The Operative: No One Lives Forever (commonly shortened to No One Lives Forever, abbreviated NOLF or NOLF 1), is a video game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Fox Interactive. It was released for Windows OS on November 9, 2000. A Game of the Year edition (with an extra mission) was released on October 5, 2001. This edition also included the source code for the game. A port for the PlayStation2 (with three extra missions) was released on April 18, 2001.


NOLF1 is a first-person shooter built on stealth. There are a wide variety of weapons and gadgets that the player can use to work their way through the missions. Better equipment with low muzzle noise, faster handling also loud, heavier firearms and different ammunition types will unlock as game progresses. Player will be locked with default equipment that game chose for them at the first gameplay and capable of choosing a custom made one on their forth playthroughs after finishing the game.

Enemies able to pickup audial and visual cues and give alert whenever they detect Cate Archer infiltrating their base of defense. Cameras can sound the alarm when they detect Cate sneaking about on plain sight after a short focus sequence to identify the movement. While there's a varying degrees of delay, cameras will always sound the alarm upon spotting Archer. Any enemy that have sight of Archer enough to notice her, can engage in a gunfight directly or choose to run to the alarm buttons or yell for calling reinforcements from nearby instead of engaging when they're caught alone. Generally low rank thugs or unarmed workers will choose to run for alarm buttons when they see a threat.

When alarms go off, high ranked enemies will start to depart from their patrol positions to roam the area and look for Archer while others keep their posts. Some locked rooms at further missions will only be unlocked from inside as thugs hear the alarm and run outside, potentially making them enemy closets. Enemies and cameras will not stand against seeing a fallen mate in battle as they will sound the alarm directly or point their guns at the source of gunshot if they were to witness it.

While a simple alarm won't pose much of a threat at low difficulties, in the high settings getting rushed by teams of four-five at a time really takes a toll on your resources. So slow, slick and calm gameplay with silent kills generally pays off in a smoother experience for progress and will reflect at the end of level rank. Crouch peeking from corners to get information and receding back is essential for stealth. Also walking on softer grounds for mitigating footstep sound is another approach to hide your presence. When things start to go down, enemies will not show any mercy or a sign of running dry on powerful ammunition shot from their varying grade of weapons.

As the player picks up certain documents or selects certain dialogue responses, they will earn Intelligence items. Some of the intelligence items and equipment appear to be out of reach with given default tools, however that's an incentive for replaying the game. The more items found, the higher the rank at the end of the mission. A higher rank will result in better health or armor in future missions. There was also a series of Awards at the end of the mission from various divisions within UNITY.


Opening CreditsEdit

Fox Interactive presents

a game by Monolith Productions

Starring Cate Archer as The Operative


No One Lives Forever

With Kit Harris as the voice of Cate Archer

Jock Blaney
Dmitrij Volkov

Ken Boynton

Scott Burns

Roger Curtis
Mr. Smith

Mark Dias

Barbara Dirickson
Baroness Dumas

John Patrick Lowrie
Bruno Lawrie

Mike Madeoy
Tom Goodman

Nigel Neale
Mr. Jones

David Stalker
Magnus Armstrong

Jeff Steitzer
Baron Dumas

Jenna Hawkins
Andrew Heffernan
Jamil Mullen

Music Composed and Arranged
Guy Whitmore

Title Track
Rich Ragsdale

Filmed in LithScope

Like most espionage movies of the 1960's, the opening credits features a character (in this case Archer) dancing around the credits with a colorful background.

Closing CreditsEdit

Cast of CharactersEdit




For detailed briefings and encyclopedic breakdown, see The Operative: No One Lives Forever Missions

No One Lives Forever EditionEdit

UNITY is a secret international organization headquartered somewhere in England that protects humanity from outsiders that want to take over the world. In 1960, over half of the UNITY's active operatives are murdered by an unknown assassin within a week, leaving UNITY with a critical manpower shortage. They are forced to send UNITY agent Cate Archer and her mentor, Bruno Lawrie, on a series of high-profile missions. Archer is an ex-cat burglar and is UNITY's first female operative. UNITY's leaders, Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith, are skeptical of Archer working as a field agent, and have previously relegated her to more mundane assignments. Intelligence reveals that a Russian assassin named Dmitrij Volkov and a new terrorist organization named H.A.R.M. are responsible for the murders. Archer and Lawrie embark on a dangerous assignment in Morocco to protect American Ambassador, Morris Monroe from assassination. The assignment turns out to be an ambush set up by Volkov and his men. Archer manages to escape Morocco while Bruno and Ambassador Monroe are killed by Volkov. Back at UNITY Headquarters, Mr. Jones and Mr. Smith reveal that Volkov may have killed Lawrie because he was the suspected traitor, to which Archer reacts with disbelief.

Archer is then tasked to escort Dr. Otto Schenker, a defecting East German scientist, to England. The location that Archer is sent to is Berlin so she can infiltrate a STASI facility to locate Dr. Schenker and photograph his research. After a successful escape, Archer and Dr. Schenker board an Airplane back to England. Magnus Armstrong and a group of H.A.R.M. Paratroopers board the plane. Armstrong knocks Archer unconscious and decides to spare Archer's life, believing that she is a fellow Scot. Archer awakens and is able to escape from the plane as it explodes. As she was falling, she grabs the parachute from one of H.A.R.M. paratroopers surviving the fall.

Archer reports back to Headquarters with Mr. Smith furious at another failure. For her next assignment Archer is instructed to report to her new supervisor, Tom Goodman, a UNITY agent from the American branch. After meeting him in a nightclub in Hamburg, they are ambushed by H.A.R.M. but manage to escape. The nightclub is owned by a German Opera singer named Inge Wagner who vows that she will meet Archer again. The two UNITY operatives are then tasked to investigate a cargo freighter containing several suspicious chemical containers that UNITY believes are linked to Dr. Schenker's research. Archer gets onboard the freighter and after taking photos of the containers, is knocked unconscious by Armstrong, who spares her life again by locking her in a cargo hold, thus ignoring Wagner's insistence that she must be liquidated. As the freighter heads out to sea, it slowly begins to sink, due to a huge explosion. Wagner and Armstrong escape immediately, but Archer has to fight her way out of the bowels of the freighter. Because Archer could not obtain the required information, she and Goodman must return to the sunken freighter to finish gathering the intelligence left aboard. Archer goes SCUBA Diving, and after investigating the shipwreck and obtaining the captain's log and the cargo manifest, she is ambushed by H.A.R.M. divers sent from a Submarine commanded by Armstrong and Wagner. Archer escapes with the information and returns to the boat where Goodman is waiting.

Later, Archer is sent to check out a possible connection between H.A.R.M. and a large manufacturing firm named Dumas Industrial Enterprises, which was operated by Baron Archibald Dumas. Archer finds suspicious information in the Baron's office and she sets out to find the Baron to interview him. After the interview, Archer is highly suspicious that this dimwitted man could be connected to H.A.R.M. However she did discover that the Baron keeps all information about his company in a safe located at the Dumas Towers.

Archer sets out to infiltrate the Dumas Towers with the help of Goodman, gaining access to their highly guarded safe and photographing some relevant documents, despite heavy opposition, including an ear-splitting death-match against Wagner. However, after photographing the headquarters's final document, Archer escapes the heavily guarded towers only to witness Volkov shooting her second partner, Goodman.

Meanwhile, H.A.R.M. starts infecting and killing innocent people using Dr. Schenker's biological explosive development. The chemical is injected into the living host and it feeds on organic material until it culminates in a massive explosion. H.A.R.M. states that if their ransom demands are not met, they will continue to use human time bombs to cause destruction around the world. Archer embarks on a train ride to Washington State, where Dr. Schenker is believed to be imprisoned. Archer is able to find him and manages to escort him to safety from the secret underground base.

Having been delivered safely back to UNITY Headquarters, Dr. Schenker reveals that H.A.R.M. has the antidote that has been produced in a zero-g environment in outer space. Archer is then instructed to proceed to a small island located off the coast of Mandaru, where a suspected secret launch facility may be located. Archer discovers that there are no Antidote samples on the island, but a Rocket will be sent to the H.A.R.M. Space Station that afternoon to collect another shipment. Disguised as a H.A.R.M. Astronaut, Archer boards the rocket and travels to the station. While she is searching for the antidote, the space station is struck by a meteor shower, causing it to implode. Archer obtains a large antidote sample and uses an Escape Pod to return to Earth safely.

Now in possession of the antidote, UNITY needs the list of infected people so that they can be cured before detonation. Archer believes that the real mastermind behind H.A.R.M.'s events is the Baron's wife, Baroness Felicity Dumas, who is believed to be in possession of the list. Lacking other options, Archer is instructed to head to Dumas Chateau located in the German Alps. Archer follows the Baroness through town while her contact attempts to find a way up to the chateau. He directs her to a service gondola which is less guarded than the main one. After infiltrating the chateau Archer is once again knocked unconscious by Armstrong, who spares her life by locking her in a cell. The Baroness gloats over Archer about her plans to gain revenge on those that ostracized her and her mother after her father had passed away. The Baroness also informs Archer that she was infected with the biological explosive and should be dead soon. Wanting someone competent to watch the prisoner, the Baroness tasks Armstrong to guard the cell. Archer is able to provoke Armstrong into an ensuing fist fight. After being defeated, Armstrong agrees to let Archer go and tells her where the list is located. Archer proceeds into the hidden lair under the chateau and is able to track down the antidote and later, the list located in the Baroness's hidden office.

UNITY sends a strike force to rescue Archer from the chateau. Before Archer can reach them, the Baroness' Elite Guard trio attacks in an effort to retrieve the list. Archer fights them off and meets up with a UNITY agent to be escorted back to the helicopters, unfortunately he is killed in the firefight. As H.A.R.M. starts to attack relentlessly the UNITY team takes off without their objective; Agent Archer. As they travel back to the chateau, the infected Baron explodes with such force to blast off half of the chateau, leaving UNITY helicopters in awe.

Unbeknownst to them, Archer escaped and traveled down the mountain via a gondola, defeating the H.A.R.M. helicopters in the process. Near the bottom of the mountain Archer encounters Volkov and while they're exchanging threats, explosion from the chateau shakes the ground, sending both of them down the icy crevice. A gun duel ensues between two frozen rocks beneath the ground in an ice cold sinkhole. During their duel, Volkov extends his position and an avalanche from the brittle ice blocks send Volkov over the edge of a cliff. Archer makes it back to the town and calls Mr. Jones at Headquarters. Before Archer can deliver the list she is confronted by the Baroness and another gun duel ensues. After easily defeating her opponent, the Baroness reveals that she has also infected herself and is about to detonate. Archer hurries to clear the civilians off the streets and hides inside a building as the Baroness explodes.

Back at UNITY's headquarters, Cate is congratulated for a mission well done, and everybody leaves to grab some rest. Cate arrives at a graveyard where Lawrie was buried to pay her respects. She is then confronted by the supposedly long-dead Tom Goodman, who is pissed about not getting paid because of her and reveals that he is the real traitor within UNITY and a final gun duel ensues. Archer manages to injure Goodman and is about to arrest him, but Mr. Smith appears out of no where and shoots him; causing Goodman to fall into a freshly dug grave just behind. When Cate Archer questioned her entrance, Mr. Smith then tries to points his pistol at Archer as well. Then Mr. Jones appears to shot down Mr. Smith, revealing Smithy to be an additional traitor and he were watching them from the beginning. When Archer confronts Mr. Jones asking why he didn't warn Lawrie about the threat lurking at their ranks, Bruno Lawrie arrives, alive and well, states that he had been working undercover to expose traitors amongst them and explains underlying reasons of the operation. While they're talking, Mr. Smith attempts his one last ditch effort to shoot Archer but she kills Mr. Smith just in time by a well put shot. With Goodman and Mr. Smith shot dead, Mr. Jones and Lawrie explain to Archer that Bruno falsified his death so that they could find the real traitor. Seven years ago, Mr. Smith was taken out of the field by UNITY due to his age affecting his fieldwork. In order to sabotage UNITY as a way to avenge himself, Mr. Smith worked with H.A.R.M. to kill the real Tom Goodman and replace him with an impostor and to earn a large monetary payout in the process. When Archer's investigation initially foiled H.A.R.M.'s plan and she prevailed every trap that Mr. Smith sent her; both Mr. Smith and his mole were forced to reveal their true intentions. Archer reacts in shock upon finding out the truth and is furious that her grief was used to find the traitor.

In a post credit scene, it is revealed that Volkov survived the avalanche and reports back to H.A.R.M.'s mysterious Director. The Director states that he is already aware of the situation and that they will just have to try harder next time.

Game of the Year EditionEdit

After defeating H.A.R.M., Archer is sent on a relaxing vacation on an island in the South Pacific. A Monkey steals her gun and she gives chase. Upon entering the basement to the resort, Archer finds that H.A.R.M. is using the island as a secret base. Archer works her way through the resort eventually making it to a monkey-themed temple located within an active Volcano. Once inside, Archer is able to turn off the Lava control system, destroying the base.

PlayStation 2 EditionEdit

The PS2 version of NOLF1 had three extra scenes within the game. These scenes come about when Archer are knocked out by Armstrong. She has flashbacks to nine years earlier while she was still a cat burglar.

In the first scene, Archer sets out to make three picks while in London. The second scene has Archer cracking safes located within a pub. The last scene is when Archer replaced the Robin's Egg jewel with a fake.

These scenes are detailed in Nine Years Ago.


  • The game is directed by Craig Hubbard who also wrote the brilliantly hilarious dialogues in the game, left uncredited.
  • At some points in the game, Archer have to answer her superiors or interrogate her versaries with dialogue options. Picking the right choices will reward player with extra intelligence item which will reflect on your end of the level score.
  • Eavesdropping on enemy conversations can result in hilarious anecdotes and hearing forced accents. While not required to listen 'till the end, sometimes letting the enemies finish talking about their daily life allows you to have a better entrance or evade detection once they split ways.
  • At a few points listening to the civilians talk may give you extra information to use it when talking to others that reward you an intelligence item. Once civilians scared by gunfight or intimidated by the gun you're carrying, they won't react to you ever again however.
  • On the menu screen, Archer can be seen wearing sunglasses and holding a Shepherd Arms 9mm. In the actual game, however, Archer can only hold a weapon or a gadget, but not both.
  • NOLF1 had a rocky phase of introduction to the game world. When developers tried to describe the game, game journalists replied by asking if it's just like James Bond 007 series and if there's a rivalry which developers sorta denied.
  • One of the settings within the game would cause bodies to fade after they had been killed. Archer did not have the ability to move bodies in NOLF1.
  • Game only rewards you with increased armor or health when you found all the intelligence items on the previous mission and kept a high grade on completion.
  • Player can receive different awards from UNITY at the end of level for self preservation and stealth. Rewarded possible achievements are; not getting shot once, avoiding getting hurt or detected and so on.
  • At the start of each mission, the player can select which weapons and gadgets they wish to use. Some missions required gadgets that were not available when first played. Upon repeat playing of the missions, the player could select the needed gadget they unlocked and explore additional areas and intelligence items within the mission.
  • The most distinct features the game was having many different ammunition types for most of the each weapon. Different bullet types although fictitious, allowed player to gauge their power and change approach on the fly.
  • Another feature is boasting a large arsenal of modern firearms. While some weapons them have alternative names instead of real world ones, their model work is true to their real world counterparts.
  • Besides small modifications to weapons such as a scope or suppressor, Archer can also find addon equipment that grant passive benefits for her garment in the missions and unlock them for later use in the equipment screen before mission start.
  • Enemies only react to Archer's footsteps while completely disregard other thugs walking around loudly. This can be theorized as Archer's high heels are loud enough to take their attention. However when wearing a disguise such as spacesuit in the missions which apparently have flat treads, enemies still react to your footsteps.
  • Having a limited voice cast shows itself on enemy reacts to noise or sight and when engaging in. Only few different voices can be heard saying the exact same line of phrases at triggered occurances on the same pitch and pace.



  • Action Game of the Year awarded by PC Gamer. This magazine also ranked NOLF1 #44 on the Top 50 Games of All Time list.
  • Computer Games Magazine named NOLF1 Game of the Year and Action Game of the Year.
  • Computer Gaming World awarded Action Game of the Year 2001 to NOLF1. They also awarded Best Screenplay and Villain of the Year. In 2005 this magazine admitted NOLF1 into their hall of fame.
  • The International Game Developers Association awarded NOLF1 the Game Spotlight Award for innovation. This group also nominated NOLF1 for awards in the following categories the Game Developers Choice Awards: Game of the Year, Original Character of the Year and Excellence in Level Design.
  • Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences nominated NOLF1 for the 2001 Interactive Achievement Award in the Game Play Engineering category and the PC Action/Adventure category.
  • Gamespy ranked NOLF1 #19 on their Top 25 Underrated Games of All Time. They also awarded NOLF1 a Special Award for Story in 2000.
  • GameStar awarded NOLF1 Best Action Game in 2000. They also named the mission Unexpected Turbulence as one of the 10 coolest levels.
  • In 2001, PC Player magazine named NOLF1 Best Action-Adventure game of 2000.

Release InformationEdit

Publication DatesEdit

  • Canada
    • Windows- November 9, 2000
  • Denmark
    • Windows- December 8, 2000
  • Finland
    • Windows- December 8, 2000
  • France
    • Windows- December 2000
  • Germany
    • Windows- December 6, 2000
    • Windows (Game of the Year)- 2002
    • PlayStation 2- May 24, 2002
  • Japan
    • Windows- December 14, 2001
  • Norway
    • Windows- December 8, 2000
  • Poland
    • PlayStation 2- June 28, 2003
  • Russia
    • Windows- December 2000
  • Sweden
    • Windows- December 8, 2000
  • United Kingdom
    • Windows- December 8, 2000
    • Windows (Game of the Year)- 2002
    • PlayStation 2- May 24, 2002
  • United States
    • Windows- November 9, 2000
    • Windows (Game of the Year)- October 3, 2001
    • PlayStation 2- April 17, 2002
    • Macintosh- November 21, 2002

Patch DatesEdit

  • Retail English Version 1.001 Patch- December 7, 2000
  • International Version 1.001 Patch and Map Pack 1- December 23, 2000
  • Retail Version 1.002 Patch and Map Pack 2- March 2, 2001
  • Retail Version 1.003 Patch- April 27, 2001
  • Retail Game of the Year Version 1.004 Patch- October 13, 2001



External linksEdit

No One Lives Forever series
The Operative: No One Lives Forever · No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way · Contract J.A.C.K.
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