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The prologue of A Binary Choice is the second prologue in Max Payne 2.


Back at the precinct where he works, Lt. Bravura strips Max of his guns and hands the Cleaner Case to Valerie Winterson; Bravura's actions are a response to Max working with Mona Sax, who is a wanted criminal. The lieutenant then gives Payne his first assignment: writing a report on what happened at the apartment building earlier. Max begins typing the report at his desk when Det. Winterson's phone begins to ring next to him. When he answers, the person on the other end hangs up and as Max walks away, a nearby police officer remarks that the detective has been protective of her phone calls recently, he will also tell Max that Winterson has a blind kid and that she kicked out her husband some time ago.

Payne goes into the nearby interrogation room and sees a lineup of three women (one is Mona, and another one of the woman shares Violet's character model) on the other side of the glass in the interrogation room, with Winterson getting a witness to identify Mona and connect her to one of Winterson's cases. Max leaves the room after everyone except the witness, and he hears Valerie on the phone leaking information about the case. When confronted, Winterson tells Payne that the "proper authorities" were just being notified, and then she storms off to Bravura's office, leaving Max suspicious of her and her motives.

Max then goes downstairs to the precinct lock-up in order to see Mona, and when they see one another, Mona expresses how dangerous it is for her being locked up in one place, as it makes her easier to assassinate. She then tells Payne that Alfred Woden can verify everything that she's told him, and so Max uses a nearby office's phone to call Woden; he doesn't answer but Max leaves a message for the Senator when a bomb suddenly goes off somewhere in the building.

The police rush towards the cells where the Cleaners have rushed in. Max watches the cells over a security monitor in the office and witnesses Mona avoiding the assassins and escaping from her cell. He works his way through the lock-up, killing Cleaners and seeing Petersburg and several other now-deceased officers on the ground. Another Cleaner van arrives full of assassins, and when Max disposes of them as well, he runs out of the parking garage and the station, but as he reaches the street, Vladimir Lem pulls up.

Max is suspicious of his timing, but gets into his car and immediately notices a large Captain BaseBallBat-Boy costume. Vlad mentions it as a "trojan horse" in the war he is engaged in with Vinnie Gognitti. Max requests a ride to Coney Island, then brings up the Inner Circle but Vlad dismisses them as nothing more than one step up the ladder of organized crime. They briefly discuss Mona as well as Vlad enigmatically bringing up how making the wrong choice, if there is no other choice, isn't the wrong choice at all, but simply fate. Max argues that it isn't that simple and as they disagree, the chapter ends.



  • Near Winterson's desk, Max can see a small poster for the Brooklyn School for the Blind.
  • The slideshow of the murder scene found in the briefing room are snippets of a dream that Max has, as seen in the chapter There Are No Happy Endings.
  • Basic Instinct is referenced by Officer Petersburg when discussing Mona and her supposed femme fatale nature
  • At least four police officers died in the attack. Two of them (Sgt Broussard and an unnamed officer) were caught up in an off-screen bomb explosion. The other two were Sgt Petersburg and another unnamed officer patrolling the lockup who were both shot by the Cleaners. In Chapter Two, a NYNN news segment incorrectly reports that no officers but only the inmates when in reality, there were six casualties.
  • A woman at the station's reception counter complains about her boyfriend playing too much video games. She admits to throwing the television out of her window, and now she is afraid her boyfriend might violently retaliate against her. If Max interacts with the woman (E key for PC version), she will offer her number to Max in case he gets "an urge to 'protect' someone in the middle of the night." Additionally, the woman appears to have the same character model as Violet and similar to one of the women seen in the police lineup with Mona.
  • If Max interacts with the air conditioning unit inside the lounge area, the two police officers watching tv will whine at Max for breaking it, and the female officer at the reception counter will complain (when interacted with) about the warm room temperature.
  • A humorous conversation can be overheard between an officer at his desk on the top floor and a man he is interviewing (who also has the same model as one of the Punchinello Crime Family members).
  • One of the inmates who pukes in his cell predicts the outcome of the shootout.
  • The maps in the precinct implies it is located in the Stuyvesant Town / East Village area of Manhattan.



Max Payne Chapters
The American Dream Prologue · Roscoe Street Station · Live from the Crime Scene · Playing It Bogart · The Blood Veins of New York · Let the Gun Do the Talking · Fear That Gives Men Wings · Police Brutality · Ragna Rock · An Empire of Evil
A Cold Day in Hell Prologue · The Baseball Bat · An Offer You Can't Refuse · With Rats and Oily Water · Put Out My Flames With Gasoline · Angel of Death
A Bit Closer to Heaven Prologue · Take Me to Cold Steel · Hidden Truths · The Deep Six · Backstabbing Bastard · In the Land of the Blind · Byzantine Power Game · Nothing to Lose · Pain and Suffering
The Darkness Inside Prologue · Elevator Doors · A Criminal Mastermind · The Depths of My Brain · No 'Us' in This · A Sign of Her Passage · A Linear Sequence of Scares · The Million Dollar Question
A Binary Choice Prologue · The Things that I Want · In the Middle of Something · Blowing Up · Routing Her Synapses · Out of the Window · The Genius of the Hole
Waking Up from the American Dream Prologue · Too Stubborn to Die · On a Crash Course · A Mob-War · Dearest of All My Friends · A Losing Game · There Are No Happy Endings · Love Hurts · That Old Familiar Feeling
Part I Something Rotten in the Air · Nothing But The Second Best · Just Another Day at the Office · Anyone Can Buy Me a Drink · Alive If Not Exactly Well
Part II A Dame, A Dork, and A Drunk · A Hangover Sent Direct from Mother Nature · Ain't No Reprievement Gonna Be Found Otherwise · Here I Was Again, Halfway Down the World · It's Drive or Shoot, Sister
Part III Sun Tan Oil, Stale Margaritas and Greed · The Great American Savior of the Poor · A Fat Bald Dude with a Bad Temper · One Card Left to Play