When players log onto Destiny 2 this week they’ll be asked to go investigate some lost Golden Age tech on Mars as part of a special tribute to Matt Helsom, an artist at Vicarious Visions who passed away last year.
Touching down on Mars there’s no objective marker for where to begin the Signal Intercepted quest, but if you head into the Clovis Bray facility toward Rasputin’s bunker you’ll eventually come across a set of sliding doors that are normally closed. Inside is a computer terminal with a journal recording from a Golden Age xenoarcheologist named Helsom.
Take it back to Ana Bray and she’ll explain that she’s been studying the man’s life and work for some time. “By all accounts, Helsom was a cigar-smoking, whiskey-drinking explorer who hated flying,” Bray says. “He’d refused to use jumpships for planetary exploration. Would just hop in a rover and drive halfway across Mars to do his research.”
According to the journal Helsom believed that alien life had made contact with humanity prior to The Traveler’s arrival. “According to this, he stayed here through the Collapse, because he believed in something,” Bray says. The lore tribute also comes with a free Cipher players can use to unlock an exotic engram from Xur.
The mini-eulogy is a lovely and elegant way to memorialize Helsom, who worked on Destiny 2’s environments at Vicarious Visions, the studio that assisted Bungie in developing the game back when Activision was still publishing it. What makes it especially moving is how effortlessly it fits into the overall fabric of Destiny’s fiction. But players will only be able to pay their respects until November 10, when the Mars destination as a whole goes into the game’s vault.
“He worked closely with teams at both Bungie and VV on various projects during our partnership and we wanted to memorialize his contributions in the Destiny universe,” Bungie wrote in a blog post last week. “We wish all of his family, friends, and everyone he impacted during his life the very best. Thank you to everyone in the community who joins us in remembering this warm soul.”