Apex dev reveals early version of Lifeline

Mountain man Lifeline incoming.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Lifeline is one of the most beloved characters in Apex Legends. It’s easy to see why: The fun-loving combat medic and drummer has a magnetic personality and is also the only character in the game that can be classified as a healer, Wattson’s ultimate notwithstanding. Almost everything about Lifeline could have ended up very different, however.

Moy Parra, lead animator for Respawn Entertainment, pulled back the curtain on the development of Lifeline’s character in a Twitter thread today.

The first picture is jarring: Instead of the relatively small Caribbean woman with some punk leanings in her aesthetic, earlier on, Lifeline was a much burlier man, complete with a long beard. Some elements clearly made their way through development to the Lifeline that exists in the game. The drawing of this earlier Lifeline is wearing a medic jacket and looks to have an IV drip bag attached to his chest, meaning the vision for Lifeline as a combat medic existed very early on. There are also ropes and other rock climbing equipment visible that still exist in most of Lifeline’s skins and some artwork featured in the game.

Clearly, however, Lifeline went through many iterations before she became the character she is in the game. A lot of that can be chalked up to a simple rule, according to Parra: “Find the fun first.”

The change from the Lifeline concept art to the final version of the character seems drastic but isn’t uncommon at all in game development. All of that effort was worth it to create a character like Lifeline, who was a major reason Apex’s cast of characters was so popular when the game first launched and still remains integral to the game and its lore today.

Respawn found the fun in Lifeline and the rest of its characters at launch, creating a diverse cast of unique legends to play as. That legacy doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.