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December 13, 2004 Link to this post

He's a little like Jimmy Neutron.
Yesterday, we pointed out a thread on the forum where folks were drawing Halo-related Christmas cards at art.com. (There are some really cool ones - if you haven't checked the thread for a while, go waste some time.) BOLL, as usual, wasn't satisfied with the normal 'draw something fun' directions... and went a little overboard. (He explained how in this post.) (Louis Wu 16:51:41 UTC)

December 13, 2004 Link to this post

More ways to say what you mean.
Thanks to c0ld, for the initial work, and BOLL, for the cleaned-up thumbnails, there are now 19 new panels available in the AutoMagic 117 StripzMaker. Unleash your creative brilliance on our forum! (Louis Wu 01:05:41 UTC)

December 13, 2004 Link to this post

Kiss It Goodbye.
Nice. Mackenzie noticed that if you drop the bomb when playing Bomb Assault, you can see one of several messages written across the bottom of it. BOLL was kind enough to snap pictures of four of these. Most of the rest of the thread is a debate about whether or not this constitutes an easter egg in Halo 2 or is just detail... I'm inclined to go with 'egg', simply because of the humor value of the messages. In any case, though, it's pretty interesting. Take a look! (Louis Wu 01:01:26 UTC)

December 7, 2004 Link to this post

Cursorily speaking
Tired of your standard Windows cursors? Looks like BOLL and Stuntmutt teamed up to give you another choice. (No comment on whether it's a step up or a step down...) (Louis Wu 16:41:53 UTC)

December 6, 2004 Link to this post

The Junkyard looks at BOLL
Mhaddy writes that a new Spotlight article is up at the Junkyard - this time it's focused on BOLL. Wanna know what makes this guy tick? Go read! (Louis Wu 15:41:31 UTC)

December 4, 2004 Link to this post

Scenery in the round
BOLL's Halorama section has gotten an infusion of 15 new images; 8 multiplayer shots, 7 single player. There is almost no better way to get a good look at Bungie's beautiful architecture! (Louis Wu 17:08:53 UTC)

December 4, 2004 Link to this post

Multiplayer Emblem Generator
BOLL recently sent us a web-based interface for experimenting with the emblems you can choose for your XBL Halo 2 profile - and Bungie kindly allowed us to post it for you to use. (We needed to ask, since the image generated actually comes from their servers.) Go ahead and experiment - build your best avatar! (This isn't the only one on the net right now - recently, Yaksha pointed out another one at the Sponsors vs Freeloaders site. Try them both!) (Louis Wu 02:15:54 UTC)

December 3, 2004 Link to this post

Mac OSX Halo 2 Icons
Edwin Davis has created a series of Halo 2 icons for Mac OSX - use these to spruce up folders and disks. You can grab them off our server, in .sit format (900k), or you can visit Edwin's site and grab them in about a million different formats (from photoshop files to .icns resources and everything in between). Update: Not to be outdone, BOLL has submitted a collection of WinXP icons - 32x32, with 'soft edges' (unlikely to be supported by older Windows operating systems). 140K. (Louis Wu 10:34:06 UTC)

December 2, 2004 Link to this post

Round and round and round she goes...
A few days ago, we opened a new section devoted to BOLL's panoramic shots of Halo 2. Thanks to BOLL's industriousness, we not only have a new set of 15 images for you, but the entire set of images (Halo AND Halo 2) are now displayed by the same system. You can easily jump back to see the older images if you choose to. Man... I LOVE the Metropolis shot. (Louis Wu 21:20:38 UTC)

November 28, 2004 Link to this post

Halorama Redux
About a year and a half ago, BOLL started creating panoramic views of Halo, using custom-built software and some video-captured footage. He's back... with his first set of Halo 2 Panoramas. At this point, he's using a modded controller to make his life easier, and he's put together a nice little flash interface for viewing the panoramas. We'll add more images as he submits them. (If you don't have Javascript enabled, or Flash installed, you can simply click on the thumbnails to see full-sized versions of the images with no fancy interface.) Right now there are 4 multiplayer strips, and 6 single-player ones (from 3 levels). The Delta Halo strips are GORGEOUS! (Louis Wu 22:24:15 UTC)

November 27, 2004 Link to this post

Who were these guys?
BOLL found an interesting feature on a later level - does this tell us anything about the origins of the Forerunner, or is this just a coincidence? (Again, spoiler issues for folks who haven't gotten here yet, but the Forerunner were a big part of the original Halo, as well.) (Louis Wu 16:50:40 UTC)

November 26, 2004 Link to this post

Halo Babies has put up a guest strip created by BOLL - that guy is everywhere. The link in the news description is a bit funky - use this one instead. (Louis Wu 14:26:24 UTC)

November 16, 2004 Link to this post

Reviews and news
Last Thursday, BOLL sent us a note about a Halo review at Tom's Hardware; they didn't actually have the review up, they had a page that said 'we're not sleeping until this review is finished! Keep refreshing this page!' Every day, I went back. Nothing. Finally, today, Zaknafein pointed out that they'd put a review up - at a different URL! Doh. (If the URL is anything to go by, they posted it on the 13th.) There's no overall rating - but they loved the audio and gameplay, liked the graphics, weapons, A.I., and story, were okay with the vehicles, and thought the level design needed work. Other reviews around the net today:

And geez, while we're here, let's get the Halo 2 press from around the net out of the way:

  • BYU NewsNet - release coverage
  • Paly Voice - release coverage
  • Daily Times (Philadelphia) - Halo 2's popularity
  • IGN - A Second Look (Editors revisit their thoughts)
  • GamesIndustry.biz - Halo 2 has sold more than a quarter million units in the UK in its first week (3rd fastest selling title on record)
  • The Daily Northwestern (Illinois) - silly article about people having Halo stolen (among lots of other stuff)

I'm sure there'll be more as time goes on. (Louis Wu 14:25:40 UTC)

November 16, 2004 Link to this post

Give him your wallet. Now.
BOLL has found (with the help of some new modding tools from TF6) a pretty cool unused character in Halo 2. Personally... I'm pretty darned happy this one never made it in... they seem NASTY. (Louis Wu 02:26:18 UTC)

November 12, 2004 Link to this post

BOLL tries a SmartJoy FRAG
There've been a few online reviews of the SmartJoy FRAG keyboard/mouse adaptor (search our news for links), but now BOLL has written one of his own. I trust this one - partly because I've seen him play, partly because there's less hype than I've seen in some of them. In any case, it's a new point of view. Go read. (Louis Wu 18:43:54 UTC)

November 2, 2004 Link to this post

Pumpkin Voting
Whew! After a lot of messing around, we're finally ready to accept votes for the 343 Guilt O' Lantern contest! Now, keep in mind, there are 85 separate entries - and you're only allowed to vote once. Therefore, you should put it off until you have a few minutes to peruse the choices - it would be no fun if you only got through half of them! (Voting is open for a full week - through next Tuesday - so don't feel you have to rush to get it done.) The entry page should give you an idea of the best way to navigate through the entries - PLEASE READ IT. (I know a lot of people just want to get started, but if we start getting mail like 'OMG I messed up can you let me try again?' we're gonna be ignoring it.) Limits - you can only vote once per IP address. This stinks for families sharing a single address - but them's the breaks. So: Go read the instructions, then browse through the pumpkins and pick your favorite 5. (That's how many votes you get.) We'll be tallying points to find the top 3 - with a runoff vote if necessary down the road. And thanks to BOLL for his invaluable help in the last 12 hours! (Louis Wu 16:51:19 UTC)

October 30, 2004 Link to this post

New enemy - extracted
Very nice - BOLL extracted one of the more interesting pictures from the Halo 2 Montage now available at Halo2.com (it's PC-only, to save you a download if you're on a Mac). Now, if you're one of the people who felt that the mere existence of a creature not present in the first Halo should be considered a spoiler, DON'T LOOK AT THIS - but it's the same baddie that's popped up in a bunch of places now, and you STILL don't know much about him. We have a regular jpeg (67k), or, if you want to use this in artwork, BOLL's original PNG file, with nice transparency (432K)... and the same image, without the glow border (317K). Enjoy! (Louis Wu 13:41:27 UTC)

October 30, 2004 Link to this post

Commercial Screen Grabs
A couple of Halo community regulars have pulled screenshots out of the hi-res 60-second commercial - you can find rapture's faves over at cookedgamers.net and BOLL's picks on 7708.net. Speculation will have to be amongst friends, or on other forums - ours is still offline, for another week and a half. Sorry! (Louis Wu 13:30:53 UTC)

October 23, 2004 Link to this post

Sonny Chiba would SO pwn him...
Wonga. Amazing as it sounds, Frankie is STILL continuing with the Bungie Weekly Updates - this one is at Subnova. New TV spots coming next week, a sick SketchFactor, and a guest Mister Chief rendering by BOLL. Go read! (And Sketch - here's hoping you get better!) Thanks to Eric Biro, who let us know while I was watching Big Fish with my family. Update: oops - Boxer points out that I misread the bit about Sketch - it's his DOG that's sick. (I guess i thought Frankie was insulting him while he was down. :) ) Sketch - here's hoping your dog gets better! (Louis Wu 02:20:55 UTC)

October 15, 2004 Link to this post

Halo2.com - in progress
For folks working on the decoding of the various pages at halo2.com, there's a great thread over at the Unfiction forums; you'll find a really useful decoder based on shape, rather than alphabetical order. (If you want alphabetical order, there's also this one, posted over in the Bungie.net forums - but the signal to noise ratio is much higher over there.) Pretty much all of the text has been decoded at this point. (I even know it's right, because BOLL cheated, and extracted the XML file that's being used to GENERATE the text - and it's in English. No, I'm not gonna show you what he found, because it's not particularly sporting.) The only things that are not yet decoded are the three password-protected screens in the Prophet subring. And according to one person on the Unfiction forums, those will not BE decoded until the Flash asset involved is actually updated with a real password. So for now, enjoy the site, and the new glimpses into the wonder of Halo 2... and try not to stumble over any major spoilers on other sites. Update: for the lazy among you, NK has decoded the entire site, graphically. It removes the enjoyment of doing it yourself... but hey, nobody's forcing you. Because it's far too much work right now to set up a page where you can see these one at a time, I've packaged them all up (43 images in all) - you can grab them here (1.8 mb). Thanks, NK! (Louis Wu 23:41:21 UTC)

October 15, 2004 Link to this post

Halo2.com has relaunched
The overhaul of halo2.com is complete - sort of. It's pretty much unviewable on a mac - it works well on XP/Firefox and XP/IE (though the IE version takes over your screen; there's no way to get to the desktop any more, without closing the window). The outbound link is also busted, though I'm sure they'll fix that at some point. All text is in the same code as the teaser stuff we mentioned last night. It's fun to explore - though there ARE vehicles, weapons, and buildings (and maybe aliens - I haven't fully explored it) that you've never seen before... that's your spoiler warning. There are at least 3 downloadables - I found some wallpaper. Thanks to Elite TAR, who pointed it out first. Update: I was wrong - the site IS viewable on a mac; OSX/IE5 seems to be a useable combination. (I didn't even test IE before, since Microsoft abandoned development on it over a year ago.) Thanks, -Nash--housewares. Update 2: w00t! BOLL managed to find a direct link that lets you view the main part of the site (at least the North American version) in a window - it's now watchable on Macs (any browser)! (It'll also respond better for PCs that aren't the top of the line...) Thanks, BOLL! (Louis Wu 18:06:33 UTC)

October 11, 2004 Link to this post

On the cover of Reach Today...
BOLL went to the trouble of importing a Halo 2 MC from Singapore - then he took it outside, and had a photo shoot. Luckily, there are no bikini shots. (Louis Wu 13:04:01 UTC)

September 25, 2004 Link to this post

When waiting isn't good enough...
When the two new screens were released today, there was a bit of talk on our forum about how cool it was that the scope on the sniper showed what you were looking at. BOLL, never one to leave you feeling like you were missing something, decided to give you a chance to try it out - today. Check out this forum post... (Louis Wu 01:09:09 UTC)

September 23, 2004 Link to this post

What a PAL!
BOLL has (once again) updated the HBO PAL; now you can export your settings, and reimport them on another machine (or even just another browser on the same machine). I'm pretty sure that tomorrow we'll receive the update that gets HBO PAL to do your laundry for you. (Louis Wu 10:00:44 UTC)

September 21, 2004 Link to this post

Your PAL just got pal-ier.
Pretty substantial usability updates to BOLL's HBO PAL, the sidebar that puts all of HBO at your fingertips; he's cleaned things up, added some search features (you have no idea how useful they are until you actually use them), and added a pair of guides for adding this page to your Windows Active Desktop (the original idea was sent in by Nafe Rubeus, for Windows 98, and BOLL's added his own graphical version for Windows 2000/XP). Visit the page, see what's new! (Louis Wu 22:12:02 UTC)

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