Skip to main content

Destiny 2's Presage mission had literal "Boo" sound effects during development

What do you do when you want to mark good spots for jump scares in a work-in-progress, horror-adjacent mission? Bungie found an innovative solution to this problem during the development of Presage, the mission tied to the Dead Man's Tale Exotic: you say "boo" a lot. 

Bungie released the aptly named Presage boo compilation alongside an in-depth breakdown of the mission's development. See, the actual level was playable before the sound effects for it were finalized, so Bungie's audio team – namely senior audio designers Jennie LaBonte and Zach Thomas – needed a way to mark where they'd be adding jump scares. That's where the boos come in. 

"We both recorded 'Boos.' Like literal 'Boo. Boo!' Just slightly different versions," Labonte explained. "Then throughout the mission, it would be a really creepy moment and then you’d hear one of us say the word 'boo.' It stayed in for quite a while and I really wish we'd left some in as Easter eggs."

Presage is another of Destiny's rare and brilliant dalliances with horror, and like many Shadowkeep and Taken King missions before it, it proves that if Bungie ever made a full-fat horror FPS in the vein of Dead Space, it would absolutely slap. 

Presage is halfway there already. Enemies abruptly drop out of vents or pop out behind corners, red emergency lights meet crawling shadows to turn even normal halls into intimidating maws, and there's a 'must go faster' vibe to many challenges. The final sound effects which eventually replaced the boos – equal parts ethereal and mechanical, and always unnerving – are the cherry on top, and hearing the placeholder sounds really demonstrates how much the audio adds to the level.

Destiny 2 Season 14 will bring some big changes, including two weapon perk buffs and Tower vendor upgrades.

As a staff writer and former freelancer, Austin focuses on day-to-day news happenings which serve as the perfect cover-up for his Destiny 2 column. He majored in journalism, loves to hate headlines, and never takes his Switch out of the dock.