Blasts from the Past

" cannot hide from your own past; such delusions belong to the humans alone."

A section devoted to those little snippets of early Marathon (and Bungie / Double Aught) history. Because... all those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.

Click on an item in the list below to take you there. Feel the nostalgia.

Bungie related

Bungie's 1st Web Site (The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site)
Bungie's 2nd Web Site
The original Marathon box sticker
Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack
The Marathon Poster
The Marathon Keychain
The origin of the Caps Lock key controversy!
Missing Boxes and the Installer from Hell
The Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament
The Marathon Macworld Mayhem 2 Tournament
Bungie's 20% off Dollar
The CyberMaxx VR Headset
Bungie's Bungievision
Ling-Ling's Head
Eric Klein, Jr.
Bungie's Dear Bob letter
The Marathon Bumper Sticker
America's Funniest Marathon Replays
Super Marathon
The Marathon Trilogy Box Set Trivia Contest
The Bungie Webmaster
The Ming Choy
The Marathon 2 Charity Auction
The Marathon Christmas Card
The Mystery of the Seventh Head
Last Polygon Filled Day
Bungie's 1st MacWorld Stampede
The Marathon Infinity Map Making Contest
The End
Marathon 2: Durandal Strategy Guide
The fate of the Marathon 2 for Windows 95 Source Code
More Things From Bungie To Waste Your Money On
Bungie Order Form from early 1994
Bungie Webmaster Poetry Slam and Hootenanny!
The Marathon Collage
David Candland's 'The Ancients' poster
Operation: Desert Storm
Jason Jones' comments in the Marathon resource fork
The origin of Frog Blast The Vent Core
Bungie's "Beware of Low-Flying Kitchen Appliances" comic featuring Greg Kirkpatrick
The missing Marathon Infinity manual
Bungie's Marathon 25th Anniversary T-Shirt
The Origin of the Vidmaster Rules
Bungie's Thanksgiving Artwork 2021
Instant Carnage! coupon
Mac Action Sack
Double Aught related
ydnar on infinity
Coriolis Loop - Double Aught's netmap pack
The Battle of Brooklyn
ck on infinity
Hastur's Workshop
Marathon Home Videos
Inside Mac Games video tour of Bungie Software (August 1996)
Awards and other Achievements
CNET Gamecenter's Best Macintosh Game for 1996
MacWorld's Top Products of 1995 Award
MacWorld's "The Top 10 Mac Gaming Thingies of the Past 1,000 Years"
Interviews and Online Conferences
eWorld Conference transcripts (Jan 10, 1995 and Feb 7, 1995)
AOL Conference transcript (Feb 17, 1995)
Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus interview with Jason Jones
Agents of Cool interview with Alex Seropian, Doug Zartman, Rob McLees and Mark Bernal
The Official Strategy Guide interview with Alex Seropian and Jason Jones
The Alain Roy interview
The Jay Barry interview
Strata's interview with Rob McLees
Inside Mac Games interview with Alex Seropian and Jason Jones (Jan/Feb 1995)
XBN (Xbox Nation) "How Combat Evolved. The inside story of the making of Bungie's Halo"
Interview with Jason Regier in Marathon Magazine March-April 1997
Jason Jones Interviewed By You
Bungie's interview with Freeverse's Bruce Morrison about the Marathon: Durandal on XBLA project
Inside Mac Games interview: Halo's Jason Jones
Game Boys
Chicago Reader's 'Monsters in a Box' article
From '94 to Infinity: Before Halo
CNET Gamecenter's Quake vs Marathon 2
Apple's 'Gaming Gurus' feature (July 1999)
Inside Mac Games Company Spotlight: Bungie Software (April 1996)
Sneak Peeks
Inside Mac Games first look at Marathon
Inside Mac Games Sneak Peek of Marathon
MacWorld (November 1994) New Products: Marathon
MacWEEK (December 5, 1994) article on Marathon
Inside Mac Games Sneak Peek of Marathon 2
A midnight walk on Lh'owon
Electronic Entertainment December 1994 Marathon beta sneak peek
Press Reviews
The Controversial MacWorld Marathon 2 review
MacADDICT (December 1996) review of Marathon Infinity
Inside Mac Games review of Marathon
Inside Mac Games review of Marathon 2: Durandal
Inside Mac Games review of Marathon Infinity
Special CDs with Marathon material
The Compuserve CD
The Codewarrior CD
Fan related
Early Marathon usenet humor
Marathon Secrets 1.5
The Marathon Comic
The 10th Warrior movie
The original Marathon's Story page
The Conversatron: Can you briefly summarize the plot of the Marathon series?
Mac Hall's "Now With Better Support" comic (aka Jjaro Boxers)
Chips, oh delicious chips
Ian McConville's "WasDurandal" movie
Bungie's Magical Mystery Tour of Chicago
Marathon Gold
Beck 2 - Spår i Mörker
Blood Tides of Lh'owon - Sneak Peek
Marathon Dr'Ate'R
Thing What Kicks... Spoiler
Homesick Pfhor
The Cheat Code to end all Cheat Codes
Page 2401
The HoT List
The Summertime Blues Competitions
The Origin of the Jjaro Boxers
Mac Hall's "Things That Hoot" webcomic
Mac Hall's "Web Bastard" webcomic
Marathon Trilogy Box Set Unboxing
The Marathon Purity Test

The 5th Dec 1994 MacWEEK screenshot (307K).

On the 5th Dec 1994 MacWEEK published an article by Robert Hess on Bungie's soon to be released game Marathon. The article included a screenshot from the game. If you were around at the time you'll probably remember seeing this. It caused quite a stir amongst those of us awaiting the full game. Here's an old post from concerning it.

The screenshot was scanned in and uploaded to the net. Unfortunately the web site that carried it has long since gone and this little piece of Marathon history was thought lost... until now. Thanks to Todd Bangerter <> the original article has been found and scanned in again. This time it will not be lost. Todd you rule!

Well I didn't think I'd ever find this. Years ago I had asked Bungie to track it down... but it appeared lost. But it was there... hidden away... along with many other items of Marathon memorabilia. The past will be preserved. Here is the original "eggheads" screenshot (93K) used in the MacWeek Dec '94 article mentioned above.

The Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack.

Another piece of Marathon lore, kindly sent in by Steve Wood <>. Remember this one? The Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack was not as many people think 20 solo levels and 10 net levels, but the other way around! Here's a post concerning it.

On 19 July 1995, Matt Soell (Bungie Tech Support) posted an announcement for Marathon 2 on AOL. In it he wrote the following about the 20/10 Scenario Pack:

As a result of the redirected efforts of our programmers, we've halted development of the Marathon 20/10 Pack. We decided, after much soul-searching, that our customers would be happier with a brand new game than an extension of an old one. I understand that some of you have been eagerly awaiting the 20/10 Pack for a while now, and this news might come as somewhat of a disappointment. All I can say is that Marathon 2 will more than make up for it. This is way cooler than just new levels; Marathon 2 will bring the state of Mac games to a whole new level.

What was originally planned 'story-wise' for this 10 level solo scenario? We may never know.

A midnight walk on Lh'owon (144K).

On the 24th July 1995 MacWEEK published an article by Mac the Knife with the enigmatic title "A midnight walk on Lh'owon". Some five days earlier Bungie had officially announced Marathon 2 development. For many people this was their first chance to get a look at the new game. Unless of course you had the leaked Preview. ;-) Here's a post about it

Thanks again to Todd Bangerter <> for scanning in the article.

The original Marathon box sticker

If you bought Marathon when it first came out you would have found inside the box, in addition to a number of other goodies, a sticker. Big deal I hear you say! Yeah but an original Marathon box sticker in mint condition (NOT peeled off the side of your Mac - we know who you are!) will now set you back $40 assuming you were lucky enough to find one at the last Marathon Convention. So folks don't accept any fakes or tacky reproductions. Insist on the original commodity.

Jack Miller <> writes to say that he has a whole bunch of those original Marathon Stickers. He got them at Macworld Boston August 1994. Which is interesting since it indicates that Bungie had decided at this stage in development to run with the title U.E.S.C. Then again as Jack says "the game was done except for the boxes", at least that's what he was told. ;)

Jack's collection of Marathon Stickers runs into the "high double digits" so if you are lucky you might be able to pick up a few from him. But be quick they're going fast, I've ordered seven already!

On June 15, 1997 Jason Harper <> made the following startling discovery. Jason wrote:

It didn't look like anyone was going to respond to my request for hi-res scans of the sticker barcodes, so I made another attempt at decoding them by hand. I was successful this time, once I realized that there was some unnecessary space between some of the barcode characters. Here are the results:

On the U.E.S.C Marathon sticker:


On the Celer Manus Dei sticker:


On the Cr'etz'ih sticker:


I have to say I'm disappointed... I was hoping for some profound revelation, not info that we've all known since the second level of the original Marathon.

Of perhaps more interest is the barcode on the original Marathon sticker. I can't find mine anywhere, but there is a scanned version in the Blasts From The Past section here. The scan wasn't done at a high enough resolution to be quite readable: notice that there are some areas where the bars have blurred together. However, by making some guesses about what's actually in the blurred areas, I was able to produce a self-consistent decoding of the message. As with the Trilogy stickers, it's in Code 39 without the required start/stop characters. Code 39 has a fair amount of redundancy in it, and the decoded characters make sense together, so I'm fairly confident that my result is accurate. It is:


Amazing! For two and half years this Bungie secret has remained undiscovered. How many other secrets are still out there... waiting?

Just in case you had any doubts about this here is a comparison of the the relevant letters in Code 39 format along with the actual barcode on the Marathon Sticker. A perfect match I think you'll agree. You can find more details about Code 39 on Wikipedia.

eWorld Conference transcripts (Jan 10, 1995 and Feb 7, 1995).

Read for the first time the REAL unedited Jan 1995 eWorld Conference Transcript! Kindly preserved by Steve Wood <>. Here's a snippet.

Tuncer: Hey J, I'm outta here. Thanks again for coming, I'll call you tomorrow about the Making of...

BungieCorp : tuncer!!!!!!!!!!!!:: don't leave me with these people!!!!!

AOL Conference transcript (Feb 17, 1995).

On the 17th February 1995 Tuncer Deniz of Inside Mac Games held a Mac Games Conference on AOL with Alexander Seropian, CEO of Bungie Software. Unlike the eWorld Conference Transcripts which were made widely available on the Internet the AOL conference transcripts have laid buried in the AOL time vaults. Thanks to Cindy Hoffa <> the Marathon's Story page is now able to bring you the first of two AOL conference transcripts with Bungie software. The 17 Feb '95 AOL Conference Transcripts are historically interesting for a number of reasons:

1. Unlike previous conferences there was an increasing appreciation for the Marathon plot.
2. Bungie Software had just closed their official Marathon World Wide Web page and Alexander Seropian briefly explains the reasoning behind this.
3. Alexander Seropian also hints at the possibility of a Marathon 2. Alex wrote:

"The 20/10 pack? It is supposed to come out in March, but to be honest we are considering rolling it into another product which won't come out til later."

The mystery of the moving egg appears again too!

The origin of the Caps Lock key controversy!

In Dec '94 Inside Mac Games (IMG) magazine published a Strategy and Tactics section for the Marathon demo. The demo had only been officially released the previous month. Written by Tuncer Deniz (IMG editor) and Greg Kirkpatrick (Bungie Software) it contained helpful hints on weapon use, net tactics and walkthroughs for each of the solo demo levels. The Strategy and Tactics section ended with a short guide to Vid-Mastery. Part of this was concerned with the use of the Caps Lock key for running. If you presently use the Caps Lock key you should read this. Remember this is what Bungie thought of the practice way... way... back before the full game was released.

Oh yes! some people caught on pretty quick too.

From: (HFO CD) Newsgroups: Subject: Re: Marathon, blapheme quarantine Date: 23 Dec 1994 10:14:30 -0500 Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364) Lines: 8 Sender: Message-ID: <3depgm$> References: <3dcu6q$> Reply-To: (HFO CD) Bungie says that using caps as the run key is for dorks.. hehe _________________________________ If you really want it, go for it And... IF someone doesn't give it to you, take out your ASSULT RIFLE and ask nicely! MARATHON RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! __________________________________

Check your preferences file... for the tru7h!

Forrest Cameranesi <> writes:

I just noticed an exception to one of Bungie's vid-rules. On some older keyboards (like my friend Mike's), you can't hold down more than two keys at once. So that would be an exception to the 'never use caps-lock' rule, because the keyboard doesn't recognise caps-lock as being 'held down' when it's on. Using caps as his run key is the only way Mike can play Marathon succesfully, because he can't run (forward) and shoot, or shoot and sidestep, or run and sidestep, etc etc... at the same time without it.

Forrest describes these keyboards as:

the old Apple keyboards, the non-extended ones with no keypad or 'special' (help, home, end, etc...) keys, or FKeys, and the power key is above the whole thing instead of in the corner.

Simon Brownlee <> writes:

The keyboard problem (mentioned on the blasts from the past page) also applies to PB keyboards. With the official 'PowerBook Keys', you can't fire, strafe and move at the same time.

Simon describes his experiences playing Marathon on a PowerBook:

I used the keyboard first, and couldn't figure out what was going wrong. I'd be running along, and as soon as I fired, I stopped moving. Then I figured out you can only have 3 keys (plus modifies) at a time

The Marathon's Story page as it first appeared on the 19th Sept 1995. Just a piece of nostalgia. :-)

The Marathon Keychain.

The Marathon Kechain first appeared in Bungie's Summer 1995 Catalog for $5.50 or free if you spent over $75. The catalog was humerously entitled "More Things From Bungie To Waste Your Money On".

While Bungie had issued an earlier Spring 1995 Catalog the Marathon Keychain was not listed for sale at that time.

Back in September 1997, I had the opportunity to ask Matt Soell (Bungie Software) about the Marathon Keychain, how many were made and what happened to them all. He replied:

Reg originally wanted to make only twenty keychains and distribute them
strictly to Bungie employees and close friends. The place where he had
them fabricated had a minimum order policy of 100 units, so we were left
with roughly 80 extra keychains. Quoth Alex, "Sell 'em!" So we tried to
sell them at trade shows and through our catalogs, but met with little
success. I think we sold an average of one a month. In the meantime, we
would give them away to friends of Bungie who stopped by the office. I
always thought it was a really neat item, and surprised that people never
seemed to like it as much as I did.

Slowly, over a period of several months, the number of keychains in the
keychain drawer dwindled until they were all gone. Shortly thereafter,
we received a dozen separate orders for a keychain. Oh well.

As far as I know, all 100 are still in existence. I still have mine but
have retired it from active service, as it tended to swing against my
dashboard while driving, creating a "Tell-Tale Heart"-esque effect.
Everyone who works here owns one, and the rest belong to friends of ours
or hardcore Marathon fans. Since you are both a friend of Bungie and a
hardcore Marathon fan, you are in a small and exclusive club indeed. :-)


Matthew Soell
Director of Customer Support
Bungie Software

Back in April 20, 1998, Kyjel Shaytolmae <> tracked down J. Reginald Dujour, Marathon artist and person responsible for creating the Marathon symbol, and asked him what it represented. He replied:

"I designed the icon to represent a world within a world... Marathon the spaceship being build inside a hollowed asteroid."

Chad Poland <>, ever the observant one, points out that there are seven rings on the Marathon Keychain, including the ring for the keys.

Here's a pic of another Marathon Keychain from January 1, 2003. Note the wear and tear. The owner (Losk) ordered it from the catalog that came with Marathon.

Randy Reddig (formerly of Double Aught) claimed he owned a Marathon Keychain. He wrote in a Story forum post in January 4, 2003:

I had one. Unfortunately after a few years the top eyehole (where the chain connects) snapped.

Here's a pic of another Marathon Keychain from April 22, 2003. Matt Soell (Bungie Software) is the bearer. The picture is from Bungie webcam just days before Matt Soell left Bungie.

Concerning the image David Candland (aka Evil Otto) wrote:

Ah, the keychain-
By the 22nd, Matt was already in the midst of packing and moving. He'd just finished cleaning his closet at his place and discovered said keychain somewhere in the dark recesses of said closet. He brought it in and was showing it to Juan when he stopped me and said, "Hey Dave, ever see one of these?"

I'd seen a picture of one on Ebay, but I had always imagined thenm to be quarter-sized. This thing was beefy, like a stack of silver dollars. I joked that these things were going for a lot on ebay (halo dog tags just sold for $71). He chuckled and said the thought crossed his mind briefly, but it was worth much more as a momento. It showed up on the web cam shortly after.

So- seeing this picture sadly reminds me of Matt's last days here. Sigh. Okay, back to work. E3 approaches...

Here are two pics (top view and side view) of a Marathon Keychain bought off eBay by Claude Errera for $82 in September 2005. Ten years after Marathon was released! The former owner was Jim Ruiz, Mr. Bungie Store prior to the move to Microsoft.

Here is a gorgeous pic of a Marathon Keychain from drop-database-reddit on Marathon reddit (r/Marathon). If for some reason this goes down or does not display you can see it here.

The rarity of the Marathon Keychain makes it one of the most highly prized Marathon collectables. Indeed, some people unable to get their hands on the real thing have created their own versions of the Marathon keychain. Here are just a few examples over the years: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7,

Early Marathon usenet humor.

Some of the humor that appeared on during the 'long' build up to the release of Marathon was priceless. Much of the humor was at the expense of Bungie's delay in releasing Marathon and the beta leaks. At least some people saw the funny side of all this.

Below are some of the funny posts that appeared at the time. If you have or know of any early Marathon usenet humor please send it in and I'll add it here.

Let's get the ball rolling with one of the classics. The true story behind the Marathon delay. This was actually added to the Story page back in Nov 23, 1996.

A selection of usenet humor added to the Story page back in Nov 26, 1996. These were mostly concerned with "the Marathon demo released" and "the location of the leaked beta".

Thanks to Jeff Wood <> for sending in these early Marathon posts. What's really funny about these posts is that there is a grain of truth in them. Many people did react this way. Oh yeah note the reference to the 'seven'. ;-)

David Barabe, author of the true story behind the Marathon delay, sent in a snail mail reply he received from Doug Zartman (Bungie Software) concerning his post. You can read a scan of it here (103K). The story goes like this. Tuncer Deniz (then editor of Inside Mac Games) saw David's post, printed it out and faxed it to Bungie. Why not! It was and still is a classic. Note in the original copy of the fax you can just about make out the date at the top (Nov. 08 1994 02:11PM). In June 1995 Doug Zartman wrote a short note at the end of the fax and sent it to David. Apparently the fax had been lying around Bungie's office until then. Doug points out in his reply to David that back in Nov '94 there were only four Bungie employees. Who? Well most likely Doug, Greg Kirkpatrick, Reginald Dujour, and Ryan Martell. Jason Jones and Alexander Seropian would have been regarded as employers. Alain Roy, the seventh and final member of the Marathon team, was a summer intern working for almost nothing and a 660av machine Bungie gave him when he finished.

Since we're on the subject of humor here is some more early Marathon usenet humor. When the Marathon demo was released back in Nov '94 people played it incessantly leading to a thread on appropriately called:

You Know You've Been Playing Marathon Too Long When...
It might appear dated now but it was funny at the time.

Marathon usenet themes have a tendency to occur in cycles so it wasn't surprising to find a similar type thread several months later:

You know you are obsessed with Marathon when...

Here's some more early usenet humor:

Marathon: Major Damage Turns Me Into Girlie Man. Early "Vidmaster" talk and criticism. Check out those films. Remember they only work with the Marathon Demo v0.0.

Marathon fisting session. More early "Vidmaster" talk. Another film that only works with the Marathon Demo v0.0.

The digital equivalent of masturbating. Guess what happens when you play the Marathon Demo for too long? ;-)


On July 18, 1995 Power Computing Corporation, the first company to license and ship Macintosh OS compatibles, announced the THE DISC, featuring an exclusive, playable demo of Marathon 2: Durandal. The Disc would be distributed free to attendees of Macworld Boston '95.

Whatever you do, don't leave Boston without a free copy of "The Disc."

If you weren't going to make it to the Expo there was also a chance of getting any leftover copies directly from Power Computing. All you had to do was fill in an on-line application form.

Power Computing's press release was the first public announcement of a sequel to Marathon. Bungie's own press release appeared a day later along with a post by Matt Soell on AOL.

A day after Bungie's announcement two people posted to claiming they had seen the so-called "demo". As expected Marathon fans went wild with excitement causing not one but three usenet groups to be flooded with Marathon gossip. Two Marathon 2 web pages were announced a day later and shortly afterwards MacWEEK published Mac the Knife's A midnight walk on Lh'owon article. Marathon fever was at an all time high. Of course the inevitable happened the Marathon 2 "demo" was leaked prior to the Expo and fans wanted it. There was a strong feeling of déjà vu about all this.

How did the leak happen? Matt Soell had this to say on the subject in a post on and Doug Zartman's comments on the subject were later quoted in the UK version of MacUser.

While Power Computing's press release claimed that The Disc would contain a 'demo' of Marathon 2 it was in fact a preview of the game. The official Marathon 2 Demo was to be released after MacWorld. The Demo/Preview name confusion was fuelled by the fact that the Preview's end screen claimed that you had just completed the Marathon 2 Demo.

Because the official Marathon 2 Demo was to be released shortly after Macworld the Preview carried a big PLEASE DO NOT UPLOAD notice on the opening screen. However the Preview had already been leaked weeks earlier and although the Preview was billed as a limited edition Macworld Expo thing it later appeared on many Mac magazine CDs and Bungie's own limited edition Pathways Into Darkness CD. Even so "The Disc" from Macworld still remains the definitive collectors item. The Disc (front) and (back).

Power Computing's press release also claimed that the 'Preview' would have four levels. Indeed the back of The Disc's CD cover also indicated this. However nobody could find the mysterious fourth level nor identify the CD cover's screenshot.

Interestingly enough the Preview that was being distributed on The Disc by Power Computing was an earlier version of the one actually demoed at Bungie's own expo booth. Steve Wood, a well known Marathon afficionado at the time, posted his Bungie booth observations on Lots of tidbits in Steve's post. The weapon graphic changes were confirmed in a latter MacUser screenshot. But that's another story...

Matthew Payne <> points out that unlike the Marathon Demo there is no Read Me with the Marathon 2 Demo. Yet there was a Read Me with the Marathon 2 Preview. Why was the Read Me dropped when the Marathon 2 Demo was released?

Interesting point. The Read Me with the Marathon 2 Preview that came on "The Disc" was called Absolutely DO NOT Read This! and was simply a re-edited version of the Marathon Demo DON'T READ THIS!!! Read Me. Indeed whole sections are exactly the same. You'll also note that the Preview's Read Me began with the line:

Welcome to the "Marathon 2: Durandal" Demo.

which further added to the Preview/Demo name confusion (see above).

Strangely there was no mention of swimming in the Preview's Read Me. "HOLD ON!" you cry there was NO swimming in the M2 Preview. Yes indeed. This early version of the Marathon 2 engine was designed without swimming as Doug Zartman indicated in the Marathon Scrapbook. In the Marathon 2 Demo you could swim but only if you constantly tapped the "run" key. But as there was no Read Me how would you know this little trick. Indeed if you used the Caps Lock key for running you might never have discovered this unless somebody told you about it. Odd stuff! Of course Bungie did say that you should never ever use the Caps Lock key for running. ;-)

Nevertheless it's strange why there was never any Read Me with the Marathon 2 Demo. Another mystery perhaps?

Michael Dawe <> writes:

I read over the readme for the Marathon 2 Preview. Anyway, the thing that popped out at me was that Bungie didn't even change the system requirements! Marathon's requirements were an '020 with an '040 or higher recommended. Marathon 2 "required" an '040 or faster, though this wasn't changed... Also, people questioned that, and Bungie admitted that you could run it on something slower, though not very well for gameplay.

Matthew Payne <> writes:

My friend Mark just gave me the "Entertainment and Home Learning Demos Winter 1995, Power Macintosh Evangelism" CD ROM. It contains the Marathon 2 Preview. The Preview is a special version to this disc. It says so on the opening screen. It also makes reference to the final Demo (which seems to already have existed at the time this preview was released) and the retail version ?!?!? Why did they re-release the Preview?

Questions... questions... questions... always questions. ;-)

Just how many limited editions of the Marathon 2 Preview are out there?

Matthew goes onto say:

The Marathon 2 Preview has the same fighters as Marathon 1 - with the eyes "upside-down". Or was it right side-up? I heard a Bob yell "Nice Shot!" This sound is not there anymore. I guess the Bobs don't compliment you because they still hold a grudge for how much you tortured them on the Marathon :) B.O.B.s not only say Nice Shot, but they also say (and this may not be EXACTLY correct) "I think I saw one!" When you hit a drone, it sounds like a Marathon 1 hunter being hit. Shotgun shells are grey with brown strips around them. The shotgun is small when in your hand. All ammo is M1 ammo.

For more on sounds in the Marathon 2 Preview check the Sounds in Marathon section.

For more details about the Marathon 2 Preview, including a complete walkthrough, click here.

The Marathon Poster

To celebrate the release of their Marathon game Bungie commissioned Don Dixon, an internationally renowned "spacescrape" artist, to design a Marathon poster. The result was a powerful "flaming star" image. Part of the poster's artwork also appeared as a background image on the front of the Marathon Box. Hence the reason why Don Dixon's name appears in the Marathon manual's Packaging credits.

The first announcement of the availability of a Marathon Poster appeared on Nov 30, 1994 as part of Bungie's Marathon Demo FAQ post on AOL. The same post appeared on several days later and elicited a number of enquiries as to what it actually looked like as well as this humorous post.

The Marathon Poster was advertised on Bungie's 1st web page and also in their Summer 1995 Catalog. Note that the poster price had dropped from US $15.00 in late 1994 to US $9.00 in mid-1995.

I had the opportunity to talk to Don Dixon <> concerning his Marathon Poster artwork. Don replied:

The poster that I recall for Marathon featured a detail of a painting titled "Flare Star". This was created as a cover for a DelRey novel, but art directors changed during the project and it was not used there. The image featured in the poster was actually a view through the porthole of a starship. A thumbnail version of the complete painting is posted in the science fiction "Portfolio" section of my site (, I believe. Look for the girl clutching a knife!...

I hope this is helpful, and appreciate your interest in my work.

all good wishes,

Don Dixon

Don Dixon's AOL page has gone but he has a new page at Here is the Flare Star image Don refers to as well as the close up views through the porthole.

Here's a larger version of the Flare Star image with some comments from Don.

If you have the Marathon Poster you will note that it is not exactly the same as that displayed in their advertised picture. The words "SOMEWHERE IN THE HEAVENS... THEY ARE WAITING" appear in yellow two-thirds of the way down the poster and there is also a large Bungie logo near the bottom along with copyright and contact information and a red "Accelerated for Power Macintosh" label.

The Marathon Poster is no longer available. While the poster was originally shipped in a 'sturdy mailing tube', in later years it was shipped flat (hence fold creases). As such, the original tube version (no creases) has become highly collectable.


In November 2020, hanz333 on r/marathon began a project to recreate the  Marathon Tube Poster.  He made his Marathon Poster recreation artwork available for download and others have used it to produce framed versions of the Marathon Poster. See  here  and  here.


Following on their success with The DISC Power Computing Corporation announced the free distribution of The DISC II at Macworld Expo '96 in San Francisco. The DISC II contained a special demo version of Marathon 2: Durandal featuring Power Computing Evangelist Bob LeVitus. In addition there was a new "LeVitus" Shapes file for the full version of Marathon 2. The whole package was creatively called "Kill LeVitus Marathon".

Matthew Payne <> kindly sent in this screenshot of the contents of The DISC II.

It's fair to say that The DISC II did not create the same excitement amongst Marathoners as did The DISC. And as there were no restrictions placed on the distribution of the "Kill LeVitus Marathon" pack the full "LeVitus" Shapes file (Marathon 2 Enhancer) was uploaded to the net.

One thing to bear in mind though... apart from the Shape changes made to the Marathon 2 on The DISC II were there any other changes? ;-)

Dan Rudolph <> sent in this screenshot of an old Compuserve CD dating from early '95. Dan writes:

It was given to new customers. The idea behind the CD is it contained a catalog of everything Compuserve had, so you could browse through the files without being connected. When you decided what you wanted, you would have it get them with minimum connection time.

You'll note that apart from the Marathon Demo the CD contains two Marathon related Quicktime movies and a review of the game. The review says alot about what made Marathon so popular and is worth reading. Details of the Quicktime movies to follow... soon.

Ok so soon was over three months ago. But they are here now! There are two movies available for download: and Before you rush off to download these babies they are big! So here's a brief description of what you'll see. (417K) is not really that exciting. It shows the title "Marathon" being displayed with a dramatic soundtrack. (5125K) is a professional looking Quicktime movie of of Marathon game play. Scenes from both solo and net play are blended together with good use of fade ins and fade outs. There is an accompanying level soundtrack and a fun ending. Ok you'll see better game play in most Marathon vid or net films but this has nostalgic value. If you have the bandwith and disk space then take a look. Fun stuff.

Bungie's 1st Web Site (The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site)

On Dec 13th 1994 Bungie Software and Group Cortex announced the opening of

The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site

Bungie's first web venture was in fact a pro bono effort by Group Cortex, a Philadelphia based ISP. Brent Halliburton, Director of Business Operations at Group Cortex, explained the rational for this venture to his colleagues on the Internet Marketing Discussion List.

The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site became the voice of Bungie on the net. You could read official announcements, download the Marathon demo and third party add-ons such as Marathon Hard Core Sounds and the Holiday Music File, view screenshots of never seen before aliens, order the Marathon poster, enter the Marathon Mayhem Tournament, and read the introduction to the Story of Marathon . This online version was slightly different from the one in the game and provided some clues to the actual timing of events during the Pfhor attack on the Marathon. But you all knew that since it was mentioned in the The Pfhor Ship section way back in Mar 23, 1996.

The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site was a major success as Brent Halliburton revealed on the Internet Marketing Discussion List.

By mid-February 1995 however Bungie's web site was gone. Fans who regularly tuned in to catch up on events or hoped to see news on a release date for the 20/10 Scenario Pack were faced with a rather terse message.

Bungie Software has decided that maintaining a World Wide Web site is not an appropriate investment of scarce marketing resources.

If you have any questions or comments concerning this decision, contact Bungie Software by calling (312) 563-6200.

Thank You.

What had happened? Speculation was rife on usenet. Here are just some of the many posts on the subject.

But what was the official word? Brent Halliburton (Group Cortex) and Alexander Seropian (Bungie Software) explained the circumstances surrounding the closure of The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site in an interview with BackChannel, the American Association of Advertising Agencies quarterly newsletter.

Alexander Seropian also commented on the demise of their first web page in an AOL Conference back in 17 Feb '95. Here's what Alex (BUNGIE!) said:

Cdeth : Why did Bungie opt to nuke the WWW site? Were economic reasons a factor? ga

BUNGIE1 : Good question. Well Group Cortex (the company that put it up for us) came to us a few months ago... ... and asked if they could make a free WEB site for us, because it would attract people to their... .. other WEB pages. So we thought it was cool. But, after a while the Marathon pages got... ... really popular and started slowing down their system, so they asked us for $1000 a month ... ... to keep it up. We said no, so they took it down, it is that simple. We think the WEB is cool... ... and will support it in the future. GA

Missing Boxes and the Installer from Hell

On Dec 21th 1994 Bungie Software finally released Marathon. The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site carried the following announcement from Bungie:

It is done! Bungie Software will release to a smattering of applause Marathon, the game of champions, on Wednesday, December 21. If you have not already ordered Marathon, what can I tell you. Orders are backed up in a fairly serious way, and Bungie will be filling back orders through Christmas. Best of luck trying to get a copy.

Wednesday - December 21, 1994

Press releases will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience and your support.

It had been a long wait made all the more so by release dates that had never materialized. Yet here it was and a lucky few would receive copies in time for Christmas, which was lucky for Doug Zartman. Somewhat ironically though a number of these pre-Christmas shipments were 'boxless'.  Jason Jones (Lead Programmer at Bungie Software) had this to say about the 'missing boxes' in an eWorld Conference held in January 1995:

We shipped a bunch of flat packs (no boxes) to MacWarehouse before Christmas because we decided it would be better to send them 1k flat packs than 100 with boxes. I hope everyone agrees (same thing for Macworld SF) ... I'm just sorry we didn't include a note to that effect in the package, as I think a lot of people would have liked to be given a reason for not getting a box.

Strangely though some people did get a note as this thread on revealed. Even though Bungie were now shipping Marathon not everyone was happy.

The first 4000 or so Marathon packs shipped with the "Installer from Hell". As soon as you started the install by double-clicking the "MarathonInstall.1" icon the following cryptic message was displayed:

Please load the FINAL segment of the archive...

And you hadn't even reached level 13 in the game yet! ;-)

The installer was to prove a major headache for Bungie tech support. Jason Jones later admitted on eworld that the original Marathon installer was arcane. Jason remarked:

we spent a lot of time on the game, and then punted on the installer. sort of stupid, huh? the installer sucked rocks. it wasn't even an installer, it was a compact pro self-extracting archive. very stupid. alex almost got fired for that one. but it's kinda like putting a really, really, hard puzzle right at the beginning of the game. a lot of people just didn't get it.

Of course the original disk version of Marathon with its arcane installer has now become a rare collector's item fetching high prices at Marathon conventions.

The Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament

On the 4th Jan, 1995 Bungie held the first officially sanctioned Marathon tournament at Macworld San Francisco. The Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament ran from the 4th - 7th at Bungie's Booth (#3472). I don't think I need to point out the relevance of this booth number to you.

The tournament was won by Michael Garrison (aka CYBERNATOR) though not everone agreed with this verdict. Bungie released the tournament films and these quickly circulated on the net. You can get them in their original form from the Story page here. When viewing these films it should be remembered that Marathon had only just been released. Many people still didn't have the game and those that did would not have had that much practice on the tournament levels other than "Mars Needs Women". Even so some people still didn't think much of the standard of play.

Although Bungie indicated that there would be a another Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament in Boston in August '95 it wouldn't actually occur until a year later in San Franciso again. As Thoth would say:

circumstances are cyclical

But that's another story.

Macworld San Francisco '95 was a big success for Bungie. Mac/Chicago Magazine had this to say about Bungie and Marathon at Macworld:

Running native and drawing crowds was Marathon, the incredibly popular new game from Chicago's Bungie Software. Reginald DuJour, who designed the game's graphics as well as the high-tech packaging for Marathon, said that getting everything working smoothly had caused some delays but it had been worth the wait. The enthusiastic crowds trying out Marathon, in the Apple Pavilion and also in Bungie's separate booth in Moscone North, apparently agreed.

Marathon sold out at Bungie's booth early in the show, and computer software discounters, all of whom were advertising Marathon on show flyers, complained that they hadn't received shipments for the show. "I wish we had," said one. "We could have sold a ton of them."

Voice mail at Bungie's Chicago office this week announced that the company is "closed while reorganizing to deal with the overwhelming demand for Marathon." The message also said that those who had ordered the product should be receiving shipments within two weeks.

Ling-Ling's Head

Brandon Gupton <> writes:

Perhaps you remember Bungie's old disembodied pooch, Ling-Ling? Well, I got the book National Lampoon's Totally True Facts, and guess what was on the first page? You'll find a .jpg file attached...

Ah yes Ling-Ling... I remember it well. Back in late March '96 Bungie's web page received a major revamp. Bungie had in fact taken direct control of their web page from Art & Science who had been responsible for their page up to that point. Bungie's 3rd web page venture was a radical departure from their previous 'Mararthonesque' pages. Gone were the bandwidth consuming server-push Marathon animations and in their place were images of a rather mangy looking dog's head called Ling-Ling.

Ling-Ling's Head appeared in a main page banner:

in announements:

in promotions:

in the stuff that rocks:

and even in the form of Cyber Ling-Ling button:

Was this some sort of joke?

Bungie's fascination for the headless Ling-Ling's Head has never been satisfactorily explained. Their Webmaster had this to say on the subject in '97:

Ling-Ling is a dog (a species which has historically had trouble communicating in standard English). Ling-Ling has also suffered decaptitation (which tends to end individual sentience rather swiftly). If you had to ask me what Ling-Ling is feeling right about now, I'd have to say: not much at all.

Was Ling-Ling for real? Yes indeed! Back in May 10, 1996 Ty Klein <> got the low down from Matt Soell who pointed him to a magazine called "babysue". Details can be found in The Number Seven section. You'll find a picture of the real Ling-Ling at the "babysue" site. Bizarre stuff.

But perhaps not as bizarre as the unpublished comments of Phreaky Monkey <>. Back in Aug '96 the nameless one wrote:

...on the Ling-Ling poster (, the phone number is 871-7421. I found THREE weird things.

2 '7's already. Now remove them, and you get 81-421. Add these together, and you get 502. 5+0+2=7.

Also, Add 421, and you get 7. 8-1 is 7.

Third, 8+1=9, 4+2+1=7. 9+7=16. 1+6=7.

Weird indeed.

Whose idea was it to place a "beheaded bowser" foremost on Bungie's web page. Some have suggested that it sprang from the warped mind of Rob McLees. Concerning the artwork Bungie's Webmaster remarked:

The art was provided by Bungie's crack art team.

As for a higher order, I'm not at liberty to say. But if you were to save the image of Ling-Ling's Head, BinHex it five times and open up the resulting file with HexEdit, who knows what sort of secret message you might find?

Unfortunately almost all traces of Ling-Ling's head have been removed from Bungie's web page, though you can still get a tiny glimpse of it on their Stuff that Rocks page.

Postscript 2001: Bungie's "Stuff That Rox" page is dead now so go here to see it.

Postscript 2010: Bungie appear to be re-animating Ling-Ling. In the Bungie history section of their web page they write:


Dog's head in a jar. Has mystical significance. But it's too nasty to think about. Especially if you think about opening the jar, and drinking the head-water down in one mighty draft. DANGER! Do not juxtapose Tijuana Mama with Ling Ling! When the jar containing Ling Ling finally breaks, as it must, Bungie will make a sequel to Gnop!

Even more recently (Aug 2011) this image appeared on their website:

Ling-Ling's story isn't over yet, it appears.

The Controversial Macworld Marathon 2 Review

Back in March 1996 Macworld published a review of Marathon 2 (229K) by Fred Delisio. Thanks to Todd Bangerter <> for scanning this in. The review struck a raw nerve in many Marathoners and lead to a rather long thread on and entitled - Dumbass in Macworld gives Marathon 2 only four stars!

The public outcry over the review was not restricted to usenet. Macworld also published two letters (233K) from concerned readers. Thanks again to Todd Bangerter for scanning these in.

The main objection to the review was the fact that the reviewer had imposed his own moral standards on the game and was not reviewing it from an unbiased position.

There was also a strong suspicion that the reviewer had not in fact played much of the game and was simply reporting "inaccurate" accompanying documentation.

The lack of a working microphone was just one of a number of bugs in Marathon 2. Simon Brownlee, the world renowned Marathon entomologist, has kept track of those pesky Marathon 2 bugs. You can read the gory details in - The Bug List.

Unlike Marathon and its updates 1.1 and 1.2 there has never been a Marathon 2 update.

The long standing grievances over Marathon 2 and the lack of an update came to a head with the announcement of Marathon 2 for Windows 95 in March '96. In the long, and sometimes vitriolic, thread SAY IT AIN'T SO, BUNGIE! the following post appeared, the sentiments of which were shared by many fans. It elicited the following reply from Matt Soell (Bungie Software).

So what happened to the Marathon 2 update?

When the Marathon 2 Demo for Windows 95 was released on July 31th 1996 another round of calls for a Marathon 2 update appeared. Tuncer Deniz (Bungie Software) had this to say in Bungie's defence. However one Marathoner was having none of it and laid it one the line for Bungie.

The word from Bungie at Macworld Boston in August '96 was that a Marathon 2 update would be released after Marathon Infinity.

So what happened to the Marathon 2 update?

I'll leave the last word to Tuncer Deniz.

Of course that was back in Aug '96. :-(

So what happened to the Marathon 2 update?

Are Marathoners deserving of an answer?

Here is a larger full page scan of the Marathon 2 review from Macworld March 1996 and the Letters from Macworld June 1996.

The Marathon Macworld Mayhem 2 Tournament

Todd Keating <> writes:

When I first ordered Infinity, the registration number did not work. Because of this, Bungie sent me a 20% off coupon and also included a sticker.

It is black and says: "Marathon MacWorld Mayhem" and "Olympics Of Death." It has three interconnected circles with pictures in them (A skull, a man holding a flag, and a human silhouette with targets drawn on it). Do you know anything about this?

Ah yes!

Crush. Kill. Destroy. WIN!

Mayhem 2: The Olympics of Death

Bungie hosted Mayhem 2, the second annual Marathon net-game tournament, during the January Macworld Expo in San Francisco at their booth, #4071.

Booth #4071??? Now that's a number to conjure with. ;-)

Anyone remember Bungie's on-line registration page for this event? No? Well here it is in all its glory.

What happened? Where are the winning films? Well that's another story... best left untold... perhaps.

Bungie's 20% off Dollar - Just Spend It

Todd Keating mentioned above about a Bungie 20% off coupon. But what did it look like? Steve Campbell <> had one handy and kindly had it scanned in. Thanks to Glenn Cope <> of MacSource, Inc. for doing the scanning.

The 20% off coupon is made out in the form of a Dollar bill. A small scan (128k) can be seen here. A much larger scan (304k) can be seen here. The larger scan allows you to pick out some of the detail on there. Lots of add stuff. The old Pfhor Cyborg is there, remember him? Series 2437?. No need to point out what that number reduces to.

Anyone know what RHG3 could mean? There is also a G3. No need to point out that G is the seventh letter of the alphabet. If you can make out the writing around the capital L please let me know. If you can also decipher the barcodes please let me know as well. Remember Bungie have a habit of actually hiding messages in barcodes. Don't ask me why must be a Freemason thing.

Todd Bangerter <> writes:

Well, if you actually had any American money, you could tell what that text around the capital L says. =) In fact, it's exactly what that seal is on our bills.

Along the top, it says FEDERAL RESERVE. Directly beneath that on the next concentric circle in, it says BANK OF at the top. Then along the bottom of that circle, it says SAN FRANCISCO (the S got smeared, most likely when Bungie scanned the seal to put on the money). And along the very bottom it says CALIFORNIA. The L code means that is comes from San Francisco. The multiple numbers 12 on the bill also mean it was from San Francisco. The Federal Reserve Bank codes are at:

The G3 and RHG3 are both codes that are actually on a $20 bill. G is a check letter. RH are face plate letters. 3 is a quadrant number. These used to identify the printing plates and the position of the note on the plate. You can read more about all the funny stuff at:

Series 2437 refers to the issue date, so it was issued in the year 2437. Treasurer of the Federation replaces Treasurer of the United States and Secretary of the Armory replaces Secretary of the Treasury. The signatures are replacements too. Does it look like any Bungie employee's name? The bar codes go directly over where the bill's serial number would normally be. The serial number would start with L since it's an L note. The serial number would be of the form L XXXXXXXX Z where X is a number and Z is a letter. But who knows what the bar code actually reads?

Interesting to note is that Bungie moved the upper right "12" over to make room for their coupon text. The original postition of that "12" on a $20 bill would be almost exactly where the 20% is in the coupon text.

Also intersting to note is that the $20 bill they used for the template is either a Series 1990, 1993, or 1995 note. Why? Because starting in 1990, the lined border around the portrait started having an extra line. Instead of 2 lines, it had 3. Except that the third line was actually very, very fine microprinting that repeatedly reads "THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA". The theory is that the microprinting is too fine for color copiers to reproduce, and that it will instead come out as a blurred line. It certainly happened in the case of Bungie's funny money. =)

It's also interesting that some world currencies are actually starting to incorporate bar codes. One example I know of is some notes in the Netherlands have bar codes. It facilitiates high speed tracking of individual bills, and deters counterfeiting.

The full Paper Money Collecting FAQ is at:

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has a web site at:

Art Cannon <> also writes:

It says "Federal Reserve Bank, San Francisco, California"

Kinda like the "Decus et Tutamen" engraved in the milled edge of a British pound coin. It just lets you know what Federal Reserve bank issued that particular note. I doubt there's anything funky about this, other that the fact that they _Didn't_ scan a bill issued from the Fed in Chicago, Bungie's stomping grounds.

Thanks also to Jim Mitchell <> and Simon Brownlee <> for also sending in similar comments.

And we all know what happened in 2437... right?

Ken Skidmore <> writes concerning the Bungie Dollar:

I have one of these, issued to me when my Infinity manual came with the pages all out of order, as if it were assembled by insane monkeys on LSD. However, it is Series 7956 instead of Series 2437. But what mystery does _this_ number hold... ;-)

What mystery indeed! Ken kindly scanned the dollar in and sent it to the Story page. You can see it here (172K).

If you have a Bungie dollar check the Series No.

Concerning the dollar's signatures Santiago Pereson <> writes:

has anybody noticed that the signatures look like they were done with a mouse rather than scanned?

The Codewarrior CD.

Ajay Ayyagari <> writes:

i was browsing around on this codewarrior cd of mine (learning cd) and it has tons of weird marathon stuff. it has in 640x480 format all of the screenshots that are on the backs of m1 and m2, plus it has super-high res (we're talking 20mb files here) tiff files of those pictures of the marathon boxes you see in maczone/connection/wharehouse, etc. all in all it's about 46mb of misc. picts, press releases, etc.

Ah yes the famous Codewarrior CD. Packed full of Marathon, Pathways Into Darkness, and even Minotaur goodies. Some of the stuff is so hot we can't mention it. A veritable gold mine for Marathon memoriabila collectors. It's not clear if the latest version of the Codewarrior CD still has this exclusive Marathon archive.

Mihai Parparita <> writes:

It is ironic to note that Marathon 1 was developed with MPW (according to what Jason said in an interview in the Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus book). I'm not sure about M2/M:oo , but I'm guessing they were done in CodeWarrior (with text editing in BBEdit (at least for M:oo), as the comercial shows.

I don't have the latest CodeWarrior CD handy, but the items Ajay mentions do now show up in the Academic/Gold editions of CodeWarrior 8 and 10. Perhaps you can get more information on which edition they show up in...

We'll be bringing you the details... soon.

Ajay Ayyagari <> sent in an interesting Marathon screenshot from the Codewarrior CD. See the Official Marathon Screenshots section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Concerning the availability of the Codewarrior CD Ajay Ayyagari <> writes:

i don't know if the cd is still available but i doubt it because they have a new one that teaches java in addition to c/c++/pascal/etc.

The Codewarrior CD described above dates from late '96. The CD was called Discover Programming for Macintosh by Metroworks. A screenshot of the Bungie items contained on the CD can be found here (68K). The compressed items in the Materials folder weighs in at 30.1MB (compressed). The Demo Software is somewhat lighter, a mere 15.1MB (compressed).

Craig Stanton <> writes:

I have looked at the CodeWarrior gold 10 tools CD, It has a Marathon2 demo on it, from the get-info window I got, v1.0 DEMO 1995 Bungie Software Corp.

This is also on CW gold reference CD but there is no other mention of MARATHON or BUNGIE on 10 gold, 9 gold or Discover Programming edtion 2.

The CyberMaxx VR Headset.

Mihai Parparita <> writes:

...if you look in the STR# 134 resource for any Marathon app, you'll see a message about a CyberMaxx helmet. AFAIK that's a VR helmet that Marathon was supposed to work with. I have no idea if it actually does, but I guess this might deserve a mention in the Blasts from the Past section.

Ah yes... the famous CyberMaxx VR Headset by VictorMaxx Technologies. Back in August '94 Bungie demoed a prototype of the CyberMaxx VR Headset at Boston Macworld. Here's a post from someone who was at Macworld. Doug Zartman (Bungie Software) had this to say on the subject VR helmets shortly after Macworld.

Confirmation of Marathon's compatibility with VR headsets appeared in an official Bungie press release dating from September 1994.

Wired magazine featured the CyberMaxx VR Headset in their October 1994 issue. It prompted an interesting discussion on about the article and the price of CyberMaxx VR Headset.

Shortly after Marathon was released the January 1995 issue of Macformat magazine (Issue 20, pages 52-53) ran an article by Richard Hill on Marathon and the CyberMaxx VR Headset. Part of the article is transcribed below:

One of the first games that'll work with the CyberMaxx is Marathon, a frantic 3D gunfest that came out in the US last month. Jason Jones worked on the game for Bungie Software. 'We knew we were eventually going to get into VR,' he says. 'We didn't expect it to be this soon, but from the start we set up Marathon to let you look up and down, which is an important feature for a headset. We set it up so you could render a stereo image. If you plan from the start it's not that big a deal.'

The article goes on:

Spending your time in virtual worlds will bring its own problems, as Doug Zartman of Bungie Software explains. 'The response time to motions of the head is fast - it's actually so fast it can be disorientating to the user if they turn their head very quickly. They might swivel all the way round to face the wall behind them and not be able to figure out where they are. That was our experience using the CyberMaxx headset at a number of conventions. Once they put it on, people started turning every which way and running around. they got lost and bumped into walls. We really had to slow them down.'

The following is a scan of some of the Marathon screenshots from the Macformat article.

So what happened to the CyberMaxx VR Headset? Why doesn't every Marathon diehard have one?

In the first of two eWorld Conferences Jason Jones (BungieCorp) has this to say in response to questions about the VR headset:

Teachin: First, I'd like to say your game is does indeed kick ass!!! Second, is your game going to have a VR helmet option?

BungieCorp : (thanks, teachin) Marathon works with VictorMaxx's CyberMaxx helmet, which is still in the prototype stage for the Mac. When it is officially release (the Cybermaxx, that is) we'll release a patch to make sure Marathon works with it. We were demoing the CyberMaxx at Boston Macworld last August.

Teachin: how much would that set me back?? The one I saw was 700 bones.

BungieCorp : The Cybermaxx retails for around $700, but like I said it isn't done yet .. they're working on the ADB interface.

Bungie to release a patch?... hmmm...

Again the question of the VR compatibility arose in the 2nd eWorld Conference with Jason Jones (BungieCorp):

CCCarl : R. Hallock wonders....

The docs that came with the demo mention "VR compatibility". Where, if I actually had the cash, would I pruchase one that would work with your game?

BungieCorp : Marathon works with VictorMaxx's CyberMaxx VR headset. This system is shipping commercially for the PC right now, but won't be ready for Macs until .... who knows when (they say, "real soon now"). When it does ship, we'll probably have to rev Marathon to support it, but will do that ASAP (we tested marathon with a prototype unit designed for the PC). The helmet retails for about $700, I think.

So what happened to the CyberMaxx VR Headset? And why does Marathon, Marathon 2, and Marathon Infinity all contain the following dialog warning?

Be sure that your Cybermaxx helmet is properly hooked up to the serial port and turned on.

Simon Brownlee <> searched deep within the usenet archives to find details on the availability of the CyberMaxx VR Headset. He found the following interesting information. Simon also writes:

The last 'bulk sale' was Sept 10th '97 when someone had 500 of them for $79 a piece. I couldn't find any companies selling them at any more, although there's a few second hand sales, and still has the LCD screens in stock (they used to sell the whole units. They also have a good article at:

Have you got a CyberMaxx VR Headset?

Gabe Rosenkoetter <> writes:

What I want to know is why this:

BungieCorp : The Cybermaxx retails for around $700, but like I said it isn't done yet .. they're working on the ADB interface.

... doesn't reconcile with this:

Be sure that your Cybermaxx helmet is properly hooked up to the serial port and turned on.

That is, does the helmet use the ADB or the serial port?

Or did it, like the Connectix QuickCam, use the serial for interface and the ADB for power?

It strikes me that it'd need a lot more power than one can draw from the ADB chain; it probably has it's own wall pack power supply (especially considering that "turned on" part).

Simon Brownlee <> writes:

I'm fairly sure that there never was an 'official' way to hook up CyberMaxx helmets to Macs, hence the ADB/Serial port confusion. Maybe Bungie had hacked together their own interface and were experimenting with both connections.

The Cybermaxx requires an unregulated 9V DC input which is converted to an 18V supply for the LCDs, 12V for the NTSC/VGA to RGB decoder and 5VDC for the logic circuitry. You wouldn't be able to power one of these from a Mac serial or ADB port.

Input to the CyberMaxx is via a 15 pin VGA connector for the video an 1/8" stereo plug for the audio. The only output is a line of text continuously sent through the CyberMaxx comm port at 19.2Kb/s describing the helmets current orientation, e.g. "Y084.7P-03.5R+04.9" shows a yaw of 84.7', pitch of -3.5' and roll of '4.9'.

The easiest way to hook up the CyberMaxx would be through one of the serial ports as this would require no additional hardware. In fact, with minimal work you should be able to put together a driver that would work with Input Sprockets and thus make the CyberMaxx compatible with Infinity, bar the 3D effect created by sending a slightly different image to each LCD display - Bungie would have to release a patch for this.

Another patch?!!!

Charles Srstka <> writes:

I found this in Marathon Infinity's data fork. It looks like all the usual Marathon keys, with the name first, and then an alias name to that key (for example, butnfire for primary trigger, butnbtmf for forward). All normal-looking, except there are some keys in there that aren't in the game. Two that made me wonder were Yaw and Pitch. The word "yaw" has several definitions, but the one that caught my eye was "To turn about the vertical axis. Used of an aircraft, a spacecraft, or a projectile."

It does seem likely that yaw and pitch had something to do with that headset. But what are "yaw (Classic Mouse)" and "pitch (Classic Mouse)" for?

Eylon Caspi <> and Forrest Cameranesi <> both point out that the mouse can rotate the player's view, pitching up or down, and yawing left or right.

Claude Errera <>, visited Bungie Studios recently and took some pics of the ADB Automatic Assault rifle that was used with the CyberMaxx VR Headset at the Boston Macworld in August '94:

The ADB Automatic Assault rifle with Grenade Option (full gun with ADB cable)
The ADB Automatic Assault rifle with Grenade Option (close up)
Property of the U.E.S.C. Marathon label
Close up of firing options (single shot, 3 shot burst, 20 shot round, full battle action)

Bungie's Bungievision.

"All the news that's fit to vid" so the headline banner of Bungie's Bungievision reads. Was there more than one? How many where there? What tidbits did they contain? The Story page has one Bungievision dating from Fall '96 and we'll be scanning that in real soon. But we'd like to have the lot for nostalgia purposes.

Kyjel Shaytolmae <> points out that Bungie distributed an electronic version of their first newsletter back in Oct '96. It contains a number of news items, tech issues, and an interesting Bungie Employee profile of Doug Zartman. Yeah he always seems to get dragged into these. Check the link below for details.

The Bungie Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 1 October 15th, 1996

The first issue was written by Tuncer Deniz who seemingly went by the title of Editor-at-Large. Was this the first Bungievision or the forerunner to the hard copy version? Was there only one Bungie Newsletter ever distributed electronically?

Jim Mitchell <> dug deep into his Marathon memoriablia file and pulled out a Bungievision dating from Spring '96. Jim writes:

Here are the headers from the Spring 1996 Bungievision:

Charity Auction Successful!

(Marathon 2) +1 = *image of Marathon Infinity logo*

Better Bungie Web Site

Lucky Winners!

Bungie Word of the Day (follows with a definition of Dink)

Sizzling Hot Offers, straight from the Bungie Warehouse (Lists PID, Marathon 2, Marathon, Marathon hint book, and bungie t-shirts.)

On the back is the opening Marathon 2 chapter screen, spiced up a bit. This is an ad for Marathon 2.

Unfortunately Jim doesn't have access to a scanner so if you have this Bungievision issue and can scan it in please send it to the Story page.

Here's that promised scan of Bungievision Fall '96.

Bungievision Fall '96 Page 1 (203K)
Info of Bungie's 5th birthday party, Marathon Infinity, and Marathon 2 for Windows 95.

Bungievision Fall '96 Page 2 (239K)
Mainly info on Abuse and Weekend Warrior.

Bungievision Fall '96 Page 3 (177K)
Bungie Catalog page.

Bungievision Fall '96 Page 4 (123K)
Poster Ad for Abuse. Quite funny actually. Worth a look.

The Story page is still looking for a scan of Bungievision Spring '96 and any information on other Bungievisions. Thanks.

The first ever Marathon screenshot.

In the February '94 edition of Inside Mac Games magazine Tuncer Deniz reported on some of the games being shown at the San Francisco Macworld expo in January '94. One of these was Bungie Software's new science fiction action-adventure game code-named Marathon. It contained the first ever publically released screenshot from the game. Of course this early glimpse changed radically over time as did the initial story. Apparently your job was to investigate the disappearance of colonists living on a hollowed-out asteroid near the planet Pluto. Aliens! They're Everywhere!

This early alpha of Marathon can now be found on the Marathon CD or the Marathon Trilogy Box Set CD. There are also some screenshots taken from this alpha in the Grendel section.

Here's a walkthrough and some screenshots from the Marathon Beta SF Jan'94. Thanks to Raul Bonilla <>, Craig Fay <>, and Robert Zimmermann <>.

Thanks to Hopper <> for extracting the contents of the Marathon alpha Shapes file and also provided map images. Here's the Read Me file and you can get the contents file here (.zip format). Check out the level details, the textures, sprite animations, and the largest lunar landscape panorama... ever. While there are eight levels in the Marathon alpha the last 6 are empty and crash the game. Here is level 1 and level 2. Level 2 has a number of interesting areas you can't reach from the starting point.

Marathon Secrets 1.5

Long before the Marathon Gold hoax... long before the Marathon Dr'Ate'R (Marathon 4) hoax... there was the Marathon Secrets 1.5 hoax. Back in January 1995, just shortly after Marathon was released, Jason Fowler released Marathon Secrets 1.0. It was a standalone Macromedia application containing a walkthrough for Marathon. Screenshots for each level were displayed along with helpful hints and tips. It was one of the first Spoiler Guides to appear on the net and certainly the most professional looking.

It should be remembered that in this early period of Marathon there were few if any map editors to speak of so many secret areas were still unknown. About a month later an updated version was released called Marathon Secrets 1.5... that's when the trouble started. Marathon Secrets 1.5 not only added many new secret areas it also claimed to have found a secret level called Level 00 "A Good Way To Die...".

A screenshot of this level was shown along with details of the map. It allegedly contained black Hulks who could run twice as fast, climb walls and were invincible! Super Hulks no less.

Surely nobody actually believed this? Well yes! You have to remember that secrets were still being found and many people were finding out just how much they had missed the first time they had played Marathon. Bungie had already hidden access to net level 36 "You don't need to see my ID" so it was just possible that there was another secret level hidden... somewhere.

And so the posts began to appear on Usenet. For example:

Secret Marathon Level?
marathon secret level?
Marathon Secret level?
Marathon hidden level

While some people didn't appreciate the joke secret level 00 "A Good Way To Die..." remains the first of the truly great Marathon hoaxes. Nice one Jason. :-)

Marathon Secrets 1.5 is now a rare collectors item. Have you got a copy?

Mike Ackerman <> points out that Marathon Secrets 1.5 is available at

You can also now get it directly from the Story page here. This downloads as Marathon Secrets 1.5.sit and unstuffs as a folder called Do NOT rename. Inside is the Marathon Secrets 1.5.Xobj app. If you run into problems trying to launch it give it more memory. It is not 100% stable either so be warned.

Eric Klein, Jr.

In the later half of '95 Bungie Software were riding high on the crest of a wave. Marathon was a huge commerical success (by Macintosh standards) and the soon to be released sequel Marathon 2 looked like repeating this. Bungie were expanding and had gathered together a much larger development team for Marathon 2. Into this environment came Eric Nicholas Klein, Jr.

Eric Klein was Apple Computer's 2nd Game Evangelist, he took over from Craig Fryar in '94. As a Game Evangelist he would have naturally come into contact with Bungie Software at an early stage. Indeed he is mentioned first in the Special Thanks section of the Marathon manual credits. In June 1995 he began writing his own column "The Game Evangelism Zone" for Inside Mac Games (IMG) magazine. Five issues later he wrote:

This is my last column as Apple game evangelist. Late in October, I left Apple to join Bungie Software. I am going to start the Bungie Publishing label, which will publish COOL games from developers who need a strong partner to market and distribute their games. I will also be licensing Bungie technologies to interested developers.

Eric joined Bungie as their Director of New Business Development. Describing his new job on his personal (non-Bungie) web page he wrote:

I am Bungie Software Product Corporation's (thankfully referred to just as Bungie) New Business Development Director. So what does that big title mean? I am responsible for:

Finding new games for Bungie to publish (Windows, DOS, Macintosh)

Licensing Bungie technologies to game developers and others

Analyzing new technologies, game platforms, and business opportunities

OEM sales

Given the above Eric would have been responsible for such ventures as contracting Doubleaught to do the "Blood Tides of Lh'owon" scenario for Marathon Infinity, the licensing of the Marathon 2 engine to game developers, publishing Abuse and Weekend Warrior and the porting of Marathon 2 to Windows 95 and Pippen.

Eric, reluctant to relocate to Chicago, persuaded Bungie to set up a West Coast office. This was initially based in Cupertino, California as this Mar '96 usenet post indicates. Bungie did not officially announce the opening of their Bungie West office until July '97 when they advertised for a Lead Designer/Artist for an as yet unnamed "science fiction 3D game" (note: the date at bottom of the page is incorrectly given as Wed, Jan 22, 1997). By this stage the West Coast office had moved to San Jose.

Fast forward to the Computer Game Developers Conference (CGDC) in May 6-8, 1998. Eric Klein and Jason Regier give a talk on the cross-platform issues learnt from the Marathon and Myth series. Eric's title is Eric N. Klein, Jr. "At large" Jason's is Jason Regier Bungie Software Eric has left Bungie Software. In an interview with Brenda Garneau at the conference he explains why he left:

And with all of that success, you're leaving Bungie. How come?

Ah, let's figure that out. You know, I've been working the last six and a half years straight with no break between one job and another, and I just wanted to take some time off to reflect, if nothing else, and to decide what I want to do next. That's the great thing about the gaming industry in general. There are many opportunities, and if you get into a track where you're just doing one thing day in and day out, you don't necessarily reflect on all the opportunities that are out there. So, I want to take some time to do that and hop in, ready to rumble, into something new and creative.

It was an amicable split?

Very much so. Bungie has two design studios, one in Chicago and one in San Jose. The synergy would have been better had I been in Chicago, but I just didn't want to move. That's really the only reason. Bungie is doing incredibly well, very much fueled by the success of Myth. I will continue to help them and support them in whatever way I can until I decide what I really want to do.

Some three weeks later at E3 (May 28-30, 1998) Bungie reveals "Oni" their new sci-fi 3D action game in development at Bungie West.

Eric's current home page is at In it he doesn't reveal much of his past but his links page does contain something odd. And I quote:

Game Companies - What can I say? They just kick ass! - Damn, when you make the best sports games in the industry, you get a link. - Mighty fine games - Love the games (okay, that is biased), and I can't wait till they get back to making action games.

Why would Eric write "...I can't wait till they get back to making action games"? Isn't Bungie West, the West Coast Office he helped to set up, not making a sci-fi 3D action game called "Oni"? And what about the other games... err sorry "events"... that have been in development at Bungie East since early '98. Isn't at least one of these an "action game"?

Update on the above. Well Eric's home page at has had a face lift. Indeed at the time of writing (July '99) you wouldn't know that the page was about Eric Klein. Anyway for those who are interested here is what Eric's old main page and links page used to look like.

Bungie's Dear Bob letter.

Arno Hautala <> writes:

Who in their M-thon life hasn't lashed out at a Bob at sometime just cause they were in your way or 20 feet away but you swear they looked at you 'funny'!

Well in 1995 around the release of M2 I recieved an interesting letter. Due to my father having purchased M1 as a birthday present (I was 11), it had been registered in his name... Robert, or Bob.

They expressed their concern for the anguish he must have endured from the butchering of countless number of Bobs. They even gave us a 20% coupon (my encounter with the Bungie Dollar) as consolation towards the purchase of their Bob T-shirt. I promptly accepted.

Here now is the complete text of the letter!

                                                       [Bungie Logo]

July 7, 1995

Dear Bob,

As you may know, our game Marathon has caused the death of countless
numbers of "Bobs".  Though the character of Bob is a sympathetic and
ultimately victorious one, this is only the case after they have been
shot, burned, crushed and blown up by the hundreds.

We at Bungie are aware of the pain this may have caused you Earthly
Bobs (our own artist, Robert McLees, flinches a little every time he
hears the death-cry of his fellow Bobs).  To ameliorate any pain we may
have caused you, we would like to offer you a 20%-off coupon toward the
purchase of our new Bob T-shirt.  The shirt depicts a confrontation
between two of the most famous Bobs in software (the back reads "My Bob
is bigger than your Bob"), and we think you'll find it empowering.

If you would like to order the shirt, call us at (312) 563-6200, or
mail this letter with the coupon and $11.20 (plus $3.95 S&H) to the
address above.

Thank you,

[Doug Zartman's signature]

Douglas H. Zartman
Director of Public Relations
Bungie Software


Also a black outline of the Bob encounter is shown to the right of the signature and the Bungie address and web address and so forth adorn the left margin.

Arno also sent in a scan in of the letter you can see it here (30K).

err... anyone notice the date on this letter?!!! Coincidence or... ?

Bungie's 2nd Web Site.

When The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site was closed in mid-Feburary 1995 Bungie were basically without an official web presence. However shortly after the announcement of The DISC in July '95 appeared with the following announcement:

"We sincerely apologize that this site is not open to the public yet. We plan to open when we have a complete Web site for you to explore. To do this well will take some time yet."

"In the meantime, please feel free to send us suggestions of what you would like to see at the official Marathon site:"

"Note: We will be opening a preliminary page (primarily an ftp site) to the public at the opening of MacWorld Boston - August 15th. Come back and visit us then and get your demo copy of MARATHON 2.0."

This was good news for Marathon fans who could not attend MacWorld Boston and get their hands on the Marathon 2 Preview at least they would be able to download the Marathon 2 Demo shortly afterwards. However August 15th came and went with no sign of Bungie's new web page or the demo. This delay resulted in a number of acrimonious exchanges on usenet. At one stage both Matt Soell of Bungie Software and Stefan Fielding-Isaacs of Art & Science who were creating the site for Bungie stepped in to defend their position.

Bungie's second web site didn't actually open until late Thursday evening October 12, 1995 and boy did it cause a stir. For its time it was a state of the art site featuring server-push Marathon animations. However these bandwidth consuming features weren't appreciated by many fans who simply wanted to download the Marathon 2 demo. It lead to the What idiot designed Bungie's web site? thread.

You can see what all the fuss was about here. Ah nostalgia. ;-)

The Marathon Comic.

Back in 1995 Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) was producing some of the earliest Vidmaster films. In addition he created the Marathon Comic. Twelve pages of art and text which retold the story from the Manual's introduction. It was originally available on his web page (now apparently gone) in both Japanese and English. While the Story page had the Japanese version Adam (MacAllah) Ghazi-Tehrani <> found the the English version and kindly saved it for posterity. Enjoy. Hats off to Miha... one of the Marathon greats.

English version

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Japanese version

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

In February 2018 Doug Zartman (former Bungie PR Director) posted a series of pics that had adorned the Bungie office walls back in the day.
Doug wrote:
"Perhaps the definitive Marathon fan comic from when it was new, this was on the walls of the office. "Whatta sh*t!" got quoted a lot. No idea who's the author."

The 10th Warrior movie

Back in Oct 20, 1998 Bryan "Brymen" Mendoza <> released "The 10th Warrior" movie. A film homage to Marathon netplay featuring the music of Underworld ("Cowgirl") coupled with rapidfire editing of net films, chapter screen and other artwork. The original movie (Quicktime format) weighed in at 28MBs and is still available at the Story page here. In Feb 2001 Bryan re-encoded the movie. The new version is now 39MBs and it looks better than ever before. You can get it here.

Inside Mac Games Sneak Peek of Marathon 2

Back in August '95 Inside Mac Games magazine published a Sneak Peek of Marathon 2. The preview was based on the version of Marathon 2 relased at Macworld Boston '95 although the cover pic would suggest differently. Here's another pic of those gun totting Cyborg Tanks.

The full article is worth reading not least for the opening comment:

"...I tend to dislike sequels...

Inside Mac Games Sneak Peek of Marathon

Back in July '94 Inside Mac Games magazine published a Sneak Peek of Marathon. Contains some early Marathon screenshots, early backstory, and some gameplay features including... Cyberspace. Here's the description:

Another twist to the game is the addition of cyberspace. In Marathon, cyberspace is essentially the computer's interpretation of the real world. In the game you'll be able to find cyberspace portals that will let you go into cyberspace. Once in cyberspace, you'll find the cyberspace world to be exactly like the real world you were just in but with some physical changes like more objects, corridors, doors, and walls than in the real world. For example, imagine you came to a door that was locked and had no way to get in. In Marathon, you'll be able to jack into cyberspace and find a way to open the door in cyberspace through the use of additional tools, rooms, etc. If you should get killed in cyberspace or decide to return to the real world, you simply return to the real world unharmed and in the same place you jacked into cyberspace.

Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus interview with Jason Jones

The Jason Jones (Bungie Software) interview (pages 199-207) from "Tricks of the Mac Game Programming Gurus" published by Hayden Press 1995 (ISBN# 1-56830-183-9). The book in now out-of-print. Transcript brought to you by M-Class.

Marathon Bumper Sticker

The Marathon Bumper Sticker was a play on an election sticker for Al Gore who was Vice President of the United States in 1995. The Bumper Sticker was never released due to it's emphasis on gore. As Matt Soell explained Bungie "didn't want to pigeonholed as a developer of violent games."

America's Funniest Marathon Replays

On page 20 of the Marathon Manual, Bungie advertised the America's Funniest Marathon Replays. "Send us you funniest replays for Marathon" it read, "we are making a collection of replays and if we use yours we'll send you a free T-shirt". Bungie never released any replays. Why? Matt Soell (Bungie) explains:

Whatever happened to America's Funniest Marathon Replays?
is simply this: We Didn't Laugh Once.
Sad but true.   There's no reason to assemble a collection of "funny" replays if they don't engender some giggles.
I guess our sense of humor is a bit too sophisticated.   Or is it lowbrow? I always get those confused.

Agents of Cool interview with Alex Seropian, Doug Zartman, Rob McLees and Mark Bernal

Interesting 1996 interview with Alex Seropian, Doug Zartman, Rob McLees and Mark Bernal. First question: Were you influenced by the Micronauts? It also gives the age of The Man. ;-)

ydnar on infinity

Shamelessly stolen archived from Double Aught Software's first generation web site in late 1996. Those who were around at the time will no doubt remember how innovative those early Randy 'ydnar' Reddig designs were. Part of DA's site contained an Infinity section called 'ydnar on infinity'. He's the blurb from the oo4 version of the site:

ydnar on infinity
words and pictures from the
marathon infinity scenario as
interpreted by one of our

"just another day for a cyborg."

If you missed it at the time or yearn to see it again then click the link above. It has the distinctive ydnar style with a mixture of terminal pics, in-game screenshots, terminal text and a few new elements thrown in. Still stylish even today.

Coriolis Loop - Double Aught's netmap pack

Some months after the release of the Marathon Infinity, Double Aught created a netmap pack of 18 network levels and provided them free to the Marathon community. The netmap pack was called 'Coriolis Loop' and Double Aught created a specific page on their web site for their distribution. While Double Aught's web site is long gone you can see the original Coriolis Loop page at the link above. The download link is also still active. The 18 levels are as follows:

Carnage Soccer
Carnage Soccer
Controlled by Gamma Light
Corpus Swinus
Hats off to Eight Nineteen
Grendel's Happy Cookie
House of Monkey
Mime Target
My Rod?
Reason with the Sky - Fast
Reason with the Sky (More Complex)
Sand Serif (Fast)
Sand Serif (Good Looking)
Tour de Carnáge
Shadows of Brooklyn
UN Attack
Ways and Means 2

They are perhaps the most innovative and aesthetically pleasing network levels for their time. The Read Me file that came with the netmap pack can be found here.

Game Boys

University of Chicago, Alumni Profiles of Alex Seropian and Jason Jones. Extracted from the University of Chicago Magazine, June 95. A little insight into their college dorm-life, girls and stuff. ;-)

Super Marathon

Space Hero. Or Space Dust!


In 1996, Bungie completed a port of Marathon and Marathon 2 to Apple's short-lived Pippin video game console.

Chris Butcher <> (Bungie Studies) kindly sent in front and back scans of the original Super Marathon box. Note the blurb on the back:

"From the first round of ammo to the last, it's your choice: Space Hero. Or Space Dust!"

Who writes this stuff? ;)

I had the opportunity to ask Matt Soell <>, Director of Customer Support at Bungie, about Super Marathon and whether it was a direct port with no changes made to terminals, maps, etc.? Matt replied:

I believe so. There was only one person assigned to the port (Jason Regier) and he didn't have the time or inclination to mess around with it too much as he was needed on the Myth team. The hardest part was figuring out a way to make that wacky AppleJack controller handle all the various commands.

One of the Pippin's selling points among the Mac faithful was that Mac users would be able to run almost all Pippin games. Not sure if it is possible to run SuperMarathon on a standard Mac....perhaps one of the 4 people who bought a Pippin could help us out here. ;-)

Alex Rosenberg, a former Bungie employee, replied to a post on concerning Super Marathon. He wrote:

IIRC, Super Marathon runs on the Pippin only as it uses the special Pippin-only APIs for controller input (pre-InputSprocket) and the special PippinStandardFile. There was an extension in the Pippin SDK that provided these features on a regular Power Macintosh, but good luck finding it now. The game restarts the machine when you quit it because a memory leak in the Pippin OS prevented the game from relaunching since it barely fit. It should work on both the original Japanese unit and the later US design.

The game consists of a M1 and M2 with an interface for picking which game to launch. A few M2 levels are different, but I believe that they are the same differences found in M2 for the PC. Both games had changes to the terminal renderer to increase font size; even with convolution hardware, 9 point text is hard to read on a TV. Several features were ripped out to conserve memory. For example, the music in M1 is gone.

If Jason Regier still reads this group, he might have something more to add as he did almost all of the porting work. I will note that even as an official Pippin developer, we got zero technical support from Bandai. The only means we had for answers to our questions was for me to personally call friends of mine at Apple whom I knew were working on Pippin and ask them. The really sad part is that despite repeated requests, we were never supplied one of the Japanese Pippin keyboards, so we didn't specifically support it in the game.

If you can find one, there's existed adapter cable to permit the AppleJack controller to be plugged into a regular ADB jack. I'm reasonably sure that it was only made available to Pippin developers. InputSprocket (and Marathon Infinity 1.5) will use it if you hook it all up.

In a Marathon Magazine interview with Jason Regier (March-April 1997), Jason wrote:

There are 4 programmers here at Bungie: Jason Jones, Ryan Martell, Alex Rosenberg, and me. And we're all working on Myth right now. For a while, as you know, Alex and I were doing Marathon Infinity, then I did Super Marathon for Pippin, but now we're all getting our hand's dirty with Myth.

So Jason Regier worked on Super Marathon after finishing Marathon Infinity (released Oct 15, 1996).

Bruce Morrison <> writes:

Super Marathon's Marathon 2 map is identical to Marathon 2 for Mac (not Windows) minus all the pattern buffers. However a bigger change is, Super Marathon is running as a network game. If you die, you go back to the player start, but the game does not reset (monsters stay dead, doors stay open, and all your equipment (that managed to roll a survive number) is on the floor. This makes beating Super Marathon much easier than Marathon as you can brute force your way through the game.

Regarding the pattern buffers, Bruce sent in this screen capture of Waterloo Waterpark which shows that they were completely removed from the game and replaced by a solid grey texture.

While playiing Super Marathon, Bruce came across an interesting item in his inventory. He writes:

my save file glitched and when I loaded I had this. Looks like Super Marathon knew about Marathon Infinity.

Now isn't that interesting. I wonder how that got there?

Here's Bruce Morrison's blog at Freeverse describing his attempts at finding both a Pippin and Super Marathon and then playing the game.

The Conversatron: Can you briefly summarize the plot of the Marathon series?

The Conversatron was a popular question and answer website from the early 21th century, where you never quite knew what kind of response you would get from the "askees",   exemplified by this Marathon-related question: "Can you briefly summarize the plot of the Marathon series?"

As you can see the answer was pretty unpredictable but a classic. :-)

The Official Strategy Guide Interview

This interview was taken from Chapter 13 (pages 157-161) of the Official Strategy Guide for Marathon. Tuncer Deniz, who wrote the Strategy Guide, interviewed Bungie President Alexander Seropian and Lead Programmer Jason Jones shortly after Marathon's release. The interview is important as it reveals that Bungie had deliberately left the ending of Marathon open to allow for a possible sequel. According to the Strategy Guide was published in June 21, 1995. However, I seem to recall an earlier date for publication, possibly April 1995. Perhaps someone can confirm the publication date?

Chips, oh delicious chips.

What's the 'chips' thing all about? I get asked this alot since the story keeps cropping up every few years, usually in some modified form. Anyway here is the original story posted by poena.dare #CP# <> on the Story forum back in Feb 1, 2003. And just in case the link dies here's the text:

I also hear there is a website devoted to the game by some guy in Scottlande or someplace.
They say he's really crazy 'cuz his wife went into labor the day the game came out an she wouldn't
let him go to the shoppe and buy it so when they got home from th hospital he cut her up and buried
her in the yard and then ate his own baby with some chips, oh delicious chips. So they caught him but
he managed to get his copy of Marathon and smuggled it into prison with him and the other convicts
tried to take it away from him in the shower so he cut them up and ate them to, in fact he went on
a rampage and ate all the prison guards with some chips, oh delicious chips. And then he sat down
at the warden's desk and played the game straight through only stopping when he had to pee in a
potted plant in the corner of the room. After he finished the game he found the prison surrounded
by the Army and there was a guy on a bullhorn named Dr. Quartermass who was telling him to put
down the fork and come out. But he managed to escape through the sewers and they couldn't catch
him but they found his bag of chips, oh delicious chips. They say he's still hiding to this day
in the mountains of Scotchland, the Alpes, updating his website every day using a portable microwave
dish and a laptop. They also say of your are backpacking in the Alpes that you'd better not carry
any chips, oh delicious chips. They say they'll never catch him to because there are laws that
protect mountain people and the police are scared to go up there. But he has to come to a city
once a month on the seventh day and he breaks into a house that has a computer and he plays Marathon
straight through and he eats anyone at home with chips, oh delicious chips. So the police are hoping
to catch him when he goes to the city but so far he's eaten over 3,000 people and 2,920 bags of
chips, oh delicious chips so it seems like there is no stopping him. You may think I'm making all
this up but it's the truth and I know it cause I asked my friend who works and Bungie and he said
it's true so it is.

And here is one of those variations I was talking about.

The Marathon Trilogy Box Set Trivia Contest

Shortly after the release of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set (MTBS) on the 1 May 1997, Bungie Software, MacCentral, and Inside Mac Games Magazine ran a Trivia Contest. Ten multiple choice questions and if you got them all right you were in with a chance to win a copy of the MTBS. Now the questions aren't that hard and looking through the possibly answers it wouldn't surprised me if Matt Soell had a hand in this. Anyway here are the lucky 20 winners.

The Battle of Brooklyn

Learn the tru7h behind Double Aught's one-on-one pavement chewing Brooklyn brawls. The IRC smack talk, the put downs, the cheat codes, the sniping, the crushing defeats, the stats, the urban myths - like Randy Reddig taking out a running opponent with a single pistol shot to the head through a window from a distance. Did you see?

Mac Hall's "Now With Better Support" webcomic (aka Jjaro Boxers)

The Origin of the Jjaro Boxers webcomic.

Ian McConville's "WasDurandal" movie, a paraody on the Budweiser Wasabi ad.

The Ming Choy

On a balmy Chicago spring evening Alex Seropian, Max Hoberman and a very youthful Joe Staten take a journey from their Chicago headquarters on Ontario Street to the mystical Ming Choy. The text and images are exactly as they appeared on Bungie's web site eons ago. No changes have been made to source code or the pic names. And if you are very observant you will see something that few people outside of Bungie have seen.

The Ming Choy is featured in Bungie's Seven Steps to World Domination. Namely, Step 4: Acquire strangely addictive Chinese food company.

The Alain Roy interview

Thanks to Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith <> for sending in an old interview he did with Alain Roy (programmer on PID and Marathon). It originally appeared at Bungie Sightings (and still does) but he wanted to have it hosted here for posterity (or something). Lots of Marathon tidbits in this interview, including another error in the Marathon Scrapbook. What's new I hear you say.

Bungie's Magical Mystery Tour of Chicago

This tongue-in-cheek tour of Bungie hometowm (Chicago) was prompted by a post by Craig Hardgrove <> on the Story forum. He wrote:

I love Chicago! I had many opportunities to visit some of these classic Bungie locations you've mentioned, however, when I lived there I wasn't aware of them. Can someone put together a comprehensive Bungie Tour of Chicago list of locations so those who are interested can go check these locations when they're in Chicago?

So was born Bungie's Magical Mystery Tour of Chicago. Take the tour: Stops 1,   2,   3,   4,   5,   6,   and   7.

Update: A number of links in this tour are now dead so I have created them again and added additional content.
Take the updated Magical Mystery Tour of Chicago. Stops 1,   2,   3,   4,   5,   6,   and   7.

The Jay Barry interview

Thanks again to Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith <> for sending in another old interview this time with Jay Barry. Story page readers may remember that Jay was famous (or infamous) for starting the whole Who is The Bungie Webmaster? search. Back in 1997, it was revealed that he was Bungie's website/network guy. Of course we quickly learnt that he was actually the tech guy behind the scenes and not 'The Third Most Evil Man In The World'. In the interview Jay reveals all when he says:

Of course I wasn't the Bungie Webmaster. I was the schlep who worked on the servers, but never the website. Getting near the Webmaster meant enduring the smell. Plus he was always hitting me up for money.

Yes, more clues to the identity of The Bungie Webmaster. ;)

The Marathon 2 Charity Auction

Back in late 1995, Bungie held a charity auction for the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the item on auction was the first ever copy of Marathon 2. The winner was announced in the Spring '96 edition of Bungie's Bungievision magazine. The highest bid was $612 and the bidder was Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha), famous Vidmaster and author of the Marathon Comic. Miha got a signed copy of the first production copy of Marathon 2 and a certificate of authenticity.

Based on the certifcate, the first copy of Marathon 2 was produced on November 10, 1995.

The Marathon Christmas Card

The Marathon Christmas Card was the first of the Bungie Christmas Cards. Entitled 'Home Pfhor The Holidays', it was issued in 1996 and drawn by Mark Bernal. Here is the front and back. Here is a smaller higher quality version of the front. The inside said 'Wishing you and your family the best for the holiday season.' The card was sold in packs of ten for $9.00.

Here another picture of the Christmas Card courtesy of Doug Zartman.

Bungie went on the create other Christmas Cards for Myth, Oni, Halo, and more recently... Destiny.

The Mystery of the Seventh Head

On page 23 of the Marathon 2 manual you can see eight cartoon heads. Here's the image:

As you might expect these are caricatures of the creators of Marathon 2 (most of them anyway). But who is who? Some might be obvious others not so. Around the same time as Marathon 2 was released Bungie's 2nd web page had an Inside Bungie section. This contained seven of the eight cartoon heads along with names. Thus it was possible to put names to all but the seventh head.

Who was the Seventh Head?

This mystery remained unsolved until 2011. Prompted by a Story page challenge, David Candland (Evil Otto) went to the source - Rob McLees, the artist who drew them, and was told that it was Ryan Martell. This was also confirmed by Matt Soell (formerly of Bungie Software) who wrote in a Story forum post:

Mr. McLees drew 'em, so it's not a matter of opinion. Ryan Martell it is/was - although in Robt's
rendering he looks more like a used car salesman, or perhaps a televangelist. Then again, Greg
looks like a skankin' Rasta, Mark looks like Fred Flintstone, and I look like some kind of
degenerate vagabond. Perhaps Robt depicted our true selves, not the masks we present in polite


So the seventh head is Ryan Martell.

Though it bears an eerie resemblance to former Apple Game Evangelist Eric Klein Jr. who joined Bungie in late 1995.

Last Polygon Filled Day

On the secret Bungie credits terminal on the Marathon level "Ingue Ferroque" you can read the following:

Marathon is finished. We've slept <10 hours over the last
four days. We all put our hearts into this, not to mention
the 14 hour days for months on end, so we hope you like it.

Last polygon filled 6:05 PM Saturday, December 14.
Carnage ensued closely thereafter. Er, I mean sleep.

So Marathon's last polygon was filled on Saturday, December 14, 1994. This important Marathon 'fact' made its way into the Marathon Scrapbook. And so it lay there, unnoticed, waiting... until Daniel Godwin spotted the error in the Seven Errors in the Marathon Scrapbook competition in Oct 20, 1999. Daniel wrote:

I've found another one of the problems in the scrapbook! December 14th was not a Saturday, in 1994! It was a Wednesday!

A quick check of a 1994 calendar reveals this to be the case.

So when was the last Marathon ploygon filled?

Given that it is more likely to get the date wrong rather than the actual day, was the last polygon filled on Saturday, December 17, 1994? Or perhaps the preceding Saturday, December 10, 1994? Or maybe it was Wednesday, December 14, 1994?

The answer can be found using two posts on

The first post is by Dan Meltz, a good friend of Jason Jones and author of the Pathways Into Darkness Official Hint Book. His post on Friday, December 16, 1994 indicates that Bungie were still working hard to get Marathon out the door.

The second post is by Tuncer Deniz, founder of Inside Mac Games and a regular visitor to Bungie's office during those hectic months. His post on Monday, December 19, 1994 indicates that Marathon was now finished and in duplication.

So Saturday, December 17, 1994 looks about right to be 'last polygon filled' day.

Another Marathon mystery solved after 17 years. ;)

Chicago Reader's 'Monsters in a Box' article

This Chicago Reader article (March 24, 2000) by Bill Mahin is one of those rare pieces about Bungie which seems to get under their very skin. While it is primarily about the Myth era (the highs and lows) it has some early Pathways Into Darkness and Marathon tidbits. Here's just one:

"At the end of March 1996 Bungie announced that it would release a PC version of Marathon 2. Many Mac gamers, who'd had the Bungie games to themselves, felt betrayed. Within a couple days Bungie received 400 angry E-mail messages. One of the worst stated, "You fucking assholes have gone and done it now. You said you wouldn't create Marathon for PC. Fucking liars! What have I to hold above the PC gamer's heads now, huh you fuckers?!?! Bitch trick whore slut ass fuckers!!!! BURN IN HELL ASSHOLES!!!!!!!! You know, I was actually gonna buy the Marathon/Marathon 2 bundle. But not now! You assholes ain't getting any of my money. I'll fucking use a copy from a friend."

Concerning the author of the article, Matt Soell (formerly of Bungie Software) had this to say in the Story forum post:

That guy hung around the office for months. Talked with all of us, saw
lots of stuff. And he really disliked Blood II.

I think I still have a few yellowing copies of that issue of the Reader
sitting in a box somewhere.


The Chicago Reader is Chicago's largest free weekly newspaper. In case the link goes down you can read a copy of the article here.

You can see the first page of the article from one of those yellowing copies of the Reader here thanks to Doug Zartman. Concerning the article Doug wrote on Twitter on November 6, 2022.

"Amazing that I spent a full year working to make this @chicagoreader cover profile of #Bungie happen, and then totally forgot about it until going through old boxes. Look at those fresh-faced @game_fabricator @docabominable, others"

Paul Russel @docabominable added the following piece of information about the group shot shown in the article:

"I remember the article being about the Myth team, but the editor used the blam! team photo because we were "more photogenic".  "

Marathon Home Videos

The Marathon Home Videos is a compilation of videos taken by Tuncer Deniz (Inside Mac Games) during the development of Marathon. The first video segment is dated August 26, 1994 and shows Jason and his team of programmers working on Marathon's source code. The last video segment shows some of the solo levels being play tested along with shots of the finished Marathon box. The whole video is just over 26 minutes long. While it was filmed in 1994 it wasn't publically distributed until the release of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set in May 1997. Indeed, it was not easy to find since it was hidden (invisible) in the Gnop folder on the first (black) Trilogy CD.

Here are some screen captures from the video compilation.

The Marathon Home Videos is also available on YouTube here.

Another piece of Marathon history preserved for the future.

Tuncer Deniz had this to say about the Marathon Home Videos in his blog on Inside Mac Games in May 2006:

My fondest memories of Bungie are, of course, the Marathon days. It was really exciting to see how 3 programmers, an artist, and a level designer were able to create this amazing game. I was lucky enough to see the game on a weekly basis come to be.

So when I saw a forum link on IMG a few days about my days at Bungie and of a hidden video that I had put on the Marathon Trilogy CD, I began to think it might be a fun thing to post it in my IMG blog. Thanks to those who dug it up!

In the video below you will see several people who are worth mentioning, many of which are now Bungie Alumni. They are: Jason Jones (head of Bungie Studios), Alexander Seropian (went on to found Wideload Games), Ryan Martell (after Marathon 2, bought a boat and went sailing around the world... lost contact), Alain Roy (worked at Bungie while a college student... lost contact), Reginald DeJour (after Marathon 2, went to work at several game companies), Greg Kirkpartick (after Marathon Infinity, left Bungie and moved to New York to create his own game company, Double Aught. The game, Duality, was never released... lost contact), and Doug Zartman (now at Wideload Games).

One final word of warning... there are several "bad" words in the video (those Bungie guys like saying the F word a lot). Please do not view this video if you are under age.

Marathon Gold

The Marathon Gold hoax was inspired by Bungie's 3rd electronic newsletter which was emailed out to Bungie fans on Sept 29, 1998. You will note that the contents are numbered from 1 to 10 but only 9 items are in fact listed. Item 7 is missing. Item 7 ?!!! Was this a mistake or something more? Ted Polak was one of the first to notice this odd omission and sent in his observation to the Story page:

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

The next day the following email was sent out to all those on the Bungie mailing list. It was entitled "Bungie Newsletter: Missing item #7" and contained the following important announcement:

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.

Marathon Gold? Could it be true? Matt Soell, Director of Customer Support at Bungie, was quick off the blocks sending in the following denial to the Story page:

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.

But it was too late... Marathon Gold went viral. A week later Bungie sent out the following apology and correction, explaining that the email was in fact a fake. Bungie had been hacked by a master criminal! The identity of the two individuals responsible for the Marathon Gold Hoax has never been revealed for fear of Reprisal. ;)

Even 'The Bungie Webmaster' denied the existence of Marathon Gold. The subject came up in a letter to the The Bungie Webmaster:

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,


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

I think we both know what this means.
Get the chicken.

Strata's interview with Robert McLees

A short interview dating from 1996 in which Robert McLees briefly describes how he created the S'pht'Kr Elite Guard (Defender) using among other things Strata's StudioPro (3-D rendering program). Has a rare shot of Rob in a suit, Gekko suspenders and a rose (no kidding). The man is obviously a charmer! Here's a short piece:

The process of building the Defender began with a somewhat older graphic technology, paper and pencil. With conceptual drawings at hand, I ran StudioPro and formed the alien's body out of basic shapes (cones, spheres), similar to modeling with clay.

Beck 2 - Spår i Mörker

Back in 1998, Stefan Arnborg wrote the following letter to the Bungie Webmaster:

Did you know that right now there is a movie playing in Sweden called Beck 2. The movie is about Sweden's best policeman who gets involved with a mysterious murder case. In that movie they play Marathon 2, but they call it Final Doom and it's played by psychos in the Stockholm subway.

Stefan Arnborg,


Well, for what it's worth, there was actually a non-Bungie game called Final Doom, and it sold principally to psychos who live in the Stockholm subways, so the game in the movie may not have been Marathon 2.

Nonetheless, I'd love to see the film just to make sure, so if any of you Swedish film buffs can get me a copy on NTSC video (or tell me where I can find such a beast), I'll make it worth your while.

Stefan was referring to Beck 2 - Spår i Mörker, though Wikipedia refers to it as Beck - Spår i Mörker. The movie premiered in Sweden on 31 October 1997 and later appeared on the Swedish television network TV4 in 2002.

Clips from the movie when it was shown TV4 eventually appeared on the net and you can see them here:

There is little doubt that the game (Final Doom) used in the movie is a modified version of Marathon 2.

Inside Mac Games interview with Alexander Seropian and Jason Jones (Jan/Feb 1995)

The Jan/Feb 1995 issue of Inside Mac Games (Volume 3, Issue 1 & 2) contained an interview with Alexander Seropian and Jason Jones conducted by Tuncer Deniz (IMG editor) shortly after the release of Marathon. The interview included text and video clips.

It is a very insightful interview ranging from beta leaks, Marathon delays, lessons learnt from Pathways Into Darkness, engine rewrites, releasing the level editor, stuff that didn't work well, stuff that was left out, and the "second" game.

Note that this interview is different from the interview Tuncer did later with Alex and Jason for the Official Strategy Guide for Marathon.

Bungie's 1st MacWorld Stampede

The Boston MacWorld Expo in August 1997 was notably for a number of things, not least the fact that it was the last of the Boston MacWorld's (it moved to New York in 1998). It was the first to feature the return of Steve Jobs, as interim Apple CEO (the rest, as they say, is history). It was also the first to feature Bungie's MacWorld Stampede. The premise was simple: the first ten people to arrive at the Bungie booth with Myth stickers displayed prominently on their person won a copy of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set. The result, as you can imagine, was chaos. Bungie captured the event in a series of pictures and proudly displayed it on their website. All gone now...

... NOT. The evidence has been forensically preserved and can now be revealed in all its glory insane madness: Bungie's 1st MacWorld Stampede. According to this post, Kazem Edmond was one of the first (or first) to reach the Bungie booth to claim his copy of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set. You can actually see him in one of the pictures.

Bungie ran the same experiment at the San Francisco MacWorld Expo in January 1998. This 2nd MacWorld Stampede was 'controlled' chaos on a much larger (and more dangerous) scale... but that's a story for another day.

The Marathon Infinity Map Making Contest

When Bungie shipped Marathon Infinity on October 15, 1996 they also released their first newsletter which announced The Marathon Infinity Map Making Contest. If you headed over to Bungie's website you could read the official rules for the contest. The deadline for submissions was February 15, 1997 so people had four months to get to grips with the newly released map making tools - Forge and Anvil. But what were the prizes? People wanted to know. While Jonas Eneroth appeared to be 'The Judge' for the competition he wasn't exactly forthcoming with the prize details. Indeed, the actual prize wouldn't be announced until mid-December, some two months after the competition announcement.

As part of the Marathon Mapmaking Contest, Bungie is all goose-pimply to announce our most generous prize yet, the License to Vid. This prize is designed to ensure one lucky winner will always have Bungie to play with.

The License to Vid entitles the holder to one free copy of every game and T-Shirt that Bungie publishes for five years from the issue date. When they obtain the license, they must register their name, address and platform with us. Thereafter, within 2 weeks of the shipdate of each new game we publish, the licensee may call to request their game. It will be shipped to them free of any charge.

Apparently there would only be one lucky winner of Bungie's License to Vid. However, not everyone was impressed with the prize.

On Apr 6, 1997, Bungie announced the winners of their map making contest. The winners were to receive the "Bungie for Life". Runners up would get "special editions of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set". In addition, 13 maps received Honorable Mentions. It's not clear if the "Bungie for Life" prize was the same as the originally announced "License to Vid" prize. Bungie for Life would suggest that the prize was longer than five years.

When Bungie released the Marathon Trilogy Box Set in May 1997 they included the competition entries on the map collection CD. The contest list included the names of the winners and runners up but listed only 12 maps in the Honorable Mentions category.

The missing 13th map was D&M Ultimap. This was Degu & Miha's net map pack. Degu and Miha should be well known to most Marathoners. Why their map was removed from the list is not clear. D&M Ultimap does appear on the Trilogy CD just not with the competition entries. Perhaps they were unhappy about not winning and asked for it not to be listed? Or did Bungie pull it for a specific reason? Did it break the Official Rules? Whatever the answer you can get their competition entry here (v1.0) and a later version (v1.0.1) here.

The End

The End is an invisible text file found on the Marathon Infinity CD in the Marathon Infinity Small Install folder. It is principally written by Tuncer Deniz (Production Manager, Bungie Software), with contributions from Randy Reddig (Double Aught Software) and Matt Soell (Bungie Software). It outlines in a concise fashion the development of Marathon Infinity from concept to final product. Of particular interest is the fact that Infinity started out as a quick add-on to Marathon 2 but with time and new textures, additional levels and a new weapon, it became something more.

Blood Tides of Lh'owon - Sneak Peek

This is a tongue-in-cheek 'Sneak Peek' look at the Marathon Infinity scenario Blood Tides of Lh'owon. It was posted on the Story page back in Apr 17, 1996. Shortly after Bungie announced Marathon Infinity in Feb 1996 they updated their website with the following information:

"Blood Tides of Lh'owon", a 30-level scenario with new textures, landscapes, monsters and startling developments in the Marathon story.

Not much to go one... hence the Sneak Peek. ;)

Just a bit of fun back in the day.

Marathon 2: Durandal Strategy Guide

When Bungie announced Marathon Infinity on February 22, 1996 some three months after Marathon 2: Durandal had shipped they wrote in their press release:

This stand-alone product is based on the Marathon 2 world, and consists of three elements crucial to extending the player's enjoyment of Marathon ad infinitum.

The third element of Marathon Infinity was the Marathon 2 : Durandal Strategy Guide. Bungie's press release stated:

Third, the Marathon 2 : Durandal Strategy Guide. Written by Tuncer Deniz, editor of Inside Mac Games magazine and noted Marathon authority, the Strategy Guide gives the player not only instructions for completing Marathon 2: Durandal, but affords a glimpse into the way that Bungie's level designers produce outstanding levels. Revealing floorplans, secret rooms, items and traps, the Strategy Guide is an invaluable resource for understanding Marathon 2.

One might have been mistaken for thinking this was going to be a similar product as Marathon: The Official Strategy Guide, also written by Tuncer Deniz and published by Prima Publishing in the first half of 1995. It is a tome of a book with close to 200 pages.

However the Marathon 2: Durandal Strategy Guide was just a set of HTML pages on the Infinity CD. The guide was written by Jonas Eneroth, Tuncer Deniz and Doug Zartman. Even though this was an official release it was not without its problems. Jonas Eneroth took the blame for these and stated:

A correction will be available shortly - along with some additional info.

However no correction was ever released. In truth the out of sync error is not that bad. The maps only go out of sync at Kill Your Television. This level's map is missing and the map for Where the Twist Flops is used instead. The maps continue out of sequence as far as Fatum Iustum Stultorum. The correct maps are used for the final two levels, Feel the Noise and All Roads Lead To Sol...

Because this was written in HTML correcting this yourself is easy. You can see a corrected version here.

The guide can be useful for those starting out as it shows in-game screenshots at key locations on each level. However it does not show every secret. Then again neither did Marathon: The Official Strategy Guide.

The use of the title "Beg to Die" for the level Nuke and Pave was the result of a last minute change by Greg Kirkpatrick. Given that we learn the fate of Bernhard Strauss on this level the original title "Beg to Die" was much more appropriate. But Greg had a specific reason for changing the name at the last minute.

But that's a story for another day.

Marathon Dr'Ate'R

Following the release of Marathon Infinity in October 1996 a frequently asked question was whether there would be a Marathon 4. In truth Marathon Infinity was never intended to be Marathon 3. It was originally intended as an add-on to Marathon 2. But as described by Tuncer Deniz in The End it quickly grew from a 20 level scenario called "Blood Tides of Lh'owon" into a stand alone 30 level game with many new assets. So Marathon Infinity became de facto "Marathon 3". But would there be a Marathon 4? While Marathon Infinity did attempt to put closure on the Marathon series this did not prevent people repeatedly asking the question.

In November 1996 the Bungie Webmaster finally waded in with this classic response.

I love Infinity! I was one of those lucky souls to get my copy a day before the published release date, and I haven't stopped playing it since. My only concern is that since it is called "Infinity" instead of, say, "Marathon 3," that there aren't going to be any more. Please tell me this isn't true and that you already have another in the works!

Ben Everson, beverson@DEPAUW.EDU


Imagine a painting of a horse, a marvellous white stallion. This stallion happens to be lying in a crumpled heap on the ground, dead. And Bungie employees are standing around it in a semicircle, beating the horse with various blunt objects. The painting is titled "Marathon 4."

Well, okay, that's overstating things. We're very proud of the Marathon series, but it's not the only thing we can do. Rather than getting into a rut and spitting out a new Marathon game every year, we're going to try some new stuff.

Some gut-wrenchingly cool new stuff.

Stand back and prepare to be amazed.

Undeterred folks still wanted to believe that Marathon 4 would happen. So was born Marathon Dr'Ate'R in December 1996.

I will leave the last word to the Bungie Webmaster from January 1997 who was replying to a question from Tyler L.

(Don't print this on the web page, lest you wreak havoc in the civilized world.)
Is this "Marathon: Dr'ate'r" thing for real, or is it made up?)
Tell me the truth, or I won't buy Marathon Infinity.)

Tyler L.,


As you can see, I've printed this letter on the Letters page. I like wreaking havoc. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Although that might just be my liver failing again.

Regarding this "Marathon Dr'ate'r" thing...proof positive that not everything you see on the Net is true. (No, really. Sometimes people lie.) Some guy grabbed some screen shots from another game, pasted in a few Marathon aliens, and a hoax was born.

Several hawk-eyed people have noticed that "drater" is "retard" spelled backwards. Whoa. Somebody stop me. Big Yux. Hoo-ha.

The fate of the Marathon 2 for Windows 95 Source Code.

In the Marathon 2 Source Code ReadMe file Matt Soell (Director of Customer Support at Bungie) gave an amusing account of the fate of the Marathon 2 for Windows 95 source code. You can read it below:

The sole known archive of the Windows 9x source was placed in a lead box and shipped to one of our island laboratories for safekeeping. Unbeknownst to us, the boat carrying the box made an unscheduled run up the coast of Madagascar, where the ship's captain hoped to catch the end of the annual Miss Middle Of Nowhere pageant. The ship was approximately six miles from shore when it was torpedoed by a one-man sub purchased from the Hammacher-Schlemmer catalog by a punter with more money than brains. Divers are still combing the sea floor looking for the box containing the Windows code, and if we ever find it I'm sure we'll let you know. Windows hackers with lots of spare time may still be able to do interesting things with this code.

The fate of the Marathon (1) Source Code is best kept secret...

Thing What Kicks... Spoiler

The "Thing What Kicks... Spoiler" by Nick Lewis has the distinction (or infamy) of being the only dedicated spoiler page for any single Marathon level. Sure we have the Spoiler Guide but back in the day the switch puzzles on the Marathon Infinity level "Think What Kicks..." were so difficult they warranted their own spoiler page. Maybe that's why Greg Kirkpatrick called it "This What Kicks...". Don't get me wrong when you discover the solution you can only admire the 3D puzzle logic. But dammit... this Thing still kicked my butt after 20+ years of not playing it. But not any more I have unearthed the original "Thing What Kicks... Spoiler" by Nick Lewis for posterity.

More Things From Bungie To Waste Your Money On.

In late 1994 Bungie produced a printed catalog entitled "More Things From Bungie To Waste Your Money On". It was slightly larger than credit card size and folded out into 6 sheets printed on both sides, front and back.

You might have got one included in your Marathon box at the time. It contained information on products they had for sale in Spring 1995. This included the Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack, Survival and Hint Guides, and T-Shirts.

Thanks to Jeoku for sending in this set of individual pictures.

Bungie Order Form from early 1994

Always interesting to see this early Bungie stuff. This is an Order From from early 1994. No mention of Marathon simply because it was way too early to order it. This came inside the Pathways Into Darkness box which might account for why only the Pathways Hints Book and T-Shirt along with Minotaur are listed.

ck on infinity

Following on from ydnar on infinity Colin Kawakami (aka lilbuddha) created his own homage to Marathon Infinity, entitled "terminal prose; glyphic distortion". It went live on February 6, 1997. Colin Kawakami was one of five people who worked on Infinity's artwork. The other four were Randy Reddig, David Longo, Beth Ulman and the one who shall remain nameless (for now... yes your time is coming...). It's not hard looking at 'ck on infinity' to determine the terminal art Colin worked on. As was standard practice back in those days the page had some hidden stuff if you bothered to go looking. Did lilbuddha leave us a message?

This is what the Story page has reported on "ck on infinity" to date.

From '94 to Infinity: Before Halo

In 2005 The Escapist (Volume 1, Issue 7) published an article entitled "From '94 to Infinity: Before Halo" by Pat Miller. It discusses the Marathon series and its influence on Halo.

was founded in 2005 and is still going strong today. According to their own blurb:

The Escapist is for the mature enthusiast of escapist entertainment. Our readers have
grown up with geek and genre entertainment, and have evolved with the tastes of our time.

Update: Added Greg Kirkpatrick's response to the above article in a 'letter to the editor' in the Escapist (2005, Volume 1, Issue 8). You can read it here (see the 3rd page).

Homesick Pfhor

Back in February 1999 the Story page featured an abstract painting (acrylic on canvas) entitled Homesick Pfhor by the Scottish artist Stephen Beveridge who lives in the United States.
At the time he wrote:

I appreciate the link from the story page to the painting as more than
a few of my paintings were painted in between games. I can remember a
painting, which I haven't photographed, that was hugely influenced by
my immersion in the clutches of Durandal. I couldn't paint without
flashes of corridors and doors in my minds eye. Even walking about
I would hesitate at the corner and stick close to the wall.

Unfortunately the Homesick Pfhor painting is no longer featured on his website so I have added it here in its original format from 1999.

One wonders where this ended up and does it hang on the wall of a Marathon fan?

Back in October 3, 1996 Double Aught's website ( went live and immediately went rampant. This is that story.

The Cheat Code to end all Cheat Codes

Back in April 25, 2005 James Burke wrote:

All the recent talk of Marathon cheats reminded me of an ancient issue
Computer Gaming World that included "1001 Cheats & Tips". On page 76
the 485th (4+8-5=7) cheat is for Marathon I and II (Macintosh), "At the
new game scene (sic) press Command-Option, then start a new game.
Then type ██████████ . Type slowly-type a letter, then wait two
seconds before typing the next letter."

The first half of the cheat of course is well known but what are the origins
of the second half? A quick google search of "██████████" turns up
13 pages that reference the same cheat. I have included scans of
referenced page and a close-up of the specific cheat. For reference they
are from the February 1997 NO.151 issue of Computer Gaming World.

The full page scan

The scan was thought lost... until now.

Hastur's Workshop.

"A peek inside the mind of Double Aught's most feared denizen."

But who were Hastur and Grendel?

Bungie Webmaster Poetry Slam and Hootenanny!

What was the Bungie Webmaster Poetry Slam and Hootenanny?

Why was this a watershed moment in Bungie history?

Who was the Bungie Webmaster?

Back in February 2, 1997 Double Aught's Duality website ( went live. This is that story.

CNET Gamecenter's Best Macintosh Game for 1996

Back in early 1997 CNET Gamecenter awarded Marathon Infinity with Best Macintosh Game for 1996. Gamecenter wrote at the time:

With Infinity, Bungie's level design stayed in the realm of the superlative.
The complexity and puzzle-solving aspects created logical challenges
that other 3D shooters on any platform didn't approach.

You can see the nominees for the Mac award here.

CNET (short for "Computer Network") is an American media website which launched a website to cover video games, CNET Gamecenter, in the middle of 1996. It was one of the first web sites devoted to computer gaming news and remained one of the most popular up to its closure in February 2001.

CNET Gamecenter's Quake vs Marathon 2

Quake was released on June 22, 1996. Marathon 2: Durandal for Windows 95 was released on September 6, 1996 but was a port of a game released in November 1995.

Ideal opportunity for CNET Gamecenter to do one of their game vs game shoot-outs.

Quake and Marathon 2 shoot it out over 8 rounds.

Madness? You be the judge.

MacADDICT (December 1996) review of Marathon Infinity by D. D. Turner.

Here's a snippet:

It's really the ambiguity and paranoia the scenario inculcates in you that
makes all the running around, solving locked-door puzzles, and blasting
things to bloody bits, more than just a Doom clone.

MacADDICT, December 1996, page 84.

Read page 84 and page 85.

MacWorld's Top Products of 1995 Award.

Marathon jointly wins MacWorld's top game of 1995 with Myst.
MacWorld described Marathon as:

One of the finest games anywhere. Relentless action, thoughtful puzzles,
an engaging storyline, and outstanding network play make Marathon
irresistible. Better yet, Marathon 2 continues the tradition.

MacWorld, March 1996, page 102.

See the Intro (page 96), the Award itself (page 97), and the Game winners (page 102).

It is interesting to note that this issue of MacWorld also had the somewhat controversial review of Marathon 2.

MacWorld's "The Top 10 Mac Gaming Thingies of the Past 1,000 Years".

In January 2000 MacWorld magazine published a Game Room article entitled "The Top 10 Mac Gaming Thingies of the Past 1,000 Years". Admittedly the first 983 years of the passing millennium offered little in the way of Mac gaming. Undeterred they pressed ahead with choosing their 10 top thingies. The term "thingies" were not just games, but also gaming companies and even infrastructure.

One of the Top 10 was of course Bungie. Here's a snippet:

...the Marathons combined spectacular action with engaging story
lines—something that id has never attempted. In these early titles,
Bungie danced the "we've seen it and can do better" two step,
taking a genre that had been tried—and found wanting—and
polishing it to a fine gloss.

MacWorld, January 2000, page 64.

You can read the full article on page 63 and page 64.

MacWorld's New Products: Marathon

In the November 1994 edition of MacWorld the New Products section had a small blurb on Marathon. Of course Marathon had not been released at this stage so this was more like a sneak peak of an upcoming new product. It includes the infamous Hound screenshot. Here's a snippet:

The aliens are at it again. You, as the science officer of a deep-space colony ship,
are the last line of defense against hostile and intelligent intergalactic troublemakers.

MacWorld, November 1994, page 46.

The 'science officer' reference dates back to Bungie's press release on July 24, 1994.

Electronic Entertainment December 1994 Marathon beta sneak peek

The December 1994 edition of Electronic Entertainment (America's No 1 Multimedia Entertainment Magazine) featured an article entitled "Natural Born Doom Killers" by Peter Olafson. While the article was heavily focused on PC-based Doom clones there was a small section on Mac 3D shooters, including the yet to be released Marathon. The article is interesting as it features a screenshot of the Marathon beta interface.

After the Boston MacWorld Expo (August 2-5, 1994) Bungie began showing early versions of the game to distributors and gaming magazines. It was during this time that not one but two versions of the game were leaked. The Marathon beta and a month later the Marathon "gamma". Indeed the apparent hemorrhaging of Marathons lead to this amusing post on Even today people are still looking for the Marathon blamma.

Inside Mac Games video tour of Bungie Software (August 1996)

The August 1996 edition of Inside Mac Games (Vol 4, Issue 8) carried a video tour/interview of Bungie. It is better known as the Bug Stop movie or as one disgruntled IMG reader later wrote "America's Most Moronic Home Videos".

Bart Farkas (then Editor of IMG) who was responsible for the video wrote:

People either loved that video or hated it. Either way, uncut goofy videos like this are going to be a thing of the past starting right now. Yes, once in awhile those types of videos are fun, but we here at IMG do see the need to get a little more serious.

You can read the full response to the video in the September issue of IMG here.

Apple's 'Gaming Gurus' feature (July 1999)

Shortly before Steve Jobs introduced Jason Jones and Halo to the world at MacWorld Expo (New York, July 21-23, 1999) Apple ran a short feature on their Education section entitled Gaming Gurus featuring Alex Seropian and Jason Jones.

Here's a snippet:

One reason we're still one of the only self-publishing independent gaming companies is that we started on the Mac—and that's why we're still here today. Mac users are far more community-based and loyal, and if you're making games for them, you get a more attentive customer base.

IMG's Company Spotlight: Bungie Software (April 1996)

The April 1996 edition of Inside Mac Games (Vol 4, Issue 4) carried a Company Spotlight article on Bungie Software by Jeff Eaton. His article covers the early days of Bungie up to Marathon Infinity.

Here's a snippet:

Marathon Infinity, the third in the series, is under construction. Building on the plot lines of Marathon 1 and 2, it will bring a measure of closure to the game's sci-fi story. New graphics, maps, aliens, and weapons will be included as well as a handful of engine enhancements. Non-linear level design, a feature that Pathways offered but the original Marathon abandoned, is being considered. If implemented, it would allow players to complete one level, go on to another, and re-visit the first one again later. Can't kill that Juggernaut? Wait 'til later when you've found the missile launcher!

The Marathon Collage

On September 22, 1994 Bungie uploaded a collage of Marathon screenshots to the Mac Games library on AOL. Included in the download were two press releases. One dated September 19, 1994 and the other September 22, 1994.

For many people this was the first glimpse of what Marathon would truly look like. The collage contained seven screenshots. Two were from the net level "Mars Needs Women" (then known as "Mars Wants Women"), though in this early version Hunters and Hulks were present. Another of the screenshots was taken from Arrival. The one in the bottom left is remarkably similar to another early screenshot which contained a Hound.

Several of the other screenshots were taken from a level called "Carnage Palace". Jason Jones (Lead Programmer at Bungie Software) had this to say about the level:

...that was the first map we ever built, and the map that most of the initial testing of the rasterizer and the monster code was done on (there's an early screen shot from it, of a player holding the rocket launcher watching a door open in front of him; this was when we still had doors which cast shadows/light as they moved). anyway, after mars wants/needs women was built we never played carnage palace again until one day nobody had a copy any more.

An attempt was made to rebuild this lost level and "Carnage Palace Deeee-Luxe" was the result. Jason Jones remarked:

i built this level in the spirit of the original, but it turned out to be too cramped (the original was huge) and somehow just never caught on the same way).

The map screenshot in the Marathon Collage is part of the old "Carnage Palace" level.

Inside Mac Games review of Marathon

The Jan/Feb 1995 issue of Inside Mac Games contained a review of Marathon by Ross Scott Rubin. Not unexpectantly the review was overwhelmingly positive scoring a maximum of 5 joysticks.

One Con of the game was its "nonstandard save procedure". The reviewer was not happy with:

...the way Marathon handles saving games, which requires that you reach specific points in the game. Furthermore, double-clicking on a saved game launches Marathon but does not open the saved game.

Another interesting 'peeve' was:

In addition, while Marathon can record space-efficient "movies" of its games that play back full-speed, we'd like to see a method to converting these to QuickTime, so that they might be shared with others who don't own the game.

Well that would certainly have been something for all those legacy Vidmaster films.

But I digress.

The game's plot was considered to be "good". The reviewer describes how the story unfolds:

Over the course of the game, you visit terminals with messages from Durandal or Leela, the "good witch" AI who tries to guide you along missions to repel the aliens. One unfortunate aspect of the terminals is that they are completely non-interactive, a bit of an anachronism in such a futuristic scheme. Still, the clues they provide keep the story moving.

However, not everybody was happy. In a long post on usenet in January 1995 the so-called 'plot' was considered to be a disappointment towards the end for one well known commentator. It did however elicit a surprisingly lengthy and revealing response from none other than Jason Jones.

As Jason Jones points out it is perhaps not surprising that people were not getting the full story as some elements of the plot were only revealed on "hidden terminals" or terminals that were either hard to reach or easily missed. And the game wasn't even out for a month yet. So one play through wasn't going to cut it. After all this was Marathon!

It is important to note that this was the first and as far as I am aware the only time that Jason Jones has ever commented extensively on the plot of one of his games, providing not only insightful details on how the plot unfolds but also giving additional information not available in the game.

Inside Mac Games review of Marathon 2: Durandal

The Jan/Feb 1996 issue of Inside Mac Games contained a review of Marathon 2 Durandal by Gary Le. While not scoring a full 5 joysticks it was an overwhelming positive review achieving 4.5 joysticks.

The only Con of the game was its save game feature. The reviewer commented:

While all the positive elements from the original Marathon carried over to the sequel, so did the sole ailing save feature. Various specially marked terminals sprinkled about within the game are the only means of saving a game. This can be quite annoying for one single reason: players want to get on with the game and not have to backtrack to the terminal to save. When playing on large and extensive levels, this problem is grossly magnified.

Somewhat surprisingly the story this time was not considered a Pro of the game. It did merit a 'brief synopsis' however. Gary Le wrote:

After taking care of business on the starship Marathon, you are placed in a stasis where time stands still. After 17 years in this comatose state, Durandal, a computer capable of sentient thoughts, releases you from your beauty nap. Apparently, Durandal has decided that you should be the one to save the world from the alien race known as the Pfhor. Landing on the planet of Lh'owon, you set out to uncover secrets of a lost clan belonging to one of the planet's ancient races. Naturally, you know nothing, except for one thing: your reflexes are the only thing that'll keep you alive and maybe, just maybe, when it's all over, you'll figure out just who or what you were dealing with.

XBN (Xbox Nation) "How Combat Evolved. The inside story of the making of Bungie's Halo"

Back in Spring 2002, XBN (Xbox Nation) magazine (issue 2) contained an article on the inside story of the making of Bungie's Halo entitled "How Combat Evolved" by Simon Cox.

The article is important for containing a quote from Alex Seropian (Bungie co-founder) on the similarities between the Marathon's Security Officer and Halo's Master Chief. Alex remarked:

I don't think you ever find that out, but it's the same character," says Seropian. "God, we've never said that before, but it's completely obvious. Cortana isn't in Marathon, but there are three AI's in there that came from the same stylistic storyline.

You can now read the full article (scanned pages) below.

Page 62 (opening graphic, can you put names to the faces?)
Page 63 (article starts)
Page 64
Page 65
Page 66
Page 67
Page 68
Page 69 (article ends)

David Candland's 'The Ancients' poster.

For Bungie's 20th Anniversary celebration on July 7, 2011 artist David Candland did a retro-style limited-run poster called 'The Ancients' featuring three of Bungie's earlier games Pathway Into Darkness, Marathon and Myth.

Sold through the Bungie Store, the description read:

Reaching back into the annals of time, Bungie artist David Candland reimagines what three early works might look like stylized for our modern era. All profits from this sale go to charity through the Bungie Foundation.

•  Limited edition run of 100 prints
•  Available for two weeks only!
•  Printed on high-quality fine art paper
•  Dimensions: 33" x 16"
•  Signed by Artist

Product Details:
Product Length: 33.0 inches
Product Height: 16.0 inches
Package Weight: 1.0 pounds

Price: $70.00

Shipping: $6.75

You can see each panel in full-size below. And I mean... FULL SIZE.

Pathways Into Darkness   (7113 x 9572 pixels)
Marathon   (7173 x 9574 pixels)
Myth   (7110 x 9512 pixels)

Scans courtesy of Josh Goldberg <>. Concerning the scans Josh wrote:

A lot of the fading/speckling is actually on the poster out of the box...

Page 2401

For over two years it was kept secret. Known only to the few (The Sevens) that found it.

Page2401 was created back in Jan '96 but to find it you had to do two things.

1. find the hidden 'portal'
2. solve Durandal's little puzzle

Those who found the 'portal' were presented with the following page. Following the link there would have landed you into Durandal's little trap. Many people got this far but only a few solved the puzzle. If you can identify the song let me know. :-)

Page2401 was the first interactive web page puzzle on the net. How fitting that those who found it and solved it should have their name enshrined in the list of (The Sevens). You kept the secret well. I salute you all.

The secret was made public on April 1998 on Thus membership to The Sevens was closed.

I make no excuses for the fact that Page2401 is now out of date and sadly incomplete. Time is limited. Enjoy it for what it's worth. In its time it served its purpose well.

The HoT List

The Hall Of Trivia List (aka The HoT List) was a series of weekly Marathon trivia questions in which the first person with the right answer got their name on The HoT List.

It quickly turned into The Seventh HoTBob Competition. Get a seventh HoTBob and you won a copy of Marathon Infinity courtesy of Bungie.

The questions were fiendishly difficult so I was well on my way to winning the competition by virtue of unanswered questions until Jim Mitchel beat me to his seventh HoT Bob.

Here are the questions if you want to try your hand without seeing the answers in advance.

  1. Name the moon that Tycho allegedly died on?
  2. What was the first lie Durandal told us in Marathon 2?
  3. What was being secretly offload at Lh'owon?
  4. Where does it say we had to suffer punishment?
  5. Around the time you were hunting down Chockisens on Tau Ceti what was going down in another part of the galaxy?
  6. In 2881 the Pfhor system was sacked by the combined fleets of Earth and the S'pht'Kr but what happened five years later?
  7. If Durandal met up with Leela and destroyed her it would be after the year 7777. Can you give a reason why?
  8. Who said "Time is limited"?
  9. The S'pht'Kr's final message was six thousand feet under but what was six thousand meters high?
  10. What had a cycle of approximately 88 years?
  11. What disappeared at a rate of one every five seconds?
  12. What did Leela imply was possible yet strangely we could never remember how to do it?
  13. The Number 13 is unlucky for some but why was it particularly unlucky for us [the player]?
  14. The numbers ten, three, and seven have a particular significance in the Marathon Story but together they spelt trouble. Why?
  15. Durandal once said "Try talking to Leela. She always was a nice AI." But was she? Where did Leela choose to kill a large number of the Marathon's crew with your help?
  16. Reading all the terminal messages in Marathon and Marathon 2 while you play can be difficult. Indeed some can only be read using a cheater program or a map editor. But one terminal message is impossible to read even with a cheater or a map editor. What is the message?
  17. What was, for you [the player], difficult to read at first, then unreadable, but later easily read?
  18. Was Bernhard Strauss one of the seven?
  19. In Counterattack Leela had you insert three control circuits into Defense Control terminals to reactivate the Marathon's automated defenses, then she had you activate three control switches to block Durandal's access to a vital section of the ship, finally she had you manually reset four control switches of the dish array on G-4 Sunbathing Landing Station in order to send a light-speed warning message to Sol. In all how many circuits and switches was it really necessary to install, activate or reset?
  20. Conspiracies. They're Everywhere! We have the conspiracy of the ten. There may be a conspiracy of the sevens. But what was the conspiracy of the threes?
  21. On "Never Burn Money" we encountered the first of many 'system errors'. Where did we encounter the third?
  22. What was not being saved on "Bigger Guns Nearby?"
  23. Riddle me this?
    Time is limited.
    I have no words but I must read.
    Four switches and a choice.
    Choose wrong, switch none,
    and I might fail.
    What level is this and why?
  24. If it had been nine more it would have been more like home. What would have been more like home and why?
  25. Riddle me this?
    This is not a coat rack.
    Welcome but access denied.
    Could be a seven but not right.
    What is being described here?

Inside Mac Games review of Marathon Infinity

The October 1996 issue of Inside Mac Games contained a review of Marathon Infinity by Jeff Eaton. Some of you may remember Jeff. He was an active contributor to Marathon discussion on usenet back in the day and also contributed to the Marathon's Story page. He went on to do some articles for Inside Mac Games magazine including IMG's Company Spotlight: Bungie Software (April 1996) which highlighted Marathon Infinity's proposed non-linear level design.

His Infinity review however is an odd one. There is no mention of who created the Marathon Infinity scenario, although Randy Reddig's work on it is highlighted. There is also little reference to the story/plot. Good or bad? It does not merit either a Pro or a Con.

First off, officially - Marathon Infinity, technically, is not a new version of the game. One of its key attractions is an excellent new 30-level scenario that caps off the saga. Yes, that's right - everyone's favorite AI's, Durandal and Tycho, are back and battlin' for the universe with you stuck in the middle. The space opera that follows offers some interesting peeks into the mysteries of the first two Marathon games, but what makes the new scenario unique isn't another "Is Durandal really dead?" cliff-hanger.
Inside Mac Games, Volume 4, Issue 10, October 1996.

Perhaps "space opera" was enough of a description?

The Summertime Blues Competitions.

Back in 1997 the Story page ran the first of two competitions called the Summertime Blues Competition during its two week summer vacation closure. One in 1997 and one in 1998. The idea was simple. Seven deviously hard questions to be answered over the two week closure. Get all seven answers right and you could win... Big Time.

So for the first time you can read all the questions and get the answers in one place.

The 1st Summertime Blues Competition in 1997
The 2nd Summertime Blues Competition in 1998

Who got all seven questions right in 1997 or 1998?

Operation: Desert Storm

Bungie's first commercial game released in June 1991.

This story begins in August 2011 when Joey Fernau (MrM12LRV) set out on an altogether unexpected adventure to find the head of Saddam Hussein. Legend has it that the large disembodied head of Saddam floats across the desert proclaiming that "The gun is good! The pen is evil!"   Oh wait... that is John Boorman's 1974 film Zardoz which would become a big influence on a later Bungie game. I digress.

Joey successfully completed the hardest Bungie game ever revealing the tru7h buried deep in the sand. He even provided a save game of the last level for those who wanted to experience it for themselves and an image of the disembodied head of Saddam Hussein.

Foreshadowing many of Bungie's future games the Big Boss ending with Saddam's head shooting weapons of mass destruction never materialised.

Fast forward to July 7, 2014. To counter the perennial outpourings of Fear and Loathing for the hardest Bungie game ever Jeremiah Morris (Hopper) created a site for the full maps and object listings for each of the 20 levels in Operation: Desert Storm. The maps also charted the exact position of every land mine which as Jeremiah remarked were one of the most maddening elements in the game.

The Hopper maps finally debunked the hilariously shameless "giant Saddam Hussein head" claim. Matthew Lewis Carrol Smith (poena.dare) declared:

Awesome maps!

Once the world is reduced to only one person that understands what the maps are - THE QUICKENING WILL BE COMPLETE!

Fast forward again to February 2021. Yes, the middle of a world-wide pandemic. Stay in-doors. Brick up windows and remove handles from toilet cisterns. James Osborn (Jeoku) braves the on-line world to answer the question on everyone's lips... how hard can it be?

I will leave the last words about Operation: Desert Storm to Jeremiah Morris:

On January 16, 1991, I was sitting on the couch in front of the TV, with a plate of delicious delicious ice cream cake from Baskin-Robbins. A few bites in, the show was interrupted to bring us news that the United States had started its invasion of Iraq to liberate Kuwait. A drop of mint chocolate chip fell from my fork, as I paused to reflect on growing up in a world where people will send other people out to kill each other with guns. Happy birthday to me.

To Alex Seropian, the event struck a chord too, but in a different way. I like to think his exceedingly difficult game, where you can "win" a level even if you ignore the objectives and just hide long enough to survive, is also a meditation on what it means to go to war, and what mission really is being accomplished.

Other Operation: Desert Storm resources on the Story page:

Scan of the Operation: Desert Storm manual. (Thanks to Jeoku).

In-game instructions and information for Operation: Desert Storm. (Thanks to Jeoku).

Operation: Desert Storm codes to start the game without the manual. (Thanks to MrM12LRV).

Read about the early development of Operation: Desert Storm in the Marathon Scrapbook (PDF format).

The Origin of the Jjaro Boxers

How Ian McConville's "Now With Better Support" webcomic (aka Jjaro Boxers) came about.

Mac Hall's "Things That Hoot" webcomic.

Jason Jones' comments in the Marathon resource fork.

Comments on Dec 18, 1994 in the Marathon application on the Marathon floppy disks.

Here's a snippet:

So when you read all the computer terminals from ResEdit or find out what the final screen looks like, don't post on or AOL or whereever you call home on the information toll-road and ruin things for everyone else. Go find it in the game, and tell people how to get there themselves.

I'd also like to say that Greg and I have only slept for 15 hours in the last seven days. >grin<

Comments on May 17, 1997 in the Marathon application on the Marathon Trilogy CD.

Here's a snippet:

It's always bothered me that Marathon's public lifetime would be over when the last registration card or serial number list got lost. Hopefully this is the version that I'll be playing in fifty years under emulation on some fuckfast portable the thickness of a sheet of paper that walks my dog, dresses me every morning and grinds up my food because I don't have any teeth left. And hopefully it won't be running Windows.

Mac Hall's "Web Bastard" webcomic.

The origin of  Frog Blast The Vent Core  and some other stuff too.

Bob art by Shogoki.

Bungie's "Beware of Low-Flying Kitchen Appliances" comic featuring Greg Kirkpatrick.

The missing Marathon Infinity manual.

Bungie originally released the electronic manuals for Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal and Marathon Infinity in DOCMaker format. DOCMaker was an application for the Apple Macintosh which created stand-alone, self-running document files. Written by Mark S. Wall / Green Mountain Software it was very popular in the mid-to-late 1990s.

When Bungie released the Marathon Trilogy Box Set in May 1997 the hardcopy manual that came with the box stated:

"We've included all the original Marathon manuals in Acrobat format on the Marathon Trilogy CD-ROM just in case you'd like to check out these manuals."
Marathon Trilogy Manual (page 4). May 1997.


Only they didn't. There was no Marathon Infinity manual. Only Marathon,  Marathon 2: Durandal  and the new Marathon Trilogy manual. Bungie used the Infinity manual as the basis for the Trilogy manual striping out all the Infinity introductory story pieces in order to make it generic for the Box Set. There were also a few other minor changes too.

This omission was first reported in November 1998.

Bungie had an opportunity to make amends with the release of the Mac Action Sack in July 1999. After all they were selling all three Marathon games again.


Only they didn't. They just included the original manuals in DOCMaker format... again.

No problem. You could just download a PDF version of the Infinity manual from Bungie's Support page ( Nope... the download link gave you a  trilogy_manual.sit  file (aka. the Trilogy manual).

To remedy the lack of a PDF version of the Infinity manual Steve Levinson translated the original DOCMaker format into PDF format for the Story page back in March 2003. The translation isn't perfect however. The formating and image quality could be improved upon. Maybe some day someone will reverse engineer the Trilogy manual back into the Infinity manual since most of the text and images are the same and add the Infinity introductory story text.

Marathon Trilogy Box Set Unboxing

On Bungie Day (July 7, 2011) Bob-B-Q <> opened his shrinkwrapped copy of the Marathon Trilogy Box Set. A fourteen year old shrinkwrapped copy of the MTBS is quite rare so opening one of these should be marked with some reverence. He documented the whole affair in detail and even fired up some of the games.

The Marathon Purity Test

Ninety-eight Marathon questions, the more you answer 'yes', the higher your score. Of course, you have to answer them tru7hfully.

Bungie's Marathon 25th Anniversary T-Shirt.

On November 26, 2019 Bungie announced their upcoming Black Friday event on the Bungie Store.

General-RADIX (via Hokuto) in a Story forum post was the first to spot that the event include a Marathon-related t-shirt.

When the Black Friday event went live on November 28, 2019 the Bungie Store had a Marathon 25th Anniversary T-Shirt on offer. The t-shirt marked 25 years since the release of Marathon on December 21, 1994. The blurb read:

Celebrate Marathon's 25th anniversary with this commemorative shirt! Buy one Pfhor yourself, and maybe one for your favorite BoB! While supplies last

You could pre-order one with an expected shipping date in the first week of December. The price was $24.99 and came in sizes from XS to 4XL. You can see the original Bungie Store images below.

Stock image (front)

Stock image (back)

It was quickly noted by those who bought one that on the front the word Pfhor was spelled in two ways. The correct (more common) "Pfhor" and the incorrect (less common) "Phfor".  See here.  However it is unclear if this was a genuine mistake or a nod to the original spelling in the Marathon manual which also spelled it both ways.

See here for more pictures of the shirt.

The shirt has been restocked on a number of occasions since November 2019.

Urban legend: the shirt was released with the "Phfor" spelling corrected.

Interview with Jason Regier in Marathon Magazine March-April 1997

Marathon Magazine (aka MaraMag) was launched in February 1995 shortly after the release of Marathon. It was conceived by Ben Chess who acted as editor for a total of 13 issues until May-June 1996. Like many electronic publications on the Macintosh in the mid to late 1990s it was distributed as a DOCMaker file. The magazine contained walkthroughs for both Marathon and later Marathon 2, reviews of 3rd party maps and apps, internet Marathon sites, etc.

Somewhat surprisingly Marathon Magazine was reanimated in March-April 1997 by Nik "Frost" Manak who acted as editor for four issues before closing for good in December 1997.

This second iteration of MaraMag was notable for containing interviews with Bungie employees. The first issue had an interview with Jason Regier who had joined Bungie in March 1996.

Jason Regier's first job was to work on Marathon Infinity converting the in-house Marathon map editor Vulcan into a commercially acceptable product called Forge. It went on to work on Super Marathon for Pippin and then Myth.

In this interview Jason Regier talks about Forge, his views on Pfhorte, Marathon 3D, the Myth story and the Marathon movie.

The Origin of the Vidmaster Rules

"What are the official Vidmaster rules?" is a frequently asked question.

So here are the seven (yes seven) official Vidmaster rules from Bungie.

Bungie's Thanksgiving Artwork 2021

Instant Carnage! coupon

Thanks to Jesse Schooff <> for sending in a picture of a piece of Marathon memorabilia, the Instant Carnage! coupon.

Jesse writes:

"Despite the pairing in the photo, I received this "Instant Carnage!" coupon in my Marathon 2 box back in the day. It offers a bargain on additional serial numbers for network play - and to FAX them back to the buyer in mere hours! It's not really in-universe lore, but I can't find any reference to its existence anywhere else on the internet."

Aahhh, life in the glorious 20th century. I am sure there will be some people reading this asking "What is a fax?"

Jason Jones Interviewed By You

Coinciding with the release of Halo: Combat Evolved on November 15, 2001 Bungie announced a new and improved with a new section called Halo: Tru7h and Reconciliation. Described as...

...a site dedicated to exploring the depths of our latest and greatest game. (We're in the polishing stage on this site now, and should have it online shortly.) You'll find strategy guides and tips to help you master the game, behind-the-scenes information about every facet of Halo's development, screenshots and concept art and music and other things you won't find anywhere else. Halo's universe is an extremely rich one, but Halo: Tru7h and Reconciliation will help you discover all its secrets.

As part of this new site Matt Soell announced on November 27, 2001 - Mister Jones and You.  A fan-based interview with the legendary recluse  Jason Jones.

The interview was published on December 18, 2001 and while heavily focused on the new game Halo, Jason did throw in a few nuggets about Pathways into Darkness and the Marathon series.

Bungie's interview with Freeverse's Bruce Morrison about the Marathon: Durandal on XBLA project

This little gem of an interview by Luke Smith (lukems) was posted on shortly before the release of Marathon: Durandal on Xbox Live Arcade.

The interview gives you the lowdown on who Freeverse were and the gang of Marathon nuts fans who took on the job. Why they decided Jason Jones' smiling face had to be on Xbox Live Arcade. And the enhancements made to the game, including the "brand spanking new"  Survival mode with four bespoke Survival levels.

Mac Action Sack

Bungie released the Mac Action Sack at New York MacWorld Expo (July 21-23, 1999).  "Action Sack For Those That Lack" proclaimed the press release. The Bungie Booth was awash with Sack and Your Mom jokes. Inquisitive fans seeking "Historical Monument No. 7" were pointed in the direction of Jason's...

But I digress.

Inside Mac Games interview: Halo's Jason Jones

On August 12, 1999 Inside Mac Games published an interview with Jason Jones conducted by Tuncer Deniz. Jason had just unveiled Halo at MacWorld Expo a few weeks earlier so landing an interview with him was something of a scoop for the Mac Games magazine. In the interview Jason Jones explains the appearance of the Marathon logo in Halo.

Here is a screen capture of the original interview taken back in August 1999. Now you can read the full interview as it originally appeared but without the ads.


Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated May 10, 2023