When it comes to video game assassins, none are as iconic as Hitman‘s Agent 47. The silent assassin is one of the most adept killers in the world of gaming and is capable of taking out his targets with even the most innocuous of objects. His MacGyver-like methods are just one of many things that make this cold-blooded killer such a great character though.
47 has one of the richest and most varied backstories in video games, which contributes a lot to his often enigmatic nature. The mystery that surrounds him makes for a far more compelling narrative and even manages to evoke feelings of sympathy in spite of his many heinous crimes. His past can also explain a lot of his actions over the years, although whether it excuses them is hard to say.
10 He Had Five Fathers…
While the ultimate aim of Dr. Ort-Meyer’s genetic experiments was to create an army of flawless assassins, he had to get a little creative when it came to securing the project’s funding. After all, it’s not exactly the kind of thing that one can secure a bank loan for. Luckily, Ort-Meyer was a very well-connected man.
The good doctor turned to some of his former military comrades and agreed to provide them with donor organs in exchange for their financial backing and some DNA samples. Ort-Meyer then used these samples together with some of his own genetic material to create the clones, meaning that 47 and his brothers all had five biological fathers. Not one of them remembered his birthday though.
9 … And He Killed Them All
The organs provided by Dr. Ort-Meyer not only helped to keep 47’s other four fathers alive, but they also made them appear far younger than they actually were. They promptly used this newfound longevity to acquire immense power and personal wealth and set themselves up as kingpins in different parts of the world. Eventually, though, greed got the better of them all.
Tired of having to rely on Ort-Meyer for their survival, the four criminals demanded their share of the clones which led to the doctor sending 47 to take them out. Their stockpile of organs may have been enough to stave off death by natural causes, but it did little to protect them when the silent assassin came a-knockin’. After completing the contracts, 47 returned to the asylum and snapped Ort-Meyer’s neck to rack up his fifth and final count of patricide.
8 The Memory Of His Only Healthy Fraternal Relationship Was Stolen From Him
47 never had a real relationship with any of his fathers, but he did once form a tight bond with one of his biological brothers. 6 and 47 were incredibly close and tried to flee the asylum together on several occasions. Following their second attempt, however, 47 was captured by Ort-Meyer’s men and subjected to an experimental serum which altered his memory.
Ort-Meyer convinced 47 that 6 was a vindictive bully whose constant torment had led to 47 killing him in a bathroom stall. The silent assassin does eventually learn the truth and reconnects with his long lost brother many years later; although their relationship is never quite the same as it once was.
7 His Barcode Tattoo Hides Some Valuable Information
The barcode on the back of 47’s head is one of his defining characteristics and helps to create an air of mystery around the hardhearted killer. What many people don’t realize, however, is that each digit beneath the barcode represents some important information about the assassin’s origins.
The first six digits (640509) indicate that 47 was born on September 5th, 1964, whilst the next six (040147) provide a bit more information about his status as a clone. ’04’ indicates that he is part of the fourth series of Ort-Meyer’s clones and ’01’ that he was the first one from that batch. The final two digits not only serve as his name but also an indication that he is the 47th clone to be born of the project.
6 He Can Ride Dolphins
As any silent assassin will tell you, being able to flee the scene undetected after the target has been eliminated is every bit as important as the deed itself. Luckily, 47 is just as proficient in the art of disappearing as he is at making his victims vanish. Throughout his many years in the field, he’s employed some incredibly creative tactics in order to get away unseen, but none more so than in Hitman 2.
After taking out the targets in the game’s Miami stage, it’s possible to escape the city by riding on the backs of a pair of dolphins. Believe it or not, though, that’s not even the most ridiculous way of exiting the stage. If players are wearing the flamingo costume, it’s actually possible to make 47 fly out of the area by flapping his arms like a bird.
5 He Isn’t A Great Pet Owner
While on the subject of birds, 47’s canary is just one of several pets that the deadly hitman has had over the years. It could be found in 47’s base of operations in Blood Money, but like many of the other characters to feature in the game, it doesn’t make it through to the end. 47 is forced to snap the poor bird’s neck in order to keep it quiet after Diana infiltrates his hideout.
This wasn’t the first time that he snapped a pet’s neck either, although the killing of his bunny back at the asylum was at least accidental. The only pet that 47 has ever had that he didn’t kill was a mouse which he kept with him at the asylum. This too meets a grizzly end, only this time at the hands of some of the other clones.
4 He’s A Man Of Faith
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. While there, he developed a close bond with the local priest and even confessed some of his many sins before eventually returning to his life as a contract killer.
Whether or not he could be considered a Catholic is a matter for debate, with 47 himself acutely aware that his actions are at odds with religious teachings more often than not. His need to feel as though he belongs continues to see him exploring religion though, suggesting that at the very least, he is agnostic.
3 His Signature Silverballers Are Based On A Real Gun
47’s Silverballers are two of the most iconic guns in gaming. They’ve featured in every installment of the Hitman franchise and have been responsible for countless deaths over the years. What many people might not realize is that the Silverballer is actually based on a real gun.
It’s a customized version of the AMT Hardballer which was produced by Arcadia Machine & Tool between 1977 and 2002. The Hardballer is itself a clone of the Colt M1911; a gun that predates the first world war and will celebrate its 110th year in production in 2021.
2 He’s Been Portrayed By 4 Different Actors
Although 47’s appearance may seem a little generic, it’s actually based on a real person. As well as providing the character’s voice, David Bateson also served as the inspiration for the silent assassin’s signature look. He’s yet to portray the character on the big screen though, despite two Hitman movies having been produced.
Timothy Olyphant beat off competition from the likes of Bruce Willis and Vin Diesel to land the role of 47 in the self-titled 2007 flick while Rupert Friend and Jesse Hergt portrayed him in 2015’s Hitman: Agent 47. According to Bateson, the late Paul Walker was also considered for the part at one point as well.
1 He’s Killed His Fair Share Of Famous Actors
As well as being portrayed by numerous actors, 47 has also killed quite a few of them as well. Both Gary Busey and Gary Cole appear as themselves in Hitman and could be taken out in the World of Tomorrow mission for a brief period in July 2016. As well as their appearances and voices, the actors also allowed developers to use their names, making them the first targets in the series to be based entirely on real people.
Sean Bean also made an appearance in a Hitman game, although not as himself. He played Mark Faba in Hitman 2 and served as one of the game’s elusive targets. The character was later reactivated for a second period, meaning that 47 technically killed him twice; which seems a little excessive even for a Sean Bean character.