The world of Bungie’s shooter-MMO Destiny has evolved significantly since it first touched down in 2014. The game’s seasonal models that debuted with 2019’s Shadowkeep expansion have featured their own mini-stories that have made the original black-and-white narrative the game launched with more complicated. Where previous seasons focused on making old enemies into allies or setting the stage for the inevitable confrontation with the forces of the Darkness, the current “Season of the Lost” is turning its eye on the Guardians themselves.
Speaking with Axios, Bungie writer Nikkos Stephens discussed how weird it is that Guardians don’t remember who they are upon their resurrection by the Traveller, that giant god ball that gives Guardians their space magic. “There’s actually some level of law that dictates Guardians don’t reveal each other’s pasts or go seeking them … there are also a lot of characters who directly tell others not to say anything.” While on some level, it can be freeing to not have your past define you as you shoot space turtles with cosmic lightning, it makes things decidedly more complicated when someone goes snooping for their old life.
That same interview talks about how “Lost”’s narrative theme is losing trust in your family, which is fitting since two of the supporting characters are the Mara Sov, Queen of the Awoken and her brother Uldren. Uldren became the antagonist of 2018’s Forsaken and was personally shot in the head by the Guardian (your character), later to become resurrected as the Crow.
While NPCs have wondered if they can place blame on the actions of a man who’s been effectively dead for three years, Crow just learned of his former life in an in-game event this week thanks to Savathun, the antagonist of next year’s Witch Queen expansion who’s been making it clear since the season started — in which players and characters communicate with her in a frozen, crystalline form as part of an uneasy alliance — that she’s going to eventually be a problem.
Not that it was ever a secret, since the expansion’s title was revealed over a year ago. What’s more, the trailer for the expansion shows that she’s found a way to give your cosmic powers to the Hive, who are very happy to use them against you. Despite that, it’s worked in the game’s favour as she summons Guardians to chat every week. “We knew we wanted to give players face time with her and make sure they had a really good idea of who she was,” narrative lead Julia Nardin told GamesRadar.
And that continued relationship, she hopes, will make things messy when it’s time to go gun-to-claw with Savathun: “There’s divide in the community about Savathun, which wanted! We want players to go into the expansion with mixed feelings, and not feel 100% sure that what they’re doing is the right thing.” Despite how often she refers to Guardians as her “friend,” it’s clear that Savathun is a queen of deception and takes some joy in fucking with everyone while she’s a giant paperweight. “All these characters that believe they’re moving forward by their own motivations are somewhat influenced by the Witch Queen,” writer Stephens said, ominously.
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen releases on February 22, 2022.