Hey all, 30,000 words later, I've finished the rough draft of my thesis, so I get to reward myself with this!
It is an attempt to catch all the literary references in Destiny's flavor texts–I did armor last week, you can find that post <
, the gun refers to a Lump-Sum Distribution, which is, "… the distribution or payment within a single tax year of a plan participant's entire balance from all of the employer's qualified plans of one kind (for example, pension, profit-sharing, or stock bonus plans)." Thanks for that, IRS.
Painted Apollo MSc: A highly accurate Nadir firearm, earned through glory in the Crucible.
Our first Nadir gun! Apollo is the Greek god of, among other things, music, poetry, art, oracles, archery, plague, medicine, sun, light and knowledge. Wicked important, very well known. Has a sister, Artemis.
Painted Neptune MSc: A high velocity Nadir firearm, earned through glory in the Crucible.
I'm sensing a naming trend, though perhaps not a consistent! Neptune is the Roman god of the sea and freshwater, and is the counterpart to the Greek Poseidon.
Hotspur-A: Piezopolymer paneling makes the Häkke Hotspur-A a balanced war machine.
Hey! This is interesting. The green Häkke weapons are named after English noblemen! This one is after Henry 'Hotspur' Percy. Led a bunch of rebellions against Henry IV and was eventually killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury by an arrow to the face. Get rekt kiddo.
He also featured as a character in Shakespeare's Henry IV, part I.
Raskova-A: The terror of the night. The strike from the shadows.
Not really literature, but too badass to leave out. This references Marina Raskova, a Soviet pilot and navigator in WW2 who helped found the Night Witches. This was an incredible regiment of female flyers in WW2, who did 'harrassment and precision bombing' on the Germans. I'm just going to paste a couple paragraphs here, because holy heck they're awesome:
It was the most highly decorated all-women unit in the Soviet Air Force, each pilot having flown over 800 missions by the end of the war and twenty-three having been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title. Thirty of its members died in combat.
The regiment flew in wood-and-canvas Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, a 1928 design intended for use as training aircraft and for crop dusting, and to this day the most-produced biplane in aviation history. The planes could carry only six bombs at a time, so 8 or more missions per night were often necessary. Although the aircraft were obsolete and slow, the pilots made daring use of their exceptional maneuverability; they had the advantage of having a maximum speed that was lower than the stall speed of both the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, and as a result, German pilots found them very difficult to shoot down. An attack technique of the night bombers was to idle the engine near the target and glide to the bomb release point, with only wind noise left to reveal their location. German soldiers likened the sound to broomsticks and named the pilots "Night Witches." Due to the weight of the bombs and the low altitude of flight, the pilots carried no parachutes.
If that's not the most badass thing you've heard all week, get the heck outta my face.
Fate of All Fools: *"The wise man knows his fate. The fool merely finds it."
I honestly did not know this was a scout! I'm guessing this an oblique reference to Matthew 6:24:
24 "Everyone then who hears these
words of mine and acts on them will be
like a wise man who built his house on
rock. 25The rain fell, the floods came,
and the winds blew and beat on that
house, but it did not fall, because it had
been founded on rock. 26And everyone
who hears these words of mine and does
not act on them will be like a foolish man
who built his house on sand. 27The rain
fell, and the floods came, and the winds
blew and beat against that house, and it
fell–and great was its fall!"
Yeah, from what little I know about making houses, I know you're not supposed to build on sand.
Cocytus SR4: The Omolon Cocytus SR4 will drown your enemy in a river of pain.
Thanks to /u/scapulargolem for this:
The 'Cocytus' is referencing the black river surrounding Dis/Hades (The underworld) in Classical mythology. It's mentioned many times in Virgil's Aeneid book 6. It's flavour text reflects this.
Incidentally, in some versions of the tale, the Cocytus was supposedly the river Achilles was submerged in to make him invulnerable. He was held by his ankle, thus making his ankle his only weak spot–his Achilles heel.
Tuonela SR4: Hell will freeze over before the Omolon Tuonela SR4 will fail you.
Ahahah funny joke, Bungo. In Finnish mythology, Tuonela is the equivalent of Hades. In Finnish Christianity, it is the word used for 'Hell' in translations of the Bible.
In terms of a literary reference, though, Tuonela is featured in the Kalevela, a Finnish national epic. The protagonist (roughly speaking), Väinämöinen, travels there to seek the knowledge of the dead. It, uhh, went okay.
The Hero Formula: It's just so satisfying!
Okay, this is referencing one of two things: either Heron's formula, alternately spelled Hero's formula; or the Hero's journey, which, frankly, makes slightly more sense?
The first is a mathematical formula that gives the area of a triangle by requiring no arbitrary choice of side as base or vertex as origin, where A=√(s-(s-a)(s-b)(s-c)). It's satisfying, I guess? Math isn't really my thing.
The second refers to the 'monomyth' or the "common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed". The idea was originally put forward by Jason Campbell in his 1949 book on the subject, The Hero With a Thousand Faces.
Zero Point LOTP: This much fun should be outlawed.
'LOTP' while meaning a wide variety of increasingly inappropriate things, in this case means 'The Life Of the Party'.
Zero-point energy is apparently, "the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical system may have."
Don't worry, I don't get it, either.
The Scholar: You can't pull an all-nighter when the sun never sets.
Not really 'literature', but too relevant not to include 😉
Lampad SR4: Let your enemies know: death will be their only companion.
The Lampads, or Lampedes, were spirits of the underworld in greek mythology. They accompanied Hecate and generally went around doing spooky stuff.
Orphne SR4: If death is the Darkness's way, let our Light defy their desire.
Orphne was a specific nymph of the Greek underworld. Also an alternate translation of Caliga, the goddess of Darkness.
Painted Abbadon SR5: A single-fire Omolon firearm, earned through glory in the Crucible.
Sharing its name with the exotic machine gun, Abbadon is either a "place of destruction" or an Angel of Death. Either way, not pleasant.
Painted Sorg SR5: A powerful Omolon firearm, earned through glory in the Crucible.
In a large number of Germanic and Germanic-derived languages, 'sorg' means 'sorrow' or 'grieving'.
Primed Díyú SR5: A long range Omolon firearm, earned through glory in the Crucible.
Following a clear pattern here, 'Diyu' is the Chinese conception of Hell.
Silvered Kín SR5: A highly accurate Omolon firearm, earned through glory in the Crucible.
A Turkic word, it means, simply, 'pain'.
Bronzed Yamaduta SR5: An accurized Omolon Scout Rifle, earned through glory in the Crucible.
The Yamatuda are messengers of Death in the Hindu tradition.
Thanatos SR5: Where Death follows, new life will grow. Where new life grows… Death will follow.
Thanatos is the Greek personification of Death. He is the twin brother of Hypnos, the God of Sleep. Referenced in the Illiad:
... then send Death to carry him away, and Sleep who is painless ...
The Iliad, 16.453-4. Richard Lattimore, translator.
Xibalba SR5: Tiled with picocircuitry, the Xibalba SR5 is fiendishly accurate and hungry to grow.
How many different conceptions of Hell can we find? This particular one refers to the Mayan realm of the dead.
It shares its flavor text with the Acheron SR5. The Acheron is both a real river in Greece, but also another one of the five rivers of Hades. The Cocytus (discussed above) flows into it.
Naraka SR5: There will always be new hells to conquer.
hahah, no kidding about those 'new hells'. This specific hell is a particularly diverse amalgamate, finding its place in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. Modified to Neraka in Indonesian and Malaysian, it also describes the Islamic concept of hell.
Moreover, it also describes the servants and spirits of Hell when modified to "Narakas".
Garmr SR1: Death is hungry.
Garmr is a dog (or wolf) of the Underworld in Norse mythology. He is, "the blood-stained guardian of Hel's gate".
Shinigami SR1: Death comes for the City's foes. Let's not keep it waiting.
Shinigami–Japanese, 死神–are spirits or gods of death. They invite humans to death, and rule over the underworld.
Fans of the anime Death Note will also remember their appearance in that series.
The Last Word: "Yours. Not mine." —Renegade Hunter Shin Malphur to Dredgen Yor
Many thanks to /u/andreisse for this one!
I know it's based on a gun, and a speech… I'll try and find it.
The Last Word is likely based on a real-life counterpart called Revolver No. 5. It was a weapon devised in 1928 by Elmer Keith, a "firearms enthusiast" from Idaho renowned for his six-shot expertise. He wrote about this weapon in 1929, in an article titled "The Last Word".
Here's a link to a .pdf of the article. The only excerpt I could find of it elsewhere was on a website associated with the NRA, and I really hate the NRA.
Gaheris-D: Balanced and dependable, the Häkke Gaheris-D is a true warrior's weapon.
More Arthurian legends! Gaheris was the nephew of Arthur, and a knight of the round table. He is described as "… valiant, agile, handsome, reticent in speech, prone to excess when angered, and possessing a right arm longer than the left". Killed by Lancelot, for whatever reason.
Judith-D: Headshots are strongly encouraged with the Häkke Judith-D.
So, there are a lot of things this could be, but most likely it is referencing Judith of Bethulia, an Israelite who beheaded the Assyrian general Holofernes. Headshots strongly encouraged, indeed!
Incidentally, that poem is found in the same manuscript as Beowulf–the Nowell Codex.
Kumakatok HC4: When the Omolon Kumakatok HC4 comes knocking, even the Darkness locks its doors.
The kumakatok are three Philippine spirits, who walk from door to door, knocking and bringing bad omens. One is supposed to resemble a young woman, the other two old men–however, they obscure their faces with hoods. Seriously creepy.
Supposedly sightings of the kumakatok have gone down after WW2, because there are less doors for them to knock on.
The Devil You Know: Let's make a deal …
A reference to the phrase, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't", this is the only weapon I know of that actually completes the phrase in game. The Devil You Don't was widely acknowledged to be simply a worse version of TDYK, not only being an impact class lower, but also with worse base range. That's commitment to the joke right there.
Uffern HC4: Omolon's Uffern HC4 sentences the City's enemies to burn.
In what should be a surprise to nobody at this point, Uffern is the Celtic version of Hell. Unfortunately I can't source it beyond a three-word mention in the Wikipedia article on Hell.
Byronic Hero: Brood, baby, brood.
Referencing Lord Byron, this is a type of antihero that can be found in his literature–and was generally considered to be like Byron himself. Byronic Heroes are: "a man proud, moody, cynical, with defiance on his brow, and misery in his heart, a scorner of his kind, implacable in revenge, yet capable of deep and strong affection". Think Hamlet, with a touch of Han Solo.
Vortimer-D: Where you come from is not important. It's for what you do that you will be remembered.
Vortimer, or Saint Vortimer, was another English legend. He can be found in Geoffry of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britainniae–my copy of which I've misplaced, apologies–where he is a described as a Britonic king with a strong distaste for Saxons. Worked out well, he died though.
Rience-D: You will not suffer these invader kings to live.
Hey, wait, are you telling me Häkke named another one of their guns after an English legend?! Yes, yes I am: Rience was an English/Irish/Scottish/British king named in Arthurian legend. He is variously described as the king of North Wales, Ireland, and 'many Isles'. He had the habit of edging his robe with the beards of Kings he had conquered–by the time Arthur came along, he had eleven. Arthur's, of course, was to be the twelfth invader king that he would crush. Didn't work out so well.
Gosh, I really hope that's not a predictor.
LOCK_ARETE: Her excellence lies in swiftness.
A confusing one, because arete-Greek, ἀρετή–is literally 'excellence', especially in regards to efficacy, but also in terms of bravery. Arete is also the wife of Alcinous of Scheria, described thus in the Odyssey:
... Alkínoös married her and hold her dear. No lady in the world, no other mistress of a man's household, is honored as our mistress is, and loved, by her own children, by Alkínoös, and by the people. When she walks the town they murmur and gaze, as though she were a goddess. No grace or wisdom fails in her; indeed just men quarrels come to her for equity ...
The Odyssey, 7.70-8. Robert Fitzgerald, translator.
It wasn't originally my plan for these to go in descending order of references, but hey, that worked out nicely!
As I said in the beginning, I'm sure I've missed some, so don't hesitate to point them out.
Thanks so much for reading, Guardians, I really appreciate it!