Greg Kirkpatrick on Marathon Infinity

"A bunch of you guys are on the right track, but I think that you're still not seeing the big picture."

Back in November 1996, Greg Kirkpatrick (Double Aught) posted a reply to criticism on Usenet that the Infinity
story was overdone. Greg in is usual manner answered with a serious of questions. Do they help to
explain the Marathon Infinity story? You be the judge. The full text of Greg's reply is given below.

From: (Grendel)
Subject: Re: Moo's Twisted Plot...
Date: 21 Nov 1996 19:41:47 GMT
Organization: Double Aught
Lines: 73
Message-ID: <grendel-2111961444510001@>
References: <> <> 
<> <> 
<> <> 

In article <>,
(General Rhad) wrote:

> In article <>, look@it.up
> (A.S.) wrote:
> > >  "thousands are sailing
> > >         the same self  the only self
> > 
> > >         self willed the peril of a thousand fates
> > 
> > >         a line of infinite ends  finite finishing
> > 
> > >         arching to the single point of
> > >         consciousness
> > 
> > >         find yourself
> > >         starting back"
> I think that it can be translated into the folowing...
> Lots of people
> But only one
> Doomed themselves
> Many possibilties, limited outcomes
> Coming together at one point on time
-- single point -- climax --
> Find yourself
> Doing it over
> Which can be translated into
> Everybody at Tau Ceti and the Marathon were toast from the start
> But somthing else could have happened
> But with one outcome
> Try another path for a change
> which supports my theory of M2 and M∞ being alternate stories.
> -- 
> "Save a Soul, Slay a Vampire."

Man this is a good thread.. Thanks for the feedback (someone's previous
post about the story being overdone.)  Actually to answer him - M∞ was
planned as an expansion for M2.  We basically locked down the story after
assuming that people were familiar with the previous games.

A bunch of you guys are on the right track, but I think that you're still
not seeing the big picture.  What's been going on since M1?  What do we
all dream about (non-Freudian)?  What in a general sense are all stories
about?  What is life about?  What does the Jjarro have to do with all
this?  What is the connection between dreams and reality?  What is the
connection between a story and reality?  What is the connection between
our perception and reality?

Answer these questions and you shall know the truth.

Greg k

Tell me of your homeworld, Usul

PS I cackle all the time, but this thread makes me cackle like crazy...

Head Tool
Double Aught,inc

Greg Kirkpatrick made the following comments on about a week earlier.

From: (Grendel)
Subject: Re: Decreasing emphasis on plots at Bungie?
Date: 15 Nov 1996 02:55:08 GMT
Organization: Double Aught
Lines: 57
Message-ID: <grendel-1411962157550001@>

In article <>, look@it.up
(A.S.) wrote:

> In article <>,
> (Ian J. Ball) wrote:
> > I'd rate it this way: the first half or 2/3 of MI had a good plot, much
> > better than M2, as you tried to figure out what was going on. 
> > 
> > But somewhere in the second half of the game, the plot became, I don't
> > know, less interesting. And I'm in the camp that thinks the ending was
> > quite disappointing. We never get an explaination as to what was going on
> > earlier in the game. And no Leela, which was also disappointing.
> > 
> > Frankly, I'd only rate the first half or so of MI's plot as better than
> > M2's. But I liked the ending of M2 a lot more, and I think MI runs out of
> > gas in the last half of the game.
> > 
> > Overall, I guess I'd agree with Steve.
> Um, if they told you exactly what happened in the end, it would suck. The
> great thing about Marathon's plot is that you can spend month trying to
> figure it out. People who expect a plot that reveals all without any
> thought on the part of the player would probably enjoy DOOM type games
> more than those who like to think about it.

Personally, I like the ending in Marathon Infinity the best of them all.


I thought I'd throw in my opinion here, as one of the primary creators of
the Marathon story.  I can see why people would think that the Infinity
story gets weaker towards the end.  Knowing this, I know that as a
storyteller I have failed somewhat.  But I can also assure you that the
end of the story does the difficult trick of actually ending the
story(something that we forgot to do in Marathon 1 and 2.), although what
happens exactly is subtle.  

As for Double Aught and our opinions of story (the universally accepted
Double Aught view):

Read my lips:

Computer games tell stories.

That's what they're for.

Greg K

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double aught software

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