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Our expert gives answers to basic Overwatch lore questions

What the hell even are Omnics? What happened to Ana? Cass helps Ryan figure out some important answers.

Ryan has questions, Cass has answers.
Blizzard Entertainment

A few weeks ago, Cass popped in to help me figure out some really basic Overwatch questions. Why? Because I am bad at Overwatch lore and asking questions to my good buddy Cass is way more fun than reading. Well, we are back and I am here to ask some really hard hitting questions, mostly about Ana’s eye, robots and who is actually bangin’ who.

OK Cass, let’s get back to the important stuff. You mentioned The Iris last time, a god that believes in equality between man and machine. Can you explain to me how the Omnics showed up, gained sentience/freethinking and established a religion? Also why do some Omnics look like Zen and others look like Orisa? Are they both technically Omnics or is just a reprogrammed security bot? Give me a brief history.

Time for a history lesson! So, a company called the Omnica Corporation started to mass produce robots. They had super noble intentions, in theory, and for a time these factories pumping out robots and super advanced tech were a major part of economic growth. Unfortunately, the Omnica Corporation dabbled in a little too much fraud, were shut down and eventually their creations awoke, became sentient and a whole lot of them rebelled. This was the Omnic Crisis, which is Overwatch’s World War 3.

(What’s legitimately pretty great is that a World War and race of sentient murder bots are named after a corporation. This would be like if we had robots known as the “Applers” who go around coring humans after Apple was shut down after some stock fraud. I love it.)

So, the rest of the story is told in cinematics: Overwatch was formed, won the war, and omnics are now largely trying to peacefully integrate into human society. This is why they’re all over the place in terms of design. Torbjorn invented the Bastion units as a tool of war, the OR-15 units that Orisa is based off are automated security guards, and Zenyatta looks to be a similar model as the butler drones floating around Oasis.

After the war, a lot of these omnics just want to live peacefully alongside humans. Mondatta was a huge proponent of this before Widowmaker shot him in the face and Zenyatta took his spot. During this time they presumably started thinking about philosophy and religion.

It’s worth noting there’s still an Omnic Crisis going on in Russia, and Null Sector attacked King’s Row a few years back, so things are still... pretty tense between humans and omnics.

Mondatta is the real MVP.
Some omnics went murder happy, others formed a global religion.
Blizzard Entertainment

Why is Torbjorn so short? Is it a medical condition mentioned in the lore or does Blizzard just assume that all Swedish men look like the Dwarves from World of Warcraft?

I’m pretty sure that during the initial character brainstorming sessions for Overwatch, this exchange happened.

JEFF KAPLAN: Okay guys, this is a new sci-fi setting, we’re going for a utopia look, no fantasy, no gritty Starcraft aesthetics, this is all new.

STEVE: -slides a picture of a dwarf across the table-

JEFF KAPLAN: Steve, this is... just... this is just a dwarf from Warcraft, Steve.


JEFF KAPLAN: Steve, it’s literally just a dwarf, you didn’t even...

STEVE: No, he’s Swedish.

JEFF KAPLAN: -sighing heavily- Okay, you know what, just... just give him a gun or some technology or something.

Is anyone in Overwatch currently doin’ the dirty? The Overwatch community likes to talk a lot about who and how our favorite characters bang (we all know Bastion is the most horny, for example). There are plenty of cute flirty lines in game (I know those aren’t canon), but is anyone in the cast actually together right now?

Okay, so, let’s start with confirmed cases of who’s boning who. First of all, we know for a fact that Torbjorn is just constantly popping Molten Core with his wife. If we check the Christmas comic, Reflections, we see this:

holy MOLY
Blizzard Entertainment

All of those kids are Torbjorns. Torbjorn isn’t even paying attention to any of them! He’s kind of a terrible father! Why does he treat his turrets like kids when he has like, FORTY right there?

We also know that Tracer has a girlfriend, Emily.

We met Emily in the Christmas comic Reflections.
Blizzard Entertainment

Other than that, we don’t have a lot of confirmed couples. It’s very heavily hinted that Genji and Mercy are starting a romance of some kind. D.Va and Lucio flirt with each other, but the biggest line that suggests romantic interest is in Heroes of the Storm, where Lucio tells D.Va: "I play a lot of music, but you’re still my favorite song.” (Her name is Hana Song. Do you get it?) So, that’s kind of uncertain, canon-wise.

Widowmaker had a husband once. Junkrat and Roadhog only have one bed in their crime shack. Torbjorn and Bastion are currently wandering alone in the woods. These scenarios are best left unexamined.

How did Ana lose her eye? Did she actually lose it or is it like a Old Snake/Solid Eye from Metal Gear Solid 4 kinda situation?

During the last days of Overwatch, Ana was a tired, battle hardened sniper who was entirely focused on getting her team home. She was constantly weighed down under the weight of the constant murder necessary to fulfill that goal.

In the comic Legacy, we see how Ana ended up retiring. In a skirmish against Talon, Ana provided covering fire for an Overwatch squad. As an enemy sniper closed in on her squad, Ana took the shot... and realized that she was aiming at Amelie LaCroix, the wife of Gerard LaCroix, one of Ana’s colleagues. Ana hesitated, couldn’t take the shot, and Widowmaker shot her in the face.

She lost her eye, and also her ability to keep fighting the good fight. Ana fell off the map and allowed herself to be marked down as KIA, until she returned to action to follow up on Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes in Egypt.

It happens to the best of us, Ana.
Play of the Game: Amelie LaCroix as Widowmaker
Blizzard Entertainment

If we ever get a single player campaign, what do you think the story is? What has been set up? Who are the big bad guys?

Right now, everything in the Overwatch story is pointing towards a confrontation against Talon. You’ve got two groups: Ana and Jack, the remnants of old Overwatch leadership, and new Overwatch. New Overwatch, recalled by Winston, is comprised of Winston, Athena, Mei, and Tracer. It may have more members (Genji is a popular guess), but we don’t know for sure.

These groups are likely going to have to work against Talon, the shadowy terrorist group led by a council of mysterious figures. Doomfist is setting up another global war, Reaper wants revenge against Overwatch over the whole ‘shadow geist’ thing, Widowmaker’s a brainwashed agent and Sombra’s a rogue agent working for Talon to pursue her own ends.

There are some other loose ends that can complicate the story: the multiple multinational corporations who exert massive power in the world, the Helix Security Corporation (a private security company that sprung up as an alternative to Overwatch), the United Nations, and the various mercenaries and neutral factions in the world.

Blizzard have been slowly laying out the pieces, and there’s absolutely enough grist there for a meaty campaign, if it’s all arranged properly.

Dang Cass, this is a lot of information. I expected something out of you for the who is bangin’ who question, but that turned from mostly being a joke into a lot of very real information. Overwatch is weird and I love it.