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Video Game / Destiny 2

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"Welcome to a world without Light."
— Dominus Ghaul

Destiny 2 is the first sequel to the Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying First-Person Shooter game Destiny, developed by Bungie and releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One on September 6, 2017 and PC on October 24, 2017.

Following an invasion by the Red Legion of the Cabal, the Tower and Last City have fallen, and everybody's stuff has been destroyed. Now Guardians, new and old alike, must unite to take back their home from the Cabal and their leader Ghaul. And so a new fight for survival and tons of loot begins.

So far, the game has released the following expansions:

     Expansions and Seasonal Content 

Year One

  • Curse of Osiris: Ikora Rey tasks the Guardian with infiltrating the Infinite Forest, a massive probability engine built within Mercury, in order to find Osiris, the exiled Warlock Vanguard and former teacher of Ikora. The forest explores trillions of simulations and is on the verge of discovering a "dark future" of Vex superiority, which they must avert using the power of the Forest itself.
  • Warmind: An ancient Clovis Bray facility is unearthed from below the ice shelves of Mars. With Warsats falling from the sky, the Guardian teams up with the famed Gunslinger Ana Bray in order to secure the greatest and most dangerous weapon of the Golden Age: Rasputin, the Last Warmind. But with Rasputin's return, so also emerges a long-forgotten Hive cult.

Year Two

  • Forsaken: When called in to quell a riot erupting within the Prison of Elders, Cayde-6 meets his end at the hands of Prince Uldren Sov of the Reefborn Awoken and the Scorned Barons, the ruthless leaders of the Scorn. Working together with Petra Venj and the Fallen mob boss known as the Spider, the Guardian begins the hunt for vengeance against the Barons and Prince Uldren. They scour the lawless lands of the Tangled Shore, and eventually find a greater threat in the hidden Dreaming City of the Awoken.
  • Season Pass: The expansions for Year Two past Forsaken was handled differently. All were sold in a bundle pack and released over several months. Rather than being massive campaigns with Earth-shattering threats and brand new worlds to explore, each is centered more around Lore building, investigating existing locations and Slice of Life adventures. There was still plenty of new armor, weapons and multiplayer modes to keep you busy.
    • The Black Armory (Season of the Forge): For eons, Ada-1 has protected the eponymous Armory and the Forge within, keeping it out of sight from any and all third parties. However, the offsite Forges and the secrets of the three families she worked to preserve have been lost to the wilderness. Faced with no other choice (and with the Spider implicitly egging her on), she calls upon the Guardians to reclaim the Forges, offering the spoils of the Armory in return.
    • Joker's Wild (Season of the Drifter): Ready to up the ante and move his plan along, the rogue Lightbearer known as The Drifter invites the Guardians to play the next evolution of his game, Gambit Prime, where the stakes, rewards, and dangers are higher than they were before. Onboard his ship The Derelict, his secrets are brought to light and thrown into question when the contents of the ship's "cargo", the hunk of ice it tows behind it, are revealed to be part of a pact made with the rulers of the Jovians: The Nine.
    • Penumbra (Season of Opulence): Emperor Calus, the exiled ruler of the Cabal, reaches out to the Guardians once more to offer the bounties of the Leviathan, this time for taking part in the gauntlet of the Menagerie. A dark, ancient deck of the Eater of Worlds long since abandoned, the Cabal Emperor wishes to not only show where the Loyalists' exile began, but to also make his dream of crowning his next Shadow of Calus a reality.

Year Three

  • Shadowkeep: After an extended period of absence, Eris Morn has returned and calls the Guardians to the long-neglected Moon in order to put an end to a threat that she claims to have unwittingly unleashed. From a new scarlet fortress that has torn out of the Sea of Storms, the Hive have renewed their campaign on the lunar surface, but so has a new menace in the form of Nightmares, shadowy phantoms resembling the Guardians' greatest foes.
  • Season Pass: Year Three handles the story direction in a similar manner to Year Two, though the seasons are events that are happening in parallel to Shadowkeep's as a result of the discoveries on the Moon (Season of Undying started almost immediately after release). Seasonal activities, items and triumphs are also restricted to their respective seasons, and will be replaced by a different theme in the following season.
    • Season of the Undying: Emboldened by the discovery of an ancient evil on the Moon and the signal call from an artifact found deep within it, the Vex Minds of the Black Garden begin their invasion of the Moon, determined to secure the artifact at all costs. Ikora takes notice of the incursions and works together with Eris to thwart the Vex's endeavours.
    • Season of Dawn: In the wake of the Vex Offensive against the Undying Mind, a group of Red Legion Psions seek to use the Infinite Forest to rewrite history so that Dominus Ghaul and Val Ca'uor were not defeated and the Legion wins the Red War. To stop them, Osiris uses his Sundial to track down an old friend through time and resurrect him: Saint-14, one of the mightiest Titans in the Guardians' history.
    • Season of the Worthy: With their campaign to undo their past defeats thwarted, the Red Legion have nothing left to lose and have turned to one last act of desperation: steering the Almighty towards Earth and crashing it into the Last City. Commander Zavala and Ana Bray decide that in order to avert this calamity, they must turn to Rasputin for aid and re-arm the last Warmind.
    • Season of Arrivals: Shortly after the Almighty's destruction, a mysterious fleet appears around the system... resembling the ship discovered on Luna. As the Pyramid on Io casts a long shadow Eris, Zavala, and Drifter call upon the Guardians once again to uncover the meaning of the mysterious signal being sent out, all while working to prevent the enemies of humanity from capitalizing upon the fleet's arrival...

Year Four

  • Beyond Light: Drifter and Eris Morn are summoned by the Exo Stranger to Europa, a moon of Jupiter. The radical Fallen leader Eramis has tapped into the power of the Darkness and found in the icy tundra the Deep Stone Crypt, an advanced Golden Age facility and the birthplace of the Exos. She has violent plans in store for the Traveler and the Last City, and Guardians find themselves pushing their experiments with Darkness to their limit.
  • Season Pass: Handled almost identically to Year Three, an overarching story is told with each new event as enemy forces respond to the arrival of the Darkness.
    • Season of the Hunt: Xivu Arath, the Hive God of War, looks to unite forces with common enemies of the Last City, which involve the Hive and Fallen fighting side by side. The Vanguard and the Spider work together to get ahead of these Wrathborn before they overwhelm the Reef, but have also found a new, yet familiar, Guardian to guide into these battles.
    • Season of the Chosen: Caiatl, the new empress of the Cabal, has arrived in the system amidst her homeworld's destruction by the Hive. Attempts to strike an alliance with her go sour, and now she calls upon her greatest champions to battle the Guardians in ritual combat for a seat upon her war council. The Guardians must defeat the strongest Cabal champions to prevent Caiatl from consolidating any more power. In addition, Caiatl and the Vanguard work together in order to uncover the mystery of Emperor Calus's experiments with the Darkness aboard the derelict ship Glykon Volatus.
    • Season of the Splicer: The Vex's latest attack hits the Last City, plunging it into a massive simulation where the sun has disappeared from the sky and the night has become eternal. Ikora and Osiris directs the Guardians towards Mithrax, Kell of the House of Light and the last of the Sacred Splicers, whom they believe is the only one who can help them counteract this latest offensive. With his vast knowledge of machine interfacing, Mithrax aids them in descending into the Vex Network to take the fight to the Vex's home turf in order to bring the day back.
    • Season of the Lost: Mara Sov has returned to the Dreaming City and reveals she has struck a deal with the Hive God of Deception, Savathûn, who is hiding from Xivu Arath and wishes to be rid of her Worm once and for all. To bring Mara back, many of her loyal Techeuns became lost in the realities that exist between the physical realm and the ascendant plane. With Petra Venj once again aiding the Vanguard, they must learn the secrets of the Awoken Wayfarers and cross the dimensional barriers to help strengthen Mara's dwindling forces, and hopefully better understand the curse of the Dreaming City as they venture once more into Mara's ascendant realm, the Shattered Throne.

Year Five

  • The Witch Queen: Savathûn, the Witch Queen of the Hive, has finally revealed her grand plan. To the horror of the Guardians who have wielded the Light for centuries, she has somehow managed to channel the light into her own use, an army of Ghosts subservient to her resurrect a new brood of "Lucent Hive" who can now wield the Light in a manner identical to the Guardians. The Guardians must now plunder her throne world to get to the bottom of this new development, challenging everything they know about the Light and Darkness.

The game originally launched on PC under the Battle.Net client but, after splitting from Activision, in Year Three Bungie released a free-to-play model on Steam called New Light concurrently with Shadowkeep. It has all of the base game's content (both story and multiplayer modes), along with both Year One expansions Curse of Osiris and
Warmind. The Fall Expansions such as Forsaken, Shadowkeep and Beyond Light still needed to be purchased separately. As of the November 2020 Beyond Light expansion, Red War (the base game's campaign), Curse of Osiris, and Warmind have been vaulted and are no longer accessible, with the game's only free-to-play content being the open-world free roam, the New Light tutorial campaign, the first missions of Forsaken, Shadowkeep, and Beyond Light, as well as Gambit and the Vanguard Strike and PvP playlists.


Destiny 2 contains examples of:

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    Tropes A-H 
  • Abnormal Ammo: There's quite a variety of ammunition both plain and not in this game.
    • Precision Frame Shotguns are a downplayed version, since instead of straight buckshot, it's a single precision slug. Sort of like a sniper rifle, but with the range cut down severely. It hits like a freaking truck though, especially if it's a Precision shot.
    • Omolon weapons are pretty much always Energy Weapons, and instead of regular bullets, they have some sort of liquid energy. The kinetic weapons made by Drifter during Season of Arrivals (False Promises and Cold Denial) makes it stranger due to the fact that they're modified Omolon weapons, and while they do deal kinetic damage just fine, the bullets still look like void shots.
      • Hard Light, an Exotic Auto Rifle made by Omolon, also follows the trend of energy liquid, but with the bonus of being able to bounce off surfaces and also switch between all three Light elements (Solar, Arc, Void). And though Borealis isn't of Omolon make, it can also switch elements, minus the ricochet.
      • Coldheart is another Omolon weapon with abnormal ammo. It's the first of its kind, a Trace Rifle, which fires a simple energy beam. Despite the name, it's Arc, not cold, and instead has liquid fuel as coolant to keep the weapon from overheating as it fires the beam.
      • Other Trace Rifles have come into existence since then, such as Prometheus Lens (fires a solar beam from a crystal which grows wider the more it's fired), Divinity (an Arc element Vex-made weapon that disrupts Overload Champions), and Ruinous Effigy (shoots a void beam that transforms killed enemies into orbs that can be picked up and used to destroy nearby targets).
    • The Wardcliff Coil fires warheads powered by several aspects of complex particle physics, including quark-gluon plasma and axions. Oh, and its creator mentions that if the original were to fail completely instead of just exploding in his hands, it would release a strangelet that would subsequently covert all of Earth to itself. Needless to say, this isn't your ordinary scavenger weapon.
    • The Malfeasance is a Kinetic Hand Cannon made by Drifter that... well, to put it simply, fires slugs made from Taken Energy. Which explode once enough are buried in a target.
    • The Deathbringer Rocket Launcher from Shadowkeep doesn't fire normal rockets. Instead, it launches a big void orb that flies forward, then explodes when the fire button is release or it hits a surface/enemy, causing void projectiles to spawn and then attack targets.
    • No Time to Explain, returning for Beyond Light, has a variation. While it fires normal Kinetic bullets, it's built in a way so that making precision hits returns those bullets to the mag. Making enough precision shots results in a "time portal" appearing and firing upon enemies with bullets from a different timeline, somehow.
    • Also from Beyond Light is Salvation's Grip, the first weapon to be of the Stasis Element. Instead of a regular Grenade Launcher, it's a chargeable Stasis crystal launcher. Then again, it is of Fallen make.
    • Another Beyond Light Exotic is the Cloudstrike, an Arc Sniper Rifle. It takes a page from Thunderlord's book where it can summon lightning bolts at the target location on making a Precision kill. Rapid Precision shots summon a lightning storm at the target location. To top it off, instead of a regular rifle, instead it's a long, pointy crystal with a weapon frame built around it.
  • Aborted Arc: In the Jokers Wild expansion (Season of the Drifter), there was an opportunity to choose between two mutually exclusive quests where you would either assist The Drifter or assist a Warlock named Aunor Mahal who was investigating The Drifter. The quests set up some kind of future conflict between The Drifter and The Vanguard... but nothing ever came of it outside of some unique dialogue in Gambit. And since those quests have since been removed from the game and are no longer accessible, it's highly unlikely that anything ever will.
  • Advanced Movement Technique: One exotic sword called Worldline Zero has a unique perk that allows a brief Flash Step, if timed right just as you fall off a ledge that Flash Step can launch you like a cannon.
  • Aerith and Bob:
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Zavala thinks this of Rasputin of the eponymous Warmind expansion, and while Ana Bray seems to think she can work with it to defend the Solar System, it really remains to be seen. Between intentionally crashing satellites and short-circuiting Vex with classical music for target practice, Rasputin's allegiance is murky at best.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The entire plot of Forsaken, including Cayde's murder, was because Prince Uldren was deceived by an Eldritch Abomination into thinking he was going to the rescue of his missing sister, the Awoken Queen Mara Sov. Further lore entries reveal that he was utterly desperate for her approval, making him a perfect victim for Riven's schemes.
    Uldren: Everything I did, I did for her. Funny. The line between light and dark is so very thin. Do you know which side you're on?
    • Caiatl's arrival in Season of the Chosen is because she was tricked by Savathûn, allowing Xivu Arath access to her homeworld of Torobatl and utterly destroying it. This has turned the Cabal into refugees, and dialogue suggests that Caiatl was desperate for an alliance with the Guardians and was forced by her people's warlike customs to make an unfair deal she knew Zavala would not accept.
  • All Your Powers Combined: When Ghaul finally steals the Traveler's light, he gains Void, Arc, and Solar supers all at the same time, and spams them at the player character endlessly.
  • Allegedly Free Game: The game as a whole became free to play on the release of Shadowkeep/New Light, however:
    • The console versions still require their respective premium subscriptions for matchmade activities. A lack of one locks you out of a majority of the game's content.
    • All expansions still available are of course paywalled.
    • Every season has activities associated with it that requires purchasing either the most recent expansion's deluxe edition before launch (usually in the $60-70 USD range) or purchasing an individual pass for about $10 USD.
    • Prior to Season of Arrivals, Eververse would sell cosmetics that were otherwise associated with endgame activities and the stories involved with them such as raids and Trials of Osiris. These items are no longer made (with the possible sole exception of the Matterscourge ornament for Outbreak Perfected, themed after the Drifter's stolen prototype guns and the Pyramids) due to concerns that they were invoking this trope with Cosmetic Awards.
  • Alternate Reality Game:
    • The collector's edition for Shadowkeep featured one with the cryptoglyph replica, which revealed four lore fragments that chronicle the attempts by the Hidden Swarm to resurrect Oryx as a Nightmare, in defiance of the Sword Logic.
    • The collector's edition for Beyond Light features a more elaborate community-oriented puzzle with Clovis Bray's journal. Using a tool on revealed random characters to each CE owner, which were eventually assembled to reveal an Apocalyptic Log of Clovis Bray I's work on the Exo project, which documents his Sanity Slippage as Elsie threatens to shut the program down, only worsened by the fact that the project's sustainability was a gift from the Darkness, with predictable effects for Clovis's psyche. It additionally reveals that Exos are powered by this gift, using a cocktail of Vex radiolaria and Darkness to prevent their brains from locking up.
  • Ambiguous Ending:
    • The end of the main Forsaken campaign makes it clear that Uldren was killed, but it cuts to black moments before the kill shot is fired. It's not clear if you, Petra, or even both of you pulled the trigger. Although Petra eventually gifts you her Vestian Dynasty sidearm with a line that seems to imply she did the deed.
    • The end of Shadowkeep has your guardian finally push past the warding barrier and enter the Pyramid ship deep inside the moon. There, you fight against Nightmares of the Fantatic, Ghaul and Crota, before being transported into an image of the Black Garden with hundreds of Pyramid ships in the sky. Here you confront a mirror image of yourself who does not act with violence but insists they are an ally, specifically "Your salvation." The story ends right there and you are teleported directly back to Eris.
  • Ammo-Using Melee Weapon: Swords require Heavy Ammo to perform any attack or blocking, with the later action draining the ammo count depending on how effective the Guard Resistance and Guard Efficiency stats are. Season of the Warmind would later revamp swords by removing the ammo drain from blocking, while also tying the guard duration to the energy gauge you also use to launch the sword's special attack.
  • Anachronic Order: An adventure quest in the EDZ called "Anti-Anti-Air" becomes available right before the final missions to stop Ghaul. The quest plays out under the assumption that you've already defeated him.
  • An Aesop: Forsaken talks a lot about revenge, and dishes out the two following ones: first, revenge is not always an empty, selfish pursuit if it's done in the name of justice. The player character sets out to not only avenge Cayde, but to try and bring Uldren to justice for the crimes he's committed. They also go after Riven and try so save the Dreaming City after putting him down, showing that they won't leave evil unchecked. The second is that your actions carry serious consequences no matter who you are- killing Uldren will make an enemy of the Awoken, and in order to get to him you side with some unsavory characters and pull a lot of nasty favors.
  • An Arm and a Leg: The Cabal manage to blast one of Cayde's arms off during the final battle leaving him able to work on the Vex teleporter or shoot, but not both. By the time the player reaches him he's lost a leg too. Though, because he's an Exo and/or Guardian and/or Cayde, he's not terribly distressed about it and is none the worse for wear after the game is over. If you stick around a little longer instead of jumping through straight away, Cayde may remark that he never liked that arm anyway, and that he'll have an integrated rocket launcher installed in the next one.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: A large amount of content is cosmetic modifications to your gear associated with the Eververse vendor and their leveling engrams (also the source of most ghost shells, the only equipment that does not impact your light level, but different shells do have some passive bonuses). Most exotic weapons and armor have at least one "ornament" available to discover, given its own slot in the detail screen, as well as many legendary weapons. There is also an entire inventory page centered around shaders, color and texture modifications that can be applied to all non-exotic legendary gear and exotic armor for maximum personal styling. Lastly, there are transmat effects you can apply to your jumpship that changes the way you teleport into a space, ghost visual markers that are displayed when you bring out your ghost and banners that change the heading of your character screen interface and fireteam roster. A lot of these are given as special items for completing certain quests and milestones (each raid has a special banner for completion and Harder Than Hard) making it something of a Bragging Rights Reward too.
  • Animal Motifs:
    • The updated icons now incorporate this for the three classes: the Titan icon has a lion, the Hunter icon a snake, and the Warlock one a bird of prey.
    • The Drifter has a green, scaly snake motif - fitting for someone who's devious by nature and who may or may not be an agent for the Darkness.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: Destiny 2 focuses on fixing a number of Scrappy Mechanics that previously plagued its predecessor, even after its many improvements.
    • A small, hard-to-notice change is the addition of climbing, fixing the problem of falling off a cliff after you screw up a jump and hit your shins instead. Rather than die embarrassingly without making any effort to reach for the edge, your character will mount over if they're just high enough.
    • Bungie has stated having plans to change the Power Ammo economy in PvE. Enemy Majors (enemies with orange or yellow health bars) will be guaranteed to drop power ammo when killed, helping to fix the frequent problem of Destiny 1's "Heavy Ammo Droughts".
    • Lord Shaxx's Crucible callouts have been subtitled, allowing everyone to experience his glorious exhortations.
    • Previously in the Crucible, Sniper Rifles were the only weapons to have a scope glare, giving themselves away to attentive players, but still surprising them if a player's packing a shotgun. Now, with the new weapon system, all power weapons possess a glow at the end of their barrel that's been Color-Coded for Your Convenience to tell what that enemy player is using.
    • In addition, enemy grenades have a red glow to them so that you know to avoid them, rather than last time where you couldn't tell of that Lightning Grenade was friendly or hostile.
    • The "Director" allows player to bring up a map of the patrol zone, allowing them to more easily navigate the area rather than by memory. This screen also include most the area's missions and points of interest.
    • Players no longer need to go to orbit every time they want to start a new activity or go to a different planet. Instead, they can bring up the Director screen immediately and choose where they want to go from where they stand. In addition, patrol zones can have multiple drop-off zones, allowing them to basically Warp Whistle to different points of the planet.
    • "Public Events" show up on the Director as well, telling you where the event will take place along with a countdown timer for player to tell how much time they have at most. However, players already in the area can also quickly refill all of their weapons and powers by interacting with the Public Event banner, so that they can face it at full strength.
    • Weapons needed to complete exotic quests, such as Drang, MIDA Mini-Tool and the Legend of Acrius, can be bought from certain NPCs if the player accidentally dismantled them beforehand.
    • After the Season 2 update, identical copies of gear in your vault are located next to one another, so you can find and compare instantly if you only want to keep the higher-powered one.
    • Weapon ornaments, once acquired, can be used on any exotic weapon of that type, rather than duplicate ornaments having to be bought for each different character's weapons.
    • Instead of having to visit different kiosks scattered around the Tower, all your banners, emblems, exotic weapons and so on are available under the Collections tab in the menu. The same applies for legendary and lower rarity weapons and armor that doesn't have randomized perk rolls, i.e. pre-Forsaken content.
    • During Year Three, if you missed out on a particular season's armour set, you can still find a vendor that sells a set that includes the same seasonal mod slot. For example, Brother Vance sells armour pieces that can accept mods from Season of Dawn, though the mods themselves had to be unlocked during that season. Additionally, starting with Season of the Worthy, you can get seasonal armour pieces from previous seasons, such as the Substitutional Alloy set, as a world drop, and Banshee occasionally sells mods that you may have missed.
    • Season of the Worthy also allowed seasonal armour to accept mods from the season it was acquired in as well as the immediate prior and next seasons' mods. For example, armour sets from Shadowkeep will be able to accept mods from Opulence, Undying and Dawn, but not from Worthy; the sole excceptions are Forsaken and Black Armory mods, which are lumped together and excluded from Opulence and onwards. This gives players a fairly large time window to acquire armour pieces that satisfy their playstyle, while also granting them a large repertoire of mods throughout the seasons. Additionally, Season of the Worthy added the ability to change the element of your armour piece, though with a cost that's proportional to the amount of upgrades you have on it.
    • With a lot of content being taken out for Beyond Light, that expansion includes a special kiosk "Monument to Lost Lights" that will offer weapons that became technically impossible to acquire because the original quest line required certain locations or gametypes that were removed. These weapons still require some grinding to acquire relative to their rarity, but new players (and older players who hadn't acquired them) are not cut out of it entirely.
    • During Season of Arrivals, raids that would be vaulted in the following season had their weekly lockouts removed, allowing for infinite loot farming during that time period. This also extends to their associated Exotic weapons (Anarchy for Scourge of the Past, Tarrabah for Crown of Sorrow).
    • The weekly lockout for raid loot has been a point of contention since the start of the series, as there's little incentive to revisit the activity until the weekly reset. The Deep Stone Crypt brings back a similar mechanic to the first game's Wrath of the Machine, wherein each encounter clear gives you a small amount of currency that can be turned in to get additional non-powerful gear well after you've done all your looted runs, making it easier to chase after ideal stats rolls.
  • Anti-Grinding: Opening loot chests or picking up planetary resources in quick succession will grant diminishing returns until you are rewarded with almost nothing (usually after looting 4 or 5 objects within a couple of minutes). The only way to reset the unspoken timer is by eliminating the area's High Value Target, completing a Public Event, or simply returning to orbit.
    • In the grind for maximum light level the most effective way is to find bounties, quests, strike/crucible/gambit daily and weekly rewards and planetary flashpoint missions, all of which give give Powerful rewards. Random "Legendary" engram drops tend to not progress your light level average, as well as armor and weapons offered by vendors. Prime Engrams are random drops and all other daily/weekly missions are limited to that time period, so once you reach those rewards you run out of easy level improving gear. In later years the grind includes a soft cap that all legendary gear will eventually drop at once you reach it, then another 10 points above that which are only progressed through specific Pinnacle gear or averaged out through Powerful and Prime drops.
  • Apocalypse How: The Almighty tears apart Mercury as fuel for its energy beam, which links it to the Sun on a quantum level to slowly sap its power and make it collapse into a supernova. Because destroying the Almighty while it is still linked to the Sun would still wipe out the entire system, the Vanguard opts to disable the Almighty's beam instead.
    • During the Season of the Worthy, the desperate Red Legion attempts to crash the Almighty on Earth. They succeed, but Rasputin keeps it from doing too much damage.
    • At the beginning of Beyond Light, when the Darkness destroys the 4 vaulted destinations (Mercury, Mars, Titan, and Io), Zavala can only say that the planets disappeared without knowing why or how. Season of the Chosen reveals that the disappeared planets became veiled in Darkness, and Calus's attempts to steer the Glykon through the veil around Mars led to the ship being "disassembled and reassembled" several times, turning it into an Eldritch Location infested with Dark plant-like structures.
  • Apocalyptic Log: One of Failsafe's assignments has you recover some radio coms dating from the time when the Exodus Black crashed on Nessus, with its survivors slowly dying out until its captain, Jacobson, is the only one left. Throughout the quest, you investigate in hopes of finding clues on whether or not Captain Jacobson is alive. Things get complicated when the Vex are thrown in, having recorded part of Jacobson's memories and transferred it to a non-hostile Harpy, which in turn leads to a wild goose chase that ends in discovering Jacobson's corpse.
    • The recovered memory fragments found by scanning dead Exos on Europa recount a Vex invasion of Europa during the Golden Age, through Clovis Bray's portal to the Vex Forge Star in the Glassway. Thankfully, they are stopped by Elsie Bray and the exos, but not after several final deaths and interference by the uploaded consciousness of the late Clovis Bray.
  • Arc Words: Beginning with Shadowkeep, "Salvation" is repeated numerous times, usually by the Darkness as it tempts people (Guardians and others) to its way.
    "We are your... salvation."
  • The Artifact: The level advantages system in the Crucible. In Destiny, it was enabled for Iron Banner and Trials of Osiris, meaning higher powered players would have a strength advantage over lower powered players. In the first few seasons of Destiny 2, level advantages were not present in Iron Banner, though later seasons included them in again.
  • Arms and Armor Theme Naming: Several examples;
    • SUROS goes for musical elements followed by a number (e.g. Resonance-42).
    • VEIST weapons are (typically) named after venomous creatures (e.g. Valakadyn, Copperhead).
    • Hakke weapons are Named After Somebody Famous, more exactly historical leaders (Athelflad, Eystein, Pribina) and mythical figures (Antiope, Atalanta, Morrigan), followed by a letter indicating ingame rarity (from A to D)
  • Artificial Stupidity: Rasputin's Heavy Frames in Season of the Worthy couldn't properly target airborne enemies like boss-sized Servitors and Shriekers, and would instead mag dump their energy blasts into empty space about three meters above the ground below the boss, roughly where the torso for a ground-based boss would be.
  • Ascended Glitch: Prior to a certain patch, Hawthorne's falcon Louis would frequently spazz out intensely for an unknown reason. In the Dawning, your gift for Hawthorne is a package of sedatives meant to curb Louis's "occasional bouts of high energy."
  • Asteroids Monster: One of the European Aerial Zone Fallen bosses is a Servitor that splits into four smaller Servitors on death. Each of these then splits into four more smaller servitors. Fortunately this is the maximum number of times they split.
  • The Atoner: In Season of the Worthy, as you are working with Ana Bray to help rearm Rasputin's defense systems, you come to learn more details about the past, specifically the deaths of the Iron Lords trying to claim SIVA (previously depicted in the Rise of Iron DLC of Destiny 1). The Iron Lord Felwinter was not any normal Exo, but a direct assistant to Rasputin and comparable to being his child. Rasputin lost control of Felwinter due to the Collapse and his resurrection as a Guardian, and after centuries trying to reclaim him, used SIVA as bait to lure Felwinter into the Warmind bunker, killing the Iron Lords as collateral damage. Rasputin shares this story to the player character via a quest to get the Felwinters Lie shotgun. This rewrites almost everything known about the SIVA catastrophe and Rasputin as a character, especially notable is the line "And the tyrant looked upon his tyranny and wept."
  • Back from the Dead: The Spider's new enforcer is none other then Awoken Prince Uldren Sov, revived as a Hunter Guardian with no memory of his past and now going by the name "Crow". He's also one of your primary vendors and quest-givers for the Season of the Hunt.
    • Doubles as a Mythology Gag due to that being the character's original name during the first game's development, before he was repurposed for the rewritten plot.
  • Bag of Spilling: While you can transfer the aesthetics of your characters from the first gamenote , all your weapons and abilities are gone. The weapon loss is explained in-game as the Tower's armory and vaults being destroyed in Ghaul's attack. As for your character levels, they were stolen when your connection to the Traveler was severed by its imprisonment.
  • Based on a Great Big Lie: The Chronicon is written as an entirely true timeline stretching into the far future of Calus's exploits throughout the universe after the Young Wolf joins the Shadows, and it isn't pretty. Footnotes, however, indicate that the real future is completely different and unfavorable for Calus, and that the future entries are entirely made up by his Psions to appease him (though not without a ton of research to ensure Calus would actually believe such a thing.)
  • Battle Intro: The pre-match intro in Quickplay Crucible matches consists of a shot of the arena, followed by your team's composition, with your Guardian as its main focus. Competitive matches instead have the two opposing teams stare each other down. The Trials of the Nine takes it a little further by giving all eight contestants a small cutscene where they perform their assigned emote, along with showing their loadout.
  • Benevolent A.I.: Failsafe, the half-formal, half-snarky AI of the ship Exodus Black, and pretty much the only good thing about it for the Guardians, as it was also carrying a large amount of SIVA that the Fallen happened to bump into once they discovered the crash site.
    • Played With in regards to Rasputin as of the end of Warmind; his motivations have always been something of a mystery, but that was mostly due to the fact that we've only been interacting with fragments of his vast consciousness before now as his main core in the Hellas Basin has been busy keeping Xol and Nokris in check. Once he is free to reassert control over his disparate parts and start launching new Warsats, he states that he does have humanity's preservation in heart, but is sick of both the Bray family and the Vanguard trying to force him into a role he doesn't want. He is dedicated to protecting mankind, but by his terms and following his morals.
  • BFS: More than half of the swords are nearly as long as your Guardian's height and boast a really broad blade. The Titan-exclusive Crown Splitter is unique in that it's a massive claymore that swings really slowly, emphasizing the impact in each mighty blow.
    • And then Season of Arrivals brings us the Falling Guillotine, which could best be described as if Omolon and Drifter took Cloud's sword and repurposed it into a twin-bladed club/zweihander. As a bonus, its special attack is a spinning slash that can really eviscerate numerous enemies and even fuck up bosses!
    • Beyond Light takes it one step further with The Lament, a huge Exotic rocket powered chainsaw sword that can deal massive damage with a unique combo attack.
  • Big "NO!": Ghaul lets out two during the story's climax: one when the Young Wolf strikes him down, then another when the Traveler annihilates his immortal form.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • The main story: The Guardians manage to defeat Ghaul and retake the Last City from the Cabal, while the Traveler has finally awakened and unleashes a wave of Light that spreads throughout the galaxy, re-empowers the remaining Guardians, disperses Ghaul's essence, and ushers in a second Golden Age. However, the Speaker and dozens or hundreds of Guardians are permanently dead, along with Traveler only knows how many civilians, while the remaining Guardians have to rebuild the City from the damage caused by the Cabal occupation while still being surrounded by threats. There are also a number of rising threats, including the previously unknown Fallen House of Dusk with its mysterious intentions. Additionally, events on Titan and Io indicate that Savathûn has succeeded Oryx as the new God-Queen of the Hive and mistress of the Taken, and that she's coming for Earth. Finally, The Stinger reveals an armada of black pyramid shaped ships, presumed to be either the Darkness or its agents, awoken by the Traveler's Light making their way towards Earth.
    • In Warmind the Young Wolf and Ana Bray managed to destroy Xol and keep Rasputin intact. However, the Clovis Bray Corporation is revealed to be a corrupt institution which killed thousands of people creating their wonders. Rasputin asserts itself as the most powerful force in the solar system, but as Zavala feared it operates on its own moral standing and it's not certain Ana can keep it in line.
    • In Forsaken you defeat the Taken entity manipulating Uldren, reclaim the Ace of Spades as your own, and Uldren is killed for what he's done. However, this doesn't change the fact that Cayde is dead, the Vanguard is weaker for it, and Zavala is certain that Uldren's death will carry consequences someday. In addition, its heavily implied that the Young Wolf's obsession with revenge on Uldren and their increasingly brutal actions throughout the campaign have formed a rift between them and Ghost, and a growing division among guardians in the Vanguard itself (strongly hinted by The Drifter taking up shop in the tower).
  • Bizarrchitecture: Things associated with The Nine tend to be unusual even for Destiny. The locations associated with them, like a Crucible map and the Reckoning, are listed as "Unknown Space" and look like an icy plataeu sparsely decorated with geometric stone and ribbons. It comes to a head in the dungeon "Prophecy" that resembles a combination of TRON, blank voids and M. C. Escher inspired buildings, complete with Gravity Screw.
  • Blatant Lies: The flavor text for the Lucky Pants exotic armor quotes Cayde-6 protesting, "What? No, I didn't illegally modify the holster. These are just really lucky pants!" Of course, the main perk is Illegally Modded Holster.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Any weapon from the Leviathan or Last Wish raids or the New Monarchy faction, coming in white-and-gold or red-and-gold respectively. The raid and faction shaders let you bling out most any weapon. Most exotic weapons could qualify as this, even the plainer ones tend to have impressive detail or something to make them stand out compared to the common stuff too. Some standout weapons include:
  • Blood-Stained Glass Windows:
    • The player contact for the EDZ is a soldier named Devrim Kay VIII, who has set up a sniper nest in an old abandoned church to wage a one man war against the Fallen in the area.
    • Much of the Dreaming City, especially in the last act of Forsaken, resembles Catholic churches - wide arches, stained glass windows, and contemplative buildings. Here, you fight tons of Taken trying to carry out their evil deeds, and where you fight the Voice of Riven and kill Uldren in Forsaken is underneath a massive stained glassed window.
  • Bonus Dungeon:
    • The Leviathan, home to the exiled Cabal Emperor Calus. It's only accessible after clearing the story mode and reaching a high enough Power Level. Made available to eligible players one week after the game's release, the Leviathan features the sequel's first raid, but is also a Hub Level of sorts, having an elaborate underground maze that connects the ordeals together and entices the players to take shortcuts, unlocking hidden treasure chests with loot keys along the way. Additionally, the Leviathan hosts the first two expansions' raid lairs (essentially shorter but more intense variations of raids) and Penumbra brings another full-sized raid also aboard the Leviathan.
    • The Shattered Throne, taking place in Mara Sov's abandoned Ascendant Realm, is the first secret mission that's classified as a dungeon by Bungie, and is only accessible through exploring the Dreaming City when the curse is at its strongest (i.e., it's only available one week out of three). Said dungeon is quite expansive, requiring a fair amount of dungeon crawling and preparation against powerful endgame enemies. It's also the only way to acquire Sjur Eido's exotic bow Wish-Ender; one of three exotic bows, it can see enemies through walls when fully charged and is absurdly powerful against Taken enemies.
      • Pit of Heresy is a follow up dungeon in the same vein as The Shattered Throne, taking place underneath the Hive's Scarlet Keep on the Moon. It is perhaps a little more linear, but similarly has a side-quest to locate the exotic machine gun Xenophage that behaves more like a heavy, overpowered scout rifle.
    • The Menagerie, added in the Season of Opulence, sees Guardians returning to the Leviathan once again. This time they face the trials of Calus in search for better weapons and armour; it can essentially be considered a 'lite' raid, as it has simpler mechanics and more lenient punishments, as revives are unlimited and encounters do not start over if the team wipes. It even rehashes the Gauntlet from the original Leviathan.
    • Prophecy is the third dungeon to be introduced in the game. note . A trial offered by the Nine at the behest of Eris and the Drifter, this dungeon highlights the importance of positioning, given killing a specific enemy produces a different type of mote depending on the room's lighting, and challenges your fears of acrophobia, claustrophobia and agoraphobia at different points. It's a very trippy adventure, to say the least.
  • Bookends: The opening mission sees you defending the city alongside other players before losing your powers and having to escape the ruins. The last mission sees you charging in to retake the city alongside other players through the ruins.
    • The opening of Beyond Light sees Variks fail to steal a Splinter of Darkness from Eramis, with the latter using it to freeze him in Stasis. At the end of the main campaign, the Darkness uses that same Splinter to freeze Eramis in Stasis permanently, before we can get a chance to kill her.
  • Bottomless Pit: It wouldn't be a Bungie game without an excessive number of these scattered around. "Killed by the Architects" is one of the listed causes of death, as a nod that the levels themselves can often be as lethal to players as the enemy.
  • Bow and Sword, in Accord: Forsaken added bows as a new weapon class, so now Guardians can wield a bow and a sword simultaneously, together with a third weapon. Even two bows and one sword are possible if a Guardian wants to.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Being Taken does nothing for one's hold on sanity, but it's never much mattered before, because all the Taken a Guardian would fight were already out to kill them before Oryx took them. Imagine now what happens when a sympathetic character is Taken. For example, Queen Mara Sov's Techeun servants, who are quite well-mannered and soft-spoken while in their right minds but cackle like The Wicked Witch of the West when you fight them as Taken bosses during the Last Wish raid. One could also say Uldren became this when he fell under the sway of Mara Sov's pet Ahamkara, Riven.
  • Brick Joke: When "The Whisper" secret mission was first introduced, players found out that part of the quest to unlock the Whisper of the Worm catalyst and the blueprint for the Thousand Wings ship involved shooting down Oracles, only for a nearby Vex gate to power on and show the Vault of Glass through its aperture. Attempting to enter the gate would only cause it to fade out and do nothing, instead spitting out the cache containing the Thousand Wings blueprint. Over two years after its introduction and six months after its removal, we finally get to see the other end of the portal in person with the reintroduction of the Vault proper whilst unlocking another catalyst, in this case that of the Vex Mythoclast. And of course, that Vex gate powers on and shows the Grove of Ulan-Tan in its aperture, but once again fades out when approached and dispenses the real reward the raiding team was most likely seeking out.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Without the Traveler's Light the Guardians are rendered powerless, losing all their abilities, Healing Factor and Resurrective Immortality. That doesn't stop them from continuing the war and eventually retaking the City from Ghaul.
    • In the brief interval at the beginning of the game when you, the player, are without the Traveler's Light, you beat two packs of Red Legion War Beasts (one led by a Legionary) escaping from the fallen Last City, and then a couple dozen Fallen making your way to the Shard of the Traveler. All done by yourself alone, aside from having your Ghost there to heal you.
    • The game itself does this to you whenever you go into activities with a lower Light-level requirement; no matter how powerful your character is, your relative power is restricted in order to A) prevent you from effortlessly stomping your enemies into the dirt and B) so that said enemies will actually be able to inflict damage on you, whereas you as the player are unable to even hurt enemies a certain level above your own. Thus you have the phenomenon of Thralls, Dregs, and some of the other weakest enemy types sometimes being able to one-shot you in ordinary Vanguard strikes, depending on the active modifiers.
  • Brought Down to Normal: The Red War starts with Ghaul setting up a net around the Traveler, blocking off its power from the Guardians. For the player character, after the first level, the only lightbearer ability provided by your Ghost is mild healing and you're forced to fend off enemies with baseline weapons. You need to connect with a shard of the Traveler in order to start the level grind again, while all other Guardians have to do without. In more specific instances, there are suppression fields that temporarily negate all Guardian powers (except resurrection), forcing you to use exclusively your weapons and no supers, grenades or even a double jump. Some void powers explicitly do so (Titan grenades and Hunter shadowshot), while enemies like Fallen Berserkers in "Scourge of the Past" emit a suppression field while exposing their weak point.
  • Brutal Bonus Level:
    • The Raids are designed to be this way, long missions with complex mechanics requiring verbal coordination and intended for a fireteam of six. It's for that reason there is no traditional matchmaking, players either have to gather six friends or use external fireteam gathering methods to get a decent group together.
      • The Leviathan raid is an invitation from Emperor Calus, the exiled Cabal ruler, to Guardians following the main story's conclusion. As expected, its difficulty is unlike anything faced before, with vast amounts of tough enemies and complex puzzles requiring an entire fireteam to pull through. Communication is a crucial factor to victory in this grueling series of trials, moreso than the previous game's raids. Additionally, the three main tasks (the Royal Baths, the Pleasure Gardens & the Gauntlet) rotate in order each week, so getting good at every one of them is essential, lest your fireteam stall on the very first encounter.
      • The Raid Lairs introduced in Curse of Osiris and Warmind also take place ON the Leviathan, but are shorter in length while noticeably more intensive at the boss checkpoint, taking the mechanics introduced in each phase and taking them up a notch. Eater of Worlds was comparatively easy (the shortest first time completion of any raid at 1.5 hours) while Spire of Stars was very punishing instead.
      • The Last Wish introduced in Forsaken is an especially long raid, having six distinct encounters that leads you to the Greater-Scope Villain of the expansion (a standard run still takes about an hour to complete). Whereas previous Raids offered a prestige mode that made enemies tougher and add new mechanics to deal with, Last Wish has "Petra's Run" that forces you to restart the entire raid if anyone dies.
      • Beyond Light's Deep Stone Crypt raid is generally considered to be easier than some of the other raids on this list, but it still has 4 encounters that require good communication and solid knowledge of mechanics by everyone in the fireteam. In particular, the second encounter, [[Atraks-1]], is a grueling test of endurance, forcing Guardians to juggle different buffs and make callouts for several phases, and the fourth encounter, [[Taniks, the Abomination]], makes sure your team can dish out tons of damage fast.
    • Forsaken introduced the first mission for Destiny actually called a Dungeon, the Shattered Throne. It has its own share of complex mechanics and only allows a fireteam of three, but while difficult unlike the Raids it is intentionally able to be done solo, complete with assorted triumphs. Shadowkeep introduced the Pit of Heresy, while Season of Arrivals gave the dungeon Prophecy as a lead-in to Beyond Light.
    • "The Whisper", a secret mission that's time-gated and hidden behind a specific public event, pushes the boundaries of platforming through a series of jumping puzzles ladden with Malevolent Architecture, and caps off with several fights against overleveled Taken enemies. Taken Up to Eleven in the Heroic version of this mission where the enemies are even tougher and having a well-oiled fireteam is critical to success.
    • "Zero Hour", a secret mission that's only accessible by gathering Fallen transponder nodes, one ups "The Whisper" with tougher shielded enemies, several jumping puzzles, and a maze of all things, all of which must be done alongside an intense boss fight under 20 minutes. The reward is a returning Destiny 1 Exotic, and the Heroic version of the mission rewards you with its catalyst. However, Heroic "Zero Hour" has you take a very wide detour from the normal route midway through, into even more jumping puzzles that highlight the Tower's No OSHA Compliance.
    • "Presage", another secret mission found by taking a detour through the Arms Dealer strike, has players navigate the derelict ship Glykon and uncover more parts of the mystery each week, while being hunted by Scorn and even dropped in a trash compactor, in order to defeat the Locus of Communion and recieve the randomly-rolled Dead Man's Tale Exotic Scout Rifle. The Master version of this quest adds in tougher Scorn as well as a timer, and rewards the Dead Man's Tale Catalyst.
    • Nightfall Strikes take standard-issue Strikes and beef up enemy power and aggression, on top of difficulty mutators, such as doing less melee damage, or taking more damage while airborne. Eventually pushed even further with the Nightfall Ordeal game mode with standardized mutators but including champion enemies, eventually reaching Grandmaster difficulty which equalizes player level to 25 points under the difficulty level note .
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • In the Red War, a lot of Guardians, members of the city and other allies were scattered, leaving a lot of characters from Destiny 1 unaccounted for. Some were revealed or implied to be killed, but over the course of the DLC others show up.
    • Uldren Sov shows up in Forsaken after having not been seen since the opening cutscene of The Taken King in Destiny 1. Likewise Mara Sov is revealed to have survived the same events by hiding in a pocket dimension in the Dreaming City.
    • Eris Morn returns in Shadowkeep after having been entirely from the game until then.
    • The Exo Stranger had not been seen since the base campaign of Destiny 1, only to turn up in Beyond Light six years later. And then Uldren of all people returns in the same season, brought back by the Traveler's light as a new Guardian, with no memory of his previous life and going by the name "Crow".
  • Call-Back:
    • Ever wondered where the bottom pieces of the Traveller went? Turns out it's in European Dead Zone where the Guardians went to recover themselves after losing the Last City.
    • The final battle against Ghaul features the original "Cabal Stomp" theme that first played when the player encountered the Cabal on Mars.
    • Also in the final battle,Ghaul boasts "I have become legend" when he gets his powers. The motto of the first Destiny was "Become Legend". Ghaul essentially proclaims himself a Guardian.
    • On a less serious note, players patrolling the Sunken Isle section of the European Dead Zone can sometimes encounter a Fallen Vandal with an abnormally high amount of health, enough to require a fireteam of 3 to take down. Perhaps Randall survived in-between games...
    • A comedic example: The Exo Stranger's infamous "I don't even have time to explain why I don't have time to explain", is referenced with Cayde's hilarious line "Don't ask how this happened! I don't have time to explain what I don't have time to understand!"
      • This specific moment comes back again in Beyond Light with the No Time to Explain Exotic Pulse Rifle that the Stranger gives you after the main campaign.
    • And a tragic example comes in Forsaken, in the Memory of Cayde class items:
    Cayde: "Hey... take me with you."
  • Catchphrase: Most SUROS weapons feature variations of a tagline. For example;
    Pentatonic-48 Rocket Launcher: SUROS invites you to light it up.
    Galliard-42 Auto Rifle: SUROS invites you to kick up your heels.
    Resonance-42 SMG: SUROS invites you to strike a chord.
  • Chekhov's Gag: In Season of Dawn, Shaxx mentions that Eris taught him a song which he sings poorly; for added humor, it's to the tune of Shadowkeep's main theme. Two seasons later, while wandering through the simulated desert in the Prophecy dungeon, Eris may casually mention that she never actually taught Shaxx that, and the Ahamkara skull he hangs above him in the Tower is starting to work its way into his head as an agent of Darkness. Also, the song itself is a Brown Note used to corrupt its listeners if they have given into the despair from the loss of someone close to them. In Season of the Chosen, players idling in the new H.E.L.M. area may hear Crow whistling Savathûn's song as well.
  • Cliffhanger: The very last day of "Season of Arrivals" scheduled a Live Event (anticipating shutting the servers down afterwards to accommodate the update), you go into the Tower and the Traveler is pulsing with energy, with a new psuedo-social space in the Last City to watch. Over three hours the energy built up to a fever pitch, with dialogue about how the Ghosts are feeling the Travelers' heartbeat and it appears like it is repairing itself. At the last moment, Eris Morn comments on the growing energy pulse and the screen goes white (dropping everyone out of the servers), and a short cutscene shows your destination interface map encroached by the darkness while the Traveler responds with its own power. The next day the Beyond Light expansion was released.
  • Color Motif: In their icons and armor designs, Hunters are now associated with blue, Warlocks with yellow, and Titans with red. Likewise, each Foundry has their trademark colour scheme.
  • Colony Drop: The Red Legion's final contingency plan is to pilot the Almighty directly into the Last City, and forms the main dilemma you have to stop in the Season of the Worthy.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: The weapon Vigilance Wing gives you this power: when held, every time an ally dies, the gun heals you and boosts your running speed, and if your entire team dies around you, the gun gets a large bonus to all of its stats, and grants bonus health regen.
  • Corralling Vacuum:
    • Stasis subclasses can use the Duskfield Grenade, which creates a small sphere that sucks in enemies that are one step away from its area of effect and builds up continuous stacks of Slow until they're finally frozen, making them easy pickings for the user. Only bosses are immune to its effects.
    • Season 15's exclusive Exotic Linear Fusion Rifle, Lorentz Driver, creates a small electromagnetic field from the corpse of any enemy killed by a precision hit with the weapon, forcefully drawing in all nearby enemies and damaging them with an additional Void detonation that's potent enough to oneshot smaller mobs and seriously hurt larger ones. Its catalyst also removes the need to proc a precision kill when the Lagrangian Sight buff is active, making it easier to provoke explosions.
  • Criminal Amnesiac: Inverted. When light bearers are resurrected by their ghosts they lose all memories of their past life. Some things do bleed back in, and a few guardians like Cayde and Ana Bray have been able to reconstruct their original life, but they are functionally a new person. This makes Uldren Sov's resurrection as a Guardian and taking on the name Crow an unusual instance, as most everyone recognizes his face as the one who was never on good terms with the vanguard even before they killed Cayde and released the Scorn from the Prison of Elders. Crow is not Uldren, but was basically born into a world that already hated him.
  • Cultural Translation: In the Live-Action trailer, the list of things that have been destroyed depends on which language you're watching the video in. The North American and Commonwealth English versions are slightly different as well.
  • Darker and Edgier: While Destiny wasn't without its darker moments, for the most part it was a fairly straightforward Black-and-White Morality plot line, with the Vanguard and the Guardians fighting for the safety of the Last City and ultimately for peace to return to the system after the Collapse. By comparison, Destiny 2 calls more of your purpose as a Guardian into question, asks some very pointed questions about your nature and the reasons the Traveler chose you to be its champion, and the Day 1 storyline starts with the destruction of the Tower, the imprisonment of the Traveler, and the deaths of many, many Guardians who were de-powered. Each major expansion really only adds on to the pyre;
    • Curse Of Osiris presents the disgraced former Warlock Vanguard Commander as being more than justified in his reasons for abandoning the Vanguard given the Vex's plans for the Infinite Forest, showing that the Vanguard isn't above demonizing those who don't toe the official line and stick to approved practices.
    • Warmind shows a darker side of the Golden Age as it goes deeper into the activities of the Clovis Bray corporation and their interactions with Rasputin, and ultimately presents a morally ambiguous version of an Zeroth Law Rebellion, as Rasputin no longer answers to anyone save for himself but is dedicated to protecting mankind as he was created to do but with his own methods. Plus, the Hive has been sitting under the Hellas Basin since the Collapse, including potentially one of their gods.
    • Forsaken is a straight-up revenge tale, with the Young Wolf murdering their way across the Tangled Shore to get some justice against Uldren Sov and the Scorn Barons for murdering Cayde-6. As the expansion's story plays out it becomes readily apparent that the Young Wolf is fraying mentally, and even your own Ghost starts to question the morality of your actions. And by exacting your revenge and opening up the secrets of the Dreaming City, you've played right into Sâvathun's plans to amass more and more power for herself so she can take the place of Oryx as the Top God of the Hive. The ultimate question of this expansion is "Was it worth it?", and this time the answer is no, it wasn't.
    • Shadowkeep finally shows us why the Hive are so interested in our moon; One of the Pyramid ships seen in the closing cinematic of the Day 1 campaign has been hidden under the Moon's surface since the Collapse. Now the Hive are using its powers to force us to fight our own worst nightmares, and the expansion's main campaign ends with an avatar of the Darkness itself (conveniently taking the form of your Guardian) stating that it is coming for us personally).
    • The expansion Beyond Light is the darkest yet, which considering the above list is quite a feat; the Pyramids of the Darkness are here, one is parked above Europa, and the Exo Stranger has stated that the only way to fight the Darkness is to use the Darkness, as she comes from a timeline where the Darkness won. The new subclasses all use the Stasis element, an ice-themed element forged from the Darkness, and its story explores even more Golden Age secrets such as the Deep Stone Crypt which created the Exos, and Clovis Bray's horrific experiments on Europa, as well as his narcissistic plans leading to the death of his son, and the reveal that Exos require Darkness in order to function.
  • A Day in the Limelight: In the main campaign, each Vanguard leader separated to different planets and featured unique subplots that befit their character and Guardian class (an improvement over Destiny 1 where they had little involvement with the story and largely just a class vendor). Zavala looked to regroup on Titan and take the city by force, Cayde tried to use Vex tech on Nessus to teleport behind enemy lines for an assassination, Ikora went into exile on Io trying to understand how to live without the light from the Traveler.
    • The first three DLC also feature the individual Vanguard leaders in major supporting roles: Warmind has Zavala cautioning Ana and your Guardian on trying to control Rasputin, Osiris has Ikora get involved to find her long-missing mentor and Forsaken has Cayde-6 die in the opening level but his legacy remains and he has left hidden secrets all around the solar system.
  • Deconstruction: Forsaken offers two:
    • The behavior of Real Life players is revealed to be how Guardians actually act, seeking out loot simply to have it, constantly being on the search for power, and being bored by just about any task that comes at no real immediate benefit to them. It's implied that the Traveler is intentionally inflicting this as a mental Restraining Bolt against doing anything that isn't training to fight the Darkness, given how it's treated the other races it blessed in the past.
    • The timeloop affecting the Dreaming City is a deconstruction of events in traditional MMORPG games that repeat indefinitely for either no real in-universe reason or an arbitrary one, lore-wise. Whereas repeating events in other games tend to simply repeat with no real consequence, the curse on the Dreaming City is looping, and it's raising hell on the Awoken who are forced to live out cruel fates, unable to change them, all for a gambit of unclear ends.
    • In Jokers Wild conversations with the Drifter starts poking apart some of the core facets of the games setting. He is actually one of the oldest guardians revived after the collapse, and didn't see the Iron Lords note  or even the modern Vanguard as any better than the warlords of the Collapse note , whereas those like Saladin, Savala, Ikora and Osiris tended to glorify that period. The Drifter also despised their functional immortality, saying he once died of starvation only to be revived by his ghost and still hungry, and sees the ghosts as not being loyal to you but the abstract will of the Traveler.
  • Deployable Cover:
    • Titans have two types of barricades they can deploy as part of their class abilities. One is waist high and provides nominal actual protection, but helps reload your weapons (it was an automatic reload before a broader nerf to just maximizing reload speeds). The other barricade is much wider and good for blocking incoming fire, and an exotic gear allows you and allies to fire through it without penalty. The Titan Ward of Dawn super also creates a spherical barrier that grants an overshield.
    • The Heir Apparent Exotic machine gun is capable of shielding you with a potent Arc barrier when you're spinning up the weapon while at full health, and it's visually similar to the Arc shields sported by Colossi in endgame activities. It lets you endure a lot of punishment even inside the Crucible, where you'll survive some weapons that usuall kill you in one hit like headshots from a high impact sniper rifle or a direct hit from a grenade launcher. However, true to the elemental system, any and all Arc damage will easily tear through the shield.
  • Despair Speech: Parodied in the "Rally the Troops" teaser, where Cayde-6's speech highlights that they've lost everything, and they might not die if they fight, whereas if they don't, he'll personally kill them. He only manages to turn it into a Rousing Speech at the last minute by mentioning loot.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • The very big one is that a surprisingly large amount of dialogue will change if the player doesn't import a Guardian from the first Destiny. In that case instead of the Young Wolf, the player Guardian and Ghost are all but explicitly stated to be a different pair with little knowledge of the finer points of the events of Destiny 1. For example: the player's Ghost has to ask for an explanation on exactly what the Taken and Warminds are. Though according to Zavala during the Inverted Spire strike, all surviving Guardians have fought in the heart of the Black Garden.
      • As ofNew Light, new Guardians are implied to have been resurrected post-Red War.
    • In one Adventure in the European Dead Zone, you lure the Cabal into a ambush by having your Ghost impersonate the Fallen and insult the Cabal. What insult he says depends on whenever or not you completed the Main Campaign or not.
    • In several Adventures on Io, you'll see Vex frozen inside Taken Blights, particularly as you investigate potential collusion between the Vex and Taken. If you're quick enough you can Mercy Kill the helpless Vex before they get Taken, meaning you won't have to fight them. Especially notable when you do the final mission of a quest chain, as one of the first rooms has almost a dozen Blights with three or four Vex to each. If you don't mercy-kill them at the start, you'll have to fight them on the way out!
    • Doing enough Public Events (or doing the same Public Event enough times) on a Planet will change the starting dialogue between your Ghost and whoever is the Planet Vendor.
    • In the new Tower, in the hangar there's a sign saying "Days without accidents", followed by a random number. If you decide to jump off the tower (therefore dying), the number resets back to zero when you respawn.
    • The Truth to Power lore book has an intentionally unavailable entry, which calls out the reader for either hacking or datamining the game in order to view it.
  • Doomed Hometown: The City, the Guardians' headquarters and primary hub zone of the original game, is destroyed by Ghaul's attack.
  • Downer Beginning: The City and the Tower are lost to the Cabal at the beginning of the game. The opening mission will have the player fight in the defense of the Tower, but not even the Guardian who took down Oryx is a match for a Cabal attack of this size. The rest of the game is about picking up the pieces, rebuilding, and (naturally) revenge.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Cayde-6 has a touch of this in the trailer with his "If I don't see you out there, I'll kill you myself!" Watching Guardians are visibly taken aback.
  • Dual Boss:
    • The "Weapons Exchange" Public Event (available on Titan primarily, and the EDZ more rarely) has you trying to destroy a Fallen Walker. If you take the time unlock all 3 Scorch Cannon caches, however, another Fallen Walker will be deployed as part of the Heroic difficulty version of the Public Event. If the weekly Flashpoint focus is on Titan, an additional Repair Shank will spawn to assist the Walker, and there's also a possibility that the Hive on Siren's Watch will interfere in the fight, led by a Fissure Knight. Defeating that Fissure Knight also spawns Naktal, Fury of Savathûn, who also leads a posse of Hive, adding to the chaos.
    • The other Public event type on Titan, the Witches' Ritual, has you try to take the shields down of two extra tough Wizards by standing on pressure plates. While taking them out without any further output only leads to a fight with an even beefier Wizard, triggering the Heroic version while Flashpoint is active spawns not only the Abyssal Champion, a carbon copy of Alak-Hul from The Taken King, but also another tanky Knight, Vanbaluk, Trusted of Savathûn.
  • Dug Too Deep:
    • The Cabal on Nessus inadvertently re-activated the powerful Vex Mind, Protheon, during one of their routine excavations.
    • On Io, the Cabal, once again, excavated the moon for traces of the Traveler's energy, only to attract the attention of a massive Taken army.
  • Dungeon Bypass: The series of jumps in the Agonarch Abyss's Ascendant Challenge can be easily skipped altogether if you use the Striker's Ballistic Slam (Code of the Missile) and aim it towards the temple at the very bottom of the challenge, saving you a considerable amount of time if you're going for the time trial triumph.
    • When going through The Whisper quest for the exotic sniper rifle "Whisper of the Worm," a room near the end of platforming part features a bypass as soon as you enter next to a light-bar, negating the troubling "grass room" altogether.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: The Raid Lairs are designed to take less time to run through most encounters... until you get to the boss, which requires optimal communication and very tight gameplay to root out the smallest errors. To give you a perspective at how hard it is, within one week of the introduction of the "Spire of Stars" Raid Lair, 1 million players on all 3 platforms attempted it, and only a little over 3,000 individuals have beaten the boss.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: Breaking an enemy shield with the corresponding element (e.g. Void for a Purple shield) causes it to explode, inflicting additional damage on the enemy and those nearby. Then there's the Match Game modifier, which massively reduces the effectiveness of non-corresponding elements against a shield - this is either an opt-in mechanic for Nightfalls, or mandatory in certain special missions like Zero Hour.
  • Enemy Civil War: Calus, the Cabal Emperor who was displaced by Ghaul before the Red War. He arrives in the Leviathan capital ship but denounces the actions of the Red Legion and invites the Guardians to various challenges with rewards, all with an air of hostility but in an Affably Evil and Friendly Enemy way. There are also some Fallen Houses that are semi-friendly with people of the Last City or the Awoken, with Forsaken introducing The Spider, an overweight Fallen Mob Boss who is the destination vendor of the Tangled Shore, Information Broker and occasionally dispatches his own troops to assist you against other Fallen. The Scorn in particular are technically Fallen who use dark ether and have no allegiance to other Fallen. And then Beyond Light brings back Variks as the destination vendor of Europa, and he tasks you with stopping the rise of another, more aggressive Darkness-powered Fallen House.
  • Energy Weapon: Oh yes. Available in just about every flavor and color. A preorder weapon even shoots a sustained laser that causes lightning damage. Strangely, the dying effect of this causes enemies to burst into flame.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: One lore narrator is dubious about the information they relate because it originally came from the unorthodox warlock Wen Jie; "I mean, it's Wen Jie; she believes in moon fairies and the continent of Antarctica..."
  • Establishing Character Moment: The opening cutscene provides one of these for each of the Vanguard leaders so even new players understand their team dynamic. Cayde cracks some bad jokes, Ikora responds with snark, and Zavala tries to keep things serious and professional. During the Red Legion invasion, each of them also has a moment where they show off their skills, establishing why they are considered the finest members of their respective classes.
  • Everything's Better with Samurai: The Iron Banner armour sets have an oriental theme to them this time around (without forgetting the wolf motif of the Iron Lords), with scaled chainmail armour fashioned like feudal-era Japan samurai; the Hunter's helmet even has the mouth of a snarling oni.
  • Fantastic Drug: The lore for the Jade Rabbit heavily implies that some of the Guardians' weirder behaviors (namely, constant dancing, toxic personalities, and "hero moments," which are of course derived from real-life player behavior as the lore has done in the past) are the side effects of one of these, originally created by Daito as a form of antidepressant to deal with the crippling existential horror of being a resurrected warrior with no memory of their past life and the fear of death that arises from being conditionally immortal.
  • Fearless Fool: Dominus Ghaul accuses the Player Character of being one of these.
    Dominus Ghaul: You're not brave. You've merely forgotten the fear of death. Allow me to reacquaint you.
  • Flaming Sword: The Warlock's new Dawn Blade subclass, with a bit of flaming Sword Beam. Ghaul has these after stealing the Light; he throws Dawnblade swords like Hunter Knives/the Hammer of Sol.
    • Forsaken introduced the Way of a Thousand Cuts super for Hunters, which Cayde-6 shows off during the mob fight cinematic in the Prison of Elders. Hunters can fling six solar-infused knives at a mob of enemies or one big boss. The melee ability also uses this, though the number of knives is reduced by half.
  • Flipping the Table: One exotic emote has your Guardian spontaneously create a table made of Light, then flip it up.
  • Foreshadowing
    • In the opening mission Amanda implores the Traveler to do something to stop the Red Legion. During the final mission when it looks like the Vanguard is too late and Ghaul has achieved immortality the Traveler wakes up and personally destroys Ghaul.
    • The tagline: New Legends Will Rise. Ghaul proclaims, "I have become Legend." after gaining the power of the Light.
    • During the first assault on Ghaul, Cayde-6 can be heard complaining that his Golden Gun power (the super for the Hunter class) seems to be fizzling. This foreshadows the loss of Light that all Guardians will shortly be facing.
    • One of the letter fragments found in Cayde's stashes expresses his distrust of the Awoken of the Reef. Prince Uldren kills Cayde in the trailer for the "Forsaken" expansion.
    • Some of the Adventures in the base game would hint towards events to come in Curse of Osiris and Warmind, such as Osiris sending his regards after tapping into the Vex network on Nessus and Rasputin hacking Ghost to deliver a message while investigating some caches playing classical music around the area.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The server maintenance that occurred immediately after the Season of Arrivals live event, which served as the Grand Finale for the pre-Destiny Content Vault state of the game, was timed to occur at the exact moment the event concluded, making it look like the struggle between the Traveler and the Darkness shut off the game itself. Attempting to sign in during the maintenance window would return the following error message:
    The Light cannot save you. Seek us out on Europa.
  • The "Fun" in "Funeral": The clue to one of Cayde's caches on Io recalls how, while attending a long and boring memorial service for a dead Warlock, he made a bet with Banshee-44 that he could make a few tricky jumps on a high mesa. Cayde won the bet despite breaking both his legs.

    Tropes G-P 
  • Gambit Roulette: Queen Mara Sov seems to have been engaged in this with someone from as far back as the opening to The Taken King. Players are not sure who, but it's hinted in several pieces of lore that said someone is Savathûn, resident Trickster Goddess of the Hive and Taken, and if true, this means that Mara has known or at least suspected for some time that the events of Forsaken would come to pass regardless of how many secrets she keeps.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The Pleasure Gardens section of The Leviathan Raid is prone to several glitches which can induce lots of frustration since it's supposed to be a Stealth-Based Mission. Sometimes, a War Beast will run up to you for no explicable reason, instantly getting you detected. Other times, a War Beast can detect players through walls, hear the jumping of the players guiding the other players through the maze, and in one specific case, can spawn inside the safe room at the very beginning of the encounter.
    • In general, creating too many orbs and ammo bricks in one instance likely causes the server side to overload, resulting in a "guitar" error code and booting all players in the instance back to orbit. This is prevalent in activities where your fireteam can spam Supers and kill a great amount of enemies in a short time, such as raids and the Reckoning.
    • In the "Broodhold" strike, it is not uncommon to get stuck at the sequence where you need to deliver three Worms to the center of the room, given the third Knight who holds a Worm can sometimes not spawn at all, requiring your fireteam to wipe and restart the encounter.
    • The Fourth Horseman exotic shotgun has a very sensitive trigger, able to fire off four (five with catalyst) shots in under a second, and does exponential damage with each shot. It turns out the pellet damage of each shot combined with the blinding fast firing speed made it faster than the servers themselves could keep up with, with players regularly seeing them shred a boss enemy's health by more than half, only to see it regenerate most of it back because the servers didn't recognize the damage dealt.
    • During Season 10, Bungie's servers for Steam became inexplicably highly unstable, causing many players to get booted off their current activity with various error codes like "beaver"; this gets particularly egregious when you land into the Tower, only to get sent back to orbit the moment your character spawns. Sometimes, it could even ruin someone's Flawless Passage in Trials of Osiris. This trend continued in Season 11 despite Bungie's monitoring of the issue, with even more error codes like "guitar" and "kale" booting players from matchmade activites. Midway through Season of Arrivals, Bungie identified the cause as four relays with hardware configuration issues, which Valve Corporation rectified.
    • During Season 13, the Prophecy dungeon's Hexahedron encounter could sometimes bug out by not teleporting you or your teammates to the next room. If at least one of you gets teleported, the rest can just kill themselves so their Ghosts spawn on the current room; if no one gets teleported, then you have to restart the encounter.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • After a massive revamp into "New Light", playing a new character will make the recently-awakened Guardian already highly empowered (Power Level 750) thanks to the Light, and the Tower is already there as the first destination for said Guardian. The completed campaigns are available instead as an (implied) separate Framing Device presented by Amanda Holliday as you play the completed campaigns through her.
    • Over time the sheer size of the game (over 100 gb) was starting to become a problem, as every new tweak to the gameplay, new armor sets, weapons and accompanying perks had to be field tested over any previous expansions and adventures to weed out bugs, glitches and stress test the servers. After three full years the game had become extremely unwieldly, with an escalation in the discovery of bugs almost on a weekly basis. Bungie made a decision to take away older content (primarily from the first year) so they had room to include the Beyond Light expansion, while promising to rotate content from both this game and Destiny 1 back in over time. This was not ignored in the story and gameplay at all, as Season of Arrivals features the black Pyramid ships finally making contact in the solar system and the four planets they touch down on were the locations scheduled to be removed, and the player character is given new quests called "Evacuate" to give a reason to visit these locations again before they are gone. (There was also a new Exotic reward, so those who don't really care about the story would have an incentive to play the content as well.)
      • Sure enough, when the last server maintenance period before Beyond Light's release arrived, players were met with a Live Event culminating in a cutscene in the style of the player's Director, showing the aforementioned four planets vanishing into the encroaching Darkness, and server maintenance began immediately after. Looking at the game's files post-Beyond Light launch reveals that the files belonging to the archived planets were nowhere to be seen. Just like that, the Darkness made Io, Titan, Mercury and Mars vanish without a trace, and with seemingly no effort.
    • Crucible and Gambit maps that take place on areas no longer in the game are noted to be elaborate simulations courtesy of Osiris in web lore.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: There's nothing stopping you from going back to the Farm or EDZ after answering Zavala's Call to rendezvous at Titan, and Hawthorne behaves as if you never left.
    • The player character is supposed to be the only Guardian to have regained their Light, thus their immortality and powers. This doesn't stop you from teaming up with other players well before the finale, who likewise have their powers and immortality intact.
    • Invoked with Strikes, which are explicitly the player reliving "points in time" unless stated otherwiseExceptions . Thus, the player may find themselves with characters that are long-dead or in encounters that are not yet relevant to their campaign progress.
  • Gatling Good:
    • The Sweet Business Exotic auto rifle aesthetically looks like a portable minigun with six rotating barrels, and its base rate of fire of 360 RPM gets all the way up to 900 RPM once you fully spin up the weapon. When fully spun up, it's one of the most devastating auto rifles in the game thanks to the massive ammo capacity and reserves.
    • The Heir Apparent Exotic machine gun is a reconverted Cabal Heavy Slug Thrower with four rotary barrels that's so cumbersome, you cannot aim down your sights with it, and it cannot fire until it's fully spun up. When it does fully spin up, however, the gun deploys a potent Arc shield (only if you're at full health beforehand) and its fire rate of 900 RPM allows you to tear through scores of enemies and some bosses.
  • Genius Loci: Taken Up to Eleven. The book "Dust," obtained in Joker's Wild, reveals that the entire solar system is this, one for each planet. Their name? The Nine.
  • Go, Ye Heroes, Go and Die: Cayde-6 tries to give a Rousing Speech that amounts to: I'm pissed all my stuff was blown up, I'm awesome, I totally forgot the Big Bad's name, but if you don't go out there I will kill you, and also we're probably all going to die. It's only when the others point out it was a terrible speech, forcing him to promise "tons of loot", that anyone even cheers.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Turning Public Events into Heroic Events (which nets you more clan XP and better loot) sometimes involves an unorthodox method to activate that's easily missed while you go around completing the event:
      • For the Cabal Excavation, you need to destroy the Thresher that flies in from time to time while capturing the drill, which can throw you off if you were expecting it to be just an intermittent hazard. It's no easy task to down it, either, due to its high health and damage output.
      • For the Fallen Glimmer excavation, you need to destroy the machine powering the drill on all 3 drill sites. It doesn't spawn immediately and looks like just another event prop at first glance, so it can be easy to miss.
      • For the Taken Blight event, you are given the objective to clear out the Blight fields that spawn, but it's only when you quickly step in and out of said fields that you can acquire the "Receding Blight" buff, which is what allows you to inflict damage on the otherwise invulnerable main Blight (the very first floating sphere that spawns in the event). Inflicting enough damage on the main Blight is what triggers the Heroic Event, though you may have an easier time getting the required damage by progressing all the way to the last wave of smaller Blights, which weakens the main Blight to where a few good shots from your Power weapon will do the trick.
      • For the Cabal Injection Rig, you need to destroy the large glowing vents on the structure after killing each Psion instead of backing out during the Evacuation phase as the game tells you to. This means that you have to stay inside the Rig's force field and destroy the vents as you quickly lose your health.
      • For the Vex Crossroads event added in Curse of Osiris, you need to reach the upper levels of the first 'island' you go to, by shooting floating diamonds that appear after you deposit said island' charge (this also means that you have to do this before the second island's charge is deposited). This is easily missed if you go straight to the other island, moreso with the game's objective prompt.
      • The Rift Generator event in the Strand section of the Dreaming City has you defend the eponymous generator from Scorn waves for 5 minutes, and you can kill an Abomination that drops a charge that repairs the generator in case it's damaged. What the game doesn't tell you, however, is that you have to destroy the large Blights that randomly appear in one of the three venues; not only do they disappear rather quickly, but you'd be hard pressed to look for them on your own while you're busy defending the generator, moreso if you're carrying a repair charge.
    • You'll need the Wish-Ender bow found in the Shattered Throne, itself only accessible one week out of the three in the Dreaming City, if you mean to hunt the forty Taken eggs scattered across the city and the Ascendant Realm in pursuit of the "Cursebreaker" seal from the Reefborn Awoken. Oh, and you'll need to complete the Throne at least once and then do a second partial completion in order to actually get the bow.
    • The Wishes that you can input in the "Last Wish" raid. There is absolutely no way a normal player would come across the plates depicting the various wishes in the wild, as only the most observant completionists would explore every map's boundaries to finally find these plates and decode the symbols into something that can be put in the Wall of Wishes. The Wall is a 4x5 grid and there are 16 possible symbols for each panel (plus one for the option of being blank), the math there speaks for itself.
    • A number of Quests, especially exotic quests, have no specific instructions on how to accomplish it.
      • The Rat King quest comes with vague riddles in place of directions. Overall it is not that complicated, as most of it is simply playing the game via doing patrols, public events, crucible, etc, but every step needs to be done while in a fireteam who also has the quest.
      • The quest for Izanagi's Burden does offer some instructions on where to locate specific items, but many parts are left unexplained, particularly when it comes to the keys to open the mysterious box.
      • Playing through the Joker's Wild campaign to learn more about the Drifter involves finding 7 audio recordings he left scattered around the EDZ. They give a little bit of information on the region they are at, but it's functionally looking for a handheld radio in the middle of a city.
      • The Fallen Transponder that leads you to Outbreak Perfected simply has seven nodes with a bunch of random code. They all correspond to different Lost Sectors, but the information provided is gibberish computer code. The final mission Zero Hour is similar to The Whisper but ramps up the puzzle portions in conjunction with the limited time, making it even less likely for anyone to figure it out intuitively.
    • Raids are traditionally not given any official instructions by Bungie despite having the most complicated mechanics in the entire game. For that reason traditional matchmaking is not available, and other than online guides the forums used to find fireteams will sometimes offer a "sherpa" to teach them how to do it in gameplay.
  • Harder Than Hard: The basic gameplay is designed so that anyone can finish it with a little bit of skill, but they often escalate certain modes that require not only more elite personal skill, but teammates and teammate coordination.
    • Nightfall Strikes are normal strikes that offer game modifiers you personally can control, but also modifies the scoring to achieve certain objectives. Nightfall Ordeal Strikes were introduced in Shadowkeep that have pre-set modifiers and difficult levels. The first two have standard matchmaking, the others require gathering your own fireteam as well as locking your loadout (forcing you to play with the same gear the entire strike). They have a new enemy subtype called Champions, Boss in Mook's Clothing (often more difficult than the actual boss due to higher aggression and Regenerating Health) that are countered by weapon mods that change every season. After so many victories against the Master difficulty, Bungie introduced a Grand Master difficulty that equalized light levels well below the normal recommendation.
    • Many raids come with a prestige mode that increases enemy health and damage but also includes new mechanics to the raid, making it that much more complicated to beat (although the rotating elemental singe modifier can help you, as while you may take more damage from that element you also deal more damage). Some require a set loadout too, preventing you from changing certain weapons to better fit the encounter. In terms of acquiring certain triumphs, some prestige raids demand a flawless run for the entire team.
  • The Hero: The player's Guardian from the first game has achieved this status in universe over the course of the last game and it is holding here. When speaking to Zavala, Amanda refers to them as 'that guardian you never shut up about.'
  • Heroic Mime:
    • In contrast to how the original story mode of Destiny had the Player Character Guardian sometimes speak in cutscenes (but not in any subsequent expansions), the same Guardian says nothing at all in the story mode of Destiny 2, with the Ghost handling all dialogue.
    • The character's Heroic Mime status is sometimes lampshaded by the designers, especially with the Titan relic "Mask of the Quiet One".
    • Your Guardian finally decides to speak up after the opening cinematic of Forsaken just long enough to swear vengeance on Uldren Sov for killing Cayde-6. Afterwards, it's right back to stoic silence and letting your Ghost do all the talking.
    • Shadowkeep inverts all of this by having your character become a practical chatterbox, speaking more than all the other times in the franchise to date. Beyond Light onwards tones down your character's frequency of speaking, but maintains a constant presence throughout each season.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: The characters in the live-action promo shot and generic Guardians in the Rally the Troops trailer are all helmetless. This is notable as the first game had no options to remove helmets while on missions.
  • His Name Really Is "Barkeep": While notable NPCs have named Ghosts, your Ghost's name is apparently just... Ghost, and it's indicated in "Ghost Community Theater Presents" that this isn't the first time this has happened (that dubious honor goes to the Ghost of Marcus Ren's best friend Enoch Bast.) In lore, another Guardian wound up naming his Ghost "Yourghost" after misinterpreting the standard "I'm your ghost" greeting most Ghosts give to new Guardians.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: In Shadowkeep, the first time you encounter the Nightmare of Crota, you manage to deal some damage to him, only for him to turn himself immune, regenerate his health and summon the Nightmares of Ghaul and the Fanatic. If it wasn't for Eris teleporting you to safety, you would've been butchered right then and there.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: The game seems to be doing a downright meta take on this trope, with the following evidence:
    • The lore for the Skull of Ahamkara helmet and Claws of Ahamkara gauntlets directly speak to the player.
      • On a similar note, the hidden "Truth of Power" grimoire card does this as well, chewing out the player for trying to spoil themselves through datamining.
    • The Otherside exotic Sparrow directly refers to a "player" that all Guardians have that serve as their complete equal in all things.
    • The fifth invitation from the Nine has us walking in on a conversation between them and the Emissary, with the latter talking about the player and even referring to their world as "a game" with the former, of all beings, genuinely struggling to comprehend what she's saying. Further lorebits posit that the Guardians will win by default because the Player themselves is on a completely different level of reality that will force the Guardian to keep coming back, no matter what.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: The ultimate fate of Katabatsis, a Hunter who took on work for Emperor Calus. Taken Up to Eleven by the sheer amount of tendrils doing so, to the point of suspending him in midair.
  • In the Future, We Still Have Roombas: In the interior of the Europa Bray Tech complex, every floor is populated with futuristic floor cleaners still going about their chores, centuries after the Collapse.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: One of Ghaul's big reasons for attacking the tower is that he believes that the Traveler chose wrong when it gave its Light to humanity. The opening attack on the tower is his way of showing it.
  • Infinity -1 Sword:
    • Unless by some miraculous streak of luck you come across an Exotic engram before journeying to Io, Asher Mir will be there providing you with a selection of 3 Exotic weapons by simply progressing through the story; you'll have to choose between the Sunshot, the Graviton Lance or the Riskrunner (though subsequent playthroughs won't reward you with any of the guns if you already unlocked them through Exotic engrams). All three weapons are impressive in their own right, and though they face competition with more practical Legendary guns, are much more accessible than some of the Exotics requiring convoluted quest lines.
    • Most exotic quests that are easily accessible with only a couple clearly defined steps tend to be interesting, possible really powerful with the right situation and armor perks, but ultimately not as powerful as the longer steps or hidden weapons.
      • Sturm is an exotic hand cannon you acquire by getting kills with the Drang sidearm, and together can utilize Bottomless Magazines when switching between them and getting a kill.
      • Mida Multi-Tool is a scout rifle that increases movement speed and has an accelerate rate of fire. The quest simply involves getting kills with different weapons under different circumstances.
      • Worldline Zero is found simply by searching for specific nodes around Mars and using the right weapon type to destroy it (white for kinetic, purple for void, orange for solar, blue for arc, red for the javelin warmind weapon), but the kicker was searching for 45 of them. The weapon itself isn't notable as far as damage is concerned, but using a bug in the Flash Step perk has made it vital for Speed Run challenges.
      • Devils Ruin showed up as a quest you could complete in 20 minutes, with the lore tied in to Saint-14 and Shaxx, along with a fusion rifle-like Secondary Fire that can stagger unstoppable champions.
      • Death Bringer is a void rocket launcher found by rooting out various lost sectors on the moon. The exotic trait is that it's explosion rains down tracking orbs on the enemy and gives a damage bonus for the longer they fall. It's a fun, esoteric weapon utilizing Death from Above, but the guesswork involved makes it less practical than a traditional rocket launcher.
      • With the launch of New Light and Shadowkeep, several exotic weapons that were originally random drops instead became tied in to exotic quests. Jotunn and Le Monarque were acquired doing Black Armory weapon forges, while Risk Runner involved a special mission that took you back to the Cosmodrome of Destiny 1.
    • The latest incarnation of the No Time To Explain pulse rifle has a remarkably useful exotic perk: after a certain number of critical hits (not kills, mind you, merely hits), it summons a time warp version of itself to fire alongside you, effectively doubling your firepower for over 10 seconds. For a full fireteam this is 6 guns firing at once when they proc together. And it can have arguably better accuracy than the player. Obtaining it, however, is ridiculously easy as long as you bought the season pass, and the masterwork catalyst quest merely involves killing enough enemies.
  • Infinity +1 Sword:
    • The Legend of Acrius. It's the only shotgun to have maximum impact and range, meaning it'll hit like a truck on any poor sap at a fair amount of distance (at least by shotgun standards), on top of overpenetrating enemies; by all means, it's a nightmare against tightly grouped Guardians and Supers in the Crucible. It's also acquired by completing a very long and hard quest chain that initially involves clearing the Leviathan raid and a Nightfall Strike on Prestige difficulty; all for an incomplete version of the Exotic shotgun . If you want to unlock the weapon's full potential, however, you'll have to complete a few challenges with the incomplete shotgun, then enter the Leviathan again to gather collectibles that drop at every encounter, and you may potentially need to do it twice to get enough. The icing on the cake is that if you want the ornament, you have to complete the raid once more, this time on Prestige Mode.
    • The Sleeper Simulant, returning from Destiny for the Warmind expansion. After completing the expansion's main story, you have to complete additional missions to receive an unique IKELOS Handcannon which you will then have to use to score kills on enemies, have it equipped while doing Heroic Strikes, then beat at least 3 boss rounds in Escalation Protocol (which is no easy feat given the steep power level requirement and the generally slow power progression that comes with this expansion), along with collecting nodes that are hidden on Mars, themselves requiring keys that you create by completing various activities. Finally, you'll have to complete the expansion's final mission again, this time at a power level difficulty of 360. In exchange for this excruciatingly long grind, you are rewarded with the single most powerful Linear Fusion Rifle in the game (in fact, some of the highest damage in a single hit, second only to Honed Edge 4x on Izanagi's Burden and some single-use Supers), coming with the unique ability to refract a shot into multiple lasers should the shot bounce off a hard surface.
    • The Rat King is a versatile sidearm that gets a damage bonus when allied players are also using Rat King, meaning it can stack up to x6 damage. The quest is only figured out through a special playthrough of a particular mission, and the individual steps are not explained but only given a riddle, and require you to do various activities with fireteam members. The catalyst involves playing crucible with fireteam members, where only allied Rat King kills progress the catalyst.
    • On the Crucible side of things, Redrix's Claymore, a Legendary Pulse Rifle introduced in Season 3, requires players to attain a fairly good standing in Competitive matches, translating to dozens of victories, made easier with consecutive wins streaks. The reward is a very potent weapon with two perks that synergize really well with each other, making it similar to the raid weapons from Destiny 1's "Wrath of the Machine" raid.
    • Warmind also introduces a trio of Legendary weapons only attainable through the grueling 7-wave Escalation Protocol, and even then, they have a mere 5% drop chance from defeating the final boss. The reward is an IKELOS-themed shotgun/submachine gun/sniper rifle that possesses unique perks made to damage tough enemies even faster. The shotgun in particular is famous for encouraging aggressive boss debuffs followed by close-range slugging.
    • The Whisper of the Worm, being subtly introduced shortly before the Solstice of Heroes and during the first week of the Prestige raid lairs, is an elusive sniper rifle whose stopping power and perks make the D.A.R.C.I. look like a gnat, and is obtained by completing a timed mission that's only accessible through a public event on Io. The secret mission consists of a very complex series of jumping puzzles, followed by several brutal fights against swarms of Taken enemies, all of which must be completed under 20 minutes.
    • The Wish-Ender, a Kinetic Bow that can reveal enemies through walls while aiming down its sights, is obtained through a questline in the Dreaming City while the Taken curse is at its highest and you can access Mara Sov's Throne World, Eleusinia. The missions you must partake in are some of the longest and most grueling, and borrow a few mechanics from the "Last Wish" raid. After defeating Dûl Incaru, you must find a hidden mission in the Tangled Shore, complete it then head back to Erebus, where you have to redo the puzzles up until Sjur Eido's statue before the fight with Dûl Incaru, with the added tasks of coaxing out those same Taken bosses from the Tangled Shore mission and beating them again to charge the tokens you have to give to Sjur's statue.
    • Season 4's pinnacle Crucible rewards program sidelines Season 3's Redrix's Claymore in exchange for two questlines that lead to either the Claymore's companion weapon, Redrix's Broadsword (nearly identical to the Claymore except for randomized barrel and magazine perks), or the handcannon Luna's Howl, possessing an unique perk that turns it into one of the, if not the, deadliest PvP weapons should you keep scoring headshots. Both weapons require a chain of objectives that can only be completed in the Crucible, with the Howl being exclusively tied to the Competitive playlist and requiring a fairly inordinate amount of dedication to reach Fabled rank. Both weapons, while extremely potent in the hands of a skilled player, face solid competition from more common weapons, doing little to justify the draconian effort in acquiring them.
      • As if to put icing on the cake, the Luna's Howl can be succeeded by the Not Forgotten, another fast-firing handcannon that has even more range than the former. To get this one, you really have to go all out in Competitive with your freshly-acquired Luna's Howl, score kills with it, then reach the maximum rank. By the end of it all, you might as well consider yourself in the top percent of Crucible players, with the Not Forgotten being a Bragging Rights Reward.
    • The Malfeasance handcannon is more myth than reality to most Guardians, mainly because it involves an insane amount of luck in Gambit to even start the quest. You have to rely on RNG to spawn the eyegougingly rare Taken Servitor primeval, and then you have to beat it, which is no mean feat in itself, and made even worse if you don't. What follows is an agonizing series of quests to complete, including defeating multiple Taken bosses with Raid-level health, completing a 580-level version of The Corrupted strike, winning ten matches of Gambit while banking 400 motes with the caveat that if you die with motes, your progress will decrease by double the amount you lost, and finally killing twenty-five enemy Guardians in Gambit, AND wiping all four opposing Guardians in one invasion or having a teammate wipe the opposing team 3 times, whichever is easier. After all that work, you will receive one of the quickest ways to kill both Taken and other Guardians in Gambit. Taken Predator ensures your status as The Dreaded both against Taken and invading Guardians, and the intrinsic perk Explosive Shadow makes short work of even the beefiest bosses.
    • Izanagi's Burden is the signature weapon of the Black Armory group and part of a long exotic quest line. The sniper rifle is even designed to look like a sword in a sheath. Its major feature is the ability to condense multiple rounds in the magazine into one shot that does exponential damage (up to four rounds, each adding about 110 percent damage), which makes is a risk/reward maneuver. In terms of single-shot damage it is only outclassed by the likes of supers such as Golden Gun with Celestial Nighthawk.
    • Leviathan's Breath is a heavy weapon bow with a long draw time and very concussive explosions that can stop unstoppable champions. The interesting part of this quest is locating Banshee's workshop, which involved a lot of players discovering that the tower itself always had a hidden series of tunnels that take you to different rooms you never thought you could access before. The rest of the quest is pretty standard between getting kills and running unique strikes.
    • Divinity is found through a series of steps you have to accomplish while in the Garden of Salvation raid, which only a handful of players actually engage in. The weapon is a trace rifle, making it already rare, but has a debuff effect on enemies while being damaged by this weapon, in addition to making all damage against the enemy critical damage.
    • The Xenophage is an Exotic Machine Gun whose quest involves a long chain of puzzles tied to the Lost Sectors and leads you into the Pit of Heresy dungeon. There, you have to deviate from the normal path in the Tunnels of Despair to fight a 980 Power Wizard whose shield can only be dispelled by matching buffs. Once you're done with that grueling fight, Eris awaits you with the Xenophage, which is an oddity among Machine Guns due to its high damage per shot and low reserves, making it more akin to a fully automatic Grenade Launcher.
  • Ironic Name: There is absolutely zero evidence that the lore book "Truth to Power" contains anything factual or useful due to the large amount of contradictory information within the book. It's also told by an Unreliable Narrator.
  • Interface Screw:
    • Certain weapons and abilities cause unusual forms of damage to the player in the form of restricting vision, obscuring your HUD or warping your orientation. Void abilities in particular like Titan Supression Grenades and Hunter Tethers, which can also knock a guardian out of their super.
    • On the final day before the Beyond Light release, a Live Event took place where players could observe the Traveler as it builds up energy to respond to the darkness. Once completed with a blinding flash of light, all players were knocked back into orbit and you appear to go into your destination selection map, but instead it's actually a stylized graphical cutscene showing the darkness approaching Earth and the Traveler responding with another flash of light. In a form of Gameplay and Story Integration, game servers were taken offline at the same time to get ready for the expansion release.
  • It's All About Me: As Cayde-6 says, the most important thing about the loss of the City is "my stuff". And his tale of the fighting, contrasted to Zavala's, features only his own exploits. It's all Played for Laughs.
    Cayde-6: They kept comin', I kept firin'. Not gonna lie; I was magnificent.
    • Later, Cayde-6 solely helps Failsafe and a fireteam from getting torn apart by Fallen scavengers, simply because he heard there was loot he could take in Failsafe's cargo. One of the possible lines of dialogue has him explaining away managing to hack into Failsafe's (blocked) comms by proclaiming he's the best.
  • It Has Been an Honor: The last mission features the powerless Vanguard and Guardians launching an attack to retake the city from Ghaul, stop him from stealing the Light, and achieving godhood. As Zavala, Ikora, and Cayde are being slowly overrun they start saying their goodbyes just in case... except Cayde, who's... well...
    Zavala: Ikora. Cayde. If we don't make is out of this alive... know that I have never been prouder to be part of your fireteam.
    Ikora: If we have to die, at least we'll die in the shadow of the Traveler, old friend.
    Cayde-6: We're about to die, and you're still making speeches!?
  • Kaizo Trap: Almost. At the end of the Savathûn's Song strike, the shell and parts of the end boss still have physics and collision damage enabled. As the boss explodes on death, it's quite possible to get flattened by a flying chunk of Shrieker. Fortunately, the mission is marked as completed the instant the boss dies.
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Bungie decided to take a page from its roots to complement Destiny 2's new weapon setup. Kinetic Weapons (i.e. element-less weapons) deal more damage especially against unshielded opponents. Energy Weapons are closer to proper Secondary weapons, dealing less damage than kinetics, but more damage against shields than kinetic weapons.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Completing the first Forge for Ada-1 has her sarcastically congratulate the player in the manner of most questgivers - an overstatement of the Guardian's importance, praise of the Guardian's skills, an overly hopeful tone, forgiveness of any past sins, and a reward. Ada-1 follows that with another lampshade by saying she might've been too harsh.
    • The Curse of Osiris strikes have a chance that the random dialogue at the end have Sagira and your Ghost complain about getting deja vu, as if they've done this strike too many times (the actual explanation is that they have done it before, except Sagira was possessing Ghost the first time.)note 
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Certain exotic armor pieces associated with Ahamkara seem to imply that Ahamkara know they are in a video game, referring not to a bearer or a reader but to the player themselves.
    Claws of Ahamkara: We are not the photons on your screen, or the voice in your head, or the words you read. Shut your eyes — tightly — and you may see us.
    Skull of Dire Ahamkara: I came to find you, only you, because you're special. You're from somewhere real. And together we can burn our way back there. Can't we, o player mine?
    • The further you get into the Invitations of the Nine, the more the Nine talks of the Guardians being 'mediums' for something powerful, beyond reality, and who can never be truly killed - in other words, the player.
    • One of the lore books for the Dreaming City has a particularly damning description of Guardians that is basically aimed at players themselves.
    Savin the Guardian showed a tremendous fondness for doing things; he had a pathologically task-oriented nature, which made him very useful to the Reef. [...] And Savin was most of all greedy — not in the grasping manner of the petty, but in an enormous, all-consuming way, for he desired materials and experiences that would temper him into a better Guardian, and he was always experimenting with his strange powers in foolish ways that left him briefly dead, seeking "a new Super ability" or "some way to make my grenades faster." He grew tired of performing trivial tasks about the Reef, complaining that the dangerous repairs he made were endless and boring, and that he wanted to move on to new worlds. He leapt into space, repeatedly and without reason, as if his death were no more traumatic than a hop off a curb. Obsessed with reward and efficiency, he would rather do one profitable thing a thousand times than waste his efforts on a less beneficial novelty.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: The Speaker's disappearance sends Ikora into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that displays never-before-seen levels of Warlock powernote .
    Ikora Rey: Red Legion, you will take no more from us, and you will find no mercy in me!!
    • Turned Up to Eleven after Uldren kills Cayde. She calls for a full-on invasion of the Reef by the Guardians.
      We will take the Reef by storm. All of us. Every Titan, every Warlock, Every Hunter. If he thinks what he's done is the end... it's not. It's the beginning.
  • Level Grinding: The game has a maximum light level dictated by the current DLC that is in play, and your light level is determined as an average of the light level of your individual gear (three weapons and five armor pieces). Shadowkeep introduced a new method of grinding where once you reach the max level you have the option of earning "pinnacle" gear in Harder Than Hard modes that is above your current average, making a theoretical infinite light level beyond the base max. It was originally just one level above and you had to get weapons and armor in every slot in order to advance to the next level but was quickly changed due to rarity of pinnacle gear and likelihood of repeat pieces making the grind extra obnoxious. The system was reworked so that pinnacle gear is two levels above so that once you get four pieces your average level will tab up and your standard Powerful Engrams will drop at one higher. There are limited amounts of pinnacle gear available to acquire, so even the most dedicated player can only advance 2 levels every other week.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Shard of the Traveler occupying the European Dead Zone somehow transformed its surroundings into a twisted forest not unlike a Taken infestation (the portals that take you deeper into the forest look especially Taken-esque). In spite of this, the Shard is still potent enough to bless your Guardian and Ghost with Light, regaining the powers that were lost with Ghaul's attack, and some more.
  • Limit Break: Guardian super abilities all play similarly this way, defeating enemies and simple time regeneration eventually builds to a full meter which lets the player unleash a power wholly unique to their class and subclass. For some it is a single, high damage attack like Nova Bomb or Blade Barrage , while others are called roaming supers specializing in clearing smaller enemies in the arena, such as Arc Staff or Hammer of Sol.
    • Wendigo GL 3 is a grenade launcher that can gather orbs of light to unleash with greater damage.
    • The Riskrunner is a modest submachine gun at first, but if the player takes even a small bit of arc damage it triggers a regenerating overshield against arc damage, the gun's ammo has Chain Lightning and auto-reloads the magazine, which lasts a long as you get a kill every few seconds.
  • Living Ship: Calus constantly refers to his flagship, the Leviathan, with feminine pronouns, stating how she's hungry for planets and sometimes ends up eating the wrong thing. The first Raid Lair, "Eater of Worlds", is basically your fireteam entering the Leviathan's "stomach" to get rid of a troublesome Vex infestation.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • The Wardcliff Coil shoots out a large barrage of elemental missiles. While mostly different from its time as a canned exotic in Destiny, it still focuses on getting many of these missiles out as quick as possible. Its catalyst gives the missiles a minimal homing ability, allowing them to converge on their targets at a limited range.
    • The Drake's main weapon is its cannon, but it also features a large complement of guided missiles that can be launched by holding the left bumper button (which lets you lock on to targets), then releasing it.
    • The game itself opens with a huge barrage of Cabal missiles launched against the Tower.
    • Cabal Colossi retain their barrage of missiles from the first game, except now those missiles split into several more smaller missiles that double as flashbangs. Fortunately, they're also Destructible Projectiles prior to splitting.
    • The Eyes of Tomorrow Exotic fires up to six successive warheads in a single volley, and can home in on enemies that have been tagged by the targeting system.
  • Magikarp Power:
    • The Legend of Acrius is a power weapon shotgun that involves an exotic quest line. Upon initially getting the weapon, it does modest damage at even middle range and overpenetrates to hit multiple enemies but has a single shot clip, functionally no perks, really long reload and limited reserves, putting it as nearly useless compared to even casual legendary weapons. Leveling it up by getting the catalyst, though, increases the clip, reserves and general handling, turning it into a mid-tier exotic weapon that will shred at close distances.
    • The Trinity Ghoul exotic bow has a fun feature that features its arrows splitting into three and will instigates Chain Lightning damage on your next attack if you make a critical hit (consecutive crits will feature consecutive Chain Lightning). The bow was never bad, but overshadowed in the meta by a number of weapons, including the SMG Risk Runner which also has a Chain Lightning effect but had other perks that massively increase DPS. The catalyst dropped for the Trinity Ghoul gave an upgraded perk which would prime its chain lightning effect after any Arc kill, which includes the weapon itself, other weapons and guardian abilities. This instantly made the weapon one of the best enemy clearers because of massive synergy with the arrow splitting perk, and paired well with the heavy grenade launcher Wendigo because exotic multikills generate orbs of light, which Wendigo collects for additional damage.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The Cabal bring out some of their largest weaponry in this game. First, they field a cage device that's easily five times as long as the standard Cabal warship and can deploy a net that spans the entirety of the Traveler's size. Then, there's the Almighty, a colossal sun destroyer whose wingspan is only slightly smaller than Mercury's diameter. Finally, Calus and his Loyalists come to the Sol system in the Leviathan, a massive planet-eating ship that completely dwarfs Nessus.
  • Mind Screw: The Truth to Power lorebook, of which you can gather the pages every time you present an offering to the Oracle engine in the Dreaming City. It is a confusing collection of messages that make little sense, and by the time you finish reading it, you are left suspicious of the book's veracity. The first few entries are messages written by what would seem to be a familiar character, who then turns out to be an impersonator; who is then revealed to be an creation of another character, before said character is revealed to be an illusion cast by another character, too. A couple of chapters even read themselves like a gamebook!
  • More Dakka: So so many sources.
    • Sweet Business, an exotic auto rifle taking the form of a compact minigun. It automatically pulls ammo pickups into the magazine whilst spun up, and its damage and rate of fire ramp up over time.
    • Thunderlord returns in Festival of the Lost. It's an Exotic machine gun that fires Arc-enhanced projectiles, its rate of fire increases the longer it's fired, and to top it off, while firing at any speed, it will call down a bolt from the blue to burn your enemies to ash, be they Cabal, Hive, Taken, or opposing Guardian.
    • Submachine guns in design, being faster but weaker than auto rifles. The Peacekeepers, exotic boots for Titans, are designed to turn SMG dakka Up to Eleven by automatically reloading holstered SMGs and allowing them to readied instantly.
    • Most SMG's have a high output to low magazine ratio. The Huckleberry includes a perk that allows it to reload part of the magazine upon a kill. But Riskrunner takes it further, as taking any degree of arc damage creates a superconductor perk that not only reloads the magazine while in use but creates Chain Lightning damage, lasting until you are unable to kill something within five seconds or run out of ammo.
    • The Actium War Rig also helps to deliver this to all auto rifles by slowly siphoning reserve ammo into the magazine; 10% of its maximum capacity (rounded up) every second or so. Since Sweet Business is an auto rifle, there's more than a little synergy. Shadowkeep added machine guns to the list of weapons affected by the Exotic, allowing you to fire your Heavy weapon nonstop.
    • 21% Delirium, the Gambit Pinnacle reward from Season of the Drifter, is a 900 RPM machine gun with a high magazine count of 105, but upon picking a Heavy or Special ammo brick, its intrinsic perk Overflow will double the magazine size, reducing the number of times you need to reload the weapon.
    • The Rally Barricade skill for the Titan class and a Warlock Rift empowered by Lunafaction Boots both allow all Guardians to reload ammunition instantly every time they stand near the cover or rift. Both instances have been nerfed in Shadowkeep to merely increased reload speed, though.
    • The Heir Apparent is a reconverted Heavy Slug Thrower, the minigun used by several Cabal Colossi, and it packs a whopping 200 rounds in its magazine to offset the slow spin up required to fire the gun. This makes it an even more salivating choice to pair with the Actium War Rig than the aforementioned Sweet Business.
    • The Cerberus+1 Exotic Auto Rifle has four barrels, but instead of firing them in sequence it shoots all of them at once, essentially making it an auto rifle with the type of damage that a shotgun normally does. It's catalyst also tightens up its spread, at the cost of lowering its rate of fire.
  • My Death Is Only The Beginning: After a seeming conclusive victory against Xol it is strongly suggested in later adventures to still be alive, taking another form by crafting the Whisper of the Worm for it's own purposes. Forsaken takes it further by implying through dialogue with Toland that the Xol fought in Warmind's climax was never the real Xol to begin with.
  • Nerf: The transition from Destiny to Destiny 2 has seen some weapons and abilities be reduced in effectiveness due to their overpowered nature in the previous game.
    • Ward of Dawn is relegated to one branch of the Sentinel's abilities set, and is limited to only Armor of Light, eschewing buffs like Weapons of Light or Blessing of Light that made the Defender's Super practically mandatory in the first game. Instead, the Defender's Super is now split into two different types, one for mobile, aggressive defense and one for static defense.
    • Some Exotic weapons and armor pieces that are returning from the first game, such as the Telesto fusion rifle, for example, no longer generates orbs for your fireteam upon a multikill, instead reloading your kinetic and energy weapons while they're holstered. Another example is the Sunbracers gauntlets for the Warlock, which loses its extra grenade charge.
    • Shadowkeep reworked the auto-reload function of both the Titan rally barricade ability and the Warlock Lunafaction Boots exotic armor, now maximizing reload speed rather than allowing players to fire rockets repeatedly. This resulted in a significant drop of potential DPS in damage phases for raids.
  • Never Found the Body: The Speaker disappears during the attack on the Tower in the opening mission. He's never outright stated to be dead, though, and given Ghaul's interest in the Traveler, there's a good chance he may be simply kidnapped instead of dead. Ikora doesn't take it well either way. It turns out he's been kidnapped by Ghaul, and ultimately dies of his wounds.
  • Never Say "Die": Extremely zigzagged. Story-wise generally averted, but for the weapon bounties you got "calibration" for kills, "precision" for One-Hit Kill attacks (headshots or [[AttackItsWeakPoint destroying weak points), but "Multikill" is spelled that way.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • All Crucible-related trailers (as well as snippets of event trailers) omit the fact that players cannot kill other Guardians as fast as demonstrated in the trailers; the reality is that actual gameplay is a lot slower in pace than suggested.
    • The trailers for Curse of Osiris hyped up Khartion, another Vex Mind similar to Atheon in design, as a primary antagonist. Cut to the corresponding story mission where Khartion appears, and it spends a grand total of less than ten seconds before Valus Thuun crushes Khartion into the ground.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Pyramid Ships are actually tetrahedrons because Destiny simply cannot, will not, miss out on a number three.
  • No OSHA Compliance: The secret mission "Zero Hour" takes you back to the ruined Tower from this game's prologue, backtracking all the way to where you first landed. Beyond that, however, is a series of jumping puzzles and obstacles that no sane Guardian would ever try getting past, including: ledges that crumble a mere second after you step on them; large fan blades that will instantly kill you if you so much as graze them (and give out a sickening slicing sound each time your falling corpse gets hit by them); a sweeper automaton that patrols a series of corridors sporadically blocked by electric walls, equipped with a grinder to cut down any Guardian it sees; and a booby-trapped chamber that vaporizes you if you step on the wrong sequence of tiles.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • The Vostok Crucible map takes place in the original game's Iron Temple from Rise of Iron. The Crimson Days event from Curse of Osiris brings back Mercury's Burning Shrine in the form of The Burnout, while Warmind re-adds Bannerfall to the rotation. Two more Forsaken Crucible maps copy Pantheon and Shores of Time, similarly.
    • Your quest for avenging Ives' death and ultimately gaining the Thunderlord brings you back to the Cosmodrome, exactly how it looked like in Rise of Iron. Holliday warns you that it's gonna be the only time you get to visit it before Zavala, who put the area on lockdown, takes notice. New Light gives new players the opportunity to experience the very first D1 gameplay sequence, while Beyond Light brings back the Cosmodrome destination and associated strikes with minor gameplay updates.
    • The Vault of Glass is the first returning raid from the first game, and while the map layout is nigh-identical to its original iteration, the lighting is different, Beyond Light's Wyverns add themselves to the mix of Vex enemies, and some encounter mechanics have been tweaked to keep the raid challenging despite having been present for seven years since its reveal in 2014.
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: To justify the new acquisition of gear and subclasses, Ghaul's attack has the double effect of both destroying the Guardians stockpile of gear and cutting them off from the Traveler's Light, forcing them to search the system for new equipment and powers.
  • Obvious Rule Patch: In the days leading up to the re-release of Vault Of Glass, Bungie had to issue not just one but two of these. Star-Eater Scales, a pair of Exotic Hunter boots, were disabled for the first 24 hours of the raid because they provided faster Super charge and damage buffs that stacked with other buffs for up to 160% bonus damage, and then Bungie clarified that anyone trying to use a glitch to push bosses off ledges would be disqualified from the World's First race.
  • Oh, Crap!: The look on Zavala's face when he sees the Cabal fleet pull out of the storm right in front of the tower oozes not only this but stunned disbelief.
    • In Shadowkeep, Ghost gets one during the first mission, when the Guardian rounds the corner and beholds the Pyramid for the first time. In a meta sense, many players had the same reaction to seeing it.
  • Old Save Bonus: Upon starting up the game for the first time, returning players are reminded of the various feats they've achieved in the first game. These feats also reward players with exclusive Emblems based on their respective feats. Veteran Guardians from the first game will retain their appearance, minus their gear, and some in-game dialogue will change to reflect thisnote .
  • One Bullet Clips: Absent on weapons with the "Drop Mag" mod, which grants users much higher reload speed, but at the cost of losing all bullets previously in the magazine, encouraging them to empty their guns first.
  • Out of Focus: The Hive are significantly less important in Destiny 2 compared to Destiny 1, where they were the focus behind two of the first games' expansions. This time around, the Cabal, who were the Out of Focus faction in the first game, are now the main antagonists showing up just about everywhere. In the Destiny 2 base game the Hive are only encountered on one major world, Titan.
    • That said, the Savathûn's Song strike establishes that the Hive are regrouping, with Warmind featuring a Hive cult on Mars as the main antagonistic force. The Taken are also technically an offshoot of Hive dark magic, and they end up sharing the spotlight as antagonists of the endgame of Forsaken along with the Scorn, who are Fallen corrupted by impure ether. Also, Savathûn, newly crowned queen of the Taken and the Hive seems to be behind the trouble plaguing the Dreaming City of the Awoken, while also factoring into the Drifter's story.
    • Shadowkeep onwards brings the Hive back into focus by showing the fruits of their labor while kicked underground and out of the picture, culminating in The Witch Queen for 2021's expansion.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: Quite a few locations stand out as perfect places to farm faction tokens, kills and the likes.
    • Cargo Bay 3, a Lost Sector in Titan, is generally regarded as the fastest Lost Sector to clear and obtain faction tokens during a Faction Rally thanks to the arena's simplicity; you can just kill the Ogre boss and loot the treasure chest, while completely ignoring the surrounding Hive mobs.
    • Within the secret mission "The Whisper", the floor underneath the grassy chamber is littered with infinitely respawning Shadow Thralls, making it a perfect location for grinding kills for Exotic Masterwork catalysts. The only downside is accessing the mission in the first place, as well as the time limit within that mission.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Once you have the Catalyst for the Cerberus+1 auto rifle, swapping the fire mode from rapid fire to tight spread is accomplished by giving the power cell on the side of the weapon a solid thump.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Story content from year one was permanently removed with the release of Beyond Light. A player just beginning the game now has, from the story's perspective, just been revived after their death at the end of the original game. They are then introduced to a recovered Tower bustling with empowered Guardians, apparently having completely missed the near-apocalyptic situation the game originally opened with. The earliest story content still accessible is Forsaken.
  • Planet Destroyer: The Almighty, Ghaul's lifework and the Red Legion's pride; it's a moon-sized ship that tears apart planets, turning them into fuel for its energy beam, which in turn is aimed at stars, sapping their power until they go supernova and destroy the entire system. Destroying it directly is not an option, as Asher points out, since it would take out the Sun with it, still resulting in The End of the World as We Know It. It's the second alien superstructure that entered the Sol system that's too dangerous to be destroyed, with the first being Oryx's Dreadnaught (still floating around Saturn's ring), and it's Cabal policy to use it on any rival species that pose a threat to the Cabal (read: all of them).
  • Planet Eater:
    • The Almighty is Ghaul's personal superweapon, a massive sun destroyer that using a nearby planet for food, in this was picking apart much of Mercury for the job.
    • The Leviathan, Calus's personal flagship, is a massive ship several times larger than even the Almighty or the Dreadnaught, capable of devouring planets to sustain itself. It's also implied to be sentient, given the Cabal gather geological data on how to best grind the planets into food for it. Upon finishing the game's main story and reaching the Power requirement for the raid, the Leviathan enters the Sol system and begins consuming Nessus. The game's first raid takes place on the city-like palace located on the ship's "head".
  • Planet Spaceship: The Dreadnaught from Destiny 1 makes a few background appearances, but this game adds the Almighty, a Planet Eater that, tip to tip, is about the same diameter as Mercury. There is also the Cabal capital ship the Leviathan, another Planet Eater that in terms of sheer mass dwarfs both the Dreadnaught and Almighty and is the setting for half the Raids in the game.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Uldren Sov nearly wiped out the Awoken, broke the Scorn Barons out of prison, and killed Cayde-6 all because Mara Sov didn't tell him about her plan.
  • Power Creep: The game started to run into this problem in year three. Forsaken in year two offered random rolls on gear (gear in the first year had static rolls, meaning once you acquired it any future version would be the same) and players subsequently managed to grind for the highest tier combination of perks, which tended towards damage buffs and increased reload speeds. This skewed players into being much more powerful than Bungie intended, able to melt the toughest Raid bosses. Shadowkeep in year three brought about a round of nerfs, but it became evident with newer gear that that players were favoring older gear and infusing it (increasing its light level to the current seasonal max) rather than experimenting with the newer gear with alternate perks. This eventually lead to the announcement of "sunsetting" older gear by preventing it from being infused beyond a particular light level after a certain period of time. The announcement, as would be expected, was controversial, although a similar strategy had been done before in The Taken King expansion of the first game.
    • More specifically, the original Perfect Paradox shotgun from the Curse of Orisis expansion in year one was considered a highly favorable shotgun due to the standard handling and damage perks. The Season of the Worthy introduced a method of easily grinding out a new version of the Perfect Paradox but with randomized perks, so in addition to getting the perks with the original weapon you could get newer perks that catered to any particular play style. In essence the shotgun got overshadowed by itself.
  • Precursor Killers: The Darkness is this for Golden Age Humanity, being responsible for bringing it all to an end and nearly causing total extinction if it wasn't for the Traveler's last stand. While the first game only gave vague hints as to just what it is, The Stinger for the base game finally starts to peel back the curtain, where the Traveler's reawakening attracts the attention of an armada of Pyramid Ships outside the galaxy. In Shadowkeep, it's revealed that not only was one ship was buried beneath the surface of the moon, but when the ships start appearing proper in Season of Arrivals, Ghost notes that the flagship is a sentient, paracausal entity just like the Traveler.

    Tropes Q-Z 
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Multiple guardians were killed in the Cabal's initial assault, leaving only what Cayde-6 calls "a bunch of dirty misfits" left to take their home back.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ghaul gives a rather brutal one when the player Guardian's Light begins to fade:
    Ghaul: You are weak. Undisciplined. Cowering behind walls. I command legions, conquered worlds, waged war across the galaxy to prove my worth. I alone am worthy of the Traveler's Light. You're not brave, you've merely forgotten the fear of death.
  • Reclaimed by Nature: The European Dead Zone has long been abandoned since the end of the Golden Age, so the area has overgrowth of grass, moss, and other vegetation slowly taking over the rusted and decayed buildings, vehicles, and roads. The fallen shard of the Traveler is causing strange phenomena that may be accelerating the growth as well.
  • Recurring Riff:
    • A solemn violin riff from the track "Journey" that plays as the player escapes the Last City in the mission "Adieu" reappears in a few other places on the soundtrack - most notably the final mission where they return to take the City back.
    • The oppressive drums from "Cabal Stomp" from the first game show up again in some other Cabal-related themes, including Ghaul's final boss theme.
    • An eerie Drone of Dread from Shadowkeep, Salvation, later becomes more prominent in Season of Arrivals and Beyond Light, since it's associated with the Black Fleet and the Darkness having lasting effects on Sol.
  • Recursive Ammo: The Deathbringer Exotic rocket launcher fires a single rocket that detonates into smaller Void seekers the moment you let go of the trigger.
  • Retcon:
    • Throughout much of the first game, Charlemagne was implied to be the true Warmind of Mars that had long since been destroyednote , while Rasputin's central intelligence was located on Earth yet reached out to the other planets after being reactivated. In Warmind, this is changed so that Charlemagne is merely an extension of Rasputin's will, with Rasputin's central intelligence always being on Mars with the "Rasputin" on Earth actually being a disconnected fragment that lacks some of his more stable qualities.
    • On the launch of Beyond Light, the playable area was stated to be in the Castalia Macula, one of the moon's dark spots. It has since been updated to be set in the Rathmore Chaos instead. While the Castalia Macula makes for a Stealth Pun about "Dark" spots with Stasis, the Rathmore Chaos is named such for its jagged terrain, which the playable area has plenty of in the background.
  • Retool: With the split from Activision, Shadowkeep and year three content in general went in a different direction. The initial campaign was very short and open-ended, but the format involved regular updates with new story developments, game modes and quest lines to accomplish. The Garden of Salvation raid was released several days in, with the Vex Offensive gametype available upon completion. Several weeks later the dungeon Pit of Heresy was opened. This made for more continuous content rather than beating the basics in a few days and waiting a few months for another DLC drop. This was preluded in the approach used in Joker's Wild, with the Invitation of the Nine quests doing a similar thing showing more of an overarching story week by week.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Who killed Uldren Sov? Both Petra and the Young Wolf both have their guns drawn on him but the screen cuts to black before the fatal shot is fired. Petra's words when giving the Young Wolf the Vestian Dynasty imply she shot Uldren and that's about all the answer provided to the player.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Forsaken seems to be shaping up to be this.
  • Rousing Speech: Commander Zavala gives a speech to surviving Guardians to rally them into launching an attack on the Cabal and retake the City. Cayde tries this, with less success. To contrast the two, here they are, spliced together by character.
    Zavala: Times may be dark, but we are Earth's greatest hope! Look around you. A noble gathering of Guardians new and old. Our home was attacked! I was there and fought against the endless onslaught. Despite the sacrifice of many brave Guardians, we lost everything: the Tower, the City, our home. Today, we know our enemy. His name is Ghaul. I know you look to me in times of peril, but this is not my battle alone. It is time to avenge this injustice, for that is the duty of all Guardians! So I ask you! WHO. WILL. STAND. WITH ME?!
    Cayde: Okay, listen up. You're a buncha dirty misfits! But you're all that's left so you'll have to do. (...) They kept coming, so I kept firin'. Not gonna lie, I was magnificent. So, everything is gone: Your stuff, my stuff, and most importantly, MY STUFF. (...) GARY! Or Gil. Glen? Is it... I don't know, SOMETHING WITH A "G"! (...) Which means if I don't see you out there, I'll kill you myself. Worst case scenario: you die, but who knows? Maybe you won't. (...) YEAH! Uh, really guys? Also, THERE WILL BE A TON OF LOOT!
  • Rule of Three : Big time. Three classes, three subclasses per class, three races, three elements, three factions, three Vanguard leaders. Of course, the three faction leaders as well as the three Vanguard leaders are one of each race, each subclass is attuned to one of the three elements, and so on. There are also three weapon slots, three encounters in the Raid before the boss, three guardians in a Strike fireteam, etc.
  • Schmuck Bait: Go on, try provoking the dozens of Colossi standing guard on the Leviathan's entrance.
  • Scifi Writers Have No Sense Of Scale: Depending on cutscene or situation, the Traveler is either big enough to see from space or small enough to fit within the walls of the Last City and viewable in its entirety from the walls.
  • Secondary Fire:
    • The Titan Sentinel super normally has you running around to Shield Bash enemies, but can be deployed separately as a Ward of Dawn bubble barrier (Zavala's Signature Move, but in the first game was the entirety of the super).
    • Izanagi's Burden lets you condense your four shot sniper clip into one powerful shot that does exponential precision damage.
    • Lord of Wolves lets you switch from a close range burst fire into a more precise shot and a longer burst.
    • Symmetry has a fast firing primary mode and a slower firing arc burst mode, but the design was that landing precision shots in the primary mode builds energy reserves that will allow increased damage for a short period when you switch to the arc firing mode.
  • Sequence Breaking:
    • The final boss of Last Wish, Riven, is normally a multi-tiered battle that involves splitting the fireteam into two teams and two levels to deal minor amounts of damage to distract her and come together at the top for a group damage phase. Since Riven technically never has a full immunity period (every appearance allows opportunities for damage, rather than most Raid bosses where the entire encounter revolves around breaking the shield), players are able to group together in one room and deal extreme amounts of damage in a short window. Even among players who do the raids, most have not done Riven using the full traditional mechanics.
    • The Vorgeth boss battle in The Shattered Throne is considered a tougher encounter (especially soloing) than the final boss Dul Incaru. The hallway right before the fight players found that certain strategies let you squeeze outside and skip the encounter entirely.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: The Season of Dawn features Osiris commissioning your character to explore the Corridors of Time and locate Saint-14, a legendary guardian who was trapped in the Infinite Forest searching for Osiris and killed thousands upon thousands of Vex before they developed a Vex mind with the express purpose of draining his light from him and killing him. A Stable Time Loop was already suggested in the Curse of Osiris story missions, but here you manage to track down the key moments of his life and rescue him just before he was killed, and restoring his light to him. He stayed in the Forest to take The Slow Path, and you returned to the present to help him finally escape alive.
  • Shield Bash: The Sentinel Subclass' super summons a Void shield that on top of providing protection can be used offensively, turning the Titan into an intergalactic Captain America.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Inverted; they called in the cavalry. The first Destiny took itself very seriously in tone and dialogue, with much of its humor coming from pieces of lore and later DLC. In Destiny 2's case, not only does the snarky and lackadaisical Cayde-6 take center stage in much of the marketing, the commercials themselves make light of the otherwise grim situation. In-game, new and returning characters both are generally more cheerful and expressive than the first game right out the gate, with Cayde making a lot more quips and jokes that take up a lot of the dialogue.
    • And then, Uldren killed him, Zavala refused to leave the City for fear of their other enemies making use of their absence to wreak havoc, and a devastated Ikora, furious at Uldren's actions, only sided with Zavala to give the illusion of a united front.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A sidearm named Drang looks almost exactly like the other well known Golden Gun.
    • Several Overwatch Ones:
      • One Grenade Launcher you can get from Lord Shaxx's Engrams is called Play of the Game. The flavor text even says "Show no Mercy."
      • During Iron Banner matches, Saladin may shout "DIE! DIE! DIE!" at achieving certain medals. note 
    • An Adventure on Nessus involving Failsafe hacking into the Vex Mind Network on Nessus is called Hack The Planet.
    • Hard Light's exotic ornament is called The Future Is Chrome (for bonus points, it paints most of the gun chrome).
    • A pair of Exotic Hunter Gauntlets has a pair of hidden knives mounted underneath the wrists
    • The "Confused" emote obtainable from Eververse has your character look around in confusion a la John Travolta.
    • The "Bureaucratic Walk" emote has the guardian perfom a certain silly walk.
    • The boss of the Leviathan Raid, Emperor Calus, feels like one massive reference to Emperor Nero of Rome. Both are exceptionally hedonistic rulers of an empire, both were quite popular with the common people but despised by the higher echelons of their governments and societies, both committed terrible deeds as part of their rule, both had a massive palace decorated with gold and jewels, and both were ousted in rebellions led by the aforementioned disgruntled parts of society.
    • There's a legendary scout rifle named "Seven-Six-Five," a reference to 765 Productions. The description is "There's a rhythm to it," a reference to the series' Rhythm Game titles.
    • The ‘Timely Dance’ emote has your Guardian do the Time Warp.
    • The Black Armory shotgun "Threat Level" and its flavor text "Hold on 'til midnight" are a collective reference to Michael Scott's attempt at film-making in The Office.
    • The Season 5 emote Let's Chat is a reference to the very cheesy tape Peter Parker has to watch in detention in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
    • The emote named "Heroic Guitar".
    • The "Nothing is Wrong" emote is a reference to the "This is Fine" meme, where your character sits at a table and drinks from a mug before it ignites on fire.
    • The "Mirror Mirror" emote references the "Spider-Man pointing at Spider-Man" meme wherein a duplicate of your Guardian is created and you both give the pointer finger at each other. Additionally, the message that pops up when you perform the emote next to another player is you "bamboozling" them.
    • The "Linked Up" emote is Dragon Ball Z's Fusion Dance, albeit with the performers' fists clenched.
    • The "Galloping Knight" emote references the first scene in [1], complete with the coconut sounds.
  • Silliness Switch: Emotes are more varied this time around, and the rarer ones tend to slide towards the goofy side of things. Indeed, you can enter the Trials of the Nine, a fairly serious and competitive PvP arena, and have your character introduce themselves by galloping, whereas everyone else uses their Ass Kicking Pose or even sillier dance emotes. As the game's life cycle goes on, even sillier emotes of all rarities get added, including one that has you simulate eating popcorn or even mimicking Calus's opulent mannerisms.
    • Winter holidays add snowball piles everywhere, and can be picked up and thrown. They do quite a bit of damage if they're used on an enemy.
  • Simple Staff: The Hunter's new Arcstrider subclass. A staff made from and/or charged with (presumably) Arc energy, but still used as a Simple Staff. Despite being relatively lackluster, the Raiden Flux exotic picks up the slack by allowing damage to ramp up during the super.
  • Situational Sword: Exotics for the most part function like this. It is rare that an Exotic will be good in both PvP and PvE. For example, the Thunderlord Exotic Machine Gun power weapon is an excellent PvE tool for add clearing and powerful aoe DPS, but is lackluster in PvP due to it's limited ammo from being a power weapon. Conversely, the Last Word is one of the strongest PvP weapons in the game and is a serious nightmare to use in Crucible, but is simply okay in PvE. Thus, picking the right option for each mode is crucial for doing well.
  • Sniper Pistol: The Exotic Hand Cannon Eriana's Vow has a rate of fire, accuracy, effective range, and damage of a high-impact Sniper Rifle but with an even bigger kickback, and is the only Hand Cannon in the game with a built-in short-zoom scope mounted on top. This makes it harder to handle than a more traditional Sniper Rifle, but it has an inherent unique quality that allows it to bypass enemy defenses.
  • Status Quo Is God: The game seeks to shake up the established story from the first game, and does manage a full story arc for the main campaign, but that ends up largely resetting the same situation we had before the game started. Notably, even though the Traveler wakes up to defeat Ghaul this has very little impact on really anything when it comes to the setting, even though people do say it is a big deal. Likewise, most DLC features isolated enemies and problems that have little impact on later stories. Forsaken does manage to buck the trend, starting with Cayde's murder. Shadowkeep continues the trend, showing that one of the Black Pyramids from the ending sequence has been on the moon for hundreds of years, and Beyond Light builds on that matter by explaining how one of the game's playable races only exists because of the Darkness having always been in Sol since the Golden Age.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The Pleasure Gardens section of the Leviathan raid. You have to navigate around the garden in search of power buffs in order to deal enough damage to the 6 Royal Beasts on patrol, and must not be detected by any of them while doing so, otherwise you go straight to the damage phase, buffed or not, with the additional threat of a Total Party Wipe. Prestige Mode adds 2 more Royal Beasts (i.e., one for each spore) and changes their patrol pattern completely.
  • Stealth Pun: Prior to an update which Retconned the area into being a part of the Rathmore Chaos, Europa's playable area was set in the Castalia Macula. Maculae are dark spots on Europa's surface. Europa is also where Stasis is acquired, which would have also made the Castalia Macula a "Dark" spot, proper noun.
  • The Stinger: True to Bungie, an additional scene plays post-credits. The Traveler's defeat of Ghaul created a shockwave of Light that extends out of the system and even beyond the galaxy, but it catches the attention of a fleet of black, pyramidal ships that light up and start to move towards its origin.
  • Stylistic Suck: The later chapters of the Chronicon are total BS, made up by Calus's scribes to keep him happy. The entries are all snippets of fanfiction about how you'll pull a Face–Heel Turn, slaughter all your old friends, and help Calus Take Over the World. Copious amounts of Canon Defilement are included, with such details as Failsafe being decomposited into no less than three separate characters, and Zavala and Hawthorne eating chicken nuggets and root beer and playing twenty-seven games of checkers the day before Zavala's execution.
  • Super Prototype: The Foundry weapons modified by the Black Armory, which have augmented barrels and are decked out in a black paint job and red stripes.
  • Tank Goodness: This installment throws playable tanks into the fray, as opposed to the unusable Cabal Goliath tanks and their usable Interceptor "scout vehicles, which are essentially motorbike tanks". Along with armed tanks, this includes tanks that are unarmed, but no less armored and capable of great speed.
  • A Taste of Power: The game opens with the player character as a fully armed and armored guardian and maxed out in their respective class/subclass. Ghaul blocks the power of the Traveler and the next two levels have you hobbling around with damaged armor and subpar weapons before you manage to regain your light, which starts you at square one but puts you back on the level grind.
  • Tempting Fate: After the destruction of the Almighty as a demonstration of Rasputins power, Zavala says with confidence that they can face any threat that comes their way and "With Rasputin by our side, who can stop us?" Literally three days later... the Pyramid ships finally make their approach and Rasputin is shut down in the introductory cutscene.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Last Wish raid takes places within the Keep of Voices. The Keep of Voices within the Dreaming City towers over its surroundings, and the Dreaming City itself is on an asteroid in another dimension that can only be entered through the Watchtower on the edge of the Tangled Shore. In the campaign access to the Dreaming City only happens as you finally chase down and defeat Uldren, and general exploration of the city is more of an epilogue with the Raid resolving lingering plot lines.
    • Forsaken has as a Bonus Dungeon Shattered Throne, a well-hidden secret mission which has a higher power requirement than Last Wish, and leads to the expansion's True Final Boss, in a portal in an inconspicuous hole.
  • Throwing Your Shield Always Works: The Sentinel's Void Shield can be tossed like a frisbee, and can bounce from enemy to enemy should they be close to one another. Extra charges can either be granted from a mid-game upgrade on the Code of the Aggressor branch (which adds one charge), or by wearing the Doom Fang Pauldron, which allows the shield throw to be recharged at a more reliable rate (by default, it's too slow to recover before the super ends).
  • Too Dumb to Live: Sloane's dialogue during the Weapon Exchange public event on Titan will occasionally call out the Fallen on this as they repeatedly send Walkers to their certain destruction
    Sloane: Guardian, the Fallen are bringing in their armory... again. You think they'd know better by now
    Ghost: Look at those caches... They never learn.
  • Tyke Bomb: Ghaul himself. He was raised by The Consul for the express purpose of deposing the current emperor of the Cabal, because said emperor had humiliated him in the past. Ghaul kills the Consul when he finally pushes Ghaul's temper too far. Said Emperor Lampshades this in The Cabal Booklet.
  • Uniqueness Decay:
    • A year one exotic scout rifle Skyburners Oath has the specific perk of being able to shoot through Cabal Phalanx shields, and only Cabal Phalanx shields. Year three introduced an artifact that allowed gameplay to add general armor piercing for different weapons (which rotated between different weapon archetypes each season), which lets them pierce everything from Hydra shields to Knight barriers and, yes, Phalanx shields. Skyburners Oath was already considered a low-tier exotic and even a secondary perk of doing increased damage to all Cabal enemies was not enough to salvage it from being one of the least used exotic weapons.
    • The Jade Rabbit exotic pulse rifle had a perk that consecutive bodyshots would increase the total damage of the next critical shot. Eventually the perk "Headseeker" was introduced to normal legendary weapons that featured the same basic ability.
    • The general intended use of the Recluse pinnacle SMG, where the player keeps fighting to maintain a damage and reload buff through Master of Arms and Feeding Frenzy, became a singular generic perk in Season of the Chosen as simply "Frenzy," with the added caveat that it's powered by simply being in combat rather than directly killing.
  • Un-person: Nokris is exiled and erased from the hive's records for the heresy of communing directly with a worm god, bypassing his father Oryx. All that remains is an old statue near the entrance of Oryx's throne room bearing his name, but Ghost can't find anything about him in the World's Grave files, which contained the story of thousands of worlds previously destroyed by the hive and the centuries they've spent seeding Earth.
  • Unpredictable Results:
    • It's said that the Vex are constantly running simulations on strategy against their enemies, but the one thing they cannot simulate is the light from the Traveler. They can emulate its effects, but they cannot predict them. It's also shown that it is possible for non-guardians to gather and use light from the Traveler for their own purposes, but doing so can either provide guardians with a power boost when they come investigating or anger the Traveler itself.
    • The Infinite Forest itself is a potentially devastating weapon to utilize Time Travel to your benefit, but the reason the Vex are running so many simulations is to analyze all possible outcomes of any possible timeline. Osiris created echoes of himself to explore as many of those timelines as possible, but even dedicating the equivalent of thousands of years to find a single favorable timeline alteration reveals equally unfavorable results.
  • Unreliable Narrator: The lore book Truth to Power is never clear about who is behind it. The messages are sent by either Eris Morn, Medusa, Quria, Dul Incaru, or Savathun.
  • Unstable Prototype: A number of Exotic weapons are supposed to be prone to malfunction in-universe. The most notable example is the Wardcliff Coil, which is particularly worrying seeing as how it's dependent on a good amount of hypothetical physics particles to even fire.
  • Used Future: A number of the weapons are functionally MacGyvering spare parts various weapon crafters could find, and especially common with Kinetic weapons because of the Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better trope. In particular Cerberus +1 is, in canon, several weapons welded together to become a hellfire bullet hose and looks like it is held together by metal bands, while an ornament can give it a more streamlined, cleaned appearance (which only emphasizes it's rugged default look). Wardcliff Coil is similar in design and with a similar ornament. The Arbalest is a kinetic linear fusion rifle, and in forgoing the laser guns of the rest of that weapon class it moreso resembles (and sounds) like a nail gun.
  • Weapon of Choice:
    • Cayde-6 has a Hand Cannon called the Ace of Spades. In both Destiny 1 and 2 it becomes an exotic weapon players can acquire.
    • Saint-14 is known for using the Perfect Paradox shotgun, and the player can pick it up in Curse of Osiris via a Stable Time Loop that implies in our future WE gave it to Osiris in the distant past so that he could give it to us. This came true in Season of the Dawn.
    • In the Coridoors of Time puzzle, in what appears to be our tomb and in a eulogy given by Saint-14 another Stable Time Loop appears saying that the item we are currently crafting from pieces found, Bastion, became our most famous weapon (it's unique for being a kinetic fusion rifle, firing shield piercing slugs rather than a plasma burst).
  • Wham Episode:
    • The game's story starts off with this: After hundreds of years of continued existence, fighting off Fallen attacks, internal strife, and building itself under the safety of the Traveler, not to mention being your home for years, the Last City falls, you lose your Light, and you are forced on the run. The Forsaken expansion creates another one with the death of Cayde-6, who has been a fan favorite character ever since Destiny's series originally began.
    • At the end of each cycle in the Dreaming City's curse, you get an opportunity to visit Mara Sov in her pocket dimension, and each successive cycle brings interesting developments to the story.
      • The second time, you can get a glimpse of a hologram if you approach the table next to her. Said hologram is shaped like one of the pyramid-like ships that were present during the vanilla story's stinger, indicating that Mara is aware of their imminent arrival.
      • The third visit has you entering the court as Mara finishes an audience with the Emissary of the Nine, warning the latter's masters that the Queen has a limit to her patience. Mara then tells you to not fall prey to the Nine's machinations, before asking you to leave, as her next guest apparently does not appreciate the presence of a Guardian.
      • The fifth visit is marked with Mara's conspicuous absence, with the only things of interest being the usual weekly loot and a hologram on the table which triggers a cutscene. Said cutscene reveals that somewhere in the Dreaming City, a Ghost unexpectedly revives Uldren's corpse, making him a Guardian. Even Uldren himself looks confused upon his revival.
      • The seventh visit has Mara muse about keeping the balance between Light and Dark and recounting a dream where she will meet someone who tells her that "a side should always be taken, even if it's the wrong side". She then bids you goodbye and departs for an indefinite amount of time, with her vanishing animation being nigh-identical to the Exo Stranger from Destiny. Between paraphrasing the Exo Stranger and disappearing in the same manner, Mara Sov raises even more questions in this visit that all the previous ones.
    • The Season of Dawn revealed several real and potential shakeups to the status quo. Saint-14 is brought Back from the Dead, something that by all accounts should not have been possible, something has happened to Eris Morn after she touched an unknown device in the Pyramid, Osiris suddenly claims to have seen a future where Rasputin betrays humanity to the Darkness, and its revealed that the Young Wolf is destined to die at the hands of a mysterious Fallen assassin.
  • Wham Line: During the climax of Forsaken's main story, you overhear a voice urging Uldren to complete his objective as you progress through the Watchtower. Before that moment, you are led to believe that said voice belongs to Mara Sov since it's exactly what she sounds like (albeit conspicuously more expressive than her appearances in the first game), but then she forcefully says "Free me, o brother mine." That last bout is a speech pattern that can only indicate that the Anthem Anatheme phrasing is being used to control Uldren, something that is commonly associated with maliciously manipulative beings like the Ahamkara. Indeed, "Mara Sov" is eventually revealed to be an illusion created by the force manipulating Uldren and the expansion's true antagonist, Riven of a Thousand Voices; the last known Ahamkara.
    • From a Beyond Light lore journal revealing the fate of Clovis Bray's Exo self:
    "That nickname the other Exos gave me… add it to my imprint? With my number?"
    She laughs. It's good to hear it one more time. "You really like it, don't you?"
    "It's growing on me."
    "Okay then, Banshee."
  • Wham Shot:
    • In the first cutscene we see a large Cabal fleet attack the city and a massive six pronged ship approach the Traveler. When the player character enters the fight, they eventually see the Traveler being wrapped up in a massive net.
    • In the Last Wish raid, the exact size and shape of Riven is left unknown until you start the actual boss fight. The entire team gets dropped under the floor and Riven is revealed to be a massive dragon-like creature filling the room.
    • In visiting Mara Sov's throne dimension you see hints of things to come, but a big reveal is made in a cutscene where a ghost is shown exploring the Dreaming City and revives Uldren Sov as a Guardian and lightbearer.
    • In Shadowkeep, the Hive on the Moon begin rapidly building a new fortress near the Hellmouth and start attacking Guardian positions on Luna. The Young Wolf fights through the Hive and begins exploring. You go deeper and deeper underground until you finally see what has got the Hive so riled up: a Pyramid like the one seen outside the galaxy in The Stinger to the main game, but one was here the entire time.
    • In Season of Arrivals, the Guardian is making their through the Cradle, where the Traveler landed on Io during the Golden Age, fighting through various Taken who are pretty intense to prevent you from getting to Eris Morn. You finally make your way to the center of the Cradle and see what the Taken are trying to keep you from: a Tree of Silver Wings that the Traveler planted when it arrived on Io.
  • Where It All Began: In an exotic Quest to recover the Thunderlord heavy machine gun, it eventually takes you back to the Cosmodrome, and the final boss is in the location the player character was first revived in Destiny 1.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Still, no one is directly saying an exact place or even continent for the Last City. Unlike in the first game though, lining up all the vague hints has really narrowed it down.
  • William Telling: Appears in the lore tab of the Trinity Ghoul exotic bow, wherein a Guardian accepted a wager from The Rifleman, one of the Scorn targeted by the Player Character in the Forsaken campaign, to shoot a canister of ether off the head of someone important to her. If she wins, she gets a thousand glimmer (the game's currency) and the promise of walking out alive with her friend. If she loses...
  • With Friends Like These...: Cayde-6 left behind audio recordings dictating what should be done if he dies, particularly commenting after the fact on WHO exactly would kill him. This list was mostly his allies, including fellow Vanguard commanders Ikora and Zavala.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • In the base campaign Ghaul cements himself as a brutal commander in how overwhelming his assault on the Last City was, destroying the original tower within moments of his arrival and setting up a net that separates the Traveler's light from the Guardians by the end of the first level.
    • Cayde is killed in Forsaken as he fights off an unrelenting swarm of Scorn, his last attempt to use the Golden Gun was also thwarted. The Guardian goes after the Scorn leadership, with note being made that the Scorn who destroyed his ghost was exceptionally good, as otherwise it is very difficult to finally kill Guardians.
    • Rasputin is a Warmind AI with access to almost any arsenal in the entire solar system, and strong enough to give anyone, from Hive to Vex to the Vanguard itself, a hard time. After all the effort to supercharge Rasputin, any attempt to fight off the Pyramid ships was almost casually ignored and Rasputin shut down immediately.
  • You Are Too Late: A big factor in favor of the Cabal's attack at the beginning of the game is that they were either lucky or smart enough to jam communications and begin their attack when your guardian has been out on patrol. By the time you make it home the attack is long and well underway.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Although the datapads that appear in the quest "Presage" are fairly obvious to spot on repeat playthroughs and teach you how they work once the first page of the Captain's Log lorebook is unlocked, they can't be interacted with until the corresponding page of the Log (which has notes in the margin on the location of each datapad) is acquired. Note that it's explicitly stated the information recorded in the Log is transferred directly to your brain, which is definitely a little overkill for what amounts to poking around in cramped maintenance tunnels.
  • You No Take Candle: The strangely pacifistic and helpful Harpy containing bits and pieces of Captain Jacobson's memories and personality talks in extremely stilted and ungrammatically correct English in Failsafe's personal quest.
  • Zerg Rush: The favored tactic of the Hive as a big portion of their army consists of Thralls, who carry no weapons but rush directly to the player to swipe at them. Cursed Thralls move slower but explode. The Vex are not far behind, as their Teleport Spam is designed to get a lot of Goblins on top of you quickly.
    • Spiritually, the Rat King exotic sidearm gain a damage bonus with the more people who are also using Rat King near you. Individually it's a solid weapon but the instant you hit those damage perks you become exceptionally powerful. In Raids, six people with Rat King are each doing x6 damage.


Video Example(s):


"Die! Die! Die!"

Upon receiving the "We Ran Out of Medals" medal during an Iron Banner match, Lord Saladin would sometimes yell out the phrase "Die! Die! Die!", before excusing himself. This is actually a reference to his voice actor's other popular video game role: Gabriel "Reaper" Reyes in Overwatch.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

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Media sources:

Main / ActorAllusion