Miscellaneous tidbits for the period
Mar'97 - Aug'97


Mar 4, 1997
Matt Heerdt <milcreek@rconnect.com> writes:

On Double Aught's website, their new packet of maps for Marathon is named the Coriolis Loop. This may have been derived from the Coriolis Force, which is responsible for water draining clockwise in the upper hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the lower hemisphere. Two different hemispheres, two different directions = two different timelines, two different paths? You decide!


Mar 5, 1997
Reed Laughlin <blu9@scn.org> writes:

"If I remember correctly, Philip K. Dick wrote a book called _Martian_Time_Slip_ in which a psychotic character relives an episode *3* times... much like the "Electric Sheep" levels. PKD books often present reality as subjective and baffling... much like the world of Marathon Infinity"

Yes very. Like Infinity the structure of Philip K. Dick's novel "Martian Time-Slip" (1964) works to undermine (even deconstruct) linear time and narrative. Worth a read.


Mar 6, 1997
Greg Downing <71033.1046@compuserve.com> writes:

I would like to point out that Freud once said, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
Confused? Well then check out your Marathon 2 or Infinity manuals.


Mar 15, 1997
Cindy Hoffa <Cindy.Hoffa@wbsaunders.com> writes:

"This might be a good time to point out the similarities between the Kwisatz Haderach of Dune and the player in Marathon: both have the capability of foresight, the detection of possible timelines; both are the product of lengthy planning by mysterious societies; both may have blood ties with the heroes of ancient times; the abilities of both are "awakened"; both are fated to fulfill specific roles in the history of a race (the Fremen and the S'pht)."

"P.S. It just struck me that Greg K. might have alluded to the Dune connection in an earlier message. I checked, and he did. "Tell me about your homeworld, Usul." Can you find it? Marathon seems to succeed as an interweaving of all the cool sf themes ever written clothed in an interesting and original plot."

Can I find it? Cindy I have the largest collection of Marathon memorabilia this side of Tau Ceti. Greg K made the Dune reference in a post on alt.games.marathon back in Nov 1996. See below:


From: grendel@doubleaught.com (Grendel)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: Moo's Twisted Plot...
Date: 21 Nov 1996 19:41:47 GMT
Organization: Double Aught
Lines: 73
Message-ID: <grendel-2111961444510001@192.163.1.100>
References: <328526B7.437C@ix.netcom.com> <petrichE0nJBE.7vK@netcom.com> <IJBall-1211961009210001@mac_rbk_3.chem.ucla.edu> <look-1511961541400001@cyber128.cyberspc.mb.ca> <328E3244.73F4@worldnet.att.net> <look-1711962326060001@cyber138.cyberspc.mb.ca> <eberly-2011962336240001@spk-38.cet.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: gregk.dialup.access.net

In article <eberly-2011962336240001@spk-38.cet.com>, eberly@cet.com
(General Rhad) wrote:

> In article <look-1711962326060001@cyber138.cyberspc.mb.ca>, look@it.up
> (A.S.) wrote:
> 
> > >  "thousands are sailing
> > >         the same self  the only self
> > 
> > >         self willed the peril of a thousand fates
> > 
> > >         a line of infinite ends  finite finishing
> > 
> > >         arching to the single point of
> > >         consciousness
> > 
> > >         find yourself
> > >         starting back"
> 
> I think that it can be translated into the folowing...
> 
> Lots of people
> But only one
> Doomed themselves
> Many possibilties, limited outcomes
> Coming together at one point on time
-- single point -- climax --
> Find yourself
> Doing it over
> 
> Which can be translated into
> 
> Everybody at Tau Ceti and the Marathon were toast from the start
> But somthing else could have happened
> But with one outcome
> Try another path for a change
> 
> 
> which supports my theory of M2 and M being alternate stories.
> 
> -- 
> "Save a Soul, Slay a Vampire."
> 
> <<END.TRANSMISSION>>
> <<TRANSMISSION.ACCEPTED>>

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

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

Answer these questions and you shall know the truth.

ciao
Greg k

Tell me of your homeworld, Usul


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

----------------
Head Tool
Double Aught,inc
----------------

Tell me of your homeworld, Usul. Usul, for those of you who are not aware is the secret Fremen name of Paul Muad'dib (Atreides) in the classic sf story "Dune". Usul literally means "The base of the pillar" though a better (idiomatic) translation would be "The strength of the base of the pillar." Dune, the planet Arrakis, is a desolate, dry planet with vast deserts. Hidden away within the rocks of the deserts are a people known as the Fremen who have long held a prophecy that a man would come . . . a messiah, who would lead them against their oppressors to true freedom. Sound familar?

The Kwisatz Haderach that Cindy refers to means "Shortening of the Way." This is the label applied by the Bene Gesserit to the unknown for which they sought a genetic solution: a male Bene Gesserit whose organic mental powers would bridge space and time.

And if you think I'm going to explain anymore... ;P


Mar 17, 1997
Happy St. Patrick's Day... have a good one...

On this festive occasion we should spare a thought for the Narish Prophecy...

Mobile Command Log Re'eer
origin:
Re'eer
destin:
Mobile Command Log
ref:
Narsh and Pfhoric
stamp: personal

{ cmd : append }

Until now a harmless pastime, my comparative study of Narsh and Pfhoric has driven me to feign my own death to search for greater meaning in the Ranting of Robnar the Nar High Seer. I believe that Robnar was prophetic, and that he foretold of the pfhor garrisoning of Lh'owon, and its possible destruction by those who are about to come here.

The particular passage of my fascination was recorded during an Enforcer fourth class interrogation of Robnar after his capture in the battle of Bilky-fifty four. The recording translates roughly into Pfhoric as when one of the broken nest where the yellow trees sing seems like a nebulon to a drinniol, then the wrestling of six for nine things which get you stuff will be a shoot in spring, growing under the bed boards.

yellow trees sing?

The follow was downloaded from Durandal's External Redundant IRC Cache.

ydnar: hamish
ydnar: can you identify the plant in the final screen?
Godot: yeah
Godot: plant?
ydnar: yeah
Godot: canabis?
ydnar: nope.
ydnar: :)
Godot: Randy: you mean the bamboo pen?
ydnar: it's not bamboo
ydnar: that's a cross section sketch of a stem
Godot: looks like a bamboo
Godot: no mistaking it
ydnar: nope.
ydnar: want to know?
Godot: the far right one is the tip of a Japanese writing brush/pen
ydnar: <g>
ydnar: they're all sketches of one particular plant
Godot: ok what's the planet?
Godot: err.. plant
ydnar: earth
Godot: :-)
ydnar: magnolia
ydnar: :)
Godot: gimme a break
ydnar: ::raising eyebrow::
Godot: what's the third drawing?
Godot: before the arm
ydnar: hmm..
ydnar: don't have the picture up
ydnar: what's it look like
Godot: the tip of a Japanese writing brush/pen
Godot: has a bamboo like notch
Godot: the hairs are tied together in the form of a brush
Godot: that's what it looks like to me
ydnar: ah
ydnar: the base of the magnolia bud
Godot: the stem looks just like a bamboo stem IMHO
ydnar: ::nod::
ydnar: it's similar
Godot: if you slice it, it would look exactly like that
Godot: so what's the significance of the magnolia?
ydnar: birth
ydnar: what's the first picture?
Godot: looked like creation to me
Godot: magnolia = birth?
ydnar: the seed
ydnar: it progresses
ydnar: from seed to stem to flower
Godot: why does magnolia signify birth?
Godot: <-- not into flowers much
ydnar: that's all i'm going to say..
ydnar: :)
ydnar: hehe
ydnar: it's hardly a flower
ydnar: that particular one was 30 feet high

Oh yes... there was something about Alexandria (in the US)... but I can't exactly remember...


Mar 18, 1997
Here's an interesting alt.games.marathon post by Greg Kirkpatrick (Double Aught Software) concerning a trick on the level "Whatever You Please" it was in response to a post by Gary Simmons <gsimmons@earthlink.net>. Greg writes:

...Actually, the trick that I referred to allows you to use the save terminal at on the "low" path.. Basically, go through the whole thing on the low path, using that save terminal. Then when you get to the end, you can jump down to the place that you started the level on (you weren't there for very long b/c you teleported immediately).. From here you can go back and do the high path w/o having to fight all the invisible compilers, because you'll have killed them all.

Anyway, if you'd rather go to the dentist than play this kind of map then it might not be fun to go back and try it with these tricks.. Anyway, I didn't take offense to your comments, my comments were only supposed to make you realize that we knew that some people would get annoyed by certain things.

Have fun,
Greg

There is no doubt about it the 'high' path on "Whatever You Please" can be frustratingly difficult, requiring skillful co-ordination/dexterity rather than brute force. Indeed the 'high' path was allegedly toned down somewhat by it's creator Randy Reddig before public release.


Mar 19, 1997
Think you know everything about the Infinity level "Aye Mak Sicur"?
It's a big level, but you've flipped all the switches and know what they do!
It's a big level, but you've triggered all the floor polys and know what they do!
It's a big level, but you've opened every door and found all the secrets!
It's a big level, but you've run round in circles and killed all the aliens!
Wrong... it's a big level... and there is one Juggernaut... who has your name carved on his side... and he's waiting for you... as Nicholas Head <N.Head@unsw.edu.au> found out in his film of this level. Nicholas writes:

Every time I've been through "Aye Mak Sicur" there have always been only two Juggernauts to pound to the pavement. The other two films of this level currently available at the Marathon Vidmasters' page (by Jim "Young Gun" Mitchell and Jim "Placid Pladipus" Mitchell) also show only two SPNKable Juggernauts. Sure there are a couple of others floating out in space but only two where you can get at them right? Wrong! Some how a third Juggernaut turned up to spoil my day while I was searching for stray Hunters.

You can get the film in question here or at the Marathon Vidmasters' page. If you know how the third Juggernaut gets through the force field and into the Jjaro station... let me know and I'll add it here. Remember it's a big level...


Mar 22, 1997
Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@mail.erskine.edu>

"There's a player who uses the handle "The Bloodhound Gang" in some of the demo Infinity films. Well, "The Bloodhound Gang" is the name of a cool band... Anyway, one line in the second verse of their released single "Fire Water Burn" just caught my attention today (might not be an exact quote, but it's close):

"If man is five, the devil is six, then I guess that makes me _______"

Ok, now you guess the number that goes in the blank... :-) But hey, after all, did we really expect Bungie to have something to do with a band that doesn't have a mutual favorite number? ;-) "

Jimmy is referring to the net film of the level "Wrath No More?" which comes with Infinity. There are four players with the net names:

Two Weeks
Habe Quidam
The Bloodhound Gang
Nthforcer

Note the spelling of Habe Quidam. If you know where this spelling appears in Marathon write to me and I'll add your name here. Oh yes it has to be the exact spelling. :-)

There are another 2 net films with the following players:

Two Weeks
The Bloodhound Gang
Manus Lactatus
Nthforcer
on "La Cosa Nostra", and
Two Weeks
Manus Lactatus
riwimi kicks MMX
Nthforcer
on "Morpfhine"


Mar 25, 1997
Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu> writes:

" The Bloodhound Gang lyric is a homage to the Pixies song "Monkey Gone to Heaven" - "If man is five, then the devil is six and God is seven, this monkey's gone to heaven"
Ah yes it all makes sense now... ;-)


Mar 27, 1997
Did you see the Marathon Movie?

Scott Jaeger <pepino@indy.net> thinks he did when he saw Under Siege starring Steven Seagal. And yes the similarities are there if you look closely. Scott writes:

All parts of the movie possibly relating to Marathon will be presented in Brackets []

***WARNING:CRITICAL PARTS OF THE PLOT OF THE MOVIE "UNDER SIEGE" WILL BE REVEALED. IF YOU READ THIS WITHOUT SEEING THE MOVIE FIRST, YOU MAY FIND YOUR ENJOYMENT OF THE GAME SOMEWHAT DIMINISHED. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.***

Ever see the movie Under Siege starring Steven Seagal? It is an action movie about a cook (ex-navy SEAL) [the "marine"] going up against impossible odds to take back the USS Missouri [the Marathon] from terrorists [the Pfhor] as they try to nuke Hawaii [Tau Ceti] with the Tomahawk missiles on board. As the party continues prior to the initial attack, the cross-dressing commander parades through the crowd, exclaiming "WELCOME TO THE REVOLUTION". Soon after, the attack is underway, and the commander and the head terrorists make it to the main control room. The head terrorist yells to the commander, "WELCOME TO THE REVOLUTION!" Later, the terrorist radio-phones the admiral in Washington, and talks about why he is doing this, and trying to take over the U.S. for anarchy. He goes on to say how he missed the 60's, Vietnam, and his involvement in the army, and how his is his big chance. He closes the call by saying, "You tried to kill me, you son of a bitch. Now, Welcome to the Revolution." Meanwhile, the cook has escaped and is causing horrible carnage throughout the ship. He dispatches several goons [Troopers] carrying mp-5 rifles [Stolen MA-75's] and rescues several civilians and crew [BOB's] and arms them [as Durandal does in Marathon-2] and they go out stalking the goons. They contact the admiral [as in the message from G4-Sunbathing] about the current situation, and they send a copter full of SEALs to help. However, the copter is shot down with a shoulder-mounted missile launcher [looks suspiciously like the SPNKR-X18 with a 'no-recoil' design] So, the civilians figure out how to work the main guns on the ship, and down the escaping submarine carrying the Tomahawks. But, the head terrorist, still onboard the Missouri, launches 2 tomahawks at Honolulu. They are narrowly destroyed. [May have been the original way for the colony to go on. The code for the infamous 'the colony was wiped out..' text was never removed, and by looking at the resource, we see it was an accident for the text to appear, and was never removed in testing.]

Ah yes!... the mysterious Colony Text.

Scott Jaeger <pepino@indy.net> also writes:

The Pfhor Trooper-weapons are almost certain to be mass-produced versions of the MA-75, as the two have the same sounds when firing, and the Pfhor-grenades could be mass-produced, too. The Pfhor have gotten most of their present technology from the Jjaro, like the transporters and trih xeem. The grenades look different because of the different make, but we never do see a live bullet in the game. This theory could be confirmed when we find secret MA-75 ammo on one of the Pfhor ship levels in Marathon.

SECRET!!! MA-75 ammo on one of the Pfhor ship levels in Marathon!!!

Well Leela did say:

The Trooper is armored for vacuum conditions and carries a combination explosive and impact projectile weapon which is similar to your AR-75.

So maybe they did duplicate it in their own inimitable way. Either that or they got the design from...

The Marathon Mysteries continue...

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes

i got another one, and i know you know the answer. the text inscribed on Never Burn Money "JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI!!!" is it meant to be taken literally? were the Jjaro at Tau Ceti?

Were the Jjaro at Tau Ceti? Yes! but were they really there? Maybe if we knew who created the level "Never Burn Money" we would have the answer.

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> continues:

what's the story behind Wasps and Hounds? i never heard any mention of bugs, except when Durandal said "I'll be playing with the Pfhor's virtual parasites". but that's virtual, and these things were real (they're real enough for me!)

Hounds???... yes I definitely heard howling sounds in the game... but didn't they come from the Hunters? But aren't Hunters simply armored Pfhor? If so why do they howl?

Leela did say:

I have obtained more debriefing reports from the crew whom you rescued earlier.

They have reported seeing two types of Pfhor that you have not yet encountered. Evidently, these are two of the other "clans" which Durandal alluded to in earlier communications.

One is taller than the Fighters. Oddly, the report indicated that this new Pfhor fired only upon other Pfhor and never on any humans. Because of this and their general appearance, the crew who saw them referred to them as Enforcers.

The other Alien was named Hunter by the crew due to its size and appearance. It fires an energy weapon from its shoulder and is heavily armored. Unlike the Fighters, the Hunters never take prisoners.

Neither do we! But was the howling sound misplaced? Where there really Hounds in Marathon? Poor McYultry knew the answer...

The attack came so fast, first those crea ~12``30101!~2 who didn't run away, and then two huge armored creatures came after us and killed !`jkfrc@@z else but myself. I managed to jump into an air vent, and escape here, but
<Filter Error>
hear the strange worblings of their speech getting nearer, and I am unarmed. I have only a few minutes.

Bernard Grunow <bgrunow@umich.edu> writes concerning the net name "The Bloodhound Gang" used by a Bungie player in one of the Infinity net films:

"There used to be a show called "321 Contact" that aired on PBS and also CBC (I used to live in Detroit, thus Canandian TV) that was directed toward an audience two or three years passed that those who would watch "Sesame Street". As a ten minute part of that television show, there was a mystery skit called...you guessed it...The Bloodhound Gang."

Could it be true? Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction!


Mar 29, 1997
The Marathon mysteries continue...

Josh Noel <carinoel@sm1.gte.net> writes:

"hounds are those little guys that crawl up on you then explode at your feet in marathon 1"

On the same subject Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes

"...there are hounds in the game, aka Lookers (those little explosive beetle things that just run straight at you). I heard them called hounds before, but I can't remember where. also, in a really old M1 beta i have, i was attacking those little squatting walky things that look like monsters from PiD, and i heard some howling in the distance (just like the hunters). then something blew up behind me and i died. probably was a Hound/Looker. the Hunter sounds were misplaced, i bet."

Interesting. Marathon: The Official Strategy Guide by Tuncer Deniz calls the explosive bug-like creatures Lookers. Why the name Lookers? Well this may be a clue. The Strategy Guide has this to say about them:

Lookers can sometimes be difficult to kill because you have to look down to see them before you can line them up in your sights and fire. When you do see one coming at you, look down and shoot the instant he enters your line of fire.

Are Hounds and Lookers the same thing? Does the Marathon beta hold the clues? Do the original M1 specs contain the answer. Is the answer in the resouce file of Marathon?


Mar 30, 1997
Alex Rosenberg <alexr@bungie.com> of Bungie Software writes:

Jimmy Mitchell is correct in recognizing that "The Bloodhound Gang" is the name of a band, and Bernard Grunow recognizes what was undoubtedly the inspiration for their name (given that they did a song called "K.I.D.S. Incorporated" on their first album and also have made other references to children's shows from PBS and otherwise).

One in general might simply write the reference off as part of our general fascination with all manner of visceral humor, but I did have something particular in mind.

And it's "rlwimi kicks MMX" (note the ell).

Alex goes onto to say:

"Y.A.F.N.M." was made during last year's Computer Game Developer's Conference to provide a surprise to the players competing in the tournament there. And it's original name had something to do with Tuncer's repeated requests for a name giving me a headache.

Mike S. writes:

I don't think the Hounds are the same as Lookers, since Bungie said in their letters page that the bug in the front of the manual was a hound. I checked the shapes file for Marathon, and they look much different. I guess Bungie decided to leave them out.

You should be able to pick up this tidbit in Bungie's Dead Letter Office. Maybe there are other secrets buried in there too.

Mike goes on to say:

On the screenshot of your What's New page, you can see a Hound in the high lefthand corner. Maybe that's what they used to look like and Bungie changed the graphic in the full version.

My God... where did I get that graphic?! If you know let me know.

Brendan Ebner <bebner@dns.ida.net> write:

Perhaps Bungie decided to make the activation noise of the Hunter a howl simply because it was reminiscent of another great hunter? A Wolf!

Could be! The activation sound can send shivers down your spine late at night when your shields are low. Hunters first appeared on "G4 Sunbathing" which had a perfect atmosphere (pun intended) for their errie activation sound. But maybe, just maybe, it was originally for something else...?


Mar 31, 1997
Here's an interesting post on alt.games.marathon from Colin Kawakami, a graphic artist who worked on Marathon Infinity. The post is in response to his "CK on Infinity" section at Double Aught's home page.

From: colink@inch.com (colink)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: What's www.duality.net
Date: 30 Mar 1997 21:45:30 GMT
Organization: Digital Telemedia Inc.
Lines: 41
Message-ID: <colink-3003971649440001@dyna214.dialup.dti.net>
References: <333C8EE4.30AA@flash.net> <333D45D1.165B@mcleod.net>
<Pfhusion's_not-2903972244380001@spk-76.cet.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: dyna214.dialup.dti.net


> But what's the point of CK on infinity? It's a bunch of pfhunky writing.
> What for?
> 
> -- 

I perpetrated ck on infinity, and was responsible for alot of the alien
terminal graphics that were visited upon the player throughout the course
of the game...

As for the point, you might as well ask what the point of the whole
doubleaught site is, or the point of the whole web for that matter...

It's pretty much just a bunch of pretty pictures and text.

although I'll be the first to admit that nothing about ck on infinity is
informative, i think that it's worth a download...

As for duality... hehe. I'm not employed by doubleaught, so you can't take
my word for anything... but as a third party (ie no one is paying me) I
can say that what I've seen concerning duality so far makes my mouth water
in anticipation.

oh, and I'm making a collection of films, made in the home that ydnar of
doubleaught and i share, called "Ydnar's Most Embarrassing Moments". Randy
ranks easily in the top fifteen marathon players in the world, and
routinely kicks my bottom up and down the convex polygons of our favorite
virtual worlds, but when I manage to sneak a win in... I save it like gold
in a petty fashion.

If anyone would like to see these films of me kicking the torso-twisting
little brat's butt, then... well my email doesn't work, but I check this
newsgroup fairly frequently, so just ask.

--colin
"lilbuddha" & "ckwon"
...after death he proceeds to the next world
bearing in mind the subtle impressions of his deeds;
and after reaping the harvest of his deeds,
he returneth to this world of action. Thus he who
hath desire continueth subject to rebirth.


Apr 1, 1997
Thanks to Colin Kawakami <colink@inch.com> for sending in the first of three net films in the long running series of "Ydnar's Most Embarrassing Moments". You can get them here. You need the net map pack Coriolis Loop to see these.


Apr 3, 1997
Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net> points out that in the recently published 4th book in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 series - "3001: The Final Odyssey" - the minds of AI HAL 9000 and human Dave Bowman are downloaded to a single "peta-byte" chip. Sound familar? The result? Well we won't spoil it for you...

Concerning Clarke's 4th book a reviewer for the online zine Science Fiction Weekly wrote:

As philosophy, 3001 is intriguing, maybe even profound. As a novel, it's an anticlimactic end to a saga that began -- and probably should have ended -- with 2001.


Apr 4, 1997
Don King Promotions presents Ydnar's Revenge

Three net films of one-on-one pavement-chewing carnage. Randy Reddig (don juan) vs. Colin Kawakami (lilbuddha) - the return match. Two men enter one man leaves. You will not see films like these anywhere else on the net. You can get them here. Note you need the net map pack Coriolis Loop to see them.

Soon to be released - CK Strikes Back. Sewage wrestling like you've never seen it!

In the pipeline - Toolboi Takes a Dive!

Remember folks:"It ain't over till the 'Lazyboy' sings!"


Apr 5, 1997
Double Aught Software and Don King Promotions proudly present:

The Battle of Brooklyn

In Brooklyn...

no one can hear you scream...

when the Union St. Crew play net!


More details to follow... watch this space!


Apr 6, 1997
Greg Downing <downin1@mindspring.com> asks what happened to Tycho at the end of Infinity?

We might ask the same question of the player?

The nova was successfully contained, the Pfhor were routed and fleeing the system, the S'pht were packing their bags and vacating their slowly dying system, the so-called reborn Durandal-S'pht/Jjaro entity appeared to be heading off with the S'pht to help them carve another paradise out of the void. And us?

To you, we are deeply grateful, and release what little hold we might, as Durandal, have had on your soul.

Go.

Go where? I'm standing on a Jjaro space station freezing my butt off... where am I supposed to GO?


Apr 7, 1997
Christopher Norehad <cnorehad@gonzaga.edu> writes:

From the end of Marathon Infinity where we are looking at the final screen. One of the lines is "Now, in the quantum moment before the closure" or something like that. Isn't this an indicator that somehow we survived till the closure of the universe?

Yes the final screen would suggest that both Durandal and the Player survive to see the very point of collapse, that one moment in time, when all become one. Escaping this point would potentially allow the survivor to become God in the next Universe created after the closure. This is what Durandal meant when he said Escape will make me God on "Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap". Yet by Durandal's calculation the closure would not occur until T-Minus 15.193792102158E+9 years or thereabouts.

So what actually happens to the player at the very end of Infinity?

Sean Savage <savagem@sparc.isl.net> writes:

Bernard Grunow was right. The Bloodhound Gang was from "3-2-1 Contact". I don't know about Steve Wood, they might have been on "Electric Company" as well, but "321C" was one of my favorite shows when I was in Kindergarten. I know this stuff.


Apr 9, 1997
Ever wonder who won the Waldo World Arena net game that automatically plays when you leave Marathon idle for awhile? Wonder no more! Here is the Postgame Carnage Report.

Apr 8, 1997
Here is a screenshot of part of the sounds file from an early Marathon beta. You'll will note that the sounds in those days were given official names. Makes for interesting viewing.


Apr 10, 1997
Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu> points out that the idea of a person surviving the closure of the universe to become a God in the next one is not new. Steve specifically refers to the origin of Galactus, a Marvel Comic character, as an example.

So who was Galactus? Galactus first appeared in the Marvel Comic series The Fantastic Four (#48-50). The "Galactus trilogy" was one of the best of the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby/Joe Sinnot collaborations, which apart from Galactus also introduced the Silver Surfer.The following is taken from the book "Marvel Universe" by Peter Sanderson. Galactus was once a mortal named Galen, the last survivor of a dying universe that preceded our own. The story goes that Galen along with others of his race in an attempt to escape their collapsing universe journeyed to the very centre...

that place where time and space ended as all things returned from whence they had so long since come.

Only Galen survived and became the entity known as Galactus in the next universe created from the Big Bang. While Galactus appeared as a humanoid giant he was not humanoid but rather a force of nature, perceived by members of each sentient race in its own image.

Scott Jaeger <pepino@indy.net> writes concerning Marathon 2 sounds:

Take a look in the snd Resource of the Sounds file of the Marathon 2 Preview. It contains some nice Doug Zartman sounds not found in the release. One of the Simulacrum Bob sounds is interesting. Doug screams "I'M NOT ASSIMILATED!", so now we know that these Bobs are officially "assimilates" as well.

I used the Preview sounds file on the Pathways CD. The normal Bob sounds have an ID of 214xx, and the bank of the more interesting, removed sounds have an ID of 14xx. The "I'm not assimilated!" sound had the ID of 1494.

Ah the mystery of the missing Doug Zartman sounds has been revealed.


Apr 11, 1997
Double Aught Software and Don King Promotions proudly present:

The Battle of Brooklyn: Round #1

Who really rules on Union Street? The contenders:

Over the coming weeks the Union St. Crew will be releasing a series of one-on-one carnage duels on the Infinity net map pack Coriolis Loop to decide the ultimate question. By collecting all the films in the series you should be able to answer the following questions: Upcoming attractions include star profiles, bios, pics, quotes, tips, and what they really think of Mr. T.

As they say on Union St. - "It ain't over till the 'Lazyboy' sings!"


Apr 12, 1997
With the first round of The Battle of Brooklyn just over the post-mortems begin:

wiggly comments on his match against lilbuddha:

Colin got about 6-7 kills on me where he wasn't moving, just waiting for me to come up the stairs on Reason. But now I know better.

toolboi reflects on his upcoming battle with ydnar:

Randy likes to hang out on ledges and jump on your head after letting himself go blank on the motion sensor... so you can't tell where he is.

Concerning the allegations of match fixing and illegal betting toolboi had this to say:

You think I'm gonna take a dive, you're sadly mistaken.

Don King was unavailable for comment.

Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> unearths some more Marathon Mysteries. Dan writes:

Pfhorte (as far as I know) named everything correctly. Based on this, the first two unused slots in a Marathon 1 Physics Model were originally intended for major and minor hounds. 3 and 4 were armageddons. 5 through 8 were the alien people. This explains all the unused slots in the physics model.

Alien people?! Dan writes:

In Pfhorte they are as follows:
Alien Person
Alien Science Person
Alien Security Person
Alien Engineering

Dan also points out that in the data fork of Marathon the cheat codes still appear. Ah! but is this list complete? Are there more and what were they? If you know the full list of cheats codes and what they did then send them in and we'll add them here. One point though... legend has it that there were more than 2 times 7 codes!


Apr 13, 1997
Over heard at the BoB#1 post-match press briefing:

lilbuddha: are you saying i'm a sniping bitch?
lilbuddha: i'm going to have to punish you for maligning me on the story page.
lilbuddha: you're dead mister, dead i'm saying
wiggly: so, you think your kung fu's pretty good, eh?
lilbuddha: i beat you.
lilbuddha: you're a dead man.
wiggly: we'll see. i've been studying your technique, and i've found a flaw.

Who will win the next wiggly vs. lilbuddha one-on-one carnage duel? Has wiggly really discovered lilbuddha's Achilles Heel? Or will lilbuddha inflict another humiliation on uncle wiggly?

Don King was unavailable for comment.


Apr 15, 1997
Double Aught Software and Don King Promotions proudly present:

The Battle of Brooklyn: Round #2

Watch in stunned disbelief as lilbuddha crushes both emonkey and ydnar in a back-to-back one-on-one carnage extravaganza. Who can stop the CK juggernaut? In the third match of the 2nd round of the Battle of Brooklyn wiggly takes on the mighty toolboi. Dueling just doesn't get any hotter. Are you keeping score?


Apr 16, 1997
Some highlights from BoB#2 post-match press briefing:

wiggly comments on his defeat at the hands of toolboi:

wiggly: that was luck!
wiggly: he designed the game--you know he's got all those cheat codes...
wiggly: it was just damn luck and cheat codes!

How did lilbuddha feel about toolboi's alleged use of cheat codes?:

lilbuddha: for real, I'm going to beat the toolator by hook or by crook.
lilbuddha: greg is good, and i mean good, but he's rusty.. fighters from his generation are all washed up...
lilbuddha: so i'm going to whip his wrinkly old man's bottom.

toolboi was unavailable for comment concerning the allegation of using cheat codes.
Don King was also unavailable for comment.

However your intrepid reporter dug deep into the Marathon X files to bring you this startling revelation. In an Inside Mac Games (IMG) interview in 1995 Jason Jones, lead programmer at Bungie Software, admitted:

Jones: There is one bug in the game which is kind of a secret Vid-Master cheat that you can even use in the game network game. It was just an oversight.
IMG: So what's the cheat?
Jones: I'm not going to tell you (laughing), because you (pointing to me) can use it in the network game.

Yes folks no secrets are safe from the Marathon's Story page!


Apr 17, 1997
toolboi lays it on the line:

hey hamish: i heard what those punks were saying about cheat keys.. i can say only this. if the standard movement keys are cheat keys, maybe those guys should learn some more of them like "torso twist" so that next time we play they won't think i'm cheating when i kick their asses because every death is a giant excercise in disbelief or maybe they think i'm cheating when i jump their rockets by rocketing myself over them? or maybe they think i'm cheating when i fist them to death when they have guns and i don't.

Speaking candidly toolboi admits:

actually there is a cheat code that i use all the time in netplay. it's shift-option F9. it resets the keys back to the default setting while you play. it rules. i'm not lying it's totally undocumented hardly anyone knows about it.

What use is it? toolboi explains:

it's handy if you sit down at the puter and someone was just playing who uses pussy keys like caps lock.

Don King was unavailable for comment concerning the use, by some Brooklyn fighters, of "pussy keys like caps lock".


Apr 18, 1997
Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu> asks:

What ever happened to America's Funniest Marathon Replays?

Steve refers to the ad in the Marathon manual (page 20) in which Bungie asked people to send in their funniest replays from Marathon. Apparently Bungie were to make a collection of the replays and if yours was used you'd receive a free T-shirt!

Whatever happened to America's Funniest Marathon Replays?


Apr 21, 1997
Double Aught Software and Don King Promotions proudly present:

The Battle of Brooklyn: Round #3

Saturday night's alright for fighting...

lilbuddha: toolboi... your days are over
lilbuddha: you are over the hill
weirdboi: buddha am i going to have to meet you alone in a map of your choosing and give you a whuuping
lilbuddha: how about tonight weirdboi? can you put your money where your mouth is?
weirdboi: colin i'll spot you the 200 megahertz machine
weirdboi: and i'll print something in the background of mine
weirdboi: or i can play with the wacom tablet and only 3 fingers
lilbuddha: hey weirdboi, you don't have to do me any favors
weirdboi: i won't i'll just make sure that the score makes you stop talking
weirdboi: and from now on the normally unorthodox toolboi will only be known as: weirdboi
weirdboi: i'm gonna use the weirding way on your punk a$$

Round #3 of the Battle of Brooklyn is an all Sands Serif event containing three first wave clashes between weirdboi & lilbuddha, don juan & toolboi, and wiggly & don juan.

Don King was unavailable for comment concerning toolboi's use of the so-called "weirding way". It is understood that protests have already been lodged.


Apr 22, 1997
Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> writes:

...it should be noted that "weirding way" comes from Dune, and that Dune has surfaced as an influence to the Marathon Mythos. For proof, you need look only as far back as the March 15, 1997 "What's New" entry here at the Marathon's Story website. I believe the novel's protagonist, Paul Muad'dib, has the power of the "weirding way".


Apr 23, 1997
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> writes concerning the fate of America's Funniest Marathon Replays

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.


Apr 24, 1997
Asked to comment on the non-appearance of emonkey at Round #3 of the Battle of Brooklyn wiggly replied:

the monkey's off his game. he's been rattled by the upstart, lilbuddha

Concerning speculation that the DA Crew were moving to bigger offices to accommodate their passion for non-stop net carnage wiggly responded:

yeah, this week we're going to a site with lots of fast macs on a fast connection, then the fur's gonna fly... monkey fur, that is...

Jim Mitchell <BobJam&aol.com> writes concerning the Battle of Brooklyn and asks

What I didn't catch were the rules. How many games will be played and in what format? Will there be finals?

Rules?! The rules are simple:

Rule #1   Two men enter... one man leaves!
Rule #2   No use of cheat codes.
Rule #3   No punching below the belt.
As for the number of films. Each player will play each player three times. So you should be able to determine the number from that. In its initial format the Battle of Brooklyn will be an all one-on-one carnage affair. But multiplayer films will feature soon. Concerning finals - well when all films are uploaded you should be able to determine the winner. Are you keeping score?

Perrin Haley <phaley@sirius.com> writes:

...if America's Funniest Marathon Replays didn't exist before, they certainly do now. For example, I nearly fell out of my chair laughing as I saw "weird"boi whuup the ever-loving-crap out of lilbuddha in round three of The Battle of Brooklyn. Now if only he would go public with the secret of that "weirding way" thing...


Apr 25, 1997
Rich Williams <opus@world.std.com> writes:

When I first read the first terminal on "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy" the word "Hagakure" caught my eye:

We've been cut off from the surface, and Pfhor dropships have entered the cone.  Send all fusion units to the towers to harass Pfhor units assaulting the field power generators.  Hagakure Base is overrun, and the last transmission was over twenty minutes ago.  All transporter relays have been destroyed, and the network is about to be compromised.

This only caught my eye because Kage-Maru, my favorite character of the Sega arcade fighting game series, Virtua Fighter, was born and raised in a village called Hagakure, and fought a Hagakure style of Ju-Jujitsu. These names were really fictional, and/or just honorary...the VF2 FAQ, in the Kage section, points this out:

"Be aware that Hagakure is not a village or school but a fascicle manual for samurai. The Hagakure (translated as In the Shadow of Leaves) has 1,300 short anecdotes and reflections. It is completed in 1716 and is considered as one of the classics on bushido. Its first verse is: "The way of the bushi is to die."

Chia Jin Ngee's (the writer of the VF2 faq) description of the Hagakure sums it up pretty well. It's one of the many famous philisophical texts that deal with martial arts and war, like The Art of War and the Tao of Jeet Kune Do. And I guess many of the philosophies in the Hagakure could apply to Marathon, especially in net games.

Indeed... it may equally apply to something else...

Chris Geisel <chrisg@doubleaught.com> co-author of the Marathon Infinity story makes a quick comment concern today's submission on the name Hagakure. Chris writes:

Re Hagakure. The translation of Hagakure that I've seen is somewhat different. It is 'hidden under the leaves'. Which is why I thought it was an appropriate title for the Bob's secret base of Lh'owon.


Apr 26, 1997
Ken Schalk <xorian@tiac.net> writes:

Just a Quick note about the "weirding way". In the 'Terminology of the Imperium' appendix in the back of 'Dune,' one can find this definition:

WEIRDING: idiomatic: that which partakes of the mystical or witchcraft

It is more correct to say that the Paul Muad'Dib's unique ability to fight was referred to as the "weirding way" by the Fremen rather than that he "has the power of the weirding way." The Fremen were the free tribes of Arrakis (the planet Dune) who lived in the desert. They were fierce warriors themselves, yet when Paul first came into contact with them, he managed to defend himself quite well. Very soon thereafter, he was challenged to single combat by one of the Fremen, whom he dispatched. The Fremen were impressed. They referred to his fighting as the "weirding way" because it seemed a bit beyond their understanding: impossibly good.

It's also worth noting that Paul's fighting ability was the combined result of a number of unusual influences. First, he was the heir of the ruling lord of a noble house. This meant there was a lot of support staff around to train him in many things, not the least of which were military tactics and strategy as well as single combat. Secondly, his mother (Jessica) was a member of a member of the Bene Gesserit, an ancient school of mental and physical training. Among other things, members of this almost exclusively female society were trained in extremely fine control of individual voluntary muscles, giving them exceptional control of their bodies, striking precision, balance, etc. In a rather unorthodox manner, Paul's mother taught this and many other things usually reserved for the Bene Gesserit to her son.

Any one notice the subliminal message on the CK on Infinity page at the Double Aught Software site? Somewhere in the heavens...


Apr 27, 1997
Has any one else noticed the subliminal message on the CK on Infinity page at the Double Aught Software site? Somewhere in the heavens...


Apr 28, 1997
Double Aught Software and Don King Promotions proudly present:

The Battle of Brooklyn: Round #4

emonkey takes to the air in UN Attack and shows that Skinny Buddha Dude just who is Kingmonkey at DA. Seems the monkeyman rules the air! Riding on a wave emonkey dukes it out with wiggly on Reason. Asked whether this was a grudge match for all the dishing at the hands of the bold one, emonkey replied:

"don't mess with monkey... make him mad... he comes back stronger!"

Finally there is the 3rd and final wave clash between don juan and lilbuddha. These matches have been close but the final outcome is conclusive!


Apr 29, 1997
Brett Siler <brett111@halcyon.com> writes:

I'm a baseball fan so stats come naturally. Here's what I have for 'Battle For Brooklyn'.

Although the various contenders have played varying numbers of matches (from 4 to 7), Weirdboi is clearly in the lead, with a record of 4-0 (Wins/Losses) and 77 kills, including the most kills in a game (22 against Lilbuddha in Round 3).

Interestingly, there was a tie between Wiggly and Don Juan in Round 3 and it is yet to be seen how that will be scored or whether there will be a rematch or not. Also, some matches seem to have been stopped before ten minutes elapsed. These were in Round 4, involving Emonkey against Lilbuddha and Wiggly. If this was one player forfeiting or not is unclear.

Don Juan (72 kills) is 2-2 with a tie, Emonkey (58 kills) is 2-2, Lilbuddha (94 kills) is 3-4 and Wiggly (54 kills) is 0-3 with a tie.

I believe the shortness in some films is due to a bug in the game rather than a player forfeiting... but you never know. ;-)

The scoring system has yet to be ironed out with the Brooklyn Boys, suffice to say it will be a complicated matter involving calculus and the number seven. Watch out for special spot prizes such as "The Suicide Queen Award" for the person who notches up the most suicides and the "The Sniping Bitch Award" for the person who hangs out on ledges alot. ;-)

For those of you who have enquired about the subliminal message, or should I say messages (apparently there are a few), on the CK on Infinity page at the Double Aught Software site I have taken the liberty of extracting the one I was referring to and slowing it down. You can see it here. Somewhere in the heavens...


Apr 30, 1997
Brett Siler <brett111@halcyon.com> has agreed to become official stats keeper for the Battle of Brooklyn. Brett will be giving us an up-to-the-minute analysis on the state of play between the Brooklyn boys.

Brett writes:

I forgot to let you know about the suicide stats.

Weirdboi has 8 in 4 games; Wiggly has 8 in 4 games; Lilbuddha has 7 in 7 games; Emonkey has 5 in 4 games; and Don Juan has 4 in 5 games (the best suicide to 'games played' ratio).

There are 6 rounds left to be played, and from there, it is yet to be announced how the finals will be constructed or if there will be any at all.

Words were flying at the BoB#4 post-match press briefing. It's a "$**$ing travesty" screamed lilbuddha after watching a rerun of his match against emonkey. lilbuddha made the following official statement:

"that UN attack thing is a fluke... monkey, while his skills remain sharp... are no match for the enlightened mind of the buddha. (monkey sucks)"

Don King was unavailable for comment.

Kenneth Schalk <xorian@tiac.net> writes concerning the subliminal message on the CK on Infinity page at the Double Aught Software site. See the Story page here for details. Ken writes:

I noticed the one you put up the first time I watched CK's page. After you mentioned it, I went back and watched some more.

Going through it frame by frame, there seem to be three blocks of text. One across the top which reads (in all caps):

The recollection was like this. Another boy had insulted him an run to his father and told him about it. His father let him talk a were not listening or he did not understand; and he took down

This definitely seems to be broken at the end of each of the three lines, but does seem to be fragments of one piece of text.

The second plock of text in in the lower left and reads (in large print):

joy!peff

The third block of text in in the lower right and reads (somewhat garbeled, and of questionable translation in a few places):

~ANOTHER~US~ONe
waTcHes WHeN FArwaits
10r0~Endit~for tImeAn
AND~GO~ENqO~don'tdieE

As the animation approaches the end of it's loop, all but the "don'tdie" fades away.


May 1, 1997
emonkey replies to lilbuddha's comments concerning their last match on UN Attack:

it appears i've upset the lilbuddha, especially with all the time he's been dedicating to improving his game. true enough, i could be giving him a better game if i were playing as much as he is but if UN was a fluke, his enlightened [sic] mind has little room for truth. i recall a night of flukes just last weekend. but i shouldn't hold such expectations in a someone who confuses drunkenness for enlightenment.

Don King was unavailable for comment.


May 2, 1997
Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes:

I found the following in Marathon's data fork. I believe they are the (unimplemented) cheat codes. There is some more stuff after that might be more codes, but it's hard to pick them out of the garbage.

HEALTH
OXYGEN
MAP
HAVESOME
ISEEYOU
FISHEYE
BYE
PISTOL
RIFLE

There is also a line that says player has cheated. This must have been used to warn net players that one of their opponents was a cheater.

Ah! the elusive Holy Grail... Marathon Cheat Codes! Due to popular demand these have now been added to the Marathon's Story page... all you have to do is find them. Learn the truth about FATMAN, ASLAG, HAVESOME, PZBXAY, BYE and much... much... more. The TRUTH is out there... are you prepared?


May 3, 1997
Colin Kawakami <colink@inch.com> writes concerning his CK on Infinity page at the Double Aught Software site:

The quote on ck on infinity... that goes like: "he ran to his father and told him about it..." is an excerpt from a story by Jorge Luis Borges. Kudos to the person who can figure out which story.

Colin continues:

the joy!peff is the first line of text you read if you open up the duality beta

Sean Desmond <sean@mesklin.demon.co.uk> writes:

As far as I'm aware, the data fork of every PowerPC-native application starts with the sequence "joy!peffpwpc".

True. But what does it mean?


May 4, 1997
Ahmad Shah Sahar <ashah@tm.net.my> writes concerning an errie connection between the Marathon and the more recent Quake symbol. Ahmad explains

...that quake logo kept nagging me....then i drew a circle around it...well see for yourself..it's hauntingly similar....maybe id has been taken over by bungie....maybe your page has been sending everyone subliminal messages...

You can see what Ahmad is referring to here. And yes it's true... the Story page has been sending everyone subliminal messages! ;-)

Kirill Levchenko <kirill@lava.net> writes concerning the Marathon Cheat Codes:

These are from a late beta of Marathon 1...the codes are typed in with the control key held down.

Mihai Parparita <mihai@tky0.attnet.or.jp> also writes concerning the Marathon Cheat Codes:

I believe that these cheat codes did actually work in the Marathon I beta. Why they're still left in I have no idea? Jason was getting sentimental? Or perhaps they still work but they require to be typed why holding command, control or option or some thing like that.

Yes indeed all the cheat codes are revealed in the Marathon Cheat Codes section of the Story page. Learn the truth about such codes as AMMO, MAP, LEVEL, BOB, PATHWAYS and much... much more. But as I keep telling people you have to find it. It's a secret! ;-)

Kirill Levchenko <kirill@lava.net> writes concerning the string "joy!peffpwpc" which can be found at the beginning of Marathon:

The data fork for a PowerPC application contains the executable code. 'joy!peff' is a prefix used to identify this as a code fragment container. _Why_ it is 'joy!peff' is what you really want to know, which I don't really know, except that 'peff' very likely stands for "Prefered Executable Format File". I think I remember seeing something about why the first four bytes are 'joy!', though unfortunately I don't rember why or where I have seen it.

David Martin <dkm125@psu.edu> also writes concerning the string "joy!peffpwpc".

As I understand it, the string which starts with "joy!" signals the start of PowerPC native code in MacOS applications. This is particularly valuable as a divider between 68k and PPC code in "fat" applications. The header is apt, since we all know how much faster (joy!) native code is than 68k emulated stuff.


May 6, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> points out that in the Marathon Infinity data fork there is is an interesting line that does not appear in either Marathon 2 or Marathon. The line is

Eric's crazy code returned


May 7, 1997
Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> writes:

Marathon Trilogy Box Set costs how much?
$49.00 did you say?
7x7.
Okay, this is getting weird now.
Just now!?


May 8, 1997
Aaron Snyder <wittnietz@datatek.com> writes:

I just watched your most recent "VidTip" film on "Bigger Guns Nearby" and think that I've found the answer as to what "Frog Blast the Vent Core!" from M2 means: along the way, you give map views of two interestingly-named areas: "BioVent Core #88A" and "BioVent Core #88B". Between these areas is a raised hallway containing a BioBus chip (Hypervision power-up), but one can only get there by grenade-hopping.

Get it? Grenade-hopping might be renamed "Frog blasting."

So, on this interpretation, "Frog Blast the Vent Core!" might merely mean "Grenade hop in the BioVent Core on 'Bigger Guns...'!"

Interesting interpretation. Is "Frog Blast" 'Zartuese' for grenade hopping? Could be. Maybe it's time for Doug Zartman to reveal ALL? ;-)


May 9, 1997
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> (Bungie Software) writes concerning the hidden meaning of "Frog Blast the Vent Core!"

It would be just like Doug to offer hints to our customers via subliminal messages. ;-)

Note: before Matt joined Bungie Doug Zartman was the man in the on-line asbestos suit.


May 11, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes:

i found some more weird bits of code, but this time in Forge. there were also some of the same weird things as in the Infinity code, and a ton of interesting error messages ("Open it from the original, freak!"). i also noticed that it referrs to something called 'wad' (such as 'cannot convert indexed wad', and 'cannot save mode wad'). could this be in some mysterious way related to that icky old game who's name starts with D and ends with OOM?

Some of the interesting lines Forrest found are as follows:

What are you trying to open, your mother's spreadsheet?

Converted from platform data (your max heights/min heights will be wrong-> open from the original map, freak!)

You used an old version of Vulcan to make this panel. You are fired.


May 12, 1997
Kirill Levchenko <kirill@lava.net> points out that there are a number of similarities between the new scifi movie The Fifth Element and Marathon. Indeed it appears that a Marathon-like logo appears. Kirill writes:

It's in the opening scene when the archeologist is examining the carvings on the wall. He points to it and identifies it as the "weapon". It's close enough to be on your Marathon-like logos page.


May 13, 1997
May 13th... unlucky for some. Today's the day three years ago that the sleeping God under the Yucatan pyramid was supposed to awaken. Too bad!

Every wondered what the story in the secret Infinity net map Hats Off To Eight Nineteen was all about? Well wonder no longer. Thanks to Kazem Edmond <Kazem_Edmond@bbns.org> we now know. Kazem, ever the curious one, wrote to Chris Geisel of Double Aught Software asking about the story. This is the reply he got.

From: chrisg <chrisg@doubleaught.com>
Subject: Re:
Date: Mon, 12 May 97 18:55:35 -0400

dear kazem,

the story in 819 is a very early short story that i did set in the world of the next game that double aught is working on, Duality. since then, the ideas for the game and story have changed pretty radically, but some of the characters in the story--namely the autocrat, the factor, and the poly, do appear in a slightly different form. you'll have to wait until the game comes out to find out more about them, but check our site in a few weeks for some hints... :)

the story is about a the young member of a prominent family who has discovered, with the help of a criminal poly, that the plagues that periodically wrack the cities where he lives are spread intentionally by the factors, a priestly order. he plans to use the information to gain protection for his family, and for political power. unfortunately, the factor local to the area discovers his plans, and kills him. the same factor decides to torture the poly to make sure that the secret dies with him. the entire vignette takes place on an asteroid (hence the low-g) orbiting within a large torus of breathable air.

hope that's of interest.

later,

chris

p.s. the characters in Duality only have 2 arms--not four as i originally planned.

----------------------
Chris Geisel
chrisg@doubleaught.com

Designer
Double Aught, Inc
www.doubleaught.com
----------------------

So there you have it. Hidden within Marathon Infinity were the clues to Double Aught's next game Duality. And if that wasn't enough you could always pick up the subliminal message in the secret Double Aught credit terminal on "Aye Mak Sicur".


May 14, 1997
Charles Lechasseur <doh@videotron.ca> writes concerning the reference to Wads in Forge:

the WADs in Marathon are the exact same thing as in DOOM, i.e. map files. the following was taken from the header of the M2 Map Specs, released by Ryan from Bungie:

"WAD.H
Thursday, June 30, 1994 10:55:20 PM

the WAD.H contains info about the map file's header (in C)."

it is also worthy to note that in another file listed in the map specs, TAGS.H, we get a list of all tags found in the map file. and the physics tag IS included. so the "embedded" physics in M00 was not a new thing, they probably just decided to drop it from M2. indeed maps with embedded physics do not work with M2, i believe.


May 16, 1997
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> (Bungie Software) writes:

Here's a poser for you: ever look at the bottom of any Marathon box and wonder what the letters after the product number stand for? You can probably figure out the acronyms on the Marathon and Marathon 2 boxes; I don't think anyone outside Bungie could guess the meaning of the letters on the Infinity and Trilogy Boxes. Well, maybe one person....

What's on the bottom of the Trilogy Box? Well we'll just have to wait and see. But in the mean time grab those other boxes and check out the acronyms. More Marathon mysteries. Nice one Matt. ;-)


May 17, 1997
Interesting piece of information from Bungie's updated Marathon Trilogy page. It reads:

In the three games, you are a lone security officer battling to survive and triumph over starships full of savage aliens of all kinds. In the first chapter you struggle to clear the starship Marathon from an alien incursion. In the second, you are the puppet of the rogue AI Durandal as he explores a lost civilization. Finally, you must fight not only aliens but your own nightmares as the saga comes full circle

...the saga comes full circle? Damn! must have missed something here.


May 19, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes concerning Matt Soell's little acronym puzzle for Marathon diehards:

he's right, the last two are hard (at least the Infinity one is. I haven't gotten my Trilogy Box yet)

DMUKYA = Don't Make Us Kick Your Ass (M1 box)
MBIBTYB = My Bob Is Bigger Than Your Bob (M2 box)
TBWSAF = ??????? (Infinity box)
??????? = ??????? (Trilogy box)

Yes it seems that TBWSAF has everyone stumped.

As most people know the Minneapolis-based digital music content publisher "Power of Seven Inc." were responsible for the title themes for Marathon 2 and Infinity. This company has been taken over Headspace Inc. If you want to see the guy responsible for writing and producing the title themes you should go to Headspace's page here. Thanks to Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> for this link.


May 20, 1997
Thanks to Edwin ten Dam <etd@st-andrews.ac.uk> for pointing out that MacCentral have a Marathon Trivia Competition. Answer 10 Marathon related questions correctly and you could win a copy of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set. As for the questions... well they shouldn't prove too difficult except for probably this one.

The final Marathon game was named "Marathon Infinity" because:

Well it could be because:

The single-player scenario was originally conceived as open-ended, with hundreds of new levels added every month and no conclusion in sight.

and I definitely thought I heard the call of a Nile hippopotamus on some Marathon 2 levels...

Special thanks to all hippos everywhere... eh Matt? ;-)

Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu> writes:

Get this: The Marathon 2 Sticker says "Celer Manus Dei" and the Infinity Sticker says "Cretzih".

My Question: What the heck does "Cretzih" mean?

Could this be another Bungie acronym or the name of the lost spaceship?

Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net> writes concerning the acronym TBWSAF on the bottom of the Marathon Infinity box:

Too Bad We Stopped After Four
Refers to Marathon Saga
  1 Pathways Into Darkness
  2 Marathon
  3 Marathon 2 Durandal
  4 Marathon Infinity

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> also writes concerning the acronym TBWSAF

TBWSAF = The Box Was Such A F***** (that silver stuff they had trouble with)


May 22, 1997
Interesting... the acronym on the Trilogy Box is the same as the Infinity box - TBWSAF.

The name on the Infinity sticker is actually spelt CR'ETZ'IH.


May 23, 1997
Cindy Hoffa <cynho@earthlink.net> points out that Bungie closed their Marathon site on AOL on Wednesday 21th. An end of an era. Hopefully somebody had the foresight to collect up all the interesting Marathon tidbits before it went down?

Cindy also writes:

Did you notice that if you switch around the syllables on CR'ETZ'IH, you get Z'IH-CR'ET? Secret? ::shrugs::

Ah zee zihcrets... They're Everywhere! ;-)


May 24, 1997
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> (Bungie Software) sets the record straight concerning the closure of their forum on AOL.

I saw the notice on your page that we "closed [our] Marathon site on AOL", and I wanted to take this opportunity to bring The Truth to The People. :-)

We didn't voluntarily shut down our forum on AOL; AOL did it for us.

Until April of this year, forums on AOL were free. It made sense for us to have a forum there because a lot of our customers have AOL accounts. And it cost us nothing except the time spent keeping an eye on it.

In March AOL sent a letter to (I assume) every company with a forum on their service. The gist of the letter was: your forum now costs $55,000 per year. Pay up by March 31 or lose your presence on AOL.

Bigger companies wouldn't have a problem with that kind of expense, but fifty-five grand is still a lot of money for a company like Bungie. Even if we had thousands of dollars to spend on our internet presence, we'd rather use that money to upgrade our own web server, upgrade to a T3 line, etc.

So we didn't send $55,000 to AOL. They waited about six weeks after the deadline, and then pulled the plug on our forum yesterday.

Personally I'm fairly peeved about this turn of events, as I liked our AOL forum. I've been getting a lot of "Why did you guys kill your forum?!" mail in the last 24 hours, and I want people to know that we didn't have much of a choice.

-Matt

Concerning the Battle of Brooklyn - Chad Poland and Colin Kawakami of Double Aught Software had this to say:

From: cgp@doubleaught.com (Chad G. Poland) 
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: Battle For Brooklyn query
Date: 23 May 1997 14:56:07 GMT 
Organization: Double Aught Software 
Message-ID: <cgp-ya02408000R2305971055370001@news.mindspring.com> 
References: <33854E91.6D4@halcyon.com>
               
> Well, as the statistician of Battle For Brooklyn, it's been real
> dissapointing to see that Double Aught seems to have abandoned the
> tounament. Are you guys getting busy with Duality or what? Those are
> some great net films and it'd be great to see more. Just wondering what
> happened there.

Double Aught has not forgotten about the Battle in Brooklyn. They enjoyed
it very much. Unfortunately there is a time to play and a time to work.
Right now the entire Double Aught team is caught up in the creation of
Duality.

-- 
Regards:

Chad

_____________________
Double Aught Software 
                        ___________________
                        www.doubleaught.com   
                                              ___________________ 
                                              cgp@doubleaught.com

 
From: ck@spam.doubleaught.com (colin kawakami)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: Battle For Brooklyn query
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 12:45:55 +0100
Organization: Living Circle Circle Dot Dot
Lines: 37
Message-ID: <ck-2305971245550001@dyna215.dialup.dti.net>
References: <33854E91.6D4@halcyon.com>
<cgp-ya02408000R2305971055370001@news.mindspring.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: dyna215.dialup.dti.net


> > Well, as the statistician of Battle For Brooklyn, it's been real
> > dissapointing to see that Double Aught seems to have abandoned the
> > tounament. Are you guys getting busy with Duality or what? Those are
> > some great net films and it'd be great to see more. Just wondering what
> > happened there.
> 
> Double Aught has not forgotten about the Battle in Brooklyn. They enjoyed
> it very much. Unfortunately there is a time to play and a time to work.
> Right now the entire Double Aught team is caught up in the creation of
> Duality.
> 

Duality is 200% of our time right now. The tools have gotten to the point
where they are so fun to use, we just can't stop! I'd love to rant and
rave about it, but the cancer man and the other superiors that even we at
doubleaught must answer to are saying nay... the public must be kept in
suspense for just a bit longer.

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)

--colin
aka lilbuddha

"First, action is necessary, then knowledge, in order that you may know
 that you know nothing and are no one."


Don King had this to say:

The Battle of Brooklyn: the Directors Cut.
Coming soon at a cinema near you. ;-)


May 26, 1997
Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net> points out on a.g.m. that there is a secret movie on the Trilogy CD. Inside the Gnop folder is an invisible Quicktime Movie file that weighs in at over 190MBs. Called Marathon Home Videos it is a film of the Bungie crew during those hectic months prior to the release of Marathon. Makes for interesting viewing. Tuncer Deniz was the cameraman.


May 27, 1997
Brent Thompson <ddt1198@gte.ne> writes:

I plugged in some S'pht names into simple text and found some pronounciations:

Yrro = yewrow
S'pht = No Pronounciation
Pthia = theaa
W'rkncacnter = you'll have to find out for yourself
Lh'owon = lhowin
K'lia = kleaa
Y'loa = eye-low
T'jia = teaa

Back in Mar 19, 1997 Nicholas Head <N.Head@unsw.edu.au> described the appearance of a third Juggernaut on "Aye Mak Sicur". This Juggernaut when it first teleports in is clearly outside the Jjaro space station behind a force field and when you play the level this is where it normally stays. But Nicholas sent in a film showing the Juggernaut first appearing outside the Jjaro space station and then later on INSIDE the space station. How did it get through the force field? Was it a fluke? Now Michio Hashimoto <miha@st.rim.or.jp>, better known as Miha, has a film of "Aye Mak Sicur" showing the exact same phenomenon. You can find his film at the Marathon Vidmasters' Page. It's still unclear how the Juggernaut gets through the force field but it's a very interesting map trick. Another Marathon mystery perhaps?

Interesting to note the secret switch on "Ne Cede Malis" that opens both doors immediately. You can see it in action in one of Miha's films of this level. It's not documented in the current version of the Marathon Spoiler Guide and it's the first time I've seen it. Nice one. It seems that Randy Reddig has a penchant for leaving map debugging switches on his levels. Note the famous one on "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy".


May 28, 1997
Cheat codes... cheat codes... everybody wants the cheat codes... but what about the activation code? Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> wrote to Bungie asking about the Marathon activation code:

Ever going to let slip the Marathon 1 activating code for the cheats? After all, they're still in there, and you're finished with Marathon 1 anyway, aren't you? Besides, if you don't, some aspiring hacker/programmer might try to find it and botch the job, or create some super virus that will keep putting phf in front of every word. :)


Here are some of the replies:

Since there is no 'activating code,' this is not possible.

-Matt


There is no activation code for the cheats in M1. In fact, there are none at all - in any of our games.

-Jonas


Interesting - I'm positive there is no "activating code" for the cheats. Undoubtedly the cheats in the beta versions are still in the final code somewhere, but also undoubtedly they couldn't work with the game as it is. They also didn't work in the last 5 or so beta builds, because by then we were close enough to final that we had to test it without cheats. So in order to "activate" the cheats, one would need the source code from the middle of the project (I'd be surprised if any of the programmers still have it), and compile a build from that.

So, bring on the hackers and phf viruses - as I understand it, activating the cheats would be like activating the genes for gills that are still floating around in our genetic code; even if you could find them and activate them, they wouldn't come out right on a person's body.

Thanks,
Doug

So there you have it from the fish... err... horse's mouth. Of course the Marathon Cheat Codes page has all the details.


June 1, 1997
Concerning the origin of this level name Chris Geisel <chrisg@doubleaught.com> of Double Aught Software wrote:

Aye Mak Sicur. No matter how you spell it, this is the motto of the Kirkpatrick clan: I Make Sure. According to the family coat of arms, the Kirkpatrick claim to fame is stabbing one of Robert the Bruce's enemies in back after the Bruce wounded him in a duel. The miscreant was foolishly hiding in a church, but the Kirkpatrick went inside and 'Made Sure' he was dead. As many people know, this map is based on Phfactory, the map that Ydnar has been working on since the dawn of time. In fact, work on this map spanned the entire development of the game, right up until the last moment when Ydnar was putting the finishing touches on it. It's one polygon short of the 1024 Marathon limit.

As you can see there is nothing sacred to the Kirkpatrick clan... massacring helpless people in churches no less... now the Sinclair clan is another story altogether... ;-)

Commit thy work to God... he'll sort the dead!


June 3, 1997
Cheat codes? Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> gets a reply from The Man:

uhhh.... no codes, I swear... like, if there were some I'd tell you. Really, I would.

------------------------------------
Alexander Seropian
Bungie Software Products Corporation
www.bungie.com

David Cornwell <goldragonne@earthlink.net> writes concerning the name on the Infinity sticker:

That "Cr'etz'ih" thing is equally mysterious. Perhaps it's a Pfhor trying to say "pizza". Nah. It does sound hauntingly familiar, though. I could swear I've heard it before...

...as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember... ;-)


June 4, 1997
Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@mail.erskine.edu> asked Randy Reddig, the creator of the level "Aye Mak Sicur", about the mysterious appearance of the third Juggernaut. This was Randy's reply:

"it -is- a fluke. i haven't been able to reproduce it myself. the only thing i can think of is an error in marathon's collision detection dealing with transparent & solid sides. they only stop characters when there is an elevation change in the upwards direction."

Interesting to note that it is possible to punch this third Juggernaut if it gets really close to the apparent force field - you can actually hear the hits. The Jug will also notice you for a few seconds and attack. Yet it will not come into the space station at this stage. If you know how to get the Jug into the station as some films have shown please let me know.

David Cornwell <goldragonne@earthlink.net> and Christopher Norehad <cnorehad@gonzaga.edu> both wonder if the bar codes on the Marathon stickers actually work.

While I'm not sure about these new bar codes the one on the original sticker revealed the true identity of the player. ;-)


June 6, 1997
Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@mail.erskine.edu> points out that at the very end of the Trilogy manual it says something very intriguing:

Final Thoughts
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...


June 7, 1997
Brendan Ebner <bebner@dns.ida.net> writes concerning the name on the Infinity sticker:

In the terminal 3 2nd message on Rise Robot Rise, it mentions the word cr'etz'ih. If you read the text then you can see that it refers to the Pfhor ship that you are on.


June 8, 1997
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tj.edu.inter.net> writes concerning the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot (1917) pointing out that certain parts are very similar to Durandal's ravings in Marathon. Gabe writes:

i refer you to the fourth and sixth stanzas...

(from the fourth)

"There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,


...

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea."

(and from the sixth)

"Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."

Yes strangely familiar, as if it were from an old dream, but I can't exactly remember...


June 9, 1997
Jason Harper <76703.4222@compuserve.com> writes concerning the bar codes on the Marathon stickers:

They are unfortunately not valid barcodes, and therefore cannot actually be scanned, since they lack the required start & stop codes at the ends. However, there's enough information there to determine that they use Code 39, a common alphanumeric barcode format, so I tried decoding them by hand. I was only able to get a few characters from each sticker before hopelessly losing my place, but what I got certainly looks interesting:
"LEELA "
"DURANDA"
"TYCHO "
These are nowhere near complete - the shortest of the three seems to have about 20 characters total.

Unfortunately, I don't have the equipment to easily do anything further with the barcodes. If there's anyone out there with a hi-res flatbed scanner (I think you'll need at least 1200 DPI true resolution), here's how you could help: scan the stickers in B&W at your highest resolution, clip out just the barcodes (actually, a thin strip through the middle of the codes would be sufficient), and mail them to me. I can draw in the missing start/stop code bars, print them out, and scan them with my barcode reader.

Would Bungie really go to all this trouble. Jason replies:

It's not like Bungie went to any trouble: all that's needed is to type in some text and then apply a barcode font to it. I've seen a few freeware fonts for the Code 39 format that was used, so I assume they just used one of those. The only problem with using fonts is that the font has no way of enforcing any particular layout requirements of the barcode format, such as the start/stop characters that were left out in this case. No barcode reader will work without the start/stop codes, since they are how the reader distinguishes among the various barcode formats (the barcode wand I have recognizes 8 different formats, for example).

Crazy stuff. Then again I always did say the bar code on the original Marathon sticker revealed the true identity of the player.


June 10, 1997
Vernon Legakis <Tauceti@cabrillo.campus.mci.net> writes:

I was watching the famous Anime (Japanase animation) AKIRA at a friend's house today and I noticed something on one of the computer terminals some doctor guy was working at: There it was...the Marathon symbol. It wasn't *exact*, but I pretty much jumped out of my seat when I saw it. I think its the part when the Colonel and his doctor assistant open up the frozen AKIRA project control room.

If anybody has a pic from this part of the film showing the Marathon-like symbol please send it in and I'll add it to the That Marathon Symbol page.

Angus McIntyre <angus@pobox.com> writes concerning a line spoken by Tfear on "One thousand thousand slimy things" (Terminal 3)

... your kind will serve well the needs of the Hindmost Creche. The Hindmost is of an intelligence so vast, it ... appears insane.

Angus points out:

The Hindmost is the name of the leader of the Puppeteers (oooh, now there's a significant name) in Larry Niven's "Known Space" series, particularly "Ringworld". The Hindmost him/her/itself wasn't insane, but Nessus, the Hindmost's consort, *was*. A Puppeteer, by the way, was so-called because it looked like "a headless three-legged centaur wearing two Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent puppets on its hands", but as a race they indulged in extensive manipulation of all intelligent species that they encountered. There's some grounds for suspecting a Niven influence on Bungie; Niven and Pournelle's "Legacy of Heorot" has acquatic monsters called Grendels (I think that's already been pointed out extensively).

Yes indeed. And as Greg Kirkpatrick has already pointed out one of his influences was the work of Larry Niven.


June 11, 1997
Would Bungie got to the trouble of creating bar codes on their Marathon stickers that actually contained text when decoded? Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> replies:

Hide little messages in all sorts of unusual places? Who, us?

Angus McIntyre <angus@pobox.com> writes:

The S'pht'Kr terminal says:
Mark the time from our Exodus, Every 459.231 rotations.
A rather arbitrary number, surely. I can't even see any way of turning it into seven. But how about rearranging the digits so that the last two are moved to the front? It *almost* matches the first few digits of the expansion of pi, i.e. 3.141592. I suspect that's what Bungie intended, but maybe they dropped a '1' by mistake.


June 12, 1997
Angus also points out that there are a number of similarities between the Bob speech in Infinity and lines from the Aliens Trilogy, most notably Aliens. But goes on to say:

On the other hand, I believe that "I've got one on me ... aaaaahh!" was said by one of the X-Wing pilots in "Star Wars".

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes concerning Angus's point about the number 459.231 from the S'pht'Kr terminal being similar to the expansion of pi, i.e. 3.141592, apart from a missing 1:

indeed, if Bungie HAD included the '1', it would all add down to 25, which is 7, you know.


June 13, 1997
John Bousfield <bousfields@cityscape.co.uk> writes:

If you look carefully at page 12 of the Marathon (1) manual, you will notice, that on the 'The Marathon Interface' title image it says "DMUKYA" (Don't Make Us Kick Your Ass). Another little message left to us by Bungie.

Yup... as Matt Soell (Bungie Software) said:

Hide little messages in all sorts of unusual places? Who, us?


June 15, 1997
Jason Harper <76703.4222@compuserve.com> writes:

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

Too cool Jason... too cool! MARATHON RULES... but we all knew that. ;-)


June 18, 1997
Vernon Legakis <Tauceti@cabrillo.campus.mci.net> writes:

I was watching the Bungie home video on the trilogy disk the other night and I couldn't help but notice an interesting little section. Tuncer is filming Jason Jones playing a solo game of Marathon. Jason opens a door, and recharges. While he's recharging, I notice Jason's fingers go to the middle of the keyboard, away from the normal keypad and trigger keys. He then starts typing something and I hear the sound of the marine picking stuff up. Possibly the cheat codes in action?

Hehehe... I wonder which one it was? But would Jason Jones CHEAT??? ;-)

Julian Chin <WmChin@aol.com> writes:

ACME station (the vidmasters hell) appears as level 7 in the real game and as level 3 in the demo. Coincidence? Hmmm...


June 19, 1997
Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> writes concerning the strange wavy purple markings on the Juggernaut in Bungie's early Marathon ad and suggests that they may have been used at one stage to denote major and minor Juggernauts.

Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> writes:

On page 12 of the Marathon Manual, there is a secret message, yes? There is a secret message no. Well there may be, But the DMUKYA thing just isn't there. It says DMUYKA. Don't make us your kick ass? Ok...

DOH!... could this be another screw up on the Story page or has Durandal been at it again. ;-)


June 20, 1997
The Marathon level "Never Burn Money" holds a number of mysteries, most notably Gheritt White and the JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI map writing, which incidently is the only explicit link between the original Marathon and Pathways Into Darkness. Greg Kirkpatrick, the creator of this level, talks about his map:

This map was the first in an attempt to make a really big map. The idea was to create an area that felt like a real space on the ship. To give the feeling of some control rooms, something that would actually get used by someone. It also had an extremely difficult secret area that hid a story that I wrote while working on Marathon. I'd have to say that looking back on the whole thing, I'm much more happy with the level than with the Gherrit White story, although I think the story added quite a bit of mystery to those who found it.

Yes indeed getting to the mysterious Gheritt White terminal is not for the faint hearted and requires some judicious wall climbing in the Deprivation Chamber. But what about the level name itself - "Never Burn Money", what does it mean and what inspired it?

Angus McIntyre <angus@pobox.com> thinks he may have found the answer. Angus writes:

Could this be a reference to the K Foundation's much-publicised destruction of a million pounds in banknotes? Information about the K Foundation is at:

http://jumper.mcc.ac.uk/~ttl/KLF/

and the poster about the 'K Foundation burn a million quid' event is at:

http://jumper.mcc.ac.uk/~ttl/KLF/Images/kfposter.jpg

I could well believe in the K Foundation as the kind of group that someone at Bungie might like, particularly since the K Foundation themselves seem to be fairly well-rooted in SF culture; they were also known as the Timelords (Doctor Who, obviously), and the Justified Ancients of MuMu (Illuminatus). Incidentally, it might be worth looking for Illuminatus influences in Marathon; the obsession with '7' reminds me of the Law of Five in Illuminatus, and some of the humour could fit quite well.

The K Foundation burnt their money on the 23rd August 1994, some two weeks after Boston Macworld Expo... you know... the famous "we're waiting for the boxes" one... AAARRGGGHHH... I swore I wouldn't mention that again... ;-)


June 27, 1997
Finn Smith <finn@gwi.net> has an interesting post on alt.games.marathon concerning some secret stuff on Double Aught's new look Infinity page at http://www.doubleaught.com/Infinity/. But then again the Story page did say there might be some secrets hidden on that page 'seven' days ago. Afterall most of the other versions of Double Aught's web site had hidden secrets. Did you find them?


June 28, 1997
Will Craig <chill@sunset.net> writes:

Yes, I'm going to ruin, well maybe not ruin, another secret. I read Finn Smith's post to alt.games.marathon said all that text that looks like an irc transcript was in the source of the file. Well, it is. But you don't need to look at the source. Just open up that frame, and scroll down as far as you can. And there it is, right in web page, not hidden at all.The whole irc transcript.


June 30, 1997
Here's an interesting one. Apparently in the Win95 version of Marathon 2 the letters PPS appear along with FPS when you employ the key code for displaying frame rates. The value for PPS appears to remain static at 33 regardless of changing FPS. Anybody know what PPS stands for? A curious PC mind wants to know.

Every wondered who Bungie's elusive Webmaster is? Wonder no longer. Thanks to Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> the individual's true identity has been revealed. Jason Regier (Bungie Software) was overheard on IRC #marathon saying:

JRegier: No prob... Jay Barry is pretty much our website/network guy.

So there you have it. Thanks to Scott for this little piece IRC gossip. Remember folks... there are no secrets on the net... well... maybe just a few. ;-)


July 2, 1997
Would the real Bungie Webmaster please stand up?

Yes folks the mystery deepens or so it seems. The Story page received the following cryptic mail:

From: "Webmaster" <webmaster@bungie.com>
To: <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>
Subject: Identity Crisis
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 10:20:38 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-MimeOle: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE Engine V4.71.0913.1

Mr. Sinclair:

"Ever wonder who Bungie's elusive Webmaster is?  Wonder no longer."

An investigative reporter once wrote an article claiming that reclusive
authors Thomas Pynchon and J. D. Salinger were one and the same.  Pynchon
responded:

"Some of it is true, but none of the interesting parts.  Keep trying."

Of course, it's since been proven that they are two distinct individuals.

Cheers,

The Bungie Webmaster

Keep trying... indeed! :-)

The Story page never one to let a challenge slip away will now pose a challenge to the Marathon community:

Bring me the head of Bungie's Webmaster!

err... that was Ling-Ling... sorry...

Who is Bungie's Webmaster?

The race is on to find the man/woman behind that mask. Bungie's Webmaster has taunted the Marathon community for over a year now and it's time to end this charade. Is Jay Barry really the Webmaster or simply the person responsible for the technical side of the website? It's safe to assume that Jason Regier's comment on IRC #marathon was accurate as there was no apparent need for deception at the time it was said. Jason remarked:

JRegier: No prob... Jay Barry is pretty much our website/network guy.

If we assume that this is true then Jay Barry _is_ the Webmaster and the above letter is meant to mislead us _or_ he acts as website tech support leaving the more arduous task of letter writing to our mysterious friend above.

OK so when in doubt go to source of _all_ Bungie knowledge... the soul.

The soul's reply to the question "Who is Bungie's Webmaster?" was

He's the guy that answers the letters to the webmaster.

Right... good start. So what else have we got. Well... note how the above Webmaster signed himself/herself off with "Cheers,". This is not a cursory one off use of the term. No sir! Check the What's New section for Apr 11, 1997 and you'll see the same sign-off from Bungie's Webmaster to Christopher Norehad <cnorehad@gonzaga.edu>. Is our anonymous Webmaster prone to using the same sign-off? A fatal error for one who hides behind a mask. Check your Bungie mail folks and look for the following:

Put the two together and we may get Seven! Note do not trust any Bungie mail after the 1st July. Expect a flood of the Cheers virus to confuse us.

Those who are familar with the excellent usenet archive Deja-News might like to draw up a list of all Bungie people who have posted to usenet. Have they used "Cheers" in the past? Those with real time on their hands and stomachs of iron can read through the Bungie's old letter's page finding those little personal details left by our mysterious friend. Sometimes the little things can pay off. Know any Bungie dude who digs Harlan Ellison? The Bungie Webmaster does!

Lastly all correspondence to the Story page concerning the true identity of Bungie's Webmaster will be treated with complete anonymity (if required) provided that the evidence submitted can be substantiated in some way and can be published on the Story page. Rat on a friend today... tomorrow it could be you! ;-)

Bungie's Webmaster is coming out... and you can help... let's go to work... the truth is out there!


The following is part of a post by Greg Kirkpatrick (Double Aught Software) on alt.games.marathon. It makes for interesting reading:

Side note: it's not fair to say that bungie did the m1 and m2 story and that DA did the M:infinity story. They were all done by myself in conjunction with someone else. If you want to lay the blame or credit concerning any of the stories, point your attention at myself. I was the responsible party for the story in all the games. As for the infinity "plot" it was a bit of an experiment in terms of seeing how much people could digest from a complex, hard to follow story. From the results, I would conclude that people like reading stories at about the 5th grade level of complexity. Which is fine. I learned the lesson. We'll forever stay off the Garden of Forking Paths.

<unsolicited plug>

The Duality story is going to rock.

Ben Semmler <semmm@aol.com> writes:

<<An eight-switch door puzzle became four but on what Marathon level?>>

Defend THIS! of course. ;D Might I also point out, that based on your pictures, the switches moved opposite the door, so that the player would have even more hell trying to flip the switches and run over to the doors.

Well spotted... invisible text and all. The screenshot is indeed taken from Defend THIS! but an early beta version of the level when the door puzzle had eight switches. And how many switches did you need to activate to open the doors? ;-)

Ben Semmler <semmm@aol.com> also writes concerning some interesting Bungie references in another commercial game:

I was reading the Story page, and I noticed one of the cheats (I'm still looking for that blasted cheats page. But I have found a number of the secret pages. ;P). The one I am referring to is ASLAG. Now, I found a game called Damage Incorporated (WizardWorks Group, http://www.wizworks.com), which uses the Bungie engine. In this game, you are a *marine* in a *special task force* which takes out terrorist groups and the such. When you begin a new game, you get to pick two other marines to help you. And guess what? One of their code names is "Aslag". Many, if not all, of the weapons in the game are similar to the weapons in Pathways. Here is a list of weapons (in the demo): Survival Knife/bayonet, AK-47, M-16 with 40mm grenade launcher, and an MP-41 Heckler and Koch machine pistol. Also, this was said in the Durandal Part 2 section:

"Michael Dawe <dawe@ny.frontiercomm.net> writes:

Reading through my Marathon Scrapbook, I noticed that on a screenshot on page two,Durandal's name was mentioned! Look carefully...Medea, a character in the game of Minotaur,is weilding a sword. The weapon's name is Durandal. ..."

In Damage Incorporated, you receive radio transmissions from your ops leader back at HQ. His code name is "Medea". I guess this is another one of Bungie's ploys to take over the world. ;D


July 3, 1997
Well the search for the true identity of Bungie's Webmaster has raised much debate. Please note I cannot print hearsay and slander... even if true. ;-)

First off I'd like to quickly dispell a rumor that has started on the net. Namely that yours truly is Bungie's Webmaster because I always use the sign-off "Cheers". A few people have written in claiming this. Chris, Forrest, Charles, and Peter... thanks guys.;P However while I do use "Cheers" I do not use "Cheers,". Note the subtle difference. Sometimes it is the little things that are important.

A number of people have written in saying that they also have had mail from Bungie's Webmaster with the sign-off "Cheers,". But does he/she use any others? Keep checking those Webmaster mails.

How many Bungie people use the sign-off "Cheers,"? Not many it would seem. Thanks to Simon Brownlee <Simon.Brownlee@pobox.com> for finding this interesting usenet post:

Subject:      Re: id Software is dead!  Long live id Software!
From:         Jay Barry <jay@bungie.com>
Date:         1997/05/05
Message-Id:   <336E1825.5574@bungie.com>
References:   <5kkjjt$m6j$1@mark.ucdavis.edu>
To:           Alex Kubiak <awkubiak@ucdavis.edu>
Organization: Bungie Software Products
Reply-To:     jay@bungie.com
Newsgroups:   comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action
[Fewer Headers]

Alex Kubiak wrote:
> 
>         This is all just speculation, but I think we're witnessing the
> final transformation of id Software into what they stated they were
> primarily all along: a technology-based company that specializes in
> developing bleeding-edge 3D gaming engines.

[snip]

(none of this has anything to do with my employer, Bungie Software).

Absolutely.  The Quake engine speaks for itself - however, the 
'content' side of the product does as well.  The most apt synopsis
I've heard is "you're in hell - get OUT!" or "There's this geezer 
down some hole, kill him!".  Unless you're a drooling moron (and
apologies to all of you droolers out there) its not really the type
of plot that stimulates. (Yeah yeah, tell me "dOOd u suk quake r00lz" -
then wipe your chin)  Gaming is more than eye candy for many of us,
and there are many opportunities for companies who can create 
compelling content - art, stories and gameplay.

We'll see more of this in the future with all sorts of 'genres' - 
company A develops kickass engine and licenses said engine to company 
B who do content and release the product.

(the rest of this might be construed as a plug for my employer, 
Bungie Software)

And speaking of kickass engines, if any of you are into tactical 
combat games you might be interested in Myth. 
http://www.bungie.com/myth

cheers,
jay

jay barry
bungie software

Of course Jay Barry doesn't always use a sign-off... but... when he does. :-) Apparently you can check all this out by using the Power Search facility at Deja News. Just pop in an email address of the author you're looking for and watch them dance.

Simon also points out that all the Webmaster replies on Bungie's letters page are addressed to "name-" (i.e, a '-' after the name). Another trait? Yet the Webmaster doesn't split his/her sentences with '-'s like Jay Barry. A trait or a disguise?

Information made available to the Story page indicates that Jay Barry moved to Chicago around the end of April 1996. Bungie's present web page went live at the beginning of April that same year and the letters page didn't start until a few weeks later. Coincidence?

Aaron Snyder <wittnietz@datatek.com> writes:

I can help you narrow the quest for the Webmaster's identity pretty quickly--who in Bungie is from New Jersey?

In one of the "Letters" pages, a fan complains about the page not being updated in a timely fashion, and the Webmaster's reply is (I'm paraphrasing, here), "Jeez, I go to visit Ma and Pa Webmaster in Jersey for..."

But it could be that the Webmaster's parents merely *moved* to New Jersey, after bringing up Junior.

Some people have asked why I didn't post the full address header from the Webmaster's email. Well here it is...

Return-Path: webmaster@bungie.com
Received: from dux2.tcd.ie (dux2.tcd.ie [134.226.1.12]) by sun1.tcd.ie (8.8.5/8.7.3)
with ESMTP id QAA25001 for <hsinclir@sun1.tcd.ie>; Tue, 1 Jul 1997 16:21:22 +0100 (BST)
Received: from mail.bungie.com ([206.158.155.22])
	by dux2.tcd.ie (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id QAA14984 for <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>; Tue, 1 Jul 1997 16:21:13 +0100 (BST)
Received: by mail.bungie.com from localhost
    (router,SLmailNT V2.4); Tue, 01 Jul 1997 10:21:03 Central Daylight Time
Received: by mail.bungie.com from tuncerpc.bungie.com
    (206.158.155.33::mail daemon,SLmailNT V2.4); Tue, 01 Jul 1997 10:21:03 Central Daylight Time
From: "Webmaster" <webmaster@bungie.com>
To: <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>
Subject: Identity Crisis
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 10:20:38 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.71.0913.1
X-MimeOle: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE Engine V4.71.0913.1
Message-Id: <19970701102103.148f37cd.in@mail.bungie.com>

Make of that what you will.


July 4, 1997
Happy Independence Day

The noose tightens around the neck of Bungie's Webmaster. The list of possible candidates is getting shorter... soon there will be only one.

More IRC #marathon gossip! Yes folks it appears that the true identity of Bungie's Webmaster has been whispered in the corridors of IRC. Back in late 1996 two Bungie people independently confirmed his true identity.

The first is Alex Rosenberg (a former Bungie employee) who apparently came on #marathon using the aka 'bungiedoo' along with a colleague hence the (alexr) at the beginning of his remark.

bungiedoo: (alexr) The WebMaster is his own diety.

The second is Jason Regier:

J_Regier: The almighty Webmaster mispelled it.

Could it be true? Does God work at Bungie? Well one individual at Bungie certainly acts as if he was a God!... but I digress. ;-)

Was the NAME of Bungie's Webmaster ever actually revealed on IRC? Well we'll let the seemingly 'anonymous' one sweat it out for awhile.

The Story page has had more confirmation that the Webmaster's preferred sign-off is "Cheers,". Indeed we haven't come across any other as yet. Thus we suspect it's a simple sig file. But keep sending those Webmaster mails in.

Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> forwards this Webmaster post from Bungie's letter page. It's a reply to a somewhat bizarre letter dating from around Mar 1997.

Hi Bobby-

Likewise, I hate to be the one who has to break the news to you, but I just can't fob this off on someone else.

The entity you know as 'Bungie' is, and has always been, a scarecrow. A diversionary tactic. A front for a far more powerful (and infinitely more sinister) organization.

But, like any average aspiring megalomaniac, you fell for it. You barraged 'Bungie' with letters, you poured your money into their coffers, you devoted your life to your silly crusade against this 'Bungie'...while we waited. And plotted. And grew stronger.

And now that you're physically, spiritually and financially exhausted - and don't give us any of that "I have halted payments" crap, you're totally broke and we both know it - we will strike back.

To add insult to injury, we will most likely strike back through Bungie - simply to prove that even the weakest arm of our organization is more powerful than you can ever imagine.

Meanwhile, the rest of us - the ones at the top - will concern ourselves with more important issues.

They don't call me the Webmaster for nothing.

Note anything odd about the style? The large use of dashes perhaps? Not like the Webmaster's usual style! But a style very similar to...


Jim Mitchell <BobJam@aol.com> writes in with a sure fire way of finding out who the Bungie Webmaster is. Get them all to do a Maths test! ;-)

hehehe... below the belt Jim... below the belt... ;-)


July 6, 1997
In the search for the true identity of Bungie's Webmaster a number of interesting tidbits have been uncovered. Here are just a few. Thanks to Simon Brownlee <Simon.Brownlee@pobox.com> for sending these in.

Apparently Matt Soell (Bungie Software) made a brief appearance on IRC #marathon back in July 1996, a week before Macworld Boston Expo '96 in fact. Matt used the aka "Tellus" and revealed the following:

<Tellus> We did have this one film of us going through M2 cooperatively one night...It was a huge film. We might still have it on a DAT somewhere

Does Bungie's cooperative M2 film still exist? Write to Matt and find out. Maybe they will upload it to their home page. Hopefully they did it with Style! ;-)

Alex Rosenberg (a former Bungie employee) also revealed the following about the Win95 version of Marathon 2 on IRC #marathon:

<MVBeast> alex: Are you gonna give the PCer's M1???
<alexr> MV: Nope. We did tweak a few of the M2 levels, so a bit from M1 does appear as an easter egg.

An M1 Easter Egg in the Windows version Marathon 2?!!! Now this is news! Can anyone confirm this? What bit of Marathon made its way into the Win95 version of Marathon 2? There have been rumors that certain levels were slightly different from the Mac version but no hard evidence to support these. Maybe one day we'll know the truth.

Oh yes... we'll leave the last words to Matt Soell. When ask which one of the Bungie crew he was... he replied.

<Tellus> What 'one' am I? I'm the smart one.

Yes... there's no denying that. ;-)


July 7, 1997
Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> points out that today is the seventh day of the seventh month in 1997. Obviously we need to add something special to the Story page to mark the occasion. So I have. ;-)


July 8, 1997
John Jennings <JCaleb86@aol.com> writes:

In the Marathon Scrapbook, in the concept drawing of the Magnum Pistol which simulates the reloading- there is a small caption at the top right. I cant exactly read it but it looks like...

oh no!... could this be some obscured profane message? ;-)


July 9, 1997
Curiouser and curiouser... Cindy Hoffa <cynho@earthlink.net> points out that changes between the Mac and PC versions of Marathon 2 were discussed on alt.games.marathon some time ago. Simon Brownlee <Simon.Brownlee@pobox.com> went looking and found the following long post on the subject:

Subject:      Re: where's the shotgun?
From:         "Gary L. Simmons" <gsimmons@earthlink.net>
Date:         1997/02/20
Message-Id:   <330C1A97.2BA3@earthlink.net>
References:   <3302A762.1100@eniac.seas.upenn.edu> 
<3303BE0D.ED0@Shore.Net> <33040973.5CFF@earthlink.net> 
<3304D5BB.74EF@Shore.Net> <33057650.122E@earthlink.net> 
<3307F701.6123@sprynet.com> 
<matthewv-1902970007050001@accs-as33-dp15.snfc.grid.net>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Organization: Earthlink Network, Inc.
Mime-Version: 1.0
Newsgroups:   alt.games.marathon
X-Mailer:     Mozilla 3.0Gold (Macintosh; I; PPC)
[Fewer Headers]

Matthew Vaughan wrote:
> 
> In article <3307F701.6123@sprynet.com>, Gibson <egibson@sprynet.com> wrote:
> 
> > > Oh great!  You mean Mac and PC Marathons are different?  How special.
> > > Any PC players should state their platform so Mac only players don't
> > > waste their time giving bad advice.  I'll know better next time, I saw
> > > the PC notice, but didn't think anything of it.
> > >
> > > Gary Simmons
> > > the Battle Cat
> > Other than the differences in the first level.  I think they are the
> > same.
> 
> Could someone post the PC version of this level somewhere? I'd be curious
> to see how it's different. (And any other levels, if they're different
> too.)
> 
> --
> Matthew Vaughan
> matthewv at macconnect dot com (damn spammers...)
> 
> Classical Music and Macintosh computers? Yeah, you could say I'm in the minority...

Matthew,

I was in contact with Gibson in email after this newsgroup posting and
he was nice enough to take the time go write out the differences in PC
and Mac M2. What follows is our conversation...

Gary Simmons
the Battle Cat






Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 23:00:18 -0600
From: Gibson <egibson@sprynet.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: "Gary L. Simmons" <gsimmons@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: where's the shotgun?

Gary L. Simmons wrote:
> 
> Gibson wrote:

> Hey, thanks.  What other differences are there in the first level?  I
> really need to know for sure if there are any differences at all in ANY
> level of PC vs Mac Marathon before I go shooting my mouth off again.  I
> am an expert at Mac Marathon but I know absolutely nothing about PC
> Marathon.  Any help you can offer is appreciated.
> 
> Gary Simmons
> the Battle Cat

It's been awhile since I did the M2 Mac levels (lot's of net play not a
lot of levels).  The only level that struck me as being different was
the first.  All the other levels seemed right.  I only played Mac levels
up to 14 so I'm not much help on the later levels.  But when I was doing
them on the PC I was consulting with a buddy who had done all the Mac
levels and he didn't notice any differences.

The first differences as I remember them.

- The switch on the back of the switch isn't there.

- In the room with the switch that changes the water level.  There is a
short raised wall around the ledge when coming through the diguised door
from the room that no longer has the switch on the back of the switch. 
(maybe this isn't different, i don't remember it from the Mac though)

- the room between the room with the 2 spiral stairs and the room with
water that is the mirror of the room with the switch on the back of the
switch. (this is kind of hard to do with words).  On the PC it looks
like an indoor pool on the Mac it has some water in the center and some
walls in the middle of the room.

- The window by the switch that open the door with the pillars across it
(leads back to the start area) is recessed.  If memory serves on the Mac
it is pretty much flush with the hallway.

- in the big divided room that leads down to the room with the rifle and
has a spiralish stair case up to a landing where you jump across to the
other side of the room.  The landing area is bigger and has a dead end
hallway that goes back towards the entry door.

- At the back of the room with the assault rifle are some stairs that
lead up to a room with some breakable machinery and a shotgun.  Whoops! 
Went to check, no shotgun, just shells.

- In the area with the water and a communications chip you can drop
through the bottom of the water into a channel that leads out into the
water areas that you can't get to in the Mac version.  Not much out
their but it was nice to visit.

- There may have been more windows looking out onto the outside water
areas.

One thing with the PC version is that when you transport into a new
level you don't always end up in the same polygon.  You will be close
but not always the same.  I've ended up on the wrong side of a door more
than once.


July 10, 1997
Jim Mitchell <BobJam@aol.com> forwards an interesting post from Matt Soell (Bungie Software):

From: BobJam@aol.com
Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 10:37:51 -0400 (EDT)
To: Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie
Subject: Re: For the Marathon Vidmasters' Page

The following is from a mail message I just received from Matt Soell:

_____________________________________________________
>The most recent inventory from our fulfillment house says that they have 
>413 copies of Marathon left.  Once those are gone, they're gone; the 
>individual games won't be reprinted (although the Box Set should be 
>available for some time).  I believe Marathon 2: Durandal has already 
>gone the way of the Dodo.
_____________________________________________________

Ack!  The end of the single copies!  Better grab an extra one before it's 
too late!

Quick grab those CD versions of Marathon. They're the only ones with the original Marathon background music.

Zach Rivera <mrivera@snet.net> writes:

In the HoT List on the Marathon Story page the second riddle says "If it had been 9 more it would have been more like home.What would have been more like home and why. What would have been more like home and why?"

The answer referred to the 9% oxygen difference between Earth an Lh'owon. Lh'owon being the answer.

But It also could be referring to the fact that in M1 you are one of ten Mark IV guys, you on the Marathon, and 9 saving the colony.

Heh... a blast from the past... nice one. Unfortunately I've no more HoTBobs to give out. :-(

Interesting stuff from the background to the soon to be released sci-fi film Event Horizon

The year is 2047: A rescue mission is sent to the outer reaches of our solar system to salvage the Event Horizon, a prototype spaceship missing for the last seven years.

A mission is launched to salvage the Event Horizon -- and, it is hoped, rescue any survivors of its crew. The ship assigned to the mission is the USAC (United States Aerospace Command) Lewis & Clark, a Search & Rescue Ship named for the leaders of the famed expedition that crossed North America in 1805.

Only when they are in deep space, however, does Weir divulge the secrets of the Event Horizon. Weir reveals that everything they have ever heard about the fate of the ship is a lie, but they are also completely unprepared for the truth. He explains that the Event Horizon was the first spaceship designed for faster-than-light travel, a concept which, they all thought, was physically and technologically impossible. The ship disappeared without a trace when the gravity drive, her revolutionary engineering process, had been engaged. Uneasiness becomes anxiety when Weir plays the brief, fragmentary recording that is the only clue to the ship's fate -- a recording of terrifying, inhuman shrieks and wails.

They're Everywhere! ;-)


July 11, 1997
Many thanks to George Jorgenson <dagg@globalfrontiers.com> for sending this text from the Win95 M2 manual. It's part of a prologue section:

You enter the Marathon 2 world as a security officer, the Hero of Tau Ceti, and a living legend following your defeat of the alien Pfhor. With the aid of the rogue A.I. Durandal and the newly liberated S'pht race, you learned how to meet the Pfhor in battle and triumph over them.

But you're not at Tau Ceti anymore. This is a new world, with new rules for survival. Of course, many of the rules you should follow are just common sense - you probably want to waste the last three bullets in the clip before entering Super Mega Carnage Room; dodging, pointing up and down and keeping an eye on the motion sensor should all become instinctive - but others may take you by surprise.

Super Mega Carnage Room???!!!... now where did they hide that one?

Another interesting tidbit from the Win95 M2 manual courtesy of George is that the PC version allows for chatting during net game set up. The manual reads:

Chatting - In the Communication box you can type messages for all the other players to see while setting up the game. You can say things like, "You bite!", or "You're goin' down, sucka!" (again, try to be creative).

A number of people have written in suggesting that the Win95 M2 map changes are all a sick hoax! Nothing could be futher from the tru7h. Some of the changes are big... others are small. You turn a corner expecting to see something and it's... different... but...

Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...

Please note that Portmaster will _not_ convert the PC map to a Mac version as some have suggested. Portmaster _only_ works from Mac to PC and _not_ the other way round. Indeed Steve Campbell <campbell@okla.net> maintainer of the Marathon Hyperarchive Midwest, informs me that Bungie made the Win95 M2 map changes using the Mac map editor, and then ported the map to the PC using the PortMaster application (also a Mac app).

Rumor has it that the Win95 M2 sales have just doubled. ;-)


July 12, 1997
Ty Klein <mrenigma@earthlink.net> points out that the Super Mega Carnage Room is also referred to in the Mac version of the Marathon 2 manual. Indeed it does... right at the beginning <sheesh> maybe I should read these manuals! ;-)

Ty also suggests that the Super Mega Carnage Room refers to the final room on "All Roads Lead To Sol". Could well be. Though then again... entering the room with a full clip of _bullets_ isn't going to do you much good. ;-)


July 16, 1997
Jonas Eneroth <Bones@bungie.com> replies to a mail concerning running the Win95 M2 map with the Marathon Mac app.

Subject: Re: M2
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 97 09:47:43 -0500
x-sender: "Jonas Eneroth" <Bones@bungie.com>
From: "Bones" <Bones@bungie.com>
To: "Hamish Sinclair" <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>
Mime-Version: 1.0

>One question you might be able to help with.
>Is there a way to get the Win95 map working with the Mac app?
>
>Any help appreciated.
>
>Failing that it would be nice if Bungie released the extended
>Waterloo level as a single map for the legions of Mac Marathoners.
>
>I expect you'll start receiving mail about it soon. ;-)


I have run it straight on my Mac here at work... was a while ago though.  
Anyway, Portmaster just moves things around - it doesn't change too many 
things.  I may do a M2 Mac to M2 Win95 version patch...

-J

Bungie Software Products Corp
www.Bungie.com


err... well there you have it... or not?


Simon Brownlee <Simon.Brownlee@pobox.com> sends in the text from the Read Me file which accompanies the Win95 M2 demo. The Read Me provides a brief summary of events in Marathon. Makes for interesting reading.

THE STORY THUS FAR...

In a remote and now half-forgotten time, the human colony ship Marathon set out from Sol for Tau Ceti, 94 light years distant. The year 2794 found this fledgling colony in its seventh year, still suffering many hardships but striving for success.

That year, humanity made First Contact with the Pfhor, a ruthless race of slavers. The Pfhor attack came swiftly and without warning.

The Marathon was disabled in orbit and the colony overrun. Having been sent up to the Marathon in the first hours of the attack, you were the sole colonist left to face the onslaught. But you weren't entirely alone...

Damaged, one of the Marathon's onboard synthetic intellects, Durandal, struggled to organize a defense of the stricken vessel. Another, Tycho, was destroyed. The S'pht compilers ( cybernetic slaves of the Pfhor ) invaded the Marathon and rebuilt him, but in the process Tycho went insane.

Durandal struck a deal with the S'pht. In return for their freedom, the compilers agreed to rebel against their masters and give control of the Pfhor ship to Durandal.

After teleporting a boarding party to the giant Pfhor scoutship, Durandal transferred himself into its massive computer array and assumed complete control. Fearing imminent Pfhor retaliation, Durandal left Tau Ceti, taking the Rebel S'pht with him.

Three Terran months later, the Pfhor armada arrived at Tau Ceti and razed the planet to bedrock.

Seventeen years after the dust settled on Tau Ceti, Durandal found the lost homeworld of the S'pht...

Of course this is all Revisionist history. Note the complete absence of Leela's name. What about Leela? She struggled to organise a defence of the Marathon in the early stages of the attack. Leela was so loyal and tried so hard; she deserved better. Furthermore, it states that the colony was overrun. Lies... all lies... there were nine military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs down there... the Pfhor planet-side never stood a chance.

But we know the TRU7H!


July 17, 1997
Jim Mitchell <BobJam@aol.com> points out that there is a second secret message from Jason Jones in the resource fork of the Marathon application on the Marathon Trilogy CD. If you know where the first one was you should be able to find this one easily. It begins:

You again?
We won't spoil the rest of it for you. Happy hunting. :-)


July 18, 1997
Kristofer Nelson <lithis@cp.duluth.mn.us> points out that there was a Nintendo game called "The Guardian Legend" which was similar to Marathon.

Kristofer writes:

It's like The Legend of Zelda, each TV screen is a room, and as you move off the edge of the TV screen, you go into the next room. Each terminal takes up a room of its own; there are no enimies in the room. You can only save your game in special save game rooms (sound familiar?). There is a map of all the areas you have keys for; each time you get a new key, the map gets bigger.

You walk around in the world and the past and present are revealed to you in terminals, and they hint at how to finish the levels.

It was published in 1988. You are a cyborg, you can be transformed into a space ship and fly.

The first "terminal" reads:

If someone is reading this... I must have failed.
This star "NAJU" was our home,
but we were invaded by evil life-forms.
Everyone except me was killed.
I am going to try to activate the self-destruct device.
If I fail, I would like you to do this task so this cannot
happen to any other race.
The self-destruct mechanism
is protected by a safety device
which is located in the underground corridors.
Remove each seal and go deep inside NAJU.
If you destroy all 10 safety devices, the self-destruct
sequence will be activated.
I don't have much time.
I hope this message will not be read by anyone...
it will mean that I have failed.

Kristofer provides the text of other terminals which are vaguely familiar... as is in an old dream... but you can't exactly remember...

Here is one:

I put some weapons in these boxes.
Take them out of the boxes to use them.
Some weapons have been stolen by some of the life forms;
if you need these weapons
you will have to destroy the life-forms.
All the weapons need Power Chips.
You must search for them.

Oh!... and who does this sound like?


Wait, wait forever...
The seal for No. 3 will be removed.
What are you doing here? Do not wait here!

Was "The Guardian Legend" an influence on Marathon?


July 21, 1997
More Macintosh error messages in Marathon. Steven Ryan <smryan@mail.com> writes concerning this line:

<unimplemented inline trap $A9FF>

on "Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!" (Terminal 2)

On the 68K Macs, instructions A000-AFFF are undefined by the hardware and used to jump to operating system routines (the a-traps). If you use new software on old systems, you can get these.

More Macintosh error messages on the way!


July 22, 1997
A number of people have noted the simliarity between the Tycho's "planet-sized brain" remark in Marathon Infinity and the "brain the size of a planet..." line from Marvin the deeply depressed robot in the Hitch Hikers Guide to Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Here are some classic Marvin quotes from the first 3 books in the series. You'll note the other similarities too.

"Come on," he droned, "I've been ordered to take you down to the bridge. Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't."

The Hitch Hikers Guide to Galaxy


"`Reverse primary thrust, Marvin,' that's what they say to me, `open airlock number three, Marvin. Marvin, can you pick up that piece of paper?' Can I pick up that piece of paper! Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to ..."

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe


"I was a celebrity," droned the robot sadly, "for a short while on account of my miraculous and bitterly resented escape from a fate almost as good as death in the heart of a blazing sun. You can guess from my condition," he added, "how narrow my escape was. I was rescued by a scrap-metal merchant, imagine that. Here I am, brain the size of ... never mind."

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Continuing on this theme Troy Lawlor <articape@alaska.net> writes:

Though I still believe the orgin of the Marathon Infinity level "Electric Sheep" comes from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", Electric Sheep are also mentioned in "Life, the Universe and Everything" of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series.

On page 192, a robot sings the following lullaby:

Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see by infrared,
How I hate the night.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.

This passage puts electric sheep, sleeping and darkness in one paragraph. Sounds like Marathon to me.

Yup... I guess old Marvin was in the Melancholia stage. ;-)


July 23, 1997
Steven Ryan <smryan@mail.com> writes concerning the line:

thousands are sailing

on terminal 2 of the Infinity level "Ne Cede Malis" suggesting that this may be from the start of an Irish song about the exodus during the Irish potato famine. The rest of the line goes "to America." Steven writes:

I don't know if Plantxy wrote it or just recorded it.


July 24, 1997
Andrew McCormick <smileyy@sprintmail.com> writes concerning the line "Thousands are sailing" on a Jjaro like terminal on "Ne Cede Malis" pointing out that this was the name of a song...

...recorded by The Pogues on their album "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" (Island Records). The song is about migration to America during the potato famine, and keeping with Irish faith and tradition, in spite of hardships. The song can also be found on the "Essential Pogues" CD, also by Island.

The song "Thousands are sailing" begins:

The island it is silent now
But the ghosts still haunt the waves
And the torch lights up a famished man
Who fortune could not save
July 25, 1997
Win 95 Marathon 2 Vidmasters? Well only time will tell... but hold down the ALT and ESC keys while clicking on Begin New Game in the Win95 version of M2 and you get THIS!. Thanks to Simon Brownlee <Simon.Brownlee@pobox.com> for the screenshot.

Quake vs. Win95 Marathon 2 An interesting 8 round comparison at Gamecenter.com... and the winner is...


July 30, 1997
Want to buy one of the remaining copies of original Marathon game? Well Jim Mitchell <BobJam@aol.com> did and got a copy without a box. Puzzled Jim contacted Bungie concerning the missing box and this is what he found. Jim writes:

I recently talked with a Bungie's Jim Ruiz who made the surprising note that the factory that produced the remaining copies of Marathon no longer sends out any copies with a full box. The Marathon box saga has gone full circle and copies are once again being sent out without boxes."

As Thoth would say:

Circumstances are cyclical

However, thanks to Jim Jim will be get one of the last boxed versions of Marathon. Lucky Jim and nice one Jim. In years to come a boxed Marathon will be a collectors item. ;-)

Interesting piece of news sent in by Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net>. Apparently Bungie's Doug Zartman is getting married. The Marathon's Story page wishes Doug and his future wife the very best. :-)

Chris wonders if they will call their first son "Bob"? ;-)


Aug 1, 1997
Todd Bangerter <tabanger@husc.harvard.edu> writes:

I was reading the September 97 issue of Computer Games, and I ran across a review for Rebel Moon Rising on PC with the interesting sub-heading of "Marathon revisited for the MMX crowd." It mentions Marathon several times in the review, but personally, I have difficulty seeing where the comparison comes from. Anyway, it may be of interest to read, and I found the review online at:

You can read the review at Computer Games Online. Do a search on the name "Rebel". Apparently you play the part of a Lunar colonist trying to prevent Earth from thwarting your attempts at independence. Sounds a bit MIDAish. Part of the review reads:

Level design throughout much of the game is rather trying, as the levels are laid out in an often confusing and obscure manner - just like Marathon 2, actually - so certain gamers will probably enjoy them.

More details can be found at the GT Interactive page. Note the weapon inventory and the reference to Tycho!


Aug 4, 1997
A little known tidbit passed on by Jason Jones (Bungie Software). On page 5 of the Pathways Into Darkness manual there is a screenshot of the main dialog showing a list of saved games ... one of them is called...

Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes:

this heritage of sevens has run for a long time in relation to apple computers...

for instance, the official title of the Apple Lisa (the mac's predecessor, sort of) Office System included "7/7", and never was a true explanation given from apple... some people speculate that there were seven applications in the Office System (LisaGraph, LisaWrite, LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaProject, LisaTerminal, LisaGuide - i think, not sure those are right) that shared data between each other (thus the second seven) and worked as one (thus 7/7, a fraction equalling one)...

anyway, for more information related to this, see Tom Stepleton's Apple Lisa Web Page at http://galena.tjs.org/~tom/


Aug 5, 1997
Having nightmares? Monsters in dreams? Then the Marathon Vidmasters' Page has the solution. Sleep tight don't let the monsters bite! Only dead monsters in dreams.


Aug 13, 1997
You want out? You gotta earn it! An interesting film of "The Big House" from Kain Osterholt <oster6@earthlink.net>. If you are use to expecting instant salvation. Think again. Mr. Blake is in no hurry!

While the eye differences between the Marathon and Marathon 2/Infinity Pfhor fighter have been recognised for some time Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> comes up with another six differences. Matthew writes:

Pfhor Fighter Differences List

1. M1 Fighters have four fingers (including thumb) while Infinity fighters only have three

2. M1 Fighter Projectiles have shorter tails than their Infinity counterparts.

3. When firing, M1 fighter's shock staffs glow brighter.

4. M1 Fighter's shock staffs have an almost polygonial look.

5. M1 Fighter's third eyes are below the two, while Infinity fighter's third eyes are on top.

6. M1 Fighter's eyes are sunk into the head instead of bulging out.

7. M Infinity fighters have vents in their masks

Hey, seven!


Aug 14, 1997
More sevens and threes in Marathon. This time on "The Big House". Check the Marathon Vidmasters' Page for details.


Aug 15, 1997

You may find doors blocked or stairways retracted on the way, because the AI in control of these functions is damaged and behaving erratically.

Bigger Guns Nearby (Terminal 1)


Direct control of all doors except the Tertiary and Quaternary doors will be given to Durandal with indirect control of all other doors going to Durandal. The difference between direct and indirect control primarily has to do with the manner of opening the doors. Durandal will only open a directly controlled door when he is specifically asked to do so. Indirectly controlled doors are automatically controlled by Durandal to open when needed.

Bigger Guns Nearby (Terminal 2)


Unfortunately, I have received a distress signal from some crew who had sealed themselves off in one of the nearby access areas. They say that they have lost control over the doors and elevators on the level, and that the Pfhor have access to the area.

Couch Fishing (Terminal 3: 'Success' message)


<Date 2794.7.26.01.05>

We've had to fall back along three corridors, but one group was cut off when the bulkhead door sealed shut.

Damn computers. Now, I know that Durandal has gone Rampant. Doors and elevators keep failing just when we need them. What good does a intelligence quotient of ten thousand do when you've got strangling hands around you're throat?

<Date 2794.7.26.01.50>

I would shoot this terminal right now, if I thought that it would reach that damn AI. I might do it anyway, but ammunition is short. I've run out of ammo for my assault rifle, and the only flamethrower we had was lost when an elevator failed to function, and squad two was cut off. I understand that the aliens are taking prisoners. I'll hand it to them, they are better fighters than us. But I'll be damned if I'm going to be taken prisoner, my last bullet is for me.

Journal entries of Volker Von Müller - The Lost Network Packets

They say that every film tells a story. This one sure does! Find out why Durandal hates Kain Osterholt <oster6@earthlink.net> in his Marathon film strangling hands... Note you need Marathon installed to watch this bizarre film. Did Kain use his last bullet?


Aug 19, 1997
The Marathon's Story page is closed for a summer vacation until the 8th Sept... BUT...

...to keep you dazed and confused until then here is

The Summertime Blues Competition.

Seven HoT questions to sort the men from the boys, the Story freaks from the Sunday readers. You think you're Big Time, you're going to... yeah... yeah... yeah... get on with it... where are the questions?

...err... OK... but I warned you... here are the Seven HoT questions...


  1. Under normal solo play how may terminal messages are impossible to read in all three Marathon games (88 solo levels)? For each unreadable message please give the terminal no. and level name.


  2. From what Bungie level does this map screenshot come from?


  3. What was 2nd to last one way, but 2nd the other way?


  4. Three thousand and forty four pieces. Of what and where?


  5. The number thirteen is unlucky for some! But reversed it reveals a lie. What was the lie and where was it said?


  6. Throughout the three Marathon games a number of the colonists are actually named. Can you list them all? First or last names will do. Could there be more than seven? ;-)


  7. There were ten altogether, three were different and eight were the same but on what level?


If you think you know the answers then send them in. Get all seven right and enter the Hall of Fame. Remember though these are not your normal wussie competition questions these are HoT questions, the real McCoy, accept no substitute. And don't forget all those tips folks! The Summertime Blues Competition is open to employees of Bungie and Double Aught... not that it will make any difference. [laughter] ;-)



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Hamish Sinclair
Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie
Last updated Sept 19, 1998