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Special agent aiming a gun in Modern Warfare 3 (2011).
Image via Activision

CoD fans uncover secret Modern Warfare 3 post-credits scene 13 years after launch

It is much stranger than what we officially received.

Just when you think that a game has been thoroughly datamined and explored, a new secret is uncovered. That’s happened to the original Modern Warfare 3, as players have now found a cut ending featuring a strange Shadow Man appearing to Captain Price after the battle with Makarov.

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In this cut cutscene, uploaded to YouTube by Vlad Lokitonov on May 17, as Captain Price sits down to smoke a cigar and watch Makarov hang from the ceiling of a Dubai hotel, a strange figure appears in the distance with eerie, echoing footsteps. His face is obscured and he merely glances at the two men for a moment before turning away to take his leave. Price then drops his cigar and appears to either die or faint after this encounter. This is slightly different from what actually happens in Modern Warfare 3 where the screen fades to black as Price smokes his cigar, ending the series on a cliffhanger (no pun intended).

Makarov hanging from the ceiling and a strange man appearing behind him, as seen by Captain Price in Modern Warfare 3.
The Shadowman was previously referenced by the game’s files. Image via Vlad Lokitonov on YouTube

Both the echoing footsteps and the strange figure were referenced in the game’s files, though no one really knew what their purpose in the game was. After 13 long years, fans now know the answer, and it’s just as strange as the files. It is currently unknown who the Shadowman is, or what connection he has to Price or Makarov. Theories are already running rampant, and below the original video’s upload, some fans have been arguing that it may be the ghost of Zakhaev welcoming both Makarov and Price into the realm of death or hell itself.

The model used by this Shadowman is the one used for the President’s security detail in one of the Spec Ops missions. It was likely used as a placeholder, and the Shadowman didn’t get his own model due to Infinity Ward deciding not to go for this ending and focus on something more open-ended.

If Modern Warfare 4 was to be released (perhaps we’ll get one in the rebooted series), then the Shadowman may have played a role in that game. Though, as we all know, Infinity Ward went on to create Call of Duty: Ghosts and abandoned the Modern Warfare IP for several years.

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Image of Andrej Barovic
Andrej Barovic
Strategic Content Writer, English Major. Been in writing for 3 years. Focused mostly on the world of gaming as a whole, with particular interest in RPGs, MOBAs, FPS, and Grand Strategies. Favorite titles include Counter-Strike, The Witcher 3, Bloodborne, Sekrio, and Kenshi. Cormac McCarthy apologetic.