Is Adler Perseus in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?

Zombies in Call Of Duty Cold War

Ever since Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War came out, the internet is buzzing with theories and conjectures about who the big bad Commie is. In fact, no sooner had the trailer come out than the theories started popping up like left and right. And most of them, if not all, invariably surround the seemingly mythical figure of Perseus.

Those of you who’ve been living comfortably under a rock and don’t know much about these floating theories about the Russian KGB operative(s) are sure to have their minds exploded. Read on to find out the ‘Adler is Perseus’ theory and whether or not it holds any water.

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The Legend of Perseus

Before we get into the theories, let us address the cocktail of stories surrounding Perseus and the mythical figure that emerges from their concoction.

In the early 90s when the KGB archives were made available to foreign researches, the name Perseus stood out in various declassified documents. Many of the counterintelligence projects initiated by the USA during WW2 also referenced ‘PERS’ in their documents.

Screengrab via: Inkslasher

However, most notable of all (well corroborated) stories is that Perseus was the name given to the Soviet operative(s) that were a part of an assignment at Los Alamos. Quick history lesson: Los Alamos was the site for The Manhattan Project which gave birth to nuclear weapons.

Many high ranking Soviet officials have also mentioned the name in their writings and even referred to it as still being ‘active’. The stories tell us that Perseus was one of the four Soviet operatives that were a part of the espionage missions conducted by the KGB in the 1940s inside the Manhattan Project facility.

Three of them have long been caught (Theodore Hall, David Greenglass, and Klaus Fuchs). But rumor has it that the apparent fourth operative – codenamed Perseus – evaded capture and is still at large. Another rumor suggests that the operative was in fact caught, but never revealed or exposed because of how deeply placed he was in the chain-of-command.

Such tales provide the perfect maelstrom of ideas for COD Black Ops Cold War to employ into its narrative, and leave it open-ended enough for players to get lost in the world of speculation and theorizing about who Perseus really is, at least in the COD universe.

Related: How to Exfil in Cold War Zombies

Adler is Perseus: Too Straightforward?

Seeing how shady and mysterious Adler comes across, it doesn’t take a Sherlock to point out the reasons why Adler and Perseus could be the same person. But this is one theory that only the credulous fans would believe, or those who haven’t played COD enough.

Adler is one of the newest characters in Black Ops and it would make sense for Perseus to be someone who wasn’t in Black Ops 2, since all of them are killed off at the end of that game. On top of that, in a recent piece of intel found in Warzone, the note says – ‘Adler/Perseus’. But is it too obvious?

Screengrab via: Inkslasher

We definitely think so. It would be too easy a giveaway if that were the case. Moreover, given the fact that this intel came out before the game was even released may be nothing more than a ruse, for, after all, ideological subversion is a major theme in Cold War. What’s to say that Activision is not goading its fans into this direction, leading them away from the truth for the big reveal?

Related: Where is Deadshot Daiquiri in Cold War and What Does it Do?

Mason – Another Contender

Now, this theory is more to our liking. If you recall the days of Black Ops 1, Alex Mason was basically brainwashed by the Soviets, putting a number sequence in his head. Many documents and intel from the CIA show that they’re worried that Mason is still brainwashed by them.

Screengrab via: Inkslasher

Is it possible that Alex Mason is still a sleeper agent and is acting against his will for the Soviets? What if he’s actually Perseus helping the KGB without even knowing it? Now that’s a theory that we can get behind, especially considering that there’s no way to disprove it. On top of that, in the beginning of Black Ops 2, we find that he’s retired from the CIA. Could it be that the unrelenting brainwashing forced him into retirement?

However, there’s another piece of information that we should look at which basically does away with the Mason theory. In the real world, it was rumored that Perseus infiltrated the US government during the end of World War 2 to gather intel on the Manhattan Project. That means that it would be impossible for Mason to be Perseus since he would be too young at the time of the World War 2.

But there is one character in the Black Ops universe who’s worked with both the Americans and the Soviets, and was also present during the WW2 – Victor Reznov.

The Reznov Theory

Victor Reznov fits the profile as far as age and unfinished stories go. In Black Ops 1 we see Reznov a bunch of times only to find at the end that he’s been dead and our character was seeing his ghost all along.

But we never see Reznov die, and if you don’t see them die, don’t assume they’re dead, even if you’ve been ‘told’ they’re dead. This is one of the tricks by which Activision has rehashed characters that were presumed to be dead and brought them back for furthering the narrative and linking it up with the all-important past.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Reznov was part of the group that brainwashed Mason and implanted the number sequence and visions in his head. We’re told that he died at Vorkuta Prison, but since we didn’t see him die, it is quite possible that he is still alive and is indeed Perseus.

Related: CoD Cold War Best Guns: Sniper, Shotgun, SMG, LMG, and More

The Truth

Screengrab via: RajmanGamingHD

Spoiler Alert!

Alright, we’ve got a confession to make. We’ve known all along who Perseus is. No, it’s not Adler, or Mason, or Reznov (though all of them made for good contenders). In reality, there is no single Perseus.

Yes, you read that right. There have been various signs that there never has been a single operative by the name of Perseus. This fits into the real world drama surrounding Perseus like a glove. Many top KGB officials have revealed that the purpose of the myth of Perseus is to make the story so unclear that the agencies prying into the workings would gain nothing of the methods used by the Soviet intelligence.

Screengrab via: RajmanGaming HD

A published CIA paper has also openly declared that “there was no Perseus”, only a means of disinformation to protect other spies. So we are left with a James Bond-like code name that has grown and grown in the traditional culture.

But this is where Activision succeeds as it seamlessly blends the real world romanticism with the gaming narrative to reveal as much information as it withholds, and keep the legend of Perseus very much alive even as the credits roll.


Screengrab via: InkSlasher ; RajmanGaming HD