Blam (meme)

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"Blam!" is a recurring phrase in Bungie lore with violent or otherwise impactful connotations. The Oni community mainly uses "blam" to designate a crash of the Oni app, as discussed HERE, because of the dialog that pops up on such occasions (Windows builds only).

In Bungie lore

The first public "blam!"? (Minotaur read-me, 1992)
 Alex: Hey Jason, what number do you have?
 Jason: Number 5.
 Alex: Chucky?
 Chucky:  Number 4.
 Alex: good dude, I have number 4 too.
 Chucky: Then switch, fool.
 Alex: (CENSORED) me! I'm the host. You switch numbers!
 Chucky: Oh yeah? Well you can (CENSORED) me too! Number 4 is my favorite!
 Jason: It doesn't matter which number you have, chump. I'm gonna spank you anyway.
 Alex: Hee hee
 Chucky: Fine, fine. I'll switch to number 2. Bunch of whining...(incoherent grumbling)
 Alex: Sweet. Here we go...prepare to diiiiie!!
 Jason: BLAM!
from HERE ("Jan 31" post near the bottom)

Used as a simple onomatopoeia, "blam" can be traced as far back as 1992, Bungie's second year of existence, with new usage and backstory accumulating over the years.

Shown on the right is its first documented occurrence, used in the context of a chat while organizing a multiplayer match in Minotaur: Labyrinths of Crete. The three participants are Bungie founders Alex Seropian and Jason Jones plus Charlie Gough. The chat was included in a supplementary read-me on how to start a game.

Two more occurrences of "blam" were spotted in late 1994, tied to Marathon's release: the letter "blamma" and a gunshot-like "<Blam!>". The latter example confirms the primary meaning of a multiplayer kill.

With Marathon released and Marathon 2 in the works, the phrase was apparently popularized at the Chicago office by Robert ("Robt") McLees, as per the official account in The Art of Halo:

The name "Blam!" stemmed from folks yelling the word in Bungie offices when they were in Chicago. Located near a busy street, the Bungie team could hear numerous near-collisions between cars outside. "You'd hear the screech of tires, and then nothing," explained Robt McLees, "so I'd yell 'Blam!' Just so there was some sense of completion."

The Art of Halo: Creating a Virtual World (page ix)

The fan site also attributes the meme to McLees, even naming a specific year (1995), but without mentioning Chicago streets.

Introduced by Rob McLees (Art Director) blam is commonly used by Bungie folks as "an exclamation upon decisively killing someone in a netgame".'s Blam page

McLees's involvement marks a transition from private use of "blam" by Bungie staff members to a bona fide meme. Starting in 1995, cryptic instances of "blam" were injected into Bungie's games, manuals and promotional material. This caused much speculation in the community, especially after "Blam!" was picked as a codename for Halo, with Bungie going as far as to register the, and domains. See HERE for the most complete overview of "blam sightings" assembled in 1998-2000 amidst the Halo hype.

The most prominent in-game occurrence of "Blam!" before Oni is probably in Myth II's Stair of Grief, where it is shouted by grenade-happy dwarves.

In Oni


Apart from the fatal error dialog (right), the single most remarkable occurrence of "blam" in Oni is when Konoko, having disrupted Muro's plan, feels compelled to type "blam! love, little sister" at the final Sturmanderung console. Although this deed fits in well with the carefree attitude of Myth dwarves or Bungie's LAN sessions, it is somewhat unsettling in the context of Oni's ending, considering that Konoko is thwarting ("pwning") Muro at the cost of countless innocent lives.

On a visual level, "blam" occurs in the form of a (barely readable) badge worn by ACC engineers, possibly foreshadowing Konoko's decision to blow up the ACCs (and the engineers) later on. In early development, "British Land & Air Mobile Transport" was written acrostically on some cargo containers; possibly this was a precursor or an alternative to BGI.

An occurrence of "blam" outside the game occurs in kana form, ブラム (buramu), as an element of the Oni matrix. Somewhat strangely, "Blam!" is never uttered by Oni's Mad Bombers.

Also see