- "Assault the Nightfall research facility. Locate survivors and eradicate the Cryptid outbreak."
- — Mission Description
Nightfall is a map part of the Onslaught downloadable content pack for Call of Duty: Ghosts. It is the second level of the game mode Extinction, but was mentioned as Episode 1 of the Extinction story. It takes place after the events of Point of Contact. It was first revealed on a GameStop promotional poster and was released on January 28th, 2014 for Xbox LIVE and February 27th on all other platforms.
Nightfall is a map from the Extinction game mode and takes place in a snowy, deserted Alaskan base. It includes two new Cryptids. The first is the Phantom. While jumping, the Phantom is rendered invisible to the players. The second is called the Breeder, which is the second largest boss in the game so far and looks like a large, spider-like creature. There is also a new weapon, the Venom-X, that gets its ammo from Scorpions and shoots acid similar to that of Scorpions. There are two known main characters: Dr. Samantha Cross and Cpt. David Archer, as well as the team that the players control. In the ending cutscene, an unknown Cryptid (Kraken) is seen, which teases the next map of Extinction.
Nightfall appears to be much more difficult than "Point of Contact". The more confined and urbanated spaces allow for much unpredictable and stealthy activity by the Cryptids. Also, because there is no helicopter to call in for support, and instead of barrier hives and facing only Scouts and Scorpions, players face the Breeder, which has extremely deadly attacks and also spawns additional Scouts and Seekers to attempt to disrupt any player trying to kill it.
Nightfall also appears to lack the Propane Tanks that were featured in "Point of Contact." As a substitute, telephone wires have detonatable capsules that explode when shot, giving off a stronger projected explosion than the Fuel Canisters. There are also red barrels that can be blown up as an alternative.
Rather than barrier hives, a "Breeder" Cryptid boss is featured at the end of the first area and as the final boss of the map. Players must shoot the creature's head (not the face, but the forehead) to damage it and lower its health until complete diminishment. The boss uses a variety of attacks to kill the players. If the player gets too close, the Breeder will attack with its giant claws, doing large amounts of damage when hit. The most known attack is its rapid-needle attack; the Breeder will glow red before it fires, players must seek cover to prevent getting hit. The Breeder will spawn eggs which will birth Scouts, Hunters, and Seekers to disrupt the players from their main objective; players will have to shoot the eggs to prevent such hazards. From its tail, it will fire red gas clouds, similar to that of the Scorpion (it will crouch before doing this attack). Turrets are not as helpful as players will hope, because they shoot center mass rather than its weakspots.
Story (based on Intel gathered from Nightfall)
Dr. Samantha Cross sends a distress signal and video from the Nightfall facility in northern Alaska, risking her life but knowing that it's better than letting millions die. Six months ago, Captain David Archer recruited her into the secret Nightfall program, which held smuggled specimens from the Colorado outbreak the U.S. Government suppressed. A knock on the door is heard, and she tells the viewer to find Archer and to burn Nightfall.
Cpt. David Archer was a top shooter with the SAS until he washed out on Section 8. Codename: Godfather (a.k.a. General Castle) met Archer during a campaign in Pakistan, back then "Sgt." Archer wasn't someone who would crack under pressure, but his psych evaluation says differently. Archer and a six man kill team were assigned a black ops in Swamp Valley, but "some asshole in the world denied extraction," so they were abandoned in a desert cave for six weeks. It was then Archer made contact with the "aliens" for the first time; Archer then assaulted his psych doctor during the interview for calling the Cryptids "aliens".
Dr. Samantha Cross earned her Ph.D. in Paleolinguistics in Harvard and was a rising star in her field of study. She was a "savant" for her natural code-breaking talent, even landing the cover of "Terrestrial World Science." She turned down a million-dollar contract with the NSA to explore ancient places like the Amazon Jungle to practice her study. In an interview, she explains her rare nuerological condition, known as Polyglotism ; her brain processes complex patterns differently as if it were her own code, and because of this she can fluently speak 28 languages, including a few ancient/dead languages. Her reasons for learning those languages is the power behind their words; they are like skeleton keys that can unlock ancient secrets of the past, as if solving a mystery. A week after the interview, a year before the events of Extinction, she went missing.
While Task Force Spectre fought the outbreak in Colorado, Archer smuggled samples and specimens out of the quarantine zone, and commenced Project Nightfall in Pt. Barrow, Alaska in secret. Cross was then hired by Archer into the project.
In the first month after her arrival, Cross inputed her first journal entry in a datafile (intel found in-game). She freezes up whenever she hears the shrieking from the hatchery, Archer says it's a normal reflex hardwired in human DNA from prehistoric times. The creatures held in the hatchery, Archer calls them Cryptids, Cross remembers seeing other cryptid species, certain plants and animals, some that don't have a name. The Cryptids were an entire living ecosystem of animals, and to this point she questions why Archer was keeping the greatest scientific discovery of the century all hidden and what his reasons were for flying her here.
Within two months, she was studying the records of Nightfall. When the ODIN strike breached the caverns in Colorado, Archer discovered the Cryptid colony there and brought the samples and specimens to Alaska. They discovered that the Cryptid homeworld was a harsh volcanic planet, covered in darkness from the ashes of a thousand volcanoes. A comet impacted and ignited the planet's atmosphere, wiping out all life on the surface, and in the span of over 300 million years that planet became Earth as the world knows today. Archer dislikes it when members mention "alien" because the Cryptids ARE of this world and have existed longer than humans.
The Crypids are a frightening example of natural selection, each species is connected to the others by a web of symbiotic relationships. They grow and defend their Hives, which emit pheromones to stimulate and accelerate metabolism. Any damage done to the Hives is quickly repaired by rapid cellular regeneration, rendering them almost indestructible, except by the nerve chords embedded below the surface (which explains why the laser drills are the only effective ways to destroy them in-game). The Hives run on geothermal heat rather than sunlight; the Crypitds survived underground when the comet hit and wiped out all life on Earth for the third time.
Three months since Cross' arrival, Archer finally revealed why she was hired into Project Nightfall. The Obelisk is a 150 million-year-old 2-ton solid volcanic obsidian etched with ancient heiroglyphics (cut while the glass was still cooling from volcanic activity). Cross questioned Archer about its origins and where it was located, but Archer did not give the answers she wanted. Regardless, the surprise was worth the wait and Cross began translating immediately.
As a result from her work, Cross suffered insomnia for three weeks straight from her time-consuming translations. Archer decided to give her a break from her work and showed her something "special" at the hatchery. She watched as the Breeder hatched out of its egg sac the size of a trailer and proceeded to attack a terrified horse Archer forced into its pen. Cross sees Archer just standing there, laughing and smoking a cigar like a proud father.
During the outbreak in the Facility, Cross inputed her final entry. It's been days, maybe months, and somehow she is still alive while the Cryptids have killed everyone else. Despite her fears, she is somewhat glad that she is still alive. She could feel the Cryptids' hatred, their bloodlust, but their fear is stronger. Whenever her presence is felt, they stop and they leave her alone. To this point, she wonders what is it that they sense in her that causes them to not touch her, why won't they just kill her?
While Project Nightfall was in the works, Archer calls his contact to make a deal to sell his discoveries. Contact 28 calls him a traitor and questions his trust, but Archer sends him a few samples to make him "act on your own self interest," and gives him 24 hours to decide on a final deal and threatens to consider a different competitive dealer.
A few hours later, Contact 28 offers 400 million for the live specimens and another 200 for the research data, but Archer exclaims that he doesn't need money, but a ship and a crew that can follow his orders, and needs 28's answer immediately. It turns out that Cross made an unauthorized call to the outside of the Facility, so the location is likely compromised. It is also likely that the Facility will fall to a Cryptid outbreak within 18 hours.
Some time later, the Hatchery is sabotaged and the Cryptids begin attacking the Facility from within, killing everyone in their path. Archer calls 28 and demands an exfil, but 28, believing that Archer has one too many problems and might not be able to hold his end of the deal, leaves him for dead, either his mercenaries hold out until American reinforcements arrive, or the Cryptids get to him first. Archer then says "I'll see you in hell, you back-stabbing son of a..."
Archer then accesses the security feeds, saying if he's gonna die in the Facility, he will first see the man who "killed" him; he sees a woman setting loose a Hunter on the scientist in the room. The woman is Cross, he then goes to find her.
Archer calls 28 one last time and offers a renegotiation, showing him the first pictures of "The Ark." Archer believes that the secrets of this ancient finding can be unlocked and that Cross is the key.
Archer escapes the Nightfall facility on a snow cat vehicle with Cross captive. When he arrives at his submarine docked at the edge of the Alaskan ice, he and Contact 28 renegotiate their deal, not only about the Cryptid specimens, but about a time capsule found under the Colorado colony and Archer believes there are more hidden elsewhere in the world. Archer also knows that Cross, having finished the translations, knows how to find the others. Moments later, Cross is laying on an operating table, feeling a little seasick, but she is strapped down and the surgeon tells her not to move because "the implants are still bonding". Archer looks down at her, "let's get to work, shall we?" Cross yells "Nooooo!!!" In the lower decks, more Cryptid specimens are held in containers being studied by the surviving scientists from Nightfall, while outside in the cold waters underwater species of Cryptids are swimming alongside the submarine.
- Main article: Nightfall/Intel
The game starts with the team arriving at the gate, where a soldier is desperately trying to get to the other side, but gets killed by the Breeder. The gate opens and the team moves in to begin the game. There is a container box that holds a Hunter, players should kill it before they start drilling; there are plenty of Search Boxes players can find as well before they begin (some of them occasionally hold the first six Intel about Project Nightfall). There are four Hives to clear before players face the Breeder for the first time (its howling cry will signal its arrival after the Hives are done). There are two more containers at the far right corner holding Hunters or Scorpions. The Hive sitting on the rooftop blocking a room holds lockers which players can open with a Locker Key to pick up a random-customized weapon. Two minigun turrets, three Fire Traps, and two Electric Fence Traps can assist the player when necessary.
- Maverick for $1500 dropped by the soldier killed by the Breeder in the very beginning, but it is a one-time purchase only.
- Two sets of two Semtex for free, dropped by the soldier killed by the Breeder.
- Two Ammo magazines for free, dropped by the soldier killed by the Breeder.
- Kastet for $1500 sitting next to the Hive by the security station.
- MTS-255 for $1500 next to the stairs of the rooftop.
- VKS for $1500 at the far end of the entrance.
- SVU for $2000 on the rooftop.
- LSAT for $3000 inside the blocked room on the rooftop.
From this point onward, it becomes very difficult to tackle the waves and waves of Cryptids that pop out as players are drilling the Hives; there are more Phantoms, and Rhinos are spawning more frequently than in Point of Contact. After all the Hives are cleared in this section, the Breeder will briefly appear, but not as a boss. It will rip open and destroy parts of the facility where players will enter. There are also two laptop intels hidden in elevated positions of the Compound. (The first two Nightfall Intels are found here; the first is around the catwalks on the right, the second one players climb up an Electric Trap box onto a Cryptid container and then jump across to a roof on the left.) Three fire traps and one electrical fence trap can assist the player when necessary.
- VKS for $1500 lying next to a container by the left-most corner hive.
- Vector CRB for $1500, leaning on the shipping container when first entering the compound.
- SVU for $2000
- Vector CRB for $1500 lying inside the container with the electric trap.
- ARX-160 for $2000 on the catwalk where the first Archer intel is.
- Chain SAW for $3000 inside the locker room after clearing the hive in the center.
- MR-28 For $2000 on a catwalk overlooking the last hive
The facility plays host to tons of close-quarter combat; the Weapon Specialist has an advantage of dishing out tons of damage with LMGs and other high-capacity/high-damage weapons. Turrets will also become a very powerful asset in assisting the players while inside the facility. Players still have to be aware of Scorpions and Rhinos, as there is not much space to fight in, in the first place, they will take and succumb to more damage while in the facility. After destroying the middle Hive blocking the weapons room with the locker, players will gain access to the Venom-X weapon (this should be done ASAP to give players a major advantage). The Hive in the corner blocking what looks like a weapons testing room features a mini event: after the Cryptids of that round are killed, a window shade will open and Dr. Samantha Cross is on the other side yelling for the players' attention -
Cross: Hey. Hey! Over here! I'm in here, come on. Hey! The Obelisk, I've finally finished the translation. Archer doesn't know what it says. And he'll never know, because I'll be dead.
Cross picks up a pistol and points it at her head, but she hesitates to pull the trigger and the screens behind her start to fizz a bit. Archer walks into the room, pulls out his pistol and shoots Cross in the arm, preventing her from committing suicide.
Cross: No! Get away from me!
Archer slaps Cross unconscious and lifts her up over his shoulder.
Archer: I can't let you leave, now can I? You've seen too much.
Archer presses a button to close the window shade. As he is about to leave the room, he becomes surrounded by two Hunters.
(The next two Intels are found inside the Facility, players have to do a series of jumps on catwalks at the edges of the room to find them.) Two fire traps and two electric traps can assist the players when necessary (the electric trap which charges the center-top platform is very crucial to help players progress, since almost half of the Cryptids that appear in the Facility drop in from the roof, this trap should be used in every round in the Facility.)
- Venom-X, in the center room blocked by a hive.
- ARX-160 for $2000 in the center next to the ladder and stairs.
- Vepr for $1500
- Bulldog for $2500 in the hall before entering the Facility.
- L115 for $2000 in the hall before entering the Facility.
Breeder Final Boss
After the final hive at the top of the Facility is destroyed, a Rhino will bust through a wall that allows players to go outside. When the players exit the facility, they will face the Breeder for the final time (David Archer can be seen boarding a snow cat vehicle and escape out the gate, which closes). The Breeder at this point is a little different than from the Entrance; it still has its usual attacks. When the players shoot it in the head/face enough times, it will stumble backwards and reveal its weakpoints in its chest (three chest weak points, one will glow each time). Players have to take every opportunity to shoot that spot, as its health will drop heavily when shot there. When it gets down to 50% health, it will move up on top a roof, and a wave of Cryptids will spawn. The Breeder will also shoot eggs that will hatch when not eliminated immediately. Turrets will play a huge role at this point to help suppress Scorpions and Rhinos. After the wave is cleared, the Breeder will move back down and combat the players. This time, flower pods will spawn in front of the pillars; the Breeder can regenerate its health from them, so players must take care of them to keep the Breeder from being more difficult to dispose. Grenade Launchers and Venom-X weapons will make it slightly easier for the Breeder to stumble and the players can target its chest weakspot to damage it even further. Continue the process and the players will eventually defeat the Breeder and survive Nightfall. The final Intel is in the toll booth next to the gate that Archer's snow cat escapes out of.
- Maverick for $1500.
Chaos Mode Weapons
Here is a list of the weapons available in Chaos Mode.
- Pushing Ahead (20 /Bronze Trophy ) - Gain access to the Compound area in Nightfall.
- Weapon Facility (20 /Bronze Trophy ) - Gain access to the Facility in Nightfall.
- Survived Nightfall (20 /Bronze Trophy ) - Kill the Breeder for the first time in Nightfall.
- Speed Slayer (20 /Bronze Trophy ) - Kill the Breeder in less than 5 minutes in Nightfall.
- Turnabout is Fair Play (20 /Bronze Trophy ) - Kill 50 Crytids with the Venom-X weapon in Nightfall.
- Phantom Exterminator (20 /Bronze Trophy ) - Kill 5 Phantoms in one game.
- Pea Shooter (20 /Bronze Trophy ) - Kill a Rhino with only a pistol in Nightfall.
- Egg-stra XP! (20 /Bronze Trophy ) - Complete the Egg-Stra XP challenge and then destroy the hive in the Onslaught DLC package.
- Undiscovered Truths (30 /Bronze Trophy ) - Found all intels.
- Nightfall Completionist (30 /Silver Trophy ) - Complete all challenges and kill the Breeder in Nightfall.
- Throttled Survival (30 /Silver Trophy ) - Kill the Breeder while using a Relic in Nightfall.
- If the player shoots the sparkling transformers on each telephone pole, the word ZAP appears on the screen. If done successfully, the aliens killed by the player will burst open in a snowman (similar to the stuffed animals in Point of Contact). This effect last four-to-five minutes. When the player shoots the transformers, the transformers will explode. It's important to watch the order of sparkling transformers first because there isn't much time to shoot the next sparkling transformer.
- In the loading screen, one of the tips states that the contaminated Nightfall Facility was incinerated by a fuel-air bombing raid after the Cryptid threat had been neutralized.
- There is an unscanned obelisk in the facility area.
- In Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Willard Wyler mentions Nightfall when threatening Elvira.
- It is later revealed by Poindexter that Nightfall is part of Willard Wyler's film series Extinction.