Apex Legends developers reveal connection between Ballistic and Finding Nemo, read the interview
On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, it will arrive at Apex Legends the new season Arsenal with a new legend: Ballistic. This elegant British gentleman caught our attention with his story trailer and we wanted to know more about him.
We had the opportunity to speak with two of the creators of the character at Respawn Entertainment. In this interview, writer Sam Gill and designer John Ellenton tell us about the inspirations behind Ballistic, how they hope it will be received by players, and the unexpected relationship of the new character from Apex Legends with the movie Finding Nemo.
GamerFocus: the purpose of Ballistic at the level of gameplay in Apex Legends It’s clear, but what is its raison d’être at the narrative level? What is an old British gunslinger needed in the game for now?
sam gill: (laughs) That’s a good question. I think it is his personality that is very interesting. One of the challenges we find in creating a new legend is “how do we make it feel unique now that we have over twenty characters”. I think what he has that we didn’t have before is that he’s very refined and he’s very sad (laughs).
Our characters are very aspirational and Ballistic is too, but deep down he’s a hurting person. One of the things we talked about the most when we were developing it is the duality of the character. He appears to be very refined and elegant, but he uses that to hide his deep suffering. He is a character full of rage.
That’s why I think the space that Ballistic fills in Apex Legends it is that of an “old gentleman” because our characters are usually not at all elegant. I also think he is one of our most emotional characters.
In the trailer we see Ballistic as a character who is almost effortlessly cool and very good with weapons. There are many characters like this recently in the cinema. He has even been directly compared to John Wick. Is the character of Keanu Reeves one of the inspirations behind Ballistic? What characters inspired you?
sam gill: John Wick was definitely one of the foundations of Ballistic’s design. Both are brutal and efficient in the way they fight. James Bond was also an important reference. Something that surprises people is that the dad in Finding Nemo was one of the biggest influences in creating Ballistic in Apex Legends.
whatFinding Nemo? That’s a real surprise, but on second thought it makes a lot of sense.
sam gill: The first part of Finding Nemo It’s not really about Nemo but about his father. He has his partner, expects many children and has a really happy life until a sea creature comes to kill the mother and all the children except one. The film then jumps to a time later, when only Nemo and his father are alive, making the father overprotective. We understand why. He has suffered a lot and has all this trauma.
That parent’s story arc is to learn the same thing as all the other parents. We have to prepare our children as best we can, but eventually we have to let them go. His role in Finding Nemo is very similar to Ballistic in Apex Legends. He had what seemed to him the perfect family and due to his own mistakes, said family ended up breaking up. Now that his son returned to his life, he became overprotective of him and, as we saw in the trailer, he prevented him from entering the Apex games.
He thinks he did a good thing, but what he’s doing is preventing his son from fulfilling his own dreams. He is not letting him make his own decisions even though he is already 20 or 21 years old. Ballistic’s journey will be about discovering what it’s like to be a better parent. Throughout the season we will not only have his perspective, but also that of his son.
Maybe it’s just our impression, but we couldn’t help but see American actor Clancy Brown when we first met Ballistic, especially in the part of the trailer where he has long hair. Is that actor by any chance one of the inspirations behind the character?
sam gill: Well, Clancy Brown is an inspiration for my life (laughs). He is one of the greatest actors of all time. He wasn’t a specific inspiration, but he does fall into the “old tough guy” archetype with a big presence. Many of the characters he plays do have similarities to Ballistic.
Ballistic’s ability “Whistler” – which overheats the opponent’s weapon – seems very interesting to us. We’ve seen similar debuffs in other games, but never this way where it focuses on the opponent’s weapon. What is the logic behind this decision?
John Ellenton: actually the original idea was a much harsher debuff. He was locking weapons so the opponent couldn’t even swap it out, but we felt it was too harsh a punishment and broke the flow of the game. We didn’t want to affect the way the game is played. Apex Legendsbut the rival had to think about what to do when affected.
Now a somewhat obvious question. How do you expect Ballistic to affect the current meta of Apex Legends?
John Ellenton: I hope it’s competitive. I hope that with him we can introduce new team compositions. He’s more or less a support character, but a well-coordinated team can take advantage of his ultimate to overwhelm opponents. I also think he is a very strong legend in one on one combat. I think high level players will like it. I’m sure he’s going to be a good eliminator.
I don’t know. I really hope it’s competitive. We’ll see how they use it in the ALGS. I think it’s strong.
Whenever they are going to announce a new character one hopes that it will be one that represents their country or region. Here in Colombia we love Loba, but I always see a lot of discussion waiting for a new Latin American character. Have you thought about creating a new Latino character for Apex Legends in the future?
sam gill: We are always looking to represent as many cultures as we can. Apex Legends it does that very well and I know how important it is. One of our characters, Maggie, is from New Zealand—where I come from—and that was very meaningful. Ella fuse she is pansexual like me and that is also very important to me. We understand the importance of representation and we are always looking for a way to carry it forward.
I can’t make any promises about the characters that will come later except to say that they will represent people who come from all walks of life and that has always been a big priority for us.
John Ellenton: We usually don’t think about the ethnicity of the characters in advance. It is when we are developing their concept that we think about where they come from. It has to feel right for the character.
Those were all our questions. Thank you very much for answering them!