S'Pht Hits Fan: Earth Doomed

The Weekly World News, that bastion of truth and wisdom and freedom of the press, is reporting a disturbing news story. Earthlings are collecting the flags of Alien Nations. Presumably trading and acquiring them via places like eBay, without giving thought to where these flags come from. Especially disturbing is the most prized flag of all.

Click the image below to see what is considered the jewel in the crown of alien flag collecting. I can only hope that nobody in deep space is watching this.

Classic Games 8/28/2006 12:28 PM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update

Sketch reports back from Germany, where he's continuing our Halo 2 Vista Vistravaganza Week. We also chat in loose terms about Halo 3 graphics, but nothing to get too excited about, and apologies once more, for a horrible, horrible piece of art.

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Bungie Weekly Update 8/25/2006 4:58 PM PDT

Top 7 Reasons Why H2V Rocks

We've compiled the top seven reasons that Halo 2 Vista rocks. Some might say it even has the potential to rock ever so slightly harder than the Xbox original. There are some things you might expect such as the map editor as well as some new tidbits that you may not have known.

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Halo 2 Vista 8/24/2006 5:28 PM PDT

Halo 2 Vista Section Goes Live

The Halo 2 Vista page has just gone live on Bungie.net! In it you can find a screenshot gallery, an about page and an FAQ that holds everything we've addressed thus far on Halo 2 Vista. Along with this update, the web team has also added the long-awaited search function that encompasses the whole site!

Go check out Halo 2 Vista in all its glory in the screenshot gallery and then search for naughty words, in that order. You know you want to.

Halo 2 VistaScreenshots 8/24/2006 11:45 AM PDT permalink

Maw Halo PC Teams Tournament

The Maw will have another Halo PC tournament next month. This time, it will be a teams tournament. Any Halo PC player is invited to sign-up and test your skills.

Sign-ups are now begun for the second Maw Halo PC Tournament, a teams tournament consisting of 192 players, or thirty-two teams of six. The tournament is to begin sometime in mid-September. To sign-up, please to to http://halotourneys.info. Details may be found here.

If you need more information, please e-mail the tournament staff at mawtourney@gmail.com

Thank you, and good luck!-The Maw Tournaments Team

This is a fan-run contest and is not affiliated with Bungie in any way. For support regarding this tournament please contact them, not us.

Community 8/24/2006 10:00 AM PDT permalink

Keyboard vs. Joystick

For years this debate has raged in many a forum. Keyboard/Mouse or Joystick? We'll run over the most common arguments for each as they relate to Halo 2 Vista. Then members of the H2V Dev Team took on the Bungie Community Team in an epic Keyboard vs. Joystick Humpday.

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Inside BungieHalo 2 Vista 8/23/2006 5:26 PM PDT

HBO Faceplate Contest Results

HBO has announced the results of the faceplate contest that we noted a few weeks ago. You can view the finalists along with the two winners at HBO. Congratulations to the winners, Hawaiian Pig and Wheels.

The winners received prototype of our new faceplate for their Xbox 360s. They'll get it before it's even available for purchase, so expect them to take pictures of it and taunt the interwebs.

Community 8/23/2006 10:14 AM PDT permalink

Halo 2 Vista: Mapmaking

Pi Studios are the team responsible for bringing the map editor to Halo 2 on Windows Vista, and they wanted to share their progress and ideas, with you, our gentle reader. It's Day 2 of the week that KP foolishly calls Vistravaganza.

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Halo 2 Vista 8/22/2006 5:03 PM PDT

HBO Playlist

The Community Carnage Playlist is now available in Matchmaking and we can finally tell you that this playlist was designed by the folks over at halo.bungie.org. HBO has designed a 6v6 list full of wonky gametypes so if you want to know what you're getting into when you choose this playlist, read on.

Naturally, one of the first communities we approached about a matchmaking playlist was HBO. There were others but HBO was the first to submit a truly unique playlist unlike anything else we've already released.

HBO acquired its unique taste for gametypes and propensity to flesh out the games most obscure options through many a LAN. Beginning shortly after the release of Halo, admins and patrons of HBO began to hold LANs on a fairly regular basis. Two or three times a year anywhere from 16 to 40 people would get together to play Halo, drink caffeinated drinks and consume cheesy products.

Over the course of many years they developed, through much trial and error, gametypes which are fun but which are certainly not standard. Either via one or two subtle tweaks or a complete molestation of the available settings, these gametypes are anything but run of the mill.

What HBO has done with this playlist is taken all of their messed up gametypes and integrated them into a playlist over which they had almost complete control. They chose the gametypes, every single setting, the gametype names and even whether it was team or rumble. Having enjoyed the convenience of bringing a six player party into matchmaking without having to go into a big team playlist, HBO chose to go with a 6v6 format with this playlist.

Because of the unique nature of the gametypes and the amount of mass confusion it may cause, we've decided to give you a preview of the gametypes here so as to prepare you. Don't say we didn't warn you.

King of the Hill

Sun King

Score to Win: 3 Minutes
Time Limit: 12 Minutes
Starting Weapon: Rockets
Shields: You wish

HBO loves fast-paced gametypes and this is certainly one of them. If football is a game of inches then this is a game of milliseconds. Once you touch the hill it basically explodes with rockets or grenades (both of which spawn on the map, by the way). You may think that HBO has enabled a hidden feature called "exploding hill," but you would be mistaken.

Options that would normally allow you to make significant time gains have been disabled for maximum frustration. Chief among those are moving hill and team multiplier, both of which typically permit one team to jump ahead at some point in time.

Your best bet in this game, seeing as the multiplier is off, is to only let one person in the hill at a time and to try to have your other players positioned as best they can to cover that one guy. No strategy is foolproof, especially in a rockets game with no shields... but in initial testing this was the most effective.

Crazy Otto

Score to Win: 1 Minute
Time Limit: 15 Minutes
Starting Weapons: Battle Rifle
Shields: Normal

Seems easy, right? It's low hill, sucker. Every single player on your team has to get one minute in the hill. Then, and only then, may you proceed to the post-game screen as the victor. If you're the kind of jerk that runs around playing every single game as slayer, regardless of the rules, we're going to have to ask you to leave.

As you might imagine, this is a crazy hill game and the hill will move every one minute. You're invisible in the hill as well, which can be the difference between getting pounced on by Battle Rifles the second you get in the hill and being able to rack up time for a while before anyone looks carefully enough to see you.

The only weapons on the map are Shotguns and the default grenades. You'll definitely want to grab a shotgun before you make it to the hill; its uses are two-fold: firing a random shot into the hill can light up an invisible guy and obviously the shotgun is also a formidable close-range weapon which is useful in a small area, such as the hill.



Score to Win:
30 Seconds
Time Limit: 15 Minutes
Starting Weapons: Rockets
Shields: None

No shields, extra damage, rockets only. Don't expect to be alive for very long. Luckily the respawn time is only 3 seconds so you'll be back in action soon enough. Because you can kill someone by simply staring at them really hard, you only need to get 30 seconds with the ball.

You are fast, extra tough and inflict massive damage with the oddball, so it's not all bad. If you don't immediately explode upon picking up the oddball, you can probably hop around for a few seconds before you get taken out by a rocket or grenade.


Score to Win:
3 Minutes
Time Limit: 15 Minutes
Starting Weapons: Shotguns
Shields: None

You may have noticed by now that HBO loves shieldless gametypes. This is largely as a result of Louis Wu's inability to kill someone before they turned around, this way his chances are much greater.

This game could prove easier to bottle up and protect the oddball carrier, as it's difficult to take out the oddball carrier from anything but super-close range with the shotgun and you have no grenades. Considering the fact that the oddball carrier is tougher than you and can deal massive damage with the oddball, you're going to want to keep your distance.

Capture the Flag

BC Shotties CTF

Score to Win: 3
Time Limit: 12 Minutes
Starting Weapons: Shotguns
Shields: None

The Official HBO Gametype, this one gametype became a classic at HBO LANs during Halo 1's reign, went on to become a classic on the HBO Halo PC server (and later the HBO COERCE server) and made the transition to Halo 2

What can make this game exceptionally challenging is that flag reset is at ten seconds and touch-return is off. In its original iterations, flag had to be at home to score and the score to win was set at ten, but since we don't want to make you sit there for two hours; that option has been disabled.

With shields off, nades on and close-quarters combat being the name of the game, this one gets very bloody very fast. There are various methods for getting the flags in and out of the base, I suggest you employ as many as possible.

Capture Madness

Score to Win: Unlimited
Round Time Limit: 5 Minutes
Starting Weapons: Battle Rifle
Shields: Normal

That score to win is probably making you second guess our decision to let community members make a playlist. However, it's actually pretty cool. It's your standard one flag CTF but you get one rounds a piece to score as many flag captures as you can. So if you score in the round, it doesn't end, you just keep going until the five minutes are up and the round is over.

It's a different concept. It's certainly different than the one flag CTF you're used to seeing in matchmaking as the round doesn't end after a flag capture. There're very few objective gametypes at all which are set to allow an infinite amount of successes. This gametype takes great advantage of the availability of that option, however.

Chamb0 CTF

Score to Win Round: 2
Round Time Limit: First to 3
Starting Weapons: Battle Rifle, Magnum
Shields: None

This is another unique (re: utterly confusing) scoring system. The only real anomaly is that you need to score twice in a round to win. That's not all that's different about this game, however.

As you may notice it's very nearly SWAT CTF, save for the scoring system. But aside from the scoring system, you become invisible and damage resistant once you pick up the flag. No grenades, as with SWAT, so taking out the flag carrier can be somewhat difficult, especially if their back is turned to you.

Team Slayer

Tower of Power

Score to Win: 100
Time Limit: 20 Minutes
Starting Weapons: Shotguns
Shields: Nada

There are some who said that Tower of Power would never see matchmaking. They're kind of still right. For those of you unfamiliar with Tower of Power, it's played on Ascension and the point of the game is to see which team can hold the tower and rack up the most kills from it. With only shotties (no grenades either) you have to get in close and attack with some level of coordination or you won't be able to dethrone the team occupying the base.

However, there's no way that we can guaranty that one team or the other will occupy the tower or that the other team will attempt to unseat them (especially if they've got the lead). However we can at least say that we tried.

The tower and its turret should be where you gravitate towards naturally anyways, so hopefully the flow of the game is maintained in matchmaking, but if people end up fighting all over the place then that's their choice. Their choice to get torn up by the turret.


Score to win:
Time Limit: 15 Minutes
Starting Weapons: Plasma Pistol, Random
Shields: Normal

This game has quite a storied past. In its current form, as played by many an HBOer, it is an oddball game in which most everyone plays for kills, although I've asserted that you can play for whatever category you want. No one touches the oddball, you see, so nobody really wins. If you play for kills and get the most then you feel good about yourself. If you play to get the most beatdowns and you do that, then hooray.

However, since you can pick up the oddball, even though you're not supposed to, people will. And because there's no real way to win, people would grab that just so they can up their invisible rank in the Community Playlist. So we set it to a Slayer gametype and hopefully that'll be just as fun, despite the fact that there's an objective.

The most important part about this is that you spawn with a Plasma Pistol primary and a random weapon secondary. Covenant weapons spawn on the map, so expect some dual needler action and tons of stickies.

Despite this perversion of the original gametype and specifically the purpose of the original gametype, this still makes for quite a fun experience.

Base Jumping

Score to win:
Time Limit: 15 Minutes
Starting Weapons: Random, Battle Rifle
Shields: None

This is a very goofy version of Bonus SWAT. The primary light vehicle is the Warthog but the Spectre is making a rare appearance in matchmaking as the secondary light vehicle. Since I believe this is the first instance of bonus points in matchmaking, here's a basic breakdown: you get extra points for all the medals you earn as well as headshots.

The biggest variable in this gametype is the random weapon, obviously. If you get a needler, sucks to be you. If you get a sniper then you could be sitting pretty if you can get in a good position to use it. Luckily you've got the Battle Rifle as your secondary so anything you get on your primary is really just a compliment to it. My advice: Shoot them in the face.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/22/2006 10:29 AM PDT permalink


Bungie is fielding a team of crack Halo players at the Penny Arcade Expo on Saturday (which takes place between 10:30 and 2:30 in the console tourney room at Bellevue's Meydenbauer Center in the lovely state of Washington. Be there or be sad.

How will Bungie's team perform against real competition from the competitive Halo world? Let's just say that those other teams don't have a Gamertag that allows the player to press a button combo for simultaneous sniper kills on all opponents.

ZOMG chetz!

Again, the team we're fielding comprises: Joe Tung, Charlie Gough, Luke Timmins and Eamon McKenzie. Other Bungies will be wandering around knocking over Magic: The Gathering tables and outdancing hapless nerds at the DDR machine.

You're dead like K-Fed, punk.

Click here for extra details.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/22/2006 8:55 AM PDT permalink

Halo 2 Vista Week!

In the first of a week long Halo 2 for Windows Vista spectacular, we introduce you to Matt Priestley from the Bungie H2Vista team, and dish some info on the game bound to break many, many mice in 2007.

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Halo 2 Vista 8/21/2006 2:52 PM PDT

The Bathroom Reader

GameJunkieJim writes:

With a community this large, it's easy to slip through the cracks, or just lose track of everyone. Well, we hope to fix all of that with our fan driven newsletter/fanzine:

The Bathroom Reader

The Bathroom Reader is set to be the voice of the Seventh Column. FanFiction, news, Artwork, whatever you come up with has a home on our pages. Fan submissions will be making up the bulk of our newsletter, so it will be a good opportunity for you to see what makes the rest of the Seventh Column tick.

Submissions are always open, so send us your work and we'll make sure the rest of the column has a chance to look at it! Issue 2 will be available for download on the 26th of August, so keep an eye out.  

The Bathroom Reader

Community 8/21/2006 9:42 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update

No update per se, this week, since today is the Annual Bungie BBQ & Pentathlon. We'll be in an undisclosed location 'til 8pm. A few snippets for the hardcore, nonetheless, but nothing for the mainstream consumer, who demands more answers, dammit.

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Bungie Weekly Update 8/18/2006 1:49 PM PDT

Humpday: Halo2.Junk

This week Bungie took on the administrators of halo2.junk.ws in what may have been the closest Humpday challenge of all time. So close that, in about a month, it'll be shown on ESPN Classic with a crazy filter on the film to make it look like it happened ten years ago.

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CommunityHalo 2 (Xbox) 8/17/2006 4:50 PM PDT

Podtacular FTW

Podtacular has been voted the best Gaming Podcast out there by the internet's ears, as was announced earlier today. To see all the winners and the other categories Podtacular was nominated in, check out PodcastAwards.com. Congrats to foo mo jive and the Podtacular staff on the accomplishment.

It's never too late for news!

Community 8/16/2006 1:32 AM PDT permalink

Halo 2 Run Makes Guinness Book of World Records

Cody Miller's speedrun of Halo 2 on Legendary with no deaths has made the Guinness Book of World Records. Grande Carne noticed this in his new edition of the BoWR and posted it to HBO this morning. Congrats to Cody Miller for his insane speedrun and for going down in history.

I bet that about 40 of you will say, "ZOMG I TOTALLY DID THAT TWO YEARS AGO IN HALF THE TIME." But you're lying. I know it, you know it and your mom knows it good and hard. So just don't.

Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/15/2006 6:26 PM PDT permalink


This past weekend in the sizzling Georgian suburbs, 30 people gathered to play Halo, yell at each other and eat Tijuana Mamas for two straight days of uninterrupted gaming. Except for bathroom breaks.

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CommunityEvents 8/15/2006 5:02 PM PDT

Forums Down For Maintenence

The Bungie.net forums will be down for maintenence until further notice. Hopefully we'll be back online shortly but until then, in order to compensate, I suggest you go to the local grocery store and get in unprovoked and completely off-topic shouting matches with other patrons.

Edit: They're back up now.

For reals.

Inside Bungie 8/14/2006 12:45 PM PDT permalink

Halo3Forum.com Redesigned

Halo 3 theme skin gives Halo3Forum.com a new look and feel to the ever growing forum. Check out the newly redesigned H3F.

The forum you came to love for all of your montage and competitive gaming videos now features a new theme in anticipation for Bungie's upcoming Halo 3.  The forums themselves are only slightly changed with more additions than revisions...  You can still post, discuss and download hundreds of amazing high-quality montages and gameplay videos which is what H2F (Now H3F) has been delivering for over a year now.  With an ever-growning community nearing 34,000 members (As of this news post), you won't be alone while you surf through great forum topics such as off-topic chat, graphic design and of course... Halo 1, 2 and 3 discussion.  Halo2Forum made it's mark in the Halo community by providing virtually unlimited file size and bandwidth hosting for Halo montages and gameplay videos (Upon approval) with virtually no downtime. Expect to see great things from Halo3Forum.com as Halo 3 gets closer and closer to our fingertips.

Community 8/14/2006 11:40 AM PDT permalink

Older Gamers Halo 2 Lan Party!

This past weekend marked the 2nd annual 2old2play Chicago Lan Party. Gamers over the age of 25 met up from all across the US and Canada for the ultimate in Halo 2 gaming.

With more than 90 participants, attendance of the 2006 2old2Con has more than tripled last year’s. It was a wild event, full of video games and drunken Halo debauchery.

Friday night was the official start time. With the room still not at full capacity and it was conceivable to sit in front of a tube and not have to share a screen while playing Halo 2. And let me tell ya, there was a lot of Halo 2 lovin’ going on.

Of coarse there was talk about Saturday being for 360 games. Didn’t happen. Oh, sure, there were a few that dabbled in the 360 games, but not in significant numbers. I know I saw a pack of Wheezin Geezers playing Chromehounds, Fight Night, Call of Duty 2 and maybe even G.R.A.W. I’m not sure about that, however. I was drunk and I prefer Halo 2.

Just as last year, the most popular game was Halo 2. Call it our common ground, our comfort zone. It was awesome to sit in a room and listen to your live friends sling smack talk in person. I even heard our site founder yell the ubiquitous, “Bulls%@t,” after being pwned. Does the heart good to see a thing like that, ya know?

Smack talking amongst clan mates on Live is good. Smack talking at a LAN is awesome. You get to see the faces of the beaten. There are no misunderstandings at the LAN. They know you’re being a fun-loving jackass and don’t get offended. If you act like a Timmy, well, you get hazed by the mob.

Anyway, the Halo 2-ing went smoothly save for a couple of blown breakers (“Hey! What the heck!”). You should’ve seen the freaking switches. You could’ve networked DARPA with that gear. Not sure who provided all the equipment, but we had no networking problems, which was nice. Good job, infrastructure team.

In all it was a huge blast and a great leap forward for the older gaming community.  If you want to check out the full review, head on over to the site.  We hope to see even more next year.

Community 8/14/2006 11:36 AM PDT permalink

Bungie Weekly Update

Hey guys, an update so lacking in movie info that you'll be all, "Whaaaa?" But them's the breaks. In this short weekly update we talk about everything BUT the Halo movie. Go figure. See you next week!

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Bungie Weekly Update 8/11/2006 4:41 PM PDT

Humpday: PMS

Bungie challenged Clan PMS this week. It went about as well as playing a professional gaming group ought to go for Bungie. I fought back the tears long enough to describe in detail just how badly we were humiliated.

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Halo 2 (Xbox) 8/10/2006 4:41 PM PDT

Community Spotlight: Anne Wolanski

This week we had the opportunity to talk to Anne Wolanski of Seasoned Gamers. Read about how she came to have such an interest in games, what Seasoned Gamers is all about and how she feels about hyperventilating teenage potty-mouths.

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Spotlight 8/9/2006 2:43 PM PDT

Promotional Video Contest!

Ever watched a clip from Bungie promoting one of their games that just made you go "wow"? Nows your chance to make your own video promoting one of Bungies games and make others go "Wow".

Promotional Video Contest!

Using any of Bungies games, from Gnop! to Halo 3, make a short video (1:30 max) promoting that game, or You could make a video promoting Bungie studios, or film a video using legos, the point is "Be creative".

The winners of this contest will receive a shopping spree at the Bungie Store thanks to the Oh-So-Lovely and very generous, Senor Leche.

Below is the amount the winners will have to spend on their shopping spree:

Third Place: $20.00
Second Place: $30.00
First Place: $50.00

This contest will be open from August 8th to August 29th. Read this thread for more details.

Community 8/8/2006 4:37 PM PDT permalink

Mister Chief T-Shirt

The Mister Chief t-shirt that you saw on the community webcam many weeks ago is now available at Hot Topic both online and in stores. Go to your local mall or Hot Topic's online shop and grab one to wear at your next xtreme punk rock event.

The front features the classic Mister Chief with light saber while the back features a fetching new take on the Halo 2 logo.

Halo 8/8/2006 2:05 PM PDT permalink