Eddie Hawkins, a.k.a. The Hudson Hawk, has the reputation of being the best cat burglar in the world, but he's decided to go straight.
Unfortunately, Darwin and Minerva Mayflower have other plans. They are rebuilding Leonardo da Vinci's Alchemy Project, a machine that can make gold! Good for them but disastrous for the world's economy. They need Hawk's help, and they'll hurt his best friend unless he gives it to them.
The Mayflowers order Hawk to steal two priceless works by Leonardo da Vinci. One is located in Rutherford's the heavily guarded auction house. The other rests in the vaults of the Vatican! Quite a challenge...even for the Hawk!
We need you to help the Hawk first, to save his friend, and second, because if Hawk can find where the gold machine is, maybe he can steal its key component and save the entire world from financial ruin...!
--From the NES Hudson Hawk instruction manual.