Detective Max Payne is a veteran in the Cold Case Unit of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). He is consumed with investigating and finding the murderer of his wife Michelle and their infant child Rose.
Max Payne is an odd ride through the New York criminal underworld, with hallucinations, Norse mythology, and the occult.
I admit I’ve never played a Max Payne game but I watched my brother as he played. Max is after Jack Lupino, an insane New York mafia boss. Lupino is Satanic. Max believes he killed his wife and daughter. Lupino is mad from the drug he takes “Valkyr”.
“I have tasted the flesh of fallen angels!”
―Jack Lupino, 2001.
The Valkyries: Chooser of the Slain
The Valkyries are female warlike virgins, who mounts upon horses and arms themselves with helmets and spears. They decides who will die in a battle. They will hover over the battlefield, like birds over their prey. There will be six, nine, or thirteen Valkyries at a time. They will select among half of those who dies in battle. And then bring them to Valhalla.
The other half will go to the goddess Freya’s afterlife field Folkvangr. Freya always has the first pick, of the fallen Vikings. Odin allows some of the maidens to take the form of beautiful white swans, but if a Valkyrie is seen by a human without her swanlike disguise, she will become an ordinary mortal and can never again return to Valhalla.
Max finds occult books at a nightclub called Ragnarock.
In Norse mythology, Ragnarok is a series of apocalyptic events that will define the end of the world, where giants of frost and fire will together fight the gods in a final battle that will ultimately destroy the planet, submerging it under water. According to the legend, the world will resurface, the surviving and returning gods will meet, and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors.
Max Payne finds tarot cards in the game. The Death tarot symbolized rebirth. Tarot cards like Death, the Devil, the Tower illustrate scenes from the Apocalypse. The cards were for the illiterate who could not read the book of Revelation. They have their origin in Egypt and Kabbalah.
The word on Lisa Punchinello was that she was a bit of a witch. The tarot cards on the kitchen table fit the picture. They weren’t my kind of cards, but I was willing to take a crack at the hand Mrs. Punchinello had dealt. The first card was The Tower, maybe that was supposed to be the manor. It got easy after that, The Devil was the master of the house.. And Death was me- coming for him.
Max meets Christa Balder. Christa is a female given name, which derives from the Greek word, “Christos”, meaning “anointed” or “chosen one”. Balder is the Norse God who will be reborn after Ragnarock and judge the world. Very similar to Jesus Christ. Christa is overcome with grief for her lost husband just as Balder’s wife Nanna was overcome with grief by his death.
Balder is the son of Odin and Frigg.
Balder has a brother named Hod.
Balder is married to Nanna, they have a son named Forsete.
Balder is the most beautiful and kind of the Aesir, and all in Asgard praises him. Balder means “Lord”. Balder is the wisest of all the Viking gods, well spoken of and the most gentle. But he is plagued by bad dreams that mustn’t come true.
“A bit closer to heaven.”
The Aesir Corporation is a major pharmaceutical company run by Nicole Horne. They are the manufacturers of the illegal drug Valkyr. The organization employs the Punchinello crime family to distribute valkyr on the streets
Max Payne reminds us of our own Ragnarock, the 9/11 attacks and the war in the middle east. After the war Balder will return to rule the New Earth. Mark Wahlberg, who plays Max in the movie cancelled his doomed 9/11 flight. Until a hard boiled detective finds the truth about that day the war will go on. All it takes is one good detective to bring justice to victory.