United Kingdom Special Air Service
Lieutenant/Captain John Price
The humorless, straightforward and unflappable leader of the SAS units in Modern Warfare, and the central protagonist of the Modern Warfare series.
Previously Lieutenant Price, he was involved with the assassination attempt on Imran Zakhaev in Pripyat in 1996, alongside Captain MacMillan. Present day, he leads the primary investigation into the actions of OpFor and the Ultranationalists party, eventually leading to Zakhaev. He suffers severe injuries at the climax of the first game.
Between Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, he recovers and joins Task Force 141 around the same time as Soap. In Operation Kingfish in 2013, he was captured in an attempt to capture/kill Vladimir Makarov, and spends three years being tortured in a gulag.
Initially missing in Modern Warfare 2 due to his capture, he was eventually rescued and rejoins Task Force 141. He spends the rest of the two games trying to track down Vladimir Makarov as he steps up his efforts to conquer the world.
- And This Is for...:
- In "Return to Sender":Price: This is for the boys at Hereford.
- And in "Dust to Dust":Price: This is for Soap.
- In "Return to Sender":
- Badass Beard: From MW2 onward.
- Badass Family: If the Price from the earlier Call of Duty games really was his family, then granddaddy Price was pretty awesome too (and possessed the same love of epic mustaches and unduly persistent headwear).
- Badass Mustache: In MW1, he sports the same famously awesome one as his ancestor did in the World War II games. He grows it into a Badass Beard by the time we catch up with him in MW2, and keeps the beard for MW3.
- Badass Boast: During "Dust To Dust":Yuri: Makarov's got a small army in there.
Price: It won't help him.
- Big "NO!": Does one on two notable occasions.
- Soap dying.
- Leaving the Ultranationalist base without Sandman's team.
- Book-Ends: The first mission of the MW trilogy opens with him smoking a cigar. The last mission of the trilogy ends with him smoking a cigar.
- Breakout Character: Captain Price went from a World War II British captain who was killed unceremoniously to co-protagonists with Soap in the Modern Warfare series and manages to survive to the third game. He will also be returning in the 2019 reboot of the series.
- Cold Sniper: In 1996, he and Captain MacMillan attempted to assassinate Imran Zakhaev, and he pulled the trigger that fired the sniper shot. During all this time, he said nothing because of Heroic Mime reasons.
- The Captain: Duh. He's the leader of Bravo Six in the first Modern Warfare, and is the rank of Captain.
- The Comically Serious
- Disney Death:
- Seemed to have died in the last level in Modern Warfare but he turned out to be alright if just pissed at the Ultranationalists and Shepherd.
- At the end of MW2, Price lies motionless for an uncomfortable amount of time after Shepherd beats him up, but then gets up on his feet and is fine. In fact, he's in much better shape than you (as Soap) are.
- Dynamic Entry: Does this to Shepherd, just before the latter shoots Soap.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Definitely his reaction in "Loose Ends" when he is attacked by General Shepherd's forces. He tries to defy the trope, stating he never trusted the man in the first place, but his Roaring Rampage of Revenge during the final two levels of MW2 tells a different story.
- Heroic BSoD: Experiences one when Soap dies. Fortunately, it doesn't last long.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In Operation: Kingfish, he stays behind to cover the rest of Task Force 141's and Delta Force's escape. Unfortunately, this leads to his capture and being sent to the Gulag.
- He Who Fights Monsters:
- In Modern Warfare 2, 3 years in a gulag turned Price into a borderline psycho not much different from the bad guys. His first act upon release is hijacking a Russian nuclear submarine, launching a nuclear missile and detonating it above Washington DC to knock out Russian equipment.
- Possibly subverted in Modern Warfare 3, he is shown to be aware of the wider context and not just blindly charging after Makarov. In the end he repeats Makarov's quote "it takes the will of one man to change the world" in a more positive light, in the same way Makarov twisted his quoting of the proverb "The enemy of my enemy is my friend".
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Used on Al-Asad. Though this is the only time in the series the technique doesn't yield information; Price learns what he needs to know when Zakhaev calls anyway, so he just executes Al-Asad.
- Made of Iron: Several scenes show him coming off relatively unscathed despite being in a situation that should have got him killed.
- Never Bareheaded: Price does not go anywhere without some kind of hat. Even in the gulag, he has a nifty wool hat on, and after he removes his bomb disposal suit at the end of MW3, he's shown wearing his boonie hat underneath. The only time he's seen bareheaded is in the mission "Crew Expendable" in the first Modern Warfare, which reveals that he is balding.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
- Ends up on the receiving end of one of these, thanks to General Shepherd, and only survives thanks to some timely intervention by Soap.
- Unleashes one on Makarov at the end of Modern Warfare 3.
- Not Quite Dead
- Porn Stache:
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
- In Modern Warfare 2's ending he and Soap storm Shepard's base in revenge for his murder of most of Task Force 141.
- Also, the end of Modern Warfare 3 has him and Yuri storming the place where Makarov is staying at. He seems to have a tendency for these...
- Smoking Is Cool: Price has a thing for cigars; according to Soap's journal, they're Villa Claras, and Soap takes a liking to them after the first game.
- Suddenly Voiced: Notably, when the player controls him in Modern Warfare 3's final mission, he doesn't become a Silent Protagonist like Soap does. He remains the only character to be fully voiced under the player's control in the entire Modern Warfare trilogy.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: From the Captain Price in Call of Duty 1 and 2. Popular Fanon makes him the original Price's son or grandson. Word of Dante/Word of Saint Paul makes him officially Price's grandson.
- The devs had a rather sneaky reference to this near the end of Modern Warfare 2, where it's made apparent in the cutscene before "Just Like Old Times" that Price still has the old CoD1 dedicated pistol slot.
- Tranquil Fury:
- His speech before the final mission in Modern Warfare 2 is dripping with this, where he keeps an even voice even while stating his intention to get revenge on General Shephard.
- Also does this again while on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Makarov, not raising his voice throughout the entire deal unless he has to and keeping his head almost completely, but you can tell he is furious over Soap's death at Makarov's hands.
- Unstoppable Rage: Price didn't take Soap's death well, to put it bluntly, and although he is completely focused and relatively composed in "Dust to Dust", you can tell that he's not leaving the hotel until Makarov is in a body bag. It really shows when Price finally catches him and beats him to a barely living paste first before lynching him.
- Unexplained Recovery: In Modern Warfare 2 he shows up in a gulag despite last being seen getting medical attention after getting injured on the bridge in the original. Operation Kingfish reveals he was captured during an attempt to capture Makarov gone awry.
- Warrior Poet: His impossibly awesome intro to Just Like Old Times.
- You Owe Me: Price uses it on a reluctant MacMillan in order to twist his arm into helping him in MW3.
Sergeant/Captain John "Soap" MacTavish
One of the player characters from the first Modern Warfare and general protagonist of the Modern Warfare series.
At the start of the series, Sgt. MacTavish is a newly recruited SAS trooper under the command of Captain Price. After surviving the events of the first game, he is promoted to Captain and placed in command of Task Force 141, and becomes a key player in hunting down Vladimir Makarov.
- Bash Brothers: With Price, tearing through many a terrorist, criminal, and mercenary together.
- Breakout Character: To tell that he went from a Heroic Mime to one who kills the Big Bad twice, to a video game character whose death still remains widely mourned by worldwide gamers, he is definitely among the most popular CoD characters.
- The Captain: In the second game.
- Character Death: It took three games to do it, but in the Modern Warfare 3 mission "Blood Brothers" Soap kicks the bucket. We all knew Anyone Can Die was played straight in this series, but it's still a surprise when Soap dies. Needless to say, Price is not amused.
- Cold Sniper: Sometimes.
- Determinator: Fell down from an exploding building & dying from massive blood loss?? Doesn't stop him from gunning down any enemy that gets too close with his pistol.
- Dynamic Entry: Does this to Rojas in the favela.
- Dented Iron: Despite taking an absurd amount of punishment in all three games, the knife wound caused by Shepherd opens up again in 3 after he takes the blast of a bomb and he bleeds to death.
- Deuteragonist: Soap may be an important character that the player plays a lot, but Price is ultimately the most important character to the central conflict of Modern Warfare.
- Et Tu, Brute?: Unlike Price, who never trusted Shepherd, he definitely felt this way when the American General betrayed them.
- Heroic Mime: In the first game and the final three levels of the second game.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He could have made it out of the blast radius in time, but pushed Yuri out first. Made even better by the fact that he'd just learned Yuri might not be trustworthy.
- Hidden Depths: According to his journal, he actually took a course on the Cryllic alphabet, which is why Price had him enter the codes in the Russian nuclear silo.
- Implacable Man: Soap can take a ridiculous amount of punishment and just keep on coming.
- Irony: He killed Zakhaev in a feint attack in the finale of MW. Zakhaev's protege, Makarov builds the foundation of World War III in his name, and also manages to kill Soap in an elaborate Batman Gambit and a feint attack.
- Knife Nut: Is noted to be very good with a knife.
- Lodged-Blade Recycling: Does being stabbed in the chest with a knife the size of his forearm stop Soap from killing the bad guy? Hell no.
- Made of Iron: He got shot a bajillion times, blown up by an oil tanker, fell off a waterfall, stabbed in the chest, facestomped, pulled out said knife, and used it to shank the guy who put it in him.
- My Greatest Failure: He considers Gaz and Griggs' deaths and Price's apparent death to be these, according to his journal.
- Perma-Stubble: In 2 and 3 he sports a shaved beard.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: In Modern Warfare 2's ending, alongside Price against General Shepherd and the Shadow Company.
- Suddenly Voiced: Comes after his Silent Protagonist stint in the first game, but reverts back to it for unknown reasons when he returns to the player's control at the end of Modern Warfare 2.
- Took a Level in Badass:
- Takes one between "F.N.G." and "Game Over!", then takes about 30 in the 5 year gap between the original and Modern Warfare 2. From the first moments of your time as Roach he makes this obvious.
- In MW3, the loading screen of "Stronghold" briefly shows a partial list of Soap's decorations. Among them is a Victoria Cross (pretty much the equivalent of the American military's Medal of Honor).
- Undying Loyalty: Potentially verging on My Master, Right or Wrong by the end of the second game. Needless to say, he will follow Price to the ends of the Earth and beyond.
- Violent Glaswegian: Well, he's at least capable of being stealthy before violent, unlike what one would expect.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?:
- Soap hates dogs (probably due to being repeatedly attacked by guard dogs in the first game), and mentions it during the Modern Warfare 2 mission "Contingency."Price: Five men, automatic rifles, frag grenades, one German Shepherd.
Soap: Dogs. I hate dogs.
Price: These Russian dogs are like pussycats compared to the ones in Pripyat.
Soap: It's good to have you back, old man.
- His journal goes into more detail. He really hates dogs."Consider me a cat man now. We overcame Ultranationalists, chopper crashes, danger close with gunships but a goddamn dog is what'll get me into an infirmary? Rabies, ridiculous.
- Another from his journal; a picture of a dog (addendum: problem), a dog with a muzzle (solution) and a dog with a broken neck (better solution).
- Soap hates dogs (probably due to being repeatedly attacked by guard dogs in the first game), and mentions it during the Modern Warfare 2 mission "Contingency."
Captain Price's right hand man. Known for his sense of humour. His real name is never stated.
- Bash Brothers: With Price/Soap at times.
- Catchphrase: "Let's do this." This is most often heard when starting up multiplayer matches for the SAS. His "successors" Ghost and Wallcroft retain this in later games for Task Force 141 and the SAS again, respectively.
- Deadpan Snarker: At times.
- Decomposite Character: Like Fairbrass' two other characters below, he's a Good Counterpart Foil to his voice actor's role as Delmar from Cliffhanger: both characters are distinguishable by their brown vests, and Gaz's black SAS attire in "Crew Expendable" resembles Delmar's black jumpsuit and masks (both balaclava and gas masks, though the latter was completely different from what Gaz wore) he briefly wore, while being Out of Focus at the beginning of the film. In addition, in the same aforementioned level, Gaz carried a shotgun as a secondary weapon aside from his submachine gun, much like Delmar, and while his line "I like to keep this for close encounters" was meant to be a Shout-Out to Aliens (which featured Lance Henriksen, who would later voice General Shepherd in the next game in the trilogy), it was also a liner Shout-Out to Delmar's death scene in Cliffhanger in which he's killed by his own shotgun by close encounter.
- Number Two: To Price in the first game.
- Pink Mist: It appears that Zakhaev performs a Coup de Grâce on his head from point blank with a Desert Eagle. In reality, the shot goes into his back; the angle just makes it look like a headshot.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot
- The Ace
- The Lancer
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: His hat has a UK flag on it, for a literal interpretation.
Price's former superior. He accompanied Price in the assassination attempt on Zakhaev in Pripyat, Ukraine in 1996.
As of Modern Warfare 3, he has become the commander of British special forces, callsign "Baseplate".
- Asskicking Equals Authority: As mentioned above, he is head of the entire SAS in Modern Warfare 3.
- Back for the Finale: He appears in 3 as the head of the entire SAS.
- Big Good: By Modern Warfare 3.
- Brave Scot: His Scottish accent has its own following.
- The Bus Came Back: He makes his first appearance outside of a flashback in Modern Warfare 3.
- The Faceless: Due to wearing a ghillie suit in MW1 and being a Voice with an Internet Connection in MW3.
- Four-Star Badass: In Modern Warfare 3, MacMillan is the head of the entire SAS. Every SAS head (formally titled Director Special Forces) since 2008 has held the rank of Major-General, so it can be assumed that MacMillan holds that rank as well.
- Friendly Sniper: He is personally nice to you, aside from when you decide to be a cocky dumbass, then any Jerkass behavior from him is rather justified.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: He never, ever misses. Not even after his legs are broken by a falling helicopter gunship.
- Handicapped Badass: Silly little things like having his feet/legs broken by a falling Mi-28 helicopter gunship won't stop him from providing fire support without ever missing a single shot.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite Price being a wanted terrorist, MacMillan is willing to listen to him and help, even supplying him with intel and equipment.
- Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Helps Price, even though he's a wanted terrorist. Considering their close relationship, though, it's likely he never believed his protege could turn evil.
- Shown Their Work: Refers to Price as "Leftenant", which is how the word "Lieutenant" is pronounced in the UK military, as opposed to "Lootenant" in other parts of the English speaking world. Price even calls himself "just a Lefty" in the mission briefing.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Modern Warfare 3, he is now head of the entire SAS.
- Unflinching Walk: Subverted. After shooting down a helicopter, he walks away saying "Good night ye bastards...". Then the helicopter crashes and very nearly crushes him.
- Violent Glaswegian: Being a Cold Sniper, he's arguably a much calmer variation of the trope.
Sergeant Marcus Burns
An SAS commando who accompanies Wallcroft, Griffen and others in a mission to intercept a suspicious shipment near Canary Wharf in London in Modern Warfare 3 in "Mind the Gap."
- The Faceless: We never get a glimpse of his face, due to him wearing a gas mask, as well as the fact that the UAV camera at the start of his only mission never focuses on him up close.
- Heroic Mime: He doesn't talk for the whole mission.
- Made of Iron: Is involved in a crash between two trucks and a tube train inside the London underground, while being on the outside of the truck (for comparison, the driver of said truck dies in the crash), but then gets up and carries on fighting after blacking out for several minutes. Also survives the chemical attack, unless the player opts to skip "Davis Family Vacation".
- Player Character: For the one British mission of Modern Warfare 3.
SAS operator in MW and MW3. He appears first in "Crew Expendable" as a guy assigned to rear guard, and reappears in 3 as PC Marcus Burns's commanding NCO.
- Ascended Extra: He appears in the first Modern Warfare in one level and has maybe 3 lines. He returns, having Took a Level in Badass and now voiced by Craig Fairbrass.
- Decomposite Character: Like Fairbrass' prior two characters Gaz and Ghost, he's a Good Counterpart Foil to his MW3 voice actor's role as Delmar from Cliffhanger, perhaps closer in terms of appearances as both characters wore black jumpsuits and masks (both balaclava and gas masks, though Delmar in film only wore them briefly and was Out of Focus during the plane heist scene) and carried a fitted-stock MP5 with attachments.
- The Faceless: He's never seen without a balaclava and a pair of goggles or a gas mask.
- Rule of Three: Third character to be voiced by Craig Fairbrass. Subverted in that he's the only one not to die horribly.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Of Gaz and Ghost— it comes with the territory when you're voiced by Craig Fairbrass in a Modern Warfare game. Gets kinda weird when you realize that he actually knew and worked with the man he's now a substitute of, though.