Must be Monday. New podcast! Just click on the fancy logo below.
My personal theory about how the current series will endHonestly, this is a long shot, but I'll say it anyway. Massive SPOILERS for those who have not finished both RTCW:To W and Wolf09. Anybody remember the trailers coming out for Wolfenstein 2009? Well, in one of them is comprised of the monologuing of an unnamed, unseen German, talking about "the one who fought us" and gave them their "greatest defeat." Now, having finished the game, it is fairly apparent (if for no other reason than the exceedingly slim suspect pool) that the narrator is Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse/Strauss. So, we have some foreshadowing of The Reveal post Zetta getting killed, and some advertisement. Not much.... Unless you paid attention to the first thing the narrator said: "When I think about the war..." This naturally implies that he has SURVIVED the war, as he is reminiscing and talking about the War in the past tense (something that is highly unlikely to happen if he were saying it during the war), and which almost certainly applies to WWI (he was old enough to have served, but the quote makes fairly little sense if he were referring to WWI, given the lack of sinister supernatural plots in the Kaiserreich). So, if Deathshead- the primary antagonist of the game- survives WWII, what happens? Well, consider this: in the aftermath of WWII, with the Cold War looming in the distance, both the Western Allies and the Soviets began a marathon attempt to grab as many Axis scientists as possible and ship them home to work for them, granting them immunity from persecution. If Deathshead survives the war, he is a likely candidate to have exactly that occur. Then, the question becomes which side would take him? Theoretically, it would depend upon a number of things, such as where he was when the Allies marched in and a number of complicated issues dealing with the persecution of War Criminals in the aftermath of WWII, but in practice, it is likely to boil down to who gets him first, and which side of the Iron Curtain he would prefer to be on. And for a number of reasons, I think it likely that the answer to both would be "East." Follow me here: 1, Deathshead's greatest ambition is to build the ultimate soldier, the Uber Soldat. OSA's bigwigs go as far as to call the project "his baby", and state that he has been working on it for (judging from my flawed memory) over a decade. His distrust of Operation Resurrection was because it would sap resources from "his baby" for a belief he regarded as foolish superstition. As such, while the destruction of his facility in Norway and his promotion likely mean he has been forced to put it on the back burner, it is almost certain he will try and resurrect it again. Which allows us to draw several conclusions: A. He will want free reign to do what he pleases. His facility in Norway was largely outside of the authority of the SS mainstream, and it took an order by HIMMLER HIMSELF to get him to cough up the prototypes for Op. Resurrection. To say nothing of the unspeakably nasty and unethical things that happened in the experiments themselves. Now, both sides would probably let him continue his research, but for a number of reasons, the West is more likely to reign him in. For one, he will not be able to do as much as he was able to do in the Third Reich, if for no other reason than for however unethical the Western Allied authorities may be, the nature of public accountability (sorry, say what you will, but even in the case of a neutered replication of Project Ubersoldat, heads would roll if the public ever found out) means that he will not have free reign to do whatever he may judge to be necessary for the project. B. For a number of reasons, the West would be unable to provide him the resources he needs to keep the experimentation going in any real scope. First and for most, there is the nature of test subjects: where would he get any? Asides from looting death row (which would be infeasible enough and would be illegal if done before the end of their appeals, to say nothing about the issue if it WORKED and there is now a chronic murderer and rapist grafted to the body of a massive mecha armed to the teeth), captured Communist spies (which brings up the issue RE the Convicts), and volunteers (any guesses what the number of volunteers will be), it isn't like he would get a steady flow of test subjects to experiment on, and if the number of human mutations wee see that actually TOOK (namely Lopers and Ubersoldats, which combined number at least a couple dozen- to say nothing of the number of creatures in Wolf09 that are derrived from humans- namely both the Heavy Troopers, the Elite Guards, the Assassins, and the Sniffers, who together number over a hundred, and not counting the Altered (who were probably created by accident)-, and the extremely likely fact that said experiments had to go through several phases of more lethal "experimentation" in order to "perfect" the process, we are at the very least looking at a couple hundred subjects altogether. Now, some of those (most likely the Elite Guards and possibly some of the Heavy Troopers) were probably volunteers, but we KNOW that that supply wasn't nearly enough, and for the Assassin project they grew desperate enough to pretty much filch patients in the hospital at Isenstadt before they settled on using captured members of La Résistance, we KNOW that whatever supply of volunteers they had had pretty much run dry, and it was only due to the authoritarian nature of the Third Reich (where officers of the Paranormal Division could simply "volunteer" people like said hospital patients and prisoners). There is fairly little reason to believe that the West would give him the freedom to do so, and the lack of warm bodies to work with would not please him. C. Lack of a suitable place to work. For the sake of the argument, even if the West DOES give him everything he wants, where are they going to put it? most places in the West are simply not remote enough from population to deal with any issues that pop up. They were more or less forced to work in populated areas such as Wolfenstein village, Kuglestadt, and Paderborn during Operation Resurrection, and the urban nature of the terrain added BJ both in infiltration and by allowing the resistance to operate. And these flaws were made perfect textbook examples in the sequel, when they literally HAD to base their operations out of Isenstadt due to its unique nature and have everything else on the outskirts. The result was that when the local resistance found out, the SS Paranormal Division and its affiliated commands were plunged into a savage and unrelenting guerilla war against the Kreausau Circle and (to a far, far lesser extent) the Mythic Dawn within driving distance of their various highly-important facilities, with Highly Predictable Results, while their experiments often escaped into the city and were neigh uncatchable afterwards. Even Norway- which was probably Deathshead's number one choice- was shown to be vulnerable without many of these factors due to its proximity to Allied bases in Britain and the untamed nature of the terrain. Simply put, Deathshead would want a place that is quiet, unpopulated, distant from civilization but able to contact it readily, and with some infrastructure that is entirely under state control, with harsh terrain to keep infiltrators out and the test subjects in (or at least to make them very dead if they do get out), is distant from any possible saboteurs, and is something that he or his patrons are able to control almost totally. Save for some secondhand options (the Canadian Far North, the French dominated Sahara, and some uninhabited Pacific Islands), the West cannot readily provide him with this. D. Finally, we have differing priorities. Simply put, Deathshead's ambition is to create the ultimate soldier, which from what we have seen is a huge, heavily armed, highly mechanized infantryman. Unfortunately for him, few in the West share his interest, given the pre-Korea Trumanesque naive trust in a Nuclear Air Force to ward off any potential threat. In short, Deathshead is in the market to make the ultimate infantryman at a time when the Western civilian leadership believes that the infantryman is becoming obsolete with the advent of the nuclear bomb, which would probably be a fatal divergence of interest for any alliance. 2. He has reason to believe that the Soviets WILL be able to provide him with the resources he needs. A. While the West would be hard pressed to provide him with the number of subjects he would require for testing due to various constraints, it would be incredibly easy for the Soviets to do organize. With no real accountability and dozens of thousands of people being exiled to Siberia anyway, it would be fairly easy to divert a handful to Deathshead's cutting block. And this gets even more apparent if he piggybacked his operation on a more conventional Gulag (perhaps with the camp punishment system involving sending offenders to him rather than, say, summary execution). B. He would have more free reign than working in the West. Given the lack of accountability regarding the Soviet high command, as long as Deathshead appeased Stalin and made a concentrated effort to stay out of Soviet factional infighting, he could probably get away with whatever he wanted. Granted, said factional infighting is likely to be fairly difficult to avoid, and there is always the threat that the Soviets get paranoid and liquidate him, but those threats were present in the Third Reich itself, and if Deathshead is truly as driven as he appears to be, he would likely regard that as a fairly low price to continue his work. C. Locations. Whereas the West would have to scavenge to find a secure location, away from a troublesome civilian populace, foreign infiltration, and the escape of test subjects, the Soviets have an ideal one that is literally the size of a continent (well, it is larger than Australia...): Siberia. Inhospitable terrain, lightly settled, with any real infrastructure controlled by his patrons (the Trans-Siberian Railway and any real airborne support there is), and with the closest insertion point for an infiltrator at the (still largely secure) Chinese border, and the closest next one in Soviet occupied Northern Persia. Siberia is about as perfectly suited for clandestine, high-risk experimentation as you can get. D. Converging interests. The Soviets during this time period were still trying to acquire the bomb, and so they did not fall into the same complacently the West (and particularly the US) did, which meant that their research was directed in large part towards more conventional weaponry, including (and this is real) an attempt to create a human-gorilla hybrid to serve as a Super Soldier. They could almost certainly find a place for Deathshead. 3. Animosity. Simply put, the OSA and BJ burned out the fruits of at least a couple years of his life when they destroyed his facility in Norway, and from what we see in Wolf09, he hasn't exactly gotten over it. And given that such a blow to a project he holds so dear is unlikely to fade terribly easily, it may lead him to joining the Soviets simply out of spite. In short, the Soviets can provide Deathshead with the means, opportunity, and location to continue his research, while the West cannot. And likewise, the Soviets can offer him the chance for revenge against the OSA and BJ. The West cannot. Thus, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Third Reich, it is fairly likely that he will case his lot with the Kremlin. And since we have seen an increasing tendency for video games to shift out of WWII (at least temporarily), this would offer the chance to perhaps swish things around a bit and make a fitting end to the RTCW series, with the OSA and BJ being reactivated in the aftermath of the Elbe River crisis to counteract potential Soviet experiments in the paranormal, eventually leading to a medium-sized town/Gulag in the middle of Siberia with a disproportionate amount of guards stationed. BJ somehow enters the camp (either by straightforward infiltration or by going undercover), and things spiral out from there. Bonus points if, if Deathshead dies in the exit, he talks about how their era- the era of mad experiments in the Occult and super soldiers and running and gunning through the strongest fortresses the Third Reich had to offer- is over.