Ode to "Situs Inversus"

Since my recent writeup ”Love Letter to World of Tomorrow” was fairly successful, and since I enjoyed writing it, I have decided to pick another mission that I really like for a similar writeup.

The concept is the same: Instead of going into flaws and improvements that can be made, I go into what I really like about the mission.
In order to not have these articles seem too ”samey” I have opted to leave out a couple of obvious points. For instance, I love the escapes in this level, but I won’t give them a large writeup.

Feel free to chime in with your own things you love about Situs Inversus.

Without further ado:

The Blending Spots

This mission features a plethora of different blending spots. They’re not all useful, but almost all of them are enjoyable to use.

I like to spend time in the bar area just hanging around. It features so many nice blends, which helps with immersion.

barblend
Sitting down in this area really helps to give you time to appreciate the visual design of the area. The GAMA facility mixes the traditional with the modern and sleek. This leans towards the former.

cherryblossomsBlend
I love this cherry blossom tree. It might be stereotypical, but it is also beautiful. Great spot to sit down.

meeting2
Not only does this spot help you appreciate the traditional look of the garden, but it gives you a perfect place to listen in on Yuki and the director in an immersive way. Very nice.

hotelroombalcony
Such a great idea to have this spot on the balcony. The instinct when starting the level the first time is to head out here, and this helps make that experience all the greater.

The New Spin on Access

It may seem gamey to some, but to me it was quite refreshing to see the idea of access chips sewn into the uniforms of the employees and guests of the hospital. It’s not something I expect to see again (well… maybe if we visit Kronstadt HQ or something), but it is something I enjoyed. It takes a key aspect of the game and puts a fun and original spin on it.

access1
All of a sudden female disguises are useful. They still don’t fit 47s physique, but they’ll open doors all the same.

All of Those Supporting Characters

Not only do we have all of these unique disguises, but a lot of them belong to fairly good/fun characters. Through listening to dialog throughout the mission you get to learn a great deal about them all and their personalities. Just like a unique disguise helps add flavor, personality does as wel.
Doctor Laurent’s backstory is particularly sad, while Jason Portman is just plain funny.

laurentkillsoders
”Oh that bastard. That piece of shit Eric Soders who I’m in there trying to save put a noose around my father’s neck and kicked away the chair? For money?! He’ll pay! Screw FDA approval! Right here, right now, Eric Soders is going to pay!”

shutupjason)
No Jason, you shut up!

Ninja Assassin

ninjastart
Starting as a full blown ninja is probably one of the more ridiculous things I’ve seen in the game series. Luckily it’s also insanely awesome.

ninjaroof1
Everything from 47s pose in the start, to the extra challenges, to the ability to reach hitherto unreachable places helps add a lot of fun to this mission.

The References callbacks, and Homages

The entire season has had a lot of little references to previous games in the series, but maybe Situs Inversus has the most/best ones.
I would say ”off the top of my head” but I clearly went to get screenshots, so… :slight_smile:

usethebathroom
I have to use the bathroom, This one kind of speaks for itself.

sushicut
For those of us who played Hitman 2, the fugu poison kill, down to making the cut ourselves, feels like an obvious homage to an old classic. It’s great as well.

agentsmith
I will admit to not being a huge fan of Agent Smith, but this is handled so well, I don’t care, and actually like his appearance.

saunakill
Going back even further than Hitman 2, this feels like an obvious homage to the game that started it all. Yuki may not have the heart condition that Fritz Fuchs dealt with, but crank up the heat enough and anyone will croak.

The Kills

Situs Inversus contains an almost impeccabe combination of fun and interesting kills. It fuses the original with the classic.

HeartToss2
Binning Soders’ Heart is one of my favorite kills of the series. It is a kill like nothing we’ve seen before in the series. Not only does it employ an indirect approach (Soders will die due to not having a replacement heart), but it is one of the coldest cutscenes I can remember seeing. 47 just tosses his heart in the trash. Brutal.

SodersDeath1
Soders’ deaths are pretty brutal in general though. The cutscenes, or even just the aftermath looks more painful than most stuff I’ve seen in the series.

ExplosionView1
Goodbye Yuki.

Fuckin’ Yoga!

OK, I’m sorry, but this is where I just dump a load of screenshots from the yoga session with Yuki. I absolutely adore this kill, or more exactly I adore the leadup to it.

yoga1
yoga2
yoga3
yoga4
yoga5
yoga6
yoga7
yoga8
yoga9

33 Likes

@Fortheseven is coming for you

5 Likes

What is it ?

Well, if you follow some of the challenges it is revealed that his father was assassinated by Eric Soders. He made it seem like he hung himself, meaning Laurent has grown up believing his father killed himself,

I didn’t know about the hanging part

1 Like

This is my favorite mission in the game! I really love the map and the door system was really fun! I just love the design and I know every single corner of the map! I would love a bonus mission on it, but here are personal favourite details:
Yuki - I really like her as a target, ruthless and a background related to old Hitman games, and she has a pretty good route too! I like the fact that killing her requires some really cool puzzle elements and good thinking.

Size - The map is the smallest of the main mission, but it is a good think. Since its small size fits it perfectly!

Hostile design - We have 2 hostile disguises and both of them fit perfectly in the map, I personally think Hokkaido was greatly designed for hostile disguises, even better than Colorado in that aspect.

10 Likes

‘Situs Inversus’ is my favourite level in the whole Hitman series. :heart:
I love everything about it - design, colours, climate, targets, views, kills, suits, references, ‘clothes door opening’, music, special NPCs, even the little details like J. Portman coming to hospital entrance no matter what you do.

I quoted this line exactly, because it actually describes my first playthrough of this mission - the first thing I’ve done was going to the balcone and enjoying the views… Then I realised it will be a great level, but I didn’t knew yet it will become my favourite one from the whole series.

So, what I can say more is that I’m singing this Ode with you, @Kent !

2 Likes

I totally agree with everything you’ve said. This is my fave level, tied with World of Tomorrow. But I think Hokkaido wins by just a bit for me. The atmosphere is incredible, and every space is used well and a pleasure to explore. I really like the contrast between the cold, clinical hospital areas and the relaxed spa areas. I know some people feel the map is too small, but I think it’s a perfect example of a fantastic use of space, with great side characters and some amazing kills.

Also, the music in this level is my favourite. I like just looking out of the window in the restaurant while listening to it.

EDIT: And omg creepy KAI – I adore it. Especially when sabotaging it and KAI starts to realise “…you are… not the director…”

2 Likes

it would have been so cool if 47 had checked in under the Name “Lord Sinclair“ instead of Tobias Rieper, would have been a nice Reference to Terminal Hospitality.

4 Likes

Hokkaido is amazing. Only complaint/wish i have is more freedom on the roofs. If it had that i might have ranked it above sapienza as 2nd best map.

The new system for doors was refreshing.

9 Likes

I love that they pack so many disguises into such a small space. Having a bunch of unique disguises is important, and only Sapienza and Hokkaido are particularly noteworthy in this respect.

I don’t think everyone likes it, but I am a big fan of the reduced loadout until mastery level 20 is reached. I think it’s a great compromise between adding extra challenge restrictions and allowing for freeform gameplay. I hope we see more variants of this trick in future missions (e.g. randomizing targets until 20 mastery, disabling instinct, giving cameras advanced AI, etc.)

This level also has a bunch of musical stings that are unique to the level. Little tunes on Japanese instruments play when you come upon scenic vistas. I love them. That doesn’t happen in too many other places in the game. There’s the sting that plays when you discover Silvio’s lab, the one that plays when Victor comes down the grand staircase and… I think that’s it?

I really love that they integrated the Jordan Cross video into the game on one of the TVs. It’s a shame they didn’t fit the whole thing in. They did all that work on the promotional material and it would be nice to encounter it in game. (I wish we could also find radios playing the other two Class songs. Maybe next season.)

The gondola death is great. I really like the timed kills that happen while a target is fleeing the level. (The other is in Sapienza and both missions are headed by the game dev, so he must be into them. And he must also be into putting tons of disguises in his levels.) It’s good that the timed escape kills are somewhat rare so that they don’t get old, but they’re great. They feel mechanically different than other kills.

The neatest thing about the level for me is that it feels like it lives up to its potential so much that it’s hard to think of improvements. With other levels I have visions of grand additions or flights of imagination for what the mission could have been… with Hokkaido I only have quibbles. I don’t think it matches Paris or Sapienza in breathtaking majesty or richness of gameplay, but given the size and the setting and the theme, it could not have been done better…

1 Like

Randomising targets? Please no, would make me lose interest straight away. I dont see any fun or challenge in disabling instinct either

2 Likes

That’s why I think they’d be good things to disable once you hit 20 mastery. Those first few times when you play the level having to figure out who the target is… that would be interesting to most players, I think. But if you don’t like it, you’d be able to turn it off the randomization after just a few runs.

Disabling instinct would probably be not fun at all though, I agree.

I don’t want to hijack this thread too much – it’s for giving love to Hokkaido, which deserves it! – but I think there a bunch of ways they could have random targets in a story mission. I describe one of them in Mission 3 of this post.

“I can play however I want and so can everyone else” is a great philosophy, but I think that it’s okay to have temporary enforced restrictions when you play a story mission the first few times. Hokkaido was better for having a reduced loadout that you could eventually turn off. It did enforced restrictions perfectly (to turn this back into a “praise Hokkaido!” thread).

1 Like

I dont find that intetesting at all. I want consistency and plan accordingly. Even if its just the first few runs, i couldnt be bothered to finish the mission. Imo this would be the worst thing they could do.

Edit: reduced loadout didnt make hokkaido better at all

Good write up mate, I always enjoy reading your various threads.

I’ll admit I haven’t played Hokkaido as much as I really should. I thoroughly enjoy the mission, but for some reason if I fancy an hour or 2 in Hitman, I find myself revisiting Paris, Sapienza or even Marrakesh more often.

However, I remember gushing to my brother about this mission recently, and I must have been talking about it for an hour with him, and all the nice features it has.

Thanks for this thread. It’s really nice to look back and appreciate this mission. I even learned a few things from it. Besides World of Tomorrow, this is by far my favorite mission in the game. They hit everything just right with it. Great side characters, great environment, great atmosphere, great assassinations. I hope we can get something as great as this next season.

1 Like

Best mission in the game imo. Best map is Sapienza.

1 Like

Nice writeup :slight_smile: Great to see there’s still so much love for Hokkaido out there :smiley:

17 Likes

hokkaido has best wallhacks in season 1 :clap:

3 Likes