The rule usually goes that if you don't see a body in a movie, TV show or video game, that character might not be dead. But when it comes to Cayde-6 in Destiny 2 Forsaken, I'm afraid to say that he is dead. Really dead. Like, there's not going to be a Cayde-7 dead. Speaking to Bungie at E3, I asked the big question about our boy Cayde, and unfortunately it's just as you feared.
"He's dead. His ghost is dead," stresses Scott Taylor, Destiny 2 Forsaken Project Lead at Bungie, emphatically, much to my dismay.
"We wanted to come out with that to do a couple things. We wanted to establish the tone of the game, and show that we're serious about it. We also want people to process it. You'll play a mission with him, and you're not really sure when this is going to happen, or how, so the emotional experience of that would be very different if you just turned on the game, you saw it and it was all just a shock. It's actually a little more rich and interesting if you have time to sit with it, and reflect."
"We think that that feeling of revenge is going to be really, really strong."
After all, Destiny 2 Forsaken is weaving an age-old tale of revenge. The E3 story demo I played ended with an extended cutscene that featured Uldren Sov, the Reef Queen's brother who's been missing since the end of The Taken King, standing over Cayde-6 in his final moments. It's dark stuff.
"You can start hating these guys as you watch it unfold," adds Steve Cotton, Destiny 2 Forsaken Game Director. "You can start hating them even before the end and that's important, because we want you to take that feeling, as that's why the player needs to go out on this journey of revenge."
You'll be tasked with taken down Uldren and his cronies throughout the entirity of the Forsaken storyline, and you can bet your bottom dollar that you're going to be pissed.
"We, really early on, decided that we wanted to tell a story with really high stakes, but make it more personal. We've done the thing where monsters come and blow up a planet, that's super fun and I'm sure we'll do it again someday. Or a universe, who knows. But the Destiny universe can tell a bunch of different types of stories, and so we think by telling a pretty specific, powerful, high stakes narrative that's focused on the Guardian making a choice and seeking revenge that's going to open up possibilities for different stories in the future too. This one is going to be dark and serious, and we're going to see what that does for us."
"We can blow up a planet in our game and you can care, but when you make it personal and you take away one of your friends, that's just a different type of real," adds Cotton.
As for Cayde-6's special quests, like his treasure chests, apparently that's all being dealt with, although Bungie isn't going to specifics yet. Though whatever the details, it seems like everyone is going to be dealing with the fallout from Cayde's death in a big way.
"We're taking him out of the Tower. The Tower will change to show that he's not there," says Taylor. "So there's the boring technical thing of how are we going to move things around, but we are addressing all of those concerns. Things will function, things will change or will evolve. But the Tower, and Zavala, and Ikora, they have to deal with this just like we do, so we'll learn about how the Tower and the people that live there, and the Vanguard, deal with this as well. He's a Guardian of the City, this is a big deal."
Destiny 2 Forsaken is coming out on September 4 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.