March 3, 2022 (Thursday)

seven is darker

Is Marathon slowly being assimilated?

Destiny fans say "yes" pointing out that there is a new Destiny t-shirt on the Bungie Store with a clear Marathon reference on it.

The t-shirt in question is called Where TWAB? which is the acronym for 'This Week At Bungie', Bungie's weekly news announcement about all things Destiny. The image on the shirt is a throwback to the days when puzzles were pieced together with paper and connecting lines.

Yes folks, we still use that method here at the Story page office.

But I digress.

The Marathon reference is of course seven is darker from Leela's garbled message to us on Welcome to the Revolution...

central core has almost Reformatted been, seven is darker.
from reversal thought syndrome suffering if the crew was in
grave peril in forward section 27. This is not a coat rack,
would I choose to express. Is was shall could might happening
will be, imagine not what.  Recovery, imminent perhaps
inevitable Never.

%durandal is dangerous.

Poor Leela. She deserved better.

But I digress.

Apparently if you solve the puzzle on the shirt you can win a ton of Destiny loot. But don't tell anyone in case they solve it before you.

Also there is a catch... the shirt doesn't ship for 4-6 weeks. So for now you are going to need one of these...

March 2, 2022 (Wednesday)

Added David Candland's 'The Ancients' poster to Blasts from the Past.

Least we forget.

March 1, 2022 (Tuesday)

Eric Salzman <> writes to say that his Marathon-inspired Board game entitled Somewhere In The Heavens... They Are Waiting   is now available for sale.

He has a YouTube video which provides an update on the game and the history behind its creation.


Check out the previous Story page updates about this game on January 8, 2022 and June 2, 2021

February 28, 2022 (Monday)

You're all going to die down here.

The Pathways Into Darkness page gets a long overdue update.

You know... the game that was the forerunner to Marathon.

You know... the game that introduced the Jjaro and their habit of leaving stuff lying around for sentient races to find, causing them to get into all kinds of 'scrapes'.

You know... the game where Jason Jones says he didn't write the hint book but admitted:

"the important thing about the hint book epilogue was to make all the player character's artifacts from the pyramid disappear from circulation before the marathon story begins. curious to know where they were in 2472, though, or who was really responsible for the projection in the spring of 1994."

You know... the game that holds one part of the clue to answering the ultimate question.

You know... the game that doesn't look anything like this... but could... in an alternate timeline.

Access to the Pathways Into Darkness page can be gained through the pyramid on the left.

← over here.

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch' entrate.

February 24, 2022 (Thursday)

"Nuts to this", scremed [sic] Robert - his
normally Hyper Good Samaritan (HSG)
surface personality disolving into a pool
of dull-red hatred surmounted by white-hot
ball of rage.

But I digress.

Tex Lingon <> writes to ask about the Alex Seropian quote mentioned back on the 1st February. Specifically where is it and what did Alex Seropian say about Marathon and Halo?

Well the infamous quote was made in an article entitled "How Combat Evolved" by Simon Cox in XBN (Xbox Nation) magazine (issue 2) back in Spring 2002.

It's also famous for the Rob McLess   'f*ck that!'   remark. See quote below.

"After Marathon 2 we wonder if it's wise to do another first person shooter,"   McLees reflects.   "We start to do some concept stuff for an FPS, but we know we can't beat Id to the shelves with Quake, so we say 'f*ck that!'   We got called a Doom clone with Marathon, and we don't want that to happen again."

The rest they say is history.

But I digress.

Like Tex... people have asked why this article isn't on the Story page?   "Why are we hiding the tru7h?"   "Halo: Combat Evolved was Marathon 3".   "You 'thoners need to suck it up and play Halo."

So without further ado I have added the "How Combat Evolved" article to Blasts from the Past.

Wait... Infinity is Marathon 3 or is it Destiny?

February 19, 2022 (Saturday)


The above official screenshot from the back of the Marathon 2 box always provokes reactions such as:

"Where did those guys come from?"

"Those aliens don't appear on that level."

"That room is supposed to be empty!"

And you would be right. It is empty... based on the full version of this official screenshot which includes the interface. This was sourced directly from Bungie.

Not what you were expecting... right?   Or were you?

Wait... is this the level from Marathon Infinity?

February 17, 2022 (Thursday)

Over the years there has been a lot of discussion about this official screenshot from the front of the Marathon 2 box.

Specifically why does the player have their Fusion Pistol out under water? It's not going to work... right?

Well I came across the full version of this official screenshot which includes the interface. This was sourced directly from Bungie.

I guess that answers that then. Or does it?

February 15, 2022 (Tuesday)

Landing on the planet of Lh'owon, you set out to uncover secrets of a lost clan belonging to one of the planet's ancient races. Naturally, you know nothing, except for one thing: your reflexes are the only thing that'll keep you alive and maybe, just maybe, when it's all over, you'll figure out just who or what you were dealing with.
Inside Mac Games, Volume 4, Issue 1&2, Jan/Feb 1996.

Added the Inside Mac Games review of Marathon 2: Durandal (Jan/Feb 1996) to Blasts from the Past.

Got to love that last part.

...and maybe, just maybe, when it's all over, you'll figure out just who or what you were dealing with.

Very good idea by Gopherofdoomies on r/marathon (April 30, 2021)

February 14, 2022 (Monday)   Happy Valentine's Day

Yeah right!

February 7, 2022 (Monday)

Shame on Mars.

A number of people have asked about the Marathon secret that took over two months to find.

The what?

A week ago I marked the 27th birthday of the Marathon Spoiler Guide and pointed out that back in the day secrets in Marathon had to be found the hard way.

Oh here we go again...

And the last big secret area in Marathon would not be found for over two months.

Indeed it had to await the development of space flight a map editor to find it and understand how to access it. Sounds familiar right?

Well here's the answer from 2011.

Yes, Greg Kirkpatrick again.

And what was Durandal's shame on Mars?

OK... what's with the 2001 thing?

February 5, 2022 (Saturday)

Back on November 21, 2021 we added MacWorld's Top Products of 1995 Award to Blasts from the Past.

In it Marathon and Myst were jointly awarded a Top Game Award for 1995.

A number of people asked how was this possible?

Myst, published by Brøderbund Software, was released for the Macintosh in September 1993.
Marathon, published by Bungie Software, was released for the Macintosh in December 1994.

Myst won Macworld's 1994 Macintosh Game Hall of Fame for best adventure game.
Marathon won Macworld's 1995 Macintosh Game Hall of Fame for best network game.

So how does Myst win a MacWorld Top Products of 1995 Award? Should it not have been in 1994?

OK... so timelines get a bit skew iffy back in the 90s. You have Greg Kirkpatrick to thank for that.

So fast forward to 2022.

In a r/marathon post about the lore obsession that is Marathon and Myst, thunderchild120 writes:

Durandal: "Bring me the red uplink chips!"
     Tycho: "Bring me the blue uplink chips!"

No clues as to what this is referencing. Two brothers trapped in boxes books, each attempting to direct your actions, in order to escape... to be free.

Now that my brother approaches, we will set about turning everything against him, Hamlet and his uncle, only I'm not crazy.

So Marathon is just a retelling of Myst?

Well in the 90s anything was possible. Just ask MacWorld magazine.

February 4, 2022 (Friday)

On the subject of young people playing Marathon I came across the following amusing quote from a gamer on the gaming site HowLongToBeat. They had completed Marathon and were reviewing it.

This game is really great. Yes, I did play the game for the first time in 2018 and I loved it. If I had played this game in 1994 when it came out, it would have shattered my 10 year old mind.

Which kind of reminds me of young Damon Holmes who wrote to the Bungie WebMaster in 1996 (BIG MISTAKE) pleading for the release of Marathon Infinity or his head would explode in the next 24 hours.

And look how that turned out for him. At least he didn't end up in one of these groups.

But I digress.

Graham Benedict <> writes:

I was updating some information on my video game collection, and noticed that's entry for Marathon lists it as taking 7 hours to beat and has a rating of 77%. That rating is so wrong and yet so right. Just wanted to share.

You can see the stats Graham is referring to below (they will most likely change over time).

February 2, 2022 (Wednesday)

"You killed Bob!"

Always interesting to see Marathon turning up in unusal places. Thanks to prochristus over on r/marathon for pointing out the image (below) which headlines a hotly debated issue. You can read the full article here.

Now before you go "OMG" and ban your kids from killing Bob this is actually a stock image available on the internet. You can see the full version here. Oh... and the reflection on the screen is kinda weird. Probably just a glit~~~   glitch in the Matrix.

Of course if Ben Bolgla from Atlanta was playing the version of Marathon they played in Beck 2 - Spår i Mörker then I would be getting worried. Now that's a game they should have banned.

One concerned Marathon fan even wrote to the Bungie WebMaster warning him about this game.

Did you know that right now there is a movie playing in Sweden called Beck 2. The movie is about Sweden's best policeman who gets involved with a mysterious murder case. In that movie they play Marathon 2, but they call it Final Doom and it's played by psychos in the Stockholm subway.

The Bungie WebMaster replied:

Well, for what it's worth, there was actually a non-Bungie game called Final Doom, and it sold principally to psychos who live in the Stockholm subways, so the game in the movie may not have been Marathon 2.

Nonetheless, I'd love to see the film just to make sure, so if any of you Swedish film buffs can get me a copy on NTSC video (or tell me where I can find such a beast), I'll make it worth your while.

Well the Bungie WebMaster finally got his wish and look how that turned out for him.

Time for a Letters to the Bungie WebMaster section perhaps?

But I digress.

There is an interesting interview with Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak in which he talks about his history with and philosophy on video games. It includes a piece about him playing Marathon with his class of 5th graders. Worth a watch. Jump to the 44th minute if you just want to see the Marathon piece.

Back when I was a kid there were no computers. You just played ball out on the street. Every time a motor vehicle passed, the man with the flag told you stand aside and let the vehicle pass.

And look how that turned out for me.

February 1, 2022 (Tuesday)

And now back to our normal service.

Way back in the myths mists of time. No wait... not that far back.

Back in 2001 it was frequently pointed out that in Marathon 3 Halo the AI Tycho 343 Guilty Spark, the genial but genocidal monitor (caretaker) of Installation 04, had a Marathon symbol right up front and center for all to see.

No coincidence right?

Well recently on the Facebook page Bungie Marathon Fans Chris Butcher who worked for Bungie Studios back in the day commented that it "...was of course an intentional homage".

Nothing new right?

Alexander Seropian when asked about the similarities between the Marathon's Security Officer and Halo's Master Chief in an interview for Xbox Nation in 2002 replied:

"I don't think you ever find that out, but it's the same character."

Adding further:

"God, we've never said that before, but it's completely obvious."

So if you want to play Marathon three... four... blamma... go play Halo.


Actually you don't even have to play it. You can now watch it on ParamountPlus. Which should suit a lot of you Zoomers out there.

Thanks to Jeff Nosanov for the above link and this image.

I'll leave the last word to Chris Butcher concerning the above image.

"It's just an evolution of the design of 343 Guilty Spark."

The Marathon's Story page. Bringing you the tru7h since 1995.

Noooooo... what about Marathon 3?

January 31, 2022 (Monday)

Whoa... lots of emails coming in about Sony buying Bungie.

Crazy right?

Not so. Responding to Microsoft's record-shattering deal to buy Activision Blizzard, Sony announced today its plans to buy Bungie for $3.6 billion making Jason Jones one of the richest men on the planet.

Eat that John 'Ferrari' Romero. Jason however will still be driving his V8 automatic 79 Camaro. Last of the V8s.

Is that even a thing?

Jason Jones was not available for comment about his appearance in the next Mad Max movie.

Expect a Marathon 4... soon™. Sony are just waiting for the answer to the Ultimate Question before committing to the next chapter in the Marathon series. So come on guys who will find the answer first?

Your making this stuff up... right?

January 30, 2022 (Sunday)

Happy Birthday Marathon Spoiler Guide.

A number of people have pointed out that the author of the usenet post I referred to yesterday was in fact the maintainer of the Marathon Spoiler Guide, Michael K. Neylon.

Yes indeed. Mike posted the first version of the Marathon Spoiler Guide back in January 30, 1995. That exactly 27 year ago today. So Happy Birthday.

It was originally posted to usenet before becoming a web based guide. The spoilers, tips, etc were compiled from posts on and as well as submissions directly to Mike.

It is interesting to speculate that Mike created the Spoiler Guide in response to comments by Jason Jones that he had missed parts of the story "on hidden terminals". Well it makes for a nice origin theory at any rate.

From a historical point of view the Spoiler Guide and its updates chart what was publicly known about Marathon in those early months before the arrival of the map editors. Back then secrets had to be found the hard way. Indeed the last big secret area in Marathon would not be found for over 2 months. Thank you Greg Kirkpatrick.

Here's the original Marathon Spoiler Guide v0.9.9 posted on January 30, 1995. Complete with ASCII maps. Don't you just love the mid-90s.

It was quickly followed up by v1.0.0 a few days later on February 5, 1995. It added further spoilers and corrected a number of errors in the first version.

Hey, what was the last secret found?

January 29, 2022 (Saturday)

While battling an alien invasion, you discover that one of the ship's artificial intelligences, Durandal, has gone "rampant", a cybernetic psychosis that makes 2001's HAL seem about as threatening as your average pocket calculator.
Inside Mac Games, Volume 3, Issue 1&2, Jan/Feb 1995.

Added the Inside Mac Games review of Marathon (Jan/Feb 1995) to Blasts from the Past.

January 27, 2022 (Thursday)

So... a week ago I referenced a piece of Marathon-inspired art by jamessmith6 entitled "Incoming" dating from February 2019.

(click the image to enlarge)

I pointed out that its inspiration was "BioCore Vent #88A with its ceiling-mounted cryogenic chambers".

As expected I got back a few comments along the lines of... "BioCore Vent #88A?",   "cryogenic chambers in the ceiling?",   "You're making this stuff up." .

Oh no.

Back in July 21, 2012 I posed the question: "On what level do you first find a cryo-storage unit and what is odd about it?"

John Sumner was quick to come back with the answer that they were on Bigger Guns Nearby and that they were all all recessed into the ceiling.

So there you have it.

Was this someone's idea of a joke or a mad space saving design?

Of course this does remind me of the long running usenet thread about Marathon ship design and what happened when the Pfhor ate all the coconuts. But I'll leave that story for another day.

Coconuts?... WTF!

January 25, 2022 (Tuesday)

So... I am getting a lot of questions about the "Marathon betas".

Marathon betas... They're everywhere!

How many? What were they? Any screenshots? Where can I find them? How do I play them?

So where do we start?

"Marathon zero, alpha, beta, gamma, blamma."

So we have the Inside Mac Games first look at Marathon in January 1994 which shows what is now called the "Marathon Zero/Alpha" In this early version of Marathon your job was to investigate the disappearance of colonists living on a hollowed-out asteroid near the planet Pluto.

"hollowed-out asteroid"... that sounds familiar.

Fast forward to the release of Marathon Trilogy Box Set on May 1, 1997.

According to the Marathon Scrapbook this first version of Marathon, which was shown at Macworld San Francisco in January 1994, was eventually canned because it looked too much like Pathways Into Darkness.

The Marathon Scrapbook relates:

Marathon started out as a series of coding experiments; Jason modified the Pathways engine to make it faster and more structurally elegant, but concentrated the most on enhancing monster intelligence. Bungie demoed the first alpha version, aptly titled Marathon Zero, at the San Francisco Macworld Expo in January 1994. But as Jason recounts, the game barely made a ripple at the show: many people dismissed the game as Pathways with minor cosmetic enhancements.

The Marathon Scrapbook relates further:

Determined to salvage the Marathon project, Bungie returned from the Macworld show, barricaded themselves in their Pilsen office and went to work. Jason abandoned the Mosaic project and devoted his full attention to Marathon. He and Ryan rewrote the game's rendering engine from the ground up. Ryan also began work on Vulcan, a Marathon map editor which is best described as all the madness and misery in twenty lunatic asylums, distilled into a single Macintosh application.

The Marathon Scrapbook goes further than it should...

In February, Greg Kirkpatrick joined the Bungie team. Several months earlier Jason had declared that if Marathon was going to have a story, Greg would have to write it. Greg, who had recently suffered a direct blow to the head from a washing machine, readily agreed. Doug Zartman joined Bungie as their first paid employee in May. He started out doing tech support for Pathways but found his role expanding into public relations in the same way that petty larceny eventually

Wait WHAT?!!! You mean Greg Kirkpatrick was never a "paid employee"?

Yeah... the blow on the head from a washing machine dishwasher will do that to you.

Rule No 186?   So Bungie took advantage of this guy?   I'm totally confused...

Check out more information about the Marathon Zero/Alpha on A secret, hidden game????,   Nicolas Cage 0.5 gone in 30 seconds, the Grendal section... and here... oh... and over here... and over...

SERIOUSLY?!!!... this stuff is all over the place. What kind of page is this?

to be continued

January 22, 2022 (Saturday)

So... I have had a number of questions about this screenshot I posted a few days ago.

Most people spotted it was a screenshot from the front of the Marathon box. It was also part of The Marathon Collage released on September 22, 1994. So it's one of the very first official screenshots.

And yes, it shows a dead Bob on Arrival.

Dead Bob?

Bobs were present on an earlier version of Arrival. But were later removed which probably explains why the Marathon Demo v0.0 has a legacy Bob in the Impossible Room. Someone just overlooked him. The Bob in the Impossible Room was removed from the final game and all subsequent versions of the Marathon Demo after v0.0. Thus not many people have actually seen him in person.

How can v0.0 even be an actual thing?

And of course... "It is your sworn duty as a security officer to protect Bob.". But this did not stop evil people doing evil things to Bob in the Impossible Room. This was immortalised in Shogoki's famous Bob picture, simply called "heh heh". Shogoki wrote:

"This picture leaves the imagination open to ponder what one
would do to a Bob if one ever found him in a dark alley."

In the Impossible Room... no one can hear you scream.

And a little known fact about the Marathon Demo v0.0 was the ability to play it in a looped fashion carrying over all your weapons and ammo to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, Nth iteration. Each time you looped back to the start, the game played slightly differently. You could even decide to torch Bob in the Impossible Room with Tozt.25 and REALLY hear him scream.


Of course, if you had bothered to read the file called "DON'T READ THIS!!!" it did say:

Q: Why am I reading this?
A: 1. You have played the demo 35 times and you're looking for a hint so that you can find something new.
2. Actually you're not real and right now, you're inside a computer game, where someone else is directing your actions and wearing a virtual reality body suit. That other person is now making you read this instead of playing the Marathon demo for the 36th time...


Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Marathon Demo v0.0 is. You have to play it for yourself.

January 20, 2022 (Thursday)

Staying on the subject of Marathon-inspired artwork a number of people have pointed out that Arne Niklas Jansson of Android Arts has created some new Marathon-inspired art.

Some of you may remember Arne from back in the day when he created a Marathon-inspired poster for Bungie's 20th anniversary in 2011. His Marathon page has a very nice write up on how he worked with Bungie to create this charity drive poster. One dedicated fan had the limited edition poster framed. Kind of like the guy who did this... BUT nothing like the guy who did THIS and then another guy had one framed. I mean come on.... Bungie has reserved a special place for people like you. ;)

But I digress.

Arne's new image of Durandal hits the proverbial 'nail on the head'. Arne writes "Old Durandal thing that I noodled on (sword+spooky face)."

(click the image to enlarge)

You can see the original "sword+spooky face"   here.

Check out Arne's 'nudie' (unarmored) Pfhor and 'clothed' (armored) Mjolnir Recon number 54.

Who said Marathon was dead?   Oh wait... I made a List.

For the humorless impaired... I was only joking about the 'special place' for hanz333. Hats off to you Sir.

January 19, 2022 (Wednesday)

Following up on yesterday's update I was pleasantly surprised to find an earlier piece of Marathon-inspired art by jamessmith6 on his Deviant Art page. This one is called "Incoming" and dates back to February 2019 no less.

(click the image to enlarge)

No guesses as to where this is in the game. It's BioCore Vent #88A with its ceiling-mounted cryogenic chambers. Which of course reminds me of that famous (or infamous) Bob cry "Frog Blast The Vent Core" that was never actually written down for obvious reasons.

The search for its meaning led to the Bungie WebMaster's "Frog Blast The Vent Core Joke Contest". By all accounts a gruelling Marathon for the Bungie staffers who had to judge it. The winning joke is now a perennial favorite at Marathon parties.

Doug Zartman would later go on to reveal the real tru7h behind the line that made him famous.

One day someone will write all this down for posterity. Somewhere on a big page... they are reading.

But I digress.

jamessmith6 also has a Pathways-inspired piece called Zombie dating back to December 2015.

(click the image to enlarge)

I think it nicely captures the creepiness of the Zombie. It is also quite rare to see Pathways-inspired artwork so this piece was a really nice surprise.

January 17, 2022 (Tuesday)

Well it's always nice to see new Marathon-inspired artwork surface.

Over on r/marathon prochristus (aka jamessmith6) has posted a very nice piece which captures the aesthetic of the first game using Blender 3.0 render with Cycles, paintover/ bash in Photoshop. Simply entitled "MP" it...

...shows a multiplayer match in the Marathon universe.

(click the image to enlarge)

And it wouldn't be Marathon without hazard stripes... right?

Check out his artwork on Deviant Art and follow him if you want to see more Marathon-inspired artwork. His bio reads:

I am a self-taught artist with high-functioning autism, with focus on digital works since 2009. I have been drawing for 20+ years, concentrating significantly on comic books.

January 17, 2022 (Monday)

Nicolas Cage doing his version of "Vic on a real bad day".

No doubt some of you are asking "Vic on a real bad day... what's that?"

Well we have to go all the way back to 2004 when it was noted that Bungie had put up some Marathon wallpapers one of which was entitled "Vic on a real bad day". You'll note that this is a modified version of the opening Marathon 2 chapter screen. Which is a modified version of this pic. And then there is the whopping 2500 x 2250 pic by Craig Mullins which is not the original. A modified version was also used for the cover of the February 1996 edition of MacAction magazine. It was also used by Wired magazine for a completely different purpose.

The fact that Bungie were now calling this pic "Vic on a real bad day" led to some interesting speculation.

I don't know... maybe we need a Craig Mullins section to write all this stuff down for posterity.

But back to Nic... or should we call him Vic... it doesn't really matter as he is never actually named in the film. In the credits he is simply listed as "The Janitor". In addition, he never says a single word throughout the film. Much like the Security Officer in Marathon. He just kicks the living crap out of 'rampant' animatronic characters. All done in the best possible taste... err. Just leave your brain at the door.

What's the name of the film?

Oh... Willy's World Arena... or was it... Waldo Wonderland... or... Willy's Wonderland... ah yes that's the one. Willy's Wonderland (2021).

Cool... I'm going to use that name for my next Marathon net level.

And I do apologise to Nicolas Cage in advance if he is a Marathon fan and has waited 25 years to do his "Vic on a real bad day" impression on film.

January 16, 2022 (Sunday)

Thanks to treellama in a Story forum post for pointing out that Aleph One 1.5 has been released.

Apart from additional functionality and bug fixes this update adds support for Apple Silicon.

Good news for those wishing to play right up to 2046.


January 15, 2022 (Saturday)

Lots of interest in a new Marathon Boxes section. A number of people have pointed out that there is quite a bit about the Marathon boxes already on the Story page.

There is the Box Acronyms section and the infamous "TBWSAF" acronym.


The Missing Boxes and why Doug Zartman didn't get punched!


The Marathon Trilogy Box Set Unboxing by Bob-B-Q.

Bigger on the inside than on the outside?

The screenshots on the boxes and why they never quite match what we see in-game.

Never quite match?

January 14, 2022 (Friday)

A Marathon Boxes section?

Sandra Bullock?

Thanks to all those who pointed out that the credits for the Marathon packaging are in the Marathon manual. But what was the 13th Floor?

Sandra Bullock?

In response to a possible new section for the Marathon Boxes, it was pointed out that we should not forget the Marathon Trilogy Box Set. It is the only game box that is "bigger on the inside than on the outside"... that's a first in gaming history.

Sandra Bullock?

Mr Angry from Surbiton writes to say that the Story page is already as big as "fucking doctoral thesis" so don't go adding another section for boxes... please.

Sandra Bullock?

Was she "the man you were searching for in the "No Artificial Colors" level of the original Marathon game."

I mean... come on... who makes this stuff up? Bungie apparently... in their Marathon Trilogy Box Set Trivia Contest.

Sandra Bullock was in "No Artificial Colors"?

January 13, 2022 (Thursday)

Josh Jansen <> writes to point out that LGR Blerbs has dropped a YouTube video about the game boxes of Hock Wah Yeo.


Hock Wah Yeo is a graphics designer who in the 80s and 90s created some of the most innovative and creative packaging in the gaming industry. The boxes for JetFighter: The Adventure (1988), Spectre (1991) and Prince of Persia (1992) spring to mind as some of his best early work. His boxes were shaped like pyramids and trapezoids, they made you stop and pick them up. I know I did. I bought Spectre back in the day.

The Obscuritory also has a very informative article on the work of Hock Wah Yeo entitled The incredible boxes of Hock Wah Yeo. Worth a read... or just look at the pictures.

So where is all this leading to? Well Josh asks:

Do we know who designed the boxes for the original [Marathon] series release? A cursory search of the story page revealed nothing specific.

Good question. They could easily have been inspired by the designs of Hock Wah Yeo.

Time for a Marathon Boxes section perhaps.

January 12, 2022 (Wednesday)

A number of people have been quick to point out that I am "way out of date" as tcbr has just done a new speed run of Marathon 2 with a time of 35:35 on YouTube.

As the man himself says he is not doing these on Total Carnage as he does not want be here for 7 hours. No... I did not make that up. Watch the video.

Mr (Ms) Angry from Surbiton writes to complain ask why the Marathon Vidmasters' Page has not been updated? Is no one doing Vidmaster (Vidmistress) films any more? He (She) goes on to say that 'Kindergarten' is on the Story page. Do a search and find a hidden page. sheesh... you guys.

January 11, 2022 (Tuesday)

On this episode of the Story page.

This is actually a true crime story... sort of.

Speed runner (tcbr) does Marathon Durandal on Kindergarten in 32:05 on YouTube.

What is Kindergarten?

sheesh... Why isn't this on the Story page? Doesn't the Story page explain all? I need the answer... now.

January 8, 2022 (Saturday)

Somewhere In The Heavens... They Are Waiting

Back in June 2021 we reported on a Marathon-inspired board game which was in development. Now Eric Salzman <> writes to say that he has uploaded a YouTube video showing an unboxing, set-up and playthrough of a small portion of the game, entitled "Somewhere In The Heavens... They Are Waiting".

Somewhere In The Heavens... We'll Be Watching

Jeoku writes to say that he has just completed his Pathways Into Darkness In-Depth playthrough videos on his YouTube channel and is about to start a similar In-Depth playthrough of the Marathon series. As they say in Marathon - poenas dare.

What is poenas dare and what does it mean?

sheesh... I don't have time to read all this. Can you just give me the answer?

January 7, 2022 (Friday)

biblical candy machines
earthy sandy cracking schedules
dumb stone  unknowning  alone

It's the seventh of the month.

Today we feature Rock Paper Shotgun's retrospective — "Remembering Marathon Infinity's Opening Level"   by Luke Pullen, published in August 2016. In Marathon years that's like only yesterday.

It's a highly readable article on why Ne Cede Malis was ahead of its time. While Marathon Infinity's level design in general is described as:

...a series of brooding, spartan aesthetic triumphs that often leaves you wading through innards in search of an exit. Infinity is architectural play in an especially cool, brutalist mode.

Not so Ne Cede Malis:'s a small, finely crafted experience that never wears out its welcome. It's also quite unlike its contemporaries, far ahead of its time and very (perhaps too) ambitious.

The author goes on to give his reasons why he loves this level. One reason is described as "Grind":

The level is alive, but decaying. It breathes, roars and groans. The ambient sound is almost musical, but it's always abrasive. By the time you finish, this sound will be driving you mad. Doors here aren't just locked. They get stuck or slam mindlessly. Even when they work, you almost always have to flip a switch to operate them - all of this technology requires what Star Trek would call a manual override. Some doors are smeared with unidentifiable residue. Machine textures slide endlessly between cracks in walls and doorframes - a nice technological kludge, but also suggestive of the fact this level is only a fragment of something bigger. You're trapped inside a vast machine, and it's in pain.

You can read the full Rock Paper Shotgun article by Luke Pullen here.

Related links:

Randy Reddig (aka ydnar) writes about his level Ne Cede Malis.
Chris Geisel (Doubleaught) writes about Ne Cede Malis.
Mark Levin's take on this level in the Volunteers series.
Martin's take on this level in the Tour of Duty series.
Philtron's take on this level in his Infinity Analysis.
Dream Levels and Failed Timelines. A section which attempts to explain WTF is happening on Ne Cede Malis.
The demo terminal text for Ne Cede Malis.   How it was originally written.
The final terminal text for Ne Cede Malis.   What got taken out... and more importantly what got added.
The Infinity manual text.   Because everyone should... RTFM.

And if you read all this you are on your way to answering the ultimate question.

sheesh... I don't have time for this. Can you give me a synopsis?


Don't be a Homer.

January 4, 2022 (Tuesday)

So... I got a number of queries about this image I posted on Christmas Eve.


Where is the third eye?
Where is this image from?
Is this an official Bungie image?
Is this Marathon 3D?

Questions... questions... questions.

Why after 27 years do we still have questions?


January 1, 2022 (Saturday)

Happy New Year to all Story page readers... everywhere!

And to start the year off... here is a little head scratcher for you.

Q7. Decode the following question to the Bungie Webmaster and the equally cryptic answer. (15 marks)

4966 2079 6F75 2061 7265 2064 6563 7970 6865 7269 6E67 2074 6869
7320 796F 7520 6D75 7374 2062 6520 7265 616C 6C79 2062 6F72 6564 2E2E

The Cyborg,


446S 6R27 7420 7461 6P6O 2074 6861 7420 736Q 6163 6O20 746S 206Q 652R 2020 466S
7220 616P 6P20 796S 7520 6O6R 6S77 2049 2063 6S75 6P64 2062 6520 796S 7572 2066
6174 6865 722R

Yes folks, the 90s were tough if you were a Bungie fan.

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Last updated Mar 3, 2022