(Nov-Dec 1997)


Dec 31, 1997
Well a new year is almost upon us... which can only mean one thing - a new What's New section and another mystery Marathon pic. Another search in the Story Page archives is warranted.

The Story page will be shut on New Year's Day but back in business on the 2nd. So here's wishing you all a Happy New Year.

To round off the year the Story page presents the mystery of the breakable panel on "We're Everywhere" See The Breakable Panel on We're Everywhere section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Charles S. writes concerning the fate of the uplink chip found on "Hang Brain" See The Uplink Chip on Hang Brain section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 30, 1997
Thanks to Ryan Bruels <rbruels@pcisys.net> for drawing my attention to the fact that the Marathon Poster is no longer listed for sale at the Bungie Store. Have all the Marathon Posters really gone? The Story page was lead to believe that the flat version of the Marathon Poster was not in short supply. Did some unscrupulous Marathon memorabilia collector buy all the remaining copies? The passing of the Marathon Poster is a sad day for Marathon fans world-wide. Details about the Marathon poster can be found in the Blasts from the Past section.


Interesting to note that on the back of the Marathon Holiday Greeting Card (Thanks Kris :-)) are the words "Home Pfhor The Holidays", Mark Bernal. Some of you may remember a Marathon map by this very name created by Nick Roemer <stompbox@wolfenet.com>, better known as Stompbox. Indeed this map won the Marathon Map of the Month competition back in December 1995. Coincidence or something more?


Dec 29, 1997
Jeff Kazmierski <odysseus@fwbnet.com> writes concerning the fate of the uplink chip found on "Hang Brain" See The Uplink Chip on Hang Brain section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Mant thanks to all the people who have written in pointing out that they also have full commercial versions of the Marathon 2 and Infinity CDs yet no music tracks. As yet there is no official explanation for the missing tracks.


Dec 27, 1997
Ian James <jamesfam@swbell.net> writes concerning the lack of music tracks on some Marathon CDs. See the Music in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> points out the location of the secret rocket launcher and flame thrower on "Eat It, Vid Boi" are mentioned in Spoiler Guide, but only in an earlier version. Aaron writes:

Actually it is mentioned in the spoiler guide. It isn't in version 3.1, it seems, but here's what version 3.0 had to say on the subject:
"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."
Actually there isn't any more ammo, and the flamethrower isn't mentioned, but it does mention the secret.

Odd stuff.


Dec 24, 1997

The Marathon's Story Page wishes all its readers a very Merry "Marathon" Christmas!

We'll be keeping you up-to-date with Marathon news, views, and mysteries in 1998.


Another Star Wars reference in Marathon? John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> writes:

While dodging Enforcers last night, I noticed something familiar in the log-on/off codes on Terminal 1 (Message 1) of "Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks". [Thoth text follows]



get &(Ghere

Your humans are safe;
(but what are you?)

What is new is tainted;
what is old is [?];

What must be done should be clear.


&*(hat you sme&!

Previously I had associated the "Ghere" of "get &(Ghere" sort of semi-consciously with Gherrit White of the previous game, but then I noticed the log-out code, "&*(hat you sme&!". Then I realized that this must be a Star Wars reference placed by the Bungies.

In the first Star Wars (A New Hope), there's the famous scene involving the shoot-out in the Death Star Detention Block, just before the heroes jump down into the garbage compactor. Princess Leia and Luke have already jumped down the hole, and Chewbacca is supposed to be next, but he balks and makes a protesting howl. Han Solo says, "Get in there, you big furry oaf! I don't care what you smell!" There's just enough text there to make it decipherable.

This definitely seems like an appropriate mood-reference for this level. I wouldn't want to go there if I didn't have to save everybody's collective bacon with my big guns. And the level does have sewage all over the place. It's also at a point in the game's story analagous to the scene in Star Wars, in which the plot is about to turn in the player's favor, but for the moment things look mighty grim.


More Marathon 2 secrets? Aaron Anderson <grendel@kdlh.com> writes:

There is a secret ammo stash on level 10, Eat It, Vid Boi.(dont worry I double checked that it wasn't on the new (Spoiler) page). There is SPANKER and a Napalm unit. It's located on the right ledge over the lava where you start, facing the locked door to the exit. I suppose there is a possibiliy that someone who is an excellent grenade jumper could get there.

It just seems weird to me that Bungie put it there; at first I thought that if you could get it then you could spanker yourself on full yellow to the upper ledge in the room near the fusion pistol. The room above the second ledge. But unfortunately that room is too small for the player to be in or at least get in :(

Yes while this secret is not mentioned in the Spoiler Guide it is known amongst Vidmaster circles. It is possible to reach these weapons using the grenade climbing technique demonstrated by Todd Keating <cxtdk@eiu.edu> in his excellent Advanced Grenade Jumping Tutorial. On "Eat It, Vid Boi" instead of climbing out of water you climb out of the lava. The trouble is that you need an assault rifle to do this and there is none available on this level when playing solo. You either have to play co-operatively to get one or carry one with you from an earlier level.


Dec 23, 1997
Daisuke Mitsuzono <mitz@msf.biglobe.ne.jp> writes concerning the secret invincibility power-up on "God Will Sort The Dead...":

The Invicibility Powerup can be seen by stepping under a certain pillar. In solo play, if you run back as fast as possible, you can just glimpse the shield generator "door" closing. There _is_ a Powerup inside, but cannot be reached, in neither solo/cooperate games. The opening is too small.

If my memory is right, this was said in Vidmaster Miha's M2 book.(in Japanese, though :-)) His page and info about the book is here.
http://mars.ru.u-tokai.ac.jp/~miha/
the page has an english version.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

Enclosed is a film of me on Normal showing the fabled Invincibility Powerup on God Will Sort The Dead. It's a complete film but it's not a vid film, since it's recorded on a difficulty level that doesn't really exist. I might have also left a few Bobs alive but none that I know of were green.

At the end is me trying about seventy times to get the invincibility powerup, but eventually I gave up. I recorded it just to show that the secret really does exist. I'm not sure how to access it yet, since I never really narrowed down which floor poly was the trigger. The platform isn't "can't deactivate externally" though so it should be possible to get it eventually. If it gets boring you can skip it.


Mike Watson <PatientDax@aol.com@aol.com> writes:

Ok, if God will sort the dead is made with the Lava texture set, why do I hear running water everywhere? I may have simply let a part of the story go by my mind, but this seems really out of place.

A case of bad plumbing perhaps? ;-) Actually the water sound seems to be associated with the secret areas. Check it out.


Todd Dillen <TDillen@ix.netcom.com> asks:

Why does the Lh'owon sky look different between M2 and Infinity? In M2 it was yellow, in Infinity it was blue.

This is the unfortunate side effect of the new textures. Although Infinity is still based on Lh'owon the old skyline textures were not retained leading to continuity difficulties. :-(


Marathon CDs what type do you have? Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> writes:

Remember, a while back, on Bungie's Letters To The Webmaster page concerning that the first few thousand Infinity CDs were produced with a black and gold label instead of black and silver due to an error?

The Marathon 2 CD also comes in two flavors apparently. The famous "gold sun flare" CD and the black and gold label.


If you have a version of the Marathon 2 Preivew "Sounds" file with the creation date June 25th '95 rather than the more common June 26th '95 please let me know. There is something odd about the sounds that we need to discuss. Thanks.


Ajay Ayyagari <nirvana@halcyon.com> writes to point out that he has a set of the original Marathon disks with the Installer from Hell and would be willing to part with them given a suitable incentive. It's unclear if they are still boxed though. Contact him directly if you are interested in this little bit of Marathon history.


Dec 21, 1997

Happy 3rd Birthday Marathon.

This day three years ago Marathon was released. See the Blasts from the Past section for details.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the level "God Will Sort The Dead...":

As long as we're on the subject of secrets on this level, one of the rechargers in both versions is really a door. It's the first 1x recharger you'll encounter, I think.

In one of the tall rooms with a whole bunch of columns there's a polygon that triggers the door. It's on such a short delay that when you get back you won't know it's been raised. But if you're in a cooperative game and someone else is by the recharger, it reveals an invincibility powerup. It's on about a 4-second delay.

I've _never_ heard of this on the Internet, mostly since it's so hard to find. I had to use a map editor to look at it. If you look at it with Forge or Pfhorte, it's definitely there. And the weird part is, it's not marked "Network Only", like most similar secrets, so it _must_ be possible to get at it somehow from single player.

Anyone care to investigate this?

More Marathon secrets? Yes indeed! Will it never end? Unlikely!


Dec 20, 1997
Another Marathon-like symbol has been found. Many thanks to Henrik Lethagen <HLethagen@iname.com> for sending it in. It's a good one. See the That Marathon Symbol section for details.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the spelling of "CANNISTER" in the Marathon Demo v0.0. See the Marathon Demo v0.0 section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 19, 1997
Jim Gillespie <ender@city-net.com> writes concerning the lack of music tracks on some Marathon CDs. See the Music in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> also writes concerning the lack of music tracks on some Marathon CDs. See the Music in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Simon Brownlee <simon.brownlee@pobox.com> writes concerning the Marathon 4L demo Read Me. See the Marathon Demo v0.0 section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the Infinity demo Read Me. As this is connected with the original Marathon demo 'Read Me' I've added it to the Marathon Demo v0.0 section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


More Win95 differences? Aaron Anderson <grendel@kdlh.com> writes:

On level 20, God will sort the dead (Very vid'able level). I checked this one out once I found it my self on the MSG, but its not there. I belive it is diffrence between the mac and w95 version.

Anyway, in the room with the shotgun in it and a lot of bobs and baddies, there are two identical pillars that come down from the ceilings directly above where the enimies beam in. It turns out that these pillars are actualy elevators that come down just far enough to crush all the baddies when activated right. Now there activation swiches are in the hallway that leades to the room.(I think its in the upper righthand corner of the map). The swiches are secrets obviously; I think they are right behind the lights on the walls at the end of the hallway facing the shotgun room. They are fast so you must flip them both quickly and run into the room inorder for the enimies to beam in. If done correctly you don't need to fight the baddies. It a good thing if your viding the level; that room has a lot of gunners and bad bobs everywhere. I think that this is a great secret, but why would Bungie put it in the w95 version only? I want to know if it is in the mac version also. It may be passed up even if you are using the map editor to find secrets because you don't go anywhere new on the map.

Actually this is in fact a little known secret in the Mac version of this level. Up to quite recently the Marathon Spoiler Guide (MSG) did not mention the secret switches and crusher room. This is what Version 3.0 of the MSG had to say about the secrets on this level:

There are no known secrets on this level.

But Version 3.1 of the MSG which was updated on August 4, 1997 has this to say on the subject:

In the corridor to the large open room in the basement (that contains the shotgun cache), there are two hidden switched indicated by the discoloration of the walls. Both switches activate crushers in the large room, which can be useful.

The first person to show this secret on film was Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) <miha@hi-ho.ne.jp> back in early 1996. You can see Miha's film at the Marathon Vidmasters' Page in the Vidmasters?... They're Everywhere! section.


Dec 18, 1997
Mike S. writes concerning the lack of music tracks on some Marathon CDs. See the Music in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Mike Watson <PatientDax@aol.com@aol.com> writes concerning the Marathon 4L demo Read Me. See the Marathon Demo v0.0 section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.



Dec 17, 1997
Jadin Hanson <kermit@kdlh.com> writes concerning Shakespeare and Marathon. See the Shakespeare in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the original level names. See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 16, 1997
Charles S. writes concerning the sounds in Marathon. See the Sounds in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> also writes concerning the sounds in Marathon. See the Sounds in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@colby.tjs.org> writes concerning the SPNKR's nickname "Lazyboy". See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> also writes concerning the SPNKR's nickname "Lazyboy". See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Ian James <jamesfam@swbell.net> writes concerning the Spanish translation of the level name "Mars Needs Women". See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 15, 1997
Todd Bangerter <tabanger@fas.harvard.edu> writes concerning the missing Marathon 2 Bob sounds. See the new Sounds in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 14, 1997
Claude Errera is alive and well, and living in... Bolivia!

Well at least that was yesterday... today it's Chile. ;-)

Claude sent a Christmas message to the Story page, part of which I've reprinted below (I'm sure Claude won't mind). Claude writes:

We've covered a large chunk of the Pacific rim (New Zealand to Korea, and most things in between), and are now working our way through South America. We're through Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, some of the Caribbean, and now Bolivia, and are headed to Chile tomorrow. From there, it's Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, before heading back to the US for a short reoutfitting break, and then we're heading into your neck of the woods! (Well, relatively speaking... we're stopping in Belgium for a week or so before heading on to Africa. In the scale of travel we've been doing, a few hundred miles constitutes the same neck of the woods.)

For those of you who have been asking (on a.g.m) about when Claude would be back... well he's scheduled to return around Nov '98.

For those of you who ask "who is Claude Errera?" Well he's a way cool guy who did alot to support Marathoners in the early days. If you had a Marathon problem Claude had an answer. But more importantly Claude created and maintained the Marathon HyperArchive NorthWest at the "OGI" place, least that's how I referred to it. "OGI' stands for the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology which is based in Portland, Oregan. For most of '95 and '96 Claude's Mac at OGI's Department of Environmental Science and Engineering was your first port of call if you wanted a Marathon map or app. This is what Claude had to say just before he left in Nov '96.

The Story page wishes Claude and his family a very Merry Chistmas... where ever that might be. :-)


Dec 13, 1997
On this day three years ago Bungie's first web page went live. You can read all about it in the Blasts from the Past section.


Brendan Ebner <bebner@ida.net> writes concerning the KKV-7 SMG flechette. See the new Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Mike Phillips <venom@silcon.com> writes concerning the SPNKR's nickname "Lazyboy". See the new Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 12, 1997
Ok given that the S'pht section was rapidly filling up with weapon discussion it was time for a new section specifically devoted to weapons. See the new Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for all those interesting things about the weapons in Marathon.


Mike Phillips <venom@silcon.com> writes concerning the size of weapons. See the new Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Strange stuff abound. On Bungie's Tech Support page for Pathways Into Darkness it says:

Unfortunately, Dave Coufal's excellent Pathways page seems to have passed into the great beyond. A loss for everyone.

Wicked lies! David Coufal's Pathways Into Darkness page is alive and well and is where it has always been. Namely:

http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/dcoufal/pid/index.html

Indeed David's page, along with the above URL, was mentioned by the editor of the letters section of MacWorld (US) April '97. Come on guys... get with it!


Dec 11, 1997
Marathon 2 for Windows 95 shipped on September 6, 1996. But as mentioned on the Story page back in July 9, 1997 it appeared that the differences between some of the Win95 levels and the Mac levels were not spotted until around mid-February '97. Was it the case that it took six months before these Win95 M2 changes were noted? The Story page argued back in July that it wasn't surprising that such changes weren't spotted earlier. But the Story page was...

WRONG!

They were!

And so it's time to reveal the tru7h and set the record straight. Within seven days of the Win95 version of M2 shipping this post appeared on alt.games.marathon. Sadly the thread was short lived. And where was yours truly on Sept 12th, 1996... well that's another story.


Ah... more Spanish for the uninitiated! Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the Spanish translation of the level name "Mars Needs Women". See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 10, 1997
Todd Proctor <proctop@dcscomp.com.au> makes two interesting observations concerning Infinity. Todd writes:

It is interestring to note that the end term on 'foe hammer' seems to be written by durandal, but it is in tycho format.

Yes indeed, the red (Tycho) text would appear to be a mistake given that the text is from Durandal. Todd goes on to point out that on "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy" there are two terminals that can take us to "Son of Grendel". What's so odd about that? Well teleporting from one terminal (Terminal 1: 2nd Message) makes sense in terms of the storyline. We are told on a Thoth-like terminal that our construct "awaits far beneath" and on the next level we learn that the Pfhor have discovered an alien artifact and are doing some deep level probing. Teleporting from the other terminal (Terminal 0: 2nd Message) has the potential to confuse the player. The 2nd message on this terminal is from Tfear who informs us

When ready, you may transport to a place of confinement before coldsleep and transfer to Conditioning Unit.

Yet we don't transport to a place of confinement. Instead we end up on "Son of Grendel" without any clue as to why we are there or what we are supposed to do. Obviously we are not where Tfear wanted us to be. While this may simply be a convenient way of keeping us moving forward in the game it is nevertheless confusing. To compound the problem this terminal is the first one we reach on completing the level and the one most people are likely to use first. Of course you can always refuse to take it and look for another teleporting terminal. But was it ever the case that this terminal was originally intended to transport us to a level other than "Son of Grendel", a level from which we had to escape in order to continue along the right path?


David Aitken <d.aitken@silvermills.co.uk> writes concerning the reference to the M1A2 .75 BR in the Infinity manual. See The S'pht section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 9, 1997
Sean O'Hara <Kalin2564@aol.com> writes:

In the book "Xenocide," by Orson Scott Card, there is a conversation between two of the characters, Miro and Ender. They are having something of a philosophical discussion about free will, and how there is no real such thing, because everything is programmed into your genes by God or whoever created humanity. Ender says, "Why even try to plan anything or create or desire or dream of is just acting out the script your puppeteer built into you." Miro replies, "Despair."

And who pulls our strings? Why of course the Puppet Master!


Ty Klein <mrenigma@earthlink.net> writes concerning the reference to the "mighty M1A2 .75 BR" in the Infinity manual. See The S'pht section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes concerning the Spanish translation of the level name "Mars Needs Women". See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.



Dec 8, 1997
Check it out!

The MacToday 1997 Editors' Choice Awards

The Marathon Trilogy Box Set gets an Editors' choice. Now that's cool! :-)


Errors on the Story page? Yes indeed! Neil Schafer <mreeeeez@geocities.com>, Ian James <jamesfam@swbell.net>, and Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> all write concerning the Spanish translation of the level name "Mars Needs Women". See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Charles S. writes concerning the Marathon archive mentioned yesterday:

Little known Marathon archive? The example on the Fetch page looks like ftp.hawaii.edu's mirror of the Info-Mac archive -- hardly little-known and not just a Marathon archive.

Damn! the secret is out now. ;-)


Todd Keating <cxtdk@ux1.cts.eiu.edu> makes an interesting observation about Marathon and the Blues Brothers. Todd writes:

1) Carrie Fisher attempts to kill the Blues Brothers with a rocket launcher, an assault rifle, and a flamethrower.

2) The model number of the flamethrower is M-75 (the model number of the assault rifle in the game).

3) The movie takes place in (where else?) Chicago.


Dec 7, 1997
Big response to Scott Jaeger's suggestion for the original level name of "Mars Needs Women". Lots of translations some of which don't fit. Remember if you are sending in a suggestion the number of letters must fit exactly for it to make sense.

Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net>, Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net>, Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@mail.west.net>, and Kieran Wheeler <kieran_wheeler@hotmail.com> all write concerning possible Spanish translations of "Mars Needs Women" See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details. As expected in Marathon they're all different! ;-)


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> also writes concerning some of the other original level names. See Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Steve Campbell <midwest@okla.net> points out that the following Fetch page lists a little known Marathon archive as an example page:

http://www.dartmouth.edu/pages/softdev/fetch.html

Interesting stuff.


Dec 6, 1997
Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> writes concerning the original level names. See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Mike Phillips <venom@silcon.com> writes concerning the reference to the "mighty M1A2 .75 BR" in the Infinity manual. See The S'pht section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 5, 1997
Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> passes on some interesting information about an old Compuserve CD containing some Marathon memorabilia. See the Blasts from the Past section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Ty Klein <mrenigma@earthlink.net> writes concerning the reference to the "mighty M1A2 .75 BR" in the Infinity manual. See The S'pht section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Matt Dujnic <dujnic@nic.com> writes concerning the original level names. See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 4, 1997
Mike Phillips <venom@silcon.com> writes concerning the S'pht and weapons. See The S'pht section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 3, 1997
Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> makes an interesting observation about the Marathon 2 Preview. See the Blasts from the Past section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

Awhile back I wrote concerning an additional seven polygons that had been added to the Win95 version of "For Carnage, Apply Within." I've taken Forge screenshots of the two versions and using image editing technology came up with this.

(see enclosed gif)

Nice, huh? Another mystery solved... now it's only up to Squeaky to take screenshots of the areas in question.

True... but where's Squeaky?


Dec 2, 1997
Nick Roemer <stompbox@wolfenet.com> writes concerning the number seven and the Marathon Demo v0.0. See the Marathon Demo v0.0 section to Facts and puzzling things about... for details


Michael Dawe <dawe@frontiernet.net> writes concerning the Marathon 2 Preview Read Me. See the Blasts from the Past section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Dec 1, 1997
Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> makes an interesting observation concerning the Marathon 2 Demo. See the Blasts from the Past section Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Nov 30, 1997
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes again concerning the original level names. See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Many thanks to all the people who have written in offering the Story page old Marathon memorabilia. Some good stuff has been unearthed and we'll hopefully be able to bring you this soon. Remember to keep searching those old computer magazines, catalogs, and CDs. Marathon memorabilia... It's Everywhere!

Some things the Story page is looking for.

The highly suggestive Bungie Ad for the Windows 95 version of Marathon 2. Apparently the Ad appeared in the August '96 issue of PC Gamer on page 35. It may also be in other PC magazines from around that time.

A copy of the original letter Bungie sent out with the Marathon flatpacks (Dec '94). The Story page has the text but not a scan of the original letter. We'll be discussing the flatpack episode soon.


Nov 28, 1997
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the original level names. See the Original Level Names section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Nov 27, 1997
Many thanks to Steve Wood for sending in an old flyer for Marathon 2. See Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Don't forget to keep sending in that Marathon memorabilia folks. :-)

Anyone out there got a copy of the letter Bungie sent out with the the original Marathon flatpacks? If so please contact me.


Concerning the Marathon symbol and what it may symbolize Graham Benedict <mark.benedict@snet.net> writes:

An interesting little observation on the Marathon symbol. It looks a lot like the female symbol, the little circle with an arrow pointing down, only enclosed in a circle. Do you see it? I realized this when I was drawing the Marathon symbol on a piece of notebook paper, and asked a friend, a Marathon newbie, if he could tell what it was. He immediately said, "Yeah, isn't that a female symbol?".

On the same subject Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes:

To me, the Marathon symbol has always been a stylized M. Representative of the ship's (and game's) name.


Nov 25, 1997
Added The DISC II to Blasts from the Past section. Many thanks to Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> for sending in info about this.


Nov 24, 1997
Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> writes concerning the Marathon demo. See the new Marathon Demo v0.0 section to Facts and puzzling things about... for details


Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes concerning "Ryan's Light Blue Ball" which appears on King of Pain when playing KTMWTB:

There _is_ a ball placed in King of Pain. It's _not_ a skull (it shows up as a blank of Forge's list). I'm going to split the map, change the filetype to m2, and see what Pfhorte has to say about it.

Hokay, here we go... The ball in working KtMwtB maps is the "Red Ball" (as marked in Pfhorte 2.0a14 - you can't select anything besides "Skull" in Forge). The ball chosen in King of Pain is the "Light Blue Ball."

Gabe writes further on the subject:

I went digging in Marathion Infinity's STR# resource to see what was listed as the names of all these various balls, and turned up both what I was looking for and one additional tidbit:

- It would appear that the Light Blue ball is the only one with any special name ("Ryan's Light Blue Ball") - the red ball is, as any pfhorte map-maker knows, the "SKULL," and the rest of the balls are named by their colors (violet, yellow, brown, orange, blue, and green). As I may have mentioned before, i'm sure these ball records exist only because of the never-completed Capture the Flag netgame. (They would have had to add a few records to have all the teams listed in the player setup dialog covered. Either that, or restricted the "Team:" pop-up the way they do the level choice pop-up.) This is all in STR# ID=150. All of the balls are labeled the same way in the M2 resources (and are non-existant in the M1 resources).

As to _why_ the light blue ball is special... well, I don't know. Perhaps light blue is Ryan Martell's favorite color?

- In STR# ID=137 (this is the weapon names for display in the HUD), string 9 is "(somehow related to time of applicability)" (this comes between "WSTE-M COMBAT SHOTGUN," string 8, and "KKV-7 10MM FLECHETTE SMG," string 9...) It would appear that Bungie added the strings as they needed them, not in the order they go in your weapons cycle (everything else is in order, but the shotgun and SMG are tacked on the end). This time of applicability thing is _not_ present in the M2 resources.


Chadd Nervig <drmemory@gte.net> also writes concerning "Ryan's Light Blue Ball":

I used Forge and found Ryan's Light Blue Ball in King of Pain, Dead Fields, and Route 66, except it showed up as an object with a blank name, it had a skull Icon in Forge. 'The Ball' was also in Route 66 (604 or Better), Delusions of Grandeur, and reverof nohtaram. What is unusual about these, is that they aren't Kill the Man with the Ball levels.

I went into a network game of the three Ryan's ball levels. I found the Ryan's ball in King of Pain and Route 66. I waited around for about 10 min in Dead fields, but no ball appeared.


Concerning the Infinity net map "Fortress Lh'owon" and Matthew Payne's observation that it was possible to play KTMWTB on it yet no ball appears Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes:

Fortress of Lh'owon does not even _contain_ a ball object, so it's absolutely beyond me why it's marked as a KtMwtB level (a mistake, I'd say). It'd make a really good ball level, really; it'd play quite well. Unfortunate that bungie forgot the ball. ;^>


Nov 23, 1997
This day three years ago the Marathon demo was released. To mark this special occasion I've added the Marathon Demo v0.0 section to Facts and puzzling things about... Enjoy!


Nov 22, 1997
Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> writes concerning Tycho and doubt. See the Tycho section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes concerning Matthew Payne's observation of "Ryan's Light Blue Ball" while playing KTMWTB on King of Pain:

KoP is not marked as a KtMwtB level, so i had to use the command-option trick...

the ball does, in fact, show up as "Ryan's Light Blue Ball"

a few other notes: the ball does _not_ cause you to gain time (i think the original poster mentioned that)... furthermore, you _can_ run while you're holding it... (that is, you still can't wield a weapon, but it doesn't have the usual other restriction)...


Sam Morris <sam@netcity.co.uk> sends in yet another Marathon-like web search symbol but this one looks very like a 3D rendering of the Marathon symbol. See the That Marathon Symbol page for details.

This recent upsurge in Marathon-like symbols begs the question "What does the Marathon symbol actually symbolize?" Was it designed to represent something or was it simply a nice piece of artwork adopted for the Marathon game? As the symbol appears on terminals, on some of the ship's doors, and on barrels we can infer that it is an Earth based symbol from around the 25th century (the colony ship was built between 2408 - 2472 AD). Is it the Unified Earth Space Council's symbol or a symbol specific to the Marathon itself? The colony ship was mankind's first venture outside the Sol system. Was the Marathon symbol a representation of the union between Earth and the future Tau Ceti colony?


Nov 21, 1997
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> and Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> both point out that the line "Ryan's Light Blue Ball" can be found in Infinity's STR# resource ID=150. There are in fact seven colored Balls listed in addition to the skull. As yet it's not clear how the line is actually implimented during game play.


Charles S. writes concerning the existence of the W'rcacnter (W'rkncacnter). See The W'rkncacnter section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Nov 20, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> writes concerning the acronym WACCSMD on the bottom of the Myth box:

SMD ususally means "Suck My..." when used in acronyms (I used to know someone with the AOL screenname "Win95 SMD"), and WACC could be "Warcraft and Command & Conquer". So "WACC, SMD".

HEY! This is a FAMILY PAGE! Bungie wouldn't write that kinda thing on their boxes... would they?

BUNGIE SAY IT ISN'T TRUE! ;-)


Cindy Hoffa <C1ndyh@aol.com> writes concerning Tycho and doubt. See the Tycho section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> passes on this interesting finding.

I recently played three net games one day - all two player games, using NetLink Remote. The first was a custom M2 map. Although a number of kills were obtained, NOBODY GOT ANY TAG TIME! (yes, it was set for tag) the second one, was Infinity's "Fortress Lh'owon". My friend set it for KTMWTB, but there is no ball - why did Infinity let him set it that way? Finally (and here's the main point) we played a game of KTMWTB, King of Pain, No Aliens. The ball, however, was not called Skull, it was called "Ryan's Light Blue Ball"! It happened on both ends, and replays display it the same way. The only thing I could find that could possibly explain it was that there was a programmer named Ryan Martell who worked on Infinity. Did he leave an egg?

Matthew sent in a screenshot of "Ryan's Light Blue Ball". Is this an Easter Egg? If you have seen this before and know how it can be displayed please let me know.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning open windows and vacuum. See the Vacuum Levels section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


FSTBALL10@aol.com writes:

i need to know the four relics found in the hilt of Roland's sword--Durendal. it is for bonus points on a test i have friday, so i need the info asap. thanks!

No problem... the four Holy relics are... err... HOLD ON A MINUTE... sheesh


Nov 19, 1997
Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> writes concerning the fate of Tycho and doubt. See the Tycho section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Many thanks to all those who have been sending in Myth related tidbits. Even Jonas Eneroth (Bungie Software) has sent in the odd in cryptic Myth clue. As expected there seems to be alot of references to the number seven and a few Marathon related names in Myth. I couldn't resist adding this tidbit from David Doran-Marshall <wsearight@austinc.edu> who points out that like the Marathon boxes there is an acronym on the bottom of the Myth box. It reads WACCSMD. Make of that what you will.


Nov 18, 1997
Matthew Dujnic <dujnic@nic.com> writes

In relation to all of the "armageddon" references you recently added to the The 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg page, you pointed out three PiD messages relating the fact that Steven changed the code.

And of course, remove the "t" from the responsible party (Steven), and you get:

Seven.

Arrrggghhh...

Seven men in overcoats jump from the shadows and carry you away. You are never heard from again.


Nov 17, 1997
Jadin Hanson <kermit@kdlh.com> kindly passes on this interesting tidbit from Aaron Anderson who has no email account. Aaron points out that in The Old Testament's "The Book of Numbers" Chapter 12 - Miriam and Aaron blasphemed against Moses. For their sins the Lord struck Miriam down with leprosy and caused her to be quarantined for seven days after which time the leprosy vanished. Aaron (Anderson) wonders if this could be the source of the level name "Blaspheme Quarantine"?


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the exit terminal on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!". See the The 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net> asks does the biztravel.com logo remind you of anything? Hmmm... oddly , it is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...


Nov 16, 1997
A number of people have written in asking if I had made up all those seven references in yesterday's "Dr. Strangelove" addition to the The 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg section.

Would I do such a thing? Tut tut... have some faith please. Those are all verbatim pieces from the film's script. Dr. Strangelove was Kubrick's seventh feature film, there were 34 B-52's carrying a payload of some fourteen hundred megatons and the three letter code did have seventeen thousand possible permutations.

Hey so seven is a popular number! ;-)

On the same subject Mike Watson <PatientDax@aol.com@aol.com> writes:

Looking past all the obvious three and seven references, I see 2.5 days...2+5=7, again...


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the level "One thousand thousand slimy things" and the fact that its title comes from Samuel Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" pointing out that if you remove the letter 'r' at the end you get

The Rime of the Ancient Marine

Well we were "ancient" that's for sure!


Nov 15, 1997
Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> makes an interesting find in the text of the exit terminal on "Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!". See the The 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Nov 14, 1997
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> points out that we don't always lose our ????? when we get captured - only when we lose our guns. A Freudian slip perhaps? ;-)

Interesting to note that in his book "Traumdeutung" (The Interpretation of Dreams) Sigmund Freud unveiled the dream as a disguised fulfillment of repressed wishes.


Aaron Freed also writes about John Gendreau's interesting observation (see below) between the Marathon 2 level name "Six Thousand Feet Under" and the Infinity final screen which relates how we "were dead a thousands times". John suggested that if we had died a thousand times would we not be buried six thousand feet under? Was there a connection? Aaron points out that way back in Jan 31, 1997 the "Dream Thingies" page suggested a connection between this Marathon 2 level and Infinity. As Aaron remarks:

We saw those Dream Thingies on Six Thousand Feet Under and on the Electric Sheep levels.

Yes and on a number of other Infinity levels too.


Nov 13, 1997
A source who wishes to remain anonymous sent in the following cryptic message:

Your many patrons may be interested in this little known tidbit. Have you noticed that everytime you find yourself captured you lose your weapons, your ammunition, your items, your powerups. your weapon powerups, and your ?????

Now you know just how BAD the Pfhor are!

ouch!... I guess it's a case of Ingue Ferroque! ;-)

Shouldn't be too difficult to work that one out... but who is the masked man?


Ajay Ayyagari <nirvana@halcyon.com> passes on this little tidbit about Greg Kirkpatrick and his unfortunate accident mentioned in Pathways Into Darkness.

The landord did it!

Ajay explains that he wrote to Greg about it and that's the answer he got. Apparently Greg has never been the same since.

WELL WE ALL KNEW THAT! ;-)

hmmm... what has all this got to do with Marathon... well Ajay points out:

the dishwasher was dropped from THREE stories!

Ah!... but nobody could survive being hit on the head by a dishwasher from three stores up... unless of course they are a...

...only you would survive the fall...

If you are completely lost you should check out the The Pathways Into Darkness Story Page.


Nov 12, 1997
Many thanks to Steve Wood for sending in an old and very rare flyer for Marathon. See Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Keep sending that Marathon memorabilia in folks!


Nov 11, 1997
John Gendreau <gendreau@bu.edu> sends in an interesting observation:

"Six Thousand Feet Under" is, of course, as said on your page, a reference to depth you're at in the level as well as a pun on "Six Feet Under." But wait just a minute here. The final screen of Infinity reads, "But you were dead a thousand times." Just a thought: if you die, they dig a hole six feet deep for you. Now, let's say you die twice; would they dig a hole...twelve feet deep? Perhaps just add depth to the original hole? And...if you died a _thousand_ times? Would they not dig a hole...six thousand feet deep?

Could there be a link?

John Gendreau also writes concerning Don Dixon's original artwork for the Marathon Poster:

I had a bit of trouble finding Mr. Dixon's painting "Flare Star" as described on your "Blast From the Past" page, so in order to save other people the rather tedious journey, I thought it might be best to give you the specific address for the page it's on:

http://members.aol.com/artcatalog/portsf11.htm

Added this link to the Marathon Poster part of Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... .


Nov 10, 1997
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning open windows and vacuum. See the Vacuum Levels section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Morgan Catha <rblake@slc.shorelin.wednet.edu> writes concerning the above screenshot from Marathon 2 and the possibility that it was from an early version of "Nuke and Pave":

In thinking about your little mystery screenshot for the new "What's New" page, I realized that there is actually a lot to indicate that "Nuke and Pave" was previously floodable with lava. There are those big open pits, ringed by overhead walkways. There are vertical shafts, in an area where, if it were to be flooded, you would be able to swim up into a secret area - this is even nearby a x3 recharger and an invincibility. Didn't it seem odd that there was no apparent mission in this level? It seems to me, there originally was one, but it was stripped away later - perhaps those buffers at the start were terminals? There would be good reason to remove the flooding - probably they thought it too similar to "What About Bob?". Who made this level? Maybe with them lies the tru7h . . .

Interesting observations particularly the fact that there are two pattern buffers opposite each other at the very beginning of this level. Why two? It would have made more sense if one had been a terminal providing instructions. And why the breakable panels beside each pattern buffer? They serve no purpose other than to deactivate the buffer. Of course after you deactivate one buffer you'll think twice about punching the breakable panels on the other. What purpose do the panels serve? Where they added to justify the fact that there were now two pattern buffers at the beginning rather than one. Afterall you don't need two pattern buffers... unless of course you happen to break one. ;-)


Nov 9, 1997
Added the Marathon Poster to the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... .


Nov 8, 1997
Back in May 12, 1997 Kirill Levchenko <kirill@lava.net> pointed out that in the film "The Fifth Element" the opening scene showed an archeologist examining a wall carving that looked suspiciously like the Marathon symbol. The archeologist referred to it as the "weapon".

Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> very kindly captured this image from the film and sent it in to the Story page. You can see it on the "That Marathon Symbol" page. err... now where did I put it?... oh yeah... here


Scott Jaeger also writes concerning open windows and vacuum. See the Vacuum Levels section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Nov 7, 1997
All S'pht are equal... but some are more equal than others. Sam Morris <sam@netcity.co.uk> writes about the Turbo S'pht on "Where Some Rarely Go". See The S'pht section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning open windows and vacuum. See the Vacuum Levels section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Nov 6, 1997
Interesting post on alt.games.marathon from Greg Krikpatrick of Double Aught Software concerning Marathon and science fiction films:


From: grendel@doubleaught.com (Greg)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: Starship Troopers
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 1997 20:21:33 -0500
Organization: Double Aught
Lines: 59
Message-ID: <grendel-0511972021330001@192.168.1.2>
References: <eilersm-0411971619460001@phx-1-11.psn.net> 
<19971105224900.RAA24690@ladder01.news.aol.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: gregk.dialup.access.net

In article <19971105224900.RAA24690@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
svywranth@aol.com (Svywranth) wrote:

> Michael wrote:
> 
> >>Tring to get this back on subject, why is it that every time a sci-fi
> movie comes out, you marathon-heads try to shoehorn a comparison to
> Marathon into it? I can't wait until Ailens: Ressurection is released... I
> can see the comparisons coming a hundred light years away...<<
> 
> Well, if AMO went through the whole 7 yards it would be tenfold the coming
>  confusion.
> 
> Svy!
> The Executive Executioner
> "Well, if this is my delusion, who the hell invited you?" -Total Recall
> Svywranth@aol.com
> o8 |

the reason for this is pretty simple.  There hasn't been anything original
done in a sci-fi movie in a long long time. (if i'm wrong, let me know,
i'd love to see something good).  Now that we have kevin Kostner making
armaggeddon 2320 AD, and aliens 4 with winnona, and startship troopers
we're seeing, doom, duke nukem and marathon all made into movies.  WHAT
ELSE COULD YOU ASK FOR?

Marathon story was a hodepodge of a life spent reading sci-fi and putting
it all together as tightly as possible stealing stuff with abandon.  I
think i can see a "marathon" reference in any sci-fi movie made in the
last 10 years. (including warriors of the 23rd century - which changed my
life).

Kevin Kostner as the Post-apocalypse postman. Post industrial post war
post acting post directing postman.

Winnona rider as a whiney 35th century imbecile who can't tell when to get
on the nearest starship, find yourself a empty planet and lament on the
destruction of the universe.  (25.5321 billion years as of my latest
recon.)

Lots of Bugs killing lots of Humans. Lots of stuff blowing up!

Academy award anywhere.  Let's give the bugs one for best acting and get
it over with.  Ug. blam. splat.. wow, did you see the expression on that
bug!

Otherwise, i'm at a loss..  of course, we have all those references in marathon:

Tycho delivered mail.
Durandal was trying to get away from all the chaos.
And the Pfhor.

Who could miss something so simple.

later
greg

PS would someone please tell me about a good sci-fi movie.. one that
wasn't just effects and more effects..

So Greg finally reveals the tru7h about Marathon - Tycho was a mailman and Durandal was simply trying to tune in, turn on, drop out...


On the subject of "Starship Troopers" Peter Gustavsson <pg@dalnet.se> writes:

In Robert Heinlein classic SF-story Starship Troopers, first published 1959, there is a starship named Marathon. At the end of the story there is a list of different Federation-starships:

"There was the Mannerheim! Any chance of seeing Carmen? Proably not, but I could dispatch and find out. Big ships - the new Valley Forge and the new Ypres, Marathon, El Alamein, Iwo, Gallipoli, Leyte, Marne, Tours, Gettysburg, Hastings, Alamo, Waterloo - all places were mud feet had made their names to shine."

Mr Heinlein was also born on the seventh day in the seventh month in the year 1907 as the third of seven children!!! All these sevens ;-)

Yes! They're Everywhere! ;-)


Nov 5, 1997
Mike Phillips <venom@silcon.com> writes concerning the second "secret" message on the first terminal of the Infinity level "Rise Robot Rise". See The Marathon Infinity Terminal Screenshot Text section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Nov 4, 1997
Nick Roemer <stompbox@wolfenet.com> in his search for the elusive Holy "Marathon" Grail made an interesting discovery on an old and little known FC archive. A folder containing 16 "named" Marathon music tracks. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Nov 3, 1997
Congratulations to Rich Williams <opus@world.std.com> for being the first person to send in the right answer to the screenshot question. Thanks to all those who sent in answers as well. Rich writes:

The first time I saw that pic (and since I don't think it would have been anywhere else, I think it's the first time it was seen in general) was on the back of the MacWorld '95 preview disc cover, courtesy of Power Computing, AKA "The Disc". I got mine at the Boston MacWorld. Ahh...memories. Odd pic, too. One of those non-existent levels.

Ah "The Disc". See the Blasts from the Past section of Facts and puzzling things about... .

But does the level exist? Both Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> and Steve Campbell <campbell@okla.net> write suggesting that it looks a bit like "Nuke and Pave" with one of the large pits filled with lava. Some other changes as well.


Nov 1, 1997
The above picture is an official Bungie screenshot. But where did it first appear and what level is it?


Last month's mystery pic is revealed in The Missing Terminal on Confound Delivery section of Facts and puzzling things about... .


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