I won’t pretend that Destiny didn’t have its share of problems when it first launched all the way back in 2014, and that its successor didn’t have its own share of problems when it arrived three years later. But despite its flaws, Destiny was a game I’ve always enjoyed. From its simple yet fun shooting mechanics to the wicked and diverse guns that it provided, Destiny always has something to love, but the gift that truly keeps on giving is its wide and diverse cast of colorful characters.
Whether it was Shaxx screaming his head off at the sight of my guardian obliterating a charging titan, or Cayde cracking a joke as he voiced approval for me completing a mission, Destiny’s characters always have something fun to offer. It’s one of the biggest factors that kept me coming back to this game over and over again, and with this list I would like to pay homage to five characters that I’ve had the pleasure of spending time within Destiny.
Note: The following list contains spoilers for Destiny 2’s story.
5 – Ikora Rey (Warlock Vanguard)
Now despite my appreciation for the Warlock Vanguard, I’ll be honest here, I honestly didn’t care for the character when I first met her in the original game. I just brushed her off as another NPC to turn quests into and disregard once the rewards she gave me were under my light level — it wasn’t until she started interacting with the notorious and soon to be talked about Vanguard Hunter, Cayde-6, that I gave her any mind.
Listening to her dry and blunt wit bounce off the charismatic hunter was a nice treat that I enjoyed. She went from being simply the smart Vanguard to the sassy, witty Vanguard. Then came Destiny 2 and my appreciation for the character skyrocketed. Watching the smart and stoic vanguard show signs of emotions in her character gave her some much-needed depth aside from just being the “smart one.” Listening to her fly into a rage at the revelation that the speaker had been taken sent chills down my spine, and then feeling nothing but sorrow for the character as she went into how important Cayde was to her just cemented my appreciation for the character. She may not be my number one, but she’s still a Vanguard I would be proud to call friend.
4. Lord Shaxx (Crucible Overseer)
“THIS IS WHAT LOVE SOUNDS LIKE!!!” Well, I guess it must be, since it would be an honor to withstand a whole day of Shaxx shouting those words into my ears.
Lord Shaxx… what else can I say about this absolute unit other than he’s just a beast? The bellowing howls he would let out as he watches guardians rip each other apart in Crucible is absolutely this dude’s label. He may not have the depth of character that Ikora has, but what really gives him a spot above Ikora is his pure infectious enthusiasm that is laced into his words. Listening to how excited he gets when he observes me kill five guardians in a row only fuels me to do better so that I could be treated to another ear-splitting scream of elation.
Shaxx may lack subtlety and any sort of grace, but I can say that I personally would be stoked to do a 1v1 against this rad titan.
3 – Drifter (Gambit Vendor/Rogue Lightbearer)
Boy howdy, can I talk about this shady character. While he certainly has several lines that are a treat to listen to during a gambit match much like Lord Shaxx, he also has a bit of character depth that makes him a fascinating subject like Ikora.
Listening to the shady rogue cheer when I return from the enemies’ side in a gambit match is always a fantastic reward, his enthusiasm always helping to build the hype after a successful team wipe. Then we have all the fascinating lore regarding him being a former member of a cult dedicated entirely to the admiration of a heretical guardian who turned away from the light.
The Drifter is a fascinating character that managed to secure the third spot thanks to his devil may care attitude, and his disregard for the light and his role in protecting the traveler. He has a closet filled to the brim with skeletons and he refuses to share them with anyone due to his intense trust issues. He doesn’t even trust his personal ghost, the object that allows him to return from the dead and is his ties to the traveler. He’s aloof, distant, selfish, and an absolute gem of a character that I would love to learn more about.
2 – Cayde-6 (The Hunter Vanguard… and Everyone’s Best Friend)
Cayde-6… between him and my number one choice it was a tough choice to make. The Exo Hunter’s charismatic attitude was a nice contrast to Ikora’s stoic nature and Zavala’s military professionalism, and it threw a nice wrench into the group’s dynamic, making their group interactions so interesting and fun.
Cayde’s contribution alone was reason enough to be upset over his death at the hands of the Scorned Barons. Ikora and Zavala shared a similar professional demeanor when it came to personality, so Cayde dying over one of them hit that much harder since we ended up losing the character whose personality differed the most from the other two. And it would be criminal of me to not mention how the spectacular final logs he ended up leaving behind were addressed to the people who he was certain would end up killing him.
Hearing Cayde-6’s reasoning and how he would talk about them was a fantastic journey and one that nearly got a tear out of me, especially when it came to Ikora’s tape. The spectacular Hunter Vanguard may not be number one on my list, but that doesn’t make his character any less fantastic.
1 – Failsafe (Exodus Black AI)
When we were first introduced to Failsafe in the beta for D2, her bizarre split personality along with her dialogue was all the evidence I needed that Failsafe was going to be my number one Destiny character. Her split personality just gives her more character to love, and listening to her switch from cynically nihilistic to eerily cheery on a dime will always be an incredible treat to listen to.
The only real downside I have with Failsafe being my favorite character is that there’s never any new dialogue for her. We see all the important characters gain new speech lines, and yet the only new lines we received from Failsafe would be her lamenting over Cayde’s death, which was another case that nearly brought a tear to my eyes.
I ended up doing every adventure that Nessus offers just so that I could get more Failsafe dialogue for all three of my characters. Failsafe is an eccentric, glitched mess of an AI who regularly talks about reminisces about her dead crew and her crippling loneliness, but she’s a mess that I’m proud to call my number one character in Destiny 2.
I have so much more characters that I would love to go over, like Calus and Amanda Holliday, but this list is already long enough, so that’s probably an article for another day. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree with my list? Disagree? Sound out your favorite Destiny characters in the comments.