Apex Legends: Who is Newcastle?
May 19 2022
Hero of Harris Valley and 40-time runner-up for the Apex Games! He finally made it to the hunting grounds! People of the Outlands, say hello to the newest Legend, Newcastle! He will be replacing our beloved Bangalore, who has announced she’s leaving the Apex -what? Bangalore’s staying? Folks, it turns out I have two pieces of good news today!
Greetings, Legends! With Season 13 of Apex Legends, we have our new Legend: Newcastle. Newcastle has been through some of the most interesting predicaments before arriving in the Apex Games, both in his lore and behind the scenes. So prepare your jumpkits, and let’s take a heroic dive into Newcastle’s story and his abilities in this introductory guide.
Who is Newcastle?
“He fights for us. That’s what matters. He’s a hero.” -Harris Valley townsfolk
Voiced by Gabe Kunda, Newcastle is a laid-back, fun, “dance when I’m happy” type of guy with a heart of gold. However, behind this warm and friendly personality lies the long history of tough decisions, betrayals, and family drama. I’m not saying Newcastle is faking it, he’s a dad of two and a genuinely nice dude, but that’s all thanks to the life he left behind years ago.
As Bangalore surprisingly found out, Newcastle is indeed her older brother Jackson Williams. However, he goes by the name Lamont Craig now and has secretly taken over the mantle of Newcastle from its previous user, after a series of very unfortunate events.
The original Newcastle, a man named Rene, had been unsuccessful in his attempts to qualify for the Apex Games. Despite failing 40 times, he kept trying and blamed his teammates for losing all the time. His desperation was caused by his debts to a gang on Solace called the Forgotten Families. In exchange for his debts, he sold out Harris Valley to the gang, but it was not enough for them, and they still expected a cash payment. Rene was unable to make it into the Apex Games and was eventually killed by the gang.
Jackson Williams, living under the name of Lamont Craig, knew Rene and helped him with his gear from time to time. On the night Rene was killed, Jackson was nearby to retrieve his daughter’s Newcastle plush that was lost. He heard the commotion and silently approached to see what was going on. After seeing the gang shoot Rene, Jackson intervened and managed to subdue the gang members. That’s when he learned about Rene’s betrayal to Harris Valley and found himself forced to make a choice on the spot. He chose to take on the mantle of Newcastle and pay off Rene’s debts to save the town.
After Rene succumbed to his injuries, Jackson gazed upon a huge poster of Bangalore on the wall, thinking about the implications of seeing Anita again. Jackson’s kids hated Bangalore because she was “an IMC jerk,” and they thought Newcastle was a hero. What would they think if they learned their dad is none other than Bangalore’s brother, who was an “IMC jerk” himself back in the day. Regardless of that, Jackson joined the Apex Games to save the town he established his new life in.
Bangalore’s not exactly happy to learn Jackson’s been hiding, even from her.
“We win together, or we lose together. No in-between.” -Newcastle
Newcastle’s kit is very defensive and utility-heavy. He’s here to protect everyone and literally carry them to safety if he has to.
Passive: Retrieve the Wounded
“I won’t let you down, even when you’re downed.”
Newcastle can drag his teammates across the battlefield while reviving them. He can also use his own knockdown shield (with a decreased health pool) to protect the teammate while dragging and reviving them. Other than putting the final nail in Lifeline’s coffin, Newcastle’s passive ability creates a lot of new scenarios to deal with for everyone.
First of all, if you have a Newcastle on your team, both the gold backpack and the best knockdown shield your team has should go to him, so he can provide better protection for the teammate he revives. The comparison of regular knockdown shields to Newcastle’s revive shields are: 200-450-750 for regular knockdown shields at Level 1-2-3/4 to 150-250-500 for Newcastle’s revive shield at Level 1-2-3/4. This means Newcastle will require at least a Level 2 shield to provide any solid cover while dragging a teammate to safety. If the knockdown shield breaks during the revive process, it slowly regenerates after you stop or finish reviving your fallen teammate.
Another important interaction you should be aware of is that the dragging animation will be interrupted if you are not literally “dragging” your teammate. Examples of this issue are falling, using a Wraith portal, using a Gravity Cannon, using Octane’s Jump Pad, using Horizon’s Gravity Lift, and so on. The bottom line is, no cheating with your “drag your teammate across the battlefield” ability by not actually dragging them.
One obvious thing I still feel I should mention is the fact that you can’t drag yourself around while self-reviving with a gold knockdown shield. That’s where Apex Legends draws the line.
Newcastle stands proud and smiles in the Season 13 lobby. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Tactical: Mobile Shield
“I’ll keep you in the fight, even when it’s tight.”
When using Mobile Shield, Newcastle throws a drone that projects a two-piece shield in front of it. The two pieces (upper and lower) form a single, united shield, but they can be destroyed separately and have 350 HP each.
By using the tactical again, you can move the drone to a new position without changing the shield’s direction. You can change the direction of the projected shield by using the tactical again while within a 1m radius of the drone. This will re-align the shield’s direction away from you, as if you’re throwing it for the first time.
Mobile Shield can be tough to utilize well in chaotic gunfights, but it will provide protection and a safe space for a certain time. For example, you can deploy it before starting to drag a teammate to revive them to earn a very valuable few seconds.
The shield’s protective ability functions like Gibraltar’s Dome Shield, preventing damage from all sides and from everybody, including Newcastle himself and his teammates. However, Newcastle and his teammates can’t damage the shield. It can only be broken by hostile fire. Keep that in mind when deploying it while you have the upper hand.
The drone itself can be thrown quite far, but at that range, its protective abilities would be questionable at best. On the other hand, if you’re feeling dramatic, you can also attempt to throw the drone at opponents, dealing 20 damage to them. Yelling “bonk!” after a successful drone hit is recommended.
Ultimate: Castle Wall
“I can cook, clean, and defend my teammates.”
Did you think the name “Newcastle” was an interesting choice? Well, Jackson Williams is not joking about the castle part of it. When used, Newcastle jumps towards the targeted location, up to a range of 35m, to quickly place a wall made of 9 connected pieces. Out of these 9 pieces, 3 of them are big, towering shields, and 6 of them are the smaller pieces in between. Each segment of the shield has 750 HP and can be damaged by anyone.
If you’re jumping directly to a teammate or their deathbox, the range is increased from 35m to 75m. While each has 750 HP, the sections of the Castle Wall can be destroyed with 2 melee attacks. But worry not, Newcastle came up with a countermeasure to that! The outer side of the wall is electrified for the first 30 seconds after the wall is up. This will deter the opponents who attempt to melee it or climb it. As another important detail, keep in mind that the smaller parts of the shield wall are destroyed together when one of them is destroyed.
Once built, the Castle Wall stands there until it’s destroyed or Newcastle decides to deploy another one. In turn, along with Newcastle himself, his teammates also can take down the sections of the wall by hitting the proper interaction (H for keyboard and down arrow for consoles by default) button.
“Tank Boys, Tank Boys whatcha gonna do?” -Newcastle, Caustic, Gibraltar (in unison, off-key)
As the third big boy in Apex Legends, Newcastle has the Fortified perk. This perk allows Newcastle to take 15% reduced damage from attacks, except headshots. Headshots are excluded from the Fortified perk with the arrival of Season 13.
Not much to add here except for the great news that you can finally form a team of trios with all Fortified Legends! How well they would work together is debatable, but the players have been waiting for a long time for this, just like how Ash brought the players the chance to have 3 robots in your squad. Sometimes, having flair synergy is just as fun as having ability synergy!
Pictured: Apex writers pitching Newcastle to the board. (Image: NBC)
How to play Newcastle
Newcastle is often mentioned as a “Lifeline-killer.” This is not because he’s a better healer; on the contrary, he doesn’t have any healing abilities at all. But he’s great at not letting his teammates lose enough health to require external healing. His entire kit revolves around protecting teammates, giving them a safe space to breathe and rejoin the fight, and carrying them to safety which puts him slightly in front of Lifeline in terms of providing support. We’ll talk more about the Newcastle-Lifeline comparison later, so let’s move on.
As Newcastle, you are the defender of your team. While not the best defensive ability in the game, your Mobile Shield creates a great opportunity to assess the threat and quickly come up with a plan. Make sure to deploy it immediately if you’re ambushed since you can reposition it even if your initial choice was wrong. Learning how to quickly reposition and turn the Mobile Shield is crucial since both of your other defensive abilities are much more situational. Mobile Shield will be how you control the battlefield and shape it into your own playground.
Now to expand on the knockdown shield part. There are two main arguments around how to handle the knockdown shields when there’s a Newcastle on your team. The first argument says both the gold backpack and the best knockdown shield, including the gold one, should go to Newcastle. As you can tell from the previous section, I’m also in this camp. This argument states that by having the gold knockdown shield, Newcastle can provide further protection to his teammates by being able to revive himself should he fall first.
The second argument states that if there’s a Level 3 knockdown shield and a gold knockdown shield, Newcastle should get the Level 3 knockdown shield since Level 3 and Level 4 (gold) knockdown shields have the same amount of HP and using the gold shield while reviving a teammate would make Newcastle an even bigger target. Becoming the focus of the aggressors is very much against the point of Retrieve the Wounded, which is a great ability to drag your teammates to safety, so I think this is also a solid point. In addition, the second argument says that Newcastle having the Level 3 shield and a teammate having the gold shield would make it more likely for that team to survive a fight that went sideways.
In my opinion, both arguments have their upsides and downsides, and neither can be considered completely right or wrong. You can consider them as different choices you have as Newcastle and go with what fits your play style best.
There’s a third argument about Newcastle’s knockdown shield, but that’s not really about which one he should get, so I’m making a separate entry for it. The third argument says Newcastle should drop his knockdown shield before dragging a teammate away. This is because Newcastle’s Retrieve the Wounded animation doesn’t make a lot of sound, but the knockdown shield literally roars when activated. By dropping your knockdown shield, the third argument says that you could “stealth revive” teammates while dragging them to safety. This is also a valid option, but it comes at a much greater risk than the others.
In terms of Newcastle’s ultimate, Castle Wall, you can always use it to instantly provide yourself a safe space, but keep in mind that you can very easily lock yourself up in a tight spot if you don’t place it well. If you put the Castle Wall in front of you while cornered, you might turn Apex Legends into NBA for your opponents, because they will definitely rain explosives at your “safe” space at that point.
Jackson is a Titan Pilot, he’s no stranger to the jumpkits. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Castle Wall can also be used to retrieve banners of your fallen teammates in a relatively safer manner since its range is up to 75 meters when used on a teammate or their deathbox. You can also use it to quickly get to your teammates when they (or you) are in danger. The quick and long-range traversal of Castle Wall might end up being the better function of the skill named “Castle Wall” than the wall itself.
Another important note is the case of teammates that can quickly cover long distances. If Newcastle is in the air after using Castle Wall on a teammate and that teammate moves, Newcastle will follow them by changing directions mid-air. This even applies to the scenarios such as Loba’s tactical, where she will teleport away from her last position. Newcastle will still follow Loba in that case, but not if she (or any teammate) moves out of the 75m range. In that case, Newcastle’s ability will simply be canceled. Whenever it’s canceled, which is determined by if you’ve managed to land and build the wall or not, 70% of Newcastle’s ultimate charge will be refunded.
Now back to the Lifeline issue. Personally, I think Lifeline has been in a tough spot since her revive shield was removed. While her Combat Revive is still a great ability, it falls flat against teams that push hard. Without the shield, Lifeline is forced to wait until the teammate crawls to a safe spot before reviving them to avoid making them a sitting duck. Being able to move the teammate away from the danger (or into it, if you want to) while reviving them and having a shield while doing it is simply more useful than what Lifeline offers right now. Not to mention his ability to quickly move toward a teammate from afar, like Mercy from Overwatch, before putting a literal wall between them and the opponents.
Lifeline obviously brings a lot more than just her passive to the game, but in terms of keeping everyone safe and at full HP, Newcastle seems to be the safer bet right now. Of course, Newcastle’s arrival will shake things up, and we will see if Respawn is aiming to balance Lifeline towards a defensive battle royale healer or a super-useful Arena support. While balancing shouldn’t be based on Arena performance, having many Legends might have sparked the idea of moving Lifeline towards becoming the star of the Arena.
“We’ve got a game to win. And I’ve just polished my shield.”
Newcastle was released with 5 Legendary skins, including the one in his very own Newcastle Launch Bundle. These skins mostly revolve around his “protector of the people” personality, with a Robocop-esque design on Starbound Savior and Green Mosaic and a knight in shining, futuristic armor design in Valiant Defender and Complex Rebirth.
Newcastle’s only skin with a backstory is his Launch Bundle skin, Heroic Command. This skin depicts Newcastle in his IMC days, donning an IMC Pilot Suit, helmet included. The icon on his chest is the letter “A” from Titanfall’s logo, once again referencing the Titanfall universe. We’re literally grasping at the straws of Titanfall tie-ins here, Respawn. Come on.
Bangalore realizes the “new guy” might not be so new after all. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
Newcastle’s finishers and emotes
“Small suggestion: avoid the guy with the big shield.”
While his abilities are very effective and arguably meta-changing, Newcastle brings perhaps the biggest cosmetic interaction innovation in Apex Legends so far. He has a unique finisher for Bangalore! This is very important news because half the magic in Apex Legends is the interactions between the Legends and Legend-specific finishers would be an amazing feature in the future. However, Apex Legends’ lead animator Moy Parra mentioned on his Twitter that this unique finisher was an idea they came up with on the spot and took a lot of work and resources to add to the game. This might mean that the Legend-specific finishers won’t become a regular thing, but we as the players sure hope they will. It would be a huge waste if this didn’t become a feature.
Now, to the finishers. Newcastle’s default finisher is “Crushing It,” where he drops the shield on his back on the downed opponent. The shield turns out to be immensely heavy and creates an effect akin to the anvils from Looney Tunes. It flattens the opponent under its weight while Newcastle flexes his back to relieve the pain of carrying a shield that heavy. Then he steps on the shield and strikes his iconic hero pose!
In Franchise Player, Newcastle takes his position like an American Football player, ready to charge. Then he deploys his projected shield on his arm in front of him and slams the downed opponent with the full force of his body. This hit is followed by Newcastle strutting backward while dancing.
In his special finisher, Newcastle shimmies towards a downed Bangalore, taunting her. Bangalore retorts, “you never could dance,” to which Newcastle replies, “and you never could beat me,” before stepping back and dancing away. This finisher is free and comes as the default finisher against Bangalore. Since this finisher doesn’t actually involve any violence and is just banter based on their sibling rivalry, fans have collectively decided that Bangalore dies of cringe.
Newcastle’s emotes reflect his playful personality even more than his finishers do.
In Standing Guard, he puts down the shield on his back and rests on it, taking a short break. The shield in this emote will always revert to the default look, despite looking different while on Newcastle’s back.
In Rhythm Machine, Newcastle performs a dance similar to the one he does for Bangalore after taunting her, showing off his cheerful personality.
In Ground Pound, Newcastle once again takes off the shield on his back and jumps, slamming the shield to the ground with a strong force.
Newcastle’s relationships with other Legends
“It’s an honor to be your protector.”
Oh boy. Newcastle’s relationships with other Legends could have an article for itself, and my editor wouldn’t even be mad. First of all, let’s rewind back a little and take a look at who Jackson Williams is and how he became the Legend known as Newcastle.
As you’ll remember from the Bangalore article, siblings Jackson and Anita Williams were both very competitive, especially against each other. Since the Williams Family was a military family with strong ties to the IMC, every family member became involved with the IMC at one point in their lives. However, Jackson and Anita were the ones to see IMC’s true face in the worst way possible.
At the peak of their sibling rivalry, Anita and Jackson were about to graduate from the IMC Military Academy when they received the news of their older brother Zeke’s death on Typhon. The Frontier Militia’s Pilot Jack Cooper and his Titan BT-7274 have managed to destroy the planet completely by triggering IMC’s secret superweapon called the Fold Weapon on the planet. Being devoted IMC soldiers, both Jackson and Anita wanted to join the fight against the Militia immediately to avenge their brother. In a short time, they found themselves fighting on their home planet, Gridiron, against the Frontier Militia. At this point, Jackson had already become a Pilot and received his own Titan, while Anita was a foot soldier with a shining track record. Thinking they’re on the righteous side, the Williams siblings stormed the battlefield, only for Anita to get severely wounded by a Militia Pilot.
Jackson, who was also the ranking officer of the IMC Hestia ship, retrieved the wounded Anita and had her wounds treated. During Anita’s treatment, the IMC issued an all-out attack order, despite the Militia having the upper hand. Torn between his duty and his family, Jackson elected to ignore the IMC’s order and gave his crew an order of his own, to retreat to safety immediately.
In time, Jackson learned that the incident where Zeke Williams died happened because the IMC was working on a weapon that would kill billions of people, and the Militia was working to stop the weapon from activating. This was the last drop for Jackson and he became completely disillusioned about what IMC stood for.
Jackson realizes IMC wasn’t the good guys. At all. (Image: BBC)
When Anita recovered, they were on Storm Point, Gaea. Learning the fact that Jackson ignored an order and deserted the battlefield drove her crazy, and she immediately called S.O.S. for any remaining IMC forces. Commander Scryer, a Pilot for the IMC, responded and decided to execute Jackson on the spot. At that moment, Anita understood why Jackson made the decisions he made and joined her brother in choosing family over IMC.
A fight broke out between the two parties: an IMC Pilot (Scryer) against one gearless IMC Pilot (Jackson) and one gearless IMC Pilot-candidate (Bangalore), which ended with Scryer’s death. At that point, the Williams siblings realized they had long passed the point of no return and commandeered Scryer’s ship to leave Storm Point.
After all that has happened between the two, losing Jackson to a seemingly random explosion outside of their new ship was too strong of a shock for Anita. Jackson fell from the ship, IMS Hestia II, to his apparent death over Solace. Unable to deal with the loss of her brother, Anita strongly believed Jackson was alive. She joined the Apex Games under the callsign Bangalore to raise money to find Jackson and somehow make the 20-year trip back home to their family.
Since the “IMC deserter Jackson Williams” was dead by all accounts, Jackson took this opportunity to completely change his identity to stay away from any remaining IMC forces and to protect Bangalore from becoming a target to IMC just because she’s close to him. He took on the name Lamont Craig and became a mechanic for Harris Valley’s hero, Newcastle. The rest, for Jackson, is history.
We don’t know who Jackson took after, but it’s definitely not the same family member as Bangalore. The siblings couldn’t have any more opposite personalities. Bangalore is intense and made being a soldier her entire personality, while Jackson is charming, playful, and heroic. So when Jackson arrived in the Apex Games as Newcastle, he immediately made friends with other Legends.
Legends who seem to be most struck by Jackson’s charm are Horizon, Gibraltar, and in a drama-filled twist, Valkyrie. In the reveal trailer for Season 13, we can see that Newcastle is already the life of the party, having Horizon sit on his shield to raise her up in a flirty way.
Newcastle wastes no time becoming the focus of attention. (Image: Respawn Entertainment)
While there is the love triangle drama between Bangalore, Loba, and Valkyrie; Newcastle making friends with Valkyrie could be the most awkward situation for Bangalore. Bangalore and Valkyrie are both interested in Loba, and while neither will outright admit it, they’re very competitive against each other for Loba’s affection. Newcastle befriending Bangalore’s rival could cause some very interesting lore tidbits in the future.
“Folded you like some laundry.”
Newcastle is definitely an interesting addition to the Apex Legends roster. He also arrived with lots of bugs, of course, but this is not a place to talk about bugs and exploits. Because at G-Loot, we value the effort you put in and reward the skill you’ve honed throughout your gaming life. With G-Loot, you can track your stats and gather insight into your play style.
But wait! There’s more! G-Loot provides you the chance to challenge yourself against players of all skill levels, so you can improve yourself while looting rewards! You can join G-Loot’s Weekly Brawls to win a ticket to G-Loot’s Monthly Showdowns, where you can win real money prizes!
See you on the hunting grounds, Legends.
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