At the Christmas party at the 30th floor, Joe Takagi, President of Nakatomi Trading and the other executives, including Holly Gennero and Harry Ellis, we're enjoying their time. John McClane arrives in the party and is met by Takagi and Ellis. Then Holly sees him for the first since their separation. Then terrorist leader Hans Gruber and his men took over the floor and took the celebrating executives hostage. The upstairs of that floor has the vault that has $640 million in bearer bonds locked in there, which is what Hans and his group were after.
Hans used Holly's office as his private room while others went to work. When Tony is been killed by McClane, Karl screams in rage and toss the office desk down, causing Hans to pushes him into the wall. After Karl says he wants blood, Hans tells him not to ulter their plan. Ellis sold McClane's identity to Hans and Karl. Ellis tries to get McClane to tell Hans where the detonators are. When McClane refuses, knowing what Hans intent to do with them. Hans then gladly executes the obnoxious Ellis.
When Richard Thornburg interview Holly and John's children revealing Holly's identity, Hans orders the hostage to the roof where he already planted the detonators and has Uli moved the hostages as he takes Holly. McClane manages to save the hostages from getting killed by firing gun in the air and scaring them away. The helicopter carrying Special Agent Johnson mistakes McClane one of Han's terrorists fires at him and jumps out of the helipad and uses the fire hose to jump off the roof as Special Agent Johnson aims his sniper rifle at him but he was stopped by Hans, who been warned by Eddie that the hostages are coming back down and ignoring Kristoff's pleas not to kill Karl and Uli who are both still in the roof, blows the roof destroying the helicopter and killing the FBI agents onboard as McClane lands back on the 30th floor and almost pulled out by the hose and manages to untie it. He walks toward the fountain and the helicopter falls and explodes on the 30th floor damaging it and McClane dives into the fountain to shield himself from the explosion and the elevator is affected by the blast and explodes tearing through the wall causing the fire sprinkler to go off leaving 30th floor in ruins.
McClane goes to the vault and finds the magazine in Uli's gun is out and has only 2 bullets left on his pistol. He then sees a mail cart with Christmastheme tapes and other supplies nearby. He tapes his pistol on his upper back and continues to look for Holly. Kristoff then makes a dash on the hallway and McClane knocks Kristoff out and yells Hans who then holds Holly hostage and orders McClane to drop his gun which Eddie picks it up intructing him not to shoot him .McClane then put his hands on the back of his head as planned for the surprise attack. Hans then says that McClane is a cowboy making him laugh. He and Eddie laughed. McClane then grabs his pistol taped from his back and shoots Hans in the shoulder and Eddie in the forehead killing him. Hans fells through the window draging Holly with him by her watch. McClane quickly grabs her and her screams alerts Robinson and Powell to look up seeing Hans holding her by her watch. Hans then attempts to kill them by raising his pistol but McClane then unclasped her watch in time causing Hans to fell to his death and Robinson then comments hoping it's not a hostage.