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Destiny 2’s The Lament and the Clovis AI

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Destiny 2’s new chainsaw sword reveals the secret identity of a familiar face

After six years, Bungie finally explained Banshee-44

Image: Bungie via Polygon

In Destiny 2: Beyond Light’s recent “Lost Lament” Exotic quest, Bungie revealed a connection between two old-school Destiny characters: evil tech magnate Clovis Bray and absent-minded Tower gunsmith Banshee-44.

After players completed the Deep Stone Crypt raid, Banshee-44 had a request. He wanted players to recreate a lost sword of his, helping the forgetful gunsmith recover some of his lost memories. And at the end of that quest, Banshee-44 and the Guardians realized that the long-dead Clovis Bray had been reborn as the lovable gunsmith years ago.

So how can these two polar-opposite characters exist as the same being? Some hidden Destiny 2 lore tells the story.

Who is Banshee-44?

Destiny 2 Lost Lament quest text
Banshee-44’s memory starts to stir.
Image: Bungie via Polygon

In Destiny and Destiny 2, Banshee-44 sits behind his table in the Tower and polishes various weapons. He was the Armsday vendor in the original game and sells both weapons and mods in Destiny 2.

Banshee-44 is an Exo, a robot with the mind of a living human uploaded into its consciousness. Banshee-44 — and other notable Exos like Saint-14 and Cayde-6 — aren’t biologically human, but other characters treat them as human beings because they have the mind and personality of someone who used to exist. Banshee-44 is gruff (voiced by John DiMaggio, Gears of War’s Marcus Fenix and Futurama’s Bender) but good-hearted.

Aside from his kindly nature and scratchy personality, Banshee-44’s defining characteristic is his forgetfulness. The 44 in his name designates how many times his program has seen a reboot — notably much higher than Saint’s 14 or Cayde’s six. Each reboot takes his memory, and each reboot makes it harder to recall even his short-term experiences.

Before the “Lost Lament” quest, Banshee-44’s bad memory had been played for a few gut punches in past Exotic quests. When Cayde-6 died at the hands of Uldren Sov in Destiny 2: Forsaken, Banshee-44 requested that players recover Cayde’s beloved hand cannon, Ace of Spades, from his murderer. Banshee-44 then helped the player fix Ace, vowing not to forget his friend. But even now, Banshee occasionally asks approaching Guardians if they’ve seen Cayde lately.

A year ago, and a year after Cayde-6’s death, Banshee-44 asked players to find Cayde-6 and ask him how to find Banshee’s secret workshop so Guardians could acquire the Leviathan’s Breath bow — something Banshee had himself forgotten. Guardians then had to find it for themselves, as nobody wanted to watch Banshee-44 relive Cayde’s death over again.

But with the “Lost Lament” quest, Bungie gave Banshee-44’s tragic memory a purpose.

Who is Clovis Bray?

Destiny 2 Clovis AI’s big Exo head
The only real remnant of Clovis is his giant AI
Image: Bungie via Polygon

Unlike Banshee-44, Clovis Bray was a real bastard.

Clovis, a human being, founded the BrayTech corporation, which was responsible for developing numerous technologies during the Golden Age. Clovis’ most recognizable contributions include the Warmind Rasputin and every Exo in the game.

Clovis was a genius, but also a monster. He experimented on his dying son, and on his numerous grandchildren — two of which are other famous Destiny characters: Elsie Bray (the Exo Stranger) and Ana Bray.

Clovis created his final research facility on Europa, where Elsie joined him as his reluctant assistant. On Europa, Clovis investigated what he called “Clarity Control,” which players know better as the Darkness. Through Clarity Control’s influence, he used the Vex to create Exos.

Elsie and Clovis encountered a Vex invasion on Europa, which forced them both to let their human bodies die as they uploaded their consciousness into Exos. Clovis let his granddaughter go first, of course, to make sure the procedure worked properly.

After the upload, Clovis emerged in two parts. The first was the Clovis AI, which continued to run the Deep Stone Crypt where Clovis ran his experiments. The second was Clovis-1, Clovis’ custom-made Exo body. And due to the ongoing Vex threat on Europa, the two never synced properly, allowing Clovis-1 to operate independently.

How can Banshee-44 and Clovis Bray be the same person?

Destiny 2 Banshee-44 realizes he’s Clovis
After “Lost Lament,” Banshee-44 realizes who he is.
Image: Bungie via Polygon

During “Lost Lament,” players reactivate the Clovis AI and learn how Clovis-1 became Banshee-44.

The Lament sword belonged to Clovis-1 through Clovis-43. He, alongside the Exo Stranger, took on waves and waves of Vex on Europa, burning through them with The Lament. During this battle, the Deep Stone Crypt rebooted Clovis 42 times, and he earned the nickname “Banshee,” due to his ferocious fighting style.

After the battle, Clovis-43 worked with Elsie to shut the Clovis AI off. As Clovis lived as an Exo, his new self realized — through his relationship with Elsie — how much damage Clovis Bray did as a man. Wanting to spare Elsie from a relationship with himself and hoping to turn over a new leaf, Clovis-43 asked Elsie to reboot him again, giving him a new life and a new name. She rebooted him as Banshee-44 — this time with no recollection of his previous self — the Exo we know and love. But all the reboots took their toll, and Banshee’s memory would never fully recover.

After Guardians place The Lament back in his hands, he regains some of his memories, at least temporarily. His fighting days behind him, he passes on the sword to the Guardians and vows to visit the Clovis AI on Europa before he could forget again. After this conversation, the Clovis AI suggests that it may try to subjugate Banshee-44 and bring him back into the Clovis fold.

Banshee-44 represents the potential good in Clovis Bray, the genius without the baggage. If the Clovis AI could infiltrate the Banshee we know, his personality could be overridden completely and replaced by the Clovis AI — returning him to the base form of Clovis that Banshee has been running away from for 43 resets.

But he didn’t get the nickname Banshee for nothing, and he may have one good fight left in him.

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