With the reveal of The Witch Queen expansion having happened today, I wanted to talk about how deeply woven horror is to the Destiny franchise. This kind of was spurred on by a video that Paul Tassi made about horror in Destiny. In my opinion its as connected to horror as it is sci-fi.
The first real hint that you get of a real flash of horror is when you first see the Hive on the moon is Destiny 1. You see them before that but you really get a feel for them there. I will say the one line reading that I liked better that Peter Dinklage did was here, because you really hear the panic in his voice. It really works with all of the undead monsters that flow out of a door.
The Hive are really the main source of horror. You get strong existential horror when it comes to the Hive Gods. The Hive God Crota was the basis for the first expansion. You deal with him in multiple forms. His spirit is in a crystal and the Hive are trying to resurrect him, while that doesn’t completely work you do have to go into a different realm to completely finish him off. This does lead to a whole different kind of horror.
With the introduction of Oryx, Crota’s father, you get an even greater sense of cosmic horror but also body horror. The new “race” called the Taken are both cosmic and body horror combined. Oryx has the ability to take beings, which equals to taking them over mind and body. The fight that ends with Oryx’s actual death has him becoming unimaginably big. He is very much a cosmic horror god at this size.
Body horror was also the basis for the Rise of Iron expansion. It dealt with body modification and nanobots. It also dealt with existential horror because of the SIVA nanobots.
The next horror thing I’m going to talk about is Riven. She was an Ahamkara, which are called wish dragons. They can take any form and are like the more sinister versions of genies. Riven was taken by Oryx, and led to a very special kind of horror. It led to a three week cycle that would reset after each cycle. The people caught in it know that they’re stuck but they can’t do anything about it. Riven is another raid boss and I’ve seen her in the raid only a few times, but each time I have it shocked me because of the scale.
This isn’t all of the horror, or really even that great of a look at the horror in the Destiny franchise. I just wanted to write about the game franchise that I’ve played for 7 years.