Who is Ash in Apex Legends?

“Ash to ashes.”

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Do you have what it takes to impress Ash, legends?

The buildup to Apex Legends‘ season nine came to a head today with the Legacy launch trailer. While the trailer showed off each legend in all their glory, a mysterious—yet familiar—face stole the spotlight and she seems to be pulling the strings behind the battle royale’s upcoming game mode.  

Elite Pilot, member of the Apex Predators, and Pathfinder’s girlfriend—Ash has many sides to her, but there’s much that remains unknown about the simulacrum.

Titanfall 2

Ash first appeared in the franchise as an enemy Pilot in Titanfall 2. In the game, the simulacrum serves as a mercenary under Kuben Blisk. Her Titan is quick footed and wields a massive blade.

She hunts the game’s protagonist, Jack Cooper, to cash in on the bounty on his head but is ultimately killed by the player in the process.

Appearances in Apex

Ash’s story isn’t done there, however.

The mysterious figure hopped titles and made an appearance in Apex’s fifth season. Players were tasked with reconstructing Ash’s head in the battle royale’s first quest, the Broken Ghost. In the quest’s epilogue, players reunited Ash’s head with her body in an underground bunker in Kings Canyon.

As players approached the body, a number of voice lines had the chance of playing. All were cryptic in nature and their references ranged from betrayal to Darion and children’s love of ice cream.

Once players placed Ash’s head back on her body, though, she said “all roads lead to Branthium,” before welcoming the player to Olympus, which later became Apex’s third map with the launch of season seven.

Ash later made a smaller appearance in the battle royale in a season six comic, in which Pathfinder introduces Mirage and Rampart to his girlfriend—who just so happens to be the recently awakened Ash—and shows solidarity to the reconstructed simulacrum. “I know what it’s like to wake up and not know who you are,” Pathfinder tells her. “I wished I had a friend back then who made it less scary. I’m that friend for you… friend.”

Pathfinder can also be heard mentioning Ash when approaching Hammond Labs on Olympus. “This lab reminds me of Ash,” he says. “You know we met outside of Hammond Labs? I found her in a dumpster!”

“A wee bit of betrayal before breakfast, eh, dearie?”

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Leading up to season seven, Respawn dropped a teaser on Twitter, in which Horizon can be heard repeating one of Ash’s voice lines from the season five quest: “A wee bit of betrayal [inaudible], eh, dearie?”

It wouldn’t take long for fans to find out what exactly this betrayal was.

The season seven Stories from the Outlands episode titled “Promise” premiered on YouTube just days after the teaser. The video detailed astrophysicist Dr. Mary Somers’—aka Horizon—background and betrayal by assistant Ashleigh Reid. Somers and Reid traveled to a distant planet to collect Branthium, but Reid later abandoned Somers in space after obtaining a shard of the resource.

The similarity between the names Ash and Ashleigh, Reid’s hood-like hairstyle, and the shared voice lines all led fans to believe that before becoming a simulacrum, Ash worked as Somers’ assistant. It’s clear she had ulterior motives—but for who, exactly, remains unknown.

A new type of Apex Games

Ash also appeared in an in-game teaser earlier in the week. Players needed to collect keycards and scan holo-sprays found across Olympus and Kings Canyon to unlock a teaser in the firing range. After doing so, players boarded a ship and traveled to a new area, where they ascended in an elevator to an open battlefield with a massive hologram of Ash.

Related: Apex Legends will get an Arena mode next season, gameplay reveal scheduled for April 26

“Do you think you have what it takes to impress me, legend?” Ash says in the teaser. “Gonna find out soon. The Arena awaits.”

Legacy trailer

The lead-up to Apex’s upcoming season came to a head today with the season trailer. In the video, the legends duke it out in classic goosebump-raising fashion all under the watchful eye of Ash, who seems to be puppeteering a new game mode.

“Legacy of a champion cannot be measured by simple victories,” Ash says in the trailer as she spectates legends skirmishing. “It is measured by resolve, by commitment to a single focus, absolution, conviction, vengeance. It is time to return the legend to where it started—a little underground brutality.”

Unfortunately for those eagerly awaiting Ash’s arrival in the Apex Games, the simulacrum won’t be joining the fray just yet—at least, not according to the season nine details page. Valkyrie will instead be filling that role as she sets off to craft her own legacy in the Apex Games. Ash may appear as a playable character in the future, though, just as Revenant did after he hosted his own games.  

But until then, Ash will likely appear in more teasers and voice-overs as players enjoy Legacy, the game’s new Arena mode, and all the season has to offer.