I've just started to read the Marathon's Story page but where do I start? This site is all over the place!
Yes, if you are new to this site you can easily become lost. If you're using a frames capable web browser you'll now see a handy scrolling contents list on the left. Use this to navigate through the different pages.
Where do you begin? Well it depends on what you want to do. If you just want to read the story than click on any of the level names. You may have to widen Netscape's viewing window for some pages. If you want to read some of the interesting facts and puzzling things about the story then scroll down to the Fact and puzzling things about... section. The subjects in this section are ordered chronologically.
All additions to this site (except secret ones) are documented in the What's New Sections. If you start with What's New (Sept-Oct 1995) you will be able to trace the development of the whole site.
Oh man!... it'll take me seven months to read all the stuff here... I just want a one page synopsis of the story... is there one?
You'll find a good two page synopsis of the back story to Marathon and Marathon 2 by Ben Reiter here.
Hey I've sent you my Durandal=Elvis theory seven times now and you still haven't added it to the page. What gives?
OK I'll own up! It's not easy getting a theory added to the Marathon's Story page. All theories must be supported by text from the story. In cases where there is no supporting text the theory must be at least plausible and go some way to further developing our understanding of the story.
I generally challenge all new theories. Through a process or argument and counter-argument a theory can either be eventually discredited or shaped into a very likely possibility.
However I'm not God, I do make mistakes, I'm open to failures of intuition, I miss people's points of view, and I have off days. So some things end up on the page which in hindsight I wished had not and other stuff gets left off. The later eventually make it on though.
Why do some of the theories not make sense?
All theories at the time of addition are plausible (or at least seem plausible). However when Marathon 2 was released new facts became available which made a number of early theories obsolete.
There is stuff in the What's New sections which hasn't been added to the Facts and puzzling things about... pages. Are you going to add these?
There is quite alot of information in the What's New sections which never made it into the Facts and puzzling things about... section. Mostly this is tidbit stuff which didn't warrant a page of its own. You can now read it all in the Miscellaneous section.
Hey I sent you mail but you never replied?
I honestly try to reply to everyone. I reply even to the simplest of messages such as: "Wow! I think your page is great" or "I think your page sucks, GET A LIFE". If you haven't received a reply from me then either of two things has happened.
While I can't do much about the first problem I can and have done something about the second. The following is The Bouncing Mail Page . If your name is here then we have a problem.
- I never received your mail in the first place.
- Your reply address does not work and the mail has been bounced back to me.
Update: I presently have a backlog of some 1000 unanswered Story page letters. Three hundred of these are in the immediate pending tray.
How did you create the animated icons on your page?
Most of the animated icons were created by Matthew Smith. Matthew used to have an Animated Icons FAQ at http://www.mlcsmith.com/poenadare/marathon/anim/index.html.
Do Bungie read this page?
Yes judging from the mail I receive and the IP addresses that hit the page. Indeed this is what Bungie say about the Marathon's Story page.
Postscript: Bungie's "Stuff That Rox" page is dead now so go here to see it.
Who wrote the Marathon Story?
In the Marathon manual Greg Kirkpatrick and Colin Brent are credited for the Story but in the game itself only Greg Kirkpatrick is credited. I had the opportunity some time ago to ask Greg (GK) why Colin Brent was credited in the manual but not in the game:
HS: In the Marathon manual Colin Brent and yourself are credited for the story but in the game itself the credit screen has only you. Was there a reason for this and how much did Colin contribute to the story?
GK: Colin Brent came up with the Marathon premise: a colony ship travels to a new planet. I think the name "Marathon" was his addition as well, but I'm not sure.
What happened to Colin Brent in those early days of Marathon development? Well according to Jason Jones:
"...he had better things to do, like get married, move to the east coast and go to grad school"
The Marathon Scrapbook provides additional information from early 1994:
In February, Greg Kirkpatrick joined the Bungie team. Greg had beta-tested Pathways Into Darkness after befriending Jason at school. Several months earlier Jason had declared that if Marathon was going to have a story, Greg would have to write it.
In Marathon 2 both Jason Jones and Greg Kirkpatrick are credited for writing the Story both in the manual and in the game itself.
The Marathon Infinity scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon" was created by Greg Kirkpatrick's game company Double Aught. While no one is explicitly credited for the story Chris Geisel, Greg Kirkpatrick, and Randy Reddig are credited for the scenario.
Who wrote the Lost Network Packets? Are they really from Bungie?
Yes, cardinal Bungie text. It was sent to address a chronological problem in Marathon's storyline.
Why didn't Bungie incorporate the text of the Lost Network Packets into Marathon 2?
They tried. Matt Soell <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:The Von Muller bits were reworked and eventually dropped from the full game in large part because they only served as background info rather than moving the current story forward. We tried a number of ideas for connecting the first game with the second and providing a clearer historical backdrop, but none of them worked out as well as we'd hoped.
Will there ever be a Marathon 4?
Who can tell? Bungie have on a number of occasions indicated that they have no intention of continuing the Marathon series. Indeed their Webmaster went so far as to write the following on their letter's page back in Nov '96:
"Imagine a painting of a horse, a marvellous white stallion. This stallion happens to be lying in a crumpled heap on the ground, dead. And Bungie employees are standing around it in a semicircle, beating the horse with various blunt objects. The painting is titled "Marathon 4."
Well, okay, that's overstating things. We're very proud of the Marathon series, but it's not the only thing we can do. Rather than getting into a rut and spitting out a new Marathon game every year, we're going to try some new stuff."
However at the back of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set manual, released in May '97, the following text can be found:
Is this the end? I guess so. That's too
bad. But it's only the beginning. Really?
Sure, what the hell. Stop it! Is that
really it? I mean, really it? Wait and see...
What does it all mean? I guess we'll have to wait and see. But one thing is for sure the Marathon Universe has not yet closed. As Durandal says:T-Minus 15.193792102158E+9 years until the universe closes!
Somebody said there was Halo stuff on this site. Where is it?
Yup... try these links:The Cortana Letters
Halo submissions since the 21th July '99
Iain M. Banks' "Culture" references in Bungie's Halo
Halo ring motif
Lynx Phoenix ad
Official Halo Backstory
Also the Blam section (Blam = codename for Halo) contains some Halo tidbits.
Where did you get the Marathon font you have on your page?
The "Marathon font" is in fact call Modula Tall. It is a commercial font sold by Emigre Inc. The font comes as part of a Tall Pack.
As the Modula Tall font is a commercial font please don't ask me to send you a copy. Thanks.
The font used in the Marathon manuals is Bank Gothic. Again this is a commercial font available from Bitstream on their Bitstream Collection 250 Font CD. Rumor has it that the font was also available with some Mac Performa models. If you know which ones let me know. Thanks.
I just found the Bank Gothic font on the web (some sites allow you to download it for free) but it's a PC version of the TrueType font (.TTF) and it won't work on my Mac. :(
You need TTConverter (a TTF Font Conversion Program for Macintosh Computers) by Chris Reed. It's shareware and can be found at http://www.umich.edu/~archive/mac/util/font/ttconverter1.5.cpt.hqx
I installed Quicktime 3.0 and now the Marathon music sounds all weird. What's up? How can I get the original music sound back?
The general concensus is that the version of QuickTime Musical Instruments which comes with Quicktime 3.0 distorts the Marathon background music so badly that in some cases it makes you want to cringe. I personally have gone back to using Quicktime 2.5 when playing Marathon. You can find the original Quicktime 2.5 installer at this site here (1987K). If you've already got Quicktime 3.0 and System 8.0 or higher installed do the following. Remove all the Quicktime 3.0 extensions and the Sound Manager extension from your Extensions Folder and the QuickTimeŞ Settings control panel from the Contral Panels Folder. Put these away safely in another folder. Now install Quicktime 2.5. If you choose Custom Install you will see what the installer will attempt to install.
You can safely install the lot provided you've removed the extensions and control panel mentioned above. This will also give you Movieplayer 2.5 which will work with Quicktime 3.0 and give you more functions than the present free version of Movieplayer 3.0. If you wish you can replace the Sound Manager extension 3.2.1 you've just installed with the latest version you removed from the Extensions Folder. I've noted no problems using it with Quicktime 2.5.
If you need to go back to running Quicktime 3.0 then just swap the Quicktime 2.5 files for the Quicktime 3.0 ones. You'll need to restart your computer to take advantage of Quicktime 3.0.
Hey I heard that Power of Seven did the Marathon 2 and Infinity music but I can't find any info on them. Do you know who they are?
Power of Seven Inc. were a Minneapolis-based digital music content publisher headed by Paul Sebastien. Paul was responsible for writing and producing the theme music for Marathon 2 Durandal and Marathon Infinity. Power of Seven Inc. were acquired by Headspace Inc., a leader in Internet music and audio technology, and relocated on-site to Headspace's San Mateo headquarters. Paul Sebastien assumed the role of Director of Production for Headspace. (Update: Headspace is now known as Beatnik Inc. and Paul Sebastien is no longer listed as a company employee)
Paul Sebastien is also the leader of the platinum record award-winning electronic/alternative group Psykosonik.
Psykosonik's first album "Psykosonik" was recorded in 1992 at Chicago Trax Studio in Chicago, and released in 1993 on Wax Trax/TVT Records. This is what the band had to say about it:
During our early days of songwriting in 1991, which was before any of the mainstream media hype about cyberspace, the Internet, or cyberpunk; things like techno-empowerment and Net surfing were considered decidedly un-cool by many...so many in fact, that we really felt like shaking things up a bit. Hence, our first album is quite overtly techno-oriented, conceptually and musically. We wanted to explore areas of man/machine duality, the role of religion in cyberspace, VR hallucinations, and connectivity.
Simon Brownlee <email@example.com> who has the Psykosonik CD maintains that some of the tracks are like the Marathon 2 and Infinity themes. He went on to say that "the tracks ReWl!". His words not mine. But if you like the techno sound this is worth getting. You can hear samples of Psykosonik tracks on the Psykosonik album page.
Psykosonik can also be found on irc: #psykosonik on Efnet.
Psykosonik's first CD "Psykosonik" can be ordered from CD Now. Yes copies are still in stock.
The CD contains 10 tracks, the 10th track being entitled "I am God". Didn't the 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg become a God by the end of Infinity? Coincidence?
Track 3 "Teknojihad" has parts which are similar to the Marathon 2 Durandal theme. The Psykosonik CD is worth getting if you like the Marathon techno sound.
Can I link my page to the Marathon's Story page?
Yes, please do. The correct name is the Marathon's Story page or simply Marathon's Story.
The current URL is:
Where did the word tru7h come from?
I first used it back in July 11, 1997 when commenting on the M2 for Windows map changes and whether or not they were a hoax. While I coined the term the idea of changing a letter to a number isn't new. I got the tru7h idea from the film The Fifth Element where one of the trailers ends "The Fifth Element... it mu5t be found". You can see my first attempt at trying this on July 9, 1997. Of course "mu7t" didn't work so "tru7h" was born. Why tru7h? Well it sprang naturally from Bungie's propensity to use the number seven in their games and the fact that their games have a cryptic like quality where the truth has to be uncovered. Indeed some would say that the Story page attempts to uncover the truth (or surpress it). The green of course is the color of the terminals in the first game and Durandal's signature color. The word is now part of Bungie fan culture and indeed used by Bungie themselves.
What does the Marathon symbol represent?
J. Reginald Dujour, Marathon artist and person responsible for creating the Marathon symbol, had this to say on what the symbol represents:
I designed the icon to represent a world within a world... Marathon the spaceship being build inside a hollowed asteroid.
Thanks to Kyjel Shaytolmae <firstname.lastname@example.org> who tracked down Reg back in Apr 20, 1998 and asked him about the Marathon symbol.
I don't have internet access can you e-mail me your pages?
In the early days I was able to do this for people. However, the on-line version of the Story Page is now over 100MB in size and expanding daily. Unfortunately I do not have the time to provide a stripped down version for e-mailing. Also as the Marathon's Story page is updated on a regular basis any e-mailed pages would quickly become out-of-date.
I don't have time to read all your pages while on-line. Can you upload them to an ftp site?
The same problem arises with timeliness again. If I uploaded the pages they would quickly become out-of-date. Thus I would have to continually upload new versions. As the site is large (100MB uncompressed) I doubt people would take kindly to downloading this on a regular basis. While it would be possible to upload just the updated pages this would take considerable effort on my part making sure that the right pages and images were uploaded each time. Unfortunately I don't have the time to do this. :-(
One solution to the problem is to download the HTML source of each page you view in your web browser. Once saved to your hard disk you can read them at your leisure.
What are the correct pronounciations of names like S'pht and Jjaro?
Difficult one. There are all manner of ways to pronounce these names. So how do Bungie, the creators of these words, pronounce them?
The Forge tutorial movies can help somewhat here. In the Tutorial 3 movie you'll hear the name S'pht pronounced "S'fit". You'll also hear how Bungie pronounce Durandal in the Tutorial 1 movie, though remember this name is not a Bungie creation.
Jjaro, spelt with only one 'r', is pronounced "Yaro" (no 'j' sound). This is based on what Greg Kirkpatrick told the story page back in Nov 23, 1996. Greg also pronunces Tycho "Tie-ko".
What happened to the Battle of Brooklyn?
No longer continued I'm afraid. Colin Kawakami <email@example.com> of Double Aught Software wrote:
As for the battle of brooklyn, and the subtle engineerings of one Don King?
I don't think that members of doubleaught were ready to publicly declare a king. As the scores wound themselves up, we became anxious, perhaps even petty. These are not qualities worthy of the new bushido. If there was to be ONE who was the best? Daggers in the back, stangulation in dark stairwells, a revisionist history looming...
I don't think so. And neither did the rest of the crew.
We plan to release more films, but not anymore that are one on one. (I've had my share of game induced brawls)
The films in the Battle of Brooklyn series can be found here:
The Battle of Brooklyn: Round #1 (.sit or .zip format)
The Battle of Brooklyn: Round #2 (.sit or .zip format)
The Battle of Brooklyn: Round #3 (.sit or .zip format)
The Battle of Brooklyn: Round #4 (.sit or .zip format)
Before the smoke of the Battle of Brooklyn filled the air there was the Randy 'ydnar' Reddig (don juan) vs. Colin Kawakami (lilbuddha) slugfest. It was billed as a series of three rounds of one-on-one pavement-chewing carnage. Winner takes all. However only the first two rounds were ever released. Rumor has it that the third round exists but the films can never be made public for fear of violating international human rights agreements. The films in the first two rounds can be found here:
Round #1 (.sit or .zip format)
Round #2 (.sit or .zip format)
Maybe one day we'll know the tru7h. ;-)
I can't find the net map pack Coriolis Loop on the Double Aught site. Can you help? I want to watch the Battle of Brooklyn films.
Hmmm... it seems to have disappeared. Had a nice web page too. Never fear the Story page has dug deep into its vast Archives to bring you the original flavored Coriolis Loop page.
What does the Alien Energy Converter do?
From a game-play point of view it allows you to complete "Habe Quiddam" successfully. If you don't pick it up you can't get off the level. The Alien Energy Converter is never used after "Habe Quiddam" nor is it needed to complete any later levels as the Command-Option Begin New Game function easily demonstrates.
From a story point of view the Alien Energy Converter is supposed to allow you to kill more Pfhor. Durandal says at the beginning of "Habe Quiddam":
You should go to this location
and retrieve a device that the
S'pht have provided for us.
It will allow you to slay more
Pfhor. Does that make you
After we retrieve the device Durandal tells us that we will soon be going further afield. The ultimate destination is of course the Pfhor scoutship. We might assume from this that the Alien Energy Converter is needed while we are on the Pfhor ship. Some people have speculated that the Converter would be needed to interface with the alien shield rechargers and/or pattern buffers. Equally it might have some role in allowing us to use the Enforcer's alien weapon. Its exact function in terms of the story is still unknown.
I'm creating a Marathon scenario can you help out?
I get asked this alot. While it's great to be asked I unfortunately have little time to get involved in such projects. Thus I now say "no" to all such requests. No hard feelings I hope - but I've said "yes" in the past and found that I didn't have time to contribute thus letting people down. That sucks! :-(
WHERE ARE THE CHEAT CODES???
The Marathon Cheat Codes page is secret to protect the innocent. If you find it email me... sssssshhhhhh now.
I heard rumors of secret pages at the Story site is this true?
err... so where are they?
That's a secret! ;-)
Hey what's Page 2401 and The Sevens all about?
Page 2401 was the first of seven secret pages at the Story site. It went live back in Jan 19, 1996. At that time the only way to find it was to click on the image at the top of the Facts and puzzling things about... section and then follow the links provided. This lead you into Durandal's little trap and the only way forward was to solve his puzzle. Solving the puzzle (power of seven) got you to Page 2401 and if you sent your name in it was added to the list of The Sevens. Page 2401 was perhaps the first interactive puzzle on the net and its secret was kept for a long time... that is until May 13, 1998. You can check the What's New section on this date for details of what happened that day!
A permanent link to Page 2401 has now been added to the left "contents" frame.
Hey I'm visitor number 777777 and here is a screenshot to prove it. Do I win a prize?
Heh! Nope Try again. ;-)
Boy I wish I had a dollar for every screenshot of the page counter I've received.
Why only six sevens and not seven on the page counter? Seven sevens would have made more sense.
Ah! You fail to understand the significance of six sevens. :-)
Hang on a minute... there are seven 7's now!
That happened while I was sleeping. ;-)
Hey did you know that 819 divided by 7 is 117 and that Master Chief's Spartan Number is 117. What's up with that?
I don't know you would need to ask Bungie.
I lost all my Marathon stuff in a... (flood, fire, earthquake, alien attack, etc.), can you help me?
All three Marathon games are now available to download for free at the Trilogy Release page. No serial numbers are required. All the manuals (including the manual that came with Trilogy Box Set) are available in PDF format on the Story page. The Marathon Scrapbook is also available in PDF format from the Story page.
Woah! What happened between 2007 and 2010? No updates! Are the rumours true... were you committed to a mental asylum on a remote Scottish island for four years? Are you better now?
All better now. Thanks. :-)
Do you work for Bungie?
Do you have a life?
mmmmhhhh... I can't exactly remember...
Will we ever know all the answers?
Yes, but we may never know all the questions. ;-)