RIP Cayde-6: Your favourite Hunter has now left the Tower for good with Destiny 2's big Forsaken patch

Yesterday, Bungie rolled out a huge, 35GB patch for Destiny 2, introducing core restructures to the game in preparation for the launch of its Forsaken expansion next week. Fans had known about this long in advance, and were pretty sure of all changes involved in the update, including the tweaks to modes, weapons, and the user interface. But Bungie left out one small, yet hugely significant detail right until it released the patch notes at the last minute, where a single line simply reads as follows: "Cayde-6 has left the Tower to investigate disturbances in the Reef."

Yes, everyone's favourite hunter is no longer in Destiny 2's main social space, leaving his usual nesting spot without so much as a cursory goodbye hug. The character's impending demise has been heavily telegraphed in the lead up to Forsaken, but many were assuming Cayde wouldn't actually depart Earth until expansion launch day. Instead, Bungie has sent him off to The Reef in advance of the inevitable, leading to a big showdown with new baddie Uldren that will naturally set off the chain of events leading to Forsaken's story campaign. 

Aside from the emotional impact of Cayde's sudden absence from the Tower (just head to Destiny 2's reddit page to see players already posting their eulogies), this development also means that Guardians can no longer acquire or redeem Treasure Maps and Scout Reports from him as a vendor, though it's unclear if anyone will take over that role once the character finally bites the bullet next week. 

For those angry at Bungie for ripping Cayde-6 away from them too soon, the studio did contextualise his excursion by posting two new documents to Destiny 2's online lore hub. The first is a letter from Cayde to Ikora and Zavala, in which he explains his decision to secretly go and check out The Reef, "staying there for a few days to help out our old pal Petra Venj with a few things." 

Below that, there's an coded SOS message from Petra asking for his help. Ostensibly it's a nice little set up to Forsaken's story, there's more if you dig deeper. Taking the first letter of each sentence from Petra's mail uncovers a secret message: "'FIKRUL ALIVE DISTRESS CALL FROM ILLYN'." Fikrul, in case you didn't know, is one of the new Baron bosses that you'll face down in Destiny 2: Forsaken, while Illyn is an Awoken adviser to Mara Sov, Queen of the Reef and someone who veteran Destiny players will be more than familiar with. But what does it all mean? 

Naturally, Bungie's staying cryptic as ever, but I'm sure we'll learn more once Forsaken launches for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on September 4, which will sadly also officiate Cayde-6's death for good. Be still my beating, Guardian heart. 

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Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!