This is the story of Treyarch's Zombies mode. The Treyarch Zombies Timeline can be used to view exactly when these events occurred. Please note that the story is ever-changing based on information introduced in each new map.
In the beginning there were the aether and the keepers. The keepers would eventually be known to split into two fractions the corrupted and the uncorrupted keepers. The uncorrupted would eventually create a device of altering realities. The uncorrupted managed to find the dark aether beyond creation and became corrupted. Using the dark aether the corrupted keepers made the aether pyramid which had power unimaginable. Shortly after its creation a war in Agartha (the "perfect world") broke out between the two factions. Knowing that they were going to lose that led the keepers to hide the aether pyramid on one of the moons which was the Moon of Earth.
In the 1930's Prohibition-era America, mob boss Salvatore DeLuca built a large empire from gambling, prostitution, and the distribution of alcohol. However, he was eventually arrested by the police, along with fellow mobsters Billy Handsome, Michael "Finn" O'Leary and Albert "The Weasel" Arlington. Imprisoned on Alcatraz Island, they were to serve hefty sentences for their crimes.
Arlington, however, devised a plan to escape the island on a makeshift aircraft of his own design. He somehow convinced Sal, Billy, and Finn to participate in the escape plan, but soon enough the joint effort between them descended into quarrels and in-fighting, and, after numerous complications, the three mobsters became hostile towards Arlington. The plan was quickly abandoned, and the plane was never constructed, much to the frustration of the mobsters.
Still angry at Arlington for the failure of the plan, Sal, Billy and Finn constructed makeshift weapons and lured Arlington onto the roof of the prison, where they attacked him and left him to bleed to death, on the night of December 31st, 1933.
For the murder of Arlington, the three were sentenced to death by electric chair. Their execution came on the morning of January 19th, 1934.
However, after their death sentence, the group were sent back in time to the night of December 31st, 1933, in an alternate iteration of Alcatraz Prison, inhabited entirely by zombies and a guard by the name of Brutus. With no memory of Arlington's murder or the failure of the escape plan, they set out to build Arlington's plane and make an attempt at freedom. However, the escape fails after they crash on the Golden Gate Bridge. Eventually, the four mobsters are killed by zombies, reappearing in the prison with no memory of their previous endevour, and soon attempt to build the plane again. This results in the mobsters being stuck in an endless loop, with the notion of escape an impossibility.
With no escape, the mobsters try something else. They learn that, in reality, they are all dead, and their escape plan never came to be. Remembering everything, the mobsters once again set out to kill Arlington.
If Sal, Billy and Finn kill Arlington, the "cycle continues", with the mobsters dying and returning to Alcatraz, and only Weasel having any memory of what happened before.
If Arlington successfully defeats Sal, Billy and Finn, the "cycle is broken", leaving Arlington free to escape the bridge as the only mobster left.
In the year 1939, the world was threatened by a second world war after Germany's chancellor and supreme dictator Adolf Hitler rose to power. Simultaneously, Dr. Ludvig Maxis formed Group 935 as an international German-led research team, and emerged as its head scientist. Maxis sought to use a mysterious new element, which he had named Element 115, to improve the human condition by developing advanced technologies, and enlisted Dr. Edward Richtofen as his senior assistant rather than equal partner, much to his chagrin. However, the group's goal immediately detoured due to a lack of funding, and Maxis regretfully turned to making a contract with the Nazi Wunderwaffe Program to use 115 as a power source for deadly new weaponry to help the Axis Powers win the war. Maxis hoped that after the war, the generous funds and Germany's ultimate victory would put Group 935 in a much better position to help the world.
Using a large supply of Element 115 found in meteors, Maxis began a series of tests experimenting with 115 being used to power devices capable of teleportation, called MDTs, at the Der Riese facility in Lower Silesia. While the majority of the tests failed, Richtofen and another 935 scientist, Dr. Schuster, conducted a successful test on their own by teleporting a walnut using a microgram of Element 115. Though Edward assumed it was a sign of progress, Maxis criticized the scientists for failing to work on their assigned experiments, which led Richtofen into thinking that Maxis planned to betray the scientists and claim their work as his own. Despite Maxis' displeasure, Richtofen and Schuster continued their research with the MDT device, and after a month of tests, Richtofen agreed to be teleported himself. But rather than appearing at the test site's mainframe, he arrived within a catacomb on the moon, where a large, triangular device, known as the MPD, was located. After touching the device, Richtofen began hearing a series of voices in his head, unknowingly gaining schizophrenia from the pyramid, before teleporting away from the strange device. Arriving in an exotic shrine in the Himalayan jungles known as Shangri-La, Richtofen remained there for three weeks and learned of a mysterious energy force known as the Vril.
Richtofen soon returned to the Der Riese facility with full knowledge of the MPD and the Vril, and with Schuster and other Group 935 scientists, spent two years at Eagle's Nest transferring equipment and building a top-secret moon base, Griffin Station, to study the device, which he now knew to be a dimensional gateway to the Aether. Placing Schuster and his superior, Dr. Groph, in charge of the facility, Richtofen continued his charade as Maxis' senior assistant, whom he planned to eventually kill to assume control, then enter the Aether using the MPD to take control of its energy. As Groph and Schuster toiled with the device, Maxis and Richtofen began a project to create Wonder Weapons for the Nazi Party. Maxis used a blueprint design created by the Japanese research group Division 9 to create the Ray Gun, while Richtofen used the element to create the Wunderwaffe DG-2, a weapon so deadly even Maxis himself felt uneasy about its mass-production. Nonetheless, he promised Richtofen it would be produced, but his growing attraction with his secretary Sophia prevented him from doing so, infuriating Richtofen.
While other weapons were produced from several Group 935 facilities, such as the Quantum Entanglement Device made by Richtofen and the second generation Ray Gun created by Dr. Porter, Maxis focused his attention on the matter transference devices, hoping to manufacture them to the Wehrmacht, granting German forces easy travel in the war. The initial tests failed, with test subjects either being killed or exposed to Element 115, resulting in their deceased cells being reanimated and becoming unresponsive zombies. However, the first successful test was conducted after a dog had been sent through the device and failed to return to the mainframe. While Maxis believed the MDT experiments to be failures, the Reichstag saw the creation of the zombies as another advantage in the war, forcing Maxis to create a program intended to control them.
During the unsuccessful attempts to control the zombies, Richtofen traveled to a Siberian Group 935 outpost to experiment with 115 on living test subjects, hoping to procure a serum capable of rendering the human mind responsive to commands from another. Using POWs, Richtofen used Red Army sergeant Nikolai Belinski, Imperial Army captain Takeo Masaki, and Mexican soldier Pablo Marinus as subjects in his tests. Through the process, Belinski and Masaki's memories were erased and Marinus was killed, forcing Richtofen to request a replacement test subject. After an American OSS spy, Peter McCain, who was inserted into Group 935 to report all ongoing experiments to his handlers at a Nevada Base, was compromised at the 935 facility in the Wittenau Sanatorium in Pankow, Berlin, a Marine recon team was sent to evacuate him. The team, consisting of Corporal "Tank" Dempsey (the leader of the team), John "Banana", Smokey, and a fourth Marine whose name is unknown, found the site infested with the undead. Their extraction plan quickly failed, leaving Dempsey the only survivor and Richtofen's newest test subject. Peter, having escaped prior their arrival, parachuted into Division 9's Rising Sun facility, where he died trying to land. Meanwhile, an Allied aircraft crashed at an airfield and the survivors were forced to fight against the undead.
Richtofen became suspicious of other OSS operatives in the organization, with Dr. Harvey Yena being one of his suspects. Yena was also present at the Siberian site, developing the Scavenger sniper rifle. Nonetheless, Richtofen continued his work with 115, which yielded interesting results with each test subject: Dempsey acquired severe anger management issues, Belinski became functionless without some form of alcoholic substance, and Masaki's mind was broken, with him only speaking Japanese proverbs. As Richtofen's research continued, Dr. Groph and Dr. Schuster developed the Wave Gun and continued research with the MPD.
When Richtofen returned to Der Riese, World War II was at an end, resulting in an Allied victory and the collapse of the Third Reich. With 935 no longer funded and a test site overrun, the future looked grim, though Maxis pressed on to improve the human condition. Conducting a sixth test with the MDT, hoping to mass-produce it for public use, Maxis and Richtofen used Fluffy, a German Shepherd which Maxis gave as a present to his daughter Samantha. To their astonishment, she was successfully teleported from teleporter Z-A, spawning an orb of lightning in her place. As this occurred, Samantha arrived at the lab, questioning her father on Fluffy's disappearance. The dog quickly returned through the lightning, with 115 reanimating her deceased cells and turning her into a being known as a Hellhound. As Maxis and his daughter attempted to approach the monster, Richtofen proceeded with his plan by locking them in the teleporter with the former dog, activating its function in an attempt to murder the two.
Unbeknownst to Richtofen, Samantha and Ludvig both entered the MDT and were teleported to separate locations. Samantha arrived at Griffin Station where the MPD awaited open and ready for a human conduit. Terrified from a lack of air, Samantha accidentally ran into the device itself, entering the Aether and gaining control of its energy. Dr. Groph immediately contacted Richtofen and warned him of both father and daughter having survived, and received commands to locate Maxis and bring him to the station to finish him off. Using the MPD's ability to teleport matter, Schuster and Groph teleported Maxis to the base, where they allowed him to speak with Samantha. After promising he loved her, Maxis asked his daughter to use the Aether's powerful energy to destroy Group 935 and anyone daring to continue their dangerous work, which she promised to fulfill. He then proceeded to commit suicide, causing his soul to become conjoined with the computer systems of Griffin Station while Samantha commanded the zombie hordes located at numerous 935 outposts to slaughter anyone involved with the organization.
Richtofen quickly awakens his three test subjects at Der Riese, now overrun with zombies. Having no memory of who they are or who he is, they agree to help him. The group becomes known as Ultimis (Latin for "the last"). Upon realizing that Samantha was in control of the Aether, he devised an alternative plan to gain ultimate power and defeat her — use a Vril-generating device and sufficient supply of 115 to bend life force itself, allowing him to switch his soul with Samantha's and enter the Aether as an all-powerful being. After arriving at the Rising Sun facility to locate his diary, Richtofen discovered the site to be populated by zombies, forcing him and his allies to fend off the hordes. Due to a possibility of being overwhelmed, the four recovered the diary and shortly thereafter, abandoned the site and returned to Der Riese, where Richtofen hoped to use an MDT prototype to arrive at Griffin Station in the same fashion as Samantha to defeat her and assume control over the Aether.
After the MDT was shot with a Wunderwaffe DG-2 charge, it overloaded and ripped through space and time, sending the group into the future to an abandoned theater in Germany, Richtofen dropping his diary in the process. After disappearing from Der Riese, a Russian and American standoff took place, as both forces wanted to salvage the work of Group 935 for the benefit of their own countries, followed by a massacre of the zombie population there. Richtofen's diary was recovered by the Russian forces.
Sometime prior the characters' arrival at the Soviet Cosmodrome, a Russian scientist named Yuri Zavoyski was transferred from Project Mercury to work on sending monkeys into space, much to his dismay. His transfer was caused by his superior, Gersh, who held a grudge against him after the relieving of his duty from Project Mercury. As Gersh is working on Project Mercury, his staff begin work on Project Thunder. Beginning his new work, Yuri begins reading Richtofen's diary, and after doing so, he soon notices a teddy bear and Matryoshka Dolls at random places throughout the facility, causing him to wonder how a child could be let into the station. The child, Samantha, then slowly drives Yuri insane, and in his state of insanity, finishes the Gersh Device. Yuri has Gersh activate it, allowing zombies and Samantha to enter the station and trapping Gersh inside the device. Shortly after, Yuri presumably dies. However, as he was absorbed by the portal, Yuri was teleported to the Pentagon by Samantha to hinder the survival of John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Fidel Castro, and Richard Nixon.
After the events of Kino der Toten, the main characters somehow reached the abandoned Soviet Cosmodrome. The characters then hear Gersh, who tells them that the mechanism must be repaired, referring to the Casimir Mechanism, which must be fixed by completing a series of different tasks. After all the steps are completed and the mechanism is fully repaired, Gersh is freed, leaving Samantha free to be ridden of in the Aether. Richtofen retrieves his diary.
At the same time, John F. Kennedy, Robert McNamara, Fidel Castro, and Richard Nixon are negotiating when zombies break into the Pentagon. They are the only four still alive in the building, and while upon reaching the final level, discover a section of the Pentagon housing numerous devices and artifacts the Americans had salvaged from Der Riese. The four survive in the aftermath.
As they continue fighting at the cosmodrome, Dempsey and Takeo slowly begin to regain their memory. Takeo is the first to remember, and remarks to himself that some day when the group is finished fighting zombies, Richtofen will get what he deserves. Dempsey, on the other hand, is slowly making progress, as he remembers that he'd seen Richtofen before being captured. Takeo notes his shifting memories and believes Dempsey is finally remembering what Richtofen did to him.
In modern day 2011, George A. Romero stumbled upon Group 935's research while making a WWII film. He and the cast took a ship out to the now abandoned lab in Siberia. After he and the movie's crew were zombified by the remains of the ship's crew, only four main actors of the crew: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Robert Englund, Danny Trejo, and Michael Rooker, remained alive. After the Casimir Mechanism was completed in Ascension, Gersh, now in his ethereal form, teleports Ultimis to the Group 935 facility in Siberia, where they were trapped behind a locked door. Richtofen then asked the celebrities to help him obtain the Golden Rod, which they did. Richtofen thanked the group by giving them the Wunderwaffe DG-2 to help them survive against the onslaught. It is unknown what became of the celebrities after helping the group escape to Shangri-La, though some time later, Romero was interviewed, where he recounted his story of how he found the research and how he came to making the film.
Shangri-La, a temple that was once a mining facility for Element 115, however, does not live up to its name, as its inhabitants have all been zombified before the group's arrival. Richtofen now states that this was the last step to controlling the world before he is teleported there. Prior to the group's arrival at Shangri-La, two explorers, Brock and Gary, went on an expedition to prove their theories on Agartha. Brock later figures out that the temple wasn't built by an ancient civilization, but by people in the modern era interpreting it. After investigating the temple, the pair accidentally activated the temple's time travel and died in the resulting zombie attack. The group travels back in time and helps the pair survive. When the group finally creates the Focusing Stone and places it on an altar with Richtofen's name, the two explorers are sent back to the moment they discovered the temple, indicating that they're stuck in a never-ending loop.
Now in possession of both the Golden Rod and the Focusing Stone, Richtofen believes he can now control the zombies. Ultimis then travels to Area 51 so they can get to the Moon via a teleporter to Griffin Station. When the group reaches Area 51, it is already overrun. Due to the Element 115 on the Moon, astronauts, scientists, and soldiers sent there have been zombified before the group's arrival. Meanwhile, Broken Arrow operatives, including Schuster, begin drilling near the Nevada base in a search for more 115. Their drilling causes a nuke to go off. After this, a group of CDC scientists and CIA agents investigate the ruins of the former nuclear test site in Nevada, where an undead outbreak is already in progress.
Richtofen then has the group complete the MPD. When the device is completed, it opens up to reveal Samantha Maxis, suspended in the air. As it turns out, the device acts like a prison and keeps her cryogenically frozen so she can be used to control the zombies. Richtofen goes to a terminal to power up the Golden Rod and the Focusing Stone, which he fuses together. However, he encounters Dr. Maxis inside the terminal, who tries to stop him. Richtofen switches souls with Samantha to gain control of the zombies. Richtofen finally thinks everything has gone his way, until Takeo, Dempsey, and Nikolai decide to stop him. Dr. Maxis, sensing Richtofen's betrayal, prepared a backup plan in case Richtofen got this far. The remaining members of Ultimis then launched three missiles located on the Moon, one of which impacts the nuclear testing site, destroying the Earth's ozone layer in the hopes that it will sever the link between Earth and the Aether, thereby greatly lessening the damage Richtofen could cause. Unfortunately, the calculations were made in haste, resulting in catastrophic destruction.
The missile launch leaves the Earth a post-apocalyptic crumbling wasteland, littered with undead hordes as civilization begins to collapse. As survivors begin to band together to form small human communities and shelters to protect themselves from the now global-undead threat, Maxis realizes the failure of his original plans due to hasty calculations and begins contacting survivors to help him with his "Plan B"; to activate global polarization devices and open a gateway to the Aether, where he would overpower Richtofen and use its energy to heal the Earth. Unbeknownst to his followers, Maxis secretly planned to commandeer the Aether's energy for his own use to open the gateway to Agartha and reunite with Samantha, which would ultimately destroy the Earth and its people.
Richtofen, unsatisfied with his limited power to the undead, planned to activate these polarization devices as well, which would grant him further manipulation of both zombies and humans and mend "the Rift", a direct gateway to Agartha that would eternally damn the soul of Samantha Maxis. Limited to communicate with only those capable of hearing the voices of the Aether, Richtofen began his own plight and quest for unlimited power.
Meanwhile, Marlton Johnson emerges as the sole survivor of the events in the nuclear test site and meets Abigail "Misty" Briarton in an abandoned town where they find two more survivors, Russman and Samuel J. Stuhlinger, who have commandeered a robotic bus they have used for transport. They become known as Victis. There, the four survivors are contacted by Maxis, who reveals the town is a location of a polarization device required for his plans. At the same time, Richtofen contacts Samuel, who has previously eaten zombie flesh resulting in him being able to hear Richtofen, instructing him to foil Maxis' plans by activating the tower in his favor, beginning the race for power between the Germans. They activate the tower for Maxis.
Victis is teleported by Richtofen to a skyscraper in the crumbled city of Shanghai, China in an attempt to still gain control. Maxis regains contact, hoping to gain control of the second tower located there, while Richtofen blackmailed Samuel into helping him acquire the device's power as well, threatening to reveal to his allies his secrets. Every time the group fails to carry out the objective and is killed by the zombie horde, Richtofen would use his power to bring them back, with no memories of having been killed before.
Once the second polarization device had been activated in Maxis' favor, Victis manages to escape the building they were trapped in. Eventually, the group makes it out of the crumbling city of Shanghai and begins a journey through the remains of Europe and Africa to reach the Rift, hoping to find answers about the unseen forces commanding them. In Southern Angola, the group finds a Western town buried underground near the Rift. Maxis once again contacts his allies, imploring them to activate the last tower in his favor. Meanwhile, Samuel was tasked for the same objective by Richtofen, as it was also the last tower he needed to mend the Rift and gain his unlimited power.
If the player decides to follow Maxis' Easter Eggs in all three maps and polarize the towers in his favor, a portal to the Aether will open and allow Maxis to become the controller of the zombies and the dimension's energies. He will then proceed with his plans to open Agartha (revealing himself to be just as evil as Richtofen, and announcing that in the process he will destroy the Earth and its surviving inhabitants) and reunite himself with his daughter, Samantha, after returning Richtofen to the physical world spawned as a blue-eyed zombie.
If the player decides to follow Richtofen's Easter Eggs in all three maps and polarize the towers in his favor, the Rift will be mended, eternally damning Samantha to Agartha and allowing Richtofen to retrieve full manipulation of the Aether's energies. With the Earth as his personal playground and Maxis to cease his very existence, Richtofen is now able to leave the Aether at will and uses the body of Samuel Stuhlinger as his physical host.
After Maxis gains control, he plucks Samantha from Richtofen's body, where she resides with him in Agartha. After witnessing her father's corruption by the Dark Aether, a temporal rift opens to an alternate timeline in 1918 in Dimension 63 where Samantha reaches out to the Maxis of that timeline. In this timeline, in the midst of World War I, the German research organization known as Group 935 are tasked with creating powerful new weaponry to ensure victory for the Central Powers.
During September of 1917, Dr. Ludvig Maxis and his partner Dr. Edward Richtofen lead an archaeological excavation into the trenches of northern France after Maxis promises Group 935's leaders that this is the location of an unknown and enigmatic new element. The excavation not only discovers this new element but also uncovers an ancient and mysterious ruin beneath the battlefield. Dr. Maxis classifies the new element as number 115 on the periodic table of elements. The group plans to use Element 115 as a power source for new weaponry in the Wonder Weapon program. At the excavation site, Group 935 installs a series of conversion generators that utilize element 115 to create localized energy fields. To their surprise the energy fields act like portals and begin to materialize advanced machinery of indeterminate origin, leading Maxis to surmise that the conversion of element 115 is somehow capable of creating a crease or tear in space and time.
As the excavation continues, Group 935 discover more wonders such as an ancient box capable of delivering weapons from various time periods, further confirming Maxis' suspicion that Element 115 has time-altering properties. Dr. Richtofen takes part in the creation of at least four giant mechanical humanoids whose creation is only possible due to the use of Element 115 as a power source. Group 935 plans to deliver these to the German Army for use in battle.
It is at this time Richtofen notices Maxis start to show signs of paranoia and mental psychosis. The symptoms worsen as Maxis begins to hear the voice of Samantha, who claims not only to be his daughter but also that she is trapped in a realm known as Agartha and needs his help to escape. Due to Samantha's constant interference with their work, Richtofen fears for his friend Maxis' safety and grows to despise Samantha.
Meanwhile, the excavation in Northern France unearths a sealed main chamber within the ancient ruins. All attempts to open this chamber are unsuccessful until, purely by chance, one of the workers sets up a gramophone for entertainment. When the gramophone begins to play music, the chamber seal opens revealing cryptic writing on the walls. The excavation site's exposure to Element 115 begins. Meanwhile, Maxis studies the writing and learns of an ancient race and their ability to create powerful devices such as an 'Amplification Rod' and 'Elemental Stones'. According to the writing, the Amplification Rod is capable of harnessing energy from the Elemental Stones. The excavation group has found neither the rod nor the stones so Maxis instructs Richtofen to create four replica rods or 'Elemental Staffs' while continuing to search for the original devices.
When presenting the idea, Richtofen began to question Maxis' actions, believing the Amplification Rod to be a myth. Convinced of his insanity, he planned to report his mental instability to Group 935's leaders, while Samantha began to communicate more frequently with Maxis, now attempting to convince him of her being his future daughter. One night, as a team of soldiers were installing more generators, they reported seeing strange and ancient figures emerging from the mound and finding many of the men dead or missing by morning. As more figures emerged, now revealed to be ancient Knights from the Great War reanimated by Element 115's powers, the test site slowly became infected by the creatures, with Maxis himself slowly turning.
The reports of the creatures provoked the United States to send Tank Dempsey to the test site to investigate the group's work, and acquire Dr. Richtofen as a H.V.T. Meanwhile, civil war-torn Russia did the same, believing the Germans had been gearing up to unleash a dangerous new weapon and sent Nikolai Belinski to undertake the mission. The Emperor, wishing to seize the German weaponry for Japan, sends Takeo Masaki. As the three soldiers made their way to the site, Richtofen attempted to preserve Maxis' mind and prevent it from succumbing to the disease, and removed his brain. Primis is reunited.
Eventually, the four heroes meet and agree to put aside their country's allegiances to band together and survive the zombie attack and Group 935's mechanical robots, while being contacted by Samantha in the midst of battle begging to be released from Agartha. While Tank, Nikolai, and Takeo agreed to help, Richtofen focused on creating a makeshift quadrotor drone using Maxis' brain, allowing him to live temporarily until a human body could be provided. The four are able to open a portal to Agartha beneath the ruins, allowing Maxis to meet his future daughter and Samantha to be freed from controlling the zombies. The zombie outbreak was contained.
Another alternate universe is shown, where Samantha Maxis and a boy named Eddie (under the care of Samantha's father, Dr. Ludvig Maxis) is casually playing a game of "zombies", as if fictionalizing all of the past events that occurred, making it seem like it was all just one big game. Samantha is seen narrating the ending of the Origins story referencing the end of all her and the world's problems making it seem like the Zombies storyline was nothing more but a fictionalized story. A story created to scare children. Eddie argues that the zombie's eyes should be blue, and says that Samantha doesn't know how to play right. All of a sudden sirens are heard in the background. Dr. Maxis tells them to lock the windows and go into the basement, Samantha tells Eddie that he can make the rules next time. Eddie hesitantly says: "I wish the heroes in our stories were real, Sam." Then Samantha replies, "Don't worry, my father has a plan."
Over the course of the next two years in the Origins timeline, Richtofen studied the concept of alternate timelines, and learned about the force of the Ancient Evil:The Apothicons, who controls the undead, and how Element 115 connects all dimensions together. He takes a particular interest in the universe where the children (Samantha and Eddie) live in, and seeks to protect them. Richtofen discovers something called the 'Kronorium', granting him knowledge on an artifact called the Summoning Key, which resides in yet another dimension. The alternate timeline where the Summoning Key exists is in the 1940s in the fictional city of Morg City. Simultaneously, four individuals who have come to reside in the dimension; Nero Blackstone, Jessica Rose, Jack Vincent and Floyd Campbell have defended the Key from Keepers, whilst following the Shadow Man. Richtofen enters right after the four defeat a giant Apothicon tentacled monster. He rushes in, takes the Key which the Keepers were giving the four, thanks the four for their efforts and rushes off. The Apothicons destroy Dimension 63.
Now in possession of the artifact, Richtofen travels to an alternate timeline to kill Ultimis Richtofen. In this timeline, only moments after the original Richtofen trapped Maxis and Samantha inside a teleporter with Fluffy, Primis Dempsey, Nikolai and Takeo attempt to stop Ultimis Richtofen, and join him in this timeline. The three confront the WWII Richtofen, telling him that there is a chain of events that must be carried out and prompt him to awaken the Ultimis version of themselves. As the zombie horde approach them from outside, Ultimis Richtofen ignores the three's warning and turns on the teleporter, only to find the Primis Richtofen inside it. The young Richtofen, who had just acquired the Summoning Key from Morg City, then shoots the Ultimis Richtofen in the head, killing him instantly. This event causes fractures in space and time. While the group expresses disappointment in Richtofen for tampering with history, he defends his action, believing that what he does will be for a better tomorrow. The four characters band together within the Der Riese facility in order to survive the undead horde to progress through their mission. They light up a beacon within the facility, enabling the Origins timeline's Maxis to know where and when they are. Over the course of the mission, the Primis characters' personality begin to merge with those of their Ultimis counterparts: Dempsey becomes more aggressive as well as loud-mouthed, Nikolai becomes slightly less intelligent and is more obsessed with drinking, Takeo constantly speaks using Japanese proverbs, and Richtofen shows signs of schizophrenia.
Using a Giant Robot at Der Riese, the four characters then pursue a Group 935 truck, carrying a cryostasis pod containing the original Dempsey. The robot, however, is shot down by a rocket, forcing the four to continue on foot. They reach a gondola station, which takes them up to Griffin Castle a.k.a. Eagle's Nest, where massive deposits of Element 115 have been recently discovered. However, the four were too late to stop the original Dempsey from being sent towards Griffin Station on a rocket. As they carry on with their mission, Richtofen then poses as his original self in an attempt to fool Doctor Groph, who becomes suspicious of Richtofen's abnormal behavior. Eventually, the group redirects the rocket containing original Dempsey's pod to hit the castle courtyard. In retaliation, Groph then activates a failsafe, preventing them from tampering with the pod. Richtofen then instructs them to activate the MPD by temporarily displacing it from Griffin Station to the castle. After battling a Keeper corrupted by Group 935, the four unleash a barrage of missiles toward the moon, destroying it along with all Group 935 members within Griffin Station. As they approach the original Dempsey's pod, Richtofen reveals his plan to eliminate their original counterparts, and absorb their souls into the Summoning Key. Dempsey, though initially resentful of the idea, agrees to the plan, and takes it upon himself to disable the pod's life support system, ending the life of the original Dempsey. With the original Dempsey dead, Richtofen uses the Summoning Key to capture and preserve the soul of the original Dempsey. With that done, his goal at Griffin Castle is completed.
After the mission at Griffin Castle, the four somehow teleport to an alternate version of the Ultimis timeline, arriving on board a Japanese ship in the pacific ocean, eventually being taken hostage once the crew of Division 9 soldiers discover the stowaways. A Japanese Officer interrogates the four as he holds the Summoning Key in his hand. Suddenly, a massive wave strikes the ship, sending everyone off their balance. A brief fight then ensues on the ship as the officer drops the Summoning Key, resulting in his brutal murder at hands of Takeo. As the Summoning Key rolls towards the side of the ship, Takeo catches it at the last second, much to the other relief, however, a fire on board the ship forces the four to jump overboard as the ship explodes. The four eventually are forced to swim to a nearby island seen in the distance as the ship behind them sinks to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The island, which also houses a Division 9 facility, had been exposed to various Element 115 experiments, resulting in mutated animal and plant life of various kinds. As they dive deeper into the facility, they discover a giant Thrasher, locked within a cell. After a long ensuing battle with the undead horde, the group destroys the Thrasher, which is revealed to be a mutated form of the Ultimis Takeo who was displaced in time. Conversing with his older self, the young Takeo is then shocked by the revelation that it was the Emperor who sent him here to be tortured and experimented on. He then resolves himself, and offers the WW2 Takeo a chance for redemption. The WW2 Takeo then commits seppuku, with the young Takeo acting as his kaishakunin. Having absorbed his soul into the Summoning Key, Richtofen then teleports the group to a laboratory under Alcatraz prison to accumulate blood vials from the victis crew, who has arrived at the laboratory after stolen the kronorium from the empty earth which houses in another dimension. Victis is preserved in stasis chamber for further use.
Following the demise of the Ultimis Takeo at the Division 9 facility and picking up the blood vials at Alcatraz , the four travel to a war-torn Stalingrad, in another fractured timeline of the Original Timeline, during a massive battle between several Group 935 controlled Dragons and Russian Giant Robots in search for the Ultimis Nikolai Belinski. Eventually, the crew are teleported through a portal in the sky to Russia, free falling until Dempsey notices that a soldier has a parachute. Dempsey pulls the reserve on the chute and slows the Origins' crews descent. However, Nikolai notices a massive dragon that flies toward a lone mech, and upon inspecting the dragon's target, finds the mech to be piloted by none other than the Ultimis Nikolai Belinski. Upon noticing the crew, the original Nikolai attempts to kill them, but is thrown into a building by the dragon before he can fire any munitions. Later, when encountering the Origins characters, questions who they are and if they can help him.
Eventually, the Origins crew reach Sophia, who has somehow turned into an A.I.. She asks them to perform a number tasks before a master password can be typed in, prompting the young four to complete the Ascension protocol. As they continue to follow Sohpia's instructions, they find Gersh, who recognizes them, yet knows they are not the same versions who freed him. The origins characters then trick Gersh into entering the systems of Sophia to extract information from him. Later, a voice contacts the four, stating that he's "Seen their misdeeds". As Origins crew continue fighting, the mysterious voice asks them to fix the universe as they are partially responsible for its fracture. Soon enough, the origins versions of the crew reach the original timeline Nikolai, who makes a temporary truce with them to kill the dragon. However, upon the alpha dragon's death and the four asking Nikolai to surrender, he turns on them and attempts to kill them. Nevertheless, the origins crew defeat the original timeline Nikolai, who is then approached by his Origins version. Asking if he will "kill him now" in a drunken stupor, the Origins Timeline Nikolai apologizes, stating he wishes there was another way and remarks he suffers the same pain as his older counterpart. Continuing, he explains further that obsession with alcohol was simply to hide agonizing memories; his first wife was killed in an air raid, revealing that Nikolai had always lied about his uncaring attitude towards women, and what drove him to have multiple wives. In a fit of rage, the original Nikolai fires upon his younger self with a pistol. However, the shot hits him on his armored shoulder, causing no damage. In retaliation, the Origins Nikolai responds by killing his original self with his shotgun, allowing Richtofen to then collects his soul.
With all four souls collected, Richtofen sends the original Nikolai, Takeo and Dempsey towards the sky with a beacon from the Summoning Key, claiming that the crew will see Maxis soon. Later, the unknown voice from before contacts Dempsey, Nikolai and Takeo, stating that Richtofen can't hear him, and congratulates them on completing their campaign. He then clarifies that they will arrive at "The House" soon, his domain. The disembodied voice also states he'd spent years looking for just the right versions of them to "close off the dimensions", suggesting that the versions of the characters collected were a plausible reason for the universe's disorder, and the fates of the other incarnations in other realms, besides his dominion, had all been erased at this point. Finally revealing his name as Dr Monty, the voice finally expresses his distrust of Richtofen, reasoning he has been in "The House for ages", and that the others shouldn't trust him.
We find out that when Richtofen sends the 1.0 souls to Maxis, they get their souls in the house developing a child version of themselves to be safe in the house. Maxis's body was able to be taken over by the Shadow Man in the house because when the Maxis Drone is sent to the house in Origins, he only gets a brain, not a soul, therefore the Shadow Man is able to contact him and use Maxis to get out of the Summoning Key.
Finally, Richtofen and the others teleport to the universe where the children exist, revealed to be a perfect world. The children Samantha, Eddie, and child versions of Dempsey, Takeo and Nikolai, residing in the house as a result of Richtofen collecting the souls, play with their toys as an air siren sounds. Meanwhile in the basement, Richtofen, Takeo, Nikolai and Dempsey exit the teleporter to meet Maxis, who then proceeds to destroy the teleporter with the help of Richtofen. Sometime later, Maxis becomes overwhelmed by a voice begging for help, influencing him to reach out for the Summoning Key, which ultimately releases the Shadowman into the dimension, who in turn captures Maxis within the Summoning Key. The Shadow Man then begins the process of corrupting the dimension by allowing the Apothicons into it, wreaking havoc across the dimension. Nonetheless, the four Origins characters manage to defeat the Shadowman by shooting him into the mouth of an Apothicon statue which crushes the Shadowman, killing him. Finally, Sophia and Maxis sacrifice themselves to preserve the area. Afterwards, the Origins characters are sent back to 1292 where the The Great War between humanity and the Apothicons begins, re-becoming Primis and are regarded as conquering heroes, ultimately creating a loop in time.
Upon arriving at Mob of the Dead, the Primis crew makes their way to a laboratory underneath the Alcatraz Island. Another Richtofen from another dimension seen reading the Kronorium, seemingly waiting for Primis's arrival in the lab. "You're late!" states the lone Richtofen and turns around in frustration, closes the Kronorium and greets his other self. He then proceeds to pick up three pairs of blood vials from the table and hands them to Primis Richtofen while saying "Two for each of them, survival depends on it...ya, ya, ya, you remember!" Primis Richtofen hands over the blood vials to Dempsey. Hasty the lone Richthofen gives his counterpart the Kronorium and strongly advises him to read it again. Primis Richtofen starts to read through the Kronorium with confusion and frustration while the lone Richthofen turns around and leaves trough a rift. Confused the Primis crew leaves the Lab and runs to their rift they came trough. This is prevented by Brutus which destroys the rift before the crew can leave. while trying to surviving the horde, they soon come to realise they are stuck on the island, doomed to die.