[~15,000 words total]
[~8,300 words for all drafts put together]
[~4,000 words for “final” draft and final thoughts (this is really all I expect anyone to read)]
So, over a year ago I raged against how terrible and stupid Variks’ dialogue is in Destiny’s Prison of Elders. And to put my money where my mouth was I said that I would write my own version of Variks’ dialogue. Then I just didn’t.
For the longest time (over a year) I didn’t feel like going through the effort. Then about a month ago I suddenly felt like accepting the challenge I had given myself. So, I wrote my own version of Variks’ Prison of Elders dialogue which is much better than what actually appears in the game, although that’s not saying much considering the originals (“Kill them dead.”)
There is very little backstory for the Cabal, and what’s there is vague. I’ve looked at pretty much every piece of concept art online and in the book “The Art Of Destiny”. I’ve read every grimoire card. I’ve read almost all the flavor texts for items and weapons and armor.
I’ve found very little, or a lot, depending on how you look at it.
This post is a critique and criticism of the Variks dialogue we saw in Bungie’s Twitch reveal of the Prison of Elders.
Note, this is a rage post. I throw down some opinions here. In some parts am I overreacting? Probably! And I’m okay with that! It’s healthy to rage every now and then.
Also, I intend to make a second post in the future where I put my money where my mouth is and rewrite Variks’ dialogue myself.
So, I recently saw the Prison of Elders reveal on Bungie’s twitch. You can find recordings of it all over youtube if you haven’t seen it already.
As I watched, a realization slowly began to dawn on me: Variks’ dialogue is the most moronic, imbecilic, talentless, pointless, worthless, vacuous, idiotic crap that I’ve ever heard, seen, or read.
A while ago I delved into the Lore behind the Hive, fueled by revelations found in old concept art. I decided to give a similar treatment to the Vex, although I use mostly grimoire cards and item flavor text to figure out what’s really going on with the Vex.
What most people don’t realize, because Bungie has been very tight lipped about this, is that the Hive take a great deal of inspiration from a little known 1999 real time strategy/city building game called “Alien Nations”, by German Developer JoWooD Productions.
In Alien Nations you could select to play one of three alien species: the blue Pimmons, the large breasted and scantily clad Amazons (WTF???), and the insectoid Sajkhi.
It is the last of these that was the direct inspiration for Destiny’s Hive. Not only are the Sajkhi insects, like the Hive, but the Sajkhi also farm maggots which are their primary food source. It was the maggot farming that was the direct inspiration for the Hive’s worm narrative in Destiny:
The Sajkhi also had a “Hall of Orgies” (WTF???) as their recreation building, so expect that to definitely be a Raid in the next Destiny expansion.
Dear Readers! Post in the comments if you’d like to join me in starting a kickstarter campaign for the world’s first Hall of Orgies! Wouldn’t all our lives be a little better if there was a Hall of Orgies in every city? Well, this kickstarter campaign is how we make that dream a reality. Post in the comments!
I think that some aspects of Destiny’s lore that have yet to be revealed about the Hive can actually be guessed at by looking at some very old concept art from early in Destiny’s development.
TL;DR: There’s a “Conclusions and Theories” section all the way at the bottom of the page which sums everything up.
I made a post about this on reddit. It’s slightly more succinct and better organized, but doesn’t cover all the same topics.
There’s some holes and loose ends to my theories, so let me know your own thoughts.
I was looking at this Hive concept art by Daniel Chavez, which I found at the two following links:
It appears that early in their design, the Hive were heavily influenced by moth imagery and biology. If you look at the concept art (some of which I’ll post here) you’ll see what look like Hive knights with colorful and elaborately detailed armor that is evocative of moth wings.
Now that Destiny is released, you can see my analysis of the full game in four parts: Part 1: visuals, enemies, etc., Part 2: story, weapons, etc., Part 3: I analyze the way things are named in Destiny, Part 4: I explore the connections between Destiny and Pathways into Darkness
I’m excited about Bungie’s upcoming game Destiny although I really don’t think I should be. On paper the description and explanation of the game seems awesome, but when Bungie shows off what they actually have it just looks bland and homogenous.
I think the best example of what I mean can be found in this video from GDC ’13 where Destiny’s writer and design director Joe Staten and art director Christ Barrett discuss the process they went through designing and implementing choices for Destiny.