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|“||You suffer with me.||„|
|~ Menendez's most famous quote.|
|“||Opulence is sinful and we all pay for it.||„|
|~ Raul Menendez's second most famous quote.|
|“||Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.||„|
|~ Raul Menendez, quoting the poem Ulysses.|
|“||Martyr me... for Cordis Die.||„|
|~ Raul Menendez's last words if the player chooses to kill him.|
Raul Menendez (in Spanish: Raúl Menéndez) is the main antagonist of the 2012 video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a posthumous antagonist in the 2015 sequel Black Ops III and the overarching antagonist of the 2018 sequel Black Ops 4.
He was an extremely charismatic and influential Nicaraguan political activist, founder and leader of Cordis Die and an old nemesis of Alex Mason, his son David, and Frank Woods. He intends on destroying America through a worldwide uprising by crippling the U.S. military, in his campaign to avenge the death of his sister Josefina and the many people that Americans have killed throughout history.
Raul Menendez was born in Nicaragua on September 5, 1963. According to JSOC operative Javier Salazar, Menendez spent the first part of his childhood during his country's tumultuous years in the Nicaraguan Revolution. Seeing first hand the horrors the American-backed Contras conducted on his fellow countrymen would sow the seeds for his hatred of the West. After the 1972 earthquake of Nicaragua, Menendez's family lost most of all they had, including their home. A year after the quake, his sister Josefina was horribly disfigured and crippled from a warehouse fire the two were seeking shelter in. The warehouse was burned down by its American owner for $11,000 in insurance money; this tragedy would further embitter Menendez towards America and its capitalist culture.
When Menendez entered into his teenage years both him and his father, Jose Luiz Menendez, started over by selling drugs for easy money. As time passed, they became rich and powerful. Their height of power was so great that the Menendez Cartel had an almost god like status in the criminal underworld. This was of great concern to the United States to the extent that the CIA assassinated Menendez's father in a U.S. sanctioned assassination.
2 years later, fueled by his anger for the U.S. in 1986, Menendez began to run weapons trade into Afghanistan for his own private army. On July 6, 1986, Menendez was in Angola supplying Cuban-backed Communist insurgency group called the MPLA with arms. It was also the same time in which Alex Mason and Jason Hudson were in Angola to rescue one of Menendez’s victims, the recently captured Frank Woods. Alex Mason ran into Menendez after breaking into his hut, while the gun runner was relaying propaganda on his radio. As his men entered the hut, Menendez wrestled with Mason after pulling a grenade. Mason overpowered Menendez and shot him in the right side of his face, destroying his eye and leaving him permanently disfigured. Mason then escaped the hut as the grenade exploded. This drew the attention of the CIA who sent in Alex Mason, Frank Woods, and Jason Hudson to investigate. Unbeknownst to the trio, the leader of the Mujihadeen in which they considered their ally, Mullah Rahmaan, was one of many in which secretly worked for Menendez. It was this same time in which Menendez also dealt with Lev Kravchenko, who sold the arms dealer Soviet weapons and arms in exchange to money. Sending the arms into third world countries such as Cuba and Angola, Menendez began to fund and arm many anti-Western rebellions and revolutions in the hope to bring down corrupt capitalist nations.
With the help of General Manuel Noriega, the dictator of Panama, the CIA in conjunction with the Panamanian Defense Forces conducted a raid on Menendez’s compound in Nicaragua. During the raid Frank Woods accidentally throws a hand grenade into Menendez’s sister’s room, killing her and presumably Menendez himself. However, unknown to the U.S. or the CIA, the corrupt General Noriega made a deal with Menendez offering him sanctuary in Panama. Before the U.S. invasion into Panama in 1989, Menendez, with the help of his moles within the CIA, kidnaps the young David Mason and brings him to Panama just ahead of the elder Mason’s mission to capture General Noriega. Around this same time Menendez’s men kidnap Jason Hudson and forced him to relay information to Frank Woods to kill what was believed to be Menendez. After taking the shot, the man he shot was not Menendez but instead Alex Mason. To further punish the now grief-stricken Woods, Menendez kills Hudson and shoots out both of his knees crippling him for life. Still not content with his revenge, Menendez allows Woods and the young David to live and vows that in due time he will return to finalize his revenge.
During the course of the next 30 years, Menendez hides in the shadows working to gather the men and resources needed to begin his world revolution. To generate funds for his private army, Menendez used the wealth he made in drug trafficking and invested heavily in various weapons tech including Tacitus Corporation. On June 22, 2014, Menendez began his campaign by creating Cordis Die, a social networking group drawing in billions of followers to his cause of ending the the corrupt capitalist 1% nations, using the alias Odysseus. With his followers don't know that their leader was a narco-terrorist, the members of Cordis Die organized into armed insurgent groups such as Mercs and Militia and built a number of secret high tech military bases around the world.
At some point, he started being called "The Messiah of the 99%" and whose Cordis Die YouTube channel has millions of subscribers and hundreds of millions of views. According to Admiral Briggs, "People in America... idolize him", despite being the one responsible for the blood spilled on U.S. soil.
Making Plans and Allies
11 years later in 2025, Menendez stages a cyber-attack that cripples the Chinese Stock Exchange. This leads to China banning the export of "rare earth elements" that the entire U.S. Army and military's infrastructure is dependent on. Another thing that occurs is a war between the United States and a Chinese military alliance group called the Strategic Defense Coalition (SDC) and its leader Tian Zhao, which can be played out with optional "Strike Force" missions. David Mason leads a group of soldiers to raid a lab in Myanmar, where they find a device that Menendez plans to use to trigger a bigger cyber-attack that will cripple the entire U.S. military infrastructure. The device is called the "Celerium", capable of hacking any computer system, and it was made by a computer programmer named Chloe Lynch/Karma, who left the organization at some point. Menendez had a smaller version of the virus device put into his eye-socket, where his missing eye used to be.
David's squad is dispatched to Pakistan, where they follow Menendez around a storm-ridden city. Menendez was followed by his second-in-command DeFalco and they met Tian Zhao and the leader of the ISI to get the support of the SDC. After following them for a while, it turns out that Menendez knew of the people spying on him and actually got the guys to spy on him as part of his plan. Menendez orders DeFalco to kidnap Lynch, code-naming her "Karma" for the tattoo on her neck, at the island resort Colossus. The mission can end in two ways; David kills DeFalco and saves Lynch, or Lynch is captured and they have to plan a Strike Force mission to save her. DeFalco will live if this happens.
Capture and Escape
In Yemen, Menendez plans a meeting/rally with his followers, one of them being David's teammates Farid, whom Menendez didn't know was a spy for the CIA. U.S. forces come in and interrupt the rally, forcing Farid to battle the U.S. and Yemen's military and also meet back up with Menendez at a citadel. At the citadel, David's teammate Harper is captured (after Menendez shoots down his aircraft with a rocket launcher) and Menendez makes Farid kill him. The player, as Farid, can either shoot Harper or shoot Menendez. Shooting Harper will make him absent from the rest of the game, while shooting Menendez will end badly with Menendez killing Farid in a fit of anger. The villain is captured and brought to the aircraft carrier, the USS Barack Obama, for interrogation.
While in interrogation, Cordis Die troops appeared and attack the carrier, allowing Menendez to hold Salazar hostage and escape. While David combats Cordis Die troops and reprogrammed the ship's defense systems, Menendez (and DeFalco, if he is not dead yet) head to the bridge, where Menendez pulls his fake eye out and removes a Celerium device he hid inside it, then sticks it into a computer and uploads a virus that allows Cordis Die to take command the entire U.S. drone fleet. Salazar shows his allegiance to Menendez by shooting U.S. troops, which may or may not result in the death of DeFalco and Lynch (determined by choice in the last mission). Menendez fires at Admiral Briggs, either killing him or wounding him (injuring him and completing all Strike Force missions means that the Chinese military will assist in retaking the Obama, but killing him or not completing all Strike Force missions will mean the Chinese will not help and the Obama will be destroyed). He makes his escape in a jet, but is pursued by David (and Harper if he isn't dead by now).
Drone forces and Cordis Die troops head to Los Angeles and destroy the city, with the President of France being one of the people killed in the attack. The President of the United States barely makes it out, but does with David to save her. Menendez now hides in a base in Haiti, where David has been sent to capture the terrorist (with or without the Chinese government's help) and defeat Cordis Die. While breaking in, a video plays of Menendez revealing his plan to the world of crippling the U.S. military so that Cordis Die can rise up and topple the government. While making his escape, Menendez is attacked by David, who stabs him twice and points a gun at his head.
Due to Menendez being the reason the plot is kicked into gear, the decision to kill him or spare him will determine how the game ends. Depending if the characters Chloe Lynch and Alex Mason live or die, the player will get any of the following endings to Black Ops II:
- Lynch Dies/Alex Dies/Menendez Lives (And Kills Himself): If Alex Mason and Chloe Lynch die and Menendez is spared, Menendez will be put in prison, telling David to study Ulysseus and "be ready", as he will see him "one year from now". A year later, due to Lynch being dead, the cyber-attack is successful and Menendez breaks out of prison to visit an elderly Frank Woods at "the Vault". They converse briefly and then Menendez slits his throat using a pendant, then goes to his sister's grave. He exhumes Josefina's corpse and gazes over it, then pours gasoline on himself and lights a match, burning to death off-screen while the credits play.
- Lynch Lives/Menendez Lives/Alex Lives: With Menendez in prison and Lynch alive, she will stop the cyber-attack. Menendez is unable to get out of prison now, and Lynch is convivial at Jimmy Kimmel show as a merit, for her vindicating the world from the Cordis Die menace. Raul watches Lynch through a television in his cell as Chloe insults him on the talk show. Later, David goes to see Woods at the Vault, but he doesn't know that his father was there and they had a family reunion.
- Menendez Dies: Regardless of Lynch and Mason's survival, shooting Menendez will trigger what a trailer for Black Ops III considers the canon ending; now, a YouTube video will play where Menendez quotes Ulysses and rallies up his two billion Cordis Die followers. Shortly after, citizens get angry and riot in Washington, D.C., committing petracide, by burning down the White House in the process.
As already stated, the "Menendez Dies" ending is the canon ending.
|“||What?! Raul Menendez was a hypocritical egomaniac who thought he could make a better world by f--king everything up!||„|
|~ Hendricks' opinion on Raul Menendez.|
Years later after the events of Black Ops II, Menendez was revived by Savannah Mason-Meyer, a CIA operative and the grand-daughter of David Mason's daughter, and she gave him the position of overseeing Project Blackout, a secret operation with the intention of successfully bringing back the dead. Menendez eventually took full control of the Project after she learned that her sister Jessica (whom she accidentally killed) was still alive and conspiring against her. After she believed that she had the Specialists killed, whom she initially hired to handle an unknown threat, the two of them had facilities established across the globe to continue Project Blackout.
- Jason Hudson
- "Farid" (Determined)
- Tommy Briggs (Determined)
- Jones (Determined)
- Samuels (Determined)
- Frank Woods (Determined)
- Himself (Determined)
- Numerous PDF soldiers
- Lev Kravchenko
- Alex Mason (Determined)
- Mike Harper (Determined)
- Chloe Lynch/"Karma" (Determined)
- Tommy Briggs (Determined)
- Javier Salazar (Determined)
- Anderson (Determined)
- Numerous unnamed people
Menendez was an extremely ruthless, manipulative, intelligent, savvy, ornery, brutal, murderous, cold and vengeful man and a megalomaniac from the most diabolical kind.
He mostly enjoys killing his enemies, but most of all, he enjoys presenting himself as a god-like Messiah figure in his videos, with also keeping saying his famous line; "You suffer with me", which proves that he also enjoys torturing his enemies. However, he was also very protective and caring to his sister, Josefina, and in the alternate, non-canonical ending, he visits his sister's grave before dousing himself in gasoline and setting himself on fire.
In other media
Black Ops Style
Menendez also appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 The Musical (also known as "Black Ops Style") which was a parody music video of Gangnam Style by PSY, by a Youtuber, Lhugueny. It takes place the same, except one of the non-canon events in which Farid shot Harper in the head and the final moment where PSY shot Menendez instead of Section which is about to do so.
- He was voiced by Kamar de los Reyes. It can be noted that Menendez looks considerably like Kamar, but with a scar across his eye.
- Menendez's name was originally Martinez.
- Menendez in his youth bears a striking resemblance to David Mason in his youth - right down to the hairstyle, polo-styled striped shirt, and facial features.
- Menendez is interestingly-similar to the real-life leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden; both were terrorists with vendettas against America and were responsible for mass bombings. Both were also killed as part of an American-sanctioned operation.
- Menendez appears alongside Frank Woods in the music video for the song "Carry On" by Avenged Sevenfold.
- Also, Menendez's shirt on the back shows the dates and locations of concerts, which reference the locations and dates of Future Missions.
- In "Time and Fate", Menendez plays very differently from a normal Call of Duty player character due to his rampage. He moves noticeably faster than normal, deals so much melee damage he can actually dismember enemies with his machete, can reload the starting SPAS-12 shotgun nearly instantly if he has fired more than three rounds and gets a 16-round magazine on it, and has infinite ammunition for any weapon he uses. He can also take an extremely high amount of damage (at least as much as a player-controlled Juggernaut), and his health regenerates much faster than normal.
- Menendez is multilingual, as he speaks Spanish, Russian and English.
- Menendez was ranked #1 on GameInformer's list of top 10 villains of 2012.
- Menendez has been repeatedly named as one of the best villains in Call of Duty, alongside Vladimir Makarov.
- Ironically, Cordis Die has an agenda against the rich, but Menendez is rich himself. However, Cordis Die most likely holds Menendez in a high regard because he initially grew up very poor and later became rich on his own merits as well as tolerates his wealth due to the fact he uses it to fund them.
- Menendez's favorite weapon in 2025 is the Executioner revolver; in the 1980's, his favorite weapon appears to be the SPAS-12, as he stole Noriega's in "Time and Fate" and had his own in "Suffer With Me". Due to this, it is possible he may have a fondness for shotguns.
- If Menendez survives and Chloe Lynch is killed or captive, after he kills Woods, and is at his sister's grave, his hair has grown back out, which means that a significant amount of time passed after he killed Woods.
- When Menendez is about to kill Woods (Player-determined), he appears to have his right eye back, however, it's more likely a fake one.
- If Menendez is killed in "Judgment Day", his tongue will roll out.
- In "Pyrrhic Victory", Menendez uses a SOG Knife, which is strange, since he was never a part of SOG. He most likely took it from Woods or a member of his team when they were captured.
- If Graphic Content Filter is enabled, and if the player gets the ending where Chloe lives and Menendez is captured, when he slams his head on the TV in his prison cell, Menendez's entire body, including his face, is censored.
- In "Time and Fate", it's possible to kill Menendez. The player should equip the Storm PSR (however, the player must finish the campaign first in order to use the future weapon in past mission), and when seeing Menendez at the barn, the player will need to wait for being able to use the weapons again, then look for Menendez and kill him. However, this does not change the game, and Menendez is seen in the house later in the mission.
- Despite having only one eye, Menendez's field of vision is exactly the same as any other character's when he is playable. This is likely an intentional developers' choice not to limit the player's vision of his surroundings.
- It has been confirmed in the Black Ops III timeline trailer that the "shoot Menendez" choice is the canon outcome of Black Ops II.