|“||My name is Sam Fisher. I used to be a hero — now I'm a wanted man. I used to hunt terrorists — now I am one. I used to take orders — now I execute them. I've become... a double agent.||„|
|~ Sam Fisher on Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Version 1)|
|“||I have a message for those who stand in my way... Pray.||„|
|~ Sam Fisher in the Splinter Cell: Conviction trailer.|
|“||Few presidents have ever granted the Fifth Freedom. It's the right to defend our laws, by breaking them. To safeguard secrets, by stealing them. To save lives, by taking them. To do whatever it takes to protect our country. The Fifth Freedom is mine alone. I am Sam Fisher. I am a Splinter Cell.||„|
|~ Fisher in Blacklist trailer.|
Samuel "Sam" Fisher is a top-class secret agent and is the main protagonist from Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series.
He is voiced by Michael Ironside in the series while Eric Johnson voiced and motion-captured the character in Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
Sam is 177 cm (5 ft 10 in) tall, weighs 78 kg (170 pounds), has greying, brown-black hair and green eyes. He still has an athletic build physique for a man in his late 40s. He was the first person to be recruited as a field agent of the "Splinter Cell" program, Third Echelon's top secret black ops project. A highly decorated veteran of JSOC's DEVGRU, and the CIA's Special Activities Division, Fisher is a master in the art of stealth, having been trained in various undercover and covert infiltration tactics. He not only specializes in night-time combat but in close-quarters combat in urban warfare and field-craft-related skills as well. In addition, Sam is extremely proficient in trade-craft skills such as surveillance tactics, computer hacking, handling explosives and the use of nearly any conventional firearm ambidextrously. He is also a highly trained expert in various forms of martial arts but he far excels in the Israeli self-defense and combat system of Krav Maga. In Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, he utilized the Center Axis Relock, a modern shooting stance used in close-quarters combat and was invented by Paul Castle.
He prefers to work alone in the field. Established from the novels, Sam is known to have command of a startling number of languages, including native English, Spanish, German, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Burmese, Georgian, and Persian. While not on assignment or stationed at Fort Meade (while he was working for Third Echelon), Fisher resided in a townhouse in Towson and a farmhouse in rural Germantown, Maryland (according to the novelizations of the series). According to the 2013 graphic novel, Splinter Cell: Echoes (which takes place during the end of Conviction and before the events that happened at the beginning of Splinter Cell: Blacklist), Sam now resides in a two-story house in Falls Church, Virginia, where his daughter, who currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, stayed with him for a while during the book before moving to New York. Sam's signature sidearm is the FN Five-seveN, which is also his preferred weapon of choice throughout the Splinter Cell franchise. During the "Washington Monument" level in Conviction, he retrieves the Five-seveN from Victor Coste, who refers to it as Sam's "favorite pistol".
Fisher has conducted operations all over the world: Bolivia, Canada, Cuba, the former East Germany, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China, Iceland, Israel, East Timor, Indonesia, Guam, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North and South Korea, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, Myanmar, Serbia (when it was part of Yugoslavia), Georgia, and France. He has also conducted operations inside the United States, in places such as Los Angeles International Airport, Sabine Pass, Chicago, Philadelphia, Fort Meade, New York City, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., Ellsworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas, Denver International Airport and the CIA's headquarters in Langley, Virginia.
The novel version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell establishes that Sam hated his time in the CIA when he was working there in the mid-late 1980s, and that he mostly had official cover (i.e. he was a "diplomatic aide"). It is also established during the "Bank" mission in Chaos Theory that Fisher served in Panama during Operation Just Cause when Redding reveals in the level's pre-mission briefing that Fisher was part of a CIA team that raided the same bank during the conflict searching for some of Noriega's drug money.
It is also established during a mission in Chaos Theory that shortly after or around the time the conflict in Panama ended in January 1990, Sam was called back to active duty with the Navy SEALs and deployed to Iraq, where he spent the next several months leading up to the Persian Gulf War "sleeping in a ditch on the road between Baghdad and Kuwait" prior to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, and he was already present once the Western military intervention by the U.S.-led coalition forces began at the beginning of the Gulf War itself in January 1991.
Sam Fisher is basically a man that prefers to be alone, whether it is in the field or in his personal life. He doesn't have a lot of close friends, except for ex-Colonel Irving Lambert, Frances Coen and William Redding from Third Echelon, and enjoys the company of a few selected ones including his daughter Sarah, some old friends from his SEAL career (Victor "Husky" Coste, his former C.O. Arthur Partridge and ex-Marine Doug Shetland, the Displace CEO whom Sam had killed on the rooftop of a bathhouse in Tokyo) and Grim from whom he has learned a great deal when it comes to technology and others. Thus this makes him an individualist; a self-dependent human being.
As a reserved man, Sam doesn't talk as much but he tends to be good and somewhat philosophical with the use of words when doing so, depicting the long years of experience through the things he says and in times the dark sense of humor he's known for. That doesn't mean that he has lost that certain childish and even innocent sense of humor to the point where it could be confused with his sarcasm. Sam tends to rely on the usual 'smart' comment when remembered of things that seem too obvious for him or when treated like either too old, or too young, although the sole mention of him being 'old' bothers him a lot. Few are the ones that manage to get away with those jokes towards him and bring a smile to his face.
Although the suave, sophisticated style isn't his, Fisher tends to be somewhat flirty with nearly every woman he sees, but he's able to hold himself back and knows his limits, always being respectful. Even if he is flirty, he fears relationships because of the many failed ones that usually ended with the other one dying or suffering. Call him selfish, and perhaps he is, but he is certainly afraid of being hurt again knowing that it will be extremely difficult for him to consciously hurt someone he would be so attached to - something that he learned the hard way through life - and knowing that if hurt, his wounds don't heal as fast. However, he grows attached really fast to the people he cares for and would go as far as to kill and/or die for them.
Sam loves a good challenge, any kind of challenge whether it is risking his life as usual or trying to convince a lady for a date, or having a date that is a challenge for him whether in an intellectual point of view or even physical point of view. Sam usually takes a methodical approach to things - planning them first and acting on them later. However, sometimes his tactics make his strategy turn riskier than he planned. This had earned him a few injuries, but injuries that he rarely regrets. He's a street-smart man that relies a lot on 'experience over books'. However, even if he doesn't give the impression of being very smart, he is, and even if he might not look the part, Fisher is indeed a 'bookworm.' In fact, Sam is a man that learns and adapts quickly to either a technological advance or a change in world politics. An example of this is the highly advanced equipment he easily uses for the job that requires it. However, even if all this equipment could help him a lot, he tries not to rely too much on the technology in order to keep himself self-dependent.
Even if Fisher seems like a man of a calmed and collected manner most of the time, some people have been able to know him by his anger. It's good to point out, that is rare to see Sam losing his determination or focus because of emotional distress but it's not something that hasn't been seen. When in extreme anger against his enemies, he's able to stay determined and focused on his goal although it's certain that his enemies do suffer the consequences. Sam tends to be a character with a certain burst of depression whether it is because of something that is currently happening, or because of the painful things that he had been gone through in his life or both.
He 'stacks' every painful memory, so to speak, and most resorts on the self-destruct mechanism of blaming himself for the negative effect of something even when it wasn't his fault. It's true that only hard enough situations are the ones that usually work like the trigger of said mechanism. Fisher keeps himself away from alcohol of any sort when he can. This is mostly because of how alcohol plays a dangerous part when in deep depression, clouding his mind.
Fisher is quickly angered by the intentional slaughter of innocent civilians or unarmed military personnel by his enemies. Also, liars, cowards, and arrogant people tend to cut his patience short as well as people who overuse their power such as bureaucrats which were the main reason for him to leave the CIA. Sam approaches his enemies in a ruthless and no-nonsense manner and usually keeps a light conversation with his temporal hostages. He doesn't have too much patience when it comes to interrogating and resorts on his dark sense of humor and threats that are everything but idle. Do mind, he's not a sadistic man, but will do anything he needs to do to get the job done.
Fisher is a man that believes in respect, dignity, and compassion towards even the most unlikely individuals as proven during the first three years of his NSA/3E career, in which he had gone to the point of disobeying direct orders because of what he believes is right. Loyalty seems to be another one of his strong points to the point in which he has sacrificed himself various times despite the knowledge of a possible betrayal by a person/agency that he holds in high regards. Call him determined or stubborn, Sam is more than just a focused soldier and a patriot. He is a man that is driven by the roots of his moral fiber in doing what he believes is right. This pushes him through even the toughest circumstances like the death of loved ones.
From his Navy SEAL background, Sam is an expert in handling all types of weapons. Also, with his exceptional precision, speed and reaction, he can eliminate many targets simultaneously without wasting a shot. He proved perfectly capable of handling sub-machine guns, assault and sniper rifles, as has preferably pistols, which he uses a custom Five-Seven USG pistol as his preferred weapon of choice. Fisher could handle handguns with his unique ability, using both in the physical attacks and shots, he often quickly disarms his enemies, and use their weapon while using their body as a human shield. His accuracy is unmatched with weapons while shooting he always targets specific parts of the body.
An expert marksman, Sam is skilled in the use of nearly any conventional weapon and is almost on par with the world’s best sharpshooters in terms of accuracy. Trained as a sniper at first, Fisher has an eye for marking and executing multiple targets simultaneously. Although rare, it is possible for him to miss a target. However, this is not a superhuman characteristic, but rather an ability that he acquired from his long years of training and practice same as his ability to aim and shoot with both hands even if he is right-handed.
Other than that, Sam is skilled in the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, a combination of different forms of martial arts. Krav Maga tends to go more towards self-defense while the offense tends to be quite lethal and usually includes broken joints and even the chance to induce paralysis on the enemy for a certain time with the certain hit(s) unto central nerves such as simply knocking out enemies or others, or even death. While employing the art in combat, Sam fights with tenacity, with his attacks based on accurate and fast strikes, or counterattacks. Generally, he neutralizes his opponent, breaking limbs like arms and wrists. Sam also has a tendency to use objects in the environment to his advantages, such as heights, desks, pianos, doors and windows and even the weapons of his enemies.
Years and experience in night ops have also gained Fisher the ability to see even better from the dark spots than from lit ones. Although light does not damage his eyes, he has the ability to adjust quickly to darkness and when his vision is not enough he resorts to his other senses, especially hearing. Fisher is actually better at identifying targets while operating from concealment, which makes him a very dangerous threat to his opponents in dark environments.
Sam is very flexible and athletic as it is, even though it is getting harder to stay flexible at his age, but he is still able to make full split jumps and hang with his legs from pipes or edges where he can aim, shoot or make a surprise attack on someone. So far though, Sam is known for being fast on his feet, fast in his line of work and on his infiltration style including using the French gymnastic art of Parkour as more than just a hobby and in times even a lethal weapon. Basically, think 'modern-day ninja.'
Sam is at the peak of physical condition for a man in his age who engages in an intense exercise regimen, he is tough and as accomplished as a commando. He is muscular and an impressive physical specimen. Sam engages in daily exercise, these including swimming, diving, climbing, running and shooting. Sam could run for long periods of time without tiring while doing Parkour movements. He is also a good swimmer, with more than a decade serving as a SEAL did most of the job on helping him gain a large lung capacity since he could stay underwater for a rather long amount of time. He swims as fast as the 'free runs' and can swim for long periods of time and sink himself pretty deep. Fisher is able to accomplish silent assassinations from the water by swimming out of it and dragging an enemy down before stabbing them or breaking their necks quickly. Water is his home and has always been.
- Advanced Weapons Training
- SEAL Qualified
- SCUBA Training
- SAO Qualification
- SQT Training
- HAHO and HALO Training
- Krav Maga Training (Level 3B/Black-Belt)
Over the course of his career of more than twenty years of service, Sam Fisher has acquired a wide range of special skills as well as an extensive knowledge of numerous training techniques. The following is a list of skill sets Fisher have applied which are portrayed in the video games, seen in the comic books and described in detail in the novels:
- Tactical Swimming
- Close Quarters Combat
- Applied Explosive Technique
- Rapid Assault
- Dynamic Entry
- Counter Surveillance
- Evasive and Counter-Terrorist Driving Technique
- Parkour (Free Running)
- Covert Communication
- Surreptitious Entry
- Military Free-Fall Parachuting
- Edged Weapons
- Precise Application of Lethal Force
- Urban Sniping
- Unarmed Combat
- Threat Elimination
- Structure Penetration
- Covert Influence Operations
- Support and Recruitment of HUMINT assets
- Interrogation Resistance
- Extreme Environment Survival
- Field Medicine
In the first four games, Fisher uses the standard shooting stance, while in Conviction and Blacklist, he uses the Center Axis Relock, a modified shooting stance used by various special operations forces, and is invented by Paul Castle.
The CAR system features a bladed stance (the shooter's weak-side shoulder facing the target), a close-to-body firearm hold, and sighted or non-sighted fire as the situation dictates. This differs from other shooting styles such as the Isosceles Stance which features a more squared stance (i.e. facing the target directly) with the pistol held far out in front of the face and some form of sighted fire.
The CAR system is primarily intended for semi-automatic pistol shooting, although it can also be used with shotguns, assault and sniper rifles, sub-machine guns, Tasers and OC sprays.
|“||You have the right to freedom of speech. Freedom of worship. From want. From fear. These rights would not exist without a fifth. The right to protect all other freedoms, by whatever means necessary. It's my freedom. It's my duty. It is my war.||„|
|~ Sam Fisher.|
|“||I am a soldier. I've served my country for twenty years. But if I'm captured or killed, I know that nobody will come to rescue me. I won't even get a funeral. Because the nation I protect can never admit that I exist. So my death would go unremarked, my bones would go unclaimed. I don't know if that day will come... but I do know that it must not be today. I am invisible. I am relentless. I am Sam Fisher. I am... a Splinter Cell.||„|
|~ Sam in Chaos Theory.|
|“||Looking for me, asshole?||„|
|~ Fisher to Gramkos.|
|“||You really need to work on that bullet proof thing.||„|
|~ Fisher to Vice President Samson.|
|“||A guy once said, 'The price of success is hard work and dedication.||„|
|~ Fisher in Ghost Recon: Wildlands.|
|“||Then it's only me...||„|
|~ Sam after learning that he's the only one left of the covert operatives.|
- In Splinter Cell: Fallout, it is said that Sam and Lambert served together in the U.S. Special Forces (Green Berets) and later in Delta Force. This doesn't make sense considering that there is no mention nor visual evidence that they were both actually part of the unit. It is most likely that Sam (a Navy SEAL) and Lambert were part of JSOC.
- In the cutscene for the "Lighthouse" mission in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, while aboard the USS Walsh, Arthur Partridge asks Sam Fisher "when was the last time he saw him" to which Sam replies by saying "I'm afraid I have no recollection of that, Senator," which is a reference to a line said in Clear and Present Danger.
- In the book Splinter Cell Blacklist Aftermath, that takes place after the events from the game, Sam Fisher uses a SIG P226 Mk.25 (the pistol used by Navy SEALs) in addition to his FN Five-seveN.
- In the book Splinter Cell (chap. 5 p. 47), Sam Fisher owns a 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4x4 with 265 hp and the V8 engine.
- As of 2019, Fisher is around 59–62 years old around the LA Cruz mission, and as of 2025 for Operation Greenstone, he is 68 years old.
- The Age ranked the character as the seventh greatest Xbox character of all time.
- The character was voted twelfth by Game Informer's of the top character of the 2000s decade.
- Listed as the twenty-fourth most popular video game character in the 2011 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition.
- Ranked 18 by Complex as the greatest soldiers in video games in 2013.
- GamesRadar ranked him as the 37th "most memorable, influential, and badass" protagonist in games in 2012.