Halo Fan Creates Real-Life Grunt Birthday Party

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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Halo Fan Creates Real-Life Grunt Birthday Party

It's a real-life Grunt Birthday Party, with a real gun, real bullets, a real exploding Grunt skull and cheering children in the background.

The Grunt Birthday Party is triggered by a special human skull hidden in the Crow's Nest level of skulls [http://www.amazon.com/Halo-3-Xbox-360/dp/B000FRU0NU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294162574&sr=8-1] are hidden throughout the game, adding humorous or challenging gameplay twists when activated; the Grunt Birthday Party skull causes the skulls of Grunts to explode with a loud popping noise when they're shot in the head, showering colorful, damaging confetti everywhere while the sound of cheering children plays in the background. It's undeniably bizarre, but not nearly as bizarre as making it happen in real life.

Bizarre and awesome, that is. A Halo fan with guns, explosives, some household miscellanea and time on his hands built a blue Grunt model with a head stuffed full of confetti, then took it out back and started popping shots at it. A high-speed camera captured everything in delicious slow-motion and the inevitable YouTube video even includes a quick "making-of" segment for those who want to try this at home.

"Don't try this at home," Bungie warned [http://www.bungie.net/News/content.aspx?type=news&link=GruntBdayPartyIRL].

via: Joystiq [http://www.joystiq.com/2011/01/04/real-life-grunt-birthday-party-will-make-you-cheer/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+weblogsinc%2Fjoystiq+%28Joystiq%29]


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samwise970

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May 2, 2010
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Pretty neat, but not much of a shot. You would think he would at least edit out all the times he missed.
 

hobo_welf

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Grunt Birthday Party was added as a skull in both of the later games, and has origins that go back to a bunch of grunts dancing around a fire in Halo 2. I feel like video game journalists have less accountability than real journalists, did you just look at this video, glance at Wikipedia really quickly and then add your own opinion to it and post it? That's what it seems like.

Regardless this is fucking rad and I want one for my next birthday party.
 

garfoldsomeoneelse

Charming, But Stupid
Mar 22, 2009
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samwise970 said:
Pretty neat, but not much of a shot. You would think he would at least edit out all the times he missed.
According to a comment on YouTube, there was a small bottle of explosives hidden in the neck that took a few shots to probe out.
 

Tartarga

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Jun 4, 2008
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Man I never get invited to their parties. Damn grunts, well they sure as hell arent' going to get any mercy from me when I come to kick their little asses.

In all seriousness that is pretty sweet.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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hobo_welf said:
Grunt Birthday Party was added as a skull in both of the later games, and has origins that go back to a bunch of grunts dancing around a fire in Halo 2. I feel like video game journalists have less accountability than real journalists, did you just look at this video, glance at Wikipedia really quickly and then add your own opinion to it and post it? That's what it seems like.

Regardless this is fucking rad and I want one for my next birthday party.
I believe you're misusing "accountability" in this instance. Given that Andy is writing under his real name, he is easily held accountable to everything he writes for this website. You are, perhaps, casting aspersions on the fact that he is not an expert on every game he covers, but he isn't expected to be. No game journalist, no matter how dedicated, will ever know as much about a certain game as that game's dedicated fans. We at The Escapist are always very pleased when our community chooses to share their own expertise with ours, though we naturally prefer it when that expertise is shared in a positive frame of mind, as opposed to a negative one.
 

ahrnygoose

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Feb 20, 2008
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Pretty sweet.

samwise970 said:
Pretty neat, but not much of a shot. You would think he would at least edit out all the times he missed.
Yeah, I thought that would improve the video a bit, too.
 

hobo_welf

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Susan Arendt said:
hobo_welf said:
Grunt Birthday Party was added as a skull in both of the later games, and has origins that go back to a bunch of grunts dancing around a fire in Halo 2. I feel like video game journalists have less accountability than real journalists, did you just look at this video, glance at Wikipedia really quickly and then add your own opinion to it and post it? That's what it seems like.

Regardless this is fucking rad and I want one for my next birthday party.
I believe you're misusing "accountability" in this instance. Given that Andy is writing under his real name, he is easily held accountable to everything he writes for this website. You are, perhaps, casting aspersions on the fact that he is not an expert on every game he covers, but he isn't expected to be. No game journalist, no matter how dedicated, will ever know as much about a certain game as that game's dedicated fans. We at The Escapist are always very pleased when our community chooses to share their own expertise with ours, though we naturally prefer it when that expertise is shared in a positive frame of mind, as opposed to a negative one.
Firstly, let me apologize. I am an asshole. I'm sitting around with pneumonia right now, but I don't want to use that as an excuse. You're completely right about what you said but I'd like to share my perspective.

The articles I see on this site range greatly in quality. So do the people writing them. Some of the articles are very detailed and well researched, but most of them are little snippets of news taken from other sites, forums members, or YouTube with a bit of an opinion from whoever happened to post the article. I've been looking at this site for a lot longer than I've had an account(years longer actually), so I guess it's not fair for me to trash it since it's obviously provided me with a ton of entertainment, and although I'm definitely not a journalist, here's my main gripe with the site.

When you said "No game journalist, no matter how dedicated, will ever know as much about a certain game as that game's dedicated fans" you may have been correct, but that standpoint will prevent you from ever being a professional in your field. Unless game journalists are held to different standards than real journalists, you ARE expected to be an expert in your field. The reason why people get jobs reporting on specific subjects is because they ARE experts on that subject. Now there's no accounting for fanboys, but the dancing grunts in Halo 2 aren't something so secret only a fanboy would know, in fact a simple Google search would bring it up.

As I mentioned previously, I've been looking at this site for a long time. I jumped on originally to watch Zero Punctuation but Yahtzee is somewhat of a one trick pony, and I haven't been interested in his videos for a while. Even more than the movie reviews MovieBob puts out (that was a great acquisition to your team), and even the game reviews by Steve Butts (that was probably the best acquisition to your team), I get on here because I like to keep up to date on gaming news, and this site is more familiar to me than Kotaku or ScrewAttack or any of the other gaming sites that I've looked at.

The columns posted weekly I have always found to be extremely boring, but I understand how you would want to break down and analyze certain aspects of gaming culture in a magazine-esque format. The news articles however, I sometimes read (like the grunt birthday party one) and complain to myself about how there should have been more research done blah blah blah. However today, like I said, I'm pretty feverish and decided to be an asshole, which I apologize again for.

Your response has inspired me to actually provide constructive criticism, because you're right, it is ridiculously counter-productive to talk smack to people who write on a website that I've spent hundreds of hours looking at. So, in an effort to be constructive (for the first time on this website ever), here are my ideas for you;

1) Write articles you are well versed in. For instance, this article could have been written by John Funk, who for all his sillyness, seems to have a love for Halo, and may have been able to bring more insight to the topic. The reason why I enjoy Steve Butts' reviews so much is that instead of talking about how cool the guns are, or how good the voice acting is (things I could write about), he shows expertise in the field by talking about game triggers, specific AI behavior, scripted events, etc. These are things that show he has knowledge not just about playing video games, but about coding them, or at least designing them.

2) Bring things to light that nobody else talks about! If you only post stories nabbed from other sites, or inspired by forum member tips, adding only a little bit of your opinions, why would I come here instead of somewhere else? The game trailers, silly videos, and Sunday comics (where did they go? some of them were pretty funny) make you different from other gaming websites, but not from a journalism standpoint.

3) Focus on quality, not quantity. I would much rather see two or three articles posted a day, written by people who know a lot more than I do about what they're writing about, than ten to twenty articles that are shallow and easy to find elsewhere.

Now all this advice is based on the idea that you guys want to be journalists, not just people who pander to the masses of the internet. One look at the majority of posts on your forums (especially mine) will give you the impression that you could put out garbage and people would keep reading it. But if you guys want to hold yourselves to higher standards, professional standards, start working more like a newspaper, rather than a blog with a bunch of people writing on it.

You guys are given an amazing opportunity working the job that you do. You get to eat, sleep, drink video games all day every day. I may be wrong here, but you make your entire living off of it, and even have your own homebase in North Carolina. You can afford to buy Yahtzee's Australian games, and send Bob to the movies, you get to go to E3 and interview amazing people. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like you have an obligation to be as professional and dedicated as any reporter for the New York Times.

You are more than welcome to completely ignore this post, but I was struck by what you said, Susan. I've spent enough time on this website that I can make one meaningful post in my sea of shitty ones.

Thank you for your time.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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hobo_welf said:
When you said "No game journalist, no matter how dedicated, will ever know as much about a certain game as that game's dedicated fans" you may have been correct, but that standpoint will prevent you from ever being a professional in your field.
Nope. Pretty sure I am, in fact, a professional in my field.

hobo_welf said:
Unless game journalists are held to different standards than real journalists, you ARE expected to be an expert in your field.
True enough, and that field is the videogame industry, not every single game ever released. Asking a game journalist to know every last detail about every game they cover is simply not realistic. There are simply too many games for anyone to know every minute detail about them.

hobo_welf said:
The reason why people get jobs reporting on specific subjects is because they ARE experts on that subject. Now there's no accounting for fanboys, but the dancing grunts in Halo 2 aren't something so secret only a fanboy would know, in fact a simple Google search would bring it up.
Sure, of course. There is always more research that can be done, on everything we cover. We will, at times, not cover something as completely as it could be done. At other times, we'll actually get something wrong. Everything we do is done in good faith with the intention of both informing and entertaining the audience.



hobo_welf said:
1) Write articles you are well versed in. For instance, this article could have been written by John Funk, who for all his sillyness, seems to have a love for Halo, and may have been able to bring more insight to the topic.
That's an ideal situation, but not a realistic one. By that model, we would need an in-house expert on every single game or subject we cover. To do that, one of two things would have to happen: Either we'd have to cover less, or have a news team roughly the size of the population of Montana. I'd personally love to have a news team that could cover everything in that kind of depth, but it's simply not feasible.

hobo_welf said:
2) Bring things to light that nobody else talks about! If you only post stories nabbed from other sites, or inspired by forum member tips, adding only a little bit of your opinions, why would I come here instead of somewhere else? The game trailers, silly videos, and Sunday comics (where did they go? some of them were pretty funny) make you different from other gaming websites, but not from a journalism standpoint.
The news is just one aspect of the site as a whole. Our goal is to offer many different kinds of content, so that no matter the proclivities of the visitor, they're likely to find something that they'll enjoy. Sometimes that's news, sometimes it's comics, other times it's columns. Critical Miss, by the way, is what came of the Sunday Funnies. If the way we handle news is not to your liking, that's fine - we're pretty sure you'll find something else on the site that does resonate with you.

hobo_welf said:
3) Focus on quality, not quantity. I would much rather see two or three articles posted a day, written by people who know a lot more than I do about what they're writing about, than ten to twenty articles that are shallow and easy to find elsewhere.
That is a perfectly legitimate method of presenting news, one that sites like Game|Life do extremely well. It's not how we've chosen to present our news.

hobo_welf said:
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like you have an obligation to be as professional and dedicated as any reporter for the New York Times.
If you don't enjoy or personally appreciate the way we handle the news, that's perfectly fine - I understand your point of view and you're not being unreasonable. But I am offended by your suggestion that I, or anyone on the news team, is in any way unprofessional. We take our jobs very seriously, and put a great deal of time and effort into doing them to the best of our ability. We care a great deal about presenting information in a timely and responsible way, while maintaining objectivity and a critical eye. We do all of this while also striving to be entertaining every single day.

Please do not confuse your personal opinion of what a "real" journalist should be doing with the one and only definition of the term, or think for a moment that one must adhere to your personal standards to be conducting themselves in a professional manner.

If it makes you feel better, don't think of us as journalists. We typically don't. It's a term that's used because nobody has really come up with a better one yet. We write about games because we care about them. And, while I am clearly biased, I think we're pretty goddamn good at it, too.
 

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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AK47Marine said:
Someone is a horrible shot outside of halo games...
I thought the same thing at first (and this goes out to everyone who brought up the point) but then I got thinking that maybe he left the misses in - and maybe the misses were intentional - to demonstrate that he was in fact firing at the thing with a real gun and hadn't just lit a firecracker inside its skull or something. It's a generous theory, but it fits.
 

AK47Marine

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Andy Chalk said:
AK47Marine said:
Someone is a horrible shot outside of halo games...
I thought the same thing at first (and this goes out to everyone who brought up the point) but then I got thinking that maybe he left the misses in - and maybe the misses were intentional - to demonstrate that he was in fact firing at the thing with a real gun and hadn't just lit a firecracker inside its skull or something. It's a generous theory, but it fits.

Maybe I'd say that's a serious reach though, the shots all end up high and what looks like to the side a tad (hard to tell from angle of camera) but me personally I'd put it down to a combination of the big three of marksmanship. Stance, sight alignment and trigger pull. With out seeing the shooter I can't do an in depth break down, but I'd bet money he was in a standing position which is a ***** to build a solid firing position from, that would explain the lateral drift on the shots. Add in a little wind (a big factor especially in the standing, and the weapon in use sounds like a 22. rimfire, even a light breeze can toss those little rounds around while in flight) Just my professional eye on the matter.

On another note and not really jumping on the "wtf escapist" band wagon above (seriously I love you guys, don't bring the wrath of the editors upon me! lol) I seriously question the use of explosives in this project.... *checks bungie article* yeah tannerite targets aren't considered explosives. Just a professional nit pick lol
 

gnubjub

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Jan 7, 2011
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AK47Marine said:
Andy Chalk said:
AK47Marine said:
Someone is a horrible shot outside of halo games...
I thought the same thing at first (and this goes out to everyone who brought up the point) but then I got thinking that maybe he left the misses in - and maybe the misses were intentional - to demonstrate that he was in fact firing at the thing with a real gun and hadn't just lit a firecracker inside its skull or something. It's a generous theory, but it fits.

Maybe I'd say that's a serious reach though, the shots all end up high and what looks like to the side a tad (hard to tell from angle of camera) but me personally I'd put it down to a combination of the big three of marksmanship. Stance, sight alignment and trigger pull. With out seeing the shooter I can't do an in depth break down, but I'd bet money he was in a standing position which is a ***** to build a solid firing position from, that would explain the lateral drift on the shots. Add in a little wind (a big factor especially in the standing, and the weapon in use sounds like a 22. rimfire, even a light breeze can toss those little rounds around while in flight) Just my professional eye on the matter.

On another note and not really jumping on the "wtf escapist" band wagon above (seriously I love you guys, don't bring the wrath of the editors upon me! lol) I seriously question the use of explosives in this project.... *checks bungie article* yeah tannerite targets aren't considered explosives. Just a professional nit pick lol
This is intended to answer the comments from this post and a few above it.

This was taken from the youtube comments from the user gbTephlon.

"1. Contrary to how the pictures may make it look, this project was not one that took forever- it was also meant to be a great project my brother could spend time with his kids doing. Also, it may not look like an intricate replica... but the point was that it might be damaged in the end... speed (and cost) was favored over realism.

2. IT WAS COLD! (and quite windy). We filmed Christmas day, and the shots were fired standing up. Not prone. Not crouched. But standing. Also, the target was tannerite filling HALF of a pill-bottle, leaving about a 1 by 2 inch square target to hit... inside the neck of the dummy... where it couldn't be seen. Haters can go home.

3. The cheers were literally just the crowd (family) watching. Any celebration prior to the actual party where merely in anticipation."

For the questioning the use of tannerite, it is more of a the guys like to use tannerite targets. Generally a couple of times a year they have a tannerite shoot with some sort of exciting target (fridge, dryer, other appliances that are exciting to see go boom.)

The grunt is just a linking of liking things going boom and Halo.