Apr 30, 1998
A new bi-monthly pic tomorrow. What will it be? Who will be the first person to identify it and win... win... win... ?
At last the Story page has got its hands on the original Hound screenshot! This was sent in by a kind individual who I am sure would prefer to remain anonymous. Check the Missing Aliens section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Aaron Freed <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning weapon names. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 29, 1998
Nathan Scheck <SScheck@aol.com> writes concerning weapon names. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 28, 1998
David Barabe sent in an interesting piece of Marathon memoriablia via snail mail. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Oh and added some more early Marathon usenet humor. Enjoy.
Apr 27, 1998
More Pfhor egg level oddities? See The Pfhor egg section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 26, 1998
Added a complete scan of Bungievision Fall '96 to the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Apr 25, 1998
Richard Williams <email@example.com> writes concerning the weapons in Marathon. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 24, 1998
Jim Mitchell <firstname.lastname@example.org> sends in some info about an early Bungievision. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Santiago Pereson <email@example.com> writes concerning the similarities between Marathon and Pathways Into Darkness. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 23, 1998
Matt Soell (Bungie Software) posted to the Marathon Central Discussion Forums. You can read the full post here. He makes two points.
1. The sales of Win 95 M2 were not a "complete disappointment" and were not "a factor in the decision to drop M3."
2. Bungie's Chicago office and their new West Coast office are working on two different but non-Marathon related projects.
Looks like you'll have to wait for E3 to find out what these are.
Cairan Wheeler <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the Pfhor levels leading to the Pfhor egg level. See The Pfhor egg section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 22, 1998
Charles Srstka <email@example.com> writes concerning an interesting and little known trick on the Infinity level "By Committee":
If you play the level "By Committee" in Infinity, you may notice that the assimilated Bobs in one room show up as red triangles instead of green squares on your radar, and that they say "Sorry" and "My Fault" etc. instead of what they usually say. But that's not all that's wrong with them. Lure one of the cyborgs from one of the other rooms into the assimilated Bob room, run around in circles for a while, and see what happens! The cyborg will eventually hit one of the assimilated Bobs, which strangely doesn't kill them, but instead makes the A-Bobs (in the old tradition of Marathon enemies) run toward the cyborg and try to kill it. With the A-Bobs, of course, this means exploding in the cyborg's face! Kind of fun, and also an ammo-saving way to kill the cyborgs (using fists against cyborgs requires too much recharging since they keep blowing up in your face when you kill them)
Maybe these are A-Bob beta versions? They don't seem to be quite as good as the finished product (not from the Pfhor's point of view, at least)
A-Bob beta versions? Nice one. :-)
Not more sevens? Yes! Cindy Hoffa <firstname.lastname@example.org> made an interesting discovery on the Infinity level "Eat the Path". See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details
Apr 21, 1998
The Story page is still looking for information on Bungie's Bungievisions. How many issues were there and what Marathon (and Bungie) tidbits do they contained? The hope is to have these available on-line in the near future so everybody can read them.
Kyjel Shaytolmae <email@example.com> writes pointing out that Bungie's first newletter was distributed electronically back in Oct '96. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 20, 1998
Kyjel Shaytolmae <firstname.lastname@example.org> tracked down J. Reginald Dujour and asked him a few questions concerning his work on Marathon. Regarding the Marathon symbol and what it represents Reg replied:
I designed the icon to represent a world within a world... Marathon the spaceship being build inside a hollowed asteroid.
Reg went on to say that the Pfhor eggs were "incubation bubbles" and points out that:
They were suppose to be breakable but we didn't have time to but that in.
Destroyable Pfhor incubation bubbles? Could "Ain't Got Time Pfhor This..." have been our Pfhorth 'missing' mission to the Pfhor ship. See The Pfhor egg section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 19, 1998
Will Craig <email@example.com> writes:
On the topic of those folder indexes with the letters, try lining them in columns:
Now, read them upwards. First column (excluding the F) = abcde Second column= ghijk
thirds column= lmnopq
fourth column= tuvwx
And actually, if you go further, read it up then go back down (starting from a).
abcde (then back down) fghijk (then back down) lmnopq (then start at the r in the fourth row on go down and up) rstuvwx
nothing strange really :-)
Aaron Freed <firstname.lastname@example.org>> writes:
...the "All the news that's fit to vid" that features on the Marathon.org News page is taken from the Bungievision publication that shipped with Infinity and the PC version of M2.
Hmmm... speaking of Bungievision, the Bungie Newsletter, the Story page would like to hear from anybody who has collected the entire series. The Story page has one dated Fall 1996. But if you have an early one or a later one please let me know. Many thanks.
Apr 18, 1998
Ryan Gould <email@example.com> writes:
did anyone ever figure out what
ekqx djpw ciov bhnu agmtr fmls
ekqx djpw ciov bhnu agmtr f ls
means on the marathon 2 cd?
if you look at the included picture (57K), it just seems kinda odd. don't you think that they could have done it differently if they wanted to?
Interesting stuff. Did Bungie hide an easter egg message in their folder collage?
Thanks to all the people who have written in about the sound of the Marathon background music under the new Quicktime 3. Better or worse? Opinion is certainly divided. I guess it's a case of make your own mind up.
Chadd Nervig <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the background voices on the Marathon 2 theme music. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 17, 1998
Francesco Poli <email@example.com> writes concerning the background voices on the Marathon 2 theme music. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Chadd Nervig <firstname.lastname@example.org> also writes concerning the background voices. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Voices? They're Everywhere! Simon Brownlee <email@example.com> writes concerning the background voice on the Infinity theme track. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 16, 1998
Moved the Marathon 2 background voices issue to the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Chadd Nervig <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the background voices on the Marathon 2 theme music. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Charles Srstka <email@example.com> also writes concerning the background voices. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
And more voices info from Simon Brownlee <firstname.lastname@example.org>. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
More Quicktime 3/Marathon music comments. Michael Park <email@example.com> writes:
First thing about QuickTime _3_ (number 3 again! yikes!) is definitely the new music you notice with Marathon 1. I've got to admit, the guys at Apple did some serious revamping of the MIDI files, though some of the musics sound too cheesy (the Ignie Ferroque music sounds like someone's going waw all the time).
Charles Srstka <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes
I don't think the Marathon music is supposed to sound the way it does with Quicktime 3...
I admit, the only ones I have listened to so far have been the background music on "Arrival" and "Never Burn Money" but those ones, at least, have been thoroughly mutilated in my opinion...
A few low sounds that were supposed to create an eerie effect are replaced with weird high-pitched sounds in the first few notes of the song in Arrival... several notes in Arrival I did not hear... in Never Burn Money, some of the high notes seem to be an octave lower than they should be for some weird reason, and the ratio of the loudness of the upper to lower notes seems much less than the old one did, so the tune just doesn't stand out as much! Also, in both songs, the music seemed less smooth...
I guess this is what happens when you depend on an external source for your sounds instead of putting them in the application. I am really disappointed with the new music, but I'm not sure that I want to give up QuickTime 3 just to have decent Marathon music, though. However, I do have an old installer of QT 2.5 around in case I need it...
Apr 15, 1998
Ahmad Sahar <email@example.com> writes concerning his experience with Quicktime 3 and Marathon:
guess what happened? new wine in old bottles?
so i whipped out marathon music exploder and tried em again just to make sure.....schwing!
so bungie got it right, but it took apple years to get the proper midi sounds ....
o god....why, apple? all of us could have enjoyed marathon just that much more if it sounded the way it was supposed to sound.
The improved background music with Quicktime 3 was also confirmed by Simon Brownlee <firstname.lastname@example.org> who wrote:
I played through a goodly chunk of Mara 1 on Sunday with music blaring. The music sounds a lot more like that on the Mara 1 CD audio tracks. So, probably more like Bungie intended.
Simon did point out however that not everybody will probably appreciate the new sound since it does sound different.
Like a fine wine... Marathon just gets better and better with age. The latest line of fast processors and graphic cards allows Marathon to be played under conditions not even the creators could have experienced - hi res, millions of colors, stereo sound etc. at 100% with little or no drop in max fps. With time all this will be available at full screen. Go on relive the experience... you know you deserve it! :-)
A number of people have written in about the mystery background voice on the Marathon 2 theme track. As yet no one has confirmed Anthony Bathgate's interpretation - "I'm with you all the way Bob". Indeed the words seem to be open to wide interpretation.
Anthony Bathgate <email@example.com> points out that this line occurs at:
...the loudest point in the music track and that other comments play continuously throughout the music.
Apr 14, 1998
Two Times Two Equals... Pfhor Hounds on Pfhor Levels. Cindy "The Hound Huntress" Hoffa <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the use of the Hound texture in Marathon. See the Missing Aliens section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Ever since Charles Srstka and Forrest Cameranesi mentioned the 'setl' control sets in Marathon people have been asking who is/was the person called "Ender" at Bungie? The person had their own keyboard setup - "Ender's Set" - along with people like Jason Jones, Alex Rosenberg, Jason Regier and Robert McLees, so they must have been important? Is this a real name or an alias?
Will Craig <email@example.com> points out that there was a person called Evan Vetere <firstname.lastname@example.org> who used the a.k.a. Ender on IRC #marathon. He maintained the "Pfhor Information Database", a who's who in the Marathon world. All gone now unless you know a certain page. But is this the same Ender? Unlikely since his name doesn't feature in any of the games' or manuals' credits.
On the same subject Matt Keleher <Phaserbeam@aol.com> writes:
In one of the April 5th entries in the Whats New section, someone wrote in concerning something about the keyboard setups of various people. He also said he didn't know who "Ender" was, as he apparently has his own layout. Knowing an answer to this, Ender is a character in a Science Fiction Book called "Ender's Game", which has a few similarities to Marathon (hollowed out astroids, unstoppable alien invaders, and one person who kills the aliens).
Yes! Ender is a popular sci-fi character but who was using that name at Bungie and why not their real name? Another mystery perhaps?
Todd Proctor <email@example.com> writes:
I don't think anyone else has pointed this out before, but it's that damn obvious it's not funny, so someone probably has and I haven't noticed it.
Marathon one has 26 solo levels, and how many miles are there in a marathon? yes, 26.
Yup, which fits in with the fact that the creator type for the Marathon series is 26.2, the same number of miles in a Marathon, first mentioned by Dan Rudolph <firstname.lastname@example.org> back in Oct 3, 1996. :-)
Gabe Rosenkoetter <email@example.com> writes concerning the "Marathon" book. See the That Marathon Book section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Strange voices? Anthony Bathgate <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
I discoved a little secret in the Marathon 2 menu music. Immediately after the seemingly garbled voice says that "MarathonMarathon" thing the second time you hear a tiny voice only if you have stereo sound turned on, ambient sounds turned on and headphones plugged into your ears. It says fairly quickly "I'm with you all the way Bob" I think this may be a decent quote if you cold talk in the game. I couldn't think of anyone else to tell because you have the website documenting the strange things.It does not show up on anything other then headphones. I simply discoved it by forgetting to unplug my headphones from the computer and my ears from a music preview on the web and decided to go play Marathon 2. All of the sudden I get this blaring music in my ears and even though I usually don't do it I sit there listening to the music and looking at my prefs as well as trying to decide which map and which physics model to use. After a while I hear this "I'm with you all the way Bob" in my ear. I promptly quit Marathon and call my brother in and put the headphones on him and ask him to listen for it. He hears it to.
"I'm with you all the way Bob"? Strange stuff.
Apr 11, 1998
The Story page will be shut over the Easter weekend. And on the subject of Easter and Easter Eggs...
Kyjel Shaytolmae <email@example.com> writes concerning the mysterious Pfhor egg on "Ain't Got Time Pfhor This...". See the new The Pfhor Egg section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Michael Park <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning an early screenshot of the SPNKR-X17 SSM Launcher (Lazyboy). See the Official Marathon Screenshots section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Jeremy Parish <email@example.com> writes concerning the Marathon 2 CD with missing music. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Charles Srstka <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
The rest of the "tset"'s do contain something of significance... all the keys! If you read the hex numbers in the keydappl tsets, you'll notice that they are all to keys in these keysets. I guess if you had the time, you could see what keysets the Bungie programmers like to use. Do any of them use Caps Lock for the run key???
Spazeroids at Bungie? God forbid!
Graham Benedict <email@example.com> writes:
Although it has little impact on Marathon's story, I would like to point out that in a earlier version of Myth, Bungie used the same difficulty level names as in Marathon, Kindergarten, Easy, Normal, Major Damage, and Total Carnage, rather than the currently used Timid, Simple, Normal, Heroic, and Legendary. This was way back when the strategy guide was being written, as I saw this in a screenshot in the guide.
Santiago Pereson <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning another Marathon like symbol. See the That Marathon Symbol section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Santiago also writes concerning the Bungie dollar. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Apr 10, 1998
Happy Easter weekend everyone! Have a good one. :-)
Erkki Halinen <email@example.com> points out that babysue magazine now has Ling-Ling T-shirts for sale and you can also read an interview with the famous head itself!
And if you are confused about what all this has to do with Marathon then you need to check the Ling-Ling section of Blasts from the Past.
More Marathon symbol symbolism. Kyjel Shaytolmae <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
I always thought it was some sort of twisted representation of a flower.
A flower? A rose perhaps? stat rosa pristina nomine, nomina nuda tenemus.
Chris Camacho <email@example.com> also writes concerning the Marathon symbol:
I always thought of the Marathon symbol at a tunnel. The big circle is the opening of the tunnel, and the small is the opposite side. The line connecting the circles is a trail of dirt/dust/liquid along the bottom of the pipe. Think about it. The first interstellar ship known to humans (note: Durandal is not a human), building a "tunnel" to a new era.
Obviously the Marathon symbol represents different thinks to different people. But what did it originally represent? Reginald Dujour, the creator of the symbol, would be the only person to know for sure.
Michael Park <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes again concerning a Marathon 2 CD with partial missing music. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Apr 9, 1998
Cindy Hoffa <email@example.com> writes concerning the missing Hound in Marathon. See the Missing Aliens section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Michael Park <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning another variation of the Marathon 2 CD this time with partial missing music. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Jim Head <email@example.com> writes concerning the Marathon book. See the That Marathon Book section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 8, 1998
A Marathon book?
Yes indeed! It was mentioned way back in Jan '96. But now we have the details. Check out the new That Marathon Book section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 7, 1998
Wayne Wight <Wayne.M.Wight@williams.edu> writes concerning the Hamlet quote on "Poor Yorick". See the Shakespeare in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 6, 1998
Mihai Parparita <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
If you go to the about page of the M2 Strategy Guide on the Marathon Trilogy CD there is a little question mark on the bottom that is supposed to link to Jonas's homepage ( http://www.bungie.com/homepages/jonas/main.html), but the link is broken. I was wondering if you knew if there was anything there originally, and if there is a new location.
Jonas Eneroth has moved on to greener pastures in London, England. He dismantled his home page and took it with him when he left on Friday 13th Feb 1998. All gone now.
Also in the same page there is a little pop-up menu with a comment from Jonas. The text is:
4.24 am, Monday the 26th of August...
half a six pack of diet coke...
half a pack of ML's and only halfway.
I guess this was supposed to
have been done a long time ago.
But, I smile 'cause... I work at Bungie.
Concerning Forrest Cameranesi's comments below both Chadd Nervig >email@example.com> and Todd Bangerter <firstname.lastname@example.org> point out that WCS stands for Weapons Control System. Todd writes:
The WCS is indeed a lever of some sort. WCS is, in fact, the Weapon Control System, a throttle and weapons stick manufactured by Thrustmaster Inc. The WCS is a companion to the Flight Control System (FCS), a heavy duty joystick. These two systems in conjuction with the Rudder Control System (RCS), form the best flight simulation control system available for the Mac, bar none.
Chadd goes on to point out:
WCS stands for Weapons Control Systems. It's a thrustmaster product, and yes, it's a lever, a throttle...with SE7EN buttons on it! Well.... 6 buttons, and 1 switch... But still...
Michael Trinder <email@example.com> writes:
the 'setl' resources that Forrest is talking about are used, or should be used, by the Input Sprocket - this is why they are only in Infinity 1.5 and not M2 or Infinity 1.0 for that matter.
I haven't yet been able to discover exactly how they work, but they seem to use the action codes from the original 3 keyboard tables in the application. this is why throwing them away does no harm.
Apr 5, 1998
Dave Aitken <DaveAJA@aol.com> writes:
Concerning the Marathon symbol; I think it is put in an appropriate context on What About Bob?, where it accompanies communications from Durandal, and also on the Marathon boxes. These show the symbol suspended in space - I have always regarded it as a stylised representation of the Marathon itself.
Dave goes on to point out that the Marathon being a hollowed-out moon it would be appropriate to depict it "as a circle within a circle".
It is interesting to note that this very point was raised on comp.sys.mac.games way... way... back on the 16th Dec 1994. Note this was posted before the final game was released.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (AFA Eaton) Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games Subject: Re: MARATHON physics flaw? Date: 16 Dec 1994 17:12:52 -0500 Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364) Lines: 19 Sender: email@example.com Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> References: <email@example.com> Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org (AFA Eaton) You hit the nail on the head. As they said in IMG, Marathon is a small moon of mars that was turned into a gaint hollowed out colony ship. My guess is that it also contains some sort of alien embryo at the core that the alien races think we have abducted... Look at the logo for a sec and imagin the large circle as the Marathon colony ship... What's the second little circle inside? ;) Just my $.02... --Jeff ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Jeff Eaton, email@example.com. My views do not represent the opinions or policies of America Online. Offer prohibited where void, some restrictions may apply. God doesn't build cages -- just guardrails. ----------------------------------------------------------------------
Forrest Cameranesi <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
I noticed some errors in that list I sent you when I read it on the page. Not sure if you made the error in transcription or (most likely) I just made typos and other errors...
"Rob McLees" has a control set of "keydappl", not "keydapp". And "Firebird Set" and "Speech Set (On)" should be separated, with "Firebird Set" having an control set type of "joysgrfb".
While I'm here, I suppose I'll offer my guesses as to what each control set type means...
"Jason Jones", "Alex Rosenberg", "Jason Regier", "Non-Vidmaster", "Ender's Set", "Arrows", "PowerBook", and "Rob McLees" all have control set types of "keydappl". This is obviously Keyboard-Only.
"Standard", "Slower", and "Movement" all have control set types of "mousappl". This is obviously Mouse-&-Keyboard.
"Speech Set (On)" and "Speech Set (Off)" have the control set type of "talkappl". This is obviously the Speech option for InputSprocket.
"Gimmick's Set", "GamePad Set", "Movement Set", "Jetstick Set", "Fighterstick Set", "FS Pro Set", "Firebird Set", and "FCS Set" all have control set types beginning with "joys". This are probably various types of joystick drivers.
The odd one out is "WCS Set", with a type of "levrwcs!". Could this be some sort of throttle control driver, hence the "lev[e]r" in the beginning? And "wcs!" is obviously a reference to the make and/or model of the device.
Not that any of this has ANY impact on the story, but it gives some insight to the Bungie crew seeing that at least four of them use keyboard-only, plus whoever "Ender" is, and the three generics (Non-Vidmaster, Arrows, and PowerBook).
Apr 4, 1998
Shor Netscap <email@example.com> writes concerning open windows and vacuums. See the Vacuum Levels section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Eylon Caspi <firstname.lastname@example.org> and Forrest Cameranesi <email@example.com> both write concerning "yaw" and "pitch" See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Forrest also writes:
The complete list of 'setl' control sets are as follows, plus what I'm guessing are their control set types (keyboard only, mouse & keyboard, various joysticks, speech...). You'll notice that we can determine who at Bungie plays with what control set type.
FS Pro Set
Speech Set (On)
Speech Set (Off)
I noticed a few interesting things while in ResEdit. In Infinity's "tset" resource, ID 5671 contains the strings "Bring up the map", "Next Weaponn" (yes, with two 'n's), "Previous Weaponn", "Open Door", and "Flip Switch", along with a whole lot of box-characters (hex code doesn't all translate well into ASCII text) and a few misc letters here and there. The rest of the "tset"s contain nothing is obviouse signifigance.
Some time back there was discussion on what the Marathon symbol represented. Aaron Freed <firstname.lastname@example.org> continues this theme:
I've always thought of it as being a zero on top of a one, inside a zero. Seems to represent Information to me.
Apr 3, 1998
In searching for the origins of the mysterious Jjaro! Simon Brownlee <email@example.com> made an interesting discovery. Buried deep within the vast archives of usenet there are a number of seemingly unconnected Japanese messages (unreadable to us) containing the recognisable letters Jjaro. You can see them here, here, here, and over here. For non-Marathoners these letters would mean nothing... or would they? Is the word Jjaro of Bungie origin or something more?
Charles Srstka <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning "yaw" and "pitch" See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Charles Srstka <email@example.com> also writes:
It seems that there are a lot more keysets built into Infinity than just Standard, Arrows, and Powerbook. I was looking at the "setl" resource, which seemed to contain names of keysets and mousesets, joysticks, etc. Each one seemed to have a hex number right above the name, which, when I converted it to base 10, would turn out to be the ID of one of the "tset" resources. Some of the sets in there were called things like "Ender's Set" or "Non-Vidmaster" etc. The weird thing is I tried screwing around with all the "tset" resources, trying to modify the default keysets, but to no avail. In my frustration, I went and deleted all the "tset" resources from a copy of the Infinity app, and ran it, and it still worked, so I have no idea what those resources do, if anything. The M2 app does not seem to have them.
Anyone have any ideas on what these are for and what the full list of names are?
Apr 2, 1998
Here's a follow-up to that "TBWSAF" acronym post on alt.games.myth. It seems that some people want to know... ALL. Matt Soell replied:
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com (Dennis Taylor) wrote:
> Matt! You're alive! :-D
In a manner of speaking.
> So... what _does_ it stand for?
Some things man was not meant to know.
Director of Customer Support
Verily it doeth speak the tru7h. :-)
But what's this? MDS... Matthew Durandal Soell perhaps? ;-)
Simon Brownlee <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning Marathon and the CyberMaxx VR Headset. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Apr 1, 1998
Interesting Marathon related post from Matt Soell (Bungie Software) on alt.games.myth. Yes they discuss Marathon there too sometimes. Better keep up to date folks. :-) Anyway this tidbit is about the acronym "TBWSAF" on the bottom of the Infinity and Trilogy boxes. This was discussed way back in May 20, 1997 both Chris Camacho and Forrest Cameranesi made some good suggestions one of which was posted to alt.games.myth without crediting the original source. Tut tut! Matt replied:
In article <email@example.com>, Lindley Doran <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> "TBWSAF" Means: "To Bad We Stopped At Four".
Nice try, but no cigarillo. :-)
Director of Customer Support
Heh! Way to go Matt! They shan't have the Bungie secrets until the closure! ;-)
Another Star Wars reference? Back in Dec 24, 1997 John Zero <email@example.com> drew attention to the fact that the log-on/off codes on Terminal 1 (Message 1) of "Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks" were similar to a line from Star Wars. Now Aaron Freed <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
John Zero pointed out a Star Wars reference in the Thoth logon/logoff screens
&*(hat you sme&!
I don't think this phenomenon is restricted to this pair. Take:
Rh~fen kill~@5,.4.1 too and ands of (0)!the empir%&(f~F`fx\$C0
In the scene (in A New Hope) after Luke's aunt and uncle had been killed by the Imperials, Ben Kenobi tries to comfort Luke, telling him something like "there's nothing you could have done. If you had been there, you would have been killed too, and the 'droids would be in the hands of the empire." Chalk up another Star Wars reference.
As to why all these Star Wars references cropped up in Thoth terminals I don't know...
Perhaps we need a Star Wars section?
Mihai Parparita <email@example.com> writes:
While scouring the Net for Duality information I found the following in an IMG article on Double Aught:
"The Infinity project was originally the 20/10 pack for Marathon 1, put on hold for awhile. I decided that it was perfect for the launching of Double Aught - it would give us something to do and it might even pay the bills... I had to do something, I couldn't live in Chicago anymore. (What can I say? I like hills and trees, I don't care that corn is twelve for a dozen in Chicago' - as someone once astutely pointed out to me.)"
The full article text is available from:
The above is a quote attributed to Greg Kirkpatrick. So "The Infinity project was originally the 20/10 pack for Marathon 1, put on hold for awhile." Odd stuff! Yet the Marathon Scrapbook revealed that some of the levels of the ill fated Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack were incorporated into Marathon 2. The following is from the Scrapbook:
After much soul-searching Bungie halted development of the Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack. Doug Zartman relates how the decision was reached: "It was just that for a while that we thought we could fit in a 20/10 pack and still get M2 out that year. It wasn't very long before we decided that if we did the 20/10 pack, M2 might get slighted, the levels might not be as carefully designed, and might not make it for '95. M2 was the more exciting product and a higher priority, so 20/10 got canned. A couple of the maps intended for the 20/10 pack were retextured and refitted for M2."
So did the remaining 20/10 pack levels get incorporated into Infinity?
Gabe Rosenkoetter <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning Marathon and the CyberMaxx VR Headset. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 31, 1998
Mihai Parparita <email@example.com> writes concerning Marathon and the CyberMaxx VR Headset. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 30, 1998
Back in Dec '97 Dan Rudolph <firstname.lastname@example.org> sent in this information about an old Compuserve CD dating from early '95 which contained some Marathon Quicktime movies. Well Dan finally sent them into the page. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mike Ackerman <email@example.com> writes concerning another Marathon like gun sight. This is a good one. Even has a gun called Infinity. See the That Marathon Symbol section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 29, 1998
Steve Wood <stephen_wood@INS.COM> sent in some interesting information about Bungie's aborted Marathon 3 project. It is part of an interview with Jason Jones in the Official Myth Strategy Guide.
Bart: So, where did the idea of Myth come from?
Jason Jones: Well, it's really not all that glamorous. I could probably lie and make up something cool, but I'll tell you the truth instead. We started out doing the natural extension of Marathon, which would have turned out to be something along the lines of Quake. At that time, the first screenshots of Quake were already out, and we sort of knew where they were going, and everybody else did too. We were going to try and do one of those sorts of games, and after about two months of working on it, nobody was really into it at all, and I just had the feeling like we weren't going to be able to pull it off in time. The whole time we were working on the Quake-like game, we had been talking about this other game that nobody thought would work out, and we'd been calling it "The Giant Bloody War Game." We'd sit around talking about the Quake-like game, trying to be serious and make some serious decisions about it, and everyone just kept talking about "The Giant Bloody War Game," laughing, having fun, etc. After about two months of that going on, I just showed up at the office one day with the map editor in its most basic form, It could just adjust the heights and stuff and import the color map, and in one day we switched our project from a shooter game that would have had us chasing our competition's tail to what has basically become Myth."
This is supported by a recent posting by Matt Soell (Bungie Software) on the Marathon Central Discussion Forums. Matt wrote:
There was, at one time, a Marathon 3 project. It was intended to be a complete rewrite of the Marathon engine with all the goodies people have come to expect (fully 3D, snazzy special effects, much nicer networking, etc.). It was canned because none of our principal development team were very interested in finishing it - or at least, they were more interested in doing something new. Hence, Myth: The Fallen Lords.
So there you have it.
Mar 28, 1998
Another interesting post from the Marathon Central Discussion Forums this time from Simon Brownlee. Part of Simon's post reads as follows:
I had a fairly long chat with Jonas [Eneroth] at last years MacWorld Boston, and he claims that there were actually _a lot_ of changes and bug fixes to the M2 maps for the Win95 release. However, someone (who he wouldn't name) managed to merge the wrong set of them to be mastered, hence we have a number of untextured walls, and many unchanged levels. in the Win95 release. These were due to be fixed in a second pressing of the CD, but with the low sales for Win95, that never happened.
Could this be true? There are certainly a number of glaring texture problems in the Win95 M2 map which could have easily been corrected before final release. This fact alone should have warranted an update to fix these errors.
Mike Ackerman <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning a Marathon like symbol. See the That Marathon Symbol section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
A Marathon symbol in Myth? Daniel Chace <email@example.com> has the details. See the That Marathon Symbol section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 27, 1998
Well the Marathon Central Discussion Forums have certainly taken off thanks to the hard work of Simon "Squeaky" Brownlee. Simon's programming skills have given a new life to Marathon Central and the Story page salutes him. And kudos also to Steve Campbell for his ceaseless work at the interface.
Coincident with the rise in Forum posts has been a noticeable drop in alt.games.marathon postings which is a good thing since it was becoming, to quote a well known gaming company, a
"sewer of posturing, rudeness, baseless rumors, and unprovoked attacks."
Who remembers that quote? It dates from Nov '94.
Anyway the Forums now number four... three more to go! ;-)
Some interesting stuff has appeared on the Forums in recent days which deserves highlighting.
Mike Ackerman pointed out that information from Apples's web site revealed that back in 1996 Bungie demonstrated Marathon 2 running with QuickDraw 3D RAVE. So what version of Marathon was this? Marathon RAVE?
Matt Soell (Bungie Software) also graced the Forums and revealed some interesting information about Bungie's intentions regarding the future of Marathon. Well worth reading in full. Matt summarized Bungie's views as follows:
In summary: a new Marathon game would probably make us a ton of cash. Right now, that's not what we're looking for. There's no point in doing another Marathon game if our collective heart isn't in it. Maybe someday we'll get nostalgic and revisit that universe in some new way. But it's not going to happen until we want it to happen, until it feels right. We respectfully ask that Marathon fans and Bungie fans (not always the same people) respect our decision.
Chasing the Hound. Marathon never ceases to amaze me in its ability to reveal little tidbits. And I have the pleasure of presenting another one. As everyone knows the Pfhor Hound was removed from Marathon prior to release... or was it? Dan Rudolph <firstname.lastname@example.org> says NO... the Hound still exists in Marathon. But where? Dan has the details in the new Missing Aliens section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Mar 26, 1998
The fabled Cheat Codes finally revealed?
Michael Trinder <email@example.com> writes:
Whilst poking around the Marathon 2 and infinity apps looking for ways to disable certain keys (strange I know, but we wanted to disable the map in one scenario and the Wheels project for the disabled needs only 7 keys) I deciphered the tables in which are stored the default keyboard layouts. These contain more than just the keycodes for each function :)
It seems that internally Marathon uses a 32bit value to represent what each player is doing at any one moment. The keyboard layout tables not only list the key to be pressed for each action, but a second number which is the internal 'action code' for that action. Put more simply, the first item in the list (move forward) has the number 91 (which is 8 on the numeric keypad) followed by 0x00008000 which is the action code for Forward. Each action is translated into a different bit in the 32bit value, so they can be added together to represent several things being done at once.
Marathon can therefore represent 32 different actions. But there are only 21 keys - what you may ask do the other 11 actions do?
See the Marathon Cheat Codes section of Facts and puzzling things about... for full details on the other 11 actions. :-)
Mar 25, 1998
More Hot Marathon News!
Three new Discussion Forums have been added to Marathon Central. Full details can be found at the Forums page at http://www.marathon.org/forums/
Aaron Freed <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the cheat codes and other undocumented features in Marathon. See the Marathon Cheat Codes section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
For those of you who have asked "Is the Cheat Code page for real?" Why yes! But its location is kept secret to protect the innocent. You can find the hidden link if you look carefully and apply a bit of cool logic. Good luck! :-)
Mar 24, 1998
Aaron Freed <email@example.com> writes concerning vacuum levels. See the Vacuum Levels section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 23, 1998
More information about the Codewarrior CD with the archive of Marathon memorabilia. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 22, 1998
Ajay Ayyagari <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the availability of the Codewarrior CD with the archive of Marathon memorabilia. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Chris Lovell <email@example.com> writes:
"Sabaoth" is probably not related to "Sabbath". Like Adonai and Eloei, it's a title of God. Here's the entry from the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.csn.net/advent/cathen/13286a.htm):
(In Hebrew, plural form of "host" or "army"). The word is used almost exclusively in conjunction with the Divine name as a title of majesty: "the Lord of Hosts", or "the Lord God of Hosts". The origins and precise signification of the title are matters of more or less plausible conjecture. According to some scholars the "hosts" represent, at least primitively, the armies of Israel over whom Jehovah exercised a protecting influence. Others opine that the word refers to the hosts of heaven, the angels, and by metaphor to the stars and entire universe (cf. Genesis 2:1). In favour of the latter view is the fact that the title does not occur in the Pentateuch or Josue though the armies of Israel are often mentioned, while it is quite common in the prophetic writings where it would naturally have the more exalted and universal meaning.
Mar 21, 1998
Mihai Parparita <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the Codewarrior CD with the archive of Marathon memorabilia. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Ajay Ayyagari <email@example.com> sends in an interesting Marathon screenshot found on the Codewarrior CD. See the Official Marathon Screenshots section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Forrest Cameranesi <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
"Sabaoth" sounds very much like "Sabbath" to me, or the *seventh* day of creation (Sunday). Could Sabaoth be another spelling of Sabbath, which means seventh, and could be the root of S'bhuth/S'boath? So S'bhuth is the Seventh. Hmm...
Mar 20, 1998
Another Marathon blast from the past this time from Ajay Ayyagari <email@example.com>. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Aaron Snyder <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
In Brian Hannan's Mar. 18th contribution, he came across a post-dynastic Egyptian magical ritual which mentioned some interesting--and possibly Marathon-related--names. He couldn't identify a few; I can add some.
"Eloei" sounds like one of the Hebrew words for "God". If you'll recall from the Gospels, Jesus says in Aramaic (closely related to Hebrew) "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?", or "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
"Adonai" is the Hebrew word for "Lord."
"Sabaoth" sounds awfully much like "S'bhuth" (or whatever the spelling is), from M2 and Infinity.
S'bhuth or S'boath, the latter is in fact very like Sabaoth. Could there be a connection?
There are a number of Egyptian references in Marathon. Most notably Thoth, the red sands of the dead, and [?papyrus] yoke. Oh and one of Lh'owon's moons is also the name of an Egyptian princess. But which one?
And least we forget there is the mysterious pyramid in Pathways Into Darkness:
Grotesque creatures have been sighted deep in the trackless forest of the Yucatan, and strange rumors of an ancient pyramid-- which is neither Aztec nor Mayan-- in the same area have been circulating in the archaeological community since the early 1930's.
Neither Aztec nor Mayan? Could it have been Egyptian? And what of the pyramids on Mars? Will NASA ever reveal the tru7h about the Cydonian anomalies?
Mar 19, 1998
Aaron Freed <email@example.com> who seems to have made it his sole mission to identify the creators of all 136 Marathon levels writes concerning some more levels. See the Level Credits section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 18, 1998
Hot Marathon News!
The Marathon Central Discussion Forum is now open for business. This is a moderated forum for discussing Marathon and Marathon related themes. It is the brainchild of Simon "Squeaky" Brownlee. The forum is maintained by a panel of seven international Marathon experts. If you want honest answers to serious questions then you'll get them at the Forum.
Don't forget to check out the lastest Marathon news on the Marathon Daily News page at Marathon Central.
Brian Hannan <firstname.lastname@example.org< writes:
While reading Bowman's book "Egypt After the Pharaohs" I came across a discussion of an early Coptic (Egyptian Christian) spell. It reads:
"Hor, Hor, Phor, Eloei, Adonai, Iao, Sabaoth, Michael, Jesus Christ. Help us and this house. Amen."
I'm a computer engineering major--not classic civilization major--so I am not certain to exactly what deity "Phor" relates to. The spell is a mixture of pagan (Egyptian and Hellenistic) and Christian elements. While I recognize Sabaoth, Michael--and obvisouly Jesus Christ--the references to Hor, Phor, Eloei, Adonai, and Iao I do not.
If I had to guess, from the "Ph" in "Phor" I would have to say it is an Egyptian word and most likely an Egyptian diety. Has anyone else uncovered anything similar? Any other leads? The spell is from the papyrus discovered at Oxyrhynchus, if that helps any papyrology majors who will see this.
Interesting find. Does the word "Pfhor" have egyptian origins?
Matthew Payne <email@example.com> writes concerning a little seen Marathon Trilogy ad picture:
I'm sitting here looking at my Marathon Trilogy Box Set ad from ComputerWare. It reads:
The complete legendary series-in one affordable package! Plus, never-released Bungie maps, third-party add-ons, sticker collectables, and the Marathon scrapbook-for a behind- the-scenes look at the making of Marathon.
Marathon 2: Durandal
Pathways Into Darkness
Next to all of this is a picture - the chapter screen for Envy, except the marine is holding the MTBS Box in his hand. at the top of the picture it says "THREE YEARS, THREE GAMES, ONE PHENOMENON..."
Unfortunately, I can't scan it, (15"X30") but I can give you a detailed description. Take what I said above, add a small ComputerWare logo in the lower right hand corner, a fighter next to the list of features, a Bungie logo under the features, and the MTBS title (not the Marathon logo) above the pharagraph.
If any one has this and has the opportunity to scan it in please send it to the Story page. Thanks. :-)
Mar 16, 1998
Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. The Story page will be closed to observe the tradition. Have a good one! :-)
Frank Wittek <firstname.lastname@example.org> provides some interesting information about a German version of Marathon 2 for the Macintosh which seemingly contains the Win95 M2 map changes. Frank writes:
First I'm referring to two versions of Marathon 2 Durandal:M2D - Marathon 2 Durandal (in english) for Mac as the follow-up game to Marathon - the M2D application has version 1.0 (c) 1995 Bungie Software Products Corp.;
M2DG - Marathon 2 Durandal with German terminal text - the M2DG application has version 2.0 (c) 1996 Bungie Software Products Corp.
The M2D version is the normal version Mac players use to play Marathon 2.
I installed M2DG from the CD on my Mac. This is a Mac program. After changing the name of the "Music" file to "Musik" the opening title by power of seven is played again. As I wrote, no demo films show up, until the map of M2D is copied into the M2DG folder. After starting the application I'm playing the map supplied with M2DG. It's a Mac map, e.g. the terminal pictures are in the resource fork as for normal Mac maps. But it has all the Win95 map changes discussed on your Story page (And it only crashed on "We're everywhere", when using the exit terminal before completing the mission - some textures are missing on some levels). The terminal in the "Arrival" part of the map "Waterloo Waterpark" is not translated.
Some information about the box which is shaped different to the box of M2D. It is (width x height x deep) 20 x 25 x 4 cm. A normal box, nothing special like the Mac boxes. The background picture of the box is the same as on the Mac box (left side black, right side yellow, on the back the moon picture on the right side). So what's different?
On the front the "Accelerated for Power Macintosh" is replaced by an English sign "FOR IMMEDIATE NETWORK CARNAGE, 8 PLAYERS NETWORK READY, 2 USER LICENSE ENCLOSED, FOR IMMEDIATE NETWORK CARNAGE". The S'pht picture is replaced by the first chapter screen, the piture of the fight on Waterloo Waterpark is replaced by another chapter screen. The system requirements are on the bottom of the box, the Mac OS sign has a white background. To the right of it, a sign of Designed for Microsoft Windows 95 is placed, followed by the CD-ROM sign. And finally on the right side is a sign "NICHT geeignet unter 18 Jahren", e.g. "NOT suitable for under 18 years". The backside looks the same as on the Mac box, the text is German but not translated word by word.
Enough for now. Let me know, if there is more you want to know. Maybe someone out there want to buy this version of Marathon 2 Durandal. I found it at http://www.arktis.de/arktissoftware/schnaeppchen/schnaeppchen.html in the "Schnappchen" (meaning bargain) part of the side. It is sold for 29 DM, that is $16. ($1 = 1.88 DM).
Interesting stuff. By all accounts what Frank is describing is a hybrid German Marathon 2 CD much like the Myth CD. This german version of Marathon 2 has the map changes seen in the Win95 version of M2 yet it works on an Apple Macinstosh. Up until know it was thought that the only way Mac Marathoners could see these Win95 map changes was by buying the PC version and running it under emulation or on a PC.
Mar 15, 1998
A secret 'duck' key in Marathon? Fact or Fic7ion?
Back in Oct 24, 1997 Matthew Payne <email@example.com> drew our attention to the fact that the player in the demo film of Arrival embedded in the Marathon application appears to duck at one point in the action. As most people are aware the player in the film is Jason Jones, lead programmer at Bungie Software and a person who would be intimately familar with the game's cheat codes.
Opinion is divided over whether the player actually 'ducks' or whether it is simply a bug in the game's engine. Bug advocates are quick to point out that a player can be forced into the floor during a heavy Pfhor assault or after firing the rocket launcher at an object at point blank range. Usually on such occasions the player is completely disorientated and unable to control their movements with any great precision. Yet the player in the Arrival film shows none of these characteristics during the 'ducking' manoeuvre. Indeed the player shows remarkable control as he glides low across the floor avoiding a Pfhor attack and then turns as he rises to open fire on his bewildered foe. You need to watch the film in slow motion to catch the details of this subtle action.
But did the player really 'duck'? Did Jason Jones in a tight moment of game play reveal Marathon's little known 'ducking' manoeuvre?
Jason Regier (Bungie Software) had this to say about 'ducking and jumping' in Marathon on alt.games.marathon:
Subject: Re: What's New with Marathon? From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jason Regier) Date: 1997/08/09 Message-ID: <jregier-ya02408000R0908971518120001@news.wwa.com> References: <email@example.com> <gabeNOSPAMfirstname.lastname@example.org> <see-my-sig-ya02408000R0608970850040001@news.sk.sympatico.ca> <email@example.com> <jraxis-ya02408000R0708971923570001@news.ici.net> <33EB2BA1.2DAF@earthlink.net> Organization: Bungie Software Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon [Fewer Headers] In article <33EB2BA1.2DAF@earthlink.net>, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > Maybe I'm insane, but didn't somebody, maybe from Bungie, *say* that > jumping and ducking is written into the engine and Bungie just didn't > implement it in the Marathon series? Just to set people straight on this, you could conceivably jump and duck in Marathon. That only requires that you move the camera up or down, which you can obviously with the current game engine. However, there's no sequences of animation for someone jumping, so if you were to "jump" in a network game and somebody watched you do it, he would just see you float off the ground. You'd have to rewrite some things to add those hooks for the animation. Later, Jason -- Jason Regier Software Juggernaut Bungie Software email@example.com
So ducking is possible in Marathon yet without the appropriate sprite animations the effect would not look right from another player's perspective. Yet what about in a Marathon solo game? In theory we should be able duck to our hearts content and no one would be any wiser... except the Pfhor perhaps.
But what about 'ducking' in Pathways Into Darkness, Bungie's first 1st person perspective game? See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for the ducking details.
Mar 14, 1998
Another Bungie Dollar?!!! Yes indeed. Ken Skidmore <firstname.lastname@example.org> has the details. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... .
Mar 13, 1998
We're Back at Marathon Central!
Friday 13th... unlucky for some... but not for Story fans!
First off if you are wondering where all these updates come from then you missed the many announcements on alt.games.marathon of an alternative Story page site at
I strongly recommend that you bookmark this alternative site as I intend to mirror the Story page there. If you can't get into www.marathon.org or find that the Story page is not being updated (for what ever reason) check the "smd" site.
If you are trying to catch up since the break then you need to go back to the submissions for Feb 27th and work your way forward. Lots of interesting stuff has been added.
Thanks to Nick Esborn for organising a new home for Marathon Central. It's not easy finding a home for a 4GB heavy demanding child.
Mar 12, 1998
Todd Bangerter <email@example.com>, Art Cannon <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Jim Mitchell <email@example.com>, and Simon Brownlee <Simon.Brownlee@pobox.com> all write concerning the Bungie 20% off Dollar. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 11, 1998
Thanks to Steve Campbell <firstname.lastname@example.org> for sending in an interesting item of Marathon memoriablia. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Keep sending that Marathon memoriablia in folks. :-)
Matthew Payne <email@example.com> writes concerning the lack of official Marathon screenshots with alien ship textures. Were there really none? See the Official Marathon Screenshots section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details. Matthew's submission came via alt.games.marathon.
Mar 10, 1998
Steve Campbell, maintainer of Marathon Hyperarchive Midwest, has found a winner to his mystery Marathon pic competition. The lucky winner will be receiving a brand spanking new G3 courtesy of Steve. Good on ya Steve! It'll arrive in ninety-two years. ;-)
You can check the details on Steve's Daily Marathon News page. The pic in question comes from the Marathon Home Movies on the Trilogy CD and appears to be an interruption in the film. Some have suggested that it is a glimpse of what was on the video prior to filming the Bungie dudes back '94. Tuncer's homeworld perhaps?
I've been informed by Nick Esborn, current maintainer and owner of the domain name www.marathon.org, that Marathon Central may well be back in action by the end of this week. We keep our fingers and toes crossed.
Mar 9, 1998
Daniel Sattler <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning the presence of a cyborg tank on an early Infinity terminal screenshot - a terminal that was to later appear on "Rise Robot Rise". See the The Marathon Infinity Terminal Screenshot Text section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 8, 1998
Thanks to Francesco Poli <email@example.com> for sending in the following information concerning Myth by System 3.
Myth, released for Commodore 64, was a platform game-puzzler which had a good success on its release: the plot concerned a jeans-and-tennis-shoes teenager blown somehow in different eras, stage of mankind's most famous legends&myths: he has to battle demons, monsters and such, and also solve some devious puzzle (like decapitating a skeleton making sure his head drops in the lava just to summon the end of level boss!). The game was later released for Amiga, but the teenager was dumped for a more classical Barbarian-style hero.
Decapitated head? Sounds familar. Our special European investigating team will be keeping you update on the 'Myth name' law suit.
Jim Mitchell has added a list of the Death Messages displayed in Pathways Into Darkness to his Story page at http://22.214.171.124/PID If you've never played Pathways do NOT read this list. It gives you a feel for how hard the game really is. Pathways game play is pretty unique for a 1st person perspective game. It's not your average 'rackem and stackem' body count experience. It has to be played with wits, ingenuity, and lots of patience. Taking time to converse with the Dead is also a vital key to success. Many have entered the pyramid but few have made it out... alive. Watch out for similar type games in the near future. You have been warned.
Mar 7, 1998
Inside Mac Games magazine has some info on the pending law suit between Eidos, the international publisher of Bungie's Myth: The Fallen Lords, and the UK software publisher System 3. The Story page brought you this tidbit back in February. We'll be bringing you transcripts of the case... soon!
Jim Mitchell <firstname.lastname@example.org> has finally updated his Pathways Into Darkness Story page. It's on a new server at http://126.96.36.199/PID
Good to see the page back. But is Jim telling us the full story?
Mar 6, 1998
Back in Feb 17th '98 Kristofer Osegard <Kjetil@aol.com> mentioned that he was watching a film called Krull and thought that the characters known as Slayers in the movie looked like Pfhor. Thanks to Todd Bangerter <email@example.com> you can now make up your own mind up. Todd writes:
Hey, here you go. A couple frame grabs of some Slayers. Boy that movie was tedious at times. Really quite silly.
Other than the Slayers bearing a passing resemblance to the Phfor, there really aren't any connections to Marathon. Except for that rampant AI at the end. Ha, no just kidding. Krull really is just a big fantasy adventure with some sprinklings of sci-fi mixed in.
Also, I was bored and figured that I already had the VCR hooked up to the computer, so why not make a QuickTime clip of it too? So you can download and watch a two minute clip of a battle against the Slayers at: http://tabanger-2.student.harvard.edu/misc/slayers.mov
It's 8 MB, and you can point your readers to it too, if you want.
Mar 5, 1998
Congratulations to Aaron Freed <firstname.lastname@example.org> for correctly identifying the mystery pic above. Aaron writes:
This is just a wild guess, and it's probably wrong, but is this month's mystery pic an _early_ beta version of "Naw Man He's Close"?
It looks like the control tower that Chris alluded to, (the map centered around it, and it was in the middle of the lava). I can see some part of the level's architecture on the left, it looks like its current beginning.
Yes indeed. The left-hand section of the map is clearly part of "Naw Man He's Close" and the never seen before right-hand side is Chris's control tower in a pool of ubiqutous Pfhor slime. See the Vacuum Levels section for Chris's comments about the early development of this level.
Aaron's Marathon mystery prize is winging its way to him now.
Todd Bangerter <email@example.com> writes concerning an early Infinity screenshot. See the Official Marathon Screenshots section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 4, 1998
More level credit speculation and deductions from Aaron Freed <firstname.lastname@example.org>. See the Level Credits section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
A number of people have pointed out that the March edition of Macworld (US version) has a review of Myth. Although Myth gets four mice the reviewer holds no punches when he says:
Myth's back story is riddled with holes and inconsistencies, and the cut-scenes between battles are childish and disjointed.
You can read the full review at http://macworld.zdnet.com/pages/march.98/Reviews.4221.html. Hopefully somebody can enlighten us on these "holes and inconsistencies".
Mar 3, 1998
A number of people have asked whether the mystery level (above) is in fact a Bungie level? Yes it is and it should be possible to identify it using clues in the map and text from the Story page. Good luck.
While recovering from the her attacks Leela cryptically remarked 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,
This is not a coat rack? But it was! Aaron Freed <email@example.com> writes concerning the mysterious hangar on "Arrival":
Bungie actually misspelled it "Hanger 7A (Port)" on the map view.
Yes indeed! :-)
Aaron also writes concerning possible level credits. See the Level Credits section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Mar 2, 1998
A new month and another mystery pic. What level, who designed it and what does it show?
John Gendreau <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes concerning Robert Blake. See the Robert Blake section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.
Todd Keating <email@example.com> sends in another piece on interesting Marathon memoriablia. See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.