hitting where one lives

The Operative: No One Lives Forever

The Operative: No One Lives Forever (commonly shortened to No One Lives Forever, abbreviated NOLF), is a video game developed by Monolith Productions and published by Fox Interactive. It was released on November 9, 2000. A sequel to the game, entitled No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way was released in 2002, followed by an interquel, Contract J.A.C.K., in 2003.

No One Lives Forever

The Operative: No One Lives Forever was published in 2000, and stars a female protagonist, spy Cate Archer. The game is a mixture of a first-person shooter and a first-person sneaker: most (but not all) missions can be solved in multiple ways: using sneaking to avoid danger, using gadgets, or by going in with guns blazing.

The basic plot of the game is that a secret organization, UNITY, watches over world peace. Several UNITY agents are murdered within a week of each other, leaving UNITY with a critical manpower shortage. In response, Cate Archer (an ex-cat burglar) is given a role as field agent to try to discover the cause of the Agent assassinations. All roads lead to a new terrorist organization named H.A.R.M., run by a colorful assortment of characters intent on destroying the free world.

The game is set in the 1960s, and includes a lot of humor: it has been described as a mixture of Austin Powers and James Bond with the lead character resembling Modesty Blaise, and also Emma Peel from The Avengers. The player is able to scuba dive a shipwreck, freefall from an airplane and explore a space station in zero gravity, all the while fighting armed villains.

A novel feature of the game is its array of gadgets, including a body-removing powder (for disposing of incriminating corpses), lock picks, and an electronic poodle to distract guard dogs. Additionally, the missions are littered with "intelligence items": textual notes which often provide humorous side-notes to the game. Points awarded from intelligence items could gain certain awards at the end of the mission that would add up for bonuses. For example the 'Thanks For Not Getting Hurt' Award allowed a 10% increase in maximum health - up to a limit of 120%. Such bonuses were available for Health, Armour, Ammo Capacity, Damage, Accuracy and Reputation. The reputation awards are earned by choosing the 'nice' responses in dialogue trees (although it is uncertain what benefits the reputation bonuses confer).

The game is also notable for its use of sound: not only are enemies aware of noise made by the player, but the game features music in the style of the 1960s, which flexibly adapts to the situations that players finds themselves in, similar to that of movie soundtracks (for instance, increasing in tempo or urgency when the player is in a combat situation).

The game won several Game of the Year awards, including ones from Computer Games Magazine, Computer Gaming World, PC Gamer, and Gamespy.

  • In 2001, No One Lives Forever appeared in a Game of the Year (GOTY) version, with one additional singleplayer mission which was not made available to those who bought the original. The GOTY version also includes more multiplayer arenas.
  • In 2002, NOLF was ported to the PlayStation 2 video game console, complete with extra missions not available for the PC version. This port also included the extra GOTY mission. One of the other extra missions was a prequel to NOLF, with Cate Archer as a thief in the days before her recruitment by UNITY.


No One Lives Forever has a variety of weapons, many are real guns but with their names changed.


  • .38 Petri Airweight Revolver - Smith & Wesson Model 36LS "Ladysmith". A nickel-plated version of the M36 "Chief's Special", this is Cate Archer's signature pistol.
  • 9mm Shepherd Arms P38 pistol - Walther P38. A fictional copy of the German service pistol used by commandos during World War II, it is UNITY's standard-issue sidearm. It can accept a suppressor.
  • 9mm Braun - Lahti L35 - a Finnish self-loading pistol based on a modification of the Luger P-'08 pistol's design (identified by the lack of the prominent toggle lock of the P-08 from the models). The official sidearm of H.A.R.M., it comes threaded for a suppressor.
  • .45-70 Gov't Bacalov Corrector - Thompson Contender A bolt-action target pistol that can fire special High Explosive bullets.
  • 9mm Hampton Carbine - De Lisle Carbine. This is an integrally suppressed bolt-action carbine.
  • 9mm Hampton MPL SMG - Walther MPL. This is UNITY's standard submachinegun.
  • 9mm Gordon SMG - Sterling SMG. This is H.A.R.M.'s standard submachinegun.
  • 7.62mm Soviet AK-47 Assault Rifle - AK-47. This is the standard weapon of the Warsaw Pact.
  • 7.92mm Mauser Geldmacher SVD Sniper Rifle - Dragunov SVD. This is the East German Army's fictional standard sniper rifle.
  • 40mm M79 Grenade Launcher


  • Morris Model 14 Speargun
  • Sportsman EX Crossbow
  • UNITY Briefcase - A secure briefcase that contains a concealed portable 60mm Rocket Launcher.
  • Laser Gun - A 500-shot beam weapon that vaporizes its targets. It has a slow recharging time, making it unsuitable for taking on a group of targets.
  • Super Atomic Laser Weapon - An improved Laser Gun that is able to discharge more frequently and disintegrates its targets.


  • Scope: Makes targets easier to see and aids in making long-ranged aimed shots. Can be fitted to the Sportsman-EX Crossbow, Bacalov "Corrector" pistol, Hampton Carbine, and Geldmacher SVD Sniper Rifle.
  • Pistol Silencer: Reduces the sound of firing. Can be fitted to the Braun and Shepherd Arms P-38 pistols.
  • SMG Silencer: Reduces the sound of firing. Can only be fitted to the Hampton MPL SMG.

Ammunition Types: In addition, there are a variety of ammunition choices for many of the weapons.

  • Full Metal Jacketed Bullets: The standard lead-core bullet with a thin metal coating.
  • Cyanide-tipped Bullets: A poison that causes hallucination and loss of balance while it reduces health.
  • Incendiary-tipped Bullets: Causes burning damage and can start fires.
  • Dum-dum Bullets: A semi-jacketed bullet with a hollow tip that flattens and fragments on impact. It causes more damage and increased bleeding to unarmored targets.
  • High-Explosive bullets: Explodes on contact.


  • Barrette

A simple lock pick disguised as a fashionable hair accessory, its second function is a potent poison capsule used similarly to a knife.

  • Coin

A little spare change. When thrown, it creates an easy distraction for a stealthy move.

  • Body Remover

A very powerful acid, which only reacts with dead flesh, used to instantly remove corpses in order to avoid detection.

  • Spy Glasses

Stylish 60's sunglasses with many secret functions. To begin with, the glasses only have a camera with a zoom feature. But later on, the glasses gain other gadgets which can detect mines and see infra-red beams.

  • Cigarette Lighter / Welder

As well as being a simple lighter, the second function of this gadget is a high powered welding torch used to cut through padlocks.

  • Stun / Sleeping / Acid Gas

Each disguised as a feminine perfume bottle, these are short range gas weapons: one is a stun gas, which will leave the enemy confused; the second is a sleeping gas which induces sleep for around a minute and the third, acid gas, is a very deadly weapon.

  • Camera Disabler

This gadget, when placed over a camera lens, plays a re-recorded stream of video footage of the area it is monitoring, so the player can sneak past without being seen.

  • Lipsticks

Each lipstick cleverly contains a different explosive, they are a mainly used as a replacement for the game's lack of grenades. The first is a simple impact explosive, the second is a proximity explosive (that sticks to walls and ceilings) and the third is a timed explosive with a five-second fuse.

  • Belt Buckle / Zip Cord

This belt buckle (in the shape of the Venus symbol) inhabits a grappling hook with a high powered winch, used to access high or out of reach areas.

  • Robotic Poodle

This gadget is used to distract guard dogs, when released, it makes use of pheromones to distract the dogs thus preventing them from giving away the player's position.

  • Code Breaker

An electronic piece of equipment that, when placed on keypads, unlocks keypad encoded doors.



  1. DATA – 39:40
  2. Goodman's Surprise – 02:24
  3. Santa's Workshop – 02:39
  4. Be-boppin' Shoo-woppin' Along – 02:43
  5. The Operative – 03:41
  6. Elevator of Love – 02:57
  7. No One Grooves Forever – 03:11
  8. Suisse Chalet – 03:34
  9. UNITY's Spy – 02:59
  10. Unknown – 02:42
  11. El Dorado (Archie Thompson) – 02:41
  12. Void (Red Delicious) – 03:54

Best Buy Exclusive

Bonus CD features a modern, contemporary remix of the "In the Lounge" tracks. Original tracks included.

  • Goodman's Surprise remix
  • Santa's Workshop remix
  • The Operative remix
  • No One Grooves Forever remix
  • Unknown remix
  • UNITY's Spy remix


  • Cate Archer was modeled after real-life model Mitzi Martin. She was voiced by Kit Harris in the first game and Jen Taylor in the second game.
  • Cate Archer's full name is Catherine Ann Archer.
  • All NOLF games are powered by Monolith's homegrown Lithtech graphics engine: NOLF 1 is based on the "Talon" version of Lithtech, while NOLF 2 and Contract J.A.C.K. run off the more recent "Jupiter" version.
  • It is never explained to the player in any of the games what H.A.R.M. stands for; however, a number of "intelligence items" urge the readers to "remember what H.A.R.M. stands for". Furthermore, during one of the missions, intelligence items that can be collected by the player humorously detail the exchange between the crime organization and the Hair Alternative Replacement Membership club in a dispute over the H.A.R.M. "trademark".
  • In the game F.E.A.R. there is a billboard standing in a warehouse with the same logo as the H.A.R.M organisation. It reads: Heater And Refrigerator Manufacturing.
  • Several characters from the first game make a return in the sequel. The only characters not to return are Baron & Baroness Dumas, Ubas, Inge Wagner, Bialek, Mr. Smith and Tom Goodman, although there is a level which deals with the history of Smith and Goodman's characters.
  • The original game came with a second bonus musical CD which had an assortment of 60's themed tunes.
  • In the first game, if Cate Archer attacks and kills a monkey NPC, the game ends with the message "Unacceptable Simian Casualties". This is a reference to GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64, where killing too many civilians during the single-player game would result in mission failure with the message "Unacceptable Civilian Casualties".
  • The space suits are the identical to the space suits from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • The mysterious device known as the CT-180, referred to several times in intelligence pieces throughout NOLF, is unveiled in NOLF2 as the Utility Launcher.
  • In an overheard conversation, two security guards talk about a new TV series called "The Prisoner", starting "next week". Since "The Prisoner" started airing on October 1, 1967, this would put the game in that time frame.

See also

External links


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