How long have you been a player of the great game of Halo? Among some early adopters, the saga of the United Nations Space Command has been a staple of their gametime for over a decade. For them, it has been a long, strange trip.
For clans on Xbox Live, there have been numerous killer applications to occupy them – each a seperate war with its own trials. In recollection, each game seems to represent a lifetime of simulated competition. Countless confirmed kills. Countless respawns forced to endure.
In October, the TTL Gunslingers will mark their fifth year of virtual maneuvers on Xbox Live. To commemorate our various campaigns as a team, we have designed our own Accolade System. For each game played as a member of our clan, a member receives a medal. It provides us with a means of recognizing our veterans, and gives our rookies something to chase.
The bling designed by TTL DDay and TTL Cute is a clan-exclusive offering. Yet, we did feel the compulsion to share. Please join us as we relive the memories that have been granted to us by the Halo franchise in terms of ribbons and coins.
Were you there when the Halo Nation was the Wild West? Did you brave the flying Warthogs? The rocket launchers that could deploy trains from the mouth of their barrels? Halo 2 was our cradle – our hometown. Tied the Leader owes everything to that title, including our namesake.
At the zenith of our recruitment efforts, our roster swelled to a barely manageable army of 130 Gunslingers. That was during the twilight days prior to Finishing the Fight, when other clans imploded and sent their members like refugees to our forum. Of those Halo 2 veterans, almost 70 remain at the time of this posting.
We are so sentimental about Halo 2, we have even retained that ridiculous title for leadership all this time. The first seven Gunslingers still sit on that council. The Recruitment Officer who was added later endures as well. Other faces have come and gone from the smoke-filled room that drives our clan, but the core remains intact. We are one from many.
Did you Finish The Fight? Did you wait with baited breath for an entire summer of irresistable hype to have the Master Chief’s cliffhanger resolved? Or did you impose a full-spectrum Internet blackout to maintain a spoiler-free discipline? Halo 3 was a glorious time for the Gunslingers. It was our first mass-migration. The sweet waters of Valhalla made the trek more than worth the mileage.
Debates will rage forever about the impact of changes in the conventions that governed Halo 3 Multiplayer. It is indisputable that the integrity of the experience leapt forward by light years. Players were finally able to reach the end of the ranking system by honest means. Several members in our rank were able to ascend the mountaintop without a single super-bounce.
Did you DROP? Did you suit up and descend from orbit in a pod on a top secret op on behalf of the Office of Naval Intel? ODST was a much-needed reminder about the importance of the Halo franchise to our clan. It rallied gamers back to the UNSC from their side-missions in Call of Duty.
A new conflict looms just over the horizon – less than one week out at the time of this posting. All of this has happened before. And it will all happen again. We might know how this tale will conclude before it begins, but the competitive venues built into this game will amount to countless hours of suspense and surprise against unknown opponents alongside trusted allies.
Poised on the border of this new domain is a leaner clan than we have ever migrated into a new title. Only 91 Gunslingers sit on our active roster, ready to strike when the game hits the street. This medal will lure them into the new game. The action will keep them there for years to come.
This one’s for you, Bungie. Thanks for the memories, including those yet to come. Good games. All of ‘em. They are all deserving of the medals we bestow on those who have played them under our banner of war.