Author Topic: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought  (Read 1199 times)

ColdGlider

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Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« on: September 07, 2013, 07:04:50 »
Maybe I am getting jaded from all these years of Halo theorizing, but I think the Hollow Men reference in ODST was just the result of it getting the standard-issue Bungie TLC with regard to long-standing Bungie/Halo traditions.  In other words, Marty&Co dropped the backwards lines into the mix of one of their songs because an Eliot reference in a Halo game is as natural as a grunt with a gas mask. 

This is pure conjecture based on feeling, not necessarily science.

There has been a resurgence here with regard to exploring ODST.  Which is AWESOME in my opinion. 

As the old mysteries of ODST have been getting attention in my mind again, I am also once again reminded of how rich (and frankly, how muddled) the Bungie/Halo lore is even within the context of a single game.

There are two guidelines which I feel are important to work under while analyzing ANY mystery in ODST (and they're probably applicable to any game worth theorizing over):
  • Separating "generic" franchise references from specific references to the game at hand.
  • Understanding who (in the real world) was responsible for the issue you are scrutinizing.

So for the first item, it would be foolish to assume that the Covenant were tearing apart New Mombasa searching for a Soffish.  As funny as that version of the story might be, it's not likely to be the intended interpretation of the hidden morse code messages discovered by Sep7ember in the Data Hive.  So in this case, we distinguish the morse code easter egg as a "generic" Bungie reference so that it doesn't get thrown into the theoretical mixture of "Big Important ODST Secret Clues".  Otherwise we may end up wasting (even more) time with postulations like "What if we arranged the glyphs to look like a Soffish and walked that pattern while in the Data Hive?"

As for the second guideline, we consider which member(s) of the development team were the responsible parties.  In the case of an environmental audio easter egg in ODST, we'd narrow it down to one of three people on the ODST:Audio team:
  • Martin O'Donnell (Audio Director & Composer)
  • Jay Weinland (Audio Lead & Sound Design)
  • C Paul Johnson (Sound Design & Additional Music)
[source: Prima Official Game Guide but also listed in ODST manual and end-game credits]

One of these three folks (I'd guess Jay or C Paul) would have been the one to place an audio file with morse code into the level.  They might have done this at the behest of the level designer (I believe it was Lars Bakken for Data Hive) or they might have decided to enter their own little easter egg.  Another example is the Binary Barrett Easter Egg which is also located in Data Hive.  To find the culprit here, we'd turn to the ODST:Art department where we could indict any of the dozen environmental artists or even Christopher Barrett himself, who was credited with "Additional Art Direction". 

So why care who was responsible?  So we know who to ask!  By asking the right person, we (aka Pulse Cloud) were able to put to rest the "mystery" of the hidden banshee pilots in Reach.  I was similarly able to get some intel on the BOB Scripts by contacting Bungie Community Manager Eric Osborne (Urk), who was able to relay some info from level designer Niles Sankey.

In any case, there exists the possibility that the person responsible is placing that easter egg for their own individual reason- not necessarily because it has some greater purpose in the game.  If this person has a history of doing such things (as Barrett does) it's easier to dismiss the case as an isolated incident.

We know that Staten has placed secrets in ODST which haven't yet been found.  Since we're largely following breadcrumbs being left by the core ODST:Design Team, i would rank cinematics as a high priority source of leads.  There are few names listed in the design team.  Apart from Staten, the three level designers, and the director of design (Paul Bertone), you have but a single name remaining:  C J Cowan, Cinematics Director.  I find it hard to imagine that any other aspect of Halo game development would gets more input from the writing staff than cinematics.  Staten served as both Writer and Cinematics Director on Halo 2, so it's no great stretch to posit that these two spent a great deal of time working together on ODST.

Lead on, brave adventurers!  If there's a secret behind these glyphs we're looking at, I'd expect (based on the above) that it'd be something better than a Soffish.  (Is that possible?!?)

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« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 07:07:51 by ColdGlider »
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Imppa

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2013, 07:18:09 »
Well put, CG:  it is truly important to be able to categorize your findings. Not to say that we are in a hurry, but minimizing the research concerning generic, just-for-fun Easter Eggs, and try to find our way to some unifying, grands scheme.

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nightcrafter27

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 01:44:10 »
You guys really need to stop posting codes when I need to be sleeping  ::)
ODST is all about switches, isn't it?

Check out Project //Grim!

ColdGlider

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2013, 05:23:31 »
You guys really need to stop posting codes when I need to be sleeping  ::)

We do that just to torture you, Night.

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nightcrafter27

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2013, 00:31:07 »
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Hopefully I didn't mess it up
ODST is all about switches, isn't it?

Check out Project //Grim!

Imppa

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2013, 02:13:09 »
Dude..
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ED: FIXED
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 10:53:50 by Imppa »

nightcrafter27

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2013, 15:50:52 »
Dude..
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You are a harsh mistress, Imppa  :P
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ODST is all about switches, isn't it?

Check out Project //Grim!

ColdGlider

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2013, 03:39:26 »
Dude..
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Imppa

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2013, 10:51:20 »
AAA I messed up! Why didn't you guys tell me, I looked so stupid! >_<

Also
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« Last Edit: September 17, 2013, 04:17:44 by Imppa »

ColdGlider

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2013, 02:20:08 »
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???
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Imppa

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2013, 04:17:05 »
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ColdGlider

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Re: Theorizing Guidelines - Food For Thought
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2013, 05:23:29 »
LOL.   I made that fix on my end which totally Gherjszed it.  I found a second error (see below).  After fixing that, I now read you loud and clear.

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