|The Indomitable Cate Archer|
A Very Large Explosion
"The Indomitable Cate Archer" is a level in the award-winning video game The Operative: No One Lives Forever. It is the 13th mission of the game and the second part of the "Alpine Quartet" which forms the last part of the game. In it, Cate Archer continues her search for the list of H.A.R.M.'s intended victims, encountering old and new adversaries along the way.
Briefing[edit | edit source]
Once you reach the chateau, you'll have to act quickly. The first challenge is to locate the list. The greater challenge will be to deliver it to Command.
Needless to say, subtlety is advisable. The odds against you are already overwhelming enough without you drawing undue attention to yourself.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Scene 1[edit | edit source]
Archer arrives at the supply gondola docking station. After sneaking around the area she ends up in a courtyard where Magnus Armstrong, accompanied by another guard, knocks her out. Once again, Armstrong refuses to kill her despite the guard's "prudent" suggestion. The guard admits that he hasn't been able to sleep since the explosion in England and asks what Armstrong would do if he wanted to leave this organization. Armstrong, somewhat hesitant, offers him some advice: "Don't get yourself killed".
- At this point, the PlayStation 2 version cuts immediately to the bonus level Nine Years Ago. The PC version proceeds directly to Scene 2.
Scene 2[edit | edit source]
Archer wakes up in a small cell within a ruined monastery. Baroness Dumas taunts her about her failure and brags over the fact that H.A.R.M. works for her. She is using the reagent to exact revenge on the people and society whom she deems responsible for her terrible childhood. She also discloses that Archer was infected by way of Inge Wagner who accidentally gave her a 10-hour fuse, thus leaving her around 45 minutes until she explodes.
Before the Baroness leaves, she calls for Armstrong to guard Archer. When Armstrong arrives, Archer challenges him to a fight. He is reluctant at first but, following her constant provocations of his cowardice and questioning of his manhood, he takes her out of the cell and fights her in hand-to-hand combat.
After Archer beats him, he keeps his promise and lets her go. He not only resolves to leave H.A.R.M for good, unwilling to confront the Baroness about his failure, but also tells her where to find the list of names. The list is stored in a safe in her underground lair, which can be accessed by way of an elevator hidden behind a woodpile below where they are.
Archer later retrieves her gear from a small room, and leaves the monastery.
Scene 3[edit | edit source]
Taking the elevator underground, Archer fights through several security guards and H.A.R.M soldiers to a small research chamber, retrieving a vessel of antidote. Once cured, she heads down through a maintenance tunnel towards the Baroness' lair.
Scene 4[edit | edit source]
Dmitrij Volkov informs the Baroness of Archer's escape and retrieval of the antidote, deciding to go after Archer himself. The Baroness reminds him to finish his task within the hour, as well as to kill Armstrong.
Archer wanders through a more intricate part of the base before discovering the Baroness' private office. She takes the list out of the Baroness' safe and is amazed by a certain name she finds at the top of the list. It is here that she is found by the Baroness, who orders her killed. Warding off the incoming guards, Archer barely misses her just flying away in a helicopter.
Walkthrough & Hints[edit | edit source]
Scene 2[edit | edit source]
At the start of the scene, the player will fight Armstrong with their bare hands only, although Armstrong himself can throw grenades if they dodge him for too long. As the damage dealt by Armstrong ignores body armor and diminishes their health, they have to be especially careful and agile in order to win. At high difficulties such as Hard and Superspy, Armstrong can kill the player in a few punches, so it is essential to dodge him by moving in and out quickly.
In combat, the player should get close to Armstrong to bait his blows, then back a few steps off once they are within elbow's reach to land their punches on him. They can repeat this process to throw a few attacks at Armstrong before he slams the ground in anger to throw them off. Staying too far away from him is not advisable as he can toss his grenades with a wide blast radius, which can be very hard to avoid unless they run towards his side.
At higher difficulties, he will perform a slam if the player is too far for him to hit with grenades, although he may do so regardless of distance. Jumps should be made at the moment when he raises his arms over his head, which signals this action. The player also runs the risk of being killed more easily when they are staggered by his slam attack like this.
Memorable quotes[edit | edit source]
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."
H.A.R.M. Thug: "I've missed you terribly. Every moment I'm away from you is pure torture. How I've longed to take you in my arms and whisper words of love into your ear."
(Archer walks into the room)
H.A.R.M. Thug: "Now where's that damn socket wrench? How'd this goat get in here?"
References[edit | edit source]
Acid Gas • AK-47 • Alps • Ammo box • Antidote • Baron Dumas • Baroness Dumas • Barrette • Becky • Belt Buckle • Beer • Body Armor • Body Remover • Braun 9mm Parabellum • Brin Aachen • C. Claw • Cate Archer • Chipmunk • Cigarette Lighter • Circus • Code Breaker • Coin • Dart • Das Einsame Valkyrie • Dmitrij Volkov • Dumas Chateau • Dumas Mapmakers Inc. • Dumas Ski Lodge • England • Europe • Explosive • Fizzy Soda • Franz • Go Fish • Goat • Gondola • Gordon 9mm Submachinegun • Grenade • Hampton MPL 9mm SMG • Hans Brother's Builders • H.A.R.M. • Harrods • Helicopter • Human Resources (H.A.R.M.) • Inge Wagner • Italy • Jim • John Mulkey • Kilt • Kleinstadt • Lock • Magnus Armstrong • Mechanical Sabotage Division • Monkey • Moon • Ox • Paris • Petri .38 Airweight Revolver • Poison Gas • PU-38 • Radio • Safe • Scotland • Searchlight • Security Camera • Shark • Shark-Be-Gone • Shepherd Arms 9mm • Skiing • Skirt • Snowy Mountain Ski Resort and Casino • Spain • Sweater • Tasty Cola • The Mooncalf • Toilet Paper • Tom (H.A.R.M.) • Train • Wrench
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Along with A Tenuous Lead , this is one of the only missions in the game that does not begin with a cutscene.
- This mission finally reveals who the mastermind behind H.A.R.M.'s evil plan really is. While The Director is undoubtedly the administrative leader of the organization, the Baroness was in charge of this particular operation and thereby functioned as one of H.A.R.M.'s executive directors.
- An intelligence item suggests that the town where the Baroness does her window shopping is called "Kleinstadt", which literally means "Small Town".
- The fight against Armstrong is the only boss fight in the game that is fought solely in melee combat.
- Even if not equipped at the start of the mission, the standard gear that is recovered in Scene 2 always consists of the Cigarette Lighter, Barrette and the Shepherd Arms 9mm.
- If one were to take out the guard in the room where their gear is stored before he is alerted, they will not be able to obtain the revolver he uses when he does take notice.
- Like with A Man of Influence's Scene 3, the player can lose out on provoking Armstrong by choosing the wrong responses, making it the second time Cate can fail in such a manner. However, players can press the Space Bar to skip the cutscene and proceed directly into the fight instead.
- Unlike the ones in The Dive, the Shark in Scene 4 cannot be killed and must be avoided. Shooting a guard on a nearby balcony will distract it and provide a good opportunity to swim to the next platform.
- Alternatively, the player could swim through the tunnel just as the Shark emerges, forgoing the event completely.
- Also, the guard on the balcony has just as much health as any of the other guards in the mission, but is still shown to be alive when he falls into the water.
- Volkov makes his first appearance after an absence of seven levels/four missions. He last appeared in Scene 6 of Safecracker.
- Shooting the Baroness' Helicopter has no effect, as it won't take any damage. However, some players have reported that it suddenly disappears if machine guns are used.
- This level marks the last appearance of Magnus Armstrong in the game. He returns in the sequel in which he is not only elevated to main character status, but also becomes an ally who joins UNITY and becomes Archer's partner.
- One of the intelligence items that Archer finds in Scene 2 references the 1997 video game "Claw" by Monolith Productions. Captain Claw is also within a prison when he finds a note that starts with "I am writing this with a quill and a piece of torn parchment for my Spanish captors. I will then hide it in the wall..."
- There is a bug in the start of this level where the player will spawn as Cate in her regular spy outfit, and not her winter clothing.
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