Destiny 2's mysterious distress call is not a puzzle, Bungie says

Eramis and her Stasis-wielding lieutenants.
(Image credit: Bungie)

Update: The speculation, theorizing, and datamining was fun while it lasted, but Bungie has now said that there's nothing to see here—the image and audio is simply some hype leading into the launch of the Beyond Light expansion. Sorry, everyone. 

Original story:

One of the reasons Destiny 2 has had such a long run as a service game is that it periodically surprises the community with weird puzzles and ARGs, some of which are fiendishly complex (and some of which are brain-achingly frustrating). We don't know what the latest one, launched today, will end up being—but rest assured, the guardian brain trust is already on the case.  

Players are hard at work trying to decode a mysterious distress call that's now broadcasting on Twitter. The message is filled with static and almost completely inaudible, but the Raid Secrets subreddit is trying to decipher what hidden meaning lurks within using reversed audio, spectographic imaging, pattern recognition, and more.

Here's the clip:

It sure sounds like there's something there, and to my (admittedly not good) ears the reversed audio track makes it even clearer that someone is saying... something.

Raid Secrets moderator HopFright said the group is working on getting an audio transcript, or failing that, confirmation from the Destiny community team that there's actually nothing else to see here, which strikes me as very unlikely. 

Careful listener de1irium said in the comments on Reddit that they believe they hear "this is" at around the 4 second mark, and "the frequency" at 23 seconds. But people also swore they heard Slayer saying "join us" when they played Hell Awaits backwards, so take it for what it's worth—sometimes we hear the things we want to hear.

One theory, which seems like a good one to me, is that this will lead Destiny 2 players into one last in-game event before the launch of Beyond Light on November 10. An emblem called 'Calamity Protocol' has been datamined, the source of which is listed as 'End-of-Season event,' so the assumption is that this could be another piece of world building, setting the scene for the story to come, similar to how we were able to watch Rasputin shoot the Almighty out of the sky back in June.

As for who's speaking in the static, well, the most likely candidates are the Exo Stranger and Variks, The Loyal, both of whom play a major part in the story of Beyond Light, which sees Guardian drawn to Europa, a moon of Jupiter, to confront a band of Fallen wielding the Darkness-derived Stasis power. Which is more than enough lore for one day. 

We will keep an eye on how it all unfolds and let you know how it goes.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.