Missing Aliens

The attack came so fast, first those crea ~12``30101!~2 who didn't run away...

When the Marathon Demo v0.0 was released in Nov '94 the start up screen advertised 15 species of aliens in the full game.

A Marathon Ad in Mac Home Journal at the time featured a line up of 13 different aliens. Three of these did not make the final cut - The Armageddon Beast, The Hound, and the Alien Crew member.

The Marathon Scrapbook had this to say on the subject of the missing aliens.

Reg designed three aliens that didn't make the cut for the final game: The Hound, the Armageddon Beast and a non-combatant alien crewman. The Hound moved quite fast but could not climb stairs and only had a melee attack. Hounds acted a lot like piranhas, guarding low spots on a map and wandering off when they couldn't attack the player any longer. The Armageddon Beast sucked down damage like the Big Blue Meanie in Pathways and shot streams of highly damaging little pellets. Both were dropped because no levels had been planned where these monsters would conceivably be fun to fight. The alien crewmen were intended to be Pfhor counterparts of the human civilians on the Marathon: weaponless and unable to defend themselves in any way. A memory limit on the number of monster types per level forced Bungie to abandon them.

The Hound also featured in an early concept drawing from the Marathon Manual and in the 'so-called' Hound Screenshot which was used extensively to advertise Marathon in '94. As the Hound featured in the game it was given its own sounds as this screenshot from the sound file of an early beta reveals. Interesting to note that the sounds in those days were actually given official names.

But was the Hound completely removed from the final game?

Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> points out that the Hound can be seen in an alien texture used in the game. The texture is shown below.

A baby Hound? In an embryonic chamber?

But whereabouts? And when you figure that one out and the other 'nameless' things found on that level you might like to speculate on what was really going on in those Pfhor chambers. The horror... the horror...

Cindy Hoffa <cynho@earthlink.net> went exploring on those bizarre Pfhor ship levels and brought back some 'baby' Hound shots. She found them on three levels:

Unpfhorgiven (77K) - that errie prison level has two areas where 'baby' Hounds can be seen.

Two Times Two Equals... (45K) - at the end of dark secret corridor.

Eupfhoria (27K) - has a whole hive of them.

Note these Pfhor levels run currently in the game, except for a small break back on the Marathon before Eupfhoria. You might reasonably ask yourself why does the 'baby' Hound texture feature so much? What role did it play in the Story? Are there any other places where the Hound appears?

Ms. Hoffa would like to point out that she was using the secret BUTTHEAD cheat code while taking these shots hence the absence of weapons in the frames.

Cindy Hoffa <cynho@earthlink.net> points out that her screenshot of "Eupfhoria" (see above) was mistakenly labelled as "Eupfhoria" when it should have been "Pfhoraphobia" and sends in a another pic of "Eupfhoria" which is correct this time.

err... you got all that? Thus there are four Pfhor levels that use the Hound texture. The full list is as follows:

Unpfhorgiven (77K) - that errie prison level has two areas where 'baby' Hounds can be seen.

Two Times Two Equals... (45K) - at the end of dark secret corridor.

Eupfhoria (24K) - has a whole hive of them...

as does Pfhoraphobia (34K).

Note that these levels still run concurrently leading to that mysterious Pfhor egg level.

Thanks to a generous benefactor the Story page now has the original hound screenshot (94K). This is the one that appears in those early Marathon Ads. Except in this case the Hound is clearly visible so you can get a look at it.

Can you can spot the odd thing about the Hound in this screenshot?

Cairan Wheeler <wyvernsoul@innocent.com> writes:

...the only oddity I can find is that the hound seems to have caught a stray bullet. The surprising thing is, the hound bleeds yellow just like the pfhor. Just a thought.

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

Did you notice the yellow blood on the Hound's mouth? What was it doing there? It is possible that this is the graphic that Bungie chose to have on the Hound when it is being hit, but that is impossible, because Bungie never shows blood on the "Being hit" bitmap (they prefer to leave the blood and gore as the little bloodsplash, as you know). And I don't think that the AR can cover that large an area.

Also I might note that the Hound has many more eyes in the conceptual picture than in the actual game.

Yes the odd thing I was referring to was the eyes! It looks like the Hound in the above screenshot has only two. Not only that but they are not red as in the Hound texture. If you flip open the Marathon Scrapbook at page 7 and take a look at the pictures on the opposite page you'll see another picture of the Hound - this time a side view. Note the two red eyes - not three. What happened to the third eye? Indeed what happened to the red eyes in game shot? Three red eyes are a Pfhor characteristic. Was the third eye dropped because the Hound was not meant to be considered a relative of the Pfhor? More akin to the Wasp and the Looker perhaps. If so what about the Hound texture?

James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> writes:

I was looking through the M1 map file with Pfhorte (1.0d26), and found 1 Hound (Hound - 1) point on "Eupfhoria" (viewing map mode, in the room directly to the right of the starting point, with the baby Hounds in the walls :) ).

There is also an Armageddon Beast (Armageddon - 1) on "Try Again", at the right end of the hallway above Fusion Vent #9, and an Armageddon Beast (Armageddon - 2) near the south-most room in "Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones". Neither the Hound or the Armageddon Beasts have any object placement data.

Note: I don't think Pfhorte will let you find Alien crew member points.

Sean Morris <legolas14@theglobe.com> writes concerning the Hound and it's odd eye color in this officially released early Marathon screenshot (94K).

Perhaps the reason the Hound has silver eyes and not red ones is that it could be a different color table, like major or minor.

Interesting point.

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Last updated May 20, 2000