Hitman Absolution: The 'Choose your own adventure' preview
20th Sep 2012 | 15:14
Chicago's Chinatown is owned by a man they call the King, and you're out to kill him. The assignment isn't an ICA directive but a request from an associate named Birdie. You need his help to find out what the Agency wants with Victoria - a woman you've become very interested in as of late - but Birdie refuses to meet until you help remove the King from the picture first.
You never walk into a hit unprepared and have sketched yourself a rough map of the area from a scouting mission the night before. The centrepiece of Chinatown is undoubtedly the pagoda in the centre, but most of the open spaces are taken up by stalls and by the crowds of people drawn towards the loudest vendors. It wouldn't be too hard to shake the cops by jumping from group to group, or from charging through the narrow alleyways to the pagoda's east, either. Perfect for a clean, uncomplicated getaway.
With the basic map layout lodged in your mind you arrive at your entry point: a back alley a stone's throw away from Chinatown. Your extraction point's a doorway to the Lucky Ducky Dumplings store in the north-west. The rest you can do on the fly: in an area as busy as Chinatown, objects are picked up and moved around by police and tramps and other people on a minute-by-minute basis. Even a well-hidden stash could be found and removed before your return. Besides, you enjoy the fun of experimentation.
Your earpiece tingles with the buzz of an incoming call and when you accept Birdie's voice crackles through, as harsh as a mouthful of gravel and thumbtacks. "So listen up. Now the King hangs out in a pagoda near the centre of town where a unit of dirty cops guard his every move," he says. "And he rarely leaves the crowd, except to meet his dealer in a pad overlooking the square." Each word carries the weight of a decade of cigarette smoke. "He's also got a swanky European ride parked up in a nearby alley, but that's all I got, homes. So, call me back when you're done, got it?"
You end the call without so much as a grunt of recognition and step forward into the alley. Mopeds and trashcans are propped up against brick walls sweating from the city's humidity. The stench of vermin is overpowering and as you move on down the linear alley a trio of pigeons pecking at rubbish fly away, disturbed by your footsteps.
You hop up some small steps and veer left around a corner, patting your suit to check your Silverballer pistols and Fiber Wire are safely wedged in your pockets. A large set of wooden doors flanked by two stone lions sits at the end of the alley, and you stride past crates of lettuce and sacks of onions stacked up not two metres away from open dumpsters swarming with flies.
When you reach the Chinatown entrance you notice the ornate golden decoration in the centre: a pair of snarling dragons snaking their way up the trunks of the doors. And after giving yourself a moment to admire the craftsmanship you head forward, ready to go to work.
You are the famous Agent 47, and you are about to embark on a mission. Events will unfold according to your decisions. You don't rely on STAMINA or LUCK: you already possess all the SKILL needed to complete the following hit, so long as you're sensible and take considered steps. You're playing on Purist difficulty. There are no checkpoints in effect: all actions are final and cannot be reversed. Only move to the numbered entries you choose and tick off the challenges in the box below when instructed. Items and knowledge do not carry over to new games: each fresh beginning is a blank slate. Cheaters will be punished. Severely. Don't break the rules, Agent 47, your reputation and your life depend on it...
Mark these off as you get them...
- Not a Trace
- A View to a Kill
- Man Down
- Don't do Drugs
- Hot Coffee
- Let's do Lunch
- Drop Dead
- Chameleon 1
- Chameleon 2
- Chameleon 3
- Chameleon 4
When you push open the doors a wave of heat and noise washes over you. There are people everywhere, and vendors at food stalls vying for their attention. A chef in a red apron leans back as flames leap up from his pan to your right and a couple of dozen people crowd round a cart to your left.
"Come get your fresh stir fry! Teriyaki!" "Fresh food! Everything fresh, fresh, fresh!" "Shellfish! Calamari!" "Fresh noodle soup, get it while it's hot!" You remind yourself of the food storage in the alley and decide it's best to avoid ingesting anything local while you're here.
You walk straight forward, down some steps, and beyond a short passage to your left that leads to nowhere and a longer alley on your right that curves around to the north. There's a wall ahead with a stall propped up in front of it, and you move around them both and up some stone steps into the centre of Chinatown.
It's busy today. There must be 500 people in all, bumping shoulders and jostling past one another with thousand yard stares. Even so you see the King almost immediately. He's parading around in the centre of the pagoda in a blue suit halfway between turquoise and eggshell, acting like he owns the place. Which he does.
You also spot the dirty cops Birdie warned you about: the King's yelling at one for sitting down. Two more are standing to attention, one guarding each of the pagoda's entrances, and you see another couple patrolling the surrounding area.
You remind yourself of the area's layout and clock exits to the north, east, south and south-west, all of them with points of interest to find, you're sure. Of course, your target is right in front of you. What do you do?
You kick some wet paper away from the knife with your right shoe and grab the weapon. It's a cheap old thing and the poor balance between handle and blade means it'll be no good for throwing, but in close quarters this is more than enough to quieten somebody in a hurry.
Not wanting to carry the blade into the policed pagoda area you move around to Chinatown's eastern section.
You drop the knife and make a quick exit, but as you jog down the stairs and exit the apartment you catch the attention of a patrolling cop. Curious as to the King's whereabouts he begins following you. A second joins him, and a third, and as you approach your exit point you see two more posted at the door, guns drawn and ready to use if your answers to their questions aren't to their liking. They're not.
Heading north to the top end of Chinatown you find yourself in a relatively quiet area. For the first time since stepping through the double doors you don't have people brushing past you from every direction. Ahead of you there's a Chinese lantern in a cage in the centre of the street, and to your right a small fruit cart sits unmanned. There's not much around, in truth, but the Lucky Ducky Dumplings store sits over to your left - your extraction point.
Northwards you spy an open manhole and a few tables, and to the east a passageway veers off past stalls and a construction site.
Remembering the second medicine cabinet, you circle around the outskirts of Chinatown and over to the eastern area. There you grab a fistful of gauze and plug your freshest wound, hoping the temporary blockade will last until you can perform better surgery back at your basecamp. As you head to the Lucky Ducky Dumplings store you meet a lone SWAT member hanging back, covering the exit. Despite your impediments you shoot first, and using all of your strength you quickly toss your bloodied jacket aside, strip him of his uniform and throw the Chicago SWAT gear around your broken body, certain it'll see you safely back through the hostile streets. You stumble out of Chinatown - barely.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the Chameleon 4 challenge
A good five minutes passes before the King and his dealer burst into the room. Most people would have cramped up standing in such a confined space but you've years of locker-hiding under your belt and the cosy metal confines feel like a second home.
You peer forward and hold your breath as the King bends down for his medicine, and Snowman recoils in horror as his boss promptly collapses to the floor, clutching at his throat trying to breathe.
"Why... does it taste... like... fish?" the King blurts out. Less professional killers might have laughed out loud at that, but you keep calm and quiet, and sneak out of the apartment as Snowman desperately tries to slap some life back into the King.
On the way out you have one more problem to tackle: the cop's back at his station watching his TV and the lights are all back on. Clearly this guy knows his way around a circuit board. Another bout of sabotage is out of the question, but you grab a bottle from the floor and prepare to cause a distraction.
Steam's rising from a gaping hole in the floor: a manhole somebody's foolishly - potentially helpfully - left open. You move closer to inspect the drop and realise it's a long way down. Definitely more than enough to end the King's life.
Just as you think that the man himself walks behind you, headed northwards towards a food counter. You step forward and see an open-air kitchen secretly tucked away from the cacophony of the crowd: the King's own dining service, perhaps? On the opposite side of the partition a chef pushes a plate of sushi across, and the King grabs a handful hungrily and shovels it into his maw.
Promising to be back for more, he then makes his way back south and begins to move westwards down the alley to your extraction point - too far from the manhole to push him in.
If you have an item you think might come in handy, add up its digits and replace the '8' in the URL bar above with that number...
You pass by the stairs and move forward into the busiest market street yet. Stalls line the left hand side of this area, while a narrow corridor stretches off to the right. At the end of the corridor a cop sits watching television - with no obvious way past and no immediate reason to venture so far from the pagoda, you leave him be.
As you look around you notice a familiar looking cupboard sheltered from the street by the dark shadow of an awning. Had you entered this area from anywhere else it would have blended into the background unseen, so you move across to see what it contains.
Like the other cabinet it's filled with the sorts of supplies you'd expect to find - nothing too heavy duty, but enough to help you in a dire situation. There's no number on the glass either, just: 'A+E'.
Makes sense, you decide, before weighing up your next options. There are two main exits here: a small passageway that heads west by the side of a construction site, or the wider western exit leading back to the pagoda. You've not seen the King for a few minutes, so you think it wise to check on his status.
To put down the knife and check on the King - Go to 20
Chinatown's a hectic place filled with scores of strangers, but the vendors and cooks who work in the vicinity are few: certainly none of them are bald Western men with barcode tattoos and features as sharp as the knife in your palm. As soon as you start speaking to the chef you realise you've made a mistake. She glances down at the nametag on your overalls. It says Wei. You're not Wei: you know it, she knows it and, by the look of horror on her face as she connects the dots between your face and the knife in your hand, you know she knows it.
Tens of people are milling around the pair of you and your options are reduced to none. Silence her and you'll be spotted. Let her live and she'll scream for help. There's no way out of this narrow corridor, and when you see policemen at either end of the passageway you realise this little stall by the construction yard is to be the scene of your final stand.
You come to in a dark room, and as the dizziness passes you realise you're tied to a chair with what feels like fishing wire, hands bound so tightly you feel the blood welting around your wrists.
"How did you get here?" barks a voice. You strain your neck left and spy a bearded one-eyed 40-something man in the gloom wearing a grubby suit and a scowl that could turn milk sour.
"You're not supposed to be here," yells another voice over to your right. "There's no way in here, cheater!" You rotate your head and come face to face with a bald, bearded guy in shades and a wifebeater vest bearing broken rows of yellow teeth.
You know these two. You read their story in a newspaper years back: two convicts on the run. Kane and Lynch.
"Cheater," the second man, Lynch, repeats before holding up the object held in his right hand. It's a rusted scalpel, tip gleaming the brilliant red of blood. Your blood, you realise, as you feel a warm trickle ooze its way down the back of your head.
Hands grab your head from behind and force it backwards, and with surprising speed Lynch is on you and forcing your left eyelid wide open. "Hold tight," he cackles. "This is going to hurt quite a bit, cheater." And with that he plunges his weapon forward.
For the first time in your life, you begin to scream.
You gather up one of the empty bottles and turn it over in your hand. The number '666' is on the label. Hoping it comes in handy, you slide it into your pocket and decide to explore elsewhere.
You follow the man away from the pagoda towards an apartment block, but instead of heading inside he veers right and takes the next left down a set of iron steps leading to a dingy basement and a pair of dumpsters. You watch from above as he checks nobody's tailed him and then squats down to access a package pushed out of sight. A secret drugs stash.
Seeing your 'in' you stalk down the steps in complete silence and use the knife to off the dealer before he can react. You quickly strip out of your chef's uniform and yank his tracksuit over your frame.
Back in the kitchen area the chef is still adding vegetables to his soup, and he's doing so right in front of the plate of sushi reserved for the King. Subduing the chef and hiding his body in a nearby crate is easy and relatively safe - a stack of boxes is shielding the entrance like a wall, and nobody on the other side of the partition is looking in your direction as you make your move.
You rip the lid off the plastic container in your pocket and gently lather the sushi with the liquid. When all the pieces are covered you tap the remainder of the container's contents out into a bowl of soup next to the sushi platter and wait.
You need to wait a few minutes until the King returns. When he does his undivided attention is centred on the sushi, and once more he thrusts his fingers into the food and chows it down.
This time there's no lip-smacking or finger-licking. Instead, he pulls a stunned face immediately after the final swallow and clutches at his throat with desperate hands. His searching eyes finally lock with yours, and a flash of understanding burns through them like a raging bushfire. It's the last thing the King thinks, and his body collapses to the floor unseen and unheard. Somebody will wonder where he went and find his corpse soon enough, but by that point in time you'll be long gone, had your meet with Birdie and will be enjoying a celebratory plate of sushi elsewhere in the city.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the Let's Do Lunch challenge
Two of Chicago's finest are standing near the door crucial to your exit strategy, but they barely glance your way as you stroll past and check the shop front. The Lucky Ducky Dumplings shutters are down, proudly displaying the shop's mascot: a giant rubber duck with a chef's hat. When you test the door you're relieved to find it open, as planned.
When you turn around to head back towards the town's centre an unbelievable sight stops you dead: the King striding in your direction. You pause for a moment and prepare yourself for plan B but after deciding you're no threat he turns towards a wall, unzips his fly and begins relieving himself. More fool him. The two cops begin to move eastwards to give the King a moment of privacy and you realise the pair of you are alone.
The south-west corner of Chinatown's as interesting as it is clean. People are leaning against the walls chatting, standing on enough discarded bags and abandoned food wrappings to choke a whale.
The alleyway turns north and you follow the path onwards.
Here the area widens somewhat and you look to your right to see stairs leading down to a pair of dumpsters. Nothing of interest catches your eye but it's hard to tell from this distance.
Ahead of you the street opens up into a vibrant corner of Chinatown filled with stalls and hungry punters.
Your hand darts to the pocket with the bottle inside, and you realise you have everything you need to get away with murder. As you stroll away from the manhole you toss the bottle down the shaft, and sure enough the crash and tinkle of sleeting glass startles the King. Intrigued, he turns back to investigate the sound, and as he peers down into the darkness you give him a forceful shove and amble away nonchalantly. There's a nasty crunch as the King's face bounces off the edge of the manhole - stifling any sound he was ready to make - and when you're a few feet away you hear a wet smack, faintly in the distance. The trip to the exit is exactly what you want: entirely uneventful.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the Man Down challenge
The bottom of the stairway resembles a trash compactor: people clearly toss rubbish down here as they pass and the floor hasn't been cleaned in weeks. But closer inspection of a box wedged in between the two dumpsters reveals an unexpected surprise: a bundle of drugs with a street value of thousands.
You turn to make sure nobody's watching to find a man in a white jacket (clearly the owner of the secret stash) reaching for his gun. Without thinking you jam your knife into his throat and tear off his jacket in one motion. Before the blood starts dying his clothes you take the rest of his gear and slide it on.
You decide to gather some more information about the King and move close to the pagoda. As the time ticks by you become aware that you're being watched: one of the policemen is eyeing you suspiciously. You don't exactly blend in in Chinatown, after all, and you fear you could be rumbled any moment.
There's no way you're getting past dressed as you are, so instead you decide to play a little game of sabotage. There's a fuse box on the right hand wall, and when the cop glances at the television set he brought into the alleyway to stop from nodding off you yank out the circuit board. As darkness embraces the corridor you dash forward and up the stairs to the right before he has time to react.
As you make your way around the temporary fences erected to block off the construction site you spy an old friend behind a chef to your right: lagocephalus, or 'fugu' as it's more commonly known. You have fond memories of a kill back in Japan years ago using that particular breed of poisonous fish.
The plan's already set in your mind, but before you can gather up the poison glands you must contend with the female chef standing in front of the chopping board and surveying the scene.
You quickly wipe the smile off your face and creep back to the car. Sliding the bomb beneath the chassis you realise you're mere seconds away from eliminating Chinatown's head honcho. With a single, deliberate thump you hit the car's boot and its alarm starts blaring. Time to hide.
In your chef's outfit nobody bats an eyelid when you slide the kitchen knife down your sleeve. No one so much as looks your way when you raise your arm, either. Years of practice have ensured you've got the art of knife-throwing down to perfection, and before anyone knows it you've flicked the knife over in your palm and hurled it through the pagoda slats where it's come to a rest hilt-deep in the back of the King, sitting down to sip at his coffee. On the way to Lucky Ducky Dumplings you stop by the kitchen to recover your suit: no sense in letting your favourite threads go to waste, right?
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King
Remembering the cabinet filled with health supplies near Chinatown's entrance you stagger as fast as your legs can take you back to the painkillers and bandages. When you open up the cabinet a note slips out reading: "A = 1, B = 2, etc."
You scrunch it up and throw it to one side, grabbing for the medication within. You've barely had time to inject yourself with relief and pack the wound with dressing before footfalls thud in your direction from the pagoda area. You look up to see a SWAT team levelling their weapons at you.
You put take cover and drop them all in under twenty seconds, but not without taking further damage that needs to be stymied, quickly. You turn around but the cabinet's now peppered with gunfire, and everything inside is smashed and shredded.
Do you have another place to go? If so, replace the '25' in the URL bar above with the page number you want; Otherwise Go to 33
Moving back the way you came you find yourself facing the double doors to your south. There's a cabinet on the right hand side and you move closer to take a look. It's filled with medicines and bandages and painkillers, which could come in handy in a pinch. On the glass front you see the number '25' painted in vinyl and file the reference away in case you need it later.
A quick prowl around the small alleyway and the longer passage to the east uncovers more goodies: a gleaming chef's knife knocked from a stall and kicked into a dark corner, a canister of petrol sitting by a trash can, forgotten, and a collection of empty green bottles lined up in formation by the edge of a stall.
The policeman takes a step closer, and you realise you must do something other than stare at the King. You head for the nearest stall and grab a menu, pretending to mull over the contents in your best confused-but-intrigued act.
Clearly you'd have no problem getting into the neighbourhood theatre program as your pursuer buys the performance. Satisfied you're a tourist who's strolled into the wrong part of town, he returns to his post and begins chatting with a colleague who's finished a lap of the area. You remain near the stall, safely enveloped by the local crowd, and strain your ears as the King grabs his phone and makes a call.
"Snowman," he says. "Yeah, you know who it is. Get your ass down here in a minute: I have a sweet tooth and I'm all out of candy."
With your cover as good as blown you decide it's now or never and pull out your Siverballers. You shoot the nearest cop first to eliminate the immediate threat, then stroll around to the pagoda's eastern entrance and shoot the next one.
A scream goes up, then another and another as people realise what's going down. You turn to shoot the King but realise he's pulled his weapon out already. You tap him in the head but not before his gun muzzle flashes, and as you take out the remaining three cops in the immediate vicinity you become dimly aware that you've taken a bullet to your midriff. You need medical help, and now.
Do you have a place to go? If so, replace the '28' in the URL bar above with the page number you want; Otherwise go to 31
With the police headed in the opposite direction and the King's attention otherwise occupied you grip your Fiber Wire, quickly slip it around the King's neck, and yank it tight. As the King tries to pull the wire away the scene devolves into slapstick: his feet slide about the wet floor hopelessly trying to find grip as jets of urine spray everywhere. The scuffle's louder than you'd hoped, and before the King's breathed his final breath you feel the first two bullets from the alerted policemen thud into your back. They keep firing, but your body gives up long before they've emptied their clips.
When you return to the pagoda the King is back from his walkabout and talking to a man in a tracksuit getup from the wrong side of the year 2000. After a brief exchange the two part: the King returns to the middle of the pagoda, surrounded by cops, while the man who's clearly a fan of powder the colour of your gleaming chef's outfit struts to the east.
You limp towards Lucky Ducky Dumplings but this time you're all out of luck. The hullabaloo of a few hundred people stampeding to Chinatown's exits has alerted Chicago's SWAT team, and before you can make your escape you're mowed down like John Dillinger. The only difference is, no one will know your name or retell your story.
As you make you way around the temporary fences erected to block off the construction site you spy an old friend sitting on a chopping board behind a chef: lagocephalus, or 'fugu' as it's more commonly known. You have fond memories of a kill back in Japan years ago using that particular breed of poisonous fish.
When the chef turns her back you eagerly step forward and swipe the fish's poison gland into an empty plastic container by the side of the chopping board. You stash the container away into your pocket and move on.
You limp towards Lucky Ducky Dumplings but this time you're all out of luck. Mere steps from the door you collapse to your knees with exhaustion and your body tips over. You pull your soaking hands to your face and watch in shock as your life seeps into Chinatown's grubby streets.
With confidence bordering on arrogance you strut out of the apartment and over to the pagoda. When the King sees you approach you make a beckoning motion and turn without a word, heading straight back to the pad. The King obediently follows you up the stairs and makes straight for the drugs.
He takes a snort and looks up with a blissful smile, and that's when you strike with the knife. Does he even realise what's happened before that dopey gaze turns into a lifeless death mask? Probably not.
There's a chain link fence with a small, rubbish-filled courtyard set into the brick wall to your north. You briskly make your way around the broken gate and behind a dumpster to where no one can see you. When you glance back to the King you realise he's standing directly beneath a pallet packed with full corn sacks, held aloft by a winch. It would be an easy shot, but the two cops are still nearby...
Time is of the essence, you decide, and the sooner you meet with Birdie and find out about Victoria, the sooner you can rest. You bend your knees to gather up the petrol canister and then walk back to the centre of Chinatown. Setting it down on the ground near a row of shops, you retreat to a caged Chinese lantern in the north and wait until the King walks past on his stroll around town.
It doesn't take long, and when a gap appears in the crowd you shoot the canister with your silenced Silverballers and ready yourself for the blast. Even from 30 feet away the searing heat from the explosion is uncomfortable. As you walk to the exit shielding yourself from the burning signage splinters raining from the sky you wonder how many innocents just died for you to set up the meet with Birdie. Too many, you decide grimly.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King
You realise the chef who works within twenty feet of the location you snatched your chef's uniform from isn't going to be fooled by the disguise, and smartly decide to hang back and see what happens. Your patience is rewarded almost immediately as she hops forward to a second work counter and begins slicing into another fish. Spotting your opportunity you casually move behind her and delicately extract the fugu's poison sac. Palming it into an open plastic container sitting next to the fish you make your way back to the kitchen area.
Armed with the deadliest poison know to Chinatown you return to the pagoda to see how you might use it to good effect. And as the King brings his coffee cup to his lips, you realise you have your answer. The only question is, how are you going to get close enough to deposit your present?
A quick scout of the area reveals just one cop on his own, over in Chinatown's western side...
You decide to see where the conversation goes and wait a while longer. "No you can't just pick it up later," screams the cop, clearly agitated. "It's not like you're borrowing my lawnmower here. You any kinda idea how hard it is to sneak this hardware out of police storage?"
With that your eyes snap to the crates. The policeman keeps yelling down his phone but you phase him out, because beneath the stacks of fruit and veg you notice the unmistakable glint of gun metal: there are a lot of smuggled guns on display.
Glancing to your right you see another crate open, this one padded with straw. You dip your hand in and pull out a weighty package the size of a brick. It's a lump of primed military-grade C4 explosive, with a remote detonator clipped to the top.
You hop into the dumpster at the back of the lot with feline-like deftness and breathe a sigh of relief to find it empty. Peering out the top, you see the King walk towards the car and notice the dent your fist left in its boot. He barely has time to throw his arms into the air in rage before you press the trigger.
Only when the dumpster's slammed into the wall by the explosion do you notice two red barrels within arm's reach nestled behind four boxes of lettuce. They're filled to the brim with fuel, almost certainly ready to top up the stall cookers all over Chinatown. As the flames from the car begin to lick at the boxes you try to raise the dumpster's lid to no avail: the collision with the brick wall clearly damaged one of the hinges. You drop low in the dumpster and feel the heat starting to burn through the metal as the flames grow larger outside. And just when you think you're about to be oven-roasted like a Christmas turkey the fuel barrels ignite and take out the lot and half the adjoining alleyway, sparing you from an unbearably slow end.
As soon as the bottle shatters you dash back up the stairs and into the locker in the corridor. The cop obviously wants to know what's going down, and once he sees the stairway and top corridor are clear he moves into the apartment in search of the ruckus. You hear shouting as he discovers Snowman standing over the King's cooling body and take that as your cue to leave the apartment block and Chinatown itself.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the Don't Do Drugs challenge
A police uniform could come in awfully handy here, and without a moment's consideration you spring forward and snap the policeman's neck. You relieve him of his clothes and cradle his body in your arms. Next you carry him down the iron steps and to the back of the lot where you drop him into an empty dumpster.
As cool as a cucumber you trot back up the staircase and swap outfits. And when you're satisfied your new disguise is on and straight you walk back towards the pagoda to meet your target.
You've unlocked the Chameleon 1 challenge.Go to 43
The pagoda's empty while the King's off on a stroll, but the police are still guarding his hideout in full force. You walk into the centre pretending to talk on your shoulder-mounted radio and look around. A cup of coffee sits on a table and there's an open box of donuts opposite.
You're in the viper's nest and you've just messed up: no cop in their right mind would choose coffee over donuts, and certainly not when the drink belongs to the town's King. You look around and see you're surrounded by policemen with their guns drawn. Not just any policemen, either, but dirty ones pocketing hefty stacks of notes for their work for the King. And they're not letting you walk out of their boss's territory intact...
Walking back east towards the thrum of Chinatown you glance up to the balcony and see Chris still talking on the phone to his contact, more worried about the weapons he lifted than the state of the King's ride. You're past the first stall by the time the King sprints round the corner to investigate his precious ride, and when he starts yelling you've already stretched out a gap well beyond the minimum safe distance.
You press the button with your hand and watch as the King's auburn car disappears in bloom of fire and smoke. Hilariously the blast launches the King in your direction. His body bounces off a food cart like a rag doll, completely devoid of life. Whispering a quiet thank you to Chris - no doubt the second victim of the explosion - you drop the trigger and walk to your exit point.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the Kaboom challenge
You reach into your pocket and draw out the deadly fugu poison. You dump it into the coffee and return to the donut selection box to wait for the King to return. With a satisfied sigh the King marches back into the pagoda, chest thrust forward as if nothing in the world can touch him. Two sips of his drink later and he's writhing on the floor in agony as the toxins do their work.
You finish off your sprinkle donut and leave Chinatown with the rest of the box under your arm for later.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the Hot Coffee challenge
You saunter into Chinatown's eastern district and grumble as a pair of overenthusiastic shoppers bundle into you as they make their way towards a miso soup counter. Your new goal is a corridor stretching into the eastern quarter's belly, where a lonely cop sits facing forward, monitoring who enters and exits the apartment block.
Are you wearing a uniform?
You walk to the window, rest the sniper rifle on the window ledge and peer down the sight. The King's sitting down as still as a statue while drinking his cup of Joe and there's not even a hint of breeze: ideal sniping conditions. You hold your breath and squeeze the trigger and turn the King's head inside out.
After you've brushed down the handle and trigger you lean the rifle up against the wall, draw your pistol and jog downstairs and towards the pagoda for effect. No one looks in your direction, however, and as the rest of Chinatown's cops gather around the King and start scouring the windows and rooftops for a sniper, you leave undisturbed.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the A View To A Kill challenge.
Confident your disguise will see you through the challenge ahead you stroll on forward. The sitting cop is engrossed in a nature program on TV, and once he's seen the police uniform approaching he doesn't even bother to scan your face.
You climb the stairs two at a time and move into the apartment directly opposite the staircase. There's an open window overlooking the pagoda - it was this window that caught your attention outside - and when you glance around the apartment your eyes fall on a Kazo TRG sniper rifle and two boxes of ammunition. You won't need more than one bullet...
There's a small parking space to the south-west of the pagoda, and hidden from view behind a stack of crates you see the car Birdie mentioned over the phone. It's a luxury sports car with Illinois tags and a personalised number plate reading 'KING'.
A solitary cop is keeping watch nervously, and once he's dragged the last leaves his cigarette has to give into his lungs he stubs the Marlboro out underneath his shoe and heads for a set of ascending metal stairs opposite, reaching for his phone as he does so.
The cop climbs to the top of the staircase and starts dialling a number. As he waits for the other party to pick up he peers over a set of food crates and sacks sitting atop a small metal balcony with a frown.
"Chris here," he says when his call's answered. "How come I'm standing here in this dank alleyway and you're not? You tell me that, huh?"
By this point you've climbed up the staircase as quietly as a mouse with padded slippers - a lifetime of creeping means you can walk over any surface and stay whisper silent - and are crouched behind him, weighing up your options.
Making your way around the open-air kitchen's partition you spy the chef working frantically over a vat of soup. He's so set on his task he doesn't notice you slip behind him and scoop up the spare chef's uniform from the crates at the kitchen's rear. You pull on the disguise in silence and palm a vicious-looking knife from the counter top as you hastily exit the area.
You've unlocked the Chameleon 2 challenge.
At the top of the stairs there's a locker and a door. You press your ear against the apartment door and hear only the hum of fans. It's empty. When you swing the door open you grimace at the state of the place. You've seen rat clubs in better states.
There's a locker to the right of the door and a television showing a security feed on a desk. There's a sniper rifle too, but it doesn't interest you: you're here for the drugs, and they're sitting on a table by the window.
You whip out the plastic container and tap a few drops of fugu juice onto the mirror with the drugs. Next you retreat into the locker at the opposite end of the room. Now the waiting begins...
The cop jumps upwards and searches the alley, trying to pinpoint the location of the sound. When he finds nothing he calls for back-up, and that's your downfall. With extra cops on their way and the King lying dead upstairs this place isn't going to calm down for days, let alone hours. You're cornered like a rat, with no escape - not even the great Agent 47 can shoot his way out of this one.
One of the policemen still isn't sure who you are, but as soon as you tuck into the box of Dunkin' Donuts his fears are alleviated. You glance around and decide there's not much else that could come in handy in the pagoda. Could the King's coffee be his ticket to the funeral parlour?
You toss the body and your old outfit into one of the dumpsters - cleaning your bloodied blade with the latter, first - and check the drug dealer's pockets. There's a key to an apartment not two streets away and you head straight there, passing a watchful cop on the way.
The apartment is on the first floor overlooking the pagoda. It stinks of stale sweat and beer. Four wall fans circulate the air but do nothing but spread the stench around the room.
There's a sniper rifle lying on the desk alongside two boxes of ammunition but after a moment's pause you look towards a second table by the window instead. There you spy two lines of drugs, and you realise how your hit's going to go down.
You've unlocked the Chameleon 3 challenge. Go to 34
With the King and his dealer both dead you realise there's no rush - the cops think he's away snorting his brains out and won't be back for a while. A quick search of the apartment uncovers a freshly ejected security tape of the CCTV cameras outside. You could be on it, so you slide the tape into your jacket to dispose of it later on and walk to the exit.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the Not A Trace challenge.
A minute later the man named Snowman shows up to meet with the King. You can't make out what's said, but after a short exchange Snowman begins walking away - to his stash, you deduce.
This is your chance and you begin to tail him from afar. He takes you past a pair of stalls and with deft sleight of hand you rob the vendor of his fish knife ready for the kill.
Snowman nervously bundles down a flight of stairs to recover his stash from behind a pair of secluded dumpsters. You tip-toe after him and strike while he's crouched, relieving him of his breath first and his clothes second. This isn't the first time you've dressed up as a drug dealer, but you swear you'll never get used to pulling gold neckchains over your head. Too much like Fiber Wire, you think with a smirk.
You head east and hope for the best. The best doesn't take long to appear: "Yo, Snowman!"
You hear someone answering a phone from inside a first floor window. "Say no more, say no more. You know I've the blow. I got the stash, you got the cash. I'll meet you in the pagoda in a jiffy."
It could only mean one thing: you've found the King's drug supplier along with his pad.
Now you wonder how to make the most of this knowledge.
You briefly step out to take your shot before quickly retreating to the safety of the dumpster. The effect is delayed slightly as the winch puts up some resistance, but ultimately one bullet from your favourite silenced weapon is all it takes to weaken the chain sufficiently. With a creak and a snap the pallet and its heavy load jerks downwards and collapses on top of the urinating mob boss. The two cops sprint past your hiding spot and gather around the King's broken body, stunned by what appears to be a horrific accident and completely oblivious to everything else. They're still gawping in horror at the spreading puddle of blood and wee as you step past their kneeling frames and through the Lucky Ducky Dumplings door to go and track down Birdie.
Congratulations - you've successfully killed the King and unlocked the Drop Dead challenge.