Decoy grenades, proximity mines, and a sinister boogeyman: New Apex legend Seer’s design had a ‘long and storied history’

Respawn's Amanda Doiron and Travis Nordin discussed Seer's early iterations with Dot Esports.

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Allegedly fated to bear the curse of the moth, Obi Edolasim—now known as Seer to Apex Legends fans—was cast away from society out of fear that his gaze would draw everyone towards the flame. But his parents’ unconditional love helped foster his creativity and Seer brought his unique theatrics to the Arenas.

Now an artistic icon for fellow outcasts, Seer’s myth continues to grow as he makes his way to the Apex Games. And while he enters Apex: Emergence as an empathetic creative, early iterations of Seer portrayed him as a sinister boogeyman, according to lead writer Amanda Doiron.

“The vibe of the kit where you could hear heartbeats seemed like it would be super creepy,” Doiron told Dot Esports. “We started off with some earlier iterations where it was actually a more sinister legend. But when we started understanding him more… the stuff that really resonated was ‘what if this was a completely unfairly-labeled boogeyman… what if this was actually someone who was very empathic and creative and sensitive, but they just have this label put on them?”

Even though Seer didn’t turn out to be the menacing and malicious antagonist from his early design, the “cursed” legend’s reputation still precedes him. In an in-game teaser leading up to Emergence, for example, some of the other legends commented on various unfounded rumors. Lifeline says she heard “this guy’s made of moths.” Bloodhound cautions that a “curse is not to be taken lightly,” and Wattson claims “rumors say this combatant’s mother was a moon and his father a moth.”

Boogeyman or not, Seer’s reputation has made him “more myth than man,” according to Doiron. And with everything the legends say about him, it’s hard to determine what’s real and what’s not.

Along with Seer’s origin story, the Ambush Artist’s ability kit went through various versions before its final form. Software engineer Travis Nordin explained that Seer had three revisions, breaking down the tracker’s “long and storied history.”

“The first iteration was much more audio-focused,” Nordin told Dot Esports. “His tactical was a decoy grenade that would do gunfire, which was super fun… His ultimate was… a sphere that was sound-blocking. If you were fighting inside of it, none of that sound would carry out. The thought was ‘can we do something with third-partying and stop people from jumping you?’”

This version of Seer’s kit was eventually canned because it “broke a core part of the game.” Like any shooter, sound in Apex plays a pivotal role in understanding an enemy’s position and determining player actions. Blocking sound out completely would infringe that base tenet of the battle royale.

The Ambush Artist’s second iteration gave him proximity mines that would make enemy vision go black and white, deafening their sound and disorienting players caught. Pairing this with his heartbeat sensor would let you identify a threat and set up traps to catch an unsuspecting victim. But players would then be forced to wait for their enemies to come to them rather than act on the information. This pushed devs to design the Focus of Attention tactical, which lets you tag and interrupt an opponent after your heartbeat sensor points you in their direction. 

Nordin also discussed the optimal legends to synergize with Seer, identifying fellow tracker Bloodhound. Seer players could pick out a heartbeat and alert Bloodhound, who would then cast Eye of the Allfather in the enemy squad’s direction. Once they’re tagged, Seer could follow up with his tactical and catch enemies off guard.

But one of the new legend’s bigger counters is Crypto.

“[Crypto’s] EMP will destroy the Seer ult,” Nordin said. “You do need to be careful where you throw it because it can be shot down pretty quickly. If a Seer is smart and hides it in a corner, the Crypto drone EMP is not going to care about that.”

Seer debuts with Apex’s 10th season on Aug. 3, bringing style, innovation, and a unique kit to the Apex Games. And while he isn’t exactly the boogeyman, players will definitely want to run and hide from the Ambush Artist.