Update: That unknown alien race appears to be getting closer: A new intro cutscene that was added to Destiny 2 in today's reset appears to show one of their massive Pyramid ships in orbit around Jupiter. The scene was actually datamined last month, but now it's official.
The cutscene arrives the day after a brief teaser appeared on Instagram, and then just as quickly disappeared, that shows Eris Morn wandering an icy world (opens in new tab) while Jupiter hangs in the background. That's led fans to believe that the game's "next chapter" will be set on Europa.
I thought last night's This Week at Bungie blog was pretty uneventful, in that it essentially amounted to: 'we don't have anything to tell you about next season or the fall expansion right now, but we will very soon'. After weeks of detailed, and at times controversial, updates that have dealt with the studio's future plans for core Destiny 2 systems, it was, to borrow from my GamesRadar colleague Austin Wood, a "nothingburger."
But it turns out 'very soon' actually means today. Not in terms of concrete details, that would be too easy, but the teasing has very much begun in the form of an ominous sound file posted to the developer's Twitter account, which you can listen to below.
pic.twitter.com/ZLUJaQgJwXMay 29, 2020
Okay, someone's been at the Sounds of John Carpenter CD. Big deal, you might well think. But you are likely not—fortunately for your loved ones—thousands of hours deep into this game and eager to gulp down anything new like a particularly needy baby bird. So indulge me as I explain why these 73 seconds of eerie ambience point to probably the biggest thing to happen in Destiny since Cayde-6 ate a bullet in the Forsaken expansion.
First, that shimmery, ghostly, spectral sigh is almost certainly connected to the encroaching threat of the Pyramid ships (affectionately nicknamed the Space Doritos in the Destiny community), which at time of writing are heading quite slowly but equally surely towards Earth. You can actually see their progress in-game if you visit one of Rapsutin's bunkers and look at the lo-fi LED map of the Solar System.
There are rumours that the next expansion will see these Pyramid ships destroy Titan, which is a moon of Saturn and one of the game's current patrol zones. I'd be totally fine with this as Titan has always had egregious framerate issues. That theory is largely based on the fact Titan was hit hard in the original Collapse—the apocalyptic event that happened hundreds of years before your character wakes up. (Complete fan-created timeline/rabbithole here.) Sleuths have also noticed that there's an emblem currently available on Titan which says it's only available for a limited time, but I suspect that's more likely to be a bug than a hint.
But who, you may patiently be wondering, are piloting these flying triangles. Truth is, we don't know, but it's fair to surmise a few things: 1) Whoever it is, they're almost certainly 'The Darkness'—the big bad which has been referred to throughout the series, but so far hasn't been encountered in person. 2) The arrival of the Pyramids will introduce a 5th major race to the game (joining the Vex,Fallen, Cabal and Hive—we don't count the Taken, as they're a hybrid mish-mash) as was promised by the art below, which comes from a GDC talk about the first game. 3) We're likely to finally meet The Darkness next season, which starts on 9 June, and then things will get properly serious with the big fall expansion.
Though we don't have specifics for either of those releases, the narrative arc since last September's Shadowkeep has been building towards the reveal of the Pyramid dwellers, and the inevitable extinction-level balls they're bringing with them. In Shadowkeep, Eris Morn, the character that Bungie uses for its spookiest storylines, discovered a seemingly abandoned Pyramid ship buried on the moon which was manifesting deadly hallucinations.
Beyond that, we're into the territory of leaks and speculation. The community has settled on 'The Veil' as the name for the new race, though that seems to be based on leaks which may just be copycatting each other. For those willing to get into some lore deep cuts, I think the most plausible descriptions of the aliens which may be our new antagonist comes from The Drifter, who's one of the most enigmatic and morally flexible characters in the Destinyverse.
Drifty has been around for longer than almost any other character in the game aside from Mara Sov, the Awoken Queen, and has travelled far beyond the solar system. A series of lore cards in the game's grimoire details his encounters with an alien race on an unnamed ice planet.
This reddit thread from last year pulls the info together, but we're told he discovered an alien that was a "gooey, vacuous form with no head" trapped in some sort of monolith. He goes on to explain that the creature seemed able to suppress his light (the source of guardians' supernatural abilities) and his Ghost (those little flying drone pals). Eventually his crew was killed by more of these creatures, of which there were thousands on the planet.
Given that we already know that the ship on the moon has a similar suppressive effect on our ghost, and the descriptions in the Drifter lore tab chimes with the concept art I posted further up the page, I'm pretty confident that these creatures are at least part of the pantheon of whatever is coming our way on the pyramids. One final exhibit supporting that theory can be found in Cayde's Journal, a book which came with the collector's edition of The Taken King expansion from Destiny 1. It contained unexplained drawings of creatures which look a lot like the ones the Drifter described.
For those willing, there's plenty more to dive into regarding the Darkness, though a lot of it is wreathed in metaphor. The suggestion seems to be that both The Traveller (that big magic golf ball hovering over The Last City on Earth) and The Darkness are paracausal entities playing out an enteral struggle over how the universe should be ordered, and we are but pawns in this game between 'Gardener' and 'Winnower'.
Or in more comprehensible terms: it's a little bit like Mass Effect and how the reapers functioned. And hey, look, it's Friday and I've probably stretched your patience paracausally at this point. We should know more in the next couple of weeks as Bungie cranks the hype machine up harder, and I inevitably suck it down despite being a man in his early forties. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk about made up aliens.