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The Order of Forgotten Mysteries #11: the Apothicans


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Disclaimer, the following is all a theory merely based on in-game events, observations and quotes. While I speak about it like it happened, it is, of course, all just a personal assumption.



The Apothicans, the ultimate Evil we are fighting our entire zombie-slaying lives. Though they were directly encountered for the first time in Black Ops 3, they appear to have been lurking in the shadows all the time. They are the masterminds that have caused our story to happen; the ones that had crafted the Moon Pyramid, the ones that drove Richthofen and so many others mad. Even the true reason Element 115 exists in our reality. 


However, their sudden appearance in Shadows of Evil and the lack of a mythology-based background didn't made them that beloved in the general public. So I decided to devote an extensive thread about my personal research to the history, known powers and purpose of the Apothicans. Concerning Apothicans...


History & Science

Our own history is not what we think it is, at least not in the Zombieverse. Before the era of human agriculture we don't know anything of our true origins. There is a huge gap of knowledge of where we came from. Maybe that is because of the Illuminati doesn't want us to know (coming back on this later). Or maybe it is because the truth is simply too inconvenient.


In the Vril-Ya mythos, there was a solar system named Aldebaran that had a sun revolving around two inhabited planets, forming the empire “Sumeran”. Living on these inhabitable planets there was living a race highly technological advanced, also capable of travelling through space and time. However, they left their planets and via Mars, they arrived at Earth, in the time of early humanoids. Here, due to ideologic conflicts they split up into two different factions, one migrating to the Gobi Desert, the other to Hyperborea. Though tectonic shifts have occured ever since, so the exact locations remain vague, the main point is that the extraterrestials were divided into two groups now. Eventually, this division will lead to a Great War. Using their Vimañas and Vril Rods, this event resulted in a major extinction of flora and fauna. This perfectly fits with the Tale of Atlantis, in which the two groups are known under the names Atlantis and Lemuria, Nan Madol (Zetsubou) by some believed to be the remnant of the latter. The civilizations were by far the most psychical and technological developed ones existing, and they too ended up using their advanced thermonuclear weapons against each other. Thus...the well-known fate of the Lost Continents: A giant flood, also mentioned in Scandinavian Ragnarok and Christian Bible. In the aftermath of the apocalyptic events, the citizens of the Lost Continents search refuge subterrean and create Agartha.


These ancient stories describe the Great War, the War between the two ideologies of a highly advanced race, which Doctor Monty refers to as 'the Keepers'. They have placed Pyramid Devices throughout different realms, to be able to teleport between them via the Aether. The Aether is a dimension beyond our perception, pretty much a cosmologic energy field. According to Einstein's law, mass can be converted to energy and vice versa: In the Aether your atoms are at the absolute zero point of mass and you are merely part of the infinite energy field. Faust compared this with graphing an algebratic equation, if an object is squared, you form a parabola. On both side of your y-axis you will see that the two numbers are exactly the same on the y even though the two x are opposite. Eventually the two converge and you chart will hit absolute zero, then begin to reconsitute itself on the other side of the y-axis.


Let's say that your graph is you atom. Now, your atoms as they pass though space-time teleporting to another location, will gradually loose mass before hitting that absolute zero. Now, there is no absolute zero mass in our reality. Instead, you will poke a tiny hole in space time as it warps around you to form a zero point where your mass, your physical self, long exist. You are a beam of energy, an ethereal form, existing in an infinite singularity. This is the Aether, the Netherworld or borderrealm we use as a slingshot dimension to reach another location within our universe. Nothing exists but yourself and the other beings trapped there. Aether can be used as a force, a gateway....and a prison. The infinite, worst possible prison. 


After the Great War, the winning split send the other to this place, beneath creation. Using the Aether's energy, they created the Agarthan plane, a dimension accessible via Earth's Core. Meanwhile, throughout history, the winners have visited multiple early human cultures, Mesoamerican, Central-Asian, African and European, teaching mankind about things such as agriculture, and they were received as Gods.  They also founded an Ancient Order, to secure the Apothicans and maintain the order in the Multiverse. This Order included besides 'them' also humans all over the world. These 'Keepers', as they would be called, guarded Earth against Apothican influences.


"The Keepers, an ancient order, were being granted the wisdom to see beyond the limitations of their own realm. Even while the rest of mankind scrabbled around in the dirt, drinking their own piss, the Keepers took mantle of benevolent watchers."- Doctor Monty


Comsuming Worlds

The Old Norse Mythology already predicted it: They called it Ragnarok, the set of future events where the gods will battle against the jotuns, or world-devourers. The gods are described as “the benefactors and protectors of civilization,” while the world-devourers “are forces of destruction, entropy, and decay,” as they are “constantly trying to drag it back to primordial chaos". Doctor Monty speaks about the Apothicans that "consuming is just their thing". I think there is, however, a explanation for this violent behaviour. Remember the stuff I said about energy and matter?


"The lantern is a vessel for energy, the energy contained within all matter"- Maxis, Buried

Matter always contains energy, as it can be transferred into it. E=mc2. Upon consuming an universe, I can imagine it 'feeds' the Apothican prisoners a hella lot of energy. According to the Big Bang theory, all energy was first wrapped together, exploding into matter and giving birth to the universe. What the Apothicans do is kinda the reversed of this process. While I do not know their exact purpose for this process, I guess it has something to do with breaking free and returning to Agartha.


Generating Rifts

The most fundamental thing in Shadows of Evil is that already after the Pack-a-Punch process, the Apothicans start consuming this realm. The entrance for the World Devourer, the giant squid-like creature, was opened upon breaking the Apothican Rift Stone, the PaP.  This was done by placing four Gateworms on pedals surrounding the Stone. I was thinking, could the Gateworms be the larvae stadium of the giant worms seeing shooting Element 115 through portals? After all, in Shadows they appear capable of generating portals.

Gerelateerde afbeelding Afbeeldingsresultaat voor apothicans

(I know I might go a bit fast through the stuff, but...) Cal recently linked the events of Call of the Dead with Shadows of Evil: In Shadows, we need to sacrifice a human soul to make the Apothicans able teleport the Gateworm. In CotD, we sacrifice a human to receive a Vril Rod. See the connection? 


"Departed souls leave residual energy in their wake." - Richthofen, Buried


Morg City

One of the biggest mysteries about Shadows of Evil remains in what kind dimension this occurs.


"To any survivors of this realm, I am truly sorry. I wish I could offer you some words of comfort, but I cannot. It is my hope that I can rid the universe of the evil that has plagued us for so long. But in my heart, I know many more dimensions will be lost forever as we continue our journey towards peace. Forgive me." - Maxis, SoE

In the intro, it seems like the Shadows crew initially lives in a normal Dimension 63, and then they wake up in this twisted realm where only the Cursed survive, almost comparable to Mob of the Dead's events. It should be noted that in both Mob and Shadows, Element 115 is present in a certain amount. In Shadows, we have the 115 meteor shower causing strange fungus to grow and people to turn sick, while in Mob, it are secret experiments involving 115 going on. So both places are infected, and then they 'turn' into this pseudo-pocket dimension. From Blood of the Dead, we learn that when the Warden exercised Apothican rituals, he created the trap. Is that also the cause in Shadows? We do see ritual things scattered all across the map. And in this universe, only the sinners remain human. Some other important issues:


  • What I do find interesting is that the Shadowman & his Apothican armies are physically present in the map. If they can simply travel to Morg City, why cannot they escape the Aether? And why would they initially need the Apothican Rift Stone to be activated to enter and consume the universe?
  • Another mystery is the fact the Shadowman, upon defeat, is turned in a giant Gateworm, causing the Apothican shocktroopers to change their yellow eye-colour into purple (though the zombies keep the yellow eyes). 


To me, it feels like if we fully understand the events of Shadows of Evil, we'll understand the Apothicans. How do you feel about it? Are the Apothicans the True Evil? Share your thoughts, please!

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor shadows of evil octopus

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A wonderful analysis! If you ask me, the Apothicons are extremely interesting in their abilities and motivations.


In regards to your mention of their relation to the Vril-Ya and the Agarthan Plane within the Earth's core, I'm reminded of my own interpretation of the end the Great War:



Excavation Site 64 is a location that we only gets hints of in Origins. It was here that the final battle of the Great War took place, and Primis vanished from history, cleansing all the "sickness" as far as the eye could see:



"After the Great Battle, they stood upon the mound. Their light shone down and cleansed all the sickness for as far as the eye could see. They are the first; they are the last... Visions of fractured worlds and strange rooms haunted our dreams."

In the map Origins we find what was left behind after the Great War that Group 935 has tried to uncover. The site is protected by undead Templars who attempt to prevent anyone from uncovering the site. They failed:


Warn Messines
Something blue in the earth
Not clay
We grew weak
Thought it was flu
Men became beasts
Blood turned to ash
Liberate tute de infernis (Liberate us from Hell)

It is then when the Apothicons returned, trapped within the Earth's core, with Keeper influence at the known gateways to our dimension in order to protect us from uncovering this ancient evil. They reversed everything that Primis had done, making people sick once again and liberating themselves from their own Hell beneath the surface. In order to defeat them, Primis had to convene once more and end the Great War... again.


This may be key in understanding Shadows of Evil. We know that Morg City is protected by a cult living underground that call themselves the Order of the Keepers, likely actual acolytes of the real Keepers. They do what they must to protect the Apothicon Rift Stone, as like Excavation Site 64, it is a gateway to the Core, where the Apothicons were banished in the Great War. This is why the Morg City Cursed fight the Keepers in the beginning, but aid them later in trapping the Shadowman.


Speaking of the Shadowman:


The thing is, Maxis went and ballsed everything up. He heard voices you see, calling to him. It wasn't really his fault, he hasn't actually got his soul yet; all I got was a brain. Anyway, the key thing, as in the thing that is key, is that Maxis fiddled around with the Summoning Thingamajig and accidentally released an even bigger bastard, someone even I didn't know was in there - The Shadow Man: the one and only original harbinger of doom

The Shadowman is the head honcho of the Apothicons, the man in charge, the ultimate form of Apothicon. He's a manipulator thru and thru, and can mask himself even from the all-powerful Dr. Monty.


Through Morg City's construction of an underground subway, it's possible some rogue denizens of the city heard voices emanating from this strange stone beneath the ground... and decided to balls everything up.


"Please, you must help me. Only together can we prevent the destruction of your world."

Seeds firmly planted and men corrupted, the Shadowman spread what little influence he had throughout Morg City, creating a sickness that corrupted its people. Even the Order of the Keepers could not prevent this, and as such, the Shadowman was able to manipulate the Reporter into bringing together information about four sinners who could be used to open the stone, and unleash the Apothicons upon Dimension 63 at large. 


All this to say, this fits with both the Vril-Ya influence of a portal beneath our very feet, as well as the religious influences of Heaven and Hell, Monty creating his own Heaven beyond our perception, above our heads, and the Apothicons being banished beneath the Earth just waiting for their time to be unleashed.


ANNOTATION: Similar to the marking of France's Dig Site as a potential gateway by Pernell in Alpha Omega, the location of Shangri-La is similarly denoted. Just like the dig site, there is a massive amount of 115 there, located... beneath the Earth.

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10 hours ago, RadZakpak said:

All this to say, this fits with both the Vril-Ya influence of a portal beneath our very feet, as well as the religious influences of Heaven and Hell, Monty creating his own Heaven beyond our perception, above our heads, and the Apothicons being banished beneath the Earth just waiting for their time to be unleashed.

I would say this is relative, as indeed a lot of (Western) religions/cultures believe Heaven is above and Hell/the Underworld is beneath us, while a lot of another (for us exotic) religions and cultures speak about some kind of Heaven beneath, think of the Old Greeks, the Mesoamerican societies. In general, the term Agartha even seems to refer to Hollow Earth, beneath us. 'Aether', however, points up to the sky, the air.


I too believe Earth's core, along with some concentrated 115 deposits (like Excavation Site 64 and Shangri La), are focussed spots of ethereal energy and could serve as gateways to the Aether. It is believed that Agartha is the physical manifestation of the Aether, a 3D dimension that we actually can percept. However, in more recent findings it is revealed that the Aether corrupts everything it touches, which begs the question: What is Agarhta exactly?

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