Destiny’s narrative threads are far-reaching, reaching almost every aspect of the game. Over the past year or so, Destiny players have experienced a narrative that unfolds around one of the game’s most beloved characters: Osiris. From the death of his faithful Ghost, Sagira, to his increasingly suspicious behavior, the famed Warlock and former Vanguard commander have been plagued by questions for months.
At the start of the season of the missing, the truth was revealed. If you didn’t know yet – CAUTION SPOILERS – Osiris was not Osiris. In fact, Osiris hadn’t been himself for quite some time. Sawatun, the sister of the forms, herself the queen of witches, told the Guardians that she had switched places with Osiris several months earlier and has since sowed discontent in the Vanguard, creating rampant speculation and spawning wild theories among the Hound of Fate legends throughout the community. along the way.
This is exactly what the Bungie Narrative team planned.
Over the past year, the storytelling team has dug deeply, sowing the seeds of Savatun’s deception throughout the game in unexpected ways. Today we look back at some of these turning points and speak with the team about what it was like to bring this story to life.
The Savatun / Osiris narrative was the result of countless discussions within the Destiny Narrative team and was planned well before it unfolded in the game. The team’s main goal was to raise the stakes of storytelling in the game without resorting to killing characters. They also knew they wanted to build Savatun into the Last City; like a natural born trickster, when she posed as someone and walked among people, it seemed right in accordance with her character. Moreover, the Last City was chosen because Savatun knew that this was the last place where her sister and rival, Xivu Arat, would look for her.
“From that point on, there was a conversation in the writers’ room about who would be the best bet for her,” said Bungie Senior Narrator Julia Nardin. “We landed on Osiris because of his relationship with Ikora, his former apprentice, which gave Savatun the most direct access to the Vanguard.”
The first moment the Witch Queen took over from Osiris happened during the hunting season. Initially, players discovered a series of audio messages from Mara Sov and Osiris in Zavala’s office. The line in which Osiris announced that his ghost, Sagira, had died as a result of the attack – it was not Osiris at all, but rather Savatun, who first took the place of Warlock, beckoning players to the moon. As an added compliment, Savatun arranged for the player’s first encounter with Vorona, creating a situation where players witnessed him “rescuing” Osiris from one of Xivu Arat’s henchmen.
This was followed by a carefully calculated campaign in which Savatun manipulated the people and sowed mistrust and doubt in the Vanguard. Nardin said one of her favorite examples is how quickly Savatun as Osiris failed the first meeting between Caiatl and Zavala at the start of the Season of the Chosen One. As soon as Caiatl proposed an alliance between the Cabal and the Vanguard, Savatun stepped out of the shadows and began to question Caiatl’s reliability.
As Nardin explained, “Savatun could not afford a formal alliance between humanity and the Cabal of Caiatl, so she sabotaged it. But she did it in a way that prevented Caiatl from launching a full-scale assault on her hideout, and when it came time to de-escalate the conflict she helped create, she made sure her decision kept all the players to herself. Chess board. ”
Assuming the image of Osiris and causing distrust at every step, Savatun’s ego inevitably got the better of her, and her facade shifted slightly. A good example of this was evident during the fight against the High Celebrity in Season of the Hunt, where Savatun-as-Osiris, in a fit of pride, briefly denied her true attitude towards her sister Xivu Arat, stating that she had “no ambition.” ”
“This line came from a discussion in the Writer’s Room where someone suggested,“ What if Savatun is really annoyed that Ksivu Arat has no imagination and basically just copies her? “Said Bungie Senior Story Designer Nikko Stevens. “It showed a small flash of whoever was hiding behind the mask of Osiris, and was another indication that something else was happening beneath the surface.”
It just goes to show that even when control of the universe is at stake, there is still room for siblings to quarrel.
Step too far
By the Season of the Mutant, Savaton’s schemes had moved into even more dangerous and divisive territory. Like Osiris, Savatun took advantage of people’s fears and distrust of the Eliksni refugees living among them and used them against the Vanguard through Lakshmi. When Saladin knocked to rectify the situation and help strategize, Savatun hinted that people believed he was behind an earlier attempt on Zavala’s life and rejected him. Her every move continued to distance Zavala and Ikora from their existing allies. Perhaps worst of all, she used Osiris’ relationship with Sep-14 to try to get him to help overthrow the Vanguard.
However, all these tricks were beginning to take their toll on the Witch Queen. “Even though all this deception feeds her worm, this parasite that gives her strength, it still wasn’t enough,” Nardin said. “Savatun made so many mistakes during the Season of the Mutant because she was in a lot of pain. She was desperate, and when Savatun becomes desperate, she becomes careless. ”
For example, one day, agitated and tired of months of shape-shifting, Savatun stutters through controversy while talking to Mythrax, claiming that the Black Armory is under control. The poignant dialogues, enhanced by Oded Fehr’s superb voice acting of Osiris, really bring Savatun’s momentary struggles to life.
“We worked closely with Oded to turn the Savaton-Osiris storyline,” Stevens said. “In fact, when we told him about the exchange, he was delighted and immediately adjusted his performance in Season of the Lost to be more like Savatun as Osiris.”
Over the course of several seasons, the team worked to bring the Savaton-as-Osiris storyline to life in different ways. However, the team knew that the “big discovery” had an impact. They also knew that many players would see information about the Witch Queen after the show of fate in August, so the decision was made to immediately put Sawatun in the spotlight for Season of the Missing.
“At the time we were working on Season of the Lost, we didn’t have a character model for Savatun yet, so we had to get creative with her transformation on screen and how she would maintain a physical presence in the world, all the way to “The Witch Queen,” said Nardin. “A lot of game development is about finding solutions to these kinds of problems, especially when we’re going in multiple creative paths at the same time.”
Revealing Savathûn was a payback for all the breadcrumbs and subtle nods that have occurred over the past three seasons, and a grand preparation for the upcoming action. The Guardians now know the truth, and while Savatun’s deception has been exposed, the repercussions are something Guardians will have to contend with in Season of the Witch Queen Expansion. [REDACTED], and not only.
Curious to know what will happen next? Don’t miss out on The Witch Queen when it launches on February 22, 2022!