This article originally appeared in GamesMaster magazine.
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.