When Bungie’s then-upcoming hotly anticipated MMO FPS Destiny alpha was released to gamers, it wasn’t the lightning fast gameplay or innovative world that caught players attentions. Instead, it was a single line of dialogue that transcended the moment in which it was uttered and became an internet punchline: “That wizard came from the Moon.” Uttered by the Peter Dinklage voiced robot companion Ghost, players found the monotone delivery of the line hysterical, and the phrase quickly became a meme. While Bungie would ultimately pull the line from the retail release of Destiny, the company ended up releasing tongue-in-cheek shirts commemorating the line, suggesting the developer had a sense of humor about the whole thing.
Turns out, while the company took the “Wizard from the Moon” debacle in stride, they were not interested in making Destiny a funny game. But according to comedian David Cross, Bungie was looking to inject some humor into the grim sci-fi shooter at one point, but the company later scrapped the idea.
Speaking with IGN, the Mr. Show and Arrested Development star reveals that Bungie contacted Cross and fellow nerdy comedian Brian Posehn about adding jokes to the Destiny script. The pair were flown out to Bungie’s headquarters, where they got to play the in-progress game and were then tasked with crafting jokes for Ghost. Cross states that the duo came up with jokes that he described as “self-referential,” poking fun at the game and at gaming in general.
Despite positive reception to the material, Bungie ultimately opted not to utilize the jokes. Cross, an avid gamer himself, having previously appeared in both Halo 2 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, thought the decision ended up hurting the game, stating:
“When you’re at an hour 20 of that thing, it’s like the Ghost is kind of monotone saying this thing, “We must get over the ridge. That’s the Cabal- we’ve got to defeat him.” Whatever, it’s boring as s***.”
Cross posited that the jokes were omitted due to “somebody somewhere” deciding that the material would “f*ck with the tone.”
While Destiny has amassed a loyal following, and rabid fans continue to snatch up DLC for the game (with gamers practically chomping at the bit for the upcoming The Taken King expansion), the game has received criticism for its poor writing and lackluster voice acting. While Cross and Posehn’s jokes might not have saved the script, it would have been nice to get a joke out of Ghost every now and again, just to liven things up.