Hi again peeps,
In this thread I will cover lore on the Overwatch-themed skins of non-Overwatch characters. This includes Widowmaker Nova, Sakura Auriel and Commandant Varian.
Previous lore threads here
In the Overwatch universe, omnics are robots originally designed as workers to achieve economic equality. The First Omnic Crisis occurred when the dormant omniums – omnic factories originally created by the Omnica Corporation – suddenly reactivated, started churning out weapons-grade omnics and waged war against humanity alongside powerful AIs known as the God Programs, which have the ability to control other omnics. Through the efforts of an international taskforce known as Overwatch, the Omnic Crisis ended with humanity triumphant. Omnics continued to remain a major population in the world, though they are largely treated as second-class citizens barring a few locations such as Numbani (a city where humans and omnics coexist peacefully) and Nepal (the location of the Shambali, an order of omnic monks).
The Sakura skins depict Auriel as a benevolent omnic that visits Hanamura, Japan (the hometown of the Shimada brothers) at the start of spring every year, to partake in the sakura (cherry blossoms) festival – and it is implied that she has done this for centuries, being one of the first omnics to have joined the festivities.
Auriel’s outfit appears to have been inspired by the geisha – traditional Japanese women that perform art, dance and singing to entertain their clients.
During its heyday, Overwatch had many enemies – the most infamous one was a terrorist organization named Talon. Spearheading the various operations against Talon was a French Overwatch agent named Gérard Lacroix – and he was happily married to Amélie Lacroix, a successful ballerina in Paris and a member of the formerly influential Gulliard family.
Talon attempted many assassination attempts against Gérard, all of which failed to put him down permanently (he was wounded in one such attempt in Retribution, but made a full recovery).
Eventually they decided to strike him in his weak point – his wife. They kidnapped Amélie and subjected her to an intense brainwashing program that broke her will, and reprogrammed her into a sleeper agent before intentionally releasing her back into Overwatch’s custody, and let her go home to her husband.
Two weeks later, Amélie killed Gérard in his sleep and returned to Talon of her own will. Overwatch never knew the truth behind Gérard’s death, however – many, including Captain Ana Amari, still believed that Talon killed Gérard and took Amélie again.
With her task complete, Talon proceeded to convert Amélie into a living weapon. She was trained in covert arts – especially sniping – and received biological modifications that slowed her heart rate to steady her aim (with the side effect of causing her skin to turn blue), and suppressed her emotions. The final nail in Amélie Gulliard’s coffin was her codename… Widowmaker.
As Widowmaker, she participated in many of Talon’s operations as their sniper. One such operation was in Legacy, where Ana’s hesitation upon seeing her former friend was what allowed Amélie to shoot out Ana’s eye through her sniper scope. In
, Widowmaker assassinated Mondatta, the leader of the Shambali when he was giving a speech in King’s Row – despite the intervention of Tracer – and intensified the human-omnic conflict in Britain.
However, it was suggested that Widowmaker’s former identity was not all gone – in Reflections, she was shown visiting Gérard’s grave, and in-game she did not take kindly to Ana calling Gérard a fool.
Now you might be wondering: what does Widowmaker’s history have to do with Nova?
Now read the description of Widowmaker Nova.
Once, she once led a normal life… But now, after intense neural conditioning, she is one of the most effective assassins still alive.
Widowmaker? Or Nova?
Oh, and this skin makes her look like Widowmaker.
Nice schmuck bait.
During the Omnic Crisis, the Russians’ main weapon against the omnics were giant human-piloted mechs named Svyatogors (one is featured in
). The creator of said mech is the company Volskaya Industries, whose CEO is a woman named Katya Volskaya.
Sounds familiar? Her company owns the Volskaya Foundry battleground, and she announces for the map.
In the Nexus, an alternative version of Varian Wrynn existed as a Russian man named Varian Volkov (thus making him a fellow countryman of Vice Admiral Alexei Stukov and Sergeant Aleksandra Zaryanova, both of which featured in
). When Volskaya Foundry got absorbed into the Nexus and used as a battleground, Katya appointed Varian as chief security officer for all Nexus-related Volskaya Industries operations.
From what little information we know of Commandant Varian, he preferred hand-to-hand combat with his trusty greatsword instead of piloting a Svyatogor mech like the rest of his peers. And that he has an awesome outfit.
(personal opinion, but Varian having blond hair matches his son Anduin much better)
And that’s it folks! Thank you for reading!
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