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  • 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.
    • Most recently in the Rise of Iron DLC, we have Lady Efrideet, one of the few remaining Iron Lords. If Saladin is anything to judge by, we can assume she's still plenty capable of kicking some major ass.
  • 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.
    • The Defender's melee ability is odd, compared to other melees, that it doesn't affect the melee hit itself so much as it activates a defensive ability if you make a melee kill when it's charged. In order to avoid frustration that might come from this, any mutual kills, which are more common in PVP than PVE, a Defender makes using their melee attack will refund the ability upon being revived. note 
    • Queen's Wrath bounties only refreshed weekly for only just over 1000 rep, making it take almost a full month just to level up their rep for a chance at Reef-themed armor. In the December 2016 update, Petra now carries additional bounties that refresh dailynote , allowing you to potentially level up their rep maybe three times a week.
  • 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".
    • To a lesser extent, "Eyes up, Guardian".
  • Area of Effect: Almost all of the grenade abilities and many super abilities are this. Rocket launchers are this in regular weapon form.
    • Firefly is a weapon perk that causes enemies to explode and do damage in the immediate area after a precision kill.
  • 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, while higher-level ones know when to retreat. They also have an annoying habit of putting a cover between you and them at all times if they can locate where you are.
    • 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.
  • Ascended Meme: "Randal the Vandal" is a nickname given by the fandom to an unnamed level 8 Vandal found in the Forgotten Shore on the Cosmodrome who, due to a glitch, sported a health pool comparable to Ultra bosses found in Nightfall missions. Bungie decided to slip in a hilarious nod during the "Wrath of the Machine" raid in Rise of Iron with Rahndel the Perfected, who is encountered randomly in the Server Farm.
  • 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 the 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.
    • Rise of Iron brings us Aksis, Archon Prime, leader of the Devil Splicers faction you fight against throughout the DLC. Unlike most of the other villains in the game, Aksis is never mentioned outside of his raid, only that Shiro-4 is working on finding out who the Splicer leader is. Aksis himself (or at this point more like "itself") is pretty much "SIVA-fication" taken to its logical extreme, in that he's much more machine than Fallen (even more so than Taniks The Scarred), complete with his entire lower half replaced by robotic spider legs.
  • 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.
  • Blind Seer: Eris Morn wears a bandage over her eyes through which green light shines through and black tears run down her face. It's implied that she left her physical eyes in Crota's pit, and now has telepathic powers.
  • 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.
    • Rise of Iron adds "Wrath of the Machine," in which you hunt down and destroy the Devil Splicer leadership, Vosik The Archpriest and Aksis, Archon Prime (the second in command and leader of the Devil Splicers, respectively). Unlike the other three raids, Wrath takes place in a mundane location (namely, inside and on top of the Cosmodrome wall).


  • 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.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Recurring elements and themes from other Bungie games creep into Destiny:
  • 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.
  • Developers' Foresight: In the Iron Temple social space, you can attempt to climb Felwinter Peak by jumping up a series of cliffs, and are required to do so to get a hidden SIVA Cluster at the peak. However, you can also climb even further even though there's really no incentive to it, and the peak actually has been designed for climbing beyond the SIVA cluster spot.
  • 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.


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