Destiny 2 Q&A: Why Bungie Killed Cayde-6

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Destiny 2 Q&A: Why Bungie Killed Cayde-6

In one of E3 2018's most shocking moments, it looks like the Hunter Vanguard's luck has finally run out.

Of all the characters in the universe of Destiny, Cayde-6 has been one of the series’ most popular. The wise-crackin’ Hunter Vanguard has been one of Bungie’s most recognizable faces (and voices, thanks to the inimitable Nathan Fillion) for years — so why did they just kill him off during our E3 2018 Showcase?

We caught up with the project lead on Destiny 2: Forsaken, Scott Taylor, to get some answers.

Destiny 2: Forsaken

PlayStation.Blog: Tell me about the internal discussion about killing off Cayde-6. Who pitched the idea first, and what was the room’s reaction?

Scott Taylor: There wasn’t a single lightning moment where someone unveiled a grand design about killing Cayde. It was much more organic than that and developed from a series of ideas we were trying to explore. We wanted to tell a story with huge stakes, but have those stakes be really personal to the player. We’ve done aliens trying to destroy the universe with the consequences of failure resulting in catastrophe. What if we could get that feeling with something closer to home, and more relatable? That was appealing.

We started discussing what we cared about as Guardians, and it became clear that the Vanguard had really come alive as characters for our fans. So each of the expansions over the last year have focused on them: Ikora in Curse of Osirsis, Zavala in Warmind and now Cayde in Forsaken. We haven’t taken a player off the board like this before, and we realized that the loss of Cayde would mean more to the Player than any other possible external threat we could think of. All the ideas came together and formed what became Forsaken.

Reaction to this has been all over the place across the studio. Some people are mad, sad, frustrated, excited. We think that’s appropriate. It’s a big deal, and we’re taking it seriously.

PSB: Is this going to be the main thread that carries us through the story of Forsaken?

ST: Cayde dying sets everything into motion. The Player wants revenge and as they seek it out they begin to blur the line between what is right and wrong. The Player makes alliances they normally wouldn’t in order to wipe out their enemies. You see who killed Cayde – all of them, from the Barons to Uldren – and now they’re on your list. As you check the names off you learn more about Uldren and what he is looking to achieve.

Destiny 2: Forsaken

Destiny 2: ForsakenDestiny 2: Forsaken

PSB: This feels like a pretty big shift for Uldren — in the first game we knew he was kind of a jerk, then he kind of disappeared after the events of The Taken King… now he’s made quite the reappearance. How long has the team been planning for this to be where he returns?

ST: We’ve been working on this direction with Uldren for awhile. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there’s more going on with him than meets the eye. He’s the hero of his own story. You learn a lot about what’s motivating Uldren, and where he’s been, as you play Forsaken.

PSB: Any word on his sister’s status / whereabouts?

ST: I don’t want to get involved in the family affairs of the Sovs. You saw what happened to Cayde.

PSB: Were any other characters on the chopping block initially when the Forsaken story started heading in this direction?

ST: Cayde always felt right once we landed on this story. His death sets the table for the journey we want to take players on. I can’t imagine any other character hitting with as much impact. It’s striking to me that we’re leading with a character death for a Destiny game, because I think it shows that we’ve established characters that are meaningful to people. It’s sad to say goodbye to Cayde, but this raises the stakes for everything. This is a living world and we are pulling Cayde out of the Tower forever. Now we have to challenge ourselves to bring in new characters that can flesh out the universe even more. We need to be taking chances with our storytelling and not playing it safe.

PSB: This may be the darkest, most personal premise we’ve seen in Destiny thus far. Why did the team decide to take the story in this direction?

ST: It’s important to grow and stretch different muscles. We need to be able to surprise players and evolve the universe. The stories of Uldren, Cayde and the Player came together in this really powerful way that felt like it could only be told by getting personal. Grittier than before. We are excited to embrace it and we hope our players are, too.

Destiny 2: Forsaken launches on September 4 on PS4. Learn more about it here.

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  • Wanted to like uldren when he was initially introduced but he killed cayde sp that’s not gonna happen

  • Admittedly my first reaction mirrored that of Bill S. Preston, Esq. in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
    “You killed Cayde, you medieval…..” :)

    But upon thinking about it, that gut punch has deeply resonated with the community. Everyone is ready to take out Uldren. Can’t wait to play Forsaken, but don’t want to say goodbye to my favorite Vanguard.

  • Love Nathan Fillion, but I was pretty tired of Cayde’s schtick. It will be nice to see what Bungie replaces him with.

  • I like the game and it’s introduction, really makes me feel great!

  • NotSoFriendlyKid

    Gave up on the Destiny franchise a while ago.

  • Welp there goes my chances of picking the game back up again….
    Had a bit of a want to play again but nty… murdering off the char with the most character in the series is a game of thronesian move.

  • They should have killed off the Titan vanguard. The least likeable imo.

    • …but then who would really care? Killing off a non-liked character does nothing to motivate the masses into caring about the story, or the characters. Cayde-6 is my favorite, as a hunter…he was my mentor through the last several years across each game. This move is a gut punch, and I can’t wait to take the fight to Uldren and make him pay.

  • I really don’t know whether to be excited about this expansion or really seriously ****ed off Bungie killed of Cayde-6! I’m torn between buying it so I can kill Uldren or saying screw it all and not bother playing anymore! Cayde is my favorite NPC, and I’m not sure if I want to be in a world where he’s no longer a part of it after four years of playing Destiny! This truly sucks. I know it will be a great storyline, but it still sucks! My sense of vengeance will win out; I’m sure, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it! All I know is; this better be one super kickass storyline or it will be my last. No more excuses, no more second chances. You killed Cayde; you destroyed everything I loved about Destiny, end of story

    Some people who read this may think I’m being too hard; but most of my friends, teammates and clan members have all but left the game; so I have nothing left to bring me back if this fails to deliver.

  • Why is it such a big deal, everyone has been obsessing about it since they found out, they killed him off they will most likely replace him with someone just as cool . Let it be please.

  • I haven’t played Destiny 2 yet so won’t read the Q&A to prevent spoilers but if anyone believes they really killed Cayde well then this person haven’t learned anything from the entertainment world.They would NEVER kill someone as popular as Cayde which is the most popular and well received character of Destiny,his death being showcased like that is for impact obviously and of course he will be brought back if not in the end of this DLC then in the next or even in the next game for even more impact.Could quote 20+ examples of famous characters being brought back to life in famous entertainment stuff and the same thing will happen to Cayde.I was shocked when I saw the trailer but I know Cayde will come back.

  • Why pay top dollar for Hollywood talent for a game series that doesn’t really have a plot, much less fully realized characters…

  • Movies and TV shows now a days are killing off favorites or main protagonists. I mean Game of Thrones and Walking Dead are prime examples of one of the main dying of and not coming back. He may be a big time actor or something but killing off his character isn’t a surprise. Had a feeling Cayde would die cause of how he treats himself. But now got a good reason to kick Uldrans ass.

  • thanks for the spoiler alert playstation blog lol

  • “Why did Bungie kill off Cayde 6?”

    Because it was the only redeeming quality the game had left.

  • I just want to wish bungie luck because me along with many of my friends are very upset with this. Almost the only reason I played destiny 1 and 2 was because I was happy to have cayde join me in the fight. Now that he will be missing, I have no idea what to do. I also hope you make this a better expansion than curse of Osiris and warmind. Also, please make it to where we get to at least keep a part of cayde with us, such as a bit of equipment or a item that you can’t dismantle. Having that would make me feel somewhat better about his death. Can you also give an explanation to why we can’t give others our ghost so they may come back? Such as saint-14 or cayde now. Bungie tho, you can’t do this. Even if you replace him in the tower, you can’t replace the memories. This will bring a lot of backlash, and a lot of people may start a riot. Also bungie or anyone, please let me talk to someone there. I know that’s dumb for a random in the internet to ask, but it would be so nice and I would like to put something in the game people should find. I don’t wanna say out loud but if you could message me, thank you.

  • You have to remember that Bungie killed off Cayde-6 and the 6 refers to the number of times he’s been rebooted….so in other words, he’ll probably be just fine and will become Cayde-7 (with a different voice actor a la the Trill from Star Trek DS9 or the Doctor in Dr. Who).

    Or maybe it’s permanent.

  • destiny story has always been bad, he was literally the only good part of it and you killed him just to get some kind of emotional reaction because he’s the only liked character, because you literally had no other ideas, good job putting the nail in

  • The only thing that truly matters is whether my Guardian is going to be able to talk to properly display the emotion that is felt by Cayde dying… I don’t give half a crap what my ghost has to say about it.

  • Couple things about this. 1. Cayde was the best damn character you had. With him gone, yaaay all we’re left with is cardboard cutouts. 2. Cayde’s story was darker than any of this stuff, and it”s being abandoned, without even fully exploring it. 3. Cayde was a better writer than all of you (have some of you READ his writings?).

    Screw off with your “LET’S BE EDGY” crap.

  • This does not make me want to take revenge. Cayde was the best NPC in the game. This makes me not want to buy Forsaken. I assure you I’m not the only one that feels this way. It has been made clear to Bungie that they have been losing their fan base and that they needed to win us back. They literally just did the opposite. GG

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