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Manon Batiste
Medal of Honor - Underground Coverart
Appearances: Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor: Underground, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, Medal of Honor: European Assault
Affiliations: Maquis, Office of Strategic Services,
Home Location: Paris, France

Manon Batiste is the main character[1] and heroine in Medal of Honor: Underground[2] as well as a minor character who appears in Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and Medal of Honor: European Assault. As part of the French Resistance, she assists the original game's Jimmy Patterson and performs various dangerous missions.[3] Her last name was changed from Batiste to Du Champs in Medal of Honor: European Assault.[citation needed] In this game, she is voiced by Olivia D'abo.[4]

Development Edit

Batiste is based on Hélène Deschamps Adams, a member of the Office of Strategic Services[5] and consultant for the game.[6]

Manon Baptiste

Soundtrack composer Michael Giacchino explains that for Batiste, he

wanted a theme that could convey one emotion at a particular moment, and then a completely different emotion the next without having to rely on two completely different themes. As a result, Manon's two main themes are very similar and yet very different. One version of the theme stays the course in a major tone, conveying a feel of great national purpose against the Nazi menace, and the secondary theme dips into a minor 6th chord which describes Manon's more intimate and emotional feelings as an individual and a woman who is pitted against the fascist war machine. Both of these themes are bookended with what liner notes author Paul Tonks has aptly named "the resolve theme". This theme was meant to represent the moments where Manon is called upon to steel her nerves and gather the courage to continue on with the fight....Manon travels to places that are not quite so militaristic as Jimmy Patterson. Her journey was a bit more "scenic".[7]

Critic Ian Lace said of her theme: "One has to suppose that the main character of this new game, Manon, inspired by the exploits of Hélène Déschamps is French. Michael Ciacchino has created a theme for her that in its first few notes irresistibly makes me want to anticipate the old pop song, 'Arrivederci Roma' which I found disconcerting because she is French and so much of the action, particularly at the beginning and end, takes place in Paris."[8]

Producer Scott Langteau offers that the developers "Manon used petrol bombs and also used her femininity to gain access to restricted areas. We used the freedom of telling her backstory - she was in the French Resistance, then joined the OSS - to give the game its own flair and widely varied missions that took us all over Europe: Greece, Italy, etc."[9]

Depiction Edit

Patrick Klepek explains how "Gamers who played Medal of Honor will remember Manon, part of the French Resistance, who was an enormous help toward his efforts. Still set in the era of World War II, the year is 1940 and the German armies have overrun Manon's town. Attempting to survive with her brother and the few people still around in her town, Manon's best companion, her brother, is tragically killed during a routine raid to retrieve weapon supplies. Manon then sets out to meet up with her brother's contacts in order to fight against the Nazis. It will take all her strength and perseverance in order to move up the ranks in the OSS so that she can head back home and help in the liberation of her nation."[10] According to GamePro, Manon is a "young member of the French Resistance introduced as Jimmy Patterson's 'control' in the original Medal of Honor. Set prior to the start of the original Medal of Honor game, Underground follows Manon's journey journey from a naive member of one of France's first resistance movements to that of a seasoned veteran recruited by the OSS who ultimately becomes a key figure in the Allied invasion at Normandy."[11] The "final mission has Manon return to Paris to assist in its liberation from German occupation.[12]

ChronologyEdit

Early life

Auburn-haired Manon was born in the small village of Dubuisson, France, but spent most of her life in Paris, where she lived with her brother Jacques.

The Maquis (Occupied) (1-10 May 1942)

After Germany invaded, Manon and Jacques joined the Maquis to resist the invaders. After a brief battle with the Milice in May 1942, Jacques was killed when the truck he was driving was blown up with supplies and munitions. The mortified Manon escaped Paris through catacombs where she meets up with members of the French Resistance group Combat. She helps them destroy evidence of their efforts, slow down the advancing German army, and hide their supplies before she captures German Panzerfausts and destroys several tanks.

Recruitment to the OSS

Having escaped Paris, Manon volunteered to join the American Office of Strategic Services. Colonel Hargrove hearing of her brother's heroism, takes her in as an agent.

Hunting the Desert Fox (5 November 1942)

Manon's first assignment is to disrupt German defenses in North Africa in November 1942, in preparation for the impending Operation Torch. Finding disguise as a Vichy French photographer for the German propaganda ministry, she infiltrates a German fuel depot, radios the American fleet and destroys the depot. She escapes by running to an airfield and disabling the anti-aircraft guns guarding it and signaling for the plane the OSS sent to get her out. The pilot is none other than Lt. James Patterson, who Manon will get to see more often before the war is over.

Undercover in Crete (12 June 1943)

After her success in North Africa, Manon is sent to Crete where the Germans have installed a heavy artillery battery to sink Allied shipping in the Meditereanean. The Germans are also desecrating artifacts of the palace of Knossos. After treading through a fire fight between German soldiers and Greek privateers, Manon reaches the site. She eliminates the pseudo archaeologists and liberates artifacts. After destroying the bunker supplies she makes her way to the guns themselves, destroying the bunker communications and the guns.

Wewelsburg - Dark Camelot (19-20 September 1943)

The OSS is nervous about the power the SS has achieved under Hitler. They are even more worried about what secrets lie in Heinrich Himmler's headquarters. In September 1943 Manon is sent in to investigate. She sneaks through the outer defense and gets on board a cable car to the castle itself. Inside the castle Manon steals the Knife of Abraham and blows open Himmler's safe, stealing whatever information she can, while battling SS troops and SS knights. Manon also finds Valhalla, a burial chamber for Hitler, Himmler and his 12 "knights". She flees down the castle and destroys a bridge and alarm controls to slow the Germans, and hides out in a safe house until she can reach Allied headquarters.

Last Rites at Monte Cassino (15 June 1944)

In order to break the stalemate in Italy, the Allies decide to bomb the historic Monte Cassino Abbey. Unfortunately, a transmission from a monk notifies the OSS of American prisoners in the abbey. In June 1944, Manon is sent to rescue them. After getting through German defenses, Manon reaches the abbey. Freeing the Captain, he helps her free the other prisoners. Manon captures and destroys vital intelligence, and is able to destroy several German halftracks.

Involvement in France (22 June 1944)

During the Allied invasion, Manon was a vital source, helping OSS agent Mike Powell in his mission to gain intelligence on the King Tiger Tank. She was surprised later to find out she was the boss of James Patterson after he joined OSS in June 1944.

A Mittelwerk Saboteur (4 July 1944)

In June 1944, the Allies successfully invade France; however, the Germans begin to use V-1 rockets to terrorize London, one happening to hit near OSS headquarters. Determined to stop this attack, Colonel Hargrove sends Manon into Northern France in July to stop the V-1s. Meeting up with an Allied agent, Manon receives the factory plans and explosives. After navigating through the German lines, Manon takes the tram into the factory. There she destroys V-1 machinery and destroys a large V-1 stockpile. Running for her life she barely escapes the explosion. Manon finds the Allied agent disguised as a German and gets on his motorcycle, and mans the machine gun, shooting down any Germans in the way; en route to escaping she also destroys two V-1 launch sites.

Liberation (19-22 August 1944)

In August 1944, with the Allies on the offensive, the citizens of Paris rise up against their German occupiers. The OSS is aware of this and is also aware of Hitler's orders to burn the city to the ground. Manon is sent in to prevent this from happening. Destroying tanks and German barricades, Manon liberates the Paris prefecture and heads towards the subway where two trains bringing explosives are expected. After an intense fire fight Manon diverts both trains and they crash into each other causing a huge explosion. Her fight to liberate Paris avenges Jacques' death.

After Paris

After September 1944, Manon continued to work for both French Intelligence and the OSS. In December 1944, she was involved in an OSS operation to investigate the Nazi Virus House project. For the first time in the war she was captured by a high ranking German officer named Freder Engel and held in a farmhouse in Belgium. Fortunately she was rescued by OSS agent William Holt, the two of them holding the farmhouse against a full scale Nazi counterattack destroying several Panzers. Finally, they were relieved by a large platoon of GIs from the 101st Airborne driving the German troops away. Near the end of the war she was involved in a relationship with James Patterson who proposed marriage to her. It was not revealed whether she accepted the proposal.

Reception Edit

GameSpot praises the gamemakers for taking "a character from the original game named Manon Batiste and" placing "her in the lead role so that her full story can be told. This setting is a welcome change, as Underground provides a meaningful historical context that's rare in most video games today."[13] William Abner similarly describes the game as "a refreshing change of pace because you played Manon Batiste, a woman enlisted in the French Resistance."[14] RealPoor ranks her among the 12 Best Female Characters in Video Games, declaring that we "know Manon as a French resistance woman who appeared as an advisor in the first MoH game. In the sequel for PlayStation called Medal of Honor: Underground, she is the main character who takes on covert missions in occupied Europe and Africa."[15]

See also Edit

References Edit

  1. Thomas Glorieux, "Review of Medal of Honor: Underground," maintitles.net (2007-2009).
  2. Marc Saltzman, Game creation and careers: insider secrets from industry experts (2004), 282.
  3. Mark H. Walker, A Parents Guide to Playstation Games: A Comprehensive Look at Playstation 2, 2nd Edition (2001), 159.
  4. "Medal of Honor: European Assault Tech Info," GameSpot.
  5. William Talley, "$20 Game of the Week & Lost Classics: Post Veteran Day Special," POWET.TV (Nov.16, 2008).
  6. Richard Pyle, "Helene Deschamps Adams, 85, daring French spy, rescuer in WWII," The Boston Globe (September 21, 2006).
  7. As quoted in Gary Huff, "Interview with Michael Giacchino," Soundtrack Review Central.
  8. Ian Lace, "Medal of Honor (Underground) CD Review," MusicWeb International(January 2001).
  9. As quoted in Air Hendrix, "Medal of Honor Week: Sound Design & Creating Good Sequels," GamePro (March 29, 2002).
  10. Patrick Klepek, "Review of Medal of Honor: Underground," Gaming Age (11/22/2000).
  11. "Medal of Honor: Underground," GamePro (2009).
  12. "Medal of Honor: Underground," GamePro (2009).
  13. Shoemaker, Brad (2000-11-03). "Medal of Honor Underground Review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/ps/action/medalofhonorunderground/review.html. Retrieved 2009-12-24. 
  14. William Abner, Gamer's Tome of Ultimate Wisdom: An Almanac of Pimps, Orcs, and Lightsabers (Que, 2005), 105.
  15. windshell, "12 Best Female Characters in Video Games," RealPoor (Apr 30, 2009).

External links Edit


Medal of Honor • Underground  • Allied Assault • Frontline • Rising Sun • Infiltrator • Pacific Assault • European Assault • Heroes • Vanguard • Airborne

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