The unthinkable happened: I experienced an emotion in Destiny. Stop the presses, this one was real. One of the first things I couldn’t wait to do in Rise of Iron was get a hold of the newest exotic weapon: The Khvostov 7G-0X.
I expected this to be another mostly meaningless quest to get an ultimately meaningless piece of loot from this game. (As would fit most of my experiences in Destiny.) But at the very end of the quest, my Ghost asked me to go check out the view from the Fallen ship.
I initially found this pretty peculiar. A sentimental moment in Destiny? I’m used to my Ghost asking me to fight off waves of enemies while he fires lasers at random objects, “scanning them” or whatever the fuck he does. But this time, he actually wanted to experience a moment with my Guardian.
I should make it clear that I am genuinely, genuinely disappointed in the RPG elements of Destiny. Not the stats and the loot, but, for example, the inability to even give my damn Guardian a fucking name. In general my character just feels like an empty avatar who never talks, never has anything important to do, and just responds to random nonsensical shit in this very weird science fantasy universe.
All that aside, however, A Khvostov Rising has almost entirely made up for every which way I’ve felt disappointed by Destiny in terms of a meaningful experience.
After a pretty grueling fight with the Fallen Captain, and an opportunity to use my newly forged weapon, looking out at the wilderness of Old Russia, and the remnants of a past civilization, my “chat” with my Ghost was pretty damn thought provoking:
“Every Ghost is born knowing that we have to find our Guardian. We don’t know what they look like. Not on the outside, anyway. On the inside, I’ve always known who you were and that together we could be something more. When you think about everything we’ve seen, everything we’ve done, I feel like I made the right choice.
Hmm. We should let Shiro know how it went out here—let him admire his handiwork.
And, thanks. You know, for being my Guardian.”
This quaint little moment has become my absolutely favorite in all of Destiny. For once someone, a non-human character at that, showed some god damn emotion! I finally felt a connection to this game. Having my Ghost remind me that he has always been there with my character, as we fought against waves of unstoppable forces that often times were very hard to comprehend the meaning of, there was a bond forming with this character all along. We’ve gone on this journey together, every step of the way.
My Ghost is not the only one in the universe. Of course there are many others assisting Guardians throughout the game’s universe. And my character is not the only Guardian. But in that moment, having my Ghost thank me for being not just any Guardian, but his Guardian, made me feel like my character actually had a place in this world—something that has been utterly lacking over the past couple of years.
It is with great skepticism that I will anticipate Destiny 2. Bungie will have to do a lot of work to convince me the sequel will be worth my time and money. This moment however, has me wanting to continue for as long as the universe exists. Maybe the game will continue to have the same old issues, but at least I won’t be going through it alone; I’ll have my Ghost with me every step of the way.