Friday, February 3, 2023

Destiny 2 Rasputin tease may also hint at the return of SIVA

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A small but important Destiny 2 Rasputin tease from the game’s recent Eliksni Quarter event lends credence to several lore theories and could point to a forthcoming reemergence of SIVA.

As part of the Destiny 2 Eliksni Quarter event, players collected treasure to improve the Eliksni allies’ living area. Among the Eilksni Quarter improvements, Guardians were quick to note that the robots carried Rasputin logos on their sides, with an insignia longtime players may remember from the game’s Warmind expansion. Guardians quickly inferred this may be a teaser that Rasputin may somehow be involved with the next season.

The Warmind DLC gave players its first contact with Rasputin, also known as The Warmind. Ana Bray sought the Guardian’s help on Mars, wherein she also introduced players to Rasputin, an AI that was at one point directed to protect humanity under the direction of Clovis Bray.

Before the emblem’s appearance on the Eliksni bots, our last knowledge of Rasputin is that Ana Bray, daughter of mad scientist and SIVA inventor Clovis Bray, took Rasputin away in an engram, though it seems she did not initially know how to access the AI.

The lore tab for the Grand Overture Exotic machine gun implies that the younger Bray may have leveraged psionic technology to connect with Rasputin in a form where the entity is “faint and weak, but alive.”

SIVA is a self-replicating, virus-like technology that the elder Bray developed, intended to help humanity. Initially, it was housed away in Clovis Bray-run facilities on Mars. The Iron Lords then rediscovered the technology and tried to steal it before Rasputin turned it against them. Corrupted by SIVA, most of the Iron Lords turned against one another until one of them sealed it off in a bunker deep in the Cosmodrome, along with the infected Iron Lords who carried the virus. The Fallen then attempted to harness the virus to protect the race and free them of their dependency on ether, though the Guardian successfully thwarted this plan.

Though SIVA is largely wiped out in the Destiny 2 game universe, trace elements may still exist. For example, Ghosts can be infected with SIVA, and, even though the Light repels it, it can remain dormant within the shells. Additionally, the Outbreak Perfected Exotic pulse rifle makes use of SIVA.

YouTuber Evaze speculates that Rasputin could return, possibly even as a Guardian. It’s long known that Felwinter, a Guardian and one of the Iron Lords infected with SIVA that died in the Cosmodrome, splintered from Rasputin and that Rasputin is responsible for baiting Felwinter to discover the SIVA stash in the Cosmodrome that ultimately killed the Iron Lords. Rasputin did so because the Iron Lords’ attempts to access SIVA constituted a breach and therefore the AI treated them as hostile.

The fact that Felwinter was a Guardian means that they have the power of the Light, which could imply Rasputin has the Light, too. Rasputin could also have the Light from an inherent source or receive it via psionic technology akin to the mind-reading device in the H.E.L.M.

Rasputin’s reemergence also ties in with what players already know about the forthcoming Destiny 2 Lightfall release. As part of the lore for The Witch Queen’s Glaive quest, the report mentioned that Rasputin knew of a human colony code-named Nefele Stronghold, which the inhabitants of The Last City do not currently know exists. The term “Nefele” may be derived from the name of the Greek nymph Nephele, a cloud goddess. The most recent Destiny 2 showcase showed players Guardians would meet a new race of characters called Cloiudstriders on Neomuna. The implication here is that Rasputin is the only one who knows of the city and must therefore be reawakened to bring all elements of the storyline together. (Savathun also appears to know of Neomuna but is presently deceased, though her Ghost, Immaru, could presumably resurrect her.)

It’s far too early to say whether players can expect a SIVA season in Lightfall, but this has long been a request for Destiny 2 players. The timing of it would work well within the game’s storyline.

Predictions in the Vox Obscura quest line imply the Darkness will overtake the Traveler, which also seems to be implied by the mere name of the Lightfall expansion. Assuming this is true, Guardians will need a powerful source to win the war for the Light. Even if Rasputin reemerges with all its power, the AI has already shown once that it believes its power alone is not capable of thwarting Darkness.

While rumours of a possible SIVA season have been circulating for years, Bungie recognises player interest in such technology. The team may choose to leverage that interest before the conclusion of Destiny 2’s Traveler arc, slated to end with Lightfall’s conclusion.

Further, back in 2021, Destiny 2 producer Wendy Wade articulated that SIVA was likely to be a narrative point in the future.

“We don’t intend that SIVA is not going to be a narrative point in the future. One of the things we wanted to show with the Season of the Splicer is that the Eliksni Splicers are not just SIVA, right? The Devil Splicers, their whole focus was on SIVA, for sure, but there are other types of Eliksni Splicers and that’s something that we wanted to explore in this season,” Wade said at the time. “But yeah… SIVA is still back there. You’re not gonna see it in Season of the Splicer, but it has not – yeah, it’s certainly there for the future.

There’s much more to unpack, and this is a simplified version of the complex narrative web that implies SIVA will reemerge in some way. Regardless, this storyline gives players plenty to look forward to as players gear up for the Destiny 2 season 19 release date, now fewer than two weeks away.

Numisteamone

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