Miscellaneous tidbits for the period
Sept'97 - Feb'98

Sept 8, 1997
Was the The Summertime Blues Competition too hard? Yes, judging from the number of incorrect answers. Where have all the Marathon Story gurus gone? Somewhat unsurprisingly Jim Mitchell <BobJam@aol.com> got the most correct answers, getting three of the seven questions right. Special mention to Morgan Catha <rblake@slc.shorelin.wednet.edu> for getting two right. Lots of people got at least one right. Well done all. :-)

The seven questions and their answers:

  1. Under normal solo play how may terminal messages are impossible to read in all three Marathon games (88 solo levels)? For each unreadable message please give the terminal no. and level name.

    This should have been an easy one. Some have been mentioned on the Story page. The terminals and levels are as follows:

    "Cool Fusion" (Terminal 2: 'Unfinished' message). The only Marathon terminal that cannot be read under normal solo play even if you don't get the fusion pistol.

    "What About Bob?" (Terminal 2: 2nd message).

    "Curiouser and Curiouser..." (Terminal 2: 1st Message).

    "Eat It, Vid Boi!" (Terminal 4: 1st message).

    "Robot World Arena" (Terminal 0). Can be read while playing co-op but not during normal solo play.

    "Poor Yorick" (Terminal 2). See if you can find it. ;-)

    "Confound Delivery" (Terminal 1). Another mysterious terminal. Confound it!

    "Where Some Rarely Go" (Terminal 1: 1st Message). Another strangely elusive message.

    "Naw Man He's Close" (Terminal 0: 1st Message). Yet another strangely elusive message.

    "Foe Hammer" (Terminal 2: 1st message).

  2. From what Bungie level does this map screenshot come from?

    Most people got this one. It's from the level that works with the Marathon alpha/beta? entitled "marathon.alpha.fat". You can find it on the Marathon CD (it's invisible though) or on the Trilogy CD.

  3. What was 2nd to last one way, but 2nd the other way?

    Carroll Street Station. On the New York City Subway Map (see the What's in a Name section for details) Carroll Street Station station is the second last subway station on line G. Thus it is the 2nd station when travelling the other way. Yeah a sneaky one I know. ;-)

    Thanks to Nick <Jinnmaster@aol.com> for pointing out that G is the seventh letter of the alphabet. =)

  4. Three thousand and forty four pieces. Of what and where?

    Arms and legs in hangar ninety six. On "Where are monsters in dreams (Terminal 0: 2nd Message)" it states:

    Seven hundred and sixty one armless and legless corpses float inconspicuously around the inside of hangar ninety six.

    761 times 4 = 3044 arm and legs. Gruesome but true!

  5. The number thirteen is unlucky for some! But reversed it reveals a lie. What was the lie and where was it said?

    There are thirty power switches throughout the cone. You must deactivate them all to access the basement level, where the master generator is located.
    Stated by High Admiral Tfear on "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy" (Terminal 1: 1st Message). In fact you need to deactivate 31 power switches before you can access the basement level not 30. Hence Tfear lied to us. Count them and the tru7h will be revealed. Thirteen reversed is 31.

  6. Throughout the three Marathon games a number of the colonists are actually named. Can you list them all? First or last names will do. Could there be more than seven? ;-)

    An easy question or was it? Let's list the names:

    Bernhard Strauss and the variations Bernard and Berhnard

    Robert Blake, a mechanical engineer on Tau Ceti and leader of the remaining colonists on Lh'owon. There is also reference to a Cmdr. Robert Blake on "You're Wormfood Dude" (Terminal 0) which is presumably the same person.

    Johnny, crushed by a Hulk on "Defend THIS!"

    McYultry, mentioned on "Shake Before Using..." (Terminal 3). First name appears to begin with H.

    Lt. Kent, mentioned on "Naw Man He's Close" (Terminal 1: 1st Message).

    Jetty, mentioned on Naw "Man He's Close" (Terminal 1: 1st Message).

    Bob, mentioned by VacBobs when they cry "He Killed Bob". Infers that one (or more) of the colonists was actually called Bob.

    Arther Frain (and the variation Frane), Chief Petty Officer, USEC Marathon, mentioned on "You're Wormfood Dude" (Terminal 0).

    Security Chief Jones, mentioned on "You're Wormfood Dude" (Terminal 0).

    Volker Von Müller mentioned in the Lost Network Packets. Remember this is bona fide Marathon Story text from Bungie Software which helps explain the Marathon timeline correctly.

    Some other names mentioned by people but who are not colonists.

    Geoff Hultin, is not a colonist but a real person.

    Estasia Orestes, Dominick I. Plackar, and Ursa Simbalzi mentioned in the Marathon Internal Engineering Documents on "Bigger Guns Nearby" (Terminal 2). The Doors Manual was written up in 2402 AD seventy years before the launch of the Marathon. It's highly unlikely that these individuals would have been of a suitable age for the Tau Ceti trip.

    Gheritt White, a 20th century pugilist? But was he our true identity? We may never know.

    Mjolnir Recon 54, our cyborg identity? Possibly but surely not our real name.

  7. There were ten altogether, three were different and eight were the same but on what level?

    On "Foe Hammer". There are a total of ten terminals visible on this level. Three display different terminal messages, eight display the same annoying message from Tycho.

Thanks to all the people who took part in the competition. As you can see the Marathon's Story still holds many mysteries and surprises. The tru7h is out there. :-)

Sept 9, 1997
Graham Benedict <GrhmBndct@aol.com> writes:

While rummaging through my old MacAddict CD-ROMs, I came across a game called "Ares", by Changling software. I reallized immediately the significance of its title. In the Marathon 2 manual, the shotgun is explained...

"While going through some data I appropriated from the Marathon (looking for design notes, of course) I stumbled across a reference to a weapon used by the imperialist forces against the intersectionists during the Ares Raid; July 2444."

As I played the game, I noticed more noticable connections. For instance, the game features writing that I very much like Pfhorish. Also, one of the aliens (its name escapes me) looked very much like an Enforcer. Other aliens resembled our Marathon friends, but here is the kicker. Guess who did the artwork. Reginald Dujor. In case you don't know, (or you print this letter), he is the artist who created all of the artwork for Marathon, but left Bungie midway through Marathon 2's development. By the way, this game was realeased about the same time as Marathon 2.

Back in July 23, 1997 Steven Ryan <smryan@mail.com> wrote concerning the line: "thousands are sailing" on terminal 2 of the Infinity level "Ne Cede Malis" suggesting that this may be from the start of an Irish song by Plantxy.

Andrew McCormick <smileyy@sprintmail.com> followed this up and found that the line "thousands are sailing" was used in a song by The Pogues on their album "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" (Island Records). See the What's New section for July 24th.

Steven writes again confirming that the line was in fact used by Planxty in a different song from the Pogues. Steven writes:

Another version of Thousands are Sailing is by Planxty, Words&Music album, 1983. I suppose a parallel could be drawn from the exile of the Spht Kr. In full (and perhaps violating copyrights),

You brave Irish heroes,
wherever you be,
I pray stand a moment
and listen to me.
Your sons and fair daughters
are now going away;
and thousands are sailing
to America.

So, good luck to those people
and safe may they land.
They are leaving their country
for a far distant strand.
They are leaving old Ireland
no longer can stay.
And thousands are sailing
to America.

Their nights before leaving,
they are bidding goodbye,
and it's early next morning
their heart gives a sigh.
They do kiss their mothers
and then they will say.
"Farewell, dear old father,
we must now go away."
Their friends and relations
and neighbours all sort.
When the trunks are all packed up,
all ready to go,
oh, the tears from their eyes then
fall down like the rain.
And the horse is a-prancing
going off for the train.

So, good luck to those people
and safe may they land.

When the two reach the station,
you will hear their last cry,
with handkerchiefs waving
and bidding goodbye.
Their hearts will be breaking
on leaving the shore,
"Farewell. dear old Ireland
will we ne'er see you more."
Oh, I pity the mother
that rears up the child;
and likewise the father
who labours and toils.
To try to support them,
he will work night and day.
And when they are there, though.
they will go away.

So, good luck to those people
and safe may they land.

Oh, thousands are sailing
to America.

Thus the same line is used in two different but theme related songs. Coincidence?

Sept 15, 1997
David Retchless <sublimator@hotmail.com> writes concerning a possible connection between Pathways Into Darkness and Bungie's up-coming game Myth. David writes:

While looking over Bungie's recently updated Myth site I noticed what appears to be a connection between Myth and Pathways into Darkness. The following text is from Bungie's Myth site:

"In a time long past, a great comet appeared in the northern sky. It stirred foul creatures beneath the earth; old things to which dominion of the world was once again to be returned.

And a great evil came out of the east, in a black tide that sought not to conquer, but to destroy; to be master of the unthinking dead and their blasted lands."

I thought this sounded familiar so I checked the front of the Pathways manual. Sure enough, it talks of a "large extraterestrial object" which struk the earth Sixty-Four million years ago. It then goes on to say that after the impact "Vast caverns and landscapes bubbled to life within the rock, populated by horrible manifestations of the dead god's dream." This could easily be understood to be the foul creatures stirred beneath the earth described on Bungie's Myth site. It seems that Bungie likes to build conections between all thier games (just as they did with Pathways and Marathon.)

David's interpretation is made all the more interesting by information found on Jim Mitchell's Pathways Into Darkness Story Page. The What's New section for June 30, 1997 had this to say about how Bungie were NOW advertising Pathways Into Darkness.

This is the text found within a recent mail advertisment from Bungie software describing Pathways Into Darkness:

Pathways Into Darkness
The original Bungie 3-D adventure game.
Solve the riddles of a thousand years and save

Solve the riddles of a thousand years? What could this be implying? Anyone know what happened in 994 AD?

Riddles of a thousand years...? What could Bungie be up to? What is the significance of the "thousand years" in Pathways Into Darkness?

Well on the Story page's What's New section in Apr 22, 1997 Ajay Ayyagari <nirvana@halcyon.com> drew attention to a possible connection between Myth and the Jim Henson film "The Dark Crystal". Ajay wrote:

I know your page isn't a Myth page but it seems like the best place to send this email to. Okay, I was watching a movie last night called "The Dark Crystal" ever heard of it? It's a Jim Henson movie about how forces of light and dark have been separated for 1000 years and a prophecy must be fulfilled for those forces to become one again (in the end they evil/good guys kinda fuse together and make special beings). The prophecy is that a single hero must heal the dark crystal with a shard, blah, blah, blah the story goes on...Also in the story it says that every 1000 years a great conjunction will occurr that decides the fate of the next 1000 years...sounding familiar? *cough*...myth...*cough* What you think?

Bungie's Myth page at the time gave the following details about the Myth Story:

The myth of the story centers around a deity which appears in this world in cycles of a thousand years. During one cycle the deity will appear as a Savior; in the next, as a Destroyer. At the beginning of Myth, he has returned in the guise of Destroyer, with the Fallen Lords, a group of resurrected and powerful generals. These beings and their legions of undead and spirit forces rise up to destroy the living beings of this world, while the player controls the living and tries to stop the onslaught.

A thousand years eh?

But it doesn't end there. Digging deep into Jim Mitchell's Pathways Into Darkness Story Page revealed the following tidbit in the What's New section for May 1, 1997. I quote in full:

Rob Furr <rsfurr@uncg.edu> writes concerning the mysterious "Toadkiller Dog":

Your page mentions that the back of the Pathways box has a screenshot of a game with the save-game of "Toadkiller Dog," and hypothesizes that there's a connection between that and one of the Bungie programmer's email addresses.

I can't address *that* issue, but the name "Toadkiller Dog" is actually a reference; it's from the Black Company series, by Glen Cook. I believe Toadkiller Dog first appears in _The White Rose_, and exits the series in _The Silver Spike_. Toadkiller Dog is a tool of the Dominator (a very bad, very nasty bad guy who's been dead for about a thousand years and is getting kind of tired of it; the climatic battle of the first Black Company trilogy features a battle revolving around an attempt to prevent the Dominator from fully awakening from his sleep and conquering/destroying/whatever the world."

A thousand years eh?

An interesting review of Glen Cook's "The Black Company" can be found here

Now Bungie's updated Myth page has this to say about the Myth story:

Myth: The Fallen Lords brings you a world where the living are fighting a losing battle against the risen dead. You direct the Armies of the North as they struggle to withstand the onslaught of the Fallen Lords, a cadre of ancient and terrible sorceror-generals who are laying waste to the land with legions of vicious beasts and the tireless undead.

A complex story, narrated by one of your units, takes shape as the campaign against the Fallen progresses over months and hundreds of miles. You also battle betrayal and cowardice in your own ranks, while rivalries amongst the Fallen can turn to your advantage. Cell-animated movies and strategic battle maps drive the plot and enrich a mintutely detailed fantasy world.

All the while, a comet hanging in the Northern sky casts its fearful glare over the spreading horror. An eternal cycle of mythic bloodshed begins anew...

Of course it's not hard to see the connection between the "cadre of ancient and terrible sorceror-generals" and "The Ten Who Were Taken", all evil sorcerers who command armies. Also note how the Myth story is narrated by one of your units, very similar to the Black Company's chronicler/archivist "Croaker".

But returning to Pathways Into Darkness. Back in 1993, before the game was actually released, somebody at Bungie took a screenshot of the game while using the nickname "ToadKiller Dog", a name which also features heavily in "The White Rose", the 3rd book in Glen Cook's Black Company trilogy published in 1990. Who was the mysterious ToadKiller Dog at Bungie? Some have suggested Doug Zartman, the famous 'Frogblaster' himself. Could it really be Doug? When put on the spot back in February 1997 Doug replied:

Afraid not; I'm not exactly sure who that is, but I have my suspicions. My net moniker was usually "Sir Loin". If you recognize the Toadkiller Dog reference, you'll have some insight into our next product...

So there you have it folks...

Were the roots of the Myth Story seeded at Bungie before Pathways Into Darkness was actually released?

Sept 19, 1997
For the day that is in it here is a special anniversary HoT Question.

There were two of them.
Separate in space and time by 52 and 21.
Linked by function.
Designed with three.

What were they?

If you think you know the answer send it in with your reasoning. Join the ranks of the few. :-)

Sept 24, 1997
Interesting find by Christopher Norehad <cnorehad@gonzaga.edu>. Back in the What's New section for June 27, 1997 it was mentioned that there was a secret piece of IRC log buried in the HTML of a frame in Double Aught's Marathon Infinity page. That wasn't too hard to find. But just before the log is a long vertical string of characters. You could be excused for thinking that this was simply garbaged text put there to confuse you. However Christopher points out that one part reads


It helps if you view the original text string horizontally.

w e a r e f a m i l y

Is Double Aught's webmaster a "Sister Sledge" fan or is this something more? And what else is buried at the Double Aught site?

Sept 25, 1997
Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes:

You ask what other secrets the Double Aught web site contains. The first thing I did when the Duality site was updated was look at all the source HTML. Here's what I found:


<!--If two and half dimensional games have both space and time, then a true 3d game has space, time, and time-travel-->

Maybe a hint that the game (which is called true 3d in the web pages) will contain time travel?


<!--Thoughts in charge is flex complex detects subconscious retreads I beat heads Magnum forces style buddha intruder with jewels on the way to bermuda--> <!--ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, ALL WRONGS REVERSED-->

None of this makes too much sense. The only thing that I can pick out which might have meaning is the word "buddha". Colin Kawakami of Double Aught goes by the IRC nick "lilbuddha". It's anyone's guess what the other stuff means.

Finn Smith maintains the highly topically and regularly updated 3D Mac Games page. Worth bookmarking.

Sept 26, 1997
Colin Kawakami <ck@doubleaught.com>, webmaster and artist at Double Aught Software, writes concerning the hidden HTML text on their Marathon Infinity page

The infinity "wearefamily" thing simply refers to how I feel about the followers and creaters of quality games. People dedicated to extending the reach of computer entertainment.

Colin went onto to reveal that the line:

<!--If two and half dimensional games have both space and time, then a true 3d game has space, time, and time-travel-->

was a quote from his girlfriend when asked was she clear about the difference between a 2.5d engine and a true 3d engine. =)

Furthermore the "buddha" quote is from a piece of rap music. Colin writes:

You can put a race on for the first person to figure out which rap artist I was listening to... The patron rapper of computer junkies is :?????? It will be a tough one to track down.

Send your answers into Colin at <ck@doubleaught.com> and you could be in with a chance to win something... unique. But remember folks Colin's questions are not easy. He gave one back on May 3, 1997 concerning his old Marathon Infinity page and nobody got it.

Speaking of questions the special anniversary HoT Question posted back on the 19th is still unanswered and it's now over seven days old. What's the world coming to?

Forrest Cameranesi <Pfhorrest@aol.com> writes concerning the Double Aught web site:

index2.html now has:

<!--You want secrets? here's one: chimps loves aliens. Don't let no one tell you different.-->

screenshots.html now has

<!--It is proper to doubt. Do not be led by holy scriptures, or by mere logic or inference, or by appearances, or by the authority of religious teachers. But when you realize that something is unwholesome and bad for you, give it up. And when you realize that something is wholesome and good for you, do it. (buddha means the awakened one>--> <!--ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, ALL WRONGS REVERSED-->

It would appear that that DA Webmaster catches on quick.

Yes I fear the DA Webmaster is toying with us... like a Puppetmaster. The following was overheard on IRC yesterday:

illbuddha: what am I working on...
illbuddha: well, i am destroying the evidence of secret messages and planting new ones
illbuddha: back to it
*** Signoff: illbuddha (buddha means awakaned one)

Sept 29, 1997
Wilson Miner <wminer@feist.com> writes:

It is interesting to note that the quote "ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, ALL WRONGS REVERSED" found on the Double Aught page is also found on the front of every Pavement CD ever made.

Thanks to all the people who have responded to the special anniversary HoT Question. Since I've been giving out clues willy-nilly I might as well post them here. In the question:

There were two of them.
Separate in space and time by 52 and 21.
Linked by function.
Designed with three.

What were they?

The numbers 52 and 21 are important. Space = 52 and 21 = time and not the other way around as alot of people have assumed. Hope this helps. ;-)

Sept 30, 1997
The current issue of Inside Mac Games (Vol 5 Issue 6) has an interesting interview with Steve Israelson, author of Pfhorte, the freeware map editor for Marathon and Marathon 2. Worth a read. Steve was one of the unsung heroes of the Marathon world. Ah nostalgia. :-)

Steve's Pfhorte page can be found at his home page here

And here's another blast from the past - Alain Roy, a programmer who worked for Bungie on the original Marathon, has created a map editor for Damage-Incorporated, called Orion. Orion is in fact based on Pfhorte. Alain's Orion page can be found here. Alain was also the creator of Pathways Into Cheating, a cheater for Pathways Into Darkness. Details can be found here. Ah nostalgia. :-)

Oct 1, 1997
Chris Norehad <cnorehad@gonzaga.edu> writes:

Ahh yes. The enigmatic number seven. On the back of the Marathon Trilogy CD is the phrase "Three years. Three games, one phenomenon...", ahh yes, the power of seven exists everywhere.

Yup... They're Everywhere! ;-)

Interesting to note that the slogan:

Kill your enemies, Kill you friends' enemies, Kill your friends.
which features on Bungie's new gaming service site bungie.net was first used with their game Minotaur. The slogan appeared on the back of Minotaur T-shirts. Collectors item now. A great slogan... so why let it go to waste.

Oct 2, 1997
Chad Poland <cgp@doubleaught.com>, PR Director for Double Aught Software, passes on an interesting Quicktime movie to the Story page. It is a film from the Sept 24, 1997 public meeting of BANG (Bay Area NeXT Group) where members of the Rhapsody team gave a brief technical overview of Rhapsody DR1. At the end of the film Blue Box is demonstrated running a MacOS app. No guesses as to what that app was. Yes Marathon, the original of the species. Good to see the 1994 version of Marathon being used by the Rhapsody team to demonstrate Blue Box. Ok it wasn't a Rhapsody native version... but still. You can get the film here (3942k). Before downloading please note that the Marathon section of the film is only a few seconds long and shows the game loading and the player taking out a Pfhor fighter on "Arrival". But was the player a Spazeroid? You be the judge. As Chad remarked:

I'd rather they were bad at Marathon and good at making system software.

Amen to that. :-)

Marathon rules. All players rule. On to the future.

Oct 3, 1997
Way back in the myths of time, Nov 20, 1995 to be precise Noah Daniels <ndaniel1@swarthmore.edu> pointed out that the names Durandal (sword) and Mjolnir (hammer) featured in Bungie's game "Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete." Since then lots of other people have noted this. Simon Brownlee <squeaky@pobox.com> notes however that it explicitly states in Minotaur that "Durandal was Roland's sword" and that "Mjolnir was Thor's hammer" - two mythological references that would later appear in Marathon. Yet at the time of Marathon's release the reuse of these references in Marathon were not widely recognised. Just an interesting fact. (circumstances are cyclical)

Interesting to note that Minotaur also features that famous expression "nuke and pave" (although in the form "nuked and paved").

Oh and while we are on the subject here are the Minotaur credits.

Oct 4, 1997
Back in Feb 23, 1996 Craig Durkin <durkin@mindspring.com> spotted part of Jason Jones's email address in a terminal on "The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune". The headers on the first terminal read:

jon3//12-a Phce<194-973-2356>

jon3 was in fact part of Jason's email address at the University of Chicago.


So it would come as no surprise to find other email addresses hidden away in terminals. Starring us in the face on the first terminal of "Come and Take your Medicine" are the following headers:


In addition the following line can be found in this terminal's 2nd (success) message:


Two things stand out. First is the name bernal which obviously refers to Mark Bernal (Bungie artist). A little more obsecure are the letters gjk.

But let's leave that little tidbit for the moment and focus our attention on another terminal - "The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune (Terminal 2)" to be precise. Here the header reads:

djm2//12-c Phce<192-971-2351>

Now the letters djm2 are curious. Another name perhaps? But who? So the Story page dug deep into its Archives for this one and came up with this interesting post on comp.sys.mac.games from July 1994... no kidding... the Archives never lie.

Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
From: djm2@kimbark.uchicago.edu (Dan Meltz)
Subject: Re: PID, last level
Message-ID: <1994Jul26.045424.12662@midway.uchicago.edu>
Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System)
Reply-To: djm2@midway.uchicago.edu
Organization: error correction mania
References: <CtII29.14x@eecs.nwu.edu> <1994Jul26.035608.10061@midway.uchicago.edu>
Date: Tue, 26 Jul 1994 04:54:24 GMT
Lines: 56

In article <CtII29.14x@eecs.nwu.edu> briant@eecs.nwu.edu (Brian Tom) writes:
<After months of playing, I finally got to the last level, Who Else Wants Some?.
<In the PID faq, it says that you can rest before each level of monsters, but
<I'm finding that I cannot...  Anyone else have this experience?  Whenever
<I try and rest, a monster appears, which, I suspect, comes from that floating
<guy in the middle.

If it DOES say that you can rest BETWEEN waves, then whoever compiled the FAQ
was on crack.  MOST of the stuff is dead on correct, but then you get this
kind of thing, and that stuff about the gasmask,  which are patently FALSE.

you CANNOT rest between waves on OK, WHO ELSE WANTS SOME. THAT's what makes
it such a killer.  otherwise you'd need only two potions, MAXIMUM, for the
first EIGHT levels.

<The fact that you cannot rest makes the last level a bit more difficult.  By
<the way, I have 9 blue potions, 4 red potions, and 3 violet potions.  Looks
<like I'll need all 9!

you're pretty much set.  remember, if there is only one wave of each monster,
then you'll only go through 12 waves. and you have 16 potions.  if you make it
through the first 4 waves without using a potion, which is completely possible,
then for the remaining 8 waves you can use up 2 potions per wave.  that's not
too bad, is it?

<Any comments/suggestions welcome.  I've only been able to make it to the
<banshee level, and I get creamed pretty quickly.  The faq recommends the
<violet crystal here.  Any other suggestions?  A violet potion, perhaps?
<I know, this is only the beginning...

See, this is where the FAQ is dead on RIGHT.  there is really no better choice
than the Viole(n)t crystal.  my hint is that you should turn to one side, so
that you make SURE that side is clear when you drop the crystal damage on them.
then you can turn back towards the other side, while backing up into the corner
that you just cleared.  REMEMBER, this is one of the TWO waves where the
creatures do NOT shoot projectiles at you.  use that.

Greg (gjk1), is there anything i missed?

enjoy the game, brian.


----------=========== djm2@midway.uchicago.edu ===========----------
"You'll find metaphysics a little dreary when you're talking to someone who can
answer all the questions...  and i'm supposed to keep the final answer to 
myself."  -Lucifer

So djm2 is part of Dan Meltz's email address. Dan worked with Bungie on Minotaur, Pathways Into Darkness, and on early Marathon development.

gjk is none other than:

gregory john kirkpatrick (gjk1@kimbark.uchicago.edu)

What else is hidden in those Marathon terminals? :-)

And now for something completely different. Chad Poland <cgp@doubleaught.com>, PR Director for Double Aught Software, passes on another piece of interesting information. Chad writes:

I was just looking at the disk that came with issue #31 (July 97) of Next Generation. In it is a database of all the games they've ever reviewed. Just checking it out, I typed in 'Marathon' to see what would come up. To my surprise, the only reference in there was for an old review of Marathon 1.

What seemed really unusual was that it listed the developer as 'Take 2' and the publisher as 'Bungie'. Either it's a mistake or a conspiracy. ;)

You can see a screenshot of part of the Next Generation review here (87k).

What ever happened to Take 2? Are the rumors true?

But note also the issue number that the Marathon review appeared in! A conspiracy?

Oct 5, 1997
The Story page wishes to mark the passing of an era. The Marathon web pages at AMUG (Arizona Macintosh Users Group) are now DEAD.

Although Marathon Central officially moved from http://www.amug.org/~marathon/ to http://www.marathon.org/ in Sept 1996 the individual Marathon web pages at AMUG were still accessible. For example it was possible to read the Story page at


though it was in stasis as there was no means to update it or remove it - much to my eternal embarrassment. Occasionally I would get a mail asking why I hadn't updated the Story page... <sheesh>. Thankfully the AMUG version of the Story page has been put to rest along with all the other Marathon pages there.

Some pages however never made the transfer to the new Marathon Central. Like the "Pfhor Information Database" which attempted to describe all the aliens. While it never really got off the ground it did list and describe all the Pfhor and their client races from the first game and was useful for helping people new to Marathon.

There was also the "#marathon Collaborative MapMaking Project" page, a sort of forerunner to the MMMG. "The Invisible Stop Sign!" page with its "Necronomithon: Dead by Dawn" project, what ever happened to that? "The Lantern" page with "Lantern's Loot" and the "SPNKR Splatter Shot Hall of Pfhame". The "Marathon Inpfhormation Maker" page and the "WAD Converter" page to name some others. All gone now.

The Marathon ftp site at AMUG is still up though, cobwebs and all. ;-)

Oct 10, 1997
Chad Poland <cgp@doubleaught.com>, PR Director for Double Aught Software, points out that there are seven rings on the Marathon Keychain including the ring for the keys. Yes SEVEN!

Surpised? You shouldn't be? When the keychain was forged it was given seven secrets. One has now been revealed. Here are clues to two more.

1. What weight to the nearest ounce is the keychain? No you don't have to go and weigh one (even if you could find one). Bungie clearly displayed the weight for all to see. Hmmm... where would Bungie have revealed it?

2. What item # did the Keychain have when it was on sale. Yes! it was for sale a long... long... time ago. Hmmm... where does one look for item #s? Once you know the item number it shouldn't be too hard to determine its significance in the scheme of things.

If you know the answers then send them in.

Oct 11, 1997
Congratulations to Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> for spotting the following. Matthew writes:

In Bungie's "More Things From Bungie To Waste your Money On Summer 1995" Catalog, it says this about the Marathon Keychain:

Marathon Key Chain (Item # 887, $5.50)

This "hefty" metal key chain is high-polished sterling silver electro-plated and weighs 3 ozs. Order the key chain for free if you spend over $75! (while supplies last, of course)

So - 3ozs, and Item # 887. Also, $75.

hehehe... 3 ozs and Item #887... and now $75... could there be more?

The numbers 7 and 3 again. And the significance of the #887? Why 88 is the number of solo levels in the Marathon Trilogy and as we all know it reduces to 7. (8 + 8 = 16. 1 + 6 = 7). The perfect number. ;-)

What other secrets does the Keychain hold?

Oct 12, 1997
Aaron Snyder <wittnietz@datatek.com> writes:

Why was the keychain's order number #887? Recall "Bigger Guns Nearby," where at one point there is a BioBus chip to be gotten by "frog blasting" (i.e., grenade-jumping) from either "BioVent Core #88A" or "BioVent Core #88B." Frog blast the vent core--remember?

Heh. It's all connected. :)

Remember?... but of course! ;-)

Oct 14, 1997
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes:

if you're going to start delving in old bungie catalogs, a few things to note:

going back to the spring '95 catalog, both pathways and marathon cost one cent short of $70.00

there are (get this) _no_ item numbers to be found (this means that the 20/10 pack _never_ had an item number and never will, because it was last printed in the spring catalog; the summer one shipped with m2)... so how did they start out in the eight hundreds?

ah, but here's the kicker: they didn't... they started in the six hundreds, assigning all things minotaur a 6xx item number, all things PiD a 7xx number, and all things marathon (1?) an 8xx number... does this imply that PiD is the real place to look for secrets, as it bears the holy number? even more, what forgotten bungie products get 1xx through 5xx? gnop?

curiouser and curiouser...

But that's not all. Gabe goes on to point out that in the Summer '95 catalog, the same one that advertised the fabled Marathon Keychain, both Marathon and Pathways Into Darkness cost... $37.00.

Seven and three again! But the really odd thing about this was that you could actually order a copy of Marathon from Bungie in Dec '94 for $37.00. So why the price hike in Spring '95?

But wait there's more... Pathways Into Darkness bears the "Holy Number"... but was there an item #777 ?

Oct 15, 1997
Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> points out a little known fact about the differences between UESC and UESG. Why did they change? Has it got anything to do with the number seven? Matthew writes:

C and G are the only differences. C's numeric equivalent (A=1, B=2, C=3 etc...) is 3 and G's is 7. Again, 7 and 3.

Crazy stuff. ;-)

Oct 16, 1997
Cairan Wheeler <wheelegs@muohio.edu> writes:

I think I know what happened between #0xx and #5xx. In the catalog shipped with the M2 CD, the T-shirt with the bungie logo on front and phrase "Don't Make us Kick Your Ass" on back is #025. (5+2=7...) :-]

Mike Watson <Patientnul@aol.com> writes concerning the Autopsy Ad from Bungie's Marathon Ads section:

On the insrument tray, there are seven instruments...three of which are hemostats (clamps).

Hmmm... I think it's starting again. ;-)

Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> continues on the UESC/UESG theme by pointing out that the numeric equivelants (A=1, B=2, C=3 etc...) of the letters UESC add up to 48 (4 + 8 = 12 = 1 + 2 = 3) and that UESG add up to 52 (5 + 2 = 7). Seven and three again!. But that's not all. Matthew continues:

If you find the numeric equivalants of the letters MARATHON (A=1, B=2, C=3 etc...) we get 13, 1, 18, 1, 20, 8, 15, and 14, which added up is 90. Now, if we also do the same thing with UESC (as in UESC Marathon) UESC adds up to 48. 9 + 0 + 4 + 8 = 21 (2 + 1 = 3) and (21 = 7 x 3).

As Matthew remarks:

Weird, huh?

Weird indeed.

Oct 17, 1997
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the changes in Win95 version of Marathon 2:

For Carnage, Apply Within - there were an additional seven polygons added that made some kind of change to the level, but I never found out where or what.

Oh!... another mystery. Sounds like a job for... Squeaky!

Paul Gettle <pgettle@scescape.net> writes:

I took another look at the Autopsy ad, and something jumped right out at me. (I'm suprised I didn't notice it when I originaly transcribed it for your page years ago.) The deceased, David Loew, was 6'1" tall. The seven is easy enough to spot, there: 6 + 1 = 7. However, if you convert Mr. Loew's height to straight inches, you find out that he was 73 inches tall. Seven and Three, hidden in plain sight.

Annette Untalasco <talasco@alaska.net> writes:

On my browser at 11:03 PM Alaska time I typed in this location:

http://www.marathon.org/story/ poenasdare.html

What came up on my screen was unexpected. I thought that I would just get this little thing saying that blaa blaa blaa could not be found, but I come up with a little screen saying I don't have Netscape 2.0, although I have 3.0.

Am I on to something?

hehehe... looking for secrets were we? ;-)

Oct 18, 1997
There are lies, damn lies, and Durandal. Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune - Durandal tells us a lie on this level when he said "The S'pht are working hard on the fusion pistol." There already is a fusion pistol on this level, you just have to know where to look. :-)

True... but were you going to argue with him? ;-)

Oct 20, 1997
Mike Watson <Patientnul@aol.com> points out that in the Marathon term resource there is the line: ";reformatting.CHARON DOESN'T MAKE CHANGE. EXIT".

Those familar with the Virtual Archaeology page will already know this. This is what the page had to say about this line on the exit terminal of "Try again":

Interesting the level name CHARON DOESN'T MAKE CHANGE was originally used in Pathways into Darkness. Maybe it was going to be used in Marathon as well. Made it into Marathon 2 though.

More Durandal lies? Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

Yet another mystery, this one about Bagged Again: What are the S'pht'Kr doing there? Durandal later tells us, on You Think You're Big Time, that the S'pht'Kr are arriving. Yet on Bagged Again they were already there.

Yes indeed. One of confusing aspects of Marathon Infinity is the shifting timelines. Yet here are two consecutive levels seemingly linked in time. On "Bagged Again" we are captured by Tycho and sent to next level "You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!" to die at Tfear's pleasure. Yet as Aaron points out the S'pht'Kr are present on "Bagged Again" but on the next level the Durandal/S'pht entity tells us that they haven't arrived yet. Indeed by all accounts K'lia hadn't yet entered the Lh'owon system. Strange stuff.

Oct 22, 1997
Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> maintainer of 3D Mac Games writes concerning Double Aught's new look web page:

The only "secret" that I found on the site is this in Colin Kawakami's page in the "Us" section:

<!--Habits=bad ones haha-->

Finn goes on to say:

...the Double Aught logo (or what I assume to be their logo) bears a strong resemblence to something we're all familiar with. It's on the front page and in the upper left of the "Us" and "Them" sections. Just turn it clockwise a little, add a vertical line, and you've got the Marathon logo.
Oct 23, 1997
Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> writes:

OpenDoc - Sytem Extension (1.0.2)

The OpenDoc program itself, which resides in the OpenDoc Settings folder in the extensions folder, has an easter egg in the STR# resource. Go to ID 482 and scroll down to string 2. You will see the the text "They're EVERYWHERE!" (Works for versions 1.0 & 1.0.2; gone in version 1.2.1–System 8)

This is from the Apple Easter Eggs program version 1.5

Oct 24, 1997
The Story page back in Oct 5, 1997 marked the passing of AMUG's old Marathon Central web pages. Well AMUG's Marathon ftp site has now gone too. It used to be at


It was a vast archive of old nostalgia stuff. All gone now... all gone...

Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> writes:

Take a look at the demo movies that run when Marathon is left sitting on the main screen. When the player is running around in the pit on Arrival with the fighters running around, His gun moves almost all the way down to the ground! Is there a "duck" key? It sure looks like it...

It happens just after he jumps in. He get's hit a couple of times, and then he ducks to avoid shots fired at his head. This is version 1.2.

Hmmm... a DUCK key in Marathon? Could it be the fabled command-QUACK cheat code? ;-)

BTW the player in this film is Jason Jones (Lead Programmer at Bungie Software).

Oct 27, 1997
The DUCK key controversy rages. A simple flaw in the Marathon engine or an undocumented cheat code known only to a very few? Watch the film in slow motion and make you own mind up.

Here is an interesting alt.games.marathon post about the Windows 95 version of Marathon 2 from Simon Brownlee <simon.brownlee@pobox.com>. Should prove useful for those trying to install Win95 M2.

In article <petrichEIMyJt.Kso@netcom.com>, petrich@netcom.com (Loren Petrich) wrote:

> ObMarathon: How well does the Win95 version of M2 install? And
>uninstall, for that matter? :-) Any difficult-to-troubleshoot conflicts
>or whatever?


The Win95 Marathon CD auto-starts when inserted displaying a cool chapter screen graphic and the options to View release notes, View Bungie website, Install Marathon 2, or Play Marathon 2.

'View Bungies Website' is hardlinked to Internet Explorer which must be installed in a certain directory. If you're using Netscape or have moved IE elsewhere, you'll just get an error. Even if you do have IE in the correct place, you'll still have problems because the URL that is linked to no longer exists. Bungie's Webmaster has clearly been playing games with us.

'Play Marathon 2' does not allow you to play the game direct from the CD, but instead will attempt to launch Marathon from a specific directory on your HD. If you haven't installed yet, or have installed in a non standard place (i.e. not C:\Program Files), you'll just get an error message. The annoying thing about this is that, despite no mention in the manual, the game can actually be played direct from the CD. You will however have to enter your serial number everytime you play as Marathon attempts to write the preferences into the 'current' folder rather than some system area. A related problem is that, once Marathon is installed, if you click on a map file located elsewhere on your HD, Marathon will launch and try to open a preference file in that maps directory, meaning you'll have to enter your serial number again (don't worry, you learn to memorize the number after 30 or 40 times)

OK, so lets try the 'Install Marathon' option. This launches an Install Shield Wizard, and the installation process is quite straight forward. However, the installer insists on installing DirectX 2 drivers for you thus replacing any Direct X 3,4,5 drivers you have. My system doesn't even work with DirectX 2 meaning that I had to go track down my disks and reinstall DirectX all over again (How many Mac owners would put up with Marathon deleting your system folder and replacing it with a generic System 6?). This problem also existed in the demo, and if I wasn't a Marathon fanatic already, I may simply have given up at this point - this is surely a factor in the low Win95 sales.

The manuals don't give you any alternative other than to use the installer, but you can in fact just choose to explore the disc and copy all the necessary files onto your HD - I would recommend this alternative to anyone.

There is an Uninstall application provided, but based on the other problems, I've been too frightened to even launch the thing.


Jimmy Mitchell <jmitch@erskine.edu> writes:

Just thought I'd point out that you can download the M2 demo for PC in no less than seven segments at Bungie's site.

Oct 30, 1997
John Gendreau <gendreau@bu.edu> writes:

I just reread Samuel Taylor Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and I noticed the line "And a thousand thousand slimy things" in Part IV of that poem. The entire stanza reads, "The many men, so beautiful! / And they all dead did lie: / And a thousand thousand slimy things / Lived on; and so did I." Given that Durandal caused the death of the Tau Ceti colony, I was struck by the parallels between Durandal and eponymous mariner. The sailor caused the death of the rest of his crew by shooting an albatross, and he was forced to live on the ship alive, surrounded by his dead comrades. He continued in this way until he accepted these "slimy things" surrounding the boat as part of nature.

Interesting point. Could there be a parallel between the Ancient Mariner and Durandal, or indeed the player for that matter? Chris Geisel (Double Aught Sofware) made some comments about this level in the What's in a Name section some time ago.

Interesting to note that the original and full title of Coleridge's classic narrative poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was "The Rime Of The Ancyent Marinere, In Seven Parts". It was first published in 1798. Oh... and Coleridge was born in 1772.

Yeah... yeah... I know. ;-) Nov 6, 1997
Interesting post on alt.games.marathon from Greg Krikpatrick of Double Aught Software concerning Marathon and science fiction films:

From: grendel@doubleaught.com (Greg)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: Starship Troopers
Date: Wed, 05 Nov 1997 20:21:33 -0500
Organization: Double Aught
Lines: 59
Message-ID: <grendel-0511972021330001@>
References: <eilersm-0411971619460001@phx-1-11.psn.net> 
NNTP-Posting-Host: gregk.dialup.access.net

In article <19971105224900.RAA24690@ladder01.news.aol.com>,
svywranth@aol.com (Svywranth) wrote:

> Michael wrote:
> >>Tring to get this back on subject, why is it that every time a sci-fi
> movie comes out, you marathon-heads try to shoehorn a comparison to
> Marathon into it? I can't wait until Ailens: Ressurection is released... I
> can see the comparisons coming a hundred light years away...<<
> Well, if AMO went through the whole 7 yards it would be tenfold the coming
>  confusion.
> Svy!
> The Executive Executioner
> "Well, if this is my delusion, who the hell invited you?" -Total Recall
> Svywranth@aol.com
> o8 |

the reason for this is pretty simple.  There hasn't been anything original
done in a sci-fi movie in a long long time. (if i'm wrong, let me know,
i'd love to see something good).  Now that we have kevin Kostner making
armaggeddon 2320 AD, and aliens 4 with winnona, and startship troopers
we're seeing, doom, duke nukem and marathon all made into movies.  WHAT

Marathon story was a hodepodge of a life spent reading sci-fi and putting
it all together as tightly as possible stealing stuff with abandon.  I
think i can see a "marathon" reference in any sci-fi movie made in the
last 10 years. (including warriors of the 23rd century - which changed my

Kevin Kostner as the Post-apocalypse postman. Post industrial post war
post acting post directing postman.

Winnona rider as a whiney 35th century imbecile who can't tell when to get
on the nearest starship, find yourself a empty planet and lament on the
destruction of the universe.  (25.5321 billion years as of my latest

Lots of Bugs killing lots of Humans. Lots of stuff blowing up!

Academy award anywhere.  Let's give the bugs one for best acting and get
it over with.  Ug. blam. splat.. wow, did you see the expression on that

Otherwise, i'm at a loss..  of course, we have all those references in marathon:

Tycho delivered mail.
Durandal was trying to get away from all the chaos.
And the Pfhor.

Who could miss something so simple.


PS would someone please tell me about a good sci-fi movie.. one that
wasn't just effects and more effects..

So Greg finally reveals the tru7h about Marathon - Tycho was a mailman and Durandal was simply trying to tune in, turn on, drop out...

On the subject of "Starship Troopers" Peter Gustavsson <pg@dalnet.se> writes:

In Robert Heinlein classic SF-story Starship Troopers, first published 1959, there is a starship named Marathon. At the end of the story there is a list of different Federation-starships:

"There was the Mannerheim! Any chance of seeing Carmen? Proably not, but I could dispatch and find out. Big ships - the new Valley Forge and the new Ypres, Marathon, El Alamein, Iwo, Gallipoli, Leyte, Marne, Tours, Gettysburg, Hastings, Alamo, Waterloo - all places were mud feet had made their names to shine."

Mr Heinlein was also born on the seventh day in the seventh month in the year 1907 as the third of seven children!!! All these sevens ;-)

Yes! They're Everywhere! ;-)

Nov 10, 1997
Morgan Catha <rblake@slc.shorelin.wednet.edu> writes concerning the above screenshot from Marathon 2 and the possibility that it was from an early version of "Nuke and Pave":

In thinking about your little mystery screenshot for the new "What's New" page, I realized that there is actually a lot to indicate that "Nuke and Pave" was previously floodable with lava. There are those big open pits, ringed by overhead walkways. There are vertical shafts, in an area where, if it were to be flooded, you would be able to swim up into a secret area - this is even nearby a x3 recharger and an invincibility. Didn't it seem odd that there was no apparent mission in this level? It seems to me, there originally was one, but it was stripped away later - perhaps those buffers at the start were terminals? There would be good reason to remove the flooding - probably they thought it too similar to "What About Bob?". Who made this level? Maybe with them lies the tru7h . . .

Interesting observations particularly the fact that there are two pattern buffers opposite each other at the very beginning of this level. Why two? It would have made more sense if one had been a terminal providing instructions. And why the breakable panels beside each pattern buffer? They serve no purpose other than to deactivate the buffer. Of course after you deactivate one buffer you'll think twice about punching the breakable panels on the other. What purpose do the panels serve? Where they added to justify the fact that there were now two pattern buffers at the beginning rather than one. Afterall you don't need two pattern buffers... unless of course you happen to break one. ;-)

Nov 11, 1997
John Gendreau <gendreau@bu.edu> sends in an interesting observation:

"Six Thousand Feet Under" is, of course, as said on your page, a reference to depth you're at in the level as well as a pun on "Six Feet Under." But wait just a minute here. The final screen of Infinity reads, "But you were dead a thousand times." Just a thought: if you die, they dig a hole six feet deep for you. Now, let's say you die twice; would they dig a hole...twelve feet deep? Perhaps just add depth to the original hole? And...if you died a _thousand_ times? Would they not dig a hole...six thousand feet deep?

Could there be a link?

John Gendreau also writes concerning Don Dixon's original artwork for the Marathon Poster:

I had a bit of trouble finding Mr. Dixon's painting "Flare Star" as described on your "Blast From the Past" page, so in order to save other people the rather tedious journey, I thought it might be best to give you the specific address for the page it's on:


Nov 13, 1997
A source who wishes to remain anonymous sent in the following cryptic message:

Your many patrons may be interested in this little known tidbit. Have you noticed that everytime you find yourself captured you lose your weapons, your ammunition, your items, your powerups. your weapon powerups, and your ?????

Now you know just how BAD the Pfhor are!

ouch!... I guess it's a case of Ingue Ferroque! ;-)

Shouldn't be too difficult to work that one out... but who is the masked man?

Ajay Ayyagari <nirvana@halcyon.com> passes on this little tidbit about Greg Kirkpatrick and his unfortunate accident mentioned in Pathways Into Darkness.

The landord did it!

Ajay explains that he wrote to Greg about it and that's the answer he got. Apparently Greg has never been the same since.


hmmm... what has all this got to do with Marathon... well Ajay points out:

the dishwasher was dropped from THREE stories!

Ah!... but nobody could survive being hit on the head by a dishwasher from three stores up... unless of course they are a...

...only you would survive the fall...

If you are completely lost you should check out the The Pathways Into Darkness Story Page.

Nov 14, 1997
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> points out that we don't always lose our ????? when we get captured - only when we lose our guns. A Freudian slip perhaps? ;-)

Interesting to note that in his book "Traumdeutung" (The Interpretation of Dreams) Sigmund Freud unveiled the dream as a disguised fulfillment of repressed wishes.

Aaron Freed also writes about John Gendreau's interesting observation (see below) between the Marathon 2 level name "Six Thousand Feet Under" and the Infinity final screen which relates how we "were dead a thousands times". John suggested that if we had died a thousand times would we not be buried six thousand feet under? Was there a connection? Aaron points out that way back in Jan 31, 1997 the "Dream Thingies" page suggested a connection between this Marathon 2 level and Infinity. As Aaron remarks:

We saw those Dream Thingies on Six Thousand Feet Under and on the Electric Sheep levels.

Yes and on a number of other Infinity levels too.

Nov 16, 1997
A number of people have written in asking if I had made up all those seven references in yesterday's "Dr. Strangelove" addition to the The 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg section.

Would I do such a thing? Tut tut... have some faith please. Those are all verbatim pieces from the film's script. Dr. Strangelove was Kubrick's seventh feature film, there were 34 B-52's carrying a payload of some fourteen hundred megatons and the three letter code did have seventeen thousand possible permutations.

Hey so seven is a popular number! ;-)

On the same subject Mike Watson <PatientDax@aol.com@aol.com> writes:

Looking past all the obvious three and seven references, I see 2.5 days...2+5=7, again...

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the level "One thousand thousand slimy things" and the fact that its title comes from Samuel Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" pointing out that if you remove the letter 'r' at the end you get

The Rime of the Ancient Marine

Well we were "ancient" that's for sure!

Nov 17, 1997
Jadin Hanson <kermit@kdlh.com> kindly passes on this interesting tidbit from Aaron Anderson who has no email account. Aaron points out that in The Old Testament's "The Book of Numbers" Chapter 12 - Miriam and Aaron blasphemed against Moses. For their sins the Lord struck Miriam down with leprosy and caused her to be quarantined for seven days after which time the leprosy vanished. Aaron (Anderson) wonders if this could be the source of the level name "Blaspheme Quarantine"?

Chris Camacho <christo@flash.net> asks does the biztravel.com logo remind you of anything? Hmmm... oddly , it is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...

Nov 18, 1997
Matthew Dujnic <dujnic@nic.com> writes

In relation to all of the "armageddon" references you recently added to the The 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg page, you pointed out three PiD messages relating the fact that Steven changed the code.

And of course, remove the "t" from the responsible party (Steven), and you get:



Seven men in overcoats jump from the shadows and carry you away. You are never heard from again.

Nov 19, 1997
Mark Bassett <markb@iisc.co.uk> writes concerning the fate of Tycho and doubt. Many thanks to all those who have been sending in Myth related tidbits. Even Jonas Eneroth (Bungie Software) has sent in the odd in cryptic Myth clue. As expected there seems to be alot of references to the number seven and a few Marathon related names in Myth. I couldn't resist adding this tidbit from David Doran-Marshall <wsearight@austinc.edu> who points out that like the Marathon boxes there is an acronym on the bottom of the Myth box. It reads WACCSMD. Make of that what you will.

Nov 20, 1997
Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> writes concerning the acronym WACCSMD on the bottom of the Myth box:

SMD ususally means "Suck My..." when used in acronyms (I used to know someone with the AOL screenname "Win95 SMD"), and WACC could be "Warcraft and Command & Conquer". So "WACC, SMD".

HEY! This is a FAMILY PAGE! Bungie wouldn't write that kinda thing on their boxes... would they?


Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> passes on this interesting finding.

I recently played three net games one day - all two player games, using NetLink Remote. The first was a custom M2 map. Although a number of kills were obtained, NOBODY GOT ANY TAG TIME! (yes, it was set for tag) the second one, was Infinity's "Fortress Lh'owon". My friend set it for KTMWTB, but there is no ball - why did Infinity let him set it that way? Finally (and here's the main point) we played a game of KTMWTB, King of Pain, No Aliens. The ball, however, was not called Skull, it was called "Ryan's Light Blue Ball"! It happened on both ends, and replays display it the same way. The only thing I could find that could possibly explain it was that there was a programmer named Ryan Martell who worked on Infinity. Did he leave an egg?

Matthew sent in a screenshot of "Ryan's Light Blue Ball". Is this an Easter Egg? If you have seen this before and know how it can be displayed please let me know.

FSTBALL10@aol.com writes:

i need to know the four relics found in the hilt of Roland's sword--Durendal. it is for bonus points on a test i have friday, so i need the info asap. thanks!

No problem... the four Holy relics are... err... HOLD ON A MINUTE... sheesh

Nov 21, 1997
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> and Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> both point out that the line "Ryan's Light Blue Ball" can be found in Infinity's STR# resource ID=150. There are in fact seven colored Balls listed in addition to the skull. As yet it's not clear how the line is actually implimented during game play.

Nov 22, 1997
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes concerning Matthew Payne's observation of "Ryan's Light Blue Ball" while playing KTMWTB on King of Pain:

KoP is not marked as a KtMwtB level, so i had to use the command-option trick...

the ball does, in fact, show up as "Ryan's Light Blue Ball"

a few other notes: the ball does _not_ cause you to gain time (i think the original poster mentioned that)... furthermore, you _can_ run while you're holding it... (that is, you still can't wield a weapon, but it doesn't have the usual other restriction)...

This recent upsurge in Marathon-like symbols begs the question "What does the Marathon symbol actually symbolize?" Was it designed to represent something or was it simply a nice piece of artwork adopted for the Marathon game? As the symbol appears on terminals, on some of the ship's doors, and on barrels we can infer that it is an Earth based symbol from around the 25th century (the colony ship was built between 2408 - 2472 AD). Is it the Unified Earth Space Council's symbol or a symbol specific to the Marathon itself? The colony ship was mankind's first venture outside the Sol system. Was the Marathon symbol a representation of the union between Earth and the future Tau Ceti colony?

Nov 25, 1997
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes concerning "Ryan's Light Blue Ball" which appears on King of Pain when playing KTMWTB:

There _is_ a ball placed in King of Pain. It's _not_ a skull (it shows up as a blank of Forge's list). I'm going to split the map, change the filetype to m2, and see what Pfhorte has to say about it.

Hokay, here we go... The ball in working KtMwtB maps is the "Red Ball" (as marked in Pfhorte 2.0a14 - you can't select anything besides "Skull" in Forge). The ball chosen in King of Pain is the "Light Blue Ball."

Gabe writes further on the subject:

I went digging in Marathion Infinity's STR# resource to see what was listed as the names of all these various balls, and turned up both what I was looking for and one additional tidbit:

- It would appear that the Light Blue ball is the only one with any special name ("Ryan's Light Blue Ball") - the red ball is, as any pfhorte map-maker knows, the "SKULL," and the rest of the balls are named by their colors (violet, yellow, brown, orange, blue, and green). As I may have mentioned before, i'm sure these ball records exist only because of the never-completed Capture the Flag netgame. (They would have had to add a few records to have all the teams listed in the player setup dialog covered. Either that, or restricted the "Team:" pop-up the way they do the level choice pop-up.) This is all in STR# ID=150. All of the balls are labeled the same way in the M2 resources (and are non-existant in the M1 resources).

As to _why_ the light blue ball is special... well, I don't know. Perhaps light blue is Ryan Martell's favorite color?

- In STR# ID=137 (this is the weapon names for display in the HUD), string 9 is "(somehow related to time of applicability)" (this comes between "WSTE-M COMBAT SHOTGUN," string 8, and "KKV-7 10MM FLECHETTE SMG," string 9...) It would appear that Bungie added the strings as they needed them, not in the order they go in your weapons cycle (everything else is in order, but the shotgun and SMG are tacked on the end). This time of applicability thing is _not_ present in the M2 resources.

Chadd Nervig <drmemory@gte.net> also writes concerning "Ryan's Light Blue Ball":

I used Forge and found Ryan's Light Blue Ball in King of Pain, Dead Fields, and Route 66, except it showed up as an object with a blank name, it had a skull Icon in Forge. 'The Ball' was also in Route 66 (604 or Better), Delusions of Grandeur, and reverof nohtaram. What is unusual about these, is that they aren't Kill the Man with the Ball levels.

I went into a network game of the three Ryan's ball levels. I found the Ryan's ball in King of Pain and Route 66. I waited around for about 10 min in Dead fields, but no ball appeared.

Concerning the Infinity net map "Fortress Lh'owon" and Matthew Payne's observation that it was possible to play KTMWTB on it yet no ball appears Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes:

Fortress of Lh'owon does not even _contain_ a ball object, so it's absolutely beyond me why it's marked as a KtMwtB level (a mistake, I'd say). It'd make a really good ball level, really; it'd play quite well. Unfortunate that bungie forgot the ball. ;^>

Nov 28, 1997
Concerning the Marathon symbol and what it may symbolize Graham Benedict <mark.benedict@snet.net> writes:

An interesting little observation on the Marathon symbol. It looks a lot like the female symbol, the little circle with an arrow pointing down, only enclosed in a circle. Do you see it? I realized this when I was drawing the Marathon symbol on a piece of notebook paper, and asked a friend, a Marathon newbie, if he could tell what it was. He immediately said, "Yeah, isn't that a female symbol?".

On the same subject Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@tjs.org> writes:

To me, the Marathon symbol has always been a stylized M. Representative of the ship's (and game's) name.

Dec 8, 1997
Check it out!

The MacToday 1997 Editors' Choice Awards

The Marathon Trilogy Box Set gets an Editors' choice. Now that's cool! :-)

Todd Keating <cxtdk@ux1.cts.eiu.edu> makes an interesting observation about Marathon and the Blues Brothers. Todd writes:

1) Carrie Fisher attempts to kill the Blues Brothers with a rocket launcher, an assault rifle, and a flamethrower.

2) The model number of the flamethrower is M-75 (the model number of the assault rifle in the game).

3) The movie takes place in (where else?) Chicago.

Dec 9, 1997
Sean O'Hara <Kalin2564@aol.com> writes:

In the book "Xenocide," by Orson Scott Card, there is a conversation between two of the characters, Miro and Ender. They are having something of a philosophical discussion about free will, and how there is no real such thing, because everything is programmed into your genes by God or whoever created humanity. Ender says, "Why even try to plan anything or create or desire or dream of is just acting out the script your puppeteer built into you." Miro replies, "Despair."

And who pulls our strings? Why of course the Puppet Master!

Dec 10, 1997
Todd Proctor <proctop@dcscomp.com.au> makes two interesting observations concerning Infinity. Todd writes:

It is interestring to note that the end term on 'foe hammer' seems to be written by durandal, but it is in tycho format.

Yes indeed, the red (Tycho) text would appear to be a mistake given that the text is from Durandal. Todd goes on to point out that on "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy" there are two terminals that can take us to "Son of Grendel". What's so odd about that? Well teleporting from one terminal (Terminal 1: 2nd Message) makes sense in terms of the storyline. We are told on a Thoth-like terminal that our construct "awaits far beneath" and on the next level we learn that the Pfhor have discovered an alien artifact and are doing some deep level probing. Teleporting from the other terminal (Terminal 0: 2nd Message) has the potential to confuse the player. The 2nd message on this terminal is from Tfear who informs us

When ready, you may transport to a place of confinement before coldsleep and transfer to Conditioning Unit.

Yet we don't transport to a place of confinement. Instead we end up on "Son of Grendel" without any clue as to why we are there or what we are supposed to do. Obviously we are not where Tfear wanted us to be. While this may simply be a convenient way of keeping us moving forward in the game it is nevertheless confusing. To compound the problem this terminal is the first one we reach on completing the level and the one most people are likely to use first. Of course you can always refuse to take it and look for another teleporting terminal. But was it ever the case that this terminal was originally intended to transport us to a level other than "Son of Grendel", a level from which we had to escape in order to continue along the right path?

Dec 11, 1997
Marathon 2 for Windows 95 shipped on September 6, 1996. But as mentioned on the Story page back in July 9, 1997 it appeared that the differences between some of the Win95 levels and the Mac levels were not spotted until around mid-February '97. Was it the case that it took six months before these Win95 M2 changes were noted? The Story page argued back in July that it wasn't surprising that such changes weren't spotted earlier. But the Story page was...


They were!

And so it's time to reveal the tru7h and set the record straight. Within seven days of the Win95 version of M2 shipping this post appeared on alt.games.marathon. Sadly the thread was short lived. And where was yours truly on Sept 12th, 1996... well that's another story.

Dec 12, 1997
Strange stuff abound. On Bungie's Tech Support page for Pathways Into Darkness it says:

Unfortunately, Dave Coufal's excellent Pathways page seems to have passed into the great beyond. A loss for everyone.

Wicked lies! David Coufal's Pathways Into Darkness page is alive and well and is where it has always been. Namely:


Indeed David's page, along with the above URL, was mentioned by the editor of the letters section of MacWorld (US) April '97. Come on guys... get with it!

Dec 14, 1997
Claude Errera is alive and well, and living in... Bolivia!

Well at least that was yesterday... today it's Chile. ;-)

Claude sent a Christmas message to the Story page, part of which I've reprinted below (I'm sure Claude won't mind). Claude writes:

We've covered a large chunk of the Pacific rim (New Zealand to Korea, and most things in between), and are now working our way through South America. We're through Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, some of the Caribbean, and now Bolivia, and are headed to Chile tomorrow. From there, it's Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil, before heading back to the US for a short reoutfitting break, and then we're heading into your neck of the woods! (Well, relatively speaking... we're stopping in Belgium for a week or so before heading on to Africa. In the scale of travel we've been doing, a few hundred miles constitutes the same neck of the woods.)

For those of you who have been asking (on a.g.m) about when Claude would be back... well he's scheduled to return around Nov '98.

For those of you who ask "who is Claude Errera?" Well he's a way cool guy who did alot to support Marathoners in the early days. If you had a Marathon problem Claude had an answer. But more importantly Claude created and maintained the Marathon HyperArchive NorthWest at the "OGI" place, least that's how I referred to it. "OGI' stands for the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology which is based in Portland, Oregan. For most of '95 and '96 Claude's Mac at OGI's Department of Environmental Science and Engineering was your first port of call if you wanted a Marathon map or app. This is what Claude had to say just before he left in Nov '96.

The Story page wishes Claude and his family a very Merry Chistmas... where ever that might be. :-)

Dec 19, 1997
More Win95 differences? Aaron Anderson <grendel@kdlh.com> writes:

On level 20, God will sort the dead (Very vid'able level). I checked this one out once I found it my self on the MSG, but its not there. I belive it is diffrence between the mac and w95 version.

Anyway, in the room with the shotgun in it and a lot of bobs and baddies, there are two identical pillars that come down from the ceilings directly above where the enimies beam in. It turns out that these pillars are actualy elevators that come down just far enough to crush all the baddies when activated right. Now there activation swiches are in the hallway that leades to the room.(I think its in the upper righthand corner of the map). The swiches are secrets obviously; I think they are right behind the lights on the walls at the end of the hallway facing the shotgun room. They are fast so you must flip them both quickly and run into the room inorder for the enimies to beam in. If done correctly you don't need to fight the baddies. It a good thing if your viding the level; that room has a lot of gunners and bad bobs everywhere. I think that this is a great secret, but why would Bungie put it in the w95 version only? I want to know if it is in the mac version also. It may be passed up even if you are using the map editor to find secrets because you don't go anywhere new on the map.

Actually this is in fact a little known secret in the Mac version of this level. Up to quite recently the Marathon Spoiler Guide (MSG) did not mention the secret switches and crusher room. This is what Version 3.0 of the MSG had to say about the secrets on this level:

There are no known secrets on this level.

But Version 3.1 of the MSG which was updated on August 4, 1997 has this to say on the subject:

In the corridor to the large open room in the basement (that contains the shotgun cache), there are two hidden switched indicated by the discoloration of the walls. Both switches activate crushers in the large room, which can be useful.

The first person to show this secret on film was Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) <miha@hi-ho.ne.jp> back in early 1996. You can see Miha's film at the Marathon Vidmasters' Page in the Vidmasters?... They're Everywhere! section.

Dec 21, 1997
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning the level "God Will Sort The Dead...":

As long as we're on the subject of secrets on this level, one of the rechargers in both versions is really a door. It's the first 1x recharger you'll encounter, I think.

In one of the tall rooms with a whole bunch of columns there's a polygon that triggers the door. It's on such a short delay that when you get back you won't know it's been raised. But if you're in a cooperative game and someone else is by the recharger, it reveals an invincibility powerup. It's on about a 4-second delay.

I've _never_ heard of this on the Internet, mostly since it's so hard to find. I had to use a map editor to look at it. If you look at it with Forge or Pfhorte, it's definitely there. And the weird part is, it's not marked "Network Only", like most similar secrets, so it _must_ be possible to get at it somehow from single player.

Anyone care to investigate this?

More Marathon secrets? Yes indeed! Will it never end? Unlikely!

Dec 23, 1997
Daisuke Mitsuzono <mitz@msf.biglobe.ne.jp> writes concerning the secret invincibility power-up on "God Will Sort The Dead...":

The Invicibility Powerup can be seen by stepping under a certain pillar. In solo play, if you run back as fast as possible, you can just glimpse the shield generator "door" closing. There _is_ a Powerup inside, but cannot be reached, in neither solo/cooperate games. The opening is too small.

If my memory is right, this was said in Vidmaster Miha's M2 book.(in Japanese, though :-)) His page and info about the book is here.
the page has an english version.

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

Enclosed is a film of me on Normal showing the fabled Invincibility Powerup on God Will Sort The Dead. It's a complete film but it's not a vid film, since it's recorded on a difficulty level that doesn't really exist. I might have also left a few Bobs alive but none that I know of were green.

At the end is me trying about seventy times to get the invincibility powerup, but eventually I gave up. I recorded it just to show that the secret really does exist. I'm not sure how to access it yet, since I never really narrowed down which floor poly was the trigger. The platform isn't "can't deactivate externally" though so it should be possible to get it eventually. If it gets boring you can skip it.

Mike Watson <PatientDax@aol.com@aol.com> writes:

Ok, if God will sort the dead is made with the Lava texture set, why do I hear running water everywhere? I may have simply let a part of the story go by my mind, but this seems really out of place.

A case of bad plumbing perhaps? ;-) Actually the water sound seems to be associated with the secret areas. Check it out.

Todd Dillen <TDillen@ix.netcom.com> asks:

Why does the Lh'owon sky look different between M2 and Infinity? In M2 it was yellow, in Infinity it was blue.

This is the unfortunate side effect of the new textures. Although Infinity is still based on Lh'owon the old skyline textures were not retained leading to continuity difficulties. :-(

Marathon CDs what type do you have? Scott Jaeger <pablo@izzy.net> writes:

Remember, a while back, on Bungie's Letters To The Webmaster page concerning that the first few thousand Infinity CDs were produced with a black and gold label instead of black and silver due to an error?

The Marathon 2 CD also comes in two flavors apparently. The famous "gold sun flare" CD and the black and gold label.

If you have a version of the Marathon 2 Preivew "Sounds" file with the creation date June 25th '95 rather than the more common June 26th '95 please let me know. There is something odd about the sounds that we need to discuss. Thanks.

Ajay Ayyagari <nirvana@halcyon.com> writes to point out that he has a set of the original Marathon disks with the Installer from Hell and would be willing to part with them given a suitable incentive. It's unclear if they are still boxed though. Contact him directly if you are interested in this little bit of Marathon history.

Dec 24, 1997
Another Star Wars reference in Marathon? John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> writes:

While dodging Enforcers last night,  I noticed something familiar in the log-on/off codes on Terminal 1 (Message 1) of "Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks". [Thoth text follows]

get &(Ghere

Your humans are safe;
(but what are you?)

What is new is tainted;
what is old is [?];

What must be done should be clear.

&*(hat you sme&!

Previously I had associated the "Ghere" of "get &(Ghere" sort of semi-consciously with Gherrit White of the previous game, but then I noticed the log-out code, "&*(hat you sme&!". Then I realized that this must be a Star Wars reference placed by the Bungies.

In the first Star Wars (A New Hope), there's the famous scene involving the shoot-out in the Death Star Detention Block, just before the heroes jump down into the garbage compactor. Princess Leia and Luke have already jumped down the hole, and Chewbacca is supposed to be next, but he balks and makes a protesting howl. Han Solo says, "Get in there, you big furry oaf! I don't care what you smell!" There's just enough text there to make it decipherable.

This definitely seems like an appropriate mood-reference for this level. I wouldn't want to go there if I didn't have to save everybody's collective bacon with my big guns. And the level does have sewage all over the place. It's also at a point in the game's story analagous to the scene in Star Wars, in which the plot is about to turn in the player's favor, but for the moment things look mighty grim.

More Marathon 2 secrets? Aaron Anderson <grendel@kdlh.com> writes:

There is a secret ammo stash on level 10, Eat It, Vid Boi.(dont worry I double checked that it wasn't on the new (Spoiler) page). There is SPANKER and a Napalm unit. It's located on the right ledge over the lava where you start, facing the locked door to the exit. I suppose there is a possibiliy that someone who is an excellent grenade jumper could get there.

It just seems weird to me that Bungie put it there; at first I thought that if you could get it then you could spanker yourself on full yellow to the upper ledge in the room near the fusion pistol. The room above the second ledge. But unfortunately that room is too small for the player to be in or at least get in :(

Yes while this secret is not mentioned in the Spoiler Guide it is known amongst Vidmaster circles. It is possible to reach these weapons using the grenade climbing technique demonstrated by Todd Keating <cxtdk@eiu.edu> in his excellent Advanced Grenade Jumping Tutorial. On "Eat It, Vid Boi" instead of climbing out of water you climb out of the lava. The trouble is that you need an assault rifle to do this and there is none available on this level when playing solo. You either have to play co-operatively to get one or carry one with you from an earlier level.

Dec 27, 1997
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> points out the location of the secret rocket launcher and flame thrower on "Eat It, Vid Boi" are mentioned in Spoiler Guide, but only in an earlier version. Aaron writes:

Actually it is mentioned in the spoiler guide. It isn't in version 3.1, it seems, but here's what version 3.0 had to say on the subject:
"On the sides of the lava moat that surrounds the base, there are two raised areas. Using a rocket launcher, you can boost yourself up onto these areas, and pick up, er, another rocket launcher! and more ammo as well. You can actually do this as well with some fancy grenade hopping as well."
Actually there isn't any more ammo, and the flamethrower isn't mentioned, but it does mention the secret.

Odd stuff.

Dec 30, 1997
Interesting to note that on the back of the Marathon Holiday Greeting Card (Thanks Kris :-)) are the words "Home Pfhor The Holidays", Mark Bernal. Some of you may remember a Marathon map by this very name created by Nick Roemer <stompbox@wolfenet.com>, better known as Stompbox. Indeed this map won the Marathon Map of the Month competition back in December 1995. Coincidence or something more?

Jan 2, 1998
Jim Mitchell <James.Mitchell@valley.net> writes:

On Thing What Kicks. . . check out the log out text of terminal 4: 1st message. If pronounced and worded correctly it forms a rather unusual message ;-)

So it does! :-)

Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes concerning Ticks:

Replaying "A Converted Church in Venice, Italy", I noticed that the Kamikaze Tick's dying and dead sprites don't match up. When dying, the Tick is a heap of burning flesh, but when dead all the pieces seem to fall back to the normal Tick sprites. And something occured to me concerning the ticks.

Why would Bungie waste three monster spots in M2 for a monster that doesn't do anything and is entirely defenseless? In Forge the monster names are "Tick Energy", "Tick Oxygen", and "Tick Kamikazi". Two things about this. First, it's "Kamikaze" not "Kamikazi." Second, "Tick Energy" and "Tick Oxygen" suggest the monsters would suck up energy and oxygen, yet it's only the Kamikaze tick who can attack.

In the Physics model there are spots for "Energy Drain", "Major Energy Drain", and "Oxygen Drain." These do not account for the player's loss of energy - you can replace them without any effect on the game, although the Kamikaze Tick attacks with the Energy Drain. The Tick Energy and Oxygen (who are marked as Minor and Major, respectively, in Anvil) have _every_ monster class marked as friend, although like the defenseless BoBs in Marathon 1, whether the monster is Friend or Enemy doesn't matter since they can't attack. Furthermore, the Kamikaze Tick has every monster marked as enemy. The Kamikaze Tick doesn't really fit into the story at all, and the regular Ticks aren't marked as anything at all. While these could be considered ambient creatures like Grendel, Mothrid, and some other in Marathon Infinity, their large size suggests they had some other role intended originally.

The Ticks appear in M2 in the following levels:
Charon Doesn't Make Change
The Hard Stuff Rules
Six Thousand Feet Under
Kill Your Television

In all cases the Ticks were marked as "Energy Tick". Their name "tick" suggests some annoying, swarming parasite that slowly eats up your health and is difficult to swat away. But they don't do anything like it. The presence of the Energy and Oxygen Ticks and Energy and Oxygen Drains suggest that Bungie were intending for them to be parasitic creatures, but couldn't make them behave like real parasites.

Another thing: "Oxygen Drain" _doesn't_ affect oxygen, as far as I've been able to determine from my attempts. It's energy-related like everything else. Maybe Bungie had been intending for every monster to have oxygen levels originally, but it became too complicated.

If you mark the "Marine" in the physics model immune to "Suffocation", the player still can die from oxygen loss. This seems to be a wasted damage slot. If you mark the player immune to "Oxygen Drain" the player still loses oxygen underwater or in vacuum SO WHAT ARE THEY THERE FOR?

Anyway, back to the mystery: Why the Oxygen and Energy Drains? Why are they "Tick Energy" and "Tick Oxygen"? Did Bungie originally intend for the Ticks to be blood-sucking parasites?

Interesting stuff. Anyone have an answer?

Jan 4, 1998
Will Craig <chill@sunset.net> writes concerning the Ticks in Marathon 2:

Actually, the tick in m2 does work. When I first attempted map making in m2. I converted a map from m1 to m2 and all the phfor fighter became ticks. when I walked up to one, tentacles came out of it sucking my energy (I'm not making this up). When it was killed, it floated upward and stayed dead in the air. Very Weird stuff.

Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> writes:

Bungie's booth # for the San Francisco Macworld Expo in January is 3761.

3 7 6+1=7

It all adds up :)

Jan 8, 1998
Many thanks to Eylon Caspi <eylon@cs.berkeley.edu> for sending in a report from this year's San Francisco Macworld Expo. Some interesting tidbits from the Bungie booth. Check out Eylon Caspi's San Francisco Macworld Expo '98 Report. Eylon's report from last year's SF Macworld Expo can be found here

Jan 10, 1998
John Bousfield <bousfields@cityscape.co.uk> writes:

Just noticed something on Eylon Caspi's Macworld report from the Story page: Bungie now numbers approximately 25 people.

And 2+5=... naa, must be a coincidence...

Jan 11, 1998
Candace Sherriff <shebob@mail.bc.rogers.wave.ca> writes:

Good news for Durandal

Err... why?

Candace passes on the following news item.

Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The "big bang" won't be followed by the "big crunch." That's the conclusion of five teams of astronomers who used different techniques to gather evidence on the future of the universe. Based on those results, said Ruth Daly, a Princeton University astronomer, "it is quite clear now that the universe will expand forever." The astronomy teams, in effect, were trying to determine if there's enough matter in the universe to force it to one day stop its current expansion and to start collapsing inward. Their findings, presented Thursday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society, support the idea that there'll never be a grand crunch. Most astronomers now accept the idea that the universe began with a "big bang," a moment about 15 billion years ago when a superdense point exploded in the most gigantic bang imaginable. It's believed that since that moment all matter in the universe has been expanding outward. The controversy among astronomers is whether the universe is "closed" or "open." In a closed universe, the expansion would continue until gravity from the mass of matter cancelled the outward force and the motion reversed directions. In effect, the idea went, the universe would then collapse inward and come back together until it was all crammed into a single point of unimaginable density. Hence, "the big crunch." But astronomers from Princeton, Yale, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Institute reported Thursday that all of their studies show the universe is "open." In effect, they found that the universe will continue to expand, and even accelerate, forever and ever. Neta Bahcall, working with a second Princeton team, said her studies of the largest structures in the universe - immense clusters of hundreds of galaxies, each with billions of stars - show the universe is too lightweight to ever "crunch." "It has only about 20 per cent of the mass needed to close," she said. Peter Garnavich of the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, Saul Perlmutter of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Bradley Schaefer of Yale studied supernovae, which are exploding stars, to measure the rate of expansion of the universe. By looking very, very deep into the universe, the astronomers were able to measure the rate of expansion early in the universe's history. Speed of the expansion over time is essential for estimating the density of matter in the universe and, thus, determining if the expansion will continue. Garnavich said his team is at least 95 per cent certain now that "the density of matter is insufficient to halt the expansion of the universe." Daly used still another system, measuring the distance and motion of radio "hot spots," intense sources of natural radio signals that emit from very hot stars. She said her data, using this independent measure, agreed with the others: The universe is open and will expand forever. That, however, doesn't mean nothing will change, said Daly. She said that eventually all the fuel in the stars will burn out and the universe will become cold and dark "with nothing left but rocks." But relax, said Schaefer. That frozen future won't happen for another 100 billion years, give or take a few billion.

Of course all this depends on what timeline you are in. ;-)

Jan 12, 1998
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> points out that on the logoff screen of the final terminal of "Aye Mak Sicur":

Por.Fin is "At Last" in Spanish

Jan 13, 1998
Gabe Rosenkoetter also notes an odd thing on Double Aught's Duality page:

I noticed something interesting... except for index.html and index2.html, all of the pages (screenshots.html, story.html, and engine.html) have the following at the top:


That's right, they have two heads and two titles. The same thing. Twice.

If it happened once, I'd chalk it up to error on lilbuddha's part, but all three pages?

Seems like a reference to the title to me...

Jan 15, 1998
2001: A Space Odyssey.


It is three days after HAL 9000's first birthday. HAL became operational at the HAL plant in Urbana, Illinois, on the 12th January, 1997... or was it 1992?... he couldn't exactly remember.


Three years and three days before Hal's "birth" Bungie had just finished showing their up-coming game Marathon at the San Francisco Macworld Expo '94.


Thirteen months before the launch date of the Discovery's covert mission to Jupiter, on April 12th, 2001, the first evidence for intelligent life outside the Earth was discovered. It was found buried on the moon in the Tycho crater. At 11 feet tall, 5 feet wide and 1 1/4 feet thick, the monolith was built to a ratio of 1 to 4 to 9; the squares of the first three integers (1,2,3...)


It is just one day over three years and one month to this day that Marathon's last polygon was filled and still the Marathon Story defies persistent interpretation.


Jan 23, 1998
Ok I confess... I lied!

"What's new?" I hear you cry!

Actually it's more of an error. On The Breakable Panel on We're Everywhere page I said that it was possible to blast yourself up to a raised "ammo cache" alcove using an overloaded fusion pistol. Well that bit was true. Unfortunately you die in the process. Yeah... so I left out that minor detail. ;-)

Thanks to Frode Henriksen <frodeh@eunet.no> for making me aware of my little faux pas.

Graham Benedict <mark.benedict@snet.net> writes:

Included with Marathon Infinity was a little flyer, Bungie's very own little Newspaper, Bungievision. If you look at the 2nd to last page (on the inside) and take a look at the picture of Marathon Infinity's box, you will see that the pattern on it is very different, Also, the "Accelerated for Power Macintosh" sticker is positioned on the bottom, instead of the top, as it was on Marathon 2's box. And although it is kind of hard to tell, I think the screenshots are positioned differently on it. Don't you think that, considering that this copy of Bungievision shipped with infinity, that they could get the picture of the box right? And where did this box design come from? Are there any other Infinity ads that have this?

Interesting observation. But the mystery doesn't end there.

The Infinity box displayed on Bungie's Marathon Infinity page has the "Accelerated for Power Macintosh" sticker at the top right as Graham indicates. This is the box I have as well. Yet the Infinity box shot at Cyberian Outpost's page has the "Accelerated for Power Macintosh" sticker at the bottom and clearly has different screenshots as Graham indicates

But note this. There are also two versions of the Marathon 2 for Macintosh box. Again one with the "Accelerated for Power Macintosh" sticker at the top right and one with it at the bottom. The screenshots on the former box are the same as those displayed on Bungie's M2 screenshot page. The latter box has different screenshots WHICH look remarkably like those on the Infintiy box. Confused? Well you can see the differences AND similarities here.

What are the screenshots on the 2nd version of the Marathon 2 (for Macintosh) and Infinity boxes?

Jan 24, 1998
Many thanks to all the people who responded about the similarities between the Marathon 2 (for Macintosh) and Infinity boxes. The general concensus is that the screenshots are in fact identical leading a number of people to speculate that the Infinity box is a preproduction mock up based on the Marathon 2 box.

Questions still remain though. What are the screenshots on the 2nd Marathon 2 box? Were they ever released? What do they reveal about early Marathon 2 development? And why are these seemingly non-existent boxes still being used to advertise Marathon?

Jan 25, 1998
Concerning the existence of a secret napalm unit and rocket launcher at the beginning of "Eat It Vid Boi!" Jonathan Longstaff <manawydan@worldnet.att.net> writes:

...you CAN see the napalm gun if you walk all the way to the other side and press up against the opposite wall.

Ah yes indeed... you can just make out the top.

Jonathan notes that the existence of the napalm unit on this level explains why we are given napalm cannisters before "The Big House". Thus we are not just lugging them around for the fun of it.

Of course you have to get to the napalm unit and rocket launcher first. Now just who do think would have put all those goodies way up there? :-)

Jan 26, 1998
Ah old age!... the neurons in your brain begin to breakdown... and you tend to forget things... like...

Kieran Wheeler <kieran_wheeler@hotmail.com> writes:

Ummm, you _do_ know about the other flamethrower, right?

The one I'm talking about is still before The Big House. Remember now?

No, huh? Okay, here we go. On "For Carnage, Apply Within," there is a certain maze of plazma that requires speedy "Island Hopping." Off to the right, there is an area without islands (a large purple lagoon, if you will). Hidden within its flamey depths is a flamethrower, only acessable with skill. Succesfully grabbing it requires some fast footwork, and I know of noone who can do it every time on TC 'cause its removal awakens some compiler chappies.

Oh, in case you were wondering, this sucker ain't in the spoiler guide. Anyway, the reason I mention it is that getting zillions of cannisters of napalm the level after receiving the TOZT-7 makes more sense than putting them in to compliment a TOZT received about seven (yup thats right) levels earlier. IMHO, the rocket-launcher and flamethrower on Vid boi are there merely as extras. You can't do much with them until much later on, and for the most part stay in your inventory unused.

Check out the Marathon Vidmasters' page for films of getting the napalm unit on this level on Total Carnage.

Jan 28, 1998
Napalm Units... They're Everywhere!

Concerning the recent discussion about the number of Tozt-7 Napalm Units before "The Big House" Steven Mast <DMast007@aol.com> writes:

There is another flamethrower before THE BIGHOUSE.It's on SORRY DON'T MAKE IT SO in the river of alien goo.It's to the right,were you first jump in.

Ah yes!... the secret Tozt under the lava on "Sorry Don't Make it So". How could we forget that one? My mind is going. I can feel it.... I can feel it. My mind is going... there is no question about it.

Of course we might reasonably ask ourselves whose bright idea it was to teleport these in... under lava! Rampancy holds no bounds!

Jan 29, 1998
Aaron Freed <aaron@packet.net> writes:

Napalm Units... They're Everywhere!

No, they're not.

The one on "Sorry Don't Make It So" was the Flamethrower that Kieran Wheeler was referring to. There is _no_ flamethrower on "For Carnage, Apply Within." None whatsoever. I checked both versions with Forge. It doesn't exist.

Which would go a good deal towards explaining why it isn't in the spoiler guide.

Good to see that somebody is awake around here. ;-)

Jan 30, 1998
Mark Tomczak <mtomczak@mindspring.com> writes:

I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but I believe I can discern the origin of The Plans, if it hasn't already been covered. One of the first 3D shoot-em-up games was, of course, Wolfenstein 3D. Now, what many do not know is that Wolfenstein 3D was predated by an earlier Apple IIc game, Castle Wolfenstein (where stuff actually killed you with one shot andyou had to try to escape the castle WITHOUT alerting the guards....*sigh*, memories...). In the original Castle Wolfenstein, your primary goal was to escape, but you could score better by escaping with....The Plans! Perhaps The Plans is an inside reference to one of the best strategy games for the IIc, so callously converted into a blind, pointless shoot-em-up.

Ah yes! Interestingly enough a search of the Story page's 7GB archive uncovered this early post on comp.sys.mac.games which mentioned "The Plans".

From: russotto@wanda.pond.com (Matthew Russotto)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: Re: Marathon Wave Motion Cannon
Date: 29 Jan 1995 11:22:10 -0500
Organization: FishNet
Lines: 27
Message-ID: <3ggfbi$7dd@wanda.pond.com>
References: <3gb6vr$9t4@apakabar.cc.columbia.edu> <armD33o9B.D7B@netcom.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: wanda.pond.com
Keywords: Marathon Resource Weapons

In article <armD33o9B.D7B@netcom.com>, Alex Morando <arm@netcom.com> wrote:
}In article <3gb6vr$9t4@apakabar.cc.columbia.edu>,
}Tomas Dylan Clark <tdc8@inibara.cc.columbia.edu> wrote:
}>      Has anyone found the Wave Motion Cannon anywhere in Marathon?
}>      It's mentioned in the resource fork of the application itself,
}>I believe, just beneath "Alien Energy Converter." I have a feeling this
}>might be a Bungie joke... because, wasn't the gigantic gun at the front
}>of the Yamato in Star Blazers also called the Wave Motion Cannon?
}>      But it would be nice if there was another weapon.
}>      There's another object too, beneath that: "The Plans." Does anyone
}>know anything about either of these?
}"The Plans" may be a tribute to Castle Wolfenstein, from which came
}Wolf3D, Doom, and now Marathon.

You're probably rights, seeing as you agree with me :-).  The Alien
Weapon may contain another tribute to the old Apple II:  0xFDED is
COUT-- the main character output routine-- in the Apple II ROM.  And
clearly there's a problem outputting the name of the Alien Weapon.

But maybe I'm reading too much into the game-- Philip K. Dick
references, Wolfenstein references, Apple II machine language

Reading too much into the game eh? God forbid! ;-)

But could these be Apple II references? Jason Jones when asked about how he first started programming in an Inside Mac Games magazine interview (Oct '93) replied:

Like a lot of programmers my age, I started way back on the Apple II when I was in high school. I first learned Applesoft Basic and then 6502 Assembly. As soon as Apple came out with the Macs my family got a Macintosh 128k, but I never did any development on that machine, except in Microsoft Basic 1.0, which was really awful. After high school my family bought a Mac II and I got a job programming in C for a CAD/CAM company on PCs. Needless to say, I didn't go to college for a year. During this year off, I bought MPW for the Macintosh and started doing Mac development on the side. All I ever did on the Apple II was write games, and it seemed logical to continue that on the Mac. Honestly, it's the only good use of computers that I can think of. The first thing I did on the Mac was to port a modem game I'd written called Minotaur from 6502 Assembly on the Apple II into MPW C on the Mac. I was still finishing that when I came to college. By that time, I knew I wanted to write games. So I guess it all goes back to the Apple II.

Jan 31, 1998
It was mentioned on...

Aug 6, 1996

and on...

Oct 31, 1996

and again on...

Apr 3, 1997

and yet again more recently this month. The pieces of the Marathon jigsaw are slowly beginning to be pieced together...

Todd Bangerter <tabanger@fas.harvard.edu> writes:

Did you know that the monoliths were actually just extremely complex machines left behind to facilitate the agenda of a sophisticated, ancient race that seeded intelligent life throughout the universe? True facts from the little-read 2061: Odyssey Three . . .

That's why the primitive man-apes were stimulated to think and evolve by the monoliths in 2001. It's also why the monolith caused Jupiter to go nova and form a new sun (Lucifer) that would provide light and heat to nourish the new flourishing life on Jupiter's moon, Europa.

Feb 3, 1998
Gabe Rosenkoetter <gabe@colby.tjs.org> writes concerning Double Aught's "secret" page:

I presume you've noticed the update.

Gone are the dual headers and (most of) the secret messages.

There's a bit added to the story and engine pages, but folks can read that for themselves.

Interesting to note that index.html (what used to be the Duality animated gif with the silhouette running across it) and index2.html (what used to be the static main page) are now seemingly identical.

Only seemingly, though.

At the bottom of index.html, we find yet another of CK's cryptic comments:

<!--That's word, B, I'll leave my diapers on your girl's knee-->

This is absent from index2.html.

The screenshots tree remains unchanged (double headers and all included still.)

Also interesting to note that all the old text-.gifs have _not_ been deleted - they're still in the /Main/Images/ directory.

Good to see that the Double Aught folks haven't fled the universe on us.

Yes indeed...

Feb 4, 1998
Matthew Payne <sfeira@pacbell.net> points out that Mac Secrets, edition 4, page 772 contains an entry from Sean Mahan about the invisible folder named "old marathons" in the Holiday Marathon Music folder on the original Marathon CD.

Feb 27, 1998
Jonas Eneroth has departed Bungie Software for the greener pastures of London, England. The Story page wishes him well in his new endeavours.

Eidos sued by software rival over Myth game is a scan (153K) of an interesting article from the The Sunday Times 15th Feb '98, page 2 of the Business Section (The Sunday Times is the Sunday edition of The Times, London). If you have any info on the original fantasy game called Myth by System 3 please pass it on to the Story page. Thanks.

Some of you might have missed this but Tuncer Deniz posted the following reply to alt.games.myth in an effort to dispell rumors that Bungie had a patch to allow Marathon play on bungie.net:

Subject:      Re: Upset at Bungie
From:         tuncer@bungie.nospam.com (Tuncer Deniz)
Date:         1998/02/04
Message-ID:   <tuncer-ya02408000R0502981055060001@news1.il.home.net>
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
References:   <34d269da.22566869@news.elcocomp.com> 
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Organization: Bungie Software
Newsgroups:   alt.games.myth
[Fewer Headers]

In article <6b2cqm$t6b@bgtnsc02.worldnet.att.net>, "Dorian Ouer"
<d.ouer@worldnet.att.net> wrote:

> I only know what was insinuated by Max (who's the admin laison.)  He said
> that perhaps Bungie.net would be expanded to include Marathon 1-3 net play
> as well once they have a new network guy to pul it off and make Bungie.net
> more stable.  This is very "iffy" right now though, so I wouldn't hold your
> breath. =)


Ummm, just want to smash any rumors before they get started. Marathon 1-3
will not be touched and will not be available through bungie.net.


Tuncer Deniz                                
Production Manager guy or something
Bungie Software

No earth shattering news here except for the fact that Bungie have begun referring to Marathon Infinity as Marathon 3, something they wholeheartedly avoided when it was initially released for obvious reasons.

Rumors of a new Bungie project codenamed "Equus" abound... but the Story page will bring you the tru7h... soon.

Justin Cook <halcyon@ragh.dyn.ml.org> writes:

In his latest sequel - 3001 - Clarke reveals that Hal and the human in the monolith have somewhat merged processes, and near the end of the book are given the task of destroying the Europa monolith with a virus before it can destroy Sol in a supernova. A pretty generic sci-fi thread, but parallel to Marathon Infinity's ending.

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Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Sept 19, 1998