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The subject of this article is Bungie Lore; one of the many myths, legends, and easter eggs that have been created by Bungie.


"Blam!" is a phrase that Bungie has used in various ways to describe violence or otherwise impactful connotations since 1992. It's most prominent use was being the codename for Halo: Combat Evolved.

[Blam] is one of the immortal phrases.

~ Alex Seropian on why Bungie chose "blam" as the codename for Halo: Combat Evolved

Background[]

The term's first discovered use by Bungie (particularly, Jason Jones) was in a 'Read Me' file for Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete in 1992, Bungie's second year of existence.[1] The file described a Minotaur multiplayer game and featured Jason Jones, Alex Seropian, and Charlie "Chucky" Gough.

Alex: "Hey Jason, what number do you have?"
Jason: "Number 5."
Alex: "Chucky?"
Chucky: "Number 4."
Alex: "Err...no good dude, I have number 4 too."
Chucky: "Then switch, fool."
Alex: "(CENSORED) me! I'm the host. You switch numbers!"
Chucky: "Oh yeah? Well you can (CENSORED) me too! Number 4 is my favorite!"
Jason: "It doesn't matter which number you have, chump. I'm gonna spank you anyway."
Alex: "Hee hee"
Chucky: "Fine, fine. I'll switch to number 2. Bunch of whining...(incoherent grumbling)"
Alex: "Sweet. Here we go...prepare to diiiiie!!"
Jason: "BLAM!"

"blam" appeared again in November 1994 for Marathon's release. The first use was in an email was sent to Mac games usenet groups describing the "true" story behind the game's delay where Bungie staff, in a state of panic trying to find which letter follows zeta, created a new letter, 'blamma'.[2]

2:25PM In state of panic, a new letter is created, 'blamma'. The blamma version is posted on the mainframe, and random lots are drawn to determine the next lucky c.s.m.g. subscriber to receive it in their mailbox without even asking for it. It's fun!


The second use for Marathon's release was in another email in December 1994, describing the sound of a gunshot.[3]

The phrase became popular in the Chicago office of Bungie during the mid-1990s due to being around a busy street that had many near-collisions between vehicles. The most prominent use seemingly came from Robt McLees, which may be why the fan site, Bungie.org, attributes the meme to McLees.[4]

The name "Blam!" stemmed from folks yelling the word in Bungie offices when they were in Chicago. Located near a busy street, the Bungie team could hear numerous near-collisions between cars outside. "You'd hear the screech of tires, and then nothing," explained Robt McLees, "so I'd yell 'Blam!' Just so there was some sense of completion."

~ Robt McLees on using the term in the book The Art of Halo: Creating A Virtual World (page ix)

"Blam" started being injected into Bungie's games, manuals, and promotional material starting in 1995. In Myth II: Soulblighter's level "Stair of Grief," the phrase is shouted by dwarves throwing grenades.[5]

Bungie registered blam.net, blam.com, and blam.org in March 1998,[4][6] and chose the term as the codename for Halo: Combat Evolved. It was used to replace the original codename "Monkey Nuts" because project lead Jason Jones could not bring himself to tell his mother he was working on a game called "Monkey Nuts."[7]

Blam error

The blam error when Oni crashes.

Oni Compound6

Cargo containers showing BLAM

In the PC version of Oni, "Blam" is used in a fatal error dialog. Within the story of the game, Konoko, having disrupted Muro's plan, feels compelled to type "blam! love, little sister" at the final Sturmanderung console.[8] Also within the game, "blam" appears in the form of a (barely readable) badge worn by Atmospheric Conversion Center (ACC) engineers. In early development of Oni, "British Land & Air Mobile Transport" was written acrostically (i.e. a word puzzle) on cargo containers.

Trivia[]

  • Under the credits section of the Marathon Infinity manual (p.67), "Blam" is listed under Final Thoughts, along with "Your Mom" and "Dink".
  • In Myth II: Soublighter's scripting, for the teleport out, using the world knot visibility, the flag is "blam".[4]
  • In one Myth II level, "With Friends Like These", you get to play a game of Territories against 3 stone giants (Trow). According to the script, these particular Trow are named: myth trow, oni trow, blam trow.[4]
  • "Blam!" is used to censor curse words on the Bungie.net website, including Weekly Updates.[9] and to censor inappropriate content names in Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and even in Halo 4. It is most likely a tribute to the word itself. Many non-Bungie users have caught the habit and use it abundantly.
  • An occasional glitch occurs on Halo 3, where a player can name a map or a game variant anything they want, and no matter the result, a notice of censorship will pop up telling you that its name must be "Blam!"
  • In Halo: Reach and Halo 4, if a player starts creating a Forge map connected to Xbox Live, disconnects, and saves it, the name the players chooses will be replaced by "Blam!" and a script will say 'Bad name'. When used during online play, the map will be displayed as "Blam!"'. However, when a player reconnects, the game will show the map's original name.
  • There was another Blam, namely Blam! Machinehead, by Core Design, published in 1997.

Sources[]

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