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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

We’ll never forget Hitman 2’s most legendary weapon: the homing briefcase

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Maybe we need a museum of amusing videogame bugs. The way patches are delivered automatically these days, I fear we’ll lose busted game builds unless developers are fastidious about preserving them. Take, for instance, the homing briefcase from Hitman 2, which appeared in November of 2018. What a tragedy it would be to lose a legend like that!

Thankfully, after fixing this particular bug, developer IO Interactive later preserved it as an unlockable item. Despite the name everyone gave it—the “homing briefcase”—the core issue wasn’t the homing ability of the briefcase, exactly. Thrown objects in Hitman 2 always hit their targets, and that was intended. It was the briefcase’s leisurely airspeed that allowed it to meander around corners, like in the gif above, which was posted to Reddit by user venomousbeetle.

After fixing the error, IO Interactive recreated the bug in 2019 with the unlockable MKII model briefcase. It’s not as funny when you know how the briefcase is going to behave, but I’m glad that the next generation will still be able to watch them fly like, well, nothing really flies like that. Extremely slow curve balls?

[Hitman 2] Homing Briefcase from r/GamePhysics

Above is another good clip of the briefcase bug as it first appeared. (I suppose that the subreddit it was posted in, r/GamePhysics, is something of a bug museum, although it contains video evidence of bugs and not the code itself.)

The video below comes from 2019, after the MKII briefcase model was added, and answers the question, ‘What happens if the target is on a jet ski?’

In the present, Andy loved Hitman 3, though sadly he did not report any unusual briefcase behavior. Such comical end-over-end spinning may fail to ever naturally reoccur in videogames—RIP to a legend, if that’s the case.

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