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Analyzing Where Are We Going


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I have to say, the new mix of Where Are We Going is becoming one of my favorite songs in the series. Today I took a look at the lyrics to find some meaning, and I kind of realized that the song is not just about the cycle, like the original was, but about Primis Richtofen's journey. Here's the lyrics with explanations thrown in:


Where are we going from here?
Where do we go?
Are we all blinded by fear?
Where do we go? How do we know?
Need for survival is clear
We persevere without an end
Into forever, we fall
And wander on and on and on

The first half of this verse is recycled from the original, and is essentially the confusion of the survivors trapped in the cycle, wondering where they have to go next to end it, and how they will know how to find an end. Are we being so blinded by our fear, we cannot see a way out?


The second half is new, and offers some form of answer to the first half. Where are we going? Well, into forever, we will fall, we will persevere, we will survive, and we will wander... on and on and on... quite depressing.


Dust of a thousand years thrown on your path
And in the aftermath, you'll stumble forward
Mouth full of air resuscitating life
And you'll ascend and carry on and on

This verse is what really set me on the path of believing this is all about Richtofen. The "Dust of a thousand years thrown on your path" is the dig site in Origins, the location of the Great War, left to gather dust and be buried before Group 935 came upon it and dug up that "dust".


"in the aftermath" of the the dig site, Richtofen and Group 935 "stumble forward" into an ancient evil buried for a thousand years.


"Mouth full of air", the living in Group 935 uncover the dead, and they are brought back into living.


With the help of Primis, Richtofen "ascends" from darkness, and so they will "carry on and on" through their journey, eventually restarting the cycle again.

Where are we going from here?
Where do we go?
Are we all blinded by fear?
How do we know? How do we know?

In the depths, easy steps
Water flows
Fire burns, all returns
Ashes cleanse the ordinary woe

The theme of this verse is building up, beginning with easy steps, before water flows and fire burns and all is returned to how it was. Ashes cleanse any woe that Richtofen or anyone else may have, because in the end, there will always be another should the cycle continue. From the Richtofen memories trailer: "I do not regret the pain that I have caused, because none of it really matters. This moment. This... me. All of it will soon be gone." Followed up by imagery of fire burning.

In Blood of the Dead, the new Richtofen once again fears death, and he begs for his life. "Don't let me go."
"Is it the calling we hear?" is the dying Richtofen, speaking to the one who has broken the cycle as his life fades away with the song.
"How do, how do we know?" How does Richtofen know this plan will work? To let himself die, and let the others lead. To bring in Ultimis. For so long, Richtofen has followed the Kronorium's knowledge and taken it as a burden upon himself. It is the safe way to know the future. But now, the future has changed, and with it, the Kronorium. How can we know? Where do we go? It is time Richtofen make the sacrifice and take the risk, for a better tomorrow.
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That part about Richthofen's fear for death and struggle to survive got me. I like it how he, despite his heroism, idealism and urge to try so hard to do the right thing, he remains human after all with, like any living organism has, an ever-present fear of his own death. 


The Primis part in BO4 remains a bit vague for me. What is made clear is that the developers emphasizes the role of blood, and 'Aether' within it, making it somehow valuable.


Ludvig Maxis: Richtofen, are you there!? Richtofen I (static) most incredible (static) the blood! It does far more than (static) its dimension of origin! (static) (chuckles)... if as though the paradox factor wasn’t enough. If my observa...(static) is the blood itself is the paradox! We know for (static) if the body is changed at a cellular level (static) due to Element 115, resulting in side affects ranging from: memory (static) and death. But, the moment a body steps through a portal, (static) 115 (static) a different reaction. The blood! Indeed, all tissues appear to mutate und then stabilize when exposed to alternate space time realities. Und while delusions and memory (static) factors, the blood is imbued (static) aetheric energy! Herr Doctor, they (static) searched for since the very beginning (static). Your blood might not only save you, Edward, (static) change everything! I only hope you survive long enough to harness it.


Maxis: And here we are (whistling), here we are... getting almost there. Ah... AH! There we are! (laughter) Who you have thought that a rifle sight will ever be used as a transdimensional conduit! Ah, yes. Greetings Herr Doctor. I have managed to use parts of your sample to boost the signal of my transmissions. I have yet to receive any reply from your end. I pray that I am not too late. New findings have come to light. Yes, the moment one travels through a portal powered by Element 115, their blood is changed. The evidence is conclusive. Today, I have discovered that the effect is actually cumulative; the more one travels through the Aether, the more they absorb into their bodies. While undeath does not appear to ever be a risk, the potency of one's (?) cells increases. The blood of the prisoners you sampled and that of your now frozen compatriots contained trace, but significant amounts, to your blood, Edward. You have traveled through countless realities of space und time. Your blood is not only beyond potent, I fear it is a profound liability. We both know there are forces who would stop at nothing to attain such power. You must do all you can to keep it from them, Richtofen. Unless of course, theyalready have you und then all is lost.


Maxis: -tofen! Come in Richto(static) Edward, are you receiving me? Ugh, where ever you have gone, it appears to be disr(static) connections through the Aether! How this is possible, I do not know. But (static)...duce two things for certain. First, the interference cannot (static) naturally occurring phenomenon; the energy required is too great und(static) complex. Und second, if not natural then (static) someone very powerful moves against you (static) companions. (sigh) I pray (static) already too late. Everything depends on (static) Summoning Key. Without it und without the souls you promised (static) vision will never come to pass. (static) und (static) will prevail… As for the blood (static), I have come to believe that (static) your hypothesis (static) a revelation. I will continue the work, but Richtofen, (static) what you can to boost the signal. If you have the means (static) antenna array would likely (static). Stay alive, (static)tofen, keep them safe. With any luck, you will be here again, soon.


Maxis: Richtofen! (sigh) I now believe that either you have been killed or you are clearly trapped in a pocket dimension. Worst case: imprisoned by those who mean to undo existence. In the off chance that you are still on the move, I may have a solution. The power of your blood could theoretically be used to open a portal und escape your present reality. If you can direct undfocus enough energy through your blood, you may be able to tear a hole through the Aether und step through. How much blood will be required? I do not know. But given the concentration of Aether in your veins, it’s likely best to not over do it. Und there is more. I recall you mentioning something about needing protection for you and your companions; you are right to worry. The blood vials alone preserve aspects of other dimensions, yes, but if you were to ingest them and combine their Aether with your own, that would be an formidable insurance policy.


Maxis: -tofen, I must be brief, others may be listening; he has ears everywhere these days. The forces keeping you in that dimension know too much about your nature and it is clear to me now that their power is too great to leave unchecked. Total dimensional collapse is the only option; this is the only way they will stop hunting you long enough for you to complete your mission. By now I have deduced that you must be trapped in the "Alcatraz" pocket dimension. Do not be disappointed, the location of your secret lab remains a secret to most; just not me. I also know about the "Backup Plan" you have stashed away. If I may be so bold, I would recommend using it and eliminating the threat of Alcatraz for good. I can do no more good from here. Best of luck, Edward, I know you will not fail.

It appears that blood can do much more when its outside the dimension of origin, for being a form of a paradox. Element 115 changes the human body of cellular level (which we already knew: connecting the mind with the either, rezurrecting dead cells, etc). Now the interesting thing: The moment a body steps through a portal, 115 produces a chemical reaction in the blood. All bloodcell tissues appear to mutate and then stabilize when exposed to alternate space time realities. The blood will be imbued with aetheric energy! This effect is actually cumulative; the more one travels through the Aether, the more they absorb into their bodies. Richthofen's blood is the most valuable, and it must not fall in the wrong hands. Once focussed, the energy in his blood is even capable of creating a tear in space-time and open a portal.


I now get a thought that sends shivers down my spine... The map name, Blood of the Dead. The only blood that occurs in the game is that of Primis.....are they dead?

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