I was thinking recently about how many in-game Opportunities allow you to do something nice for the targets. Help Francesca find out what’s in Silvio’s safe, clean up Ken Morgan’s room, that sort of thing. It struck me that, with some noteworthy exceptions like humiliating Abiatti in front of the voters, many of these are actually pretty gosh-darned nice. They’re just generally immediately subverted by players taking advantage of the nice gesture to murder the targets, because this is Hitman and that’s what you do.
But what if it wasn’t what you do? At least, not until you’ve done as much to make the target’s last day on Earth the nicest it can be? I figured nothing could be nicer than 47 doing his darndest to ensure the Showstopper doesn’t get showily stopped. It’s a trickier proposition than it sounds, but there’s a lot of good deeds to be done:
- Viktor’s got a favorite cocktail nobody can seem to make. Why not serve him promptly, and without the rat poison chaser this time?
- Dalia’s balancing an auction upstairs and it needs to be a success. Sheikh al-Ghazali could stand to make a big bid and hear her proposal.
- Helmut Kruger’s getting cold feet and he’s not that great at wowing Dalia anyway. Someone should take that off his mind and do his job right.
- An enterprising young blogger needs to score the interview of a lifetime with Viktor.
- Max Decker’s been waiting for a long time for his meeting. We can’t make his trip a waste, and Viktor needs to bask in his victory afterward.
- The fashion show must end, and Sebastian Sato must take the stage to knock the crowd dead (in a strictly metaphorical sense). Only then can the celebratory fireworks begin.
- Through all of this, Viktor and Dalia haven’t had a chance to meet and make up after a whirlwind of questionable decisions. Some kindly guardian angel should bring them face to face.
- Also, the minimum number of people should be inconvenienced by choking them out, if possible. No reason for too many people to have a bad day just so Viktor and Dalia can have a good one.
And then I did those good deeds. The result was the most successful Sanguine show and IAGO auction on record, a lovely evening of spectacle and success, capstoned by private tragedy.
Some part of me finds this methodology more twisted than just killing the targets. I think it’s the lack of dramatic irony that runs through intentionally missing out on Opportunity kills. When you snap Strandberg’s neck during a massage, it’s justified by how much of a dick he is, and the irony comes from him putting himself willingly into the hands of someone who can kill him without realizing it. When you let him brag about his crimes and let him go with loose shoulders and a tingly back, only to come back and stab him with a kitchen knife half an hour later, the irony inverts itself and just becomes a sort of black comedy.
Probably not the most interesting thing, I know, but there’s something different to be found in the scenarios this game allows you to run through, and it’s funny at times what will happen if you let them come and go without interjecting with fiber wire or poison. Like Viktor’s AI breaking out by the fountain because Kurt wasn’t there.