This article details the origins of Ascendant Justice:
On July 27th of 2004, a claim for ascendancy was made.
The Star Wars message board, Nightly.Net, which hosts an array of forums and topics, became the source of inspiration for a new type of thinking in a video game fan base that does little of the sort. Several minds came together with a resolution to provide the fan base of the action-laden series called Halo with a serious and intelligent brand of discussion.
At this time, the renowned epic game known as Halo: Combat Evolved was still topping sales charts well into its fourth calendar year of existence. The game, featuring a lone super soldier as the last hope for a dying humanity and a mysterious planetary ring structure which hangs in the outermost reaches of space, rang true with many video game fans who were growing weary of the constant lack of Western influence in the industry. With the advent of the Xbox and Halo: Combat Evolved, the pair set the stage for what would become one of the most popular video game franchises in the history of gaming. The developer, Bungie Studios, has now become a staple name in the gaming industry and their future titles promised intense anticipation for all those who had experienced Halo: Combat Evolved.
In 2002, Bungie announced with a short teaser trailer that they were hatching a second installation to the series. At E3 2003 they showcased a stunning single-player demo which clearly displayed the returning hero, known as the Master Chief, defending humanity’s existence in the last possible theatre of war: Earth. As excitement for the game built, the Halo community grew with each passing day, until the anticipation materialized into clearly defined and tightly-knit brotherhoods. Bands of Halo fans, male and female alike, stood with increasing fervor, awaiting the coming of Halo 2.
July of 2004, shortly after the multiplayer of Halo 2 was demoed at E3 2004 showcasing the East African map of Zanzibar, an individual known only by the name of Brock Sampson Kills hijacked an existing thread of the Nightly.Net video game forum (as there was only one Halo thread allowed at the time). He transformed it into a haven for Halo 2 information, much of which covered subjects not talked about publicly. With the help of various newfound members, the page became one of the largest and longest of the message board’s history and contained a massive amount of Halo 2 information for being four full months from the release of the game.
Brock Sampson Kills apparently stumbled upon the mentioning of two multiplayer maps available in the privately-conducted Halo 2 multiplayer beta test. Although Zanzibar, Burial Mounds, Lockout and Waterworks had been discussed at length before, nothing was known of Lockout or Midship. Simply posting previews of them yielded the attention of several individuals who were able to play the beta. When they made contact with BSK, it wasn’t long before there was a cavalcade of withheld information being released.
Secrets on everything from the new control scheme of the Banshee vehicles to the difference between the now removed single-fire and burst-fire on the Battle Rifle were let loose and the result was a behemoth thread of discussion and deliberation, as well as a constant flood of new members. After a short while, several of the new members realized that the single thread alone would not contain the wealth of Halo discussion and interest. A small handful of intellectuals contacted the leadership of Nightly.Net to see if there could be afforded, even for temporary purposes, a separate Halo forum. The forum would cover all aspects of the Halo universe, including the first game, the novels, the machinima, and most importantly, the sequel, which, at the time of the request, was getting more attention than any other thread on the entire message board.
The leadership, along with a gaggle of Final Fantasy supporters who had long since secured their own forum, saw it fit to shaft the attempt at adding a home for the Halo community and chose to deny the group’s request. Their argument was against the long-term popularity of such a forum, claiming that there was not nearly enough demand for such a forum despite the over fifty members which had only registered because of the information emanating out of the single Halo thread. Halo 2 was later released on November 9th of that year and broke records in entertainment sales, generating a net amount of over $125 million in the first twenty-four hours of its release. Halo 2 became one of the most renowned video games in history and remains, firmly entrenched, as the most popular Xbox Live game played online.
The defeated group found new hope in generating their own community. After a variety of trial attempts, a handful of members forged together to create something new and separate from the excessively large and cumbersome thread. With this in mind, the group formed Ascendant Justice, named after the Covenant ship stolen by the Master Chief on his way back to Earth, prior to the events of Halo 2.
The ship’s name has many meanings on its own, but for this group, it meant one thing: Freedom.
This would be their justice, by creating their own forum they would establish a new precedence for the conduct and modicum of Halo fans, something which has always been continually suspect. And through this justice, they would ascend above the chaotic nonsense of most existing Halo communities and the ignorant, sectarian groups, such as Nightly.Net.
Members, BRASH and ivanjrn, took leadership roles in organizing content and administering the forum which eventually developed into a powerful source of Halo information, as well as a clearly defined community. The group eventually became a clan called The Ephorate, a testament to the Spartan influence that has driven their excitement for the game. The forum has flourished and its members include a select few which have proven loyal to not only a love for Halo, but also for video games as a whole.
Now, three years later, it has begun again. An individual by the name of Mr Vociferous created a website which would not only cover the factual information of the newly announced Halo 3, but review it with a fine-toothed comb, extracting every possible morsel released. The site, now called H3DA (the Halo 3 Data Archive), is a part of Ascendant Justice. The members, the site and its purpose have clearly proven that they stand the test of time. With Halo 3, Halo 2 Vista, the Halo: Ongoing comic, Halo: The Movie, and other exciting possibilities on the horizon, this brotherhood will remain intact and as strong as ever for many years to come.
With the advent of the new public aspects of Ascendant Justice, its members are looking to continue their quest for a Halo community beyond what is traditionally seen. Forging together a group of writers and content providers, their hope is to establish a new kind of Halo community. A far-reaching, inclusive group of people who love Halo and love video games. This group will have many qualities and it will be something wholly unique…
Something instinctively transcendent…something instrumentally ascendant.
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