The Rhino Squad
Matthew Kane (Corporal)
"I hear their voices when I sleep. I've seen the worst of war. But I can't escape the images of the Strogg. A metallic spine, jutting awkwardly through muscle. Flesh and bone fused with wires and steel. I hear their voices when I sleep. Created for war, and fueled by the blood of their enemy. But this isn't just a nightmare, it's who I've become."
— In the trailer
Above all else, Corporal Matthew Kane is a survivor. He was involved with the disaster on Space Station Armstrong and was the only one to emerge alive. But exactly what happened there may never be known—he is under the strictest orders to remain silent. After several months of recuperation, Kane was assigned to Rhino squad. This was due to Lieutenant Voss, who saw Kane's potential to be a truly valuable asset to the team. However, the squad knows him only from his mysterious reputation. They don't trust him, and they believe he might be too much of a loose cannon.
Tropes related with him:
- All of the Other Reindeer: He gets bashing from the other non-Rhino Squad Marines before and after being Stroggified (although in the "after" they seem to be under the mistaken impression he's a Strogg Ambassador rather than a Stroggified fellow Marine). However, as soon as the shit hits the fan and his Strogg implants makes him humanity's last best hope, everyone wants to be his best bud.
- Badass: Word of God said that he's surnamed Kane because it's said that the creator of Star Trek have always used a hard "K" sound in the names of his heroes. Plus, Kane just sounds badass.
- Cursed with Awesome
- Eye Scream: Prior to being assigned to Rhino Squad, he lost one of his eyes in the initial Strogg invasion of Earth, on Armstrong station - the first facility to fall to the Strogg. He had it replaced with a cybernetic implant - way before most of the rest of his body was replaced with cybernetics.
- Heroic Mime: Typical of an FPS series, but it's especially notable here, as he remains utterly silent throughout even the cutscenes. However, it's strongly implied that it is he who narrates the game's trailer.
- Noodle Incident: At the beginning, he's reputed to be a badass (and a nut) for something that happened on a space station before the events of the game. What happened there is never explained.
- Phlebotinum Rebel: The Strogg obviously never watched a Showa era Kamen Rider installment, or they'd know you have to brainwash your victims before you turn them into cyborgs.
- Rogue Drone: Although it's more of a case of a person never fully turned into a hive member in the first place.
- Rookie Red Ranger
- Unwilling Roboticisation
- Was Once a Man
Johann Strauss (Tech Marine)
Johann Strauss possesses one of the most gifted minds of our age. By the time he was 4 years old, Strauss could perform complex trigonometry equations in his head. At the age of 8 he was fluent in six languages and could recite all of Shakespeare's works from memory. He was part of the research team that discovered how the Strogg used black holes to travel across the vast distances of space. He currently holds a Ph.D. in advanced computer science and in biotechnology and is one of eight people fluent in the Strogg language. In keeping with his genius status, Strauss also has a tremendous ego and can be extremely brash. He would have remained in research were it not for a run-in with General Nathaniel Hastings. Strauss insulted the general so badly that he found himself on the front lines a week after the argument. While in the field, Strauss found he excelled in working with Strogg technology. Because of his talents, he was assigned to Rhino squad. Now they receive missions deep in enemy territory that require interaction with Strogg security and computer systems.
Tropes related with him:
- Badass Bookworm: Despite being every bit the Insufferable Genius, he's more than capable of holding his own in a fight. In an off-screen adventure he even manages to fight his way to safety while trapped alone deep behind enemy lines while Kane was busy getting raped by the Makron and being turned into a Strogg.
- The Engineer
- Germanic Depressives
- Germanic Efficiency
- Insufferable Genius
- Name's the Same: Shares his name with the famous composer.
- Nerdgasm: He admits to Kane that he's jealous of him, simply because Kane is seeing awesome technology he can't.
- Noodle Incident: Was captured by the Strogg at the same time as Kane. Escaped. The way in which he did this is "classified" and is never discussed further.
- Non-Action Guy: He used to be one, until an argument with a general caused him to be transferred to the front lines, and often complains/demands bodyguards when he has to be sent on a dangerous mission.
- Omniglot: He's said to be fluent in many languages besides German and English - including the Strogg language (he is one of the few humans to speak Strogg fluently).
- Shout-Out: Look at his name.
- The Smart Guy
- The Stoic: To an extent.
- Techno Wizard
- Took a Level in Badass: Strauss starts off as whiny and a bit of a coward, but after Kane is Stroggified, he manages to escape the facility completely by himself (according to chatter from other soldiers) and is significantly more assertive and fearless.
Alejandro "Alex" Cortez (Corporal)
Growing up on his family's ranch, Cortez took to guns while very young. His father still brags about how, at the age of 8, Alejandro could kill a jackrabbit from 150 yards out. After his sister was killed during the first Strogg attack on Earth, Cortez joined the Marine Corps determined to have his revenge. Extremely cool in a firefight, he has a way of getting to vantage points no one else can find. Silent as darkness and swift as the hand of death, Cortez was assigned to Rhino squad after he single-handedly defended a communications outpost armed only with a depleted pistol—14 rounds against 14 Strogg—and at the end of the fight he still had one round left.
On Stroggos, Cortez defended the flank of Rhino Squad, dramatically killing three Strogg with his rifle and notifying Kane on the location of the rest of Rhino Squad.
Nikolai 'Sledge' Sledjonovitch (Lance Corporal)
The son of a former Russian Olympic weightlifter, Nikolai was raised on a farm where he spent most of his childhood doing intense physical labor. He eventually grew to dwarf even his father's huge physique. While his family had expected him to go to college to study chemical engineering, Nikolai surprised everyone by choosing to join the Marine Corps. After his first two days in boot camp, he was given the nickname “Sledge"—a moniker that has stuck with him ever since. Soft-spoken and a man of few words, Sledge is a welcome addition to Rhino squad. He can easily handle equipment that would normally take two men to lift. His strength has become the stuff of legend—Sledge is the only human who has fought a Strogg hand-to-hand and won. Admittedly, he required three weeks in a hospital afterward.
Tropes related with him:
- Badass Normal: Although the almost entirety of the Rhino Squad would qualify, while others prefer to use guns, he can, when pressed, beat Strogg in hand to hand combat, at least according to his backstory.
- The Big Guy: He's the only known human to have defeated a Strogg in hand to hand combat and lived to tell the tale.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Go Ye Heroes, Go and Die: When you leave the Hannibal for the second time.
- Husky Russkie
- Informed Ability: Despite him being the Heavy Weapons expert, he isn't seen carrying or using one.
- Mother Russia Makes You Strong
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Even the HUD calls him Sledge. The only character to address him by his real name is Strauss. Word of God says that the reason for his surname was because of his nickname.
Marion Bidwell (Sergeant)
Master Sergeant Marian Bidwell was born in space and plans on dying in space. Both his parents were Marines for life, and he intends to do the same. He supplied falsified documents in order to join the Corps while still two years under the legal age limit. He's seen more war and death than most men twice his age, but Bidwell still loves the Marine Corps and all its traditions. The master sergeant can be extremely brutal during training. He knows the only way a Marine is going to survive under enemy fire is to train under extreme duress. More than a few Marines have been severely injured during exercises, but Bidwell will never lessen the training. Rhino squad is too important to allow anyone but the absolute best out onto the field.
On the Strogg planet, Bidwell is found at the trenches near a Strogg anti-aircraft gun with Sledge. During Operation: Advantage, he helps Voss, Morris and Kane to secure the door controls and later, secure the detonation position.
Tropes related with him:
Jeremiah Anderson (The Medic)
Anderson is the youngest member of Rhino squad, even though he's been with them for more than a year. Coming from an affluent family in Chicago, Jeremiah could have easily used his grandfather, General Anderson, to avert serving on the front lines. Instead, he requested to be a part of Rhino squad, hoping to always be in the thick of the action. When Sergeant Bidwell heard a general got Anderson assigned to the squad, he made it just that much harder on Jeremiah. Much to Bidwell's surprise, Anderson thrived under the stressful conditions. Although Jeremiah considers himself a healer, he isn't afraid of using a gun, and with his knowledge of Strogg physiology, he's an expert at stopping the enemy with a minimum of shots.
During the invasion to the Strogg planet, he remained at the Rhino Squad crash-site with Morris, attempting to stabilize Medic Metcalf's collapsed lung. Afterwards, he is brought by Matthew Kane to attend to Pvt. Chase's leg injuries.
- The Medic
- Never Found the Body: Since his body was dragged by a Strogg Scientist, we don't know if he was dead or Stroggified.
- Nice Guy: He is, perhaps, the friendliest member of Rhino Squad and an all-round nice chap. Guess who doesn't survive to the end of the game.
Scott Voss (Lieutenant)
After the death of its former commander, Lieutenant Daily, Rhino squad wasn't sure it would ever find someone capable of leading it. Then the squad met Lieutenant Scott Voss. He epitomizes the old saying, "It's not so much the size of the dog in the fight as it is the size of the fight in the dog." He's not physically large or overtly demanding, but there is something about his demeanor that demands respect from even the most reckless Marine. Rhino squad knows very little about Voss because he never speaks of his past. But were he to talk, they would hear tales of the horrors he endured after being captured during the Mars riots. He was tortured for six months before being freed; he still suffers nightmares and is highly claustrophobic after having been placed in a coffin and buried for days at a time. Voss knows Rhino squad questions his reasoning for bringing Matthew Kane into the group. But Voss has a sneaking suspicion this new guy just might prove to be Rhino squad's most valuable asset in its battle against the Strogg.
Dell Morris (Corporal/Lieutenant)
Corporal Dell Morris has been with Rhino squad for more than three years, which makes him second in seniority only to Sergeant Bidwell. He's highly skilled at hand-to-hand combat, having achieved black belts in tae kwon do, jeet kune do, and aikido. Gifted with a quick wit and boundless energy, Morris likes nothing better than to give a running commentary as he mows down Strogg. While his chatter can be a bit trying on his squadmates, Morris is a complete professional in a firefight. The team has come to look to him for guidance when the lieutenant or master sergeant aren't around.
Morris is left behind with Anderson to establish communications through Strogg jamming. After doing so, he made his way to Bidwell's position, getting there at the same time Kane does. He helps Kane assault the hangar, staying behind after meeting another team to relay communications. After the hangar is taken, Morris calls Kane back down to the anti-aircraft gun and, when the door to the gun is breached, Morris is ordered by Voss to guard the entrance.
William Rhodes (Corporal)
William Rhodes knew from a very early age he wanted to be a Marine. He entered the Corps as soon as he was old enough, and he quickly showed a gift for demolitions. Where anyone else would require a detailed blueprint of a structure to know where best to place a bomb, Rhodes knows instinctively where the weak points are. Be it a heavily fortified damn or a reinforced bunker, Rhodes can reduce it to rubble with a minimal amount of explosives. Hailing from Texas, Rhodes plays as hard as he works. He's been demoted twice due to altercations with MPs while out on R&R.
Rhodes is seen with Bidwell. After Kane and another team secured the hangar, Rhodes arrived to destroy it. After destroying both hangars, Rhodes was called away by Voss. When the anti-aircraft gun is secured, Rhodes arrives to destroy it.