Feb 29, 2000 (Tuesday)

A little known seven revealed on the Pathways Into Darkness page.


Dan Marketti <reconn@captured.com> makes this interesting observation:

...if you browse through the Scientific American article:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/2000/0200issue/0200johnson.html

More specifically this part:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/2000/0200issue/0200johnsonbox2.html

It may be the Halo team has really done their research. As the moon Io orbits jupiter, the magnetic field of the gas giant interacts with it, creating a "flux tube" in which gas from the moon is "scooped" up.. well, read the second link. This flux tube carries a five million ampere electric charge.. the charge would probably be bigger on a gas giant much larger than Jupiter as shown in the Halo map hologram.. maybe enough to power an orbiting Halo?


Seth Graham <sether@xzzy.org> writes:

I was reading a technical review of the up-and-coming OS X, and under this URL:

http://www.arstechnica.com/reviews/1q00/macos-x-dp3/macos-x-dp3-4.html

You find the word 'halo' in green, linking to.. halo.bungie.com. ;)

The source URL for the review is:

http://www.arstechnica.com/reviews/1q00/macos-x-dp3/macos-x-dp3-1.html


Feb 28, 2000 (Monday)

On the Pathways Into Darkness page today we explore the level "Please Excuse Our Dust".


James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> writes concerning the cryptic character strings in Marathon Infinity. See the Trash Terms section for details.


Marathon marine in Halo? Eric R <riscica@gmail.com> sends in this piece of Halo artwork. Don't forget to check Eric's Bob Pictures page and in particular this powerful piece of original artwork "Marine Without Remorse ".

Added Shogoki's Marathon Trilogy Page to the General Pages section of Page 2401.


Feb 27, 2000 (Sunday)

Elbert Wall <elbertdw@radiks.net>, Dave McGee <kallikanzaros@home.com>, Joshua Inglima <jinglima@thinkpos.com>, and Bradley Attfield <iku-turso@home.com> all write concerning the cryptic character strings in Marathon Infinity. See the Trash Terms section for details.


The LAW revealed! On the Pathways Into Darkness page today James Klauder <jklauder@excite.com> provides some details on the M-72 Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW).


Harry Al-Shakarchi <ha99ab@badger.ac.brocku.ca>

I noticed the Apple Store is selling the Total Codex. I guess we can see Oni and Halo on sale at the Apple Store in future.

and Harry continues:

Iconfactory announced the pixelpalooza winners, and one of the donators for this event was Bungie! Cool eh?


Feb 26, 2000 (Saturday)

Quick update

Oh boy! Did I miss this! Thanks to the DEHc-3 HALO site for the heads up. Back in Oct 28, 1999 I mentioned that Orbit Books (UK) in conjunction with Iain M. Banks were running a competition to name Culture ships for Iain's new Culture novel. Well the Orbit site has now published the winners and the ship names. I've taken the liberty (as always) of reprinting Orbit's announcement below. Halo fans will no doubt recognise the name "Purity of Spirit" amongst the favorites.

Iain M. Banks has finished writing his new SF novel. It's a Culture novel, it's called LOOK TO WINDWARD, we're publishing it in August and it's fantastic.

A couple of months ago, we ran a competition to name a Culture ship, and Iain has now looked at all the entries (there were a lot!) and picked his favourites. Iain particularly liked the following:

ASKING FOR A SLAP, BILL ME LATER, CERTAIN SENSE OF WONDER, DRAMA QUEEN, FEIGNING INNOCENCE, HIGHLY STRUNG, INNOCENT BYSTANDER, LOOK BOTH WAYS, NERVROVOROUS, OH WELL, RTFM, SUBJECT TO CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS, SWEPT ALONG BY EVENTS, ATROCIOUS TABLE MANNERS, BUDGET CUTS, CONSOLATION OF DREAMS, FASHIONABLY LATE, GUESS WHAT, IMAGINARY FRIEND, JUST VISITING, MIND YOUR HEAD, NOTHING PERSONAL, PURITY OF SPIRIT, REASONABLE DOUBT, SUBTLE NUANCE and TARNISHED REPUTATION.

Of these, Iain's top five were:

SWEPT ALONG BY EVENTS, CONSOLATION OF DREAMS, IMAGINARY FRIEND,
NOTHING PERSONAL and REASONABLE DOUBT.

And of these, Iain's favourite was É REASONABLE DOUBT.

There were also two entries which Iain had already thought of (he keeps a big list!), and one that was very similar, so we've decided that it's only fair to count these as additional joint winners:

COLLATERAL DAMAGE, SURPLUS TO REQUIREMENTS and SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY BIG GUNS

Congratulations to Ian Hopkins, Dragi Raos, Charlie Kay and Michael Maddux, who sent the winning entries.


Francesca Poppi <electro.pencil@flashnet.it> writes concerning those cryptic character strings which appear throughout the terminals in Marathon Infinity many of which remained unsolved. See the Trash Terms section for a full listing of the strings and Francesca comments. thdmncobwbsnw


On today's Pathways Into Darkness page we find out what surprises Jason Jones and Co. left us on "Please Excuse Our Dust" and Chris Harvey speculates on who would have brought the LAW to the pyramid.


Every once in awhile a Marathon Vidmaster film comes along which re-defines how we view a level. Today on the Marathon Vidmasters' page there is such a film. John Sumner <UTJohnS@aol.com> takes on that infamous of levels "Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap". Yes the one where you have to raise those seven pillars to the correct height. But did you have actually have to raise them? Find out on the Vidmasters page.


Matthew Vaughan <matthewv@scruznet.com> writes concerning the recent comments about an Unreal Tournament mod, called Holy Wars, in which players fight for control of the Halo:

Just to set the record straight, Holy Wars was a Quake (1) mod from way back, that was then ported to Quake 2, and also to QuakeWorld. All this of course happened LONG before UT even existed...

You can get more information or download the mod at http://www.planetquake.com/holywars/

And yes the player did run around with a Halo over their head.


Feb 25, 2000 (Friday)

As noted on halo.bungie.org Bungie are advertising for a producer for Halo. In addition they are also looking for a programmer for their Chicago base. Full details are available on Bungie's Job Opportunities page.


Harry Al-Shakarchi <ha99ab@badger.ac.brocku.ca> points out that MacGamer's Ledge have a special report on Mac OS X entitled "Who's Making Games for Mac OS X?". Bungie Software are featured at the very end. No surprises to learn that both Halo and Oni are being developed for Mac OS X but the article went on to reveal:

Doug told us that Myth II: Soulblighter would probably be updated for Mac OS X support, if necessary. He suggested that going back any farther than that would probably not happen. However, with Bungie's recent release of the Marathon 2: Durandal source code, the action-game could definitely be running natively on Mac OS X.

Seems any hope of Marathon for OS X is up to the fans. At this stage the fate of Pathways Into Darkness is unknown.


Robert Zimmermann <robzim@gmx.net> writes:

Some time ago you mentioned a shot from the Ferazel's Wand demo having similarities to Mullins artwork. Here are two other shots from the full game. I have aquired those via a firend and do not have the game, so I was unable to check if there are more, but those two shots (attached) are from him and have similarities to Marathon Chapter screens, though I would not call them copies.

You can see Robert's pics here. i think there is little doubt that these were inspired by the Marathon 2 chapter screens by Craig Mullins.


Feb 24, 2000 (Thursday)

Quick update

Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org>, maintainer of Oni Central, has put up a translation of a recent German Macnews interview with Doug Zartman. While the interview concentrates primarily on Oni there are some tidbits on Bungie and Doug himself. For example:

macnews.de: Do you already have plans for the future or are you concentrating on finishing Halo?

Doug: No, we have more than one game planned for the time after Halo. But we must divide our working force. Our development studios are working on a few games at once, not only Oni and Halo. At this time there are 50 people at Bungie, 12 work in the Oni team, 9 work in the Halo team. Along with that we have 2 more development studios at Bungie. Along with that is customer support, sales, accounting and marketing, which I do.

Check Oni Central for the full translated interview.


Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> writes concerning the recent Lynx Phoenix deodorant ad which uses the Halo font:

You asked us all to let you know of any more "Phoenix" sightings - well, last night there was a prime-time commercial on British TV. I didn't see it myself but my daughter did, and to quote her "That is *such* a rip-off of Halo!".

Sorry I can't send you any scenes from the commercial, maybe someone else will have better luck.

Can anyone capture this? Thanks.


Robert Zimmermann <robzim@gmx.net> writes concerning Bungie's Events Calendar:

If you check out the events calendar and look up the 7/7 you will find out what it is ment by Bungie day :) I plan to attend. :)

Here's what it says for the 7th July:

Bungie Day
(click for the event's site)
                                                      Fri, July 7th 2000
                                                      7:07 AM CST


Host: yeroen
Contact: webmonkey@bungie.com
Category: other
Description: Happy Bungie Day!


On the subject of the number seven Luke Bassett <uke@divefreak.com> points us to this page:

http://www.theosophy-nw.org/theosnw/ktmanual/kt-theos.htm#ch7


Chris Hebner <chebner@erinet.com> writes:

Just an interesting tidbit for you. One of Jupiter's 3 rings is named Halo, it is about 100,000 km from the center of the planet Jupiter. I wonder what other similarites exist between the two....


3D Action Planet have a Halo preview which contains some rather odd story info. With regard to Covenant technology the article says:

Their technology does not seem to be too far advanced from ours, but their numbers are.

The Pillar of Autumn is described as having faster-than-light travel capabilities. I quote:

...in a last-ditch attempt, we send one of our final ships, the Pillar of Autumn, into subspace. Suprisingly, they follow. When we come out of hyperspace, we are suprised at what we find.

The article gives the impression that the Covenant already know about the Halo's existence which presumably explains why the whole Covenant fleet follows the PoA rather than continue on their destructive path towards Earth. I quote:

A Covenant fleet emerged from behind Threshold. It appears that they already knew of Halo's existence.

Lastly the article provides some detailed numbers and another reference to cyborg characters in the game. I quote:

Some 2600 of us survived, a few hundred being cyborg.

Not sure if this info comes directly from Bungie or is third hand at this stage. The article does get the name of the moon wrong "Basic" rather than "Basis".


Feb 23, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update

Hey you thought I'd forgotten about the Pathways Into Darkness page didn't you? Never!

On today's page Chris Harvey uncovers the mysterious LAW. A weapon that can penetrate five inches of tank armor. Pretty handy on the battle field <wink>. But where is it in the game? Shades of the Wave Motion Cannon perhaps?

Also on the Pathways Into Darkness Arvid Nordenskjšld uncovers a further function for the Red Velvet Bag.


Matt Soell, the Master of Obscuration at Bungie Software, made an interesting post on the halo.bungie.org forums. I've taken the liberty of reprinting this in full below since it's one of those memorable posts that shouldn't get lost. In otherwords I'll keep reminding Matt that he wrote this etc. Right Matt? ;-)

Re: How's it going Matt???? RSVP
Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 22 Feb 2000, 16:46

In Response To: How's it going Matt???? RSVP (Dave Fin')

I don't blame anyone for being curious. But there's a difference between desiring more info and demanding it. ;-)

No one ever said all the fundamental, difficult stuff has been put to rest. No one from Bungie, anyway. The fact that it's not necessarily all done right now does not mean it will never be done. Skepticism is admirable in this age of extraordinary gullibility, but doubting the very existence of Halo is a bit much.

We have this situation with Halo where _everyone_ is watching us, and there are those who are eagerly waiting for us to make some misstep so they can be the first to criticize it. Because we are conscious of that (and also because the corporate marketing focus is currently on Oni) we're not to show off some features until we're totally comfortable doing so. If I keep my mouth shut about certain things it's generally for a good reason, though that reason might not be apparent to someone who doesn't work here.

But hey, in the spirit of greasing the squeaky wheel, here are some tidbits for everyone to squeak about.

- What has two triggers and belches flame? Bonus points if you can guess what the second trigger does. Speculation on public forums is, as always, encouraged.

- Beware of wall-hugging hippos. No, this is not a joke. Nor does it necessarily mean what you think it means.

- Cortana sure has been quiet lately. I wonder if that means anything.

- What will be in the E3 build, and will it be playable? No one knows yet, but when I do I'll let the forums know. We'll probably have some impressive downloadable goodies in the same timeframe for those of you who can't attend. (Figured I should toss in a straightforward one to keep you on your toes.)

- There will be a lot of surprises in Halo, but the old-school Bungie fans will perhaps be the most pleasantly surprised of all. I wish I could be around to see your faces the first time you see... well, you'll see.

-Matt

Note the last part "...the old-school Bungie fans will perhaps be the most pleasantly surprised of all." You've still got your old-school tie right? ;-)

E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo 2000 is scheduled for May 11-13th in Los Angeles, California. More details can be found here. And if I hear another "Bungie are at booth 2900 (9-2 =7)" I'll scream! ;-)


Tim Young <youngtimmy@mail.utexas.edu> writes concerning Bungie's Events Calendar:

Well, two new events have been added to the calendar that should be of interest to you.

They're located at
http://www.bungie.net/bin/calendar.pl?do=detail&eid=21
and
http://www.bungie.net/bin/calendar.pl?do=detail&eid=23

Good to see important dates aren't being overlooked by the community. :)

Yes indeed. Thanks Tim and nice one poenadare. :-)


Greg Ingber <gaingber@sbc.edu> writes concerning yesterday's Cleopatra 2525 pics:

Looks as if someone else has made the marathon/cleo 2525 connection:

http://www.circling.org/articles/02.00/cleo2525.html

(look for the reference to a "Rampant" computer system)


Matt Francis <mgf@n2mail.com> writes:

Is it just me or does that symbol above the armor plating on the back of the alien in the knife fight picture look familiar...


UT Halo? Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> writes:

There's a new mod out for Unreal Tournament, called Holy Wars, in which players fight for control of the Halo. Incidentally, there is a map that comes with UT, called Niven-something, perhaps after the Larry Niven we all know and love (or at least pretend to).

http://www.insidemacgames.com/downloads/shareware/00/utholywars/utholywars.shtml


Feb 22, 2000 (Tuesday)

Bruce Morrison <hippieman@hotmail.com> notes that on Bungie's Events Calendar page the little calendar graphic says July 7th Sat. The 7th day of the 7th month. But why Saturday? Well I'll let you figure that one out for yourself! ;-)


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes:

Anything look familiar in these pics from Cleopatra 2525?

_Cleopatra 2525_ is a new TV series created by the producers of _Xena_ and _Hercules_ as a replacement for _Hercules_, which ended last month. It just aired its fourth or fifth episode. The aliens are robots called, as best as I can tell, "Bailies", who have taken control of the surface of the earth, driving all humans except their slaves underground.


Feb 21, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update

First off Bungie have an brand-new Events Calendar for publically announcing tournaments, order meetings, and even the odd knife fight. ;-)


Concerning the earlier report of Double Aught's old home page Joshua Inglima <jinglima@thinkpos.com> writes:

I checked out the info on www.doubleaught.com

Looks like a new owner. He also owns www.metlhaus.com (it's the same page as doubleaught)

Below is the registration info:

Registrant:
Michael Loehr (DOUBLEAUGHT2-DOM)
P.O. Box 96
Englewood, CO 80151-0096
US

Domain Name: doubleaught.com

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Loehr, Michael (ML13079) mloehr@METLHAUS.COM
303 388-9358 (FAX) 303 388-9358

Billing Contact:
Loehr, Michael (ML13079) mloehr@METLHAUS.COM
303 388-9358 (FAX) 303 388-9358

Record last updated on 08-Feb-2000.
Record created on 08-Feb-2000.
Database last updated on 21-Feb-2000 12:50:09 EST.

Domain servers in listed order:
DNS.M6.NET 206.166.253.66
NIC.M6.NET 206.166.253.69


Michael Lake <beorn@thegrid.net> also writes:

Concerning the new Double Aught "site"... I may also note that the title of the page is "metlhaus". If pronounced as spelled, we get "Metalhouse". Here's the weird part: if you go to www.metalhouse.com, you get an identical page to Double Aught's.

The graphic is supposed to be called "new%20site%20tag.jpg"; the %20's usually stand for spaces, but there seems to be nothing by this name.



Why staying alive just got tougher on today's Pathways Into Darkness page.


Dylan Barrie <pfhorslayer@mac.com> points out that while Double Aught's website at www.doubleaught.com was down some time ago it's now back up with an odd look and a broken graphic. What's up?


Loren Petrich <petrich@netcom.com> writes concerning the comments made in the Marathon 2 source code:

...the dates of the source-code comments are rather interesting. The majority of them are 1994, with several being 1995. There are, however, some earlier ones. Examining the 150 or so source-code files, I find these ones with older comments:

1993:

devices.c
game_dialogs.c
interface.c
interface.h
map.c
map.h
marathon2.c
mysound.c
pathfinding.c
player.c
preprocess_map_mac.c
screen.c
shapes.c
textures.c

It's clear that early Marathon development had been going on in 1993, when Bungie released PID.

1992:

monsters.c
shell.h
vbl.c
vbl.h
world.c
world.h

This stuff may have been modifications of stuff that had been used in PID.

1990:

shell.c

This file contains the canonical C master routine main() that one calls all the others, even if indirectly.

The early shell.c comments which contain a reference to an unknown project (OZONE) can be found on What's New section for Jan 20, 2000. Check the bottom of this page for a link.


Feb 20, 2000 (Sunday)

A few days ago I drew attention to an advertisement for Lynx Phoenix (a deodorant for men) which used the Halo font in its logo. Below you'll find some pics of the full poster ad for Lynx Phoenix which are springing up in Dublin city (Ireland).

Lynx Phoenix full poster ad
close up of Lynx Phoenix full poster ad
Lynx Phoenix full poster ad at bus shelter (night shot)
close up of the Lynx Phoenix full poster ad at bus shelter (night shot)

Interesting to note the use of an Angel (halo connotation) in the ad. According to Nathan Bitner (former Producer and Creative Developer of Halo) the Halo font was a unique Bungie design. If you happen to see a Lynx Phoenix ad in your area please let me know.


Phil Saulnier (aka Manus Celer Dei) <manus.celer.dei@home.com> writes to say that Orbital Arm has just released Infinity Prime, a port of Infinity stuff to the M2 engine. Good news for PC Marathon fans. The Orbital Arm blurb reads:

Infinity Prime is not a map; it's a resource set. Containing Infinity textures and a new weapon, Infinity Prime is the resource set for a collection of upcoming maps and scenarios, and represents the collected work of the past several weeks. Packaged with the excellent Hell Hole map, Infinity Prime opens many new horizons. This is well worth the wait.


Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> writes to say that Oni Central at bungie.org is back with a new look.


Brendan Giles (full name pending) <giles666@hotmail.com> writes:

We have started a little Marathon gaming group called Electric Death. Our webpage is at www.electricdeath.8m.com. we are currently only supporting M2 but will get to the other games soon. we have a few net movies up on our site with heaps more coming soon. We are also looking for other Marathon net groups. If you interested have a look at the site or email me at giles666@hotmail.com


Feb 19, 2000 (Saturday)

So you think you're big time? Well try out your luck against the Greater Nightmares and Venomous Skitters on today's Pathways Into Darkness page.


James Klauder <jklauder@excite.com> makes a valid point when he writes:

I don't know if anyone's noticed this, but there's a continuity error with Marathon Infinity's weapons:

When Tycho takes us out of cold storage on Rise Robot Rise, he arms us with a pair of .44 Magnum Mega Class A1s, and then later on, with a Zeus-class fusion pistol. But those weapons were manufactured by Durandal in the timeline that ended with Ne Cede Malis. So where did Tycho get those guns? Realistically, he should have armed you with the old Marathon .45 MMCs and the Tech 50 Fusion pistol, or maybe some Phfor weapons. I can understand that Infinity has a limited number of weapon slots, but Double Aught _was_ able to add the SMG; too bad, it would have been really cool to have different equipment for each timeline.


Thunderbirds are go! Well not exactly... but they sure look like puppets. Harry Al-Shakarchi <ha99ab@badger.ac.brocku.ca> finds an Apple gaming tribute to the Gaming Gurus: Alex Seropian and Jason Jones. Note this page has been around for some time. About time we flagged it here.


Feb 18, 2000 (Friday)

Find out how far the rabbit hole goes.... Remember, all I'm offering is the tru7h, nothing more.... Follow me....


Zach Stroum <durandal@u.washington.edu> wonders why in the recent Incite Halo movie it gives the impression that Bungie work in some historic building rather than on the 7th floor of an office block?


Bob Pickel <rpick@ix.netcom.com> writes:

...in Star Trek (Although this is probably after the publishing of Marathon), it is found that many of the races in the galaxy share a common ancestor. When each race's genetic code was correctly assembled, it gave a message of goodwill to the discoverers. It seems that the Jjaro have seeded this galaxy with races, and if the two stories are parallel, then it would appear that the Jjaro truly are a goodly race and possibly the W'rkncacter is the opposite.


Jared Cash <jcash@graceland.edu> writes concerning the .fortune command on Bungie.net:

Perhaps this is a throwback to UNIX. In most shells I've encountered (which, I believe, actually only numbers at about 3), typing fortune will give you a random quote from a text file. I'm sure other shells have the same command with a different name. It's often used to give you a "quote of the day" when you log in.


Feb 17, 2000 (Thursday)

Ok so you met Barney and friends on "Warning: Earthquake Zone" and you tried on that cute Ruby Ring now it's time to check out that matching accessory... the Red Velvet Bag. Whoa!... the Pathways Into Darkness page uncovers a shocking tru7h!


Jared Cash <jcash@graceland.edu> writes concerning the Lynx Phoenix ad mentioned yesterday:

The logo for Phoenix made me wonder, too. I turned it 90 degrees clockwise. Hmmmm...

You can see Jared's pic here.


Michael Lake <beorn@thegrid.net> writes:

Bungie has just put up live coverage from Bungie West. It has real-time, live footage using QuickTime 4 technology. You can get it from oni.bungie.com/movies.


A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

I have found a new command for the Bungie.net interface. ".fortune" is one of the commands which works with normal users (Unlike .blam or .gag) and it displays various quotes, I thought I'd attach a screenshot, because the soul sez hi :)

...the command is not listed under .help and I do not know if normal users are supposed to know it.


Feb 16, 2000 (Wednesday)

Below are three photographs of an advertisement for Lynx Phoenix (a deodorant for men):

Lynx Phoenix ad
close up of the word Phoenix
close up of the 'o' in Phoenix

Lynx is marketed by Fabergé which inturn is owned by Unilever one of the largest consumer-goods companies in the world. Lynx is also marketed under the brand name Axe in some countries. The Lynx Phoenix ad can be seen in many public places in Dublin (Ireland) today. The above photographs were taken yesterday. I've also seen a full poster size version. Halo fans will no doubt instantly recognise the font used for the word Phoenix as being the same as the one used for Halo. No harm in that if the font is commercially available.

However in the Halo News interview with Nathan Bitner the subject of the Halo font came up. I quote directly from the interview:

Halo News:
And then a small question, about the "Halo" logo itself-- was that completely rendered from scratch, or was it based on an existing font? As you can imagine, a lot of sites will be interested in creating some derivative art-- as some already have-- and would be hungry for a bit of knowledge on how to stay consistent with Halo's “look”.

Nathan Bitner:
It's a unique design, not based on an existing font.


So how is a unique design now appearing in an advertisement for a men's deodorant?

I asked Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> font expert at FontShop to take a look at the font in the ad and posed the question "Is this a commercially available font?" He replied as follows:

We run what I like to consider to be the best free font research service in the US. I used to head the department, for what its worth.

I'm going to have to brainstorm and figure out where else I can go for information. Until then, here's my two cents: I have a great deal of experience with typography, and it seems likely to me that the Phoenix sample is a rip-off of the Halo logo. This is not blind loyalty to Bungie, but it's based on the nature of the "other" characters: P, E, N, I, X. Whoops, look what that spells.

Anyway, it may be hard for me to describe, but each of the letters in the Halo logo is created uniquely. Not so with the Phoenix logo: the other letters are very much derivatives of the base characters (H, L, O). Note the bullet in the P: its identical to that of the O, but too big for the counter in the P. Note the baseline serifs on I, N, P: they're all identical to the H. Note the variable stem width on the E: its the same as the left stem on the H.

The Halo logo has lots of subtle idiosyncracies that make it very esoteric. As someone who has spent a lot of time researching plagiarized fonts and such, these are things that I pick up on very easily. However, this is just my opinion at first glance, I will do what I can to identify the font.

It didn't end there Alan followed up with two further comments:

One other thing, the extruding effect is more or less irrelevant. This effect can be applied or removed at any time. It's the basic character shapes that matter most, since fonts can only be black and transparent.

and...

I don't mean to pound this into the ground, but look at how the bowl on the P has those little notches on top and bottom: they also match the O. Telltale signs of copy and paste.


So if the Halo logo is a unique Bungie design then somebody is taking a few liberties in the Lynx Phoenix ad.

But then again perhaps the rumors are true... and Unilever is indeed a subsidiary of Bungie's Corporate Empire. ;-)


Feb 15, 2000 (Tuesday)

The Mysterious Gas Mask Myth (try saying that one fast) revealed on today's Pathways Into Darkness page.


Rob Perrin <rep0658@ritvax.isc.rit.edu> writes:

I just wanted to point out that the symbol submitted by Brandon Gupton on the marathon symbols page is the Logo of a fictional OS in the Anime "Serial Experiments Lain". I should also point out that the series creator was a major Apple and NeXT fan, he makes a lot of refrences to both of these companies products, and that it is actually possible that he actually did intentionally design the logo with a vaguely marathonish look.


A large number of artwork submissions appearing at the Marathon 2 Open Source page. Worth a look.


Bungie are hiring again. A Lead Engineer is required for Bungie Chicago and a Texture Artist/3D Modeler for Bungie West.


Feb 14, 2000 (Monday)

Happy Valentines Day. Given the day that's in it here's a Rose for all you Marathon heads out there! ;-)


Whoa! Meet Barney and Co. on today's Pathways Into Darkness page. Try on that cute Ruby Ring... err... hang on a minute... what kind of game is this anyway?!!! ;-)


Marathon/Cortana/Halo speculation a plenty on the Core and HBO. Two articles with similar titles: Cortana Revisited and Cortana Letters Revisited and both posted on the same day? Coincidence or...


Feb 13, 2000 (Sunday)

What's your poison? Why posion can be bad for your memory but also keep you alive! Yes... this and more on today's Pathways Into Darkness page.


Bungie-like? Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> writes:

Here's a logo that's too close for comfort:

http://www.beelinegroup.com/home.html


More logo similarities. Sam Morris <sam@netcity.co.uk> and Muhsin Miski <mmiski@mac-addict.com> both find another Marathon-like symbol on the web. See the That Marathon Symbol (part 2) page for details.


Andy Evanson <BaronMind@netscape.net> writes:

Passing along some info I recently received, with particular relevance to the SEVEN theme. If there are any Bible scholars out there who can confirm this conclusion, I'd greatly appreciate it:

1) 1997 was a year of Jubilee based on Hebrew law, part of a cycle established in Old Testament times. Seven years of seven sabbaths = 49 years. The 50th year -- the year of Jubilee -- all debts were forgiven or prorated to that year.

2) The second Jubilee was marked on the 50th anniversary of Israel being a nation (1948-1998).

3) 2000, the third Jubilee, is the start of the Seventh Millennium.

Scripture references:
Luke 4:19
Deuteronomy 15:1-10
Leviticus 25:1-55


Feb 12, 2000 (Saturday)

Stop and chat with Juan on the Pathways Into Darkness page today. Things are about to get hectic... so hang on to your seat... no turning back now you're on an express elevator to... hell!


Damien Jones <email address withheld on request> writes:

Maybe this is mentioned on another page, but while reading up on the Marathon Story (to get some background for Halo) I flipped through the Cortana letters, and was somewhat *aghast* that a tiny smidgen was overlooked. In response to the automated reply to the second letter, the subject line is altered:

Subject: Re: Mail consternation request (MR-343)

While it's correctly pointed out that 3 + 4 + 3 = 10, somehow it was totally overlooked that 7*7*7 = 7^3 = 343.

Just my own tiny contribution to the tru7h.

This subject header was sent in by Nathan Bitner during the alleged 2nd letter coverup. Those who remember the Page 2401 puzzle will no doubt be familiar with the number 343. ;-)


On the subject of Bungie Points (see yesterday's news) M.C. Avistetto <nijhazer@bungie.org> writes:

Just got my Oni mouse pad... Man, they ship these things out quick. I just ordered it two days ago, via the slowest, cheapest method.

Anyway, enclosed are my ten Bungie Points, accompanied by the following message:

"A Personal Message From Bungie Software to You"

"Our corporate philosophy has always been simple: Make games that are so much fun to play, so involving, our satisfied customers won't even blink when we seize the reins of global power.

"That said, we'd like to thank you for choosing our online store. Dedicated fans like you have made our sales skyrocket over the last few years, and we're very, very grateful. In return, we try hard to exceed our customers' expectations. After all, while lots of software companies will take your money, no one else promises you a future of unparallelled joy and prosperity where the good and the just are rewarded with cool Bungie swag while the corrupt and vile are fired into the sun by an enormous slingshot. We're not quite there yet, but thanks to your continued support our plans for world domination are right on schedule.

"So, to better express our gratitude to you right here and now, we've decided to give you, our most dedicated customer, a head start on the 'cool Bungie swag' part of the deal by introducing Bungie Points. Bungie Points are a simple way of quantifying your devotion to Bungie. Collect Bungie Points from Bungie game boxes, orders from the Bungie Store (like this), and various other special offers and promotions.

"As you collect more and more Bungie Points, you may notice certain changes in your life. Friends and co-workers may begin to speak to you in subdued, almost reverential tones. Previously unimaginable numbers of attractive people may 'accidentally' bump into you and strike up conversations. Your dog may start fetching the paper in the morning, if your parakeet doesn't eat it first. But the real thrill comes when you visit http://store.bungie.com/special/bungiepoints.html and swap those accumulated Bungie Points for cool Bungie swag!

"Basically, what we're offering here is a ticket to a never-ending rollercoaster of Bungie-style pleasure, and all we ask is that you keep buying Bungie stuff, preferably direct from us and in large quantities. Sound good to you? We thought so."


Feb 11, 2000 (Friday)

Thanks to the stalwart efforts of Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> late last night the Marathon, Myth and PID pages at bungie.org are back up. They are presently being served from Connecticut rather than Oklahoma.


Jim Ruiz <jim@bungie.com> Direct Sales Magnate at Bungie writes:

Just wanted to draw your attention to our latest get-rich-quick scheme - Bungie Points. Sorta like Marlboro Miles, but you don't have to smoke.

http://store.bungie.com
or
http://store.bungie.com/info/52

52 = 5 + 2 = ? ... but I digress. Bungie points have been out for some time. You might have noticed them on the Mac Action Sack back in July '99. The more you buy at the Bungie Store the more points you get. Collect enough of these points and you can cash them in for special Bungie items, not available for sale anywhere! Page 52 has the full list of items available.


Feb 10, 2000 (Thursday)

Another mistake in the Pathways Into Darkness Official Hint Book? Was Thomas really unliked by the rest of the Germans? Learn how to survive the Suffocation Room. And meet the Yuck Monsters. All this and more in today's updated Pathways Into Darkness page.


John Prichard <jpp@usc.edu> writes concerning the futuristic battle field:

Here's the pertinent part of the article I wrote in earlier about. It says some exciting things about what kind of action we might be getting in Halo, as well as some plot points which we've already heard about so far. The url is

http://www.newsweek.com/nw-srv/printed/us/sr/a1825-1999dec20.htm

no luck with the picture yet, though it was in the US edition January 1st.

"Location" tidbit below suggests tanks as primarily fire-support. This gels with what we've seen of the B.F.T. - really more of an assault gun than a tank. The machine gun is fixed to the turret, which doesn't move all that fast. This tank would get plown up pretty bad in close quarters fighting with antitank capable infantry.


Battle Plan

Fighting: Waging the next war-instead of the last one

By John Barry
Newsweek, January 1, 2000

...[snip]...

War in space: Satellites are so vital for surveillance and for communications that both sides try to blind or destroy the other's satellites. Old-fashioned versions have vanished. Instead, each side relies on micro-satellites in low-Earth orbit.

UAVs: Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) loiter over the battlefield. Some drop supplies to troops on the ground. Some are also sensors, surveying the battlefield below; others cruise over the landscape and unleash precision-guided bombs on enemy troops.

Buggy era: Tanks and other easily detected heavy materiel have vanished from the battlefield. The new strike vehicle is an electric-powered buggy.

Death by robot: The battlefield is littered with robot sensors to detect movement, noise, heat. A computer linked to the sensors then calls in fire from UAVs or robot weapons.

Supersoldiers: The army is composed of an elite force of older, smarter soldiers-like today's Special Ops forces.

Parafoils: Some supplies are dropped from the air.

Lethal airspace: Computer-controlled antiaircraft missiles have proliferated. As a result, unmanned aircraft have taken over most missions.

Location: The ground troops' main task is not to destroy the enemy forces themselves. Instead it is to identify the enemy forces' locations, and pin them down long enough (by destroying their electronics) to call in fire from elsewhere.

The swarm: Small squads of 25 soldiers-linked by superb communications equipment-roam the battlefield. When one squad finds an enemy, it summons the others, and the units swarm.

Cyberwar: Both sides try to disrupt the other's homeland-and cut off the enemy's command of its forces-by sabotaging essential computer links.

Submersible landing strips: Old-fashioned aircraft carriers are easy targets. The solution: go underwater. Submarines link at the surface to create giant landing strips. Submarines have also become artillery weapons. They lurk beneath the water, surfacing swiftly to launch salvos on command.

Some interesting concepts here and a possible alternate name for a Halo "clan" or "squad"... a "swarm". Might prove popular!


Feb 9, 2000 (Wednesday)

Jonathon Green <jdgreen@lindenwood.edu> writes:

Following on the Newsweek article of yesterday, and linking the recent Steve Jackson news is this tidbit (quoted from http://www.sjgames.com/ogre/index.html):

Ogre and its sequel, G.E.V., are tactical ground combat games set in the next century. In 2085 A.D., armored warfare is faster and deadlier than ever. Hovercraft, tanks and infantry slug it out with tactical nukes. But the most feared weapon of all needs no human guidance. It's the giant cybernetic tank called the Ogre.


Concerning yesterday's submission about the similarity between the Halo and Jjaro logo Chris Hebner <chebner@erinet.com> sent in a pic showing the Jjaro logo overlaid over the full Jjaro space station. Note how the end of the spur is cut off in logo thus excluding the round part at the end. This would seem to counter any suggestion that the 'O' of the Halo logo was designed to look like part of a Jjaro space station. Unless of course the inspiration came from the Jjaro logo itself rather than the space station. Chris goes onto to say:

There could still be an interesting correlation between the 2 symbols. The Jjaro uses a map as a backround, the Halo uses a (?wall) texture.

Yes a wall/door texture of a ring motif. The Jjaro space station is also a ring!


On the subject of ring motif's, Halo and the Jjaro... Sarwat Khan <sarwat@interlog.com> writes:

You know that Halo door pattern that everybody loves to talk about? It's also in the Jjaro logo from Infinity, as you can see in the attached pic.

See the Ring Motif in Halo section for details.


Dennis Taylor <dennis@funkplanet.com> writes:

From a recent interview with John Carmack:

Question: Are you interested in Halo at all?

John: I've watched the movies of it; it looks pretty good. The one problem right now is that there's no way to really judge anything from screenshots because any halfway competent rendering engine can render any given scene. And it's only in how things tie together that there's any differentiation. Certainly the Bungie people, they've got a lot of talent. And they've been doing this basically as long as we have. They were kind of id's Mac shadow for many years. But now that they've gone ahead and had some mainstream PC success, they're doing pretty well.

http://www.firingsquad.com/features/carmack/page11.asp

Just thought it might be interesting to see what the competition thinks, for once. :-)


OpenGL Marathon? For news on Marathon 2 source code development check The Source.


Added the Minnesota Macintosh Gamers Group to the Network Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Joseph Haake <joecoo@spacestar.net> for the link.


Feb 8, 2000 (Tuesday)

Voices in the Alien Pipes? Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> makes an interesting discovery concerning the Alien Pipes. Check the Pathways Into Darkness page.

You can also brush up on your Spanish talking to Pedro. Yes it's all happening on the Pathways Into Darkness page today. ;-)


David Johnston <de.johnston@sympatico.ca> points that part of the Jjaro logo from Marathon Infinity bears a striking resemblance to the '0' in the Halo logo. Here's a comparision pic. Note the spur that extends from the 'O' and then a similar spur extending from the Jjaro space station in the background of the Jjaro logo.


Bryce Wheeler <silverwolf@biosys.net> writes concerning the "Newsweek" article mentioned yesterday:

The article in question also referred to how the military is supposedly fighting the "last war." The tanks envisioned by the military are the Crusaders, tanks that basically are overgrown Howitzers. The tank is sectioned: the gun cannon and the support vehicle, which is just as massive as the cannon section.

In fact, the tank is so big that both halves must be transported separately, as only one half can fit in the military's largest transport plane.


Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes:

noticed the tidbit from Ben Fisher yesterday about ydnar.com...

ydnar.com is registered to Randy Case, in Denton, TX. Really unlikely it has anything at all to do with Randy Reddig.


Feb 7, 2000 (Monday)

We continue our journey on the Pathways Into Darkness page. Our intrepid hero descends to the trap infested "I'd Rather Be Surfing". And what's behind that seventh pillar?


Back in December there was some discussion about the vehicles and weapons in Halo having a somewhat low-tech look for a story based 100s years in the future. John Prichard <jpp@usc.edu> now writes:

In a late December or early January issue of "Newsweek", there is an article on the future of warfare. This article, which appeared in the Newsweek issue with the Charles Schultz "Peanuts" cover (the issue which covered his retirement), has an illustration which could easily be Halo concept art. Really interesting. It says that the future of warfare is battlearmor, small buggies, lots of other observations which put the "futuristic world but buggies and guns!?" argument to rest at least partially.

But what about battle tanks?


Liam mac Lynne <liammacl@eden.rutgers.edu> finds out that Bungie's Soul is a Capricorn. Yes the Story page leaves no binary-based entity in peace.


Feb 6, 2000 (Sunday)

Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com> writes concerning the Bungie pic on Steve Jackson's Daily Illuminator page:

http://par0837.urh.uiuc.edu/marathon/guesswho.jpg

This is a blown-up version of the monitor behind Doug, aloing with an inset of our mutual friend, darkened and blurred to match the image under scrutiny. That looks very suspicious doesn't it? ;)


Loren Petrich <petrich@netcom.com> provides further tidbits from the Marathon 2 source code:

Most of the terminology in it closely parallels that of the Forge and Anvil menus, but there are still some interesting differences:

The Bobs have individual names:

Green Bob -- "Bob"
Blue Bob -- "Fred"
Khaki Bob -- "Steve"
Bad Green Bob -- "Evil Bob"

The VacBob artwork occupies a slot that was originally intended for the Marathon 1 MADD's, at least judging from the name _collection_madd; there is also an entity class _class_madd lurking in the code.

The loon sound is listed as _snd_owl in the code.

Projectile types "unused 1" and "unused 2" map onto
_projectile_armageddon_sphere
_projectile_armageddon_electricity

in the code; do these refer to the Marathon 1 Armageddon Beast? Or to something else that never made it into M2?

The difficulty names in the code parallel their names in the Preferences menu, with the exception of the easiest: _wuss_level. So imagine a difficulty menu with these items:

Wuss
Easy
Normal
Major Damage
Total Carnage


Ben Fisher <ben@fisher.enterprise-plc.com> writes:

just to let you know, ydnar.co.uk is switched off, but ydnar.com has now been registered...


Feb 5, 2000 (Saturday)

Halo/Oni/something GURPS? Jon Chang <chang@signalpost.com> points out that Steve Jackson (of GURPS fame) has posted more info about his trip to Bungie Software on his Daily Illuminator page. The text reads as follows:

February 1, 2000: Home Again . . .

Actually, I won't get home until nearly dark today, but I'm already looking forward to it. The Chicago trip was very worthwhile . . . lots of good ideas brewing . . . and now it's time to DO something with them. Here's a shot from our visit with Bungie Software; Doug Zartman is demonstrating a new game, and Alain and I are admiring it. My, they have some nice things cooking there . . .
-- Steve Jackson

There is also a photograph of Doug Zartman demonstrating an unnamed game. Check the computers in the background. Looks like we need some state of the art image enhancing technology here.

Time to keep a regular eye on Steve Jackson's Daily Illuminator page.


More updates at the Pathways Into Darkness page. Another level completed and some weapon oddities.


Feb 4, 2000 (Friday)

Lots of updates at the Pathways Into Darkness page today. Good to see people showing new or renewed interest in this Bungie cult classic.


Thanks to all the people who wrote in pointing out that the Charles Gough in the Wanted DOA pic is in fact Halo's Physics Programmer Extraordinare Charles Gough, better know as Chucky. The picture was taken shortly before he absconded to Mexico with the Halo beta.


Feb 3, 2000 (Thursday)

Opps... more duplication on the Story page. Thanks to those who spotted the (deliberate?) error.


More updates at the Pathways Into Darkness page. Why Bungie's answer to Question 7 leaves you with a minimum of 73 minutes before the Dreaming God awakens. Hey... do you think I make this stuff up?!!! Go read the PID page!


Terrence Nowicki <kablam@edmail.com> writes:

I dropped by soffish.bungie.com around 12:54 PST and was surprised by a bizarre picture (attached to this email an in temp uploads at hl.bungie.org, in case the pic has changed by the time you read this). Up close to the camera, it showed a plastic goblin-like thing wearing what looked like a hamburgeler outfit, but farther away and more interesting was a "poster" that shows a photo of some guy, with the words "Wanted, DOA: Charles (Gogh?)"

Who is Charles Gogh, and why is he wanted dead or alive??

Perhaps he leaked the Halo beta? ;-)

Terrence also sent in the cleanest Soul chat of the week. Not one swear word. Terrence gets the Mr. Clean award of the week! ;-)


Achenar1 (full name pending) <Achenar1@aol.com> writes:

MAPTEK - VULCAN Forge Online: Issue No.1 1999

The above site, as far as I know has nothing to do with Bungie. However having Forge, Vulcan and the 3D block M on one page is more than just a coincidence, don't you think?


The Evolution (M2 Source) site at marathon.sourceforge.net has moved to source.bungie.org and sports some new graphics. Check the one on the Contacts page. Nice. :-)


Feb 2, 2000 (Wednesday)

At last we meet Greg (Kirkpatrick) on "Watch Your Step", discover the location of the five kiloton Nuclear Device and ponder over the missing third Radio Beacon. See today's update on the Pathways Into Darkness page.


Rob Thibadeau <METAFIRE@aol.com> writes concerning the letters P O E and O P E found hidden in some of the Marathon terminals:

The letters "P.O.E. and O.P.E." also appear spraypainted to the door of a gas station bathroom in the film "Raising Arizona." It's interesting: in this film there is a killing machine-type dude named Leonard Smalls who carries two sawed-off shotguns.

Raising Arizona was released in 1987.


Last month Benjamin Ramey pointed out that a medallion worn by the astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) bore a striking resemblance to the Marathon symbol. Now Mike Ackerman <mackerm@relaypoint.net> writes:

Here's a better picture of Tycho Brahe showing off his "marathon" medallion:

http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/tycho/image20b.htm

While it is clearly the same medallion as the one shown earlier, closer examination shows it to be some sort of pig.

Are the medallions the same? And is it really Tycho?


Feb 1, 2000 (Tuesday)

Matt Heath <MHHeath@aol.com> reveals that we were given misleading information by the Jjaro diplomat Ryu'Toth in Pathways Into Darkness. What's new I hear you say. That story was the biggest cover-up since the Tunguska blast in 1908. Check the Pathways Into Darkness page for the tru7h!


Phf'Joueur joins the BigHouse. Phf'Joueur is a scenario for Marathon: Infinity set in the Bungie universe. The project is headed by Candace Sherriff better known as Shebob. Thanks to Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> for the heads up.


Added the Unified Earth Space Council Network to the General Pages section of Page 2401. This site contains an attempt at creating a Marathon GURPS. Thanks to Max Etchemendy <mxetch@yahoo.com> for the link.


Jan 31, 2000 (Monday)

Another Blam reference. Jacob Aberg <Jacob_Aberg@excite.com> writes:

I also found another "Blam" reference in the Minotaur Read Me file, describing a Minotaur multiplayer game:

Alex: "Hey Jason, what number do you have?"

Jason: "Number 5."

Alex: "Chucky?"

Chucky: "Number 4."

Alex: "Err...no good dude, I have number 4 too."

Chucky: "Then switch, fool."

Alex: "(CENSORED) me! I'm the host. You switch numbers!"

Chucky: "Oh yeah? Well you can (CENSORED) me too! Number 4 is my favorite!"

Jason: "It doesn't matter which number you have, chump. I'm gonna spank you anyway."

Alex: "Hee hee"

Chucky: "Fine, fine. I'll switch to number 2. Bunch of whining...(incoherent grumbling)"

Alex: "Sweet. Here we go...prepare to diiiiie!!"

Jason: "BLAM!"


Dan Rudolph <ace_of_sevens@mac.com> writes:

The fir'bolg who says "Thank god it's you! The wasps! They're everywhere!" is voiced by Doug Zartman. The thing about Ne'Ric's flavor text was already mentioned in quick update number 2 on November 17.

Oops... more redundancy on the Story page! ;-)


Jan 30, 2000 (Sunday)

Both Jonathan Tan <j.tan@access.net.au> and Abhaya Hess <doctordude26@yahoo.com> point out that in the free Myth 2 scenario "Chimera" there is a fir'bolg hero archer called ne'Ric who has line very similar to that in the fourth Cortana letter namely:

"Your fate," whispered ne'ric, "lies on the point of my arrow. Your life will only last until it reaches you."

Compare this with the Covenant line from the fourth Cortana letter:

Our conviction is like an arrow already in flight. Your life will only last until it reaches you.

Note that back in Oct 15, 1999 John Garrard <durendal@mediaone.net> pointed out that this line was in fact a variation of a famous quote by German philosopher/theologist Georg Hermes (1775-1831):

"Death is like an arrow that is already in flight, and your life lasts only until it reaches you"


Abhaya also writes:

Something else I noticed was that in a different Chimera level, some fir'bolg run up to you and say:

"Thank god it's you! The wasps! They're everywhere!"

Which of course is a commonly known Marathon phrase. Just a couple interesting tidbits for you.


Jesse Simko <jsimko@hampshire.edu> writes:

I found something that looks suspiciously like a Marathon logo in, of all places... http://quake.sourceforge.net/


More new films at the Marathon Vidmasters' page. Ben Irwin <Jackelblow@aol.com> completes the Marathon Infinity level "Acme Station" and John Sumner <UTJohnS@aol.com> has a pack of eleven "quick" films which show little known shortcuts through a number of Marathon 2 and Infinity levels.


John Zero <jzero@fastlane.net> writes to say the the Marathon Orphanage has been updated. As more people renew their interest in Marathon (due to the release of the source code) this could be the place where you'll find material for your next big Marathon scenario.


Jan 29, 2000 (Saturday)

The Pathways Into Darkness page unearths some long forgotten mysteries on "Lasciate Ogne Speranza, Voi Ch'Intrate" and our intrepid hero takes a trip down a vine.


John Sumner <UTJohnS@aol.com> completes the 27th and final level of his Marathon Vidmaster Challenge. Not one to give up John finally completed Habe Quiddam Vidmaster Style. This level is certainly the hardest of the 27 solo levels in Marathon and probably one of the top three hardest levels in the series. Check the Marathon Vidmasters' page for details. More films on the way!


Well I sure hope nobody at Bungie reads the Soul's "questions" log over the last 24 hours because judging from the letters received by the Story page they'll be in for a shock. Seems the Soul can give as good as it gets in terms of verbal retort. As Peter McArdle <pfm01@gnofn.org> points out:

Clearly the Soul was not meant for young childern.

Of course young children don't go round telling the Soul to... err... well... erm... you know. Anyway here are just a few of the many florid responses the Soul is likely to throw back at you:

I'm just a Perl script. What do you expect?
I need a meal, not a snack.
Ok, press it against the monitor.
Pucker up big boy.
Did you just wink at me?
Right now I'm looking at a picture of your mom.
Ok, do you want it like your mom does?

And these are the ones I can PRINT!!! ;-)


Jan 28, 2000 (Friday)

Mike Sheley <sheleym@ucs.orst.edu> writes to point out that Max Hoberman <max@bungie.com> of Bungie Software is looking for Java programmers for converting Minotaur to Java. In a letter to Mike Max wrote:

Thanks! I've actually been putting a lot of thought into this. What would be best, I believe, is to port Minotaur to Java, thus circumventing the cross-platfrom compatibility issue (and opening other possibilities). So forget what I said about PC programmers ;-) Let me know if you run into any good Java programmers, especially if they're Minotaur fans. I've got a few leads of my own, so I'll keep you in the loop if anything transpires.

If you can help or know of someone who might like to help then contact Mike Sheley at <sheleym@ucs.orst.edu>.


The Soul sure has a warped sense of humor as Jon Thompson <jthompson@dymle.com> found out. However I won't print the question Jon asked just the Soul's response.

The soul says: Ok, press it against the monitor.

You'll have to work out what question elicits this response yourself. This is a family page afterall! ;-)


Added a further observation to the Ring Motif in Halo page.


Jan 27, 2000 (Thursday)

Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> makes an interesting find:

I saw this on today's "Daily Illuminator", the house newsletter of Steve Jackson Games http://www.sjgames.com/ill/ill.html.

January 27, 2000: Chicago, Chicago

I'm in the Windy City from today until Monday, meeting with Alain and Micah to scheme about new games in general and In Nomine in particular, visiting FASA and Bungie, discussing plans for a new [NOT AVAILABLE AT YOUR CLEARANCE], and generally hanging out with our Chicagoid MIBs. I'll report further when I get back.

SJ Games & Bungie have already worked together to produce GURPS Myth, a role-playing book set in the world of Myth. So what next - GURPS Halo?

If GURPS Myth is a success I would imagine that GURPS Halo would be a distinct possibility.


Silas Dean <tdean@lightlink.com> writes:

I've looked through the symbol's pages and not noticed this, so I'll report it. Anyway, a couple years ago, as I flipped through the New York Times magazine, I saw an ad for an organization with ties to the Sierra Club (An organization devoted to the protection of the environment) called Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund. Their logo (available at www.earthjustice.org) is remarkably similar to the Marathon Logo. They've disguised it enough so that to the lay person it looks like a moon on a pedestal(?), but I wasn't fooled.

Hehehe... looks like a Halo landscape too! ;-)


Robin Welsh <konoko@bungie.zzn.com> writes to say that he has created a Bungie Fan Network (BFN) which you can join and get free email services. It's at http://bungie.zzn.com/. Remember this is a third party Bungie network and not to be confused with bungie.net.


Jan 26, 2000 (Wednesday)

TCP/IP Minotaur? Mike Sheley (aka Blackbeard) <sheleym@ucs.orst.edu> writes:

Think you could post this on the story page and see if anyone is willing to step forward and work on this? I don't have the skills but I'm hoping someone out there does... TCP/IP Minotaur would be great!

~Blackbeard #CP#D

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Subject: Re: TCP/IP Minotaur
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 11:04:30 -0600
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>    So I was bored on a Friday afternoon and decided to look through my
>old games and fired up minotaur....  Ah, how the memories of LAN games
>returned....  But unfortunately, no one was handy for a few games.  And
>then it hit me.  TCP/IP Minotaur.  I mean, this game is ancient, but
>it's still damn fun.  Thing fits on an 800k floppy.  Couldn't take more
>than a few hours to port to windows....  And hey, if you boys don't have
>the time to do it, release the ole source and let the community handle
>it...  Anyways.  Minotaur was one of the best games of the decade.  Many
>people don't even know it exists.  It's in the sack, granted, but we
>need that TCP/IP support for people to really enjoy it in this day and
>time.  anyways...  You could even charge a few bucks for a TCP/IP
>enabled version.  I know I'd throw down some cash for it.  Well, I'll
>let you big shots get back to work.  ::grins::  Thanks for taking the
>time to read this!

Hmmm, I'd love to have a TCP/IP playable version, but I doubt we'd ever 
release the source for it. Know any good PC programmers who'd be 
interested and that have a little free time on their hands? All our guys 
are pretty tied up right now.

-Max

If anyone can help please contact Mike Sheley at <sheleym@ucs.orst.edu>.


halo.bungie.org report that there is an enhanced version of the Halo movie at Tritin Films. It contains added sound effects. Nice interpretation of the beginning part of the movie. Worth a look.


First successfully compiled Marathon 2 Source? Bo Lindbergh posted the following to alt.games.marathon:

From: d88-bli@bitbucket.nada.kth.se.invalid (Bo Lindbergh)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Fully functional source
Date: 25 Jan 2000 21:14:08 GMT
Organization: Marathon Toolsmiths Guild
Lines: 11
Message-ID: <86l3n0$r11$1@news.su.se>
NNTP-Posting-Host: dront.nada.kth.se
X-Trace: news.su.se 948834848 27681 130.237.227.21 (25 Jan 2000 21:14:08 GMT)
X-Complaints-To: abuse@su.se
NNTP-Posting-Date: 25 Jan 2000 21:14:08 GMT
X-From: remove first and last components of hostname before replying
Xref: news.tcd.ie alt.games.marathon:58730

Alex Rosenberg hasn't been heard of, so I might as well go ahead and
release this.


http://www.student.nada.kth.se/~d88-bli/marathon/Marathon2SourceCode.sit.bin

No obvious bugs left.  One non-obvious bug: a few seconds after switching
to a new level, assert(queue->read_index!=queue->write_index) in line 355
of player.c fails.  Weird.


/Bo Lindbergh (see X-From header field)


I thought this was an amusing alt.games.marathon post so I'm reprinting it here. It's by Alain Roy who worked on Marathon:

Subject: Re: Another desired feature
References: <180120000318162891%petrich@netcom.com> 
<190120002025360406%petrich@netcom.com> 
<B4AC94BC.27CD%tomeone@spamwindoze.not.mac.com> 
<388737D7.C67C12C7@gateway.net>
Organization: It lurks in the night
X-Newsreader: trn 4.0-test72 (19 April 1999)
From: alain@cs.uchicago.edu (Alain Aslag Roy)
Message-ID: <NR8j4.99$E3.1382@uchinews>
Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 03:35:09 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Host: 128.135.11.84
X-Trace: uchinews 948771309 128.135.11.84 (Mon, 24 Jan 2000 21:35:09 CST)
NNTP-Posting-Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 21:35:09 CST
Lines: 11
Xref: news.tcd.ie alt.games.marathon:58705

Thomas Simko  <tfs@gateway.net> wrote:
>That would be a great feature. A related enhancement would be doors that
>swing open. This has been done in Damage Incorporated very nicely

I thought it was done rather poorly in Damage. The poor sod who coded
it deserves a lobotomy. And did you see the goofy hacks used to make
horizontally sliding doors work in Damage? (They don't open all the
way.) Truly goofy.

-alain


Jan 25, 2000 (Tuesday)

Thought this deserved a mention. The UK MacUser magazine January 2000 edition is a special Millennium collectors edition with 2000 essential tips, tricks and secrets. Tons of categories are covered including a games section. The games mentioned include (in order of appearance):

Quake
Quake II
Age of Empires
Carmagedon
Tomb Raider Gold
Tomb Raider 2
Tomb Raider 3
Marathon Series
Unreal
Warcraft 2

Good to see the Marathon series still in there among all those newer games. However note that missing from the list is... the Myth series. Oh... and the games section is on page 77. Don't believe me? Then here is the scan (366K).


Bungie Soul baiting is back. James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> writes:

Here's some fun input for the Soul, just stumbled upon them:

;) or ;-)
:) or :-)

None are generic, I've checked.

Nice ones.


Mauro Braunstein <EllBrau@aol.com> finds another Marathon-like symbol after doing a Densa test. Don't ask. Check out the That Marathon Symbol (part 2) page for details.


John Zero <jzero@fastlane.net> writes to say that the Marathon Orphanage has been updated with some long lost files.


Jan 24, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update

Image enhancement seems to be flavor of the month. Halo.bungie.org report that they have identified a player name tag in one of the recent Halo screenshots. It appears on the left arm of a marine. Realistic place to put it if it is a player's name tag.


Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> writes:

I was hoping to find some goodies in the "Team formerly known as Myth II" segment of the Bungie East tour [Day1 Bungie TV]. No such luck so far, but there is an interesting illustration on the whiteboard. Could be nothing, could be a character drawing. I have enclosed two pictures ...

You can see the pics Alan is referring to here. A sketch of some animal?



Concerning yesterday's Halo screenshot with the words "Blam" Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> writes:

Thought I'd drop a line and offer what little insight I can. I was fortunate enough to be looking over Joe's shoulder (with his permission of course!) when he was playing with the latest Halo build. The word BLAM seems to be 'fill-in' for the name of the weapon you are using. At one point Joe pressed a key that filled the left side of his screen with several translucent weapon 'slots', all saying BLAM and each highlighting as he switched between several weapons.


Marc Paveglio <mariogp@mail.microserve.net> writes:

I don't know if anyone noticed this already, and if they did, my apologies for sending in old information. When the marine is firing the Assault Rifle in the Halo clip from bTV 4, there is a small white bar at the top left sandwiched between some other gibberish in the HUD. As he sprays metal through the air the bar shrinks down until he takes out the clip. Obviously this is the ammo gauge. You can also spot this when the marine uses the rocket launcher. The bar is full, and after firing a rocket, it is reset to nothing, meaning that the rocket launcher has an ammo capacity of 1, possibly?

The ammo bar also appears in the jeep scene, but not the tank. Perhaps Bungie hasn't implemented that feature yet? I've enclosed a picture from the movie so that you can see where the ammo gauge is.

You can see the screenshot Marc is referring to here. Note the gauge in the top left.


Oops mistakes happen. The Story page has grown so large that even I can't keep track of it. Yesterday I posted Amarnath Santhanam's comments about the 802.11 reference in Marathon. However Sarwat Khan <sarwat@interlog.com> actually submitted a similar finding back in Aug 16, 1999. Sarwat wrote:

I was playing M1 today, and noticed something in the upper left corner of the terminal windows: 802.11. That's the standard that the iBook uses for wireless networking. According to this page:

http://www.wlana.com/intro/standard/committee.html

802.11 was formed in 1990, which means that Bungie probably did this intentionally.

Sorry to Sarwat and sorry to Amarnath. Looks like I'm going to have to revamp the Story page's indexing system. "What indexing system?" I hear you cry! ;-)

Thanks to Taylor Fisher <ghalidrm@uwyo.edu> for pointing out that the 11 in the 802.11 refers to the order in which it was approved by the IEEE.


Jan 23, 2000 (Sunday)

Another Blam reference in Halo. Mike Schapiro <mikeschappy@ameritech.net> writes:

Hmmm.... In the shot of the marine with the minigun, the top right corner of the HUD changes slightly. If you look at it double sized, it looks faintly like it could be saying "Blam!" Perhaps the "You Killed Sumpin'!" message in the version bungie has right now?

You can see the screenshot Mike is referring to here. Note the letters at the top left.


The 802.11 reference in Marathon explained? Amarnath Santhanam <ashoks@ix.netcom.com> writes:

In Marathon (I'm not sure about Durandal or Infinity), the computer terminals say they are using 802.11, which is the industry standard protocol used by Apple's Airport technology. 802 is the protocol, and 11 is the speed, meaning 11 Mbps. I don't think it's too plausible, but perhaps communications on the Marathon are wireless?


Amarnath also points out:

I asked the Soul what the former Myth II team was working on, and it replied:
The Myth II team is working on something big. Huge. Monstrous.

When I asked about Doug Zartman, it said:
Hey Doug, there's someone asking about you. Whatcha want me to do?


Stefan Stadlberger <stadlberger@yadur.com> writes:

Here is a link (http://www.nada.kth.se/~fred/tycho.html) to some stuff about Tycho Brahe. Especially the image of his world system (http://www.nada.kth.se/~fred/tycho/tychworld.gif) looks familiar.

Very familiar. ;-)


Jan 22, 2000 (Saturday)

Nearly missed this one. Craig Mullins was featured game artist at Gamasutra back on the 13th of this month. The article contains a few images with some comments by Craig. Nothing really different from what you can find on his home page at http://www.goodbrush.com. However good to see Craig's game artwork get more exposure and also good to see Marathon featuring heavily.


David Curry <CirclMastr@aol.com> makes an interesting observation about Thoth and whether the Pfhor were actually responsible for switching him(?) off. See the Thoth section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Benjamin Ramey <bigben@longlivethemac.com> writes:

A man named Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was one of the things that showed up in my search results. Interestingly enough, his real name was Tyge, and Tycho is the latinized version of his name. Anyway, Brahe did some studies of a comet that was around during his time. Hmmmm.

OK, so lots of people have studied comets before. But....take a look at this! Here's a picture of Tycho Brahe that I found at http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/People/tycho_brahe.html. Take a close look at this guy's lower "pendent" or thingy he's got around his neck that hangs down on his chest, and tell me shivers don't go up your spine! I provided the whole picture and a close up of the pendent thingy.

You can see Benjamin's submitted pictures here


Jan 21, 2000 (Friday)

Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <JMChavez@aol.com> writes to say that his Macworld Expo San Francisco films are now online. Five Quicktime movies in all:

MartyODonnell_MWSF00.mov (33013 Kb)
ClaudeErrera_MWSF00.mov (39721 Kb)
TourOfBungieBooth_MWSF00.mov (18706 Kb)
AlexIntrosJoe_MWSF00.mov (2581 Kb)
LiveHaloPreview_MWSF00.mov (8334 Kb)

Nice interviews with Marty O'Donnell of Total Audio and Claude Errera of bungie.org. Claude reveals just how big bungie.org really is and how much it serves each day... without advertising revenue.

You can find Freewill's movies on Cunbelin's Macworld Coverage page at the Myth Townhall. Click on the Day 3 button. The movies are also available on the Clan Plaid Hotline server (cphl.dhs.org) at the following location:

Files -> Other_Files -> misc_movies -> Freewill_Halo_Bungie_Video folder

Bungie.org also have a ftp site for the movies at ftp://paradox.bungie.org/pub/freewill/ and their second hotline server site at hl2.bungie.org (24.4.104.213) also offers them.


Miguel also scanned in the Bungie TV Guide from Macworld. Check the Marathon/Halo reference on the bTV Guide cover (312K).

Somewhere in the heavens Halo is waiting...

Nice one. The inside of the bTV Guide can be found here (294K).


More Bungie development history from the Marathon 2 source code. Benjamin Ramey <bigben@longlivethemac.com> writes:

Found this in "devices.c"

Just thought some more history is always interesting, :).

/*
DEVICES.C
Sunday, December 5, 1993 2:48:44 PM

Tuesday, December 7, 1993 11:12:25 PM
	changed to be Jason compatible, open/close doors, and nixed
gratuitous enum.
Tuesday, January 4, 1994 10:36:08 AM
	opening doors can wake monsters.
Sunday, September 18, 1994 6:23:04 PM  (alain)
	much of control panel code has been rewritten. no longer use
composite sides,
	but a flag in the side data structure. some control panels work
over time (refueling)
	and there are on/off textures associated with each control panel.
and sounds.
Friday, June 9, 1995 11:43:37 AM  (Jason')
	destroy-able switches.
Wednesday, June 21, 1995 8:31:57 AM  (Jason)
	tag switches.
*/


Terrence Nowicki <kablam@edmail.com> writes:

Well, looking at the M2 source, it looks like bungie just BARELY missed starting a VERY popular netgame trend...

In the code (network_games.c), you may note the parameters for both known uimplemented game types: Capture the flag and Rugby...however, looking around, you will also note a game type called "Offense/Defense" or "game_of_defense." Some of the particular lines of code I'm referring to are:

enum { // for offense/defense
	_offender_time_in_base= 0, // for player->netgame_parameters
	_defending_team= 0, // for game_information->paramters
	_maximum_offender_time_in_base= 1 // for game_information->parameters
};

(the above code is at the beginning)

And these lines:

case _game_of_defense:
for(player_index= 0; player_indexplayer_count; ++player_index)
{
struct player_data *player= get_player_data(player_index);
short defending_team= GET_GAME_PARAMETER(_defending_team);
					
if(player->team != defending_team)
{
struct polygon_data *polygon= get_polygon_data(player->supporting_polygon_index);

/* They are in our base! */
if(polygon->type==_polygon_is_base && polygon->permutation==defending_team)
{
player->netgame_parameters[_offender_time_in_base]++;

if(player->netgame_parameters[_offender_time_in_base]>GET_GAME_PARAMETER(_maximum_offender_time_in_base))
{
dprintf("Game is over. Offender won.");

Apparently, the game was similar to king of the hill, but slightly more complex: one team would be defined as the "defender," the other as the "offender," and the game would end when either the defenders had successfully defended their base for a certain amount of total time, or the offenders had successfully spent a certain amount of time on the defenders' "base polygon." A little bit different from modern Team Fortress gametypes, I think, but it's interesting to think that perhaps if bungie had gone further with this, they would've developed it so that each team had a "hill" they were supposed to defend, and whichever team had spent more time on the opposing team's hill at the end of the game would win...

It's also interesting to note that Every Man for Himself seems to called "game_of_kill_monsters," or something...either that, or it's the default gametype (and if THAT'S the case, then perhaps M2 was also originally going to have a team game where teams got points by destroying monsters...now THAT would have been cool!).


Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> writes concerning the "absolute_yaw/pitch/position_mode" reference in the Marathon 2 source code:

My guess is that these are used to seperate mouse control from keyboard control. When one of those flags is set, the game would read the player's pitch, yaw, or location directly from the mouse's location.



Jan 20, 2000 (Thursday)

Christian Bauer <cbauer@student.physik.uni-mainz.de> writes:

Now that the M2 sources are released it can finally be determined where the garbled source in Terminal 2 of Sorry Don't Make It So and Terminal 1 of Begging For Mercy Makes Me Angry comes from. I found it in the file render.c, approx. lines 1040-1060. Interestingly, the code is from a function called "decide_where_vertex_leads()". In Sorry Don't Make It So, Durandal is obvioulsy having a hard time deciding what to do after the infiltration of his network by Tycho, while in the Begging For Mercy term he seems to have found his final conclusion. :-)


Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> writes:

For a rough timeline of when everything (Minotaur to Marathon II) happened, as well as some personal info on Jason Jones, and a mention of an unknown project (OZONE), the header of shell.c is quite interesting (also of note is that Pathways had a Vulcan/Forge-like editor, that is it was in-engine):

/*
SHELL.C
Tuesday, June 19, 1990 7:20:13 PM

Tuesday, July 17, 1990 12:26:24 AM
	Minotaur modifications.
Tuesday, November 26, 1991 11:29:11 PM
	This shit needs to be totally rewritten.
Tuesday, December 17, 1991 11:19:09 AM
	(strongly favoring tuesdays) ... we now work under single finder,
hopefully, and this shit is being totally rewritten.
Tuesday, November 17, 1992 3:32:11 PM
	changes for Pathways into Darkness.  this shell will compile into
editor_shell.c.o and
	game_shell.c.o based on whether GAME or EDITOR is defined in the preprocessor.
Saturday, December 12, 1992 9:41:53 AM
	we now pass through some command keys, when not handled by the menus.
Friday, April 23, 1993 7:44:35 AM
	added ai timing voodoo for mouse-in-world and closing immediately after
an explicit save.
Wednesday, June 2, 1993 9:17:08 AM
	lots of changes for new first-event dialogs.  happy birthday,
yesterday.  talked to mara for half an hour in front of brek.
Friday, July 30, 1993 6:49:48 PM
	the day before the big build; final modifications to copy-protection stuff.
Saturday, August 21, 1993 4:31:50 PM
	hacks for OZONE.
Monday, August 30, 1993 3:18:37 PM
	menu bar?, what menu bar?
Wednesday, December 8, 1993 1:02:36 PM
	this is now MARATHON.
Wednesday, June 7, 1995 10:50:05 AM
	this is now MARATHON II.
Thursday, September 28, 1995 7:37:12 PM
	reintegrated interface.c/shell.c.  Tried to keep this clean, but I
didn't succeed as well as I would have liked.
*/

OZONE... now what could that have been? Hazards of coding in the fresh air? ;-)


Harry Al-Shakarchi <ha99ab@badger.ac.brocku.ca> writes:

Hehehe.... found this in render.c: (clippings)

Friday, September 9, 1994 1:36:15 PM  (Jason')
    on the quads, in the sun.
Sunday, September 11, 1994 7:32:49 PM  (Jason')
    the clock on the 540 was wrong, yesterday was Saturday (not Friday).  on
quads again, but back home now.  something will draw before i go to bed
tonight.  dinner at the nile?
Tuesday, September 13, 1994 2:54:56 AM  (Jason')
    no fair!ŅŅ itÕs still monday, really.  with the aid of some graphical
debugging the clipping all works now and iÕm trying to have the entire
floor/ceiling thing going tonight (the nile was closed by the time i got
around to taking a shower and heading out).
Friday, September 16, 1994 4:06:17 AM  (Jason')
    walls, floors and ceilings texture, wobble, etc.  contemplating objects
... maybe this willwork after all.
Tuesday, November 8, 1994 5:29:12 PM  (Jason')
    implemented new transfer modes: _slide, _wander.
_render_effect_earthquake doesnÕt work
    yet because the player can shake behind his own shape.
Monday, June 5, 1995 8:37:42 AM  (Jason)
    blood and fire (baby).

Yes... apparently some of the earliest Marathon coding was done by Jason outdoors on a Powerbook. :-)


Dan Hembry <durandal_777@yahoo.com> writes:

I know what the 0xFFFFFFFF key (which was metioned in a Quick Update on the 19th) is used for. It *is* used when a player disconnects from a Marathon netgame as Mihai sugjested. If the disconnected player is within radar range of somebody else, after a few second he will explode violently. If outside everybody radar range and if nobodys watching the player just disapears.

I came to these conclusions by doing several tests at a friends house where we had a ethernet setup to play Marathon Infinity. However, Infinity is basicly the M2 engine with a new weapon, some new monsters and such (no major structual changes) so one would think that the key would have the same effect.


Hamish Sanderson <hhas@somewhere.inthe.uk> writes:

Minor point of interest:

Mihai Parparita mentions various movement and self-destruct codes - this may or may not be new news to you but it's already possible to 'enable' these in M2/Mi using Bo Lindbergh's Fux tool (should anyone be curious to try '0xFFFFFFFF', for example;).


This might be of some interest to those attempting to compile the Marathon 2 source code. Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> writes:

Carch, one of Clan Plaid's finest, posted this to Clan Plaid's Hotline Server:

-- snip --

From Carch (Tue Jan 18 14:04:35 2000):

I spent the past six-seven hours getting the Marathon 2 source code to compile and link. The result has 60 stub functions, some fairly complex, that need to be written, along with a file full of type definitions, many of which are probably wrong, because the code is silent about RGB pixel formats it wants and other details.

I'd be very surprised if anyone makes anything out of this code any time soon. But I've been surprised before, so don't let that stop you. ;-)

If you're interested in a Code Warrior Pro 5 version of the project, along with the changes I made, I'll be uploading it alongside the original distribution shortly.

_/\ C

-- snip --

Which he then promptly did... it's located in Clan Plaid's Hotline Server, cphl.dhs.org, in the Games -> Marathon folder and named "Marathon2-CWP5.sit"

Have at it, folks...

(I'm also enclosing it in case you want to host it.)

You can get it here (191K).


Jan 19, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update

Some more interesting Marathon 2 source code tidbits. Robin Welsh <myth2@iloveapple.com> finds the obligatory Beavis & Butthead reference:

--snip--

#ifdef DEBUG
				else
				{
					dprintf("exceeded
MAXIMUM_NODE_ALIASES; this sucks, Beavis.");
					return;
				}
#endif
			}
		}

--snip--

This was found in the "render.c" file.


Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> writes:

Since the Marathon 2 source code is now available, I thought I might do some digging to see what's up with the extra action codes that were mentioned a while back on the cheats page. So, here we go:

0x00000001 (spinning around) is called "_absolute_yaw_mode"
0x00000100 (looking down very rapidly) is called "_absolute_pitch_mode"
0x00004000 (backing up quicker) is called "_absolute_position_mode"

All of these are in the file player.h. I'm not quite sure what their purpose is, perhaps they're used as test bits to see if the yaw/pitch/position were modified due to user input and the engine should take care of this.

As for the final action, 0xFFFFFFFF (player explodes), it doesn't have a definition in itself. However I have found this piece of code (in player.c):

if (action_flags==NONE)
{
	// net dead
	if (!PLAYER_IS_DEAD(player))
	{
		// kills invincible players, too
		detonate_projectile(&player->location, player->camera_polygon_index,
_projectile_minor_fusion_dispersal, NONE, NONE, 10*FIXED_ONE);
	}
			
	action_flags= 0;
}
It seems that Marathon is equating 0xFFFFFFFF with NONE (indeed, where 0 needs to be used, it is, so NONE must be a short hand for all the bits on), and killing the player. As for why this code would be included, I'm not quite sure, perhaps when a sudden disconnect is detected, Marathon was intended to kill the player.

BTW, I'm at 1913 (1 + 9 + 1 + 3 = 14 = 7 * 2 (this is the Marathon 2 source code :p) compilation errors (and steadily decreasing) in the CodeWarrior version that I'm trying to put together...



As hoped the pre-recorded Bungie East tour from Day 1 of Bungie TV is now available for download from Bungie's bTV Archive page.


Mike Young (aka Bravehamster) <buy-memories@buy-memories.com> writes:

I submitted the press release concerning the Marathon code being released under the GPL to slashdot, a geek news site with roots in GPL and linux advocacy. 120+ comments have been posted, most praises and hosanas about bungie and marathon2. One of the more interesting comments came from Jason Pellerin:

"I'd like to see a linux port, and I can donate some server space and time to help it happen, please write me at m2linux@bungie.com if you want to get in on the fun."

Jason is Bungie's Sysadmin and resident Linux guru. Anyhoo, here's the link to the discussion. Lots of nostalgia, so bring some tissues. ;)

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/01/18/0819252

The Slashdot thread is worth a read as Mike says.


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes concerning reused sounds in Bungie games:

At least one sound goes even further back. The "empty MA75-B" sound got started as the "no ammo" sound from _Operation: Desert Storm_. Now *that's* recycling!



Jan 18, 2000 (Tuesday)

Quick update #3 14:36pm EST

More Marathon tidbit stuff. Ben Reiter <ben.reiter@voyager.net> writes:

Found this in weapons.c (part of the weapon firing sequence that plays a sound when a weapon is fired):

		/* Blam */
		play_weapon_sound(player_index, trigger_definition->firing_sound, FIXED_ONE);


Andreas Orphanides <dr_who@world.oberlin.edu> writes:

Regarding Jackie Chan's observations of the weapon nicknames, he mentions he doesn't know where "John R.", the name of the missile launcher, comes from. I bet that the John R. in question is a certain John Rambo from, you guessed it, the Rambo series of films (First Blood, Rambo: First Blood Part 2, etc.).


Similarly Thomas Ammon <tammon@comps.com> writes:

John R....is probably a reference to John Rambo of the First Blood movies.


Alternatively Matthew Vaughan <matthewv@best.com> writes:

There could certainly be other possibilities, but could the "John R." missile launcher nickname be a reference to John Romero, co-founder of id Software, and considered the spiritual (game design) father of Wolf3D, Doom and Quake? (whereas John Carmack was the mad genius programmer behind the engines) I'd say Romero was largely responsible for the standardization of the rocket launcher as the "big stick" weapon in such games.

Romero also fancied himself a hotshot Doom and Quake deathmatcher (hmm, sounds like Jason Jones trying to impress the ladies with his Marathon vidding skills?) One of his most famous matches was losing a series of games to his girlfriend, Stevie "Killcreek" Case (they're still together and she recently capitalized on her fame by posing for Playboy...but I digress), after which loss he was required to erect an internet shrine in her honor.



Quick update #2 11:43am EST

Marathon secrets revealed... or not! Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> writes:

Among the many things found in the source are the Marathon 2 cheat codes, which are somewhat different from the M1 Beta codes you already have. This a pretty quick and dirty analysis, we may not know exactly what some of these do until someone enables them and compiles the source...

NRG: Maxes out your current energy level (i.e. if you have half red health you get full read health, but if you have half yellow health you get full yellow health)
OTWO: Max oxygen. MAP: Map toggle (seems the same as the M1 version)
BYE: Invisibility
NUKE: Invincibility
SEE: Hypervision
WOW: Extravision
MAG: Get 10 magnum magazines
RIF: Get an AR, 10 clips, 8 grenade clips
MELT: Get a fusion pistol and 10 clips (Note that the code refers to the Fusion Pistol as "plasma pistol")
TOAST: Should give a flamethrower, but apparently unimplemented (I couldn't find the code that actually gives the weapon)
POW: Should give missile launcher (ditto) (also misspelled "missle" ;) )
SH*T: All weapons and ammo for them (the flag for this is "aslag")
YOURMOM: Save game
AMMO: Unimplemented
PZBXAY: Unimplemented, but probably gave the Alien Weapon
QWE: Jump!


Sarwat Khan <sarwat@interlog.com> writes:

If you open the source code using BBEdit, you'll find swear words selected :P

For example, when I opened monsters.c, the word "f*ck" was selected. It was the last such word in the file. My guess is that Matt was doing a search for all swear words, and this is a little side effect :) I guess this might explain the delay, although he doesn't seem to have done anything about it.


Robin Welsh <myth2@iloveapple.com> writes:

Here's a bit of source code I found in the "buildprogram" file. Hope you
haven't gotten this already.

-----begin-code--------

		Echo -n *t; Echo -n "move '{program}' 'hoax:doomsucks' -y";
echo -n " "
	else
		Echo -n *t; Quote -n "{program}"; Echo -n " "
	end
End

---------end-code------------

See the line? it says 'hoax:doomsucks' in the code....

...Indeed!


Quick update #1 9:28am EST

For those who bother to look the Marathon 2 source code contains a number of interesting historical tidbits. Here's one from the sound.c file. It reveals that the Marathon 2 rewrite began on January 27, 1995 12:49:25 AM. Some Pathways Into Darkness tidbits too.


/*
SOUND.C
Friday, March 26, 1993 10:16:00 AM

Friday, March 26, 1993 10:16:01 AM
	this is the source file that will make minotaur's sound manager look like a truckload of dead
	rats in a tampon factory.
Saturday, March 27, 1993 8:13:44 PM
	a few things have been changed, i think most of the coding is done.
Tuesday, April 6, 1993 9:26:54 PM
	is there any way to use SyncCmd's to better synchronize the left and right channels of
	stereo sound?  why do all sounds end in a click when the sound manager is doing realtime
	sound mixing?
Tuesday, May 18, 1993 9:35:21 PM
	ha ha ha.  after wwdc93, hacking out jim reekes' new stereo amplitude command, rewriting all
	of this crap so it'll actually work like you might expect.  fixed a bug where the sample
	rate wasn't restored after drinking the potion.  we used to have tons of problems in our
	amplitude calculations (that was why it didn't initially work under the new sound driver).
Sunday, July 4, 1993 7:56:21 AM
	there exists a bug such that for every channel (especially the monster channel) there is
	a possibility that the channel will stop playing sounds but report no errors.
Friday, July 16, 1993 6:04:11 PM
	the last_played field of a sound definition was not being set by play_sound, so the sound
	which was first loaded will be disposed of first.  would that manifest in the 'pause bug'?
	alex has a version of Suitcase which was marking all the sounds I loaded as purgable.
Friday, July 23, 1993 9:43:39 PM
	the pause bug was SCSI Probe's COMMAND-SPACE hotkey.  reduced sound space to 250k.  i can't
	wait to rewrite this and make it real.
Saturday, November 20, 1993 10:32:34 PM
	'making this real' means making it a true n-channel sound manager, where n is some function
	of the current cpu.  this means throwing away all that channel code garbage.
Sunday, January 2, 1994 11:21:41 AM
	sound_code was not being set in play_sound; added threshhold to best_channel
Friday, August 19, 1994 8:26:31 PM
	added custom depth-fading curves, which respect obstructions, and removed the MoveHHi
	before every sound is played.  this is bad news, because we might have sounds locked down
	in our heap when we tried to load shapes, other sounds, etc.  we try to improve this
	situation slightly with the addition of the sound_manager_idle_proc (to unlock handles)
	and by asking everyone who really needs memory to call stop_all_sounds, which will unlock
	the sound handles.
Friday, September 2, 1994 1:29:03 PM
	moving to slot-base collection model fixed a gnarly reentrancy bug while releasing sounds.
Tuesday, September 6, 1994 2:53:35 PM
	added _depth_fading_flag and _high_quality_flag (resamples 22k to 11k if FALSE).
Sunday, November 6, 1994 9:17:24 PM  (Jason)
	if the sound manager is never initialized, calling any of it's procedures doesn't crash.
Friday, December 2, 1994 5:26:10 PM  (Jason)
	old= CurResFile(); UseResFile(_sm_sound_file_handle); Get1Resource('snd', ...); UseResFile(old);
Saturday, December 10, 1994 4:32:46 PM  (Jason)
	in search of the golden sample rate: changing rate22khz to 0x56220000 on PowerMacs didn't
	seem to make any difference.
Friday, January 27, 1995 12:49:25 AM  (Jason')
	the marathon 2 rewrite begins.
Friday, June 16, 1995 10:18:42 AM  (Jason)
	background, ambient and scenery sounds.
Friday, July 7, 1995 12:47:22 PM  (Jason)
	_sound_cannot_be_aborted, sounds which are not always played
Thursday, August 17, 1995 10:41:51 AM  (Jason)
	fixed sound pitches.
Tuesday, August 29, 1995 8:56:16 AM  (Jason)
	moved macintosh-specific code to SOUND_MACINTOSH.C.
*/

Find anything interest? Then send it in. Thanks. :-)


While I was sleeping. Thanks to all those who wrote in about the release of the Marathon 2 Source Code (more names than I can list here). The mysterious #2 finally revealed. No surprises really.

You can grab it at:

ftp://ftp.bungie.com/pub/mac/misc/Marathon2Source.sit


Seth Graham <sether@tru7h.org> writes concerning the timing of the source code release:

#2, released on the SEVENteenth at SEVEN pm.


Randall Sluhan <rsluhan@earthlink.net> and Magh Tuireadh <AStupidity@aol.com> both point out that at the bottom of the source code Read Me is the line

Matthew Soell
Director of Customer Support
Bungie Software
January 17, 2000
(1/17/2000 = 1 + 1 + 7 + 2 + 0 + 0 + 0 = 11 = 1 + 1 = #2)


Jeff Myers <jeff_myers@gibbscam.com> writes:

I have set up a discusion list for the relase of the M2 source code. I hope it can be a valuable tool for future modifiactions and enchancements to the game. One can subscribe to the list by sending e-mail to listserv@3dgamedev.com with "Subscribe marathon_coding <your name>" in the body. Soon I will be puting up a web archive of the messages, and space for projects/info/hostings if needed.


Jackie Chan <jackiechan@chicks-dig-unix.cx> writes:

Well after pouring over the M2SC for hours upon hours I noticed some interesting weapon nicknames in the"game_window.c" file. Most names appear to be taken from popular action movie stars but where did John R. come from?

/* Mac, the knife.. */
/* Harry, the .44 */
/* Ripley, the plasma pistol. *
/ * Arnold, the assault rifle */
/* John R., the missile launcher */
/* ???, the flame thrower */
,/* Predator, the alien shotgun */
/* Shotgun */


Jan 17, 2000 (Monday)

Raul Bonilla <lassonde@hotmail.com> writes concerning a sound in Pathways Into Darkness that also appears in Marathon:

Snds 10590 is the firing sound of the Plasma gun in M1. There's been a while since I've played PID for the last time, and maybe some crystal made the plasma gun sound.

Yes a number of sounds in Pathways were latter reused in Marathon. Here's a quick comparision table:


Pathways Into Darkness
Snd IDSize  Description of Sound
10590 5077Black Crystal discharging
10180 4682Increase in skill level
10008 5077Empty Walther P4
10610 4634Player hit sound after Pale Violet Potion
Marathon
Snd IDSize  Description of Sound
2160 5077Fusion Pistol shot hitting wall
1170 4682Item pick up
1180 5077Empty M-75
1220 4634Invincibilty power up on lava


For more information on sounds in Pathways and the reuse of Minotaur sounds in Pathways see today's update at the Pathways Into Darkness page.


Back in June 10, 1997 Angus McIntyre spotted the similarity between the "Hindmost Creche" reference in Marathon Infinity and Larry Niven's use of the term "Hindmost" in his Ringworld series in connection with the Puppeteers. Now Jonathan Tan <j.tan@access.net.au> now writes:

the Pupperteers in Ringworld, decided to reap their harvest of the 'lucky-human breeding program', and they found a girl, by the name of teela brown, who was, conincidentally the product of 7 generations of people who were allowed to breed by lottery.

7...

hmmm...

Popular number that seven! ;-)


Jan 15, 2000 (Saturday)

Rob Swenson (aka Noctavis) <noctavis@paxnimbus.com>, co-maintainer of the Core, posted a transcript of Joseph Staten's rendition of the Halo back story from Bungie's Gathering of Fans at Macworld Expo San Francisco. This version was given the night before the version on bTV (see Jan 9). It's interesting to compare both versions. I've taken the liberty of reprinting it here for the record:

Transcript of the Halo story described at Club-I

Posted By: Noctavis =PN= on Saturday, 01.15.00, at 3:35 a.m.

Well... I downloaded and viewed the video material supplied by SiliconDream and DeusExMachina... a lot of it is difficult to hear. I'll have to see if we can extract more from the audio.

In the mean time, I've transcribed the basic Halo plot from the video. Probably not anything you haven't heard described by Silly or Xzzy, but you might like to read it, just the same. I've tried to be as accurate as possible, but it was a difficult transcription... pipe up if you were there and heard differently. And if you happen to be handy with any good audio programs that can help to bring out the material by Matt Soell and certain other Bungie employees, please let me know.

Have at it.

-Noctavis

The transcript:

Because it's a Bungie game and Jason's making it, it's much more complex.... [garbled]... If you will bear with me, I can tell you about... something that's happening in the far future. We're not quite sure about the date as of yet for obvious reasons.

The Humans have colonized far out into the Milky Way, and they'v created a number of outposts. Unfortunately for us, as we've created these outposts we've run into a big group of aliens know as the Covenant... or at least that's what we think we understand from the transmissions they send immediately before destroying us without saying a word.

It's pretty brutal. They blast into our systems and just raze our planets without warning, sending us very cryptic, slightly religious, very zealous messages. If you can imagine the Milky Way galaxy, and down here on some outer spiral arm is Earth (Sol), we've sort-of colonized inward and the Covenant fleet is coming directly down from a variety of different directions... gradually getting closer and closer to Earth.

We have this final battle, a really big [garbled] battle [garbled] in one of the Human systems and we get our asses totally whupped. The final ship that survives, which is called the Pillar of Autumn... the commander of the ship, she decides that she's going to set a course far out into the galaxy somewhere... to some random destination as far away from Earth as she can possibly find. And she sets these coordinates for the ship's A.I., and the ship's A.I. takes over and they blast off into space.

Now when they get to this location they find a couple of cool things... [garbled] Well, you guys have all seen the trailer, right? So, they find a couple of cool things. They find this big gas-giant planet and they find this little moon. Now the name of the gas giant is "Threshold" [Someone speaks off camera, and he turns the mic to point that direction... but it's garbled] The name of the moon is Basis, and right in the middle between this big-ass gas giant and this little, tiny moon is this foreign object. And upon close inspection they find that this object is, in fact, a ring structure [garbled] close to a thousand miles in diameter, it has some gravity, it has continents, different climate zones, all of that sort of thing. Most importantly, it can support life on the inside of the ring.

Unfortunately for the crew of the Pillar of Autumn, as soon as they arrive in the system they meet a big-ass Covenant battle fleet, which has arrived there before them. They get blown to bits but do a pretty good job of destroying the other ships - the Covenant ships.

So the Ship's A.I. on the Pillar of Autumn is pretty good... Um.. You'll find out more about the A.I. later [laughing by people off-screen]. It's pretty smart, and what happens just before the ship breaks up is a variety of different military officers bail out of the ship, they dump equipment, they dump supplies... it all lands, scattered around the Halo ring. And you, this very elite military officer, get jettisoned out of the craft, and you burn through the atmosphere and you land on the ring, and what happens from them on is a guerrilla war between you and... [he looks off to his right for a second]... and a fukk-ton of aliens [more laughing]... You go around the ring, you try to gather your friends, you try to gather your equipment, gather your vehicles and beat the hell out of the Covenant.

Meanwhile, you're discovering the secrets of the Halo ring, itself, and as the game progresses, you realize that whomever understands and harnesses the technology of the ring is not just going to understand this cool ring-structure but is actually going to win the war, save the universe, go home happy [garbled]... [clapping starts]... Oh yeah... all of that happens before the game starts.


Mike Schapiro <mikeschappy@ameritech.net> writes concerning the map hologram room as seen in the current Halo movies:

As I was watching the new (day4) Halo footage, I noticed something about the big room we first see the marine standing in. A) The room is quite circular with a hall way leading out the bottom/back/whichever direction you feel like. B) Except for a narrow walkway, there is no floor. I drew a very rough floorplan in Photoshop, and it's pretty interesting, to say the least.

P.S. It's color coded: Blue is a wall that may or may not exist in that shape. White is the walkway + the hallway. Yellow is a wall seperating the Holograph room from the rest of the base.

Very nice. The Halo marine does stand on a circular platform in the middle of a spherical room. And the floorplan is oddly familar... as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...


Another type of floorplan. James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> writes:

You know that FanFest photo on the B.net page, the one sent in by Freewill on the thirteenth? Well, look at the positions of the people in the picture, and think about what their group would resemble if you were floating above them.

7
:)

Nice one there Freewill & Bungie :)

Hehehe...


Charles George <dystopia@jps.net> writes:

Just wanted to tell you about a few things, first of all there is a really informative post over at the core. It put's a completely new perspective on those little cryptic messages in the first Halo page. It actually explains the Pillar of Autumns and Covenant meetings.

http://www.daboyz.org/core/cgi-bin/forums/halo/index.pl?read=12545

Secondly when perusing my Quake III manual I noticed this description on the character model Hunter, "When her village on Tau Ceti was decimated by the Sorg, hunter vowed to seek out and destroy the reptiloids wherever they might hide." Not much but still a Marathon connection.


Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> writes:

This could be interesting for some of the Covenant search party members:

http://www.macobserver.com/news/00/january/000113/distantsuns51.shtml

More info on SETI can be found here. If you want to help find the Covenant before they find you join the Halo SETI marines. ;-)


Jan 14, 2000 (Friday)

Day 4 of Bungie TV has now been archived. Two versions are available 41MBs and 269MBs. Check out Bungie's bTV Archive page. Day four has more Halo footage, a short clip of the Bungie Fan Fest, rants by Doug Zartman and Matt Soell, more Bungie letters (answered by Matt Soell), some Marathon "Bob" impersonisations, more Matt Soell, some water throwing (by Matt Soell), even more Matt Soell. Did I mention Matt Soell? Matt pretty much dominates day four's transmission... I think he sat on Joseph's programme schedule. ;-)


If you're just looking for the Halo footage from Day 4's bTV broadcast head on over to halo.bungie.org. They've got the Halo footage from Day 3 and Day 4.


Some good news. According to a post made by Joseph Staten on both the Core and HBO forums some footage from Day 1 (Wednesday, Jan 5) of Bungie TV has been rescued. It will be uploaded to the bTV Archive... soon.


More Marathon Infinity films from the National Macintosh Gaming Championships at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2000 have come to light. These have been included in a new package of films along with a corrected Read Me. You can grabbed it from bungie.org at:

ftp://planet.bungie.org/pub/nmgc2000.marathon.films.hqx
ftp://carnage.bungie.org/nmgc2000.marathon.films.hqx


William Cromie <wjcromie@midway.uchicago.edu> writes concerning Rob Schultz's comments yesterday about Threshold - the name of Halo's gas giant:

Just thought that the etymology might be interesting. The Romans believe that thresholds had great power. Every time they crossed a threshold they said a prayer to Janus the God of thresholds. They were considered very dangerous places because when you are on a threshold you are neither here nor there. This use of the word threshold is critical in Vergi's Aeniad.

Interesting stuff. Since Bungie have a penchant for using mythological terms in their games the naming of Halo's gas giant may be of significance. More details on the Roman god Janus can be found here.


Check out http://www.thresholds.com/ for some Halo'ish swirls. ;-)


Mauro Braunstein <EllBrau@aol.com> writes:

Regarding the Convergent Series company, it makes me think that it is called that because Jason Jones converged his efforts to work with Alexander Seropian. He chose that book title as its name because of this. If it were because of the convergence of Marathon and PiD (they don't truly converge. They just connect), they'd keep it around for the rest of Marathon. At least the first Marathon. Jason probably decided that Bungie didn't need another one-person affiliate company when Bungie started hiring more employees. Strange thing is, I don't recall Convergent Series being ever mentioned in the Scrapbook...

Some things are best left unwritten. ;-)


On the subject of Larry Niven and his sci-fi influences in Marathon and Halo Andy Evanson <BaronMind@netscape.net> writes:

I'd like to mention that Larry Niven will be the Guest of Honor at the Chicago-based Capricon XX, January 27-30. Info is at www.capricon.org if anyone's interested.

Wonder if Bungie will be there?


Are we martians? Bryan Mendoza <brymen@inficad.com> sent along an interesting CNN news article about life on Mars... and asks are we rejects from Mars? err... sorry that should be ejects! ;-)


Jan 13, 2000 (Thursday)

Rob Schultz <silvertail@howling.com> writes about the Halo back story as told at the Bungie Fan Fest at Macworld Expo:

At the Bungie fan Gathering, which I attended, we were given a synopsis of Halo's story. Joe described the Halo system, which included the gas giant "Threshold". I belive this was mentioned, but when he gave the name of Threshold he stopped for a moment with a legitimate look of "oops!". Heh.. I don't think we were supposed to hear that. Anyhow, here's my theory.

It struck me odd that the little Halo ring, albeit full of alien technology, could turn the tides of the Covenant war. It also seemed odd that the creators of the ring would build it out in the middle of nowhere between two, rather plain, celestial bodies (Threshold and Basis).

I thought about it for a while and came up with this: What is a "Threshold" commonly associated with? A doorway. Stew on that one for a while...

Doorway... paths... convergence... Convergent Series. A new addition to Facts and puzzling things about... . It's been on the back burner for some time. Contains some interesting connections between Bungie's early games, Halo, Larry Niven, and Charles Sheffield. Enjoy... oh and you can add more books to the Marathon/Halo reading list. :-)


Leland Tankersley <leland@tridsys.com> writes concerning yesterday's submission about Halo's networking programmer:

Concerning the "appropriate" name for the new Halo network programmer, I'm fairly certain that the name in question isn't the person's real-life name (first or last) but rather their online handle. I'll just leave it at that.


Similarly Dennis Taylor <dennis@funkplanet.com> writes:

Konrad is by no means a "new" network programmer at Bungie. He did the metaserver code for Myths I and II, as I recall.


And finally Chris Butcher <cbutcher@hermes.otago.ac.nz> reveals all:

The reason that Mr. Sinclair's name is rather apposite to his job description is, of course, because he is the rather infamous "My Modem Is On Fire" of bungie.net fame.


Jan 12, 2000 (Wednesday)

Bungie.org have posted the films to the Marathon Infinity finals and semifinals of the National Macintosh Gaming Championships at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2000. The films were kindly made available by Mac3D.com and Double Exposure. Special thanks to Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> for gathering and compiling the films. There are two download sites:

ftp://planet.bungie.org/pub/nmgc2000.marathon.films.hqx
ftp://carnage.bungie.org/nmgc2000.marathon.films.hqx.


Will Vuong <will@iliad.com> points out that Marathon didn't make CNET Gamecenter's Top 40 Electronic Games of the Millennium list but it did get an honorable mention. Which is something in the PC dominated gaming world. Somewhat surprisingly Myth or Myth II didn't even get a mention.


The backSP1N column at Mac 3D Dot Com has an interesting article on "Sadistic Gamers" or gamers who use emotionally florid language during network games. Here is one amusing quote:

I mean, no one really wants to rape someone's posterior with a rocket...do they?

Marathon netplay was never like this... right? ;-)


Alan Greene <alan@rifted.com> writes:

A while back, the Story page reported that Halo had a new networking programmer. He would remain anonymous for the time being, but a Bungie official mentioned that his name was very appropriate.

According to Claude Errera's interview with Matt Soell, this name would either be Shirinian or Sinclair.

Alan is referring to the current Halo development team as listed by Matt Soell. Namely:

Jason Jones - Project Lead
Konrad Shirinian - Network code
Chucky Gough - Physics
Matt Segur - Programmer
Paul Russell - Art
Rob McLees - Art
Shikai Wang - Art
Marcus Lehto - Art
Jamie Griesemer - Design
Stefan Sinclair - Networking (Bungie.net III)

All I'll say is that Bungie.net III is in safe hands! :-)


Jan 11, 2000 (Tuesday)

Day 3 (Friday, Jan 7) of Bungie TV has now been archived. Two versions are available (32Mbs) and (211MBs). Check out Bungie's bTV Archive page.


Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> writes about Halo and the Marathon timeline:

One thing to note about your observations on Halo not being far enough in the future to coincide with the Marathon timeline: At the fan gathering, he [Joseph Staten] said he wouldn't mention any dates, because no one really pays attention to dates. That got a laugh. :)

All the more strange that Joseph should then say next day on Bungie TV:

"It's a couple hundred years in the future."


Added Friday Night Death™ to the Film Pages of Page 2401 The site is primarily for network films. Each film has a description and stats so you can decide if you want to see it before downloading. Contains a nice piece on "What is Marathon and why do we still play it five years after it was released?" Also has some links to ranks about violence in games. Thanks to Nicholas Mills <niko@teragraf.com> for the link.


Jan 10, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update 13:30 PST

Claude Errera (Mr. Marathon Archives and general borgsbody) managed to corner Matt Soell in one of his more lucid moments at Macworld Expo and asked him a few questions. Actually he asked him ALOT of questions but unfortunately most of the answers were unprintable... or was that incoherent? ;-)

Anyway you can read the Matt Soell Interview here. Thanks to both Claude and Matt for their time.


Another interesting tidbit popped up on the Core forums. It relates to Joseph Staten's rendition of Halo's back story at the Bungie Fan Fest last Wednesday evening. This was before he gave the Bungie TV (Day 2) version. I've taken the liberty of reprinting the full post below:

Thresold and Basis

Posted By: Kel on Monday, 01.10.00, at 10:34 a.m.

Sorry if this is duplicitous, but one thing I made note of at the Bungie Gathering at Club-I was the names of the Gas giant and the moon(planet?) between which the Halo spins. Joe named the gas giant Threshold, and the other celestial body Basis. Other neat info was that he classified the person in charge of the Pillar of Autumn as a "she." Finally, if the Milky Way is the face of a wrist watch, and Sol is at about 7 o'clock on the outer edge of the clockface, Joe described the Covenant as coming from 10 o'clock, half way between the center of edge of the clockface. In this description he characterized we humans as having colonized inwards towards the Covenant, and the Covenant as having traveled outwards towards us, our meeting having been the beginning of the Covenant's attacks.

More fodder for the rumormill.

Woo,
Kel

Apparently the Fan Fest was recorded so it'll be interesting to hear exactly what Joseph said that night and compare it with the Bungie TV version.


Thanks to all those who have written in about Joseph Staten's rendition of Halo's back story on Bungie TV (Day 2). Lots of speculation but first off note Joseph's opening remark (starts at 04:29 in the movie):

It's... a couple hundred years in the future...

This does not sound like Halo is set at the end of 28th century during the 17 years between Marathon (2794 AD) and Marathon 2 (2811 AD). It's also not easy to see how Joseph's description fits into the Marathon timeline. The UESC Marathon was launched in 2472 AD. This would appear to be mankind's first colony endeavor outside the Sol system. The Marathon manual recounts the launch of the UESC Marathon as follows:

With apprehension, the same apprehension you felt three hundred and twenty-two years earlier, you envision Marcus Tiberius Buendia, one of Sol's greatest leaders. "Mankind will venture out past its earthly bounds, and move into a future grander and more real than the total of its own written history." Buendia, the president of the Unified Earth Space Council, had spoken those words to the people of the Sol System on the eve of the launching of the Marathon.

2472 AD is more than a couple hundred years in the future. It's more like half a millennium. So how can Halo be based in the Marathon timeline if as Joseph Staten states:

It's a couple hundred years in the future. Earth has, the people of Earth have, gone out and colonized the galaxy.

In the Marathon timeline mankind had only just begun to colonize the galaxy some 500 years in the future.


Raul Bonilla <lassonde@hotmail.com> highlights some similarities between Marathon's story and what we know of Halo's back story from Joseph:

Let's see:

This (The Covenant) isn't just one alien (race). It's actually a conglomeration of different alien races, none of which are particularly nice; on the whole they're especially nasty.

"Durandal told me there are many "clans" of Pfhor,
each one physically distinct from each other"

(Defend THIS! - terminal 0).

Whenever they (the Covenant) come in contact with one of the human outposts they wipe it out utterly without any word, without any warning, a couple cryptic messages, but then they raise the planet in a tremendous firestorm.

"Today at 0820, the Marathon came under surprise attack
from unkown hostile forces. The Marathon has sustained
serious damage"

(Arrival - terminal 0).

(In both cases, the aliens wipe out the humans by surpise and suffer great losses)

The commander of this human ship decides that rather than lead the aliens closer and closer to earth that they're going to plot a course to some random destination in the galaxy and lead the aliens away with them.

"Tau Ceti's sacrifice bought time for Earth,
which the Pfhor are even now planning to invade.
What would have happened if the Pfhor had found Sol first?"

(The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune - terminal 0).

The human ship comes into the system, makes these very quick discoveries, but before it can do anything else it's attacked by the Covenant battle fleet and broken into bits.

This sounds like the Marathon 2 intro, with one ship controlled by the good guys aganist an entire fleet lead by the bad guys, except that in this case the good guys ship is destroyed (instead of Durandal tearing appart Battle Group Three).

Aliens land on the ring and they engage you and your former crewmembers in a variety of battles around the ring.

After Durandal is forced to land on Lh'owon's second moon and is captured by Tycho, the Pfhor and the human forces led by Robert Blake (formers crew members of the Marathon) engage into combat while you, the player, run around different locations waking up Thoth, the dorman S'pht AI.

(Remember that in Halo you're going to search for alien technology that will help you in the war aganist the Covenant while in Marathon 2 Durandal come to Lh'owon "searching for something, a weapon or piece of knowledge to use to stop the Phfor's conquest of the galaxy" (Waterloo Waterpark - terminal 0).

You, the main character of the game, an elite military officer, are able to bail out of the breaking apart human ship at the very last minute and burn through the atmosphere of the ring, which is Halo, land on the surface of the ring, and what begins is a guerrilla war between you and this massive, overwhelming, alien fleet.

You, the player in Marathon, a security officer who's the best of it's kind, escapes from the Mirata in a maneuvering pod seconds before it's blow 'till kingdom come and land in the Marathon, then begin "a guerrilla war between you and this massive, overwhelming, alien" force.

Yes lots of similarities here. :-)


Episkopos Pushkin <pushkin@disinfo.net> points out that the Double Aught Software home page is no longer contactable. Their Duality page is still up however.


Jan 9, 2000 (Sunday)

Well Macworld Expo is over and with it Bungie TV, or should we say Soell TV since Matt Soell dominated the last day of the show with a number of amusing anecdotes. Good to see Matt answer Terrence Nowicki's "brain collection" question. Few people will probably know about Matt's "brain in a jar" collection. At one point Matt remarked:

"I'm not even quite sure how the brain jar fetish thing got out."

Well the Bungie Webmaster let that one slip out back '97. In a reply to a reader's letter he wrote:

Matt moved down the hall to a new office last week, which is somewhat beneficial in that it keeps him the hell away from everyone else but also means that we can't keep him on as short a leash as we used to.

Consequently, some of you may have seen strange, barely-intelligible postings from Matt in the last few weeks. We've been working hard to have these deleted, but if any of you have read them, please be assured that Matt's opinions are not representative of Bungie. We don't know where he got that stuff about keeping Hitler's brain in a jar. And that "I am the God of Hellfire" routine was even less funny after he crossposted it to every newsgroup.

We are taking measures to improve the quality of his work. Currently, these measures are limited to nailing him with a tranquilizer dart when he arrives in the morning. Jay is experimenting with the dosages, and we hope to eventually leave him awake enough to work; right now he's just knocked out for several hours, and when he's asleep he tends to make these weird keening noises that echo down the hall and scare everyone.


Day 4 of Bungie TV has been archived at http://homepage.mac.com/josephaw/imovie4.html. Thanks to Josephaw <JosephAW@Mac.com>. If you haven't seen it take a look. It'll crack you up! :-)


Bungie's bTV archive page states that both Day 3 and Day 4 broadcasts will be available soon but as Cian Wigham <billwigham@esatclear.ie> quickly pointed out:

Day 1 recordings have now changed from being "available at a future date" to being "not available"

Which is rather a shame. However I would imagine that the prerecorded Bungie East tour should still be available. Joseph Staten (bTV host) and the Bungie tech guys did a great job in this the first of hopefully many bTV webcasts. Thanks guys. The bTV e-mail address <btv@bungie.com> will be live for a week or so for feedback. Drop Joe a line to show your appreciation and while you're at it ask him for the prerecorded stuff from the Day 1 show. ;-)


Thanks to Harry Al-Shakarchi <ha99ab@badger.ac.brocku.ca> and Nick Mason <themasons@ozemail.com.au> for both pointing out that MacCentral has a news article about Bungie at Macworld. Part of the text reads:

"Bungie is known to have a few other irons in the fire that haven't been publicly announced yet, as well. While details about some of these projects won't be made public until later this year, Zartman does indicate that one announcement is coming very soon. "It will be something of interest to the Marathon community," said Zartman."

Nick goes on to add:

"It will be something of interest to the Marathon community." Sounds like the source code to me...I can't think offhand of anything else that would be of interest to us Marathoners.


Thanks also to Harry for pointing out that Mac 3D Dot Com have posted the names of the winners of the National Macintosh Gaming Championship at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2000. In the Marathon category the winners were:

Marathon Infinity - Fred Torres
Marathon Infinity (Team) - Reed Waller and Michael Garrison


Matthew Dujnic <matt@duj.org> writes:

Delightful. I remember reading of the Bungie "grab Bag" ages ago, and I never imagined that I'd actually be a contributor to it. What a twisted honor.

Anyway, one of my cast members (a fellow Marathon fan) passed along a surprising discovery: Our movie had made the grab bag, and by extension, the Marathon Story page.

The movie I'm referring to is "BagelShop," the short video that Mark Levin won.

The fact that Matt Soell panned the movie is decidedly beside the point, as I trust Bungie's judgement in games far more than I do their cinematic tastes. That said, my little production company is certainly NOT up to the task of actually producing the Marathon movie, but we coulda shopped a great script.

In fact, when I mailed Bungie with the idea for optioning the script rights, I didn't expect them to write me back, much less ask for a pitch. When they actually did, I nearly fell out of my chair. This was immediately followed by the realization that they'd basically called my bluff. ;-)

I was laughing to myself as I put together the promotional materials. But with indy filmmaking, any exposure is good exposure. And its inclusion in the grab bag probably counts as the largest piece of exposure that the movie has ever recieved.

Just thought I'd bring this esoteric topic full-circle. If anyone wants to know more "Facts and Puzzling Things about BagelShop" you can visit our website at www.area337.com.

The Area 337 Productions site offers a 2 minute (6MBs) trailer of the BagelShop movie. And remember Mark Levin has the full 37 minutes of this comedy movie. ;-)


Merkinja7a <merkinjata@paxnimbus.com> has posted (at the Core forums) a transcript of Joseph Staten's description of Halo's back story from Thursday's edition of Bungie TV. I've taken the liberty of copying it out in full below:

Halo Backstory Transcript

Posted By: Merkinja7a =PN= on Saturday, 01.8.00, at 3:05 p.m.

I pulled this from the Thursday edition of bTV for those of you that didn't get a chance to see it or want a hard copy to discuss ;)

-- Begin Transmission --

So I thought I'd take some time and give you guys the basic story of Halo so you know what to expect.

You all should gather round, get some popcorn, get a warm blanket, curl up in bed and get ready for a bTV story.

Do we have some kind of fancy little graphic video fade we can do Jason? Alright, let this suffice *waves arms while saying "woo woo"*

So, here's the story of Halo:

It's a couple hundred years in the future. Earth has, the people of Earth have, gone out and colonized the galaxy. They made a number of different outposts in one particular region of the galaxy and are doing fairly well until they run into a massive group of aliens called the Covenant.

Now, keep in mind this isn't just one alien. It's actually a conglomeration of different alien races, none of which are particularly nice; on the whole they're especially nasty. They're pretty zealous; they have a lot of really zealous religious fervor. Whenever they come in contact with one of the human outposts they wipe it out utterly without any word, without any warning, a couple cryptic messages, but then they raise the planet in a tremendous firestorm. They're destroying all the human systems and the unfortunate thing is they're getting closer and closer to Earth.

Now we have a final setpiece battle with the aliens at one of the last remaining Human colonies that is not Earth. We get totally obliterated except for one human ship. The commander of this human ship decides that rather than lead the aliens closer and closer to earth that they're going to plot a course to some random destination in the galaxy and lead the aliens away with them.

So, they set this random course, they log it into the computer's AI, the AI blasts them out of the system and oddly enough the entirety of the alien force follows them. Not one ship, not a couple, but every single Covenant battleship follows this one human ship.

Now when this one human ship arrives at this uncharted destination they find a couple cool things in the system. They find a big gas giant planet that has a moon orbiting around it. In between the two things is this ring structure, something they've never seen before. It's 10,000 miles in diameter, it has an atmosphere, it has continents, and it can support life. It's a habitat, you can live on it.

The human ship comes into the system, makes these very quick discoveries, but before it can do anything else it's attacked by the Covenant battle fleet and broken into bits. Before the ship is destroyed however the commander of the ship is able to jettison certain essential supplies, troops that remain alive, and vehicles. All these different things land in various places on the Halo ring.

You, the main character of the game, an elite military officer, are able to bail out of the breaking apart human ship at the very last minute and burn through the atmosphere of the ring, which is Halo, land on the surface of the ring, and what begins is a guerrilla war between you and this massive, overwhelming, alien fleet. Aliens land on the ring and they engage you and your former crewmembers in a variety of battles around the ring.

So that's the basic back-story of Halo. All that happens before the game begins. And again the game of Halo is a 3rd person action game; it's all about action from minute to minute. It tells the story of you, one person alone, with your friends, with weapons, with vehicles, fighting a guerrilla war against a fairly overwhelming alien force.

-- End Transmission --


Jan 8, 2000 (Saturday)

Bungie have finally archived Thursday's (Day 2) bTV webcast. Two versions (small and large) are available and the quality is very good. No sign of Wednesday's (Day 1) bTV webcast as of yet.


Today's bTV webcast covers more Bungie Culture, more Halo, and an interview with Doug Zartman. The full schedule is as follows:

Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie Culture 101
3Dfx Interview
Halo Special (part II)
2 Minutes of Zartman

It starts at 10.30am PST.


Tom Bridge <tbridge@wheel.dcn.davis.ca.us> writes:

Briefly spoke with Matt Soell at Expo in San Fran today about #2. I casually brought up #2 while purchasing a Bungie coffee mug (BTV logo included) and he mentioned that its release was "imminent" and would probably take place during the week following the end of Expo. Sounds good.


According to a Mac Observer news article Bungie are to spotlight Halo at ths year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on May 11-13th in Los Angeles, California. Part of the text reads:

Bungie Software will be showing their next generation multiplayer game, Halo, at E3 this spring. Doug Zartman, PR Spokesperson for Bungie, told The Mac Observer that the company will be demonstrating the team-oriented game at the show. "Yeah, we're going to dominate E3," says Mr. Zartman. A release date for he game has not been announced, but Mr. Zartman is saying that sometime during the second half of 2000 is a goal. The team currently is currently working on multiplayer functionality.

The article also makes reference to an unannounced project by the team formerly known as the Myth 2 development team.


Harry Al-Shakarchi <ha99ab@badger.ac.brocku.ca> writes:

The robocam may have been removed off the Bungie main page, but the images it makes now reside at http://soffish.bungie.com/

The Robocam disappeared from Bungie's front page about three days ago.


Jan 7, 2000 (Friday)

Quick update #4 14:30 PST

Thanks to Harry Al-Shakarchi (aka TomeOne) <ha99ab@badger.ac.brocku.ca> for pointing out that Bungie are now looking for a Lead Engineer for a new project. Part of the blurb reads:

Lead Engineer

With Oni holding down the Western Front and Halo steadily advancing on the South, Bungie is seeking a Lead Engineer to guide our engineering forces as they prepare for our upcoming Eastern Campaign. Stationed at our Command Headquarters here in Chicago, you will be responsible for creating BungieÕs next technical masterpiece, thus guaranteeing the success of our plans for world domination.

...upcoming Eastern Campaign? Now what could that be? ;-)


Harry goes on to say that Bungie's International page has also been updated.


Quick update #3 13:12 PST

Day 3 of Bungie TV has been archived at http://homepage.mac.com/josephaw/imovie3.html. Thanks to Josephaw <JosephAW@Mac.com>.



Quick update #2 11:27 PST

Bungie TV showed a two minute clip of new Halo footage a few minutes ago. It was explained that the footage was culled from a larger demo to be shown to the Asian market by Peter Tamte. The footage was very similar in parts to the German PC Action Halo movie which was in fact a film taken of Bungie's Halo/Oni demo for the European market.

Apart from Halo the world now knows how to pronounce Matt Soell's last name (Sell not Soul). :-)


Quick update #1 04:13 PST

Thanks to Zach Stroum <durandal@u.washington.edu> for sending in the current EtherLife comic which has a tongue-in-cheek look at Halo and rampant AIs. Check out the EtherLife site and put a smile on your face. Nice one Zach. :-)


At the time of writing Bungie still haven't archived their bTV webcasts. However Josephaw <JosephAW@Mac.com> has kindly made the 2nd day's broadcast available at his Apple server site at http://homepage.mac.com/josephaw/. If you missed the 2nd show now's your chance to see it.


Today's bTV webcast should prove interesting and includes: Matt Soell, Bungie Culture 101 and a Halo special. The full schedule is as follows:

Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie Culture 101
ATI Interview
Halo Special (part 1)
2 Minutes of Soell

It starts at 10.30am PST and not 10.00am as previously advertised.


Two new Halo screenshots have been sighted at Gamespot and IGN PC. Other sites have one or other of the shots. Worth a look.


Nice post by Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) on The Core forums concerning Bungie's fans. You can see it at:

http://www.daboyz.org/core/cgi-bin/forums/halo/index.pl?read=11825

See also yesterday's Core posts below.


Jan 6, 2000 (Thursday)

Quick update 01:49am PST

Thanks to Seth Graham (aka Xzzy) <sether@xzzy.org> for pointing out that he has made two posts to The Core forums giving further details on last night's "Gathering of Fans". You can see them at:

http://www.daboyz.org/core/cgi-bin/forums/halo/archive/index.pl?read=11747

http://www.daboyz.org/core/cgi-bin/forums/halo/archive/index.pl?read=11759

Lots of interesting stuff in there. You'll note in Seth's first post that #2 is allegedly "8 megs uncompressed" which is different from SiliconDream's "8 MB compressed" description below.


Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> kindly sent in this report of last night's "Gathering of Fans" hosted by at Miguel Chavez and Bungie at Club I:

Hi there, I thought I would try to be the first to give you the lowdown on the post-MacWorld Bungie fan gathering, hosted by Miguel Chavez. Beware, I have been up for 21 hours, so this is long-winded.

Miguel opened the evening by briefly introducing Alex Seropian, who thanked us for coming and thought it was cool that we were there.

Marty O'Donnell popped in, and Miguel called for an orchestra of 25 PCs playing the Myth II intro simultaneously, as a welcome for him. He answered a few questions about the music in Oni and Halo, noting that the theme heard in the Halo trailer was intended to provide a solid impact at MacWorld NY. He mentioned that although much of the sound for Halo is still in its early stages, some themes from the trailer piece may work their way into the final score, provided that it fits properly. Apparently, context-sensitive music will be a feature in the game. Halo on DVD, anyone?

Matt Soell took the stage next. The pronunciation of his last name is still a mystery, as Miguel refused to say it out loud. Matt answered exactly seven questions from the crowd, covering #2, Myth II 1.3.1, Halo and Oni editors (or lack thereof), and whether or not there will be an Internet-compatible version of Marathon. He deftly avoided most of the questions with Soon™ and the crowd understood. However, he did say that #2 is at his house, and that he would disregard things like sleep and personal hygiene until he had it out the door.

Miguel ushered Alex back up to the stage. Alex was also eager to avoid questions about various topics, such as consoles and the future of Bungie in general. He was very soft-spoken, so I didn't catch much. Rather odd for a man leading a subversive campaign for world domination. But I did make out his comment that Bungie would like to continue using bTV for conferences in the future. He also said that due to technical difficulties, Wednesday's edition of the bTV broadcast may not be archived in full, or perhaps at all.

Sales guru Jim made a few comments about wanting to produce more Bungie merchandise, and informed us of the new bTV mugs that are for sale. He also reminded the crowd to save the Bungie Points that appear on The Total Codex and upcoming Bungie products, as they will be redeemable for something or other.

Next, Joe spoke. He had a story to tell, and it went a little something like this:

"Sometime in the future (no date determined yet), humans explored the galaxy and colonized in various places. They travelled from Sol, towards the center of the Milky Way, laying down colonies here and there. Even once in a while, these posts got a cryptic, religiously-toned message from a group of aliens, just before being completely destroyed. After several of these attacks, the humans determined from the messages that the aliens were called the Covenant.

It turns out that the aliens originated from somewhere on the other side of the galaxy, and were themselves exploring and conquering different regions. At one point in time, the humans and the Covenant engaged in an enormous war, and the humans were annihilated. One of the surviving ships in the human fleet was the Pillar of Autumn. The commander of this ship, in a desperate attempt to flee, set course for some remote location in the galaxy. She punched in the coordinates, and off went the Pillar of Autumn.

Upon arriving at their arbitrary destination, the humans found themselves among three celestial bodies. One was a gas giant, named Threshold; the second was a moon, named Basis; the third was a relatively small ring, approximately 10,000 miles in diameter. The ring had an atmosphere, continents, varying climates, its own gravity, and was very much supportive of life.

It soon became clear that the Covenant were near. Another battle was fought, the humans once again slaughtered. As a final measure before the Pillar of Autumn fell apart, the AI on board the ship deployed an army of military personnel and some artillery. This army battled an enormous fleet of aliens, all the while trying to discover the technology behind the ring on which they fought. The race that found out the secrets of the ring would be those that would win the battle, and ultimately the universe."

It is worth noting that Joe had that look of "whoops" when he mentioned Threshold, and looked over to see if Alex had heard him. He then continued quickly, and mentioned what sounded like "Basis" as the name for the moon. He was trying to cover himself, so I may have heard wrong. There was no mention of a Space Cheerio.

It is also worth noting that Joe used a much stronger, more heartfelt word than "enormous" to emphasize the number of aliens that the humans would battle on the ring. His story, I think, was the highlight of the evening.

After that, we got cozy for a charming group photo. The attendees then engaged in 16 gruelling rounds of 90-minute Myth II deathmatches, and I was one of two players that pulled ahead and walked away with a Soulblighter pencil holder. That's a lie, actually there was just a drawing, and I got lucky.

When I looked up, most of the crowd had disappeared, and the pizza along with it. I was forced to purchase a bagel at 10:15, as I recovered from several hours of Myth II.

Naturally, the event was marvelously successful. I would imagine that I'm not alone in wanting to thank Miguel and Bungie for pulling this off. They rock.

That's all for now. Time for a midnight bike ride home ...

Nice Halo story tidbits in there. Thanks Alan. :-)


Both The Core and halo.bungie.org have Forum posts with further details of the "Gathering of Fans". Most are by SiliconDream=PN=. I'm taking the liberty of reprinting the most comprehensive one below:

Halo stuff from the Expo

Posted By: SiliconDream=PN= <querl@uclink4.berkeley.edu>
Date: 6 January 2000, 3:35 a.m.

First, a few miscellaneous tidbits:

We met Marty O'Donnell at the Bungie booth, and he said that one of the things he's looking into for Halo is dynamic music, where tracks don't just turn on and off according to where you are and what you do, but vary their "emotional intensity" by altering individual instrument tracks and so forth while keeping the same basic tune.

Joe Staten (or Staaten, I forget how many a's) gave the diameter of the Halo as 10,000 *miles* and stuck to this figure when I asked him whether he meant kilometers.

We were told at the gathering--I think by Matt--that Halo is intended to be extensively modifiable and that, probably, the editors will be made available immediately upon release.

Matt sez #2 is 8 MB compressed, that it's on his hard drive, and that once the Expo is over he won't sleep or bathe until it's released. So Sunday or Monday, I'd guess.

That guy who ate the shirt on BTV? He just had his wisdom teeth out. There was blood on the shirt afterwards. Dedicated fan. :)

Now, here's my synopsis of Joe's talk about Halo's story. It has a couple of things Xzzy left out. I'd give it word for word, but I gave my camcorder tape to Deus Ex Machina for converting to Quicktime. Anyway, I'm sure someone will post a movie of his talk soon.

At an as-yet-unspecified point in the far future, humanity is steadily expanding into space, colonizing more and more systems. Colonies are probably fairly small at the moment--Joe called them "outposts." Our primary direction of colonization is toward the galactic core.

The Covenant's attack comes from this side (which, Marathon story buffs will note, implies that they may have explored L'howon), although they attack from many different directions (in other words, the coreward area they control is BIG). Little is known about them, as their only communications are brief transmissions of a seemingly religious nature before opening fire on whichever outpost they're currently attacking.

Humanity can offer little resistance to their superior numbers and tech, and in an enormous Star Wars-style space battle (described by Joe as "with star cruisers and all that stuff") the human fleet is annihilated. A single ship, the Pillar of Autumn, flees-- I didn't catch if Joe gave a specific motive for this but Xzzy says he said they're trying to decoy or confuse the Covenant--and its female captain puts the crew in stasis and hands over control of the ship to its AI. Joe said we were "going to hear a lot more about this AI later;" can anyone guess who it is? ;)

The ship, following an evasive course, eventually arrives at the Halo system, which contains (perhaps among other bodies) the gas giant Threshold, its moon Basis, and the Halo. Unfortunately it also contains an enormous Covenant fleet, which got there a little bit earlier. The human ship's AI puts up quite a fight and destroys most of the fleet, but the ship is disabled and crashes on the Halo. It ejects its crew before the crash and their escape pods land all over the ringworld. As the game opens, you, an elite, high-ranking military officer, have just woken from stasis and climbed out of your escape pod. And so begins the guerilla war, in which you will encounter, in Joe's words, a "f*ckload of aliens."

Then he sprinted from the mike before we could badger him with questions.

I'm DEFINITELY going back Saturday.

--SiliconDream

Interesting to note that #2 is 8 MB compressed. :-)


Bungie.org (one year old today... Happy Birthday!) have put up a "Bungie Org at MacWorld" report. The report is by Claude Errera , Clem Freeman, and Harry Al-Shakarchi and includes some pics. Very nice.


Bungie's bTV live webcast went off OK. Unfortunately the bTV: Archive page reads:

Due to technical difficulties
today's broadcast will not be
available until a later date.
Sorry for the inconvenience.

Let's hope they get that webcast up later today.

Today's schedule at 10 am PST is as follows:

Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie West Tour
Apple Interview
Oni Special (part II)
2 Minutes of Peter Tamte


Jan 5, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update #1 9.43am PST

According Bungie's bTV: Guide page today's schedule has been changed to feature 2 minutes of Bungie's CEO Alex Seropian rather than Matt Soell. The new schedule is as follows:

Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie East Tour
Oni Special (part I)
2 Minutes of Seropian

Macworld Expo San Francisco 2000 opens its doors to the public today. You can watch the Keynote live at 9 am PST on Apple's site here. Later in the day (1:00 to 1:30 pm PST) Bungie will air Bungie TV (bTV). Today's schedule comprises:

Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie East Tour
Oni Special (part I)
2 Minutes of Matt Soell

At last the world will finally learn how to pronounce Matt's last name. I won't spoil the surprise. If you can't make it don't worry the webcast will be archived on Bungie's site.

Don't forget you can send in questions for the live show by writing to <btv@bungie.com>. Warning though tricky or sensitive questions will unlikely be aired.

Will #2 be unveiled at Macworld? Only time will tell.

The Bungie Culture 101 program should prove interesting for those interested in Bungie history. Let's see what skeleton's will be aired or not. ;-)


Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> points out that the $7 entry fee per person to the "Bungie Gathering of Fans" tonight at 7.00 pm will be covered by Bungie. Nice gesture. Looks like the event is going to be a huge success.


Jan 4, 2000 (Tuesday)

As reported on many news sites yesterday Bungie are launching Bungie TV (bTV) at Macworld Expo San Francisco (January 5th-8th). The full press release is as follows:

CHICAGO - January 3, 2000 - Bungie Software today announced the launch of Bungie TV (bTV), a webcast running exclusive Bungie programming during the upcoming Macworld Expo (January 5th-8th) at www.bungie.com/btv. Featuring new footage of Bungie's highly anticipated games Oni and Halo, along with interviews with the developers and Bungie personnel, bTV uses the streaming capabilities of QuickTime 4 to bring the Expo to the web.

"We're fortunate in having some of the most dedicated fans in the world of gaming, and we are always looking for ways to communicate directly with them," notes Bungie founder and CEO Alexander Seropian. "bTV will webcast each day at least 30 minutes of news, interviews and clips of our latest software titles. We'll be answering viewer questions live on air, premiering new game footage and taking our cameras around the show floor. It's the most ambitious webcast yet from a game company and a taste of what people can expect in the future from Bungie."

In addition to the live webcast from the MacWorld show floor, pre-recorded footage will showcase Bungie's development hothouses in Chicago and San Jose and give a sneak peek into the development of Oni and Halo.

The Games

Oni is a third-person 3D action game that mixes hand-to-hand combat with gunplay. Set in the year 2032, you play Konoko, an elite agent of the Tech Crimes Task Force on a quest to infiltrate and destroy a ruthless crime syndicate. Enormous 3D environments designed by architects and a complex storyline make it an action game like no other.

Halo is a third-person perspective, sci-fi action epic set on a ring-shaped artificial world. In both single and multiplayer modes, players must wage an intense guerilla war against an overwhelming alien force using the arsenals and vehicles of distinct cultures. A nonlinear game, players have complete freedom of movement over open terrain. Halo features astonishing graphics and realistic effects.

The Webcast

30 minutes of new programming will debut every day during Macworld at the following times :

Wednesday, January 5th
1:00 to 1:30pm PST
---------------------
Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie East Tour
Oni Special (part I)
2 Minutes of Matt Soell


Thursday, January 6th
10 to 10:30am PST
---------------------
Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie West Tour
Apple Interview
Oni Special (part II)
2 Minutes of Peter Tamte


Friday, January 7th
10 to 10:30am PST
---------------------
Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie Culture 101
ATI Interview
Halo Special (part I)
2 Minutes of Alexander Seropian


Saturday, January 8th
10 to 10:30am PST
----------------------
Show Floor Coverage
bTV Mailbox
Bungie Culture 101
3dfx Interview
Halo Special (part II)
2 Minutes of Doug Zartman


Schedule subject to change. All segments will be automatically archived.

About Bungie Software

Based in Chicago, Bungie Software is a rarity in the electronic entertainment industry, a private corporation dedicated to both developing and publishing outstanding, immersive electronic games that surpass conventional technology and provide compelling and repeatable play. Bungie is currently developing the highly anticipated action games "Oni" and "Halo". For more information, surf to http://www.bungie.com.

Good to note that if you happen to miss the scheduled times the live coverage will be archived for future playback.


Charles George <dystopia@jps.net> writes:

I just caught this on Blues News in the Mail Bag,

From: Derek Carroll
Subject: ROTT stuff on OOTB

Just thought I'd dispute ROTT's claim to be the first to do voice over LAN for taunts, as well as the non-linear mission progression.

Who was first? Marathon, baby.

(some of the other claims are easily disputed by other games not in the fps genre, like bounce pads, used in every 2D side-scroller...)

-derek

Actually, that was a trivia question a while back (the voice-over-LAN thing). There's a reason I wrote those, and not Blue. ;)

I believe that ROTT is Rise of the triad, a decent FPS from 3Drealms, which did a few interesting things like weapon limitations, surrending and creative gibbing. OOTB is Out Of the Blue, the daily rant from blue of Blue's news. It's good to know Marathon players are interacting with the major PC game sites.

Agreed. The only way PC gamers will ever know about Marathon and some of its innovative features (for its time) are through posts like these.


Jan 3, 2000 (Monday)

Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> writes concerning the "Bungie Gathering of Fans during MWSF 2000":

Just a quick note of thanks to those of you that posted my news submission regarding the evening event on Jan 5th. Thanks to your help the event is definitely on! I have about 20-25 emails showing interest, which probably translates to 30-35 warm bodies the night of the event.

I also have confirmation that Marty O'Donnell, co-head of Total Audio, the folks that did the music and effects for the Myth series and now the upcoming Oni and Halo games, will be appearing at the event. This is in addition to the Bungie folks that are making an appearance.

Thanks and wish me luck :)

Good luck. :-) The "Gathering of Fans" is taking place at Club-I, San Francisco's only PC gaming center and cafe on Jan 5, Wednesday, from 7PM til closing. Contact Miguel at <JMChavez@aol.com> for full details.


Nathan Scheck <nscheck@apu.edu> makes an interesting discovery:

I had recently downloaded the Ferazel's Wand demo (newly released from Ambrosia Software), and like most demos, when you quit it, it shows some sort of a full screen advertisement for the full version. Well, something in this particular one caught my attention. After checking through my collection of Marathon 2 chapter screens, I confirmed my belief that Ferazel's ending screen was very closely based on (you could even say a parody of) the chapter screen for "Volunteers". Some obvious similarities are: Ferazel hides behind a pillar while an enemy stands on the other side, (he even holds the enemy's staff at the same angle), the overall orangeness of the picture, and the shape and positioning of the pillars. It looks like Craig Mullins has some fans at Ambrosia.

I'm enclosing a screenshot of the ending screen.

Yes indeed. Head on over to Jannes Peters' Marathon Shrine to compare Ferazel's Wand end screen with the Marathon 2 "Volunteers" chapter screen. You'll find it in the Picts section.


Steve Campbell <steve@bungie.org> writes to say that he has received an interesting letter from Brent Pease (former Oni Project Leader). Head on over to his Oni page and take a look.


Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> writes concerning Bungie's Soul:

I've just discovered the Soul is Y2K compliant :) Ask it anything with "Y2K" in it and you should receive an interesting response.


Romancing the Soul. Mike Sutton <littlemrhappy@yahoo.com> writes:

being the holidays i was rather lonely(some call it drunk) so i decided to propose the soul. i thought i was being romantic, but the soul saw strait through me. when i asked em "will you marry me?" the soul showed me religion instead of love.

Some people would rather no admit to this sort of thing! ;-)



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