'Oryx's body' was on a sticky note on Destiny 2 writer's wall

The wall is apparently full of Destiny 2 ideas, thoughts, and things Robert Brookes wants to explore in the story one day – if the stars align.


When an opportunity presents itself, sometimes you just have to take it. And that’s exactly what Destiny 2’s senior narrative designer Robert Brookes did when he learned the dungeon in Season of the Deep would be taking place below the Arcology on Titan. Brookes had an idea and it involved one of Destiny’s most prolific villains: Oryx. More specifically: Oryx’s somewhat lifeless body floating above Saturn.

Promo image of Destiny: The Taken King showing the three Guardian classes

Source: Bungie

Back in the original Destiny, players were treated to an expansion called The Taken King which centered on Oryx, one of the mighty Hive gods who was known for his skill as a navigator. Brother to Savathun and Xivu Arath, Oryx had the power to “take” beings, breaking their will and making them fight for him. After defeating him in the campaign, players took to the King’s Fall raid and beat him again, sending his body floating off into the rings above Saturn.

 “I have a wall of Post-It notes of things I want to do one day,” Brookes explained during a roundtable Q&A session I was invited to. “Oryx’s body was one of the notes on my wall.” It seems that Brookes, like many others, have thought about Oryx’s semi-lifeless body floating through space long before it was included in Season of the Deep.

When it comes to writing stories in Destiny, it sounds as if Brookes has a myriad of ideas he would love to explore, but it all comes down to whether it feels right. As a player, the revelation of Oryx’s body in the Ghosts of the Deep dungeon doesn’t feel forced, and despite the fact it was a surprise, it felt like a natural progression of the story.

Part of why the revelation felt right is thanks, in part, to how Bungie tells stories in Destiny. The writers will create “deadends that have locked doors” as design lead Brian Frank puts it. These deadends and locked doors are can be seemingly insignificant, like Oryx’s body floating off into space, or large, like introducing the jubilant Calus.

Emperor Calus from the Leviathan raid, reacting to his chalice being shot

Source: Bungie

To hear Bungie put it, the writer’s didn’t know for sure how Calus’s story would end. The purpose of his creation was to become this enduring character, one that the writers could utilize when the timing was right. Say what you will about Calus’ ultimate demise, his creation wasn’t myopic. They might not have been able to see the end, but the original writers of Calus had a long view and the knowledge that this sort of character could be useful for the narrative team later down the track.

For Brookes, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect with Season of the Deep and his sticky note Oryx's body. “The second we were going back to Titan I was like, ‘I wonder if I can…’ and then as soon as I knew the dungeon was going to be under the Arcology I was just like crashing through a window just being like ‘We have to do it! Body! Right here!’,” Brookes jabbed his finger into his palm to emphasis the point.

“And that’s like when we were talking about the long view on things. You have to leave yourself open to these things.” Brookes said. “We never would have necessarily planned to have this moment in this season in this way, but all the stars aligned where it was the exact right moment and all the resources were perfect, the story lined up and everything that could have made this succeed did, and we just had to roll with it.”

Concept art of Oryx's body floating off into space

Source: Bungie

It’s the seeds the Bungie writers plant that may or may not blossom that allow the team to create stories and moments like having Oryx’s body in the Ghosts of the Deep dungeon. The small decision to have Oryx float off into space, instead of disappear like Crota’s, allowed someone like Brookes the opportunity to create an awe-inspiring moment for players.

“Oryx is such a beloved piece of Destiny history, so the opportunity to continue that story and tell it in a sensible fashion that lined up with everything else we were doing so perfectly, it couldn’t have been a better overlap of possibilities,” Brookes said.

Savathun revives Hive using her new-found Light ghosts

Source: Bungie

It doesn’t sound like Brookes is finished with his sticky notes either. During the roundtable, the writers not only hinted at the fact the Vex might be the major threat after Final Shape, but also pointed out that Savathun spent some time on Titan and may have spoken with Ahsa. Brookes offered one final mysterious question in regards to why Savathun might want to resurrect her brother, despite his hatred of necromancy, “What use would she have for a navigator?”

With the dangerous portal now carved into the Traveler and no clear way to navigate through, perhaps Destiny 2 players are one step closer to understanding the sort of sticky notes Brookes has on his wall.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

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