Hilary was neglected by his mother as a child and had developed serious child abandonment issues. The issues led to Hilary becoming a compulsive eater, although the Vice City Police Department believe that he had been raised in stable home. Hilary King is a neurotic and highly dependent driver who assists Tommy Vercetti during the events of Vice City. Phil Cassidy points Tommy in the direction of Hilary King, as Tommy is looking for a getaway driver for a bank heist. After beating Hilary in a street race, Tommy gains his services. However, when the heist takes place he arrives late to pick up Tommy, Phil and Cam. Hilary attempts to help Tommy but is shot by the SWAT team outside the bank.
Hilary's death, being shot by the SWAT team during a bank heist, is a reference to the 1995 film Heat. The film was directed by Michael Mann, who was also the executive producer of Miami Vice.