Apex Legends: the ultimate guide to Horizon
April 28 2022
"Have you ever stood and stared at it? Marveled at its beauty, its genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious. I'm talking about the unfathomable depths of space, of course. What? You've never seen it? Ooh, do I have a tale for you. Me? You may call me Horizon, dearie."
Greetings, dearies! Time (and space) has come to talk about our favorite space mom, Dr. Mary Somers, callsign Horizon. Her story has everything you would expect from the Titanfall universe: Science, black holes, betrayals, time travel, and family drama. In this article, we'll take one small step for man and one giant leap for Apex Legends lore. Hmm, I seem to be gravitating towards these puns. Let's spacewalk right into her story.
Who is Horizon?
A Life Dedicated to Science
"I survived being swallowed by the dark heart of the universe, so you lot seem a wee bit... quaint to me."
Born on Psamathe nearly a hundred years before the current events in Apex Legends, Dr. Mary Somers was a brilliant scientist and one of the pioneers of her time. When the energy crisis hit the Outlands, genius billionaire playboy Lillian Peck put together a group of specialists called Project: IRIS to tackle the issue, and Peck's close friend Dr. Somers was among them.
Located on Olympus, Project: IRIS and the group of scientists in it worked tirelessly towards finding a solution to the energy crisis. After a while, it was none other than Dr. Somers and her trusted assistant, Dr. Ashleigh Reid, who came up with a method to fix everything. Dr. Somers and Dr. Reid discovered a new element named Branthium. However, it could only be "mined" near a black hole and required a near-impossible refining process before it could be used. But if Project: IRIS managed to refine it, even the tiniest amount of Branthium would provide enough energy to the entirety of the Outlands.
Olympus has since become a battleground for the Apex Games (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
The reward was very much worth the risk, so Dr. Somers and Dr. Reid made an expedition to the black hole where they could get the Branthium required. The honor of taking this huge step belonged to Dr. Somers, who got out of the ship in a capsule tethered to the main body of the ship. After Dr. Somers acquired the Branthium and sent it through the tether back to the ship, Dr. Reid decided to cut the tether off and leave Dr. Somers to her demise for reasons unknown at the time.
Dr. Reid returned with the Branthium and announced Dr. Somers' "unfortunate death" during the expedition. Everyone involved knew of the risks of getting anywhere near a black hole, so Dr. Somers was presumed dead.
While Dr. Reid and the rest of the group started working on how to refine the Branthium, a betrayed and very much confused Dr. Somers was clinging to the last bits of hope near a black hole. Dr. Somers had promised her son, Newton, that she would return safe and sound, and they'd be together again. Holding on to her dear son's memory, Dr. Somers achieved the unthinkable and managed to retrieve more Branthium, refining it to a usable degree, thanks to her drone named N.E.W.T. She used the energy generated from the Branthium and the space-bending nature of the black hole to travel back to her home, and against all odds, she succeeded. However, the black holes also bend the time, and Dr. Somers found out that her interstellar maneuver didn't cost her 15 months but 87 years.
Back from the Dead
"So, is anyone else here technically over 100 years old? Wait… some of you are? I'm right at home then!"
During her decades-long absence, the events mentioned in Ash's story happened, leading to the creation of Pathfinder and Ash. It is heavily implied that Newton and Dr. Ashleigh Reid also had a romantic relationship. Returning as a ghost from the past, Dr. Somers decided to join the Apex Games under the callsign Horizon to fund her next research: a way to go back in time to see her son, Newton.
Horizon's return coincided with the debut of Olympus as the new battleground in the Apex Games. Seeing her old friend's dream city becoming a warzone, Horizon found herself frequently challenged by a Simulacrum named Ash. While Ash kept a hostile attitude towards Horizon, she also saved her life when the latter was in danger. Confused by the duality of Ash's actions, Horizon decided to focus on the Simulacrum to figure out what was going on.
When the Legacy Antigen incident occurred, Horizon worked tirelessly towards a solution, a feat that was recognized by Ash, who mentioned that her son Newton would be proud of his mother. Once again confused by Ash's knowledge of her son, Horizon was shocked when Ash later dropped by to tell her that Lillian Peck would thank her if she was alive to see Horizon's work. At that point, Horizon was sure that Ash was hiding something big about both their past.
N.E.W.T. helps Horizon with everything from dancing to generating black holes. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Horizon proceeds to ask Pathfinder about the Event, where the members of Project: IRIS sacrificed their lives to save the Outlands since he was there. During their talk, Pathfinder being the silly MRVN he is, says that Ash had the access codes to Olympus. Further confusion envelops Horizon, as the access codes of Olympus can only be known by Lillian Peck. Horizon, now believing Ash is her old friend Lillian Peck in a Simulacrum form, pays a visit to Revenant to find out how he woke up to his suppressed personality.
While being against the idea, Revenant tells her about the override system: a unique code for each Simulacrum that can wake them up. Horizon proceeds to visit Crypto, who acquires Ash's override codes for her. She then visits Ash in her quarters, reciting the code, in hopes of waking up her friend Lillian. While Horizon recites the codes, stunning Ash due to the debilitating amount of data being processed all at once, Revenant reveals that he followed Horizon and tries to destroy Ash, reminding Horizon that waking up a Simulacrum is an unbearable torture.
Ash survives Revenant's attack and, after Horizon finishes reciting the code, reveals herself to be the Simulacrum version of Dr. Ashleigh Reid. Shocked and angered by this revelation, Horizon pushes for answers. Ash takes back control from the suppressed persona she calls Leigh and leaves the room after thanking Horizon for setting her free from the illusion of being a pitiful human.
So far in the story, the only encounter between Horizon and Ash is where Leigh once again surfaces for a moment to tell Horizon that Newton did not die during the Event, followed by Ash threatening Horizon with taking the information about Newton to the grave. As I mentioned previously, Newton is one of the top contenders for a future Apex Legend. Maybe Horizon won't have to travel through time to find her son, but the son she will find in the present might not be the one she remembers. We'll have to wait and see.
"Looks like someone didn't understand the 'gravity' of the situation."
Horizon's Passive Ability is Spacewalk. With Spacewalk, Horizon can bypass the stagger effect of falling from high altitude. She can start moving faster than any other Legend after landing. She can also make quicker mid-air turns and loses substantially less accuracy while firing mid-air.
Spacewalk saves you from a lot of quality of life precautions you would take while playing as other Legends, such as holding on to ziplines at the last moment while falling from a high spot. Her ability to instantly get back into action after making a big position shift puts her in the "figure things on the go" category of Legends, thanks to Spacewalk, among her other abilities.
Horizon's Tactical Ability is Gravity Lift. Horizon throws a device that activates upon reaching a surface and projects a reverse-gravity field, pushing everyone and everything upwards. Exiting the gravity field will push you out with force, helping you cover a certain distance. This ability can be used to lift yourself and your squadmates to literally get the high ground whenever you want. However, there's another crucial use for this ability. Remember, it can lift everyone and everything. If you want to deny entrance to a building or a room, you can drop the Gravity Lift to its entrance. Gravity Lift will also lift the explosives thrown at it, providing you safety for its 10-second duration.
Joining a bloodsport doesn't seem to have taken away her good spirits. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Like other throwables in Apex Legends, the device you throw when you use Gravity Lift can be zapped by Wattson's ultimate ability, the Zappinator 5000. The most common use of Gravity Lift is to lift yourself during a fight to take a quick breather to shield up. This became a bread and butter combo before Gravity Lift was nerfed to kick you out after 2 seconds. So now you have 2 seconds to make sure you position yourself well. Considering all its functions, Gravity Lift is one of the most influential abilities in Apex Legends in terms of changing the course of a fight. If you're the type of player who can adapt to any situation, Gravity Lift will create countless opportunities.
Horizon's Ultimate Ability is Black Hole. Time to give the opponents a taste of what Horizon had to deal with before coming back to scold all of us. When you activate Horizon's Ultimate Ability, you throw a device that will create a gravity field. But this time, the device we're throwing is our trusty not-a-replacement-son N.E.W.T., who activates the Black Hole effect after 2 seconds. The Black Hole pulls in opponents regardless of their position, as long as they're in range. This means they can be pulled from behind walls and such. Thanks to this function, a well-placed Black Hole will create more opportunities than just pulling opponents to itself.
For example, if an opponent is blocking a door with their body to prevent you from entering, throwing your Black Hole sideways will pull them away from the door, albeit on the other side of the wall. This sudden displacement will both disorient your opponent and let you open the door to enter and finish them off. With Horizon, the possibilities are endless! Like space!
Black Hole will also highlight the opponents behind it, providing you with enough info to pinpoint their location. Remember that N.E.W.T. is still a physical device and can be destroyed with gunfire and explosives. It has 175 HP, and the Black Hole will shut down early if N.E.W.T. is destroyed. Also, since we "throw" N.E.W.T., guess what happens if Wattson's nearby. Yep, the Interception Pylon once again zaps it mid-air, canceling the ability altogether. Additionally, since this is a mechanical device, a well-timed Crypto EMP will also disable N.E.W.T. and the Black Hole.
Remember that mobility abilities such as Pathfinder's grapple can help your opponents get out of your Black Hole. Also, Legends such as Wraith and Ash can travel through the Void to escape your ultimate. To prevent this, make sure to have a plan before throwing in your ultimate ability or be prepared to figure things out on the go.
How to play Horizon
"With skills like that, you'd earn the Psamathe peace prize for, ya know… war."
Horizon's main playstyle is, as it frequently comes up during talks about Horizon, to figure things on the go. This is mostly because Horizon is a great Legend to pick when you want to be the one that dictates who goes where—including your opponents. In a fight, you go where the space mom wants you to go, whether you want it or not.
When you're playing as Horizon, communication with your squadmates becomes crucial. Because of Horizon's crowd-control-oriented skill set, the level of coordination you have with your squadmates will decide your success rate.
When initiating a fight, especially if you already have the high ground, your ultimate ability—Black Hole—is a great opener. Catching opponents off guard with your ultimate will give you even further advantage if you're able to follow up. Make sure to throw as many explosives as you can towards the Black Hole since opponents will be near it. If you have a Fuse, make sure he throws everything in as well. If all else fails, just throw Fuse at the Black Hole. He'll know what to do.
This scene from Avengers: Endgame depicts Tony Stark stranded in space. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
While Apex Legends has always been a very vertical game, Horizon takes this to another level. Use your Tactical Ability -Gravity Lift- to quickly reach higher places or disorient opponents by lifting them up when they least expect it. This is why Horizon is an "on the go" Legend. Her abilities can affect anyone, so how you utilize them is entirely up to you. Both her tactical and ultimate can be used aggressively, as well as defensively. Being chased? Throw your Gravity Lift at the door after you enter a room to deny entry or if you're in an emergency situation, throw your Black Hole at a strategic spot to draw opponents away from you.
Other than fighting and making the lives of your opponents harder, Horizon has a unique ability when traversing through the maps. If you manage to get enough horizontal momentum, her Spacewalk passive will allow you to travel much faster and further than any other Legend. At the correct angle and speed, Horizon can almost reach Pilot levels of quick traversal. A great way to achieve this is using the Gravity Cannons in Storm Point. After launching yourself from a Gravity Cannon, use the easier air movement facet of Spacewalk to make sure you don't land on the designated landing spot. The rest is sliding and jumping at the right time, and you can travel through nearly half of Storm Point—which is currently the biggest map in Apex Legends—in a flash.
"Particle colliders or R301s. They both split atoms if you ask me."
Horizon's skins have been… divisive among the community, to say the least. While she constantly gets new skins with each event and store sale, most of these skins are considered either uninspired or downright ugly. She doesn't have any story-related skins, so this section of the article will be more of an opinion piece and might include some juicy gossip!
Horizon's skins rarely get a "meh" from the community. This one did it. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Horizon's base legendary skins are Solaris and Dark Matter, each having one variation. Dark Matter is the more popular one, while Solaris arguably received the better variations. Horizon's Season 10 Battle Pass skin, Biotic Luminary, is considered one of the worst skins in Apex Legends, and it's rivaled only by Neon Stardust, another Horizon skin. Personally, I find Neon Stardust interesting enough and am not irritated by it, but the community loves to hold surveys such as "which is the worst skin in the game," and Horizon's name is mentioned frequently in those threads.
Fortunately, Horizon mains are also blessed with one of the most popular skins in the game: Galactic Guardian. Heavily inspired by the mecha-themed franchise Voltron, this legendary skin frequently comes up during the "best skins in the game" discussions. The gaming communities just love to pick bests and worsts, don't they?
Horizon's finishers and emotes
"Strap in, Newtie. Things are about to get mighty interesting."
Horizon's finishers mostly revolve around her being a scientist. Again, sorry for the puns. I seem to be unable to drift away from them. All three of her finishers involve Horizon using her devices to take out the knocked-down opponent.
In All Charged Up, Horizon charges up her Gravity Lift device and points it towards the victim's face at point-blank range, taking them out with the immense force that comes out from the device.
In the aptly named Event Horizon, Horizon brings out N.E.W.T. to create a much smaller black hole that sucks the victim in, sending them to the shadow realm. This finisher has since become a meme among the community as the "Pokémon catching" finisher.
"Hello, sir. I'm from space, and you're coming with me." (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
In First Law, Horizon once again deploys devices, two of them this time, that smash the opponent upwards and then downwards to the ground. Meanwhile, Horizon, knowing her devices would do their work flawlessly, is lost in thought about something else and has an idea just before the finisher ends.
On the other hand, Horizon's emotes reflect her awkward and playful side.
In Hover Pen, Horizon uses her Gravity Lift device to, well, hover a pen and comes up with a new idea while watching it.
In Inspiration, she summons a hidden device that turns into a digital whiteboard, and Horizon once again figures something out. She tends to focus on mundane tasks while thinking about things.
In Mom Dance, Horizon summons N.E.W.T., jumps on it, and performs an off-balance mom dance.
In Lighter Than Air, Horizon deploys two Gravity Lift devices and steps on them, performing a figure skating move resembling an axel jump. A triple axel, no less.
Horizon's Relationship with other Legends
"Excuse me, mommy! Sorry. Mommy! Sorry. Mommy! Sorry. Mommy! Sorry." - Newcastle, probably.
Lore-wise, Horizon can be considered one of the core characters since she's connected to almost every big event until Season 12. She was part of Project: IRIS, connecting her to Gibraltar, Wattson, Pathfinder, and Ash. After her return from the black hole, she immediately gets involved with crisis scenarios such as the Legacy Antigen and quickly forms friendly bonds with many Legends, even Ash to some degree, until Ash's real identity is revealed.
Horizon's relationship with Ash is rough at best. Having her personality split in two, Ash claims her "human" side, Leigh, is the weaker one. Ash also mentions that she existed long before Dr. Ashleigh Reid died, implying Ash was the one who cut off Horizon's tether during the expedition. Leigh seems to be in a desperate situation and tries to help Horizon whenever she manages to briefly take control of the Simulacrum body. Traveling 87 years into the future only to find her betrayer right next to her, Horizon is heavily conflicted while building a relationship with Ash. However, Ash and—by extension—Leigh is the only person who might have any information about Horizon's son, Newton's fate after the Event.
If nothing else, Newcastle brings lots of charm to the Games. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Since Horizon's current goal is to get back to her son, she reluctantly works with Ash in hopes of getting the information out of her at some point. Being a time-traveling Scottish mom, though, she's not above calling Ash a "heartless toaster" at times.
Horizon seems to be on good terms with most of the Legends, but she's particularly fond of some. Wattson, for example, fascinates her as a fellow "clever lassie." Seer is another subject of Horizon's fancy because he deploys devices similar to Horizon's. Of course, Pathfinder is the Legend Horizon's most interested in, being the only person—other than Ash—who might have any information about Newton.
The newest teaser for Season 13: Saviors shows Horizon dancing with the new Legend, Newcastle. The players have already started talking about Horizon's flirty attitude towards Newcastle. However, in the same video, Gibraltar can also be seen quite charmed by Newcastle's personality. Personally, I hope this doesn't turn into another love triangle a la Valkyrie-Bangalore-Loba. Still, a romantic involvement between Newcastle and one of the Legends would definitely make for an entertaining story, all things considered.
"Ring's closin', and we ain't in it. Move. Unless you're a soulless heat-lovin' snakebot."
Did you know Horizon's real name, Dr. Mary Somers, is a direct reference to a Scottish scientist named Mary Somerville? Mary Somerville, who lived between 1780 and 1872, was the first person to be officially called a scientist in print. The word "scientist" is believed to be created to describe her in the first place.
Horizon was first designed to be a mad scientist, similar to Lex Luthor, but later versions ended up with her being a single mom. After her Scottish heritage was decided, Elle Newlands breathed life into her with her amazingly natural performance. Newlands claims to be the biggest method actor in the Apex Legends voice cast, citing she "has spoken with a Scottish accent her entire life to stay in character." She's a gem.
Speaking of gems, did you know you can collect tokens for G-Loot's Weekly Brawls just by checking in every day? You can, of course, earn more tokens by completing daily challenges and by becoming a premium user. By attending the Weekly Brawls, you can win a ticket to join the Monthly Showdowns, where you can win real money prizes!
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As the seasons progress, Horizon keeps being a strong contender with a good pick rate in pro tournaments. After Newcastle arrives, a new defense meta will surely emerge, and being able to get behind Newcastle's defenses will become much more important. Guess who can instantly get high ground and move herself and her squadmates behind a wall.
See you on the hunting grounds, dearies!
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