Is Mercy the Villain of Overwatch?

12 posts in this topic


Given her appearance and skillset, who would have thought Mercy might be the true villain of the game?

If you're an Overwatch lore fan, I would definitely recommend checking this theory out. It's very well thought out and alludes to the relationship between Mercy, Genji and Reaper, as well as what her motives might actually be.

Posted by Reddit user OJPaper, their post goes through the following theories:

  • The backstory of Mercy and what her role is in Overwatch
  • Her relationship with Genji, Reaper, and later, Sombra
  • Where is Mercy in present day Overwatch?
  • What was Reaper's motive in Recall?
  • Name and design choices of Mercy

A comment on the post also adds another interaction with Mei, which adds slightly more information to the theory. The comment comes from user phluke-, where they point out that these voice lines exist:

Mercy: Mei, you haven't aged a day. What's your secret?

Mei: Cryostasis. But I'm not sure if I'd recommend it.

This voice line points towards Mercy's interest in staying young and immortality, which then leads to the following exchange between the two.

Mei: Doctor Ziegler, I don't think you've aged a day since I last saw you.

Mercy: And neither have you, Mei.

While this confirms nothing, it definitely points towards Mercy's interest in staying young and her youthful appearance to Mei.

What do you think of all this? Is Mercy truly the villain of Overwatch?

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Oh dem Blizzard Conspiracy theories. Classic. I've been chasing The Old Gods since I was 10yo.

WoW is often claimed to be stopped with its 12+ rating - they can't really stick such blurred lines and gray moralities left and right. IDK how exactly they play it out this time with OW, but it's going to be really cool.

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8 hours ago, Paracel said:

Oh dem Blizzard Conspiracy theories. Classic. I've been chasing The Old Gods since I was 10yo.

WoW is often claimed to be stopped with its 12+ rating - they can't really stick such blurred lines and gray moralities left and right. IDK how exactly they play it out this time with OW, but it's going to be really cool.

I think WoW's lore can be as deep as you want it to be. A lot of the Vanilla based stuff drew a lot from the Lovecraftian themes, as well as certain zone designs. There's definitely a rich adult loreset to be delved into there, once you get past the pop-culture stuff.

Going to start reading a lot more about the Overwatch background with this!

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I do plan to read the Reddit thread, but haven't yet. As far as the Mei/Mercy interaction? Um... that's like, super common IRL. Do the people spinning these theories even KNOW any women IRL? Or even on social media?

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38 minutes ago, solitha said:

I do plan to read the Reddit thread, but haven't yet. As far as the Mei/Mercy interaction? Um... that's like, super common IRL. Do the people spinning these theories even KNOW any women IRL? Or even on social media?

When there are so many pointers all heading towards her being obsessed with immortality and experimenting with life, it becomes a bit more than womanly banter :p

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Ehhh i just don't know if deep lore stuff works in games like overwatch. Yes blizz allegedly made this huge backstory and that but as a player you don't experience it. It's sort of like Destiny when it launched. Oh you  want lore? Well go to our website and decipher the letters seen in the alphabet soup. Sure there are audio clips and maybe teaser images in the levels but as far as this big story goes we don't have much. The world needs overwatch again, so we are going to kill each other over and over. In a way it feels battleborn esque, where blizz wanted a single player mode for overwatch but scrapped it in order to work on legion some more.

Don't get me wrong, I love overwatch, just not sure about trying to add in deep lore to it. Someone lock metzen in a closet.

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21 hours ago, Paracel said:

Oh dem Blizzard Conspiracy theories. Classic. I've been chasing The Old Gods since I was 10yo.

WoW is often claimed to be stopped with its 12+ rating - they can't really stick such blurred lines and gray moralities left and right. IDK how exactly they play it out this time with OW, but it's going to be really cool.

Same here on the Old Gods front. I couldn't believe it when I found out N'zoth was going to be unveiled outside of WoW. It was like all my investigative work was for nothing :p

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Any game that implies competition as design value tends to be slightly off the point. 

Remember TF2? (oh boy mentioning this in any OW thread can start a war) Lore was over when we've been told there are two corps - B.L.U.E and R.E.D - fightning. No idea who they are, no idea what for. 

Counter-Strike? Nameless good guys, nameless bad guys, middle of nowhere, still a good game.

MOBA games tend to have lore behind their characters but not behind the conflict. DOTA 1 made sense because it was a WC3 related thing - everybody knew what The Frozen Throne and Tree of Life are, and why are we defending them.  And who the hell are Radiant and Dire? What are those new Ancients and why do we even care?
What are we doing in HOTS and why Arthas fights alongside Diablo and Raynor? Still a mystery for me. Hats off to the old League of Legends lore though - summoners made a ton of sense, shame that they've cut them completely.

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1 hour ago, Damien said:

Where are the voice lines from?

They're interactions when the two heroes are on the same team. They don't always happen, it often picks an interaction for the whole team, rather than everyone having them.

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The main theory behind Mercy (and by correlation, Reaper) starts to unravel when you consider some of their other voice lines. The theory suggests Reaper is not actually hunting Overwatch people, but just Mercy. And yet:

If Reaper kills an Overwatch member: "Another one off the list."

Repear at Watchpoint: Gibraltar: "Overwatch. I'll put an end to your sad story."

Suggesting he went out of his way to avoid killing Winston starts to strain Occam's Razor a bit. There was a basic story to be told, that Reaper is trying to get the location of Overwatch members, and Winston needs to stop him. It wouldn't be much of a story if Reaper killed Winston, nor if Reaper got that list and wiped out Overwatch. The short was exciting and entertaining, and showed off a bit of expected gameplay. It's kind of like that list of things Not to Do if I Become an Evil Overlord. Some "details" are only shown for entertainment purposes.

He does clearly blame Mercy for his current condition, but it's a bit much to suggest she's his sole target.


Mercy herself is rather typical of aid-givers throughout history. Few of us like the situations in which we are required, but feel that it's necessary that SOMEone steps in and does his/her best to ease the inevitable hurt. Do you think Doctors Without Borders is performing similar experiments? There they go straight into war zones, just like Mercy.


As far as Sombra, I favor the theory that she's actually Alejandra, from the "Hero" short, especially when considering timeline clues.


When I shared the Mercy theory with a group, someone pointed out that it's just like the "Jar-Jar is the ultimate Sith" stuff. I really feel a lot of it's being overthought - for instance, I could believe someone at Blizzard reads stuff like this and says, "Wait, I named Mercy's staff after what? I TOTALLY thought it was the healer's symbol! Crap!"

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