Apex Legends’ developer Respawn Entertainment has kicked off the new year with a bang, gifting fans with a new episode of their acclaimed webseries, Stories from the Outlands – this time called Gridiron and focusing on everyone’s favorite IMC grunt, Bangalore.
Given the fast-paced nature of the story, the intentionally-choppy cinematography of the 8 minute long video, and Respawn’s penchant for hiding Easter eggs in the last places you’d expect, it’s easy to overlook some of the more interesting revelations in the new animated short. Read on for a closer look at some of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments tucked away in Stories from the Outlands: Gridiron.
1. Girl Talk
If you didn’t watch the live premiere of this episode, you missed about two minutes of extra “countdown content” that has become the norm with Apex video premieres. In this case, the countdown screen depicts what appears to be the inside of a trailer on Storm Point during a rainy day. As rain pelts the windows, Wraith and Bangalore continue their combined effort to uncover answers about their shady former employer, with Wraith hoping to learn more about her past as an IMC scientist, and Bangalore seeking the location of her brother Jackson.
The two Legends seem to have finally built some trust, because in the final seconds of the countdown, Wraith boldly asks Bangalore to explain how she got stranded in the Outlands to begin with. Bangalore finally agrees to tell the story of her Heirloom weapon (Jackson’s knife), and the screen goes black just before the opening scene of the new episode begins.
2. Droz Witt: The Mystery Pilot
The short film opens on a flashback to Bangalore’s days as an IMC grunt during the Frontier War. Bullets whiz by overhead as a flashbang illuminates the massive silhouette of a Titan. Bangalore crouches behind cover, desperately calling for Jackson over the gunfire and trying to lay eyes on him through the chaotic battle. Suddenly, out of the smoke appears a mysterious figure wearing a helmet: a Militia Pilot, every IMC grunt’s worst nightmare.
Possessing the ability to run on walls, cloak themselves in holographic camouflage, and – perhaps most dangerous of all – mentally link with and operate a Titan, Pilots are absolute juggernauts on the battlefield. When playing as one in Titanfall 2, you will regularly dispatch IMC grunts like Bangalore with such ease that you’ll hardly give them a second thought, like stepping on a small group of ants. Taking out IMC infantry is so easy for Pilots that Titanfall 2 has an achievement for killing 25 of them in two seconds, and it is pathetically easy to achieve. So, in typical Pilot fashion, the one facing Bangalore makes use of his abilities – in this case, a kind of holographic camo similar to that of Mirage – and promptly proceeds to absolutely wreck both Jackson and Anita in a matter of seconds.
But who was he? The natural answer is Jack Cooper, the protagonist of Titanfall 2’s single-player campaign. But there’s one problem: every Pilot’s helmet has a visor with a unique design, and Jack Cooper’s visor does not match that of the Pilot in Stories from the Outlands. The Pilot in this scene is wearing a helmet with a very distinct visor, and we also know that Cooper took his helmet with him, as the final shot of Titanfall 2 is of the helmet sitting near a window on a Militia ship.
But there is one Titanfall 2 Pilot with a helmet visor similar to this one: Droz Witt, an NPC from Titanfall 2’s Frontier Defense mode, and one of Mirage’s uncles.
We know from some of the comics posted to Apex’s Twitter account that Mirage’s mother, Evelyn, worked for the IMC, but eventually left, and that both her and her son hate the organization. By the time of the events in Titanfall 2, Droz and other Witt family members are fighting against the IMC, and the Militia has the “Ghost Runner” in their hands – a type of holotech almost certainly developed by Evelyn Witt, as she is lauded as a holotech genius all over the Outlands. Many of the tactics the Militia employed during the Frontier War came courtesy of IMC tech that was either stolen or willingly handed over to them by defectors like Jackson.
In addition to a similar visor design, the mysterious Pilot also happens to have holographic camouflage, so it’s quite possible that the holopilot in “Gridiron” is indeed Droz Witt, especially given the fact that he is shown to be a holopilot in Titanfall 2’s campaign, and because Respawn have gone out of their way to inform players that Droz is Mirage’s uncle (in the most depressing possible manner).
3. Git Gud: Scryer & The Dumb Pistol
The new episode features many nods to the Titanfall 2 series upon which Apex Legends is based. Perhaps the funniest of these involves the attempted use of an idiot-proof gun.
Upon realizing that Scryer – the IMC muscle Bangalore calls in to restore order – plans to renege on his promise to spare Jackson’s life, she stands between the two men and pulls out her weapon. But Scryer has a weapon of his own: the Smart Pistol. Due to its substantial aim assist and homing bullets, this gun will get you mocked endlessly by your fellow Pilots if you attempt to use it in multiplayer.
In the single-player campaign, you only gain access to it after screwing up so badly you accidentally total your Titan, almost as if the Militia has lost so much faith in you that they no longer trust your ability to operate a weapon, let alone a Titan. While it’s certainly fun to use, it’s not nearly as satisfying as other weapons for the simple fact that it takes effort to miss.
When negotiations between Jackson, Bangalore, and Scryer go south, Scryer firebombs the settlement, then chases after Bangalore, wallrunning while aiming his Smart Pistol at her.
Not only does this clown miss multiple times, but Bangalore also manages to shoot the pistol right out of Scryer’s hand shortly before stealing his data knife and stabbing him with it like the legendary badass she is. Bangalore’s “Cold Steel” Heirloom weapon, which was implied to be Jackson’s data knife, is in fact the knife she stole off Scryer, with a bracelet made of bottle caps wrapped around it.
4. Family Forever
So, about those bottle cap bracelets. They’re a Williams family tradition – Bangalore’s family uses empty bottles of “Koala Kola” (we all know it’s beer) for target practice. The night before a family member’s first assignment as an active-duty soldier, they’re presented with a bracelet made of bottle caps from the bottles they used for target practice.
Interestingly, despite going against direct orders and abandoning the military in favor of a life of safety and peace, Jackson is still seen wearing his bottle cap bracelet even after shedding the rest of his uniform, indicating that his attachment to the IMC was more about family than glory or honor.
He says as much in this episode of Stories from the Outlands, and years later, Bangalore also keeps her own bracelet around. Like her brother, it seems Anita has also started to question her loyalty to the Interstellar Mining Corporation’s military.
5. A Nessie Sighting
Nessie, the sea-faring menace of the Outlands and fiercest of all the Apex Predators, has been spotted again.
Shortly after Scryer had his ass handed to him by two unarmed IMC grunts, disgracing Pilots everywhere in the process, the aquatic plush monster was seen terrorizing two young children in the wake of the firebombing.
To what depths will this depraved beast sink next in search of unsuspecting prey?
Maybe we should ask Wattson. She’s been sympathizing with that monster for years now.
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