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|“||We can't just go out and kill random people now, can we?||„|
|~ Corey rationalizing the Fans' crimes.|
The Fans are the main protagonists of the first half of the top-down shooter video game Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, appearing as playable protagonists for much of the 1991 setting and the final bosses of the game.
They are a small, but formidable gang of copycat spree killers wearing animal masks. Named after their adoration of Jacket for his murders in Hotline Miami, the Fans attempt to emulate his crimes by slaughtering criminal gangs throughout Miami for fun, long after the phone calls had stopped. Through their rampages, the Fans seek to achieve the same infamy Jacket acquired above all.
Prior to 50 Blessings' attacks in Miami, the Fans were a closely knit group of friends who fought in the Hawaii Conflict alongside the Ghost Wolves. On March 17th, 1985, the Fans are seen hanging out at a military bar where the Ghost Wolves are present. Alex is stood up by the bar smoking a cigarette; her brother, Ash, adjusts a radio's frequency; Corey is eating pizza; and Mark and Tony are drinking beer.
Long after the war is over, the ultranationalist organization, 50 Blessings, singlehandedly destroys the Russian Mafia by coercing masked killers into raiding their criminal hideouts through the use of threatening phone calls. The most infamous and successful of these masked killers, Jacket, earns the worship of the Fans in the process, perceiving him as a hero. The leader of the Fans in particular, Tony, even owns a bloodied, torn tiger mask that he claims belonged to Jacket. The Fans' adoration for Jacket soon escalates into homicidal obsession when the group decides to copy the man's crimes, eventually stealing a PhoneHom van from police custody and decorating it with 50 Blessings graffiti. The Fans even keep multiple phones at a desk in their bar in hopes that one day, the group receives a phone call instructing them to commit murders. Despite modeling themselves after Jacket and 50 Blessings' killing sprees, the Fans are shown to be completely unaware of the context behind Jacket's murders and 50 Blessings' jingoistic motives, simply going along with their massacres for sadistic thrills and notoriety.
In Issue 1 of the Digital Comic, the Fans watch the news following the aftermath of Jacket's attack on the Russian Mafia's villa. Together, they criticize the arrest of Jacket and the media's input on his crimes, complaining that they should not be celebrating the arrest of a "hero". Subsequently, Tony urges his friends not to worry, since it now means that it's time for them to rise up and continue Jacket's work in his stead, thus beginning their killing sprees.
In Issue 4, the Fans are seen patrolling the streets of Miami in their brand new "Attack Van", searching for any criminal hideout they can invade. While discussing the possibility of eavesdropping on police frequencies from a radio their friend owns, the Fans overhear a news report on the radio of a human trafficking operation being discovered at docks by the authorities. Driving out to the general area, the Fans get out of their van to search a seemingly abandoned warehouse when Ash spots a light coming from the buildings. When Corey scouts ahead with a katana in hand, she spots a gang member gives chase. Stumbling upon a masked gang unloading cargo from a truck, the Fans immediately start slaughtering them through whatever means necessary.
Engaging in a battle with the gang inside the warehouse, the Fans successfully wipe out the entire gang with minimal effort, except for a large thug. As per Tony's suggestion, the Fans keep the gang member alive so they can "send a message" to Miami about their newfound quest for fame. The group flees the scene, but not before torturing the gang member by chaining him to the front of their van and driving through the streets with him, causing his feet to be ripped apart.
On October 31st, the Fans host an animal mask-themed Halloween party at their bar. In spite of the festivities, the Fans grow immensely bored of the guests and their party. To lift their spirits, Mark asks if they are going to kill another gang of criminals. While Corey is hesitant about the idea, Tony and Ash are ecstatic about finishing off the night with their raid, so Alex heads over to their garage and starts up the van.
Due to the massive decline in the Russian Mafia's activity, the Fans are left to improvise with their vigilante rampages by targeting petty gangs who have taken over the bulk of the Russian Mafia's weaker criminal operations. As such, the Fans arrive at NW 188th Street, a gang-owned electronics workshop, and one of the Fans (most likely Corey) charges in and slaughters all of the thugs occupying the hideout. Fleeing the crime scene, the Fans stop at a pizza parlor to pick up three pizzas that Mark ordered in celebration of their successful raid. Mistaking Mark's animal mask and tactical gear for a Halloween costume, the parlor employee jokingly warns Mark to watch out for ghosts on his way home, completely unaware of the true nature behind his outfit.
On November 5th, one of Jacket's trials take place, where a gathering of people outside the courthouse are protesting about Jacket's incarceration. Among the protestors are Alex and Ash, each waving protest signs, clearly showing that they have not forgotten about their obsession with Jacket.
On November 11th, the Fans make a cameo appearance in Hank's bar alongside many other playable characters. They are all seen sat a table drinking, where many empty beer bottles lay on their table. Despite "Subway" chronologically taking place before "Death Wish", the Fans seem to be conveying their "defeat" at the bar, since "Subway" is played right after "Death Wish" where the downfall of the Fans occur.
As a result of the Russian Mafia engaging in a violent gang war with the Colombians, one of the Russian Mafia's enforcers, the Henchman, is sent to wipe out a gang running chop shop on NW 32nd Avenue. The gang that occupied the chop shop withdrew their money owed to the Russian Mafia and instead started kicking it up to the Colombians, thus resulting in the gang getting murdered. However, the owner of the chop shop, Andy, is a friend and business associate of the Fans. As a result of the Henchman deciding to spare Andy after taking off with the gang's bag of money, Andy runs off and notifies the Fans of what has happened. He offers the Fans a favor in the future in exchange for killing the Henchman as payback for raiding his chop shop.
Tracking the Henchman down to a gang-occupied drug den on NE 14th Avenue, the Fans' van screech up outside the den and the group begins their assault (with Alex and Ash most likely carrying out the attack). Butchering all of the gang members present at the hideout, the Fans then corner the Henchman in a small room in the center of the building. They find the Henchman highly intoxicated on a new hallucinogenic drug, crushed that his girlfriend had abandoned him, stealing his car and money in the process. Rambling in a drug-induced haze, the Henchman mistakenly believes he is in a jungle after seeing the Fans' animal masks. Unable to listen to any more of the Henchman's rambling, Ash grabs the Henchman by his feet and drags him onto the table before him, while Corey bludgeons him with a lead pipe. Begging that he just wants to go home with Mary, the Henchman is subsequently ripped apart by the Fans in retaliation for his hit on Andy's chop shop: Mark crushes the Henchman's hand under his boot; Alex crushes the Henchman's crotch under her boot; and Corey repeatedly smashes his head into a bloody pulp. As the Fans leave the scene, Ash steals the Henchman's cellphone.
On December 2nd, the Fans meet up in their bar to plan an attack on a "special place". Having scouted ahead, Ash informs the rest of the crew that his friend, Jack, has found that a derelict hideout ran by violent "junkies and low-lives" is being visited by his sister. As a favor owed to Jack, Ash suggests they should put the gang in their place and rescue Jack's sister, who is now living there in squalor. Apathetic, Tony protests that he has no interest in saving the girl, helping out friends or carrying out any other heroic deeds, stating that he just wants action. Ash counters that Tony hasn't got any better ideas than roaming the streets for random criminals to kill, since it will only attract the police's attention and get them all arrested. Alex then impatiently convinces Tony to go along with the plan regardless of how he feels about saving Jack's sister, so Corey prepares the van.
Driving over to NW 184th Street, one of the Fans (most likely Tony) storms through the three-floor building complex to clear out the hideout's gang members. Leaving behind dozens of bodies, the Fans come across Jack's sister hiding in a closet armed with a pistol. Terrified, she tries to fend the Fans off while tears are streaming down her face. The Fans try to convince the girl that they are only there to help her get back to her brother, but Jack's sister refuses to go with them, believing that the Fans are insane for murdering her friends. Knowing that Jack's sister is safe, the Fans decide to flee the scene before the situation escalates. Afterwards, the Fans' van breaks down on the way back to their bar. Tony and Ash argue over the van not being repaired at a garage while the latter makes temporary repairs. Looking for Andy to turn in his favor to the Fans, Ash tells Tony to have Andy repair the van at the chop shop before they continue back to the bar.
On December 9th, after reading a newspaper detailing controversies surrounding the new "Midnight Animal" film, Mark enthusiastically announces that their crimes have made it onto the news. Corey dryly states that they finally got their "five minutes of fame", Tony expresses his disappointment with the news, and Alex foolishly asks if they could get a copy of the report from the news station. Believing they need to kill more criminals to garner more attention from the press, Alex states that she might have discovered a new criminal operation to raid after buying marijuana off of the thugs residing there. While Tony believes Alex is looking for an excuse to hoard more drugs for herself, Mark agrees that the hideout could be worth attacking, convincing the rest of the Fans to head out by offering to pick up pizza on the way back home.
Soon arriving at an abandoned building on NW 168th Street, one of the Fans (most likely Mark) clears out the building, where only a small handful of hoodlums were present. However, the Fans are drawn to noises they hear coming from a manhole in a small room. Descending into Miami's sewers, the Fans find a criminal operation more organized than they had anticipated: the gang occupying the sewers are secretly dissolving dead bodies in acid baths, keeping a torture chamber nearby for convenient use. Regardless, the Fans successfully wipe out the hoodlums in the sewers and quickly flee the scene.
The following day, Alex washes herself at home after she and the Fans explored the sewers. A nearby newspaper reveals that the police are now aware that a new set of masked vigilantes have emerged since the end of the 50 Blessings rampages, giving the Fans more notoriety. However, the Fans' activities attract the attention of the corrupt Detective Manny Pardo, who knocks on Alex's front door. To avoid being implicated in the murders, Alex kicks her mask and gear under her bed before getting changed.
Unexpectedly, Pardo lets himself in without Alex's permission due to the front door being unlocked. Alex is also unaware that Pardo is planting the wallet of one of his "Miami Mutilator" victims underneath a table in an attempt to frame her for serial murder. Nonetheless, Pardo asks Alex of the whereabouts of her brother Ash, to which Alex replies that Ash not home, nor does he live with Alex anymore. Pardo then asks Alex to tell Ash that he is required to contact the Miami Police Department soon, presumably due to being a suspect in the Fans' spree killings. Alex then asks Pardo to leave when he starts awkwardly complimenting Alex's appearance, prompting Pardo head out.
On December 20th, Mark heads to the bar with a box of brand new rooster masks, asking Corey, Tony and Alex to try them on. He asks them if the masks feel comfortable, but all three of them suddenly become unresponsive. When Mark asks if there's something wrong, Richard manifests himself in the form of the rooster masks, giving Mark disjointed, cryptic message regarding floors of a building being cleared. Bewildered, Mark tries to make sense of the situation, but his hallucination is interrupted when a phone starts ringing. Coming to their senses, the Fans realize none of the phones in the bar are ringing. Realizing the ringing is coming from a cellphone in Ash's pocket, Ash explains that he looted it from the Henchman's body after they killed him. Answering the phone, Ash hears the Son, the current boss of the Russian Mafia, on the other end of the line, but remains silent. Believing that the Henchman is on the other end of the line, the Son explains that he's brought the Russian Mafia back to its former glory after wiping out the Colombians and says that he'll let the Henchman back into his organization in case he changed his mind about his retirement. Before hanging up, the Son inadvertently gives the Fans his address: NW 20th Street. At Ash's suggestion, the Fans immediately rush to address given, which leads straight to the Russian Mafia's brand new headquarters.
Equipped with walkie-talkies, the Fans plan to clear out all the floors of the building available to them and rendezvous on the roof. As soon as the security lock at the front door is broken into, Alex, Ash and Corey rush to the upper floors of the building, while Mark is seemingly nervous about their assault. Tony makes fun of Mark for being overweight when he wonders if he can cross the roof to the other building, prompting both of them storm the upper floors as well. All according to the plan, Mark, Corey, Tony, Alex and Ash all slaughtered the Russian mobsters in their respective floors in that order, but only Alex and Ash successfully make it to the roof. When the siblings try to contact the other Fans, none of them respond on their walkie-talkies. Before they can figure out what happened to them, the Son arrives on the roof and instantly shoots Ash in the head with a revolver, killing him. While Alex cries out for her brother, the Son cackles manically in a drug-induced haze and turns his gun on Alex. Angrily ordering the Son to get it over with, the Son shoots Alex dead before she can finish her last words. He then hobbles over to the edge of the roof and falls to his death.
It soon turns out that the Son had bludgeoned Mark to death and shot Corey in the abdomen. It is also revealed that the Richard's disjointed messages to the Fans were warnings of their upcoming events, quoting verbatim each of their messages over their walkie-talkies. Surviving an encounter with the Son, Tony drags Mark and Corey into a small room where he is cornered by a SWAT team sent in to put an end to the massacre. Mourning over Corey once she bleeds to death, Tony is suddenly interrupted by Manny Pardo, who has taken over the SWAT operation by force. Being held at gunpoint by Pardo and with all of his friends dead, Tony declares he is done fighting and willingly surrenders, asking Pardo not to shoot him. Wanting to eliminate any competition to his own mission to garner notoriety through his Miami Mutilator murders, Pardo smugly denies Tony his "fifteen minutes of fame" by shooting Tony in the head in cold blood. With Pardo lying about Tony's death by claiming he killed him in self-defense, the Fans' own quest for murderous glory is brought to a bloody end in a similar vein to Jacket's downfall, with the Russian Mafia getting dragged down with them.
The Fans' assault on the Russian Mafia's headquarters is portrayed much differently from the Son's perspective. Celebrating his newfound victory over the Colombians, the Son gets immensely high on his own drug and goes on a homicidal rampage, killing dozens of his own men while the Fans simultaneously attack his headquarters. Confronting Mark in the middle of his killing spree, the Son, through horrific hallucinations, perceives him as an anthropomorphic bear feasting on a dead mobster. When Mark tries to rip him apart, the Son grabs a golf club and bludgeons the bear to death with it.
Later finding himself in a room surrounded by windows, he is then attacked by Corey, who is hallucinated as a zebra with glowing red eyes wearing Corey's Miami Dolphins jacket. Trying to kill the Son by ramming into him via leaping in and out of the room, the Son grabs a revolver and shoots Corey, causing her hallucinated form to bloodily explode.
Coming across a jungle where skeletons and a pile of dead mobsters lay on the ground, the Son witnesses Tony as a massive anthropomorphic tiger with an eye in his mouth. After roaring, Tony leaps out from the shadows in an attempt to crush the Son between his fists, but the Son fends him off by blasting at him with a shotgun, where it's implied that Tony survived his encounter with the Son.
The Son then makes it to the roof with a fire axe in hand instead of a revolver and confronts Alex and Ash: two humanoid swans who combine and transform into a huge, two-headed dragon-like swan monster. Alex tries to cut the Son in half with her chainsaw tongue, while Ash supports her by spitting fireballs at the Son. In contrast to his encounter with the twins in reality, the Son kills Alex first, and then kills Ash second. By destroying both heads, the body of the swan monster explodes in a giant, bloody mess. Instead of walking off the edge of his building, the Son believes he is crossing a rainbow bridge, disappearing into the void as the game's credits begin to roll.
The Table Sequence
The Table Sequence plays out each time the player starts a new game after already completing Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. The Fans are seen among the rest of the playable protagonists in the game, meeting with Richard in a dark room, who knows of each character's fates. After witnessing Jake and Martin Brown turn into corpses right after Richard condemns them for their actions, Tony declares that he has heard enough of Richard's ominous judgement of the characters and suggests to the Fans that they should leave. Richard refutes Tony's statement, explaining that the only option the Fans have is death. After a flash of light, the Fans all slump over dead in a gory mess respective of how they died in "Death Wish" and "Apocalypse": Mark has his head bashed in; Alex is shot in the chest; Ash is shot in the head; Tony is shot in the head; and Corey is disemboweled after being shot in the abdomen.
- Corey (Zebra) - Roll Dodge: The starter Fan, Corey's agile rolls allow her to dodge gunfire coming her way and is able to pick weapons as she pleases unlike the rest of the Fans. A quiet young woman wearing a zebra mask, Corey is perhaps the most reserved and worrisome of the Fans, cautiously questioning their plans and actions, but goes along with the group's rampages anyway.
- Tony (Tiger) - Killing Punches, No Weapons: The leader of the Fans, unlocked after "Down Under". Wearing a torn up, bloody tiger mask, Tony's quirk is that all of his punches are lethal and can kill fat enemies and dogs with his bare hands, but he can never pick up weapons. Hard-headed and abrasive, Tony's role in the group is approve of the group's plans, as long as said plans bring action and bloodshed. He is also the one who drives the Fans' Attack Van.
- Alex Davis and Ash Davis (Swans) - Chainsaw And Guns: Twin siblings wearing swan masks, unlocked after "Moving Up". Both Fans are controlled at the same time, with Alex exclusively using melee attacks, and Ash exclusively using guns. They both seem to scout out for criminal hideouts to raid, with Alex using street smarts to discover at least one hideout, and Ash being the brains behind much of the Fans' planning.
- Mark (Bear) - Two Machine Guns: A large man wearing a bear mask, unlocked after "Execution". Mark starts out his levels dual-wielding MP5s, capable of aiming them in different directions. He is the most jovial and easy-going member of the group, generally looking out for his friends' well-being by going out to shop for pizza or new masks.
- Andy: A young man working at a chop shop affiliated with the Colombians and a partner of the Fans. After the Henchman hits the chop shop, Andy asks the Fans to kill him as a favor.
- Jack: An unseen friend of Ash Davis who wants the Fans to rescue his sister from a gang of hoodlums.
- Dean: An unseen friend of Ash Davis who lets him charge up the Henchman's cellphone.
- The Fans appear as playable characters in more levels than any other protagonist in Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, being playable in five levels.
- Three of the four Fans' perks (Corey, Tony and Mark) were recycled for the Son later in the game. Developers Jonathan Soderstrom and Dennis Wedin explain that the reason they did this was to bring back the Fans' playstyle after they get killed off halfway through, and the Son made recycling the abilities much more convenient.
- Alex and Ash's perk is the only one of the Fans' abilities that isn't recycled for the Son.
- The events of "Death Wish" and "Apocalypse" are a deliberate parallel of the events of Hotline Miami's ending: while the first game ends with a spree killer (Jacket) who wears animal masks killing a Russian Mafia boss (The Father), the second game ends with a Russian Mafia boss (The Son) wiping out a group of spree killers who wear animal masks (The Fans).
- In "Moving Up", trying to approach Jack's sister after her dialogue has ended will result in her shooting the player controlled-Fan dead. This counts as an in-game death and will force the player to restart the entire floor.
- In "Execution", the Henchman asks the Fans if they are in the jungle while he is high. Funnily enough, the following level, "Ambush", shows the Fans literally in the jungles of Hawaii during their military years.
- The Fans' LSD bosses were created in response to fans of the series describing the art style of the series resembling being high on drugs. As best described by Wedin, "For the grand finale we really wanted to show them what it truly would look like on drugs." and opened up the opportunity to create "really big crazy bosses".
- While fans of the Hotline Miami series believed the Fans' Attack Van was a reference to the Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo, Wedin claims this wasn't originally intended until him and Soderstrom saw the resemblance two years after development.
- The Fans make a cameo appearance in the indie beat 'em up video game Mother Russia Bleeds as background characters.
- Due to the other Fans' limitations, Corey and Mark are the only Fans who can pick up and throw any weapon they come across: Ash can only pick up guns and cannot throw them, while Tony and Alex cannot pick up any weapons since they both use brass knuckles and a chainsaw respectively.
- In developer notes, Corey is explicitly described as a female version of Jacket, evident by her near-silence and similar playstyle.
- Furthermore, Jacket was originally going to wear a Miami Dolphins jacket until Soderstrom and Wedin settled on a letterman jacket. The Miami Dolphins jacket was eventually given to Corey.
- Dennis Wedin describes Corey as "HLM2's Don Juan", since both characters are women who wear equine masks who regularly express concern and caution to characters they interact with.
- Excluding the Pig Butcher (who already existed in Hotline Miami's in-game files), Corey was the first playable character developed for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number.
- Despite using a katana in the Digital Comic, Corey never uses one in-game. Interestingly, by contrast, the Son starts out with a katana when he has his "Roll Dodge" perk selected.
- Corey and Alex are the only female characters in the Hotline Miami series to appear as playable protagonists.
- Tony is the only playable character in the series who isn't playable during a level's intro or outro.
- For unexplained reasons, Tony is the only Fan who doesn't participate in the Henchman's execution.
- Tony is the only member of the Fans to survive the Son's rampage.
- Although he appears to be bald in his overworld sprite, Tony is explicitly shown to have a buzzcut in his unmasked dialogue sprite.
- The idea for Tony to wear cowboy boots was inspired by the character Llewellyn Moss from No Country for Old Men.
- Tony's LSD boss form is inspired by Shere Khan from The Jungle Book.
- Since Tony is the Fan who appears as an NPC in "Into the Pit", Mark will replace him if the player decides to play as Tony in the level.
- According to the art book, Soderstrom and Wedin considered the Tony mask in the first game to be a "failure" as far as game design is concerned, believing that the mask was far too overpowered with no real drawbacks. They claim that Tony being unable to wield weapons in the second game was not only fair balancing to make up for his ability, but also a fun challenge for players.
- The Swans' masks were colored green and with yellow beaks in the original teaser trailer for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, suggesting that they were originally going to be ducks.
- The idea for Alex and Ash originated from Soderstrom and Wedin possibly adding multiplayer to Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number before settling on letting both characters being controlled at the same time instead.
- Alex is the only playable character in the series who can execute enemies who are knocked out against a wall with a weapon.
- Alex and Biker are the only playable characters in the series who can perform standing executions on fat enemies.
- While the Swans are distinguishable from the numbers on their masks, the Swans are distinguished by the numbers on their shoulder pads in the Digital Comic.
- Wedin reveals in the art book that Mark's ability was the hardest of the Fans' abilities to conceive.
- Mark's physical appearance is loosely based on the character Macon from Murder Party.
- The art book claims that Mark's role in the Fans is inspired by Mr. T.
- Although Mark is the largest member of the Fans, his LSD boss form in "Apocalypse" is, ironically, the smallest of the Fans' boss forms.
- There is a glitch that allows Mark to shoot through walls if he is aiming against a wall at a certain angle.
- Mark's ballistic vest has no effect on the gameplay and is just for decoration, since he can die just as easily as the rest of the playable characters.