BOCW & Vanguard Zombies: The Dark Aether Story So Far...

Black Ops Cold War introduced us to the Dark Aether storyline in Zombies. With it set to continue in Vanugard, here is the story so far...
Bocw vanguard dark aether zombies recap
A lot has happened in BOCW Zombies' Dark Aether story. Let's give you a li'l recap! | © Activision

Black Ops Cold War has had a pretty successful and pretty impressive Zombies career. Launching the brand-new Dark Aether storyline, which will continue into Call of Duty: Vanguard in November, Treyarch took us into one of the best worlds created for CoD Zombies.

The BOCW and Vanguard Dark Aether storyline is complicated, at times confusing, but profoundly entertaining, and something that you absolutely must check out if you have a copy of BOCW up your sleeve. If you already have Treyarch's last main-line CoD game, then you should play through it. If not, and you are holding out for Vanguard, here's our BOCW and Vanguard Zombies Dark Aether Storyline recap.

Before we dive into the BOCW and Vanguard Dark Aether story so far, we should present you with everything we know about Vanguard's Zombies mode. Here you go:

What's the Deal with Vanguard's Zombies Mode?

Call of Duty: Vanguard will not only feature the continuation of BOCW's Dark Aether storyline, but will be developed by Treyarch. It might seem a bit odd that Sledgehammer Games is not taking the lead on a major component of its brand new Call of Duty game, but it actually makes sense.

BOCW's multiplayer was, and continues to be, shocking. On the flip side, the game features one of the best Zombies experiences ever to grace a Call of Duty title. Seeing as Treyarch squandered their multiplayer potential and produced a relatively dull campaign, but created a fantastic Zombies experience, it only makes sense that Activision would want them to continue developing Zombies modes. What this means for the future of Black Ops is unknown, but this is certainly good for the Dark Aether storyline.

Anyway... let's get to the recap.

BOCW & Vanguard Zombies: Dark Aether Storyline Recapped

Before we get into the weeds of it, Treyarch have actually popped a fantastic recap of the Dark Aether story so far - as of October 4 - on their Twitter. If you don't feel like reading, check this out!

BOCW Dark Aether Story: Die Maschine

Delving into Nazi experiments from the end of World War 2, Die Maschine began the Dark Aether story. As the war drew to a close, the Nazi's hoped to turn the tide by harnessing the powers of a Cyclotron. Unfortunately, the Cyclotron actually ripped a hole into another dimension known as the Dark Aether (hence the story's name). The Soviet's realized the mistake made by their enemies, and in making this realization, they decided to take action. To do this, they sent an individual inside the rift to seal it from the inside.

Throughout Die Maschine, players were introduced to an entire cast of characters: the Requiem Team, consisting of Gregory Weaver, Major Carver, Dr. Strauss, and Dr Grey. In addition, we were also introduced to a Soviet team known as Omega Group, who would then go on to be our rivals. Oh, and Kravchenko from Black Ops 1 was part of Omega. Neat, right? Finally, we were introduced to Samantha Maxis, who was determined to stay in the field and continue our investigations. This was the setup for the next chapter of the BOCW Dark Aether Story.

BOCW Dark Aether Story: Firebase Z

Moving two decades into the future, we were now introduced to Ravenov, a former Omega Group soldier who had decided that he couldn't stomach what they were doing. Set in Vietnam, Firebase Z also introduced us to agent Maxis herself. It was Ravenov's intel that led us to the Firebase Z map. Here, Maxis ran into Dr Peg.

Given that she refused to cooperate with him, he threw her into the Dark Aether. Upon her return, Ravenov warned us that Omega Group were making preparations in the Ural Mountains. We were also introduced to Kravchenko.

BOCW Dark Aether Story: Outbreak - Operation Threshold, Operatsiya Inversiya, & Operation Excision

Moving to the Ural Mountains, BOCW now introduced the fantastic and game-changing Outbreak Map. This opened the game up into a small open-world, something that was very novel for Call of Duty Zombies. Anyway, we're here for the story, so let's continue.

Operation Threshold began: a series of experiments were undertaken by different members of Requiem, each with their different specialities. Their goal was to understand the Dark Aether, understand the enemy, and gain the upper-hand over Omega. At the same time, Ravenov and Maxis went behind Weaver's back.

This led us to a Russian operation called Operatsiya Inversiya. Through this mission, we discovered that Omega had built "Reality Inversion Warheads". These were then destroyed. Players now were able to undertake Operation Excision, wherein players discovered that everything was a trap, and the strike team was captured by Omega. At the end of this saga, we learn that Maxis has got herself in a lot of trouble going behind Weaver and the Director's back. She was captured and taken to an underground facility, wherein she was experimented on.

BOCW Dark Aether Story: Mauer der Toten & The Director

In Mauer der Toten, we worked under the command of Omega Group themselves. Valentina was seeking to activate a plan that had laid dormant since the end of WW2. The plan was to return a long forgotten Nazi Army who had been housed in the Dark Aether for decades.

After defeating Valentina and her Nazi Army, players escape with Maxis' help. Surprising, right? Well, this happens because a portal opens up that is able to teleport them right back to Requiem HQ. What has now become clear, is that Samantha Maxis has become very powerful due to her having formed the portal herself.

We now begin to find out more about the experiments performed on her by the Director himself. The Dark Aether has changed Maxis deeply, and as Season 5 comes to a close, we start to see the direct results of this fact.

BOCW Dark Aether Story: The Forsaken & Kazimir Zykov

Before the launch of The Forsaken on October 7, we have learned that a creature named the "Forsaken" is hiding in the Dark Aether. If this monster escapes, it will end life as we know it. It turns out that Omega Group had not been building the "Reality Inversion Warheads" to wage war on the West, but instead to destroy the Forsaken. In other words: by destroying the Warheads, we really forked up!

Now, it's time to develop a solution to the Forsaken, and bring it into our world. Let's explain a bit better: throughout Outbreak, we learned more and more about a character called Zykov. He was the Red Army soldier who went into the Cyclotron back in World War 2. He has been trapped in the Dark Aether for a very long time, and he wants to get out.

We are thus aware of Omega's plan for the Forsaken. Requiem thus need all the allies that they can get, and decide to search for Zykov and break him out of the Dark Aether. This is the setup for Season 6's chapter of the Dark Aether story, which will also set us up for Call of Duty: Vanguard's Zombies mode.

We will continue to update this article with new chapters and information about how the Dark Aether Storyline is progressing in both BOCW and Vanguard. With Season 6 only having launched this morning, we need to play through Forsaken before we can update the story for you!

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