January 28, 2003

Phoenix Revealed?

As noted by Chief Tortie on the HBO forum, a web page devoted to storyboard artists has mention of a Bungie project called 'Breach.' This entry can be found in a list of work by Lee Wilson, who also did the storyboards for Halo: Combat Evolved. Chief Tortie speculated that this was the actual title of Bunge's ill-fated Phoenix project.

Further digging by the fanatical and often shunned Tortie revealed that Microsoft had trademarked the name to be used in conjunction with games, toys, and probably nose hair trimmers.

After an overnight round-robin amongst several HBO forum lifers, Matt Soell, Bungie mouthpiece and plush toy collector, admitted, "You guys had it right the first time. Breach and Phoenix were one and the same." The comment seemed to be an almost forlorn admission for the tired and overworked Bungie staffer.

But this reporter knows different and must congratulate Soell's simple and brilliant misdirection. Time after time Soell has used vague hints, obscure references, and verbal slight-of-hand to mislead prying minds. Now his skills of prevarication have reached a new apex with his new gift; pretending to tell the truth.

But, since the subjected has been breached, so to speak, I feel it is only fair to divulge the complete details of what the Breach project is. Despite the risks I run publishing this story, I am first and foremost a reporter and it is my journalistic mandate to expose Bungie's secretive operations whenever possible. Using my network of far reaching contacts throughout the gaming industry I was able to locate an old-time source of mine which I will call Deep Trow. DT and I go back to a long time ago when he helped me expose some previous Bungie shenanigans.

According to DT, who was able to sexually compromise a member of Lee Wilson's staff, the Breach project is a Halo 2 insiped short promotional film using Jason Jones, Matt Soell, Martin O'Donnell, and other Bungie irregulars.

Here is a copy of the credits from the film:

Halo: The Breach Delivery
Directed by Joseph Staten
Jason Jones ... The Master Chief
Matt Soell ... Midwife First Class Toonces
Martin O'Donnell ... Dr. Raymond Smarmy
Joseph Staten ... Grunt Baby
Chris Carney ... Nurse #1
David Dunn ... Nurse #2
Steve Abeyta ... Key Grip
Paul Clift ... Best Boy
Adam Crockett ... Gaffer
Music and Sound ... Martin O'Donnell

Unfortunately, I couldn't get a copy of the storyboards, but I have transcribed some plot notes that were surreptitiously acquired.

"Breach" Treatment 5/12/2002
MC [Master Chief] (Jason [Jones]) is captured by the Cov[enant] after escaping Halo. He is torturrd [sic] and some unknown medical expriments [sic] are performed on him. Do this all ala cutscene... artsy... no closeups... blurry... Add Jason voiceover as he recounts what happened and escape.

Pan out from MC/Jason's eye and he finsihes [sic] story. Doctor (Marty [O'Donnell]) examines X-Rays of MC. Says something has been implanted in MC. Cannot be removed without killing him. MC shakes head sadly.

Cross fade and montage to indicate time passing aboard ship bound to Earth. MC's belly keeps getting bigger. Doctor patting MC on back. Crewman giving MC strange looks. MC fitted for marernity [sic] version of Mojinor armor.

Cross fade to pregant MC fighting some Cov. Kills all Cov, takes off helmet, looks bad, puffing. Returns to ship says he wants pickles and ice cream.

Delivery date arrives. MC in ship's medical bay, his legs up in the sturrips. [Sic] Midwife (Matt [Soell]) complains bitterly because MC cannot have 'natural' childbirth. Doctor dismisses him. Doctor tells MC he must have a C-section to deliver the baby. Nurses hold down MC as Doctor performs emergency surgery. MC belly is opened and Joseph [Staten] pops out in Grunt Baby costume. Grunt Baby yells 'Mom!' And hugs MC.

Leave space for tie-in ala Courtship of Grunty's Father.

Halo: The Breach Delivery With great personal danger I was able to purloin a test still of the upcoming movie. Click on the image to see the full-size version.

While releasing this information may damage my otherwise sterling reputation with Bungie, I believe letting the public know about their plans will actually help them. After all, look what the leaked betas of Mortal Kombat: Roe v. Wade did for Capcom!

Posted by poenadare at 5:07 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2003

A Phoenix Chick Has Found A Roost

When a cooking sherry inebriated Matt Soell spilled his guts to a bemused mnemesis, pointing out that Peter Marks (AKA mordia) was missing from the Pentathalon lineup because he was no longer with Bungie, mnemesis was further able to electronically badger Matt until he revealed:

Peter had moved from the Online team to a position as a designer on the Phoenix team some time ago (I don't remember the date but it was before our last FanFest - we had to borrow him for that). When the Phoenix team decided to jettison their work in favor of a new game, they also decided they had too many designers on staff. Some of those designers moved to other teams at Bungie; others moved to jobs outside Bungie but still within Microsoft. Peter was not satisfied with his options here, so he took a design position at another (non-Microsoft) development house. He sent me a letter just last week (blackmail? -ed); he seems to be doing well.

Not satisfied with these canned responses, this reporter was able to find Mr. Marks in a mid-southwest-but-a-little-north-of-that brothel where he confessed:

Yup, Seeking to re-embrace the small company environment and looking for opportunities to [do] more design. I've moved from Bungie to 2015, the Tulsa, OK based company that did Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. I'm working on an as of yet unannounced game which is still in early development so there probably won't be any details on it for a while. Other than that, I don't know what else to tell you ;') My parting with Bungie was on good terms, and I try to keep in contact with folks over there.
'On good terms,' indeed. This reporter regrets minutely having to spill the beans, but Oklahoma is known for militant separatist militias. Obviously, Bungie is taking another step towards their plan of World Domination.

Peter Marks

Peter MarksStatus: Former Bungie
Birthdate: 06/01
Last Sighted: 01/22/2003
Doing: 2015, Unannounced project.

AKA mordia. Head BungieNet admin, BungieNet.Voice of Warrior #2, Chimera. Designer, multiplayer artist, Halo: Combat Evolved. Ex-Phoenix team member.

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Posted by poenadare at 5:07 PM | Comments (3)