A mysterious Bungie.net user named IIIIlll or otherwise known as “The Superintendent” posted two news article recently, including segments of audio log transcripts from ONI (UNSC Office of Naval Intelligence). Of course, the community analyzed the logs to no end. But this latest update had everyone refreshing bungie.net’s homepage seconds before the counter hit zero.
The Superintendent has a history of cryptic, vague posts at Bungie.net’s forums. Recently, Bungie had planned to unveil an annoucement, but Microsoft, being their publisher, pulled the plug on their plans just before it was to happen at E3. That didn’t set too well. So this countdown was eagerly anticipated, to say the least.
On hitting zero, a news article was posted including links to a teaser trailer for what is believed to be a new Bungie game. Not a very ARGish result in itself, but the trailer does contain many, many, many scenes and frames with text and numbers for people to document and analyze. Speculation and theories are already running rampant about the time period and the visual content of the trailer. Suffice to say, The Superintendent AI has the starring role in the trailer.
The trailers can be downloaded here:
I also managed to export a full frame-by-frame compilation from the high definition trailer, and uploaded the significant frames with visual/transcribable content to flickr, available here
Of significant note are a few frames bearing resemblance to some teaser images posted to bungie.net over the past months of the Superintendent. Mainly, one phrase has been kicking up a dust storm. Reported at ComputerAndVideoGames.com, the phrase “Maddie, where are you?” appears to be possibly be connected to the (very real) search for a (very real) missing girl. A post by Shishka, a Bungie.net “overlord”, indicates it’s “an unfortunate coincidence, but a coincidence nonetheless“, confirmed by Sketchfactor of Bungie. The phrase was connected to a bebo.com profile with a title of the same phrase, raising awareness for Maddie.
Quite a coincidence it is!
Current speculation is that the trailer is taking place between Halo 2 and Halo 3, from the perspective of New Mombasa as the Covenant Prophet Regret opens his slipstream portal in its skies (recall in the game, the Covenant ship exited slipspace bringing with it tatters of New Mombasa buildings and general destruction – her we get to see how that immediately left the city). It appears that the Superintendent is an Urban AI located at New Mombasa – perhaps much like a Halo Wall-E!
A date also appears in mangled text in later frames – 01/06/09 – which may refer to January 6, or June 1, 2009. There’s also a set of numbers that resembles a 1-800 number that appears, but it resolves to a real bank and may likely also just be a coincidence.
Who, or what, is “Vergil”?
And what’s special about “Level 9″?
With so much content, much of it random and undoubtedly insignificant, there’s probably going to be a lot more coincidental connections reported while the trailer is ripped to shreads by the community. That said, if you still haven’t watched the trailer, GO NOW
So this is in all likelihood not another ARG promotion, but for any Halo fan, there’s certainly more Haloverse campaign goodness on its way… PREPARE TO DROP
- Frame-by-frame discussion can be found at carnage.bungie.org or at args.bungie.org
- A detailed analysis by Pailkilla05 is readable at podtacular
- An easier Youtube version of the trailer is available
- Visit halo.wikibruce.com to read up on Iris and other recent ARGish/viral campaigns in the Haloverse.