Bungie is planning to turn the world of Destiny 2 on its head as the title’s fourth year begins in Beyond Light, new datamined leaks have suggested, with the space opera set to draw on Marvel’s ‘Captain America: Civil War’ for its next major storyline heading into Year 4.
The “Civil War” storyline is a tried and true plot twist for any major franchise, and after seven years — and four in Destiny 2 — it looks like Bungie is finally on the verge of turning its iconic characters against each other in Beyond Light.
Pop-culture has seen its fair share of ally-vs-ally action in recent years. In 2016, Marvel pitted Captain America against Iron Man. In the same year, DC dished out a similar storyline in the divisive ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’.
Now it’s Bungie’s turn, according to a handful of datamined audio leaks, as well as lore from the title’s original campaign. If the theories are correct, Vanguard leader Zavala is on his way to the dark side heading into Year 4.
Pretty crazy, right? Zavala has always been the straight-edge commander of the Last City. In all seven years, the Guardians have fought alongside him, the Awoken Titan has acted as the voice of reason, and a bastion of hope.
The evidence does seem pretty strong, however. The crux of it comes from the lore of exotic sidearm The Traveler’s Chosen. The gun’s lore is a speech from long-teased Destiny 2 villain Savathun, speaking through the mysterious Ahamkara Skull hanging near Shaxx.
The most important slice is as follows: “Again, I press against the sockets. The net creaks softly with my eagerness. Someone approaches and he turns his back to his Traveler. There is an exchange, obscured by the rubicund thrash.”
“He is given reports. Hope bleeds from him,” it continues. “He gives the messenger a token of his faith. They accept it without understanding its meaning. He watches as they leave. There is a hollow place in his center. It is beautiful.”
Now, there’s a lot of clues here that the character with a “hollow place in his center” is indeed Zavala. He’s the only Vanguard vendor who turns around to greet Guardians. He hands out a fair whack of “tokens of his faith” too.
There’s also the datamined ‘Camouflage’ entry, which mentions a new threat “closer than you know”. The entry warns someone in the Last City is “hiding the truth.”
Zavala is in line with the skull too. It would give Savathun the perfect chance to “push” him — as the final part of the entry reads — and build that “sweet, soft rot.”
It also can’t be Shaxx, who is also standing close; the entry mentions “the rubicund thrash” obscuring the view. Rubicund means “ruddy/reddish,” and thrash can mean “loud or lavish”. Certainly sounds like Shaxx to me!
Then there’s the game development evidence to pair this with too. Lance Reddick, who has been the voice of Zavala since 2014, has been back in the studio. While this is no surprise in itself, his description of the storyline — “wild” — has been perking up more than a few Guardians’ ears.
“It’s Zavala here, coming at you… doing another Destiny session. It’s wild. It’s wild! Eyes up Guardian, eyes up,” the 57-year-old star said from the recording booth.
— Lance Reddick (@lancereddick) June 25, 2020
Zavala as the antagonist of Beyond Light would certainly be a gut punch. Guardians already lost original Vanguard larrikin Cayde-6 back in ‘Forsaken.’ Zavala stands as one of only a few characters still around from the original Destiny release too — Shaxx and Ikora Rey are two more.
Plot-wise, however, this storyline is something Destiny has been crying out for. There’s only so many “go here, fight big bad guy” plots Bungie can run through after seven years, and the “Civil War” storyline is a big change of pace.
This possibility also plays heavily into the rumors Bungie will finally be adding World of Warcraft style factions in Year 4. Destiny has always lacked that proper “us vs them” mentality, where you pledge yourself fully to one faction in-game.
The time of every single Guardian being on the same side may be coming to an end though, as Bungie slowly drops hints Year 4’s Beyond Light may truly ask players to, once and for all, pick sides between the Light, and the mysterious Darkness on the edge of the galaxy.
To have that major shift led by one of the original heroes of the franchise, Zavala, would just be that much more of a “wow” moment for the series too. The question is, is Bungie brave enough to pull the trigger? We’ll have to wait and see.