Destiny 2: Beyond Light’s most charming quest dialogue is a result of COVID
In Destiny 2: Beyond Light, there’s a new quest for a Stasis-powered grenade launcher, Salvation’s Grip. It’s the only weapon that uses the new element, and it’s one of the weirder Exotics in the game. But the quest to get Salvation’s Grip also has some of the goofiest dialogue in the game: Ghost impersonating The Drifter.
During the mission, Guardians are going on a heist to steal this new weapon prototype from the Fallen. And Ghost — after Drifter challenges Ghost to “sell” the mission to the Guardian — decides to impersonate the rogue lightbearer, giving mocking commands in his best space-cowboy voice.
Below is a video of the entire mission to acquire Salvation’s Grip, including Ghost’s intentionally poor impression.
After launch, fans leapt to the Destiny subreddit to share their love of the dialogue in the mission. But according to a verified Bungie developer, Ghost doing a Drifter impression wasn’t the original plan for this mission.
According to gunmaster95 — a verified Bungie designer on Reddit, although we’re unsure exactly who on the team it is — the COVID-19 pandemic prevented The Drifter’s voice actor from recording some in-mission dialogue. The Destiny 2 writing team did some creative thinking and came up with a brilliant idea that the team has used before: just make Nolan North do it.
Fun fact: This actually came about when, due to COVID complicating things, we were unable to book Drifter’s voice actor for this mission as it was intended to be him providing the radio dialogue. One of our writers had the idea to have Ghost just pretend to be him instead (As scheduling Mr. North lined up better) and wrote all this awesome dialogue. Apparently on the first take Nolan perfectly imitated Drifter and had to be instructed to intentionally do it worse.
North — who started voicing Ghost in 2015’s Destiny: The Taken King as a replacement for Peter Dinklage — was reportedly easier to get voiceover from mid-pandemic. But according to Bungie, North was too good at the Drifter impression initially, and had to pull it back so the impression would read as more authentic. In other words, Ghost is not as great an impressionist as his voice actor.
This isn’t the first time North has done an “impression” of another Destiny character. In 2018’s Forsaken expansion, North voiced now-deceased Hunter Vanguard Cayde-6, replacing Nathan Fillion for the character’s last ride.
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