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MysteryMachineX

My Thoughts on Black Ops III & the Zombies Storyline

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So after thinking on it and researching it a bit, I've finally compiled my thoughts on the new game. I made a video on it, but I've also written out the script all nice and neat so that I could post it here and perhaps discuss with other people their thoughts on the game. Don't take me for a fool though, for my opinions are not wholly positive or negative. (WARNING: Spoilers for pretty much everything)

I’m going to talk storyline analysis, and then I’ll wrap it up at the end with my opinions. Some members of Treyarch stated in an interview that Call of Duty nows runs on a unified .exe program. Essentially this means the campaign, multiplayer, and zombies all run on the same engine now. This is  good news because now zombies have literally infested every game mode now, but it is bad news for anyone who was ever hoping for a standalone zombie game. Likely never going to happen now.

Black Ops III came with one zombie level, Shadows of Evil, along with the DLC, The Giant. Both of these maps take place in alternate universes, because Zombies is now officially a full-fledged multidimensional series, like so many other video game series out there. I really wish I had a screenshot of it, but on my old storyline video, many of you asked what I thought the new maps would be like. I answered “an alternate timeline version of Der Riese”. I can hardly believe I was right.

Now I’m not going to list out every radio found in the new game, but there’s one important one to letting you know for sure that Zombies is multidimensional. Here it is. 

“To any survivors of this realm, I am truly sorry. I wish I could offer you some words of comfort, but I cannot. It is my hope that I can rid the universe of the evil that has plagued us for so long, but in my heart I know that many more dimensions will be lost forever, as we continue our journey towards peace. Forgive me.”

From the man himself, we know that Zombies is multidimensional, and this radio gives us the terminology. There is one universe that we are trying to save, but within it are infinite dimensions, a.k.a. realms, timelines, or planes of existence.

Note that many phrases Maxis uses here are the same ones he used back in Black Ops II. In fact, “to any survivors of this realm” is one of the ways Maxis greeted the survivors in TranZit. In fact, when triggering the Fly Trap in the Giant, Maxis quotes what Samantha said at the exact moment in Der Riese. He quotes something said in an alternate timeline! The Maxis that is in control in the Giant, might not be from that timeline at all. This Maxis might be the Maxis from Buried. Remember that time Maxis destroyed a world so that he may move to another? Welcome home!

The only question is what happened to Maxis and his daughter in the Giant’s timeline. They could’ve been sent anywhere from that teleporter in time and space and may simply not be relevant anymore. Maxis does have many radios about the children being safe, so perhaps he secured Samantha, and perhaps Eddy?, elsewhere, we have yet to find.

Origins is now also explained clearly now. The events from Nacht der Untoten to Buried can be seen as one complicated arc, one timeline. The events of Origins are an alternate timeline with its own version of events. The Giant is another timeline. At the end of Origins, it turns out the four heroes didn’t cease to exist but became transient beings, kinda like the Luteces from BioShock. How exactly this is supposed to work is yet to be seen.

Some timelines it seems are incredibly identical, like with Der Riese and the Giant. However, some are really, really not, like Shadows of Evil. Shadows of Evil seems to be an attempt by Treyarch to create something thematically separate from their usual work. Why is the Shadowman in control of the zombies? Why are there rituals? Lovecraftian monsters? Because it is an alternate realm.

The Ancient Order of the Gatekeepers seem to be descendants of beings from Agartha, much like the Agarthan zombies from Origins. From the radios in Shadows of Evil, an investigator reveals his employer, a Mr. Rapt, is acting shady. He may very well be the identity, or alias, of the Shadowman.

This realm is heavily inspired by horror fiction writer, H. P. Lovecraft. The gist of the story of Shadows of Evil is that the Shadowman, an entity of evil, took an interest to the four criminals and set them up to fight zombies as a challenge. By doing the easter egg, you’re able to defeat him and get the Summoning Key, whilst channeling a lot of energy into it. Then, Richtofen, the one from WWI, arrives to take it. This is presumably how the four heroes are able to hop from alternate realm to alternate realm.

There’s also the Campaign story in Black Ops III, which, honestly, I found to be somewhat more interesting than Zombies this time around. Treyarch’s Campaigns all represent one realm up to this point: Reznov and whatnot in World at War; Mason and stuff in Black Ops; Menendez and drones in Black Ops II; and now Taylor and cybernetics in Black Ops III.

In the Campaign, secret experiments with Nova-6 and some other chemicals on cybernetic patients leads to the creation of Corvus, an AI angry from decades of torture by America. One of the missions, Demon Within, has you go inside Hall’s mind through her data chip. From within you see a village in France during World War II. This area is reused for the Multiplayer level Infection. In this village are scattered Zombies memorabilia, like the boxer’s gloves for example. Furthermore, there’s been conjecture lately that this might be where Samantha and Maxis once lived. Did I mention that you have to fight zombies here to progress?

Not only is Infection a virtual simulation, but so is the latest Nuk3town. I suppose it was a military training simulation… where the mannequins were apparently given the enemy programming of soldiers, zombies, and weeping angels?

Black Ops III came with a Nightmares mode that follows an alternate timeline, where the Nova-6 was paired with 115 instead. The ruler of the zombies in this realm was instead a deity called Deimos, from the realm Malum. He and his sister, Dolos, are based loosely on Greek gods. Deimos claims to have seen all realities, including the one with the AI, Corvus, as well as ones completely foreign, without Earth, even. At the end, Dolos possesses the player, and they kill Deimos.

Now, the current motivation for Richtofen, Maxis, Tank, Nikolai, and Takeo is stop an ancient evil by ensuring events go a certain way. They’re trying repeatedly, no matter how many Richtofens or realms they have to kill. It seems that their plan is to intervene in history to create one timeline where the evil is destroyed.

But who is the ancient evil? Is the devil? The Shadowman? Deimos? Dolos? I think that the devil, Shadowman, and Deimos or Dolos might all actually be the same person. The Shadowman, like Mr. Rapt, are just aliases. Deimos is the demigod of terror, whereas Dolos is the demigod of trickery. I’d say Deimos is the evil one, except they both seem evil to an extent, and they killed Deimos. So either perhaps Deimos survives and gets revenge one day or perhaps Dolos, with Deimos not around to control her, wipes out humanity. By the end of Nightmares, humanity is barely standing and about to be attacked by the entire Greek pantheon. And since Nightmares is in the far future, it’d make sense that the heroes are far in the past trying to alter events. Well, it’s just an idea.

Also, there’s the issue of Dr. Monty, his gumball machines, and Liquid Divinium. Quite frankly I’m not sure who he is. He could possibly be another alias for the Shadowman or a being from Malum. He may be the person who made the Perks as well. Perhaps all the Perks in every level were being displaced there by Dr. Monty as a form of multidimensional brand marketing? It would explain the jingles.

An interesting side-effect of the multidimensionality is that we can retroactively count all Call of Duty games as just taking place in different planes of existence. The universes then go as follows.

(1)    World at War to Black Ops II, the story of Nacht der Untoten all the way to Buried
(2)    World at War to Black Ops III, where Corvus the AI threatens humanity
(3)    Nightmares, where the gods from Malum threaten humanity
(4)    The events of Origins, Shadows of Evil, and perhaps Mob of the Dead
(5)    The Giant, the new alternate timeline
(6)    Aether
(7)    Agartha
(8)    Crazy Place
(9)    Malum
(10)    Dead Ops Arcades I and II
(11)    Sledgehammer Games’ Exo Zombies
(12)    Infinity Ward’s Campaign
(13)    Infinity Ward’s Extinction
(14)    Call of Duty 1-3
(15)    China’s Cyborg Zombies
(16)    Black Ops Zombies DS
(17)    Black Ops Zombies iOS
(18)    Every Custom Zombies map
(19)    And infinite variations of all of the above

So that’s pretty much everything I have in regards to the game itself. So… let’s talk opinion now. I actually didn’t buy Black Ops III. I know what you’re thinking, but I got a lot of this information supplemented from talking to people and watching Youtube. My opinions are complicated, but I’ll do my best to explain.

Part of me really wanted to get it. Part of me was excited for more Zombies. But then part of me remembered how they took down my video, and how they were asking for 100 dollars. In the end, I decided it just isn’t worth it. My current gen console is a Wii U, and I didn’t really want to get the game on PC. And good luck to me getting the so-called easter egg done with the mandatory four people on PC. Those things are just excruciating anyway! Zombies is honestly marketed as a Youtube experience, because the story behind Zombies is just so mind-bendingly obtuse that people just playing the game are left out.

So, no. I didn’t get it. But that’s not going to stop me from caring for this storyline. The game was good, but I’ll have my critiques. The campaign is awesome. The story was very in-depth and moving. One of the best uses of sci-fi in games I’ve seen lately. Corvus’s AI, almost empathetical. The frozen forest? Oh and that ending… The player assumes the identity of Taylor? Wow.

Mutiplayer is multiplayer. Yes. Zombies? Honestly, it is only two levels, one of which was DLC, plus Nightmares and Deads Ops Arcade II. So… alright I suppose. Do I love the Lovecraftian theme of Shadows of Evil? Yes I do. The Giant? It’s practically a reskin of the old level. Not worth the money for just an up in the graphics. Also, the first ¾ of Nightmares was incredibly mundane. It was hard for me to take just a redubbing seriously when you consider the budget Treyarch could’ve spent on it. I don’t want to call it amateur, because real work was done on it, but probably less than 1% of the Campaign budget. At least the ending made up for it.

Also, there’s something that really bugs me. And that is the marketing of women in Zombies. Seriously, it is like female characters have the scarcity of gold. Really? Headshots of all the guys and a chestshot of the girl?

So thanks for watching. Those are my honest opinions of the game. Please don’t bash me for them. I’d still work for Treyarch or Activision in a heartbeat if given the opportunity. I’ll do more of these videos for DLC, don’t worry. Part of me will always love Zombies for its incredibly convoluted storyline, but I just can’t validate spending so much money on so few hours of non-repetitive content when I get hundreds of hours in games like Fallout for the same price. The negative stigma of the Call of Duty community doesn’t help either. Many of you guys are awesome, but there’s so many people that aren’t so awesome, and it can get to you. I put up with it for the convoluted storyline, but then I found out about other series that are far more progressive and more accepting, i.e. Homestuck.

So feel free to dispute me and let me know what you think. Thanks for your time.

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On 11/28/2015, 3:43:36, MysteryMachineX said:

An interesting side-effect of the multidimensionality is that we can retroactively count all Call of Duty games as just taking place in different planes of existence. The universes then go as follows.

(1)    World at War to Black Ops II, the story of Nacht der Untoten all the way to Buried
(2)    World at War to Black Ops III, where Corvus the AI threatens humanity
(3)    Nightmares, where the gods from Malum threaten humanity
(4)    The events of Origins, Shadows of Evil, and perhaps Mob of the Dead
(5)    The Giant, the new alternate timeline
(6)    Aether
(7)    Agartha
(8)    Crazy Place
(9)    Malum
(10)    Dead Ops Arcades I and II
(11)    Sledgehammer Games’ Exo Zombies
(12)    Infinity Ward’s Campaign
(13)    Infinity Ward’s Extinction
(14)    Call of Duty 1-3
(15)    China’s Cyborg Zombies
(16)    Black Ops Zombies DS
(17)    Black Ops Zombies iOS
(18)    Every Custom Zombies map
(19)    And infinite variations of all of the above

I'm not sure I've understood this correctly. While obviously the majority of these are parallel universes, is it not the case that 4 and 5 are the same universe as 1, but just an alternate timeline which stemmed from interference in the timeline from the future? (i.e. after the buried easter egg Maxis opens the gateway to Agartha, and then for whatever reason he sends Samantha through to Origins to change the timeline, resulting in the zombies appearing during WW1 at the dig site and the O4 meeting at an earlier point in the timeline.)

Also curious as to why you decided to put SoE and possibly MotD in the same universe as Origins. Is it not more likely that they occur in the same existence as The Giant? (I mainly say this because we know that Richtofen travels from SoE to The Giant).

The other thing I was wondering about is that are we sure that universes 6-9 aren't all the same place with a different name? Or perhaps not all of them are the same, but it could be possible that we are only looking at 2 universes or so, but they are known by multiple names.

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I used the terminology from the Maxis radio, with realms / timelines / planes of existence being the differentiators within one universe. So 4 and 5 are different… whatever-you-want-to-call-thems. Now I know recently people are saying the plane Icarus is in both maps, but that wasn't something I had seen upon writing this.

Although, the idea that Maxis was the one who caused Samantha's temporal displacement does make a shocking amount of sense. I hadn't thought of it that way. Thanks!

Richtofen travels from SoE to the Giant after obtaining the realm-hopping-orb-device, so that would lead me to believe they were not the same realm. As for where I put Origins, I suppose it might've been better if I had put Origins->SoE and Origins->Giant, since they both seem to have had Origins events in their past. However, the version of Origins prior to the Giant likely wasn't the same Origins we experienced, because it is in a different realm. (Big support here in the form of a WWII Maxis, not a WWI Maxis.)

Well, the Crazy Place is definitely separated from the others. (The thing is a baby realm really.) However, it is possible that Aether, Agartha, and Malum are all the same place. Historically, they wouldn't be considered the same place. But with everything in the storyline being shaken up, it could end up being a situation where a single truth goes by many names, kinda like the devil in Mob of the Dead. I'm hesitating to make a call on that yet. However, if it is true, then that means the ending of Nightmares gives us more information about the residents of this realm than anywhere else, as Dolos lists off a bunch of the other deities that live there.

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57 minutes ago, MysteryMachineX said:

I used the terminology from the Maxis radio, with realms / timelines / planes of existence being the differentiators within one universe. So 4 and 5 are different… whatever-you-want-to-call-thems. Now I know recently people are saying the plane Icarus is in both maps, but that wasn't something I had seen upon writing this.

Although, the idea that Maxis was the one who caused Samantha's temporal displacement does make a shocking amount of sense. I hadn't thought of it that way. Thanks!

Richtofen travels from SoE to the Giant after obtaining the realm-hopping-orb-device, so that would lead me to believe they were not the same realm. As for where I put Origins, I suppose it might've been better if I had put Origins->SoE and Origins->Giant, since they both seem to have had Origins events in their past. However, the version of Origins prior to the Giant likely wasn't the same Origins we experienced, because it is in a different realm. (Big support here in the form of a WWII Maxis, not a WWI Maxis.)

Well, the Crazy Place is definitely separated from the others. (The thing is a baby realm really.) However, it is possible that Aether, Agartha, and Malum are all the same place. Historically, they wouldn't be considered the same place. But with everything in the storyline being shaken up, it could end up being a situation where a single truth goes by many names, kinda like the devil in Mob of the Dead. I'm hesitating to make a call on that yet. However, if it is true, then that means the ending of Nightmares gives us more information about the residents of this realm than anywhere else, as Dolos lists off a bunch of the other deities that live there.

Ok I gotcha, the terminology when discussing parallel universes and alternate timelines can get a bit confusing haha.

The existence of the plane in both SoE and The Giant is confusing to say the least. Is it possible that Icarus was the means of transport used by Tank, Nikolai and Takeo to get to The Giant? After the ritual is complete in SoE we see the plane fly overhead, and there's barely audible voice, which most have assumed is the MotD crew. My theory is that it was actually Tank, Nikolai and Takeo on the plane, hopping over to the timeline where The Giant occurs on the plane. If you look at the timings of each map this is highly possible, as the last time Tank Nikolai and Takeo would have seen Richtofen would be before Shadows of Evil, which takes place roughly 3 years before the Giant. In The Giant, Tank states that he hasn't seen Richtofen in 2 years, which I'll acknowledge isn't a perfect match, but I think it's close enough to hold ground.

My only issue with the theory that SoE and The Giant are different realms is the fact that Tank, Nikolai and Takeo are able to travel between them without the realm hopping device. However, it makes complete sense that Origins must be a separate timeline from The Giant. I'm of the belief that Origins exists in it's own timeline, and that it essentially ceased to exist once the O4 left it in the same way the Nacht to Buried timeline now no longer exists as the O4 have now moved to a timeline where Samantha didn't alter the events during WW1 and the timeline is exactly the same as the original timeline, right up until the intervention of the new Tank, Nikolai, Takeo and Richtofen, at The Giant, where we veer off into another path. As far as the Realm hopping device is concerned, I believe Richtofen has a plan for it which will come into use later on.

I actually haven't gotten round to giving Nightmares a shot, I'll need to make sure I do something though, it sounds interesting.

Edited by Robertos0511

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