The fifth Overwatch animated short debuted at Gamescom last night. It’s called “The Last Bastion”, and it tells the origin tale of the Omnic that everybody loves to hate.
One unique Bastion unit, severely damaged in the final battles of the war, was left forgotten for over a decade. It lay dormant, exposed to the elements and rusting while nature slowly reclaimed it. Overgrown with vines and roots and nested upon by small animals, the robot sat inert, seemingly unaware of the passing of time. That was until one fateful day, when it unexpectedly reactivated. With its combat programming all but lost, it instead displayed an intense curiosity about the natural world and its inhabitants. This inquisitive Bastion unit set out to explore its surroundings and discover its purpose on a war-ravaged planet.
This paragraph has been on Bastion’s lore page on the official Overwatch site for ages. We get to see his story in more detail now though thanks to his beautiful animated short. Here it is, in case you haven’t gotten around to watching it yet.
As it turns out, that little bird we see Bastion with in Overwatch isn’t just for show. The little bugger is actually somewhat responsible for waking the Omnic up out of his slumber!
But that’s not all we find out. “The Last Bastion” has lots of other cool little details. Here’s just a few of them…
Here we have a close up shot of the Omnic’s winged companion, Ganymede. What sort of bird is he? I did some digging, and sadly, found nothing conclusive. I found this however:
Ganymede’s species changes based on Bastion’s skin: it becomes northern cardinal for Omnic Crisis; blue jay for Defense Matrix; domestic pigeon for Gearbot; white dove for Steambot; pileated woodpecker for Woodbot; and greater yellow-naped woodpecker for Antique.
What species is Ganymede when Bastion’s default or Overgrown cosmetic is selected? I have no idea unfortunately. Some people say that he somewhat resembles a Yellow Cardinal though. That’s not possible unfortunately, as that yellow bird’s natural habitat is South America. This animated short takes place in Germany, Europe.
Coming back to that Overgrown cosmetic, it’s not an origin skin for nothing you know. Bastion really did look like that when he reawakened! His gatling gun just hasn’t seen any use yet though…
Oh look, another bird. This one is a woodpecker for sure, because…
… its pecking causes Bastion to experience some sort of Omnic PTSD. This makes him go into sentry configuration, otherwise known as full PEWPEWPEW mode! He can do that very same thing in Overwatch too.
Blink and you might miss this cool little reference. See that castle in the background? That just so happens to be the German castle, Eichenwalde, which just so happens to be the next map coming to Overwatch.
Upon seeing a fallen comrade, Bastion pulls out his self-repair tool. In-game he can use it to heal himself, but here, he uses it to tap into the deceased’s memory bank instead.
And what he sees is nothing short of terrifying. We’ve heard about the Omnic crisis and how terrible it was, but here, for the first time ever, we get to witness how truly horrific it was.
This scene flashes by quickly, so it’s easy to assume that this soldier attacking is none other than Reinhardt. Upon closer inspection however, it turns out that it’s not. Based on the armour, that’s actually Balderich von Alder – the leader of the Crusaders (and Reinhardt’s mentor). He will make an appearance on the new Eichenwalde map… as a corpse.
The site of one of the most famous battles during the Omnic Crisis, it was here that the leader of the Crusaders, Balderich von Alder, and a handful of his best soldiers made a last stand against an advancing automaton army. Outnumbered and outgunned, they were ultimately slain during the resulting combat. However, thanks to their valiant efforts, the German military was able to push back the omnic offensive and win the fight.
That last stand at Eichenwalde likely took place shortly after this battle outside Stuttgart. Poor Balderich, he fought so valiantly!
Anyhow, in the very same shot, we see another Crusader in the background. That could potentially be Reinhardt, but I’m not completely sure. The hammer and such looks the part, but the armour looks slightly different in my opinion. Does that helmet have the iconic spike? It’s hard to make out.
How cool? Now we know who Reinhardt learnt that Fire Strike ability from!
Hell, it looks like Balderich taught Reinhardt the art of the Barrier Field ability too!
Thought an army of Bastions was bad enough? Think again. This shot shows huge Omnics in the background, who I’m sure are capable of dishing out their fair share of destruction
What Bastion’s lore post on the Overwatch site doesn’t tell us that he almost goes full murder machine again. It’s his new pal, Ganymede, who brings him back from the brink. He’ll still go full offense if it’s ever required however…
Though “Bastion” appears to be gentle—even harmless, at times—its core combat programming takes over when the unit senses danger, utilizing its entire arsenal to eliminate anything it perceives as a threat. This has led to instances of conflict with the few humans it has encountered, and has driven it to avoid populated areas in favor of the wild, uncharted regions of the world.
As is seen at the conclusion of “The Last Bastion”, he heads off back to the forest to live out his life. Where does he end up going later though? What conflict does he have with humans? I’d love to find out!
Lastly, the short ends with the caption, “In Memory of Yvain Gnabro”. He was an animator on these shorts who sadly died in a motorcycle accident a few months back. It’s nice that Blizzard honoured him with this latest video.
And that’s “The Last Bastion” in a nutshell really. Did you spot anything else? Be sure to let me know!
Last Updated: August 19, 2016