• The Locations of Destiny

    Destiny promises to be an enormous game with an enormous scope. How gargantuan? Think our solar system, literally. Destiny is Bungie's newest IP and has promised us beyond the world so far confirming that Guardians will be able to travel to the rings of Saturn, the sand dunes of Mars, the jungles of Venus, the cracked surface of the Moon, not to mention Earth, and countless other possibilities throughout the solar system. Bungie's Shared World Shooter has promised a lot and has loads more to reveal.

    The Foundation

    Before we turn to specific locations in Destiny lets discuss how players will interact within these locations. Obviously, Destiny is a First Person Shooter (FPS) and will feature combat. While not much is known about that, there will be distinct areas in different locations that do and do not allow for combat. These locations in Destiny colloquially called "social hubs", allow players to interact, mingle, and possibly be centers of commerce and leisure. In these areas the player's perspective will move out of first person and put them into a third person perspective giving these areas a unique feel. The one "safe zone" that has been confirmed is a location somewhere in the Last City called the Overwatch District. These safe zones, especially the Last City, will also function as launch zones for Guardians to travel to other planets-hopefully in our own in our own spacecraft.

    "Non-safe zones" presumably make up the lion's portion of the regions of Destiny and it is unknown how these function or interact with "safe zones". The drop in drop out nature that Bungie has promised with its Shared World Shooter begs many questions about how players will transition between combat and non-combat zones. Bungie has also confirmed that will address the competitive Multiplayer side of its community and that Player versus Player combat will not be forced upon players who do not want it. In fact, players will be able to fly their personal spacecraft to these PvP zones. It's easy to extend the idea of flying to PvP zones to players being able to fly to any zones in Destiny especially with Bungie promising a lack of traditional menus.

    The Wandering "Stars" of Destiny

    Ghost Town

    We all know it and we all love it. In Destiny, a lot has changed. After the Golden Age of humanity people were pushed down and forced to hold out in the only safe place left: under the Traveler. This mysterious monolith was the savior of Humanity and we're not sure how or why it arrived at Earth but it did aid and possibly spur Humanity's Golden Age. It was the last protection Humanity had and as such they began anew in its shadow. The Last City is the location on Earth that we know the most about for now. And yet we do not even know where it's located on Earth. A potential theory could be that the Last City is Puerto Princesa based on the countless early backgrounds used by Bungie when they went dark after Reach and in the ARG before Destiny's official announcement. Unfortunatly all concept art showing the Last City has been inconclusive on it's exact location. The Last City has been featured many times in Bungie's ViDocs Humanity has started their long road to recovery here after a long struggle with aliens that nearly exterminated the species. In terms of game-play, we know that The Last City will be a central hub for all Guardians to begin their adventures to other places and possibly even a melting pot of species.

    Other Locations on Earth include:

    The above concept art shows a Guardian walking through the ruins of some section of a city and dam complex more than likely on earth. No doubt much of the rest of the world has suffered a similar amount of decay with everyone fleeing to the Last City. Interestingly, this concept art does not give me the same feeling I've ever gotten from any other post-apocalyptic style scene like in a zombie film or Fallout game. Instead I get the same feeling looking at the ruins of an Ancient Civilization like the Mayans or Romans. My immediate reaction is not to explore to survive or gather resources. Instead, I'm fueled by curiosity alone, much like my experience in the Halo: Reach or ODST where nearly every level portrayed human structures abandoned in the heat of invasion. In those games these abodes were made to look like the world had instantly stopped, everyone dropped what they were doing and panicked. The uniqueness in Halo however was the contrast of civilian and military life that was a temporary wartime inconvenience. In Destiny the same is true however, centuries have past and the grandeur of the past was lost and more than likely the ease and convenience of life has given way to the necessity of survival and the first hints of humanity's movement back to it's Golden Age.

    Ocean of Storms

    The Hellmouth

    The Moon

    It might be jealous of its new orbiting partner, The Traveler. From concept art, it seems that the Moon has suffered some destruction of the surface. Not to mention the gaping mechanical maw of the Hellmouth. The image of the Moon to the right shows an outpost located based on the Oceanus Procellarum, a real life location on the Moon or Ocean of Storms as the concept art is titled. It shows us the drastically naturally ravaged surface of the moon caused by unknown forces. The left image of the Moon shows us the Hellmouth. In the forefront we see some ruins of buildings long abandoned and collapsed contrasted by more modern buildings to the left which have not yet collapsed completely. The intact ruins in the Hellmouth image and the structure in the Ocean of Storms seem to have the same basic architectural structure especially in the largest and tallest buildings suggesting a micro and macro view of a typical lunar outpost. Despite these ruins there are signs of activity on the Moon. Tread marks and tire tracks are evident in both lunar images. As mentioned the destruction of the Moons surface is unknown although a likely candidate could be the Hellmouth and what would be required to build such a gorge.

    The Citadel


    Our closest and hottest neighbor. Bungie has taken some liberties it seems compared to the real Venus which is covered in volcanoes. Bungie has described Venus as at least partially covered in lush jungles. One confirmed location is
    Shores of Time.

    There are also hints that Venus could be the location of the Vex's main base called the Citadel. If you didn't know, the Vex are time traveling robots from the future. The jungle scenery below and its connection to the Vex is our only hint so far that the Vex are on Venus. This concept art shows entitled shows us the first images of the Citadel in a jungle like environment in front of and oddly constructed building with electricity emitting and seeming to keep the structure intact. In the foreground two Guardians are battling 4-5 Vex.

    Sit on the Shores of Time on Venus and watch other Guardians run through, leaving behind a body count.
    Nate Hawbaker, Associate Technical Artist



    The Red Planet, Earth's other neighbor, still looks quite red in concept art and a small and a small amount of in-game footage. According the Bungie the Exclusion Zone is heavily controlled by the hulking Cabal.

    Mars has also been the location that has provided us with our first description of Destiny game play and some new locations. Bungie has also share another location on Mars called the Dust Palace, which may house Charlemagne's Vault. This image shows us the first image of the Mars Exclusion Zone and of Cabal flags with their symbol or some other kind of Cabal iconography. The massive scale of Destiny is again apparent in this artwork. It is also interesting to note there are some beams emitting from the top of the buildings. This concept art is more than likely one of many abandoned bases on Mars. One interesting thing to note is the overgrown vegetation in the buildings on the right.

    Exclusion Zone

    The City wants us to recover a piece of Charlemagne, one of the great Warminds of the Golden Age—a vast machine intelligence built by the ancient Powers of Mars. The Cabal do everything they can to try and stop our descent, but we keep pushing, rifles cracking and Traveler energy boiling from our fists until the only thing left standing is us, and the only thing left of the Cabal is the loot they hid in Charlemagne’s vault.

    Cassini Derelict


    The Jewel of the Solar System with its majestic rings and multitude of moons. Nothing has been said about what the Guardians will be doing on Saturn's surface if anything but concept art and descriptions have told us about derelict fleets in the rings of Saturn. Perhaps the Saturn was the location of an epic struggle during the collapse of the Golden Age that created a veritable "ship wreck cove" in the System that has since become a popular spot for salvage. Also one of the weapons found in Charlemagne's Vault was "a rare hand cannon that looks like it was carved from the dark heart of one of the Cracked Moons of Saturn." This reference to the "cracked moons of Saturn" conjures up an immediate association with the cracked surface of the Moon. Has humanity found new sources of raw material by mining into the moons of planets? It has also been shown in the Playstation 4 announcement shows a Fallen walking through one of these derelict ships. The title of this concept art is Cassini and shows one of the hopefully many derelicts rife for discovering and looting dotted throughout the rings of Saturn.

    Jupiter (or rather Europa)

    The only other hint of possible other locations are a frozen blizzard struck base on one of Jupiter's moons Europa. This may actually be the location of the European Dead Zone rather than some location on the European continent on Earth. Obviously the extreme climate of Europa has overrun the former structure as its abandonment may have caused a degradation of systems used to keep itself safe.


    The Rest of the Solar System

    Bungie has been silent on all the other planets and moons in our solar system (For those keeping count that's Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto that's right I said Pluto's a planet). Besides the planets there are hundreds of moons and countless other smaller objects like asteroids (lonely or in belt form), dwarf planets, and the possibility of huge alien craft as seen in previous Bungie games that could easily become candidates for exploratory locations in Destiny. The use of the Geomancy symbols in the ARG might hint at the limit of our Guardian's journeys throughout our Solar System (but hopefully not!)

    Final Thoughts
    It is interesting to note that Bungie has associated the Cabal and Vex to particular planets or locations. However, it is unknown how much the non-humans of Destiny have proliferated through out the Solar System. Especially with other concept art portraying Cabal and Fallen moving in tandem through forest of some kind. Compounding this are the Fallen who are a "nomadic race of once noble houses now scattered to the solar winds". The "space zombies" do not have a location confirmed either, not to mention the location and existence of other alien species who are not hostile. However, the other inhabitants of Destiny's universe are a discussion for another day. More in focus toward location, it appears that Bungie has firmly established a unifying architectural style in all human structures. The same building shapes can be seen in the Earth, Mars, and Europan concept art. As always, this information is all based on what Bungie has graciously revealed to us and the media and the speculation has been kept to the minimum to avoid overly zealous assumptions not based on what is known. Only Time Will Tell...(tm)
    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Locations of Destiny started by Ser Jergen View original post
    Comments 28 Comments
    1. Rocker's Avatar
      Rocker -
      Excellent write up, thanks for dropping the knowledge!
    1. TeaPee's Avatar
      TeaPee -
      All the write ups here are great! Nice work putting together the info in a satisfying way.
    1. Con's Avatar
      Con -
      Welcome, and we're glad you enjoy them! If there's anything you'd like us to look into let us know.
    1. Landscaper's Avatar
      Landscaper -
      Nice read! Thanks for the effort you put into this!
    1. Axial's Avatar
      Axial -
      I love this forum. You guys are awesome for condensing all this information into more readily consumable articles.
    1. Recon's Avatar
      Recon -
      Nice post
    1. Chef Gargoyle's Avatar
      Chef Gargoyle -
      Fantastic write-up! The fact that we are able to travel to and explore these other planets is really one of my driving factors for getting this game. Legitimate space travel from planet to moon and then back to home is going to be amazing especially since they have talked about each player having their own unique ship to cruise around in.
    1. Con's Avatar
      Con -
      Yeah, hopefully it's not a point and click kinda travel. Really hoping for in-atmo flying too.
    1. Chef Gargoyle's Avatar
      Chef Gargoyle -
      Quote Originally Posted by Con View Post
      Yeah, hopefully it's not a point and click kinda travel.
      I would be ok with that for long trips like from Earth to Saturn as long as once you are in the area it switches over to manual control for some space dogfights.
    1. Steg's Avatar
      Steg -
      The ship on Saturn may contain the Space Zombies? Just a thought though.
    1. Ser Jergen's Avatar
      Ser Jergen -
      Yea. That's definitely what it kinda looks like. But there was also a Fallen there as seen in the PS4 announcement
    1. Con's Avatar
      Con -
      Heh, I still think of them as Space Zombies. I predict the Hive will be everywhere, like a blight affecting many worlds.
    1. Laxdude's Avatar
      Laxdude -
      To me the Hive seem to be like the Flood from halo.
    1. Ser Jergen's Avatar
      Ser Jergen -
      They do. And I'm ok way with that because so far it seems like they will be way more sophisticated than the Flood. Also I like the fan theory that the Glimmer or unknown 5th enemy are going to be the major combatants of the Guardians. Gigantic Onyx Triangular Prism Ships, a gaseous form, that shit's going to be bananas.
    1. barnroz's Avatar
      barnroz -
      i have been reading around magazines and many other things about destiny and ive realized something. we may see the human in its former greatness in a mission where we might end up chasing a vex (time traveling robotic race) through a shift and we might have to keep the timeline in order.
    1. barnroz's Avatar
      barnroz -
      i wonder if we can go to Chicago and see the ghost of opera hear some jokes maybe
    1. Con's Avatar
      Con -
      Quote Originally Posted by barnroz View Post
      i have been reading around magazines and many other things about destiny and ive realized something. we may see the human in its former greatness in a mission where we might end up chasing a vex (time traveling robotic race) through a shift and we might have to keep the timeline in order.
      Whoa, I had never considered that before. That would be amazing to see. However, I always get a little skeptical when time travel is involved. The time-travel model I prefer is branching timelines. Whenever someone goes back in time they are now part of a new but identical universe. Changes to the past do not affect the previous timeline's present. Anyone seen the movie Primer?
    1. barnroz's Avatar
      barnroz -
      no i havent sorry
    1. Ser Jergen's Avatar
      Ser Jergen -
      Very true. Especially because Bungie has made hints that they Vex didn't originate on Venus and that they have only made it there base in our solar system.
    1. Pryos's Avatar
      Pryos -
      I hope there is more option for whether you actually fly or not. And possibly maybe missions that are against enemy space ships. I would not want it to be like the Sabers (sabres? Spellcheck please) in Reach where there was this whole other aspect of the game but it was made limited to only two levels and neither even being full Saber levels. And if they can pull it off possibly PvP dogfights. But I am not to sure about that because I would not want it to be as difficult as Battlefield simulated flight to figure out. But Battlefield also only has PvP dogfights which makes it harder for new players to figure out techniques versus experienced plays who can easily shoot you out of the sky. But if there is AI enemies to practice on this may not be a problem.