Destiny is famous for a lot of things, but a strong and structured storyline is most definitely not one of them. In fact, it's more renowned for telling you that it doesn't have time for a plot. I'm here to tell you that Destiny actually possesses potentially one of the deepest and most well thought out universes you'll see in a game. There's one, rather large issue, however – none of this actually resides in the game itself.
That's right, I'm referring to Grimoire cards. You'll probably know them as the little non-descript pop-ups that seem to appear after you kill something big, telling you to hop over to Bungie.net to find out more. They're actually what happened to Destiny's storyline, allegedly. You see, Destiny had some trouble with writing during development. After being shown a near-complete mock-up of the storyline, the producers were less than impressed and stepped in to demand a total overhaul. It's old news and many are aware that this is possibly responsible for the shell of a storyline we received post-launch.
Even with the story more or less scrapped and much of the original plan sliced up into $40 chunks all over the editing room floor ready to be vacuumed up for DLC, the majority of the unique and well-thought out tale remains alive in the depths of Bungie.net. Savvy players have taken to the website and trawled through the army of cards, dissecting the available tidbits of information, and, in doing so, weaved a rather fantastic array of largely plausible story arcs that are unfathomably absent from the actual release.
This collection of cards has led many members of the ever-active Destiny community to theorise their own idea of what could have been and some of the theories are frankly quite amazing. A particularly strong thesis is the Negative Destiny. Guardians are actually a small zombie army, resurrected by Ghosts sent out by the Traveller, and ordered to destroy resistant species so that he can feast upon their planets uninterrupted. The Darkness and all of its cronies are actually the good guys, trying fruitlessly to topple the Traveller and put a stop to his world-destroying diet. It sounds completely barmy on the face of it, right up until you digest a handful of these Grimoire cards and over-analyse in-game enemy responses and reactions to you. It actually makes more sense than that bloody Stranger fellow.
It's not only fan theories that are born from this fantastically broad and thoughtfully penned peripheral library of information. The much-coveted Sleeper Simulant weapon and its inevitable discovery was partly achieved through what's commonly being referred to as Grimoire Mining. A handful of users interpreted Bungie's almost riddle-like wording on some cards and realised the key to finishing some aspects of the weapon's quest. Many Raid challenges and hints at their solutions have been uncovered during Grimoire Mining expeditions, too.
The one thing on every Destiny player's mind can also be traced back to information found with these cards. Destiny 2 is hotly debated among the community, so the real question is what areas will we experience in the iterations beyond? Well, several cards go into great depth about the fate of Mercury. Although briefly visited during class-specific quests of The Taken King and in some Crucible maps, Mercury has little involvement in Destiny as a whole.
Mercury was in fact completely taken over by the Vex, hence all of the funky geometric structures and rather desolate landscape. It's a grim foreshadow to the fate of Venus and, with such a well-fleshed out back story found within the cards, is more than likely to be at least one of the new playgrounds we get to mess around in. Well, at least whenever we're graced with Destiny 2.
It's abundantly clear Destiny has been playing catch up since the overhaul, trying to slam together ill-fitting jigsaw pieces of a previously completed puzzle. Perhaps the true direction of Destiny is lost to hearsay and Non-Disclosure Agreements, but it's clear to see that it was originally an incredibly lore-rich experience, and the Destiny community know it. Dedicated players know these cards and their messages inside out, helping them create the story that's not in the game; it's not ideal, but it's miles better than accepting the Speaker's lame excuses. These cards are often the source of many community revelations and remain the unsung heroes of the backbench; it's not the story format that Destiny needed, but the Grimoire cards are at least not nearly as redundant as everyone initially assumed.
Have you ever read Destiny's Grimoire cards? Would you like to see the game's lore brought more to the fore in its inevitable sequel? Accept the Speaker's excuses in the comments section below.