"...about three meters."

Durandal in one of his more helpful moods reports:

"The S'pht have informed me that he Pfhor are building cyborg simulacrums of the Marathon crew. I imagine that you will meet some of them soon, and wanted to warn you not to get too close to them: about three meters."<Shake Before Using... (Terminal 2)>
Of course, you would only have read this if you had lost your footing on the long bridge in 'Shake Before Using...' and even then it would have made little or no sense. But we all learned very quickly to shoot green BOBs and ask questions later..... oops sorry! thought you were one of those simul... simacr... huh... 'assimilated' BOBs. Ah yes! that word rolls off the tongue much better. So 'simulacrums' became known as 'assimilated' BOBs amongst Marathoners. At what stage the term 'assimilated' became part of Marathon lore is not clear but the name has stuck and now features in the Marathon II (Preview).

The word 'assimilated' is used in Marathon. Once when Tycho informs us that he is:

"being a~*ssimilated."<Defend THIS! (Terminal 3)>.
and again when Leela reports that she is
"...disturbed by how easily the cyborgs were secretly assimilated into our midst..."<Ingue Ferroque (Terminal 3)>.
It also appears a further time but I'll let you find that one! :-)

While agruments abound about whether or not Bungie ever called 'simulacrums' 'assimilated' BOBs the fact is the words mean much the same thing. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a 'simulacrum' as

  1. A material image, made as a representation of some deity, person, or thing;
  2. Something having merely the form or appearance of a certain thing, without possessing its substance or proper properties.
Oxford English Dictionary. Volume IX. London: Oxford University Press, 1970. Page 68.

Similarly, the word to 'assimilate' is defined as

  1. To make or be like;
  2. To absorb and incorporate.
Oxford English Dictionary. Volume I. London: Oxford University Press, 1970. Page 510.

From the above it can be seen that the term 'simulacrum' is a more precise description of those nasty green BOBs..... but more difficult to pronounce!

Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

Go Back to Contents Page

Go Back to Facts and puzzling things about

Hamish Sinclair Last updated Sept 19, 1995