Girls rejoice yet again, because this segment of Video Game Heroines is about femme fatale Mona Sax. For those who do not know her exploits, Mona Sax is a contract killer with a soft spot for Max Payne in the Max Payne video game series. The best thing about Mona is the fact that she just won’t stay down! And she can keep up with the guys when it comes to a fire fight. Mona Sax is deserving of some big recognition because of her ferocity and skills as a contract killer.
When Mona Sax is first introduced in the first Max Payne, she is already shown to be tough as nails. She’s a hit-woman and she especially doesn’t like it when mafia bosses beat up on her twin sister, Lisa. Mona right off the bat shows that no cop can bring her down, not even the titular character of the game, Max, since she drugs him in order to make her escape. In video games it’s such a risky moment to have the main character duped by a minor character. In a lot of ways in makes the player feel frustrated and upset that they’d ever play someone so foolish. However, when tricked by Mona Sax, I didn’t feel one bit of resentment because I knew one obvious truth: she is just as driven as Max Payne. So it’s easy to like her character even though she makes a living by killing people and she manages to outwit the police, and this is accomplished because of her strength of character. Mona even makes it a point to make sure she never plays a “damsel in distress” and for the most part; she doesn’t. In fact, Mona proves to be such a driven character that she even manages to survive the first Max Payne game even though her last scene shows her getting shot in the head. That’s pretty hardcore considering that by the time Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne rolls around (two years later) Mona is back to her doing her job as a high level contract killer and is also evading the police. No matter how you look at the situation: Mona is one tough cookie and she doesn’t go down without a fight.
So Mona lives to fight another day and live through another sequel and her role is expanded in Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne by making her a playable character in a certain chapter of the game. Mona did such an exceedingly good job at being a standout character in the first game that she is not only a featured character in the sequel, but she is given her own chapter of events. And in this chapter, Mona is tasked with doing the unthinkable: saving Max’s life from thugs while he is incapacitated. After this she is used as a plot device for the game by having Max fall in love with her and finally giving him the closure he needs in his life after the loss of his wife and child. Without Mona’s character Max would have not had the back-up he needed in launching an assault on the house of the man that was responsible for his family’s death, so that proves that she is also sympathetic and reliable. That makes light of Mona’s caring side as well since she was willing to risk her life for Max, and thats a pretty powerful decision to make; even for a video game character.
However, the Max Payne sequel doesn’t end too well for Mona this time as she dies in Max’s arms with a final bullet wound to her head. It does give him a certain sense of relief as the game closes out with Max thinking about Mona and thinking “I had a dream of my wife. She was dead. But it was all right.” Mona Sax will always be remembered as a tough lady and an absolute equal to action heroes like Max Payne because of her laundry list of exploits.