Respawn developer shows off Nessie motion capture

And we dream of the heirloom that could've been.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Heirloom melee weapons are the rarest and most prized unlockable cosmetic items in Apex Legends. Wattson’s heirloom, the “Energy Reader,” is the latest addition to the game. It’s a type of electric stun gun that matches Wattson’s electrical engineering background and abilities. 

We almost, however, had a different heirloom for Wattson: Nessie (sort of).

Shawn Wilson, Respawn’s director of animation, recently showed off some of the early animation and motion capture work involved with Wattson’s heirloom and particularly the animation where Wattson pulls out her signature Nessie plush toy. In the real world, that plush toy began as a simple sandbag that needed to be cuddled to render a big soft monster in the video game.

What’s most interesting about the animation work here is that there does appear to be an animation that’s almost a melee attack with the Nessie toy, suggesting that, maybe, the plan at one point was for the toy itself to be Wattson’s heirloom. Wattson only switches from the actual in-game heirloom to the Nessie toy when a player inspects the heirloom, triggering one of several different animations.

Whacking enemy players with a plush toy and hearing it squeak as you down an enemy as Wattson would have been glorious, however. I suppose it’s understandable that Respawn ultimately decided to go with something less… soft and comforting to be Wattson’s heirloom melee weapon, but still. The squeaks, Respawn. Think of the squeaks.

Wilson also made sure to credit the team behind Wattson’s heirloom, which featured an incredible 20 people.

That just goes to show how much effort goes into creating one tiny part of the game.