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|“||Do you see this?... Can you see my face? This is my true nature! You see, don't you? This is who I am! This is who we all are. We're animals!... There's no denying it! A bunch of goddamn animals! They're sending us out to slaughter or be slaughtered... And here we sit until they tell us what to do, and how to do it! No will of our own. Just mindless obedience! We don't even know why we're fighting now, do we? All we know is that deep down, somewhere in there, we enjoy it. Destruction and violence... It's just part of our nature.||„|
|~ The General's crazed speech while wearing panther skin on his face.|
The General, formerly known as The Colonel, is a character featured in the indie top-down shooter videogame Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number. He leads an elite Special Forces unit known as the Ghost Wolves during a war against the Soviet Union in 1985. Nearing the end of the war, the General loses his once charismatic demeanor and his sanity eventually slips once the United States begin to lose the war.
It is revealed through the 1985 flashbacks and by the end of the game that the General is in fact the founder of 50 Blessings, arguably making him the main antagonist of the series.
Early on in Hawaiian conflict, the General was initially shown to be a charismatic and encouraging military commander, but his personality quickly changed after months of fighting. The General became more pessimistic, bitter and weary, showing little hope in winning the war due to the Soviet Union having a clear upper hand against America and felt very unenthusiastic upon hearing the news that he is receiving a promotion. He was also shown to be an alcoholic, frequently getting drunk during his mission briefings with Nicke and delayed one of their planned assaults due to remaining in his cabin drinking by himself.
Feeling pressure from the war which was made worse by his heavy drinking, the General's sanity eventually cracks, becoming a mentally unstable leader under the impression that he and his men are just animals who thrive on bloodshed and violence, believing that they are just being sent to mindlessly kill or be killed themselves. He conveys these new ideals in a drunken outburst in front of the Ghost Wolves after killing a panther, flaying it and wearing its skin on his face as a mask. After founding 50 Blessings, it is presumed that the General became a deranged jingoist who hated Russians and lost faith in America, shown when he has both the American and Russian presidents assassinated during a press conference.
Despite his flaws, the General is shown to value the Ghost Wolves and treats them with genuine respect. He admits that he is extremely proud of them and their efforts in the war despite the imminent Soviet victory and hates the fact that he has to send them on a suicide mission before they could be sent home. His respect for the Ghost Wolves is further evidenced when he openly dismisses the assault on the fortified hotel as a "piece of shit" mission, showing reluctance to send them into a trap and warning Nicke to be careful during the operation.
The General is a bald middle-aged man with a muscular physique, baggy purple eyes, purple lips and thick brown eyebrows. He has a prominent wart underneath his left eye and also notably appears to blink out of sync, which is a possible indicator of his unstable sanity or his drunkenness. The General wears a standard soldier's uniform, wearing a short-sleeved green shirt, brown camouflaged trousers and what appears to be a protective vest. The panther skin he wears on his face has its eye sockets cut open for him to see better, while the rest of the panther face's mouth section has been ripped off, letting the sides of the panther's face flap down on the General's cheeks. The General has also carved the 50 Blessings symbol into the mask's forehead.
During 1985, a war is initiated between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, where the majority of it is shown being fought in Hawaii. The General, who was still a colonel at the time, is one of the many commanders in charge of the US military operations in Hawaii and leads an elite squad of troops known as the Ghost Wolves, consisting of Nicke (lieutenant and field leader), Barnes, Daniels and Jacket. On March 17th, the Colonel enthusiastically briefs Nicke on one of their first missions in the war: the Ghost Wolves are to take out several Russian outposts hidden within the jungle at night. The Colonel shows Nicke an arsenal, advising him to pick his weapon wisely and tells him to make his shots count. He further tells Nicke to be careful, saying that a supply of beer will bent sent to them soon and remarks that he wouldn't want to drink it alone.
The mission is a success for the Ghost Wolves, and Nicke and his team rendezvous at a Russian intelligence building through a unique radio protocol passed down by the Colonel to hide themselves from Russian forces listening in on their walkie talkies: Nicke cryptically refers to himself as "James" and tells whoever is on the other end of the walkie talkie that he has finished weeding the gardens, while "Hank" says he has ran out fuel for the lawnmowers and is waiting at a gas station. The Ghost Wolves take surviving Russian soldiers hostage and find some intelligence to bring to the Colonel, with Daniels suggesting that it might be easier to just execute their hostages.
Several months have passed since their successful mission, and the Colonel has recently been given a promotion to Lieutenant General. However, the war has not been tipping in America's favor within the past few months, leaving the General cynical and weary of what might happen if America loses the war. Although he has scheduled an assault on a nearby Russian-occupied hotel by dawn, the General has instead spent all of his time in his cabin drinking.
Concerned about the squad not making its move by sunrise, Nicke finds the General in his drunken state. The General informs Nicke of his recent promotion to Lieutenant General, but Nicke can clearly see that the General isn't all that excited about the news. The General sarcastically remarks that he is celebrating his promotion, stating that he would like to be Lieutenant General if it weren't for the fact that they were losing the war. In spite of his miserable attitude, he informs Nicke that the Ghost Wolves will be sent home soon after their next mission, but is left concerned about the odds stacked against them during this mission, as multiple attempted assaults on the hotel have resulted in many casualties. Regardless, the General sends Nicke and the rest of the Ghost Wolves on their way. Through an arduous assault, the Ghost Wolves manage to wipe out the Russian forces occupying the hotel without any casualties and guard the building while waiting for the General and D Company to arrive.
Despite being promised to be sent home, the General informs the Ghost Wolves that his superiors expect them to be sent on one last mission: a suicide mission against a heavily guarded power plant. Having suffered from stress during the war while indulging in alcohol, the General loses his mind. On the night before the mission, the General kills a wild panther in the jungle and brings it into his cabin. Using the panther's blood, the General draws a circle on an American flag and draws three lines along three red stripes of the American flag going across the circle, forming what will eventually become the 50 Blessings logo. He then peels off the panther's face and carves the same symbol into the forehead of the panther's face and dons the skin as a mask.
The General, while wearing the mask, comes forward to his men and gives a crazed speech: he proclaims that they are all animals mindlessly taking orders from their superiors to slaughter or be slaughtered. He further boasts that they might not know why they are fighting in the first place, but deep down, they all crave destruction and bloodshed as it is part of their nature. Once Nicke interrupts the General and asks if he is okay, the mask slides off the General's face. Covered in blood and left in a state of shock, the General tells the Ghost Wolves that he has had too much to drink and says he needs to go to bed before nervously wandering off. Left disturbed by the General's outburst, Barnes begins to wonder what the General might have been drinking.
The next morning, the General prepares his munitions for Nicke in their upcoming suicide mission. He informs Nicke that him and the Ghost Wolves will be sent back home after this mission, but unfortunately will be most likely sent home in body bags due to the danger they will face once they charge into the power plant, reminding them that they will be walking into a trap. The General states he can't do anything to change the plans and before sending him on his way, tells Nicke that he is extremely proud of him and the Ghost Wolves and does not regret commanding them in the field of battle. He wishes Nicke good luck and sends him off to attack the power plant. Although the assault on the power plant was a success, only Nicke and a wounded Jacket make it out alive once the power plant is sent into meltdown. Afterwards, the two men are sent back home to San Francisco and Miami respectively.
The war with the Soviet Union eventually comes to an abrupt end once the Soviet Union makes one last act of retaliation against the United States which the General and the rest of the US military failed to anticipate: a nuclear bomb is dropped on San Francisco, destroying the city and killing every civilian there. Finally losing the war, a coalition is established between both nations to prevent any more destructive conflicts from happening between each other. The Russo-American coalition divides America, as anti-Russian sentiments arise from the overall populace due to Russian prominence.
Having other plans in store for the Russians in America, it wasn't until 1989 that the General finally formed the 50 Blessings organization. With American pride leaflets being sent out to those who may have wanted to join 50 Blessings, these were only a front for the organization's ultranationalist views. With the assistance of company management, phone call networks and their distributors, the General formed an elaborate terrorist scheme to crack down on the Russian Mafia, who have managed to subjugate politicians representing the Russo-American coalition into backing their criminal empire behind the scenes, in an effort to cripple the coalition and take back American pride from the "Russian oppressors".
The main tactics 50 Blessings used were created once the General passed down his old radio protocol he used back in the war in Hawaii. The organization would send out cryptic phone calls to citizens who signed up for the organization, as well as to those who didn't sign up regardless, which seemingly sounded like misplaced calls. However, under the guise of these phone calls were strict instructions giving out addresses to places owned by the Russian Mafia and ordered people to head to these addresses and kill any Russian mobster they would see under the pretense of "work". Similarly to the radio protocol in Hawaii, the callers would use fake identities representing certain businesses in Miami. Lastly, the General incorporated his crazed beliefs that humans are "animals" who crave violence in the form of animal masks, which were sent to anyone who received the phone calls so they could mask themselves during their massacres.
From as early on as April 2nd to July 23rd in 1989, the General had created a powerful terrorist organization which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people in Miami while 50 Blessings' trails were kept a secret. While several of the organization's masked operatives were unlucky and died during the attacks, the Russian Mafia was effectively destroyed by 50 Blessings once the mansion owned the Mafia's leaders was raided by the last surviving Ghost Wolves operative, Jacket, who now unknowingly serves 50 Blessings. After the destruction of the Russian Mafia, the phone calls cease and the 50 Blessings organization mysteriously disappear, while the General's involvement in the creation of the ultranationalist organization remained a complete secret.
Although 50 Blessings had long ceased their activities in Miami ever since Jacket took down the Russian Mafia, the General finally carries out the culmination of the organization's plans. On December 28th, 1991, the General leads a group of armed men and interrupts a press conference between the president of the United States and the President of the Soviet Union regarding the Russo-American coalition, assassinating both presidents. The news quickly spreads, resulting in a live emergency broadcast in America reporting the attack, describing it as a "coup d'état" and mentioning the General's involvement in the attack as the ringleader of the armed men. The Soviet Union perceives the death of both presidents as an act of war, and begins to launch nuclear bombs against America, with Hawaii and Miami being among the locations destroyed by the nukes. Although both countries spiral into a nuclear war, the General's fate is left unknown.
- The 50 Blessings symbol drawn onto the American flag in blood by the General is chronologically, the first sighting of the 50 Blessings logo in the series, showing further evidence that he is the one who created the organization. He additionally carves the same logo onto the panther mask's forehead.
- Judging by his design and role, the General is likely based on the late Marlon Brando's role as Walter E. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, considering they are both military officers who went insane during wartime and share similar physical appearances.
- The panther mask from the first game was nicknamed "Brandon", and considering the General essentially wears a panther mask, this could likely be another reference to Marlon Brando and his role as Kurtz.