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Today, the Front embarks on a conquest. Here and now, we will eradicate the authority and influence of the Earth! Our world is just beginning. Theirs is dying! It is not enough to break free. We will break them! Their cities will burn along with the pages of their history. Mars aeternum.
~ Salen Kotch' speech.
Death is no disgrace!
~ Salen Kotch' pathetic motto.
Admiral Salen Kotch is the main antagonist of the 2016 video game Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. He is the ruthless leader of the Settlement Defense Front, a group of off-world insurgents bent on controlling the entire solar system. He is also the archenemy of the main protagonist, Captain Nick Reyes.
He was voiced by Kit Harington, who also voiced Eret in Dreamworks' How to Train Your Dragon 2.
Brought up during the early days of the S.D.F.'s regime, Kotch developed a deep disdain towards the ideals of freedom and democracy, which was largely a result of the S.D.F. propaganda machine. During his time in S.D.F. naval college, he engaged in a rivalry with the now-vice admiral Caleb Thies, and attended a delegation to the U.N.S.A. naval college at Oslo, a trip which completely cemented his pro-S.D.F. ideals. Post-graduation, Kotch became widely known throughout the Solar System, becoming the youngest recipient of the Iron Sword, scaling Olympus Mons, advocating for the construction of the S.D.F.'s first super carrier and thus becoming one of the S.D.F.'s most feared leaders.
Skirmish on Europa
When a soldier trio, tasked with securing classified weapons before the S.D.F. can conquer the settlement on Europa, is attacked by the S.D.F. while attempting to do so, the sole conscious surviving soldier, Wolf, is interrogated by Kotch. Kotch asks him how many soldiers were sent but Wolf instead inquires about the health of his men. Kotch is amused and shoots one of his own men, claiming that care clouds judgment and that this is the reason why Wolf and his men cannot win. He then rips out Wolf's oxygen tank and orders his men (including Bradley Fillion to kill all three soldiers.
War Against Earth
During the Fleet Week Parade at Geneva, the S.D.F. hijacks the planet's planetary defense system and turns it on the parade, destroying most of Earth's fleet and killing most of the civilian bystanders. The S.D.F. then land troops in Geneva, planning to conquer the planet. However, the ground teams of the S.D.F. are eliminated and the S.D.F.'s starships near Earth's orbit are destroyed or flee. Nonetheless, the S.D.F. has effectively declared war on Earth.
When a team of marines enters a base on a planet fought over by Earth's forces and the S.D.F., Kotch contacts the captain, Reyes. He orders Reyes and his men to surrender, threatening with execution should they refuse. Nonetheless, Reyes and his men are able to escape the S.D.F. base before it detonates. While Reyes and his men escape the planet in their starships, Kotch's flagship, the Olympus Mons, shoots down Reyes' starship. Reyes is stranded in space and his ship, the Retribution, is forced to retreat under fire of the Olympus.
Kotch lures the team of the Retribution to a fiery meteorite, hoping that they die in the flames. Although the Retribution loses its sergeant, the rest escapes unharmed. Kotch then contacts the ship directly, threatening Reyes and vowing that he will continue to wage war against earth. To strike back, Reyes plans to set an ambush for Kotch in return, intending to lure the Olympus to earth to fight them there.
Kotch: You lack all it takes to win this war. Reyes: I had what it took to beat you, Kotch. Kotch: Kill me isn't winning. I killed your Admiral. Your iron-shield is down. Death is no disgrace.
~ Kotch and Reyes just as the former begins to succumb to his injuries.
Indeed Kotch's fleet arrives in Geneva. The Olympus attacks a military HQ, killing Reyes' superior Admiral Raines and everyone else inside. Despite this throwback, Reyes and his team are able to successfully enter the Olympus Mons and head towards the bridge. While on their way, Reyes is contacted by Kotch who threatens to destroy the Olympus, which would result in the destruction of Geneva. Before this can happen, Reyes sends a bot to the bridge which fights through Kotch's men and smashes Kotch into the ship's control panel. The bot then self-destructs, exploding and wounding Kotch. Kotch dies from his wounds while Reyes and his men storm the bridge.
Kotch was an extremely manipulative and ruthless person who is willing to do anything to defeat the U.N.S.A. and was one of the most feared men in the Solar System whilst commanding upon the S.D.F. and the Olympus Mons, he was just merciless on the ground as shown when he had SCAR Team 7 brutally executed after feigning sympathy towards them.
Also, he believes a victory in all costs and willing to sacrifice his own men or even his own ship and his own life if it means to destroy the Earth's people. Overall, he is fanatically devoted to defeating the Earth forces and conquering the Solar System as it said, even if it causes to his death.
Kotch interrogating Wolf, moments before ordering his team's executions.
Kotch addressing to Reyes and his crew, who have stormed his flagship.
Kit Harrington is the first voice actor in COD series to both portraying and both voicing his own character through using CGI motion-capture, although the role was given a low onscreen appearance and many fans were disappointed.
Kit has explained in an interview that he was excited to be a part of the game due to being "personally a bit of a space freak" and that he usually doesn't "get to play villains very often."
It is possible to kill Kotch by stabbing him in the neck as he dies of his wounds. If the player does this, the game will award them with the achievement "You Know Nothing". This is a reference to phrase "You know nothing, Jon Snow" from the TV series Game of Thrones, in which Kotch's voice actor, Kit Harington plays the character of Jon Snow.
During Kotch's first appearance in the level "Rising Threat", the color of his name in the subtitles is green (which highlights protagonists) instead of red (which highlights antagonists), which was later changed throughout the rest of the game.
A similar goof previously happened on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in the opening cutscene of the final level "Dust to Dust", where Vladimir Makarov's name was also green instead of red and was fixed throughout the rest of the level.
His card on the Most Wanted board is Ace of Spades.