We have finally reached the end of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s Zombies mode. As has been the case in the past, the story was complicated and left us with many questions. While we do not expressly know the future of the Dark Aether story other than a prequel will be covered in Call of Duty: Vanguard, we can start by looking at what happened with the Forsaken ending.
Before we begin, the ramifications of this ending could go in so many ways, and who knows how Treyarch will handle it going forward. We can make some guesses, but time will tell how correct we are. Also, it should go without saying, but spoilers ahead.
Is this the end for Samantha Maxis?
Black Ops Cold War Zombies introduced a new reality for Samantha Maxis after she and Eddie walked into it from the ending of Tag Der Untoten in Black Ops IV. After she grew up and became a spy, this game focused on reintroducing her to her powers we have seen many times in the past. One of the biggest changes with Samantha since her beginnings is that this version of her has a purified soul after Monty took her away in Black Ops IV. With that in mind, that is why she chose to sacrifice herself by diving into the portal protruding from the Forsaken and transport herself to the Dark Aether again.
Is she fine? Likely. Who knows if Treyarch would ever abandon their star child. Samantha is a warrior, and with her powers, we expect her to survive the Dark Aether, even with five years passing in the human dimension. We wholly expect Samantha to appear in the next Treyarch-developed Call of Duty game or if a standalone Zombies game releases. Don’t expect to see her in Vanguard since that story takes place in the 1940s, and she had not moved to this new universe until the 1960s.
What is Eddie up to?
One of the biggest “surprises” from Forsaken’s ending is that the Director of Requiem is Eddie Richtofen. The same Eddie who traveled between realities with Samantha in Black Ops IV, not any other version of Edward Richtofen that we played as in previous Treyarch games. What we do not know is what he is up to at the moment.
Our biggest hints are his memos to some unspecified group attempting to pull off something called Project Janus, which we have no information on. We knew he saw Samantha as a threat, but now that he has the Forsaken contained, what is next? Every version of Richtofen we have ever seen has a grand plan. What could this one be?
Like Samantha, this version of Richtofen is purified, but there is a chance he came into contact with the Dark Aether, which could pull out his more evil side. Samantha had some of the same experiences while she was in the Dark Aether during Firebase Z. That being said, our brief look at Eddie showed a man who had no scars on his face (aside from above his eyebrow) and might not have seen any battle action personally.
If you look at the pictures on his desk, you can see a photo of him with a wife and child, which is different from anything we have seen in the past Richtofens, and also what looks like him getting out of some cockpit. There are also slight Easter eggs in this scene including a snow globe that has Monty’s house in it and that globe appears to be positioned directly where Peck points to in his scene.
While we can easily write Eddie off as being evil for betraying the rest of Requiem, he may act completely different than we are used to. Until we see him in action and find out more about his plan, we cannot be sure.
Why did Eddie have Requiem arrested?
The fact that Eddie wanted to remove the entire Requiem team comes down to they knew too much. Every member of the team not only had profound studies on the Dark Aether and its power source, but they all saw firsthand all of the outbreak zones and, in the end, what was trapped inside that mechanical Pokéball. He could be keeping them prisoner to help continue research on the Forsaken or knew they would work against his plans with Janus or whatever group he is working with. We doubt that any of them are dead yet, but that could change if the vision we saw from the Forsaken can be believed.
What is Blacksite 13?
While Richtofen had Carver, Grey, Strauss, and Weaver arrested, he had the strike team we played throughout this game as sent to a location called Blacksite 13. The fact that he specifies this and not where the others are sent tells us this is a different location. The only clue is they are being held for “indefinite containment.” What does this mean for the strike team? We guess that the next time we push this story forward, we will be playing as characters linked to the story again, instead of shells of characters to show off whatever Operator skin you have equipped.
On the contrary, you could also view this as our Operator skins are just in a different prison near Japan where Peck could be going, but we think him going to visit Weaver and the others instead is more interesting.
What is Peck up to?
After Requiem is locked up and the Director is revealed to be Eddie, we get a time jump to five years later in Japan, where it is revealed that Peck survived the gas explosion with Kravchenko and is now looking for “old friends.” If we can take the Forsaken’s vision during his boss fight seriously, we would guess that Peck will find Carver, Strauss, Grey, and Weaver in whatever prison they are being kept in, but they will eventually die.
Why is he looking for these people? We honestly could not say. Peck may have found out Eddie’s plan and could be working to break them out. However, wherever they are being kept could potentially be the same place Eddie is keeping the Forsaken trapped in that mechanical ball when Samantha sacrificed herself. Peck is not much of a hero type, so he could be using whoever he is trying to find to get back at the Forsaken and maybe conduct his own studies on him. The Forsaken is very much still alive and could be let loose at any time by Peck’s meddling that could lead to the deaths of these “old friends,” as we saw in the vision, which gave a quick glimpse of a jail area.
Who was on the wall in the vision?
While you may have been occupied looking at the dead members of Requiem on the floor in the Forsaken’s vision, there was a very deliberate marking of a person on the wall. They look female with green eyes and red hair. The writing on the wall saying, “No one escapes alive,” gives us heavy Alcatraz vibes from Mob of the Dead, which could be some link to that purgatory dimension, but focusing on the woman, we have never seen her before. Her glowing eyes indicate that she has some kind of power, but it is not purple like Samantha’s. In short, this could be the next big bad, but we have no idea who it is as of this writing.
How did Peck survive?
After finding out that Zykov is actually the Forsaken, we constantly hear Peck and Kravchenko go back and forth as they attempt to survive the zombie horde attacking them. Until right before the boss fight, Kravchenko yells at Peck for accidentally shooting a gas line, and an explosion cuts them off. That explains the burns on Peck’s face. That being said, Peck may have been fooled by the Forsaken like everyone else, but he is still a genius that we believe could tell what a gas line is. We predict he took a calculated risk by shooting the gas line to kill Kravchenko (who could potentially be alive still as well, we never saw the body).
If both he and Kravchenko survived that zombie onslaught, Peck knew that Kravchenko would have killed him for sure. He saw an opportunity and blew up the room, escaping with a burned left side of his face to accompany the missing right eye.