What if Shepard is the good guy? (Spoilers)

#1 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -

I know this is strange timing, but recently I began replaying COD4 and MW2's campaigns in preparation for COD:BO (I think that game needs a new acronym...), and I was struck but an obscure thought, which became more profound after COD:BO's ending.
 
What if General Shepard, Mr Shoot-You-In-The-Face-And-Burn-You-With-Cigar, was the game's good guy?
 
I think it's fair to say that the game has a fairly...confusing (ie: clusterfuck) plot, and I never understood it. I understood why I was in one place, and why I was doing such and such, but I never understood why I was there doing that thing in relation to the overall story.
 
My theory is this; General Shepard is not actually that bad of a guy throughout most of the game, he seems to only want to help America (which is 'good' I suppose), so his shooting you in the face at the end is completely nonsensical. We get hammered with the idea that the 'Victors write History' or whatever, but how is the story changed by killing the 141? Makarov still killed a bunch of civilians at an airport (which he now has the intelligence to prove), Russia still invaded the US, and he would probably tell people Makarov launched the Nuke at America, rather than pinning it on Price. Killing them does not allow him to change any story (he doesn't need to anyway), in fact now he has to explain the death of the most elite force in the world. 
 
"But if he was the good guy, why would he kill them?" you ask. Simple. What if (dare I say it) Price was the bad guy? He's been in a Russian gulag for five years, and suddenly he's waging war with you like nothing's happened. What if he was compromised? In fact, it doesn't really matter, because as far as Shepard, our good guy general is concerned, he is. Here's all Shepard knows about Price; He was kept in a Russian gulag for five years, he then leads your 141 force on an eronious attack on a sub bay so he can launch a nuke at America. This is all he knows. As far as any logical person is concerned, Price would have been compromised in that gulag and has turned against America. So why shoot up the whole 141? Well despite the aforementioned nuke launch, the whole 141, or at least the parts with you, seem totally cool with Price continuing to run around with a gun and aerial support. General Shepard has an invasion on his hands, and the world's most dangerous terrorist to find, he can't deal with the 141's shit right now
 
He can't waste valuable time that could be spent killing Russians trying to figure out who is compromised in a heavily armed and highly trained group of soldiers and who isn't, so he just cuts his losses and kills them all to be on the safe side. This may seem harsh, but given his situation, he really has little other choice.
 
If we assume this theory, then suddenly the whole third act makes sense.
 
So what was the point of the 'Victors write History" stuff? Here's the thing, you and Price are the victors, you and he have 'written' history as Shepard as a bad guy. 

 
tl;dr: Price was compromised in the gulag (or at least Gen Shepard thinks he is, which is logical), so Shepard kills the 141 to prevent the rest of them going rogue, while he deals with Makarov and the Russian invasion. The "Victors write History" thing is referring to Price changing the story so Shepard is a bad guy.

#2 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

You don't attack America to save America, bro.  That's not being a good guy at all. 
 
Think of all the rich suburban white kids that died when those Russians attacked, you don't want that to happen and it's punishable by death. 

#3 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -
@KaosAngel said:
" You don't attack America to save America, bro.  That's not being a good guy at all.  Think of all the rich suburban white kids that died when those Russians attacked, you don't want that to happen and it's punishable by death.  "
But Shepard didn't attack America did he? Price launched the nuke attacking America (hence the badness).
#4 Posted by MisterChief (831 posts) -

The Nuke detonated in the atmosphere creating an EMP. It was meant to help the US stave of the Russian attack. Price did it to save America.

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#5 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

no no no.  He brokered the deal with Makarov all along.  He was always the bad guy.  You were meant to die in Iraq (being part of the 141) and that's why there was a merc clean up crew sent after you at the house because Shepard caused the Invasion by dealing with Makarov in the first place.  Basically, his involvement either retconns or justify's COD4's "incorrect intelligence" plotline because he was always the mole that led your team on a merry chase and somehow kept Makarov always one step ahead of you.  He put Price in the Gulag as part of his deal with Makarov who was after his blood (Price's) but then decided that if the shit came down the whole thing could eventually be pinned on Price because he was highly trained and involved with the primary mission in COD4 of capturing Makarov. 141 Platoon knew too much, it's as simple as that.  The reason Shep broke ranks was because while Price's team was saving the world in COD4 Shep's team was being sent to their deaths by order of a higher commanding office (probably the CIA) and Shepard had had enough so he decided to let Makarov invade and then split the rule of what's left of the invaded US between them.  As a senior decorated General with a convenient scapegoat to pin the invasion on (Price) he would likely be further decorated for preventing the supposed Invasion.  The problem is that you freed Price and that you kept surviving - both you and Price know too much.

#6 Edited by HitmanAgent47 (8576 posts) -

Didn't he fund that guy who shot everyone up in the airport? Aren't they working together to start a false flag operation? When means he's doing that to get more troops to join and he also got a blank check from the president to continue the war. He did say there will be no shortage of troops who are going to join. When there was evidence linking him to that russian guy, he burns ghost. I think you aren't getting the story? Unless I got it wrong myself, I don't think so. The real hero was price, who saw though the lies and soap took him out. He said history is written by the victor, so they couldn't let sheppard win. That's how I interpreted the story.

#7 Posted by RecSpec (3753 posts) -

Having good intentions does not automatically make you a good guy.

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#8 Posted by Pandasaurus (115 posts) -

what about when he renames Bravo squad to BUTCHER squad? that's pretty goddamned evil! 

#9 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -
@HitmanAgent47: @SeriouslyNow:

But you see the funding Makarov theory is a bit off. It's never even implied throughout the entire story. What's more, you, and the rest of the 141, have no clue about Shepard's possible involvement in Makarov's plans, why would he kill you? Instead of, "hey thanks for the intel, this will help us pinpoint Makarov and clear America's name," he shoots up the entire 141. Also, how the hell does Price know what's up? He's been in gulag for the entire invasion, he may not even know about the ultra-nationalists taking over Russia. Suddenly he pops out and he 'knows' that Shepard is lying and has started the whole war, but nobody else does?
 
What's more there's the entire ACS part of the storyline. That little module from the satellite you were sent to collect was the key to the Russian invasion. How did Shepard know it would just drop out of the sky? Let alone into somewhere the Russians could get to it. Even if they did shoot it down, you still have the issue of A: You still have no idea where it will land, and B: You just sent two elite soldiers to retrieve it as quickly as possible, how do you know the Russians will have the information by then?
 
 @MisterChief:  As for the nuke EMP issue, Price's move was risky, to say the least, again, he didn't have a clue about the invasion until a matter of days before he gets the nuke, how does he know that an EMP will be the best weapon? Or even if it did work, that the invasion would even be stalled? And seriously, a nuke? That is the equivalent of blowing up a dam to flood a valley full of villages because somebody thought they saw some smoke in the forest. In any case, it still leaves us with the fact that Shepard doesn't know what Price is planning, as far as he's concerned, Price just tried to nuke the US.
#10 Posted by NTM (7234 posts) -

I think you're interpreting the story wrong, and/or trying to go through what wasn't presented in the game clearly in which case I think your theory is still wrong since their's enough facts shown in the game to know exactly what's going on. A lot of people said the story was confusing, but it's not. It's very simple.
#11 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -
@NTM said:
" I think you're interpreting the story wrong, and/or trying to go through what wasn't presented in the game clearly in which case I think your theory is still wrong since their's enough facts shown in the game to know exactly what's going on. A lot of people said the story was confusing, but it's not. It's very simple. "
But what facts are there to show Shepard as the bad guy? Apart from the fact he kills you, there's nothing. The only thing my theory lacks is any indication of Price's compromising in the gulag. It seems to me my theory is extraordinarily simple compared to Joker-esque complexity of a Shepard and Makarov partnership.
 
Just a query, why do we all assume we play the good guy in these games unless it's made explicitly clear we're not?
#12 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -

Allen is recruited by Shepard and sent by him to infiltrate Makarov's airport attack. Makarov knows he is an infiltrator and kills him to spark the attack on America. 
 
How does Makarov know he is an infiltrator? Because he's working with Shepard. 
 
Price saved America by blowing that nuke, and if anyone wants to kill someone who has done something like that, he's evil. 
 
The intro quote to Endgame is so gdlk btw. I love MW2's singleplayer so much.

#13 Posted by SomeJerk (3130 posts) -

Shepherd's acting on a grudge from a major case of PTSD. Price's acting on being The Fucking Man. Wrex is a space-frog.
 
What do do not know is the whole picture that MW3 would paint of the entire storyline. Secret Russian plans of world-domination (it was kinda busy after MW1) foiled by the massive invasion resulting from Shep's work? We may never know, but that's a theory I have, if he was acting as a good guy on something not known by intelligence forces.
 
No matter the truth, was the MW2 museum canon to the story?

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#14 Posted by Jack268 (3387 posts) -
@somejerk said:
" No matter the truth, was the MW2 museum canon to the story? "
Totally
#15 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

It doesn't matter anymore.   
 
The story will never be really finished, so just let it go.

#16 Posted by fentonalpha (819 posts) -

I know this is a game that surely everyone is over spoilers with but..... Spoiler tag or not your topic title is a spoiler.

#17 Posted by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

This quote from another forum sums up what I think precisely: 
 
 "First couple of plot holes is the airport scene. Makarov is a well known international terrorist, yet for the airport attack he doesn't wear a mask. Don't Russian airports have security cameras? I mean honestly, this man is one of the most wanted people on the face of the earth yet no one bothered to look at the security tapes to see him walking around the airport with an M60? 

Next is the rescue of Captain Price at the prison. Is it ever made clear why you rescue him? If it was I missed it, and I will admit that, but it seems like a rather flimsy way to reintroduce him to the story. And if the counter-attack to the Russian invasion is a small focused attack on a Russian prison, then I think someone higher up in the military dropped the ball. As well, why are there F-15s attacking if this is a Naval operation? They can't take off from carriers.

Next in line is Captain Price launching the nuke to create the Electromagnetic Pulse above DC. Is it ever explained whyhe did that? It crippled the American forces as much as the Russians and didn't really seem to have much effect on the ground war taking place there anyway. When you finally retake the White House you see that most of the major buildings of the city have already been retaken and the US troops have turned the tide.

Which brings me to my next plot point. The Russians have a firm grip on DC, yet the military's plan isn't to launch a strong counter-attack to retake the city, instead they're going to just carpet bomb the crap out of it? How does that make any sense? In doing so they would destroy things such as the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, not to mention the White House and Capitol building."     
  

Modern Warfare 2's story, while interesting, is a clusterfuck of lulz.

#18 Edited by audiosnag (1604 posts) -

In his own twisted way Shepard had good intentions but no he was most definitely the bad guy. He manufactured the whole situation at the airport so that America would get the blame and the resulting war would cause the nation to get off their ass and start paying attention. He killed Roach and Ghost after they retrieved the hard drive that implicated Makarov in the airport massacre and tied Shepard to it to cover his tracks then goes after Price and Soap to clean up loose ends. Yeah the plots a mess but Shepard is most definitely bad.
As goofy as that story was i enjoyed it, and damn does it make you hate that bastard after he kills Ghost and lights Roach on fire.

#19 Posted by Vinny_Says (5681 posts) -

maybe replay the game....The EMP (nuke) saved America by disabling Russian weapon systems. Shepard framed America for the attack on the Russian airport, and therefore initiated the Russian invasion. Killing civilians never classifies you as the "good" guy.

#20 Posted by InfamousBIG (3200 posts) -
@Inkerman:
Over-analyzing, bro.  I can also say that Winnie the Pooh is a deep reflection on a mid life crisis if I try hard enough.
#21 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6385 posts) -
@fentonalpha said:
" I know this is a game that surely everyone is over spoilers with but..... Spoiler tag or not your topic title is a spoiler. "
I agree. Someone should do something about that.
#22 Posted by bigsmoke77 (783 posts) -
 
@Jack268: @SeriouslyNow: @HitmanAgent47: @Inkerman:  Read this  http://callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/Shepherd   
 
@SathingtonWaltz:  your first point can be answered by this image 

Your 2nd guestion is why did they go get price? 
 
 Intelligence leads them to a favela in Rio de Janeiro, where the team investigates leads on Makarov's contact, weapons dealer Alejandro Rojas. They find out from Rojas that Makarov's worst enemy, known as Prisoner 627, is locked up in a Russian gulag. 141 assaults the prison and manages to free 627, who turns out to be Captain Price. Price agrees to aid 141 and Shepherd in tracking down Makarov.  
 
source: http://callofduty.wikia.com/wiki/Call_of_Duty:_Modern_Warfare_2 
 
Your 3rd question is why did price launch the nuke?
 
During a cutscene they are talking about how they have to get Markarov but Price was like " no man we need to stop the invasion ill talk to ya later Shepherd" and Shepherd was like " Price were are going? blah blah blah you can't do this" Price then goes rogue and you go to the sub base and launch the nuke. Why because the emp cripples vehicles and electronic equipment on both sides, giving the Americans a slight advantage because the Russians had fucking helicopters and tanks while the Americans really only  had soldiers on the ground.  America soldiers were able to beat them back because wouldn't you be pissed if you saw your country get fucked up? Its called home advantage. You take back the white house after the nuke lol, it helped the Americans take it back. 
 
Fourth and Final question is why bomb Washington?
 
The Americans wanted to prevent the Russians from gaining a stronghold and until the EMP it was not going well, so would you rather bomb the shit out of the Russians or send in a bunch of soldiers to fight a battle they probably wouldn't win. Just ask the Russians and how they defeated the Germans at Stalingrad. Why save pieces of paper and some building when you can save your army. I think Shepard says something like "we can always rebuild" but I don't have the time to confirm that line.   
  

 
 

#23 Posted by LETS_KISS_BRO (11 posts) -

Sorry for the bump on this topic but Price nuked them both because USA would be able to replenish their technology and vehicles quickly whereas Russia would be boned since they weren't on their home turf (as the dude above me kind of said).

#24 Posted by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

He was a manipulative crazy warmonger, not a good guy in my book

#25 Posted by ShinjiEx (624 posts) -

Wrong Board No Commander Shepard here dude *__*

#26 Posted by Azteck (7450 posts) -

The dude want war. War ain't cool.
 
You're logic is fallible!

#27 Posted by valrog (3671 posts) -

Shepherd went mad after he lost his troops in Call of Duty 4. He might think that he's doing the right thing, but he's really not.

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