Level Credits

F-Vulcan. F-Vulcan. F-Vulcan.

There are a total of 136 official (Bungie/Double Aught) levels in the Marathon trilogy (88 solo and 48 net levels). But who created what level? This question has intrigued Marathoners for many years.

For some levels the process of indentifying the creator(s) is easy since it is made explicit in either an interview, hints book, Scrapbook, web page, read me file, credit screen, terminal, usenet post, etc. This information just has to be found. But for some levels we have no information.

Can the level credits be deduced from other information?

The pool of level creators (scenario designers) is small and a good map maker should be able to identify a creator's style by examining a map's design. Map clues exist: the frequent use of overlapping polygons, linear "game-play" map design, circular layout, symmetrical layout, lighting effects, the use of traps, hard to get to secret areas, map writings, level naming conventions, etc.

The clues are there... they just have to found and pieced together.

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

It's unfortunate that we don't have a complete list of level credits, but I'm going to try to create a list of levels whose creators we do know:

Never Burn Money - Greg Kirkpatrick
The Rose - Greg Kirkpatrick
G4 Sunbathing - Greg Kirkpatrick
Bob-B-Q - Jason Jones
Shake Before Using - Alex Seropian
Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap - Jason Jones
Habe Quiddam - Jason Jomes
No Artificial Colors - Tuncer Deniz / Greg Kirkpatrick
Ingue Ferroque - Jason Jones

Mars Needs Women - Jason Jones
Carnage Palace Deeee-Luxe - Jason Jones
Arena - Alex Seropian
Waldo World Arena - Tuncer Deniz
What Goes Up, Must Come Down - Tuncer Deniz
You don't need to see my ID - Alex Seropian

We don't know which of the Pfhor ship levels wasn't created by Reginald Dujour, but I'm guessing it's Pfhor Your Eyes Only. The reason for this is that "Sorry Don't Make It So" was based on this level, and Reg is not listed in "Scenario Design" for Marathon 2.

Ah yes! nice deduction. :-)

Come and Take your Medicine - Greg Kirkpatrick
We're Everywhere - Greg Kirkpatrick / Retextured by Jason Jones
Ex Cathedra - Doug Zartman
The Hard Stuff Rules - Greg Kirkpatrick
If I Had A Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody Pay - Greg Kirkpatrick
Begging for Mercy Makes Me Angry - Jason Jones
My Own Private Thermopylae - Greg Kirkpatrick
Kill Your Television - Jason Jones
All Roads Lead to Sol - Jason Jones

Ne Cede Malis - Randy Reddig
Poor Yorick - Greg / Chris / Randy
Monsters in Dreams - Greg Kirkpatrick
Acme Station - Greg Kirkpatrick
Whatever You Please - Randy Reddig
Naw Man He's Close - Chris Geisel / Greg Kirkpatrick
Foe Hammer - Chris Geisel / Randy Reddig
By Committee - Greg / Chris / Randy (suggested by name)?
Slimy Things - Chris Geisel / Greg Kirkpatrick
A Converted Church in Venice, Italy - Randy Reddig (?)
Aye Mak Sicur - Randy Reddig
Aie Mak Sicur - Randy Reddig
Carroll Street Station - Randy Reddig
You're Wormfood, Dude - Randy Reddig

YAFNM - Tuncer Deniz
Beyond Thunderdome - Tuncer Deniz
House of Pain - Tuncer Deniz
King of Pain - Randall Shaw
La Cosa Nostra - Randall Shaw
Dead Fields - Randall Shaw
Route 66 - Randy Reddig
Vulcan - Randy Reddig / Tuncer Deniz

Are there any more levels known? are any wrong?

Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@colby.tjs.org> writes:

Showered with Grenades was also an Alexander Seropian level.

From the Coriolis Loop readme:

"Controlled by Gamma Light: Created by Randy Reddig, he cranked this one out in about the time it takes a gamma ray to change Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk. A non-stop carnage feel pervades every polygon. Never stop running, never stop firing, Controlled by Gamma Light is loosely based on an old Marathon 1 map created by Alexander Seropian."
Controlled by Gamma Light is pretty clearly based on Showered (just run around for a few seconds, you'll recognize it), thus the "old Marathon 1 map" is SwG, and its creator is Alexander Seropian.

Ah yes! another nice deduction. :-)

Gabe also writes:

Hats off to 819 is a Randy Reddig level. Sure, it wasn't available even by command-option starting but, technically speaking, it was part of the scenario.

Yes indeed!

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> makes some more level credit deductions:

If we're going by inferences, I have a few others to chalk up. First, take a good look at the level "The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune". Rather linear map design, and the secrets are different in style in this level than a lot of them - the fight between the tiny Pfhor and Fl'ickta is definitely unique, and a programmer would easily be able to insert the extra two slots in the physics model for them. I'd have to say this is probably a Jason Jones level.

Another level is "Fatum Iustum Stultorum". Again most of the map construction (almost all in this level) is done at 90 and 135 degree angles which is definitely characteristic of Jason Jones, and the secret with all the Bob simulacrums is a secret Jason might put in. Again I'd guess this is a Jason Jones level. In addition as I'll explain later most of the maps if not all of them with Latin in the title or with Latin map writing seem to be Jason Jones levels.

I think Arrival was a Jason Jones level. He was the player in the demo film and I think a person would demo their own level.

Smells Like Napalm was probably also a Jason Jones level, as was Habe Quiddam (the latter because it looks like Jason's handwriting. It also looks like his handwriting on Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!) I suppose then that Latin in the title of a level or in the map writing indicates a level was created by Jason Jones, thus Cool Fusion with its inscription "poenas dare" is probably a Jason Jones level too. Of course this could just be a generalization.

Aaron also writes:

Nuke and Pave is probably a Greg Kirkpatrick level since he mentioned something about "making a level name change at the last minute".

The Vid Challenge levels were all redone by Randall Shaw.

Charon Doesn't Make Change was a Greg Kirkpatrick level.

Duality was created by Bill Ramsey.

As a clarification the level House of Pain was retextured in Infinity by Tuncer. The author of the Marathon 2 version is unknown.

Thunderdome was created by Tuncer.

There is one problem with the logic that Reg would have been on the M2 credits if he had created "Pfhor Your Eyes Only". "Hang Brain" is loosely based on "Begging for Mercy" but Jason isn't listed in the Scenario Design for Infinity, so that could be flawed logic. But on the other side of the coin we don't see traces of "Begging for Mercy Makes Me Angry!" in the Infinity resource fork, so it's possible that "Hang Brain" was started from scratch to look like Begging for Mercy.

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

I would think "For Carnage, Apply Within" and "Sorry Don't Make It So" to be Jason Jones levels. Why? Well, if Greg only felt he had to test IIHaRL on Total Carnage and none of the others that he designed for Marathon 2, it would mean that "For Carnage, Apply Within" and "Sorry Don't Make It So" are probably not Greg levels (those are just as hard as, if not harder, than IIHaRL, and would probably also take tons of play-testing on TC.) Not saying IIHaRL isn't a tough level, but I have more trouble beating the other two.

The texture choices, shading, curves, and use of media and sounds on "Sorry Don't Make It So" contribute to my theory that it's a Jason Jones level - they resemble "Begging for Mercy Makes Me Angry!" The presence of a secret flamethrower on the level also is very much like something Jason Jones might do. I can't voice any such evidence for "For Carnage, Apply Within" but it is a much tougher level than IIHaRL because of all the hordes of Compilers. The absence of any weapons on this level further contributes to its difficulty. "Sorry Don't Make It So" is hard because you don't have much room to move around. Having to clear out the level further contributes to its difficulty.

There is certainly good evidence (see above) to suggest that "Sorry Don't Make It So" is by Jason Jones. And as Aaron points out the presence of a secret napalm unit under the lava on this level has shades of "Habe Quiddam". I mean who else would leave a napalm unit in lava. ;-)

Is "For Carnage, Apply Within" a Jason Jones level? Not an easy level but good mapmakers should be able to identify the tell-tale trademakers of the creator.

Aaron continues:

"Where the Twist Flops" is an enigma. It looks like Jason's shading, but the geometry would suggest a Greg level. Is it possible that this was one of the levels converted from the 20/10 scenario pack? It has 256 polygons, which is just 1 over the limit of the Marathon 1 polygon limit. We start in a room with a terminal and a save terminal (much like most of the original M1 levels) and its construction resembles a lot of the M1 maps (the tall ceilings suggest some sort of supply center, which is resemblant of M1 construction).

Another level is "God Will Sort The Dead". We start just around the corner from a save terminal and pattern buffer. Under 256 polygons. Portions of this remind me of "Low-Flying Defense Drones." Resembles indoor storage areas - kind of like an M1 map.

Bob's Big Date and Abandoned Rental Trucks might be Jason levels, for many of the same reasons I suspected Slings & Arrows to be.

Interesting points. We know that some of levels destined for the ill-fated Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack were eventually incorporated into Marathon 2. Could "Where the Twist Flops" and "God Will Sort The Dead" have been some of these early levels? Indeed what where the 10 solo levels of the 20/10 Scenario Pack like? Were they intended to be based on the UESC Marathon using the original Marathon textures, shapes, etc. If so what was the plot associated with these add-on levels? How did it fit in with the existing Marathon plot?

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

"Waterloo Waterpark" is probably a Greg level. The curves, sounds, and shading are characteristic of Greg's other levels - indeed the curves are totally unlike most of Jason's smooth curves and lighting. On the other side of the coin "This Side Toward Enemy" looks to be a Jason level because of its mostly linear layout.

Looking again at "For Carnage, Apply Within", it has mostly linear design (135 and 90 degree angles) except for the outside of the map, where the curves and shading resemble Jason's curves.

"What About Bob?" is probably a Greg level, judging from its overlapping polygons on the map. Greg, keep in mind, designed the levels "G4 Sunbathing" and "The Hard Stuff Rules" which used this alot, as well as "Charon Doesn't Make Change" and "Come and Take your Medicine." "Eat It, Vid Boi!" could go either way, but may I point out the placement of a secret rocket launcher and flame thrower on this level. On the other hand, the player's inability to reach it when vidding the level is very characteristic of Greg, and the final room of this level is like the first room on next level (which was a Greg level.) Then again the use of compilers points to Jason (if he was the designer of "For Carnage, Apply Within.") But the flow and shading more suggest it's a Greg level. "Six Thousand Feet Under" is definitely a Greg level, judging from its use of overlapping space in one area to convey the impression that Marathon 2's game engine is more advanced than it is. Its shading, textures, and non-linearity also suggest it was a Greg creation. The detailing work with floors and ceilings further contribute, as does its triggering of the rising and falling of the liquids by floor polygons (rather than by switches, as Jason did on "Kill Your Television.")

Note the map writing on Bob's Big Date is definitely Jason's.

The geometry of "Where the Twist Flops" suggests it's a Greg level, but the texture choices and shading suggest Jason did that. Maybe Jason redid the level for Marathon 2, but it was originally a Greg level.

The "Electric Sheep" levels are likely Greg levels, judging from the curves, use of Ticks, media, etc.

"Rise Robot Rise" is probably a Greg level. The map writing looks like his (although we don't have any examples of Randy's or Chris' writing to go by). Its geometry and shading also suggest it's a Greg level.

Incidentally the writing on "Post Naval Trauma" looks Jason's writing, but it couldn't be his. The curves on this level resemble those of "Foe Hammer", which is a Chris level, but then again they also resemble somewhat the curves on "Ne Cede Malis" and "Aye Mak Sicur", which were Randy levels.

For "Where Some Rarely Go" and "Thing What Kicks", it's hard to tell who created them, but these two are probably the most Marathon 2-like of the Infinity levels, so I'd guess Greg had a large hand in creating them. The styles of adding detail used suggests they were Greg levels.

"Hang Brain" could have been created by Greg, Randy, and/or Chris. I can't tell; there are some portions where the geometry is definitely very Greg-like - mostly at the corners of the maps. The confusing use of all those overlapping polygons also suggests it's a Greg level. But like several other maps there are some portions more characteristic of Randy or Chris.

"Son of Grendel" looks like it was probably created by Chris, mostly because of the curves, although there are some parts of it that are characteristic of Greg (the water maze near the top right part of the map looks more like geometry that was created by Greg). There are some other portions of it that look like something from a Randy level.

I'd have to say the distinctions in styles in the Marathon Infinity solo maps aren't as clear-cut as those in the Marathon 2 maps (mostly because in M2 there were only two mapmakers who created most of the maps.)

Now that I look at it, the M2 and Minf. versions of "House of Pain" are _identical_, except that one has "tuncer" written on it and one doesn't, and I think the floor texture for the outside of the arena was changed for the Infinity version. I wouldn't be surprised if the original was also a Tuncer level, though, because of its wide open spaces like "Thunderdome."

"No Disintegrations" was probably a Greg level, since it appears he created "Nuke and Pave", which contains this netmap somewhere in it. "OK, Honeybunny" was probably also a Greg level because of the use of overlapping polygons.

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

Feel the Noise" was probably a Greg K. level. Looks like Greg's shading on and curves on "My Own Private Thermopylae."

Couch Fishing might be a Jason Jones level, too. The linear design is typical of Jason levels, the B&B title should be obvious, it has an instance of 5-D space which has to be intentional (you can't tell me Bungie never noticed it), and the end room resembles some of Jason's other levels from M1.

Blaspheme Quarantine looks like a Greg level, with its use of overlapping polygons and map construction.

Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! looks like a Jason level. Linear construction, etc.

Welcome to the Revolution looks like a Jason level, with its linear map design, use of lava, etc.

This Side Towards Enemy is probably a Jason level, linear design, use of sounds, etc.

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

After looking over the Marathon 2 and Infinity maps again, I saw a few levels which seemed to ring with clues of being created by various people.

Requiem for a Cyborg, probably a Greg level. This is a level which uses detailing work with short polygons similar to those in Charon Doesn't Make Change and The Hard Stuff Rules, among others. It uses plenty of overlapping polygons, and while it is linear in construction, it is not all at 45* and 90* angles. In addition its use of alien goo in some places is similar to the use of lava in Six Thousand Feet Under (which seems to be a Greg K. level).

Eat it, Vid Boi! also probably a Greg level. The secret rocket launcher and flame thrower which have to be reached by grenade jumping, and the lack of an ordinance to do so, are similar to Charon, We're Everywhere, and Nuke and Pave (all Greg levels). This appears rather linear, but more like Greg's linear with varying angles than Jason's religiously orthodox linearity. The use of ambient sounds also suggests it's a Greg level, resembling more other Greg levels than I care to mention. There's also the use of overlapping polygons viewing from the room with the secret ammo, resembling The Hard Stuff Rules and other levels, which suggests Greg's perseverance with Vulcan. It shies away from the thin walls that prevailed through so many of Jason's levels, and there's also the fact that The Hard Stuff Rules (another Greg level) was the level after this one, and a continuation of the level's

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning some of the Infinity levels:

I'm not sure about Confound Delivery, but there are some parts that were definitely created by Greg. The opening room with Tycho's terminal and the switch to open the two doors looks like a Greg creation with its curves and methods of connecting polygons. And the staircases look like Greg creations, with the ceilings lowering under the stairs as they do (Greg using "short polygons" for detailing again?), as do the underwater nets of passageways. The curves in the level also look like Greg's work. Overlapping space suggests it's probably Greg's work, because the map view of this level is a MESS, like "Hard Stuff Rules"

The Electric Sheep levels look like Greg creations, if I haven't already said this...lights resembling "IIHaRL", ceilings lowering under something which looks like it might be a staircase, curves, placement of lines dividing polygons, use of lava & textures, etc. Then again we're not comparing with Jason levels, but Chris and Randy which seem more similar to Greg's style. If someone can give credits for some other Infinity levels it might be possible to puzzle the remaining few out.

"Post Naval Trauma" looks like a Chris level. Chris seems to have vacuum in mind a lot (when he designed "Foe Hammer" and "Naw Man He's Close", for example). The windows, views into space, and representation of the ship resemble quite blatantly those of Foe Hammer, but how much of this was Chris'? Randy probably added those space views later.

This would suggest Randy also probably designed the space views on "Rise Robot Rise", a level which appears (from the terminal picts) to have been juggled around quite a bit - much like "Naw Man He's Close". The left side is definitely quite Greg-like in architecture, but the right side, which contains several views into space and detailing much like "Post Naval Trauma" and "Foe Hammer", is quite a bit resemblant of "Post Naval Trauma".

Carl Lineberry <dakril@texas.net> writes:

I've been watching the "Facts and Puzzling Things About: Level Credits" for some time. I'm interested in all of it, but especially keen to learn the authors of the netmaps...

Since there hasn't been a lot of new discovery, deduction or association recently, I thought I'd throw this out, and see if it helps jog the collective unconscious out there:

In the Trilogy manual, on page 66, there is a heading in the list of Infinity-specific credits called "Network Maps."

These names are listed:

Randy Reddig
Greg Kirkpatrick
David Longo
Tuncer Deniz
Jonas Eneroth
Doug Zartman
Randall Shaw
Bill Ramsey

While we're probably familiar with all these names, and several of them have been properly associated with their netmap contributions for Infinity, I don't think I've seen some of them ever linked to a specific Infinity netmap...

Some of these have been mentioned above and the "What's in a Name" and "Map Text" sections both make reference to some of the the net levels as well.

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning some of the Infinity net levels:

I've decided to wreak havoc on the netmaps next. :)

'Spline' is definitely a Greg map. I don't think I have to say the level's curves & shading resemble Greg's curves & shading. One might argue this looks like a Randy level, but I digress. Randy never designed anything like this - his maps tend to have lots of wide open spaces (while this level only has few.) Randy also does object placement on netmaps quite neatly, whilst everything on this level is random.

"Morpfhine" is a Randy creation, beyond any question in my mind. Randy seems the only one among the crew who would still use the "pfh" gag, and the way the platforms, teleporters, broken lights, outside juggernauts, windows, space views, etc. are utilised in the map has shades of "Pfhactory N'Utopia." Ok, play "Pfhactory N'Utopia" and then play this map and tell me there's no similarity. You'll be lying. :)

"'Fugee Camp" is also probably Randy's fault. The broken lights have shades of "Ne Cede Malis", the shading & use of textures resembles "Pfhactory N'Utopia." Whilst this level doesn't really have any outside space views, one could argue that the whole level looks like one of Randy's such creations and probably be in the right. The central pit (unaccessible, granted) looks like something right out of "Pfhactory N'Utopia." (I think few people have ever mastered the use of the Jjaro textures as Randy did.)

"Thick & Chunky" looks like yet another Randy net map. (Y.A.R.N.M., hmm...) The shading looks like the big room from "Pfhactory N'Utopia"/"Aye Mak Sicur" - the one with the wind sound in it, that juggernaut, and all those swarming Hunters. The shading, curving, use of stairs & media, resemble it, and look at Randy's creations in Coriolis Loop and again you'll see similarities.

At last. The definitive list of level credits by the creators themselves. This text is from the missing Marathon Scrapbook pages. Enjoy.

Comments are by Jason Jones, Greg Kirkpatrick, Alexander Seropian and Tuncer Deniz.

0. Arrival
Creators: Jason Jones & Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: I did everything before the maze, Greg finished the level. We always thought we could
have done a better first level, but I think it did set the tone for the rest of the game.

1. Bigger Guns Nearby
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I finished it in two days preparing for the release of the demo. We had the demo
finished to our satisfaction and had it stuffed and ready to upload when Tuncer came over
to check it out, "Dude," he said, "this isn't really fun." Tuncer had been playing net a
lot with us and loved Marathon, we took this pretty seriously. We spent another month and
ended up with some cute platform tricks like the rising stairway before we released it.

2. Never Burn Money
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This map was the first attempt to make a really big map. The idea was to create an
area that felt like a real space on the ship. To give the feeling of some control rooms,
something that would actually get used by someone. It also had an extremely difficult secret
area that hid a story that I wrote while working on Marathon. I'd have to say that looking
back on the whole thing, I'm much more happy with the level than with the Gherrit White story,
although I think the story added quite a bit of mystery to those who found it.

3. Defend THIS!
Creator: Alexander Seropian

Comments: The Crusher room was inspired by an old Peter Sellers movie "Murder by Death"
At the end of the film he is stuck in a room with his limo driver and the roof starts
coming down slowly to crush them. He says something about it being the way they make
Goose Liver Pate.

4. Couch Fishing
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: No comments on this level from Jason Jones.

5. The Rose
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This is one of my favorite M1 maps to play. I love Hulks. I built a number
of the areas on this map to highlight how the Hulks worked. I was also going for a
feeling of total carnage. At one point this was my test map to see how many monsters
I could get to work correctly at once. It was also the cause of the maximum number
of objects on a map being increased, as well as the maximum number of active monsters.

6. Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I don't think anybody ever found that flamethrower without resorting to Mia
or Pfhorte... grin.

7. Cool Fusion
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: A level built around the grenading switches trick. We wanted to make it really
obvious that you could shoot switches so people wouldn't get stuck at harder puzzles later.

8. G4 Sunbathing
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: The purpose of this map was to create a map that actually took a long time to
play. It had some of the first complicated overlapping areas, and I think it did a good
job of making people feel like they were on the surface of a moon sized colony ship
fighting for their lives. The name refers to what the player is doing if they stop and
hang out in a courtyard of the station.

9. Blaspheme Quarantine
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This is probably one of my fondest levels. There are some challenging fights,
a few things to figure out, and some nice looking spaces. I came up with the name because
I was daydreaming about being a dog brought into this country.

10. Bob-B-Q
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: Heh heh. "Bob Jam? Apply Grenades Liberally!" This is the first level that
even those people who'd been trying to save all the Bobs up to this point just get
fed up with them. Tuncer at one point walked in and said "What's that? A line to the
bathroom?" when he saw a bunch of Bobs filling a corridor and spilling out into the

11. Shake Before Using...
Creator: Alexander Seropian

Comments: No comments on this level from Alexander Seropian.

12. Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I always sort of liked the geometry on this level, walking past those glowing

13. Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap
Creator: Jas... err...

Comments: I didn't do this one, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything.

14. Habe Quiddam
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I should have made more levels that doubled-back on themselves like this one. Habe
Quiddam is latin for Have Some.

15. Neither High nor Low
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This map was inspired by the shootout that Luke and Leia get into right before they
swing across the chasm in Star Wars.

16. Pfhor Your Eyes Only...
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: All of the other Pfhor levels were started by Reg and then Greg and I took them in
shifts and cleaned them up (took out the teleporting polygons, etc.). Reg did a great job setting
up the geometry and creating a distinctive style for the ship, but Greg and I spent a lot of
late nights saying things like "How did he connect 39 polygons all to the same line like that?"
Reg's mind worked in a way totally unlike Ryan's, who created the original Vulcan, and
Reg found bugs which we never could explain and are probably still in Forge today.

17. No Artificial Colors
Creator: Tuncer Deniz and Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: Greg Kirkpatrick ended up changing the level name and a lot of the mechanics in the
game. I've hated him ever since ;-)

18. Unpfhorgiven
Creator(s): Reginald Dujour, Greg Kirkpatrick & Jason Jones

Comments: See comments under Pfhor Your Eyes Only...

19. Two Times Two Equals...
Creator(s): Reginald Dujour, Greg Kirkpatrick & Jason Jones

Comments: See comments under Pfhor Your Eyes Only...

20. Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones...
Creator: Alexander Seropian

Comments: Jason Jones made some slight modifications to it and renamed it.

21. Eupfhoria
Creator(s): Reginald Dujour, Greg Kirkpatrick & Jason Jones

Comments: See comments under Pfhor Your Eyes Only...

22. Pfhoraphobia
Creator(s): Reginald Dujour, Greg Kirkpatrick & Jason Jones

Comments: See comments under Pfhor Your Eyes Only...

23. Ain't Got Time Pfhor This...
Creator(s): Reginald Dujour, Greg Kirkpatrick & Jason Jones

Comments: See comments under Pfhor Your Eyes Only...

24. Welcome to the Revolution...
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I started and finished this map three days before my latin final in the
library at U of C. Obviously I hadn't intended to work on Marathon, but inspiration
for a level was not something to be wasted during the early days of December.

25. Try again
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: Jason remarks "Greg always forgets this, but he named this level "Try again"
because his first attempt sucked so he threw it away, launched Vulcan and named his
new map "Try again". "

26. Ingue Ferroque
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: Yeah, the latin's misspelled, fire doesn't decline like I thought, I'm fired and
embarrassed at the same time. So much for all that latin.

27. Mars Needs Women
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: This was the second (see Carnage Palace, below) full level we ever built with
Vulcan. At Bungie we spent something like four months 'testing' the network game on this
level (along with everyone who had the leaked beta). It's also the level, slightly modified,
that we took to August Macworld, our first public demo. At some point the level changed
from "Mars Wants Women" to "Mars Needs Women". I don't know why.

28. Carnage Palace Deeee-Luxe
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I remember a day in November, when I asked Greg, "Hey, do you still have a copy of
Carnage Palace?" 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. 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).

29. 5-D space
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: I made this one after I learned about 5-D Space. The name is mine and stuck for a
general term non-real world spaces in 3-D games.

30. Arena
Creator: Alexander Seropian

Comments: The level that started the slam fests. We had been building net levels for a while.
They were mostly like "Mars Needs Women", single player levels but not linear. I remember
the day I was working on Bob (a PowerMac 6100 in our office) and I had the idea to make
this huge room that everyone would be dropped into and would have to run around like mad
nuking each other. That was the beginning of the original "arena" level.

31. E equals MC WHAT!!
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

32. Showered With Grenades
Creator: Alexander Seropian

Comments: I just liked the idea of shooting grenades off a balcony at people trying to get up
there. Showered with grenades!

33. Spiral Insanity
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This is a map that just never got any credit. Nobody could ever come close to
beating me at it, and the weapons weren't set up very well. It was always just missing a
little something. It's too bad because it has some nice spaces in it and it could have
had some pretty good flow.

34. Waldo World Arena
Creator: Tuncer Deniz

Comments: The second map I ever made. I got really tired of Arena because you always ended up
fighting in the little hallways. Also, I thought it would be neat if instead of coming out
through the hallways you could teleport to a ledge around the arena. I must admit I didn't
come up with the name. Greg Kirkpatrick changed it from Arema (as in I'm going to REAM you!)
to Waldo World Arena.

35. What Goes Up, Must Come Down
Creator: Tuncer Deniz

Comments: The first map I ever made. I just made random rooms and then eventually put them all
together. It was by mere accident that the central focus of this map became the elevator going
up and the shoot coming down. We soon learned after playing it for the first few times that
getting the flamethrower was key to winning. I think I originally called this map Gravity but
changed the name to What Goes Up, Must Come Down.

36. You don't need to see my I.D.
Creator: Alexander Seropian

Comments: The bridge on this level was inspired by the scene in Star Wars where OB1 deactivates
the Tractor Beam, hence the name "You don't need to see my ID".

Comments are by Jason Jones, Greg Kirkpatrick, Doug Zartman and Tuncer Deniz. For some levels nobody could remember who created it or at least would admit to it. ;-)

1. Waterloo Waterpark
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: One of the first maps I made for Marathon 2 and one of the first wherein media actually
worked. You can probably tell that by the fact that there's water all over the place.

2. The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: Has a secret area with tiny Pfhor and Fl'ickta. I wanted to put those tiny guys
somewhere more interesting, but never really got the chance. At the last minute, when Greg
and I were writing stuff with unattached lines all over the maps, I went back and added this
area just for the hell of it. Nobody really understands it and thinks it's kinda weird and
wonders what they're missing. I think that's pretty cool.

3. Charon Doesn't Make Change
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This map really only ever grew into 50% of what it should have been. If you notice
carefully, you'll see that right at the beginning of the level the Pfhor make a run for a nearby
teleporter pad. Unfortunately, if you shoot anything or if they see you (and they have eyes in
the back of their heads) they turn around and come after you. In the end, it's rather difficult
for them to ever get away. Otherwise, I had a lot of fun making this map, and if I'd known,
I would have made it at least another 300 polygons, and you really would have felt like you
were in an ancient S'pht clan's homestead.

4. What About Bob?
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This was a map made for the Marathon 2 Preview. It turned out really well. It had a
puzzle, some decent fights, and a run-for-your-life lava flood (which would have been much
cooler if the timing had been dependent on ability level).

5. Come and Take your Medicine
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: No comments provided by Greg Kirkpatrick.

6. We're Everywhere
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick & Jason Jones

Comments: Greg did the geometry on this level so he deserves most of the credit here, but he
handed it over to me to do the monsters and polish it off.

7. Ex Cathedra
Creator: Doug Zartman

Comments: My only scenario level, partly inspired by the third-party Marathon map "Villa Banzai".
At E3, a Marathon fan suggested I check out this map. I did, and thought it was great -
beautiful realization of what was obviously an attractive real-world structure. Though I
had done levels based on real-world structures before (i.e., my house, the office) I had
never thought of doing one based on an architectural plan, much less of a building that was
good looking. So I spent some time looking for plans, and found one of a cathedral in Durham,
England that looked cool, but easy enough to replicate. I spent an enormous amount of time
on it, about 4 from-the-ground-up revisions, maybe 80 hours over a period of 3 months (since
level design wasn't my job, it was mostly done at home).

8. Nuke And Pave
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This level had a last minute name change because I loved the phrase and was afraid
to let anyone else hear it. Of course, it's a quote from Nixon, but nobody knows that but me!!!
He said something like, "we can nuke that country and pave it over" referring to Vietnam.

9. Curiouser and Curiouser...
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: A precursor to the symmetry of "Begging for Mercy Makes me Angry!" which is a better

10. Eat It, Vid Boi!
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This was the last demo level. I always loved this one, with its super tricky door
opening puzzle.

11. The Hard Stuff Rules...
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This level was named for the fact that it was incredibly difficult to make. In fact
it was a triumph of mind over computer. My machine crashed every 5 minutes while making it,
and I had to move each point at least ten times to get to the underlying areas. While
working on it, I referred to it as the Citadel.

12. Bob's Big Date
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: The whole point being that there are no Bobs here (Bob's late for his big date!).
I thought the turbo sewage trick was cool but nobody was really impressed here.

13. Six Thousand Feet Under
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: Big spaces. Some people liked it, some people hated it. I loved it. I lived it.
This was where I learnt the tricks for avoiding "ambiguous clip flags" which in the
language of the uninitiated is when you can see too far.

14. If I Had a Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody Pay
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This level is the only one I ever thought that I actually had to prove that I
could do it on Total Carnage. The rest were cake. It was actually toned down for the game,

15. Sorry Don't Make It So
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: Formally Pfhor Your Eyes Only... I chose this one because it was less likely to
exhibit strange polygon behavior when I imported it into Marathon 2 and modified (almost
all the other alien maps in Marathon had something or other weird about them). Also, I
kinda had grown attached to this one total-carnage-with-a-pistol level.

16. For Carnage, Apply Within
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: No comments provided by Greg Kirkpatrick.

17. Begging For Mercy Makes Me Angry!
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I remember showing Greg the complicated network of switches and wires and
platforms and how all the lights went off at the end and him saying, "Whatever, come
look at the S'pht tower..." and showing me the seven overlapping layers of the Citadel
tower he was working on. This and "All Roads Lead to Sol" are the two Marathon 2 levels
I'm most proud of.

18. The Big House
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I did this one. Took me weeks... heh.

19. This Side Toward Enemy
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: This is the first Marathon 2 level I ever made (the one where I did a lot of
the media testing, worked through the new monster code, etc.), and toward the end of
the project it got resurrected and turned into a real map. It's not hard to tell that
it isn't as developed as some of the others we did.

20. God Will Sort The Dead...
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: The first assimilated Bob level. I remember being so excited about this
level I put it up on our server and told people to play it. Somehow it just worked
great, and even fifty-five-polygons-per-square-world-unit-all-overlapping Greg
thought the geometry was kind of cool.

21. My Own Private Thermopylae
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: Don't we all wish at some point in our lives that we lived right before the
Golden Age of Athens? This level is as close as you'll ever come. It'll bring you
right to that ancient place where the battle was lopsided, where valor and courage
stood for more than the color of a man's blood.

22. Kill Your Television
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: Looks cool, but a real snoozer in the network game because nobody at Bungie
ever figured it out except me. Puzzle levels like this one and six thousand feet under
never were popular during cooperative play.

23. Where the Twist Flops

Comments: Mumble, mumble. I don't have a script, sorry.

24. Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: No comments provided by Jason Jones.

25. Requiem For a Cyborg
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This map didn't ever get as cool as I hoped it would. It's actually a spaceship
and almost looks like one.

26. Fatum Iustum Stultorum
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: No comments provided by Jason Jones.

27. Feel the Noise
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This map was begun as a test map for making curvy walls. It never really got a
good flow to it, and the fights are a bit forced and stilted.

28. All Roads Lead To Sol...
Creator: Jason Jones

Comments: I hope this level makes up for the shortcomings of Colony Ship for Sale and
Ingue Ferroque in Marathon 1.

29. Thunderdome
Creator: Tuncer Deniz

Comments: I wanted to create an "Arena" like level but with a new twist. The first
thing I did was to change the shape to be more rectangular. This made the game a lot
faster (you had less time to react to incoming missles) and provided more carnage than
Arena. But what made this level interesting were the four platforms. You could use these
for both offensive (climb onto the platform then jump off when the elevator reach the
top to blast your enemy) or defensive purposes (run away quickly to collect more ammo).
The name comes from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

30. Shangri-La
Creator: Tuncer Deniz

Comments: The level name comes from a Don Henley song named Shangri-La.

31. No Disintegrations

32. Ok, honeybunny

33. Lack of Vision

34. Flight of the Toolator
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Comments: This map was made for Marathon but it never translated very well. In Marathon
you could fly around with the flamethrower. Since that didn't work in Marathon 2 the map
never really recovered.

35. Giant Flaming Pit of Lava

36. House of Pain
Creator: Tuncer Deniz

Comments: By far my favorite level. I worked over a week on this experimenting with different
designs and patterns. The name is a take off on the Police's King of Pain.

37. 16th Parallel
Creator: Tuncer Deniz

Comments: A simple concept but it was a lot of fun to play.

38. One Hit Wonder
Creator: Tuncer Deniz

Comments: This level was called Round and Round because of the inner circle and outer circle.
Jason and I changed the name to One Hit Wonder because we both associated the name Round and
Round to a song by the same name by a British band that had one hit. The tune went something
like this: "You spin me round, round, like a record baby, round, round...". It was pretty awful.

39. Ok, Who Wants Some?

40. Everyone's Mortal But Me
Creator: Alexander Seropian

Comments: I set out to make a King of the Hill map and came up with this "ride the tower"
idea. I think it works pretty well at giving the player the feeling of playing King of the
Hill as a kid.

41. 5-D Space
Creator: Greg Kirkpatrick

Full text is by Chris Geisel (Doubleaught) and is only about the solo levels. No details
were given about the network levels.

1. Ne Cede Malis The first level of Infinity was designed by Randy, but the name comes from a mystical ring that has been in Greg's family for years. The ring has a picture of an elephant with a snake coiled around its trunk and an inscription that reads 'Ne Cede Malis', which means roughly: Don't Give in to Misfortune. This level was one of the last designed, and was meant to evoke M1--claustrophobic hallways, dark corners, and atmosphere. We thought the title was appropriate considering the game begins with a nova, destruction, and the end of Lh'owon. (Go here to read what Randy Reddig had to say about his level.) 2. Rise Robot Rise The title for this level came from my subconscious but I think it was probably the title of some pulpy '50s era sf film--if it wasn't, it coulda been. This was one of the earlier levels designed, sometime back in February or March after the two dam levels, but it went through at least three revisions and doubled in size by the end of the game. The starting point for the level went through at least three revisions. It was Greg's idea to have the player rise out of some kind of stasis cell. The original design was a huge room with a constantly moving floor, but the Phfor fighters were always getting trapped on it. I designed the final start area and Greg went back just before the game was finished and finessed it a little, adding in the recharge and putting the weapons in plain sight. The point of this level was to have the player looking for weapons and trying to survive the fighting going on. The fights between the enforcers and the rest of the crew turned out well, and we set them up so that the battles can go either way. You should play the level on Total Carnage or Major Damage for best results. That goes for all of the levels. 3. Poor Yorick This level was my creation, but everybody made changes, added architecture, retextured, and tweaked the monsters before it was through. Believe it or not, the original idea for the level was to have a ruined S'pht area that was infested with F'lickta, and which would culminate with the player finding the ball sitting on an ornate dais deep within the structure. When the player picked up the skull F'lickta would come pouring out of the woodwork, Indiana Jones style, to revenge themselves on whomever dared disturb their totem. Unfortunately, we could never get the ball to appear in a single player game, so the idea was dropped. The title for the level remained. This level was a very early creation. 4. Confound Delivery Confound Delivery was so called by Greg because he was working on it when one of our milestones for the project came up, and the level wasn't coming together--delaying our delivery. Confound was a fun one to playtest, because of all the 'locks' and watery passages. Greg made a special physics model so that the Juggernaught would fly low to the ground and hunt the F'lickta with grenades. Confound and Poor Yorick are part of the same larger area, and if you look at the map, you can see the end terminal room from Yorick. 5. Electric Sheep One All the Electric Sheep levels were Greg's. The name is from Blade Runner, as you figured out. 6. Where are monsters in dreams This was a real concept map, where Greg was trying to make something that looked organic using light and dark shading. It was supposed to be unnerving rather than deadly, especially the invisible S'pht defenders firing those ghostly trails of disks out of the shadows at you. 7. Acme Station Acme Station was designed by Greg in about 8 hours, a manic feat of willpower and incredibly detailed architectural masterpiece. You can see where he tweaked the long hallways to cut off the view just before the maximum viewing distance of the Marathon engine. Too bad you can't really take time out to enjoy the view--there's hardly enough air to survive. We intended Acme to be the first really challenging level of the game. 8. Post Naval Trauma Post Naval is a play on Post Natal Trauma, but you're attacking the Phfor navy... yeah, corny. This is the first really big level that I designed, and I got a bit carried away. At one point, Greg had to force me to finish the level, because it had become this huge sprawling beast that was eating my soul. I was working nights on Infinity, and working days at an online magazine and web technology division of a giant media company, and I was working on a Powerbook 5300c, and Post Naval was driving me insane. I drew a picture of a crab or beetle shaped ship, and Post Naval was supposed to take place in the left front 'pincer' and 'thorax' of the ship. Originally the juggernauts could fly in and out of all their hangars and around the ship, but they couldn't always figure out how to get inside, and it was really easy for the player to blow himself out into space. The views were so complicated that the frame rate slowed to a crawl. I owe Greg a tremendous debt for knocking me unconscious, retexturing and tweaking the architecture on this level. Otherwise I might never have finished it, and it might never have emerged from the confusion that is its architecture. Around this time we all started getting into the idea of secret areas--the 3x recharge and ammo dump is one of the first secrets we made. There's actually another section to this level that I designed that never was finished--the secret area is a truncated part of it. 9. Where Some Rarely Go Where Some and Thing What Kicks were the first two levels designed for Infinity, that Greg and I worked on after hours at the web company where I was employed, using Lil Buddy, his Power Book 5300c. Where Some Rarely Go is a remote Phfor outpost on Lh'owon, where the incompetent commanders are consistently hampered by a lack of machinery and functional compilers to maintain it. The reason is that there is a slightly insane Science Officer that is obsessed with his comparitive research on F'lickta and S'pht, and who keeps taking apart the compilers in his laboratory. There is also some level of mutiny in the ranks, which is hinted at in one of the terminals. Greg and I had a lot of fun with this level and with the terminal texts, which were substantially edited and shortened for the final game. Originally I went nuts and wrote about ten terminals which had all sorts of random crosstalk on the Phfor network (but they were only funny to Greg and I). 10. Thing What Kicks. . . Thing What Kicks was the first level made for Infinity, by Greg on the Power Book at his friend Ebon's house where he was staying until he found an apartment in Brooklyn. Because the first level of M2 refers to flooding the Phfor water system, we thought it would be cool if the player actually got a chance to do so in Infinity. We designed this level and the previous level so that they were on the same 'river', and you can see that the dam is up stream from Where Some Rarely Go. Greg made this level while teaching me to use Vulcan, Forge's demented predecessor, and teaching me all his tricks for good Marathon map design. I think this level is one of the best ones in the game, and you can tell that Greg spent a lot of time on the architecture, the layout, and the way the areas fit together. I think at one point Vulcan crashed, and he had to go back and redo a significant portion of the map. 'Course that can probably be said for most of the maps. 11. Electric Sheep Two See Electric Sheep One above 12. Whatever You Please This was Randy's first level, and he designed it on Double Aught's first hardware purchase ever, the 7100AV. Greg told Randy to name the computer 'Whatever You Please', and so he did. I guess he liked it so much he named the map too. If you've played the 'hard path' on Whatever You Please, you know that this level can be one of the most difficult in the game. Well, Ydnar's original design was just about that hard on the 'easy path', and the 'hard path' was impossible. We used to routinely run out of fusion batteries and be unable to finish. Greg got tired of taking a lava bath and Ydnar scaled back the difficulty so that mortals could complete it. It's one of the more fun levels, in my opinion. Try the 'hard path' (the moving pillars above the walkway)--it's really tough. 13. Naw Man He's Close Naw Man is a quote from Apocalypse Now's bridge scene, and started out life as a concept--the player free falling toward the hull of Durandal's ship with an assault team of troopers. The original design was by me, and was centered around a control tower above a pool of the ubiqutous (and hard to understand) Phfor slime. I finished about half of the map and then started working on terminals for the rest of the levels. Greg took over the map near the end of Infinity, revamped it (are you seeing a pattern?), added in some architecture that he'd never used on M2 (the pulsing lights in the hallway, the secret door in the 'Y' passage way, and some others) and finished it up. 14. Foe Hammer Foe Hammer was my level, and the name comes from Tolkien. This was another level where I wanted to put a secret area. There's a switch just below the Phfor slime in the second large room that opens a door at the bottom of the second (non-functional) elevator. Down there is a souped up Mother of All Hunters, a rocket launcher, and other treats. Randy helped me tweak the outdoor areas (which have some nice views) and the two of us came up with a design that had a group of drones flying around on the outside of the ship, firing in at the player, but we scrapped it for speed reasons, and because at times the landscapes became cluttered with drone corpses, which really killed the suspension of disbelief. 15. Hang Brain Greg designed Hang Brain based on the M2 level, and it was intended to be a really tough one, where the player fought a battle on the upper levels while Bob made a desperate last stand in front of Durandal's core. 16. Electric Sheep Three See Electric Sheep One above 17. Eat the Path Another of Greg's famous concept maps. The pathways were supposed to be tricky, and they have red paths on the ceiling. It's another organic, angry map that has something to do with the player's inner journey. Only Greg knows for sure. 18. By Committee Greg and I designed this map together from start to finish, hence the name. We made it towards the end of the summer, and made great use of Vulcan's 'copy and paste' to make the winding, organic hallways where Bob is kept locked in the basement. About this time I was reading a book that mentioned the French philosopher Bataille (sp?), and a group of conceptual artists called the Survivalists. Anyway, they'd make pieces that would test people: test their empathy, and test their suicidal tendencies. I think the point was that they believed that you were only truly Alive when you were in danger, so they'd make machines that would spin people around while randomly firing flamethrowers and other deadly things. This was the inspiration for the Bob-o-lator, our Infinity empathy test. 19. One thousand thousand slimy things The title comes from Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and I came up with it. I started Slimy Things and got about 2/3 of the way done with the architecture when Ydnar and I got caught up in making a door that had a complicated shadow cast across half of it, that also cast a shadow into the room when the door was opened. It took us about 3 hours one night working on the PowerBook. The idea behind the level was a large, multilevel tower, but the geometry wasn't turning out to be as interesting as the Citadel in M2, so we scrapped it. The door is near the end of the existing level, and a bunch of the niche lights are scattered around too. Greg started over and used some of the architecture from the original. The level that resulted is much cooler than the one I was working on, especially the assault on the Bob's hideout in the beginning. No one can figure out how Greg convinced the troopers to run all the way into the fortress, up the stairs, and keep going. Normally the monsters just aren't that smart. Anyway, it is one of the most enjoyable ones to play, and even has a coolio secret ammo dump that you can get to with one of the telporters that cross the waterway. 20. A Converted Church in Venice, Italy Ydnar cranked out Converted Church near the end of Infinity, and it's one of his more complicated designs. The twisting passageways, lava channels, and all those *&*^% switches emerged from a design that neither Greg nor I could figure out while it was developing, we just stood back and said, "Wow." The level has Ydnar's trademark geometric shapes, with lots of sharp angular features and overlapping hallways. Like the design, I have no idea where the name came from. 21. Son of Grendel This was another map that Greg and I both worked on. The title comes from Beowulf: there was Grendel's mother, who was really mean, and there was Grendel, but what if Grendel had a son? I dunno. I always liked Grendel better than Beowulf anyway. I like this map because of the really long views, and the ornate doorways on the bridges. There's a secret area on this level too, that you can get too by firing at a switch. The switch opens a door to a hallway where all the snacks are. 22. Strange Aeons Strange Aeons was one of Greg's maps, and the jumping puzzle was his idea too. The name is from Lovecraft. We like Lovecraft. 23. Bagged Again This is S.o.G. redux. You get captured again. 24. You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time! Ydnar designed this level in record time. I think it's my favorite to play. Greg made the physics models and the black Phfor. He also came up with the chip trick for getting to the secret area with all the guns and ammo. Come to think of it, we should play this level net. The line is from Carlito's Way. 25. Aye Mak Sicur No matter how you spell it, this is the motto of the Kirkpatrick clan: I Make Sure. According to the family coat of arms, the Kirkpatrick claim to fame is stabbing one of Robert the Bruce's enemies in back after the Bruce wounded him in a duel. The miscreant was foolishly hiding in a church, but the Kirkpatrick went inside and 'Made Sure' he was dead. As many people know, this map is based on Phfactory, the map that Ydnar has been working on since the dawn of time. In fact, work on this map spanned the entire development of the game, right up until the last moment when Ydnar was putting the finishing touches on it. It's one polygon short of the 1024 Marathon limit.

Thanks to all the creators for their generous time and effort.

Randy Reddig (aka ydnar) <ydnar@shaderlab.com> writes about his own level Ne Cede Malis.
It was originally posted to the Story forum on November 8, 2001 and is reprinted here.

Thoughts Posted By: ydnar <ydnar@shaderlab.com> Date: 11/8/01 3:53 p.m. In Response To: Volunteers: Ne Cede Malis (Mark Levin) A keen synopsis/analysis of Ne Cede Malis. Flattering, too. :) Ne Cede was the last map designed for Infinity. This is as it should be; sort of a rule of thumb. After everything else is mostly done, and the team is sufficiently experienced with the tools and infused with the mood of the game, the first level should be built. But enough philosophizing about infusing dreck. Coincidentally, Ne Cede was also the last map I ever made to ship with a game. If anyone cares (and there seems to be at least a few people, as evident by this thread), I'll toss out some random thoughts about the level: The name, Ne Cede Malis, as well documented by 819's cadre, means "never give into evil." Sort of foreshadows the mangled plot we foisted upon everybody. :) Its similarity to Arrival is well known, that was intentional. It was meant to evoke a feeling of deja vu, along with (god I hate this quote) "fear in a bottle." The hidden hexed, stuffed map was a nod to Marathon's hidden icon in the terminal (as well as Hamish, obviously). The bottle of napalm lying around was intentional, another M1 ripoff. The delayed elevator into the air ducts with the jumping puzzle to the secret terminal was from Dark Forces. I owe a debt of gratitude to the Marathon mod "Noah's Ark" (Aliens). It had beautiful pacing, great map design, and wonderful use of sounds in combination with the motion sensor to sufficiently put you on edge before the aliens dropped out of the ceiling ducts. In hindsight, the level was way too hard. If I had to do it over again I would have made the terminals' directives a little less cryptic and modified the critical path to be slightly more obvious. The lower sewage tanks were not the best idea; swimming and navigating in 3 dimentions while fighting enemies underwater when your guns didn't work was not too smart. Then again, if you had the patience/skills to muddle your way through it the rest of the game should have been fairly easy. The map suffered from designer's hubris. I wanted to work in every trick I'd learned into the level, make it some sort of virtuoso introduction to the last game of a trilogy. The flickering lights, the angled hallways, the level stuffed into terminal text, the 2 stop moving switch elevator hack... One last amusing thing--the final room, the brightly lit slate Star Wars thing, was originally the center of an unreleased M1 deathmatch map called the "coolest thing ever" by two friends who played it for 8 hours straight while on acid. It was originally very dark, with treacherous lava pits and narrow tunnels/walkways lacing the central core. Incidentally, everyone else at the time who played it (including myself) hated the thing. Biblical candy machines... y

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