Blasts from the Past

"...you cannot hide from your own past; such delusions belong to the humans alone."


A section devoted to those little snippets of early Marathon (and Bungie) history. Because... all those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.

Click on an item in the list below to take you there. Feel the nostalgia.

Bungie related

Bungie's 1st Web Page (The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site)
Bungie's 2nd Web Page
The original Marathon box sticker
Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack
The Marathon Poster
The Marathon Keychain
The Origin of the Caps Lock key controversy!
Missing Boxes and the Installer from Hell
The Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament
The Marathon Macworld Mayhem 2 Tournament
Bungie's 20% off Dollar
The CyberMaxx VR Headset
Bungie's Bungievision
Ling-Ling
Eric Klein, Jr.
Bungie's Dear Bob letter
The Marathon Bumper Sticker
America's Funniest Marathon Replays
Super Marathon
The Marathon Trilogy Box Set Trivia Contest
The Bungie Webmaster
The Ming Choy
The Marathon 2 Charity Auction
The Marathon Christmas Card
The Mystery of the Seventh Head
Last Polygon Filled Day
Marathon Home Videos
Bungie's 1st MacWorld Stampede
The Marathon Infinity Map Making Contest
The End
Marathon 2: Durandal Strategy Guide
Double Aught related
ydnar on Infinity
Double Aught's Coriolis Loop netmap pack
The Battle of Brooklyn
Interviews, Online Conferences and Features
The eWorld Conference Transcripts
The AOL Conference Transcripts 17 Feb '95
Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus interview with Jason Jones
Agents of Cool interview with Alex Seropian, Doug Zartman, Rob McLees and Mark Bernal
Game Boys
The Official Strategy Guide Interview
The Alain Roy interview
The Jay Barry interview
Monsters in a Box
Strata's interview with Rob McLees
Inside Mac Games Interview with Bungie Software 1995
Early Marathon Screenshots
The 5th Dec 1994 MacWEEK screenshot
The first ever Marathon screenshot
Press Reviews and Sneak Peaks
Inside Mac Games Sneak Peek of Marathon
Inside Mac Games Sneak Peek of Marathon 2
A midnight walk on Lh'owon
The Controversial Macworld Marathon 2 Review
Special CDs with Marathon material
The DISC
THE DISC II
The Compuserve CD
The Codewarrior CD
Fan related
Early Marathon usenet humor
Marathon Secrets 1.5
The Marathon Comic
The 10th Warrior movie
The original Marathon's Story page
The Conversatron: Can you briefly summarize the plot of the Marathon series?
Mac Hall's "Now With Better Support" cartoon (aka Jjaro Boxers)
Chips, oh delicious chips
Ian McConville's "WasDurandal" movie
Bungie's Magical Mystery Tour of Chicago
The Marathon Gold Hoax
Beck 2 - Spår i Mörker
Blood Tides of Lh'owon - Sneak Peek


Oh yes... they'll be more... lots more... ;-)




The 5th Dec 1994 MacWEEK screenshot (307K).

On the 5th Dec 1994 MacWEEK published an article by Robert Hess on Bungie's soon to be released game Marathon. The article included a screenshot from the game. If you were around at the time you'll probably remember seeing this. It caused quite a stir amongst those of us awaiting the full game. Here's an old post from comp.sys.mac.games concerning it.

From: jaelee@bigwpi.WPI.EDU (Jae Hyuk Lee) Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games Subject: New Marathon screenshot in MacWeek Date: 15 Dec 1994 18:25:06 GMT Organization: Worcester Polytechnic Institute Lines: 13 Message-ID: <3cq1m2$ebn@bigboote.WPI.EDU> NNTP-Posting-Host: bigwpi.wpi.edu For those of you who are dying to see more screenshots from Marathon, check out the December 5th issue of MacWeek. There is a screenshot from Marathon showing a new species of aliens. Three of them are standing on a ledge (with what looks like magma -volcanic eruption, melting rock- on either side) with you. They are wearing a green Flintstones-like suit and have an egg-shaped head with a green gem-like eye in the center. One of them is being thrown back/killed with an assault rifle (?), the weapon selection right after the pistol. I'm sorry, but that's the best description I can give. Perhaps someone else can do better. I'd scan/upload the screenshot, but I don't know how and I don't want any trouble with copyright.

The screenshot was scanned in and uploaded to the net. Unfortunately the web site that carried it has long since gone and this little piece of Marathon history was thought lost... until now. Thanks to Todd Bangerter <tabanger@husc.harvard.edu> the original article has been found and scanned in again. This time it will not be lost. Todd you rule!


Well I didn't think I'd ever find this. Years ago I had asked Bungie to track it down... but it appeared lost. But it was there... hidden away... along with many other items of Marathon memorabilia. The past will be preserved. Here is the original eggheads screenshot (93K) used in the MacWeek Dec '94 article mentioned above.




The Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack.

Another piece of Marathon lore, kindly sent in by Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu>. Remember this one? The Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack was not as many people think 20 solo levels and 10 net levels, but the other way around! Here's a comp.sys.mac.games post concerning it.

From: stattenf@apple.com (Keith Stattenfield) Date: 1995/04/10 MessageID: stattenf-1004951535240001@17.127.10.51#1/1 sender: news@gallant.apple.com references: <jbrown41-0504950935480001@jamin-brown.umeres.maine.edu> <straylight-0604950115410001@slip-d-16.ots.utexas.edu> organization: Apple Computer, Inc. newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games In article <straylight-0604950115410001@slip-d-16.ots.utexas.edu>, straylight@mail.utexas.edu (Jeff Kievlan) wrote: > In article <jbrown41-0504950935480001@jamin-brown.umeres.maine.edu>, > jbrown41@maine.maine.edu (Jamin A Brown) wrote: > > > Well, I thought the release for the 20/10 level pack from Bungie was in > > March, it is now April, and I haven't seen any posts about it. Anyone > > heard anything? > > > Yeah. It's going to be released in two weeks. :^) :^( > > Here we go again...... > > Jeff Kievlan straylight@mail.utexas.edu > _________________________________________________________________ > "They're Everywhere!!!" -Bob I called and spoke with someone at Bungie just last week. They don't think the 20/10 level pack will be available until June, and they are not taking orders for it at this time. -Keith -- Keith Stattenfield "My opinion's, not Apple's." stattenf@apple.com


On 19 July 1995, Matt Soell (Bungie Tech Support) posted an announcement for Marathon 2 on AOL. In it he wrote the following about the 20/10 Scenario Pack:

As a result of the redirected efforts of our programmers, we've halted development of the Marathon 20/10 Pack. We decided, after much soul-searching, that our customers would be happier with a brand new game than an extension of an old one. I understand that some of you have been eagerly awaiting the 20/10 Pack for a while now, and this news might come as somewhat of a disappointment. All I can say is that Marathon 2 will more than make up for it. This is way cooler than just new levels; Marathon 2 will bring the state of Mac games to a whole new level.

What was originally planned 'story-wise' for this 10 level solo scenario? We may never know.




A midnight walk on Lh'owon (144K).

On the 24th July 1995 MacWEEK published an article by Mac the Knife with the enigmatic title "A midnight walk on Lh'owon". Some five days earlier Bungie had officially announced Marathon 2 development. For many people this was their first chance to get a look at the new game. Unless of course you had the leaked Preview. ;-) Here's a comp.sys.mac.games post about it, under the misleading title of "Just Saw Marathon 2 Demo"

Re: Just Saw Marathon 2 Demo From: lewallen@onramp.net (Tim Lewallen) Date: 1995/07/25 MessageID: lewallen-2507951334520001@lub02.onramp.net#1/1 references: <bdevine-2007951354150001@slip-5-3.ots.utexas.edu> <cknox-2107951402130001@jumpnet.uoregon.edu> <asc1-2507951153570001@central-113-154.dorm.duke.edu> organization: On-Ramp; Individual Internet Connections; Dallas/Ft Worth/Houston, TX USA newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games In article <asc1-2507951153570001@central-113-154.dorm.duke.edu>, asc1@acpub.duke.edu (Aaron Sundance Cobb) wrote: > In article <cknox-2107951402130001@jumpnet.uoregon.edu>, > cknox@gladstone.uoregon.edu (Cory Knox) wrote: > > > I would like to believe you. Do you have any proof (maybe a cool screen > > shot)? > > I could upload a cool screen shot. Of course, it would be a complete > forgery, but it would be a cool screen shot nonetheless... (wink) > > Aaron Sundance Cobb The latest MacWeek has a screen shot in the Mac the Knife column. Someone with a scanner should scan that puppy and post it for all to see. It looks pretty keen. The Bobs have guns! Tim Lewallen "Good manners are never a waste of time", Cyrus Redblock - ST:TNG.


Thanks again to Todd Bangerter <tabanger@husc.harvard.edu> for scanning in yet another blast from the past.




The original Marathon box sticker

If you bought Marathon when it first came out you would have found inside the box, in addition to a number of other goodies, a sticker. Big deal I hear you say! Yeah but an original Marathon box sticker in mint condition (NOT peeled off the side of your Mac - we know who you are!) will now set you back $40 assuming you were lucky enough to find one at the last Marathon Convention. So folks don't accept any fakes or tacky reproductions. Insist on the original commodity.

Jack Miller <jack@radionics.com> writes to say that he has a whole bunch of those original Marathon Stickers. He got them at Macworld Boston August 1994. Which is interesting since it indicates that Bungie had decided at this stage in development to run with the title U.E.S.C. Then again as Jack says "the game was done except for the boxes", at least that's what he was told. ;)

Jack's collection of Marathon Stickers runs into the "high double digits" so if you are lucky you might be able to pick up a few from him. But be quick they're going fast, I've ordered seven already!

On June 15, 1997 Jason Harper <76703.4222@compuserve.com> made the following startling discovery. Jason wrote:

It didn't look like anyone was going to respond to my request for hi-res scans of the sticker barcodes, so I made another attempt at decoding them by hand. I was successful this time, once I realized that there was some unnecessary space between some of the barcode characters. Here are the results:

On the U.E.S.C Marathon sticker:

LEELA SHIP OPERATIONS

On the Celer Manus Dei sticker:

DURANDAL AUTONOMOUS FUNCTIONS

On the Cr'etz'ih sticker:

TYCHO SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

I have to say I'm disappointed... I was hoping for some profound revelation, not info that we've all known since the second level of the original Marathon.

Of perhaps more interest is the barcode on the original Marathon sticker. I can't find mine anywhere, but there is a scanned version in the Blasts From The Past section here. The scan wasn't done at a high enough resolution to be quite readable: notice that there are some areas where the bars have blurred together. However, by making some guesses about what's actually in the blurred areas, I was able to produce a self-consistent decoding of the message. As with the Trilogy stickers, it's in Code 39 without the required start/stop characters. Code 39 has a fair amount of redundancy in it, and the decoded characters make sense together, so I'm fairly confident that my result is accurate. It is:

DOOMSUCKS

Amazing! For two and half years this Bungie secret has remained undiscovered. How many other secrets are still out there... waiting?

Just in case you had any doubts about this here is a comparison of the the relevant letters in Code 39 format along with the actual barcode on the Marathon Sticker. A perfect match I think you'll agree. You can find more details about Code 39 on Wikipedia.




The eWorld Conference Transcripts.

Read for the first time the REAL unedited Jan 1995 eWorld Conference Transcript! Kindly preserved by Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu>. Here's a snippet.

Tuncer: Hey J, I'm outta here. Thanks again for coming, I'll call you tomorrow about the Making of...

BungieCorp : tuncer!!!!!!!!!!!!:: don't leave me with these people!!!!!




The AOL Conference Transcripts 17 Feb '95.

On the 17th February 1995 Tuncer Deniz of Inside Mac Games held a Mac Games Conference on AOL with Alexander Seropian, CEO of Bungie Software. Unlike the eWorld Conference Transcripts which were made widely available on the Internet the AOL conference transcripts have laid buried in the AOL time vaults. Thanks to Cindy Hoffa <cynho@earthlink.net> the Marathon's Story page is now able to bring you the first of two AOL conference transcripts with Bungie software. The 17 Feb '95 AOL Conference Transcripts are historically interesting for a number of reasons:

1. Unlike previous conferences there was an increasing appreciation for the Marathon plot.
2. Bungie Software had just closed their official Marathon World Wide Web page and Alexander Seropian briefly explains the reasoning behind this.
3. Alexander Seropian also hints at the possibility of a Marathon 2. Alex wrote:

"The 20/10 pack? It is supposed to come out in March, but to be honest we are considering rolling it into another product which won't come out til later."

The old mystery of the moving egg appears again too!




The Origin of the Caps Lock key controversy!

In Dec '94 Inside Mac Games (IMG) magazine published a Strategy and Tactics section for the Marathon demo. The demo had only been officially released the previous month. Written by Tuncer Deniz (IMG editor) and Greg Kirkpatrick (Bungie Software) it contained helpful hints on weapon use, net tactics and walkthroughs for each of the solo demo levels. The Strategy and Tactics section ended with a short guide to Vid-Mastery. Part of this was concerned with the use of the Caps Lock key for running. If you presently use the Caps Lock key you should read this. Remember this is what Bungie thought of the practice way... way... back before the full game was released.

Oh yes! some people caught on pretty quick too.

From: hfocd@aol.com (HFO CD) Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games Subject: Re: Marathon, blapheme quarantine Date: 23 Dec 1994 10:14:30 -0500 Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364) Lines: 8 Sender: root@newsbf02.news.aol.com Message-ID: <3depgm$6qo@newsbf02.news.aol.com> References: <3dcu6q$ou@portal.gmu.edu> Reply-To: hfocd@aol.com (HFO CD) Bungie says that using caps as the run key is for dorks.. hehe _________________________________ If you really want it, go for it And... IF someone doesn't give it to you, take out your ASSULT RIFLE and ask nicely! MARATHON RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! __________________________________


Check your preferences file... for the tru7h!


Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes:

I just noticed an exception to one of Bungie's vid-rules. On some older keyboards (like my friend Mike's), you can't hold down more than two keys at once. So that would be an exception to the 'never use caps-lock' rule, because the keyboard doesn't recognise caps-lock as being 'held down' when it's on. Using caps as his run key is the only way Mike can play Marathon succesfully, because he can't run (forward) and shoot, or shoot and sidestep, or run and sidestep, etc etc... at the same time without it.

Forrest describes these keyboards as:

the old Apple keyboards, the non-extended ones with no keypad or 'special' (help, home, end, etc...) keys, or FKeys, and the power key is above the whole thing instead of in the corner.

Simon Brownlee <squeaky@pobox.com> writes:

The keyboard problem (mentioned on the blasts from the past page) also applies to PB keyboards. With the official 'PowerBook Keys', you can't fire, strafe and move at the same time.

Simon describes his experiences playing Marathon on a PowerBook:

I used the keyboard first, and couldn't figure out what was going wrong. I'd be running along, and as soon as I fired, I stopped moving. Then I figured out you can only have 3 keys (plus modifies) at a time




The Marathon's Story page as it first appeared on the 19th Sept 1995. Just a piece of nostalgia. :-)




The Marathon Keychain.

The Marathon Kechain first appeared in Bungie's Summer 1995 Catalog for $5.50 or free if you spent over $75. The catalog was humerously entitled "More Things From Bungie To Waste Your Money On".

While Bungie had issued an earlier Spring 1995 Catalog the Marathon Keychain was not listed for sale at that time.

Back in September 1997, I had the opportunity to ask Matt Soell (Bungie Software) about the Marathon Keychain, how many were made and what happened to them all. He replied:

Reg originally wanted to make only twenty keychains and distribute them
strictly to Bungie employees and close friends. The place where he had
them fabricated had a minimum order policy of 100 units, so we were left
with roughly 80 extra keychains. Quoth Alex, "Sell 'em!" So we tried to
sell them at trade shows and through our catalogs, but met with little
success. I think we sold an average of one a month. In the meantime, we
would give them away to friends of Bungie who stopped by the office. I
always thought it was a really neat item, and surprised that people never
seemed to like it as much as I did.

Slowly, over a period of several months, the number of keychains in the
keychain drawer dwindled until they were all gone. Shortly thereafter,
we received a dozen separate orders for a keychain. Oh well.

As far as I know, all 100 are still in existence. I still have mine but
have retired it from active service, as it tended to swing against my
dashboard while driving, creating a "Tell-Tale Heart"-esque effect.
Everyone who works here owns one, and the rest belong to friends of ours
or hardcore Marathon fans. Since you are both a friend of Bungie and a
hardcore Marathon fan, you are in a small and exclusive club indeed. :-)


-Matt


Matthew Soell
Director of Customer Support
Bungie Software
matt@bungie.com


Back in Apr 20, 1998, Kyjel Shaytolmae <kyjel@mailexcite.com> tracked down J. Reginald Dujour, Marathon artist and person responsible for creating the Marathon symbol, and asked him what it represented. He replied:

I designed the icon to represent a world within a world... Marathon the spaceship being build inside a hollowed asteroid.


Chad Poland <cgp@doubleaught.com>, ever the observant one, points out that there are seven rings on the Marathon Keychain, including the ring for the keys.


Here's a pic of another Marathon Keychain found on the 1st Jan 2003. Note the wear and tear.


Randy Reddig (formerly of Double Aught) claimed he owned a Marathon Keychain. He wrote in a Story forum post in January 2003:

I had one. Unfortunately after a few years the top eyehole (where the chain connects) snapped.


Here's a pic of another Marathon Keychain found on Apr 22, 2003. Matt Soell (Bungie) is the bearer.


Here are two pics (top view and side view) of a Marathon Keychain bought off eBay by Claude Errera for $82 in Sept 2005. Ten years after Marathon was released! The former owner was Jim Ruiz, Mr. Bungie Store prior to the move to Microsoft.


The rarity of the Marathon Keychain makes it one of the most highly prized Marathon collectables. Indeed, some people unable to get their hands on the real thing have created their own versions of the Marathon keychain. Here are just a few examples over the years: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7,




Early Marathon usenet humor.

Some of the humor that appeared on comp.sys.mac.games during the 'long' build up to the release of Marathon was priceless. Much of the humor was at the expense of Bungie's delay in releasing Marathon and the beta leaks. At least some people saw the funny side of all this.

Below are some of the funny posts that appeared at the time. If you have or know of any early Marathon usenet humor please send it in and I'll add it here.

Let's get the ball rolling with one of the classics. The true story behind the Marathon delay. This was actually added to the Story page back in Nov 23, 1996.

A selection of usenet humor added to the Story page back in Nov 26, 1996. These were mostly concerned with "the Marathon demo released" and "the location of the leaked beta".

Thanks to Jeff Wood <beezwax@oro.net> for sending in these early Marathon posts. What's really funny about these posts is that there is a grain of truth in them. Many people did react this way. Oh yeah note the reference to the 'seven'. ;-)

David Barabe, author of the true story behind the Marathon delay, sent in a snail mail reply he received from Doug Zartman (Bungie Software) concerning his comp.sys.mac.games post. You can read a scan of it here (103K). The story goes like this. Tuncer Deniz (then editor of Inside Mac Games) saw David's post, printed it out and faxed it to Bungie. Why not! It was and still is a classic. Note in the original copy of the fax you can just about make out the date at the top (Nov. 08 1994 02:11PM). In June 1995 Doug Zartman wrote a short note at the end of the fax and sent it to David. Apparently the fax had been lying around Bungie's office until then. Doug points out in his reply to David that back in Nov '94 there were only four Bungie employees. Who? Well most likely Doug, Greg Kirkpatrick, Reginald Dujour, and Ryan Martell. Jason Jones and Alexander Seropian would have been regarded as employers. Alain Roy, the seventh and final member of the Marathon team, was a summer intern working for almost nothing and a 660av machine Bungie gave him when he finished.


Since we're on the subject of humor here is some more early Marathon usenet humor. When the Marathon demo was released back in Nov '94 people played it incessantly leading to a thread on comp.sys.mac.games appropriately called:

You Know You've Been Playing Marathon Too Long When...
It might appear dated now but it was funny at the time.

Marathon usenet themes have a tendency to occur in cycles so it wasn't surprising to find a similar type thread several months later:

You know you are obsessed with Marathon when...


Here's some more early usenet humor:

Marathon: Major Damage Turns Me Into Girlie Man. Early "Vidmaster" talk and criticism. Check out those films. Remember they only work with the Marathon Demo v0.0.

Marathon fisting session. More early "Vidmaster" talk. Another film that only works with the Marathon Demo v0.0.

The digital equivalent of masturbating. Guess what happens when you play the Marathon Demo for too long? ;-)




The DISC.

On July 18, 1995 Power Computing Corporation, the first company to license and ship Macintosh OS compatibles, announced the The DISC, featuring an exclusive, playable demo of Marathon 2: Durandal. The Disc would be distributed free to attendees of Macworld Boston '95.

Whatever you do, don't leave Boston without a free copy of "The Disc."

If you weren't going to make it to the Expo there was also a chance of getting any leftover copies directly from Power Computing. All you had to do was fill in an on-line application form.

Power Computing's press release was the first public announcement of a sequel to Marathon. Bungie's own press release appeared a day later along with a post by Matt Soell on AOL.

A day after Bungie's announcement two people posted to comp.sys.mac.games claiming they had seen the so-called "demo". As expected Marathon fans went wild with excitement causing not one but three usenet groups to be flooded with Marathon gossip. Two Marathon 2 web pages were announced a day later and shortly afterwards MacWEEK published Mac the Knife's A midnight walk on Lh'owon article. Marathon fever was at an all time high. Of course the inevitable happened the Marathon 2 "demo" was leaked prior to the Expo and fans wanted it. There was a strong feeling of déjà vu about all this.

How did the leak happen? Matt Soell had this to say on the subject in a post on comp.sys.mac.games.action and Doug Zartman's comments on the subject were later quoted in the UK version of MacUser.

While Power Computing's press release claimed that The Disc would contain a 'demo' of Marathon 2 it was in fact a preview of the game. The official Marathon 2 Demo was to be released after MacWorld. The Demo/Preview name confusion was fuelled by the fact that the Preview's end screen claimed that you had just completed the Marathon 2 Demo.

Because the official Marathon 2 Demo was to be released shortly after Macworld the Preview carried a big PLEASE DO NOT UPLOAD notice on the opening screen. However the Preview had already been leaked weeks earlier and although the Preview was billed as a limited edition Macworld Expo thing it later appeared on many Mac magazine CDs and Bungie's own limited edition Pathways Into Darkness CD. Even so "The Disc" from Macworld still remains the definitive collectors item.

Power Computing's press release also claimed that the 'Preview' would have four levels. Indeed the back of The Disc's CD cover also indicated this. However nobody could find the mysterious fourth level nor identify the CD cover's screenshot.

Interestingly enough the Preview that was being distributed on The Disc by Power Computing was an earlier version of the one actually demoed at Bungie's own expo booth. Steve Wood, a well known Marathon afficionado at the time, posted his Bungie booth observations on comp.sys.mac.games.action. Lots of tidbits in Steve's post. The weapon graphic changes were confirmed in a latter MacUser screenshot. But that's another story...



Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> points out that unlike the Marathon Demo there is no Read Me with the Marathon 2 Demo. Yet there was a Read Me with the Marathon 2 Preview. Why was the Read Me dropped when the Marathon 2 Demo was released?

Interesting point. The Read Me with the Marathon 2 Preview that came on "The Disc" was called Absolutely DO NOT Read This! and was simply a re-edited version of the Marathon Demo DON'T READ THIS!!! Read Me. Indeed whole sections are exactly the same. You'll also note that the Preview's Read Me began with the line:

Welcome to the "Marathon 2: Durandal" Demo.

which further added to the Preview/Demo name confusion (see above).

Strangely there was no mention of swimming in the Preview's Read Me. "HOLD ON!" you cry there was NO swimming in the M2 Preview. Yes indeed. This early version of the Marathon 2 engine was designed without swimming as Doug Zartman indicated in the Marathon Scrapbook. In the Marathon 2 Demo you could swim but only if you constantly tapped the "run" key. But as there was no Read Me how would you know this little trick. Indeed if you used the Caps Lock key for running you might never have discovered this unless somebody told you about it. Odd stuff! Of course Bungie did say that you should never ever use the Caps Lock key for running. ;-)

Nevertheless it's strange why there was never any Read Me with the Marathon 2 Demo. Another mystery perhaps?



Michael Dawe <dawe@frontiernet.net> writes:

I read over the readme for the Marathon 2 Preview. Anyway, the thing that popped out at me was that Bungie didn't even change the system requirements! Marathon's requirements were an '020 with an '040 or higher recommended. Marathon 2 "required" an '040 or faster, though this wasn't changed... Also, people questioned that, and Bungie admitted that you could run it on something slower, though not very well for gameplay.



Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> writes:

My friend Mark just gave me the "Entertainment and Home Learning Demos Winter 1995, Power Macintosh Evangelism" CD ROM. It contains the Marathon 2 Preview. The Preview is a special version to this disc. It says so on the opening screen. It also makes reference to the final Demo (which seems to already have existed at the time this preview was released) and the retail version ?!?!? Why did they re-release the Preview?


Questions... questions... questions... always questions. ;-)

Just how many limited editions of the Marathon 2 Preview are out there?

Matthew goes onto say:

The Marathon 2 Preview has the same fighters as Marathon 1 - with the eyes "upside-down". Or was it right side-up? I heard a Bob yell "Nice Shot!" This sound is not there anymore. I guess the Bobs don't compliment you because they still hold a grudge for how much you tortured them on the Marathon :) B.O.B.s not only say Nice Shot, but they also say (and this may not be EXACTLY correct) "I think I saw one!" When you hit a drone, it sounds like a Marathon 1 hunter being hit. Shotgun shells are grey with brown strips around them. The shotgun is small when in your hand. All ammo is M1 ammo.

For more on sounds in the Marathon 2 Preview check the Sounds in Marathon section.

For more details about the Marathon 2 Preview, including a complete walkthrough, click here.




The Marathon Poster

To celebrate the release of their Marathon game Bungie commissioned Don Dixon, an internationally renowned "spacescrape" artist, to design a Marathon poster. The result was a powerful "flaming star" image. Part of the poster's artwork also appeared as a background image on the front of the Marathon Box. Hence the reason why Don Dixon's name appears in the Marathon manual's Packaging credits.

The first announcement of the availability of a Marathon Poster appeared on Nov 30, 1994 as part of Bungie's Marathon Demo FAQ post on AOL. The same post appeared on comp.sys.mac.games several days later and elicited a number of enquiries as to what it actually looked like as well as this humorous post.

The Marathon Poster was advertised on Bungie's 1st web page and also in their Summer 1995 Catalog. Note that the poster price had dropped from US $15.00 in late 1994 to US $9.00 in mid-1995.

I had the opportunity to talk to Don Dixon <ddixon@earthlink.net> concerning his Marathon Poster artwork. Don replied:

The poster that I recall for Marathon featured a detail of a painting titled "Flare Star". This was created as a cover for a DelRey novel, but art directors changed during the project and it was not used there. The image featured in the poster was actually a view through the porthole of a starship. A thumbnail version of the complete painting is posted in the science fiction "Portfolio" section of my site (http://members.aol.com/dixonspace/gallery/), I believe. Look for the girl clutching a knife!...

I hope this is helpful, and appreciate your interest in my work.

all good wishes,

Don Dixon

Don Dixon's AOL page has gone but he has a new page at cosmographica.com. Here is the Flare Star image Don refers to as well as the close up views through the porthole.

If you have the Marathon Poster you will note that it is not exactly the same as that displayed in their advertised picture. The words "SOMEWHERE IN THE HEAVENS... THEY ARE WAITING" appear in yellow two-thirds of the way down the poster and there is also a large Bungie logo near the bottom along with copyright and contact information and a red "Accelerated for Power Macintosh" label.

The Marathon Poster is no longer available. While the poster was originally shipped in a 'sturdy mailing tube', in later years it was shipped flat (hence fold creases). As such, the original tube version (no creases) has become highly collectable.




THE DISC II.

Following on their success with The DISC Power Computing Corporation announced the free distribution of The DISC II at Macworld Expo '96 in San Francisco. The DISC II contained a special demo version of Marathon 2: Durandal featuring Power Computing Evangelist Bob LeVitus. In addition there was a new "LeVitus" Shapes file for the full version of Marathon 2. The whole package was creatively called "Kill LeVitus Marathon".

Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> kindly sent in this screenshot of the contents of The DISC II.

It's fair to say that The DISC II did not create the same excitement amongst Marathoners as did The DISC. And as there were no restrictions placed on the distribution of the "Kill LeVitus Marathon" pack the full "LeVitus" Shapes file (Marathon 2 Enhancer) was uploaded to the net.

One thing to bear in mind though... apart from the Shape changes made to the Marathon 2 on The DISC II were there any other changes? ;-)




Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> sent in this screenshot of an old Compuserve CD dating from early '95. Dan writes:

It was given to new customers. The idea behind the CD is it contained a catalog of everything Compuserve had, so you could browse through the files without being connected. When you decided what you wanted, you would have it get them with minimum connection time.

You'll note that apart from the Marathon Demo the CD contains two Marathon related Quicktime movies and a review of the game. The review says alot about what made Marathon so popular and is worth reading. Details of the Quicktime movies to follow... soon.

Ok so soon was over three months ago. But they are here now! There are two movies available for download: Marathon.mov and game.mov. Before you rush off to download these babies they are big! So here's a brief description of what you'll see.

Marathon.mov (417K) is not really that exciting. It shows the title "Marathon" being displayed with a dramatic soundtrack.

game.mov (5125K) is a professional looking Quicktime movie of of Marathon game play. Scenes from both solo and net play are blended together with good use of fade ins and fade outs. There is an accompanying level soundtrack and a fun ending. Ok you'll see better game play in most Marathon vid or net films but this has nostalgic value. If you have the bandwith and disk space then take a look. Fun stuff.




Bungie's 1st Web Page (The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site)

On Dec 13th 1994 Bungie Software and Group Cortex announced the opening of

The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site

Bungie's first web venture was in fact a pro bono effort by Group Cortex, a Philadelphia based ISP. Brent Halliburton, Director of Business Operations at Group Cortex, explained the rational for this venture to his colleagues on the Internet Marketing Discussion List.

The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site became the voice of Bungie on the net. You could read official announcements, download the Marathon demo and third party add-ons such as Marathon Hard Core Sounds and the Holiday Music File, view screenshots of never seen before aliens, order the Marathon poster, enter the Marathon Mayhem Tournament, and read the introduction to the Story of Marathon . This online version was slightly different from the one in the game and provided some clues to the actual timing of events during the Pfhor attack on the Marathon. But you all knew that since it was mentioned in the The Pfhor Ship section way back in Mar 23, 1996.

The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site was a major success as Brent Halliburton revealed on the Internet Marketing Discussion List.

By mid-February 1995 however Bungie's web page was gone. Fans who regularly tuned in to catch up on events or hoped to see news on a release date for the 20/10 Scenario Pack were faced with a rather terse message.

Bungie Software has decided that maintaining a World Wide Web site is not an appropriate investment of scarce marketing resources.

If you have any questions or comments concerning this decision, contact Bungie Software by calling (312) 563-6200.

Thank You.

What had happened? Speculation was rife on usenet. Here are just some of the many posts on the subject.

But what was the official word? Brent Halliburton (Group Cortex) and Alexander Seropian (Bungie Software) explained the circumstances surrounding the closure of The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site in an interview with BackChannel, the American Association of Advertising Agencies quarterly newsletter.


Alexander Seropian also commented on the demise of their first web page in an AOL Conference back in 17 Feb '95. Here's what Alex (BUNGIE!) said:

Cdeth : Why did Bungie opt to nuke the WWW site? Were economic reasons a factor? ga

BUNGIE1 : Good question. Well Group Cortex (the company that put it up for us) came to us a few months ago... ... and asked if they could make a free WEB site for us, because it would attract people to their... .. other WEB pages. So we thought it was cool. But, after a while the Marathon pages got... ... really popular and started slowing down their system, so they asked us for $1000 a month ... ... to keep it up. We said no, so they took it down, it is that simple. We think the WEB is cool... ... and will support it in the future. GA




Missing Boxes and the Installer from Hell

On Dec 21th 1994 Bungie Software finally released Marathon. The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site carried the following announcement from Bungie:

It is done! Bungie Software will release to a smattering of applause Marathon, the game of champions, on Wednesday, December 21. If you have not already ordered Marathon, what can I tell you. Orders are backed up in a fairly serious way, and Bungie will be filling back orders through Christmas. Best of luck trying to get a copy.

Release:
Wednesday - December 21, 1994

Press releases will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience and your support.

It had been a long wait made all the more so by release dates that had never materialized. Yet here it was and a lucky few would receive copies in time for Christmas, which was lucky for Doug Zartman. Somewhat ironically though a number of these pre-Christmas shipments were 'boxless'.  Jason Jones (Lead Programmer at Bungie Software) had this to say about the 'missing boxes' in an eWorld Conference held in January 1995:

We shipped a bunch of flat packs (no boxes) to MacWarehouse before Christmas because we decided it would be better to send them 1k flat packs than 100 with boxes. I hope everyone agrees (same thing for Macworld SF) ... I'm just sorry we didn't include a note to that effect in the package, as I think a lot of people would have liked to be given a reason for not getting a box.

Strangely though some people did get a note as this thread on comp.sys.mac.games revealed. Even though Bungie were now shipping Marathon not everyone was happy.

The first 4000 or so Marathon packs shipped with the "Installer from Hell". As soon as you started the install by double-clicking the "MarathonInstall.1" icon the following cryptic message was displayed:

Please load the FINAL segment of the archive...

And you hadn't even reached level 13 in the game yet! ;-)

The installer was to prove a major headache for Bungie tech support. Jason Jones later admitted on eworld that the original Marathon installer was arcane. Jason remarked:

we spent a lot of time on the game, and then punted on the installer. sort of stupid, huh? the installer sucked rocks. it wasn't even an installer, it was a compact pro self-extracting archive. very stupid. alex almost got fired for that one. but it's kinda like putting a really, really, hard puzzle right at the beginning of the game. a lot of people just didn't get it.

Of course the original disk version of Marathon with its arcane installer has now become a rare collector's item fetching high prices at Marathon conventions.




The Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament

On the 4th Jan, 1995 Bungie held the first officially sanctioned Marathon tournament at Macworld San Francisco. The Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament ran from the 4th - 7th at Bungie's Booth (#3472). I don't think I need to point out the relevance of this booth number to you.

The tournament was won by Michael Garrison (aka CYBERNATOR) though not everone agreed with this verdict. Bungie released the tournament films and these quickly circulated on the net. You can get them in their original form from the Story page here. When viewing these films it should be remembered that Marathon had only just been released. Many people still didn't have the game and those that did would not have had that much practice on the tournament levels other than "Mars Needs Women". Even so some people still didn't think much of the standard of play.

Although Bungie indicated that there would be a another Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament in Boston in August '95 it wouldn't actually occur until a year later in San Franciso again. As Thoth would say:

circumstances are cyclical

But that's another story.

Macworld San Francisco '95 was a big success for Bungie. Mac/Chicago Magazine had this to say about Bungie and Marathon at Macworld:

Running native and drawing crowds was Marathon, the incredibly popular new game from Chicago's Bungie Software. Reginald DuJour, who designed the game's graphics as well as the high-tech packaging for Marathon, said that getting everything working smoothly had caused some delays but it had been worth the wait. The enthusiastic crowds trying out Marathon, in the Apple Pavilion and also in Bungie's separate booth in Moscone North, apparently agreed.

Marathon sold out at Bungie's booth early in the show, and computer software discounters, all of whom were advertising Marathon on show flyers, complained that they hadn't received shipments for the show. "I wish we had," said one. "We could have sold a ton of them."

Voice mail at Bungie's Chicago office this week announced that the company is "closed while reorganizing to deal with the overwhelming demand for Marathon." The message also said that those who had ordered the product should be receiving shipments within two weeks.




Ling-Ling

Brandon Gupton <TraxusIV@aol.com> writes:

Perhaps you remember Bungie's old disembodied pooch, Ling-Ling? Well, I got the book National Lampoon's Totally True Facts, and guess what was on the first page? You'll find a .jpg file attached...

Ah yes Ling-Ling... I remember it well. Back in March '96 Bungie's 2nd web page received a major revamp. Bungie had in fact taken direct control of their web page from Art & Science who had been responsible for their page up to that point. Bungie's '3rd web venture' was a radical departure from their previous 'Mararthonesque' pages. Gone were the bandwidth consuming server-push Marathon animations and in their place were images of a rather mangy looking dog's head called Ling-Ling.

Ling-Ling appeared in announements

in promotions

in the stuff that rocks

and even in the form of Cyber Ling-Ling

Was this some sort of joke?

Bungie's fascination for the headless Ling-Ling has never been satisfactorily explained. Their Webmaster had this to say on the subject in '97:

Ling-Ling is a dog (a species which has historically had trouble communicating in standard English). Ling-Ling has also suffered decaptitation (which tends to end individual sentience rather swiftly). If you had to ask me what Ling-Ling is feeling right about now, I'd have to say: not much at all.

Was Ling-Ling for real? Yes indeed! Back in May 10, 1996 Ty Klein <mrenigma@earthlink.net> got the low down from Matt Soell who pointed him to a magazine called "babysue". Details can be found in The Number Seven section. You'll find a picture of the real Ling-Ling at the "babysue" site. Bizarre stuff.

But perhaps not as bizarre as the unpublished comments of Phreaky Monkey <bramcon@xyz.net>. Back in Aug '96 the nameless one wrote:

...on the Ling-Ling poster (http://babysue.com/poster1.GIF), the phone number is 871-7421. I found THREE weird things.

2 '7's already. Now remove them, and you get 81-421. Add these together, and you get 502. 5+0+2=7.

Also, Add 421, and you get 7. 8-1 is 7.

Third, 8+1=9, 4+2+1=7. 9+7=16. 1+6=7.

Weird indeed.

Whose idea was it to place a "beheaded bowser" foremost on Bungie's web page. Some have suggested that it sprang from the warped mind of Rob McLees. Concerning the artwork Bungie's Webmaster remarked:

The art was provided by Bungie's crack art team.

As for a higher order, I'm not at liberty to say. But if you were to save the image of Ling-Ling's Head, BinHex it five times and open up the resulting file with HexEdit, who knows what sort of secret message you might find?

Unfortunately almost all traces of Ling-Ling's head have been removed from Bungie's web page, though you can still get a tiny glimpse of it on their Stuff that Rocks page.


Postscript 2001: Bungie's "Stuff That Rox" page is dead now so go here to see it.


Postscript 2010: Bungie appear to be re-animating Ling-Ling. In the Bungie history section of their web page they write:

Ling-Ling

Dog's head in a jar. Has mystical significance. But it's too nasty to think about. Especially if you think about opening the jar, and drinking the head-water down in one mighty draft. DANGER! Do not juxtapose Tijuana Mama with Ling Ling! When the jar containing Ling Ling finally breaks, as it must, Bungie will make a sequel to Gnop!

Even more recently (Aug 2011) this image appeared on their website:

Ling-Ling's story isn't over yet, it appears.




The Controversial Macworld Marathon 2 Review

Back in March '96 Macworld published a review of Marathon 2 (229K) by Fred Delisio. Thanks to Todd Bangerter <tabanger@fas.harvard.edu> for scanning this in. The review struck a raw nerve in many Marathoners and lead to a rather long thread on alt.games.marathon and comp.sys.mac.games.action entitled - Dumbass in Macworld gives Marathon 2 only four stars!

The public outcry over the review was not restricted to usenet. Macworld also published two letters (233K) from concerned readers. Thanks again to Todd Bangerter for scanning these in.

The main objection to the review was the fact that the reviewer had imposed his own moral standards on the game and was not reviewing it from an unbiased position.

There was also a strong suspicion that the reviewer had not in fact played much of the game and was simply reporting "inaccurate" accompanying documentation.

The lack of a working microphone was just one of a number of bugs in Marathon 2. Simon Brownlee, the world renowned Marathon entomologist, has kept track of those pesky Marathon 2 bugs. You can read the gory details in - The Bug List.

Unlike Marathon and its updates 1.1 and 1.2 there has never been a Marathon 2 update.

The long standing grievances over Marathon 2 and the lack of an update came to a head with the announcement of Marathon 2 for Windows 95 in March '96. In the long, and sometimes vitriolic, thread SAY IT AIN'T SO, BUNGIE! the following post appeared, the sentiments of which were shared by many fans. It elicited the following reply from Matt Soell (Bungie Software).

So what happened to the Marathon 2 update?

When the Marathon 2 Demo for Windows 95 was released on July 31th 1996 another round of calls for a Marathon 2 update appeared. Tuncer Deniz (Bungie Software) had this to say in Bungie's defence. However one Marathoner was having none of it and laid it one the line for Bungie.

The word from Bungie at Macworld Boston in August '96 was that a Marathon 2 update would be released after Marathon Infinity.

So what happened to the Marathon 2 update?

I'll leave the last word to Tuncer Deniz.

Of course that was back in Aug '96. :-(

So what happened to the Marathon 2 update?

Are Marathoners deserving of an answer?




The Marathon Macworld Mayhem 2 Tournament

Todd Keating <cxtdk@ux1.cts.eiu.edu> writes:

When I first ordered Infinity, the registration number did not work. Because of this, Bungie sent me a 20% off coupon and also included a sticker.

It is black and says: "Marathon MacWorld Mayhem" and "Olympics Of Death." It has three interconnected circles with pictures in them (A skull, a man holding a flag, and a human silhouette with targets drawn on it). Do you know anything about this?

Ah yes!

Crush. Kill. Destroy. WIN!

Mayhem 2: The Olympics of Death

Bungie hosted Mayhem 2, the second annual Marathon net-game tournament, during the January Macworld Expo in San Francisco at their booth, #4071.

Booth #4071??? Now that's a number to conjure with. ;-)

Anyone remember Bungie's on-line registration page for this event? No? Well here it is in all its glory.

What happened? Where are the winning films? Well that's another story... best left untold... perhaps.




Bungie's 20% off Dollar - Just Spend It

Todd Keating mentioned above about a Bungie 20% off coupon. But what did it look like? Steve Campbell <campbell@okla.net> had one handy and kindly had it scanned in. Thanks to Glenn Cope <glenn@macsourceokc.com> of MacSource, Inc. for doing the scanning.

The 20% off coupon is made out in the form of a Dollar bill. A small scan (128k) can be seen here. A much larger scan (304k) can be seen here. The larger scan allows you to pick out some of the detail on there. Lots of add stuff. The old Pfhor Cyborg is there, remember him? Series 2437?. No need to point out what that number reduces to.

Anyone know what RHG3 could mean? There is also a G3. No need to point out that G is the seventh letter of the alphabet. If you can make out the writing around the capital L please let me know. If you can also decipher the barcodes please let me know as well. Remember Bungie have a habit of actually hiding messages in barcodes. Don't ask me why must be a Freemason thing.


Todd Bangerter <tabanger@hcs.harvard.edu> writes:

Well, if you actually had any American money, you could tell what that text around the capital L says. =) In fact, it's exactly what that seal is on our bills.

Along the top, it says FEDERAL RESERVE. Directly beneath that on the next concentric circle in, it says BANK OF at the top. Then along the bottom of that circle, it says SAN FRANCISCO (the S got smeared, most likely when Bungie scanned the seal to put on the money). And along the very bottom it says CALIFORNIA. The L code means that is comes from San Francisco. The multiple numbers 12 on the bill also mean it was from San Francisco. The Federal Reserve Bank codes are at: http://www.limunltd.com/numismatica/paper-money-faq/paper-money-faq-3.14.html

The G3 and RHG3 are both codes that are actually on a $20 bill. G is a check letter. RH are face plate letters. 3 is a quadrant number. These used to identify the printing plates and the position of the note on the plate. You can read more about all the funny stuff at: http://www.limunltd.com/numismatica/paper-money-faq/paper-money-faq-3.15.html

Series 2437 refers to the issue date, so it was issued in the year 2437. Treasurer of the Federation replaces Treasurer of the United States and Secretary of the Armory replaces Secretary of the Treasury. The signatures are replacements too. Does it look like any Bungie employee's name? The bar codes go directly over where the bill's serial number would normally be. The serial number would start with L since it's an L note. The serial number would be of the form L XXXXXXXX Z where X is a number and Z is a letter. But who knows what the bar code actually reads?

Interesting to note is that Bungie moved the upper right "12" over to make room for their coupon text. The original postition of that "12" on a $20 bill would be almost exactly where the 20% is in the coupon text.

Also intersting to note is that the $20 bill they used for the template is either a Series 1990, 1993, or 1995 note. Why? Because starting in 1990, the lined border around the portrait started having an extra line. Instead of 2 lines, it had 3. Except that the third line was actually very, very fine microprinting that repeatedly reads "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". The theory is that the microprinting is too fine for color copiers to reproduce, and that it will instead come out as a blurred line. It certainly happened in the case of Bungie's funny money. =)

It's also interesting that some world currencies are actually starting to incorporate bar codes. One example I know of is some notes in the Netherlands have bar codes. It facilitiates high speed tracking of individual bills, and deters counterfeiting.

The full Paper Money Collecting FAQ is at: http://www.limunltd.com/numismatica/paper-money-faq/paper-money-faq.html

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has a web site at: http://www.frbsf.org/


Art Cannon <art@angel.net> also writes:

It says "Federal Reserve Bank, San Francisco, California"

Kinda like the "Decus et Tutamen" engraved in the milled edge of a British pound coin. It just lets you know what Federal Reserve bank issued that particular note. I doubt there's anything funky about this, other that the fact that they _Didn't_ scan a bill issued from the Fed in Chicago, Bungie's stomping grounds.


Thanks also to Jim Mitchell <jim@sover.net> and Simon Brownlee <Simon.Brownlee@pobox.com> for also sending in similar comments.


And we all know what happened in 2437... right?


Ken Skidmore <kenskid@concentric.net> writes concerning the Bungie Dollar:

I have one of these, issued to me when my Infinity manual came with the pages all out of order, as if it were assembled by insane monkeys on LSD. However, it is Series 7956 instead of Series 2437. But what mystery does _this_ number hold... ;-)

What mystery indeed! Ken kindly scanned the dollar in and sent it to the Story page. You can see it here (172K).

If you have a Bungie dollar check the Series No.


Concerning the dollar's signatures Santiago Pereson <yaco@ad.com.ar> writes:

has anybody noticed that the signatures look like they were done with a mouse rather than scanned?




The Codewarrior CD.

Ajay Ayyagari <nirvana@mail1.halcyon.com> writes:

i was browsing around on this codewarrior cd of mine (learning cd) and it has tons of weird marathon stuff. it has in 640x480 format all of the screenshots that are on the backs of m1 and m2, plus it has super-high res (we're talking 20mb files here) tiff files of those pictures of the marathon boxes you see in maczone/connection/wharehouse, etc. all in all it's about 46mb of misc. picts, press releases, etc.

Ah yes the famous Codewarrior CD. Packed full of Marathon, Pathways Into Darkness, and even Minotaur goodies. Some of the stuff is so hot we can't mention it. A veritable gold mine for Marathon memoriabila collectors. It's not clear if the latest version of the Codewarrior CD still has this exclusive Marathon archive.


Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> writes:

It is ironic to note that Marathon 1 was developed with MPW (according to what Jason said in an interview in the Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus book). I'm not sure about M2/M:oo , but I'm guessing they were done in CodeWarrior (with text editing in BBEdit (at least for M:oo), as the comercial shows.

I don't have the latest CodeWarrior CD handy, but the items Ajay mentions do now show up in the Academic/Gold editions of CodeWarrior 8 and 10. Perhaps you can get more information on which edition they show up in...

We'll be bringing you the details... soon.


Ajay Ayyagari <nirvana@mail1.halcyon.com> sent in an interesting Marathon screenshot from the Codewarrior CD. See the Official Marathon Screenshots section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Concerning the availability of the Codewarrior CD Ajay Ayyagari <nirvana@mail1.halcyon.com> writes:

i don't know if the cd is still available but i doubt it because they have a new one that teaches java in addition to c/c++/pascal/etc.


The Codewarrior CD described above dates from late '96. The CD was called Discover Programming for Macintosh by Metroworks. A screenshot of the Bungie items contained on the CD can be found here (68K). The compressed items in the Materials folder weighs in at 30.1MB (compressed). The Demo Software is somewhat lighter, a mere 15.1MB (compressed).


Craig Stanton <c_stanton@hotmail.com> writes:

I have looked at the CodeWarrior gold 10 tools CD, It has a Marathon2 demo on it, from the get-info window I got, v1.0 DEMO © 1995 Bungie Software Corp.

This is also on CW gold reference CD but there is no other mention of MARATHON or BUNGIE on 10 gold, 9 gold or Discover Programming edtion 2.




The CyberMaxx VR Headset.

Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> writes:

...if you look in the STR# 134 resource for any Marathon app, you'll see a message about a CyberMaxx helmet. AFAIK that's a VR helmet that Marathon was supposed to work with. I have no idea if it actually does, but I guess this might deserve a mention in the Blasts from the Past section.

Ah yes the famous CyberMaxx VR Headset by VictorMaxx Technologies. Back in August '94 Bungie demoed a prototype of the CyberMaxx VR Headset at Boston Macworld. Doug Zartman (Bungie Software) had this to say on the subject VR helmets shortly after Macworld.

Confirmation of Marathon's compatibility with VR headsets appeared in an official Bungie press release dating from Sept '94.

Shortly after Marathon was released the January 1995 issue of Macformat magazine (Issue 20, pages 52-53) ran an article by Richard Hill on Marathon and the CyberMaxx VR Headset. Part of the article is transcribed below:

One of the first games that'll work with the CyberMaxx is Marathon, a frantic 3D gunfest that came out in the US last month. Jason Jones worked on the game for Bungie Software. 'We knew we were eventually going to get into VR,' he says. 'We didn't expect it to be this soon, but from the start we set up Marathon to let you look up and down, which is an important feature for a headset. We set it up so you could render a stereo image. If you plan from the start it's not that big a deal.'

The article goes on:

Spending your time in virtual worlds will bring its own problems, as Doug Zartman of Bungie Software explains. 'The response time to motions of the head is fast - it's actually so fast it can be disorientating to the user if they turn their head very quickly. They might swivel all the way round to face the wall behind them and not be able to figure out where they are. That was our experience using the CyberMaxx headset at a number of conventions. Once they put it on, people started turning every which way and running around. they got lost and bumped into walls. We really had to slow them down.'

The following is a scan of some of Marathon screenshots from the Macformat article.

So what happened to the CyberMaxx VR Headset? Why doesn't every Marathon diehard have one?

In the first of two eWorld Conferences Jason Jones (BungieCorp) has this to say in response to questions about the VR headset:

Teachin: First, I'd like to say your game is does indeed kick ass!!! Second, is your game going to have a VR helmet option?

BungieCorp : (thanks, teachin) Marathon works with VictorMaxx's CyberMaxx helmet, which is still in the prototype stage for the Mac. When it is officially release (the Cybermaxx, that is) we'll release a patch to make sure Marathon works with it. We were demoing the CyberMaxx at Boston Macworld last August.

Teachin: how much would that set me back?? The one I saw was 700 bones.

BungieCorp : The Cybermaxx retails for around $700, but like I said it isn't done yet .. they're working on the ADB interface.


Bungie to release a patch?... hmmm...

Again the question of the VR compatibility arose in the 2nd eWorld Conference with Jason Jones (BungieCorp):

CCCarl : R. Hallock wonders....

The docs that came with the demo mention "VR compatibility". Where, if I actually had the cash, would I pruchase one that would work with your game?

BungieCorp : Marathon works with VictorMaxx's CyberMaxx VR headset. This system is shipping commercially for the PC right now, but won't be ready for Macs until .... who knows when (they say, "real soon now"). When it does ship, we'll probably have to rev Marathon to support it, but will do that ASAP (we tested marathon with a prototype unit designed for the PC). The helmet retails for about $700, I think.


So what happened to the CyberMaxx VR Headset? And why does Marathon, Marathon 2, and Marathon Infinity all contain the following dialog warning?

Be sure that your Cybermaxx helmet is properly hooked up to the serial port and turned on.


Simon Brownlee <Simon.Brownlee@pobox.com> searched deep within the usenet archives to find details on the availability of the CyberMaxx VR Headset. He found the following interesting information. Simon also writes:

The last 'bulk sale' was Sept 10th '97 when someone had 500 of them for $79 a piece. I couldn't find any companies selling them at any more, although there's a few second hand sales, and http://www.halted.com still has the LCD screens in stock (they used to sell the whole units. They also have a good article at: http://www.halted.com/online/cybermax.htm


Have you got a CyberMaxx VR Headset?


Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@colby.tjs.org> writes:

What I want to know is why this:

BungieCorp : The Cybermaxx retails for around $700, but like I said it isn't done yet .. they're working on the ADB interface.

... doesn't reconcile with this:

Be sure that your Cybermaxx helmet is properly hooked up to the serial port and turned on.

That is, does the helmet use the ADB or the serial port?

Or did it, like the Connectix QuickCam, use the serial for interface and the ADB for power?

It strikes me that it'd need a lot more power than one can draw from the ADB chain; it probably has it's own wall pack power supply (especially considering that "turned on" part).


Simon Brownlee <simon.brownlee@pobox.com> writes:

I'm fairly sure that there never was an 'official' way to hook up CyberMaxx helmets to Macs, hence the ADB/Serial port confusion. Maybe Bungie had hacked together their own interface and were experimenting with both connections.

The Cybermaxx requires an unregulated 9V DC input which is converted to an 18V supply for the LCDs, 12V for the NTSC/VGA to RGB decoder and 5VDC for the logic circuitry. You wouldn't be able to power one of these from a Mac serial or ADB port.

Input to the CyberMaxx is via a 15 pin VGA connector for the video an 1/8" stereo plug for the audio. The only output is a line of text continuously sent through the CyberMaxx comm port at 19.2Kb/s describing the helmets current orientation, e.g. "Y084.7P-03.5R+04.9" shows a yaw of 84.7', pitch of -3.5' and roll of '4.9'.

The easiest way to hook up the CyberMaxx would be through one of the serial ports as this would require no additional hardware. In fact, with minimal work you should be able to put together a driver that would work with Input Sprockets and thus make the CyberMaxx compatible with Infinity, bar the 3D effect created by sending a slightly different image to each LCD display - Bungie would have to release a patch for this.

Another patch?!!!


Charles Srstka <csrstka@earthlink.net> writes:

I found this in Marathon Infinity's data fork. It looks like all the usual Marathon keys, with the name first, and then an alias name to that key (for example, butnfire for primary trigger, butnbtmf for forward). All normal-looking, except there are some keys in there that aren't in the game. Two that made me wonder were Yaw and Pitch. The word "yaw" has several definitions, but the one that caught my eye was "To turn about the vertical axis. Used of an aircraft, a spacecraft, or a projectile."

It does seem likely that yaw and pitch had something to do with that headset. But what are "yaw (Classic Mouse)" and "pitch (Classic Mouse)" for?


Eylon Caspi <eylon@cs.berkeley.edu> and Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> both point out that the mouse can rotate the player's view, pitching up or down, and yawing left or right.


Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org>, visited Bungie Studios recently and took some pics of the ADB Automatic Assault rifle that was used with the CyberMaxx VR Headset at the Boston Macworld in August '94:

The ADB Automatic Assault rifle with Grenade Option (full gun with ADB cable)
The ADB Automatic Assault rifle with Grenade Option (close up)
Property of the U.E.S.C. Marathon label
Close up of firing options (single shot, 3 shot burst, 20 shot round, full battle action)




Bungie's Bungievision.

"All the news that's fit to vid" so the headline banner of Bungie's Bungievision reads. Was there more than one? How many where there? What tidbits did they contain? The Story page has one Bungievision dating from Fall '96 and we'll be scanning that in real soon. But we'd like to have the lot for nostalgia purposes.

Kyjel Shaytolmae <kyjel@mailexcite.com> points out that Bungie distributed an electronic version of their first newsletter back in Oct '96. It contains a number of news items, tech issues, and an interesting Bungie Employee profile of Doug Zartman. Yeah he always seems to get dragged into these. Check the link below for details.

The Bungie Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 1 October 15th, 1996

The first issue was written by Tuncer Deniz who seemingly went by the title of Editor-at-Large. Was this the first Bungievision or the forerunner to the hard copy version? Was there only one Bungie Newsletter ever distributed electronically?


Jim Mitchell <jim@sover.net> dug deep into his Marathon memoriablia file and pulled out a Bungievision dating from Spring '96. Jim writes:

Here are the headers from the Spring 1996 Bungievision:

Charity Auction Successful!

(Marathon 2) +1 = *image of Marathon Infinity logo*

Better Bungie Web Site

Lucky Winners!

Bungie Word of the Day (follows with a definition of Dink)

Sizzling Hot Offers, straight from the Bungie Warehouse (Lists PID, Marathon 2, Marathon, Marathon hint book, and bungie t-shirts.)

On the back is the opening Marathon 2 chapter screen, spiced up a bit. This is an ad for Marathon 2.

Unfortunately Jim doesn't have access to a scanner so if you have this Bungievision issue and can scan it in please send it to the Story page.


Here's that promised scan of Bungievision Fall '96.

Bungievision Fall '96 Page 1 (203K)
Info of Bungie's 5th birthday party, Marathon Infinity, and Marathon 2 for Windows 95.

Bungievision Fall '96 Page 2 (239K)
Mainly info on Abuse and Weekend Warrior.

Bungievision Fall '96 Page 3 (177K)
Bungie Catalog page.

Bungievision Fall '96 Page 4 (123K)
Poster Ad for Abuse. Quite funny actually. Worth a look.


The Story page is still looking for a scan of Bungievision Spring '96 and any information on other Bungievisions. Thanks.




The first ever Marathon screenshot.

In the February '94 edition of Inside Mac Games magazine Tuncer Deniz reported on some of the games being shown at the San Francisco Macworld expo in January '94. One of these was Bungie Software's new science fiction action-adventure game code-named Marathon. It contained the first ever publically released screenshot from the game. Of course this early glimpse changed radically over time as did the initial story. Apparently your job was to investigate the disappearance of colonists living on a hollowed-out asteroid near the planet Pluto. Aliens! They're Everywhere!

This early alpha of Marathon can now be found on the Marathon CD or the Marathon Trilogy Box Set CD. There are also some screenshots taken from this alpha in the Grendel section.

Here's a walkthrough and some screenshots from the Marathon Beta SF Jan'94. Thanks to Raul Bonilla <lassonde@hotmail.com>, Craig Fay <DurandalM3@aol.com>, and Robert Zimmermann <robzim@gmx.net>.

Thanks to Hopper <hopper@whpress.com> for extracting the contents of the Marathon alpha Shapes file and also provided map images. Here's the Read Me file and you can get the contents file here (.zip format). Check out the level details, the textures, sprite animations, and the largest lunar landscape panorama... ever. While there are eight levels in the Marathon alpha the last 6 are empty and crash the game. Here is level 1 and level 2. Level 2 has a number of interesting areas you can't reach from the starting point.




Marathon Secrets 1.5

Long before the Marathon Gold hoax... long before the Marathon Dr'Ate'R (Marathon 4) hoax... there was the Marathon Secrets 1.5 hoax. Back in January 1995, just shortly after Marathon was released, Jason Fowler released Marathon Secrets 1.0. It was a standalone Macromedia application containing a walkthrough for Marathon. Screenshots for each level were displayed along with helpful hints and tips. It was one of the first Spoiler Guides to appear on the net and certainly the most professional looking.

It should be remembered that in this early period of Marathon there were few if any map editors to speak of so many secret areas were still unknown. About a month later an updated version was released called Marathon Secrets 1.5... that's when the trouble started. Marathon Secrets 1.5 not only added many new secret areas it also claimed to have found a secret level called Level 00 "A Good Way To Die...".

A screenshot of this level was shown along with details of the map. It allegedly contained black Hulks who could run twice as fast, climb walls and were invincible! Super Hulks no less.

Surely nobody actually believed this? Well yes! You have to remember that secrets were still being found and many people were finding out just how much they had missed the first time they had played Marathon. Bungie had already hidden access to net level 36 "You don't need to see my ID" so it was just possible that there was another secret level hidden... somewhere.

And so the posts began to appear on Usenet. For example:

Secret Marathon Level?
marathon secret level?
Marathon Secret level?
Marathon hidden level

While some people didn't appreciate the joke secret level 00 "A Good Way To Die..." remains the first of the truly great Marathon hoaxes. Nice one Jason. :-)

Marathon Secrets 1.5 is now a rare collectors item. Have you got a copy?

Mike Ackerman <mackerm@relaypoint.net> points out that Marathon Secrets 1.5 is available at Macdownload.com.

You can also now get it directly from the Story page here. This downloads as Marathon Secrets 1.5.sit and unstuffs as a folder called Do NOT rename. Inside is the Marathon Secrets 1.5.Xobj app. If you run into problems trying to launch it give it more memory. It is not 100% stable either so be warned.




Eric Klein, Jr.

In the later half of '95 Bungie Software were riding high on the crest of a wave. Marathon was a huge commerical success (by Macintosh standards) and the soon to be released sequel Marathon 2 looked like repeating this. Bungie were expanding and had gathered together a much larger development team for Marathon 2. Into this environment came Eric Nicholas Klein, Jr.

Eric Klein was Apple Computer's 2nd Game Evangelist, he took over from Craig Fryar in '94. As a Game Evangelist he would have naturally come into contact with Bungie Software at an early stage. Indeed he is mentioned first in the Special Thanks section of the Marathon manual credits. In June 1995 he began writing his own column "The Game Evangelism Zone" for Inside Mac Games (IMG) magazine. Five issues later he wrote:

This is my last column as Apple game evangelist. Late in October, I left Apple to join Bungie Software. I am going to start the Bungie Publishing label, which will publish COOL games from developers who need a strong partner to market and distribute their games. I will also be licensing Bungie technologies to interested developers.

Eric joined Bungie as their Director of New Business Development. Describing his new job on his personal (non-Bungie) web page he wrote:

I am Bungie Software Product Corporation's (thankfully referred to just as Bungie) New Business Development Director. So what does that big title mean? I am responsible for:

Finding new games for Bungie to publish (Windows, DOS, Macintosh)

Licensing Bungie technologies to game developers and others

Analyzing new technologies, game platforms, and business opportunities

OEM sales

Given the above Eric would have been responsible for such ventures as contracting Doubleaught to do the "Blood Tides of Lh'owon" scenario for Marathon Infinity, the licensing of the Marathon 2 engine to game developers, publishing Abuse and Weekend Warrior and the porting of Marathon 2 to Windows 95 and Pippen.

Eric, reluctant to relocate to Chicago, persuaded Bungie to set up a West Coast office. This was initially based in Cupertino, California as this Mar '96 usenet post indicates. Bungie did not officially announce the opening of their Bungie West office until July '97 when they advertised for a Lead Designer/Artist for an as yet unnamed "science fiction 3D game" (note: the date at bottom of the page is incorrectly given as Wed, Jan 22, 1997). By this stage the West Coast office had moved to San Jose.

Fast forward to the Computer Game Developers Conference (CGDC) in May 6-8, 1998. Eric Klein and Jason Regier give a talk on the cross-platform issues learnt from the Marathon and Myth series. Eric's title is Eric N. Klein, Jr. "At large" Eric@jumpy.com. Jason's is Jason Regier Bungie Software jregier@bungie.com. Eric has left Bungie Software. In an interview with Brenda Garneau at the conference he explains why he left:

And with all of that success, you're leaving Bungie. How come?

Ah, let's figure that out. You know, I've been working the last six and a half years straight with no break between one job and another, and I just wanted to take some time off to reflect, if nothing else, and to decide what I want to do next. That's the great thing about the gaming industry in general. There are many opportunities, and if you get into a track where you're just doing one thing day in and day out, you don't necessarily reflect on all the opportunities that are out there. So, I want to take some time to do that and hop in, ready to rumble, into something new and creative.

It was an amicable split?

Very much so. Bungie has two design studios, one in Chicago and one in San Jose. The synergy would have been better had I been in Chicago, but I just didn't want to move. That's really the only reason. Bungie is doing incredibly well, very much fueled by the success of Myth. I will continue to help them and support them in whatever way I can until I decide what I really want to do.

Some three weeks later at E3 (May 28-30, 1998) Bungie reveals "Oni" their new sci-fi 3D action game in development at Bungie West.

Eric's current home page is at http://www.jumpy.com/. In it he doesn't reveal much of his past but his links page does contain something odd. And I quote:

Game Companies

http://www.blizzard.com - What can I say? They just kick ass!

http://www.ea.com - Damn, when you make the best sports games in the industry, you get a link.

http://www.lucasarts.com - Mighty fine games

http://www.bungie.com - Love the games (okay, that is biased), and I can't wait till they get back to making action games.

Why would Eric write "...I can't wait till they get back to making action games"? Isn't Bungie West, the West Coast Office he helped to set up, not making a sci-fi 3D action game called "Oni"? And what about the other games... err sorry "events"... that have been in development at Bungie East since early '98. Isn't at least one of these an "action game"?

Update on the above. Well Eric's home page at http://www.jumpy.com/ has had a face lift. Indeed at the time of writing (July '99) you wouldn't know that the page was about Eric Klein. Anyway for those who are interested here is what Eric's old main page and links page used to look like.




Bungie's Dear Bob letter.

Arno Hautala <fracai@yahoo.com> writes:

Who in their M-thon life hasn't lashed out at a Bob at sometime just cause they were in your way or 20 feet away but you swear they looked at you 'funny'!

Well in 1995 around the release of M2 I recieved an interesting letter. Due to my father having purchased M1 as a birthday present (I was 11), it had been registered in his name... Robert, or Bob.

They expressed their concern for the anguish he must have endured from the butchering of countless number of Bobs. They even gave us a 20% coupon (my encounter with the Bungie Dollar) as consolation towards the purchase of their Bob T-shirt. I promptly accepted.

Here now is the complete text of the letter!

******************
                                                       [Bungie Logo]

      
July 7, 1995

Dear Bob,

As you may know, our game Marathon has caused the death of countless
numbers of "Bobs".  Though the character of Bob is a sympathetic and
ultimately victorious one, this is only the case after they have been
shot, burned, crushed and blown up by the hundreds.

We at Bungie are aware of the pain this may have caused you Earthly
Bobs (our own artist, Robert McLees, flinches a little every time he
hears the death-cry of his fellow Bobs).  To ameliorate any pain we may
have caused you, we would like to offer you a 20%-off coupon toward the
purchase of our new Bob T-shirt.  The shirt depicts a confrontation
between two of the most famous Bobs in software (the back reads "My Bob
is bigger than your Bob"), and we think you'll find it empowering.

If you would like to order the shirt, call us at (312) 563-6200, or
mail this letter with the coupon and $11.20 (plus $3.95 S&H) to the
address above.

Thank you,

[Doug Zartman's signature]

Douglas H. Zartman
Director of Public Relations
Bungie Software

******************

Also a black outline of the Bob encounter is shown to the right of the signature and the Bungie address and web address and so forth adorn the left margin.

Arno also sent in a scan in of the letter you can see it here (30K).

err... anyone notice the date on this letter?!!! Coincidence or... ?




Bungie's 2nd Web Page.

When The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site was closed in mid-Feburary 1995 Bungie were basically without an official web presence. However shortly after the announcement of The DISC in July '95 http://www.bungie.com appeared with the following announcement:

"We sincerely apologize that this site is not open to the public yet. We plan to open when we have a complete Web site for you to explore. To do this well will take some time yet."

"In the meantime, please feel free to send us suggestions of what you would like to see at the official Marathon site: webmaster@chiba.com"

"Note: We will be opening a preliminary page (primarily an ftp site) to the public at the opening of MacWorld Boston - August 15th. Come back and visit us then and get your demo copy of MARATHON 2.0."

This was good news for Marathon fans who could not attend MacWorld Boston and get their hands on the Marathon 2 Preview at least they would be able to download the Marathon 2 Demo shortly afterwards. However August 15th came and went with no sign of Bungie's new web page or the demo. This delay resulted in a number of acrimonious exchanges on usenet. At one stage both Matt Soell of Bungie Software and Stefan Fielding-Isaacs of Art & Science who were creating the site for Bungie stepped in to defend their position.

Bungie's second web page didn't actually open until Friday 13th Oct 1995 and boy did it cause a stir. For its time it was a state of the art site featuring server-push Marathon animations. However these bandwidth consuming features weren't appreciated by many fans who simply wanted to download the Marathon 2 demo. It lead to the famous What idiot designed Bungie's web site? thread.

You can see what all the fuss was about here. Ah nostalgia. ;-)




The Marathon Comic.

Back in 1995 Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) was producing some of the earliest Vidmaster films. In addition he created the Marathon Comic. Twelve pages of art and text which retold the story from the Manual's introduction. It was originally available on his web page (now apparently gone) in both Japanese and English. While the Story page had the Japanese version Adam (MacAllah) Ghazi-Tehrani <ryutoth@netscape.net> found the the English version and kindly saved it for posterity. Enjoy. Hats off to Miha... one of the Marathon greats.

English version

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Japanese version

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.




The 10th Warrior movie

Back in Oct 20, 1998 Bryan "Brymen" Mendoza <brymen@mail.inficad.com> released "The 10th Warrior" movie. A film homage to Marathon netplay featuring the music of Underworld ("Cowgirl") coupled with rapidfire editing of net films, chapter screen and other artwork. The original movie (Quicktime format) weighed in at 28MBs and is still available at the Story page here. In Feb 2001 Bryan re-encoded the movie. The new version is now 39MBs and it looks better than ever before. You can get it here.




Inside Mac Games Sneak Peek of Marathon 2

Back in August '95 Inside Mac Games magazine published a Sneak Peek of Marathon 2. The preview was based on the version of Marathon 2 relased at Macworld Boston '95 although the cover pic would suggest differently. Here's another pic of those gun totting Cyborg Tanks.

The full article is worth reading not least for the opening comment:

"...I tend to dislike sequels...




Inside Mac Games Sneak Peek of Marathon

Back in July '94 Inside Mac Games magazine published a Sneak Peek of Marathon. Contains some early Marathon screenshots, early backstory, and some gameplay features including... Cyberspace. Here's the description:

Another twist to the game is the addition of cyberspace. In Marathon, cyberspace is essentially the computer's interpretation of the real world. In the game you'll be able to find cyberspace portals that will let you go into cyberspace. Once in cyberspace, you'll find the cyberspace world to be exactly like the real world you were just in but with some physical changes like more objects, corridors, doors, and walls than in the real world. For example, imagine you came to a door that was locked and had no way to get in. In Marathon, you'll be able to jack into cyberspace and find a way to open the door in cyberspace through the use of additional tools, rooms, etc. If you should get killed in cyberspace or decide to return to the real world, you simply return to the real world unharmed and in the same place you jacked into cyberspace.




Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus interview with Jason Jones

The Jason Jones (Bungie Software) interview (pages 199-207) from "Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus" published by Hayden Press 1995 (ISBN# 1-56830-183-9). The book in now out-of-print. Transcript brought to you by M-Class.




Marathon Bumper Sticker

The Marathon Bumper Sticker was a play on an election sticker for Al Gore who was Vice President of the United States in 1995. The Bumper Sticker was never released due to it's emphasis on gore. As Matt Soell explained Bungie "didn't want to pigeonholed as a developer of violent games."




America's Funniest Marathon Replays

On page 20 of the Marathon Manual, Bungie advertised the America's Funniest Marathon Replays. "Send us you funniest replays for Marathon" it read, "we are making a collection of replays and if we use yours we'll send you a free T-shirt". Bungie never released any replays. Why? Matt Soell (Bungie) explains:

Whatever happened to America's Funniest Marathon Replays?
is simply this: We Didn't Laugh Once.
Sad but true.   There's no reason to assemble a collection of "funny" replays if they don't engender some giggles.
I guess our sense of humor is a bit too sophisticated.   Or is it lowbrow? I always get those confused.




Agents of Cool interview with Alex Seropian, Doug Zartman, Rob McLees and Mark Bernal

Interesting 1996 interview with Alex Seropian, Doug Zartman, Rob McLees and Mark Bernal. First question: Were you influenced by the Micronauts? It also gives the age of The Man. ;-)




ydnar on Infinity

Shamelessly stolen archived from Double Aught Software's first generation web site in early 1997. Those who were around at the time will no doubt remember how innovative those early Randy 'ydnar' Reddig designs were. Part of DA's site contained an Infinity section called 'ydnar on infinity'. He's the blurb from the oo4 version of the site:

ydnar on infinity
words and pictures from the
marathon infinity scenario as
interpreted by one of our
designers.

"just another day for a cyborg."

If you missed it at the time or yearn to see it again then click the link above. It has the distinctive ydnar style with a mixture of terminal pics, in-game screenshots, terminal text and a few new elements thrown in. Still stylish even today.




Double Aught's Coriolis Loop netmap pack

Shortly after the release of the Marathon Infinity, Double Aught created a netmap pack of 18 network levels and provided them free to the Marathon community. The netmap pack was called Coriolis Loop and Double Aught created a specific page on their web site for their distribution. While Double Aught's web site is long gone you can see the original Coriolis Loop page at the link above. The download link is also still active. The 18 levels are as follows:

Carnage Soccer
Carnage Soccer
Controlled by Gamma Light
Corpus Swinus
Hats off to Eight Nineteen
Grendel's Happy Cookie
House of Monkey
Mime Target
My Rod?
Reason with the Sky - Fast
Reason with the Sky (More Complex)
Sand Serif (Fast)
Sand Serif (Good Looking)
Tour de Carnáge
sybau
Shadows of Brooklyn
UN Attack
Ways and Means 2

They are perhaps the most innovative and aesthetically pleasing network levels available. The Read Me file that came with the netmap pack can be found here.




Game Boys

University of Chicago, Alumni Profiles of Alex Seropian and Jason Jones. Extracted from the University of Chicago Magazine, June 95. A little insight into their college dorm-life, girls and stuff. ;-)




Super Marathon

In 1996, Bungie completed a port of Marathon and Marathon 2 to Apple's short-lived Pippin video game console. Chris Butcher <butcher@bungie.com> (Bungie Studies) kindly sent in front and back scans of the Super Marathon box. Note the blurb on the back: "From the first round of ammo to the last, it's your choice: Space Hero. Or Space Dust!" Who writes this stuff? ;-)

You can see Super Marathon in action on YouTube.

Was Super Marathon a direct port with no changes made to terminals, maps, etc.? Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>, Director of Customer Support at Bungie, replies:

I believe so. There was only one person assigned to the port (Jason Regier) and he didn't have the time or inclination to mess around with it too much as he was needed on the Myth team. The hardest part was figuring out a way to make that wacky AppleJack controller handle all the various commands.

One of the Pippin's selling points among the Mac faithful was that Mac users would be able to run almost all Pippin games. Not sure if it is possible to run SuperMarathon on a standard Mac....perhaps one of the 4 people who bought a Pippin could help us out here. ;-)


Alex Rosenberg, a former Bungie employee, replied to a post on alt.games.marathon concerning Super Marathon. It's reprinted in full below.

From: alexr@I.HATE.SPAM (Alex Rosenberg) 
Subject: Re: super marathon 
Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 22:45:30 -0700 
Organization: Hackers Anonymous 
Message-ID: <alexr-0308982245300001@roseal2.apple.com>
References: <35C5097C.12B7BFEE@hotmail.com_NOSPAM>


In article <35C5097C.12B7BFEE@hotmail.com_NOSPAM>,
csta026@cs.auckland.ac.nz wrote:

>,Does anybody here know any more abput Super Marathon (apparently for
>,Pippin's) than the tiny bits of info that cyberian outpost put on the
>,page (see the link on Storys page)?
>,
>,I would like to buy it if I can find which versions (of the pippin) it
>,compatible with and the memory requirments. Any are the levels any
>,different?

<,sigh>, What a huge waste of time.

IIRC, Super Marathon runs on the Pippin only as it uses the special
Pippin-only APIs for controller input (pre-InputSprocket) and the special
PippinStandardFile. There was an extension in the Pippin SDK that provided
these features on a regular Power Macintosh, but good luck finding it now.
The game restarts the machine when you quit it because a memory leak in
the Pippin OS prevented the game from relaunching since it barely fit. It
should work on both the original Japanese unit and the later US design.

The game consists of a M1 and M2 with an interface for picking which game
to launch. A few M2 levels are different, but I believe that they are the
same differences found in M2 for the PC. Both games had changes to the
terminal renderer to increase font size; even with convolution hardware, 9
point text is hard to read on a TV. Several features were ripped out to
conserve memory. For example, the music in M1 is gone.

If Jason Regier still reads this group, he might have something more to
add as he did almost all of the porting work. I will note that even as an
official Pippin developer, we got zero technical support from Bandai. The
only means we had for answers to our questions was for me to personally
call friends of mine at Apple whom I knew were working on Pippin and ask
them. The really sad part is that despite repeated requests, we were never
supplied one of the Japanese Pippin keyboards, so we didn't specifically
support it in the game.

If you can find one, there's existed adapter cable to permit the AppleJack
controller to be plugged into a regular ADB jack. I'm reasonably sure that
it was only made available to Pippin developers. InputSprocket (and
Marathon Infinity 1.5) will use it if you hook it all up.

+------------------------------------------------------------+
| Alexander M. Rosenberg            |
| Nobody cares what I say. Remove the underscore to mail me. |


Bruce Morrison <bruce@freeverse.com> writes:

Super Marathon's Marathon 2 map is identical to Marathon 2 for Mac (not Windows) minus all the pattern buffers. However a bigger change is, Super Marathon is running as a network game. If you die, you go back to the player start, but the game does not reset (monsters stay dead, doors stay open, and all your equipment (that managed to roll a survive number) is on the floor. This makes beating Super Marathon much easier than Marathon as you can brute force your way through the game.

Regarding the pattern buffers, Bruce sent in this screen capture of Waterloo Waterpark which shows that they were completely removed from the game and replaced by a solid grey texture.

While playiing Super Marathon, Bruce came across an interesting item in his inventory. He writes:

my save file glitched and when I loaded I had this. Looks like Super Marathon knew about Marathon Infinity.

Now isn't that interesting. I wonder how that got there?


Here's Bruce Morrison's blog at Freeverse describing his attempts at finding both a Pippin and Super Marathon and then playing the game.




The Conversatron: Can you briefly summarize the plot of the Marathon series?

The Conversatron was a popular question and answer website from the early 21th century, where you never quite knew what kind of response you would get from the "askees",   exemplified by this Marathon-related question: "Can you briefly summarize the plot of the Marathon series?"

As you can see the answer was pretty unpredictable but a classic. :-)




The Official Strategy Guide Interview

This interview was taken from Chapter 13 (pages 157-161) of the Official Strategy Guide for Marathon. Tuncer Deniz, who wrote the Strategy Guide, interviewed Bungie President Alexander Seropian and Lead Programmer Jason Jones shortly after Marathon's release. The interview is important as it reveals that Bungie had deliberately left the ending of Marathon open to allow for a possible sequel. According to Amazon.com the Strategy Guide was published in June 21, 1995. However, I seem to recall an earlier date for publication, possibly April 1995. Perhaps someone can confirm the publication date?




Chips, oh delicious chips.

What's the 'chips' thing all about? I get asked this alot since the story keeps cropping up every few years, usually in some modified form. Anyway here is the original story posted by poena.dare #CP# <mstory@mlcsmith.removethis.com> on the Story forum back in Feb 1, 2003. And just in case the link dies here's the text:

I also hear there is a website devoted to the game by some guy in Scottlande or someplace.
They say he's really crazy 'cuz his wife went into labor the day the game came out an she wouldn't
let him go to the shoppe and buy it so when they got home from th hospital he cut her up and buried
her in the yard and then ate his own baby with some chips, oh delicious chips. So they caught him but
he managed to get his copy of Marathon and smuggled it into prison with him and the other convicts
tried to take it away from him in the shower so he cut them up and ate them to, in fact he went on
a rampage and ate all the prison guards with some chips, oh delicious chips. And then he sat down
at the warden's desk and played the game straight through only stopping when he had to pee in a
potted plant in the corner of the room. After he finished the game he found the prison surrounded
by the Army and there was a guy on a bullhorn named Dr. Quartermass who was telling him to put
down the fork and come out. But he managed to escape through the sewers and they couldn't catch
him but they found his bag of chips, oh delicious chips. They say he's still hiding to this day
in the mountains of Scotchland, the Alpes, updating his website every day using a portable microwave
dish and a laptop. They also say of your are backpacking in the Alpes that you'd better not carry
any chips, oh delicious chips. They say they'll never catch him to because there are laws that
protect mountain people and the police are scared to go up there. But he has to come to a city
once a month on the seventh day and he breaks into a house that has a computer and he plays Marathon
straight through and he eats anyone at home with chips, oh delicious chips. So the police are hoping
to catch him when he goes to the city but so far he's eaten over 3,000 people and 2,920 bags of
chips, oh delicious chips so it seems like there is no stopping him. You may think I'm making all
this up but it's the truth and I know it cause I asked my friend who works and Bungie and he said
it's true so it is.

And here is one of those variations I was talking about.




The Marathon Trilogy Box Set Trivia Contest

Shortly after the release of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set (MTBS) on the 1 May 1997, Bungie Software, MacCentral, and Inside Mac Games Magazine ran a Trivia Contest. Ten multiple choice questions and if you got them all right you were in with a chance to win a copy of the MTBS. Now the questions aren't that hard and looking through the possibly answers it wouldn't surprised me if Matt Soell had a hand in this. Anyway here are the lucky 20 winners.




The Battle of Brooklyn

Learn the tru7h behind Double Aught's one-on-one pavement chewing Brooklyn brawls. The IRC smack talk, the put downs, the cheat codes, the sniping, the crushing defeats, the stats, the urban myths - like Randy Reddig taking out a running opponent with a single pistol shot to the head through a window from a distance. Did you see?




Mac Hall's "Now With Better Support" cartoon (aka Jjaro Boxers)

The original is still available at the Mac Hall site here.




Ian McConville's "WasDurandal" movie, a paraody on the Budweiser Wasabi ad.




The Ming Choy

On a balmy Chicago spring evening Alex Seropian, Max Hoberman and a very youthful Joe Staten take a journey from their Chicago headquarters on Ontario Street to the mystical Ming Choy. The text and images are exactly as they appeared on Bungie's web site eons ago. No changes have been made to source code or the pic names. And if you are very observant you will see something that few people outside of Bungie have seen.

The Ming Choy is featured in Bungie's Seven Steps to World Domination. Namely, Step 4: Acquire strangely addictive Chinese food company.




The Alain Roy interview

Thanks to Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith <mlcsmith@gmail.com> for sending in an old interview he did with Alain Roy (programmer on PID and Marathon). It originally appeared at Bungie Sightings (and still does) but he wanted to have it hosted here for posterity (or something). Lots of Marathon tidbits in this interview, including another error in the Marathon Scrapbook. What's new I hear you say.




Bungie's Magical Mystery Tour of Chicago

This tongue-in-cheek tour of Bungie hometowm (Chicago) was prompted by a post by Craig Hardgrove <craig.hardgrove@stonybrook.edu> on the Story forum. He wrote:

I love Chicago! I had many opportunities to visit some of these classic Bungie locations you've mentioned, however, when I lived there I wasn't aware of them. Can someone put together a comprehensive Bungie Tour of Chicago list of locations so those who are interested can go check these locations when they're in Chicago?

So was born Bungie's Magical Mystery Tour of Chicago. Take the tour: Stops 1,   2,   3,   4,   5,   6,   and   7.




The Jay Barry interview

Thanks again to Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith <mlcsmith@gmail.com> for sending in another old interview this time with Jay Barry. Story page readers may remember that Jay was famous (or infamous) for starting the whole Who is The Bungie Webmaster? search. Back in 1997, it was revealed that he was Bungie's website/network guy. Of course we quickly learnt that he was actually the tech guy behind the scenes and not 'The Third Most Evil Man In The World'. In the interview Jay reveals all when he says:

Of course I wasn't the Bungie Webmaster. I was the schlep who worked on the servers, but never the website. Getting near the Webmaster meant enduring the smell. Plus he was always hitting me up for money.

Yes, more clues to the identity of The Bungie Webmaster. ;)




The Marathon 2 Charity Auction

Back in late 1995, Bungie held a charity auction for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the item on auction was the first ever copy of Marathon 2. The winner was announced in the Spring '96 edition of Bungie's Bungievision magazine. The highest bid was $612 and the bidder was Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha), famous Vidmaster and author of the Marathon Comic. Miha got a signed copy of the first production copy of Marathon 2 and a certificate of authenticity.

Based on the certifcate, the first copy of Marathon 2 was produced on November 10, 1995.




The Marathon Christmas Card

The Marathon Christmas Card was the first of the Bungie Christmas Cards. Entitled 'Home Pfhor The Holidays', it was issued in 1996 and drawn by Mark Bernal. Here is the front and back. Here is a smaller higher quality version of the front. The inside said 'Wishing you and your family the best for the holiday season.' The card was sold in packs of ten for $9.00.

Bungie went on the create other Christmas Cards for Myth, Oni, Halo, and more recently... Destiny.




The Mystery of the Seventh Head

On page 23 of the Marathon 2 manual you can see eight cartoon heads. Here's the image:

As you might expect these are caricatures of the creators of Marathon 2 (most of them anyway). But who is who? Some might be obvious others not so. Around the same time as Marathon 2 was released Bungie's 2nd web page had an Inside Bungie section. This contained seven of the eight cartoon heads along with names. Thus it was possible to put names to all but the seventh head.

Who was the Seventh Head?

This mystery remained unsolved until 2011. Prompted by a Story page challenge, David Candland (Evil Otto) went to the source - Rob McLees, the artist who drew them, and was told that it was Ryan Martell. This was also confirmed by Matt Soell (formerly of Bungie Software) who wrote in a Story forum post:

Mr. McLees drew 'em, so it's not a matter of opinion. Ryan Martell it is/was - although in Robt's
rendering he looks more like a used car salesman, or perhaps a televangelist. Then again, Greg
looks like a skankin' Rasta, Mark looks like Fred Flintstone, and I look like some kind of
degenerate vagabond. Perhaps Robt depicted our true selves, not the masks we present in polite
society.

-Matt

So the seventh head is Ryan Martell.

Though it bears an eerie resemblance to former Apple Game Evangelist Eric Klein Jr. who joined Bungie in late 1995.




Last Polygon Filled Day

On the secret Bungie credits terminal on the Marathon level "Ingue Ferroque" you can read the following:

Marathon is finished. We've slept <10 hours over the last
four days. We all put our hearts into this, not to mention
the 14 hour days for months on end, so we hope you like it.

Last polygon filled 6:05 PM Saturday, December 14.
Carnage ensued closely thereafter. Er, I mean sleep.

So Marathon's last polygon was filled on Saturday, December 14, 1994. This important Marathon 'fact' made its way into the Marathon Scrapbook. And so it lay there, unnoticed, waiting... until Daniel Godwin spotted the error in the Seven Errors in the Marathon Scrapbook competition in Oct 20, 1999. Daniel wrote:

I've found another one of the problems in the scrapbook! December 14th was not a Saturday, in 1994! It was a Wednesday!

A quick check of a 1994 calendar reveals this to be the case. So when was the last Marathon ploygon filled? Given that it is more likely to get the date wrong rather than the actual day, was the last polygon filled on Saturday, December 17, 1994? Or perhaps the preceding Saturday, December 10, 1994? Or maybe it was in fact Wednesday, December 14, 1994?

The answer can be found in two comp.sys.mac.games posts from that era. The first by Dan Meltz, a good friend of Jason Jones and author of the Pathways Into Darkness Hint book. His post on Friday 16 December 1994 indicates that Bungie were still working hard to get Marathon out the door. The second post by Tuncer Deniz, founder of Inside Mac Games and a regular visitor to Bungie's office during those hectic months. His post on Monday 19 December 1994 indicates that Marathon was now finished and in duplication. So Saturday 17 December 1994 at 6.05pm looks about right to be 'last polygon filled' day.

So there you have it... another Marathon mystery solved after 17 years. ;)




Monsters in a Box

This Chicago Reader article by Bill Mahin is one of those rare pieces about Bungie which seems to get under their very skin. While it is primarily about the Myth era (the highs and lows) it has some early Pathways Into Darkness and Marathon tidbits. Here's just one:

At the end of March 1996 Bungie announced that it would release a PC version of Marathon 2. Many Mac gamers, who'd had the Bungie games to themselves, felt betrayed. Within a couple days Bungie received 400 angry E-mail messages. One of the worst stated, "You fucking assholes have gone and done it now. You said you wouldn't create Marathon for PC. Fucking liars! What have I to hold above the PC gamer's heads now, huh you fuckers?!?! Bitch trick whore slut ass fuckers!!!! BURN IN HELL ASSHOLES!!!!!!!! You know, I was actually gonna buy the Marathon/Marathon 2 bundle. But not now! You assholes ain't getting any of my money. I'll fucking use a copy from a friend."

Concerning the author of the article, Matt Soell (formerly of Bungie Software) had this to say in the Story forum post:

That guy hung around the office for months. Talked with all of us, saw
lots of stuff. And he really disliked Blood II.

I think I still have a few yellowing copies of that issue of the Reader
sitting in a box somewhere.

-Matt

The Chicago Reader is Chicago's largest free weekly newspaper. In case the link goes down you can read a copy of the article here.




Marathon Home Videos


The Marathon Home Videos is a compilation of videos taken by Tuncer Deniz (Inside Mac Games) during the development of Marathon. The first video segment is dated August 26, 1994 and shows Jason and his team of programmers working on Marathon's source code. The last video segment shows some of the solo levels being play tested along with shots of the finished Marathon box. The whole video is just over 26 minutes long. While it was filmed in 1994 it wasn't publically distributed until the release of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set in May 1997. Indeed, it was not easy to find since it was hidden (invisible) in the Gnop folder on the first (black) Trilogy CD.

You can see the Marathon Home Videos on YouTube here or you can download it in H.264 format here courtesy of Eric Peacock. If either of these links go down you can watch it on the Story page here. Another piece of Marathon history preserved for the future.

Tuncer Deniz had this to say about the Marathon Home Videos in his blog on Inside Mac Games in May 2006:

My fondest memories of Bungie are, of course, the Marathon days. It was really exciting to see how 3 programmers, an artist, and a level designer were able to create this amazing game. I was lucky enough to see the game on a weekly basis come to be.

So when I saw a forum link on IMG a few days about my days at Bungie and of a hidden video that I had put on the Marathon Trilogy CD, I began to think it might be a fun thing to post it in my IMG blog. Thanks to those who dug it up!

In the video below you will see several people who are worth mentioning, many of which are now Bungie Alumni. They are: Jason Jones (head of Bungie Studios), Alexander Seropian (went on to found Wideload Games), Ryan Martell (after Marathon 2, bought a boat and went sailing around the world... lost contact), Alain Roy (worked at Bungie while a college studentÉlost contact), Reginald DeJour (after Marathon 2, went to work at several game companies), Greg Kirkpartick (after Marathon Infinity, left Bungie and moved to New York to create his own game company, Double Aught. The game, Duality, was never released... lost contact), and Doug Zartman (now at Wideload Games).

One final word of warning... there are several "bad" words in the video (those Bungie guys like saying the F word a lot). Please do not view this video if you are under age.




The Marathon Gold Hoax.

This hoax was inspired by Bungie's 3rd electronic newsletter which was emailed out to Bungie fans on Sept 29, 1998. You will note that the contents are numbered from 1 to 10 but only 9 items are in fact listed. Item 7 is missing. Item 7 ?!!! Was this a mistake or something more? Ted Polak was one of the first to notice this odd omission and sent in his observation to the Story page:

Just wanted to point out that the Bungie Newsletter Volume 3 has no
number 7, instead skipping from 6 to 8. Whaddya know...

The next day the following email was sent out to all those on the Bungie mailing list. It was entitled "Bungie Newsletter: Missing item #7" and contained the following important announcement:

Okay, okay, so we left out news item #7.
Here it is.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------



7. Bungie announces Marathon Gold in development
------------------------------------------------


Marathon fans will be delighted to hear that we've started work
on Marathon Gold. The definitive collection of Marathon maps and
utilities. Yes the Marathon Gold CD will contain all your favorite
3rd party scenarios, including Morgana's Revenge and Evil.
The distinctive gold colored CD will also come with new versions
of Forge and Anvil. Forge 2 promises a number of new surprises we
can't mention yet.

Anyway, keep an eye out, we'll be announcing a release date and
price soon.

Marathon Gold? Could it be true? Matt Soell, Director of Customer Support at Bungie, was quick off the blocks sending in the following denial to the Story page:

There is no Marathon Gold.

Dunno who sent that, but it ain't true.

If it IS true, then I am WAY out of the loop.

But it was too late... Marathon Gold went viral. A week later Bungie sent out the following apology and correction, explaining that the email was in fact a fake. Bungie had been hacked by a master criminal! The identity of the two individuals responsible for the Marathon Gold Hoax has never been revealed for fear of Reprisal. ;)

Even 'The Bungie Webmaster' denied the existence of Marathon Gold. The subject came up in a letter to the The Bungie Webmaster:

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY MIND!!!!!!!??? An entire year of constant
Marathon playing has reduced my psyche to a blasted battlefield
littered with dead Bobs and dismembered Pfhor bodies. I can't even
THINK anymore! Isn't there a law against mind control or somthing?
Oh well, I don't really mind being a Mara-Zombie. I've just got one
question, my pfriend tells me that you guys are working on a rehash
of the original Marathon, only with animations n' stuff in the terms
and in place of the chapter screen. He says it's called Marathon
Gold, is this true, or should I beat him over the head repeatedly
with a rubber chicken for spreading lies and deceit?

Chris Reid, creid@lville.pvt.k12.nj.us


Chris-

It's not true. Your "friend" lied to you.

I think we both know what this means.
Get the chicken.




Strata's interview with Robert McLees

A short interview dating from 1996 in which Robert McLees briefly describes how he created the S'pht'Kr Elite Guard (Defender) using among other things Strata's StudioPro (3-D rendering program). Has a rare shot of Rob in a suit, Gekko suspenders and a rose (no kidding). The man is obviously a charmer! Here's a short piece:

The process of building the Defender began with a somewhat older graphic technology, paper and pencil. With conceptual drawings at hand, I ran StudioPro and formed the alien's body out of basic shapes (cones, spheres), similar to modeling with clay.




Beck 2 - Spår i Mörker

Back in 1998, Stefan Arnborg wrote the following letter to the Bungie Webmaster:

Did you know that right now there is a movie playing in Sweden called Beck 2. The movie is about Sweden's best policeman who gets involved with a mysterious murder case. In that movie they play Marathon 2, but they call it Final Doom and it's played by psychos in the Stockholm subway.

Stefan Arnborg, stefan@nada.kth.se


Stefan-

Well, for what it's worth, there was actually a non-Bungie game called Final Doom, and it sold principally to psychos who live in the Stockholm subways, so the game in the movie may not have been Marathon 2.

Nonetheless, I'd love to see the film just to make sure, so if any of you Swedish film buffs can get me a copy on NTSC video (or tell me where I can find such a beast), I'll make it worth your while.

Stefan was referring to Beck 2 - Spår i Mörker, though Wikipedia refers to it as Beck - Spår i Mörker. The movie premiered in Sweden on 31 October 1997 and later appeared on the Swedish television network TV4 in 2002.

Clips from the movie when it was shown TV4 eventually appeared on the net and you can see them here:

Beck clip 1

Beck clip 2

Beck clip 3

There is little doubt that the game (Final Doom) used in the movie is a modified version of Marathon 2.




Inside Mac Games Interview with Bungie Software 1995

This interview with Bungie's Alex Seropian and Jason Jones was taken from the Jan/Feb 1995 issue of Inside Mac Games magazine. It was conducted by Tuncer Deniz (IMG editor) shortly after the release of Marathon. Note that this interview is different from the interview Tuncer did with Alex and Jason for the Strategy Guide. Highlights include: waiting for the boxes (or the true reason for the Marathon delay), Marathon compared to Pathways, Marathon compare to DOOM, secret cheat code, the ARA patch, a Marathon port, and the leaked Marathon beta.

Parts of the interview were originally published as short movie clips located on the IMG CD. Unfortunately I cannot locate these. If you have the original IMG CD Jan/Feb 1995 issue please let me know as I would like to add the movie clips to the Story page. Thanks.

Update July 8, 2012. Thanks to Mickey <mickeywember@gmail.com> for posting the video portion of the IMG interview with Bungie Software on YouTube.




Bungie's 1st MacWorld Stampede

The Boston MacWorld Expo in August 1997 was notably for a number of things, not least the fact that it was the last of the Boston MacWorld's (it moved to New York in 1998). It was the first to feature the return of Steve Jobs, as interim Apple CEO (the rest, as they say, is history). It was also the first to feature Bungie's MacWorld Stampede. The premise was simple: the first ten people to arrive at the Bungie booth with Myth stickers displayed prominently on their person won a copy of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set. The result, as you can imagine, was chaos. Bungie captured the event in a series of pictures and proudly displayed it on their website. All gone now...

... NOT. The evidence has been forensically preserved and can now be revealed in all its glory insane madness: Bungie's 1st MacWorld Stampede. According to this alt.games.marathon post, Kazem Edmond was one of the first (or first) to reach the Bungie booth to claim his copy of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set. You can actually see him in one of the pictures.

Bungie ran the same experiment at the San Francisco MacWorld Expo in January 1998. This 2nd MacWorld Stampede was 'controlled' chaos on a much larger (and more dangerous) scale... but that's a story for another day.




The Marathon Infinity Map Making Contest

When Bungie shipped Marathon Infinity on October 15, 1996 they also released their first newsletter which announced The Marathon Infinity Map Making Contest. If you headed over to Bungie's website you could read the official rules for the contest. The deadline for submissions was February 15, 1997 so people had four months to get to grips with the newly released map making tools - Forge and Anvil. But what were the prizes? People wanted to know. While Jonas Eneroth appeared to be 'The Judge' for the competition he wasn't exactly forthcoming with the prize details. Indeed, the actual prize wouldn't be announced until mid-December, some two months after the competition announcement.

As part of the Marathon Mapmaking Contest, Bungie is all goose-pimply to announce our most generous prize yet, the License to Vid. This prize is designed to ensure one lucky winner will always have Bungie to play with.

The License to Vid entitles the holder to one free copy of every game and T-Shirt that Bungie publishes for five years from the issue date. When they obtain the license, they must register their name, address and platform with us. Thereafter, within 2 weeks of the shipdate of each new game we publish, the licensee may call to request their game. It will be shipped to them free of any charge.

Apparently there would only be one lucky winner of Bungie's License to Vid. However, not everyone was impressed with the prize.

On Apr 6, 1997, Bungie announced the winners of their map making contest. The winners were to receive the "Bungie for Life". Runners up would get "special editions of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set". In addition, 13 maps received Honorable Mentions. It's not clear if the "Bungie for Life" prize was the same as the originally announced "License to Vid" prize. Bungie for Life would suggest that the prize was longer than five years.

When Bungie released the Marathon Trilogy Box Set in May 1997 they included the competition entries on the map collection CD. The contest list included the names of the winners and runners up but listed only 12 maps in the Honorable Mentions category.

The missing 13th map was D&M Ultimap. This was Degu & Miha's net map pack. Degu and Miha should be well known to most Marathoners. Why their map was removed from the list is not clear. D&M Ultimap does appear on the Trilogy CD just not with the competition entries. Perhaps they were unhappy about not winning and asked for it not to be listed? Or did Bungie pull it for a specific reason? Did it break the Official Rules? Whatever the answer you can get their competition entry here (v1.0) and a later version (v1.0.1) here.




The End

The End is an invisible text file found on the Marathon Infinity CD in the Marathon Infinity Small Install folder. It is principally written by Tuncer Deniz (Production Manager, Bungie Software), with contributions from Randy Reddig (Double Aught Software) and Matt Soell (Bungie Software). It outlines in a concise fashion the development of Marathon Infinity from concept to final product. Of particular interest is the fact that Infinity started out as a quick add-on to Marathon 2 but with time and new textures, additional levels and a new weapon, it became something more.




Blood Tides of Lh'owon - Sneak Peek

This is a tongue-in-cheek 'Sneak Peek' look at the Marathon Infinity scenario Blood Tides of Lh'owon. It was posted on the Story page back in Apr 17, 1996. Shortly after Bungie announced Marathon Infinity in Feb 1996 they updated their website with the following information:

"Blood Tides of Lh'owon", a 30-level scenario with new textures, landscapes, monsters and startling developments in the Marathon story.

Not much to go one... hence the Sneak Peek. ;)

Just a bit of fun back in the day.




Marathon 2: Durandal Strategy Guide

Better late than never. The Marathon 2: Durandal Strategy Guide was written by Jonas Eneroth, Tuncer Deniz and Doug Zartman. It was distributed on the Marathon Infinity CD and written in Hypertext Markup Language. Even though this is an official release it's not without its problems. Jonas Eneroth took the blame for these and stated:

A correction will be available shortly - along with some additional info.

Shortly?!!! Hmmm...



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Last updated Aug 15, 2013