With Destiny’s latest expansion, “House of Wolves,” came a welcome clutch of challenging new fights, the best/worst of which is “Skolas’s Revenge.”
Skolas is a real douche bag. During the expansion’s story missions, you quash his rebellion. Naturally, his revenge isn’t pretty.
The boss fight with this four-armed dick comes at the end of the hardest version of the Prison of Elders, Destiny’s new arena-style battle mode. With two other players, you fight wave after wave of enemies, all of whom are one level higher than the maximum level players can currently attain. That difficulty smothers each fight like cheese on tater tots, and each time you fail is like choking on fried potato. It sucks.
So it’s pretty god damned amazing that one player has managed to beat the entire thing entirely by himself.
You can watch the video above, but I’ll have to explain it to you as you do. YouTuber Turner Tfue employed multiple strategies at once to triumph, but you’ll be clueless unless I get into this particular fight’s unique mechanics.
As soon as Turner enters the arena, he takes down the glowy spherical “Servitor” enemy, lowering Skolas’s shields for a total of 20 seconds.
Then he does as much damage as possible before heading to the other side of the battlefield, where he sits around (and dances) for a very boring but very necessary 15 minutes.
By wasting almost all of his ammo and equipping a special gun called Ice Breaker, he tricks the game into giving him oodles of rocket ammo—those big, juicy pink ones. That’s useful because in this week’s iteration of this boss fight, guns with “solar” damage are more powerful, and the best rocket launcher in the game is a solar one called Gjallarhorn.
He does another lap, kills the spherical Servitor again, and does enough damage to Skolas to get him down to 50% health. That’s when it starts moving quickly.
Turner no longer has to kill Servitors to damage the boss, so he can focus all his attention (and rockets) on Skolas. But his progress also triggers the “Devouring Essence,” which will kill him in 30 seconds. Normally he’d pass it to another player to delay their deaths, but there are no other players right now. Starting to see why this is so amazing?
Thankfully, there’s a workaround: Turner is playing as a warlock, whose “super” ability lets him resurrect after death. Because of the ability’s cooldown timer, he could only use it once this fight, and he chose the perfect moment.
As the timer ticks down and Turner continues to burn Skolas’s health bar down, something else happens: mines begin to appear around the arena. He has to “dismantle” them by standing near them, a task that’s incredibly difficult for three players working together thanks to the many smaller foes hunting around the battlefield in addition to the boss. For one person, it’s basically impossible.
This might give you an idea how hard this really is: the same player, Turner Tfue, posted another video on May 21, almost three weeks ago. In it, he successfully kills Skolas, but dies because he failed to dismantle the mines. So he technically didn’t beat the encounter.
And this is where Turner’s luck and dedication paid off: this time, the first mine spawned right above him, and the second took a ridiculously long time to appear, giving him enough time to defeat Skolas. That caused the other enemies to retreat in defeat, and Turner took care of the rest of the mines in a leisurely victory lap.
He’s not the first player to do something ridiculous in Destiny, a game meant to be played with teams of three to six friends, by himself. My jaw dropped when one player—Slayerage—finally solo’d the Crota boss fight on hard mode in February, and there are countless other examples.
But you have to give credit where credit’s due, and this is straight up badass. Well done, dude.
Mike Rougeau is Playboy.com’s Gaming Editor, in charge of all things video games but mostly concerned with maxing his Destiny characters. He lives in Los Angeles with his girlfriend and two dogs. Follow him on Twitter @RogueCheddar.