Feb 28, 1999


I ain't got time to bleed! Daniel Gentry <gentry@virtu.sar.usf.edu> sure hasn't. He's just completed Acme Station with no hits, fists only. Don't believe it's possible? Then head over to the Marathon Vidmasters' Page at http://www.marathon.org/vidmaster/ and check out this film.


Added "Marathon Addicts Power Station (Mac Gamer's Ledge)" to the Link Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> for this link.


Feb 27, 1999


Inside Mac Games magazine have posted an interview with Oni Project Leader, Brent Pease. Worth taking a look.

IMG also posted the following News item yesterday:

Oni Quicktime Movie
Mac 3D Dot Com has posted a never before publicly seen QuickTime clip of Bungie's upcoming third person Action thriller, Oni.

If this is the same as the one publically available back in June 1998 then tut tut. At the time of writing Mac 3D Dot Com appeared to be down.

At the request of Bungie the recently uploaded Oni trailer was pulled from the Blue's News gaming site. The following explanation was offered:

The movie showing off gameplay from Bungie's upcoming Oni that was posted here earlier has been pulled at the request of Bungie. It turns out this was not intended for distribution, and is not representative of the game's current gameplay.

Story page regulars will have heard all this before. The Oni trailer was posted on Alex Okita's (lead artist Bungie West) site back in June 16, 1998 (See the What's New section). Several days later it was pulled on Bungie East's request. Those that downloaded it at the time noted the Marathon symbols in several scenes of the movie. In Nov 21, 1998 Alex Okita posted the following explanation as to why the Oni movie was pulled from his site.

"marketing" doesn't want to let anyone have it. they say that konoko looks better now than she did in the trailer. strange since the only change is a texture or two. sorry.....


Jesse Simko <jsimko@hampshire.edu> writes:

This evening I played the Nightfall demo, and I must say, it reminded me of Pathways Into Darkness. The similarities are interesting... both take place in pyramids, and in both the player walks at a snail's pace!! You also find out that people were in the pyramid long ago in both Nightfall and Pathways Into Darkness. It just "feels" so similar. Playing Nightfall, I was half expecting to meet a few headlesses, but anyway, just thought I'd let you know...

More information on Nightfall by Altor Systems can be found at http://www.altorsys.com/HTMLAltor/game.html.


Feb 26, 1999


Jonathan Andrews <vidboi@bellsouth.net> writes concerning a Power of Seven CD? See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Michael Zannetou <mzannetou@dial.pipex.com> writes:

I was re-reading the Marathon scrapbook recently and noticed this: "Alex who had won the right to a private office in a best-of-seven thumb wrestling tournament."

Yep, best-of-seven, will this madness ever end?

Matt Soell put that into the Scrapbook... it wasn't me... I didn't do it... it was Matt! Honest.


There are some interesting discussion threads at the Marathon Central's Future Discussion Forum. Worth a read if you are in the mood for some speculation.


Feb 25, 1999


Stephen Beveridge <painter@scotstyle.com> writes to say that his Pfhor painting is now back online. He was still working on the pages when the Story page linked it two days ago. The URL is now

http://scotstyle.com/paint%20pages/PFHOR.html

And yes the painting was inspired by Marathon. Stephen, a fellow Scot, writes:

I appreciate the link from the story page to the painting as more than a few of my paintings were painted in between games. I can remember a painting ,which I haven't photographed, that was hugely influenced by my immersion in the clutches of Durandal. I couldn't paint without flashes of corridors and doors in my minds eye. Even walking about I would hesitate at the corner and stick close to the wall.

Stephen's main art page is at

http://scotstyle.com/paint%20pages/paintings.html

Enjoy.


James Lanfear" <jclanfear@presys.com> writes concerning Tucker Berckmann's comment on the Fusion pistol. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Mike Ash <mikeash@csd.uwm.edu> also writes concerning the Fusion Pistol. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Original UESC Marathon sticker for sale, cheap. Philip Accas <PAccas@aol.com> writes:

How about FOUR unused UESC Marathon stickers safely tucked away in an original - flat, not triangular - M1 box, hidden behind the four M1 floppies(!). (Tragically, one other sticker was sacrificed to customize an old Apple 16" Display at a long-ago job.) OK, no safety tape in sight, but still...

Now just how much "value" are we talking here (to you or any hardcore 'Thoners 'tween here and Tau Ceti)?

Asking 6995, but all offers considered.

Go on... make Philip an offer he can't refuse! ;-)


Feb 24, 1999


Miguel Chavez <jmchavez@aol.com> took the opportunity to ask Randy (ydnar) Reddig about some of the details present in his "poseidon.gif" which formed part of the Marathon Infinity Prologue Chapter pic. Randy responded and Miguel kindly fowarded the reply to the Story page. This is what Randy had to say:

ok. there are a few things in that photo, which assumed (correctly) was taken with a quickcam. the keyboard is an old apple adjustable keyboard, which, imo, was the best keyboard for marathon ever made. you might note the original uesc marathon 1 sticker in the bottom right corner and the safety tape i had placed over the spacebar.

the poseidon drawing was pen and ink on a sketchpad. i worked on it mainly in my last year of calculus, a couple months or so. i lent the original to the kids at st. john's who handle the school newspaper/zine for the cover. it was marriot appreciation week (marriot handles the cafeteria there...they had a penchant for evil shrimp). they took it well.

alas, the original disappeared sometime before december 1995. it was the 2nd in a series; the first drawing hangs in my parents' house. that one was drawn in 1993 while backpacking around europe. perhaps i'll scan it sometime.

the inspiration for the drawing was hr giger's necronom iv. i had some interest in putting human arms on something so obviously not human. not unlike the hero in marathon..

How many people can claim to have their original UESC Marathon sticker lying around on their desk?!!! That thing is valuable! Now safety tape over the spacebar is another matter? ;-)


Tucker Berckmann <cybertuck@novagate.com> points out some oddities about the Fusion Pistol and Assault Rifle. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> provides an interesting tidbit about the KKV-7 10mm Flechette SMG. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Sean Wallitsch <ig98@home.com> points out that yesterday's link to the Pfhor painting no longer works. I guess there were too many hits. I've removed the link to avoid problems.


Resurrected Alessandra Muccinelli's "Marathon 2 Terminal Guide page" from the Dead Pages of Page 2401. This is now back on the Marathon 2 Pages section. Thanks to James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> for pointing out the now undead link.


Feb 23, 1999


Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> and John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> both point out that there is a picture at Randy (ydnar) Reddig's page called "poseidon.gif" which if you look closely you'll notice that the hands are the same as those used in the Infinity Prologue screen. You can compare both pics here

John goes onto to say:

The weird thing is, the shot seems to show a keyboard and perhaps a desk in the background, at the bottom, making it not just a scan of a drawing.


Remember the mysterious M7 group? James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> does and sent in these two URLs

http://www.m7.org/ or http://www.groupm7.com/

So were the M7 really a group of trainspotters? ;-)

James also writes:

http://www.tycho.net/

Uh-oh. Looks like Tycho's on the net.

I also found this:

http://www.leela.org/

Self-realization=RAMPANCY!
Did Leela not become Rampant?
"Leela is a sanskrit word meaning 'the divine play'."

It's amazing what you can find these days.


Feb 22, 1999


Think that Vidmastery is Dead? Then think again! Daniel Gentry <gentry@virtu.sar.usf.edu> just became the seventh person to Vid "Acme Station". Not only that... he did it using fists only, no recharging and adopting a different approach. What did he do and how did he do it? Check out the Marathon Vidmasters' Page for details. The Vidmasters' Page is now at two locations:

http://www.marathon.org/vidmaster/

and

http://164.58.172.183/marathon/vidmaster/


Duality update! David Longo of Double Aught Software tells me that they are quietly working behind the scenes and we should be hearing some 'new' news soon about their up-and-coming game Duality. In the mean time David kindly sent in the following exclusive Duality screenshot. It was taken in hardware on a Macintosh using a Rage Pro card. David writes:

The shot wasn't taken up against a the wall so it may not be that obvious, but it is hw. I wanted to get the space more than just stand close to a wall and show the hw texture filtering.

Organic shapes are our friends. The spaces in Duality do not have the same limitations that BSP engines have. Yesterday Silvermane was having troubles with a domed celing in a map he was building for Quake which made me want to release this yesterday to demonstrate what one of the differences between the spaces of Duality and other first person games.

You saw it first on the Story page!


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> points out that Randy (ydnar) Reddig's new page at http://mail.odsnet.com/ydnar/ now contains a section with some of his old web page designs, notably his award-winning work at Double Aught Software. See http://mail.odsnet.com/ydnar/work/www.doubleaught.com/

Linked to this is Randy's Infinity page thought lost in a hard drive crash of '97. Concerning the images used on this page Aaron writes:

They appear to be early/alternate versions of Infinity terminals. One is Tycho's greeting at the beginning of "Rise Robot Rise", one looks like an early version of the credit pic in "Ne Cede Malis", one is from "Electric Sheep 1", and the others are the dream terms from "Where are monsters in dreams", "Whatever You Please", and "Eat the Path."

Aaron also points out that there is a picture of Pfhactory N'Utopia, the space station of "Aye Mak Sicur," seen from outside at http://mail.odsnet.com/ydnar/work/pfhactory.jpg.


Feb 21, 1999


John Woods <jfw@jfwhome.funhouse.com> writes:

In one Myth II level, "With Friends Like These", you get to play a game of Territories against 3 stone giants (Trow).

According to the script, these particular Trow are named:

the trow
{
	Link
		myth trow
		oni trow
		blam trow
}
Myth. Oni. And Blam. (Although when you play the game, they get the traditional Latin Trow names.)

And a further tidbit: If you play Total Carnage (err, Legendary), you get a fourth trow opponent -- who is controlled by the Blam scripts.

So I guess this means Blam is going to be the hard game of the three...

So the word "Blam" appears again! What's up here? A quick search of the Story page reveals an interesting history behind Bungie's use of the word "Blam".

Back in May 19, 1998 Alex Rosenberg, a former employee of Bungie Software, pointed out that Bungie had recently registered blam.org and blam.net with the Internic. A day later he wrote again saying:

Note that Bungie registered serendia.com on behalf of Eric Klein (actually his wife Anne). Since "Blam" is one of Rob McLees' favorite exclamations, it may well be a personal registration. Of course, "Blam" would be a reasonably good name for a game as well.

A Bungie game called "Blam"? Makes sense considering Bungie had registered blam.org and blam.net.

However Francesco Poli <bpoli@mbox.vol.it> pointed out that there was another game with a similar name. Francesco wrote:

There was another Blam, namely Blam! Machinehead, by Core Design (yes, the guys of Tomb Raider), published in 1997...

However this might not stop Bungie distributing a new game simply called... "Blam".

Then in July 20, 1998 Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> wrote:

Under the credits section of the Marathon Infinity manual (p.67) you see the word "blam" under Final Thoughts. Could this have any relations with the blam.net that they registered? It's a long shot, but Bungie is always unpredictable in mysterious ways.

Note also that under the same section in the Trilogy Box Set manual we read the following:

Final Thoughts
Is this the end? I guess so. That's too
bad. But it's only the beginning. Really?
Sure, what the hell. Stop it! Is that
really it? I mean, really it? Wait and see...

So "blam" is a favorite word of Rob McLees and has entered the Bungie lexicon to such a point that it is now a possible title for a new game from Bungie. Perhaps Rob McLees (artist) is a fan of the artwork of Roy Lichtenstein and Blam is in fact a new flight sim game. Ah speculation! ;-)


Concerning the last lines of the Cortana email:

Oh, and your poet Eliot had it all wrong:
THIS is the way the world ends.

which Greg Downing indentified as coming from the final verse of T.S. Eliot's poem 'The Hollow Men':

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Dan Munter <pie-rat@myth2.com> writes to point out that the Soulless characters in Myth were also called "Hollow Men". See http://www.bungie.com/myth/characters.html for details.


Feb 20, 1999


Jeff Campen <jcampen@shrike.depaul.edu> writes:

I also noticed something in the MythII scripting. For the teleport out using the world knot visibility the flag is (once again) "blam".

Jeff is referring to the line World Knot Visibility Flag (blam, flag) in Myth II.


Not another Bungie-like logo?!!! Dustin Westphal <dustin@samoon.srcc.lsu.edu> writes:

Check out the page "http://www.ololrmc.com/cfapps/dsite/index.cfm?uid=olol&pid=1" and scroll down to Lake Line Direct, or you could just look at the attachment to this email. Their logo looks almost exactly like Bungie's logo. Even the fonts are similar.

You can also see it here. Perhaps we need to start another section for Bungie-like logos.


Adam Marler <adam_marler@hotmail.com> writes:

I don't know if you know this already but Rob McLees at Bungie has a 7 shaped scar on his hand. Just thought youd like to know.

Ever the doubting one I asked Adam for some evidence. A pic or something? Adam replied:

I found it on his website, for some reason he describes every scar he has, the URL is http://www.bungie.com/homepages/rob/EarthisHell.html

Sure enough Rob lists a whole range of scars, including a 7 shaped one. Perhaps Rob was a fan of Robert Shaw's "Jaws" boat scene.


Steve Campbell has set up an Oni Hotline server. If you want to drop by and chat or just download the latest Oni stuff then use the Hotline Client to connect to either

bungie.org

or use the static IP

164.58.172.180


Added "ydnar's page" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> for the link.


Added "KarBon's Maps" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Karl Boman <KBoman@Hem.passagen.se> for the link.


Feb 19, 1999


Jeff Campen <jcampen@shrike.depaul.edu> writes:

I'm not sure how many people know this, (I'm sure you probably do but just in case) the code name for the new game is Blam. I found out during the Myth2 beta and several of the bungie guys that were online had the order name "Blam Development" and said that they were working on the new project.

Almost goes with the quote "Not with a bang but a whimper."

Although that is probably taking it too far; making an allusion to an allusion =)

On the same subject Miguel Chavez <jmchavez@aol.com> writes:

"This is the way the world ends / Not with a bang but a whimper." If I recall correctly, doesn't Bungie have some association with the word "blam!"?

Yes. Back in May 19, 1998 Alex Rosenberg a former employee at Bungie Software pointed out that Bungie had recently registered blam.org and blam.net.

Miguel also writes:

I emailed Doug Zartman at Bungie yesterday and asked if it would be worth my while to attend E3. I'm in NY and didn't want to go to L.A. if the Bungie booth experience was going to mimic Macworld SF. Doug replied that Bungie will 'only be showing Myth II and Oni to the public' Notice the phrase 'to the public'!! What teases they are! (Doug did say that Oni will be shown a little better polished but nowhere near final yet)

Note also what Doug Zartman said to Steve Campbell at the World Without Borders chat over a week ago. Steve asked Doug the following question.

Steve: When is Bungie going to announce the title of the new Bungie East Game?

Doug: We probably won't have a working version of it by E3.


James Lanfear <jclanfear@presys.com> writes:

Just reading the responses to the Cortana message and I was struck by something. Both the inscription on the sword and the story of who created it say that it was one of a set of three--either with Joyeuse and Durindana or Durandal and Sauvagine...

Tycho and Leela?

Or perhaps two new AIs?


Brian Retchless <tretchless@home.com> writes:

I was looking at the new format on bungie.org/marathon, and I moused over the URL in the image and it took me to bungie.org/marathon/4index.html

That is hirlarious! =P

Also, if you check the source, there's a bunch of hidden tags just pfhor fun ;)

Odd stuff. I guess the person who did that has alot of time on their hands or access to the fabled Pfhor font!


Added "The Heap" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Claude Errera <errera@grapevine2.com> for the link.


Note also that the Marathon Archives at Bungie.org now contain the following files.

All the files from The Marathon HyperArchive NorthWest through December 1996
All the files from the first Pfhrenzy disc
All the files from the Marathon Trilogy Map Collection disc
All the files from the (now-defunct) Marathon Midwest Hyperarchive
All unique files from the Marathon Central HyperArchive
All files from the Testing Grounds prior to December 1998
Any extra maps that were downloadable from the pages listed on Page 2401
All maps uploaded to the bungie.org upload directory

Enough there to fill a few CDs or perhaps a DVD.


Feb 18, 1999


Many thanks to all the people who have written in about the Cortana email. Your comments are appreciated. However as yet no details of Bungie East's new game are presently available. Based on past experience Bungie are most likey to announce any new game at a major event to maximize media exposure. Oni was annouced at last year's E3. So at this year's event... who knows! Bungie's Events page reads:

E3 Expo
May 13 in Los Angeles, CA
We'll be showing off Myth II: Soulblighter, Oni, and maybe even more at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles.

Only three months away! :-)


Concerning the following lines in the Cortana email:

I have seen your future.
And I have learned.

There will be no more Sadness. No more Anger. No more Envy.

I HAVE WON.

Dustin Westphal <dustin@samoon.srcc.lsu.edu> writes:

The first two lines are reminiscent of the final screen from Infinity. "I know who you are" and all that.

The next line is obvious. It's a reference to the 3 chapters of Infinity, Despair, Rage, and Envy.

Now it gets interesting. "I HAVE WON." Who has won and what has he/she won? If this is Durandal, then most likey he's won his immortality. Maybe he found a way to escape the closure of the universe.


Martin Thorne <mthorne@ualberta.ca> writes:

A little while I noticed a familiar image in the extra files included on the KPT Bryce 1.0 CD. It took a little while for me to place it, but I finally got it. The image in question, which I have attached in its original form, is the background of the Marathon 2 Title Screen.

You can see the KPT Bryce image here along with the Marathon 2 Title Screen. I asked Martin what was the date of the CD? Did it predate Marathon 2 and also was the graphic public domain? Martin replied:

...the CD was last modified Nov 22, 1994. The image file itself was dated March 9, 1994.

The image itself is not freeware. It is the copyrighted property of either Kai Krause or Eric Wenger (I am uncertain which), so I would assume Bungie got the proper permission.

Let's hope. ;-)


Back in Feb 2, 1999 Jamie White pointed out a Quake partial conversion called "The Demon King" which had a storyline and the ability to move between levels like in Pathways Into Darkness. Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> played the scenario and sent in this review:

I noticed that you mentioned a Quake PC named The Demon King a while ago, so I DLed it and recently beat it. I'm not much of a reviewer, but here we go:

The movement is very reminiscent of Pathways, all right. One really can move freely between levels, as often as one likes, and the levels maintain their states (monsters killed, puzzles solved, etc.) The persistent monsters are a hack on Quake's somewhat clumsy scripting language, so one can see them flicker out upon entering certain levels, and in some places they just plain reincarnate.

One side effect of this is that the levels are fairly short (this may be deliberate since as one would expect the puzzles involve a lot of backtracking), but there's plenty of action and eye candy in them. I have a G3, so I only experienced it on an accelerator, so take all graphics comments with a grain of salt. Quake's muddy color palette hasn't been altered too much, but the architecture is nice. There's a town, a farm, a creepy cemetery, and a well-done church interior. There are some new models and skins, which very also good.

Also true to the blurb, there are many more puzzles than in your usual Quake mod. Some are quite complex; fortunately for me the archive includes a walkthrough (Only a last resort, I swear!!!). The puzzles are fairly original, with tricks like an invisible bridge and a series of logic games. There are also, however, a number of keys which must be found and used several levels away, which is somewhat annoying. The forest level that serves as a central hub is extremely dark and the exits are well-hidden.

The most unique feature, however, is the "Read" key, which lets you read notes and books found throughout the game. Just like.. uh... certain other games, they offer clues to the puzzles and slowly flesh out the background and plot, which is not too clear at first. You can't talk to dead bodies with it, though. 8(

All in all, The Demon King is a fine PC for action/adventure fans of any persuasion, and has enough of the Pathways flavor to make it more desirable for us Marathoners.


Added "K'hral's Marathon Domain" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> for the link.


Feb 17, 1999


My name is Cortana...

Response to the cryptic Cortana message from Bungie has been overwhelming. Here are just a few of the many comments, analyses and speculations received:

Colleen Galvez <gcgalvez@earthlink.net> writes:

After reading the mysterious e-mail from "Cortana" at Bungie, I did a quick search and found a reference to a sword named Cortana at the following web site:

http://www.celtic-twilight.com/bulfinch/ch/bulfinchs_loc_c24.htm

This site deals with the adventures of Charlemagne, and on this page Charlemagne presents a sword to Prince Ogier of Denmark, a sword which bears the inscription:

"My name is Cortana, of the same steel and temper as Joyeuse and Durindana."

Interesting, don't you think?

Very. :-)

Eric Anderson <brittain@ellensburg.com> writes:

A search for cortana will reveal a rather famous mall in Baton Rouge, not much for a marathoners interest. However, it also brings up chapter 24 of "Bulfinch's Mythology", which contains this rather fascinating paragraph:

The rest of the day and the next were spent in the rejoicings of the army. Turpin in a solemn service implored the favor of Heaven upon the youthful knights, and blessed the white armor which was prepared for them. Duke Namo presented them with golden spurs, Charles himself girded on their swords. But what was his astonishment when he examined that intended for Ogier! The loving Fairy, Morgana, had had the art to change it, and to substitute one of her own procuring, and when Charles drew it out of the scabbard, these words appeared written on the steel: ***"My name is Cortana, of the same steel and temper as Joyeuse and Durindana."**** Charles saw that a superior power watched over the destinies of Ogier; he vowed to love him as a father would, and Ogier promised him the devotion of a son. Happy had it been for both if they had always continued mindful of their promises.

Hmmm... "of the same steel as Joyeuse and Durindana." Joyeuse is referred to earlier in the chapter (at http://www.yahshua.webhost.com.au/books/mth01/bf24.htm), but Durindana? A terminal in Marathon 2 has Durandal quoting his many names.

Yes on "Feel the Noise" (Terminal 1) Durandal says:

Durandan, Durandal, Durandana.

Charlemagne used to always call me
Durandana, the fruitcake. All the many
implements of war to him were in some way
feminine. Not that you know the story.

The following is taken from The Dictionary of Phrase and Fable by E. Cobham Brewer from the new and enlarged edition of 1894:

Durandana or Durindana. Orlando's sword, given him by his cousin Malagigi. It once belonged to Hector, and was made by the fairies. It could cleave the Pyrenees at a blow. N. B. - In French romance Orlando is called Roland, Malagigi Mangis, and the sword durandal or durindal.

Orlando's sword is said to be still preserved at Rocamadour, in France.

Also from the same source.

Ansias, Galas, and Munifican made three swords each, and each sword took three years a-making.

Ansias forged Baptism, Florence, and Graban, all made for Strong-i'-the-Arm.
Galas forged Flamberge (2 syl.) and Joyeuse for Charlemagne; and Hauteclaire for Closamont.
Munifican forged Durandal, for Roland; Sauvagine and Courtain for Ogier the Dane.

Note the difference in the spelling: Cortana or Courtain, depending on the country.

More details can be found at http://www.bibliomania.com/Reference/PhraseAndFable/

Greg Downing <G_Downing@wesley.it.emerson.edu> writes:

I've come up with some stuff on the cryptic message.

The reference to the Angel at the tomb could be referring to Matthew 28:2. That particular chapter talks about the ressurection of Christ. The specific line reads:

"There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it."

The tomb referred to is Christ's tomb.

Furthermore, the way 'Cortana' words the stages of Rampancy is unusual. The First, Melancholia, he/she calls 'Sadness'...an appropriate synonym, but one not used before. The second, Anger, is the same. The third, Jealousy, Cortana calls Envy, just like in Infinity, if we are going with the assumption that the chapters of Infinity are indeed synonyms for the stages of Rampancy.

His/her reference to Eliot, is, I assume T.S. Eliot. I did a search on his works in an archive and came up with his line from his poem "What the Thunder Said":

"From all accounts, if there was ever a place that cried out "Abandon hope all ye who enter," this was it. The sight and sound of absolutely nothing, the very end of the world, the place where earth meets the void centre that lies at the heart of chaos, that which Christians and Hindus call Hell." (88)

The line does refer to the end of the world, but not in the context of Armageddon, rather in the sense of a boundary between Earth and Hell. So this may be nothing.

On the other hand, the final verse of 'The Hollow Men' is probably *very* pertinent:

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Looks like it's going to be a bang then! ;-)

Greg continues:

Some more info...the bible mentions the Abyss several times, esp. in Revalations. Some noteworthy stuff:

  1. And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.
  2. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.
  3. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.
Sound familiar? Like maybe drawing some parallels between the 'dragon' and the W'rkncacnter?

Might imply something else...if the the 'angel' that sat moved the rock from Christ's tomb was, in fact Jjaro? What if the entire Christian religon was shaped by the Jjaro's early influence on mankind, and they thought the Jjaro were, in fact, 'angels'? This might lend a clue as to the identity of 'Cortana'...could *it* be an Jjaro AI?

Interesting speculation.

More to come. Note if you read yesterday's update early in the day you may have missed Matt Soell's comments concerning the origin of the Cortana email. They were added later on in the day. Click here to read them.


Feb 16, 1999


I receive the oddest mail sometimes. But when it comes from Bungie Software it's even odder. The following cryptic mail arrived yesterday from "Cortana" <cortana@bungie.com>:

From: "Cortana" <cortana@bungie.com>
To: <hamish.sinclair@tcd.ie>
Subject: Closure
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 10:50:20 -0600
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3

I have walked the edge of the Abyss.
I have governed the unwilling.
I have witnessed countless empires break before me.
I have seen the most courageous soldiers fall away in fear.
[I was there with the Angel at the tomb]

I have seen your future.
And I have learned.

There will be no more Sadness. No more Anger. No more Envy.

I HAVE WON.

Oh, and your poet Eliot had it all wrong:
THIS is the way the world ends.


a friend of a friend


Marathon fans will no doubt identify the Durandal references "closure" and "a friend of a friend". Why would someone at Bungie send the Story page such a cryptic message?

First off is this some cruel hoax perpetrated by some heinous fiend? We all remember the fake Bungie email that lead to the Marathon Gold hoax right? A detailed look at the Cortana email headers reveals the following.

Received: from dux1.tcd.ie (dux1.tcd.ie [134.226.1.11])
	by dux4.tcd.ie (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id QAA15384
	for <hsinclir@dux4.tcd.ie>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 16:51:57 GMT
Received: from mail.bungie.com (root@[209.125.9.11])
	by dux1.tcd.ie (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id QAA21325
	for <hamish.sinclair@tcd.ie>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 16:51:55 GMT
Received: from Cortana ([209.125.9.49])
          by mail.bungie.com (8.8.4/8.8.4) with SMTP
	  id LAA02086 for <hamish.sinclair@tcd.ie>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 11:49:43 -0600
Message-ID: <001301be5903$4685cb60$31097dd1@Cortana.bungie.com>
From: "Cortana" <cortana@bungie.com>
To: <hamish.sinclair@tcd.ie>
Subject: Closure
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 10:50:20 -0600
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
	boundary="----=_NextPart_000_0010_01BE58D0.FB651460"
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.72.3110.1
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3
X-UIDL: e36fab4ede04e7c19a0a09e3d2f7cc91

The email was sent from a machine with the IP address of 209.125.9.49. The full email can be seen here.

By sheer coincidence (no such thing right?) I had asked Matt Soell of Bungie Sortware to send me proof of something I can't reveal here. His email header is as follows.

Received: from dux1.tcd.ie (dux1.tcd.ie [134.226.1.11])
	by dux4.tcd.ie (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id QAA02387
	for <hsinclir@dux4.tcd.ie>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 16:52:26 GMT
Received: from mail.bungie.com (root@[209.125.9.11])
	by dux1.tcd.ie (8.8.7/8.8.7) with ESMTP id QAA17712
	for <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 16:51:04 GMT
Received: from [209.125.9.13] ([209.125.9.13])
          by mail.bungie.com (8.8.4/8.8.4) with SMTP
	  id LAA02056 for <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>; Mon, 15 Feb 1999 11:48:48 -0600
Message-Id: <199902151748.LAA02056@mail.bungie.com>
Subject: Proof.
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 10:50:39 -0600
x-sender: matt@mail.bungie.com
x-mailer: Claris Emailer 2.0v3, January 22, 1998
From: Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>
To: "Hamish Sinclair" <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"
X-UIDL: e7629e421652984e6fd6b1ea4d63065c

You'll note that Matt's machine has the IP address 209.125.9.13. So the domains (209.125.9) match. Matt's mail was sent from machine 13 and our mysterious Cortana's from machine 49 (hmmm... 7 x 7 = 49... but I digress).

So the Cortana email does originate from a Bungie computer. But who is Cortana and why did he/she send the Story page a Durandal like message? A cruel joke or something more?

Bungie employees are well aware of the severe penalty for divulging sensitive information to the Story page. Yes folks... dismemberment. So either Cortana's corpse is now floating limbless inside of hangar ninety six or else the message was sanctioned by the powers that be.

I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

UPDATE on the above.

I had the opportunity to speak to Matt Soell on IRC concerning the above email. I asked him the following questions:

Was the email a hoax? Matt replied:

The email was not a hoax. It definitely originated from within our offices. And I suspect it will not be the last message of that type you receive.

Was the email intended as a joke? Matt replied:

Our jokes are fairly obvious. The Cortana message, you will find, is dead serious.

Would you (Matt) say that the email had Durandal overtones? Matt replied:

It certainly has some qualities reminiscent of Durandal, doesn't it? But that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Nice answer! So I cut to the chase. ;-)

So when's the shipping date? Matt replied:

The End of the World.

Matt's capitals not mine! Note the end of the Cortana email.

Matt also revealed that while we were having this conversation Craig Mullins was visiting the Bungie offices.

Looks like things are afoot.


Feb 15, 1999


The Marathon page at http://www.bungie.org/marathon/ now sports a new look. Tell me I'm crazy... but I'd swear that looks like the number... ;-)


Added "Trojan" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Hamish Sanderson <hhas@somewhere.inthe.uk> for the link.


Feb 14, 1999


Well I missed all this... I guess you have to be quick around here. Miguel Chavez <jmchavez@aol.com> writes to point out that townhall.clanplaid.net better known as Myth Townhall had landed a scoop with some unseen Duality screenshots. Apparently they originated from Colin Kawakami's on-line portfolio. Colin (aka lilbuddha) was a former employee at Double Aught Software. The links to the Duality screenshots have been removed from the Myth Townhall page and replaced with the following note:

People associated with Double Aught have requested that the images not be linked here, apparently conveying the wishes both of Double Aught and the page's owner (an ex-employee of Double Aught).

Obviously some people were working fast behind the scenes in the last 12 hours or so.


Nathan Mehl <memory@blank.org> writes:

It appears that somebody has recreated the "Waldo World Arena" Marathon deathmatch map as a DM map for Half-Life!

http://www.planethalflife.com/radium/reviews/wwa1.shtml

The reviewer doesn't seem to like it very much, but I guess WWA is a bit straightforward by modern DM map standards.


Feb 13, 1999


Nathaniel Krell <nkrell@abc-xyz.com> writes:

...check out this url
http://www.mac-mania.com/
and look at their logo.

(Actually, might be faster if I just send a copy of the logo with this e-mail.)
Reminded me of Bungie's logo...

Bungie wasn't kidding about that world domination thing were they?

I get the distinct impression that the dot was originally intended to go over the 'i'. Perhaps it had to be changed? ;-)


Added "John's Page from Hell" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Claude Errera <errera@grapevine2.com> for the link.


Feb 12, 1999


William Spencer <williamspencer@hotmail.com> makes an interesting observation about the Jjaro (Jjarro). See The Jjaro section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Feb 11, 1999


Thanks to Steve Campbell <midwest2@home.com> for passing this blast from the past on. It actually comes from Alex Okita (Bungie West's Lead Artist). Alex wrote (to Steve):

i was browsing through http://www.infoseek.co.jp/ and i looked up bungie just for the heck of it.

found a few amusing things thought you'd get a kick outta this

http://mars.ru.u-tokai.ac.jp/~nao/netmarathon.html

its all japanese, but they have a few screen shots that speak for themselves

Hands up all those who remember these pages? The web page screenshots date from early 1995. Ah nostalgia... you can't beat it. Nice find Alex and thanks Steve.

And why would Alex Okita be doing Japanese Infoseek searches? More on that later. ;-)


Mauro Braunstein <EllBrau@aol.com> writes concerning the powers of seven and other oddities. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Feb 10, 1999


Steve Campbell, maintainer of the Oni page at bungie.org asked Doug Zartman (PR at Bungie) a few questions at the recent World Without Borders Chat. One was related to Bungie East's presently unannounced new game. Check out http://www.bungie.org/oni/ for details.


Steve Campbell would also like to point out that all the Marathon HyperArchive Northwest links that point to his ftp server are now dead, DEAD, expired, are NO more, they CEASE to exist, ad patres (that's Latin for dead folks!). And if he receives ONE more email about them he'll... ;-)


Added "Chris Johnson's Marathon Maps" and "CopShot" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401.


Added the "Marathon Map Makers Guild" to the Other Map Related Pages section of Page 2401.


Added "Encyclopedia Miscellania" to the Miscellaneous Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Mike Goodwin <suprnaut@bendnet.com> for this 'relic' of a link. ;-)


Feb 9, 1999


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes:

There's a review of Tomb Raider II in the February issue of MacHome, and the first line reads as follows: "I have died a thousand deaths as Lara Croft." Sound familiar?

Sure does! One wonders if the reviewer is a Marathon fan?


Bungie (East) are looking for a web designer. Details can be found at http://www.bungie.com/corporate/jobs.html


Feb 8, 1999


Gabe Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> sent in the following URL:

http://www.micromac.com/products/marathon.html

for a Marathon accelarator. Increase your CPU performance by up to 170% so the blurb reads. Ok it's for a Macintosh II computer... but speed is speed. ;-)


Oh yeah the new blue/white 21 inch Apple monitor which just happens to share a passing ressemblance to a Greater Nightmare weighs in at 77 lbs. Coincidence or...? ;-)


And now for something completely different.

James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> writes concerning the S'pht clans. See The S'pht section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Added "Chris' Maps" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Claude Errera <errera@grapevine2.com> for the link.


The Marathon Forums have come back with a vengeance. Lots of posting going on. Worth a look.


Inside Games Magazine News page reports that there will be a three-part series on Tuncer Deniz's three years at Bungie. Should be interesting... but will it reveal all?


Feb 7, 1999


Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes:

CRST, mentioned yesterday on the story site stands for Cedar Rapids Shipping and Transportation. They are based in Cedar Rapids, IA, and I go to school very close to their international headquarters. So no connection, unless Bungie's power reaches farther than I thought.


Made some changes to Page 2401. Removed the link to the Trojan II: Rage page by request of the maintainer - Christopher Veres <cveres@obscure.org>. Chris wrote:

...this is the group's development site/workspace and isn't a site meant to advertise the progress (or presence for that matter) of T2.

While we do intend to become a bit more visible in the future, we ain't there yet. How about being a sport and pulling the link? :)

Added "Glenn's Marathon Maps" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. Thanks to Claude Errera <errera@grapevine2.com> for the link.


Feb 6, 1999


Butch Massoni <bmass@ibm.net> writes:

checking out craig mullins new artwork on the PID page, one can't help but notice the similarities between the monster (exploding fish, i call 'em) and a Bondi Blue iMac. cool... Jobs played PID?

Weird perhaps. But there is a vague similarity between a side-on-view of a Greater Nightmare (blue floating fish) and the new iMacs or better still the new blue/white monitors. The monsters in Pathways Into Darkness were described in the 1993 Macworld Game Hall of Fame review (311K) as:

"...something that might have come from a brainmerge of Tim Burton, Anne Rice, and Hieronymus Bosch."

Perhaps the new design team at Apple? ;-)

One thing is for certain if you ever see a 21 inch blue/white monitor floating towards you down a dark corridor run the other way! Those things are damn heavy. ;-)


Mike Yocom <pfhreak333@hotmail.com> writes concerning the binary string #101111011110111100001# is is a '7'. See The 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Feb 5, 1999


The Marathon Forums are now working. So go post something! ;-)


Claude Errera <errera@grapevine2.com> has added a load of new maps to The Marathon Archive at the B.org site. Go check them out and pester him for a New button or at least a daily News update on what's been uploaded. We gotta know.


More Scenario News updates from Mr. RuGGeR.


Mike Van Parys <mikevp@min.net> writes:

Recently, while driving on I-95 near the Ft. McHenry Tunnel near the Baltimore docks, I noticed a large truck in the other lane. I tried driving near it to see what the name stood for, but couldn't see anything other than the main letters on the sides and back of the truck:

CRST
An interesting name for a cargo hauler. I'm sure I've seen a similar name before somewhere...

Close enough. Terminal 2 of Couch Fishing refers to Cargo and Resources In-System Transports or CRIST Sol orbiters.


Feb 4, 1999


Marathon Central is BACK!

If you've just joined us from the Marathon Central mirror you're probably asking yourself what happened?... where did all the Story page updates come from? Well you better haul yourself over to www.bungie.org and see what's been going on!


Remember the Story page is now mirrored at four sites. Bookmark them all to be sure... to be sure...

B.org mirror

Marathon Central mirror

Midwest mirror

Tau Ceti mirror

My God soon they'll be... seven! ;-)


Omer Shenker <oshenker@earthlink.net> writes concerning Bungie's Job advert for a "Level Scripter":

Actually, level designing and level scripting can easily be two different things in new Bungie games. Starting with MTFL, continuing with MII, and presumably moving into Oni, Bungie has implemented extremely complex and powerful level scripting. Now it's quite conceivable that a level might be designed by someone with more skills and experience in the art of designing, and scripted by a different person who takes to programming.

This makes sense since Bungie have stated that Oni's levels will be designed by architects adding realism to the game.


Dan Hembry <durandal_777@yahoo.com> writes concerning the undocumented "exploda-key":

I found that in netgames if you look at a person and that person quits something like 15 seconds later that person undergoes a full bodily explosion like the one you described with the exploda-key. Fusion damage, the like. My guess is that the Marathon engine literally presses the key for the quitting player and kills him. I think if the person's not on your radar he just disappears. Not sure tho because i haven't been able to test it.


Mike Trinder <mpbt100@spam.ac.uk> has updated his map making tool - Chisel. More information can be obtained at http://www.arct.cam.ac.uk/personal-page/MikeT/.


Added the Marathon Infinity scenario Trojan II: Rage to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401.

Resurrected over a dozen marathon.org pages from the Dead Pages Section. They breath again! Time to grab all that old stuff before it really disappears for good!


Feb 3, 1999


The Oni team in San Jose are now looking for a level scripter (a new term for level designer it seems). You can check Bungie's Jobs page for details.


Martin Thorne <mthorne@ualberta.ca> writes:

I don't know if it's worth pointing out, but the warlock in Myth II behaves a lot like a S'pht.

He's slow, wears an enveloping cloak, opens said cloak to fire energy projectiles, and dissolves into a cloud of sparks when he dies.

Coincidence or...?


Feb 2, 1999


Jamie White <jsw@netgates.co.uk> writes:

I don't know if you are interested, but a Quake partial conversion, "The Demon King" (http://www.planetquake.com/tdk) which was realised some time ago, contains (as quoted from the web page);

-12 New Levels
-A Plot & Storyline that actually is essential and fully integrated into the game
-New Graphics and Sound
-A Common Theme and Non-Linear Gameplay (Ex. Walking between levels as you please, with everything the way you left it.
-Puzzles, New Monsters and a Ton of Surprises we won't tell you now :)

Notice the plot and storyline part? The game contains books from which you read the story as you go through the game. Although I haven't really had a good look at it so far, I am not too sure about how often these books are used. Maybe worth a look anyway (if nothing for the Marathon to Quake TC fanatics)!

Interesting... not only does the blurb mention a storyline but also the ability to move freely between levels which is reminiscent of Pathways Into Darkness. Those who have Quake may wish to give this a try to see how well it has been implimented.


I picked this off Bungie's Oni site. There is now another Oni page on the web at http://members.xoom.com/oniweb/. Good news for Oni fans. This one seems to be run by Mythers.


Feb 1, 1999


February's issue of Macworld (US) contains an excellent write up on the Marathon Trilogy Box Set by Michael Gowan. It's part of Macworld's Ultimate Gaming Guide. I've reprinted it below:

As a lone security officer, you battle alien starships, explore lost civilizations, and triumph against all odds. This first-person shooter proves that even a computer game can stand the test of time. In its scope alone, this collection of adventures staggers the imagination.

"...staggers the imagination" how apt. Long live Marathon!


Jan 31, 1999


Some Oni news. Gamespot's recent article on Oni indicates that TCTF stands for "Techno Crimes Task Force" which differs slightly from what Alex Okita (Bungie West's Lead Artist) told the Story page back in Nov 21, 1998, namely that it stood for "Terrorist Crimes Task Force". No biggie really since the Oni story is still in development. However it would seem that "Techno" criminals in the future have traded in their computers for heavy ordnance given the way the TCTF are decked out.


The Gamespot article revealed a little more on the Oni storyline:

The game's main character, an in-shape purple-haired female named Konoko, starts off as a young clean cadet in an elite forces unit called the Techno Crimes Task Force (TCTF). Her first assignment is to help disassemble a crime syndicate wreaking havoc in the city. During her investigation, Konoko discovers that the syndicate murdered her parents, who were technology researchers. This is where the game picks up a complex physiological twist. As Konoko's mind focuses increasingly on obliterating the syndicate - to avenge her parents' deaths - she begins to disobey TCTF orders. As she goes further down this road of revenge, she rebels, dons new outfits, gets a new outlook, and fights harder.


On some sad news. Alex Okita's Oni Hotline site has been taken offline, allegedly for "security reasons". While no details are available on the sudden closure if you were a regular visitor to the site then it shouldn't be too hard to guess why. :-(


The main sites left for Oni info are:

http://www.bungie.com/oni/

http://www.bungie.org/oni/

http://www.okita.com/


John (Paver) Benac's <johnbenac@usa.net> Oni page has moved to http://members.xoom.com/johnbenac/. Not much there at the moment though.


Jan 30, 1999


Obsessed with the number seven? Omer Shenker <oshenker@earthlink.net>, webmaster at Myth Irradiated, provides an interesting insight into this strange obsession from "The Psychological Review". See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Jan 29, 1999


The Pathways Into Darkness page at the b.org site has landed a scoop with a never seen before Craig Mullins pic. The picture shows the player(?) in a standoff against a Nightmare. Unfortunately the Pathways page still doesn't have any content yet. :-(


More Oni screenshots at http://www.bungie.org/oni/. Seems to be alot of activity with this up-and-coming game from Bungie West.


James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> writes concerning the original level names in Marathon 2. See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Jan 28, 1999


Craig Mullins <craigm@4link.net> writes to point out that he now has a new home page at

http://www.goodbrush.com

His old pages will die soon so bookmark this new one. Craig has added lots of new art and information, including some great Marathon concept sketches. A 'must' visit for all Marathon fans.


James Pillar <rugger@rocketmail.com> has added a Marathon Recruits page to the b.org site. The URL is

http://www.bungie.org/marathon/Recruits/index.html

Looking for help on a scenario or want to offer your assistance then this is the place to visit.

James has also updated his Marathon Scenarios page at

http://www.bungie.org/marathon/scenarionews/

Great to see all this Marathon activity. Remember to send your scenario news to James at <tavern@buyamac.com>.


More Oni news and screenshots at http://www.bungie.org/oni/.


Made some corrections to Page 2401. Keep those comments and links coming in.


Jan 27, 1999


Accelerate Your Mac has posted a correction to their Duality news item on their Unreal Tips and Tricks page. It reads as follows:

Duality Correction: Courtney Evans of Doubleaught Software wrote saying that Duality is *not* based on the Marathon storyline. "While Doubleaught did Marathon Infinity, Duality has its own completely new setting with a plot and backstory as rich as Marathon's, but wholly unrelated." C. Evans, Doubleaught Software.


"...a plot and backstory as rich as Marathon's..." sounds pretty cool!


Thanks to both Mike Goodwin <suprnaut@bendnet.com> and James Burke <jburke7@home.com> for pointing out that Bungie now have a gallery of Craig Mullins' artwork at their site. The URL is

http://www.bungie.com/inside/gallery.html

The introduction to the page reads:

With all of the recent fervor over Myth and Myth II we're sometimes too busy to look back at our roots. Take Marathon for example, and the incredible art created by Craig Mullins for the series. Speaking to him today reminded me of this archive of his Marathon work that I put together some time ago but never made live. Here it is at last. I've also included his more recent picture of Soulblighter in a classical fantasy pose- whooping butt on everyone.

You can also see more of Craig Mullins' Marathon art at Matthew Vaughan's site at

http://www.best.com/~matthewv/marathon/mullins.html

Note that on both these pages the classic Marine pic with chain gun has been cropped. The original showed the full Marine with spent bullet casings lying around his feet.

Craig has his own art page at

http://home1.gte.net/craigm/index.html

or

http://www.cyberverse.com/~craigm/

James Pillar <rugger@rocketmail.com> writes:

I was digging around at www.ebay.com it's a huge auction. Anyway I typed in the word Marathon and did a search. You might enjoy some of the stuff and it might give you some material for Marathon's Story. Also found Marathon 2 for Mac complete with box for $6.

Marathon 2 for the Macintosh complete with box is quite rare. Bungie ran out of copies of this some time ago. Of course you can always get it as part of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set... but it's just not the same. :-)


Jan 26, 1999


Thanks to Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> for pointing this out. The very popular and informative Accelerate Your Mac site posted the following information (yesterday Jan 25th) on their Unreal Tips and Tricks page.

You can get more info on Duality, the new game based on the Marathon universe at www.duality.net and www.dualism.org and occasional stuff in www.bungie.org/marathon/story

"Apparently, much of the engine is done, and several of the characters. However, there may still be some work being done on engine-rendered cutscenes (like some of those in Tomb Raider 2), and there's not been much on level design. Many of the screenshots, especially the earlier ones, could be of test levels that may never make it into the final game. -Loren Petrich"

Good to see the Marathon's Story get a mention here but what about this quote:

...Duality, the new game based on the Marathon universe...

Last I heard this was not the case. Perhaps somebody from Double Aught would care to comment?


More updates at the b.org site. The Marathon Archives, RuGGeR's Tavern, and the Oni page have all been updated. A Myth page and "rant" section are also promised.


Want the latest news on those up-and-coming Marathon scenarios? Then you need to check James "RuGGeR" Pillar's Marathon Scenario Page at www.bungie.org/marathon/Scenarionews/. Pass on your scenario development news to James at <tavern@buyamac.com>.


Sean 'ig98' Wallitsch <ig98@home.com> writes concerning Aaron Davies' Forge screenshot

...no hidden or strange conspiracy here, only a program error. The title image is repeated over and over again, overlapping and interlacing (Because of the switch from a low res to high res. I've tried this type of switch before, and it has resulted in the same type of errors (For further experimentation I changed the title image, the garbage also changed)


What! No secret stuff?!!! ;-)

Afraid so. Gabe Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> also writes concerning the Forge screenshot:

That splash screen is in video RAM since Forge was just started up, the window's enlarged, Forge's windowing is mildly buggy somewhere meaning it doesn't do an immediate screen redraw, so whatever's in VRAM gets sprayed in that space (without the proper bounding limits on it).

You get the same thing when you drop into macsbug (... on some systems).

(Only then it's the Apple, File, and Edit menus stretched really big. Happens in some system crashes too.)


Jan 25, 1999


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes:

I just found the weirdest thing. I was opening Forge to check out a map I was stuck on, when I realized I was still in 640x480 resolution. I resized the map window to fit that, and then realized I couldn't see jack. So I changed the resolution back to 1280x1024, resized the window to fit, and look what appeared! (Note: I tried this several times, and it doesn't do it consistently. Sometimes it just makes static at the bottom.

You can see what Aaron is referring to here (88K) or in a more detailed (600+K) view. Note if these images don't show up at the bungie.org mirror site it's because the server is Rampant and refuses to upload them. In fact the bungie.org server is causing no end of problems which is obviously a sign that it's in the Melancholia stage.

Try the Central Arm mirror if you experience problems.


Jan 22, 1999


Randy "ydnar" Reddig creator of such outstanding Marathon maps as "Aye Mak Sicur", "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy" and "Ne Cede Malis" is one of 25 Round 1 winners in the S3TC/Unreal Game Level Contest. The competition is to build the Ultimate Real-Time 3D Game Level. The winner will receive a grand prize of $5000 and no doubt numerous job offers from 3D gaming companies. The Story page wishes Randy the best of luck in the rest of the competition.


Mike Ackerman <mackerm@relaypoint.net> writes:

I'm glad to see some discussion about Prime Target. While I have not seen it distributed free in the U.S., I did pick up a copy at an office supply store for $1.88 (that's 1.59 euros).

Just yesterday I finished playing it for the first time. The new weapons are great (heat-seeking missles especially!) But what stunned me was the fact that such a great game uses neither switches nor moving platforms. Possible inspiration for some minimalist Marathon maps?


Jan 21, 1999


Thanks to all those who pointed out that Inside Mac Games news item on Tuncer Deniz is now posted under the later date of Jan 20, 1999 rather than Jan 12, 1999. This makes alot more sense since it was only posted around the 18th or 19th.

Inside Mac Games also has a number of job openings, one is for a News Editor. Apparently they are looking for someone to post "daily news" on their web site. Good news!


Back in Dec 18, 1998 Michael Zannetou pointed out that the UK version of Macworld magazine had a full free copy of Prime Target on its cover CD. Prime Target was one of three games based on the Marathon 2 engine. A number of people sarcastically remarked at the time that this is the way it should have been distributed in the first place since it "sucked". However Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@vienna.at> writes:

I found some reviews that pretty much praise the game:

imgmagazine: http://www.imgmagazine.com/issues/vol5_issue1/p10.html

Macgate http://www.macgate.torget.se/Games/reviews/Primetarget.html

Macledge: http://www.macledge.com/Reviews/primetarget/primetarget.html


I'm not sure if Prime Target or indeed Damage Incorporated have been distributed free in the States (both are now free in the UK). But if you get the opportunity they are worth playing to see what additional things can be achieved with the Marathon 2 engine given the opportunity.


Jan 20, 1999


Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> writes:

Looks like someone has a vision to make the Marathon a reality. It even has BOBs! No mention of Bussard Ramjets however.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/go/sections/science/DailyNews/interstellar990114.html


The ABCNEWS article makes for fascinating reading. It describes the general specifications for an interstellar spaceship drawn up by Steven Kilston, a staff consultant at Ball Aerospace & Technologies in Boulder, Colo. A 1.2 mile long sub-light speed colony ship housing 1 million people on a journey spanning 300 generations. The proposed launch date would be sometime in the 26th century. The report adds:

Just embarking on such a grandiose project could help unify the world.


Compare this with the Marathon manual text:

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. "This, the grandest achievement mankind has ever conceived will be for the purpose of peace and the preservation of the human race. May this great technological ark carry with it the sum total of all human wisdom, and may neither time nor distance weaken our common ties."


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes concerning some more interesting discoveries in Pathways Into Darkness. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Made some corrections to Page 2401 and added Mike Sugarbaker's "Anti Fun League" maps page to the Personal Map Pages section.


Jan 19, 1999


Inside Mac Games magazine has posted the following news item... though the date says "January 12th"

Tuncer Deniz Returns to IMG!

After a three-year abscene from the Macintosh game scene, I'm proud to announce that I'm back as Editor-in-Chief of Inside Mac Games. For the past three years I worked at Bungie Software as Production Manager and later on as Project Leader for Myth II: Soulblighter. During those years I learned all aspects of software creation and publishing. But more importantly, I worked with some fabulous people on creating some of the best games in the industry. I owe a big "Thank You" to Bungie for giving me a chance three years ago.

I'm extremely excited to be back at the helm at Inside Mac Games, the magazine I founded back in 1993. I recently had the pleasure of seeing Steve Jobs' Keynote address at Macworld Expo and was in shock when Mr. Jobs highlighted Macintosh games and even brought out John Carmack of id Software for a few words. I am now more convinced than ever that the Macintosh platform is alive and well and that the future looks bright for games on the Mac.

We face many challenges here at IMG and I plan on agressively bringing IMG back to the forefront in Macintosh gaming. In the next few months we will be returning back to a regular publishing calendar, enhancing and restruturing both the CD-ROM and web site, and, well, kicking major ass. That's a promise.

It will take me a few weeks to get back into the swing of things. One of the first things we'll be doing is shipping out the first issue of 1999. We hope to have it into our subscribers hands by the end of the month.

In the meantime, if you have any comments or questions, I encourage our readers to e-mail me at tuncer@imgmagazine.com

It's great to be back!

Tuncer Deniz
Editor-in-Chief
Inside Mac Games


While no official explanation has been given for Tuncer's seemingly unexpected departure from Bungie Alex Okita (Bungie West's Lead Artist) posted the following news item to his Oni Hotline site:

yea i've known about it for a while. It's true. But he never left Inside Mac Games, he's always been involved. Just so no misunderstanding happen. It was decided that Tuncer wouldnt be happy at bungie. He wanted to develop new games, but Bungie needed him to manage projects. Since Tuncer wouldn't be happy managing, it was decided that he should find something that he would be happy doing, even if that ment leaving bungie.


Jan 17, 1999


Claude Errera is back! And with him the long lost Marathon Archive! Check out the b.org site for details.


Who is Claude Errera? See the What's New section for Dec 14, 1997 for some background info on Mr. Archive himself!


The Oni page at the b.org site now has an archive also. What next? A Pathways archive perhaps?


James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> writes concerning the player's height. See The Player's Height section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Jan 16, 1999


Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> writes:

Since you're on the subject of Double Aught and subways have you seen this?

http://mail.odsnet.com/ydnar/img/subway.gif

It's a Randy Reddig (aka ydnar) map that was never released!


Muhsin continues:

I have a picture of the real subway track layout of ydnar's picture.

http://www.nycsubway.org/maps/canal.gif

ydnar's screenshot shows Canal Street on the closest pillar, this must be the place...

When I searched Canal Street Station in the NY subway main page I came up with a "search found 7 matches". Weird.


Take the Marathon symbol, remove about half of the outer ring and tilt to the left. What do you get? James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> found out. See the That Marathon Symbol section for details. Warning this is high bandwidth page. Prepare for a wait as the images load.


Added the "Pfhrenzy CD contents list" and the "Trilogy Map CD contents list" to the File Repositories section of Page 2401. Both CDs contain a large collection of Marathon maps, utilities, films, add-ons, etc. If is often the case that people are looking for stuff on the web that exists on a CD somewhere. Hey you might even have the CD or know someone who has it! Check the list to be sure... to be sure!


Jan 15, 1999


The "What's in a Name" section describes how the Infinity level "Carrol Street Station" took its name from the NYC subway station of the same name. Andy Rooney <ak-t@panix.com> kindly sent in two photographs of Carroll Street Station by photographer Wayne L Whitehorne <wayne@nycsubway.org>. You can see them here. You can get more info at http://www.nycsubway.org. One can imagine the Double Aught crew hanging around here for a train when they were creating the Infinity scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon". Note also that part of the Infinity story describes events in a subway station.


The Oni page at the b.org site has two scans of the Oni posters given out by Bungie at Macworld SF. There is also a desktop pic of Alex Okita's (Bungie West) G3 girl. Worth a look.


Jan 14, 1999


Devin O'Reilly <QuasiDevin@aol.com> writes concerning the names of the music tracks on the Marathon CDs. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> also writes concerning the names of the music tracks on the Marathon CDs. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Marthon symbol in Myth II? Those pesky dwarves playing tricks on us? Jordan Eberly <Svywranth@aol.com> writes:

Recently, two previously unreleased Bungie-crafted netmaps for Myth II were available for download. On one of the maps, called "Going to Town," nestled between two barns, is that round symbol we've all come to know and love...

See the That Marathon Symbol section for details. Warning this is high bandwidth page. Prepare for a wait as the images load.


The beginnings of a Pathways Into Darkness page have appeared on the b.org site at www.bungie.org/pid. Good to see some renewed interest in this cult game.


Jan 13, 1999


James Lanfear <jclanfear@presys.com> makes an interesting find regarding the names of the music tracks on the Marathon CDs. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@teleweb.at> writes:

Following the props in Duality.net's page source, bungie.org gives props too:

<!--------Major props to 819, 1016, 35, 719-------->

819 is the hidden Infinity map, but what are the other numbers?

Who can say! ;-)


Moved the "Borzz Gallery of Marathon" to the Dead Pages section of Page 2401. Another one bites the dust.

Changed the URL for "BuggSplat's Marathon Page" on the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401.


Jan 12, 1999


The Story page mirrors at http://www.bungie.org/marathon/story and http://164.58.172.183/marathon/story/ are back up. If you're wondering about where the updates came from then you weren't tuning in to the Story page mirror at http://smd033.smd.tcd.ie.

The b.org site has been updated. There is now an Oni section devoted to Bungie West's first game. New info here so check it out.


Bungie have posted some pics from Macworld SF. You can check them out at http://www.bungie.com/Main/MW_Photos.html. Good to see a pic of Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) up there.


Added a Sounds Idea link to the Sounds in Marathon section. You can hear a very familiar sound at this site.


Michael Park <macgamer@ohana.com> writes concerning the Pathways oddities recently uncovered by Aaron Davies. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> finds another Pathways oddity. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Good to see a renewed interest in this intriguing cult game. Have you conversed with the Dead lately?


Jan 11, 1999


Quartz <Quartz@shore.net> writes concerning the source of some of the sounds used in Marathon. See the Sounds in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Matthew Vaughan <matthewv@best.com> writes concerning the Craig Mullins Myth II poster/banner seen at the Bungie Booth.

The banner was about 2-1/2 x 4 feet, I'd guess (um something like .75 x 1.25m I think), with horizontal rods holding it at top and bottom, on fairly thick textured material, and a big Myth 2 logo covering up the lower portion of the image. It looked GREAT, but unfortunately the two posters were kind of on the back and side of Bungie's booth and the lighting wasn't too bright there so I don't know how many people noticed them.

Matthew also points out that parts of this poster have been used by Bungie in various images on their web site.

Jordan Eberly <Svywranth@aol.com> writes:

Indeed, Mr. Mullins has done a Myth II picture. It is included on the Myth II CD in 3 sizes, for use as a desktop picture. I have attached the smallest (640x480) one, in case you want to see it.


Jan 10, 1999


The Story page mirrors at http://www.bungie.org/marathon/story and http://164.58.172.183/marathon/story/ are down because of an ice storm in Oklahoma. Hopefully things will be back to normal by tomorrow.


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> found some more odd things in Pathways Into Darkness. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Jan 9, 1999


The Marathon's Story page brings you a MacWorld SF 1999 exclusive.

Randy "ydnar" Reddig made it to the Marathon finals of The National Macintosh Gaming Championship at MacWorld SF 1999. He kindly sent in the films from each of his rounds. Three rounds in all (1st round, semi-finals and final). All rounds were played on Marathon Infinity levels. According to Randy the winner of the Marathon (individual) event was yet again Michael Garrison, better known as CYBERNATOR, but in this year's tournament was using the nick "Tiggs". For more details and the films check:

The National Macintosh Gaming Championship - Macworld SF 1999 - Marathon "ydnar" films


Think we're obsessed with the number seven? Then check out the Official Rules of this year's National Macintosh Gaming Championship. Rule #7 states as follows:

7) There is no rule number 7.

Coincidence or... ? ;-)


Randy Reddig also pointed out that Craig Mullins had a Myth II painting at Macworld SF. Did anyone get a pic of this?


Jan 8, 1999


The b.org site has a short report on the happenings at the Bungie Booth at Macworld as seen through the eyes of Marathon Marine James "RuGGeR" Pillar, see http://www.bungie.org/macworld/ for details.


Jason R. Parry won the Marathon section of the National Macintosh Gaming Championship at Macworld New York 98. Randy "ydnar" Reddig is taking part in this year's competition in SF. Hopefully we'll have an update of how he got on. :-)


So you think we're obsessed with the number seven? Nick Bousfield <nick@bousfields.demon.co.uk> writes:

Found this more or less by accident a while ago, it may interest you:

http://www.ozemail.com.au/~davidml/st-47/

Seems that Marathon isn't the only sci-fi saga with a numerical conspiracy. 47 even. Those sevens get around, don't they?

Actually a similar type page was mentioned by Rich Williams way back in Apr 20, 1996. The URL then was http://www-leland.stanford.edu/~schlock/the47s.html. A quick check of this page reveals a page of links called 47 On The Internet. Now that's what I call an obsession. ;-)


Added the MaraMyth Project to the Miscellaneous section of Page 2401. This is a Total Conversion project for Myth II. Now has a short overview of the Marathon Story.


Jan 7, 1999


The Marathon's Story page is now at the b.org site. The URL is

http://www.bungie.org/marathon/story

Easy to remember... just type in bungie.org into your web browser and you'll find your way there. The other URLs for the Story page will continue to be updated. Enjoy.

http://164.58.172.183/marathon/story/     or     http://smd033.smd.tcd.ie


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes concerning Gheritt White, rats and H.P. Lovecraft. See the Gheritt White section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Jan 6, 1999


Coinciding with the opening of Macworld SF a new web site devoted to Bungie games has opened its doors at http://www.bunge.org. The main page reads:

Welcome to www.bungie.org. This site is here for all Bungie fans around the world. For now, we have the Marathon section open. Later, when more help is brought on board, we will open the rest of our game sections. Please be sure to email us if you can't find what you need and make sure to check back often.

Early days yet it would seem as only one section is working, namely Marathon. A much needed Marathon Archive is promised.

To celebrate the opening of the b.org James "RuGGeR" Pillar put together a little movie for your viewing pleasure. It's 1186K in size.


Steve Rogers has posted an MP3 version of his Durandal song at http://www.thebeast.demon.co.uk/music/index.html. Now you can hear it in all its glory. It weighs in at 4.5 MBs. If you haven't already heard the song it features a heavy electric guitar sound. Remember this is an original song folks. You'll need an MP3 player to listen to it so pick up the latest 'free' version of MacAMP at http://www.macamp.com.


Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes concerning men in overcoats. But what were they wearing underneath? See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Added "Metro2 for Marathon Infinity" to the Personal Map Pages section of Page 2401. This is a new follow-up to Metropolis.


Jan 5, 1999


Bungie's main page at www.bungie.com sports a new look. More importantly there's now a handy Web Site Map which allows you to navigate through their site more easily.


James Pillar of RuGGeR's Tavern has posted a correction (of sorts) on his News page concerning the Craig Mullins pic Mouse Pads. The relevant bit reads:

...just to let you know the Craig Mullins artwork was from the 1995 Macworld SF mouse pads.

Presumably James is referring to the one held in January 1996. Where these distributed by Bungie? One wonders if there are any remaining?


Added Jason Fowler's Marathon Secrets 1.5 app. to Blasts from the Past section in case it goes missing off Macdownload.com.


Added more Marathon links to Page 2401 and resurrected a few Dead ones. :-)

Added "Chisel World" to the Personal Files Pages section.

Added "Ballistically Insane's Marathon Maps" and "Marathon 2 Maps" to the Personal Map Pages section.

Added "The Marathon Trilogy" to the Link Pages section.

Added the "California Network Gamers - Marathon" to the Network Pages section

Keep those URLs coming. :-)


Jan 4, 1999


Some people may have missed this but I thought it worth pointing out here. On the News section of RuGGeR's Tavern you'll find a link to an early Craig Mullins sketch of a Marathon Marine. Unfortunately the link given doesn't work but the correct one is http://164.58.172.183/tavern/Stuff/marine_sk.jpeg. Many of you will recognise this as an early version of the picture at the end of the Marathon Scrapbook. Interesting stuff.

More interesting is what James Pillar (RuGGeR) writes about this pic on his web page:

I have had some never released art from Craig Mullins stored away for a-while now and it seems like a good time to share a piece with you. This picture you may notice isn't complete. This is the way Craig does his art work from a drawing to filling it in in Photoshop. You may recognize the pict I beleive it's the same pict that was on the Mouse Pads from Macworld in 94'...

Mouse Pads from Macworld in 94'?!!! Obviously this is Macworld SF January '95 or is it? If so did Craig Mullins draw his first Marathon pics this early on? His first Marathon pic to appear on the web was in fact the famous S'pht pic. How did his Marathon Marine pic get onto Mouse Pads at Macworld? Who was distributing them? And are they still available? Questions... questions... questions...


Added more Marathon links to Page 2401 and made some corrections. Thanks to those who wrote in.

Added "PowerPlay Marathon Page" and "Marathon Infinity DEATH STRIKE Homepage" to the Personal Map Pages section.

Added "Ralph's Marathon 2 Page" to the Marathon 2 Pages section.

Added "Marathon weapons.. for Traveller" to the Miscellaneous Pages section.


Jan 3, 1999


Fact of Fiction? Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@teleweb.at> writes to point out that he found a web page which allegedly has an undocumented cheat for Marathon Infinity. You'll find the page at http://nathan.simplenet.com/Cheats/Macintosh/m/marathonin.htm

The text of the cheat is as follows:

Whilst playing the game press down, as, 4, y, m, l, 7, 0,

delete, return, and fire and see what happens. You will

enjoy what you see.

Harry tried it and claims that nothing happened for him but suggests that he may have got the key combination wrong. The alleged cheat is part of Nathan Sergent's Macintosh Cheats section from his home page Nathan's World. Is it a hoax? You be the judge! Sounds like a Bob Blake to me.


Added more Marathon links to Page 2401.

Added "Marathon Revisited", "the Marathon Forge", "Rj's Pfhoraddicted Page", "Chrille's Marathon Site (Home of Gangsterz)", and "The J'raxis 270145 Marathon Page" to the Personal Map Pages section.

Added "James Bisset's Music in Marathon", "Sailor Moon: Marathon", and "Marathon Phfunnies" to the Miscellaneous Pages section.

Added a Marathon 2 for Win95 page to the Marathon 2 Pages section.

Added Nathaniel and Jon Krell's Marathon pages to the Link Pages section.

Keep those URLs coming. Have a link or know a link then pass it on. Find a bad link report it!

How many active Marathon links does Page 2401 now contain? Well count them Vidboi! ;-)


Jan 2, 1999


Now that the Holiday season has run its course the Story page should be returning to its normal routine of daily updates. Many thanks to everybody who wrote in over the break. I'll be catching up on my backlog of mail over the next few days.


A number of people have written in about Page 2401. "What's it all about?" "Is this a new page?" "Why was it never linked?" "Why is the Sevens list closed?" etc. I guess an explanation is due for those who missed out on the events of May 13, 1998.

Page 2401 was the first of seven secret pages at the Story site. It went live back in Jan 19, 1996 almost two years ago. At that time the only way to find it was to click on the image at the top of the Facts and puzzling things about... section and then follow the links provided. This lead you into Durandal's little trap and the only way forward was to solve his puzzle. Solving the puzzle (power of seven) got you to Page 2401 and if you sent your name in it was added to the list of Sevens. Page 2401 was perhaps the first interactive puzzle on the net and its secret was kept for a long time... that is until May 13, 1998. You can check the What's New section on this date for details of what happened that day!

A permanent link to Page 2401 has now been added to the left "contents" frame.


Mike Ackerman <mackerm@relaypoint.net> writes:

I suspect you were joking about Marathon Secrets 1.5 being a rare collectors item. But in the slim chance you weren't...... try a search at Macdownload.com .

Nice find. I didn't think this was still available on-line. There goes the market value of this piece of Marathon memorabilia. ;-) Added Macdownload.com to Page 2401.

Thanks to all the people who wrote in with links for Page 2401. Added more links to the Personal Map Pages section. Additions include The Traitors, U.E.S.C Victory, Pfhornet, Madame Polly Gunn's Boudoir, Marathon: Leviathan, Dead on Arrival, Piltdown, Marathon 10/5 Mapmakers, Dr. Lex' Marathon Page.

Added Aerianne Connor's "Marathon Trilogy" page to the General Pages section.


If your Marathon page isn't listed on Page 2401 and you'd like to be included then please send me your URL. Corrections and suggestions are also welcome. Thanks.



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