Sunday, 10 Dec 2023

All the Easter Eggs in Overwatch’s New Archives 2020 Skins

Overwatch‘s Archives event went live on March 14, allowing players access to all of the game’s PvE missions created annually for the event, including new versions of old missions with added rules. That said, these modified old missions are the only new gameplay modes available this year (which is understandable, since the members of the Overwatch development team are most likely busy with Overwatch 2). While new playable content may be lacking, the new series of Archives skins is anything but. Not only have some of the newly-introduced skins (and one emote in particular) become instant classics, but they also tie into or hint at new details in the larger Overwatch lore that was previously unexplored.

The emote in question is a legendary unlock (currently priced at 3000 coins, the highest possible price, which is standard for new event unlockables, but rare for emotes). Similar to Orisa’s Holiday puppy unboxing emote released in 2017, it allows Brigitte to pick up and hug a certified chonk of a cat. Through her sprays and origin story, Brigitte has already been shown to be a cat person, but this emote marks the first time Brigitte’s cat has appeared fully rendered in 3D.

Brigitte’s affinity for cats isn’t merely a fun character choice, however. Jeff Kaplan incited cat-mania in the Overwatch fanbase when he first revealed in 2017 that the Overwatch development team had once been working on a Jetpack Cat hero, only to scrap the idea when it was determined to be unfeasible. But of course, you can’t just mention a cat on the internet and expect polite indifference. Jetpack Cat soon became a meme among Overwatch fans speculating on the game’s next hero. So when details about Brigitte began to see the light of day, a Jetpack Cat of sorts was worked into her lore as a pet for whom she develops armor. With this new emote, Jetpack Cat is now more of an official part of the game than ever before.

Junkrat’s new legendary skin is called King Jameson, Jamison being his given name, and the outfit being a sort of kingly attire. In addition to a gaudy crown and tacky dollar sign-print pants, Junkrat’s riptire has been reworked into a bundle of treasure, Junkrat presumably being the type of king to use his power primarily to horde wealth above all else.

The bundle includes most visibly some worldly treasures, like a shepherd’s crook resembling the one on the tomb of King Tutankhamun, some sort of European king’s scepter, and even the Maltese Falcon (in the fiction of the movie of the same name, the Falcon is a valuable artifact; in real life, the movie prop has essentially become exactly what it represents in the movie).

Among these, however, is a reference to another Blizzard franchise, found by Reddit user Owlero. Behind a sword adjacent to the Egyptian crook is a shield that, when zoomed in on, bears the Crest of Lordaeron. In Warcraft lore, this is a symbol of one of the seven human kingdoms.

Finally, Pharah’s immediately-popular air force attire includes a small insignia that Twitter user @euhemeria has pointed out marks her as a member of the Egyptian Air Force. This was something speculated upon by players, as it fits the character’s lore and abilities, but this small detail essentially confirms that speculation as canon.

Overwatch Archives will continue until April 2, during which time these and other skins, including those from all past Archives events, will be available.

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