Recall is an animated short released on the official Xbox channel on March 21, 2016.
"Recall" tells the story of Winston—a genetically engineered gorilla and brilliant scientist who longs for the days of heroism to return. In this episode, we explore Winston's thoughts and memories as he wrestles with the decision to recall the agents of Overwatch, all while the forces of Talon stage an attack on his laboratory in the abandoned Watchpoint: Gibraltar.
[Open on a chain-link fence at Watchpoint: Gibraltar. On one side is a poster that says "CLOSED BY EXECUTIVE MANDATE"; on the other, "KEEP OUT - PETRAS ACT". It is nighttime.]
[Fade to Winston humming a part of the Overwatch victory tune working at his lab bench with an Athena terminal to his left. The words "BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS" appear onscreen before cutting to a closeup of Athena's screen.]
Athena: Shield generator test ready to proceed.
[Pan to Winston, who activates a small Barrier Projector. The barrier functions for a few seconds before encountering an error and exploding.]
[Winston wakes up on the floor and rises, frustrated.]
Athena: Now, now. No need for that, Winston. Your heart rate is through the roof.
[Winston climbs onto a tire swing and swings to a balcony above.]
Winston: I told you to stop monitoring my vitals, Athena.
Athena: Very well.
[Winston walks to a nearby computer and sits down, grabbing a banana and unscrewing a jar of peanut butter with his mouth.]
Athena: It has been 43 days, 7 hours, and 29 seconds since your last cardio workout. Remember, a healthy body is-
Winston: -a healthy mind. That's why I have this.
[Winston holds up his now peeled banana and spits the peanut butter jar's lid onto the desk. It rolls and falls next to a pile of lids.]
[Winston cracks his feet knuckles and taps his keyboard. A news report appears on screen.]
Reporter: The Second Omnic Crisis continues to devastate Russia. The conflict between Omnics and Humans has now claimed over 15,000 lives. So far, the international community has been reluctant to join...
[The news report fades out as Winston types on his keyboard, bringing up a screen that says "INITIATE OVERWATCH RECALL? Y/N". Winston's hand hovers in front of the options.]
Athena: Every time you see news of this sort we go through this. I remind you, recalling Overwatch agents to active duty comes with great risk.
[Winston rolls his eyes as Athena brings up images on another monitor; one of the Petras Act and the other of an Overwatch agent being arrested.]
Athena: The Petras Act clearly states any Overwatch activity is deemed illegal and punishable by prosecution.
Winston: [sighs] I know. You're right.
[Winston slumps in his chair as Athena's images are closed.]
Winston: That's the way the world is. [sighs] But I do miss the old days...
[Winston looks to his left at pictures of his friends from Overwatch. He lifts one of them, revealing underneath a picture of his younger self and Dr. Harold Winston.]
[Fade to a flashback of young Winston hanging upside down and looking through a pair of glasses out a window. He sees a shooting star pass by and examines the landscape near the Horizon Lunar Colony.]
[Harold Winston opens the door and walks in. Winston falls from the ceiling and becomes defensive of the glasses.]
Harold: I think you have something that belongs to me.
[Winston sits down and avoids eye contact. Harold extends his hand.]
Harold: Hand them over.
[Winston makes a sound that vaguely resembles the word "no". Harold kneels in front of him.]
Harold: Oh, it's okay. You're not in trouble. No! I'll trade ya.
[Harold reveals a jar of peanut butter. Winston gladly takes the jar and hands his glasses to Harold.]
Harold: There you go, buddy.
[Winston begins gnawing at the jar's lid while Harold puts his glasses on. Winston becomes distracted by the window.]
Harold: Yeah, there's not much to see from in here, kiddo... But you know there's more out there, don't you?
[Winston happily turns to Harold, clutching his peanut butter jar. Harold stands up.]
Harold: Come on. it's time I showed you something.
[Harold extends his hand, and Winston takes it. A beeping sound is heard as the screen fades to white.]
[Winston wakes up to the words "INTRUDER ALERT" flashing on the screen. He turns away, startled.]
[Cut to a shot of four people's feet as they march up a set of stairs outside.]
[Cut back to Winston]
Athena: I'm detecting intruders.
[Winston removes his glasses.]
Winston: Athena.. kill the lights.
[Cut back to the 6 Talon agents entering Winston's laboratory as the lights go out. The agents look around, on guard. Winston watches them from a dark corner, eating a banana.]
[Winston drops the banana's peel in front of the Talon agents, who turn to look at it. Winston drops from the ceiling, landing on an agent. They begin to fire at Winston, who is unharmed as he throws two away, smashes another into the ground, and smashes the remaining two into each other.]
[Reaper appears in a cloud of smoke and flies to a balcony above. Winston attempts to jump at him, but a Talon agent holds him down with a taser. Three other agents regroup and do the same.]
[Reaper enters Winston's computer room and attaches a device to one of his servers. Athena's screens begin to glitch, and the words "DATA BREACH" appear on one.]
Athena: Security protocols failing. Winston, Reaper is extracting the Overwatch agent database.
[Winston looks up at the room before immediately being tased again. One agent backs up, slipping on Winston's banana peel, leaving Winston's hand free. Winston laughs and enters Primal Rage, grabbing one agent's taser tether and swinging him into other agents.]
[Cut to Reaper, standing in the room above.]
Athena: Extraction at-
[A Talon agent is thrown through the window behind Reaper.]
[Reaper sighs, cracks his neck, and drops out of the now broken window to the room below.]
[As Winston is calming down, Reaper lands behind him and begins firing his Hellfire Shotguns. Winston backs up and collapses, the contents of his work table on the floor around him. Reaper shoots down a space capsule from the ceiling, which lands on Winston.]
[Cut to another flashback; Harold is leading young Winston down a dimly lit room. There is a large telescope in the background. Winston approaches the door slowly, and Harold kneels beside him, removing his glasses.]
Harold: You took these because you wanted to see if there was more out there.
[Harold places the glasses on Winston's face. Winston smiles.]
Harold: Well, see for yourself.
[The door opens slowly, revealing Earth in the distance.]
[Winston and Harold stand side to side, gazing at Earth. Winston takes Harold's hand.]
Harold: Always remember: never accept the world as it appears to be. Dare to see it for what it could be.
[Fade to white.]
[Winston wakes up to Reaper walking towards him.]
Athena: Winston! He's going to have all agents' locations!
[Reaper throws his shotguns away, pulling out a new pair and pointing them at Winston.]
Reaper: I'll be sure to send them your regards, monkey.
Winston: I'm not a monkey..
[Winston activates the Barrier Projector that landed next to him and slides it next to Reaper. As before, it encounters an error. Reaper laughs.]
Winston: I'm a scientist.
[The projector explodes, and Reaper is knocked against a table. Winston throws off the space capsule and picks up his Tesla Cannon, which he fires at Reaper. Reaper dissolves, leaving behind the two shotguns he was pulling out. Winston beats his chest proudly.]
Athena: Extraction. 90. Percent.
[Winston climbs to the computer room and removes Reaper's device, smashing it in his hand.]
Athena: Failing. 98%.
[Winston runs to the computer and begins typing.]
Winston: Hang on, Athena.
[All monitors shut off simultaneously. Winston is shocked.]
Winston: Athena? A-Athena!?
[Athena reboots. Her logo appears onscreen.]
Athena: Virus quarantined. I'm running diagnostics on the core database. Restoring systems..
[All screens reactivate, returning to their state before the Talon agents arrived. The "INITIATE OVERWATCH RECALL?" prompt appears again before Winston.]
[Winston stares at the prompt, then picks up his glasses and stares at them. He remembers Harold Winston's advice.]
Harold (remembered): Never accept the world as it appears to be. Dare to see it for what it could be.
[Winston puts on the glasses and proudly selects "Y". A globe appears, and several locations are marked.]
Athena: Establishing agent connections.
[Winston is an awe as the screen flashes between several agent profiles; first Genji, then Reinhardt, Mercy, Torbjörn, McCree, 15 agents with their name blurred, and finally Tracer, who opens a call.]
Tracer: Winston? Is that you, love? A-ha! It's been too long!
[Winston dons his armor and Jump Pack, smiling]
Winston: Yes. Yes it has.
[Cut to the Overwatch logo.]
[Cut to the ruined laboratory. Reaper flies through the room as a cloud of smoke, laughing.]
- Before Recall was released, subtle changes were made to Watchpoint: Gibraltar to tease it. Athena can be seen on a few screens in the first attacking spawn room, as well as the large hole in the window through which Winston threw a Talon agent.
- During the opening, Winston is humming the Overwatch theme.
- Winston has a Hearthstone stream open in another tab on his computer.
- The news ticker shows a few current events:
- In his room on the Horizon Lunar Colony, Winston had a computer with Warcraft 2 open.
- Reaper's hacking device is labelled "Lamprey".
- The globe at the end shows the current locations of several Overwatch agents.
- Tracer is in London.
- Mercy is in Mesopotamia; probably Iraq or Kuwait.
- Torbjörn is in Russia, near Moscow or Novgorod.
- Reinhardt is near Nuuk, Greenland.
- McCree is somewhere in the American Midwest, near Indiana or Kentucky.
- Genji cannot be seen due to the angle of the globe, but is likely in northern Japan.
- Three other unknown heroes are marked; one in Namibia/Botswana, one in southern Argentina, and one in Pará, Brazil.
- Some of the unnamed heroes was revealed later in other media.