Did You Catch Cayde-6’s ‘Back to the Future’ Joke in ‘Destiny 2: Forsaken’?

The swan song for the “Destiny 2” jokester includes a reference to a time travel classic, which is a fitting callback to players’ history with him

destiny 2 forsaken cayde 6 back to the future joke

The latest expansion for “Destiny 2,” titled “Forsaken,” is the final mission for fan-favorite character Cayde-6. The jokester robot superhero has been a key part of the game since the beginning, but the big selling point of “Forsaken” is that Cayde finally buys it — and players go on a revenge tour hunting down his killers.

The beginning of “Forsaken” gives players one last go-round with Cayde (voiced here by Nolan North and previously by Nathan Fillion), and he gets a few great moments in as he partners with the player to stop a space prison break. It’s one of the rare instances when a character like Cayde is close at hand during a gameplay session and participating in the goings-on. The worst aliens in the solar system are getting loose at the start of “Forsaken,” but Cayde’s having a blast putting down their prison riot. He lives for this stuff, and in addition to being a stellar fighter, he constantly brings levity to “Destiny 2” that its predecessor was often missing.

In fact, right at the start of “Forsaken,” Cayde slips a sneaky pop culture joke into the proceedings, one that only “Back to the Future” fans might recognize.

At the start of the mission, after getting briefed on the situation at the alien jail called the Prison of Elders, Cayde turns to the player character as they prepare to start fighting the host of bad guys making a break for it.

“This is a Cayde riff in six,” Cayde says, referencing his own complete robot designation, Cayde-6. “Watch me for the changes, and try to keep up.”

The line Cayde is using invokes Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) at the end of the 1985 time travel classic, “Back to the Future.” The scene in question takes place toward the end of the movie, at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance, at the end of Marty’s week spent in 1955 trying to ensure that his parents meet and fall in love. If they don’t, Marty will cease to exist.

In the scene, Marty has gotten his parents back together, but he needs to make sure they dance — and kiss — for the future in which Marty is born to happen. The trouble is, the leader of the band playing the dance injured his hand earlier, saving Marty from a locked car trunk. With nobody to play guitar, there’s no way for the dance to continue.

But Marty is a guitarist, so he takes over for the band leader, and opts to blow the minds of the 1955 high schoolers by playing Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode.” The other musicians don’t know the song, though, since it hasn’t been written yet, so Marty gives them a quick introduction.

“Okay, guys, this is a blues riff in B. Watch me for the changes, and try to keep up,” Marty tells them.

Throwing a “Back to the Future” joke into Cayde’s last turn in “Destiny 2” makes sense, given his history with the player. In the original campaign for “Destiny 2” when it was released two years ago, players found Cayde trapped in a teleporter created by the “Destiny 2” time traveling bad guy robots, the Vex. Essentially, players saved Cayde from a broken time machine. “Back to the Future” is a fitting reference for one of the best “Destiny 2” characters to go out on.