- "Former BND agent Maxis is something of an enigma to her fellow operators. Despite delivering outstanding results in the field, her independent streak and the gaps in her background frequently confound her superiors."
- — In-game Biography
Samantha Maxis is a character featured in Treyarch's Zombies mode. First introduced in the Aether story with Der Riese in Call of Duty: World at War as a little girl and daughter of Group 935's leader, Ludvig Maxis, Samantha serves as the main antagonist and Demonic Announcer in World at War and Call of Duty: Black Ops until the map Moon, where she becomes a playable character during Richtofen's Grand Scheme.
In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Samantha is mentioned multiple times throughout the maps before making a return in Origins. Throughout Call of Duty: Black Ops III, she is mentioned multiple times while her voice is used as Demonic Announcer, as well as making a physical appearance later on. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Samantha is featured both as an antagonist and an ally of the characters in their quest to save and restore the universe.
Samantha returns in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War as part of the Dark Aether story. Now a full-grown adult going formally by her last name, she plays a pivotal role in helping Requiem stop Omega Group from harnessing the power of the Dark Aether. A category of intel within the game is dedicated to her under her last name "Maxis".
Samantha Maxis was, reportedly, born to Ludvig Maxis and his unnamed wife on November 5th, 1934. After his wife died during child birth, Maxis made sure Samantha was always close to him. Due to his research, however, he neglected her and failed to notice Richtofen's experiments on her. As the experiments went on, Richtofen discovered more about Samantha Maxis and grew to hate her and Dr. Maxis, perhaps due to Maxis' attachment to his daughter or due to what she and Maxis had become. When Richtofen trapped Samantha in the room with Fluffy, her dog, and activated the teleporter, she was teleported to Griffin Station. There in a panic, she accidentally came in contact with the M.P.D. and took control of the zombies. In an effort to stop her and free her so that Richtofen could operate it, Groph and Schuster found and brought Dr. Maxis to her. However, Maxis told her to kill them all and her father killed himself shortly after, sending Samantha over the edge and on a rampage to destroy all of Group 935, which had betrayed and essentially killed her father. After Richtofen forcefully trades bodies with her to control the zombies, she and Richtofen's test subjects activate Maxis' backup plan and incinerate the Earth, leaving Richtofen trapped in her body and able to control the zombies on the Moon and the remaining zombies on Earth.
After the events on the Moon, Samantha is left in Richtofen's body until her father's plan can come to fruition ten years later. After the final polarization device is activated in Maxis' favor in Buried, he is able to extract Samantha's soul from Richtofen's body. Maxis brings her soul into Agartha, however Maxis and Samantha see the corruption of each other. When a rift opens, Samantha reaches out to an alternate version of her father in a Group 935 excavation site in Northern France in Dimension 63. She begs for him to free her, carrying a message of warning from the ancients. Samantha speaks to Maxis constantly, to the point where he gets completely consumed by her voice, believing Samantha is "the key to everything". After the zombie outbreak at the site, she tries to convince the Primis selves of "Tank" Dempsey, Takeo Masaki, Nikolai Belinski, and Edward Richtofen to free her from Agartha. Samantha constantly talks to the characters, whispering threats and promises. Richtofen attempts to resist her, saying he knows what she truly is, but eventually falls to her demands as Primis opens the gateway and thus Samantha is freed.
After being freed from Agartha, she sends Primis to their next destination. Following this, she is brought to the "House" by Doctor Monty, where she reunites with the Dimension 63 version of her father. Realizing she was still corrupted by the Dark Aether, Monty takes her away for an unknown period of time, eventually bringing her back with her "innocence restored". Eventually, she meets Eddie, an innocent version of Richtofen's soul that Primis Richtofen brought to the House from Dimension 2210. They both play together in the House with toys that Monty brings them. After some time staying in the House with Eddie, the souls of Dempsey, Takeo, and Nikolai arrive at the House as children. This idyllic life is soon interrupted however; the Shadowman, still within the Summoning Key, exploits Maxis' lack of a soul to take control of his body. Using the Key's ability to bridge between dimensions, he unleashes the Apothicons from the Dark Aether, allowing them back into Agartha. To prevent their erasure from existence after their purpose is fulfilled, Richtofen has Primis drink blood from a dimension outside of Monty's control, unaware however that this is exactly what Monty wants, forcing Primis to have to be sent back to The Great War and the Cycle to continue.
After the Cycle is broken, Samantha and Eddie are teleported away from the House by her father, Maxis, to Camp Edward to prevent Monty from killing the both of them. Within the teleporter, she watched her father be devoured by the ancient Keeper, and unleashed her powers when arriving at Camp Edward in a fit of rage. She accompanies Primis and Ultimis into a forest, where the adults of the group celebrate and pass out drunk, save for Ultimis Richtofen and Primis Nikolai. She and Eddie are pulled away from the rest of the crew by Nikolai, who proceeds to ask her to kill the "one who perpetrated all of this", with Eddie cowering behind her. When Victis gathered the Agarthan Device for Primis Nikolai, Samantha stood by as she saw the rest of Primis and Ultimis lying dead on the floor, poisoned by the alcohol they had previously consumed. After giving Ultimis Richtofen his final death, Nikolai hands Samantha a revolver, knowing he too must die in order for the Aether to be destroyed. Before shooting Nikolai, Samantha asks Eddie to look away. After killing Nikolai, Samantha and Eddie find The Way Through, walking towards the light of a new universe, free from the Dark Aether's corruption, as all else is banished to the Dark Aether.
Dark Aether Story
- "Due to her tendency to operate independently and her personal distrust of comrades and superiors alike. Agent Maxis is deemed a poor prospect for recruitment. In fact, she may represent a greater to our goals than any other member of the global intelligence community."
- — Perseus assessment
After she arrived in the new universe with no memory of what occurred in the universe before, Samantha Maxis grew up in West Germany in an orphanage. In 1973, she graduated from the Heidelberg University with a bachelor's degree in applied mathematics and Minor degree in linguistics becoming fluent in English, French, and Russian. Maxis was recruited by the Western Federal Intelligence Service the very next year.
As an agent of the BND, she was in Iran during the Islamic Revolution of 1979 when the Shah was overthrown. As the CIA and Western intelligence agencies worked together to ensure the Shah's safe extraction to the United States, many diplomats and Western citizens were being left behind. Maxis was saved by the intervention of CIA officer Grigori Weaver who was willing to go off the books to extract her out of the country. This marked the beginning of a strong friendship between the two spies. At one point, Weaver and Samantha were actively attempting to save a "boy". Samantha was waiting for a phone call from Weaver from 10 to 12 o'clock, until she heard about an explosion on TV, distressing her to the point of sleeplessness. At 3AM, Weaver arrived at Samantha's apartment, bloodied and wounded. While crying, Weaver mumbled about covering his tracks after a hit, and how sorry he was. He told Samantha that the boy was supposed to be staying with his mother, but in reality was inside the house as it burned to the ground.
In 1983, Maxis noticed something was wrong within the BND with one of her colleagues, Dieter, warning her that the agency was pulling a list of all foreign nationals and defectors who worked for the BND in the five years prior. Soon after, she received a message from her contact within the KGB, Tatyana, talking about something from World War II they dug up from their archives called "Endstation" with a ground operation taking place in Poland. She warned Weaver about the matter but feared their conversations were spied on. She soon received a VHS tape with war footage of Endstation from Tatyana with the help of other contacts who were killed by the KGB shortly after. Maxis tasked Dieter to send the tape to Weaver and the CIA.
By early November 1983, several Outbreak Zones started to appear around the world. Maxis contacted Weaver and urged him to watch the tape while explaining to him that Endstation was the cause of the outbreaks and that Omega Group was behind all of it. This led to the creation of Requiem with Weaver being one of its leaders. While Weaver offered his help to protect Maxis, she refused; arguing she must stay in the field. Believing the BND was compromised by Omega Group, she was now operating without authorization or oversight. Weaver sent men to retrieve Maxis, but she managed to fend them off and left Germany to meet a new contact within Omega Group, Sergei Ravenov, who she believed could be turned. After a stop in Romania, she traveled to Vietnam where an Omega base, Outpost 25, was located under the leadership of William Peck.
With the information provided by Ravenov, Maxis realized the full extent of Omega Group's plans: controlling the bridges between their world and the Dark Aether to harness and weaponize Aetherium to win the Cold War. In June 1984, Maxis was captured while infiltrating Outpost 25. Interrogated by Peck, she was soon thrown in the Dark Aether after refusing to disclose information and withstanding torture, where she stayed trapped far longer than what it seemed from the real world as time flowed differently within the Dark Aether. Maxis survived the shadowy hellscape long enough to reflect on herself and her path, scavenging weapons and gear to form a new outfit. Two days later, she was rescued by Requiem which, with the help of Ravenov, infiltrated the overrun facility and opened a portal for her to escape. After battling an Orda, she followed Requiem as they were leaving the area while Ravenov rejoined Omega Group as a large operation was taking place in the Ural Mountains.
Upon returning to Requiem HQ, Maxis was placed in a quarantine before being tested. While Requiem estimated she spent roughly 48 hours in the Dark Aether, physiological and metabolic data from the tests indicated she spent several months in the other dimension. During the following months, Maxis was kept in a sterile room as she was questioned by Mackenzie Carver, Oskar Strauss, and Elizabeth Grey as well as Weaver, who visited her often. Alone, she started a diary, looking back at dreams and past experiences. She also used her radio to talk to the strike teams involved in Operation Threshold in the Ural Mountains. However, Requiem Senior staff decided to take away her radio as she was deemed too unstable following outbursts against medical staff. To help with the loneliness, Weaver offered Maxis a rottweiler and was now permitted to walk around the grounds twice daily.
Nevertheless, by October 1984, Maxis went behind Weaver's back and, with the help of Ravenov (and an uncertain Elizabeth Grey's personal frequency), established a covert communication line with the Requiem strike teams in the Ural Mountains. She encouraged them to seek Ravenov and help him stopping Omega Group's Operatsiya Inversiya which involved Reality Inversion warheads built by Peck using Tempests and designed to create massive dimensional breaches and Outbreak Zones. Inside a missile battery, Ravenov, with the help of a Requiem strike team, managed to change the designated target from the US East coast to the Pacific Ocean. After battling Legion and destroying the massive Aetherium crystals that blocked the missile silos, the three warheads launched towards the Pacific. Maxis then contacted Raptor One to exfil the strike team while Ravenov stayed in the Ural Mountains.
Despite her good intentions, however, the hijacking of a Requiem strike team caused major fallout for Requiem's higher echelon. The strike team barely avoided court martial, only saved on behalf of the Director, and Weaver decided to take the heat for Elizabeth handing Samantha her comm line. Enraged and upset at Samantha commandeering his troops without telling him, Weaver stormed into Samantha's room and berated her for her actions. While Samantha tried to defend herself, claiming it was the right thing to do, Weaver retorted that she was told to simply care for the rottweiler. Samantha was then banned from her walks and once again confined to her quarters, Weaver claiming someone else would walk the dog.
Unbeknownst to her, however, Samantha was being more directly scrutinized by the Director. During further observation from Grey, it was discovered that Samantha was reacting differently to Aetherium contamination than any other test subject. To that end, the Director green-lit further tests for Samantha. On December 1st, Samantha was dragged screaming from her quarters for testing, while a despondent Weaver claimed he would take care of the rottweiler.
Two days later, Samantha was brought to the BLOCK 8 Testing Facility where she immediately attempted to escape, before being detained and put in isolation. On December 5th, she met with the Director of Requiem, who personally oversaw the tests regarding her telekinetic abilities. This first meeting, while officially reported as an "orientation" to "establish boundaries" that went well for both parties, the Director actually interrogated and electrocuted Samantha, asking her various questions about her life which he seemed to already know. The next day, Samantha attempted to escape from her cell block using an improvised lockpick made from a plastic fork. December 7th, Samantha underwent another session with the Director, where he asked Samantha to use her powers - to no avail. Fifteen days after her arrival, the Director had yet another session with Maxis. This time, however, he purposefully played with her emotions in an attempt to provoke her into using her powers - specifically by threatening to make Weaver "disappeared" for his viewed failures, as well as calling Samantha a "pathetic, sad, little lost girl", which caused Samantha to shatter the glass protecting the Director with her powers in anger.
Samantha remained in Block 8, but on February 2nd, 1985, with Weaver by her side, she was able to rescue a captured Strike Team, along with Raptor One, from their death by Lev Kravchenko piloting an Omega helicopter, by opening a Dark Aether portal within Berlin, allowing them to escape to the same cell that Maxis and Weaver are in. As she used her powers, her entire eyes were glowing purple. As the Director reviewed the footage, he noted that, as her powers were growing, Maxis presented a problem that needed to be dealt with.
On May 28th, the Director met with Grey and Weaver and made the decision to approve Samantha for "Operation First Domino", with the intent of using her powers to assist Requiem. He noted, though, that she would not be approved to be able to directly re-join Requiem.
|Name||Rarity||Image||How to obtain|
|Dark Aether||Legendary||Reactive Bundle Maxis Operator Bundle|
|Death's Bride||Legendary||Bundle Death's Veil Maxis Bundle|
|Heat Seeker||Legendary||Bundle Tracer Pack: Firestorm Maxis Mastercraft Bundle|
|Noir||Legendary||Bundle Dark Dispatch Maxis Bundle|
- In Samantha's demonic room in Kino der Toten, her room features a Teddy Bear and a Monkey Bomb. It also has a crude replica of Der Riese complete with miniatures of the original characters.
- In the house, Samantha has a pajama featuring a lot of Monkey Bombs.
- According to Primis Richtofen, the Monkey Bomb started out as a toy for Samantha.
- Ironically, Samantha likes teddy bears, however, her nickname for Richtofen is "Teddy".
- According to a message in the Black Ops Data Servers, Samantha is around 6 to 10 years old at the time of her requesting a dog from her father.
- It was later confirmed that Fluffy was given to Samantha on January 11, 1942, when she was 7 years old.
- Richtofen often references her in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, claiming that she cheated when she was in control of the zombies.
- Likewise, Samantha seems to think Richtofen does a poor job at controlling the zombies and demands he gives them stronger legs.
- In Origins, after collecting Zombie Blood there is a chance at later rounds for the player to hear Samantha talking in a disturbing voice explaining the history of what she knows.
- The same demonic voice was featured in Origins' intro as given by Treyarch.
- In Der Eisendrache, inside Samantha's room the player can find a drawing of a Keeper appearing at the front of her bed. The room contains more paintings of Samantha, including ones of Samantha with her dog Fluffy, and one featuring her dad, Ludvig Maxis.
- The registered number on Maxis's passport in the loading movie of Die Maschine, 481516 S 2342, is a reference to the TV series Lost.
- Maxis's blood type is AB-.
- Within Firebase Z, the combat outfit that Maxis utilizes has multiple items that are similar to certain characters from the Aether storyline:
- Her goggles are a similar pair to that of Primis Nikolai Belinski's.
- The katana on her back is styled in a similar fashion to the Path of Sorrows, which is owned by Takeo Masaki.
- The red scarf, while not an exact match, is a possible reference to Doctor Monty, whose appearance is commonly associated with a red scarf.
- The mask worn on her neck is similar to the buildable Gas Mask from Zetsubou no Shima.
- Despite her combat outfit featuring a katana, Maxis's playable skin does not include it, possibly to prevent clipping with other weapons. The gas mask is also tilted to the left instead of the right. This issue is not present with the Warzone version of the skin.
- Originally, Maxis's default skin was erroneously named Aether Cover in Warzone, despite it being titled as Dark Aether in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. This was fixed in a later patch.
- Prior to Season 3, Maxis's eye color in Warzone was brown instead of the correct purple.
- After her time spent in the Dark Aether during Firebase Z, Maxis' eyes have developed a slight sensitivity to light, most notably when she is tired.
- The name of Maxis' rottweiler, Notso, originated from a Treyarch livestream featuring Craig Houston and Maxis' voice actress, Julie Nathanson, where they briefly discussed the then-unnamed pet being "not-so-fluffy". The nickname itself is a reference to Maxis' old pet dog Fluffy.
- Outbreak intel, Maxis: "Interrogation"
- Outbreak intel, Maxis, Quarantine Diary 9
- Outbreak Season 2 Reloaded intel, Maxis: It's All Relative