"Who is this ?Yrro?"
The Infinity level "Confound Delivery" has two terminals yet there are three
terminal messages associated with the map. The third terminal message reads as
The terminal displaying this message is long gone but in an early version of this level it was located here.
In the final release the area looks like this.
The terminal message is unusally for two reasons. Firstly, it is the only terminal in Infinity that displays the characteristic S'pht logon. Secondly, the text makes no sense other than to inform the player that something was not right with the original message.
So what was the original message and why was it removed?
The Story page is very grateful to Greg Kirkpatrick and Chris Geisel of
Double Aught Software for
giving permission to reveal the original text of the missing terminal on "Confound Delivery".
The terminal text features a familar name from Marathon 2, that of Yrro. In addition there are some variations on other familar names, namely the S'pht K'hrr (S'pht'Kr?), S'boath (S'bhuth?), and S'pht Y'sa M'nr (a member of the S'pht'Mnr clan?)
These names can be found together on a terminal on Charon Doesn't Make Change so there may be a connection.
The S'pht'Mnr attacked us.
S'bhuth is entranced, and we are powerless to fight back.
The outer villages have been slaughtered without their defenders. The attackers have overrun and killed most of us who were in the compound.
Only those of us in the central chamber have survived.
They won't likely find these chambers, but we cannot survive here forever.
<Charon Doesn't Make Change (Terminal 5)>
Here a member of the seemingly powerless S'pht'Kr clan describes how they were attacked by the S'pht'Mnr clan.
The unreleased Infinity terminal would appear to be written from the perspective of the S'pht'Mnr clan. This is not unusual as the Mnr clan were responsible for a number of S'pht history terminals in Marathon 2 judging from the headers used. These terminals include:
Eat It, Vid Boi! (Terminal 2: 1st message)
Eat It, Vid Boi! (Terminal 2: 2nd message)
The Hard Stuff Rules... (Terminal 4)
The Hard Stuff Rules... (Terminal 5)
Six Thousand Feet Under (Terminal 5)
One of the most intriguing things about this unreleased terminal is the fact that it relates how S'pht Y'sa M'nr had forgotten who Yrro was. Suggesting that the warring clans had forgotten their roots. The exact fate of Y'sa is best left unspoken.
The terminal also features S'boath. Is this the same person as S'bhuth, just a different spelling? Both S'boath and S'bhuth are portrayed as leaders of the S'pht'Kr. The problem with this 'different spelling' theory is that both names appear in the same terminal on "You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time! If they are the same person why spell them differently in the same terminal?
The pfhor have discovered our rebirth, we've contacted S'boath.
The S'pht'Kr will arrive momentarily, with all of their vengeance, and the Pfhor will soon be pressed to use the trih xeem. S'bhuth knows only legends about the W'rkncacnter, imprisoned in Lh'owon's sun. If the Pfhor are allowed to use the trih xeem, the W'rkncacnter will escape from its gravity prison.
<You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time! (Terminal 1)>
Unable to reconcile these differences I had the opportunity to talk to Chris Geisel about them. Chris replied:
They are alternate spellings. It's an english approximation of an alien pronouncination--like yrro jarro jrro
But why alternate spellings on the same terminal written by the same AI? The answer? Well it was long and complicated and the number seven featured heavily. Suffice to say that the reborn Durandal-S'pht entity was having a rough time and should be excused such lapses. As Durandal once remarked:
Geriatric circuits, can't use 'em.
The knowledge that S'boath and S'bhuth are the same person and that yrro, jarro, jrro are variations on the same name puts a different light on our understanding of the Marathon Story.
Who was S'bhuth (S'boath)? Chris revealed:
He was a S'pht 'royalty'--a creature that was a failed jrro.
And why was the terminal dropped in the final release? Well apparently the text was based on a "psuedo-eastern" story but it was felt not to have worked and was subsequently dropped.