Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Move over Newcastle, queer drama is at the center of Apex Legends Season 13

In Season 13 of Apex Legends, it’s more than apparent that Bangalore is done. In fact, the whole cinematic focused on introducing the game’s latest Legend, Newcastle, is set at her (and Revenant’s) party celebrating her retirement from the Apex Games. According to her, now that her brother Jackson has disappeared, Bangalore has no reason to continue competing. But this trailer hints that there’s more to it than just Jackson’s disappearance; namely, that Loba’s budding relationship with Valkyrie is really starting to get under Bangalore’s skin.

It’s not just Bangalore who’s having a rough time with all this tension, either. Apex Legends fans and shippers have been feeling the stress of what’s going on between these three as well. With issues that have been subtly building up over multiple seasons, it looks like Saviors is when all the gay drama between these ladies will finally boil over.

Most of the relationship stuff in Apex Legends is fleshed out through in-game story events and voice lines. Loba, Bangalore and Valkyrie are no different. The thief and the soldier were the first to be involved romantically, developing their bond in the Legacy Antigen storyline during Season 9. But at the end of that quest, Loba overheard Bangalore say that they’re “just friends,” which pretty much drove her into Valkyrie’s arms, despite the fact that many of her voice lines with Kairi indicate that Loba hasn’t been all that serious about her. In short, it’s a mess, one that many queen women are probably familiar with. 

It’s no secret that wlw communities are often stereotyped as being incestuous on account of many friend groups doubling as dating pools. When your options are more limited, it makes sense that you’d probably be pulling dates from people you know you have something in common with. And when everyone knows everyone, feelings are bound to get hurt.

Apex Legends demonstrates all of this deftly by using subtle moments in the Saviors cinematic. Yes, Bangalore feels that the games have lost meaning since she’s no longer fighting for her brother, but losing out on the girl she loved through her own stubbornness and having to watch her move on probably didn’t help anything. 

Loba and Valkyrie aren’t subtle about their relationship either; we see Loba and Valkyrie sitting together in the background of Bangalore’s retirement party, holding hands and having an intimate conversation. Though it’s only for an instant, we get a shot of Bangalore looking over at them exasperatedly before turning away. Later, when all of the Legends are battling the sea monster that emerged on the beach of Storm Point, Valkyrie is knocked away and Loba uses her jump drive to teleport to her and take care of her without hesitation. Again, we see Bangalore spare the briefest of glances for the pair before she returns to the battle alongside her brother. 

While she may say that she’s over the Apex Games now that Jackson has disappeared, it’s all too obvious that Bangalore was being worn down by her intimate relationships there long before he went missing. With her romantic mistakes hanging in front of her everyday, the loss of a brother to fight for, on top of the relationship with Loba and Valkyrie,  seems to prove too much for our smoking soldier. 

But, there’s a bit of hope on the horizon for LobaLore shippers, or even those who just want to see the pair be relatively normal. Some of the Season 13 voice lines between Loba and Bangalore have the pair addressing their conflict over Bangalore’s retirement.

“Thank you, for choosing to stay,” Loba says. “You’re not alone”

“‘Preciate that, Lo. There is still something for me here,” Bangalore responds. 

What this exchange means for the pair – and for Valkyrie – remains to be seen, but Apex Legends Season 13 is certainly putting some tantalizing possibilities on the table.

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