As the release date for the next Destiny 2 Expansion, Lightfall, creeps closer, new details regarding the next Raid are beginning to emerge. After a sneaky update to the Lightfall webpage by Bungie, Destiny Chroniclers and lore keepers the galaxy over have been scratching their heads trying to figure out what we will be fighting. What new manner of foe will we be facing down come March 10th?
Whatever it will be has a lot to live up to after the ground-breaking introduction of Rhulk in last year’s Vow of the Disciple. And with the Light and Dark Saga of Destiny 2 rapidly approaching its end, Guardians should prepare to face the worst: especially if the official Raid descriptor is anything to go by.
Here are our thoughts (and hopes) on what the new Lightfall Raid Boss will be in Destiny 2.
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The Raid Descriptor
Before we begin theorising, let’s first go over the official descriptor for the yet-unnamed Lightfall Raid. After an update by Bungie following the Lightfall Weapons and Gear trailer, the descriptor now says:
Ferried from an unknown time and place, a haunting presence has been detected. We must now confront the ancient threat growing at our doorstep.”
Bungie.net, Lightfall Official Page
While this isn’t a ton of information, there is enough here that get the gears turning in terms of speculation and imagination. Specific wording or hints to some deep recesses of the lore could point to the final threat of the new Raid.
Nezarec, the Herald of the First Collapse
The first choice is a name that we’ve been hearing a fair bit this year, Nezarec. Previously a Disciple of the Witness and the Herald of the First Collapse, Nezarec was a large part of the Season of Plunder storyline where (after having his Darkness distilled) his corpse was able to reawaken the dormant Osiris.
But Nezarec is dead, right? We literally collected his body in jars over the 7 weeks of Season of the Plunder and then melted that down into tea. While true, death hasn’t stopped Destiny baddies from coming back before – a reminder that Taniks has risen 4 times by now – and, as a Disciple of the Witness, Nezarec may hold a lot more power than we can imagine.
There are some more concrete hints and evidence towards the boss being Nezarec, though, which can be found in the Raid descriptor. First is the use of the terminology ‘ancient threat’. When we got the Raid descriptor for Vow of the Disciple back before the launch of The Witch Queen, Rhulk was described as an ‘ancient evil’. The repeated use of ancient here may serve to tie together Rhulk and Nezarec, especially as these two were likely some of the Witness’ most trusted Disciples, and hint that another Disciple is what we may face in Lightfall.
Alongside that, the first part of the descriptor is very interesting. ‘Ferried from an unknown time and place’ can mean a lot of things (especially in a game like Destiny where time travel and alternative universes are a very real thing) but has some amazing potential when linked to Nezarec. While Nezarec is dead in our current timeline, the Witness is able to open tears in time (such as the rifts on Mars) so it isn’t a massive stretch to imagine that they could do that same process on a larger scale: perhaps back to when Nezarec was alive, back to the Collapse. Having to fight Nezarec in his prime, from when he stood proud as the Herald of the Collapse, would be an incredible encounter.
While there are a few roadblocks – being dead can do that – Nezarec seems like the most likely candidate for the Lightfall Raid boss. His position as a Disciple ties nicely into the current storyline (while still being separate enough not to cause dissonance from the campaign) and it would be a nice way to pay off his return to relevancy in the previous year. It would also give us the stagings for one of the best encounters to date: travelling back in time to the Collapse to kill Nezarec before he can wipe out Humanity and the Traveller. Maybe it is wishful thinking, but keep an eye on any sightings or mentions of the Herald from now on.
Calus, the Herald of the Second Collapse
The second choice is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Herald of the Second Collapse: Calus. While this may seem rather obvious to some, I don’t believe Calus could be the Raid boss in his current form. Bungie has since moved past the days where the main antagonist of an Expansion (such as Crota or Oryx) is defeated inside the Raid and, as one of the primary faces of Lightfall, I don’t doubt that Calus’ reign will end in Lightfall.
So how could he show up? Well, it all rests on that first turn of phrase in the descriptor – ‘ferried from an unknown time and place’. Alternative universes exist in Destiny, and you can even read about one in the Dark Future Lore Book, so perhaps the Calus we fight in the Raid isn’t our Calus. Maybe we will fight against a Calus who has perfected the use of his Darkness powers and maybe even one who carried out his duty as the Second Herald, pulled to our time by the Witness.
There have been mentions of a supremely powerful Calus before in places like the Chronicon (where he ultimately attains his wish of being the last living being in the universe). While the Chronicon is an unreliable source of accurate information as it is essentially a bit of fan fiction that Calus had one of his Psions conjure up, it may provide an interesting blueprint for a Calus who has won. This would allow players who only can do the campaign to feel satisfied with Calus’ defeat. whereas those who challenge the Raid get a cool rematch against a supremely powerful version of the greedy Emperor (plus we’d get to hear even more of Darin De Paul and who doesn’t want that).
The main issues with this theory come from both the descriptor and the potential satisfaction factor. The descriptor says the threat is ‘ancient’ and, if this version of Calus is indeed from a timeline where he wins, he likely would be from the future instead. Additionally, players may feel that defeating Calus in the campaign, only to do it again in the Raid, could be a bit unsatisfying. I’m sure Bungie could pull it off, but it has a lot more risk than Nezarec, for example. Wherever he shows up in Lightfall, get ready to bring the beatdown to Calus and his Shadow Legion.
At this point, the theories become less grounded in concrete characters and drift more into the realm of general ideas. This one, for example, has popped up over recent days after some Guardians got their hands on the Lightfall Collectors Edition, which includes some IRL lore books and missives penned by Destiny characters.
One such piece of lore describes an argument between Calus and Umun Arath, Caital’s former military advisor. During the exchange, Calus says:
“Isn’t that what you say, Umun? In the heart of every gas giant there is an abomination waiting to hatch?”
Destiny 2 Lightfall Collector’s Edition
While this is an interesting (and terrifying) concept on its own, it has led some to alternative conclusions about Lightfall’s Raid. As we know, Lightfall takes place in the city of Neomuna, a futuristic metropolis likely created from a crashed Exodus ship from the Golden Age. And where is Neomuna located? Neptune: a gas planet.
Perhaps Calus is just being symbolic with his description of an abomination, but it is undeniable that having us Guardians face down a gargantuan behemoth at the heart of Neptune wouldn’t be incredible. Riven was our last giant horrifying monster and we’ve been well overdue for another one. The fact that the descriptor also describes the Raid boss as a ‘threat’ potentially points to it being a neutral force – one not aligned with the Light or Dark – with it perhaps being more similar to a dangerous wild animal: maybe it has the potential to wipe out Neomuna if it isn’t stopped, maybe it is a target for corruption or Taking by the Witness.
The main place where this theory falters is in story relevance. Making a sudden huge monster feel satisfying narratively is much more difficult than using a direct Disciple or underling of the main series’ antagonist. If it isn’t handled right, it could feel like a bit of a flop. Once again, I have belief in Bungie that they could make it work., but it is undoubtedly much more difficult to pull off.
If you want more information and theories on this exact idea, you can check out this Reddit post on r/DestinyLore by u/TheD00rway that goes into more detail.
Admittedly, this final theory is a bit spinfoil. Seldom mentioned in Destiny 2, Aphelions are a mysterious alien race. They were first mentioned in Forsaken as dangerous, malevolent creatures that have taken the lives of many Awoken (including Three of Queen Mara’s Techeuns).
Ever since they’ve become kind of a running joke within the community – ‘this time it’ll be Aphelions for sure’ – but with the vagueness of Lightfall’s Raid descriptor, maybe there’s some hope for an actual appearance. Before Riven came in Forsaken, many of us doubted that we’d ever see a Wish Dragon, never mind fight one. Maybe the same is true with the Aphelions.
Like with the Neptune Abomination theory, the main way this is lacking is in terms of story. Aphelions haven’t ever been relevant to the narrative and dropping them in now may be a bit unappealing when so much else is going on. Even then, seeing an Aphelion would likely emit similar feelings to witnessing an Ahamkara for the first time so, deep down, there is some level of hope (no matter how spinfoily it may be).
Those were our theories on what we could be fighting in the upcoming Lightfall Raid in Destiny 2. If you have any other thoughts or theories on what could appear, make sure to leave them in the comments down below.