Destiny 2’s final story mission for Season of the Splicer dropped today, and while it wraps up mostly as players expected, it does have a few cool little surprises, including teasing the possible return of one of the game’s most curmudgeonly characters.
Light spoilers follow.
Season of the Splicer’s epilogue, “As Prophesied,” dropped in today’s weekly reset, and to get the full, unadulterated experience, you should really go play that first. In it, you fight to close off a Vex portal opened up in the Last City by Future War Cult leader Lakshmi-2. While the mission plays out like your standard Override run, walk around the map, and you’ll find a couple of extra details, including a Vex Harpy casually hovering over a workstation set up right outside the combat arena.
Your first clue that this isn’t just any ordinary enemy is the fact that you can’t kill it. The Harpy also beeps at you in weird patterns. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then Destiny players will probably translate it into Morse code. That’s exactly what they started doing over on the Raid Secrets subreddit, and low-and-behold, the Harpy is calling you “Assistant,” Asher Mir’s familiar nickname for the player’s Guardian. Yes, it certainly seems like the Awoken Warlock has come back from the brink of oblivion by downloading his consciousness into an alien robot.
To recap: Asher Mir was Io’s planetary vendor and a Vex researcher who was infected by Vex technology during a previous mission. When the mysterious giant pyramids arrived last year, he found himself on the frontlines trying to unravel their secrets. Rather than retreat from Io before the Darkness could take it, he descended into a Vex lake just prior to its destruction, leaving him officially “MIA.” Like all the other characters and worlds Bungie cut from Destiny 2 with the Beyond Light expansion’s arrival last November, it wasn’t clear if players would ever hear Asher complain about their sloppy work and boneheaded tactics ever again.
But then a funny thing happened earlier this season. A bunch of Future War Cult weapons were added to the game, each with flavor text hinting at Lakshmi-2's visions of the future. One of those weapons in particular, the submachine gun Stochastic Variable, referenced Asher specifically. “The Eliksni Quarter : a crackling portal : Asher speaks : Fallen being attacked : Dead Orbit overhead : Saint-14 besieged : FWC surrenders—,” the lore read.” Destiny 2’s most obsessed players have been waiting to find out what exactly that meant ever since.
After a couple of very long months, it now looks like they have their answer. Whether Bungie plans to bring back Asher in some lasting form remains to be seen. Does this mean Asher will have a part to play in the coming year? I sure hope so. It’s even given me hope that we might hear from Destiny 2’s other MIA NPCs like Sloane. The game’s story has always flourished in the recesses of its giant world, where ambient character chatter and opaque lore drops could take on a life of their own. Asher Mir and Destiny 2’s other vendors were a big part of that, and I’d love to see them return in some way while Bungie sets up 2022’s big Witch Queen expansion in the months ahead.
Correction - 5:26 p.m. ET, 8/10/21: it was a Harpy, not a Hydra.