The world of Destiny is filled with mythic tales of extraordinary characters, from the legend of Kabr, The Legionless, to the mystery of Toland, the Shattered. While players have yet to meet these mythical characters, their legends stand as a testament to the power and intellect of a true guardian.
But the world of Destiny has a story problem, and Destiny 2 is no exception. Bungie takes mythical characters and introduces them into the story, and these characters fall flat. Even just in Destiny 2, characters like Xol and Osiris are not given justice through the stories Bungie tells.
This problem is not exclusive to Destiny 2, but the Curse of Osiris and Warmind expansions highlight this problem perfectly. Osiris is one of the most famous guardians in the history of the Destiny franchise, but even after two comics and an entire DLC surrounding the infamous warlock, players still feel like they have learned nothing about him.
Osiris rose to fame and power during his time in the Last City, eventually becoming what many saw as the most powerful warlock in the city. However, Osiris began researching the Vex and the true nature of The Darkness, which many disapproved of. This eventually led to The Speaker sending him into exile. However, a cult rose up around Osiris, and his dedicated followers could be seen throughout the Destiny universe. Destiny fans have seen traces of Osiris throughout the first game, including the introduction of the Trials of Osiris and the first visits to The Lighthouse.
When Curse of Osiris was annouced, many Destiny fans were excited to see the famous guardian in the flesh. However, Osiris received almost no screen time in his own DLC, and his story was never expanded or highlighted. There were a couple brief mentions here and there about his exile from The Last City and that’s it. Curse of Osiris is flawed for many reasons, but one improvement could have been making Osiris the main character in his own DLC.
Warmind is not without its character flaws as well. First up is Ana Bray, of the famous Bray Corporation. Ana Bray is one of the most legendary Gunslinger Hunters in the history of Destiny. According to Lord Shaxx, Ana’s Golden Gun left fonts of light that lasted long after The Battle of Twilight Gap was over. But is there any real mention of her skill or power as a guardian in Warmind? Not at all.
Ana Bray went missing following Twilight Gap, and many believed her to be dead. Even Part 3 of the Warmind comic shed light on this, showing that Zavala believed she was dead. However, she just turns up in Warmind and no one bats an eye. Zavala even expects this, as he was waiting for Ana at the entrance to Rasputin's Mindlab.
It feels like the comic and the game almost contradict one another. Then in Destiny 2, we see very little of the skill that comes with the name Ana Bray. Once she shows up, she is glued to Braytech and doesn't help during the fight against Nokris and Xol, even though her primary objective is to protect Rasputin. While Warmind was a step in the right direction for Destiny 2, it still had its failures on the storytelling front.
Then there is the case of Nokris. Nokris was first mentioned back in Destiny’s Taken King expansion, a figure shrouded in complete mystery. Nokris is the son of Oryx, brother of Crota, betrayer of the Sword Logic, and guardians take him down in a strike. The first run through of the Strange Terrain mission (during the Warmind campaign) leaves players with more questions than answers. Who is Nokris? Why should players care? What makes him so special? These questions aren’t really answered until players run the Strange Terrain as a strike, or players read the lore tabs for the three exotics Zavala gives out after the Warmind campaign - well after players encounter and defeat Nokris for the first time.
During the strike version of Strange Terrain, Ana Bray gives some insight into Nokris' story, though not much. Nokris is a necromancer who brings dead Hive back to life, a direct betrayal of everything the Hive race stands for. The Sword Logic revolves around killing or being killed to grow in strength, and by losing the risk of death, the Hive cannot grow stronger. This is why he was cast out by Oryx, and why he joined up with Xol. But somehow Nokris is taken down in a single strike and barely given the time of day.
Xol, Will of the Thousands
Xol also made its first appearance in The Taken King through the Books of Sorrow collectibles. Xol is one of the five worm gods from Fundament, the original homeland of the race that would become the Hive. During the Will of the Thousands strike, players defeat the god with nothing more than some rockets and a fancy spear. Previously, god-slaying was reserved for raids and endgame activities.
Throughout the strike, players learn next-to-nothing about the smallest worm of the brood, nothing about Fundament, and nothing about how, even at its weakest, Xol was a being to be feared. Worm gods can grant powers and abilities beyond what the guardians can do, yet with some fancy spear throwing, a worm god is struck down in one fell swoop.
Somehow, the one character that starts Destiny 2 dead made out better than all the other living characters, though the bar is not particularly high. The Exo Titan is the epitome of what a Titan should and could be. Saint-14 embodies the strength, dedication, and honor that Titans symbolize.
Saint-14 was at two of the most iconic battles for the Last City: The Battle of Six Fronts and the Battle of Twilight Gap. Saint-14 was the leader of the Vanguard during his time, and was an ally to Osiris and almost like a son to the Speaker. After the Battle of Twilight Gap, Saint-14 went out to hunt down the Kell of the Fallen House of Devils, Solkis. When the two clashed, Saint-14 took down Solkis by headbutting him while wearing the iconic Helm of Saint-14. If players look at the item, they can even see the dents left in it from the clash.
Saint-14 went looking for Osiris following Osiris' exile, and apparently made his way to Mercury and into the Infinite Forest. There, Saint-14 fought countless Vex trying to get out, and ultimately the Vex drained him of his light. The touching part is that the Vex, over however long they fought Saint-14, developed respect for the Titan. When he inevitably died in the Infinite Forest, they build him a memorial in the Simulated Future to honor the headstrong Titan. It's unfortunate that players may never get to meet the famous hero of the Last City, but at least his story was wrapped up. Though if Saint-14's shotgun, The Perfect Paradox, means anything, his tale may not be quite over yet.
Destiny's universe has a ton of fantastic and interesting stories to tell, if Bungie could tell them right and do justice by the characters they created. With Forsaken around the corner, and more DLC following that, it seems Bungie is shifting focus to make lore a priority, which could do wonders for the mythic tales in the franchise's universe. If Bungie can get these characters right, it would make moments in the game more meaningful and special. Writing makes a world of difference, and hopefully Bungie will step up their game in the upcoming expansions.
Destiny 2: Forsaken launches September 4, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.