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Aether and Time Travel Explained

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Shooter    83

DISCLAIMER: This thread goes into detail. If you want to get an overview of the points I'm making, just scroll down to the bottom where it says "Conclusions". Though I would definitely recommend you read through the entire post to truly understand it.

Today I'm going to discuss one of the less understood, but most important concepts in Zombies: the different realms, or worlds, within Zombies. I will also discuss the effect that time has on each of these realms. The three realms I'm referring to are the physical, Aether, and Agartha realms.

To understand the story behind Zombies, it's crucial you understand how each of these realms works and how they interact with each other in terms of time. Once these concept is understood, the story itself will make a lot more sense.

I've based this information off of years of research. I've followed the Zombies story closely for over 4 years now, and anyone that's around CoDz for awhile knows I know my stuff. If you have any questions for me please don't hesitate to ask, I'll do my best to give you an answer.

Let's get to it. 




The Three Realms

Let's start with an overview. We have 3 realms within Zombies:

Physical Realm - This is the physical world. It is reality. We can touch, hear, feel, smell, and taste. In this realm we occupy a physical body and are bound by the constraints of time and space.

Aether Realm - This is the spiritual world. We are limited to sights and sounds only, but we can view and interact with the physical world as we please. In this realm we are a soul/spirit and have no physical attributes. We are not bound by time, but are bound by space. The best way to think about Aether is that it is like Earth's atmosphere, surrounding us at all times.

Agartha Realm - This is a combination of both the spiritual and physical world. Time does not exist within Agartha. Very little is known about this realm.

Those are the three realms we're dealing with in our story. Now let's get into specifics...



Ethereal Energy

You may have heard me mention this word before, but if not pay attention because it is a very important concept that needs to be understood.

Ethereal Energy is the energy found within all things on Earth, living or dead. Ethereal energy is abundant in the physical realm.


Ethereal energy from the physical realm is what powers the Aether realm. The Controller uses this energy to gain power in Aether, the more energy the stronger the controller becomes. We've known since Black Ops (based on character quotesarrow-10x10.png ) that when we kill a zombie, it only makes the controller within Aether stronger. And that is because there is a transference of Ethereal energy from the deceased corpse to the Controller.

115 is a highly concentrated source of Ethereal energy. When someone gets near 115, they are infected with this concentrated energy, and the controller within Aether takes notice. An example of this is when the Ascension scientists begin working with Element 115 and attract Samantha.

With Element 115 on Earth, Ethereal energy is abundant. And thus the controller within Aether becomes very powerful. That very well may be the reason Maxis bombed Earth, in an attempt to destroy the remaining 115 and break Richtofen's connection with the Ethereal energy. We know they had a 115 source in Nevada, and that's where one of the missiles hit so it would be reasonable to believe that was his goal. After the remaining 115 is destroyed Richtofen tried to find another way to harness the energy, which ended up being the towers.

Now that we've covered energy, let's talk about the other part of the equation: time.



The Fourth Dimension

Time plays a crucial role in our story as well. But time is not the same across all realms.

The physical realm is bound by time. We can not move backwards in time in the physical realm, as time is linear. We can only move forward in time by means of the MTD.

Time is much different in Aether. In fact, you could say time is non-existent in Aether. A spirit in Aether, if powerful enough, can view any moment from the past to present day. But while the controller in Aether has the ability to go back to any point in time, they do not have the ability to change the past themselves. They can only bring spirits back to a point in time and hope that the physical realm changes itself.

Which brings us to the cycle.



Viewing Images from the Past

"Viewing Images from the Past" is a pretty accurate metaphor for how the Zombies cycle works. As we just discussed, the controller in Aether has the ability to send spirits back in time to a previous memory and have them relive it. If they relive it and change things drastically, then history is changed. And that is how our characters can continue to die and be reborn again while progressing through the story.

It goes like this: We fight and die in the physical realm, we go to Aether, the controller brings us back to a point in time to repeat the events until they are changed. Once they are changed, the cycle is broken and history is rewritten from that point. The characters in the game often mention a feeling of déja vu because of this repeating cycle.

For example, the O4 are fighting at Der Riese in the beginning of our story. They end up dying, and Samantha brings them back to the point when they first arrived at Der Riese. After enough attempts, they finally survive Der Riese and escape through the MTD. When they arrive at Kino they eventually die again, and Samantha brings them back to the point when they first arrived at Kino. They continue this cycle until they survive and get to Ascension, and so on and so on. This small cycle is depicted in the opening cutscene for Die Rise as well.

That's how every map has worked. SNN-Moon Samantha brings us back, Tranzit-Buried Richtofen brings us back, and Maxis brings us back on Origins.


But keep in mind the controller can't actually bring people back to any point in the past, it can only bring souls back to a point in their own past to have them change their own history and thus change history for everyone.



Alternate Dimension...Sort Of

I've seen the question a thousand times: Is Origins in another dimension/reality/timeline? But the answer is blurry. It just depends on how you look at it.

We learned in MotD that when our characters die and repeat the cycle, that time moves on without them. So where exactly are we when we're repeating the cycle?

A good answer would be Aether, but even that isn't completely accurate, as Aether is not a physical realm. The best answer would be it is a previous memory we're reliving, that eventually becomes reality once the memory is altered drastically enough. But that doesn't tell you exactly where the map is occurring, so I'll just leave it up to you to decide.




Conclusions

• When a character dies, their soul travels to Aether. The controller in Aether brings their souls back to a point in time before their death to repeat the event.
• The O4 have been dying and repeating cycles since Der Riese.
• The controller in Aether allows us to repeat the cycle, by bringing us back to a previous point in time before we died.
• The controller in Aether is powered by Ethereal energy found on Earth
• 115 is a concentrated source of Ethereal energy.
• Origins is us going back to a point in our own past and repeating it.

Edited by Shooter
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I agree with everything but the O4 dying and repeating events since Der Riese. Well in a matter of speaking I do at least. Origins would be the start of the loop or cycle, it would end up going back there again but saying that it doesn't mean that the Origins we see in BO2 is the same one as the usual one. But you really explained the levels between Agartha, Aether etc really well. Where did all these amazing posts by amazing people come from lately?

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NaBrZHunter    491

Brilliant. Someone needs to start an archive of great overviews like this. Please, for starters, someone sticky this one somewhere appropriate. 

I was going to respond with some thoughts on the nature of the Aether, but they got so massive that I need to start a separate thread and not distract from what you've got going on here.

Great work. I know I'll be archiving this.

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Shooter    83

I agree with everything but the O4 dying and repeating events since Der Riese. Well in a matter of speaking I do at least. Origins would be the start of the loop or cycle, it would end up going back there again but saying that it doesn't mean that the Origins we see in BO2 is the same one as the usual one. But you really explained the levels between Agartha, Aether etc really well. Where did all these amazing posts by amazing people come from lately?

I remember after Origins came out I debated with myself for weeks if the O4 met in the original Origins, died, and began their loop then, or if they didn't meet in the original Origins and started their loops at SNN/Der Riese.

Is that what you're saying? That the O4 originally did meet up in Origins and died, and they started their loop then? Haha it's so damn hard to put into words when describing the cycle.

It's definitely still up for debate, but ultimately I believe the O4 never met in Origins in the original timeline.

If the O4 met and died in the original Origins, I don't know who would have been in the controller seat to restart their cycle. Sam and Maxis weren't in the controller seat yet so it couldn't of been them. Plus wouldn't they just be stuck at Site 64 repeating that night if they died in the original Origins? 

Or maybe I just misunderstood your post lol. Like I said it's hard to describe all of this in a simple way.

Also one cool thing to mention. When you play Origins on Solo, you can hear quotes from each character on what they would say if the O4 never met. For example, when playing solo with Tank, he says "Field report. Confirming arrival at site identified in our intel. No sign of the target nor the other agents believed to be on intercept course. Dempsey out." 

Anywho, thanks for the input! It's always great getting responses like this. I could talk about this stuff for days lol.

 

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Ok,this is going to sound confusing since its a theory I am still working on but it basically is that Origins happened in two ways. The one we saw in BO2 leads to the Giant. While there is another version the loop starts where the O4 are in a normal WW1 timezone, they have no inteferrence from Sam and Maxis survives. Richtofen is the one driven to insanity by talks of Agartha and instead of his moral compass turning him to a hero, like we actually see in Origins as he loses his selfishness in replacement for selflessness, he actually would turn to his original ways and would lead back into the original story, leaving the others stranded in the war with no memories until he needed them once more. I was discussing it with Radautsins, needs more work but I think it could be viable. 

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Shooter    83

Ok,this is going to sound confusing since its a theory I am still working on but it basically is that Origins happened in two ways. The one we saw in BO2 leads to the Giant. While there is another version the loop starts where the O4 are in a normal WW1 timezone, they have no inteferrence from Sam and Maxis survives. Richtofen is the one driven to insanity by talks of Agartha and instead of his moral compass turning him to a hero, like we actually see in Origins as he loses his selfishness in replacement for selflessness, he actually would turn to his original ways and would lead back into the original story, leaving the others stranded in the war with no memories until he needed them once more. I was discussing it with Radautsins, needs more work but I think it could be viable. 

I wholeheartedly agree about Origins happening twice.

I've always stated Origins happened in two different ways (just like MotD). We have an original timeline (O4 don't meet, Maxis' brain gets transplanted into a new body, etc), and we have us going back to our original timeline after our deaths, to change the events and change the original timeline (just like MotD).

Some other things I don't necessarily agree with, but it's a pretty interesting theory for sure. Allow me to poke and prod at some things if you don't mind. Not trying to shut down your theory, just trying to bring up points people might contend with.

One thing to point out is that the loop(cycle) doesn't start until our characters die. If the O4 were repeating loops since the original Origins, then that means they would of died in the original Origins. This is totally possible, as we don't have quotes that contradict it. I personally think they never met originally, and didn't start dying and repeating cycles until Der Riese.

It's my belief that during the original Origins, Maxis goes crazy after hearing a little girl (he's not aware it's his daughter since she hasn't been born yet). Richtofen notices and transplants Maxis' brain to another body. The two escape Site 64 (and thus Samantha's voice)before the Allies arrive, and so the O4 never meet. This leads to the events as we know it (Der Riese- Moon). After the O4 die on Moon, they repeat that cycle until something changes.

Then in the BO2 Origins, something changes. This time the cycle changes and is broke . The O4 do meet, Richtofen is interrupted in the middle of the surgery and Maxis' brain is put in a jar, and we end up freeing Samantha.

Also, I don't think Richtofen has ever truly been "good" in any of our maps. In Origins he didn't want to help Samantha and only wanted the staffs for himself. In Der Riese-Moon he was a psycho, and Tranzit-Buried he was an even bigger physcho. 

Just some stuff to think about. It's awesome being able to talk to someone else about this. Brings me  back to the days with guys like Tac, Mac, and Mix. Miss those guys.

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NaBrZHunter    491

One thing to point out is that the loop(cycle) doesn't start until our characters die. If the O4 were repeating loops since the original Origins, then that means they would of died in the original Origins. This is totally possible, as we don't have quotes that contradict it. I personally think they never met originally, and didn't start dying and repeating cycles until Der Riese.

This is something that I have never heard discussed, and has been a quiet theory of mine since I created the re-imagined Giant trailer and was repeatedly watching the original Der Riese trailer. Did you get that impression from the trailer too? It would appear...that the O4 actually died at Der Riese. But that's so extreme, I don't know if I have the energy to tackle it right now.

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Nope. The loop is the whole story, not just Origins. They can die anywhere since the loop happens differently, it doesn't matter where they die. Also I have a whole different perception on both Origins since its more likely that in the original timeline Richtofen went insane and Maxis never even heard Samantha, also he would have survived because there is no evidence of a brain transplant either. The O4 meet and then forget Origins, only to meet again later on.

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