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TASK FORCE: STALKER, a top-secret United States strike-force made up of the remnants of the US's special operations like the Rangers, Marines, and SEALs.
- Badass Crew / Elites Are More Glamorous: Bound to happen once you're composed of all of the US's special forces..
- Badass Family: Also bound to happen when by 2027, you're halfly composed of the Walker family.
- Cool Mask: Each operative is equipped with a balaclava with its own unique decal.
- Due to the Dead: Each deceased operative is given a proper honorable ritual.
- Expy: Ghosts is meant to be a spiritual successor to Modern Warfare after all, so the Ghosts are quite clearly inspired by the Task Force 141.
- Informed Ability / Informed Attribute: They're supposed to be so unbelievably and unseeably skilled in elite espionage and guerilla warfare, but they're no quieter than typical Rated M for Manly action heroes, aside from a few unimpressive stealth missions that any special forces group could pull off.
Sergeant Logan Walker
The main protagonist and player character of almost every single level. Inseparable from his brother, Hesh, Logan spends the first third of the game as a typical US Ranger, before being recruited into the Ghosts by his own father.After The Federation's leader, Rorke, kills their father, Logan and Hesh go on a revenge mission, only for Logan to get captured, horribly tortured, and supposedly brainwashed by Rorke.
- Bash Brothers / Sibling Team: With Hesh.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil / Brainwashed and Crazy: The game ends with Rorke attempting to invoke this on him, just as it was on Rorke.
- Butt Monkey / Trauma Conga Line: Ghosts is pretty much just one entire middle finger to Logan. So, the game starts off with him getting viciously thrown around by Kill Sat blasts that completely demolishes his entire hometown and probably kills all of his friends, all at age 16. So then, a decade later after becoming a Ghost, he falls out of a plane and plummets into an enemy-swarmed jungle all alone, and escapes by flinging himself off a waterfall, then he's shot in the stomach at point blank range (never gets any medical treatment for that by the way) and is then is forced to shoot his father several times in the chest by Rorke before watching him get his brains blown out right before his eyes. So then Hesh and Logan go on a revenge-mission where Logan gets his ass brutally handed to him by Rorke, then the train they're on gets bombed and they're sent to the bottom of the ocean, where Logan is further beaten by Rorke and the two brothers just barely save themselves from drowning. So after finally killing the man who killed their dad, it turns out that Rorke is still alive, who promptly boots the recovering-from-nearly-drowning-after-a-train-crash Logan in the face, completely shatters his arm, and drags him away from Hesh where he's then taken to the Amazon to be tortured in a hole for months until his mind is completely shattered and he's brainwashed into callously killing the Ghosts, his only friends and his own brother. Jesus. Christ.
- Blind Obedience: Elias said that one time, when he was bringing Hesh and Logan into the woods, he looked back to see only two sets of footprints, instead of three. Logan is such a blind follower of his brother than he literally fills in his footsteps behind him.
- Cool Mask: Got it from his father.
- Doomed Hometown: San Diego.
- Featureless Protagonist: Fairly standard for an Infinity Ward Call of Duty main character. He has no personality, voice, or face, and the only thing known about his appearance is that he has blonde hair.
- Heroic Mime: As a staple of Call of Duty protagonists (with the exception of recent Treyarch games), he has no dialogue.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Hesh.
- Hollywood Healing: Towards the end of the game, he's shot by Rorke during an extended torture sequence. Once he manages to escape, he's somehow back in full fighting condition.
- Like Father, Like Son: Joins the military and eventually becomes a Ghost, just like his brother and father.
- Made of Iron: Thrown around by Kill Sat blasts at age 16, stabbed in the stomach, shot in the stomach, falls out of an airplane and gets mangled by the trees on the way down, flung down a waterfall, beaten to the brink of death countless times, gets his arm broken, it's all not even worth a gasp or grunt of pain to Logan.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Doesn't even yelp when he's shot in the stomach, stabbed in the stomach, or gets his arm broken.
- You Killed My Father: When Rorke kills Elias towards the end of the game, he and Hesh seek vengeance against him.
Lieutenant David "Hesh" Walker
- "Dad taught us many things, but one lesson always stood out... Good men are defined by the choices they make."
- Bash Brothers / Sibling Team: With Logan.
- The Beastmaster: Is Riley's K9 handler, and uses him in combat and for infiltration.
- Big Brother Instinct: To Logan.
- Doomed Hometown: San Diego.
- Dull Surprise: How would one describe his voice acting? The answer: Using no words or terms that are associated with good quality or positive emotions.
- First-Person Peripheral Narrator: He's the narrator of the game, even though Logan is the actual main character. Largely because Logan never speaks.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Logan.
- Jumped at the Call: He and Logan spent their youths hearing tales about the Ghosts from their dad. When they actually run into Ghosts while serving as regular infantry, Hesh immediately becomes determined to become one of them.
- Like Father, Like Son: Joins the military and eventually becomes a Ghost, just like his brother and father.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: At no point is he ever referred to by his real name, as he's always referred to as "Hesh".
- Taking You with Me: Knowing that there's a good chance he and Logan won't be able to beat Rorke, Hesh arranges for the Ghosts to drop a kinetic strike missile on top of all of them if they lose against him. It doesn't work.
- You Killed My Father: When Rorke kills Elias towards the end of the game, he and Logan seek vengeance against him.
Captain Elias Walker
- "A man who truly loves his country doesn't just give his life... he gives his sons."
- Badass Baritone: His voice sounds quite a bit like Sam Fisher's.
- Badass Grandpa: He's one of the oldest soldiers in Ghosts, on top of being the Walker brothers' father.
- Heroic Mime: During his one playable level.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Gets killed by Rorke in "Sin City". In front of his sons no less!
- Trailers Always Spoil: The fact that Elias is actually the leader of the Ghosts is pretty clearly implicated by the trailers for the game.
- You Are in Command Now: Became the leader of the Ghosts after Rorke was presumed KIA in Venezuela.
The Team Pet German Shepard of the Ghosts, handled by Elias and Hesh, and a Player Character in some missions.
- Death by Newbery Medal: Subverted. He gets shot late in the game, but survives and is evacuated by Logan.
- Gameplay Ally Immortality: While this is standard in Call of Duty, it's particularly noticeable for Riley since his only method of attack is to charge straight at angry men with assault rifles and tackle them.
- Heroic Dog/Non-Human Sidekick
- Mythology Gag: Named after Simon "Ghost" Riley from Modern Warfare 2.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After getting injured in "Sin City", Riley is seen once being sent off with Merrick and is never heard from again.
The second-in-command of the Ghosts, and one of the primary NPC's. He takes over the Ghosts after Elias is executed by Rorke.
- Blood Knight: In an interview, he dismisses the traditional answers to the question "why do you fight for your country?" and remarks that he does it simply because he's good at it and likes to win.
- Child Prodigy: Was the youngest person to ever complete Navy SEAL training... at 17 years old.
- Jerkass: Knew a man who was murdered by a child soldier and finds it pretty amusing.
Sergeant Keegan P. Russ
A quiet former-Marine, Ghost sergeant, and a frequent NPC.
- Mauve Shirt: He doesn't talk much, has no definitive personality traits (other than the fact he doesn't talk much), is only seen without his mask on once in the entire game, and plays no real major role in the story. At the same time, he's in your squad for a pretty decent amount of the game. He seems to play a similar role as Crosby in Black Ops 2.
- First-Name Basis: Only goes by Keegan to the rest of the Ghosts.
- Night-Vision Goggles: Sometimes wears a bizarre but awesome looking pair.
- Semper Fi: He was a United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper before he was a ghost.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Keegan is never seen or heard from after the mission "Sin City", given he was ordered to meet the Secretary of Defense before said mission.
The Federation of the Americas, an extremely malicious South American superpower and the sole antagonists of the game.
- Always Chaotic Evil / Sociopathic Soldier: All of their Faceless Mooks are pretty much soulless monsters.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: They pride themselves on their Amazonian tribal roots, and utilize unimaginably brutal torture methods to brainwash Rorke and Logan into serving them.
- Decapitated Army: Inverted. After their commander, Diego Almagro, is assassinated in 2015, they get even more powerful and unstoppable.
- The Empire: Almost all of South America's governments and militarities combined into one genocidal superpower.
- Expy: A powerful and mindlessly villainous foreign superpower that wants to take over the world, just like the Ultranationalists from Modern Warfare.
- Final Solution: They do not like the United States, needless to say. In 2015, they tried a traditional Holocaust against all US-born individuals they could get their hands on. After that didn't work? They hijacked the US's Kill Sat and bombed the US with it, killing 27 million people and permanently crippling their military, economy, and society.
- Space Marine: Has their own little strike-force to overthrow ODIN.
- Take Over the World: Their ultimate goal is clearly along the lines of this.
- "To us, Rorke was a legend. The man could walk through hell and not get burned. Ghosts were the best of the best. But Rorke was the reason we were feared."
- The Ace: By far the best fighter out of all the series' villains. He might not have the raw power of Raul Menendez, but his special forces training makes him an extremely dangerous combatant who effectively counters your quicktime event attacks on multiple occasions. He's also the only Call of Duty villain to survive a fight against a COD protagonist.
- The Bad Guy Wins: The Ghosts thwart his plan to take over America, but he survives his confrontation with Logan and Hesh, and even manages to capture Logan in hopes of turning him into another Manchurian Agent like him.
- Blood Knight: Elias indicates Rorke was something of a fanatic even before his Face–Heel Turn.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Was "turned" by the Federation to their cause through exotic Amazonian torture techniques. Although, it seems his primary motive for changing sides was to seek vengeance against Elias Walker for letting go of him and leaving him to die at the end of their last mission.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Well, he was apparently already a Blood Knight even before being tortured. The torture just switched the targets of his ire.
- Broken Pedestal: It's clear Elias used to look up to him. Now he's just another terrorist bastard as far as Elias is concerned.
- Chekhov's Gunman: He's the soldier seen prominently featured in the prologue narration about the formation of the Ghosts.
- The Determinator: Rourke's single-minded obsession with killing General Almagro is the reason why he got captured by the Federation. After being turned by them he displays the same obsessiveness when it comes to hunting down the Ghosts.
- The Dreaded: His article quote neatly sums it up. At the end of the game, when Hesh and Logan go to face them, they actually make plans to have the Ghosts blow up the train they're on, because they know there's a good chance they're going to lose against him.
- Face–Heel Turn: After Elias dropped him in Caracas to be captured by the Federation to be brainwashed.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: While he was still part of the Ghosts, his face was free of scars. When he returns 12 years later, his face has several of them, presumably coming from his brainwashing.
- The Heavy: He is not the leader of the Federation, but he is the most prominent enemy faced throughout the game.
- Hero Killer: He's known as "the Ghost Killer" for a reason.
- Invincible Villain: Even more so than Makarov from the Modern Warfare games, Rourke is always two steps ahead of the heroes and he always escapes situations where his death seems certain. At the end of the game he even survives a train wreck, getting shot by a .44 magnum revolver, and sinking into the ocean, and he's still healthy enough to subdue Logan and drag him off as a prisoner.
- It's All About Me: He gives his motivation for turning as being betrayed by the Ghosts and "abandoned." This despite the fact that if Elias hadn't let go of him all four of the Ghosts would have died, and that they searched for his body for months.
- Karma Houdini: He survives the game and pretty much gets away with all of his crimes.
- Made of Iron: In the game's final mission not only does he get shot by a .44 Magnum and sink to the bottom of the ocean, but a few minutes later he shows up not just alive, but only slightly wounded.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Angels and demons.
- Not Quite Dead: He was presumed dead in Caracas, but he survived and was captured and brainwashed by the Federation. He pulls it off again at the end, surviving a Kill Sat, a .44 magnum to the chest, and nearly drowning.
- One-Man Army: Imagine if John Rambo turned to the dark side and you've got a pretty good description of Rourke.
- Villainous Breakdown: He has one at the end of the game when Hesh calls down the rod strike on the train he's aboard.
General Diego Almagro
The former Federation leader, who attempted to wage genocide on the Americans 12 years before the game. His assassination attempt by the Ghosts serves as a flashback mission.
- Final Solution: The whole reason he was an assassination target in the first place was because he tried waging a Holocaust against all US-born people in South America.
- Nice Hat: Has a snazzy maroon beret that gives some Al-Asad vibes.
- Posthumous Character: He was killed 12 years prior to the game's events, and only shows up in a flashback.
- Predecessor Villain: He was the leader of the Federation until 12 years ago, when Elias killed him.
The United States Air Force. In Call of Duty: Ghosts, by 2017, a good chunk of their force operates in space, maintaining and protecting the ODIN Kill Sat.
- Space Marine: Not the most traditional example, but one of the most realistic examples, as they are simply astronauts who are armed like soldiers just in case a hostile force like the Federation tries to overthrow ODIN.
Specialist Kyra Mosely
An astronaut alongside SPC Baker when ODIN gets hijacked by the Federation.
- Action Girl: One of the very few female combatic non-playable characters in Call of Duty, even more amplified since she nearly qualifies as a Space Marine.
- Dying Moment of Awesome/Heroic Sacrifice: Along with Baker, she sacrifices her life to scuttle the ODIN station and prevent any more American cities from being destroyed by rod strikes.
- The Smurfette Principle: She is the only female character of any import in the game.
The secondary Player Character of the first mission "Ghost Stories", and an astronaut alongside SPC Mosely when ODIN gets hijacked by the Federation.
The Player Character of the mission "Loki", and operative of the Icarus USAF space squad that gets the US ODIN back from the Federation.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: His first and only appearance as a playable character is in the penultimate mission.
- A Space Marine Is You
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Averted, being one of the few astronauts in COD to do so. He survives the entirety of the level he's featured in and actually helps your other player character (Logan) indirectly.
- Heroic Mime: As usual.