Apex Legends

Apex Legends Animator Explains Wattson's Unusual Weapon Etiquette

Moy Parra, the principal animator for Apex Legends, took to Twitter to explain why Wattson holds her weapons in a different style than other legends.
Moy Parra, the principal animator for Apex Legends, took to Twitter to explain why Wattson holds her weapons in a different style than other legends. / Respawn Entertainment

Moy Parra, the principal animator for Apex Legends, took to Twitter to explain why Wattson holds her weapons in a different style than other legends.

In a short Twitter thread published Thursday, July 1, Parra enlightened Apex Legends to just how much thought is put into their favorite game. Some may not have noticed Wattson's gun handling and how it differs from others on the field. Those who have, however, now finally have a lore-complacent answer as to why their favorite Static Defender tends to hold her weapons "a bit awkwardly."

What's up with Wattson's Gun Handling?

According to Parra, Wattson's handling comes from the motion capture session featuring her very own niece. The team decided to go with someone younger and inexperienced around weaponry to bring that extra dose of realism to a character who likely spent more time engineering guns than using them.

"My niece provided the MoCap for her," Parra explained, "[She] had never held a gun before in her life and we wanted to capture this natural innocence in all of Watson's move sets."

Parra attached a short clip to the tweet of her niece, clad in full motion-capture gear, handling and running with a rifle. In the clip, Thalia—Parra's niece—was being directed on her movements by Shawn Wilson, lead animator for the game. Wilson asks Thalia to walk forward holding the gun and then run with it, later stitching the motion with Wattson to show the action mapped directly.

"Much of our direction was: don't try to play a character, just be yourself and we will find Wattson together! I think we did," wrote Parra in a later reply.

This level of effort goes to show just how much passion Respawn Entertainment and the Apex Legends team have baked into their game. It appears that no detail was left untouched in bringing Natalie "Wattson" Paquette to life.