We can’t look at him the same way now.
Cayde-6 is one of Destiny’s most endearing and likable characters. He’s cocky, confident, and full of life. While many characters have received a shot of personality and dialogue in Destiny 2, Cayde-6 was one of the few in the original Destiny that really didn’t need one. He was one of the few highlights in a game filled with unremarkable NPCs.
That said, while the present day Cayde-6 is happy-go-lucky, his past is a bit darker. Exos in general are mysterious and their original true purpose is still murky. However, what we do know is that the number attached to their name represents the number of times they have been rebooted. During The Taken King, materials from the Collector’s Edition of the expansion revealed some background lore about him via a personal journal. He was a human once, and was in some heavy debt. He went somewhere “cold” (Europa?) as “flesh and bone” and started over “rebooted”, presumably as a Exo from that point on. You can read all of the entries here via Destinypedia and his own page to come to your own conclusions on his backstory. In Destiny 2 though, a brief dialogue snippet reveals a little more about his human backstory.
Here’s what it says in case you have trouble reading it yourself:
“- so there you have it, Ace, that’s why I did what I did. I had no choice, really. It was that or the great beyond. Just know your dad did what he had to do if I ever wanted to see you and your mother again. You probably won’t recognize me, since I’ll be, well, a robot and all, but I’ll find you, I promise -”
So Cayde-6 apparently has a wife and kid! Why didn’t you tell us sooner Cayde?! Putting the pieces together, it seems like whatever shady activities Cayde-6 was involved with in his past lives caught up with him, and the only way to avoid an untimely death and at least have some hope of ever seeing his family again was to become an Exo. At least that’s what we’re getting from this. True or not, either way, he is probably a lot deeper than what he chooses to show most of the time. Perhaps one day when Bungie decides to take a break from having guardians save the world, we can detour into his previous life and help him put together these pieces in a DLC or expansion.
Until then, what’s your take? Let us know in the comments.