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Hey Woods, you look like hammered shit.
~ Alex to Woods in The Vault, 2025 - referencing what he said to Woods in Vietnam.
Alaska-born Alex Mason. His efforts of heroism during the darkest hours have made him a cornerstone of the Black Ops saga.
~ Mason's profile bio for Call of Duty: Mobile.

Captain Alex Mason (born June 3, 1933) is the main protagonist of the Call of Duty franchise's Black Ops series. He is the main protagonist of Call of Duty: Black Ops, one of the two tritagonists (alongside Frank Woods) of Black Ops II, a mentioned character in Black Ops III, and a major character in Black Ops 4. He returns in the 2020 video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, being a playable character and co-tritagonist alongside Woods, and as a featured character in Call of Duty: Mobile.

He is marine and CIA operative who was brainwashed to be a sleeper agent, but was reprogrammed by Viktor Reznov to enact his revenge on Nikita Dragovich, Lev Kravchenko, and Friedrich Steiner. After stopping Dragovich from destroying the west, Mason continued to serve the CIA to stop terrorist threats, such as the rogue Soviet spy "Perseus" and his spy network. During his operations in the 1980s, Mason and his close friend, Frank Woods, would become the enemy of Raul Menendez, who wanted to get revenge on them for the death of his sister. Depending on the player's choice, Mason can either be wounded or killed during the invasion of Panama, and can return at the end of Black Ops II.

He is voiced by Sam Worthington, who portrays Jake Sully in Avatar and its upcoming sequels, Marcus Wright in Terminator: Salvation, and Greek Mythology hero Perseus in 2010 remake Clash of the Titans, and its sequel Wrath of the Titans.

In Black Ops - Declassified, he was voiced by Nolan North, who also voiced Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, Edward Richtofen in the Call of Duty zombie series, Desmond Miles in the Assassin's Creed series, Sergeant Randall in Call of Duty 2, Deadpool in numerous media and video games, and many others.

In Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, he is voiced by Chris Payne Gilbert.

Biography

Early Life

Alex was born on June 3rd, 1933 in Fairbanks, Alaska, to unnamed parents, and is the brother to Dot and Marion Mason. He was raised in the Alaskan wilderness to hunt with his father, who was a World War II veteran, and also became adept to cold weather. Mason was known for being a excellent marksman, being only twenty years old to win the Wimbledon Cup, being the youngest to do.

Military Career

But ask anyone. Mason was born and bred for the Division, a man who could think on his feet, improvise, and turn an ugly situation into a win.
~ Ryan Jackson speaking of Mason's abilities.

During the 1950s, Mason joined the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman, honoring his father who was a member of the Marine Raiders, in the Korean War. Alex became a member of the Marines' force recon, and was later recruited into the CIA's division, the SOG after his service in the marine corps. Mason would meet and befriend Frank Woods, who would become on of his close friends for years onward. Before the events of the series, Mason and Woods befriended Joseph Bowman, who was a naval officer and operative for the CIA.

Call of Duty: Black Ops

You will move without boundaries. You will act above the law. You will use any means necessary to stop the wars that are hidden from the world. And if you succeed, you will do so, without any recognition. Because you do not exist.
~ Mason in the Black Ops trailer.

Mason is a former Marine Corps Captain and was a member of the covert assassination team Operation 40, inserted into Cuba during the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 to carry out Operation Zapata, the assassination of Fidel Castro. After believing to be successful, Mason is captured and brought before the real Castro, who'd had a double die in his place, who then turns him over to General Nikita Dragovich, who, along with Colonel Lev Kravchenko and Dr. Friedrich Steiner, turn Mason into a Soviet sleeper agent able to understand numbers broadcasts and assassinate President John F. Kennedy. After spending two years in the Vorkuta Gulag, Mason and Viktor Reznov (who sabotaged Mason's programming to kill Dragovich, Kravchenko, and Steiner instead) lead a massive uprising leading to their escape. Though Mason managed to escape via a train, Reznov sacrificed himself so Alex could complete his plan to get revenge on Dragovich, Kravchenko, and Steiner.

Mason returns to the U.S. and becomes a CIA agent under the control of handler Jason Hudson, and is authorized by President Kennedy himself to kill Dragovich. During his briefing, Mason hallucinated himself pointing a handgun at Kennedy, indicting his brainwashing was still in effect. Believing he had done so at the Baiknour Cosmordrome in Kazakhastan, Mason later develops doubts. When the CIA operative Grigori Weaver was captured by Kravchenko, Mason and his team decided to rescue him before going to eliminate Dragovich. In 1968, he joins the MACV-SOG in Vietnam and helps investigate the Soviet presence there. During the Tet Offensive, Mason is deployed to Hue City to recover a Russian defector who he believes is Viktor Reznov (in reality, the defector is not Reznov and Reznov is not really alive; he had been killed during the Vorkuta uprising and Mason's visions of him were a result of a traumatic disorder brought upon due to brainwashing) who has a dossier on Dragovich and reveals his development of the nerve agent Nova-6. According to Mason in Black Ops Cold War, the CIA operative Russell Adler was present in Khe Sahn, as he was leading a team as well. It's assumed that Mason met Adler there, but it's left uncertain.

Mason, along with "Reznov" and his Op 40 squad mates (Frank Woods and Joseph Bowman) are sent into Laos to discover the Soviet's alliance with the Viet Cong. There, they discover a downed Soviet cargo plane containing a large shipment of Nova 6, which had dispersed during the crash, and the plane also contains American weaponry. This is a trap set by Dragovich and Kravchenko, who capture all of the Op 40 members and have them tortured by the Viet Cong. Bowman is killed by a Soviet operative, and Mason and Woods escape and fight their way to save other soldiers. Reaching to Kravchenko, Mason was nearly killed by the Russian until Woods saved his life, stopping Lev from killing Alex with grenades. Mason started to experience his hallucination of Reznov, and Viktor advised him to get his revenge on Steiner by traveling to Rebirth Island.

Going to the island, Mason infiltrated the base and started to slaughter scientists and Russian soldiers in the labs, where Steiner was attempting to contact the CIA. Alex killed Steiner before being knocked unconscious by Hudson, who was part of a CIA team sent to the island to retrieve Steiner so they could decode the numbers station. Seeing that Mason is the only one who can crack the numbers sequences, Hudson and Weaver interrogated him in the abandoned NSA facility. During the interrogation, Mason relieved his past experiences, and refused to believe that Reznov was not with him in Vietnam and Rebirth Island. When Hudson revealed himself to be the interrogator, Mason escaped and was knocked out by Jason, who managed to catch up with Alex in the facility. After Hudson explained that he was brainwashed, Mason was able to remember where the numbers station was, in the Rusulka off the coast of Cuba.

Later, Mason, Hudson, and Weaver attack the Russian ship "Rusalka", with Mason hungry of revenge against Dragovich. They fly in with helicopter, destroying most of the ships and a Russian Hind before being shot down. He, Weaver and Hudson kill everyone in their way, only to find that Dragovich is in a underwater lab connected to the Rusalka. Hudson and Mason dive down and kill everyone, and then Dragovich shoots Mason when he tries to disable the numbers station. He yells to Mason that Mason could've been his best man and now Mason would have to pay the price. Then Hudson shoots Dragovich twice, buying Mason enough time to drag down Dragovich. Mason then punches Dragovich, telling that he tried make him kill President Kennedy, with the latter replying "tried". Mason then proceeded to drown Dragoivch, and Hudson helps him make it to the surface.

On the way up, Mason's journey ends with "Reznov" telling him that Mason did what "he could not". Then Weaver pulls him into a boat and they leave the wreckage of the Rusalka, who stated they won, but Mason replied with "for now".

Between Black Ops and Black Ops Cold War

He's in. Nice work, Mason. Have a smoke. You earned it.
~ Hudson to Mason after a successful mission in Black Ops: Declassified.

Mason still served in the CIA, during secret missions with Woods while Hudson and Ryan Jackson gave support for him on operations. Mason would gain intel while fighting KGB in Germany, and stop the KGB officer Mikhail Belov who was running a spy ring along the Berlin wall. Alex would later go into hiding with Hudson and Weaver amidst Operation Charybdis, but survived and gained a hatred for the CIA. Mason later married an unknown woman, who gave birth to their son, David. After her death, the relationship between father and son was strained, as Alex was harsh to his son and teach him in Alaska like his father did.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

What the hell are you talking about? You know who we are?
~ Mason to Alexander Haig during the briefing.

In 1981, Mason is tasked by President Ronald Reagan and Hudson with eliminating Iranian terrorist leaders Arash Kadivar and Qasim Javaid, as they have taken part in the Iranian hostage crisis. Mason works with Woods and Russell Adler, and with the help of the Amsterdam police chief Hans, they are able to confront Javadi on the rooftops. Mason interrogates Javadi and manages to learn that Kadivar will meet someone at the Trabzon Airport, Turkey. After capturing or killing Javadi, Mason, Woods and Adler head to Turkey to eliminate Kadivar, and witness him betray and murder two soldiers. Mason is tasked with killing Kadivar, but the shot goes through a soldier Kadivar was speaking to. Despite this, Mason and the group succeed in stopping Kadivar from escaping on a plane, and Arash reveals to Adler that a man by the name of "Perseus" wants to destroy the west.

After the mission, Mason, Woods, and Adler go the White House and are briefed by Hudson on Perseus, a infamous Soviet spy who had eluded Adler's clutches for decades. President Reagan gives the order to let Adler form a team to stop Perseus, and Mason and Woods are chosen to be field operatives for the team. While Adler and his team, which consists of Lawrence Sims, Helen Park, Eleazar "Lazar" Azoulay, and an operative by the code name "Bell" capture or kill Russian mafia boss Anton Volkov, Mason and Woods are sent to Kiev. Mason and Adler were later aided Woods and "Bell" escaping from a secret Spetsnaz training facility in Ukraine, and learn from Woods that the CIA have American nukes from an operation called "Greenlight". Mason and the team confront Hudson, seen he was the head of the operation and kept it a secret from Adler and the team. Hudson, Adler and the team realize that Perseus is after sleeper agents that Dragovich programed, and is looking for the list of names from the Yamantau facility. Adler sends in Mason and Woods to collect the mainframe, despite Hudson not wanting Alex on the mission (considering that he was "too close" for it).

Mason and Woods managed to collect the mainframe with the help of KGB double agent Dimitri Belikov with his helicopter, but Hudson's superior Emerson Black reveals that Perseus erased them. Realizing that their out of options, Adler decides that Belikov can help him and "Bell" get disguises to infiltrate the KGB headquarters to collect the list from the archives bunker. The player has the option to play Mason in two side missions "Operation Chaos" and "Operation Red Circus", where you can eliminate ex-CIA turned Soviet ally Robert Aldrich and Soviet Major Vadim Rudnik. If the player manages to collect the evidence and solve them, Mason and Woods go to the border near Colorado and New Mexico to kill Aldrich, and a Soviet military base in Uzbekistan to eliminate Rudnik.

Mason participates in the operation to locate Theodore Hastings in Havana, as he was a sleeper agent programed by Dragovich. Adler and the team learn that Perseus had reprogrammed Hastings to give him all control of the American nukes across Europe, which Perseus will use to incriminate the United States. Mason and the team manage to escape, but Park or Lazar are left behind and killed by Tropas. It's later revealed that "Bell" was actually a close associate of Perseus who was betrayed by Kadivar at the airport in Turkey, and was saved by Adler. The CIA then had "Bell" programmed to help them try to stop Perseus, and the player has the choice to either reveal Perseus location (Solovetsky) or take them to the wrong location (Durga).

If "Bell" decides to aid the CIA in stopping "Perseus", Mason participates in the operation in destroying the AA-guns so Hudson can send in a bombing run. Mason, Woods, Adler and "Bell" succeed in destroying the AA-guns, and with the bombing runs, "Perseus" cannot detonate the American nukes.

If "Bell" decides to betray the CIA, they will take Adler, Mason, Woods, and Park/Lazar to Duga-2. If "Bell" didn't contact their Soviet allies, Adler will angrily kill them, and tell the group that he needs to get in contact with President Raegan. If "Bell" managed to contact their Soviet allies, Mason and the team are killed in the process, and "Perseus" will reveal himself and allow "Bell" to detonate the nukes.

Between Black Ops Cold War and Black Ops II

Dad, you said you'd never go back to the army. You promised me.
~ David Mason to Alex in Alaska.

Before 1985, Mason left the CIA and military presumably out of delusion, or simply to raise his son since his wife passed away years before. It's assumed that Mason has a similar relationship with his son as he did with his father, being somewhat cold and distant. It's also hinted that Mason would meet with Hudson's wife Jenny and their kids, and take David on hunting lessons in Alaska. It's also possible that David was being cared by Jenny in 1981 since he was born during the late 1970s.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Your old man was one tough son of a b***h.
Bet your ass he was.
~ Mike Harper and Frank Woods.

In 1986, Mason is with David in Alaska, and is called to rescue Frank Woods in Angola by Oliver L. North, and Hudson. Mason and Hudson help Jonas Savimbi fight against the MPLA, and receive intel that Woods is on a transport barge, and leave to go save him. The two succeeded in getting Woods out of the barge, but are force to stealth their way through the jungle to call for rescue. When reaching to a radio station, Mason holds Raul Menendez at gunpoint, but has to escape after the latter pulls a pin on a grenade, but shoots out his eye. The trio are rescued by Savimbi, and Hudson is saved by Woods, who was wounded by a surviving MPLA soldier.

Mason and Woods rejoin the CIA, and go to Afghanistan to help the Mujahdeen find information on Menendez, and stopping the Russians. Mason helps by destroying tanks, and shooting down helicopters that were reaching the valley with the aid of Tian Zhao. When returning, the team fight off a Russian tank, but Mason is attacked by Lev Kravchenko, causing the numbers to return. Woods and Mason knock out Kravchenko, and take him back to the base, and witness his interrogation. The player can either given into the numbers and shoot Kravchenko, or let the latter reveal that Menendez has people in the CIA, and Woods execute him. The Mujahdeen betray Mason, Woods, Hudson, and Zhao, leaving them into the desert until they are saved by strangers (with Alex thinking it was Viktor Reznov).

The CIA agents head to Nicaragua to find Menendez, and are aided by the President of Panama, Manuel Noriega. However, Noriega betrays them, and frees him before being beaten by Menendez, who goes to save his sister, Josefina. Mason and the team fight off the cartel soldiers, and learn of Noriega's betrayal, causing Woods to go into a rage filled hunt for Raul. When going down into the base, Hudson tells Mason to keep an eye on Woods, stating that he is losing it. When Woods and Mason confront Raul, the former starts to fire, as Mason holds him down. Frank head buts him, and throws a grenade that kills Josefina. Menendez was reported to be killed, but was alive, and would plan to have revenge against Mason and Woods for Josefina's death.

In 1989, Mason, Woods, Hudson, and Mark McKnight are part of Operation: Just Cause, and are to frame Noriega, and capture him. The mission goes successful until Hudson tells the duo that they have a new target, and orders them to bring him to a secure location. At the location, Mason is captured by PDF and posed as the target (Raul Menendez), as Woods is ordered by Hudson to shoot him. The player has the choice of killing him, or shooting him in the stomach, or in the legs. If alive, Mason will remain unconscious as Woods loses both of his legs, Hudson is murdered, and Menendez will remind David of the pendant.

Legacy

Alex Mason: Still got that scar? You made me proud that day.
David Mason: I fell...
Alex Mason: Yeah... but you got back up.
~ Alex and David Mason (player-detrmined).

Mason was listed as K.I.A., and Woods would become David's caretaker, who would later join the United States Navy. David would become a Lieutenant Commander, and would have to stop Raul Menendez in 2025, and would learn of the truth of what happened in Panama by an elder Woods. If Mason was killed, David will return to his grave with Woods after stopping Menendez, and decides to retire and live with his family, with Woods telling David that his father would approve of his decision. If Mason survives, Alex will go to the Vault and reunite with Woods and David, telling the latter that he is proud of him.

Black Ops 4

It's all in your mind, Woods.
~ Mason to Woods.

In Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Mason is reborn alongside Woods, Hudson, Menendez, and Reznov by his granddaughter, Savannah Mason-Meyer. Mason would take the role of elder Woods from Black Ops II, and is reintroduce to Reznov, who supposedly survived the escape from Vorkuta.

Quotes

Where am I? Where's Reznov?
~ Mason's first words in Call of Duty: Black Ops
Step eight, Reznov - Freedom!
~ Mason to Reznov after jumping onto the train.
When do I kill him?
~ Mason to McNamara on killing Dragovich.
Reznov. How’d you get out of Vorkuta? Never thought I'd see you alive.
~ Mason to a hallucination of Reznov in The Defector.
My name is Viktor Reznov. And I will have my revenge!
~ Mason (as Reznov) killing Steiner.
Proceed...to...target. Oswald...compromised...
~ Mason voice over in Revelations, implying his cause in the JFK assassination.
I know where the numbers station is...It’s a ship...I saw it a long time ago...the Rusalka.
~ Mason to Hudson, learning where the number stations is.
You tried to make me KILL MY OWN PRESIDENT!
~ Mason to Dragovich in Redemption.
You sure we can trust the police, Adler?
~ Mason to Adler, his first words in the campaign of Black Ops Cold War.
What the hell are you talking about? You know who we are?
~ Mason to Alexander Haig in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
That's what you do best, isn't it, Hudson? Manipulate people... tell them your own version of the truth.
~ Mason to Hudson, confronting on Operation Greenlight.
Yeah - you're the expert in quiet.
~ Mason to Woods at Mount Yamantau.
You're 7 years old, David, stop acting like a baby.
~ Alex's first words in Black Ops II, to his son.
So go get him, CIA. Why are you here?
~ Mason to Hudson and North.
It's Uncle Woods, son. He'd do it for me.
~ Mason to his son, David.
The Russians wanna give us one last display of brute force... Let's give them one last display of courage. You with me?
~ Mason to the group in Afghanistan.
Hell? We've already been.
~ Mason to Noriega.
Do not enter. I swear to God, I will shove this wheelchair right up your...
..Ass. Hey Woods, you look like hammered shit.
You stay right there. Mason... I shot you.
Turns out you're a lousy shot.
My ass. Where the fuck have you been for thirty years?
~ Woods and Mason reuniting in the good ending.
Alex Mason: Still got that scar? You made me proud that day.
David Mason: I fell...
Alex Mason: Yeah... but you got back up.
~ Alex and David Mason.
F**K YOU! WHERE'S MY GRANDDAUGHTER?
~ Mason in Eternal Sunshine.
It's all in your mind, Woods.
~ Mason to Woods

Gallery

Trivia

  • There are sometimes where Mason can be heard with an Australian accent (e.g. Bowmans' death), this is because his voice actor, Sam Worthington, is an Australian actor.
  • Though his eyes are green in Black Ops, his eyes appear brown for the rest of his appearances.
  • For the terminal, Mason's login is "AMASON", and his password is "PASSWORD", something Hudson has criticized.
  • In the E3 demo for Call of Duty: Black Ops, the character had an different voice actor.
  • Mason appears to not have a full grasp on the Russian language, as Woods hopes that his time in Vorkuta helped his Russian.
  • Though Mason's programming was mostly broken, he has shown to still see the numbers when something of the 1960s is brought up in the series:
    • In Black Ops Cold War, Mason can see the numbers in "Echoes of a Cold War" if the player interacts with one of Hudson's crossbow bolts, and seeing a picture of Steiner when getting the revolver from the locker.
    • If the player looks up Mason's file in Black Ops Cold War at the safehouse, it states that his psychiatric test are ongoing.
    • In Black Ops II, Mason sees the numbers when confronted by Kravchenko in "Old Wounds", and when the player has the choice of killing Kravchenko or letting the interrogation go through.
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