|No One Lives Forever character|
|First game||The Operative: No One Lives Forever (2000)|
|Voiced by||Kit Harris (NOLF)
Jen Taylor (NOLF2)
|Motion capture||Mitzi Martin (NOLF)|
Catherine Ann "Cate" Archer, codenamed The Fox, is a player character and the protagonist in the No One Lives Forever video game series by Monolith Productions. Cate, a covert operative for British-based counter-terrorism organization UNITY, is the main character in The Operative: No One Lives Forever (2000) and No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way (2002), and is also featured in Contract J.A.C.K., an official prequel to the second game.
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Archer is the only playable character in the series' main games, The Operative: No One Lives Forever and No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way. In the latter, there is a cooperative multiplayer level in which one needs to rescue Archer while she is unconscious, playing as a UNITY agent. She also makes a short appearance (as non-player character) and is a playable multiplayer character in Contract J.A.C.K.
Cate Archer was born in Scotland in late March 1942 to a privileged family. Her mother died soon after she was born and her father committed suicide in 1956. Prior to joining UNITY, Archer pursued a career as a professional thief, on the one hand to provide for herself and on the other because she found it gratifying. She was discovered by agent Bruno Lawrie when Archer stole his watch that had an in-built tracking device. By the time she arrived at her flat, Lawrie was waiting there. Admiring her talent and bravery, he decided to give her a future as an operative for UNITY - an international agency charged with combating terrorism around the globe.
Before the First H.A.R.M Incident, Archer mainly dealt with minor ignorable assignments. She was not completely satisfied with her career at UNITY, since she thought that there was no real value in her daily work. In September 1967, seven active UNITY field operatives were killed by a mysterious assassin, who always left a red lily upon his victim. This emergency situation forced the organization to call upon Archer to undertake her first major assignment. She and Bruno Lawrie went to Morocco, thereby beginning the chain of events which unfold in the first game. By the time the incident was resolved, she had gained the respect of her superiors, and came to be regarded as one of UNITY's top field agents.
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.
In 2007, Cate was included by Tom's Games on the list of the 50 greatest female characters in video game history ("As a delightfully retro 1960s British agent, Archer is the female equivalent of James Bond. She's irresistibly sexy, stubbornly headstrong and proficient with all sorts of Bond-like gadgets"), and was ranked ninth in the GamePro's list of the "top asses in gaming" ("Flat, yet appetizing. Cate's such a tease"). That same year, Cate was ranked sixth in ActionTrip's list of top "video game chicks", and the site's writer stated: "Apart from being one of most attractive game heroines out there, she's the female equivalent of James Bond and not many chicks can stand up to that. She's sexy and there's simply nothing she can't handle." In 2008, Play listed her as one of their favorite female characters in their sixth "Girls of Gaming" issue, stating she's "as badass as Bourne and as suave as Bond," while noting their desire to see her return in another title. That same year, she was ranked as 25th on GameDaily's list of "hottest game babes" list, cited as attractive despite her conservative attire compared to other female characters, and third in UGO.com's list of "girls of gaming", compared to Emma Peel and called a female counterpart to Bond in terms of appeal. She was also one of the characters featured in UGO's 2008 list of top 11 spies in all media, stating she "perfectly captures the swinging spy style". In 2009, this "smart, tough heroine" was one of the 64 characters chosen for the GameSpot's poll All Time Greatest Game Hero, but lost in the first round against Strider Hiryu. In 2011, GamesRadar named her "Miss 2000" in their article on the sexiest new characters of the decade. Tom's Guide included this "smooth operator" on their 2013 list of the 20 "hottest video game babes" for making "international espionage classy and sexy all at once."
- Cate Archer - The Operative
- "FOX Interactive casts elite model as the muse for its new 60s spy adventure" (Press release). Fox Interactive. May 11, 2000. Archived from the original on October 18, 2000. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- "No One Lives Forever: Frequently Asked Questions – General FAQ". No One Lives Forever website. Fox Interactive. June 30, 2000. Archived from the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- "No One Lives Forever Sweeps Prestigious "Game of the Year" Awards; PC Game Steals the Spotlight With Its Style, Sophistication and Sexiness" (Press release). Fox Interactive. March 12, 2001. Retrieved September 16, 2011.
- Longo, David (November 8, 2007). "JeanShrimpton". Flickr. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- Kit Harris at the Internet Movie Database
- User "Eliteone" (June 1, 2006). "Kit Harris' Interview". Unity Headquarters. Archived from the original on October 3, 2011. Retrieved November 21, 2010.
- The 50 Greatest Female Characters in Video Game History | Tom's Games
- The Top Asses in Gaming, Feature Story from GamePro
- "AT's Top 10 Video Game Chicks". ActionTrip. September 7, 2007. Archived from the original on May 21, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
- Halverson, Dave; Mike Griffin; Heather Anne Campbell; Matt Cabral; Eric L. Patterson (December 2008). "Girls of Gaming". Play. Vol. 6. p. 29.
- "Top 50 Hottest Game Babes on Trial". GameDaily. Archived from the original on July 1, 2008. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
- Top 11 Girls of Gaming Archived 2012-07-27 at the Wayback Machine.. UGO.com. Retrieved on 2008-12-26
- Top 11 Spies: Cate Archer - UGO.com Archived 2010-11-15 at the Wayback Machine.
- All Time Greatest Video Game Hero contest at GameSpot.com - Standings
- "The sexiest new characters of the decade". GamesRadar. June 23, 2012. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved July 6, 2013.
- John Corpuz, 20 of The Hottest Video Game Babes, Tom's Guide, April 26, 2013