New Destiny 2 leaks point to the return of Destiny 1's Cosmodrome and Thunderlord

A few well-known Destiny leakers recently suggested that three fan-favorite Destiny 1 exotics - Thunderlord, Icebreaker, and The Last Word - will be added to Destiny 2 in the coming weeks. One source, AnonTheNine, said Thunderlord will be found in the new Festival of the Lost Halloween event. Judging from some newly uncovered audio and game files, that may well be the case.

The Destiny community's search for Thunderlord was reignited on Tuesday with the release of update 2.0.4, which made changes to powerful gear drops, scout rifles, Sleeper Simulant, and Edge Transit, among other things. Reddit user MLPType1 noticed that the update also added a new unknown weapon to the Exotic heavy weapon collection page. So, with rumors of Thunderlord still in their rear-view mirrors, players went digging through Destiny 2's files. 

As YouTuber Houndish pointed out, Destiny database Light.GG shows that a new weapon perk was recently added to Destiny 2's game data. It's called Feeding Frenzy, which was one of the perks on Thunderlord in Destiny 1. Notably, the perks for Icebreaker and The Last Word, which one leaker said would be coming later this year in the Black Armory DLC, are not in the API yet. This supports the theory that Thunderlord will be released sooner and is tied to Festival of the Lost. 

The trail doesn't end there. Reddit user ImaginaryEscapism mined and shared a collection of audio files allegedly attached to the Festival of the Lost. The speaker is Amanda Holliday, who's led all the Festival activities thus far. In file 12, Amanda says, "That's where your Ghost found you, right?" which is an obvious reference to the Cosmodrome, the starting area in Destiny 1's campaign. More obviously, in file 20 she says, "This might be the last time you ever set foot in the Cosmodrome," suggesting our return to the classic Earth patrol zone will be a brief one. 

But how does that relate to Thunderlord? Well, as Reddit user EthioSalvatori pointed out, Bungie released the first official gameplay video for Destiny 1 way back in 2013. In it, a fireteam of Guardians make their way through a complex in the Cosmodrome. Around seven minutes into the 12-minute video (above), they kill a Fallen major - Rixis, Archon Slayer - who drops an Exotic engram. That engram decrypts into Thunderlord. 

Here's where it gets really interesting. Rixis (later renamed Rixis, Devil Archon) became well-known to Destiny 1 players thanks to the year one Queen's Wrath event. Like many players, I repeatedly killed Rixis to complete Queen's Wrath bounties, so I still remember how the fight plays out. Crucially, I remember that he spawns in a massive pipe in the back of a complex in the Cosmodrome. (You can see the Queen's Wrath bounty for killing Rixis in this video from YouTuber Laserbolt.) With that in mind, let's go back to those audio files for a minute. 

In file 14, Amanda says, "Something opened up that hatch recently. Your telemetry's spiking a lot of residual ether around that pipe." Now, we already know that these audio files are connected to the Cosmodrome, and it sounds like this line is referring to a Fallen major cooped up in a pipe. Ether, for the unfamiliar, is essentially the life force of the Fallen. And seeing as there's apparently "a lot" of ether around, we know this ether trail probably wasn't left by a regular Fallen grunt. With all that being said, given the other traces of Thunderlord that have been uncovered, I'm willing to bet that we'll find Rixis (or his pipe den) when we return to the Cosmodrome in Destiny 2, and that Thunderlord will be nearby. 

The question is, what are we doing in the Cosmodrome in the first place? Well, I suspect we're looking for the person (or Fallen major) who killed Reef Cryptarch Master Ives (Reddit user ImaginaryEscapism said as much in their post about the audio files). A quest to find Ives' killer will begin on Tuesday, October 30 as part of the Festival of the Lost, and it's entirely possible that our search leads us to the Cosmodrome. There's no telling whether Rixis is directly connected to Ives' death, but the timing is too suspicious. Take this with a grain of salt, but I reckon Thunderlord's return is just around the corner.

Forsaken is getting better by the week. Here are our our top Destiny 2 tips to help you break into the big new expansion. 

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.