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Tribes: Ascend is a free-to-play multiplayer-only first-person shooter part of the Tribes franchise, developed by Hi-Rez Studios. The game favors high-speeds through skiing and jetpacks combined with some of the series’s classic weapons.
The popularity for the game picked up on the /v/ (video game) board of 4chan in sometime in late 2011 after the game was released to the public in closed-beta form, spread through codes that players could give to their friends.
Spread through Tribes: Ascend General threads, the game has gained a fanbase on 4chan’s /v/ board where players discuss the mechanics, make Shazbot jokes, and share fanart containing common phrases and images, such as the in-game voice commands or the helmets of the teams Diamond Sword or Blood Eagle.
Voice Game System
The Voice Game System, or VGS, is the communicating tool in the game. Throught the system, a variety of keystrokes lead to various commands. This allows players to organize gameplay and communicate quicker, but it also offers a variety of quick responses. The commands can often be found back in images and gifs related to the series. A complete list of commands with the translations can be found on the Tribes Wiki.
A term that originally started on the Mork and Mindy show, Shazbot is a euphemism for other curse-words and has been used multiple times in popular culture, including the Tribes series of videogames. Typified by it’s repeated use during Tribes: Ascend games, threads, and images, Shazbot (VGS through the communication system) has become one of the larger recurring phrases in the culture.
The Flag is an in-game item mainly used in the Capture the Flag gametype, the main gametype of the game. Being such well known item in gameplay, many images using Tribes: Ascend feature the flag in some way.
Gotta Go Fast
A reference to a Sonic the Hedgehog meme, Gotta Go Fast, is another commonly used phrase in the Tribes: Ascend culture. Tribes: Ascend tends to have very speedy gameplay through the use of jetpacks and the skiing mechanic, giving players the ability to cross giant maps in very little time. The phrase caught on through the playerbase’s obsession with going fast.