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Quantum Immortality is Everything. Multiverse + Souls Theory.

Electric Jesus

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*cracks knuckles*


Alrighty. I've kinda been sitting on this for a while, but here goes. 


There's a theory that I'm fairly certain is canon, although it's never been referred to explicitly in-game, and I haven't heard any talk of it in the theory community, so sit down and get ready for the crash course. It more or less reconciles the Multiverse theory with the presence and mechanics of Souls in zombies. First thing's first, let's make sure we get the theory's foundation in Multiverse theory.




So first of all, the multiverse theory (or some variation) is more or less explicitly canon. Multiverse has been used a lot of different ways in the history of fiction, so let's articulate exactly what the situation is in zombies. Monty's monologue about the metaphorical hammer describes the universe splintering into "a million" distinct universes, but his use of "million" could just be his informal way of saying "infinite." We know that there are alternate universes with completely different histories and character biographies (Origins timeline vs Original) but even within certain maps, there are known mutually exclusive timelines of events. Remember all the Black Ops 3 music videos? They tended to show the characters dying / failing their mission. Bam, alternate universe. That trend has actually been around as far back as the Der Riese trailer, and I suspected back then that it was a nod to the multiverse actually. Remember the classic Der Riese clock, and how it would always tick three seconds, then reset? I always thought it was kinda suggesting that every playthrough of a map is a different "universe" or potential chain of events. Meaning that on Der Riese, only the first three seconds after you spawn in are actually "canon," because everything after that is just the infinite branching timelines of all the potential paths the player can take. 


So we're embracing the full-on Einsteinian many worlds model of a multiverse here, where deciding to put on your red shirt instead of your blue shirt splits you off into an alternate universe, of which there are infinitely many. 


Alright, now embracing this alone leaves you with some problematic questions. If multiverse is true, why is the particular story we're shown important at all, if literally any cascade of events  is equally "real?" How do souls work in conjunction with this fact? Why are the Ultimis souls special? 


Quantum Immortality


Ok, so let's just start with what the theory states. There's a branching multiverse, and everyone in it has a "soul" or consciousness. HOWEVER, only ONE of the infinite versions of each person actually has their soul. Everyone's soul follows the path that makes that individual immortal. 


What this means is that from my perspective, I've never died, and in fact I never will, and this is true of everyone actually. You might think "but wait, I see people die all the time! Clearly not everybody is immortal." Well, their consciousness already diverged from your timeline, because your immortality became mutually exclusive with theirs. Their "soul" is still conscious, but it split off from your timeline and is carrying on in a timeline where they're still alive. Any other version of them is just a "philosophical zombie," or an empty shell more or less. It talks and behaves exactly like all the others, but incidentally the consciousness is a passenger in a different iteration of that person. So from your perspective you'll live forever, and from mine I'll live forever, and same for everyone. From my perspective I can pick up a gun and point it at my head and pull the trigger repeatedly, and for me every bullet will be a dud, and I'll live forever. You on the other hand might witness me blow my brains out, but that will just be the shadow of me that died in your immortality timeline, while the "real" me is still sitting there with the zombie version of you. And that's true for everyone.




Alrighty, now let's apply this to the Zombies story. 


The entirety of the Black Ops 3 season was spent seeking out a very specific iteration of each character in order to obtain their soul. I believe that these versions of the characters were in fact the ONLY versions of them that had souls at all, and that those were their quantum-immortal selves. If you think about it, although 1.0 Dempsey and Takeo were in pretty rough shape in BO3, literally none of them would have died if Primis hadn't intervened. After they complete their mission, Primis have to perform an elaborate loophole with the blood vials to continue existing alongside the children, or the "real" versions of them that actually have souls. 


It might be kinda trippy to consider that Primis don't have souls in their bodies, especially since they are the ones driving events, reacting emotionally, etc. but yup, no souls. They aren't actually conscious but act exactly like how they would if they were. They have the same personalities, and consequently the same drive for self-preservation, so when they were scooped up by cosmic forces outside their comprehension, they naturally found a way to perpetuate their own existence, soul or not. 


Ok, other than the fact that this theory fills some gaps, you might still be thinking there isn't a huge body of evidence in its favor. There IS good philosophical precedent for this theory, but I think they sprinkled deliberate clues in. Looking back on some monty quotes from Revelations, I'm almost certain he was trying to tease at Quantum Immortality without coming right out and saying it. 


"Just so we're clear, I'm absolutely NOT talking about death. That's a whole other can of worms. Speaking of which... You know how people say when you cut a worm in half, both parts go on living? Well, they do! ...kind of. For a bit. But then one of them dies, not sure if it's the ass or the head, but that's the problem with worms. They're a bit short on distinguishing features. Uh, what was the point I was making again?" 


We can figure that the universe started out in one piece with linear time, and inhabitants that each had a soul. When the universe split, only the longest-living version of each person got the soul, because they're effectively the "highest-value permutation." 


I've also got an additional theory to tack onto this. Monty goes on to say eventually that even the Keepers were fractured across the dimensions, and presumably Monty himself. I suspect that the Shadowman is specifically an alternate version of Monty. 


Anyway that's all for now, I'm fairly certain that this Multiverse + Quantum immortality model is what we're working with in Zombies. The story of BO3 was a massive attempt to subvert all of that, so who knows where we're going next. Thoughts?

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This is it. You've done it, @Electric Jesus! You've cracked the story! I think this is the genuine explanation of the events in BO3, and earlier games. I wish I could give you brains, but for some reason the "like" button is gone for me in this thread. 


*Is a soul also immortal concerning elderly? When someone dies out of age, what happens to his soul (from his perspective)?


*How does this fit on Pablo Marinus being both a king/knight in the end of the 1200s and the Mexican test subject of Group 935 in the 1940s. And why can in one universe his 1940s self see part of his soul's medieval life. What could have caused this?


*What is the effect of zombification of a person with a real soul? Remember the lyrics of the Shi No Numa song the One? It is about a soul being damned, cursed if you will, in a zombie body. Not speaking of a philosophical zombie like you mention, but a real undead maggot sack.


*Can this theory be applied on Mob of the Dead and Shadows of Evil? Only the cursed survive.

14 hours ago, Electric Jesus said:

After they complete their mission, Primis have to perform an elaborate loophole with the blood vials to continue existing alongside the children, or the "real" versions of them that actually have souls. 

I still don't fully get this. Would you mind explaining why the blood vials keep them in existence deeper?


Your theory makes me genuine curious to the continuation of the story. Why does Doctor Monty wants the real souls of Richthofen, Samantha, Takeo, Nikolai and Dempsey? 


I have little time now but I'm coming back on this. Once again, great work.

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Alright, so at one point Monty says that Richtofen went around collecting the souls, because they were the key to "closing off the other dimensions." I suspect that doing this was supposed to wipe out EVERY version of the O4 EXCEPT for the children. All the splinters were supposed to re-collapse into one "real" main timeline again, but Primis were persistent so they found a way to survive and piggyback on that with the blood.


Now, they don't really explain the mechanics behind the blood vials very thoroughly, but generally we know that Primis drank the blood from a closed-off dimension, and that paradox stopped them from disappearing. A bit of a shaky explanation, 


we don't really know what their specific plans for the kids are, other than just keeping them safe. That's one of the main mysteries where we have nothing to go on. 


Monty does say that The House is a "Fresh Start," so it might literally just be that Monty wanted to get all their souls in the same place so he could start over the universe. Prior to that, everyone's souls got scattered across hella dimensions, so if Monty could re-consolidate all the souls and bring them together to start over, that might be a move. 

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Hmm, very interesting, I can agree with most of this. My only question is your meaning behind immortality. By immortality, I'm sure you don't mean their body cannot be killed since we do see the Ultimis souls' bodies die by very normal means (Katana in the chest, shotgun blast, shutting off life support). Is what you are saying that the souls themselves are immortal, and though their bodies die, the souls are harnessed and brought to the house? That brings up another question of what happens after Revelations inside the house that resets the time loop and puts the souls back into bodies, that also causes Monty to forget what has happened. I really like this theory, it gives me some understanding why Primis was so important, as despite the fact that they do not have immortal souls, they drank the blood of Victis and Sal and Finn, and so they were able to preserve their existence despite Monty attempting to wipe out all other traces of them.


Another question I have, however, is about this cipher from Zetsubou:


"Edward, as you know it is imperative you and the group find the exact versions of yourselves that I have highlighted in each universe. Only by killing that version of yourself in that particular universe at that particular moment in time will we be successful once each of your other selves are killed across all the universes. Remember, we are only immune because we opened the portal in France but I am afraid this might not be permanent. I fear there is something M isn't telling me and that there is not much time left for us."


Maxis mentions not only killing the specific bodies of their souls, but also killing them at the right particular time. What significance do you think there is to the time they are killed? Does it have something to do with what they experience at that time? I have always thought that these "immortal souls" are so special because they are the most pure versions of themselves. The Nikolai in Gorod appears to be the most broken and angry Nikolai we have ever seen caused by his drinking in grief. Perhaps only after his rampage in Stalingrad could he be at his purest to be collected? In Zetsbou, Takeo is killed at the peak of his suffering. I'm not so sure about Dempsey, and we never saw the version of Richtofen that was collected. Perhaps he was the most evil, and from what Primis Edward saw, that is what made him hate the version from the Giant so much.


Also, another idea to add to this is that perhaps with each cycle the amount of diverging paths is expanding infinitely, even if there is still only one original immortal soul somewhere in it all. I hate to bring up the show, but Rick and Morty had a somewhat similar idea. Essentially due to their manipulation of time, by having an uncertain thought or action, they create an alternate version of their timeline, which continues to expand as different versions of themselves make different choices. Throughout the episodes it continues to expand exponentially, and the versions of the characters can "hear" the other versions of themselves like they are bleeding through. In the end, they manage to merge back to their original timeline. Here's an image from the episode:


I think a similar idea could be going on here, that after Richtofen began meddling with the MTD and 115 the timeline began to split, and got to the point where we are now in-game. Perhaps Monty's goal with collecting the souls was to forcefully merge all of these souls back into one singular timeline and abandon all the others for the sake of simplifying things. It would make sense and Monty seems to show some disdain for Primis and other versions of them for mucking with time and making his job so much harder. His end game appears to be bringing everything into his own "perfect" world where he has total control. It would make sense that Primis Richtofen is against this, as he wants the divergent version of himself, and eventually the rest of Primis, to continue living.

3 hours ago, anonymous said:


*How does this fit on Pablo Marinus being both a king/knight in the end of the 1200s and the Mexican test subject of Group 935 in the 1940s. And why can in one universe his 1940s self see part of his soul's medieval life. What could have caused this?



I've pondered this too, and after @Electric Jesus's theory, I think this must mean the version in the original timeline is the version with Pablo's immortal soul. Perhaps with no where to go and no one to collect a soul upon death, the immortal soul floats around in search of a new body before being reincarnated in the 1900's. "Accept your fate, begin anew." As Richtofen says. This may also be why Richtofen can continue bringing Primis back to life as seen in Die Rise: These are their souls, and Richtofen has the power to manipulate them and place them into identical bodies. The bodies they see in round infinity in Buried's easter egg are just another, non-immortal version of themselves. It would also explain the Mob of the Dead cycle: Whoever is in control of immortal souls can continue to place them in bodies and kill them as long as they desire.

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To give you an example to explain, I read a short-story that grappled with Quantum Immortality. The main character grows old and watches his wife die of old age, so he tries to kill himself, but fails every time. He comes to realize that he is basically immortal, because his mind just continues in the timeline where the gun jammed, the rope snapped, he vomited up the poison, etc. he ends up being like 120 years old, unable to die.


That honestly might have been what was going to happen to each of the O4 before Primis went off-script and killed them, but then again thats just one manifestation of this theory. There are multiple ways that "immortality" can play out, but in short, to answer your question @anonymous from any given person's perspective, they will never experience themself dying, or their consciousness ceasing. 


Well, the only characters whose souls are relevant to the main story are Ultimis, so we have no idea what the soul-status of any other character is (except mini-Maxis, who was stated as having no soul.) 


We have no idea which Pablo was the "real" one, and chances are it's not even necessarily the test-subject version of him, just statistically. Like, the Takeo soul from Zetsubou is probably in an entirely different universe than Gorod, so each person's soul kinda has "its own universe" because there are just so many universes and not enough souls to fill them all up. 


To be fair, this is kinda obvious and dumb, but it might be the case that the path the souls took to immortality was just the path to Monty's house. I mean hell, that sounds like a successful attempt at achieving quantum immortality, getting to basically God's house, turned into a child, and watched after forever. These souls definitely played the long con. 


One thing i can't really answer now is how souls "work" in this universe. For instance, when they first introduced the soulbox mechanic in zombies, I was like "alright alright, but this is a sci-fi game. That's just their way of visualizing you like, harvesting the 115's energy from the zombie's body." But then they made the existence of souls canon, which makes this really troubling. Still, I think I have an answer. 


It might seem like the zombies have souls, since when you kill them, sometimes a wisp of light will leave and fill up a chest / tube. I argue that this is NOT a soul. We know that the summoning key can handle souls, and it's the most powerful artefact in existence. I doubt those random chests on the ground in Origins were meticulously harvesting and preserving the souls of each zombie you killed. Richtofen says they "draw energy from matter, living OR dead." That makes me think that the whole soulbox thing / powering up the MPD is more of an energy-mass equivalence thing. Also, Monty describes this "energy" in more detail in Revelations. He talks about the "spark of life," which the Apothicons are harvesting. Hell, the first creature to have its "soul" enter the MPD is a rat that Schuster killed. If rats have souls, all bets are off. I suspect that all living things have the spark of life, but not a soul necessarily, and they are 2 different things. 

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This sounds like a topic @NaBrZHunter should take part in, concerning his research to 'souls' and 'life force' in the Zombies story. And I self agree with you that life force and souls are different things. Imagine Victis is dead, they have no life force anymore but yet a soul that MPD Richthofen can replace in their dead bodies. 


Talking about the universes: The different old Takeo, Nikolai and Dempsey find their selves indeed in different fractures, but not universes. It are the Deception/Agonist/etc fractures of the same original universe, unlike for example Origins' "Dimension 63", which was an entire different universe. This makes me curious: So the 4 original characters containing souls actually originated from the same universe, the "Original Universe". I don't want to judge too quick, but maybe every person having a soul comes from this original universe. And that every other universe has soulless humans (e.g. Primis and Origins Maxis'). Another explanation could be that once the original universe began to fracture, these characters gained their soul. So that they didn't had a soul before it.


Two questions once again:

*Would you mind explaining the Der Rise clock thing again? I think I still don't fully get it.

*Soulless Maxis let the Shadowman into Monty's House Dimension. In the cutscene, we see some kind of yellow light coming out of the Summoning Key into Maxis'. Is this the Shadowman's soul? Could be, since it looks a bit the same as Richthofen's soul swapping with Samantha in Moon. One issue: Where did Maxis' body went to? And where did the Shadowman's body appear from? Swapping a soul does not mean swapping a physical body, right?

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22 hours ago, anonymous said:

Talking about the universes: The different old Takeo, Nikolai and Dempsey find their selves indeed in different fractures, but not universes. It are the Deception/Agonist/etc fractures of the same original universe, unlike for example Origins' "Dimension 63", which was an entire different universe.

That's nicely put. 


The Der Riese clock thing is a bit of a long shot, but it's just always how I've looked at things. Let me try to explain. 


So obviously in our story, the characters arrive at Der Riese, do some stuff, and then teleport to Kino. But here's the problem. There's a million routes the player can take through the map, so you have to ask if any player-driven actions can be considered "canon," you know? like, did the characters arrive at Der Riese, shoot some zombies, repair some boards, hit the box, then leave? Or alternately, did our heroes camp in the spawn til round 20, go down a couple times, buy hella perks and then leave? Get what I'm saying? There's infinite "paths" the player can take, so is any one of those paths like "the real one" that they took? 


Consequently, my idea has always been that literally every playthrough of a map is a different fracture. Since a lot of what they "actually" did isn't set in stone, I imagined that every path the player can take is an equally valid potential route the characters took in-canon. 


This is true on every map, but I always thought the der riese clock specifically was a hint at this, because it seems to me that it's saying "literally only the first 3 seconds of your game are set-in-stone story-wise. The characters  spawned in, and that's it. That's all that's "confirmed." after that, you're just loose in the soup of a million divergent paths they could have taken before they get to Kino, the next set-in-stone "confirmed" event. 


This is all kinda a side-effect of zombies having a semi-linear story but completely nonlinear sandbox-y gameplay. This is just my attemp to reconcile those, and Blundell has stated that there's nothing that is ONLY a gameplay feature. Everything is accounted for in the story. 


I hope i articulated that well enough. I'll get back to you on that second question. 



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On 4/26/2018 at 10:49 PM, Electric Jesus said:


You wrote how in the original Der Riese only the first three seconds are "canon" and everything afterwards is in a different universe, which I can get behind, because even the slightest variation, makes a new universe. But do you really think our boy Jimmy Z had that in mind so early on? I always was under the asumption Jizzy B was the guy responsible for the whole multiverse plot.


Other thoughts not related to the topic in the following spoiler:



I missed you, my beautiful woman.

We still haven't played, for reasons I shall write you in a pm.


I am glad you are back and I hope to see you back when BO IIII is being revealed, just like back in 2012 when we shot the sh*t and didn't give a damn. :')


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5 hours ago, The Meh said:



I read "Quantum Immortality" and I was immediately hooked. I'm gonna edit this comment later and give my thoughts, as... simply, I don't have the time to read this yet, but... WOW. I've gotta read this thing.

I felt exactly the same. This theory brought me so many new thoughts as well as new questions that I didn't really knew/know how to reply

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Interesting theory! The consciousness jumping reminds me of the anime Steins;Gate. 

Your theory accounts for why the Primis Crew started to have memories of their other lives. It could be their consciousness starting to bleed over. 
You got me thinking. Maybe the insurance policy was actually Primis stealing the souls of Ultimis? That is why Monty had to banish them instead of erasing them. It would also explain how they arrive in the Hellish version of Mob of the Dead as they were sent to the Afterlife. 

You also raise a good point about Souls being separate to one’s Lifeforce. For example, I know in Greek and Egyptian mythology there is a concept that one’s consciousness/personality is separate from their life-force. I’m sure this belief extends beyond Classical and Egyptian mythology too. 
Ka and Ba being a prime example.

There is one question I have. Do you think the Multiverse was created from the events taking place during Moon? The achievement was called Big Bang Theory. 

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