The Marathon Infinity Terminal Screenshot Text

On the 12th June 1996 Bungie updated their Marathon Infinity page with a number of screenshots. One screenshot showed a Marathon Infinity terminal (see below) but unfortunately the text was too small to read.

David Coufal <> using image enhancing technology has managed to obtain the following larger picture.

David also provides the following text from the terminal.

I have some more toys for you and you're
going to need them. Go back for them now
and let me know what you find.

Kim Foo-Jones <> writes writes:

Having just looked closer at the enlarged screen-shot of the terminal where it shows what look like bouncing grenades, I reckon that the last word is "think" - he says "tell me what you think" not "...what you find". Just being pedantic.

True the last word seems to have more than four letters, but I honestly can't make out what they are.

Mike Phillips <> writes concerning the final version of the above terminal message which appears on "Rise Robot Rise":

On a terminal in Rise Robot Rise, Tycho tells us "I have some more toys for you and you're going to need them. Go look for them here, and let me know what you think." However, we are treated to only one "toy," the TOZT-7 (although, in a co-op game, a second napalm unit will show up in the same place).

To add to this, on the same term picture we are shown a profile of a cyborg firing a grenade, as if there is the possibility of encountering one, and there isn't.

Interesting points. Was there more than one weapon in this location at one stage? The use of the plural "toys" would suggest so. This is similar to the Marathon level "Bigger Guns" where you obtain the Assault Rifle. Only one weapon here (unless you count the dual nature of the AR). Yet in the demo version of this level you could obtain both the Assault Rifle and the Tozt. Thus the plural "guns" made sense.

Mike's observation about the cyborg tank image would also suggest that these had been originally planned for this level but were later removed.

There are also a number of other interesting things about this terminal.

The map in the terminal does not match the final map.

This is not uncommon in Marathon, the map shown in the first terminal message on "Come and Take your Medicine" springs to mind. Such mismatches however are usually quite small yet in the above terminal the differences are large and easily noticed.

More intriguingly is the original picture of this terminal displayed on Bungie's web page back in 12th June 1996. The text in the terminal is green signifying that the message was originally from Durandal.

I have some more toys for you and you're
going to need them. Go look for them here,
and let me know what you think.

Indeed the tone of the message is very Durandal like. Similar in a way to his message on "Habe Quiddam":

You didn't get the present that the S'pht so kindly left for
you. You should go back and retrieve it. I could let you
leave without it, but you'd be sorry later.

<Habe Quiddam (Terminal 2: 'Unfinished' message)>

Daniel Sattler <> writes:

About the marathon infinity screenshot text, it shows what looks like a cyborg tank firing a bouncing grenade. It also shows, if you have been shot at by one of these, they look like the picture circled in red at the top. There is also a matching circle on the map of the screenshot. Maybe if Bungie originally intended for there to be a weapon there, possibly it was one of the cyborgs weapons, much like you can get an alien weapon on other levels.

Interesting point. The terminal picture is unusual in that it seems to be describing the cyborg tank's bouncing bomb in some detail. The text that accompanies the picture tells us to go and look for some more toys. Could the two be connected as Daniel suggests?

Remember that this terminal picture predates the release of Infinity by some months and as mentioned above it depicts an early version of this level. It has been suggested that image of the cyborg tank was simply meant to indicate that they were on this level. And although the tanks were later removed the terminal picture was never updated to reflect this.

But what if in the early development of Infinity it has been intended that we would be able to use the Cyborg's weapon much in the same way as the Enforcer's weapon. Now that's something to think about. :-)

On the Story forum Forrest of <> writes concerning this piece of text on the opening terminal of Rise Robot Rise.

So, you came around earlier than the scientist
expected. Remind me to have him executed.
You've been in cold sleep for some time, but
you're luckier than some of your friends-not
all of you survived the translation to the
Pfhor slave tanks.

And provides the following interpretation:

The "Pfhor slave tanks" are the bouncy-grenade-shooting cyborg enemies, which the Scrapbook tells us were intended to be BoBs converted into soldiers for the Pfhor. Presumably the idea was that in the Tycho-centric branches of Infinity, the Security Officer has undergone a similar procedure. IIRC a pre-release screenshot even featured a usable grenade weapon. That plot point was probably meant to have been dropped, since it raises too many strange questions about the player's movement if it is thought to have been maintained, but at least that one bit of text remains.

The second message on this terminal is the mysterious Pfhor Cyborg Tank image.

As discussed above Cyborg Tanks don't appear on this level and it has been thought that message was actually instructing the player to find a bouncing-grenade weapon. Of course no such weapon exists.

Now Forrest suggests that the original intent given the opening terminal text was that the player was now a Pfhor Cyborg Tank in this timeline and the message to find "more toys" was designed for you in your role as a Cyborg Tank.

On the Story forum both Bob-B-Q <> and Lion O Cyborg <> provide an alternative explanation for the reference to surviving "the translation to the Pfhor slave tanks" in the opening terminal of Rise Robot Rise.

Bob-B-Q writes:

The context of that Rise Robot Rise terminal indicates Tycho is talking about slave stasis tanks like the ones we saw in the scoutship in M1. As Durandal tells us on What About Bob?, Pfhor stasis tech is so unreliable that being teleported to Lh'owon with a pistol is the surviving BOBs' preferred option.

Lion O Cyborg adds:

I always thought the "slave tanks" bit in Infinity referred to stasis chambers as well and they just used a pfhor=centric name. "Translation" could mean that these didn't take the exact human shape or biology into account since the pfhor were from a completely different neck of the galaxy, so it took some dying in stasis until the pfhor got it right for that particular species...

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Last updated Dec 3, 2020