|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.
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.
Archer arrives at the supply Gondola docking station. After sneaking around the area she eventually 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 were to head for the gondola with the intention to leave this organization. Armstrong, who appears to be having second thoughts about his career as well, 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.
Archer wakes up in a small cell in a now ruined monastery. Baroness Dumas taunts her about her failure and brags over the fact that H.A.R.M. works for her. It becomes clear that the Baroness is using the reagent to exact revenge or "Housecleaning" as she calls it on the people and society whom she deems responsible for her terrible childhood. She also discloses the unnerving news that Archer has also in fact been infected. While Archer was supposed to receive a "10-hour fuse", that "bloated moron" gave her ten days, which now only leaves her about 45 minutes to live. Before the Baroness leaves, she calls for Armstrong to guard Archer.
Once Armstrong arrives, Archer challenges him to a fight. He is reluctant at first but following her constant provocations, especially in calling him a "coward". After Archer beats him, he keeps his promise and lets her go. He also tells her where to find the list of names and that it's "time to look for a new job" as he's not keen on discussing her escape with the Baroness.
Archer recovers her gear and sneaks out of the monastery. The chateau itself is closed off by a large gate, so Archer enters the Wine cellar via an underground tunnel. The entrance to the secret lair is hidden behind a pile of wood in the cellar.
Knowing that she is poisoned, Archer must find an antidote sample within the next ten minutes. Luckily, the research facility contains a vessel of antidote. Once cured, she ventures further into the lair in search of the list.
Dmitrij Volkov informs the Baroness of Archer's escape and retrieval of the antidote. He decides to go after Archer himself. The Baroness reminds him that they don't have much time and to kill Armstrong too "while he's at it".
Archer wanders through a complex network of underground caves before finally discovering the Baroness' private office. She retrieves the list from the safe and is amazed to find a certain name at the top of the list. An angry Baroness storms into the office and sends in more guards to kill her. Archer pursues the Baroness outside to the helipad but it's too late, the Baroness escapes.
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?"
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
- Along with A Tenuous Lead , this is one of the only missions in the game that doesn't commence with a cutscene.
- This mission finally resolves the mystery of 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 style.
- 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 you take out the guard in the room where your gear is stored before he is alerted, you will not be able to obtain the revolver he uses when he does take notice.
- Like with A Man of Influence's Scene 3, choosing the wrong response will fail Scene 2 with "You failed to provoke Armstrong" mission failure, making it the second time Cate can fail a mission without dying or blowing her cover. However, players can press 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
- 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..."
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