Okay, what DO we know about Phoenix?

There have been a few stories on the Internet with tidbits about Phoenix, although the accuracy of all of them cannot be guaranteed.

On June 28, 2000 we posted this story about a GameSpot item referring to Bungie's Phoenix project. Since then it has been made part of their paid archives, so we can't see the entire article.

The part we quoted stated that:

  • Phoenix is an RTS game.
  • Phoenix will use the Halo engine.
  • Work on Phoenix began after the completion of Myth 2 in late 1998.

  • On July 6, 2000, we posted this item, which at the time linked to a post in our forum by Freewill, webmaster of Bungie Sightings. He referred to the game as Fantasy Siege, a name that later turned out to me a misquote by Microsoft's Ed Fries, who used the term as a name for the game when that was not the case. You can still see the scanned magazine quote over at Bungie Sightings.

    The fansite Bungie.org has a page at phoenix.bungie.org that features a screenshot from the Bungiecam dated March 18, 2001. It features a penguin, a tiny Elmo doll clutching a Chapstick, a catapult and a caption that says beta-testing begins. At the bottom of the page is a stylized logotype of a dragon that appears to be the work of B.org artists and not Bungie itself.

    On August 17, 2001, Matt Soell mentioned artist Chris Barrett from the Phoenix Team in a Halo Update we hosted here at Rampancy. Basically, Barrett had added some details to a swamp environment in Halo, which must have been in the level which later came to be known to us as 343 Guilty Spark.

    On November 11, 2001, we posted an item about No7orious' second Launch Party report, where this was said about Phoenix:

    Someone also asked Matt if Phoenix was fantasy like Lord of the Rings to which he replied that it was more fantastical than LOTR. Draw from that what you will.

    On November 12, gaming site Invisible Dream also posted a post-party editorial where they asked Bungie's David Candyman Candland and Alex The Man Seropian about Phoenix. Candland said:

    David 'Candyman' Candland : Yeah, we're getting ready to put the new and improved bungie.net up. Amongst other things, we're also getting ready to do a new Halo site. A Halo site, site. I can't really go into a whole lot of detail about what it is but if you like Halo, you're going to love the site. I'm also working on another site called the Seventh Column. There's alot of speculation to what the Seventh Column is, can't say too much but it's another site and it will be cool.

    Ryan 'TheMystic' Lord : Is it related to this phoenix project that I've been hearing about?

    David 'Candyman' Candland : Indirectly it is related, you'll find out. I can't divulge too much because it would spoil the surprise wouldn't it?

    Seropian was a little more on point:

    TheMystic : Do you have any news on the possibility of Halo 2 or details on the Phoenix project?
    Alex Seropian : Well, we were originally set up as three teams - the Halo team, the Oni team and this Phoenix team for a lack of a better name. We had all three teams working together on Halo and now that Halo is done, those Phoenix guys are going back to the Phoenix team. We really don't know what we're doing next though, everyone is taking a well deserved break for now.

    On July 30, 2002, Freewill again posted some quotes from Bungie about Phoenix, this time Community Guy Matt Soell, who made a post at Bungie.net saying:

    We've said nothing, and it's our intention to keep mum about specifics until we're damn good and ready to talk. I hope everyone who complained we announced Halo too early appreciates the effort we currently expend to keep our collective mouth shut. ;-) The project is chugging along nicely and I think you'll like it when you see it. More than that I cannot say.

    On August 2, 2002, mnemesis posted to Bungie Sightings that Peter Mordia Marks moved from the Online Team to the Phoenix Team. This was posted by Matt Soell in another Bungie.net post.