This is a test page for experimenting with a potential "Bungie Mythos" article. It may be freely edited, and I encourage anyone visiting to do so.
Like many other companies, Bungie Studios has developed a series of long-running gags and inside jokes during their company's existance. Unlike most studios, Bungie's rich interaction with their fanbase has allowed their fans to enjoy or even participate in many of these events, making them more than a mere collection of random in-office gags. The term "Bungie mythos" has become loosely applied to the total collection of Bungie-related trivia, and is generally used to specifically refer to those items that transcend particular games, and truly define Bungie as a whole for its fans.
Bungie has developed a number of fictional characters in its history, from a chronically drunken man in a gorilla suit to a soul locked into their website's metadata.
The Webmaster is a fictional character created and maintained by Bungie Studios, mostly as part of a long-running gag where the Webmaster answers selected fan mail and usually berates the senders for their spelling, grammar, or for asking unintelligent questions. From the Bungie.net Letters to the Webmaster section:
- "The Webmaster is a cantankerous, beer-addled misfit who wears a gorilla suit and expecting sensible, polite answers from him is akin to gouging out your own eyes with frozen carrots. If you are easily offended, or frankly, if you are difficult to offend, then you should consider leaving now." 
The Webmaster is also known for his wildly erratic schedule between postings, and has recently taken to posting updates roughly once a year. Despite his best efforts to dissuade further efforts to contact him, fans and unaware visitors to the Bungie.net website continue to send their E-mail, and to be thoroughly insulted for doing so.
The Disembodied Soul
Another fictional character, the Disembodied Soul was rumored to have pirated the source code for Bungie's game Marathon. The Disembodied Soul was also accused of putting the wrong labels on a batch of Marathon Infinity disks, a problem which Bungie team members had to rectify themselves. The Soul's punishment was "a fate worse than death", as it was locked away on Bungie's old website and forced to answer visitors' questions (via a simple text box where the visitor could enter in any query and recieve pre-programmed responses). When Bungie upgraded to their new website, the "Support" section of that site where the Soul once resided was eliminated, and thus visitors could no longer ask it questions, although fans have archived the Disembodied Soul's complete repetoire of responses . The Soul does live on, as Bungie has made it a ban-bot, using cookies stored on a previously banned members' computer to prevent multiple spam accounts.
Recovering Ling-Ling's head is one the steps in Bungie's 7-step plan for World Domination, and it is currently listed as completed. A related mytho is that 'when Ling-Ling's jar is broken, Owt Gnop! will be made', referring to the sequel to Bungie's first ever game, Gnop! (Pong spelt backwards; Owt Gnop would be Pong Two).
Some parts of the Bungie mythos have come about in relation to certain games. Some of these items have come from failed projects from the company's past, while others join the list of running gags that Bungie employs on a regular basis.
Development on Phoenix begin sometime in late 1998, after the completion of Myth 2. In the end, the project was cancelled sometime before the release of Halo 2. Most of the information that later surfaced regarding the project was revealed after its cancellation by Matt Soell, a former Bungie employee. The cancellation was due to a number of factors- mostly that the team members responsible for Phoenix weren't happy about the progression of the project, and that Halo 2's development demanded the attention of all available talent at Bungie. Phoenix was originally built using a highly modified version of the Halo engine, and was slated for release on the Xbox console. The post-mortem tag line for the project became "Phoenix is dead, long live Phoenix". The fan-mantained Bungie.org webspace still maintains a gallery of fan created art for Phoenix , and a Rampancy.net maintains a complete guide to information revealed about Phoenix by Matt Soell .
Pimps at Sea
Pimps at Sea is an April Fool's joke that was started on Bungie Studios' website in 2001. It has been added to in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005, on each April Fool's day, respectively. Pimps at Sea is supposedly a combination of action and real-time strategy and claims to have the most complex economical system ever to appear in a game. As such, it is possible that Pimps is a spoof of Sid Meier's Pirates!, a classic game that shares a similar theme. The storyline centers on the player, a pimp of the sea. The player can create custom prostitutes from characters of other games, and then put them out on the streets (or canals, as it may be).
Several multimedia additions have been made to add to the Pimps at Sea mythos, making it one of Bungie's more popular April Fool's jokes. Some of the more well-known (and beloved) additions included:
- A video tour of the making of Pimps, from the perspective of a couple of programmers who had been working on the game. Highlights included a mention of "mermaid sea bitches" and several Bungie employees singing the supposed theme song for the game.
- The Pimpwheel, a Photoshopped picture of the $200 Steel Battalion controller, said to have been designed "exclusively" for Pimps at Sea. Alterations included topping one joystick with a massive diamond to turn it into a throttle, and putting a miniature ship's steering wheel on the other.
Bungie have also commented on their website about their next project, including a job listing suggesting applicants be able to display knowledge of pirates. A snippet from the "Weekly What's Update" at Bungie.net, written by Frankie (head news lackey), says the studio's next project has a very pimpy/piratey feel to it. Internet rumor, of course, has turned to the possibility that Pimps at Sea could be Bungie's next project. Bungie has a history of passing the final chapter in each series it produces to an offshoot company (as when they were purchased by Microsoft and sold the rights to MythIII, or with Marathon Infinity's level design and Double Aught). Being that Wideload Studios (makers of Stubbs the Zombie) broke from the company and finished stubbs not long after the release of Halo 2.
Marathon and Halo Connections
Bungie, like many production companies, puts references to older games in newer games. Unlike others, many of these references hint or imply that a great deal of Bungie's games operate in similar or identical universes. Most well known of this is the connection between the Marathon universe and the Halo universe, which share a great deal of similar names and themes.
While most believed that Bungie would never add a direct connection between these two games (just as they did not for Marathon and Pathways Into Darkness), its interesting to note that the Haunted Apiary puzzle seems to have added a substantial connection between the Marathon universe and the Halo universe. Rampancy can happen to AIs in both universes. However, Bungie later stated that the Haunted Apiary was not directly written by them, although it was written using the Halo Story Bible, and its status as canon is still in question.
On Bungie's own website Bungie.net, Bungie also provides the following: "Q. Is Marathon the prequel to Halo?", "A. No, Marathon is a separate story, with wholly different characters, story and gameplay." On the other hand, Alexander Seropian has stated: "I don't think you ever find that out, but [Halo's Master Chief and Marathon's Security Officer are] the same character." The latter quote, however, is probably more of a metaphor, as both characters share many immediate similarities, including both being 'developed' by the military for fighting, being the last hero alive capable of stopping a relentless alien menace, and being ordered around by AI companions.
The Halo Bible
The "Halo Story Bible" (or, "Halo Bible") is the name given to a mythical single compendium in which is stored all available material which is considered canon for Bungie's Halo universe. The existence of any actual physical incarnation of the Halo Bible is questionable, as the actual content of Halo canon spans nearly a decade of development, during which time massive amounts of conceptual as well as functional materials were developed on a number of mediums. More properly, the Halo Story Bible refers to the characters, events, and other happenings of the Halo universe held to be canon by Bungie itself (regardless of whether the item has been documented on a physical source), and material which is not in the Halo Bible- while perhaps entertaining- is considered to have no relevance to the Halo universe.
The "Bible" is not to be confused with the "Compendium", a similar but smaller guide produced for the principal people working on the Halo movie. The Compendium may contain, among other things, a comprehensive timeline of events in the Halo universe, a complete Bestiary of characters and animals in the Halo universe, and a total guide to the weapons and vehicles of Halo. It contains text descriptions as well as a large selection of pictures designed to help writers, directors, and visual effects creators alike. A few pages from the "Compendium" were made available by Bungie through their Weekly What's Updates.
The "Bungie Numbers"
Another interesting fact about Bungie is their use of the number seven. Many of these are more obvious than others, including 343 Guilty Spark (7 x 7 x 7 = 343), 2401 Penitent Tangent (2+4+0+1=7 or 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 = 2401), Power of Seven (credited for most of Oni's soundtrack), Pfhor Battle Group 7, and their official fan club, the 7th Column, but some of these are amusingly subtle: the Marathon colony ship was a hollowed out Deimos - first discovered in 1877 and first photographed in 1977. Also the fact that, in the Halo universe, there are seven Halos, scattered throughout the Milky Way galaxy. Apart from seven, there are some other digits that appear very frequently in Bungie's games: 3 and 10 (and the lesser known 4). (Note how 7 + 3 = 10 and 7 - 3 = 4.) These four digits are collectively called "Bungie Numbers" by the fans.
A 7-Step Plan
Bungie maintains a 7-step plan they hope to pursue world domination. The 7-step plan first appeared on the backs of limited edition "Ling-Ling" t-shirts, unveiled at the Bungie Fanfest in New York in 2000. Since then, many of the items on the plan have gained a mythos all their own. The actual plan contains the following items:
- Start independant gaming software company. (completed)
- Dominate Mac platform; Launch assault on Windows platform. (completed)
- Announce killer gaming title. (completed)
- Acquire strangely addictive Chinese food company. (completed)
- Recover Ling-Ling's head. (in bold, completed)
- Stage bloody coup of new parent company. (Completed As of Friday, 10/05/07)
- Take over world, shoot enemies into the sun with giant slingshot. (not completed)
Once each year, the employees of Bungie Studios compete in a five-event competition known as the Winter Pentathlon. The events vary from year to year, and may include everything from tug-of-war to tournaments using the multiplayer mode of the company's newest game. Teams are divided by the time they have been with the company. The divisions include the lowly Newbies (including interns just hired to the Studio), to the Middle School and Old Skool, to the Grizzled Ancients (including Jason Jones, who co-founded the company). Points are awarded after each of the events, and the winning team claims a trophy known as The Cup. Tradition dictates that a losing team, out of envy, steals the cup rather than letting the winning team take it. The Cup has been stolen so many times that several employees doubt its existence.
- Note- This section is to be used for any items that haven't recieved enough treatment to deserve a full 'headline' of their own.
Bungie as a company has developed its own complex and diverse mythology in addition to that in their games. Several of these include The Shaft, the snack food Tijuana Mama (Containing "Mechanically separated chicken, pork hearts, and protein concentrate", and "300% Hotter!"), and a cheap absorbent toy fish called the Soffish.
The Tijuana Mama is spicy pickled sasuage, that looks like a bratwurst. A fan sent the Tijuanna Mamma to Bungie hoping to be a beta tester for Oni. "The Man" (aka, Alexander Seropian) thought the gift was worthy enough to grant beta usage. Bungie uses it as a disciplinary tool; such as "who ever finds the least amount of bugs, has to eat the Tijuanna Mamma".
- Bungiepedia, a wiki site dedicated to all things Bungie
- Phoenix post-mortem art gallery.
- Interview with Matt Soell about Phoenix
- Pimps at Sea Fansite at Bungie.org
- A website hosting 'reviews' of Pimps at Sea
- Bungie's Letters to the Webmaster.