The Four Horsemen is the name for a group of four men whose aims appear to become the dominant world power and usurp the Russian Federation. They are named after the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. It is the player's objective throughout Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to uncover information on them and eventually eliminate three of the four. They all have some form of command role in their respective groups. Achievements are associated with them, as the player gets an achievement each time they complete a mission on Veteran that a Horseman dies in, the only exception being The First Horseman, Vladimir Makarov.
The Horsemen Edit
The First Horseman Edit
The First Horseman is Vladimir Makarov, Zakhaev's protégé. During the events of "Shock and Awe", it was Makarov who was responsible for the detonation of the nuclear device by ordering the strike via cellphone in the Middle East while standing next to fellow Ultranationalist Yuri, as revealed in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. He was also the one who saved Zakhaev back in 1996 in Pripyat, after Lieutenant Price blew his left arm off. He is the longest surviving Horseman, seeing as he survived up until his assassination at Hotel Oasis in Modern Warfare 3 when John Price hangs him with a loose cable.
The Second Horseman Edit
The Second Horseman is Khaled Al-Asad, the leader of a paramilitary force in the Middle East whom performed a bloody coup. He is an ally of Imran Zakhaev. It was believed that he was the one responsible for the detonation of the nuclear bomb in the capital, killing many of the invading U.S. forces (30,000, as Shepherd later revealed) after Makarov called in the order. He is later captured alive in his safehouse and executed by Captain Price in the twelfth mission "Safehouse". Zakhaev later deployed a large number of Ultranationalists to rescue him, but it was too late. Beating this mission on any difficulty unlocks "Wrong Number", while beating it on Veteran awards "The Second Horseman".
The Third Horseman Edit
The Third Horseman is Viktor Zakhaev, the son of Imran Zakhaev. Viktor is the commander of the Ultranationalist military forces on the ground in Russia. He committed suicide before he could be caught in the sixteenth mission, "The Sins of the Father". The achievement "Desperate Measures" is achieved simply for beating Sins of the Father on any difficulty, while "The Third Horseman" is achieved for beating "The Sins of the Father", and the previous mission "Heat", on Veteran.
The Fourth Horseman Edit
The Fourth Horseman is Imran Zakhaev, a Russian Ultranationalist and leader of the "Horsemen". He supplies Al-Asad with weapons, including a nuclear weapon. He was thought to be dead 15 years before the main events of the game, having been shot by Lieutenant Price and Captain MacMillan. However, he survives this encounter (being saved by Makarov and Yuri) and "only" loses his left arm. He is killed by Sergeant John "Soap" MacTavish in the final mission "Game Over". The Achievement "The Fourth Horseman" is awarded for completing said mission on Veteran.
- The Four Horsemen are a reference to the biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
- 3 Members of the Four Horsemen are killed in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, while the surving member, Makarov, is chased in Modern Warefare 2 and 3, finally being killed in the latter game.
- Al-Asad is the only one out of the Four Horsemen that is not Russian, but Arabian.
- The three Horsemen present in Call of Duty 4 are all killed by an M1911. Moreover, each one of them died from headshot of this weapon (Prologue in Modern Warfare 3 reveals that Soap aimed to Imran Zakhaev's head). Makarov is the only one to not be killed by the pistol.
- Titles of three of the four horsemen can be found in Modern Warfare 2's files.
- There are achievements associated with completing the missions in which each is killed, with the exception of the First Horseman, as Makarov was not present in the first game.
- Captain Price has witnessed the deaths of all the horsemen and has personally killed two of them (Khaled Al-Asad and Vladimir Makarov).
- Price and Soap are the only protagonists to have seen all four Horsemen, but Price is the only one to have seen all four up close.
- Until Modern Warfare 3 confirmed it was Makarov, the identity of the First Horseman was unknown, as all references to the group as a whole began with the second, Al-Asad, and the photo of the four together already had the first's face crossed out.