It’s been talked about for months, with words of encouragement, endearment and foreboding: Bungie Day. With the end of an era summed up to a single 24-hour time period, it’s hard to describe the emotions and feelings wrapped up for both fans and players of the 20-year-old developers, yet Bungie feels their pain just as badly, if not more. Stepping away from the Halo franchise that has brought them love, they aren’t letting their loyal admirers walk away empty-handed.
Today, Bungie released one of the first titles, Marathon, to the iPad for the low price of “free.” Considered the precursor to Halo by many, Marathon sets the tone for much of what players will see for the next sixteen years from Bungie: lone hero saving the universe from invading hoards of aliens, with only his gun and a slightly crazed AI. Owners of an iPad can pick up the game in the iTunes store (or pick up the hi-resolution version for $3.99).
Also today, 343 Industries and Pyramid Studios announced that they have teamed up to give Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori’s original Halo: Combat Evolved soundtrack a full orchestral facelift for the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Microsoft Senior Audio Director Krstofor Mellroth, and Pyramind Studios COO/Audio Director Paul Lipson are heading the project, and utilized some of the biggest talent in the game to make the project perfect. Employing the Skywalker Symphony Orchestra out of the Skywalker Ranch, along with San Francisco-based vocal group Chanticleer, its re-recorded soundtrack should make any fan weep with pure joy when it released on November 15th.
So to say a little “thank you” to the men and women who made this and the last decade possible for you, why not head onto the Halo: Reach multiplayer, and earn yourself a steak? Playing in the designated “Bungie Day” playlist will grant you the chance to play against the Bungie staff themselves, in doing so earn a meaty reward. If a team meets up with a designated Bungie team (and they will make themselves known) and wins by an overall score of 20 or more kills, Bungie is mailing each member of your team a steak.
You can head over to Bungie.net and see which Gamertags to look out for, and see what the global win/loss record is against the Bungie Crew. The important thing is to go out and enjoy the final day of comradre with the group that brought up a decade of fun and explosions. They have a bright future ahead of them, with “Project Destiny” and Bungie Aerospace leading the way, but for today… we all can frag as one.