For weeks there've been whispers that Epic Games had something big planned Fortnite's Loot Lake, with many speculating that the game's mysterious roving rift-cube would eventually end its meandering journey at the Battle Royale map's largest body of water.
That moment has now arrived and, well, the results weren't quite what fans had anticipated.
As it happens, suspicious fingers have been pointing to Loot Lake as the sight of something significant for as long as Season 5 has been underway; speculation began from day one when strange geometric shapes were inadvertently introduced beneath Loot Lake's surface, only visible from the air. That glitch was eventually resolved, but rumours about the area persisted.
Many began to speculate that Loot Lake was for the chop this season (in exactly the same way that Tilted Towers eventually wasn't), given the location's rather divisive nature. Even in the Eurogamer office, opinion is split between those that find its watery expanse nothing more than a waste of space and a traversal annoyance. The correct people, however, appreciate its idyllic views and the relative tranquility it affords in an otherwise rather hectic map.
The naysayers wanted it gone though, and data-mining around Season 5's mid-point suggested that they may well get their wish, possibly as a result of Loot Lake being engulfed in lava, of all things. And then came the arrival of Fortnite's mysterious cube - spat from the heavens several weeks into the season, when the giant rift that kicked the whole thing off finally closed.
The cube almost immediately began its long journey around the map, occasionally dropping runes and leaving anti-gravity domes in its wake. Further data-mining suggested that the roving oddity was eventually bound for Loot Lake. And so it came to pass, with the cube beginning the final leg of its journey yesterday evening. That saw it move through the ever-popular, always controversial, Tilted Towers before finally flolloping its way into the water.
As a brief aside, this final stretch also saw the rather brilliant culmination of another little story vignette that's been smouldering away since last season, in a further example of Epic's increasingly masterful grip on slow-burn environmental storytelling.
As it rolled through Tilted Towers, you see, the cube also managed to obliterate a small shop - the same shop which, rather wonderfully/tragically, was razed during the meteor strike at the end of last season. Players have watched its gradual restoration week by week, until recently when it was finally completed. It's sat there ever since, festooned in balloons and cheerful bunting, patiently waiting for a grand opening ceremony that clearly now isn't to be.
As noted by Kotaku, fans are wondering if the poor shop owner's misfortunes could well become a bit of a running joke each season.
Anyway, back to the cube. Earlier this evening, after weeks of toil, it reached its final destination, and in a rather dramatic crescendo of light and sound began sinking beneath the water. As it did, cascades of energy rippled across Loot Lake's surface, the ominous music getting louder. Could this be the moment that the rumoured mirror world emerged and lava spilled across the map? As it happens, no; instead, its waters have now taken on strange gelatinous properties, turning the whole thing into, essentially, a massive, shiny trampoline. If nothing else, it's certainly far less of an unnavigable void now.
It seems unlikely that this will be the end of things, however. After all, today's event doesn't immediately appear to offer much in the way of set-up for Fortnite's imminent sixth season - certainly not in the same way that Season 4's meteor shower and Season 5's rift-tear did. And with Season 6 currently anticipated - if not actually confirmed - to begin next week, there's still a little more time for one last surprise.
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