The following weapons are called Closing Time, Gjallarhorn, Red Death, Duke MK.44 and Thunderlord. With every element shaping the brave new world where your adventure will take place, it’s important to note that what is being shared below is still a work in progress and subject to change.
DESTINY DRAWING BOARD: CLOSING TIME
“Carrying this gun is like wearing a badge of honor.” – Tom Doyle, Art Lead
Concept: Adrian Majkrzak
3D Model: David Stammel
There are weapons that speak to you. To look at them is to hear their stories echo through time. To see yourself stalking your prey through the ruins of a place that humanity used to call home, you need only clutch the grip with your fingers.
Closing Time was envisioned to be a weapon imbued with such stories. It wasn’t collected from a gun rack at the end of an assembly line. Someone loved it before they too were lost to the dust of our shattered civilisation.
“It was owned by a group of survivalists operating on the new frontier,” Tom Doyle tells us. Like all Exotic weapons in Destiny, the Guardian who packs them on the mission will not be the original owner. These hunting tools are out there in the wild, waiting to be discovered and put back into service.
The details in the design of this old long barrel allude to untold adventures – just like the ones you’ll experience when you inherit it. New ways to create weapons for the heroes of Destiny have given us new elements we can use to illustrate this world. According to Doyle, the fabrication of this weapon used everything in the upgraded palette.
“Dave Stammel really wanted to push our new shader system with this weapon,” he muses. “We have as many different materials as possible on this asset: gunmetal, plasteel, wood, plastic, and ghillie netting. It showcases the rendering strength and diversity of our new engine.”
These are the nuances that will haunt your imagination between missions. What will be most important are those moments when this weapon is butted up against your shoulder. When the Cabal are in the crosshairs of Closing Time, and you’re about to put their lights out, the only story you’ll care about will be your own.
DESTINY DRAWING BOARD: GJALLARHORN
“This is Hulk Hogan’s belt in weaponised form.” – Tom Doyle, Art Lead
Concept: Adrian Majkrzak
3D Model: Mark Van Haitsma
Heroes rise and fall, before they pass into legend. Weapons that weather the test of time can earn equally bold reputations as they become hoisted by new warriors. To hear Tom Doyle talk about the Gjallarhorn, this rocket launcher sounds more like a trophy than a deliverer of explosive ordnance.
“This is the gilded weapon of a City Champion. It’s a very decorated Guardian weapon to say the least.” Doyle proceeds to describe what sounds more like an animal. “Feared and revered, with no attempt to be stealthy, it loudly announces its presence with a howl.”
What started off as a joke, ended up making a statement about our game. “The initial block model for Gjallarhorn was cool looking, but it was missing some detail that would make it shine in first person view.” After some brainstorming, and a catalyst that came from a concept long since lost to the chaos of the Bungie creative process, our designers envisioned a way to infuse this horn of destruction with a beastly spirit. “Mark just kept adding a wolf every day that he was working on the high resolution model.”
The end result is as ornate as it is deadly. “This Rocket launcher has the highest WPG count of any Bungie weapon ever,” Doyle states with a sly grin. “WPG, of course, is the ‘Wolves Per Gun’ statistic. I thought this concept said a lot about the world we are making, mainly the mythic elements of its fiction.”
DESTINY DRAWING BOARD: RED DEATH
“This is our ‘Heavy Metal’ gun.” – Tom Doyle, Art Lead
Concept: Frank Capezzuto and Tom Doyle
3D Model: Matt Lichy
The Red Death isn’t a rifle that will be wielded by everyone. This bloody piece of iron will not be given, it will be found. Exotics are the legendary weapons of yesterday, hand-crafted by our ancestors and left strewn about the system. Scoring one on a mission of utmost importance marks the end of one tale for this implement of destruction, and the beginning of another. Like every element of our game, this weapon of old tells a story about the world that created it.
Talking in more detail about how players can uncover weapons in Destiny, Tom gave some details about how you will build your armoury in Destiny. “Something that was really important early on was when you saw someone in the game and they had one of these things, it really was a metric of how far they’d played in the game but also the type of activities they like to engage in.”
Sometimes, the process of imagining an exotic weapon begins with something as simple as a name. “The name alone is exotic,” recalls Tom Doyle. “Red Death was what we wrapped the visuals and the fiction around. It really drove all of the creative decisions.”
Like the heroes that will pack it in their inventory for select missions, the Red Death has a reputation that precedes it. “A savage, bandit weapon. It’s provides a look into the world outside the City. This new frontier is harsh and, at times, cruel,” Tom observes. “This is a weapon that was taken from a fallen Guardian. The new owner had it repainted and modded – the optics were even hacked with new graphics.”
By the time this nasty piece of steel sends a burst of deadly firepower from your hands, you’ll be well on your way to becoming legend. In the world of Destiny, legends come in all shapes and sizes. It just so happens that some of them will be rock stars.
DESTINY DRAWING BOARD: DUKE MK.44
“It’s a modern masterpiece.”
Tom Doyle, Art Lead
Concept: Darren Bacon
3D Model: Rajeev Nattam
There will be battles in Destiny that cannot be won with a thundering rifle or an explosive rocket. More desperate moments will find you backed into a corner by ferocious squatters dead-set on evicting you from a haunt of our lost civilization that they’ve claimed as their own. When you find yourself up and close and personal with a hostile landlord, and you will, you’ll want a trusty hand-cannon by your side.
From the drafting tables of the weapon foundries of our last safe city comes a standard-issue revolver available to anyone brave enough to wield it. Submitted for your approval: the Duke MK.44. “This version of the popular model makes short work of combatants who underestimate its quick draw holo sight and hair trigger,” promises Art Lead Tom Doyle.
The Duke might not be exotic, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get some love from its owner. Like any gun in the FOTC arsenal, it can be customised over time to fit perfectly in the hand of the hero who brandishes it. “It’s a solid piece,” states Doyle. “This weapon is most commonly associated with newer Guardians who equip a sidearm in their primary loadout.”
The Duke MK.44 is not a weapon designed for silent stand-offs. When you unleash it from the confines of its holster, it will be time to dance. The quick will overcome the dead.
DESTINY DRAWING BOARD: THUNDERLORD
“At any moment, this gun should feel like it might blow up in your hands.”
Tom Doyle, Art Lead
Concept: Frank Capezzuto, Ryan Demita
3D Model: Jesse Hall
The Thunderlord is so dangerous a weapon that it poses an equal threat to the Guardian behind it as it does to the enemies that appear downrange. This heavy exotic is a foolish aberration, tinkered with in ways few can fully understand. The result of this meddlesome hubris is a beast you can barely control.
Given the erratic nature of this augmented armament, it is decidedly rare. According to Art Lead Tom Doyle, the Thunderlord is a desperate measure on the part of a society that grew weary of being outgunned. “The ammunition is some kind of monster that they wouldn’t normally use,” Doyle warns. “The use of electro-static rounds over this amplitude has been prohibited due to their volatility.”
Vital missions beg of some room to bend the rules. So far, Bungie devs have wielded this belt-fed menace on quests in Los Angeles and Cologne, Germany. On both occasions, it performed with explosive success. “Justin Hayward really brought the weapon to life with the lighting effects in the eleventh hour before E3,” recalls Doyle. “It is a great example of how vital effects are for exotic weapons in first person.” It’s also a great example of how to delight a crowd.
A Guardian gains the right to add the Thunderlord to their inventory by proving that they’re worthy of its firepower. Once earned, it will have to be put to prudent use before its full potential can be realised. After all, you don’t just deploy explosive ammunition on the first date. Like many of the implements in your armoury, this is a gun worthy of a long-term relationship.