This evening at 19:00 SAST, the next season in Destiny 2: Lightfall launches and it promises to be an exciting one. Aside from the weapon tuning, the Exotic reworks and myriad other gameplay improvements, Bungie is pulling a destination from the Destiny Content Vault for Season of the Deep. That destination is Saturn’s Moon, Titan.
Teasers for the season suggest that we will touch base with Commander Sloane, but more interestingly, we’ll be going into the ocean.
This begs the question – which ocean on Titan.
Titan is very similar to Earth in some ways and incredibly different in others. For one, there are large bodies of liquid on Titan’s surface, the only celestial body beside Earth with a high level of liquid activity.
Unlike Earth, however, Titan’s atmospheric pressure is 60 percent greater than Earth’s which is the equivalent of spending your life 15m below the ocean on Earth. The surface of the Moon is also incredibly cold at -179 degrees celsius.
All of this means that the liquid we mentioned previously is more than likely liquid methane which means that on Titan – provided you could survive the temperatures and pressure – you could see oceans of methane.
Swimming in that ocean isn’t possible, however, given that humans are more dense than methane. We’d essentially sink, very slowly, to the bottom of that ocean.
So if Titan is dotted with methane oceans, it begs the question, how is Bungie going to explain Guardians floating in an ocean in artwork for Season of the Deep.
As it turns out, Bungie doesn’t need to make up an explanation because there may actually be a liquid water ocean deep below Titan’s surface.
Between 2006 and 2011, the Cassini spacecraft would make six close flybys of Titan to measure its gravitational field. During those flybys, researchers at NASA discovered that the gravity of Saturn wasn’t affecting the Moon as it expected it would had it been made of solid rocky material.
The team concluded that there is potential for a liquid ocean to be hiding below Titan’s surface. Of course, we don’t know for certain until we drill down into Titan’s surface.
This factoid is, as you might expect, known to Bungie and it’s already woven it into the Destiny lore.
In the Lore book Last Days on Kraken Mare, Bungie details the last days of a group of people on Titan. In the first part of that lore book we get the following note.
“There are almost three million people on this arcology and its rigs.” Connectivity supervisor Ismail Barat’s Zen-shura training distills his attention down to a single laser-bright point; he is here with Mia, even as his brain drifts on a hundred different data feeds. “If you’re serious about evacuating, we’ll need to slot people into SMILE pods and move them as bulk freight. It’s the only way to get the population out. There’ll be economic damage. There’ll be deaths. If this is a false alarm—”
“It’s not a false alarm,” the Good Man says.
This voice Mia didn’t expect, but only because he’s the new guest at her table. David Miguel Korosec. A man who’s literally never harmed a fly, who won’t eat plants lest he destroy a sacred entropy pump. Poor David. He came here to make first contact with new life, the wonders that flourish not in Mia’s ocean—the methane sea of Titan’s surface—but in the enormous water world that lies below Titan’s 50-kilometer ice shell. He is an ethicist. He wanted to help them do it right.”
We’d say we’re surprised, but Bungie has a habit of rooting its game in real-world science. Our favourite example of this is the weapon Lorentz Driver which uses the concept of Lagrange points as an offensive tool.
Given all of the above, we are confident that the ocean we’re headed to this evening is the water ocean beneath the ice-shell and there is more evidence in-game to suggest this.
Spinning a sci-fi tale
In the Last Days of Kraken Mare we learn that the aforementioned ice-shell was destroyed which is interesting because below that shell there are potentially Leviathans. These creatures are unimaginably massive but that’s about all we know.
Over time we have learned that these Leviathans are rather important to Destiny’s story despite their mystery. The first mention we see of the creatures is when the sisters who would become Hive Gods, dove below the oceans of Fundament to ultimately meet the Worm Gods. On the way a Leviathan warned them to turn back, but they continued.
Before it was put into the Destiny Content Vault it was possible for players to see a massive, shadowy figure in the depths of the Arcology and while there were theories it was a Worm God, it was quickly discovered it was in fact a Leviathan.
We also learned in Witch Queen that Rhulk, the First Disciple of the Witness, slayed a Leviathan for his master.
We now also know – thanks to revelations in Lightfall’s post-campaign mission for Winterbite, that “an enemy of Witness” is on Titan.
This enemy could of course be Sloane just as much as it could be the “Long Boy in the Soup“, but given Rhulk’s story in the video above, a teaser trailer and the teaser images we have for the season, it’s more than likely the Leviathan suggesting that we either descend beyond the ice-shell or the Leviathan rises to the top. Given that the planet was invaded by the Witness’ forces, the Leviathan may have dived into the deep to evade its doom.
What makes Season of the Deep all the more exciting is that it will continue the story that Bungie started with Lightfall. That campaign left us and many in the community with more questions than answers. In response to that criticism from its community, Bungie said that answers to those questions would arrive in future seasons including Season of the Deep.
Frankly, we’re just excited to get some new content in Destiny 2. While Lightfall and Season of Defiance gave us a fair amount to do, we’re keen to lay hands on new weapons, experience a new story and finally get answers to the Veil, the Witness and the Long Boy in the Soup.