Mystery Pic

Mystery pic - What did this terminal show? See below.

 (July-Aug 1998)


Aug 24, 1998
The Marathon's Story page is closed for a summer vacation until the 11th Sept... BUT...

...to keep your mind and fingers occupied until then here is

The 2nd Summertime Blues Competition.

Seven HoT questions to sort the men from the boys, the Marathon gurus from the Sunday players. You think you're Big Time, you're going to... yeah... yeah... yeah... we heard all this last year... get on with the questions?

err... right you asked for it. Here are the questions:


Q1. In total how many net levels are there in the three Marathon games comprising the Marathon Trilogy? wow that's easy... Hamish has gone soft!

Q2. In the Marathon games there are 3 main ways of dying:

  1. Being killed by aliens and other assorted characters such as Sims, Bobs, Defense Drones, etc.

  2. Killing yourself through the misuse of a weapon i.e. firing a grenade or rocket to close to an object or overcharging a fusion pistol.

  3. Being killed by the Marathon environment i.e. crushing platforms, lava, Pfhor slime, lack of oxygen etc.
But just how deadly is the Marathon environment? Of the 27 solo levels in Marathon 1 on how many is it possible to be crushed to death?

Q3. What had a range of 12?

Q4. In Pathways Into Darkness you encounter a number of dead people - German soldiers lead by the infamous Muller, your American Special Forces team, and a group of Spanish speaking treasure hunters. In total how many people entered the pyramid?

Q5. What equalled 61?

Q6. What were the seven final words of a dying man?

Q7. A memory, a name, a reason. Three things all forgotten. What were they?


If you think you know the answers then send them in. Get all seven right and you win an exclusive Marathon's Story page secret mystery prize! :-)

Remember though these are not your normal wussie competition questions these are HoT questions, the real McCoy. And don't forget all those tips folks! The 2nd Summertime Blues Competition is open to all including employees of Bungie, Bungie West and Double Aught... not that it will make any difference. [laughter] ;-)


Aug 23, 1998
Greg Downing <downin1@mindspring.com> writes:

I was reading the text from the terminal at "Naw Man He's Close", and I found an interesting short line:"The Trap is sprung, and the cheese stands alone."

For those of you not in the know, this is an allusion to the Robert Cormier book, "I Am The Cheese". It's referring to the old song "Farmer in the Dell, which goes something like this:

The Farmer in the dell,
the farmer in the dell,
heigh ho the dairy o,
the farmer in the dell.

The cat eats the rat....etc
The rat eats the cheese...etc
The cheese stands alone.


Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> writes concerning the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aug 22, 1998
Kieran Wheeler <dragonpsycho@innocent.com> writes concerning Scott de Brestian's interpretation of the cryptic Thoth terminal on "Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks". See the Thoth section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> writes concerning Thoth's role. See the Thoth section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aug 21, 1998
Simon Brownlee, maintainer of Marathon Central, has set up a page to help 3rd party Marathon scenario developers. It's called Volunteers. If you wish to volunteer your services to scenario developers you can post about your abilities. Or if you're a scenario developer you can post a request for specific help. Should help co-ordinate both sets of people.


Richard Bromberg <rbrom@mnsinc.com> writes:

Reviewing some messages posted, Gabe Rosenkoetter mentioned the fact that the Pfhor "...seem to have something of a hive mentality (they resemble insects, come in droves, replace the fallen as nothing had happened, and work fairly well together till one gets pissed off and tries to establish it's dominance.)"  In Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game four book series, the entire plot is based on a war between an alien race called simply the "Buggers".  The Buggers inhabit all traits that Gabe describes of the Pfhor, and also communicate through an *ANSIBLE* connection. (Note that Thoth refers to an ansible connection in one of his terminals).

This clearly shows undisputable evidence that the Pfhor in nature resemble the Buggers as described by Card.  In addition, there is a possibiliy that the Pfhor communicate ansiballically.

On the subject of the ansible - the "ansible" was invented by Ursula K. Le Guin in her novel The Dispossed (1974) and describes a method for communicating instantaneously. It's not clear if the Pfhor had this ability. They did have a FTL network however. The Jjaro had left a connection (ansible?) which allowed Thoth to signal the S'pht'Kr across "the void" on "Where the Twist Flops". By "Fatum Iustum Stultorum" they had arrived which is pretty good going.


Aug 20, 1998
We told you so!

The following was posted on Bungie West's Hotline server at 209.125.179.23.

From Balin (Aug19 17:08):

MaraUnreal project.

It was at one stage going ahead, but after it was clear that UnrealED was not appearing on the Macintosh, and emulation was not a feasable solution, things slowed to a hault.

So rather than be really boring and let the thing die off silently, I thought it would be a amusing to release the site, and see what sort of fuss it created. Hamish Sinclair, who doesn't care about anything but Marathon, had overheard some conversations of mine earlier, and posted dispersions about the project on Marathon's Story.

Durandal, what made you think the project was a hoax? I'd like to know if any other of my supposed online friends need castrating.


Ah true confessions are always the best. ;-)

But who is the one called Durandal?


James Lanfear <jclanfear@presys.com> writes concerning Peter de Blanc's submission yesterday:

Just a little clarification about the Mechwarrior. The Deimos Project was the name of the program that led to the development of Jumpships (which are fairly small, BTW). The moon Deimos was never involved, and even a thousand years later mankind couldn't come close to converting a moon into a ship. The closest thing mentioned (in size) are Jumpships moving icebergs to the colony worlds.

Mechwarrior, Second Edition (c) 1991, pg. 107 "The Terran Parliament authorized the Deimos Project, a crash program to develop an FTL drive. Although the Deimos Project culminated in the maiden voyage of the first FTL ship to Tau Ceti in 2108, the billions spent on it created resentment and even rioting in some of the poorer Alliance member-states"

Tau Ceti IV (New Earth) was settled in 2116.

Resentment and rioting eh?


Aug 19, 1998
Peter de Blanc <Giule@aol.com> provides some interesting information on an early sci-fi game plot which is similar to parts of Marathon:

I recently got a pencil & paper RPG called "MechWarrior" (not the computer game) and it's originally copyrighted in the eighties. In the history of this game, the people of Earth invented FTL drives in the twenty-second century, and in what they called "The Deimos Project", they converted Deimos into a starship with which they colonized Tau Ceti. Tau Ceti IV, to be specific, sound familiar?

Peter continues:

Battletech is a war game (Real life, not computer) designed by FASA, Inc. FASA's web site is at http://www.fasa.com. In Battletech, each player controls any number of 'mechs. 'Mechs are basically humanoid tank-type things. In MechWarrior, on the other hand, you only control one 'mech, and role-play the 'mech's pilot, and are involved in situations both in and out of the cockpit. It's sort of like AD&D, only it's SF.

The original game, my friend tells me, is copyright 1984 (love that year!), but the version I have now is (c) 1991. There is probably a newer version out.

Hell, I don't want to tell the whole story, I'll just scan it. I'll be sending the .gifs in a bit...

Interesting stuff. Demios converted into a starship to colonize Tau Ceti IV? As Peter says "sound familiar?" Details to follow!


Aug 18, 1998
"weird and frightening monsters"
Aliens, the undead, or something more? See The Chicken Term section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Yet another Marathon-like symbol this time from Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com>. See the That Marathon Symbol section for details.


Aug 17, 1998
Ben Irwin <Jackelblow@aol.com> writes:

About two weeks ago, I recieved the rather large, hardcover book called "The Star Trek Encyclopedia: A Reference Guide to the Future Second Edition" through Amazon.com

The weird thing is that there are several references to Tau Ceti. There is Tau Ceti III, Tau Ceti Prime and Tau Ceti. The definitions are the following:

Tau Ceti III: Planet. Site where Jean-Luc Picard once met Captain Rixx some time prior to 2364. [from episode "Conspiracy" of The Next Generation]

Tau Ceti Prime: First planet in the Tau Ceti star system. Tau Ceti Prime was the site of a tragic accident in 2358 that claimed the life of Adrimal Janeway. ["Coda" from ST: Voyager]

Tau Ceti: Star located some eight light years from the Sol System. Site where a Romulan vessel was defeated by the Enterprise using the Cochrane deceleration maneuver. ["Whom Gods Destroy" from the original series]

Strange to note that Tau Ceti Prime and Tau Ceti pre-dated Marathon. Also there is Tycho IV, with the following description:

Planet. Home to the spacefaring dikironium cloud creature. The U.S.S. Farragut lost 200 crew members fighting that entity in the Tycho system in 2257. Captain Kirk of the Enterprise destroyed the creature there in 2268. ["Obsession" from the original series]

Tau Ceti sure is a popular place. :-)


Added further information concerning the cryptic Thoth terminal on "Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks". See the Thoth section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aug 16, 1998
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> came across some interesting information about Tycho Brahe. Gabe writes:

I came across it in conjunction with reading Joyce's Ulysses. More accurately, in reading Don Gifford and Robert J. Seidman's notes on it, "Ulysses Annotated", published by the University of California Press.

The section of Ulysses in question is when Stephen Dedalus, the Telemachus figure of the book, is describing his conception of William Shakespeare's life and how it was represented in his plays. (This is Book 9 of Ulysses.)

"9.928-32 - 'A star, a day star ... eastward of the bear' - The Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) discovered a super-nova above the small star Delta in the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia, 11 November 1572, when Shakespeare was eight and a half years old. The nova, called Tycho's star, brightened rapidly until it outshone all the other stars and plantes at night and was visible in the daylight; it began to fade in December 1572. Delta is at the bottom of the left-hand loop of the W. ..."

So, Tycho is known for discovering a star going nova, which was visible from Earth in the sixteenth century, so brightly that it blocked out the other stars in the sky and was visible in the day. Interesting. That somehow reminds me of a terminal graphic... but I just can't quite remember which one...

;^>

More information about Tycho's Supernova can be found here

Some time ago Greg Kirkpatrick, main author of the Marathon Story, confirmed that the Marathon's Tycho was named after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe.

One of the Moon's most prominent earthside craters is named after Tycho Brahe. The Tycho crater is where mankind discovers the 2nd Monolith in Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi film 2001 released on April 2, 1968.

The Surveyor lunar probes were the first U.S. spacecraft to land safely on the Moon. A total of seven Surveyor probes were launched though only five made successful landings, or so it is claimed. Surveyor 7, the last of the Surveyor probes, landed on the outer rim of the Tycho crater. It was launched on January 7, 1968.


Charles Bathel <random_electrons@yahoo.com> writes concerning the recent aerial photograph (186K) of Bungie West's San Jose stomping ground:

...there's actually a simple reason why squares on the sides are blacked out.

Arial photographs are composites of multiple photographs. If you look closely, you can _occasionaly_ see seam between the photos. Maybe the reason why the sides are blacked out is because there's nothing that was needed in the final photograph in those areas.

Well, _maybe_ there is...

What?


Aug 15, 1998
Every once in awhile information comes to light that illuminates the Marathon story that little bit more. Today is such a day. Thanks to Scott de Brestian <c647100@showme.missouri.edu> another piece of the jigsaw has been found. See the Thoth section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aug 14, 1998
Ben Fisher <bfisher@enterprise.net> asks what happened to the fourth texture set in Marathon and Marathon 2?

In Marathon, texture sets 1, 2, and 3 were for the colony ship while the fifth was for the Pfhor scoutship. What happened to the pfhourth texture set? Again in Marathon 2 texture sets 1, 2, and 3 were for Lh'owon and the fifth was for the Pfhor ship. The pfhourth texture set is again missing. Ben points out that in Infinity texture set 4 is present and is for the Jjaro ship.

So was there ever a fourth texture set in Marathon and Marathon 2? If so why was it removed? Ben speculates that perhaps the fourth set was designed to be for Jjaro textures. He writes:

This point is reinforced by the fact that the Jjaro were evident in Bungie's Universe in PiD, and noticeably tinkering with the human race since at least the 1930's.

Perhaps, in the original planned Marathon, the player visited a Jjaro ship, much as he does in Infinity. If this wasn't the case I think it's worth questioning: Where were the Jjaro in Marathon 1? Bearing in mind the instrumental roles they played in PiD, M2 and MI isn't their absence in M1 somewhat suspicious?

Suspicious indeed! The Jjaro do in fact feature in Marathon but only as a name in a line of map text. Text we could ONLY find once we had developed the tools (i.e. map editors) necessary to discover it. Sound familiar?

But even finding the map text was not enough. You had to make the connection between the word Jjarro as written on the "Never Burn Money" map and the Jjaro diplomat mentioned in Pathways Into Darkness manual. Only then would we know the shocking tru7h.

Concrning the missing fourth texture set we might equally speculate that it was designed for the Tau Ceti based colony or just simply another set for the colony ship itself. Whatever the answer it would seem that a fourth texture set had been planned for at one stage but then removed leaving a gap in the numbering.


Alex Samaras <asamaras@fit.edu> writes:

I was just reading the "Miscellaneous" Section of the story page and was noticing the discussion about the stickers and their bar codes.

One thing that is fairly obvious that never seemed to be noted is that each sticker has on it the name of a ship and the bar code encodes the name of the AI that controls the ship:

On the U.E.S.C Marathon sticker:

LEELA SHIP OPERATIONS
On the Celer Manus Dei sticker:

DURANDAL AUTONOMOUS FUNCTIONS
On the Cr'etz'ih sticker:

TYCHO SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Leela was in control of the Marathon, especially at the end of M1 after Durandal removed himself from the network, but also before hand as she was in charge of "ship operations."

"Celer Manus Dei" is the name of Durandal's ship on the final screen of M2, a Jjaro dreadnought.

"Cr'etz'ih" is the name of the Pfhor ship that Tycho controls at the beginning of Infinity on "Rise Robot Rise," assuming that the following line from Terminal 3 can be considered to name the ship:

"All units aboard fleet vessel 65-f cr'etz'ih are hereby ordered..."

This may have been obvious to some but not to all.



Aug 13, 1998
Marathon wins "Best Bungie Game" poll. Myth News has the details. Indeed Marathon won by such a large margin that one wonders what happened to all the Myth players out there? Did they vote? Do they care? Or is it simply the fact that Marathon RULES? :-)


Thanks to all the people who spotted the deliberate error on the Story page.

Charon Doesn't Make Sense

The Story page puts these out occasionally to see if you're all awake! ;-)


Steve Smart <steve827@earthlink.net> follows up on his submission about the Quicktime 3/Marathon Music problem.

To be more specific about the problem, when played in MIDIGraphy the music sounds almost exactly like the original (better IMHO), but MoviePlayer goes crazy with the pitch bend. I think MIDIGraphy might not export correctly to QT3, but if anyone out there has QuickTime 3 pro, they can also change the instruments from right inside the movie file. All you need to do is change SynthVox to Choir Aahs. (I think this is what QT calls them, my program calls them leed 6(voice) and Choir Aahs


A number of people have written in about the recent appearance of a web page for the so-called "Marathon to Unreal" Project. The Story page has been aware of this for some time and would like to point out that given the Coordinator's credentials (yes the guy known as "Ba" as in sheep) you have as much chance of seeing this come to anything as you have of seeing BungieRumors being updated daily!.

It's a Bob Blake folks. Don't fall for it!


An interesting pic was sent into the Story page. It's apparently an aerial view of the San Jose area showing the location of Bungie West and a number of their favorite haunts. Sam's BBQ... mmmm... tasty. Anyway I'm not sure what purpose it serves unless of course you're on a bombing run!

Ok the pic is big (186K) and parts of it are blacked out for reasons unknown. You can see it here


Aug 12, 1998
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>, Director of Customer Support at Bungie, squashes another Marathon 4 rumor. It began on alt.games.marathon:

From: Locust23 <Locust23@spammersfuckoff.com|*> 
Subject:  Bungee is working on a Marathon 3-D go ahead for late 1999 
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 04:06:01 +0000 
Organization: CyberHell Inc. 
Message-ID: <35CFC322.577A@spammersfuckoff.com> 


Just got back from Millwaukee where I attended the GEN CON 
game fair, and Bungee had a booth promoting Myth and nothing else.

Anyway, I BSed with the guy at the booth and asked if the rumor is true
that a new Marathon will be released sometime.  

The guy said Myth is still taking up most of Bungee's manpower right
now, but yes, next year a new Marathon will be made, and from the ideas
he seen will be a totally new 3D engine like Quake and Unreal.

Hope this confirms the rumor, and I can't wait.

Locust23


Could it be true? Did a Bungie employee let slip the tru7h or was this just another sad hoax?

Matt Soell, once more, sets the record straight!

From:  matt@bungie.com (Matt Soell) 
Subject: Re: Bungee is working on a Marathon 3-D go ahead for late 1999 
Message-ID: <matt-1108981743330001@209.125.9.13> 
References: <35CFC322.577A@spammersfuckoff.com> <1998081109495000.FAA27868@ladder03.news.aol.com> <35D0B59C.5D1A@indiana.edu> 
Organization: Bungie Software 
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 22:43:28 GMT 


In article <35D0B59C.5D1A@indiana.edu>, jecillie@indiana.edu wrote:

> Rumors are rumors because they bring
> hope. Hope is not a bad thing. It's hard for me to imagine how an M4
> rumor can cause damage to us. So I say, let the hoping begin.

Well, I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but....

the rumors of a Marathon 4 are false.

The original poster was either the victim of misinformation (NOT from any
Bungie employee; everyone here knows there is no M4 in the works) or is
having a bit of cruel fun at agm's expense.  If I had to guess, I'd go
with the latter.

-Matt

-- 
Matthew Soell
Director of Customer Support
Bungie Software
matt@bungie.com


Matt's eternal fate seems to be writing replies such as these.


Steve Smart <steve827@earthlink.net> writes in with a possible solution to the Quicktime 3/Marathon Music problem.

I was able to get the music to sound good under 3.0 just by replacing instrument 55 with instrument 34, most other conversions between the two codexes work rather well, but when I used MoviePlayer to change them into QuickTime music, it sounded completely different and when I used MIDIGraphy to convert, it worked perfectly but hung Marathon. If anyone can figure out what causes this I would appreciate the help

If anyone can help please pass on the information to either Steve or the Story page. Thanks.


Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> writes concerning the S'pht'Kr. See The S'pht section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Bungie West have set up a hotline server at 209.125.179.23 for reading, posting and chatting about Oni and other Bungie stuff. It's running off a PowerMac 8500/132/128MB/8GB. The server is likely to move to 209.125.179.20 sometime in the future. If you drop in you might meet Alex Okita himself or some of the other Bungie West staff.:-)

Don't have the Hotline Client? Don't know what hotline is? Then check out the Hotline Home Page for details. You can download an evaluation version of the Hotline client from there.


Aug 11, 1998
Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> writes further on Quicktime 3 and the Marathon background music:

I remember a tool that let you change the instuments in the QTMI file. I also know that there can be other Instuments files, as Ambrosia Software's "Harry The Handsome Executive" uses it's own sounds and places a file called "Harry Instruments" in the Extensions folder. So, theoretically, one might be able to make a QT3-compatible Instruments file with the QT2 instuments in it, and then make some MIDI tracks of the Marathon Music which point to that file, and merge them into a Music file. Then distribute the two together and viola, old Marathon music.

Anyone want to try this? What is needed is something that can be put into the Extensions folder and forgotten about rather than having to keep replacing the QT3 files everytime you want to fire up Marathon and hit the decks running.

Somebody's gotta do it... man it's war out there!


Ben Fisher <bfisher@enterprise.net> writes concerning the text of the "trash" term (Terminal 2) on Arrival from the Marathon Demo. See the Trash Terms section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Jonathan Louie <tenchi@leland.Stanford.EDU> writes concerning the new office pics at Bungie West:

there's a ghost in the shell poster up in image 25 - perhaps there is a connection :)

Yes indeed as the opening image of the Oni trailor has already suggested.


Concerning the odd Oni Central happenings Charles Morris <pennywgt@netc.net.au> writes:

If you go to the now defunct Myth Novae, http://members.xoom.com/Novae/novae.html you'll see that the same virus has gotten them (me) as well :). Oni Central, Myth Novae, and hopefully a Marathon site soon, are forging together to form an all in one Bungie site :).

An all in one Bungie site? So is Oni Central no more? Did Novae see the light and jump the Myth ship before the iceberg? Or has this something to do with Bungie Chicago's new ground breaking game presently in development? Only time will tell.



Aug 10, 1998
In case you didn't know or had forgotten you can grab all the latest Marathon files uploaded to the Marathon Hyperarchive BEFORE they are archived away and never seen again by using this URL

ftp://ftp.marathon.org/incoming/

Don't say I didn't warn you. Grab those files now before it's too late. Once they get beyond /incoming/ finding them again makes Pathways Into Darkness look like a day on the farm! ;-)


Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> explains why the current version of QuickTime Musical Instruments (Quicktime 3.0) makes the Marathon music sound so different:

Well, it's really quite simple. QT3 has a completely different set of instruments, a more commonly used one than the limited set in QT2. But Bungie designed the Marathon music specifically for use with the QT2 instruments, and now that the instruments are all diffferent (though still a little similar if you really pay attention), the music is completely different, and doesn't sound right in some cases.


A number of people have written in to say that some tracks sound ok while others are clearly distorted under QT3. Original QT2 Marathon music purists, including myself, however will no doubt bemoan any change in the original music sound. What can be done apart from replacing QT3 with QT2.5 everytime you want to play Marathon? If you have a solution please let the Story page know. Thanks.


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

Does anyone know if there is a way to use QT2 musical instruments with QT3?

Unfortunately QT2 Musical Instruments will not load with QT3. The solution at present is to replace all the QT3 files with QT2 versions and then restart. See the FAQ section for details. If you know of an alternative please pass it on.


Charles Morris <pennywgt@netc.net.au> writes:

Check out Oni Central, something strange is going down...

http://come.to/onicentral
or
http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Lair/6079/


Odd stuff indeed!


Double Aught's Duality site had been updated with new screenshots.

Less than one week old and www.dualism.org not only gets an exclusive preview of new Duality screenshots but gets mentioned on Inside Mac Games news page and Mac Gamer's Ledge news page. Just who are these guys?


Aug 9, 1998
Bo Lindbergh, Marathon third-party programing guru, points out that his application Fux is now updated to version 1.0.1. You can get it along with other goodies including novelty maps at his home page:

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

Worth a look!


Sean Phelps <seanphelps@earthlink.net> asks:

What ever happened to the Marathon? I can vaguely recall reading something about this somewhere, but I fail to remember what it was. I have read most (not all, I have to sleep sometime) of the story page and have unearthed very few (if any) references to the Marathon AFTER Durandal abandoned it.

It just seems odd to me that the namesake for the whole trilogy is never mentioned once after the initial game.

Strange but true. Actually the UESC Marathon is mentioned in the Marathon 2 Demo (not the Preview). In the second "secret" message on the 1st terminal of "What About Bob?" Durandal says:

As for Tycho, he must have remained on the Marathon. Since the fool is hiding from me the fate and location of the Marathon, he must be up to something. I would surmise that the Pfhor have some plans for old Deimos; they bought the colony ship for sale.

This text doesn't appear in the final game so we never learn the fate of our colony ship. What is interesting is why it was felt necessary to remove this text. Granted it raises the possibility of a "fate of the Marathon" sub-plot. Perhaps this had been considered in an earlier version of the M2 story but then discarded and all references were therefore removed.


Back in March '98 there was considerable discussion about how the Marathon background music sounded under new Quicktime 3.0. Opinion seemed divided. So it was a case of make your own mind up. Well I have and I think it sucks! As far as Marathon is concerned the upgrade to Quicktime 3.0 was a downgrade. So I've gone back to Quicktime 2.5 when playing Marathon. You can get the original Quicktime 2.5 installer at the Story page here (1987K) if you want to relive the old days. The FAQ section has details on what you need to do to install it correctly.

I have always looked forward to playing Marathon on the latest Macintosh or Mac OS since there has always been an improvement to be had in gameplay however slight. Thus it saddens me to think that this is now not the case. I fully appreciate that one day the original Marathon software will not run on the latest Apple Macintosh. But I've tended to measure this on a long horizon. Let's hope that Quicktime 3.0 was just a blip on a more distant horizon.

If anyone knows why the Quicktime 3.0 version of QuickTime Musical Instruments makes the Marathon music sound so different please let the Story page know. Thanks.


Aug 8, 1998
Well here's one for the books. Take note people!

Alex Okita put some Bungie West office pics up on his page at http://www.okita.com/ back in June. Last week BungieRumors drew attention to the fact that none of these pics contained Macs. PCs yes... Macs no! BungieRumors went on to suggest that because of the lack of Macs at Bungie West "Oni" was most likely going to be a PC first game with a Macintosh port at a later stage. Yesterday Alex Okita put up some new Bungie West office pics showing Macs alongside PCs.

Some lessons to be learned here.

  1. Web pages like "BungieRumors" do have some influence afterall.
  2. Bungie do listen to whining Macintosh users.
  3. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.
Had Alex Okita not shared his office pics no one would have been any the wiser and none of the above would have happened. The moral of course is - "Don't give out information!". One wonders how may people are now studying the new Bungie West office pics to find out lurid details of their working behavior.


Double Aught, the company that brought us the Marathon Infinity scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon", have released two new Duality screenshots. You can see them at DUALISM, a new Duality site maintained by Tim Maurer and Daniel Whelan. These guys seem to have the inside scoop on the DoubleAught scene. You'll find them hanging out on the IRC channel #doubleaught (EFNet network). Of course it remains to be seen if they have any DoubleAught office pics. If they have we'd surely learn that the DA guys and girls are really developing Duality on Atari's. ;-)


Aug 7, 1998
Michael Dawe <dawe@frontiernet.net> writes concerning the connections between Pathways Into Darkness and Marathon. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> writes concerning the connections between Pathways Into Darkness and Marathon. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aug 6, 1998
Marathon for the Newton? Yes... well the story anyway. Michiel Buisman <duality@total.gameaholic.com> has but together the text of the Marathon story into Newton format. As he says:

Should be of great assistance for people trying to figure out the Marathon story on the go.

Michael goes onto to say:

Surprising it's only 352 pages, at 1/4 US letter size... Oh well: must be geneva 9. It's so nice'n small!

In case you don't have a Newton, here's the intro text:

"Hi there!

You've just downloaded the complete terminal-text of all three Marathon games, as well as the manual texts and the demo texts, except for the Infinity-demo text.

All of this is to be found on www.marathon.org/story/, a site maintained by Hamish Sinclair, who has collected a lot more than just the terminal text. To him goes the credit.

I just DLd the stuff and poured it into a Newton book. If you feel you need a more advanced version, or you feel I should have added more links in the index, please mail me.

If you feel like it, pay a visit to my Duality page.

Clap if you love!

Michiel Buisman
Duality@total.gameaholic.com
total.gameaholic.com/duality

newton lives

It's for the Newton 120 and up and weighs in at 350K (uncompressed). You can grab it here (136K). Remember you need a Newton to read it. All comments, suggests, criticisms, etc. concerning the Marathon for Newton book should be directed to Michiel at <duality@total.gameaholic.com>. Thanks.


Dave Aitken <DaveAJA@aol.com> writes concerning the sounds in Marathon. See the Sounds in Marthon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aug 5, 1998
William Spencer <williamspencer@hotmail.com> writes:

I just read another "Marathon-like" novel: Orion Among The Stars, by Ben Bova (published around 1990, I think...). Orion is this super-warrior (he heals fast, he can see combat in slow motion, and he's been able to succeed in hand-to-hand combat with him alone versus half-a-dozen enemies...), built by a "Creator" (one of a race of many - they're descendants of humans, I think...) who calls himself Aten. Orion is made to fight in a war between the Creators which spans time and space - he's fought in times from the Trojan War to thousands of years in our future. Eventually, Orion grows beyond Aten's control, gaining the ability to control his own destiny, transport himself across time and space, and so on...

Sound familiar yet?

Orion is made to lead a troop of soldiers - these soldiers are clones (so they all look alike), made for one purpose only: war. They are released from cryo-chambers, briefed, sent to fight, and then popped back in stasis. Orion wants to give them a better live, and they finally do... They sound like the Bobs, don't they? (The only difference is that there are female soldiers as well as males...)

A race of "Old Ones" (peaceful hyper-intelligent beings billions of years old, with enormous power) contacts Orion, telling him that they won't interfere with the war between the humans (and a few other races), unless the humans interfere with the workings of the universe - such as if they blow up suns. The humans have developed a weapon to do just that - to make a sun prematurely go nova. Orion works to deliver the message, but of course the humans want to keep fighting. Sounds like the Jjaro and the "trih xeem", neh?

Yet again, science fiction themes repeat themselves.

Yes indeed and an excellent find BTW.

Orion, the first book in Ben Bova's popular "Orion" series was first published by Simon and Schuster in 1984 and later as a Tor paperback in 1985. Other books in the series include: Vengance of Orion (Tor Books,1988); Orion in the Dying Time (Tor Books, 1990); Orion and the Conqueror (Tor Books, 1994); and Orion Among the Stars (Tor Books, 1995).

The "Orion" saga is the story of John O'Ryan (Orion) the eternal warrior created by one of the mysterious Creators who rule outside of time-created to do battle for them, and to die, again and again, up and down the timeline from the primal past to the far-flung future.

The series finds Orion in such places as ancient Greece during the Trojan war, the Macedonian killing fields alongside a future Alexander the Great, and trapped amidst the gore of a vicious, multi-sided interstellar war between several factions of humanity and several alien races.

As William points out Ben Bova's "Orion" themes can be found throughout Marathon. :-)


Alex Samaras <asamaras@fit.edu> asks:

is there any connection between Myth:TFL and Terminal 2 of "Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken"? I only ask because the following seems very Myth-like:

....n 15 ~~~~~~Be~rn border of the Roman Empire to the Danube
River.  During a skirmish with barbarians in Raetiain the
mountains near the borof modern France and Switzerland), 117
men under Gaius Licinius MarcW#&I~?f/f/xxfxfff`~~~
THM@#%!@#
233nce of weird and frightening monsters under his control,
many successful raidsecty the fall of the Roman Empire and
remained unmolested until the ninth un~~~
written ls into the lex vita.  Clovis moved the settlement
farther south i the mountains, nearer the spring, to escape
the notice of Charlemagne and later the Holy Roman Empire.
Clovis remain````	

I am especially referring to the "weird and frightening monsters..." Any correlation?

There have been a number of attempts to tie Myth into Marathon and perhaps Myth II will reveal more? Personally though I've always thought that this was a reference to the first use of elephants by Hannibal in Carthage's war against Rome in the third century BC. Infantry who had never seen elephants allegedly ran in terror before these weird and frightening monsters.


Aug 4, 1998
Regarding Super Marathon for the Pippin I asked Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>, Director of Customer Support at Bungie, whether it was a direct port? As in no changes made to terminals, maps, gameplay etc. He replied as follows:

I believe so. There was only one person assigned to the port (Jason Regier) and he didn't have the time or inclination to mess around with it too much as he was needed on the Myth team. The hardest part was figuring out a way to make that wacky AppleJack controller handle all the various commands.

One of the Pippin's selling points among the Mac faithful was that Mac users would be able to run almost all Pippin games. Not sure if it is possible to run SuperMarathon on a standard Mac....perhaps one of the 4 people who bought a Pippin could help us out here. ;-)


Alex Rosenberg, a former Bungie employee, replied to a post on alt.games.marathon concerning Super Marathon. It's reprinted in full below. Makes for interesting reading.


From: alexr@I.HATE.SPAM (Alex Rosenberg) 
Subject: Re: super marathon 
Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 22:45:30 -0700 
Organization: Hackers Anonymous 
Message-ID: <alexr-0308982245300001@roseal2.apple.com>
References: <35C5097C.12B7BFEE@hotmail.com_NOSPAM>


In article <35C5097C.12B7BFEE@hotmail.com_NOSPAM>,
csta026@cs.auckland.ac.nz wrote:

>,Does anybody here know any more abput Super Marathon (apparently for
>,Pippin's) than the tiny bits of info that cyberian outpost put on the
>,page (see the link on Storys page)?
>,
>,I would like to buy it if I can find which versions (of the pippin) it
>,compatible with and the memory requirments. Any are the levels any
>,different?

<,sigh>, What a huge waste of time.

IIRC, Super Marathon runs on the Pippin only as it uses the special
Pippin-only APIs for controller input (pre-InputSprocket) and the special
PippinStandardFile. There was an extension in the Pippin SDK that provided
these features on a regular Power Macintosh, but good luck finding it now.
The game restarts the machine when you quit it because a memory leak in
the Pippin OS prevented the game from relaunching since it barely fit. It
should work on both the original Japanese unit and the later US design.

The game consists of a M1 and M2 with an interface for picking which game
to launch. A few M2 levels are different, but I believe that they are the
same differences found in M2 for the PC. Both games had changes to the
terminal renderer to increase font size; even with convolution hardware, 9
point text is hard to read on a TV. Several features were ripped out to
conserve memory. For example, the music in M1 is gone.

If Jason Regier still reads this group, he might have something more to
add as he did almost all of the porting work. I will note that even as an
official Pippin developer, we got zero technical support from Bandai. The
only means we had for answers to our questions was for me to personally
call friends of mine at Apple whom I knew were working on Pippin and ask
them. The really sad part is that despite repeated requests, we were never
supplied one of the Japanese Pippin keyboards, so we didn't specifically
support it in the game.

If you can find one, there's existed adapter cable to permit the AppleJack
controller to be plugged into a regular ADB jack. I'm reasonably sure that
it was only made available to Pippin developers. InputSprocket (and
Marathon Infinity 1.5) will use it if you hook it all up.

+------------------------------------------------------------+
| Alexander M. Rosenberg            |
| Nobody cares what I say. Remove the underscore to mail me. |


There is an interesting interview with Jason Regier, a senior programmer at Bungie Software, in Gamasutra on-line magazine. It's quite revealing.


Nikolas Manak <Frost@Nova1.net> writes concerning the connections between Pathways Into Darkness and Marathon. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Jonathan Louie <tenchi@leland.Stanford.EDU> writes concerning yesterday's submission about a possible origin of the name Boomer:

Nuclear missile submarines are also called "boomers".


Aug 3, 1998
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>, Director of Customer Support at Bungie, writes concerning Super Marathon for the Bandai Pippin:

We do have one or two copies of Super Marathon lying around the office, but they are our own archival copies and are not for sale.

I don't think we ever had Super Marathon available in quantity. We certainly never sold it on our web store or at trade shows. Probably because the title was actually published and distributed by Bandai, so in order to sell it we would have had to buy copies from Bandai....and buying Marathon games from someone else didn't make a lot of sense to us.
:-)


Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> writes:

I believe that porting Marathon to the Pippin wouldn't take that much time. The Pippin uses a subset of the MacOS as it's operating system (it was after all, developed by Apple). Most of the changes would probably involve the controls, since the Pippin doesn't have keyboard bundled by default.

This might seem like a long shot, but perhaps Bungie and Apple worked out a deal. If Apple helped Bungie with their cross-platform networking architecture Uber (which was used in Myth and will soon be available to the public) then Bungie would port their popular game to Apple's newest platform.


Tim Branin <Sonofhydra@aol.com> provides some further information about the Marathon-like symbol of the Corning Glass Company:

Just letting you know if you want to know more about the Corning glass center go to (www.corningglasscenter.com) it should answer some questions, and enlighten on the wonderful world of glass and glass making.


William Spencer <williamspencer@hotmail.com> writes:

Durandal names the captured pfhor scoutship "Boomer". I think this is a reference to the anime series "Bubblegum Crisis". In the dark-future/cyperpunk universe depicted in the show, artificial intelligence robots are often referred to as "Boomers" because of this nasty habit they have: if the controls on their minds are damaged (say, from stress), they undergo a spontaneous growth in mental capacity, and this surge of energy causes the robot to "exhibit extreme violent tendencies"...Sounds a lot like rampancy, doesn't it?

Interesting stuff. :-)


Aug 1, 1998
Craig Stanton <c_stanton@hotmail.com> writes to say that he got a reply from Bungie concerning Super Marathon but it wasn't exactly what he expected:

******
We don't have copies of the Marathon for pippin, you will have to ask
cyberian outpost these questions.

--
---
Ryan
ryanh@bungie.com
Bungie Tech Support
******

Craig is off to check out Cyberian Outpost but it's odd that Bungie don't have copies of this version of Marathon.


Kirill Levchenko <kirill@lava.net> writes concerning a song by a group FulcrumAudio called "divot" which sounds like some of the Marathon music:

I believe one of the samples used in the song is a pfhor platform. The song certainly would work well with Marathon. If you're interested, the MP3 music file is at:

http://content.mp3.com/mp3/visitors/browse/detail.asp?id=313&type=Electronica•


July 31, 1998
Tim Branin <Sonofhydra@aol.com> sends in what is perhaps the closest example of a Marathon-like symbol so far. It is so like the Marathon symbol that one would like to know which came first. You can check the details in the That Marathon Symbol section. Warning this section has got a little heavy on the graphics side so be prepared to wait. Sorry.


Mihai Parparita <mscape@pop.reprahduce.com> writes:

On your page you mention the possibility of Marathon-based MacOS 8.5 themes. While that might be possible (if Apple decides the make public the theme file format) an easier (and doable now) way to give your Mac a marathon look is to use Kaleidoscope. I believe that there was a Marathon scheme for Kaleidoscope 1.x, but due to the limitations of that version (rectangular windows only) it didn't look too impressive. Kaleidoscope 2.0 allows you to do irregular windows, but there are no Marathon-based schemes yet. Two schemes that aren't Marathon related, but do evoke somewhat its atmosphere are Boilerplate and Tephra, both available here: http://www.kaleidoscope.net/schemes/new7398.shtml


Craig Stanton <c_stanton@hotmail.com> writes:

I am very interested in the "super marathon" disscusion, coz I have a bandai pippin. I am going to email Bungie and see if they have any in stock, I really doubt that they sold out, and maybe they are taking up space :-)

I'll get back to when I can

I would be surprised if Bungie have run out of stock too. And if you do manage to get your hands on a copy we'd like to hear of your experiences playing it. Thanks. :-)


July 30, 1998
Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes:

It is possible to play the Marathon PC maps on a Mac without emulation. A while back, I noticed a new version of Marathon Map Splitter at the HANW. It could take term picts, sounds and other information from a PC map and put it into a resource fork when the map was split.

I picked up the Windows version of M2 for $10 on clearance at Best Buy. I was disappointed to find the box contained only a CD, no manual. The CD has no audio tracks. If I had a PC, I wouldn't be able to play because it didn't have a serial number.

Anyway, I copied the map to my hard drive and changed the file type and creator codes. (MMS won't recognize it unless you do this.) I split the map, then re-merged the resulting files with Forge. I was left with a perfectly playable map, though one of the term picts doesn't show.

Windows version of M2 with no serial number, no manual and no music tracks all for $10 at Best Buy... is this a record?

Seriously though Marathoners have searched for along time to find a way to play the definitive set of Marathon 2 levels so Dan's news is good. All we need now is for Bungie to release the Win95 M2 map file so that Mac Marathoners can play it for free. Over to you Bungie.


Craig Stanton <c_stanton@hotmail.com> kindly sent in some exclusive pictures of the beta 2 version of Mac OS 8.5. In the first screenshot (67K) you can see that the name of the Special menu has been changed again this time to 'Scimitar'. In the beta prior to this it was called "Simulacrum'. In the second screenshot (88K) you can see the new Appearence Control Panel which allows the user to select a number of different themes including Techno and Gizmo. It should be theoretically possible to create your own themes such as UESC Marathon, Jjaro, Lh'owon, or Pfhor ship.

All three Marathon games are reported to run perfectly under beta Mac OS 8.5.


July 29, 1998
Dave Duffy <dave@darkside.eemsd.wustl.edu> writes:

Have you ever heard of Super Marathon? I don't remember ever hearing about it.

From the picture it looks like Marathon 2. By the way in the pict (91K) I am including the little screenshot looks to be only half downloaded but that is as much as would come in. Odd no?

It says it is for the Pippin. I wonder if anyone has played it.

Lord only knows what secrets it holds.

Lord knows indeed! Super Marathon has been advertised for sometime now though I don't know of anybody who has actually played it. One wonders how much time and effort Bungie spent on porting this for potentially so little return. Has anyone got a Pippin?

And what changes if any were made to the Super Marathon version of Marathon 2?

You can order Super Marathon from Cyberian Outpost by following this link.


The Story page has received a number of suggestions for the letters TCTF found in the Oni trailer, one even from a former Bungie employee. Thank you all. However we also received the following mail:

X-Originating-IP: [169.197.56.132]
From: "bungierumors web" <bungierumors@hotmail.com>
To: Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie
Subject: TCTF competition report
Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 00:57:17 PDT


Dear Mr. Sinclair

We note from your Marathon Story page that you mention our TCTF competition.
In the interests of fair play we would appreciate it if you would not
print any answers from contributors to your page.

Thank you for your time.


BungieRumors can be contacted through email at
bungierumors@hotmail.com or via our web pages at
http://www.marathon.org/bungierumors


Hmmm... somewhat abrupt but I have no wish to spoil it for BungieRumors. So please send your TCTF suggestions to <bungierumors@hotmail.com>. Thanks.


The Inside Mac Games magazine site has a short interview with Tuncer Deniz, Bungie's Products Manager. It's actually quite tame and mostly about Myth II development. Gone are the days when Tuncer would be doing the interviewing and asking those awkward questions that we all wanted to know the answers to. Those were the days... <sigh>... long gone... long gone.


Unfortunately my news server is acting up and I cannot post to alt.games.marathon so I'm posting here. There is a thread of agm called M2:God Will Sort the Dead. It started off as follows:

From:  acspring@warez.phantom.com (Andy Spring) 
Subject: M2:God Will Sort the Dead 
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 00:43:38 -0800 
Organization: Dr. Beddoe's Pneumatic Institute. 
Message-ID: <acspring-2507980043380001@dnai-207-181-238-137.dialup.dnai.com>


I've been replaying M2 for old time's sake.  Have noticed that an
invicibility powerup just behind the 1x recharger, triggered by the
polygon under the first triangular pillar in the room with triangular
pillars coming down from the ceiling.  

No matter how fast I rush from that pillar to the recharger, I get there
just in time to see the platform retract: not fast enought to get the
powerup.

Is it possible to get, or is this just a tease?

I'd like to point out that this was discussed on the Story page back in Dec 23, 1997. There is even a 'long' film by Aaron Freed showing the secret power-up though he was unable to reach it in time. A really talented Vidmaster might just reach it... but there are so few around these days... <sigh>... all gone... all gone. Anyway somebody might like to point this out on agm. Thanks.


July 28, 1998
Loren Petrich <petrich@netcom.com> writes:

In your most recent Story-page entry, you mention that the Bungie West had wanted this:
"6/19/98: Hmm, Unreal, one of the games we've been playing during lunch needs something familiar about it. Something like a familiar level. Something like "Mars Needs Women" Thats turned into a personal mission. That would be even easier if there were a Marthon map to Unreal map translator."
Actually, my Marathon Map Exporter, now at version 3, (if not already archived, then at ftp.marathon.org/incoming) could fill the bill very nicely. It exports in these formats:

Rotater
DXF
Alias|Wavefront OBJ
NewTek Lightwave Object
QuickDraw 3D Metafile (be a SimpleText vidmaster!)
Quake Map Source (just the world-geometry "worldspawn" entity without any textures)

And Unreal's map editor reportedly can import Lightwave objects.

Thanks Loren. Let's hope this speeds up those Total Conversions. :-)


Karl Boman <KBoman@Hem.Passagen.se> writes:

An incredibly common misunderstanding in the Marathon community is that to "vid" is to follow Bungie's definition of looking up and down an generally navigate in Marathon, and, if you're a VidMaster, finishing levels with your bare fists on Total Carnage. This is not correct. So be it that it was Bungie who untroduced it to us, but it was Anthony Burgess who introduced it to begin with in his novel "A Clockwork Orange". There to "vid" simply was to look/see.

I don't know if this has been pointed out before, and if not, it's really surprising, Marathon being a sci-fi-game and all, and considering the large amounts of sci-fi-literature parallells both in the games and on Marathon's Story.

As Karl correctly points out Bungie originally used the term "Vid" in the Marathon Demo. They explained the term as follows:

Learn to VID. That is, learn to look up and down at will. This is also useful for finding cool things.

It later became part of the term Vidmaster. See the Marathon Vidmasters' FAQ for a full history on Bungie's use of the term. So could Bungie's original use of the term have come from Anthony Burgess's novel "A Clockwork Orange"? And let us not forget that Stanley Kubrick made a film based on the novel. The Kubrick references in Marathon have been noted on a number of occasions.


BungieRumors are at their old tricks again. They are running a competition to find out the meaning of the letters TCTF which appear throughout the Oni trailer. If you've not seen it most of the characters in the trailer have these letters written on their clothing. Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> pointed out the following back in June 19, 1998:

In these next few fight scenes, you can see that the armed guys attacking her have "TCTF" on their uniforms. Our wonder woman also has TCTF on the front of her outfit. Why is one group attacking a member of itself?

So what does TCTF stand for?


July 27, 1998
OK the Story page has received confirmation that the Mac OS 8.5 beta desktop screenshot is indeed genuine. Craig Stanton <c_stanton@hotmail.com> writes:

The Simulacrum menu is genuine. Underneath it is nothing unusual. In the beta 2 version on 8.5 it has changed to 'Scimitar', pronounced 'sim-a-tar'. It is an arabian sword, small at the handle, wide at the top see Alladin for more info.

I'll keep you posted on any other changes if you are interested

Please do. :-)


Charles Morris <pennywgt@netc.net.au> points out that on Alex Okita's page "aka Bungie West" (we mentioned this site back on June 16th) there is the following text:

"6/19/98: Hmm, Unreal, one of the games we've been playing during lunch needs something familiar about it. Something like a familiar level. Something like "Mars Needs Women" Thats turned into a personal mission. That would be even easier if there were a Marthon map to Unreal map translator."

Charles goes on to say:

I can draw some parallels to the current topic of discussion on MStory.

Hmmm... now what would Bungie West be doing trying to convert Marathon maps for Unreal? The mind boggles.


I don't often advertise Marathon web pages (that's what Page 2401 was for :-)) however this page could turn out to be fun. David Bricker <qmorris@biology.lsa.umich.edu> writes:

I'm starting a new website that is devoted to essays and other musings about Marathon-related subjects. I am soliciting a contribution from you.

Your Story site is excellent, but is an exercise in objectivism, not a forum for more personal reflections.

If anyone has anything interesting to write, I'd think it would be you. I also think that if you were to contribute a short essay (200 min. words), it would really start getting contributions going. The page is new (about an hour old), but I'd like it to see rapid success.

page URL = http://php.indiana.edu/~jecillie/personal/maraf/

The "objective" Story page wishes David all the best in his endeavour. Now where did I put that 17 page Durandal = Elvis submission? ;-)


Right! I always thought those Codex guys were pretty weird. I mean come on anyone who spends that much time on a web site devoted to a single game has got to be weird... right? Anyway Dave Duffy <dave@darkside.eemsd.wustl.edu> writes:

You may have already seen this (116K) but I want you to be careful. We can't have you getting deboditated or whatever the reverse of decapitation would be called.

If you're confused by all this then seek enlightenment from the The Head. You may need to reload a few times.

I shall have my revenge!


July 26, 1998
Lots more mail in concerning the Mac OS 8.5 beta desktop screenshot. Here is just a sample.

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

I think it is a hoax.
The Special menu could have easily been changed to Simulacrum using ResEdit (we don't know whats under the menu do we).
The desktop picture - its amazing what you can do with photoshop these days isn't it ;-).
As for MaraUnreal and Marathon IV, they are just folders with fancy names (we don't know whats in them, do we). It is a very clear hoax.

Tucker Berckmann <cybertuck@novagate.com> writes

Note the use of "Simulacrum" in the menu bar. American Heritage Dictionary defines simulacrum as an "unreal" or vague semblance. Hint, coincidence, or clever humor? You decide.

Craig Stanton <c_stanton@hotmail.com> writes:

Interesting to note the weapons manifest at the bottom right. This is a snap from UNREAL, and the textures must have been put into the program because it has just the same quality of shading/pixelation as the UNREAL game. As for the files on the side I am sure they are there to annoy us. They are too convenient, and who has a file called 'TO DO' casually tossed in to make it more plausible?
The Simulacrum menu? Apple do do strange things to 'Special' menus in pre-release versions. Mostly keeping the word beggining with S, I am currently working on getting some examples.

Dave Duffy <dave@darkside.eemsd.wustl.edu> writes:

Getting a copy of an 8.5 beta is not that hard. As for the hardware requirements with bungie giving out all those teckwerks 3dfx cards they probably kept a few for themselves.

I should hope that the picture is from M4 as it is due out in the next 2 weeks.

http://www.vrabbits.com/images/marathon4.JPG

Note: based on information from the Voracious Rabbits Myth site Solomon (Solo) is a bungie.net admin who works at Bungie. Make of that what you will.


July 25, 1998
Mac OS 8.5 beta screenshot - Real or Unreal?

The desktop screenshot of a Mac running a beta version of System 8.5 has generated considerable interest and speculation. Here are just a few of the many comments the Story page has received over the last two days.

Randy Reddig <ydnar@mail.odsnet.com>, one of the creators of the Marathon Infinity scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon", writes:

it's probably someone's idea of a joke, but here are my thoughts:

- it's a real pic of something, not doctored. most likely using the unreal engine, with the jjaro textures imported. note the unreal 'hud' in the lower right corner. also, note the "MaraUnreal" folder alias on the desktop.

- note filtering on textures. too smooth for the unreal software filtering, definitely hardware.

- the screenshot was most likely taken by someone who has access to a mac unreal/unrealed beta, 8.5, and a rage pro video card. 3dfx possible, but taking a screenshot would require that that particular piece of code be ported.

- the files "Marathon IVa7": and "tuncer memo" are complete nonsense, simply because the notion that someone at bungie would fill the above requirements is pretty improbable.

whoever it is, they have a sense of humor...i'd guess someone from westlake or a tester.

Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu>, maintainer of 3D Macintosh Games, writes:

I would posit that the desktop picture is supposed to be a shot from the "MaraUnreal" game (note the folder alias on the desktop). After all, that is Unreal's weapon indicator in the lower right of the screenshot. Has someone actually ported Marathon textures to Unreal? Or is this just another clever hoax?

Graham Benedict <graham.benedict@snet.net> writes:

I hate to burst the collective bubble of the entire Marathon community, but I doubt that the screenshot of the 8.5 beta has a Marathon 4 desktop. What I think is that this is Unreal, with Marathon textures. Both games have similar color tables (or so I have heard) so it would look right.
The most obvious of clues is the folder called "MaraUnreal". Need I say more? A person who is making a Marathon conversion to another game would name the folder something like that. This theory would also explain the cool looking lighting effect, impossible in Marathon.
There are two other clues. I don't remember seeing that floor texture in the Jjaro set ever, do you? And look at the interface. I don't know if that is the Unreal interface, but it could be. I havn't played the game, so I wouldn't know.
Sorry to dissapoint you all, but I guess we'll have to wait until the next millenium for Marathon 4. By the way, do you think the Apple dude was really talking with Tuncer, as indicated by the file "tuncer memo" or was just fooling around, as I would assume he was doing with "MarathonIV alpha" folder?

Rob Schultz <silver@mail.gower.net> writes:

Hey now, that screenshot really is intriguing.. Not only is that lighting something you won't see in infinity, but those walls and door are Jjaran.. So? The ceiling is a Lh'owon Water texture. Wierd.. Theres a folder on that desktop that says 'MaraUnreal'. Marathon textures in the Unreal engine perhaps? I haven't seen Unreal, so I wouldn't know.

I thought to myself, I wouldn't mind having that picture on my own desktop.. so I threw this together with Anvil, Forge, and a little Photoshop magic..

Hm, maybe it is all a hoax after all?

Lots more comments all along the same lines.

Real or Unreal the fact remains that Apple developers working on Mac OS 8.5 replaced the Special menu with the name Simulacrum as a beta testing joke. We think that rules!


Santiago Pereson <yaco@ad.com.ar> points out that in the Durandal (part 2) section there is a comment by Matthew Smith on Durandal's seventeen year search for Lh'owon. It was added to the page on Feb 26, 1996. It goes as follows:

Matthew Smith <matthew@quest.net> writes concerning Durandal's seventeen year search for Lh'owon. The Final screen of Marathon relates how:
For seventeen years the renegade Pfhor scoutship jumped between the closely packed stars of the galactic core: charting and discarding nearly seven thousand systems...
(Marathon Final Screen)
Matthews points out:

"That's charting a new system every 21.27 hours!"

Santiago goes onto to say:

well... i've seen better timing in some SF novels. :>

when i first read the final screen i also thought of a 'start trek' kind of search, going to every planet, etc. but upon reading Matthew's comment i realized that was not necessary (at least for durandal and his S'phriends).

i remember on 'Foundation's Edge' by Isaac Asimov, the main character 'charts and discards' most of the milky way in a couple of months, and only gets close to five or six planets (i read it some time ago and don't have it at hand). his 'charting' is based on historical suppositions, some sociology, spectral data from the stars, etc. he's doing it on a FTL ship also, with the help of a historian (or something like that) a special computer (well we have a special computer, don't we?) and a world-person (well this one is tough to explain in a few words... let's say she's a nice girl with the conscience of a whole planet). well, our friend durandal has similar resources: he's got the Sępht on his side, and they should know what they're searching for. a system for doing spectrograms shouldn't be difficult to get / make. the statistics can be worked out by durandal himself (if he doesn't feel humiliated by this!)


July 24, 1998
Todd Proctor <ruff@dcscomp.com.au> writes concerning Loren Petrich's comments below:

Loren said:

There is a curious problem with Durandal's search for Lh'owon -- if the distance from Lh'owon to the Galactic center was the linear size of the region searched (7000 stars -- linear size 20 star separations), then Durandal would have to have traveled 35,000 light-years in the Galactic core -- more than the 26,000 light-years from Tau Ceti!
Furthermore, 17 years of searching 7000 stars amounts to a day per star -- with not much time left for traveling the total of 60,000 light-years.

Don't forget the fact that durandal can count the atoms in a cloud, so exploring a whole planet a day shouldn't be to much trouble for him. And he had a really nifty FTL drive which could scrrrrroooommm him to the other side of the galaxy in no time =)

Actually the Final Screen tells us that Durandal and the S'pht charted and discarded nearly seven thousand systems rather than 7000 planets or stars. Nevertheless we must assume that Durandal could do this very quickly and have time to move on to another system.


Karl Boman <KBoman@Hem.Passagen.se> writes:

I just had to take a look at the screenshot, and I agree, it is rather amusing. But is wasn't the Simulacrum-menu that struck me as the most interesting thing in it, it was just about everything else The Desktop Pattern seemed to be of a much more advanced version of Marathon Infinity, featuring a corridor with a door at the end, and a very cool lighting-effect. Also, on the desktop there was a map named Marathon IVa7.

Either this is a Bungie-employee at a very interesting position, or a very cruel person, getting our hopes up like this.

The Mac OS 8.5 beta screenshot was most definitely not sent in by a Bungie employee. Nor was it sent in by Nick Roemer <stompbox@wolfenet.com> the notorious Dr'Ate'R prankster.


Bungie's Letters page has been updated even though it says Last updated Mon, Feb 9, 1998 at the bottom of the page. Go figure.


July 23, 1998
A number of people have enquired about the Psykosonik CD and whether it is available. Psykosonik are the group whose lead member, Paul Sebastien, wrote and produced the Marathon 2 Durandal and Marathon Infinity themes under the title "Power of Seven". Psykosonik's first CD "Psykosonik" was released in 1993 and you can order a copy from CD Now. Yes copies are still in stock.

The CD contains 10 tracks, the 10th track being entitled "I am God". Didn't the 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg become a God by the end of Infinity? Coincidence?

Track 3 "Teknojihad" has parts which are similar to the Marathon 2 Durandal theme. The Psykosonik CD is worth getting if you like the Marathon techno sound.


An unusual screenshot was sent in by a source who would rather remain anonymous for reasons that will be obvious. Apparently it shows the desktop of a Mac running MacOS 8.5a9c2 in which the Special menu is called Simulacrum. Since MacOS 8.5a9c2 is a beta I cannot confirm this myself but the person who sent the screenshot in assures me that Apple have a habit of renaming the Special menu in the Finder "something funky in betas". So it seems that Steve Jobs hasn't got rid of all the Marathon fans at Apple yet. You never know maybe Steve is a fan of Marathon even. Over to you Steve!

Anyway you can see the screenshot with the Simulacrum menu instead of the Special menu here (145K).


BungieRumors are at it again. No sooner had things calmed down and off they go and mention the Pfhor word again. This was picked up by the Voracious' Rabbits Myth site which prompted Matt Soell, director of Customer Support at Bungie, to nip this ceaseless rumor in the bud once more. Full details of Matt's letter can be seen at the Voracious' Rabbits site. No Marathon Pfhor... ok... for the last time... no Marathon Pfhor.


July 22, 1998
Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net> writes:

I just finnished watching the movie "Gung Ho" with Michael Keaton and Gedde Watanabe. the movie is all about a ficticous Japanese motor company (Assan Motors)that opens a plant in an American town. Anyway, the Assan Motor Company's logo bears a striking resembalance to the Marathon logo. Wish I could get you a picture, maybe someone else can.

Readers will also be aware that the Mazda corporate symbol is very like the Marathon symbol. See the That Marathon Symbol section for details.


Phil Spear <thespears@mindspring.com> writes:

With the refrence to the seven layers of hell, I though now would be a good time to point out that in the Bible (especially the Old Testament), numbers had a greater meaning. Seven meant perfect or divine, six being one number less was imperfect, and three meant infinite (thats why 666 is the "sign of the devil,": infinitely flawed.) You might check how many 6'es are used and how they are used. I'm thinking that you might find that the bad AI messages contain a lot of 6's wheras the good computer AI messages contain more sevens. Furthermore (and this one is REALLY scary!) the third Marathon is called Infinity.

Well Infinity was the third part. :-)


July 21, 1998
Devin O'Reilly <QuasiDevin@aol.com> writes:

Recently there was some talk on your site about the seven levels of hell... Just the other day, after watching a particularly disturbing Millennium episode, I decided to read Revelations...

Well, 7 is the number around which most of Revelations seems to center...there are many, many 7s figuring in it...just a few include...

"And he had in his right hand seven stars"-Revelation 1:15
"And the being turned, and I saw seven candlesticks" -1:12
"and send it unto the the seven churches" -1:11
"These things sayeth he that hath the seven spirits of God" -3:1
"and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God" -4:5
"sealed with seven seals" -5:1
"And I saw the seven angles that stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets" -8:2
"And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices" -10:4
And on and on and on...

(oh, this should go to the Myth Story site, but they're all messed up right now...the devils making seven more devils when you kill them...doesn't this sound like the dropped unit in Myth, the Skræl?)

Yup as they say "a demon who has lost a battle, returns with sevenfold power".


July 20, 1998
Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> writes:

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.

Who can say what dwells in the heart of the Bungie Hindmost. ;-)


True distance from Earth to Tau Ceti - 11.77 or 11.9 light years? Loren Petrich <petrich@netcom.com> writes:

Incidentally, I had gotten my figure for Tau Ceti's distance (11.9 light-years) from its parallax as found from the Hipparcos astrometric satellite's position measurements (several online celestial-object catalogs are in NASA's Astronomical Data Center, whose URL is http://adc.gsfc.nasa.gov/adc.html).


Charles Morris <pennywgt@netc.net.au> writes:

There are 7 levels of hell.
Each level worse than the next, ie. if your bad you go to level 1, very very bad to 7.
Each level has a gate, thus "Seven Gates", as in the level.
Each level has a demon, each worse than the next.

It goes on but I think you get my meaning.

I'm not trying to say that Bungie is in Cahoot's with the devil or anything [are they?] its just interesting.

Bungie in cahoot's with the Devil? Perish the thought. But it is said that when a demon has lost a battle, it returns with sevenfold power.


July 18, 1998
Loren Petrich <petrich@netcom.com> writes:

In my Marathon pages (index page: http://www.petrich.com/games/marathon/marathon.html), I now have a page on Tau Ceti and more: tc_more.html

Here are some of the highlights:

Tau Ceti is a very Sunlike star, though it is somewhat less massive, smaller, cooler, and dimmer. A planet receiving Earth's illumination from it would have a year of 9 (Earth) months.

Both the Sun and Tau Ceti are visible from each other's neighborhoods without a telescope.

It is 12 light-years away, meaning that the message of "G4 Sunbathing" would have arrived quicker than expected :-)

The Marathon had an average speed of 12,000 km/s or 0.04 c.

There is a curious problem with Durandal's search for Lh'owon -- if the distance from Lh'owon to the Galactic center was the linear size of the region searched (7000 stars -- linear size 20 star separations), then Durandal would have to have traveled 35,000 light-years in the Galactic core -- more than the 26,000 light-years from Tau Ceti!

Furthermore, 17 years of searching 7000 stars amounts to a day per star -- with not much time left for traveling the total of 60,000 light-years.

You'll also find some Tau Ceti tidbits strewn around the Story page.

For example back in Feb 10, 1996 we pointed out this site which clearly identified the distance problem between Earth and Tau Ceti. 92 light years or 11.77 light years?


Michael Trinder <mpbt100@cam.ac.uk> writes concerning save game patches for Marathon. Of course you don't need them... right? ;-)

The app has had the code to recognise Cmd S as save removed as far as I can see. The patch _is_ available for M2 and Moo somehere on Naoki Yokoyama's pages (I lost the address), but it is slightly different. This patch works by rerouting the pause command to the save game routine instead (which is why you have to press CMD P to save when the patch is installed).

Of course if you edit Menu ID 128 so that Pause has the keyboard shortcut of CMD S, you get to save more 'naturally' :)


July 17, 1998
Michael Nelson <mnelson1282@earthlink.net> writes:

I could never find the band Power of Seven, the closest I could find was a song called Power of Seven, by the english band System 7. this song appears on the CD of the same Name (Power of Seven). Has the band Power of Seven released any of it's CD's? The only other song on System 7's Power of Seven CD that I think might be relevant to Marathon is the song Hanger 84 (84 which you already know reduces to 3) kinda like Hanger 7a in Arrival.

This has become something of an FAQ so here are the details.

Power of Seven Inc. were a Minneapolis-based digital music content publisher headed by Paul Sebastien. Paul was responsible for writing and producing the theme music for Marathon 2 Durandal and Marathon Infinity. Power of Seven Inc. were acquired by Headspace Inc., a leader in Internet music and audio technology, in May 1995 and relocated on-site to Headspace's San Mateo headquarters. Paul Sebastien assumed the role of Director of Production for Headspace.

Paul Sebastien is also the leader of the platinum record award-winning electronic/alternative group Psykosonik.

Psykosonik's first album "Psykosonik" was recorded in 1992 at Chicago Trax Studio in Chicago, and released in 1993 on Wax Trax/TVT Records. This is what the band had to say about it:

During our early days of songwriting in 1991, which was before any of the mainstream media hype about cyberspace, the Internet, or cyberpunk; things like techno-empowerment and Net surfing were considered decidedly un-cool by many...so many in fact, that we really felt like shaking things up a bit. Hence, our first album is quite overtly techno-oriented, conceptually and musically. We wanted to explore areas of man/machine duality, the role of religion in cyberspace, VR hallucinations, and connectivity.

Simon Brownlee <simon.brownlee@pobox.com> who has the Psykosonik CD maintains that some of the tracks are like the Marathon 2 and Infinity themes. He went on to say that "the tracks ReWl!". His words not mine. But if you like the techno sound this is worth getting apparently. You can hear samples of Psykosonik tracks on the Psykosonik album page.

Psykosonik can also be found on irc: #psykosonik on Efnet.


So what about Hangar 84 the title of one of the tracks from System 7's album "Power of Seven". X-files enthusiasts should have no problems with this one. Hangar 84 is located in Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) base and is believed to contain the alien bodies and metallic debris of a UFO that crashed in Roswell in 1947.

Hangar 96 is a different matter altogether though.


July 16, 1998
Sriranga Veeraraghavan <ranga@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU> writes:

I was reading about CMD-S allowing games to be saved in the M2 demo. I'm not sure if any one remembers, but there was a patch to M1 that allowed you to save anywhere using CMD-S.

It was available from amug for a while, both as a ResCompare program and as simple ResEdit instructions.

It's not clear whether Bungie were intending to have a Save anywhere feature in Marathon 2. Thankfully they didn't since it adds an extra edge to game play. Then again if you're a Vidmaster you shouldn't need to save. ;-)

It should be pointed out that Bungie were early advocates of special Save areas. Their game Pathways Into Darkness, the forerunner to Marathon, featured save areas in the form of red runes.


Added the Kalashnikov symbol and the Gamestats Quake competition symbol to the That Marathon Symbol section of Facts and puzzling things about... . This section is getting very graphic intensive so it may take awhile to load on slow lines.


July 15, 1998
Rob Schultz <silvertail@howling.com> writes:

The recent posts inspired me to dig around inside the Mara apps again. This sparked something that caught my interest since M2 first showed up at my door. In the M2 Demo (v1.0) MENU resource #131 lists our netgame types available, with the usual 'Every Man For Himself', 'Co-op Play', 'King of the Hill' and 'Tag'. However, there appear to be other options which are dimmed and don't show up durring a game gather. They are, 'Capture the Flag', 'Keep Away From Rob' (of Bungie, I assume), and 'Rugby'?? These carry on into the full version of M2, though, 'Rugby' and 'CTF' have dissapeared and have been replaced by 'Kill the Man with the Ball' and 'Pile on Greg'. (Another Bungie office exclusive I suppose) Question: Are there some netgames Marathon devoties are missing?? Hmmm.. intriguing.

Ah yes the mysterious unimplemented net games.

Buried away in the Marathon 2 resource fork is the name "Bazooka Tag" though it appears only as "Tag" in the MENU resource. One wonders what that game was all about. :-)

Sometime ago it was alleged that the dimmed out net game option "Keep Away from Rob" could be implemented using ResEdit. When active a player taking the net name "Rob" received invincibility and invisibility for the duration of the game. Rob's objective was to try to make as many kills as possible. The rest of the players quite naturally had to try and stay away from him. The fact that very few people claim to have managed to get this option to work places doubt on the claims. You may know differently though.

It's not clear if the option "Pile on Greg" was ever implemented. One might guess that the game play was the opposite to "Keep Away from Rob". The player, this time called "Greg" for the duration of the game, had to stay alive for as long as possible. Over a number of games the player with the fewest deaths would win. Of course this is mere speculation.

One can see problems with both types of game play which might have been the reason for dropping them in the final release. Perhaps one day we might learn the tru7h.


July 14, 1998
Bungierumors finally got a long awaited update. If this page of mischief is to be believed Marathon leads the polls in the Best Bungie Game Poll organised by the Myth site Mythology and Marathon Central. Good news for Marathoners. But expect the Mythers to rally to the cause once they get wind of a possible defeat. Vote now to ensure victory. Endure!


Todd Proctor <ruff@dcscomp.com.au> writes concerning Gabe Rosenkoetter's comments about the Command Save option in the Marathon MENU resource:

Gabe says:

"The parts of the MENU resource that really makes me curious is the Save and Revert (!) commands listed inthe Game menu. Of course, we know saving onlyworks at a Save Buffer (though, perhaps it wasn't always this way).."

Indeed! If you play the demo version of Marathon 2 (the one that came on the infinity cd incase there are different versions).

And guess what - 'Command S' will save your game anywhere you like.

Weird stuff.

Ah yes who remembers that one?


July 13, 1998
Charles Morris <pennywgt@netc.net.au> writes:

Check out http://www.gamestats.com, and have a look at the contest, with the quake symbol in the middle. Its White on a red background...

To me it looks terribly like the Marathon Symbol, and obviously would in most other cases...has to be a conspiracy ;). Damned iD software.

Ah yes. Back in May 4, 1997 Ahmad Shah Sahar <ashah@tm.net.my> wrote:

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

At that time Ahmad sent in the following mara-quake symbol which is very like the gamestats contest logo which is very like the... well you know the story.


July 12, 1998
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> writes concerning the "Center Button" in resource #129 of M2:

"Center Button" refers to that Marathon symbol in the middle of the main menu layout. Pressing it brings up the credits in the M2/Infinity engine. (I think the menu item existed in M1 too, but it played the "shwoosh" sound there.)

This menu will never appear, but the resource is there as a bit of a kludge so that command-keys can perform functions from Bungie's graphical menu.

Note that the only other option which doesn't have a command-key sequence is replay saved film, which has irked me on numerous occasions. I have considered simply adding something myself (command-option-R, probably), but I fear it would confuse the patchers that come with third-party TC scenarios.

Gabe goes on to say:

The parts of the MENU resource that really makes me curious is the Save and Revert (!) commands listed in the Game menu. Of course, we know saving only works at a Save Buffer (though, perhaps it wasn't always this way)... what I want to know is what "Revert" would have done (it even has a key combination - command-R, which wouldn't conflict with the Interface menu's command-R for Replay Last Film as the Main Menu and the Game seem to be two different environments, if you will). A little known feature of Forge is that if you Undo something while in visual mode, all platforms return to their initial placement. Perhaps this was a version of that function that worked within the game engine and was there to aid testing way back when Vulcan was the editor du jour?

Also, note that both the Game and the Interface menus (renamed to "Commands- Game" and "Commands- Interface" for M2 and Infinity) are the same in all three mac versions of Marathon.

Wierd stuff...

Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> writes:

In an earlier Ambrosia game called Apeiron the player can get a powerup that renders him/her invincible. Interestingly enough this is represented by having the shape be filled with noise, the way our favorite marine does.

If you want to see this in action you can download Apeiron from the Ambrosia hompage ( http://www.ambrosiasw.com/ ) and get a coin which might contain the invincibility powerup (or you can just pause the game (press caps-lock) and type in "nala").


July 11, 1998
Voting in the Best Bungie Game Poll organised by Marathon Central and the Myth site - Mythology - is hoting up so I'm informed. Even Bungie have cast their votes apparently. Where does Marathon stand in relation to Myth in the polls? Nobody would say but it ain't looking good fo~~~fxfff


Nic Carrott <dcarrott@netport.com> writes

Do you have ResEdit?

Okay, then follow these directions:

1) Open the Marathon 2 Demo application using ResEdit.

2) Open the MENU resorce.

3) Look at all the resorces, but pay close attention to resource #129. At the bottom there is an option called "Center Button"

4) Now look at resorce #130.

Question: Can you clear any of this up? What is all this? What does "Center Button" do? What does resource #130 do?

Interesting stuff. Resource #130 seems to be a joke. Bungie have a habit of doing this. As for the "Center Button" anyone got any ideas?


July 10, 1998
Remember there are now three servers carrying the Marathon's Story page.

The Sol mirror

The Central Arm mirror - courtesy of S'teve.

The Tau Ceti mirror

If you find that one is not updated check the others to be sure... to be sure.


Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> writes:

A game called Catalyst Wars seems to have been influenced by Marathon (at least it looks like it). Check out http://www.catalystwars.com . The title of the game looks a little like the title from Marathon 2 and the symbol on the reptile's armor appears to be of Pfhor origin. Coincidence?

Damn Pfhor... They're Everywhere! ;-)


Robin Balmer <joy42@open.org> points out that apart from the other Marathon references in Ambrosia's game Escape Velocity there is a spaceship piloted by Jason Jones. Robin asks does that name sound familar or what?

Time for a "Marathon references in other games" section perhaps?


July 9, 1998
Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> writes:

A game called Half-Life for the PC contains a monster called the houndeye which has many eyes and hops. We also know that one of the rejected monsters from Marathon 1 also had a monster called the hound. Coincidence? You decide:

http://www.planetquake.com/half-life/life-forms.html

You can find more about the game Half-Life here as well. Half-Life has Bobs... err.. I mean Barneys. Barney is your friend. Here is a description of Barney.

These security guards are your friends. Tap them on the shoulder and they'll follow you around and around, wherever you go, fighting monsters that attack you on the way. Named for their resemblance to Barney Fife of Andy Griffith fame, Barneys may not be bright but they're awfully handy.

Sound like Bobs to me.

Half-Life has a story about a Martian Colony overrun by alien invaders. Hmmm...


July 8, 1998
Lies, Damn Lies, and Polls.

Best Bungie Game Poll - Vote Marathon - Make It So!

Marathon Central, in conjunction with the Myth site - Mythology, are running a poll to find out just what is the Best Bungie Game of all time. If you are into this type of thing cast your vote now.

Unfortunately the poll is essentially flawed since it doesn't distinguish between Mac users and PC users. Since PC users are unable to play the Marathon Trilogy (apart from M2) they are hardly in a position to vote objectively. Perhaps the organisers would be prepared to start anew this time registering a voter's gaming platform.


July 7, 1998
The 7th day of the 7th month. :-)

And on this special day we bring you this little known tidbit. It comes courtesy of Simon Brownlee <simon.brownlee@pobox.com>. Apparently Myth II will be delayed 4 months so Tuncer Deniz admits. Tuncer was relating his Powerbook G3 woes on the Apple PowerBook Discussion Forum. The text of his Forum post goes as follows:

Subject: Powerbook G3 Series Problems
Author: Tuncer Deniz
Email: tuncer@bungie.com
Posted: Thursday, 6/25/98 11:06 AM CDT
Category: PowerBook G3
Model: PB G3 250/13.3
System S/W: Mac OS 8.1


I've had my PB G3 250/13.3 for about a week and have had the following problems.

1) The first thing I noticed when I started playing with the computer was that the hard drive clicks all the time, as if the heads are parking. The drive itself is quite but the clicks is driving me nuts. I had a 3400 before this and didn't have any kind of noises like this. Is this normal?

2) The modem. When I connect to my ISP, I usually get 48,000 bps. Great, except downloads of web pages, programs, etc are horribly slow. Here's what usually happens. Download begins, 50k later the download stops, then 10-15 seconds later it starts up again. And on, and on. It also disconnects me 20 percent of the time. Had no problems like this with the 3400.

3) The other day I woke up the PB from sleep to find 13 of my 20 folders on the root of my hard drive had disappeared! I ran first aid 8.2 and it found volume header problems. Since I couldn't run Norton or TechTool (both incompatible with HFS+) I was forced to reformat the hard drive.

It's been a fun week. Any answers?

Tuncer
Bungie Software

PS. We lost about 4 months work on Myth II because of my hard drive crash ;-)

Maybe he lost the Myth 1.3 update and the Marathon 2 patch too? ;-)


Dave Duffy <dave@darkside.eemsd.wustl.edu> writes:

While looking at the Jjaro page I looked at the pictures of Deimos and Phobos. If I remember correctly the marathon was made out of deimos, so why does phobos look so much like the external pictures of the marathon with the big crater (?dish)? Also according to the page Phobos is larger and much more circular. I know in the same text I'm reffering to the say the CRISTs were potato shaped, but from the levels on the pfhor ship when you had to find a window that looked at the marathon to exit it looked fairly round to me.

http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets/nineplanets/phobos.html

Good point. The Marathon does look more like Phobos than Deimos. Did the UESC make a mistake? Odd stuff.


July 5, 1998
Nathan Scheck <SScheck@aol.com> writes:

In Ambrosia Software's new game, Escape Velocity Override, when you communicate with a certain trader, he asks if you want to know when the universe will close....... He then goes on to tell you that it is in approximately 15.193792102158E+9 years....... hmmmm.........

hmmmm... indeed! ;-)


July 4, 1998
This month's bi-monthly mystery pic too easy? I guess so!

Ian James <ian@darkside.eemsd.wustl.edu>, Todd proctor <ruff@dcscomp.com.au>, Jim Mitchell <jim@sover.net>, and Kieran Wheeler <dragonpsycho@innocent.com> all correctly identified the level as "Poor Yorick" and also the text of the terminal. Yet the most complete answer came from Gabriel Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> who went on to say

I guess the answer to the question that you actually asked is that that terminal didn't ever show anything and only even existed in the Infinity demo (I checked with v.1.1 DEMO, but it should be the same in the other versions), but would have had the light on that side ever been turned on.

Yes this is the missing terminal text of "Poor Yorick". The terminal only ever appears in the Infinity demo but is inactive. In the full game the terminal is replaced by a pattern buffer but the terminal text still remained in the map file.

Jim Mitchell <jim@sover.net> points out the text actually changes slightly between demo and full game which makes its nonappearance all the more odd. Why change it if it was never ever to be displayed?


July 2, 1998
Michael Trinder <mpbt100@cam.ac.uk> asks you to point your browser at

http://mars.ru.u-tokai.ac.jp/~hiroking/HTML/hiroking's_MarathonWeb.html
and says:

Apart from being totally mad and over the top, including a Aaron patch for marathon giving you a trash can full of pfhor entrails, this site has all the M1 music tracks playable on it.

Now I'm not sure if it is because I just put QT3.0 on my machine (which has much nicer instruments) or that the M1J music was slightly different, but I only recognise a few of these tracks... Maybe someone with a better memory ought to take a listen, but they sound very 'oriental'

Yes indeed. Though QT3.0 does distort the original Marathon music somewhat Hiroking's Marathon Web music certainly sounds 'oriental'. But a Pfhor entrails trash can patch?!!! What ever next? ;-)


Shor Netscap <shor@postoffice.dca.net> writes:

I notice that the chapter names of Marathon 1 are events: arrival, counter attack , repraisal , durandal [meaning of durandal taking over], the pfhor [ meaning travaling the pfhor ship ] , and rebellion.

In Marathon 2 the chapter names (except for captured) are people places and thigs such as Lh'owon , garrison , citidal , Durandal , Sph't kr , ect.

and in Marathon Infinity ( execpt for prolog there just emotions (rage, envy , despair)

Just wanted to point that out :-)


Dennis Nedblake <NedblakeD@umkc.edu> writes concerning the KKV-7. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


July 1, 1998
New mystery pic up. What did this terminal show? Full details needed as always. :-)

Nobody got May-June's mystery pic though some people came close. Many people said it was an early beta pic. Well the interface obviously came from an early version of Marathon but the pic in question wasn't taken from a beta. Others thought that it was a promotional pic put out by Bungie. Again this was correct but I needed the exact source and what it actually showed... sorry. Anyway full details of the mystery pic can now be found in the Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

More updates to follow... keep watching the sky!


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