June 30, 2011 (Thursday)   539:3:41:13


Craig Hardgrove <craig.hardgrove@stonybrook.edu> dropped by the Story forum
to let us know that he has released a new Marathon music remake, AliensAgain.
You can get it at his new web site - themarathonmusic.com. Only four remakes to go!


Bungie reveals details of Bungie Aeropsace. Not a new game, but a new venture.
Bungie Aerospace will help independent developers create mobile and social games.
Their first partnership is with Seattle-based developer Harebrained Schemes who are
creating a mobile game called Crimson.


June 29, 2011 (Wednesday)   540:5:58:25


With the recent announcment of Marathon for the iPad it is interesting to look back at what Jason Jones
said regarding the future of Marathon. His comments were buried in the resource fork of the Marathon
application on the Marathon Trilogy CD released on May 1, 1997. They were first reported on the Story
page back on July 17, 1997 and more recently today.  Here's the full text:

You again?

Two and a half years after the wild coding Blitzkrieg that
created Marathon, I'm back here removing the serial
number protection for the trilogy release. Without source.

I had this really dumb idea back then that I'd have the
game wait until April 1st 1995 before enabling a second
layer of serial number verification.

Ha. After hacking out three dialogs from each of the 68k
and PowerPC versions, with only MacsBug to light the way,
I'm sort of glad I never got time to do that.

Now Myth is the order of the day, and we're aiming for a
early fall release. The coming summer won't turn into
the unairconditioned blur of boiling late nights ordering
pizza and drinking powdered Gatorate to stay hydrated
that 1995 was, but I imagine we'll keep busy somehow.

I have this feeling it's going to be snowing again when I
have free time again.

So. No serial numbers. It's always bothered me that
Marathon's public lifetime would be over when the last
registration card or serial number list got lost. Hopefully
this is the version that I'll be playing in fifty years
under emulation on some fuckfast portable the thickness
of a sheet of paper that walks my dog, dresses me every
morning and grinds up my food because I don't have any
teeth left. And hopefully it won't be running Windows.

Later,
Jason (March 17, 1997 4:39pm)


Now back in March 1997, Gil Amelio was still CEO of Apple. Mac OS 8 had not yet been released. The 9600
was Apple's flagship desktop computer. The Mac Clones were still going strong. And Jason Jones was talking
about playing Marathon on "some fuckfast portable the thickness of a sheet of paper" in fifty years time.

Ok so the iPad isn't as thin as a sheet of paper and it most certainly isn't running Windows.

But then again there's still another 36 years to go.

Here's looking to the future... playing Marathon. :-)

But we really do need the Marathon 1 source code,  Jason.


June 28, 2011 (Tuesday)   541:5:23:33


Another mystery... solved. Phhht! Just like that.

Craig Mullins <cmullins@goodbrush.com> writes concerning the image he created for the Blake chapter
screen in Marathon 2:

If I remember correctly, which is doubtful, I did this as a chapter screen for the Blake level.
It is supposed to be Blake. I think he was a security officer like the protagonist?

I did the image at much higher resolution than the 640 px image floating about, but computers being
what they were at the time, I think I had some disk corruption and the higher rez image was lost.

I never painted out the helmet, so that must have been Bungies doing.

As far as darkening, the original was dark. The image you linked was brightened and sharpened
considerably. Looks better anyhow.


So there you have it. Craig originally drew Blake as a security officer, hence the helmet. Bungie turn
Blake into a mechanical engineer and remove the helmet to avoid any confusion.

But that's not all. Craig writes:

PS find attached something I found poking about for the Blake image. It was done for the Citadel image,
a S'pht icon that I later worked into the Citadel chapter screen.

You can see it here. Nice. :-)

Time for a Craig Mullins' Marathon Art Gallery at the Story page?


June 27, 2011 (Monday)   542:6:17:40


On the Story forum treellama <wolfy@treellama.org> points out that the third beta for the 1.0 release
of Aleph One is now available at SourceForge. Highlights for this release include many improvements
to interface polish, Marathon 2 film support, OpenGL (Shader) improvements, and additional Lua accessors.
You are encouraged to play it and report any bugs. Keep space safe... kill all bugs!

If you need the original Marathon files you can find them on the Trilogy Release page.
Note that Marathon 1 will not work with Aleph One. If you want to play Marathon 1 you have to use M1A1.
If you want M1A1 without the PID opening then try the No PID plugin. Some background to this can be
found here.

Will the source code for Marathon 1 ever be released? Who knows. But Bungie haven't said no... yet.
Maybe if enough people ask nicely it might be forthcoming... either that or they'll blame The Nar.
Everybody else does! ;-)


June 25, 2011 (Saturday)   544:6:48:10


MacRumors has an interesting news item on Marathon for the iPad. It suggests that the game has reportedly
been submitted and will be released for free.

Also interesting to note Konoko (Oni) standing tall between the Marathon Marine and Master Chief on
Bungie's new look home page. The Marathon logo is also proudly displayed. It looked so good I robbed it. :-O

Arno Hautala <arno@alum.wpi.edu> writes concerning the Marathon Cheater 3.0 mentioned back in May (26th):

The Marathon Cheater 3.0 post then prompted me to dig around on
c.s.m.g where I found version 4! [1]

And I figured out how to properly extract these binhex files. The
BinHex data needs to be saved with CR line endings. They will then
happily extract. I haven't yet fired up Sheepshaver...

I also came across an interesting post with info on further Marathon
cheats. Editing your game file is one thing, but real vid-bois (or is
that spazeroids?) hex edit the game binary itself. [2]

Further, a repost of Marathon Cheater 2.5 [3]

Along with the WebWonks archive [4], all that's needed is to dig up a
copy of CheatsBase 2.0 and the "Cheat to Win" page [5] could be relinked
with working archives ;-D

Well you know what they say about 'cheaters'. But CheatsBase 2.0? Now that's a Blast from the Past.

So how many spazeroids people out there have a copy of CheatsBase 2.0?


June 24, 2011 (Friday)   545:7:54:26


Lots of discussion on the Story forum concerning yesterday's annoucement of the impending release of the
Marathon Infinity source code. As treellama points out this should allow Marathon Infinity film playback in
Aleph One. A very welcome addition. :-)

So Marathon 2 is open source, Marathon Infinity will be open source... but what about Marathon? Yeah, the
first game. The original of the species. Two ain't really a trilogy. So without further ado...

Bungie please make Marathon 1 open source


Thanks to GrimCleaver on the Story forum we now have a PDF version of the Pathways Into Darkness manual.
Up to now this has only been avalable in DocMaker format which doesn't work on Mac OSX. Check the
PID page for further details.


June 23, 2011 (Thursday)   546:7:27:54


Quick update

Good news day.

Thanks to GrimCleaver on the Story forum who points out that Bungie have announced
that they will be releasing the source code for Marathon Infinity. Details can be found here.

There is also an interview with Daniel Blezek who is porting Marathon to the iPad.
Not totally clear yet if this is Marahton 1 or Marathon 2, or both. Given that the source
code for Marathon 1 has never been released it is probably Marathon 2.


"Minotaur is a real-time hack-and-slash-and-pile-up-the-bodies network/modem game in color or monochrome"
Jason Jones, comp.sys.mac.games, Oct '92

More Minotaur information than you can shake a stick at. On the Story forum poenadare posts a review of Minotaur
by Nathan Bitner. Unfortunately the formating makes the text difficult to read. So here is the full c.s.m.g. post
from Nathan with original formating. Jason Jones also provides some insights into his own game.

GrimCleaver creates a new PDF version of the Minotaur manual. It's a much better version than the one you can get
at the Macintosh Garden. You can also download the full game there... actually seven copies of it. It's the same
package that came with Bungie's MacAction Sack. According to Macintosh Garden, Minotaur is abandonware.

Now Bungie use to sell a Minotaur Survival Guide for US$4. According to Jason Jones this contained
undocumented features. Obviously this is very rare now but if you have a copy or know someone who
does let us know. It would be useful to have this for posteriety... or in case someone remakes Minotaur
for iOS and other mobile devices. :-)

Does Minotaur contain a terrible secret as this player believed:

Please don't ask this question of Minotaur  'cause there is a really terrible
thing someone found out about the game. I wish I'd never seen it, and I'm
desperately trying to forget it.


So what has all this got to do with Marathon? Well Marathon and Minotaur both start with the letter M.
They both have eight letters. They both share six common letters and have three distinct letters. These
nine carefully chosen letters are an anagram for words like "Mouth Iran", "Anti Humor" and "Human Riot".

Now I am not suggesting for a minute that this has anything to do with Bungie's desire for World Domination.
But you have to ask yourself... what is Bungie's next game really all about? ;-)

Know the answer... Bungie has set us up the bomb... ask the Disembodied Soul... then post it to the Story forum.

</quickcalltheciabungieareterrorists>


June 22, 2011 (Wednesday)   547:6:4:26


Kill Your Enemies,  Kill Your Friends' Enemies,  Kill Your Friends.

A tag line so good Bungie re-used it not once... but twice. Surprisingly they never trademarked it.
Though they did recently renewed the trademark on We Make Games We Want To Play and still
retain ownership of Don't Make Us Kick Your Ass which first appeared on a Marathon t-shirt.

So what has this stream of consciousness have to do with Bungie's Marathon?

Not alot... but David Candland (Bungie) did drop by the Story forum to seek some information about
one of their earlier games... Minotaur. David did make it quite clear that this had nothing to with any steampunk
game they are not making, which is not called Destiny and most definitely does not contain zeppelins.
But answer his questions and you might land a job at Bungie. ;-)

Anyways it seems that Minotaur had its own version of the trih xeem... the 'Stave of Ultimate Doom'.

Ever the curious... I put 'Stave of Ultimate Doom' into Google and come up with this oddity.
Don't you just love the net. :-)

</streamofconsciousness>


June 21, 2011 (Tuesday)   548:5:16:47


Bruce Morrison <bruce@freeverse.com> from Freeverse provides some further insights into the
XBox 360 version of Marathon 2 and reveals something very interesting. Bruce writes:

We re-did all the Chapter Screens using various Craig Mullins sources, as well as backed up files
from years ago. You'll notice a Marine's helmet on our Blake screen.

Re-did all the Chapter Screens? Bruce explains further:

Originally we re-did them as Microsoft wanted them translated, we talked them out of it.

However the Xbox has a "Safe Zone" that all games must stick to. Basically some TVs don't draw
everything, and cut off the edges. We had to reposition the chapter screen text to ensure it fit
inside the safe zone.

In some cases there were higher resolution versions online rather than what we ripped out of the
game files.

So the Blake chapter screen in the XBox 360 version of Marathon 2 uses this image, with the "Marine's helmet".

If you check Freeverse's Marathon 2 page you will also see the same image used at the top of the
page.

Now here's an interesting question for you. Do Blake and the security officer (Marathon Marine)
ever meet in Marathon 2?   If so, it might explain why the helmet is on the table.

Know the answer... do I HAVE to read the terminals AGAIN... it's Blake's helmet... then post it to the Story forum.


June 20, 2011 (Monday)   549:5:10:28


Rocket Launchers... They're Everywhere!

Bruce Morrison <bruce@freeverse.com> points out that you can use a Rocket Launcher to access
the secret weapons cache on Eat It, Vid Boi! without cheating,  he writes:

If you are playing in a Co-Op network game, then you can have a Rocket Launcher before
reaching this level. There's one on Nuke And Pave.

Indeed this old alt.games.marathon thread claims that you can find "SPNKRs and TOZTs on some
of the first nine levels"
,  but that they are network only.

Just how many rocket launchers are there before Eat It, Vid Boi!?

Know the answer... seven... sorry what was the question again... then post it to the Story forum.


Want to teleport to anywhere on a level, even the secret weapons cache on Eat It, Vid Boi!?
Then use Visual Mode.lua 2.1.  It's a kind of magic.


June 19, 2011 (Sunday)   550:10:10:19


There is no spoon secret weapons cache.

To all the naysayers and non-believers out there here is a pic of the secret weapons cache on Eat It, Vid Boi!

Believe It, Vid Boi!

Concerning the missing text from the Eat it, Vid Boi! section of the Spoiler Guide, John Sumner <jsumner@ut.edu>
writes:

I note that the early version (text version) states:

"Using a rocket launcher, you can boost yourself up onto
these areas, and pick up, er, another rocket launcher! and more ammo
as well. You can actually do this as well with some fancy grenade
hopping as well."

You certainly can use the AR to launch yourself up there. I just tried with my old save game and
it's fairly easy to do that from within the lava. However, at that point in the game, the player
does not have a rocket launcher. So perhaps Michael Neylon realized the first statement was false
(or somebody else pointed it out) and subsequently removed that whole section, forgetting that the
second statement is actually true.

Yes indeed, the text was inaccurate. There is no rocket launcher prior to Eat It, Vid Boi! and there
is no 'ammo' on the ledge, just a rocket launcher and a flame thrower. It's unclear why the MSG got
it so wrong. This old a.g.m post from Jan 9, 1996 contained all the information needed for a correct
entry to the MSG. Equally unclear is why it took from mid-1997 until now to realise that this secret
was actually missing from the MSG.

Have a view... The pic is a FAKE... I blame Hamish... then post it to the Story forum.


June 18, 2011 (Saturday)   551:9:41:42


I know because I must know. It's my purpose. It's the reason I'm here. Same reason we're all here.

If there is one thing that Marathoners are good at it's finding out about stuff. Whether it's a level that
doesn't exist or a terminal that can't be read.

John Sumner <jsumner@ut.edu>, not content with sending in screenshots of the inaccessible room on
Fatum Iustum Stultorum, now sends in a film which shows the complete terminal message. John writes:

I took the liberty of splitting the M2 map (I assume that's okay since it is in the public domain)
into individual levels and then modifying Fatum so that the player begins in the secret room.
I used it with AlephOne (the April 17, 2011 build) and constructed a film showing the terminal in
action. I am attaching a film and the map file. Unfortunately its rather large because of the
sounds having to be merged with the terminal pics. Use the AlephOne application, the standard
M2 physics, shapes and sounds.

You can get John's film here (1.4MB .zip format).

If you don't have a copy of AlephOne go here. If you don't have the necessary M2 files go here.

Remember to choose the Fatum map under Preferences > Environment in order to play John's film.


June 17, 2011 (Friday)   552:8:39:7


There's a building. Inside this building there's a level where no elevator can go, and no stair can
reach. This level is filled with doors. These doors lead to many places, hidden places, but one door
is special. One door leads to the...

John Sumner <jsumner@ut.edu> writes concerning the inaccessible room on Fatum Iustum Stultorum:

Concerning the mystery terminal on Fatum Iustum Stultorum, I have attached a couple of pics of the
switch and terminal in that room. I took these using Forge and treating the map as a M∞ map.
Thus the textures are from M∞. According to Forge, the terminal message is the same as the
terminal the player runs across halfway through the level. That terminal is not the exit terminal,
so I wonder what Bungie originally had in mind for that secret room. It isn't shown in the pics I
provided, but there is a cut out section (behind where I am standing) in the wall where the player
can stand. The back face of that section is untextured (at least in M∞). Perhaps at one time that
cut out was meant to be a teleport pad back to the main part of the level?


The Marathon Spoiler Guide has this to say about the inaccessible room on Fatum Iustum Stultorum:

There exists a room on this level that is not obtainable via any non-cheating method. It contains a
couple of switches that play with the water level, but nothing else apparent.

Regarding the Spoiler Guide,   John writes:

There is only one switch in that room. It does not seem to change the water level. It only
activates the stairs. They are below water level initially and ascend up to the terminal.
It is hanging in the air when you enter. The stairs rise so the player can climb them and access it.


June 16, 2011 (Thursday)   553:8:56:45


Last month (May 29th) I drew attention to the fact that the XBox 360 version of Marathon 2 had an achievement
called Hats off to 819. You get this achievement by reading all the terminals in the game. Not an easy task
as you can imagine. At the time I asked... "How many terminals are there in Marathon 2?" "Did Freeverse
get their achievement right?"

Well... Bruce Morrison <bruce@freeverse.com> from Freeverse writes:

We did nail every terminal in the game for the achievement. We did it based on the Terminal ID.
So to get the achievement you also have to read the secret terminal on All Roads. Because we
require all the terminals, it is easy to miss the achievement. Levels like Ex Cathedra, and a few
hidden terminals are easy to miss.

Nailed them all eh? Even the one on Fatum Iustum Stultorum? ;-)

Here's an old alt.games.marathon post on the subject of the Fatum terminal. It seems that one person
managed to get there... and read it... but what did it reveal?

Know the answer... no it's better left unread... I don't have time to bleed read... then post it to the Story forum.


Bruce goes on to say:

When we built the Achievements, we tried to make Easy, Medium and very Hard Achievements.
We thought Hats Off would be in the Medium range, but it is clearly the most difficult achievement
to get.

The last breakdown of Achievements from Nov 2010 have only 8084 players getting the Hats Off
achievement. Where as the VidMaster achievement, designed to be the hardest has 8137.

Of course you can Co-Op both achievements, but being in a network state game makes it easy to
brute force your way through the VidMaster achievement. If I could do it all over again I'd make
it do level select, and give you a pistol and singleplayer only. Oh well.

Another interesting thing is, the Vidmaster Achievement requires you to play the vidmaster oath
(as re-interpretered by Bungie). The Never shoot where I could user grenades" was dropped as it's
kind of annoying to play that way. We found in early tests that people just dump their grenades
quickly, so they don't accidentally fire one bullet and ruin the achievement.

Also you have to "never ever leave a single Bob alive" which became if you exit a level and a Bob
is still alive, you don't get the achievement (they can teleport out and you are ok).

My Own Private Thermopylae has a lone single bob in a dead end hallway, everyone misses him.
What is he doing there?

Ah the mysterious lone Bob. Did anyone ask to see his I.D. or did you just shoot him?


June 15, 2011 (Wednesday)   554:7:41:34

"Because someone erased it from the Spoiler Guide."

Erased it?

"Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is. Go to an old Spoiler Guide, and find your secret you will.."

Who could have erased information from the Spoiler Guide? That's impossible, isn't it?

Dangerous and disturbing this puzzle is. Only a Jjaro could have erased that secret. But who and why,
harder to answer. Meditate on this, I will. May the Tru7h be with you.


Who and why indeed.

But there you have it. Earlier versions of the Spoiler Guide contained reference to the secret ammo
cache on Eat It, Vid Boi!. A simple web search of Google's alt.games.marathon group will find a
number of different versions of the Spoiler Guide (version 3.0x) which contain this text:

On the sides of the lava moat that surrounds the base, there are two
raised areas. Using a rocket launcher, you can boost yourself up onto
these areas, and pick up, er, another rocket launcher! and more ammo
as well. You can actually do this as well with some fancy grenade
hopping as well.

But the text was removed in the most recent (last) version of the Spoiler Guide. But why and by whom?

Think you know the answer... there is no secret ammo cache... blame Stosh... then post it to the Story forum.


Bruce Morrison <bruce@freeverse.com> sends in this image from Bungie's newly released iOS app.

Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from... blah.. blah... blah. ;-)


June 14, 2011 (Tuesday)   555:8:55:52

"I'm looking for a secret described to me by an old friend. I trust him. But the secret doesn't show
up on the Spoiler Guide."

Back in May (25th) I drew attention to the fact that the Marathon Spoiler Guide makes no reference
to the secret rocket launcher and flame thrower on Eat It, Vid Boi!. Yet an alt.games.marathon thread
(dating from December '97) suggests that the Spoiler Guide did make reference to a rocket launcher
on level 10 (Eat It, Vid Boi!).

"Lost a secret, Hamish has. How embarrassing... how embarrassing."

Digging further into the archives I came across more references to this secret weapons cache.
The first dates from Jan 9, 1996, just over a month after Marathon 2's release. It's by an old friend.
Over a year later, we have this thread which again discusses the secret weapons cache and the search
for an elusive teleporter to get to it.

"An interesting puzzle. Gather, younglings, around the Spoiler Guide. Clear your minds and
find Hamish's wayward secret, we will."

"There should be a secret here... but there isn't."

"Most interesting. Usenet post evidence remains, but the secret has disappeared. How can this be?
Now, younglings, in your mind, what is the first thing you see? An answer? A thought? Anyone?"

...then post it to the Story forum. :-)


June 12, 2011 (Sunday)   557:8:37:54


Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes concerning the Marathon 2 artwork at his Marathon Art Gallery
devoted to Craig Mullins:

The pics didn't come from Craig - in fact, he expressed surprise that I had a few of them.

Unfortunately, Claude cannot confirm that his Marathon 2 pics actually came from Bungie. His email records
don't offer any clues to their origin. However, it is interesting to note that the Marathon 2 desktop
pics from the Marathon Trilogy Box Set CD are exactly the same as the ones at Claude's site, right down
to the orientation of specific pieces.

Of course this doesn't help explain why Craig included this piece of artwork on his home page back
in 2005, calling it 'final-art'.

Was it the final version sent to Bungie? And is it a rendering of the Marathon marine?

Have a view... just ask Craig... no just ask Bungie... then post it to the Story forum.


Also on the Story forum:

A Jjaro-based alphabet.
Bungie's stewardship of Halo comes to an end... with a big party on 7th of the 7th month.


June 11, 2011 (Saturday)   558:11:22:1


My name IS Vic!

John Sumner <jsumner@ut.edu> writes:

Concerning the name Vic on today's story page, I know I will be showing my age, but if there was
ever a person that epitomized the essence of a Marathon marine, it would be the now deceased actor
Vic Morrow from the old television series Combat. As soon as I saw the name Vic, that's who first
popped into my mind. For those who don't remember, Vic Morrow tragically died a pretty gruesome
death while filming a scene from a movie he was starring in.

Details about Vic Morrow, the 60's TV series Combat, and his tragic death on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie.
can be found on Wikipedia . And here is a pic of Vic in his role as Sergeant Saunders in Combat.

 

Oddly the rendering in Craig's artwork has a remarkably similar pose. Coincidence?

Anyway the Story page wishes to sincerely apologize to all the Marathoners out there (and their sons)
who are called... Vic. As one person rightly pointed out... It's VICKS not VIC.

Vic is short for Victor and is of Latin origin, meaning "(one who) conquers".

I don't think you could come up with a better name for the Marathon Marine if you tried.

Have a view... my name IS Vic... I though it was Gheritt... then post it to the Story forum.


June 10, 2011 (Friday)   559:7:39:32


President People <PresidentPeople@verizon.net> in a Story forum post correctly notes that
the last post in this alt.games.marathon thread is by Craig Mullins. Want proof? Well here are
two other alt.games.marathon posts by Craig from around the same time.

President People's goes on to point out:

Second, the first image linked to yesterday was titled "VicOnARealBadDay_800.jpg". Yesterday I
thought it might be a hint at the Marine's name, but now it looks like it's referring to Vic from
MacAction. Looks like he had a pretty bad day.

Nice deduction. Could the title "VicOnARealBadDay" be a reference to Vic Lennard, editor of the now
defunct magazine MacAction? This particular image does appear to have been created for MacAction or
at least it was first used by MacAction. Perhaps Craig named it (or renamed it) after the editor.
Either that or the guy who created the Wallpaper image decided to call the Marathon marine... Vic.

Have an opinion... Vic is an ok name... Vic is what you rub on your chest... then post it to the Story forum.


June 9, 2011 (Thursday)   560:5:55:50


Two plus two equals...

...another mystery solved. The title of Craig's image file (macaction.jpeg) I posted yesterday jogged my old
brain cells sufficiently enough to make me go down to the archive vaults and pull out an old Mac magazine
from the UK called... MacAction. Some people might remember it. I had kept this particular issue because
it contained a review of Marathon 2. Well would you believe it... there was Craig's image in all its glory.

I took some photos (no scanner) and apologies for the quality, I didn't want to break the spine of the
magazine. So here is the front cover, the Marathon 2 review on Pages 36-37 and Pages 38-39.
A better shot of Page 36 which uses Craig's image in full.

Now given that "macaction.jpeg" is the original file name (I have no reason to believe that RuGGeR
would have changed it) then we might conclude that Craig created this more detailed version of
the M2 opening screen for MacAction, hence the file name. I guess Craig is the only one who can
confirm this... so if you are reading this in Hawaii, Craig... let us know. :-)

Finally, you gotta love the MacAction reviewer's comments regarding the Cons for Marathon 2, namely:

Occasionaly bewildering plot and mission objectives.

Well if he thought the plot of Marathon 2 was bewildering... wait till he got a load of Infinity. ;-)

MacAction didn't have a very long publication life as this alt.games.marathon thread confirms. And
if you look closely at the last post you might see something that is familiar to you, as if it were
from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...

Know what/who it is... then post it to the Story forum.


June 8, 2011 (Wednesday)   561:3:11:10


Always interesting when you do a Google search and find that it brings you back to a Story forum post.
This one told me two things: (a) I know nothing about digital artwork; and (b) a load of Craig Mullins'
Marathon artwork is no longer available on the web. While I can't do much about the first, I can do
something about the second. But more of that anon.

The Story forum post in question draws attention to a different version of the Lh'owon chapter screen
used in a Marathon wallpaper on Bungie's site. The link in the post is still active and takes you to an
image entitled VicOnARealBadDay_800.jpg.

This wallpaper (in a larger format) along with another are still available at Bungie's site here. The second
Marathon wallpaper is yet another different version of the Envy chapter screen from Infinity,
You can check this yourself by comparing the Wallpaper, with the ingame artwork and the artwork
at the Craig Mullins - Marathon Art Gallery. All three are different.

Now while the wallpapers are a nice size (1600 x 1200) they are plastered with logos. :-(

Now while I know nothing about digital artwork... I do know something about time travel archiving. :-)

Back in the nineteen hundreds, RuGGeR's Tavern on Hotline was the place to be, filled with battle scarred
marines swapping tales of their past glories and latest victories. It was also a place where you
could download some pretty rare Marathon stuff, in particular hi-res Craig Mullins originals that
James Pillar (aka RuGGeR) had got direct from Craig.

So if you want a wallpaper... and I mean a WALLPAPER... then you are in luck. Here is Craig's original
final artwork of the opening screen of Marathon 2... it's big... as in you'll need a bigger boat desktop.
1800 x 1400   2000 x 1600   2400 x 2000   2500 x 2250.

Now perhaps we will be able to answer that elusive question... just what is the marine holding? A dead Pfhor, S'pht, human...

Know the answer... got a view... Your Mom... don't care it's dead that's all that matters... then post it to the Story forum.


June 7, 2011 (Tuesday)   562:4:46:3


And the answer is...

... well I'll let John Sumner <jsumner@ut.edu> answer:

Just now read the question of May 27 concerning the number of Marathon 2 levels that had at least one
Flame Cyborg. I decided to first tax my memory of the levels by trying to figure out the number
without any help. Wow, was I wrong. Guess I need to play it again soon. I had initially guessed
just two levels, namely Sorry Don't Make It So and Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks. Those are
correct, but I was surprised (?) that the answer is indeed 7. Here are the levels, verified with
Forge (though not with playing).

What About Bob?
Nuke and Pave
The Hard Stuff Rules
Sorry Don't Make It So
My Own Private Thermopylae   (They are there, but I don't remember them)
Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks
Feel the Noise

As a side note, exactly two of those levels have a Mother of All Cyborg. Those are

Sorry Don't Make It So
Feel the Noise

Brings back dreadful memories!

And... no I did not know that the answer was 7 when I posed the question over a week ago.

So what? Well I bet there are Marathoners (old and new) out there who have never experienced this second
weapon feature of the major cyborg. Their homing bouncy green bombs yes... but not the flamethrower.
So now you know where to find them. So go on... get up close and personal, and feel the toasty warmth
of a cyborg's embrace. All screenshots welcome. ;-)


June 6, 2011 (Monday)   563:6:34:32


Just noticed an odd thing (actually several) on bungie.org's Craig Mullins - Marathon Art Gallery.
This little gem of a page contains the chapter artwork commissioned for Marathon 2 and Infinity, some early
uncommissioned Marathon artwork and a few Marathon-related pieces used in 3rd party scenarios.

Ok we've seen this at least 100 times... what's so odd about it? Well the Marathon 2 chapter artwork
is not the artwork you see in the game (which can be found in the Map file). None of the images contain
the Chapter titles. The Volunteers chapter screen is reversed. As is the S'pht'Kr chapter screen
(and slightly cropped). The latter does have a link to a non-cropped game version.

Less obvious is the Blake chapter screen. While this is still the darkened version without the helmet it
is not the cropped version used in the game.

So where did these images come from? Direct from Bungie or Craig himself? If the later, then did Craig
remove the Security Officer's helmet in the Blake chapter screen?

Notice any other differences... then post them to the Story forum.


June 4, 2011 (Saturday)   565:4:54:55


Came across an interesting old post on the Story forum which I originally missed.
It dates from 2007 and in it Fresnel <fresnel149@yahoo.com> writes:

Okay, I was going through some of the artwork of Craig Mullins, and I ran across the original image
of the Blake chapter screen. It's much lighter than the one that actually made it into Marathon, if
I remember it right. It shows a BOB, presumably Blake, sitting in a chair with some sort of table on
his lap, and a pistol in one hand. Looking at this image, I'm starting to think this isn't Blake.
First off, Blake was a mechanical engineer. Engineers wore blue jumpsuits. This BoB is wearing green.
Next, he has no ocular implant. And the grand finale... the Security Officer's trademark helmet is
sitting on the table next to him. Is this a picture of the Security Officer with his helmet off?

Now the link to the pic is dead. Craig Mullins' home page is still active but for some reason the
pics on his site take an age to load (maybe a Safari thing) so I can't find the image there.

Missing Marathon pic? Who you gonna call? Story Page archive. And sure enough here is the pic.

The pic, which was entitled 'final-art.jpg' on Craig's site back in March 2005, is a lighter, less cropped
affair than the one in the game and as Fresnel notes it contains the characteristic Security Officer's
helmet? Below you can see the image that was used for the Blake chapter screen.

Now if you lighten the Blake chapter screen you will see that the helmet was actually airbrushed out!

I will leave the last words to Fresnel:

It does make me wonder if the original intent of the picture was to depict the security officer,
and not Blake, but Bungie changed it for their own purposes.

Is this Craig's depiction of the Security Officer with his helmet off? Did Bungie removed the helmet
and turn him into Robert Blake? Will we ever know the tru7h?

Know the answer... have a view... can't handle the tru7h... then let us know on the Story forum.


June 3, 2011 (Friday)   566:7:31:2


Fixed a long overdue error on The Number Seven section. But the 'powers of seven' still holds true.
What is the significance of the repeating number sequence 174?


Also came across this old post on the Story forum. SiMuLaCrUm <wolf.claw@yahoo.com> asks:

I'm sure most of you know that little story that takes place in levels like Eat the Path or Where Monster
are in Dreams... well there may be an identity for this character. The first term in Eat the Path has
"renaldo.luigi.fxo.1" in the title page. Could that be this person(?)'s identity?

Interestingly enough this has never been discussed on the Story page. Does renaldo.luigi.fxo.1 have any significance
in relation to the Eat the Path terminals or in Marathon in general?

Share your views, thoughts, theories on the Story forum.


June 2, 2011 (Thursday)   567:1:35:43


Hmmm... 7.


June 1, 2011 (Wednesday)   568:6:35:22


Since the Marathon Trilogy Box Set is a hot subject at the moment here is the Marathon Trilogy Box Set Trivia Contest.
Safely preserved in the Story Page's 7GB archive and now reanimated... 14 years on. This actually dates from May 1997
and was sponsored by Bungie Software, MacCentral, and Inside Mac Games Magazine. Ten multiple choice
questions and if you got them all right you could have won a copy of the MTBS. It was only open to people
in the United States and Canada though. :(

Were you one of the lucky 20 winners?

What were the answers?

Well the questions aren't exactly hard (well maybe one) so if you think you're big time or just an aging security officer
whose neurons haven't totally broken down yet then have a go. Post your answers (1(d), 2(b), etc.) to the Story forum.

Looking through the possibly answers it wouldn't surprised me if Matt Soell had a hand in this. ;-)


May 31, 2011 (Tuesday)   569:7:12:39


If you had the last ever shrink wrapped copy of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set... would you open it?

Well Bob-B-Q is opening his shrink wrapped copy of the MTBS which he recently bought off
eBay for US$31.00. Now this may not be the very last copy... EVER... but there can't be many of these
still around unopened. It's just over 14 years ago that Bungie released this, their last Marathon-related
product... to date.

Anyway here's a YouTube video of an unboxing of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set.
The guy in the video is pretty enthused about the box itself and for its day it was very elaborate,
as were all the Marathon boxes. You might not agree with his comments regarding Marathon and Halo
though. But it's worth a look for that nostalgia kick. :-)


May 29, 2011 (Sunday)   571:5:37:22


I may be slow...

... but I get there. Not having played Marathon: Durandal for the Xbox 360 I didn't realize that
there was an achievement called Hats off to 819. You get this achievement by reading all the
terminals in Marathon 2. Not an easy feat as this poor fellow found out. ;-)

To help people get this achievement, Shadows Demise put together a video guide of where to find
each terminal. Looking at the video's it is obvious that you don't actually have to read every terminal
message but rather read the first message at the terminal. No going back to read those pesky second
messages on Eat It, Vid Boi!, for example. Perhaps that was deemed too difficult?

Anyway how many terminals are there in Marathon 2? Did Shadows Demise film them all? And did
Freeverse get their achievement right?

Know the answers... more than 7... achievements?... then post it to the Story forum.


May 28, 2011 (Saturday)


Well you discover something new about Marathon everyday! :)

Here's a little known oddity about the Marathon demo (yes the one dating back to the nineteen hundreds)
which was posted on the newsgroup comp.sys.mac.games. It concerns the level "Bigger Guns Nearby" and
the famous (infamous) compiler (S'pht) trap at the end. The one where the compilers drop down in front
and behind you. Yeah, you remember the place... your head probably still hurts. Anyway here is the
relevant bit from the post:

On the first ledge (the one nearest to the curved stairs), there's a compiler hiding up there
that never drops down in the actual game! (This was on Total Carnage) It just sits there,
waiting until you blast yourself up there before attacking...:)

Now if you're thinking this doesn't happen in the full game you'd be right. Compilers drop down from
three ledges in the full version. In the demo they drop down from only two. The compiler hidden
up on the first ledge never drops down. Did Jason Jones, the creator of this level, make the demo
level easy for us... creating a false sense of security... or is it something more?

Most likely they'll be somebody out there who will swear blind that they have NEVER SEEN a compiler
drop down from this first ledge in the full game. And they would be right. But should they go looking for it?

Oddly enough in the full game, Jason Jones put something else up on one of the ledges. Of course,
there is no way to see it unless you cheat. But it does prove that there were still cowboy builders
in the twenty-fifth century. What's up there?

Know the answers... hang on I'll ask my Dad... leave me alone my head STILL hurts... then post it to the Story forum.


May 27, 2011 (Friday)


More Marathon 2 Preview nostalgia. Here are two alt.games.marathon posts from Claude Errera dating
from July and August 1995. The first is an intriguing post about an observation he made
on Waterloo Waterpark. I don't recall trying this out but you might have. If you haven't well you
might try it and post your observation on the Story forum.

His second post jogged my memory about a little known feature of the cyborg tanks.
The 'major' variety that is, the ones with the green guided bouncing bombs. They are quite rare in
Marathon 2 so you may have missed this extra addition to their arsenal. Of course you have to let them
get up real close and personal to find out. ;-)

On how many Marathon 2 levels will you find this particular nasty creation?
Know the answer... hazard a guess... it must be 7... then post it to the Story forum.


May 26, 2011 (Thursday)


Another Blast from the Past. Came across this old comp.sys.mac.games post about the Marathon 2 Preview from
Eggert Thorlacius (Marathon Cheater fame). In the post, which dates from Aug '95, Eggert writes:

Here is version 3.0 of the Marathon Cheater. It now works with the Sneak
Preview of Marathon 2: Durandal, that has been floating around recently.
Through an amazing feat of engineering, it still works with the original
Marathon.

Now it remains to be seen if anyone can still decode this and get it running. If you do you
might post the other weapon graphics and anything else interesting buried in the Preview.


Also... an iOS app to count down Marathon's 18th birthday... sort of.


May 25, 2011 (Wednesday)   Towel Day


A few days ago we mentioned that the Marathon Spoiler Guide makes no reference to the
secret rocket launcher and flame thrower on Eat It, Vid Boi!. Finding this omission strangely
odd... I posed the question - "Was this just an oversight or is this a little known secret?"

Never one to leave a mystery unsolved I did some digging in the Story Page archive and came across an
alt.games.marathon post (dating from December '97) in which Todd Keating describes how to reach these
secret weapons using an assault rifle. Now the really odd thing about this post is the original posted
question. Namely:

Okay, I'm on level 10. The "Spoiler Guide" talks about using my rocket
launcher- ?! what rocket launcher? Haven't seen one yet - did I miss it?

Now I am not aware of any other "Spoiler Guide" apart from the Marathon Spoiler Guide (you may know different)
and the current Spoiler Guide makes no reference to a rocket launcher on level 10 (Eat It, Vid Boi!).
So what's up with this December 1997 post?

Know the answer... can't remember that far back but I'll chance a guess... wasn't born in '97... then share it on the Story forum.


May 24, 2011 (Tuesday)


Added a new section for all the information we have on the Marathon 2 Preview, including the
recent comprehensive walkthrough by Bob-B-Q. A few new things as well. Check the
Marathon 2 Preview section for details.


May 22, 2011 (Sunday)


Quick update

Curiouser and Curiouser...

Just when you thought that Marathon was all about killing aliens... along comes Dr John Sumner and he tells us...

Well, I'll let him explain.

Has to be one of the fastest answers to a Story page question... ever. :-)


The mystery of the missing 2nd messages in the Marathon 2 Preview solved!

Yesterday, Bob-B-Q pointed out in a Story forum post that he couldn't get Durandal's
second message from the first terminal on BaseDestruction to display. Same with the second S'pht
history terminal message. They do exist so why wouldn't they display?

Thanks to Dr. John Sumner <jsumner@ut.edu>, Vidmaster Emeritus, we now have the answer. As
John points out you have to clear out the final room acoss the lava. Just like a Vidmaster... kill all aliens! :-)

Bob-B-Q went back and sure enough got those two 2nd messages to display, one complete with
a missing graphic. Whatever happened to pic 1503?

Of course this begs the question do you have to kill everything on this level for this to happen or
is it only the Pfhor in the final room? What happens if you leave just one Pfhor alive in the final
room? How sensitive is the Marathon 2 engine to such variations?

Up for the challenge, know the answer, can't be bother but I'll take a guess anyway... then post it to the Story forum.


May 21, 2011 (Saturday)


Bob-B-Q <pwrofs7n@roadrunner.com> completes his walkthrough of the Marathon 2 Preview.
This time he takes on BaseDestruction, yes all one word. Flippin' switches... popping bugs... and readin' terminals,
the Bob-B-Q way. Oh and don't forget... nade grabbin'. ;-)

His walkthough does raise some interesting questions. Why the name BaseDestruction? Yes it was changed
in the demo and final game but does it have any special meaning? Bob-B-Q didn't get the famous
GET INTO THE TOWER! 2nd message on the first terminal. Oversight or something more?

Lastly, in the full game at the start of this level Durandal teleports us in a rocket launcher and
a flame thrower. Unfortunately he gets his co-ordinates mixed-up and they end up on a high ledge. Thanks
Durandal! You need to grenade climb to reach them. Oddly the Marathon's Spoiler Guide makes no
reference to this secret. Was this just an oversight or is this a little known secret?

Know the answer, share your thoughts, scratch that itch... on the Story forum.


May 17, 2011 (Tuesday)


Bob-B-Q <pwrofs7n@roadrunner.com> continues his walkthrough of the Marathon 2 Preview on the
Story forum. Check out his account of the level What! About! Bob!. DAKKA, POMF, dry-cell batteries bundled
in gaffer tape and a missing secret level. All the things you would expect in a preview of a game. ;-)

The last time we had a walkthrough like this was when Simon 'Squeaky' Brownlee was taking us on
a guided tour of the Win 95 version of Marathon 2 and identifying the changes from the Mac version.
Unfortunately he never completed it. :(

Perhaps someone is up for the challenge of picking up where Squeaky left off back in July 1997?


May 14, 2011 (Saturday)


Bob-B-Q <pwrofs7n@roadrunner.com> in a Story forum post begins his walkthrough of the Marathon 2 Preview.
Loads of screenshots and pretty exhaustive. Go re-live the nostalgia.

One interesting point noted by Bob-B-Q in his walkthrough is that the maps in the terminals don't display correctly.
There are odd gaps in the map display, see example below.


While this 'realtime' mapping worked in M1 it appears broken in the M2 Preview. Bob-B-Q
suggests that this may be reason while it was ultimately dropped in favour of graphic images.
This problem seems to be similar to the one in Aleph One as noted by treellama in this Story forum post.


May 13, 2011 (Friday)   The dreaming God awakes...


Quick update

WARNING: CORE OS (AF44+2DEB) MOD DATE LATER THAN CURRENT DATE/TIME

It appears that the version of the Marathon 2 Preview that Lawstiker found has an application file which
has a modification date later than the original release date. Thus it may have been changed. I have therefore
uploaded a fresh copy from The Disc. You can it get here (.zip format, 10.9MB).


Friday 13th... unlucky for some... but if you're looking for a copy of that elusive Marathon 2 Preview
then it's your lucky day. Lawstiker <lawstiker@gmail.com> in a Story fourm post managed to track
one down in a long forgotten ftp archive. Nice one. It won't work with Aleph One though, so you are
going to have to find an old Mac or use Sheepshaver or Basilisk II to run it.

If you want to know more about the Marathon 2 Preview then check the Blasts from the Past section.
The terminal text is also slightly different from the Demo and full version of the game.


May 12, 2011 (Thursday)


Do you know what kind of hat I'm wearing?

A party hat; and unlike Tycho we all get one... as today is the tenth anniversary of the Marathon's Story Page Forum.

Check the What's New section on May 12, 2001 for details of how it all began.


May 11, 2011 (Wednesday)


On the Story forum recently:

Marathon references abound in... Freeverse's Warpgate
What's in a Name... Crimson
Marathon humor, Tim... but not as we know it.


May 10, 2011 (Tuesday)


Bruce Morrison <bruce@freeverse.com> sends in some interesting information about Super Marathon.
Missing pattern buffers and a flechette in Marathon 2? Yes... a flechette.
See the Blasts from the Past section for details.


May 9, 2011 (Monday)


In a Story forum post Matt Soell (formerly of Bungie Software now Wideload Games) confirms
that Robert McLees drew the eight cartoon heads in the Marathon 2 manual (page 23).

Matt writes:

Mr. McLees drew 'em, so it's not a matter of opinion. Ryan Martell it is/was - although in Robt's
rendering he looks more like a used car salesman, or perhaps a televangelist. Then again, Greg
looks like a skankin' Rasta, Mark looks like Fred Flintstone, and I look like some kind of
degenerate vagabond. Perhaps Robt depicted our true selves, not the masks we present in polite
society.

So the seventh head is Ryan Martell.

Though it has an eerie resemblance to former Apple Game Evangelist Eric Klein who joined Bungie in late 1995.


May 8, 2011 (Sunday)


Responding to treellama's comment yesterday that the Marathon: Durandal XBLA survival level 'Sonic Electronic Ball Breakers'
"looks like it was going to be a bigger map." Michael Watson <mikey-san@bungie.org>
writes:

treelama is right: Sonic Electronic Ball Breakers was going to be larger. i quickly came to the
realization that a smaller, tighter map made for better games of survival, so i scrapped ideas
for additional architecture. as you might guess, then, Sonic Electronic was the first completed
of the four that were shipped.


May 7, 2011 (Saturday)


treellama <wolfy@treellama.org> in a Story forum post documents the map writing on the
Marathon: Durandal Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) survival levels. Two days ago Michael Watson revealed
that he and others at Freeverse had "etched things into the map files". Thanks to treellama we now know what they are.
I've added these to the Map Writing section.


If you want to know more about this port of Marathon 2 to the Xbox then you can check Mark "HaveBlue" Levin's
Gamasutra postmortem of the game. In his article you can find out what went right and what went wrong.
Interesting to note that the budget for the project was $300,000 and took 5 developers 10 months to complete.

There is also a Bungie interview with Freeverse's Bruce "Hippieman" Morrison which provides details about
why Marathon 2 was chosen to port rather than the first game, along with what's different about
Marathon: Durandal on Xbox Live Arcade. Bruce also started a walkthrough for the Xbox version
which included many sceenshots. You can download it from Freeverse's site here (PDF format, 19.2MB).
Unfortunately it's incomplete, only going as far as Six Thousand Feet Under. Nevertheless it is nicely laid out.

Freeverse's site has a specific Marathon: Durandal XBLA page. In addition to Marathon 2 you can get
two Netmap Packs (Total Carnage and Jjaro) which add 24 of the best multiplayer levels from Marathon
and Marathon: Infinity, and introduce the Jjaro texture set to Marathon 2.

Lastly, the Story forum has a long thread on the subject started by Mark Levin back in July 2007.

Well that's enough reading for today. ;-)


May 6, 2011 (Friday)


Blast from the Past.

Prompted by a Story forum post I have added the Bungie interview from Chapter 13 of the Official
Strategy Guide for Marathon. Tuncer Deniz, who wrote the Strategy Guide, interviewed Bungie President
Alexander Seropian and Lead Programmer Jason Jones shortly after Marathon's release.

Learn about the built-in cheat codes, the single biggest mistake people make during network play,
Jason's network-specific tricks and why Marathon's ending really did leave a lot of room for
something else to happen.

Check the Blasts from the Past section for the full interview.


May 5, 2011 (Thursday)


Michael Watson <mikey-san@bungie.org> long time Marathon fan and one of the people who worked
on Marathon: Durandal for the Xbox 360 writes to point out "that there are
map notations buried in the [Xbox 360] survival maps"
.

[Xbox 360] survival maps? Well the Xbox Live version of Marathon 2 has a game mode called Survival
where the player is given a large amount of weapons and ammo and must defeat endless waves of enemies,
earning points for effectiveness and taking minimal damage, with high scores shared over Xbox Live.

Michael goes on to write:

when i was building the new maps for the survival mode, i etched things into the map files. i can't
remember what, though. (and one wasn't mine, so i'm really not sure what's written on it. heh.)

the fun part is that i have no idea how you'd even find out. you have to rip the data off the Xbox
and figure out how to read the map data. i don't know how we stored the map data for the new version.
the survival maps were made in forge (actually in classic mac os!) but i don't know how they were
merged or packed into the game data payload.

sounds like a fun adventure for a couple of dedicated fans. heh.

If you are up for the challenge then post your findings to the Story forum. :-)



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