For characters in Nazi Zombies, see here.
Introduced in Black Ops
Captain Alex Mason
Alex Mason is a CIA SAD/SOG operative, protagonist of Black Ops and deuteragonist of Black Ops II.
On February 25, 1968, Alex Mason was placed in an interrogation room and interrogated for his previous involvement in various CIA operations and his knowledge of a numbers station. The game then progresses through his memories about past events and uncovering Dragovich's plans.
In Black Ops II, he is the player character for the past sections of the game, and had fathered a son, David, in his time of retirement after the end of Black Ops. Coming out of his retirement to rescue Woods, he participates in multiple CIA operations against the rising Raul Menendez, forming the story for the past sections of the game.
- The Ace: John F. Kennedy outright states, "I'm told that you are the very best we have, anywhere."
- Boom, Headshot!: If you take the appropriate course of action in "Suffer With Me", this is how he dies.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Due to numbers-based brainwashing by Dragovich.
- The Captain: Before joining the CIA, Mason was a U.S. Marine Captain.
- Character Death: In Black Ops II, he ends up captured by Menendez and attempts to trick Woods into killing him under the belief that he is actually Menendez. If the player (as Woods) shoots Mason in the head, this is played straight.
- Hudson helps him undergo this, but it doesn't fully work.
- Black Ops II confirms that it doesn't work. Upon seeing Kravchenko, numbers fill his vision and the player must fight not to execute him partway through the interrogation.
- Determinator: Never gives up.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Prior to joining the CIA, Mason served in Force Reconnaissance in the United States Marine Corps.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He and Reznov became close friends after being embroiled in violent conflict beforehand.
- First-Person Peripheral Narrator: For the 1980s missions in Black Ops II. Although he is still the Player Character for three of the four '80s levels, this time Woods does the majority of the dramatic heavy lifting.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Woods. He was also good friends with Bowman, unfortunately that was put to an end when poor Bowman died, meaning Woods and him are the only ones still active and alive from their old unit.
- Made of Iron: Both in gameplay, as is typical for a Call of Duty protagonist, and in the story, where he survives being captured, tortured, and brainwashed for two and a half years, gets blown up in Khe Sanh, gets captured and tortured again by the Vietcong, and finally can take two direct hits from a .50 cal anti-material rifle anywhere but his head and survive with seemingly no lasting effects.
- Manchurian Agent: The original plan for his brainwashing, until Reznov managed to subvert it.
- Not Quite Dead: If you shoot Mason in the legs instead of his upper torso and meet all of the requirements for the True Ending, you will be treated to a secret scene where it turns out he is alive and well, having come to visit Woods and reconcile with his son.
- One-Man Army: In "Rebirth" as Reznov is a hallucination during the mission, and probably has been one for the entire game past "Vorkuta". Mason destroyed that facility entirely by himself, long before Hudson's CIA mop-up crew ever even arrived. There's a reason why John F. Kennedy called him, "The best we have, anywhere."
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Sam Worthington doesn't always nail that American accent just right, it always feels a bit off. Especially when you're constantly complimented by James C. Burn's performance of Frank Woods.
- Older Than They Look: In 1986 and 1989 in Black Ops II, despite being in his mid to late fifties, he doesn't look like he has a lot of wrinkles and only looks like he's in his early forties at most.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In "Payback". As Woods and him put it, "For Bowman." You don't kill the buddies of two pissed off Marines.
- Rogue Agent:
- In "Rebirth" as he and the hallucinatory Reznov hunt for Steiner on the titular Rebirth Island.
- And in 1978 with Hudson and Weaver, pursuing the unknown lead. This becomes an Aborted Arc in Black Ops II.
- Semper Fi: Before joining the CIA, he was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps.
- So Proud of You: If he survives Panama, when he returns at the end of the game he reveals that he was very proud of David on the day of the first level; despite falling off of the tree he was climbing, he still got back up.
- Talking to Themself: Since Reznov is a hallucination in Mason's mind he is technically talking to himself, or rather a mental construction of what he believes Reznov would act like from the confines of his own mind.
Special Agent Jason Hudson
CIA special agent responsible for handling Mason, and deuteragonist of Black Ops, appearing as the player character for multiple levels. He leads one half of the hunt for Dragovich's project.
In Black Ops II, he appears in the past sections of the game as a supporting character to Alex.
- Badass Bookworm:
- Has a genius level IQ according to his bio.
- He also graduated from Georgetown University with a double major in psychology and political science, in addition to serving with distinction in the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division during the Korean War.
- Bald of Awesome: It's more of a buzz cut, but it still counts.
- Big Damn Heroes: He saves Mason from being executed by Dragovich by shooting the latter in the shoulder.
- Character Death: He is one of five characters to die in Black Ops II regardless of the player's actions. And damn does he go out bad.
- Cool Shades: Wears them all the time, and does an awesome Glasses Pull in one of the later stages.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Menendez kneecaps him in both knees before slitting his throat with Josefina's necklace.
- Fallen Hero: In Black Ops II, when he's been revealed to be The Mole in the CIA for Menendez.
- Fatal Family Photo: Hudson is murdered literally seconds after mentioning that he has two kids. Justified as he says it as an attempt to convince himself not to volunteer for death. It doesn't work, as he changes his mind seconds later.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Did this to Mason prior to the final mission. He also does this to Woods in Black Ops II when Woods goes berserk after spotting Menendez.
- Glasses Pull: He does this a few times in Black Ops, and in Black Ops II, it earns him a (non-fatal) bullet in Angola.
- Good Is Not Nice: When Mason doesn't give him and Weaver satisfactory replies in the opening cutscene, Hudson shocks him. About three times.
- Guns Akimbo: The first mission played as him in Black Ops has him start with dual pistols; notably, his missions are the only times in the first game's campaign where you get the chance to do this.
- The Handler: Hudson was this for Mason.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Hudson volunteers to be the one that Menendez kills so that Woods and David will survive.
- I Did What I Had to Do: Hudson was forced to betray Alex Mason and Woods because if he didn't Menendez would have killed David.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Hudson looks just like a young Ed Harris.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: "Numbers" opens with him trying to get information out of Dr. Clarke by putting a large piece of glass in his mouth and punching him in the mouth repeatedly.
- Jerkass: He starts off as this, but turns into a Jerk with a Heart of Gold in the second to last level. Mason does amusingly say that he likes Hudson's behavior, that even though he's "a fucking ice cube", that's exactly why he likes the guy. Apparently Mason likes his no nonsense demeanor.
- Woods looks very annoyed by Hudson at multiple points, and when Bowman arrives in the aftermath of one mission he and Bowman ignore Hudson entirely. This probably has to do with the conception that "company men" (a nickname for agents within the CIA and the military-industrial complex) are pencil pushers that don't understand the plight of the common soldier, or that when the CIA is involved that things have escalated to the point where the shit is really about to hit the fan. However Hudson does fight alongside Woods and Mason over the course of the game and he does eventually earn their trust.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: When interrogating Mason.
- The Mole: In Black Ops II, Menendez kidnaps Alex Mason's son, David and Hudson arranges for Mason's death and the kidnapping of Woods to save him.
- Not So Stoic:
- In contrast to his personality as depicted in the backstory, he swears and yells frequently at Mason when trying to get the meaning of the number codes out of him.
- One of the reasons for Woods to suspect that something is wrong with Hudson during his and Mason's mission in Panama is when he sounds...off, as if having a hard time deciding on what to do. Later, when Menendez has him tied to a chair, he begs not to be killed for the sake of his kids, then volunteers for it when Menendez threatens David Mason before reacting like anyone human would to having their kneecaps blown off with a shotgun at point blank range.
- Older Than They Look: Downplayed in 1986 and 1989 in Black Ops II, despite having white hair, he doesn't seem to have wrinkles on his face.
- Redemption Equals Death: Sacrificed himself to Menendez out of guilt for being The Mole.
- Rogue Agent: In 1978 along with Mason and Weaver while pursuing an unknown lead.
- The Stoic: He is, as Mason describes him, an "ice cube".
- Wham Line:
Master Sergeant Frank Woods
- Voiced by: James C. Burns
SOG operative and Alex Mason's colleague.
He appears in Black Ops II future segments as a retired old man, retelling Alex's actions and the rise of Raul Menendez to Alex's son, David Mason. He assists Alex in the past segments of the game.
- Atomic F-Bomb: In the beginning of "Payback" when forced to play Russian Roulette.
- Badass in Distress: In Black Ops II, he was captured by Raul Menendez in Angola, and the first mission involves finding and rescuing him. The circumstances of Woods' capture - being tortured, having his men killed right in front of him, and locked in a shipping container with his dead comrades and left to die of starvation and dehydration - are why he hates Menendez so much, to the point of being driven into an Unstoppable Rage at the sight of him.
- Berserk Button: In Black Ops II Woods goes completely berserk when he sees Menendez in "Time and Fate." He becomes so obsessed with killing Menendez that he accidentally kills Josefina with an errant grenade toss.
- Blood Knight: Actually volunteers to fight in Vietnam, which Hudson says would be "like a day at the beach" for him.
- Catchphrase: YOU CAN'T KILL ME!
- Character Death: Should you fail to save Karma in the campaign (and thus fail to stop Menendez's cyber-attack) and choose to spare Menendez at the end of the game, he will escape from prison and travel to the Vault, where he kills Woods with Josefina's necklace after he has a small talk with him.
- Cool Old Guy: In Black Ops II.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Incarnate.
- Game-Breaking Injury: In the beginning of Black Ops II, he's seen in a wheelchair. While he is an old man by the time the game's story takes place, what happened was he was shot in the knee by Menendez while in Panama. Menendez purposely let him live, after killing Hudson in front of you while you're assuming Woods' role, and having shot your best friend Mason. He does it so that Woods would know some of the pain that Menendez himself endured after his sister suffered grave burns while they were children, and was later killed when the CIA tried to capture him.
- Genius Bruiser: This video by Woods' voice actor shows that using an elevated platform as a makeshift grenade sump to survive Kravchenko's Taking You with Me was an incredibly intelligent move on his part.
- Grumpy Old Man: Unsurprisingly, being cooped up in the Vault all day while being confined to a wheelchair and having to deal with Raul Menendez has made him a little salty in Black Ops II. A good portion of his dialogue is ordering Harper or his caregivers to grab him drinks or smokes. At least he's affectionate to Section.
- He Knows Too Much: For his "retirement," the U.S. Government had Woods taken to an isolated area called the "Vault" where he would live the rest of his days rather than kill him.
- Heroic Sacrifice:
- Throws himself and Kravchenko away from Mason when the later tries to blow them all up, but...
- A secret file in the game outright says that he's still alive and is being held in the infamous Viet Cong prison Hanoi Hilton.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Alex Mason. He even becomes David's guardian after Alex's (presumed) death.
- The Korean War: According to his dossier, Woods' first combat experience was fighting in the Korean War.
- Manly Tears: When an anonymous young Marine is killed in the mission "Crash Site", Mason comments to his interrogator that he believed Woods to be crying after it.Mason: That young kid didn't make it. I swear to God that Woods was crying, but he never let us see no tears.
- Married to the Job: Unlike Mason and Hudson, it appears as though Woods never married and started a family.
- My Greatest Failure: He has two in Black Ops II: being the unwitting assassin of Alex Mason, and failing to realize that Hudson was being manipulated by Menendez until it was too late.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In his haste to get Menendez during a raid on his house, he winds up throwing the grenade that killed his sister. Needless to say, this sparks Menendez's anger and his motivation to cripple the U.S.
- Older Than They Look: In 1986 and 1989 in Black Ops II, despite going through a mid-life crisis and hitting on sixty, Woods does not look like he aged as much.
- Promoted to Playable: After spending the first Black Ops entirely as an NPC, Woods is the player character of the mission "Suffer With Me" in Black Ops II.
- Rapid-Fire "No!": Utters one when he realizes he was just tricked into shooting Alex Mason.
- Retired Badass: An elderly Woods appears in Black Ops II to explain the back story of the Big Bad via a series of flashbacks set in the 1980s.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- The "Payback" mission.
- And again in Black Ops II when he tries to go after Menendez for killing his squad in front of him and leaving him to rot in a container with their corpses. This winds up having consequences that ultimately drive the plot of the game.
- Say My Name: "MENENDEEEEEEZ!"
- Scatterbrained Senior: Averted. Harper thinks he is at the beginning, but Woods proves him wrong only seconds later.
- Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Even as an old man, he's still as rude and crude as he was during his fighting days.
- Semper Fi: Like Alex Mason, Woods was in the United States Marine Corps.
- Sergeant Rock
- Unwitting Pawn: To Menendez, who tricks him into shooting Alex Mason. Played straight if Woods headshots him, but subverted if he realizes that something's up and instead aims for the chest or limbs.
- What the Hell, Player?: Shooting Woods will cause him to angrily shout "You do that again and I'll kill you!"
Chief Petty Officer Joseph Bowman
- Voiced by: Ice Cube
SOG operative and Mason's colleague.
- Badass Beard: Has a very large beard and is just as badass as Mason, Woods, and Hudson.
- Black Dude Dies First: Is the first major character on the protagonist's side to die.
- Break the Badass: In "Payback" before his last moment of defiance he's completely broken.
- Defiant to the End: He insults his Russian interrogator by calling him a "Communist piece of shit." The Russian retaliates by bashing Bowman's head in with a piece of pipe.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: According to his dossier, he's a Navy SEAL.
- Heroic BSoD: In "Payback" due to Russian torture.
- Ink-Suit Actor: It's Ice Cube.
- Religious Bruiser: In "Crash Site", Bowman crosses himself after the anonymous young marine is killed.
- Token Minority: The only non-white American of the protagonists.
Special Agent Terrance Brooks
- Voiced by: Troy Baker
CIA special agent who assists the player in two missions, "Executive Order" and "WMD".
- Gameplay Ally Immortality
- Mauve Shirt: Gets a few bits of characterization here and there, but gets much less focus compared to the protagonists.
- Sympathy for the Devil: He laments the horrible death of the Soviet scientists burning alive.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's nowhere to be seen in the second game.
- Your Cheating Heart: He's cheating on his wife with Dr. Smith.
Special Agent Grigori Weaver
- Voiced by: Gene Farber
CIA operative and defector from the Soviet Union to the United States, Weaver appears in multiple missions assisting either Hudson or Mason.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
- Weaver is the only major character from Black Ops still alive at the end of that game to not make an appearance in Black Ops II. Even Kravchenko and Reznov, who were both presumed killed, still manage to make appearances. Not only is he completely absent in Black Ops II, he is never even mentioned.
- Intel in the first game shows that he, Mason and Hudson were being hunted during Operation Charybdis when they went rogue. Only Mason and Hudson are seen in ''Black Ops II''.
- Eyepatch of Power: After his first appearance.
- Eye Scream: He is first seen in-game taking a radio antenna to the eye. He survives, though.
- I Owe You My Life: To Mason after he helped rescue him in Russia. He tries to partially pay Mason back by setting him up on a date with a hot CIA secretary. It did not go well.
- The Lancer: To Jason Hudson.
- The Man Behind the Curtain: Is one of the interrogators alongside Hudson in Black Ops.
- Reverse Mole: Served as the CIA's mole in Dragovich's organization, but was discovered.
- Rogue Agent: In 1978 along with Mason and Hudson while pursuing an unknown lead.
- Russian Guy Suffers Most: Closely averted, as he does get captured before we're even really aware of his existence and loses an eye, but he does survive the mission, and just about every other primary character except for Hudson goes through similar levels of torture at some point.
- Token Enemy Minority: Due to Reznov being a hallucination, Weaver is the sole Russian on the American side.
General Nikita Dragovich
- Voiced by: Eamon Hunt
A cold-blooded Soviet General with a plan to attack the United States with Nova 6.
- Asshole Victim: Given everything he did, his incredibly cruel death was fully deserved.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Despite being the poster child of the Dirty Commies, he saw his own comrades as expandable when he tested Nazi gas on them during WWII and is quick to work with the ex-fascist Steiner. Reznov doesn't consider him comrade-worthy at all.
- Bad Boss: He cares little for his own men, which he brutally demonstrates when he turns his own subordinates Reznov and Dimitri into guinea pigs for Nova 6 at the end of WWII.
- Big Bad: Of the first game.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Mason drags him to the floor and then proceeds to choke him to death while holding him under water, meaning he either died by drowning, or asphyxiation.
- Dirty Communists: Has a deep hatred for "the West." In contrast to Reznov, who cares deeply for his men and wishes only to protect his country from harm, Dragovich sees his men as expendable and only cares to elevate his position within the military and destroy the Soviet Union's enemies through increasingly questionable methods.
- Disproportionate Retribution: It is heavily implied that he chose to gas Dimitri Petrenko first out of no reason than to have Reznov watch his friend die, even though he had no quarrel with Petrenko.
- Evil Is Petty: He decides to use Reznov and Dimitri as guinea pigs simply because he had a petty dislike of Reznov.
- Forced to Watch: Chooses to have Reznov watch Dimitri die before he gasses him as well. The British arriving saves Reznov's life.
- Faux Affably Evil: He's polite, but that's the only nice thing about him.
- General Ripper: Cares little for the lives of his own men.
- Greater-Scope Villain: Of World at War, as it was revealed he abandoned Reznov and his platoon for dead at the hands of the Nazis in Stalingrad in the level "Vendetta."
- Hero Killer: Kills Dimitri Petrenko with Nova 6.
- I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: He chooses to take his grudge against Reznov out by gassing Petrenko.
- Knight of Cerebus: He and The Dragon Krevchenko are the first major antagonists in the Treyarch-produced games and are much darker characters to a point that Dragovich manages to execute Dimitri Petrenko and try to do the same to Reznov, as he was trying to eliminate all of the Chummy Commies that were the "good guys" in WWII to pave the way for the Dirty Communists to be the new enemies in the Cold War and attempted to use a deadly toxin to wipe out America just to invade the land. Plus, he puts on a chilling, charismatic Faux Affably Evil personality when facing Mason and Go Out with a Smile when he implies that Mason's brainwashing programming to kill JFK worked.
- Lack of Empathy: Dragovich cares about nothing but advancing his own position within the Soviet leadership. He even abandoned his men at Stalingrad to have them butchered by the German forces.
- Large and in Charge: Is about 6'5", making him even taller than Kravchenko.
- Manipulative Bastard: He has turned many American soldiers against their own country through his "numbers" program.
- Not So Different: From the very Nazis his country fought during the war, due to being a ruthless sadist.
- Not Quite Dead: Mason thought he blew up his limousine.
- Sadist: He clearly shows to be this when he decided that the best way to see the effects of the poison of Nova 6 was to gas his own men. He also displays his sadism when he captures Mason.
- The Sociopath: He's less personally violent than Kravchenko, but no less of a sociopath due to not thinking twice about killing innocents.
- Villainous Legacy: Despite dying in the first game his influence is still felt in II, (where Mason's brainwashing programming by Dragovich still had an effect on Mason in the Afghanistan campaign upon facing his surviving protege Kravchenko) and 3 (where it's revealed Nova-6, the chemical weapon he had developed for its usage by him, has been used by the Big Bad virus Corvus for its own evil plan in Singapore).
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Did this to some of his employees, mainly because [[He Knows Too Much they knew too much
Colonel Lev Kravchenko
- Voiced by: Andrew Divoff
Dragovich's Ax-Crazy right-hand brute.
- Ax-Crazy: He's a violent sociopath.
- The Brute: Is mostly Dragovich's muscle.
- Character Death: Despite surviving his apparent death in the first game, he doesn't get out of Black Ops II without half his head getting blown off by a .45, making him one of five characters in the game to die regardless of the player's actions.
- Colonel Kilgore: Cares little for the lives of his men.
- Defiant to the End: Is seemingly unphased by Woods' Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, and shows nothing but contempt for Woods and Mason right up until one of them shoots him in the face.
- Die Laughing: Smirks in the face of death in Black Ops II.
- Dirty Communists: Like his master.
- The Dragon: To Dragovich, which is ironic considering that "Dragovich" is Russian for "son of the dragon".
- Dragon Their Feet: It turns out he managed to outlive Dragovich by a good 20 years, eventually ending up working for Raul Menendez.
- Establishing Character Moment: In "Project Nova" he can be seen executing SS soldiers with a pistol. When he finds out that he's out of bullets upon reaching the last one, he takes out a knife and slits the man's throat.
- Go Out with a Smile: Dies with a smug look on his face in Black Ops II.
- Husky Russkie: He's a heavyset Russian.
- Knight of Cerebus: Sharing this with Dragovich, however, he is declared to be one of the most evil and brutal characters in the COD games due to his bloodthirsty Ax-Crazy nature, disfiguring/disabling Weaver by stabbing out his eye in '63 while sporting a Slasher Smile, his brutal No Holds Barred Beatdowns given to his enemies and how the profiling states him to be a cold-hearted Soft-Spoken Sadist Made of Evil and his Dark and Troubled Past that implied him to be a serial killer in his village starting with inflicting a Cruel and Unusual Death on his sister Irina for spurning Dragovich's advances before joining the Red Army. The chilling performance by his voice actor Andrew Divoff (aka the Djinn) further helps.
- Last Villain Stand: Has one with Mason in II before getting captured and killed by him and Woods.
- Not Quite Dead: Kravchenko, like Woods, survived the explosion and took the latter to the Hanoi Hilton to be imprisoned. He shows up commanding a superheavy tank in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, only to run right into Mason and Woods again...
- Plot Armor: Even if the grenade belt was out of range, there's no in-game explanation for how he survived a knife through the back and a fall that would likely have broken his neck. This is lifted in the sequel where he gets shot in the head.
- The Sociopath: His intel file notes he is utterly without feeling unless he is inflicting suffering on someone. He even murdered his own sister because she rejected Dragovich's advances.
- Taking You with Me: Attempted, but doesn't get Mason thanks to Woods's Heroic Sacrifice. At least, that's what they thought.
- Too Kinky to Torture: His dossier outright states that he's a classic sociopath, and Woods' attempt to beat information out of him doesn't even come close to succeeding.
- Villainous Valor: Monstrous brute aside, Kravchenko isn't one to cower when the odds are against him. When Woods stabs him, he merely pulls the grenade pins from his belt in an effort to kill Woods and actually survives Woods' attempt at his life. Kravchenko manages to survive 20 years after his master dies and makes a Last Villain Stand towards Mason in the sequel and isn't deterred by Mason and Woods brutal interrogations methods, merely giving them one more fuck you before they kill him.
Doctor Friedrich Steiner
- Voiced by: Mark Bramhall
Nazi scientist and creator of Nova 6, who quickly defects to Dragovich after the Soviets showed up at his submarine.
- Asshole Victim: The CIA's only concerns when Steiner gets murder is how they're going to stop Dragovich rather than the fact that Steiner dies.
- Boom, Headshot!: Mason as Reznov shoots him in the head.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Turns on Germany for the Soviets, and later on attempts to defect to the CIA in the 60s.
- Commie Nazis: He was the latter before he defected to the former. He's most likely non-ideological though and even tries to defect to the USA when he was targeted by Dragovich.
- Dirty Coward: Didn't think twice about throwing his comrades under the bus to save his own ass.
- Evil Genius: The mastermind of the Nova 6 project.
- Hate Sink: He's a smug cowardly nazi Mad Scientist. He's clearly not meant to be like and killing him is very satisfying, even if it deters the American's plans to stop Dragovich.
- The Heavy: While Steiner isn't the main villain, the fact that he created Nova-6 and gave Dragovich the means to use it is what creates the whole plot in the first place.
- Herr Doktor: An evil Nazi scientist.
- Mad Scientist: He invented the poisonous gas Nova 6 as one of the Nazi Wunderwaffe projects.
- Smug Snake: His first appearance has him calmly propped up against a chair with a Luger admonishing Reznov as a "Russian dog" before having him take him to Dragovich and Kravchenko.
- Those Wacky Nazis: According to Reznov, anyway.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The reason Dragovich's men are in his facility is because he thinks that He Knows Too Much and wishes to silence him.
- Voiced by: Gary Oldman
A Red Army veteran who Mason befriended during his time in the Vorkuta Gulag. He leads the uprising in Vorkuta and helps Mason escape. He later seemingly appears as a defector from the Soviet Union to the United States, and works alongside Mason.
- Big Damn Heroes: Often shows up through the campaign to provide assistance to Mason when he needs it. At least, that's how Mason perceives it.
- Blood Knight: Hell, he makes Woods look like a hippie by comparison.
- Breakout Character: Initially appearing in World at War, he was so well received by the fans that Treyarch made him the central character (albeit not the protagonist) of the main plot of Black Ops.
- Broken Pedestal: After being betrayed by his country, Reznov has lost the patriotism he had for Russia back in World at War.
- The Captain: In Black Ops Dragovich refers to him as "Captain Reznov", implying that he was promoted following the Battle of Berlin in World at War.
- Chummy Commies: A sharp contrast is made between Reznov's and his WWII comrades' amiable desire to protect the Soviet Union from harm by the Nazis and Dragovich's ruthless persona that sees even his own men as expendable.
- Dead All Along:
- After "Vorkuta". Or is it?
- He appears in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to rescue Mason and Woods, but it's intentionally left unclear if he was real or merely a hallucination. Woods lampshades it by saying that it is absurd that Reznov would come back to save Mason and just disappear without explaining where he had been all that time (ironically, Alex Mason himself would end up doing the exact same thing himself if he survived the events of "Suffer With Me"). Still David insists that his father honestly believed that it was Reznov, either way it is heartwarming to see that Alex Mason still thinks of Reznov as his friend after all those years.
- Expy: He is basically the Good Counterpart Foil of his voice actor Gary Oldman's Big Bad / The Heavy character Ivan Korshunov from Air Force One, simply both characters being Russian combatants who are Large Hams, Ax-Crazy, Blood Knights and Sociopathic Soldiers, except if Korshunov was a good guy rather than a psychotic bad guy. To further hit it home, in the Black Ops level "The Defector" (as seen in the photo), Reznov is seen carrying an M16-derived carbine, which was Korshunov's primary weapon of choice in the film.
- Fire-Forged Friends: He and Mason became friends in Vorkuta after originally being in violent conflict.
- Large Ham: The biggest, bloodiest ham of the whole game, and it is delicious.
- My Name Is Inigo Montoya: My name! Is Viktor! Reznov! And I will have! My! Revenge!
- Nominal Hero: Can be seen as this. He doesn't care about Nova or the Cold War. His sole focus is avenging himself on the men who killed his friend and doomed him to two decades in a gulag. If that requires subtly tweaking his friend's mental conditioning to make him a Sleeper Agent to accomplish this, so be it.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: He really hates the Nazi's to the point where he doesn't care about them being killed indiscriminately even after they surrender.
- Promoted to Playable: After being solely an NPC in World at War, Reznov is the player character of the "Project Nova" mission in Black Ops.
- Revenge: His entire motivation.
- Sergeant Rock: In World at War he has the rank of Sergeant in the Red Army.
- Survival Mantra: "Dragovich... Kravchenko... Steiner... All must die."
- Thanatos Gambit: Reznov knew he was unlikely to survive the breakout from Vorkuta. He placed all his hopes on Mason as his instrument of revenge, and did everything to ensure Mason would escape.
- The Unfettered: He became significantly more unhinged after Project Nova, compared to his WWII-era self who still obeyed orders he hated because he was a soldier.
Doctor Daniel Clarke
- Voiced by: Gary Oldman
English chemical engineer who had worked with Steiner to help develop the Nova 6.
- Boom, Headshot!: Gets shot in the head while dangling from Hudson's arm.
- Crazy-Prepared: He has stashes of weapons all over Kowloon and enough explosives in his lab to take both it out and a nearby helicopter trying to steal his research. Lampshaded by Hudson:Hudson: You're very well-prepared for a "dead man."
Clarke: Just because I accept the inevitability of my fate does not mean I'm in any hurry to embrace it.
- Human Notepad: Has multiple tattoos on his face and body related to Nova 6.
- Killed Mid-Sentence: "Oh yes! The numbers... they're the key to... *bang*"
- Mad Scientist: Decides it's a good idea to throw in his lot with Dragovich and help perfect Nova 6.
- Properly Paranoid: Knows people are out to kill him and has prepared for it completely.
- Too Kinky to Torture: "I'm already a dead man!"
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He knows it as well, and already prepared a lot of things for it.
Introduced in Black Ops II
Lieutenant Commander David Mason (callsign: Section)
- Voiced by: Rich McDonald (2025), Hayden Byerly (1980s)
Son of CIA operative Alex Mason, member of SEAL Team Six, JSOC commander, and protagonist of Black Ops II, player character in all future segments of the game.
Following the rise of Raul Menendez and Cordis Die as well as the beginning of the Second Cold War in 2025, David and SEAL Team Six goes through much of the game to track down Menendez's plans and stop him.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Just because he bears the chains of command, and faces the responsibility of leading his men into battle, doesn't mean he's any less of a front-line soldier as he gladly fights alongside his men during the campaign. He's also particularly high in the "authority" department; at the rank of Commander, behind Commmander-in-Chief John F. Kennedy in the Zombies level "Five", he is the highest-ranked protagonist in the series.
- Bond One-Liner: At the end of "Karma", if he successfully catches up to and kills DeFalco:"Lights out, fucker."
- Commanding Coolness: As mentioned above, he's currently the highest rank out of all CoD PCs, essentially in command of DEVGRU, a.k.a. SEAL Team Six and doing a fine job of leading his men in battle.
- Cool Shades: Wears them during most missions. His sunglasses also function as a combat heads-up display and allows him to receive video feeds.
- Cruel Mercy: Menendez inflicted this fate upon David when he was a boy, when he manipulated Woods into killing David's father, and killing Hudson, leaving Woods and David to wallow in despair, hoping that this might mold him into someone that could understand his vision. David in the final mission has the choice to either spare or kill Menendez, in the event he spares him he dismisses his "vision" as just "a sad old man talking to himself", and places him into American custody hoping that the man will rot away in jail for the rest of his life. In the golden ending where Menendez's plan to instigate global anarchy and destroy America's computer networks fails, the man has an epic Villainous Breakdown in his prison cell. Looks like David's choice to spare him was indeed a Cruel Mercy.
- Determinator: Not even losing almost all those he cares for could stop him from taking down the bad guys.
- Disappeared Dad: His father was killed by way of manipulation from Raul Menendez... although it's possible to avert this.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: Not only is he a U.S. Navy SEAL, he commands SEAL Team Six, widely considered to be the elite of the elite.
- Generation Xerox: Like his father, he finds himself fighting a new Cold War, this time with China. Also like his father, he was subject to programming that makes him an Unwitting Pawn of the Big Bad, although in his case it's a much weaker form of hypnotism, rather than the sophisticated brainwashing Alex was subjected to.
- Happily Adopted: After Mason goes missing or is killed by you in Panama, Woods adopts and helps raise him.
- Heroic BSoD: David has one when he learns that Woods is the one who shot his father.
- Like Father, Like Son: Much like his father before him he too is subjected to subliminal messaging by the Big Bad, though luckily David's is relatively more benign than Alex's kill compulsion.
- Missing Mom: The dead kind.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: If he chooses to execute Menendez in "Judgment Day", a final video release is triggered on Cordis Die's YouTube channel, sparking riots throughout the world.
- Older Than They Look: He appears to be around late 20s/early 30s. Following the timeline, he's about 46.
- Raised by Dudes: David was raised in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness by an ex-spec ops leatherneck (and after his father's (apparent) death, he is raised by his dad's best friend who happens to be a Sergeant Rock). It's no big surprise he's tough. Notably, he's a lot more well-balanced than most other examples of this trope.
- Super Wrist-Gadget: His wrist-mounted OPSAT computer has a number of functions, including calling in airstrikes, remotely hacking enemy networks, video recording and live analysis, and even firing grappling hooks and grenades.
- Unwitting Pawn: As part of Menendez's Trojan Horse plan to be captured, he implanted young David with a hidden drive to seek out and capture Menendez, through mild hypnotism and the extreme trauma of watching his father die.
- Voiced by: Michael Rooker
SEAL Team Six member and David's close teammate.
- Badass Beard: Has a thick beard.
- Blood Knight: Much like Woods, despite his gruffness he can be pretty jolly much of the time, but when provoked his temper is incredible. Also like Woods, he has a tendency to pursue Revenge Before Reason.
- Boom, Headshot!: If Farid executes him.
- Casanova Wannabe: On board the Colossus, he declares he's going to hit on the first girl he bumps into, and proceeds to do just that. She shoots him down immediately with much annoyance. It turns out to be Karma he bumped into.
- Character Death: It's up to the player, but he has to die in order to get the Golden Ending. Poor guy.
- Generation Xerox: He fulfills the same role for Section as Woods did for Alex Mason. Right down to pulling a Heroic Sacrifice, although unlike Woods, he doesn't come back from his. Humorously, he and Woods spent most of what little shared screentime they have insulting each other.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Depending on how well you drive, half of his face can be burned during the vehicular battle in "Fallen Angel".
- Guttural Growler: As one would expect of a character voiced by Michael Rooker.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Harper encourages Farid to shoot him rather than let Farid's cover be blown. And if you want the Golden Ending, Harper unfortunately has to die.
- Ink-Suit Actor:
- Harper bears a strong resemblance to his voice actor, Michael Rooker, well specifically Rooker in his youth back in the late 80's and early 90's.
- He also shares his actor's first name.
- The Lancer: He's basically to David Mason what Frank Woods was to Alex Mason.
- Sacrificial Lion: The Golden Ending requires Harper to die so that Farid maintains his cover and is thus able to save Karma later on.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Mike Harper is basically the 2025 version of Frank Woods: both of them are Blood Knights, both of them are heavily tattooed, both have beards, and both of them are the best friend of a Mason family member.
- Voiced by: Celestino Cornielle
SEALs member who accompanies David through much of the game.
- Anti-Villain: His comments in "Odysseus," particularly his description of the revolution as "a difficult day" and admonishing Menendez for killing Briggs (if the player chooses to do so), seem to indicate that Salazar was very reluctant to betray his comrades.
- Badass Spaniard: He is actually Nicaraguan, just like Raul Menendez.
- Character Death: If Harper survives "Achilles' Veil," he executes Salazar for his betrayal. If Harper is dead, then Salazar is probably just in jail, as Commander Mason just orders him to be taken out of his sight.
- Foreshadowing: Seen in a few of his comments during "Karma." "So this is how the 1% live." and "No wonder Menendez attracts so many followers." in particular.
- Ink-Suit Actor: Of his voice actor, Celestin Cornielle.
- The Mole: For Menendez. Though a more sympathetic one since he requested Menendez to spare Admiral Briggs, and also surrenders immediately after finishing his work instead of trying to escape with Menendez.
- Token Enemy Minority: Salazar is Nicaraguan, just like Menendez. He's also the only major member of Section's team to be obviously Latin American, while the bulk of Cordis Die's fighters are former Cuban special forces working as mercenaries. He also turns out to be The Mole.
- Voiced by: Omid Abtahi
SEAL Team Six tech officer and undercover in the Cordis Die.
- Badass Bookworm: He's SEAL Team Six's tech officer, assisting Section and his team during "Karma."
- Break the Badass: He has to shoot his teammate/handler Harper in order to maintain his cover, having a very serious case of Heroic BSoD afterwards. He also dies in all endings, though his sacrifice in the Golden Ending path manages to save Karma. Guy can't catch a break.
- Character Death: Either he is killed by Menendez in "Achilles' Veil" for not killing Harper, or he dies protecting Karma in "Odysseus".
- Heroic BSoD: Even though Section told him he did what he had to do, Farid is visibly broken after being forced to kill Harper.
- I Did What I Had to Do: He has to kill many U.S.-allied Yemeni soldiers during the raid on Menendez's compound, since they're shooting at him due to his cover as one of Menendez's men. This causes him noticeable distress, but he's able to continue his mission. However, if he's forced to kill Harper to maintain his cover, he finally succumbs to a Heroic BSoD.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Can choose to sacrifice himself rather than maintaining cover and killing Harper. He will also sacrifice himself to save Karma if he does survive.
- Playful Hacker: Has a few Deadpan Snarker moments.
- Reverse Mole: As a CIA field agent, he has managed to infiltrate Menendez's inner circle.
- Senseless Sacrifice: If he chooses to try and take out Menendez instead of executing Harper; it doesn't work, and he is executed on the spot. "Senseless" in that, if he dies during "Achilles' Veil," Farid isn't around to take the bullet for Karma.
- Taking the Bullet: If he survives until "Odysseus", the cause of his death.
- The Smart Guy: Is DEVGRU's tech guy.
- Voiced by: Michael Rodrick
Another member of SEAL Team Six.
- Expy: He bears quite a resemblance to Frost from Modern Warfare 3.
- The Faceless: Always has his helmet on.
- Mauve Shirt: He's a permanent member of Section's team alongside Harper, Salazar, and Farid, and shares their Story-Driven Invulnerability during gameplay. However, he gets no real characterization and doesn't appear in any major cutscenes, making him something of an odd man out.
- The Quiet One: He only speaks in the first level he is in.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He appears very briefly at the end of "Odysseus", getting shot in the shoulder, but he never gets mentioned again.
Admiral Tommy Briggs
- Voiced by: Tony Todd
Commander of SEAL Team Six and JSOC operations. He briefs the player in the Strike Force missions.
- Boom, Headshot!: How he goes out if Menendez kills him.
- A Father to His Men: Salazar thinks so, which is why he asks Menendez not to kill him. You decide whether he lives or not.
- Guttural Growler: Speaks with a deep voice.
- Hot-Blooded: Albeit a more downplayed version.
- Ink-Suit Actor: He looks a lot like Tony Todd.
- Knee-capping: If Menendez spares him, he shoots Briggs in the knee instead.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: He gives Commander Mason a lot of leeway in accomplishing his missions.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Very profane, with his favorite word being "cocksucker", which he uses specially in reference to Raul Menendez. He won't even hesitate to swear in front of the Secretary of Defense, of all people.
General Tian Zhao
- Voiced by: Byron Mann
Leader of the Strategic Defense Coalition planning on expanding his influences. He had also appeared in a single 1980s mission.
- Character Death: If assassinated in the last Strike Force mission.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Seen fighting alongside Alex Mason in Afghanistan.
- FaceHeel Turn: It's revealed that Menendez is using him to prevent the Americans and Chinese from forming an alliance.
- Face Death with Dignity: If killed in the last Strike Force mission, he'll straighten himself up before the player sinks a round into his head.
- Four-Star Badass: A General of the PRC Army and a former field operative.
- General Ripper: According to Briggs, Zhao defies the Chinese government in his pursuit of SDC dominance in the region.
- The Heavy: For Menendez, in a way. His amassing of SDC military forces plays into Menendez's plans for the superpowers to wipe each other out.
The overall antagonist of Black Ops II. When he was young, Menendez witnessed his father, the leader of the powerful Menendez Cartel in Nicaragua getting assassinated by the CIA, causing him to grow up with resentment towards to United States. In the 1980s, Menendez began a gunrunning operation against the US, triggering another CIA operation against him that killed his sister Josefina by accident.
Fueled by his hatred over the west, he worked over the next thirty years to create a world revolution. Using his wealth and charisma, he creates the militant populist movement of Cordis Die under the alias Odysseus, striking riots across nations. By 2025, Cordis Die has over two billion followers, and Menendez is further planning on cyberattacks against US and China (who are currently in a Second Cold War) to plunge both into a destructive war.
- Affably Evil: He is genuinely polite to his enemies, in spite of having done many terribly things.
- Alas, Poor Villain: In the bad ending, where he immolates himself on his sister's grave, he is portrayed very sympathetically as a tragic figure that had lost everything.
- Anarchy Is Chaos: As hinted at in the game and elaborated on in the short story Rightful King, ultimately Menendez is an Anarchist in the traditional sense of the word; he's against both big government and big capitalism, with the motto of "less power, less problems".
- Authority Equals Asskicking: For a short time, the player gets to control him on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. He's faster and stronger than standard protagonists, and there are several moments where you get to use nothing but a machete to slice through a squad or two.
- Badass Beard: Grows one after his sister dies.
- Badass Bookworm: He's a well-learned man who's extremely badass.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: In the 2025 missions, though like Vladimir Makarov he seems to abhor neckties.
- Badass Spaniard: He's Nicaraguan.
- Bad Boss:
- In "Time and Fate", he is the only player character in Call of Duty history who can kill his own soldiers without causing a Non-Standard Game Over.
- In "Pyrrhic Victory", while what he says in Spanish to his men while being used as a shield by Mason isn't subtitled, part of it roughly translates to, "The American knows nothing about loyalty. Let's show him." He then promptly pulls the pin on a grenade, which forces Mason to let him go...and also forces two of his soldiers to sacrifice themselves by dogpiling on said grenade when it falls to the floor, lest Menendez be blown up himself.
- The Berserker: Just play through "Time and Fate". It's really easily to mistake him being on crack, because he just takes bullet after bullet without seeming to notice.
- Big Bad: He is, after all, the one behind the widespread hacking of drones and their subsequent attacks on the US and China. His real plan, on the other hand, is to destroy the drone armies and allow Cordis Die to rise up and finally put the First World on even terms with the downtrodden masses.
- The Chessmaster: This guy has a contingency plan for everything.
- Cruel Mercy:
- David has the choice to either spare the man or kill him, in the event he chooses the former option Menendez goes into American custody and rot in a jail cell. David even lampshades it by claiming that he's just "A sad old man talking to himself.", meaning he will have no one's company but his own as he suffers in his defeat. Menendez will have to rot away in a prison cell for the rest of his life knowing that all of his efforts amounted to nothing, and the audience can agree the man deserves it. This cruel mercy can be subverted in the endings where Menendez escapes from prison, or his plans succeed anyway despite his death.
- He gives this to David Mason as a child, when he kills Hudson right in front of him and manipulates Woods into killing his father, by letting him survive but feel the despair he felt. Menendez refrains from killing David even in the present day, even after David has fulfilled his role as an Unwitting Pawn in Menendez's master plan.
- Cycle of Revenge: The CIA killed his father, so he captures Woods and kills the rest of the unit, sticking him in a storage container with the corpses of his men. Due to this traumatic experience, Woods goes berserk with rage during a later mission to capture Menendez; this leads to him chucking a grenade at Menendez, which instead ends up killing his sister Josefina. Josefina's death causes Menendez to seek revenge against Woods and Mason (who shot out his eye); he holds David Mason hostage, kidnaps Hudson, manipulates Woods into killing David's father, and lets David survive all of this so he would understand Menendez's vision. David grows up to be a Navy SEAL Commander, becomes the key figure in the fight against Menendez's master plan, and after a final confrontation must choose between either executing Menendez or capturing him so he can spend the rest of his life in prison. If David chooses to kill Menendez, Menendez's death serves as the catalyst for the uprising of the 99%, leading to the fall of the First World. The only way to stop Menendez is to break the Cycle of Revenge and capture him alive.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He grew up in the war, his family lost everything in an earthquake, he and his sister, Josefina, were caught in a fire, leaving Josefina permanently scarred and disfigured, his father was assassinated by the CIA, and then his sister was killed by an errant grenade toss by Woods, cementing his hatred towards the First World.
- Dark Messiah: His backstory is sympathetic enough and you can tell that there is some form of a good man buried deep inside, but the darkness obviously consumed his soul a long time ago and all that's left is his ruthless, single-minded drive to bring down the First World through violent uprising.
- Determinator: He survives multiple attempts on his life, several of which are by characters you're playing as. Additionally, in the first section of the "Time and Fate" mission where you play as him, he has an incredible amount of health and can survive quite a few hits on his body solely based on his motivation to get back to his sister.
- Disproportionate Retribution:
- No matter which way you look at it, he is willing to bomb Los Angeles and start a world revolution that could potentially kill millions of people just to avenge the deaths of his sister and father.
- The intro to the first 2025 mission mentions that he had his Twitter account shut down by the US Government. His response was to roast the Director of the FBI alive.
- Driven to Suicide:
- In the Black Ops II intro he prepares to slit his throat with Josefina's necklace while they're trapped in a burning warehouse before she tells him to stop and not leave him alone.
- If Menendez is spared at the end of the game but Karma didn't survive, Menendez will successfully escape from prison with the help of the Celerium Worm. He will then kill Woods and travel to his sister's grave site, where he douses himself in gasoline and sets himself on fire.
- Establishing Character Moment: Alex Mason goes to threaten a guy he most likely thinks is just a radio operator, only for this radio operator to destroy the radio with his bare hands, overpower the trained SAD operative considered among the best of the best, and almost kills him with a knife stab to the gut.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He greatly cared about and loved his sister Josefina. In fact, her death is one of the major reasons that Raul held a strong hatred against the United States and the First World. He even goes to the extent of burning himself to death in one of the bad endings near her grave.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Though it's entirely up to you, if you choose to shoot Admiral Briggs in the leg instead of in the head. Menendez will then comment that perhaps the Admiral will see things their way if you let him live. Salazar even mentions that Briggs is a good man and shouldn't be executed.
- Eye Scream: When Alex Mason shoots him in the eye in the first mission.
- Freudian Excuse: The actions of United States ruined his life, and killed his sister Josefina.
- For Want of a Nail: If Mason's shot had been an inch to the right, the course of world history would have been very different.
- Foreshadowing: The very first words uttered in gameplay are from Jonas Savimbi to Alex Mason; Savimbi sees Mason trying to save a comrade from burning to death inside a wrecked vehicle, but he tells him to stop, saying, "The fire finished him. Sometimes it is too late to save a man." These words could easily be applied to Menendez; the fire claimed his innocence a long time ago and the ravaged soul that came out of that fire is too far gone to save from his inevitable damnation.
- Friendly Enemy:
- In the '80s missions, Menendez is a hateful, furious man only reigned in by obvious Tranquil Fury. By the 2025 missions, Menendez is calm and polite and friendly around Mason and Woods, and in the ending where he lives and escapes, when he confronts Woods, they simply have a short, almost amicable talk before Menendez slits Woods' throat, then gently sets the body down on his bed.
- Even in 1989, moments after threatening to kill him, Menendez sounds like he almost has some sympathy for the young David Mason when he tells him to seek him out in the future. In the 2025 missions, he acts borderline fatherly towards him.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: As a child he was just another third world starving refugee, his home destroyed by an earthquake and the reconstruction stymied by an American-backed banana dictatorship. To survive, he and his father became drug runners and eventually drug lords, and he ultimately rises to become the number one global threat to western civilization.
- Hero Killer: He directly kills Hudson and Farid (provided he is still alive in "Achilles' Veil"), as well as Woods in one ending, and is responsible for the deaths of Mason (provided you take the headshot in "Suffer With Me"), Chloe (if you don't rescue her in the mission "Karma") and Harper (by making you kill him to protect Farid's cover).
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Sort of. For most of the game, everyone assumes he's just a standard Nietzsche Wannabe Modern Warfare villain whose master plan is simply to use a superweapon to kill as many Americans as possible. He actually self-destructs the re-programmed drone army instead of using them to destroy the West, as his endgame wasn't simple mass destruction, but rather to genuinely pave the way for a global revolution (albeit a violent uprising that would probably kill lots of people on its own).
- Hypocrite: His whole Cordis Die stint is one big cover up for his very out-of-control Disproportionate Retribution against America and the First World. For all his talk of being a messiah for the 99%, he's a sociopathic drug lord with a lot of money who really doesn't seem to give a damn about helping the downtrodden so long as they take everything down with him. In Black Ops III, Hendricks straight-up calls him a hypocritical egomaniac when he comes up in a conversation.
- If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Menendez tests Farid's loyalty by ordering him to execute Harper. Doubly cruel because Menendez already knows Farid is a double agent (Salazar knew, which means Menendez knows).
- Improvised Weapon: He's fond of using his sister's necklace for slitting people's throats (apparently the edge is really sharp).
- Ink-Suit Actor: Menendez looks almost exactly like his voice actor, Kamar de los Reyes.
- I Was Quite a Looker: That's the older Raul Menendez above who you see for most of the game. This is Raul Menendez when he was young and unwounded.
- Knight of Cerebus: He is introduced ignoring Alex Mason's attempts to get him to surrender and would've killed him had he not gone for a gut stab, and is one of the most dangerous villains to ever grace the Call of Duty franchise.
- Knight Templar: He fully believes that he is in the right in overthrowing the First World, and no amount of wrongdoings committed in the way will dissuade him.
- Large Ham: Many of his cutscenes have him chewing the scenery with every line.
- Leitmotif: Noticeably plays during the attendance in "Achilles' Veil", his playable scene in "Odysseus", and when his videocast plays near the end of "Judgement Day". Here it is.
- Lightning Bruiser: In the level where you play as him, he can survive about as much damage as a friggin Juggernaut, and moves significantly faster than a normal player character. He's also able to instantly reload his shotgun, seemingly through the power of sheer rage. Assuming it's enabled, the controller will rumble when he moves.
- Made of Iron: Very little seems to stop him, including being shot in the eye, and being caught in a grenade explosion (twice!). In the final confrontation Section jams his knife into Menendez's knee all the way to the hilt, then slams it into his chest, lodging it just below the shoulder. Despite this, if David chooses to take Menendez alive, Menendez is able to stand up and calmly walk to his fate, despite having a stabbed knee and a knife sticking out of his chest.
- Man in White: Shown wearing a white suit in 2025 up until he's captured.
- Manipulative Bastard: Is very skilled at using people as pawns in his schemes.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Torturing Woods was a major factor in his sister's death.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
- In "Odysseus", if he spares Admiral Briggs when the player has beaten all of the Strike Force missions and Chloe is still alive, Briggs is able to reactivate the ship's defenses, saving Chloe, who goes on to stop Menendez's attempt to escape from prison in the Golden Ending.
- In Black Ops III, Menendez's cyber-attack on the superpowers' drone armies is credited as the impetuous for the creation of the D.E.A.D.S. defensive systems, which essentially bring about the end of large-scale warfare, with the nations of the world relying on small-scale covert operations to act against each other instead of using large standing armies which the D.E.A.D.S. have made obsolete.
- Not Hyperbole: In the end, if David captures Menendez alive, Menendez tells David that he will see him one year from now, and that David should study Ulysses and be ready. David quite sensibly dismisses this as an idle threat, even telling a Marine not to bother with gagging Menendez, as he's simply "a sad old man talking to himself". As it turns out, Menendez actually does have a viable plan to escape from prison after one year (although whether or not he paid a visit to David isn't shown).
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: In the 1980s missions, in which he is pitted against the middle aged Woods, Mason and Hudson, but inverted in the 2025 missions, where he, now over his sixties, faces off against the younger David Mason, who is in his forties.
- One-Man Army: In "Time and Fate". The player (controlling Menendez) rampages through his compound, slaying Panamanian soldiers with nothing more than a machete and a shotgun, attempting to reach his sister.
- Pet the Dog:
- Revenge: His entire motivation due to the fact that it was US-backed Panamanian soldiers who destroyed his home and killed his sister. He personally targets Mason and Woods for their involvement in it.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Subjects Farid to one of these after he attempts to shoot him to save Harper but gets mortally wounded in the process, Menendez telling him that no one will care if he dies before finishing him off with a headshot.
- Roaring Rampage of Rescue: In "Time and Fate", he goes on a player-controlled killing spree in an effort to reach his sister Josefina and rescue her from PDF soldiers. Then Woods accidentally kills her with an errant grenade toss.
- Saved by Canon: Although Hudson informs you that the prisoner in "Suffer With Me" is Menendez, and that you should kill him with a headshot, it obviously isn't. That mission is in 1989, while Menendez is certainly alive in 2025.
- Sadistic Choice: He enjoys forcing this on the protagonists:
- He offers one to Hudson in the "Suffer with me" level. Hudson can pick who Menendez will kill, either himself, Woods, or a young David. And if he doesn't decide within ten seconds, Menendez says he'll just kill all three of them. Hudson ultimately chooses himself, and suffers getting shot in both knees with a point-blank shotgun blast, and then gets his throat slashed with Josefina's heart-shaped necklace.
- He gives one to Farid as well in the "Achilles' Veil" mission. Farid can either shoot Harper, and prove his loyalty, or he can attempt to kill Menendez. Farid suffers a Heroic BSoD if he takes the first choice, and ends up getting killed by Menendez if he tries the second one. Either way someone ends up dying.
- Say My Name: "JOSEFINAAA!"
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: In the short story Rightful King, this is used to contrast Raul with his father Jose Menendez. While Jose's primary goal as a drug lord is financial security for his family, Raul wants to devote their cartel's resources to achieve political action.
- Self-Immolation: If he's captured alive without Karma being around to prevent his escape, he kills Woods before visiting Josefina's grave, digging up her body, and committing suicide in this manner.
- Tranquil Fury: Back in the '80s, this was what was keeping him vaguely sane, as well as the love for his sister. But skip to the 2020s and we see that he has mastered it. Not raising his voice for even a moment and keeping himself disturbingly pleasant. But he still remembers who killed his sister and his anger over it has not abated. Not. One. Bit.
- Thanatos Gambit:
- Choosing to kill him in "Judgment Day" has severe consequences. His followers are sparked into uprising, following the (assassination-triggered) release of Menendez's final video on the Cordis Die YouTube channel... causing worldwide riots, and accomplishing his entire mission.
- Background material in Black Ops III reveals he WAS canonically killed at the end of II, but the nature of his death (shot while trying to escape disguised as a US soldier) stirred up controversy among his followers as many saw his death as cowardly rather than dying as a martyr, and ultimately Cordis Die fractured, so the promised reprisals never came.
- Tragic Villain: Very much so. This is lampshaded by David Mason where he describes Menendez as "a sad old man" if you decide to spare his life. The "tragic" part of him is highlighted further in one of the bad endings when he visits his sister's grave.
- Unstoppable Rage: In "Time and Fate" Menendez goes completely berserk when his sister is threatened by Panamanian soldiers. The player even gets to control him during this rage.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: He apparently (and sincerely) believes in his own rhetoric on leveling the world and toppling the First World down to equal footing with the "downtrodden masses." On the other hand, his idea involves mass destruction, indiscriminate killing and said masses being more like Angola and Somalia...
- Villain with Good Publicity: In the outside world, he's regarded as a sort of messiah figure by many third-world nations as well as those living below the poverty line in first-world nations. The military, on the other hand, knows better.
- Villainous Breakdown: In the Golden Ending, Menendez's attempt to escape from prison by unleashing a computer virus is stopped by Karma. She then goes on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and mocks Menendez for his failure, causing him to completely lose it and bash his head against the television monitor repeatedly. Counts as Cruel Mercy on David's part.
- Visionary Villain: Claims to want to level the playing field between the 99% and the 1% by taking away all the infrastructure that the ones in power in the United States use to control the masses. Sounds good in theory but in practice the man is a psychopath that just wants revenge on the West and his plans will ultimately kill millions of innocent people (along with bring about global anarchy that would just as likely kill said 99%). Ironically being a wealthy man himself he is part of the so called 1% that the 99% seeks to overthrow, a good deal of his plan being funded by drug money. If the man does want change, It's certainly not change we can believe in.
- Warrior Poet: He quotes extensively from the poem "Ulysses" by Alfred Lord Tennyson, and states that much of his plans and philosophy are based on the poem.
- Weapon of Choice: Seems to favor the SPAS-12 shotgun in The '80s, but then switches to a revolver that fires shotgun shells by 2025.
- We Will Meet Again: Should he be captured instead of killed by Section, he promises him that he'll escape from prison. Whether or not he actually does depends on whether or not Chloe's alive to stop his computer virus.
- Why Won't You Die?: It is positively stunning the sheer number of times this guy meets with the protagonists face to face and comes out alive. Woods himself feels ashamed of this fact because he felt Mason and him were the very best and yet they still weren't capable of taking him down. This can be subverted of course in the ending with David Mason who can finally take him out.
- Worthy Opponent: Considers David this, going by how he treats him.
- Would Hurt a Child:
- Menendez was willing to kill David in "Suffer With Me", despite David only being nine years old at the time. Lucky for David, Jason Hudson volunteered to be the one that Menendez killed.
- In the game's first mission, he pulls the pin of a grenade and drops it on the floor despite the presence of child soldiers in the room.
- Xanatos Gambit: No matter what happens, Menendez has planned for it and comes out ahead. Both times he is captured are traps, and if he potentially dies during either instance, Cordis Die would rise up upon his death and wreak havoc across the world.
- You Are What You Hate: Despite being considered "The Messiah of the 99%", with the goal to end the reign of the corrupt, rich 1%, he is extremely wealthy and corrupt himself.
- Voiced by: Julian Sands
Menendez's sociopathic second in command.
- Character Death: He is one of five characters to die in the game regardless of the player's actions; it's possible to kill DeFalco in the mission "Karma" (making him the first major Call of Duty antagonist who is possible to kill outside of a cutscene). But if he doesn't die in "Karma," he later shows up in "Odysseus," where he can be killed by Farid if he is still alive. And if he survives that, in "Judgment Day," he is the last enemy Section kills, aside from the choice to kill Menendez, at the very end of the game.
- Cutscene Boss:
- Probably the first aversion in the Call of Duty series. If you catch up to him fast enough in "Karma", you fight him and two mercs in a normal shootout instead of a scripted cutscene. He's no tougher than a normal enemy, though.
- Played straight if he survives "Karma". What happens to him then depends on whether or not Farid also survives. If Farid lives, he is killed by Farid. If not, he is killable at the very end of the game before confronting Menendez.
- The Dragon: He is Menendez's second-in-command and the leader of the mercenaries.
- Evil Albino: He's easily mistaken for simply being a pasty Brit, but in the cutscenes in "Odysseus", you can see that his eyes are pink.
- Evil Brit: Speaks with a British accents and is plenty evil.
- The Sociopath:
- Has no qualms about killing innocents.Farid: The concept of empathy is understood by him, but irrelevant.
- Strangely, he seems genuinely disturbed after cutting Chloe's throat in "Odysseus", which contrasts with how he was able to calmly execute random party-goers in "Karma" in order to get her to show herself. Salazar, in contrast, simply walks away if he's the one to kill Chloe or Farid.
- Has no qualms about killing innocents.
Chloe Lynch (codename: Karma)
- Voiced by: Erin Cahill
A hacker formerly working for Menendez.
- Action Girl:
- If you fail to kill DeFalco and rescue Karma, you'll get a strike force mission where you can save her from a Cordis Die safehouse in Yemen. After releasing Karma, you can assume control of her and kill as many enemy mooks as you want. That's right: despite being a computer nerd, Karma is just as much of a badass as the Navy SEALs who were sent in to save her.
- Even more significantly, she can be considered the second playable female character in a Call of Duty campaign.
- Boom, Headshot!: If Farid dies, Salazar shoots her in the head during "Odysseus."
- Character Death: Unless Farid survives, Karma will die.
- Girly Bruiser: She's an Action Girl who wears pink lipstick and appears to have her nails painted pink.
- Living MacGuffin: Is the only person who can crack the Celerium worm sucessfully.
- Playful Hacker: Is quite friendly.
- Save This Person, Save the World: The only way to truly stop Menendez and his followers is for Chloe to survive, for only she is able to stop his Celerium worm.
- Slashed Throat: How DeFalco kills her if he manages to not die up to that point.
- The Smart Guy: Being able to crack the Celerium worm would certainly qualify her as this.
President Marion Bosworth
- Voiced by: Cira Larkin
President of the United States by 2025.
- Big Good: For the United States.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Resemblance to Hillary Clinton? What resemblance to Hillary Clinton?
- Our Presidents Are Different: As a female US president.
- Voiced by: Robert Picardo
A Magnetometrist appearing in the mission "Celerium".
- Character Death: He is one of five characters to die in the game regardless of the player's actions.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dies early on, just as quickly as he is introduced.
- HeelFace Turn: He's a former employee of Menendez's, hired to analyze the Celerium. By his comment about not being able to stop the cyberattack Menendez has planned, it's implied Breighner turned against him.
- Impromptu Tracheotomy: Dies from getting shot in the neck while talking.
- Mr. Exposition: Informs the squad about Karma and Menendez's plans to use a Celerium worm.
- Non-Action Guy: Does not appear to have any combat ability.
- Punch-Clock Villain: Doesn't seem to be a bad guy despite being a former Cordis Die scientist.
- Voiced by: Robert Wisdom
The leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) during the Angolan Civil War. He appears in "Pyrrhic Victory".
- Blood Knight: Has shades of this.(To Hudson) "Haha! My friend from above! You killed many men today, eh? Yes! Hahaha! We all did!"
- Frontline General: Not only does he personally leads his troops into battle, he also joins in the fray with them, brandishing his MM-1.
- Gunship Rescue: He personally leads one at the end of "Pyrrhic Victory", rescuing Mason and co. from being overrun by Cuban soldiers.
- Historical-Domain Character: One of the few non-fictional real people to appear in-game in the Call of Duty series.
- Large Ham: The man is so loud, Frank Woods thinks that he's crazier than himself.
- Voiced by: Benito Martinez
Commander of the Panamanian Defense Forces (PDF) and de facto ruler of Panama in the 1980s. He collaborates with Raul Menenedez and is the target of the mission "Suffer With Me".
- Bad Boss: He routinely kills his own men to keep his dirty deals a secret and/or to save his own skin.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Ho boy. First he betrays the Americans in "Time and Fate" by freeing Menendez from custody and making a deal with him. He betrays them yet again when he claims Menendez is dead, only for the latter to turn up in Panama, alive and well. Then after getting captured in "Suffer with Me", he begrudgingly works with Woods to kill Menendez, only to trick him into shooting Mason.
- Historical-Domain Character: One of the few non-fictional real people to appear in-game in the Call of Duty series.