Pathfinder’s Quest, Apex Legends’ first lore book, is an encyclopedic, 208-page deep dive into the universe of the battle royale. It sets out a course for the Frontier and narrates the story of each legend in their own eyes and with their own words. The book answers most questions that fans have wondered about since the battle royale launched—and even throws in a few more for good measure.
Despite its overwhelming supply of information, Pathfinder's Quest isn't really an end to the ongoing story. Instead, it's an intermission—“kind of like the end of the first movie of the trilogy,” according to Apex writer Tom Casiello. And it took two years' worth of storytelling to get to this point.
Lore has always been an important part of Apex, even before a killer robot committed murder on live television. Finding a comfortable space to tell the legends' stories, however, is a tricky task. There are only a handful of opportunities to present lore without players getting shot at or without making it too distracting.
Pathfinder's Quest came out of that desire to continue evolving the legends' narratives in a meaningful, yet non-disruptive manner. The book aims to tell a purposeful story with a beginning and an end—and to make something meaningful out of it.
“We didn't really want to just put it on a website," principal writer Manny Hagopian told Dot Esports. "We didn't want to put it on a tweet. We wanted to put it in an experience.”
Accomplishing that vision, however, took two years, 208 pages, and 15 legends.
Pathfinder's Quest hands out the missing pieces to several character arcs in Apex. Though it may seem like the stories have reached their end, the book leaves the narrative at a point “where you kind of hit pause and almost feel like you have a satisfying conclusion, even though they're still going,” Casiello said. And now, Apex is picking up the second movie in the trilogy—“and it may not even be a trilogy,” according to Hagopian.
The new cycle kicked off with the introduction of Salvo and the Fringe Worlds into the narrative and the addition of Fuse to the roster. It's easy to get lost in the allure of Mad Maggie's hatred for the Syndicate or the Salvonian power struggles, but fans haven't forgotten about the original cast—and neither has Respawn.
“That's always in our minds, too, making sure we don't lose track of stories from our original eight characters,” Hagopian said. “We had to start with eight characters, but we did not forget about those characters.”
Pathfinder's Quest already resolved some of the most significant mysteries about the original cast, including the reason why Bloodhound joined the Apex Games or what happened to Bangalore on Gridiron. The book tells nearly everything there is to know about the first eight legends, but “that's not everything,” according to Hagopian—and there's still plenty more in store.
“You will see more stories from the Outlands from those characters,” Hagopian said. “You will see a lot of developments of those characters in many different forms.”
Getting to that point, however, takes time.
“We started with one question with Pathfinder: Who is my creator,” Hagopian said. “And then two years later, we launch a short film about Pathfinder and an entire 208-page book about Pathfinder. So yeah, we're not going to forget about those characters we launched with, but that took two years' worth of work to do one character.”
The Paradise Lounge could become too small to fit all of the legends in Apex at some point. The battle royale's cast has doubled since it launched two years ago and Respawn plans to continue to grow it.
Pathfinder's Quest, however, is hardly an end to the stories of the 15 legends in the book. Instead, it's a space to put them on hold or let the characters catch their breath for a while, just before they're ready for their next big development—such as taking down a maniacal Caustic or facing the wrath of Mad Maggie.