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Primis Richtofen Abandoned Twist Theory


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Leaks have shown that the original plan for Black Ops 4's Zombies content was to have the first season be entirely Chaos, leaving 2020 open to finish the Aether story with a full season. This did not happen with Treyarch being forced to develop the 2020 CoD game, forcing them to finish Aether off in DLC with Alpha Omega and Tag der Toten. Alpha Omega, however, began development pretty early on, and I think there were a few things being set up in Alpha Omega subtly that never came to fruition with the story being finished in the next map. Take note, this theory may not have been Craig's intentions when writing Richtofen originally, and it is simply speculation. Either way, none of it is true in the end, but it is interesting to think about.


Anyway, as I transcribed the conversations between AO characters, I noticed something off about Primis Richtofen that people had been pointing out for a while. He seems oddly combative and continues trying to hide something from the rest of Primis. He also has some interesting common interactions with Ultimis that I would like to point out:




U. D: Hey, Treyarch, this guy’s buggin’ me. How do I kick him from the game?


P. R: Whoever you think you’re talking to, Dempsey, I don’t think they’re listening.



P. R: I hope you don’t think this too forward, Nikolai, but I would love to meet your wife.


U. N: Ehh, I do not know why you ask, but that would be difficult to arrange, eh, she is, eh, in many different places.



P. R: Answer me a question my simple Samurai friend. What do you really want?


U. T: To bring honor to the Emperor and the glorious Empire! (scoff) Ridiculous question!


P. R: Is there not somewhere you really want to go, Takeo? Somewhere peaceful? Perhaps sitting under a beautiful cherry blossom tree?


U. T: Cherry blossom? What do you know of grandfather’s tree?!


P. R: I don’t think you’ve ever spoken of your grandfather, Takeo. Was he someone you looked up to?


U. T: Looked up to? Yes. Looked down on? Also, yes.


P. R: Well, I’m sure your grandfather and all your lovely ancestors will look down on you proudly, whatever you may choose to do in life.


U. T: We will not speak of this again, Richtofen!

In all three cases, Richtofen knows about something dark or controversial from the other's past, and asks them about it in a very leading way or puts them down for it. He knows full well that Dempsey thinks Treyarch is real, Nikolai's wife is dead, and Takeo has a sordid past with his grandfather. With Dempsey he forces him to acknowledge Treyarch may not be real, with Nikolai he forces him to think about his real wife and her loss, and with Takeo he forces him to remember his relationship with his grandfather.


It reminds me very much of the Shadowman's interactions with the Shadows of Evil crew and with Primis in Revelations. A few examples:



"The Ruby Rabbit. Each of you knows this place. What does it mean to you?"

"The boxing gym. Is this room...familiar to you?"

"'Tank' Dempsey. Do you even have a first name? You know so little about yourself. You used to talk to imaginary forces all the time! Forces you thought controlled your destiny. Or have you forgotten that? Of course you have. It's all Monty's fault!"

"Oh Nikolai, are you proud to be Russian? I have to be honest, most of the time you seem very very depressed. You barely even laugh at your own jokes "Russians snipers are best in all of Russia" it's good stuff. You do realize why you are unhappy, don't you? It's all Monty's fault!"

"Takeo... tsk tsk tsk. You let them walk all over you, didn't you? You just let things happen, believing that you would receive some spiritual reward. Haunted by visions and voices you clung to the most simple of motives. You had purpose, but then He took it all away: Dr. Monty."

In addition, the Shadows crew are all forced to grapple with their sins and questions of the Shadowman as they sacrifice those close to them to acquire the Gateworms.


Now, it is intersting to me that the Shadowman did not make any appearance in Black Ops 4. He was still within the Summoning Key as far as we know, and could have easily come into play with a plan that involved defeating Dr. Monty. He did, however, appear in a few instances: He spoke directly with the Warden, goading him into trapping Richtofen and the Mobsters in purgatory. He appeared also as a jumpscare in Blood of the Dead. He appeared in the opening cutscene of Alpha Omega for a brief moment. Lastly, his in-game model appeared in Blackout on launch day. His model's appearance and his heavy involvement in Blood of the Dead says to me that the Shadowman was planned to have a bigger role in the ending. I believe that that role was as an impostor Richtofen that first appears in Blood of the Dead.


How is this possible if the Shadowman was still inside the Key? Let us remember that the Shadowman is the reason Primis gets trapped at all in purgatory, and that he has a direct connection with the Warden. During the Blood of the Dead quest, Primis are knocked out by the Warden for a brief period, and locked up with all their belongings taken away. Only after a while does Icarus bring them back their belongings. During that time, the Warden could have freed the Shadowman in a similar manner to him being freed in Revelations. He removed the Richtofen already in the cryo-pod and disguised himself as him. In Shadows of Evil, the Shadowman forced the crew together by disguising himself as various officials, as well as Mr. Rapt, and he changes his appearance from a squiddy head to a nice old man at will, so that is just something he can do. He then left Richtofen to die, and gave the Kronorium to Nikolai.


Why would he do all this? The Shadowman is constantly trying to convince Primis that Dr. Monty is evil, yet they followed his plan until the end. He needed to force his way into the group by taking the place of the one person they always follow: Richtofen. He destroyed the blood vials to ensure there would be no way for the cycle to start again and reset his progress. He gave the Kronorium to Nikolai, possibly believing him to be the most fit to stop Dr. Monty and to not question his actions. The Shadowman may have believed the Kronorium was now on his side, or maybe this was even originally going to be a "fake" Apothicon version. Regardless, he outright states the goal is to defeat Dr. Monty: Not to save the universe, not to destroy the Aether, but to defeat Dr. Monty, which is the Shadowman's primary goal. He needed Nikolai, someone with a soul, to lead the way and possibly to sacrifice in order to defeat Monty. He is standoffish and strange in Alpha Omega because he is the Shadowman.


Try reading this interaction between Primis Nikolai and Richtofen as if Richtofen were the Shadowman:


P. N: Are you really going to observe from sidelines, Richtofen? Are you really going to let me decide how we move forward?


P. R: Well, it’s not really you doing the deciding, is it, Nikolai? It’s pretty much all down to the Kronorium. 


P. N: Though book tells me what will happen if events play out as intended, it is my choice what to do with that information.


P. R: Ooh, look at you, Nikolai! Getting all power-hungry und maybe a little too big for your britches?


P. N: I know why you and book chose me, Richtofen. I am only one among us who knows for sure he has a soul.


P. R: Well, maybe souls are overrated, Nikolai. Look at me: I’ve not had mine for a very long time, und I’m positively delightful!


P. N: Though Kronorium showed me all of my past and future, it did not tell me everything of yours.


P. R: Jaaa, quite the headscratcher, isn’t it, Nikolai? Just wait until you start wrestling with the unpredictabilities of freewill!


P. N: I am aware of complications, but I will not waver from this path. There will be no more cheating. No more deceit, Richtofen.


P. R: Certainly not from me, Nikolai. I’ve been around the block far too many times to try and wriggle out of our big finale now.

Bringing up the unpredictability of free-will seems odd to me, and reminds me of Monty's quotes about free-will. It seems almost like Richtofen expects Nikolai to follow the Kronorium to a T, while Nikolai believes in his own free-will to do what he wants with the information. In this scenario, that may be against the Shadowman's interests, and we could have seen that play out.


Let's get this straight, none of this is true. Richtofen is Richtofen, and he died with the rest to save the universe. I may be looking too deep at these "hints", but I do believe the seeds would be in place if this truly was the twist they were going to go for. It's just an interesting alternate history to think about.

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5 hours ago, anonymous said:

Good theory. I wonder though, why would the Shadowman hand over the Book of Time to Nikolai?

Based on his conversation with Nikolai, it seems he believes Nikolai will do the same as Richtofen and just follow the book without question, underestimating his ability to understand what he is truly doing, him assuming the book tells of a future where the Apothicons can win. Also possible that since Richtofen in AO seems so negative about Nikolai taking them there that he expected something else entirely.

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