Strange New Worlds

Outer Worlds DLC could visit 4 locked planets inspired by Greek myth

Tartarus was just the beginning.

The Outer Worlds breathed fresh life into the dystopian open-world genre, thanks to a less-is-more approach to world-building and some of the best writing since Ernest Goes To Camp. Fans and critics alike heaped praise and GOTY nominations upon Obsidian last year and, although I suspect an “Everyone’s-Mad-At-Bethesda” handicap is partly at play, there’s no denying The Outer Worlds marks the start of something special. Naturally, we want more.

The only thing we know about Outer Worlds DLC plans is Obsidian's lone confirmation that there are plans. In a forum post thanking fans after The Game Awards, the developer mentioned the story is far from over:

The reception to The Outer Worlds has been unbelievable to see, and even just being nominated means a lot. However, the journey isn't over yet as we are excited to announce that we will be expanding the story through DLC next year! Details will be made available at a later date.

Perhaps the DLC release date news will coincide with the Switch release, slated for March 6.

If you’ve spent any time with The Outer Worlds, you’ve no doubt cast a longing gaze at its map of the Halcyon system. There are seven planets throughout Halcyon (Terra 1 is technically a moon, but shut up), though only three are available to visit. So now we look to Typhon, Hephaestus, Eridanos, and Olympus. Like Tartarus, they are all rooted to Greek mythology in some way.

“a gruesome beast with a hundred dragon heads, but only one ass

So what do these names mean? And what can they tell us about where we might be going in The Outer Worlds DLC?

Obsidian Entertainment

Outer Worlds locked planet #1 - Typhon

Let’s start with Typhon. His father was Tartarus (yes, the abysmal dungeon realm, long story) and his mother was Gaea. He was a gruesome beast with a hundred dragon heads, but only one ass, which Zeus promptly kicked and sent to the underworld forever. In some stories, Typhon is trapped beneath a volcanic mountain. In others, he’s the father of ferocious winds (a.k.a. typhoons). He’s also the father of some very famous monsters: Cerberus, the Hydra and the Chimera.

What does all this have to do with The Outer Worlds DLC? Well, if their playfulness with Tartarus is any guide, it seems the writing team at Obsidian has a flair for myths. Icy Typhon could serve as inspiration for one hell of a planet, a perfect setting for an underworld fueled by geothermal forces. Throw in a dash of crazy weather and lots of beasts and now it’s true to its namesake. Cerberus, a three-headed monster dog, would be right at home in The Outer Worlds DLC.

Outer Worlds locked planet #2 - Hephaestus

Hephaestus was the god of smithing, worshipped by craftsmen of all trades. So it’s easy to see why he would make an appealing figure in the capitalist dystopia of The Outer Worlds.

Perhaps that’s why Hephaestus has some in-game lore already. The planet is the closest to the sun in the Halcyon galaxy and owned by The Hephaestus Mining Company. This could lend itself to one hell of a DLC expansion. Picture massive forges and foundries with a vast industrialized landscape full of lethal machines.

If you’ve searched out the fabled science weapons in The Outer Worlds, you’ve already come across a Hephaestus Mining Company Archive Cartridge that sent you to an abandoned mining camp on Scylla to retrieve the Mandibular Rearranger. It’s a wacky, lethal melee weapon that literally rearranges people’s faces. So the game has already established Hephaestus is controlled by a corporation engaged in bizarre weapons research. That seems like a solid foundation for some DLC.

Obsidian Entertainment

Outer Worlds locked planet #3 - Olympus

You may not be able to visit Olympus, but you’ve practically lived on its moon, Monarch (a.k.a. Terra 1). It’s one of “many” moons orbiting Olympus, a Jovian gas giant said to be uninhabitable because of powerful atmospheric storms.

The planet also happens to be named after the most famous mountain in Greek mythology (or anywhere really): Mt. Olympus. Believed to be the home of the Greek gods, it served as the setting for numerous tales. The Greeks didn’t think the gods actually lived on top of a mountain, but more in a cloudy, wispy realm just beyond the mountain. It’s a good metaphor for a Jovian gas giant, no? The Olympus of Outer Worlds is believed to be uninhabitable, but we could discover a powerful race of beings existing among the clouds. If we do visit Olympus, expect it to be by way of some sort of spaceship or space station.

Outer Worlds locked planet #4 - Eridanos

Last is Eridanos, a locked planet which seems to draw inspiration from Eridanus, a constellation mapped out by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy. It is named after an ancient river, but no one is sure which river it refers to. There’s also a tale about Phaethon, a young man who learned his father was the sun god Helios. He asked to drive the sun chariot across the sky to prove Helios was his father and, when he couldn’t control it and began scorching the Earth, Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt. He fell into the Eridanus, leaving behind a rank, fetid marsh that became a cursed place.

In The Outer Worlds, Eridanos is said to be home to a lucrative gas harvesting industry. So there's already in-game lore to give you a destination, unlike Olympus. A marsh is technically possible, too, given that gas giants can have (potentially delicious) liquid centers. It doesn’t take a large leap to see a sprawling, toxic marsh as a setting for The Outer Worlds DLC.

Outer Worlds DLC - What we really want

Greek myths aside, there are a few things we want from Outer Worlds DLC regardless of setting. First and foremost is optimization. The game would benefit from more polished design, so we’re not constantly barraged with loading screens. Second, a new companion. The cast in The Outer Worlds is great (we stan Parvati) but a new addition would change the dynamic for existing quests and unlock quite a few possibilities for quests and storylines.

Above all, this DLC needs to come soon, before it gets lost in the sauce of upcoming AAA titles and new consoles. A poorly-timed release might be too little too late for a promising franchise. Now that would be a real tragedy, Greek or otherwise.

The Outer Worlds comes to Nintendo Switch on March 6.

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