Know Your Lore: Overwatch’s Orisa, Efi Oladele, and the return of Doomfist
In the Overwatch universe, Numbani is something akin to paradise for omnics. Unlike other areas of the world where omnics are viewed with mistrust and open derision, Numbani is a city of harmony. Humans and omnics built the city together, live side by side, and even celebrate this equality with an event called Unity Day.
But that doesn’t mean that Numbani is automatically a safe haven. To protect against any would-be threats, the OR15 line of defense bots were created. These were based from the OR14 “Idina” line, prevalent during the days of the Omnic Crisis. Theoretically, the OR15’s should have been more than enough to keep the city safe.
Enter Efi Oladele, a child with a vested interest in both robotics and artificial intelligence. Efi is nothing short of a genius, having already built an impressive resume and earning a prestigious genius grant by age 11. Bright, sunny, and seemingly fearless, her celebratory trip after receiving the grant was cancelled by an attack at the Numbani airport.
Yet Efi didn’t appear to be particularly afraid in response to the attack – one that saw several of the OR15 units she so admired completely destroyed. She took a photo of the damage shortly after it happened, and came up with a plan in response. Numbani needed a new protector – and she was just the person to make that happen.
And so, Efi took her grant and purchased one of those decommissioned OR15 units. She rebuilt the robot and gave it an entirely new AI system – a “heart” of sorts. Naming the new omnic Orisa, Efi encouraged her to be strong and brave, the kind of new hero that Numbani suddenly needed.
Efi’s attitude is a pretty refreshing change from a series of – let’s face it – kind of dark hero reveals. Ana went through the original Omnic Crisis and lost her eye and, seemingly, her life in the process before making her return. Sombra grew up an orphan of the Omnic Crisis, living a hard life under a government that didn’t seem to care.
But Efi Oladele is only 11 years old – she never saw the Omnic Crisis. She’s a product of what came after, born in a city that wasn’t ravaged, raised by parents that love and encourage her. Maybe Efi’s not quite old enough to be the kind of hero the world needs just yet, but she’s got the skills to create one, and didn’t hesitate to do so when given the opportunity.
As for Orisa, she represents something completely new. A new AI, a brand-new omnic that’s only a month or so old. Every other omnic we’ve encountered was somehow involved with the Omnic Crisis, and has since had to deal with the aftermath. Orisa is, essentially, a blank slate – and may be just what Numbani needs, when it comes to dealing with the city’s latest threat.
The Savior. The Scourge. The Successor. At least three people have carried the name Doomfist, and all three had the same weapon – a powerful gauntlet. In the original Overwatch trailer, we saw that gauntlet in action, wielded by a child during an attack on the Overwatch museum. That child managed to throw a single punch that knocked Widowmaker across the room, destroying a glass display in the process.
If that was the kind of power the glove could give a kid, what exactly would that look like in the hands of an adult? At some point after the attack on the Overwatch museum, the Doomfist was relocated to Numbani as part of a display, just in time for Unity Day. This may not have been the wisest of decisions, as Doomfist has apparently been threatening the city ever since – but he didn’t have that glove.
Judging from the attack on the airport – not to mention the missing Doomfist from the Numbani payload – that situation has changed for the worse. Nobody’s really sure what Doomfist is up to, other than trying to disrupt the harmony that’s been carefully cultivated in Numbani. But given the attack on the airport, one wonders if Doomfist was trying to make an escape, now that he’s reclaimed his namesake weapon.
Orisa and the future of Overwatch
Most of what we’ve seen in Overwatch so far has been fairly dark. Old heroes struggling with their fall from grace, heroes struggling to find purpose in their lives, villains cultivated in the wake of the Omnic Crisis. But Orisa and her creator represent something new. They’re almost the embodiment of that spark of hope and innovation, that heroism that Winston has been longing to see return.
Given Winston’s involvement in the downfall of at least one Doomfist, one has to wonder if he’ll be in touch with Efi and Orisa at some point in the near future. Theoretically, he should have some kind of vested interest in seeing Doomfist defeated again. And Efi seems like the kind of person he’d get along with – a smart, bright, cheerful inventor with a passion for protecting the world.
As for Orisa, it’ll be interesting to see what the brand-new omnic intelligence makes of the world that’s come to life after the Omnic Crisis. Orisa, like Efi herself, didn’t live through the worst of what the world had to offer – so one wonders how she’ll be received by the general public outside of Numbani. As for Doomfist, his motives may be unknown, but he appears to hold a place in that web of global conspiracy that Sombra’s been researching. We’ll have to wait to see just where his loyalties lie…but given the recent attack, I don’t think we’ll have long to wait before we find out.
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