History Headscratchers / SpecOpsTheLine

29th Apr '16 11:54:38 AM Aetol
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** Walker was probably already traumatized by the Kabul incident and the white phosphorous incident was the last straw that pushed him off the deep end. The latter question can be answered by the MST3KMantra.

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** Walker was probably already traumatized by the Kabul incident and the white phosphorous phosphorus incident was the last straw that pushed him off the deep end. The latter question can be answered by the MST3KMantra.



** Walker was the commanding officer - almost every bad thing that happens in the game is the direct result of his instructions, whereas Lugo and Adams can presumably explain away their complicity in his crimes by claiming that they were JustFollowingOrders. In particular, Lugo tries to persuade Walker not to launch the white phosphorous immediately before he does so: in his view, the incident is entirely Walker's fault, not his. This might also help to explain why Adams and Lugo keep following Walker's orders even as it becomes increasingly clear he's mentally unstable - a major theme of the game is people being unwilling to accept the consequences of their actions and instead rationalizing their actions as being someone else's fault. Just as Walker blames every bad thing he does on Konrad because he was "forced" to (indeed, just as the player might hypothetically blame every bad thing they do on the developers), Adams and Lugo can blame every bad thing they do on Walker ordering them to, but only so long as they remain under his command. If they abandon Walker and elect to leave Dubai on their own, everything they do after that is on their heads, a possibility they're not willing to consider.

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** Walker was the commanding officer - almost every bad thing that happens in the game is the direct result of his instructions, whereas Lugo and Adams can presumably explain away their complicity in his crimes by claiming that they were JustFollowingOrders. In particular, Lugo tries to persuade Walker not to launch the white phosphorous phosphorus immediately before he does so: in his view, the incident is entirely Walker's fault, not his. This might also help to explain why Adams and Lugo keep following Walker's orders even as it becomes increasingly clear he's mentally unstable - a major theme of the game is people being unwilling to accept the consequences of their actions and instead rationalizing their actions as being someone else's fault. Just as Walker blames every bad thing he does on Konrad because he was "forced" to (indeed, just as the player might hypothetically blame every bad thing they do on the developers), Adams and Lugo can blame every bad thing they do on Walker ordering them to, but only so long as they remain under his command. If they abandon Walker and elect to leave Dubai on their own, everything they do after that is on their heads, a possibility they're not willing to consider.



** Walker is still reeling from the white phosphorous attack when the team comes across the bodies of Konrad's executed commanders. Since his psyche really needs to unload the guilt ASAP, he probably went "oh wait the dude offed his own men! He must be more evil! Yes, he's the villain, not me!"

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** Walker is still reeling from the white phosphorous phosphorus attack when the team comes across the bodies of Konrad's executed commanders. Since his psyche really needs to unload the guilt ASAP, he probably went "oh wait the dude offed his own men! He must be more evil! Yes, he's the villain, not me!"



** If we accept that heavy troopers actually exist within the game and not merely in Walker's head, the first time the player encounters them (at least on normal difficulty) is in chapter 7, "The Battle", when the 33rd deploys white phosphorous: the first heavy trooper walks through the phosphorous smoke and appears entirely unharmed by it. Perhaps the heavy's armour is a kind of hazmat suit meant for soldiers handling or using chemical weapons or other dangerous materials (like a bomb disposal suit, but for combat situations). Makes a lot of sense since the 33rd were originally deployed in Afghanistan, and probably had to deal with [=IEDs=] on a regular basis (and even possibly dispose of them while being fired upon). Compare [[http://www.firstdefense.com/html/imagePPU.JPG real military bomb disposal suits]] with [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120714003615/specops/images/0/08/Heavy.png the heavy troopers' armour]].

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** If we accept that heavy troopers actually exist within the game and not merely in Walker's head, the first time the player encounters them (at least on normal difficulty) is in chapter 7, "The Battle", when the 33rd deploys white phosphorous: phosphorus: the first heavy trooper walks through the phosphorous phosphorus smoke and appears entirely unharmed by it. Perhaps the heavy's armour is a kind of hazmat suit meant for soldiers handling or using chemical weapons or other dangerous materials (like a bomb disposal suit, but for combat situations). Makes a lot of sense since the 33rd were originally deployed in Afghanistan, and probably had to deal with [=IEDs=] on a regular basis (and even possibly dispose of them while being fired upon). Compare [[http://www.firstdefense.com/html/imagePPU.JPG real military bomb disposal suits]] with [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120714003615/specops/images/0/08/Heavy.png the heavy troopers' armour]].



** Not fire-bombs. White phosphorous. It burns ''through'' things and causes incredibly painful death and agonising wounds on top of being poisonous. Use of it as a ''weapon'' is more or less a war-crime, though classification of it as a chemical weapon is going through some foofaraw. (Camouflage by producing smoke with it is legal, but you'd have to be blind to claim that's what Delta and the 33rd were doing.) There is debate, but the civilians that Walker hit were not hostile, and it doesn't matter what kind of bomb it was - civilians casualties were caused that could have been avoided, as a direct result of Walker disobeying his orders. Similarly, orders or no, the destruction of the water trucks - not as a means of cutting off the supplies of the 33rd, but deliberately to kill every single living person left within Dubai - is not excusable, especially since it's not clear where Riggs got his orders. But that's beside the point. Everything that happens in the game is morally dubious or just plain immoral. ''Legally'' is where it gets muddy. Don't confuse regulations and laws with ethics. And Walker is definitely unfit for trial anyway; whether or not he's "free", he'll be locked up as a danger to himself.

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** Not fire-bombs. White phosphorous.phosphorus. It burns ''through'' things and causes incredibly painful death and agonising wounds on top of being poisonous. Use of it as a ''weapon'' is more or less a war-crime, though classification of it as a chemical weapon is going through some foofaraw. (Camouflage by producing smoke with it is legal, but you'd have to be blind to claim that's what Delta and the 33rd were doing.) There is debate, but the civilians that Walker hit were not hostile, and it doesn't matter what kind of bomb it was - civilians casualties were caused that could have been avoided, as a direct result of Walker disobeying his orders. Similarly, orders or no, the destruction of the water trucks - not as a means of cutting off the supplies of the 33rd, but deliberately to kill every single living person left within Dubai - is not excusable, especially since it's not clear where Riggs got his orders. But that's beside the point. Everything that happens in the game is morally dubious or just plain immoral. ''Legally'' is where it gets muddy. Don't confuse regulations and laws with ethics. And Walker is definitely unfit for trial anyway; whether or not he's "free", he'll be locked up as a danger to himself.



** Also note that Lugo and Adams, although not affected by the white phosphorous scene to the same degree as Walker, didn't make it out unscathed. Lugo screams that Walker turned them into killers and, later on, Adams will pin Lugo's death squarely on Walker. Rightly or wrongly, they're (in their own way) doing the same thing to Walker that he's doing to Konrad -- scapegoating their own failings onto his leadership even as it becomes increasingly clear that he's not fit to command. If they challenged him, they'd have to take control and that means taking responsibility as well, something which they don't seem to be psychologically capable of doing.

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** Also note that Lugo and Adams, although not affected by the white phosphorous phosphorus scene to the same degree as Walker, didn't make it out unscathed. Lugo screams that Walker turned them into killers and, later on, Adams will pin Lugo's death squarely on Walker. Rightly or wrongly, they're (in their own way) doing the same thing to Walker that he's doing to Konrad -- scapegoating their own failings onto his leadership even as it becomes increasingly clear that he's not fit to command. If they challenged him, they'd have to take control and that means taking responsibility as well, something which they don't seem to be psychologically capable of doing.



* WordOfGod says white transitions are hallucinatory, right? But...the white phosphorous shelling is preceded by a white-out. Does that mean that the main impetus of the game never happened? What's going on!?

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* WordOfGod says white transitions are hallucinatory, right? But...the white phosphorous phosphorus shelling is preceded by a white-out. Does that mean that the main impetus of the game never happened? What's going on!?



** If I remember correctly, WordOfGod says that white-outs are scenes where Walker is hallucinating or otherwise ignoring the reality of the situation in favour of something not real. The white-out in this case could refer to Walker's insistence that Delta have no choice but to deploy the phosphorous rounds, when in reality they ''do'' have a choice - in-story (but not in-game) there was nothing stopping them from turning around and going home. Walker ''convincing himself'' that he has no choice but to use the white phosphorous is what ultimately leads to his downfall.

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** If I remember correctly, WordOfGod says that white-outs are scenes where Walker is hallucinating or otherwise ignoring the reality of the situation in favour of something not real. The white-out in this case could refer to Walker's insistence that Delta have no choice but to deploy the phosphorous phosphorus rounds, when in reality they ''do'' have a choice - in-story (but not in-game) there was nothing stopping them from turning around and going home. Walker ''convincing himself'' that he has no choice but to use the white phosphorous phosphorus is what ultimately leads to his downfall.



** Additionally, the reason Walker heads to the Trans-Emirates building rather than radio in for help is because he ''personally'' wants to be the hero who evacuates Dubai and saves the survivors: for him, doing this himself is the only way he can overcome his guilt over the white phosphorous incident.

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** Additionally, the reason Walker heads to the Trans-Emirates building rather than radio in for help is because he ''personally'' wants to be the hero who evacuates Dubai and saves the survivors: for him, doing this himself is the only way he can overcome his guilt over the white phosphorous phosphorus incident.



** It's possible the Gate has served more than one function under the 33rd and they'd only decided to use it to safeguard the civilians ''after'' receiving intel that the CIA were moving into the city. Before that it might have served an alternate strategic purpose which would necessitate using chemical weapons to protect it, and in their haste to protect as many civilians as possible they hadn't had time to relocate all of their equipment (which is what they seem to be in the process of doing when Delta arrive on the scene; after all, there is a guard watching over the equipment). Also note that Konrad's command team were executed with white phosphorous in the Gate itself: it's entirely possible that, while they originally intended to use it purely for smoke cover, since arriving in Dubai they've resorted to using it as the harshest punishment for 33rd soldiers who dare to mutiny, and the Gate is where they chose to carry out these executions prior to the CIA's arrival.

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** It's possible the Gate has served more than one function under the 33rd and they'd only decided to use it to safeguard the civilians ''after'' receiving intel that the CIA were moving into the city. Before that it might have served an alternate strategic purpose which would necessitate using chemical weapons to protect it, and in their haste to protect as many civilians as possible they hadn't had time to relocate all of their equipment (which is what they seem to be in the process of doing when Delta arrive on the scene; after all, there is a guard watching over the equipment). Also note that Konrad's command team were executed with white phosphorous phosphorus in the Gate itself: it's entirely possible that, while they originally intended to use it purely for smoke cover, since arriving in Dubai they've resorted to using it as the harshest punishment for 33rd soldiers who dare to mutiny, and the Gate is where they chose to carry out these executions prior to the CIA's arrival.



*** The game isn't "angry" at the player. It wants to get an emotional reaction out of the player -- it wants the player to be upset with it for not giving them options, for making them do horrible things and then rubbing the player's face in it. It's designed to make you WANT another option. That's the whole reason Walker, Adams, and Lugo have a conversation about choice right before they use the white phosphorous -- because it is highlighting your complete lack of choice. Over and over, video games often force the player to do terrible things even while they play the "hero." Most video games get around this by not really acknowledging that you're slaughtering thousands of people. The point of the game is to shine a light on the lack of choice in games -- how violence is often the only option -- and make players themselves desire an alternative. Because choice doesn't just exist in the scripted set pieces (as most games portray it) -- real choice involves every action you take in a game. Every enemy you gun down is an equal to the "moral choices" games present you with.

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*** The game isn't "angry" at the player. It wants to get an emotional reaction out of the player -- it wants the player to be upset with it for not giving them options, for making them do horrible things and then rubbing the player's face in it. It's designed to make you WANT another option. That's the whole reason Walker, Adams, and Lugo have a conversation about choice right before they use the white phosphorous phosphorus -- because it is highlighting your complete lack of choice. Over and over, video games often force the player to do terrible things even while they play the "hero." Most video games get around this by not really acknowledging that you're slaughtering thousands of people. The point of the game is to shine a light on the lack of choice in games -- how violence is often the only option -- and make players themselves desire an alternative. Because choice doesn't just exist in the scripted set pieces (as most games portray it) -- real choice involves every action you take in a game. Every enemy you gun down is an equal to the "moral choices" games present you with.
10th Mar '16 10:04:42 PM Robotnik
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** It could also be that they just plain still care about Walker as a person. Neither Adams or Lugo want to believe that he could be so insane when he's someone they've grown to trust and and consider a friend. Adams' loyalty in particular runs so deep that he doesn't really start to turn on Walker until damn near the end of the game after the helicopter crash.
10th Mar '16 9:18:24 PM Robotnik
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** Not necessarily. The CIA-backed insurgency was shown to be on the ropes before Delta showed up, and they first encounter Riggs when they save him from an ambush. Riggs' plan to destroy the water supply probably wouldn't have had enough manpower or expertise to come to fruition if it hadn't been for them doing most of the work. The 33rd most likely would've able to maintain martial law in Dubai if Delta had never arrived, albeit at great cost, possibly to the point of a PyrrhicVictory.

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** Not necessarily. The CIA-backed insurgency was shown to be on the ropes before Delta showed up, and they first encounter Riggs when they save him from an ambush. Riggs' plan to destroy the water supply probably wouldn't have had enough manpower or expertise to come to fruition if it hadn't been for them doing most of the work. The 33rd most likely would've been able to maintain restore martial law in Dubai if Delta had never arrived, albeit at great cost, possibly to the point of a PyrrhicVictory.
10th Mar '16 9:17:24 PM Robotnik
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* If Walker had just followed orders from the start, wouldn't the CIA have just killed everyone anyway?

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* If Walker had just followed orders from the start, wouldn't the CIA have just killed everyone anyway?anyway?
** Not necessarily. The CIA-backed insurgency was shown to be on the ropes before Delta showed up, and they first encounter Riggs when they save him from an ambush. Riggs' plan to destroy the water supply probably wouldn't have had enough manpower or expertise to come to fruition if it hadn't been for them doing most of the work. The 33rd most likely would've able to maintain martial law in Dubai if Delta had never arrived, albeit at great cost, possibly to the point of a PyrrhicVictory.
8th Mar '16 7:35:36 AM Polokun
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** There's nothing in-game to indicate that it ''is'' the better choice; Walker's dialogue could be seen as implying that he thinks SuicideIsShameful and that he'd rather do something other than shoot himself on the spot now that he knows the truth, but ultimately the player provides the rationale behind the decision. By the same token, your interpretation that Walker is choosing to deflect responsibility onto "Konrad" in that ending is your own interpretation, and it need not be shared by everyone. Unless you're asking why the game's ''fandom'' prefers the "shoot Konrad" option, in which case any one fan could give you a different answer. Personally, I prefer to shoot "Konrad" and choose one of the remaining 3 endings because I find the "suicide" ending to be too brief and anti-climactic.

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** There's nothing in-game to indicate that it ''is'' the better choice; Walker's dialogue could be seen as implying that he thinks SuicideIsShameful and that he'd rather do something other than shoot himself on the spot now that he knows the truth, but ultimately the player provides the rationale behind the decision. By the same token, your interpretation that Walker is choosing to deflect responsibility onto "Konrad" in that ending is your own interpretation, and it need not be shared by everyone. Unless you're asking why the game's ''fandom'' prefers the "shoot Konrad" option, in which case any one fan could give you a different answer. Personally, I prefer to shoot "Konrad" and choose one of the remaining 3 endings because I find the "suicide" ending to be too brief and anti-climactic.anti-climactic.
* If Walker had just followed orders from the start, wouldn't the CIA have just killed everyone anyway?
26th Feb '16 2:33:13 PM Ansongc2000
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*** The game was meant to criticize the player as a shallow and insensitive {{jerkass}} who kills people for, not neccesarily for all the horrible things you have to do in the game to proceed, but for playing a game they (in theory) thought was your average military shooter, and expecting to be given your average story of heroism. It does this by giving us a game that is (again, in theory) as entertaining in gameplay as your average AAA game, but makes the story behind such actions one where your enemies are very human, you're the only real bad guy, making you feel guilty for doing all those fun things. The loading screens act as a direct mouthpiece for this, and this is why the WP incident has some much weight both in-universe and out; it gives you a rather entertaining mini game, then shows you the horrible narrative consequences of what you just did. But the game can't call you all those things if you don't play it, so shutting it off is the only way the escape its critisism, which is what we were really asking for when we wanted another way to proceed through the game without committing virtual atrocities. But then you don't get to enjoy the game for what it is, which is why that's only a valid choice, and not neccesarily the correct one.
21st Feb '16 8:23:18 PM Robotnik
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** There's nothing in-game to indicate that it ''is'' the better choice; Walker's dialogue could be seen as implying that he thinks SuicideIsShameful and that he'd rather do something other than shoot himself on the spot now that he knows the truth, but ultimately the player provides the rationale behind the decision. By the same token, your interpretation that Walker is choosing to deflect responsibility onto "Konrad" in that ending is your own interpretation, and it need not be shared by everyone. Unless you're asking why the game's ''fandom'' prefers the "shoot Konrad" option, in which case in any one fan could give you a different answer. Personally, I prefer to shoot "Konrad" and choose one of the remaining 3 endings because I find the "suicide" ending to be too brief and anti-climactic.

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** There's nothing in-game to indicate that it ''is'' the better choice; Walker's dialogue could be seen as implying that he thinks SuicideIsShameful and that he'd rather do something other than shoot himself on the spot now that he knows the truth, but ultimately the player provides the rationale behind the decision. By the same token, your interpretation that Walker is choosing to deflect responsibility onto "Konrad" in that ending is your own interpretation, and it need not be shared by everyone. Unless you're asking why the game's ''fandom'' prefers the "shoot Konrad" option, in which case in any one fan could give you a different answer. Personally, I prefer to shoot "Konrad" and choose one of the remaining 3 endings because I find the "suicide" ending to be too brief and anti-climactic.
21st Feb '16 8:19:09 PM Robotnik
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* So concerning the final choice of shooting "Konrad" or letting "Konrad" shooting him, which is really just Walker killing himself, why is shooting Konrad considered the better choice? It's still ultimately Walker choosing to shoot and "blame" someone else. Even Walker claims that making that choice makes him "stronger" then Konrad. I'm confused by what this means.

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* So concerning the final choice of shooting "Konrad" or letting "Konrad" shooting him, which is really just Walker killing himself, why is shooting Konrad considered the better choice? It's still ultimately Walker choosing to shoot and "blame" someone else. Even Walker claims that making that choice makes him "stronger" then Konrad. I'm confused by what this means.means.
** There's nothing in-game to indicate that it ''is'' the better choice; Walker's dialogue could be seen as implying that he thinks SuicideIsShameful and that he'd rather do something other than shoot himself on the spot now that he knows the truth, but ultimately the player provides the rationale behind the decision. By the same token, your interpretation that Walker is choosing to deflect responsibility onto "Konrad" in that ending is your own interpretation, and it need not be shared by everyone. Unless you're asking why the game's ''fandom'' prefers the "shoot Konrad" option, in which case in any one fan could give you a different answer. Personally, I prefer to shoot "Konrad" and choose one of the remaining 3 endings because I find the "suicide" ending to be too brief and anti-climactic.
21st Feb '16 6:22:16 PM Polokun
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** Water access could have been impacted by the storm. Absolutely enormous volumes of sand were shifted (to the point where entire skyscrapers are buried) and boats are seen strewn across the landscape. The USN likely wouldn't have had access to the ports or it would have been deemed too dangerous. As for Walker and his team, It may have simply been easier to insert a small reconnaissance team by land. If the port was destroyed then trying to find a safe drop off zone could have been considered unfeasible.

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** Water access could have been impacted by the storm. Absolutely enormous volumes of sand were shifted (to the point where entire skyscrapers are buried) and boats are seen strewn across the landscape. The USN likely wouldn't have had access to the ports or it would have been deemed too dangerous. As for Walker and his team, It may have simply been easier to insert a small reconnaissance team by land. If the port was destroyed then trying to find a safe drop off zone could have been considered unfeasible.unfeasible.
* So concerning the final choice of shooting "Konrad" or letting "Konrad" shooting him, which is really just Walker killing himself, why is shooting Konrad considered the better choice? It's still ultimately Walker choosing to shoot and "blame" someone else. Even Walker claims that making that choice makes him "stronger" then Konrad. I'm confused by what this means.
5th Dec '15 8:21:16 PM Robotnik
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** There's no rule that says you can only follow a higher authority while the higher authority in question is still alive. The Radioman's being loyal to the bitter end, loyal to Konrad's last orders and his memory. That he would continue to follow Konrad after his death adds a lot of dramatic weight to the relationship they had with each other, and says a lot about how close-knit everyone in the 33rd is.
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