money irrelevant. The ICA was completely destroyed by the Franchise except for Diana and 47, 47 faked his death as well as eliminated all witnesses who could say otherwise, and the government owed him a huge favor. When we begin Absolution, 47 and Diana are mid-ranked employees of the Agency and the Hitman is known to be alive.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Whenever one of his strippers betrays him or tries to quit their job, Dom hands them a ticket to "Hawaii".
  • Respawning Enemies: If 47 triggers a full scale alert, the guards might call for backup, not unlike the FBI in the Blood Money mission "A New Life."
  • Retirony:
    • Many, many examples of this in the enemy chatter. For example, in the tutorial mission, Agent 47 can overhear a guard being told by his doctor that he's tested negative for prostate cancer. Excited by the good news, the guard happily proclaims "I was a goner! WOO! No one can piss on this day", while standing in front of window overlooking a jagged cliff. In another, you find a Dexter Industries employee who just had a baby girl the day before. It's up to you on how to get past them.
    • In Chinatown, Frank is overheard demanding a "champagne room" full of strippers in exchange for silencing Birdie. "Get ready to light my fire", he crows, right before he flicks a cigarette behind him, setting off a gasoline spill AND a mountain of unlit fireworks in the same alleyway.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Zig zagged. While the gunslinger playstyle encourages revolver kills and revolvers generally have more stopping power than semi-automatics, revolvers, in addition to the usual drawbacks of smaller ammo capacity and slower reloads, cannot be used in pairs nor can they be fitted with a suppressor.
  • Room 101: The "Hawaii" Room.
  • The Ruins I Caused: Though in fairness to baldy, he wasn't responsible for this town's destruction.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • Not far from Diana's sun deck, a wet recruit and a salty solider are conversing about the latter's PTSD. He advises "junior" to look for another line of work. ("This travel agency only has two destinations: Death, and Depression.") In addition to giving the NPCs a bit more personality, this is a preview of the upcoming 47/Victoria relationship.
    • Upon 47's arrival in Hope, we see a yappy dog in someone's front yard. This pug symbolizes Dexter's crime network, which is struck from behind by a silent assassin — in this case, a rattlesnake.
  • Rule of Two: This is a recurring motif in Absolution. Everything that happens in Chicago is mirrored in the Hope missions.
  • Rules Lawyer: The drug bust. In spite of this orgy of evidence, the chortling cop orders a subordinate to do an anal cavity search.
    "Funny how we only 'follow procedure' when it's MY turn."
  • Run or Die: "Run For Your Life" about sums it up.
  • Scary Black Woman: Dixon, the first of the killer nuns you face. Dixon is voiced by Vivica A. Fox, one of the targets in Kill Bill, and the character pays homage to those old Blaxploitation flicks.
  • Schmuck Bait: The various weapons displayed in the Dexter Industries lobby are live... including the atomic bomb hanging from the ceiling. Try to avoid the temptation to shoot at it...
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: You can kill and replace "Snowman", but it's more fun to leave him awake. When he discovers the King dead of an apparent overdose, he can be overheard cursing out those "lab geeks" and frantically searching for his passport.
  • Secret Ingredient : Diana's pompous Chef. He refuses to divulge his Master's "secret recipes" to flatfooted guards who should feel privileged to sample his ambrosia. Best part is, if you spike the food and let him sample it, the chef will wonder aloud if he's made "...uh...what's the word... 'mistake'?".
    Chef: I will take the secret ingredient to the grave!
    Guard: [snorts in derision] Is it salt?
    Chef: ....noooooo.
  • Sequel Hook: At the end of Absolution, Birdie decides to sell 47's identity to the police. The sequels themselves seem to have completely ignored it, however.
  • Shoot the Fuel Tank: Any gasoline pump you comes across can be shot. And any puddle of gas can be ignited with a bullet. Of course, right? Just ask Michael Bay.
  • Shoot the Television: As part of the 'Sore Losers' level challenge in the Dexter Industries mission, the player can destroy a video game console two guards are enjoying by shooting (or otherwise breaking) the television screen.
  • Show Some Leg: If you use Lenny's keycard to slip in, you'll find Layla already waiting for you, splayed on a bed. She will proceed to strip down to her black bra & panties as sax music plays in the ethersphere.
  • Shower Scene: In "A Personal Contract", 47 plugs Diana through her shower door. 47 himself gets one just before "Attack Of The Saints."
  • Simpleton Voice: Lenny and Sturkey both have a speech impediment, causing them to slur words. In Lenny's case, the lisp was caused by his old man beating him up as a child.
  • Sinister Silhouettes: "Victoria's Ward" is the first and by far the shortest stage of Rosewood mission. Carrying Victoria to the exit should not take more than a minute. The fun part is hiding behind the bed-curtains as Wade's bandits walk past.
  • Snuff Film: Dom records himself and his cronies torturing staff members when they turn mutinous.
  • Soiled City on a Hill: 47 has to reduce Hope to a smoking crater to mop up the corruption.
  • Spooky Silent Library: The Harold Washington Library. The lights keep flickering due to bad fuses, to the vocal disgust of Sarge.
  • Stag Party: There's one going on in a back room of the Vixen Club, and other in the Dexter plant's offices.
  • Steam Vent Obstacle: Let off some steam, Bennett. 47 can take advantage of the valves into Rosewood boiler room: Release a flame cloud to incapacitate Wade, who staggers around blindly before dropping dead at last.
  • Stinger:
    • Diana's death scene is filmed ambiguously: 47 says "It won't last long", which makes it sound like her wound was fatal. However, he also tells Diana "You still have a chance", which suggests the opposite. Travis gets wise to this, and tries exhuming Diana's body at her family crypt, which draws 47 out of hiding and ends in Travis' own death. At the end, 47 refuses to confirm or deny whether he actually killed Diana. We later see a fully-healed Diana reunited with Victoria, with 47 looking on.
    • If the player decides to leave Lenny alive, he will continue to plod along in the desert while talking to himself, which can be overheard in the 'Lost and Found' menu. He states that he was once a cub scout, along with miscellaneous dialogue (none of which bodes well for him).
  • Stripping the Scarecrow: Agent 47 can use a Scarecrow disguise after the Agency attacks his hotel. It works best while pretending to be a scarecrow, however.
  • The Stoner: Want a hit, man?
  • A Storm Is Coming: It's raining throughout the "Terminus" mission.
  • Storming the Castle: Dexter's penthouse.
  • Straw Fan: In the ICA Trailer for "The Saints", there is a frame that shows a letter to Travis by an unknown ICA board member who voices his concerns about the hit squad. He questions their religious attire and the fetish costumes underneath, a possible reference to fan criticisms towards the 'Attack of the Saints' CG Trailer. Travis underlines the sentence "Also, what's with the fetish costumes?" and humorously replies in blue ink "I will ask them."
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: In "Fight Night", you can steal The Patriot's wrestling uniform. Your manager is overheard on the phone complimenting the new outfit, but expresses concern that it's tighter than the last one. "You can see his testes."
  • Stupid Crooks:
    Wade: I need to bring my boys. That means double my fee.
    Dexter: Take Lenny with you.
    Wade: Triple my fee. Sorry, kid's a dipshit.
    • In "Run For Your Life", 47 bursts in on some squatters who have knocked down the walls of their apartments to grow marijuana. He is soon followed by THE ENTIRE C.P.D., including a helicopter with spotlight. One tenant completely panics and screams at everybody to do something, but the others NPCs are too baked to care. ("Maybe they're just here to chill.") One guy continues to take bong hits as the police question him. The best is a guy who sprints into the bathroom to flush his potted marijuana plant.
      Cop: "Medicinal"?! You got a fuckin' ECOSYSTEM growin' in here!
      • And if you poke around in there, there is a big poster on the wall which says "FUCK THE POLICE".
    • The daily grind of living in Hope and being under the thumb of Lenny Dexter is getting to be too much for Tyler Colvin. He concocts a plan to kidnap Victoria from Dexter Industries and sell her off to the competing arms company, Stallion Armaments. Dialogue in the mission reveals that he plans to flee to California with the cash and invites his girlfriend to come with him. He convinces the other Cougars to get in on the action, though at the time of "Shaving Lenny", one of the members (Gavin) is extremely skeptical towards the scheme. They intend to pull this off without informing their boss, Lenny Dexter. According to this half-baked plan, Tyler will supervise (i.e. sit in the car) during the abduction, Landon and Mason will do the dirty work, Gavin will be the wheelman, and Luke will be the lookout. However, before the plan can be executed, all five are assassinated by Agent 47, who was only trying to get to Lenny, so it's doubtful that their little sedition would have worked.
    • Also, underneath Victoria's photo on a planning board in the Cougar hideout, someone scrawled the words "I'd do her!" even though she is only 16 years old.
  • Sugar Apocalypse:
    • The "five-star" Wakiki Motel is reduced to kindling by an RPG and a cleaner team. (The Hawaiian-shirted manager is in tears.) The ICA will roam around the inn, gunning down the guests and even putting extra bullets in them to make sure they're dead. Two survivors are about to be killed in the reception area and the Putt-Putt golf course. There are also some... colorful melee weapons available for you to use, such as the bill fork on the reception desk.
    • This is a sneak preview of the Hope festival: the ICA rains thunder on the town, turning it from Mayberry to Tel Aviv in seconds.
  • Surrounded by Idiots:
    • All 3 of the scientists you must assassinate, but Valentine especially.
    • Travis (without irony) whines to Jade about being surrounded by total incompetents. It's evident in these scenes that Jade is counting down the minutes until he gets fired.
    • The hoods in South Dakota are mentally-deficient, even by the series standard. It doesn't take long for Wade to lose patience with Lenny and his own men; when they report in to ask where Victoria went, Wade shouts to the heavens that his people "can't even find [their] own dicks!"
    • The upper floors of the Terminus Hotel are reserved for (and completely trashed by) Dexter's muscle who were flown in from Hope. When 47 arrives via the service elevator, the lieutenant is heard cursing out his underlings.
      "That means no drinking, no fighting, and NO BANGING THE MAIDS (that means you!)"
    • Blake Dexter flies completely off the handle when 47 slips past his penthouse security.
      [on phone] "Think you can do that? No of course you can't do that 'CAUSE YOU'RE A BUNCH OF FUCKIN' PUSSIES! I HAVE TO DO FUCKIN' EVERYTHING AROUND HERE!"
  • Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist: Det. Cosmo Faulkner. He appears to be one of Chicago's very few honest cops (and the "World's Greatest Grandad", according to his coffee mug). Cosmo is introduced in "Run For You Life" as the guy looking to bust 47 for the murder of Dexter's maid.
  • Take It to the Bridge: "Under the Bridge", a 3-step achievement, involves stealthily killing NPCs and dumping their bodies off the cliffside track.
  • A Taste of Power: After quitting his job, 47 is strong-armed into giving his Silverballers to Birdie, leaving you with just an unsilenced revolver and a garrote for a few levels. You'll have to make do with those until the eighth mission, "Birdie's Gift".
  • Tested on Humans: Ashford has no hang-ups about experimenting on Victoria; Dexter has been kidnapping "crazies and vagrants" for his experiments for years.
  • The Comically Serious: There's this one point were agent 47 takes an elevator ride with a loud sushi guy. He take one step away from him with out a word or change of facial expresion. A lot of people though this was funny.
  • There Was a Door: 47 tries to wire Sanchez as he emerges from an air vent, but Sanchez's neck is too thick [!], and the pair of them barrel into Dexter's hotel room, reducing the door to splinters. The blow also knocks 47 out cold.
    Dexter: JESUS CHRIST! Don't you ever fuckin' knock?"
  • Thirsty Desert: "End of the Road". Desert walking without supplies always ends badly.
  • Timed Mission: You have 5 minutes to reach Dexter's heliport. If you do not make it on time, Dexter will detonate charges on the rooftop, demolishing the penthouse and killing 47.
  • Tinfoil Hat: The preferred attire of Timothy Hawke, a man who believes the UN are using 'mind control rays' embedded in garden gnomes. Although he is obviously mentally unbalanced, Hope's law enforcement considers him essentially harmless and often dismisses the charges against him. And yes, you can steal his outfit and go to jail in his place.
  • Too Kinky to Torture:
    • Wade gets an erection from his own death throes — something which perplexes even him.
    • Some barflys can be overheard wishing that Lenny would get gored by a bull. One trucker laments that he would probably just enjoy it. (A crude reference to Lenny's closeted homosexuality.)
  • Took a Level in Dumbass:
    • No self-respecting black ops outfit would ever employ a baboon like Travis, much less appoint him Division Chief of the U.S. branch. In Travis' attempt to make the Agency more of a threat to 47 he ensured it was no such thing, because of course 47 has to win.
    • It's also stated that Birdie is a former Agency operative [!] and still regarded as their "top intelligence man.".
    • 47 himself suffers this a fair bit. The framing of 47's for murder only happened because he took on that gargantuan bodyguard, completely alone and unarmed, and tried 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. 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.
  • Trojan Prisoner:
    • "Skurky's Law": As soon as you sabotage the video, head directly to the toilets and mug the defendant (Tinfoil Hat Man). Once done, head back to the courtroom where the Judge will find "Mr. Hawke" guilty and sentence you. A guard will escort you to the prison block which happens to be where Sheriff Skurky is keeping Victoria.
    • At the start of "Operation Sledgehammer", 47 escapes from his bonds while leaving the chair intact. If you pull the fire alarm, 47 can slip back into the chair and pretend to still be restrained when an officer wanders in. This, too, feels like it was cribbed from Metal Gear Solid.
  • True Craftsman: "Joe" is a master electrician who is said to have survived a lightning bolt and gained supernatural powers.
  • Tyke Bomb: Victoria on the title screen puts it this way.
    Diana, she always talks about him. Way back when they first worked together. It was the stories that I liked the most. Sometimes I wish I could be like him. I know that some of the things he does are bad. Real bad, even, but... I think it's possible to be both good and bad at the same time. If he was doing it to help someone, then it's good......isn't it?
  • Uncomfortable Elevator Moment: Fodder for some black humor in "Blackwater Park". As 47 presses the elevator panel to go up, a gasping delivery boy carrying a big tray of sushi dives in the elevator at the last minute. His attempts at small-talk fall flat on the mute Mister 47. When the elevator doors open, he gets shot to pieces by Layla's guards while 47 zips up the emergency hatch unharmed.
  • Verbal Tic: Birdie calling people "Holmes".
  • Vice City: The degree of police corruption that exists in Chicago borders on the absurd. ("I don't know about you, but I smell a fishing boat in my future!") The suggestion that most of the C.P.D. is a giant roving death squad for the King of Chinatown and/or Blake Dexter fits with the atmosphere of the game, and helps rationalize why 47 needs to take the law into his own hands. But Hope, South Dakota really takes the cake. It seems as though Sheriff Skurky's department is as much a hostile occupying force as a law enforcement agency.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where was Layla hiding that thing?
  • Villainous Demotivator: There's an interrogation room in the bowels of Dexter Industries. Some hired guns are grilling a lab tech and suspected whistleblower by the name of Floyd.
  • Watch the Paint Job: The "King's" Porche, and the Cougars' fin convertible. Meddle with their cars to summon them out into the open.
  • We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties: "Skurky's Law". Wait for the trial to progress, and eventually a video tape will start playing of Mr. Hawke kicking the garden gnomes at Baldwin's Garden Shop. ("More like Baldwin's U.N. Mind Control Shop!") To the left side of the balcony is the computer you can use to shut the video off. The court will then take a 5-minute recess.
    Tinfoil Hat: Ha! See? SEE?! That's the power of the U.N.!!
    Stickland: We have technical difficulties and an incontinent defendant, so let's take a break.
  • We Have Reserves:
    • It is implied that Dexter and Layla have a consesual relationship, and Layla agrees to lay her life down for him by slowing down Mr. 47. Dexter is infuriated by news of her death, but in the end, he is more concerned about his money, implying that he would rather have the money than Layla.
    • Proving once again than he and Dexter are two sides of the same coin, Travis hides in a mausoelum and sends Jade out to exhume Diana's body. It's likely that he predicted 47 showing his face at the grave site. and is using Jade as bait. When she protests this deliberate tactical error, Travis taunts Jade by reminding her that she wanted to join "the big leagues", perhaps implying that he sees Jade as a potential rival within the ICA and wants her out of the picture.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • 47 accepting the hit on Diana. For the second time in his career, he sounds ashamed to be a hitman. "One day, I will think of this as just another job."
    • Played for Laughs at the subway. The station manager is getting chewed out by a friend over the phone for staying late at work, and ignores his pleas to hold onto their game tickets and not board the ferry without him. "OK, fine! I saved your ass on the playground in second grade. SAVED your ass." *hangs up*
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: The Tinfoil Hat Man wears an American flag pullover, to scare away U.N. stooges.
  • Welcome to Corneria:
    • "Bulls-eye! Cat's eye! Any eye!" The judge of the shooting contest has run out of jokes.
    • Despite being unique targets, the Praetorians all use the same generic dialogue as the regular Agency PMCs.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While the following game in the series acknowledges the canonicity of Absolution (via several nods and the unlockable "Terminus" suit), it never explains what happened to Victoria nor Birdie after the events of the game, nor what happened with the Sequel Hook of Birdie giving intel on 47 to a Chicago detective).
  • Wild Card: Birdie is (to say the least) an unreliable ally. Although 47 does not tell him where Victoria is, he nonetheless has little difficulty finding out. Once Wade captures him, he divulges the girl's location to him, causing the brutal attack on the Rosewood Orphanage and Victoria's subsequent capture.
    • After Wade is killed by 47, Birdie tries to peddle his services to Dexter but is rejected. He then returns 47's Silverballers (which he had previously taken as additional payment) with a note suggesting that Dexter is their 'mutual problem'. Hedging his bets, he also sends similar notes about 47 to Det. Cosmo Faulkner of the Chicago Police and Benjamin Travis of the ICA, offering information to both in exchange for money. The latter memo leads to the ICA making several attempts on 47's life, culminating with their massive assault on the town of Hope.
    • At the end of the game, Birdie appears in person to Det. Faulkner and offers to help him find 47, likely because he knows 47 will retaliate against him.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Judge Strickland works in Hope as a criminal judge. After learning that he is of recent British ancestry, he became obsessed with all things British and started dressing in a full-bottomed wig and a British-style judges ceremonial robes at work. He even has court transcribers rewrite some profanities into British English counterparts, such as "asshole" into "arsehole".
  • "You!" Exclamation: Sanchez's reaction to 47 unmasking himself in the wrestling ring. "YOU!! Impossiblé!"
  • You Fool!: If you trap him in the robot chair, Dr. Ashford won't have a clue what's going on, instead screaming at the lab techs to turn off the machine.
  • You Have Failed Me: If you poke your head in the Vixen Club dressing room, some strippers will mention the disappearances of two girls, Laurie and Amber. It seems the club owner, Dom Osmond, lost his cool and beat them to death with a billy club.
  • You Just Told Me: The prologue shows 47 driving up to Diana's gate in an ice cream van, pretending to be lost. The guard approaches an unseen 47 in the window and tells him they don't want any Fudgsicles today. "What about your partner?", 47 murmurs. "What partner?" the guard sneers, right before getting wired and dragged into the van.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: "Victoria" gets shot in full view of the baffled ICA wet team. Once Blake removes her head sack, we get a gruesome closeup of Mrs. Cooper with her tear-streaked cheeks. Also, her mouth is duct-taped shut.