"They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark on everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the trigger, and it was over."
"Alex and I had a few moments of glory between us. Crime fighting comrades, the best in NYPD-DEA collaborative team... Good-hearted macho bullshit like that. I would have given anything to have him here as my back up. No such luck. No luck at all."
"There was nothing I could do. He was dead. I could tell by the empty accusing stare of his eyes."
"One thing you can count on: You push a man too far, and sooner or later he'll start pushing back."
"Turn around, walk away, blow town. That would have been the smart thing to do. I guess I wasn't that smart."
"The sun went down with practiced bravado. Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding."
"After Y2K, the end of the world had become a cliché. But who was I to talk, a brooding underdog avenger alone against an empire of evil, out to right a grave injustice? Everything was subjective. There were only personal apocalypses. Nothing is a cliché when it's happening to you."
"It wasn't about how smart or how good you were. It was chaos and luck, and anyone who thought different was a fool."
"Vlad was one of those old time bad guys with honor and morals, which almost made him one of the good guys. None of us was a saint."
"Collecting evidence had gotten old a few hundred bullets back. I was already so far beyond the point of no return I couldn't remember what it had looked like when I had passed it."
"When the darkness fell, New York City became something else, any old Sinatra song notwithstanding. Bad things happened in the night, on the streets of that other city. Noir York City."
"There was no glory in this. I hadn't asked for this crap. Trouble had come to me, in big dark swarms. The good and the just, they were like gold dust in this city. I had no illusions. I was not one of them. I was no hero. Just me and the gun, and the crook. My options had decreased to a singular course."
"I would have laughed, if I could have remembered how."
"I had taken on the role of the mythic detective: Bogart as Marlowe, or as Sam Spade going after the Maltese Falcon. To unravel all the mysteries, following a path of clues to that final revelation, even if it would take me down to the cold, cavernous depths of a grave."
"Just when you thought you had reached the deepest depths of horror, it suddenly got worse. How to turn off that small voice inside your head that started to whisper that you should be glad- that now, if not before, your revenge was justifiable on any conceivable moral scale. That small voice proved, beyond any doubt, that I was damned."
"Punchinello was burning to get me. The feeling was mutual. He was trying to put out my flames with gasoline."
"Sooner or later it was going to catch up with you. You'd find that Lady Luck was really a hooker, and you were fresh out of cash."
"Colder than a walk-in fridge. Cold as a gun."
"I had a bullet with Nicole Horne's name on it. I had ten thousand bullets with the hag's name on them. She had ultra high-tech security systems, enough mercenaries and weaponry to start World War III. There was no fear."
"What do you mean, 'he's unstoppable?' You are superior to him in every way that counts. You are better trained, better equipped, and you outnumber him at least twenty-to-one. Do. Your. Jobs."
"Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present Max Payne, New York's finest, with the biggest mobster body count ever. Dearest guests, prepare to die!"
"I lied to myself that it was over. I was still alive. My loved ones were still dead. It wasn't over."
"With no way to deal with the past, I kept my eyes on the road, off the rear view mirror and the roadkill behind me. I chased lesser mysteries, other people's crimes."
"'The things that I want,' by Max Payne. A smoke. A whiskey. For the sun to shine. I want to sleep, to forget. To change the past. My wife and baby girl back. Unlimited ammo and a license to kill. Right then, more than anything, I wanted her."
"The trouble with wanting something is the fear of losing it, or never getting it. The thought makes you weak."
"Suddenly, for the first time in I don't know how long, I realized, I didn't wish to be dead."
"Einstein was right. Time is relative to the observer. When you're looking down the barrel of a gun time slows down, your whole life flashes by, heartbreak and scars. Stay with it, and you can live a lifetime in that split second."
"When entertainment turns into a surreal reflection of your life, you're a lucky man if you can laugh at the joke. Luck and I weren't on speaking terms."
"Death is inevitable. Our fear of it makes us play safe, blocks out emotion. It's a losing game. Without passion you are already dead."
"If you think nothing can get to you, you're lying to yourself. At best, you're temporarily dead. A lightning bolt can reanimate you without a warning."
"Firing a gun is a binary choice. You either pull the trigger or you don't."
"I didn't deserve to walk away. There are no happy endings."
"There are no choices. Nothing but a straight line. The illusion comes afterwards, when you ask 'Why me?' and 'What if?' when you look back, see the branches, like a pruned bonsai tree, or a forked lightning. If you had done something differently, it wouldn't be you, it would be someone else looking back, asking a different set of questions."
"Your past has a way of sneaking up on you. You'll hear broken echoes of it everywhere, like a bad replay. You'll get mad at everyone for reminding you about it, even if it's all in your head."
"The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper, more terrible it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels. Your only chance is to turn around and face it. But it's like looking down into the grave of your love. Or kissing the mouth of a gun, a bullet trembling in its dark nest, ready to blow your head off."
"The genius of the hole: no matter how long you spend climbing out, you can still fall back down in an instant."
"I had a dream of my wife. She was dead. But it was all right."
"Hypothetically, if the only choice you've got is to do the wrong thing, then it's not really the wrong thing, it's more like fate."
"What the fuck is wrong with you, Max? Why don't you just die? You hate life, you're miserable all the time, afraid to enjoy yourself even a little! Face it, you might as well be dead already. Do yourself a favor, give up!"
"There are two kinds of people: ones that are trying to build their future and ones that are trying to rebuild their past. For too long I'd been stuck in-between, hidden in the dark."
"I'd been stuck in the past so long I'd forgotten what year it was."
"I'd been sitting at the bar for three hours, or five years depending on how you look at things."
"Look at me, I'm standing in a nightclub, listening to music I can't stand, I'm five thousand miles from home, I'm armed and I'm drinking. You don't want to listen to advice from me, amigo."
"I was a dumb American in a place where dumb Americans are less popular than the clap."
"I stood out in this place like a street walker in a monastery."
"So I guess I'd become what they wanted me to be, a killer. Some rent-a-clown with a gun who puts holes in other bad guys. Well that's what they had paid for, so in the end that's what they got. Say what you want about Americans, but we understand capitalism. You buy yourself a product and you get what you pay for. And these chumps had paid for some angry gringo without the sensibilities to know right from wrong. Here I was about to execute this poor bastard like some dime store angel of death and I realized: they were correct. I wouldn't know right from wrong if one of them was helping the poor and the other was banging my sister..."
"I had a hole in my second-favourite drinking arm, and the only way we were likely to get Fabiana back now was in installments. Whoever our uninvited guests were... I was about done playing soldiers."
"I didn't know what to think anymore. This town had more smoke and mirrors than a strip club dressing room."
"I knew this was a bad idea, but in the continued absence of any good ones I thought I might as well run with it."
“It was Monday afternoon and I’d already been thrown out of a party, been to a strip club and got into a bar fight. This latest mid-life crisis was certainly ticking all the boxes.”
“This kind of place made me want to puke. I needed a real drink to cope with the electronic music and robotic people.”
“When you’re stuck in a foreign country and don’t know the words for 'reverse charges' and you’re in some lonely skin joint in the middle of some poor slum and just had every last cent robbed from you and you call yourself a bodyguard- then you know you’re a loser."
[Attempting to play the piano] - "It didn't come out right, but I wasn't in much of a state to do anything, apart from kill people. Maybe that's the only thing I'm good for in any circumstance."
"Here I was again, halfway down the world, and still looking at the bodies of women I was supposed to protect."
"My judgement is lousy, but my hand is steady."
"The smell in this place reminded me of how long it had been since I'd had any food. A drinker eats when he's loaded. A real drunk eats when he's not."
"I felt like the avenging angel. I looked like a fat bald dude with a bad temper."
"I'd killed more cops than cholesterol and still no sign of Becker. It wasn't the first time it dawned on me I should probably have gone over the plan in more detail, but it was too late for that now."
"Smart move would have been sticking with Da Silva and going straight to the hangar, but when was I ever about smart moves? I'm a dumb move guy. 'Hey Max, we'll drive onto the runway. No thanks, I'll walk into the main entrance. I'll put a big shit shit-eating grin on my face and let these assholes take turns trying to kill me.' That's my style and it's too late in the day to hope for change. Boy were they throwing numbers at this problem, but then I wanted this. Was it redemption? Not really, it was pathetic desperation and not much else."
"The mission was screaming suicide but I didn't give a damn. At least I'd die being a pain in the ass."
"You? You're the fall guy. The American, running around, acting like an action hero, killing lots of people. You're a stroke of genius... You were an angry ex-cop. You were sitting in the bar, with a history of violence, and a history of bad temper. You were perfect."
"Is God happy with the poisoned cat dying alone in convulsions behind the billboard? Is God happy that life is cruel and that only the fittest survive? The fittest for what? Oh no, far from it. If God were omnipotent and omniscient in any literal sense, he wouldn’t have bothered to make the universe at all. There is no success where there is no possibility of failure, no art without the resistance of the medium. Is it blasphemy to suggest that God has his bad days when nothing goes right, and that God’s days are very, very long?"
"Far off the banshee wail of police or fire sirens rose and fell, never for very long completely silent. Twenty four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him. Out there in the night of a thousand crimes, people were dying, being maimed, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy tires. People were being beaten, robbed, strangled, raped, and murdered. People were hungry, sick; bored, desperate with loneliness or remorse or fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs. A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness. It all depends on where you sit and what your own private score is. I didn't have one. I didn't care. I finished the drink and went to bed."
"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. The detective must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor. He talks as the man of his age talks, that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham, and a contempt for pettiness."
"I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun. I put them on and went out of the room."
"It's a shooter about a drunk, somewhat morose, widowed ex-cop, trying to find some kind of peace with himself. It is not a game about the realities of being a drunk in terms of the need to drink. It is a game about being Max Payne... A man who has spent his life killing, even in the service of his idea of what is right or wrong, is going to be extremely damaged. That seemed the only way to approach this game and it is who this character is. He wants to be a thinker but he's much better as a doer... When he thinks he gets wrapped up in himself or makes mistakes. When he acts, he is brilliant, almost super-human. That is his character, and the dichotomy between the two is the reality of his life, and at the heart of the game. He cannot seem to move forward emotionally, but physically he is relentless."