Mystery Pic

Mystery pic - Where did it first appear and why was it odd?

 (Sept-Oct 1998)


Oct 31, 1998
Halloween tonight... so be careful out there!


Will the mystery pic be revealed tomorrow? Tune in and find out!


Bruce Morrison <wimorrison@FTC-I.NET> writes:

Hey I was researching Marathon 1 for Pfhorathon, and I got out my "MARATHON The Official Strategy Guide" by Tuncer Deniz. What stuck me was the opening text before the game starts. I'm gonna quote it exactly, because I feel it is somewhat important to the story:

"Things never go quite as planned, do they? Just as you're settling back to enjoy your ride on the Mirata, the interplanetary shuttle taking you from the human colony Tau Ceti to the interstellar colony ship Marathon, the AI Durandal brings startling news. It seems that your destination hangar has been decompressed, and all attempts at radio communication with the colony are jammed. Then a voice over the shuttle's intercom system informs you that an explosive decompression of the Mirata's main cabin will occur in one minute. As you race for your spacesuit, you realize that Mirata's engines have been activated, putting you on a collision course with the Marathon.

Fortunately, you're a quick thinker. You jump into your suit just in time to survive the decompression, and see an alien fighter fire a missle right in front of you. Without skipping a beat, you jump into the Mirata's maneuvering pod, which is directly behind you, and are immediately jettisoned by the ship's onboard computer.

The alien ship floats by the pod's window but apparently doesn't distinguish you from the shuttle's debris. After some time, you steer your careening vessel toward the Marathon.  During the trip, Durandal taunts you with threats of disclosing your whereabouts to the aliens.  Ultimately, he decides against it. How nice!

About half an hour later, you arrive at the Marathon, and, sure enough, your hangar bay has been decompressed. You force open a nearby airlock, take out your pistol, and begin to look for answers. Why did Durandal want to turn you in? Was it just a coincidence that his announcement of the hangar bay and radio jam came right before the appearance of an unknown enemy? What is happening aboard the Marathon?"

Ah yes..."MARATHON The Official Strategy Guide" by Tuncer Deniz was published in April 1995 some three+ months after the release of the game itself - which sort of defeats the purpose of a strategy guide. Nevertheless it's a fun read and contains some insider info on Marathon and Bungie. The above text reiterates most of the text in the manual and the Story of Marathon which appeared on Bungie's 1st web page. For a timing of these events see the Pfhor ship section.


Oct 30, 1998
I came across an interesting review of the up-an-coming 1st person perspective action game Half-Life on the IDG game network at http://www.idggames.net/pcgames/articles/0,1034,836,00.html. It's by Chris Hudak and was supposedly posted on 11/30/1997. The first part of the article has this to say about the game.

Few corridor-crawlers, no matter how engaging, make a whole lot of sense: What's the point? Where's the plot? Who cares? Go kill something!

Not so with Half-Life, a no-pulled-punches action game with a plot more articulated than even the Marathon series, which is as far above Doom and Quake in storyline as The Divine Comedy is above, say, a No Doubt video.

While it's good to see Marathon get a mention again in a PC review the line "...a plot more articulated than even the Marathon series..." had me confused. By definition the word "articulate" means to speak distinctly or clearly. Presumably the author means that the Half-Life plot is clearer than Marathon's?

But then again wasn't the Marathon plot oh so much simpler before the Story page came around. Save the colony ship, kill aliens and... who was that Bernhard chappie again anyway? ;-)


Oct 29, 1998
Thanks to all the people who have written concerning Bungie's entry into Inc. magazine's 1998 "Inc. 500". This has been documented in a number of PC and Mac gaming sites over the last few days. The Inc. 500 lists the fastest growing private corporations in the US. Bungie are listed at position 101 and are one of only two entertainment software companies to make the list. The other resides at position 472.

Interesting to note that eligibility for the 1998 Inc. 500 is limited to private, independent companies who had at least $200,000 in revenues in 1993 and showed an increase in revenues from 1996-1997. This would indicate that Bungie had earned at least $200,000 in 1993 from sales of Pathways Into Darkness (released Aug 1993) and Minotaur (released Feb 1992).

While Bungie's income rose by 2,228% between 1993 and 1997 the lack of a base figure makes this rise difficult to interpret. Nevertheless in the years 1996 and 1997 Bungie earned an Inc. 500 A rating indicating profits better than 16%.

Bungie's sustained profitability is partly explained by the fact that they retain complete control over their products as Doug Zartman (PR at Bungie) explained in a PC.IGN.COM's interview mentioned yesterday. The relevant text is as follows:

IGN: Bungie does its own US publishing and distribution and we saw the PC Data numbers for last year's RTS games. Do you think a lack of a big publishing arm hurt sales?

Doug Zartman: Yes we probably would have sold more units with a big publisher, but would we have made more money? No way. With a publisher we would have made, what, 20-30% of total sales? Publishing it ourselves, we make 100%. All the marketing costs come out of our pocket, all the advertising and market development funds, but in the end we definitely made more money doing it ourselves, and more importantly, we retained complete control over the product. No executive can tell us "you have to get rid of the gore and get rid of that comment in the manual about the biggest set of balls, or we won't be stocked in the big retailers." We might make that decision ourselves, but at least then its our decision.


William Spencer <williamspencer@hotmail.com> writes concerning "precious body fluids". See The E O P variations section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Oct 28, 1998
Revisionist history? PC.IGN.COM have an interesting interview with Bungie's Jason Regier (Programmer) and Doug Zartman (PR). It's mainly about Myth II and you can read the full interview at http://pc.ign.com/news/5424.html. Part of interview goes as following:

IGN: You guys kind of came out of nowhere with Myth. What was your original inspiration for a 3D, fantasy-themed real-time game?

Doug Zartman: Probably the most direct influence was our Marathon series of games. Not what you'd expect, given that Marathon was a sci-fi first person shooter, an action game with a lot of big guns, instead of a fantasy real-time strategy game, but in terms of technology the two games are very similar.

Both are fast-action real-time games; both are set in distinctly 3D worlds; both have a comprehensive physics model that adds to both the realism (heads bouncing around) and the gameplay (using altitude to your advantage); both were gory but not schlocky; both revolved around a story; both were designed first as multiplayer games and later as single-player ones... probably some other parallels as well.

This is not true. Marathon was not designed first as a multiplayer game. The Marathon Scrapbook, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Marathon released as part of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set, had this to say on the subject.

One of Marathon's outstanding features was its network play, which in fact won Marathon a Macworld Game Hall of Fame award for Best Network Game of 1995. Surprisingly, networking was not part of Marathon's initial design spec but was added a few months into development. Progress on the solo game slowed to a crawl as Bungie spent hours enthusiastically "testing" the network game.

So why is Bungie altering the facts? Granted 'multiplayer' is a gaming industry buzzword at the moment and to represent yourself as multiplayer gaming 'first' company is cool but at what expense? The tru7h?


Some time ago the Story page noted the recent trend in the PC gaming world for 1st person perspective action games with actually stories rather than mere plots. It was also noted that Id Software was moving in the opposite direction pitching their up-and-coming Quake III Arena as a multiplayer game only. No great surprises here since Id Software aren't exactly renowned for engrossing solo scenarios. However there is an editorial at PlanetQuake by Andrew Smith called The Weight of Silence. The article contends that Id Software are falsely advertising Quake III Arena as offering a traditional solo player game which by all accounts it will not. The article is worth reading and may have implications for other companies wishing to develop time consuming solo scenarios.



Oct 27, 1998
Andrew Glasgow <amg39@cornell.edu> writes:

On your What's in a Name page, you write:

>Fortress Lh'owon

>Meaning: Hmmm... well it's a fortress of sorts... isn't it?

I suspect that this may be a reference to the WWII term Festung Europa or Fortress Europe. The Americans, Soviets, and British were worried that if Hitler succeeded in conquering all of Europe including Britain, the Nazi's would be able to stay holed up in "Fortress Europe" indefinitely, impossible to root out. If they had caled it Festung Lh'owon, instead, that might have been more interesting, but *shrug*.

I don't see how it relates to the map itself, except in that it is indeed a sort of fortress.

Interesting point. Note also that in the Infinity map file this level had the following name:

Fortress Lh'owon|s W. Front|

Jonas Eneroth formerly of Bungie Software pointed out in the Original Level Names section that the original name for this level was "All Quiet on Bob's W.(estern) Front". Thus while the name was changed a war theme was retained.


Oct 23, 1998
The Marathon's Story page will be closed for the next 3 days. Yes it's Opera time again. :-)


Added scans of the third book in David Alexander Smith's Marathon Trilogy. See the That Marathon Book section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Interesting to note that the track "Cowgirl" is the 7th track on Underworld's album "dubnobasswithmyheadman". And no I do not make this stuff up! ;-) If you get the chance over the weekend download Bryan Mendoza's "The 10th Warrior" movie and see for yourself what all the fuss is about! You won't be disappointed. See below for the download sites.


Oct 22, 1998
Martin Thorne <mthorne@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca> points out that the Underworld track "Cowgirl" used in Bryan Mendoza's "The 10th Warrior" movie was also used on the soundtrack of the 1996 movie "Hackers".


Charles Srstka <csrstka@earthlink.net> writes concerning Keith Palmer's instructions on how to make the Marathon background music sound better under Quicktime 3:

You could use ResCompare to make a patcher that would patch the existing music file to your new one. This should be legal as the patcher would only include the changes you made, and would depend on the existing music file from the CD for all the stuff that would be copyrighted. It would also be a smaller download.

ResCompare is shareware and you should be able to find it on most of the larger shareware archives.

Anyone want to try this?


Oct 21, 1998
Thanks to Jim Head <jhead@mail.usyd.edu.au> for pointing out that the soundtrack used on Bryan Mendoza's "The 10th Warrior" movie is from a group called Underworld. The track used is called "cowgirl" from their album "dubnobasswithmyheadman". If you haven't seen Bryan's quicktime movie homage to Marathon netplay I highly recommend it to you. While the movie is large (28MBs) it's worth the download wait. You can get the movie at

ftp://silver.teardrop.org/pub/marathon/the_10th_warrior.mov

Or at RuGGeR's Tavern on Hotline.

Perhaps this will start a trend. What next? A homage to Vidmastery?

Oh yes! Underworld also have two tracks on the soundtrack to the film "Trainspotting"


Myth II becoming more like Marathon? Well yes judging from a beta screenshot which appeared in a recent GameSpot preview of the game. The screenshot in question can be seen here. Note the overhead map and mission details box. If this is the start of the level which it appears to be then the map details are given prior to exploring the area unlike the first game but more like Marathon. One might also question who is giving you this insider info?


Oct 20, 1998
Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes:

Thought you might be interested in "The 10th Warrior", a QuickTime movie by Bryan Mendoza which celebrates the joys of Marathon netplay. It features a soundtrack some have described as "soulful techno" (and QuickTime 3 gets _this_ music right) coupled with rapidfire editing of netplay films and chapter screen stills.

Get it at:

ftp://silver.teardrop.org/pub/marathon/the_10th_warrior.mov

Be forewarned: it's a big file, about 30 MB in size

The movie is quite excellent but as Finn warns it is BIG. If you watch the movie very carefully you'll see some extraordinary still images. Nice one Bry! :-)


Stephen Wood <stephen_wood@ins.com> found some odd info about Tycho Brahe. Believe it or not stuff perhaps? Steve writes:

Found some information on Tycho:
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/980717.html


Oct 19, 1998
In response to frequent queries concerning Marathon release dates I have added a new section to Facts and puzzling things about... called simply... Release Dates. Here you will find all the release dates and other significant dates in the life of the Marathon series, including Pathways Into Darkness. If you are interested in knowing when Marathon 2 was released or the date of the famous Marathon 2 for Windows 95 announcement then you'll find it here.


Oct 18, 1998
The following text is from the Read Me of the Damage Inc. 1.0->1.2 Updater. Remember that Damage Incorporated is the third game based on Bungie's Marathon 2 engine>

- Cheat Codes: D.I. 1.2 adds the oft-requested "cheat codes" so many people seem to like. We here at Paranoid Productions think cheat codes are kind a lame, but we aim to please. You can access these cheats by holding down the Control key and typing certain key combinations. To get you started, here are some examples:

HELL - Give yourself full health.
ARM - Give yourself full armor.
PHISH - Changes your field of view. Try it several times for different settings.
BLUE - Map shows all locations.
GODEYE - Map reveals all locations and shows enemies (green dots) and objects (white dots).
ASD - Make a "super" jump, much larger than a normal jump.

WOO - Give yourself two pistols and all the ammo therefore.
FREEDOM - Give yourself two shotguns and all their ammo.
XSE - Give yourself an M16 and all the ammo for it.
AXES - Give yourself all the access cards.

MEDIC - Give your squad members full health.
CHAT - Force a squad member to do a "chit chat."
NIMROD - Make your squadies rebel against you.

Once you've cheated, you will no longer be able to save your game. For more cheat codes, be sure to swing by the various Damage Incorporated web pages, as a more complete list is sure to be posted there as people figure them out.

Those familiar with the Marathon Cheat Codes will see some similarities here. But then again cheaters don't really win, and winners don't really cheat do they? ;-)


Oct 17, 1998
Keith Palmer <krjpalme@sciborg.uwaterloo.ca> provides a detailed set of instructions on how to make the Marathon background music sound better under Quicktime 3. Check the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Interesting to note that the UK version of Macworld magazine is giving away a full version (no limitations) of MacSoft's Damage Incorporated v1.2 on one of their two free cover CDs. The full game comes with extra maps, cheats, utilities and Damage Inc. Audio Outtakes - five minutes of hilarious voice-overs not used in the game. Damage Incorporated is one of three commercial games based on Bungie's Marathon 2 engine. It is also probably the most successful of the three combining first person combat with real-time strategy. It's unclear why MacSoft has taken this decision... maybe it'll start a trend! ;-)


Oct 16, 1998
In response to OGR's article "The Birth and Death of the 3D Shooter" Finn Smith wrote to the author Andrew Bub concerning some of the article's omissions and misconceptions. Finn kindly forwarded the letter to me with permission to post it on the Story page. You'll find it below.

X-Sender: Finnegan_Smith@postoffice.brown.edu (Unverified)
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 14:16:45 -0400
To: asdante@geocities.com
From: Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu>
Subject: birth and death of 3D shooters

I read your article on OGR entitled "The Birth and Death of the 3D Shooter"
and overall I must say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. It was a good
overview of how the first person action game has evolved and where it's
going. In the article you acknowledged the fact that there were certain to
be some things you left out and some games that you missed. I thought I'd
point out a few things which usually slip by the PC gaming press. All of
them involve the game Marathon, originally a Mac only game. As you
mentioned in the article, it's sequel, Marathon 2: Durandal, later made it
to the PC.

Marathon, released in December of 1994, is an interesting game because it
features many of the innovations that are finally gaining some recognition
in the PC gaming world.

NPCs
Although you claim that Duke Nukem "was the first time a non-threatening,
AI controlled character was introduced" I believe that Marathon holds that
distinction. BOBs, helpless crew members of the ship who run around
screaming, provide easy targets for aliens and player alike.

STORY
Marathon was also the first 3D game to feature an in depth story. Through
it's use of terminals you are given missions to complete, talk to the
various AIs that control the ship, learn the history behind the story and
watch the story evolve. It is only now, four years later, that games are
beginning to approach the amount of story that Marathon has.

ENGINE
Marathon was the first game to feature an engine where different characters
and objects could exist in the same horizontal space. Unlike Doom which
simply extruded the 2D polygonal map to give you a 3D image, Marathon has
what is known as "5D Space" where polygon spaces can exist on top of each
other (although there still can't be true bridges).

GAMEPLAY
Marathon lacks any sort of auto aiming feature and allows players to look
up and down at will (although not straight up and straight down). You wrote
that Quake was the first time that you used the mouse in 3D games. It is
interesting to note that there were intense debates on the mouse vs. the
keyboard in Marathon on comp.sys.mac.games, comp.sys.mac.games.action and
alt.games.marathon as early as 1995 and that I played Marathon all the way
through with a mouse. Marathon, IMHO, still boasts the most balanced
collection of weapons I've ever used. Every one has a strength and
weakness, none are superfluous. Marathon also treats ammunition
realistically, forcing a pause in firing as clips are reloaded. This adds
another element of strategy to the game. Going in to a room of aliens with
a half full clip is not a particularly good idea.

MARATHON 2: DURANDAL
Marathon 2 featured an interesting innovation as well. Released in November
of 1995, I believe it was the first game to feature NPCs who fought along
with the player. Marathon 2 featurs BOBs who could actually fend for
themselves with pistols. You mentioned this in your article.


What I originally started as a quick note has now turned into a lengthy
e-mail. I hope that you find this stuff interesting. Marathon was one of
the best 1st person 3D games ever released and it is a shame that it's
Mac-only status precludes it from as much praise as it deserves. I advise
you to check out the Marathon's Story page at
http://www.marathon.org/story/ It is a testament to how good Marathon's
story is. The page is updated daily and still receives constant e-mail
almost 4 yrs after the game's release. Also, if you ever get a chance to
use a Mac, you might want to give Marathon a spin. It is a bit dated by
today's standards, but it is a great game (and it's system requirements are
quite low).


Finn


Dualism, a Duality page, has received a new look (still brown though). To mark the occasion the site has an exclusive Sandbox (map editor) screenshot. Worth a look.


Oct 15, 1998
If you have problems trying to connect to the Story page at www.marathon.org/story try the following IP address 169.197.56.132/story or simply connect to Marathon Central at 169.197.56.132.


Colin James <cjames@henninger.com> writes:

I stumbled upon this, and thought I'd pass it along :)

http://www.ogr.com/specials/3dshooter_1.phtml

The page that is of significance to us is: First that PCGamers.com site gives marathon its due, and now OGR.com does to:

http://www.ogr.com/specials/3dshooter_3.phtml

Here's a quote:

"On the Macintosh, then later ported to the PC, a series based on Doom-style gaming called Marathon was generating a great deal of attention. Its sequel Marathon 2: Durandal had a new wrinkle of teleporting a few computer controlled helpers who would pop in at appropriate times, cap a few bad guys, and then disappear. Now here is an innovation that the future seems ready to grasp!"


The full article "The Birth and Death of the 3D Shooter" by Andrew Bub is worth reading. Although Marathon is mentioned, one of its main strengths, the story, is not even though "advances in story telling" are discussed. The difficulty Marathon has in gaining full recognition (or kudos) in the 1st person perspective action game world stems principally from the fact that only Marathon 2 was ever released for the PC and some 10 months after the Mac version at that. While this is nothing new for Mac gamers, in the crowded PC gaming world this is the kiss-of-death. The Win 95 version of Marathon 2 appeared, Rip van Winkle like, in a world far different from that experienced by its Macintosh sibling almost a year earlier. As the trend to more story-driven 1st person 3D action games develops it remains to be seen if the Marathon series will receive just recognition for its innovative blending of story and action.


PC Gamer Online has an interview with Bungie programmer Jason Regier. While the questions are mainly about Myth II Jason did reply to a question about future Bungie games. His response was as follows.

We have a couple of other titles in development right now, and one is a 3rd person action game. The other one we're not currently talking about.

The 3rd person action game mentioned by Jason is most likely Oni. The other one remains a mystery. Could this be a 1st person action game? The one to sweep aside all opposition? Or is it the rumored RPG? I guess we'll have to wait and see.


Oct 14, 1998
Dave Martin <dkm125@psu.edu> writes:

The following appears on page 168 of _Statistics, Principles and Methods_, Third Edition, by Johnson & Bhattacharyya:

"...A seemingly haphazard selection may have a hidden bias. For instance, when asked to name a random integer between 1 and 9, more persons respond with 7 than any other number."

The text which immediately follow the above is perhaps worth noting as well, though of less interest:

"Therefore, the selection of object must b entrusted to some device that cannot think; in other words, some sort of mechanization of the selection process is needed to make it truly haphazard!" [exclamation mark in original-DM]

Hmm, I guess that means asking Durandal for a random number is out of the question. :-)

Nor Greg Kirkpatrick or Jason Jones for that matter. Not only is Marathon strewn with sevens (many still lying undiscovered) but Pathways Into Darkness has its fair share as well. They're Everywhere! ;-)


Oct 13, 1998
Rony Sanchez <rsanchez@datum.hn> makes an interesting observation on "Ain't Got Time Pfhor This..." - the Marathon Pfhor egg level. See The Pfhor Egg section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@erskine.edu> points out that there is quite a bit of Marathon discussion going on at Voracious Rabbit's Bungie.net Forum. Yes... it seems that not all Mythers have been truly assimilated. ;-) Worth a read. Maybe time to add some names to the Spazeroid page. Just Vid It - With Style! :-)


Ty Klein <mrenigma@earthlink.net> asks:

do you know if anyone at Bungie is a fan of the animated series _Aeon flux_? (it was on MTV a few years ago)

Aeon flux? Ty explains:

Aeon Flux has a lot in common with Marathon.(M:infinity in particular) Much of it is about the duality of man,good and evil(who's actually good and who is bad ) time distortation/time travel,constantly switching allegiances,etc., etc.


Oct 12, 1998
Thanks to all the people who wrote in about the Soldier preview. Here are a few of the comments.

Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> writes:

There's a Quicktime version of the Soldier preview you mentioned on the Hotline Movie Madness server (207.245.14.163) (in Coming Soon/October). The resolution is a little low, but one can see the similarity to Mullins' art. It looks like the background, as opposed to the plot of the actual movie, has more relation to Marathon. It involves the proverbial "perfect soldiers" who have been bioengineered and trained since birth to become fighting machines.

Don't have the Hotline Client? Pick up an evaluation copy at the Hotline Home Page. And while you're on Hotline why not drop into RuGGeR's Tavern and download all the Marathon stuff you won't find at www.marathon.org.

Graham Benedict <graham.benedict@snet.net> writes:

I found this summary of the plot of the movie "Soldier". Take a look see...

"A galactic warrior discovers himself obsoleted by a new generation of genetically bred warriors. Sent to a remote planetary outpost, he defends a band of settlers (!) and discovers his own humanity (!!)."

A couple of obvious similarities. By the way, doesn't one of the AI's make a reference to the "pain of obsolescence"? at one point?

Manning Richards <73521.3544@compuserve.com> writes:

Yes, Ive seen several previews for Kurts latest movie Solider =) Theres a sceen where it shoes Kurt decked out in armor, has the door gun from an attack helicopter. The view then pans in on Kurt and he says "Im going to kill someone" Heh excelent! anywhoo heres a clip from the website for a more indepth background to the movie

  In the future, battles are fought by men who have been selected at birth, stripped of their individuality, separated from society and raised with one overriding dictum: kill or be killed. Only a handful reach adulthood. The men chosen as soldiers are schooled in the rigid "Rules For Life" issued by the American Forces:

1.Strict Obedience to orders
2.Never question authority
3.Winning is everything
4.Strength beats knowledge
5.Destroy all enemies
6.Search and eliminate
7.Show no mercy
8.Weakness = Death

Todd (KURT RUSSELL) is a veteran of numerous galactic conflicts and, having lived by the American Force's Rules for Life since childhood, is one of the best. Scarred, toughened and numbed by a lifetime of fighting, he stands as the embodiment of Darwin's principle of survival of the fittest. But Todd's glory days are over. Scientific advancement has fostered a new breed of warriors. Their expertise in battle is unmatched; their stamina, unsurpassed; their ruthless capacity for killing-second to none. The best of these next generation human fighting machines is Caine 607 (JASON SCOTT LEE), who, in a government test to demonstrate his superiority, is pitted against Todd and two of his squad members; all except Todd are annihilated. Severely wounded in the fight and assumed dead, Todd is dumped on a remote planet -- a garbage outpost -- peopled only by a peaceful group of lost and forgotten pioneers. Gradually nursed back to health by the settlers, Todd begins to learn about the everyday aspects of life beyond the battlefield, rediscovering the humanity in him that was all but destroyed by a lifetime of killing. But when Caine 607 and his new battalion of soldiers attack the outpost, Todd is called to defend his adopted home with the help of the other inhabitants, who set aside their pacifist beliefs to fight for their way of life. http://www.wb-soldier.com/


Oct 11, 1998
Will Vuong <vuongm@earthlink.net> points out that PC Games on-line site has an interesting article on 1st person perspective action games in which Marathon is actually mentioned. You can read the article here:

http://www.pcgames.com/sniper/sniper.html

Part of the text reads as follows:

For the record, I've played the Half-Life Day One demo, and in my estimation, the soloplayer experience was exceptional. I haven't played a first-person action game since Marathon that has so involved me in the unfolding story--where I actually found myself completely intrigued about what was coming next at every turn. If the full game lives up to this slice, then Valve should be applauded heartily.

Nice to see Marathon getting some recognition in the PC gaming world. The latest trend in 1st person perspective action PC games with actual stories rather than mere plots will no doubt make more people aware of how far advanced Marathon was for its time. The days of the mindless "get the key, open the door" type scenarios are numbered. People want more and are getting it. It remains to be seen if Bungie will re-enter the 1st person perspective action game scene they so successfully entered back in 1994/95.


S. Adam Richard <serialspnkr@hotmail.com> writes:

Have you been to see any movies at the theater lately and seen the preview for the new movie with Kurt Russel called "Solider"? Maybe it's just me but this movie very strongly reminds me of Marathon. There are several scenes on the preview that look a lot like some of Craig Mullins' artwork. If you pay close attention to the gun that he is using in some of the sceens you will know what I'm talking about. I can't really explain the other similarities so you'll just have to go see it. I hope that somebody else agrees with me so I don't start to wonder if I like Marathon just a little to much.

Has anyone else seen this and care to comment?


Oct 10, 1998
Hamish Carr <hcarr@cs.ubc.ca> writes concerning the latin level name "Habe Quiddam" and its many variations. See the Latin in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Chris Camacho <christo@pop.flash.net> writes:

I was watching MTV late last night and doodling. Well the show I was watching was AMP, which shows videos of non-mainstream dance/house/techno/ect. One of the videos was by a Band named Doof, the song was named "Mars Needs Women", their album is Let's Turn On.

I did a search on www.cdnow.com for song titles "Mars Needs Women", results below:

Artist
Album
Song

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
Aces High
Mars Needs Women

Tonio K.
Rodent Weekend 1976-96
Mars Needs Women

Chemical Brothers
Brothers Gonna Work It Out
Mars Needs Women - Meat Beat Manifesto

Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
Bela Fleck & The Flecktones
Mars Needs Women: Space Is A Lonely Place

I then searched by artist and found a group by that name, they have an album named Sparking Ray Gun. I suspect there's even more out there. Could all this be derived from Bungie, or did they see the same movie Bungie did?

More details about this level name can be found in the What's in a Name section. One thing is for sure the song "Mars Needs Women" has been covered by quite a few people. Anyone ever listen to it?


Oct 9, 1998
Never let it be said that the Marathon's Story page isn't an educational site. Jason Harper <JasonHarper@pobox.com> writes:

Chris Camacho's equation for the Graphing Calculator is interesting, but leaves something to be desired as a Marathon-like symbol. Try this one instead: <see attached GIF, this can't easily be expressed in text> Note: you may need to change the font sizes in Graphing Calculator's preferences in order to get this equation to fit on your screen. Sizes 18/12/9 work nicely.

Jason's Maraquation can be seen below:

Nice one! Try it and see. :-)

But wait! Remember that the 10 Mjolnir cyborgs were living covertly among the colonists on Tau Ceti. If you drop out the 10 in Jason's Maraquation you get a slightly better representation IMHO. I'll let you be the judge.

Just type it in Vidboi! ;-)


Oct 8, 1998
Hamish Carr <hcarr@cs.ubc.ca> writes:

Aye Mac Sicur and Aie Mac Sicur derive from an old Scots phrase:

"I'll mak' siccar" = "I'll make sure" (siccar is cognate with the German word sicher, meaning "certain")

The phrase refers to finishing off a wounded enemy (i.e. I'll make sure he's dead) - it was common in WW II among Scots troops, and dates back to the days of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace (c. 1300).

I found this on the web:

http://www.biggar-net.co.uk/wallace700/legend.htm

Go there, and search for "siccar" in the page.

If you have trouble finding the line Hamish is referring to you'll find it below.

When the news reached Wallace, he was beside himself with grief. However he bided his time before planning his attack on Lanark Castle. The English meanwhile sank into complacency thinking that the rebels had been terrified into submission. Gathering his small force at Cartland, Wallace stole into Lanark at dead of night. Foolishly the English had neglected to guard the walls of the town. Silently through the dark, Wallace and his followers crept up to the castle and again luck was on their side. Overpowering the guards, Wallace's band got access to Haselrigg's apartments. Startled from the depths of sleep, Haselrigg was unable to defend himself. Wallace split his skull to the collar bone with his massive two handled sword. Haselrigg's son hearing the commotion rushed up the stairs to his father's bedroom only to be cut down himself. Meanwhile the young Auchinleck one of Wallace's followers plunged his dagger into the almost lifeless body of Haselrigg 'to mak siccar' to check if the sheriff was really dead. Though there can be little question that in fact he was really dead.


Sarwat Khan <sarwat@interlog.com> writes:

This must have been mentioned before; perhaps it's buried in a What's New section. I was reading the timelines page during the hour I had between two comp. sci classes and I read that the Marathon was built in 64 years. 64 is the 7th bit in binary, as in:

00000010 is 64.


Oct 7, 1998
Bungie sent out an official announcement about the Marathon Gold newsletter hoax. The full text is below: (DId anyone check the headers this time?) ;-)

Subject: Bungie Newsletter Correction

The recent announcement on this list of a "Marathon Gold" project is 
bogus.  Someone with more time than brains used the list to play a 
practical joke which wasn't really that funny.

It's nice to know that so many of you are still Marathon fans, but there 
is no "Marathon Gold" project in development - nor is there likely to be. 
 Unfortunately, news of the fake announcement spread like a virus but the 
truth has not been disseminated so widely, judging by the number of 
"Marathon Gold" questions we're still receiving.  So we felt it necessary 
to send another message to make sure you all know the score.

On the bright side, we have several REAL projects in development which 
are at least as cool as all three Marathon games combined, but we can't 
talk about those just yet.  Those of you who appreciate the high 
standards that Marathon set will want to keep a close eye on our web site 
over the next few months.  Myth II: Soulblighter is only the beginning.

We apologize for any confusion this incident has caused, and we thank you 
for your understanding.


Only the beginning? Concerning Bungie's "projects in development" Matt Soell revealed (on the 1st Oct) that Wired magazine will have the inside scoop on these. And no this does not mean Myth III. What are they? I guess we'll have to wait and see. Will Bungie be returning to the 1st person perspective genre? The competition in this, the most popular gaming genre, is fierce. Games such as Unreal and the up-and-coming Half-Life will set standards by which other 1st person perspective games will be measured and judged. The recent announcement by gaming giant ID Software that "Quake III Arena" will focus on head-to-head, networked competition may start a new trend but does this herald the end of the 1st person perspective solo scenario type game?

Not so according to Greg Kirkpatrick, president of Double Aught Software, a company credited for the Marathon Infinity solo scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon". "Computer games tell stories. That's what they're for." said Kirkpatrick. Double Aught Software's new game in development - Duality - promises to put the player into a Riven-like environment. Duality will have a story not just a plot. Story-driven gameplay, intelligent characters and cinematic cut-scenes will all interact to immerse the player into a believable 3D world. While emphasis is place on adventure type gameplay, puzzle-solving and strategy Duality will also keep the trigger-happy gamer busy. Death awaits the unwary... with big, nasty pointy teeth!


Oct 6, 1998
At last a use for the Graphing Calculator! Yeah you know that little app. that hangs around in your Apple Menu. First appeared when the Powermacs came out. Ever really used it? Well now's your chance. Chris Camacho <christo@pop.flash.net> writes:

I was messing around with the Graphing Calculator desktop accessory that comes with every Mac while doing my homework. After trying to get multiple non-concentric circles I tried some other things and stumbled across this equation :

sin theta > cos x r

I think it works best if you use a number between 3 and 7 for x. ;)

Nice one! :-)


MacGamer's Ledge Top 10 Poll has been updated. Good to see Marathon Infinity in the "current favorite Macintosh game" list. Let's see if we can get it higher. Warcraft 2 still tops the "all-time favorite Macintosh game" list and is in fact way out ahead. How did people let that happen? Unfortunately the poll doesn't tell us how many people have voted. Make your voice heard... vote Marathon, Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity.


Oct 5, 1998
First Oni Girl now... Marathon Girl? Chris Camacho <christo@pop.flash.net> writes:

Alex Okita has a new picture in his sketchbook at www.okita.com, I think you should check it out. If Alex's sketchbook is any indication of the kind of artwork that Oni (or some other game) will contain, then I getting a copy in "two weeks"!

http://www.okita.com/%7Esketchbook/sk008.html


In response to repeated queries concerning the availability of the Oni trailor Alex Okita posted the following information to Bungie West's Hotline server at 209.125.179.23.

The oni trailor is a short movie with some of the models from the game (environment included) animated and rendered in 3dsMax and then composited in Premiere. Bungie marketing decided that it could be better used on the 'official oni web site' Seeing as how thats not up yet the trailor will have to wait till the web site does appear. so now you'll want to know when the web site will be up eh? Probably in the next week or 3. (so i hope) Max (the only person handeling anything related to bungies web site has to deal with the Myth2 site, the Bungie everything else site, two other projects including the Oni site etc...) has showed me the html mock up of the Oni site. nothing spectacular, but it's nice. The guy still doesnt use GoLive or anything like that. Still BBEdit. (he's stuck in the stone ages.)


Concerning the recent Marathon Gold hoax Graham Benedict <graham.benedict@snet.net> writes:

This isn't the first time someone has started a rumor about a game in the works going under the title of Marathon Gold. A long time ago, in the letters to the webmaster page, someone said that they had heard about Marathon Gold. Supposedly, it would be in full 3D and have cut scenes rather than terminal pics and chapter screens. These allegations were immediatly declared false by the webmaster. May the cover-up continue.


On the same subject Argyrios Saccopoulos <sacco@bellsouth.net> writes:

Way back in the mists of time, before Letters to the Webmaster was supposed to be funny, someone wrote a letter. I have no idea how I remember this, but someone wrote a letter asking if there was a new marathon in developement. He said he had heard from a friend about a "Marathon Gold" in developement, and that Bob's could write stuff on the terminals and then you could go read it. I believe the webmaster's response was that he should beat his friend about the head with a rubber chicken for spreading lies about Bungie.

The Story page dug deep into its archives to search out the "Marathon Gold" letter to the Bungie Webmaster. And here it is:

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY MIND!!!!!!!??? An entire year of constant Marathon playing has reduced my psyche to a blasted battlefield littered with dead Bobs and dismembered Pfhor bodies. I can't even THINK anymore! Isn't there a law against mind control or somthing? Oh well, I don't really mind being a Mara-Zombie. I've just got one question, my pfriend tells me that you guys are working on a rehash of the original Marathon, only with animations n' stuff in the terms and in place of the chapter screen. He says it's called Marathon Gold, is this true, or should I beat him over the head repeatedly with a rubber chicken for spreading lies and deceit?

Chris Reid, creid@lville.pvt.k12.nj.us


Chris-

It's not true. Your "friend" lied to you.

I think we both know what this means.

Get the chicken.


Oct 2, 1998
The Story page will be closed for stock taking over the next two days!

Thanks to all the people who wrote in about Marathon Gold. Please read Matt Soell's comments below.

Sriranga Veeraraghavan <ranga@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU> writes concerning my earlier comments re. Marathon Gold

> Let's hope that Marathon Gold contains all that unreleased Bungie
> stuff - like the lost levels, the missing aliens, the extra music
> tracks, the source code and the fabled M2 patcher. Yeah I live in
> hope! ;-)

What about the "PLANS" and the "WAVE MOTION CANNON", perhaps we will finally be able travel back in time to get the plans to the wave motion cannon and save the colony.

One day perhaps... one day...


Concerning certain allegations/suspicions voiced on alt.games.marathon about the origin of Bungie's news item #7 Simon Brownlee <simon.brownlee@pobox.com> had this to say:

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I didn't write that message.

Curiouser and curiouser...


Oct 1, 1998
ANOTHER update!

Matt Soell informs me that Wired magazine will not only carry Bungie staff pics but also an article on Bungie in which they reveal details of their "stuff in development"!!! That's plural folks! So don't miss it.


Ok folks... update time!

Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>, Director of Customer Support at Bungie, has this to say about the latest announcement of Marathon Gold!

There is no Marathon Gold.

Dunno who sent that, but it ain't true.

If it IS true, then I am WAY out of the loop.

Matt also points out that WIRED magazine will have some Bungie staff pics in an upcoming edition. So watch out for them.

Oh!... the pics will be taken on the roof of the Bungie building. No Bungie jumping though. :-(


Well not only did I get a 2nd copy of the Bungie Newsletter Volume 3 today but I also received their missing item #7. Makes for interesting reading.

*** The Bungie Newsletter ****

        Volume 3 (update)
        September 30th, 1998


Okay, okay, so we left out news item #7.
Here it is.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------



7. Bungie announces Marathon Gold in development
------------------------------------------------


Marathon fans will be delighted to hear that we've started work
on Marathon Gold. The definitive collection of Marathon maps and
utilities. Yes the Marathon Gold CD will contain all your favorite
3rd party scenarios, including Morgana's Revenge and Evil.
The distinctive gold colored CD will also come with new versions
of Forge and Anvil. Forge 2 promises a number of new surprises we
can't mention yet.

Anyway, keep an eye out, we'll be announcing a release date and
price soon.



------------------------------------------------
Contents are Copyright 1998 Bungie Software Products Corporation.  All
rights reserved.  All trademarks referenced are the property of their
respective owners.  Comments about the Bungie Newsletter, questions for
customer support, and requests to join the cause should be directed to
.  Look for our advertisements in major gaming
publications nationwide, then buy our games.


Let's hope that Marathon Gold contains all that unreleased Bungie stuff - like the lost levels, the missing aliens, the extra music tracks, the source code and the fabled M2 patcher. Yeah I live in hope! ;-)


Sept 30, 1998
Well a month has gone by and the Marathon mystery pic still remains a mystery. Some close answers but not close enough. I need to know - "Where did it first appear and why was it odd?" The odd bit should be easy even if you don't know where it first appeared. :-)


Ted Polak <arturusxr@earthlink.net> writes:

Just wanted to point out that the Bungie Newsletter Volume 3 has no number 7, instead skipping from 6 to 8. Whaddya know...

Odd stuff. What happened to news item #7? Was it removed to hide the tru7h?


Voices? They're Everywhere! More Marathon 2 theme music madness. Check out what Nick Mason <dmason@spin.net.au> heard in the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... .


Sept 29, 1998
This makes for some sobering reading:

http://www2.starshiptitanic.com/game/mac.html

Welcome to the real world. Aren't you glad there are companies like Bungie and Double Aught out there committed to simultaneous Mac/PC development and release. :-)


Bungie have sent out a third edition of their on-line Bungie Newsletter. Strangely enough they refer to these as "Volumes". Anyway you can read the full text of the 3rd Newsletter by following the link below.

Bungie Newsletter Volume 3
If you missed the 1st and 2nd Bungie Newsletters you can also find them here:

Bungie Newsletter Volume 1
Bungie Newsletter Volume 2

Interesting to note from the 3rd Newsletter that GT Interactive Europe will be distributing Myth II in Europe and not Eidos who were responsible for distributing Myth. One wonders why the change?


Robin Balmer <joy42@open.org> writes concerning the lyrics of a song called "Dreaming" by Blondie on their album "Eat To The Beat. Robin suggests that the song, the full text of which can be seen below, uses similar imagery as the dream levels in Marathon Infinity. Apart from the title itself (Dreaming) and the Eat To The Beat/Eat The Path similarity the lyrics talk about a relationship between two people.

When I met you in the restaurant
You could tell I was no debutante
You asked me what's my pleasure
A movie or a measure?
I'll have a cup of tea and tell you of my dreaming
Dreaming is free

I don't want to live on charity
Pleasure's real or is it fantasy?
Reel to reel is living rarity
People stop and stare at me we just walk on by
We just keep on dreaming
Feet feet, walking a two mile
Meet meet, meet me at the turnstile
I never met him, I'll never forget him

Dream dream, even for a little while
Dream dream, filling up an idle hour
Fade away, radiate

I sit by and watch the river flow
I sit by and watch the traffic go
Imagine something of your very own
Something you can have and hold

I'd build a road in gold just to have some dreaming
Dreaming is free
Dreaming
Dreaming is free
Dreaming
Dreaming is free

Written by C Stein & D Harry - © Chrysalis Music Ltd


Sept 28, 1998
Nathan Bitner <nathan@bungie.com>, a new face at Bungie Software, writes concerning the old Tau Ceti to Earth distance problem.

This message may have taken a few light-years to reach listening ears, but it's only because our gigantic satellite on the roof was pointed in the wrong direction.  We're still trying to pick up Dominican broadcasts of the Cubs games. 

If we've learned anything over the years, it's that you can't trust the damn computers.

Bungie knows where Tau Ceti is. It is the 24th closest star to Sol, at approximately 11.5 light years from Earth. The real question is, what were the AIs thinking?

11.5? Sounds suspiciously close to a seven if you ask me. ;-)

Nathan's letter prompted me to update the Distances section of Facts and puzzling things about... .

Although Nathan is a recent Bungie employee he's been around since the pre-Minotaur days. A good friend of Jason Jones, Nathan is working on story development for some of Bungie's other products. I wonder what they could be? ;-)


Sept 27, 1998
Update.

Joshua Jansen <Demonodis@aol.com> writes to say that the 2nd URL he sent is incorrect and should be:

http://cmex-www.arc.nasa.gov/Atlas96/Atlas96.htm

He goes on to say:

Anyway, when you go to this site, scroll down to the grided B&W pict of Mars, and click on the upperrightmost 1/16 of the map, the area where the new face/ marathon symbol can be found. You should receive the same effect when doing this as typing the inital address, a "404".

So what does NASA not want us to know?


Joshua Jansen <Demonodis@aol.com> writes:

I have for you yet another marathon-like symbol with a face beside it, but the weird thing is that this one is from MARS! I attached a simpletext file but, just in case, the place I found it was:

http://www.mufor.org/utopia/index.html

(the area on Mars where this structure could be seen cannot be viewed on the NASA Mars atlas at

cmex-www.arc.nasa.gov/atlas9.html

the location is +35, 212°, but that area is "404". Weird stuff, no? :-b )

It blew me away when I first saw it. It also brought a poem forth from my mind, written from a guy from Horsham, Sussex, no less. His name was Percy Bysshe Shelley. I quote:

"I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert∑ Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

Ozymandias being the Pharaoh Rameses II.

These are the things the US Government doesn't want you to know about!


Dave Duffy <dave@darkside.eemsd.wustl.edu> writes:

Is it just me or does the http://www.mitsubishi.com front page graphic look very familiar?

They're Everywhere! ;-)


Sept 26, 1998
Bradley Attfield <trsurmap@spots.ab.ca> writes concerning the KKV-7 10mm SMG Flechette. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Sept 25, 1998
David Coufal <coufal@earthlink.net> writes to say that his Pathways Into Darkness page has moved to:

http://home.earthlink.net/~coufal/mit/pid/

The page is still up at the old MIT addresses but will soon disappear.

The Pathways Into Darkness Story page seems to have vanished as mysteriously as the Jjaro. But then there is always the Awfully Awesome Pathways Into Darkness Page to feed your Pathways habit. :-)


Sept 24, 1998
Michael Zannetou <mzannetou@dial.pipex.com> writes:

I found out something interesting for anyone who has got Netscape Communicator 4.06. If you click and hold the 'whats related' button while you are viewing the Marathon's Story site you will get an interesting set of links. A cool new feature of netscape don't you think?

Yes indeed and an interesting set of links as you say. Wherever did they come from?


More Marathon/Myth connections? Bradley Attfield <trsurmap@spots.ab.ca> asks did Bungie carry the "Eternal Soldier" idea from the Marathon series (and PID?) into Myth?

The "Truan of the Hundred Battles" / "Marathon Player" connection.

I went back to playing Myth again, after a few months of celibacy, and recently finished the "Five Champions" level. At the beginning, underneath the arch, I checked my troops just to see what their names were and read the informational text about them. When I got to "Truan of the Hundred Battles" and read his name, (and found out that he was the guy that retrieved the head for Alric) the first thing I thought about was the Achilles/Gilgamesh/Beowulf/Roland text on the level where that terminal is found. More precisely, I thought about the reference to a "thousand lives" or "battles" or something like that and made the connection. Is Truan the Marathon Marine? Or the being, otherwise named as destiny, who also was or controlled the lives of the other heros mentioned in the text?

Going back to the introductory movie at the beginning of Myth, I made a few observations;

1. After the intro text, the Berserker (our buddy Truan) jumps across a housetop and down to the end of a road sided by what looks like an old aqueduct. If he had indeed jumped down from the distance that I thought he did, and started running as though nothing had happened, immediately afterwards, it would be fair to say that this is a similar quality found in the Marathon Marine in M2. Didn't Durandal say something about no one else being able to make the jump?

2. While the Berserker is running alongside the aqueduct, he is attacked by a myrmiddon. This isn't at all strange except for the fact that the Berserk defeats the Mym with one stroke. Hmmm. (Also, somewhere in the fighting, doesn't the berserk groan as if in annoyance. ; )

3. The Berserk next runs down an old stone hallway, draws his sword, and cleanly kills two Thrall hiding behind the pillars or doorposts at the end of the way. This is a pretty cool effect. However, there was no indication that the Berserk could see the Thrall before he drew his sword. Superhuman ability? A built in motion sensor? He did it one-handed too!

4. The Berserker next takes on four or five Ghôls at once and apparently survives.

5. At the end, Alric pulls the head from the wooden drum. It opens it's eyes. Everybody but the Zerk and Alric seems disturbed by this. I don't know if the Zerk had ever seen a talking head before, or if he had talked with that particular head before, but he seems to look on knowingly. ; )

Time for a Marathon/Myth connections section perhaps?


Sept 23, 1998
More polls!

MacGamer's Ledge Top 10 Poll. Vote for your favorite Mac game of all time and your current favorite Mac game. Vote Marathon... you know you want to! :-)


Back in Aug 15 Scott de Brestian pointed out that the text of one of the Thoth terminals was taken from the "The Histories" by the Greek historian Herodotus. Now Dennis Taylor <dennis@starmedia.net> points out that Herodotus also appears in Myth. Dennis writes:

Berserk flavor text, from memory:

"A berserk at the Stair of Grief, having been told that the spears of the Soulless were so numerous as to hide the sun, is said to have replied, "Then we shall fight in the shade.""

From Herodotus:

"Thus nobly did the whole body of Lacedaemonians and Thespians behave; but nevertheless one man is said to have distinguished himself above all the rest, to wit, Dieneces the Spartan. A speech which he made before the Greeks engaged the Medes, remains on record. One of the Trachinians told him, "Such was the number of the barbarians, that when they shot forth their arrows the sun would be darkened by their multitude." Dieneces, not at all frightened at these words, but making light of the Median numbers, answered "Our Trachinian friend brings us excellent tidings. If the Medes darken the sun, we shall have our fight in the shade." Other sayings too of a like nature are reported to have been left on record by this same person." (Book VII, just before the Greek defeat at Thermopylae by Xerxes.)

Trow flavor text:

""...or we shall fell your people like a pine forest." One of the Ghols present asked him why he had singled out pines. "Once cut, pines never regrow", replied the Trow emissary, to which the Ghols had no answer save silence."

From Herodotus:

"When he had finished carrying the wall across the isthmus, and had thus secured the Chersonese against the Apsinthians, Miltiades proceeded to engage in other wars, and first of all attacked the Lampsacenians; but falling into an ambush which they had laid he had the misfortune to be taken prisoner. Now it happened that Miltiades stood high in the favour of Croesus, king of Lydia. When Croesus therefore heard of his calamity, he sent and commanded the men of Lampsacus to give Miltiades his freedom; "if they refused," he said, "he would destroy them like a fir." Then the Lampsacenians were somewhile in doubt about this speech of Croesus, and could not tell how to construe his threat "that he would destroy them like a fir"; but at last one of their elders divined the true sense, and told them that the fir is the only tree which, when cut down, makes no fresh shoots, but forthwith dies outright. So the Lampsacenians, being greatly afraid of Croesus, released Miltiades, and let him go free." (Book VI)


Dave Duffy <dave@darkside.eemsd.wustl.edu> writes:

I see you got your revenge on those Codex guys. Their site is gone...

Yes indeed... the Olders of S'pht foretold the passing.


Sept 22, 1998
Polls, Damn Polls, and Lies!

Three days ago we reported on a "Greatest Game of All Time" Poll at GAMEZNet at http://www.gameznet.com. The poll was complete nonsense since it allowed multiple voting. Nevertheless Marathoner's rallied to the cause and Marathon was soon rising in the poll. Also thanks to the intervention of Chad Poland (PR at Double Aught Software) Marathon Infinity was eventually added to the list of games in the poll. However just as Marathon and Marathon 2 were beginning to ride high in the poll GAMEZNet killed it and replaced it with a "What Is Your Favorite Genre Of Game" poll. In a combined show of displeasure gamers turned their attention to GAMEZNet's other poll - What do you think of the new GAMEZNet?. The following is a screen capture of the results of this poll shortly before it inturn was killed yesterday. But it doesn't end there.

GAMEZNet reactivated and rezeroed their What do you think of the new GAMEZNet? poll today and predictably gamers once more showed their displeasure. Then the most extraordinary thing happened. Can you spot it?

Odd stuff. Have you cast your vote?


Philip Accas <PAccas@aol.com> writes:

Re: the GAMEZNet poll: these guys are geniuses!

Your poll not going the way you'd like it? Don't fiddle with the numbers, just change the ACTUAL RESPONSES THEY'RE ATTRIBUTED TO.

(Jeez, the White House should get CGIWorld - the guys to whom the poll is attributed - to handle their future polls! I can see them now:

BEFORE CGIWorld PollMassage (tm):

How do you feel about President Clinton?
Hate him! ... 58.9%
Love him! ... 27.7%
Like him, but he could be better. ... 11.5%
I've never seen President Clinton. ... 1.7%

AFTER CGIWorld PollMassage (tm):

How do you feel about President Clinton?
Love him! ... 58.9%
Like him, but he could be better. ... 27.7%
I've never seen President Clinton. ... 11.5%
Hate him! ... 1.7%

Philip

P.S. I'm holding off on casting my vote: I don't want to "skew" the "numbers." P.P.S. Happy THIRD BIRTHDAY! You must be so proud!

:-)


Sept 21, 1998
Kristofer Nelson" <lithis@cpinternet.com> writes:

in the misc. tidbits from sept 97-feb 98, you mention 2 designs on the marathon 2 cds... there are also 2 designs on the win95 cds, one yellow and black and one silver and black. boxes with the silver and black cds don't have manuals, only a cd and a registration card.


On the subject of the Story Page's 3rd anniversary Joshua Jansen <emonodis@aol.com> points out that

7 - 3 (years) = Pfhor

[grim laughter]

Yeah right! =)


Back in July 9th Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> drew our attention to a PC game called "Half-Life" which had a NPC called Barney! The description given at the time was very similar to Bob in Marathon 2 and Infinity. No problem here... Bungie doesn't have a copyright on NPCs. The trouble is few people seem to know about Marathon Bob! Alex 'Alvin' Vincent <alex@far2cool.com> in a review of Half-Life for Far2Cool.com wrote the following:

I saw several examples of the Barney Military Policeman. These guys are on hand throughout the game in many different situations, but never too often, ie: the halls weren't crawling with them. They added immensely to the depth of the game, especially when you knew they were on your side, something unheard of previously in a FPS, someother computer controlled character on your side! Sometimes they'd ignore you if they had blatantly better things to do, or otherwise they'd be quite willing to follow you around like a 'puppy' ready to help you out. An example on the demo was when you came across on-coming hoards of Aliens Slaves ready to melt your ass down, the MPs in this situation was great for backup, he stood off a distance filling each monster full of slugs.

He then followed you around the corer chasing the remnants of the Alien Slaves and just after he nailed one to the wall he said, 'Did you see that shot!' Very funny I can assure you ;-) Rather smoothly as well.

A case of.... "I'm coming outta the booth!"?


Sept 20, 1998
Marathon Infinity has been added to greatest game of all time poll at http://www.gameznet.com/cgi-bin/gamezpoll.cgi. Thanks to Chad Poland of Double Aught Software for pointing this out. :-)


Poll Update News!

GAMEZNet drops greatest game poll? Seemingly the poll has been changed to What is your favorite genre of video game?.

Obviously GAMEZNet couldn't handle the legions of Marathon fans hitting their page. Too bad! Then again we all know what the greatest game is anyway! ;-)


Sept 19, 1998

Today we are 3!

The Marathon's Story Page celebrates its 3rd anniversary. Yes...three years! The Story page went live back in Sept 19th 1995 almost nine months after the release of Marathon. Why was the tru7h kept secret for so long?

Although the Marathon saga is nearing its pfhorth year and the last installment (Infinity) was released almost 2 years ago the Story page continues to this day with regular updates. The continued success of the Story page is a testament to Marathon fans worldwide. Your submissions make the page what it is today and I salute you all.

To mark the occasion I have updated the Miscellaneous Tidbits section. Check out all those things that never made it into Facts and puzzling things about... . Like the Marathon box acronyms, the inspiration behind the Marathon Story, The Battle of Brooklyn, the Bungie Webmaster exposed and yes... magnolias! The tru7h is out there!


What is the greatest game of all time? GAMEZNet is running a poll to find out. Marathon and Marathon 2 are listed. But not Infinity? Anyway make your voice heard. Go out and vote: http://www.gameznet.com/cgi-bin/gamezpoll.cgi. Apparently you can vote as many times as you like which is odd. So vote once... vote twice... vote often, ;-)


Sept 18, 1998
Philip Accas <PAccas@aol.com> writes:

I felt it my civic duty to download and resize Peter de Blanc's scans of the Mechwarrior GIFs you posted today. The originals were just too damn big to read easily, even at 1024x768. Let's not even imagine the download/read time for some poor soul sporting a 68K at 28.8 or slower.

Yes, these downsized ones are a little lighter in contrast, but still quite readable, IMO. Identical names for easy swapping.

Check out the MechWarrior background history for Philip's smaller sized scans.


Interesting tidbit about Bungie West. Apparently they are in the process of changing the Oni logo. Seemingly some people were reading the "n" in the present logo as a "h". The resulting word Ohi meant something completely different and unprintable on this page.

For the latest info on Bungie West's new game Oni check out Alex Okita's home page at www.okita.com or Bungie West's Hotline server at 209.125.179.23. If you don't have the Hotline Client you can pick up an evaluation copy at the Hotline Home Page. And while you're on Hotline why not drop into RuGGeR's Tavern, a great Marathon resource with a frequently updated News section. Worth a look... you never know you might stay and chat. Watch out for the bots though they are wicked!

And speaking of chat... the IRC channel #bungie on EFNet has proved quite popular. Indeed Bungie's own Matt Soell dropped in to offer words of encouragement to the faithful few! We're not worthy... we're not worthy! ;-)


The Marathon Testing Grounds is back in business at http://www.marathon.org/testinggrounds/ Got a map? Want some feedback on it? Then the Testing Grounds are for you!


Sept 17, 1998
Back in August (19th and 20th) Peter de Blanc <Giule@aol.com> and James Lanfear <jclanfear@presys.com> drew our attention to some interesting parallels between the accounts of future Earth history as told in a RPG called "MechWarrior" (dating from the '80s) and that in Marathon's Story. Notably the Demios Project and the colonisation of Tau Ceti, the resulting high cost of which created resentment and rioting in some of the poorer Alliance member-states. This is somewhat similar to Mars and the building of the Marathon and the subsequent failure of the CRISTs.

Now thanks to Peter de Blanc, who scanned in the MachWarrior pages, you can now read the MechWarrior background history. The full history is given for completeness.


Sept 16, 1998
On the right track?

Another interesting a.g.m. post from James Bisset concerning restoring Marathon's background music to pre-QT3.0 quality. Worth repeating here for those who may have missed it.

From: spam@bisset.u-net.com (James Bisset) 
Subject:Re: Quicktime 3.0? 
Message-ID: <spam-1609981026130001@p70.nas2.is4.u-net.net> 
References: <Pine.HPP.3.95.980910141737.1985A-100000@river.it.gvsu.edu> 
<35F96BA2.586B@nospam.yahoo.com>
<Pine.HPP.3.95.980913201207.5753C-100000@river.it.gvsu.edu>
<forrestDELETE-THIS!-1309982044220001@term1-17.vta.west.net> 
<spam-1409981003100001@p1.nas2.is4.u-net.net>
<forrestDELETE-THIS!-1409981257180001@term2-13.vta.west.net> 
<spam-1509981007290001@p62.nas2.is4.u-net.net>
<frankd3-1509981505070001@access-port-68-109.isoc.net> 
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 10:26:10 +0100 
Organization: (Posted via) U-NET Internet Ltd. 


(Frank Danella) wrote:

<snip>

> I stop by here occasionally to see what's going on with Marathon and I was
> lucky enough to see your suggestions for restoring Marathon's music to
> pre-QT3.0 quality.
> 
> Since I have no idea how to do what you suggested above I tried editing
> the instrument selection in the Marathon Music file. I used the Marathon
> Music Exploder to make the 16 individual QT movie files. I edited each one
> to sound as much like the original as I could do from memory. (and they're
> sounding great!)

Heh, heh... I think you're about to get a flurry of emails asking for
copies. Congratulations!

> I then merged them back according to your instructions after saving each
> on as "standalone." I used the MultiMusicMovieMaker0.5 that I found at the
> Marathon Archives. I changed the type and creator as instructed. When I
> tried to use the new music file in Marathon the application couldn't load
> it. My screen went black and I had to force quit. When I uncheck
> "background music" in preferences everything works fine, without music of
> course.
> Any ideas what I did wrong?
> Is it possible that MultiMusicMovieMaker0.5 doesn't work with QT 3.0?
> Thanks.

Damn! Other than some slip up in the process that you haven't spotted (eg
saving as self contained movies - otherwise MoviePlayer just saves a
reference file which calls up the original when run) my only thought is
that QT 3.0 automatically flattens all movies to make them cross platform
- ie strips out the resource fork and bungs everything in the data fork so
that the file will also work on a PC. In QT2.5 this was an option. I
suppose its possible that MultiMusicMovieMaker or M1 itself is looking for
the resource fork. Does this sound feasible?

I'm not sure what the workaround is for this, if that's the case. It might
work to resave the edited movies in QT 2.5, but I'm guessing here. You'd
need to make QT 2.5 resave the files to include the resource fork (if
that's the problem) but without affecting any of the program calls. This
should be possible, because QT3.0 uses midi instructions to call up the
instruments and there's no reason for QT 2.5 to tamper with that.

Anyone else got any suggestions?

Otherwise it sounds as if you're on the right... erm, track.

; )

-- 
j a m e s  b i s s e t
web design | music online
http://www.bisset.u-net.com


Hopefully someone will come up with an answer... soon.

Save our Marathon Music!


Over the years numerous people have commented about the odd stuff found in the resource forks of the Marathon, Marathon 2 and Infinity apps. Santiago Pereson <yaco@ad.com.ar> draws up a list of some of the things in the Marathon 2 app.

after checking the MENU resource #129 & 130 in Marathon 2 i spent
some time playing with the app in ResEdit, and found the following:


STR# resource ID 134, string #3:
"Please check to be sure you have the file "QuickTime™ Musical
Instruments" in your "Extensions" folder, because Marathon's
background music will sound really, really stupid without it."

(er... MIDI music on M2? i guess this is a leftover from m1 resource file)


STR# resource ID 142, string #2:
"You have been accepted into a game of "%s".  Now waiting for the server to
add the remaining players…"

and then follows a list of game names. there you can find "Rugby" and
"Bazooka Tag" again.



on the 'text' resource ID #128:

"Here we are again, guys.

Nobody here has slept very much recently or eaten
anything besides pizza or burritos in a few weeks, but
we hope you like what we ended up with.

I don't have much to say, and I won't be fool enough to
give away my email address again, but I figured everyone
would be disappointed if there wasn't some inane little
message here.

So.

Keep your heads up and your fingers off the Caps Lock key.
See you at MacWorld.

Jason, Ryan, Greg, Mark and Rob"



another one, from CODE ID #8

"On networked games, should we display a PICT here?;gnot
supported on playback (yet);g 
(notes from one programmer to another? er...movies???)


CODE ID #9
"Nublew recording queue for player %d

CODE ID #15
"^Nuwhat is monster action #%d?

CODE ID #16
"N^Nublew player %d's queue at %p;g;"N^NuPlayer is zombie!
(i did feel like that some times)


CODE ID #19
"N^Nusubsequent NetADSPWaitForConnection() returned %d...) returned %d 
asynchronously(and some more stuff referring to the net)


CODE ID #24
"N^NuĆDoPrintAlertsupported!"

"N^NučDoReadAlertsupported!  You may type below:

(strange stuff... if 'console' means a DOS-like console, and the marathon
series was done with codewarrior as jason always says, then the codewarrior
console (aka SIOUX) was not used --or patched--: you _can_ write to the
console on SIOUX projects. note: consoles are used sometimes when
debugging/developing programs that will end up having a windowed interface)


Sept 15, 1998
Concerning James Bisset's comments about replacing the instruments in the Marathon Music files so that they play better under Quicktime 3.0 I had the opportunity to ask James some specific questions:

Had he actually attempted to change all the instruments so that they reflected the same instruments in QT2.5? James replied:

Only on my own E: MR1 tracks, and only to a few. The best result is when you tweak the volumes in the midi file itself as well as experiment with different instruments. The balance has changed on some of them - so you may have to overcompensate some instruments and under compensate others.

Was it actually possible to obtain the *same* M1 sound under QT3.0 as it was under QT2.5? Again James replied:

Hmmm.... Problem is that people remember the sound of something as well as the music of it. My guess is that some of the stuff sounds feeble because of balance problems - as mentioned above - and that should be relatively easy to fix. But specific instruments, although improved in terms of General Midi spec, may not sound as the listener remembers, and nothing else will satisfy.

The simplest solution might be to extract the instruments from a QT 2.5 instruments extension (or even better, a QT 2.1 instruments extension, the original 8 bit sounds that M1 shipped with) and 'embed' them in your music movie using MoviePlayer. You can do this in QT 2.5 BTW, if you have the goodies - authoring extras etc.

That would give you independence from the 'local' instrument set, although it would make the file sizes a bit bigger. I have a page on embedding instruments on my site.

So this would seem to be the best approach. Extract the instruments from QT 2.1 and embed them into the Music tracks. Anyone with the appropriate software want to give this a try? James Bisset's site can be found at http://www.bisset.u-net.com/les_maramusic.html

Save our Marathon Music!


Joshua Jansen <Demonodis@aol.com> writes concerning the latin level name "Habe Quiddam" and the Stanley Kubrick's film "Full Metal Jacket"

Do you remember the movie Full Metal Jacket? If so, do you remember the Marine gunner that was given the task of manning the starboard gun on the helicopter that was to bring the journalist to his designated drop point? Do you recall what he kept saying as he was shooting the hapless Vietnam farmers in the rice paddy? Give up? Does the phrase "GET SOME!" jog your memory? :)

Had he been a Roman, the gunner might have been shouting "HABE QUIDDAM!" In any case, this is a good thing to say when you are blowing away bobs, or a good thing to remember when seeking the elusive S'pht artifact in the level which bears the same name.

Here is part of the helicopter scene from "Full Metal Jacket" Joshua refers to:

JOKER Sits looking out the door.

RAFTERMAN is frightened and airsick.

The DOORGUNNER laughs and yells as he fires his M-60 machine gun.

We see Vietnamese below running and falling.

DOORGUNNER

"Get some ... get some ... get some ... get some ... yeah ... yeah ... get some ... get some."

After a while the DOORGUNNER stops firing and grins at JOKER.

DOORGUNNER (shouting to be heard)

"Anyone who runs is a V.C. Anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined V.C." (laughs)


Ben Fisher <ben@fisher.enterprise-plc.com> writes concerning the secret Marathon Infinity net map "Hat Off To Eight Nineteen":

The file size of 'Hats of to 819' is 31750 bytes
3+1+7+5=16
1+6=7
You can blame Randy Reddig for this one! ;-)


Sept 14, 1998
This interesting post appeared on alt.games.marathon. It concerns the possible replacement of the instruments in the Marathon Music files so that they play better under Quicktime 3.0

From: spam@bisset.u-net.com (James Bisset) 
Subject: Re: Quicktime 3.0? 
Message-ID: <spam-1409981003100001@p1.nas2.is4.u-net.net> 
References: <Pine.HPP.3.95.980910141737.1985A-100000@river.it.gvsu.edu> <35F96BA2.586B@nospam.yahoo.com>
<Pine.HPP.3.95.980913201207.5753C-100000@river.it.gvsu.edu>
<forrestDELETE-THIS!-1309982044220001@term1-17.vta.west.net> 
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 10:03:10 +0100 
Organization: (Posted via) U-NET Internet Ltd. 


I _never_ thought the M1 music sounded any good but that's my own opinion.

QT 3.0 has a far better (and far bigger) set of instruments, but the
balance and volumes are different - so old midi files arranged and mixed
to make the most of  QT 2.1 or 2.5 may sound a bit wierd.

To change the instruments:

You'll need to get Marathon Music Exploder (If that's what it's called -
seems like a long time ago, but it's somewhere on my site) to unpack the
QT movies.

Open up a movie in QT 3.0 pro. Choose 'Movie>get info'. Select 'music
track' on the left hand pop down and 'instruments' on the right hand pop
down. You should now see a list of the instruments used in the track.
Double click the instrument you want to change and the instrument picker
will pop up. Choose your new instrument, close the picker and audition the
track again. when you've got waht you want, save the file as a 'self
contained movie' and then repack the movies into a music file with that
other app 'MultiMusicMovieMaker' which you can also find on my site.

For more info and tutorial see http://www.bisset.u-net.com/les_maramusic.html

HTH


(Forrest Cameranesi) wrote:

> In article <Pine.HPP.3.95.980913201207.5753C-100000@river.it.gvsu.edu>,
> Thunderbolt <gibsonp@river.it.gvsu.edu> wrote:
> 
> > I'm wondering if it's actually possable to re-sequence the MIDI
> > instruments built into QT...
> > Hmmm...
> 
> It is, I just don't know where to get the tools for QT3 MIDI editing (I
> had one for QT2 way back when, but I've lost it now). Other apps can even
> have their own Instuments file. And the MIDI instruments aren't "built-in"
> really, they're in a file called "QuickTime Musical Instruments".

-- 
j a m e s  b i s s e t
web design | music online
http://www.bisset.u-net.com


Has anyone actually tried this? Does it work? That is... do you get the original M1 music sound back under QT3.0?

If so it should be possible to create a patch for the Marathon Music file so that it will sound the same under QT3.0 as it does under the old QT2.5.

Save our Marathon Music!


To those who have asked the mystery pic (above) IS an officially released Bungie graphic.

Graham Benedict <graham.benedict@snet.net> writes concerning the above mystery pic:

I have not got the slightest clue as to where the picture came from, but here are my initial observations. The picture apparently a collection of bitmaps showing running animations for bobs, attack animations for hulks, death animations for fighters, and attack animations for hunters. I was able to lower the distortion a little bit by opening up the picture with PhotoShop, and using the Twirl filter in the opposite direction as the picture was twirled by the picture's creator.

Note: the original pic was 'twirled' thus you are seeing it as it was although scaled smaller in size.

Bryan Pearson <bpearson@nunki.usc.edu> also writes concerning the mystery pic:

I believe it was the background of one of the pages on an early Bungie web site, the first site to introduce us to Ling-Ling's Head if I'm not mistaken. I know the page had a Form on it, I think for a contest to win a new mac. As far as what's odd about it, it seems to me the contest was commemorating the release of Marathon 2, so it's odd that they would use the Marathon characters.

On the right track alright... but is Ling-Ling right? Here's a hint. When did we first see Ling-Ling? There now who says I don't give helpful hints. ;-)


Atli B. <astat@hi.is> writes:

I logged into the site of 'Formation Records'. It's an english publishing company that publishes the highly regarded (in Europe, that is) Drum'n'bass music. Anyway, if you go to www.formationrecords.co.uk/dock.html I think you'll find something interesting there.

In case you don't see what Atli is referring to Atli explains further:

...the 'Formation 5' picture (at dock.html) has the same graphical look as the chapter screens in Marathon 1.

A remarkable coincidence or something more? You be the judge!


Sept 13, 1998
Muhsin Miski <mmiski@hotmail.com> writes concerning the background voices on the Marathon 2 theme music. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Steve Smart <steve827@earthlink.net> writes:

Reading the answers to this years HoT list reminded me about a script I made for the Videos. Many of my friends had wondered how you could open them without copying the Gnop folder to your hard drive, so I made this little AppleScript to make an alias of any file, even invisible and locked ones, saving you a lot of disk space.
<http://home.earthlink.net/~steve827/nasoft/AliasMaker.sit.bin>(3K)


Martin Thorne <mhornet@hotmail.com> writes:

Fox executives have finally persuaded Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons, to develop another animated series for the Fox network. Called Futurama, it will feature the same style of Groening animation with a story starting on new years eve, 2999.

Among the main characters, Fry "a guy from our time who has a tragic mishap on New Year's Eve 1999 and gets frozen, and wakes up on New Year's Eve 2999," Bender "the first robot in science fiction who shoplifts," and finally LEELA, a one eyed alien woman.


Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> passes on some information that might interest some people:

September 12, EFnet IRC - I, Forrest Cameranesi, am proud to announce the existance of a new IRC channel, maintained by long-time Marathon afficianado and former maintainer of the Marathon Central web site, Steve Campbell. Channel #bungie, of EFnet. This channel is intended for chat and conversation of all things Bungie, from arranging network games of Myth to help with your latest greatest Marathon scenario, to "How do I get past the first level of Pathways Into Darkness?", and everything in between.

For those who don't know, IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. To get on IRC, you'll first need a client. For a MacOS client, head to http://www.xs4all.nl/~ircle and grab Ircle. For a Windows client, head to http://www.mirc.co.uk and grab mIRC. There are a good number of other IRC clients, but if you know of them, this brief tutorial is not for you.

Once you've got your client, read it's help files and documentation to learn how it works. Give yourself a nickname, username, and various other information. Then, select an EFnet server. Your client may have a number of servers listed to choose from; some may be outdated, others flaky and unreliable, but there are some major ones which you can trust to use. My favorites are irc.lightning.net, irc.best.com, and irc.blackened.com.

Now that you're connected, use the "join" command by typing "/join" (without the quotes), followed by "#bungie" (also without the quotes). So, you typed "/join #bungie". Hit enter (or return), and you should arrive in the channel. Any questions you have can be answered there. Keep in mind, however, that many people "idle" - they leave their client connected and in that channel, but they are either doing something else on their computer and not paying attention to IRC, or perhaps not at their computer at all - so they may not answer your questions immediately. So, be patient.


Sept 12, 1998
Jon Merriman <jmerriman@uswest.net> makes an interesting discovery on an early Marathon screenshot which may have been a clue to our identity as a cyborg. See the You section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.


Added the first ever Marathon screenshot to the Blasts from the Past section.


In the Thoth section it was recently mentioned that there was a volvanco called Euboea Fluctus on Jupiter's moon Io (eye o). Io was in fact the originally planned name for the sci-fi movie "Outland" starring Sean Connery. The film being set on Io. Sean Davis <sean.davis@colorado.edu> adds further to this.

I just got to all the new important stuff about Thoth, and I'd like to point out that in the book of 2001, the final monolith is on Io. I know it's somewhere else in the movie, but it is Io.


Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@erskine.edu> wonders if Bungie are taking this seven thing too far. He points out that the following text appeared recently on their jobs page:

"To apply for the job email resume, professional experience, salary requirements, and examples of how you satisfy the above seven points, to alexander@bungie.com or send via mail to: "

Strangely this text has now disappeared.


The search for the elusive Super Marathon continues. Craig Stanton <c_stanton@hotmail.com> writes:

I have finally got a reply from my software dealer about super marathon, not what I expected. The whole reply is below. Darned if I can guess what Bungie is up to, maybe they have not told everyone that it *does not exist*?

Craig. How is it going? I have been running games evenings for 1 month 
now. Still very quiet (only 2 people come so far). Come along some time and 
give me some competition.

In response to an earlier question, I have attached an email I received
from bungie.

Catch you later.

Ray.

**********************

Hi Ray,

Sorry about the slow reply.  Why don't you email Jim@bungie.com and ask 
him about the possibilities of getting posters or something like that.  In 
any case he'd be better qualified to tell you what you can and can't do.  There 
is no super marathon BTW.

Ray Ackland wrote:

> Secondly, I received an email from a Marathon fan (below). Are you able to
> give me any details on the existence of the mentioned "Super Marathon".
>

> ===============================================================
> I have heard about a special version of Marathon (1 and 2) that runs on
> the Pippin. It is called Super Marathon and I was wondering if you could
> find out how much it would cost to get a copy for me, please.



--
Allen Turner
Tech Support
Bungie Software
Products Corporation

Puzzling indeed. But the confusion was eventually cleared up by Jim Ruiz (Bungie Sales). Craig writes:

i received this today, it follows from the previous one I sent on to you, and explains that not everyone knows about it, kinda

Craig, update on that last email I sent you.

*****

Ray,

I'm glad to hear that you're going to be playing our games in your shop!
I hope your events are successful.

Yes, there was a Marathon for the Pippin! Though where you might still
find a copy, I have no idea. We've been out of stock for years; I'm not
surprised that Allen wasn't aware of it. Good luck! (You may need it!)

Thanks,

Jim


Sept 11, 1998
I'm back!

Thanks to all the people who wrote in over the vacation period. Loads of mail to get through so please bear with me if you've written in and waiting for a reply. To get the show on the road here are the answers to the

The 2nd Summertime Blues Competition.


Q1. In total how many net levels are there in the three Marathon games comprising the Marathon Trilogy?

Easy one really. The answer is 48 (4 + 8 = 12 = 1 + 2 = 3). 10 net levels in Marathon, 13 in Marathon 2 and 25 (including the secret "Hats Off To Eight Nineteen" net map) in Marathon Infinity.

Some people included the co-op levels, others the three special Infinity Vidmaster levels but the number of official Bungie net levels is 48.


Q2. In the Marathon games there are 3 main ways of dying:

  1. Being killed by aliens and other assorted characters such as Sims, Bobs, Defense Drones, etc.

  2. Killing yourself through the misuse of a weapon i.e. firing a grenade or rocket to close to an object or overcharging a fusion pistol.

  3. Being killed by the Marathon environment i.e. crushing platforms, lava, Pfhor slime, lack of oxygen etc.
But just how deadly is the Marathon environment? Of the 27 solo levels in Marathon 1 on how many is it possible to be crushed to death?

Well this question was actually designed to get you to play Marathon. Most people got the obvious levels such as "Defend This", "Cool Fusion", "Colony Ship... " etc but not the less obvious ones such as "Arrival" and "Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!". Yes "Arrival" has a 'crushable' pillar and "Smells Like Napalm..." has a rather bizarre room in the north-west corner of the map which if you fire a grenade at the switch while standing under the door you'll get crushed. Ok so you get the idea... I was also looking for all those odd areas where you can potentially get crushed. So just how hazardous was the Marathon environment? Well of the 27 solo levels 13 had the means to crush you if you were unlucky enough to fall victim to them. You could call them the unlucky 13. You don't want me to list them now do you? ;-)


Q3. What had a range of 12?

The survival rate protocol for the human captives maintained by pen13 garrison units. On "By Committee" (Terminal 1) we read the following:

All pen13 garrison units are ordered to scale back enforcement proceedings on human captives to maintain survival rate protocol (49-61%).

49-61% is a range of 12%. (1 + 2 = 3)


Q4. In Pathways Into Darkness you encounter a number of dead people - German soldiers lead by the infamous Muller, your American Special Forces team, and a group of Spanish speaking treasure hunters. In total how many people entered the pyramid?

Ok I'll confess... this was a difficult question for non-Pathways fans. Indeed Pathways fans would also have found this particularly hard since the Pathways Story should not be taken at face value. There is alot of deception and mystery in the 'Conversations with the Dead' much of which is still unexplored to date.

The right answer is 34 (3 + 4 = 7). The breakdown is as follows: 18 German soldiers, 8 (including yourself) US Special Forces, and 8 Spanish speaking treasure hunters.

Some Pathways Story fans will no doubt be jumping up and down in their seats at this stage shouting "NO NO NO... THERE WERE ONLY SIX SPANISH GUYS NOT EIGHT!"

A cursory reading of the Pathways Story would suggest six but there were in fact eight. For further details check the Six of one, half-a-dozen of the other section of Facts and puzzling things about...


Q5. What equalled 61?

Ok when I first thought up this question I was sure there was only one answer but not so! A number of people proved me wrong. The answer I was looking for was:

every other virtual = 61
Remember that weird error message the Bungie guys kept getting during the early development of Marathon? You can see it in the invisible "Marathon Home Videos" movie on the Marathon Trilogy CD. Its exact meaning still remains a mystery.



So what were the other answers?

Well a number of people said it was the maximum survival rate protocol for the human captives maintained by pen13 garrison units as mentioned in Question 3. While this is correct would I really ask two questions with the same answer? ;-)

Cairan Wheeler <wyvernsoul@innocent.com> rightly pointed out that there sixty-one unique facial models for Pfhor simulacrums. See "We're Everywhere" (Terminal 1: 2nd message) for details. Yup nice alternative answer. :-)

Odd how that number 61 keeps cropping up. But then again (6 + 1 = 7) ;-)


Q6. What were the seven final words of a dying man?

Well I thought this one would be easy but not so judging from the replies. The seven final words of a dying man were:
"Make me proud. Never lose your honor."
These were the last words spoken by your father when you were seven. See the Marathon Manual text for details. Yes seven final words... I kid you not!


Q7. A memory, a name, a reason. Three things all forgotten. What were they?

Lots of potentially different answers for this one depending on your interpetation. However the answers I was looking for were:
A memory of your past.

"A smile which reminds you of something from your past, but you can't remember exactly what it is." <From the Marathon Manual>

A name of a movie.

"I figure that there is time now to take a good look at this knife that has caused me so much grief and to miss the movie that I was heading for but can't remember the name of." <From the Marathon Infinity level "Whatever You Please">

A reason why everyone was a murderer.

"Everyone was a murderer, but Gheritt couldn't remember his reason for why that was so." <From the famous Gheritt White terminal on "Never Burn Money":>


So there you have it. Seven answers to seven HoT questions. Many thanks to everyone who sent in answers. Unfortunately nobody got seven right, nor five, not even four. :-(

Thus I get to keep the exclusive Marathon's Story page secret mystery prize once more! :-)


New bi-monthly mystery pic up. Where did it first appear and why was it odd?


More updates on the way...


Go to What's New (July - Aug 1998)
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Last updated Oct 31, 1998