The New Animated Short Reveals The Origin of Pathfinder!

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GoldenLane Studio’s first collab with Respawn Entertainment resulted in the first-ever fan-made official animated short for Apex Legends.


Table of Contents

  1. Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork
  2. The Truth
  3. The Legacy

Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork

Hello and welcome! Today we’re taking a close look at something truly special. We’re going to talk about a fan-made animated short that became an official one. The GoldenLane Studio is a YouTube channel that belongs to a very talented animator named Roman. As it follows from the channel’s description, Roman makes short movies in Source Filmmaker about different video games. What made his work stand out across the globe is an Apex Legends short film about Bloodhound that Roman posted on his channel about 8 months ago that left quite an impression on the game’s fan base. Even though it was short, only a minute long, every frame of it is full of details which puts the movie way above other fan creations. The video reached about 1.6m views which is, truth be told, not super impressive considering the outstanding quality of work. However, what is far more impressive is that, apparently, someone at Respawn Entertainment watched it. Because today, we have on our hands an official collaboration between the game developer and this amazing talent!

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The Truth

The new animation short features updated animations, especially the facial ones, which, compared to other shorts made in Source, do stand out. The plot sheds some light on the origin of one of the most beloved legends in the game – Pathfinder. This is like one of those “Stories from the Outlands” videos.

The video starts with Pathfinder giving a speech in front of an audience that seems to consist of other Legends. He starts his speech by saying that he didn’t know who created him or why? The fans of the game know that these questions brought the clueless MRVN into the Apex Games in the first place.

Turns out it all started with an Energy crisis in the Outlands and a group of scientists who gathered on Olympus to try and solve that crisis. It was called Project iRiS. So, the Group of “science people”, as Pathfinder called them, came together from different parts of the Outlands to work on the solution. They also built a special version of an MRVN unit called Pathfinder to assist them in their research. Together they've solved the Energy Crisis. The solution was found in Branthium – a material that was mentioned several times before in the game’s lore. But it gets even more interesting from here.

Right when the solution to all the problems was in the hands of the scientists, they got attacked. If you pay close attention to the attackers, you’ll notice they’re wearing armor from the Titanfall series, and the patch on their shoulder pads was one of Apex Predators – a group of mercenaries and the main antagonists in Titanfall 2. This will be important later. The leader of the Group is none other than Dr Ashleigh Reid – a person who will later become the simulacrum called Ash Apex Legends, one of the Apex Predators.

The attackers quickly captured the Group of scientists and started to load crates of Branthium when apex Pathfinder turned on some kind of fail-safe, and the whole process halted. Once Dr Reid spotted our metal friend, she gave an order to take care of him and resume the operation, not knowing the fact that this was a special kind of MRVN unit with different programming and combat-ready skills. As soon as Pathfinder dealt with the foot soldiers, he attempted to turn off the Phase Runner completely to stop the crates of Branhtium from leaving the facility. Dr Reid attacks Pathfinder with a sword and manages to wound MRVN, but that’s when one of the scientists, Dr. Amelie Paquette (who supposedly is Wattson’s grandmother) kills dr. Reid, unknowingly setting in motion the events of the Titanfall series and revival of Dr. Reid as Ash. But, back to our friends. When they realized that more people were already trying to get into the facility to steal the precious resource, the scientists decided to blow up the Phase Runner on Olympus, but not before using it to deliver the crates with Branthium to the good people of Outlands, thus saving them from the Energy Crisis. The results of the successful self-destruction protocol can be seen on Olympus today – it’s that big blue dome called the Rift Aftermath.

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Turns out that Dr. Ashleigh Reid was part of the original Group of scientists working on Project Iris. What made her betray the team?

The Legacy

This all happened 75 years ago. A group of scientists with one MRVN unit sacrificed themselves, so who is now standing in front of an audience and giving a speech? Turns out that Pathfinder was built from the spare parts of the previous MRVN. But that’s not all. The statue that Pathfinder presented to its audience had names inscribed into its base. Those names are:

  • Dr. Amelie Paquette – a geologist and one of the creators of Pathfinder, mother of Luc Paquette, who is father to Wattson
  • Newton Somers – surprisingly enough, it appears that Horizon’s son was also one of the scientists working on Project Iris. We do know that when Horizon escaped the black hole’s orbit, due to time dilation, she made it 87 years later. So, Newton has already died. Now we know a bit more about him.
  • Dr. Aleki Gibraltar – Gibraltar’s grandfather, dr. Aleki was one of Pathfinder’s creators who sacrificed himself saving the Outlands.
  • Professor Milly Delgado – sadly not much known about her character, apart from her involvement in the Project Iris
  • Dr. Armen Fletcher – a medical doctor, part of the Group that worked on the Iris Project. It is known that he was quite keen on desserts, especially ice cream.

As we can see, the Apex Legends’ lore is extremely intertwined and runs deep within the Legends backstories. It is now apparent that there are no random Legends who take part in the Apex Games. All of them are connected at some level and have something in common. Even though they might not know it themselves. The work of an independent talent gave us a new way of looking at how Respawn may work with the game’s lore in the future. We’re hoping to see much more collaborations between the developers and talented fans who love Apex Legends as we do. Maybe we’ll even have a new collab like that for Season 10. Who knows? Meanwhile, thank you for staying with us, take care, and we’ll see you in the next one!

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