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Headscratchers / Call of Duty: Ghosts

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  • So Rorke's plan was to get captured by the Ghosts, have the Feds rescue him (and rip off The Dark Knight Rises in the process), but no other real objective?
  • So with the sky literally falling and millions dead. Why doesn't the US nuke the Federation? Seriously once civilian casualties start hitting 6 figures I think it justifies the nuclear option. Even assuming ODIN wiped out all the ICBM Silos before they could launch, that still leaves the entire submarine launched nuclear arsenal. It wouldn't even make sense to say the US launched ALL its nukes at the mid east. There comes a point where you can't make the entire region deader then it is. Did a Kaiju appear there or something?
    • Presumably, the Americans decided to go with the advice of Oppenheimer: "Better to accept the slavery of the Nazis than to run a chance of drawing the final curtain on mankind." Although that assumes that the South Americans have a comparable nuclear stockpile to make a retaliatory strike and that somehow the rest of the Nuclear Powers were suckered into fighting purely "local" (if we consider the Americas local) war.
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    • It's quite possible they put all their eggs in one basket and decommissioned their nuclear weapons when they built ODIN, figuring that was all the security they needed. Also, there probably was a huge backlash against nuclear weapons since it's implied that's what destroyed the Middle East.
    • Because Killing Civilians Will Not Be Tolerated and would have got them a Non-Standard Game Over.
    • I would've said that the Federation destroyed US Strategic nuclear forces (like missile silos and submarine bases) with hijacked ODIN, but it's never explicitly stated, so it's still a plothole.
    • Perhaps they're the final last resort, to be used if all conventional military options fail and defeat is inevitable.

  • Remind me: the mission "Clockwork" takes place in a Federation facility high in the Andes, according to the mission briefing. So our heroes go in, infiltrate the facility, shoot a lot of people, and download data before grabbing vehicles and escaping the facility whilst being chased by Federation FA Vs and snowmobiles across what seem to be frozen streams and lakes. At the end of the mission they are exfiltrated by an ATTACK SUBMARINE. Breaking through the ice on a lake, IN THE ANDES MOUNTAINS. Said submarine then proceeds to sail them to an oil platform off Antarctica. One question - HOW??
    • Obviously it is a teleporting submarine.
      • Maybe the US got it from the same guys who gave the Russians their teleporting armoured divisions in Modern Warfare 3?
      • The mission takes place in Patagonia, so perhaps it was simply a frozen over fjord or waterway?
      • I'm going with the Red Alert 3 explanation: they had a bunch of troops carry it overland to the lake.
  • Here's another Headscratcher; is it ever really explained why the Federation is attacking the United States to begin with? Seriously, what's their motivation for taking on a superpower and bombing it from orbit? With all the other Call of Duty antagonists, we at least got a general sense of what these people wanted, and they seemed to have something approaching a goal in mind. The Federation? "Fuck it, we're EVIL!" Between their lack of motivation, characters and just general absence of distinguishing traits, these guys could be anyone really.
    • There main motivation appears to be territorial expansion and conquest, at least of the hemisphere. After that, who knows? They might engage in a pointless and unwinnable war on another continent or they might be content. Standard badguy motivation, really. Which is a bit of a waste, since they could have been after revenge for American imperialism (think rhetoric of Hugo Chavez) or, since they controlled Mexico, a return of the area stolen in the Mexican-American War (California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas, all places that they invaded). They could have played with the fact that the US, a former superpower, is now on the receiving end of gunboat diplomacy. But since these motives weren't fleshed out at all... it all comes off kind of like a racist argument against Hispanic immigration or something.
      • Not sure about the immigration thing (FYI there is a difference between legal and illegal immigration and it has nothing to do with ethnicity), but wanting more control, more power is normal for just about any dictatorship. In a dictatorship, does there really need to be an explanation beyond "the dictator wants to do X"?
      • First of all, this is a work of fiction, so yes, the antagonists need a greater motivation than For the Evulz. Plenty of stories have fully-developed motivations and personalities for their bad guys, while making no bones about the fact that they are the bad guys (Menendez from Black Ops 2 is a good example). Secondly, most real-life dictators have had goals and motives beyond "KILL! MAIM! BURN!" Twisted, irrational, and fucked-up goals and motives, to be certain, but goals and motives all the same.
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    • Think of it like Manifest Destiny, except in reverse; or maybe they wanted North America as Lebensraum. If the Federation's plan to hijack ODIN had worked, they would have bombed all the US cities and conquest would have been a simple matter of marching.
    • There are two very good reasons for the Federation to attack the United States.
      • 1. Two years prior, the United States assassinated the leader of their nation. This seems like the sort of thing that might piss off a superpower.
      • 2. The United States has just violated the Outer Space Treaty and placed a weapon into space which could be used to destroy much of my country. This seems like somewhat of a threat to the balance of power, and is extra scary when the nation who owns this weapon has recently decided it was a good idea to assassinate the leader of the my country.
      • That second point is actually moot on two accounts. The first is that the Outer Space Treaty bans the usage of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons being placed in orbit. Kinetic and laser weapons, such as ODIN and other Kill Sats in fiction, are fair game. The second is that, even if kinetic and laser weapons in orbit were illegal through the Outer Space Treaty in this universe, it doesn't make sense for the Federation to hypocritically make their own Kill Sats.
      • The first point is moot as well. That leader, upon seizing power, ordered to imprison or kill all the citizens of the United States on South American soil. More than enough to justify an action against him - and he retaliated by bombing a dam and killing thousands of his own people, just to try and stop an USA squad. Even if he was killed soon after, propaganda surely passed that disaster as caused by the North Americans. So the point to the Federation has really tinfoil motivations still stands.

  • How exactly was the U.S. able to build a thousand-mile long wall alongside No Man's Land given that they are under constant attack by the Federation, much of their infrastructure was devastated by ODIN, and that the Federation is likely occupying the Texan and Gulf oil reserves which would deny the U.S. a key source of resources for such a massive project.
    • Presumably US forces were able to hold off the Federation long enough for the walls to be built behind the lines, which they later retreated to.
    • What's the point of building a wall that could be leveled in minutes, if not seconds, with heavy artillery or airstrikes? More to the point, why hasn't the Federation done just that?
      • Perhaps Rorke recommends to the Federation leaders to allow the wall to stay up to make hunting the Ghosts easier, Ghosts are more likely to be operating outside of the wall after all. The wall might also be strong enough to deal with whatever the Federation might throw at it, judging by the fact the Federation is trying to sneak around it.
      • If you can see it, you can hit it, and if you can hit it, you can kill it. The Federation possesses cruise missiles capable of immense destruction, as evidenced by the cruise missile that took out the Federation space communication array in "Severed Ties". If one missile could raze that mammoth structure, then why couldn't two or three or a swarm just knock the wall flat?
      • Because missiles can still be intercepted. One of the main objectives of "Severed Ties" was to destroy the the Federation's defensive missile batteries to prevent them from intercepting incoming missiles.
      • Also, since when did finishing off a part of a country's special forces become more important than finishing off the country itself?
      • Rorke REALLY hates the Ghosts. And besides, the Ghosts inflicted billions of dollars of damage on a skyscraper, an oil rig, a floating industrial complex and two separate secret bases so, they are a legitimate threat. And seeing as they assassinated the leader of the Federation twelve years earlier, it's possible that his successor might want revenge for that as well.
      • But if killing the Ghosts is the be-all, end-all of the Federation strategy, then letting the Wall remain standing is only a hindrance to that goal. After all, it's not like the Ghosts are marooned outside of the Wall; they could always retreat behind it where the Federation can't follow in order to rest and re-supply. Moreover, at the end of the day, it's not the Ghosts who are saving America, it's the armoured divisions and astronaut commandos. Bringing the Wall down would give the Federation a shot at taking these vital tactical assets out, and further their ambitions of conquering the US. A couple Tier One guys ain't going to mean jack if the country that equips and supports them is completely overrun.

  • Does Canada still exist in this? Because, as the Federation seems bent on dominating the Western Hemisphere, so the Canadians would have a vested interest in keeping the Federation out of the US. I mainly ask this because Canada possesses their own SAS, which generally depicted in Infinity Ward games as the most elite troops there are.
    • The Canadian special forces unit is called Joint Taskforce-2 (JTF-2), they only appear in Medal of Honor.
    • What exactly is Canada supposed to fight with? As of 2013 in the real world Canada has just short of 120,000 military personnel. This includes all branches, both active and reserve components. The US alone deployed more troops to Iraq than Canada has troops.
      • Surely 10 years of the US and Federation duking it out in the southwest would be ample time to raise something.
      • 120,000 troops is nothing to sneer at. Especially if you're fighting a losing war.

  • In a similar vein to the above: where's NATO?
    • The game states that the heavily energy dependent Europe and Asia collapsed after the destruction of the Middle East. NATO probably doesn't even exist any more.
    • What, they can't get gas from Russia? They're a big energy producer too, if not necessarily as friendly.
      • It's very likely there were massive Eurasian conflicts in the aftermath of the Middle East's destruction. Since they're sitting on huge gas reserves, Russia definitely would have been a huge target.
      • Another possibility is Russia is allied with the Federation and is keeping NATO's European forces tied down.
    • Assuming they aren't busy trying to keep their countries from suffering societal collapse due to energy cutoff and probable wartime devastation, what exactly do you expect NATO to be capable of doing once you take America out of the equation? European countries have reduced their abilities to project force to such an extent that what little they have cannot be quickly moved across the Atlantic. All this also assumes NATO exists as an alliance anymore. Its Asian counterpart SEATO was dissolved in 1977, so it's not impossible.
    • The biggest problem with having only one nation who can project force is that nobody can really help them out if they get attacked directly. At this point, NATO is pretty much assuming that any major conflict is going to happen well outside North America, and if it doesn't, well, have fun, North America.
    • The game actually just says that "the great powers that depended on oil collapsed." If the US hung on Europe certainly did. Presumably other NATO powers were weakened and didn't want to risk the wrath of the Federation. Or perhaps they were involved and we just didn't see them and they will make an appearance in the sequel.

  • During Operation Homecoming was Fort Santa Monica lost to the Federation? Drone control was taken out and US forces where retreating.
    • Most likely, considering Santa Monica is never mentioned again.
      • Hell, the entire open, frontlines war is never mentioned again save at the end.
    • Actually I think is was mentioned in the brief that Fort Santa Monica was the staging area for the Final Assault on the Federation Satellite Array, so the Americans must have either pushed them back to the beach, or taken it back later in the war.
    • On that note, why the hell would the Americans put drone control, which is a critical lynchpin to their defense, literally right on the frontline? It makes no damn sense.
    • Considering it's a thousand-mile border, I doubt there's really much of a "frontline". There's where you have troops and where you don't, since the enemy can attack anywhere you have troops pretty easily. Best to keep the troops away from the civilians when facing an enemy that doesn't seem to have much problem with taking both of them out at once.

  • So can someone explain how in the holy heck Rorke survived getting shot with a revolver to the chest, and being left to drown in a sinking train, which Logan and Hesh barely escaped before they would have drowned? I mean, that is one heck of a stretch.
    • Healing Factor
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    • Come to think of it, how is Hesh alive? The bullet clearly went through both of them and hit the windshield behind them, because the hole that leads to it cracking and shattering only appears when you pull the trigger.
      • He was even shot before that; just seconds before the train is bombed, Rorke shoots him, yet the game never seems to acknowledge that he was actually shot. And why didn't Rorke finish him off when he had a gun pointed at his head?
    • Better yet, how Rorke has enough strangth to break Logan's arm.
  • Can someone explain to me why the Secretary of Defense would order a debriefing in Las Vegas? Surely there is a more secure meeting place away from the frontlines?
    • The debriefing didn't take place in Las Vegas. Keegan went to DC to attend the debriefing while the rest of the Ghosts went to Las Vegas where they had a safehouse set up.
      • This leads to an equally important question of why the Ghosts were just hanging out in what was either occupied, neutral or contested territory without any support.
      • Intel you can collect indicates that they got the whereabouts of the safehouse from Ajax when they were torturing him, so maybe the Federation were able to invade quickly and surprise them once Rorke realized they had gone quiet.

  • Existence of ODIN. Why did the US construct a space-based weapon of mass destruction in violation of multiple international treaties?
    • The Treaties only prohibit the the so called "Nuclear Proliferation of Outer Space," conventional weapons on the other hand are perfectly legal. So legal in fact, the United States Air Force is actually working on a system called Prompt Global Strike (P.G.S.) which is designed to deliver a precision conventional weapon strike anywhere in the world within one hour. One of the proposed payloads for such a system is a Kinetic Strike or "Rods from God" if you will. They even named the project after the Viking God Thor, so we may very well have an an Orbital Weapons Platform very similar to Odin or Loki by 2017.
    • This is a rather controversial area. Article IV of The Outer Space Treaty prohibits "any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction" in orbit. WMD is not defined for these purposes, but kinetic rods capable of killing cities would seem to qualify. The US argues it is not going that far but others are not convinced. Some analysts argue the reason the Chinese are doing a lot of research into anti-satellite weapons is to counter this perceived US threat.
    • Moving away from Real Life and back to the game's plot: It would appear that after that incident in the Middle East there was a serious Nuclear Weapons Taboo going on. The US wanted a more "publically acceptable" (and arguably reusable) WMD system which proceeded to backfire spectacularly.
    • The US seems to have no issue with ignoring whatever international treaties are particularly inconvenient for it at the time. Bonus points because they can argue "They're just giant bullets, not nuclear weapons or WMDs!"
    • Legally speaking, WMDs usually refers to CBRN (chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological) weapons. A kinetic impactor is technically none of these things. And as long as the US has a seat on the UN security council, it has veto power over any attempt to legally re-define WMDs to include orbital bombardment.
    • While public pressure is pretty much the only thing that makes sense, the game goes out of its way to disprove it, as Hesh seems totally baffled when Elias mentions ODIN; if Hesh doesn't know, then it's practically guaranteed knowledge isn't public.

  • So at the end of the game what exactly is stopping the United States from using the Loki satellites to basically lay waste to every single major Federation city from Orbit? It seems that with the US in control of Loki and the world apparently not that concerned about major American border cities and 27 million American civilian deaths in an unjustifiable war crime, not many people would shed a tear if South America was a pile of ash when it's all said and done. Even if doing so would elicit a retaliatory Federation response with any other means they had left, I very much doubt it would matter as seeing with their initial senseless slaughter there's no such thing as Mutually-Assured-Destruction with them anyway.
    • Who says they are not going to? We only had enough time to see them fire the weapon to destroy federation military power. Its smarter to destroy their means of resistance before dealing retaliation.
    • Another possibility is that they are using up most if not all of the missiles to destroy the federation military. Unless the U.S. does a conquest of South America i dont see them having the resources to refill the weapon.
    • They may also want to maintain an higher moral ground, so to have the rest of the world watch. "See? They used our hijacked orbital weapon to destroy cities indiscriminately, now we use theirs only on military and strategic targets, and we avoid senseless civilian casualties, because we are better than them."

  • What the hell did the Ghosts even need Rorke for? The entire endgame situation and the Las Vegas incident could have been entirely avoided if they had just shot him when they came in.
    • If I recall correctly, they were aware that the Federation was up to something but weren't quite sure what, so they thought interrogating Rorke would give them the answers they needed.

  • Is it ever definitively explained what happened to the Middle East? Was it global warming? Nuclear war? Card games? Also, one would think that the destruction of an entire region of the planet would have major ecological effects beyond the loss of the oil, or receive more consideration than simply "BTW, the Middle East is toast."]
    • The use of the word 'destruction' might be an exaggeration, but a major war in the Middle East that involved a nuclear exchange would probably leave much of the world's oil supply destroyed or otherwise unobtainable. No oil = economic disaster. Ecologically, its hard to say what the effects would be without details.

      • If the Middle East was destroyed via Nuclear Weapons, then the world would be in complete nuclear winter. Clearly the writers have no brain, because the nukes required to make mining oil impossible, which comes out of the ground, would release huge amounts of radioactive fallout. The world be in a state of what the world is in the Fallout games. This is just making deadly to try drilling into the ground to say nothing of actually hitting the oil deposits with actual nukes.
    • The climate aftermath of a nuclear war would undoubtedly be harsh, but saying it would be like Fallout is an exaggeration. A more likely scenario would be like the Year Without a Summer.
      • The Middle East might not have been completely nuked, just a few nukes after could have been enough to cause a breakdown of law and order, making oil extraction unfeasible. Especially if the infrastructure had been damaged before by what was almost certainly an all out war. And rather than expending a great deal of time and effort to re establish the Middle East oil trade the west turned to the Federation for its oil.

  • It is shown in cinematics that the Federation started in Brazil. The map of South America displayed when Elias is talking about the Federation forming, it shows the ring of stars on top of Brazil, because it shows the middle of Brazil being in the middle of the ring of Stars? So are the writers saying that Brazil is trying to kill the US? Watch the cinematic, and compare the South America to a map. It clearly shows Brazil.
    • Not really. Forgetting most of it, but isn't Brazil more resource-loaded than Venezuela, which may have started the Federation, given the gear used. The stars could have symbolized the fact Venezuela and Brazil partnered up. As to why they want to fight America, they could be just as we use to say in the main page; Hugo Chavez' wetdream.

  • What was so special about the Ghosts that Elias felt it was necessary to keep it a secret from his sons that he was one?
    • He could've figured they would see him as an ordinary soldier and father and not attempt to follow in his footsteps and join the Ghosts.
    • Yet he still wanted them to become Ghosts...
      • The Ghosts are one of America's most elite military units, and like with real life elite units the names and faces of its members are most likely a closely guarded military secret, the kind of information that is known only to those who need to know. Elias' sons didn't need to know.
      • And yet, the main antagonist already knows the identity of all the Ghosts, making it a pretty poorly kept secret.
      • He knows because he was a Ghost and fought alongside them, remember? For him it never was a secret.
      • My point was that the Federation already know exactly who's who within the Ghosts unit, so for morale reasons alone releasing their identities should be released.
    • Might lesson the fear to the enemies.

  • So much of ODIN's design seems incredibly shortsighted. Given the level of destruction it's capable of, why doesn't it have security similar to America's nuclear arsenal, with arming codes that are kept on Earth, and the use of them requiring the authorization of the president? Why have explosives to scuttle the station next to ODIN, but not ODIN itself? Finally, how did the Feds hijack the spacecraft to get to ODIN without anyone noticing?

  • Why did Elias have the truck parked miles away from his own house during the prologue? How is getting in a truck safer than just hiding in a doorframe or under a table?

  • How did the Federation get space capability? Even if the Federation were somehow able to make a continent spanning nation, as well as conquer Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, then move onto the US, it would require billions of dollars of resources, research, manpower, and development to make a way to create a vehicle to take over ODIN. All the while dealing with establishing a new centralized government, putting down local rebellions, building up a military, the infrastructure to provide for their citizenry, etc. How did they accomplish such a thing?

  • How the hell is everyone able to use guns in zero-gravity environments? Even if these guns just happened to be advanced enough to work, wouldn't it make more sense to just have everyone use harpoon guns or laser weapons in the underwater and space missions, respectively?
    • Guns work fine in zero-g and even in a vacuum. Infantry scale laser weaponry doesn't really exist in Ghosts, so outfitting astronauts with them would be impossible. Harpoon guns would be terrible in combat, they're big, single shot, and would be hard to come by given the circumstances. Also the guns they use in the underwater levels are real and were built to be used underwater.
      • "Infantry scale laser weaponry doesn't really exist in Ghosts" Uhh...that's the point; they should've existed in Ghosts. At least for the astronauts to use.
    • The gun you use in the water levels actually a miniature-harpoon machine gun the Russians developed in the 1970s. And as above, a normal gun fires perfectly fine in a zero-gee vacuum. However, if the recoil of a projectile weapon in space is concerning, the Halo books had the idea of hooking it up to your EVA pack and thrusting forward when you pull the trigger.

  • What's the deal with all the new/unrecognizable guns in this game? We have the .44 Magnum, but all the other ones are either fictional or given completely different names. I know this is supposed to be a futuristic setting, but you'd think we'd still be able to see more weapons from the 2000s (decade, not century) in this game. And yes, I know that the M4A1 and UMP-45 were Dummied Out, and the M9 is called the M9A1, but what's the deal? Were the game designers deliberately trying to alienate gun enthusiasts or something?

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