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"A bald man wakes up in a padded cell with an enigmatic barcode on his neck, haunted by nightmares. He soon realizes he has a single purpose in life—he is a clone, born and bred for contract killings."
Hitman: Codename 47's Manual

Hitman: Codename 47 (commonly abbreviated to "Codename 47") is a third-person stealth game developed by Io-Interactive, and was released in the United States of America on November 19th, 2000. It serves as both the first installment of the Hitman franchise, as well as Io-Interactive's debut in the gaming industry.

Additionally, Codename 47 is the only PC-exclusive, and Windows exclusive game in the series. Codename 47 was succeeded by Io-Interactive's second most selling Hitman title, Hitman 2: Silent Assassin.

Gameplay

HC47-Menu

Main Menu.

Codename 47 is a third-person action/stealth combo which revolves around Agent 47, a genetically enhanced human clone with a barcode tattooed on the back of his head, who is rigorously trained in methods of murder. Upon escaping from an unknown facility, he is hired by the International Contract Agency (also known as "The Agency"), a conglomerate of professional assassins who provide their services to wealthy or otherwise influential customers while also being affiliated with organizations like the FBI, the CIA, MI5 and even the UN (on several occasions). Agent 47's hired to eliminate several high-profile criminals, located in various parts of the world.

During these assassinations, the player, controlling Agent 47, can acquire and use a wide range of weapons, straining from semi-automatic pistols to rapid-fire rifles, however the player is also provided with more silent, melee weaponry such as the Fiber Wire, or the Oyabun Knife. The weaponry varies on the mission played. Plutonium Runs Loose for example allows the player to buy a minigun, while The Lee Hong Assassination only offers a list of pistols and SMGs, although higher-caliber weapons such as the Blaser Jagdwaffen R93 Sniper can usually be found on location.

Agent 47's movements are controlled with basic turning, strafing and walking/running, each dedicated to it's own key. Agent 47 is able to climb ladders when necessary, and has enough physical strength to throw himself from two adjacent balconies or platforms, drag bodies of any body type, and due to his genetic combination can disguise as generally any European, or European-descended person.

Each level in the game takes place in an open environment which is populated with non-playable characters, such as civilians, armed guards and targets. Although mission criteria may vary, the goal is generally to find Agent 47's assigned target and kill them through any effective means possible. Though the path may appear linear, it is possible through various ways to accomplish the mission and approach a target directly without eliciting a violent reprisal.

While it is a stealth game, the game does not necessarily enforce that ideal, allowing the player to engage at their own discretion, highlighting the game's recurring sandbox element. However, there are restrictions implemented depending on the player's actions. There are penalties in finances, for example, if the player kills civilians. This deduction grows depending on the number of non-target casualties the player inflicts. As the money is used to purchase weapons and ammo during the course of the game, this pressures the player to utilize stealth and disguise mechanics for the most cost-effective method to take out targets.

Before every assignment, the player is provided with a briefing, consisting of intelligence on the target, a map detailing the area where 47 is to encounter said target, and a list of weapons that they can purchase. The briefing is managed by a controller at the Agency. Every agent is assigned his own controller, Agent 47's being Diana Burnwood.

The intelligence is usually comprised of a picture of the target, with sometimes video footage as well, along with information including height, weight and a brief rundown of their criminal career.

The game relies heavily on the disguise system. Save for the Training mission and the Colombian arc, the player begins the missions wearing Agent 47's Suit, which restricts the access to areas such as staff quarters, but most importantly it almost always prevents the player from reaching the target. Thus, Agent 47 can acquire, lethally or otherwise, certain disguises which allow him to pass by security unnoticed and can possibly even wield weapons freely. The changed clothes are folded and left on the ground.

If Agent 47 adopts the clothes of someone he has slain, his disguise will be compromised as soon as the body is discovered. 47 creates sound while walking which alerts any hostile characters in close vicinity. In order to avoid being detected, the player can use the sneak function, which causes 47 to crouch and move in a stalking manner.

Sneaking also allows 47 to retrieve a weapon from his inventory without anyone hearing it; if 47 is standing upright when the player pulls out a weapon, it will alert nearby characters. Characters who are dead may be dragged at any time. If anyone on the map spots a body lying on the ground, alerts for all armed guards will set off.

Plot

Note: While the general plot of Codename 47 follows a distinct path, many elements such as the assassination methods and character interactions are subject to the player's decisions. The game offers several events and methods to targets, along with multiple decisions based on the sandbox gameplay. This story synopsis concentrates on the main plot thread of the game the player would generally encounter on their first time playing.

Clone #47

Main article(s): Training
HC47-47UnshackledAsylum

Clone #47 released from his shackles.

The protagonist, Clone #47, shackled to a bed in a locked and padded cell, was awakened by a mysterious voice via an unknown speaker. As he slowly came around, the door unlocked and the voice began guiding #47, claiming he is the person he could "trust the most." The clone was ordered to get rid of his hospital robes by putting on the suit awaiting him on the other side of the door.

With the voice instructing him further on, 47 practiced through an obstacle course, learning to use different kinds of weapons, ranging from a connected strand of piano wire to knives, submachine guns and even various rifles, finally disguising himself as one of the orderlies to escape.

Meanwhile, the "mentor" was watching #47 on cameras and as the clone escaped the asylum. He laughed, and rested in his chair, satisfied.

Kowloon Triads in Gang War

C47-OneYearLater

Agent 47 in his motel room, opening the shades.

Main article(s): Kowloon Triads in Gang War, Ambush at the Wang Fou Restaurant, The Massacre at Cheung Chau Fish Restaurant, The Lee Hong Assassination

After #47 escaped the asylum, he joined the International Contract Agency, a conglomerate of professional assassins, and quickly acquired the title of Agent. Almost a year after his escape, Agent 47 was deployed in Hong Kong for a rather difficult assignment, the assassination of the Red Dragon Triad leader Lee Hong, one of the most dangerous people in Hong Kong.

The Agency, through 47's handler Diana Burnwood, stressed that while it's possible Agent 47 could reach Hong and eliminate him, it would be impossible for him to flee the city alive afterwards, and thus devised an intricate plan that would almost destroy the Red Dragon Triad externally, subsequently weakening Lee Hong's influence over the Hong Kong mob and authorities, allowing Agent 47's escape following the hit.

Hong Kong Destabilization

C47-CarGoBoom

47 blows up the Blue Lotus delegation's car.

Agent 47 began setting the plan's wheels in motion by killing a Red Dragon negotiator during a peace meeting with the Blue Lotus Triad, prompting the fellow triad to come in high numbers to Lee Hong's restaurant for a peace truce.

Agent 47 intercepted this meeting as well and massacred the entire Blue Lotus delegation, bringing the two triads on the brink of an all-out gang war. The police, who were on Lee Hong's payroll, intervened to preserve the peace. One last meeting was set on neutral grounds, a small fish restaurant, with the Hong Kong Chief of Police himself participating in the negotiations.

Agent 47 murdered the chief, and the Blue Lotus negotiator (while making it seem like it was the Red Dragon Triad's doing), therefore severing Lee Hong's ties with the authorities, halting Lee Hong's influence.

With the Red Dragon Triad weakened, Lee Hong was finally in a vulnerable enough position, allowing Agent 47 to engage. The client, however, wanted the Red Dragon Triad completely wiped out, so in addition to having to kill Lee Hong, Agent 47 needed to steal a Jade Figurine from the triad's headquarters, as losing the figurine would damage the triad's morale beyond repair.

Slaying a Dragon

The Jade Figurine was locked behind one of the various safes in Hong's restaurant. Agent 47 acquired the safe combination from Lei Ling, a prostitute working in Hong's brothel, in exchange for helping her escape, and learned the safe's location from a captured CIA agent named Smith. The CIA agent also informed 47 about Zhun, Lee Hong's large bodyguard, who followed the triad leader anywhere and even tasted his food.

Agent 47 acquired the Jade Figurine and traded it for a vial of poison, which he then used on Lee Hong's food. Zhun however tasted the meal first, exposing 47's attempt to poison Lee Hong. Hong ran away and 47 tried to pursue him, but was held down by a dying Zhun. The agent managed to kill the bodyguard and proceeded to track down Hong to his palace behind the restaurant. He ultimately took him out, before finding a cryptic letter on his desk, detailing a secret project that Hong was apparently involved in. Afterwards, 47 escaped Hong Kong unscathed, on Hong's speedboat.

The Colombian Jungle

Main article(s): Find the U'wa Tribe, The Jungle God, Say Hello to My Little Friend
C47-ColumbianLandings

Agent 47 landing in the Colombian Jungle.

Following Agent 47's successful assignment in Hong Kong, the Agency presented him with another similarly complicated mission. He was to assassinate the notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Belisario Ochoa who had his drug empire hidden in Colombia's jungle, some of it cutting across the local U'wa Tribe's territory. Several attempts at Ochoa's life had failed in the past, thus prompting the tribe to nickname him "The Man With Nine Lives."

Agent 47 was deployed in the jungle, and made his way through the thick vegetation trying to locate Ochoa's base. He came across a crashed aircraft which was meant to smuggle Ochoa's drugs.

Among the wreckage, 47 found a golden statue, which represented one of the U'wa Tribe's deities. The statue was hollowed out and used for drug smuggling, and since the aircraft had crashed, Ochoa ordered his henchmen to recover the statue. As such, 47 ran into some of his security while they were taking a tribe member hostage.

Agent 47 eliminated the guards and freed the hostage, who was in fact the U'wa Chieftain's brother, leading 47 the way to the U'wa Tribe's village. Freeing him and returning one of the tribe's most precious artifacts earned 47 the tribe's trust.

The chief informed Agent 47 about a secret passage to Ochoa's base. However, he warned 47 of encountering Tezcatlipoca, their sacred god of death, and advised him to perform a sacrifice if he wanted to proceed unscathed.

He crossed a narrow rope bridge deeper into the U'wa camp, and ran into Tezcatlipoca, who was revealed to be nothing more than a large jaguar. Nevertheless, 47 offered one of the boars to the "god of death" in order to gain access to the secret passage. Case in point, with the jaguar focused on 47's offering, 47 escaped into Ochoa's camp.

The Ochoa Assassination

C47-SnipingOchoa

Ochoa in his mansion.

Reaching the drug lord's base of operations, Agent 47's main objectives were to take out Ochoa, and blow up his drug lab in order to permanently cease cocaine production. Agent 47 infiltrated the fenced perimeter and quickly found Ochoa in his hacienda, snorting vast amounts of cocaine. The agent disposed of Ochoa's guards and confronted him on the third floor of the mansion.

However, the drug lord was expecting another attempt on his life and armed himself with a US Army M60 machine gun, ready to take out anyone who even thought about trying to kill him.

Following a rather long shootout, Ochoa was ultimately killed, having taken large amounts of bullets. Similar to Hong, Ochoa's desk had another cryptic letter, detailing Ochoa's involvement in the same project mentioned in Hong's letter. Agent 47 acquired a bomb from Ochoa's office, which he used to blow up the drug lab. Having brought down Ochoa and his drug empire, Agent 47 escaped Colombia on Ochoa's plane, awaiting further instructions by the Agency.

Bombings at the Bath Hotel

Main article(s): Traditions of the Trade
C47-BathBombingArrival

Agent 47 looking out of a limousine window.

A new mission came after the incident in Colombia, and Agent 47 was tasked to assassinate Frantz Fuchs, an Austrian terrorist who was planning to detonate a chemical bomb in the Hotel Gallàrd in Budapest, where leaders of many nations were present for a peace summit.

The client requested 47 to kill Frantz Fuchs and steal the bomb. Unlike his other targets, Fuchs was not powerful nor well guarded, giving 47 the capability to kill him easily and take the bomb with him, and out of the hotel.

A Gunrunner's Paradise

Main article(s): Gunrunner's Paradise, Plutonium Runs Loose

After the Fuchs' homicide, Agent 47 was sent to Rotterdam harbor where he was hired to assassinate a world class arms dealer, Arkadij Jegorov also known as "Boris." Before his assignment, Diana informed Agent 47 that somehow the previous targets and the new one were all connected, as each one had some involvement in French Legion together.

C47-WarheadGoBoom

Jegorov's warhead, rigged to detonate.

Unlike the previous criminals, Jegorov's whereabouts were unknown, which caused Agent 47 to track down another arms dealer, Ivan Zilvanovitch, who worked with Jegorov. By bugging a suitcase containing a large sum of money, Agent 47 managed to locate the ship in which his target was residing.

Jegorov, however, prepared a nuclear bomb and an escape way if somehow something went wrong. Agent 47 was able to enter the ship and kill Jegorov, but found out that the bomb was ready to detonate. Fortunately, Agent 47 was able to disarm the bomb, thanks to its older model, before bringing the ship to international waters for an Agency pickup to arrive and evacuate him.

The Asylum

Main article(s): The Setup, Meet Your Brother

The Agency was in turmoil as they realized that the clients for the four previous missions were all one and the same, violating one of the Agency's rules. Yet, the client was so powerful that even the ICA's board of directors accepted one final request from him. The target was Dr. Kovacs, a doctor in a Romanian hospital with high security, so the Agency restricted Agent 47 from bringing any weapons from outside.

C47-AsylumReturns

Agent 47 in front of the Asylum's gates.

47 arrived in the hospital and entered by using an alias, the same one used when stopping the Fuchs brothers, "Tobias Rieper." The receptionist let him in, but unbeknownst to 47, he phoned a man about his arrival who, in turn, called SWAT.

On the other hand, Agent 47 managed to meet Kovacs. During their conversation, Agent 47 remembered him as "the one with the needle." Kovacs, surprised, began to fear 47, and told him that everything was Ort-Meyer's fault. Shortly, a team of SWAT stormed the front and entered the hospital to take down 47.

47 killed Kovacs, and used his clothes as an appropriate disguise. Free of suspicion, he explored the hospital and found Agent Smith there, drugged and chained. He freed Smith with an antidote, who payed the freedom back by revealing a secret passage to basement, where Ort Meyer's secret lab was present. Agent 47 readied himself, and descended below.

Meet Your Brother

C47-MeetTheArmy

The army of No. 48s.

Accessing the basement he escaped from one year ago, 47 found out that it was used as a place for human cloning experiments.

Suddenly, a voice came out from the speaker, Dr. Ort-Meyer himself, the very same voice from one year ago. He revealed everything to 47, his creation and intentional release to eliminate his former friends, and finally told him that 47 himself had to be killed, since Ort Meyer had created clones more powerful than 47, yet unable to think themselves, making them a mere puppet of the scientist, and the final contract to kill Kovacs was just a setup. With more than a dozen No. 48s, an army of the new clones, 47 was attacked, but his years of training proved to be superior to the clones as he slaughtered all of them.

C47-KillTheCreator

Ort-Meyer's demise.

With Ort-Meyer his final target, the hitman entered his chamber, by using the corpse of one of dead clones to open the gates. Ort-Meyer came out and approached 47, before trying to incapacitate him with his stun gun. However, 47 showed his own creator his prowess and shot him in the chest. Bleeding and near death, Ort Meyer muttered one last phrase: "What good is a bullet proof vest, when death strikes from within?" before the hitman coldly snaped his neck, ending his life, leaving a red, insignia-like logo of blood on the floor.

Missions

Codename 47 has a total of thirteen missions, taking place in five different locations across the world.

Prologue (Romania)

Hong Kong

Colombia

Budapest

Rotterdam

Epilogue (Romania)

Targets

Hong Kong

Colombia

Budapest

Rotterdam

Epilogue

VIPs

Weapons

Firearms

Melee Weapons

Other

Additionally, some weapons usable only by NPC's and not by the player are featured:

Soundtrack

The soundtrack of Codename 47 was composed by Jesper Kyd, but wasn't released around the game's release. The soundtrack was released in 2005, in a dual-disc format along with the soundtrack of its successor, Silent Assassin.

Reception

Codename 47 generally received mixed reviews, which edges on positive, if not very positive. It earned a 7.5 from IGN, rating it good, and the critic humorously stating "I was considering an exciting new career before I played this game."[1].

Codename 47 got a 73.65% from GameRankings[2], a 73% from popular Metacritic reviewers, and a 7.7 out of 10 out of it's user score[3]. IMDb gave the game a 6.9 out of 10[4], and GameSpot gave the game a 5.2 out of 10, the reviewer stating "Even if you like the basic premise and action of the game, a number of very seriously flaws quickly sap up the entertainment."[5]

Eurogamer gave the game 8 of 10[6], and GOG gave the game a 4.1 out of 5[7].

On Steam, the user reviews reached overall a "Mostly Positive", with around 74% in user reviews (out of 1,020 total reviews) being positive, which gives the game a 7 out of 10.[8]

Gallery

Promotional Art

Trivia

  • Hitman: Codename 47 is the only game so far to be developed solely for Windows.[7][8]
  • If the player allows Agent 47's bank account to go beneath $0, the Agency will "cancel" 47's account, making the player fail the game, and thus restarts the mission. So far, this is the only Hitman game to have that function (as it is the only Hitman game where you lose money for partaking in a mission).

References

  1. IGN Review
  2. GameRankings Reviews
  3. Metacritic Review
  4. Internet Movie DataBase Review
  5. GameSpot Review
  6. Eurogamer Review
  7. 7.0 7.1 GOG (Good Old Games) Page
  8. 8.0 8.1 Steam Page
Media of the Hitman series
Main Games Hitman: Codename 47 - Hitman 2: Silent Assassin - Hitman: Contracts - Hitman: Blood Money - Hitman: Absolution - HITMAN™
Other Games Hitman 2 Christmas Game - Hitman: Vegas - Hitman: Sniper Challenge - Hitman: Sniper - Hitman GO
Novels Hitman: Enemy Within - Hitman: Damnation
Films Hitman (2007) - Hitman: Agent 47


Missions in Hitman: Codename 47
Prologue Training
Hong Kong Kowloon Triads in Gang War - Ambush at the Wang Fou Restaurant - The Massacre at Cheung Chau Fish Restaurant - The Lee Hong Assassination
Columbia Find the U'wa Tribe - The Jungle God - Say Hello to My Little Friend
Hungary Traditions of the Trade
Rotterdam Gunrunner's Paradise - Plutonium Runs Loose
Epilogue The Setup - Meet Your Brother