Touchy Feelly

One thing I’ve always thought was interesting about Agent 47’s character is that despite being a master of disguise and able to slip into anybody (or rather any man’s) role in a place, he breaks character when he enters situations where touch is expected.

For instance, in The Bjarkhov Bomb, you have to kill Franz Fuchs, steal his clothes, and then meet with Sergei Bjarkhov. When you do, Bjarkhov greets 47 warmly and expects a hug as if he and Fuchs were close friends. 47 allows this but does not hug back, instead sort of holding his arms out so Bjarkhov, whose own body language indicates that he finds this response unusual, can reach around him.

But most fans remember the part in Codename 47’s Ambush at the Wang Fou Restaurant where 47 is visibly repulsed at Mei Ling, a woman kidnapped and forced into prostitution at Lee Hong’s brothel, kissing him.

As a clone bio-engineered and “raised” in a sterile laboratory with not much in the way of normal human contact, these things make sense. I would not qualify 47’s behavior as full-on social anxiety, just a reluctance to get too close.

Interestingly though, in the remake of Ambush in Contracts, his disgust at being kissed is “retconned” into mild bemusement. Contracts is not strictly a remake though, as the missions cribbed from Codename are misremembered flashbacks, so I think the shudder of revoltion is still canonic. It is intriguing that 47 doesn’t remember being sickened by Mei Ling’s gesture though.

And, you know, it’s hilarious to me that this small detail of his personality is expressed the games, but there’s of course never any game-changing reaction to it. You never get a blown cover because 47’s pulled back from a handshake too fast. That would put a damper on his whole MASTER ASSASSIN THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW IF I FKN EXIST AT ALL I’M THAT DAMN GOOD thing.

Then again, this is a game where a bald white guy can effectively pass himself off as men of various not-white-at-all racial descent so hand-waving, yo.

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