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RadZakpak

The Order of Forgotten Mysteries #7: Zombie Eyes

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to the Order of Forgotten Mysteries!

 

Today we will be discussing a topic that has been around for years with no definitive answer in sight, and even with the release of Alpha Omega the question is raised again: What do the Zombies' eyes signify? This seemed like a simple question with a simple answer: It's about who's in control. However, this assertion has been challenged a couple of times in the past, and now this mystery has still yet to be solved.

 

Let's review the known eye colors and the maps they appear in.

 

Yellow/Orange

Maps: Nacht, Verruckt, Shi No Numa, Der Riese, Kino, "Five", Ascension, Call of the Dead, Shangri-La, Moon (Pre-egg), Nuketown (Before round 30), Buried (Post Maxis End Game), Origins, Shadows of Evil, The Giant, Der Eisendrache, Zetsubou No Shima, and Classified

CoD_Zombies.jpg

This color is typically associated with Samantha Maxis. It would be easy to assume that while Samantha's soul is inside of the MPD, the eyes are orange as they switch to blue immediately upon Richtofen switching his soul into the MPD. This, however, is a tricky assumption to make, as there are numerous examples of times when eyes are orange where Samantha CANNOT be in the MPD. This includes Nacht and Verruckt, which take place before she enters the MPD on the timeline, Origins and Shadows of Evil, which take place in Dimension 63, Shadows of Evil not involving Samantha at all, and TG and DE which take place in fractures where the MPD is never occupied by Samantha, but it empty when it is teleported to the castle. 

 

It is not fair, however, to say that the orange eyes have no association with Samantha. In every map with the orange eyes, the announcer is the demonic version of Samantha. One recent quote that is intriguing regarding these eyes is this one from Classified: 

Quote

Layman: The soldier was gonna die anyway. Hm... Doctor? Are you alright?

Schuster: Oh my apologies, Layman. I'm distracted by the eyes... They're yellow.

As a member of Group 935 for years, Schuster must have seen a ton of zombies throughout testing, and yet, why is he so intrigued by the yellow in the zombies' eyes during his time at Broken Arrow? The best explanation for this is that they match the eyes of the zombies that Samantha unleashed at Griffin Station after Maxis' death. Indeed, the following audio reels from this one explore Schuster warning the others in Broken Arrow about Samantha. He is aware of the eyes' connection to her, and that she is still around.

 

One last interesting thing to note, in the Maxis end game for Buried, when Richtofen's soul is removed from the MPD, the eyes of the zombies turn back to orange, and yet, there is no announcer on the map. It is silent when powerups are picked up.

 

Blue

Maps: Moon (Post Egg), TranZit (And all of Green Run), Nuketown (After Round 30), Die Rise, Buried

3be127704ccfd8d542b936df71646335.jpg

This color is most certainly associated with Edward Richtofen. Immediately upon entering the MPD, all zombie eyes turn blue, and upon Maxis winning in Buried they lose their blue. Eddie says in the Origins end cutscene while playing with Sam that he believes that zombie eyes should be blue. In the Maxis end game, Maxis will place Edward's soul into a zombie body which will have, of course, blue eyes. In the Richtofen end game, Edward enter's Stuhlinger's body, and he gains blue glowing eyes whenever Richtofen speaks. It is always associated with Richtofen as the demonic announcer.

 

 

Red

Maps: Mob of the Dead, Gorod Krovi, Revelations, Blood of the Dead

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With their first appearance in Mob of the Dead, it seemed that the Warden, or whatever Ancient Evil was in control was responsible for the red eyes, as the announcer was completely different. This, however, is thrown out the window with Gorod Krovi. There is seemingly no explanation for their role in the map and why Samantha is the announcer. 

 

It has been speculated that the eyes are associated with the Shadowman, Dr. Monty, or some other entity that has a role in these particular maps. While Blood of the Dead confirms that the Shadowman has a role in influencing the Warden of Alcatraz, and his control in Revelations would make sense, this does not explain how he would control them in Gorod Krovi as he is still trapped in the Summoning Key by that point. Dr. Monty on the other hand would make sense in Gorod and Revelations as in Gorod he made his first appearance calling out to Primis, and we now know he has a hand in perpetuating the cycle, which Gorod is a key part of.

 

Light Purple

Maps: Origins (Templar Zombies)

latest?cb=20130820025704

While I was initially skeptical about these eyes, believing that lighting made them appear different, they are 100% different from the normal orange-eyed zombies on the map. These templar zombies only spawn under the dig site and inside the Crazy Place. They seem to work alongside the regular orange-eyed zombies in attacking the player, and are the first attackers in the outbreak. Notably many of the templars bear a black sun symbol on their chest:

 latest?cb=20140626111705

This is the very same symbol seen on the robes of the Order of the Keepers:

 latest?cb=20151224002841

 

Could these templars hold the spirits of long-dead Keepers from the Great War? Or were they petitioned by the Keepers to, even in death, defend the dig site so that the 115 could never be utilized by the Apothicons again?

 

White

Maps: Alpha Omega

alpha-omega-769x1024.jpg

While it seemed Treyarch had forgotten the debates regarding eye color, they have thrown us another curve-ball in giving the zombies white eyes in Alpha Omega. This seems to be signified by Avogadro being inside the APD at Camp Edward. This is all fine and dandy, until you realize that Samantha is still inside the MPD. The Samantha announcer from Classified remains the same, and yet the eyes have changed. 

 

Could this be an area-specific control, where Avogadro can only control them within the limits of Camp Edward? This seems unlikely, as in the original timeline, according to Alpha Omega's radios, the Avogadro is still within the APD as of 2025, and in Nuketown Zombies the eyes are orange. It is possible, however, that after the explosion caused by drilling, the APD and Avogadro inside were destroyed, and thus Samantha regained control.


Zombie eyes, seem to correlate with electricity in a lot of cases. In TranZit when an EMP is thrown near a zombie, they will lose their connection with the Aether, becoming harmless, and losing all color in their eyes. The Galvaknuckles make short work of them compared to, say, a knife, or a gun. With that in mind, it may be obvious to see how using the mind-control abilities of the APD and his own electrical powers, the Avogadro could take control of zombies in the vicinity.

 

 

Green

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Zombies' eyes turn green when they are friendly. This can be caused by the Turned/Brain Rot ammo types or the Ctrl-Z Elixir. They are simply short-lived zombies that swipe at other zombies before bleeding out. Their story significance is most likely little to none.

 

If there is any that I missed, let me know. What do you make of this situation? Was this thread eye-opening?

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Yellorange

Maps : ...Nuketown(before round 25)...

 

Blue

Maps : ...Gorod Krovi(the resuscitated zombies(and controlled?) by Valkyrie Drones)

 

Light Purple

Maps : None, it's just a strange effect of cinematic, in Origins, I see it just blue and in the game files too.

 

White

Maps : In TranZit, "Him" sometimes grumbles like a zombie and he obviously has white eyes, but we don't care the growl must be a glitch. By cons if I remember right the friendly Thrasher of Zetsubou No Shima also has white eyes.

 

Green

When I will succeed entering in the MPD, don't fear of the dark, my army of greenish dying light will guide you to eternal sleep.

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EYE COLOURS

I am not sure and have absolutely no evidence for this, but could it all be related the the Aethereal being's proximity to the area? We always assume the occupant resides in the MPD, but that is actually merely it's cryogenically frozen body. It's soul has entered the Ethereal plane, which I believe is existing around everything. Quotes of Gersch, stating that "she is coming" and "she is close" make me think an Aethereal being is not always present at one and the same point, but rather, it is dynamic and able to move. In Classified's intro we see Samantha floating in the Pentagon, commanding the undead to attack the characters. In reality, of course, we aren't able to see her but she might very well be around. And this could be the reason of the eye colour. The moment Schuster saw the eyes being yellow again could be due to the different way the zombie was created....or due to Sam's proximity. "Richthofen's" zombies having blue eyes could be because he is watching nearby, following Victis' process. About the Avogadro, I am not entirely sure if the white is really his colour, or if this is the default zombie eye colour. I could see the APD being too weak to have the MPD's capabilities in controlling the zombies, and the undead seen in Camp Edward simply being regular, uncontrolled zombies. Thinking about Nuketown, I am not sure why the zombies in NKZ would have yellow eyes, as at the moment Sam would probably be busy in Griffin Station, attacking Ultimis. This theory is just a thought, and has alot of errors. It would not explain the eye colours in BO3 and Origins as well.

 

The fact the zombies in the Crazy Place wear the Schwarze Sonne, the Keeper symbol, and guard Agartha make me associate these beings with the Keepers more. The zomfibied knights in the tombs, guarding the element for knowledge-hungry scientists would perfectly fit with this. After all, they did succeed in keeping the element at the location. Purple is, however, associated with 'Hell', but Agartha is by some said to be Hell. What I also don't seem to understand is that the Apothicans in Shadows of Evil have yellow eyes, but after Shadowman's defeat I believe they are purple (is that right?), eventually still leading to the devouring of this universe. So who was in charge of the Apothicans now?

 

Red is...weird. In Blood, we know the Warden was in charge, possibly corrupted by the Apothicans. Mob was part of this trap, so I assume it is Warden/Apothican here as well. Note that in the Cycle, Blood, Mob, Gorod and Revelation happen after each other respectively. So something odd happened at the very moment the mobsters were trapped, and Primis arrived there.

 

I'm coming back on this when I have any new ideas.

 

COLOURS & ENERGY

Okay so, eye colour is also heavily correlated with a type of energy.

 

Richthofen, Buried: "All this talk about energy, it is so vague, ja? Just think of the big ones, positive and negative, north and south, light and dark, good and....HAHAHAHAHA...evil!"

 

This is said during the Lantern step, in which Richthofen needs the energy from the Witches (purple) and Maxis those of the undead. This step shows already the difference between two types of energy, one positive and one negative. 

 

Now in Revelations, we can see very distinct 'red' and 'blue' rays in the sky, possibly under influence of Shadowman and Monty battling for power and stability. We have seen so many applications of these two different colours that I am of the believe that this is the manifestation of what Richthofen called 'the big ones' in Buried. Two angels. Two energies. Who is red and who is blue, I don't know, but it is interesting that purple is the conjunctions of both.

 

However, @AetherialVoices found another way of looking into this:

 

"In Revelations we were given four "Runes of Creation" and their importance appears to be woefully overlooked. In many creation myths, the use of symbolic elements (typically water, fire, wind, and earth) in the shaping of creation are quite prevalent. Now we see these "elements", Shadow, Light, Fire, and Electricity being used in Zombies cannon. We can clearly see the two sides of the Aether in the skybox of Revelations, with the blue and red sides. However, these are not the Light and Dark Aethers. Both the Light and Dark Aethers share these red and blue elemental energies. However, they both have a unique energy of their own. The Dark Aether has the "Shadow Energy" (Purple), and the Light Aether has the "Light Energy" (Green). The direct influence of Light and Shadow energy is quite rare, however the use of the other two aetherial energies is quite common."

 

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23 hours ago, Schrödinger said:

When I will succeed entering in the MPD, don't fear of the dark, my army of greenish dying light will guide you to eternal sleep.

Can't tell if it is a joke or you're serious, but it doesn't really matter, cause I'd welcome it anyway.

 

---

I miss the blue eyes, they looked the best and let us not forget the fire sale jingle from Richtofen was the best.

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I'd like to bring this thread back to life because I believe the answer to the most mysterious eye color, red, has been answered. In the wake of Tag der Toten and the end of the storyline, seeds have been left to explain this mystery which I would like to explain.

 

In Tag der Toten we are introduced to Apothican Blood: A collection of smaller organisms that form a hive-mind and make up the blood of the massive Apothicons, like the one we see in Revelations.

maxresdefault.jpg

 

It just so happens that the zombies in Tag der Toten have red eyes. Given Alpha Omega's confirmation that an Aetherial entity close enough can take control of the undead, it is reasonable to assume the red eyes are a result of the Apothican Blood, which can form coherent thoughts and actively fights against Victis as they try to harness it. Don't believe there is a connection yet? I'd like to remind you of the first time we saw red eyes in Zombies, the first time that I neglected to mention in this very thread. 

latest?cb=20110626151251

 

That's right, Russian Cosmonaut Zombie Monkeys are the first enemy to have red eyes. What is the significance? Allow Dr. Yena and Dr. Gersh to explain:

Quote

Gersh: How are the experiments coming, Doctor Yena?

 

 

Yena: Fascinating, Anton, truly fascinating. The blood is not so much fluid as it is very much alive. It moves, it changes shape at will, it reacts to our touch.

 

Gersh: Alive? How is this possible?

 

Yena: I'm not sure. One theory is perhaps the creature itself was more of a vessel and that its blood is made up of million different organisms that control it. Like a crew piloting a ship, the creature died but the organisms inside survived, trapped at the bottom of the ocean.

 

Gersh: Is it sentient? How is it able to move?

 

Yena: The blood uses negative space which exists between molecules. This negative space provides an influx of energy. Which we believe fuels the blood, giving it the ability to move.

 

Gersh: Do you still believe that this blood is suitable for our primates? For rocket testing?

 

Yena: Absolutely. The blood. gives them rejuvenation abilities, making them more powerful, stronger. If a monkey is on the brink of death and given an injection, it makes a full recovery in a matter of minutes. The only trade-off is they become more angry, hostile, even violent in some cases.

 

Gersh: Is this a problem?

 

Yena: It's manageable. But I'm confident monkeys given an injection of this blood will survive space flight.

 

Gersh: Wonderful news. I think we can move on to the next phase of the program. You should prepare a serum for mass production. Can you tell me more about this negative space?

... .... ....

 

Ah, so this is the origin of the space monkeys in Ascension. Seems like a strange thing to answer, until you make the connection between the Blood and the Monkeys, and realize this may be more an explanation for the red eyes.

 

Let's review the maps that contain red-eyed zombies and discuss the Blood's connection.

 

Mob of the Dead/Blood of the Dead

The presence of red-eyed zombies in Alcatraz might seem to contradict this theory immediately, with the lack of direct appearances by anything Apothicon. However a portion of the Blood of the Dead easter egg may have been an early appearance of the Apothican Blood being used for another purpose:

Blood_of_Dead_Easter_Egg_29.JPG?width=64

These orb/portal looking things are spawned by an arc of red light emanating from the lighthouse, and at each location interacting with the orb recounts the story of inmates of the prison, their souls trapped here to replay these moments over and over again, much like the Mobsters and Primis. Here's a picture of Apothican Blood:

maxresdefault.jpg

Now we know that the Warden was a hardcore Apothicon fanatic, going so far as to commit suicide to do their bidding. With blood as a running theme, he may have acquired Apothican Blood to use on himself and the mobsters to keep them coming back over and over in their endless cycle. Interestingly... their blood is later used on Primis. Interesting, but let's move on to the next map.

 

Gorod Krovi

Barring the name of the map itself, which translates to City of Blood, what evidence is there for the Apothicon Blood appearing here? I'm glad you asked.

th?id=OIP.v61N0PNrFUOad6CaXR9EAwHaEK&pid

Quote

Division 9 has completed the ressurection of the ancient beasts for your eastern front. We expect Group 935 to reciprocate the favor.

These "ancient beasts" being referred to may not actually be other dragons, but instead the Apothicon beasts, whose blood we are discussing today.

Quote

The  specimens  have been manufactured to be asexual, we felt it was best to remove the primal urges of the sexes as this will make them far easier to control. That being said they are still extremely dangerous. You must have the mechanical control collars and proper frequencies set and applied when the specimens reach the juvenile stage after seeing what they are capable of your stalemate on the eastern front with the russians will soon come to an end."

Quote

Sophia: Directive log 203.2. Specimen 33 is no longer responding to recall frequencies with 100% consistency. It is essential that this behavior is corrected before Doctor Groph's inspection of our forward hatchery next week. I have made several frequency adjustments that I believe may correct the undesired behaviors. Commencing test.

*Buttons pressed and machines powering up*

Sophia: Imprinting frequency modifications.

*Loud dragon distress noises*

Sophia: What? Oh No. All personnel evacuate the area.

Quite similar to the space monkeys, the dragons are extremely aggressive and hostile. The only way to control them is through the use of frequencies and mechanical collars.

Another thing that may seem insignificant on the surface but further supports this theory: The upgrade quest for the Dragon Shield. It involves getting kills, then blasting several Apothicon symbols around the map, and then... bathing the shield in the blood of a dead dragon, giving the shield red eyes and a red blast... yuuuup:

image.png

So I believe the presence of red eyed zombies is either a result of the presence of these dragons, or, as mentioned in radios on the map, the people of Stalingrad were intentionally infected, but rather than being infected with 115, they were infected by the Blood.

 

And lastly,

 

Revelations

This one is obvious, with our first appearance of the source of the blood: The Elder Gods:

See the source image

 

 

The only hole I can see to poke in this theory, as pointed out by @KronoriumExcerptB, Shadows of Evil has a heavy Apothicon presence and yet the eyes are orange there. While that massive beast in the sky is not an Elder God and we don't quite know what it is, why wouldn't it have the same type of Blood?

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I think the theory is quite good-  SoE may have just been a mistake or an oversight. They outright confirmed that the Monkeys were infused with Apothicon Blood, and they are the first red eyes we've ever seen

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W00t w00t! Very plausible theory, Rad! I'll be coming back on this soon

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12 hours ago, RadZakpak said:

It just so happens that the zombies in Tag der Toten have red eyes. Given Alpha Omega's confirmation that an Aetherial entity close enough can take control of the undead, it is reasonable to assume the red eyes are a result of the Apothican Blood, which can form coherent thoughts and actively fights against Victis as they try to harness it. Don't believe there is a connection yet? I'd like to remind you of the first time we saw red eyes in Zombies, the first time that I neglected to mention in this very thread. 

latest?cb=20110626151251

That's right, Russian Cosmonaut Zombie Monkeys are the first enemy to have red eyes.

Hm... Hum. There is a problem.

12 hours ago, RadZakpak said:

Another thing that may seem insignificant on the surface but further supports this theory: The upgrade quest for the Dragon Shield. It involves getting kills, then blasting several Apothicon symbols around the map, and then... bathing the shield in the blood of a dead dragon, giving the shield red eyes and a red blast... yuuuup:

These are Keepers symbols, not Apothicon.

Note that the heads of Dragons in Der Eisendrache have yellorange eyes rather than red.

12 hours ago, RadZakpak said:

The only hole I can see to poke in this theory, as pointed out by @KronoriumExcerptB, Shadows of Evil has a heavy Apothicon presence and yet the eyes are orange there. While that massive beast in the sky is not an Elder God and we don't quite know what it is, why wouldn't it have the same type of Blood?

It's a giant Arnie.

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I've given my thoughts concerning the Nacht-Verrückt issue. Yellow Eyes before Sam entered the MPD. In the Origins cutscene, we see Eddy and Samantha bitching each other for the eye colour, reminding me of the fact that the undead of a realm can posses only one eye colour. First we got Sam yellow, then Richthofen blue and finally Maxis yellow. It ends with yellow again! I always assumed that the black Vrillian device known to us as the MPD holds no dimension of time on the inside. Once in, you enter a realm that not merely enables you to control the walking corpses, you also don't experience time (see how Samantha wasn't aged when we released her in Moon, 80 years after she entered the pyramid: A true cryogenic slumber party). Now as we have Maxis as the final controller in this universe, I think he has left the "yellow switch" on. Indeed, he destroys the universe but the final eye colour of the zombies in this realm was yellow. Since the Demonic Anouncer is timeless, that would mean that before Sam entered the MPD, the yellow switch was still on. 

 

So I hypothesed: Does that mean that in a universe where Richthofen would win in Buried, the zombies in Verruckt and Nacht would have blue eyes? Surely we see none. I think this has to do with the fact Richthofen doesn't destroy the universe in the end. Rather, during his Easter Egg in Buried he even says we have to 'close a tear in space-time'. That, or possibly mending the RIft, could've led to fully isolating the realm, meaning that we never saw the blue eyes in Verruckt and Nacht. Only Maxis' actions echoed back to the past.

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I like your thoughts on it, and now that I think about it, yellow may just be the default and Samantha didn't bother changing it. She was traumatized going into the MPD and probably didn't care about the eye color: She just wants revenge. Richtofen, on the other hand, is a very vain individual. He just won his place inside the pyramid, and he is going to flaunt it. Just like Eddie, the man-child Richtofen sees blue as the best color for their eyes and goes out of his way to change them so that EVERYONE knows their CORRECT color.

 

That's pretty much head-canon but totally fits his character. Him losing power in Buried is him also losing control of the color so they revert to their default state.

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3 hours ago, RadZakpak said:

I like your thoughts on it, and now that I think about it, yellow may just be the default and Samantha didn't bother changing it. She was traumatized going into the MPD and probably didn't care about the eye color: She just wants revenge. Richtofen, on the other hand, is a very vain individual. He just won his place inside the pyramid, and he is going to flaunt it. Just like Eddie, the man-child Richtofen sees blue as the best color for their eyes and goes out of his way to change them so that EVERYONE knows their CORRECT color.

 

That's pretty much head-canon but totally fits his character. Him losing power in Buried is him also losing control of the color so they revert to their default state.

Ah, the psychologist's approach. A very potential possiblity, and it would actually make sense as well. Could explain the yellow colour in Origins, Shadows of Evil, etc as well.

 

Concerning this matter: I found it remarkable that the eyes of the undead after Richthofen enters the MPD in Moon don't merely turn blue, they also seem to be way more bright than the blue eyes in maps like Tranzit, Die Rise and Buried. 

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor bo3 moon zombies blue eyes

This reminded me of how we see the yellow eyes in Buried after Maxis gets into control: Way brighter yellow than seen in every other map.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor buried zombies yellow eyes

 

Particular, isn't it? In both situations someone new became the Demonic Announcer and the eyes turn very bright. Maybe the new person has so much fresh energy, so much adrenaline or so enthousiast, that it can be seen in the eyes of their servants. Not important, but just an interesting note I wanted to make. Also reminded me of Schuster's observation of the sudden brightening of the zombie in a radio in Classified, but since Sam has been in the MPD all along that probably doesn't correlate with my conclusion.

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