Video Game / Destiny

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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

Destiny is a 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 object called "the Traveler" ushered in a Golden Age for humanity. Unfortunately, the Traveler drew the attention of a cosmic force known only as "the Darkness": in the ensuing war, Earth was ravaged and the Traveler fell into a state of dormancy.

Centuries later, the last of humankind are protected within a city built underneath the slumbering Traveler. 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 Traveler - to defend humanity and reclaim their lost empire amongst the stars.

So far, the game has released the following expansions:

  • The Dark Below: A Hive-focused expansion dealing with the impending revival of Crota, one of the Hive's most powerful demigods.
  • House of Wolves: An expansion about the Reef Awoken and their bounty on Skolas, a rebellious Fallen looking to unite all the Fallen Houses under his rule.
  • The Taken King: A massive revamp of the game which sees Oryx, the titular Taken King and father of Crota, arrive in the Sol System seeking revenge for his son's death. This expansion marked the launch of "version 2.0" and overhauled almost every aspect of the original game.
  • Rise of Iron: A new expansion which is going to introduce a new enemy type, the SIVA, and returns with the Fan Favorite weapon Gjallarhorn.


Other pages related to the game:

  • Weapons Page: For tropes related to each weapon and the weapon classes they fit into. This is to make sure that the main page for Destiny doesn't get clogged with weapon tropes.

Destiny provides example of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl:
    • Any female Player Character, obviously.
    • The Exo Stranger, a female Exo Hunter who takes an interest in the Guardian's activities.
    • There's also the snarky female Warlock in the "Become Legend" trailer.
    • Eris Morn in The Dark Below DLC is a retired example, now a Shell-Shocked Veteran due to her experiences fighting Crota himself.
    • Petra Venj from the House of Wolves DLC qualifies as well, being one of the Queen's Royal Guard.
  • Aerith and Bob: Human and Awoken names vary, but they tend to range from commonplace to exotic, like Amanda Holliday and Ikora Rey. Exo names also feature a suffix that denotes the number of reboots they've undergone since their initial creation, such as Banshee-44 or Lakshmi-2.
  • 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 worlds.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Averted with Rasputin, an Artificial Intelligence who came to control many defense networks throughout the solar system after the other Warminds were destroyed in the Collapse. Several hundred years of repelling alien attacks have caused him to develop some strange habits like talking to himself and playing classical music, but he's ultimately Creepy Good and still does his best to protect humanity.
    • Played straight in The Taken King: Rasputin has killed a search team that went into his base in the Cosmodrome, as well as threatning the player with orbital annihilation for frying a system linked to a security door.
    • The Exo provide a subversion. A race of Mechanical Lifeforms created during the Golden Age, the Exo Grew Beyond Their Programming but remained loyal to humanity, fighting alongside their creators as equals during the Collapse. The Traveler even addressed the issue of What Measure Is a Non-Human? when it resurrected many Exo as guardians.
  • Alien Invasion: Humanity is beset by other alien species, generally working under the banner of "the Darkness". The Darkness itself wants to extinguish the light, but is willing to use any alien species to do so, to the point that the aliens are just as willing to fight each other over the scraps of humanity as they are to fight humanity itself.
  • All There in the Manual: Almost nothing is explained in-game, instead you unlock "grimoire pages" on the phone app or Bungie's website that give setting information. You also gain passive bonuses for unlocking Grimoire entries, though the game doesn't tell you this directly; like the Grimoire itself, those are also listed online.
    • The Taken King added a set of entries called the Books of Sorrow, detailing the rise and development of the Hive from Oryx's perspective. It's 50 entries long, includes details on several imaginative alien races (which are long dead by the time of the game) as well as major revelations about the Hive, the Darkness, and the Traveler, and none of it is even hinted at in the game itself.
  • Alternate Reality Game: Called "Alpha Lupi". Check it out here and an explanation of it here.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Hive. The Vex are Always Lawful Blue.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The Guardian destroys the Black Garden, allowing the Traveler to begin to heal itself. Whilst the Speaker gives a Rousing Speech in the Tower Walk, the Guardian meets the Exo Stranger in the hangar, who speaks of further dangers still out in the galaxy that continue to make their way to Earth, and ends by telling the Guardian that the fight isn't over yet.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Although Destiny is very light on what class and subclass you choose, especially with Story Missions, Strikes and Raids, to prevent players from getting stuck during such activities. These classes do make certain missions more conveniant and easier, depending on the situation. Nonetheless some subclasses can be put on the general class tropes:
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: More often than not, your loot drops will consist of new armor items. These are quite often obsolete compared to what you are already wearing, especially by the time you reach high level, although they do serve as upgrade material drops.
    "A boot is only a boot. Unless it is a Warlock boot. Then there are perks."
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • If there's ammo on the map you can't reach, it'll be teleported into your inventory after some time. Unless the Juggler Modifier is on.
    • If your Sparrow gets too damaged, you don't go flying off into an explosive death, you fall off it. Even with the Raid Sparrows.
    • Chests during Patrols will sometimes reward you 9 or 12 materials, instead of one or two. Makes farming for materials much easier.
    • Previously, you could trade in Materials for Marks, if you used more time in PVE than PVP, however, this has since been removed as of Dark Below.
      • Your skill during Crucible games doesn't really matter, atleast for Marks, as long as you do something to gain points.
    • When an Random Event happens, all players within that area will be notified about it.
    • Even if you die during Darkness Zones, you still have the option to respawn, albeit with a longer timer. This is to make sure you aren't killed so close to something that it'll be a suicide mission to revive you.
      • The timer is removed in Darkness Zones during certain activities, such as daily/weekly Heroic missions. The only way to respawn is if a fireteam member revives you.
    • Due to the new game engine, you won't get stuck in the level design. You'll just levitate there until you get out.
    • The game will always attempt to fill your Fireteam during Strikes, matching up players if the missing player hasn't returned. And compared to other games, you can rejoin if you disconnect.
    • If you miss Rare or Legendary Engrams, they'll be in the post office in the Tower as a lost item. Same goes if you have your inventory filled up and you miss an engram or a weapon that was rewarded to you.
    • Error codes are actual words, not a string of numbers or letters. 'Cattle' and 'Beaver' for example.
    • If go to Orbit once a mission has ended, you won't be treated to a cutscene.
    • Enemies become noticeably less aggressive if you have to go into the pause menu. They'll still attack you if you're hanging around a combat zone, but if you back off a bit and go into the inventory or character screens, the AI will be less likely to pursue and attack. Unless you do the Nightfall.
    • After the December 1 2014 update, weapon and armor upgrade materials are available for purchase in the Tower if you wish, rather than endlessly farming for them on various planet surfaces.
    • Although this is less of a feature, and more of an update, Bungie made Vault Of Glass Exotics level 32, rather than the previous 30. Also, the Crota's End Raid have armor and weapons drop more often, due to Vault Of Glass loot usually drop as materials, rather than the much needed weapons and armor.
    • The House of Wolves launch added a Public Event that, when successfully completed, gives participants a chance to find a chest containing Ammo Syntheses, Engrams, and even more materials than you'd get than from looting chests or just picking them. Though you'd have to be a pretty high level to even stand a chance.
    • For those who have time or just don't really like the Crucible, reputation and mark gains have doubled across the board with the launch of House of Wolves.
    • The House of Wolves expansion also changed the upgrade system for weapons and armour, particularly Legendaries and Exotics. Armour starts out with maxed out Light and defence ratings, making it easier to reach level 32 but requiring a rare material to proceed all the way to level 34, and weapons have an additional option to reforge at the Gunsmith in order to change the default perks, though the perk selection is randomized. Overall, this makes equipment upgrading less tedious and resource intensive, and only requires you to visit one NPC to have a chance at getting a weapon that fits your playstyle.
    • The Infusion system introduced with The Taken King requires that, along with some materials and marks, you sacrifice a piece of gear of the same category that's of higher Light value in order to power up your Legendary gear (as a replacement for the Ascendant materials system of Year One). However, what you sacrifice doesn't have to be Legendary tier, meaning that all those blues that end up having a higher Light level than your Legendary gear make for excellent fodder for it.
    • You can infuse any armor piece of the same category as long as it has higher defense, even if it's for a different class. That way, for example, you can recycle old armor from your Hunter by infusing it into your weaker Titan's armor.
    • Vanguard Marks, Crucible Marks and Legendary Marks have been unified into just Legendary Marks in order to prevent requiring various currencies for different faction shops.
    • The April 2016 tweaked the Infusion system to instead infuse whatever you're sacrificing into what you're upgrading in full rather than partial, regardless of tier. You have an Exotic that's only 280, but a blue that's over 300? Infuse that, and that Exotic will be that exact value, with no guesswork and a massive reduction to endlessly grinding for anything of a higher Light value.
    • Additionally, the April 2016 update increased the ways max Light gear can be earned, outside of Hard mode King's Fall, Trials of Osiris, and the Iron Banner. Nightfall can drop max Light gear; Prison of Elders has also been updated with a fun score-attack mode that can also drop sweet loot; Rep gains have been greatly increased (120 pts for Heroic strikes, half for factions) and packages are guaranteed to give you something of higher Light than you currently are, meaning that if it isn't the monster roll you're looking for, it'll still make good infusion fodder.
  • Anti-Grinding: When you make a choice between two story missions of the same challenge level, the next time you look at the map, the one you did not choose is now a higher challenge level than before; befitting the fact that you have probably leveled up in the meantime.
  • Anti-Light Faction: While not overtly hostile to the Traveler, the Reef's official position is that they shun its Light, and any Awoken shown to be capable of channeling it are exiled from the Reef. Presumably because they believe being too close with the Traveler will attract the attention of the Darkness.
  • Anti-Poop Socking: Dailies are story missions completable once per day, Weekly Heroics and Nightfalls are Strike missions you can complete with modifiers, which make them harder, once per week. Raids are also completable once a week, although you can re-do them, you just won't get the loot again. Unless you do it on a character that hasn't completed it yet.
    • On one end, it means that you won't have to spend too much time on the game, if your aim is Exotics and Raid armor. On the other end, you can do them 3 times, if you have 3 characters, which may both enforce trope, and enforce Poop Socking.
  • Arc Words: "Become legend".
  • Area of Effect: Almost all of the grenade abilities and many super abilities are this. Rocket launchers are this in regular weapon form.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil:
    • Subverted by Lord Shaxx and Lord Saladin, who are heroic Titans who lead Guardians during the Battle of the Twilight Gap in defense of the City.
    • Played straight by Fallen Barons, who are Fallen Captains who managed to intimidate their way into control of a Fallen Skiff.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • Fallen enemies use squad tactics. And higher-level ones know when to retreat.
    • Hive troops will fall back behind their Knights if they're getting overwhelmed. Thralls will not blindly charge and instead will try to flank you if possible. Individual Thralls will also fall back behind cover to lure you into ambushes and will only charge your position when they have overwhelming numbers.
    • The Cabal focuses on strength in numbers, but also try to lessen their losses when they fight you. Shield Troopers will try to lock you down and cover their members, while Jump Jets will get into a spot to get a clear shot.
    • If you have a sniper rifle and place yourself beyond the visual range of a group of enemies, the first one you shoot will get the others looking for you. After a couple of seconds spent identifying where the shot came from, they will hide from your particular axis of attack, preventing you from sniping any more. If you have a sniper rifle and are within visual range, most enemies- especially Dregs and Vandals- will immediately begin ducking and dodging if they see you aiming at them, to prevent you drawing a bead with your scope.
    • Enemies will continue to attack the last known position of the player. If the player moves at the right time (when the enemy is ducking behind their own cover, for example). This is a double edge sword for the enemy, although it means they can keep the player from using that cover, it also leaves them open to flanking. However, if you are engaging multiple enemies at once it becomes difficult to flank as there are more enemies looking out for you. This makes it a pretty smart tactic for the enemy to do in groups and even individual enemies who if you aren't lucky enough, can still spot you as you try to flank them and thus leaves you open to attack.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • It is sometimes possible to approach very close to enemies, who will be blissfully unaware of you even though they look right at you until you open fire.
    • A lot of enemies will stop to roar and menace you when they first encounter you, giving you an added moment to gun them down or jump into melee.
    • Most enemies will not pursue you outside their spawning areas, thus letting you catch your breath if you're damaged.
    • Similarly, if in a wide-open area, such as the entryway to the Ketch on Venus, enemies will just stop and stare at you as you gun them down with impunity. They won't take cover, and they won't attempt to charge you. They just stand there.
    • For all the tactical intelligence mentioned in Artificial Brilliance above, enemies can also be breathtakingly dumb, provided the player is able to stay at moderate range and be patient. A target that gets shot will duck behind cover, but then will often pop back out into your sights in exactly the same spot.
    • Most bosses and high health enemies will back away from grenades if they are long lasting AoEs. During the final Story mission, you can make one or two of the bosses fall to their death by throwing a grenade at a specific spot. This also counts for a few other bosses, where it's possible to guide them to any desired location, if you have enough grenades.
  • 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.
  • Background Magic Field: The Traveler's "Light" is supernatural force used to create and resurrect the Guardians and power their abilities. It's implied that there are also some ways to weaken or drain the Light, mostly used by the Hive and Vex.
  • Bag of Spilling: Ammo for your Special and Heavy Weapons is evidently kept in one of these, since every time you equip a different weapon in these slots it reduces the ammunition for it. Switch weapons too many times, and your weapons will be empty. This is extremely frustrating when going from situations where a shotgun is appropriate, to needing a sniper rifle- which, due to this effect, may have only four or five rounds. Booting up the game will start you off with no Heavy ammo, and a clip or two worth of Special ammo. (Certain weapons when leveled up have a chance to grant bonus ammo when you spawn, somewhat mitigating this effect; Ice Breaker and Invective have the exotic perks of generating their own ammunition, negating this completely.)
  • 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.
  • Beating A Dead Player: It is notable (especially during Strikes and Raids) that when your Guardian has been reduced to a cloud of particles surrounding your Ghost, enemies will often stand and keep shooting or bashing at your remains. It's hard to tell if this is Artificial Brilliance (because a friend who tries to revive you will almost instantly come under attack), or Artificial Stupidity (because the monsters attacking your Ghost effectively reduce the odds against your allies). This is also a tactical option in Skirmish matches, where players have been known to aim at the ghost of a slain player and wait for his ally to revive him.
  • 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 early in the game.
    • An inversion pops up in the mission to destroy Crota's soul and the Nexus strike. In order to keep snipers from cheesing the whole room by hiding at the entrance, an absurdly tough Knight/Minoutaur with a highly durable shield and packing a massively powerful cannon will spawn in the hallway behind the entrance. His sole job is to make sure you go into the chamber and fight the boss face-to-face. Another one pops up in the Summoning Pits strike where if you wait too long in the room before the final boss a Shrieker will spawn behind the players.
  • Benevolent Precursors: Humanity's former empire is long gone, analogous to Atlantis on the scale of the entire Solar system. The lore suggests that the Traveler inspired great social change and helped to finally wipe out age-old prejudices, and humans were poised to peacefully expand to the stars prior to the Collapse.
  • BFG: The Heavy Weapons category, consisting of rocket launchers and heavy machine guns. Although thr Hand Cannon (a type of pistol that outclasses most of the other assault rifles) also qualifies.
  • Big Bad: Varies, depending on which bit of content is being discussed:
    • The Day One content had the Vex in general as the antagonistic force that was driving the plot, with the end-game PvE taking place in the Vault of Glass, something of a fortress-laboratory hybrid, and center of their operations on Venus.
    • The Dark Below had Crota as the driving force, with all of the other major Hive in the system doing his bidding and trying to bring him back into our realm. You face off with the big man himself in Crota's End, the raid for the Dark Below.
    • The House of Wolves introduced us to Skolas, Kell of Wolves. He starts off the plot by instigating the House of Wolves' betrayal of the Awoken Queen, and the player follows him and his Wolves to prevent his rise to power as the "Kell of Kells," leader of all the Fallen in the system. Skolas is faced again in the Prison of Elders after his capture at the top of the Vex Citadel, and canon dictates that he died there.
    • The Taken King features the eponymous Oryx, come to seek vengeance on the Guardians who killed his son and slaughtered so many Hive before that. The plot mostly focuses on just getting close enough to Oryx to send him back to the Ascendant Realm. The rest of the DLC focuses on cleaning up the mess left behind by Oryx's coming into the system, and the third "act" of the DLC focuses on the Guardians preparing to deal the finishing blow to Oryx in his "Throne World" during the King's Fall raid, putting an end to the threat, once and for all.
  • Big Dumb Object: The Traveler is a mysterious sphere that kickstarted humanity's Golden Age and created the Ghosts and Guardians as a last line of defense against the Darkness.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Taken King. The conclusion of the Taken War sees Oryx defeated in the story and permanently killed in King's Fall, saving the rest of the Solar system and, with Crota and the Deathsinger twins dead, leaving the Osmium throne vacant and the Hive without a King. As side effects, the Vex are revealed to have failed to perfect the weapons in the Vault of Glass, the Prime Servitor of the House of Wolves has been destroyed, and the Cabal High Command in the Solar system has been all but wiped out. However, thousands of Awoken died at Saturn, with Queen Mara Sov presumed to be among them. There are also a number of threats gathering in the future, as the Cabal managed to successfully send a distress signal to the Cabal Emperor, who is sure to send reinforcements. Also, Xivu Arath and Savathûn, Oryx's sisters, are still out there, and there may be a fifth god named Nokris that is unaccounted for. Worst of all, Oryx may still be alive in the Touch of Malice, and may being trying to shape the player Guardian into a host for his soul, or into his successor.
  • Black Mage: The Voidwalker Warlock subclass, with a heavily offense-based skill tree and numerous area-effect abilities.
  • Black Speech: The Fallen and the Cabal frequently shout at Guardians during combat. The Hive sometimes employ this, though for the most part they and the Vex to resort to screaming during combat.
  • Bloodless Carnage: With a T-rating, the game is a bit hemophobic compared to its contemporaries. Many enemies experience a Technicolor Death of exploding into sparks, with the most gruesome violence consisting of the occasional jet of smoke or light when a fleshy enemy dies to a headshot.
  • Boom, Headshot: The weak point for humanoid enemies, with Vex being the main exception.
  • Brutal Bonus Level: Several, mostly qualified as a "Raid" and often requiring full use of a fireteam with maxed-out or very nearly maxed-out gear.
    • The base game has "The Vault of Glass", where you assault the titular Vex architecture and fight your way down to the near-bottom. You are confronted by relentless waves of machines, with multiple Hold the Line sequences, before taking on the midboss with an unique relic that can make it vulnerable. There is also a maze where you need to navigate unseen by enemies that can wipe your party, and a jumping puzzle to access the boss arena.
    • The Dark Below adds "Crota's End", where you plunge into the depths of the Moon and make your way into Crota's dimension. Along the way, you are forced to navigate a dim-lit maze with infinite waves of Thralls; cross a bridge that can only be activated by wielding one of Crota's blades and make sure everyone crosses the bridge in the same manner; before fighting against the clock to kill a miniboss that can instantly wipe the party. Then, you fight Crota himself, who is invulnerable to all but a sword that you need to snatch from an unique enemy. The Hard mode was set at level 33, one level higher than the expansion's level cap of 32.
    • House of Wolves doesn't have a Raid, but rather a Firefight-esque mode called Prison of Elders, where a fireteam of 3 must clear several rounds by defeating all enemy waves each round, while simultaneously completing a set objective, else they risk a party wipe. There are multiple challenge levels that rotate each week, with the highest (and only constant challenge) being "Skolas's Revenge", capping the difficulty at level 35 while Guardians could only reach level 34.
    • The Taken King has its own Raid, "King's Fall", where you access the highest reaches (or deepest chasms, it's hard to tell) of Oryx's Dreadnaught and bring the fight to him, alongside a few bosses above the light level threshold of 290- itself nearly twice what Crota's End recommends, and half-again compared to that of Skolas' Revenge. More importantly, most of the enemies encountered are 2 levels above the players, meaning they only deal 60% of their normal damage. And this is the normal mode.
  • 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.
    • Bungie has a few to their older franchises. The gratuitous use of the terms "Legendary" or "Mythic" is a reference to the Myth series. The fusion rifles are very similar to the fusion pistol from Marathon.
    • Heroic Modifiers act like more advanced skulls from the Halo series. They also look like skulls too.
    • Most rifles have a digital ammo counter on the back, just like the Assault Rifle in Halo.
  • Can't Catch Up: Bungie have gone to lengths to ensure this doesn't happen to any new players - with each subsequent expansion, Legendary armour & weapons sold by the vendors is replaced by newer, more powerful gear so new players can join in on the endgame activities & events like Iron Banner. On top of that, The Taken King will render the Light level system irrelevant, so all Year One players will start Year Two on equal footing & new players won't have to work as long to catch up to Year One players.
  • Cap: Several:
    • Your inventory can hold a certain amount of items (9 items per equipment slot), although you probably won't clog it up with a lot. The same applies to the bank, which is universal with all your characters.
    • You can only equip one Exotic Weapon and one Exotic Armor piece. This is likely to prevent players from leveling up to easily from Exotics.Now subverted with The Taken King expansion, the new exotic class items have a perk that allow you to equip another piece of exotic armor
    • Legendary Marks are limited to 200 across all your characters, similar to Glimmer. Unlike the old Vanguard/Crucible Marks, you can earn an unlimited amount if you hit the cap and spend some during the week, but they are a little more difficult to acquire to compensate.
    • Glimmer caps at 25000, which is unusually low form some items (the Iron Banner items being a very notable instance).
    • Your level capped out at 20, but to increase it you needed Light from armor. Your Light level capped out at 32 in The Dark Below. The House of Wolves expansion pushed this to 34. And the Taken King pushes it to one final level, 40. However, with the 2.0 update that came out before Taken King, this changed a bit. Light no longer adds entire levels, instead increasing your damage and defense by an average of all your equipment scores. This means that even without having Taken King, anyone can reach 34, but the expansion is needed to hit 40.
    • At max, you can only have 3 players in your fireteam for Story, Strikes and Arena, 3-6 in Crucible, and 6 in Raids.
  • Captain Obvious:
    • Sometimes your Ghost can fall into this category. For example;
      Ghost: Feels like a trap. (This line comes as you are walking into a massive, yet empty-seeming enemy lair, and the front door just opened for you. Thanks, little robot buddy.)
    • The game's Interface Spoiler can accentuate this tendency, with the Ghost telling you about the arrival of certain enemies whose names are already on-screen as you shoot at them.
  • Cargo Cult: The Vex, an already advanced and incomprehensible race of robots, came across the Black Heart - a fragment of the Darkness even more advanced and incomprehensible they they were. They saw no other option than to worship it.
  • 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 Crucible opponents 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.
  • 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.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Elements and Shields. White for Kinetic, Red-Orange for Solar, Blue for Arc, Purple for Void. Shields can be charged with Solar, Arc, or Void energy, and are easily broken by weapons of the same element, but are highly resistant to the other two elements.
    • Same applies for Rarities and ammo types. White, Green, Blue, Purple and Yellow/Gold, signify Common, Uncommon, Rare, Legendary and Exotic. White, Green and Purple ammo, signify Primary, Special and Heavy.
  • Comeback Mechanic: If you and your fireteam perished to a boss in a Darkness Zone, you can get a clip of extra ammo in all your weapons, to avert Continuing Is Painful. Doesn't work every time... You also gain a bit of Super upon death, to give you an edge, when you come back.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: Averted: The only time this happens is in the first mission, before you get a weapon; otherwise, as mentioned elsewhere, you are free to ignore the goals of the missions and explore as long as you like.
  • Continuing Is Painful: As mentioned above, there's a chance to get a clip of ammo in all your weapons upon a Total Party Kill, but a regular death after exhausting your ammo won't give it back. This can also include failing a Boss battle, so... hope you won't mind doing the boss again without powerful Heavy weapons or Special weapons.
  • Cool Bike: Guardians have speeder-like bikes called Sparrows to get from point A to B more quickly. The Fallen have Pikes with heavy weapons, which you can hijack and use against them.
  • 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.
    • There's also Armor traits that can decrease your Super ability cooldown by getting kills on non-Guardian targets.
  • Cool Starship: The Tower Shipwright will sell you your choice of ships from her rotating stock of design blueprints. In the story game you eventually get a custom ship for free, as the reward for completing a particular mission (although your selection is limited, and you may not like the ones you get to choose from). Rare and Legendary blueprints for otherwise unobtainable ships are also found during the game as rewards. Other ships drop as rewards from strikes, the Crucible, Iron Banner, and raids. All ships come equipped with an inter-planetary Warp Drive and a matter transporter. Your first ship is an outdated model salvaged from the planet surface in-story. The differences between all of them are purely cosmetic.
    • Variks, in the Reef, has a whole new type of ship available- the Blockade Runner, which looks completely different from any of the rest. There is also a ship available from Petra Venj (or free from completing the highest level of Prison of Elders) which resembles a Vorlon ship from Babylon 5.
  • 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).
  • Cryptic Background Reference: All over the place, from random NPC chatter to the Grimoire. If you don't pay attention to the minutiae of the game's background, there's a good chance nothing is going to make sense.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: Golden Age architecture gives the impression that humanity tried very hard for this trope, and sometimes came very close to succeeding (as with the Guardians' Tower and some of the fancier ruins on Mars), but never quite managed it, thanks to a combination of inadequate technology, practical concerns, and plain old lack of imagination. These days, the exotic future clothing everyone wears helps with this aesthetic, but the Used Future patina everything's acquired over the centuries rather spoils it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Oryx's initial attack on the Cabal. Two of their elite formations, the Dust Giants and Blind Legion, both suffer losses to over a third of the entire force. The Sand Eaters, who make up the majority of the Cabal presence on Mars, suffer nearly sixty percent casualties in engagements with Oryx's forces, with the Blind Legion and the Dust Giants not coming off much better. It's not clear how many losses were suffered by the Siege Dancers or the Skyburners, but the latter make up the bulk of the force the Cabal launch in counterattack.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Any boss at the end of a Strike will take thousands upon thousands of points of damage.
  • Dark Is Evil: The Darkness is what attacked the Traveler and ended humanity's Golden Age.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Implied by the Awoken living in the Reef of the Asteroid Belt. They appear to be rather ambiguous, however. Also may apply to Void Light, specifically that of Nightstalkers and Voidwalkers. Ikora remarks that some Guardians frown upon the fact that Voidwalkers use their Void Light to drain life and energy from their enemies. And Cayde-6 has a word of caution for aspiring Nightstalkers...
    Cayde-6: Picking it up is the easy part, Hunter. Putting it down again, well, you’ll find that it’s addictive, that power. This weapon is something special. Your Light gets twisted. Changed. You find the power to punch through and borrow something from the other side. The Void opens up a hole, and draws from the deep. Go ahead. Carry it a while, Hunter. You’ll feel how heavy it can get.
  • 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 (now replaced by Nolan North). He's almost always pretty snarky in-game during missions or when jumping into events.
    • Cayde-6 has taken the title as premier snarker in the Destiny 'verse. The Taken King story is pretty much wall-to-wall Cayde snarking, such as this exchange with the Titan Vanguard Zavala:
    Zavala: Cayde, our discussion has not yet concluded.
    Cayde: I know. That's why I'm leaving.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Dying means either waiting for a nearby player to come and revive you (there is even a trophy for reviving downed Guardians enough times), or respawning yourself if you get tired of waiting. Only in Darkness Zones do you reset to a checkpoint and start over. Even then, you still keep the loot and experience points you scored before your death. Sweet!
    • Averted on higher difficulties, Nightfall missions and Raids: You won't be able to respawn on your own and will need someone to revive you. Especially during Nightfall, where deaths aren't affordable, if your entire Fireteam dies on this mission you get sent back to orbit with no progress saved.
    • Very averted with Raids on Hard mode: Death is permanent for the section with no revives. The only ways to come back are for everyone to die, the remaining players to finish the area or using the Warlocks Fireborn ability (which requires a charged Super)
  • Death Is Cheap: The ease of resurrection is acknowledged in-story as well. If you're killed whilst in range of the Traveler's Light and have an active Ghost, your Robot Buddy can and will resurrect you in seconds. This has resulted in the creation of a new school of Guardian scientists called 'thanatonauts', who study what death actually looks like from a first-person perspective by repeatedly committing suicide and having their Ghosts bring them back. Everyone else looks at them a bit funny, for obvious reasons.
    • One piece of Hunter armour from The Dark Below describes them using this fact to aid in clearing minefields, by deliberately stepping on each mine and waiting for their ghost to resurrect them, repeat as necessary.
  • 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 (Good luck evading a Bladedancer, though), 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.
    • Averted with the Sunsinger Subclass. You can buff you or your Fireteam and teammates nearby, and your grenade and melee cooldown is reduced, letting you be able to throw 4-6 grenades within a single Super Charge, and as many as 10 when Catapult is on or when the user is wearing the Heart of the Praxic Fire!
    • Similarly averted with the Nightstalker's super, which, while initially similar to the Voidwalker's Nova Bomb, can't damage the user and tethers any enemies within a certain distance. The exact effects vary slightly between PvE and PvP, but in general, it'll disable enemy abilities (knocking Guardians out of Supers in PvP) and causes significantly more damage to be dealt to a target.
    • Sunbreakers also manage to avert this with the Hammer of Sol. All the armor that a Bladedancer has, with all the range needed to make that armor mostly redundant, in addition to some crazy high damage output.
  • Death Seeker: Guardian thanatonauts are a particularly bizarre example. They want to die... so they can be brought back by their Resurrective Immortality and record the experience For Science!. A day at the lab for them involves sitting in a corner with a notepad and a loaded gun, repeatedly shooting themselves in the head.
  • 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.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: In the final encounter of the Crota's End raid, if a character points or otherwise gestures at Crota from a safe distance, Crota will point right back at them, but will look almost infinitely more threatening.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Being a story in a Lovecraft Lite setting, this happens a lot:
    • Your character, possibly aided by the help of some friends, manages to destroy the Heart of the Black Garden with the application of a few bullets to its Elite Mooks.
    • Raids are all about doing this. Targets include Atheon, the reality-warping heart of the Vex conflux system, and Crota, the Hive god-general who single-handedly drove humanity off the Moon.
    • Rasputin, the Warmind built to guard humanity, successfully crippled the godlike Traveller during the Collapse while attempting to prevent it from abandoning Humankind. Unfortunately, the Traveler had already decided to stick with Humanity, and Rasputin's actions may actually have caused quite a few of the problems we see now.
  • Difficulty Spike: Although Strikes are intentionally hard, the game's second Strike Mission, "The Summoning Pits", is significantly more difficult than most Year One strikes. Not only do you have to fight a Flunky Boss, but it includes a lot of Knights and a lot of Wizards. Doesn't help that the only cover you can use are for the boss itself, not all the mooks that spawn. Hope you can outrun more than just the boss's main attack.
    • It doesn't help that the boss of this particular strike is one of the few that can easily kill a player on his own if said player isn't careful.
  • Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: Each class's armor has a distinctive look to make them easier to differentiate.
    • Titan: Shoulders of Doom, Powered Armor, Cool Helmet - Imposing and heavy, usually with a V-shaped visor. Later gear tends to take this in a few directions, and endgame PvE gear tends to resemble the hardest hitter from the enemy faction that the content focuses on.
    • Hunter: In the Hood, Badass Cape, Cool Helmet - Hunters' helmets tend to feature goggles, gas masks, hoses, and filters. Later gear expands on that, with some gear adding more obvious "soda can" respirators or much more subtle filters and 3-lensed cameras. Endgame gear tends to resemble the "sniper" of a given faction most strongly.
    • Warlock: Badass Longcoat, Badass Long Robe, Cool Helmet - Warlock helmets are rounded and usually bear a single large visor. Later gear adds all manner of interesting bits to the formula, most of which are very difficult to describe. The effect is always interesting, though. Endgame gear tends to bear at least a passing resemblance to the faction's "caster" enemy (Hive and Taken Wizards, Fallen Servitors, Vex Harpies, etc.), should it have one.
  • Drop the Hammer: The Sunbreaker specialization for the Titan, which allows you to conjure a burning hammer from Solar energy that you can either throw, or hit enemies with.
  • Easter Egg:
    • If you head back to the old loot cave, there is now a prompt that allows you to "disturb the remains", after which you hear something..."A million deaths are not enough for Master Rahool."
    • When opening the door to Omnigul in the "Will of Crota" strike from The Dark Below, Eris Morn makes the comment "In it's dying breath, the Traveller sent out the Ghosts... To open doors".
  • Eldritch Abomination: In the Black Garden, the Player Character finds the Heart, a pulsating ball of dark energy which is draining the Traveler of its light. It is vague as to what it is, but it certainly is beyond the comprehension of even the Vex.
    • The Traveler is somehow a benevolent example of this trope. No one knows what it is, where it came from, or if its even a living being. All anyone knows is that it uplifted humanity into our Golden Age and was badly damaged in the Collapse by the Darkness, another equally eldritchy power/being/whatever.
  • Eldritch Location: The Black Garden, home of the Vex surge on Mars. According to your Ghost, it's locked outside of both space and time.
    • The Vault of Glass is implied to exist in some sort of pocket-universe where the Vex have absolute power over reality.
    • The Dark Below introduces us to Crota's realm, which is....well, see for yourself.
    • The inside of Oryx's Ascendant Realm looks rather odd, as well. Fitting, considering he's also to blame for the way Crota's own Throne World looks.
  • 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. On the other hand, other Elements are resistant to elements that aren't its own. So good luck using a Rifle with Solar on a Arc shielded enemy.
  • Elite Mook: Every type of Mook also appears in a superior variety with tougher armor and/or bullet resistance. In addition, every faction has one or two of varieties of reasonably tough enemies:
    • Hive have Knights and Wizards.
    • Cabal have Centurions and Colossi.
    • Fallen have their Captains and Servitors.
    • Vex have Minotaurs and Hydras.
    • Frighteningly, the Taken have access to all of the above mentioned ones, and each of those has a new power and damage type after being Taken.
  • Elemental Powers: After Kinetic (which is simply force of impact), there are three special damage types: Arc, Solar, and Void.
    • Arc damage causes electrical damage to a target. It is used by the Hunter Bladedancer, the Titan Striker, and the Warlock Stormcaller subclasses, as well as most Fallen weapons, Fallen Captains shields, the Boomers of Hive Knights, and Darkness-blasts of Hive Wizards.
    • Solar damage causes flame damage to a target. It is used by the Hunter Gunslinger, the Warlock Sunsinger, and the Titan Sunbreaker subclasses, as well as the weapons of the Cabal, and the shields of Cabal Centurions and Hive Wizards.
    • Void damage causes void damage to a target. It is used by the Titan Defender, the Warlock Voidwalker, and the Hunter Nightstalker subclasses, as well as the the Torch Hammers and shields of Vex Minotaurs and the Shredders of Hive Acolytes.
  • End of an Age: The Golden Age has long since passed, and humanity must continue to fight for survival.
  • Energy Ball: The Voidwalker Warlock's Nova Bomb, and most grenade abilities, manifest as explosive energy balls. A lesser example is your Ghost, which can disintegrate into sparkles while retaining its computer powers, though they may just be transmatting themselves, becoming data and allowing themselves to become a simulation running under your HUD.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Even though vehicles can take some damage (but can instantly explode to Super Abilities), they still explode like they were made of explodium. Bonus to Sparrows, as they lose all control and speed off into the nearest wall when they're about to explode.
  • Evil Versus Evil:
    • None of the various alien races besieging humanity are friends, and all of them will fight the others with as much enthusiasm as they do Guardians.
    • The plot of The Taken King expansion involves Oryx, father of Crota, taking over the will of various alien species and turning them against their own, as well as against the Guardians.
    • It turns out that while both the Hive and the Vex worship the Darkness, they're both equally willing to kill each other... because they both subscribe to the Omnicidal Maniac view of the Darkness itself.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Pretty much all of the ultras(named yellow health bar enemies), like Aksor, Skolas, etc. Possibly the Ur-Example is Crota, whose voice is so deep its practically subterranean. Inverted with Oryx, who while he has a deep voice, its noticeably higher in pitch than most other enemies, and his lieutenant's voice is actually much deeper.
  • Expy:
    • Your Ghost is very reminiscent of 343 Guilty Spark from Bungie's classic Halo, with the huge difference that he's on your side this time.
    • The Fallen Vandals, who have four arms, have a stooped-over walk, and dual-wield swords in melee, are a team of non-cybernetic General Grieviouses. They even wear similar capes.
    • The alien races in Destiny almost follow the Halo series enemy recipe to a T. The Fallen are varied, humanoid, and invading Earth like the Covenant, the Hive are incredibly similar to the Flood with their infestation and Horde of Alien Locusts mindset, the Vex are numerous mechanical warriors like the Sentinels, and the Cabal are big lumbering giants much like the Brutes. On that note, Guardians and Spartans also share similarities.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Petra Venj, the Queen's Wrath, has one in the shape of a shield.
  • Festering Fungus: The Achlyophage Symbiote exotic Hunter helmet is infested with a pulsating seemingly volcanic spore of some kind. Flavor text:
    "They told me it would eat my thoughts and leave me full of Light."
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Or Titan, Warlock, and Hunter. This is the main set of classes. The subclasses greatly increases the variation of each class:
    • Titans: Requiring speed and defense to conquer the battlefield, they either go full offense or full defense.
      • Striker focuses on pure damage and gives the Titan, whom are already the best at dealing melee damage, bonuses to melee damage. Their Super can unleash devastating Arc-based AOE, but it requires them to run more risks. Several Exotics can buff their Super's devastation.
      • Defenders defend. They can summon a Void bubble which resists most damage (but is destroyed by opposing Supers). Their main focus is defense and generating buffs to themselves and their team, such as overshields, Orbs of Light, and bonuses to weapon damage.
      • The Sunbreakers are another offensively focused Titan, but have more of a focus on range as opposed to a Striker's melee. While their super has them wield a flaming hammer, and said hammer has a devastating melee attack, you can also throw it from long distances, making the latter the safer option.
    • Warlock: Mainly support, with focus on battle recovery, recovering health faster than others. They either deal a devastating blow or support their team.
      • Voidwalkers focus on one (or more) pure ball(s) of destruction. They gain bonus buffs when they deal damage to enemies and with the right set of skills, send out their Super faster than any other class.
      • Sunsingers primarily focus on being support. Their abilities can aid teammates, even revive them, or revive themselves from death. With their Super, they can send out grenades, regen their abilities faster and even have teammates recover their abilities faster.
      • Stormcallers skip the self/ally buffs and get right to the destruction. Wielding Arc energy, their super allows them to hover across the battlefield and electrocute foes with blasts of lightning, which chains to other enemies. They focus a lot on their abilities, and gain bonuses that either lower their cooldowns, or keep them alive long enough for their abilities to be up again.
    • Hunter: Either support or pure offense, although stealth is an option. Both Supers are incredibly devastating, earning them quite the reputation.
      • Gunslingers can summon a Golden Gun of Solar energy and overkill enemies with each shot. Their gimmick plays on weapons and precision damage, being perfect for people who prefer using their guns over abilities, although their throwing knife special melee gets its share of love.
      • Bladedancers rely on speed and damage, even stealth. Their Super let them utilize an Arc Blade that devastates targets with a single slash. Depending on the skills set, they can go invisible, using camo-technology akin to Fallen Vandals.
      • Nightstalkers focus on misdirection and espionage to pin enemies down while the Hunter and his allies defeat them. The super has them summon a bow crafted of void light, and fire an arrow that tethers a group of enemies together, suppressing them and making them essentially helpless.
  • 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.
  • Fission Mailed: Inverted in one Taken King mission. After grabbing a piece of the crystal that once held Crota's Soul the standard mission complete screen pops up. Then your Ghost starts losing his connection with the Vanguard and can't transmat you out. Then the Ogre you just saw get Taken reappears alongside a bunch of other Taken enemies, and you have to escape the Temple of Crota before you actually complete the mission.
  • Future Imperfect: Centuries have passed since the Collapse and much information has been lost. For example, it is revealed over the course of the campaign that humans used to know a lot about the Vex, including their intergalactic and time travel capabilities, but have since completely forgotten they exist. Even the actual events of the Collapse itself are totally forgotten except for vague ideas that the Traveler sacrificed itself to save the remnants of humanity.
  • 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, meaning that coming across Legendary Fusion Rifles is a large rarity.
    • 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.
  • Foreshadowing: The Exo Stranger's Grimoire card can be found right after the player has gotten their first weapon.
    • During The Archive story mission, the Ghost mentions Vault Of Glass, along with The Black Garden mission and The Gatekeeper mission foreshadowing how you enter the Vault itself.
  • 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, and possibly averting the trope. In theory, every class could become this with a certain set of skills and armor.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • Shutting down your game while you're in your Vault has the potential to "forget" any guns or items you may have moved between your Guardian and Vault.
    • Sometimes, Shrine Of Oryx will get its objective stuck, meaning you'll have to restart the mission, or have someone else host the mission to complete it.
    • While not Game Breaking, it can cause some frustration with certain players: Enemies negating damage due to latancy issues. While this isn't too bad, and is only a big problem in PVE, it can mean that enemies can survive Supers, and other fatal hits. This is mostly noticable on normal enemies within your level range, but it can potentially occur to bosses, even Raid bosses, like Crota.note 
    • The Future War Cult's main Hand Cannon for The Taken King's release, the Vanity, is reported to crash the game upon proc'ing Firefly and Luck in the Chamber at the same time.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The Traveler's Light is weakened in areas where the Darkness is strong. This also applies to technology born of the Light, like Ghosts. This is why dying in a Darkness Zone permakills you and requires you to start from a previous checkpoint (because your Ghost doesn't have enough juice to resurrect you like it usually does), and how the Hive managed to torture a Ghost to death. It also suggests a reason why your Ghost's voice acting (in Year One, at least) is fairly expressive in cutscenes and some areas of gameplay, but tends to turn positively wooden on parts of story missions: it's low on power, so it's focusing on getting out whatever information it needs to without wasting power on making its voice expressive.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Your characters can store spare items, including spaceships, in the Tower Vault. You can start a new character, play the first mission which ends with you arriving at the Tower, then retrieve and equip a different character's custom ship from the Vault. Even so (and even though the cutscene shows your brand-new ship leaving the Tower), your next mission will still be to find a warp drive for your starship...
    • At one point you can drive a Pike right up to your destination, but after a cutscene which shows you on foot, the vehicle has disappeared without explanation.
    • The Taken are introduced in the "The Coming War" quest and they are treated as totally new enemies that no one has ever seen before, but you'll probably have run into scads of them before that point.
    • Several story quest in The Taken King are tied to the storyline of previous expansions. If you've started fresh in Year Two, you'll wonder why Oryx is out for your hide even though you haven't completed "Crota's End"; similarly, you don't need to complete either "The Vault of Glass" raid or House of Wolves to thread on the "Paradox" and "Wolves of Mars" questlines, respectively.
  • Gang Up on the Human: (Or the Awoken, or the Exo...) If you stumble across a fight between two enemy races and decide to charge right in, both sides will be happy to lay all their fire on you, instead. However, if you stay out of range, or focus on one enemy, your enemies will prioritize the other over you. Handy for mopping up any injured survivors. This is much more noticable on Nightfalls, where certain modifiers will have enemies focus on Guardians, rather than each other. Provided that they don't murder each other first, in case of a Elemental Burn.
  • Garden of Evil: The Black Garden, a labyrinth of mechanical geometry and strange plant growth that exists outside of space and time where the Vex are born, growing a seed of The Darkness in its heart.
  • Gatling Good: Cabal Colossus units wield Heavy Slug Throwers, a rotary-barrel weapon firing rounds longer than your hand at a ridiculous rate. The barrel even heats up to bright red as they keep firing. They have a bullet with your name on it, and they are going to keep firing until they find it.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A rare example in this game; The second time you visit the Awoken Queen, after your mission to Venus, you and your Ghost are greeted with a line male Guardians will love;
    It is alive. And still has its ball.
  • Godzilla Threshold: During The Taken King, the Cabal determine that anything is preferable to having Oryx and his dreadnought in the system, which is why they sent a massive strike force into the ship - literally crashing one of their warships into the dreadnought - to destroy its power core. This threatens to wipe out Saturn and possible the entire solar system, but the Cabal are entirely okay with going to those lengths to get rid of Oryx and his ship.
  • Gray and Gray Morality: At least where Guardian Factions are concerned. Not counting cut factions (such as Seven Seraphs) and Osiris (which had something really terrible happen to them). All have positives, and rather disturbing flaws that would give any player a second thought about their ideology:
    • Dead Orbit: They understand the darkness is coming, and plan on exploring the frontier with a might fleet of ships... but they want to pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and abandon earth and the Traveler, which protects the city. according to the grimoire entry, they have something of an 'ends-justify-the-means' point of view, resorting to shady business and theft to create a new fleet. Another point of contention is that nobody knows where they'd actually go to get away from the Darkness, or even if they can, and even in universe they're often called cowards for attempting to flee from the problem, even if that is the most concrete solution anybody has to offer.
    • Future War Cult Blood Knights of the highest order, who believe that peace is an illusion, and war is the only constant. Of course, given that they live in a world where the Big Good is near-mortally wounded, and there are at least four alien races trying to kill them, their desire to kill every alien in sight comes across as rather reasonable. They're also secretive, are hinted to have an ulterior motive of some kind, and have subjected people to an alternate-timeline viewer that has driven them mad. They also don't seem to have any kind of "endgame"- they seem to believe that "kill everything" is itself all that we need to do. That said, they do offer anybody a chance, so long as they're willing to help with the war effort and do their part to prepare the City for the coming war.
    • New Monarchy: They seem reasonable enough. The New Monarchy set themselves up as the defenders of order, rising above the infighting and factionalism of the City to present a unified front against the Darkness. They also want to install a king to rule the City, out of discontent with the city's Consensus of factions being unable to get anything done. Unfortunately, it is far too easy to construe that as fascism. They also come across as self-righteous a lot of the time, with Hideo calling the War Cult's message "traitor talk" and Dead Orbit a bunch of cowards. They do seem to have some rather humane ideals, and if they can get their way, they might just be able to realize them, and many in the City rally behind them simply because they focus on bringing hope to a City in dire need of it.
  • Greater Scope Paragon: Destiny has The Traveler, a massive sphere floating above the planet Earth that in the past helped humanity spread across the solar system, before protecting the last of humanity from being destroyed by the ancient cosmic force known only as The Darkness (A being so powerful that its servants are often worshiped as gods) in a climactic battle over the planet long ago, and granted the Guardians their powers. The surviving humans also ended up creating the Last City right underneath it, as the Traveler's powers protected them from marauding alien races. However, its direct influence on the plot is limited due to the fact that it entered a state of stasis as a result of injuries it suffered during the battle with the Darkness, with reawakening it becoming a goal for the player near the end of the game.
  • Grenade Spam: The Sunsinger's specialty, and, when specced for it, they can extend the affect to nearby allies.
    • Fallen Dregs and Vex Hobgoblins tend to throw a large number of grenades if given the opportunity. With enough of either around, it's possible to see as many as a dozen grenades shining right in your face before the first one goes off.
  • Guide Dang It: Several things during the early launch of the game and with Bungie keeping their mouth shut about future content, aside from their "Upcoming Events"-updates.
    • Strange Coins & Mote Of Light: These rare currency items are tradable with a vendor that only appears during weekends, named Xûr, or with Motes, can be used for cosmetic Legendary gear, from the Speaker.
    • Getting specific item drops. Some missions have fixed drops, while others... don't have a fixed one at all, which can be good or bad, due to the Random Number God.
    • Random Events themselves, since they're relatively rare and easy to miss. An early patch doubled the rate at which they occur, but you can still go quite a while without seeing a single one.
    • Golden Chests. On Earth, they have the same placements as the Public Beta, so a savvy player can find them with ease. On other planets though? Good luck finding more than 3 of them.
    • The Vault Of Glass, making it a Marathon Level of Guide Dang It. Using the Relic to remove the deadly Oracle Status Effect isn't something that you'd know without finding out by accident...
    • Crota's End seems to come up with this too, for both the clean runs of the game and the exploit based runs.
    • King's Fall is also going this way, though some Year One players are figuring out what to do fairly quickly, due to King's Fall taking elements from both Crota's End and the Vault of Glass- the very puzzling nature of the Vault seems to have been transplanted, though the story elements, overall pacing, and architecture more closely resemble or call back to Crota's End, resulting in a fairly fast paced group of levels that demand nothing less than the best your group can give, in fighting ability (coming from Crota's End, where everything was fairly straightforward, but there were a ton of enemies) and problem solving prowess (coming from the Vault of Glass, where dying to the enemies shooting you is much rarer than dying because you had no idea what you were supposed to do or got the timing just a little bit wrong).
    • Often vague quest goals, Wide Open Sandbox and no map whatsoever means that you'll frequently find yourself with no clue of how to accomplish your goals.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Doing Strikes from the Heroic Strike Playlist, you get much more frequent rare drops, and you get much better rewards for completing them, and higher chances of Legendary stuff dropping. There's even a solid chance of a bit of unique loot dropping- usually a Legendary class item or helmet. You get some extra experience as well, but it's usually small amount roughly equivalent to a few Patrol missions or a dozen random enemies.
    • Raids double drops you get from passing checkpoints and completing the raid, as well as enabling rare loot, as well as Hard-Mode only drops.
  • Harder Than Hard: Oh boy. Once you get to Level 40, the game is reborn and will kick your ass in new ways:
    • Strike Playlists: 2 different playlists of randomly picked Strike missions, set to the difficulty of the playlist. The Heroic playlist is much harder than the other, so going in un-prepared (or underleveled) is going to be... not awesome.
    • Additional Difficulties for Story missions: Either the original difficulty, or 240 Light.
    • Heroic Missions: Right from Strikes to Story, these missions add between 1 and 5 modifiers, which can help you, kill you, or make the playing field equal between you and your enemy, such as the Burn modifiernote .
    • The (previous) King of them all... the Nintendo Hard mission: The Vault Of Glass. While this does unlock around level 26 instead of level 40, it's still tremendously difficult, particularly for newer players. It's a marathon level where you need a full Fireteam (unless you're above lvl 28, but even then, going in with anything less than 4 people is suicide), proper levels and gear, and some trial and error with the objectives. You get no hints as to what you're supposed to do, so good luck. The first group to make it through spent almost 11 hours doing it(since they of course had no idea what to do) and had over 1,000 deaths between the team of six players.
    • After that is the game's second Raid, part of the Dark Below content: Crota's End. Again, this doesn't unlock and level 40, instead unlocking around level 32, it's still reasonably difficult, for new Guardians especially. You venture into the Dark Below, going through a dark cementary-like forest, full of Thrall that Zerg Rush you and your team to death, a Bridge guarded by a Swordbear, Gatekeeper and several hundred Thrall, along with two Ogres. Before you get to even see Crota in person, there's the Deathsinger, who prepares her song of death, and is guarded by several tough enemies, that players would be wise to run past, as time is tight. And then there's the big guy himself, Crota, which requires almost a whole fireteam to gun him down, to bring him to his knees, so someone with a sword can hurt him, the only thing that can even hurt him beyond making him get to his knees. To say the least, it's much harder than Vault of Glass, but is more straightforward, with less guesswork.
    • With The Taken King came yet another new Raid: King's Fall. Mixing the fast pacing of Crota's End with the puzzle-like insanity that makes the Vault of Glass so otherworldly, King's Fall truly is a test of skill for every Guardian present. Simply getting into the Raid requires at least 4 people- two to carry one half of a relic each, and two to shoot down the walls that appear whenever one of the two relics are picked up, and you'll be dealing with Taken all the while. And that has to be done six times before the portal into the deeper parts of the Dreadnought actually opens. That's just getting into the meat of it!
  • Harmful to Minors: Downplayed somewhat, when the Player Character meets the Speaker:
    The Speaker: There are many tales told throughout the city to frighten children. Lately those tales have stopped. Now... the children are frightened anyway.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Averted. All of the Guardian characters wear helmets that conceal their entire face. (They can take them off while wandering around the Tower and some cutscenes show them without it, so the time you spent creating your individualized character appearance is not wasted.)
  • 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.
    • Kabr The Legionless went into the Vault Of Glass by himself. By using his own Light and parts of the Vex, he created a shield called "The Aegis", which is the only way to defeat the Vex Bosses within the Vault.
    • In the beginning of The Taken King, the Awoken fleet launches a suicidal charge against the Dreadnought. The Dreadnought proves immune to their attacks, but the supporting fleet is devastated by their own superweapon and the ship is stalled in orbit of Saturn long enough for the Guardians to kill Oryx, sparing both the Reef and City a direct attack.
  • 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 all of their grenades.
  • Hover Tank: The Interceptor, developed by the Cabal but usable by players, though it is more of an armored speeder than a tank. The Goliath tank (also Cabal), is a more concrete example.
  • Humans Are Survivors: Humanity has been reduced to a single large city on their home planet, are surrounded by countless galaxies of untold enemies poised to wipe them out, and rely on outdated technology and limited supplies, but they're not going to take it lying down.
  • Infinity+1 Sword: More like gun, but multiple Exotics have reached this name, even a few Legendaries:
    • The Gjallarhorn. Famed for destroying enemies and bosses, with its high DPS, due to its Wolfpack Rounds. It's been famed due to the Crota's End Raid, taking down Crota's shields in mere seconds.
    • The Icebreaker: When its equipped, it regenerates ammo. It also caused the highest Precision Hit damage out of all weapons during Year One, but that title has since been usurped by Sleeper Simulant for Year Two.
    • The Thorn, albeit more of an Infinity–1 Sword, due to its high Handcannon ammo capacity, as well as its ability to overpenetrate targets, deal damage-over-time with its Mark Of The Devourer upgrade. During Year One, it was an absolute murder-machine in the Crucible, easily capable of two-hit kills thanks to the aforementioned Mark of the Devourer.
    • The Thunderlord, due to its high rarity, and amazing DPS and ever increasing fire rate. That, and it has a chance to make targets killed by it explode at random. It's also one of the few Year One weapons to make it into The Taken King on launch.
    • The Vex Mythoclast, even though its underpowered in attack values, compared to later (read: Year 2+) weapons. Still doesn't stop it from 3 shotting players in PVP.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Guardians are capable of four gestures: waving, pointing, dancing, and sitting down. Naturally enough these can function as taunts in the crucible, dancing on an opponent's corpse, showing just how much concern you have by taking a seat on their control point, etc. There's also subtle tactical applications for the gestures as well; dancing and sitting lets you activate a third-person camera to look around corners, and sitting can actually conceal a player behind boxes or inside foliage.
    • More emotes were added when the Eververse Trading Company was added- these included two literal taunts.
  • Idiot Ball: Several enemies and bosses would be harder to kill if they didn't stop, strike a pose, and roar with hatred when first encountered, or from time to time during longer encounters, thus letting the player get in a few well-aimed shots without risking return fire. Especially with Cabal Phalanx fighters—they move their indestructible sheild conveniently out of the way when they rally the troops.
  • Immune to Flinching: A modifier can apply this to enemies. It makes Cabal Phalanxes, with their indestructible shields where the tactic typically is to shoot their exposed hand making them flinch and opening them up for fire, especially irritating.
  • In-Universe Game Clock / Real Time: Time of day in-game changes as you play, with day and night cycles. This both affects the Tower, other planets, Crucible maps, and so on. This is mostly noticeable on Earth. The game does count real time hours for bounties to reset, items to restock, when Xûr comes around, and when your Mark limit resets.
  • 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 jumping to get to. The full game keeps the same chests in the same location so Genre Savvy players can get straight to them — as long as it doesn't get them killed.
  • 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 the Borderlands series, in that some areas (Raids, Strikes, Story Missions, and select areas on Patrol) are instanced to the player and their party, while others are always shared (most areas in Patrol, the entrance to the Vault of Glass, social hubs).
    • In-universe, the Ghost really doesn't like being called "Little Light".
  • Instant Death Radius: Giant Mooks like the Hive Ogre and Cabal Colossus, Strike bosses, and unique story-mission bosses like Sardok the Eye of Oryx and the Sol Progeny all have powerful Ground Pounds, Shockwave Stomps, and other close-range attacks that functionally provide them with one of these.
  • Interface Screw: A few. They barely happen during normal gameplay, but a few things can cause slight distortion and a colored screen:
    • The Defender Titan Suppresion Grenade. It removes your ability to use abilities until the suppresion is gone, but also distorts your screen and covers parts of your screen with purple Void.
    • Marked for Negation, by Oracles and Marked By The Void. The former covers part of your screen and will act like you are about to enter a tunnel of Light (simulating your incoming death), once the Ritual of Negation happens. The latter will be pure Darkness covering your screen, blinding you, until only a tiny spot in the middle is left. The cure for both of these are the Relic's Cleansing Shield.
    • Get close to the Vex as they warp in and your screen will darken, and fill with static grain.
    • Fallen Glimmer Extraction Drills use an energy beam that you can accidentally walk through, filling your screen with blue static. Oh, and it hurts you, too.
    • Public Events with the Taken start with the screen darkening(similar to when the sun dips behind the clouds in real life), then the entire screen vibrates and a false-color image bleeds through the borders of all nearby objects.
    • When a Warsat crashes, the descent and impact turn the entire screen white for a few seconds, and it is entirely possible to be killed if you're near enough to the crash site.
    • Taken Captains gain the ability to do this, causing your entire screen to go dark and slowly light back up- usually right as their winding up to do that to you again. Heaven help you if you fight more than three at a time, or if Berserk is on.
  • Interface Spoiler: The iOS app allows you to peruse the Grimoire, which has, among other things location categories for Jupiter and Saturn, as well as space for about 9 different primary weapon categories, far more than the 4 available in-game.
  • It's Up to You: With the exception of strikes and raids, everything of major significance is singlehandedly accomplished by the player Guardian.
    • Even if you bring friends, the cutscenes will default to assuming there's just the one of you.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: None of the Crucible Factions are particularly nice, but all of them have reasonable, valid points to make about humanity's situation, which is why the Vanguard let them onto the Tower in the first place:
    • The Blood Knights of the Future War Cult hold that war is the only constant, and that humanity should buckle down and arm up for the struggle to come because it won't be ending any time soon. Given that you're playing a massively-multiplayer shooter with a planned lifespan of ten years where your primary means of interacting with the world is by blowing bits of it up, this is a stance with some merit. Also, it turns out that they've spent the last decade searching their alternate timeline viewer for a universe where mankind survives, and haven't found it yet - so they plan on fighting their way out.
    • The pessimistic xenophobes of Dead Orbit hold that humanity is over-dependent on the Traveler for its place on the galactic table, and that huddling in one solar system when you've got a hostile Eldritch Abomination bearing down on you is putting too many of your eggs in one basket. Seeing as the Collapse pushed the Traveler itself into a crisis of confidence (and conscience), and humanity shows all the signs of an Insufficiently Advanced Alien civilisation, awkwardly integrating Twenty Minutes into the Future designs with nigh-magical techno-miracles, a bit of self-sufficiency might come in handy very soon. They're right on the money - The Traveller abandoned the Fallen before, and it's hinted that it was only Rasputin's actions that prevented it from abandoning mankind during the Collapse.
    • The authoritarian quasi-fascists of the New Monarchy want humanity to ease off on its squabbling and dissent and unite under a single purpose. When you're up against an imminent existential threat, an excess of internal division can indeed be lethal.
  • 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. Affectionately (or not-so-affectionately) dubbed the Spirit Bomb, by some.
  • 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.
  • King Mook: With the exception of the two tanks (the Fallen Walker and Cabal Goliath), every true boss in the game (as opposed to the Boss in Mook Clothing Majors and Ultras) is a bigger, meaner-looking version of a standard enemy type, though often with more (or less) tricks up their sleeves. Phogoth the Untamed, for example, is a Hive Ogre with his weak spot moved from his head to his chest, whilst the Vex Gate Lords are supersized Minotaurs that trade a Shockwave Stomp melee attack and modified Torch Hammers that either fire faster or launch much larger, more powerful shots for the loss of their Teleport Spam and regenerating shields and the addition of an extra weak spot.
  • Knife Nut:
    • The Hunter's signature weapon is a knife, used both in melee and (for the Gunslinger) as a thrown weapon. This can be emphasized even more depending on your choices in the skill tree, allowing your throwing knife to set targets on fire, extend the duration of your Golden Gun, or recharge instantly if it kills with a headshot.
    • This is a Dreg thing as well; they often carry pistol in one hand and knife in the other. It is common to see them act as if they forget they have guns and come at you in a screaming, knife-wielding wave attack. Some Vandals and Captains could be included too, if you count their big swords as knives.
  • Large Ham: Two exceptionally pork-filled performances:
    • Lord Shaxx, as your Crucible commentator. Just listening to him go nuts when you start racking up multi-kills could raise your cholesterol.
      Shaxx: Two down!! Three in a row!!! Just look at them fall!!!! I can't believe what I'm seeing!!!!!
    • Variks, the Loyal, also delivers the pork as Warden in the Prison of Elders.
      Variks: SYLOK!! THE DEFILED!!! Thirsts for your light!!
  • Laser-Guided Karma:The Swarm Princes get slaughtered during the "Sword Of Crota" Mission by the very sword they had Crota use to slaughter thousands of Guardians. Bonus points for that a Guardian used said sword to slaughter them in order to destroy it.
  • Last Bastion: The Last City, obviously. Destiny is a little more optimistic than the usual examples, though.
  • Last Stand: Humanity lost an empire, and with the help of the Traveler, Exo, and the Awoken, we intend to get it back.
  • Light Is Good: Light is effectively the Traveler's magic, which is bestowed upon humans to protect themselves.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • When a Titan wants to, he or she can get up a very good turn of speed; at higher levels there are special moves dedicated to sprinting straight into an enemy, either crushing them or sending them flying.
    • Hive Knights look like lumbering tanks, but have a nasty habit of springing at you and cleaving you with their BFS.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: Two tiers of this. The Limited Edition comes with a steelbook case, Field Guide, postcards, antique star chart, some in-game goodies, and an expansion pass. The Ghost Edition comes with all that, a replica Ghost, and even more physical goodies like stickers and photos.
    • The Taken King had it's own version that came with a steelbook case, a modified Treasure Island book with an intro letter written by Cayde, a replica of a Strange Coin, as well as other physical and digital goodies.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Any time you travel in space, whether in single player or to a PVP match, you will be treated to multiple load screens featuring your ship getting you there. To make up for the wait, the visuals are gorgeous (especially the warp travel sequences) and vary by destination.
  • 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.
  • Lovecraft Lite: Arguably, Destiny is Lovecraft Lite - The Game. The universe is replete with Eldritch Abominations, including the Traveler, which is possibly the only benevolent example of this trope. The Vex are a species of evil robot Starfish Aliens who can warp through space and travel through time, built three billion year old ruins on Venus, and come from an Eldritch Location called the Black Garden. According to Ghost, the Darkness has consumed thousands of worlds for countless eons. And at the center of this Darkness is the Heart of the Black Garden, a being so far beyond comprehension that the Vex themselves saw no other option than to worship it. You whoop its ass in the final level and subsequently resume your airy, idealistic Space Opera romp through the game's hopeful vision of the future. To quote Peptuck on the subject:
    • It should be noted that the Heart of the Black Garden is almost definitely not the Darkness. It might be a piece of it, but considering that the game will keep mentioning that the Darkness "is coming," plus the fact that there will be at least two expansion packs, it's safe to say that you do not win the centuries-old war in the base game. Millenia old, depending on how long it's been trying to kill the Traveler.
    • The Books of Sorrow unlocked during The Taken King reveal that a more accurate translation of "the Darkness" in the Hive language is "the Deep", an explicit reference to the Deep Ones of Lovecraft lore.
  • Lost Technology: Comes with the territory of a spacefaring civilization being reduced to a single city on their homeworld. The overall approach is 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.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Phalanx troopers rely on this trope for protection against your gunfire. If you can stun them, they will lower the shield and give you a clear shot for a moment before going back to their stance.
    • Inverted with the Defender Titan in PVP where any other class's super pretty much destroys your shield and everyone in it.
  • Magic by Any Other Name: The magic used by the Guardians is referred to as "Light" in-verse, although Bungie have also just gone ahead and called it "space magic" externally.
    • Though there are some instances where it's called "Magic" in-universe as well.
  • Magic Knight: All of the Guardians. Warlocks have a bit more focus on the 'magic', and Titans on the 'knight' aspect of the trope. The Hive also deploy their own Knights with Magitek blaster cannon arms and big honking swords.
  • 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. Cabal Phalanx troopers are made of this trope.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mr. Exposition:
    • The Ghost's primary role in both cutscenes and gameplay seems to be mostly telling you what your current mission or sidequest is, which direction to go next, and providing you with goal markers on your HUD.
    • Eris Morn takes over the job in The Dark Below expansion story. It must be said, she has a certain flair.
    • Petra Venj and Variks are your guides in the "House of Wolves" story mode. Variks also narrates a new strike mission on his own.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The Awoken Queen is no slouch, but Petra Venj (with a new outfit and hairstyle, compared to the rather plain jumpsuit and face-concealing helmet she wore while in the Tower) takes the cake.
  • Multiplayer Difficulty Spike: Played straight with PvP, but averted with PvE. The former is to make it fair for players of any level and to make it competitive, so you don't feel too overpowered or too underpowered. It does make you feel like a Glass Cannon, though. The latter averts this to encourage playing with friends and other players. It's averted in that if you do Strike missions, the game will match you up with more players if you don't have a Fireteam of 3. But if it can't find any players, the game can't help you there.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Rixis, Devil Archon, a Fallen Mini-Boss. The Devil Walker might also count, while The Hive has an Ogre. We can probably also include anyone with a name including something like "Devil 'X'" in this category. The first mini-boss in the game is even called "Rahn, Devil Captain."
    • Atheon, Time's Conflux
    • Crota, Son of Oryx
    • Skolas, Kell of Kells/Kell of Wolves
    • Oryx, The Taken King
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The "Become Legend" ad spot implied a campaign game revolving around some True Companions, with plenty of Deadpan Snarking and lots of humor. Unless you have a Fireteam of your own with headsets to supply this, you will find that it is... not so much. Unless you count the Exo Stranger snarking at Dinklebot.
  • Next Sunday A.D.: The intro, where humanity sends a mission to Mars, initiating first contact with the Traveler.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: During "The Archive" story mission on Venus, you enter the archive after your Ghost breaks a centuries-old security program, but neglects to close the door behind you. On a planet swarming with Vex and Fallen. Dinklebot actually sounds surprised when the Fallen follow you into the place.
    • By destroying the Heart of the Black Garden, you break the time-lock the Vex had placed upon it and pull the entire area back into regular space-time. This makes it trivial for anyone to enter the Black Garden... say, an invading army of Taken keen on infecting one of the main hubs of the Vex Hive Mind.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: You play as an undead human/elf/android theurge super-soldier who can choose to be either a heavily-armored knight-errant, a grenadier wizard/pyromancer/electrokenetic, or a rogueish space-ranger, and you fight enemy alien zombie wizards from the Moon, heavily-armed Roman alien turtles on Mars, and time-travelling robot hordes on Venus.
  • No Flow in CGI: Averted, especially in regards to the Hunters' cloaks and Warlock's Badass Longcoat. Even in the equipment screen.
  • Noob: Lampshaded with one of the Titan Crucible vanity items, the "Noyb Mark".
  • 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.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Using your Guardian's Double Jump will negate the damage you would have took from falling a large distance.
  • Oh Crap!: Multiple instances each mission during the story game. For instance:
    Ghost: Fallen. We're being hunted.
    • And, later the same mission:
      Ghost: We've woken The Hive!!
    • When a Random Public Event spawns near you, your Ghost will often announce it this way, then give a further Oh Crap! about three-quarters of the way through it, just in case you were getting bored.
  • Offstage Villainy: The Fallen House of Devils is described as besieging the city, but the player only fights them in the Cosmodrome, where they're mostly busy just looting important technology the City needs. On the other hand, many of the missions against other factions involve the Guardians storming their bases to disrupt major threats, i.e. assaulting a Hive temple where they're actively weakening the Traveler with a ritual that drains its power, assassinating a Fallen Kell who is looting the technology from the Ishtar Academy, or destroying a Vex Mind that is a major part of their plot to convert Venus into another Vex world-machine.
  • Ominous Fog: With the coming of The Taken King, every single encounter with Taken enemies is marked by a mist clouding your vision, and can only subside once you kill all Taken in the vicinity.
  • Ontological Mystery: The origins of the Exo and Awoken and the nature of the Darkness are completely forgotten, a good chunk of the backstory in the Grimoire is in-universe debate on these topics. Even the nature of the Collapse is uncertain; the current alien invaders may or may not have been involved, or may have come later. This isn't restricted to humans either; the Cabal are cut off from their empire and have no idea what their mission was supposed to be or how to get home.
  • Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: Played straight with some weapons. Some avert it, while others somehow manage to 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.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Word: The Frumious Cloak Hunter class item tells Hunters to describe their cloaks as "frabjous" to Warlocks, as Warlocks "respect words they don't understand." See also Shout-Out below.
  • Planetary Romance: Seems to be a Reconstruction or Genre Throwback of it.
  • Play Every Day:
    • New bounties, new weapons, new set of encryptions, are available, whenever they restock every such hours. The same applies to the Starship seller, although the hours til restock can range from just a few hours, to a whole day, to sometimes a whole week, depending on the vendor. Xûr restocks every Friday/Saturday, but only appears during weekends.
    • After your level is high enough, you get the opportunity to play harder variations of the story missions, with the mission available changing daily, named Daily Story Missions.
    • The Vanguard and The Crucible has Marks, which can reach a weekly 100 Mark limit for that character. The limit resets every Tuesday.
    • The raids have a set reward system that resets after a week. This is to both encourage Anti-Poop Socking and taking your time with the game.
    • Events pop up here and there, with the Crucible having a unique game mode available to play each weekend.
    • Public Events reward you with rare materials when you've beaten your first Public Event for the day. You also have a chance to get rare materials as drops from completing them, but that is much rarer.
  • Pop-Star Composer: Paul-from-the-goddamn-Beatles-Mc!Cartney provides the end credits song.
  • Power-Up Letdown: There are certain weapon upgrades that are considered useless, and can really drive down the value of the gun you find it on:
    • Kneepads,note  Vacuum,note  Metal Detector,note  Shoot to Loot,note  and Private Eyenote  are considered completely worthless.
      • Shoot to Loot maintains a bit of Mundane Utility for certain encounters where players might wind up low on ammo, but it's something you want on a dedicated backup weapon rather than one with high stats.
    • Mulligan,note  and Clown Cartridgenote  have a very low change of procing a useless ability, and Life Supportnote  only works in situations you are trying to avoid, let alone unlikely to survive outside of a patrol in PvE.
      • Life Support got a big change with Update 2.0- now, instead of the above mentioned "bonus", it gives kills the opportunity to start restoring health if you're critically wounded.
  • Power Gives You Wings: Radiance, the super ability of the Sunsinger subclass, buffs nearby allies and gives its user a pair of glowing energy "wings" for its duration.
  • Power Glows: All of the Super abilities. And many of the other abilities. Guardians are wielders of the Light, afetr all.
  • Powers That Be: The Traveler and The Darkness.
  • Practical Currency: "Glimmer", a kind of programmable matter many believe was strewn in the Traveler's wake. It is found in caches of old Golden Age technology and reclaimed by the city. The fact that it can be programmed to take on the characteristics of virtual any other matter makes it incredibly useful and its rarity makes it valuable. Since more of it comes into circulation when loads of it are reclaimed but is taken out of circulation when it gets used up, it forms a sometimes fluctuating but relatively stable currency. Guardians are expected to reclaim it in the wilderness to bring it back to the city for use, and are rewarded for doing so.
  • 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.
  • Pumpkin Person: The Jackolyte item makes the guardians who use it an example of this trope.
  • Punched Across the Room: Due to the new physics engine, Shield Cabal soldiers can bash you, but instead of just damaging you, you'll be sent flying into the furthest wall. This can occasionally happen during the Crucible as well, with certain attacks or players running into you from different directions- the target will just go screaming off into the night and die because the victim fell off the edge of the map or hit a wall at an incredibly high speed.
  • 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 and sitting animation.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Legendary items are denoted with a purple background, being rare, expensive and requiring max level. The Warlock's Void Walker subclass and the Titan's Defender subclass also focus on the purple Void element.
  • Puzzle Boss: Both current Raid bosses, Atheon, Time's Conflux and Crota, Son of Oryx, require a lot of teamwork in order to fight them. On top of that, for Atheon you need to destroy certain enemies in order to make it vulnerable, and need a relic in order to safely attack Atheon. For Crota it requires getting a sword in order to damage him, and for the others to damage Crota into a stun state so that the sword carrier can safely attack him. Both require a synced team in order to do it properly.
    • The King's Fall raid against Oryx himself takes it Up to Eleven. Players must stand on a set of platforms to summon up another set of platforms which float above them; then a runner leaps from platform to platform to seize a relic, which will make Oryx momentarily vulnerable. While the runner is doing his thing, there are ogres and snipers to be killed as well as a knight who gives an invulnerability aura. And once Oryx is sufficiently weakened, he starts pulling the characters into a different dimension... If it seems like this description just scratches the surface, you're right. And if just one player misses his part, it can extend the encounter until Oryx enrages, increasing the difficulty once more. And don't even ask about the Hard Mode Raid...
  • Racing Minigame: An event known as the Sparrow Racing League took place from December 8 to 29 of 2015, featuring this as a sort of competitive challenge mode quite similar to the Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris. Like those two, this came with its own rewards and gear.
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Quite a common occurrence before the player is able to access shaders at level 20, especially considering that vendors often don't sell full armor sets at the same time. However, it's also averted with the prohibition to wearing just one exotic piece of armor - it would just look silly if people wore all exotic gear.
  • Random Event: Public Events which can take place, any time, anywhere on the overworld areas of planets. Some Genre Savvy players have taken to cruising planets from zone to zone hoping to catch multiple events in succession, farming the Vanguard Marks, Ascendant Shards, and other goodies they drop on completion.
  • Random Number God: The game relies on this, heavily, as noted by players and reviewers. Drops from enemies can be anything, from Uncommon to Legendary (provided that your level is high enough), and Engrams themselves, such as Legendaries, have some skewed chances of becoming something useful. Same applies to Mission rewards, so the odds of getting an Exotic from a Nightfall Mission is as equal as getting 10 Ascendant Shards.
    • The RNG comes back during the Queen's Wrath, now with mission modifiers. When launching a mission when you have a ticket for a Queen's Wrath mission (earned by doing Queen's Bounties), you'll be given a random mission, with two randomly selected modifiers.
  • 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.
    • Likewise, the Nightstalker Hunter subclass, though they tone down the "Mage" part quite a bit.
  • Regenerating Health: Standard Guardian regeneration takes place after a few seconds of not being under fire. In a bit of a Zig Zagged Trope, health regenerates in segments, pausing for a few seconds before starting to regenerate the next segment. The initial delay before regeneration begins, the pause length between segments, and overall regeneration speed depends on the Guardian's recovery stat.
  • Regenerating Shields, Static Health: Elite enemies (and Hive Wizards) have shields, represented by a small white bar on their health meter. These shields recharge over time as long as the enemy is not actively under fire for a few seconds.
    • Hive Knights are a horrifying exception to this: on higher difficulties they get regenerating Arc shields on top of having two abilities that restore a chunk of their health.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: 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.
  • Rule of Three: Done quite a lot: There's three different classes, a total of 3 subclasses will be available, three Guardians to a Fireteam, three kinds of Assault Rifles, three different classifications for weapons (Primary, Special, Heavy), minibosses often come in trios; the list goes on and on.
  • Scenery Gorn: Any formerly human-occupied areas you can explore are in ruins, often containing conveniently-placed blast holes for travel.
  • Scenery Porn: Oh, yes. For example, a cosmodrome in Russia, or Venus and its jungle-like scenery and the yellow sky giving it an almost yellow filter. 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.
  • Schmuck Bait: Vex Goblin, Hobgoblin and Minotaur enemies are humanoid but do not have Cranial Processing Unit, shooting their head off causes them to start sparking and charge the offending player with an increased rate of fire instead, their weakspot is a glowing area in the abdomen for the first two. On the other hand, for those who do shoot their head off, the shields don't regenerate - useful for Vex Minotaurs who aren't Ultras (then again, Ultras tend not to use shields, with certain exceptions as of TTK and Ho W).
  • Science Fantasy: The developers freely describe the game as "space fantasy". Most notable in the character classes and enemy names; Hunters are a combination of the Space Western Bounty Hunter and the rogue or Ranger tropes from fantasy. Titans are Space Marines meet the Knight in Shining Armor. And Warlocks are Jedis-come-mages. Enemies have fantasy names, such as Goblins, Hobgoblins, Wizards, Acolytes, Legionaries, and Centurions.
  • Sentient Cosmic Force: The Darkness is an evil example. We never see any direct physical manifestations of it, but it seems to act behind the scenes in an attempt to kill the Traveler.
  • Sequel Hook: The main campaign ends with the Exo Stranger giving their weapon to the Player Character and promising that more is to come.
  • Shout-Out
  • Sinister Geometry: The Anomaly, a large polyhedron with incomprehensible characteristics.
    • Vex architecture tends to look this way, being that parts of it end up floating due to the attached bits existing in another timeline. Venus is the easiest example to go look at, but Mercury is this way in it's entirety, and has been for centuries.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: Advanced weapons and armor have their own talent tree with perks that enhance their 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. In fact, the main theme of Destiny is hope. The end credits song performed by Paul Mc!Cartney is incessant in driving this home.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Weapon Effectiveness: To avert this, weapons are set into certain categories and encourage use of all of your weaponry. Primary weapons are all around good, with Special weapons being used for either close-up or far-away combat, or to strip shields so your Primary can do some good damage, or even as a backup weapon in case your primary runs out of ammo. Heavy weapons serve as powerweapons, useful to mow down mooks or chow through boss health, be it being a high DPS machine gun, a razor-sharp sword charged with Light that'll cut a swath through just about anything, or a one giant explosive rocket. All of the weapons you can get and equip in each slot are useful and can fit your playstyle.
  • 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, Legionaries, 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. Averted with the Hive and Taken Wizards.
  • 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.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The Taken King level Last Rites where you infiltrate Crota's funeral and steal what is left of his soul. You have unlimited invisibility but have to stay out of the enemies' field of detection. Failing to do so throws you into a room where you are slaughtered by hordes of Thralls.
  • The Stinger: The Taken King ends with Erin Morn retrieving a suspicious crystal from Oryx's sword, and promising "her Queen" that she "will not fail". Furthermore, the only way she could have gotten to that area was through a portal that only opened for Ascendant Hive.
  • 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.
    • With the coming The Taken King expansion, the Titan Sunbreaker and Warlock Stormcaller subclasses are this as well.
  • Take Up My Sword: Kabr The Legionless left the Relic for anyone who dared to enter the Vault Of Glass after him. The Relic, which serves as a shield to the Guardians who enter, was created with "the thinking flesh of Vex" (most likely from a Gorgon) and Kabr's own Light.
  • Take Your Time: When you are first awakened by your Ghost, he rushes you to get under cover from the roaming Fallen in the area. There's really no urgency getting to your first checkpoint of the game; you can just stand, wander around, enjoy the scenery, and no enemies appear. You can even dance if you want to.
  • Tank Goodness: The Fallen Devil Walker and Cabal Goliath.
  • Time-Limit Boss: In general, Raid bosses run on a hidden timer. When this reaches a certain point, the game will announce that "Enrage is near!", and a short while after that, the game announces that the boss is "Enraged!" What this does varies from boss to boss- The Templar and Atheon just call on a bunch of enemies to overwhelm you, while Crota and the Warpriest force a wipe if not killed immediately.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Midway through the "Shield Brothers" Strike, a Cabal Goliath Tank will appear and fight you. Inside the spaceship's tight halls. Your Ghost question the necessity of even bringing it in the first place.
    Ghost: "A tank? Why would you need a tank in space?" / "Watch out! They brought a tank to a gunfight!"
  • Technobabble: Some items, and your Ghost while spouting exposition.
  • Teleport Spam: Viable option for Hunters and Warlocks, while certain enemies do it too. Most notable are Fallen Captains and Vex Minotaurs.
  • Tron Lines: The April Update brings us a more minimized version in the Spektar gear, which has heat sinks in the armor that glow in the dark. Mind you, not all Spektar gear can glow in the dark as the ones that do need a material known as Chroma to work.
    • The color of the Chroma determine the kind of color your Spektar gear's heat sinks will glow. For example, a piece of gear with a red Chroma will make the gear glow red.
    • As an added bonus, some weapons also come with the ability to take a Chroma, allowing you to make a Guardian ready for a rave.
  • The Undead: While they are not technically this trope the Hive have this as their theme. They live in a Necropolis, their ships are called "tomb ships" and have a sarcophagus look to them. Some of their troops also resemble classic undead, most prominently Thralls and Wizards with the former looking like a zombie and the latter resembling a Lich.
    • Each and every player's Guardian was revived from the dead by their ghost and is functionally immortal as long as their ghost survives.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: A few. First time it can happen for a new player, is during the Sword Of Crota which makes the game a hack'n'slash. Another can be whenever a Guardian uses their Subclass Super, such as the Bladedancer Hunter's Arc Blade or the Sunbreaker Titan's Hammer of Sol, making the game a timed Hack'n'Slash.
  • 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.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: The is no real explanation as to what the Darkness exactly is. You encounter what might be part of it in the Black Garden, but even then it's still vague as to what it is.
  • Variable Mix: While fighting Crota in the Crota's End Raid, a more triumphant tune plays when the Sword Bearer's sword is picked up and fades once the sword disappears.
  • 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. The House of Wolves DLC heavily implies that the Traveler once did to them what it did to Humanity, and the Darkness brought them crashing down. Their reasons for fighting Humanity are to reclaim the Traveler and save their race from extinction.
  • Wave Motion Gun: Oryx's dreadnought has one of these as its primary weapon, which was capable of generating a massive shockwave that annihilated the entire Awoken fleet attacking him with a single shot. Prior to it firing, the Queen and her Techeuns attempt one of their own, with each projectile shown to be capable of ripping a Hive cruiser apart. Then they impact the dreadnought...and do nothing, simply fading away, to the Queen's shock.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: There are four planets and one utterly enormous spacecraft (thus far) to explore, each with their own main locations, each of those selected locations being pretty big and containing most of the areas you go to during missions, whether 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 other caverns.
    • As mentioned above, even though your mission points you in one direction, it's usually possible to go almost everywhere on the map that the mission is on. In the release version after a few missions in each zone you can land in the area with no mission for this express purpose, to either look for loot, which spawns at a higher rate, do Guardian missions to gain reputation, or participate in Public Events without worry. Starting with The Taken King, going off the beaten path during a mission can even start a trail towards getting an Exotic weapon.
  • The Worf Barrage: The Taken King starts off with this. The Awoken attack Oryx and his fleet at Saturn with a large fleet of Fallen Ketches and hundreds of fighters. It actually seems to be working, as the Awoken appear to have the upper hand, but are unable to damage Oryx's dreadnought, even when the Queen and her Techeuns attempt a Wave Motion Gun that does nothing. Then Oryx fires back, and single-handedly destroys most of the fleet with a single shot.
  • A World 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.
  • Your Head Asplode:
    • What happens when you headshot-kill a Fallen. There isn't even any blood, just a wisp of energy from the resulting neck-hole which may or may not be their soul. Head shots on the Cabal appear to cause this, but it's really just the artificial atmosphere venting from their armour as their helmets come off. In fact, this is the only way to see what the Cabal's faces look like. Hive take this to an even more ridiculous extreme - a headshot-kill causes their entire body to spontaneously combust. Vex just get pissed.
    • Some weapons can equip a perk called "Firefly" which causes the target's entire body to combust after a headshot, not only exploding the target but also causing enough collateral damage to wound or kill nearby enemies.
  • Zerg Rush: M.O. of Hive enemies. The Vex also like to appear in large numbers. On Heroic missions with specific modifiers, enemies will attempt this just for melee.
    • Vex will do this when they've lost their head, while Fallen enemies will storm at the player for a melee hit, especially when Lightswitch is on.

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