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- "The more things change, the more they stay the same. Boundaries shift, new players step in; but power always finds a place to rest its head. We fought and bled alongside the Russians; we should've known they’d hate us for it. History is written by the victor, and here I am, thinking we'd won. But you bring down one enemy and they find someone even worse to replace him. Locations change, the rationale, the objective. Yesterday's enemies are today’s recruits. Train them to fight alongside you and pray they don’t eventually decide to hate you for it, too."
- — Shepherd's speech during the introduction of S.S.D.D.
- "We are the most powerful military force in the history of man. Every fight is our fight. Because what happens over here, matters over there. We don't get to sit one out. Learning to use the tools of modern warfare is the difference between the prospering of your people, and utter destruction. We can't give you freedom. But we can give you the know-how to acquire it. And that, my friends, is worth more than a whole army base of steel. Sure it matters who's got the biggest stick, but it matters a helluva lot more who's swinging it. This is a time for heroes. A time for legends. History is written by the victors. Let's get to work."
- — Shepherd discusses the military might of the United States, during the briefing of Team Player
- "Makarov's no prize. He's a whore. A mad-dog killer for the highest bidder. Just remember your new identity. It'll keep you alive."
- — Shepherd to Joseph Allen
- "The rest of Task Force 141 brought in the ACS, Allen. Two men took down an entire base. I ask much more from you now. Yesterday you were a soldier on the front lines. But today front lines are history. Uniforms are relics. The war rages everywhere. And there will be casualties. This man Makarov is fighting his own war and he has no rules. No boundaries. He doesn't flinch at torture, human trafficking, or genocide. He's not loyal to a flag or country or any set of ideals. He trades blood for money. He's your new best friend. You don't want to know what it's cost to put you next to him. It will cost you a piece of yourself. It will cost nothing compared to everything you'll save."
- — Last speech of Shepherd to Joseph Allen
- "It's been a tough week, gentlemen. We've lost more than ever dreamed. But we will recover. I've got a blank check. And we're gonna use every cent of it killin' Makarov. Despite what the world may say, we are not savages, we don't kill civilians. We use precision. There's an evil man hiding in these shadows and we're gonna bring him into the light. Once his face is revealed, we will write history, gentlemen."
- — Shepherd in a speech to Task Force 141 during the briefing of Loose Ends
- "Do you have the DSM? Good, that's one less loose end.""
- — Shepherd, when Ghost and Roach bring the DSM to the extraction point
- "You know what they say about revenge: you better be ready to dig two graves... (long pause) Go ahead and end it. It won't change anything. (long pause) Hmph. I know you couldn't do it. (long pause) You're a good warrior, but you can never take that extra step to do what was absolutely necessary."
- — Shepherd, if the player does not immediately attempt to kill him at the car in Endgame.
- "Five years ago, I lost 30,000 men in the blink of an eye, and the world just fuckin' watched. Tomorrow there will be no shortage of volunteers, no shortage of patriots. I know you understand."
- — Shepherd's final words before attempting to execute "Soap" MacTavish at the end of Endgame
These quotes were meant to be said by Shepherd during "Endgame". These quotes are said with a damaged voice and a sore throat. They also give more insight behind Shepherd's motives.
- "What are you waiting for, MacTavish?"
- — Shepherd, before Soap attempts to kill him.
- "Why... why do you really need to ask? (pause) We've been at war... a long time. (pause) We fight for a coalition tired... of mounting losses; direct threats demanded that decisive action."
- — Shepherd to MacTavish, while Shepherd was leaning on the car.
- "I'm a patriot, MacTavish, I only did what needed to be done, nothing more. Killing me won't change that."
- — To MacTavish.
- "We lost our will to fight that day, forgive me, you understand? The American will to fight has become weak."
- — To MacTavish. It is a reference to the nuclear bomb in "Shock and Awe".