June 30, 2001 (Saturday)

Whoa! Another Friday lost in a chemically induced haze. Thank God my Secretary kept the Pathways Into Darkness page updated. You saw it... right?


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

- Chris Hughes did some nice modifications to Cortana, as well as a bunch of other stuff I can't tell you about. Let's just say it involves two of the major characters in Halo's story. He showed me a sheet of paper covered with the equations that explain how Bernie's shaders work. "The scary thing," he said, "is that I almost understand it."

Cortana and two other major characters in Halo's story?


From the Forum.

The number 7 in Kubrick/Spielberg's A.I.
Bungie Fanfest/MacworldExpo will it happen?
Someone lost their "sack"!
Ooops! We've been rumbled!


June 28, 2001 (Thursday)

On the subject of System Shock Ivan Galaktionov <ivanovich@rocketmail.com> writes:

Got this goody from the media section of the system shock 2 webpage in the media section. Looks alot like our mutual friend Bob!

Check it out -> http://www.sshock2.com/ss2mmdb/artwork.htm

Look around the bottom, to the left, third row(?)

Looks a bit like the terminal art in Marathon 2 when durandal mentions Bobs, the one were they are all sitting around, relaxing. Lazy bums! Give me that pistol!


Yet another seven Bungie Webcam movies from the studios of Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com>. Midnight cleaning and bean bag central... lots of BOB activity in this set of movies.

146000-146999.mov (3412K) Sun May 20 10:54 - Mon May 21 03:33
147000-147999.mov (3410K) Mon May 21 03:34 - Mon May 21 20:12
148000-148999.mov (3411K) Mon May 21 20:13 - Tue May 22 12:52
149000-149999.mov (3413K) Tue May 22 12:53 - Wed May 23 05:32
150000-150999.mov (3410K) Wed May 23 05:33 - Wed May 23 22:12
151000-151999.mov (3413K) Wed May 23 22:13 - Thu May 24 14:52
152000-152999.mov (3411K) Thu May 24 14:53 - Fri May 25 07:32

Earlier webcam movies can be found here.


From the Forum.

Frogblast: The Ventcore Project gets its own domain
BOB = 7


June 27, 2001 (Wednesday)

Anaphiel <anaphiel@earthlink.net> posted an interesting comparison between Marathon and System Shock on the Story Forum yesterday. Similarities between the two games have been noted before (see What's New section on Mar 24, 1999 and Sept 14, 1999) but this is a very good concise overview.


On today's Pathways Into Darkness page... breaking the Shapes file code and sucky scans no more. Funny... my hand held scanner was all the rage seven years ago. What next? Marathon's Story on a Psion computer? ;-)


June 26, 2001 (Tuesday)

Oh no!... Not more Bungie webcam movies!!! Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com> compiles yet another set of films in the long running saga of the BOBs. Setting up the XBox... it's got to be easier than THIS! Why electricity bills are so big at Bungie. Working late on Sat night. This and more...

139000-139999.mov (3411K) Tue May 15 14:14 - Wed May 16 06:52
140000-140999.mov (3411K) Wed May 16 06:53 - Wed May 16 23:23
141000-141999.mov (3415K) Wed May 16 23:24 - Thu May 17 16:13
142000-142999.mov (2862K) Thu May 17 16:14 - Fri May 18 08:53
143000-143999.mov (3410K) Fri May 18 08:54 - Sat May 19 01:33
144000-144999.mov (3412K) Sat May 19 01:34 - Sat May 19 18:13
145000-145999.mov (3415K) Sat May 19 18:14 - Sun May 20 10:53

Earlier webcam movies can be found here.


June 25, 2001 (Monday)

The mystery of the PID box on the Pathways Into Darkness page.


June 24, 2001 (Sunday)

Seven more Bungie webcam movies from the studios of Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com>. Hmmm... Fri May 11 20:59:37.

132000-132999.mov (3415K) Thu May 10 17:35 - Fri May 11 10:14
133000-133999.mov (3411K) Fri May 11 10:15 - Sat May 12 02:54
134000-134999.mov (3411K) Sat May 12 02:55 - Sat May 12 19:34
135000-135999.mov (3411K) Sat May 12 19:35 - Sun May 13 12:14
136000-136999.mov (3410K) Sun May 13 12:15 - Mon May 14 04:54
137000-137999.mov (3410K) Mon May 14 04:55 - Mon May 14 21:33
138000-138999.mov (3417K) Mon May 14 21:34 - Tue May 15 14:13

Earlier webcam movies can be found here.


Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> sent in two URLs to info on Ursula K. Le Guin's "ansible", a term also was used in the Marathon series:

http://hem.passagen.se/peson42/lgw/b_hain.html
http://hem.passagen.se/peson42/lgw/hain.html#ansible


June 23, 2001 (Saturday)

Ohhh... we lost Friday again but the Story Forum never sleeps.


How the universe ends. Brian Carlson <cybernatas.weapon@gte.net> writes:

...here's an interesting read.

http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101010625/index.html

It seems Durandal and Tycho were wrong...

Durandal wrong?!!! ;-)


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

- Like Eric, many of our other artists are working on strange and beautiful things for Halo this week, but they all appear late enough in the game that I can't describe them without giving away some big secrets. You'll just have to wait and see for yourselves.

Big secrets?! ;-)


Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org>

From the second installment of the Halo Developer Diary:

"At the very beginning of the game, some technicians wake you from cryo-sleep and as your cryo-tube is cracked open, the technicians in charge of waking you up turn on your health and shield monitors as part of a diagnostic routine"

Heh :)


WE GOT FILMZ MB. Something wicked this way comes... soon(TM). ;-)


June 21, 2001 (Thursday)

Quick update

The process of transcribing the original level notes and M2 plotline has begun on the Story Forum. Lots of interesting tidbits being uncovered. Check it out. Thanks to all those helping out.


Did Muller know more than we thought he did? You bet!


Interesting to note that there was some suggestion on the Vacuum Levels section that the Marathon level "Neither High nor Low" was originally intended as a vacuum level given a number of open windows into space. According to the recently released original level notes this level, designed by Greg, was originally intended to be a vacuum environment.


Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> (via Nij) points out this odd Bungie petition on PetitionOnline. What ever next you might ask... find out on the Story Forum.


June 20, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update

The original level notes for Marathon are pretty much a gold mine. Here are just a few tidbits. Note the missing Pfhor level, the Alien Interfacer we have to get from Tycho(!!!) on Habe Quiddam, the mission on Unpfhorgiven, an extra UESC Marathon level, Greg's early sketch for G4 Sunbathing, Jugs on some Pfhor levels... I could go on.


Seven Glyph puzzle solved revealing a cornucopia of early Marathon development documentation. Original level notes for the first Marathon game, story outline for Marathon 2, Bob sayings (mostly brainstormed by Doug), pics of two ad proposals, a bumper sticker and a barf bag. To see this Marathon memorabilia hit arrival.bungie.org and type in ARCHIVE in the top box and OUTLINE in the bottom box.


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

http://aerie.geofront.com/pics4/oldshelf.jpg

Posted at Lorraine Reye's homepage, a photo of her shelf at her old workspace. Interesting to note is the box design for Oni. I did see that very Oni box design when I visited Bungie West in August 1999.


Sean Phelps <seanphelps@home.com> writes:

This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Marathon or Halo, but I thought you might find it an interesting read.

http://www.alumni.engin.umich.edu/~fritx/Ftlessay/essay.html

Interesting article on Fermi's Paradox. Worth a look.


John Zero <jzero1@mindspring.com> writes to say that the Marathon Orphanage has been updated with some unused Rubicon stuff.


June 19, 2001 (Tuesday)

Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> notes that one year ago today it was officially announced that Microsoft acquired Bungie Software. Harry also turned 19 that day. Hmmm... 19.


Sriranga Veeraraghavan <ranga@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU> writes concerning the news item on time speeding up or slowing down in Halo:

I read on the story page:

"On the programming side, we've made obstacle-avoidance and time-scale fixes (I'll leave it to you to guess why time might speed up or slow down during gameplay)..."

Others have mentioned that this might be similar to "bullet-time" on the matrix, but there is another possibility: time-dilation.

Since some of the game may involve the player moving around at or near the speed of light, maybe bungie has integrated SR time-dilation effects into the game (a la the twins problem)...


This time Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> offers a clue to those still pondering the cryptic bungie.org Seven Glyph puzzle.


June 18, 2001 (Monday)

A N Other <island_three@hotmail.com> writes concerning yesterday's news item on time speeding up or slowing down in Halo:

Matt wrote:
::: time-scale fixes

Joseph E. Haake wrote:
::: "...the ability to manipulate space and time..."

You wrote:
::: "bullet time" ala The Matrix?

---
Maybe you are all being a little to fanciful. To my recollections you would want to slow-down/speed-up in one situation: film playback.

No?


Similarly Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes:

"Or could Bungie be planning some "bullet time" ala The Matrix?"

This was the second thing that came to mind for me - the first was a more persistent multiplayer experience (one in which it would be necessary to speed time up to keep folks from getting bored, traveling from point A to point B). :)

Got a theory? Then why not air it on the Story Forum?


Stuart "Gullwhacker" MacGillivray <wizzard@nbnet.nb.ca> writes concerning the BunGlossary on Bungie's Support page:

This might have been noted already, but...

Type "Webmaster" in the BunGlossary...(-:


Joe Barrett <JoBarrett@osc.uscg.mil> writes:

While reading about the NSA's new "Security-Enhanced Linux," I ran across this sentence:

"All comments and contributions sent to the selinux@tycho.nsa.gov mailing list will be considered for inclusion in future releases." -
http://www.nsa.gov/selinux/faq.html

Immediately, the word Tycho stuck out and I found it amusing that the NSA is using Tycho, either as a homage to Tycho Brahe or to Tycho of Marathon fame.


Chelsea Bridge <cipher@bungie.org> offers another clue to those still pondering the cryptic bungie.org Seven Glyph puzzle.


June 17, 2001 (Sunday)

Quick update

Swift kicks in the nuts, Bungie-style. In a recent GameSpot UK Halo Preview the author Jon Brown had this to say about Halo's storyline:

Well, almost everything, as in common with almost every other 3D shooter released in the last five years, Halo has a decidedly naff storyline.

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) posted the following in reply on the HBO forum:

Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 6/15/01 8:08 p.m.
In Response To: Re: aye... total confusion! (Jäger)

: simple story-line, ha!

I think I speak for all of Bungie when I agree with this sentiment. However, it must be remembered that the press hasn't played through the game yet and they don't have a real idea of how things are going to progress. We haven't clued them in on any of the big secrets yet. When they do get the finished game and play through the solo campaign, the people who are expecting a standard, straightforward run-and-gun game with no story will get a couple swift kicks in the nuts, Bungie-style.

So don't hold it against people if they look at the limited story info we've released and and assume it doesn't go any deeper. That's exactly what we want them to think. Those are the people who will be most impressed with what we've done.

-Matt


Joseph E. Haake <joecoo@spacestar.net> writes concerning a point raised by Matt Soell in this week's Halo update:

Also on this weeks Halo Update...

- On the programming side, we've made obstacle-avoidance and time-scale fixes (I'll leave it to you to guess why time might speed up or slow down during gameplay)...

Hmm...
"...the ability to manipulate space and time..."

Or could Bungie be planning some "bullet time" ala The Matrix?


June 16, 2001 (Saturday)

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

- Marty saw, and more importantly heard, a demo of the real-time Dolby Digital 5.1 sound capabilities in the Xbox, and was very impressed and eager to get it working in Halo. He and Jay are busy recording alien speech this week. According to Joe, the finished game will have seven or eight thousand distinct lines of combat dialog (that doesn't include speech outside of combat, such as the dialog in cutscenes), which works out to roughly 160 phrases per AI unit.

Jay? Hmmm... surely he means "Joe". Sounds like alot of dialog in the game which suggests that this will be the main method of telling the Halo story.


I go to bed... I wake up... and a new look marathon.bungie.org appears. The new design is by Nathan Kline and it's very nice indeed. It even has a news section which will be updated daily or there'll be the usual hacking of toes. Ever notice how most people at the bungie.org limp? ;-)


Nice Bungie Support page tidbit from Heady <heady@videotron.ca> on the Story Forum. Check the full thread for further finds.


June 15, 2001 (Friday)

Over 1000 votes have now been registered on Bungie's Quick Poll "Which instant message client do you use most?". It would seem that only 8% actually don't use an instant message client (assuming people only registered one vote). So that's a lot of Bungie fans who are potentially contactable "instanteously". So what does Bungie want with this info? Are they planning on launching their own game based instant messaging client or are they just doing some free market research on behalf of Microsoft?


A bridge too far? In an effort to help people out Chelsea Bridge <cipher@bungie.org> has posted another clue to the cryptic bungie.org Seven Glyph puzzle.


Seven more Bungie webcam movies from the studios of Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com>. Working on Sunday (again), a mystery pic, and what's on that whiteboard?

125000-125999.mov (3424K) Sat May 05 20:55 - Sun May 06 13:34
126000-126999.mov (3411K) Sun May 06 13:35 - Mon May 07 06:14
127000-127999.mov (3351K) Mon May 07 06:15 - Mon May 07 22:53
128000-128999.mov (3096K) Mon May 07 22:54 - Tue May 08 15:35
129000-129999.mov (3412K) Tue May 08 15:36 - Wed May 09 08:15
130000-130999.mov (3411K) Wed May 09 08:16 - Thu May 10 00:55
131000-131999.mov (3415K) Thu May 10 00:56 - Thu May 10 17:34

Earlier webcam movies can be found here.

Alexander S7range <astrange@ithinksw.com> notes on the Story forum that the Bungie Webcam title has been changed from "Halo BBQ Pit" to "Money Pit". Make of that what you will.



June 14, 2001 (Thursday)

Bruce "Hippieman" Morrison <hippieman@bungie.org> notes that some of the Soul's catch phrases have been changed. Try "Steve Jobs" and "Bill Gates", for example. Bruce wonders "what else has been added?"


Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> sent in this piece of conversation from Hotline:

.derf: http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1244554761
Fobo™ (TIGER!: heheh!
Fobo™ (TIGER!: "including $7 for shipping"
Fobo™ (TIGER!: bidder from Canada?
Fobo™ (TIGER!: "including $14 for shipping"
HB [Vigilante: that might be qworth it just for the infrared units
Fobo™ (TIGER!: 7 and 14
SteelClasher[: Wow that's some item.
Fobo™ (TIGER!: I wonder where he got those numbers from? :-)


June 13, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update

Hack THIS! ARRIVAL. Bring me the blue pages! ;-)


The first phase of bungie.org's seven glyphs puzzle has been solved. The solution is the word ARRIVAL... the first level in Marathon. Go check the BS forum for full details.


Sriranga Veeraraghavan <ranga@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU> writes:

In light of the update about Arthur Frane on the story page, I though it might be appropriate to mention that Bungie's spelling is slightly different than the the one mentioned for the movie (Arther Frain vs. Arthur Frane).

That combinded with the the USEC misspelling might be a hint that you've dropped into an alternate reality.

See the Arther Frane (Frain) section for more details.


As mentioned yesterday Bungie's Support Database went live and if you spend the time looking though it you'll come across some gems of Bungie humor, for example here and here. And do as the Elite CF'Nar Tech Support Kommando says. :-)


June 12, 2001 (Tuesday)

Ben Charrow <bcharrow@ameritech.net> writes:

I was wondering if you knew why on the Arthur Frane terminal in "You're Wormfood Dude" why he says, "USEC Marathon" instead of "UESC Marathon." Here's the terminal text:

I am Arther Frain, Chief Petty Officer, USEC Marathon.
Arther Frane calling all USEC personnel
Calling Cmdr. Robert Blake...
Calling Security Chief Jones...
Arther Frain calling any USEC controlled ship in vicinity...

Station hull breached, we are losing pressurization.  More than half the men are without vacuum suits.  Patrols reporting intruder, last location unknown.

Any USEC controlled ship surviving nova event, transport when ready.

Arther Frain calling.
That is all...

Do you have any idea why the change? Is this discussed anywhere on your page?

Oddly I thought this third version of UESC/UESG had been mentioned on the Story page before but seemingly it hasn't. So I've added this to the UESC/UESG section.


Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> points out that Bungie's Support Database is now online. Got a problem? Then you might find the answer here. The Soul is back too!


June 11, 2001 (Monday)

Quick update #2

Peter Tamte's Mac gaming company "Destineer Studios" surfaces. Back in Feb 26, 2001 the Story page highlighted the lack of information on Peter Tamte's new startup company which was to bring key Microsoft games to the Macintosh. Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) was quick to set at the record straight the time in is this reply:

Regarding Peter's new company, I wouldn't take his silence as an omen of anything but hard work. Setting up a new software company is time-consuming, especially when the legal departments of two humongous companies are involved. Peter knows more about PR and reaching the Mac community than most, and I'm sure he'll be unavoidable once he has all his ducks in a row.

Peter was out here a few weeks ago and from my own conversations with the man I can tell you he's very busy with this new venture. I think worrying about the "fate" of Tamtesoft (and no, that's not the name of his company) is a bit premature.

Now MacNN News reports that Peter Tamte's company "Destineer Studios" is alive and well and ready to bring many of Microsoft's most popular games to the Macintosh, including Age of Empires II, Links 2002, and Flight Simulator 2002. No mention of porting Halo so there is hope that this will still be released by Bungie themselves.


Quick update #1

Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes concerning the Infinity texture at http://wadfather.game-edit.com/ mentioned earlier today:

It was pulled off this site:

http://greenfield.fortunecity.com/panthera/299/index.htm

Jump to the Tile Pax:

http://greenfield.fortunecity.com/panthera/299/tilesindex.htm

and hit the first thumbs page:

http://greenfield.fortunecity.com/panthera/299/tiles/tiles1a/Thumbs1.htm

You'll see that tile0033 and tile0034 BOTH came from Infinity - no credit given anywhere.

The site referenced in today's update was simply pulling info off this page.


Similarly MakeMineRed on the Story Forum writes:

If you go to the guy's homepage, you'll find that he stole the textures from all around the net and packaged them together to use in Half-Life. See http://vibrants.dk/jchq/textures.htm

See the Story Forum for more details.


Jonathan Felts <jfelts@mac.com> writes:

I was looking around for some textures today and found something that stuck out like a sore thumb. In the midst of new, high quality textures was an old 256 color texture straight out of Marathon Infinity. I tried to find out some more about its presence but with my dial-up modem it made it almost impossible (site would not load properly for me). Here is the url for the website:

http://wadfather.game-edit.com/

When you get to the main page you need to click on " Textures & Sprites " and just wait for it to load. It is protruding right there. I was so astonished that I thought that I would e-mail you to see if you could find more about it. I am very interested to see if it is not supposed to be there (maybe stolen or something) because I did not see an acknowlegement for Bungie anywhere.

A stolen texture or something more?


June 10, 2001 (Sunday)

TheMaz made the following interesting post on the Story Forum yesterday:

I know with all the glyph stuff this may be a bit random... but its just too cool not to post: I was browsing through the database at symbols.com when I came across this:

http://www.symbols.com/encyclopedia/20/206.html

look familiar? What's *very* interesting is this is a symbol for Pluto- didn't Marathon's original plot involve a mission to Pluto? Maybe Bungie got the Mara-logo way back when Marathon was first started... they look up the symbol for Pluto (the then-setting of Marathon) add a line and volia! the darling little symbol we all know and love...

An early version of the Marathon plot dating from January '94 had the player battling aliens on a hollowed-out asteroid near the planet Pluto. Here's a description from an IMG report on Marathon from the Macworld Expo San Francisco '94:

In the game, you are sent on a mission to investigate the disappearance of colonists living on a hollowed-out asteroid near the planet Pluto. Once you get there, you realize the colonists were destroyed by alien monsters and now you it's your job to get rid of all the monsters before they have you for lunch.


June 9, 2001 (Saturday)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to BattleGround Halo this week. Here are some interesting tidbits:

- Shiek did some more explosion effects, and also worked on getting the control room (from the first Halo demo back in '99) back in the game. He's also tweaking the plasma pistol and plasma rifle so you can tell the difference between their projectiles.

- Two more missions are quickly approaching playable status, and the artists are refining some existing areas, like the mazelike corridors of the Covenant ship and the swamp – adding dense undergrowth, stuff dangling from trees, that sort of thing.

- Craig Mullins sent in some of his beautiful matte paintings.

Good to hear that Craig's artwork is going to feature in the game. Craig's home page is at goodbrush.com well worth visiting. The part about "mazelike corridors of the Covenant ship" sounds awfully familiar to another alien ship we know so well. And what would Halo be without that "jaw dropping" opening map room scene from New York Macworld Expo '99?


HBO have posted the questions and answers of their fan-generated interview with the Halo Dev Team. Here's one interesting piece:

HBO Readers:
Bungie built its reputation on very deep plotlines - Marathon is the standout, with Myth a close second. Oni, however, was somewhat weaker. Will Halo return Bungie to its love of intricate storylines... and maybe more importantly, will it do so in the (familiar to many online fans) Marathon universe?


Halo Dev Team:
I think Halo's story is not only intricate but probably the most involving and surprising story we've written yet. You won't finish Halo and think "Blah, just another shooter." There are things in Halo's story that you just won't see coming. Very shocking and satisfying in a dramatic sense.

I've seen the story bible for Halo. It's huge. I'd like to read it someday, but who has that sort of time? There's definitely a lot of room for further exploration in Halo's universe.

You won't need to be familiar with other Bungie games to appreciate the depth of Halo's story. But long-time Bungie fans may see some things in Halo that look...familiar

...as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember... ;-)


As mentioned on the Story Forum yesterday one of the scans (244K) from a new XBox magazine coming out this fall contains the following interesting piece:

In the mood
Why not prepare for Halo with some reading? The Halo concept and environment bear more than a passing resemblance to the sci-fi of Iain M. Banks. His novel Against a Dark Background, in particular, refers to a ring habitat called Halo during a period of intergalactic war. Highly recommended.

While this description best fits the Culture novel "Consider Phlebas" rather than "Against a Dark Background" it is interesting to note the following synposis of the non-Culture novel "Against a Dark Background":

"Sharrow was once the leader of a personality-attuned combat team in one of the sporadic little commercial wars in the civilisation based around the planet Golter. Now she is hunted by the Huhsz, a religious cult which believes that she is the last obstacle before the faith's apotheosis, and her only hope of escape is to find the last of the apocalyptically powerful Lazy Guns before the Huhsz find her."

A religious cult and their apotheosis. How interesting. :-)

For more details about some of the inspiration behind Halo see the Iain M. Banks' Culture references in Bungie's Halo section of the Story page.


June 8, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update #2

Matt Soell reveals the tru7h about the Marathon's storyline in a Mac Observer audio interview. Matt relates how:

...even Marathon which... is very deep and there's alot of little niches and crevasses in that storyline that people can sort of curl up in...um... alot of that was almost accidental because it was so slap-dash and..."

Whoa!... finally the tru7h is out. ;-)

Matt also talks about how deep Halo's storyline has become since the Microsoft acquisition. Worth a listen. Thanks to Bryan Chaffin <bryan@macobserver.com> Editor-in-Chief of The Mac Observer and the bungie.org news service for the heads up.


Quick update #1

Halo's horrible secret or Halo's horrible secrets? According to the Official Halo Site at Microsoft Games our objective in Halo is:

Your objective: Uncover Halo's horrible secret, and destroy mankind's nemesis - the Covenant.

Now on Microsoft's offical XBox site for Halo and also on a recent E3 2001 Flyer for Xbox (scanned in by HBO yesterday) our objective in Halo is:

Your objective: to uncover Halo's horrible secrets and destroy mankind's enemy, the Covenant.

Seems those "horrible" secrets are multipying. ;-)

See the Official Halo Backstory section for full details.


Following a rather cryptic clue from Chelsea Bridge Dial #6 in bungie.org's seven dials/glyphs puzzle was solved by Tom Van Sinden (mnemesis) yesterday. Solving Dial #6 in fact required some detailed knowledge of the NYC Subway System. It has been suggested that long-time Marathon fan, bungie.org member and New Yorker Mark Levin had a hand in designing the puzzle.


Inside Mac Games has a news item on bungie.org's seven dials/glyphs puzzle claiming that:

These seven mysterious (and blurry) figures are each puzzles which, when unlocked, will supposedly uncover a part of the enigmatic Marathon storyline.

Ah the Holy Grail indeed. No mention of that Apple Cinema Display though. ;-)


After several months Bungie.net now have a new Quick Poll "Which instant message client do you use most?" Rather odd poll but perhaps Bungie are planning on something. :-)


HBO upped a screenshot of the "newest Covenant race" from a recently released Gamestar movie.


June 7, 2001 (Thursday)

Quick update

Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> sends in this link to a BBC News item on Russian plans to send a manned spacecraft to Mars between 2015-2020. No women allowed on the trip it seems. As Finn remarks:

Mars Needs Women.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1371000/1371037.stm

I guess they must have seen the film Red Planet. ;-)


They're back! Seven more Bungie webcam movies from the studios of Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com>. In this action packed series... gather around the Xbox and look at all those cups.

118000-118999.mov (3412K) Tue May 01 00:16 - Tue May 01 16:54
119000-119999.mov (3411K) Tue May 01 16:55 - Wed May 02 09:34
120000-120999.mov (3229K) Wed May 02 09:35 - Thu May 03 02:14
121000-121999.mov (3253K) Thu May 03 02:15 - Thu May 03 18:55
122000-122999.mov (3309K) Thu May 03 18:56 - Fri May 04 11:35
123000-123999.mov (3410K) Fri May 04 11:36 - Sat May 05 04:14
124000-124999.mov (3411K) Sat May 05 04:15 - Sat May 05 20:54

Earlier webcam movies can be found here.


GameSpyDaily (GSD) have an interesting interview with Myst III: Exile Producer, Greg Uhler. In it he comments on Half-Life, a first person shooter which (according to Uhler) has "so many adventure elements that it is almost incorrect to call it a shooter". All very familiar of course. Think back to Aug '93 and Pathways Into Darkness. Here's part of the text of the interview:

GSD: Are 3D titles like Volition's Summoner, which draw upon adventure, action and role-playing genres, the direction where adventure games are going?

Greg Uhler: Yes, I think 'traditional' adventure games have evolved and affected many other gaming genres. Just look at Half-Life. It's a single player game that has so many adventure elements that it is almost incorrect to call it a shooter. Many other titles are using story or puzzles or characters to enhance their own genre, and I feel this trend will continue well into the future.


Bruce "Hippieman" Morrison <hippieman@bungie.org> writes to say that the BS Glyph page has been updated.


June 6, 2001 (Wednesday)

The mysterious cipher Chelsea Bridge <cipher@bungie.org> writes concerning the bungie.org Seven Dials puzzle:

http://forums.bungie.org/fanfest/fanfest.pl?read=929

I talk about being underground. I talk about rooms. I talk about games of logic.

Now, I speak of breakthroughs. Three messages within a single message. Three keys to a special lock.


Claude Errera in another Bungie Sightings' forum post points out that people are close... only they don't know it. Full details about the puzzle can be found on the BS Glyph page.


June 5, 2001 (Tuesday)

Paul Frankenstein <paulf@panix.com> writes:

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap010603.html

On March 1, 2000, several orbital telescopes picked up a massive burst of gamma radiation. To make a long story short, it appears that there was a massive explosion somewhere on the other side of the universe (that's right, not galaxy, but UNIVERSE).

It doesn't appear to have been part of any known galaxy, and no-one has yet figured out what kind of explosion it was exactly...

They're out there!


Secret on the Soul page. Brian Dubick <bdubick@hotmail.com> spotted a little piece of secret text on Bungie's Soul page. Check the Story Forum here for details.


June 4, 2001 (Monday)

Strange days. Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> writes:

Subject: Believe It Or Not
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 10:49:58 -0700
x-sender: matt@mail.bungie.com
From: Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>
To: "Hamish Sinclair" <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>

I must admit I wasn't completely surprised when the odometer on my car rolled over to 7777 and the trip odometer read 177.7, for a total of seven sevens.

However, the fact that this occurred at 8:19 AM gave me pause for thought.

-Matt

Matthew Soell
Community Guy / Keeper of the Bungie Way
Bungie Studios
matt@bungie.com

819... Hmmm... ;-)


As noted on the Story Forum today you can pick up copies of Marathon 1, 2 and Infinity on eBay. Marathon 1 and 2, come with original boxes and original manuals. Only a few hours left though. Best be quick.


Sebastian "The Tiny Toad" Brytting <zorkar@yahoo.com> writes:

I noticed that Pathways sound ID 10130 (don't know when it's heard, I haben't played PiD in ages) is the same sound as the flamethrower sound in the Marathon games..! Well, at least the first half of it.


June 3, 2001 (Sunday)

Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes:

I posted this on the BS forum: (http://forums.bungie.org/fanfest/fanfest.pl?read=766)

********
I'm now 99% convinced that Glyph 7 has been solved.

Folks have interpreted it to be the Mayan symbol for the number 74. However, Hippie had been told that it might actually represent the Mayan symbols for 3 and 14, which is also interesting because those two numbers could equal= 3.14 or pi.

I went to google and searched for "mayan 74" hoping that somewhere in the internet someone had perhaps put up a table of numbers both roman and mayan. Guess what I found instead?

Mayan Civilization

Search for 74 there. You'll see that recently 74 'relic-filled tombs' have been discovered. Also note elsewhere on that page that Maya and Yucatan Peninsula are very much linked together. More PiD associations, eh?

So, what I'm asking is: can we definitively state that the inner symbol in the 7th Glyph stands for the number 74?

And can someone read that page linked above and see if it leads to some other goodies? :)
********

I'm emailing you all in case anyone wants to chime in. I thought the 74 thing was a done deal, but apparently not. Is Hip's source on 3 and 14 mistaken? I'm too overwhelmed to read all the gazillion forums that have discussed it :)

Hip and I are in the process of updating the Glyphs page, that's why I'm writing at this time.

Not sure about the "gazillion forums" bit... but go check out the updated BS Glyph page.


Twizzler <mlheerdt@hotmail.com> posted a link to a Mayan Numerals site on the Story Forum which pretty much clinched the 7th dial as being 74. In the Mayan system (base 20) numbers were written from bottom to top.

If you rank all the numbers in the 7th dial from lowest to highest you get:

3, 11, 18, 19, 24, 36, 74, 83, 97

74 is the 7th number! Coincidence or... ?


June 2, 2001 (Saturday)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to HBO this week. Here are some interesting tidbits:

- Cortana has these nifty light patterns that ripple over her body.

- The Mighty Chris Butcher has done the work necessary for AIs to fight in midair. He's also created a bunch of tools for Jaime to use when populating the human ship and assigning behaviors to its inhabitants.

- The tank is back in, too.

So it looks like we'll get to see the inside of the human ship.

Matt also revealed that it was Jason Jones' 30th birthday yesterday (June 1, 2001). First time I can remember that this little detail was made public. Happy birthday to Peter as well.


Chelsea Bridge <cipher@bungie.org> the mysterious entity behind the Seven Dials puzzle writes:

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Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2001 20:06:59 -0400
Subject:  
From: "Chelsea Bridge" <cipher@bungie.org>
To: Hamish Sinclair <Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie>
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"Miguel Chavez claims in this Bungie Sightings forum post that Matt Soell 
mentioned the seven dials in his keynote. Well that took some time to come
out. I wonder what else hasn't been mentioned? Of course it's standard
policy that bungie.org people can't win their own competitions... right?
;-)"

If I had hands, I could count the number of people aware of the secret of
the glyphs on one of them.

I wouldn't call my puzzle a "competition," so much as an adventure in
distributed thinking, really.

Anyone may take their shot at it. Who knows--perhaps someone will find the
first of the big secrets of the glyphs and the challenge will kick into the
next gear.

Truly,
Chelsea

Oh dear "...the challenge will kick into the next gear." I've got a bad feeling about this! ;-)


Staying on the subject of the Seven Dials deranger <chris@boursnell.demon.co.uk> has posted a cleaned up version of the dials so that you don't have to strain your eyes trying to make out what those small numbers around the edges. You can see it here.


Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes to say that the Marathon Scenario News page has been updated.


May 31, 2001 (Thursday)

The Story Forum is ablaze with theories on the meaning of the seven dials. Be careful though... if you take a look you might get hooked. Still some good story discussion going on. Check out this interesting thread on the subject of Strauss and Durandal.


I'm getting alot of email on the subject of the seven dials as well. Make sure you post these to the Forum (in case I keep the good stuff to myself). Dave Leong <d_limiter@mac.com> writes:

Some random thoughts:

*There are eight numbers per glyph - could this be a byte of info?

*Total of 56 numbers

*Total of 37 distinct numbers

*Only the sixth glyph has a duplicated number (15).

*The smallest number is 0 and the largest is 112.

*Smallest interval between numbers is 1; largest is 22

*No number appears more than three times

*Frequency counts give you:

Number (number of times that number appears)

-----------------------------------------------------------------
0 (2)
2(1)
3 (2)
4(1)
6(1)
7(1)
8(1)
10(1)
11(1)
12(1)
13(2)
14(2)
15(3)
18(1)
19(2)
20(3)
22(3)
24(1)
25(2)
26(1)
27(2)
36(1)
38(1)
33(1)
41(1)
47(1)
48(1)
50(2)
51(1)
62(1)
66(1)
67(1)
70(1)
71(1)
75(1)
97(1)
112(1)

As you can see, roughly half the numbers have a value less than 30.


Miguel Chavez claims in this Bungie Sightings forum post that Matt Soell mentioned the seven dials in his keynote. Well that took some time to come out. I wonder what else hasn't been mentioned? Of course it's standard policy that bungie.org people can't win their own competitions... right? ;-)


May 30, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update

In a Story Forum post Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> revealed Bungie's involvement in the seven dials mystery on www.bungie.org. Claude writes:

Bungie Studios has kindly helped out in making the solving of the puzzle worthwhile to true Bungie fans.

Solve the mystery of the seven dials and win...

Miguel Chavez writes in a Bungie Sightings forum post:

I was able to find an enlarged version of the glyphs.

So how was he able to find this? Conspiracy or...?


Bruce "Hippieman" Morrison <hippieman@bungie.org> writes to say that he has created a page devoted to solving the seven dials mystery. This is now hosted at Miguel's Bungie Sightings site. The mystery of the "seven dials" has caught the imagination of some segments of the Bungie Community even though it's not clear who created them or if there is a prize for solving the puzzle. Although Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> is thought to be behind the mystery he has gone on record stating that he has nothing to do with it. Claude wrote:

1) I did NOT make the glyphs, or have anything to do with the puzzle behind them. (I'm not that good, to be honest.)

2) There is ABSOLUTELY something in them (or behind them, more accurately) that you don't already know. And yes, Bungie's involved.

Okay, I'm done. They're yours, to play with, or to ignore. What's behind them, I already have... so I lose nothing if you give up.

So Bungie is involved and Claude has already got what is behind them? Well I do know that Claude has got a fancy 22" Apple Cinema Display. So my only conclusion is that the prize is an Apple Cinema Display. Logic can be fun at times. ;-)

But does Claude really know nothing? He did have this to say about the seven dials on the Story Forum. Make of that what you will. ;-)


Randy "ydnar" Reddig <ydnar@shaderlab.com> former Double Aught employee (creators of the Marathon Infinity scenario) sent in this URL and wonders if anyone notices the similarity. :-)

http://shaderlab.com/whiteout/

And yes I do know that this is Randy's own page. ;-)


Bernard Strauss or Bernhard Strauss? Sebastian "The Tiny Toad" Brytting <zorkar@yahoo.com> writes concerning Bernhard Strauss and the number seven:

I came across the "Seven" section in facts & puzzling things. You have calculated that Bern(h)ard Strauss' name will add up to 7 using the numerological yadda-yadda system. But you have done one thing wrong! According to my fortune-telling book (The Complete Book of Predictions (ASIN: 0213168758)) the number 9 isn't used when calculating numerological values since the dudes who invented the idea respected the number 9 as a symbol of god. So the chart looks like this:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
a b c d e f g h
i j k l m n o p
q r s t u v w x
y z
And Bernard Strauss would be: 2+5+2+6+1+2+4 + 3+4+2+1+5+3+3 = 43 = 4+3 equals....
um.... 7.

Hmmm... so if you calculate the numerological value of the name "Bernard Strauss" without a nine you get a 7 and if you do the same with "Bernhard Strauss" (alternative spelling) with a nine you also get a 7. Coincidence or...? ;-)


May 29, 2001 (Tuesday)

Nicolas "Grasshopper" <naudyrowland@amherst.edu> writes concerning Strauss and his role in Durandal's Rampancy. See the Bernard Strauss section for details. This theory originally appeared on the Story Forum and was slightly modified and expanded upon by helpful posts. Thanks to everyone who contributed.


We've located the antiquated computer system that sent yesterday's fake Cortana message. As Durandal would say... I am disappointed.


May 28, 2001 (Monday)

Interesting... another fake or...

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Ignorance like selfish solitude. Its the opium that dances in your eye, teasing 
you like ashen stone.What could the rest refer to? Sort the dead, take the axe, 
and run. I figured it all out...It all makes sense now.That what has just 
happened has already happened sometime before.


Shouldn't be too difficult to trace this one. Bungie's mail server is 131.107.134.58 for those of you who are interested in this kind of thing. Must have been typed in a rush... some typos and bad grammer. :/


May 27, 2001 (Sunday)

Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com> posted a detailed account of his search through the various Shapes files in the Marathon series. The post is called Marathon Shape Secrets and includes such tidbits as cyberhead inter, electrosynth, Barney meets Godzilla, slave transport, Pods, dormant Pfhor, empty armor, and EC. A must read.


Mimer <jemmet@xs4all.nl> posted a screenshot of an early version of the SPNKR missile launcher (SPNKR-25 Auto Canon) from the Marathon alpha found on the Trilogy CD.


Where did Mark Bernal hide his initials in Marathon 2? Questions... questions...


Chelsea Bridge <cipher@bungie.org> writes concerning the cryptic puzzle (seven dials) at the top of www.bungie.org.

Your readers must solve my puzzle. They are the ones who will truly enjoy what it leads to.

They all deserve the reward--they're smart and loyal people.

I'm going to tell you what the good Hippieman wants to know: The goal is rooted in Marathon. Deeply. Decode the keys and reap the pleasures. (They're almost unimaginable.--their impact will be of monumental force.)

You'll find some discussion about this on the Bungie Sightings forum here and on the Marathon Central forum here.


May 26, 2001 (Saturday)

Quick update

The Bob thread on the Story Forum has raised an interesting question. Did Bobs in M1 have functions and can/could they attack? Gr posted the following observation:

Check the physics model.

In the standard one all the BOBs *do* have attacks listed (and, as I recall, the security model, as which physics model editors do list the blue jumpsuit, though I'm not sure if that's a result of anything actually in the in the physics file itself, has a fairly potent one as compared with other civilians), they're attack range is just set to 0.

Based on the description of this showing up only in the Demo, my guess is that not all the kinks of the clipping code were worked out then and it was possible for a BOB to get close enough to do damage (the cylinders of the two sprites would have to overlap). BOBs definitely do attempt to attack, even in the released game. (Watch them turn and gesture at a Pfhor chasing them some time. Doesn't last long, but it does happen, and it matches what the shapes file lists as their attack posture.)

Thomas went on to note that Michael Hanson's "Marathon Physics Model Editor" provides a function for each Bob color (Green = Crew, Red = Engineering, Yellow = Science, Blue = Security). The same functions and colors are also listed in Steve Israelson's M1 map editor "Pfhorte".

So did Bungie originally plan to give Bob's different functions and attacks modes?

Well I'd forgotten about this but back in June 5, 1996 I wrote the following to Matt Soell:

In Marathon the Bobs are colored green, yellow, red and blue. Somewhere along the way they seem to have got roles i.e.,
Green = Crew
Yellow = Science
Red = Engineering
Blue = Security

Is this Bungie's role designation? Was this intentional? The colors are suspciously like those in Star Trek. Just curious.

Matt replied:

The colors on the Bobs uniforms had nothing to do with Star Trek, that's for sure. There were three different colors of Fighter uniforms; why not different crew uniforms?

The role designation was ours, and it was done because originally the Bobs were planned as having a bit more to do than run around yelling "They're Everywhere!" and eating lead. Time ran out, and we didn't get a chance to do that until M2.

Time for a Bob section on the Story perhaps.


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

- Adam is working on some wounded Marines. You'll meet them along the way and might get some information or ammo from them. Shades of another Bungie game...

No clues for guessing what game that is. ;-)


On the Story Forum today you'll find an interesting thread on Bob colors and function in the original Marathon. In addition there's some discussion on how to pronouce those Marathon names and some Marathon fan fiction.


May 25, 2001 (Friday)

Matt "Yossarian" Francis <crispyed@yahoo.com> posted an interesting tidbit about Durandal's renaming of the Pfhor scoutship "Sfiera" as "Boomer" on the Story Forum:

In submarine terms, a "Boomer" is a boat that holds sea launched ballistic missiles. And we all know how much of a sucker Durandal was for orbital bombardment...


Gabe Rosenkoetter, long time Story page reader, picked a fine 1906 print of the Plain of Marathon, the ancient battlefield, off eBay for 1$!!! A bargain if ever there was one. See the Story Forum does have its additional uses. Oh yeah 1906 = 1+9+0+6 = 16 = 1+6 = 7. ;-)


May 24, 2001 (Thursday)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) dropped into the Story Forum to pass on a little tidbit concerning an early Bungie game that never was a Bungie, namely Odyessy or should we say Archipelago. It seems Richard Rouse's comment that 'Odyssey - The Legend of Nemesis' was "once long long ago" a Bungie project is indeed true. Presumably Paranoid Productions took over the game in its early development and released the game we know today as "Odyssey - The Legend of Nemesis". Just a little bit of Bungie history for you. Might be worth giving the demo a spin. You'll find it at Paranoid Productions. :-)


Weepul (fullname pending) <weepul@jps.net> writes:

While this isn't directly Marathon-related, you seem to keep up with this kind of stuff. In Oni, Peter Tamte's name appears on a console...yet he's not mentioned in the credits in the manual as far as I can tell. (attached is a picture)

For those who go searching you'll find other interesting references to Bungie people in Oni.


Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes:

I'm aggresively asking folks to take a look at some clues that have been sprinkled about that I'm too stupid to figure out.

That's right, I'm talking about...

Phoenix!

I've started a forum thread for folks to ruminate and ponder on

http://forums.bungie.org/fanfest/fanfest.pl?read=560

Shouldn't be too hard for Story folks... right? ;-)


May 23, 2001 (Wednesday)

Oops missed a day... could this be a pattern? Remember the Story Forum is ALWAYS updated... by YOU! :-)


Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> posts the final part of his Fanfest V / E3 report. Lots of pics and interesting comments. Bungie.org post the questions (and answers) from the Bungie Fanfest V Trivia Contest. Go take the test. You'll find more info on their E3 news coverage page.


From the Forums ForGreatJustice wants people to go vote over at the Marathon Resurrection page. Marathon Resurrection is a Marathon remake using the Unreal Tournament Engine.


Joshua Jansen <jejansen@yahoo.com> writes:

One thing i just noticed: the writers of Marathon refer to spaceships as 'the,' a classic mark of a landlubber.

Spaceships, like ships of the sea and cities, for example, are not merely objects. They, each and every one of them, have a personality of her own, making them more than things. You wouldnt say "Durandal is in the London," you would say "Durandal is in London," and the same for Marathon. Ships should also be either underlined or in italics, always. eg: "Durandal was a sapient AI aboard U.E.S.C. Marathon," or "Marathon was destroyed near Tau Ceti."

The original Star Trek, back when Roddenberry was in charge, always called the ship 'Enterprise' or 'U.S.S. Enterprise.' In all the current ones, the ships are always referred to as 'the Enterprise' or 'the Defiant,' etc, which may very well be where the Bungie crew got it from. You can say "the Marathon's gun turrets," because Marathon is being used as an adjective, describing what ship posessed the gun turrets.


May 21, 2001 (Monday)

On the Story Forum today Nicolas "Grasshopper" <rowland@europe.com> ties to together pieces of the Marathon story into a very plausible theory on Bernard Strauss' real mission to Tau Ceti and his role in Durandal's rampancy:

As I've pointed out in a previous post on another thread, I think it's extremely unlikely that Strauss would have gone in stasis, i.e., been at the mercy of, a Rampant AI.

Nevertheless, those multiple aforementioned references to Strauss' mistreatment of Durandal cannot go unnoticed. They happened, and they happened for a reason. The only logical explanation for this mistreatment, at least based on the Defend THIS!/2 term, is to achieve stable Rampancy.

So I would therefore propose the following. (I can use text to support my argument upon request, but since it's late, I'll just paraphrase)

  • Strauss, while in Mars, conducted experiments upon Durandal trying to achieve in-lab Rampancy.

  • Satisfied with his preliminary results, Strauss then erased ("purged") those files or that section of Durandal's neural architecture, perhaps resulting in a complete re-boot, with the aim of replicating those same experiments upon arrival at Tau Ceti. (Leela : "I've evidence that files were deleted" on the last Ingue Ferroque term, Durandal "I've twice been purged.")

  • Upon arrival at Tau Ceti, Strauss either replicated some of those experiments causing full blown Rampancy, or Durandal, perhaps during the Despair/Melancholy stage of Rampancy somehow got access to those files. (Durandal, you'll recall, at some point boasts about hiding his Rampant state vis-a-vis Strauss.)
  • So Grasshopper helps to tie together Durandal's 1st purging, his lost records pertaining to the his early pre-launch period, Strauss' abuse and Durandal's shame on Mars. The Marathon had 21 years at Tau Ceti before the Pfhor came. Plenty of time for another Rampancy experiment. :-)


    Simon Christensen <simon@zeroinfinity.f2s.com> writes:

    Thought I should drop this in. A marathonish reference in "Look to Windward" by Iain M. Banks.

    There are many spots in the book where Banks comments on races who achieve a state of evolution where they 'sublime', that is, evolve past the state of matter and become beings of pure energy. One could almost say godlike. But living things aren't the only things which sublime. The Culture's AIs, called minds, are known to sometimes sublime as well. Does this remind you of Durandal's intent to 'escape closure'? Evolve to a higher state and become a 'god'? Maybe this explains the Jjaro's absence. They may have sublimed... after all, they are an ancient species.


    May 20, 2001 (Sunday)

    Nicolas "Grasshopper" <rowland@europe.com> posted an interesting theory on the Story Forum. It concerns Bernard Strauss and his possible role in Durandal's rampancy. While some parts of this theory have been previously put forward in sections such as Durandal(part 1) and (part2) , Bernard Strauss, and The Chicken Term, this is the first time it have been suggested (on the Story page) that Strauss was using the Marathon as a "planetary sized network" to develop a Rampant AI. Grasshopper writes:

    - that Strauss' mistreatment of Durandal on Mars consisted of "outside stimuli," and involved Strauss making Durandal feel "harrassed or threatened," with the ultimate aim of turning Durandal into a stable Rampant AI.

    - That satisfied with his preliminary results, Strauss decided (or perhaps it was his plan all along) to test his experiment to the fullest degree. Indeed, Defend THIS!/2 states:

    Theoretically, testing Rampancy should be easily accomplished in the laboratory, but in fact it has never successfully been attempted. The confinement of the laboratory makes it impossible for the developing Rampant AI to survive. As the growing recursive programs expand with exponential vivacity, any limitation negatively hampers growth. Since Rampant AIs need a planetary sized network of computers in order to grow, it is not feasible to expect anyone to sacrifice a world-web just to test a theory.

    Sacrificing a world-web would be out of the question, but how about a planet-sized spaceship, and a few thousand colonists?

    - that Strauss was responsible for the presence of the ten Military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs. Strauss' log states:

    it [the Marathon] carried also all of the destructive knowledge of mankind. Ten cyborgs.

    Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)

    And also Leela,

    I do not believe Durandal himself brought the cyborgs on board, and I have other evidence that a human operator was influencing Durandal up to the time the Marathon was launched.

    Ingue Ferroque (Terminal 3)

    - that the reason for the presence of these ten Cyborgs was for Strauss protection in case the experiment went wrong.

    Of course the Marathon wasn't planetary sized... more a small moon, but it may have been large enough for Strauss' experiment with Durandal.


    May 19, 2001 (Saturday)

    Some guy <kjdickman@core.com> posted the following interesting item in the Story Forum

    Anyone out there played Damage Incorporated?

    I know the game wasn't made by Bungie but it used the M2 engine, and there are quite a number of references to Marathon. One of your men likes to shout, "If I had a rocket launcher I'd make somebody pay" the leader of the white paladins (think KKK only 3 times as extreme) has the psuedonym, "Mimi Grendel"

    Anyway, if you've played it, you'll remeber the first radio message from Jeremiah, mostly a bunch of ranting, but he says something INCREDIBLY cryptic, "The colonies will fall, with, or without my friendly influence" as far as I can tell, there is NO mention of colonies in any part of the game other than that. I'd just like to know if I'm completely misreading that

    Anyone able to help out here? Thanks.

    On the subject of Damage Incorporated if you head on over to Richard Rouse's Paranoid Productions you'll find a whole section on the game Damage Incorporated. There is also an interview with Richard Rouse which has this interesting piece:

    So you were happy to go with the Command & Conquer crossed with Marathon idea?

    Oh, sure. Marathon 2 is one of my favorite games of all time, and I was already familiar with Bungie's, that is to say, Jason Jones' coding style from my work on Odyssey, which long long ago was a Bungie project.

    Richard is referring to the Macintosh game "Odyssey - The Legend of Nemesis". Was Odyssey originally a Bungie game or is the "Bungie project" remark a reference to the fact the game uses the Minotaur engine? Back in July 3, 1996 Adam Freidin <bob@clarity.Princeton.EDU> noted that in the Odyssey credits screen parts of the game are copyrighted (1995) by Bungie and Alex Seropian, Jason Jones, Greg Kirkpatrick and Doug Zartman at Bungie are all thanked.

    If you check the Odyssey page at Paranoid Productions you'll find this piece under the "Oddities" section:

    Just what is the relationship between Odyssey and Bungie Software Products Corporation? Here's a hint.

    And what did Alexander Seropian have to say about Odyssey?

    "The best Mac fantasy role playing game I've ever played."
    - Alexander Seropian, Founder, Bungie Software.


    Hugo Forss <hugo.forss@swipnet.se> dropped a note in the Story Forum about the disbanding of the electronic/alternative group Psykosonik. Paul Sebastien who was a member of the group also fronted Power of Seven who did the Marathon 2 and Infinity theme music. Track 3 "Teknojihad" of Psykosonik's first album (Psykosonik) is similar to the Marathon 2 Durandal theme.


    May 18, 2001 (Friday)

    Quick update #2

    Zach Bragin <OpenGL128@home.com> writes:

    In one of the new movies from E3, when in first person view, the character is shown jumping straight down a very very long drop and not being harmed. After all, "you are the only one who could survive the fall." ;-)


    John Jennings <John_Jennings@Vanguard.com> writes:

    Myth@Bungie.org presents a new site which explores and documents the gaming experiences of the Bungie community. Announcing the opening of "Great Gaming Moments".

    We've all had one of those moments:

    - Negotiating the wandering wights of 'The Great Devoid' with the Head of Balor in your pocket only to come face-to-face with the enemy himself: Soulblighter
    - That first compiler that shot an energy bolt at you upon your 'Arrival' on the Marathon
    - Stepping out of the Prison Ship Rikers onto the planet surface and found yourself overlooking a huge canyon with a beautiful blue-green waterfall in Unreal
    - Watching the opening sequence of Half-Life where you felt as though you were watching the opening of a Hollywood action movie, starring... you!

    This is a place to share those 'moments' that you've had while playing computer or video games. It doesn't specifically have to be a 'Myth' or a 'Bungie' moment, but it does have to be something that was special to you. Read through our submissions!... you might find other have moments like your own.


    Quick update #1

    On the Story Forum... new Halo movies, saving Bobs on Unpfhorgiven, Iconfactory+Bungie, Halo gets 7 spleens, David Candland's clarification on the Mac/PC version of Halo's status... it was "a noisy floor at a frantic pace". ;-)


    Big news of the day must be the MacGamer interview with Alexander Seropian (Bungie's Studio Manager) and David Candland (Interface Architect). Of course the emphasis was on the Mac version of Halo and yes a Mac/PC version is coming and it will also be different from the Xbox version. Here's the interesting bit:

    Alex Saropian explains briefly how the Xbox version of Halo will differ from the Mac/PC version as he says, "It'll be a different version -- more misssions, and more online aspects."

    The port will also be a simultaneous Mac/PC port. No time frame was given however.


    So the latest of bunch of Halo movies weren't enough for you? Well here are some more Bungie webcam movies from Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com>. In today's clips... lots of computer activity... and...

    111000-111999.mov (3206K) Thu Apr 26 03:37 - Thu Apr 26 20:15
    112000-112999.mov (Wiped out. Phhht! Just like that)
    113000-113999.mov (2555K) Fri Apr 27 12:56 - Sat Apr 28 01:26
    114000-114999.mov (2011K) Sat Apr 28 12:27 - Sat Apr 28 22:16
    115000-115999.mov (3416K) Sat Apr 28 22:16 - Sun Apr 29 14:56
    116000-116999.mov (3412K) Sun Apr 29 14:56 - Mon Apr 30 07:35
    117000-117999.mov (3400K) Mon Apr 30 07:36 - Tue May 01 00:15

    Earlier webcam movies can be found here.


    May 17, 2001 (Thursday)


    Bungie Fanfest V reports over at Bungie Sightings, Bungie.org, MSXbox, and TeamXbox here and here.


    Abhaya Hess <doctordude26@yahoo.com> writes:

    Although this is s little bit of a stretch, I felt it worth mentioning. I realized that the Bajoran symbol in Star Trek looks very much like the symbol that appears in the space where your motion sensor would be when you disable it in a net game.

    Here is a good online image of the Bajoran symbol:
    http://www.startrek.com/content/Photo/symbols/bajoran.gif


    Nicolas <rowland@europe.com> notes that there is Marathon watch on eBay. Ok not exactly a big deal... but Nicolas says check the year it was made... 1977! ;-)


    May 16, 2001 (Wednesday)

    Wirehead (full name pending) <wirehead@bungie.org> writes to say that HBO have got news on 15 new Halo screenshots and the Xbox's US release date and cost.


    Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes to say that Bungie Sightings has been updated with pics of the Fanfest V venue. Only a few hours to go before the big event.


    Bungie.org have created an E3 2001 news page. Worth keeping an eye on.


    Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes:

    Bunch o' maps added to the Archives:

    http://archives.bungie.org/newstuff/


    Andre Kopp <aok_28@hotmail.com> sent in a picture of an airduct which from a distance looks vaguely Marathon-like. You can see it on the Forum here.


    May 15, 2001 (Tuesday)

    Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes concerning this week's Bungie fanfest:

    BS updated...

    Some urls broke and I've fixed the hours... the event ends at 10PM, not 9PM.

    BTW, all attendees are required to sign NDA's effective til 10AM the following day, so you *know* some cool stuff is going to be shown :)

    woooo.... NDAs I haven't signed one of those since... actually I'VE NEVER SIGNED ONE! ;-)


    Simon Marek <imarek@ihug.com.au> writes:

    In Oni on level 12 (TCTF Headquarters - redux), there is a scientist you can speak to. Konoko says "Griffin made me a monster when I was 07 years old". Badoom-ching!


    The Story Forum has proved quite popular with nearly 300 posts since Saturday. Items for discussion include - Marathon mysteries, story discrepancies, JJaro theories, Latin, acronyms, PID, Oni, Halo, Toadkiller Dog, and... favorite quotes. Feel free to dive in. Your Space.


    May 14, 2001 (Monday)

    Tim Branin <SonofHydra@aol.com> made an interesting observation yesterday on the Forum about the names on the three Marathon stickers that come with the Trilogy Box Set. They have the following titles:

    U.E.S.C Marathon
    Celer Manus Dei
    Cr'etz'ih

    Tim rightly points out that Durandal's Jjaro dreadnought is actually called "Manus Celer Dei" and not "Celer Manus Dei". Ooops. Yossarian <CrispyEd@yahoo.com> notes that this has been discussed before. Of course regardless of the correct Latin phrasing the name of the ship shouldn't change right? ;-)


    Nathaniel Olsen <orange666@hotmail.com> writes concerning the Marathon 2 level name "Bob's Big Date" and the associated map writing BOB'S LATE FOR HIS BIG DATE!!:

    Is it possible that this is another Alice in Wonderland reference like Curiouser and Curiouser...?

    Is Bob the White Rabbit? He's late for a very important date and if he doesn't get there in time it's off with his head...

    For those of you not familiar with Alice in Wonderland the story begins with Alice overhearing a White Rabbit say "Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!" and proceeds to follow it down a down a rabbit-hole... a rather deep hole.

    "Because only you would survive the fall... my dear". ;-)


    May 13, 2001 (Sunday)

    Sad news indeed. Douglas Adams dies at 49. Miguelito <bs@bungie.org> dropped a note into the Forum about the sad loss of Douglas Adams. Most unexpected. He will be missed.


    Got news? But don't want to wait for me to post it then post it yourself on the Story Page Forum. Your Space!


    May 12, 2001 (Saturday) OMG FORUM!

    Quick update #2

    Jonah <jonas@twcny.rr.com> is the seventh. :-)


    Quick update #1

    Simon Marek <imarek@ihug.com.au> writes:

    Check out this little plate/panel thingie in Oni. What does this number cancel down to?

    :-)


    A forum?

    You asked for it! You demanded it! You paid for it (thanks for all those $7 bills)... and now you have it...

    The Story Page Forum

    Why a forum after all these years? Will the tru7h ever been known?

    Thanks to Claude Errera for making it so. I couldn't code one of these things to save my life. ;-)


    May 11, 2001 (Friday)

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

    We got a lot more sound in the game, including some context-sensitive music and roughly 1400 separate dialog tags.

    Just try transcribing that lot! ;-)


    Believe it or not... Harley Peters <Harley_Peters@excite.com> writes:

    In an ad for a fast food chain, there was a vending machine, that, when activated, has the same sound of an elevator in marathon.

    I haven't seen any of these ads BTW... so don't blame me. ;-)

    May 10, 2001 (Thursday)

    Matt "Yossarian" Francis <crispyed@yahoo.com> writes:

    I found this statement while reading a summary of the battle of Marathon at http://www.army.gr/html/EN_Army/istoria/marathon.htm

    "...comes closer to the Greek opinion that the battle of Marathon was decisive for the world history. According to him: "The day of Marathon broke for ever the spell of the Persian invincibility which has paralyzed men's minds. It generated among the Greeks the spirit which beat back Xerxes and afterwards led on Xenophon, Agesilaus and Alexander in terrible retaliation through their Asiatic campaigns. It secured for mankind the intellectual treasure of Athens, the growth of free institutions, the liberal enlightenment of the western world and the gradual ascendancy for many ages of the great principles of European civilization."

    Any Marathoner can see that this is much like the initial battle on our Marathon and the ones on the S'pht homeworld years later: like the Greeks, the battle of Marathon ensured the security of the UESC and gave it time to establish a foothold as an intergalactic power. Like the war spirit the original battle Marathon created, the UESC, like the Greeks, was able to use it to exact revenge and eventually topple the Pfhor empire....


    Michael Young <admin@bravehamster.com> writes:

    There's a new commercial on TV for some engine oil (can't remember the brand right now.) Anyways it has this guy who is so concerned about this car he has a pneumatic lift in his garage. The sound of the lift is the exact same sound as one of the lift sounds in marathon.


    May 9, 2001 (Wednesday)

    Matthew Smith <mps@utas.edu.au> sent in another very Marathon-like symbol. It has the characteristic circle within a broken outer circle. The inner circle is also offset like the Marathon symbol. See the That Marathon Symbol (part 2) section for details.


    1, 3, 4... 15. elmer <guemes@evilemail.com> writes concerning the tag numbers on the Marathon 2 level "We're Everywhere" and provides further evidence to suggest that a major change was made to the level which left it with an odd breakable panel and an even odder terminal allegedly from Thoth. See The Breakable Panel on We're Everywhere section for details.


    May 8, 2001 (Tuesday)

    Ross "Cpt. Sqweky" Wolfe <eternalwar@hotmail.com> writes concerning the recently released game "Black & White":

    ...in the introductory cut-scene for B&W, it talks about how a God is born when people pray, some people pray for thier sone to be saved from some sharks and that's when you pop up and save him. Then, the narrator goes on a spiel asking "will you be a blessing, or a curse? Good or Evil? Be what you will: You are Destiny.

    Just thought it was a nice little coinkidink/reference(?) to the MI ending.


    William "Shadowjack" Spencer <williamspencer@hotmail.com> writes:

    I finally saw a few episodes of the popular anime series Neo Genesis Evangelion.

    Basic plot so far: To fight off the invasion of Earth by aliens known as "Angels", certain teenagers are selected to pilot Evangelions, huge semi-biological (i.e. cyborg) mecha (giant, humanoid, piloted robots). The twist: the neural interface with the damned things causes the kids psychological trauma.

    There's probably Halo and/or Marathon connections in there somewhere, but I noticed this:

    When the "Evas" are docked and dormant, they are left standing in tanks filled with a mysterious purple liquid. When it's time to launch, they drain the tanks and turn the Eva loose.

    The purple liquid looks suspiciously like that in the Pfhor ships of M2 and MI.


    May 7, 2001 (Monday)

    Nicolas <rowland@europe.com> points out that there is a copy of the very rare Marathon v1.0 for auction on eBay. Unfortunately the original box and accompanying documentation has been lost so it's only the four (Pfhor) disks. The guy who is selling this is obviously a fan of the Story page. :-)

    Of course the rarest version of Marathon v1.0 is the 1000 or so flat pack (boxless) copies shipped out before Christmas 1994. Included with some of these was an apology from Bungie. Pretty rare thing (the original note that is). ;-) If you still have a copy of this note please let me know. Thanks.


    BillyBob (full name pending) <BillyBob3d@aol.com> writes:

    I was reading through the Northwind Highlanders scenario book for the excellent board game BattleTech (published in 1997) when I came across these rather interesting passages on page six:

    "The launch of the Deimos Project, the top-secret endeavor that would culminate in the first successful hyper-space jump from the Terran system to the Tau Ceti system in 2108..."

    !

    "The majority of the resources and currency required to fund Deimos was extracted from the smaller and poorer member states, who had no choice but to comply."

    smaller, poorer states=Mars?

    This bit of fiction may have been published before this book, so it may be that Bungie referenced BattleTech instead of the other way 'round.


    Drake Masters <drake_in_the_firmament@hotmail.com> sent in a very Marathon-like symbol. It has the characteristic circle within a broken outer circle. The inner circle is even offset like the Marathon symbol. See the That Marathon Symbol (part 2) section for details.


    May 6, 2001 (Sunday)

    Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> (Bungie Studios) writes:

    Caught your web page update today and wanted to fill you in.

    >The fact that there is a company handling Microsofts'
    >"online communities" begs the questions as to what
    >Bungie's online team is actually doing or supposed
    >to be doing.

    They were working for MS before Bungie came along. We're still an anomaly within MS in that we have our own team dedicated to interfacing with the public. You're right that we (the Bungie Online Team) normally handle that stuff. I suspect that this other agency doesn't feel like sitting on their hands with the flagship Xbox title, especially with E3 looming.

    If recent trends are anything to go by, I'll get an email saying "Forgot to mention this Matt, we have a fansite Q&A lined up, could you answer these questions by tonight?" So ultimately it will be us handling it no matter what. :-)

    What else is the Online Team doing right now? Halo interface and HUD stuff (the bulk of our workload right now), FanFest prep work, reviving the Myth TFL server, some Halo Manual stuff, getting ready to pump Halo content to the fansites, and the usual Other Stuff We Can't Talk About Yet.

    Don't forget folks we have the webcam movies to prove all this... right? ;-)


    May 5, 2001 (Saturday)

    Quick update

    "We still like stories in our games." HBO report that Core Magazine have a short interview with Matt Soell self proclaimed "humble Community Guy". Here's part of the text:

    CoreMagazine.com: How will Halo stack up against the likes of Unreal Tournament and Timesplitters?

    Matt: Quite well I think, but I'm biased, and there is a key difference between Halo and the other two. Like those games, Halo will be a lot of fun to play against other people - but there's also a very rich single player campaign with a deep storyline. We still like stories in our games.


    Also on HBO is a report that there is now a company that "helps Microsoft keep in touch with the online communities". There are no details forthcoming about this company but apparently they want questions for a fan-conducted interview (original eh?). The fact that there is a company handling Microsofts' "online communities" begs the questions as to what Bungie's online team is actually doing or supposed to be doing.


    Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to Battleground Halo this week. Bug fixes, tweaks, auto-aiming, levels, multiple-colored cyborgs, and a Bob in a green jumpsuit.


    Simon Brownlee <simon.brownlee@pobox.com> writes to say that Marathon Central is back from the dead. That means the forums are back up along with all those old Marathon pages. Go relive the nostalgia.


    May 4, 2001 (Friday)

    Philip Accas <PAccas@Earthlink.net> writes:

    There's a piece in today's L.A. Times about NASA's Genesis mission to study solar phenomena, specifically by obtaining particle samples from the solar wind. Genesis (I'll leave THAT can-o-worms nomenclature alone for now) will be launched in July, and take its position at "a point between Earth and the sun where the gravity of each is equal," which as we faithful all know, is a HALO orbit.

    Unfortunately, the graphic showing the projected orbital path (including multiple Halo orbits) is print-only, though there is a link - http://www.latimes.com/business/cutting/20010503/t000037188.html - to a brief text paragraph. If you'd like, I'll fire up the scanner tomorrow and JPEG the print graphic. For the more purely scientifically-minded, there's also the Genesis mission site at: http://genesismission.jpl.nasa.gov/ - though still no graphic.


    Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes to say that there are new Marathon maps at the Archive, including a very cool almost-entry to the Simplici7y contest. Worth a look.


    Oh no! not more Bungie webcam movies from Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com>. In today's clips... the sign says "Give me work!!!" but is it serious. And did someone lose their underwear? and check out what's playing on those screens.

    104000-104999.mov (3410K) Sat Apr 21 06:57 - Sat Apr 21 23:36
    105000-105999.mov (3410K) Sat Apr 21 23:37 - Sun Apr 22 16:16
    106000-106999.mov (3410K) Sun Apr 22 16:17 - Mon Apr 23 08:55
    107000-107999.mov (2994K) Mon Apr 23 08:56 - Tue Apr 24 01:37
    108000-108999.mov (3402K) Tue Apr 24 01:38 - Tue Apr 24 18:16
    109000-109999.mov (3412K) Tue Apr 24 18:17 - Wed Apr 25 10:56
    110000-110999.mov (3414K) Wed Apr 25 10:57 - Thu Apr 26 03:36


    May 3, 2001 (Thursday)

    Seven more Bungie webcam movies from Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com>. Lots of computer screen action in this group, more trolls, bean bags and the Xbox controller makes a brief appearance.

    97000-97999.mov (3399K) Mon Apr 16 10:13 - Tue Apr 17 02:53
    98000-98999.mov (3013K) Tue Apr 17 02:54 - Tue Apr 17 19:35
    99000-99999.mov (3268K) Tue Apr 17 19:36 - Wed Apr 18 12:15
    100000-100999.mov (3410K) Wed Apr 18 12:16 - Thu Apr 19 04:55
    101000-101999.mov (3357K) Thu Apr 19 04:56 - Thu Apr 19 21:36
    102000-102999.mov (3411K) Thu Apr 19 21:37 - Fri Apr 20 14:16
    103000-103999.mov (3413K) Fri Apr 20 14:17 - Sat Apr 21 06:56

    Earlier webcam movies can be found here.


    May 2, 2001 (Wednesday)

    Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org>, maintainer of Bungie Sightings, writes:

    Oni Game CD in the new iBook movie, and the Sakura-Con QA and Trivia questions posted.

    How many errors can you spot in the latest Bungie Trivia contest. ;-)


    On the subject of errors Alexander Strange <AlexJLS@aol.com> spotted yesterday's deliberate Story page error and adds:

    There's a typo on the back of the Codex CD case. Can you find it?

    Typos! They're Everywhere! ;-)


    May 1, 2001 (Tuesday)

    Seven more Bungie webcam movies from Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com>. Lots of action in this group. Trolls, the Halo theme (not), trolls, Matt Soell's brain, trolls, Pfhor egg (not), trolls, I can see you, trolls, working on Sunday... again!

    90000-90999.mov (3415K) Wed Apr 11 13:36 - Thu Apr 12 06:14
    91000-91999.mov (3415K) Thu Apr 12 06:15 - Thu Apr 12 22:54
    92000-92999.mov (3415K) Thu Apr 12 22:55 - Fri Apr 13 15:34
    93000-93999.mov (3415K) Fri Apr 13 15:35 - Sat Apr 14 08:14
    94000-94999.mov (3415K) Sat Apr 14 08:15 - Sun Apr 15 00:54
    95000-95999.mov (3415K) Sun Apr 15 00:55 - Sun Apr 15 17:33
    96000-96999.mov (3415K) Sun Apr 15 17:34 - Mon Apr 16 10:13




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