Bungie History
Primordial Soup


But by 1993, 2D wasn't enough for these guys. They needed at least one more D to fully realize their ambition. "What if we remade Minotaur, but set it inside a tube?" Jason Jones probably didn't say, but that is indeed what Pathways into Darkness was. Minotaur in a tube. Of course, the tube was texture-mapped, fully utilized the then-epic Mac RISC chipset and featured creepy, convincing active-panning stereo sound. It sounded like you were in a tube. And it looked better than anything else on the machine at that time.

Coded on a Mac IIFX, Jason worked alone on the code, while his friend Colin Brent designed the graphics. To put that in perspective, there are currently about 120 full-time people working at Bungie and a ton of contractors to boot.  

The plot, which they'd actually started to consider at that time, featured Mayan pyramids, a sleeping god and alien infestation – big concepts that would help define later efforts. They began to realize that telling a story was almost as important as collecting fruit and rescuing princesses.

These two fine-fettled fellows would hawk their wares, Cockney-style at every trade show and gathering they could find. Demonstrating how cool it looked was a lot easier than simply putting it out there, and people started to get it. Pathways started making inroads.

Awards, plaudits, trophies (including MacWorld's Game Hall of Fame, the MacUser 100, and Inside Mac Games' Adventure Game of the Year) and that greatest of all rewards – cash - started to trickle into Bungie central. The money started to change them almost immediately. Seropian started blowing funds on things like rent, a T-Shirt and witnesses remember he'd order supersized fries like it was just nothing. Jones, stoic and stalwart though he was, began to warp under the pressure of the filthy lucre. He too started buying T-Shirts, medium sodas and even tipped waitresses. Alex took to cruising around in his almost brand-new Dodge Neon. Rollin' through Chi-town in tha mad hooptie. It was time for a reality check.

The guys, giddy with wealth, managed to pull themselves together just long enough to invest in an actual upstairs office, and a compact and bijou staff. The new office, a converted mission situated in front of a swanky crack house, featured such amenities as no AC, and a server named after the crack house. Bungie was now a company, instead of just a creepy one-bedroom apartment with two guys in it.

Logistical problems abounded however, not least of which included the countless building code violations that made this new space a deathtrap, "Yeah, we used to trip the breaker switches all the time. Everything would go out and we'd have to power things up one at a time just so the switch didn't trip again," says Jones.

Jones also recalls the time that AT&T arrived to fix the company's malfunctioning T1 line. "Nobody knew where it was actually located, so we just wandered around looking – we ended up finding this locked door to the basement. The AT&T guy was ready to give up, but we needed our internet connection pretty desperately. So I broke the door down."

It got worse. "I guess the building used to be some kind of weird religious school, and the basement was filled with these tiny desks, you know – the ones with the seat built-in and there was a near-empty swimming pool with about six inches of sludge at the bottom. The T1 line was actually hooked up in an abandoned boiler room covered in about forty years of corrosion." If it sounds like a level from Resident Evil, then you're successfully picturing the scene. But swimming pool of death aside, Bungie was a real company, with real employees and a real creepy basement. But amazingly, very early work on what was to become Halo actually started there.

The Soul

What is The Soul? The very question is faulty. The Soul cannot be an "is." The Soul is not an entity, an object or even an effect. The Soul cannot be described, dissected or properly explained. It can only be located. It lives in the metadata of Bungie.net and we cannot know whether it is evolving, devolving or simply revolving, in its grave