When it comes to unlocking the best weapons in Destiny 2, either the task is relatively simple but tied to a seemingly arbitrary prerequisite, as is the case with the recently returned Palindrome, or requires players to surmount a gargantuan task that usually involves PvP grinding. The Dead Man's Tale is a fancy new scout rifle that falls into neither category, and instead asks players to embark on a lore-heavy mission that worth playing even if you don't care about the gun.
Dead Man's Tale Stats
Before we look into how you can grab this gun, let's see if it's worth the effort - fun quest notwithstanding. As is usually the case, the Dead Man's Tale can roll with various randomly dealt perks when you get it at the end of the quest, and some are more useful than others. One perk is guaranteed though, called Cranial Spike. This perk boosts damage and reload speed with consecutive precision hits.
This exotic scout rifle is still too new to call the best roll, but if you get one with Fourth Time's The Charm we'd suggest keeping it, as this is a strong build. That said, you can immediately deconstruct the gun and run the mission again if it rolls with Outlaw, because this is redundant with the effects of Cranial Spike. Overall, the gun is a heavy hitter and we see it being viable in both PvP and PvE.
Like other Tex Mechanica weapons, the Dead man's Tale has an ornate retro design - almost like something we'd see in a spaghetti western, with just enough futuristic bling to make it look like it belongs in Destiny 2.
Unlocking Dead Man's Tale: The Voice On The Other Side
The process for unlocking the Dead Man's Tale involves multiple quests taking you across various locations. Before you even get into the new missions, you need to hop into a Strike that ought to be very familiar by now to kick it all off.
Step 1: Unlock Presage by playing The Arms Dealer
The Arms Dealer is a Strike that most Destiny 2 players likely wore out long ago. Nonetheless, you're going to have to go back to the classic Strike set in the European Dead Zone to get the ball rolling. When you start The Arms Dealer, you first load into a small room with a few enemies and usually get your Ghost to breach the door to the first combat area. This time around, you can go through the other door, located to the right.
Here, a tough Cabal enemy and some mobs will need to be dispatched before you can access the Distress Signal item. Upon picking it up, you will be recalled to the Tower to speak with Commander Zavala, initiating The Voice On The Other Side mission. To progress with this mission, you need to complete another quest that is now available to you: Presage, near the Tangled Shore.
Step 2: Complete Presage
This is a tough mission, recommended for fireteams with three players all with a power level of at least 1250. We recommend high mobility stat builds with multiple Energy types among your team, as the opponents you'll face here sport different shield types. Presage is an interesting mission that combines some elements of the Strike mission formula with the puzzles usually expected in Dungeons and Raids. Presage tasks the Fireteam with infiltrating a ship, but the door you spawn near is blocked. You need to navigate a set of platforms to the left of the spawn area to reach a hole in the hull.
Once inside, you'll need to keep an eye out for switches that unlock doors, fuses that are hidden by red piping and need to be destroyed, and spore clusters found throughout the map. The latter need to be shot to grant Egregore Link, which makes areas blocked by those weird, foggy blue fields accessible. Initially you'll need to get through a tangle of passages lined with destructible vents - you'll know you're in the right place when you find a door with spores behind it.
There's a bit of a jumping puzzle next up. You need to hop between platforms and hit switches fast enough to unlock the multiple doors blocking your progress and to raise a platform for the last jump, after which you need to drop down into the next area below. Your and your squad members will find yourselves in a trash compactor seemingly lifted straight from the Death Star. To get out, you need to pull a switch - unfortunately this switch also powers up the compactor, so you have to break vents and destroy fuses behind them quickly. If you manage to pull this off before being crushed, a panel on the floor will open up - indicated by a set of red lights - and you need to drop down again.
Here the puzzles are replaced by a decent quantity of Scorn who aren't very happy to see you. Fight through a few rooms to reach the last hangar, where you'll see the Rally Banner area for mission completion, after you beat the multi-level boss fight. There is an additional puzzle mechanic here - the boss fight takes places across two levels of the ship interior, with the lower one being constantly heated to the point of damaging Guardians lingering when the cooling process isn't triggered. For that, you'll need to flip switches across all three levels. Meanwhile the boss, Locus of Communion, will be moving between the levels and spawning weak henchmen. After suffering an amount of damage, Locus will also trigger a shield, which is where your Energy types come into play.
Step 3: Complete The Voice On The Other Side
When you complete the mission, you'll return to Zavala in the Tower and get the Dead Man's Tale by handing in the quest. You can repeat Presage as many times as you want if you aren't satisfied with the stats and perks you rolled on your Dead Man's Tale the first - or second, or third... - time.