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|“||You want a jade figurine? The last guy who wanted it is being tortured in the basement. If he's still alive, he can tell you, but then you just need to get past Lee Hong's guard, Zun and that is almost impossible.||„|
|~ Lei Ling casually mentioning Tzun when Agent 47 inquires after the jade figurine.|
|“||Look out for Zun... He's a big bastard... He's the one that did this to me. You have to get him out of the way to get to Hong. It won't be easy. They're always together. Zun sees everything, hears everything, checks every room - even tastes Hong's food.||„|
|~ Agent Smith informing 47 of the danger Tzun poses after the protagonist frees him from the pillory.|
|“||Tzun: (In Chinese) The ponies were very bad to me.
Lee Hong: (In Chinese) How many times must I tell you not to piss your money away at the track?
Tzun: But Tommy Wong said Fancy Darling would win. 18 to 1 at the gate!
Lee Hong: Tommy Wong is an ass.
Tzun: But the horses have made him rich!
Lee Hong: No, Zun, people like you have made him rich.
Tzun: This is true. Next time I see him, I'll break his arm.
|~ Tzun and Lee Hong chatting about the former's gambling addiction right before 47 delivers a bowl of soup to them. }}|
|“||Hold on, I don't know this man, one moment, excuse me. Zun will taste. Taste like soup, yes, yes - [coughs] poison! [takes out his gun and shoots at 47 twice] Go, Mr Hong! I'll take care of... oof!... ugh...||„|
|~ Tzun tastes the soup, detects poison, then tries to kill 47 and dies himself (Hitman: Contracts). }}|
Tzun is a minor antagonist who appeared in the 2000 stealth-action game Hitman: Codename 47 in the 5th mission titled "The Lee Hong Assassination" as a supporting antagonist and a non-target and the reimagined version of the same assignment from the 2004 stealth-action game Hitman: Contracts. He's the toughest, most trusted personal bodyguard and a presumed right-hand man of the missions' main target Lee Hong.
Hitman: Codename 47
Once the Agency is confident enough that they've softened up Lee Hong by instigating a gang war between his Red Dragon Triad and the rival Blue Lotus Triad, the titular protagonist is informed that the crime lord is no longer untouchable and is instructed to infiltrate the Emperor's Garden restaurant, a combination of a legitimate, popular diner and Lee Hong's main base of operations, with the task of eliminating him. While he was rendered allyless via the assassination of the Hong Kong police chief, losing influence outside of his HQ mansion, located on the premises of his restaurant, he's far from defenseless, as he's still in charge of his own army of the Red Dragon thugs, guards and last but not least, Tzun, the triad's prominent member, Lee Hong's right-hand man and his personal bodyguard.
Little is known about Tzun's background, however, it's certain that he somehow rose through the ranks, presumably due to his effeciency and unwavering dedication to Lee Hong, thus earning a special position in the triad. He's never seen far away from his boss, vigilantly patrolling the first floor of Lee Hong's headquarters and walking closely behind him when he sets out to dine in the restaurant. He seats at the same table as his master and will only allow 47 to approach Lee Hong if he's disguised as a waiter. While it's technically possible to dispose of Tzun in a alternative manner as opposed to the one intended by the developers, like gunning down both him and Lee Hong through the roof window above their table, the most viable, reasonable and, above all else, canon method is to lace a bowl of soup that Lee Hong has ordered with poison that 47 obtains from the herbal store clerk in return for the Jade figurine - one of the mission's main objectives. He warns 47 of Tzun as a potential impediment to his assignment and hands him the poison with the express purpose of getting rid of the brute first, knowing it would come in handy due to Tzun's dish-tasting habit. Right before Lee Hong is about to ingest the soup, Tzun, suspicious of the bowl's contents due to them being in the middle of the Triad war, stops his master and samples the dish to determine if it's safe for consumption. Mere seconds after he tastes the soup and puts it down on the table, the extra ingredient kicks in and Tzun begins feeling sick, coughing and burping. He immediately realizes who spiked the soup, takes out his weapon and attempts to kill 47, but is unable to adjust his aim due to the effects of the poison, missing three times and collapsing to the ground, which prompts Lee Hong to flee to his mansion. The protagonist tries to give chase to his target, however, Tzun, in his last-ditch effort to prevent his master's assassination, grabs 47 by the leg, making him fall to the floor as well. Nevertheless, 47 breaks free of his opponent's grasp and uses Tzun's own pistol to shoot him twice in the face, then escapes the scene before any of the guards or the patrons have realized what had occured. Tzun's demise allows 47 to roam Lee Hong's HQ unhindered, since his right hand was the only one observant enough to see through the protagonist's ruse, thus making the process of eliminating him significantly easier.
While his role in the flashback version of this mission is largely the same, Tzun's character has still undergone a few notable changes, along with his routine and overall impact on the environment around him that mainly pertain to the layout modifications that came with the revamped rendition of the Wang Fou restaurant.
Whereas in the original game Tzun only had a single patrol route and doesn't occupy any specific location for long, primarily prioritizing guarding the elevator over any other area of the mansion, pacing back and forth between the doorways to the bathroom and the gym without actually entering them, which allowed the player to hide in those rooms before moving upstairs to face Lee Hong, in Hitman: Contracts he's been provided with his own room right next to his master's office that he goes back to after randomly switching between five different routes: two rooms near the elevator, at the bottom of the stairs to the second floor, the getaway basement with the motorboat and just outside the main gates to the mansion, effectively covering most parts of the building, with the basement route and his bedroom providing an opportunity for 47 to discreetly dispose of him well before Lee Hong decides to pay a visit to his restaurant, leaving the target alone and vulnerable.
In place of a modest and somewhat subtle foreshadowing in a form of his appearance in the mission's target footage and the store clerk's admonishment in Hitman: Codename 47, Tzun receives a more straightforward, full-fledged introduction in Hitman: Contracts, from which the herbal shop and its store clerk are absent altogether, instead being replaced by a brief remark made by Lei Ling, who claims it to be "impossible" to get past the Lee Hong's bodyguard, and Agent Smith's speech on the knowledge he's gathered from his first-hand experience with both Tzun and Lee Hong.
Naturally, the herbal shop and its owner's removal has had an impact not only on the way he's introduced in the game, but had a bearing on the methods of getting him out of the way as well. Now, the poison doesn't come in the form of a mysterious powdery substance in a unique, masterfully crafted bottle, but a regular vial of Cyanide that's surprisingly common in the game's universe, which can be discovered resting on a safe in the brothel. However, no matter how alluring this old and familiar option may be, in Hitman: Contracts it's been made practically useless and quite messy, since now, thanks to the restaurant's altered layout (Lee Hong and Tzun dine in the isolated spherical room with the presence of two armed guards near the entrance) and Tzun's improved marksmanship, instead of allowing 47 to leave unscathed, Tzun, before succumbing to the poison itself rather than two gunshots to the head, wounds the protagonist at least once, reducing his health to about 50%. On top of that, Lee Hong will alert the two nearest guards of the botched assassination, making the possibility of getting a high rank and escaping without having to blast through the army of hostile gangsters very unlikely. Fortunately, the game presents the player with a clean, non-lethal (for Tzun, at least) solution to this conundrum via the bottle of laxatives that can be secretely snatched from the bartender while he's not looking. Lacing the soup with it will send Tzun straight to the bathroom, presenting 47 with the options of either killing him while he's busy relieving himself and then moving onto his master or quietly assassinating Lee Hong and hiding his body behind the table before the brute returns, thus sparing his life.
Tzun is a tall (approximately 6'4), obese Asian man in his early to mid 40s with a "strongfat" body type, hazel brown eyes, shaved head and a fierce scowl stuck permanently on his face. He's dressed in a men's red velvet robe that consists of a light red jacket held together by a waistband, which exposes his forearms, chest and abdomen, with a symbol on its back depicting a tied money pouch, deep red pants and slippers.
His signature weapon is the AMT 1911 Hardballer in Hitman: Codename 47 and the Gold Desert Eagle in Hitman: Contracts.
Undoubtedly, Tzun's most prominent character trait is his fanatical reverence towards his boss, Lee Hong. He seems to dedicate all of his time to his job of ensuring his master's safety, always watching his back and patrolling the premises of his mansion without rest. He's perfectly fine with putting his life on the line for the sake of his boss, which's demonstrated by his wilingness to check Lee Hong's every dish for poison, a proclivity that he had even before the paranoia-inducing Triad war, as evidenced by the herbal store clerk's advice of using the lethal substance, meaning he's always tasted Lee Hong's food regardless of the current situation. As a matter of fact, Tzun's selfless devotion to his master is so powerful he's able to brush off the effects of the poison and muster every last bit of strength in his dying body to shoot the impostor and then physically wrestle him to the ground to aid Lee Hong's escape, all the while being aware that even if the intruder doesn't kill him, the poison will anyway.
While he's portrayed as a "strong, silent type" in the first game with no dialogue at all, his eternal threatening scowl and muteness are replaced by a more neutral expression along with a simple-minded, childish demeanor in Hitman: Contracts - so much so, that his character almost borders on the comic relief, as examplified by his rather humorous conversation with his boss, from which it becomes apparent that Tzun might be addicted to gambling and that his impulsivity and gullibility make it easy for someone with more knowledge on the subject to manipulate him into betting on the wrong horses despite him continuously losing money. Once Lee Hong confronts him with the harsh truth, Tzun does a complete 180 in a heartbeat and vows to break the arm of a man who's been deceiving him, showing just how little effort it takes for his master to change his stance on something, as well as his propensity towards using brute force to solve problems. Curiously, this childlike mentality doesn't interfere with his work at all, as it somehow cohabitates with his astonishing ability to see through 47's every disguise when he's in the mansion.
As a more disturbing extension of his trend of using brute force, Tzun has no qualms about mercilessly torturing Lee Hong's enemies, which's proven by Agent Smith's battered state, and further supported by the presence of multiple ornate pillories in the restaurant's basement, though it's unclear if he receives sadistic pleasure from the process or does it dispassionately as a part of his job.
Although it's never specified what kind of relationship Tzun and his master have in the first game, with the only evidence of Lee Hong's fondness of him being the way he refers to him in his letter to Boris, their restaurant dialogue in Contracts signifies a more amicable type of relationship as opposed to the "employee-employer" one, possibly suggesting that Tzun views Lee Hong as a father figure rather than a boss.
Powers and Abilities
- Enhanced Senses: Tzun is one of the few guard characters in the series, excluding the major targets, whose keen eyesight, attentiveness and common sense allow them to identify 47 as the imposter, no matter what disguise he wears, as long as he's on the prowl in the Lee Hong's mansion (the waiter clothes will work inside the restaurant), with the Red Dragon Triad member outfit offering only several more seconds as opposed to the other disguises before he sees through it.
- Brute Strength: Although he's quite overweight, Tzun still has a great deal of muscle mass and is implied to possess raw physical strength. He's able to wield a Desert Eagle one-handed and can even match 47's heightened condition, as he had to apply considerable effort to release himself from Tzun's grasp, while the latter was suffering from the effects of the poison, making it all the more impressive, considering he was capable of such a display of strength in a severely weakened state.
- Durability: Most likely due to a thick layer of fat and muscle, Tzun's corpulent frame can withstand significantly more damage when compared to most characters both in the original game and in Hitman: Contracts. While he barely flinches from or reacts to any weapon in Hitman: Codename 47, his "remastered" counterpart takes it up a notch - he's almost completely invincible to Lee Hong's notorious sword that kills any other NPC in one or two hits, with the exception of a sneak attack from behind.
- Tzun's name (尊) means "respect" and "honor" in Chinese.
- In Hitman: Codename 47, Tzun's gait is comically clumsy and sluggish, especially when he runs, making him a bit slower than other NPCs, which can be attributed to his massive weight, but in Hitman: Contracts he moves just as quickly as any other character.
- The cutscene that depicts his poisoning in Hitman: Codename 47 shows Tzun brandishing a Desert Eagle, even though he uses a Hardballer during the gameplay and the player will receive a Hardballer after the cutscene ends.
- In Hitman: Blood Money, one can spot a reference to the first game in a form of an advertisement in a newspaper that the player is able to read after the "Flatline" mission. Among the dishes listed in the ad, there's one in particular called "Zun's Noodle Feast", which's designed for six people, most likely as a joke that points to Tzun being obese and a big eater.
- For an unknown reason, his ability to see through 47's disguises is not present in Hitman: Contracts, even though the comments of several NPCs pertaining to Tzun's formidability imply that he should still retain it, which allows the protagonist to roam around the mansion with impunity while Tzun is alive, as long as he wears the Red Dragon Triad member outfit.
- An unused dialogue between two waiters that can be discovered in the files of Hitman: Codename 47 suggests that the developers intended to emphasize that Tzun was the one who tortured Agent Smith in the basement, a detail that was added and confirmed only in Hitman: Contracts, making it unclear if he cannonically tortured Smith in the original game as well, or if it's nothing but a mere distortion of 47's memories that's true only for Hitman: Contracts. Nevertheless, the presence of this conversation in the original game's files implies that they wanted to implement it in Hitman: Codename 47, but only included it in Hitman: Contracts as a nod to their initial plans, which makes it debatable whether it's canon for series as a whole or is exclusive to the flashback.
- In the same unused dialogue, the waiters refer to him as "Ah Tzun". It's unknown if it's his actual full name, considering that it was scrapped from the game.
- Tzun - Hitman Wiki