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  1. It's literally just because they are there within Alcatraz. There is a cipher (likely from the one of the myriad of Richtofen's operating it... We know Arlington even spotted Ultimis Richtofen at Alcatraz at one point) that refers to the "Specimen rotation", with the "current blood sequence" being "SSMJABR" (the initials of Victis). This suggests to me that Victis are "recycled" every loop, specifically just before the next Victis arrive at the lab, from the events of the comics.
  2. At the request of @RadZakpak after an interesting discussion on Mob of the Dead and Blood of the Dead, here is the script for my video on the way in which Mob of the Dead fits into the storyline. If the video is more to your liking, I will leave a link here (https://youtu.be/8Ikf97ADLsk) ZOMBIES DISSECTED #3 - How Mob of the Dead fits into the cycle The ZOD map of Black Ops 4’s Aether Storyline, Blood of the Dead, marks a crescendo in the story, however its exact position and the events leading up to it have confused some players - similarly, the role of the map’s predecessor, Mob of the Dead, is also one of uncertainty for fans. In this video, it should be kept in mind that all the information available will be used, so any preconceptions about Mob of the Dead that you may hold from its release should be abandoned here at the gate. The Warden of Alcatraz, an sadist and avid occultist, was contacted by The Shadowman, masquerading as Lucifer and given specific instructions. The Warden, enthralled by the promises of his new dark master, set about enacting every step of his plan, unaware of its true purpose and unaware of the lies he had been told. The Warden is instructed that he must condemn three prisoners: Sal DeLuca, Billy Handsom and Finn O’Leary to death for their murder of Albert Arlington and shortly after, end his own life. The Shadowman would then trap their souls in a pocket dimension (similar to the events in Morg City), and informs him that though he is free to fulfil his depraved need for torture and cruelty, he must push them towards the goal of Albert Arlington avenging his own death and killing the three mobsters. This is evident during Mob Of The Dead, where the warden says he will tell the inmates “The Truth” and then proceeds to play them the words of longserving prison guard (and known illuminati associate) Stanley Ferguson, who informs them all of their death and their former betrayal of Al, before their souls were sentenced to Purgatory. According to The Shadowman, this is to “trap another, a Doctor Edward Richtofen”. Now, the way in which this fits into the cycle, though at first seeming abstract, is actually fairly simple to understand, and confirms Jason Blundell’s statement of Mob of the Dead being “the most important map”. Between the events of Zetsubou no Shima and Gorod Krovi, Primis Richtofen brings his compatriots to his lab constructed by the illuminati under Alcatraz and rendezvous with a slightly younger version of himself, who hands him Blood Vials collected from Victis - Go and watch the Richtofen(s) video fore more clarity - and afterwards immediately leave. This means Takeo, Nikolai and Dempsey have blood vials from Victis, safely sealed in cryogenic storage, and Richtofen has blood vials from the Mobsters. This is important because at the moment the cycle repeats, any ordinary matter left over from the previous cycle would cease to exist, however, as Primis ingest organic matter from beings trapped inside a completely separate dimension that exists independently of the cycle, they themselves become paradoxical and cannot be erased. Unbeknownst to Richtofen, this fits perfectly into Doctor Monty’s plan as he is able to send them forwards to the medieval Great War, thus continuing the cycle. However, when Al Arlington kills the other three mobsters, the blood vials cease to work as this independant loop that is visited as a part of the main cycle is now broken. Blood of the dead takes place after this has happened and so the Warden’s attention is now no longer focused on the mobsters and can engineer the final part of the plan, to trap Edward Richtofen and drain him of his blood (which as explained by Maxis is infused with the Aether itself due to having teleported so many times). He believes he can use this to free the Apothicons and join them in immortality, though the Shadowman has no intention of letting the Warden leave, and we see in Revelations that he can free his brethren with relative ease, making the Warden of Alcatraz nothing more than a gullible pawn. The Shadowman’s true goal was the killing of Primis Richtofen in order to ensure the cycle was broken, and opening a path to defeat Doctor Monty.* * At the time of writing the video, I believed this was the exclusive goal in this situation. Whilst still technically true, as destroying the Aether is inherent in destroying Doctor Monty and vice-versa (we learn this in Alpha Omega), the destruction (or rather Banishment... Theory soon...) of the Aether was to take precedence.
  3. With Shang, we're entering a wholly separate, pre-existing loop, as with the Alcatraz dimension (pre-BotD). Because of this, causality in the traditional sense goes out of the window. It's the reason why you can repeat the easter egg multiple times in a single game, because you're not particularly changing anything, provided Brock and Gary continue to exist within their loop.
  4. CENTER: URGNOTH - Magic Box (Twice, flipped with one on top of the other, overlaying on each other at the radical (urg/gua) LEFT (Upper): URGNOTH - Magic Box (on its side) ARKAZOR - Open ARKNA - Portal LEFT (Lower): EONGUA - Time ARKATUGUA - Space RIGHT (Upper): ARBURGNETH - Feed ARBATUK - Points NETHURGAST - Gather RIGHT (Lower): ANNETH - Weapon URGNOTH - Magic Box (on its side) So Magic Box: To Open a portal through time and space, granting a weapon, feed (the box) your gathered points I actually think it's more correct to refer to the SOE box as an Urgnoth, as clearly it's an apothicon creature, not an object. It's even listed under creatures by Treyarch.
  5. Really good thread, especially because I've had my own headcanon that relates to this for a while: We know (Dimension 1) Maxis was in the Crazy Place before he was retrieved by the MPD. However we also know that the MPD seemingly moved the Focusing Stone back to its original location - Richtofen's "Tomb" - when retrieving Maxis. Now this used to make sense when most people in the community collectively agreed that this "tunnel" was Shangri-la, and it also fit nicely with the quote in that map that infers that Maxis is the creator of the JGb. However because we know for certain he went to the Crazy Place now after the events at Der Riese facility, his misadventures in the lost city are now surely no longer canon. Or are they? (Queue Vsauce music) In Revelations, for the first time, we get to move behind the temple of Shangri-la, and what we find is a small antechamber with statues of Nikolai, Takeo and Dempsey adorning the centre (why it is just those three, however, probably deserves its own thread, as it's a theme all throughout BO3). At first, it would be very easy to dismiss this as a room from Der Eisendrache, as indeed, that area is right next to the temple, however it was never featured in Der Eisendrache. In Alpha Omega, we learn that both the site at Northern France, and the temple in the Himalayas (when it's not on Mars), both have been detected as "Potential Gateways (to Agartha)" by Broken Arrow. From our experience with these locations, we know their assessment is correct. The consideration of Shangri-la in this regard is a very nice tie-up of the Hollow Earth mythos, as it seems to imply that whilst you don't literally enter a hollow earth, you descend down until you find this gateway to the realm, interpreted by Ancients with limited science as being literally inside the earth. However only one of these locations we see with this gateway to Agartha (The Crazy Place), and it's not Shangri-la. Suspending any disbelief for a minute, if we lay out the steps, it makes a lot of sense: Maxis is teleported to Richtofen's Temple in Shangri-la He journeys down through the inner sanctum where he reaches the Gateway (The Crazy Place) Here he gains the ability to merge with Electricity (note the pseudo-keepers here with electrical abilities, again a theory for another thread) The MPD is able to find his location using the Focusing stone as a sample, swapping the two Richtofen then has to re-accquire the Focusing Stone. tl;dr The Crazy Place is under Shang
  6. I think this, and Anon's original post, are probably true. One thing I would like to say is that "pyramid" in Shadows is actually what I'll call "The Temple of Primis", the mound from origins before it was buried. Remember, the place you enter from is the very top level.
  7. That's awesome, and yeah I know "finally" is missing, however it was a conscious choice. It was featured in the DE design doc (challenge board) however it is missing from the shirt. Furthermore, I'm not sure it ever even appears in game. I could have included it, but thought it was better to try and recreate the shirt as much as possible. As well, the actual etymology for "Finally" as "Eomar" doesn't make the most sense (time-shadow), and is even made redundant by "End" as "Kareon" (time-end). I think this may have informed the decision to scrap the symbol.
  8. Almost four years ago, the entire community was told that we now had in our hands, the keys to decoding the Apothicon (and Keeper) languages. Now, with @EricMaynard (twitter: https://twitter.com/EricMaynardII), Bench (twitter:https://twitter.com/bench_appearo), and myself (as well as several others) having spend an inordinate amount of hours on it over the past week, I tell you today that this was not the case. In fact, we had barely scratched the surface of the Apothicon Language. WHAT WE KNEW: From the limited information we were selectively given by MrRoflWaffles, we knew the translations of Apothicon words into English, and vice-versa. As an example, HUMAN translates to ZOR'ARKOTH. However that was it. We knew nothing more than exact translations. WHAT WE DIDN'T KNOW: Every word in Apothicon is a single symbol, that is made up of several "radicals". These radicals have their own individual meanings and so can give context or information not only about a word, but about the way the word relates to the Apothicons as a species, or their views on it. For this, I'll provide a real-world example: If we take the English word "Wednesday", it's easy enough to just consider it a word - however if you dig into the etymology of it, you actually find a bit of history. Wednesday comes from Wodan's-day, which in turn means Odin's Day. This comes from the Viking occupation of Britain, when Odin was of course worshipped as a patron. However, without knowledge of the pieces that make up "Wednesday", this analysis would be impossible. The Same is true with Apothicon. Unfortunately however, the majority of the radicals - bar the few that Milo had shared in a single video - were totally unknown to everyone other than him, however thanks to our efforts, this is no longer the case. APOTHICON ETYMOLOGY: Looking again at Zor'Arkoth: We know this means human, but if we split it up into its component radicals (ZOR, ARK, OTH/OZ), we can learn a little bit about how Apothicons view humans. ZOR - Potential ARK - Open OTH - Change In this sense, Zor'Arkoth could be literally translated as "(being that is) Open to Change". However, given what we know about Apothicon's history with Humans, I personally believe this could be more liberally translated as "(being that is) Easily Manipulated". Another great example, not only for its lore implications but also as a practical example of translation, is the word for Apothicon - OZZOTH: If we take Ozzoth purely based on its spelling, we get the radical of "OTH/OZ" twice. However, if we instead look at its symbol, we can clearly see the radical for "NOG". There are numerous examples of radicals that feature in the symbols of words, but not necessarily their English transliterations - these can be seen much like silent letters in English, in that they are equally as important to the word, just keep in mind that they are not pronounced. It should be noted here that there is no concept of "I" in Apothicon. We get confirmation in Black Ops 4 that they operate under a hive-mind, however had we this information when it was meant to have been released four years ago, we would have been able to figure it our far sooner. OZZOTH is made up of "MY, MINE, OUR" and "CHANGE". This could be seen as a possible allusion to this idea. THE IMAGE AND THE PROCESS: The image itself is a replication of the original treyarch design document (seen in the teaser for the Awakening DLC for Black Ops 3 and printed on the shirt given to Milo) and is seemingly completely accurate, however we would be grateful if any inaccuracies are pointed out. The process itself was straight forward but equally time consuming. When we first started, we were able to dig up several images of Blundell wearing the shirt or the shirt being held up in videos, however these were often blurry. Luckily, the most important part of missing information - the radicals - were in some cases just about clear enough to make out, however this was not true for all radicals. At first, even if the radical itself was visible, the English definition appeared to be a pixelated mess. This didn't make it impossible to decode though. By looking at all words that used a specific radical, we were able to discern a lose meaning for the radical, and then by comparing to the text on the image for length and character shape, were able to eventually find the correct fitting word. Whilst at first this left a lot of uncertainty, as we translated more and used a process of elimination, as well as the methods previously described, the radical definitions became more and more accurate up until the finished product, of which I personally believe to have the totally accurate definitions (however again, if anyone can find evidence or valid counter examples, please send them to any of us as it is in everyone's best interests that this is as accurate as possible). WORD SYNTHESIS: This is the fun part. For the first time since the language was first introduced 1556 days ago in Shadows of Evil, it is now possible to make your own words in Apothicon. In order to do this, simply take the radicals that fit the word you wish to create and fit them together. As seen by many full words on the list, radicals themselves can be disassembled to make a more aesthetically pleasing word, and in some cases (e.g. Parasite, Elemental) are somewhat pictographic, and look like the thing they represent. NOTES: When looking at the language sheet, you may notice that the radicals "nool" and "yog" have no symbol. This isn't because we couldn't figure out what it was, but that there was no symbol on the treyarch design documentation itself. However here are my thought: Nool and Yog are seemingly the second and third person variants of Nog, and as such, I believe if written, would use the same radical as that of Nog, therefore that radical's reading is dependant on its context. Furthermore, you may notice certain words have either the same meaning, or same pronunciation as radicals (e.g. "Maroth" - Shadow, and "Nog" (noun)). In the case of Maroth, whilst the radical "Mar" means shadow, Maroth literally translates to Change-Shadow, so in my view can be seen as an actual physical shadow that moves and twists as the object casting it does, rather than an abstract idea that the radical represents. With Nog (noun), it is clear to see that it features the radical for hold. This indicates that the noun form refers to actual possessions (as it translates literally to "(hold) my, mine, our". Finally, the symbols for "BREAK" and "SHOCK" were not given Apothicon translations by Treyarch on their design document, further confirmed by the fact that they are impossible to obtain on Milo's translator website. CLOSING REMARKS In my opinion, this is information that the community deserved, and I feel truly privileged to bring it to you, and though I cannot speak for the others, I'm sure they would agree. Now, Lar Ozzoth otha nool Shubozzor Nethest Baresthlar.
  9. Scharfschutze. In this vote there is no contest.
  10. Ray Gun Mk. II - I love the JGb, but the effectiveness of the Mk. II puts it leagues above DG Sharfshutze - The Folly is brilliant, but I have to go with the DG-1, because of what it is and it's overall power.
  11. Unfortunately, The Timeline is canon until it isn't. That particular entry about the tower at Hanford being constructed by those under Maxis' orders ~2030 is no longer the case. In classified, we learn that as part of his agreement with the US via Operation Stapler, in exchange for Richtofen's notes and the acquisition of scientists such as Doctor Schuster, they would have to provide Richtofen with certain concessions - "CLASSIFIED 23rd March 1946 MEMORANDUM FOR FILE SUBJECT: DOCTOR RICHTOFEN'S REQUESTS - OPERATION STAPLER 1. The following is the transcription for record of Richtofen's Requests. For OPERATION STAPLER to go into effect, these stipulations had to be met. 2. This list specifically details Richtofen's personal demands - it does not specify scientists recommended for acquisition One Portrait of Richtofen to be hung in the Pentagon One American Baseball signed by your Babe Ruth Twenty of Your American Dollars: Ten Pennies, Four Nickels, Two Dimes, Two Quarters, Four 1's, One 5, One 10 One of these "American Hot Dogs" I've been hearing so much about One American Teddy Bear, speaking of... Teddy Roosevelt's Moustache from Cold Storage (I know you have it) One Polarization Device to be constructed [coordinates to be specified] Titanium Cog of My Precise Specifications J. Robert Oppenheimer's Chalkboard (not cleaned) Build a nice flower garden outside your Pentagon Facility - it desperately needs the color President Truman's Hat --Major Sawyer" "One polarization device to be constructed [coordinates specified]" As Hanford was a US site, specifically a part of the Broken Arrow initiative, I think it's safe to say that the tower in Tranzit is indeed this device. The question is: Is this a retcon - or is Richtofen utilising knowledge he ought not to have to "one-up" Maxis this time around?
  12. Personally, I would say that the research after the end of the war could be exclusively put down to Richtofen's final acts, and those of his fellow scientists. Specifically the likes of Yena and Schuster, who's strategic acquisitions by the US and Soviet authorities (masterminded, of course, by Richtofen himself) allowed them to largely continue the same research they were embarking upon at 935. An interesting lead nonetheless. Potentially gives some substance to the infamous "Brazil" quote in 'The Giant'.
  13. For those that have played through Tag der Toten's main quest, the notion that Richtofen has in some way won may seem outright incorrect - after all, we see his death, a surprise bullet to his already rotting corpse. I was very much of this way of thinking, however recently I've went back for a second look over the map, BO4 and the story as a whole, and realised certain inconsistencies with this as well as evidence that points towards this alternative view (furthermore, I will be ignoring the wishes made upon the Agarthan device, as if they have come true, those characters are - for all intents and purposes - now normal people). In Tag der Toten, we learn of the Elemental shard, and how it binds together the entire Aether through the fusion of four souls. Seemingly, it's severing is why Primis and Ultimis - two halves, share the same soul. However, Eddie is presented to us as an "innocent Richtofen", from dimension 2210, and therefore is a wholly separate soul. Now throughout Black Ops 3 and 4, one consistent point is hammered into us. Teddy is a Liar, or moreso, all Richtofen's are the same, equally egotistical, equally calculating, just always having it manifest in slightly different ways. We know that Richtofen was a meticulous planner. Even moreso now. Here's a bit of context: Originally, we presumed that Samantha entering the MPD was a deliberate mistake on his part, however, if we pick the ending of Classified to look back at the cycle, we can see that events actually play out far more in Richtofen's favour to allow Samantha to first win, forcing him to leave his body, then allow Maxis to do the same, allowing him to gain a sort of temporary immortality, allowing his resurrection when the time is right. I do not believe this is mere coincidence and, in fact, is evidence of this calculating nature. The Shadowman was constantly advising him, and once he has taken his place within the MPD, he is able to see every dimension at every point in time - simultaneously. In Alpha Omega, he confesses that he had gained all he wanted from the Aether and, throughout BO4, we learn that it is an entirely corrupting influence. Essentially, Richtofen places himself within the Aether for the exact amount of time necessary in order to gain the required knowledge (likely whether or not the cycle has been broken this time around) and then proceeds from there (This further explains the non-canon nature of his endgame for Buried, as all it essentially does is shortcut to him being able to re-manifest within the material world). It can be taken therefore that the Maxis route was not necessarily intended, as it is far from the most efficient route, but what we learn about in the radios of Classified has been planned for. Now throughout Black Ops 4, we are constantly presented with the idea of "The Way Through", which was a concept that Richtofen has written extensively about in his journal (see my thread on the journal for the heavy implications of that). We often see it scrawled in game as what initially looked like the Tower of Babel, from the Book of Genesis, and whilst the metaphor is still accurate, we actually see The Way Through in game, specifically with the ending of Tag der Toten, with Samantha and Eddie moving through it (this is corroborated by the same "tower" chalk within Tag, but featuring two figures standing at its head). The Way Through is - to Richtofen, his "back up plan". If all else fails - and what that means I'll get to shortly - it ensures his victory. In terms of said failure: as previously discussed, Egotism is inherent in all versions of Richtofen, and that most of all manifests in self-preservation (exemplified in Primis Richtofen's selfishness in the act of perpetuating the cycle). Therefore, just as the outcome of buried was not necessarily desirable but still considered, his own death was prevented at all costs... But should that happen, his victory would still be assured. This victory is twofold. Firstly, he outright states in Buried that he wishes to break the cycle, and as we learn in Black Ops 4, this means the complete separation of the Aether from the physical realm. Secondly, it's no surprise to anyone that he would want to rule this "perfect world". This is where Eddie comes into play. The very last line we hear him say (all the way back in Origins) is "And I didn't even get my turn". Interesting, no? Furthermore, from the timeline, we get this unexplained entry Primis Richtofen traveled to Dimension 2210 where he secured the soul of an innocent Richtofen and delivered it to the House where Monty gave him a physical form, named Eddie. From within the Summoning Key, the Shadowman stated "I'll be seeing you...". We never witness any interaction between Eddie and The Shadowman, however this seems equally foreboding, especially when one considers that the Apothicons are far from destroyed, just simply sealed away - in much the same way that they were in the past and subsequently broke free thanks to the meddling of Humans using the Element in their lust for power (sound familiar?). Finally, for me as a musical person, this serves as the nail in the coffin: The theme of Tag der Toten is Richtofen's Theme. Don't believe me? Listen for yourself: What do you think? Does this undermine the ending or give it a far more interesting context, and possibly some insight into the future? Feedback, as ever, is greatly appreciated.

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