There’s a lot going on in Apex Legends these days, but one thing remains the same: just like launch trailers, new episodes of Stories from the Outlands – Respawn’s Apex Legends YouTube series – are always jam-packed with little details. Read on for all the fascinating details you may have missed in Newcastle’s episode of Stories from the Outlands: Hero.
1. Forge Stole Newcastle’s Spot in the Games
A somewhat-recent addition to Apex trailer releases is an animated countdown which sometimes contains dialogue, like Wraith and Bangalore’s conversation in the countdown prior to “Gridiron“, and the floating buoy heralding the imminent arrival of Season 13’s giant crab.
“Hero” started with a countdown timer (which has been uploaded to Twitter for those who missed it) depicting a group of quarreling Newcastle fans waiting for the “Hero of Harris Valley” to return from his latest failed Apex Games qualifying match. One fan mentions how disappointing it is that Newcastle keeps failing to qualify for the Games, while a second fan replies, “I mean he almost got in last year. That Forge guy stole his spot!”
Harris Valley’s independence appears to hinge on whether Newcastle can get into the Apex Games and use his winnings to pay off the Forgotten Families, a mysterious gang which appears to control the entirety of Harris Valley. The safety of its residents rested solely on (the original) Newcastle’s shoulders, and Forge stole Harris Valley’s chance at redemption away from them, eventually leading to Newcastle’s murder in “Hero”. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that Jackson’s using the face of the Hammond Robotics-backed Forge as a dartboard in his office.
The animosity may also have to do with the fact that Forge groped Bangalore at the firing range, and somehow lived to tell the tale – but not for very long. While Bangalore’s sexual orientation has not been explicitly stated, we’ve never seen her show any interest in men, though she zeroed in on Loba the minute she arrived, and has kept the flirty thief in her sights ever since.
It’s likely that Jackson knows more about Bangalore than anyone else, and based on the contents of his desk, he’s been following her gameplay and reading about her in the press, too. Bangalore’s statements on the firing range incident were given to a reporter, meaning Jackson almost certainly knows that in addition to dooming Harris Valley by stealing Newcastle’s spot, Forge also attempted to molest his sister. Knowing this, it’s surprising he doesn’t have a life-size cardboard cutout of Forge for use in the firing range.
A good plot twist isn’t good because you didn’t see it coming, it’s good because you should have. While almost no one was surprised by the revelation that Newcastle is Jackson in Tuesday’s launch trailer, it’s pretty safe to say they were surprised by the revelation that Jackson isn’t exactly Newcastle. Not the original one, anyway. But in retrospect, there are many moments where we should have seen that coming:
– In the Season 13 launch trailer, Mirage mentions it took Newcastle roughly 40 attempts to get into the games, which makes no sense given the fact that Jackson is an experienced combat veteran who was a higher-ranked soldier than Bangalore when they fought for the IMC.
– Newcastle appears in front of a crowd of fans after his latest failed qualifying match and proclaims, “This armor may have a few dents in it, but the battle is far from over.” This is relevant later.
After the match, Jackson’s daughter asks him for a Newcastle plush toy. Not only does Jackson have to wait in line for it – he also struggles to pay for it. Why would Newcastle need to buy his own merch, let alone wait in line and then struggle to pay for it?
– Jackson says to his son, who is raving about Newcastle: “Now you do know I repair that armor sometimes, right?”
– That night, Jackson’s daughter realizes she’s lost her stuffed Newcastle toy. Jackson mentions that he “may not be a knight in shining armor” but he can definitely locate her toy. Based on Mirage’s neverending collection of figurines, toys, and trophies bearing his resemblance, it’s pretty safe to say that even an aspiring Legend would be more likely to say, “Don’t worry, Daddy will get you a new one in the morning.”
All of this makes sense when it’s revealed that Newcastle is getting beat up by a gang of goons, and that Jackson’s actual job was repairing and improving the real Newcastle’s armor (and apparently being seriously underpaid for his efforts).
3. More Comics
One of many interesting details in the Season 13 launch trailer was a brief transition screen between the final frame of the animation and the announcement for “Hero”, which appeared to be an illustration of Bangalore in a monochromatic comic panel. It makes another appearance at the end of “Hero”, suggesting that this season’s theme or art style may be comic book related.
But “Hero” doesn’t just end with a comic panel – it actually begins with several of them. The first minute of the four-minute episode is told entirely via lightly-animated comic book panels. It’s not until Jackson stumbles across Newcastle getting jumped in an old warehouse that the episode reverts to a photorealistic, fully-animated art style.
This could mean a number of things. It may simply be a nod to the upcoming season’s artistic theme, it may be a hint that we’ll be seeing in-game comics make a return in Season 13, or perhaps Jackson is just a really big fan of the Apex Legends: Overtime series by Dark Horse.
4. Jackson’s “Protection Bracelet”
Just before Jackson sets out to retrieve his daughter’s Newcastle toy, she asks him if he’s got his “protection” bracelet. He replies, “You know I never take this thing off.” Given the Williams family tradition of bottle cap bracelets, it’s easy to miss that Jackson’s bracelet arm is sporting some new bling: a beaded bracelet that spells out “PAPA” – clearly a gift from his daughter.
By the end of the episode, however, Jackson’s rocking a real protection bracelet, when Newcastle’s shield-projecting armband falls off as he’s being beat up. Jackson picks it up, and immediately masters the technology – likely because he’s the one who’s been keeping Newcastle’s gear in working condition all these years.
5. Newcastle is Your Average Pubs Player
As much as I feel for Rene (the original Newcastle’s real name, not to be confused with Renee, which is Wraith’s), his response to the gang currently beating him up for his failure to pay back their debt is a very familiar line for those of us unfortunate enough to play Apex without a premade squad.
“Look, man, It’s not me,” Rene says as he’s attempting to get up after being knocked down. “These crappy teammates are dragging me down!”
If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this from teammates in-game, I could buy every weapon in the Heirloom store and still have enough left over for one of those overpriced Newcastle plushies.
BONUS: A New Planet and Unpaid Debts
The location of Harris Valley isn’t immediately made clear in “Hero”, however a peek at the image of Jackson’s desk that was uploaded to the official Apex Legends Twitter account the night before “Hero” premiered reveals that his daughter was born on Solace, which likely means Harris Valley is located there.
But when it comes to Apex’s in-game maps, there is one anomaly: Seer’s “Encore” Arenas map is set on the planet Boreas, and is the first and only Arenas map located on a planet that doesn’t yet have a map in Battle Royale.
A closer look at Jackson’s desk reveals a news report on his laptop indicating there’s been some recent developments regarding the mysterious planet. While the message is partially obscured, the ticker text scrolling across the bottom of the screen reads:
“BOREAS NEWS: Funding for Cleo diminishes, CRC in a deadlock about the moon’s future.”
It certainly seems possible that Boreas or its moon, Cleo, may be the location of a future Battle Royale map.
An even closer look at the newest Legend’s desk reveals that a member of the Forgotten Families who goes by the name “Medraut ” is already texting Jackson and hassling him for money, even though he’s only played one match – and that one was interrupted by a giant, aggressive shellfish.
“First payment’s due soon,” reads the first message. “We’re getting impatient…”
An ominous follow-up message simply says, “Don’t disappoint, Newcastle.”
Due to the fact that the guy almost single-handedly saved the entire Legend squad from the giant deadly crab attack, it’s probably safe to assume he’s not going to have any trouble winning matches frequently enough to pay off Harris Valley’s debt. But whether the Found Families truly intend to hold up their end of the deal and leave the valley’s residents in peace once the debt is repaid remains to be seen.
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