Friday ‘Nite is a weekly Fortnite column in which Mark Delaney takes a closer look at current events in the wide world of Fortnite, with a special emphasis on the game’s plot, characters, and lore.
The Fortnite island is under duress more often than Peely’s driving instructor, and with a Fortnite Season 2 event looking likely–on account of the massive Doomsday Device propped up by the Imagined Order–it’s safe to say things are about to pop off once again. Fortnite live events have been more and more spectacular as years have gone on, and after such a story-focused season, this next event looks to be one of the biggest and most story-important events yet. Naturally, this event will surely introduce new mysteries to the grand Fortnite universe, but it also looks poised to answer some long-lingering questions, too.
Then again, there are other things I’m confident this event won’t answer just yet. Here are four questions the Fortnite event will resolve, as well as a pair of others it will almost surely put off for at least another season.
Where has The Paradigm been?
The last we saw of The Paradigm, The Seven’s long-lost mech pilot, she was flying away on Mecha Team Leader to a destination unknown. A new lobby background now shown in-game reveals that mech has been salvaged, at least in part, on a mysterious landscape. Spoilers warning: According to datamined leaks, this location is a moon in the Fortnite world. Not our moon, but perhaps The Seven’s home–which would make the island’s Sanctuary exactly that, a waterfront beach house for the group of heroes. (End of spoilers)
It seems we’ll find out The Paradigm had been outcasted by The Origin, who felt she betrayed the group according to story threads already seen this season, and she was staying at this mystery landscape. The event itself may confirm this suspicion and, with any luck, give us even more details about what this off-world is like.
Are The Seven really all working together?
The Origin’s trust seems easy to lose, as we now know The Paradigm found out firsthand in Chapter 1, Season 9. But the group has felt fractured all season. The Imagined has been on her own agenda, seemingly hellbent on learning more about her own mysterious past, which she can’t recall herself. She enlisted, or maybe received unsolicited help from, her twin sister, The Order, who seems to have successfully extracted The Imagined’s data file from the IO’s servers. But will the sisters’ sneaking about only cause a further rift in The Seven?
The Origin doesn’t seem to like when his allies act unpredictably or unilaterally, and even if he would forgive the sisters for their stealth routine, what’s the big secret they may have found, and how will it affect the group’s cohesion going forward? Lately, The Seven has felt more like The Four or Five, but to topple the IO, they’ll need to all be moving toward the same goal. I expect we’ll see them come together and save the day as a complete unit for the first time ever in-game.
What is the Collider?
If you’ve jumped into Fortnite this week, you probably noticed the Collider north of Tilted Towers. It’s kind of hard to miss, given how it’s gigantic, constantly emitting strange noises, and occasionally pulsating with strange glowing energy. This is the IO’s Doomsday Device we’d been hearing so much about, but we still don’t quite know what the IO’s plans for it are. Undoubtedly, this device will factor into the finale event in a major way, so I don’t doubt we’ll see what it does.
What I’m more curious about is whether it’s actually the same device as Midas’ strange tidal wave-creating machine seen back in Chapter 2, Season 2. As far as we know, Midas is the leader of GHOST, a special operations unit within the IO. That should mean he was acting on behalf of the IO when he first raised his Device, which proved to be faulty, in Chapter 2, Season 2. But is this new device, which shares some visual similarities but also looks quite different, the same thing?
One reason to suspect they’re related, and perhaps Midas’ Device was a prototype, is that Midas’ Device manipulated the Storm and waters surrounding the island. In-game this week, the collider is seeming to suck up the water from nearby riverbeds. It may be that this machine will keep draining the waters until the island has no inland bodies of water left. Is this the hydroelectric cost of energizing this new machine, or were both calibrated to use water as an energy source, and perhaps only this time the IO has gotten it right? I expect whatever the Collider does will reveal whether we should think of these devices as the same things or not.
Why is Peely taking driving lessons?
It’s not as important as the carousel of existential threats perpetually shuffling onto and around the island, but one subplot fans have followed this season is Peely’s hapless effort to learn to drive. For the past several weeks, the anthropomorphic banana has been found crashing vehicles all over the island. Dialogue tells us he is struggling to get the hang of being behind the steering wheel, but is this storyline a funny sideshow, or will Peely be operating some critical vehicle in the event?
If Peely does show up in the event, look for him to maybe finally master the art of steering. If he doesn’t appear at all, then it’s safe to say this has all just been a silly distraction–or maybe he’s just in a ditch somewhere.
Some Fortnite superfans think they have it figured out. Speaking to Ben Walker of Top5Gaming on YouTube, he told me there’s a good chance what we’re actually watching is the return of Truckasaurus, a landmark from the game last seen in Chapter 2, which was basically a Voltron-like machine made of vehicles smashed together. It may be that Peely is more adept at driving than we thought, and his crashing is more like…an odd way to build things.
Who is Geno?
In the past few seasons, we’ve been able to meet a lot of the people behind the names we’ve been hearing for a while in Fortnite. The Seven, the Last Reality, the sisters, and more are just some of these reveals. But we still haven’t met Geno, who was first mentioned in the beginning of Chapter 2, Season 6 when The Foundation name-dropped this mystery character.
Today the identity of Geno is one of the biggest lingering mysteries in the game, but it’s for that reason I don’t expect we’ll see it revolved just yet. I anticipate this one could go on as long as even until Chapter 4, which right now is expected to begin around the late fall of 2023.
Some fans have speculated Geno is the true leader of the IO, the father of the sisters, or perhaps even the Storm itself. Fortnite is so unpredictable that even all of these could be true and most fans wouldn’t bat an eye. In any event, don’t expect this question to be answered at the end of this season.
How did Slone disable building?
One of the great oddities of Chapter 3 has been the revelation that the game’s building mechanics are accounted for in the story. This is so true that Slone was able to deactivate building mechanics in an effort to leave Loopers more vulnerable as the IO regained power on the island. Epic is no stranger to rationalizing in-universe reasons for what should be nothing more than game mechanics–remember, the “Loop” itself is justification for playing rounds and rounds of Fortnite.
So it was weird when Slone basically turned off building with the click of a button while the Resistance fought to restore it over the next two weeks. When will Epic explain how this works in-universe? Perhaps never, but at least not soon, I think. It just doesn’t seem to have room in an already packed finale that will include likely include the return of The Paradigm and Mecha Team Leader, as well as a maybe space rock-destroying particle collider. *checks watch* Yup, it’s time for Fortnite to get weird again.