April 25, 2022 (Monday)

Jeff Nosanov <jeffnosanov@gmail.com> writes in pointing out a Marathon reference/Easter egg in the Halo TV show. He kindly sent in a screen capture. Can you spot it?

Traxus Heavy Industries should come as no surprise to Halo fans. It was one of the largest human industrial companies on Earth, Reach and Andesia. It is referenced in most of the games from Halo 3 onwards.

Marathon fans will of course know about Traxus IV from James B. Miller's seminal work "Life and Death of Intelligence". In a library near you in the 24th century.


April 24, 2022 (Sunday)

The top seven pages people are reading.   Or... maybe just looking at the pictures.

Ling Ling
The Ming Choy
The Marathon Art of Craig Mullins
Official Halo Backstory (pre-Halo release information, track how the official story evolved)
The Cortana Letters
The Bungie WebMaster
Inside Mac Games review of Marathon Infinity

Why are they reading these pages? Is there a connection? Should you be reading them?


I didn't know these pages even existed.


April 22, 2022 (Friday)

A few folks have asked about the Bungie trivia questions that were asked for the five Ling Ling's Head t-shirts. Specifically what were the questions?

Well the trivia competition was actually filmed. You can see it below. Note that this video starts off with the same Max Hoberman introduction and then cuts to the questions.

How many did you get right?


April 21, 2022 (Thursday)

Wait... what?

A number of Bungie 'merch' collectors write in to say that the Ling Ling's Head t-shirt... "belongs in a museum".

Or... at least in their collection.

Apparently it is regarded as the first piece of Bungie merchandise following their sale to Microsoft Corporation... so historically important.

But how many were made?

Well... at least seven based on the Bungie NYC fanfest 2000 movie.

What did they look like?

Where are they now?


April 20, 2022 (Wednesday)

So... somewhat unsurprisingly The Ming Choy has raised a number of questions:

Is that really Joe Staten?
What can be seen that few people outside of Bungie have seen?
What happened to Alex Seropian?
When were these pictures taken?
What happened to Max Hoberman?
Who is the woman in the pictures?
What were Bungie's Seven Steps to World Domination?
Is that REALLY Joe Staten?

Since we can only answer one question at a time here is the answer to the seventh one.

Max Hoberman and Matt Soell explain... the tru7h... during the Bungie NYC fanfest in July 2000.

Do you have a Ling Ling's Head t-shirt?


April 16, 2022 (Saturday)

The original intent...

Back in December 2021 it was pointed out that former Bungie audio director Marty O'Donnell did a YouTube interview with former Bungie artist Paul Russel who had worked on Halo: Combat Evolved. In the interview Paul confirmed that the original intent had been to set Halo in the Marathon universe. Check the video at 43:40. Direct quote is below:

...it was set initially in the Marathon universe and the intent was to carry that tone over, that Cortana... it would be revealed that Cortana's base code was Durandal... was Durandal's base code.

The interview goes on to talk about Nathan Bitner and the Cortana letters and that the darker 'Marathon tone' of rampancy would later surface in Halo 4 and Halo 5.

For a sound bite from the interview click below.

Now following the recent release of the Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition) the subject has arisen again. In relation to one piece of art in the Halo Encyclopedia (see below)...

...Paul Russel wrote on Twitter:

The Drinol designed by @shiekthegeek and originally built by yours truly back in 1999, back when Halo was in the Marathon universe!

Note that @shiekthegeek is Bungie artist Shiek Wang.

While the Drinol was dropped from the game it would later appear in the Halo novel 'Halo: Envoy' but renamed as the Sharquoi.

Thanks to General-RADIX, Herald of Oblivion, aaron, thunderchild120, Paul Russel, Marty O'Donnell, and... Nathan Bitner.

Have your say in this Story forum post. Good? Bad? Dark Halo? Light Halo? Drinol? Nathan who? The Ming Choy?

Related links.

The Cortana Letters
Halo Transmissions
Official Halo Backstory (pre-Halo release information, track how the official story evolved)


April 12, 2022 (Tuesday)

Space opera.

First off, officially - Marathon Infinity, technically, is not a new version of the game. One of its key attractions is an excellent new 30-level scenario that caps off the saga. Yes, that's right - everyone's favorite AI's, Durandal and Tycho, are back and battlin' for the universe with you stuck in the middle. The space opera that follows offers some interesting peeks into the mysteries of the first two Marathon games, but what makes the new scenario unique isn't another "Is Durandal really dead?" cliff-hanger.
Inside Mac Games, Volume 4, Issue 10, October 1996.

Added the Inside Mac Games review of Marathon Infinity (October 1996) to Blasts from the Past.

Yes folks... this explains everything you need to know about Marathon Infinity... everything apart from what happens in the game.

That's why you are still here... 25 years after its release.


April 1, 2022 (Friday)

The top seven pages people are reading.   Or... maybe just looking at the pictures.

The Marathon Art of Craig Mullins
The Cthulhu Mythos in Marathon
W'rkncacnter
Dream Levels and Failed Timelines
Leela
Search the Story page
Marathon Cheat Codes

Why are they reading these pages? Is there a connection? Should you be reading them?


I didn't know these pages even existed.


March 31, 2022 (Thursday)

Every so often you come across a story from a Marathon fan that stops you in your tracks and makes you think. This is one of them.

rfsch describes his experiences of playing Marathon as a kid with his father on r/marathon.

"That's one of my favorite things about the story. When I was a kid Infinity was a slightly creepy experience I shared with my dad, hearing groaning halls in forsaken space ships between bouts of combat but as I grew and got more into the story, it envelops me each time more and more.

It's beautiful how much time and thought went into it's design, and now 20 years later how much time goes into the study of it's lore. I live for the tie ins in Destiny, and thought the Halo ones were so cool.

Just the tone of everything is amazing. So cryptic. The map names have always stuck with me, and influenced how I look at language. Thing What Kicks, You're gonna Die Big Time, 10 thousand, thousand slimy things... It just reads so well.

I play a lot of Destiny now, and glad to submerge myself to a Bungie game. Just wish I had dad around to share all the cool new stuff with, know he'd get a kick out of it. His favorite was "If I had a rocket launcher, I'd make someone pay." We never got to discuss the intricacies of the game, but I still feel like it's the bond that held let us grow together when I was a kid, and now it's something I love delving into to bring back those memories.

As I type this, I realize that's pretty Marathon in itself. Some infinite ephemeral thread we're both tied to despite now existing in two separate cosmos, a pull and tug in each direction.

I can't thank Bungie enough for the impact they've had."


March 27, 2022 (Sunday)

Lovecraftian Horrors, also known as Eldritch Abominations or Cosmic Horrors are types of creatures defined by their disregard for the natural laws of the universe as we understand them.

The nova went off on time and for a moment our simple victory was assured. But then, in a pathetic failure of discipline, the fleet's ranks broke in an all-out retreat. All quarters reported the same thing: half of the sun had gone nova, but the readings from the other half were impossible. It was as if the universe had forgotten its own rules.
High Admiral Tfear (Marathon Infinity manual)

Now I fear what that weapon has unleashed will destroy us. I once boasted to be able to count the atoms in a cloud, to understand them all, predict them, and so did I predict you, but this new chaos is entirely terrible, mindless, obeying rules that I don't comprehend. And it is hungry.
Durandal on Ne Cede Malis

But the trackless whisper chattering through the hollow space in these cursed walls buzzes and threatens madness. The abomination cracked the shells of my crew and sucked the husks, tossing them unseen and shattering the spindle like a dried creche.
High Admiral Tfear on Aie Mak Sicur

In a Story forum post UrsusArctos draws further comparisons between the works of H.P. Lovecraft and the W'rkncacnter. See The Cthulhu Mythos in Marathon section for further details.


March 19, 2022 (Saturday)

In a Story forum post General-RADIX went back in time (metaphorically speaking) in search of the 'answer' and discovered a whole new universe of   "older, text-heavy sites that Google buries".

The 'feersum endjinn' he used was search.marginalia.nu which I initially read as 'magnolia' which as any diehard Marathon Infinity fan knows is the equivalent of mentioning 'rosebud' to a Citizen Kane fan.

But I digress.

In this edgy universe General-RADIX discovered people like justin who waxed poetically about Marathon's network carnage play. Here's one stanza:

marathon state, marathon land
I don't know that it's a place any less real than the web
I do know that after I play this for hours in a night,
I go home,
I close my eyes to sleep
and I'm running through halls
death-bent figures dart out into my vision and try to waste me.

In another part of this universe far from the 'near impermeable clouds of testosterone' lies the literary theory of Textuality and its modern equivalent... Hypertextuality.

I must confess I had forgotten about the Hypertextualists (aka The Hypers) when I listed the groups searching for the 'answer' to the 'ultimate question'.

But I digress.

The author of the blog in question was Scott Price who lived in Brooklyn, NY and who had been on the web since 1997. No connections here at all between Double Aught and the release of Marathon Infinity.... honest.

On the 6/6/06 Scott wrote:

Marathon Infinity took the storytelling to a new level. Though composed of the same short goal-oriented missions, several levels had multiple goals, some of which would lead the player back (in time) to retry previous levels to effect a different outcome as certain alternate timelines proved ineffective in the evolving storyline. Additionally, the levels progression explicitly mirrored the stages of rampancy outlined in Marathon 2, metaphorically leading the security officer through his own 'rampancy' as he struggles out from under the control of Durandal and its mission assignments. You'll note that I didn't outline the plot just now ... that's because it's so circular, variable, and dreamlike that it's often difficult to say exactly what is happening... a feeling that many people associate with innovative hypertexts.

Here's another piece:

Marathon Infinity is also explicitly dreamlike. It includes cycles with multiple exits dependent upon both mission success (chosen links, in effect) and on state changes in the form of previous visits. Several levels duplicate each other but with subtle changes that indicate progress while representing a 'revisitation' of previously read material. Attempts at mapping the storyline end up looking a lot like map views of a hypertext. Which, I suppose, they are.

And lastly...

Playing through Marathon consists, at the most basic level, of navigating the explicit ('geographic') links between lexia. At a deeper level, reading the story consists of enacting implicit links and creating links allowed but not particularly facilitated by the text. Play it at the basic level and it's a shoot-em-up; read it at the next level and it's a story about the struggle for agency and authorship that's deep enough to occupy readers for years of reading and writing it anew.


March 18, 2022 (Friday)

The top seven pages people are reading.   Or... maybe just looking at the pictures.

The Marathon Art of Craig Mullins
The Bungie WebMaster
The Cortana Letters
Marathon & The Micronauts Influence?
Agents of Cool interview
Map Writing
Greg Kirkpatrick on Marathon Infinity

Why are they reading these pages? Is there a connection? Should you be reading them?


I didn't know these pages even existed.


March 17, 2022 (Thursday)

It's tough being green!

Except on St. Patrick's Day!


Happy St. Patrick's Day to all Story page readers... everywhere!


Hmmmm.... actually if you're a Green Bob it's tough even on St. Patrick's Day!

Run Bob... Run... NOOOOO.... the OTHER WAY.


March 11, 2022 (Friday)

Finally...


click the image



March 6, 2022 (Sunday)

'Marathon is 23' by Deimos-Remus on Deviant Art. It is dated Dec 21, 2017 hence the 23 (years) reference. This great piece of comic book-inspired artwork was part of an upcoming Marathon project. Not sure where it is now but the opening piece was a good start.

On the subject of comics William Spencer's Marathon Graphic Comic is still on the web and there is also Michio Hashimoto's comic which retells the story from the Manual's introduction which is in the Blasts from the Past section.

But what about Bungie's Marathon comic?

Well Peter Marks had the good fortune to write in early to the Bungie WebMaster seeking an answer. I say 'good fortune' because it was before the WebMaster went rampant and traumatised a whole generation of Bungie fans with his replies. In the second round of Letters to the WebMaster in 1996 Peter asked:

Are there any plans for a Marathon comic book or even a movie. The plot is cetainly good enough!

Peter Marks, pmarks@npcts.edu

Peter-

We've been approached by a number of different people in the entertainment industry who are interested in buying the rights to the Marathon storyline. So far, none of them have given us the impression that they could do a good job. We wouldn't want the final product to be anything less than amazing, so unless we find the right people (are you listening, James Cameron?) you probably won't see a Marathon movie anytime soon.

Unfortunately James Cameron wasn't listening as he was making Titanic in 1996 and we all know how that turned out.

However, James Cameron did give us 'the finest flying killer fish movie ever made' in his directorial debut in 1982.


Ten years or so later...


March 3, 2022 (Thursday)

seven is darker

Is Marathon slowly being assimilated?

Destiny fans say "yes" pointing out that there is a new Destiny t-shirt on the Bungie Store with a clear Marathon reference on it.

The t-shirt in question is called Where TWAB? which is the acronym for 'This Week At Bungie', Bungie's weekly news announcement about all things Destiny. The image on the shirt is a throwback to the days when puzzles were pieced together with paper and connecting lines.

Yes folks, we still use that method here at the Story page office.

But I digress.

The Marathon reference is of course seven is darker from Leela's garbled message to us on Welcome to the Revolution...

central core has almost Reformatted been, seven is darker.
from reversal thought syndrome suffering if the crew was in
grave peril in forward section 27. This is not a coat rack,
would I choose to express. Is was shall could might happening
will be, imagine not what.  Recovery, imminent perhaps
inevitable Never.

%durandal is dangerous.

Poor Leela. She deserved better.

But I digress.

Apparently if you solve the puzzle on the shirt you can win a ton of Destiny loot. But don't tell anyone in case they solve it before you.

Also there is a catch... the shirt doesn't ship for 4-6 weeks. So for now you are going to need one of these...


March 2, 2022 (Wednesday)

Added David Candland's 'The Ancients' poster to Blasts from the Past.

Least we forget.


March 1, 2022 (Tuesday)

Eric Salzman <esalzman5@gmail.com> writes to say that his Marathon-inspired Board game entitled Somewhere In The Heavens... They Are Waiting   is now available for sale.

He has a YouTube video which provides an update on the game and the history behind its creation.

Eric_Salzman

Check out the previous Story page updates about this game on January 8, 2022 and June 2, 2021



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Last updated Mar 1, 2022