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A Retrospective on Tranzit


ProjectKMR

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Before I start, I feel it is only right to tell you all exactly what I am doing with this series of posts. My goal is to shed some light on what many do not understand about Tranzit and Die Rise. Sure the map designs themselves are debatably good or bad, but the world building is superb and something we really haven't seen since. My goal with this post is to make you re-think your possible bad opinions about these two maps in specific. Even after this post, they are personally not any higher on my list of favorites or least favorites in the Zombies continuity but I do hope you can realize the good and bad about these maps in a more unbiased light. So without further ado, let's get to Tranzit and Die Rise: maps that nearly killed all interest in Zombies in general. Let's begin with Tranzit before we go to Die Rise.

 

Tranzit:

Tranzit had quite possibly the most hype built around any Zombies map to date. If you were around back then, you knew of the hype surrounding it. You knew how badly everyone wanted to know about the state of the Zombies Storyline after Moon had happened. Regardless of the hype, Tranzit was released unfinished and with just about unanimous hate from the community. But what if I told you that Tranzit truly does have redeeming qualities and could be considered a great map in certain aspects? You'd likely call me crazy and hate on me saying that I don't understand or that I am some sort of fool, at least if you were on the Reddit you'd be telling me that. Regardless, I think Tranzit, despite being unfinished and having some gameplay elements that aren't the best, is one of the better maps of BO2's offerings. Let's jump into the strongest aspect of Tranzit and work our way down  to  the worst things it has to offer.

 

The World-Building and Lore:

Tranzit has it's fair share of lore that most people completely disregard the existence of and it's truly unfortunate to see. According to the Timeline, Tranzit takes place 10 years after the missiles from the Moon hit the Earth and fractured it greatly. We learn that in those 10 years, Richtofen and Maxis have been trying desperately to battle one another in an effort to take total control over Agartha to pursue their ultimate goals. According to a radio by a survival group called "Jackass Flats" (Yes, Jackass Flats is the canonical name we are given.) The survivors in the group are literally torn apart from one another due to mysterious voices demanding they do what they instruct to lead to salvation. Here's an excerpt from the radio talking about it.

 

"This is a warning to anyone contacted by a group of mysterious voices. Several of our party began to hear the voices and their competing instructions and incompatible demands drove a wedge down the center of the camp. Half of the camp is carrying out the demands of... (Static) only through electronics. This voice is a...big...(Static) and its ultimate goal is unclear. The other voice cannot be heard by humans who have some...(Static) on the...(Static) madness this way lies. Neither of these instruction sets will...understand... (Static) Those of us who have not chosen a side have been hunted by both sides. Seeking to force us to assist them." 

 

We see that survivors of the fracturing of Earth have become cult-like followers of either Maxis or Richtofen trying to obey their orders. It's crazy to hear such a thing happen in all reality, it's frightening even. Imagine this happening in a real world scenario, zombies are everywhere and the survival  group you're a part of is fractured to the brim because of mysterious voices telling you to build structures for their own plans. It would be scary to even meet a single person, what if they were followers of Maxis and you were a follower of Richtofen? No doubt there'd be trouble. Maxis even encourages not listening or flat out murdering Richtofen's followers, it's simply amazing world building and needs no further explaining I feel. Just the thought of these poor souls being puppets to higher powers is scary to me, and honestly should be to you as well. Here's another excerpt from a radio if you still do not believe that Maxis and Richtofen battling it out using poor helpless survivors is terrifying. 

 

 "Voice. Come in unidentified electronic voice. We've been attempting to activate your spire as instructed. But one of our members began hearing the other voice you warned us about. He turned on the rest of us and shot one member of our crew and wounded another before we restrained him. Hello? Hello? Damn this thing, why doesn't it answer when we call it. HELLO?"

 

As we later learn through the Buried Easter Egg, Maxis indeed was the true evil one who wished to destroy the world to open Agartha simply to be re-united with Samantha once again. I remember it being a huge-shock to me personally as I always saw Richtofen as the evil one trying to eliminate Maxis at every turn due to petty jealousy. But to have Maxis full on turn on us like that and be willing to destroy the world for his own benefit, it was scary to see. But what if I told you that on release day, we knew this was coming? Yes, that's right, from day one we knew Maxis was the evil one. Don't believe me? Read this, it's another radio from Tranzit.

 

"You think you're so smart, huh? Haha. You think you can manipulate everyone into doin' what you want, but we know the truth... Your calculated works...and your sinister agents. You... you mean to destroy this planet and kill us all! Haha! We're not going to help. No way, no how. So yeah, keep talking, no one is going to hear you because we destroyed everything. Everything electronic, starting with...evil...radio...box thing!" 

 

Maxis has the ability to speak to people through the electronic devices that they have after learning how to merge with electricity through the Crazy Place when he was teleported there decades prior. These survivors somehow discovered the truth and began to destroy their electronic devices in an attempt to render Maxis unable to communicate with anybody else so his grand plan wouldn't be enacted. That is, until Victis comes around and ruins it all and builds the Spire in favor of Maxis rather than Richtofen. The easter egg itself is not a good aspect of this map, being incredibly tedious and RNG heavy. But we'll get to that later.

 

 

The Easter Egg Song:
The Easter Egg song for Tranzit is a very interesting one, and one that came out of the blue for the community. At this point, the only vocalist we'd had for Zombies was Elena Siegman who everyone unanimously loved and appreciated. Enter Clark S. Nova, the mos underrated vocalist that has appeared on the Zombies Soundtracks over the years. I personally remember seeing the trailer back in 2012 thinking that Carry On by Avenged Sevenfold was going to be the easter egg song and was hyped. Initially I hated this new easter egg song, but as I've grown older I've pieced the meaning of the song together and have even grown to adore the instrumental along with Clark's vocal style. The song is called Carrion, and is essentially a song playing on a perspective we've never really thought of before. The perspective of the undead, the zombies themselves. I find it interesting to finally see a perspective from a zombie, and the fact that it basically shows the zombies are slaves to the influence over them, still having the soul of the former human residing within them. Feeling everything, seeing everything, even hearing it all. They're still very much aware of themselves, but they are simply slaves, unable to do anything but attack. It's incredible to think about really. Reminds me of the Zombies in 28 Days Later if any of you know that movie. Not dead, but unable to control themselves.

 

 

The Map Design:
With the exception being Town and maybe Bus Depot, Tranzit has an absolutely abysmal map design to it. Imagine if you took all the fun parts of Origins and made your character slower, add more obstacles that damage you, and more zombie types to annoy you. 

Oh wait that's right we also call that Origins in Zombies Chronicles my bad. But back to my point, do all those things and you have the map design for Tranzit. It isn't very fun, and is not in any way easy to maneuver around as a player with the strategies the community has come up with over the years. Tranzit does have its own fair share of strategies to do, but think about it for a moment. Is that really enjoyable to get to a high round on Tranzit as it may be in other maps? Pulling out a weapon that can break after about 10 seconds of usage once every millennia? If your answer is yes I recommend you check yourself into a hospital, for you are sick in the head my friend. Actually now that I think of it, Town doesn't have a good map design to it in Tranzit itself. No wall weapons are to be seen in Town. Not a single one. Lose your ammo in your weapons over there, you're done for. But back on topic, another issue I have with Tranzit is the Pack-A-Punch system. Yes, this has been beaten to death over the years when it comes to the community talking about Tranzit, but it really cannot be under-stated how awful the Pack-A-Punch setup is on this map. For starters, you need the turbine which is a buildable from the spawn (aka Bus Depot). You need to take the turbine all the way to the Power Station, place it right beside a specific door that doesn't look important in the slightest, go to the Town and open a door that has no indication you can open it with an explosive, and then boom, you go down the stairway that unlocks if you placed the turbine down and you can go build the Pack-A-Punch to upgrade your weapons.

 

Did I mention the zombies can break the turbine at any point in time and are actually ATTRACTED to placed buildables? Just imagine for a moment that your turbine breaks on your way to Town but you didn't know. You make it all the way there through the fog and the denizens, only to have to go ALL THE WAY back to Bus Depot and then to Power Station to re-place it and then all the way back to Town once again, hoping the turbine doesn't break. Yeah, real fun isn't it? Oh and to add some salt to the open wound, the Pack-A-Punch pathway doesn't stay open forever after you open it. Walk away from it for long enough, oh yeah it'll shut. It really doesn't help that you can't simply stay in the Pack-A-Punch area if you wanted to because there's no room to run around. Without going any deeper into this, I hope you do understand that the map flow is very, very hectic and simply atrocious in more ways than one. I felt that it was better to talk about the actual design and flow of the map rather than be the millionth person who complains about the Fog and the Denizens. (As horrible as they are, it is not a valid complaint to constantly just say Tranzit is terrible simply because of these two additions.)

 

 

The Wonder Weapon:

It's the fucking Jet Gun. That's truthfully all I need to say. The Jet Gun is synonymous within the community as everything a wonder weapon should not be. I remember seeing the trailer as a kid and initially thinking it was a motorcycle. Yes, I was a dumb kid but really, why would I expect a literal gigantic jet-engine to be a weapon? Nevertheless one we'd have to travel all the way around the map to even build. It's not even the fact that you have to travel all the way around that makes the process of getting this thing entirely terrible, while yes it is a chore to go and get all the pieces, this was before Mob of the Dead. You had to grab each and every single piece for this god-damned weapon one at a time. One. At. A. Time. If that wasn't somehow bad enough for you, you also are restricted to building it at only one work-bench. That's right, there's only one place that allows you to build this stupid contraption. That one place is in the Town area. So, once you take about an hour or two out of your life and take each piece one at a time to the Town and build it, you get the Thrustodyne Aeronautics Model 23, the weapon everyone and their mother in the community simply refers to as the Jet Gun because the weapon name is somehow more of a mouth-full than Wunderwaffe DG-2. As if this could not at all get any worse, the weapon has a recharge timer of a minute and forty seconds. Don't wanna wait to recharge it? Okay, have fun rebuilding this thing from scratch when all the pieces break off into different places. Sometimes, you really got to wonder who the fuck sat back and thought certain things were a good idea. You better strap yourself in, because we aren't done with just how bad this weapon is. Those pieces, when or if they break apart and scatter, they can occasionally fall into an out of bounds area depending on where you are so that you never can pick the piece up again. Also, if the piece lands in the fire it will be unable to be obtained ever again. If you aren't blind, you'll notice that the entire map is FILLED. WITH. LAVA. It really does baffle me how badly they goofed up the wonder-weapon in this map, and luckily we haven't seen a weapon as bad as this one since. 

 

 

The Avogadro

The Avogadro itself isn't a bad boss enemy, but the biggest gripe I have with the damned ball of electricity is that he gives literally no reward whenever you take him down but he can get you killed so easily if you're not careful. Not to mention, he plays an absolutely pivotal role in the Easter Egg if you're doing Maxis' side. The RNG of trying to actually spawn him in is time consuming and absolutely maddening. He always seems to spawn in whenever you don't want him to or when you simply don't even need him, but never when you actually need to use him for something. The Avogadro cannot be killed with bullets from your weapons, and only with a melee attack. I like the change-up, but with the lunge knifing that exists in most Treyarch games, trying to eliminate the Avogadro can lead to the end of a game because you just shoved yourself into your zombies train. 

 

Now, I hope this has maybe made Tranzit at least more transparent as a map and maybe is even better than what you once thought Sure, there's some huge, glaring negatives, but there's really some redeemable things in this map. I think every map has at least one good thing about it, even if I truly hate the hell out of it, there will reside one good thing within it. What do you think of Tranzit? Do you feel the same as me? Let me know down below. Next up on the chopping block is Die Rise, so stay tuned for that! 

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I'd also like to add the certain aspect of mysteriousness in the atmosphere of Tranzit which is unique. We still have unexplained, random things in that map: the electricity grid and TV screens flashing the morse code "Stay close to me", the derailed train, the collapsing bridge, the unused script files. I think such a madness as searching for a Busroute B couldn't have happened in any other map than Tranzit: The fog, the conspiracies, the cornfields. The old Town and abandoned Farm where everyone knows...feels that something terrible has happened here. Almost like a X-Files movie or something. This is the main reason why it is my favourite map. And don't forget the fun in the smaller maps, my most enjoyable maps to play in the late evenings with my brother or friends, split screen, Hearing this song gives me feelings, man.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NDZ8bgXQLk

 

Anyway, yes, it really had it's shitty aspects. I'm not a fan of the Pack-a-Punch procedure as well, and the Wonderweapon wás bad (however, in those days every wonderweapon had it's bad sides, which gave them even a better charm: self-damage with the Raygun and DG-2, the ammo problem with the Thundergun, etc). The Fog was a truly necassery element to be added in the map, because otherwise no one would use the bus. One of the most charming moments in Tranzit in my opinion is waiting for the bus with your whole crew at a certain busstop, because no one dares to enter the mist. The bus itself is an unique game element, making Tranzit such a different map than any other. I feel like the developers in early BO2 were ambitious: Die Rise too was unique with its elevators and verticality, Buried was something different than ever seen before as well. New stuff was added every map, stuff that never reappeared later which makes every map so unique and fun, in my opinion.

 

Unfortunately, too much ambitious can be your end: https://www.callofdutyzombies.com/topic/184348-how-tranzit-was-supposed-to-be/

 

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18 hours ago, ProjectKMR said:

The song is called Carrion, and is essentially a song playing on a perspective we've never really thought of before. The perspective of the undead, the zombies themselves. I find it interesting to finally see a perspective from a zombie, and the fact that it basically shows the zombies are slaves to the influence over them, still having the soul of the former human residing within them. Feeling everything, seeing everything, even hearing it all. They're still very much aware of themselves, but they are simply slaves, unable to do anything but attack. It's incredible to think about really.

Wasn't "The One" also from the zombies perspective?

I personally think this. The map could have been way better if it was released a generation later, but I never felt any hate for it, more for BO II and it's gameplay, but never for the map itself. The Jet Gun freaking sucks, but I never had a problem with Pack a Punch, yes it was tedious, but for me there are definitely worse ways to access the machine.

For the Avogardo just use the galvaknuckles and you are golden, if you want to safe time, then head from Bus depot to Town and get to the bank, there are definitely ways, to make this map better when playing it.

 

I always looked at it this way: Tranzit is like 4.5 little maps in one and that is the beauty of it.

 

Hopefully it get's re-released at some point, cause I'd really like to play it again on Hardware that makes it justice.

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2 minutes ago, Lenne said:

Wasn't "The One" also from the zombies perspective?

I personally think this. The map could have been way better if it was released a generation later, but I never felt any hate for it, more for BO II and it's gameplay, but never for the map itself. The Jet Gun freaking sucks, but I never had a problem with Pack a Punch, yes it was tedious, but for me there are definitely worse ways to access the machine.

For the Avogardo just use the galvaknuckles and you are golden, if you want to safe time, then head from Bus depot to Town and get to the bank, there are definitely ways, to make this map better when playing it.

 

I always looked at it this way: Tranzit is like 4.5 little maps in one and that is the beauty of it.

 

Hopefully it get's re-released at some point, cause I'd really like to play it again on Hardware that makes it justice.

I always thought Carrion did a better job telling a story of a Zombie and the human soul that still resides in the body, but yes that was an error of mine, completely forgot about The One honestly. As for Tranzit being re-released, I genuinely hope that it does get remade as well. It really deserves a second chance in the community, but knowing the majority of this community, it'll still be hated no matter the potential it may have.  

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