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Headscratchers: Call Of Duty 4
  • I still haven't managed to get my head around this. So the loyalist Russians sport the hammer and sickle symbol in their hats, meaning they are communist. So England and the U.S.A is helping Soviet Russia fight "ultra nationalists" who, we might guess, are anti-communists? How does that makes sense geopolitically? Unless COD 4 is set an alternate universe where Communism won and U.S.A and England are communist. This would also explain why radical Islamists help the ultra nationalists. I am betting it's somewhere along The Coconut Effect or Bellisario's Maxim.
    • Either your guess or it could be that Gorbachev's reforms were successful and the Soviet Union has been trying to make ammends with the west.
    • Or the hammer and sickle is just a unit patch for Kamarov's unit, and the Loyalists are the Russian Federation. Which is, y'know, pretty much exactly what the game implies and fits better under Occam's razor.
      • It is still highly unlikely that the loyalist would wear the hammer and sickle emblem just as patch for Kamarov's unit for various reasons. First, it makes no sense for any military unit of the Russian Federation to sport the hammer and sickle simbol (unless it's a condecoration which... are not worn on hats). Second, based on the multiplayer, the ultra-notionalists identify their spetnaz with a hammer and sickle emblem enclose in a red star. So, would Kamarov's unit adopt as a patch the emblem of their enemies? That's like an American unit in WWII sporting the swastika as a patch emblem. Occam's razor don't apply. But since the structure of the American and British military appear to be the same, the "communists won theory" is right out. Most likely explanation is that, as pointed above, Gorbachev reforms were succesful and the Soviet Union become similar to what China is now. This makes sense for a number of reasons. The civil wars depicted in Russia could be seen as an attempt by hard liners to tople the reformist (but still nominally Soviet) government. Besides, had the Soviet Union not desolved the buffer nations (like Georgia or kazakhstan) the region that separates Russia from lower Asia would not exist, thus making the presence of ultra nationalists in the middle east and vice versa actually really believable and not just a senseless plot contortion to combine the communist menace with Arab terrorism.
      • Minor aside, but there *were* a few American units that had Swastikas at the outbreak, and which had to go through *incredibly* speedy redesign for obvious political reasons. Personally, I always took the hammer and sickle on the Loyalist hat as being a personal design rather than anything pertaining to the Loyalist government. The Loyalists we see are by any indication a rather weakened, sorry, irregular shape and so while they keep decent military discipline in the essentials it is easy to handwave that taking trophies and wearing a Custom Uniform or two would inevitably happen. Hell, for all we know the hat's a *war trophy* taken from an Ultranationalist.
    • I think that Russia is a communist country but, has become friendly with the west (in the intro he says,"Our leaders prostituted us to the west"), then the Ultranationalists are also communists but more gungho about it that's why they support OpFor, a communist organization.
  • Something I discovered when messing around with the developer console on the PC version, I found out in the mission "The Bog" after you've destroyed all the tanks on the overpass and go through the hole in the fence you'll start to hear distant sniper fire, you can then noclip over the overpass and go to the bog to see two Marines (both armed with a unique desert-camo M21) dealing with some OpFor. A few things about this: I guess this is the team that were taking fire but to counter this when you get there by just walking with your team there's four of them, the snipers are gone and are replaced with completely different soldiers. My question is if these were supposed to be different Marines than the original Alpha team why were they there? Not to mention if these are snipers why were they on the ground? Wouldn't it be better to be on the overpass after the tanks were destroyed? Lastly, why did the game make them despawn? Wouldn't it be better to have extra support? This troper finds it an interesting "easter egg".
  • Not exactly an expert at military ranks, but is there a reason why the SAS and Marine Force Recon ranks are filled with Privates and Corporals? Force Recon I could somewhat understand, but why would the SAS have privates and corporals as the primary fighting ranks? From what I read, in most special forces units, the common rank of the soldiers would be Sergeant, since you already have to be in the military to become special forces and I wouldn't expect somebody in their first year in the military to already be in the special forces.
    • Depends on performance, really; if you come out of Selection with high enough marks, you can potentially sign up for the SAS. Theoretically, a Private could make it into the SAS, but he would have to be damn good. Marine Force Recon is somewhat different, as even though they are the elite of the elite among Marines, they aren't picky on rank; a Marine can sign up for Force Recon straight out of Boot, though whether he makes it is a harder question, as Recon school is tough and Force Recon is very demanding.
    • Corporal's stripes are required to enter the SAS Regiment.
    • Also, I believe that all soldiers admitted to the SAS are automatically demoted to the lowest rank, so that they would have to work back up
    • The SAS is a separate regiment, so your rank there isn't necessarily the same as your rank in your "day" regiment. After all, it makes no sense to have a platoon made entirely of sergeants - who'd give the orders? However, the lowest rank is called "Trooper", not "Private". It's functionally the same thing but they like to point out the fact that they are definitely not grunts (a few other British regiments do this too).
      • Actually, the 'platoon of sergeants' is not much of a problem. There are multiple sergeant ranks (E-5 through E-8, not counting E-9 Sergeant Major in the US military) even in the British army. Most US Army Special Forces are some kind of sergeant and all Delta Force members are at least E-5s if not higher.
    • It's been a while, but IIRC, your SAS squad is a Captain, a Leftenant/Lieutenant (you), 1 or 2 enlisted men, and Gaz, who's too cool for a rank. That sounds about right for a small squad.
      • Soap is actually a Sergeant, not a lieutenant.
      • Which leads me to presume Gaz is the Lieutenant. (Also, you don't write it as "leftenant", you just pronounce it that way if you're not American.)
      • There are no lieutenants in the SAS. Gaz was probably a Chief Warrant Officer.
  • It's kind of depressing if you think about it, how a few major actions you do wind up being meaningless. As Jackson in the level Shock and Awe, you take a detour to rescue a downed helicopter pilot, but it winds up being useless since the female pilot and everybody else (including yourself) wind up dead from the nuclear blast anyway, and you might have even survived if you hadn't rescued her. Also, in the final level as Soap, when you're being chased by the Ultranationalists and you take the final shot to kill Zakhaev, he would have been killed anyway as loyalist Russian troops were already rappelling in right after you kill him, especially if you believe that Soap actually dies in the last level.
    • It's been said that American armed forces have an institutional loathing of leaving a man behind. Jackson's team doesn't attempt to go after Deadly until she calls for help, confirming that she's alive. And the guilt from having to leave someone behind to a nuclear explosion is pretty overwhelming, I would imagine. So, they do the morally correct thing and rescue her. As far as the second part, if you consider the fact that the game is Soap's story of his rise from lowly SAS trooper to successful leader, it only makes sense that he gets to kill Zakhaev. For a non-meta reason, Price wanted to see it done before he died, and considering what Zakhaev just did, Soap was only too happy to oblige.
    • As a corollary to the above, the writers are simply gutting tropes with a rusty knife and stringing them up by their entrails. Why do you go through the trouble of saving that downed pilot only to die along with her and everyone else in a nuclear blast? Because sometimes life just sucks, and death rarely plays by the rules of drama in the real world. Compare with Aeris' death.
      • Compare to the death quotes (from how soldiers should be anti war to the cost of weapons to the low intelligence of soldiers) and you get an idea the designers are speaking out against war.
      • Or against America. Seriously, all Americans die and their actions amount to nothing while the SAS prevents the next World War. The Big Bad of Modern Warfare 2 is a psychotic nationalist American. The Eastern Seaboard suffers structural damage that'll last for years. Typical "American" ideals get Deconstructed and flipped into something twisted and wrong. Leaving no man left behind gets you nuked in Call of Duty's world, unless you're not American. Why is America the world's Butt Monkey? Just why?
      • Why not? There's no rule stating that Eagle Land must always be the good guys. Come on, the former Soviet Union has been the butt monkey so many times it's not even funny, and you complain that the US of A aren't the knights in shining armor this once?
      • This troper is an American and he would like to say that he didn't mind playing the Brits and found it refreshing that an American was a bad guy for once (Why are we almost always the hero in everything? I want an evil American to take over the world for once!). I do not think this was the designer's way of janking on America, more like taking a different avenue. Plus, you are forgetting, my friend, that there WERE Americans present with Captain Price and co as they all prevent the next World War. It's not JUST the SAS being the heroes and America being the bumbling sidekick.
      • "I want an evil American to take over the world for once," wait, America hasn't taken over the world already?
      • On the other hand, the only two people to make it off that bridge were British, but to jump back onto the first hand, the American only died because he was out in the open without a freaking helmet on.
      • I also don't think that it's a sort of Take That against America. I think it's more a commentary on two views of war, the "Hollyword" glamorized view that people who know nothing about war have, and the real view. The American side of the game is the Hollywood view. They do everything right, everything Honor Before Reason style, everything you'd see in a pro-war movie for a public who has never experienced it, "no man gets left behind" and all that. Then, it shows us just how that doesn't work out for people, how if a war is fought like that, things will go wrong. Then, on the other side of things, the SAS fight dirty, preform wetwork, do things nobody would consider honorable or right, and it's them that get stuff done. It's the nasty, dirty, sneaky, just-how-different-are-we sort of thing that wins a war. Although, this sorta belongs in WMG. And with that, off I go!
  • In the level "Hunted", there are five people in your team: Soap (the player), Captain Price, Nicolai, Gaz and a generic SAS trooper. In the next level ("Death from above") the team on the ground consists of eight people. Where did the other three come from?
    • Weren't they Loyalist soldiers that joined up?
      • There was no sign of them at the end of "Hunted", and given that they were obviously deep in enemy territory (witness the sheer number of soldiers in the village during "Death from above"), it is exceedingly unlikely that loyalists would be nearby.
      • We are also assuming that Price's team was the only SAS team operating in the area.
      • I feel the need to mention that there were only six men in the helicopter at the end of "Blackout" (Soap, Gaz, Price, Nikolai and the two pilots), yet at the start of "Hunted" there are eight (Soap, Gaz, Price, Nikolai, the two pilots "Paulson" and another Redshirt.).
      • The Explanation for all of this is probably just the developers being lazy. In "Baclout", the dialogue is different in the subtitles than in the speech. Price says "Soap, get ready" and the subtitles say "EVERYONE ELSE, get ready!". Then, the devs simply didn't adjust for "Hunted" due to general laziness or deadlines. The first CoD4 level completed was "Mile High Club", and that was completed in May of 2007. CoD4 released a scant 6 months later.
  • When the SAS takes Al-Asad's hideout, they are assisted by Loyalist forces. Yet when they defend the area against the counter-attack, the Loyalists are nowhere to be seen. Where did they go? If they were extracted, how come the SAS wasn't extracted at the same time?
    • This one is wankable; you don't see all of the SAS troops while fighting in the village. At least one group is off to the east when you start that mission in the house with the SAW covering that end. The single Loyalist trooper who helped the SAS earlier could have been with that group.
    • Alternatively, any Loyalists backing you up tried (and failed) to escape the village and were killed by the Ultranationalist forces encircling the village.
  • Why is it that your enemies in the SAS levels can repeatedly be heard to refer to "Amerikantsi"? Was it deliberate from the designer's side that the bad guys would automatically assume that you are Americans, or is it a relic of an earlier stage of development where you actually played as an American soldier in those levels?
    • Well, if someone was intervening in your civil war, wouldn't you assume they were American?
      • Well, if the Russian Civil War was anything like the previous one, both Russian factions are probably filled to the brim with tens/hundreds of thousands of local conscripts and/or young fanatics led by an "upper crust" command (like the very-not-poor Zakhaevs, who probably have gotten some formal schooling somewhere as well as some cash stashed away from the arms dealer days). In short, the average Mook really does not have the formal training a Western soldier or even the modern Russian army would have (rule of mass conscription and attrition, after all), and so teaching them much more than tactics, weapon handling, and (for specialists) a basic grasp of the enemy's language is probably a bit much, particularly since the West is a marginal enemy to the Russian Loyalists. If they are lucky, they can probably tell that the SAS are speaking English, but probably cannot tell British English from American English. And since the US is the main power while Britain is the self-defined "junior partner", it is fairly natural that the enemy would think they are US troops. That, and it may be an odd reference to the first Civil War, where Bolshevik (and even some Anti-Bolsheviks, like the Whites and more rural Poles) identified American, Canadian, and French forces as "British" because London was the dominant force in the intervention (and in the former case, the equipment would have been nearly identical anyway).
  • The design of the Russian bad guys seems a bit confused. "Imran" is an Arabic name; if a person from Russia is named thus, it would imply that he belongs to a predominantly Muslim minority. Some of the foot soldiers wear shemags and beards that seem typical of Muslim militants. Yet the faction is called "Ultra-nationalist"?
    • Furthermore, why are the Russian Ultranationalists carrying the G36 as one of their standard rifles? In 1996, no less? If memory serves, the G36 hadn't even been adopted by the Germans at that time, let alone a rebel faction of Russian thugs.
      • Zakhaev is an arms dealer. He probably has some connections, and besides, how much of the ULT forces do we engage, anyway? If anything, given the nature of the op (an assassination directly in the heart of a very important militant arms deal), elite troops (those who would have been more likely to have been given the G36) probably are disproportionately present.
      • There's no evidence that the Chernobyl mission took place in 1996 except for Price's offhand comment that "even a decade later, the bad guys were still using it to get their hands on nuclear material". It could have been plus or minus a couple years.
      • Price could have just rounded up (or down). And the game is implied to take place in the near-future (according to Wikipedia, at least), so it's really impossible to tie it down to a precise date. I always assumed it took place in 1992 (2007 take 15 years, at least eight after Chernobyl.) but if the G36 only began production in 1996, then the mission must have taken place after 1996.
    • What? Just because a Russian citizen might be of Arabic descent doesn't necessarily mean he isn't going to be a die-hard Soviet fanboy. As for the shemags, they're guerillas who work closely with Arabic militants. They might have just picked up the idea from Al-Asad's troops; half the Russians also wear gasmasks too, for no apparent reason except they like them.
      • This Troper thinks Al-Asad's troops started to mingle with the Ultranationalists. After all, they were working together.
      • Thing is, even some of the soldiers in the Chernobyl section have such headgear. Not to mention that their uniforms and equipment are identical to what they use fifteen years later.
      • Zakhaev may have been getting some of his troops from Islamic portions of the former USSR (Central Asia, for instance), possibly as mercenaries.
      • If I recall, that level takes place in Azerbaijan, a country consisting mainly of Turks and Shi'ite Muslims. If they're local boys, it makes sense, and if the local boys go to Russia, it also makes sense. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijan
  • All air support is always American. With the sole exception of Mosin Two-Five (which is Russian), every aircraft in the game is piloted by an American. Given that most of the game is played as a British character, this makes little sense - at one point, a pair of Britons doing wet-work for the SAS are extracted by Americans! It makes sense on some levels, where it's a joint operation, but that example REALLY irks me. Even Captain Price's superior seems to be American.
    • Truth in Television - America's military airlift command, and our special operations helicopter wing, spends a substantial amount of time giving rides to our allies. We not only own the best planes and helicopters, we own substantially more of them than everybody else on our side. Besides, riding in our stuff doesn't mean we're paying the fuel & maintenance costs.
    • I don't think there's any point in the game where Price's superior is an American except for the final mission, which is a joint USMC-British operation anyway.
    • The RAF has also been going through a lot of cutbacks in the last decade, and they don't have airbases in the regions where Price and his team tends to operate. It's entirely natural that they would use American air transport as a result.
      • It is not like the US has airbases in Russia either, and I doubt they were close enough to the coast to operate from a carrier. Most likely, they would temporarily be stationed at a Russian loyalist airbase, but this does not explain why the SAS are carried around by US helicopters before the joint mission. Either they should be in RAF helicopters or they should be transported by the Russian loyalists.
      • The Americans do have airbases established close to Russia in Germany, and Turkey, and another close to Russia in Afghanistan. Also, it is established that American and British forces are working with the Loyalists, so they could very well have established air bases inside Russia to suport the Loyalists' war effort.
    • Adding to the information listed above, the helicopter that extracts Price and his team after rescueing the informant early in the game is marked as a Royal Air Force helicopter.
  • Soap McTavish. Highly-trained SAS trooper. Able to use any weapon available. Cannot open doors.
    • Yes, a video game, with a standard video game trope. Shock and awe!
    • His hands are numb from the cold, so he can't use a doorknob.
    • How do you think he got his nickname? After being repeatedly humiliated in front of his teammates due to his inability to get a firm enough grip on a doorknob to turn it, "Soap" has resigned himself to waiting impatiently by a portal until an ally opens it for him.
    • What really puzzles me about this is that the doors could be marked "unopenable" until needed, if they really wanted to have an Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence. The game already has a "use" key defined, and many glowing items to advance the plot. I can only assume that despite animations in the rest of the game, the devs did not want to bother animating Soap operating a doorknob.
      • It's just bad design. No in-game reason for it, but at a guess they didn't want you to have too much freedom when they could railroad you into a segment where the NPCs do all the work.
  • In the level "All ghillied up", Captain Price is still only a Lieutenant. So why on earth do the subtitles then say "Leftenant"? It makes no sense seeing that "Lieutenant" is still his rank but the British army pronounce it correctly as he states in the dialogue.
    • Because the subtitles are telling you what the character is saying, and Price is pronouncing it "leftenant," not "lieutenant."
    • The above answer could be right, except why don't they spell z as zed in the subtitles then if they are spelling what the characters say?
      • Which is the British English pronunciation.
  • In real life, the AC-130 is supposedly relatively vulnerable to anti-air defences owing to being much bigger and slower than your typical strike craft, and is therefore only deployed in circumstances where such defences are limited in extent and sophistication. Given that the helicopter the S.A.S. team were travelling in was shot down with an anti-air missile, why didn't anyone shoot at the gunship when it entered the region?
    • Probably because Soap and Co. took out the only anti-air missiles in the area when they captured the Stinger base in the barn.
    • The helicopter got shot down by a MANPADS stinger missile (probably), the AC-130 would probably be flying too high for stingers. It could probably be brought down by vehicular AA, but they probably didn't have those in the area.
    • The AC-130 is also likely to be carrying Flares and / or Chaff to defeat the anti-air defences.
  • What were all those soldiers doing defending a TV station that was broadcasting a tape of Al-Asad? I can understand having a handful there to keep an eye on things, but there seemed to a freaking battalion hiding in various edit suites, just waiting for the Americans to attack. Some of them had rocket propelled grenades, for crying out loud. Did they really go to all that trouble just to distract half a dozen marines for a few minutes?
    • Decoy. Recon had already confirmed Al-Asad was there visually before the Marines arrived to take him down. The soldiers there kept the Marines busy while Al-Asad escaped. And the troops present were, at most, a company-sized force, roughly equal to the Marines being deployed. A dozen Hueys, each carrying a single squad, adds up to a dozen infantry squads, which comes out to about three platoons, which results in a company-sized Marine force. The TV station itself held a roughly platoon-sized element (three dozen to forty infantrymen), which is reasonable for a structure of that size, especially if they're planning on ambushing American troops inside.
    • Also, the battle in the TV station is completely consistent with the tactics of jihadist insurgents and Iraqi feyadeen, who have been known to hurl company-sized elements in ambushing platoon-sized American forces with the intent of simply trying to inflict as many casualties as possible. Al-Asad's troops know the Marines' entire purpose in attacking that itty-bitty piece of crap town was that they were trying to get Al-Asad, so they know the TV station is going to be a target. Also, luring the Americans inside the TV station negates several critical advantages American troops have, including their firepower and fire support, again, enabling them to kill more Americans. This was a common tactic used by Al-Queda-affiliated insurgents in Fallujah.
      • Come to think of it, the Al-Asad's entire strategy for this battle is reminiscent of Fallujah - suck US forces into urban warfare and hit them with greater numbers of his own infantry to offset their quality advantage. Meanwhile, pull out the valuable target (himself), so that the Marines wind up taking all those casualties for nothing. The main difference is that Al-Asad does a better job of it than the Fallujah, largely because of the massive Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb at the end of the battle.
  • Why is it that your NPC buddies/enemies don't seem to use their rifle-mounted grenade launchers (when available) and always seem to have an extra handgun in their holsters after pulling out their sidearms - especially when games as far back as Half-Life 1 already had the former and not the latter? (Of course, with instakill grenades from enemies, it'd be even less fun.)
    • You just answered your own question.
  • Why is it that, in multiplayer, the SAS face off against the Spetsnaz? I thought the Russian government was on the same side as the Americans and British (or at least, not trying to kill them)?
    • Because it's multiplayer. Multiplayer doesn't necessarily have to make sense. Halo comes to mind...
    • Britain and Russia are both miserable places with lousy weather, rampant alcoholism and boners for empires that don't exist any more. We're made for each other.
    • You could also say they're just Spetsnaz units loyal to Zakhaev.
      • The problem of ex-Spetsnaz guys going mercenary is a real one, and would probably become even more significant in a full-blown civil war.
    • A fan theory is that the fight between them is a training session. Considering the Americans' enemies are the OpFor, which is realistically a generic term for 'opposing force' in real American training sessions, maybe they both are. The blood and helicopters? Well, now, it's just a game!
  • A few things about Makarov's False Flag Operation during Modern Warfare 2's "No Russian" level really annoy me, mostly because of how unbelievable and circumstantial the evidence is that blames American troops for the airport massacre. Here we have Makarov and his gang, already infamous for their very anarchic and merciless fighting style, randomly killing innocent civilians in Zakhaev International Airport in a very strict and disciplined manner, completely unlike what Makarov would consider the whoop-it-up fighting style of, say, the Marine corps. Not only that, Private Allen's body is still presumably dressed in his undercover getup, and there would be no way to immediately distinguish him as a CIA agent at first glance aside from an ID check. Thirdly, it took four men, three of whom are world-renowned for their efficiency and almost god-like battle skills, to massacre one airport and several waves of counter-terror police. And Makarov expects the world to believe that one CIA agent was responsible for all this?! Additionally, were Americans really responsible for the atrocities at Zakhaev, killing civilians would make no sense since it is not the Russian government itself they are fighting, but Makarov.
    • Good point. My only theory is that the Russians were expecting something, because they launch a full scale invasion a day later. Leaving out the fact that most international incidents take a little while before war begins earnestly (if at all), no nation on earth has the capability of moving from "peace" to "full scale war footing" in 24 hrs. I suspect the Russians were waiting for an excuse. This Troper also supsects this has something to do with the fact that Zakhaev somehow became a Russian national hero in the past 5 years (He has an airport in Moscow named after him, for God's sake).
      • Don't forget his Glorious Horse Statue you see in the beginning of the game.
      • The Russian Ultra-Nationalists were clearly planning something beforehand, they had stolen and reverse-engineered the ACS MacGuffin that you stole back in "Cliffhanger."
    • Perhaps Makarov killed Allen assuming that people would think "Ah-ha, one of the terrorists was killed during the battle... wait a minute, we did an identity check on this guy and he's American! The terrorists must have been Americans!" Also, this is the Call of Duty universe; having one guy freak out and kill dozens of armed soldiers is not unheard of.
      • This Troper presumed that once they found out Allen was working for the C.I.A., Russian higher-ups would think they were trying to cause regime change, as the C.I.A. often does, or that the Americans sponsored the terrorists and sent one of their own along to make sure it went according to plan.
      • How did Russia find out that Allen was working for the C.I.A. anyway? He's dead by the time the anti-terrorist police get to him, so they couldn't have interrogated him, and I somehow doubt he was carrying his real ID on him. Did the Russians have a mole in the C.I.A.? Did Shepherd intentionally leak that information to spark a war? It would be nice if they had bothered to explain this.
    • Still not buying it. Let me put it this way: Remember how after 9/11, we immediately went to war with Saudi Arabia? No? Because we didn't, since rational people dont blame the actions of an individual on his or her parent nation without overwhelming evidence.
      • How can you assume the Russians are "rational" at that point? They already glorify a man who nuked a foreign city just to get at the Americans in it, and then tried to spark world war 3 with ICBMs.
      • The Saudis who committed 9/11 were part of a terrorist group in open rebellion against the Saudi monarchy led by a man who had been exiled from the country. However bad the House of Saud may be, the Saudis who attacked the WTC and Pentagon weren't exactly acting as agents of Riyadh, and say what you will about the circumstances, but Allen WAS working on behalf of the US government. That, and there is the fact that the Ultranationalists are decidedly NOT that rational and judging from the speed at which they went into full war footing, it is probable they were just LOOKING for a pretense.
  • The absurdity of the invasion aside, how did the Russians ever expect to accomplish anything but sparking an all-out war that would likely lead to disaster for all parties involved?
    • The Russians were lashing out in hate after the Airport massacre. Hundreds dead and an American triggerman no doubt inspired feelings like 9/11 did in the US, and with an ultra-nationalist party in power, there were no cooler heads in charge to hold back the bloodlust. Considering TF 141 destroys a Russian Airbase in "Cliffhanger"(an act of war in itself), it implies the Russians and NATO were not on good terms with each other even before the massacre.
      • On top of that, it was probably a good way to sow confusion among the Americans by launching a blitz attack against the heart of their country, throwing the entire government in disarray, knocking out key centers like the Pentagon, CIA Headquarters, the Capitol Building and the White House, which would be helpful to solidify their defenses at home, and perhaps make some early gains in Europe. (If Russia went up against NATO as well, which they could prevent since NATO might be reluctant to act due to the whole airport massacre and the lack of evidence of Makarov's involvement, they could have used the distraction to strike American targets such as Ramstein airbase and the like.)
    • It's a tricky question. In MW2 it's mentioned in one of the Ranger missions that the Russians are digging in and "burning through our defenses and our intel." Seems like they invaded DC looking for info at Langley, Fort Meade and the Pentagon on why we had supposedly organized the Zakhaev Airport massacre and what else we were planning. However, by the next game, they've invaded New York City, apparently just for kicks (parking an entire small fleet in the bay for no discernible reason other than to make a huge target for cruise missiles) and upon pulling out of the US, go ahead and invade all of Europe, apparently simultaneously. Whatever the writers were smoking at that point must have been a little stronger than usual.
      • There's no real indication that the Russians were only landing in DC to acquire intel. The naval invasion of NYC was with conventional Russian ground forces, indicating that the attack on New York and that general area of the East Coast was in preparation for further penetration inland. All indications are that the paratrooper assault on Washington DC was the first wave of a conventional invasion intending to take and occupy American soil. The subsequent Ultranationalist invasion of Europe fits that same general objective of invading and taking control of territory of perceived enemies of the Ultranationalists. It is consistent.
  • Why did IW equip the Russians with such strange weapons, like obsolete AK-47s and Israeli assault rifles? Why not model the AK-74M and AN-94 rifles instead?
    • Because we only have their word for it that the base gun is an AK-47, not an AK-74 or 103 etc. It has the gas block and receiver of an AKM in 4, and several features of heavily aftermarket-modified AK-103 in MW2.
    • They are AK-74s (or some later model), although IW just took the AK-47s and re-skinned them because it saves time and effort. One of the easiest things to spot: The AK-74 regularly uses plastic magazines, which are what you see on the AK in the game. Yes, the 47 also used plastic mags, but they're US-made thermold.
      • Uh, no. The AK in MW2 is just an AK-47 with plastic bits, and heavily accessorized to make it look 'modern'. It's not an AK-74, because it clearly has the banana-shaped 7.62 magazine.
    • Honestly? It seems like a gun-related version of the Coconut Effect. Your average Call of Duty player doesn't know that the most of the AK-47s still in existence are in museums or private collections, and marking something with the same basic Kalashnikov shape as an AK-74, an AKM, or an AK-103 gets confusing, especially when the news will refer to just about any assault rifle as an AK-47. What would have been particularly brilliant would have been for the Russians to be using AK-101s or -102s, which are designed to use the NATO 5.56 round. Would have made the logistics for that invasion a hell of a lot easier.
  • Why did Captain Price launch the nuke anyway? Sure, it destroyed most of the Russian Air Power over DC, but then again, without resupply (which would be almost impossible for Russia), the DC invaders would have been destroyed within the week thanks to any number of assaults by American forces. Plus, the fact the nuke would have knocked out most of the American satellites and power plants in the area, and dumped the entire East Coast into the dark ages for years to come.
    • Price's aim wasn't "keep the US East Coast with plenty of electricity and let the Russians win", but "knock out the Russian's main reliance (Technology) and possibly let the Americans win". Remember, many of the enemies you find in DC, even after the EMP, have rifles with ACOG sights, Red Dots, and electronic-reliant vehicles.
    • Keep in mind that the Russians had reverse-engineered the Americans' technology and was using it to slip through all their defenses and probably read their playbook. Shutting down all the electronics swings the battle back to the defenders, who have the advantage of fighting on their own turf.
    • Plus, considering that it was only a chunk of the East Coast and not the whole country, it probably won't be "in the dark ages for years to come". At most, it would probably only take a few years to fix everything.
    • The EMP didn't hit the entire east coast, the loss of power for most of the region was most likely the result of serge going through the rest of the power grid like the Great New Youk Blackout.
  • Who was Raptor? And what was the deal with the dead VIP you find in the Safehouse?
    • It's implied Raptor was the president. You see a crashed helicopter near the diner which looks a lot like the helicopters the president flies around in.
    • The VIP's ID is unknown, as is the contents of his briefcase, but examination of the scene at the panic room suggests that one of Shepherds men convinced him to open the door, at which point the VIP and one of the shadow ops guys (the dead guy with the tattoo) were killed. This Troper also wonders if those Harriers taking off from across the street when you arrive was just coincidence.
      • Probably not. I'm thinking that the plane crashed and VIP survived, VIP rushed into the Panic Room, VIP goes crazy as evidenced with the chess game with the teddy bear, and the VIP, knowing Shepherd's intentions, shot himself. When Shadow Company arrived, they busted open the safe room and found him dead. My thought is that they came out and had their own Harriers kill them in order to drive blame away because you arrived before they could be extracted.
      • That would be rather convenient if he crashed outside his own house. Since Shepherd specifically details you there, I suspect there was something in the briefcase that implicated him personally. Or, alternatively, it's the CIA's information on Makarov that he needed and he needed to find the man's hideouts and kill the loose ends.
      • The most likely scenario is that the guy was already in the safehouse, the plane crashing on top of it happened later and was a total coincidence.
      • Or, alternatively, the guy with the tattoo was one of Makarov's men (you see Allen getting some tattoos as part of his cover) and the rest of his team successfully stole the information. That would be another explanation about how Makarov knows about Hotel Bravo, why Shepherd would detail a man all the way out to the suburbs, and why the Russians chose that house of all the ones in the world to fortify.
      • They knew where the jet was crashing. It's crashing as you enter Arcadia, and they tell you to divert before the plane lands.
      • The jet wasn't a transport plane, it was an AC-130.
  • How did Shepherd (a General who spent most of the past 5 years plotting and planning a massive BatmanGambit) manage to beat Price (A tough-as nails SAS Captain who spent the past 5 years locked up in a gulag) in a fistfight? It could be argued that Price was more injured than Shepherd, but we clearly see him staggering away from the downed helicopter, near death. Also, why did Soap try to crawl towards Shepherd's revolver, when he only loaded one shell, which Shepherd already fired?
    • Shepherd was baiting you by acting injured. He lured you in close enough to disarm you and then he appeared to be fine. As for the gun, it looks like he loads two rounds (4:50).
      • Or maybe he was using moon clips, and they just aren't rendered.
      • He definitely loads two rounds, one for MacTavish and one for Price.
    • Additionally, the fact that Price sent 5 years in a gulag might be the explanation by itself. Prisons Are Gymnasiums doesn't always hold for Russian political prisons. If the Russians were keeping Price half-starved, he wouldn't be able to maintain his fitness no matter what he did.
  • I'm sorry, but how did Price shoot down a heavily armored Pave Low with a few shots from an M4? Did he just shoot the tail rotor a bunch? Or was he using the FMJ attachment with Stopping Power Pro?
    • It looked more like he was aiming at the cockpit to me, so he probably hit the pilot. (Although why the Pave Low caught fire immediately after is anyone's guess...)
      • He was using MacMillan's bullets. MacMillan did the same thing in Chernobyl 20 years prior.
      • At least when MacMillan did it, he was using a high calibre sniper rifle and not just a regular assault rifle. Plus, it took him twice as many shots and the player assisting him with a second sniper rifle to bring it down, and that was a comparatively lightly armoured attack chopper, not a kevlar-reinforced transport. Come to think of it, at the beginning of One Shot, One Kill after you shoot the pilot of the first helicopter, it goes up in flames as well. I guess the shot ricocheted and did something to the controls?
    • 5.56 rounds can still penetrate that part under the rotor that snipers always recommend to shoot. That's probably why Price kept yelling at Soap to steady the boat.
  • When you rescue Captain Price, Soap hands him his old sidearm, the one Price slid across to him to take out Zakhaev. It stands to reason that if Price had been revived immediately after that, Soap would have returned it then rather than hanging onto it, otherwise, why return it to him then with the little ceremony and meaningful words? This causes a rather large plot hole since it implies that Soap was tended to by Kamarov's men and returned safely to the UK, but Price was either misdiagnosed as dead (a pretty big misdiagnosis) or somehow captured soon after the events of Call of Duty 4. I guess Price and Soap could have been put on different choppers for transportation to a hospital, with Price's one being somehow shot down and its occupants killed or captured. But none of this is really explained or even alluded to in-game.
    • It's implied that the Ultranationalists may have diverted Price after he arrived at the hospital, believing him to be the one who killed Zakhaev. Note that the Gulag is being run by Ultranationalist soldiers, not regular Russian infantry.
    • This troper always reasoned that Soap was not as badly injured as Price was, so when the Ultranationalists finally won the civil war, Soap had already recovered enough to be moved back to Britain, Price on the other hand, was not so lucky.
      • On the other hand, it's been retconned that Price somehow met up with Soap again in between MW1 and 2 for an op with Ghost and Sandman, in which Price got left for dead. Why Soap would still have Price's .45 and how self-contradictory this all is makes my brain itch.
  • I'm kinda bugged by this: People on the web say that the whole sequence with Sat1 being on a spacewalk attached to a satellite instead of the ISS could never happen, and yet they turn a blind eye when in almost every level, you can use an M4A1, which, by 2016, will be effectively phased out.
    • In nearly all of the missions, you are playing either a Special Forces operator (many of whom choose equipment they are more comfortable with) or are stealing guns from the bodies of dead terrorists/gangbangers (who will be buying phased out guns on the black market). Using guns that most gamers would be familiar with also helps keep the Next Sunday A.D. atmosphere of the game.
    • And possibly, some SF operators just want to stick to the M4 anyway, especially those that have spent their own money on the weapons, or if they just don't like 'plastic' guns like the SCAR. (Though of course, that makes it stranger that every M4 used by everyone across the world in the game is the same custom type.)
    • The ISS scene had me cringing the whole way through. I think most people would consider anachronistic guns a minor inconsistency, but a nuclear warhead hundreds of kilometers away destroying a space station with its shock wave, despite that the space station was, you know, IN SPACE, as well as the ISS appearing EXACTLY the same as it did in 2001, despite the time being 2016 by which it should be 6 years complete, is simply unforgivable.
  • When Russia invades America starting with Virginia, how does the 75th Ranger Regiment, which is based in Fort Benning, Georgia, happen to be the nearest Army units there?
    • Caught them in transit at Andrews Air Force base? You've got me.
    • No one said the days were consecutive.
      • The Regiment is supposed to be ready to deploy to anywhere in the world within 18 hours. They might not have been waiting in Virginia, but they would have been the leading edge of the second wave. The time frame isn't really specified, anyway.
      • Makes sense, considering that there's dozens of dead American troops lying around in that level.
  • What is with all the CPLs running around during the Ranger levels? Unlike the USMC of the previous game, in the US Army, MOST E-4s are Specialists (SPC). Corporals are generally Specialists that receive a lateral promotion in the event that there is an empty team leader and no SGT to fill it. There MIGHT be one CPL per platoon, but it seems that SGT Foley is the TL of the player's team, making CPL Dunn's rank redundant.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The US Army is so bloated with NCOs that Ramirez is the only one that SGT Foley can call on by virtue of being the lowest ranking Ranger.
  • The expression "hooah" is mispronounced on several occasions - it's a brief, unaccented grunt, not a two syllable hoo-AHH like the Marines. On another note, I'm not sure that Rangers still use this expression much. It has largely been hijacked by Persons Other than Grunts.
  • This just bugs me: How the hell did the SAS operators get aboard the jet in Mile High Club?
  • How did Soap get his hands on one of the bullets used in Makorov's killing spree, and how the heck did that bullet lead him to a weapon dealer in Brazil? Does Rojas sign every bullet he sells? And why didn't the Russians find and follow that same clue? Considering how revenge crazed they are over the airport terrorist massacre, you'd think they'd want a piece of the guy that supplied it.
    • Hell, it looks like they just scanned the casing off a security camera feed, judging by the cutscene. Fingerprinting Air at it's best.
    • The Russians are using the massacre as a pre-text, they hate the US. As for the bullet, they probably stole it from the FSB evidence locker. Beyond that, you've got me.
    • Allen worked for TF141. He probably sent a bullet back to Shepherd for analysis. Also, Shepherd was working with Makarov, so it's entirely possible he just knew who it was that was supplying Makarov.
    • That bugged me too. Hell, why is a Russian Terrorist buying arms from a guy in Brazil? That's a bit out of the way. I'm sure Makarov could find a more convenient arms dealer. Doesn't Russia have a rather large weapons black market?
      • You're right that buying weapons from a dealer in Brazil is really far out of the way for a Russian, but maybe that's the point of it. If Makarov is expecting people to go after him, he'd reason that they'd try and limit his gun supply first. So rather than risk having his weapons being cut off, he goes for an arms dealer whose far away enough to avoid suspicion. *beat* Or maybe they met in a bar once and hit it off really well.
  • Okay, this is really bugging me. Makorov didn't wear a mask during the attack on the Russian airport, and we know he was captured on security cameras. You get to see some of the footage during a cutscene. Yet they blame the whole attack on the undercover C.I.A agent and Makorov gets off scot-free? Seriously?
    • Shepherd claims in the mission briefing that Makarov is a terrorist for hire. If they find a CIA agent among the dead, the Russians will assume that the CIA hired him to do it.
    • Considering the Ultranationalists already hate the US and appear to be looking for any excuse to go on a happy American-killing massacre-spree, I seriously doubt that covering up who was actually behind the airport attack is beyond them.
  • Okay, this has REALLY been bugging me. What was the point of raiding the Gulag to rescue Price? You went through a hell of a lot of trouble to get him out of there, supposedly to use him as bait to lure out Makorov (which in itself raises lots of questions. Why does Makorov hate Price so much, and why should you think that Makorov would walk into an obvious trap to kill him?), but then Shepherd suddenly pulls the locations of Makarov's last two safehouses out of his arse (which no one questions?!), rendering that whole plan and the last two missions pointless. He then tries to kill Price and the rest of Task Force 141. So...did Shepherd order you to attack that oilrig and raid the Gulag for his own amusement, or what?
    • First, TF141 didn't know it was Price until they rescued him. All they know is that Prisoner #627 was Makarov's worst enemy, and so they could either use him as bait or pump him for information. Second, Makarov hates Price because the latter blew off Zakhaev's arm (for all we know, Makarov might have been present), thwarted Zakhaev's grand plan, and then led the mission that killed him. Third, Shepherd is either working with or using Makarov, which means he has to kill the guy at some point, and the less he implicates himself, the better. If TF141 kills Makarov using #627 as bait, then he doesn't need to risk revealing the locations of the safehouses, which he presumably justified by claiming he got the info from other sources.
      • Turns out Makarov was present, and was seriously pissed off at the guys who killed Zakhaev on that bridge - specifically Price and Soap. Good on you for guessing.
    • Remember that Shepherd's overarching goal is to get that blank cheque and control over the military post-Ultranationalist invasion. His original plan seemed to be to string along the government with the Russian attack, and once it was chequed, he could blame it on Makarov so he could take him out once he had what he wanted. Price launching the nuke at Washington DC kickstarted that plan when it got him his blank cheque and personal control over the US military early; the nuke disabling the Russian equipment also stopped the entire invasion in its tracks, which Shepherd was probably intending to prolong for a while. With the Russian invasion checked and Shepherd securing his power over the military, he had to move quick to both deliver Makarov and sever his ties with Makarov by getting the data from the safehouse. In other words, Price launching the nuke forced Shepherd to improvise and play some Xanatos Speed Chess.
  • An Interesting question related to this: Why is it that the only thing Rojas knows about Makarov is that he hates some guy in a gulag in Russia? That's a really particular bit of info for an arms dealer to have. I'd expect him to have banking info, shipping info, receipts, you know, stuff actually related to selling weapons to an infamous Russian Terrorist. Does Makarov come by for the arms deals and just casually mention that he really, really hates Prisoner #627 in a Russian Gulag? I'd think if they're on such familar terms, Rojas would have more useful information on him.
    • TF141 wasn't exactly giving Rojas the drawn-out, thorough Gitmo interrogation treatment here - especially when surrounded by enraged militia. They had him tied to a damn window sill and were working him over with power drills, for heaven's sake. They probably already knew most of what Rojas was telling them anyway, and the #627 information was likely some passing remark that Rojas was screaming in a desperate effort to make them stop while getting parts of his anatomy drilled. Remember, 141 already knew about Makarov's safehouses. If Rojas is like real-life weapons dealers, he probably knows a great deal about his customers, if only through info leaked out from sources connected to him. Most likely, Rojas picked up the information in passing from, say, a friend of a contact that he paid to sniff out information on Makarov and put into a file of data that he could either use against Makarov or to sell to someone who wanted the information/give up to someone in exhange for his safety.
    • Maybe they talked about it over a cup of coffee? And you're in an FPS, not War and Peace.
  • Mutually Assured Destruction is still a thing, right? So was the Russian invasion of America a suicide mission from the start, did I miss the backstory explaining that America had disposed of their nuclear arsenal, or did the Russians seriously think that America wouldn't annihilate their homeland in a nuclear Armageddon as a final FU if they failed the repel the invasion?
    • If America nuked Russia, Russia would just go nuke America and then what would they (America) do? Only a madman would go, "Let me nuke my own country so the invaders will be living in a irradiated wasteland."
      • That's kinda how MAD works. You can't invade a nuclear armed country when you have a homeland. If the country pushes out your invasion, you lose. If your invasion defeats the home army, they nuke you and everyone dies. My only guess is that the Sovs were betting that America didn't have the guts (unless . . . it's someone else's gambit . . . I'll be in WMG if you need me)
      • The Soviets didn't seem to be concerned with invading and occupying, they just wanted a civilian massacre. I think "Betting that America didn't have the guts" is a valid point.
    • As was noted on Fridge Brilliance, the Americans already lost thirty thousand American soldiers to nuclear fire five years previously. That's going to leave a massive mental scar on the American psyche - especially considering how sensitive the US is to casualties already. You think Shepherd was the only person who suffered mental ball-kicking trauma as a result of that?
      • This game was obviously brilliant if I, an American, was pleading Shepherd to see reason. The Brits were trying to help and he kept hindering them because he thought they didn't give a shit about him and the United Sates. I guess that was the point. He was completely out of his 'effin' mind.
    • This troper believes that if the scenario presented in game was real, neither nation would resort to MAD. The Americans still had a chance of beating the Russians without using Nukes (even the one nuke used as an EMP), especially considering the Russians didn't seem to have any kind of supply lines in place. While the Russians would not want to risk using nukes for fear of retaliation from NATO and they seemed content just to slaughter the Americans the old fashioned way.
  • Barrett .50 cal + Riot shield = What.
    • Hi there, welcome to videogames. Also, the player gets shot five hundred times without long-term consequence, teleports ammunition into his pouch by walking over it, and never shows the slightest sign of exhaustion despite running for miles upon miles in full kit.
  • In the briefing before Shock and Awe, it is mentioned that the USMC believes that Al-Asad has a nuclear device within the city. The USMC then sends dozens of tanks (and those are only seen from your point of view), helicopters, and at least 50,000 infantry. Doesn't this seem like a massive recipe for disaster? I understand that they really wanted to catch him and go home, but sending that much at a location that you know may have a nuclear bomb seems like a really stupid decision.
    • I was under the impression the thousands of U.S soldiers were already there by the time Sergeant Jackson was being briefed on what he was going to be doing during the assault, and they weren't going to leave the city just because the terrorists were threatening them. When the nuclear device is confirmed, they actually decide to send the majority of the invading forces into retreat while the Navy Seals and NEST teams storm the building where the nuke is stored and try to disarm it. It was an error in human judgment, the commander of the mission, Shepherd, didn't expect that the terrorists would be advanced enough to have their own nuke and called their threat a bluff, the help of the Russians providing the bomb made it more than an idle threat however. 30,000 or so soldiers died for nothing.
  • Why was Price pretty much let off the hook for launching a nuke that took out the ISS, killing everyone on it and letting billions of dollars go down the crapper? Oh sure, it caused the EMP, giving the Americans the ability to take back D.C. and have a much better chance of taking back the whole East Coast, but it doesn't change the fact that Price essentially hijacked a sub to launch a nuke. Regardless of whether or not it was for the greater good, I would think we should at least get the rest of TF141 demanding to know just what in the flying blue fuck Price was thinking.
    • This can be explained by the U.S military viewing the missile launch as an insane attack made by the Ultranationalists, they had, after all, launched nukes at them before. Even if they did find out Price did it, they would probably pardon him due to the nuke helping the war effort, and besides, the ISS is scheduled for termination in 2016 anyway, Price would be saving them the effort of having to disassemble it themselves, he actually saved them money.
    • Except for the fact that the dissasembling process would have probably left much less innocent spacemen dead.
    • Price isn't let off the hook. Hell, Price is accused of treason and terrorism days later, and Soap along with him (and hell, probably TF 141 with them). In fact, Shepherd betraying the 141 at this point makes a ton of sense, as they were disobeying orders and responsible for nuking the East Coast. Hell, all he has to do is say that he believes Price is working with Makarov, and provide evidence that the team was present at the sub base. Then, he provides evidence that his team is present at two of Makarov's safehouses. It would be painfully easy for Shepherd to fabricate evidence that TF 141 were traitors and colluding with terrorists, and he had to eliminate them.
    • Who's even left of TF141? Allen dies in Moscow. Three guys are killed in the Rio level (the driver, Meat, and Royce IIRC). Ghost, Roach, Scarecrow, and the other guys all die at the safehouse. Price and Soap go rogue, are labeled as terrorists, and barely escape with their lives.
      • There were other TF operatives at the graveyard, as evidenced by Rook who almost got away with Price and Soap but wound up dead. Odds are, there were other operatives there who escaped by other methods. Also, Archer and Toad (Sniper Team One) were at the safehouse level and probably escaped, too, as Shadow Company had only just arrived by the time Shepherd had killed Roach and Ghost.

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