Map Writing

"JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI"


Matthew Smith <matthew@quest.net> writes:

Here is a textual reproduction of what I found in the maps, with spelling and capitalization reproduced as accurately as possible.

Most of the writings I found were jokes but a few turned out to be pretty interesting.

[Please note that these are for the solo levels only]

MARATHON 1

2) Never Burn Money

JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI


5) The Rose

NEVER STOP FIRING
GK RULES!


7) Cool Fusion

poenas dare


8) G4 Sunbathing

YOU MUST LOVE M-THON IT KICKS


10) Bob-B-Q

BOB-JAM? APPLY GRENADES LIBERALLY!!


11) Shake Before Using...

I RULE


12) Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!

CUPIDITAS PRAEMIUM SUUM EST.


14) Habe Quiddam

ANOTHER ALL-NIGHTER


15) Neither High nor Low

GK IS THE #1 VID At BUNGIE
JAY COULDN'T SLIP ON A BANANA


17) No Artificial Colors

TUNCER / GK
CARNAGE RULES


21) Eupfhoria

MAGNESIUM FLARES ARE KEWL!


23) Ain't Got Time Phor This...

DCROMLEY


26) Ingue Ferroque

JAy rokz greg




MARATHON 2


6) We're Everywhere

hey you, the bob carrying my 2nd pistol! - let's go!


7) Ex Cathedra

The NAR


12) Bob's Big Date

BOB'S LATE FOR HIS BIG DATE!!


18) The Big House

JAIL BREAK, or PRISON RIOT?!


20) God Will Sort The Dead...

Q: How do you tell the difference between the good Bobs and the bad ones?
A: Good Bobs?


28) All Roads Lead To Sol...

723rd KICKS WUSSY NAR BUTT!




Well there you have it in all its glory. JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI in great BIG green capital letters on "Never Burn Money". Talk about spelling it out for us. Of course the word JJARRO is spelt incorrectly it should be JJARO, but who's complaining. The map writing was viewed using Pfhorte 1.0d11. Versions of Pfhorte shortly after this no longer displayed the map writing in Marathon. This all occurred around the later half of April 1995. You could have continued to see the map writing after this date if you had used either Marathon Interactive Augmentor (MIA) or Marathon Map Editor (MME).

"Never Burn Money" is a Greg Kirkpatrick level and the first level to have map writing. The writing on the map is the ONLY reference to the Jjaro in the first Marathon game and the only link between PID and Marathon until the release of Marathon 2. Thus the only way you could have made the PID/Marathon connection was when the Marathon community developed the tools (technology) to edit maps thereby discovering the map writing.

Anyone who is a fan of 2001 will no doubt see the similarity between this and mankind developing the tools (technology) to reach the moon thereby discovering the monolith (Tycho Magnetic Anomaly One). Simple coincidence... or was Greg Kirkpatrick at his old tricks again?




Craig Stanton <Craig@maris.com> provides the map writing from the Infinity levels.

Rise robot rise-> "Where am I ?"

Post Naval Trauma-> "Coal burnin' 'gin"

You think your big time (both versions) -> "#Marathon rules"

try again-> "No saving for true vidboys","#0","#1","#2"

Y.A.F.N.M-> "tuncer"

Beyond Thunder dome-> "tuncer"

House of pain-> "tuncer"

King of pain-> "fm"

La costa nostra-> "fm"

dead fields-> "fm"

route 66 (both versions)-> "*"

mars needs women-> "August 1994 Macworld"

Melatonin-> "Why am I falling"


Craig goes on to say:

In map view on "La costa" there is a note which reads 'FM was here', so if FM is a person Tuncer might be as well!

Yup you could be right. FM could be a person but I'm not sure about Tuncer. I'd need some evidence. ;-)




Craig Stanton <Craig@maris.com> writes:

...in "no artifical colors" there was "Tuncer/GK carnage rules". And other maps refer to GK ruling, so Tuncer seems more like a person every moment.

Yeah but he could a Simulacrum. Better make sure. Shoot him once to check. ;-)

Just to set the record straight - "Tuncer" stands for Tuncer Deniz (Production Manager at Bungie). It was all a joke folks. :-)




Michael Watson <mikey-san@bungie.org> long time Marathon fan and one of the people who worked on
Marathon: Durandal for the Xbox 360 writes to point out that there is map writing on the Xbox 360 survival maps.

Xbox 360 survival maps? Well the Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) version of Marathon 2 has a game mode called Survival where the player is given a large amount of weapons and ammo and must defeat endless waves of enemies, earning points for effectiveness and taking minimal damage, with high scores shared over Xbox Live.

Michael goes on to write:

when i was building the new maps for the survival mode, i etched things into the map files. i can't
remember what, though. (and one wasn't mine, so i'm really not sure what's written on it. heh.)

the fun part is that i have no idea how you'd even find out. you have to rip the data off the Xbox
and figure out how to read the map data. i don't know how we stored the map data for the new version.
the survival maps were made in forge (actually in classic mac os!) but i don't know how they were
merged or packed into the game data payload.

sounds like a fun adventure for a couple of dedicated fans. heh.


treellama <wolfy@treellama.org> in a Story forum post documents the map writing on the Marathon: Durandal XBLA survival levels. I have added his findings here. treellama writes:

Sonic Electronic Ball Breakers is the first XBLA survival map. No text, but it looks like it was going to be a bigger map.

Full Roaming Vapor has some text.

Road Warrior has something up in the corner ...zoom in, and change the background color to white.

Calm Like Your Mom.

More about extracting XBLA resources.




Responding to treellama's comment above that the Marathon: Durandal XBLA survival level 'Sonic Electronic Ball Breakers'
"looks like it was going to be a bigger map." Michael Watson <mikey-san@bungie.org>
writes:

treelama is right: Sonic Electronic Ball Breakers was going to be larger. i quickly came to the
realization that a smaller, tighter map made for better games of survival, so i scrapped ideas
for additional architecture. as you might guess, then, Sonic Electronic was the first completed
of the four that were shipped.



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Title graphic courtesy of Matthew Smith
matthew@quest.net
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Last updated May 8, 2011