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"Max. We gotta stop meeting like this."
―Mona Sax

Mona Sax is a contract killer who operates in New York City. She is also romantically involved with Max Payne during the Cleaner Case. She is the minor character in Max Payne 1 and deuteragonist in Max Payne 2.


Crime Life[]

Not much is known about Mona's life except she had a twin sister, Lisa who married with a Mafia Don, Angelo Punchinello.

She hated Angelo for abusing and torturing her sister and was willing to accept a hit contract on him. It is unknown how long she worked as an assassin. She worked with many parties that got her involved in bigger cases.

Contract with Aesir[]

"Mona Sax, Lisa's evil twin."
―Mona introducing herself.

Mona's target during the Valkyr Case is Angelo Punchinello, hired by Nicole Horne to cut her ties with the Mafia and removing any evidence. She headed to RagnaRock, the nightclub to find Jack Lupino, instead meeting a rogue undercover cop who shoots Lupino's corpse multiple times.

Mona and Max have a hostile confrontation, pointing their guns to their heads. She explains that Angelo is responsible for Alex's death and Max's frameup. Despite their common enemy and cooldown, she drugged Max to ensure that Lisa won't get hurt during Max's rampage.

Mona heads to the manor and attempts to kill Angelo, but is overpowered and caught by his bodyguards. The Trio soon torture Mona, but she manages to escape and kill some mobsters along the way. Because of this, Nicole and her Killer Suits personally deal with Punchinello.

She is seen again at Aesir as she is still under Nicole's contract and meets up with Max at the elevator. Nicole orders Mona to kill Max, but Mona refused as she thinks Max is a 'nice guy'. However, Nicole repays her when one of the Killer Suits shoots her in the head. Mona is presumed dead, but the missing body in the elevator after Max returns hints at her survival. She escapes Aesir and avoids the cops. She still has the bullet in her head from the shootout.

Involvement with the Inner Circle[]

Mona Sax is back at large in 2003

Between 2001 and 2003, she most likely continues her job and is hired by many employers who have enough money to pay her. She soon gets herself involved with a civil war as she is hired by Alfred Woden, head of the Inner Circle to battle his side against Vladimir Lem and the Cleaners. She is tasked to protect any Inner Circle members on Woden's side while killing members who are on Lem's side. Before Max's involvement, she shoots Lem's arm during the murder of Senator Gate.

She met Max once more in the gun workshop. She visit Max in his apartment to warn him about the Cleaner threat, the Cleaners realising that Mona was at the scene. The Cleaners decide to kill both Max and Mona but ultimately failed with around 50 men killed.

She leaves her phone number at Max's office and gives Max the address of her home, the Address Unknown Funhouse in Coney Island. Mona is showering when Max sneaks into her home and traverses through the funhouse. She explains that the Inner Circle is killing anyone who knows of their existence and offers to meet her Inner Circle contact. Max knows that she is telling a half-truth. They head to Upper East Side apartments where many Inner Circle members live, including her contact. However, the Cleaners arrive first and kill the Inner Circle members. Mona operates the security cameras and elevators while Max deals with the Cleaners. They find their contact dead and Mona tells Max to escape. The NYPD arrives at the scene, and Mona is arrested for being a suspect of Senator Gate's murder while Max is reprimanded for his actions.

Mona is in the interrogation room for the witness to identify the murderer of Senator Gates. The witness confirms Mona to be in the scene, which leads her to her jail cell. Max visits Mona, who warns him again about the Cleaners' attack. She later hides under a bed from the attacking Cleaners and takes a dead cop's key to free herself. She escapes back to her hideout.

Mona and Max meet again, their long-suppressed attraction they held for each other exploding in an intimate moment, but they are interrupted by the attacking Cleaners, who Max had unknowingly led there. The two fugitives together fight off the Cleaners, with Max entering the Cleaners' van. Max still has the earpiece from the condo and is contacted by Mona. With this, Mona enters the Cleaners' hideout from the other side with Max attacking inside. She fought some of the Cleaners in the hideout and protected Max with her sniper rifle after he exited from an explosion. After clearing some retreating Cleaners, she meets with Max but with Valarie in the scene pointing her gun. Mona reveal that Valarie is working with the Inner Circle while Valarie denies. They both ready their guns, but Max quickly shoots Valarie to allow Mona to escape. She soon flees the scene with her location unknown.

Final Work and Death[]

Max attempt to find Mona but to no avail. After shooting his way through Vlad's restaurant, Max figures that in order to find Mona, he would have to find Vlad, and the only one who might know is Vinnie Gognitti, as he is Vlad's enemy and may be working with Mona. It is revealed that Mona has Vinnie weakening Vlad's forces and like Max, doesn't trust the underboss. Mona is at the funhouse, ready to kill Vlad, but there is a change of plans when an explosion occurs, and she rushes in to rescue Max. She later is able to rescue him and tries to convince him to leave the mess. However, Max decides to end the matter and together with Mona heads to the manor to stop Lem and the Cleaners.

Inside the manor, they fight their way through the remaining Cleaner commandos with the goal of finding either Vlad or Woden. They reach Woden's panic room, where Mona, with Max unable to open the door, steps in and unlocks it using a discrete button in a serpent, confirming that she is indeed working with the Senator. Inside, Mona betrays Max by pistol-whipping and disarming him with Woden watching over the camera; however, she is unable to eliminate him and drops her gun, causing Lem to fire at her behind her back while she tries to embrace Max, who holds her while she drops to the ground.

While Max struggles with Lem, eventually eliminating him, Mona remains on the ground and bleeds out from the inflicted gunshot wounds. In the final scene, Max kisses her for the final time while she passes away, uttering her final words: "God! I turned out to be such a damsel in distress", before being closed in on by the NYPD.

Competing the game on Dead on Arrival grants the player a non-canonical ending in which Mona survives.


Her death primarily affects Max Payne, who was able to temporarily get over his wife's during his time with her. Due to his actions in the Cleaner Case and the decision to kill Valerie Winterson over Mona, he decides to quit the NYPD. In Ain't No Reprievement Gonna Be Found Otherwise, while standing near his wife`s grave, he admits that he still hadn`t really forgiven himself for the "Mona business" but he knows that it is just grief talking in him, "the insanity that comes with losing the life you had built."


Mona Sax is an efficient stone-cold contract killer; who when in doubt, kills. The femme fatale's lack of remorse has led to a body count second to only that of Max Payne himself. The only exception to this is Max, towards whom she points her gun but does not fire. From the very first game, it is apparent that Mona has strong feelings for Max. (The second game often hints that "Max" is short for "Mona Sax".)

When Mona first meets Max, she proclaims that "Lisa's the damsel in distress, I'm the professional." Her last words reflect this, as she confesses to being a "damsel in distress" herself.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Mona Sax is voiced by Julia K. Murney in Max Payne, who also voice casts for the police dispatch and for Lady Amelia in the game.


See also[]


Max Payne[]

Max Payne 2[]


External links[]