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September 22, 2001 Link to this post

Halo backstory leaked
Major screwup in the Microsoft Marketing division: If you visit the official Halo site, you'll find a section labeled 'Timeline'. At the end of the text, it says

For more in-depth information on the historical events leading up to this current predicament, simply click on any of the highlighted years below. Please be sure to check back often for the latest back story installment.

Down below, there's a single entry - 'Early Conflicts'. This section (indeed, the whole site) pulls its information an XML data file - this is convenient, in terms of development, because you can build the Flash framework, and add content later. Someone, it seems, decided it would be easier to simply put all of the content in at the start... and simply comment out the parts they didn't want showing at first. (Most people aren't that familiar with XML files yet, and you can't exactly read the 'source' of the Flash animation... so it seemed safe.) Unfortunately for MS, a diligent Bungie fan was poking around in his browser cache this evening, and FOUND the XML file. (You can grab it for yourself here - but my guess is, it'll be changed PDQ, so you might not find anything useful. Update: as of 11 pm EST, the new info is gone - only the 'Early Conflicts' entry remains.) Chlazza posted the contents of this file to the Marathon's Story page forum this evening... and for better or for worse, the Halo backstory is now far better known than it was yesterday. First reading says that tying this into the Marathon storyline is going to be nearly impossible - in Halo's universe, FTL travel was developed (by humans) in 2291... and none of the Marathon datapoints show up at all. Discussion should commence immediately on our forum. (Louis Wu 01:27:37 UTC)

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