Saturday, July 13, 2024

Cream pies in the Overwatch Cookbook and five other ways we can find out more about Soldier 76’s boyfriend

Noted lore enthusiast company Blizzard recently revealed new details about the characters in Overwatch through a new and exciting avenue: the Overwatch Cookbook!

The official Overwatch Cookbook is 216 pages of recipes all inspired by the various heroes in Blizzard’s dense and character-driven world. This universe is so vast and its characters so multifaceted and complex that all that personality and backstory naturally had to come bursting out of the pages of a cookbook, as every recipe comes with a little bit of context about why whatever concoction you’re being instructed to make ties back into each character’s history. 

Canadian Butter Tarts sound good, right? But you know what else sounds good? Learning through their description in a cookbook that the airborne, rocket-firing hero Pharah had a rocky relationship with her father that was smoothed over when the two shared these delicious treats. Orisa, the robotic crossing guard meets lethal shield-deploying protector gets a whole sundae made in her likeness, but through reading a small bit of text above the recipe you learn this was actually served as a celebratory dessert to mark her creation. 

But most importantly folks, through a description of the Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie recipe, we learn that Soldier: 76, Overwatch’s resident gay man, ate pie with his ex-boyfriend Vincent in simpler times, before they broke up, Overwatch the organization fell, and he became a vigilante. 

This is the first information about Jack “76” Morrison’s relationship with Vincent since its initial unveiling in the short story ”Bastet” back in January. And what a wonderful, delicious bit of info it is. As scrumptious as the pie itself probably is, as now I’m free to imagine a scene of Jack and Vincent feeding each other pie in Indiana. Probably shirtless in a field or something. This is all I know of their relationship other than that it ended because Jack is married to his work and could not provide the stability a stud like Vincent needs.

So this reveal got me thinking, how else could Blizzard deliver small details about Jack and Vincent’s relationship to me, since a franchise like Overwatch has no associated media that lends itself to hour long vignettes dedicated to its large cast that are broken up by the occasional firefights, mission objectives, or moving a car across a map? None that I can think of, at least.

But I also came up with a few suggestions for Blizzard for ways it can continue to expand upon Soldier: 76’s long lost love.

Popsicle sticks

We’ve all eaten a popsicle and seen how kids write jokes for them, right? You got the setup at the bottom of the stick, and you see the punchline once you finish eating. What if Overwatch got its own branded popsicles, maybe even shaped like character’s faces like that Blue Bunny Sonic the Hedgehog one on sale now, and once you finish your wonderful frozen treat you’re then treated to a new detail about Blizzard’s world of heroes. Here’s one for free, feel free to use this one:

Set up: What was Jack and Vincent’s first date?

Answer: Jack wanted to take Vincent to dinner and a movie, but once Vincent caught wind of Jack’s family owning a farm, he wanted nothing more than to see the animals and give them some good pets.

The back of an action figure box

While not part of the Overwatch cookbook, an action figure might be a step in the right direction. After all, Overwatch is no stranger to action figures and other collectibles.

Right now there are deals for Funko Pops, Figma action figures, Nendoroids, and of course the officially branded Overwatch Ultimates Series by Hasbro, which includes our good, gay, grumpy grandpa Soldier: 76. Everyone knows half the fun of buying an action figure as a kid is reading the box over and over and over at the store until you actually have the money to buy the thing. What if Blizzard decides to release a figure of Soldier that harkens back to his younger days, like a Strike-Commander Morrison or Formal: 76 figurine, and then it can reference the strain Jack’s work put on his and Vincent’s relationship.

Imagine this:

“While it was Jack Morrison’s work/life balance as Strike-Commander of Overwatch that eventually led to their relationship’s demise, Vincent was more than happy to ogle his boyfriend when he would make an official appearance in his formal attire, because Vincent loved a man in uniform and his man looked damn good in and out of his.”

Feel free to edit that one for content and clarity, Blizz. 

A message in a bottle

If Blizzard really wants to make headlines with new lore, the company needs to think bigger. I’m talking viral marketing stunt. Bioware has already broken ground with Mass Effect 3, when it launched early copies of the game into space, giving people a chance to find the game before it was out and play it first. Overwatch at least partially takes place in outer space, so this is totally fair game for Blizzard to take advantage of.

The company could launch 31 messages in a bottle around the world, one for each Overwatch hero. In these bottles would be a message: new information about each character. In my desperation to learn more about my favorite gay vigilante, I would climb mountains, hike through the wilderness or maybe just walk up a massive flight of stairs to reach the roof of a skyscraper depending on where these messages ended up. All to open up the bottle and claim a piece of paper inside:

“Jack and Vincent used to spend nights drinking wine and dreaming of a life after the war. The wine bottle looked just like the one you’re holding now. You now have an official Overwatch wine bottle replica in your hands. Isn’t that neat? This might not have much actual bearing on the Overwatch world, but this bottle is a thing that exists in the universe, probably, and now you have it.”

A trading card exclusive to Blizzcon

If Overwatch’s history has taught us anything, there’s often an expensive barrier to entry for something small, like the recent unveiling that the Blizzcon 2019 Virtual Ticket, which costs a whopping $49.99, comes with exclusive skins for Symmetra and Genji. But what if Blizzard decided to take that a step further, and use Blizzcon as a gateway for new lore details exclusive to people who pay the fee to get in?

A lot of conventions will offer collectibles like trading cards for people who visit different booths and attractions, so Blizzcon seems like the perfect chance for Blizzard to adapt this to reveal new Overwatch story details through trading cards adorned with character’s faces on them. 

Overwatch cookbook

Do you want to play the rumored Overwatch sequel at Blizzcon? Sure thing, kiddo. Get in line. Oh and here’s your collectible card to show you came by.

It has Jack Morrison’s mug on the front, and on the back there’s a snippet of text.

“The pistol Soldier: 76 keeps holstered was originally a gift to his ex-boyfriend Vincent that he gave to his lover at the height of the Omnic Crisis, in case he ever needed to protect himself. Vincent returned it upon their breakup, saying it would just remind him of how this war tore them apart.”

The underside of a yogurt lid

Between the Overwatch cookbook, Lucio-Oh’s cereal, and of course our hypothetical popsicles, Overwatch is no stranger to food promotions, and the key to these kinds of promotions is that you gotta choose a type of food that people eat quickly and then rebuy frequently. What better way to do that than adding lore to the underside of yogurt lids. The kids love it, adults can regulate their digestion, and the Overwatch superfan gets to learn more about their favorite heroes with every cup.

Picture yourself eating a cup of yogurt, you’re feeling like Jamie Lee Curtis in an Activia commercial, and then you look under the lid and there you see what you really came here for:

“Jack and Vincent discussed having kids someday. But, that obviously didn’t work out. Now Vincent is off happy with someone else and Jack is an angsty vigilante who is pretty much destined to die alone. Isn’t that sad? This is what you came here for, right? You wanted to hear about Soldier: 76’s sad past and his failed relationship with a man he still clearly cares for. Well. Enjoy your yogurt!”

There are just so many interesting ways Blizzard can continue to deliver details about its world and characters in the video game property Overwatch that I can’t even list here. I’m so excited to see the brave and bold ways that Blizzard, the video game company who makes video games, decides to expand upon this world and tell me more about my sad gay favorite character Soldier: 76.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out our news to hear more about Blizzard’s latest debacle, as well as some more of Kenneth’s work here!

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