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The subject of this article appeared in Call of Duty: Black Ops.
For the achievement of the same name, see Achievements/Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
For the DS mission, see The Payback.

"Torture at the hands of the enemy only feeds the hunger for revenge."
— Briefing

Payback is the twelfth campaign mission in Call of Duty: Black Ops set in Laos. In this mission, the player operates a Mi-24 Hind, in order to find Kravchenko's compound and kill him. Although the player has full control of horizontal movement, they cannot control vertical movement.


Level Briefing[]

Transmission #14-15-20. Designate: DELTA

No contact from SOG Group X-RAY

Last known location Laos - Vietnam border

Mason and team presumed KIA

1100 hours, February 19, 1968


The mission begins with Mason and Woods in wooden cages, half underwater. The Vietcong then takes them to a room in a cave with VC and a Soviet Interrogator, with a table in the center, to play Russian Roulette. Mason sits down with Bowman sitting opposite. The Soviet tells Bowman that he must play or die, to which he refuses and insults the Soviet, who beats Bowman to death via blows to the head using a steel pipe, followed by him saying "next". Bowman's body is dragged away, and the player sees Woods struggling as VC force him into Bowman's seat. Woods asks Mason what the plan is, while the VC Bookie is getting impatient. The bookie spins the gun which lands on Woods, who reluctantly pulls the trigger. The gun dry-fires, and the bookie passes it to Mason. Mason and Woods agree on a plan. Woods, putting the gun down, sees the gun's barrel and the bullet in the next chamber. Thus, he informs Mason they need to execute the plan now. Mason informs Woods of the position of the enemies behind him ("6 and 8'o'clock") and then grabs and shoots the bookie point blank with the Python. He grabs the bookie's loaded pistol and, while using the bookie as a human shield, takes out the rest of the VC, but not before the Russian escapes. Mason and Woods pursue him through the cave, fighting off Viet Cong, until they find him trying to escape through a hatch. They shoot him down, and climb up the hatch outside. As the Russian falls Woods says "For Bowman!" to which Mason replies "For Bowman."

The 2nd part of the mission begins just outside the cave. Mason and Woods find a Spetsnaz platoon guarding a Russian Mi-24A Hind in a jungle clearing. They ambush them, and board the Hind. Mason acts as pilot and gunner of the Hind as they proceed up the river valley, wreaking havoc on the Ho Chi Minh Trail below, destroying SAMs, an Mi-8 HIP, sampans, NVA PT boats, armored AAAs, ZSUs and emplacements, guard towers that fire RPGs, radar tower, bridges, oil pipelines, and two Soviet Hinds before landing somewhere not far from Kravchenko's compound. Mason and Woods then reach the compound, located inside a large cave and fight their way in.

Mason finds captured American soldiers and Reznov in holding cells. After releasing them they fight their way into the cave to reach Kravchenko. When Mason kicks open the door of Kravchenko's office he is ambushed by Kravchenko, who then beats Mason. Just when he is about to knock Mason out, Woods sneaks up behind and stabs Kravchenko in the back. Kravchenko retaliates by pulling the pins on his grenade belt to kill everyone in the room. Seconds before it detonates Woods shoves Kravchenko and throws himself and the Russian through the window, followed by a big explosion below, which seemingly kills them both. Reznov returns to Mason and they find the documents leading to Rebirth Island.

Weapon Loadout[]

Starting Loadout
Found in level


Main article: Payback/Transcript


  • Russian bar-b-q (15 Gamerscore/ Bronze Trophy Bronze Trophy PS3 icon) - Obtained by killing 10 Russians with the Flamethrower attachment.
  • With Extreme Prejudice (25 Gamerscore/ Silver Trophy Silver Trophy PS3 icon) - Obtained by reaching the Compound in the Hind using only rockets.


Main article: Payback/Intel




  • The Russian Roulette scene in this level is a reference to the infamous Russian Roulette scene in the 1978 movie "The Deer Hunter", where three American soldiers are captured by Vietcong forces and two of them are forced to play Russian Roulette until they escape.
  • This level was presented at E3, but only the helicopter portion is shown. Even the text at the bottom left-hand corner that begins each level was shown at the part where Woods and Mason hijack the helicopter.
    • On the E3 Demo, before entering the helicopter, the player was seen using a Commando. On the final version of the game, it is not possible to find a Commando in this level.
    • On the E3 Demo, the only weapons found around the helicopter were SPAS-12s and AK47s.
  • In the introduction, it can be seen that Nova-6 is made with Neodymium, Rhenium and Sulfur.
  • In the room with Steiner's location, there is a picture of Dragovich, Kravchenko, Steiner, Petrenko, and Reznov during the mission Project Nova. This is the same picture can be found in the mission Victor Charlie.
  • When the VC Bookie yells in Vietnamese, he says "Bắn! Bắn! Bắn!" meaning "Shoot! Shoot! Shoot!". The subtitles, however, misspell it as "Bac! Bac! Bac!"'.
  • In the E3 demo, the helicopter's windows weren't transparent.
  • The Russian Roulette scene was recreated during the VGA's in celebration of Frank Woods being announced as the best video game character that year.
  • Strangely, if Graphic Content is off during the Russian Roulette scene, when Woods says Motherfuckers! We're gonna make em' pay! he will say it in a loud tone, whereas with the filter, he will say it quietly.
  • In the start of the mission, Woods is seen as Pvt. Woods.
  • The controllable Mi-24 Hind displays visible damage on its interior when shot at.