So, I’m a bit of a Destiny addict. As such, I decided a couple months ago that I was finally going to try to get one of the game’s most sought-after weapons: Luna’s Howl. This hand cannon has a spicy set of perks and an equally spicy questline you need to tackle to earn it.
You’ll spend a lot of time in the game’s Competitive PvP playlist if you decide to chase this pinnacle weapon, and as you work toward it you’ll notice the titles of its steps have a certain familiarity to them:
- Shock and Denial
- Pain and Guilt
- Anger and Bargaining
- Depression and Loneliness
- The Upward Turn
The quest steps to obtain Luna’s Howl are a reflection of the stages of grief.
At first, players might see these as a subtle nod to a player’s experience attempting to climb the competitive ranks to obtain the weapon — a process that can be a test of not only a player’s skill, but their patience. But looking at the flavour text associated with each step paints a different picture:
Shock and Denial
“We’ve all lost something. But right or wrong, there’s no changing the past. Hear the Crucible’s a good place for getting out some aggression.” —Banshee-44, to Josef
Pain and Guilt
“I used to see her watchin’ your matches on Shaxx’s feed. She’d bark every time you’d fire that thing. It was music to her ears.” —Amanda Holliday, to Josef
Anger and Bargaining
“Anger is not your enemy here. It is your partner. When the two of you work together, your foes will burn in glorious battle.” —Lord Shaxx, to Josef
Depression and Loneliness
“Sometimes Louis takes off for days at a time. He needs his space. But I think he wants me to get used to him not being there. Even you Guardians have to be OK with going on alone.” —Hawthorne, to Josef
The Upward Turn
“Glad to see you back on your feet, Hunter. The Crucible isn’t the same without you — and your Hand Cannon.” —Lord Shaxx, to Josef
“Such ferocity and channeled rage. It’s magnificent! Her Light burning through you is nearly blinding.” —Lord Shaxx, to Josef
“We have all borne witness to your journey, Guardian. But I know you still have some things undone. Use this to finish what they started.” —Lord Shaxx, to Josef
This one is mine.
Once you finally complete the “Acceptance” step and claim your prize, reading the weapon’s accompanying lore entry puts Josef’s journey and its accompanying flavour text into heartbreaking perspective:
Josef opened the door. Shaxx filled the hallway beyond.
“You look like hell,” said the Crucible Handler.
Josef scoffed. “Get out of here. I have Hive to hunt. No time for the Crucible today.”
“Hive. You lost her on the Moon?”
Josef said nothing.
“You aren’t the only Guardian to leave loved ones behind on that rock.” Shaxx held out a long, lacquered box. “The Gunsmith asked me to deliver this personally.”
“What’s Banshee thinking? I can’t afford this.”
“I took care of it. Scavenged parts from my personal collection.”
Josef considered it a moment.
“It’s a good gun.”
“She was a good dog. This isn’t a replacement. But it will help you finish your business with the Hive. Then I expect to see you back in the Crucible. We could use the inspiration.”
This questline is a small example of the (dare I say it) underappreciated work that goes into the lore that serves as the backbone of Destiny’s universe.
With Destiny 2: Shadowkeep bringing us back to the moon this September, my journey to unravel its secrets will be underscored by a more personal mission: delivering justice to the Hive on Josef’s behalf. Until that day comes, telling his story here will have to do.