"Come on, Max. The fine and noble degenerates of this town are not going to catch themselves."
―Alex Balder to Max Payne, the mid 1990s[1]


Alex Balder was Max Payne's partner at the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and later the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Joined the NYPD during the 1990s, Alex Balder soon became the partner and best friend of Max Payne, with the two often fought and investigated the crimes of the Punchinello crime family. Alex later moved to the DEA, becoming a partner to an agent known as B.B., who also became a friend of Max. Alex wanted Max to move to the DEA as well, but the latter often refused the offer.

After the murder of Max's family in 1998, he moves to the DEA, with Alex and B.B. help him. Alex helps Max to build up a detective case on Valkyr, the same drug that Alex and Max investigated a few years ago, as well the drug that was used on the killers of Max's family.

Three years later, in 2001, B.B. set up a meeting between Alex and Max at the Roscoe Street subway station, where a bank robbery occured. After the two finally meet and discuss about the latest events, Alex is shot and killed by an undiscovered hitman.

The NYPD, lead by Jim Bravura, frames Max for the death of Alex, due to a lack of evidences that prove otherwise. Alex death shocked deeply Max, who vowed to avenge his friend's death, first targeting Punchinellos underboss Jack Lupino, but later it is proven false.

After a few nights, Max understands that B.B. was the one who killed Alex, having betrayed and sold the two for Nicole Horne and Aesir Corporation. Max confronts B.B., and kills him, avenging Alex's death.

Years later, Max states that Alex's death 'broke his heart'.




Max saving Alex from the Punchinello's.

Most of Alex's early life is unknown. At some point before the mid 1990s, Alex joined the New York City Police Department. Before or during that time, Alex met Max Payne, and the two soon became partners and best friends. By the mid 1990's, the two already investigates the Punchinello crime family. On one occurrence, the two oversaw a drug deal, and rushed to arrest the dealers. Alex was caught in a gun-point, but was saved by his partner.[2]

Sometime prior to 1998, Alex moved to the Drug Enforcement Administration, and became one of its agents. He became interested in having Payne transfer out of the NYPD to help him with undercover cases, but his friend declines his offer, citing his willingness to spend more time with his family.

Valkyr case

On August 22nd 1998, Max and Alex met each other and held conversation together, in which Balder tried once again to recruit Payne to the DEA, but Max refused again. Max also revealed that he will stop smoking, as the smoke is bad for his baby daughter, leading Alex to say that Max is a "real boy scout". Before leaving, Max is asked by Alex if they will still play poker in a Thursday night, which Max responded positively. Max returned to his home, discovered his family murdered by Valkyr junkies.

Soon after the violent deaths of his wife and daughter, Max decided to transfer to the DEA. For three years since then, Payne and Balder keep tabs on Jack Lupino's Valkyr trafficking and build a case against him. By 2001, Max went undercover to find more clues on Lupino's involvement with the Valkyr drug, and Alex did not meet him face to face until the Roscoe Bank Robbery in the same year, during the winter.



Alex lying on the ground, dead.

"...It broke my heart when they finally killed him a few years later."
―Max on Alex's death, 2012.[3]

In 2001, one stormy winter night, Balder and Payne are set up by B.B. to have an urgent meeting at the Roscoe Street subway station, located in the Bronx, New York City. The two find themselves in the middle of a bank robbery executed by associates of the Punchinello crime family. Soon after they meet up, Balder is shot and killed by a hidden assassin, later revealed to be B.B. himself. Payne is soon framed for Balder's murder and is forced to run from the police; his best friend's death also triggers the start of his feverish revenge vendetta against the mobsters.


"Alex Balder was my partner and best friend."
―Max reflecting his life with Alex, 2012.

Balder's death heavily affected Max. According to Max, Alex had helped him remain sane after the murder of his wife and daughter. The police believe that Max killed Balder, and has started a hunt after him. A few nights later, B.B. tries to set a trap to Payne. Payne understands that B.B. was the one who killed Alex, confronts the traitor, and kills him, avenging Alex.  Raul Passos asked Max about Alex in 2012 in Walton's Bar Max mentioned how Alex was his best friend.

Personal life

Alex Balder, along with Max Payne, was known to play poker. He reminded Payne about one of the games taking place one Thursday night, just right before Max leaves work for his home in New Jersey where he finds his family slain.

Behind the scenes

Comics error

In the game, when Alex is shot and get killed, he is portrayed with a shaved head, while in the second issue of the Max Payne 3 comics, Hoboken Blues, he is portrayed with a head full of hair in the same scene.  However it should be noted that Max Payne's in game appearrance differs from his comic appearance.

Similary to Baldr

Balder's last name could be a possible allusion to Baldr, the Norse god of light and peace. In Scandinavian mythology, Baldr is killed by his blind brother, Hod, after Loki, the God of Mischief, persuades Hod to throw a dart of holly at Baldr. Baldr's death shares many similarities with Alex's death in Max Payne.



"That's you Max, a regular boy scout."
―Alex Balder[src]
"What the hell is going on? There's more corpses here than at the city morgue."
―Alex Balder[src]



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