Mar 31, 2001 (Saturday)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to Battleground Halo this week. Here's one interesting piece:

Paul Russell is modeling the Pillar of Autumn's bridge.

It's not clear whether this is for an in-game sequence or simply a cut-scene. According to the Official Halo Backstory the "Pillar of Autumn" is destroyed shortly after arriving at the Halo.

The Lh'owon Ar'kives opens its doors at Evihcra (read it backwards). This site compliments the Marathon Archives at but goes further offering feedback for new Marathon creations and forums. To find out who is behind all this check the credits. An excellent addition to the still thriving Marathon community.

Pedro Henriquez <> writes:

Here's another desktop pic. This is just my second Marathon related art, which is odd since I played the original demo on my Color Classic, no less, believe or not. :-)

You can get Pedro's Pfhor-VacBob desktop pic here (351K). Pedro's MarathonAqua desktop pic is also here (311K). :-)

Mar 30, 2001 (Friday)

Test your Pathways über-knowledge on the Pathways Into Darkness page. Why did Bungie drop the ninth shot?

Brett Trent <> writes concerning Jump Pads in Marathon. See the Jump Pads section for details.

Albert "Darkk" Sacks <> writes:

Recently, I've noticed a disturbing similarity between an anime I like, Outlaw Star, and Marathon.

A quick description of Outlaw Star:

It's an anime series about your typical psycho/hero type named Jean Starwind, his spaceship (named Outlaw Star by complete coincidence), and his wacky adventures. His ship has 2 computers: Gillium, an AI that is integrated with the ship, and Melfina, a "bio-android" who serves as navigator. His crew includes a hacker named Jim, a crazy cat lady named Asha, and a crazy samurai lady named Suzuka.

Melfina and Gillium are made with components left behind on a planet by an ancient, superadvanced civilization by a mad scientist (Gwen Con).

Melfina has cybernetic components in addition to genetically engineered biological components.

Jean commonly uses a small pistol, a double barreled shotgun, a rocket tube, and a gun called a "caster" that looks a lot like the alien weapon from Marathon 2/Infinity, but works (depending on load) like the fusion pistol, the alien weapon, or Oni's wave motion cannon.

Jean's father (and his death) plays a big part in how Jean acts. The Marathon marine's "father", and what he says shortly before he dies, supposedly has a big influence on him.

The main characters of Outlaw Star go to a desert planet to comb the ruins on an ancient civilization for clues about a device of immense power.

In the last episode, the crew fights an enemy with near-infinite power after Jean and Melfina merge (if only mentally and also temporarily) using a station built by the superadvanced extinct race.

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

It's not often that we get news of a Marathon fan site getting updated. But Jannes Peters <> writes:

Today at 13:03 cet, the Marathon Shrine came under surprise attack from known friendly webdesigners. The Marathon Shrine has sustained a new design.

Since 23.03.2001 Wang and friends worked on the new Marathon Shrine. The current situation is great. All visitors are invited to say what the think of the new Marathon Shrine.

I couldn't get the site to work correctly with Netscape Communicator 4.76 but it works fine in Internet Explorer. There's a bunch of Marathon music files there so you might find something interesting. The original Marathon Shrine site contained all the chapter screens to Marathon, Marathon 2, Infinity, Evil and Tempus Irae. Hopefully these will return.

Mar 29, 2001 (Thursday)

Miguel Chavez <> writes concerning "dream" levels in Bungie's games:

This same type of level exists in Oni, a more recent Bungie game. The level is very surreal and things are 'not what they seem.' When you successfully kill all the bad guys, you're treated to a quick little cut-scene of Konoko waking up! But the question can still be applied: If Konoko doesn't 'finish' the level, is it fair to not let the player continue? The appropriate 'spin' on these levels might be that if you don't finish it, you're basically stuck dreaming until you do.

Further chin-scratching... there are levels in the Myth series that, while not 'dreams' per se, *are* considered to be extraneous to the solo compaign. A hint in the level "Limbs, heads, and smoking craters" even goes as far as to say "The war will continue even if you fail." Granted, these levels are Easter Eggs, but it is interesting to see that it's not difficult to create a level/map that can be played for the sheer fun factor, and not require 'winning' in order to continue the storyline.

Similarly John Tantalo <> writes:

Regarding Justin Ancheta's little note about dying in dreams, there is one Oni level (Hasegawa's Lab, I forget which chapter number) in which Konoko enters a fantastic dream world with mini-strikers and flying androids, even an evil doppelganger. Both characters, Konoko and You, are in a state of confusion, unsure about the future when they enter the dream level(s). Also, just as in Marathon, it is possible for Konoko to die in her dream. Konoko's dream ends with her waking up abruptly, if I recall, the classic "it was all a dream" ending.

Three more Bungie webcam movies from Robert Chrzanowski <>. More toys and a... trebuchet. Actually the Bungie webcam seems totally devoted to toys now. Is this what Bungie think of us? Word must have come done from the top about revealing to many secrets when showing the Bungie cubicles. ;-) (3410K) Sat Mar 17 07:36 - Sun Mar 18 00:15 (3412K) Sun Mar 18 00:16 - Sun Mar 18 16:55 (3414K) Sun Mar 18 16:56 - Mon Mar 19 09:35

All your webcam movies belong to us.

Pedro Henriquez <> writes:

MarathonAqua desktop.

Just a Mac OS X inspired desktop pic :-)

You can get Pedro's MarathonAqua desktop pic here (311K). :-)

Mar 28, 2001 (Wednesday)

Halo featured question #2. Joseph E.Haake <> writes concerning the reference to a "hybrid war machine" in the fourth Cortana Letter and asks:

Were there any Hybrid War Machines in the Marathon story?

There was at least one. The player in the Marathon series is one of ten military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs put covertly on board the Marathon colony ship at the time of its launch in 2472. Bernard Strauss who knew about the cyborgs described them as " ...all of the destructive knowledge of mankind". When the Pfhor fleet nuked Tau Ceti down to bedrock in 2794 nine of Mjolnir cyborgs were destroyed. The one remaining cyborg (you) escaped with Durandal to search for the S'pht homeworld, Lh'owon. The final screen in Marathon Infinity describes you as:

A hybrid, elusive destroyer.


A man long dead. Grafted to machines your builders did not understand.

Greg Kirkpatick (main author of the Marathon Story) later hinted at the fact that these "machines" were Jjaro based technology found on the Moon. It is not clear if the other nine cyborgs were similarly endowed or whether the player (the 10th cyborg) is unique in this capacity... a hybrid.

Mjolnir cyborgs are believed to be (or originate from) "Battleroids". Here's an interesting description of Battleroids from a terminal on the Marathon level "Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones..." :

<Excerpts from the "History of Battleroids">

In 2194, a war was fought between the Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492. These two small governments soon became the testing grounds for new weapons. Dead soldiers were recycled in makeshift battleroid factories. Easy to manufacture chips enhanced the fragile human brain, and genetically enhanced muscles and titanium bones replaced the fragile human form. The modern battleroid was born. Of course, the war was short. Battleroids got onto both asteroids and killed almost everyone.

The rampage of the Battleroid was short lived.

Twenty years later, the United Interplanetary League set up rules for the appropriate use and storage of Battleroids. Of course, any nation that used them for the allowed purpose, also had them lying about in stasis chambers in case of war.

If Halo follows the Marathon's backstory (even partially) it's not hard to imagine a "Battleroid" being on board the Pillar of Autumn.

Justin Ancheta <> writes concerning the so-called "dream" levels in Marathon Infinity:

Since the levels are "dream" levels, this means that all of the action is taking place in the player's mind, right? (As opposed to the player actually experiencing the events of the game world in the non-dreaming levels.) So therefore, since the player isn't actually experiencing what goes on in the dream levels in reality, does that mean he shouldn't "die" on the dream levels, since he isn't really 'dead'? Shouldn't he be transported to the level after regardless of whether or not he lives or dies? (Similar to how Deus Ex handles the final subway mission in NYC; regardless of whether or not you live to surrender willingly, or end up getting killed, you still get taken to the next mission.) I suppose this is probably something beyond the capabilities of the Marathon engine. Anyway, since you can die in the dream levels, could it be something like "The Matrix"? (where, as Morpheus says, "Your body makes it real".)

anyway, it's just a thought.

Interesting concept.

Mar 27, 2001 (Tuesday)

Halo featured question #1. Klimov Viktor <> asks:

Cortana is AI of terran spaceship?

Interesting question. The answer would appear to be "no". According to the fourth Cortana Letter there were two AIs on board the Pillar of Autumn. Cortana and an AI referred as "BW - AI Class III". The text also suggests that Cortana had taken refuge from this other AI by sharing "the circuitry of some hybrid war machine". Here's the quote:

Thanks to this slavishly loyal and humorless AI, I am now sharing cramped space with the circuitry of some hybrid war machine, itself complicated by such useless clutter as a conscience. I do not like sharing. Sharing is for children.

This ploy was also used by Durandal to evade capture by Tycho and the Pfhor in Marathon 2 (and Marathon Infinity). So it would seem that the AI referred as "BW - AI Class III" was the AI of the Pillar of Autumn. Note that the Pillar of Autumn is destroyed by the Covenant fleet shortly after arriving at Halo. It will be interesting to see how Bungie's Cinematics team handle the two AI theme when they bring, as Matt Soell described, "Cortana to life".

Angus McIntyre <> writes:

You might be amused to know that in "Le Vol d'Icare" ("The Flight of Icarus"), by the French author Raymond Queneau (a member of the experimental literary group Oulipo), there's a character called Corentin Durendal. Durendal is actually a fictional character, who escapes from the pages of the novel in which he appears and seeks refuge in the real world.

It would be too much of a stretch to imagine any serious connection with the Durandal we know and love (other than the fact that Durendal in "Le Vol d'Icare" is named for the paladin's sword), but it's tempting to observe that Durandal (the AI) and Corentin Durendal are both, in a sense, fictional characters who have escaped the control of their creators ... ;-)

On the subject of Mac OS X Forrest Cameranesi <> writes:

More Apple/Seven things here... Mac OS X supports seven different languages :-)

Mar 26, 2001 (Monday)

Bean Sullivan <> writes concerning the suggestion that the Marathon 2 level "If I Had A Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody Pay" may have originally been intended as a vacuum level. See the Vacuum Levels section for details.

Johnathan Telin <> notes that there are eight CARnage Rule of Thumb listed on the first terminal of the Marathon Demo yet Bungie used the abbreviation "CAR.R.O.T'S" which has seven letters. :-)

Mar 25, 2001 (Sunday)

Quick update

Alex Samaras <> writes concerning the Mac OS X item mentioned earlier today:

Re: seven or seventeen?

I saw this on the Story page and wanted to clarify (as I am sure many others have). Obviously, the 17 is the time since the first Macintosh.

However, the 7 year wait is with regards to the first promise of a MacOS upgrade that would be a modern stable operating system with real protected memory and preemptive multitasking. This was supposed to be OS 8, codenamed Copland. It is now here in OS X (and I must say that, though it needs improvement, Apple did an excellent job).

If I recall correctly, something else that was rather important was being worked on in 1994. ;)

Aye indeed... we all know what that was. :-) And it took Durandal 17 years to find Lh'owon. Odd how all these dates are interconnected... coincidence or... ? ;-)

In a forum post on Joesph Staten (Bungie Studios) gives his views on the latest Unreal 2 movie which bears a striking resemblance to last year's E3 Halo movie. He also includes a comment on Halo's story. Here's the piece:

Oh, wanted to react to this as well: yes, the Halo story is prima facie very simple. But for those of you who think it's just another tale of really bad Aliens fighting really scrappy Humans, all I can say is: boy, are you in for one hell of a surprise.

We wouldn't expect anything less. :-)

Sarwat Khan <> writes:

I came across this at MacCentral. I was taken aback by the first sentence :)

X Day: the future arrives

You've waited seven years for this event. Now it's arrived: Apple is rolling out what is, for all practical purposes, an all-new operating system -- its first complete OS revamp since 1984. Mac OS X is now on sale in stores around the world for US$129. "Mac OS X is the most important software from Apple since the original Macintosh operating system in 1984 that revolutionized the entire industry," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "We can't wait for Mac users around the globe to experience its stability, power and elegance."

hmmm... seven or seventeen?

Another four Bungie webcam movies from the studios of Robert Chrzanowski <>. Toys R Us or are Bungie hiding what's going down in their offices. Have the webcam movies revealed too much? (3407K) Wed Mar 14 12:57 - Thu Mar 15 05:36 (3396K) Thu Mar 15 05:37 - Thu Mar 15 22:15 (3411K) Thu Mar 15 22:16 - Fri Mar 16 14:55 (3410K) Fri Mar 16 14:56 - Sat Mar 17 07:35

Mar 24, 2001 (Saturday)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to this week. Lots of interesting tidbits but here's a piece that really caught my attention:

Speaking of which, there's a new member of the Sin-O-MatiXXX team: Adam Crockett. He's currently modeling the exterior of the Pillar of Autumn. The team is also currently working on bringing Cortana to life.

Now THAT should be interesting. :-)

HBO have also posted the second part of their Questions and Answers session with Matt Soell. Nineteen questions covering the areas of Gameplay, Xbox, Artwork, Technical, and Media. No Story questions though. :-(

Lucky number seven? John Tantalo <> writes:

The Columbus Dispatch "Man Seeks Luck By Changing Name To Seven"

For your viewing pleasure... four more Bungie webcam movies from the studios of Robert Chrzanowski <>. Bungie control the vertical... Bungie control the horizontal. The new Bungie business cards and The Shaft make an appearance. (3412K) Sun Mar 11 18:17 - Mon Mar 12 10:55 (2454K) Mon Mar 12 10:56 - Tue Mar 13 03:36 (3359K) Tue Mar 13 03:37 - Tue Mar 13 20:16 (3412K) Tue Mar 13 20:17 - Wed Mar 14 12:56

See the Webcam Movies section for a full ist of available movies.

Mar 23, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update

There's an interesting analysis on HBO of the nine high quality Halo screenshots found earlier today in an press archive. These high quality screenshots are in fact TIFF versions of the JPEG formats released earlier in the week. The screenshots are worth downloading if you have the bandwidth to do so, they are are about 8MBs each.

Mostafa "Appleicious" Sadraii <> writes:

Does this look familiar?

A Marathon-ish portable MP3 player? ;-)

If you look closely at the beginning of the Halo demonstration at Gamestock 2001 you'll see another ring motif in the opening screen. See the Ring Motif in Halo section for details.

Added a small piece of Halo text from Bungie's new look Halo page. See the Official Halo Backstory section for details.

Mar 22, 2001 (Thursday)

Mark Levin <> and Amarnath Santhanam <> both write to point out that in the Letters to the Webmaster section of the new every phrase of "Frog Blast the Vent Core" has been replaced by... "Hog Blast the Vent Core". Blasphemy or...? Well Mark got this response from David Candland (Bungie Studios) in the Rampancy forum:

Damn global search & replace. I'll have the webmaster fix that. sorry guys.

Ah simple error then. :-)

If you check the Marathon section of Bungie's products page you'll find three 'new' screenshots out of the seven listed. See here, here and here. These are 'new' in the sense that they are not the standard screenshots used to demonstrate Marathon. The standard shots are Flamers, Poor Hulk, Rocket Death, Explode Bob. Other common ones are Rocket Launcher and Interface. Good to see these old 'new' shots still around.

One of the seven Marathon 2 screenshots is also not standard. See here. I'll let you decide how many of the Marathon Infinity screenshots are not standard.

Bungie are now looking for an Art Intern and the Bungie Webcam gets its own page. Lots of other minor changes throughout the revamped Bungie site.

Mar 21, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update #2

David Candland <> points out that there was some confusion over the dates of the webcam movie he specifically wanted to see. Rather than Sat Feb 10 it was Sat Mar 10. On Sat Mar 10 David brought his two sons into the Bungie offices and they got to play the Gamestock build of Halo. Well thanks to Robert Chrzanowski <> we now bring you that Saturday afternoon movie: (3410K) Wed Mar 08 23:38 - Thu Mar 09 16:16 (3171K) Thu Mar 09 16:17 - Sat Mar 10 08:56 (3406K) Sat Mar 10 08:57 - Sun Mar 11 01:36 (3413K) Sun Mar 11 01:37 - Sun Mar 11 18:15

Now I'm sure David will correct me if I'm wrong but it looks like they were playing Halo on a PC using keyboard and mouse.

Quick update #1

Thanks to Claude Errera <> for passing on a transcript of the Halo backstory as told by Joseph Staten (Bungie Studios) in the official Halo footage from Gamestock 2001. See the Official Halo Backstory section for details. Note that in the movie Joseph Staten describes "you" (the player) as "the last of your kind":

An elite military unit, you are the last of your kind. Trained to fight with any weapon, attack in any vehicle, you are Mankind's most sophisticated piece of military hardware.

As promised (for some time) and have both been updated. There's also an "official" movie of the Halo footage from last week's Gamestock and two new screenshots. If you can't access Bungie's site you can see the screenshots on HBO's Screenshots section. Mirror sites for the lo-res version of the Halo movie are now appearing. Blue's News and 3D Gamers are two sites to try (thanks A brief description of what the movie shows can be read on HBO's forum here.

Oh... and Bungie's Letters to the Webmaster has been updated. :-)

It has been found. Robert Chrzanowski <> has recovered the missing Webcam movie for the timeframe Sat Feb 10 13:20 - Sun Feb 11 6:58. David Candland (Bungie Studios) mentioned yesterday that some interesting stuff was going down at the Bungie offices on that Sat afternoon. Was it captured on the webcam? As I mentioned on Sunday close-up static shots of toys are designed for one thing only... to hide the tru7h! ;-) (2302K) Sat Feb 10 14:17 - Sun Feb 11 06:58 (3414K) Fri Feb 09 21:38 - Sat Feb 10 14:47

See the Webcam Movies section for a full (updated) list of available movies.

Meg "Pallor" Sagi <> writes:

I found this today. Frigidman made a Marathon marine skin for the Sims.

Andre Kopp <> writes:

Lovecraft again!

"I see it-coming here-hell wind-titan blur-black wings-Yog-Sototh save me-THE THREE LOBED BURNING EYE...."

Wont you agree that three lobed burning eye adequately describes our three eyed annoyances the Pfhor? Might Bungie have been influenced by this sentence? This is the last sentence of "The Haunter of the Dark" where a man goes insane after staring into a "shining trapzohendron" which summons the haunter of the dark in question.

Mar 20, 2001 (Tuesday)

Quick update

Thanks to Ricardo Rosado <>, Simon Christensen <> and Linda-Leonard <> for pointing out that GameSpy have added Marathon to their Hall of Fame. There's also a very complimentary write up on the series. Here's a piece:

The master plotsmiths at Bungie wove a sci-fi plotline into the Marathon series (Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal, and Marathon Infinity) that rivals Fank Herbert's Dune in it's [sic] mesmerizing scale. Revealed through a series of mission briefs and in-game computer consoles, the story unfolds in such a way that fans of the series still debate it's [sic] intricacies, as can be seen at sites like Marathon's Story. Mostly through the pernicious meddlings of insane, or "rampant" A.I.s (which had an odd predilection towards communicating with the player via haiku), the player was taken on a ride across space and at least several hundred years of time through the famed Marathon space station itself, alien starships and planets of every variety, and at last, seemingly, into some sort of higher state of being -- though that is still a point of contention.

Great stuff. :-)

Meg "Pallor" Sagi <> writes concerning Bungie's new business cards:

I saw that you wanted to know the card in the pic business_cards_02.jpg that was the second to the left with the Marathon symbol. That is the card for the HALO team. That particular card is Jaime Griesemer's.

How interesting. The Halo team are using the Marathon symbol on their business cards rather than a unique Halo design. :-)

David Candland <>, interface designer at Bungie Studios, writes concerning the missing webcam movie for the timeframe Feb 10 13:20 - Feb 11 6:59:

That timeframe is more eventful than one would guess. My oldest son had a soccer game at 4:00 that afternoon. I brought my 2 boys in to the office to kill some time since we were already in town. They played games and got to play the gamestock build of Halo while they were here. There is also some footage of them goofing around in front of the camera. If this missing footage can be found, it would be of interest to me.

So the online team ARE playing Halo on their computers? Robert Chrzanowski has been contacted. Will the tru7h be revealed? ;-)

Mar 19, 2001 (Monday)

Quick update

Rob "Noctavis" Swenson <> sent in a link to a thread on Rampancy concerning the "grunts" in Halo. Here's the URL you might find it interesting:

Mystery solved. Matt Heerdt <> writes concerning

i emailed the creator of and this is part of the reply:

It's a personal experiment in web design/content. I do web design for a living, and like to mess around with it on the side.

I'm sure he's wondering why he got some many hits over the last 24 hours. :-)

Thanks to Matt Heerdt, Nathaniel Olsen, Matthew Wanlin, Arno Hautala, Mr Adequate, 3of9, Aaron Davies, Simon and "B H" for for all pointing out that the braille at is simply the word "lyca". No big revelation here. You can find the braille alphabet at and also at

Hugo <> writes concerning his "Cairo = the pillared city" claim:

I found the info regarding "the pillared city". This comes from 'The Stargate Conspiracy' by Lynn Picknett & Clive Prince. On page 2 it says (when refering to Heliopolis which is buried under the current Cario city in the northeast, located in what is now the Matariya section of Cairo):

"It's Egyptain name of Ounu, which appeares in the Old Testament as On, may mean 'the pillared city'."

I hope this clarifies your dispute as to where the name comes from. In hindsight I was reading a lot about Cairo, and no-doubt assumed Heliopolis was an area of Cairo and now know it's in fact seen or regarded as a completly different city.

FYI, Heliopolis was the supreme religious centre of Egypt (well before 2700 BCE). It was also the principal religious centre of the Pyramid Age, and its theology-the first organised system of religion and cosmology known in Egypt-inspired and motivated the building of the great monuments at Giza. As 'the chosen seats of the Gods' and 'birthplace of the gods', Heliopolis was the most sacred site of Egypt, home to the Great Ennead (The Nine Gods). Hope that clears this up, sorry for the confusion.

Ross "Cpt. Sqweky" Wolfe <> points out that the Bungie webcam now features a "catapult". Actually it's probably a trebuchet. The trebuchet was the dominant siege weapon in Europe from 850AD to 1350AD, lasting 100 years after the introduction of gunpowder. This may be related to Bungie's new game in development codenamed "Phoenix". Note also that the site also had something about a trebuchet though the spelling was different and indeed the text was vaguely familiar... as if from an old dream.

Mar 18, 2001 (Sunday)

Quick update

Claude Errera <> writes: is registered to someone in Bolivia. :)

A brail web page? Chris Hebner <> writes:

I don't know exactly what it says, but the picture at is braille.

Ben Reiter <> writes:

from (it's the top-left circle of the second group):

"Seven (7) miles later the road turns sharp left. You will go right. There are a couple dirt roads just before the bend, you want the next to last. you'll know you're on the right road because pretty soon you'll pass the house with all the strange metal structures out front. Don't ask the guy what he was thinking or you'll have to stay at least through lunch, maybe dinner. And whatever you do, don't tell him it looks like garbage."

I suspect you shouldn't ask him what he was thinking because of what he might answer... "You shouldn't ask yourself such worthless questions" or maybe "'Cause I got a shotgun, and you ain't got one". After all, he is Seven (7) miles down the road...

Matt Heerdt <> writes:

i remember reading in one of the cortana letters about lyca, little girl lost. i went to and found something very puzzling. check it out. i'm sure it has nothing to do with marathon or anything, it's just very interesting.

Odd indeed.

An individual who wishes to remain anonymous writes concerning the gas-filled creatures mentioned by Matt Soell in his weekly Halo update:

Gas-filled creatures huh? I wonder what they might look like...

Todd Dillen <> writes":

Concerning the latest post calling Cairo "the pillared city". Cairo actually means "victorious city". Refer to

I've asked Hugo <> to provide a reference for his claim that "Cairo in Egyptian is Ounu, which when translated means 'the pillared city'."

Alexander <> notes that the Bungie webcam is just getting weirdier. Of course these close-up static shots mean only one thing... the online team don't want you to know what's really going on in their office. ;-)

Mike Yocom <> writes:

Concerning the webcam movies that Robert Chrzanowski's been sending in:

Where's 4943-5999 (13:20 Feb 10 -- 6:59 Feb 11)?

As Mike correctly notes that webcam movie is mysteriously missing. What happened that Saturday evening? ;-)

Jared Cash <> writes:

Not really Story Page related, or even Marathon related, but I saw this and I thought someone should know. I subscribe to MacAddict and on each disc they send out with their magazine, they have a staff video. The video for March was the editor-in-chief, Rob Capps, cleaning off Ian Sammis' desk. Let me tell you, it was a biohazard. But, it was amazing. He had EVERYTHING. Well, imagine my surprise when I noticed in the bottom right corner of one of the frames a little Bungie memorabilia. It was a bottle of Myth Beer! I didn't even know such a thing existed.

Surly Dwarf Ale. Very rare now. It featured in the recent Bungie Fan Trivia Contest.

Mar 17, 2001 (Saturday)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to Rampancy this week. Here are just three interesting items:

Shiek showed me the blood-spurting animation for a Covenant race you haven't seen yet. Nail 'em in the right place and you get a nice satisfying jet of vital fluids. And gas.

Gas filled creatures? As noted by SiliconDream in a Rampancy forum post Bungie have included gas filled creatures in one form or another in Pathways Into Darkness, Marathon and Myth.

Marcus got the lovely gorgeous waterfalls working again and placed a couple of them on the first mission you play after you land on Halo. Of course that will be at dusk and you might be distracted by the enormous structures firing huge bolts of plasma over to the other side of the ring.

Now what ever could that be for?

We got the first round of cutscene storyboards back from Lee Wilson, who's done storyboards for The Fifth Element, among other films. The stuff he's done for us looks really nice the introductions to the cyborg and other key characters are handled expertly.

Ah so Halo will include cutscenes. Tine to dig out the Fifth Element DVD and see if there is any of Lee Wilson's storyboard work featured on it.

Five not four Bungie Webcam movies by Robert Chrzanowski <> are featured today. The fifth one features the new Halo t-shirt... if the shirt fits wear it. And is that Doug Zartman I see? Sure looks like him. (3412K) Mon Mar 05 12:15 - Tue Mar 06 04:54 (3411K) Tue Mar 06 04:55 - Tue Mar 06 21:34 (3413K) Tue Mar 06 21:34 - Wed Mar 07 14:15 (3413K) Wed Mar 07 14:16 - Thu Mar 08 06:55 (6776K) Thu Mar 08 06:56 - Thu Mar 08 23:37

Mar 16, 2001 (Friday)

The good folks over at HBO landed a post-Gamestock Q&A session with Matt Soell (Bungie Studios). In a first round of questions Matt lays to rest some of the fears expressed by Halo fans over the last few days. Here's an interesting story related tidbit:

HBO: What's the wire diagram (hologram thingy) of the shaft doing hanging in the middle of the room? :)

MS: Apart from looking sexy, it contains clues as to the intended function of the structure you are exploring. Those clues are more apparent when the hologram is viewed in the context of the story.

A second round of questions is proposed and fans are asked to send in their questions to HBO.

Another four Bungie Webcam movies from the studios of Robert Chrzanowski <>. In the last two movies there are two beautiful sunrises (I doubt many at Bungie actually see these) well worth a look. (3087K) Fri Mar 02 17:35 - Sat Mar 03 10:15 (3410K) Sat Mar 03 10:16 - Sun Mar 04 02:55 (3412K) Sun Mar 04 02:56 - Sun Mar 04 19:35 (3413K) Sun Mar 04 19:36 - Mon Mar 05 12:14

Oh and here are a couple of recent interesting webcam pics: 1, 2, 3, 4. Thanks Ross Wolfe <>

Very interesting forum post from Rob "Noctavis" Swenson <> over at Rampancy in which he points out that the long round structures in this Halo screenshot could be petrified trees and provides a link to the Petrified Forest National Monument in the USA as evidence. The trees here are 200 million years old. Nice one. The post also ends with an interesting observation from Robert "Cannibal Harry" Bloggs. I've taken the liberty of quoting it here in full:

Last night, Cannibal Harry suggested the possibility of some sort of Uplift-related theme in Halo. (From the Uplift sagas by David Brin - I've read that "Startide Rising" is being made into a movie) In short, Uplift is a method by which species raise other species to sentience. In the Uplift sagas, many races don't like our race because we are "wolflings"... a race that apparently doesn't have a current patron and may have bootstrapped ourselves into sentience and space. (Either that or we may have been abandoned by our patrons) The primary thing that saves us from being passed into the care of a new patron race is that we have practiced uplift on our own, having created neodolphins and neochimps. Great series. Make sure you read the older trilogy first.

Sounds familiar... right? :-)

Hugo <> writes concerning the Halo ship name "Pillar of Autumn" from the Halo Transmissions:

Pillar of Atum and Egyptian/Greek mythology in Halo?

My original sources for the info on Atum come from The Stargate Conspiracy - 'Revealing the tru7h behind extraterrestrial contact, military intelligence and the mysteries of ancient Egypt'. Although the references I use could be found within a basic web search. It was the co-incidental Egyptian name for Cairo that really started me thinking. Cairo in Egyptian is Ounu, which when translated means 'the pillared city'. Although this is probably just a coincidence the use of the word 'Pillar' as a metaphor, I do find it interesting. An example of this would be 'A pillar of the community' showing us the stature or strength in the metaphor behind the word 'pillar'. I then started looking further into the ancient god Atum (possibly having a similar sound as 'Autumn') and what he/she represented in the way of creation (, It just seemed to fall into place, the fact that a pillar is phallic in form and the ship possibly holding a phallic resemblance could be seen to coincide with the origins or Atum, in that he formed a phallic hill out of the 'Nu'. The two ideas seeming to fit quite well. So "The Pillar of Autumn" being singular could be referring to 'the' ship, or even the cyborg/marines creation. It might also be said that the 'Pillar of Autumn' lead the marines to a site of beginning i.e. the Halo construct!

Mar 15, 2001 (Thursday)

Well it's not often you get an interview with Jason Jones (Bungie Studios) but GameSpot UK managed to land one. Check GameSpot UK's Exclusive interview with Jason Jones. Lots of interesting tidbits. Here are just two:

GSUK: How has Halo's focus changed since last E3?

JJ: For a long time we were very focused on a very cinematic third-person network experience on the PC though some people might say those words are mutually exclusive. What we boiled it down to sometime after last E3 was a much more first-person experience because we're primarily interested in the action and a little bit less in the cinema. We've really got down to work on the AI, not only how you'd play against it, but how it would assist you too. Like it's really fun to drive around with that guy who just hoses people with the chain gun.

GSUK: So what's next for Bungie? Will you go Xbox only or can PC and Mac gamers expect some more great titles?

JJ: Well there's a whole bunch of projects that we're working on but I can't really say anything about those at the moment. There's still so many cool things that you can do with a mouse and keyboard, there's so many cool RTS games - yes they're going to end up on a console eventually but it's not the same experience right? We'll always do Mac and PC stuff.

And the show goes on... four more Bungie Webcam movies from the studios of Robert Chrzanowski <>. Ready to rumble... find out how Bungie handled quake day in Seattle... did Matt really hide under his desk? And who was working late again... hope they get overtime. ;-) (3410K) Tue Feb 27 22:56 - Wed Feb 28 15:35 (3410K) Wed Feb 28 15:36 - Thu Mar 01 08:15 (3410K) Thu Mar 01 08:16 - Fri Mar 02 00:55 (3410K) Fri Mar 02 00:56 - Fri Mar 02 17:34

Mar 14, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update #3

Updated the Halo ring motif section with the ring based Flash animation at Microsoft's official Xbox Halo site. Somebody at Bungie went to a lot of trouble to place emphasis on this design. Why?

Quick update #2

According to a forum post over at HBO a second movie of Halo footage from Gamestock has been posted by ZDNet. This movie is 52 seconds long compared to 17 seconds in the earlier movie. Some nice indoor shots of the hologram map of the Shaft. Here's a piece from ZDNet's hands-on review:

...we managed to dispatch all the alien defenders and we eventually made our way deep into the heart of the structure--we soon found ourselves standing in front of a computer terminal. When we activated it, it displayed a 3D holographic image of schematics for some sort of tower. The camera then switched back to a third-person perspective, panned around our character in front of the strange holographic image, and then slowly faded to black.

Here are direct links to the movies at ZDNet:

halo.mpg (17 seconds)
haloxbox1.mpg (52 seconds)

Quick update #1

Horrible secrets... dark secrets... Added some official Halo background story text from Microsoft's Gamestock and Xbox sites to the Official Halo Backstory section of the Story page. The basic plot hasn't changed... just the adjectives. ;-)

A lot of Halo activity over the last 12 hours. Nine new screenshots and a short movie of Halo footage from Gamestock (2949K). The movie is low quality with no sound so be warned. Hopefully Bungie will remedy this with a more professional movie with Marty's new soundtrack. Looks like the builders of the Halo were into art deco. The same texture can be seen behind the Marine in this hi-res screenshot (263K). The official Xbox Halo site has an interesting Flash animation involving rings. The same ring design features in this hi-res screenshot (443K).

Another four Bungie Webcam movies from the Robert Chrzanowski Studios <>. Who was working late on Sunday again... it's all in the reflection. And yes... the mysterious garbage trolley returns! (3410K) Sun Feb 25 04:15 - Sun Feb 25 20:55 (3410K) Sun Feb 25 20:55 - Mon Feb 26 13:34 (3410K) Mon Feb 26 13:36 - Tue Feb 27 06:14 (3410K) Tue Feb 27 06:15 - Tue Feb 27 22:55

Harry Al-Shakarchi <> writes:

Bungie Nostalgia!! Yay!

Mar 13, 2001 (Tuesday)

Quick update #3

For the latest news on new Halo screenshots from Microsoft's Gamestock 2001 event head on over to HBO and Rampancy. Looks like 3D hologram maps in Halo. :-)

Johnathan "rpb3000" Telin <> raises an interesting point about another of the new Bungie business cards:

Look at the 2nd to left card. That's the Marathon symbol of course. Now why would they be putting the Marathon symbol on new business cards if they don't plan on making any more Marathon stuff. So, do they plan on making more and just aren't telling us? Can we get a closeup of that card, see whose it is?

Good point. We have what appears to be a Phoenix/dragon symbol on one card which is most likely for those working on Phoenix (Bungie's new game in development), the (web)monkey image is probably for the online team or at least the web team, and then there is the cinematics card, but who is the Marathon card for?

Quick update #2

Claude Errera <> sends in a better image via Meg "Pallor" Sagi of that Bungie business card and adds:'s Phoenix-related. :) (Settles is the program manager for the Phoenix team.)

Quick update #1

Claude Errera <> writes concerning the Halo looking Bungie business card:

Meg asked Mat Noguchi to get a closeup for you. :)

You can see the pic Meg "Pallor" Sagi asked Mat Noguchi to arrange for us here. Not so Halo looking afterall. Oh well. :-)

Halo business card? Concerning yesterday's Bungie business card pics sent in by Harry Al-Shakarchi if you check the symbol on the last card on the right and then compare it with this pic of a Halo symbol taken from the slideshow at Bungie Fanfest IV you'll see a similarity. :-)

For your viewing pleasure four more Bungie Webcam movies from the mighty studios of Robert Chrzanowski <>. Get up close and personal with one Bungie dude for the day, watch for the big yawn as the day draws to a close. Oh... and Marty shifts some boxes. (3407K) Thu Feb 22 09:36 - Fri Feb 23 02:16 (3410K) Fri Feb 23 02:17 - Fri Feb 23 18:55 (3411K) Fri Feb 23 18:56 - Sat Feb 24 11:35 (3410K) Sat Feb 24 11:36 - Sun Feb 25 04:15

Mar 12, 2001 (Monday)

Andy Peters <> writes:

I don't think that the jump pad idea was completely dropped.

In Marathon 2 "Fatum Iustum Stultorum", a hidden area can be found by standing underwater on tile that is a different color then the rest of the floor. This then teleports you to the hidden room.

Bungie business cards... collect them all. Harry Al-Shakarchi <> writes:

Last night Jaime (Case) told us he got new Bungie business cards, and showed them to us on the webcam. In case you don't catch 'em, I've attached two jpegs.

You can see them here and here. Interesting designs.

Bungie get their intern? Tom Van Sinden <> writes:

The programming intern position is not on the Bungie job page anymore, so while there is no new content, the page has technically been updated. ;-)

Mar 11, 2001 (Sunday)

John "I can Vid anything" Sumner <> writes:

I started playing Marathon Infinity this morning (trying to learn a bit more of the story through the terminals) when i thought i'd try something unique. The attached film displays a fairly gross smearing bug if one takes a different path in part of the level "Rise Robot Rise!". Guess they never expected someone to sneak up on these enemies from behind! :)

Actually, you know that is the first time i can recall seeing a major error of that kind in any of the levels of the Trilogy. Shows you what an excellent job Bungie [and Double Aught] did with the games.

While some will have known about this error for some time it's the first time it has been captured on film.

Andrew Kanarek <> writes:

There's this commercial that usually airs during World Wrestling Federation programming, wherein WWF superstar Kurt Angle drives his Jeep Wrangler over a hapless valet's foot. The valet screams, and the sound he makes is undoubtedly from Marathon. If you want to hear what I'm talking about, the WWF can be seen Mondays from 9 to 11, or Thursdays from 8 to 10. I'm telling you, that's Doug wailing in the commercial, I'd know that sound anywhere!

Brett Trent <> writes concerning the issue of Jump Pads in Marathon it not possible that Bungie dropped the Jump Pad concept simply because it would have made it way too easy for the player to identify a particular terminal as an exit point?

I can recall many happy hour running 'round levels re-reading all the terminals unsure of which would now deliver me to the next level. has been updated. Along with a distinctive Halo look the page sports some morse code, a series of interesting names and the excellent Oni concept movie from E3 1998. Definitely worth a look.

Mar 10, 2001 (Saturday)

Linda-Leonard <> writes:

Marathon lava texture at planet fargo

Planet Fargo at Gamespy has an article on a Badguy University and in one picture of a swimming pool full of lava, I think the lava is the same lava texture from Marathon Infinity. You can see the picture at

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to Haloplayers this week. Items include new Halo music for Gamestock next week, increased frame rates, blood, melee attacks, sneaky aliens, cyborgs (yes plural), realistic jeep physics and hand grenades. Grenades ... Mmmm ... tasty.

Hugo Forss <> writes:

i noticed something interesting while looking through a catalog i got from an online cd-store recently.

the song "mars needs women" by miranda silvergren (known as "miranda") is avialable on the goa collection cd "destination goa: chapter seven"

just a s7upid coincident, but anyway

another thing i came to think of is that the strange "im 30 miles away from the base" sample from the marathon 2 theme seems to be the same as used in the song "dreaming real" from the psykosonik album "unlearn", a great song and album btw

For details on the connection between the Marathon 2 theme music and Psykosonik see the Marathon Music section.

Mar 9, 2001 (Friday)

John "Lophan" Jennings <> writes:

I got this from a MSNBC article regarding the most recent Space Shuttle Discovery launch to the Alpha Space Station:

Spacewalkers will also help with the process of attaching an Italian-made module named Leonardo. The module will be attached to the space station complex and emptied of the 10,000 pounds of supplies it is carrying before returning to Earth aboard the shuttle on March 20.

Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember... Nice to see art imitating life... does this mean the Marathon was Italian in design?

John is referring to the fact that the escape pod or module at the beginning of Marathon is called "Leonardo". Check here for a picture of it.

Oh boy did I get a whole pile of webcam images of Bungie's new Halo t-shirt. Thanks everyone. Wait to you see the webcam film by Robert Chrzanowski though! ;-) A simple black shirt with the Halo logo on the front. Long sleeves too. I also got a number of Tijuana Mama webcam images. Back in February Tom Bridge noted that in the Bungie Fan Trivia Contest it had been incorrectly referred to as "Tiajuana Mamma?" Errors... They're Everywhere!

Mar 8, 2001 (Thursday)

Johnathan Telin <> provides further evidence to suggest that "jump pad" areas were originally intended in Marathon as evident from "Arrival" but then dropped. See the new Jump Pads section for details.

Mike Yocom <> writes concerning the identity of the Bungie Webmaster. See The Bungie Webmaster section for the tru7h!... if you can handle it. ;-)

Caught this amusing piece from a Doom 3 Interview with Jim Dosé over at Daily Radar:

DR: Will the game be level based like most FPS games, or will it be more contiguous or story driven in nature? What, if any, sort of story details can you provide?

JD: Level structure and story are on the list of things that we can't talk about yet. The story in this game dwarfs anything in previous id games, which admittedly isn't too hard. Let's just say that there will be a very interesting story.

Mar 7, 2001 (Wednesday)

Johnathan Telin <> notes that in the first level of Marathon we have reference to a "teleport terminal", a "jump pad", and a "Teleporter Pad Terminal". Johnathan asks:

Jump pad, teleport pad, teleport terminal, what is it??

Interesting point. When you arrive at the exit terminal on "Arrival" you find a light colored square in front of it. Could this be the "jump pad" or "teleport pad"? When you teleport to the next level "Bigger Guns Nearby" take a look at what you're standing on. It's the same light colored square as on "Arrival". However the exit terminal on "Bigger Guns Nearby" has no "jump pad" looking texture. Was the idea of a "jump pad" dropped?

Dustin Westphal <> writes:

Marathon Zero Wing parody

Because it needed to be done.


Yet another set of four Bungie Webcam movies from Robert Chrzanowski <>. (3411K) Mon Feb 19 14:57 - Tue Feb 20 07:35 (3196K) Tue Feb 20 07:36 - Wed Feb 21 00:15 (2914K) Wed Feb 21 00:16 - Wed Feb 21 16:56 (3410K) Wed Feb 21 16:57 - Thu Feb 22 09:36

Mar 6, 2001 (Tuesday)

Back in Oct 20, 1998 Bryan "Brymen" Mendoza <> released "The 10th Warrior" movie. At the time I described it as "...a homage to Marathon netplay, features the music of Underworld ("Cowgirl") coupled with rapidfire editing of netplay films and chapter screen and other artwork stills." The original movie (Quicktime format) weighed in at 28MBs and is still available at the Story page here. Now Bryan writes to say that he has re-encoded the movie and looks better than ever before!

The new "The 10th Warrior" movie is now 39MBs and yes it looks better than ever before! You can get it here.

Mar 5, 2001 (Monday)

Another set of four Bungie Webcam movies from Robert Chrzanowski <>. Find out who works at the weekend. (3055K) Fri Feb 16 20:16 - Sat Feb 17 12:57 (3411K) Sat Feb 17 12:58 - Sun Feb 18 05:36 (3410K) Sun Feb 18 05:37 - Sun Feb 18 22:16 (3410K) Sun Feb 18 22:17 - Mon Feb 19 14:56

Mar 4, 2001 (Sunday)

Four more Bungie Webcam movies from Robert Chrzanowski <>. In this series of films you'll see the whole online team in action (are they really playing Halo?) and learn the tru7h behind those Marathon-like lines in the snow... was it Matt? (3402K) Web Feb 14 01:38 - Wed Feb 14 18:17 (3410K) Wed Feb 14 18:18 - Thu Feb 15 10:57 (3409K) Thu Feb 15 10:58 - Fri Feb 16 03:37 (3410K) Fri Feb 16 03:38 - Fri Feb 16 20:17

John Sumner <> writes concerning the missing terminal text on the Marathon level "Cool Fusion". See The Text That Never Was for details.

Mar 3, 2001 (Saturday)   What happened to Friday?

When in doubt go to the horse's mouth. Rob "Noctavis" Swenson <> of Rampancy wrote to Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) asking for confirmation as to what the term "Banshee" referred to in Halo. A flyer or hover bike? Matt replied:

The Banshee is the one that flies...the ones that stay low to the ground are Ghosts.

Interesting terminology.

On the subject of the horse's mouth... Matt sent his Halo update to BGH this week. Multiplayer game types, reflections, gun casings, friendly fire logic, Banshees, smart Bobs and limos. Interesting to note that Matt has begun calling the NPCs in the game "Bobs".

In a Rampancy post Nathan Bitner confirms that he was responsible for writing The Cortana Letters while at Bungie Software. He writes:

Most of Bungie did not understand nor did they review the Cortana letters. I brought them to Rob (for brutal review) and Matt (for dark humour review: there is no better).

No big suprise of course but it's good to get confirmation. :-)

Robert Chrzanowski <> kindly compiled some more Bungie Webcam movies for your viewing pleasure. Who's first in in the morning? Who's last to leave? Who came in in the middle of the night and with whom *cough*... and find out what Matt really does! ;-) (3400K) Sun Feb 11 06:59 - Sun Feb 11 23:35 (3222K) Sun Feb 11 23:39 - Mon Feb 12 16:17 (3410K) Mon Feb 12 16:18 - Tue Feb 13 08:57 (3410K) Tue Feb 13 08:56 - Wed Feb 14 01:37

More to come.

Want to know the history behind the "All your base are belong to us" craziness? Then check out this link sent in by Steve Hahn <>. Oh and before I forget how many words does the line "All your base are belong to us" contain? ;-)

Robert Zimmermann

I think you will find this interesting:
It is a post by Peter Marks (Mordia) about the fate of Myth II/TFL serials.

Mar 1, 2001 (Thursday)

Quick update

OMG STORY PAGE SHIRT ERRORS... the tru7h is out! Michael Watson <> writes concerning the Marathon's Story page t-shirt:

Mike Watson and Mark Levin, Private 'Thon Detectives have found the following errors:

1. "Where giants have fallen you conquer" should be "Where giants have fallen you can conquer."

2. "There are many things which we do not undertsand..." Typo. "Understand."

3. "Deja Vu" is not spelled nearly at all. Rather, "D J , V U" is found.

4. "The Player's Height" doesn't appear where it should.

Why didn't we notice these before?

Michael adds...

Before I kill myself like I did with the Scrapbook, did you plant errors in the shirt?

Seven errors on the Marathon's Story page t-shirt? Who would dream up such an idea? The limited edition Marathon's Story page t-shirt was only available at last year's Bungie Fanfest III in New York. Priced $7 the heavily tested but controversial shirt was an instant classic with the fans.

John Sumner <> writes concerning the missing terminal text on the Infinity levels "Where Some Rarely Go", "Naw Man He's Close", and "Foe Hammer" and offers a very plausible theory as to why they are in fact missing. See The Text That Never Was for details. The last time this section was updated was in Sept 22, 1997. Good to see some new analysis in this area.

Learn all of Bungie's secrets! Thomas Van Sinden <> writes to say that there is another job being advertised at Bungie. This one is for a Programming Intern. Plusses to get the job include writing a Mod for Myth, Quake or Unreal. Nope not Marathon sorry. Bungie's internships are now part of the Microsoft intern program (All your interns are belong to us). This is the 3rd job advertised in the last few weeks. Bungie are also looking for a 3D Multiplayer Artist (see Feb 21 news) and a level designer for Halo (see Feb 23 news).

Brian Retchless <> writes to ask if anyone sees something familiar in this concept sketch at id Software. Just in case you can't Brian says look here.

Go to What's New for Jan - Feb 2001

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Last updated Apr 1, 2001