Bungie's Marathon Ads

planetoid-sized colony ship, slightly worn, runs great. 5spd.
bussard ramjet, A/C, cruise control, power steering, power
airlocks, all orig. parts, 25GW 300 billion channel AM/FM
radio. 90+ ly (all interstellar). Moving, must sell. Asking

A section devoted to those amusing Marathon magazine ads. Because they are out there...

Many thanks to Chad Poland <proedge@mindspring.com> for scanning in Bungie's Marathon Trilogy Box Set Ad. Prepare to make your browser window bigger. Best viewed on a 17 inch or larger moniter! Yeah I know you all have one... ;-)

Here is a larger version of the ad allowing you to read the text better. Source is MacADDICT May 1997 (back cover).

Chad (ScanMan) Poland <proedge@mindspring.com> sends in another Bungie ad. This one's for Marathon Infinity. It's a big one (304K) - you have been warned! Best viewed on a 30 inch or larger moniter! ;-)

Three Marathon ads from a source who wishes to remain anonymous. But we thank the person kindly. While these are not as amusing as the ones above they have been added for completeness. Nice to see an old Marathon ad in there.

Marathon ad (61K)
Marathon 2 ad (126K)
Marathon Infinity ad (66K)

GUNS, 3-D, ALIENS, FIRE... ran one of Bungie's first ads for Marathon. It appeared in Mac Home Journal late in 1994. Below is a comp.sys.mac.games post about it.

From: hndrcksn@museum.cl.msu.edu (Kevin Hendrickson)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: Re: More Marathon Screenshots
Date: 18 Dec 1994 17:40:45 GMT
Organization: Michigan State University
Lines: 19
Sender: hendric7@rs560.cl.msu.edu
Message-ID: <3d1s6t$lm7@msunews.cl.msu.edu>
References: <3cvfam$pn0@portal.gmu.edu>  <3d183q$dv@news.kth.se>
NNTP-Posting-Host: via-annex4-13.cl.msu.edu
X-Posted-From: InterNews 1.0.5@via-annex4-13.cl.msu.edu
X-Authenticated: hendric7 on POP host rs560.cl.msu.edu

In article <3d183q$dv@news.kth.se>
j-skog@saturn.dsv.su.se (Joakim Skog) writes:

> Susan C Bailey (sbaile1@mason1.gmu.edu) wrote:
> : In the January issue of MacHome there is an ad for Marathon with a
> : picture of thirteen different species of aliens.  They are lined up like
> : some sort of team picture.  It's pretty cool.
> : Matthew Bailey
> Couldn't someone scan these pictures and send them to  alt.mac.games.binaries
> or maybe macgifts?

Check out http://aleph0.clarku.edu/~zderhall/marathon.html

Kevin Hendrickson "On the internet, no one knows you're a dog."
hndrcksn@museum.cl.msu.edu ruffneck@aol.com   Nyabinghi Warrior
hendric7@clunix.cl.msu.edu hendric7@student.msu.edu     _DreaD_

The 13 different aliens shown in the ad included the 3 that which never made the final cut - The Armageddon Beast, The Hound, and the Alien Crew member.

The Marathon demo however promised 15 different species of aliens. So what happened to the missing two?

From: mskoglund@mac.cc.macalstr.edu (Mike Skoglund)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: alien species in marathon
Date: 28 Nov 1994 23:20:00 GMT
Organization: Your Mom, Inc.
Lines: 20
Message-ID: <3bdoj0$po@mckinley.cit.macalstr.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: james-tiberius.kirk.macalstr.edu
X-Posted-From: InterNews 1.0.5@james-tiberius.kirk.macalstr.edu
X-Authenticated: mskoglund on IMAP host mac.cc.macalstr.edu

okay, I played the big demo and it promises that the release will have 15
species of aliens.

in the demo we have those bug aliens [green, orange, violet and blue] and
the compilers [orange, violet, and invisible]. now does this add up to two
species of aliens [bugs and compilers] or seven?

anyone wanna take a guess? i'm inclined to believe that it will be the

also, I liked the plot....but it'd be better if the AIs were named Wintermute
and Continuity, as long as we're taking a page from the master.....


Mike Skoglund

Bungie replied to the species issue but not the missing aliens.

From: pearson@dingo.cig.mot.com (Paul A Pearson)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: Marathon and alien species
Date: 7 Dec 1994 22:32:31 GMT
Organization: Cellular Infrastructure Group, Motorola
Lines: 26
Message-ID: <3c5d5v$nbo@delphinium.cig.mot.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: dingo.rtsg.mot.com

I asked the fine folks at Bungie a question that's been batted
about here quite a bit....namely how many alien species have
we seen in the demo?  Does each color of the aliens count as
a species?

Here's the reply I received:

> From BUNGIE1@aol.com Tue Dec  6 22:05:57 1994
> Date: Tue, 6 Dec 1994 23:05:21 -0500
> Subject: Re: Marathon and alien species
> each color is a race within the species

There you have it.  It sounds like we have seen only two of
the 15 advertised species.  Looking forward to real deal.


      Allen Pearson     email: pearson@cig.mot.com
Software Engineer       Wireless Systems Platforms Organization
      Motorola Cellular Infrastructure Group

Will the missing aliens ever be found?

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes:

I just noticed that the Marathon Demo (aka Marathon 4L), also promised 15 species of aliens, and this is the very last demo version they did (the one that comes on the Trilogy CD). Do the Bobs and M.A.D.D.s count as 'aliens', if 'aliens' simply implies non-player-characters? That would make it 10 species that were included (Fighter, Trooper, Hunter, Enforcer, Juggernaut, Cyborg Pfhor, Looker, Wasp...and then Bob and MADD), and three that were known to be left out (Hound, Armageddon Beast, and Alien People). So we still have 2 missing. If the Bobs and MADDs don't count, then we have four.

Don't forget the Simulacrums and the hostile MADDs. A total of 15 sprites in Marathon. Not exactly 15 different alien species but nevertheless deadly.

Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes concerning the Forrest Cameranesi's comments above pointing out that Hulks and Compilers are missing from his list. Thus there are 10 alien species present in Marathon and an additional 3 were left out. The Bobs and the MADDS make 15.

OK to avoid any confusion on this point. There are 13 aliens in the Bungie's Marathon ad. Three of these did not make the final cut. If you include the Bobs (both regular Bob and Simulacrums) and the MADDs (both friendly and hostile) you get a total the 15 aliens (sort of) as advertised in the Marathon demo. Phew! ;-)

Can't make out the details of the aliens in the above Marathon ad? Here is a larger version of the aliens section. ALIENS - in your face.

Many thanks to Chad Poland <proedge@mindspring.com> for scanning in Bungie's Marathon Infinity/Abuse bundle ad. Surgeon General's Warning: This ad is 361K in size. Load with caution. Only for the addict. ;-)

Bungie's Autopsy Report ad for Marathon Infinity is probably one of their best. Very detailed, lots of fun tidbits. It appeared on the back cover of the very first edition of MacAddict. Now thanks to Tyler Loch <tylerl@geocities.com> you can see it in all its bloody glory. Nice one Tyler. It's a big scan 203K but worth it.

Marathon Infinity created with BBEdit (177K). OK this isn't a Bungie Marathon ad but rather Bare Bones Software's BBEdit ad with a Marathon theme from MacTech Journal (Vol. 13 No. 5). I've added it here for want of a better place to put it. It was kindly sent in by Mike Trinder <mpbt100@hermes.cam.ac.uk>. Part of the ad includes a small shot of the Infinity source code. BBEdit Rules... as does Marathon... nuff said!

On September 22, 1994 Bungie uploaded a collage of Marathon screenshots (440K) to the Mac Games library on AOL. This is sometimes referred to as an Ad because it contains company and product information. The Collage also came with 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 (yeah... yeah... yeah!) 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 of the ad is remarkably similar to another early screenshot which contained a Hound. You can see it at the top of the What's New section for Mar-Apr 1997

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. Here's a better view of it.

Don't ask. ;-)

The Marathon Trilogy Box Set Flyer courtesy of Chad Poland <cgp@doubleaught.com>. The Front (112K) has the details and the Back (70K) has some Craig Mullins art. No new art though. Interestingly this flyer contains the new Pathways Into Darkness blurb "Solve the riddles of a thousand years and save humanity."

Many thanks to Jim Ruiz <jim@bungie.com> of Bungie Software for sending in this very rare Marathon 2 promotional poster (148K). The joke should be obvious. ;-) The ad also refers to "more than 20 different kinds of ill-mannered alien life forms". Can you name them all?

Many thanks to Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu> for sending in this old and very rare Marathon flyer (405K). The Marathon Poster artwork is used as the background and there are number of interesting screenshots. One in particular is a rare shot from the bridge in "Defend THIS!" But you've never seen the bridge quite like THIS!... In Your Face Carnage... the Marathon way! Note the Trooper being knocked over the edge. On the back (409K) of the flyer are some details of the game, some quotes, and a drawing from the Marathon manual.

A screenshot from the bridge in "Defend THIS!" was again used in two unused Marathon ads: Phone Home for a Body Bag and Aliens. Pouring Guts. Matt Soell writes:

I think these were rejected because of the emphasis on gore; we didn't want to be pigeonholed as a developer of violent games.

Many thanks again to Steve Wood <smwood@ccs.neu.edu> for sending in this old Marathon 2 flyer (357K). It's the full version of the one shown above, see Marathon 2 ad (126K). Unfortunately the flyer has suffered some water damage and creasing. On the back (300K) of the flyer are some details of the game, some quotes, a 3D rendering of a Drone, and some food stains. Interesting stuff. ;-)

Many thanks to Todd Keating <cxtdk@ux1.cts.eiu.edu> for sending in not one... not two... but THREE different versions of an early Marathon catalog ad with the original Hound screenshot. These ads date from the later half of 1994. In the Home Computing Warehouse Ad and the Mac's Place Ad you'll see two screenshots. One shows a player with a rocket launcher on the now long lost "Carnage Palace" map, Bungie's first Marathon map (see above for details). The other screenshot is the very rare Hound shot. The Hound, which never made the final cut, can be seen in the top left of the picture. The actual level is still a mystery. One of the odd things about this screenshot is the fact that it's almost the same as the one in the Marathon Collage Ad released in Sept '94, though no Hound is featured in that shot. The MacConnection Ad is a combined Marathon and Pathways Into Darkness ad which also features the Hound screenshot.

Home Computer Warehouse Ad (small) (43K)
Home Computer Warehouse Ad (big) (123K)
Home Computer Warehouse Cover (150K)

Mac's Place Ad (small) (45K)
Mac's Place Ad (big) (103K)
Mac's Place Cover (176K)

MacConnection Ad (big) (134K)
MacConnection Cover (189K)

Todd Bangerter <tabanger@fas.harvard.edu> kindly sent in this scan from the Nov '94 issue of Macworld magazine - Macworld New Products Nov '94 (385K). It contains some early information on Marathon and uses the Hound screenshot. The old science officer is there too. :-)

Here is a larger full page scan of this early pre-release Marathon information.

Many thanks to Jonas Eneroth (Bungie Software) for sending in the following Win95 M2 ad, known colloquially as the Monkey Boy Ad (205K). It's a black and white pre-production print. When it was released it raised some controversy on comp.sys.mac.games.action. The Story page is still looking for a color version of this ad. If you have an old PC mag with this ad in it and have the opportunity to scan it in please send it to the Story page.

The Billy Bob Marathon 2 promotional poster (302K). It's a biggie but worth the download. You can see why this one didn't get around much. Have to be careful who you might offend these days... Hillbillies, Branch Davidian's... who next? The poster includes part of Craig Mullins' artwork.Thanks to Jonas Eneroth (Bungie Software) for sending this in.

The Wayward Spleen Marathon 2 promotional poster (322K). Another biggie... in the same style as the "Billy Bob" and "Alien Proctologist" Ad. Not for the sensitive or humorlessly impaired. Thanks to Jonas Eneroth (Bungie Software) for sending this in.

And then there were four. The Alien Hot Dog Marathon 2 promotional poster (294K). Another of those rare Marathon 2 promotional poster ads in typical Bungie-style humor. Thanks to Jonas Eneroth (Bungie Software) for sending this in.

The first Inside Mac Games magazine Marathon ad.

The October '94 edition of Inside Mac Games (IMG) magazine carried an unusal Ad for Bungie's up-coming new game Marathon. It was a simple picture of the Marathon interface. Clicking on the image got you a 27MB Quicktime movie of early Marathon net play (did I say cheat codes?) and a slideshow of 22 Marathon screenshots. These screenshots were different from the ones in the Marathon screenshot collage (see above for details) released a few weeks earlier. So what did the screenshots look like and where can you download the movie? Well clicking on the slideshow presented you with the following opening screen. Uploading the screenshots or the Quicktime movie to the net was a no no. For what it's worth the IMG slideshow app. didn't work as intended so Tuncer Deniz (then editor of IMG) posted the following fix to usenet. You can use it to display your Marathon screenshots in all their glory.

At long last we have a color version of the infamous Monkey Boy Ad for the Windows 95 version of Marathon 2. Thanks to Todd Bangerter <tabanger@yahoo.com> for this little gem. Todd writes:

I tracked down a copy of August 1996 PC Gamer on eBay in order to get you Monkey Boy for your ad page. Enjoy!

Want to know what all the fuss was about? Then read this thread from comp.sys.mac.games.action in 1996.

Thanks to TedToaster22 over on bungie.net for taking this pic of some Marathon ads on the back covers of MacAddict magazine. Shown in the pic are the following ads: Body Bags (Marathon Trilogy Box Set ad), Autopsy (Marathon Infinity ad) and Surgeon General's Warning (Marathon Infinity/Abuse bundle ad). See above for higher quality images of these ads.

More Marathon-related magazine ads. Radix <radixgonzo@gmail.com> writes:

Two-part advert (part 1 and part 2 for the Power Macintosh, from the March 1995 issue of Computer Games
Strategy Plus. The first Marathon is displayed in the bottom-left corner of the first
page, and said page sounds a lot like a description of it.

Radix refers to part 1 of the advert and the reference to the 8-foot-tall green alien with a spear.
Certainly sounds familiar... as if from an old dream.

Thanks to Radix <radixgonzo@gmail.com> for another official Marathon 2: Durandal ad. I'm calling this one the Poison ad.  Features the typical Bungie humour of the day. Nice one. Radix writes:

Yet another advert for the Windows 95 port of Marathon 2, this one using the allure of multiplayer carnage to dissuade you from actual murder. From the September '96 issue of Computer Games Strategy Plus.

Thanks to ukimalefu for posting a link to a framed Japanese ad for the Window 95 version of Marathon 2. I have added it here.
I have also added the English version of the same ad. You can see it here.

Now you can read what the original said.

Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated June 1, 2021