In this article I will be going over the Raid itself and not the Underbelly of the ship which holds the chests that can be opened via the keys you receive from completing the encounters of the raid.
Raiding has been a big part of the now “Destiny Franchise,” and to say the least they have been very successful implementing a difficult and entertaining set of raids to their games. The Leviathan is not an exception, it not only pulls in an interesting set of puzzles but also agonizingly difficult monster fighting that can overwhelm you very easily if you aren’t prepared with a high power level and a team that you can communicate well with. If you intend on running this raid with your friends be prepared for lots of Ad (Destiny’s term for monsters) killing and difficult teamwork in the 5 encounters within its walls which include The Castellum, The Pleasure Gardens, The Gauntlet, The Bathing Pools, and finally the Calus Fight itself.
The raid starts out with you looking up at Calus’ Palace which is this beautifully ornate castle, but at the same time it’s terrifyingly daunting in size. You walk past some guards which do not attack unless you do so first, which me and my raid team had fun dancing in front of them and jumping on top of their heads, really just being goofy and trying to bring up our spirits so we can make it through the raid. You can make your way up the palace to the front entrance either via the stairs or a launcher that will send you up to the top. When you make your way inside you come to the central area which is called Castellum, which very interestingly is a term that is defined as “a small isolated fortress, or one of a series of such fortresses, of the ancient Romans,” this continues the idea that the Cabal in the Destiny universe fit in with the ideas of the Romans. This area is the central hub that you have to come back to as you advance in the raid to get to each and every encounter. This area is crawling with all sorts of Cabal that are easy to kill and some which are a pain in the buttocks and are essentially bullet sponges. To get to the encounters you have to find the door that has a glowing symbol on a platform in front of it, these symbols will be used the entirety of the raid they are as my team explained them Axes, Dogs, Chalice, and Sun. To open the door you have to run to the different doors which lead to other encounters and fight Ads and a mini-boss to claim a staff, you must get a staff with every symbol except the one that you’re opening, which will be used as a sort of key on the platform. Me and my team had two Guardians running for the staves and four people the defending the door, this seems to be the most optimal way of execution in order to protect the door from getting overwhelmed and the staves not getting reclaimed. This whole process can be easy if you know what you’re doing, but when you’re not prepared it will be mind numbingly difficult. Make sure you remember that you have to complete this after every encounter at each different door.
The first encounter I had to partake in was the Pleasure Gardens which is Calus’ home for his Six War Beasts. They are a powerful set of enemies that you have to take down in order to complete the encounter. This event was my second favourite of the raid, it makes you have two people jump on pillars that overlook the garden while holding Prism weapons that are used for killing the flower objective and protecting your four teammates. Whom are carrying spore balls to collect the empowering spores buff. Which is gotten by destroying a flower with the prism as said before, by breaking them it gives you the empowering spores buff that you need to stack to kill the War Beasts. In order to find the flowers there is a purple glow that the two holding the prisms have to guide the team on the ground floor helping them avoid the War Beasts which can cause an insta-wipe if you don’t have the buff. Sneaking around is the key to this encounter, you have to gather this buff which can stack up to x60, each flower gives x12, and in order to do the most damage you have to be careful enough to get all of the flowers but it is possible if you get x24. Once you gather the buff you have to attack the beasts making sure they die using supers, power weapons, and everything you have before the grow restless and howl which is your signal that you have to head back to the safe room which holds the the Spore balls. Rinse and repeat till you eventually kill all six dogs.
The Gauntlet, which happens to be my favourite encounter due to it actually being a tremendous amount of fun, was my second encounter. This puzzle was such an interesting edition to the Raid. Calus is testing your team coordination in this one, in it we have two runners and 4 people that will be standing on platforms waiting for directions from the runners. The two runners enter the gauntlet with a charge, sprinting around the circle jumping over gaps gathering a buff that stops them from dying and shouting out where to shoot on the outside of the gauntlet so they can advance further and collect the buff. When they finish they slam the charge into the central area. Which brings me to the four people on the outside, who are standing on podiums that are represented by the four symbols, Dog, Chalice, Axes, and suns, they are looking at three arrow buttons. To ensure the runners complete the gauntlet, the guardians on the outside have to shoot buttons which glow green when shot correctly and red when shot incorrectly. In order for it to glow green two buttons must be shot at the same time, the way me and my team did this is shooting yours directly in front of you and the person’s to your right. Get ready for some frustrating moments your friends shooting the wrong button. After shooting it correctly it spawns a Shield Scion that you have to run up to and melee attack then quickly jump back up to your platform. If by chance you don’t kill the scion in time, it kills your whole team forcing you to restart the encounter. When you hit the wrong buttons it has two repercussions, one is not letting the runner get the buff that keeps him alive and that can be butt quenchingly scary especially since the timer on your life counts down, but also it spawns two of the Shield Scions which if they aren’t killed the entire team wipes. As the two on the inside run they have to shout out two of Top, Middle, or Bottom which are the rows that don’t hold the buff. Your two runners must complete the gauntlet three times, in between each run you fight some Ads in order to get to the next run. After the runners finish three times, the whole team then runs the gauntlet. As you run four people must make it through, but no one can be dead when you all finish it so make sure you revive your teammates who die as you leave. There will be four buffs at each checkpoint so make sure you share it with your team so everyone can survive through the run. You will be jumping over holes, through holes, and over walls. Make sure you pray for your Warlock because their jumps are not well suited for the Gauntlet.
Onto the final encounter before the Calus fight. Its called the Bath House, my least favourite due to the bullet sponge Ads that spawn and can kill you so quickly. There are five platforms that include four on the side and one in the middle. They are all labeled by the consistent symbols of the Dogs, Axes, Chalice, and Sun. In the middle you find a room that holds the key to success in this encounter, a buff that keeps you alive and the target to finish. Also there are 3 sets of lanterns that you must take out. To kill them you have to bring them to the top of the chain they attached to by standing on four platforms on the side rooms from the middle area. These side platforms also have a chain in front of them that goes down to bring the lanterns up. You split up into two teams of three, one team on each side. Two stand on platforms that sit in front of a chain that goes down, while it travels downward and eventually locks into place, while it goes down it brings up an Ad called a Ceremonial Bather which can be the bane of your existence if you don’t have the weapons to take it out. Its this heavy damage bullet sponge that will mess up your day if you don’t take it out fast enough. Not only is fighting the Ads in this area difficult but you have to worry about the buff that’s keeping you alive. Your team of three rotates on the platforms on your side, one person starts in the middle to grab the buff then runs to replace one person on a platform, the person replaced goes to the middle rebuffs and then replaces the last of the three. You continue this rotation on both sides till all the chains are locked down. You should not leave the platform unattended because the chain will go back up, making the encounter last longer. Once all 4 chains are down you make your way to the middle and fight three ceremonial bathers, mele some scions and stand in the middle platform in order to kill the lanterns. Rinse and repeat lowering the chains, fighting bathers and killing lanterns till all of them are gone. This section took the longest for my team, except for the Calus fight, due to people dying repeatedly from not moving fast enough in getting the buff and getting killed by the ceremonial bathers.
Finally once you have completed all of the encounters, you face the most difficult fight in this game so far, Calus himself. This fight is made me want to tear my hair out in frustration. It’s a combination of teamwork and getting slaughtered by powerful Ads and Calus’ attacks. There are two areas in this fight, one we aptly dubbed the spirit realm and the other the Throne Room. When you all walk into the Throne Room you are faced with a not so lovely image of Calus sitting on his massive throne drinking out of a chalice, and in order to start the fight you shoot it out his hand and prepare yourself for butt whooping of a lifetime. In the throne room all sorts of Ads spawn and in the center of it all there are four platforms, which you guessed it have the oh-so familiar symbols that you have worked with the whole raid. When the fight starts you kill a whole load of Ads and avoid Calus’ head laser, I thought sharks with freakin’ laser beams were scary but boy was I wrong, after defeating the first wave everyone in the team gets teleported to the spirit realm. In here sits a platform with ramps and eventually holes that drop you into the void. Facing you is the grandiose purple head of Calus. There are three floating balls that will teleport your chosen three to go back to the throne room. While in the spirit realm you will be avoid ramps that can fling you forward to your death, holes in the floor which will lead to your death, and killing pulse grenade throwing scions that will, and surprise surprise, kill you by throwing you to your death. While avoiding these death bringers there will be three symbols that flash on top of Calus’ head which you have to tell to the people in the in the Throne Room what they are so they can kill the one Shielded Scion that has the symbol that wasn’t said. I recommend making an order that the three people say the symbols so people don’t yell over each other. In the throne room you’re avoiding attacks from Calus, and killings Ads that will probably overwhelm you then make your team wipe because all three of you in there get killed. You must complete the process of naming off the symbols and killing the Shielded Scions four times till the players in the spirit realm make it to a spot closer the head, once all four have been called out the head will breathe out skulls that can cause damage to you if they hit you but the more you kill the more damage you can do to Calus in the damage phase. Once you enter the damage phase which is started when you kill the scions, and take out Calus’ shield while the players in the spirit realm are killing skulls. Although, while they are doing that, everyone in the Throne Room gets to witness Calus build up an attack, which will stop when you take out his shield, that if you let go off the entire team will wipe. Although if you take it out too quickly your team won’t have enough time to take out skulls. Once you have taken out his his shield everyone in the spirit realm will be teleported back to the throne room and you prepare yourself to jump from platform to platform that the Shielded Scions were on in order to damage Calus. You all will stand on one platform and shoot Calus in his horrendous face, as you damage him he will signal that he is going to do an attack which is aimed for the platform you’re on. Once he readies his attack you must jump to the next platform and begin shooting him again. As his health lowers and he reaches the halfway point you will reach his second phase that is the reveal that Calus is actually a robot and his critical hit point will be the batteries in his stomach. Jump to all four platforms to damage Calus, and once you have gone through all the platforms you have to go back to the spirit realm and complete the task of calling out symbols again.
This raid is extremely frustrating, and will more than likely make you want to step in front of Calus and let him stomp you to death as to embrace the sweet touch of death hoping to get out of suffering by the hands of events of the raid. At the same time Leviathan is very rewarding when you finish it, whether it be with fantastic exotics from the raid or even the feeling of completing something so difficult. I recommend running this raid with people who don’t piss you off really easily, because it definitely has the chance to ruin friendships like a game of Monopoly. Prepare yourself of what can be hours of fun and yelling at eachother because some one spoke over another person, or they jumped to their death. So good luck, don’t kill your friends, and have some fun in this awesome raid that was made for Destiny 2.