|"It's up to you, Player. It's all up to you."|
This article contains multiple options that are determined by player choice.
|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)
|Affiliations||Wehrmacht (formerly), Nazi Germany (formerly), Group 935 (formerly), Illuminati|
|Status||Alive, inside Samuel J. Stuhlinger's body/Deceased, soul trapped inside zombies (Original Timeline, player-determined)|
Alive (Origins Timeline)
Deceased, soul preserved within the Summoning Key (Reformed Original Timeline)
|Killed By||Origins Edward Richtofen (Altered Original timeline version)|
|Marks||Scar under eye (Original timeline)
Cuts and bruises on face (Origins timeline)
|Hair||Brown/Grey (black in Origins and bald on the Ascension poster)|
|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 (Reformed Timeline)|
|Weapon||M1911, any weapon obtained by the player.|
Thundergun (First Strike poster)
Mauser C96 (Origins and The Giant poster)
MR6 (The Giant, Der Eisendrache; The Giant, Der Eisendrache cutscene)
|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)|
- "What can I say Dempsey? Things change (...) I am no fool! For what I do... I do only to secure a better tomorrow."
- — Richtofen explaining why he killed his future self to Tank Dempsey and Nikolai Belinski.
Doctor Edward Richtofen is a megalomaniac, sociopath and a sadistic German scientist 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 Giant (which features another alternate Richtofen), Der Eisendrache and in a cutscene in Shadows of Evil.
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.
Origins Timeline Edit
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.
Dempsey, Nikolai and Takeo, upon learning of Richtofen's plan, attempts to stop him. After several dimension jumps and failed attempts, they arrive at another dimension, in the Der Riese facility, just moments after this timeline's Richtofen trapped Maxis and Samantha in the teleporter with Fluffy. Dempsey, Nikolai and Takeo confront this Richtofen, telling him that there is a chain of events that must be carried out, and prompt him to awaken the original version 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 of the Original timeline supposedly erasing all the events. 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. In Der Eisendrache, Richtofen plans to kill the Original timeline Dempsey to put his soul in the Summoning Key like he did with his own. He also plans to remove loose ends as he destroys the Moon, killing Dr. Groph and everyone in Griffin Station to prevent them from stopping his plans. 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.
- "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
Original Timeline Edit
Richtofen is a psychopath with a desire for violence, often laughing maniacally when killing. 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.
Due to him still being sane at this point, Richtofen's personality is completely different. He appears level-headed but paranoid. 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 recieving 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. 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. 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 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. Richtofen also appears to be hiding something from the other three as he lies while being asked about messing with his own dead corpse 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 WWII self but is still level headed while on the mission. Richtofen's true plans were revealed in the map, he's 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. 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. He then captures the soul of the deceased Dempsey in the Summoning Key, completing his campaign in Der Eisendrache.
- Main article: Edward Richtofen/Trivia