Robert Blake


Brian Blovett <> writes concerning Robert Blake and points out that he:

...has no eye implant (like the other Bobs do)

Brian continues:

There are 2 possible reasons for this:

Reason 1: Durandal never implanted Blake, for reasons relating to Blake's position as leader of the Bobs.
Discredit 1: Blake seemed to "become" leader after the Bobs were revived and they had some time to decide who should represent them. Thus, as far as Durandal was concerned, Blake was just another Bob at first. O.K., so this is pretty speculative from how Durandal refers to Blake early on.

Reason 2: Blake had the implant removed, presumably after Durandal was destroyed.
Discredit 2: Blake personally led the Bobs into the battle he mentions in the first term message in "My Own Private Thermoplyae", and Durandal tells us that "Robert Blake and his men" need our help ("What About Bob?" term 3, msg 1). Thus he would probably need the implant just as much as anyone else (if not more so). This discredit can also be used against reason 1.

So, what do you think the story is here?

Interesting observation. I guess we sometimes miss the most obvious of things. I certainly didn't spot this and guess Bungie never thought of it when Jason Jones posed as Robert Blake. Was this a simple oversight or something more...?

And why did Robert Blake lie to us?

On the exit terminal of "My Own Private Thermopylae" he tells us that

I never saw you then, but maybe I'll get a
chance to meet you when this is all over.
There's one more activation site.
<My Own Private Thermopylae (Terminal 1: 2nd message)>

But in a recorded message on the next level, "Kill Your Television", he says:

Durandal suggested before his destruction
that there were two more activation sites
here.  No one knows for certain what will
happen when Thoth is activated, but if he
does not help us we are doomed and you will
be stuck here.
<Kill Your Television (Terminal 1: 1st message)>
So Blake knew about the 2 activation sites on "Kill Your Television" but tells us there was only one on "My Own Private Thermopylae".

A simple mistake or... ?

And what's with the Blake terminals?

All but one of the Robert Blake terminals are identified by the header "acropolis.piltdown//004121.25.1"? The odd one out is in fact the last of the Blake terminals and appears on "Kill Your Television". This terminal features the recorded message left by Blake with the identification header "teilhard//004121.25.1". The identification numbers are the same only the name changes. In the Historical & Mythological References in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... it was suggested that "piltdown" stood for the Piltdown Hoax and that "teilhard" referred to Teilhard de Chardin. Loren Petrich <> pointed out that there was an interesting connection between the two. That perhaps Teilhard perpetrated the Piltdown Hoax.

Dennis Keeler <> writes:

I have a theory on why Robert Blake's terminals say piltdown. Perhaps Robert Blake is a hoax and the transmissions from him are fakes made by Durandal. It would certainly be in Durandal's character to not want to give up the reins, but he did have to pretend to be dead. Hence Durandal becomes Robert Blake.

Was Robert Blake an elaborate cover for Durandal? Is the terminal header "teilhard" meant to signify something about the previous "piltdown" terminals? That they were a hoax perhaps?

Lastly is the name Blake taken from the main character in the famous British science fiction series Blake's 7 ? A television series with an Artifical Intelligence called Orac, described as the

"Galaxy's most powerful (if ornery) computer. Has a carrier wave capability that can link with and control other computer systems across light years of space. Would much rather spend time contemplating the mysteries of the Universe than helping mere mortals."

Edwin ten Dam <> writes:

On Craig Mullens pictures between the Chapters of M2, the chapter called Blake is numbered "Blake.VII" . This would argue for the Blake-Blake's 7 link.

Richard Williams <> writes:

the final screen says specifically "Robert Blake and his men... were the only human survivors of the original Tau Ceti colony." The final screen is not a message from Durandal, but a narration. Why would this last message be a lie, if Blake wasn't human?

Richard's point is quite correct. Indeed Dennis Keeler <> did make reference to this when he proposed his Durandal=Blake theory. Dennis wrote:

Since the final screen text does not seem to be written by Durandal, it seems now that Blake really did exist. But I guess Durandal still could have been impersonating him.

So a Robert Blake did exist. But was it the same Robert Blake that told us how to activate Thoth?

Ty Klein <> provides some interesting information about the Marvel comic version of Thor. Apparently Thor when on Earth appeared in the guise of a normal human with the name Donald Blake. Thor also had a hammer called Mjolnir which he used as a weapon. As we play the part of a military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg Ty wonders whether we are Durandal's weapon like Thor's hammer (Mjolnir) and Durandal is posing as Robert Blake on Lh'owon in order not to recognised.

Strange stuff indeed.

Josh Noel <> makes two interesting observations about Robert Blake.

  1. You first meet Robert Blake when Durandal is deactivated and he leaves when Durandal comes back.

  2. On "Kill Your Television" Robert Blake leaves a pre-recorded message for you telling you about the activation sites needed to activate Thoth. But after you activate Thoth the message is replaced with a garbled message. If you look closely at this message it contains references which seemingly Blake would have had little or no interest in. No guesses as to who would though. ;-)

Was Blake a fake? A cover for Durandal? As Durandal said:

But it was convenient for me to be absent,
as Thoth might not have been so helpful had
he known I still lived-
<Feel the Noise (Terminal 1)>

Michael Barter <> writes:

Consider this: Durandal leaves a LOT of "last instructions" to Blake; and it was not until Battle Group Seven's arrival at Lh'owon that Durandal was able to piece together the puzzle of the disappearing S'pht'Kr clan. There would simply not have been enough time for Durandal to plan last minute instructions and fight off the Pfhor fleet at the same time!

Michael makes a valid point. Also why was Robert Blake left with so much important information and not us?

Michael speculates that although Blake appears different from the other Bobs he may have a more subtle cybernetic implant... a computer chip, nestled inside his head, with enough capacity to carry Durandal's core processes inside, like William Gibson's "Johnny Mnemonic"?

Michael points out that the chip would provide not only the cunning hideaway needed to evade Thoth's notice, but also a sneaky way to infiltrate the "Hfarl", enter the Battle Group's computer systems and take Tycho completely by surprise... in short, an elaborate "Trojan Horse" trick!

Michael Dawe <> writes:

I prefer to think that Durandal was aware of Tycho's actions when he was giving the instructions to Blake. I think that an AI that powerful would know when he was being downloaded into a containment unit. There was too much to tell you in too little time. His messages in this and levels before this are extremely garbled, and I doubt he thought he could communicate everything to you in garbled terminals in such time. Also, if Durandal knew that Tycho had enough control to download him off the ship, he probably also knew that Tycho would soon go to you after he was done with:

Someone's after you, personally.  One word;
two syllables; rhymes with Psycho.
<Sorry Don't Make It So (Terminal 2)>

So Durandal knew you were soon to be captured. Obviously you've done enough to the Pfhor by now that they hate you with a passion. But who would look at an insignificant, weak human? What better hiding place for Durandal?

David Cornwell <> writes:

Blake's reply-to address:


0+0+4+1+2+1+2+5+1=16   1+6= 7

Kim Graff <> writes:

The narrator of H. P. Lovecraft's story "The Haunter of the Dark" is named Robert Blake, and was apparently named after Lovecraft's young friend Robert Bloch, who went on to write _Psycho_.

John Gendreau <> writes:

Robert Blake is the name of the main character in H.P. Lovecraft's story, "The Haunter of the Dark", a story which, oddly enough, is dedicated to Robert _Bloch_, author of "Psycho", among others, a longtime fan of Lovecraft's work. I would take this to mean that "Blake" was just a small change of Bloch. Anyway, in the story, Blake sees an old, foreboding (and no doubt "eldritch") church from his window, and goes to investigate. All the townfolk nearby stay away, and it's generally considered unholy, etc., etc. He goes in, finding the place to be in a shambles, and generally discovers lots of things he shouldn't. The big idea is that there's a horrific and typically Lovecraftian monstrosity from beyond that lives up in the tower and can only move freely in total darkness. Blake finds that he feels connected to this thing in the tower (although it takes him a long time to figure out what it is) and finally has to strap himself down at night to keep from sleepwalking back to the church. Blake dies while looking out his window during a dark and stormy night that cuts the power near the church, which convinces the big floaty thing to come out. Lightning hits it, and although this presumably kills it, Blake gets a horrifying view of it and dies from fright. Oddly enough, the thing that seems to scare him most (he's scribbling madly in his journal the whole time, which is how we know what happened) is the thing's "three-lobed burning eye". Three? Eye? Hmm. Considering other Lovecraftian influences in the story, I figured this might be where the name came from, and not necessarily from "Blake's 7".

Brent Thompson <> writes:

Robert Blake is the name of a charecter in one of H.P. Lovecraft's storys. The story is entitled "The Thing On The Doorstep" or something along those lines. Anyway the story is about a man who marries someone from Innsmouth. The woman from Innsmouth has the ability to literally switch minds with someone else. She used Blake's mind frequently.

The character Robert Blake also featured in Lovecraft's later work The Haunter of the Dark, published in November 1935 (see above). The Thing on the Doorstep was published in August 1933.

Brent goes on to speculate that...

...maybe Durandal is Blake. After all the BOBs had cyborg implants. Maybe Durandal switched personalities with Blake.

Well the problem here is that Blake doesn't appear to have an implant least not a visible eye implant. Some have suggested that since Blake was the colonists' leader he didn't need one? Though it would be unlike Durandal NOT to keep a close eye (excuse the pun) on things, particularly the leader of the humans.

I will be watching everything.

What happens when you post something without checking the original source. The following... Brent Thompson <> writes above his recent submission (see above)

I feel really bad now. When I wrote the original message I did not have a copy of the book handy. When you said he was mentioned in the "Haunter of the Dark" I had to go back to the library and check it out. The two storys were mushed together in my brain. The name of Robert Blake in "The Thing On the Doorstep" is really Edward Derby.

No problem. These things happen. The fault really lies with me for not checking before posting. At least we can make amends. :-)

Jonathan Andrews <> writes:

I would like to follow up the comment about Robert Blake being Durandal. Last night after a rousing net game of Marathon: Evil, I was playing You Don't Know Jack Television and the name Robert Blake came up in one of the questions. I quickly paused the game and did some digging... Robert Blake was the name of an actor that played in many TV shows and movies. One TV show in particular caught my eye... "Baretta." I'm not up on Beretta, but I know that one of his main abilities was that he was a master of disguise.

Jonathan goes on to speculate:

Maybe, Durandal was disguised as Robert Blake. Maybe he was "keeping an eye" on us...

Jean-Francois Lemay <> writes:

Remember that you thought that we didn't see Blake in Marathon 2 or Inf. I think that you are wrong. In fact, I think that we DO see Blake in the actual game. Where, you might ask?

I don't remember the name of the level but I do remember exactly how it looks like. It's in Marathon II, when you are in an human underground base. In the particular level, there is an open atrium and some kind of pit where Simulacrums are held. Your mission is to eliminate all the Pfhor wandering in the base, with the help of the Bobs.

Well, Blake clearly says that he and his humans are holding on in this base. This means that Blake is himself in the base, doesn't it? But where? In one particular room. He his the ONLY BLUE GUY you will find in the underground base. He is also located in the deepest room underground of the whole base.

I am sure that Marathon's creators put him there just to show that they hadn't forgotten the fact that each and every last humans were in this base, including Blake.

I may be wrong, however.

Forgive my english, I am french canadian.

Concerning Jean-Francois Lemay's comments above Sam Snyder <> writes:

I found Robert Blake on the level "Where the Twist Flops". He is the only blue BOB (Civilian Science) to be found on this level.

Attached are 3 screenshots:

1. Showing his location on the map in Forge
2. Standing around with some other BOB's
3. A close-up shot

Similarly Thomas Weigle <> writes:

Regarding sightings of Robert Blake in the game (news from June 17)...

Ah, yes, it does indeed seem to be Robert Blake, alive & kicking, on Where the Twist Flops... I went down to the lowest level & Jean-Francois Lemay is right - the only blue Bob on the level is down there.

I also checked the monster parameters in Forge for that level - only one blue Bob in the entire level there as well. Now, the blue ones are the science crew, & remember what Blake says on This Side Towards Enemy:

This is a poor time for introductions, but I'm Robert Blake. I used to be a mechanical engineer on Tau Ceti, but now I'm somehow in command of the remaining human and S'pht survivors on this God-forsaken rock.

So, I suppose it really is Blake.

Nic Carrott <> writes:

I recently read a post on the Story page that Robert Blake is in the level. I have seen him there as well, and also in a few other levels, too! The level that Jean-Francois Lemay is "God Will Sort the Dead...", but I have also seen another blue clad BOB in "We're Everywhere!". When you reach the room at the top of the level before you enter the hanger, many BOBs teleport in. If my memory is correct there is only one blue BOB! I believe this is Blake.

And in "My Own Private Thermopylae", there is only one blue BOB!

But is it Robert Blake?

Stephen Tweedale <> writes:

Jean-Francois Lemay's theory that Blake can be seen during gameplay in Marathon 2 makes sense. However, Blake appears in a green uniform in the intro screen for his eponymous chapter. This is consistent with his job description (mechanical engineer).

Are engineers green, blue or... red?

What were they in the Marathon?

Stephen goes on to say:

Regarding Blake's lack of an ocular implant, keep in mind that one half of his face is always in shadow. Even if he had one, we probably wouldn't be able to see it. Even if he was without an ocular implant in the terminal pictures, who knows whether they're permanent implants. Maybe only the wire connecting the eyepiece to the brain stem (I think) stays in, and the eyepiece is detachable. Or maybe the wire comes out too. It would be possible to develop a self-implanting and self-extracting device like that if you had access to some sophisticated nanotech.

If Robert Blake does have an implant, that supports Jean-Francois' observation.

Remember in the terminal pics Robert Blake doesn't have an eye patch, in the Chapter screen the right side of his face is in shadow, and all Bobs in the game have eye patches. As Stephen suggests perhaps the eye patch is removable?

Anton Mates <> writes:

On the level "What About Bob?," after you flood the basement, Durandal tells you to help Blake and his BOBs mop up the enemy on the surface. There's one and only one BOB who doesn't teleport away when all nearby enemies are dead. Instead, he hangs around as long as you stay on the level, as though he wants to make sure everyone's accounted for before he leaves himself. Blake, natch. I checked the level in Forge and he's the only BOB without the "teleport out" flag checked. His uniform is blue, by the way.

Tim Branin <> writes:

As we question whether Blake was green or blue. Lets take into account what Durandal said on "We're Everywhere" concerning that Assimilated BOB's wore green Airlock Technician uniforms. So if Green uniforms are still Airlock uniforms then Blake (assuming his area of engineering isn't in airlocks) must be a blue BOB. OK OK, maybe he was wearing green in the chapter page, but that isn't the only inaccuracy shown in chapter screens.


Anyone remember what color of uniforms engineers wore in Marathon?

Devin Sanera <> writes:

It mentions on the Robert Blake page that he might be a hoax because his last transmission, a recorded one, has the identification header containing "teilhard". Then it is claimed that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin perhaps perpetrated the Piltdown Hoax and that Robert Blake is an elaborate hoax of the same idea.

However, many sources consider Charles Dawson the actual perpetrator. Dawson clams to have found an elephant bone shaped like a cricket bat, Dawson dies in 1916, no more finds made at Piltdown after 1916, the list goes on. This is not a factual correction, however, it is a new idea I've had. Perhaps Blake is like Teilhard and Durandal is like Dawson. Teilhard was just a dupe of Dawson, Blake was just a dupe of Durandal. It was, after all, "convenient" for Durandal to be absent. Blake was just the unwitting star of Durandal's little hoax.

Also, the info header of "acropolis.piltdown" could mean that the "acropolis" (S'pht Citadel. The words, after all, are synonyms.) was the site of the "piltdown" or archaeological find of the S'pht terminals telling of their history. Could the S'pht terminals be hoaxes like the Piltdown skull?

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Last updated May 1, 2004