If you’re positively bewildered by what madness you’re spotting here and would like additional context, a link to previous entries in this series can be found at the end of the article.
For you it’s hopefully only been a week. However time is a strange force when you’re able to make things and long before they’re released. Since my last dabble in Destiny, an entire month has passed. Much has occurred within this month but perhaps the most important thing to occur was the release of Rise of Iron. That will be a nice treat when we finally reach level 40, but we still have a long journey ahead of us.
If you are able to dig your memory out, you may recall that a random person teased us into perhaps visiting Venus for a nice hunting holiday. That this time we’ll finally be fighting the main threat there. The main force’s identity is still unknown at this time but it would finally be known when we meet her there. Right now all we know is that they are wanting to topple the last known sanctuary and that of course cannot happen.
However, if there is one thing that hasn’t changed since my Venture into the Borderlands series, it is my poor attention span; deciding the fate of the world can wait for now. I decide to go do something else. That’s right, I’m going to go save the world from something else.
As well as swinging a sword around again.
I guess this is a good time to bring up another narrative part that bugs me about Destiny. Since the start of the game, I’ve had “the fate of the universe” hanging over my head. Always that indistinct wave coming to crush humanity into a paste that The Traveller once saved us from but no longer can.
So the question is: How is it possible to raise the stakes higher? You can’t exterminate the human race harder than total eradication. They’ve even somewhat written themselves in a corner by announcing The Tower as the last bastion of humans. Bungie can’t have the threat of a few thousand of the dwindling last people in danger of being stomped all over. Once the singular last stronghold is made into a crater, there is no more.
They’ve used the biggest motivation on me, with no indication of deviation (e.g. money, resources or personal love/friend interest). Even chasing up a different threat doesn’t feel like, what us professionals would call: “smug-inducing faffing about”. Instead it is just putting another fire out as a volunteer fire fighter armed with just a bucket. Since every threat is equal from beginning to end, the antagonists begin to blur together into something vague, ambiguous and indistinct. It’s quite sad.
With the personality of a plank of wood, it is hard to want to do anything for her. It’s great that she pays for tolerance of her evil Sam Fisher eyes with loot.
Getting back to my misadventures, do you remember last week where I took down the Temple of Crota? Well, apparently it turns out I didn’t do so entirely and that there are some leftovers that still need to be shot in the face. To be precise, Crota had many disciples. The first of which, Sardon, is trying to bring Crota back by waking his soul. Although they did warn me about The Fist of Crota, so I really shouldn’t be that surprised.
After a good few minutes of playing “Chase Me Around the Cave While I Shoot You”, The Fist of Crota was deknuckled and I went on my merry way. “Wait!”Eris Morn shouted just as I turned to leave with my new reward. “The threat still remains!” they shouted at me. I nearly told her to shove it and that THE THREAT ALWAYS REMAINS, but I think my character had given up long ago. She is no longer in it to save humanity, but rather to put food on the table. So, after a weary defeated sigh, I asked: “Okay, who is next?”.
Or should I have asked “Where?” Apparently Rasputin was not the program I originally thought it was, but rather a physical entity of computers in a bunker. A Wrist Mourns tells me Crota’s devout followers wants to burgle Rasputin, with fears of them breaking it or worse, controlling it. It’s never quite clear what both could mean, but it seemed too late to ask now.
Turning up to the bunker, classical music starts playing through the intercom. At first I foolishly thought it was giving me a greeting. A Wrist Mourns corrects me by saying, “No no, this is like Metal Gear Solid Peacewalker where it sings when it is distressed.” It Turns out the bunker was absolutely riddled with The Hive, and I would act as a ballistic pest-control.
Once that was wrapped up, I found out that killing Sardon stopped absolutely nothing and the soul was still being woken up. “For realsies this time, can you destroy the soul which lies in a crystal akin to Zordon’s tube?”
“What, like this?” I say, as I sprayed the crystal with so many bullets that you’d think I’d go find a bigger gun. With the soul finally floating off free, I had this awkward feeling that’d come to haunt me later.
Wouldn’t it have been better to just store his captured spirit somewhere rather than free it? Maybe use it as a street light?
A Wrist Mourns then gave me my final mission with her: Defeat the champion of Crota, thus putting out that religion-infused fire. This is the part where I’d examine what makes a boss fight interesting and what makes a boss fight frustrating, but Destiny is somewhat legendary in its approach. I can confirm that Bungie grabbed one of the main criticisms JRPGs face and just ran with it. After all, making meaningful interesting puzzles to solve is too hard and giving an enemy a lot of health and damage is just too easy. Even with three people it still took a good ten minutes of bullet spraying to put the laughably named Omnigul (like a seagull but without being limited to the sea) into the floor.
So with that done, Eris gave me the Destiny equivalent of a high-five by saying that work was finished and I was free to go on my merry little way along with a legendary weapon, which was nice.
Finally, I went to Venus to seek out the information on the next fire to I needed to put out. Apparently it is a collection of not-terminators/geth called Vex, who are mysteriously all named after fantasy creatures. I honestly had to do a double-take as Goblins, Hobgoblins and Minotaurs surrounded me. While at first I wanted to grumble “Same thing, really?” but an afterthought came first. They are actually different since they shamble toward you boldly with some mild teleportation/invisibility properties. I had to give some credit for remembering to mix things up a bit and throw in some variety with the Vex.
While kicking through the colossal body build-up, I finally got to meet my friendly stalker. In true Destiny form, she told me next to nothing. Not who she was, who she was sent from or what her position was in this big space drama. In fact, she uttered this frustrating phrase:
Ugh. All I got was that I needed to go find out about the Black Garden and destroy what’s in it because it’s making these Vex creatures. It sure seemed like a bit of a humdrum solution when reprogramming could work (while creating an interesting question revolving around the philosophy of overwriting someone’s personality), but hey ho.
I head out to speak to The Awoken at the edges of space to find out where this Dark Vineyard is. For whatever reason, they decided I was important enough to speak to the queen or because it’s the only way to further the plot (I’m thinking the second reason). I wasn’t that important though because I was still treated like dirt (because Destiny is against regicide as an option).
Finally they send me off to go slay a Gate Lord, with the smug look of “Betcha can’t even find one, let alone kill one.” Determined to wipe that smirk off that brother’s face, I shuffle off with my Ghost. Although Dingle-bot makes sure to chastise me for not checking with him before promising to kill a Gate Lord, despite having every opportunity to interject.
So, the good news is Not-Claptrap found out where one was located. The bad news is he decided to do that by redirecting their transfer gates to one place, so I have to fight through swarms just to get to the lord.
GOD DAMN IT CLAPTRAP 2.0.
One by one I shut down the gates by way of the highly technical process of just shooting them. Finally I arrive at a colossal one that creepily reminded me of the end of Borderlands. The the Gate Lord finally came through confused. Looking left and right, he sizes up this little human who has began to fire at him. Oddly enough, rather than shrugging and just going home, he decides to crush me. Although I guess this particular lord was very unpopular due to its robotic antics as a very limited force came to reinforce this assassination attempt.
A couple of LMG magazines later and I’m dragging a lofty head back to the queen. Her brother seemed tempted to not fulfill his end of the deal. Maybe he was wanting to get the key I needed and keep it to himself with a blatant “Oh, it’s broken” type lie. I guess the queen quickly realizes my patience was running on fumes and I was close to recreating the lift scene from Drive on her head, as she tells her brother to just hand the key over. Finally with the key in hand, she reminded me that she may call on my assistance someday (a call that I’ll have to decline for my own sanity’s sake) before sending me on my way.
I’m then dumped in a new outpost where its leader, Petra, shares a bit of a joke about how The Queen thinks highly of me. I share a joke back about how I totally know what she’s talking about concerning the House of Wolves. I think in the next coming parts she’s going to be my pillar of sanity in this cold cruel outpost.
As I ponder whether to kill time with the side missions or to just leap into tearing down the Vex’s factory, I thought this would be a good time to take a break. You’ll have to come back next week to see if I end up snapping and seeing if the royal siblings can breathe in space.