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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The subject of this article appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 The subject of this article appeared in Zombies mode The subject of this article appears in Blackout
For similar weapons, see Axe, Tomahawk and Combat Axe.

"Haha! You just got boomeranged bitch!"
— Sal DeLuca when killing multiple zombies with the Hell's Retriever.

The Hell's Retriever is a wonder weapon and a tactical item featured in the Zombies map, Mob of the Dead in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, as well as Blood of the Dead in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. The Hell's Retriever can be obtained by feeding six zombies to each of the three Cerberus' heads.

The locations of the three Cerberus' heads are as follows: 

  • In the 'Broadway' cell block, located near the B23R.
  • In the infirmary adjacent to the Afterlife power box.
  • Near the workbench on the lower level of the docks.

Once the three Cerberus' heads have receded into the wall, and the Cerberus' head icon on the wall is glowing, an area will open up beneath the sign of the three dog heads down in the Citadel Tunnels. In this room will be the Hell's Retriever, waiting to be picked up.

When thrown, it can pierce through a total of six zombies at once, eventually returning to the player. It can also be charged, which adds more damage and distance. This can be done by holding down the tactical button for a maximum of two pulses. If the player throws it towards a power-up, it will retrieve the power-up and bring it back to the player.

Players will lose the Hell's Retriever if they bleed out. Throwing it does not get rid of it, as it simply returns to the player (the only exception being the step 3 of upgrading to Hell's Redeemer), although it takes a while for it to return to them. Additionally, the player has to wait for the five second cooldown before it can be thrown again. The Hell's Retriever has the ability to kill zombies instantly (if charged twice) until round 20. It is also very effective when fighting Brutus.

Hell's Redeemer

The Hell's Retriever can be upgraded into the Hell's Redeemer by completing a series of tasks. As long as it is charged once, it is an instant kill weapon, except on Brutus if he still has his helmet on. In addition, it can be charged three times as opposed to only twice with the Hell's Retriever, however, it still retains the ability to kill a maximum of six zombies at once. The Hell's Redeemer is only obtainable in Original difficulty.

Steps to obtain the Hell's Redeemer

  1. After obtaining the regular Hell's Retriever, kill approximately ten to fifteen zombies with the Hell's Retriever. When done, the sound of entering Afterlife and some music should be heard.
  2. Spend at least a round on round 10 or higher using only the Hell's Retriever on the Golden Gate Bridge, killing at least 30 zombies with it within that round. Once done, the player should hear the Afterlife sound when the round is finished. The player trying to unlock Hell's Redeemer should not shoot weapons, as this will restart this step. Knifing the air, however, will not.
  3. Throw the Hell's Retriever into the lava pit underneath Cerberus' head near the B23R. If done correctly, the Hell's Retriever will not be returned to the player and the Afterlife sound will be heard once again. As a side-note, there is an easy access to the lava pit. This is under the ramp that leads to the B23R/Cerberus' head. It's easier to throw the retriever to the lava here.
  4. On any following round, travel to the Citadel Tunnels where the Hell's Retriever is obtained. If previous steps have been done correctly, the Hell's Retriever should be absent and the aura should be blue rather than red. The Hell's Redeemer can now be picked up in Afterlife.

In co-op, every player can obtain the Hell's Redeemer, but each player has to do the steps themselves. However, multiple players can do the steps simultaneously.

Blood of the Dead

The Hell's Retriever makes a return in Blood of the Dead, and is again obtained by feeding three Cerberus' heads around the map six zombies each. Two of the three heads have been relocated.

The locations of the heads are as follows:

  • In the New Industries building, near a Mystery Box location and the GKS wall-buy.
  • On the Cell Block 2nd Floor, in the same location as it was in Mob of the Dead.
  • In Eagle Plaza, on the wall of the white house directly in front of the door leading from the Warden's Office.

After all three heads have been fed, and power has been turned on, the player will need to use the Underground Tunnels fast travel between the Warden's House and the Showers. During the ride, the Hell's Retriever will be visible atop a small stone in lava. Simply hold the use button whilst hovering past the weapon and it will be acquired. The Hell's Retriever operates similarly to as it does in Mob of the Dead. Powerups are picked up differently in Blood of the Dead. You must throw your Hell’s Retriever at the ground beneath the powerup in order to pick it up.

The Retriever can be upgraded to the Redeemer, following a small quest. Standing in some parts of the Recreation Yard will cause the Retriever to turn blue when thrown, and getting enough kills in this way will result in audio of a wolf’s howl playing.

Following this prompt, look through the Spectral Shield to find a blue Cerberus head and throw the Retriever at it. The head will disappear and the Retriever will be taken from the player’s inventory.

A blue Hellhound can now be found roaming the entire map during Hellhound rounds, and blasting this Hellhound with the Spectral Shield will allow the player to pick up the Hell’s Redeemer from the same place the Hell’s Retriever spawns.


During Operation Apocalypse Z and its continuation, the Hell's Retriever could be acquired from the Mystery Box or by killing the Blightfather. In the game mode Pandemic, the infected are given two Hell's Retrievers. This iteration of the Hell's Retriever acts as a re-skinned Combat Axe.



Feed the Beast (10 Gamerscore.png/ Bronze Trophy Bronze Trophy PS3 icon.png) - In Mob of the Dead, obtain the Hell's Retriever



  • The Hell's Retriever can obtain the power-ups behind the locked cell doors without opening them.
  • Kills with the Hell's Retriever count as grenade kills in player stats.