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The Bungie Pentathlon

We call this ritual the Pentathlon. Its call to war is legend within our house. On this day, dueling schools of tenure butt heads to establish their dominance over the rest of our clan. Old scores will be settled by the scoreboard. Amidst these assorted trials, we meditate on all that is glorious and sacred about the act and the art of playing games.{{more}}

This year, our family has grown again.  As a result, we’ve altered our hallowed tradition to include a brand new school made up of our eldest ancients and switched up the format to follow suit.

Speaking of our eldest, the idea issued forth from the mind of Marty O’Donnell himself, fresh off of last year’s crippling defeat at the hands of Middle School.  Here’s the scoop on the new school, straight from the maestro:

“It just didn’t seem right that you can hit a ceiling at Bungie that can only be conquered by death. Now, once you’ve been here long enough, you transcend the normal schools and become a free agent of wisdom and insight for whatever lowly team has the honor of your ghostly presence. Also, it helps the veterans meet some rookies.”

Introducing... Disembodied Souls

“Tell your mother… Well, just tell her.”
The keepers of Bungie’s eternal flame have craved a sip from the cup of victory for far too long, only to see their prize claimed (again and again) by more invested schools arriving fresh to the fight.  Their bloodlust has overcome their loyalty to old allegiances.  They’ve shed the last remaining vestiges of their physical form to move freely among us. The other schools must now feed their thirst for victory. 

The rookies of mention will staff four mighty teams whose rosters are still set by tenure.  Age will combat beauty. Unbridled enthusiasm will challenge battle-forged wisdom.
“What’s a Halo?”
Every single student in this youngest of factions has joined Bungie to help build our brave new world.  They can only relate to the phenomenon of the Pentathlon through the warnings scribbled on walls of infrequently visited corners in our compound.  Nothing will prepare them for the carnage that is about to sweep them up in its wake.

Middle School
“Old enough to know and young enough to do?”
So mighty has been the swell of new faces that have crashed onto our shores, that even some of our adolescent combatants are experiencing the unique violence of a Bungie family meeting for the first time.  There will be leaders among them who know the pitfalls.  Their shouted commands will need to be loud to overcome the din.  Our Middle School is filled with hope and energy, as well as a boast that new blood coursing through the veins of Bungie is just as cunning as the old.

Old Skool
“Who stole my youth?”
Many of these geniuses were forced to skip Middle School.  They’ll claim that their intelligence was too fierce for intermediate learning.  In truth, their graduation into adulthood was fast-tracked to free up the classrooms for the stampede of fresh talent.  These accelerated Old Skoolers have a playbook for victory that has been proven on the field.  They will be fueled by a burning desire to prove that every kernel of the greatness that has been thrust upon them has been well earned.

Grizzled Ancients
“What do you mean we aren't on Marty's team?”
Often barely recognizable as human, the Ancients have seen things.  Having been thrust onto the throne before they expected to rule, each of them is fully worthy of the title reserved for those of us who are no longer surprised by Bungie’s brand of madness.  As the founders of this retirement society evolve into a more hideous form, a new breed of elder will be called up to restore glory to the wizened sect.

The Syllabus of Lessons.
To establish supremacy among the schools, we will play games.  The field of events sets forth a gauntlet of contests and problem solving that will challenge every fold of the brain.  Wits will be matched.  Reflexes will race to react to a menagerie of threats.

We enjoyed Valve’s fantastical battle arena of strategy and sorcery so much last year, we’ve helped ourselves to a rematch.  Five players on each team will combine strengths and cunning to lay waste to their opponents using magic and anti-magic.

Forza 4
Another repeat performance, only this time the track will welcome twice the number of drivers.  Each school will sponsor two racing teams.  Custom paint will be judged by the watching world in a fashion show of automotive decoration.

Texas Hold ‘Em
Fold ‘em.  Ante up. Place your bets.  You know the drill.  And so do the sharks who’ve been polishing up their lucky charms for weeks.  They know when to walk away.  They know when to run.

The name provokes as much laughter as the game itself.  Sink your bag into a hole and…  You know, it’s just too hard to talk about this game without sounding like a total creep.  Just think of a social engagement that stakes out the intersection between basketball and bocce ball, using a beanbag.

Johann Sebastian Joust
This is a dance – set to the arrangements of Bach.  It’s a game of chicken, judged by the accelerometer.  The first to flinch will upset the motion sensor and be ejected from the ring.  Imagine a duel of the sumo in which each competitor is given a bomb rigged with a mercury switch.

For the veterans of the Pentathlon, this cerebral conundrum is a crowd favorite.  Our Riddler-in-Chief, Roger Wolfson, plots and schemes all year long to craft a maze that will take teams of cyphers all day to navigate.  You think Mail Sack puzzles are hard?  This war of wits induces brain damage.

[Name Withheld – Event Confidential 1]
[Name Withheld – Event Confidential 2]
Top secret.  Even the names of these two events are shrouded in mystery. Externally, that means cryptic coverage and redacted details. Internally, these will be the ones to watch.  Regardless of the ultimate tally on the scoreboard, legends will be made.

The revolution was televised.
The webcams are blind again, but this was the last thing they saw...

And, the Fist goes to the Ancients!

DOTA 2   0   3   5   1
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POKER   5   3   0   1
CORNHOLE   0   1   3   5
JOUST   1   3   0   5
PUZZLEHUNT   0   3   1   5
TOP SECRET 1   1   0   3   5
TOP SECRET 2   5   1   0   3
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