Martin Walker is the main protagonist, albeit arguably a villainous protagonist rather than a heroic one, of the 2012 video game, Spec Ops: The Line. He is a Captain in the United States Army's Delta Force.
The game's story begins with him leading a three-man squad into a ruined Dubai to search for survivors after all contact with the fictional 33rd Battalion of the United States Army is lost. Led by Lieutenant Colonel John Konrad (who saved Walker's life during the War in Afghanistan), the 33rd were tasked with aiding with the relief effort in Dubai after massive sandstorms all but destroyed the city. However, Konrad and the entire Battalion deserted, destroying any and all contact with the outside world; Dubai was essentially designated a no-man's-land.
The game begins with Walker, 1st Lieutenant Alphonse Adams and Staff Sergeant John Lugo aboard a helicopter piloted by Adams, flying over a ruined Dubai. Other helicopters pursue them, which Walker attempts to dispatch with the minigun. However, a sudden sandstorm causes the helicopter to crash in the desert.
The story then jumps back to the chronological beginning, with Walker, Adams and Lugo traversing the storm wall through to the outskirts of a mostly-buried Dubai on foot. They come in contact with a group of hostile armed survivors, referred to as "insurgents", who have captured a squad of 33rd soldiers. Throughout the rest of their journey, the team hears broadcasts on homemade speakers by the Radioman, a former journalist turned DJ that was once embedded with the 33rd in Afghanistan and now speaks on their behalf.
As the journey progresses, the team finds evidence of what had happened in Dubai over the preceding months, indicating that after the failed evacuation, the 33rd returned to Dubai as an occupying force and committed atrocities against the civilian population with the intent of maintaining order. Aggrieved by this, elements of the 33rd staged a rebellion against Konrad in protest, forming the Exiles. The CIA has been organizing the insurgents to attack both Konrad’s loyalist 33rd and the Exiles. Although there is now clear evidence against Konrad's virtue, Konrad once saved Walker's life in Kabul during the war, which inclines him to trust Konrad.The team attempts to peacefully intervene when they come across refugees being rounded up by loyalist 33rd soldiers. However, the soldiers mistake them for CIA operatives and begin a firefight, resulting in the team having to kill fellow American soldiers, much to the dismay of Lugo and Adams. As the 33rd retreats with a number of civilian prisoners, Walker insists on investigating further in hopes of evacuating survivors and finding Konrad. The team learns that a CIA agent, Daniels, has been captured by the 33rd and is being interrogated. Arriving to rescue Daniels, they are ambushed by the 33rd and discover that Daniels is dead and that it was a trap set for Gould, another CIA agent. Gould arrives with a band of insurgents, allowing Walker to escape. Gould is captured and killed, but the team learns that they may get more information at a location called the Gate. Arriving at the Gate, which is heavily guarded by the 33rd, the team, disregarding Lugo's objections, uses a mortar loaded with white phosphorus to attack the 33rd. However, the team learns that the 33rd were holding civilians for their own safety in the coming battles and that the civilians had been killed by the white phosphorus rounds. Walker shows no remorse, and pushes the others on.
The team discovers Konrad's former command squad, who have been executed. Shortly afterwards, Konrad begins communicating with Walker over a radio they find inside. He taunts Walker over his inner doubts and fears as tensions rise between the team, making Walker adjust his belief that Konrad is innocent. Konrad subsequently forces Walker to choose between executing an Emirati survivor who stole water from the 33rd, or a 33rd soldier who was tasked with bringing the former to justice and killed the man's family in the process. Shortly afterwards, Delta finds CIA agent Riggs leading a raid on the Underwater Aquatic Coliseum, the city's last water supply. Riggs tells Delta that insurgent control of the water will cripple the 33rd's operations in Dubai and bring peace. However, after the team aids Riggs, he intentionally destroys the water supplies and Walker learns that the CIA wanted to wipe out the entire population so that no one would learn of the 33rd's atrocities, which would cause the entire region to declare war on the United States in retaliation. Riggs, injured after destroying the water supplies, dies immediately afterwards.
The entire city will begin dying of dehydration within four days. To prevent this and organize an evacuation, the team, which is now becoming increasingly edgy and more violent, with Walker suffering from hallucinations, heads to the Trans-Emirates Building to silence the Radioman and warn the city using the radio. The Radioman surrenders and instructs Delta on how to use his PA system, but is shot dead by Lugo. Adams subsequently commandeers a Black Hawk helicopter which later crashes in the sandstorm.
As the team attempts to re-unite after the crash, Lugo gets lynched by a mob of civilians. When attempts to revive Lugo fail, Walker and Adams either scare the crowd away or kill them in retribution. Walker's hallucinations are nearly constant at this point. Walker contacts Konrad and informs that he is coming to Konrad's headquarters to kill him. Walker and Adams make their way to the tower; however, the two are soon surrounded by the last of Konrad's men. Walker attempts to surrender to get inside, but an enraged Adams insists on making a last stand and shames Walker into running for safety inside the tower as he stays behind and is presumably killed.
Walker arrives at the penthouse of the tower. Konrad, who is painting a scene of the white phosphorus strike, questions Walker on his choices throughout the mission. At first, Konrad appears to be the paranoid, charismatic force behind the atrocities Walker was hoping for, until Walker finds his decaying corpse on the penthouse deck. Walker has been suffering from a personality disorder to rationalize the actions he has witnessed and carried out. The real Konrad had committed suicide an unknown amount of time after the broadcast that brought Delta to the city. The Konrad that Walker has been in contact with during the game is actually a traumatic hallucination that none of his team witnessed, existing only within his mind. This mental projection of Konrad appears to Walker, explaining that Walker knew he had the choice of leaving Dubai numerous times, but pushed ahead out of a desire to be a hero. To maintain his 'sanity' after the white phosphorus strike, many subsequent events in the game were distorted by Walker's mind to make Konrad a moral scapegoat. With his fantasy coming to an end now that the truth is in front of him, 'Konrad' points a gun at Walker’s head and begins counting to five.
There are four possible conclusions regarding Walker's fate, with the first occurring if he lets "Konrad" shoot him, and the other three occurring if he shoots 'Konrad' instead and is found by Falcon One, a U.S. Army squad assigned to rescue him.
- The first is that he lets 'Konrad' shoot him; in reality, Walker commits suicide after not being able to cope with the crushing reality of his actions in Dubai.
- The second is that he is gunned down by Falcon One when he chooses to retaliate against them. As he dies on the ground, he remembers a past conversation he had with Konrad in which he asked what it would be like to return home after the War in Afghanistan; Konrad tells him that men like them can never truly go home, and must carry the weight of their actions until the day they die.
- The third is that he kills all of Falcon One; he will then radio U.S. command and welcome them to Dubai over the now clear airwaves. Walker then heads back into the remains of Dubai as the camera pans to a wide shot of the ruined city, reminding players what Walker's (and their own) actions have wrought.
- The last is that he surrenders to Falcon One and is safely returned home, albeit mentally scarred for life. One soldier remarks that they have searched the entire city of Dubai for Walker and have come across the results of Walker's actions; when asked how he managed to survive, Walker hauntingly asks "Who said I did?"
Skills and Abilities
Walker proves himself to be quite skilled in combat with enemy soldiers. He demonstrates proficiency in a wide range of firearms, from pistols to shotguns to grenade launchers to sniper rifles. He is also shown to be skilled in hand to hand combat as well, being able to disarm enemies and perform brutal finishing moves on them.
All of his combat prowess is a result of him being a Delta Force operator. Delta Force is a super-elite, special operations counterterrorism unit of the United States Army whose operators have already proved themselves skilled soldiers in either the 75th Ranger Regiment or the United States Army Special Forces (a.k.a. the Green Berets).
He is also shown to be a capable leader, as Lugo and Adams follow his orders faithfully and without question until later in the game. He manages to keep a relatively cool head even while under fire, and shows no fear in the face of overwhelming odds. Additionally, he comes up with fast counterattacks, being able to devise a strategy or solution to deal with enemies rather quickly.