- "Alex Mason steps out of retirement to rescue his old friend Sgt. Frank Woods, held captive in Angola by narco terrorist Raul Menendez."
- — Mission description
"Pyrrhic Victory" is the first campaign mission in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. In this mission, Alex Mason steps out of retirement at the call of Jason Hudson to rescue their old friend, Frank Woods, who is being held captive by Raul Menendez and fight in the Angolan Civil War alongside Jonas Savimbi.
- Alex Mason (playable)
- David Mason (cutscene only)
- Frank Woods (W.I.A)
- Mike Harper (cutscene only)
- Jason Hudson (W.I.A)
- Jonas Savimbi
- Oliver L. North (cutscene only)
- Raul Menendez (W.I.A)
- Lev Kravchenko (cutscene and heard only)
The mission starts with Alex Mason struggling in vain to rescue one of his Angolan allies, who is trapped in a wrecked buffel and burning to death. Mason tries to get Savimbi to help rescue the trapped ally, but Savimbi remarks that it is too late for him, who has already burnt to death. After giving Mason a Machete, Savimbi rallies his troops, telling them that mortar fire from the MPLA signals their attempt to advance on Savimbi's militia and they must push back the MPLA resistance.
After hitching transport from Savimbi's convoy vehicle, they come to a stop, where in front of them are many MPLA troops. Savimbi initiates the attack and Mason assists in taking down the enemy troops, and is also tasked to clear out the enemy mortar teams that were raining fire on them at the start of the mission. Once all the mortar teams are wiped out, Jason Hudson providing overwatch assistance from a helicopter, informs Mason that he will be doing a flyby. Mason then takes control of the missiles and minigun of the helicopter to destroy the first wave of MPLA tanks. Shortly after, Hudson's helicopter comes under fire from machine gunners in the area, that Mason is tasked with eliminating. Once this is done, Hudson flies in for another run, where Mason again takes control of the missiles and minigun to destroy another wave of MPLA tanks advancing on Mason and his allies. Afterwards, Mason climbs back on to Savimbi's transport, where Savimbi announces that the MPLA forces have been weakened. They then make one final push to wipe out the remaining MPLA forces.
Savimbi's forces celebrate their victory over the MPLA while Hudson lands to pick up Mason. Hudson and Mason are informed by Savimbi that their missing friend, Frank Woods, is being held captive in a transport barge along the Cubango River. They then leave to rescue Woods.
The second part of the mission takes place along the Cubango River, where Hudson and Mason have confirmed the transport barge that Woods is on. An enemy rocket from the barge critically damages the helicopter, causing Mason and Hudson to jump onto the barge before it crashes. As soon as they land on the barge, Mason and Hudson come under enemy fire, and utilize the DShK machine guns on both sides of the barge to take out enemy gunboats advancing on them. Once all the gunboats are eradicated, Mason and Hudson open the container in the middle of the barge, and find a disoriented Woods amongst several badly decomposing corpses.
Their reunion is cut short when an enemy Hind starts to tear apart the barge. Mason manages to take out the Hind with Valkyrie Rockets, but the decimated barge runs aground. Mason and Hudson, along with Woods, escape into the jungle, where they come across a communications outpost. Hudson proposes that they use the communications outpost to radio Savimbi for extraction.
Sneaking into the communications outpost to call for evacuation, Mason stealthily approaches a radio operator, shortly later revealed to be Raul Menendez. Mason threatens Menendez and orders him to radio Savimbi for backup, but not before Menendez smashes the radio. Enemy soldiers enter the house shortly after, and Mason, having his cover blown, uses Menendez as a human shield. After a brief standoff, Menendez pulls the pin on a grenade, and tries to stab Mason in a brief struggle with him, but is ultimately shot by Mason who dives out of the window to escape the blast radius. Mason, Woods and Hudson fall back into the jungle, holding back enemy forces until they reach the pier, where they can find a boat to escape. However, they are confronted by what appears to be a enemy helicopter. As Hudson tries to provoke them, the helicopter suddenly fires upon the enemies behind Mason, decimating them. The helicopter is revealed to be Savimbi's, who has come to extract Mason, Woods and Hudson. As Mason and Hudson attempt to board the helicopter, Hudson is wounded by an enemy soldier behind Mason, who is swiftly taken out by Woods. Mason, Hudson, Woods and Savimbi fly out of the jungle.
- Eliminate enemy personnel (x15) with machete.
- Destroy all MPLA tanks.
- Eliminate enemy personnel (x5) with one mortar explosion.
- Sink enemy vessels (x5).
- Dive to prone on an enemy grenade and survive.
- Eliminate enemy personnel (x10) with animal traps.
- Kill (x4) enemies with one mortar primed animal trap.
- Use elevated improvised positions for confirmed sniper kills (x20).
- Collect intel (x3).
- 100% survivability rating.
Found in level
Access Kit Usage
- In the beginning during the invasion, a vehicle fell on its side and the inventory storage in the back will hold Mortar shells.
- On the transport barge will be a locked crate that has Flak Jackets that will protect against explosive damage.
- After sneaking through the Cubans and before climbing the mountain towards the communications tower will be an outhouse that has Animal Traps that can be set down on the ground to clamp onto enemy legs. If the player found the mortar shells, they can be added to animal traps to turn them into improvised mines.
- Intel No. 1: There will be an upturned buffel to the right after Mason gets off his own buffel. The Intel is in a crater to the right of it.
- Intel No. 2: It is found in a corner on the upper deck.
- Intel No. 3: There will be several watchtowers at the end of the level. Just before the waterfall, there will be two watchtowers on the right side. The Intel is found on the rightmost one.
- After Mason lands and kills the man on the barge, his body disappears
- "Pyrrhic Victory" is a victory where the winner has lost too much in the fight to have any sense of profit.
- Once Savimbi orders the final charge on the MPLA, one can hear Savimbi's troops yelling "Ura!" which was a battle cry in Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Black Ops.
- If one enables subtitles during the part where Mason infiltrates the base and encounters Menendez, it would be revealed that he was communicating with Lev Kravchenko, and he mentions Mullah Rahmaan.
- When Menendez is being held hostage he is saying in Spanish translated to English: "The American is saying that he is in control, but he's not. The Americans know nothing about loyalty. Maybe if we just demostrate..." When he unpins the grenade and drops it to the floor, some of his soldiers will jump on it to protect Menendez with their own bodies from explosion.
- When Menendez is visiting the vault, he looks younger and his beard is shorter than seen in the villain trailer.
- At the end of the mission, where Hudson puts his sunglasses on, the Black Ops spawn theme plays. This is a reference to the first game, during which the theme also played once during the level Revelations when Hudson put his sunglasses on.
- The crate in which Woods is found has some blood patterns on the wall that look like a figure holding a knife. These exact patterns were seen in Call of Duty: World at War in several maps including Hangar, Asylum and Verruckt.
- In the cutscene in which Woods is held captive in the Hanoi Hilton, he strangles a Viet Cong soldier with an M16A4 from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
- Woods's final quote on this level, "You can't kill me", is a reference to the same line that he said to the VC Bookie in the level Payback from Call of Duty: Black Ops.
- After the player fails to save the burning man at the start of the level, it is possible to hear the "Savimbi's Pride", a track from Black Ops II OST.
- If the player looks at the MPLA soldier that Savimbi killed, the HUD reticle will still be red as if he were still alive.
- While piloting the helicopter, Hudson can be seen wearing a unique green cap that he does not wear anywhere else in the game, even later in the same mission.
- The player will be automaticlly transported next to the Buffel if not already there while controlling Hudson's helicopter.
- The child soldiers will not damage the player but will run to them and do nothing if the player was spotted
- This is the first of the two missions in Black Ops II where the mission data is not displayed, the second being Fallen Angel.
- One can hear a soldier saying "The devil has come to Tsavo!" This is a referance to the real life man-eaters of Tsavo and the film The Ghost And The Darkness.
- This is the only mission where the player aquires an Access Kit weapon at the very start of the mission, the machete.
- This is the only mission were Menendez has his right eye (as he's losing it in this mission).
- It's strange that Mason uses a Browning HP even though his starting loadout has an M1911.
- When taking damage, especially from explosive weapons, the MPLA soldiers' screams are mostly reused from the NVA soldiers' screams from Black Ops.
- If the player takes down the Hind with only one rocket, the helicopter might keep firing until it crashes.
- This is the only mission in Black Ops II were Valkyrie Rockets can be used. And Hudson even calls it TGM.
- Sometimes the gun boats will go through the boat if destroyed while boarding.
- In the tall grass, it is possible to find an enemy soldier with a Red dot sight on their AK-47, which is unobtainable, even through campaign loadouts.
No Man Left Behind (20 / Bronze Trophy ) - Rescue Woods.
- Main article: Pyrrhic Victory/Transcript