What makes a good Hitman Villain?

Hitman’s plots have rarely been the strong suit of the games, and as the saying goes, “A story is only as good as its villain.” Maybe we can look back at our old villains and learn something.

Codename 47 has 47’s creator, mad scientist Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer as the main villain. He sends 47 after the other four fathers before they turn on each other and 47 kills him.

Silent Assassin has Russian mobster Sergei Zavarotkov. He forces 47 out of retirement, has him do his dirty work and then goes after him.

Contracts’s closest thing to an actual antagonist is Police Inspector Albert Fournier, who is mates with the targets of Curtains Down and attempts to kill 47 twice.

Blood Money’s main villain is former FBI Director Alexander Leland Cayne, leader of rival assassination agency by the name of the Franchise, which goes after ICA agents. 47 strikes back in a few missions before Diana fake-betrays him, letting him slaughter Cayne and his gang.

Absolution’s villains are ICA division chief Benjamin Travis and arms manufacturer Blake Dexter. 47 spends the game chasing after Victoria as she’s handed from Dexter associate to Dexter associate, while avoiding Travis’s ICA forces.

Our new game has Arthur Edwards, the Constant of Providence, 47’s brother Subject 6, Lucas “the Shadow Client” Grey (I know he’s our ally, but he’s been a villain for ¾ of the game and he’s shady as hell), and the Partners, consisting of Marcus Stuyvesant, Carl Ingram and Alexa Carlisle, three random rich white people leading Providence. After we go after the Shadow Client for hiring us to sabotage Providence, we learn that Providence has been spying on us, prompting Edwards to make an alliance with the ICA. Four missions later, we betray Providence again and ally ourselves with the Shadow Client, and kidnap Edwards two missions later so we can go after the Partners. He escapes in another two missions.

So the Hitman series has had a mad scientist, a Russian mobster, a corrupt French police inspector, a former FBI Director, a ICA division chief and Texan arms tycoon and an enigmatic Illuminati representative as their main villains. All of whom, at one point or another, hired, manipulated or allied with the ICA. And all of whom, until the induction of Madam Carlisle, are white men. Ort-Meyer, Zavarotkov and Edwards (and the Shadow Client and the Partners, if you wish to add them) are figures from 47’s past, which while the other four are rather recent.

So what kind of villain suits Hitman best?

First of, they’ll have to get on the bad side of 47 or the ICA first. The easiest way to do this is to hire them under false pretences, but Cayne directly attacked the ICA and the Absolution villains went after 47’s ward.

Secondly, with the exception of Fournier and the Absolution villains, who spend their games chasing 47 around in circles, they’re all criminal masterminds. They spend the majority of the game playing the ICA like playdough before the ICA finds out and sends 47 after them.

Third, and maybe this is subjective, but they have to have some connection to 47. The villains of Contracts and Absolution came out of bloody nowhere, and Absolution’s gameplay was not good enough to save it.

So what do you guys think? What makes a good Hitman villain?

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Then need to yee-haw more because they don’t ordinarily do that. But seriously for me my favourite villains are a pre-face turn Shadow Client and The Constant.

The Shadow Client provides a nice classic dark parallel to 47. Pragmatic, ruthless and incredibly mysterious. He knew how to manipulate events, he had immense power with so little assets and knew a lot about 47. He was only bogged down by his terrible dialogue.

Arthur Edwards aka The Constant is again a dark parallel to Diana. Seemingly all knowing, able to extract huge details from very little information and is the main characters link to the a secret society of immense power that secretly controls the world and he was from a middle-class back ground unlike Diana so he seems even more powerful. Plus 47 has mostly been able to escape the character assassination that is S2.

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First off, love the energy of this :joy:

But I think Hitman enemies ONLY work as manipulators. You can’t have the villain established early otherwise 47 would just kill them. His whole thing is he is the worlds best (or maybe it’s Maynard John) so anyone he sets his mind to he can kill. The only time that isn’t true is if the target is ridiculously powerful (ala Providence) or 47 is off his footing (ala Absolution). And neither of those two plots float well with me. I like suprises in Hitman.

One of my favourite moments in Hitman was at the end of Sarajevo Six where you’re about to kill The Controller and he tells you he was the client and explains everything.

I know it’s very cookie-cutter but I’m fine with IO using the ‘mysterious client hires the ICA and turns out to be villains’ plot over and over

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I will never let IO down for Dexter. Even my brother knows that line and he doesn’t play Hitman at all.

The seasons thus far have 47 involved in political objectives which make him seem like the good guy. Now I realize I haven’t played hitman since pre-Absolution but I remember the classic 47 being more immoral with targets unrelated to political stability plots (idk how else to phrase that).

47 feels like a secret agent in this episodic reboot instead of the world’s top contract hitman.
Makes me wonder if ICA is actually just CIA…

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He should feel like a secret agent, he is an agent of the ICA. Every single agency, company, client, etc. uses him for his insane genetics. He’s a jack of all trades to do with shady stuff, but infamous for his assassinations. He literally is both an agent and the world’s most sought after Hitman. The politics of it happen around him as he’s manipulated indirectly as he goes about what he was made to do.

Although I think sometimes his lack of emotion does make him susceptible to the manipulation. He’s a genius and a physically perfected human specimen, but lacks human empathy and compassion. He might not even understand politics altogether because its mostly about money and power, two things 47 uses to just get better at killing. idk I’m just rambling here.

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Quite my point actually. What makes him any different than say John Wick, Ethan Hunt, James Bond / Kingman intelligence w/o emotion. I mean I could totally see this modern-day 47 character being nothing more than a young John Wick.
However classic (the original concept which this story is entirely from) 47s character felt like he was the villain but a villain you wanted to succeed due to his training (which is all he ever knew was training since a child, hence his lack of emotion / compassion / intellect / skill / and stylish methods (again I’m talking about the ORIGINAL Hitman series (from the 90s and early 00s).

When politics mix in with that kind of narrative, one which the main character (47) whom is and always has been cold ruthless and calculating with no morality in the moment, until eventually memories of his horrific jobs catches up with him late in life (refering to Hitman 2 Silent Assassin (my Fav)). Politics + contract killer (meaning many/all governments likely know of the ICA it seems now. So how exactly is that suppose to make sense when the plot of the 2016 series reboot seems to be 47 hunting down those who made him what he is…

Idk I’m confusing myself with the cross plots. Feels messy right now. I just really wish 47 was still the cold calculating ghost of the world like I remember him. We got enough good guy secret agents. Let’s have a bad guy to cheer for again instead.

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From all the villans you state, definitely the shadow client for me, back when we knew nothing about him, after Hokkaido dropped. A villain that playes with you, and even after you found out, you are no where near as understanding what he was up to. Same goes to the constant. A person so mysterious, casually talking to you in the train, while he could hire a death squad on your head probably with nothing more than a phonecall, offering you to be partners. It might be the amazing animated cutscenes, the writing, the mysterious “what happens next?” nature of the episodic release, or all of this combined, but I never had a villain in hitman I wanted to find out more about than at the end of season one.

I liked the idea of Mark Faba as the Anti-Hitman. Would have been a good change from the “Save the World against Illuminati” plots of late and into a “Feud in the World of Assassins” plot similar to JOHN WICK, THE SPECIALIST, and THE ASSASSINS. Such a strong concept. But sadly unused.

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I see your point now, and I know what you mean by the contract ghost assassin thingy. I haven’t played C47 or Contracts, and only properly know 47 as more of an agent of ICA or a kind of rogue agent (Absolution). I’m in way over my head here too. I just have many theories of the man himself and what runs through his brain, and probably should read more into it before making bold statements :sweat_smile:

Btw where did you get this info? Is it in the games themselves or something? Everyone here knows so much and I just like killing the red glowing dudes with wall hax

Personally the thing that I feel is missing from the current game’s overall “villains” is that we have yet to see them really do anything except hire 47 for contracts. Sure, we’re told they were behind 47 being raised in the murder-orphanage but the guy actually running that program died, and we killed the guy who told him to run that program already, so when 47 says “take them all down” who is he really meaning? If/when Lucas betrays us, assuming it’s done properly, that will be a great villain because the player will have seen them actually hurt 47 in a measurable way.

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Plus…

  • 47 obviously cared for Father Vittorio in SA. He went out of retirement to save him.
  • 47 cared for the canary in BM (granted he killed it later :cry: but still… he obviously has a soft spot, as he can be seen petting/playing with it in one of the cutscenes.)
  • In Ort-Meyers journal, it is said 47 cared for a lab rabbit and was seen crying when the rabbit died. He even went through the trouble to give it a proper burial.
    He has emotions, obviously… just don’t always show it. He’s not a “robot.”
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I am going to say something controversial about the writing. So yeah nothing out of the ordinary. But I think the problem isn’t with the villains I think the problem is with 47.

Another one is IO ignoring or never build from any of the stories they start and/or finish in any given game in the series. Every new game feels like it resets from the events of the previous one. They have that Didio Disorder, they can’t stop resetting or rebooting!

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I should’ve worded it better. With the canary, mouse, rabbit etc. he obviously does feel those emotions.He’s used to suppressing it and used to the things he loves being taken away. Seeing loved ones taken away will condition someone to suppress emotions and avoid the possibilities of them arising as it keeps happening. I never mentioned him being a “robot”. Lacking emotion doesn’t mean void of it. 47 would’ve seen Victoria as a sister-figure in need of care because she is like him. Subject 6 was like a brother and he cared for him. Diana and the priest are companions that showed 47 compassion and forgiveness and for that he gave it back.

He is cold and emotionless when it comes to his work. That is where he lacks emotion. He has no problem murdering on behalf of the people and voices he trusts.

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Except in the Hitman novel, it is said that 47 killed his brother “Subject 6” because it says he bullied him lol I guess IO overlooked that. Out of all the numbers they could of used, they use 6 haha

But yeah, I see what you’re saying. I just wasn’t sure if you knew about the examples I posted above. :smile:

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Why are you showing images from HITMAN “Expanded Universe”? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Haven’t you heard? “Expanded Universe” is no longer canon. :laughing:

(That includes an entire pile of crap about Subject 6 too…)

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This is true… ever since they admitted that 47 is not a true person but a “robot with missing human brain cells”… That creates a lot of problems. Basically it’s like a version of Batman without Bruce Wayne.

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I would actually say it is something like that. But Batman without Bruce Wayne is still able to hold a story. I don’t think 47 as a character can.

But on the plus side it is always nice to see non-comic readers who know Bruce Wayne is the mask and Batman is the actual person.

Haha well in the one book they mentioned quite a few things from the games. (For example Father Vittorio) so I would call at least that one canon.)

Yes, same for Absolution. Whether people liked Abs or not, you must acknowledge it for the story sake lol it happened.

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Officially they already said it’s a separate timeline. Why are people still saying it actually happened?

https://www.siliconera.com/2012/01/18/hitman-absolution-isnt-a-reboot-but-not-part-of-the-series-timeline-either/#DBJVzJivMs7cwldk.99

It’s an alternate dimension. :laughing: