- "Greetings. If you are receiving this message, it means that Richtofen has entered the device. If you free me, I will help you minimize the damage that he will inevitably cause."
- — Said after the Big Bang Theory Easter Egg is started.
Doctor Ludvig Maxis is an antagonist, later supporting character of the Zombies storyline, the lead scientist part of the project known as "Der Riese" and was the father of Samantha Maxis. The player can discover information about him after activating hidden radios. He was the leader of Group 935, aiding in the creation of the Zombies and Hellhounds. He can be heard on several radio/films reels and occasionally while in the teleporter. A photograph of Maxis appears in Origins' intro cutscene, and he physically appears as a drone throughout Origins. Maxis reappears in Shadows of Evil through a voice cameo, while both the original and the Dimension 63 versions of Maxis appear in The Giant. Maxis' voice is also used for traps and mechanics in The Giant and Der Eisendrache. He can be heard in radios in Blood of the Dead, and can also be heard through a red phone in Classified. He is mentioned by Samantha within the wisps found in Tag der Toten.
Before Richtofen's Betrayal
Dr. Maxis worked with Richtofen, at a Waffenfabrik (German for weapons factory) codenamed Der Riese located near Breslau, Germany. He was the leader of a secret organization named Group 935. Along with the rest of Group 935, he created the Zombies, Hellhounds and the Teleporters using Element 115. He created the 31-79 JGb215, evidenced through quotes said by Richtofen on Shangri-La. As the experiments on Der Riese continued, Maxis became worried about Richtofen as he believed Richtofen was becoming a threat to him and his daughter's lives. Before the zombie outbreak, Maxis was romantically attracted to Sophia, which distracted him from his duties as the Group 935 leader. Richtofen believed Maxis was distracted and was unfit to lead Group 935 and when Richtofen learned that he didn't keep his promise to mass-produce the Wunderwaffe DG-2, Richtofen conspired against him.
Doctor Maxis was working on an experiment with his assistant Edward Richtofen that involved his daughter's pregnant dog named Fluffy. He attempted to teleport Fluffy, but the plan failed. Fluffy teleported but did not return at the Mainframe. She was teleported back to the Teleporter by an electrical force. Maxis demanded the door to be opened, but Edward refused. When they finally opened the door, Fluffy had transformed into the first Hellhound. Samantha ran into the room, asking her father, Maxis, what he had done to her dog. The Hellhound began to attack, destroying the room. Maxis tried to calm and reassure his daughter and then tried to escape, but Richtofen locked the door behind him, trapping him and Samantha with the raging Hellhound. Richtofen then activated the Teleporter and Maxis teleported.
Maxis was teleported to The Crazy Place, where he learned to merge his soul with technology. Samantha was teleported to Griffin Station and trapped in the M.P.D. Richtofen, realizing that Maxis wasn't dead, told Groph to find him and calm down Samantha. When brought to his daughter, Maxis apologized to her for all that he had done to her, and then told her to kill all the members of Group 935 for betraying him. Maxis kills himself by a gunshot and merges with the technology of Griffin Station, while Samantha unleashes the undead upon the base.
Stopping Richtofen's Plan
When Richtofen activated the MPD and entered the Aether by switching his soul with Samantha Maxis, the disembodied AI Maxis enlisted the help of Tank Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, Takeo Masaki and his daughter Samantha (now in Richtofen's former body) to launch three missiles at the Earth, intending to sever the link between the planet and the Aether. Unfortunately, the hasty calculations led to the world's incineration, resulting in the death of billions.
After the Earth's destruction, Maxis, still an AI-rendered being, then activated his backup plan should his first fail, which was activating global polarization devices to overpower Richtofen and heal the Earth. However, after the disappearance of his daughter, Samantha Maxis, he instead secretly planned to utilize the Aether's energies to destroy the Earth and open the gateway to Agartha, the legendary city in Earth's core, where he believed Samantha was located. Using electronics for communication, Maxis enlisted the assistance of many survivors, whom he used to his advantage, including Abigail "Misty" Briarton, Russman, Marlton Johnson and Samuel Stuhlinger (collectively known as "Victis") The four completed a task for him in the cornfields of the Hanford Site, which included the polarizing of a pylon found in the site's cornfields. Following their mission in Washington, Maxis regained contact with the group of survivors after they had been teleported to Shanghai by Richtofen, at which point he once again used them to create an energy field to power the polarization device located there.
With two of the three polarization devices in effect, Maxis searched the crumbling world to discover the Rift, a series of catacombs in the remnants of Angola where the final polarization device was located. While promising his corporeal allies the device would finally heal the Earth, he secretly knew the Rift would create a direct gateway to Agartha.
January 19th 2036: If the player decides to follow Maxis' orders in all three Easter Eggs, Maxis will overpower Richtofen and enter the Aether, which he uses to destroy the Earth in order to open the gateway to Agartha and reunite himself with Samantha. As revenge, Maxis also banishes Richtofen's soul from the Aether and traps it within a blue-eyed zombie, eternally damning him to walk the Earth as an undead being. He then plucks Samantha's soul from Richtofen's body on the Moon, and brings her to Agartha.
If the player decides to follow Richtofen's orders in all three Easter Eggs, Maxis will be unable to enter the Aether as the energy from the devices is used to strengthen the link between Aether and Earth, granting Richtofen even more power and forcing Maxis to cease existence within his AI form.
The corrupted Maxis is later wiped from existence by Doctor Monty.
Maxis was a Doctor in Heidelberg University, where Edward Richtofen was his student. Primis Richtofen was an orphan after losing his parents and Maxis had become a father figure to him. The two join Group 935 in 1912. Group 935 had managed to recover Pablo's Journal, which led them to a series of ancient underground tombs in Northern France. With the help Pablo's Journal, Maxis' research yielded many interesting results, from an ancient box that can pull out weapons from different eras to staffs that wield different elemental powers. Maxis became fascinated by the information Pablo's Journal holds about the Great war.
While at the site, Maxis began hearing the voice of Samantha from the original timeline, telling him she has a message from the ancients and she is trapped within Agartha, and she is in fact his daughter. Maxis becomes obsessed with Samantha, who speaks to him constantly and consumes his mind, believing her to be “the key to everything.”
Under the influence of Samantha's voice, Maxis became worried about Group 935's insatiable desire for devastating weaponry, saying he would no longer serve Group 935's mission. Maxis even goes so far as to contact the Allies. Believing that his mentor had been affected by Element 115 like others at the dig site, Richtofen reported Maxis’ erratic behavior to Group 935's senior staff.
The men who worked at the site began to disappear and some were later found dead. Reports of ancient figures attacking from deep within the excavation area were heard. Many soldiers were infected with Element 115, and began to turn into zombies. Maxis was affected and became catatonic but Richtofen was able to lobotomize him, preventing his turning and preserving his brain in the process. Only moments after finishing his work, Primis Richtofen was encountered by three soldiers: Tank Dempsey, Nikolai Belinski, and Takeo Masaki. Together, the four of them fought against the forces of the undead. Richtofen also proceeded to construct a quadrotor drone, using Maxis' brain to operate it. Having possessed a machine, Maxis helps the crew to free Samantha. In the end, after opening the portal for Samantha in the crazy place, Maxis flew into the portal to Agartha, saying "Samantha, I must go to her, the paradox must be resolved".
Maxis encounters Dr. Monty, a mysterious omnipotent being who then proceeds to restore his body to one that resembles his Dimension 63 self. His corrupted original timeline self is also wiped away from existence, while Samantha is taken away so that Monty can cleanse her soul. Maxis spends days within the House in Agartha, waiting for his daughter to return. Upon her return, Monty informs Maxis of a plan to save the universe, by the acquisition of two artifacts: the Summoning Key and the Kronorium which contains the location of the Key. Maxis comes into contact with Primis Richtofen, and instructs him to find the Kronorium. Monty also reveals his plan to collect the souls of specific versions of Dempsey, Nikolai, Takeo and Richtofen, which Maxis relates back to Samantha as a plan to make the "heroes" in her story real.
An alternate Maxis at a different timeline managed to discover the Empty Earth, a dimension where life form is unstable. After establishing Zero Base, Maxis uses this as a location to store various artifacts from all corners of the universe, including the Kronorium. Maxis of Dimension 63 managed to teleport here using the device in Monty's house; however, he was unable to manipulate it due to its instability.
On June 4, 1943, the Primis crew (minus Richtofen) somehow arrive in the original timeline, where they begin to formulate a plan to stop Richtofen. Two years later, they arrive at The Giant, where they encounter Ultimis Richtofen just after he teleported Maxis and Samantha away. However, due to the fracturing of the universe, it is unknown where they ultimately ended up, or whether such a Deceptio variant of Maxis exists at all, as they did not arrive to the Moon like in the original timeline. During the events of The Giant, the Primis crew triggers a beacon for Maxis, to which he replies: "I see it, the beacon is lit! I know where and when you are!... Sooner or later, I will find you. Together we will ensure a better future for the children."
In this fracture, Sophia, due to her encounter with Subject 2–6 at Group 935's theater facility, was infected. Maxis heard of the news and attempted to help her survive, by transferring her consciousness to a spherical drone dubbed Strategic Operations Planning Heuristics Intelligence Analyzer (S.O.P.H.I.A.).
The Primis crew arrive at the House after the souls of their older selves were sent there to be turned into children. Richtofen shows Maxis the summoning key, which causes Maxis to hear voices. One night while he was asleep, he was told by the voices to help him. He walked downstairs and grabbed the summoning key which caused Maxis to become trapped inside, and releasing the Shadowman, who proceeds to let the Apothicons inhabit the house. Nonetheless, Primis manage to defeat the Shadowman, while Maxis, still residing in the Key, absorbs the souls of the children in the Key, and together with Sophia, save the universe by pulling all Apothicon presence out of Agartha. It is ultimately unknown if they are still alive.
Nikolai's Grand Scheme
When the Primis and Ultimis crew finally finds the Elemental Shard in Camp Edward, Maxis tells them through the radio that they are too late and Monty knows what they are doing, while putting Samantha Maxis and Eddie in the teleporter. Before his demise, he teleports them to Camp Edward while being eaten by Dr. Monty.
- At Der Riese there is a door with the name "L. Maxis M.D." meaning that it was his office.
- In Kino der Toten, Maxis's voice sounds different than in Der Riese and Moon.
- It also sounds different in Call of Duty: Black Ops II than in the other games' maps.
- It is revealed in a Moon radio that his wife is dead.
- Ludvig Maxis wrote Group 935's Field Operation Manual.
- His diary can be read when selecting the option to play online for Zombies in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. However, it was temporarily replaced with Al's Journal for Mob of the Dead's release, though it went back to his Diary, with a new entry for Buried's release. However, it was replaced again with Richtofen's Diary for Origins' release.
- Maxis' betrayal is foreshadowed in T.V. Broadcasts in both Green Run and Die Rise.
- One of the survivors somehow knows of his plan and decides to destroy everything electrical to avoid hearing him.
- While the Demonic Announcer, Maxis is silent while the players pick up Power-Ups.
- Maxis's character model bears extreme resemblance to Daniel C. Dennett, a noted philosopher who famously wrote about removing the brain from the body and preserving it to remote control other bodies.
- According to Jason Blundell in an interview, Maxis is allergic to peanut butter in some universes.
- In the Revelations prologue, Maxis bears a resemblance to the Male Player.