Raven Software’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is certainly not for the faint-hearted. We’re not just talking about the violent aspects of the game which of course, involve guns and missiles, but also a very real psychological aspect that pertains to the player’s character Bell. Throughout the game, the player lives through the unraveling of Bell’s own trauma and major identity crisis.
This when factored with Operation Greenlight, the nuclear weapons program sets the final arc of the game in which the player must determine how to proceed and arrive at a final conclusion.
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Bell discovers who he really is in the mission ‘Identity Crisis’ and it’s not good. All this time Bell was convinced that he was a CIA operative working alongside Russell Adler, however, he discovers that he is in fact, a Russian Operative who was actually working with Perseus and has been severely brainwashed by the CIA.
This realization changes the linear plotline of the game and creates a situation for the player where they must decide their loyalties to proceed and conclude the game.
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The Worst Ending Scenario
Once you become aware of Bell’s real identity, it’s up to you to decide whether you wish to side with Perseus and fulfill Bell’s original destiny or have a change of heart, side with the Americans and stop a massive nuclear bombing instead.
There are three endings in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War that will occur on the basis of the choice you make. If you choose to tell Adler ‘Solovetsky Monastery’ and end Perseus, you trigger the good ending in the game. On the other hand, should you misguide Adler by sending him and his team to Duga, you will trigger a bad ending in the game and you will find yourself playing mission ‘Ashes to Ashes’.
Within this mission, there is a cut scene where Adler confronts Bell about his decision. You will be shown three response options of which the dialog to signal ambush will call Perseus and enable you to kill all the Americans. However, there is the worst ending scenario that gets triggered when you choose to reply with another answer in which Adler kills Bell then and there.
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Why Does Adler Kill Bell in the worst ending?
The more technical answer is that you chose the worst-ending scenario which leads to this action. However, should you have chosen to help the Americans, Adler was coming for Bell even in that case. In the betrayal+ambush scenario as well, you could choose to let Adler kill you in the final scene by avoiding resistance.
Any direct confrontation between Adler and Bell leads to Bell dying (even in the vague good ending one). In the case of the good scenario, Adler decides to shoot Bell because it was his very intention to kill Bell once he had provided Adler with everything that he needed. Adler could never trust Bell after all the things that the CIA has done to brainwash him. So Bell’s death was absolutely certain.
In the worst-case scenario, Adler kills Bell because of Bell’s betrayal. Adler expected Bell to side with them, as the scene shows, Bell chose to go with Perseus instead.
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Is there a way to avoid Adler from killing Bell?
In the scenario where Bell calls for an ambush and Perseus’s men enter the scene, Bell’s survival is absolute unless you choose to avoid fighting Adler in their final confrontation.
Two ethically and emotionally conflicting situations for our protagonist and yet, finding closure seems to be impossible in either one. But Call of Duty is a brutal reminder of the fact that all is fair in war and it’s up to you to decide how you plan to address this moral dilemma in the game. Take care and stay safe.
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