AKA: Otto
As seen in: Elevator Action (Arcade)
Distinguishing feature: Unassuming demeanor.
Strengths: Magnificent control over elevators.
Weaknesses: Not so good with heights.

Profile by Jeremy Parish | December 2, 2009

The '80s were a good time for spies, provided they didn't mind being shot at by their Eastern European rivals while living a thankless, furtive life of espionage in the shadows. The hours were long and the pay was probably pretty lousy, and capture meant a short and agonizing life in the gulag. On the other hand, they got to use lots of neat little gadgets.

Or big gadgets, as was the case for one Agent 17, code-named "Otto." An unremarkable-looking fellow with plain brown hair and a casual wardrobe, Otto's standout trait was that he preferred to dispense with the bow-tie cameras and dart-firing fountain pens of your typical James Bond in favor of much more direct tools. To wit, he may well be the world's first secret agent to have employed major architecture as a significant aspect of his arsenal.

Blame it on the Commies, though. Otto was a dab hand with his pistol, a dead shot capable of dropping a chandelier on an enemy's head and nimble enough to dodge return fire. But his missions invariably took him through the curiously inept skyscraper complexes of the Soviet Bloc, designed by architects whose only mandate was to get rid of all those surplus elevators clogging the nation's warehouses (the result of the Party's decision to convert some of the Union's most productive farmland into elevator factories in anticipation of a cultural and financial boom that they mistakenly assumed would transform its cities into dense high-rise zones). You can hardly blame Otto if he saw all those pneumatic shafts and counterweights surging up and down and had the obvious inspiration: Why not let the elevators do the hard work for him?

And so Otto worked his way through countless Soviet industrial complexes, descending to the ground floor from a skylight infiltration while pilfering classified documents hidden discreetly behind bright red doors. His legacy: He may have pilfered the Eastern Bloc's deepest secrets, but in return he left a surfeit of significantly flatter counter-intelligence agents in his wake.

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