- "I'm not gonna butcher a fellow countryman without a specific grudge. If she wakes up, she can fend for herself. If she dies, then she ain't really a Scot so I won't feel bad."
- -Magnus Armstrong
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, 1925. Frequently in trouble as a youth due to a penchant for fighting. By all accounts, he was a good-natured, likable young man who only picked fights with willing opponents. He was expelled from several schools before his parents finally sent him to a military academy.
According to a H.A.R.M. memo, Armstrong has a height of 6 ft, 2 inches (later revealed to be 6 ft, 3 inches) with red hair and blue eyes. Dmitrij Volkov commented that Armstrong would always wear a kilt despite the weather and had a constant aroma of scotch.
During the war, he served as a Sapper in France and Germany, with duties ranging from mine removal to demolitions and sabotage. He was officially reprimanded on many occasions for his reckless antics. The most popular legend had to do with a bridge he allegedly crippled with nothing but a shovel and a hand grenade. A Nazi German supply train did the rest. When it reached the weakened section of the bridge, the whole structure came crashing down. Armstrong had reached the rank of Sergeant in the British Army.
Most of his arrests since returning from the war have been related to public brawling. Armstrong still carries grenades with him.
No One Lives Forever
Armstrong's affiliation with H.A.R.M. was suspect only until Cate Archer positively identified him as the man that ambushed her from behind and knocked her unconscious on a UNITY airplane ride over West German airspace. This was not the first time he had spared the life of his fellow Scotsman. When Archer had snuck on board the Finnish freighter the Lorelei, Armstrong once again knocked her out and had her locked up. This infuriated Inge Wagner until the ship started sinking after several explosions went off on the ship.
A third encounter between Armstrong and Archer happened at the Alpine Chateau of Baron Dumas. Once again Armstrong had knocked her out long enough for the Baroness Dumas to assign him to guard her in her cell. Archer provoked Armstrong from her tiny cell for a chance in hand to hand fight (by challenging his manhood) and was very shocked when she came out on top. After this embarrassment, he decided not to stick around for the Baroness to find out about Archer's escape. Armstrong vanished from plain sight after this point and not seen anywhere else.
- In the PlayStation 2 version of No One Lives Forever, the three times that Armstrong knocks Archer out leads to the flashback mission Nine Years Ago.
No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M’s Way
Armstrong has since abandoned H.A.R.M. and has settled for his older life of brawling at local bars and pubs. It wasn't until Cate Archer approached him at The Drunken Scotsman, citing how he is indebted to her for helping him safely defect from H.A.R.M.'s ranks and for not arresting him after the events of NOLF, that Armstrong agrees to accompany and assist her on a new mission to put a stop to H.A.R.M.'s latest plans for world domination. Armstrong contacts his friend in India, Kamal Khubchandani and sets up a meeting between the two of them. Armstrong, not wanting to get any more involved, primarily hides in Calcutta while Archer infiltrated the H.A.R.M. India Headquarters.
After Archer discovers that Project: Omega was being tested at the H.A.R.M. Antarctica Base, Armstrong accompanies her to the location. Unfortunately Armstrong had to stay behind to stop an escaped renegade super soldier from capturing Archer. H.A.R.M. sent a team to the base and captured both the Super Soldier and Armstrong then took them to the H.A.R.M. Underwater Base in the Aegean Sea. There H.A.R.M. wanted to punish Armstrong for his betrayal in the previous year by turning him into a Super Soldier. Luckily Archer had tracked him down and was able to release him before the underwater base was destroyed. After Archer was captured by The Director, Armstrong decides to fully involve himself and helps Archer and UNITY defend the island country of Khios.
Wagner: (from the corridor) "ARMSTRONG?!? WHERE ARE YOU?!?" (enter) "I demand an explanation!"
Armstrong: (slurred) "Splanation fer what yer ol..."
Wagner: "Heinrik tells me the girl is still alive. Perhaps you did not understand my orders?"
Armstrong: "Yer orders? Ha! You don't give me orders!"
Wagner: "She was to be liquidated. Why did you spare her?"
Armstrong: "I'll not slay a countryman without a fair fight. The girl's just doing her job."
Wagner: "She is a threat to our operation. I'm sure The Director would agree with me."
Armstrong: "Then you kill her!"
Wagner: "You disgust me..." [sound of explosion] "What was that?"
Armstrong: "That's an explosion..."
Wagner: (to a sailor) "Find out what's going on."
Sailor 1: "Jawohl Frau Wagner!"
Captain: (over intercom) "ABANDON SHIP! ABANDON SHIP!"
Sailor 2: "Did he say "ship", or "sheep"?"
Sailor 3: ""Ship" I think. Why?"
Sailor 2: "Oh, no reason."
- (Two sailors are shown attempting to open a door against the incoming water pressure. Meanwhile, Archer wakes up in another room.)
Armstrong: "Well let's go."
Wagner: "What about the cargo?"
Armstrong: "You're welcome to fetch it, Fattie! As for me, I'm getting off this boat before she sinks."
Wagner: "But the operation!"
Armstrong: "We can replace the cargo. But I'm one of a kind, if you take my meaning."
Wagner: "The Director will not be pleased..."
Armstrong: "Then stay here and show your devotion. I'll nail up a commemorative plaque for you in the ladies room of that wretched nightclub of yours."
Wagner: "I can't help it if my beautiful cabaret is infested with Beatniks. I've tried to get rid of them. But they're like roaches."
Armstrong: "Probably because they think you sing like that on purpose. Experimental jazz or some such shite."
Armstrong: "Enough of this jabbering. Get out of my way! Your hideous mass is blocking the bulkhead!"
Wagner: "You disgust me."
Wagner: "You are a drunk and a coward."
Armstrong: "You can say what you want about my hobbies and my hygiene, but I swear if you ever cast aspersions on my manhood again, I'll pound you. I'm not a coward."
Wagner: "Your threats don't frighten me."
Armstrong: "A good beating might knock some of the ugly out of you. Care to find out?"
Wagner: (turns to Sailor) "I will be in my quarters rehearsing. I am not to be disturbed."
Armstrong: "That's right, it's the rest of us who will be disturbed, you bloody great banshee. I've heard cats in heat that sing prettier than you."
Wagner: "Criticism is the refuge of those without the talent or discipline for the pursuit of art. I pity you."
Armstrong: "And well you should. You call that bellowing of your Art? Fart is more like it!"
Armstrong: "Fattie fattie fattie."
Armstrong: "Lock her up."
H.A.R.M. Thug: "Maybe we should just throw her off a cliff."
Armstrong: "Did I ask for your opinion?"
H.A.R.M. Thug: "No, but I was just thinking..."
Armstrong: "You were, were ya?"
H.A.R.M. Thug: "Yes. I think keeping her alive is a bad idea."
Armstrong: "Is that so?"
H.A.R.M. Thug: "You know how in spy shows, the hero always gets away? Well, that just sets a considerable precedent, don't you think? Sure, it's just television shows, but it still makes me nervous."
Armstrong: "Look at her."
H.A.R.M. Thug: "Excuse me?"
Armstrong: "I said look at her. You want to murder her?"
H.A.R.M. Thug: "I don't want to, it just seems prudent."
Armstrong: "Prudent, eh?"
H.A.R.M. Thug: "If you don't mind my saying so, you seem rather moralistic for a man who earns his living as a criminal. We've already killed thousands of people. What's one more?"
Armstrong: "It wasn't me that killed them."
H.A.R.M. Thug: "You work for the organization that did. Doesn't that implicate you, as well?"
Armstrong: "They didn't ask me what I thought about it."
H.A.R.M. Thug: "Perhaps not, but you knew there was a possibility that such a thing could happen."
Armstrong: "Okay, maybe you're right. But that doesn't mean I want this girl's blood on my hands. Truth be told, I'd sooner kill you than her."
H.A.R.M. Thug: "Then I'll stop trying to convince you to throw her off a cliff."
Armstrong: "That's prudent of you."
"I said grab him, not stab him."
"Well, that's enough for me. I'm long overdue for a pint or two."
- He's the second boss fight in the first No One Lives Forever game after Inge Wagner.
- He's one of the few enemies in the game to utilize grenades along with Elite Guard in his boss fight at the first game. Yet he never seen using any grenades in the second game.
- Alongside of Cate Archer, Armstrong also changed voice actors for the second game but his appearance in design pretty much unchanged.
- It can be speculated that Armstrong still can't shake off the memories of war he attended to at the past. This can be a motive underlying his merciful nature against Archer and see her as a "fellow countrymen".
- It makes little sense how Dmitrij Volkov is capable of locating John Jack and his flat above The Drunken Scotsman bar, but misses Magnus Armstrong who brawl there almost every night. Perhaps it's a chain franchise of bars among the city rather than just one.