Monday, July 11, 2011


The Operative: No One Lives Forever (commonly shortened to No One Lives Forever, abbreviated NOLF) is a first-person shooter video game with stealth gameplay elements, developed by Monolith Productions and published by Fox Interactive, released for Windows in 2000. The game was also ported later to the PlayStation 2 and Mac OS X. A story-driven game set in the 1960s, No One Lives Forever has been critically acclaimed for, among other things, its stylistic representation of the era in the spirit of many spy films and television series of that decade, as well as for its prevalent use of humor. Players control female protagonist Cate Archer, who works for UNITY, a fictional secret organization that watches over world peace.

After receiving several Game of the Year awards in the press, a special Game of the Year Edition was released in 2001, which included an additional mission. The Operative: No One Lives Forever was followed by a sequel entitled No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way (2002), and a spin-off that takes place during the time between the first two games, Contract J.A.C.K. (2003), both developed by Monolith.


The Operative: No One Lives Forever is a story-driven video game, set in the 1960s, and stars female protagonist and spy Cate Archer as the epynomous Operative, who works for UNITY – a secret British organization that watches over world peace. During the story of the game, Archer is sent on missions to a number of locales, including Morocco, East and West Germany, and gets into intense situations, such as scuba diving a shipwreck, freefalling from an airplane without a parachute, and exploring a space station in outer space, all the while fighting armed villains.

The game is a mixture of a first-person shooter and a stealth game. 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.

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": briefcases, envelopes, and manila folders containing textual notes which often provide humorous side-notes to the game, as well as overheard conversations between guards or scientists (the truth about the failure of the Ford Edsel, for example). Points awarded from intelligence items can gain certain awards at the end of the mission that will add up for bonuses. For example the 'Thanks For Not Getting Hurt' Award allows a 10% increase in maximum health – up to a limit of 120%. Such bonuses are available for health, armor, 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 1960s-style music, 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).


No One Lives Forever also includes multiplayer gameplay online or over a local area network. There are two multiplayer modes available: standard deathmatch, and "H.A.R.M. vs. UNITY". The latter is a team deathmatch mode, where the goal is to capture as much intelligence for your team as possible, by sneaking in to the enemy team's base, finding the item, and photographing it.


It is the 1960s, and UNITY, a secret organization headquartered somewhere in England, watches over world peace. Over half of the active UNITY agents are murdered within a week around the world, suspected to be the work of a traitor within the agency. This leaves UNITY with a critical manpower shortage, and they are forced to send agent Cate Archer and her mentor, agent Bruno Lawrie, on a series of high-profile missions. Archer is an ex-cat burglar, and is the organization's first female spy operative. UNITY's leaders, chief Jones and his advisor Smith, are skeptical of a woman working as a field agent, and have previously relegated her to more mundane assignments. The clues point to known Russian assassin Dmitrij Volkov and a new terrorist organization calling itself H.A.R.M. as the ones behind the attacks.

During Archer's first serious assignment in Morocco, she and Lawrie have to protect an American ambassador from H.A.R.M.'s assassins. However, they soon discover that they have walked into an ambush. The surprise attack results in the ambassador being killed by Volkov, and Lawrie is ultimately killed by him as well. Despite heavy opposition, Archer manages to escape unharmed.

Smith places the blame on Archer for the mission's failure and the loss of another operative. During briefing, he and Jones also reveal that they suspect that Lawrie was the traitor and that Volkov probably killed him to ensure his silence, to which Cate reacts with disbelief and incredulity. She is eager to avenge Lawrie's death, but she is immediately tasked with another important mission by Jones and Smith. She has to travel to East Germany and help an important scientist, Dr. Otto Schenker, defect to the West. She succeeds in doing so, but as they are flying back to England on a commercial jet, H.A.R.M. agents appear in another plane. These agents, under the leadership of the kilt-wearing Scotsman Magnus Armstrong, jam the communications of the jet and storm aboard, capturing Dr. Schenker. Cate is knocked out by Armstrong, but he spares her life because she is a fellow countryman. Archer is left without a parachute on the doomed jet, so she jumps out of the cargo hold and takes a parachute from a falling H.A.R.M. agent, leaving her unscathed once again.

Back at headquarters, Smith is furious that Archer seems to have botched two high-profile missions. He wants her relieved of duty, but Jones still believes in her. He informs Archer that officials from West Germany discovered several suspicious chemical containers aboard a cargo freighter, and UNITY believes that they are linked to Dr. Schenker. Archer is sent to a popular nightclub in Hamburg, where she is to meet with her new partner, a man named Tom Goodman from UNITY's American branch. Together, they are tasked with investigating the freighter. While at the club, they are ambushed by H.A.R.M. agents, but they both manage to escape. Archer discovers that the club is owned by a German woman named Inge Wagner, whom she suspects has fallen in with H.A.R.M.

Archer and Goodman then travel to the docks, where Goodman creates a diversion using explosives so Archer can slip aboard the freighter to investigate without being seen. While aboard, Armstrong knocks Archer unconscious a second time, but again spares her life and locks her into the cargo hold, despite Wagner's insistence that she be liquidated. As the ship is heading out toward sea, a huge explosion - later revealed to be the work of Goodman - occurs, and the freighter slowly begins to sink. Wagner and Armstrong are able to escape immediately, but Archer has to fight her way out of the belly of the ship and is unable to finish gathering the information she originally came aboard to find. Back on shore, she travels to her hotel room, where she finds Goodman waiting for her. She is furious at him for setting explosives on the ship without telling her, but they both agree that they need to return to the sunken freighter to finish gathering the vital intelligence aboard. Archer volunteers to be the one to go scuba diving, but while investigating the wreck, a submarine commanded by Armstrong and Wagner sends a legion of H.A.R.M. divers to ambush her. However, she manages to collect the intelligence she needs and escapes.

Archer and Goodman return to UNITY headquarters, where they are informed that the only lead they have is a tenuous connection to a large manufacturing firm known as Dumas Industrial Enterprises, run by a reclusive big-game hunter named Baron Archibald Dumas. Archer and Goodman are tasked with finding out if he and his company are somehow involved with H.A.R.M. While at one of Dumas' chemical plants, Archer spots Armstrong talking with a guard, making it clear that Dumas Industrial Enterprises is involved, though it's still not certain how. Archer next interviews the Baron at his estate, where she discovers that the he is completely childish, self-absorbed, and lacking the intelligence necessary to be involved with anything like H.A.R.M. At the end of the interview, the Baron mentions that they have a large, highly guarded safe at their corporate headquarters, in which they store all their most important files and documents.

As it is clear that Dumas Industrial Enterprises is somehow involved with H.A.R.M., Archer is sent to infiltrate their corporate headquarters, while Goodman provides a diversion to draw attention away from the safe. Despite heavy opposition, including an ear-splitting deathmatch with Wagner, Archer manages to gain access to the safe and photograph the relevant documents. However, as she and Goodman are about to escape, Volkov appears and shoots Goodman to death. Once again, Archer manages to get away.

Meanwhile, in Monte Carlo, a huge explosion kills about 50 people. H.A.R.M. soon reveals that it was their handiwork, using a biological explosive developed by Dr. Schenker. The chemical is injected into the living host, and it feeds on organic material until it culminates in a massive explosion. H.A.R.M. states that if their ransom demands are not met, they will continue to use human time bombs to cause destruction around the world.

Back at UNITY, Archer is visibly shaken by the loss of another partner and confides to Jones that she wants more than anything to exact revenge, against which he strongly cautions her. Smith tells them that the analysis of Archer's photographs is complete and that H.A.R.M. may be holding Dr. Schenker in an underground base in Washington state. Archer also discovers that the real mastermind behind H.A.R.M. is the Baron's wife, Baroness Felicity Dumas, who is targeting wealthy, snobbish individuals around the world because of some early childhood trauma.

Archer embarks to Washington and finds the underground base, managing to spirit Dr. Schenker to safety. Schenker reveals that the antidote for the chemical reagent can only be produced in one place: outer space. He also shocks Archer by informing her that H.A.R.M. has its own space station. Smith then informs them that there had been a mysterious rocket launch in the Caribbean some weeks ago, possibly indicating that H.A.R.M. has a base in the area. Once again, Archer is sent to investigate.

Archer does discover a hidden H.A.R.M. base on a small island, but overhears a supplier there telling an antidote customer that while there are no antidote samples on the island, they are planning to send a rocket up to the space station to collect some that afternoon. Archer kills one of the H.A.R.M. astronauts, and using his suit as a disguise, boards the rocket and travels to the space station herself. While looking for the antidote, the space station is suddenly hit by a meteor shower, causing it to begin to implode. Archer grabs a large antidote sample and manages to use an escape pod to get back to earth safely.

Now in possession of the antidote, UNITY needs the list of infected people to know whom to administer it. Despite Smith's protests, Jones agrees with Archer that the list is probably in the Baroness's possession and lets her travel to the Dumas' castle chateau in the German Alps, where the couple is on holiday. Despite hardships such as nearly freezing to death in the snow, Archer is able to gain access to the chateau, but once there she is again knocked unconscious by Armstrong, who locks her in a cell. The Baroness appears and gloats to Archer about her plans to take over the world, then reveals that Archer herself has been unknowingly infected by the reagent, and that she has only forty-five minutes to live.

Once the Baroness leaves, Archer provokes Armstrong into a hand-to-hand fight, during which she defeats him and he agrees to let her go. He also confesses that he does not want to be a part of H.A.R.M. anymore, and defects by telling her that the list of names is in the Baroness's hidden lair in the chateau. Archer hurries to retrieve it but first has to find an antidote sample to administer to herself. After she finds the list of names, Archer discovers that the Baroness's next victim is none other than the Baron himself, and that it is imperative that she escape the chateau, or she will be killed in the resulting explosion. First, however, she has to defeat an powerful H.A.R.M. squad consisting of three go-go girls known as the The Elite Guard. On the way down the mountain to safety, Archer meets Volkov and during their duel, an avalanche caused by the explosion at the chateau sends Volkov off the edge of a cliff, seemingly to his death.

At the base of the mountain, Archer phones Jones and Smith and promises to wire the list of names over immediately. However, she is confronted by the Baroness, who reveals that she has infected herself and is about to detonate. Archer hurries to clear the streets of people and hides inside a building until the explosion is over.

Back in UNITY's headquarters, Archer is congratulated with a mission well done. Everybody leaves for some rest. Archer comes to the graveyard where Lawrie is buried, to pay her respects, but is ambushed by the supposedly dead Goodman. He reveals that he is in fact the traitor within UNITY, and a gun duel beings. Archer wounds Goodman and is about to arrest him, but Smith appears and kills Goodman. Smith then tries to shoot Archer as well, but is himself gunned down by Jones. Archer is shocked to see her supposedly dead mentor, Lawrie, is also alive. With Goodman and Smith dead, Jones and Lawrie reveal to Cate the truth, that Lawrie falsified his death to find the real traitor. In order to sabotage UNITY, Mr. Smith used his position in H.A.R.M. to kill the real Tom Goodman, and replace him with an impostor, whose real name was Melvin Blitzny. When H.A.R.M.'s plan was foiled by Archer, both Smith and Goodman's impostor were forced to reveal their true nature. The game concludes with Archer being mad at Lawrie for faking his "death" to her.

In a scene after the credits, it is revealed that Volkov survived, and reported back to H.A.R.M.'s mysterious director, a middle-aged drunk man who Archer met several times in different countries during the game. In the "Game of the Year" edition, there is another level after the credits entitled "Rest & Relaxation" where Archer is sent on vacation to a small island, only to discover and destroy a secret H.A.R.M. base.



Cate Archer - A Scottish former cat burglar and the first female operative in UNITY. Main protagonist of the game.

Mr. Jones - UNITY's chief. A calm and wise man, Jones once was an operative himself.

Mr. Smith - Jones' right-hand-man and also a former operative. He is a very competent leader, but unfortunately distrusts Cate's abilities.

Bruno Lawrie - A legend among UNITY operatives, Bruno is also Cate's best friend and mentor, who brought her into organization nine years ago.

Tom Goodman - UNITY's American operative, Tom Goodman is well-built man with a charming smile.

Dr. Otto Schenker - A scientist from East Germany, he defects to the West and is about to join UNITY. However, he is captured by H.A.R.M. and has to be saved.

Santa - UNITY's main scientist and inventor, he provides Cate with gadgets between the missions. He is a scientist wielding a construction worker helmet.

Leon - Santa's assistant, he is usually used as a "test subject" for Cate to try out her gadgets.


Director - H.A.R.M.'s chief and the most mysterious character of the game, he is mentioned several times throughout the game but is never seen or heard until the very end.

Dimitrij Volkov - H.A.R.M.'s "Director of Executive Action". Dmitrij is Russian-born, very strong, intelligent, and wears an eye-patch. In H.A.R.M., he is second only to the mysterious Director. He is also the vice-president of Dumas Industrial Enterprises, under the assumed name of Damascus Valentine.

Inge Wagner - A H.A.R.M. agent supervisor, Inge is an overweight German woman who believes herself to be a great singer, while in reality her vocalizations are terrible and feared among her subordinates. She is also the owner of a popular nightclub in Bremen. She commands H.A.R.M. troops on-field and is one of Cate's main enemies. She is also supposedly a distant relation of Richard Wagner.

Magnus Armstrong - A former military man, the kilt-wearing Scotsman is known to be a nice lad, who, however, enjoys a fight. This is why he is one of H.A.R.M.'s field commanders. He respects fellow countrymen above all else, and he spares Cate's life on more than one occasion.

Baron Archibald Dumas - The President and owner of Dumas Industrial Enterprises is fabulously wealthy and reclusive. Not really a H.A.R.M. member, the childish and silly baron is manipulated by his wife. He claims to be a great safari hunter, but is in fact not, and all his trophies are secretly bought.

Baroness Felicity Dumas - The de facto owner of Dumas Industrial Enterprises, she is one of the true leaders of H.A.R.M., being the sponsor behind much of the organization's activities.

The Elite Guard - Three multiracial go-go girls who are an elite H.A.R.M. squad. They are seen sporadically throughout the game complaining of how bored they are. They attack Cate Archer near the end of the game.


Work on No One Lives Forever started in 1998, after the release of Monolith Productions' previous game, Shogo: Mobile Armor Division. Craig Hubbard, game designer for Shogo and NOLF expressed that Shogo "(although critically successful) fell embarrassingly short of [the team's] original design goals", and "it is a grim reminder of the perils of wild optimism and unchecked ambition" exercised by the relatively small development team. The team (which included approximately 18 core members during development of NOLF) was determined not to make the same mistakes again with their next game.

Signing a contract with a publisher was a very difficult task for Monolith. Development has been going on for months, and the project has been green-lighted by different publishers four times, before they were able to actually sign a deal with one. During this long time for finding a publishing partner, No One Lives Forever "mutated constantly in order to please prospective producers and marketing departments. The game actually started off as a mission-based, anime-inspired, paramilitary action thriller intended as a spiritual sequel to Shogo and ended up as a 60s spy adventure in the tradition of Our Man Flint and countless other 60s spy movies and shows. This final theme for the game was settled on through discussions with Fox Interactive, the final publisher of NOLF. (Parts of the initial "paramilitary action thriller" concept evolved into F.E.A.R., another Monolith game, released after the NOLF series, in 2005.) Monolith's producer for the game, Samantha Ryan said that before the deal was signed, "There was a period where Monolith was two weeks from death. And Jason ["Jace" Hall, CEO and co-founder of Monolith] closed the deal with Fox Interactive that basically saved the company.

After finally signing a contract with Fox (which partnership was announced to the public on August 24, 1999), the team was able to draft a mission statement, which stood as a point of reference during every aspect of developing the game.

Our primary aim was to make the player feel like the hero of a 60s action/adventure/espionage movie. We came up with a list of the characteristics we felt were necessary to achieve our objective. The game must have a strong narrative, with twists and turns in the spirit of Charade or Where Eagles Dare. It must feature a fiercely competent hero and an assortment of despicable villains. The hero must have access to an impressive arsenal of weapons and gadgets worthy of Our Man Flint, Danger: Diabolik, or Get Smart. There must be memorable, death-defying situations, opportunities for stealth as well as all-out action, and a variety of exotic locales to explore. Finally, every aspect of the presentation must convincingly evoke the era.
—Craig Hubbard, game designer of No One Lives Forever.

The game was announced at the 1999 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) conference show. While at this time – as described in the mission statement above – the game was already set out to be a spy-themed shooter set in the '60s, the version that was previewed to the press at this time had many differences to the finished product, with regard to characters, plot and setting. The game's protagonist was originally set out to be a male character, called Adam Church, who worked for MI0, Her Majesty's Most Secret Service. However, many of the final gameplay and story elements are known to have been present in this earlier iteration of the game: the H.A.R.M. organization; the defection of an East German biophysicist for information about a top-secret Soviet weapons program; the presence of humor in the game; some locations, such as the sunken cargo freighter; the use of gadgets, such as the rocket launching briefcase; etc.

By at least July 1999, Monolith has decided to introduce many major changes to the game; the main reason being that the gaming press unexpectedly started comparing the game to James Bond games, like GoldenEye 007. Hubbard mentioned that their intention was to "make a 60s spy game", and that they "didn't want to make a 'Bond' style game, so when people were obviously drawing that comparison, we decided to rework things a bit. We wanted to get away from the Bond comparisons that people were making, so we've changed the main character and the back-story a fair amount. As a result, the player controls a female protagonist in the final game, Cate Archer, who works for an organization called UNITY.

Changing the main character to a woman not only helped the separation of the game from the Bond franchise, but also allowed for "more interesting dramatic possibilities", and the "list of gadgets got a lot more visually interesting". The in-game model of Cate Archer was styled after model and actress Mitzi Martin. This was a marketing decision made by the publisher, Fox Interactive, which used its feature film casting department to look for an appropriate model internationally. Archer's voice was provided by American voice actress Kit Harris, who also did the voice of the Inge Wagner character. Originally, Harris recorded the Scottish protagonist's voice in a stronger Scottish accent. This was changed after a Scottish producer of the game felt that the particular accent used was too lower class, and an inappropriate choice; Harris re-recorded her lines with a "British bent" instead. Both the face and the voice of the character were changed in the game's sequel, No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way.

Along with the character and plot changes, it was also decided to change the game's working title, No One Lives Forever, to something else, for similar reasons related to the Bond franchise (in particular, the novel Nobody Lives for Ever), as well as possible legal considerations. However, the title, in fact, stayed throughout the development, and "The Operative" (referring to the game's heroine, Agent Archer) was added to the beginning of the title.

Evaluating the development that went into the finished game, Hubbard points out the realistic expectations set by the team as a strong point, saying that "given our budget, team size, and development cycle, the best we could hope to do was to create a fun, engaging 60s espionage game that would make up in presentation what it lacked in innovation. According to him, the team's "greatest asset was [probably] the list of mistakes we made during Shogo. We started this project with a pretty sober view of what we could achieve. As a result, every major feature we outlined made it into the game, as well as a few additional items we came up with during the project. However, there were still things that the team didn't have enough time to implement.

For example, No One Lives Forever's team-based multiplayer portion was originally going to be a story-driven cooperative gameplay mode (similar to the "Assault" game type in the 1999 first-person shooter Unreal Tournament), including objectives and obstacles for the two teams. Like the single-player story in the game, this gameplay mode was also going to incorporate humor; for example, in one map, a goal of each team was to find a special watermelon in a Moroccan marketplace for a mayor. While this mode was publicly discussed even in July 2000, it is not present as such in the final product (which went gold on October 20). The different objectives were changed to a general goal for both teams in all maps: photographing the other team's intelligence item. However, a number of remnants stemming from the earlier gameplay design can be seen in some of the released maps, such as the office of the aforementioned mayor seen in the Morocco map. Fully realized co-operative multiplayer was, however, a feature of No One Lives Forever 2.

After the game's release, Hubbard identified the aforementioned mission statement and the realistic expectations as strong points of the game's development, along with the flexible systems used in development, the cohesion of the team, and effective scheduling. On the other hand, Hubbard cited difficulties in fleshing out the final team, inefficient pre-production, waiting on technology, and the major difficulties in finding a publisher. Hubbard also mentioned the cinematic cutscenes as problematic, partly because of technical difficulties, and partly because of conceptual flaws on his behalf, with regard to screenwriting.

Source code

Monolith Productions released the source code for No One Lives Forever (version 1.003 on Windows) in 2001 to "support the fan base by offering the tools to create their own levels". It is available both as a download, as well as on the Game of the Year Edition CD-ROM.

Design and influences

Influences behind The Operative: No One Lives Forever were primarily 1960s spy-themed films, novels, television shows, as well as historical references. When it was decided that NOLF is going to be a '60s spy game, lead designer Craig Hubbard started immersing himself in the subject matter, in order to "develop some fluency."[6] As he explained, he "was a big fan of early Bond films, but didn't know a lot about the whole spy craze. So I watched the Derek Flint movies [Our Man Flint, In Like Flint], Modesty Blaise, Matt Helm, Danger: Diabolik, Avengers – anything I could get my hands on. According to Hubbard, "the idea was to create a game that would make you feel like a superspy, so we tried to come up with situations, characters, and settings to support that goal.

In terms of video games, Monolith drew inspiration from a number of stealth/action games, such as Metal Gear Solid, Tenchu: Stealth Assassins, Syphon Filter, and GoldenEye 007, because the team was "interested in a blend of stealth and action rather than focusing on one or the other exclusively. The original release of the 1981 stealth game Castle Wolfenstein was also cited as being influential.


The soundtrack for the original version of No One Lives Forever (as well as the later Mac OS X port) was composed and produced by Guy Whitmore using DirectMusic technology. The game's score is an example of an adaptive score: the music changes smoothly during gameplay, depending on certain factors, such as whether the enemies are aware of the player's presence. Whitmore's task as composer was "to capture the flavor of the '50s/'60s spy genre, without infringing on any existing copyrights." In order to avoid any legal troubles over music from the James Bond franchise of films and games, Whitmore was initially asked to refrain from using brass instruments; a directive he compared to "being asked to produce a blues album without guitars". Influences for the score included German composer Peter Thomas, the soundtrack of the 1968 film Barbarella, and "and an array of Italian composers who did beautiful scores for low budget European erotic films.

Whitmore's score was not used for the PlayStation 2 version of the game. Instead, it featured original music by Rebecca Kneubuhl, and mixed by Gabriel Mann.

The No One Lives Forever theme song was created by Rich Ragsdale. Kneubuhl and Mann also provided vocals for the title theme.

In the Lounge

The game was released with bonus 1960s-inspired music on the second CD. The songs available on this album, titled In the Lounge, were not featured in the game, but were specifically written as extra material. The 9 songs were written by Rebecca Kneubuhl (who created the in-game score for the later PlayStation 2 port as well). The CD also features two songs by independent artists: "Void" by Red Delicious and "El Dorado" by Archie Thompson. These were selected for inclusion as part of a NOLF online "music search", organized by Fox Interactive and

A different version of In the Lounge was also created. This includes the same 9 original tracks, although in a slightly different order. It does not include the two pieces of independent music; however, it does feature Rich Ragsdale's NOLF title theme, as well as remixes of 6 of the original songs, by Gabriel Mann.

Original release and Game of the Year Edition

The Operative: No One Lives Forever was originally released for Windows (PC) in the United States on November 9, 2000, by Fox Interactive, after it went gold on October 20.

After receiving a number of Game of the Year (GOTY) awards, a special Game of the Year Edition was released on October 3, 2001.[chronology citation needed] Published jointly by Sierra Entertainment and Fox Interactive, this re-released version includes a post game exclusive mission otherwise not available in the original game, titled "Rest and Relaxation", which is available after the original story. It also contains more multiplayer maps. The GOTY version's multiplayer maps were also made available as a download for owners of the original game.

PlayStation 2 port

The game's developer, Monolith Productions ported No One Lives Forever – Game of the Year Edition to the PlayStation 2 console. This port of the game was released on April 17, 2002 (although it was originally intended for a 2001 release), and was again published jointly by Sierra and Fox.

The PlayStation 2 version of the game included three exclusive flashback levels not available in other releases of the game titled "Nine Years Ago", in which the player controls a younger Cate Archer, when she used to be a cat burglar. Each of new levels is accessed during several moments in original story, when Cate is knocked out by Armstrong. Each of three levels uses new textures, new character models, and features Cate's cat burglar outfit, as well as two exclusive gadgets. The port does not feature Guy Whitmore's original score; instead, it uses different original music by Rebecca Kneubuhl. Multiplayer mode is not present in this version of the game.

Mac OS X port

A port of No One Lives Forever – Game of the Year Edition for the Mac OS X operating system was developed by MumboJumbo, and published by MacPlay. It was released on November 21, 2002, soon after the oirignal Windows release of No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way (which in was also ported by MacPlay later). Similarly to the Windows version of the game, the Mac OS X port also uses GameSpy technology for its online multiplayer mode, so that players are able to play with each other, no matter which platform they use.


No One Lives Forever has earned several Game of the Year (GOTY) awards in the video game press. NOLF was named "Game of the Year" and "Action Game of the Year" by Computer Games Magazine. It also received "Action Game of the Year" awards from Computer Gaming World and PC Gamer magazines. In 2001, the game was nominated by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences for their annual Interactive Achievement Award in the "Game Play Engineering" and "PC Action/Adventure" categories. NOLF was also nominated for the International Game Developers Association's 2001 Game Developers Choice Awards in four categories: Game of the Year, Original Character of the Year, Excellence in Level Design, and Game Spotlight Awards. Out of these, the game earned a Game Spotlight Award for innovation.


Retrospective articles written about the game have also been positive. In an article written in 2009 (nine years after the game's release), Eurogamer states that the game has "dated enormously but survives well", and that "you simply couldn't make No One Lives Forever today. You couldn't because it would be too long, require far too many assets, and most significantly of all, risk all the cost of development on a comedy game – a genre that no longer exists. In a 2010 online PC Gamer feature entitled "Why you must replay No One Lives Forever", Tim Stone hailed the 10-year-old game's use of humor, and wrote that NOLF "is every bit the amusing, inventive, life-affirming experience I remembered.

Sequel and spin-off

The Operative: No One Lives Forever is the first game in the No One Lives Forever series. It was followed by a sequel in 2002, entitled No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way.

In 2003, a spin-off of the first two game was released, entitled Contract J.A.C.K.. Chronologically, Contract J.A.C.K. is set between the first two No One Lives Forever games. This stand-alone expansion pack is a shorter game, and unlike the previous titles, its main protagonist is not Cate Archer, but John Jack, who works for H.A.R.M. The game also focuses more on action gameplay, rather than on stealth.

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