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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 game in the series.

Gameplay

HC47-Menu

Main Menu.

Codename 47 is a third-person action/stealth combo revolving around a bald-headed assassin known as Agent 47, who 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 is tasked with eliminating 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 melee weaponry such as the Fiber Wire or the Oyabun Knife, a more silent alternative.

While it is a stealth title, the game does not necessarily enforce such an approach, allowing the player to engage at their own discretion, thus highlighting the sandbox element of the series. However, there are certain restrictions implemented depending on the "loudness" of the player's actions. For example, the player is penalized for killing civilians, meaning that the Agency deducts a certain "cleanup" fee from Agent 47's account, a fee which grows depending on the number of non-target casualties the player inflicts.

Before any assignment, the player is provided with a briefing, consisting of intelligence on the target, a map detailing the area where 47 is to encounter the 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, Diana Burnwood being the one in charge of Agent 47's briefings.

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

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 even wield weapons almost freely, depending on the disguise.

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

HC47-47UnshackledAsylum

Clone #47 released from his shackles.

Main article(s): Training

A mysterious voice awakens the protagonist, Clone #47, via a speaker. #47 is shackled to a bed in a locked, padded cell. As the clone slowly comes round, the door unlocks and the voice begins guiding #47. Firstly, the clone is to get rid of his hospital robes by putting on the suit awaiting him on the other side of the door. The voice emphasizes that #47 should have the utmost faith in its guidance, since the man behind the speaker acts as both his mentor and guide.

With the voice instructing him further on, the player goes through an obstacle course, learns to use different kinds of weapons, ranging from a fiber wire to knives, submachine guns and even a sniper rifle, and finally, he changes his clothes once again, disguising himself as one of the guards, which allows him to escape the asylum.

It is then revealed that a camera had been carefully monitoring his every step during the training session. A mysterious figure is watching #47 and as the clone escapes the asylum, the man laughs and rests 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

A year passed since #47 escaped the asylum. During this time period, he joined the International Contract Agency, and quickly acquired the title of Agent. It is now the year 2000 and we see Agent 47 deployed in Hong Kong for a rather difficult assignment.

As soon as the sun dawns, Agent 47 opens the window of his motel room and reflects on his whereabouts. The laptop on the table begins beeping, prompting the agent to check his inbox. Diana Burnwood, his personal controller at the Agency, has just sent him the briefing for his mission. The message details an intricate plan to assassinate the Red Dragon Triad leader Lee Hong, one of the most dangerous people in Hong Kong.

Slaying a Dragon

The Agency stresses that while Agent 47 could reach Hong and eliminate him, it would be impossible for him to flee the city alive afterwards. Thus, a plan has been devised, a plan that would almost destroy the Red Dragon Triad, subsequently weakening Lee Hong's influence over the Hong Kong mob and authorities, thus allowing Agent 47's escape following the hit.

C47-CarGoBoom

Agent 47 begins setting the plan's wheels in motion. He starts by killing a Red Dragon negotiator during a meeting, which prompts the Blue Lotus Triad to come in high numbers to Lee Hong's restaurant for a peace truce. 47 intercepts this meeting as well and massacres the entire Blue Lotus delegation, bringing the two triads on the brink of an all-out gang war. The police, who are on Lee Hong's payroll, intervene to preserve the peace. One last meeting is set on neutral grounds, with the Hong Kong Chief of Police himself participating. 47 assassinates both him 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. As such, most of Lee Hong's protection is now gone.

With the Red Dragon Triad weakened, Lee Hong is finally in a vulnerable position, allowing Agent 47 to engage. The client however wants the Red Dragon Triad completely wiped out, so in addition to having to kill Lee Hong, Agent 47 is required to steal a Jade Figurine from the triad's headquarters. It is implied that losing the figurine, a dragon-shaped statue, would damage the triad's morale beyond repair.

The Jade Figurine is locked in one of the many safes in the triad's restaurant. Agent 47 acquires the safe combination from Lei Ling, a prostitute working in Lee Hong's brothel, in exchange for helping her escape, then learns the safe's location from a captured CIA agent named Smith. The CIA agent also informs 47 that in order to get to Lee Hong, he will have to get rid of Zhun, Lee Hong's large bodyguard, who follows the triad leader anywhere and even tastes his food.

Agent 47 acquires the Jade Figurine and trades it for a vial of poison, which he then uses on Lee Hong's food. However, Zhun is the one who tastes the meal first, thus exposing 47's attempt to poison Lee Hong. The triad leader runs away and 47 tries to pursue him, but is held down by a dying Zhun. The agent manages to kill the bodyguard and proceeds to track down Lee Hong, who has retreated to his office. Agent 47 ultimately catches up with Lee Hong and assassinates him without anyone noticing.

On his desk, 47 finds a cryptic letter, detailing a secret project that Lee Hong was apparently involved in. The agent then escapes Hong Kong unscathed and proceeds to his next assignment.

The Colombian Jungle

C47-ColumbianLandings

Agent 47 landing in the Colombian Jungle.

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

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

Agent 47 is deployed in the Jungle and he makes his way through the thick vegetation, trying to locate Ochoa's base of operations. He comes across a crashed aircraft which was meant to smuggle Ochoa's drugs. Among the wreckage, 47 finds a golden statue, which is revealed to represent one of the U'wa Tribe's deities. The statue was to be used for drug smuggling and since the aircraft has crashed, Ochoa ordered his henchmen to recover the statue. As such, 47 runs into some of his security while they're taking a tribe member hostage. 47 eliminates the guards and frees the tribe member, who leads the way to the U'wa Tribe's village. It is then revealed that the hostage was the chieftain's brother. Freeing him and also returning one of the tribe's most precious artifacts earns 47 the tribe's trust.

Like Lee Hong, Pablo Ochoa is heavily guarded, but the U'wa Chieftain has knowledge of a secret passage which will allow Agent 47 to reach Ochoa's base undetected. He does however warn 47 of encountering Tezcatlipoca, their sacred god of death, and advises him to perform a sacrifice if he wants to proceed unscathed.

Crossing a narrow rope bridge deeper into the U'wa camp, Agent 47 runs into Tezcatlipoca, but it is revealed that the god of death is nothing more than a jaguar. Nevertheless, 47 must offer 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, it allows the Agent to pass through to Ochoa's camp.

The Man With Nine Lives

C47-SnipingOchoa

Ochoa in his mansion.

Reaching the drug lord's base of operations, Agent 47's main focus was taking out the kingpin, but he must also blow up his drug lab in order to permanently cease the cocaine production. 47 infiltrates the fenced perimeter and quickly finds Ochoa in his hacienda, snorting vast amounts of cocaine. The agent disposes of Ochoa's guards and confronts him on the third floor of the mansion.

However, the drug lord seems to have been expecting another attempt on his life and armed himself with a US Army M60 machine gun, ready to take out anyone who even thinks about trying to kill him. Following a rather long shootout, Ochoa is ultimately killed, having taken large amounts of bullets. Similar to Hong, Ochoa's desk holds another cryptic letter, detailing Ochoa's involvement in the same project mentioned in Hong's letter. 47 also acquires a bomb from Ochoa's office, which he uses to blow up the drug lab. Having brought down Ochoa and his drug empire, Agent 47 escapes Colombia, to await further instructions by the Agency.

Bombings at the Bath Hotel

C47-BathBombingArrival

Agent 47 looking out of a limousine window.

Main article(s): Traditions of the Trade

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 bomb the Hotel Gallàrd, where leaders of many great nations attended for a peace summit.

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

A Gunrunner's Paradise

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

When this mission was requested by a client, Diana informed Agent 47 that someho the previous targets and this one were all connected, that each one had some involvement in French Legion together. However, the mission had to be done as usual.

C47-WarheadGoBoom

Jegorov's warhead, rigged to detonate.

The target was Arkadij Jegorov, also known as Boris. Unlike previous targets, Jegorov's whereabouts were unknown and needed to be located. Agent 47 needed to track down an arms dealer, Ivan Zilvanovitch, who worked with Boris. By bugging the suitcase containing a large sum of money, he managed to locate the ship in which his target was residing.

However, Jegorov had prepared a bomb and an escape way if somehow something went wrong. Agent 47 was forced to kill him silently, almost acting like a shadow. By donning a guard's suit, he was able to enter the ship and killed Jegorov, but the bomb was ready to detonate. Fortunately, Agent 47 was able to disarm the bomb. As the bomb was an old model, he had no trouble to stop it. Then, he brought the ship to international waters for an Agency pickup to arrive and evacuate him.

The Asylum

C47-AsylumReturns

Agent 47 in front of the Asylum's gates.

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

The Agency was in turmoil. 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, disabling 47 to bring any weapons from outside.

He arrived in the hospital and entered by using alias. The receptionist let him in, but unknown to Agent 47, he phoned a mysterious man about his arrival. This man, in turn, called SWAT. On the other hand, Agent 47 managed to meet Kovacs. However, during their conversation, Agent 47 remembered him as the one who injected a needle to him. Kovacs, surprised, began to fear 47, and told him that it was all Ort-Meyer's fault. Just in time, a team of SWAT stormed the front and entered the hospital to take down 47. The fate of Dr. Kovacs is unknown, but 47 nonetheless found an appropriate disguise. Free of suspicion, he explored the hospital and found Agent Smith there, drugged and chained. Freeing him, Smith paid it back by revealing a secret passage to basement. Readying himself, he descended below.

Meet Your Brother

C47-MeetTheArmy

The army of No. 48s.

Accessing the basement he escaped from one year ago, he found out that it was used as a place for clones experiment. Suddenly, a voice come out from the speaker, Dr. Ort-Meyer himself, the very same voice from one year ago. Then, he revealed everything to 47, his creation and him intentionally releasing him to eliminate his former friends, and finally, he told him that he had to be killed. With more than a dozen No. 48s, an army of clones similar to Agent 47, they attempted to assassinate the hitman, 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, he entered his chamber. Ort-Meyer came out and approached 47. Suddenly, he jumped in to 47 with stun gun in his hand to incapacitate him. However, the hitman showed his own creator his prowess and shot him. Bleeding and about to die, he muttered one last phrase: "What good is a bullet proof vest, when death strikes from within?" Finally, Agent 47 coldly snapped his neck, ending Ort-Meyer's life.

Missions

  1. Training
  2. Kowloon Triads in Gang War
  3. Ambush at the Wang Fou Restaurant
  4. The Massacre at Cheung Chau Fish Restaurant
  5. The Lee Hong Assassination
  6. Find the U'wa Tribe
  7. The Jungle God
  8. Say Hello to My Little Friend
  9. Traditions of the Trade
  10. Gunrunner's Paradise
  11. Plutonium Runs Loose
  12. The Setup
  13. Meet Your Brother

Targets

VIPs

Weapons

Firearms

Melee Weapons

Other

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

Reception

Hitman: Codename 47 generally got mixed reviews. It got a 7.5 from IGN, rating it good, and the critic in humor saying "I was considering an exciting new career before I played this game"[1].

The game got a 73.65% from GameRankings[2], and a 73 from Metacritic, and a 7.7 out of it's user score[3]. IMDb gave the game a 6.9 out of 10[4]. GameSpot gave the game a 5.2, saying "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 4.1/5[7].

On Steam, the user reviews reached overall a "Mostly Positive", with around 75% user reviews (out of 1,090) being positive, which gives the game a 7/10.[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" the 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
Romania 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

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