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Destiny 2: Forsaken Last Wish raid guide: The Vault

Solve the puzzle and open the way to the Taken Ahamkara

Bungie/Activision via Polygon
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

The Vault is more of a puzzle in Destiny 2: Forsaken’s Last Wish raid than an actual fight, and there is no boss. Instead, you and your raid team will need to crack the super secret code and cleanse the vault to clear a path to the final fight. This is, of course, much easier said than done. But don’t worry, this guide will teach you how to translate strange markings and learn how to crack open the Awoken vault.

Loadout and Fireteam

The Supers for this fight should be all about damage and displacement. There will be massive Knights that players will need to take out in this fight, and they have loads of health to burn away. Our team found that Blade Barrage, Chaos Reach, and Burning Maul were all stellar choices, as they could both kill the Knights and keep them off the plates for a long time. If you don’t have access to these Supers, pick the wave clear Super that you like best.

As far as weapons, use a short to medium range primary. Like the rest of the Last Wish raid, pulse rifles are great here. You’ll likely also find success with hand cannons and even bows in this encounter.

For your secondary weapon, equip yourself with a fast firing shotgun. The Ikelos shotgun from Warmind is absolutely perfect here, but something like the Badlander will suffice if you’re missing it.

Your power weapon should be something medium range. For once, you don’t really want to have Whisper of the Worm, as it needs to be a bit too precise. Sleeper Simulant is still great. Rocket Launchers are good here as well.

Reading the symbols

Before the fight starts, you’ll need to break your team up into two roles: enemy clear and readers:

  • Enemy clear players have a pretty simple and thankless job: kill enemies.
  • Readers will have some puzzle solving to do.

Pick the right people in your team for the jobs and split up into three groups of two, with each group consisting of one member of each role.

There are three plates on the ground, each in front of a kind of threshold area that leads into a decorated zone. We used the terms: stairs, pillar and forest for our callouts — with stairs being the location with the elevator that leads into the fight, and the other two being fairly obvious.

Have the enemy clear players position themselves toward their assigned zones while the Readers step onto the plates. Once all three Readers are on plates, the fight will begin.

In front of the readers, inside of the giant mechanism, three symbols will appear. They will look similar to the symbols in the Kalli fight, although there will be far more options.

We haven’t been able to determine the origin of this image, but we want to give credit to its creator. If you know where this came from (we got it from a friend who got it while in a random group), please let us know.

The three symbols will be different for each side, and the readers will need to communicate with each other. With each trio of symbols, there will be one center with a circle around it, one right, and one left. The positioning of the symbols is critical, so be clear and pay close attention.

Have your stairs reader start first. The first reader will call out their middle symbol. One of the other two readers will have that same symbol to the left or right of their center symbol. If the called symbol is on the left, that particular plate will need a Penumbra buff to cleanse it. If the symbol is on the right, it’ll need an Antumbra buff.

Once you’ve determined the first plate’s cleansing buff, the player whose plate has been discovered will call out their center symbol. Another reader will respond with the location of the previous reader’s center symbol. Determine if the buff is on the left or right so you can determine which kind of buff it needs. Do this one more time to confirm the third and final buff.

If that all sounds confusing, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here’s an example of what this looks like in practice, complete with a hypothetical run through. Note the symbols change each run, so these are not the same symbols or cleansing buffs your team will need.

Stairs’ symbols are: (L)eft: Bird Branch (C)enter: Fish Up (R)ight: Bird Fly

Forest’s symbols are: (L): Fish Up (C): Fire Right (R): Two Fish

Pillar’s symbols are: (L): Spear Left (C): Bird Branch (R): Fire Right

Stairs Reader starts, saying “I have Fish Up.”

Forest Reader responds, saying “I have Fish Up on my left, so Forest plate needs a Penumbra cleanse.”

Forest Reader continues, saying “I have Fire Right.”

Pillar Reader responds, saying “I have Fire Right on my right, so Pillar plate needs a Antumbra cleanse.”

Pillar Reader continues, saying “I have Bird Branch.”

Stairs Reader responds, saying “I have Bird Branch on my left, so Stairs needs a Penumbra cleanse.

The reading ends with Forest needing Penumbra, Pillar needing Antumbra and Stairs needing Antumbra.

We recommend that PC players type the cleanse designation into chat, while console players text it in their phone or write it down. If you forget, you’ll potentially wipe the raid. You’ll also need some serious memory callouts in the next raid fight, so you might as well start now.

If you’re still confused about how this puzzle works, think about it this way: Each plate has three symbols to deal with. The center symbol is irrelevant to the player who can see it. This is the key symbol, which will help someone else figure out their designation. The symbols on the left or right will be the correct key for that particular plate. One of them is correct, and the other is false. You only want to use the correct key. Otherwise, the cleanse will fail.

Another reader will shout out a key symbol, their center symbol. If the symbol is one of yours, you’ll be able to determine which of your symbols is real, and which is false. The symbol — right or left — that appears as another player’s middle symbol is the correct key. The other is wrong and should not be used. If your symbol isn’t called, you’ll need to wait your turn for another cycle.

Once you’ve determined which of your symbols is correct, you’ll know which buff you’ll need to cleanse it: Penumbra if the symbol was on the left, and Antumbra if it was on the right.

You’ll then need to help another reader by calling out your center symbol, which will help them weed out the false symbol and select the correct one.

While the readers are reading, they’ll need protection from their wave clear folks.

Cleansing the plates

Once the readers have finished reading, it’ll be time to start cleansing the plates. Have everyone keep to the middle and stay out of the three zones. After a short time, two of the three zones will be blocked off with a wall of Taken blight. Have players call out which zone is open, so the three readers can migrate there to help clear out enemies.

After a few waves of enemies have been destroyed, an Eye of Riven Captain will appear. Defeat it, and have all players except for that zone’s designated reader leave the zone. Once all players except the reader are back in the center room, the reader should pick up the buff.

The previously clear zone will now have a wall blocking its path to the middle, while another zone will be open. Call out to the buffed reader which new zone is open, and determine if they should move clockwise or counterclockwise. The Reader will need to move through passages on the left or right of their zone until they make it to the newly opened zone. There will be enemies in the way, so be sure to shoot them if you’re the buff holder.

While running with the buff, you’ll need to determine what kind of buff you have. On the left side of your screen, you’ll see one of two magic words: Antumbra or Penumbra. It’s all coming together now. Once you’ve made it back to the center room, determine your buff and take it to a matching plate. Stand in the center of the plate that requires your same buff and cleanse it with your grenade.

You’ll know you’ve done it correctly because the little flame in the center of the plate will be gone, and also the entire raid will not be dead.

While this is happening, a giant Knight will attack one of the plates. While the Knight will attack your team if they step in its way, it’ll likely just make a direct run for the plate. These Knights are very singleminded. You must destroy them as soon as possible. Call out the Knight locations so each player can come help.

If the Knight makes it to a plate, it’ll stick its sword inside. If it lives for even a few seconds longer, the Knight will lock the plate and all players will die. These Knights will be the hardest part of this fight after your team has solved the puzzle, so be sure that your team communicates where they are and everyone works together to take them out.

Once the first plate has been cleansed, more enemies will spawn in the second open zone. Eventually an Eye of Riven will spawn and the second Reader will need to do the same thing as the first. The catch is that two Knights will now spawn. Deal with this the same way, with the team splitting up to help as much as possible.

After the second plate, the third Reader will need to go into the third open zone to retrieve the buff and cleanse the final plate. During this part of the fight, three Knights will spawn. At this point, it’s best to use each of your team member’s Supers to clear all three Knights at once.

Once all three plates have been cleansed, the entire fight will start over again. Complete this entire process two more times — you read that right — and you’ll open the vault.

If this fight sounds daunting, don’t panic. The Vault is one of the most fun fights in the raid, and is both easy and satisfying once you have it down.

Now it’s time to face Riven of a Thousand Voices, the most difficult raid boss Bungie ever created.

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