Aug 31, 2002 (Saturday)

Story page closes... for a summer vacation until the 23rd Sept.

Aye it's that time of year again folks. Off to visit that spring in France. Although the page is closed the Story Forum is always open.


Aug 26, 2002 (Monday)

Simon Foreman <dah_man@silentubiquity.com> writes:

Just wanted to let you know if you hadn't heard already, that GameSpy.com is running a multi-part series on the history of Mac gaming, and Part II has a blurb on Bungie. The author said that Marathon was one of his all-time favourite games, which is quite a compliment coming from a PC game author and reviewer.

Link:
http://www.gamespy.com/articles/august02/macgaming2/


Patrick Harte <pkharte@hotmail.com> points out that the San Francisco Chronicle is carrying an article entitled 'The Bobs' safeguard airport. Yup Bobs have their uses.


Aug 23, 2002 (Friday)

Jamie White <jamiewhite@blueyonder.co.uk> writes:

This is an official Blizzard Starcraft map called deception (the only solo map that advances the Starcraft story, to my knowledge), in which you have to access computer terminals (13 in total) to find out information. Some are Starcraft goodies (story wise), but this one (and a few others) seemed a bit random in relation to anything Starcraft related. Is this a reference to marathon? It's computer terminal number 5 of 13, if it was number 7, I think I wouldn't hesitate to say it's marathon related...


Nick Martinolich <thesabotage@hotmail.com> writes:

Last year sometime I was going through a clearence rack at Electronics Boutique in search of games for nostalga purposes when I came across something I found pretty funny. A pack of 1000 Doom mac levels, D!ZONE MAC, for 99 cents. I didn't even open the box and left the price tag on it. (yes there is a Marathon connection to this) When I got home I looked on the back of the box to check out the screenshots. At first glance it was obvious the screens had been messed with in some way. I was right, down below the pictures it said "Simulated D!ZONE MAC screens". After looking at the pictures a little more I started to think they kind of looked like Marathon levels. I didn't think much of it and threw it back into my desk drawer. Just now I was looking through my desk and found the box. I took a closer look at the pictures and what's this?! Those are Marathon screenshots! All the enemies are Pfhor! I just found this rather amusing and maybe you guys will too.

Nick will try to get a screenshot sometime... soon.


Pillar in a Story forum post notes an interesting Oldschool MacGamer article on Marathon. Can you spot the odd thing in the article.


Aug 16, 2002 (Friday)

Not dead... just dreaming.


Check the Story forum for the latest Marathon news and views.


July 30, 2002 (Tuesday)

Pedro Henriquez <ukimalefu@hotmail.com> writes:

Read this interview and see if anything sounds familiar:

http://www.adventuregamers.com/display.php?id=132&p=3

Hal Barwood interview
Written by Marek Bronstring - 24-07-2002

You are currently working on a title called RTX Red Rock. How did the idea for that game develop?

I felt an urge to do some science fiction. I'm a Mars nut. I believe in heroes...and villains. As much contrast as possible. I like the idea of sending the player up against a group of strange and daunting space aliens that have their own purposes, and also their own weaknesses. I like the idea of getting into the game with a vague notion of the victory conditions (reconquer our colony on Mars), and also discovering, little by little, the deeper currents that run through the story.

The game obviously has to have a look and feel very different from Star Wars. What instructions, in terms of art and sound direction, did you give to the team?

If it didn't look very different, I would have to slap that SW label on... and make the names of my planets harder to pronounce, too.

Technology changes fast, but it also changes slowly. Yesterday's computer is an antique from the stone age. On the other hand, 747s are still operating 30 years after their introduction. The Blue Angels fly FA-18 Hornets, and they look futuristic, kind of like X-Wing fighters from a galaxy far, far away -- but instead they entered Navy service in 1983, almost 20 years ago. We're going for a semi-realistic NASA-of-the-future look. Maybe the best way to understand our approach is to notice that when our hero, E.Z. Wheeler, steps out onto the surface of Mars, he has to put on a space suit. When did you ever see that in a Star Wars episode?

What gameplay aspects of the game will adventure fans like most?

The story, I hope, and the puzzling that goes with it. And, of course, I'd like to persuade large numbers of adventure game addicts that zapping evil 3-eyed space aliens is a lot of fun!

Will there be interaction with other characters in RTX? Can you give us examples?

You bet. One of the reasons for the remote setting is loneliness. Yet our hero abandons his assigned post on Phobos and shuttles down to the Martian surface when he discovers some people are holding out against the alien onslaught. The player interacts with them, especially the Chief Colony Officer, Cimmeria Rajan, and a crazy old colonist named Boris. Wheeler also has a companion who travels with him wherever he goes, and that's IRIS -- his Independent Removeable Information System. She's like a super-sharp PDA. Our story is set a hundred years in the future, and technology has adapted to these things. There are standard kiosks all over the colony where you can plug her in for hints and guidance on the local situation. Most machines contain standard ports for IRIS as well. As a result, you can operate lots of robots and vehicles as secondary avatars. Best of all, IRIS has a personality. She's hopelessly in love with our hero -- programmed that way -- and longs for the day when she'll actually become the bodacious babe she always dreamed of. Late in the game, her dreams come true!


July 26, 2002 (Friday)

Michael Watson <mikey-sanSPAMMERS@AREbungieSPAZEROIDS.org> writes again concerning the binary index of Pi

The first four billion binary digits of pi are searchable through that site. The word "bungie" is found in a string of numbers at the binary index 2842677286.

And that just happens to break down to 7. :-)

Strange Aeons.


Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com> writes:

The hidden song on the Halo soundtrack is called The Siege of Madrigal, and precedes the Myth level of the same name. It's on the Halo soundtrack because it's also hidden in the game, see http://halo.bungie.org/tipsntricks/eggs.html#seige


Similarly Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> writes:

After the last track ends, there is a short span of silence followed "Siege of Madrigal" from Myth.

I believe this piece is also an easter egg in Halo. Head to http://halo.bungie.org/tipsntricks/eggs.html and scroll down. It's shown how to get the piece to play.



July 25, 2002 (Thursday)

Michael Watson <mikey-sanSPAMMERS@AREbungieSPAZEROIDS.org> points out that the binary index of Pi 2842677286 reduces to...

2 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 6 + 7 + 7 + 2 + 8 + 6 = 52

5 + 2 = . . .

Michael sent this link in http://pi.nersc.gov/index.htm for the sceptical among you.


David Kehlenbeck <David_Kehlenbeck-03@nobles.edu> writes:

I got the Halo Soundtrack a couple weeks ago and I was listening to it this afternoon and the second part of the last track (in the first half it's basically, if not exactly, the music from that original trailer from MWNY '99), but the second half sounds a lot like one of the songs out of Myth...I'm not sure which level or anything like that, but I feel like it was one of the levels where a town or a city just got ravaged and they play that sad song when the narrator is talking inbetween levels. Not sure if it's newsworthy or if it's been mentioned before, but just thought I'd mention it.


Evan Rowlands <darakat@mac.com> writes concerning the Marathon shotgun:

I know this is something of an old topic but last night whilst waiting for the late night movie, I switched chanells to discover a weird looking shotgun in the movie deep blue sea. Now the cocking mec seemed similar to that used in Marathon2. I am pretty certine the gun had over weird things about it but this was the most interesting was this dew to my recent readings on the Marathon Story bored. I may be mistaken as you get only about 5 secs to look at the gun before the camera drops to another person. I wonder if anyone has the tape and can confirm this. However it is pretty likely the movies creator has copied something else.


July 23, 2002 (Tuesday)

Return of the Vidmaster. John Sumner <UTJohnS@aol.com>, Vidmaster extraordinaire, writes concerning the mysterious 3rd Juggernaut on the Marathon Infinity level "Aye Mak Sicur":

I recently read on the story forum about the mysterious 3rd Juggernaut in Aye Mak Sicur that appeared in the old film by Nicholas Head. I reviewed that film yesterday and played around with my old saved game from that level to see if I could understand what's going on. In my saved game, I had not yet opened the bay doors. When I opened the doors, the Jugg teleported and immediately began firing at me. In fact, he eventually came through the doors into the bay. I don't think this really is a mystery, as the player can walk through the bay doors and down onto the long appendage that sticks out from the station. Unfortunately, there is no easy way back in, so there is no reason to go out there. A quick check with Forge shows that the lines making up the partition that should keep the Jugg outside are all set to "transparant". Doesn't this mean the player can walk across those lines? I am not a map-maker, so I am not sure of the answer. If so, then it stands to reason that the Jugg should be able to cross them also and enter the bay.


July 21, 2002 (Sunday)

Thanks to Elbert Wall <elbertdw@radiks.net> we now have a scan of the front cover of David Alexander Smith's second novel "Rendezvous". You can see it here. Covers of the other two novels in the Marathon trilogy series can be seen on the That Marathon Book section.


Andrew Girard <crosshammer@hotmail.com> writes:

While perusing the FAQ on the unofficial website of the band Tool, i noticed that Tool's lead singer, Maynard James Keenan, along with (former) Rage Against the Machine frontman Tom Morello, were in a high school band together called "Electric Sheep". If maybe this had been the high school band of a couple of members of N'Sync, i'd never have made any connections (and hopefully never found out), but considering the intrigue with both the band Tool (as well as RATM...) and the Marathon series, i figured it might be of note. Like i said, inconsequential... but its fun to start rumors.... er at least intrigue!


July 20, 2002 (Saturday)

The lost levels. Calandra Witter <callie21v@hotmail.com> makes this intreresting discovery:

On the Jan '94 Beta page, you challenged us to explore beyond Level 2... and despite the lack of an exit, I've found a ResEdit hack that lets you "vid" the final six levels.

It turns out the strings in the STR# resource are used to decide which order the MP resources are loaded in. If you change the first string to "Level 8," that's the first level you'll see.

http://www.slidersweb.net/callie21v/level/empty.jpg
http://www.slidersweb.net/callie21v/level/farthest.jpg

The same panorama is found on all six "lost" levels. Looks like REB was right: they opened space for succeeding levels but never produced them. However, this area isn't as empty as it appears: the walls are fully textured, with craters, graffiti, "FIRE" signs and everything. In particular, there's a distinctive "triple Grendel" formation in the southeast corner of each map.

http://www.slidersweb.net/callie21v/level/grendels.jpg

Due to the enormous field of view, the beta engine gets a little overwhelmed if you look from one corner of the room to the other:

http://www.slidersweb.net/callie21v/level/toofar.jpg

Whatever you do, don't look to the right from your starting location, or the game will crash, hard.

http://www.slidersweb.net/callie21v/level/smear.jpg

And sometimes strange things happen even when you're parallel to the wall...

http://www.slidersweb.net/callie21v/level/lumpy.jpg

That last phenomenon can also be seen to the far right of the first two screenshots. As your point of view changes, the "lump" moves up and down the length of the wall. I suppose the beta just wasn't up to rendering a surface that huge.

So now we know. Nothing earth-shattering, but I thought it would make an interesting footnote. :-)


July 16, 2002 (Tuesday)

Josh Petrie <rainbringer@mac.com> provides an interesting tidbit from screenwriter Jon Cohen of "Minority Report" fame:

Jon Cohen wrote back to me, saying that the gun came into being after his involvement. The relevant text of his reply is:

"Yeah, that stun gun came after my involvement. I know the next screenwriter didn't think of it. Probably the production designers and futurist gadget guys. I think of it as sending out electric shock waves -- sound wave-looking, but electric. But just a guess."


Michael Ackerman <mackerm@joymail.com> (Members of The Sevens) writes:

Have you compared the gun in "Minority Report" to the "Chi Punch" weapon in the Marathon2-derived game, "ZPC: No Flesh Shall Be Spared"? I'm pretty sure the "Chi Punch" is available in the demo version.

My hunch is that the elusive "Wave Motion Cannon" eventually became the Chi Punch. There is a related mention of ZPC in your "Weapons in Marathon" page.


July 15, 2002 (Monday)

The shotgun debate was never really dead was it... it was lurking in the shadows... waiting...

Samuel "Agent Shem" Fletcher <deagol@mac.com> writes:

To get this straight, the Marathon shotgun is absolutely impossible in our world. Look at the pictures of a real shotgun compared to a Marathon shotgun:

You see that in the first, there's a long magazine to hold about eight or nine shots. The second gun's magazine is way too short to hold more than three or four shells, and that's for feeding two barrels. At no time in Marathon are we seen to reload the tube-shaped magazine. As far as we know, the magazine holds as much ammo as it can (which I've gotten up to 50 by being very conservative). That's ridiculous.

The only possibility (Read: Major rationalization) is that the shotgun is not a lever action at all, but that when the cyborg swings the gun around, he is quickly jamming a couple more shots into the barrels. The lever is only to open up the gun's chamber. How does he do this with two guns in his hands? His hands are busy. Maybe there's some kind of teleporter to put shots into the barrel from the cyborg's pocket. "Life in the glorious 28th century..." =^)

Comparing movie guns to real guns is a mistake. I have heard that in one of the Rambo movies, the hero is using a machine gun with a belt-feed. The belt is seen to shrink into the gun, then extend out the other side! Do a search on "guns" and "movie" if you're interested. =^) Guns and movies have a dysfunctional relationship.


Josh Petrie <rainbringer@mac.com> writes:

The sonic shotgun in Minority Report isn't in the original PKD short story. I believe it was, along with the eye-scanning "spyders," a product of screenwriter Jon Cohen's imagination. I may be wrong though, as he did collaborate with three or four other screenwriters. I'll ask him and get back to you; if it was his creation, maybe he can supply some background information on its conception.


On a completely different subject W54S (full name pending) <W54S@aol.com> writes:

Enclosed is a comparison of a hunter and a skull I saw while playing By Committee. The skull is located in the tunnel after the area with the two tank cyborgs after the big area with the mother of all cyborgs. Also, does anyone have a theory on why the gray compilers on Eat The Path (the ones in the room with the light switch, and the ones in the room with the big window) squeak like mice when shot?


July 12, 2002 (Friday)

Noah "migraineboy" Brimhall <noahb@mac.com> writes:

I have something to say in regards to the discussion about the WSTE-M5 shotgun and Minority Report and especially Miguel Chavez's question about whether the "sonic" guns apeared in the short story Minority Report written by Phillip K. Dick (PKD). Well, unfortunately the sonic shotgun is not described in the PKD story. In fact Minority Report the movie only has a passing resembelance to the short story. This is pretty typical of movie versions of PKD stories, but very unfortunate since this is one of PKD's best stories. Just to bring the whole discussion (ridiculously) full circle I thought I would mention that PKD's story "We Can Remeber It For You Wholesale" was the basis for Total Recall which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger who, in his very next movie, proved once and for all that is possible to reload a shotgun with one hand. :)


Jamie Reid <jard@mta.ca> also writes:

About the various posts about the shotgun: the gun in Terminator2 doesn't reload by twirling it, it merely chambers another shell. If Arnie were to use up all the shells in the gun, then he'd have to reload, which involves no twirling and a lot of time. The gun is simply a lever action shotgun. Lots of people have probably seen lever action rifles in Westerns. For the movie, they made the lever loop bigger so that it could be twirled and Arnie could look cool.

In Marathon, the shotgun *reloads* by twirling it. Perhaps it generates electricity to teleport shells into it. Or you're very dexterous. I try not to think about it too much. As Durandal points out, the loading mechanism is far too complex for our puny minds.


Some odd goings on over at Marathon Resurrection:

thermopyle.piltdown//113177401 Something Wicked this way comes...

http://resurrection.bungie.org/

thermopyle.piltdown//113177401


And on the Story forum we have the news that Halo has been announced for Mac and PC... but you're going to have to wait over a year for it.


July 11, 2002 (Thursday)

Miguel Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes concerning the WSTE-M5 shotgun:

Just thought I'd add my opinion to the old argument about the shotgun and it's reload mechanism: I would think that when Terminator 2 came out in 1991 and we saw Arnold Schwarzenegger use a shotgun and mimic the same exact 'twirl' reload movement while riding his motorcycle, that we had proof that it was possible for a shotgun to reload in such a way.

Granted, the movie is based on fantasy, so such a shotgun may not exist in real life, but a counter-argument is that it is known that director James Cameron likes to use real or as-real-as-possible guns in his pictures.

My belief, and I'm not a gun enthusiast so I have no proof to back it up, is that such a gun as the WSTE-M5 might not have existed in the public's eye when M2 first came out in '96, and as such spurred alot of conversation at a.g.m, but such a gun probably exists now. Mayhaps more informed readers of your page may be able to shed some light on this?

Going back to Minority Report, the shock-wave shotguns in question, if I recall correctly, required multiple revolutions to 'cock the trigger' so to speak. If I were to postulate their inner-workings, the shock-guns amplify and channel the pressure the wielder creates by 'tightening' or 'compressing' some element in the gun. Pulling the trigger releases this energy as a shock-wave. Mayhaps the number of twirls you impart on the gun increases the force of the blast, exponentially or incrementally.

Having never read the short story the movie is based on, by Philip K Dick, I don't know if this mysterious gun makes an appearance within those pages. If it did, it would be quite interesting, since the book came out in the 50's, many years before Marathon 2 and the dual-shotguns with 'twirly' reload. :)


July 10, 2002 (Wednesday)

Finn Smith <fcs[at]modcult.org> makes a valid point when he writes:

My memory of this was triggered by the mention of the reloading in Minority Report. I can hardly believe that no one has mentioned this before, but a Google search of the story page and a perusal of the Weapons in Marathon section turn up nothing.

The shotgun's reloading mechanism in Marathon is clearly a reference to Terminator 2. Early in the movie when the original terminator and the young John Connor are chased by the T-1000 the terminator reloads his own gun several times using the very same circular flipping motion we know and love. I can't imagine that the shotgun reloading in Marathon is anything other than an homage to this.


July 9, 2002 (Tuesday)

David Lund <kismob@hotmail.com> writes concerning the film of the moment:

I recently went to see the movie Minority Report. The films vision of the future really doesn't share anything with our favorite game... one of their weapons, on the other hand, did. A sonic shot-gun of some sort was seen reloaded in a 'twirly' kind of motion, just like those hard to explain ones that we lug around. Just thought I'd bring this to your attention.



James Wheare <james.wheare@lycos.com> writes those ubiquitous Marathon sounds:

I heard the lift sound from Marathon 2 in a TV advert in the UK for Vanish a while ago where a boy is lowered by a mechanical crane into a vat of water to soak. Just thought I'd point that out.



July 7, 2002 (Sunday)

FWIW... Happy Bungie day. Just because things aren't working around here doesn't mean the Story forum does too.



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