On Tuesday of last week, Destiny 2 players were greeted with a new blinking quest marker hovering over Mercury. The mysterious warlock Osiris had something waiting for them. What followed was one of the largest undertakings the Destiny community has ever come together to solve.
The Corridors of Time puzzle had multiple steps, insane levels of complexity and an unexpected reward. Here is everything that happened leading up to the culmination that took nearly a week to achieve.
Step Back To Niobe Labs
In order to appreciate The Corridors of Time, it’s important to remember a similar community challenge that Bungie created this time last year: Niobe Labs. Right in the middle of the Season of the Forge road map, Niobe Labs was a question mark.
Players knew what to expect from the different Forges that had been unlocked over the course of the season leading up to Niobe. Volundr, GoFannon, and Izanami Forges all had some tedious quest work followed by unlocking the ability to forge new weapons.
Niobe Labs was different. Once players walked into the garage warehouse-style area, they were faced with waves of strong enemies and some perplexing puzzles.
This is where the community came in. Every step required knowledge of the forges, specific weapons that revealed invisible symbols, and some wild cipher decryption. Hours upon hours were spent by players and puzzlers alike to try to push the Labs forward. The problem was that with every failure, the event would reset back to zero and players would have to start again from scratch.
Niobe Labs truly split the player base. Some were thrilled to be able to work on such complex puzzles that held meaningful value in game. Others were less than excited about the fact that a fourth and final forge (Bergusia) was actually locked behind the completion of Niobe. I’m of the mind that this sort of activity gave players a unique experience that we rarely see in game, thus if I have to wait an extra few days for another forge, that’s okay with me.
The Corridors So Far
This puzzle was not our first time venturing into the Corridors of Time. Twice so far this season, we have delved into the maze in search of the long lost Saint-XIV. Each time we have run through the Corridors, many of the possible paths have been blocked off, helpfully leading us in the right direction.
Thanks to these missions, we have found the great hero of the Twilight Gap and returned him to the Tower. He now acts as a vendor for quests that help progress activities for Seasons of Dawn, but I think there’s more to him than we know so far.
The Race Is On
This brings us back to Tuesday. Osiris sent us back into the Corridors, but this time things were different. There were no blocked paths, there was no direction. The only objective was to “Explore the Corridors of Time”. So what now?
It didn’t take long for players to learn that were were actually being given a specific path, albeit from a new source. The Obelisks that players have been using as vendors all season now displayed seven symbol sequences that changed at the top of every hour.
Players that followed these sequences were given one of what amounted to be nineteen pieces of unique lore about Saint-XIV and The Twilight Gap. In addition to these lore rewards, players found that symbols within the reward room were spelling out something much larger.
Each of the shapes that players saw after following the 19 paths came together to form one larger shape, creating a new, 20th path through the Corridors. This new, longer path was how players acquired the new Saint-XIV emblem.
Just Getting Started
Once players go their hands on the emblem, many thought that was it. They made it. And yet, the objective “Explore the Corridors of Time” remained incomplete.
It was only after some particularly sleuthy players realized that once Guardians acquired their emblem and again looked for a symbol they realized that everyone was seeing something different. Not just a few different combinations, no. No one in the whole game was seeing any repeats.
Could this mean what they thought it meant? Yes. There was another puzzle. Another path to uncover. Something greater lay within the maze that was far beyond an emblem or lore.
Thus began the largest community data collection run I’ve ever witnessed. Thousands of players submitted thousands of entries to spreadsheet databases trying to piece together what looked to be an enormous puzzle.
Days upon days were spent trying to put this behemoth together piece by piece. Bungie refused to give any help besides the occasional recommendation to sleep and stay hydrated. Players knew it was a matter of time, but this one was grueling.
It was until deep in the night Sunday, five days later, that the path was finally revealed. Thanks to the efforts of so many Guardians putting in so many hours of work, a new quest was revealed.
Upon reaching the crypt at the end of the 30-step puzzle, players were greeted with the ethereal voice of Saint-XIV giving a eulogy for…. Us. We had reached the moment in time where our eventual funeral was taking place. Saint identified us according to accolades that our Guardian had accomplished. Savior of the Red War, Slayer of Crota, The Young Wolf, etc…
In addition to hearing our own eulogy, we were presented with an exotic quest (another one?). This quest was fairly straight forward, only taking about an hour, and ended in us being rewarded with the new kinetic fusion rifle, Bastion. This one-of-a-kind weapon has already proven to be very potent in Crucible and PvE alike.
Reception surrounding the new weapon was a mixed bag, though. Bastion was actually on the road map to be released at the end of this month so, in essence, all of the work that was put in to the Corridors quest simply released the weapon a week early. I’m pretty surprised they decided to go this direction. You’d expect something with a little more pomp and circumstance than something they announced at the beginning of the season.
That being said, I think this is a classic case of the journey being far more important than the destination. The Destiny 2 directory on Twitch saw millions of hours of engagement this week. Communities came together on YouTube, Twitch, Reddit, Mixer, and more. Through its difficulty and divisiveness, moments like these are what make Destiny special. I don’t see many games utilize the entire community to complete a single objective like this.
Now that Bastion has arrived, it’s time to look ahead and see what remains of the Season of Dawn. All we know now is that one final boss for the Sundial is yet to arrive, and with him the very mysterious Empyrean Foundation. Is this a new Niobe Labs as well? Another community effort? According to the road map, it is available to all Destiny 2 players and not just those with the season pass.
Besides this, it’s time to start thinking about wrapping up the levels on the season pass reward table as well as completing tasks associated with the Savior title. As always, I’m excited for what comes next, and the more the community is involved in that experience, the better.
*I pulled information and graphics for this article from Twitter and Twitch thanks to @SayNoToRage, @GladdOnTwitch, @TheTeawrex, @Mr_Niris (all Twitter handles), and so many more. Thank you to everyone for all of the hard work.