"This is embarassing. I find myself indebted to you... yet honor-bound to bring about your demise..."―Hans Degen, to Indiana Jones[src]
In 1936, Hans Degen was tasked by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler with the execution of the American archaeologist Indiana Jones, who had disrupted their machinations with his retrievel of the Ark of the Covenant."You have caused us a great deal of inconvenience these past few months."―Hans Degen, to Indiana Jones[src]
After he confronted Jones in the Welsh mountains near Merthyr Tydfil, Degen's life was – accidentally – saved by the archaeologist after Tarrant attempted to kill Degen from behind. In debt to Jones, as a form of gratitude Degen gave Indy another 24 hours to live before he would follow through on his plan to end him.
Accompanying Jones and his companions to Switzerland while posing as a Scotland Yard official, Degen was captured alongside Jones by Ismailis in a nearby castle owned by the millionaire Ben Ali Ayoob where the archaeologist was forced to fight a bear in an arena with Degen and Marcus Brody tied to a tree. Jones managed to free Brody and directed him to free Degen while his attention returned to the bear. Baffled that his target did not simply leave him for dead, the rescued Degen eventually jumped the bear from behind to give Jones and Brody time to escape.
Overcoming the bear, Degen headed towards Ben Ali Ayoob's office, and grabbed the Devil's Heart while Ayoob was focused on Jones and his friends. However, Ayoob saw the assassin's reflection on a glass case and shot Degen. The artifact fell into the chimney and, within black flames, vaporized Ayoob in the blink of an eye. The dying Degen asked Brody to tell Jones that he had lost their contest of wills and passed away.
Personality and traits Edit
As a professional assassin, Hans Degen took no pleasure in violence but believed in the Nazi idea of Aryan superiority. Although he refused to disobey orders, Degen felt that he owed a debt to Indiana Jones when the man, who Degen was hired to kill, saved his life. The assassin chose to give Jones an extra day to live but, when Jones later untied him instead of leaving him to be killed by a bear, Degen, thrown by Jones' decision to once again assist his would-be killer, ultimately sacrificed himself to save Jones and his companions.