The Moonbase is a location on the Moon that can be visited by players. It is an abandoned colonial site from the Golden Age of humanity. According to Bungie Lead Environment Artist Sam Jones, "The Moonbase is a mystery. The life spark of humanity has long gone out. It’s now overrun by moon dust, meteors, and ghosts."
The "main focal point" of the Moonbase is the Comms Tower, a Golden Age-era relay station for communications between Earth and the rest of the Solar System. The Comms Tower's imposing height makes it useful for player navigation from other places within the Moonbase complex.
Design and InspirationEdit
Design of the Moonbase began in 2009 with early concept art. Hints as to the presence of humans on the moon were also present in early concept art for the Hellmouth, but Bungie later created the Moonbase as a separate playable space.
The Moonbase is intended to inspire conflicting emotions in players. The design is both "hopeful, as it points towards humanity’s future successful expansion into the Solar System," but "also downbeat, as it has been abandoned." The architecture of the Moonbase, which incorporates human structures against a backdrop of "Hive architecture and shattered tectonic plates," is intended to be both familiar and exotic.
The design of the Comms Tower is also separately important to the Moonbase's overall design. The use of color on the Comms Tower is intended to be welcoming to players in contrast to the normally "subdued lunar color palette," while the "height of the tower makes it useful for player navigation."
- Bungie artists Dorje Bellbrook, Jesse Van Dijk, Marke Pedersen, Ryan Ellis, Mark Goldsworthy, Darren Bacon, and Joseph Cross Numerous contributed concept art that was eventually used in creating the Moonbase.
- The Moonbase was constructed from Grognok's "Human Colony Outpost" palette, a "graphical Lego set" that includes the hallmarks of deep space exploration by humans during the Golden Age: "vacuum sealed entryways, accordion tunnels for access, prefabbed panel construction, and lots of assorted hardware."
- The Chinese characters "曙光" inscribed on the various structures surrounding the mass driver translates to "dawn."