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- "YOU CAN'T KILL ME!"
- — Frank Woods' famous quote.
Master Sergeant Frank Woods is a supporting character in Call of Duty: Black Ops, the deuteragonist and a playable character of the 1980s missions, a main character in the 2025 missions in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, a main playable character in Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, and both a supporting character in Specialist HQ and a playable character for Blackout in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Woods was part of the Studies and Observation Group (SOG) along with Alex Mason and Joseph Bowman. In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, he is mostly seen as an NPC, although he is playable in the level "Suffer With Me", and several missions in Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified. Throughout Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Woods appears as a narrator for several campaign missions, past and present. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, he's one of the four Archetypes brought back to life, possibly because of the efforts of Project Blackout. Thoughout the game's Specialist HQ mode, he instructs Specialists with their various equipment and special weapons.
Early life and military career
Frank Woods was born in 1930 and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
He served in the United States Marine Corps, during which he had much combat experience fighting in the Korean War. This gained him a reputation that led the CIA to recruit him for their Special Activities Division.
Bay of Pigs Invasion
- "Movement inside. Get in position. This is it... Ready to make history?"
- — Woods to Mason as they prepare to breach the bedroom
Woods is first seen in a Cuban bar with Mason and Bowman talking to Carlos in "Operation 40" where they make plans for Carlos' militia to assist in the takedown of Fidel Castro. Woods talks to Carlos about the location of Castro. Suddenly, the police arrive, and when a Tropas Officer questions Mason, Woods stabs his hand to the table, smashes a bottle across his face, and then executes him. The squad flees to the streets, where the police are waiting for them. The squad fights their way through a police-infested street and in an alleyway, Carlos provided a car where they flee for Castro's compound. We next see Woods overlooking Castro's compound as he, Bowman, and Mason zipline into it. While Carlos and the rebels attempt to distract Castro's bodyguards in the airfield, Woods leads the raid into the compound. At some point, Bowman splits from the group and continues the search for Castro along the rooftops. Woods and Mason fight their way to Castro's bedroom, where Mason executes Castro with an ASP and either Woods or Mason kill his mistress. Regrouping with Bowman, Woods leads an escape to Carlos's C-130 where Mason jumps off and sacrifices himself for the escape of his squad. Later leading to his capture by Dragovich and Kravchenko, it is revealed here that the Castro they assassinated was a double, and the real Fidel Castro then turns Mason over to the Soviets, leading to Mason's two year imprisonment and then their prolonged escape from Vorkuta.
- "No, no, no, somethin's wrong. There's way too much activity."
- — Woods
Woods later leads his team to Baikonur, U.S.S.R., on a mission to disrupt the Soviet Space Program at the Missile Launch Facility, and also to retrieve the captured Weaver. Woods and Mason kill two Soviets idling and disguise themselves as the enemy. Woods is somewhat fluent in Russian, as 2 more Soviet guards talk to him in their language and he answers back. After being exposed and fighting back, Mason and Woods zip-line and smash through a window. They kill a few Soviets and finally save Weaver. They go on to the Auxiliary Control bunker, with hopes to abort the launch. They fight their way to the missile and Mason detonates the room with the scientists in it, killing them, but failing to stop the missile. However, Mason uses a guided missile to destroy it. As they can't stay in the open, they move to the tunnels, with plans of still killing the Ascension group. As the mission comes to an end, Kravchenko escapes and there is no sign of Dragovich. It is assumed that he perished while inside his limousine.
Capture, Escape, and Presumed Death
- — Woods playing Russian roulette
In the mission "The Defector", Woods led the team to Hue City to recover a Soviet defector along with a dossier that would unravel Dragovich's master plan. While they managed to recover the dossier, extraction became a fight for their lives amid a massive assault by the NVA on Hue City.
Following on the intel disclosed by the dossier, Woods led the SOG team to Laos to uncover Soviet presence there, specifically those concerning Project Nova headed by Kravchenko, under orders from Dragovich. But it was at Laos, during the mission "Crash Site", Woods and the team found the shot-down Soviet cargo plane that carried Nova 6, but were subsequently captured by Dragovich and Kravchenko's men after a firefight.
During "Payback", Woods and Mason used the chance when they were forced to play Russian Roulette by the Viet Cong to stage their escape. They then proceed to take a Hind from Soviet forces, and destroy several supply stops for North Vietnamese forces along the way to Kravchenko's compound. In the final part of the mission when Woods and Mason are attempting to kill Kravchenko in his office, Mason was brutally beaten when Woods, sneaking up behind Kravchenko, stabs Kravchenko in the back. At his last breath, Kravchenko pulls a string attached to the pins of the grenade belt strapped to his body. Thinking quickly, Woods tackles Kravchenko out of the window, apparently sacrificing himself to save Mason as the grenades explode. Woods is presumed dead by everyone, including Mason and later by Hudson and Weaver during their interrogation of him.
- "Kravchenko. When I sliced that bastard open, it saved everyone's ass. He comes to first, BOOM! Welcome to the Hanoi Hilton. Six months later, they shipped me over to Da Nang. And this fucking place made the Hilton look good. We lost 17 in my group. By '72, it was just me. I was not gonna die in a FUCKING SWAMP!!"
- — Woods to David Mason on his survival.
In reality, both Frank Woods and Lev Kravchenko survived their confrontation; Woods managed to get Kravchenko's grenade belt loose and used the loading bay next to the window to get the grenade belt over it, using it as a "Sump" so the wall can absorb the grenade and create little damage to Woods.
Despite his knife wound, Kravchenko was able to recover more quickly than Woods, capturing him and sending him to the Hanoi Hilton. In a message from a mysterious informant codenamed "X" to Mason, Woods was reported as being the only American prisoner at the Hanoi Hilton.
Six months later, he was moved to another POW camp in Da Nang. By 1972, he was the last of 17 prisoners. Determined not to die in captivity, Woods eventually engineered an escape and got back home safely.
Back in the CIA
- "Thanks to your old man. He put it all on the line for me... for honor... and friendship."
- — Woods to David about his rescue.
Woods was back to operating in the CIA by 1975. During the same year, he participated in several operations in Vietnam, where he recovered and destroyed several of the CIA's Parable cipher machines, preventing them from falling into the hands of the NVA. He also rescued a group of CIA analysts held captive at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Saigon. Two years later, Woods was sent by Hudson to Mount Yamantau to apprehend Dr. Steiner's protégé, Schlussel, who was suspected of trying to revive Project Nova. Later that year, he also infiltrated a Soviet base and destroyed their ICBMs. One of his subordinates, however, was captured by the Soviets, and was tortured to death, prompting Woods to destroy their entire base.
In July 1986, Frank Woods was operating in Angola, aiding Jonas Savimbi and the UNITA on behalf of the CIA, eventually being captured by Raul Menendez. Menendez tortured Woods, killing his men in front of him, in order to learn what the CIA knew about Menendez. Woods was eventually locked in a container with his dead comrades, and left to die of dehydration and starvation. Eventually, Jason Hudson and Alex Mason rescue him and found him in critical condition. From that point on, Woods would be consumed by an overwhelming thirst for revenge against Raul Menendez.
In September 1986, Woods and Mason meet up with Tian Zhao, a future Chinese General, to stop a Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan. They managed to stop the threat and found out that Lev Kravchenko was leading the invasion and interrogate him. Kravchenko refused to cooperate and was killed. Woods, Hudson, Mason, and Zhao then get turned on by the Mujahideen and get left and stranded somewhere in the desert but were saved by strangers.
Mason, Woods and Hudson eventually led an invasion on Raul Menendez' home in Wasa King, Nicaragua. Halfway in the mission, Woods grew angry and only focused on killing Menendez. They intruded the place and Woods attempted to kill Menendez once he saw him but Mason restrained him. Woods managed to throw a grenade but it was knocked off it's course by Mason and bounced into Menendez' room where Menendez' sister, Josefina was. After the explosion, Woods found out about the girl and deeply regretted the murder.
Failed CaptureWoods, at the age of 59, went to Panama with Mason to capture Manuel Noriega, a high value target that was codenamed False Profit, who was highly involved with Menendez' arms dealings. They managed to capture him and escort him to safety where they told him to set up a meeting with Menendez where Menendez would be blinded and shot by Woods. Woods climbed up a building and saw their target's head bagged and restrained by Noriega's men. Woods shot the man, and exited the building and walks towards the corpse. During their walk, Noriega smiled, which made Woods increasingly suspicious. Woods broke out into a run and removed the bag from the corpse/body's head and found it to be none other than Alex Mason. Woods brought out a handgun on Noriega but was shot in his right knee by the actual Menendez, who continued to shoot Woods' other leg, disabling him for life. Woods continued to struggle but is knocked unconscious.
Woods woke up to find a young David Mason in a trance, alongside Alex Mason's corpse/body and Hudson tied to a chair, with Menendez wielding a shotgun. Menendez said that one more person had to die out of those three, and if there wasn't a decision then all of them would be killed. Hudson sacrificed himself, and after killing him, Menendez showed David the pendant he was wearing. Menendez then told David that he should go to Menendez the next time he sees it. David snapped out of his trance, saw his dead father, and started crying. Woods crawled towards the boy to comfort him. Following this operation, Woods was honorably discharged, giving him a chance to raise David himself as he had no other family to go to.
RetirementBy 2025, aged 95, Frank is residing in a CIA retirement home called "The Vault". On April 19, he is visited by Raul Menendez and is given a heart-shaped pendant that has the faces of two lovers on it. He is then whispered the words: "Now it begins". Later that day, Frank received a visit from a squad belonging to the Joint Special Operations Command. The squad has David, the son of Frank Woods' long time friend Mason, leading the team. Frank then told David about Raul Menendez's rise to power starting from his rescue by David's father. Frank was later visited by David again who asks Frank what he was doing in Panama during the night his father died. Frank encouraged David to kill Menendez.
Depending on the player's actions, Woods will be seen in different endings. Primarily, there are three major cutscenes. The first two are dependent upon Woods' actions during "Suffer With Me".
After Menendez' plan was averted, Woods and Section visited Mason's grave. Section decided to retire from his duty, which prompted Woods to say that his father would approve of the decision.
Mason visits Woods at The Vault. Soon David comes to visit Woods and is re-introduced to Alex, who tells him that the day that David fell from the tree was the one that made Alex proud as he got back up.
Menendez breaks out of prison, and later visits Woods at the Vault. He then slices Woods' neck with the heart-shaped pendant, then puts his corpse on the bed along with the pendant.
Sometime in between 2043 and 2045, Project Blackout successfully revives Woods - by unknown means - alongside Alex Mason, Viktor Reznov, and Raul Menendez; referred to as The Archetypes. After his revival, he engages a relationship with Savannah Meyer; the founder of the project and assists her by instructing the Specialists for combat. Later on, he discovers Alex has been brainwashed through number sequences by an unknown attacker (possibly an affiliate of Project Blackout) after an incident between Savannah and a revived Jessica Mason, leaving him in a vegetable state with his memories jumbled. Woods takes him to the Asylum in an attempt to reverse the effects himself and manages to stablize Alex's mind, however he still struggles to remember things correctly, with Woods saying he's "still in the box." As a last resort, Woods reveals Viktor Reznov to Mason in hopes of getting his memory back, claiming that he escaped Vorkuta and became "The First Archetype." Frank's status after this is left unknown.
MK Project Research
While researching on the CIA's MK project in an attempt to revive it, Coalescence Corporation CEO Sebastian Krueger requested on information regarding the individuals involved in Project Nova, as well as the CIA agents who stopped the project, including Woods and his teammates.
- Main article: Frank Woods/Quotes
Treyarch's tribute video to Woods for his "The Best Video Game Character of the Year" Award
- Though Woods is a Master Sergeant, in the mission "Payback" at the start of the mission in the chopper, the player can see briefly that it says "Pvt. Woods".
- Players who buy the Hardened or Prestige edition of Call of Duty: Black Ops receive a Woods avatar outfit.
- The outfit can also be purchased on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, on the marketplace and in the Alter Ego store, respectively.
- In the multiplayer maps Nuketown and Nuketown 2025, Woods' name is on one of the mailboxes; the other says "Mason".
- In the flashback in revelations of "Executive Order", Woods is seen wearing his SOG gear instead of the Russian disguise.
- Woods was voted "The Best Video Game Character of the Year" at the 2010 Spike Video Game Awards. Two modified scenes were shot for the occasion.
- Despite unlockable intel saying Woods' eyes are brown, in the mission "S.O.G.", one can see Woods' eyes are blue. Woods' eyes are also blue in the Call of Duty: Black Ops II reveal trailer.
- According to an early casting call and texture file names, Woods was initially named "Frank Barnes".
- 95-year-old Woods is featured alongside Menendez and the members of Avenged Sevenfold during a music video for the song Carry On, which is played after the credits of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. In the video, Woods is shown playing drums.
- In one of the player-determined cutscenes, where David Mason and Frank Woods visits Alex Mason's grave, Woods' shoulder insignia is for a Master Sergeant.
- In Woods' room at The Vault, there is a plaque with Woods' medals along with a picture of the Navy SEALs faction insignia, despite the fact that Woods served in the United States Marine Corps.