Bastion’s voice lines in Overwatch have remained a minor secret since the game launched in 2016. But the game’s latest hero may have shed some light on what the character is actually saying.
Echo’s ultimate allows her to take the form of any hero on the enemy team with the same skills and increased ultimate generation. When she uses the duplicated character’s ultimate, she plays her own version of their established quote.
The new voice line makes Bastion’s robotic noises finally intelligible. Echo says “Tank configuration activated,” which is a translation of the omnic’s ultimate voice line. Echo doesn’t seem to replicate his other voice lines, however, leaving fans wondering about their meaning.
Bastion’s lines come in an R2D2-esque series of beeps. Turning on subtitles reportedly doesn’t help make sense of them. The in-game text doesn’t give a word-by-word translation. Instead, it delivers gems like “excited beeps,” “sad, hurt beeps,” and “beeps the Overwatch theme.”
The omnic’s beeping voice lines quickly became a trademark of the character. His seemingly naive, joyful beeps contrast with his status as a killing machine and the discrepancy between both is an essential part of his backstory.
Bastion units were a significant part of the omnic army during the Omnic Crisis when robots rebelled against humans. Overwatch tells the story of one specific omnic in an animated short titled “The Last Bastion.“
Bastion was left inactive in the woods near Eichenwalde and was reactivated long after the war. His combat programming was dormant, which allowed him to develop an inquisitive, child-like sense of wonder. He didn’t forget his combat programming but has developed a degree of sentience that allows him to ignore it most of the time.
Players speculated that since Bastion units weren’t meant to be sentient, there would be no point in giving them voices. This is why the playable Bastion in Overwatch does his best to beep his way into communicating with teammates.