LCDR Samuel "Sam" Fisher, USN (Ret.), is the protagonist of the Splinter Cell series developed by Ubisoft and endorsed by Tom Clancy. His full name can be seen in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, the first game of the series, when he was using the computer in the V-22 Osprey to encrypt his call home. Fisher is a field operative of the "Splinter Cell" program for Third Echelon, a top-secret sub-branch within the National Security Agency (NSA). He is voiced by actor Michael Ironside.
"I've been a ghost my whole life. Time to see if a ghost can really disappear."
— Sam Fisher, Splinter Cell: Double Agent trailer.
A combat veteran of over a hundred silent wars, Sam Fisher is one of the most experienced and highly-respected covert operatives in the U.S. intelligence community. Prior to joining the NSA, Fisher had an extensive service career, working as a member of the CIA's Special Activities Division (Special Operations Group) and as a highly decorated soldier in the U.S. Navy SEALs, in which he served as an operator in both SEAL Team 3 and DEVGRU, where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He retired from active duty sometime in 1996, but later returned to work for the NSA in 2004, when he was recruited into Third Echelon. Fisher is an expert in the art of stealth, trained in various techniques and tactics. He is extremely proficient in both armed and unarmed combat, specifically SEAL CQB and Krav Maga, and can also speak a wide variety of foreign languages including Russian, Korean, Arabic, Chinese, Persian, and Spanish among others. When possible, Fisher operates almost exclusively at night and prefers to work alone in the field.Samuel Fisher was born in 1957, in Towson, Maryland. While not much is known about his early life, it is known that Fisher attended a military boarding school shortly after his parents died when he was a child. He later spent two years as a Political Science major. Documentation on his activities from the 1970s to the 1990s are unavailable and considered classified. What little unclassified data is known about Fisher states that during the 1980s he was stationed at a U.S. Air Force Base in western Germany, where he later met and fell in love with Regan Burns while allegedly working as a "diplomatic aide." In 1985, she gave birth to their only daughter, Sarah (born May 31). They eventually divorced after four years of marriage, and at some point in 1992 Regan died of ovarian cancer. In 1989, Fisher took part in a raid during Operation Just Cause, when he led a CIA team into a bank in Panama searching for some of Manuel Noriega's drug money. A veteran of the Gulf War, Fisher revealed that shortly after the conflict in Panama ended in 1990 he spent the rest of the year "sleeping in a ditch on the road between Baghdad and Kuwait" during the months leading up to the war, when he participated in several SEAL operations throughout the Persian Gulf. According to his superiors, Fisher displayed exceptional heroism while operating in then-occupied Kuwait during Desert Storm in 1991. These actions played a part in Fisher being selected to spearhead Third Echelon's "Splinter Cell" program as its first field operative after he was approached by Colonel Irving Lambert, a high-ranking official in the NSA who convinced Fisher to come back to active service.
For two decades, Fisher has been involved in numerous armed conflicts throughout the world, many of them unconventional; from Panama and the Persian Gulf to Bolivia, Colombia, Yugoslavia, and Kosovo. He has not only survived, but has also excelled in the field of covert operations through hard work, insatiable curiosity and brutal honesty. Combat, espionage and constant training have defined his adult life; his tactical experience has become part of his instinct. He is quiet, instinctive, and observant: somebody who watches from the outside. Even outside of work he is most comfortable on the fringes of society, keenly observant but still removed.
Though fully aware and confident of his abilities, Fisher understands that his survival has often been a gift of chance. He knows he is human and fallible, and he does not want to die. Highly-trained, skilled and experienced, Fisher possesses a distinctly dark sense of humor, which he uses to control his fears and keep himself calm while in the field. Personality-wise, Fisher is abrasive and honest, and has little patience for niceties and even less for lies, especially when the immediate problem presents itself. Unlike younger operatives, he is not a blind idealist.
But in order to achieve the discipline required for his work, Fisher has had to bury certain aspects of himself. His ability to detach himself emotionally from the immediate situation in order to better achieve his objectives is an exceptional attribute. Though, on rare occasions, his emotions have been known to surface. A man of few words, he is truly himself only when he is on the job – he has, in a sense, become what he does. He has acquired an admirable collection of scars, war experiences, and a place in military history as well as securing his place in Valhalla. He has little left to prove to the world and he has no interest in glory. If he fights, it is because he believes he is capable of provoking positive change.
Sam Fisher has been into the most sensitive areas around the world. Since his first mission during the Georgian Information Crisis in 2004 to the JBA Crisis in 2008 in which he went undercover posing as a member of the JBA (John Brown's Army), he has proven himself to be one of the most valuable assets in Third Echelon's arsenal.Alice Madison, a CIA operative monitoring widespread communication shortages plaguing the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, A second operative, Agent Robert Blaustein, was inserted into the Georgian capital of T'bilisi to locate Agent Madison, only to drop from contact four days later. Fearing for the lives of the American agents compromised at the hands of a suspected terrorist effort, Third Echelon activated newly-recruited Splinter Cell agent Sam Fisher to locate the missing agents and evaluate the situation.
On 16th October, Fisher was inserted into the city of T'bilisi and ordered to find a CIA contact/NSA liaison Thomas Gurgenidze, a booking clerk working in the T'bilisi 4th police precinct. He had to enter a nearby building, which had been set on fire by Nikoladze's men. Fisher found the contact, and is informed that Madison hid a black box in her apartment. After that, he sets out to find Gurgenidze's dead drop in Morevi Square. From there, Fisher entered the 4th precinct through the back entrance to find the bodies of Agents Madison and Blaustein in the precinct's morgue with their subdermal implants removed. He then accessed the precinct's security surveillance room to find out who took the agents' subdermal implants. Fisher then ex-filtrated from the precinct.
In 2006, the U.S. installs a temporary military base on East Timor to train the developing defense force of the "world's youngest democracy." Resistance to the U.S. military presence in Southeast Asia is widespread and passionate, but the threat the Indonesian militias pose to Timorese democracy was deemed as sufficient justification. At the same time, the U.S. doesn't mind having an excuse to install active military personnel within easy reach of both North Korea and the largest Muslim population in Asia. Anti-U.S. resentment comes to a head under the leadership of guerrilla militia leader Suhadi Sadono, acting with the unofficial support of major corrupt factions of the Indonesian government. Suhadi's men attack and occupy the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, taking dozens of civilian and military personal hostage. Splinter Cell agent Sam Fisher was sent in to destroy a top-secret document held in the embassy before Suhadi's men could access it.
Sam Fisher was once again needed to prevent further attacks from the Masse Kernels that were being used by Displace International during the Cyber Attacks in 2007. During the operation, he discovered that his old friend Douglas Shetland, whom he had killed, were responsible for nearly creating World War III as the USS Walsh was destroyed by a North Korean anti-ship missile. Third Echelon later found out during the blackouts in New York and Japan that Admiral Toshiro Otomo, head of the I-SDF, was also involved in the plot. Sam was successful in preventing World War III as he captured Otomo which ended the Crisis in East Asia.
In late 2007, shortly after the crisis in East Asia, Sam Fisher is sent on a mission to Iceland along with a rookie Splinter Cell agent named John Hodge. After preventing the launch of a warhead (during which his partner is killed), Fisher is quickly pulled out only to find out that his daughter, Sarah, was killed by a "drunk driver". After hearing this terrible news, Sam figured he had nothing to lose anymore. So he took "the most dangerous mission of his career" and became a double agent. Working for both sides, Third Echelon and a new target, John Brown's Army (JBA), Sam had to destroy the JBA from the inside, becoming one of their members. He had to make many decisions and took a lot of chances, all making deep impacts on the operation. Sam also had to keep both sides trust as high as possible to keep the mission running. Losing Third Echelon's trust would have many people in the secret organization think he's gone rogue, while losing the JBA's trust would result in Sam's cover being blown and most likely his death.
Sam visits his daughter's grave before being captured and interrogated. He tells of his backstory as a Navy SEAL and before joining the "Splinter Cell" program. Essentials is a side story and not considered part of the main canonTemplate:Fact because there are continunity issues relating to Double Agent.Anna Grímsdóttir to go with the agents who take him away.
Sam then obtains his old equipment such as his goggles, which have been upgraded, grenades, and Sticky Cams (which are now thrown by hand), all courtesy of Sam's old friend, Victor Coste. During his investigation, he discovers that his daughter is alive. Her "death" was orchestrated by Lambert to lead him to uncover a huge mole in the NSA, Tom Reed, who was soon promoted to Director by gaining leverage on Sam through threatening his daughter. Near the end, Sam is captured in the White House and Grim seems to have gone over to Reed's side. She takes him to Reed where he is futilely interrogated. However, this was just a ruse as she later helps Sam take out Reed's Third Echelon bodyguards and rescue U.S. President Patricia Caldwell, whom Reed was about to kill. Sam grabs Reed and questions him about the whole conspiracy. He then either kills Reed or spares him (depending on player's choice), which leads Grim to shoot Reed herself.
Operations (Novel) Edit
The following operations in which Sam Fisher is involved take place in the Splinter Cell series of books, but are not considered canon to the official storyline:
An Iranian terrorist group known as "The Shadows". Led by Nasir Tarighian, planned to use a weapon of mass destruction codenamed "The Babylon Phoenix" against the city of Baghdad as revenge for the actions taken by Iraq against Iran during the 1980s. While there really isn't much benefit to the group today, Tarighian attempts to sell the scheme to his organization by claiming that it would also create further disorder in Iraq and in the Middle East, which would inevitably cause the people to turn against the "West", namely the United States since Iraq is currently under their watch. Tarighian, a former "great warrior" during the Iran-Iraq War and often proclaimed hero in Iran, hoped that by doing this the Iranian people would rejoice and urge the Iranian government to invade and conquer Iraq after the U.S. is forced out of the region. Most of the members of the Shadows disagree with the course of action, feeling that the result is extremely unlikely and that the scheme is nothing more than a 20-year-old vendetta by Tarighian to get back at Iraq for the death of his wife and children during the war. These members feel the same effect of destabilization in the region can be achieved by attacking either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem in Israel.
Meanwhile an arms dealing organization known as "The Shop" has taken the liberty of assassinating Splinter Cells whenever possible thus to increase their profit margin by keeping the shipment of arms from falling into unwanted hands. The Shop is one of the few organizations in the world that is aware of Third Echelon, who deploys Sam Fisher to the Middle East to uncover the truth about the murder of a Splinter Cell and track down the source of a shipment of arms seized by the Iraqi police. There he surveys and infiltrates numerous locations relating to both the Shop and the Shadows, all the while unaware that the Shop has targeted him and his daughter, Sarah.
Taking place almost a year after the Babylon Phoenix Crisis, the plot picks up with Third Echelon attempting to search and bring to justice the members of The Shop, an international arms dealing ring that played a large part during the crisis. While Sam Fisher is working to collect information on The Shop in Ukraine and Russia, Third Echelon is continuing its investigation into how The Shop had previously managed to gain the identity of a number of Splinter Cells and assassinate them as well. However, when a German scientist named Jeinsen, who defected to the United States from East Germany long ago, goes missing and then reappears dead in Hong Kong, heads begin to turn. Jeinsen had developed a new submarine vehicle for the United States Navy, that could theoretically carry a nuclear weapon. Sam Fisher is sent to learn why the scientist was in Hong Kong and who killed him; it is suspected that a local group of Triads named "the Lucky Dragons" had involvement. What Third Echelon does not yet realize is that Jeinsen, the Lucky Dragons, The Shop, and a traitor inside their own government are all part of a much larger picture involving a rogue Chinese general named Lan Tun, with ambitions to invade and conquer Taiwan. With Fisher not even aware that he is the world's only hope of stopping an international crisis, he has to balance his job and a new romantic relationship that he is hoping will finally bring happiness to his life. Ultimately, General Tun threatens to use the submarine vehicle to detonate a nuclear weapon off the coast of California, destroying L.A. with a massive tsunami, unless America abandons Taiwan when it is invaded by China. Fisher manages to foil the plot, and all the conspirators involved including the traitor, the general, and The Shop are killed. However, no one realizes that the true mastermind behind the entire plot to weaken America was none other than the head of the Senate Oversight Committee, Senator Janice Coldwater.
While preparing to test a new DARPA product, code-named the Goshawk, Splinter Cell agent Sam Fisher is called to intercept a cargo freighter speeding towards the eastern seaboard. The freighter, named the Trego is loaded down with radioactive material. Fisher boards the ship and quickly reaches the bridge to find one Middle-Eastern crew member. Fisher attempts to disable the man and does so, but not before the man enters the command to speed the boat up further. Fisher proceeds to slow the ship by disabling her engines. Meanwhile the residents of Slipstone, New Mexico begin showing the symptoms of and then dying from radiation poisoning.
Soon after undergoing unfamiliar espionage techniques training in the streets of San Francisco in a joint exercise between the CIA and Third Echelon, Sam Fisher is summoned to Maryland by Director Lambert. Turns out, Sam's estranged brother, Peter (real name Pyotr Limonovich), has been found barely alive off the coast of Greenland. Sam is told that Peter has developed a strange disease and has few days to live. It is soon revealed that Sam's brother died of poisoning caused by plutonium hydride-19, or PuH-19. This deadly powder is 1,000x finer than flour and is capable of wiping out New York's entire population with just a cup's worth of the chemical.
Although driven at first solely by vengeance, Sam soon realizes that Peter's death should be the least of his worries as a network of Kyrgyz Islamic fundamentalists have toppled the moderate government of Kyrgyztan and, with the help of the North Korean government, have devised the ultimate antidote against the pervasive influence of the West and its technology: they will try to mutate a species of petroleum-eating Chytridiomycota fungus into a strain capable of making the whole world's oil supply disappear, a threat Fisher and Lambert continually refer to as Manas, in reference to the Kyrgyz epic poem. In order to do this, the terrorists snatch some of the world's leading scientists and force them to cooperate. Sam gets his final lead by tracking one of the abducted scientists in a search that will lead him to a place such as the streets of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, an isolated Kyrgyz community in Cape Breton Island, the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Pyongyang, North Korea and a Kyrgyz complex hidden in the Tian Shan mountain range.
The Fisher FilesEdit
Sam was good friends with Director Irving Lambert as well as with Douglas Shetland before the Cyber Attacks of 2007 resulting in having to eliminate Shetland. He is also good friends with Victor Coste, who is actually his best friend as well as his Navy SEAL buddy whom Sam fought alongside with during the Gulf War. Coste gave Sam vital information regarding his daughter's "murder" and about Third Echelon's new director Tom Reed. Even though Sam is sarcastic, he is shown to be very caring with the people he worked with. Shortly before being sent to his first mission in the Georgian capital of T'Bilisi, Fisher met with Vernon Wilkes, Jr. Their relationship only lasted so far up until the extraction from the Kalinatek building in Virginia in which Wilkes was killed during a firefight with Russian mercenaries. Even though Sam had briefly known Wilkes, he showed compassion for the man. He is also good friends with co-workers Anna Grímsdóttir (who he calls "Grim") and Frances Coen, two of whom he share good-humored banter with during missions.
Prior to being a Splinter Cell, Sam was married to Regan Burns for a very short time that resulted in a divorce. Shortly after the divorce Regan died of ovarian cancer.
Sam is very loving to his daughter, Sarah, who is his only child. He felt sorry for having to leave at odd times whenever he was home. Though he would give her a call during briefings aboard the Osprey. Sarah was supposedly "killed" by a "drunk driver" during the JBA Crisis. The reaction from Sam was a depressing downward spiral. After the JBA Crisis, Sam 'went rogue' to hunt for his daughter's true killer after receiving word that the hit-and-run accident was plotted. He later discovered that she was still alive after stopping the conspiracy within Third Echelon and the U.S. government.
During the JBA Crisis, Sam developed a romantic relationship with Enrica Villablanca, a member of the JBA, only to end in Enrica's assassination (only in Version 2 of Double Agent). He also developed a romantic relationship with his Krav Maga instructor, Katia Loenstern, during the MRUUV incident. She later died after being hit by a stray sniper bullet intended for Sam.
Sam Fisher uses both a SC-20K M.A.W.S. and a SC Pistol as his primary and secondary weapons respectively. The SC-20K (modeled after the FN F2000) held about 30 rounds per magazine and was equipped with a grenade launcher which was modified to launch non-lethal devices such as smoke grenades, sticky shockers, sticky cameras, ring airfoils, and EMP rounds. The SC Pistol (modeled after the Five-SeveN) holds about 20 rounds per magazine, giving Sam more tactical advantages over those who carry smaller capacity magazines. In Conviction, the pistol is referred to as the "FMP8" (modeled after the Five-seveN USG). It's equipped with an (Laser-Aiming Module) LAM and a built-in suppressor. The FMP8 is most likely either a variant or a successor.
Sam's trifocal goggles is considered by many fans as his trademark in the series and have been changed in almost every game. In the original Splinter Cell and Pandora Tomorrow, the goggles only used night-vision and thermal imaging while in Chaos Theory it added EMF vision, which finds anything electronic to be highlighted, along with a mode called the EEV which allows Sam to hack secure doors and computers from a distance. In Double Agent, a fourth vision mode was added to the goggles which allows Sam to see electromagnetic waves and sound waves. The goggles returned in Splinter Cell: Conviction in which they are referred to as "Sonar Goggles". They use ultra high-frequency sonic pulses, combined with an advanced AI controller, that penetrate through objects and walls to provide an enhanced visual representation of the engagement zone. In other words, these goggles literally see through walls to identify humans - discriminating between armed targets and civilians as well as detect explosives.
Sam later carried a combat knife which he probably used when he was in the Navy SEALs. This knife was introduced in Chaos Theory (modeled after the Gerber Guardian Back Up). It was later slightly modified for Double Agent (modeled after the Master of Defense Kneating Hornet), giving a slightly longer length of the knife and a single-edge blade instead of the double-edge bladed knife.
Sam's Mk V Tac Suit was a specially designed outfit that helped him out on a number of missions. According to Chaos Theory, Sam explains that a heads-up display (HUD) includes a light meter wired into a series of photocells in his suit providing real-time visibility data as well as a sound sensitivity/ambient noise meter that can pick up sound which are relayed to his OPSAT. The novels go in-depth into discussing the suit's technical information. They explain that the suit is equipped with a thermoregulation system which Sam can control his body temperature. It was also outfitted with water packs within the skin of the suit which help keep Sam sustained for up to twelve hours. The body armor of the suit is made of Kevlar, RhinoPlate, a DARPA-invented version of Dragon Skin, and seventh-generation Gore-Tex, which helped prevent bullets from penetrating within Sam from long range. However, the suit's body armor is ineffective at very close range.
(6 games, 1 film)
- Game Canon
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (First appearance) - Michael Ironside
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - Michael Ironside
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow - Michael Ironside
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent - Michael Ironside
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials - Michael Ironside
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction - Michael Ironside
- Film Canon
- Splinter Cell (First appearance)
- Sam Fisher is voiced by veteran actor Michael Ironside who also played in such films as Top Gun, Starship Troopers, Total Recall, and various others. He also played in cinematics for Command and Conquer 3.
- Fisher is mentioned in the "Snake vs. Monkey" game mode of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater in which the main character of the mini-game Solid Snake is talking to Colonel Campbell about the possibility of getting someone else such as Sam (a direct reference to Sam Fisher) to do the work.
- Ubisoft's lead character artist Martin Caya established in early interviews about the game that during his career Fisher had served in Afghanistan, where he had an experience in which he was forced to hide under dead bodies in order to avoid being killed. Caya also established that Fisher had served in East Germany and in "other Soviet satellite countries leading up to the collapse of the USSR." It is likely that Fisher was in the CIA during this period.
- The end of the training mission in the first game of the series established that Sam served in Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1991 when Lambert tells him "I hope you don't mind I told him ['Junior' Wilkes] some of your stories from Kuwait". Wilkes makes a comment stating "I've heard crazy things about your work". It's possible that Fisher was a member of ST-3 because of the team's Area of Responsibility (AOR) of Southwest Asia. It is likely that Sam served as the team sniper due to his exceptional skill with a rifle aimed at long range which he has demonstrated many times thoughout the games. When Sam is holding his breath, there is no shaking of the reticle on the SC-20K at all. This is even true at thousands of meters.
- A conversation between Fisher and Douglas Shetland during the mission at the U.S. Embassy to Dili in East Timor in Pandora Tomorrow (which takes place in 2006) established that Sam left the Navy in 1996, when he tells Shetland that he "hasn't been Navy for a decade".
- According to his DD214, Fisher spent nearly three years (2 years, 11 months) as an intelligence (or intel) analyst while serving in the Navy and his service number is 0042073. It also states that he was discharged on 4 September 2008, which is correct because the one (which is only a concept, a mistake on Ubisoft's part) with the effective date of "4 SEP 68 (4 September 1968)" would make him much too young to work for the NSA, meaning that the discharge paper in the photo above is the real one. Also, Sam's DD214 stated that during his time in the Navy he was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal.
- In Rainbow Six: Vegas 2, also endorsed by Tom Clancy, there is an Achievement/Trophy named 'My Name is Sam' which the player must get 5 headshot kills in a row while using a silenced weapon. This would most likely be a reference to the Splinter Cell series.
- According to the manual for Chaos Theory, it says that Sam was born in 1957. But in the special edition art book for Conviction, his wanted file states his birthdate of Jaunuary 12, 1955.