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Close Combat: First To Fight Background Story
September 9, 2004 | Tuncer Deniz

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Earlier this year MacSoft's parent company, Destineer, announced Close Combat: First to Fight, a team-based first-person shooter created under the direction of active-duty United States Marines fresh from the front lines of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the game players lead a four-man Marine fireteam in close-quarters urban combat in the streets and buildings of Beirut.

Together with the United States Marine Corps and Atomic Games, Destineer is creating First to Fight as a training simulation for use by the Marine Corps and will make it available to gamer in late 2004 for the Macintosh.

Destineer has provided us with the first details of the background story of Close Combat: First to Fight which is set in Beirut (be sure to check out the screenshots) and outlines the conflict surrounding the area and your fire team.

Lebanon has always been a troubled land struggling for independence and freedom. This tiny nation, once known as the “Monte Carlo of the Middle East,” borders the eastern Mediterranean and has been plagued by both internal and external strife for decades. Because of its strategic importance, including its port access to the sea, Lebanon would be a prize for any of its neighbors, like Iran and Syria, as they struggle amongst themselves for regional dominance. Flare-ups over this Mediterranean jewel create dangerous instability. For this reason, United States Marines know this land well.

Despite international criticism of “war mongering” by many of his western allies, President Eisenhower in 1958 knew that a fast, bold force of U.S. Marines would be the best way to stop the neighboring United Arab Republic from invading Lebanon. Executing Operation BLUEBAT, a reinforced Marine landing team of the 6th Fleet landed in the seaport city of Beirut, without firing a shot. The swift and determined power of the Marines, which eventually grew to 14,000 Devildogs, discouraged the United Arab Republic and its terrorist guerilla insurgents who threatened Lebanon. Tensions in the region changed dramatically and Lebanon was safe once again. But the next time, almost 25 years later, the Marines would not have it so easy.

In 1983, Beirut (“the Root” in Marine parlance), took its toll the on the Marine Corps. Once again, terrorist guerilla insurgents supported by radical regimes outside the country were threatening the stability of this tiny independent country. President Reagan sent in 1,600 Marines as part of a U.N. peacekeeping force in Beirut to stabilize the country. The Marines’ mission was to provide a presence in Beirut that would help establish the stability necessary for the Lebanese government to regain control of their capital.

However, the politically charged environment brewed a recipe for disaster. Hamstrung by overly restrictive U.N. Rules of Engagement that placed practical constraints on self-protection, the Marines were forced into stagnant positions and were forbidden even to chamber rounds in their M-16s. Frustrated, the Marines felt trapped in a political quagmire.

Then, a lone truck laden with 12,000 lbs. of heavy explosives raced through security checkpoints, bypassing the guards with their unloaded weapons. Coming near the Marine barracks, a tall hotel where all Marines were required to stay, the truck exploded with an eruption that sent a shock wave throughout the ancient city. It was the largest conventional explosion detonated on earth since World War II. It resulted in the largest loss of American military personnel killed in a single attack since the Vietnam War. 241 Marines and sailors perished.

When Reagan ordered the redeployment of the Marines out of Beirut, the Devildogs were angry. The Marines swore never again to operate under such constraints. They vowed to take the “lesson learned” from Beirut and train for this new “asymmetric warfare” – where stateless terrorists hide and fight among the civilian populace like cancer destroying an otherwise healthy body. The Marines re-focused and re-trained for this new threat.


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