Posted on September 15, 2014, Phil Hornshaw The Destiny Diaries – Day 4: In Which I Read All Those Grimoire Cards
The Destiny Diaries is a daily retelling of the experiences of GameFront’s days in Destiny, imparting our impressions as we work through the game for the first time. Check back each day for a new episode, and stay tuned for a full review this week.
Don’t miss The Destiny Diaries – Day 1: Dinklage the Inscrutable, The Destiny Diaries – Day 2: Hell is Other People in the Crucible, The Destiny Diaries – Day 3: Saving Private Heaney and The Destiny Diaries – Day 5: No More Worlds to Conquer.
I read up about Destiny’s big bad, the Darkness, and what I found out will blow your mind.
I made this absolutely appalling discovery when I finally got sick of my Dinklage spouting sci-fi-fantasy nonsense at me some 25 hours into Destiny. He’s talking about the threat of this Darkness thing all the damn time without ever even saying what it is. “The Darkness is coming,” “We’ve got to fight The Darkness,” “Maybe this thing will help us survive The Darkness.”
It’s all a ploy to get poor, hapless Guardian players to wander out into the solar system and risk their lives in order to earn Glimmer (Destiny’s major in-game currency), everyone. Wake up, Guardian Sheeple: the thing Dinklage doesn’t want you to know is you’re a glimmer farmer, helping the rich Cryptarchs get richer while you risk your life grinding for gear.
The most egregious thing about this conspiracy is that it’s all public information, and you can find out all about The Darkness, too, if you’re willing to look. Thing is, Bungie purposely hid the lore of Destiny in a place no one would bother to look for it: on Bungie.net, rather than in the game the lore is actually about. It’s devilishly clever, expecting us to go to a website to read about the story of the game we’re playing. Emphasis on the “devil” part.
There’s lore in Destiny, and it’s all compiled in a series of “cards” players unlock as they work through various missions, try new classes, and basically do anything in the game. The cards, taken together, create a sort of glossary not unlike the codex you might have seen in Mass Effect — although this would definitely be considered a Mass Effect-lite compiling of information and lore. The grimoire cards all go to your profile on Bungie.net, where you’ll get small amounts of not-very-coherent backstory on things like enemy factions such as The Fallen or The Hive, or the history about the Guardians. By the way, turns out, Guardians are literally all resurrected corpses and no one finds it frightening that we’re trusting our future to a group of crazy gun-toting zombies who could have been embezzlers or murderists or people who talk at the theater?!
And where does all the money go? The Speaker for the Traveler, who has all the best stuff to sell. And who does Dinklage work for? The Speaker. Suddenly it all makes sense.
What your Dinklage won’t tell you is that a little grimoire reading about The Darkness is all it takes to find out that no one in Destiny actually knows what The Darkness is or why they’re afraid of it, but they all seem to think they need you to spend thousands of glimmers on guns and ships and stuff to be ready for it. The cards tell a different story: Basically, The Traveler saved everyone from what might have been a made-up calamity.
So the story goes like this: The big floating robot moon thing called The Traveler showed up and space-magicked humanity into a Golden Age of science, art, technology and exploration. Everything stopped being so crappy and we terraformed and colonized planets like Mars, Venus and Mercury. Then The Darkness showed up and murdered everyone, and The Traveler stopped it, but that made The Traveler go all comatose. That event was called The Collapse.
What exactly The Darkness was — whether just some armies, or a bad solar flare-kinda thing, or even a false flag attack by the Traveler itself (oh man, The Collapse was an inside job maybe!) isn’t clear. But your Dinklage keeps saying The Darkness is coming back. And he conveniently wants you to do all these things.
But we gotta follow the money. And where does all the money go? The Speaker for the Traveler, who has all the best stuff to sell. And who does Dinklage work for? The Speaker.
Suddenly it all makes sense.