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|“||Gentlemen … Welcome to Dubai||„|
|~ Captain Walker.|
Captain Martin Walker is the main protagonist (albeit arguably a villainous protagonist rather than a heroic one) of the 2012 videogame Spec Ops: The Line. He is a Captain in the United States Army's Delta Force, and sent to Dubai to learn of Colonel John Konrad's status and rescue survivors.
He is voiced by Nolan North, who also voices Deadpool in numerous media, Doctor Edward Richtofen in the Call of Duty zombie series, Penguin in the Arkham series, David in The Last of Us, The Black Hand in Shadow of Mordor and Zog the Eternal in Shadow of War, Cyrille Le Paradox and El Jefe in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, Elliot Salem in Army of Two: The 40th Day, Alberto Clemente in Mafia II and Remy Duvall in Mafia III, Hades in God of War (2005), Modi in God of War (2018), and Redmond Mann and Merasmus in Team Fortress 2.
The game's story begins with him leading a three-man squad into a ruined Dubai to search for survivors after all contact with the fictional 33rd Battalion of the United States Army is lost. Led by Lieutenant Colonel John Konrad (who saved Walker's life during the War in Afghanistan), the 33rd were tasked with aiding with the relief effort in Dubai after massive sandstorms all but destroyed the city. However, Konrad and the entire Battalion deserted, destroying any and all contact with the outside world; Dubai was essentially designated a no-man's-land.
The game begins with Walker, 1st Lieutenant Alphonse Adams and Staff Sergeant John Lugo aboard a helicopter piloted by Adams, flying over a ruined Dubai. Other helicopters pursue them, which Walker attempts to dispatch with the minigun. However, a sudden sandstorm causes the helicopter to crash in the desert.
The story then jumps back to the chronological beginning, with Walker, Adams and Lugo traversing the storm wall through to the outskirts of a mostly buried Dubai on foot. They come in contact with a group of hostile armed survivors, referred to as "insurgents", who have captured a squad of 33rd soldiers. Throughout the rest of their journey, the team hears broadcasts on homemade speakers by the Radioman, a former journalist turned DJ that was once embedded with the 33rd in Afghanistan and now speaks on their behalf.
As the journey progresses, the team finds evidence of what had happened in Dubai over the preceding months, indicating that after the failed evacuation, the 33rd returned to Dubai as an occupying force and committed atrocities against the civilian population with the intent of maintaining order. Aggrieved by this, elements of the 33rd staged a rebellion against Konrad in protest, forming the Exiles. The CIA has been organizing the insurgents to attack both Konrad’s loyalist 33rd and the Exiles. Although there is now clear evidence against Konrad's virtue, Konrad once saved Walker's life in Kabul during the war, which inclines him to trust Konrad.
The team attempts to peacefully intervene when they come across refugees being rounded up by loyalist 33rd soldiers. However, the soldiers mistake them for CIA operatives and begin a firefight, resulting in the team having to kill fellow American soldiers, much to the dismay of Lugo and Adams. As the 33rd retreats with a number of civilian prisoners, Walker insists on investigating further in hopes of evacuating survivors and finding Konrad.
The team learns that a CIA agent, Daniels, has been captured by the 33rd and is being interrogated. Arriving to rescue Daniels, they are ambushed by the 33rd and discover that Daniels is dead and that it was a trap set for Gould, another CIA agent. Gould arrives with a band of insurgents and helps them escape, but is later captured and killed by the 33rd while assault a location called the Gate. Assuming that Gould intended to take the Gate from the 33rd, the team heads there to press the attack.. Arriving at the Gate, which is heavily guarded by the 33rd, the team, disregarding Lugo's objections, uses a mortar loaded with white phosphorus to attack the 33rd. The strike completely obliterates the company.
While walking through the aftermath, they witness a dying 33rd soldier questioning the slaughter, stating the 33rd wanted only to help. To the team's horror, they find that the 33rd had sheltered 47 civilians for their safety in the coming battles, and that the phosphorous strike killed them all. Lugo realizes that Gould never intended to take the Gate, but only wanted to free the civilians. Walker shows no remorse, putting the blame entirely on the 33rd, and pushes the others on despite their obvious anger and trauma.
The team discovers Konrad's former command squad, who have been executed. Shortly afterwards, Konrad begins communicating with Walker over a radio they find inside. He taunts Walker over his inner doubts and fears as tensions rise between the team, making Walker adjust his belief that Konrad is innocent. Konrad subsequently forces Walker to choose between executing an Emirati survivor who stole water from the 33rd, or a 33rd soldier who was tasked with bringing the former to justice and killed the man's family in the process. Shortly afterwards, Delta finds CIA agent Riggs leading a raid on the Underwater Aquatic Coliseum, the city's last water supply.
Riggs tells Delta that insurgent control of the water will cripple the 33rd's operations in Dubai and bring peace. However, after the team aids Riggs, he intentionally destroys the water supplies and Walker learns that the CIA wanted to wipe out the entire population so that no one would learn of the 33rd's atrocities, which would cause the entire region to declare war on the United States in retaliation. Riggs, injured after destroying the water supplies, dies immediately afterwards by Walker shooting him with his own revolver, or letting him burn to death.
With Dubai's residents facing death from dehydration within 96 hours, the team, which is now becoming increasingly edgy and more violent, with Walker suffering from hallucinations, heads to the Trans-Emirates Building to silence the Radioman and warn the city using the radio. The Radioman surrenders and instructs Delta on how to use his PA system, but is shot dead by Lugo. Adams subsequently commandeers a Black Hawk helicopter, and Walker destroys the radio tower as they flee the scene. They begin shooting down several pursuing helicopters until a sudden sandstorm forms, causing one of the pursuers to spin out of control and crash into the trio.
After the crash, Konrad appears to a disoriented Walker, chastising him about his failures and weakness. Awakening from the illusion, Walker is contacted by Adams, who informs him that Lugo is out of contact. Walker and Adams regroup at the crash site and contact Lugo, who has no weapon and has a broken arm after the crash. Walker and Adams fight their way through enemy lines in hopes of reaching Lugo before the 33rd can. Despite their efforts, Walker and Adams are too late to stop Lugo from being lynched by a mob of citizens, angered at the Americans' destruction of the water supply. When attempts to revive Lugo fail, Walker and Adams either scare the crowd away or kill them in retribution.
Walker's hallucinations are nearly constant at this point, and Adams completely blames Walker for Lugo's death. Walker contacts Konrad and informs that he is coming to Konrad's headquarters to kill him. Walker and Adams make their way to the tower; however, the two are soon surrounded by the last of Konrad's men. Walker, who surrenders to get access inside the tower, is pushed to safety by Adams, who fights to the death against the 33rd. Completely alone and exhausted, Walker stumbles into the entrance of the tower, where the remnants of the 33rd surrender to him. Walker demands to know where Konrad is, and is directed to Konrad's penthouse.
Walker arrives at the penthouse of the tower without incident and finally meets Konrad. Konrad, who is painting a scene of the white phosphorus strike, questions Walker on his choices throughout the mission. At first, Konrad appears to be the paranoid, charismatic force behind the atrocities Walker was hoping for, until Walker finds his decaying corpse on the penthouse deck. Walker learns that Konrad committed suicide an unknown amount of time after the broadcast that brought Delta to the city, and that the Konrad that Walker has been in contact with during the game is actually a traumatic hallucination that none of his team witnessed, existing only within his mind.
This mental projection of Konrad appears to Walker, explaining that Walker knew he had the choice of leaving Dubai numerous times, but pushed ahead out of a desire to be something he isn't: a hero. To maintain his 'sanity' after the white phosphorus strike, and rationalizing the actions he had witnessed and carried out, Walker distorted many subsequent events of the game to make Konrad look responsible. With his fantasy coming to an end now that the truth is in front of him, 'Konrad' forces Walker, at gunpoint, to decide once and for all whether he is blame for the atrocities in Dubai.
There are five possible actions to take, with four ending possible.
- Walker shooting himself or allowing Konrad to shoot him will cause Walker in reality to commit suicide. His dead body is shown settled against Konrad's, while Konrad's original broadcast plays as the camera pans over the burning remnants of Dubai.
- If Walker instead shoots Konrad, he disappears after telling Walker he can still return home. After the 33rd surrending is shown to be another figment of Walker's imagination, Walker then uses Konrad's radio to request an immediate evacuation of Dubai. An epilogue after the credits roll shows a convoy of Army rescue Humvees locating Walker, who is sitting alone in the desert wearing Konrad’s uniform and brandishing an AA-12. Walker can either concede to the patrol and open fire on them. If Walker is killed by the patrol, he dies lying in a pool of blood, remembering a conversation between himself and Konrad during the war, before the fighting in Kabul worsened. As his dying body is being watched by the patrol, Walker remembers casually remarking about returning home, but Konrad criticized him, saying that soldiers do what's necessary and then die.
- If Walker kills the entire patrol, he uses their radio to greet Army command with "Gentlemen, welcome to Dubai", one of the first statements Walker said to his team as well as one of the first statements 'Konrad' said to Walker. Walker then returns to the Dubai Seaside as the camera pans to a ruined Dubai.
- If Walker relinquishes his weapon, he evacuates with the patrol, and has a conversation with one of the soldiers. One of the soldiers asks Walker how he managed to survive, to which he responds "Who said I did?", signaling the broken man that Walker has become.
Powers and Abilities
Walker proves himself to be quite skilled in combat with enemy soldiers. He demonstrates proficiency in a wide range of firearms, from pistols to shotguns to grenade launchers to sniper rifles. He is also shown to be skilled in hand to hand combat as well, being able to disarm enemies and perform brutal finishing moves on them.
All of his combat prowess is a result of him being a Delta Force operator. Delta Force is a super-elite, special operations counterterrorism unit of the United States Army whose operators have already proved themselves skilled soldiers in either the 75th Ranger Regiment or the United States Army Special Forces (also known as the Green Berets).
He is also shown to be a capable leader, as Lugo and Adams follow his orders faithfully and without question until later in the game. He manages to keep a relatively cool head even while under fire, and shows no fear in the face of overwhelming odds. Additionally, he comes up with fast counterattacks, being able to devise a strategy or solution to deal with enemies rather quickly.
- Walker's signature weapon is the M4A1, as it appears in many cutscenes.
- Walker was originally to appear younger, but this changed during development.
- During the revelations that Konrad is dead, Walker can be seen mimicking hallucination Konrad's words. This indicates that he is talking to himself before making the final decision.
- Though Walker commits many violent acts, he can commit some honorable acts through the game. Examples being that he can save the civilians instead of saving Gould, and can let the civilians that killed Lugo go.
- Despite the attempts, both are undone due to the fact that the civilians he saved instead of Gould were presumably murdered at the gate, or the nest. And for the one that lynched Lugo, they would presumably die of thirst in four days.
- Early on, if Walker executes a 33rd soldier, he will respond that they are a traitor. This can be seen as ironic, as the player can betray and kill Falcon One in the epilogue.
- Walker can be seen as a deconstruction of First Person Shooters protagonists.
- He is similar to Kiritsugu Emiya. Both are introduced as experienced war veterans who desire to be heroes but are willing to resort to extremely violent and brutal methods in order to achieve their goals and are called out for this by their allies. Ultimately, both end up killing a ton of people (including ones close to them) for absolutely nothing and are sent into utter despair as a result. The difference between them is that Kiritsugu is fully aware of the nature of his actions while Walker is completely deluded (though he can snap out of this).