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This article may contain spoilers for Destiny.
You spent years waiting for developers to hurry up and release a big game. You buy it, take it home, and play through it in a couple of days. It’s awesome.
But now what?
Read+Watch+Listen is about other material you might want to check out if you’re just not ready to move on. We’ll suggest media that share something in common with a particular game and tell you why it might be of interest. This time, we’re giving the treatment to Destiny — out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 (read our review here) — even though developer Bungie says that you’ll be playing it for another 10 years.
But maybe this stuff will keep you out of trouble while you’re waiting for the next expansion or multiplayer event.
‘The Iron Giant’
If you couldn’t get enough of: Amnesiac war machines.
Destiny’s Exos are a race of ancient killbots humanity built to fight a long-forgotten war. After they completed their service, their human masters apparently just wiped their memories and went, “Well, off you go.” So nobody, not even the robots themselves, remember the Exos’ original programming or why they were necessary, but everyone’s just kind of agreed to live in a society full of morally ambiguous cyberpeople because hey, what can you do?
The title character of director Brad Bird’s 1999 animated film The Iron Giant faces a similar problem, only Vin Diesel voices instead of Maggie from The Walking Dead TV show, and he’s 50 feet tall, so advantage: Giant. We never find out what the Metal Big Thing was doing on Earth, although his glowing red eyes and arsenal of death cannons suggest he’s not there to sell us cookies. Luckily, however, he befriends a kind boy who encourages him to become a hero and protector, so the only heart-melting in this movie is metaphorical.
It’s a modern classic, and if you haven’t seen it yet, do so immediately. And if you have seen it, and the word “Superman” doesn’t make your eyes all misty, you’re probably a robot yourself.
Sorry you had to hear it from me.
‘At the Mountains of Madness’
If you couldn’t get enough of: Half-ruined artifacts of ancient, alien civilizations.
The iconic Traveler (or, as I call it, The Spaceball) is Destiny’s sort-of mascot. It’s the last thing left of whomever gave humans the technology to spread colonies across the solar system, and it’s the only reason anybody is still alive after the enterprise went terribly, terribly wrong.
Like the Exos, nobody knows what the Traveler did; they just know that it saved some people, and now it looms over the last human city like that crazy moon in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.
Horror-fiction legend H.P. Lovecraft’s novella At the Mountains of Madness, first published in 1936, describes a doomed (spoilers, but, you know, Lovecraft) scientific expedition to Antarctica in which what the explorers first take for mountains are, in fact, the ruined walls of an enormous city.
The rest of the story is about these poor fools investigating and learning what happened and where everybody went. And the best part is that in this story, you actually get some answers. I’m sure Destiny will give some answers eventually, but for now, that lack of knowledge is pretty frustrating.
You can read the entire thing here.
Old-timey radio adaptations of ‘The Martian Chronicles’
If you couldn’t get enough of: The hazards of space colonization.
Sure, you could just go and read Ray Bradbury’s collection of short stories about Earth’s conquest of the Red Planet, but if you’d rather listen to a few of them, I can point you to some good samples. And they don’t all end well. It’s just the sort of thing to supplement Destiny’s mysterious “Collapse,” in which Earth lost all of its colonies and ended up cowering under an enormous ball because that is the risk you run when you mock space.
Anyway, here are some things for your earholes.
More recently, BBC Radio 4 aired an hour-long adaptation in June starring Derek Jacobi (The King’s Speech) and Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger), but I couldn’t find it available online. You’ll just have to settle for Nimoy up there.
‘Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past’
If you couldn’t get enough of: Alien astronauts getting all up in our natural evolutionary processes.
Writer Erich von Däniken’s “nonfiction in name only” book supposes that ancient civilizations received advanced technology and guidance from extraterrestrial visitors whom the natives revered as gods. If you’re some kind of high-powered supernerd, you know that those were obviously the Hish, the hunt-mad species from the Predator films. But Chariots came out in 1968, 20 years before the world learned about the Hish threat, so von Däniken’s alien astronauts just look like Quetzalcóatl or whomever, and he’s more interested in why civilizations thousands of miles apart ended up with pyramids all over the place.
It should go along well with Destiny’s background story of mysterious extraterrestrial meddlers who gave us the means to go out into space and terraform everything. But I think Bungie missed an opportunity by not throwing in some ziggurats.
It’s an interesting book if you can ignore the bad science, logical fallacies, and straight-up bullshit. Or maybe all of those things make it more interesting; it depends on what you’re into. You could also just skip this and read Arthur C. Clarke’s far superior (and openly fictional) 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequels, but that seemed like an awfully obvious choice here.
I haven’t read, watched, and listened to everything, obviously. Do you have another piece of media that goes with Destiny? Feel free to share in the comments. And be sure to check out the other entries in this series here.
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