Ok, so, this is extremely complex and has more questions than answers... (but hey, it's Zombies, since when hasn't than been the case?) But, here's a theory I haven't heard others really think about. If it's confusing, I apologize, frankly, it's hard enough for me to keep track of a lot of this info myself as the story is so wide and has so many unanswered questions. So, here we go: The final cut scene for Origins really has one sticking point to me that carries Origins to BO3 in Der Riese, that's Samantha telling Eddie one simple thing, that Maxis has a plan. Now, at that point, Samantha, "Eddie" and Maxis are all in the aether. Samantha having been there pretty much the whole time, Eddie (Richtofen) when the BO2 heroes gave him the power and allowed him entrance, and Maxis after the Origins heroes opened the gateway. (And fluffy as well) It's my belief that the cut scene in Origins was the three of them together in the Aether in a sort of limbo. But, whatever the case, the point is that one line... "My dad says he has a plan." Enter The Giant. I found it quite suspicious that the origins heroes teleport in just as Maxis and Sam are teleported out. If the point were to stop Richtofen and his actions, (namely teleporting Samantha to Griffin Station where she becomes entangled in the MPD and really starting this whole thing) then they've already failed. Well, they couldn't have failed before even beginning could they? I don't think so. It's been said that the three heroes are baiting Richtofen into opening the teleporter which seems odd to me. Why exactly would they bait him? What purpose would that serve when he's already used the teleporter himself? He's already seen the MPD, he's already gone to Shangri-La and learned of the Vril, he's already built Griffin Station and left Schuster and Groph there in charge.... Why be so coy about him opening it up now? Just a revel of Origins Richtofen? Seems flimsy. Unless up to that point, Richtofen was supposed to do all these things so that Maxis and Samantha WOULD be teleported. But he does and there's Origins Richtofen, NOT with the other three heroes and carrying blood vials from Alcatraz. Now, I have no idea what the Alcatraz connection really is with Richtofen and our other Origins heroes. Any speculation I have will probably be shown wrong in a couple months anyway but there is clearly some connection. But, the question I have is more with why Richtofen is in the teleporter at all. The other Origins heroes seem oddly aware of everything especially if, as some have speculated, that they were transported directly from Origins to Der Riese. They all seem to be on the same page when it comes to their purpose (one we're not privy to yet). It's my theory that they have been recruited by Origins Maxis as part of his grand plan much like Richtofen had recruited them in the original story line to help him attain his master plan. Using the fear of the potential future to guide them, he could have coaxed them into his ranks, even Origins Richtofen. After all, Maxis was never a "good guy" in the original story. He had his own nefarious narcissistic goals to accomplish which in no way really helped mankind but simply clashed with Richtofen's goals. Now, in The Giant trailer, Richtofen exits the teleporter and as I said, I find that suspicious especially given his possession of blood vials from Alcatraz. It's also my theory that the Origins crew did not simply go straight from Origins back to Der Riese. When Maxis and Samantha are teleported, they go to different locations. Samantha goes to Griffin Station and enters the MPD. Where Maxis goes is somewhat a mystery as he is then trasported back to Griffin Station, after Samantha is already in the MPD, by Schuster and Groph who then kill him where his spirit enters the computer system of the base. I think the Origins crew has been on it's own adventure at the behest of Origins Maxis to fix this. That both he and Samantha would go to Griffin Station where HE could take control of the zombies instead of Samantha. As I noticed in both the trailer for The Giant and Der Riese, the eyes don't seem to be the same color. It's often said that Maxis is yellow while Samantha is orange but I think it's reverse. The eyes in Der Riese, under Samantha's control, look orange where in The Giant, they look yellow. They don't seem to be the same. If I'm wrong on this, please let me know, I am somewhat color blind and the difference between orange and yellow is very hard for me to pick out sometimes. So, kind of a recap up to this point. After Origins, Maxis, Eddie, and Samantha are in the Aether, which Samantha has constructed to seem like what it was before all those terrible events happened, together where Maxis has a plan. That plan is to send the Origins heroes back to Der Riese to help him stop Richtofen from achieving his plans and instead, fulfill his own grand works under the guise of saving the world. To do this though, they must allow Maxis and Samantha to be transported where Maxis now controls the zombies. So that's my theory as to where we are now. Maybe right, probably wrong. But I don't think it is quite so simple even as I've described it. I think Origins Richtofen isn't as "good" as we've been led to believe. The fact that he has the blood vials from Alcatraz makes me pause about his intentions and the fact that he does something to the dead Richtofen, looks to be taking something or perhaps he's extracting more blood, leads me to believe he still has his own plans perhaps dealing more with the Ancient Evil found at Alcatraz and seems to be carried into Shadow of Evil. My reasoning is this, Richtofen seems quite aware of what has happened in Samantha's future and about his failures. By killing his "evil" self, the future is now open for him to correct his own mistakes which many believe to mean he will work to save the world, but could he be merely trying to make the world better for himself? He and Dr. Maxis have long been at odds with one another and despite saving him in 1918 Richtofen was still very much entrenched in 935 up to that point. Origins Richtofen could very well be trying to undermine Maxis' plan for his own gains. Now, one may wonder "why? he seems like a good version of Richtofen, doesn't he?" That's true, up until now, Origins Richtofen has seemingly done nothing but good in helping the other 3 heroes fight the zombies, releasing Samantha, saving Maxis' brain.... Why would he change? Well, that one missing link from the Aether. Eddie. I know this has been very long and hopefully not too confusing. I've tried to make it as simple as possible both for you and myself. Let me know what you think, questions, counter theories, whatever... I'm fascinated by the story and only think the current theories are too simplistic to really cover anything. Would love to discuss.