Destiny's decade-long saga is over after world's first raid team takes 19 hours to down the final boss, unlocking a wild 12-person climax for everyone to play

The new 12-player mission is the kind of epic battle featuring the whole cast that fans have wanted for so long. (Image credit: Bungie)

I'm so tired. Partly because I stayed up until 4 AM watching teams trying and failing to win the Salvation's Edge raid race. But also because, I woke up this morning to find that after a staggering 19 hours the final boss had been defeated, meaning that the curtain has been brought down on a story I've been playing for a decade.

As anticipated, the raid being beaten was the trigger to unlock the final mission of The Final Shape expansion's campaign. The mission is called Excision and is the game's first 12-player activity (aside from a funny glitch a few years back). To launch it, open The Pale Heart destination from the director screen and scroll all the way over to the top right of the map.

The Excision mission is located next to the Salvation's Edge raid on the far top right of The Pale Heart map. (Image credit: Bungie)

[Minor spoilers follow in images and text]

Excision is a brilliant Return of the King meets Avenger's Endgame-style romp in which the combined forces of the guardians and their allies—which include Caiatl's Cabal empire, the Eliksni of House Light, and even previous series' big bad Savathûn—join forces to storm The Witnesses' fortress and end it once and for all.

I won't spoil it for those yet to dive in, but suffice to say Excision more than pays off the fantasy of fighting alongside an army of guardians, and many of the story's most prominent characters, in a ridiculously over-the-top battle. Unlike the raid, which was brutally hard under 'contest mode' conditions where players must fight with their power far below the recommended encounter level, Excision isn't a skill test so much as a glorious piece of fan service that enables everyone to experience the drop of a narrative beat 10 years in the making.

My heart is mostly black and inert, but I admit I felt a rush of emotion as those final few cut scenes played out, which included a pitch-perfect resolution for the returning Cayde-6's storyline. The game also sets the scene for narratives to come—Savathun isn't going to stay our friend for long, the Scorn's Fikrul remains at large, and light and dark energy is leaking from the Traveller into space which surely isn't going to be without repercussions.

Having spent the entire night clapping the cheeks of raid teams around the world, no wonder The Witness wasn't ready for my sneak attack this morning. (Image credit: Bungie)

That's your man The Witness in the background. An incredible piece of enemy design. "I said more hands, goddamn it!" (Image credit: Bungie)

Just chilling with my buddy The Traveller, who is now leaking energy into space like a paracausal Exxon Valdez. What could go wrong! (The Latin means 'we thank you'.) (Image credit: Bungie)

These threads are teased tastefully, rather than rammed down your throat, although no doubt Bungie is very concerned about keeping as many of us on the hook as possible at what is a natural jumping-off point. But to that end, I think the studio really has done all it can to make the case for more Destiny being a good thing. The Final Shape has been very good. 

We'll have a full review next week, but I don't think I'm stepping on any toes here to say that, despite the backdrop of painful layoffs and large delays, Bungie has stuck the landing with The Final Shape in a way that barely seemed possible during the darkest moments of last year. Hell, even Reddit is happy

Honestly, just the fact that the big climactic battle against The Witness wasn't a letdown after an entire decade of foreshadowing is an incredible thing. A huge shout-out must go to the entire art department for creating such a stunning-looking boss. The first time I saw The Witness—massive, smoky, and with more roaming hands than a '70s comedian—was genuinely breathtaking. Destiny gets memed on a lot as a franchise, sometimes not without justification, but anyone who loves shooters really should put respect on its name. There's still no game remotely like Destiny, and when Bungie really rolls up its sleeves the results are genre-defining.    

As you can tell I'm a little excited right now, and community sentiment is as high as I can recall it. Clearly hoping to capitalize on those vibes, after congratulating the raid race winners, Bungie also announced that on Monday it will host a live stream detailing what's to come over the next year in Destiny 2.

I think a lot of people will assume that might mean a bigger announcement about the game's future, and possibly even hints of a full sequel, but my gut says this will just be a showcase for the forthcoming three episodes, starting with Echoes which launches at reset on Tuesday. We shall see though—I wouldn't rule out some surprises.

Finally, congrats to team Parabellum on their win. Their world's first completion of the Salvation's Edge raid surpassed the 18 hours taken to beat The Last Wish back in 2018. It was a fittingly epic and grueling climax that saw the best players in the game banging their heads against inscrutable puzzles and brutal combat encounters. Or indeed did not see, because many of the top teams chose to obscure crucial info on their screens (eg buffs), some going so far as to go off camera entirely once the race was in the final stretches. 

That caused quite a lot of resentment among viewers who wanted to tune in for what felt like the game's equivalent of the Superbowl, with several of the main streams hosting 100k+ viewers and the game easily becoming #1 on Twitch during the race. To that I can only say if you set something up to be competitive, then it's only natural that people are going to want to compete. I'll be diving in tomorrow night once contest mode ends and praying for a much easier ride. 

The last word goes to winning team member tyraxe, a 20 year-old Australian who wrote on X: "IM THE FUCKING BEST I PLAYED SO GOOD." 

A wild party after a long 10-year battle involves lighting some lanterns. (Image credit: Bungie)
Tim Clark

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.