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InfestLithium

[SPOILER] Why the ending is acceptable

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If you haven't watched / refuse to know the end of the Aether story, don't read any further.

 

 

 

 

 

Now I think we can all agree that the ending was not 100% what we were hoping for. We were teased about winning the Great War, defeating Dr. Monty, all that jazz. Hell, even Alpha Omega's ending told us we were in for a big fight.

 

But we got blue balled hella hard and left with what I'd call the most depressing moment in Zombies history.

 

Despite all the loose ends still remaining...I actually felt at ease with what we've been given as a conclusion. What people aren't understanding is why things unfolded the way they did. And to understand that, you have to look back at the end of Black Ops 3 - the Original Plan.

 

The Original Plan

 

Monty was able to remove the Apothicons, Shadowman, and undead into the Dark Aether. While he couldn't repair the multiverse, he managed to lock them up so there weren't any holes. A duct tape solution, if you will. He assumed that by closing off each reality, anything that existed currently outside of said realities would return to their origin point and no longer exist in his perfect universe. The children (aka the souls of the pure O4) would ensure that he could keep tabs on them at any given moment in any universe to prevent another disaster.

 

Except the crew survived thanks to the blood.

 

Monty was going to wipe them out (which would be the easiest solution) but instead sent them to the Great War. They would win, then die, and then be reborn later in the future during the 1900s. This created the cycle we know as of now. Monty purposefully kept them in the loop and knew as long as they stayed there, no more harm could further be done. It wasn't the ultimate fix, but he wasn't willing to potentially sacrifice himself to fully restore the multiverse. Again, duct tape solution.

 

But Monty knew what the only true solution was. He just didn't want to go through with it.

 

The True Plan

 

Monty AND Richtofen knew the true solution. But Richtofen also did not want to sacrifice himself nor his crew, so he tried finding ways to cheat death. After realizing it would only continue the cycle, he changed course and intercepted himself in at Alcatraz when he would've normally gotten the blood.

 

Instead of allowing himself to continue, he killed his cycle self and instead allowed Nikolai, the only one who Monty would be unable to see/track, to do what Richtofen was (and knew he was) incapable of doing: the sacrifice.

 

Since Nikolai opened up to what the Kronorium told him, he knew that none of them were to survive. The only way to restore the multiverse was to remove everything, including themselves. So he convinced everyone - Primis and Ultimis - to follow him because he knew the way to salvation. And he wasn't lying; he just didn't tell them what the end game would be.

 

This is why he wanted his friends' last moments to be with one another, drinking in what they thought was a pre-celebration to victory, thinking of what they wanted most in life. Nikolai wanted their sacrifice to end on the best note possible because none of them would make it out alive. Although I personally think poison isn't quite a happy ending (as seen in the final moments)...Nikolai did what he thought would be the quickest way to make this happen. There was no way to convince both crews to kill themselves on their own terms. As long as they existed, it didn't matter if they banished everything evil to the Dark Aether; they had to be removed as well.

 

It was unfortunate that even Victis had to suffer, as they were the victim in the grand scheme for what is considered "the greater good". But it was necessary.

 

EDIT: There are some key points that I missed when writing this post that I wanna add on.

 

The Cycle

 

A user on r/CODzombies brought up a very valid point regarding the cycle being broken and what it finally means.

 

We know that the cycle is what keeps Primis reliving their adventures, from death after the Great War to reincarnation when they all first meet. Many of us thought that drinking the blood (Richtofen's plan) was the key to breaking said cycle, but after BO3, it wasn't.

We were right to compare it to the MOTD cycle. In fact, BOTD also replicated this cycle in BO4 with Primis to show us AGAIN how to break the cycle.

 

In MOTD, the cycle continues if the crew kills Al - something that already occurred in the real world. But when Al kills his crew, the cycle is broken and they're released from their own purgatory.

 

In BOTD, the cycle continues as long as Primis remains. Even when they die, they're brought back by the Warden to relive their personal hell. When Richtofen dies, their cycle in purgatory is broken; HOWEVER, it required some past events leading to it (Primis Richtofen teleporting to BOTD from the Great War, Pablo giving him the Staff of Fire crystal) to start that breaking point. Catch my drift? BOTD Richtofen was perpetuating that cycle and needed to be sacrificed to escape it. That's how the cycle broke.

Now in terms of the big cycle, it's no different. Nikolai ended the cycle by sacrificing himself and the crews. The key to breaking these cycles was to eliminate the things that would continue the cycle. The mobsters killing Al caused the cycle, and had they to die. Richtofen kept cheating death to avoid direct sacrifice which caused the cycle, and he had to die. Ultimis and Primis were responsible for fracturing the multiverse causing the great cycle, and they all had to die.

 

--------------------------------------

 

Hopefully I didn't lose ya.

 

To me, this was ultimate kick in the heart. Because we knew our crews had to die, but we just weren't prepared for it to be like this. And personally, I'm slowly accepting that this ending is what we needed.

 

A straight one-shot kill to our beloved story, with the sad realization that the characters we grew alongside over 10 years needed to win the war within themselves...just as Nikolai said. They caused this madness, the fracturing of the multiverse, and they needed to satisfy the natural order and remove themselves from the equation.

 

I'd like to think that they still exist in the fixed universes, where the multiverse may no longer exist since Element 115 is no longer existent in any time from here on out. To imagine our characters going through their normal lives, having never met, never to deal with the atrocities and horrors they faced in a reality that no longer exists.

 

It's a sobering thought that they can finally have their [hopefully] happy moments they wished before their sacrifice.

 

That, to me, is a good ending. Not perfect by any means, but a solid way to close the book for good.

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You're making it a tradition, aren't you? In all seriousness, thank you! This post really makes the ending emotionally acceptable for me. Hope their death was quick and painless.

 

Click here for mister Festo's Loose Ends explanation after Revelations: 

 

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I think the ending was perfect for the one thing is was trying to accomplish, that being ending the journeys of Ultimis and Primis and allowing Samantha a brighter future after all that she has been through. It's a very "Zombies" ending and the more I watch it the more I love it. It is poetic and sad that Nikolai, the most hopeful of Primis, has to face the cruel reality of what must be done. At the end of the day, Nikolai is a soldier, someone willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to ensure everyone else can live a normal life. If there were any other way, Nikolai would not have done what he did.

 

I love the ending because it is faithful to these characters, and my love for Zombies has always been character-driven. Looking back on the previous maps this season, things start to make more sense as you realize just what comes next.

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I loved it.

 

It kinda has this simmetry for me at least. The mode started subtle with a small map and so did the story with Verrückt or Nacht, since the zombies already yelled "SAM" in Nacht, right? But with Verrückt the theorizing really started out. But of course the gameplay was simple (and clean (High Five @InfestLithium)) as well and I see the simmetry both from a gameplay perspective, cause TdT seems to be more on the easy side in regards to the optional buildables etc. at least from what I read so far from good ol Pizza and of course the story as well. Hunterooo and other mentiond how with Alpha Omega Treyarch went back to the more conspiracy heavy stuff which was the fuel for WaW til BO II. Now the very end where Nikolai basically commited suicide in order to secure a better tomorrow is in my opinion exactly the ending this mode needed.

 

Suicide is in my opinion the most "solitary way" to go. It feels like nobody is there and you are all on your own. With your own life, your own thoughts, your own time in which you have to reflect. Even when you, like Nikolai, kill yourself and you are sorrounded by people you love, you still feel this insane amount of loneliness. I mean, yes he killed the other dudes, but I like to imagine that they were still with him. I don't know if something like an afterlife or heaven or anything similar to that exists, but if it really does, at least in the storyline Treyarch has created, then I will bet my spleen the other 7 of our beloved crew were still with him, but I digress. 

 

Point is, suicide can be quiet and it is most of the time, it is not like people who kill themselves run around a day or week before telling everyone that they will do it. I mean those people exist, but Ausnahmen bestätigen die Regel. 

 

Call of Duty Zombies left the industry just as it entered and I love that.

 

Rest in Peace, my friends.

 

P.S. I swear to god if this is not the end, I will be so mad.

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Thanks for the comments, friendos! Glad to see that nobody is gravely disappointed at the ending and sees it for the value it has. :)

 

I've made a big edit regarding The Cycle - something we're all wet about in Zombies. ;)

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On 9/26/2019 at 12:31 PM, InfestLithium said:

In BOTD, the cycle continues as long as Primis remains. Even when they die, they're brought back by the Warden to relive their personal hell. When Richtofen dies, their cycle in purgatory is broken; HOWEVER, it required some past events leading to it (Primis Richtofen teleporting to BOTD from the Great War, Pablo giving him the Staff of Fire crystal) to start that breaking point. Catch my drift? BOTD Richtofen was perpetuating that cycle and needed to be sacrificed to escape it. That's how the cycle broke.

Now in terms of the big cycle, it's no different. Nikolai ended the cycle by sacrificing himself and the crews. The key to breaking these cycles was to eliminate the things that would continue the cycle. The mobsters killing Al caused the cycle, and had they to die. Richtofen kept cheating death to avoid direct sacrifice which caused the cycle, and he had to die. Ultimis and Primis were responsible for fracturing the multiverse causing the great cycle, and they all had to die.

I still don't fully get how Primis and Ultimis dying would lead to breaking this Cycle. They would still reincarnate in D63 and the Original Dimension, right? I also wonder why BotD Richthofen had to die in the Dark Mechanism. Why not simply commiting suicide by shooting himself or something?

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11 minutes ago, anonymous said:

I still don't fully get how Primis and Ultimis dying would lead to breaking this Cycle. They would still reincarnate in D63 and the Original Dimension, right? I also wonder why BotD Richthofen had to die in the Dark Mechanism. Why not simply commiting suicide by shooting himself or something?

I believe that the Kronorium doesn't explain thoroughly what will happen. It likely said they needed to sacrifice themselves - something that Richtofen and Nikolai both interpreted differently. There's something special about being sacrificed at the hands of your own friends (or those that held a special connection to you). In MOTD, it was Al killing those who killed him. For BOTD, it was Richtofen being left behind to die with Primis Richtofen taking his place. For TDT, it was Nikolai killing Ultimis and Primis - the largest components in the cycle. Only then does the condition of breaking the cycle become satisfied. Death by any other means does not count. It needs to be special.

 

This explains why Richtofen had to die in the Dark Mechanism. Because even in his Primis life, he kept trying to escape death. And the Kronorium changed to reflect what it really meant by "sacrifice". He refused to believe that he had to die and essentially prolonged the BOTD cycle by trying to find another way out.

 

As far as suicide goes, it could theoretically work; however, my money is on the idea that someone special needs to kill them - or at least be the reason they die. Hell, even Nikolai needed Sam to kill him. Because he knew it needed to be by someone special.

 

(Interesting side note: by the end of TDT, only Primis Richtofen ever made it out of the great cycle. He was the only one we see to come to Alcatraz, go into cryogenic sleep, and then join the Cycle Primis Crew. We can assume that the original Primis Nikolai, Takeo, and Dempsey are dead. But we have no idea how they died.)

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I watched the ending cutscene yesterday for the first time and well... It's not what I expected but it was kinda satisfying. But it made me hell of emotional, especially the last lines said by the crew members about where they are going. Because this is most likely the last time we'll see our friends. And I think it should be now, I don't think they can bring them back anymore. Oh all the memories...

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