Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line is a 2012 third-person shooter video game developed by Yager Development and published by 2K Games. The player controls Captain Martin Walker, who is sent into a post-catastrophe Dubai with an elite Delta Force team on a reconnaissance mission, that quickly degenerates into a running firefight against hostile locals and rogue American soldiers. The writers stated that the premise of the game is influenced by various novellas, including Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Captain Martin Walker
- Gentlemen, welcome to Dubai.
- Is John Konrad the greatest man I ever served with? Well, I dunno. There was this one time in Kabul when he dragged my bleeding carcass half a mile to the evac chopper, so maybe I'm biased.
- Orders ain't worth following if it means leaving people to die, Lugo.
- It's Konrad. He did it. All of it.
- You brought this on yourself.
- This isn't my fault...
- This is Captain Martin Walker, requesting immediate evacuation of Dubai. Survivors... one too many.
- What happened here was out of my control...
- I-I didn't mean to hurt anybody...
Colonel John Konrad
- Welcome to Dubai, gentlemen.
- This is Colonel John Konrad, United States Army. Attempted evacuation of Dubai ended in complete failure. Death toll... too many.
- Dubai should have died long ago. We were ordered to abandon these people. Instead, we chose damnation.
- There were over five thousand people alive in Dubai, the day before you arrived. How many are alive today, I wonder? How many will be alive tomorrow?
- I thought my duty was to protect this city from the storm. I was wrong. I have to protect it from you.
- Your friends, dead. The world on fire. And you... alone. You're a failure. Finally, something we have in common.
- Welcome to Hell, Walker. We've been waiting for you.
- Well done Walker, you've done what the storm could not: destroyed the Damned 33rd. Do you feel like a hero yet?
- Someone has to pay for your crimes, Walker. Who is it going to be?
- It takes a strong man to deny what's in front of him. And if the truth is undeniable, you create your own.
- The truth, Walker, is that you're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not: a hero.
- I'm here because you can't accept what you've done. It broke you. You needed someone to blame, so you cast it on me: a dead man.
- No matter what happens next, don't be too hard on yourself. Even now, after all you've done, you can still go home. Lucky you.
- Home? We can't go home. There's a line men like us have to cross. If we're lucky, we do what's necessary, then we die. No, all I really want, Captain, is peace.
- Was it? None of this would've happened if you'd just stopped.
And on you marched. And for what?
- Jeremy. Someday, people will tell you about your father. For that, I'm sorry. I love you.
(Message to Jeremy)
Robert Darden, "The Radioman"
- You didn't actually think we'd just let you walk in here, did ya?
- Reports are pouring into the studio that everyone's favorite D-bags are down at the mall. Rumor has it, they're trying to "rescue" even more people. You gotta love these guys. They're just gonna keep on trying, even if it kills every last one of ya. Be sure to stop by and tell 'em thanks...
- That guy? You shot that guy? I liked that guy...
- He had a... dog... maybe? I didn't really know that guy.
- Aw, jeez... where's all this violence coming from, man? Is it the video games? I bet it's the video games.
- I don't know what it feels like to execute people you swore to protect. But Konrad sure does... And he's not talking to anyone at the moment.
(Radioman Tape: After the Storm)
- I get why the Colonel does... what he does. But, if these people can still muster enough soul to create art... maybe there's more than he sees. I've been thinking a lot about Murrow, broadcasting outta blitzed London. He helped people. He showed'em something the Nazis couldn't flatten.
(Radioman Tape: Street Artist)
- SSG Josh Forbes (Captured Damned 33rd Soldier): All the Colonel wanted was to keep people alive... Remember that...
- Dubai Citizen: (After Lugo is lynched by a mob) You brought this on yourself!
- Falcon 1: Captain Walker, we are here to help. But first I need you to lay down your weapon.
- Falcon 1: Just hand me your weapon Captain. We're here to take you home.
- Politician: You know nothing of Dubai, my friend. If you did, you would know the truth is whatever we wish it to be.
(Radioman Tape: Evacuation Conspiracy)
- Damned 33rd Soldier: Every insurgent brought before me will feel the same pain. And when they break, we will be like brothers. Having stared down death... and flinched...
(Interrogator Confession; discussing the use of fire to torture captives)
- PFC Pete Gobi: I'd love to go home, ya know? I got a daughter I ain't seen since last Christmas. But my baby-girl? She's safe in her bed right now. These people here... they ain't so lucky. What, I'm supposed to abandon them just because I get homesick? Nah. We're better than that.
(Radioman Tape: Soldier Interview)
- How many Americans have you killed today?
- There is no difference between what is right and what is necessary.
- If you were a better person, you wouldn't be here.
- It's time for you to wake up.
- Squad commands are unavailable when you're alone. No one can help you now.
- You are still a good person.
- Can you even remember why you came here?
- This is all your fault.
- Do you feel like a hero yet?
- To kill for yourself is murder. To kill for your government is heroic. To kill for entertainment is harmless.
- White phosphorous is a common allotrope used in your slaughter at the Gate. It can set fire to soldiers and the innocent civilians they are trying to help.
- It's Konrad. He did it. All of it.
- Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two conflicting ideas simultaneously.
- You cannot understand, nor do you want to.
- The US military does not condone the killing of unarmed combatants. But this isn't real, so why should you care?
- We cannot escape anguish. It is what we are.
- If Lugo were still alive, he would likely suffer from PTSD. So, really, he's the lucky one.
- Adams blames Walker for Lugo's death. It's his fault they didn't leave Dubai when they had the chance.
- Walker's obsession with Konrad has brought nothing but destruction—to Dubai and his squad.
- There is no escape.
- Life begins at the other side of despair.
- No one can help you now.
- Collateral damage can be justified, if the gain outweighs the cost. How much do you think Adams and Lugo are worth?
- Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you.
- I exist and I find it nauseating.
- Walker and Adams have served together for many years.
- You can't go home.
- If the Radioman now speaks for the 33rd, then what happened to Konrad?
- CPT Walker: You got a lock on that transmission?
SSG Lugo: Yes, sir. About 800 yards away.
CPT Walker: ...Then we're 800 yards away from seeing who's more full of shit, you or intel.
SSG Lugo: Wow. If I wasn't a hardened killing machine, that might've hurt.
- LT Adams: Not to argue, but this ain't exactly within our mission parameters.
CPT Walker: Yeah, well, our mission went from recon to rescue the minute we found US Soldiers butchered.
- 1st Damned 33rd Soldier: You know with all the shit goin' on, I forgot how beautiful this place can be.
2nd Damned 33rd Soldier: I feel ya.
1st Damned 33rd Soldier: You know, sometimes at night, I'll just come out here and sit. Just listen to the wind.
2nd Damned 33rd Soldier: Yeah... Reminds me how the wind used to howl through the trees where I grew up.
- LT Adams: (after engaging Damned 33rd soldiers in a firefight) Those were soldiers. Our own guys.
CPT Walker: It was self-defense.
LT Adams: Doesn't make me feel any better.
CPT Walker: It's not supposed to.
- SSG Lugo: [sees a missile launcher] You're fuckin' kiddin', right? That's white phosphorous.
CPT Walker: Yeah, I know what it is.
SSG Lugo: You've seen what this shit does! You know we can't use it.
LT Adams: We might not have a choice, Lugo.
SSG Lugo: There's always a choice.
CPT Walker: No, there's really not.
- [Walker, Adams and Lugo walk past through a group of charred bodies from the resulting white phosphorus attack]
- SSG Lugo: Are those civilians...?
- LT Adams: Where'd they come from? There's no camp here.
- CPT Walker: They took 'em from the nest... [sees the bodies of a charred mother protecting her daughter]
- LT Adams: That hotel back at the storm wall? No, no, no. No, those can't be the civvies that got kidnapped. S'not possible.
- [the camera moves slowly to the mother and daughter's bodies; cuts back and forth to Walker's dread-filled face with Adams and Lugo behind him]
- SSG Lugo: Yeah, it is. It's why Gould stormed this place... He didn't want the Gate. He was tryin' to rescue his people... (pointing at Walker, and by extension, the player) This is your fault, goddammit!
- LT Adams: Stop right there, Lugo.
- SSG Lugo: [angrily] But it is. He wouldn't listen!
- LT Adams: We didn't have a choice!
- SSG Lugo: He turned us into fucking killers!
- LT Adams: That's enough, Sergeant!
- SSG Lugo: No! NO!!!
- LT Adams: Control yourself! Now!!! [Walkers snaps out of it, turns back to Adams and Lugo]
- CPT Walker: [calmly] We need to keep moving.
- SSG Lugo: [to Walker, exasperated] What?
- CPT Walker: Reinforcements will be here any second. We need to keep moving.
- LT Adams: But, Walker... you're not... you're not even--
- CPT Walker: I'm gonna make these bastards pay for what they've done. Now, are you with me or not?
- CPT Walker: (Discussing Colonel Konrad with his team) Back when I knew him in Kabul, he was an honorable man.
COL Konrad: Because I saved your life? I saved many lives, Captain... I've ended even more.
- COL Konrad: This is a mistake, Walker. You'll never get these people through the stormwall.
CPT Walker: I have to try, Colonel. It's the only way.
COL Konrad: Then you damn them all.
- SSG Lugo: (over the radio) Walker? Walker, come in.
CPT Walker: Yeah... I'm here.
SSG Lugo: Thank God. The 33rd showed up before we found you. We had to run. Started to think you didn't make it.
CPT Walker: I got lucky.
SSG Lugo: And Riggs?
CPT Walker: Dead.
SSG Lugo: Good.
CPT Walker: No, not good. He fucked us. Fucked everybody. Thanks to him, everyone in Dubai will be dead in a few days. This city needs to be evacuated, ASAP.
SSG Lugo: Yeah, I'd love to know how you plan on doin' that...
CPT Walker: Lugo?
"The Radioman": Oh, my bad. Am I interrupting?
CPT Walker: Dammit. Sit tight, Lugo. I'm on my way.
"The Radioman": I'll make sure he gets the message.
CPT Walker: Go fuck yourself.
"The Radioman": (Censor bleep) Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let's keep it clean, buddy. This is, after all, a family program. Rated E... for EVERYONE'S THIRSTY!
- SSG Lugo: (being confronted by Adams after gunning down "The Radioman") Get the fuck off me, man!
LT Adams: Have you lost your fucking mind!?
SSG Lugo: Are you really this fucking naive? He kept the 33rd on our ass this whole time. He wasn't gonna let us just walk outta here! I did what was necessary!
LT Adams: You don't get to make that call!
SSG Lugo: (pushes Adams back) Well, fuck you. I just did.
- CPT Walker: To anyone who can hear me: I am the commander of an American evacuation force. We're here to rescue you. But first, the 33rd will pay for what they've done.
COL Konrad: I'm disappointed in you, Walker. No one leaves Dubai. I tried! 1,300 men, women, children dead. Because of my arrogance! And now you want to finish off the rest? If you will not learn from my mistakes, then there's nothing more I can do. Your butcher's bill is high enough. Goodbye, Captain.
- "The Radioman": So I've got a question for you guys: What are the eight scariest words in the English language? "We're Delta Force, and we're here to save you." I love that one... What, it's not funny, no?
SSG Lugo: Fuck you. You're the one working for a goddamned war criminal.
"The Radioman": No, fuck you! You have no fuckin' idea what that man had to do. And I do mean had to do.
LT Adams: He had a choice, just like everyone else.
"The Radioman:" You're one to talk. Remember the Gate, huh, son? Oh, what's that smell? I do believe it's burnt baby!
SSG Lugo: I get my hands on you, you're a fucking dead man!
"The Radioman:" Love to see you try, Sunshine.
- CPT Walker: (during the helicopter scene from the prologue) Wait... wait, this isn't right!
SSG Lugo: Well, it's too late now!
CPT Walker: Nah, no, I mean, we did this already!
LT Adams: What do you mean?
CPT Walker: Ah, fuck it! It's nothing! Just shake these fuckin' guys!
- CPT Walker: What? Who's there?
John McPherson: One of your victims. The one who was just followin' orders.
CPT Walker: You gave us no choice.
Rick Gould: There was always a choice. You just fucked it up.
CPT Walker: I... we tried to save you...
Jeff Riggs: Deep down, you knew we all had to die.
CPT Walker: (Falling to his knees) This wasn't my fault...
- LT Adams: This whole mission is fucked. We just took out a tower full of American troops.
CPT Walker: They didn't leave us any choice.
LT Adams: YOU didn't leave us any choice! What the fuck happened to us, man?!
CPT Walker: Nothin'. We're fuckin' soldiers.
LT Adams: (bitterly) Oh. I see. My mistake.
- LT Adams: Shit! Another fuckin' heavy! Take cover, goddammit!
CPT Walker: Lugo?
LT Adams: You outta your fuckin' mind?
SSG Lugo: You left me to die!
LT Adams: Shit! Open fire!
SSG Lugo: Don't you get it? It's all a lie!
CPT Walker: No!!
SSG Lugo: You're no fucking hero!
CPT Walker: I tried to save you!
SSG Lugo: You can't save anyone!
CPT Walker: I tried!!
SSG Lugo: This is all your fault! YOURS!!!
CPT Walker: Just. Fucking. DIE!!!
SSG Lugo: (After Walker has gunned him down) The only villain here is you, Walker. There's only you.
- CPT Walker: Konrad deserves to die, you know that.
LT Adams: And what do we deserve?
CPT Walker: I think we both know the answer to that.
- 33rd Soldier: They're pinned down on top of the gatehouse. Move in!
LT Adams: Shit! Here they come.
33rd Soldier: It's over! We have you surrounded. Lay down your weapons.
LT Adams: Fuck you! Just shoot me! I'm standin' right here! Come on!
33rd Soldier: Secure the building.
LT Adams: Shoot me, goddammit! Fuckin' SHOOT ME!
COL Konrad: This is your last chance, Walker. Surrender... or my men will cut you down.
LT Adams: Don't you dare- (Walker drops his weapon) Well, fuck you then! I didn't come this far to surrender.
CPT Walker: It's the only way inside that tower-
LT Adams: For fuck's sake, give it up! The mission's over. We failed!
CPT Walker: Not while I'm still breathing.
LT Adams: Fine... then keep breathin'. (shoves Walker over the side) Run, motherfucker!
- 33rd Soldier: Squadron, ten-hut! Captain Walker, we're all that's left of the Damned 33rd. We surrender, sir, Dubai is yours.
CPT Walker: Where. Is. Konrad.
33rd Soldier: Where he's always been. Upstairs, waiting for you.
- CPT Walker: John? Is that you?
COL Konrad: You tell me.
CPT Walker: I'm done playing games, John-
COL Konrad: I assure you, this is no game.
- COL Konrad: It seems that reports of my... survival... have been greatly exaggerated.
CPT Walker: This isn't possible.
COL Konrad: Oh, I assure you, it is.
CPT Walker: How?!
COL Konrad: Not how. Why? You were never meant to come here.
- CPT Walker: What happened here was out of my control.
COL Konrad: Was it? None of this would've happened if you'd just stopped. But on you marched. And for what?
CPT Walker: We tried to save you.
COL Konrad: You're no savior. Your talents lie elsewhere.
CPT Walker: This isn't my fault...
COL Konrad: It takes a strong man to deny what's in front of him. And if the truth is undeniable, you create your own. The truth, Walker, is that you're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not: A hero. I'm here because you can't accept what you've done. It broke you. You needed someone to blame, so you cast it on me: a dead man.
- COL Konrad: I know the truth is hard to hear, Walker, but it's time. You're all that's left, and we can't live this lie forever. (points a gun at Walker) I'm going to count to five, then I'm pulling the trigger.
CPT Walker: You're not real, this is all in my head.
COL Konrad: Are you sure? Maybe it's in mine... ONE.
CPT Walker: No... Everything... all this... it was YOUR fault!
COL Konrad: If that's what you believe, then shoot me! Two.
CPT Walker: I... I didn't mean to hurt anybody...
COL Konrad: No one ever does, Walker. Three...
- (If Walker gives in to his guilt)
COL Konrad: Four... Is this really what you want, Walker? So be it. FIVE!
(Konrad pulls the trigger; in the same split-second, Walker places his own gun to his head and shoots himself)
- (If Walker defies Konrad and shoots him)
COL Konrad: It takes a strong man to deny what's in front of him.
CPT Walker: Stronger than you were.
COL Konrad: Whatever you say, Walker. No matter what happens next, don't be too hard on yourself. Even now, after all you've done, you can still go home. Lucky you.
- Falcon 1: You know, Captain, we drove through this whole city to find you. We... we saw things. If you don't mind me asking, what was it like? How did you survive all this?
CPT Walker: ...Who said I did?