Victor "Vic" Coste is a friend and former Navy SEAL teammate of Sam Fisher and the founder and leader of Paladin Nine Security, a private military company (PMC). He played a major role in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction as the game's narrator, as well as helping Sam during the events of the game by providing vital information regarding White Box Laboratories and Black Arrow PMC. Coste returned in Splinter Cell: Blacklist as a minor supporting character.
Victor Anthony Christopher Coste was born in 1960 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He had few choices growing up. He could become a petty crook, go to tech school, or join the military. Vic chose the military, specifically the United States Navy, where he excelled in SEAL training and quickly made friends with one of the other trainees, Sam Fisher.
Coste and Fisher served together as SEALs until they were mustered out, seeing action in Afghanistan (during the Soviet invasion), Grenada, Iraq, and numerous other hotspots. At one point during their shared service in Iraq during Operation Desert Storm, Coste pulled Fisher out of a hostage situation, a debt Sam has never forgotten.
After leaving the Navy, Coste relocated to Washington, D.C. and formed a private military corporation, Paladin Nine Security, specializing in high-tech defense solutions and kidnapping recovery work. Working with a small staff, Coste still handles most of the fieldwork himself. He is plugged in to the defense, contracting, and intel communities through his contacts, meaning that he’s generally in the right place at the right time to get the job done.
2011: The Third Echelon Conspiracy and D.C. EMP Event
During the events of the Third Echelon Conspiracy, Victor would use his ties from his job in order to supply Sam with the best equipment money could buy. He was instrumental in supplying Sam with weapons, equipment, and intelligence on White Box Technologies, a Research and Development (R&D) company specializing in EMPs. He was also instrumental in extracting Sarah Fisher from her designated apartment and assisting Sam in halting one of the EMP attacks. Some time after the death of Tom Reed, Victor was held in captivity by Black Arrow in an unknown location, where he narrates all of the events that occurred during the conspiracy. Shortly after finishing his video-taped story, an explosion places the facility on alert, implying that Sam was in the middle of freeing Victor from captivity. His last words prior to the chaos were an ominous message to his interrogator about how Sam never leaves his family behind, and that Sam considers him to be a brother.
Version 2 of Conviction (iPhone)
Coste and his squad are patrolling down a highway when one of the squad members steps on a landmine. The other is shot dead whilst Sam is taken for questioning and Coste presumed dead. When he comes to, Colonel Reed orders them to stay in position, and that another squad will be sent to pick him up, and find his squad leader. Victor chooses to disobey orders, and heads into downtown Baghdad himself. He works his way through a train station and cargo yard. Later he made his way through a street filled with snipers. After making it through the gauntlet he took out a terrorist manning a mounted machine gun on the back of a truck. Taking to the roofs he manned a machine gun firing on terrorists coming out of a hanger, and from the highway. Finally, after destroying an enemy humvee, he moved on disabling some dynamite tied to a bridge out of the city. Victor barely makes it over the bridge, when it collapses behind him.
Following a detour, Victor makes it into downtown Baghdad. Reed contacts him, letting him know that help has arrived, and they will be assisting him in getting Sam Fisher back. Just as he meets up with them, their humvee is taken out by a RPG. Victor kills the terrorist and takes his RPG, firing it on an enemy vehicle. Victor climbs into a building, but another terrorist with an RPG hits the building near where he is standing, blowing a corner off of the building and knocking Coste to the ground floor. Coste makes it into the terrorists compound, and interrogates a guard for a keycard into the building where Sam was being held. He made his way into the basement, where Sam was being held in a cell. Victor opened the cell, and they contacted Wafford Base to send a helicopter for them. They made their way back up and to the second story. Working their way down from a balcony, he escorted Sam through the streets, narrowly avoiding a tank, and meeting up with a rescue chopper. Both made it back safely to the base.
2013: Blacklist Attacks
Coste recruits Fisher, who was bored with civilian life, into Paladin 9. Together, they only take contracts that they believe in. Coste is then wounded in the first Blacklist attack, when he protects Fisher from a grenade.
In the post-end credit, Coste has been recovered from his injuries and he greet Sam as they look upon the imprisoned captive, Majid Sadiq.
Coste is Fisher's closest friend, and the two share a brotherly bond ever since they served in the U.S. Navy SEALs. Coste states that he never leaves his family behind, and it shows: during the Iraq flashback in Splinter Cell: Conviction, he rescues Fisher despite being ordered by his superiors not to. While being interrogated by Black Arrow, Fisher rescued Coste because Fisher also doesn't leave family behind.
- "The character of Victor Coste is really the counterweight to Sam’s relationship with Anna Grimsdottir. He’s the guy who knows Sam and trusts him unreservedly for who he is, even though he hasn’t seen him in ages. Grim, on the other hand, is the one Sam has to trust but doesn’t really know. Setting up that dynamic with Sam in the middle –and getting tugged at from both sides with what he has to do –echoed the professional vs. personal struggle that Sam’s caught up in. With everything else in his world uncertain, there needed to be one thing that Sam could absolutely rely on. And that turned out to be Vic.
The other great thing about Coste is that he’s the one person in the world who knows Sam and doesn’t want anything from him. That means he can call Sam on his bullshit to his face and get away with it, because there’s no agenda there. He honestly and genuinely wants his friend to succeed, which is pretty much unlike any relationship Sam’s had in recent memory. So that allowed for some really fun character-building moments in the interplay between the two of them. I didn’t want their relationship to fall into buddy movie conventions – they’re not trying to outdo each other, and one of them isn’t a week away from retirement. Instead, you’ve got these two experienced pros who know each other, who’ve had similar lives and seen their choices come home to roost, and who really understand each other as a result.
Plus, they’re really good at shooting people. But that was sort of a given, all things considered."
- ― Richard Dansky, Splinter Cell: Conviction Game Script Writer
Appearances in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell media
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Aftermath (Mentioned only)
- Victor Coste bears a great resemblance to Victor Sullivan, a fictional character in the Uncharted series of video games. Not just in physical appearance and first name, but their voices are similar as well and both of them are the best friend of the main protagonist. Both characters are also skilled in flying aircraft.
- Victor Coste was the first character other than Sam Fisher to be a player character in the single player campaign of a Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell game.
- He and Isaac Briggs are the only characters other than Fisher that are playable in the single-player campaign section in the series.
- As a playable character, Victor Coste lacks many of Sam's abilities, most notably Mark and Execute. However, he is able to move from cover to cover, and he is also able to do hand to hand kills as well. These abilities alone are enough to sneak through some parts of the level despite Victor's lack of mobility.
- The only weapons and equipment Coste is seen using in Splinter Cell Conviction is an upgraded AK-47 with an ACOG sight and a P228. Victor Coste also has the option of picking up an AKS-74U during the level as well, and is seen in the beginning cutscene with Sam and the rest of his Navy SEAL squad with a MP5-SD3, which was lost when he and his squad were hit by a mortar.
- The "Highway of Death" level does not show how much ammunition Victor has left for either weapon; the ammunition count during this level is infinite. However, there is a limited amount of Frag Grenades that Victor can use at the start of the mission, though he can pick up more Grenades while progressing through the level.
- Doing a hand-to-hand kill in the "Highway of Death" level with his sidearm equipped shows Victor Coste having the same Krav Maga animations as Sam, Archer and Kestrel when having a pistol equipped. This likely indicates that he too may have learned some Krav Maga as well during his time with the Navy SEALs; aside from this, he was still able to demonstrate more of his training as seen in the "Blacklist Zero" level in Blacklist when performing a Non-Lethal or Lethal hand-to-hand takedown/kill.
- During the "Highway of Death" level in Conviction, Coste reveals that he has children after Sam tells him that Sarah sent him a picture her mother helped her draw. It is unknown how many children he has.
- Coste has Italian ancestry and grew up in Rhode Island.
- Coste has a tattoo of the Navy SEAL insignia on his left arm.
- Coste has a shrapnel scar on his right cheek.
- Coste seems to look younger in Splinter Cell: Blacklist than he does in Splinter Cell: Conviction.
- In Splinter Cell: Conviction, Coste is shown as being held captive and interrogated by Black Arrow, recalling the events of the game. The end of Splinter Cell: Blacklist has a reversal of this, it shows Coste walking into the interrogation room, with Fisher, as the interrogator.
- In both Conviction and Blacklist, the helicopter that Coste pilots gets shot down.
- Dev Blog Post 4 – Biography Coste (2010-03-25).
- majornelson.com, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction Starter Kit, page 7
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
20 years ago
Highway of Death
- Vic: "Yo, Sam, how's your little girl?"
- Sam: "She's doing fine. I got a picture from her in the mail. I think her mom helped her draw it."
- Vic: "Nice. My kids don't draw me pictures or write or anything."
- Conviction (2011).
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction for Apple iPhone
- Character Bios