Four months ago, the Apex Legends developers promised a “pleasant surprise” for Titanfall 2 fans coming in Season 5. As it turns out, however, there may have already been a surprise debut hidden in early Season 4 for eagle-eyed fans.
The hype machine surrounding Ash’s potential debut in Respawn’s popular battle royale has already hit top gear, after a new clue in the Broken Ghost quests seemed to point to the evil simulacrum returning to the Outlands in Season 5.
She’s already been in Apex Legends for though, as it turns out, and no we don’t mean as the artifact pieces in the recent hunts. The Titanfall 2 villain actually made her debut in the future world of Apex all the way back in Season 4.
Fittingly enough, her shorter teaser appearance came at the same time Respawn was in the middle of officially unveiling their new killing machine, Revenant. A cinematic trailer released on June 30 dropped the simulacrum assassin right into Apex’s world in a pretty bloody debut.
Revenant wasn’t the only murderous robot to pop up in the teaser, however. As Revenant — who at this stage still believes he’s a man — prepares to hunt down Loba’s parents, he flicks on the newsreels.
There, 10 seconds into the teaser, Ash makes her appearance. The former Apex Predator lieutenant’s image appears alongside news that Hammond Robotics, who design the robots, is facing “backlash for its controversial work.”
Now, there are a few things to note here. Apex Legends takes place 30 years after the fiery conclusion to Titanfall 2, when [spoilers] Ash was killed by Cooper and BT on Typhon. That means she likely isn’t a figurehead for Hammond Robotics — she’s still buried underground after all… for now.
Instead, it looks like it’s a reused image template from the Titanfall series. In the multiplayer mode, players can equip customizable banners. One is called “Ashes to Ashes,” and depicts Ash directing Blisk’s Apex Predators in battle. It’s the same image that appears on Revenant’s screen in his reveal trailer.
This title card on the newsreel doesn’t exactly specify it’s Ash. In fact, Respawn could have just grabbed whatever file marked “simulacrum” they could get their hands on to slap into the TV animation, but that’s not how these devs work.
In the build-up to Season 4’s Revenant reveal, they set up an elaborate storyline around Forge as the new Legend. He was then unceremoniously killed off in a cinematic soon after to fans on their toes. There’s also the whole hidden Crypto storyline happening in-game right now.
There’s no reason to think they’d get sloppy just for this one specific thing. If they put the Ash image, it wasn’t by accident. The same reasoning applies to the “Ash” word found marked on the latest Broken Ghost quest reward.
So, does this mean Ash is coming to Apex? Well, it certainly feels like it, though whether she’ll be a playable character or not is another question entirely.
Then there’s what Apex writer Tom Casiello admitted earlier this week. “The end of Season 5 sets up stories for Season 6,” he said. Could that mean Ash plays a bigger role next season following her reconstruction at the end of the Broken Ghost quests?
I expect the answer is dependent on what you’re expecting. It’s unexpected if you thought it was going to end differently. But if you guessed how it ends correctly, it’s predictable. ?
The end of Season 5 sets up our stories for Season 6, and that’s all I’ll say about that. ? https://t.co/YBPefBxCME
— Tom Casiello (@tommiecas) July 3, 2020
Unfortunately, only time will tell. For now, Apex fans will just have to keep playing through the hunts each week. The next one, called “Air Support,” should give us a few more clues on the ever-evolving story. The final weeks of the Season 5 hunts may confirm Ash’s possible involvement too.