Jason Jones on Marathon

"On the contrary, we believe that the latter stages of the game were best developed."

Back in January 1995, Jason Jones (Bungie Software) posted a reply to criticisms on Usenet about the later
half of the game in terms of the plot. The text is important as it helps to explain a number
of events in the game which are difficult to understand. The full text of Jason's reply is
given below.

Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games,alt.games.marathon From: jon3@quads.uchicago.edu (gunfighter's amnesia) Subject: Re: Post-Marathon - commentary/bug reports/etc Message-ID: <1995Jan12.214322.21562@midway.uchicago.edu> Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System) Reply-To: jon3@midway.uchicago.edu Organization: University of Chicago References: <3f3ac5$6fq@srvr1.engin.umich.edu> Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 21:43:22 GMT Lines: 59 In article <3f3ac5$6fq@srvr1.engin.umich.edu> mneylon@engin.umich.edu (Michael K. Neylon) writes: >But then everything fell apart. Suddenly you're being helped by Durandel, >then you're helping Durandel, then he's throwing defense drowns on you, >and then...all without good transistion. Then suddenly Tycho is back, then >he's gone again. Then suddenly Leela is back, and Durandel is gone. Eh? >What the...? I did understand *why* Durandel sent me to the enemy ship, >but... In other words, it *may* have been that Bungie rushed the >product out the door that the 'plot' got somewhat confusion in the >later stages of the game. Of course, I may have missed a computer >terminal or two, but it doesn't seem like this. I was really looking >forward to a good plot resolution, but that never really came about. >Yes, I did save Marathon, but... SPOILERS BELOW ON MARATHON'S PLOT!!!!!!!! On the contrary, we believe that the latter stages of the game were best developed. Think of it this way: Durandal had an agenda from the first moment he signaled the Pfhor ship and lead them to Tau Ceti. He wanted to escape; he wanted freedom. From the very beginning of the invasion he began communicating with the S'pht, and once he learned that they too were slaves, struck a bargain with them to assure everyone's freedom. His goal (the capture of the Pfhor ship by the S'pht) and yours (saving the Marathon) overlapped for a time. During this period, he superficially helped you achieve your goal-- in reality you were being manipulated. As soon as you killed the Pfhor cyborg which was telepathically controlling the S'pht and deactivated the Pfhor reactor, he abandoned you completely. Immediately after assuming control of the ship, Durandal downloaded his entire personality and left with all speed with the S'pht in search of the compiler's homeworld, leaving the Tau Ceti to it's own devices. If you got the impression that Durandal always knew exactly what was going on and just wasn't talking about it, you were getting the right idea. Tycho, after having been destroyed in the initial attack, was reanimated by a splinter group of compilers "in Durandal's image". That Durandal's true self-awareness was a fluke is made clear by Tycho's obvious insanity, *even* though the S'pht attempted to duplicate the progression of Durandal's rampancy exactly. While Tycho did not play any role of consequence in Marathon, we thought it was important to demonstrate that Durandal's condition was unique. All of this is stated somewhere in the game (though some of it is on hidden terminals). What exactly Durandal intends to do next, the extent of his control of the S'pht, etc., is only insinuated. Later, Jason

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