Ten years ago to the day. July 21st, 1999. Macworld, New York.
Apple’s iCEO Steve Jobs yields the stage for a brief but soon to be memorable moment to Bungie co-founder Jason Jones. Jones, looking a bit nervous, steps into the fore, shakes Jobs’ hand and begins quite simply:
“So our game’s called Halo...”
Internally, the title was known as Blam! – a moniker bestowed when Jones couldn’t bring himself to use the original working title, Monkeynuts, in front of his own mother. Whatever the name, this is the first time the public has laid eyes on the project.
We start with resonant music, familiar as if it were from an old dream, the image of an alien ring world arcing across the screen, and below, an armored soldier standing at a phosphorescent control panel. This soldier isn’t the Master Chief. Not yet. He’s not quite John-117. That name will come later. For now, he’s simply known as “The Cyborg.”
His hand is busy on the terminal, shifting over several shimmering images. Satisfied his instructions have been relayed, he turns and raises a hard-chrome pistol to the ready position and flees the installation.
The soldier is swift. He sprints through dark and angular corridors that abruptly give way to an open hangar. There are aircraft, strange but expected, but there is also something else—something almost humanoid—sinister and predatory. Elites.
The chase is on.
The dimly lit interior opens into a sweeping panoramic vista as the soldier spills out into the blinding day. A sun burns in the sky overhead, its luminous light diminished only by the impossible reality of the ring world, no longer merely a hologram, vaulting high into the heavens above.
The soldier has no time to break stride and admire the curious view. His squad waits alongside their transport vehicle. He orders the men in with a practiced hand signal and before they’ve managed to climb aboard and situate themselves in their seats, the wheels of the Warthog are spinning, sending a spray of earth into the air. A quick, springy turn and a wild leaping plunge through a break in the hillside and the crew is off the ground and on their way at breakneck speed.
As was Halo.
To write the sum of a decade is a monumental task. Bungie’s history is encoded into the games we’ve made and defined by the men and women who’ve worked inside the studio’s walls – people who have in many cases become a family. And of course we’ve also been shaped, inspired, and downright awestruck over the community that’s followed alongside.
To say thank you for a decade is even more of a monumental task. We say it anyway. Thank you for more than ten years of community involvement, contribution, and support. Thanks for the passion, for the letters, for the ravenous support (and defense) of us online, for pouring through our stories, for getting to the farthest climbs and reaches of our worlds, for the montages, for the speedruns, for the machinima, for the artworks, for the Master Chief suit you fashioned out of cardboard, for the Warthog Launches, for the…well, you get the idea.
Whether you are a community stalwart like Claude Errera (we’re not worthy) or someone who plunks down your heard-earned money to play our games without another word, thanks for exploring the worlds we create.
Ten Years Ago...
Halo: Ten Years - 07/19/09 [56.4 MB]
We wouldn’t have wanted to do it without you.
Thanks for playing.
Hoggin' it up.
I need a weapon.
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Through the Looking Glass
Poised and Posed