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rumor

[image:8085 left hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0]Sumthing Distribution, the company that inked a deal back in 2002 to market game soundtracks for Microsoft Game Studios, including the original Halo soundtrack, has a graphic on its front page promoting the Halo 2 soundtrack.

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This image appears to promote a Halo 2 soundtrack featuring pop bands.


Rampant for over se7en years.



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[image:8071 left hspace=5 vspace=5 border=0]Sculptech Studios has a page of sculptures for Halo 2 figures. It shows the Master Chief, a Brute, and Flood carriers. One of the figures stood out among the more familiar ones. It might be a mistake, but it seems to have been removed now; luckily, Halo Planet snagged it. Sculptech lists both Microsoft Game Studios, makers of Halo, and Joyride Studios, manufacturers of Halo toys, as clients.

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This image appeared on Sculptech Studios' website on the Halo 2 page. It might be an as-yet-unseen Covenant species. It was later removed.

Luckily, Halo Planet snagged it. Sculptech lists both Microsoft Game Studios, makers of Halo, and Joyride Studios, manufacturers of Halo toys, as clients. It could be from another client... except he's holding a plasma rifle. From the head, it could be a Prophet, outside his chair, and without its robes... but it doesn't look "frail". A bunch of people at HBO contributed to finding this.


Rampant for over se7en years.



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Anton P. Nym, author of the Enkidu Terminals fan fiction, has been following the I Love Bees ARG quite closely on the Fireflies wiki he's created. In recent developments, "trustworthy" players are apparently being drawn more deeply into the game, interacting directly with Melissa. He's posted about it in our bees forum.

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A GameStop manager identifying himself as tenaciousdave, who has apparently made a habit of posting about the annual store conferences he attends, has indicated that Microsoft is telling retail operations that Halo 2 will have cooperative play over the network, a feature that has in no way been confirmed by Bungie. Take it with some salt, people. Thanks Rams at HaloPlanet.

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Frankie has brought back what used to be called the Bungie Rumor Control Database, this time in the form of RumorBuster. This installment covers charges for Halo 2 online play (there are none other than normal XBL charges), rumored ports of Halo 2 for other platforms, online player limits, cooperative play, and other points-- including the won't-die, hit-it-with-a-stick Halo 1.5 Gold rumor.

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Bob Wiederhold, CEO of Silicon Valley startup Transitive Corporation, has stated in an interview with Wired that his company's QuickTransit approach to emulation will allow the Xbox 2 to run games that run on today's Xbox. However, despite this, the company refuses to name any of their six clients, all of which are described as "OEM PC manufacturers" which would not be Microsoft unless you called the Xbox a PC (which is a no-no).

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Geek toy site Engadget has put up a pair of photos that purport to be designs for the successor to Microsoft's Xbox gaming console. GameSpot is reporting that these are most likely fakes, but on the off chance one is a real design under consideration, you could go take a look.

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Previous Bungie games Marathon and Myth featured something called demo or film recording, allowing players to record multiplayer matches in small files that could be exchanged with other players. The UI of the build of Halo 2 shown to journalists apparently had two familiar choices (Campaign, Multiplayer) and a new option, Game Movies. Apparently this might be for recording games or perhaps portions of games. It is rumored to have been cut from the game, however.
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GameSpot is reporting that ATI's CFO, Terry Nickerson, has been quoted as saying "We're actually winding down development on some of the Microsoft product" at the Smith Barney Citigroup 2004 Technology Conference in New York. Some are taking this as evidence that the release of the Xbox 2 may be closer than indicated by statements by Steve Ballmer indicating it would not be earlier than August of 2005.

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The Inquirer is reporting today that MS told them at the ECTS show in London that there are plans to allow PC games and Xbox games to share codebases. The Inquirer describes this as a "shift from its past strategy".

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Just a short update on the goings-on in the world of I Love Bees.

As many suspected, the Links page, that contained times in the PDT time zone and GPS coordinates, were indeed connected (most of the time) to pay phones. The coordinates were grouped in banks of seven each with a code word. If someone was there to at two positions in the group to answer the phone, identify the caller (variably Melissa or The Operator-- not all reports are consistent) and speak the group's code word, then an audio file became available for that group. Currently 23 such files are theoretically available, but I get 404 errors on three of them (eyes, reflected, and say something).

Many sites are following the puzzle now, and as the backstory of the puzzle, now explained clearly in the sidebar of Dana's I Love Bees blog, relates directly to Halo 2, many Halo and Bungie fansites are also now involved in one way or another. However, not every site wants to have discussion of Halo drowned out by speculation on the ILB puzzle. HBO in particular has a single, extremely busy forum where ILB discussion has threatened to drown out everything else. HBO's administrator, Louis Wu, doubts Bungie has much direct involvement in the puzzle, and has thus asked that ILB discussion be kept down on the HBO forum.

Now, with another 350+ post explosion of bee discussion there, Wu is asking that all bee discussion be removed from the forum completely, as none of the discussion there is being well organized, and the repetition of old information is getting in the way of the usual forum operation.

Rampancy's forum has several indexes, so it's no problem for us to isolate Bee discussion in a separate forum, which is what we've now done. Discuss away.

Some resources for those who haven't been following closely:

  • A map of coordinates in the Unfiction forums. These phones are supposedly going to be called at the specified times every day. However, keep in mind that some players expect that times and/or coordinates may change. There is a counter on the Links page that currently stands at 74/777, indicating that this phase of the puzzle is far from over.
  • Status Page at Melangerie. This lists the times, coordinates and code words for the known "axons" (phones that would be called) along with the status of each one and their grouping.
  • Bee Blog at Netninja. This blog tracks the puzzle's progress.
  • I Love Bees Blog. This site is the one the in-game character Dana uses to track progress and give hints. The sidebar now has a summary that mentions the Covenant.



Stay tuned for more updates.

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The countdown has ended at ilovebees.com and been replaced by the phrase "transmitting" with a link to the groups of GPS coordinates on the links page.

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Two lists of locations have come out of the attempts to decipher the puzzles embedded in the ilovebees.com site. If something is going to happen on August 24, it might be observable from these locations. My guess? Some kind of Halo advertisement.

http://www.trynamics.com/location_list.html
http://qube.netninja.com/wiki/index.php?title=GPS_Corrected_Addresses

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