Halo: The Master Chief Collection has a so-called "mystery" achievement, whose description is simply "inscrutable, mysterious." The way to unlock it might seem totally arbitrary (and kinda lame), but it actually ties into a story from Halo's distant past.

As seen in videos like this one from OneTickShaka, unlocking the achievement is as simple as creating a custom multiplayer game and naming it ".fortune". After that you get a quick prompt and then, boom, achievement.

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But why? Well, a post on Reddit suggested that it's actually a reference to the very first Halo, so I did some digging. Turns out, .fortune was a goofy easter egg in Halo: Combat Evolved that allowed you to get a nice, uplifting Fortune-Cookie-style fortune by using the word as a map or profile name.

Fortunes included:

  • All your hard work will eventually pay off
  • Everything lies in silence.
  • If anything just cannot go wrong, it will anyway.
  • Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
  • Never wear your best pants when fighting for freedom.
  • Rest is good, but idleness is its brother.
  • Don't wear your best pants in war.
  • Smile when you're ready.

OK, maybe not all of them are uplifting. They're not all fortunes, either. I have a 45-minute rant about fortunes that aren't fortunes (I'm a hit at parties), but I'll save it for another time.

Apparently there was also a similar gag in Bungie brother-in-arms Myth, which itself might have been a reference to the "fortune" command found in many Unix distributions. The rabbit hole goes deep, eventually striking a rich vein of geeky in-jokes.

Halo: Master Chief Collection's wink to it is a pretty cool throwback, in other words—even if it seems kinda dumb at first. Given all the history 343's managed to cram into this one—all the piping hot nostalgia they've affectionately ladled out—it's quite a shame that it released in such a buggy state. I don't know what exactly happened behind the scenes, but here's hoping they get a handle on it asap. Master Chief is supposed to give bombs to his enemies, not star in them.