Destiny — The Story So Far
Destiny 2’s campaign throws you straight into a story line without introducing some key players. For those Destiny veterans it’ll likely all be clear (although the original release was criticised for its failure to tell a coherent story), but for players joining the fight for the first time — particularly those on PC, it could lead to the feeling that you’re starting a book on chapter 2. Let’s recap the major themes of Destiny 1 for the benefit of new and old players alike.
The world awakes one day to discover news of an anomoly on Mars. Nations unite under a common purpose — to send a team of astronauts to investigate. The Ares One mission takes 14 months to finally reach the red planet, where the 3 spacemen (an astronaut, a cosmonaut, and a taikonaut) find The Traveller; a large, moon-like entity floating above the planets surface.
The Traveller gifts humanity with great advances in technology and science, leading to a so-called Golden Age. The Traveller roams the solar system, Terra-forming planets and making them accessible for human colonisation. Humanity spreads to the Moon, Venus and Mars, and through their new found intelligence are able to create ‘life' in the form of Exo’s; self-aware war machines built to defend humans. Humanity builds warminds; a network of AI supercomputers in control of satellites and doomsday weapons, programmed to protect earth from any and all threats to human life.
But while The Traveller brought Light to the solar system, it was followed shortly after by The Darkness. Enemy to The Traveller, The Darkness manifests itself in Destiny as 4 races intent on either the destruction of humanity or in capture of The Traveller.
- The Fallen — a scavenger race of 6 armed aliens — invade Earth, and take up residence on the Moon and Venus.
- The Hive are a shadowy undead-like race with supernatural powers, who burrow deep into the Moon and eventually spill out onto Earth.
- The Vex — time travelling robots whose aim is to rewrite timelines until they hold all power — are found on Venus and Mars.
- Finally The Cabal, whose presence in the solar system is a little less clear, set up outposts and wage war with the Vex on Mars.
As these forces of Darkness descend on Earth, The Traveller attempts to flee. The grimoire (Destiny lore unlocked ingame but only accessible through the Bungie website or API) implies that at this point, one of the warminds named Rasputin activated emergency protocols designed to save humanity when all is looking lost, and fired upon The Traveller, crippling it and holding it in place. This event is known as The Collapse.
In it’s final act, The Traveller unleashes a blast of Light to force back The Darkness. As this Light bursts out from Earth, humans fleeing the conflict get caught in its wake. The Awoken are born; blue-skinned humanoids who live in the wreckage of their fleeing ships in the space between Mars and Jupiter.
Before becoming completely dormant, The Traveller also releases Ghosts; floating intelligences tasked with imbuing chosen humans, awoken or exos with Light, granting them great powers and the ability to be revived from death. These beings become known as Guardians, and are the characters that the players control.
Without The Travellers assistance, humanity enters a dark age. Colonies across the solar system are lost, and life on Earth is scattered. Humanity comes under attack from the Fallen, who want The Traveller for themselves. Humans come together to take shelter directly below The Traveller, in the appropriately named Last City, and build walls around them to keep the Fallen out.
And so this is where Destiny 1 begins, some 300 years after The Collapse.
Your Guardian initially battles across Earth to acquire your own ship, investigate reports of the Hive, and discover the fate of Rasputin. Later, you travel to the Moon, following up on a distress signal and freeing a shard of The Traveller the Hive were using to perform a ritual.
From there your Guardian heads to Venus, to coordinates discovered through a cryptic radio transmission. There you meet The Stranger, who famously tells you that she “doesn’t have time to explain why [she] doesn’t have time to explain” (especially odd given the grimoire suggests she’s been travelling through time). She does, however, have time to tell you of “The Black Garden” and suggest you go there.
Doing so requires your Guardian to strike a deal with the Awoken Queen, who offers to help you if you prove your worth by killing a Vex Gate Lord. You do so, and use it’s charged eye to unlock the Black Garden entrance. Inside, you find a Blight of Darkness, which when destroyed weakens The Darkness’s hold over the solar system, and The Traveller begins to mend.
Everyone celebrates, and despite you having already killed all the bad guys, The Stranger gives you her gun. And so ends the first chapter in Destiny.
The 6 player raids and subsequent expansions to the game flesh out and build upon this world and it’s inhabitants through side stories. You enter the Vex’s Vault of Glass to stop Atheon rewriting time without you in it. You defeat a Hive God named Crota, before imprisoning and executing a Fallen leader named Skolas. Then, understandably angry about the death of his son, Hive God-King Oryx and his army of Taken arrive in The Dreadnaught to mount an assault on the solar system.
Perhaps of relevancy here; your Guardian dispatches a battalion of Cabal who crash land on The Dreadnaught and attempt to destroy its core, creating an explosion that would obliterate the surrounding planets, including Earth. In their wake they leave an outbound signal, alerting the head of the Cabal to the resistance they’ve faced.
Finally, your Guardian has to enclose and destroy SIVA; a self-replicating nanotechnology that was intended to accelerate humanity’s colonisation efforts. When used for good SIVA can be programmed to create absolute anything. The Fallen find SIVA and use it to ‘perfect' themselves, mounting yet another attack on Earth.
And so you’re up to date. Although The Traveller still lays dormant, it is at least safe and healing — and so far any and all attempts to capture or destroy it have failed.
Let’s just hope that outbound signal the Cabal sent doesn’t amount to anything…