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The Cycle and the Broken Cycle - Resolving the Paradox

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I'm enthousiast to say that I have found a theory to explain the big paradox that bridges the Giant and Tag der Toten, and simultaneously the Cycle and the Broken Cycle. Both outcomes of the Multiverse requires the other one to exist, but how can this paradox be explained? Big thanks to @Forest Fire with his interesting discussions and thoughts on this subject, which sparked the idea of this thread. Also, you need a bunch of Cristopher Nolan brains for this one, so good luck.


A Paradoxal Prologue

A discovery made by no one else than our @clueless himself was a paradox that emerges in the Giant, a paradox that is proof that the Cycle has been broken before. To understand this we have to look at Mob of the Dead, the map that is essential to breaking Monty's Cycle. As you may know had Primis to travel through Alcatraz between Zetsubou no Shima and Gorod Krovi, however at some point in the Cycle a trap was set up. Essentially, the souls of the mobsters were used to create a pocket dimension (Mob of the dead), eternally trapping Primis, disabling them to proceed in Monty's Cycle (Blood of the Dead). During the climax of Mob of the Dead, the souls of the prisoners are transported to the Golden Gate Bridge. But this time, the plane doesn't crash because Weasel meant to bring them here. So what happens to the plane? Well, if the Cycle Continues, the purgatory Hell dimension does a "soft reset" that returns everything back to its former spot, and the only ones with memories are the Warden and Weasel. Icarus never makes it far enough to reach the storms


Eventually though, the Weasel does win, stopping the Alcatraz Cycle and causing Monty's Cycle to break as well via Blood of the Dead's ending, Alpha Omega and Tag der Toten. So Icarus, flying through the sky, eventually flies through the storms overhead. In Zetsubou no Shima we get a glimpse of what such storms can do; temporal displacement. Point of the story: Only in a Broken Cycle can Icarus leave Alcatraz. And, ladies and gentlemen, what do we encounter on the roof of the Der Riese Waffenfabrik during the Giant? Icarus, the indication and proof that the Cycle has been broken before. This is the Giant's Paradoxal Prologue to our story…


Dempsey: "Hey other me, if you're hearing this, then it means something's gone FUBAR. We're going to Plan B. Stick to that kraut bastard like glue. We need to find out what the hell he has been doing, what he's going to do. We may be able to get a fix on your location if you can trigger one of the paradox visualizations. Good luck, we're all counting on you. Oh, wait, what ever you do, don't get too close to the radioactive beacon. Makes your hair fall out."


The Nexus Point

I've devoted an entire thread to this which I can recommend to read, but I will summarize it here. The main point is that the events in the intro cutscene of The Giant is a so-called 'nexus point', an event where various timelines converge. And there are two possible outcomes, hear me out.


Primis Nikolai, Dempsey and Takeo arrive at der Riese and persuade Ultimis Richtofen to join them and awaken the test subjects. What's more, they tell him to not open the MTD because that would unleash a great evil. Here's the split: either Richtofen activated the teleporter, or he doesn't. In case he doesn't, they will awake the test subjects and some radioactive event will occur, leading to the 'Fallout House' radios: Maxis is talking about a battle won, a nuclear wasteland, the children disappearing and himself suffering from a radioactive disease.

Possibility 2 is that Ultimis Richtofen does activate the MTD: Primis Richtofen steps out and Monty's Cycle will happen. He is send by House Maxis, who is following Monty's plan to fix the world ever since the "knock on the door". Ever since, the past is changed and Maxis perceives that the children return and his radioactive disease is reversed. As the original outcome of the universe was changed, his old experiences first became vague memories, and then vanished completely. But this is not restricted to Maxis: Also Primis Nikolai, Dempsey and Takeo who initially firmly wanted to keep Ultimis Richtofen alive and awaken the test subjects, now fall into confusion and follow Primis Richtofen who obeys Maxis' mantra: "the test subjects must never be awoken". Completely reversed to their initial plan.


Maxis: "Reality itself is shifting. I find myself reflecting on memories I am not longer sure are my own. Beyond the window, I saw a wasteland stretching far as the eye could see. I saw scourge visited upon the Earth. I saw the children withered before my eyes. That was before... before he came. Samantha has been returned to me once more, as have you Edward... as have you."


Of course, Possibility 2 is what we directly see in Black Ops 3. But Possibility 1, the outcome that got overwritten by Possibility 2, is what happened prior. It is the outcome that eventually led to a "battle won" but with a very pyrrhic victory: A world destroyed by radioactivity.

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The Beacon

Remember the Dempsey radio I quoted earlier? These personal messages to Primis Nikolai, Dempsey and Takeo are recorded before Possibility 2 overwrote Possibility 1, so outside Monty's Cycle. Dempsey states that they may be able to get a fix on other Dempsey's location if he and his pals can trigger a paradox visualization, coming back on that later. If you thought things were complicated, brace yourself for the next part.


Now in Tag der Toten, you can hear Richtofen saying the following: "I remember something Samantha told me a long time ago. She told me her "dad had a plan"." This plan of Maxis, obviously referred to by Sam's quote in the Origins outro cutscene which took place in the House before Possibility 2 overwrote Possibility 1 (as the Cycle didn't happen yet), may include whatever led to "winning the battle and destroying the world". This old plan of Maxis was before Monty instructed Maxis the events of Black Ops III.


Anyway, immediately after Richtofen saying this in Tag, Nikolai exclaims "Look, the Lighthouse is lit!". This sounds very much like Maxis saying: "Look, the Beacon is lit" after completing the Giant's 'Paradoxal Prologue' easter egg. In Blood of the Dead it is made clear that a lighthouse is a way to communicate across the Aether. So are our actions in the Giant essential for what happens in Tag der Toten, and vice versa? Is this why Dempsey mentions that he needs to get a fix on the location of his other self via a beacon that is radioactive? Talking about radioactivity, is the beacon the reason of the radioactive world that was a consequence of Maxis' plan?


The description of Tag's Easter Egg is to "Resolve the Paradox". It could function, in a certain way, as a means to complete the paradox, the very paradox we were introduced at in the Giant. Tag der Toten is the final piece of puzzle for the odd radioactive timeline that was caused by Possibility 1 even before the Black Ops III Cycle started. Perhaps the fire and lava appearing in Tag during this quest as a consequence of '115 evolving' may be caused by the nuclear fallout of Maxis' plan.

Tag Der Toten Theatre Mode Screenshots : r/CODZombies

So before the Giant happened, Tag der Toten was already going on. Or no, what is better to say, Tag der Toten already happened: Time is irrelevant in the Multiverse. The crashed Icarus at the Giant is proof that plane has left the Alcatraz Cycle and that the Monty Cycle was broken before. But if you think we are finished, there is something else left.


The End

There is one thing you may be wondering: If Tag already happened, how could there still be a Multiverse with Element 115 at all? Consider this: We activated the Beacon while playing the Giant, which already takes place in Possibility 2. So to break the Cycle, the Cycle must already have occured. And I think the location that Dempsey wants us to trigger is that of the Frozen Forest. Remember this sequence:


"I am the last of us, but I will be joining you soon my friends. -cough, cough- death is near. I hope what we have done doesn't come back to bite this universe in the ass. Thank god we will all be gone, because if Monty ever found this place, we would be in a world of shit. Maybe now, with us all gone, the children will truly be safe. -D "


This sounds very much like the ending of Tag der Toten. Nikolai, Dempsey, Takeo and Richtofen die in the Frozen Forest so the children will be safe in a new world, without Element 115 and Aether. This may be what happened at the end of Possibility 1: Maxis mentions that the world is destroyed (the 'old' Aether Multiverse is presumably absorbed in the radioactive Dark Aether) and the children are gone (they left to the new world, Maxis explicitly says they are gone and not neccesarily dead). The Element 115 that is 'evolving' at the end of Tag is already the process of it vanishing from existence, and the world is annihilated in a radioactive fire. 


Now the sentence "awaken the test subjects" even makes sense: It regards Victis in their cryogenic slumber cells in Alcatraz. Because Primis travelled to the Frozen Forest, Victis is woken up and Tag can actually happen!


So could the outcome of Possibility 1 not only be Tag der Toten, but also the dissolution of the Aether Multiverse in general? And then, Monty knocked on the door of the destroyed House, eventually triggering Black Ops III to happen which backwards affected everything so the Aether Multiverse was contineously re-established anyway again?


If you came this far, cheers on that. Hope to see you in the comments!




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I have to apologize for any unclarity: I often write quickly and messy when I get enthousiast 😛 ForestFire asked me some questions regarding this thread that I'd like to share here as well.


Q: How can The Giant happen together with Tag if The Giant is integral to the Cycle?


A: The Giant (alongside DE and ZNS) also happens in the Broken Cycle, before they travel to Alcatraz. But I think the paradox is that it already happened before, as we see Icarus and have the Possibility 1 timeline (Dempsey radios, awaken the testsubjects, fallout House and, according to this theory, Tag). The Beacon is what binds them, the lighthouse communicates through Aether so independent of time and universe. If that makes sense, I also need to wrap my mind around it but I think that's why its called a paradox: it is contradicting yet it consolidates each other (the Cycle and Broken Cycle).



Q: Why would the Origins outro cutscene occur outside the Cycle, doesn't it take place right after Gorod Krovi when the souls of Ultimis arrive?


A: I should say that this is my own guess, with not too strong arguments. But first of all, we see the cutscene right after Origins and even before the alteration of the Multiverse in the Giant intro (so P2 hasnt overwritten P1 yet). Of course this cutscene could take place any time but it would be logical if it actually takes place after Origins, right? Otherwise the timing just doesn't make sense. Secondly, Sam and Eddie are already in the House when it is mentioned that "Maxis has a plan". If this plan would be post-Monty's intervention plan (following the knock on the door), the children wouldn't be there yet, only after the plan has been executed. I think the siren rings every time the past is altered, and the basement is somehow protected against overwritings of the past and Grandfather Paradoxes (just a blind guess though). Thinking about it, in the Origins cutscene we see the same Eclipse outside as in the Giant. Is it coincidence that these events coincide? Perhaps this scene in the House is simultaneously to the moment the time is frozen at the Giant?




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