Blood Money is the fourth game in the Hitman series, released in 2006 on PC, X-Box, X-Box 360 and Playstation 2. Like the first three games, levels typically require the player to assassinate one or more targets using a mixture of force, stealth, disguise, and puzzle-like manipulation of objects in the level.
Timing note: The time is calculated by manually timing the first and last stages and using the in-game times for the other stages.
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Individual-levels run on Pro difficulty in 0:22:44:
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|Death of a Showman||0:03:24||2009-09-03||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|A Vintage Year||0:01:11||2009-05-06||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|Curtains Down||0:00:24||2009-09-29||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|Flatline||0:03:54||2009-08-23||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|A New Life||0:00:38||2009-05-07||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|The Murder of Crows||0:00:33||2009-05-16||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|You Better Watch Out...||0:01:13||2009-07-11||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|Death on the Mississippi||0:01:08||2009-05-04||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|Till Death do us Part||0:00:38||2009-04-23||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|A House of Cards||0:05:41||2009-10-08||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|A Dance with the Devil||0:02:14||2009-05-10||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|Amendment XXV||0:01:45||2009-09-29||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|Requiem||0:00:21||2009-05-08||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
Mark Amery's comments:
Okay, I'll start these comments with technical points necessary to understand the run. This is my IL NG+ speedrun of Hitman: Blood Money on Pro (the hardest of the four difficulties). IL means each level was run in its own segment and you can obsolete each level individually. NG+ means that the levels were replayed after finishing the game, so I had access to all Standard Weapons and all Upgrades from the beginning. This isn't a 100% or SA run, so I don't need to complete secondary objectives or get Silent Assassin rating.
All levels that can be timed with the in-game timer are. There are two important things to know about the in-game timer: firstly, it pauses in menus (of which the only two you'll see in this run are the inventory menu and briefing screen) and secondly, it slows down proportionately during the near-death bullet time you get when you're first reduced to 0 health. The tutorial and epilogue (Death Of A Showman and Requiem) do not have an in-game timer and so are timed manually (meaning that any time spent on menu screens or in bullet time would be counted fully, unlike the levels that use the in-game timer. This timing difference turns out to be important on both levels and requires minor tweaks to their strategies.)
Before this run, I did a Single Segment run on Rookie. It wasn't that impressive or interesting, really, I only did it to beat a run I verified, and as such it'll come off SDA the moment this run (which is well over a minute faster) goes up. If you desperately want to see it for some strange reason, it can be found on my YouTube channel.
A lot of people have contributed things that were vital to this run. In no particular order:
Siyko - did the original SS run without which I would never have run this game. Also, my routes for almost all the levels are, overall, basically the same as those from Siyko's SS (with important tweaks, naturally).
msqrt and TheKotti - who are working on a SA-rank run at the moment, and with whom I have traded ideas and tricks throughout my work on this run. No ideas that were originally theirs made it into my runs, but they did bring to my attention (either by using them in their own videos, or linking me to videos of others on YouTube) several important tricks found by others I might not have discovered otherwise, and drew my attention to another hole in the Oval Office on Amendment XXV (it's on the roof), without knowledge of which I probably wouldn't have looked for and found the one I use in this run. They also helped me a little with developing my route for Flatline by confirming early on that it is possible to get the morgue doors open before they're unlocked (although they used a different method to me).
TI2ophy - who originally found the stair glitch I use to escape on Death On The Mississippi.
mikepenance - from whose FAQ on GameFAQs I determined that using a bomb to get into the elevator on Flatline is indeed possible. I'd already come up with the idea myself and been testing it, but without any success, and was about to write it off as impossible when I found mikepenance's FAQ saying that he'd in fact done it.
gotler - for discovering that it's (barely!) possible to shoot the final target on The Murder Of Crows through the window. My old route involved running into the street below the window and throwing a bomb through it, which was 6 seconds slower.
coffeoscar96 - who discovered that you can just run off the edge of the balcony in the medical wing on Flatline without triggering the shimmy ledge, instead of taking the stairs - something that every speedrunner who ran the level, including me, somehow missed.
fiske1739 - who pointed out the extra bomb in your hotel room on A House Of Cards, which I never knew about (d'oh!)
ShinraDream - who also did a 0:24 run of Curtains Down long before I came along, which my run is simply a copy of.
Now, the level-by-level comments:
Death Of A Showman
Pretty much just running through, shooting the target on the way. I unbound the main menu hotkey from Escape so that I could hammer Escape before cutscenes to skip them the moment they started. There were really only two ways this run could go wrong - messing up shooting the gangsters' bodies towards the boxes or dying (note that because the level is manually timed, it would cost me time to heal with painkillers). Unfortunately, both of these things happened most of the time.
A Vintage Year
Probably close to perfect. Thanks to a clever mine throw I came up with to kill the second target, I can pretty much run straight to the level exit by the shortest possible route, killing the targets on the way. Getting that mine to land on the balcony is tricky, though.
You may be wondering why I take the effort to kill everyone on the stage. Well, I can't help but be spotted throwing the mine I use to kill Alvaro. This will make the guards alerted and the civilians panic. Now, Alvaro has a script that makes him retreat to the safety of his changing room if there are people alert or panicking on stage, which will stop me from exploding him. However, the people can't be panicking if they're dead. Problem solved.
A nightmare to run, so much luck is needed, but I'm pleased with the final result. The civilian I scare into opening the locked doors for me at the beginning only has a 1 in 6 chance of even taking the right route, and half the time when he does he doesn't get there in time. There is a much more reliable way to get those doors opened, which is to lure out the guards from the Medical Wing with a bomb, but that also attracts the guard from the start of the level, meaning he'll be close enough to the bomb I use in the medical wing when it goes off to hear that too, so he'll run towards the medical wing and not be available to lure through the morgue doors when I need him to later. So I have to use this frustrating method with the man in the green shirt instead.
Once in the medical wing, I throw a bomb next to the door to the elevator to the medical tunnel. This door is supposed to be unopenable and the tunnel inaccessible, but enemies can open it if you either make them sidestep into it during combat (almost impossible in a speedrun) or lure them through it with a bomb, which works about one time in 20. Between this and greenshirt at the beginning, as well as several other minor opportunities to mess up (like missing shots), my odds of success are very low indeed on this level.
Getting into the medical tunnel has two advantages. Firstly, the agent starts being taken to the morgue the moment you leave the medical wing, and whatever route you use you're going to be waiting for him at the end of the level so you want him to set off as fast as possible; the elevator is the fastest way out of the medical wing and so is the optimal route. Secondly, it gives you early access to the morgue.
Once in the morgue, I lure the guard outside through the locked, unopenable doors using unsilenced gunfire, then kill him and drag his corpse into the doorway to jam the doors open so I can get back in later. I check my objectives menu to see who I have to kill (the target names always correspond to the same characters on the level - Carmine is the weightlifter in the green shirt, Ruby is the guy in the Jacuzzi with the pink shirt, and Lorenzo is the guy cooking upstairs in the blue shirt - but the game randomly selects on each attempt which one of them is the primary target and which two are optional. You can tell which is which from the order they appear in the objectives menu), then kill him in a leisurely manner and make my way back to the morgue, where I still have to wait for Agent Smith to arrive.
Once he does, I can revive him earlier than would normally be possible (since I'm in the morgue before the doors unlock) and leave the level.
A New Life
In, shoot the dude, shoot his wife, nick her necklace, out. A quick and simple run. The only trick here is swapping to the first person view while I'm grabbing the necklace; this automatically rotates 47 to face in whatever direction the camera is facing, which saves a few frames of turning when I start running again.
The Murder Of Crows
The first target (who I kill with a bomb) randomly spawns in one of three buildings on the level, and for my route to work I need him to spawn in this one, meaning two in every three attempts get binned the moment I run out of the hotel door. A number of attempts where he spawned in the right place were also binned due to messing up the bomb throw. The real challenge of this level, however, is scoring the headshot on the final target.
The minor elevation afforded by the mound of earth around the tree is just enough to be able to hit the very top of the target's head above the balcony as he passes the window. (The balcony itself is solid - you can't shoot through the gaps between the bars.) However, it is entirely random (as best I can tell) when he starts walking, meaning in 98% of runs I'll have to stand around by the tree waiting for the target to come into view - which obviously precludes getting the fastest possible time. So I need to restart until I get a run like this one where I have an open shot the moment I reach the tree, and then I have to turn, look for his head, and nail the shot quickly. That shot was probably the difficult moment of the entire run, so it's lucky for me that it happens to be in one of the shortest levels.
Oh, and then I have to survive the run to the exit, of course. As with most levels, survival is mostly luck.
You Better Watch Out...
A fun level to run. Since there's an elevator ride near the start, I get to play with this game's ultimate close combat weapon - the concealable sniper rifle. Yes, paradoxically it's easily the best close range gun in the game, thanks to a rate of fire that's as fast as some of the submachine guns and the fact that it kills anyone in a single hit to anywhere on the body. The only reason I don't use it for every level is that it needs to be unpacked before it can be used, which normally costs time - but not if you unpack it during the downtime on an elevator ride.
The bomb I throw onto the top of the elevator is used to scare Chad and Lorne, the level's targets. Both of them run semi-randomly, and I just have to retry until both of them end up in my path to the video tape so I can kill them on the way.
Like on A New Life, I swap to first person while grabbing the tape to save a few frames of turning animations.
I miss my first shot on Lorne, and thought I was going to end up restarting the level, but by a stroke of luck it actually works to my favour since he opens a door for me as he flees and I still get him on the way back to the elevator.
Death On The Mississippi
I use the first person view for most of this level because I find it easier to aim with, especially at close range indoors where your own body often blocks your view in third person mode. The bomb at the level start that I use to kill the first target isn't strictly necessary; I could just as well shoot him, but this is easier since I don't have to aim. At the end I run up the edge of the stairs and drop off to get over the banister of the balcony, letting me drop straight down to the level exit.
Till Death Do Us Part
Another quick level; I blow up the father through a wall, shoot the groom and head to the nearest escape point. For those who don't know - there are two exits from this level, one back where you started and the other on the priest's boat. I kill the priest and take his key because this is necessary to use the boat escape route.
A House Of Cards
This level is pretty much on a timer, since you can't leave until you've killed all three targets and the third target takes over 5 minutes to arrive. Besides making sure you don't block any of the limos as they leave, the only thing you can do to speed up his arrival is bombing the civilian limos as they arrive. This saves time because the game normally makes parked limos drive off after their passengers have disembarked and closed the doors, but if you kill a passenger before this can happen the game detects that the script has been broken and has the limo leave 5 seconds after passenger death instead. This saves about 5 seconds.
I fetch the extra bomb from my hotel room, bomb two limos, block open the doors to the exit with corpses, and plant a bomb ready for the final target. Then I blow him up from the farthest possible place and at the earliest possible moment, and leave.
In case you're wondering, I don't lose any time, even frames, by talking to the receptionist, since everything continues in the background during the cutscene. Also, you may be wondering why I wait before detonating the bombs under the limos; this is because the passengers don't actually spawn until after the limos have stopped (and in the third targets case, much later). Thirdly, you might be wondering why I turn the level into such an ugly bloodbath; this is because I never managed to prop open the exit doors with corpses without starting a fight, and if a fight is inevitable you may as well just wipe out everyone from the get-go since even a civilian can pick up a pistol and become a threat. Finally, you may be wondering why, instead of bombing the limos, I can't just as well shoot the passengers; the answer is that sadly they are all magically bullet-proof until after they have left the limos.
A Dance With The Devil
No tricks here, just run 'n' gun and four long elevator rides. There's probably a couple of seconds to be saved by being a better shot than me. In case you're wondering, the guards I kill before getting the elevator down to the basement all have to die or they'll call the elevator back up to chase me down there while I'm busy killing the first two targets, which screws up my plan. Also, getting from the Hell elevator to the Heaven elevator by crossing over the top is about half a second faster than going through the doors.
Probably the most remarkable thing about the level is the insane luck I get surviving as I flee from the Heaven party - one more hit and I would've had to restart.
Hard level, mainly because lots of mean people with big guns want to shoot me. I'm still surprised I ever survived to the end. The overall route is: run to the Oval Office, throw a bomb through a tiny hole in the level at the top of the window frame of the middle window where some level designer was careless about making sure that lots of touching solids all overlapped properly, blow up Parchezzi and escape. Oh, and shoot the Vice President somewhere along the way when it's convenient.
There's probably at least a second's potential improvement here by more optimised movement (I get momentarily caught on a corner at one point, and several times I have to turn away from the path I'm running on to shoot nearby guards).
Like on Death On The Mississippi, I die just after I 'Escape' from the level, but the game still considers it to be Mission Accomplished.
This level is quick and simple, there are just a couple of points to make. Firstly, after headshotting the eight guards in the starting room, I have enough ammo in my ballers for one more shot but if I fire it, 47 will automatically reload them which takes an eternity and there's no way I can stop the reload or drop the guns until he's done. So swapping weapons to kill the wheelchair guy is a necessity, and the mp7 is the better of the two choices available. However, it lacks the accuracy to be able to take down the final two agents as they come over the hill, so after killing the wheelchair guy I grab his Custom 1911; it's virtually perfectly accurate, even at these ranges, although sadly I'm not. There's probably a second to be saved at the end of this level by being a better shot than me and nailing headshots through the vegetation.
I hope you enjoyed watching!
Individual-levels run of 100% on Pro difficulty with Silent Assassin Rank in: 0:22:50
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|A Vintage Year||0:01:14||2012-07-23||'Kotti'|
|A New Life||0:00:43||2012-07-23||'msqrt'|
|The Murder of Crows||0:00:53||2012-07-23||'msqrt'|
|You Better Watch Out||0:01:19||2012-07-23||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|Death on the Mississippi||0:01:12||2012-07-23||Mark 'ExplodingCabbage' Amery|
|Till Death Do Us Part||0:00:53||2012-07-23||'Kotti'|
|A House of Cards||0:05:57||2012-07-23||'Kotti'|
|A Dance with the Devil||0:04:05||2012-07-23||'Kotti'|
The run does not include the tutorial level Death of a Showman or final level Requiem as they are not suited for SA-runs. 100% in this game only means completing all optional objectives and not gathering guns or anything like that.
Thanks to BurstingGlass, HitGod47, millemillimile, shtefmeister, taishon3946, TI2ophy and various other people on Youtube for tricks and ideas.
The requirements for Silent Assassin on Pro:
- No witnesses
- Dogs count as witnesses
- Trespassing and stealing do not make people witnesses
- No bodies found
- Bodies left behind by accident kills don't count towards this
- It is unclear whether unconscious bodies count towards this
- Only killed or wounded the targets
- Dogs don't count towards this
- Accident kills don't count towards this
- Exit with all custom weapons and suit
- Not caught on camera
- Unlike many people seem to think, these do NOT affect the rating: Getting shot, shooting a lot, using bombs
This run also completes all the optional objectives.
A Vintage Year
Route by shtefmeister, I only added the little elevator dance which helps with the timing. The bomb hits the second target through the floor.
I got the idea for this route after seeing Kottis and shap47s runs for the level; when the second target comes to the stage, I don't have to be there to shoot him, I can just blow up the mine and exit at the same point. Shooting the door open, as someone suggested, wouldn't be any faster as I still have to wait a bit in the end and the guard would notice me.
I get in using a bomb and kill the agent as quickly as possible and then... I honestly don't remember the details as to why I do things like this. I assume getting a disguise would take too long and the second bomb is there most likely to make sure guards don't get on my way or find bodies. After rigging the gas I wait a bit to time something, most likely the cop who you later see running up stairs.
A New Life
This was inspired by HitGod47s ANL run, and was originally my first Hitman SA. The main change was to shoot the target so the body just ends up wherever and hope the guards don't notice. I also got the time down by a single second by playing the level with minimal graphics settings and recording at 100fps, which is not the only weird timing difference I've encountered in this game.
The Murder of Crows
The strategy was originally by me and Kotti. The coin in the beginning makes the civilians turn around so I can shoot the floor and the red bird guy will run towards the second target, otherwise I'd have to wait around for him. After I get out of the door, I check the balcony doors - if they're shut, there's no point to continue because the third target is in the wrong place. The crowd hides knocking out the bird guy pretty well, and the mine throws are pretty easy.
Kotti had the best run for a long time and claims to have poured a lot more work into it - which is totally a lie - but then I started to insist improving by knocking out the red bird guy in the middle of the street and throwing the second mine a lot earlier and had to execute it myself. I also tried shooting the second target from where the first one is killed, but that always ended up with his body being found, which is pretty sad as it would save around 5 seconds.
You Better Watch Out
The location of the second target is fairly random, but in this run he was right on the way. It also takes luck to get no witnesses when shooting the jacuzzi.
Death on the Mississippi
The syringe is a distraction so the body of the first gang member isn't found. The bomb is for the gang member in the corridor, he picks it up and carries it elsewhere so that he's within the detonator's range later on. The fast escape route is used like in the any% run.
Till Death Do Us Part
Coin to make the guests open the door for me and move to the next room to throw a bomb on the flower. Then I just exit through the front door, leaving another bomb behind and hope for the best as I detonate them. The old man is killed through the floor in his room and the husband dies in the middle of the hallway, almost having his body be found.
A House of Cards
It's all about getting a quick kill on the sheik. I blow him up from the max range of the detonator and escape just before his body is found.
A Dance with the Devil
This is NOT the world record, that is 7 seconds faster held by millemillimile. The reason to why I didn't beat his time is because this mission is largely based on luck, the one and only thing that determines the final time is how quickly Vaana burns, and that is random. The headshot through the door is nice though.
This level worked out pretty nicely. After getting the disguise (where you can see one of the few glitches in the game!) I run straight to the first target, blowing a mine in the way to alert the second target. Then I kill the first target with a (very precise, both with location and timing) mine that scares the second target so he runs back inside where nobody will find his body. I forgot to verify Pro in this level, but the AI would work in a very different way on the other difficulty levels, so I don't think that's a problem.
You Better Watch Out:
In my any% run of this level, I just took the shortest path from beginning to end while massacring everyone in my way. I guess you could describe the SA route for the level as that route augmented with the minimum number of compromises necessary to achieve the silent assassin rank, and the best way to explain to route is to list the compromises. Here, then, are the - fairly few - ways that this run differs from its any% cousin.
The first and most obvious difference with the any% is that I have to keep my guns away and can't shoot any non-targets who get in my way, since having a weapon seen in my hands or injuring or non-'accidentally' killing a non-target will cost me my SA rating. This has two consequences. Firstly, I lose a (fairly trivial) amount of time in a couple of places where I have to run around some irritatingly-positioned guard or civilian instead of casually popping a bullet in them and jogging over their corpse like I'd like to. Secondly, and more significantly, the amount of luck required to survive the level is greater than in the any% run, since I can't shoot the guards who attack me for trespassing. Like the majority of the Pro-difficulty IL runs of this game, in both the any% and 100% categories, death was a major source of failure for this run.
The second difference from the any% run is that I kill Chad (the fellow in the Jacuzzi) in such a way as to cause his death to be counted as an accident, and without being witnessed. Previously SA runs of this level used different methods for killing Chad than I do here, either involving shooting out the Jacuzzi bottom from a well-concealed hiding spot, or using a bomb blast to make everybody scatter and luck-manipulating Chad into ending up on his own near one of the other pools, then pushing him to his death in the water. My approach is more luck-dependent but faster.
I use a carefully-timed bomb as I leave the elevator to panic everybody in earshot (much of the level, as it happens), and luck-manipulate the reactions of the guards and civilians near Chad's pool into giving me a moment of seclusion that I can use to shoot out the pool bottom without being seen by anyone except Chad and the hookers in the Jacuzzi. It's been a long time since I made this run, and I forget the precise details of how it was possible to fail here, but I'm pretty sure luck-based failures at this point were an issue - either due to the civilians near the pool taking too long to start running away, or due to guards inside running out to the pool area.
As an aside, note that I have 2 accident kills listed in my stats at the end of the level, not 1 - one of the hookers must have fallen to her death along with Chad when I had my back turned, while the other two survived. I don't know for sure which one it was, and it doesn't matter; accident kills don't count against your Silent Assassin ranking, so her survival is an irrelevance. Watching the video carefully, I suspect that it was the most distant hooker who died, since she seems to have started her pool-leaving animation latest and so is the most likely candidate for the game to have still considered to be in the pool when I shot the glass. (Also, I think I got pretty lucky not to have the nearest hooker count as a witness and spoil my rating; if you watch the video slowly, you'll see that I must have been running with my gun out just barely outside her field of vision).
Also note that the path I take between the first and second elevators differs from the any% run. This is simply because a detour to near the Jacuzzi is required regardless to be able to shoot out the glass without being spotted, and once that detour is taken, I'm positioned such that the route I take here is a faster way to the second elevator than backtracking and returning to the any%'s route.
The third and final deviation from the any% run is that I have to kill Lorne without being witnessed, and avoid his body being 'found'. Lorne's killing is made faster in this route by the fact that the same bomb I used earlier to scare the folks near Chad also scares Lorne, and causes him to run randomly from his balcony - and with a little luck manipulation, into my path. It's simply fortuitous that one bomb is able to provide both these benefits - either one of them alone would be enough reason to detonate it, since both are significant timesavers.
I need a lot of luck here. Lorne would sometimes not run into my path (although he would more often than not). On the occasions when he did, he usually would usually end up standing next to a guard, making it extremely improbable that I could kill him quickly without being witnessed, barring some spectacularly clever improvised dancing with the guards that I always attempted but was never - as far as I recall - brilliant enough to pull off. The place Lorne stops here - in the middle of a corridor with no guards in - is extremely lucky. I never saw him stop in the same place in any of my other attempts.
Finally, I need luck to avoid the body being 'found'. If anyone 'finds' a body that had died via a means other than an 'accident', then the Bodies Found stat on the post-mission stats screen will be non-zero and you won't get a Silent Assassin rating. However, a helpful quirk of the AI is that guard who are actively chasing or attacking you will sometimes fail to 'find' bodies that are in plain sight. This doesn't seem to be perfectly reliable - sometimes guards who are chasing you WILL 'find' a body they pass over - and I don't claim to understand perfectly the mechanics of the guard AI that lead to this behavior, but I'm guessing that some kind of guard action needs to be triggered by the sight of the body for it to be counted as 'found', and that that action isn't triggered when the guard is in combat mode.
Anyway, the bug above is the reason that Lorne's body isn't 'found' despite an alerted guard virtually trampling it - he was, if you like, too busy attacking me to notice the body beneath his feet.
Death On The Mississippi:
It's amazing how similar this run is to my any% run of the same level. Very few compromises are needed to get SA rank here.
At the very beginning, the syringe I toss is seen by the guard wandering across from the left. Once I've run off, he'll pick it up and take it below decks. This interrupts his patrol just before the point at which he would otherwise find the body of the first target I kill. Thanks to hitgod47 and msqrt for figuring this out.
I use a similar trick for the second target. I throw a bomb into his line of sight, so that he picks it up and carries it below decks. This isolates him from potential witnesses, letting me blow him up just before leaving the level without his body being found (as long as I get lucky with the behavior of NPCs running to the explosion).
After that, everything is basically like the any%. I just need a bit of luck and care to ensure that no non-targets ever see me with a weapon out, and that no bodies register as 'found'.
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