|"It's up to you, Player. It's all up to you."|
This article contains multiple options that are determined by player choice.
Richtofen after Der Eisendrache.
Teddy (by Samantha)
|Appears in||Call of Duty: World at War|
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Zombies
Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
|Rank||Major General (formerly)|
Demonic Announcer (Original Timeline)
Nazi Germany (formerly)
Group 935 (formerly)
|Status||Alive, inside Samuel J. Stuhlinger's body/Deceased, soul trapped inside zombies (Original Timeline, player-determined; formerly before The Giant)|
Alive (Origins Timeline)
K.I.A., Original Timeline version's soul preserved within the Summoning Key (Origins Timeline)
|Killed By||Origins Edward Richtofen with an MR6 (Original Timeline Richtofen; Origins Timeline)|
|Marks||Scar under eye (Original timeline)|
Cuts and bruises on face (Origins timeline)
|Hair||Brown/Grey (black in Origins)|
|Eyes||Blue (Green in Origins), Flicker Blue (In the body of Samuel Stuhlinger (player-determined), Yellow (iOS Tutorial)|
|Death||1945, Lower Silesia, Near Breslau, Germany (Original Timeline Richtofen; Origins Timeline)|
Mauser C96 (Origins and The Giant poster)
Any weapon obtained by the player
|Equipment||Stielhandgranate, M67 Grenade, Knife, Fragmentation Grenades|
|Voice Actor||Nolan North|
|Level||All (Except for Dead Ops Arcade, Mob of the Dead, and Dead Ops Arcade 2: Cyber's Avengening)|
- "Finally, I am in control! The Aether is mine to manipulate as I wish! The world is now my own, personal plaything! A-HAHA!"
- — Original Timeline Richtofen upon gaining full control of the Aether if the player chooses Richtofen's side in TranZit, Die Rise and Buried.
- "What can I say Dempsey? Things change (...) I am no fool! For what I do... I do only to secure a better tomorrow."
- — Origins Richtofen explaining why he killed his Original Timeline self to "Tank" Dempsey and Nikolai Belinski.
- "This artifact has the power to contain and preserve the subject's soul. YOUR soul. But it can only be done after the moment of death, just as you saw me do to my other self."
- — Origins Richtofen explaining his plan with the Summoning Key.
Doctor Edward Richtofen is a German scientist and a sociopath in the Zombies storyline and also a playable character in the Zombies game mode. His player indicator color is normally green (shared with Fidel Castro and Michael Rooker), but is randomized in Moon and in all subsequent maps. Richtofen's voice appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops II in all maps set in the future, whilst an alternate version of him appears in Origins. This Richtofen also appears in Call of Duty: Black Ops III, in the ending cutscene of Shadows of Evil, and as a playable character in The Giant (which also features the Original timeline Richtofen during the opening cutscene), Der Eisendrache, and Zetsubou No Shima.
Original Timeline Edit"Beware The Doc". A message that was scrawled across walls of every town under Axis control. Starvation may cripple you, dysentery may wreck you, and gunfire may rip the flesh from your bones, but "Beware The Doc".
This is Dr. Richtofen, known affectionately as "The Butcher" to his victims as they scream in agony moments before he snuffs out their light. All through his career, Richtofen has been at the forefront of torture and information extraction research. Richtofen is an incurable sociopath and sees no moral distinction between natural death and murder; the victim is the victim, regardless of how their demise manifests itself.
Doctor Richtofen has a collection of stuffed animals, most of them posed in positions of terror at the instant of their death."
- — Richtofen's bio added with Map Pack 2 in World at War.
During the years of World War II, Doctor Ludvig Maxis formed Group 935, a research team dedicated to improving the human condition. Major General Richtofen, at the time, was Maxis' assistant. They would work together on many projects, though Richtofen would soon find out that Maxis had agreed to create weapons to help the Nazis in the war, due to a lack of funding. Richtofen also carried out his own experiments in the field of teleportation, along with fellow Group 935 member Dr. Schuster. Though he was successful at teleporting a walnut, Maxis did not agree to fund his project, and told him to get back to his "real work".
After conducting more experiments, Richtofen eventually used himself as a test subject for teleportation, leading him to be teleported to a catacomb within the moon, where he came into contact with a mysterious pyramid device, causing him to become insane with schizophrenia. He was then teleported to an exotic jungle, where he spent three weeks learning of the Vril energy force. Afterwards, he traveled back to the weapon factory Der Riese, Group 935's base at Germany, where he started his plans to build a new base on the moon with Schuster and several other Group 935 scientists, all behind Maxis' back.
Using Element 115, Richtofen was able to create a deadly Wonder Weapon, codenamed Wunderwaffe DG-2. Maxis, though initially promised to mass-produce the Wunderwaffe DG-2, did not show any progress due to his infatuation with his assistant Sophia. He decided it was time to act for the betterment of Group 935 and kill Dr. Maxis. During a teleporter test, Edward locked Maxis and his daughter, Samantha, in a room with Fluffy, the first Hellhound, in an attempt to kill them, but they both escaped. Samantha ended up teleporting to Griffin Station and entering the M.P.D., taking control of the zombies, which Richtofen had planned to do. In order to take control of the zombies, he enlisted the help of Tank Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, and Takeo Masaki, who were experimented on by Group 935 and whose memories had been wiped by Element 115. They first travel to a Japanese swamp and then to a factory, where the zombies were created. After overloading the teleporter with the Wunderwaffe DG-2, the group travels forward in time, ending up at a now-abandoned theater in Berlin, Germany, sometime in the 1960's. They then teleport to an abandoned Soviet Cosmodrome, where a scientist named Gersch needs to be freed.
The group then teleports to Siberia, where George Romero is filming a zombie movie with four well-known actors. Things go awry when zombies appear and turn George into one of them. The celebrities find the group trapped in a small room. Richtofen then asks them to retrieve the Vril Generator for him. After they do, Richtofen gives the celebrities the Wunderwaffe DG-2 before the group teleports. The four of them end up in Shangri-La, which, despite its namesake, is filled with zombies due to the locals mining Element 115. Richtofen took the group here in order to retrieve the Focusing Stone. The group ends up having to help an explorer and his assistant escape. Although the two end up stuck in a never-ending loop, Richtofen acquires the Focusing Stone.
Having everything necessary to complete his plan, he teleports the group to Hangar 18 in Area 51, which is overrun with zombies. The group quickly runs to the teleporter in the hangar, sending them to Griffin Station on the Moon. Zombies are also present here due to previous tests by Richtofen. The group eventually opens the M.P.D., revealing Samantha Maxis, who still possesses the looks of a young girl due to being cryogenically frozen in the machine. After fusing the Vril Generator and the Focusing Stone together, Richtofen finally assumes control of the zombies by console-swapping bodies with Samantha and entering the Aether. Maxis then contacts the group from the computers of Griffin Station and explains that there is a way to minimize the damage that Richtofen will cause. After following his instructions, the group watches as three rockets are launched towards Earth to sever the link with the Aether and the world, one of them landing in a destroyed nuclear test site, another landing in an Angolan mine. However, much to Richtofen's pleasure, the calculations were off and the rockets instead obliterated Earth. This allows the zombies, now in Richtofen's control, to overpopulate the survivors of the missile launch and give Edward even greater power.
Among the surviving humans still inhabiting Earth, Richtofen contacts survivor Samuel J. Stuhlinger, who had previously eaten the flesh of zombies under the commands of a survival group called the Flesh, by speaking to him as a voice within his head. Due to his insatiable hunger for power, Richtofen commands Stuhlinger to complete a series of tasks to reinforce the link with the Aether and the Earth, which would thereby allow him to manipulate all energies and lifeforms existing, and additionally mend the Rift to damn the soul of Samantha Maxis to Agartha.
To complete his plan, Richtofen instructs Stuhlinger to convince his allies, fellow survivors Abigail "Misty" Briarton, Marlton Johnson and Russman to activate a polarization device located in the ruins of a town in Washington by supplying it with energy. Meanwhile, Maxis contacts the survivors and asks for their help in polarizing the device as well, resulting in a power struggle between the two. Regardless of their choice, the four are teleported to a series of crumbling skyscrapers in former Providence 22, China, where the second device is located. There they are constantly resurrected by Richtofen until they successfully complete his demands, while Maxis also races to have the tower seized under his control. After the tower is polarized in either's favor, Russman leads the group to the mysterious Rift, located in Southwest Angola, hoping to find answers to the mysteries surrounding them all.
At the Rift, an African Western Town has been entombed within the catacombs, forcing the group to traverse beneath the surface to gain control of the third and final polarization device to complete the demands of either Maxis or Richtofen.
If the player decides to follow Richtofen's side of all three Easter Eggs, the Rift will be mended, eternally damning the soul of Samantha Maxis and the link with the Aether and the Earth will be reinforced. This allows Edward to gain full control of all energies and become omnipotent, granting his soul the ability to leave the Aether and enter the body of Stuhlinger, whom he uses as his physical host. Meanwhile, Maxis ceases his existence inside the Griffin Station computer systems.
If the player decides to follow Maxis' side of all three Easter Eggs, a gateway to the Aether will open, allowing him to escape his digital form and assume power over the Aether's energy and use it to open the gateway to Agartha and destroy the Earth in the process. Meanwhile, Richtofen's soul is transported into a zombie with blue eyes and doomed to forever walk the Earth as one of the undead.
Despite either outcome, no one knew that Samantha traveled to an alternate timeline in 1917, her plan being to rewrite history. This was completed when the younger Edward Richtofen killed all his incarnations including his older self, thus significantly changing the course of the timeline. The Original Timeline Richtofen's soul now resides in the Summoning Key with his ultimate plan of controlling the zombies to have never transpired.
"In a former life, the sadistic Doctor Edward Richtofen stood at the forefront of research into the mysterious Element 115 - and its potential applications for Group 935's Wonder Weapon program. Now, his grand plans for a brave new world guide him down a dangerous path toward an uncertain future..."
In this alternate timeline, Group 935 located a site in Northern France with large amounts of element 115 and began excavation to unearth it. One year later, believing Maxis succumbed to the mental effects of element 115, Richtofen began surgery on him to recover his brain and place it in the Maxis Drone, but the excavation site became overrun with zombies. Amidst the chaos, three allied soldiers, Tank Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski and Takeo Masaki had orders to get Richtofen to their personal leaders. The three held Richtofen at gunpoint during the surgery, but faced with an overwhelming situation are forced to work together despite their differences. Samantha contacted the four and asked to be released from Agartha, which the crew eventually carry out successfully.
Over the course of the next two years, Richtofen begins studying the concept of parallel and alternate timelines, learning that there are other worlds where exists many different variations of himself and his allies. He also learns of one particular universe, where Samantha and another incarnation of him, Eddie, are mere innocent children casually playing with their zombie toys. Wanting to protect them, Richtofen then sets out to change the established continuity in every timeline, by killing every version of himself. During his travels, Richtofen stops at one particular dimension, where he acquires an artifact known as the Summoning Key from four individuals residing in Morg City.
- "Argh! How am I meant to work when all around me, I am beset by the voices of the damned und the doomed!"
- — Young Richtofen beginning to develop schizophrenia like his older self.
Dempsey, Nikolai and Takeo, upon learning of Richtofen's plan, attempts to stop him. After several dimension jumps and failed attempts, they arrive at the original timeline, in the Der Riese facility, just moments after the original Richtofen trapped Maxis and Samantha in the teleporter with Fluffy. Dempsey, Nikolai and Takeo confront the original timeline Richtofen, telling him that there is a chain of events that must be carried out, and prompt him to awaken the original versions of themselves. As the zombie horde approach them from outside, Richtofen ignores the three's warning and turns on the teleporter, only to find the Origins Richtofen inside. The young Richtofen then shoots the older Richtofen in the head, killing him instantly, permanently changing the future. While the group expresses disappointment in Richtofen for tampering with history, he defends his action, believing that what he does will be to secure a better future. While the others fend off the zombies, Richtofen quickly uses the Summoning Key to capture and preserve his older self's soul within, although Dempsey notices this. Eventually, the four activate a beacon in the facility, allowing Maxis from another dimension to locate them.
After acquiring a Giant Robot from the Der Riese facility, the four pursue the scattered remains of Group 935 to Griffin Castle. The Germans had captured the Original Dempsey's cryo chamber from being experimented on by the Original Richtofen and planned to bring him to Griffin Station codenamed "Eagle's Nest", with the young four close behind until a German soldier fires a Panzerschreck at the Giant Robot, disabling it before it could retrieve the Original Timeline Dempsey. After arriving at Griffin Castle, the young four watch as a rocket containing The Original Timeline Dempsey launches to the Moon. After making radio contact with Dr. Groph, Richtofen masquerades as his older self in order to fool Groph. However, Groph becomes suspicious of Richtofen's change of personality and announces him as an imposter. Using the Death Ray, the young four manage to bring the rocket containing the Original Dempsey back to the castle, much to Groph's anger, who activates a failsafe so they couldn't touch the chamber. Using the Vril Generator obtaining from the crash site, the young four awaken a ghost Keeper and help it return it to its physical form before it returns the favor and brings the MPD from the Moon to the castle. However, the Keeper becomes corrupted, forcing the four to battle it, eventually defeating it. After defeating it, Groph expresses his extreme anger, vowing to destroy them and the castle itself. In order to tie up these loose ends, the four use the Summoning Key to launch several missiles towards the Moon, destroying it, ultimately destroying Griffin Station and killing any Group 935 scientist at the station, including Groph. After walking towards Original Timeline Dempsey's cryo chamber, Richtofen activates the Summoning Key, forcing the others to levitate in the air. Here, Richtofen's plan is revealed to the others. Richtofen plans to kill the original versions of themselves to put in the Summoning Key like he did with his own at the Der Riese facility. When Dempsey himself sadly put his older self down, Richtofen briefly comforted him after it was done, showing that he had laid his previous hatred of Dempsey off to the side. Richtofen then captures the Original Dempsey's soul in the Key.
Richtofen and the other three then stowaway on a Japanese vessel heading for a Division 9 Facility before being caught and the Summoning key being taken away from him. A brief fight ensues with the Japanese soldiers with Richtofen burning one alive before he notices the Key rolling toward the ocean, luckily Takeo had managed to barely catch the Key by his fingertips much to Richtofen's relief. The four then are forced to swim to a nearby island after the ship blows up. Later, Richtofen was present when the Original timeline Takeo was cured from being a Thrasher to collect his soul. After the Original Timeline Takeo honorably sacrificed himself for a better future , Richtofen then preserved his soul. Initially Dempsey suggested going after the Original Nikolai but Richtofen said a "chain of events " must be set in motion. The four quickly teleport away and, when they return to the island, the other three now have blood vials similar to Richtofen's.
- "September 22, 1917
When we began the site excavation, our group could not have predicted the dark path down which our work would lead us.
The Doctor remains both adamant and optomistic (sic) that the potential applications for the new found element are worth the associated risks. I concur with the sentiment, but feel increasingly anxious as to the changes I am seeing in my oldest friend..."
- — Edward Richtofen
- "May 13, 1918
The journal of Pablo Marinus has been a most valuable source of information... We now stand at the edge of a brave new world. Our survey of the site has led us to believe that this location may hold the largest single source of 115 yet discovered. We have been authorized to begin work immediately...
Maxis has become obsessed, he neglects the true focus of our mission and instead chases legends and myths. I fear that the girl's influence may have irrevocably poisoned his mind. It is with considerable regret that I must report his current mental instability to group 935's leaders..."
- — Edward Richtofen
- "Final entry
In just a few short months, Group 935's work with Element 115 has allowed the Wonder Weapon program to progress at a rate beyond our wildest expectation.
However, our work was not without consequence.
The ancient evil unleashed from the mound has carved a path of terror and destruction across the entirety of the camp. With Maxis too having succumbed to the sickness, I am forced to take drastic action to preserve what remains of his mind.
I now face an uncertain future, alone."
- — Edward Richtofen
Richtofen is a psychopath with a desire for violence, often laughing maniacally when killing and is also urgent in completing his work as shown in The Giant. He loves blood and death and thoroughly enjoys killing zombies, and has a strange obsession for the spleen. Despite his insanity, he retains his knowledge of bodily organs, technology and Element 115. He despises Dempsey, likes Nikolai and has mutual feelings towards Takeo. He is a megalomaniac due to his plans on destroying the world with a zombie army which partly fails due to intervention from Ludvig Maxis. Post Moon he retains his insanity as the Demonic Announcer. After the Earth was destroyed he became focused in mending the Rift to eternally damn Samantha in the Aether world and to destroy Maxis once and for all as well as to partially repair the damaged Earth. To conduct his scheme, he communicates with fellow survivor Samuel Stuhlinger who had eaten zombie flesh beforehand and manipulates as well as blackmailing him to convince Misty, Marlton and Russman to activate the pylons in his favor while Maxis asked the same. In the end should the Original Richtofen succeed in his plan, he murders Maxis and "condemns" Samantha; Should Maxis win Richtofen is trapped in the zombies, his soul moving to another zombie after death damning Richtofen for eternity and destroys the Earth by going to Agartha. Little did Richtofen or Maxis know, Samantha had teleported to the Origins Timeline to change the future events of the Original Timeline. Eventually another Richtofen from the Origins universe comes to the Original Timeline to stop his Original self. The Original Richtofen is at first joyful when the Origins Richtofen had stepped out of the teleporter and takes off his Wehrmacht Officer hat to greet him. Unexpectedly however, the Original Richtofen was shot dead by the Origins version and his soul was preserved in the Summoning Key, which ends up permanently changing the future.
Due to him still being sane at this point, Richtofen's personality is completely different. He appears level-headed but paranoid possibly due to exposure to Element 115 in France. He appears more unskilled due to only being a field scientist and does not go into battle often, but attempts to keep focused nevertheless. He appears more fearful of the zombies and is more cautious for his own survival. In The Giant, after meeting Samantha Maxis and receiving an explanation of the original timeline, Richtofen became more focused to prevent future events, as explained by Samantha, from happening and even showed disappointment and disgust to his future self before shooting his future self in the head showing how he despised his Original self's pure evil. However, as seen in later rounds of The Giant, Richtofen's instability comes back as he displays signs of insanity and claiming he hears voices in his head which is from exposure to Element 115, thus resulting in his original personality mixing with his younger self, nonetheless he holds on to his advanced intellectual capabilities. Also it appears as if Richtofen is manipulating the others to advance his own agenda such as telling Takeo he has a message from the Emperor of Japan when he does not (however he later regrets this in the ending of Zetsubou No Shima) as well as him manipulating Nikolai by saying they should remain allies due to an Artifact he possessed, and trying to convince him to help him find Maxis resulting in Nikolai verbally threatening to possibly kill him. Richtofen also appears to be hiding something from the other three as he lies while being asked about messing with his own original timeline's dead corpse when with Dempsey and while Pack-a-Punching he may say "I must remember... the others can never know." In Der Eisendrache, Richtofen has become crazy like his Original self but is still level headed while on the mission and is clever enough to fool Groph who later catches wind of his plan. Richtofen's true plans were revealed in the map; he is killing all the Original timeline versions of the characters to capture their souls in the Summoning Key. He also gets rid of a loose end by blowing up the Moon and killing Groph with the missiles after the latter had threatened to kill Richtofen and the other three in extreme anger after Dempsey was brought down to the Castle going as far to threaten to destroy the entire facility to kill the four. After the Original timeline Dempsey was put down by his Origins version, Richtofen briefly comforted him, showing that Richtofen no longer has feelings of hatred toward Dempsey however later in Pohnpei they jokingly mock each other in some quotes showing that they don't think too highly of one another but are still friends regardless. He then captures the soul of the deceased Dempsey in the Summoning Key, completing his campaign in Der Eisendrache. Richtofen appears to be much crazier in Zetsubou No Shima, his personality turning rather more violent when killing the hordes of zombies, displaying obvious signs of insanity, being rather callous about killing the original "Tank" Dempsey and gaining brief instability when talking to Dempsey about the difficulties of navigating the original timeline's universe, Richtofen as always stays true to the mission and is serious when focusing on collecting the souls of the original timeline crew. When Takeo learns of the Emperor's evil nature and calls his life a lie, Richtofen seems to be saddened at the revelation and possibly regrets manipulating Takeo in The Giant showing that the Origins Richtofen seems to have remorse and compassion unlike his original version. After the Original Timeline Takeo nobly sacrifices himself for a better future, Richtofen captures his soul and sends the crew to an alternate dimension to "set a chain of events". When they return to Zetsubou, all of the four mysteriously have blood vials like Richtofen. Richtofen calls it their "insurance policy" in case the group didn't like where they ended up before the four go after the original timeline Nikolai.
- Main article: Edward Richtofen/Trivia