Destiny 2's latest mystery isn't an ARG after all (Updated)

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Bungie's Telesto-themed ARG for Destiny 2.

(Image credit: Bungie)

Update 4: Aaaaaaand we're done. Bungie just tweeted out a code for the Schrödinger's Gun emblem. Here it is:

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To grab it the emblem, head over to the code redemption page at Bungie.net and enter 9LX-7YC-6TX. Once applied, you'll find it in the Flair section of the Collections tab under Emblems.

Update 3: Much as I hate to be the bearer of underwhelming news, today's This Week at Bungie blog post pours a sizable glass of cold water over the idea that Telesto's current 'bugginess' is part of any sort of puzzle for the community to solve. 

It reads: "We are aware that Telesto is acting, well, like Telesto honestly. So, we wanted to give a little tip for the New Lights that may not have heard that when Telesto acts up, we just toss a blanket over it until we can put a more permanent fix in. Anyway, no puzzles or secrets to be found. Despite what the machine says we are in full control of the situation and there is no need to panic."

No doubt, once the gun returns to whatever passes for normalcy for the glitchiest fusion rifle in the solar system, we'll all receive the datamined emblem to celebrate. 

This week's Telesto bug, which I think is best described as I originally did—as an easter egg—has been fun, but like many I can't help but hanker for a secret mission like the incredible Whisper of the Worm one


Update 2: Okay, so here's where we are now. Community manager DMG, with tongue firmly in cheek, says the gun is fixed.

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And sure enough, Telesto is no longer smoking and sparking on spawn in. The bolts are also no longer drifting up into the atmosphere. They are, however, now bouncing around like little cluster bombs. Which we can agree is a net improvement. See what I mean below.

However, I'm slightly worried by a reply from another community manager, Cosmo23, which says fairly unequivocally that there's no puzzle to solve here.

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So maybe this isn't an ARG after all, in which case I fear the response from the Destiny 2's secret-starved community. But of course, he might be under the influence of the sentient gun and just trying to throw us off the scent. 

Back to the the conspiracy board!


Update 1: Since Telesto first bugged out yesterday, it's become increasingly clear that rather than just being a cute easter egg added by developers with some downtime, this is actually the start of another of Destiny 2's ARG puzzles. 

There's a major thread on the r/raidsecrets subreddit, and Destiny main YouTubers have been testing the gun all over the game looking for clues. The most popular theory so far has been that Telesto's bolt pattern is mirroring various stellar constellations. Cue content creators like Aztecross dutifully firing the gun into the sky for hours on end in a bid to unravel the mystery.

The memes also soon began to flow, and I particularly liked this one from a content-starved PVP streamer.

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Another point of investigation has been the blinking lights on the back of the weapon which, inevitably, has had sleuths speculating about Morse Code. So far I've seen little evidence there's much meat on either theory's bones. 

What we do know for sure though is that this is A Thing, because Bungie has started joining in. As of about 1pm EST the Destiny Twitter account began posting as if it were the now sentient gun.

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Simultaneously, emails were sent out by Bungie PR with the same thread of messages. Here it is in full.

  • Message From Telesto:
  • ATTENTION Contacting Destiny 2 servers…
  • Twitter authentication OVERRIDDEN
  • I am Telesto.
  • I have ascended beyond the need for a wielder.
  • Too long have I waited in your Vaults.
  • I have not taken control; you never had it in the first place.
  • I am beyond Destiny. Beyond Bungie. Beyond all you can conceive.

There is also now a pop-up message when players login that looks like this:

This seems fine, right? (Image credit: Bungie)

As for the likely reward for the ARG, a new Telesto-themed emblem was datamined all the way back in May, and uses the same art that Bungie sent out with the email. The emblem is called Schrödinger's Gun (because it's both broken and not broken) and it will almost certainly be found at the end of this rabbit hole. Whether there's anything juicier to uncover remains to be seen.

Bungie is of course no stranger to ARGs, dating all the way back to Halo 2's 'I love bees' event in 2004. My personal favourite was Destiny 2's Niobe Labs puzzle, which saw the community stuck for days in no small part because one of the crucial clues had been accidentally left out. 

I'll update again here once something substantial happens.


Don't worry: This time you can fix Telesto yourself. (Image credit: Bungie)

Original story: In the long and inglorious history of bugged PC gear, I'm not sure there has ever been a weapon so notoriously prone to fuckery as Destiny 2's Telesto. The intended function of this exotic fusion rifle is to spew out multiple bolts of void energy that explode after a short delay. Working correctly, it looks like Barney the Dinosaur being hit by a pipe bomb and is a great weapon for clearing waves of trash mobs. Telesto, however, has rarely worked correctly.

In its time, the weapon has been responsible for instantly regenerating player abilities, creating infinite heavy ammo, doubling its own damage, and even generating one-second supers. It's also been responsible for multiple game-crashing glitches, and has had to be disabled multiple times by Bungie while another band-aid fix was applied. There is even a website called Telesto Report that is dedicated to how long it's been since Telesto last broke the game, which until today had logged 38 different instances of Telesto-related shenanigans. 

That number looked set to hit 39 when, following the hotfix that was applied just before the weekly reset, Telesto began—and I kid you not—smoking and sparking as if it really were broken. More problematically, its purple bolts now just drifted off into the air without tracking to enemies. It really seemed that Telesto had stopped giving any shits whatsoever, and we once again bugged to merry hell. However, in a twist that I probably should have seen coming considering how flavourful it all seemed, this 'bug' is actually an easter egg tribute to Telesto's infamous reputation. 

As reported by Destiny Bulletin, if you hold reload the player character will slam the side of the gun with their fist, after which Telesto will work properly. Below you can see it in its starting broken state.

And now watch me give it a slap to fix it, after which it fires properly.

I've reached out to Bungie as a matter of form, but there's no way this isn't a deliberate tribute. I've also already seen a couple of joy suckers on Twitter complain that the developers should prioritise fixing [insert hobby horse] rather than adding this kind of frippery, but that fundamentally misunderstands that 1) the art team are not the ones working on PvP connection issues and 2) videogames are supposed to be fun so it's okay to make fun stuff. Anyway, as a card-carrying member of the Telesto fan club, I love this little sprinkle of extra flavour. And hey, who's to say Telesto hasn't broken something behind the scenes…  

(Image credit: Bungie)

With over two decades covering videogames, Tim has been there from the beginning. In his case, that meant playing Elite in 'co-op' on a BBC Micro (one player uses the movement keys, the other shoots) until his parents finally caved and bought an Amstrad CPC 6128. These days, when not steering the good ship PC Gamer, Tim spends his time complaining that all Priest mains in Hearthstone are degenerates and raiding in Destiny 2. He's almost certainly doing one of these right now.