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The Order of Forgotten Mysteries #5: Group 601


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I know, I know, with the spoilers of the upcoming DLC old, forgotten mysteries might not be that interesting. However, it is wednesday again and I felt like making a OoFM-post again. On top of that, this subject might return at some point in the future... Enjoy reading folks, and don't forget to share your own ideas as well.


We're going back to Group 601! (yay)


The references

The first reference to Group 601 was in the co-op Der Riese loading screen in World at War. In opposition to the map's solo loading screen, the co-op loading screen has an activated bridge (power is on?) and the lamp-thing at the right is deactivated, as well as the infamous Group 935 insigma has changed into Group 601.


Afbeeldingsresultaat voor world at war der riese loading screen 


Above: the solo loading screen with 935

Under: the co-op loading screen with 601


Black Ops I reintroduced Group 601 twice, the first one being a clear imagine that can, oddly enough, only be accessed when ripping the game files seperately. It is not actually seen in-game. The second reference was made in the DLC map Berlin Wall, where the 601 insigma could be observed on a vinyl, next to a vinyl quoting 601's sort-of-motto: Stärke durch Ordnung (strenght through order). Credits to @Rissole25 for the pictures which I scavenged from an old thread of him:




Left: the Black Ops game file

Right: the vinyls in Berlin Wall


For a while we haven't had any references anymore, which made us almost think their appearance was insignificant, and perhaps even non-canon. Untill the insigma reappeared once again, this time on ground papers in many Black Ops 3 maps (most notably in the Giant, Zetsubou no Shima, and some Campaign levels). Note that the developers even edited the logo: the two SS lightning bolts have now become three bars, just like the change the Group 935 logo underwent, due to Treyarch getting rid of most Nazi references.




The insigma analysis


The logo appears to be very similar the the Group 935 one, only different in the numbers standing within. '935' is believed to be a code for ICE, a reference to the Welteis theory, which has connections with the very Vril Group 935 investigated. I would not have a small idea, however, what the numbers of '601' stand for.


Next to the logo, the picture reads 'Stufe Zwei', which means 'Stage 2', 'NZR' (?) and 'Stärke durch Ordnung', presumably Group 601's motto meaning Strenght through Order. The picture furthermore shows the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb and what seems to be two towers emitting some sort of radiation. The atomic bomb could refer to Manhattan Down, the research Nazi scientists were doing in nuclear weapons of mass destruction, eventually ending up in the hands of the Americans. The two towers remind me of the two Global Polarization Devices Richthofen demanded the US and SU to build: one at the Hanford Site and one in Shanghai:

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor tranzit towerAfbeeldingsresultaat voor die rise high maintenance

If this would be what the towers of Group 601 refer to, the Group would have close ties with Richthofen and his agenda. Perhaps, as @RadZakpak made clear in the Storybook (Spoilers alert), Group 601 could be Richthofen's split of Group 935 (that was now aligning with the Nazi government), that was responsible for building Griffin Station. The Towers could also refer to the H.A.A.R.P. and D.U.G.A., American and Soviet towers that were believed to manipulate the Ether and thus brainwash the people of Earth. There are even theories the Illuminati was behind this, as we see their symbol in both Soviet and American maps. My own thought about this is that 'Towers that manipulate the Aether and make you controll the world' is also the exact definition of the Global Polarization Devices, so maybe they are some sort of H.A.A.R.P.'s. Could this also be the 'Stage 2'? Activating the towers and eventually gain world domination?


How do you feel about Group 601, and what do you think they are? I personally see the fact they return on ground papers in Black Ops 3, even edited by the designers, as a reason to believe they are definately canon. What they are further is left unknown to me...

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I have three potential answers, one for the Der Riese appearance, one for its BO1 appearance, and one for what it could mean now. They can all potentially be true.


Der Riese


With 601's first appearance, let's remember that that very spot on the loading screen would be the player's first encounter with the Group we know so well, Group 935. We also see from the map of Der Riese that the layout may have changed considerably, and much was cut prior to release. This leads me to believe that the image was created early in development using actual plans for the map. Who's to say the infamous Nazi organization was not originally called Group 601, but was swapped to 935 when actual fine details were added. How was this detail not spotted? Either A. It was spotted and was left in due to time constraints/to add mystery, B. The developer in charge of programming this loading screen did not notice the images were different (Not every developer behind Zombies at this point was surely aware of the story going on, and that is a hard detail to spot if you aren't looking for it since the rest of the logo is the same)


I realize this explanation is kind of lame, but this was a time where the story was still in its infancy.


Black Ops I


Upon looking at that texture again today, something really struck me about it: It looks a lot like a Metal Album.

Image result for metal album covers nukeImage result for metal album covers nuke

If you look at any Heavy Metal album, there are usually images of a lot of the same things: skulls, explosives, death, destruction, war, etc. There are usually themes of such things as well, and world domination or the apocalypse are popular ones too. This is consistent with its Berlin Wall appearance since it appears to literally be an album. "Strength Through Order" totally sounds like some phrase you'd see one one as well. Stufe Zwei sounds like a badass German band name to me. My best guess why Group 601 is involved is that it was meant to be a nod for zombies players and that they liked the Group 935 logo already, and didn't want to confuse anyone that Group 935 was a band too. What does NZR stand for? Nazi Zombie Records of course. Why is there a nuke going off in the background? The album was released in 1960s East (or West, not sure from what side the map is on) Germany, during the Cold War, a time of nuclear threat, and Heavy Metal was just taking off as a genre, heavily contributed to by Germany: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Germany#Heavy_metal


So why did the first texture not appear in game? Maybe there was a map planned for release where that record would have fit perfectly in the setting, but it was scrapped and so was the album cover. But then with the DLC Berlin Wall map, they redesigned the cover, possibly because the text at the bottom could not be read or in-game the textures were not good enough to read. I think this is the most logical reason for this appearance, and unfortunately it has little to do with zombies. You could also make the case, however, that this Group 601 band in the 60s based their whole aesthetic about what little information was known about Group 935. I'm sure with Kino der Toten being in Berlin, near the wall, people living in Berlin may have at least seen inklings of what was going on.


The Real Meaning

The logo's reappearance is no coincidence and was clearly intentional. With Classified clarifying that the three Global Polarization Devices were intentionally planted around the world by Richtofen via Operation Stapler and the equivalent with the Soviets, it seems his plan would not have been complete had he actually entered the MPD prior to teleporting Maxis and Samantha away. There was more. But, Operation Shield seems to have involved unleashing the undead at Der Riese to keep them and the scientists contained. Group 935 was in disarray and disbanded, how could Richtofen proceed? By working for the Americans of course.


Introducing Stage Two: Group 601, their maxim? Strength Through Order 


With Maxis disposed of, Richtofen's enemies dead or traded away to the Soviets, and his allies such as Doctor Schuster traded to the Americans, Richtofen would now surely be hailed as a hero and given riches in America. With this foundation, he would create Group 601, and Broken Arrow would never need to be created as they would fill this role, using 115 from Groom Lake to complete stage two of the plan: Activating the GPDs, entering the MPD, and controlling the world. Only Richtofen would now know how to teleport to the Moon. This is why Schuster could never perfect this type of teleportation for Broken Arrow, Richtofen never taught anyone else. He had it all planned out perfectly! But that little girl stepped in the way...


How is this important for the future? It may not be... OR, it might be the key to defeating Doctor Monty. With rumors of a remake of the Victis maps, where all three towers appear, perhaps while Primis is at Nuketown and whatever final location DLC 4 takes us, Victis will be completing a mission to reactivate the towers for Primis in order to enter Agartha and defeat Monty once and for all. It turns out Richtofen's plan may have done more good than he even anticipated.

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@RadZakpak thank you for the great quality reply, as always. As you might know I'm a man who likes everything to be canon, so I prefer your last explanation. However, I could very well see the other two be true as well, or possibly even all of them at the same time.

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