Modern Warfare 2
Following the attack in the Russian airport by Vladimir Makarov, Task Force 141 follows a tip to the slums of Rio De Janeiro to find one of his contacts. Wearing his trademark sunglasses and skull balaclava, this is where Lt.. Simon "Ghost" Riley is first encountered. Early on in the mission, Roach takes down an associate of Alejandro Rojas, Faust, who is then interrogated by Ghost. Ghost is then integral in helping to corner Rojas who is eventually captured by Soap. After capturing Rojas, Task Force 141 flee from the favela to a landing zone where, after some resistance, they are picked up by Nikolai in a Pave Low helicopter.
Following the revelation that the Russian's defense is reliant on an oil rig based security system, Ghost travels with Task Force 141 to storm a rig and rescue hostages on board, before carrying on to an old Russian gulag to release Prisoner #627. Upon his release, a plan is hatched to take control of a Russian nuclear submarine and use a nuke to cause an EMP blast above Washington D.C., disabling both the American and the Russian units.
With only two possible safehouses left, Ghost and Roach head to the Caucus Mountains but instead of finding Makarov, they find a safehouse filled with weapons and computers full of valuable information. Once the safehouse has been stormed, Ghost and Roach return to the pick up point where General Shepherd is waiting for them. He asks if they have the data, and after Ghost says they do he shoots Roach and Ghost in the head. The rogue General steals the data and has the two burned in a pit.
It should be noted that Ghost is voiced by Craig Fairbrass who voiced Gaz in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Modern Warfare 2: Ghost
A six issue comic book tie-in published by WildStorm Comics that ties into the events of Modern Warfare 2, giving Ghost an origin story, detailing how he came to join Task Force 141.
The first mission depicted in the series has a captured Special Ops soldier wearing a skull-patterned balaclava in a classroom filled with children of a Ukrainian school that has been taken over by terrorists (who threaten to kill one child each hour if their demands are not met). The soldier passes the time by telling a story of his friend, Simon "Ghost" Riley on a mission in Mexico. The SAS loaned "Ghost" to USSOCOM to bust a heroin cartel that has recently begun smuggling terrorists into the U.S. This mission takes place on the Mexican holiday, "Day of the Dead", when Riley and the others wear skull face-paint and skeleton costumes to blend in with the celebrating crowd at the party that the leader of the Heroin Cartel is throwing.
During Modern Warfare 2: Ghost #2 it is revealed that Ghost and his team are captured by the Mexican cartel, and during their captivity they endure continuous torture and brainwashing techniques in order to be used as hired guns for various criminal and terrorist groups. Throughout this ordeal the reader sees flashbacks of Riley's early life, from his childhood and how he had to endure an abusive fiend of a father. To his early years in the SAS and how he, after coming back from his first tour of duty in Afghanistan on January 2003, takes care of his abused mother and helps clean up his drug-addicted younger brother named Tommy.
In March 2004, he finally puts an end to his father by killing him and in June 2006, Riley is seen as best man at his brother Tommy's wedding, who is now completely free of drugs. During these flashbacks, many of Riley's adversaries are by seen wearing "ghostly" makeup (presumably a hallucination of Riley) of similar style to that worn by participants in the Day of the Dead celebration. Eventually, the USSOCOM members Sparks and Washington are able to escape, having learned that the Mexican cartel plan to kill them due to the fact they can not break them down, but are forced to leave Riley behind. Moments later, Riley is buried alive with the decaying corpse of Major Vernon.
At the start of Modern Warfare 2: Ghost #3, Riley digs himself out of the grave by using Vernon's lower jaw bone, which took him thirteen hours, and later found by a Texas sheriff. The story then jumps to December 18, 2010, Riley is being debriefed about his experience to his superiors. Physically Riley is fine, but his superiors fear that his mental state is still in question. Riley has nightmares every time he sleeps, with Roba haunting and taunting him. While spending Christmas with his family, Riley gets a surprise visit from Sparks.
While having a beer together at a local pub, Sparks and Riley rehash old times and their experience during those hellish months in Mexico. Sparks tells Riley that he and Washington are getting ready to deploy to Afghanistan. As they are walking back home Sparks approaches a young woman he previously saw at the pub and tries to sweet talk her into bed, the young woman is not impressed.
Angrily, Sparks knocks the woman out, and orders Riley to help him get her inside her house so that they can rape her. Riley secretly calls the police, and they arrive just before any harm could be done to the woman, forcing Riley and Sparks to retreat. Once they both arrive at Sparks' hotel room, Riley suspects that Sparks is up to something, and by the time he finally pieces the clues together, Sparks points a gun at Riley's head. Riley immediately disarms Sparks, and interrogates him. Sparks reveals that he and Washington have been working for Roba, showing that they had been successfully brainwashed, but before Riley could get any more information Washington arrives from a task and attempts to gun down Riley.
Riley escapes by jumping through Sparks' hotel window, slightly injuring his leg, and steals a cab to make his getaway. Remembering what Roba said about his family, Riley speeds towards his family's home and witnesses a shocking display. His mother; Tommy, Tommy's wife, Beth; and his nephew Joseph have all been executed, no doubt by Washington himself. In the end, Riley claims that he will kill them all: Sparks, Washington, Roba and his entire organization.