Apex Legends' Firing Range Dummies Are Now Moving On Their Own
The previously static NPCs now seem to be aware of their surroundings.
Updated August 15, 2022: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the Firing Range dummies began moving after a Season 14 update. They began moving after a Season 13 update.
Apex Legends Season 14 has brought loads of new content to the game. But between the recent re-landscaping of Kings Canyon, the addition of a new legend with incredible abilities, and the tragic death of the self-revive Knockdown Shield, one new addition seems to have slipped under the radar: Sometime between Season 13 and Season 14, he target dummies in the Firing Range came to life.
It's been an open secret for years that players can trigger an Easter egg that causes the firing range dummies (technically called D.U.M.M.I.E.s) to chase and shoot the player, providing an excellent opportunity to practice with different weapons and legend abilities. But the dummies currently in the Firing Range now move all by themselves, and their movements are not a part of the aforementioned Easter egg. They've even appeared to develop some personality.
The Firing Range was originally populated by dummies with a relatively human body shape and no facial features. But sometime between Season 7 and Season 8, the dummies were redesigned. All of them were recolored red and white, with the circular black and yellow four-quadrant design often found on real-life crash test dummies adorning their outer shells in various locations. (Previously, standard Firing Range dummies each had a shell with no secondary color accents or other design embellishments, and each dummy was different in color.) The new dummies were also given a new 3D model with a unique body shape.
Strangely, even after the redesign, the dummies reverted to their original look when the attack/movement Easter egg was activated (and this is still the case). But otherwise, the aesthetic changes didn't affect gameplay. The dummies still stood motionless in their assigned positions, patiently waiting to get sniped--they just had a new look (including an incredibly unsettling pair of yellow eyes).
But the once-motionless dummies are now moving all on their own. Though the dummies still stay in one place and don't attack unless the Easter egg is triggered, they now appear to have an idling animation, occasionally taking a moment to gaze at their surroundings before pointing a finger at the player and gesturing in their direction. It's hard to tell whether the hand motions are meant to mimic the way a commander might direct his soldiers on the battlefield, or if dummies just don't like it when skinsuits get a little too up close and personal.
Not much else is known about this new firing range dummy feature, but two things are undeniable: The newer dummies look exactly like the robotic entity featured in the free "Clutch" holospray players could earn during the Summer Sundown event, and they also share the same design used as a placeholder for the 3D models of several upcoming characters that were revealed in a massive leak back in March. But interestingly, not all of the placeholder models use this design--some use the standard solid-colored dummy design, others use the new dummy design, but have different accent colors.
The "Clutch" holospray stands out because no dummies have ever been featured in a holospray before, and most players wouldn't associate a Firing Range dummy with clutching a win, as dummies play no role whatsoever when it comes to actual gameplay, and do not appear on any in-game maps. The release of the holospray (and the new, moving dummies) could also be hinting at a game mode or PvE POI planned for release in the future.
There's no telling how significant (or insignificant) these changes to the dummies will be in the long run, but the level of detail put into redesigning and animating dummies is hard to ignore. Also hard to ignore? Those freaky yellow eyes.
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