Friday, January 6, 2012

Halo: Part 3: Movement

-----Part 3: Movement-----

-Peril (Halo 2 OST):

     After Zach and I broke away and found what I have been considering my 'Everyday' group of friends (seeing as I live with them down at school), I quickly became very alone with my still-growing interest in Halo...

     It was at this point, I believe, when I moved back home and started taking classes at my community college, two of which were with Dan, whom I still had, and have, considered one of my three best friends, and whom I am probably closest to amongst any of them. And while Halo wasn't ever really the focus of our friendship, then or now, he still acted as a conduit for me to enjoy Halo with other people. It was during these days when Halo Wars and Halo 3: ODST came out. And like I said, he helped me enjoy them a bit more, but it was never as strong as it had been during the original LAN days. 

     More than anyone, my dad was really the one who supported my interest in Halo. My mom didn't really seem to understand it and I never got anything but jeers from both of my siblings. After a while though, I stopped trying to get them to understand. My dad always understood that side of me though, and while he hadn't gotten into the Halo's story or anything like that (He has since then), he still understood that I was really into that and he always has done what he could to help. 

-One One Seven (Not a song):

     Before I move on, however, I feel I should explain my obsession with the number 117. Yes, it is an obvious Halo reference, but I don't know if that's why it started. Before Halo 3 had come out, I had begun noticing the number popping up every so often. I had read the Halo novels at that point, so I least knew that I showed up there as well. More and more, I saw it. It got to the point to where I felt it was some sort of conspiracy or something. It was something no one but myself noticed or understood. 

     When I tried to explain it to people, I got the conventional response that I was crazy and it was all in my head, or that I was just so excited for Halo 3. That may be so, but at this point, almost 4 & 1/2 years later, I don't think that matters so much anymore. I needed to prove to these people that what I was seeing was real.

     I began taking pictures of the number, where ever I saw it. I needed to prove that I wasn't nuts and that I really did see this number everywhere; that it was following me. And when I would show all these pictures to people, while they thought it was still crazy in its own right, it was still happening.

     What did it mean though? Yes, I saw this number, 117, everywhere I went, but no one, myself included could figure out why. Was there even a meaning behind it to begin with? We often toyed around with the idea that it was a sign of the end of the world and that I was supposed to do something to save it. In hindsight, it was such a poetic and romanticized idea; a number leading me to the salvation of all on planet Earth, to be remembered for the ages as the hero we needed, even though it would probably mean my certain demise in the face of something no one else could even begin to understand... What I would give for the opportunity... *sigh* I'm holding my breath as I think about it.

     I would eventually do some research on whether or not other people saw it to, and much to my surprise, others DO see it as well. People I've never even met. In particular, a Christian website mentioned it and there are SO MANY comments on it from others who see it and attribute it to God's presence or something along those lines. As an atheist, I don't really subscribe to those sorts of theories, but I found it comforting knowing that there are others out there. I'll link all of the 117 stuff right below:

A quick note: The wiki page used to be so much longer than it is now... I don't know why it was shortened so, but man, if you could've seen all the stuff that was on there originally... And the second link is to my facebook album where I upload all the pictures of 117 that show up. I've even showed this 343i and their response was, "That's 117 flavors of awesome!"

     Ultimately, we never found any sort of explanation, although Matt would be the voice of reason and tell me that I was simply looking for it and that while I was seeing it, it was still in my head. I've since figured that that's the case, but I have still made something from it, despite not being the tale of how I saved Humanity, just like Master Chief John-117.

     All of the original pictures that I took were on my phone and have since been deleted, but I do continue to take pictures where ever and whenever I see it, assuming it's not like a clock or something. But nowadays, I don't see it as much as I used to, or at least not since I tried to embrace it and became One One Seven. When I switched my gamertag from ShellBullet5 to One One Seven, it kinda of slowed down for me, but not for everyone else. I still get pictures and texts from people all the time about how they saw the number and I laugh, knowing that I've pretty much started a small movement. Kozi, Colin, Dan, Chris, Rojek, Tnags, my entire family, all of my 'everyday' friends- they ALL see it now too.  

     There still isn't much meaning behind it, other than what I myself have made of it. I use it now as a symbol of my philosophies and goals; a numerical embodiment of who I am, not to mention that since I've made it my thing, people in the Halo community generally get a kick out it and like that it's my XBL gamertag. 

     One last note on the subject, the other day, I got a random friend request on facebook from a guy, Oussama, who is originally from Lebanon (but now lives in Sydney, Australia). I accepted it, thinking it was just another Halo fan that saw my stuff on the Halo Waypoint or something, but then I got a PM, which, despite happening before, doesn't happen often. Much to my surprise, it had absolutely nothing to do with Halo. This was his message:

"hey there how r u? well i dont know how to explain it but since u faced the 

same thing so ur the only one that can understand that..well bro i did a search 

on fb for 117 since i found that number wherever i go..WHEREVER and i found 

that u had the same experience..1117 and 117 r really surprising me, did u got 

any explanation for that??? have a good one"

     I was so delighted to see this because yet again, I was not alone. And I find it personally awesome that when he went looking for answers like I had, he came across me. It makes me feel almost prophetic in a way. Now it's time to move back into the main story.

- Edge Closer (Halo 3 OST)

     I had always wanted to check out San Diego Comic Con at least once in my life. I likened it to the pilgrimage to Mecca, but for those who were considered nerds and the like. But I still had a focus in mind when I went there- Halo. 

     So, in 2009, my parents and I made our out there and went to SDCC. I feel that it was here that I really began my journey to where I am now. I got to see and play ODST before it had come out and got to be very close up at the 343i panel that announced both Halo Legends and Halo Waypoint. It was here that I first met Frank O'Connor, who is the franchise development director for Halo. He signed a copy of Halo 2 that I had brought with me. I also was able to get all 7 Halo Legends posters while there, 3 of which are signed by the creative minds behind each... episode, if you will. My dad and I would eventually get them all framed.

     We also attended 2010, where Halo Reach was being showcased at the Xbox booth. I got to meet Ske7ch, as well as a few others from Bungie. I got my copy of ODST signed this time around. But this year would really mark the moment I put my foot in the door. At the bungie panel, where they showed off Forge 2.0 for the first time (this time in the very front-center), they announced a contest that was only taking place during Comic Con. Those who could prove their fandom to those at Bungie and 343i would win a Halo: Reach-themed Xbox Slim, which would be coming out in conjunction with Halo: Reach. Oh, I knew I could do it, I just needed to show them during conversation, not through a costume or anything showy. There were 6 consoles in total, one for each member of Noble Team. One after another they went. Just after the third one was chosen during the Tor Books signing, I met someone who would change my fortunes in Halo forever, Alison. The 343i panel for this year had been on the last day, after our scheduled flight back home. We cancelled it though, so that I could be there, and I let her know that. 

     The next and last day of Comic Con, I was waiting in a line that I thought hadn't started yet. I was standing next to the door, talking with Frankie and Kevin Grace, whom I had only just met, but had become friends with, at least for my part. It was then that I discovered that the line was already relatively long and that I wasn't in it. I jumped in and made it inside, near the back, however. I looked up at the stage and met eyes with Kevin. He gave the slightest of smiles, and and even slighter nod. My breath became instantly heavy and my palms began to sweat. 'No way,' I thought to myself, 'I actually did it. I won.' Alison came up to him and asked him something, and he looked back at me and just pointed. It was confirmed. Even as I write this, the feeling is overcoming me and I'm reliving it; oh, the excitement of it. Alison came down from the stage, walked down the isle, never breaking eye-contact with me. I could see the crease of a smile begin to form on her face as she could most likely plainly see the overwhelming excitement on my face already. She stopped in front of me and asked me for my badge. Knowing why already, I complied as fast as my arms would allow. She thanked me and walked back up on stage. The guy next to me was someone I was able to recognize by the end of the convention, as we had been in line to play Reach with one another several times. He asked me what that was about and with a grin on my face, I said, "I think I just won the last Xbox." Finally, the end of the panel came and well... I'll just let the videos show you (Skip to 8:05) :

     While she made it seem like I had just lost my badge, I was completely fine with it because in the end, I won, and to top it off, I was Noble 6. I was guy who everyone would be playing as later on that year (That coupled with how I am One One Seven, pretty much makes me two of the main protagonists in the Halo franchise- SUPER WIN! hahahaha). I was also interviewed by Jonathon Goff for Halo Waypoint, which can be seen near the end of the next video:

     I thought that this win would pretty much be the mark I left on the Halo community; it was my peak for Halo success, but oh how wrong I would be...

----------End of Part Three----------

Oh! Also, My friend Natalie just put up her review/analysis of Greg Bear's new book, Halo: Primordium up on her blog. Be warned, there are spoilers, but it you're like me and that doesn't bother you, go read! It's very written and reasoned out. She even got 300 views for that thing, which makes me quite jealous. Link below:

That Dancing Chick: 'Primodrium: These Matrices are Highly Unstable'

     So, for now, this is the where I leave you. There is still some more to write, and actually, a lot of it is already done. I just need to write some more and then edit the already-written part and then it's done. So, enjoy "Movement" by Marty O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori from the Halo 3 OST!

Until next time...

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