(May-June 1997)


June 30, 1997
Mike Watson <Patientnul@aol.com> writes concerning about the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

June 29, 1997
Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes concerning the 15 species of aliens and Bungie's early Marathon ad. See the Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Here's an interesting one. Apparently in the Win95 version of Marathon 2 the letters PPS appear along with FPS when you employ the key code for displaying frame rates. The value for PPS appears to remain static at 33 regardless of changing FPS. Anybody know what PPS stands for? A curious PC mind wants to know.

Every wondered who Bungie's elusive Webmaster is? Wonder no longer. Thanks to Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> the individual's true identity has been revealed. Jason Regier (Bungie Software) was overheard on IRC #marathon saying:

JRegier: No prob... Jay Barry is pretty much our website/network guy.

So there you have it. Thanks to Scott for this little piece IRC gossip. Remember folks... there are no secrets on the net... well... maybe just a few. ;-)

June 28, 1997
Yeah this is the one! Many thanks to Tyler Loch <tylerl@geocities.com> for sending in Bungie's Autopsy Ad for Marathon Infinity. See the Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

The Story page is still looking for Bungie's Marathon Magazine ads. So if you find one and can scan it in please send it to the page. Thanks.

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes concerning the 15 species of aliens and Bungie's early Marathon ad. See the Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Will Craig <chill@sunset.net> writes:

Yes, I'm going to ruin, well maybe not ruin, another secret. I read Finn Smith's post to alt.games.marathon said all that text that looks like an irc transcript was in the source of the file. Well, it is. But you don't need to look at the source. Just open up that frame, and scroll down as far as you can. And there it is, right in web page, not hidden at all.The whole irc transcript.

June 27, 1997
Finn Smith <finn@gwi.net> has an interesting post on alt.games.marathon concerning some secret stuff on Double Aught's new look Infinity page at http://www.doubleaught.com/Infinity/. But then again the Story page did say there might be some secrets hidden on that page 'seven' days ago. Afterall most of the other versions of Double Aught's web site had hidden secrets. Did you find them?

Bungie are looking for an experienced freelance web designer. Check out their Get A Job! page. One wonders if they will be looking for an annalist, by the name of Croaker, for the upcoming Myth: The Fallen Lords. ;-)

Edwin ten Dam <etd@st-andrews.ac.uk> writes:

Now it's the Bungie logo popping up:

Have a look at :

http://www.marathoncomputer.com/

That's right MARATHON computers, a company making rack-mountable PowerMacintosh clones.

Anyway, I've attached their logo, and doesn't it look suspiciously like Bungie's? Another step on their way to world domination.

Can you spot the similarity?

June 26, 1997
Another Marathon Ad from Chad Poland <proedge@mindspring.com>. It's a large one. See the Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

The Story page is still looking for old Marathon Ads. Most notably the Autopsy Report Ad for Infinity mentioned in the What's New section way back in June 6, 1996. If you can get a scan of this please send it in.

June 25, 1997
Jim Mitchell <BobJam@aol.com> sends in a screenshot of Muller's famous Alien Pipes. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

June 22, 1997
Another mystery bites the dust. Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com>, Chadd Nervig <AstroNine@aol.com>, and Will Craig <chill@sunset.net> all point out that the the "monster growling" sound found in Anvil by Neil Schafer is in fact a distorted "wow" sound in the resource fork of the Sound control panel. It's not Marathon or Anvil related. Sorry.

June 21, 1997
Neil Schafer <robert_blake@geocities.com> writes:

I was messing around with the sound files in Anvil today and I discovered something weird. I used the "Import from any file" from the "Sound" menu and opened up my Sound application in my Control Panels folder. When I did so, the Anvil sound editor created a new sound that sounded like some monster growling. I have no idea where this sound came from because it was never previously on my computer!!

I think it's a hidden sound or something.

Neil provides the details on how to get this sound

1. Open Anvil 1.0.2

2. Select Open from the File menu(or push command-O)

3. Open the sounds file from Marathon Inf.

4. In the window that pops up, select "Sound Class: Fighter Activate"

5. From the Sound Menu, select "Import From Any File"

6. Open the "Sound" control panel in the control panels folder inside your system folder.

7. A sound that says "#2(length 10902)(new)" SHOULD pop up in the sounds window of Anvil.

Yeah 'seven' steps... right! ;-)

June 20, 1997
Double Aught Software, the creators of the Marathon Infinity scenario, have a new look Infinity page at http://www.doubleaught.com/Infinity/. In fact their whole site is in the process of being updated. Check it out... maybe some Marathon secrets hidden in there. ;-)

The Marathon level "Never Burn Money" holds a number of mysteries, most notably Gheritt White and the JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI map writing, which incidently is the only explicit link between the original Marathon and Pathways Into Darkness. Greg Kirkpatrick, the creator of this level, talks about his map:

This map was the first in an attempt to make a really big map. The idea was to create an area that felt like a real space on the ship. To give the feeling of some control rooms, something that would actually get used by someone. It also had an extremely difficult secret area that hid a story that I wrote while working on Marathon. I'd have to say that looking back on the whole thing, I'm much more happy with the level than with the Gherrit White story, although I think the story added quite a bit of mystery to those who found it.

Yes indeed getting to the mysterious Gheritt White terminal is not for the faint hearted and requires some judicious wall climbing in the Deprivation Chamber. But what about the level name itself - "Never Burn Money", what does it mean and what inspired it?

Angus McIntyre <angus@pobox.com> thinks he may have found the answer. Angus writes:

Could this be a reference to the K Foundation's much-publicised destruction of a million pounds in banknotes? Information about the K Foundation is at:

http://jumper.mcc.ac.uk/~ttl/KLF/

and the poster about the 'K Foundation burn a million quid' event is at:

http://jumper.mcc.ac.uk/~ttl/KLF/Images/kfposter.jpg

I could well believe in the K Foundation as the kind of group that someone at Bungie might like, particularly since the K Foundation themselves seem to be fairly well-rooted in SF culture; they were also known as the Timelords (Doctor Who, obviously), and the Justified Ancients of MuMu (Illuminatus). Incidentally, it might be worth looking for Illuminatus influences in Marathon; the obsession with '7' reminds me of the Law of Five in Illuminatus, and some of the humour could fit quite well.

The K Foundation burnt their money on the 23rd August 1994, some two weeks after Boston Macworld Expo... you know... the famous "we're waiting for the boxes" one... AAARRGGGHHH... I swore I wouldn't mention that again... ;-)

June 19, 1997
I CAN'T SEE THE ALIENS! Can you make them bigger? err... OK.

Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> writes concerning the strange wavy purple markings on the Juggernaut in Bungie's early Marathon ad and suggests that they may have been used at one stage to denote major and minor Juggernauts.

Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> writes:

On page 12 of the Marathon Manual, there is a secret message, yes? There is a secret message no. Well there may be, But the DMUKYA thing just isn't there. It says DMUYKA. Don't make us your kick ass? Ok...

DOH!... could this be another screw up on the Story page or has Durandal been at it again. ;-)

June 18, 1997
Vernon Legakis <Tauceti@cabrillo.campus.mci.net> writes:

I was watching the Bungie home video on the trilogy disk the other night and I couldn't help but notice an interesting little section. Tuncer is filming Jason Jones playing a solo game of Marathon. Jason opens a door, and recharges. While he's recharging, I notice Jason's fingers go to the middle of the keyboard, away from the normal keypad and trigger keys. He then starts typing something and I hear the sound of the marine picking stuff up. Possibly the cheat codes in action?

Hehehe... I wonder which one it was? But would Jason Jones CHEAT??? ;-)

Julian Chin <WmChin@aol.com> writes:

ACME station (the vidmasters hell) appears as level 7 in the real game and as level 3 in the demo. Coincidence? Hmmm...

Matthew Colville <mcolville@earthlink.net> writes concerning the meaning of the latin level name "Habe Quiddam". See the Latin in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Kim Graff <graff@islandnet.com> writes concerning the name Robert Blake. See the Robert Blake section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

June 17, 1997
Jim Mitchell <BobJam@aol.com> writes concerning the Muller conspiracy. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

June 16, 1997
13 aliens or 15? Added an early Marathon ad to Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... . And yes we have another mystery.

June 15, 1997
Jason Harper <76703.4222@compuserve.com> writes:

It didn't look like anyone was going to respond to my request for hi-res scans of the sticker barcodes, so I made another attempt at decoding them by hand. I was successful this time, once I realized that there was some unnecessary space between some of the barcode characters. Here are the results:

On the U.E.S.C Marathon sticker:

LEELA SHIP OPERATIONS

On the Celer Manus Dei sticker:

DURANDAL AUTONOMOUS FUNCTIONS

On the Cr'etz'ih sticker:

TYCHO SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

I have to say I'm disappointed... I was hoping for some profound revelation, not info that we've all known since the second level of the original Marathon.

Of perhaps more interest is the barcode on the original Marathon sticker. I can't find mine anywhere, but there is a scanned version in the Blasts From The Past section here. The scan wasn't done at a high enough resolution to be quite readable: notice that there are some areas where the bars have blurred together. However, by making some guesses about what's actually in the blurred areas, I was able to produce a self-consistent decoding of the message. As with the Trilogy stickers, it's in Code 39 without the required start/stop characters. Code 39 has a fair amount of redundancy in it, and the decoded characters make sense together, so I'm fairly confident that my result is accurate. It is:

DOOMSUCKS

Too cool Jason... too cool! MARATHON RULES... but we all knew that. ;-)

Peter Hessler <geekboy@mistic.net> writes:

I found it.....the secret code page.....i found all SEVEN of your secret pages.....MUHAHA! nice...verry nice.....(btw persistance pays off.....then you shoot your way in...)

June 13, 1997
John Bousfield <bousfields@cityscape.co.uk> writes:

If you look carefully at page 12 of the Marathon (1) manual, you will notice, that on the 'The Marathon Interface' title image it says "DMUKYA" (Don't Make Us Kick Your Ass). Another little message left to us by Bungie.

Yup... as Matt Soell (Bungie Software) said:

Hide little messages in all sorts of unusual places? Who, us?

June 12, 1997
Angus McIntyre <angus@pobox.com> writes concerning the acronym UESG. See the UESC/UESG section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Angus also points out that there are a number of similarities between the Bob speech in Infinity and lines from the Aliens Trilogy, most notably Aliens. But goes on to say:

On the other hand, I believe that "I've got one on me ... aaaaahh!" was said by one of the X-Wing pilots in "Star Wars".

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes concerning Angus's point about the number 459.231 from the S'pht'Kr terminal being similar to the expansion of pi, i.e. 3.141592, apart from a missing 1:

indeed, if Bungie HAD included the '1', it would all add down to 25, which is 7, you know.

June 11, 1997
Is the Craig Mullins artwork on the inside of the Trilogy CD envelope old work from his Marathon 2 or Infinity days or is it more recent? Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> replies:

It is more recent...done specifically for the Box Set, I believe.

Would Bungie got to the trouble of creating bar codes on their Marathon stickers that actually contained text when decoded? Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> replies:

Hide little messages in all sorts of unusual places? Who, us?

Angus McIntyre <angus@pobox.com> writes:

The S'pht'Kr terminal says:
Mark the time from our Exodus, Every 459.231 rotations.
A rather arbitrary number, surely. I can't even see any way of turning it into seven. But how about rearranging the digits so that the last two are moved to the front? It *almost* matches the first few digits of the expansion of pi, i.e. 3.141592. I suspect that's what Bungie intended, but maybe they dropped a '1' by mistake.

June 10, 1997
Vernon Legakis <Tauceti@cabrillo.campus.mci.net> writes:

I was watching the famous Anime (Japanase animation) AKIRA at a friend's house today and I noticed something on one of the computer terminals some doctor guy was working at: There it was...the Marathon symbol. It wasn't *exact*, but I pretty much jumped out of my seat when I saw it. I think its the part when the Colonel and his doctor assistant open up the frozen AKIRA project control room.

If anybody has a pic from this part of the film showing the Marathon-like symbol please send it in and I'll add it to the That Marathon Symbol page.

Angus McIntyre <angus@pobox.com> writes concerning a line spoken by Tfear on "One thousand thousand slimy things" (Terminal 3)

... your kind will serve well the needs of the Hindmost Creche. The Hindmost is of an intelligence so vast, it ... appears insane.

Angus points out:

The Hindmost is the name of the leader of the Puppeteers (oooh, now there's a significant name) in Larry Niven's "Known Space" series, particularly "Ringworld". The Hindmost him/her/itself wasn't insane, but Nessus, the Hindmost's consort, *was*. A Puppeteer, by the way, was so-called because it looked like "a headless three-legged centaur wearing two Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent puppets on its hands", but as a race they indulged in extensive manipulation of all intelligent species that they encountered. There's some grounds for suspecting a Niven influence on Bungie; Niven and Pournelle's "Legacy of Heorot" has acquatic monsters called Grendels (I think that's already been pointed out extensively).

Yes indeed. And as Greg Kirkpatrick has already pointed out one of his influences was the work of Larry Niven.

June 9, 1997
Jason Harper <76703.4222@compuserve.com> writes concerning the bar codes on the Marathon stickers:

They are unfortunately not valid barcodes, and therefore cannot actually be scanned, since they lack the required start & stop codes at the ends. However, there's enough information there to determine that they use Code 39, a common alphanumeric barcode format, so I tried decoding them by hand. I was only able to get a few characters from each sticker before hopelessly losing my place, but what I got certainly looks interesting:
"LEELA "
"DURANDA"
"TYCHO "
These are nowhere near complete - the shortest of the three seems to have about 20 characters total.

Unfortunately, I don't have the equipment to easily do anything further with the barcodes. If there's anyone out there with a hi-res flatbed scanner (I think you'll need at least 1200 DPI true resolution), here's how you could help: scan the stickers in B&W at your highest resolution, clip out just the barcodes (actually, a thin strip through the middle of the codes would be sufficient), and mail them to me. I can draw in the missing start/stop code bars, print them out, and scan them with my barcode reader.

Would Bungie really go to all this trouble. Jason replies:

It's not like Bungie went to any trouble: all that's needed is to type in some text and then apply a barcode font to it. I've seen a few freeware fonts for the Code 39 format that was used, so I assume they just used one of those. The only problem with using fonts is that the font has no way of enforcing any particular layout requirements of the barcode format, such as the start/stop characters that were left out in this case. No barcode reader will work without the start/stop codes, since they are how the reader distinguishes among the various barcode formats (the barcode wand I have recognizes 8 different formats, for example).

Crazy stuff. Then again I always did say the bar code on the original Marathon sticker revealed the true identity of the player.

June 8, 1997
Michael Dawe <dawe@ny.frontiercomm.net> writes concerning the origin of Durandal's name. See the Durandal (part 2) section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tj.edu.inter.net> writes concerning the poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T. S. Eliot (1917) pointing out that certain parts are very similar to Durandal's ravings in Marathon. Gabe writes:

i refer you to the fourth and sixth stanzas...

(from the fourth)

"There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,

...

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea."

(and from the sixth)

"Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse."

Yes strangely familiar, as if it were from an old dream, but I can't exactly remember...

June 7, 1997
Brendan Ebner <bebner@dns.ida.net> writes concerning the name on the Infinity sticker:

In the terminal 3 2nd message on Rise Robot Rise, it mentions the word cr'etz'ih. If you read the text then you can see that it refers to the Pfhor ship that you are on.

Too cool Brendan. :-)

Charles S. writes:

I found your cheat codes page!

It is found in the         part of         under         of        

Am I the first one???

Nope. One of three now... though only two found it the Marathon way!

June 6, 1997
Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@mail.erskine.edu> points out that at the very end of the Trilogy manual it says something very intriguing:

Final Thoughts
Is this the end? I guess so. That's too
bad. But it's only the beginning. Really?
Sure, what the hell. Stop it! Is that
really it? I mean, really it? Wait and see...

Sam Morris <deltaV@compuserve.com> writes concerning the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

June 5, 1997
Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@mail.erskine.edu> writes concerning the fabled Marathon Cheat Codes page:

Well you'll be happy to know that after many long sessions of looking for these I eliminated all of everything else except for the...

Jimmy also sends in a film demonstrating the last(?) surviving cheat code in action. See the Marathon Cheat Codes section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details. That's of course if you can find it. It's a secret!

June 4, 1997
Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@mail.erskine.edu> asked Randy Reddig, the creator of the level "Aye Mak Sicur", about the mysterious appearance of the third Juggernaut. This was Randy's reply:

"it -is- a fluke. i haven't been able to reproduce it myself. the only thing i can think of is an error in marathon's collision detection dealing with transparent & solid sides. they only stop characters when there is an elevation change in the upwards direction."

Interesting to note that it is possible to punch this third Juggernaut if it gets really close to the apparent force field - you can actually hear the hits. The Jug will also notice you for a few seconds and attack. Yet it will not come into the space station at this stage. If you know how to get the Jug into the station as some films have shown please let me know.

David Cornwell <goldragonne@earthlink.net> and Christopher Norehad <cnorehad@gonzaga.edu> both wonder if the bar codes on the Marathon stickers actually work.

While I'm not sure about these new bar codes the one on the original sticker revealed the true identity of the player. ;-)

June 3, 1997
Cheat codes? Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> gets a reply from The Man:

uhhh.... no codes, I swear... like, if there were some I'd tell you. Really, I would.

------------------------------------
Alexander Seropian
Bungie Software Products Corporation
www.bungie.com

David Cornwell <goldragonne@earthlink.net> writes concerning the name on the Infinity sticker:

That "Cr'etz'ih" thing is equally mysterious. Perhaps it's a Pfhor trying to say "pizza". Nah. It does sound hauntingly familiar, though. I could swear I've heard it before...

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

June 1, 1997
Alexander Rocha <Afr9@aol.com> writes concerning the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Riccardo Poli <bpoli@mbox.vol.it> also writes concerning the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Chadd Nervig <AstroNine@aol.com> writes:

An interesting thing about Aye Mak Sicur. If you take off 'k ' and make SimpleText say it, it sounds like "I Massacre!" :-)

Concerning the origin of this level name Chris Geisel <chrisg@doubleaught.com> of Double Aught Software wrote:

Aye Mak Sicur. No matter how you spell it, this is the motto of the Kirkpatrick clan: I Make Sure. According to the family coat of arms, the Kirkpatrick claim to fame is stabbing one of Robert the Bruce's enemies in back after the Bruce wounded him in a duel. The miscreant was foolishly hiding in a church, but the Kirkpatrick went inside and 'Made Sure' he was dead. As many people know, this map is based on Phfactory, the map that Ydnar has been working on since the dawn of time. In fact, work on this map spanned the entire development of the game, right up until the last moment when Ydnar was putting the finishing touches on it. It's one polygon short of the 1024 Marathon limit.

As you can see there is nothing sacred to the Kirkpatrick clan... massacring helpless people in churches no less... now the Sinclair clan is another story altogether... ;-)

Commit thy work to God... he'll sort the dead!

May 30, 1997
Ilkka Arnkil <ilkka.arnkil@pp.inet.fi> writes concerning the Pfhor scoutship. See The Pfhor Ship section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

May 29, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes to say that the Bungie Boards on AOL are now gone, even the ones buried deep inside MGM are gone... all gone. The closure of the Marathon universe has begun. And yet,there remains time to create, to create, and escape.

Miles Jacob <Orborborb@aol.com> goes wild with the sevens. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

And if you thought that was bad... wait to you see what Chadd Nervig <AstroNine@aol.com> comes up with. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Rampancy knows no bounds. ;-)

May 28, 1997
Nick Lewis <nilness@inlink.com< writes to say that the "Thing What Kicks" Spoiler page has moved to a new URL at http://www.inlink.com/~nilness/ThingSpoiler/. You should adjust your bookmarks accordingly. Great page... hopefully we will see more Spoiler Guides with this format.

Cheat codes... cheat codes... everybody wants the cheat codes... but what about the activation code? Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> wrote to Bungie asking about the Marathon activation code:

Ever going to let slip the Marathon 1 activating code for the cheats? After all, they're still in there, and you're finished with Marathon 1 anyway, aren't you? Besides, if you don't, some aspiring hacker/programmer might try to find it and botch the job, or create some super virus that will keep putting phf in front of every word. :)


Here are some of the replies:

Since there is no 'activating code,' this is not possible.

-Matt


There is no activation code for the cheats in M1. In fact, there are none at all - in any of our games.

-Jonas


Interesting - I'm positive there is no "activating code" for the cheats. Undoubtedly the cheats in the beta versions are still in the final code somewhere, but also undoubtedly they couldn't work with the game as it is. They also didn't work in the last 5 or so beta builds, because by then we were close enough to final that we had to test it without cheats. So in order to "activate" the cheats, one would need the source code from the middle of the project (I'd be surprised if any of the programmers still have it), and compile a build from that.

So, bring on the hackers and phf viruses - as I understand it, activating the cheats would be like activating the genes for gills that are still floating around in our genetic code; even if you could find them and activate them, they wouldn't come out right on a person's body.

Thanks,
Doug

So there you have it from the fish... err... horse's mouth. Of course the Marathon Cheat Codes page has all the details.

Graeme Shaw <lludyt@bc.sympatico.ca> writes concerning the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

May 27, 1997
The MacCentral Marathon Trivia Competition winners have been announced. Some familar names in there. As well as Jimmy Mitchell's mum! Way to go Mrs. Mitchell. ;-)

Brent Thompson <ddt1198@gte.ne> writes:

I plugged in some S'pht names into simple text and found some pronounciations:

Yrro = yewrow
S'pht = No Pronounciation
Pthia = theaa
W'rkncacnter = you'll have to find out for yourself
Lh'owon = lhowin
K'lia = kleaa
Y'loa = eye-low
T'jia = teaa

Back in Mar 19, 1997 Nicholas Head <N.Head@unsw.edu.au> described the appearance of a third Juggernaut on "Aye Mak Sicur". This Juggernaut when it first teleports in is clearly outside the Jjaro space station behind a force field and when you play the level this is where it normally stays. But Nicholas sent in a film showing the Juggernaut first appearing outside the Jjaro space station and then later on INSIDE the space station. How did it get through the force field? Was it a fluke? Now Michio Hashimoto <miha@st.rim.or.jp>, better known as Miha, has a film of "Aye Mak Sicur" showing the exact same phenomenon. You can find his film at the Marathon Vidmasters' Page. It's still unclear how the Juggernaut gets through the force field but it's a very interesting map trick. Another Marathon mystery perhaps?

Interesting to note the secret switch on "Ne Cede Malis" that opens both doors immediately. You can see it in action in one of Miha's films of this level. It's not documented in the current version of the Marathon Spoiler Guide and it's the first time I've seen it. Nice one. It seems that Randy Reddig has a penchant for leaving map debugging switches on his levels. Note the famous one on "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy".

May 26, 1997
Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net> points out on a.g.m. that there is a secret movie on the Trilogy CD. Inside the Gnop folder is an invisible Quicktime Movie file that weighs in at over 190MBs. Called Marathon Home Videos it is a film of the Bungie crew during those hectic months prior to the release of Marathon. Makes for interesting viewing. Tuncer Deniz was the cameraman.

Andy Evanson <baronmind@aol.com> writes concerning an interesting book about Durandal. See the Durandal (part 2) section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

May 25, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes:

I'd like to comment that the Bungie message boards are still alive and kicking on AOL. I've told Matt this, and he hasn't responded. Anyway, the boards are still there in Keyword: MGM => Message Boards => Industry Connection => Bungie Software, only the actual keyword and the rest of the stuff is gone. The boards are still there.

Finally got round to adding The W'rkncacnter section to Facts and puzzling things about... .

Scott Jaeger <pepino@indy.net> and Brandon Seifert <looney@thepentagon.com> both write about the similarities between the The W'rkncacnter and the sleeping God in Pathways Into Darkness. See The W'rkncacnter section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

May 24, 1997
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> (Bungie Software) sets the record straight concerning the closure of their forum on AOL.

I saw the notice on your page that we "closed [our] Marathon site on AOL", and I wanted to take this opportunity to bring The Truth to The People. :-)

We didn't voluntarily shut down our forum on AOL; AOL did it for us.

Until April of this year, forums on AOL were free. It made sense for us to have a forum there because a lot of our customers have AOL accounts. And it cost us nothing except the time spent keeping an eye on it.

In March AOL sent a letter to (I assume) every company with a forum on their service. The gist of the letter was: your forum now costs $55,000 per year. Pay up by March 31 or lose your presence on AOL.

Bigger companies wouldn't have a problem with that kind of expense, but fifty-five grand is still a lot of money for a company like Bungie. Even if we had thousands of dollars to spend on our internet presence, we'd rather use that money to upgrade our own web server, upgrade to a T3 line, etc.

So we didn't send $55,000 to AOL. They waited about six weeks after the deadline, and then pulled the plug on our forum yesterday.

Personally I'm fairly peeved about this turn of events, as I liked our AOL forum. I've been getting a lot of "Why did you guys kill your forum?!" mail in the last 24 hours, and I want people to know that we didn't have much of a choice.

-Matt

Concerning the Battle of Brooklyn - Chad Poland and Colin Kawakami of Double Aught Software had this to say:

From: cgp@doubleaught.com (Chad G. Poland) 
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: Battle For Brooklyn query
Date: 23 May 1997 14:56:07 GMT 
Organization: Double Aught Software 
Message-ID: <cgp-ya02408000R2305971055370001@news.mindspring.com> 
References: <33854E91.6D4@halcyon.com>
               
> Well, as the statistician of Battle For Brooklyn, it's been real
> dissapointing to see that Double Aught seems to have abandoned the
> tounament. Are you guys getting busy with Duality or what? Those are
> some great net films and it'd be great to see more. Just wondering what
> happened there.

Double Aught has not forgotten about the Battle in Brooklyn. They enjoyed
it very much. Unfortunately there is a time to play and a time to work.
Right now the entire Double Aught team is caught up in the creation of
Duality.

-- 
Regards:

Chad

_____________________
Double Aught Software 
                        ___________________
                        www.doubleaught.com   
                                              ___________________ 
                                              cgp@doubleaught.com

 
From: ck@spam.doubleaught.com (colin kawakami)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: Battle For Brooklyn query
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 12:45:55 +0100
Organization: Living Circle Circle Dot Dot
Lines: 37
Message-ID: <ck-2305971245550001@dyna215.dialup.dti.net>
References: <33854E91.6D4@halcyon.com>
<cgp-ya02408000R2305971055370001@news.mindspring.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: dyna215.dialup.dti.net


> > Well, as the statistician of Battle For Brooklyn, it's been real
> > dissapointing to see that Double Aught seems to have abandoned the
> > tounament. Are you guys getting busy with Duality or what? Those are
> > some great net films and it'd be great to see more. Just wondering what
> > happened there.
> 
> Double Aught has not forgotten about the Battle in Brooklyn. They enjoyed
> it very much. Unfortunately there is a time to play and a time to work.
> Right now the entire Double Aught team is caught up in the creation of
> Duality.
> 

Duality is 200% of our time right now. The tools have gotten to the point
where they are so fun to use, we just can't stop! I'd love to rant and
rave about it, but the cancer man and the other superiors that even we at
doubleaught must answer to are saying nay... the public must be kept in
suspense for just a bit longer.

As for the battle of brooklyn, and the subtle engineerings of one Don King?

I don't think that members of doubleaught were ready to publicly declare a
king.  As the scores wound themselves up, we became anxious, perhaps even
petty. These are not qualities worthy of the new bushido. If there was to
be ONE who was the best? Daggers in the back, stangulation in dark
stairwells, a revisionist history looming...

I don't think so. And neither did the rest of the crew.

We plan to release more films, but not anymore that are one on one.
(I've had my share of game induced brawls)

--colin
aka lilbuddha

"First, action is necessary, then knowledge, in order that you may know
 that you know nothing and are no one."


Don King had this to say:

The Battle of Brooklyn: the Directors Cut.
Coming soon at a cinema near you. ;-)

May 23, 1997
Cindy Hoffa <cynho@earthlink.net> points out that Bungie closed their Marathon site on AOL on Wednesday 21th. An end of an era. Hopefully somebody had the foresight to collect up all the interesting Marathon tidbits before it went down?

Cindy also writes:

Did you notice that if you switch around the syllables on CR'ETZ'IH, you get Z'IH-CR'ET? Secret? ::shrugs::

Ah zee zihcrets... They're Everywhere! ;-)

May 22, 1997
Interesting... the acronym on the Trilogy Box is the same as the Infinity box - TBWSAF.

The name on the Infinity sticker is actually spelt CR'ETZ'IH.

May 20, 1997
Thanks to Edwin ten Dam <etd@st-andrews.ac.uk> for pointing out that MacCentral have a Marathon Trivia Competition. Answer 10 Marathon related questions correctly and you could win a copy of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set. As for the questions... well they shouldn't prove too difficult except for probably this one.

The final Marathon game was named "Marathon Infinity" because:

Well it could be because:

The single-player scenario was originally conceived as open-ended, with hundreds of new levels added every month and no conclusion in sight.

and I definitely thought I heard the call of a Nile hippopotamus on some Marathon 2 levels...

Special thanks to all hippos everywhere... eh Matt? ;-)

Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu> writes:

Get this: The Marathon 2 Sticker says "Celer Manus Dei" and the Infinity Sticker says "Cretzih".

My Question: What the heck does "Cretzih" mean?

Could this be another Bungie acronym or the name of the lost spaceship?

Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net> writes concerning the acronym TBWSAF on the bottom of the Marathon Infinity box:

Too Bad We Stopped After Four
Refers to Marathon Saga
  1 Pathways Into Darkness
  2 Marathon
  3 Marathon 2 Durandal
  4 Marathon Infinity

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> also writes concerning the acronym TBWSAF

TBWSAF = The Box Was Such A F***** (that silver stuff they had trouble with)

May 19, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes concerning Matt Soell's little acronym puzzle for Marathon diehards:

he's right, the last two are hard (at least the Infinity one is. I haven't gotten my Trilogy Box yet)

DMUKYA = Don't Make Us Kick Your Ass (M1 box)
MBIBTYB = My Bob Is Bigger Than Your Bob (M2 box)
TBWSAF = ??????? (Infinity box)
??????? = ??????? (Trilogy box)

Yes it seems that TBWSAF has everyone stumped.

As most people know the Minneapolis-based digital music content publisher "Power of Seven Inc." were responsible for the title themes for Marathon 2 and Infinity. This company has been taken over Headspace Inc. If you want to see the guy responsible for writing and producing the title themes you should go to Headspace's page here. Thanks to Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> for this link.

May 17, 1997
Interesting piece of information from Bungie's updated Marathon Trilogy page. It reads:

In the three games, you are a lone security officer battling to survive and triumph over starships full of savage aliens of all kinds. In the first chapter you struggle to clear the starship Marathon from an alien incursion. In the second, you are the puppet of the rogue AI Durandal as he explores a lost civilization. Finally, you must fight not only aliens but your own nightmares as the saga comes full circle

...the saga comes full circle? Damn! must have missed something here.

Looks like the Trilogy Box Set will also contain the fabled Marathon betas...

With the release of Pathways Into Darkness on the Marathon Trilogy CD it is now an opportune time to reveal The Muller Conspiracy. See the Pathways Into Darkness section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

May 16, 1997
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> (Bungie Software) writes:

Here's a poser for you: ever look at the bottom of any Marathon box and wonder what the letters after the product number stand for? You can probably figure out the acronyms on the Marathon and Marathon 2 boxes; I don't think anyone outside Bungie could guess the meaning of the letters on the Infinity and Trilogy Boxes. Well, maybe one person....

What's on the bottom of the Trilogy Box? Well we'll just have to wait and see. But in the mean time grab those other boxes and check out the acronyms. More Marathon mysteries. Nice one Matt. ;-)

Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> writes:

Either somebody at Bungie got dead bored, or else this whole idea of "interactive" gaming has gotten way out of hand.
What's Kyjel talking about? Check out the Vidcam page for details.

May 15, 1997
Late breaking news just in. Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> writes:

Just a quick note to let you know that we got several cases of Marathon Trilogy Box Sets today. The package looks really great, the scrapbook is really colorful.

They'll be shipping shortly folks. :-)

Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> wrote to Bungie concerning the discontinued 20/10 Map pack and asked if any of these old levels would appear on the Marathon Trilogy CD. Jim Ruiz (Bungie Software) replied:

NO!

The 20/10 pack project was killed off and the best bits were cannibalized into other levels. Sorry.

But it DOES have 1200 (that's twelve-hundred!) bonus levels!

Thanks,

Jim

So it looks like we'll never find out what really happened on those missing Marathon solo levels. The search for Strauss...

Interesting to note that there is now a company called Marathon Computer Inc. that apparently offers you the opportunity to build your own PowerMac.

May 14, 1997
Charles Lechasseur <doh@videotron.ca> writes concerning the reference to Wads in Forge:

the WADs in Marathon are the exact same thing as in DOOM, i.e. map files. the following was taken from the header of the M2 Map Specs, released by Ryan from Bungie:

"WAD.H
Thursday, June 30, 1994 10:55:20 PM

the WAD.H contains info about the map file's header (in C)."

it is also worthy to note that in another file listed in the map specs, TAGS.H, we get a list of all tags found in the map file. and the physics tag IS included. so the "embedded" physics in M00 was not a new thing, they probably just decided to drop it from M2. indeed maps with embedded physics do not work with M2, i believe.

May 13, 1997
May 13th... unlucky for some. Today's the day three years ago that the sleeping God under the Yucatan pyramid was supposed to awaken. Too bad!

Every wondered what the story in the secret Infinity net map Hats Off To Eight Nineteen was all about? Well wonder no longer. Thanks to Kazem Edmond <Kazem_Edmond@bbns.org> we now know. Kazem, ever the curious one, wrote to Chris Geisel of Double Aught Software asking about the story. This is the reply he got.

From: chrisg <chrisg@doubleaught.com>
Subject: Re:
Date: Mon, 12 May 97 18:55:35 -0400

dear kazem,

the story in 819 is a very early short story that i did set in the world of the next game that double aught is working on, Duality. since then, the ideas for the game and story have changed pretty radically, but some of the characters in the story--namely the autocrat, the factor, and the poly, do appear in a slightly different form. you'll have to wait until the game comes out to find out more about them, but check our site in a few weeks for some hints... :)

the story is about a the young member of a prominent family who has discovered, with the help of a criminal poly, that the plagues that periodically wrack the cities where he lives are spread intentionally by the factors, a priestly order. he plans to use the information to gain protection for his family, and for political power. unfortunately, the factor local to the area discovers his plans, and kills him. the same factor decides to torture the poly to make sure that the secret dies with him. the entire vignette takes place on an asteroid (hence the low-g) orbiting within a large torus of breathable air.

hope that's of interest.

later,

chris

p.s. the characters in Duality only have 2 arms--not four as i originally planned.

----------------------
Chris Geisel
chrisg@doubleaught.com

Designer
Double Aught, Inc
www.doubleaught.com
----------------------

So there you have it. Hidden within Marathon Infinity were the clues to Double Aught's next game Duality. And if that wasn't enough you could always pick up the subliminal message in the secret Double Aught credit terminal on "Aye Mak Sicur".

May 12, 1997
Kirill Levchenko <kirill@lava.net> points out that there are a number of similarities between the new scifi movie The Fifth Element and Marathon. Indeed it appears that a Marathon-like logo appears. Kirill writes:

It's in the opening scene when the archeologist is examining the carvings on the wall. He points to it and identifies it as the "weapon". It's close enough to be on your Marathon-like logos page.

If you have a screenshot of this. Please send it in.

May 11, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes:

i found some more weird bits of code, but this time in Forge. there were also some of the same weird things as in the Infinity code, and a ton of interesting error messages ("Open it from the original, freak!"). i also noticed that it referrs to something called 'wad' (such as 'cannot convert indexed wad', and 'cannot save mode wad'). could this be in some mysterious way related to that icky old game who's name starts with D and ends with OOM?

Some of the interesting lines Forrest found are as follows:

What are you trying to open, your mother's spreadsheet?

Converted from platform data (your max heights/min heights will be wrong-> open from the original map, freak!)

You used an old version of Vulcan to make this panel. You are fired.

May 9, 1997
Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> (Bungie Software) writes concerning the hidden meaning of "Frog Blast the Vent Core!"

It would be just like Doug to offer hints to our customers via subliminal messages. ;-)

Note: before Matt joined Bungie Doug Zartman was the man in the on-line asbestos suit.

A more recent Marathon like symbol found by Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net>. See the That Marathon Symbol page for details.

May 8, 1997
Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu> writes concerning the Marathon cheat code mentioned by Jason Jones in an early Inside Mac Games interview. See the Marathon Cheat Codes section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details. That's of course if you can find it. It's a secret!

Aaron Snyder <wittnietz@datatek.com> writes:

I just watched your most recent "VidTip" film on "Bigger Guns Nearby" and think that I've found the answer as to what "Frog Blast the Vent Core!" from M2 means: along the way, you give map views of two interestingly-named areas: "BioVent Core #88A" and "BioVent Core #88B". Between these areas is a raised hallway containing a BioBus chip (Hypervision power-up), but one can only get there by grenade-hopping.

Get it? Grenade-hopping might be renamed "Frog blasting."

So, on this interpretation, "Frog Blast the Vent Core!" might merely mean "Grenade hop in the BioVent Core on 'Bigger Guns...'!"

Interesting interpretation. Is "Frog Blast" 'Zartuese' for grenade hopping? Could be. Maybe it's time for Doug Zartman to reveal ALL? ;-)

May 7, 1997
Kyjel Shaytolmae <kbassett@junction.net> writes:

Marathon Trilogy Box Set costs how much?
$49.00 did you say?
7x7.
Okay, this is getting weird now.
Just now!?

Crazy stuff! ;-)

Thanks to all the people who have enquired about the next round of the Battle of Brooklyn. Unfortunately I haven't heard from the DA crew. They're probably holed up somewhere licking their wounds after their recent Quake death match experiences.

May 6, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> points out that in the Marathon Infinity data fork there is is an interesting line that does not appear in either Marathon 2 or Marathon. The line is

Eric's crazy code returned

May 4, 1997
Ahmad Shah Sahar <ashah@tm.net.my> writes concerning an errie connection between the Marathon and the more recent Quake symbol. Ahmad explains

...that quake logo kept nagging me....then i drew a circle around it...well see for yourself..it's hauntingly similar....maybe id has been taken over by bungie....maybe your page has been sending everyone subliminal messages...

You can see what Ahmad is referring to here. And yes it's true... the Story page has been sending everyone subliminal messages! ;-)

James Lanfear <jclanfear@presys.com> writes concerning the Marathon symbol and its apparent similarity with earlier symbols. See the That Marathon Symbol for details.

Kirill Levchenko <kirill@lava.net> writes concerning the Marathon Cheat Codes:

These are from a late beta of Marathon 1...the codes are typed in with the control key held down.

Mihai Parparita <mihai@tky0.attnet.or.jp> also writes concerning the Marathon Cheat Codes:

I believe that these cheat codes did actually work in the Marathon I beta. Why they're still left in I have no idea? Jason was getting sentimental? Or perhaps they still work but they require to be typed why holding command, control or option or some thing like that.

Yes indeed all the cheat codes are revealed in the Marathon Cheat Codes section of the Story page. Learn the truth about such codes as AMMO, MAP, LEVEL, BOB, PATHWAYS and much... much more. But as I keep telling people you have to find it. It's a secret! ;-)

Kirill Levchenko <kirill@lava.net> writes concerning the string "joy!peffpwpc" which can be found at the beginning of Marathon:

The data fork for a PowerPC application contains the executable code. 'joy!peff' is a prefix used to identify this as a code fragment container. _Why_ it is 'joy!peff' is what you really want to know, which I don't really know, except that 'peff' very likely stands for "Prefered Executable Format File". I think I remember seeing something about why the first four bytes are 'joy!', though unfortunately I don't rember why or where I have seen it.

David Martin <dkm125@psu.edu> also writes concerning the string "joy!peffpwpc".

As I understand it, the string which starts with "joy!" signals the start of PowerPC native code in MacOS applications. This is particularly valuable as a divider between 68k and PPC code in "fat" applications. The header is apt, since we all know how much faster (joy!) native code is than 68k emulated stuff.

May 3, 1997
Rich Williams <opus@world.std.com> writes:

I managed to find a symbol that looks..well...*shockingly* similar to the Marathon symbol. It's the corporate logo for a German glass company, Ruhr Kristall Glas.

Could it be true? Check the That Marathon Symbol page for details.

Colin Kawakami <colink@inch.com> writes concerning his CK on Infinity page at the Double Aught Software site:

The quote on ck on infinity... that goes like: "he ran to his father and told him about it..." is an excerpt from a story by Jorge Luis Borges. Kudos to the person who can figure out which story.

Colin continues:

the joy!peff is the first line of text you read if you open up the duality beta

Sean Desmond <sean@mesklin.demon.co.uk> writes:

As far as I'm aware, the data fork of every PowerPC-native application starts with the sequence "joy!peffpwpc".

True. But what does it mean?

May 2, 1997
Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes:

I found the following in Marathon's data fork. I believe they are the (unimplemented) cheat codes. There is some more stuff after that might be more codes, but it's hard to pick them out of the garbage.

HEALTH
OXYGEN
MAP
HAVESOME
ISEEYOU
FISHEYE
BYE
PISTOL
RIFLE

There is also a line that says player has cheated. This must have been used to warn net players that one of their opponents was a cheater.

Ah! the elusive Holy Grail... Marathon Cheat Codes! Due to popular demand these have now been added to the Marathon's Story page... all you have to do is find them. Learn the truth about FATMAN, ASLAG, HAVESOME, PZBXAY, BYE and much... much... more. The TRUTH is out there... are you prepared?

May 1, 1997
Ever wondered where the Caps Lock key controversy originated? Yeah! you know the one - only wussies use the Caps Lock key for running! It was later enshrined in the Vidmaster Creed when Marathon 2 came out. Well wonder no longer. The Marathon's Story page spares no expense in tracking down the TRUTH. Read the origin of the Caps Lock key controversy in the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... . Are you prepared for the truth?

emonkey replies to lilbuddha's comments concerning their last match on UN Attack:

it appears i've upset the lilbuddha, especially with all the time he's been dedicating to improving his game. true enough, i could be giving him a better game if i were playing as much as he is but if UN was a fluke, his enlightened [sic] mind has little room for truth. i recall a night of flukes just last weekend. but i shouldn't hold such expectations in a someone who confuses drunkenness for enlightenment.

Don King was unavailable for comment.


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