|International Contract Agency|
|Bar Code tatoo 640509-040147|
|187 pounds (84kg)|
Agent 47 (often referred to simply as 47, Mr. 47, and in missions by an alias Tobias Rieper, Doctor Cropes, Jacob Lieter, Mr. Byrd, as well as others) is a protagonist in the Hitman video-game series. Created by IO Interactive, the character was developed around David Bateson, who also provided the in-game voice. 47 has appeared in all four installments of the Hitman series and has also been portrayed in the novel Hitman: Enemy Within, as well as the film adaptation in which he was dramatized by Timothy Olyphant. A genetically-enhanced clone trained to assassinate targets, the agent's name is derived from the last two digits of his assigned barcode which is tattooed on the back of his head, reading 640509-040147.
Appearance and capability[edit | edit source]
Agent 47 is a hired gunman working for the International Contract Agency. According to the storyline of the video-games and the film, he is of British descent and can speak French, English and Russian fluently. He is 6'2 and 85 kg in weight.? He is frequently depicted in his usual attire of an Italian black suit, black leather gloves, white striped dress shirt and red tie. Alternative costumes are rarely seen; however, in Hitman: Codename: 47, he is seen wearing guerrilla camouflage in the jungle, while in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin he wears a protective parka in the Japanese mountains and a black turban in the Middle East. In a reversal of the norm, 47 wears an entirely white suit and white gloves at the end of "Hitman : Blood Money" at his own funeral. 47 also frequently carries his signature customised AMT Hardballers which are seen with him in many of the game covers.In Hitman 2 Silent Assassin They are called '"Ballers". In Hitman: Contracts and in Blood Money they were dubbed with the name "Silverballers".
Character design[edit | edit source]
According to Jacob Andersen, lead designer of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Agent 47 went from being "a mean old hairy guy" to having "hi-tech glasses" before getting to his current design. More inspiration came from "comic books, Hong Kong movies," and other similar media.
According to Game Director Rasmus Højengaard (Hoejengaard), the idea of a clone whose future is decided by the people that created him, intrigued the Hitman team. Hojengaard felt the idea of creating the "ultimate assassin" by cloning "evolved with the character before the first Hitman game was done".
47 is modeled after David Bateson, the veteran actor who has voiced 47 in every Hitman game.
Creation[edit | edit source]
47 is a genetically-enhanced clone, the culmination of decades of secret research into gene augmentation. His creation was funded by a cabal of criminal masterminds who donated their own DNA to the project.
In the 1950s, five men of various nationalities served in the same unit of the French Foreign Legion. After their stint was finished, four of those men returned to their respective countries and founded their own criminal empires. The remaining one, Dr. Otto Ort-Meyer, ran a mental institution which he used as a cover for genetic experiments. In exchange for research funding, Ort-Meyer provided his former comrades with donor organs harvested from clone bodies, which significantly extended their longevity. In Hitman: Codename 47, each of Ort-Meyer's accomplices are said to be 60–70 years old but appear 10–20 years younger.
The men whose DNA contributed to 47's creation are often referred to within the series as the "Five Fathers", consisting of Dr. Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer, Lee Hong, Pablo Ochoa, Franz Fuchs and Arkadij Jegorov. Otto Wolfgang Ort-Meyer is a discredited German scientist living in Romania, whose radical theories were deemed insane by his peers. Ort-Meyer believed that genetic recombination and human cloning could be used to produce a perfected version of the human species, superior in strength and mind and unburdened by conscience. His ultimate goal, unbeknownst to his associates, was to create an army of flawless and unquestioningly obedient supermen. When Ort-Meyer's associates become suspicious of his motives, he employs 47 to systematically eliminate each of them. When 47 discovers Ort-Meyer's plans, he manages to eradicate his latest series of clones, known as the Mr. 48s, and snaps Ort-Meyer's neck.
Lee Hong is a Chinese crime lord. Hong eventually rose to the head of the Red Dragon triad, becoming a powerful ganglord in Hong Kong. 47 weakens Hong's influence before assassinating him.
Pablo Belisario Ochoa is a notorious Latin American drug dealer and formed his own drug cartel by violently eliminating his rivals. However, his methods earned him great animosity, and he was eventually forced to flee to a compound deep inside the Columbian rainforest. Pablo appears to be heavily-inspired by fictional character Tony Montana from the film "Scarface".
Franz Fuchs is a former member of the Hitler Youth, apparently resenting the collapse of fascism. He developed a career as a professional terrorist-for-hire, organizing attacks such as the attempted chemical bombing of the G7 leadership. He works closely with his brother and partner, Fritz. It isn't revealed whether or not Fuchs is based on the real life Franz Fuchs, who was also a terrorist.
The final person who contributed to 47's DNA was Arkadij "Boris" Jegorov. Jegorov was a staunch anti-Communist. Jegorov became a worldwide arms dealer who smuggled weaponry for his older brother, Russian mafia boss Sergei Zavorotko. At the time of his death, he attempted to traffic in nuclear weapons.
Ort-Meyer's research produced many failed attempts and aborted mutants, including Mr. 17, but ultimately he managed to perfect the process enough to produce an assembly line of genetically augmented clones. 47 belonged to Ort-Meyer's fourth series of clones, possessing a 47th chromosome which, combined with DNA harvested from the world's most dangerous criminals, endowed him with levels of strength, speed, stamina, and intelligence significantly above the human norm.
In Hitman: Blood Money, it is explained that American interests had repeatedly attempted to replicate Ort-Meyer's success, but were largely unsuccessful. 47 is the only successful healthy cloned specimen, and nothing has yet come to parallel him; while other attempts have come close, they were plagued by problems such as albinism and extremely short lifespans (eighteen months). Ort-Meyer's research was distributed among many covert cloning labs, but is insufficient; a sample of 47's bone marrow is needed to fill in the DNA gaps, making him an extremely valuable specimen.
Training[edit | edit source]
Born on 5 September 1964, in Romania and tagged with the identity 640509-040147 on the back of his head, 47 was raised with the other "Series IV" clones by the asylum's staff. From the beginning, Dr. Ort-Meyer identified 47 as his most promising creation. While maturing, 47 was quiet and showed little social behavior, his only display of affection being toward a runaway laboratory rabbit he adopted much to Ort-Meyer's displeasure. 47 also had a fairly negative relationship with the asylum staff, attributed to his chronic uneasiness stemming from his regular medical checkups and frequent injections. On one occasion, 47 stabbed a doctor repeatedly with several needles, prompting Ort-Meyer to increase the personnel assigned to him.
Along with the other clones, 47 was trained from youth to kill efficiently. Instructed in the use of firearms, military hardware, and more classic tools of assassination, 47 can wield virtually any weapon with ease. During his training, he was noted for his exceptional marksmanship, as well as for attacking the asylum staff with homemade slingshots, all of which were promptly confiscated.
After 30 years of relentless training under the tutelage of Dr. Ort-Meyer, 47 discovered a gap in the asylum's security. After escaping his cell and killing a security guard, 47 disguised himself in the guard's uniform and escaped from the asylum grounds. Unbeknownst to him, 47's escape was deliberately orchestrated by Ort-Meyer, who concluded that 47's escape into the outside world was the final challenge in his training.
Employment[edit | edit source]
47 was soon employed by the International Contract Agency, a clandestine organization providing assassination and mercenary services. With a lifetime of training and genetically augmented physical abilities, 47 soon rose to become the Agency's most effective and most requested employee. He retired between the events of Hitman: Codename 47 and Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, before later returning to work there.
Attributes[edit | edit source]
Personality[edit | edit source]
47 is an introverted character who almost always speaks in a calm, formal manner in his natural setting. However, he is usually seen alone. He has one minor exception in one of the final cutscenes in Hitman: Blood Money, where he shouted "Bitch!" at Diana when she injected him from behind with a syringe.
One of his mottos appears to have become "trust no one." He once demonstrated a high degree of devotion to Father Vittorio, the Sicilian priest who gave him shelter in Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, going so far as to rescue Vittorio from the Russian mafia even though there was no monetary reward in it (in fact, according to Vittorio, 47 donated a large percentage of his earnings from Hitman: Codename 47 to the Catholic Church). In the end, 47's work spilled over into the Sicilian church, prompting him to sever his ties with it and become a nomad once more. 47 places a significant measure of trust in his Agency contact and liaison, Diana Burnwood. She is the one character in the whole game series that 47 has constant contact with. As a rule, however, they never meet face-to-face unless absolutely necessary, especially during a mission.
On rare occasions, 47 can also show a warm side to his personality. When being raised by Dr. Ort-Meyer, he befriended a rabbit. A recurring character in the series with whom he has shown considerable forbearance is Lei Ling (renamed to "Mei Ling" in Hitman: Contracts), rescuing her from sex slavery in the first game in exchange for a safe combination. The player can optionally rescue her again from exactly the same situation in the sequel, although in return he gets a keycard. In two other levels in the same sequel, the player can optionally rescue a prisoner being beaten by a couple of guards (in return, the prisoner tells 47 the location of his target) and a German ambassador about to be killed by a Spetsnaz agent. In Hitman: Blood Money, 47 picks up a small canary during his travels. However, he later kills the canary to silence it when he hears an intruder approaching his position and shows no remorse afterwards.
Morality[edit | edit source]
Agent 47 is an anti-hero. His profession makes him perform deeds that can be considered immoral by most standards. However, his targets often consist of people who surround or have surrounded themselves in immoral activities. In this sense, he becomes the hero by delivering ‘justice’ to the individuals who are either too powerful or well connected to be judged by the law. In the trailer of Hitman movie, he has been described as a "necessary evil".
47 has been known to spare individuals whom he has not been specifically ordered to kill (a few cutscenes in Hitman: Contracts show him knocking out rather than killing various henchmen and bystanders), and even to occasionally offer assistance to those in need. However, he has also demonstrated a willingness to kill innocents if they pose a liability. In Hitman: Blood Money, 47 murders an innocent mailman due to the CODE RED scribbled on the package. Blood Money's final mission also shows 47 executing an innocent priest and a reporter, both of whom knew his identity.
Though it is entirely up to the discretion of the individual player as to how bloodthirsty 47 will be, the games generally encourage discretion. The more silent and unobtrusive the player is, the higher the reward.
In Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, 47 confesses his sins to Father Vittorio, and performs an act of Catholic symbolism by making the Sign of the Cross before performing his first hit after coming out from retirement. His confession to Father Vittorio in the opening sequence hints that Agent 47 is not entirely devoid of a conscience.
Outward appearance[edit | edit source]
47, like Ort-Meyer's other clones, is completely bald and no hair ever grows on his head, although whether this hair loss is a side effect of the cloning process or part of Ort-Meyer's design is never disclosed. The only visible hair on 47's body are his eyebrows, which are brown. His skin is very pale and he has blue eyes. A barcode is prominently tattooed on the back of his head, which lists his date of creation and series identification number (640509-040147). His facial features are often considered imposing by other characters, with a long face, large cheekbones, prominent brow, and recessed forehead. According to information found in Blood Money, he is 6' 2" in height.
47's barcode tattoo serves two functions: it identifies him among the other clones and acts as a security key to access Dr. Ort-Meyer's laboratory. 47's barcode is implied to be in Code 39; according to Dr. Ort-Meyer's journal, the barcode was added to the tattoo in 1975, one year after the code was developed. Curiously, all other characters seem completely oblivious to the tattoo, including newspaper descriptions of 47 in Blood Money failing to mention it.
Abilities and reputation[edit | edit source]
While not quite superhuman, 47's abilities are considered superior to that of an ordinary human. In several instances, he has survived gunshot wounds. 47 is very athletic, able to overpower most of his adversaries, able to sprint faster and farther than an average human, climb pipes with ease and leap across balconies. He is proficient with all types of firearms, able to use pistols, shotguns, assault weapons and sniper rifles with virtually no difficulty. Additionally he is very resourceful, able to disguise himself in multiple settings and use his environment to remove targets.
Due to his successful track record, 47 is usually given the Agency's largest and most difficult assignments. He handles only 37% of the ICA's contracts, but makes 97% of the organization's overall profit. 47 completes all of his assignments with unwavering accuracy, fulfilling all of his objectives and always eliminating his targets without hesitation. 47's stealth and cunning are legendary; he is regarded by the world as an urban legend, and few even know of his appearance.
The Mr. 48's[edit | edit source]
The Mr. 48's were 47's successors. There were ten of them, but they were all killed by 47.
Hitman film[edit | edit source]
In the 2007 Hitman feature film, Agent 47 is portrayed by Timothy Olyphant. His backstory alters significantly from that of the video game; it is stated that the organization he works for (renamed to International Contract Organisation) uses and trains orphans and rejects, who are considered 'expendable', into professional assassins. 47's personality is generally consistent with the games as he displays the same willingness to kill targets and bystanders when necessary, yet he also demonstrates compassion in his protection of a woman named Nika.
Games[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
-  Hitman: Enemy Within; William C. Dietz; page 12
- Gamers Hell Interview
- ComputerAndVideoGames.com interview
- Ort-Meyer: I discovered the true power of 47 chromosomes. Do you think that was easy? As always, I was ahead of my time. They shook their bony little heads, looked at me with those beady little eyes and said I was crazy. You, my friend, are living proof that I'm not! Eidos Interactive Hitman: Codename 47 (US) 2000-12-25
- Ort-Meyer: Man was made at the end of the week's work, when God was tired. I quickly improved on all of the built-in flaws. I'll show the whole world who's right - and decide who will be left! Eidos Interactive Hitman: Codename 47 (US) 2000-12-25.
- Man dressed in suit: Look at this. It seems your brother was involved in a lot more than just smuggling guns for you. Eidos Interactive Hitman 2 (in English) 2002-10-1
- 47: It's dangerous to meet in person. You're normally more prudent. What's going on? Eidos Interactive Hitman: Blood Money (in English) 2006-5-30
- Untitled Document
- 47: I've killed... many people. For money. Out of ignorance. Out of evil. Out of hatred... [...] But Father, I don't belong -- I'm not of this world, so why should God forgive me? Eidos Interactive Hitman 2 (in English) 2002-10-1
[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- Official Hitman: Codename 47 website
- Official Hitman 2: Silent Assassin website
- Official Hitman: Contracts website
- Official Hitman: Blood Money website
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