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Video Game: Destiny

We called it, the Traveler. And its arrival changed us forever. Great cities were built on Mars and Venus, Mercury became a garden world. Human lifespan tripled. It was a time of miracles. We stared out into the galaxy and knew that it was our destiny to walk in the light of other stars...but the Traveler had an enemy. A Darkness which had hunted it for eons across the black gulfs of space. Centuries after our Golden Age began, this Darkness found us, and that was the end of everything...But it was also, a beginning
The Speaker

It doesn't matter who you are... only who you become. Become legend.
Mysterious Hunter

Destiny is an upcoming Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying First-Person Shooter (though they prefer to call it a "Shared World Shooter.") developed by Bungie Studios under publication from Activision. It's their next big series after Halo.

Destiny takes place in the distant future, after the discovery of a spherical spacecraft called "The Traveller" ushered in a Golden Age for humanity. Unfortunately, The Traveller drew the attention of a cosmic force known only as "The Darkness": in the ensuing war, Earth was ravaged and the Traveller fell into a state of dormancy.

Centuries later, the last of humankind are protected within a city built underneath the slumbering Traveller. The Darkness is returning to finish the job it started, and it's up to the Guardians- those who can wield the power of the Traveller- to defend humanity and reclaim their lost empire amongst the stars.


Destiny provides example of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Any female Player Character, obviously.
  • After the End: The game begins years after the destruction of the once space-faring human civilization. Ruins of it can be found on Earth and other Sol system's worlds.
  • Alien Invasion: Humanity is beset by other alien species.
  • Alternate Reality Game: Called "Alpha Lupi". Check it out here and an explanation of it here.
  • Area of Effect: Almost all of the grenade abilities and many super abilities are this. Rocket launchers are this in regular weapon form.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Named "Precision Hits", the weak point mechanic in Destiny is essentially identical to the one in Borderlands, wherein hitting an enemy's weak point (which for humanoid enemies is the head) will deal bonus damage. This can be anywhere from 1.5x normal damage (hitting a boss or Mini-Boss with a regular weapon), all the way up to 5x (hitting a normal enemy's weak point with a sniper rifle), with the usual situation being 3x (normal enemies or players in PvP being hit by normal weapons). Deflector Shields, seen on various Elite Mook and Mini-Boss type enemies prevent precision hits, but have their own weakness - the correct type of elemental damage, whether delivered by a weapon or ability, will destroy them faster.
  • A Solar System Half Full: When humans regain space flight, all of their colonies have been overrun by hostile aliens. However, Bungie has been very clear that humanity's sense of hope and determination is a key theme, and that humans and their allies can fight back and reclaim what they've lost.
  • Barrier Warrior: The Defender Titan subclass, whose Super ability is not directly offensive, but instead, is an indestructible bubble shield that protects the Titan and nearby allies as well as giving them various buffs when moving through the shield.
  • Beef Gate: Going too far off the beaten path in some areas will turn you right into high-level enemies that are likely to be immune to all of your attacks.
  • BFG: The Heavy Weapons category, consisting of rocket launchers and heavy machine guns.
  • Big Dumb Object: The Traveler is a mysterious sphere that kickstarted humanity's Golden Age and continues to protect and empower humans in some capacity.
  • Black Mage: The Voidwalker Warlock subclass, with a heavily offense-based skill tree and numerous area-effect abilities.
  • Bloodless Carnage: With a T-rating, the game is a bit hemophobic compared to its contemporaries. Certain enemies give some brief splashes of green blood that doesn't persist in the environment or have a beam of light shining out of they head from a headshot-kill, but that's about it.
  • Boom, Headshot: The weak point for humanoid enemies, with Vex being the main exception.
  • Call Back: If your entire team manages to score ten kills with no one dying in a PVP match, you will unlock the "Strength of the Wolf" medal - making a reference to the "Law of the Jungle" trailer.
  • Charged Attack: Fusion Rifles, a category of specialized weapons which charge up for a time and then release a powerful blast of seven or so energy projectiles, capable of killing a player instantly if all seven shots land, and excellent for blasting through Elite Mooks' shields when utilizing the correct type of elemental damage.
  • The Chosen Many: The Guardians, each individually chosen by a Ghost from among the ancient dead, and resurrected to work together as an army of magic-enhanced undead super-soldiers, protecting the Last City and reclaiming humanity's lost worlds.
  • Citadel City: The Last City underneath the Traveler, which has walls and plenty of defenses against encroaching invaders who seek to break in.
  • City of Adventure: Though the players will be able to venture out into space, the only safe place for humans to live is a single city being protected by the Traveler.
  • Close Range Combatant: Any Guardian can use any kind of weapon and engage at any range, but the Striker Titan and Bladedancer Hunter have their special abilities largely geared around enhancing close-quarters tactics.
  • Cooldown: The player's three main abilities - their grenade, their charged melee, and their powerful "Super" ability - are limited on the basis of independent cooldowns. Various class perks, feedback mechanisms, and armor bonuses can reduce the cooldowns of all of these abilities. The Super has by far the longest cooldown, but this can be reduced through precision kills, kill streaks, and "Orbs of Light" - energy balls generated by your teammates when they score kills using their Super, that you can see and pick up, but they can't. The Orbs thus act as a mechanic to enhance team play, and reward the effective and coordinated utilization of Super abilities.
  • Critical Hit Class: The Gunslinger subclass for Hunters is designed around scoring precision kills, gaining bonuses for doing so, such as increased reload speed on weapons, and instant cooldowns on throwing knives when scoring a precision hit with a throwing knife (quite a feat, since they can't really be aimed).
  • Deadpan Snarker: During the gameplay trailer, the Ghost drone, when activated in an abandoned run-down complex it remarks: "We always visit such cheerful places". Bonus points for being voiced by Peter Dinklage. He's almost pretty snarky in-game during missions or when jumping into events.
  • Death or Glory Attack: Depending on the circumstances (The Crucible's PvP, Missions or Strikes), Super attacks may exemplify this trope. The Gunslinger Hunter's Golden Gun, for example, has a short vulnerable activation time, and if an enemy player is able to react to this, the Hunter may be killed before being able to utilize their ability. The Striker Titan's Fist of Havoc and Bladedancer Hunter's Arc Blade require the player to close distance with the target, so if a boss can survive their attack, or if an enemy player successfully evades it, the user is left in a vulnerable position. The Voidwalker Warlock's Nova Bomb can inflict splash damage to the user, so a "panic button" utilization of this ability at close range may destroy several foes, but may also kill the user.
  • Deflector Shields: Averted for the Guardians - players have regenerating health, but it's justified as rapidly self-repairing armor as opposed to energy shielding. Only Titans can generate some forms of specialized shielding, such as the frontal Juggernaut shield of the Striker Titan, or the Ward of Dawn bubble shield used by the Defender Titan. Many Elite Mook enemies however, have regenerating full-body energy shields that serve as an extra layer of toughness over their normal non-regenerating hitpoints.
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: Each class's armor has a distinctive look to make them easier to differentiate.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Averted. There are three types of elemental damage (Void, Solar and Arc), but they're not strong against each other. They're, instead, strong against Deflector Shields of the same type. So an enemy with blue shields will be exceptionally weak to Arc, an enemy with red shields to Solar, and an enemy with purple shields, Void.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Or Titan, Warlock, and Hunter.
  • First Episode Resurrection: The player character. The opening of the game has you being resurrected by your Ghost, who explains that you've been dead a long time and might not understand the world as it is now.
  • Flawed Prototype: Human-designed fusion rifles in general, as demonstrated by the Conduit F3 Fusion Rifle. Said rifle is an Energy Weapon rebuilt from reverse engineered alien technology. It is extremely powerful, firing rapidly and often over-penetrating targets, but thanks to poor understanding of the underlying technology, has issues with its radiation shielding. The technology is slowly improving as new models are introduced, but it remains a limited production weapon due to these dangerous drawbacks.
    • The Thunderlord is also very, very flawed, apparently. According to the website, "“The ammunition is some kind of monster that they wouldn't normally use... The use of electro-static rounds over this amplitude has been prohibited due to their volatility.”" Not only that, but the quote from the drawing board about how to design it is “At any moment, this gun should feel like it might blow up in your hands.” In other words, handle with care.
  • Fragile Speedster: The Hunter begins with a bias towards this trope, with high Agility but low Armor and Recovery. Later on, players can distribute their stats using their subclass skill trees as per their preference, potentially negating initial shortcomings. In theory, every class could become this with a certain set of skills and armor.
  • Harmful to Minors: Downplayed somewhat, when the Player Character meets the Speaker they are told that parents used to tell their children stories about The Darkness to frighten them, but they don't do it anymore because the children are already frightened.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: It is said that the Traveler sacrificed itself to save humanity. However, it's not clear if it's currently dead or alive.
  • Hollywood Tactics: The "Law of the Jungle" trailer shows Guardians engaging in firefights while standing out in the open, surrounded by enemies and with no cover of any kind. It's not clear whether the events depicted are "real", a story the Dad told to his son, a distorted memory, entirely unrelated to the Dad but true, or something else. But it sure looks cool.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: Almost literally. All of the Guardians' special powers are derived from the Traveler, which includes - yes... - all of their grenades.
  • Hover Tank: The Interceptor, developed by the Cabal but usable by players.
  • Humans Are Survivors: Humanity has been reduced to a single large city, but the fight is far from over.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: The beta presented players with loot chests that would appear in quite a few odd places. Some guarded by Beef Gates, others were placed in odd places or required some tricky to get to.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: The Voidwalker Warlock's Nova Bomb super ability, a large energy ball attack capable of vaporizing rooms full of enemies and wrecking armored vehicles in a single blast.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: While the alien races often use energy weapons, almost all Guardian weapons (with the exception of Fusion Rifles and some exotics) are kinetic. Seeing as Guardians can take down other Guardians in the Crucible much faster than most energy weapon wielding aliens can during missions, kinetics are certainly not short of power. A few energy weapons do approach or exceed kinetic armament terms of burst lethality, but have the drawback of needing to charge up before firing - such as the Fallen wire rifles used by Vandal snipers, or the Fusion Rifles, which are the result of the Last City's efforts to reverse engineer alien tech.
  • Last Stand: Humanity lost an empire, and with the help of the Traveler, the Transhuman Exo, and the Awoken, we intend to get it back.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Any Guardian can use any kind of weapon and engage at any range, but the Gunslinger Hunter has its special abilities largely geared around enhancing ranged precision tactics.
  • Magic from Technology: All Guardians' magical powers come from The Traveler, though it's unclear whether this is a case of Green Rocks or Minovsky Physics.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Titan begins with a slight bias towards this trope, with high Armor but low Agility and Recovery. Later on, players can distribute their stats using their subclass skill trees as per their preference, potentially negating initial shortcomings.
  • Mini-Boss: Various enemies with unique names and yellow health bars appear occasionally in missions, in general exploration, and in public events. They tend to be rather beefy targets, frequently endowed with Deflector Shields, and with a 50% resistance to precision hits compared to normal enemies.
  • Insistent Terminology: The developers call the game a "shared world shooter", rather than a full MMO. The game seems to function more like Guild Wars or Borderlands series in that some areas are instanced to the player and their party while others are always shared.
  • Lost Technology: Comes with the territory of a spacefaring civilization being reduced to a single city on their homeworld. The overall approach seems fairly pragmatic and similar to BattleTech, where old tech is actively rediscovered, refurbished, and reverse engineered.
    • The Cryptarchs are a faction entirely devoted to this, studying old-world artifacts and using them to make equipment for Guardians.
  • Magic Knight: All of the Guardians. Warlocks have a bit more focus on the 'magic', and Titans on the 'knight' aspect of the trope.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: In keeping with its Science Fantasy, Space Opera, and Planetary Romance aspirations, Destiny is fairly soft, seemingly a 2-3.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Rixis, the Archon Slayer, a Fallen Mini-Boss. The Devil Walker might also count, while The Hive has an Ogre.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted, especially in regards to the Hunters' cloaks and Warlock's Badass Longcoat. Even in the equipment screen.
  • Not Quite Flight: All classes have enhanced aerial mobility skills - Hunters get a Double Jump, Titans get a Jet Pack, and Warlocks get jetpack/floaty like jump named "Glide". Voidwalker Warlocks and Bladedancer Hunters can also trade in their super jump abilities for Teleport Spam once they've leveled their subclass trees far enough.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: Played straight with some weapons. Some avert it, while others embrace both sides of the trope.
  • The Paladin: The Titans, being heavily armored futuristic knights wielding the Light of the Traveler against the massed forces of Darkness. In lore, they built the wall around the Last City, and gave their lives to defend it. As is typical of paladins, many of their abilities are focused around close-quarters combat and enhanced resilience.
  • Planetary Romance: Seems to be a Reconstruction or Genre Throwback of it.
  • Play Every Week: The Vanguard and The Crucible has a weekly score that can reach a maximum, according to the achievement/trophy list.
  • Precursors: Humanity's former empire is long gone, analogous to Atlanis on the scale of the entire Solar system. Whether humanity was benevolent, neglectful, or abusive reamins to be seen.
  • Power Glows: All of the Super abilities.
  • Powers That Be: The Traveler and The Darkness.
  • Production Foreshadowing: When playing Halo 3: ODST, many assumed this poster to be just a innocuous picture of Earth. It was another 4 years before it was revealed to actually be Earth and the Traveler.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Playing as male or female has no impact on gameplay, likewise for playing as an Exo or an Awoken. These choices do, however, affect your character's dance moves.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Legendary items are denoted with a purple background, being rare, expensive and requiring max level.
  • Randomly Generated Loot: Present to some extent, though some weapons can also be customized to a player's liking by leveling them up. So can equipment and armor.
  • Reconstruction: Of the Planetary Romance and Space Opera. Bungie notes that the game is more idealistic in contrast to the trend of True Art Is Angsty in science fiction and shooters in recent years.
  • The Red Mage: The Sunsinger Warlock subclass, with an ability set mixed between team support and direct offense.
  • Regenerating Shields, Static Health: Not you - players simply use standard regenerating health - but some Elite Mooks have shields that function like this.
    • In PvP, a bar that looks like the shield bar on normal enemy foes, represents the first bar of a Guardian's health bar. The health bar itself is cut into 3 segments, showing a form of urgency to the player the less they have.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better/Hand Cannon: The revolvers in this game are referred to by name as Hand Cannons, and are considered to be a primary weapon, on par with full-size rifles.
    • The Gunslinger Hunter's Super Ability is the "Golden Gun", a flaming magical Hand Cannon with extremely lethal rounds.
  • Resurrected for a Job: The Guardians were chosen from among the "ancient dead" to protect The Traveler because of their ability to channel its power directly.
  • Scenery Porn: Oh, yes. For example, one base is on Europa, an icy world with Jupiter dominating the sky.
    • Some mini-missions in free exploration even lampshade the Scenery Porn by having you travel to high places and just observe the world around you for a few moments, until the objective meter fills up.
  • Science Fantasy: The developers freely describe the game as "space fantasy".
  • Shout-Out: Lots.
    • The game's terminology involves entities such as Cryptarchs, Archons and Warminds. Beings by these names can also be found from Hannu Rajaniemi's awarded sci-fi novel, The Quantum Thief.
    • Many weapons and armor descriptions contain pop culture references, some subtle, some not:
      • Visions of Confluence (legendary Scout Rifle) -> A Space Odyssey
      • Hard Light (exotic Auto Rifle) -> Halo
      • The Aries Nemesis X4 (legendary Scout Rifle) -> The Godfather
      • Gladius 77 (legendary Scout Rifle) -> Woody Guthrie
      • Epitaph 2261 (legendary Sniper) -> Blade Runner
      • Heart of the Praxic Fire (exotic Warlock chestpiece) -> Dark Souls
      • Achlyophage Symbiote (exotic Hunter helmet) -> also possibly Dark Souls
      • Monte Carlo (exotic Auto Rifle) -> the Monte Carlo method
      • Komarov 3 (series of uncommon Hunter boots) -> Soyuz 1 and Apollo 1
    • One short mission has you acquiring audio logs pertaining to Golden Age space flight. The mission title is "Verbal Space Program."
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Each weapon has its own talent tree with perks that enhance its function and appearance. So in addition to getting better loot, players can make the loot they do get even better.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Bungie purposefully designed Destiny to be much further toward the idealistic side than most modern shooters.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: Averted surprisingly well. Weapons and equipment dropped by enemies or looted from treasure chests are usually leveled up to your level.
  • Space Elves: Bungie describe the Awoken as "exotic, beautiful, and mysterious".
  • Space Opera: Bungie dubs Destiny as "mythic science fiction", using a blend of fantasy and science fiction. (Sound familiar?)
  • Space Romans: The Cabal are rhinoceros alien Romans, complete with units named Centurions, Gladiators, and so on.
  • Spheroid Dropship: The Traveler, which appears to be miles high.
  • Squishy Wizard: The Warlock begins with a bias towards this trope, with a high health Recovery stat, but low Armor and Agility. Later on, players can distribute their stats using their subclass skill trees as per their preference, potentially negating initial shortcomings.
  • Standard FPS Guns: Primary weapons consist of automatic rifles, burst-fire rifles, single-shot marksman rifles, and "Hand Cannons". Special weapons consist of variations of the Sniper Rifle, Short Range Shotgun, and Fusion Rifle. Heavy weapons consist of machine guns and rocket launchers. Players can at any time have one weapon of each category equipped, although ammo for the heavier weapons is rarer to come by.
  • Standard FPS Enemies: All the categories, and more, show up at some point.
  • Stone Wall: The Defender Titan subclass, with a skill tree focused on defensive or counter-offensive abilities. The Defender's super ability, called Ward of Dawn, which has no direct offensive utility, but instead generates an unbreakable bubble shield around the user, protecting the Titan and his/her allies while granting them passive buffs.
  • Super Mode: Several of the Guardians' Super abilities manifest as this, including the Hunter's Golden Gun and Arc Blade abilities, and the Sunsinger Warlock's Radiance.
  • Used Future: Played with, in that most of the major industry that produced new things has long since shutdown and been abandoned. However, among the survivors in The City, maintaining, reverse-engineering, and upgrading old technology has become something of an art form. As a result, many of even the standard-issue weapons are old models, lovingly refurbished and keep operational with delicate care. Some of the more exceptional or unique weapons are in turn hand-assembled devices, kitbashed from older things but well-finished and sometimes given elaborate plating and engravings as individual as the artisan gunsmith that built it.
  • Vestigial Empire: Humanity itself, which previously controlled huge amounts of space during the Golden Age of Humanity. However, some sort of calamity has reduced them to a single city besieged by hostile aliens, with much of their Golden Age technology lost.
    • The Fallen are also an example, though it isn't yet clear just how they fell.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: There is supposedly a vast universe to explore and any number of ways to go about doing so.
    • Including flying your own personal spaceship to the rings of Saturn, riding around on the Destiny equivalent of the Speeder Bike from Star Wars, or just poundin' some ground through Elder Scrolls scale locales.
      • In the two hours that the moon was open on the last day of the Beta, it was discovered that, just like Russia, you don't _have_ to go where the plot tells you. There were quite a few unique mini-bosses and chambers in the othercaverns.
    • As mentioned above, even though your mission points you in one direction, it's possible to go almost everywhere on the map that the mission is on.

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