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Like a lot of people, I was stoked about the launch of Halo 5. So when I heard 343 was throwing a launch party in Seattle at the same Microsoft store that they launched Halo 4, I knew I had to attend.  The event’s festivities started at 6pm on Oct. 26 and thankfully I got off work at 4pm. It took about 45mins to drive around Lake Washington to the event which was being held at the University Village location. This is my story.

-Begin Transmission-

4:45pm
Got in the back of the line. It being October in Seattle, it was lightly raining and cold. Good thing I remembered to dress warmly in prep for standing outside for long periods of time.

4:55pm
Spotted my first Spartan cosplayer and got a Halo 5 bracelet that guaranteed I’d make it in (only 300 were guaranteed a spot).
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5:00pm
Acquired a gift bag containing an activity pad, Halo 5 branded pen, and a rain poncho. There were two ponchos available. Either Master Chief or Spartan Locke. I got Master Chief. Now is when I prepared myself for the long wait. The event doesn’t start until 6pm and we can’t buy the game until 9pm. So it is going to be at least an hour standing outside in the drizzle and cold.

5:15pm
More Spartans have arrived and are beginning to assemble and gear up.
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5:55pm
Spartans have entered the Microsoft store through the back entrance. I assume to greet us as we enter the building.

6:00pm
Festivities have officially started and the line is ever so slowly moving. Everyone is now getting more excited.

6:15pm
Greeting people in line is none other than Steve Downes, the voice of Master Chief himself. He was kind enough to take a picture with me.
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6:18pm
A very tall and authentic looking Master Chief is at the door and the other Spartans are just inside. I grabbed a photo of Chief’s voice, now I need one with the Chief.
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6:20pm
Inside the Microsoft Store, registered for the raffle (which I never won any of the prizes….spoiler alert) and now to mill around until 9pm.

6:30pm
Apparently someone at the Microsoft store bought a bunch of bootleg Spartan helmets off Amazon for the event. I’m told the 343 PR people are not happy.

6:45pm
When did we decide as gamers that at every launch event and after party we love crappy DJ music?

6:50pm
Lining up to preorder order the game. Nothing like waiting until the last min!

7:45pm
After watching some people play the first level of the campaign and catching up with a buddy, now lining up in the preorder line to fully pay for the game I just preordered awhile ago.

8:00pm
The girl at the Microsoft store messed up my preorder. Instead of preordering the Limited Edition, she set me up with the Collectors Edition ($150 more and with a statue I have no room for). Unfortunately I’m told all the Limited Editions have already been sold, so the chap is going to try and see what he can do.

8:15pm
Spotted a wild Geoff Ramsey and Gus Sorola of Rooster Teeth fame while waiting for the mess-up to be resolved.
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8:20pm
So for the $40 that I put down for the preorder I now have the regular edition and the Halo 5 Limited Edition Xbox One controller. So it looks like I’ll have to try and buy the Limited Edition on my own and return somewhere or sell the regular edition.

9:00pm
What was an orderly preorder payment line has become a cluster-f of a line to pick up the game.

9:13pm
FINALLY the game (and controller) are in my bag (from earlier). Now to get in line to get the 11×17 Halo 5 poster signed.

9:30pm
Getting my poster signed by the heads of 343 Studios as well as Steve Downes (Master Chief) and Jen Taylor (Cortana). Everyone was SUPER nice, shook everyone’s hand, and took the time to chat a little bit. As a side note, I always thought that 343’s executive producer Kiki Wolfkill was very attractive (in addition to having a kickass name), but HOLY HELL she’s hot in person! Is she deliberately smiling right at me as I took this picture. I’d like to think so!
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9:39pm
Finally done…time to head home. Everyone that attended had a good time and you could tell everyone is super excited for Halo 5. I predict a lot of offices will be empty tomorrow. I know I won’t be into work, for tomorrow I hunt the Limited Edition and play some Halo 5!
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-End Transmission-

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