Screenshot: Houndish

Today, intrepid Destiny players uncovered a hidden mission that appeared during an otherwise ordinary patrol event. After a few hours of widespread experimentation and failure, a group completed the challenge, unlocking a powerful weapon that’ll be familiar to anyone who played the first Destiny.

It all started earlier this afternoon when Redditor blurryferret posted a question to the Destiny subreddit asking about a weird occurrence during a public event on the moon of Io, one of Destiny 2's patrol zones. As it turns out, they’d uncovered something no one else had found: a bona fide hidden quest. Loads of players immediately flocked to Io to figure out what was going on.

To begin the challenge, you’ll have to head to the Lost Oasis region of Io and wait for the Taken invasion public event, which unfortunately doesn’t come around all that often. Once it begins, a Taken mini-boss named Urzok, Aspect of Hate (actually it’s URZOK, ASPECT OF HATE in all-caps) will appear in a cave up above the battlefield. (Update 7/21: It sounds like the mini-boss who appears could take a number of different forms, so you might not get Urzok.) Kill him, and a portal will open back out in the main patrol area.

The portal, in the middle there away from the public event’s usual Taken Blight.
Screenshot: Houndish

From there you’ll warp into a new area and a quest called “The Whisper” will begin, along with a 20-minute countdown timer. Naturally, the timer means from that point on you have 20 minutes to finish the quest before you get kicked out and have to start all over again.

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After that it’s a matter of getting through several rooms full of gnarly platforming—I’m talking tiny-ledge, hardcore balancing-act stuff—before getting tossed into an enclosed space with a ton of high-level Taken enemies. Clear several rooms of those enemies—no small feat, given how hard they hit and how little cover is available—and make it through a final multi-boss battle, and you’ll be rewarded with an exotic sniper rifle called Whisper of the Worm.

If you’re thinking this all sounds a lot like the timed Taken-killing challenge that unlocked the Black Spindle sniper rifle in the first Destiny, you’re right. As it turns out, Whisper of the Worm is basically Black Spindle 2.0, with the same perks and a thornier look. It’s a big, mean-looking sniper rifle that hits super hard, and most crucially has the “White Nail” exotic perk, which means the magazine reloads if you land critical shots with all three rounds. That makes it particularly good for wrecking bosses with big crit spots. (Update 7/21: Turns out the White Nail perk doesn’t draw ammo from your reserves, as it did with Black Spindle. Like the Black Hammer on which the Spindle was based, it simply refills your magazine out of thin air after you land three critical hits, meaning you can do nearly unlimited damage in the right circumstances. That makes it way more powerful, and makes me want it a lot more. Damn.)

I spent the last hour watching Houndish streaming the challenge on YouTube, which was a hell of a lot of fun. In the end a streamer called Gelatosquid beat the challenge first (or at least, first that I know of), and was first to show off the gun. (Screenshot below, check out all the perks here.)

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Screenshot: Gelatosquid

It’s been a while since Destiny players uncovered a secret like this one, and it’s been a lot of fun to watch everyone scramble to figure it out in real time. If you like this sort of thing, definitely check out the “Secret Hunters of Destiny” podcast special Jason Schreier and I put together a little while back, which chronicled many of the best secrets in the first game. That episode ended with a lament that at the time, Destiny 2 hadn’t had any secrets like the ones in the first game. That is definitely no longer the case.

I’m not sure when I’ll have time to go get this one, but given that the Black Spindle challenge was easily one of my favorite things in the first game, feels like I’m gonna have to get this done at some point. If you’re heading out to get it yourself, good luck.

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Update 7:55PM: A bunch more people have cleared the challenge, and a greater variety of videos are cropping up online, if you want to watch the entire thing. Here’s one of YouTuber Modern Tryhard running through it:

Update 7/21: After completing The Whisper mission, a heroic version of the question becomes available, which you’ll need to complete in order to unlock the gun’s exotic catalyst. While exploring the heroic version of the mission, players uncovered yet another secret, this time involving chests and oracles from the Vault of Glass (!!). The Vault was Destiny’s beloved first raid, and the place where secret hunters first began hunting for hidden treasure.

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If you open all the chests and defeat all the oracles in the proper sequence, you get an exotic ship blueprint. It’s another neat callback to the original Black Spindle quest, which also rewarded players with a cool-looking ship. To unlock the ship this time, you’ll have to defeat the heroic Whisper mission with each of the three elemental singes, meaning it’ll take two more weeks to unlock it, assuming the singe modifier rotates each week.

Here’s a video of all that from Teawrex, who was first to clear the heroic puzzle and unlock the blueprint (thanks, OrienFantomex!):