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The Meh

Why the Keepers and Nova Crawlers/Jumping Jacks ARE related... [WARNING: Crackpot theory!]

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Ever since Black Ops III was released to us, we have been introduced to new aspects of the storyline, and in such, have been introduced to the race of the Apothicon and the Ancient Order of the Keepers. In gaining the knowledge of their existence, we began to ask ourselves: “What are they?”. In so, people began to deduce the idea that the Keepers and the Nova Crawlers/Jumping Jacks are almost the same thing… and yet they truly are not the same entity. Although, the idea’s not jaded. So, although I would love to talk about the Apothicon today, my primary focus is on the Keepers and the Crawlers. Added, I would like to break the fold a bit and explain my stance on the relations of the Nova Crawlers/Jumping Jacks to the Keepers.

Before getting into too much… let’s have a quick rundown on what aspects have been learned, akin to the Keepers (mainly) and the Apothicon.

In both a gameplay and storyline perspective, the Keepers are interesting, in that the perspective of if they are supposed to be the good guys or bad can... sometimes be jaded, seeing as we were “killing” them for the Shadows of Evil rituals, and then proceeded to help them ensnare the Shadow Man within the Summoning Key soon after. For their help, they were granted the Summoning Key, which could have - more than likely - saved their universe entirely from the zombies, but Richtofen had taken it instead, thusly dooming said universe and crew, and the Summoning Key being shifted out of Keeper posession. It is likely possible to say that they were only making an attempt at stopping them from falling for the Shadow Man's deception, and I don't disagree with that in looking at this the way I do... but there is more to consider.

With Der Eisendrache entering the fold, we end up learning a number of things about both the Apothicon and the Keepers (to some extent). Some of the more interesting things to note include:

-On Portrait #3 for the Wolf Bow upgrade quest’s first step, an event similar to the Apocalypse Ascendant portion of the Shadows of Evil EE had occurred, summoning a huge monster in the sky, and with it, numerous other entities with it. This implies that the Apothicon have indeed meddled with humanity’s affairs before. Akin to that, we can also assume that the Keepers had involvement here, although that is not entirely known to us at this time.

-The Keepers have been around since the beginning of the story. We can assume this with Samantha’s drawing of a Keeper entering her room at night.

-Group 935 has had knowledge on the Keepers, and have encountered them before. There are two main things that emphasize this:

#1: The film reel going within Sam’s/Maxis’s rooms shows an autopsy of a Keeper. A picture of this will show here:


#2: The notion that they have protocols and alerts on Griffin Station implies this, and that the Keepers are a probable danger to the MPD. This can be deduced with the arrival of the Keeper to the station, and Groph’s reaction to it, with which I will provide a quote here:

"Grrrr.... augh! Mein Gott! Attention all stations! We have a security breach! We have a Keeper manifestation within the facility! The MPD is under threat! Don't come any closer! Stay back!"


Now… I know the info I’ve stated is extensive, and a number of the things I’ve mentioned may be based solely on implications and ideas, but this entire theory I’m about to state is based on that, hence why this is a huge crackpot theory.

With the combined knowledge of Group 935’s studies on the Keepers/Apothicon, the Keeper’s anatomical features, and said comparison to the Nova Crawlers/Jumping Jacks…
...instead of the known belief that they are both the same thing, or relatively close to being the same genus, species, or any form of genetic mutation similar to each other, I’d believe that we are looking more at Group 935’s failed attempts at recreating the Keepers in human form.

What draws me to conclusions like this… mostly can be found above in what I have stated. Added into this, I believe it is best we note the similarities in Crawler anatomy, while I elaborate my belief.


Judging by the timeline to which we’ve been given these variations, it would be best to say that the original research into Keepers and recreating their anatomy in human form would be… highly rudimentary, even for the likes of Group 935. The original Nova Crawlers (just regular zombies that blow up when killed with traditional bullet weapons, spewing Nova 6 around its vicinity) were the first real advancement towards molding them into human form, albeit a highly rudimentary and all-around failure as an experiment. Group 935 may have successfully managed to give them the outer looks of Keepers, with the lack of eyes, row(s) of teeth, and claw-arms. But, from what I can assume, they believed that Nova 6 would change the human anatomy entirely, possibly remolding the insides of humans to create anatomy similar to that of the Keepers. Hard to believe, surely, but the key thing to denote is that it did not work.

The second variation of the Nova Crawlers we received, while grasping more towards its anatomical similarities and reaching closer to what they are, is harder to explain scientifically, and still fails. The ideal research I’ve theorized and stated above still stands, but the fascinating detail is that these Nova Crawlers can teleport. They phase at certain times, jumping forward a small distance. This, while being crudely effective and more similar to how the Keepers work, still fails due to the Keepers not exactly having this attribute entirely similar, and the fact that the Keepers themselves will tend to travel through portals… “rifts”, if you will.

The third and final variation we can denote is the Jumping Jacks, which are… a very highly advanced variation to the Crawlers we know, although lacking what truly embodied the research that was first implemented. These versions of the Crawlers don’t have Nova 6 in them, but they phase more erratically, and act more erratically, being able to have huge boosts in stamina. The outer looks still are embodied, but it fails to keep the true goal in mind (to mirror Keeper anatomy in humans), hence why the experiment fails.


In short, my belief is that it’s safer to say that the Nova Crawlers and Jumping Jacks are not related in being the same thing, but are more-so just a failed experiment, Group 935’s attempt at mirroring the form of an otherworldly being in humans, in an attempt to reach powers and might that they cannot possibly understand.

That’s all I’ve got to say. What do you guys think? It’s… hugely crackpot, but it’s not improbable, no? Speak your mind down below.


Per aspera ad astra.

-The Meh

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There is definitely a correlation between their appearances - no secret about that.

But the one thing that should be noted is beyond the teleporting Nova Crawlers from Moon, the Jumping Jacks were actually a result of evolution from the original Kino der Toten versions rather than a failed experiment. I say this because Group 935 disbanded after Griffin Station was overrun with zombies ala Samantha entering the MPD back in the 1940s. The Jumping Jacks we see in Die Rise are alive in 202X...so obviously G935 wasn't around to create more of these.

Other than that, it is very possible that in the original timeline, there were only historical notes from books by Maxis that showed what these ancient beings looked like. They probably weren't as ancient-looking with their Black Sun robes, but rather a very bare anatomy. I would dive into the very thought that the Keepers were older and more powerful versions of the typical Vril people we've come to learn over the years. I mean c'mon - we see the return of the Vril Device in Der Eisendrache which actually produces the spirit of a Keeper AND we still see the slot for the MPD when we bring it from Moon.

Tl;dr: I agree that they look the same and are modeled after the Keepers, which a personal note that they may have even been Vril themselves.

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