Mars is the 3rd planet and the 4th main location in Destiny where players pass through in their story missions.
The planet is completely barren and home to Vex and a new enemy, Cabal, who have made the planet as their base and spread fortifications throughout the area.
Destiny Mars Story Missions
Exclusion Zone – Level 15
Exclusion Zone takes place in The Barrens on Meridian Bay of Mars. The story mission is intended for level 15 players and gives them their first look at the Cabals as well as returning an old enemy, Vex.
Similarly like in previous locations, players need to hack into the local vehicle grid before they are able to use their Sparrows for travel.
Unlike previous locations, the travel link isn’t established just by simply hacking. Once players enter the Cabal bunker on the right from where the initially start the mission, Ghost can be deployed to hack the system.
The hacking attempt attracts attention from hostile forces so while Ghost hacks the system to grant vehicle access, players must fight off waves of enemies.
Initially the Cabals can be killed with a powerful long range weapon while staying in the safety of the bunker, however since the Cabal Phalanx carry shields which cannot be destroyed players must aim for their arms first for them to lower their shields a bit and then shoot heads to kill them.
After the number of enemies has been decreased, they will start charging the player’s position and hide out outside so players need to leave the bunker and finish them off before the mission can proceed.
Outside the bunker, players will have to fight Legionaries and Centurions who are both equipped with jet packs allowing them to get close to players really quickly, or dodge incoming damage.
Centurions are also protected by solar shields and the explosive projectiles they fire can be really deadly so cover is really important here.
Now that the vehicle link has been established, players can ride their Sparrow and go through the right side to Scablands, a battlefield for the Vex and Cabal.
Those looking for extra experience and loot can choose to kill both types of enemies or simply avoid fighting and proceed to Giant’s Pass, a Darkness Zone.
A large number of Phalanxes and Legionaries patrol the Giant’s Pass where players have to scan a computer a system on the far left side.
When Ghost begins the scan, a Cabal dropship brings in more reinforcements as well as a mini boss, Bracus Tho’ourg who also carries an access key which players need for their next objective.
Bracus is a Major Centurion and is guarded by a number of Psions. While the Psions aren’t armored, they are pretty intelligent and utilize cover a lot while firing Psionic blast waves which can be devastating so players should use cover as much as possible.
The best way to avoid the wave is to run to the opposite side while they fire the wave. Just before firing, the Psions spread out their arms lift off the ground so that’s a good indicator as to when the players should get ready to run or hide.
When Baracus is dead, the key can be looted, and players can proceed to Valley of the Kings to survey an access post.
Valley of the Kings is a public zone where players can meet others and join them in taking down the high level Vex in the area as well as the Cabal in the buildings on the right.
At the top of a cliff, players can deploy Ghost to scan the Cabal outpost after which the mission ends, and players can return to the tower to turn in looted Deployment Orders at the Shipwright for a Sparrow upgrade.
The Garden’s Spire – Level 16
The level 16 story mission, The Garden’s Spire will have players once again fighting in The Barrens but only Cabal this time around. Using their Sparrow, players can quickly move to the Scablands and up from the right side to a Cabal base.
The area is pretty open so it’s a good idea to kill off some Cabals from a distance with a long range weapon before moving in towards Firebase Rubicon.
The base of full of Cabal enemies so players have two choices: either try to speed past them all which will most probably result in their death or kill as many as possible for a lot of experience and good loot.
Cover and constant movement is really required here as the number of varying hostiles is very high. Having killed all or a lot of enemies are dead, players can proceed further to the observation tower.
A large number of Cabals guard the tower but they can be easily defeated, the only threat is from a Colossus carrying a Slug Thrower which does insane amount of damage if hits players.
The slug thrower also has a three missile attack which can easily kill a player if they get caught in it, so cover should be used a lot, and players should focus on his head. When the Colossus is dead, players can proceed and deploy Ghost at the tower console.
More Cabal will keep coming in as players proceed through the Rubicon Wastes so it’s a good idea to go to a garage on the right and ride an Interceptor which is armed with power missile attacks which can easily take down Cabal enemies.
Taking the Interceptor is not required but makes the job a whole lot easier so it’s highly recommended. With the Interceptor, players can easily push towards the Iron Line where finally they must leave the vehicle.
Iron Line is a Darkness Zone where soon upon entry, players are ambushed by Cabal forces but thankfully there is some cover in the area which should be used to survive.
The 2nd wave of enemies brings in a Centurion along with the weaker enemies while the third one consists of a Colossus with the regular Cabals. Once all three waves are dead, Ghost can be deployed to open the door to the next area.
As the door opens, a Major Phalanx and two regular ones rush in through the door and try to kill the player so they should be ready to duck behind cover while Ghost works at the door.
Having killed all three, the right ramp just outside the door will lead players to the Legions Keep.
While crossing the bridge, players must proceed cautiously and use cover as much as possible since enemies keep coming in from all directions while there is a Colossus waiting at the other end.
When the player’s reach the spire ahead, a group of Cabals will be guarding it but they can be easy to kill. Once everyone is dead, Ghost can activate the console to summon the boss of the mission, Primus Sha’aull, an Ultra Centurion.
Primus enters in from the left-side door so players should not be standing near there. He is guarded by Cabal enemies while more reinforcements come in when his massive health drops to 75% and then 40%.
Weaker enemies should be killed as soon as possible while avoiding the insane damage Primus deals, and their ammo looted.
It’s not a good idea to get up to a higher platform to snipe the enemies since a few forces will spawn behind the player, while a platform in the center of the area works best for cover.
Super Ability and Heavy Weapons should be used on Primus as soon as they are available, the strategy to kill him is just like any other Centurion.
Once all the enemies are dead, players can return to the console and complete the mission. Once back at the Tower, the looted Ceremonial Blade can be returned to their specific Vanguard mentor for a reward.
The Buried City – Level 17
The Buried City is the 3rd story mission on Mars and is intended for level 17 players. The mission is quite small compared to other ones.
Players will start off in The Hollows as they make their way to The Buried City. A building on the right side would be their gateway to the next objective where a number of Cabals inhabit the 2nd floor.
When they are dead, players can proceed to tap into a Cabal feed, however just before reaching the console, they have to kill a Major Centurion along with a Legionary.
After they are dead, Ghost can be deployed at the console to hack. After hacking the console, players have to jump down and move into a side door where a few Cabals are present, but they should be pretty easy to kill.
Following their death, the corridor will lead the players to the Dust Palace which is a Darkness Zone so caution is advised here.
After clearing initial area of the Palace, an exit door on the far side will lead players down to the atrium where more Cabals are patrolling.
When the players arrive, a number of Vex enemies suddenly attack the Cabal which can take the attention away from players allowing them to move past, or players can choose to kill them all for experience and loot.
Stairs on the left side of the room will eventually take players up to the Overwatch. On the way to the Overwatch, a lot of enemies will try to kill the players so cover should be utilized as much as possible.
Just near the entrance of the Overwatch, a Colossus, Phalanxes and Legionaries await the players. Constant movement is key here to avoid the incoming rockets.
The area needs to be cleared of all the Psions, Phalanxes and Legionaries as well as a Major Centurion in it but it shouldn’t be a problem since there is a lot of cover present, which can protect from enemy fire.
Once all the enemies are dead, players can deploy Ghost at the machine in the middle of the room to end the mission. The looted Warmind Cell can be returned to the Cryptarch in the Tower for a reward.
A Rising Tide – Level 17
The 4th mission on Mars, A Rising Tide, begins in The Barrens with players making their way to the Scablands on their Sparrows.
The Cabal in the Scablands can be ignored to reach the conflux on the other side of the zone. Just before deploying Ghost to access the device, a Minotaur guarded by a few Goblins spawn and they should be killed first.
Now that they are all dead, Ghost can interact with the conflux. After completing the objective, players can ride their Sparrows towards The Buried City where a Major Harpy, Minotaur and some weaker Vex guard the entrance.
After killing them all, players can go inside and take the corridor on the left, killing Goblins along the way. The area is pretty dark and Ghost doesn’t provide that much light so players have to stay cautious and constantly monitor their motion tracker.
Red eyes of the Vex can also be noticed in the darkness before they attack. The next zone, Freehold Station is a Darkness Zone.
If players think they are lost, they can look for bright light in the distance indicating more spawning Vex inside the zone. The Harpies and Goblins can be killed easily as players move through the area while a big Cyclops await farther down the zone on the left.
It can be killed from a distance with a powerful long range weapon along with the Goblins and Hobgoblins guarding it. The corridor leads to the Tharsis Junction where Harpies and Hobgoblins await players.
As players fight alongside the train cars on the Junction, a Vex transfer gate can be seen on the right which should be destroyed as quickly as possible since it spawns more enemies.
More gates are also scattered through the area as players progress, and they must all be destroyed while taking cover from gunfire from the Vex guarding them.
While players are destroying the final gate, a Major Minotaur appears with some regular Goblins and Minotaurs guarding it. They must all be eliminated quickly or they will surround players.
Once all the Vex are dead, Ghost can investigate the conflux to complete the mission. The looted Vex Carapace can be returned to the player’s specific Vanguard mentor at the Tower.
The Black Garden – Level 18
The final story mission on Mars as well as in the game, The Black Garden is for level 18 players and begins in The Barrens. Players have to get to the Valley of the Kings which can be easily done on Sparrow by passing through Scablands and Giant’s Pass.
After entering the Valley of the Kings, the gate on the left will be guarded by a Hydra accompanied by Minotaurs and Hobgoblins. This area is a public zone so players can help each other kill the enemies present.
When all the enemies are dead, players can pass through the gate on to the next area. Players will come up on stationary Goblins as they move forward, they can be ignored until one group among them powers up and attacks the player.
Once the Goblins and a Minotaur that joins the fight are all dead, players move up to some ruins where more Vex spawn. Cover should be used as much as possible here to take down the Vex forces.
Soon the area becomes a Darkness Zone and a Cyclops guarded by Harpies, Goblins and Hobgoblins appear on the right. The weaker enemies should be killed first and then players should focus fire on the Cyclops.
Proceeding further players will continue to encounter more and more Vex forces and even a Major Hydra that fires explosive projectiles.
The weaker enemies should be killed first from cover and then heavy weapons can be used on Hydra to take it down quickly, be careful to avoid the head since it explodes after a few seconds.
Having killed all the enemies, players can leave the Darkness Zone and proceed to Lower Garden.
Following the ruins will put players against more Vex enemies, but they are just Goblins and Hobgoblins so killing them should not be a problem as players move forward towards a dead end.
Climbing on to some higher rocks on a cliff will allow players to see a dish to the left and another to the right, both guarded by Vex forces, while more Vex litter the whole area.
Best way to thin their ranks is to use a long-range weapon from the cliff and kill as many as possible.
Players have to make their way to each Vex dish while fighting Harpies on the left and Goblins near the right dish while a Hydra stays in the middle of the zone and is guarded by more Vex.
When all the enemies around a dish are dead, Ghost can be deployed to scan them and when both dish have been scanned, players have to move towards the center of the zone where a conflux along with some more Vex enemies appear.
After killing them all, Ghost can scan the conflux, and the next objective begins. The final fight begins as the players step into a big arena where a whole army of Vex forces is present. The Vex are just Goblins so they can all be killed easily.
After all the Goblins are dead, one Ultra Minotaur appears. Heavy weapons and Super should be used here to target his glowing abdomen and kill it quickly.
Harpies also join the fight, but players should stay focused on the Minotaur and avoid the explosive projectiles it launches. Once the Minotaur dies, all the Harpies die along with it.
Once this Minotaur is dead, another Ultra Minotaur appears accompanied by Goblins and Hobgoblins. This one can be killed just like the first one by taking cover to avoid explosions and focusing on the abdomen.
The third and final Ultra Minotaur appears with normal Minotaurs and Goblins as its guards, this can become a bit tricky but if players keep on the move to avoid being surrounded, they can take down the Ultra Minotaur, which would kill the weaker Vex enemies and the mission ends.
Upon returning back to the Tower, the players can exchange Dark Heart Fragments with The Speaker for a Mote of Light.