Every once in a while, Apex Legends players notice that two of the game’s characters, Wraith and Bloodhound, both have a very familiar emblem hidden on their costumes. The emblem appears in Respawn’s previous Titanfall games, which might suggest the characters formerly piloted those games’ giant Titan mechs. It’s not a new theory, but the fact that it keeps coming up shows the power of Respawn’s lore.
Respawn’s Titanfall universe has a lot of little bits of backstory attached for flavor. Sometimes that lore comes out in little details fleshing out the series’ central conflict between its two biggest factions, the IMC and the Frontier Militia. Other times these bits are more esoteric peeks at some of the truly wild stuff that explains how the games’ world works.
That includes pilots. On one hand, pilots are the best of the best, the most elite soldiers who have undergone the extreme training necessary to pilot a giant robot in war. Pilots are also able to opt-in to cybernetic augmentation, and some of which are pretty extreme.
Apex Legends players who notice the pilot emblem on Wraith and Bloodhound are fascinated by it because the pilot emblem appears on Gen 10 chips. In the first Titanfall game, these chips signaled that a pilot had undergone the process of Regeneration 10 times. Regeneration is one of the most mind-boggling ideas in the Titanfall universe. It’s where pilots undergo augmentation and surgery to essentially reset their body, so they learn skills faster and perform them far better than a normal soldier ever could. Regeneration also comes with the nasty side effect of amnesia. (My favorite thing about this is that it’s an in-game story justification for the “Prestige” process popularized by Call of Duty, where you reset your in-game progress in exchange for an elite ranking.)
Pilots can only regenerate 10 times, and after that…we don’t really know what happens. (We don’t really know a lot of specifics when it comes to Titanfall lore.) This is why Wraith and Bloodhound are so appealing to think of as former Gen 10 pilots. They’re the most shrouded in mystery—Wraith, per her official backstory, is amnesiac and the subject of experimentation that may have left her with her phase ability. Bloodhound, meanwhile, is completely shrouded in mystery, but their outfit also looks like a repurposed pilot’s suit. So what happened to them?
Given that they’re both survivors—Wraith from experimentation, Bloodhound from being a renowned hunter from the Outlands—it’s possible that they’re just wearing gear they found and that we shouldn’t read too much into their design. If they were pilots, they would probably be too skilled to compete in Apex Legends’ tournament, since they’d be potentially augmented beyond the capabilities of the other competitors.
One of the neat things about Respawn’s approach to lore is the way that it suggests ideas but never really confirms them, letting players fill in the blanks and come up with stories of their own. Other bits of Titanfall have made their way into Apex Legends’ new season, such as the Flyer enemies and a reference to Titans in one of the map’s new areas. While I personally would love to find small hints dropped over the next few months that might lead to answers about Wraith and Bloodhound’s pasts, I’d also love to keep seeing conversations about it come up among players as we all notice new details and argue with each other about what it all could possibly mean.