Agent 47

Agent 47

General VG character
name = Agent 47

caption = Agent 47 with his signature dual Silverballers silencers
series = "Hitman"
firstgame = ""
voiceactor = David Bateson
portrayed in film by = Timothy Olyphant
inuniverse =

Agent 47, also known as Mr. 47, is a fictional character and main protagonist of the "Hitman video game series", created by IO Interactive, and appears in all four installments. Other than the video games, 47 appears in the novel ' and the film adaptation of the series. 47's name is derived from a barcode tattooed on the back of his head (640509-040147"'), the last two digits of which are "47". Agent 47 is an assassin working for the International Contract Agency and normally works under aliases during his missions; examples include "Tobias Rieper" (a play on "the Grim Reaper"), "Metzger" (German for "butcher"), "Julio", "Byrd", "Johnson", "Jacob Leiter", and "Dr. Cropes" (an anagram of "corpse"). 47 is modeled on and voiced by David Bateson in the games and is portrayed by Timothy Olyphant in the film adaptation. According to the games and the film, 47 is of Romanian descent, and can speak French and English fluently.

47 is frequently depicted in his usual attire of an Italian black suit, black leather gloves, white striped dress shirt and red tie. Alternate costumes are rare however in "Hitman: Codename: 47", 47 wears guerrilla camouflage in the jungle; and the Eastern missions in "Hitman 2: Silent Assassin" in which he wears a protective parka in the Japanese mountains and a black turban in the Middle East. 47 also frequently carries his signature customised AMT Hardballers and are seen with him in many of the game covers, in "Hitman: Contracts" and in "Blood Money" they were dubbed with the name "Silverballers".

Character design

According to Jacob Andersen, lead designer of , Agent 47 went from being "a mean old hairy guy" to having "hi-tech glasses" before getting to his current design [ [ Gamers Hell Interview] ] . More inspiration came from "comic books, Hong Kong movies," and other similar media [ interview] ] .

According to Game Director Rasmus Højengaard (Hoejengaard), the idea of a clone, the idea that 47's 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.


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 appearing 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: 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 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. [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.] 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 Colombian 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, after 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. [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] 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 real life, possessing an extra chromosome can lead to problems such as infertility, Down Syndrome and premature death. However artificial chromosomes are currently being pursued as a method of inserting new genetic material into genetically modified organisms.)

In "", it is explained that American interests had repeatedly attempted to replicate Ort-Meyer's success, but were largely unsuccessful. 47 is the first and 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. 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.

Pyschological Profile

It could be argued that 47 is a born sociopath, due to the way he has killed perhaps hundreds (depending on how the game is played) of people in his career. However, in the the novel "Hitman: Enemy Within", much is revealed about 47's childhood. He has no name, no friends, no parents. Was taught violence from a very early age. Perhaps he is in fact mentally whole, but his humanity and mercy has been buried. In the fourth installment of the series, "Hitman: Blood Money", 47 is shown as being saddened when Diana informs him that she will be liquifying The Agency. This may be because Diana is the closet thing 47 has to a friend, the only human he has regular contact with. Later in , 47 is forced to kill a pet sparrow he had been keeping, because it's chirping would give away his position to nearby SWAT officers. Before he snaps the sparrow's neck, he visibly grimaces, as if it is regretful. In the third game, , 47 rescues a prostitute being held a sex slave by Lee Hong, his target. After getting the information he needed, 47 lets her go out of mercy. A true sociopath would have killed the girl, because not only had the prostitute seen 47's face, but she knew he was the assassin who would be killing Lee Hong. However, in the canonical ending of during which is revived during his false funeral, 47 kills a priest and reporter who were totally innocent. It is revealed that 47 was forced to do this because nobody could know he was actaully alive (he had been presumed dead, when he was actually deeply sedated).


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.


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 ' and ', a span of roughly two years, before returning to work there.



47 is an introverted character who almost always speaks in a calm, formal manner (with the exception of "Hitman: Blood Money", where he shouted "Bitch!" at Diana when she injected him from behind with a needle). In his natural setting, however, he is usually seen alone.

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 "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 ' 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. [ 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]

On rare occasions, 47 can also show a warm side to his personality. When being raised by Dr. Ort-Meyer, he befriended a rabbit. [ [ Untitled Document ] ] . A recurring character in the series with whom he has shown considerable forbearance is Lei Ling/Mei Ling (her name was changed 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 the exact 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.


47 will kill anyone who falls on his hit list. 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 a seemingly 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. [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] However, he may have not abandoned all adherence to religion following the events of "Silent Assassin," placing the crucifix Father Vittorio gave him on the splintered gate of the church as he leaves. [47: I'm taking nothing from Gontranno but this lesson -- Don't trust anyone, and rely on your instincts. Forget the past. I'll never find peace here. Eidos Interactive "Hitman 2" (in English) 2002-10-1]

Outward appearance

47, along with Ort-Meyer's other clones, are completely bald and no hair ever grows on their head, although whether this hair loss is a side effect of the cloning process or part Ort-Meyer's design is never disclosed. The only visible sign of hair on 47's body are his eyebrows, which are brown. His skin is very pale and he also 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 slightly over 6 ft tall.

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" completely failing to mention it.

Abilities and reputation

While not superhuman, 47's abilities are considered superior to that of human beings. In several instances, he has survived gunshot wounds including one straight shot to the stomach in Hitman: Contracts. 47 is very athletic, able to sprint faster and farther than an average human, climb pipes with ease, and leap across balconies.

Due to his successful track record, 47 is usually given the Agency's largest and most difficult assignments. 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. Although he is the ultimate silent hitman, when Agent 47 fires off his dual AMT Hardballers it alerts every guard around!!

"Hitman" film

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 Internation 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.


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ource links

* [ Eidos Interactive]
* [ Official Hitman Blood Money site]


External links

* [ Official "Hitman: Codename 47" website]
* [ Official "Hitman 2: Silent Assassin" website]
* [ Official "Hitman: Contracts" website]
* [ Official "Hitman: Blood Money" website]

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