Original Survivors (Ultimis and Primis)
- Badass Crew: Natch.
- Beware the Silly Ones: This group is, without a doubt, the least serious one of all the playable characters, generally treating their predicament much like someone performing a tedious chore. This does not mean that they are bad soldiers. Not by a long shot.
- Killed Off for Real: All of the original versions of the characters in the fractured dimensions are killed by their respective Primis counterparts in order to ensure a better tomorrow.
- Me's a Crowd: In Classified, we have two incarnations of Ultimis; the four that have just come off of Shangri-La, and a four that have already survived the events of Moon and are currently held as test subjects by the Americans. At the end of Classified, Primis joins forces with post-Moon Ultimis to go fight in the Great War.
- Palette Swap: Well, Model Swap. All four started off as edited versions of character models from World at War, with their first-person models the same as Miller's from the campaign (though they differ in Black Ops). Later games, specifically Black Ops II and beyond, gave them original character models and designs. The models were;
- Dempsey: Private Polonsky from the American campaign. Black Ops viewmodel is of Mason during "Payback".
- Nikolai: Private Chernov from the Russian campaign. Black Ops viewmodel is of Mason during "Vorkuta".
- Takeo: A basic enemy model from the American campaign. Black Ops viewmodel comes from the NVA faction in multiplayer.
- Richtofen: Heinrich Amsel from "Vendetta", though with his black clothing recoloured green. Black Ops viewmodel is of Hudson during "Rebirth".
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: In Classified they display signs of this (besides Nikolai, who keeps drinking vodka). Dempsey suffered severe Sanity Slippage as evidenced by his audio log; Takeo is still shaken from having helped destroyed the Earth; and Richtofen is quiet and morose, having lived through the events of Buried, an unknown amount of time trapped as a zombie, and having now learned of the greater evils of the Apothicons that have corrupted him.
- Token Evil Teammate: Richtofen, who is the main antagonist of the original timeline.
- Unwitting Pawn: Nikolai, Takeo and Dempsey; as their memories were wiped by Richtofen, and are duped into helping his scheme to control the zombies.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Besides Richtofen and Maxis, the Ultimis incarnations of Nikolai, Takeo, and Dempsey disappear from the plot and are never seen again post-Moon. Different incarnations of the characters are created when Primis Richtofen kills his Ultimis counterpart in The Giant, but they are eventually killed, and the incarnations of the characters we last saw on Moon are never seen again. Classified reveals that they were teleported back in time to the Cold War-Era Pentagon.
After the Earth was destroyed twice over by Richtofen and Maxis, Samantha traveled to an alternate timeline in which the four heroes were World War I era soldiers, and they formed an alliance to free Samantha from Agartha. After a few years of peace, Richtofen recruited the gang yet again to help him purge the universe of the zombies and influence of Element 115. This meant killing off their original counterparts in the World at War-Black Ops II storyline. The group succeeds after changing the original timeline by killing the original Richtofen, and go to live out their lives in peace in the Aether with Dr. Monty, only for the Shadow Man to return and threaten the universe on behalf of his masters, the Apothicons. After a great battle, the evil is vanquished, and as a reward for their services, Monty allows the group to live out the rest of their lives as Primis, medieval warriors who originally defended Earth from the Apothicons, completing the cycle.
- Adaptational Heroism: The Primis versions of Takeo, Nikolai, Dempsey and Richtofen are also much more heroic, even at the start, being willing to save the universe. Although this is much more emphasized with Richtofen, considering that his original timeline version was an Ax-Crazy psychopath who enjoyed wanton death and destruction, while this Richtofen never loses his desire to actively help people even in his darker moments.
- Badass Crew: Even moreso than the original group, thanks to the technology and powers they attain and the fact they're up against the Ultimate Evil of the universe and win. Twice.
- Darker and Edgier: These versions of the characters are more serious and less goofy than their originals, with more mature personalities and designs. Nikolai and Richtofen in particular are almost unrecognizable due to them lacking a good deal of their insanity. Eventually they begin to mellow out and have quips and one-liners much like their Ultimis counterparts, due to the universes bleeding together.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Even more notable than the original group, since they become genuine friends by the end of their journey, whereas Richtofen betrayed the rest of the group, who were still as likely to turn on each other to some extent. However, this gets subverted by Blood of the Dead, in which Takeo, Dempsey, and Nikolai do not come to trust Richtofen like they did in the events of III; however, they do form a bond between the three of them. Dempsey consoles Takeo over killing his Ultimis counterpart, Nikolai genuinely respects and trusts his two comrades, and Takeo admires Dempsey's will, among other examples.
- Five-Man Band: They form one in Origins. They later become The Team.
- The Leader: Dempsey - the most affirmative, and he's the first to decide to band together with Richtofen and the others follow suit.
- The Lancer: Takeo - He contrasts from Dempsey in that he's still the most willing to bring Richtofen in for his country.
- The Big Guy: Nikolai - The biggest, strongest and burliest, though here he's more intelligent than previous maps.
- The Smart Guy: Richtofen - Being the last survivor of the excavation team, he knows the most about Samantha, Element 115, the zombies, and practically everything.
- The Chick: Samantha, by default, who may also qualify as the Big Good.
- Sixth Ranger: Maxis, once you build him a drone to use as a vessel.
- The Team:
- In Black Ops III, Richtofen is both The Leader and The Smart Guy, Dempsey is The Lancer, and Nikolai and Takeo share the role of The Big Guy.
- In Black Ops IV, a new group is formed by the end of Classified with their ranks doubled by Ultimis. Primis Nikolai serves as The Leader, with Primis Dempsey as his Lancer. The Richtofen's, particularly Primis, serve as The Smart Guy, and the Takeo's and Ultimis Dempsey and Nikolai serve as The Big Guy.
- True Companions: The crew becomes this by the end. In Primis Dempsey's last note, he mentions looking forward to seeing his old friends again in the afterlife.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Monty intended for them to be erased from existence after they helped him save the universe from the Apothicons, but just to protect the new world from any leftover taint of the ancient evil. Richtofen foresaw this, and had the crew drink blood vials from realities closed off with the Apothicons, combining their Aetheric energy with their own to make a paradox that would save them from erasure.
Corporal "Tank" Dempsey
Ultimis Corporal "Tank" Dempsey
The American character. Your stereotypical American Marine, ripping his way through his enemies like butter. Takes up the white space on the scoreboard and serves as the host in World At War.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Thanks to Richtofen, along with Takeo and Nikolai. By Ascension, he's starting to recover.
- Calling Your Attacks: In Moon.
- Does Not Like Spam: He has a massive dislike of Revive Soda on account that it tastes of (seemingly rotten/raw) fish. Nikolai comes to agree with him, but Takeo loves it.
- Trademark Favorite Drink: On the flipside, he loves Juggernog.
- Eagleland: Type 1.
- Enemy Mine: He's good friends with Takeo, despite the fact their countries were direct enemies at the time. Takeo, however, doesn't return the favor. Averted with Richtofen.
- Last-Name Basis: He's usually referred to by his surname.
- More Dakka: He's a massive fan of Light Machine Guns (specifically the MG-42 and BAR in World At War), though in Black Ops this switches to the M16 and the former just get generic quotes.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Dempsey accidentally created the Classified scenario when he tried to use the Shrink Ray on a zombie while on a teleporter. Cue Face Palm from Richtofen shortly after teleportation.
- No Fourth Wall:
Dempsey: "Hey, player! DROP THE CHIPS AND GET ME SOME AMMO!!!"
- He knows he's being controlled by a player and he knows he was created by Treyarch, leading to some very humorous lines. Flanderization of this started happening in the Black Ops instalments. Of course, this is all part of the charm for Ultimis.
- Passed in Their Sleep: In Der Eiseindrache, he is asleep inside a stasis pod, and dies by his Origins self shutting its life support system down.
- Psycho Electro: He and Richtofen share one thing in common: they love using the WunderWaffe and Wave Gun.
- Retcon: The Marines playable in Verruckt initially were unnamed generics. However, later games retconned that one of them was in fact Dempsey himself.
- Semper Fi: He was a Marine before the events of Zombies Mode in both timelines.
- Sole Survivor: Dempsey was the only survivor of the Marines sent to rescue Peter McCain from the Wittenau Sanatorium, with John Banana, Smokey, and their fourth companion all falling to the zombies.
- Verbal Tic:
- He enjoys saying "Oorah!" and calling ammo "Gun Juice", which Sarah Michelle Geller picks up in Call Of the Dead.
- He also calls the Wunderwaffe DG-2 the "Wonder Waffle".
- Weapon of Choice: During the WWII era, the BAR. Afterwards, the M16 and its upgraded variant, and later the Overkill (shared with Primis Dempsey) in Black Ops IIII.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: After Moon, his original timeline self wasn't seen until Der Eisendrache. It's finally revealed that once Ultimis Richtofen was killed and the timeline was changed, Ultimis Dempsey was captured and put in a cryogenic pod by Group 935, and the Primis crew have to rescue him - or so they think, since Richtofen reveals that they need to kill all the Ultimis Survivors to capture their souls with his artifact. Eventually, Primis Tank convinces Richtofen to let him kill his Ultimis self, and he does so by cutting the life support on Ultimis Tank's cryogenic pod. His post-Moon Ultimis counterpart returned in Classified.
Primis Corporal "Tank" Dempsey
In the new timeline formed in Black Ops III, Dempsey is a far more serious character who may be even more badass than the original Dempsey. He does not trust Richtofen, which reaches its peak when the truth comes out that the group's new mission is to exterminate their original counterparts.
- A Day in the Limelight: Narrates the Der Eisendrache trailer and its Easter Egg is about him.
- Decoy Protagonist: The trailers usually beef him up as the central protagonist of the story, though it's Richtofen who is the protagonist with the most focus in the story.
- Enemy Mine: The most distrustful of the gang towards Richtofen, until he realizes his intentions are true.
- Face Death with Dignity: Once he learns the truth of the group's mission, he agrees to be the one to put his other self down, and grants him a peaceful death in his sleep.
- Fighting Irish: Downplayed, given that he identifies as American, but he claims to be of Irish descent in Blood of the Dead.
- Gatling Good: At some point prior to Blood of the Dead, he procured a minigun from a Group 935 armory, and named it Overkill.
- Guns Akimbo: Appear to be his weapon of choice; He sports them in The Giant intro, the ending cutscene of Der Eisendrache and both Revelations 's and Blood of the Dead 's intro.
- The Lancer: Is the most hesitant about Richtofen's plans and always voices his concerns.
- The Leader: At the end of Revelations, when the group is reincarnated as Primis, he appears to be the most prominent member of the four.
- No Name Given: Even Monty claims to not really know his first name, though he suggests Thomas (and Ringo, jokingly) as a theory. The Shadowman also asks if he even has a first name.
- Pet the Dog: He comes to like the Cerberus heads in Mob of the Dead, especially since they devour zombies whole.
- Sole Survivor: According to a hidden cipher, he was the last surviving member of the original four to die after an unknown great battle (which is now ambiguous due to the events of Blood of the Dead).
- Tempting Fate: Dempsey gives a Badass Boast about giving hell to their foes in the opening of Blood of the Dead. Takeo chides him for speaking of hell so lightly, and Dempsey insists he was kidding. The group is then trapped in the grueling hell of Alcatraz.
- Took a Level in Cynic: Is a lot more morose than his original counterpart, thanks to actually having his sanity and memories.
- Visual Pun: He debuts in the Origins opening cutscene riding a tank.
- Weapon of Choice: Dual pistols, then later a minigun dubbed "Overkill".
Sergeant Nikolai Belinski
Ultimis Sergeant Nikolai Belinski
The Russian character, another stereotype who adores vodka and killing his wives in great plenty. He's the only one not showing signs of recovery from his brainwashing. Takes up the blue slot in the scoreboard in World at War.
- The Alcoholic: He CRAVES vodka, but alas he can't find any. The only time he does is in Call of The Dead, where you have to find it and give it to him. The closest he got before that was that the cut Perk-A-Cola Turfbrew makes Nikolai remark it tasted like beer. When Richtofen experimented with him, he needed a Vodka-based serum to stay responsive. As revealed in Gorod Krovi, he began drinking to forget the loss of the love of his life.
- Badass Boast: Quite a few: "Don't fuck with the Red Menace!"
- The Big Guy: He's definitely burlier and bigger than the others.
- The Bluebeard: Generally Played for Laughs. In World At War, he had at least five wives and killed them all. The fourth was killed with an axe and the others with varying weapons. By Moon in Black Ops, this has gone up to SEVEN wives... "and new girlfriend". Subverted in that he only had one wife, who he lost in a bombing raid, and that all the other stories were lies concocted by his own drunkenness.
- Double Entendre: Quite a few in the later maps.
- Drowning My Sorrows: He wants to, but he can't. It's revealed in Gorod Krovi that it's to forget the death of his wife, with all his claims of killing multiple wives being Alcohol Induced Lying.
- First-Name Basis: Never referred to by his surname.
- Forgot to Pay the Bill: Will sometimes ask this when realising there is no power.Nikolai: Who didn't pay electric bill?
- Enemy Mine:
- Averted with Richtofen - Nikolai takes Richtofen's... "interest" in him as sucking up for a free drink.
- Averted for a different reason in the 2.0 timeline; Nikolai fears Richtofen will betray him and the others again in time (while Takeo is all for Richtofen's plan and Dempsey is mostly neutral towards it), leading to a great deal of contempt.
- Large Ham: Nowhere near as loud as Dempsey or Richtofen, but he certainly chews the scenery. Taken Up to Eleven during Gorod Krovi, where Ultimis Nikolai is piloting a Humongous Mecha, and makes over-the-top taunts when battling the zombies, the dragon, and the Primis crew:"When victory is mine, I will BATHE in your blood!! Russians know NOTHING of surrender!!"
- Ludicrous Gibs: Basically how Ultimis Nikolai goes out in Gorod Krovi; it's not seen, but Primis Nikolai kills him by shooting him point-blank with his shotgun. One can only assume you could have poured what remained of the former into his vodka bottle.
- Made of Iron: Both versions qualify, if only outside of gameplay. while it takes several rounds of Pack-a-Punched gunfire and a massive dragon to take down 1.0 Nikolai's mech in Gorod Krovi. Eventually subverted; see Ludicrous Gibs above.
- Noodle Incident: Often brings up past events every now and then with zero context, usually involving his wives.Nikolai: You know, I was on fire once, It was no fun.
- One-Man Army: In Gorod Krovi, he's pretty much owning the battlefield by himself, a battlefield that involves dragons, giant robots and hordes of zombies.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- You know things are getting bad when Nikolai flatly refuses to aid Richtofen any further during the events of Moon, without any of his regular, boastful attitude.
- Throughout Gorod Krovi, Ultimis Nikolai is drunkenly blowing the shit out of zombies and dragons with a Humongous Mecha, and coming up with hilariously drunk boasting and curses. Then Primis Nikolai calls him out, saying he's only drunk because he's trying to forget the death of his wife in an air-raid. Ultimis Nikolai drops any pretense of drunken silliness and screams that some things are forgotten for a reason, before attempting to kill his alternate.
- Real After All: Inverted. Gorod Krovi reveals, at least in this new timeline, that Nikolai only had ONE wife; the rest were drunken lies he made up when she was killed in an air raid. One has wonder how much of his life from the World at War-Black Ops II timeline was that delusional fantasy.
- Took a Level in Dumbass: He went from a serious, competent, physically-fit, and sober soldier, to...
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: ...a smelly, bumbling, alcoholic man with a weight problem.
- Took a Level in Badass: In Gorod Krovi, Ultimis Nikolai is still drunk off his ass, but is also piloting a Humongous Mecha while mulching zombies and shooting up dragons.He also refuses to surrender to the other Primis Survivors, fighting until his mech is destroyed, and even then tries to shoot Primis Nikolai before getting blasted with a shotgun from the latter.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: He's also much more violent in Gorod Krovi, seemingly being the last human alive in this alternate Stalingrad. When Primis Nikolai forces the truth about his alcoholism on him, his goofy demeanour vanishes completely and he becomes totally murderous...which doesn't exactly last.
- Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: ...a smelly, bumbling, alcoholic man with a weight problem.
- Vodka Drunkenski: See above.
- Weapon of Choice: The PPsH-41 during the WWII era. Afterwards, the FAL and the upgraded HK21. He also shares the Hellfire with his Primis counterpart in Black Ops IIII.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: His original timeline self didn't appear after Moon until Gorod Krovi, two games and five out of universe years later. Even then, the Ultimis Nikolai we last saw on Moon didn't return until Classified, a further two years after that.
Primis Sergeant Nikolai Belinski
In the new timeline, Nikolai is almost unrecognizable. A world-weary, battle-worn soldier, Nikolai looks forward to the end of the group's war with the powers of darkness. However, for this to come to pass, Nikolai must confront the darkest moment of his past if they are to save the universe.
- A Day in the Limelight: Narrates the Gorod Krovi trailer and its Easter egg is about him.
- Affectionate Nickname: In Blood of the Dead, Dempsey starts calling him "Nik" as a way of showing the bond the two have formed.
- An Axe to Grind: Wields a massive axe in the Origins opening cutscene and is able to chop zombies in two with little effort. Sadly, this axe is not available in-game.
- The Big Guy: The biggest and burliest member of the gang, again.
- Dented Iron: It's clear that Nikolai is still suffering, mentally if not physically. He mentions as much when asked about his use of expletives in Gorod Krovi; it takes his mind off of the horrors he has seen.
- Fire-Forged Friends: With Takeo in particular. It's especially notable since they were always at each other's throats in the original timeline. In the Revelations ending, they both suspect Monty is about to betray them and silently agree to try to kill him together.
- Future Me Scares Me: Not scares as much as "disgusts". In the endings of both Gorod Krovi and Classified, he express disdain for how much an alcoholic his Ultimis self is.
- Gentle Giant: He's huge and powerful, but he's surprisingly sweet and soft-spoken when it really comes down to it.
- Kill It with Fire: At some point prior to Blood of the Dead, he apparently gathered a bunch of scrap metal and made a functional flamethrower out if it. He thusly named it Hellfire.
- Large Ham: Averted. This incarnation of Nikolai is pretty restrained and calm.
- The Leader: At the end of Blood of the Dead, post-Revelations Richtofen appoints him as the new leader of Primis after the death of the original Primis Richtofen.
- Made of Iron: He tanks a handgun bullet pretty well (albeit with it being deflected by his chest plate).
- Shotguns Are Just Better: See Weapon of Choice.
- The Starscream: During Blood of the Dead, he suggests to Dempsey that they both kill Richtofen to take command. Tank is quick to call him out on it, citing it as "bad fucking karma".
- Doubles as Foreshadowing, since he is appointed leader after Richtofen is killed at the map's conclusion.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Of all the members of Primis, Nikolai is the one who has the most hatred for Richtofen and even by the time of Revelations, his opinion of him has hardly changed. When Richtofen's plans go awry in Blood of the Dead, Nikolai spends the entire map insulting him and cursing him.
- Took a Level in Badass: From Origins on, Nikolai is back to being a serious and competent soldier. He later recognizes that this does not detract from the original's combat prowess at all, however.
- Undying Loyalty: To the group as a whole by the end of their adventures.
- Weapon of Choice: Nikolai is often seen using a shotgun in cutscenes; the Olympia in Origins, the KRM-262 in Black Ops III and the MOG-12 in Black Ops IIII. The latter also gives him a personal Specialist Wonder Weapon, the Hellfire flamethrower.
Captain Takeo Masaki
Ultimis Captain Takeo Masaki
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Completely recovered as of Moon, rendered moot as of The Giant.
- Comically Serious: From Ascension onwards.
- Calling Your Attacks: Pokemon Style, too.
- Does Not Like Spam: Claims that orange flavored cough syrup is the worst type of cough syrup.
- Enemy Mine: With Dempsey in the trailers, with Richtofen at first.
- Face Death with Dignity: To escape his tortured existence and to help save the universe, he humbly agrees to die with honor, and even asks Primis Takeo if he would be his kaishakunin as he committed seppuku.
- Intentional Engrish for Funny: Though this petered out as the maps went on. It returns in full force in Classified.
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: His constant comments on honour, ancestors, etc. make him the biggest walking stereotype of all the characters.
- Last-Name Basis: As "Masakai" is his first name, and everyone refers to him as Takeo, he employs this trope.
- The Leader: He seems to take over once Richtofen enters the Aether and takes control of the Zombies and Maxis leaves them, since he's completely recovered his memory. Averted in Origins and onwards.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Richtofen barely remembers him, except in Call of The Dead's radio messages. This also may be out of spite since Takeo was the only one who had recovered his memory and was more onto him. Was often this to the rest of the cast prior to Ascension. After that, he managed to break out as the Comically Serious.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: By Ascension, it's no secret Takeo wants to kill Richtofen, and he had the perfect chance in Moon. But thanks to gameplay, he helped his cause and let him take over the Zombies and then nuked the earth!
- Precision F-Strike: Compared to Dempsey and Nikolai.
- Seppuku: How he meets his end, with Primis Takeo serving as his kaishakunin.
- Trademark Favorite Drink: Revive Soda.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: The reason is that it tastes like fish. This comes back to bite him quite hard in Call of the Dead.
- Weapon of Choice: The AK-74u and the upgraded M14. And, of course, his katana; the Path of Sorrows.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: The Ultimis incarnation of Takeo is never seen again post-Moon until Classified.
Primis Captain Takeo Masaki
Ever the honorable warrior, the new incarnation of Takeo sets out with the others to save the universe from darkness. During their mission, Takeo finds his own honor and loyalties in question as he begins to discover the depths of evil even his own beloved home country will sink to.
- A Day in the Limelight: Narrates the Zetsubou No Shima trailer and its Easter Egg is about him.
- Broken Pedestal: He's devastated when he learns his older self was tortured and experimented on by orders of the Emperor himself, after devoting his life to the Emperor's honor.
- Cool Sword: The Path of Sorrows, his signature Katana, which eventually becomes usable in Revelations and Black Ops IIII.
- Everyone Has Standards: Like the others, he voices his horror at the level of depravity inflicted on his older self by Division 9.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Out of the other three members of Primis, Takeo is the one who comes to most respect and like Richtofen by the end of Black Ops III. The other two still doubt and accuse Richtofen of everything going wrong almost up to the end of Revelations.
- Heroic BSoD: Has a brief out in Zetsubou No Shima's Easter Egg, where his older self tells him he's been imprisoned on the island on the orders of the Emperor of Japan himself.
- Interchangeable Asian Cultures: His Primis counterpart even returns to some of the conventions of the Ultimis Takeo when the others almost abandoned theirs.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Any time Takeo is in a fight during a cutscene, you can bet he'll be using a katana while the others will be using guns. He manages to keep up and even outdo the others in kill counts at times too. As of Black Ops Iiii, you can equip said katana, which has to compete with the Ragnarok DG-5, Overkill and Hellfire. It still keeps up with the best of them and can end up with a blood red Battle Aura once fully leveled out too.
- Mercy Kill: Delivers one to his Ultimis self at the end of Zetsubou No Shima's Easter Egg, decapitating him after he commits seppuku (an extremely painful ritual that is supposed to bring honour back to oneself and often followed by decapitation).Ultimis Takeo: Will you be my kaishakunin?
Primis Takeo: It would be my honor.
- Off with His Head!: Does this to his Ultimis self at the end of Zetsubou No Shima, at his demand.
Dr. Edward Richtofen
Ultimis Dr. Edward Richtofen
An insane German scientist who worked for Group 935 in the past, and is behind just about everything in the story, including nuking the Earth. From TranZit to Buried, he is the Demonic Announcer. Takes up the green slot on the scoreboard in World at War.
- Arc Words: "Beware the Doc", "Teddy is a Liar", and "Mend the rift".
- Ax-Crazy: After getting corrupted by the Apothicons by way of touching the MPD, Richtofen quickly loses his mind and becomes all too eager for a slaughter.
- Be Careful What You Wish For: In the non-canon ending of Buried, after killing Maxis and taking control of Samuel's body, it seems Richtofen is stuck in a corporeal body. Richtofen's not pleased at the stink, nor having to fight off the minions he's controlling.
- Big Bad: Of the Black Ops II arc of the original timeline. He styles himself as the Big Good to Samuel and others who can hear him. Hes canonically usurped by Maxis, making him form a Big-Bad Ensemble with his rival since Maxis is revealed to have been Evil All Along.
- Boom, Headshot!: On the receiving end by his younger self at the start of The Giant.
- Breakout Character: Probably the most popular character of the series, and this got him a starring role as the true protagonist of the series, whether he's The Hero or a Villain Protagonist, as well as a tenure as the Demonic Announcer. He later returns in the comics and Black Ops IIII, revealing his fate after Buried.
- Break the Haughty: He lost ten years of semi-ultimate power over the Aether at the end of Buried and was forced to endure an unknown period of time as a zombie. When we see him again in Classified, he's noticeably more subdued than he was before.
- Deadly Doctor: "Don't be afraid of death... be afraid of the doctor!"
- Demoted to Dragon: At the end of Buried, Maxis assumes control of the Aether and condemns Richtofen to be trapped inside a zombie's body.
- Depraved Homosexual: A few jokes in Call of the Dead and Shangri-La seem to imply this, with Richtofen "accidentally" grabbing Dempsey while trying to pull a lever (the implication being Richtofen grabbed Dempsey's dick) and putting his finger in his ass (with Dempsey punching Richtofen flat on his in response), and in Shangri-La, getting spikes shoved up his ass has him Scream Like A Little Girl before saying they should buy him dinner next time, and he sometimes says "It's a small gun, but it has a LONG barrel - like my college roommate". And that's not mentioning his Villainous Crush on Nikolai.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Unceremoniously shot in the head by his younger self at the start of Primis' journey in Black Ops III. Well, a version of him is, at least.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Maxis isn't that impressed by Richtofen's inventing teleporting, playing a part in his Start of Darkness.
- Expy: While likely not intentional, his original incarnation resembles a warped version of the Medic from Team Fortress 2;
- They're both German (obviously).
- They're both misidentified as Nazis (Richotfen's group worked for them but did not share their view, while Valve has gone on record as stating that making Medic a Nazi would be "too easy").
- Both have created technology more modern sciences both in and out of universe have yet to create (Medic: healing rays. Richtofen: Wonder Weapons and teleporters)
- Both are friends with large, strong Russians (Heavy, Nikolai) and Nationalistic Americans (Soldier, Dempsey, though not so much in their case).
- Both hold a certain sympathy towards animals (Medic: pigeons. Richtofen: dogs)
- And both share a fascination with magic and otherworldly beings - though in Richtofen's case, it was not exactly of his own will.
- Face Palm: When Dempsey slightly derails his plans by teleporting them to the Pentagon in Classified.
- Fate Worse than Death: The canon Maxis ending of the Victis timeline has Maxis rip Richtofen from the Aether and stick him into the body of a zombie, transferring to another one upon that body's death. He remains an enemy in Buried after this, constantly crying about his fate and giving the player a Power Up drop every time he's killed.
- The Zombies comic eventually revealed that he managed to escape Buried and continued to roam the Earth as a zombie, though at least being able to reaquire his old threads, and working with Primis!Richtofen to help out the Victis crew. Punch Cards in Classified eventually reveal that he managed to get into the Pentagon and re-enter his old body, imprisoned in the Pentagon after Moon and brain-dead after Samantha was...removed.
- For the Evulz: All the brainwashing and amnesia? Richtofen did that. A recording on Moon showed him as reasonable, if also The Rival to Dr. Maxis. His... later behavior is due to being corrupted by the Shadow Man after touching the MPD, and now being an Unwitting Pawn trying to help bring about the destruction of the Earth for the Apothicons.
- Ghostapo: Similar to above, but even more so when he gains control of the Zombies.
- Grand Theft Me: Though he doesn't really miss having a physical body, if you've completed all Black Ops II easter eggs in his favour, he begins using Samuel's body as his own, though it seems he can't fully take control for some reason. An inverted version occurs when siding with Maxis instead, as he's forced to body-hop among Zombie bodies, never dying permanently, but forced to inhabit stinking rotting bodies completely against his will.
- HeelFace Turn: Downplayed. While still amoral and very much evil, he ultimately assists his more moral Primis counterpart to get the blood vials he needs in the comics.
- Herr Doktor: Of course.
- Large Ham: Oh, so much.
- Last-Name Basis: Usually referred to by his surname except by the Maxis family, who knew him personally before the outbreak.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: You can't play Black Ops II and avoid the fact that he became the new Demonic Announcer at the end of Black Ops, to the point it leaps into It Was His Sled territory. Likewise you can't play Black Ops III without avoiding the fact he stuffed up at the end of the last game and his alternate has to fix it.
- The Leader: Especially by the time of Black Ops, when he's the one leading the others throughout the various maps to achieve his goals.
- Mad Scientist: After touching the MPD.
- Obfuscating Insanity: Played with. Even though he's still very much insane, he knows far more than he lets on about the zombies, Group 935, and Samantha. By Shangri-La, the others finally notice he's up to something big, but at that point it's too late to stop him. Blacks Ops III reveals that he wasn't mad, per se, more posessed by the Apothicons and obliviously doing their bidding.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: As much as he loves his "minions", if they get too close or too numerous, Richtofen's ready to shit his pants and haul some ass out of there.
- Sharing a Body: If you complete all easter eggs in Richtofen's favour, he will enter Samuel's body. Complete them all in Maxis' favor, and he's forced to enter the body of a random zombie.
- Shoot the Medic First: In-universe. Samantha is targeting only him, as the others are his experiments.
- The Starscream: To Maxis, especially after coming into contact with the MPD.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Subverted. Group 935 was around long before the Nazi Party, but ended up exchanging their Wonder Weapons for funding, though they never saw service. It's implied Maxis never intended to help the Nazi Party and was just stalling, even when the Wunderwaffe exceeded expectations, and refused to mass-produce it for the Nazi's. There are a number of references to Richtofen still having traits of the Nazis, such as him wearing a Nazi outfit and owning a Hitler Youth knife, but he is not a Nazi himself.
- Time Travel: Starting after Der Riese he's leading the gang through time.
- Troll: To Dempsey, and even moreso to the TranZit crew.
- Unwitting Pawn: After touching the MPD, he began to hear the voice of the Shadowman, who basically instructed him to take control of the zombies and damn the Earth for the Apothicons to invade, all while thinking he was pursuing his own ambitions.
- Villain Protagonist: Played With; if you chose to help Maxis, Maxis will take over the zombies, but will kill them all nonetheless, regretfully. Apparently, Edward was right when he mentioned that "Maxis will kill them all!" Blacks Ops III reveals this to be the canon ending, and the comics would expand more on his fate post-Buried.
- Villain Song: Not Ready to Die in Call of the Dead; and Carrion in TranZit.
- Villainous Crush: On Nikolai. It's especially obvious in Shangri-La.
- Weapon of Choice: If it's not the Wunderwaffe-DG2, it's the MP40 until he changes over to the Spectre. He also has a preference for the upgraded G11.
- Would Hurt a Child: He experimented on Samantha for an unknown amount of time with dangerous, reality-warping Divinium.
Primis Dr. Edward Richtofen
The new incarnation of Richtofen makes his debut in Origins, and helps guide his new friends to help Samantha reach Agartha. After learning of the different realities and in particular what befell the original Richtofen's timeline on his watch, this Richtofen sets out to save the universe from himself and his friends' original counterparts and atone for his original sins.
- The Alcoholic: If the numerous bottles of wine in his room in Der Eisendrache are any indication, WW2 Richtofen was this.
- The Atoner: It's heavily implied he's working so hard to repair the damage from his Ultimis counterpart in particular, who caused the destruction of the Earth and brought the Apothicons to their universe in the first place.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: Being drained of your own blood via some cruel machine while your allies abandon you would definitely qualify for this trope.
- Didn't See That Coming: He did not foresee the Kronorium's pages changing at all, nor did he take the new future well at all. Given that the cycle of Primis breaking led directly to a very cruel death, as well as his allies finally having enough of his plan due to it resulting in them being trapped in an outright hell, his outcry of "You son of a bitch!" was appropriate.
- Dr. Jerk: Make no mistake; although this Richtofen is firmly one of the good guys, he's still a pretty severe Jerkass.
- Dying Alone: In Blood of the Dead, he dies by having his blood drained by Brutus' machine to allow the others to escape Alcatraz, which has now been purified and its' captured souls freed. When he finally passes, everyone is gone, and he dies alone in a dead, empty world.
- Expy: Continued from above, Richtofen 2.0 is a lot closer to the TF2 Medic visually, having black hair, and an outfit resembling the Medic without his Badass Longcoat.
- Famous Last Words: "I wanted to keep going... This me. I was the nicest one... And you won't even remember me."
- Good Is Not Nice: Is arguably the central protagonist of the Primis timeline, but is still an abrasive Jerkass who avoids telling his comrades anything unless he has to, and shows remarkably little remorse for the various individuals he has to screw over to accomplish his goals. This comes back to bite him hard in Blood of the Dead; trapping everyone in a demonic Alcatraz and being vague about why they're even there causes everyone else to slowly hate him, and they abandon him to his demise the moment they can escape.
- I Did What I Had to Do: His justification for killing the 1.0 Survivors in the new timeline is that he "only wants to secure a better tomorrow". It's revealed that the reason he has to kill them is because the artifact allowing him to preserve their souls can only work if the subject is recently deceased, i.e. killed by him or another member of the 2.0 Survivors.
- I Hate Past Me: In The Giant intro, his Ultimis self seems ecstatic to meet his Origins self, taking off his hat to salute him. Primis Richtofen makes his dislike of his older self pretty damn clear by putting a bullet through his skull.
- May be subverted - although he doesn't say anything on Ultimis Richtofen, he reveals that killing him wasn't out of malice, but to put his soul inside an artifact that would fix the dimensional rifts. Unfortunately, that also means needing to kill the other Ultimis members to get THEIR souls too. In Revelations, when he arrives in the portion based on Alcatraz Prison, he remembers the torment Samuel endured from his Ultimis counterpart during Black Ops II, and expresses remorse (but also acknowledges it wasn't really him who did it).
- Ironic Echo: "The future has changed." First time said was in The Giant after Ultimis!Richtofen is killed. The second time is in Blood Of The Dead, when Post-Revelations Richtofen tells this to him as he's dying.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Richtofen genuinely wants a better world to live in, and he'll get it. Doesn't mean he'll be nice about it. He apparently claims to be the nicest version of Richtofen. Not that far of a stretch given that Ultimis Richtofen is a genuine psychopath and his future self doesn't even bother with the niceties at all when leaving him to die.
- The Leader: Of the Primis crew during Black Ops III. He's the one leading them to wherever and whenever they need to go to complete their mission.
- Morality Pet: As a sharp contrast to his Ultimis counterpart, Maxis is his, albeit in a rather twisted way.
- Oh, Crap!: His reaction to the Kronorium's pages changing in Blood of the Dead.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In Blood of the Dead, the grave situation Primis finds themselves in is no better exemplified by how lost Richtofen is. He was completely unprepared for the Kronorium's pages changing and is as confused and worried as the others.
- Secret Keeper: He keeps things very tight to the chest, specifically because he knows there are otherworldly forces watching him and Primis that could listen. He's especially tight-lipped about the blood vials from Alcatraz, since he (accurately) suspects Monty plans to wipe them out, and thus doesn't want his insurance policy ruined. While he has his reasons, this trope gets Deconstructed hard during Blood of the Dead: when even Richtofen can't claim to know what's going on after spending so long refusing to divulge any information, the other members of Primis grow to hate him more than ever.
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: His objective in the new timeline is to stop himself from dooming the world in all realities.
- The Sociopath: It's strongly hinted that even this version of Richtofen is one, despite being a heroic character; while his ultimate goal is to save the universe and preserve his and his comrade's lives in the process, he shows essentially no remorse for the fates of Samantha in Origins, S.O.P.H.I.A. in Gorod Krovi, or what his past self did to Samuel. There's also his cutting out Maxis's brain and sticking it in a robot; Maxis apparently considers this a Fate Worse than Death, but Richtofen is just happy to keep Maxis alive.
- The Soulless: Monty confirms that Primis Richtofen doesn't have a soul during the events of Black Ops III. The others notice at the end of Gorod Krovi that only their three souls floated into the heavens to the House.
- This Is Gonna Suck: The general tone he has when he has to fulfill the broken cycle's future and get into a machine that drains him of his blood.
- Those Wacky Nazis: Subverted by this Richtofen, since he's with Germany during World War I, and he also is more moral than Ultimis Richtofen. Primis Richtofen makes this even more clear by shooting Ultimis Richtofen in the head when meeting him.
- Time Travel: The opening for The Giant has Primis Richtofen travel to 1945 after the rest of Primis and execute his future self.