Hey there everyone! FatedTitan back with another song analysis, this time covering "Dead Again". As many of you know by my work in Black Ops 2, I believe the songs to be telling a part of the story, mostly because Kevin Sherwood has said they do! But what meaning do they carry? How deep should we look into them? And how do we connect them to the story that is found or spoonfed through cutscenes and other snippets lying around the map? I hope that maybe I can connect some things for us and suggest a theory for what could be happening with Richtofen and Samantha in our story.
Before I get going on "Dead Again", it's crucial that you understand my beliefs about "Carrion" and "We All Fall Down".
Many see "Carrion" as a song from a zombie's perspective, and I understand that position, but I believe it to be wrong. In actuality, every song, except perhaps "The One", has related to our controller, the person inside the MPD. With Richtofen inside the MPD, I can't help but argue that this is him singing. But the lyrics read strange, like a zombie wishing he was free from the torture of killing us over and over again. I believe that "zombie" is Richtofen. Richtofen is a slave in his own body, unable to control what he does. After making MPD contact in the Moon radios, we see a drastic change in him. I believe that he was possessed at this point and our old, calm Richtofen, a version much like Origins Richtofen, is trapped, only able to watch helplessly.
Without wasting too much time, I'll post a link to another theory I made about this. You can read more there, but the general idea is that Richtofen is a soul within his body, but he is not in control.
In "We All Fall Down", it's been confirmed that the song is a play on "Ring around the Rosies", but there's definitely more. Check out the second verse:
The martyr's brethren
Were not to be set free
In vitro planet earth
In vivo you and me
He had them watch me
And lock everything around
He told me
You seem awful down
Richtofen is a martyr for the demon and his brethren were initially thought to be the O4 still stuck on Moon (at least I thought that), but now we have a twist. With the introduction/confirmation of the multiverse, this could easily refer to much more than just the O4 stuck on Moon. It could perhaps refer to other Richtofens, or at least one of Richtofen, in a different universe. Richtofen's soul, trapped inside his body, is now taken into the MPD along with the MPD at the end of Moon. He now gains power as well and has a plan to stop this demon from the power he seeks.
If you have any questions about this, please feel free to post below. But that's where I stand on these two songs, though perhaps not explained as well as should have been. I just really want to get to the meat for everyone.
Let's look at "Dead Again".
A Wolf is at my door
I feel it
I see it in my dreams
A world of my design
A forced enlightening reveals it
I found a life that I malign
And I feel it
The wolf being at the door seems to be a danger that has come to this person's life. The reason it's not a literal wolf is because she "feels" it. You can't feel something being at your door. This is a metaphor for a danger coming. Then, she sees a world of her design in her dreams, only revealed by a forced enlightening. Now we know that Richtofen can see into many different universes and understand what is happening in each. In a sense, he controls the world because he can change the outcome of each. This is what he is currently doing by going from location to location gathering the souls of the crew. The enlightening was forced because he never had this power until he was forced into the MPD.
Now, who else has been in the MPD? Samantha! She also has recognized this enlightening. Surely she didn't understand what she was getting herself into when she ran into the MPD initially, but was also forcibly enlightened as to the power it possessed. She also can change the world as she desires in some ways. These are worlds of her design and we see this throughout Black Ops and World at War. The life she maligns is Richtofen for what he did to her and Maxis. It could also refer to another demonic entity within the MPD that seems to take on the persona of "Sam" in Origins. It's no wonder Origin's Sam sounded like a chain smoker in the initial reveal, but was then changed to American Sam.
I feel so strange
Like I'm everywhere
And that no one was there
We only want to live forever
Repeat serial suicide
You can't find you and hide
Obviously, if you could see/be everywhere at once, you'd feel strange as well. This omnipresence she has gained has caused her to feel this way. It feels like she's everywhere AND that no one was there. This is crucial. Remember Richtofen's latest monologue?
"I do not regret the pain I've caused, because none of it really matters. This moment...this me...all of it will soon be gone."
When Richtofen changes the future, the other universes change. The pain he's caused won't matter because it'll be as if it never happened. It's the Grandfather Paradox, where if you go back and kill your grandfather, you could never have been born, which means he would have lived, so you couldn't have killed him, but then you'd be able to go back in time and...you get it. Samantha is just like Richtofen. Whatever she does, no matter who she impacts, it's like they were never there in the first place.
Now notice this interesting shift. It's no longer "I" but "We". "We only want to live forever." Who has been included in this? Perhaps the demon wants to live forever. I'm not quite sure, but it's interesting. Repeating serial suicide is what we literally do every map as we attempt to do the Easter Eggs and just play some zombies. But it's also what we're doing in Black Ops 3, traveling to each map and killing ourselves to gain the soul. Could Samantha understand all of this as well? Could she have done this in a different universe too? Or maybe even Maxis? Is he the extra "we" that is introduced?
Am I dead
Is it all over
There is no pain here
You lead and I'll follow
My tree of life is hollow
The tide has turned into rain
The questioning of death isn't new to the story. Samantha is questioning if she's actually even alive. After being in the MPD for so long, she has to question it. There's no pain in the MPD. When you can't feel anything, you begin to wonder if you're even alive in the first place. You lead and I'll follow probably refers to the "we" introduced, whoever that second person or entity is. The tree of life is a biblical idea which would grant one who ate from it eternal life, which he saw earlier she seeks. Sadly for Samantha, her tree is hollow. There's no life in it. And the tide, which normally brings abundance to crops near a river, has turned into rain, which is much more melancholy.
Now, I won't pretend to understand all of the song, and the next verse is a bit confusing to me. I'm sure someone else could explain it better than I could. Duality seems to point to this idea of two being within one, one light and one dark. A good and a bad. This would support the possession of Richtofen and Samantha, each one wanting to do the right thing (as seen by Richtofen in "Carrion"), but unable to. Now bear with me as I skip ahead a bit in the song.
I feel the pain now
I'm really here (I'm really here, I'm really here)
So Samantha finally feels alive. After feeling dead for so long, she finally feels life, feels pain. And coincidentally enough, when she does that, what happens? She says "I'm really here", followed up by another female, and then a MALE voice. What happens on Moon? Richtofen takes over her body and she goes back to his! This explains why Richtofen is able to sing in the song as well. But why does Sam still sing if she is finally out of it and can feel pain and feel alive again?
I'm alive now
I'm alive now
I'm alive I'm alive
Now I die
Are we dead
Is it all over
Where is the pain now
You lead and we'll follow
Our tree of life is hollow
The tide has turned into rain
Are we dead
Did we cross over
What is our name now
Are we dead now
Are we dead now
Are we dead again
Here is the "we" again, but at least this time, we know Richtofen has joined her. She felt alive until she died again. But she's not dead because she's still in the MPD in other universes. Just because she gets out in one does not mean she's out in all. And her death here makes her feel dead again because now she's stuck in the same place she once was, no pain, just there. This also hints that perhaps our O4 actually did die on Moon.
But the life Richtofen wanted, or more likely the demon inhabiting him, isn't what he thought. He wanted enternal life, but his tree is hollow as well. The promise of it was left empty. Now Samantha just wonders if she's dead once more.
Stop. Breather time.
Okay, so why does any of this matter at all. Well first, it shows us the nature of the MPD. The one in control in at least one universe can see into all universes and act accordingly. We've had three controllers confirmed within MPDs. First, we have Samantha. Second is Richtofen. But third, we've always thought was a demonic force of some kind. After finishing the Easter Egg on Der Eisendrache, I'm led to believe that the demonic force we've been thinking of is actually the Keeper. It has the red fire that we see in the eyes of the zombies on Mob of the Dead and it's definitely not friendly. This could be what is inhabiting Richtofen in our original universe and Samantha from another universe. Who really knows, but it would explain our third controller.
Second thing we see is that there is a duality happening. There is a good and bad version of each of these controllers, whether it's actually them or something inhabiting them. This gives support to the fact of "Carrion" being from Richtofen's perspective. Not only this, but it gives us a greater understanding of how the MPD works.
Last thing that must be noted is that Samantha is singing this, but she's not alone. Have you noticed that Sam is in control in Black Ops 3, but she hasn't been notably against us? It seems to be the Keepers at every turn. This could have something to do with Maxis, but we aren't necessarily sure. Perhaps Samantha has given up and is accepting her fate without trying to stop Richtofen's plan. I don't like that explanation though. I believe she supports this Richtofen's endeavors. Remember she's just a kid. She can't do anything, no matter how many universes she goes to. But Richtofen is able to do a lot and he does do a lot. And since this is our good Richtofen, then she knows he wants to end this thing once and for all as well.
Before I go, I want to say that I haven't analyzed much of "Dead Flowers", but I'll be sure to think through it much more soon. It's not exactly the catchiest song to just listen to haha.
If you have any questions, I'd love to see them. And if you have contradictions or clarifications, hit them up in the comments! If you've made it this far, thanks for reading!