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Destiny 2: How to unlock the Dead Man’s Tale Exotic scout rifle

The Presage Exotic quest is one of the more interesting ones Destiny 2 has seen in a while, balancing puzzles against hordes of tough enemies and a challenging yet rewarding boss. For your effort, you’ll earn the Dead Man’s Tale Exotic scout rifle. This sleek single-shot rifle from Season of the Chosen packs a punch, but unlocking it is no easy matter.

Presage is unique, but it’s also very difficult. We’ve detailed how to find the quest, how to beat it, and most importantly, how to unlock the Dead Man’s Tale Exotic scout rifle below.

Further reading

How to find the Presage Exotic quest

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You need to play at least a little bit of The Arms Dealer strike before you can pick up the Presage Exotic quest. It doesn’t matter if you play The Arms Dealer through the Nightfall playlist or just select it manually; you’ll still be able to get what you need. You only need to play the first few minutes of the strike.

Defeat the Cabal in the starting room, but don’t use your Ghost to hack the next door. Instead, look for a newly opened door near where the starting mob spawns. Inside, you’ll find a flurry of turrets. Push through, and you’ll arrive on an open platform with two circular platforms attached. There are more turrets here, along with a mini-boss. Take care of them, then head to the last circular platform (the one on the left).

Inside a crate, you’ll find the distress signal. Pick it up, then back out of the strike and head to the Tower. Speak to Zavala, and he’ll fill you in on the details and give you the quest. The Presage Exotic quest is located in the Tangled Shore, toward the top of the map to the left. Grab a couple of friends and head there.

How to beat the Presage Exotic mission

Presage is a fairly quiet quest. Basic puzzles and platforming make up the bulk of what you need to do, with a few difficult mobs thrown in to break things up. Although there aren’t a ton of enemies, Presage isn’t easy. It’s a power level 1,250 activity but remains difficult even above that power level. We strongly recommend bringing at least one person with you, especially for the final boss.

For each step, we’ll start with a general overview of what you need to do followed by more explicit steps. If you want to solve the puzzles on your own, just read the start of each section. It’s easy to feel lost in Presage given how many puzzles there are. That said, the quest often locks you into areas with everything you need to solve a puzzle, making it almost impossible to do something wrong.

Step 1: Space

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You start Presage on the ramp of a ship, leading out to space. The big door leading to the ship is locked, and none of the debris floating around seems to lead anywhere. Facing the door, look to the left to spot a series of red pipes. Jump over to them, then follow the pipes and platforms to the end.

This section is easy enough as long as you know where to go. If you’re stuck in space, make sure to look above and behind you for the next platform. Some platforms are also littered with floating debris. You can shoot it away if it’s in your path.

You’ll end up inside a tight corridor in the ship. Follow the linear path, and you’ll end up in a large room with a lever. There’s a vent you need to shoot through on the path and a little bit of platforming. Everything is straightforward, though. Pull the lever, and the door to the area where you started will unlock and open.

Step 2: First steps

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Turn around after opening the door and head through a different door. On the other side, you’ll find some spores and a spore gate. This is the main mechanic of Presage. You need to stand right next to the spores and shoot them. After a few rounds, they’ll explode in a cloud of gas, giving you the Egregore Link buff. The buff lasts 15 seconds and allows you to pass through spore doors (sections with a burning mist that will block you without the buff). Continue through the next few rooms until you see an electric fence.

After passing through the spore gate, you’ll end up in a room with no clear exit. Look up, and use the pipes around the room to platform to the top and open a vent. Follow the vent path to the end, where you’ll find a hole in the floor where you can jump up. In the next room, use the platforms to make it to the top. You’ll end on a platform with a series of electric fences.

Step 3: The electric fences

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This is the largest puzzle in Presage, and it’s fun to figure out on your own. The goal is to jump back and forth between the platforms on either side of the fences, pulling levels and using spores to pass through gates. About halfway through, you’ll also need to destroy an electric node to open a hole in the floor. Although the puzzle is large, it’s hard to make a wrong move. Simply look for the spores and levers, and you should make it to the end without any problems.

From the start, look to your left to spot some spores. Shoot them, then jump across the gap to find a couple of spore gates. Pass through and follow the path until you drop down. Kill the enemies under the bridge, then jump up on the other side. At this point, you’ll be on the other side of the first fence. Follow the path until you emerge and jump back to the other side. Here, you’ll find the electric node. Destroy it to open a gate in the floor and drop down.

You’ll land in a dark room with some enemies. Deal with them, but don’t head toward the light on the other side of the room. Turn around and jump on the raised platform to find a lever. Activate it, then jump over to the raised platform near the light to find an open door. The door leads past the final electric fence, but you’re not done yet.

Jump across again and activate the lever on the other side. Then, jump back across and drop down from the platform to spot another electric node. Destroy it and head back out to the fences. Instead of jumping across, jump down and land on the rotating platform. Head through the door and fall down to the bottom, jumping right before you hit the ground. You’ll end up in the trash compactor.

Step 4: The trash compactor

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This section is tough. At the opposite end from where you land, you’ll find a lever you can activate. Doing so will open a series of vents in the floor as the trash compactor starts to close in on you. To make matters worse, a bunch of enemies will spawn and attack you. The goal in this section is to destroy three electrical nodes in the floor, which will open another vent in the floor (the one surrounded by red lights). The nodes spawn in random locations, so you’ll have to look for them every time you play the mission.

At this point, Presage takes a break from the puzzles. You’ll have to fight a couple of mobs, but otherwise, just continue on the main path. The only tricky bit is in the hangar where the second battle takes place. After the fight, head to the far end of the hangar and use the platforms slightly outside the ship to make it to the next hangar. There’s a little bit of platforming, plus another tight corridor. Follow them, and you’ll end up in an overgrown room with a spore gate.

Step 5: The spore puzzle

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This section is about putting everything together from the previous sections. Levers open doors, doors reveal spores, and spores allow you to pass through spore gates and progress through the level. As long as you know the basics, you can make it through this section without any problems.

Turn to your left after entering the overgrown room and activate the lever. That will open a door next to the lever, revealing some spores. Shoot them, then pass through the spore gate on the other side of the room (it’s behind an unlocked door). Defeat the enemies in the next room. After, head to the far end and activate a lever. That will open a door on the other side of the room, revealing an electric node.

Use a ranged weapon and destroy the node. This will temporarily disable the electric fence at the top of the room, allowing you to cross. On the other side, activate the two levers to open a door back to the main room and open a door with some spores on the other side. Shoot them and head through the spore gate at the far end of the room.

The next room is more of the same. Kill the enemies, activate the lever on the far side of the room to open a door, destroy the electric node on the other side to open another door, then shoot the spores on the other side of the final door. You’ll find the spore gate at the far end of the room, in the floor near the corner. Drop down to enter one of the more unsettling parts of the mission.

Step 6: The maze

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The maze is a dark series of tunnels with vents blocking every path. There are spores and a spore gate, and it’s your job to reach the spore gate in time through the dark and confusing maze.

In the area where you land, destroy the vents to your right to find some spores. You don’t need them now, but remember where they are. Turn around and destroy the opposite gate and continue forward. You’ll end up in a section with gates on every side. Destroy the one to your left, and you’ll see a faint flickering light in the corner. This path contains the spore gate, along with a couple of enemies.

You know what to do. Run back, hit the spores, then pass through the gate. On the other side, activate the lever to open a path back to the room where you started step five. Now, however, there’s another door open. Use the spores nearby to pass through the door and spore gate, then deal with the enemies on the other side.

There’s another short puzzle here. Use the lever in the far corner to open a door revealing an electric node behind some pipes. Destroy the node to open a door with some spores, then use the spores to pass through the spore gate.

Step 7: The rotating room

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The next area has a couple of rotating platforms. There aren’t any new mechanics here, so if you want to solve the puzzle blind, all you need to do is dive in.

Continue to the end of the room and activate the lever, dealing with the enemies along the way. Turn back around and destroy the electric node embedded in some pipes, then jump back to the beginning of the room. You have to use two spore gates in a row to make it to the end of this room. Shoot the first set of spores, then head toward the door on a raised platform shortly into the main room. Pass through the spore gate, revealing more spores, then shoot them to renew your buff.

Platform to the other side of the room and pass through the second spore gate. In the room where you end up, activate the lever and get ready. The next area is where you’ll face the Locus of Communion.

Step 8: The Locus of Communion

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The Locus of Communion is tough, especially solo, so get ready for a fight. You’ll fight the boss one-on-one for a bit, then he’ll jump down to a lower level. This is where the fight really starts. You’ll go between the main floor where you start and the boiler room below fighting the Locus of Communion. The problem is that the boiler room will kill you, so you need to cool things down before heading under.

Deal with the mobs that spawn, then activate the levers on both sides of the room. The third lever is located in a heated room with a single enemy. Run through and activate it immediately, and you should have just enough time before the burning kills you. With all three levers activated, jump down and fight the Locus of Communion. Once you’ve knocked off a third of his health, the boiler room will heat up again.

Simply repeat this process three times, follow the path out of the boss area, and complete the quest. After you’re done, head back to the Tower and speak to Zavala to earn the Dead Man’s Tale Exotic scout rifle.

The Dead Man’s Tale Exotic scout rifle

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Dead Man’s Tale is a beautiful Exotic. It’s powerful, featuring the Cranial Spike Exotic trait, which gives you increased damage and reload speed after consecutive precision shots. Bungie also included the Transformative perk, as it has with some previous Exotics. This perk will be replaced by a random roll each time you complete the Presage quest.

Currently, you can pick up a randomly rolled Dead Man’s Tale once a week for each of your characters (up to three). If you’ve already earned the Dead Man’s Tale for a particular week, you can still replay Presage to earn other Pinnacle gear.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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