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- "Fetch me their souls!"
- — The Demonic Announcer at the beginning of a Hellhound round.
The Hellhounds are an aggressive and murderous type of zombie first introduced in Shi No Numa. These variants of zombies are encountered on Shi No Numa, Der Riese, Kino der Toten, Dead Ops Arcade, Moon, Green Run, and Mob of the Dead. They are essentially zombie-dogs that are the mutated version of Samantha's pet, Fluffy, when it was put in a Der Riese mainframe teleporter, turned into a deadly hellhound and later had puppies. They randomly spawn throughout the map (a ball of lightning will usually indicate whenever they spawn) in packs of two to four (depending on the amount of players) every four to seven rounds and their sole objective is to kill the player by streaking towards them and either attacking with tooth and claw or by exploding. The ground shakes whenever they spawn and there will be a heavy fog covering the map. There are two variants of the hellhound: the flaming hellhound, which on top of being perpetually on fire explodes on death, and the normal hellhound, and will simply fall to the ground and not explode when killed. When the last hellhound of their special rounds is killed, it will always drop a Max Ammo Power-Up. One exception to this is Shi No Numa, where the Max Ammo may not be dropped by the hellhound, but the next zombie the player kills. The electric bolts that appear during a hellhound round are supposedly linked towards the teleporter incident that occurred at the Der Riese facility.
In Green Run, through a Custom Games lobby, the host has the ability to turn on/off a hellhound round if the host has selected a 'Survival' or a 'Grief' gamemode map. The only maps that are available for hellhound rounds are Town, Bus Depot and Farm; these maps are various locations throughout the TranZit gamemode.
In Mob of the Dead, a new form of hellhound appears. It takes the form of a large head that emerges from the wall in one of three marked locations. It will only appear when a zombie has been killed in the vicinity of one of its spawn locations. It eats all dead zombies within a certain radius of it, and will disappear when it has been fed six zombies. Whether or not this hellhound is related to other hellhounds is currently unknown.
In Der Riese, there are a series of radios that depicts the Hellhound's creation. Dr. Maxis and his assistant, Edward Richtofen, were doing tests at the Der Riese facility. One of the tests involved Samantha's dog, Fluffy. When teleported, Fluffy vanished and later reappeared as a demonic variant of Samantha's dog; Fluffy became a Hellhound. When this occurred, Richtofen followed through with his plot to get rid of the Maxis' by locking them in the teleportation laboratory with the possessed Fluffy and sending them through to the Aether. Dr. Maxis was teleported to an unknown location, while Samantha was sent to Griffin Station. Samantha seems to now control the Hellhounds as she attempts to kill Richtofen. One of the radio messages hints that Fluffy was pregnant, explaining why there are multiple Hellhounds.
- If one uses a Power-Up such as Instant Kill to kill the last dog of a round, they will not drop a Max Ammo.
- The Hellhounds have several different appearances just like the zombies. Some are large and intimidating while others look frail and badly burned.
- The Hellhounds appear every four to seven rounds.
- Hellhounds will attack certain players and don't switch between targets until the one they're after is downed.
- In Der Riese, there is a door with a warning sign and a Hellhound head nailed to it. On the floor inside of the door, there is a lot of blood.
- When playing on Der Riese, if a teleporter is near by during a Hellhound round, many Hellhounds will spawn out of the teleporter.
- Also, on Call of Duty: Black Ops (Nintendo DS), there is no specific Hellhound round. Hellhounds can appear from round five and have increasing likelihood of appearing each round. These Hellhounds will knock down barricades with their teeth.
- In Der Riese, Dead Ops Arcade and Moon, they can they appear alongside the zombie horde.
- Hellhounds were originally going to appear in "Five", since there are character response quotes for them in the game's files. This can be seen here.
- There was originally going to be music playing during a dog round when Map Pack 3 was released, but Treyarch scrapped the idea; in the game files there are two scrapped songs for dogs (unknown metal song and changed version of The One by Kevin Sherwood and Elena Siegman).
- The Temple is the only Call of Duty: Black Ops (Nintendo DS) map that does not feature Hellhounds.
- A part of Beauty of Annihilation plays at the end of a Hellhound round on Der Riese, the Black Ops version of Shi No Numa and Der Riese, Kino der Toten and Green Run.
- In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, their eyes remain yellow-orange, rather than blue like the Zombies Richtofen controls.
- There's a new type of kind of undead dog in Mob of the Dead called Cerberus.