Special Missions HQ is the seventh solo campaign mission in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
Mission Overview Edit
After the events in Abandoned Mill, Fourth Echelon paused their search for Majid Sadiq and focused on the Intel Sam Fisher obtained. It's assumed that Iran has no involvement with the Blacklist Attacks and unless an answer is given to who was responsible, US will declare war on Iran soil. Meanwhile, Fourth Echelon's lead programmer, Anna Grímsdóttir, had prepared an operation, without authorization from President Caldwell, at the US embassy in Tehran, Iran which has been converted into Qud's headquarters. The mission was to enter the embassy and extract all IT information from an airtight server which must be pulled manually. Sam decided he would go in himself without Isaac Briggs. Grim provided with a person who would help him infiltrate the embassy complex, General Ali Rohani.
On the Embassy grounds, General Rohani was leaving to his car and upon getting in, he noticed his driver was incapacitated. Sam approached him and introduced himself, saying he wants to get inside. Rohani resisted but Sam used a ruse about threatening the General's wife and kid if he doesn't cooperate. The General denies that he and his headquarters are involved in the Blacklist, but Sam needs more proof than his words. Rohani accepted and Sam gave him a earpiece so he could speak to him. As both were on the move, the General asks Sam to not harm his people or he won't cooperate anymore. He also expressed his surprise that no Americans had infiltrated the embassy for ages, while Sam expresses ironically about the decoration of the place which was changed since 1979. Sam manages to get inside the embassy through the garage. Grímsdóttir informed Sam that the words the General used could have been a code-phrase that would activate an alert. Sam and the General meet at the bottom of the parking Garage. He takes him inside through a security checkpoint and he asks Sam to stay close as his clothes have a device that allows entrance to authorized personnel.
Sam was lead into the holding cells and the General stopped expressing his idealism about he and his family would die than live as traitors. At this point Qud soldiers came for Sam and tried to capture him, but Sam gave her the word to start a temporarily blackout that gave him time to evade. San left the holding cells and scales higher to reach main sections of the embassy. The power went back on and most of the system was operational as certain doors would operate through authorized Qud staff. Sam takes an elevator to the server room and Charlie gave him two options to how to enter. Sam manages to reach the vault's server and plugged all the necessary data.
While escaping the embassy, he had to deactivate security and went for a security room. Afterwards he climbed down through the main lobby. Iranian Special Forces came through the building, consisting of heavy geared units with shields, sweeping around for Sam. Same leaves the building and more guards with dogs are patrolling the grounds waiting on Sam. He manages to escape the embassy with a van that Briggs drove as the only conventional way was for Sam to exfiltrate. Grim noticed some enemy vehicles were pursuing their escape van and couldn't find a better solution around them but go through them. She utilities the Fourth Echelon drone to pick up the targets with AGM missiles, reluctantly in Sam's opinion and manages to clear the way for them to escape.
Grímsdóttir talks with President Caldwell and takes responsibility for the drone strike, but the President chooses to cover it up as as a drone malfunction. (An optional conversation with Grim later reveals that Iran also covered the SMHQ fiasco up as an unfortunate gas leak explosion.) The President chastises Grímsdóttir for not being her eyes and ears as she was supposed to be. Nevertheless, the President would later clear Iran of being involved with the Blacklist attacks. Despite a cold conversation between Sam and Grim about merits of making tough decisions, Sam thanks her at the end.
Meanwhile Charlie was able to locate the chemical bombs near US soil.
- Throwing any sort of grenade, lethal or non-lethal, at the General himself, will fail the mission, saying "The General refuses to help if you harm his men." This does not apply to guns, since the crosshair changes to a cross and disables the trigger.
- Flying a Tri-Rotor in front of of General alerts him and he'll pull his gun out. If he shoots the Tri-Rotor, the same result as with the grenades will occur. Though one cannot shoot at him, the Tri-Rotor can still be blown up, killing the General.
- Holding the run button while scaling at the topmost "beam" at the wall before the entrance to Quds Force HQ makes Sam Fisher fall. This leads to him dying. It also shows a falling animation that was normally supposed to not be used, though left for no reason.
- The majority of Persian dialogs heard in this mission are nonsense, and often hilarious. In one instance, a searching guard announces an area has been "deleted"; probably intending to mean that thee area was "cleared". Guards constantly broadcast "keep the canal clean" in Persian; this was most likely meant to say "keep the channel clear."
- Persian writings in this mission are carelessly made and often have typos. For example, upon entering the holding cells, one could see a sign that reads "ورود افراد متفرقه قه ممنوع". The part in boldface (قه) is a typographic artifact. It is analogous to an English text that reads "No un unauthorized entry." Also, digits are written in English, as opposed to Persian.
- The depiction of Iran in this mission is – perhaps deliberately – fictional, so much so that it is easier to count the one thing that does correspond to the real-world Iran: The facade of the former U.S. embassy. The real-world counterpart of this building is a museum (albeit one that cannot brag about its daily visitor count).
- The Quds Force does not have an HQ in Iran. As its name suggests, it's an extraterritorial force.
- The fictional logo of Quds Force in this mission reads "پیروزی در حقیقت" which means "truth conquers". This quote actually comes from Latin, "veritas omnia vincit" or "veritas vincit".