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Kill_All_Monkeys

Where are we going?

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So I know there have been a lot of theories popping up lately revolving around the Shadow Man much discussion within those threads already. But a lot of that is focused on SoE itself and I'm trying to look at the bigger picture here, and ultimately what the purpose of The Shadow Man will be in Black Ops 3 zombies as whole. Now a lot of this hinges on the assumption that The Shadow Man is not solely in SoE and plays a larger role in many, if not all, of the upcoming maps for DLC. So what I propose to you is this:

First, it's clear that The Shadow Man has chosen these current 4 characters for the sins they committed to further their own ambitions. Why has he done this? So far from what he's said it seems he wishes to test them and see if they can redeem themselves. He even explicitly states in the latest trailer that "only through me, will you find your redemption". But he also expresses curiosity at why they do the things that they do, what motivates them. He speaks of a larger universe within which they are only a minute fraction of, yet these 4 still do whatever it takes to make something for themselves in this world anyway. So what he's looking for is people who are willing to go into some dark territory to do whatever they have to get done whatever it is that needs to be done, and he only seeks out those have committed a great amount of sin in their life. What does he wish to guide them toward with the promise of redemption?

Second, he has branded each of them on the back of their left hand with a curse mark. We have seen this idea of branding people with some sort of mark or gift/curse, often as a test of their abilities or how they handle said abilities. I propose that these curse marks are actually connected to this new mode that was featured in the reveal trailer and teased a little further in the intro cutscene, where everything turns darker and tentacles seemingly grow out of the player. Perhaps these people can only draw this power out through the curse mark if they have great evil/darkness in their heart. Their may still be other motives for branding people with a curse mark but so far, all we know is that only the cursed survive.

Third, where do we go from here? Well, given that SoE appears to be the usual "celebrity" map that we only typically get once per game, I remember reading interviews with the actors asking if they will be the main crew going forward with the new game. Their responses, though vague as usual with any upcoming game, tended to lean more towards no this is the only map so far that they have worked on. Though I do remember reading about Ron Perlman (The Boxer) expressing interest at continuing if they wanted him to. Anyway, the point being I don't think we will have the same crew going forward. However they have played up the Shadow Man quite a bit, and he talked about looking for people like these 4. Surely there would've been a number of people who have committed sins as bad as or even worst/more than them. So my theory is that the following 3 DLC maps will be The Shadow Man seeking out more groups of people to place the curse mark on and testing out their resolve and how dark their soul is. And from SoE and each of the first 3 DLC maps, he will only pick out a single person who rises above the rest. Leaving as with a familiar group of 4 after all things are said and done.

The purpose of setting up this team of sinners who seek redemption? Well that's where the big picture comes in. There is some debate going on as to when SoE takes place, but so far it's pretty clear it takes place within or very close to the 40's. This has it take place before a lot of what has happened in zombies up to Buried. And I believe we are seeing The Shadow Man act out the intentions of the greater evil lurking within the MPD, or the Aether. It is often thought that this great evil is more or less the Devil/Beezlebub, whatever you want to call him. He may not be the Devil exactly as we know him in Christianity, but he more or less functions in a similar way. And as is common knowledge (and showcased in MotD) those have committed sins in their life are cursed to go to Hell, so naturally he would be drawn to people who have committed a great many sins in their life.

This is where the Shadow Man and the curse mark come in. Obviously this devil like figure had some sort of influence over the events leading up to Moon, but what I don't think he foresaw was what would happen afterward. Once Rictofen takes control, and Maxis causes mass destruction to the Earth, Hell on Earth is unleashed and it's a full blown apocalypse. This is probably something this dark entity would normally want, but he's not the one in ultimate control, as either Rictofen or Maxis is by the end of Buried. So I'm thinking that he sent the Shadow Man out to find people who could use the great darkness in their hearts/souls to harness the power of the curse mark and change things into his favor instead of whoever ended up victorious in BO2. And thus, the final DLC map will be the 4 chosen ones from the previous maps trying to achieve something to put this great evil into top dog position in the Aether once and for all. I also believe MotD was more a less a test to see if it could guide people to break the cycle enacted by those in control of the MPD, and a similar mission will be featured in the first 4 maps for BO3 zombies.

The great foil to this however is that Samantha and Maxis appear to have some sort of plan as well involving the O4 from Origins and seemingly wish to stop a great evil that will be unleashed upon the world. They could possibly be trying to actually stop this dark being from enacting his power grab and bring the world back to normal.

Sorry for such a long post and I can only hope I made some sense in my ramblings. I would most certainly welcome some feedback and see what people think of the direction BO3 is going in as it pertains to zombies. What will be the role of The Shadow Man? Is the terrible evil lying in the recesses of the Aether involved somehow? Where do you think the story is headed as whole? Is Treyarch trying to write themselves out of a corner? Let me know!

Edit: A possible idea just presented to me was that we may actually get some sort of a concurrent stroyline going on in this game given the existence of The Giant. I don't know if they would be willing to do it with every DLC (fingers crossed) but if Treyarch decided to release more than one map with the DLC packs we could follow this story of the Shadow Man and dark entity as well as how the O4 plan to keep up/counteract this plan. Certainly some interesting food for thought.

Edited by Kill_All_Monkeys
The O4 doin what they do best
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I honestly doubt we'll see the shadow man outside of this map. Mainly because it's a famous actor playing him. It's not treyarch's style to use him again. 

I agree with this notion, actually. They tend to get these special celebrity characters for only one map. 

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I would normally agree with that too, but for exo-zombies they had 4 celebrity characters in all 4 maps, well 5 by the end. And something also to consider is that The Shadow Man may not be the same for every map. Maybe we find out who he really is by the end of the map and his real identity brings out almost like a different personality (different voice basically. Or maybe, his appearance, voice, personality, everything is determined by the 4 characters in the map. As in he is a literal amalgamation of their sins and will change as the group of 4 changes every map.

Like I said in another post, if The Giant is really where they wanted to continue as their main single story, then why are we getting that as a bonus map instead of as another map on disk? The main launch map for both Black Ops games was the starting point for the story that Treyarch covered the most throughout the DLC maps. And while it does seem odd that they're starting with a celebrity map right out of the gate, they've somewhat followed a pattern in the past before.

I do accept though that this is still just a theory and we don't really know what else we'll be getting with the game at launch. I've heard some interesting stuff that could completely change everything but I won't discuss it here as I'm not sure of it's legitimacy yet.

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See, here's how I veiw things. 
The giant is the continuation of the origins storyline, but they couldn't really work the map to be the BIG intro it's meant to be for BO3. It's just too small. If they make it bigger it'd take away from the "Original der reise" feel. If they kept it the same it wouldn't impress players. 

So, they made the giant DLC, and the main map became a sort of sidestory map, like MOTD. While this map doesn't have anything significant to the story, it's there to give the players a map to fully enjoy. 

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Spider3000    140

 

Like I said in another post, if The Giant is really where they wanted to continue as their main single story, then why are we getting that as a bonus map instead of as another map on disk? The main launch map for both Black Ops games was the starting point for the story that Treyarch covered the most throughout the DLC maps. And while it does seem odd that they're starting with a celebrity map right out of the gate, they've somewhat followed a pattern in the past before.

I believe Shadows of Evil is supposed to be the main offering of the game, while DLC will focus on the O4 where all the juicy stuff is as a way to sell more DLC. The Giant, I believe, is just going to be an introduction to that story.

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See, here's how I veiw things. 
The giant is the continuation of the origins storyline, but they couldn't really work the map to be the BIG intro it's meant to be for BO3. It's just too small. If they make it bigger it'd take away from the "Original der reise" feel. If they kept it the same it wouldn't impress players. 

So, they made the giant DLC, and the main map became a sort of sidestory map, like MOTD. While this map doesn't have anything significant to the story, it's there to give the players a map to fully enjoy. 

That's a pretty reasonable argument. It just seems odd to me that the intro to the main storyline would be initially locked behind preorder DLC and not made available to everyone else until possibly much later. 

 

Like I said in another post, if The Giant is really where they wanted to continue as their main single story, then why are we getting that as a bonus map instead of as another map on disk? The main launch map for both Black Ops games was the starting point for the story that Treyarch covered the most throughout the DLC maps. And while it does seem odd that they're starting with a celebrity map right out of the gate, they've somewhat followed a pattern in the past before.

I believe Shadows of Evil is supposed to be the main offering of the game, while DLC will focus on the O4 where all the juicy stuff is as a way to sell more DLC. The Giant, I believe, is just going to be an introduction to that story.

 

I'll admit, I would love and actually prefer to see the O4 front and center again as our main characters. I just came up with this theory based on the chance that Treyarch decided to go forward with this storyline instead of the O4 again.

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I'm just curious as to what the impact of SoE is going to be on zombies as a whole, it looks pretty far out there in regards to what constitutes as normal in the world of zombies so I just want to know why Treyarch chose this map as their "grand opening" of BO3 zombies, so to speak, as opposed to something akin to The Giant.

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It's honestly a more appropriate option then having it be the 2nd DLC map. 

I mean it's better for popularity respects for the the actors. (As everyone who buys the game now will know them from zombies now. ) 

It allows people to be fully immersed in a map with no need to worry about the MASSIVE story behind it. (I know that overwhelmed me when I first started)

Even in the general feel of the map, it's recognizable. Makes the scenery a hook. With Nact the classic bunker was much more identifiable then an asylum, swamp, or factory. BO1 a simplistic theater gives off the nazi feel better then the later maps. In BO2, you were set in a town, which is much more understandable then a high-rise, underground western town, Alcatraz, and Origins site. The setting of a Vegas-style town is something people will react to if they've ever lived in a big city. And so, this might be the only map of BO3 (currently planned) to take place in a recognizable location. Prepare for exotic DLC locations mates! 

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It's honestly a more appropriate option then having it be the 2nd DLC map. 

I mean it's better for popularity respects for the the actors. (As everyone who buys the game now will know them from zombies now. ) 

It allows people to be fully immersed in a map with no need to worry about the MASSIVE story behind it. (I know that overwhelmed me when I first started)

Even in the general feel of the map, it's recognizable. Makes the scenery a hook. With Nact the classic bunker was much more identifiable then an asylum, swamp, or factory. BO1 a simplistic theater gives off the nazi feel better then the later maps. In BO2, you were set in a town, which is much more understandable then a high-rise, underground western town, Alcatraz, and Origins site. The setting of a Vegas-style town is something people will react to if they've ever lived in a big city. And so, this might be the only map of BO3 (currently planned) to take place in a recognizable location. Prepare for exotic DLC locations mates! 

Never thought about the choice of starting maps that way, but it makes total sense. When it says the number of people playing each map in the menu, the on-disk map always has the highest numbers on average. But yeah the starting maps have always had the more simplistic design. Though Nacht, and some of the other W@W maps, were designed from some of the multiplayer maps if I recall correctly. Even BO had some maps fashioned a little off the mp maps.

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Spider3000    140

   

Never thought about the choice of starting maps that way, but it makes total sense. When it says the number of people playing each map in the menu, the on-disk map always has the highest numbers on average.

I wouldn't say that means anything really. The on-disk maps always have the most player count, because those are the people who don't bother to buy DLC.

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Exactly, which makes it the better place for the actor maps. (For the actors at least, for treyarch it may make things slightly harder to sell DLC, but only marginally)

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I think the idea behind this would be they're trying to draw in more people to try out zombies in the first place with the celebrities as extra enticement, and then to expose average players who don't normally play zombies in cod games to finally try it out and be interested enough in the gameplay or story, or both, to buy the DLC. I actually think there's still a chance we're going to get a "of the Dead map" like normal too. There's been one in both released BO games and it's almost tradition at this point.

The Giant actually also serves as a good introduction to the story for those new to zombies, but it's preorder DLC so only those who already have an interest in zombies would get it.

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