Fortnite Season 8 comes to an end on December 5, meaning we’re just a few short weeks away from another epic finale. This time, the chaos of a season-ending event may be magnified tenfold, as credible rumors suggest that Fortnite Chapter 3 is just around the corner. For now though, we’ll deal with only what we saw this season. The end of Season 8 is approaching. Here’s everything that’s happened in the war with the cubes.
During Operation: Sky Fire, IO boss Doctor Slone recruited loopers to help end the alien threat once and for all. The uneasy feeling about Slone’s season-long alliance with players proved to be merited in the end; after she felt she had dispatched the aliens for good by arming a massive bomb, she turned on players, leaving them to die in the explosion.
Instead, the alien Mothership was revealed to be some sort of storage facility for countless cubes, a sentient race of beings we first saw in Fortnite way back during Chapter 1 when Kevin The Cube was introduced. Even today we don’t know exactly how these cubes work, but we know they saved loopers on the Mothership that day, even as that seems to have been a byproduct of their true intentions: to take over the island.
Cubes on the move
As players found themselves on the island for Season 8, it seemed at first like nothing much was different. All of the places of interest from Season 7 returned, though some places, such as Misty Meadows and the hills east of Coral Castle, were damaged by debris from the crashed Mothership, which even today mostly sits in the waters far offshore from Apollo.
Within days, the cubes began to move. These enigmatic six-sided monoliths would begin to topple over at a rate of about one move every few hours. As they did, they left a trail behind them that stained the island in amber colors, like some sort of corruption, or perhaps more like a plague. Day by day, roll by roll, the several cubes around the island started to reveal a pattern. They were heading toward the center of the island. Soon enough, they made it to their destination.
As the cubes localized at the center of the map, where the Zero Point once stood (and maybe still stands unseen?), they summoned an otherworldly being whose powers we would come to discover far outweigh that of the loopers. The Cube Queen arrived in style, demanding her Cube Monsters from The Sideways dimension–wherever that is–leave nothing behind in their destruction of the island.
For weeks, players have fought back against the Cube Queen, led by J.B. Chimpanski’s war effort, which eventually summoned powerful mechs, but their efforts seem to have been in vain. Today, the Cube Queen remains at the heart of the island, mocking anyone who dares look her way with a maniacal laugh. She also seems to be growing in strength, as though she requires a sort of charging-up to full power. Her “Convergence” is now home to The Pyramid, a strange device that looks just like it sounds but is weirdly built out of the mysterious cube material, after the last several weeks saw the Queen iterate on this strange headquarters. It has the markings of some sort of part-natural, part-synthetic device, but what happens when you turn it on?
A single cube nearly destroyed the island for good back in Chapter 1. Now, a swarm of them rests at the island’s center. Is there any hope for the island of Apollo? It doesn’t bode well when many of the Cube Queen’s cosmetics contain descriptions that hint at her unstoppable powers, like her staff which is said to have “ended countless realities” before. Who might stand between her and the destruction of the Zero Point? More pressingly, what happens if no one does?
Slone’s Staging Facility: a last-ditch effort?
Just like last season, the elusive variable in how all of this shakes out is Doctor Slone, the highest-ranking Imagined Order operative we’ve met so far–that we know of, anyway. When Slone’s plans were thwarted at the end of Season 7, she and a small group of IO henchmen regrouped west of Dirty Docks. In the weeks thereafter, her group marched, with formidable weapons in-hand, to a destination unknown. Players speculated that she was heading to the secret bunker just outside of Catty Corner, and they proved correct in the end. Forever known as the ***Redacted*** Bunker, Slone finally lifted the lid on what was beyond its formerly impenetrable walls: the IO Staging Facility.
What is the purpose of this facility? What exactly is Slone “staging” this time? We won’t likely know until the end of the season, but it seems she is never going to be content to sit on her hands while someone else tries to take control of the island–or is it just the Zero Point she cares about? Of course, after her last betrayal, it’s difficult to root for her too, even if she is, awkwardly, the island’s best hope for salvation.
Calling this the “cube war” is a bit of a misnomer, to be honest. It doesn’t make sense to call this a war any more than we’d call it a war when a human crushes an anthill. The cubes and their queen have done whatever they wanted, virtually unopposed–and not for lack of trying on the part of local loopers. To put it simply, we’re outgunned, outmatched, and utterly doomed.
With another season of Fortnite quickly approaching chaos on an epic scale, we can reasonably expect an end-of-season event to cap things off for Season 8–and possibly all of Chapter 2. If this is the end for Apollo, it was nice knowing you, Apollo.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.