Max Payne: Wikis


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Max Payne
Developer(s) Remedy Entertainment (WIN)
3D Realms (producer)
Rockstar Toronto (PS2)
Rockstar Vienna (Xbox)
Rockstar Leeds (GBA)
MacSoft (Mac)
Publisher(s) Gathering of Developers (WIN)
Rockstar Games (PS2, Xbox, GBA)
Feral (Mac)
Tec Toy (BR)
Capcom (JP)
Valve Corporation (Steam)
MacSoft (Mac)
Series Max Payne
Engine MAX-FX
Version 1.05
Platform(s) Windows, Xbox, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Mac OS
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: M
BBFC: 15
Media 1 CD-ROM (WIN)
1 DVD (PS2), (Xbox)
1 cartridge (GBA)
System requirements Windows


  • Mac OS 9.1 or later or, Mac OS X v10.1.4 or later
  • 450 MHz PowerPC G3 processor
  • 900 MB free hard disk space
  • 128 MB RAM (with virtual memory set to 200 MB) (256 MB RAM required for OSX version)
  • 16 MB Open GL compatible graphics card
  • Open GL 1.2
  • CarbonLib 1.4
Input methods Windows and Mac

PlayStation 2 and Xbox

Max Payne is a BAFTA award winning[1] third-person shooter video game developed by Finnish Remedy Entertainment, produced by 3D Realms and published by Gathering of Developers in July 2001 for Windows. Ports later in the year for the Xbox, PlayStation 2 and the GameBoy Advance were published by Rockstar Games. A Macintosh port was published in July 2002 by MacSoft in North America[2] and Feral Interactive in the rest of the World. There were plans for a Dreamcast version of Max Payne, but they were canceled due to the discontinuation of the console.[3] Max Payne was re-released on April 29, 2009 as a downloadable game in the Xbox Originals program for the Xbox 360.[4]

Max Payne is one of the first video games to incorporate "bullet time" into its gameplay, made famous by The Matrix trilogy, as gunplay allows for slowing down of time to dodge bullets. The game features a gritty film noir style and uses graphic novel panels in place of cutscenes to narrate the game. Max Payne is heavily influenced by the Hong Kong action cinema genre, particularly the work of director John Woo,[5] as well as hard-boiled detective novels by authors like Mickey Spillane.[6] The game contains many allusions to Norse mythology, particularly the myth of Ragnarök, and several of the names used in the game are those of the Norse gods and mythos.

Max Payne received very positive reviews from critics and was praised for its exciting gunplay and use of noir storytelling devices. As of March 12, 2008,[7] the Max Payne franchise has sold over 7 million copies according to Take-Two Interactive.[8]



Max Payne is a third-person shooter, in which the player assumes the role of the titular character, Max Payne. Almost all of the gameplay involves using bullet time to gun down foe after foe. Levels are generally straightforward, with almost no key-hunting; however, some levels do incorporate platforming elements and puzzle solving. Nevertheless the prime emphasis of the game is on shooting. To move the game along, the player is told what the next objective is through Max's internal monologue, in which Max iterates what his next steps should be. Several of the game's levels involve surrealistic-symbolic nightmare dreams and drug-related hallucinations of Payne.

Initially, the player's only weapon is a 9mm semi-automatic pistol; as they progress, players access other weapons including handguns (Beretta 92 and Desert Eagle), shotguns (pump action and sawn-off shotguns and an automatic Pancor Jackhammer), sub-machine guns (Ingram and Colt Commando), M79 grenade launcher, a scoped bolt-action rifle, and melee and hand-thrown weapons (some of them can be dual wielded). The player can heal Max by consuming painkillers, which the player collects and carries. The game's AI is heavily dependent on pre-scripted commands: most of the apparently intelligent behavior exhibited by enemies, such as taking cover behind obstacles, retreating from the player, or throwing grenades, is pre-scripted (when replaying a level, enemies initially perform exactly the same behaviors each time).

The game play of Max Payne revolves heavily around bullet time, a form of slow motion — when triggered, bullet time slows down the passage of time to such an extent that the movements of bullets can be seen by the naked eye and enables Max to perform special combat moves. Although Payne's movement is also slowed, the player is still able to position the aiming reticle and react in real time, providing a unique advantage over enemies. Occasionally, when the last character of a group is killed, the viewpoint switches to a third-person view of his falling body with the camera circling around it; likewise, the camera may follow the path of a bullet fired by Max from sniper rifle.

The player's character is extremely fragile and dies after suffering only a few pistol and rifle bullets, or one accurate shotgun blast; most enemies have more endurance than the player character, with later enemies being able to survive two or three times as much damage as Max. Enemies also don't feel pain and thus do not react to being shot. Higher difficulty levels are extremely challenging; the "Dead on Arrival" level limits the player to only seven saves per chapter, and the "New York Minute" level forces the player to complete each chapter before the allotted time — replenished by killing enemies — is exhausted. Upon completing the game on "Dead on Arrival", the player unlocks the "The Last Challenge" ("End Combat" or "Final Battle" in the different versions), which is a fight in perpetual bullet time against 20 "killer suit" hitmen, each of them armed with a Pancor Jackhammer.


Graphic novel panels are used in place of cutscenes to narrate the game and add to the "film noir" feel.

The story is told in medias res, consisting of three main chapters ("The American Dream", "A Cold Day in Hell", and "A Bit Closer to Heaven"). The game begins in the winter of 2001, as the New York City finishes experiencing the worst blizzard in the history of the city. The intro sequence shows Max Payne, the most-wanted former police officer, standing with a rifle in his hands at the top of a skyscraper building as police units arrive. He has then a flashback going back three years ago. Back in 1998, Max is returning home to find that a trio of apparent drug junkies have broken into his house while high on a new designer drug called Valkyr. Max rushes to the aid of his family, but he is too late and his wife and their newborn daughter have been brutally murdered. After his family's funeral, Payne transfers to the DEA.

Three years later, Max Payne is an undercover operative inside the Punchinello Mafia family, which is responsible for the trafficking of Valkyr. B.B., his colleague in the DEA, gives Max a message asking him to meet Alex Balder, another DEA agent and Max's best friend, in the NYC Subway station. When Max arrives at the subway, he finds the mobsters of Jack Lupino, a Mafia boss in the Punchinello crime family, attempting a bank robbery through the station, resulting in an underground shoot-out. Working his way back to the surface, Max encounters Alex, who is then killed by an unknown assassin. As Balder was the only person that knew that Max was undercover, his death results in Payne losing his NYPD identity and the police consider him the prime suspect in the murder. Additionally, the Mafia find out that he is a cop and want him dead.

While searching for Lupino and the answers, Max busts a Valkyr drug deal and discovers that the Russian mobster Vladimir Lem is engaged in a turf war against Punchinello's men. Max eventually finds Vinnie Gognitti, Lupino's right-hand man; he then chases after wounded Vinnie through the city and finally learns from him about the location of Lupino's hideout. After gunning down the insane Lupino, Payne meets Mona Sax, a female hired killer, who laces his drink with Valkyr; in this state Max found by the Mafia, who proceed to torture him.

Max escapes the Mafia and gains access to a shipment of high-powered firearms belonging to Russian mob after killing one of Vladimir's traitors aboard the cargo ship Charon at the Brooklyn riverfront. After surviving a bomb ambush at the Mafia restaurant Casa di Angelo, Max uses the Russian mob's weapons to storm the residence of Don Punchinello, where he finds the body of his wife Lisa, Mona's sister. Max then discovers that the Don is only a puppet in the Valkyr market when the mafioso is killed by agents of Nicole Horne, the ruthless CEO of mysterious Aesir Corporation, in front of Payne. Horne herself then injects Max with an overdose of Valkyr and leaves him for dead, and he experiences a drug-induced nightmare involving his internal torment and guilt for not being able to save his family.

After he survives the overdose and awakens, Payne pursues his only lead which leads him to a steel foundry with a secret military researcher complex hidden beneath it. There he discovers that Valkyr was the result of Valhalla Project, an early 1990s attempt by the U.S. military to improve its soldiers’ stamina and morale following the earlier The Ladder experiments; the project was halted shortly after it began due to lackluster results, but was then restarted by Horne and Aegis. He also discovers that his wife accidentally found out about the project, so Horne let the crazed Valkyr test subjects loose in his house. However Aegis initiates "Operation Dead Eyes" to get rid of all witnesses and evidence of their involvement, killing all of scientists and self-destructing the underground bunker, from which Max escapes at the last moment.

Max then gets a call from B.B., who asks Payne to meet with him at a garage lot. It turns out B.B. was the one who shot Alex and framed Max for his murder; a running gun-fight then commences, with Max giving chase through the garage lot. After killing the traitor, Max gets a phone call from a man named Alfred Woden asking him to come to the Asgard Building. Alfred reveals himself to be part of a powerful secret society called the "Inner Circle", which has strong ties to the government. The Inner Circle members inform Max about who Nicole Horne is but say they cannot pursue her because "their hands are tied", so they ask Max to kill Horne in exchange for ensuring that any criminal charges against him are dropped. Asgard is however suddenly attacked by Aegis agents who kill every person in the meeting room except for Max, who manages to fight his way out, and Woden, who pretends to be shot.

Max enters the heavily-guarded main office of Aesir Corporation and makes his way to the top of the high-tech security building upwhile, avoiding the strafing runs by an armed helicopter, until he runs into Mona Sax again. Mona is shot in the head by Horne's men after refusing to shoot Max, yet her body vanishes. At the top Max finally confronts Nicole, who runs to the roof of the building, boarding the helicopter; racing after her, Max shoots the guy wires of the building's antenna, which snaps off the roof and comes crashing down, killing Horne and completing his revenge. The game's story thus returns to the very point where it first started. The NYPD SWAT arrives at the scene, arresting Max and leading him out of the building, where he sees Alfred Woden. Knowing that Woden will ensure his safe passage through the judicial system, Max smiles genuinely.

Max Payne the character

Max Payne (voiced by James McCaffrey) is a fugitive DEA agent and former NYPD detective whose wife Michelle and their baby daughter were killed in connection with the Valkyr drug case. Max goes undercover in the mob, and eventually becomes a one-man-army vigilante, in some ways similar to the character of the Punisher. He ends up killing hundreds of gangsters and conspiracy enforcers, while on the run from the police bent on stopping his vendetta against all those responsible for his family's death.

Max is a film noir's definition of a fall guy; a man who has been put into a fatalist situation beyond his will. Max is very isolated and has a dramatic and stylized sense of reality. He is an introvert and he takes this quality of himself to the extremes - often using half-metaphorical soliloquies to describe his feelings about his situation, his surroundings, or his actions. While extroverted before the murder of his wife and daughter (at the game's beginning, a different Max is seen: happily married, smiled, and had a 'bright' personality), Max loses all meaning of normal life, now blindly working toward his only remaining purpose: vengeance.[5] All the while, Payne shows signs of survivor's guilt, and makes his situation a paradox - though he considers his life to have ended "in a New York minute", he exhibits a strong desire to live, despite his inner monologue which describes his dark and utterly somber view of the world and his desire to actually be dead. While desperately wanting to die in order to see his family again, he also wishes to live in order to claim his revenge.

Payne clearly is an antihero as he says ("I was not one of them, I was no hero"). On the other hand he is not a morally ambiguous protagonist - he did not kill the catched Vinnie Gognitti (while he very well could have), and tried to get information from the Finito brothers by "playing it Bogart" and not by simply bursting through the door with guns in hand. Max is thus, more or less, just a man trying to claim one thing that is right (in his eyes), to avenge his loved ones. However, he has not nullified his feelings - he is taken with Mona Sax from the moment they meet, and befriends Vladimir Lem even though he is a criminal (although only on a beneficial level - a blessing for a man who has nobody to trust or to ask help for). However, all these can be judged otherwise as well: Max may have been hanging onto Mona because she was not there to kill him and sought a companion despite his wife and Vlad was only the enemy of his enemies (naturally, his friend).

Max is mostly recognised by his complex and off the wall use of metaphor and wordplay to describe his situation and the world around him. When interacting with his colleagues and normal people, he does not use metaphor. His use of metaphor is only "internal" and never externally expressed; this shows Max is speaking from his true feelings (many times Payne's internal dialog will contradict his response to a character he spoke to externally). Given that the story is "retold" by Max, this furthermore shows that he is telling his side of the story, from his point of view (what he sees of the situation).

By creating the character of Max Payne, 3D Realms "wanted to develop another strong character that would be the foundation for a new gaming franchise, much like we'd done with Duke Nukem."[9] For Max Payne, the title character was modeled after Sam Lake, the writer of the game; Lake also dressed up and played this role for the graphic novel cut scenes. It is often joked that Max had a constipated expression with his uncomfortable half grin/sneer; this joke is even mentioned in the sequel. For Max Payne 2, however, Lake declined the honor, and after extensive casting, Remedy chose the actor Timothy Gibbs to be the model for Max Payne. Actor James McCaffrey provided the voice of Max Payne in both games.

Other characters

  • Mona Sax (voiced by Julia Murney): The twin sister of Lisa Punchinello and a contract killer, Mona is the femme fatale of the game. She has a grudge against her sister Lisa's abusive husband, Mafia boss Angelo Punchinello, whom she desires to kill. After Puchinello is killed, she sides with Nicole Horne who hires her to kill Max. Finding herself unable to do so, she is shot in the head by Horne's henchman and collapses into an elevator. She reappears in the sequel as a playable character.
  • Nicole Horne (voiced by Jane Gennaro): The game's main antagonist who led a secret military program code-named Valhalla. She had Michelle Payne killed after she views a document that shows that Horne is still producing the Valkyr drug despite the fact that the project was suspended. Horne is killed by Max at the end of the game.
  • Alfred Woden (voiced by John Randolph Jones): For most of the game he remains an unseen character, only interacting with Max through phone calls where he either warns him of a coming threat or provides information. Towards the end of the game he meets Max face-to-face and introduces him to an Illuminati-like society known as the Inner Circle. Woden tells Payne that Horne is his real enemy and expresses his wishes for Payne to get rid of her. He is seemingly gunned down by Horne's men while in a meeting with Max, but is later seen on a security terminal getting up off the ground and leaving his dead comrades. He reappears in the sequel as a U.S. senator.
  • Angelo Punchinello (voiced by Joe Ragno): An Italian mob boss who distributes Valkyr and is in a gang war with the Russians. He remains the main villain through out most of the game until it was discovered that he was being controlled by Horne. He is later killed by Horne's goons before he can give Max too much information.
  • Vinnie Gognitti (voiced by Joe Dallo): A high-strung mobster working for Lupino who is terrified that his boss will kill him due to Lupino's Valkyr-induced psychosis. Max confronts him to discover where he can find Lupino, but this encounter results in Payne shooting Gognitti in the gut and then pursuing him through the city's buildings and rooftops. When Max catches up with him he forces the information out of Gognitti and leaves him bleeding in an alley. He reappears in the sequel as a Mafia underboss.
  • Vladimir Lem (voiced by Dominic Hawksley): A Russian mob boss and prominent gunrunner currently in a war against Angelo Punchinello. He teams up with Max providing him with weapons in one part of the game and occasionally chauffering him around to key locations. He reappears in the sequel as a charismatic restauranteer who maintains his shady connections in organized crime.
  • Jack Lupino (voiced by Jeff Gurner): A Mafia underboss and an occultist, who oversees Valkyr distribution for the Punchinello crime syndicate. He has been driven crazy by his Valkyr addiction and became a Satan worshipper, obsessed with making a Faustian pact with the Devil. When Max confronts him he is the middle of a Satanic prayer; a gun fight ensues and Lupino is killed by Payne.
  • B.B. Hensley (voiced by Adam Grupper): A corrupt DEA agent and a friend of Max. Receiving pay outs from Horne, he radios Max telling him to meet agent Alex Balder at the train station and then shoots Balder dead, framing Max for his murder. Towards the end of the game he meets Max and is revealed as a traitor working for Horne. Payne kills him in a gun fight.
  • Deputy Chief Jim Bravura (voiced by Peter Appel): He is pursuing Max for most of the game and is not deterred in arresting him, even though many commentators don't see the violence as a bad thing as mobsters are the only real victims. At the end he finally arrests Max. In the game's sequel he becomes Max's boss.
  • Michelle Payne (voiced by Haviland Morris): Working for the district attorney’s office, Michelle came across a file that incriminated Horne, which later led to her murder and the killing of her child. She often appears through the game in back flashes and nightmare sequences.

Norse mythology references

Most of the elements in the game are named for figures from Norse mythology. Although this is often seen as a nod to the Scandinavian heritage of the game's Finnish development company, Remedy Entertainment, this is something of a misconception; although Finland is often lumped together with the other Nordic countries, Finnish mythology actually differs considerably from its Norse counterpart. It's more likely that these themes were simply incorporated into the game out of appreciation for their iconic status.

The Aesir Corporation, mentioned frequently in the game and the primary source of the Valkyr drug, is named for the primary pantheon of Norse gods, the Æsir. The head of the Aesir Corporation is Nicole Horne; in the Ragnarök myth, the Gjallarhorn was sounded to announce the start of Ragnarök. The great snowstorm that takes place during the events of the game is a reference to the Fimbulvetr, the epic winter that precedes Ragnarök.[5] The Valkyr drug is a fictional military performance enhancer that turns its users into adrenaline-charged killers who experience hallucinatory images of death. The valkyries of Norse mythology were warrior-women who watched over battlefields, 'choosers of the slain' who took those who died with valor. In Max Payne, Project Valhalla is the government-funded conspiracy that developed Valkyr to enhance the combat effectiveness of the U.S. soldiers during the Gulf War. In Norse mythology, Valhalla was the afterlife of those selected by the valkyries; those who populated Valhalla would fight for the Norse gods in their wars. The computer network in the Valhalla base is named Yggdrasil, referring to the tree that connected the nine worlds in Norse cosmology.

Jack Lupino's gothic nightclub Ragna Rock is a play on the word Ragnarök, the Norse apocalypse, a battle between the Æsir and the giants that results in the death of many deities and the rebirth of the world. Lupino's surname refers to the Fenris Wolf, Lupino being a reference to the Latin name for wolf, lupus. In Norse mythology, the Fenris Wolf is a large wolf bound by the gods, but it will eventually grow too large for its bonds and escape during Ragnarök. Alfred Woden's surname refers to Wōden, the Anglo-Saxon version of Odin, a major god of the Norse pantheon; Woden's eyepatch also references Odin, who sacrificed his eye for wisdom and knowledge. Max meets Woden and the Inner Circle in the Asgard Building: Asgard is the Norse realm in which the gods lived. DEA agent Alex Balder, Max's partner, was shot by his partner B.B. In Norse mythology, Balder (or Baldur) was killed when a sprig or arrow of mistletoe was shot or thrown into his chest. Balder's death was set up by Loki, god of chaos and deception, just as B.B. deceived Alex and Max. Max's bullet time abilities seems to mirror these of the berserkers, Norse (or Viking) warriors who drove themselves into such a frenzy when they entered battle that they seemed superhuman-strong, fast, untiring and unable to feel pain; the image on his necklace is a Viking longship.

The Game Boy Advance version

The GBA version of the game was developed in 2003 by Mobius Entertainment Ltd (now known as Rockstar Leeds). Since it was developed on a far less powerful platform, this version differs greatly from the PC versions and its Xbox and PlayStation 2 ports: instead of a 3D shooter, the game is based on sprite graphics and is shown from an isometric perspective. However the gameplay features have remained very similar to the original, aside of the perspective change, including the use of polygonal graphics for the characters. The story also remained the same as in PC and console versions, though some levels from the original are omitted, and the game still features quite a large part of the original's graphic novel sections, complete with some of the voice-overs.


Remedy Entertainment developed an idea of a "3rd person action game" in late 1996, after completing Death Rally (their first game), inspired first by Loaded and then by the success of Tomb Raider (althrough determined to avoid its "horrid camera system").[9] According to the game's story and script writer Sam Lake, for him "the starting point was this archetype of the private eye, the hard-boiled cop" that would be used in a game with a “deeper, more psychological” story.[5] A game prototype and design document of the project, with the working titles Dark Justice and Max Heat (a wordplay on this is a TV show called Dick Justice and a porn film Max Heat, both featured in Max Payne 2), were soon created and shown to 3D Realms, who signed a development deal and production began.[10]

Remedy used their own game engine, which they dubbed MaxFX (or MAX-FX), which was used only in Max Payne and its sequel; a MaxFX level editor was also included in the release. The first public trailer showcasing an early version of the game's story and gameplay was shown at 1998 E3, gaining great interest due to its innovative content and effects, although 3D Realms producers later claimed they have deliberately avoided overhyping the game.[11] Max Payne was originally scheduled to be released in the summer of 1999, however it was repeatedly delayed and got heavily revamped in 2000 (in particular the game's graphics were improved with much more realistic textures). The game was eventually released for Windows on July 23, 2001.


Max Payne was well-received by critics with the PC and Xbox versions both scoring 89% on Metacritic.[12][13]

A BBC review said the game "is an atmospheric third-person shooter, clearly inspired by the cinematography of John Woo films and The Matrix, with captivating graphics and edgy, action sequences," and praised the graphics, gameplay and detail in the game.[14]


A sequel called Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne was released in 2003.[15] In March 2009, Rockstar Games announced Max Payne 3, to be released in 2010; it will be available for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Max Payne, a film loosely based on the video game, was released in 2008, starring Mark Wahlberg as Max and Mila Kunis as Mona.

See also


  1. ^ 3D Realms (October 28, 2001). "Max Payne wins prestigious BAFTA Award!". Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  2. ^ Rick Sanchez (June 14, 2002). "Max Payne Ships to Stores July 16th". Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  3. ^ IGN (July 27, 1999). "Max Payne Dreamcast details". Retrieved 2007-06-07. 
  4. ^ Treit, Ryan (2009-04-24). "Max Payne is an Xbox Original". Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  5. ^ a b c d The Making of Max Payne, Edge, November 2, 2008
  6. ^ "The noir of Max Payne". Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  7. ^ Matt Martin (2008-03-12). "Grand Theft Auto series has sold 66 million units to date". Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  8. ^ "Recommendation of the Board of Directors to Reject Electronic Arts Inc.'s Tender Offer" (PDF). Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.. 2008-03-26. pp. 15. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 
  9. ^ a b The Apogee FAQ: Max Payne and Max Payne 2
  10. ^ Remedy Entertainment - Company History
  11. ^ Game Matters: Max Payne: The Making of a Franchise
  12. ^ "Max Payne (PC) on Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  13. ^ "Max Payne (Xbox) on Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  14. ^ Hermida, Alfred (2001-09-21). "Dark, gritty world of Max Payne". BBC. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  15. ^ Ivan Sulic (May 22, 2002). "E3 2002: Max Payne 2 announced". Retrieved 2007-06-07. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Max Payne is a third-person shooter video game developed by Remedy Entertainment and published in 2001. It is set in modern New York and follows the titular DEA undercover agent who investigates the source of the designer drug Valkyr that caused deaths of his wife and daughter three years ago. At the beginning of the game, Max's cover is blown and he goes on a killing spree, targeting the distributors and masterminds behind Valkyr. The game borrows many stylistic elements from film noir and heroic bloodshed movies. A sequel, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, has been released in 2003.

Written by Sam Lake.


Max Payne

  • [opening narration] They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark to everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the trigger. And then it was over.
  • Life was good. A house on the Jersey side across the river. The smell of freshly cut lawns. The sounds of children playing. A beautiful wife and a baby girl. The American dream come true. But dreams have a nasty habit of going bad when you're not looking.
  • The sun went down with practiced bravado. Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding.
  • I didn't like the way the show started, but they had given me the best seat in the house, front row center.
  • When the darkness fell, New York City became something else, any old Sinatra song notwithstanding. Bad things happened in the night, on the streets of that other city. Noir York City.
  • Turn around, walk away, blow town. That would have been the smart thing to do. I guess I wasn't that smart.
  • Lupino thought he could get to us by taking out Alex and leaving me to take the fall for it. All he had gotten was my attention.
  • It was a lucky break. The goons inside were spooked, but luck always came with a price tag.
  • [after listening to a radio report accusing him of murdering his colleague] I had just gotten my fifteen minutes of fame.
  • One thing you can count on: You push a man too far, and sooner or later he'll start pushing back.
  • You play, you pay, you bastard.
  • Collecting evidence had gotten old a few hundred bullets back. I was already so far past the point-of-no-return I couldn't remember what it had looked like when I had passed it.
  • I might have laughed, if I had remembered how.
  • The word was out. A deadly virus released into the City's corrupt circulatory system. Something wicked this way comes. Max Payne at large.
  • Snow fell like ash from post-apocalyptic skies, but that was outside. Things would soon get hot in the Don's restaurant.
  • Gognitti bailed. I made like Chow Yun-Fat.
  • I don't know about angels, but it's fear that gives men wings.
  • Gognitti ran out of steam in a dead end valley with steam boiling out of the sewer grates, like all the fires of hell were burning high beneath us... It was shakedown time.
  • There was no glory in this. I hadn't asked for this crap. Trouble had come to me, in big dark swarms. The good and the just, they were like gold dust in this city. I had no illusions. I was not one of them. I was no hero. Just me and the gun, and the crook. My options had decreased to a singular course.
  • [after examining some of Jack Lupino's satanist literature and videos] The only thing I could take seriously was the thought of Lupino taking it seriously. He had been spending a lot of time getting intimate with the guy downstairs.
  • After Y2K, the end of the world had become a cliché. But who was I to talk, a brooding underdog avenger alone against an empire of evil out to right a grave injustice. Everything was subjective. There were only personal apocalypses. Nothing is a cliché when it's happening to you.
  • Alex and I had a few moments of glory between us. Crime fighting comrades, the best in NYPD-DEA collaborative team... Good-hearted macho bullshit like that. I would have given anything to have him here as my back up. No such luck. No luck at all.
  • [getting up from a broken chair he was tied to a moment ago] I felt like the chair I had broken to get free.
  • Vlad was one of those old time bad guys with honor and morals, which almost made him one of the good guys. None of us was a saint.
  • The Brooklyn riverfront was a maze of rusty containers, sharp-boned cranes looking up from the snowstorm. On a night like this you couldn't help but think of the dark army of dead men, sleeping with the fishes, cement shoes in line. No minotaur lurked in this labyrinth, but somewhere out there, on the clanking deck of his cargo freighter, the skipper of the Charon was waiting, like the ferryman of the river Styx.
  • Punchinello was burning to get me. The feeling was mutual. He was trying to put out my flames with gasoline.
  • It was colder than the devil's heart, raining ice pitchforks as if the heavens were ready to fall.
  • You'd find that Lady Luck was really a hooker, and you were fresh out of cash.
  • It wasn't about how good you were. It was chaos and luck and anyone who thought differently was a fool.
  • Staggering on the mill roof in ice and snow and wild wind, I was a Ninja. My Kung Fu was strong. I wasn't kidding anyone. At best, I was Superman on Kryptonite, about to fall through a skylight, down to where it was all going down.
  • He was trying to buy more sand for his hour glass. I wasn't selling any.
  • The shadows rushed me, bruised mug-shot faces hungry for revenge. They knew my weak points and closed in for the kill. The floor turned into a vortex of green blood. I fell.
  • [in a dream, when it is revealed to him that he's in a graphic novel] The truth split my skull open, a glaring green light washing the lies away. All of my past was just fragmented still shots, words hanging in the air like balloons. I was in a graphic novel. Funny as Hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of.
  • [in a dream, when it is revealed to him that he's in a computer game] The truth was a burning green crack through my brain. Weapon statistics hanging in the air, glimpsed out of the corner of my eye. Endless repetition of the act of shooting, time slowing down to show off my moves. The paranoid feel of someone controlling my every step. I was in a computer game. Funny as Hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of.
  • The bullet holes were rubies on her chest, blood glowing on her ivory skin. She was so beautiful. The killer was smiling.
  • I knew the appetites of ghosts intimately. They hungered for revenge.
  • You piece together a jigsaw and the final picture is you finishing that same puzzle, a mad green-eyed killer standing behind you. An urban legend come true.
  • Just when you thought you had reached the deepest depths of horror, it suddenly got worse. How to turn off that small voice inside your head that started to whisper that you should be glad... that now, if not before, your revenge was justifiable on any conceivable moral scale. That small voice proved, beyond any doubt, that I was damned.
  • Valkyr was meant to be a white-winged maiden that would lift you up to a warrior's heaven. Instead, it had turned out to be a one-way demon ride to hell. The devil was in the drug. I knew. I had met him.
  • B.B. turned out to be another cardboard cut-out bad guy. A bad cop on the take. A cowardly right-hand man fleeing from the scene, leaving his paid thugs to do his dirty work.
  • It was an impressive floor show, but I decided to leave early anyway. It was only a one story fall. Lucky me.
  • [about Alfred Woden] In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.
  • I had taken on the role of the mythic detective: Bogart as Marlowe, or as Sam Spade going after the Maltese Falcon. To unravel all the mysteries, following a path of clues to that final revelation, even if it would take me down to the cold, cavernous depths of a grave.
  • Mine wasn't the most original approach to the problem: An eye for an eye, the oldest principle of revenge. Old as dirt, still going strong. The cardinal rule in going after someone with an intention to kill was not to make it personal - which it almost always ended up being anyway. It did with me.
  • I had a bullet with Nicole Horne's name on it. I had ten thousand bullets with the hag's name on them.
  • A gunshot boomed and she [Mona Sax] fell down in slow-motion. She was a nice girl, not really a stone-cold killer, and now she was stone-cold dead.
  • Hacking through Horne's computer would have unearthed files of criminal plans, strategies for world domination, spy helicopter reports, illegal wire tap recordings, Internet porno, all of the above. Take your pick, I really didn't care anymore. [shoots the computer, breaking it] I had seen too much of it already.
  • [after killing Nicole Horne] They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark to everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the trigger. And then it was all over. The storm seemed to lose its frenzy. The ragged clouds gave way to the stars above. A bit closer to Heaven.
  • [closing narration] Woden was there in the crowd, standing by the sidelines. It wouldn't be over till the man with the patch would say so. He'd say the right words. I knew he would. He'd better. Woden grinned smugly. It was the grin of a winner. [Max is pushed into the police car] That made two of us.
  • So much for being subtle.
  • [at the begining of the final level of the game, chasing Nicole Horne]And now I was going to kill her - the queen of the underworld who had tried to lift herself a bit closer to heaven with her drug money. No begging, no bribes. She knew better. Honor among killers, "we who are about to die." Both of us knew how this would end: in pain and suffering.
  • Somewhere in the distance, a baby was crying.
  • Vinnie Gognitti, just the man I'm killing to see.
  • In the quiet air of the night, the club stood firm, like father like son, all thanks to Jack Lupino.
  • {Max walks in the baby's room} No, No,God please No!!

Nicole Horne

  • All this, because your wife stuck her nose into things that were none of her business. It's ridiculous that you've made it this far. You won't be alive when they get here.
  • [to her thugs] What do you mean he's unstoppable? You are superior to him in every way that counts. You are better trained, better equipped, you outnumber him at least 20 to 1. Do... your... job!
  • Max Payne, face it, you're up against an unbeatable force. You have already lost. You have lost. Only death will set you free from your pain.


  • Vinnie Gognitti [in a letter]: Jack [Lupino]'s gone voodoo. The other day he shot Dino coz he wanted to see what his brains looked like splattered on the wall. He's a freakin' mad dog. We're runnin' out of men an' business fast...
  • [repeated by many characters throughout the game] The flesh of fallen angels!
  • Jack Lupino: The flesh of fallen angels! Come to me, all!... Astaroth, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Baphomet, Lucifer, Loki, Satan, Cthulhu, Lilith, Hela! Blood to you all!
  • Jack Lupino: Mythic wolves let loose to devour the sun and the moon... Lupino is the wolf. I'm Mr. Beast, the big bad Fenris wolf, I'm The-End-of-the-World-Man, wearing the flesh of fallen angels...
  • Vladimir: There's this guy, Boris Dime, used to pull jobs for me. He's the captain of the cargo ship Charon. Now that bastard turncoat's gone over to the other side, Punchenello's. The ship's loaded with high-res hardware, guns, my business. If Punchenello gets a hold of that cargo, he's won and I have lost, and you'll have your work cut out for you. If you want to get to Punchenello you'll need heavy duty persuaders. I'm just the man to get them for you. Change the ship back under my flag, maybe pop two in the traitor Dime's head while you're at it... you'll have enough guns to start the apocalypse.
  • Random thug: You know what I'm talking about. In all the cool action movies, and I'm talking about the coolest of the cool, it always seems like time slows down in the middle of the action. You know, you can see the bullets flying through the air, the hero dodging in slow-motion. Oh man, it would be so cool to be able to do that. Bullet-time, that's what they call it. Bullet-time, yeah heh, would be so cool.


Max Payne [over a phone]: We come to now live from the crime scene.
Jim Bravura: Who is this?
Max Payne: Right back at you.
Jim Bravura:This is Deputy Chief Jim Bravura from the NYPD. You are to cease your criminal activities and surrender immediately.
Max Payne [surrounded by corpses he killed a minute ago]: Sure thing, Jim. Me and the boys been talking, and everyone's real sorry. They'll never do it again.
Jim Bravura: Who the hell is this?
Max Payne [narrating]: Being placed at the scene of a bank robbery wouldn't have tipped the odds in my favor.

Alex Balder: Hold it... Max! Jesus, you almost gave me a heart attack! I nearly shot you!
Max Payne: Alex... am I glad to see you.
Alex Balder: What the hell's going on? There are more corpses here than at the City Morgue!
Max Payne: It's an armed robbery. A tunnel job straight through the Roscoe Bank vault through the old station wall. Is this why...This is Lupino's gig?
Alex Balder: This is Lupino's doing? Lupino's men? Really?
Max Payne: You sure know how to pick a place. Can you get through?
Alex Balder: No, it's locked. We've gotta get outta here. If it's Lupino, it's...
[an unidentified gunman shoots Alex and immediately leaves the scene]
Max Payne: Alex? Alex!
Max Payne [narrating]: There was nothing I could do. He was dead. I could tell by the empty accusing stare of his eyes.

Joey Finito: Ladies and gentlemen, it's the pain in the butt.
Virgillio Finito: Pain to the Max!
Max Payne: You're killing me. Did you make that up yourselves, or did you get some wino downstairs to come up with it? Don't answer that. A rhetorical question. I got something for the boss. Lupino around?
Joey Finito: That kinda depends who's askin' - a friend or a junk squad plant! But don't answer! It's one of them... ah... how'd you put it... rhetorical questions.
Virgillio Finito: Lupino ain't here, but he says "Bye!"

Random Thug 1: Why are vampire movies always set in L.A. or New Mexico? They cant even get a tan! If I were a blood sucker I'd move to the North pole. Winter's one looong night.
Random Thug 2: What would you do for food? Suck blood from penguins?
Random Thug 1: Naw, Eskimos, man, Eskimos.

Vinnie Gognitti [after Max fires an empty gun to his head]: Okay! I'll tell you, just don't hurt me no more! Lupino's at Ragnarock, the nightclub! Take me in! Book me! Haul me in to freakin' jail! Just don't hurt me!
Max Payne [dropping the gun and latching a set of handcuffs on Gognitti as he leaves]: Your rights will be read at your funeral.

Max Payne [running into Mona Sax, Max's gun pointed]: Lisa Punchinello?
Max Payne [narrating]: Lisa Punchinello was the Don's Wife
Mona Sax: Mona Sax. Lisa's evil twin.
Max Payne: Your safety's off, Evil Twin. You could hurt somebody with that gun of yours.
Mona Sax: Lisa's the damsel in distress. I'm the professional. I'd blow you away without batting an eye.
Max Payne: Sure, and you can check out my credentials splattered all over this joint.

Frank Niagara: Pleased to meet you. I'm Frankie "The Bat" Niagara.
Max Payne: Niagara, as in you cry a lot?
Max [narrating]: He had a baseball bat, and I was tied to a chair. Pissing him off was the smart thing to do.
  • All I had was Niagra's bat,sticky and covered with my own blood.
  • Without a gun, I'd be no match for Frankie's men, I would have to play hide and seek with them.

Vladimir: Bang! You're dead Max Payne.
Max Payne [narrating]: I would have laughed, if I could have remembered how.
Max Payne: What's this supposed to be, Cops and Robbers? Look, you want something with me, get in line.
Vladimir: Peace, man, relax. You know you are a real news item? "Armed and dangerous". I'm going to make you an offer you can't refuse... [chuckles] I've always wanted to say that.
Max Payne: It's a bum rap. I've been framed.
Vladimir: That's a moot point. Whatever you did or didn't not do, I'm sure you've had a good reason for doing it. Want to hear me out?
Max Payne: I'm listening.

Angelo Punchinello [on the Charon's ship phone]: Dime? Angelo Punchinello here.
Max Payne: [chuckles] Angie! Tell me, how much did Dime cost you? I bet it was more than his name.
Angelo Punchinello: Max Payne?
Max Payne: Right the first time.
Angelo Punchinello: You're dead, punk!
Max Payne: You sure you're not confusing me with Boris here? But you are right, of course. Pretty soon we should get together and have a talk.
Angelo Punchinello: You son of a - !
[Max hangs up]
Max Payne [narrating]: Pissing Punchinello off was a dangerous game. But when people get mad, they make mistakes. I should know. That's where I wanted Punchinello, mad enough to trip over his own feet, preferably into a grave.

Vladimir: You get everything you need?
Max Payne: Check.
Vladimir: I owe you. Anything you need.
Max Payne: This is my solo. When I'm through, Punchinello won't be anybody's problem anymore.
Vladimir: Clear as vodka. But anytime you get between a rock and a hard place, just whistle. This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Max Payne: You really get a bang out of this big-time gangster act, don't you?

Nicole Horne: It will be a cold day in Hell before I let a Narc cop stop me. Ms. Sax, do your job.
Mona Sax: Relax Max, you're a nice guy. I don't kill nice guys.
Max Payne: You're not bad yourself.

Voice actors

External links

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Max Payne
Box artwork for Max Payne.
Rockstar Vienna
Feral Interactive
Release date(s)
Xbox Originals
 April 27, 2009, 2009
Genre(s) Third-person shooter
System(s) Windows, Xbox, PlayStation 2, Mac OS, Steam, Direct2Drive, Xbox Originals
Players 1
ESRB: Mature
BBFC: 15
OFLC: Mature Accompanied & Restricted
CERO: Ages 18 and up
Followed by Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
Series Max Payne
This is the first game in the Max Payne series. For other games in the series see the Max Payne category.
For the Game Boy Advance game, see Max Payne (GBA).

Table of Contents

Getting Started
  • Controls


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Max Payne

Developer(s) Remedy Entertainment
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Release date July 25, 2001
Genre Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: M
Platform(s) Windows, Macintosh, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gameboy Advance
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough


Plot Summary

Max Payne, an NYPD Detective working in Hell's Kitchen, New York City, returns home to find several violent junkies in his house. In the ensuing gunfight, he stumbles upon the body of his dead newborn daughter and his wife. Subsequent investigations reveal that the junkies were high on Valkyr, a new drug being dealt on the streets, at the time of the murders. Three years later, Max is now an undercover agent in the DEA and embedded in the Punchinello Mafia family, which deals in Valkyr. Max is asked to meet Alex Balder, a fellow officer and friend of Max, in the subway. However, when he gets there, he finds a dead police officers body in a bathroom. Max realizes he's in trouble and searches for Alex Balder, shooting a countless number of Punchinello thugs. On the way, he rescues an officer about to be executed (who was killed not too long later) and thwarts a robbery beneath the subway system. Max meets up with Alex after blasting down a door the robbers were using to steal gold. Alex hints that Jack Lupino may be behind the events that have recently occurred. However, before he can say more, an assassin shoots Balder several times at a point blank range, killing him. Max flees the subway, shooting a few more thugs on the way and barely evading police capture. The police believe that Max Payne was the one who murdered Alex Balder.

Still using his undercover identity, Max visits the Finito brothers, two highly known members of the Punchinello Mob, in a hotel to see if they know where Lupino is. Upon seeing them, his cover is blown. Max and the Finito brothers have a shootout, leading to the deaths of the Finito brothers. Max finds a clue in their room that leads him chasing for Vinnie Gognitti, another highly known criminal associate of the Mob. While searching for him, Max kills several more criminal associates, including a hustler named Rico Muerte and a prostitute named Candy. Max finds and shoots Gogniti in an alleyway and interrogates him. He reveals that Lupino is at a nightclub called Ragnarok downtown. Max leaves Gognitti bleeding in the alleyway.

Max arrives at the nightclub and shoots every thug that gets in his way. When Max reaches the top floor, he fights his way through a small group of thugs and eventually finds Jack Lupino, who apparently is high on Valkyr. Despite this, Max kills Lupino, shooting him multiple times even after he died. After killing him, Max meets a woman named Mona Sax, who both share a drink of whiskey. Unknowingly to Max, Mona spiked his drink. Max slips into unconsciousness and is taken away by the Mob.

After having a disturbing nightmare, Max Payne wakes up only to find himself tied to a chair; he is being interrogated by Frankie "The Bat" Niagra. Max jokes about the name, saying he cries a lot. Frankie returns the favor by hitting him in the head with a baseball bat. Frankie leaves Max Payne to go to the bar, where Max makes his escape. Although critically injured, Max still manages to heal himself and kill all of Frankie's thugs (using only a baseball bat from the start). Max surprises Frankie by arriving at the bar he said he was going to. The two have a gunfight and, as a result, Frankie is killed.

After leaving the bar, Max is being tailed by Vladimir Lem, the leader of the Russian Mob. Vladimir makes a deal with Max: In order to acquire an arsenal to take out the Don, Max'll have to kill Boris Dime, who has taken over Vladimir's cargo ship. Max kills Dime and all of his associates, thus gaining access to a weapons cache inside the cargo ship.

Don Punchinello calls Max Payne and tells him to meet him at one of his restaurants. Max knows that the Don won't be there, but goes anyway. Upon entering, the restaurant begins to explode; Max unknowingly walked into the Don's trap. Max eventually escapes the burning restaurant and walks outside.

Max Payne arrives at Don Punchinello's mansion, noticing the guards at the back gate are dead, thanks to Mona. Max kills all of the Don's henchmen, including his three loyal bodyguards and capos. He also discovers Lisa Punchinello (Mona Sax's twin sister) lying dead on the Don's bed. Before confronting Punchinello, Max hears a helicopter outside, but it isn't a police chopper. Max confronts Don Punchinello and he reveals that someone in the government is connected to Valkyr and his wife's murder. Suddenly, three government agents in suits storm the room and kill Punchinello. Payne quickly kills them and decides to leave the mansion. As soon as he leaves Punchinello's room, several agents and a woman named Nicole Horne are surrounding him. Nicole gives Max Payne a large quantity of Valkyr, leaving him to die. Before passing out, Max hears Nicole tell her agents to take her back to Cold Steel.

Max survives the overdose and pursues his only clue, which leads him to a military bunker protected by many mercenaries. After killing a handful of mercenaries and being discovered, Horne's agents decided to initiate a self-destruct program (despite the fact mercenaries are still inside). Max kills the agents as well as the rest of the mercenaries. Shortly before leaving the bunker, Max Payne finds out what Valkyr was really for. The government tried making a drug that increased the stamina and performance of soldiers, but the project failed. Nicole Horne decided to continue these experiments however. Payne's wife accidentally found out about this experiment and was killed for it. After seeing this file, Max escapes the bunker mere seconds before it explodes.

Max receives a call from B.B.(another fellow officer of Max) and he tells him to meet him atop of a parking garage. Max finds out that B.B. killed Alex Balder and framed him and that B.B. was going to finish the job by killing him. Despite B.B. telling Max that "You can't win this one." he makes sure that B.B. doesn't leave the parking garage alive. Max kills B.B. and all of his thugs. Max then receives a phone call from a man named Alfred Woden to meet him at the Asgrad building.

Woden reveals to Max that he is part of a secret organization called the Inner Circle. He tells Max that if he kills Nicole Horne, the CEO of Aesir Corp., he'll be free of all his police charges. Shortly after offering the deal, the room is stormed by Horne's agents and all the Inner Circle members (except Woden, who fakes his death) are killed. Max escapes the room and kills all the mercenaries and agents inside the Asgrad building. Before leaving, he takes a tape of Alfred Woden with a prostitute as blackmail in case he backs out of the deal.

Max arrives at Aesir Corp. and shoots all the mercenaries and agents he sees. He also survives getting shot at by three mercenaries with grenade launchers. When Payne gets to the elevator, he is surprised that Mona is inside and she points her gun at Max's forehead. Nicole tells Mona to kill Max, although she isn't able to. More agents in suits arrive and try to kill Payne. Instead, they shoot Mona Sax in the head. After Max kills the agents, he opens the elevators again, only to be shocked that Mona's body isn't there. Max enters the elevator and destroys mines that have been placed inside the elevator shaft. Max Payne continues to kill agents and mercenaries. When Max enters an elevator that leads to a higher floor, he is ambushed by Horne's spy helicopter and is almost killed. He evades the assault by jumping into the adjacent elevator and going to the top floor. Payne confronts Horne and kills four more agents. Shortly afterward, he is ambushed by the spy helicopter again and survives. Max guns for Nicole, shooting any agents that get in his way. As a last ditch effort, Nicole throws a grenade at Max, which doesn't kill him. Nocle and Max arrive on the roof. Before Payne could kill Nicole, she escapes into her spy helicopter and locks the doors behind her. Max shoots out two cables supporting a large mast that is leaning right next to the helicopter...


Ending A: Max is unable to shoot out the remaining cables and the helicopter takes off. Max shoots at the spy helicopter, but it's no use; the helicopter riddles Max Payne with bullets and kills him.

Ending B: Max shoots out another support cable and kills four more agents. He then shoots out the last support cable, making the mast critically unstable. Finally, Max shoots several bullets at the mast itself, cutting it in half. The mast slowly falls toward Nicole's helicopter and crashes onto it, blowing up the helicopter just as it's about to take off. The helicopter pad, the spy helicopter, and the mast all fall hundreds of feet toward the ground, exploding into pieces. Nicole's helicopter is flattened by the pad. Max Payne looks down at the wreckage and releases his finger from the trigger just as the police arrive to take him into custody. But he doesn't care; Nicole Horne's dead and he's avenged his wife's murder.

Deputy Chief Jim Bravura takes Max Payne into custody. While inside the police cruiser, Payne glances at Woden, who was standing in the crowd of men and women. Both of them smile smugly, a "smile of a winner" as Max said.


The game contains many references to Ragnarok, the Norse end of the world, during which the world is swallowed by snow and darkness. One of the levels takes place in a night club called Ragna Rock. While inside of Ragna Rock, Max comes across a book entitled The Age of Murder and Storm which mentions "Norse mythos and Ragnarok".

External Links

Official site

This article uses material from the "Max Payne" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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