As the vast majority of the Destiny 2 player community knows by now, the Hunter Vanguard, Cayde-6, will die in the opening moments of the Forsaken expansion. Cayde’s imminent death has been a major selling point of the highly-anticipated expansion, which will be released on Sept 4, 2018.
In what is perhaps one of the most stunning decisions in the history of online gaming concerning a highly popular and beloved NPC (Non-Player Character), Destiny 2 developer Bungie is taking a huge risk by killing off Cayde-6.
Destiny 2 has been plagued by design issues, controversy, and an ever-diminishing player population since the rather disappointing launch on September 6, 2017, and any misstep in the handling of Cayde’s death could be a fatal mistake for the troubled game. Quite a few players of our acquaintance have told us that they will quit the game if Bungie exploits or mishandles Cayde’s death.
There are several concerns being voiced by both the player community of Destiny 2 and critics of the game, including the fear that this is just a clever ploy by Bungie to sell copies of the Forsaken. According to reliable sources, the player population of Destiny 2 has dropped over 75 percent since launch, and cynics believe Bungie is exploiting Cayde’s death for financial reasons.
And, believe me when I tell you, as far as the actual game goes, the Destiny 2 player community is angry about the death of Cayde-6 and spoiling for revenge. If this were real life and not an online game, every law enforcement agency on the globe would be monitoring the people behind the often gruesome plans for revenge against Cayde’s killer, the brother of Awoken Queen Mara Sov, Prince Uldren.
Here is a typical post on the Bungie forums by Destiny player RingersCheckmate.
“Uldren, you’ve started a war. You’ve started war with this one, and I don’t think it’ll be one you want. In the lawless frontier, where we hunters thrive, we’ll find you. You’ll be feeling a lot of regret when we do.”
Texas Jedi was totally in agreement with this blunt response.
“He’s dead. I just hope that it’s painful.”
But humor and online gaming aside, there is also a deep feeling of genuine sadness among many long-time Destiny players who have grown to love the irreverent Exo Hunter over the last four years since we first met Cayde-6 in Destiny.
For this writer, who has played Destiny and Destiny 2 since beta, it feels as if I am waiting for a dear friend be executed on September 4th, 2018. Ever since Bungie released the trailer of Cayde’s death at E3, it has made every interaction with Cayde-6 a surreal experience, as if I was visiting a condemned prisoner on death row. All I can do is look at Cayde sadly and salute him. He doesn’t even know that he is living on borrowed time.
This perfectly illustrates the risk Bungie took by killing the most popular NPC in the Destiny and announcing it in advance. Imagine the backlash if they mess this one up after evoking a genuine and deeply emotional response from so many Destiny players, even a grumpy, jaded 67-year-old journalist and opinion columnist like yours truly, who reported on the terrible Middle East wars and violent religious conflicts for many years.
Yet my reaction pales in comparison to some of the posts on Social Media, which includes a remarkable pair of short stories on Reddit by a Destiny 2 player named Sythra, who wrote a truly moving tale of Cayde’s death that deserves to be linked here. Sythra also wrote a wonderful follow-up, which can be found here. If you love Destiny 2, read these excellent stories.
As you can see by the community’s reactions to Cayde’s death, Bungie has managed to accomplish something quite remarkable. And with this success, comes a responsibility to handle Cayde’s death with sensitivity and compassion. Bungie also has an obligation to remain true to the lore and story of Destiny.
Lore-wise, Cayde-6 is beloved for his humor, his rebelliousness, and his anti-authority attitude. A deadly, but occasionally accident-prone Hunter with a lethal Golden Gun Special, Cayde is also known for his love of spicy Ramen and gambling.
As an Exo, his memory of his past life as a human is dim, but he clings to fleeting glimpses of his long-dead wife and his son, Ace, who he still writes to, even though his family died centuries ago in the Collapse of the Golden Age.
As we know, an Exo is a humanoid machine whose mind was transferred into a robotic body. They suffer from a fatal disease called “Dissociative Exobody Rejection” due to the shock of no longer having a human body.
The only cure for this disease is to reboot the Exo every time they show symptoms of the disease, and rebooting is what causes the onset of memory loss. The more an Exo is rebooted, the more of their original memories they lose.
Destiny’s gunsmith, Banshee-44, for example, has been rebooted so many times he can only remember how to make weapons, and he tends to mumble and whisper hard to understand ramblings.
On the other hand, Cayde still has a sharp mind and a keen wit. He is a bit of a prankster and a fearsome enemy, but he also has a heart of gold. He worries about every one of his hunter charges and treats each of them like family. Who couldn’t love a man who even keeps a pet chicken named “Colonel.”
Here a few Cayde-6 quotes to warm the hearts of Guardians everywhere.
On the enemies the Guardians face: “There’s nothing about the Taken I like. Cabal, good tactics. Hive, great architecture. Fallen are fantastic joke-tellers and Vex can make decent hat racks. The Taken? All they do is spread the blight and try to kill you.”
On his favorite type of weapon: “They say Hand Cannons have long been used for personal defense, even before the days of the City. Nothin’ defensive about’em. When a Cannon speaks, people listen.”
On dispatching a hunter on a mission: “Well color me impressed—with myself. What, you think you could have gotten this far without my help? No way! So, you’re welcome. Now get back out there! And Guardian—don’t forget to have fun with it.”
On getting back in the fight: “Someday I’m gonna get out of this place. Do another tour of the system, probably shoot some people. And now I have a pretty great story to tell as I go.”
On the reality of being a Guardian: “Now you know the truth. We’re at war out there. The folks in the Tower and down in the City don’t like to think about it. Stay focused. And don’t get dead.”
Ever since Bungie confirmed that Cayde would actually die in the Forsaken expansion, players have wondered if it would even be possible to somehow bring him back to life. Not only is Cayde dead, but his Ghost was also destroyed, and without his Ghost, Cayde can’t be resurrected as a Guardian.
The founder of my Destiny 2 clan, Lords of Lore, Matt of Myelin Games, a very popular YouTube Destiny lore channel with 155,000 subscribers, made an interesting video recently explaining how, from a lore standpoint, Cadye-6 could be resurrected. Matt points out two very interesting possibilities, although he makes it clear he doesn’t think Bungie will bring Cayde-6 back.
I should also mention that Matt recently worked for Bungie on their soon-to-be-released Destiny Grimoire Anthology, and he made it quite clear in the Cayde-6 video that he is in full compliance with his Bungie employee NDA.
Matt has stated on numerous occasions that he has no inside information from Bungie on Cayde-6 or any topic related to Destiny or Destiny 2. His truly insightful and original Destiny lore videos are based solely on his own opinions and research into the lore, and they are highly recommended.
While it is nice to have some well thought out, lore-based information on how one could possibly bring back Cayde-6, we have no idea what Bungie plans to do with Cayde-6 in the future. We do know from the vast number of posts on the Bungie forums that a large majority of the Destiny community would be outraged if Bungie brings Cayde-6 back quickly or obviously exploits his death only to sell more copies of the Forsaken expansion.
The ball is in Bungie’s court at the moment. There is a great deal of excitement over the many promised changes coming to Destiny 2 in the Forsaken expansion, which we will be covering with a series of hands-on reviews, and the community is also chomping at the bit to get their hands on Prince Uldren, the man who killed Cayde, and send him straight to Awoken Hell, in several pieces, or preferably, totally vaporized.
The intense desire on the part of many Destiny 2 players to revenge themselves on Prince Uldren was only intensified by the release of Bungie’s most recent trailer, Last Stand of the Gunslinger. If the Forsaken expansion and the story of Cayde-6 are done as well as this outstanding video, then Bungie will have a massive hit on their hands, and Destiny 2 will be well on the way to recovery.
Stand tall, Guardians, and salute a fallen hero.
Ghodzila, over and out.
“Even though in this world we may know grief and suffering, our dreams shall never die.”