Black Ops Cold War Characters – Origins and How Each Ties Into the Story

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With Treyarch dishing out a sort of sequel to the Black Ops series with this year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the studio has given us an in-depth look at the Black Ops Cold War characters players will see in the campaign.

In a series of blog posts, Treyarch has given fans a history lesson on the Black Ops franchise, as well as a primer on Black Ops Cold War’s story and more. Read on for details on each character players will see in Black Ops Cold War.

Black Ops Cold War characters:

BLACK OPS HISTORY: ALEX MASON

ORIGINS

Born in 1933, Alex Mason’s instincts began to take shape in the harsh wilderness of Alaska where he honed his firearm skills hunting with his father. He eventually enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps., where his sharpshooting abilities made him a standout recruit.

In 1958, after serving a highly respected term of service with the Marines, his undeniable talents, reckless behavior, and fervent beliefs led his path into the dangerous world of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, where the original storyline began to take shape.

On October 6th, 1963 with the help of his new friend Viktor Reznov, Mason set in motion an elaborate prison break from Vorkuta and made his way back to the United States. Within a month of his return, Mason set out on a mission to sabotage the Soviet space program and take out Dragovich by order of President John F. Kennedy… and so began Operation Flashpoint.

On November 17th, 1963, CIA field operatives Mason, Woods, Brooks, and Bowman infiltrated the Soviet Cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to eliminate members of the Ascension Group, rescue Special Agent Grigori Weaver, and gather intel on Dragovich. Although Weaver lost an eye to Dragovich’s second-in-command – the sadistic Colonel Lev Kravchenko – Mason and Woods successfully extracted Weaver, sabotaged the launch site, and continued their pursuit of Dragovich.

Five years later in early 1968, Mason joined the Studies and Observations Group (SOG) unit to investigate covert Soviet activity in Laos and Cambodia, leading to the discovery of the existence of a chemical weapon called Nova 6, originally created by Doctor Friedrich Steiner. After escaping capture in Laos with Woods in tow, Mason headed to Rebirth Island on February 23th, 1968, to find and kill Steiner, with U.S. forces also en route to prevent his death. Of course, by the time they arrived, the damage had already been done.

After the events on Rebirth Island, Mason was taken into custody and interrogated by CIA Special Agent Jason Hudson, revealing the harrowing experiences leading up to his questioning. With various truths revealed and mysteries solved, Mason and Hudson raced to the Soviet ship Rusalka to prevent the release of a deadly Nova 6 payload and finally kill Dragovich, putting an end to the crisis in a spectacular display of fearlessness and quick thinking. Little did they know the challenges to come in the near future…

WHAT LIES AHEAD

Fast forward to January 8th, 1981. Mason receives an unexpected phone call from Hudson, who wants to get the old team back together. If Mason will return as a CIA operative, he’s to immediately report to Amsterdam to rendezvous with his former partner, Sgt. Frank Woods, along with the mysterious operative, Russell Adler. As it turns out, a covert mission to end the Iran Hostage Crisis would end up revealing a far greater threat.

BLACK OPS HISTORY: FRANK WOODS

ORIGINS

Born on March 20th, 1930, Frank Woods has been a dyed-in-the-wool rebel ever since his early years. He ran away from his Philadelphia home as a young child, never to return to the life he once knew. Getting by on his street smarts and razor-sharp instincts, Woods quickly learned to depend on no one but himself for survival.

After enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps, Woods gained an extensive amount of fighting experience throughout the Korean War, and afterwards became a sergeant in the MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War. One can only imagine the reputation he earned in combat, which eventually led him to joining the CIA’s Special Activities Division.

BLACK OPS HISTORY

On April 17th, 1961, Woods teamed up with CIA operatives Alex Mason and Joseph Bowman on a covert mission in Santa Maria, Cuba, to assassinate Fidel Castro. Fearless and impulsive, Woods led the team in their raid on Castro’s building, where Mason was thought to have successfully executed Castro. Though the mission was a failure upon discovering their target was a body double, Woods was able to successfully extract himself and Bowman while Mason was captured at the hands of Soviet General Nikita Dragovich.

With Mason’s eventual return in October of 1963, the team got back together to execute Operation Flashpoint. On the President’s orders, Woods led Mason, Brooks, and Bowman into a Soviet facility to disrupt the launch of a Soviet missile and extract fellow operative Grigori Weaver. After an intense battle – and Weaver losing his left eye to Col. Lev Kravchenko’s knife – Woods and his team successfully rescued Weaver and took out members of the Ascension Group while continuing to hunt down Dragovich and Kravchenko.

Following Dragovich’s trail, Woods partnered up again with Mason five years later in Vietnam, when they met with CIA Special Agent Jason Hudson to track down a Soviet defector suspected of holding key information about Dragovich’s master plan. The Studies and Observations Group (SOG) unit was then led to Laos, where they discovered a shot-down Soviet cargo plane carrying Nova 6 gas only to be captured before they could report their findings.

In one of the most intense confrontations in Black Ops history, Woods, Mason, and Bowman were forced by their captors to gamble with their lives in a game of Russian Roulette. Though Bowman didn’t make it out alive, Woods and Mason were able to stage a last-minute escape thanks to Woods’ unstoppable survival instincts. After stealing a helicopter and making their way to Kravchenko’s compound, the two soldiers confronted Kravchenko in a bloody fight ending with Woods and Kravchenko falling out of a window. Both men were presumed dead following an explosion just moments later.

… But as we all know, you can’t kill Frank Woods.

WHAT LIES AHEAD

Over a decade later on January 13th, 1981, in Trabzon, Turkey, Woods learns about a legendary Soviet operative whose existence has been questioned even within the deepest ranks of the CIA. Within a matter of weeks, he joins a newly assembled team tasked with tracking down this dangerous figure at any cost, and the next chapter of his story begins.

BLACK OPS HISTORY: JASON HUDSON

ORIGINS

Jason Hudson was born and raised in Washington D.C., with big dreams of one day serving his country like his older brother had in World War II. He enlisted and served in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division in the Korean War, but after being honorably discharged in 1955, his path took him in another direction. Hudson enrolled at Georgetown University to study psychology and political science, proving to be an exceptional student.

After graduating, he entered the CIA where his intelligence and perseverance pushed him quickly up the ranks, leading to his selection for some of the most dangerous assignments imaginable. Though utterly loyal to the CIA, many questioned his personal allegiances as he pushed his associates to the brink so he could accomplish his own goals. How would this selective loyalty serve Mason and accomplish what needed to be done for what Hudson viewed as the greater good? We all know the answer today, but it’s worth reflecting on the events that led us to finding out what the numbers really meant.

BLACK OPS HISTORY

On November 10th, 1963, Hudson was entrusted with escorting Mason to the Pentagon to be briefed by U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara before meeting with President John F. Kennedy. Mason’s new orders: kill Soviet General Nikita Dragovich.

Five years later, Hudson joined Mason and Sgt. Frank Woods in Khe Sanh, Vietnam, to investigate rumblings of Soviet activity in the area. The mission proved to be a valuable endeavor despite its inherit dangers, as the team worked to locate a Soviet defector with key intel. Hudson managed to hold his own in a massive battle as the men fought to successfully evacuate the area.

In early February of 1968, Hudson was sent to Kowloon City, Hong Kong, to interrogate Dr. Daniel Clarke, one of the engineers responsible for the creation of the infamous chemical weapon, Nova 6. After “carefully extracting” key information from Dr. Clarke that identified Nazi scientist Doctor Friedrich Steiner as the creator of the project, Hudson prepped a team to travel to the Soviet facility at Mount Yamantau to seize evidence of weaponized Nova 6 gas.

Teaming up with fellow CIA operatives Grigori Weaver, Terrance Brookes, and Bruce Harris, Hudson infiltrated the Yamantau base to gather evidence and apprehend Dr. Steiner. Inside the facility, Steiner made contact with the team remotely to negotiate a deal for his life in exchange for intel on Dragovich, knowing his days were numbered.

On the fateful day of February 23th, 1968, Hudson and Weaver led Alpha Squad on a desperate mission to extract Steiner from Rebirth Island alive. With the base on full alert, the race was on to get to Steiner before anyone else… meanwhile, Mason and his friend Viktor Reznov had also arrived on the island to breach the laboratories and take out any resistance along the way. After reaching Steiner ahead of Alpha Squad, Mason believed Reznov was responsible for confronting and killing Steiner in his laboratory, but Hudson and Weaver witnessed a different version of the truth.

With no other options to turn to, Hudson resorted to pushing Mason beyond his limits in a lengthy interrogation until the harsh realities of Mason’s brainwashing from years past were finally revealed. Believing that Mason’s subconscious held the key to stopping Dragovich, Hudson worked with Mason to locate and take down the newly discovered numbers station on the Soviet ship Rusalka and put an end to Dragovich for good.

The rest, as they say, is history… until now.

WHAT LIES AHEAD

On January 17th, 1981, Hudson calls upon his old colleague, Russell Adler, to form an elite team of operatives in the pursuit of a dangerous Soviet agent. Although he doesn’t fully trust him and disagrees with some of his more unconventional methods, Hudson knows that if anyone has the personal motivation to see this task through to its conclusion, it’s Adler.

BLACK OPS HISTORY: ADLER AND PARK

RUSSELL ADLER: A MAN WITH A PAST

Born in 1937, Adler has become a mystery even to those who have worked by his side for years. His history before joining the CIA in 1966 is known only to a few within Langley. In 1967, Adler was assigned to the MACV-SOG unit in Vietnam, investigating covert Soviet activity.

After Vietnam, Adler disappeared from CIA records but continued to be affiliated with a number of clandestine operations. He possesses a cold confidence that commands the room. He rarely smiles, but maintains a biting, dry wit. Capable of switching between disarming charisma and emotionless brutality in an instant, Adler enjoys intimidating those around him, and excels at it. His deep knowledge of covert tactics, fluency in Russian and German, and mastery of espionage make him one of the few key operatives that the CIA can consistently rely upon.

In January of 1981, Adler sets out to assemble a covert strike team of new and familiar faces to track down a lead in the city of Amsterdam. These are tried-and-true operatives he believes he can trust to get the job done. But where this trail leads, only time will tell…

HELEN PARK: DUTY TO THE CROWN

Helen Park entered Oxford at the young age of 16. While working on her doctorate in international relations, her older brother was severely injured in an IRA car bomb attack in London, leading her to immediately drop out from the program. She began to study the origins and motivations of international para-military organizations, eventually leading her to join the ranks of MI6.

After several years of international assignments, Park was placed on protection service for two British scientists. Under Park’s watch, the team was set to travel to a clandestine location to collaborate with the CIA on an officially sponsored project.

There she met Adler, a key figure in the new program, and personally took on an expanded role in its development. Afterward, she would join Adler on an ad hoc black operations team utilizing the fruits of their labor together. However, the interests of MI6 and the Crown always come first for Park, whether her new partners know it or not.

BLACK OPS HISTORY: LAZAR AND SIMS

ELEAZAR “LAZAR” AZOULAY: ALL BRAINS, ALL BRAWN

In 1948, Eleazar was the second child born to professors of political science at the American University in Washington, D.C. In 1950, Eleazar’s father accepted a position at the Tel Aviv School of Law and Economics, moving his family to Israel in order to be closer to his own ailing parents. As a teenager, Azoulay stood out for his athleticism and strength, excelling on every team he was a member of.

After returning from four years at Royal Holloway, University of London, where he began to go by the nickname “Lazar,” the young Azoulay entered the Israel Defense Forces. Following a distinguished stint, he was recruited into Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad. There, Lazar developed a reputation not only for explosive power, but also for his unflappability.

LAWRENCE SIMS: THE (UN)FORTUNATE SON

Born February 4, 1942, at Fort Bragg, NC, Lawrence Sims has been entrenched in military culture his entire life, for better or worse. After the loss of his father, he developed a laid-back and lightly sarcastic persona, studying the world with detached amusement. Sims quickly immersed himself in the world of technology, both military and consumer, quietly focusing on following in his father’s footsteps.

After receiving a scholarship and graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Sims entered the Army, where he served for two years before joining the ranks of the CIA. There, he quickly became known for his keen intelligence, pragmatism, and ability to solve intractable problems.

In a twist of fate, his first major assignment was a placement on Russell Adler’s MACV-SOG team in Vietnam, where he immediately became one of Adler’s favorite cohorts. Sims has continued to be a constant presence on Adler’s teams ever since… including the fateful operation that would bring him face-to-face with Alex Mason and Frank Woods.

That’s it for the Black Ops Cold War characters! Of course, we’ll probably meet more in the game, but these are the main ones we’ll interact with while playing through the campaign which is being developed by Raven Software.

Stay tuned for the official multiplayer reveal set to take place this week on September 9!

Source: Treyarch

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