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Headscratchers / Call of Duty: Black Ops

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     Reznov's status 
  • Wait just a minute. Reznov isn't actually real? He's shown actually KILLING enemies. You could make the argument "The specific Spetznatz and VC he's killing are also products of Mason's hysteria". Maybe in the scripted events. But in non-scripted combat, he can kill bad guys, and those same enemies can kill you...
    • Yes. Hudson appears to be partially lying in an effort to break through the brainwashing. It is implied that Reznov was actually there at several points in the game. He's also listed in the intel files as alive in documents dated post-Vorkuta, he's listed as a HUMINT defector in one of the pre-mission loading screens (Rebirth Island) and there are other hints scattered throughout the game that he is still alive, including the secret messages and the emails on the terminal.
    • These implications aside, most of the times we see Reznov contributing in battle is when there's lots of other soldiers on both sides also running around shooting at people; and in these situations, whenever Mason mentions or speaks to 'Reznov' the usual reaction from the people around him hearing this is often along the lines of "Mason, what the fuck are you talking about?" The implication here seems to be that either Mason is just hallucinating Reznov joining in and the people's killing or is mistaking another combatant for Reznov in the chaos; at the very least, while Reznov might indeed be alive he's certainly not pitching in as often as Mason thinks he is.
    • Assuming Reznov is some sort of dissociation hallucination made up by Mason's fucked up brain, then he could simply be Mason killing people himself and "seeing" Reznov doing the killing. After all, that's what happens on Rebirth Island. Which would also explain why Mason is kept on active duty despite being quite insane: he's two badasses' worth of kill tally ! :)
    • The whole games runs on the Unreliable Narrator, remember; we're seeing the world through the perspective of a man who is, if not outright insane, then at least possessing an incredibly fractured psyche, and much of the game is composed of flashbacks of him narrating this to another man, adding another level of unreliability. Simply put, if we see Reznov actually killing people, then that doesn't prove whether Reznov was there or even whether those other people were there, since Mason is in no way a reliable viewpoint.
     Dragovich's true intentions 
  • What is Dragovich actually trying to achieve?. He's put hundreds(!?) of sleeper agents in the U.S who will be ordered to utilize Nova 6 to commit mass terrorism, and when the U.S is in disarray he plans to militarily invade it. Why? We understand that he's an evil commie bastard, but it's explicitly stated that the U.S is preparing a nuclear response should he go forward with his plans. So what's the point?. Does he WANT that to happen?
    • Yes. Dragovich is that fucking crazy. For fuck's sake, he ordered his men to perform tests on NOVA 6 using infants and had them cutting people up after exposure just to see how long they could keep them alive by removing infected tissue. Dragovich is a complete lunatic and psychopathic monster who manages to out-evil Makarov, which is pretty damned impressive.
    • Don't forget that Dragovich is basically a James Bond supervillain in all but name. He has thousands of mooks, a convoluted plot to invade the US with a massive superweapon, a Dragon, an Evil Genius, and multiple Supervillain Lairs, up to and including a secret underwater base! All he needs is a cat and a Femme Fatale lieutenant to round out the classic insane Bond villain role.
    • Okay. I get that. Robert McNamara said, 'He has no fear. No conscience. No weakness." That's one thing, but having no COMMON SENSE is another. His plan to conquer the U.S would be brilliant if it weren't for the fact that it will result in total nuclear war and The End of the World as We Know It, including the U.S.S.R. You could argue that he doesn't care about what happens to Russia, but it begs the question, what does he plan to get out of this whole scheme? And MOREOVER, why does he have ARMIES of henchmen who share his ridiculous suicidal ambition? Wouldn't Kravchenko or even some low-ranking Spetznaz mook think, "Gee, I want to slaughter Capitalists as much as the next guy, but maybe this whole sleeper cell/chemical weapons/conventional invasion strategy won't do anything besides turn the Warsaw Pact into a glass parking lot.."
      • Again: Dragovich is completely fucking nuts.
    • But also, Mason didn't really have any part in Dragovich's original plan. In Cuba, he seemed to be like, "Okay I got this plan to gas America. Oh, cool, I found an American black-ops agent. I'll have him kill Kennedy while I'm at it." Now, I can understand the brainwashing bit, conditioning Mason so he's all "MUST KILL KENNEDY". But why program him with the numbers that indicate where all the sleeper cells are? What good would that do Dragovich? If Dragovich had just killed Mason, his plan, as fucked up as it might have been to begin with, would have worked.
    • All of the prisoners that Steiner programmed in Vorkuta are able to decode the orders and messages being relayed through the number stations. That's how they were able to follow orders like Mason's command to kill Kennedy in the first place. Reznov appears to have altered how Mason may have interpreted the kill orders to extend them to the three he also wanted dead.
    • The number's broadcasts' are the way that the sleepers are controlled. The sleepers themselves don't know that they are being controlled unless ordered. It makes sense to teach them how to understand the numbers, or they can't hear their own orders. And about Dragovich's plans: he probably told his men that he could stop the nuclear retaliation. And if you think about it, are we absolutly sure that he can't?
    • Maybe Dragovich didn't just brainwash Mason, but ALL of the Soviet troops under his command. How else would they follow him?

     Clarke's torture 
  • Clarke is repeatedly punched in the face after glass is shoved into his mouth. He can talk just fine. Mason and Woods are tortured by the Vietcong. They are more or less in perfect physical condition. The game seems to be ignoring that torture can actually leave someone physically/mentally injured at best and utterly crippled at worst.

     The logistics of the Soviets 
  • How did the Soviets sneak so many Spetsnaz and a helicopter into Hong Kong?
    • This was before the heights of the Sino-Soviet split, so the Chinese were probably more than happy to help them sneak dozens of Spetsnaz into the notoriously lawless Kowloon, especially if it could help them get some Nova-6.
      • In the 1960's, Hong Kong was ruled by the British, who presumably would have some objection to that plan.
      • Yeah, I know. And up north is the Chinese, who presumably knew the situation pretty well.
      • The Chinese were also Communist. They could have made it look like a training session.
    • From what it looked like, the majority of the Spetsnaz were wearing rain-clothes with some tactical gear thrown in. It looks like most of them arrived as plainclothes infiltrators, probably through paying off Triads or other criminal groups. The helicopter was probably a recent arrival, brought in shortly before the mission started. Remember, Black Ops is dramatically exaggerating the capabilities of the Soviet special forces and intelligence to get around and get troops everywhere. A helicopter is small potatoes compared to what else they were able to sneak around in the game.
      • If China is friendly, then they could always just "fly" the helicopter over the border.
    • The game exaggerates everyone's capabilities to get special operations units around. Hudson's team was able to smuggle multiple BTRs onto Rebirth Island. Think of this setting as a grittier version of James Bond, with all the associated ridiculous espionage and special operations exploits.

     Anachronistic Weapons 
  • Why did the developers include so many anachronistic weapons when they could have had unusual 1960s ones instead, like Gyrojets?
    • Rule of fun.
    • Treyarch originally wanted to go balls-out with the tech of the era, but felt it wouldn't have been seen as 'authentic' (not realistic before anyone catches that).
    • It makes more sense if you consider the setting to be more of a James Bond secret agent-esque setting instead of an ultra-realistic one. In that case, the oddly high-tech weaponry makes a lot more sense.
    • Fridge Brilliance : In Kowloon, when "rescuing" Clarke, he has stashes of weapons, correct? Notably, the Spectre M4, the G11, and the PSG-1. All three designed later than '68. BUT, pehaps, because Clarke is just that insane, he designed and built several of these weapons because he's Crazy-Prepared for being killed. They WEREN'T the weapons, but they were later found and shipped to Italy/H&K (for the G11 and PSG-1) to be reverse-engineered.
    • Mason is trippin' balls during the entire game. Everything we see or do is questionable, including the guns. This goes doubly for the flashbacks involving Reznov and Hudson, as Mason is apparently relating what he remembered them told him.
    Mason: Then I picked up an AK-47 that had a flamethrower attachment....
    Interrogator: Uh, okay. You did. Then what happened?
    • That makes even more sense considering, last time I played through the game, Hudson's levels had even crazier shit than any of Mason's - apparently Mason is tripping so much he can't even correctly remember what the hell Hudson told him or is just making shit up. Compare S.O.G., where (ignoring the blatant Jeep Product Placement in the last section) the only really out-there thing you can find is the aforementioned flamethrower attachment, to Numbers, where you start with dual-wielded CZ-75's and can continue with dual Kiparis's, a SPAS-12, PSG-1, G11, and the like - none of which was in service anywhere or even developed yet at that time.
    • Seeing how much the game relies on the Rule of Cool, they better have a really good reason to not include this.
      • Well, if you view the events of Nazi Zombies as a canon behind the scenes story going on while Black Ops is taking place, then we can safely establish that all of these anachronistic weapons in the single player campaign are just a drop of water in the ocean. In Nazi Zombies, the technological achievements include atomic battery powered ray guns, a hand-held cannon that fires high powered waves of compressed air, a gun that can shoot waves of freezing ice, a lightning gun, a machine that can convert regular guns into laser guns/plasma weapons, a black hole generating bomb, teleporters, flying saucers, and a base on the surface of the Moon. If you take all of that as canon then you can simply explain that all the anachronistic weapons were something they created along with everything else way ahead of schedule and simply didn't release it to the public.

     Why is Clarke's hair grey? 
  • Clarke is in his forties yet is grey. Steiner is in his sixties but is still blond. Not impossible, but very odd.
    • The strain of Nova 6 Clarke developed had the unfortunate nonlethal side effect of greying him, while the strain Steiner developed was more raw and for some reason preserved his hair color. Or Steiner dyes his hair.
      • Since Nova 6 is repeatedly shown to be instantly lethal, it's unlikely they got a dose of their own poison.
      • It is stated to include Rhenium, which may be toxic in large doses.
    • The dye part is probably the most likely; look closely at Steiner in his close-ups in "Rebirth", and he has a lot of visible veins and liver spots on his face. He's definitely aged visibly since "Project Nova".
    • Plus, some people grey quite early in life.
  • He was harassed for being a communist for most of his life in England, then started working for a James Bond villain, and then spent at least several months being (correctly) paranoid about Spetnaz coming after him. I would say that would be more than enough stress to cause early greying.

     Mason's Burn Notice, and his rogue status 
  • Why did Mason, Hudson and Weaver go rogue (or appeared to) after the final mission, as stated in the intel document?
    • The last cutscene implied that Mason killed JFK. Hudson and Weaver may have had to go rogue to protect him.
      • I think we can all agree Mason did kill JFK, but that was in '63.
      • That doesn't make him any less responsible for it, at least in the government's eyes. If they found out that the man who killed Kennedy went on to work for them for another five years, I imagine the response would be "kill that traitor son of a bitch".
    • IIRC, Mason went after some other people, possibly because he was still partially brainwashed, and the lady say the numbers was broadcasting orders from another station. If so, he was deemed a threat to the CIA and Hudson/Weaver may have become close to him. If Mason was taken out they'd be angry and try to get revenge (like Woods with Bowman). I may be wrong though.
    • Other intel documents suggest that Frank Woods is alive as a POW in Hanoi. That would be another potential reason: going rogue to rescue him.
      • It is because the CIA had a burn notice out on Mason where he was viewed as a threat to national security and a hunt and kill order was put on him. His friends are protecting him.
  • Or, Mason might be involved in the "other" Kennedy assassination, which took place four months after the numbers station incident.

     Mason and Woods' skills 
  • How are Mason and Woods trained to be able to fly Russian aircrafts?
    • Real reason: Rule of Cool. In-universe justification: The Mi-24 was developed from the earlier Mi-8. Perhaps they were trained on captured examples of that type and the controls are similar enough. Of course, it is even stranger that there are early versions Mi-24s available in 1968 when the first evaluation models were delivered to the Soviet armed forces in 1971.
    • Being highly-trained CIA operatives whose entire role involves actions deep inside enemy territory, I'd imagine at some point they were given some training in operating enemy vehicles.
      • Besides this, the Hind is not some weird unique wonderweapon, it's a helicopter. It's flown just like any other helicopter - a pair of pedals, a pair of sticks and a throttle. Once you've learned how to fly one, you can more or less fly them all, just like you don't need to learn how to drive every different kind of car. Presumably Woods & Mason have learned how to fly choppers at some point in their training as elite high-speed hooah badasses. They also both speak Russian fluently enough to be mistaken for locals during the Baikonur mission, which implies they also read it, so figuring out which dial, indicator and gauge is which wouldn't be a problem to them.

     Mason's sanity and reliability as a soldier 
  • Furthermore, why do they let Mason, someone they know was driven nuts in Soviet prison, punched out his handler, and may still be under the influence of that programming, participate in an *extremely* important mission? Why do they let him fly the chopper too? What if he goes nuts again and decide to down the other Hueys and sabotage the mission?
    • Mason is the main protagonist, and dramatic convention demands that he would have to be the one to face down the Big Bad. Of course, in a more realistic scenario, he would be in psychiatric care and probably will never go on a mission in the field again.
    • Just to clarify, Mason's only manning the guns; if you turn to the left, you can see Hudson is right next to him, piloting the helicopter. One can assume that Hudson is keeping a close eye on Mason's actions throughout the mission and is ready to react appropriately if Mason flips out.
    • I just thought that due to the general state of chaos that the US is in (Weaver mentions heading down to bunkers presumably with a lot of other important military people), Hudson's gut feeling that Mason was not a traitor was enough to get him on the helicopter along for the mission. I'm still not sure that totally justifies putting him up front in charge of the guns and whatnot, but I guess sitting in the helicopter being taken along as a human decoder ring for the mission wouldn't have been much fun for the player.
    • Hudson clearly trusts Mason (it was probably an I Owe You My Life thing for saving him in Khe Sanh) but also, as the interrogation showed, Mason is still one hell of a badass. Considering the final level takes place as the US reaches DEFCON 2 and we're still presumably engaged full bore in Vietnam, there might not have been a ton of other men to send.
    • The above might ring true were it not for the fact that as you're swimming up from the evil underground Soviet doomsday base, there's a giant flotilla of US ships ready and waiting. Although it was cool to board the ship and then dive down to the submarine station thing, one can't help but think that blowing up the ship followed by dropping a dozen or so depth charges would have saved a lot of time.
    • Along with some of the other reasons for why Mason was allowed to go on the mission and even try to go down to stop the broadcast as the station was being bombarded, Mason said it himself that he needed to be sure Dragovich was dead for real. Besides what had already happened, more so after his failed attempt at Baikonur 5 years prior to the last mission, he had some justification, even with the coming assault on the underwater station. He had to be very sure, Dragovitch might have otherwise somehow escaped, key word being somehow.
    • Remember also that Mason is the very best, as noted throughout the game. I mean, he manages to attack Rebirth Island by himself and do as much damage as Hudson and his entire CIA/Marine team put together. Mason may be mentally unstable one-man army, but he's also your mentally unstable one-man army.
    • Building on the above, also keep in mind the kind of capabilities Mason has - in terms of sheer skill, experience, ingenuity, and sheer lethality. If Hudson and Weaver left Mason behind, the first thing he'd do would be to break out, grab a helicopter, and head straight for Dragovich. Bringing Mason along ensures that they can control Mason's actions. Leaving him just invites trouble and antagonizes him.

     Clarke's compliance with the CIA 
  • Why did Clarke help the people that were torturing him literally 5 minutes before the Spetsnaz came? Why not ditch them or shoot them in the back?
    • Short-term advantage. The CIA want him alive, the Soviets want him dead. Probably he was hoping that they would fend off the Spetsnaz, after which he could ditch them at his earliest convenience.
    • Clark also points out that while he may be a "dead man" due to Dragonovich, he will do whatever it takes to stay alive for as long as possible. The CIA agents are helping him stay alive and don't want him dead.
    • CIA agents that you've murdered yourself are no longer useful for attracting Russian bullets that might otherwise be aimed at you. Clarke would much rather that the Spetsnaz have to guess which one of the three silouhettes climbing over rooftops in the rain and crappy visibility is him rather than simplify their targeting problem for them by clearing out everybody else shooting at the Russians. Unfortunately for Clarke, the Spetsnaz rolled a critical hit.
  • Even while he was in the middle of torturing him, Hudson told Clarke the same thing he told Mason at the beginning of the story: "Give us what we want, and we guarantee your safety." If they had managed to escape the Russians, the CIA probably would've given Clarke protection and granted him immunity from prosecution; similar deals have been struck in U.S. history, such as with Unit 731.

     The Russian Intelligence beating the CIA's 
  • In the campaign, they make a huge deal about the Russians knowing about their plans ahead of time and also being one step ahead of the CIA/Black Ops. They also suspect someone is leaking intel but this massive plotpoint is never addressed again in the campaign. I haven't read any of the intel so it may be revealed in there but it seems strange how this was a focal point for half the campaign and suddenly, they just drop it.
    • I thought it was Mason. Reznov sabotaged your brainwashing, but he apparently wasn't completely able to stop the effects considering that Mason shoots JFK. I figured Mason was an unwitting double agent.
      • Actually, someone tipped the Ivans off as far back as the Bay of Pigs. Sequel Hook?
      • There's already a sequel hook in the intel files. As for the Bay of Pigs, they worked with any number of Cuban rebels who could have turned on them.
    • This is Truth in Television, but taken Up to Eleven. The KGB was generally better-informed about American activities than vice-versa. In Black Ops, they just took it further, with the Russians knowing everything about the US's plans.

     Dragovich's plans for the numbers 
  • At the end, after the big reveal when Mason stumbles through the Pentagon, Hudson has him listen to the numbers sequence one last time. From that, Mason is able to decipher that the transmitter is aboard the Rusalka, leading to the last mission. Why would they transmit that information in their hidden broadcast? Why would they plant that information in the head of their sleeper agents? Those agents don't need to know it, and, indeed, anyone important enough to need to know it wouldn't need it transmitted all over the airwaves to remind them.
    • It could be Drago's idea of a taunt, broadcasting exactly where the station was in a way that his enemies would never be able to understand. The last thing he ever says is a taunt, so it fits with his character. He just got off on putting the US in a situation where they could hear exactly what they needed to know but in a way where they were powerless to understand it.
  • During the mission on Rebirth Island where you play as Mason, he mentions to Reznov that the CIA is trying to get Steiner alive. How exactly does he know this? Hudson and Weaver got the intel on Steiner during a period where Mason was a prisoner, and I doubt there was any contact between the two from Mason's escape to his arrival on Rebirth.
    • It was a guess. Resnov put the idea in Mason's head that his own goverment might not have noble intentions, and Mason also knew how the CIA worked. Not to mention it wouldn't have been the first time the US goverment tried to cut deals with ex-Nazis.
    • At that point, it was Reznov's part of the brainwashing taking hold. Reznov says something to the effect that no government would be willing to sacrifice the power of the Nova 6 gas. Remember, the British show up in Reznov's mission and he interprets their presence as an attempt to seize it for themselves.
    • Also, in the interrogation, Hudson specifically states that Mason disobeyed orders regarding Rebirth, and Hudson and Mason appeared to be on the same frequency. It's not a stretch to say that Mason was listening in to their comm chatter before the mission begins or may have been aware of why they were there. He's not at all surprised when the explosions start, and says that it is the CIA.

     Nova Six's status as a unique weapon 
  • Did anyone else think it was odd that Nova 6 was treated as such a revolutionary new weapon? Nerve gas and chemical weapons were by no means new things in the 1960s, and while I don't know of any nerve gas that can turn your skin green and make it fall off, Sarin gas is quite capable of incapacitating and killing a human being with a small dose in a short space of time. Admittedly, Sarin gas has some problems with 'shelf life' and this fictional Nova 6 might be very cheap to produce/store, but that's never explained in-game. Personally I think some kind of biological weapon would have been much more appropriate for the kind of role they wanted Nova to play in the story. Though, I guess then we wouldn't have been able to see Petrenko die in such a dramatic fashion.
    • It wasn't that the weapon was revolutionary in and of itself, but it was part of Dragovich's overall plan. Mainly, he wanted to have sleeper agents release it at once within all the State capitals. Here, Nova 6 can be used in many different ways. It is lethal within 60 seconds in small doses, such as in the clinical tests when they gave diluted samples to test-subjects (human and animal) and in Rebirth, but once you start to concentrate, it is instantly lethal. Kravchenko mentions lethality statistics on infants, so they were clearly planning for an attack on civilian targets. Evidently, the role of Nova-6 is that it was the best Dragovich had at the time he was formulating his plans, which is likely to be in the 40s. Everything I've seen of Nova 6 indicates that it is easy to disperse over a large area, it stays there for a long time (like in the last section of Rebirth), and evidently stays only in the target area or isn't affected strongly by the wind. In Redemption, it hints that the Russians were going to mount a land invasion after the Nova-6 attacks, but the dossier mentions that not even Moscow is sure of his plans. Even if there were better options, Dragovich probably made sure that his chemical would be used since he's described as a control-freak.
    • I think the real kicker here with Nova-6 is that staying power it has. It doesn't appear to be affected by wind very much, judging by its behavior in Rebirth, which makes it an incredibly useful tool for tactical deployment and area denial. If you don't have to worry about your chemical weapon drifting too much and it can stay in an area of effect for prolonged periods, Nova-6 goes from a strategic weapon to a tactical weapon. That makes it incredibly useful in combat - moreso than even Sarin or VX.
    • Don't forget that it was introduced in the '40, when it was revolutionairy. And even in the late '60's, weapons like these were either not invented yet or not yet capable to be weaponised (too dangerous/spoils/hard to produce/etc.). It doesn't seem all that special nowadays, but back then, it would have been massive.
  • Poison gas was not revolutionary in the 40s or the 60s. Look up "World War I" sometime. Not only does Nova 6 seem to be nothing more than fancy mustard gas, it also seems rather expensive to produce. The three stated elements in it are sulfur (okay, kind of easy to come by), neodymium (a rare and expensive metal used in superconducters), and rhenium (an even rarer metal with the highest boiling point of any element. Where the hell would the Soviet Union get the rare metals needed for this, and how would the gaseous particles even float? If gas masks couldn't stop it then maybe I could understand, but since hazmat suits are shown to block it I can't really think of any benefit it provides.
    • As noted above, Nova-6 lingers. However it operates, it stays in the area for a prolonged period of time, turning it into an effective area-denial weapon. Also, mustard gas exposure is survivable, while Nova-6 isn't. It looks to be an alternate-universe version of sarin gas, based on the timeline in which it was developed. (in fact, you could replace all instances of "Nova-6" with "Sarin" and they'd fit pretty closely.) This matches observed effects and data notes in-game, which matches nerve agent effects as opposed to the vesicant/blister agent effects emblematic of mustard gas. In addition, the Soviet version of Nova-6 is instantly lethal. It can kill someone before the body hits the ground. Overall, it makes for a very, very efficient and potent example of a nerve agent, nastier even than sarin gas.

     The nature of Nova 6 
  • Related question: what is Nova 6 exactly? It's introduced as a chemical weapon, and the speed with which it kills supports this, but many terms dropped in the game (strain, infections, infected tissue, bio-lab) are only used for bio-weapons. This is most notable in the rebirth island mission, where the complex is called a bio-lab.
    • Furthermore, it is stated to be made of sulfur, neodymium and rhenium, the last two being rare earth metals which have no function in biological processes. I say they just added "bio-" to it because bio-weapons sound more menacing than green blister gas.
    • Nova-6 is an extremely fast-acting chemical weapon that inflicts damage roughly comparable with nerve gas, with sufficient lethality to kill someone before their body hits the floor. Symptoms are largely consistent with nerve agents but also have elements of choking/pulmonary agents as well and also causes skin necrosis.

     CIA knowing the Vietnam War was going south before the Pentagon does? 
  • This is more of a historical point, but in the cutscene after the Tet offensive, the interrogator tells Mason that Tet was when America really started losing the war. At the time of the interrogation, maybe a month has passed since Tet. In the short term, Tet was a failure for the Viet Cong. Sure, there must have been doubts in the American high command, but how did they know that the war was going to go so far south just four weeks later when, tactically, Tet was a victory for the allied forces in South Vietnam?
    • The CIA/MACV-SOG has better knowledge in the universe than the US Army commanders? Might be a stretch, but...
      • Yeah, pretty much. The higher-ups at that point were aware that after Tet, things were swinging badly for the US/SV forces. It's not a real stretch to assume that the CIA realized that things were utterly fucked by that point, with the media response to Tet and the issues they were having back home.
      • This is probably less about intel and more about insight: the SOG and CIA gave all their intel to the top brass, but they also had the insight to see where this was going. Almost all military leadership is notoriously oblivious to their own troops and strategies' weaknesses, however, and probably refused to believe the spooks that the war was going south.
      • From what I could tell about the war from history books, before Tet the war was going fine on every single front (majority support at home, large US presence, heavy NVA casualties in every battle, no major US defeats). Tet, from a military standpoint, was a major US/SV victory. The Viet Cong took so many casualties they never truly recovered as a fighting force. The NVA had to handle almost everything after that. South Vietnam doubled the size of its military and all lost positions, including Hue, were retaken. If Hudson were speaking after the war, he might have a bit of a point. However, he is talking in the middle of the battle or right after the situation is resolved. Even with plenty of data, there is very little chance that Hudson could fully grasp the fallout after the battle. Interestingly, Hudson's statement is colored as much by current popular opinion and modern perception of the war as the average Vietnam War film. The US technically didn't lose Vietnam. It got what it wanted, a Peace Accord that ended the war with South Vietnam as an independent country. However, North Vietnam violated the Paris Peace Accords by invading South Vietnam in 1974, conquering the country in 1975. The US refused to enforce the peace agreement, undoing everything the Vietnam War could have accomplished. To quote one veteran "We didn't lose Vietnam. We left."
      • The thing about Tet is that, while it was a massive blunder for North Vietnam and a crushing victory for the US, the North's leaders took their loss and salvaged it into a propaganda victory. The US Government and media had been telling people how they were steadily winning the war and that everything was going according to plan. Then out of nowhere comes this massive offensive committing tens of thousands of soldiers and weapons. Regardless of the reality, Tet blew a hole in public perception of the Vietnam War, it created doubt in the narrative that the government had been selling people on. Hudson, being a spook, would be aware of the public opinion aspect of the War and could be correctly surmising that Tet could deal a crushing propaganda blow regardless of its outcome.

     Why didn't the CIA try to triangulate the source of the broadcast if they had the numbers? 
  • Short question: Why did the CIA need Mason's help in order to locate the origin of the numbers transmission? Technically, well, it's radio and the CIA are obviously able to receive the broadcast. So, why don't they use a little bit of simple triangulation in order to find the beacon?
    • Any halfway-competent communications engineer could easily set up a large number of radio stations to transmit the signal from multiple points across the globe, which would foul up any attempts to find it via triangulation. There's a reason why the CIA needed to know what the broadcast was saying, not simply where it was being transmitted from.
    • And that brings up another question: Why is the Rusalka still in the Gulf of Mexico? It was there seven years ago during Operation 40. Either it has been moving around a lot and that was some really lucky timing on Mason's part, or Dragovich isn't as intelligent as he seems.
    • In case you didn't notice, the Rusalka was parked on top of the underwater submarine base that was the actual numbers station. That's why it didn't move.

     The nature of Dragovich's standing with the Soviets 
  • I can stomach the idea that Dragovich was able to create all this Nova-6 with the help of Dr. Steiner at his side. The problem I have is wondering how in the hell he found all the funding for all these research facilities and sleeper agents all across the USA, a Soviet General does not make enough serious cash to fund such endeavors without the support of the Russian government.
    • Which is why he was supported by the Soviet government. He's not a rogue agent or anything. He was acting with the approval of his government.
      • Reznov, or at least Mason's interpretation of Reznov (things are still a little sketchy on whether Reznov is still alive), told Mason that even the Kremlin doesn't know Dragovich's intentions. This gave me the impression that Dragovich may have been a part of the Soviet Military but he still had his own aims outside of the interests of Russia, or at least he had a vision of Russia that was far from what any sane leader would have sanctioned since his plans would have brought on a nuclear counter-attack from America.
      • Honestly, we can't really trust that. Reznov isn't exactly omnipotent, and this is Mason's interpretation of Reznov we're dealing with here. He's not exactly the most trustworthy resource, especially considering everything else Dragovich is shown to possess. He at least has to have some sanction by the Soviet military to do what he's done.
      • It's very likely that Dragovich lied to his superiors about what he was working on. He had the funding and support, but Moscow thought he was doing something entirely different.
      • Alternatively, Reznov is a fairly patriotic Soviet. It's likely that he lied about the Soviet government's involvement to prevent the Americans from using the plan as a causus belli to attack his beloved homeland.

     How Dragovich viewed Reznov 
  • Why would Dragovich view Reznov as a "thorn in his side" fit only for disposal? A General Officer in any given military usually does not become familiar with their troops unless they messed up badly or achieved remarkable victories befitting of a war hero. Reznov being the latter given all the major victories Dmitri and him achieve in the events of World at War should have been of interest for Dragovich to keep as a friend rather than a foe.
    • Reznov was a war hero who held a vicious grudge against Dragovich (Dragovich abandoned Reznov's men to die during Stalingrad). Being a war hero with a grudge, he could easily incite resentment among the enlisted against Dragovich. Better to step on that fire early.
      • In Reznov's own words, he may not have liked Dragovich but he was still a loyal soldier who followed orders. That kind of soldier isn't likely to do anything you wouldn't like. Did Stalin really hate war heroes that much? Did he think that they would rob him of his own personal glory?
      • Yes. Stalin did fear Red Army war heroes and had a lot of Red Army soldiers who fought on the Eastern Front sent to gulags for precisely that reason.
      • That is a very terrible Military hierarchy, damned if you do, damned if you don't. What incentive would a soldier have to follow orders if he is punished regardless of whether he fails or succeeds in winning the battles he fights?
      • Ask Stalin. As was noted above, this is very much Truth in Television.
      • It's likely that they had no idea any of that would happen if they succeeded. For all they knew, they would have been welcomed home as heroes.
      • "That is a very terrible military hierarchy" — welcome to Stalinist Russia. It was a crappy place, in large part because it was run by a paranoid psychotic who built a cult-of-personality around himself, so that the people adored him even as he was sending a huge portion of them to gulags. The returning war heroes would have expected nothing less than a hero's welcome. And Stalin would have been determined that all of them were planning to overthrow him and to get rid of them as soon as possible.
  • Well, the only source we have for Reznov being a particular "thorn" in Dragovich's side is Reznov himself. It seems more likely that Reznov hated Dragovich far more than Dragovich ever cared about him, and that Dragovich didn't have a grudge as much as he just viewed him and Dimitri as disposable.

     Nukes as an option rather than Nova 6 

     Animation issues with the M1911's reloading 
  • Is the dry-reload animation for dual M1911s really necessary? Apparently Treyarch had actually been trained how one would reload a pistol with one hand, but from what I can guess it seems that the intent of the method used is supposed to be "one-handed because your other arm is too injured to move" rather than "one-handed because you're holding another one in your other hand".

     Reznov's brainwashing 
  • How exactly he hijacks Steiner's program to Mason?
    • It's shown during the penultimate mission that Mason was being brainwashed from a specific chamber within Vorkuta - and, for some reason, the so-called geniuses doing the brainwashing left him alone for a while in there on at least one occasion, giving Reznov time to walk in and input his own commands. This is also probably why Mason still does most of what Dragovich intended anyway - Reznov didn't replace Dragovich's commands with his own so much as he added onto them.
    • Yeah, the thing that bugs me about it is basically about that: How come a prisoner can just walk into a room of some super secret experiment?
      • Dragovich is an overconfident megalomaniac, Kravchenko is a thick-necked thug, and Steiner is an arrogant academic. All of them have at least halfway plausible reasons to be complacent and sloppy in the heart of their power, especially considering that by this point they've been successfully brainwashing people for years as routinely as the Ford assembly line made cars. Add in that Reznov is just that good, and has had nothing to do for decades except study the security arrangements of Vorkuta and plot his revenge, and its not impossible.

     When did the U.S. find out about Nova 6? 
  • When did the U.S. government find out about the existence of Nova 6 and Dragovich's involvement therewith? When Hudson interrogates Dr. Clarke in "Numbers", going off a dossier obtained in "The Defector", he doesn't seem to know anything about it until Clarke spills the beans. He doesn't even seem to have heard the name "Nova 6" before. But here's the thing; Mason found out about Nova 6 as many as 5 years earlier, when Reznov told him about his experiences with "Project Nova" at Vorkuta. Reznov made it very clear that the threat was still present, and that Dragovich was still hard at work on the weapon. So wouldn't the CIA and the Pentagon have found out about Nova 6 right after Mason's escape, after he inevitably shared the information he received?
    • I thought that Dragovich had anything relating to Nova 6 in Alex's memories suppressed. He would have known that Alex may come in contact with Reznov, thus learning of the weapon.

     Reznov's ghost? 
  • So I know the going explanation is that the Reznov Alex sees is a hallucination born of his hijacked brainwashing. But here's the thing: In Vietnam, when Alex was escaping, Reznov appears and shows him EXACTLY where Kravchenko was hiding. There was no way for Alex to have gotten this information prior. Alex wasn't even hunting Kravchenko, he was trying to escape capture. But Reznov knew where he was. Reznov couldn't have programmed this into him, because Reznov supposedly died 6 years prior. The CIA couldn't have told him this because he was a POW and cut off from CIA contact. He couldn't have received that information from the CIA somehow transmitting numbers to him, as the CIA didn't know he had been brainwashed nor how he interpreted the numbers. If Reznov was just a hallucination, then he wouldn't have known because Alex didn't know.
    • Also, when Alex "thought" he was Reznov during Steiner's assassination. Reznov never programmed Alex to act like him, only for him to kill Dragovich and the others. This seems more like some form of possession, instead of mere brainwashing.
      • Woods and Mason were planning to go and kill Kravchenko as soon as they killed their interrogators, partially as payback for Bowman's death; the escape would come after. They already had coordinates, according to Woods, and when they reached the compound and released the prisoners (including "Reznov"), there was only one other corridor visible. Where else could Kravchenko have been?
      • That doesn't really answer how they had the coordinates, but as it turns out there's an easily-missed yet very important detail regarding just that. The crashed cargo plane in "Crash Site" had a map of Laos with the location of Kravchenko's compound highlighted.


  • Does Woods count as a dark horse, he's my main reason to play Black Op..


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