Follow TV Tropes
Is there a reason why the "Did Not Do the Research" tropes (including the one I added) were deleted? MW 2 has plenty of things which make no sense, and I added an example scene that has so many inaccuracies it completely breaks the immersion of the scene.
Yes. Read Did Not Do The Research and look at the bold note.
Who the hell deleted every single secondary bullet point in the article? Jesus Christ, perhaps some people should look before declaring all additional points are Natter.
Seems to think this is some kind of...thing. Too tired to think of a suitable noun.
I'm going to Ask The Tropers.
EDIT: Guy's been taken care of, and most of his other damages have been restored. It's up to...someone to do the same for this page. I'll do it tonight if no one else has by then.
Sorry for the double post, but...holy fuck, there's no way I can do this, I don't think any sane person can. Is it possible to revert the page to a past edit?
Thanks for calling me insane. >:(
Good job for white knighting Chief. Most kind.
Wild Mass Guessing...a retort to the crackdown on natter?
The people who help to regularly edit and maintain this page impress me. Bravo, good sirs.
The guy you were not allowed to kill, because of interrogation or something, I forgot his name. Why couldn't you just shoot him in the foot? Would that qualify as wallbanger?
Rojas. They do actually have an excuse for that (there's too many militia around, apparently), though it's a fairly weak one. It's hardly in the same league of silliness as Makarov's magic homing bullets or the transatlantic attack helicopters.
I'm not really too comfortable with the Broken Aesop entry. Yes, I know we can argue the quality of Modern Warfare 2's writing until we're blue in the face, but let's examine this: The Aesop is that Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him? is not the solution to a complex conflict and the politics involved therein, specifically, shooting the leader of a terrorist organization will accomplish nothing at best, and make things worse at...well, worst, because killing one man means someone will take his place. The problem with the argument that Allen could've just shot Makarov and turned himself into the Russians is that no one knows if there's another Makarov to replace him, the same way Makarov was another Zakheav. When Soap shot Zakheav, Makarov himself wasn't on the radar, and if anyone even knew he existed, no one knew he was soon to be a grand threat. The entire point is that even if you think you can solve everything with one bullet in the right place, you're hiding under a blanket of false security; you can never be completely sure.
Yes, Shepard is the real Big Bad and Shepard's plans hinge on Makarov being alive, but Allen didn't know that (this is why Allen is legitimately tragic; he does what he does because he believes he's ultimately helping to take the entire orginization down, so they can't recover by replacing a dead leader, but his actions ultimately don't do anything of the sort.)
More importantly, Shepard doesn't control the Ultranationalists; he has no say over what they do if Makarov dies and he loses his insider (and that's assuming we even go with the idea that Shepard isn't manipulating Makarov without his knowledge; if he is, then Makarov's death solves even less, because Shepard can just play the same game with his successor. At worst, he'd be delayed.)
So, Allen shooting Makarov is the exact same mistake, and would be completely ignoring the lesson.
Anyone else have an opinion/thoughts/ a million dollars I can have?
Yeah, you can speculate about things we aren't told about all you want, but going by what the game actually tells us, Allen would have prevented the attack on the airport, therefore preventing the reprisal against the US (since even if Makarov had a subordinate, that guy isn't going to cooperate with Shepard again after what happened last time, so no CIA operative, so no reason to go to war — most likely revelation of an attack on an airport bearing Zakhaev's name would even distance the Ultranationalists themselves from what was left of Mak's group), thereby preventing, well, everything that happens in the game. That's not to say that something else wouldn't happen, but we don't have that information; what we do have is a plot based on a plan which would instantly be impossible to carry out if Allen killed Makarov and his crew in the elevator, which rather buggers up the aesop that it would survive him. The aesop would work if, say, it was made clear that this was one of several large-scale attacks Makarov's group executed at the same time all of which were designed to point to the US, but not as it is.
No Russian is one of the messiest levels in terms of writing (only topped by the magic commie invasion and the ISS scene, where almost everything is wrong) and a lot of what happens in it makes no sense at all; we never find out what Allen thought he was achieving by assisting in a massacre (you're supposed to get close to terrorist leaders to prevent things like that, not join in), how the Russian police figured out Allen was an American or how they didn't figure out who either of the others were (two of the other guys are scripted to die during the mission), why this convinced anyone of anything, etc.
Except the Aesop itself isn't speculative, it's just about speculation. The point of it is that there isn't any way of predicting what happens, not what we can see with the benefit of an omniscient viewpoint. The fact that you can speculate on what would happen without precisely knowing is precisely the point.
Trouble is, what we have in the game is a plan with a single point of failure (Makarov must attack the airport, or nothing that follows can happen), with the moral that terrorist groups don't have a single point of failure. They shot themselves in the foot because they wanted Makarov to be as like Shepard as possible for the Aesop, including them sharing the "leads from the front" aspect; but they want to link to things like Al Quaeda. Terrorist leaders like Bin Laden don't lead attacks personally, that's why killing him won't stop his organisation. Makarov doesn't act like the big boss, he acts like the boss of a cell which is part of a larger whole, but it's never hinted there's a Man Behind the Man in his organisation who's actually calling the shots. To make the aesop work, the plot would have to be arranged so it would be clear nothing Allen could have done at the airport would have prevented the invasion; it isn't.
Again, the fact that there isn't anyone important besides Makarov is the point. It doesn't need to be Man Behind the Man, Makarov wasn't that to Zakheav, there just needs to be someone who can take over, and someone who can take over can exist while being completely outside the perception of everyone trying to handle the situation, like Makarov was.
The problem with attacking the airport being a single point of failure is that Allen doesn't know that; at no point in the previous cutscene that establishes his mission is he ever given a directive to blow his cover to stop any single attack. He thinks he's helping in the normal, day to day operations of an organization so he can continue to be trusted in their ranks, thus helping his undercover work, work that will ultimately help to bring them down, in total, not just killing Makarov so he can be martyred and replaced. He, again, does not have the benefit of hindsight or the player's viewpoint. If Makarov's Batman Gambit didn't exist, the airport wouldn't be a single point of failure, and as far as Allen's entire life is concerned, Makarov's gambit doesn't exist.
Yeah, but a massacre isn't normal day to day operations, it's a major action of the kind he's supposed to be trying to prevent. It doesn't make any sense at all that a CIA agent would out-and-out assist in such a thing (nevermind that it makes even less sense for Mak, knowing Allen is CIA, to bring him along and give him an automatic weapon; what if Allen had been there to kill him?). All it takes is for him to get cold feet over it in the elevator and he prevents the invasion of the US.
The point is, there's a clear-cut place in the plot where killing one person would visibly prevent the entire scenario playing out, when the point of the plot is the opposite of this. What other scenarios might play out or whether Allen would actually do that is irrelevant; if he did, the whole invasion would have no visible way to happen.
It is normal day to day operations for the Ultranationalists, who raze entire villages just to create safe havens for their buddies. Allen isn't there to prevent individual acts of terror. Allen, again, doesn't know that he can stop the villain's plans by killing him, what's important is that he's been lead to believe killing him will, at best, change nothing. The quality of the writing (the specific points of which have gone back and forth a dozen times on the JBM page) is irrelevant to this.
When things get this convoluted you really need to just say it's a Space Whale Aesop. So far as I can tell these "Ultranationalists" are less a representation of how any actual terrorist group would work and more the living embodiment of moustache-twirling supervillains who would, if they actually existed in Real Life, muck up the workings of the universe to the point that it's just a Crapsack World.
Maybe Allen doesn't know, but it only takes him thinking 'What the hell am I doing?' in the elevator to make him change his mind; after all, according to the game's timeline he was a soldier until literally the day before, and that's hardly enough time to make massacring civilians for some percieved later gain sit well with him. Again, whether he would do it isn't the point; the point is that if he did, the plot as given would not function at all. When one action by one man actually does potentially prevent everything that follows, it breaks the aesop that This Isn't How Things Are.
I never said whether or not he would do it is the point, we don't know if he would do it, because he doesn't know what's at stake. Allen being a soldier is hardly an argument for his morality, citizens don't become messiahs when they sign their enlistment papers, some will follow orders no matter what, some will do so even if they realize they shouldn't, some who do that would try the Nuremburg Defense, some wouldn't.
The point still stands that Allen has no idea he can stop the plot by killing Makarov, and since he has no idea, he has no reason to kill him. Because Allen is a silent protagonist, we have no idea what kind of person he is, so we can't just assume that he's so uncomfortable with the situation that he would somehow refuse it if not for the plot requiring he accepts it; this is treating the character as being outside the fourth wall when he's clearly not. The morality of Allen deciding whether or not he should just kill Makarov and be done with it, and how believable it is based on the likelyhood that any random person would be a good enough person to do so, is completely irrelevant. If the aesop is anything other than "an aesop," it's subverted, because Allen is acting under the belief of "just solving a problem by shooting a man caused larger problems" when in his particular circumstance, but unknown to him, it would've worked fine.
 This is only true because in this discussion we're deliberately refusing to take the writing at face-value, for the (good) reason that it conveys certain things in a very obtuse manner, if at all. If we do take it at face-value, we know what Allen will do, because we see what he does, and thus, we learn what kind of person he is. This is the direction the thought process should go in. Choice to do horrible act —> Silent Protagonist chooses to go through with it believing it's the lesser of two evils —> character of Silent Protagonist is established. The reverse, See horrible act —> Silent Protagonist wouldn't do that —> therefore the logic is flawed, is applying our morality as observers outside the fourth wall to the situation.
I think you're looking at this the wrong way. What Allen would or wouldn't do doesn't really matter; what matters is the story tells us that one man can't save the world just by aiming for the most obvious bad guy, but it shows us a situation where one man, had he aimed for the obvious bad guy, would have stopped an entire war from occurring, prevented the bad guy's evil plan, and saved the lives of three player characters and Gaz Ghost. And since we know little about him at that point (though he isn't a silent protagonist, he talks during the briefing for either Cliffhanger or No Russian, I forget which), we have little to no idea why he didn't. He might not know he can stop the plot by killing Makarov, but he knows he can stop Makarov killing an entire airport by killing Makarov, which would be reason enough for many people to say to hell with their orders. The fact that Failure Is the Only Option in that mission forces the player to do something they haven't been told the reasoning for, which leads naturally to "why didn't I just shoot him?" (and also "how come he one-shotted me with a goddamn pistol around a corner?")
Which, as it turns out, would have solved everything. The game then tells you just shooting people doesn't solve anything. Erm...Yeah, because you forced me to not shoot the guy I'd solve everything by shooting, game, remember?
No, I'm not looking at it the wrong way. Your argument is that the moral of the story is invalid because not listening to the moral results in the worst of the story not happening, my argument is that the moral is perfectly valid (or, as I said, if not perfectly valid, then subverted) because the character who gets to decide this does not and has no way of knowing this information. Allen's speaking lines consist of him asking for clarification on how important Makarov is, that hardly brings him out of silent protagonism in any meaningful way. And if anything, it only adds credibility to his choice, because we see, plain as day, Allen being told by Shepard how horrible Makarov is and how important it is to bring down his organization. One of Shepard's lines is "Make no mistake, you will lose a part of yourself," making it clear that both of them know from the start that Allen's job will involve working with the Ultranationalists 'in the field,' so to speak. Notice that he doesn't protest this, and he accepts the assignment despite it. Again, it doesn't matter what "many people" would do in his situation, it matters what he would do. We know what he would do, because he does it. If he had foreknowledge of what his choice would lead to, if he knew that "as it turns out" he's only making things worse, he probably would've made a different choice. But he doesn't have that knowledge.
The character doesn't matter. What matters is how the player sees it; what they see is a character making a decision for reasons they're barely given, leading into a mission where Failure Is the Only Option. They ask "why didn't I just shoot him?" which is not adequately answered. They then see just shooting him would have solved everything. They are then told that just shooting people doesn't solve things. That makes it a Broken Aesop.
@Evilest_Tim: You removed my edit:
What does this have to do with 'politics', the reason you gave for eliminating it? Have you seen the video? It and the level <are> very similar, I don't think there's any dispute about that and since the video shows <at least> two innocents being killed, I don't see why the comparison isn't appropriate.
I won't put it back without further discussion, provided it happens, under the Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgment, but I would like a better explanation, as I don't see any 'politics' here.
It's just too touchy a subject at the moment. We can get into all these various debates about whether the gunners in Death From Above are like the ones in the video, but as you rightly pointed out, Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgment. Let's just not get into it.
The entry was written as if the eeeeevil US military makes a habit of firing on civilians for no reason; that incident was a tragic accident caused by miscommunication between soldiers who had reason to think their lives might be in danger and journalists not realising that sighting up a camera looks a hell of a lot like sighting up an RPG. It isn't really any more related to that level than, say, the equally infamous video of American A-10s accidentally engaging British vehicles in 2003, destroying two vehicles, killing 1 soldier and wounding 5 — an incident which was fresh in people's memories when the game came out (the video was leaked in February of '07, with the first MW coming out in November). Though it was actually based on this, including directly lifting lines from it and even giving the gunship the same callsign.
Still, the level specifically has you not attack designated civilian targets and insta-fails you if you do, so the "moral event horizon" part really doesn't work well; it explicitly is a combat scenario since if you watch them, all the guys you're supposed to shoot at are armed and will attack the guys you're supporting.
Ok, I completely disagree in almost all that you're saying, so let me go through each one.
- I didn't intend, nor do I think that what I wrote sounds like "eeeeevil US military makes a habit of firing on civilians for no reason"; stating as such makes me sound like a Strawman Political, aka, I feel it's down right insulting.
- I completely and utterly disagree with your assessment of what the video shows, I strongly believe that it shows that either the rules of engagement of the US army in a civilian heavy area are terribly and almost criminally misguided or that the pilots acted in a way that no modern army/air-force should deem acceptable.
- I disagree that the A-10 video is as close as to the Reuter's death, at least as it is seen on the Wikipedia page. I also disagree that that particular video was close to anyone's mind as you claim, or that it was as famous. The AC-10 video they based it on, however, is somewhat similar, although the gun-ho behavior in the game is much closer to the Reuters video.
- However, although I stand behind my assessment of a Moral Even Horizon, I'm willing to concede that this is a particular interpretation (which consists simply that despite the fact you're being punished for hitting civilians, in a real situation, 'collateral damage' in such a place would be inevitable) and where disagreement is perfectly understandable.
Despite both your arguments, I still feel that this trope should be here, as many, many, many media outlets saw fit to put in the comparisons made between what the video shows (and the attitude demonstrated by the pilots) and videogames / gamers, and there's no game where this sort of comparison is more appropriate. As such, I'll propose a new text below, if both of you still disagree, or feel there's no way of working this trope here for other reasons, I'll drop the subject and say no more:
Ehhhh I suppose that could be workable. Personally, I'd rather avoid mention of it altogether because, as this very debate shows, we in general have yet to reach a consensus on what the video shows and means. However, if we do add it, perhaps we could note the various media outlets' interpretation and "like a video game" comparisons (arguably enforcing the trope).
The reworked wording does look better to me, as it has more of a "Your Mileage May Vary" element than the original wording did.
I didn't intend, nor do I think that what I wrote sounds like "eeeeevil US military makes a habit of firing on civilians for no reason"; stating as such makes me sound like a Strawman Political, aka, I feel it's down right insulting.
The idea the entry bought up was that the AC-130 might be shelling a populated area deliberately, relating it to a video where US forces accidentally fired on a civilian gathering after a camera was misidentified as an RPG. The implication was that in both cases they were attacking civilians on purpose.
I completely and utterly disagree with your assessment of what the video shows, I strongly believe that it shows that either the rules of engagement of the US army in a civilian heavy area are terribly and almost criminally misguided or that the pilots acted in a way that no modern army/air-force should deem acceptable.
They believed they were being targeted by an RPG team; what you hear on the radio is that old children's game "Chinese whispers" playing out, where "I think I might have seen an RPG" by stages becomes "confirmed enemy forces with RPGs." This sort of thing is prone to happening when people are in a potentially dangerous situation and repeating information to each other; what they heard becomes what they think they heard, which becomes what they say the next time someone asks. It's certainly tragic, but it's not something any rules of engagement would have changed; if they'd held off until the supposed team had fired it might have been two helicopter crew or a whole Bradley full of infantry dead.
It's easy to say what you'd do afterwards, knowing all the facts. It's harder when the wrong answer might kill you or the people who are relying on you.
As for the casual attitude, the way soldiers conduct themselves might be disturbing to civilians, but It Gets Easier is more or less a fact and this is the same mindset that drew smiley faces on incendiary bombs during the Second World War.
Re: the links, only one mentions the particular game by name, so I don't really see what that's supposed to prove; the others just say they treated the situation "like a videogame," meaning "casually." You might see parallels if you approach it from a particular mindset, but the MW situation isn't the same type of operation, or the same vehicle, and it's physically impossible to cause collateral damage without failing the mission in the process, so I'm dubious about including it. Not to mention it's just crying out for a string of justifying edits / political natter.
To keep things short: we have a fundamental disagreement there, really. I've seen the video and I believe that this is a clear and obvious violation of good military conduct: never attack in a civilian area until you're certain that you've identified a/the enemy. I don't accept that, after 4 years of operation in Iraq, the US army would be incapable of operating in such a place without proper protocol to guarantee that they're attacking insurgents, not civilians (independently of whether or not they're carrying A Ks, which some people seem to think is a 'get killed free' card, but not, thankfully, you).
Furthermore, since the start of the Iraq war, according to The Other Wiki, just 45 aircraft (i.e., both helis and planes) have been lost to enemy fire despite 'an average of 17 attacks a month in 2006-2007', which shows that there's good reason to believe that the pilots are utterly overreacting in their perception of the dangers of an attack and could have afforded the time to make sure they're doing it right.
Anyway, it's all besides the point. Since both you and Wild Knight still seem dissatisfied, I won't persist, Rule Of Cautious Editing Judgment and all, although I still feel that the parallels <are there> and this is a valid trope.
Well, by the time they opened fire they thought they had confirmed they had a target (and, unlike the A-10 video, actually requested and recieved permission to engage both the civilian group and later the vehicle); from what I can gather, there had been actual RPG attacks on troops in that area earlier in the day, that's why they were moving a column of Brads into the area in the first place. You can say just 45 losses, but nobody wants to be number 46. In addition, from what I'm reading, the US ground force did find two discarded RPGs at the scene. I'm aware that saying an Iraqi has an AK is rather like pointing out he's wearing clothes and certainly doesn't provide proof that he's an insurgent, but the presence of RPGs does suggest it was rather less clear-cut a situation than some people want to imply.
I think my issue with it is that you have to have had a specific reaction to the video for the trope to apply, and to dismiss quite a lot of information the game gives you in order to make the connection.
I'm not going to discuss this any further, because I simply don't have the time or the will. So my closing arguments:
I <was aware> of all the info you've given on the background to the mission and I stand by the fact that it was a horrific case of a gun-ho attitude and/or improper rules of engagement (seeing the video again, they're authorized to attack even before they identify the 'RP Gs', aka, they get permission to hose down a bunch of people, who are posing no visible threat whatsoever, not even looking at the helicopters, because they're carrying A Ks).
And I still feel that a person, having watched the video, might very well feel that they get an uncomfortable sensation that they're playing out things in a very similar way, specially in the attitude demonstrated by the pilots in both cases, but also by the fact you're engaging in a civilian heavy area where you <would expect in real life> to result in 'collateral damage', irrespectively of anything else.
And I'm done.
Ok, the Tacknife being "You have researched breathing" is just silly. The Tac knife is a separate addon. I think it's just another knife designed for easier grip or stabbing, and you can't simply close down the possibilities of it being an extra slot on the pistol or something as a developer's oversight.
All of the knives (throwing, tactical, and standard) in the game are based on the Blackhawk(!) Tatang, a sillily fuck-huge knife with a slightly curved "pistol" grip. The only thing that changes between them is where the character holds them.
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?