Sexual themes in the Hitman series

It can’t be more unique if the targets are always generic bad guys. A random guy is way more interesting because you end up with more variety instead of everything being black and white and good vs evil.

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Well for one thing a level like that is as about as tasteful as a cardboard, gruel and vod cocktail. Additionally making it a religious charity will mean yet another shitstorm with religious groups. Making it a normal charity and you people taking umbrage about it. Even I dislike the premise of a level like this even discarding all the pragmatism above and below I find the idea morally objectionable.

Add to the fact any sort of charity worker is still a boring person especially when the alternative is the nutso warlord in his Egopolis palace. The charity worker is still just a normal person at the end of the day. The warlord can be as insane or as dangerous as IO wants. I would rather drop a piano on Idi Amin than Ned Flanders.

Then we get to the gameplay. As a foreign charity worker you are one person in a group of 20 or so other people from your nation the rest of the people are from the nation you are in. Given most regional warlordism occurs in Africa it limits the people you can disguise as by a lot. Also what charity is it? Because that also narrows down what the opportunities are. The target can’t be a medic, construction worker, nutritionist, teacher and lawyer, oh my!

And it doesn’t just go like that for the charity worker. Practically any sort of decent or moral person has significant problems into fitting with the Hitman formula.

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“Many have fallen by your hand, and yet by your hand, others have risen.”

Take the Golden Handshake, by eliminating Athena Savalas we’ve either paved the way for Milton-Fitzpatrick’s new No. 1, whom for all you know is a patron of Lucas Grey… or we’ve just made a path clear for some other powerful bank to take over the void Milton-Fitzpatrick left behind.

Or how about how we were able to see for ourselves the way the Delgado crime family just rebuilds itself again between “A Vintage Year” and “Three Headed Serpent”?

I’ve always felt the series had a running theme about the Circle of Life that governs Wealth and Power. Also note the same circles - that of criminal masterminds, secret organizations, and illicit wealth - is the source, both for funds and for DNA, from which 47 himself was created.

The one thing though rooted in some semblance of realism is the notion that hired professionals are only ever sent against people who are well protected or are deemed “untouchable” which on the face of it are usually the rich, the powerful, and the well established. To some extent that does involve some expression of sexual or mature themes once in a while. It is an expression of power and standing that some of 47s targets are able to just snap their fingers and have a pretty young thing beside them.

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Chillax bra, was just an off-the-cuff suggestion; doesn’t have to be religion, doesn’t have to be African warlord client; moral people doing work in dangerous regions have security and the other things that a Hitman mission requires, there’s also no reason that being a good or neutral person means they have to be boring, they can have any personality the creator wants, no reason they have to be Ned Flanders just because they lead a charity organisation. They could be a thrill-seeker with interesting hobbies in their spare time (Which form the basis of mission stories), they could be in the middle of a dispute with their spouse, they could be rich and self-absorbed and eccentric like Rico Delgado (But just not evil or involved in drugs); the characters would only be boring if you’re a bad writer.

The point is you could do it about literally anything, a feud between two corporations where the target isn’t good or evil, they’re just competition that your client wants taken out; a mission where both the target and client are bad so it’s not really clear if you’re doing a good deed. Io shouldn’t be forced to make every single target a person who does really bad things. In Silent Assassin you kill a bunch of generals who were doing an investigation into the murder of their colleague, hardly a moral thing to kill some people for wanting to get to the truth of a murder, but it was completely fine (Unless you found it ‘morally objectionable’ and not ‘tasteful’?)

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Only up to a certain extent… otherwise it becomes an exercise in just trying to be different for the sake of being different.

The premise of “wanting someone dead so badly as to put up a large amount of money to see it happen” means that the context surrounding the target has to be considered.

How many ways can you write a Charity Worker so that wanting them dead becomes plausible for a game of this type? Even if you go in a direction where 47 is hired by ISIS militants to harm such persons in conflict zones, logic dictates that ISIS have enough fighters to tackle such defenseless persons on its own.

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To an extent such is possible…

The Capitalist vs The Eco-Terrorist.

To which I am not. I just don’t think there is a lot of potential in a charity worker that is all. This isn’t about interesting or writing this is also about gameplay. Your charity worker might be The Most Interesting Man In The World and still I find that it would under deliver when you make it a mission not to mention when you do charity work overseas it is still a full time job.

Plus having an aid worker with ridiculous hobbies or thrillseeker tendencies detracts from using charity work to kill him that is the juxtaposition the level would need to stand out. Having outrageous hobbies and impulses also makes me think warlord or dictator and makes me go “why am I not killing that guy” or why isn’t he the levels target? Not to mention your average aid worker probably can’t afford it.

Also arrogant and self-obsessed? I am getting burnt-out on that archetype and it doesn’t help that Rico is really underwhelming (to me at least) he should have that oomph but he doesn’t. Rico is a step above the Tony Montana rip-offs IO used to go for but it is like being taller by standing on a your tiptoes. I would like to say this could be a well written target but a good level? I don’t think so.

Like what @Soupienza said. Could is a tricky word and it reminds me of some skills I picked up, those being: Knowing when to use an idea, how to make an idea work and know that some ideas you love need to be shelved or scrapped. A dichotomy I call “Could and/or Should”

I could do a lot of things when I plan a story. I could end Season three with 47 coming out as a bisexual with a poly-amorous relationship with Agent Smith and Terra. 47 and his husband and wife would retire to Key West, Florida and open up a seafood restaurant.

Is that idea interesting? Yes. I could I make that well-written? Yes, if I dedicated my entire life to that stupid idea. Is it something unique and unexpected? Yes. But should I do it? No… That is for a myriad of reasons most notably a) This is a preexisting franchise with rules and characterisation. b). I am also working with a story already under way, c). The fans of this series are the most ardent people I know, you and me included.

Even when I work on my own projects and plans I have ideas I love but I put in a big old maybe pile. The best thing I can do is go “Hey if I have x character then y character is redundant or y’s role is lessened” at that point I have to realise that as much as I love x on paper and in my plans I have to either work on it all over again until both fit or shift him into a maybe pile. Hell I have no disused pile at all since it reminds me to be creative or to work on what I have all the more harder. Sometimes it is a more pragmatic reason such as not doing something since I need people to actually by me and support me until I can get away with almost anything new and eccentric ideas.

To that end I have a quote by Carl Sagan that sums up this post in a less concise but direct manner (a TL;DR as they call it). “Claims that cannot be tested, assertions immune to disproof are veridically worthless, whatever value they may have in inspiring us or exciting our sense of wonder.”

To that end I will like to say that I feel that we already are working for bad guys (a terrorist cell) to defeat bad guys (the Illuminati) with grey and black characters caught in the crossfire. Not to mention this Illuminatus literally is home to a majority of the world’s power players and many of our targets are easily replaced.

Also some story corrections. In the St Petersburg levels of Silent Assassin all of our targets are bad people. The general that sparks the investigation? Had Mafiya ties and was a KGB official who were some of the most vile security agents ever. Kirov Park Meeting’s General (Marakov?) also turned to a criminal for aid (It makes me think the “investigation” is a cover up for their misconduct). Bardachenko was torturing men in a dingy subway. Finally Zuhpikov was planning on defecting to America and selling military secrets to the highest bidder. Not turning them over to the US Government. Also his defection is most likely due to him being the frog in the kettle so to speak. Also every single one of them is old enough to have committed war crimes and atrocities under Stalin or during the Cold War. Now I may be wrong since Hitman 2 is a game I have not played in a while.

And they haven’t. IO clearly love using Hitman as some means of allowing use to feel like we are making a difference even through extra-legal means. To my mind there are only two targets in the series that has never committed a crime and that is Klaas Teller and the funeral guests. Every other target has committed some form of crime from identity theft to murdering the elderly for kicks. And I always thought Teller was an excuse to make Contracts seems that bit more “grimdark”. Even then Teller was covering up (or helping to) a political misgiving.

Killing a heavily guarded charity worker cuz muh edge

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For starters I didn’t say he was a charity worker, I said he was the head of a charity organisation and is overseas, usually the head of an organisation doesn’t do full-time grunt work on the ground, but they still have a presence; plus he’s the one giving the orders so if anyone is unhappy with what the organisation is doing it would make sense to take out him rather than a worker who will be replaced. I also said it was an off-the-cuff example, so no idea why you’re writing an essay about something I put about five seconds thought into.

And yes, I was responding to a claim that good characters aren’t ever ‘an interesting target’, ‘captivating’ or ‘unique’, so it is about whether or not they are interesting or not, funnily enough, that’s how a response works. And yes, if someone can’t come up with a ‘good’ character who is interesting, they’re a bad writer.

You’re tired of arrogant and self-obsessed and don’t like that IO did it? You may have a point, but it just goes to show they thought it good enough to put in the game; unless you can give me a reason why only evil people can have those types of traits and good people can’t, then this isn’t really relevant to the discussion.

If you’re seriously comparing the act of having a moral character as a target in a Hitman game, to 47 going off to have an open relationship with Agent Smith and someone else in Florida, then I’m wasting my time engaging with you.

So your evidence of why we can’t or shouldn’t have an immoral mission in Hitman is because we’ve had an immoral mission in Hitman (Rendezvous in Rotterdam)? Solid logic there. The client wanted to save themselves from having incriminating photos of themselves getting out (Something can only be incriminating if the person did something bad, therefore our client has done something bad), and they wanted a person they hired dead merely because they failed. That is an immoral mission. Why can’t we have more of that? You say “even so Teller was covering up something bad”, we’re literally sent to do his mission for him, so we’re as immoral as him by your logic (moreso since Teller wasn’t sent to kill some dude who just failed his job, but we are)!

Then there’s Dino Bosco, who committed no crime, just spends a lot of the studio’s money which his contract allows. Why do we not feel bad about killing him? Because they made him a total douchebag, but not a criminal or wifebeater or anything like that, he’s just rude to his crew and an asshole socially. Do you think IO was wrong to make that mission? If not, would it have been wrong if they decided to make him a nice guy perfectionist instead of an asshole perfectionist?

I could respond to your other points but this thread has already derailed from the whole sexual themes thing, and everyone reading is probably annoyed at both of us right now

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Can I point out that as a target for assassination, a charity worker seems like massive overkill. If they are a problem, corrupt them, bribe them, ruin them. Cut off their dog’s head. I dunno. Murder is unnecessary.

True indeed, but may I suggest the funkier sounding “Coulda Woulda Shoulda”.

Utah, not Colorado. That’s Salt Lake you start on.

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You mean the bikini-wearing bodyguard babes of Charlie Sidjan? That’s hardly what I would call empowering. Especially since they were the only female guards in the whole game.

“Look this women is a strong female character. She’s a badass fight with a sword. What? Why’s is she only wearing a bikini and looks like she’s posing for the Playboy cover? Well she’s doing it because she’s a strong female character not afraid of her sexuality. Aren’t we progressive? “

Besides Hitman Codename 47, the very first game of the franchise, already had female guards in the finale Hong Kong mission. And these female guards wore then same outfit as their male counterparts. That’s a lot more progressive that Charlie’s Angles.

I also wouldn’t say that Blood Money handled female characters much better: The secretary in the first mission, the two female assassins dressed like strippers, Sinistra wife… Almost every female character of importance was sexualized. Did we really need two female assassins in skimpy outfits, trying to seduce 47? Why couldn’t Maynard John be the one trying to seduce 47 – maybe after the first failed attempted they came to the conclusion that 47 prefers men – and have Eve be then one who challenge him to a duel? But alas we had to stick to the role models and make the male the fighter and the female the seductresses.

I’m not saying Blood Money is a bad game or the developers are sexists who should be burned on the stake or that there never should be any scantily dressed women anymore. It’s just that Hitman wasn’t really that great at portraying females.

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Also it seemed in keeping with themes of having Money and Power as driving forces. Personally I felt THE ICON played out a bit like some dark comedic sidestory.

So no… didn’t feel bad about it at all. Was happy to see a film set used as a sandbox map.

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Yeah, that was the joke :sweat_smile:

And yes, the appearance of women in Blood Money was ridiculous, I mean look at the ‘angel’ outfits in the Heaven party… and all the women in the game who are under the age of 30 all happen to have giant breasts?

Blood Money didn’t handle representation of women particularly well (Current games are way better), but it was fine with the things that were meant to be sexual themes: Seduction as a weapon of agents, aphrodisiac, backstory involving murdered prostitute, a character embarrassing themselves… none of these things require caricatures etc, and none of these type of themes are in the new games sadly, they’re just no-go zones it seems

Eh, I just went by the Wikia; also I swear I heard the term “Colorado Rockies” somewhere in the game, maybe it was just “Rockies” and I imagined the Colorado

That’s fair, though I personally don’t think it’s worth a damn. If that voice line is a thing then I’d take that as enough though…

So if character isn’t evil, he’s not interesting in any way.

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Perhaps I wasn’t clear on some of my talking points so let me clear up some stuff before we end this little spat.

I didn’t bring morality into it. I am saying that the arrogant and self-obsessed person is a well IO has gone to several times now. To me it is getting old. Can good people have those traits? Yes but more often than not those traits are inherent with people who are ethically grey or bad. Traits, dress and even the way a character walks has connotations and impacts how we enjoy something

No I was saying that IO are not being forced into making missions with bad people in them. It is that they have done these sorts of missions before but on the whole IO gravitate towards having targets that are morally grey at best and bitch black at worst on an ethic colour swatch. Further more I was saying to disregard Teller since he was (to my knowledge) knowingly engaging in a political cover-up for a client that had done something wrong (engaging in a prostitute’s services) ergo he is a less than moral character. That leaves two targets Requiem (excluding Cayne) and Bosco. I was gonna talk about Bosco but fuck it I could careless

All I was saying is that while you may have an idea that you think is good it is always best to reexamine if you can or even should pull it off. Did I engage in the logical fallacy of reductio ad absurdum? Yes and that I will gladly admit to that. However what I was trying to say was that an idea even one that takes five seconds to conjure up and/or love it to death with should be examined well before saying it should be implemented.

Well we agree on something now at least. But to be honest I think half the forum expects me to do this sort of shit. I used to do it all the time when I first became a member. I am argumentative and when I refrain from engaging I get tense and nervous not saying it.

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I hope this doesn’t sound condescending because I don’t intend it to be, but it gets easier as you get older and your levels of not giving a shit increase.

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Don’t worry I don’t find it condescending at the least. But it is a result from my OCD most likely so I doubt it will go away as I get older. (But I hope it does).

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Or maybe they felt like that they done it before already and saw no reason to do it again.

I agree the current games are better overall, but not just on representing women. I think it just feels more authentic all around.

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You didn’t, I did, then you responded to it saying ‘Practically any sort of decent or moral person has significant problems into fitting with the Hitman formula.’, hence this whole debate…

Great, that has nothing to with the debate, I gave you one example of how a target who is in the ‘good’ category can be not boring, by being given personality traits. Whether or not you like the one specific personality trait I gave as an example doesn’t address the actual point, which is that moral targets can be interesting if they’re given a personality and are not written as boring characters.

Great, so then you agree it wouldn’t kill them to do at least one mission now and then where the target isn’t bad? I think it would provide a form of variety. At no point did I say the game had to become about mainly killing good people, they can still mainly be about killing bad people as per usual, while still slotting in a much more questionable mission somewhere.

That’s a non-argument; what you said to me, you could say that about literally anything “Hey, you can call yourself Accident-kills98 but it doesn’t mean you should”, “Hey, they can call the game HitmanTM 2 instead of Hitman: Season 2, doesn’t mean they should”. It says nothing about the premise itself.

Head of a charity organisation idea took 5 seconds to come up with, and should be treated as such; however the idea of having a target who’s good or at least not bad has had plenty of thought put into it (much more than 5 seconds), and I’ve seen no logical arguments as to why it can’t be done or would be bad for a Hitman game to do.

  • “Good people aren’t interesting”? Dumb argument and explained why that’s wrong already.
  • Good people don’t offer the gameplay challenges for Hitman? Plenty of good people are powerful and have security and are hard to get to; some would be literally the same as existing type of missions, just with a different backstory.
  • Hitman format doesn’t allow immoral missions in their game? Rendezvous in Rotterdam disproves that, and you seem to be indicating Requiem was not a good thing too, so there’s two examples (But even if those examples didn’t exist, still doesn’t disprove that they couldn’t in the future, I mean they’re a bloody assassination agency, they can’t claim to be too moral)

If you got any others, give em a shot; and if you don’t disagree with the premise of moral targets or immoral missions, then great, we agree!

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