Pros and Cons of Humanizing 47's targets


#22

I think the problem here is they were literally so poorly characterized that everyone has forgotten that the Sidjans and every other target in Silent Assassin was working with or for Sergei, who was participating nuclear arms dealing outside the law for profit.

They’re not really “canonical”, the only canonical decision in C47 is the one to help Lei Ling escape rather than kill her - everything else is left in the haze of variables.

A freelance espionage professional who knew the risks going into the job.

Confirms 47 is not the Punisher.

I’m saying literally who gives a shit about a convoluted scenario with no framework? There’s absolutely no reason to care about it because you’ve got not story or backing to make it dramatic or interesting. It’s one of many half-formed ideas thrown out to try to justify an innocent target without ever actually getting to the justification.

I could say more anti-hero personally. I think that it’s ridiculous to propose than anyone who’s morally adverse to shooting babies in the face must be Dudley DoRight.

The games absolutely do not say that. Silent Assassin’s whole ending is about 47 declaring he’s going to use his skills to kill evil people now. Plus even in Codename 47 it was stated that the ICA has rules such as normally avoiding facilitating personal wars (they made an exception with Ortymeyer to get 47), Blood Money suggested the ICA served the Queen of Denmark, Absolution had her saying that “we used to have honour” and Contracts said they have friends with Scotland Yard and the FBI - you don’t get to do that if you’re taking contracts to kill high profile innocent people.

You could try reading them instead of posting strawmen based off misinformation.

I’m going to skip over the rest of the concepts thrown out to “prove” the need for innocent targets simply because a simple concept by itself doesn’t mean shit now we’re getting into territory where people want to make it a moral choice system or simply just say “there’s one good guy and one bad guy” like the ICA is listed in the Evil Yellow Pages and just anyone can put in an order.

Related, but not quite the same. I’m trying to focus on humanizing targets if we can get past people insisting the most important thing is one be an innocent because they say so.

So not the character of 47 as shown in all the games to date. You’re basically arguing for a new character. Feel free to start a new thread for that and stop posting that you haven’t changed your mind in this one.

Google “Bay of Pigs”


#23

If someone is inventing an infinite source of renewable energy, it would most likely be a huge, government backed project, and said government wouldn’t necessarily stop working on it simply because one person died. It would require other means to stop the project completely.


#24

I care less (much less) about how much of a backstory and characterization Hitman provides for its targets than I do about how it goes about doing it. Just don’t clutter up the game with needlessly long or elaborate cutscenes (and especially not ones that take place mid-mission) and other forms of minimally interactive storyline exposition and I’ll be happy. Personally I think Silent Asasssin’s pre-mission surveillance tapes and briefings really struck the perfect balance between providing context for the hits and not bogging down the narrative experience with too many unnecessary details about the one-shot characters you’re snuffing out.


#25

I do agree that cut scenes are a sub-optimal way to handle characterization in a video game like Hitman, and I’d really like the old recon packages with photos, videos, etc to come back.

I also feel that a lot of it could be done through level design. Like in a New Life if you’d seen that Vinnie was protective and controlling of his daughter, and then had the opportunity to open the door just in time for him to see Mr Panty Sniffer doing his thing - queue short fight which results in FBI guy shooting Vinnie and daughter grieving him while wife goes to get another drink. It’d add a lot for to the story and the characters without making us fuck around watching cut scenes or listening to conversations.


#26

That would be awesome and is a faeature that mamy people said they wanted on the wishlist, framing people/inciting other people to kill the target.


#27

I like the idea but I worry about relying too much on scripted in-game events. Used sparingly they can be effective but if the game is leaning heavily on them it could undermine replayability. One of my biggest complaints about Absolution is that even in the designated “sandbox” missions, you’ll hear the same long conversations and see the same elaborate AI behaviors in repeat playthroughs because of the way the game is designed to trigger those things based on proximity to the player.


#28

I think the problem here is they were literally so poorly characterized
that everyone has forgotten that the Sidjans and every other target in
Silent Assassin was working with or for Sergei, who was participating
nuclear arms dealing outside the law for profit.

Fair point.

They’re not really “canonical”, the only canonical decision in C47 is
the one to help Lei Ling escape rather than kill her - everything else
is left in the haze of variables.

No, they aren’t canonical, hence the “apostrophes” to denote my loose use of the term - it’s indeed too much to assume that just because something has a cutscene, it means that’s the way it was done – still, the game does, somehow, encourage you to kill an innocent (although the way it does so is very poor, as serving the poison to Lee Hong doesn’t accomplish anything worthwhile whatsoever)

A freelance espionage professional who knew the risks going into the job.

It says “private investigator” in his Contracts bio, to my recollection, and neither “espionage professional” nor “private investigator” says “evil”, or at least “particularly harmful”. He has to be taken out only because he knows too much. The same happens to the innocent priest and the innocent journalist in Blood Money.

Just because someone “knows the risks going into the job” doesn’t mean they deserve to die. Killing an ordinary Russian soldier in Hitman 2 (by all looks, they might not at all know that they’re covering up the generals; they’re merely told to close off the building for a top secret meeting, and they’re doing just that; they’re also few of the guards in this game that don’t immediately open fire at you when you’re approaching a restricted area) earns a Guards Killed moniker which doesn’t prevent you from getting Silent Assassin (actually, in Hitman 2, you can still get SA rank even with a civilian killed, meaning that you can sacrifice an innocent and still be liable for the rating that reflects 47’s legendary perfection). The security in The Invitation for a Party appears to be in the same boat, even though they’re just law-abiding people protecting an embassy and all the VIPs inside.

There’s a ton of variables, but if we’re going to use the Silent Assassin ranking to be the accurate representation of how 47’s known to carry out his assignments and that ranking allows you to kill extra, unrelated people and still obtain 47’s legendary perfection status, then it seems safe to say that sacrificing innocents is perfectly fine in this line of work.

Also: I don’t see much compassion in knocking somebody out, then stripping them off their clothes and leaving them somewhere cold and unconscious on a snowy field. That might just as well be a cause of death.

Confirms 47 is not the Punisher.

And still, the game, in that little move, exemplifies the fact that 47 isn’t a vigilante hero and although his actions do end up thwarting a whole bunch of evil bastards, he should not be at all considered a hero, or that his stance towards his victims is anything but neutral (aside from cases like Sergei). He’s not a hero, he’s a high-functioning sociopath, to quote another genius in the matters of solving puzzles and figuring out crimes (though from a different angle).

Silent Assassin’s whole ending is about 47 declaring he’s going to use his skills to kill evil people now

Ummmm… not to my understanding. In the end, he says that he’ll be carrying nothing from Gontranno but the lesson to never trust anyone and rely on instincts; if his visit in Gontranno was him trying to humanize himself and he’s carrying nothing from it, then he doesn’t really have all that much compassion or faith in things anymore.

Vittorio remains a friend to him, and I like to assume he sends him Christmas cards with pretty massive blood money donations to the church, but that doesn’t make 47 any less evil.

He accepts the crucifix from Father Vittorio, but then leaves it hanging on the door of the church, as if to say that he’s back to his old life and rejects his attempts at subverting his purpose, which is to kill people.

You can make a massive bloodshed - out of innocents, even - the very moment you emerge at the doorsteps of Don Giuliani’s mansion, even though 47 has already prayed before entering and obviously has Vittorio on his mind at all times.

Contracts said they have friends with Scotland Yard and the FBI - you
don’t get to do that if you’re taking contracts to kill high profile
innocent people.

Also worth mentioning is the relationship with the United Nations which is actually a pretty decent plot point, what if ICA wanting badly to buddy-buddy up with them in 1 and 2 (and 3, I suppose); it’s a very fair point that killing high profile innocent people isn’t a very good thing for the PR, but on the other hand, given 47’s aptitude and skill, ICA seems pretty capable of denying any involvement in case priorities shift.

I do wonder how ICA’s relationship with all those United Nations and other organizations is faring after that dumbfuck Travis pretty much destroys an entire town and has his “trained professionals” kill a whole load of innocent people. Fuck Travis, he sucks and is an idiot.

However, the way ICA chooses their targets is their matter - politics change, ideas change, and they’re the ones giving 47 the orders, and 47 will take on the assignment if the cash is on the nail. ICA might choose not to make any enemies among their CIA/FBI/MI6/UN/whatever else friends, but they’re not also in any way under strict affilation with these factions (Abdul Bismillah Malik’s death is actually somewhat incovenient to the UN; though 47 is forbidden from killing any of the UN soldiers, he is a liability to the UN’s goals still.)

Also: ICA is pretty fallible and sometimes doesn’t even know who its clients are, as shown in H1 or H2.

So not the character of 47 as shown in all the games to date

But it really does fit:

A clone made specifically with the single motive of being a killer, that
is his way of life, in his head, his purpose, the only way he truly
knows how to live

He could be off gardening at Vittorio’s place and try to lead a peaceful life – use his lucrative money to buy himself a new identity – but he doesn’t. “I don’t belong in this world”, “My skills could be of better use elsewhere” are all quotes from the ending of Silent Assassin. He’s extremely fit physically on top of being very clever, and he already has a ton of retirement money available to him - he’s fit to lead a normal life. He chooses not to.

47 is a living loaded gun, and the one wielding it only needs to pay up to use it. No morality, no ethics.

Again, the games heavily emphasize the idea that supports NoWitnesses’ description of the character. Even the promotional material does: Hitman Contracts uses the following taglines in its trailers, a.k.a. promotional material: “When you kill for money, there are no rules”, “There is no place for compassion”. The accident system from Blood Money, as well as a couple of cutscenes and, of course, the finale, strongly hint that 47 isn’t above sacrificing innocents to complete his task or avoid getting his info leaked out to the public, etc. Sacrificing innocents doesn’t necessarily ruin your rating in H2, and Contracts still allows you to kill guards (who might not be evil - you’re allowed, for instance, to sacrifice a SWAT member, like H&H’s law-abiding GIGN, believing in liberte, egalite et fraternite, firmly on the side of the good guys, for all we know - Fournier is the bad guy, not them - in both Deadly Cargo and Hunter and Hunted, and still get Silent Assassin).

“No morality, no ethics” of course should be used in terms of how 47 goes on a job and what mindset he has at the time; while I really do hate the plot of Absolution and the whole Victoria incident, it doesn’t mean that 47 doesn’t have soft spots or isn’t allowed to have friends or colleagues. An evil character is still capable of committing himself to a good cause if there’s anything in it for him. It still doesn’t mean that 47 can’t disturb the peace and create hecatombs on his path to Victoria and Diana’s safety.

I like 47’s characterization more when he’s closer to Golgo 13 than Leon the Professional.


#29

Hahaha, thanks for the chuckle.

But yes, there are no ‘cons’ to this. The more humanised, the more realistic, the better. Targets should be begging and pleading 47 to spare them, and start squealing when he goes in for the kill.


#30

If a game starts questioning your morality and is making you think about it even after you stop playing it, it’s a damn good game.


#31

A game can be pretty damn good without making you question your morality or otherwise go on any soul-searching, however.

Loads and loads of amazing games don’t need you to tackle morality. I’d consider Doom, or even Call of Duty 4, a greater and better game than Spec Ops: The Line, any day (though, of course, I never thought Spec Ops: The Line was particularly good, even in terms of the message it tried to give, but that’s a discussion for another thread…)

Keep in mind we’re still, mostly, playing with toys, when it comes to this medium. I’d be perfectly content with a Hitman game that chooses not to pretend to be any more than an assassin simulator (well, maybe “simulator” is not the most correct word).


#32

So what, a Spider-Man movie would be a better movie if Spider-Man killed some innocent people in order to stop the bad guy, and we were left to think about it after the credits ended?

A lot of good movies pose moral questions, but that doesn’t mean every movie that poses moral questions is good. Sometimes it might be completely out of place. When a game’s main appeal is the satisfaction of accomplishing difficult assassinations, it would be wrong to do anything that reduces the satisfaction of the assassinations. If I wanted to get beat over the head with moral quandaries when I pursue things that are fun, I’d go live my normal life.


#33

This is what I talk about when I mean that people start assuming there is a “correct” assassination method in a game where you’re supposed to choose whichever method you like.

Why do people always forget about the presumably innocent delivery man who 47 guns down in Blood Money too? Private Investigators generally do not take jobs to steal from criminal gangs - ergo we can assume that Klaas was not a regular PI. The priest and the reporter are present during the Franchise’s climatic ending and are collateral damage, just like the delivery man and 47’s canary.

What 47 will do to survive is not the same as what 47 will seek out to do.

I’m not a hero and I need money more than 47 does - I do not accept jobs that require me to shoot innocent people in the face regardless of how much money people offer me to do it. “Not a hero” is meaningless, but not quite as meaningless as:

There is literally no such thing as a high functioning sociopath - use of the term simply indicates that absolutely fuck all is known about the topic, hence why it came from Steve Moffat who is anything but a genius. The term “sociopath” has not had any credibility since 1968 and even before then it had no aspects relating to functional. (This was also the same period when homosexuality was considered a mental illness)

I said that.

The ICA knew exactly who their clients were - Diana didn’t know because in H1 & 2 she wasn’t an executive - she was simply 47’s handler and had to take orders from people above her.

Probably why Travis was eliminated by 47 at Diana’s behest. Travis took the big seat and proved he couldn’t handle it. Fatal mistake.

Never shown to be the case, in fact we generally never see any information about how 47 chooses his missions - other than he did a major freebie for Diana in Absolution and he apparently gives money to the church with such regularity that the nun knew him. Seems unlikely he takes a “anything for cash” approach.

Golgo 13 is very picky about the jobs he’ll take, he always makes his clients explain their motives for their jobs before he decides whether or not he’ll take them. He’s been shown to make his decision based on his own philosophy and ideals - which is what makes him interesting as a character. Leon just killed whoever Old Tony told him to provided they weren’t women or children.

47 rescued Lei Ling when he had the option to kill her (that is canonical), has been a huge patron of the church, decided that he had to secure his secrecy even if it meant his death and he took a job to protect the President of the USA when he had no backup, no ICA and the Franchise all around him. To claim we can just reduce him to “takes any job for money” then “so will kill innocents” because of a few slogans a marketing guy approved is pretty terrible.

However all that is being advocated is reproduction, not critique. And it is being proposed by people who just assume it will happen because innocent target, not because of any particular or clever build up. It’s like claiming that because Banksy has made some poignant artworks we should support anyone who wants to graffitti.


#34

The part about why super criminals are the best targets put into words something I’ve had a hard time vocalizing. Hitman isn’t really about hitmen. It’s not interested in dramatizing the life of a real contract killer, which is probably short and extremely not-glamorous. What its inspiration actually comes from is far closer to James Bond. And James Bond doesn’t ever actually go up against normal people, because normal people are boring. Normal criminals are boring, governments are boring. He’s a heightened, unrealistic character, and heightened, unrealistic criminal enterprises are the only fitting opponent for him.

The same principles apply to Hitman. A supercriminal can take themes and elements from any aspect of “boring” people, and crank it up to 11. I really loved the concept of Absolution taking 47 out of his element and bringing him down to “street level”, so to speak. But the problem was that they weren’t content with that, they wanted to heighten the street level people to put them on the same level as him. Absolution is a story of a superhero fighting against normal civillians and bizarrely having trouble, for no really justifiable reason. They tried to go with the concept of 47’s resources and contacts being gone, and that worked for the first few missions. But it didn’t hold up for long enough, and they had to start making people like Lenny into serious obstacles, for no real reason. They had to come up with more and more bizarre reasons that 47 was still being chased, or let the bad guys slip away.

The difference between Absolution and the original concepts for it is that they had intended to take 47’s disempowerment seriously, but eventually backed out of it. instead of being significantly aged and flawed, he basically just had a really bad day and then got better. He’s too powerful a character to be that light-handed with. Either he has to be fighting ridiculous villains, or he has to be facing normal ones, but be severely and inescapably disadvantaged.

More on-topic, personally I wouldn’t actually mind old Assassin’s Creed (the newest one did away with this) styled confession scenes! If it were done in a similar visual style to the game-ending kill from Hitman 1, it could be implied that it’s more like something 47 dreams of after his assignment based on what he learned about his target, rather than something that actually happened. The fact that it would end each mission works well with my concept of each mission being treated as a new episode of a TV series, rather than the next scene of a movie. It could be a great way to humanize the targets as well as literally get inside 47’s head, and let us understand how he sees the people he kills, as well as how he feels after a hit.


#35

This is what I talk about when I mean that people start assuming
there is a “correct” assassination method in a game where you’re
supposed to choose whichever method you like.

Oh sure, I wasn’t ever planning to deny it, but that, however, also enables 47 to be a killer of innocents and other extra people.

Why do people always forget about the presumably innocent delivery man who 47 guns down in Blood Money too?

Just me trying to avoid using examples from that game as some sentiments above said that Blood Money’s characterization tries too hard to characterize 47 as cold blooded. We all know of those examples, but thanks for the refresher.

Private Investigators generally do not take jobs to steal from criminal gangs - ergo we can assume that Klaas was not a regular PI.

What 47 will do to survive is not the same as what 47 will seek out to do.

47 still chooses to be in a line of work which, sometimes, causes him to sacrifice innocents, even though he could possibly try to work himself out - maybe make a zany sitcom about bumbling with all sorts of odd jobs due to him not having too much touch with other people and other trades - nevertheless, he chooses to remain an assassin.

I do not accept jobs that require me to shoot innocent people in the face regardless of how much money people offer me to do it

47’s job description tells him pretty much to kill a target and - most of the time, barring special restrictions - kill any people who may endanger or inconvenience the mission. This includes civilians and guards, and by the latter we sometimes mean people who are firmly on the side of the good guys, or at least not in any evil cliques - security guards, policemen, SWATs.

here is literally no such thing as a high functioning sociopath - use of
the term simply indicates that absolutely fuck all is known about the
topic, hence why it came from Steve Moffat who is anything but a genius.

I’m fully aware that the phrase is just an attempt at sounding cool on prime-time TV, and of course “sociopath” nowadays is a Hollywood term that’s mostly applicable to fiction rather than real life people, but that’s why, in my opinion, it also applies to 47, if the broad definition given by a bunch of dictionaries and the understanding in the media is any understanding. 47 wouldn’t have a problem being called “sociopathic” in the media, and he’s a character from a video game whose focus on the story and fleshed out characters has always been secondary.

Also, I was mostly trying to draw a parallel between Sherlock and 47. Honestly, on a tangent: I’d love a TV series that would be just like Sherlock, except from 47’s perspective - getting a target and figuring out how to get close to them and eliminate him, though perhaps with a lot more emphasis on 47’s targets and why should we care about their elimination, rather than the assassin himself, again, Golgo 13 style (where the focus on the assassin and his personality has always struck me as very secondary; in my belief) - perhaps somewhat like a mix between Sherlock and Columbo.

I said that.

Missed it, sorry!

The ICA knew exactly who their clients were - Diana didn’t know because in H1 & 2 she wasn’t an executive - she was simply 47’s handler and had to take orders from people above her.

I’m going to suspect a case of gameplay and story segregation and some pretty poor, unfocused writing, but why are they sending 47 on a mission where he is allowed only a fiber wire and has to lockpick into a locker with an empty sniper rifle with fake ammo in a completely different place, where he only avoids getting spotted by a ton of people because the government building is suspiciously empty and there are barely any civilians on the streets? (St. Petersburg Revisited)? With the way 47 talks about betrayal at the end it could be even inferred that ICA wanted to get rid of 47 and failed (Diana remains silent as 47’s handler even after Mr. 17 dies). This is weird to me.

Probably why Travis was eliminated by 47 at Diana’s behest. Travis took
the big seat and proved he couldn’t handle it. Fatal mistake.

It really sucks that the main villain of the game’s main job is being proven by everyone to be an idiot. He gets played by Blake, who is a dumb risk taker at the very least, but then again Blake outsmarts 47 way too often.

Golgo 13 is very picky about the jobs he’ll take, he always makes his
clients explain their motives for their jobs before he decides whether
or not he’ll take them. He’s been shown to make his decision based on
his own philosophy and ideals - which is what makes him interesting as a
character. Leon just killed whoever Old Tony told him to provided they
weren’t women or children.

I was drawing a very broad parallel, admittedly. Togo just strikes me as a more ruthless and less compassionate type than the other. He might have well spared Queen Bee upon learning of the dishonesty of the people handling her and after Hardy did what he had done, but he’s too dedicated to his ruthless professionalism and she doesn’t even resent that all that much even though she’s carrying his child!

47 rescued Lei Ling when he had the option to kill her (that is canonical)

Her fate in Hitman 2 is, however, still unknown, and she had to be broken out of a fortress there, not literally walked out in a disguise with very little issue. I’m not so sure 47 would do that otherwise, especially since Lei Ling gives him the keycard and information before 47 takes any steps towards breaking her out.

decided that he had to secure his secrecy even if it meant his death

It seems to me more of a case of “try securing himself or die trying”. If he were to be found out on such a scale, with an international SWAT force and a corrupt inspector being witness, he might have felt he’d be just as finished. He’s a professional first of all, pretty loyal to his company, or at least to Diana. His statement at the beginning of the mission might as well have been a boast of self-determination.

Seems unlikely he takes a “anything for cash” approach.

And yet he was unwilling to go after the people directly threatening him and Diana if Diana didn’t have “cash on the nail”. You are right in that he chooses to protect the president, but he wouldn’t be going on the job of killing some of the biggest Franchise pawns if it weren’t for Agent Smith offering him a lucrative deal in diamonds and being his intel anyway (and Smith, to my recollection, does imply that he isn’t acting alone, though why wouldn’t the CIA as a whole stop the vice president and the suspicious albino assassin escapes my understanding - so 47 would have adequate support for this job). He was keen to remain hidden and look for a better contractor once shit hit the fan, but money spoke to him regardless.

I prefer to explain his donations to the church as simple fondness for his past with Vittorio. He thinks priests are good people. However, his affection doesn’t make him any less evil.

However all that is being advocated is reproduction, not critique.
And it is being proposed by people who just assume it will happen
because innocent target, not because of any particular or clever build
up. It’s like claiming that because Banksy has made some poignant
artworks we should support anyone who wants to graffitti.

Agreed.


#36

I feel like his unwillingness to do jobs unless he gets paid is more about his sense of tradition than really something opportunistic. He believes in what he does to some extent, but he also believes in what his services are worth, and has ideas about what targets warrant those services. I don’t think he actually enjoys killing on a visceral level. I think he enjoys planning and subverting obstacles, but I doubt he actually enjoys having killed his target, or any innocents/others he might need to for a clean escape and anonymity. So he tries to keep the mess to a minimum, and demands a price for the act.

I don’t think he’d donate to a church in a wholly different place simply out of the memory of an old friend. I do think that experience gave him an affinity for religious people as allies, even though he wouldn’t consider himself one. and I think that sort of donation is a common thing he uses his money for, in places all over the world.

He isn’t a good person, but he clearly has his own twisted moral compass and justifications. And it’s true that the rating system speaks to that far more than the options available to you in gameplay. I see the ratings both as a literal representation of what 47 can do to improve the amount of money the client gives him, as well as an abstracted version of his own personal standards. In Absolution that’s literally all the ratings could represent, other than for the first mission (contract from the Agency) and the last (Contract from Diana)


#37

he tries to keep the mess to a minimum, and demands a price for the act.

The problem is that he’s in a line of work where anything, despite the most precise planning and great execution, can cause him to be forced to sacrifice innocents. That, and he doesn’t go out of his way to go after evil people unless they directly threaten him, and even that is sometimes wonky (the ending of Blood Money).

I’m not even convinced he researches his hits all that much either. Even if he goes after evil people and their conspiracies (because those are the people most people want dead, mind you), he doesn’t do it out of any sort of altruism, and civilians still die, on top of many other repercussions that can happen. Lee Hong’s Triad being dismantled might well mean that the new boss (presumably Blue Lotus) is same as the old boss and the balance of the families has been skewed, but 47 did kill civilians and other potential innocents to that end, just because that was the challenge and that was the money. 47 is asked to carry Frantz Fuchs’ bomb out of the place to deliver it to the client; he doesn’t care what the client could want it for, and the client turned out to be a very dangerous man anyway. 47 doesn’t mind carbombing his targets along with the security and the drivers (which might be justifiable for Ambush at Wang Fou, but not so much for Kirov Park Meeting, for instance). Even if he doesn’t enjoy it, he doesn’t resent it either. It’s just business and only-for-himself (and whatever people he has fondness for) for him at all times, regardless of whether he actually cares if his business is lucrative or not. If being on the side of the villains keeps the lifeblood flowing and his handlers allow it (because they pretty much always have the final say on whether to forward the hit to 47), so be it.

I, too, don’t think he’s particularly greedy or that money is his weakness. In Hitman 2, his opening confession to Vittorio does mention that he did kill his targets “out of money”, though – then again, that same confession mentions “ignorance, evil, hatred” and then he decides, after traversing the entire world and saving his friend precisely because of those three vices and realizing he can’t be like normal people.

I’m just saying that I just find NoWitnesses’ silhouette of our favorite protagonist to be very accurate in this vast, massive river of interpretations because some of 47’s motives and characters just seem very inconsistent – and I don’t think it’s really him being multi-faceted, it feels more like some rather unfocused characterization. I’m firmly in “47’s cold amorality” camp, but I like your points.


#38

I do agree that his characterization is inconsistent, but it’s also clear the same things emerge: a desire to keep things clean, and targets that conform to conventional standards of guilt. I don’t think he researches his targets prior either, but I do think there’s a reason the Agency assigns him the targets they do: because they know they’re both the most challenging and the most vile, and they don’t want their best employee to gain a distaste for his work. In Blood Money he says “I can do anything I’m paid to”, but I don’t think that’s true. I think he often believes that, but if it were the case, the Agency would probably give him far different jobs.

A big thing about Absolution was that what he’d do for money did have limits. I don’t think that just came out of the absolution writers randomly deciding that was the case. I think it’s because he’s always been portrayed as having standards and a sense of justice. Regardless of what you feel about Absolution’s contributions to his character, it’s not really possible to argue for him as a wholly amoral person after that story.


#39

and they don’t want their best employee to gain a distaste for his work

The man has seen some horrid stuff and the Agency doesn’t want him to act on any righteous instincts (Meat King’s Party says hello). I believe in the much more down-to-earth explanation, that the best reason named in the thread for 47 mainly killing bad guys is that killing the good guys would turn ICA into a terrorist clique wanted by some governments (which they want on their side) and that’s obviously undesirable. He doesn’t sound like the type who would get distaste for his work, or at least not after his realization at the conclusion of Hitman 2.

Regardless of what you feel about Absolution’s contributions to his
character, it’s not really possible to argue for him as a wholly amoral
person after that story.

Absolution also characterizes ICA as ready to burn down an American town and execute its inhabitants, something very unusual for an organization that’s supposed to care for its PR - true, it’s because Travis is a complete idiot, but nevertheless. If the rating system is the closest thing we have to what 47 considers a perfect job, as you said, then Absolution says it’s perfectly okay for a perfect, Silent Assassin to murder somebody in cold blood in front of a legion of bystanders while not even bothering to hide one’s identity, with the fight possibly being recorded or some keen spectators being in the audience, or just the possibility of the real Patriot waking up in the dumpster with no recollection to the fight.

47 randomly stops being clever altogether on at least two different occasions in Absolution, almost costing him his life (if it weren’t for the villains picking up the ball and being, somehow, even dumber). I’m perfectly willing to accept 47 has flaws, but Absolution enables me to believe that 47 is prone to tripping on the most plain-sight traps possible and allowing for major oversights.

Absolution still remains Hitman canon, but it’s still succumbing to the same kind of inconsistent writing as every other game in the series, although the other games didn’t do that so blatantly. The only thing moral about him in either H2 or H5, to me, is that someone he’s grown to trust and become loyal to has been endangered – but even evil people are free to have love interests and friends, so it seems flawed to me to think that 47 really does get bothered that much by moral stuff on a daily basis. You’re free to save both Vittorio and Victoria by eliminating countless innocent people on the way (Absolution specifically features stupid areas where everybody is a “freebie” and if you don’t feel like sneaking around, the game doesn’t punish you for wanton murder by turning off the rating for a segment) and overall causing disarray.

He’s goal-minded. His goal is to do whatever is asked from him in a given task, protect himself and whoever he is loyal to. Rest is fair game.

A big thing about Absolution was that what he’d do for money did have limits.

He still shoots Diana before asking any questions or figuring out her motives, which tells me he wasn’t initially bothered enough, even though Diana has saved his life on no less than two occasions. He only turns on Travis upon learning that Travis is a massive dumb double-crossing (something he hates) creep (Never trust anyone and rely on your instincts), from that letter Diana wrote in advance. I think even the supplementary Hitman literature (Hitman: Damnation) suggests 47 recognizes that Travis isn’t a trustworthy individual or a good mission handler.

My opinion is that 47 isn’t ever about morals, he’s about loyalty and mutual deals.


#40

I’m not saying that vile, horrible targets would give him a distaste for his work, I’m saying the opposite. That he WANTS those jobs, because they give him a justification. Smothering a baby, for example, would not. And I’m not saying that the Agency shares his scruples, but that they know what his standards are and what he won’t do, even if he says he’ll do anything. They’d probably have a very complex psych profile on someone like that.

If money was all that mattered, the fact that Diana got double-crossed also wouldn’t have mattered to him. It literally shows that he abandoned a hit in-progress because he decided it wasn’t justified. He needs justification.

As far as the wrestling kill in absolution, the fight in the arena was literally supposed to be to the death, which is why no-one thought twice about it. As for removing his mask, yes, that didn’t seem totally smart, but it wasn’t a televised thing and the folks there would probably not want to record it on their phones since it was a super illegal event. Still, removing the mask even for a moment was risky, but I don’t really consider it the most nonsensical thing in the series. Obviously the patriot would wake up, but the silent assassin rating has never been about leaving zero physical evidence of what happened, its about not letting that evidence be found out til you’re long gone. It’s not as if the folks you stuffed in dumpsters weren’t found later in Blood Money, but that never counted against your rating there.

But anyways, I don’t see how that gripe is relevant to what I was actually saying. The morality judgement displayed by the rating system in that case is pretty clear: he killed only his target and escaped undetected.


#41

And it could easily be said that if someone else did it - more innocents would be sacrificed. It could also be speculated that more innocents die if bad people don’t get bumped off (thus avoiding gang wars, etc). But 47 doesn’t talk about his reasons for continuing his line of work after Silent Assassin other than “it’s what he does” so we don’t know - which is good because it keeps him interesting.

Then we stop with the speculating about this idea the ICA is a secret hero organization just so we can argue why it’s not? Can we? Finally? You do not have to be a hero to get paid to kill bad people.

This is literally not possible - everyone has morals, just they have different morals. 47’s morals value things like loyalty, not inhumanely experimenting on artificially created people, and more we haven’t discovered or explored yet. His moral, like others will probably (hopefully) change over time to - this is how characterization works.

To propose simply eliminating large parts of humanity doesn’t make characters particularly cool or interesting - which is why characters like Golgo 13 who appear to be devoid of such aspects get little character moments where they show they are not. Golgo 13 as a man with no feelings or fear is boring, Golgo 13 as a man with fear and feelings but also abnormally high courage and conviction combined with unusual morality is interesting and is why the Manga has been going on literally since forever.

Another example for you - Vincent from Collateral. Initially shown to be a well oiled killing machine, he becomes interesting in the story due to his interactions with Max and Max’s insights into him. Vincent seems to have no morals regarding killing innocent people and claims there’s no such things as right and wrong - but he also takes a risk by forcing Max to stand up to his asshole boss and by keeping Max on as his driver until Max have enough revelations about him:

This is humanizing and building characters, it’s what makes them interesting and gets people invested in them. 47 has had fairly inconsistent characterization due to a number of reasons, but there really no benefit to making pointless statements like “isn’t ever about morals”. That’s advocating more lazy and bad writing which will get us more characters like Skurky, Dexter, etc