To those who want Agent 47 to be a glamorous globe-trotting spy-assassin (WoA persona) rather than a cold psychopathic alien-like robot (Classic titles persona), I ask, why?

I like my version better, there is also a dash of Norman Bates in Philo as well.

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@Accidental_Kills98: Comes unglued over a topic and posts a massive dissertation filled to the brim with data and references drawn from real life and from all across Hitman lore in order to get his point across.

Heisenberg: “So that’s what it feels like reading one of those.”


Me looking up information to win an argument on the internet I didn’t think I would even start. (It isn’t enough to win the argument, you have to kill the idea.)

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you’re on one, i see. :smile:

if we discount the things that are there to deliberately disassociate him from being a serial killer, i fail to see how 47 isn’t a serial killer because a few outliers had similar traits.

remember, the context of the argument here is the op is suggesting that 47 is “serial killer-like” in contracts and not woa, yeah?

i’m saying that i think he’s an unreliable narrator at that moment in the story.

i’m pretty sure that makes him an outlier, especially coupled with all his other non-serial killer/outlier traits.

the off-the-cuff use of “actual” was a mistake on my part, so apologies.

sturrock is a movie serial killer in the sense that he (quite deliberately) has many of the signifiers we associate with serial killers… from movies: the air fresheners from seven, the recontextualised old music so it’s creepy from [insert any horror film], the trophy/altar from [insert any serial killer film], etc. contracts-era 47 doesn’t.

yes, sturrock also has “visible psychosis” which we do associate with serial killers because of movies, but that’s a complaint you should probably level at the writers of contracts’ feet rather than assuming that’s what i think about serial killers. I just read these things from the text.

the societal notion of an archetypal serial killer has changed dramatically between contracts and woa’s release. the woa team seem to be a lot more cognisant of representation (even of serial killers!), so comparing individual portrayals of their relatively more complex takes versus the bundle of serial killer tropes and shorthands from one minor character in a twenty year old game (and a different team) released post-seven doesn’t seem all that useful to me. this is especially so when the argument is about 47 himself and how he was “serial killer-like” before woa.

great write up though.


I mean being paid to do something doesn’t truly alter a distinction. If I were a property developer that paid a pyromaniac to burn down houses so I could get the land that person doesn’t magically become something other than a pyro.

I mean he is still engaging in those behaviours and if anything 47 is more brutal in those games so it kind of drives him close to being a slasher villain which means that yes he is a serial killer.

True but at the same time we shouldn’t dismiss what “he” thinks in that instance even if it comes from a crisis of conscious it is still revealing insights into his inner psyche.

It wound up occurring to me that 47’s issue isn’t that he rejects or justifies his killings, rather he has internalised them. The same way you internalise a belief in your talents or internalise a sense of misfortune in that regard he is in a minority of behaviours. I would say that could be one way professional killing alters

I do in the same way I feel IO abuse the word sociopath in WoA. But at least I decided to spare you the lecture I had on the dangers of stigmatising psychosis suffers because of the media.

Thanks! I hope you learned a lot and by “a lot” I mean “You should hate Absolution more”.

yes and no.

yes it does alter the distinction in the sense that motive is an integral part of being a serial killer, especially the movie type. your archetypal movie pyromaniac there would likely burn stuff for free because of his compulsions whereas I don’t get the impression 47 murders people in his spare time nor for the sake of it.

no, it doesn’t alter the distinction if 47 was a serial killer first, which i obviously don’t agree with.

ehhh i don’t agree with the leaps here. brutality isn’t unique to serial killers or slasher villains.

that’s what i’m doing though. i’m just saying hinging an argument about whether 47 is a serial killer on an unreliable internal assessment doesn’t seem like it leads anywhere useful for this particular debate.

you didn’t finish the sentence!

i’m pretty au fait with that stuff from multiple units during uni but i’m happy to learn more.

as if i haven’t made my position on absolution clear before.

at wearisome length.

to you directly.

multiple times. :joy:

I most of the time enjoy every interpretation IOI brings to the table because I feel like all of them hits something right or awesome about 47 in each of them. WoA just went with a spy thriller genre which fits really well but obviously it’s not the same as Contracts. I just can’t wait to see where IOI brings 47 and what new but interesting perspective we get to play as 47 in again.

47, I feel, is a very individual or subjective kind of character and for that I appreciate we as fans and “excepts” can choose from each chapter/interpretation we have been blessed with

But of course as IOI have said themselves: 47 definitely has a DNA (The first 3 hitman games obviously solidified this DNA/foundation) just like a character like batman or spiderman. They have great premises but can always be seen from a different but interesting ankle

Now now of course that doesn’t mean we can allow IOI to ever change 47s voice actor David Bateson out with someone else :smile:

Sorry, I had no clue why I left that hanging. I would fix it but fuck it. Long day, today.

It is a bit of a spiel, if I remember to do so I will gladly explain it but for now it is getting kind of late for me.

You only think you really hate Absolution, you should hate it even more than you do now.

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that would require me to hate on the positive mechanical evolutions it brought to the series and i’m not prepared to do that.




You guys need to see deeper than that.

47 is a super trained clone assassin, made to be one of the greatests of his genre.

He can blend and travel anywhere, taking any target down no matter the importance or the risks, it’s a job like another for him.

On that perspective we can agree that making him a fancy globe-trotting assassin sort of makes sense. That doesn’t mean he has to be only that!

I’m all up for 47 going back into his roots, laying low and getting down other kind of targets and less public figures in the future, why not on a darker tone :+1:


There is no deeper than that. That is, or at least was, the beauty of 47’s character; that he was a shallow blank slate for the player to fill in if they wanted to see something more in him, but without there actually being more for those who enjoyed having an emotionless, inhuman blank slate just killing with merciless professionalism.

Right, it doesn’t, but it lessens his purity as a character if he is anything more than that. 47, when he was all about killing his target, completing his contract, collecting his fee, repeat, that was all we needed. We didn’t need yet another anti-hero going through self-discovery, questioning who he is and what he does and if it’s right. We get that every time. Every bad guy has to look sympathetic and deep nowadays, from Leatherface and Hannibal Lecter having traumatic childhoods where you can blame the people who made them how they are for all the horrible things they later ended up doing, to those who are essentially bad guys but are then seen as heroes or anti-heroes due to the new direction their lives have taken, from Jason Bourne to John Wick to Black Mamba.

47 was basically a bad guy who only was bad because his job was the universal crime, and he personally didn’t care, making us players in control of a criminal who just happened to be killing other criminals. But unlike the rare examples of that that you get, like Tommy Vercetti in GTA: VC, who has backstory and character growth, you could fill in your own psyche to 47 if you felt the need to, without it affecting anything you see happening on screen when controlling him, and if you later felt like back-tracking, no harm done. Now that 47 had gone through (ugh) character development, yeah, he’s more than that now, but he was fine how he was. We don’t need another tragic anti-hero with hidden depths. 47 never needed depths, other than wondering where and when and how the hell he learned to do things like play drums professionally and things like that. Only depths he needed.

F. it. I miss the point shooting, the hostage taking… Hell, I can even appreciate the blending-in instinct gimmick. I can’t help but to think of how useful that’d be when you’re disguised as a guard in Paris and need to walk past one of the guards by the stairway. No need to have (almost?) every single person in the same outfit to be suspicious of you. Maybe make it be limited for each individual enforcer. Pass them once and they’ll remember you without blowing your cover. Just don’t go by them again, or have a 50/50 chance they won’t become suspicious. :thinking:

I know it’s not perfect and could use some tweaking to make it practical.

But yeah. I don’t think 47 ever really was… or had a lust for killing. He’d most likely have to have a level of detachment, or maybe lacking in empathy to be cold-blooded enough to kill people - even if it is for whatever amount of money.

Or is there more to him that that?

It’d be impossible to have 47 lay down on a chair/couch and have him let it all out about what drives him, what makes him tick… We can only assume from all the games and cutscenes, and perhaps any other medium that portrays the lore of 47.

I’d wonder if he does have some level of faith (or as much as I’m hesitant to say it :face_exhaling: ) or religion? Like, does he confess that he’s killed so&so and asks for forgiveness? Or (and I highly doubt this) does he see himself as “doing the Lord’s work?” :joy:

Oh well. I’m not proclaiming anything here. It’s just a ponderance that, surely, has no definite answer. And that’s okay with me.


Does Agent 47 believe in God?

Despite his cold and loveless upbringing, 47 has shown that he believes in a god on multiple occasions and even enjoyed a brief stint as a church gardener in Sicily.


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TLDR Warning:

Looking over this, I know I’m late, 47 is portrayed as a cold and merciless killer. This even spans to the first comic, with him clearly stating that he lacks empathy for those he kills. With him developing some form of empathy or with to escape his killer life in the second (I believe?) game, he turns to a life of farming/agriculture in a church garden. Having to return to his life of killing at the ICA after his Priest friend is kidnapped.

He is also seen caring for animals in the games and comics, with him taking care of a runaway rabbit as a child and a parrot in his later life.

You could say he hasn’t changed personality-wise but the brutal-ness of his kills and takedowns has definitely toned down A LOT.

47 does also express care and empathy towards his peers, with Lucas Grey (6) being one of a few clear signs of this. They work as a dynamic duo; Both of them with a similar game plan and they aren’t taking no for an answer.

The Handler/Assassin dynamic of 47 and Diana is also a good sign of him showing empathy. With Olivia Hall even expressing how 47 wants to protect her and how he cares for her in a way (You can find this line when hacking the core in Chongqing, China).

So overall, I doubt that 47 has changed too much; With him always having someone to protect/care for over the years (Absolution, anyone?)

But in conclusion, he shows deep empathy for those he knows on a personal level and will go out of his way to make sure needless death occurs, 47 only really canonically kills bad people and I assume he either puts zero thought into this or he ends up just seeing the evil in each person he kills, with his kills only being the targets according to lore (Carpathian Mountains would be an exception I think). So yeah, I don’t think he exactly has always been a merciless killer but he seems to find a balance in who deserves to die and who doesn’t, probably seeing himself as an Anti-Hero of sorts.

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I would actually argue the opposite; as seen in Absolution and WoA, where 47 seems to be at his most moral, he actually seemed to pull off his most brutal and painful kills, most of which were somewhat poetic, particularly when making it appear as an accident. In the earlier games, when he was solely killing for cash or to go after those involved in wronging him, he rarely dragged it out or made it exceptionally painful. He usually just got the kill done by the quickest, most efficient means and then left, whether that was with a bullet, a strangulation, a stab, or whatnot.

I would also argue against 47 ever really attaining empathy, except where Grey, Diana and Victoria were concerned. Grey and Victoria because he’d been through what they had, and Diana because he knows what her parents’ deaths turned her into, and so he got to see the long-term effects of one of his kills in someone important to him. I don’t think he can feel what other ordinary people can feel, not in the usual sense.

Blood Money at least shows that he also kills people that he has to in order to defend himself or protect the anonymity of his identity.

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Fair enough, I see what you’re getting at. To be fair, either way he definitely has seen some sorta moral changes over the years but it’s more or less the same basis for his morality. He seems to have some sort of moral code but it seems to be extremely loose based on what he does.

But all-in-all. 47 has had some changes over the years but he’s always gonna be our favourite bald, chrome-domed janitor of the criminal underworld to say the least.

I find it interesting that you suggest Agent 47 has much agency (pun intended) in H1 (2016) and H2 (2018). Before 47 is (injected with the magical “cure my psychopathy” formula) changed, the game at least tries to convey that Agent 47 does what Diana tells hims to. She is his “conscience” so to speak. So, if anything, it isn’t Agent 47 choosing to be a glamorous globetrotting spy, but Diana.

To that end:
I find it interesting that you suggest Agent 47 wasn’t a glamorous globetrotting spy in the former games. Sure, the polygon count and texture fidelity was low, but Agent 47 visited fancy places to assassinate rich and powerful people, often while wearing a nice tailored suit. Sure, not EVERY kill/ location. And to that end, not every location in WoA could be called “fancy” either. To illustrate this point, here are a few examples:

Hitman: Codename 47

  • Chiu Dai Park, Hong Kong, China; Several Restaurants and Lee Hong’s “Mansion”
  • Hotel Gallàrd, Budapest, Hungary; a fancy hotel and bathhouse

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

  • Villa Borghese, Siciliy, Italy; a palatial estate
  • German Embassy, St. Petersburg, Russia; complete with a ballroom!
  • Hayamoto’s Mansion, Honshū, Japan; a mansion
  • Actually, most of these locations are mansions or government buildings

Hitman: Contracts

  • Beldingford Manor, England, UK; a fancy mansion
  • Several repeat locations

Hitman: Blood Money

  • Colchagua Valley Vineyard, near Santa Rosa, Chile; a fancy vineyeard
  • Garnier Opera House, Paris, France; a fancy theater
  • “Pink Mansion,” Rocky Mountains, USA; a luxurious modern mansion

In many of these missions, you are also tasked with collecting information, like videotapes, photos, or documents. This act is sometimes referred to as “Espionage,” or being a “Spy.”

So, realistically, Agent 47 has always been a globetrotting “Spy” visiting fancy locations to assassinate rich and powerful people. Not every kill/ location… but many of them.

Now, there’s no denying that in WoA, Agent 47 seems his most “human.” If we are to believe every interaction is at least potentially canon (i.e., would it happen this way, 47 would do/ say these things), then he’s clearly developed a sense of humor and fun. Making puns about the situation, killing targets in ironic ways, etc.

It’s also worth noting: WoA takes place later than any other previous title. Agent 47 has been doing this a long time. During this time, he’s been practicing. Not just playing drums or learning about wine, but also practicing being human.

I think there’s no denying that Agent 47 cares for Diana, in a way. Maybe not how a normal person does, but it goes beyond simply thinking she’s useful. However, I’ve always interpreted his religious exploration as an attempt to be more “human.” Religious institutions offer rules, guidelines, regulations, and stipulations. This would be appealing to a clinical, calculated mind seeking something “more.” Many people might see his pet bird as him having emotion. But I would characterize it more as him trying to have emotions. He’s keeping a pet, because that’s what people do. He has no hesitations about killing it when he thinks he needs to, and doesn’t seem too upset about it when he learns it was just Diana.

Of course, the real answer to a question like this is:
You can be just about as brutal as you want in WoA. You could literally kill every person (save for a few exceptions) on the map and then exit the level. Sure, you get a lower score, but it still “counts” as completing the mission.

James Bond and other spy movies are fantastic fun. A handsome man who is overly capable and educated, kills “bad” people in style. He wears fancy suits, he drinks fancy drinks, he drives fancy cars; it’s a classic power fantasy! So, if you ask me what I would prefer for myself? I’d rather be James Bond than Buffalo Bill.