Robert Brookes, the narrative designer behind Bungie’s popular video game Destiny 2, has put to rest discussion on gaming forums about the relationship between two of the game’s Guardians, Saint-14 and Osiris.
Writes Paul Tassi for Forbes: “The clues started being dropped less subtly this season when Osiris was finding notes Saint had hidden in his ship, and Saint started referring to him as ‘my fiery phoenix.’ Then I was pointed to dialogue in the season where the Drifter made remarks about the pair of them being together, and then it hit me that yeah, maybe if you break time to save your friend from death, risking the fate of the entire world, maybe you are more than friends.”
Brookes shared a lengthy thread on Twitter revealing that yes, Saint and Osiris are gay and in love.
Wrote Brookes: “Sit for a minute When I was young, questioning my sexuality and not quite understanding who I was, I had a lot of people speculating ‘is he gay?’ or other way less friendly slurs. I didn’t know the answer to that, because I didn’t know what bisexuality was when I was a teenager. I was confused by myself because I didn’t have any proper education, and once I knew what bisexuality was I didn’t really know what it meant because I lived in a rural part of the US, had never (knowingly) met another bi person, and couldn’t find representation of them in media.”
“Representation matters,” Brookes continued. “Whether its sexual orientation, race, culture. It helps you identify with yourself, understand yourself, and feel seen. This is especially powerful for groups of people who still face marginalization and persecution for the way they’re born. Queerbaiting exists, it’s not kind, and it has no place in a queer-friendly community or within spaces that promote LGBT rights. There’s a place and time for nuance and that isn’t it, because to do so is actively damaging to a marginalized community.”
“Back when I joined Bungie I always felt Saint-14 and Osiris were romantically involved because, as a queer man, their romance made sense to me,” Brookes added. “I learned my interpretation was in fact correct when I became a narrative designer for the company and I was overjoyed. I’ve been writing Saint and Osiris as gay since I started working at Bungie, because that’s who they were before. They are private and nuanced characters. There was never a space in which to unequivocally state their identities. But nuance is lost in an age of queerbaiting.”
“When I saw how much the community was unclear on something as obvious as ‘is Zavala an Awoken’ I realized I should probably just say something,” said Brookes. “Because it’s not a secret, it’s not a point of speculation, and it’s not some puzzle designed to be solved by the community. It’s them.”
“So yes, Saint and Osiris are gay. Always have been. You can make the meme yourselves.”
Writes Bleeding Cool: “Does this really change anything for the game? Gameplay-wise, no. However, it puts in some added context and some LGBTQ representation, it does enrich the narrative experience as it builds these two characters up, and adds depth to the story we’ve seen so far from the Guardians. There are, of course, people on social media ranting and raving about it because they don’t like it, but that’s pretty much to be expected as homophobia still exists in gaming, and there are always people accusing the industry of everything under the sun to get more players. But the fact it’s been in the game for over three years as if it were natural for the characters without Bungie making a big deal about for the sake of PR has to be reaffirming for some LGBTQ players.”