Feb 28, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update #3

Ajay Ayyagari <daleks@seattleu.edu> points out that today's earthquake in Seattle had a magnitude of 7. Yes 7! Check CNN for details.

Quick update #2

Bungie Studios survive Quake in Seattle. If you don't get the joke you need to read the headline news over at HBO and Matt Soell's humerous comments in this forum post. Thanks Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org>.

Miguel Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes:

Thought you might like this...


Check out some of the comments on that thread. :-)

Quick update #1

Interesting find from Jonathan Dickie <jonathan_dickie@yahoo.co.uk>. Seems Bungie had caught the "All your base are belong to us" bug back in Jan 30th according to this Bungie webcam pic. Will the next Halo transmissions really look like this? ;-)

Vote Marathon! Brian Retchless <brian@retchless.com> writes:

It's not that often that Marathon is mentioned in a gaming poll (is it?)

Well, Gamespot has given us the opportunity to vote Marathon as "our most memorable single player experience!"


You know what to do people. Make it a clean fight. :-)

Most expensive computer game ever? Bryan Mendoza <brymen@carbon.flatlan.net> writes:

Marathon 2 for $1,687.99. No kidding! Check it out:


Sean Phelps <seanphelps@home.com> writes:

He's everywhere!

In Phantasy Star Online (recently released for the Dreamcast), one of the extremely hard to acquire unique weapons, is none other than Durandal:


Matthew Smith <mps@utas.edu.au> writes:

We were wondering if you could help us get the word to the masses!

We're doing the preliminary groundwork for compiling an Aleph One CD. The plan so far is to have the CD divided up into 9 folders:

Aleph One          - The app and infinity demo
Demos              - the other marathon (bungie) demos
Scenarios          - Third party TCs
Multiplayer Maps   - Multiplayer maps using Infinity Data files
Single Player Maps - One person only maps using Infinity Data files
Physics Models     - For Aleph One
Patches            - eg. The Texture Enhancement Project
Tools              - Any handy apps for Aleph
Docs               - Aleph One Manual etc

Rather then just hunt for files ourselves, We'd prefer if people email us at aleph_cd@hotmail.com with suggestions in any categories above. Please add where we can get the files and permission to use them, otherwise we can't guarantee we'll find it.

We are hoping the CD can be distributed in two ways: Disk image for downloading (most probably hotline) and through the post at the price of the postage and the CD (no profit made).

At the moment we're doing a Mac only CD, but would love to do a PC version in the future (Someone skilled in this part of Aleph would be welcomed if he/she could help us here)

we hope to update the CD regularly to keep up with changes (so don't be stressed if what you want isn't there the first time)

Feb 27, 2001 (Tuesday)

John "Lophan" Jennings <lophan@yahoo.com> writes to say that Marathon was featured in a Gamespot article by Features Editor - Jennifer Ho. Some of you may remember Jennifer in association with Oni and Brent Pease. Anyway here's the relevant piece:

Marathon was released for the Mac in December 1994, and it was the first-person shooter that launched the independent, young, and small Bungie to greener pastures, which would later include a sequel, Marathon 2, then a third game to complete a trilogy. One of the reasons for which Marathon has stood out in my experience is that it was very much story-driven. Its sci-fi plot and setting were reminiscent of certain themes found in action movies like Aliens, and the game had a lot of interesting twists involving artificial-intelligence characters. And most of all, I can remember being genuinely frightened of things hidden behind corners and doors or in dark places, aliens that would jump at you and attack you. The first-person perspective also immersed me into the gameworld, and it was like playing in a movie.

Elbert Wall <elbertdw@radiks.net> asks:

what's dem stages again?


A rampant web server? ;-)

Johnathan "rpb3000" Telin <telinj4615@clarkstate.cc.oh.us> came across a site called Marathon Music. Not Marathon related even though it shares the same name. Yeah it's a popular name.

Tom Langworthy <langwota@acs.wooster.edu> notes that the Island Four web site has been going through a number of subtle changes. Bits seem to get added and removed. Apparently all the changes are supposed to be connected. The fan site i4.org has some details on this.

On the subject of Island Four Nathan Bitner (CEO, Island Four Corporation) sent in a long letter which was cross-posted to Rampancy, HBO and i4org. Rather than reprint it here in length you can take a look at the above links. The one at Rampancy has the biggest discussion. I was pretty shocked by this post. Who the hell is Hamish Sinclair? This post brought my feverish brain back to reality. ;-)

Feb 26, 2001 (Monday)

Quick update #2

Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> writes concerning today's item on Peter Tamte's new startup company that will bring key Microsoft games to the Macintosh:

Regarding Peter's new company, I wouldn't take his silence as an omen of anything but hard work. Setting up a new software company is time-consuming, especially when the legal departments of two humongous companies are involved. Peter knows more about PR and reaching the Mac community than most, and I'm sure he'll be unavoidable once he has all his ducks in a row.

Peter was out here a few weeks ago and from my own conversations with the man I can tell you he's very busy with this new venture. I think worrying about the "fate" of Tamtesoft (and no, that's not the name of his company) is a bit premature.

Good news. Thanks Matt. :-)

Quick update #1

Nice catch over at HBO. The Seattle Times have an article on the Xbox in their Business and Technology section with a pic of four members of the Halo development team playing Halo. The people in the pic have been identified as Marcus Lehto, David Dunn, Rob McLees, and Mat Noguchi.

Dan Hembry <chlazza@elegant-insanity.com> writes:

Remember that picture of the forklift that used to grace the front page of the Bungie Store?

Maybe it's my imagination but I seem to remember that after the reactivation of the Bungie Store that the forklift picture didn't have anybody in the driver's seat. Before the Bungie Store was shut down I remember that somebody who reminded me of Doug Zartman was driving (he had a goatee/beard and a hat).

Unfortunately when I got online to check I found they had taken the picture down. :(

Dan is referring to the Everything at the Store image from the Bungie Store and yes the driver of the forklift is missing. In its original incarnation the driver was Jim Ruiz. Some of you may remember the Story page posting an announcement (back in Nov 10, 2000) that the Bungie Store was returning with Jim once more at the helm. The idea at the time was for Jim to operate the Bungie Store as an external contractor. Unfortunately this fell through. Microsoft now handles the Store and Jim was airbrushed out of the Everything at the Store image. That's history I guess. : /

I came across (thanks RHL) an amusing item at Utterer.com which may have some serious undertones. The article is entitled "Peter Tamte Leaves Nameless Company; Something in Limbo". You may remember that Peter Tamte, former Executive Vice President of Publishing at Bungie, was named in a Microsoft press release announcing a new startup company (headed by Peter) that would bring key Microsoft games to the Macintosh. That was was back in July 2000. The announcement was made at the same time Alex Seropian (CEO Bungie Software) confirmed that Halo would be released for the Macintosh. The Microsoft press release went on to say:

"As a multiplatform entertainment company, Microsoft is committed to making its world-class games available for the PC, Xbox and other platforms through strategic relationships," said Ed Fries, vice president of games publishing at Microsoft. "We are particularly pleased to honor Bungie's commitment to make ground-breaking games like 'Halo' available to gamers on all platforms, including the Macintosh."

Several months later (Nov 2000) in an Inside Mac Games (IMG) interview with Peter Tamte the subject of his company's name came up. Oddly Peter Tamte (PT) replied:

IMG: What will be the name of this new company?

PT: Er, ahem, I don't know yet.

The recent Peter Tamte article at Utterer.com is simply pointing out that nothing has been announced since. Here's part of the piece:

Peter Tamte announced in some web boards that he was leaving a company, and that some stuff was not going to ship.

Tamte would not name the company that he was leaving because it had no name. He also would not name the projects because they are secret.

Tamte said he was junking his unnamed company and replacing it with a new unnamed company of equal or lesser value, and that all of the products of his original unnamed company will be published by his new unnamed company, pending approval from licensors.

Of course the above is tongue-in-cheek but it does raise the issue of the real fate of Peter Tamte's startup company. Will Microsoft's key games come to the Macintosh? If so who will be porting Halo to the Macintosh?

Feb 25, 2001 (Sunday)

On the subject of "Banshees" in Halo there is a certain amount of confusion as to what the term refers to. PC Gamer (UK) referred to them as the "Covenants' hover-craft". Are they in fact the hoverbikes/flycycles we see in the movies?

Well Cam "Cunbelin" Pinard <cunbelin@yahoo.com> writes to point out that in a report of Halo at E3 2000 on Rampancy the flycycles were referred to as "Ghosts". Here's the relevant part:

Cresting a hill, the jeep crew comes upon a tall, immistakably alien structure that looks very unlike the Covenant vehicles and the base we've seen from the MWNY Demo. The BOBs wait for everyone to get into position, and then we get a look at what waits at the base. Several flycycles, which were referred to as "Ghosts" afterwards, and two previously unseen vehicles. One is clearly a heavy tank of Covenant origin, purple and bulging, and the second seems halfway between the other two, but red instead of Covenant purple. We wondered if this was an officer's vehicle, but Joe described it as the Covenant's answer to the jeep, a three person vehicle with a top mounted ball turret.

Similarly Rob "Noctavis" Swenson <mail@noctavis.com> sent in this link to a rampancy hotline chat transcript again about E3 2000. Rob writes:

...this transcript does designate the "flycycles" (hoverbikes, what have you) as being "Ghosts"

So... different names for the same thing?

Here's the relevant part:

Noctavis =PN=: Oh... BTW - Joe Staten called the Flycycles "ghosts"
Noctavis =PN=: (those covie one-troop things)

Banshees and Ghosts... different names for the same thing? Well it's not clear. Those familiar with Pathways Into Darkness would no doubt describe the Banshee as "ghost-like". They are also called Phantasms, Specters and Shades.

Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes:

There's a extra large, never-worn DMUKYA T-shirt about to close bidding on eBay.

Only a few hours left to get this. The bidding presently stands at $5.50.

Feb 24, 2001 (Saturday)

Quick update #3

On the subject of the new Island Four site this interesting post on HBO caught my attention.

Quick update #2

Andrew Moll <blueleader@mac.com> writes:

I saw on HBO that the the Island Four page is up.


Nothing exciting there, but why don't you hit SELECT ALL or look at the HTML source? What do you see?

Andrew sent in the full text of what he saw but I'll let you discover it for yourself. The same cryptic text can be seen in a number of forum posts made by Nathan "Island Four" Bitner and associates over the last few days.

Quick update #1

Matt Soell's reference to a "Banshee" in this week's Halo update piqued my curiosity. When had the term been used before in association with Halo? Rob "Noctavis" Swenson of Rampancy was sure the term had been used at E3 2000 but try as we might we couldn't track down an actual reference. Robert Zimmermann <robzim@gmx.net> tracked down a few references to Banshees on the HBO forums here and here. But I was sure there was an actual "official" reference to the term out there. Of course all I needed to do was use the Story page's fabled search engine (the one that doesn't exist yet). Back on June 7, 2000 Halo's Banshees were mentioned. The reference came from a Halo review in the UK version of PC Gamer (July 2000). On page 43 it states:

However, apart from the dropships and the Covenants' hover-craft (catchily called Banshees) we won't be seeing much flight.

So it seems the Covenants' hover-craft was actually out of the game... but is now back in. Good to know these things... right?

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) posted his Halo update to HBO this week. In it Matt remarks:

The Banshee is back in the game.

I'm not aware of Matt mentioning a "Banshee" before. Bungie have used this name in Pathways Into Darkness. You'll find a whole section devoted to the mysterious "Banshee" on the PID page. Worth a read.

Looks like part of the solo scenario in Halo involves getting onto a Covenant ship. Matt states:

The interior of the covenant ship we're working on now is huge; a massive structure of curvy, shiny metal and these enormous docking bays for dropships.

Shades of the Pfhor ship levels in Marathon perhaps? This may be related to the "infiltration mission" that Jaime Griesemer is working on.

Shakespeare in Marathon. Andrew Kanarek <kanaa@pegasystems.com> writes to say that in the first terminal on "Post Naval Trauma" Durandal makes reference to "groundling" revolts

Does it feel good to be back? you will recognize a distinctive flair for decor that just screams galactic arm. This is the massive Armor Platform of the Lh'owon Naval Unit, a required complement to any planetary Naval Force. It's extremely handy for putting down groundling revolts, but without a native population to oppress, there isn't much action here. The Pfhor use it as an orbital repair and reservice station.

Andrew goes on to say:

In Shakespeare's famous Globe Theatre, there was a sort of dirt pit in front of the stage where the poor people stood to watch the plays. The people in this area were referred to as groundlings.

Note there are a number of references to Shakespeare in Marathon.

James Gurnee <harness@access1.net> has been going through the links on Page 2401 sorting out the dead from the living. Thanks James.

And now for something completely different. Jesse Simko <jms98@hampshire.edu> spotted this URL

Feb 23, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update

Another job at Bungie. Tom Van Sinden <tvansinden@earthtech.com> writes:

There is a new job opening at bungie.com.


Bungie are looking for a level designer for Halo who knows how to make "missions that don't suck". You need a Bachelor's degree or the equivalent though.

The Halo fan site Halo HQ landed an interview with Matt Soell. Here's one interesting piece:

Halo HQ - What do you think of the Halo community in general? Such as there attitudes and so on?

Matt - Apart from their interest in a specific game it's hard for me to separate the Halo community from the greater Bungie community; they share most of the same attributes. Specifically they are intelligent, articulate, passionate and opinionated - but not at the expense of a sense of humor. I think Bungie games tend to find their audience - you can run around mindlessly blowing things up in a Bungie game but we put a lot of thought into gameplay and story and that effort resonates with the people who become the core of the community. Obviously with Halo the community has very little to go on right now except some old screenshots and movies and our descriptions of the game. Consequently the Halo community is mostly comprised of long-time Bungie fans who know what we're capable of, as well as some others who might not know or care too much about Bungie but can see the effort and imagination going into Halo. In spite of all the naysayers and the changes we've gone through and the long development schedule, there's still a dedicated community anticipating this game, and as developers that's the best compliment we could receive.

There's also a nice quote from Matt about what Halo is like:

It's kinda like being inside a Craig Mullins painting. :-)

Roll on Halo. :-)

Matt Soell also responded to yesterday's cryptic crossposting on the r.net, HBO and 14.org forums. Seems someone was using the email address <sharon@bungie.com>. Matt put the record straight in a post on r.net. Here's the text:

Re: Hmmm...
Posted On: Thursday, February 22 2001, 7:33pm

: Is there someone on the payroll named Sharon ...

No Sharons here.

: or is this the emergence of another female AI?

If so, it's nothing to do with Halo, the Phoenix project, or anything else we're doing.


OMG a tight beam transmission from Cortana MB? Not for the humorlessly impaired. And NO it's not real... I don't even have the email headers! ;-)

Feb 22, 2001 (Thursday)

Quick update

Got a flood of emails about this one. Thanks folks. Seems Nathan "Island Four" Bitner and associates spammed a number of forums with some cryptic posting. See r.net, HBO and 14.org for the details. Just like old times... maybe?

Bungie Webcam fun. Daniel Chace <lacrymosa@earthlink.net> writes:

Ok, I've got my first one set up. I've had some problems with the AppleScripts that do the compiling, so I had to keep this one short (although it's still a 1.7Meg Gif!)

Fun watching the sunlight move across the walls.


Very nice lighting effects. Worth a look. You can also get it from the Story page here.

Taking lunch orders? Peter McArdle <pmcard@lsuhsc.edu> writes:

Here is a much more intimate web cam shot of a Bungie meeting.

Ryan Woodward <RD007BOND@aol.com> and Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> both write concerning one of the cryptic character strings found in Marathon Infinity. See the Trash Terms section for details.

Feb 21, 2001 (Wednesday)

Help design the site of a thousand battles! Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> points out that Bungie have a new job opening for a 3D Multiplayer Artist to create multiplayer battlegrounds for Halo. Here's the details:

3D Multiplayer Artist (Redmond)

We are looking for a contractor to help design the site of a thousand battles. Work with existing art assets as well as model and texture new ones to create exciting multiplayer battlegrounds. This is your chance to participate in Halo multiplayer carnage!

Interesting to note that Bungie are now contracting out work rather than hiring full-time employees.

Bungie.net has a new poll up. This one asks you what Halo items you'd like to see at the Bungie Store. Items include Wall Poster, Action Figure, DVD (with cool content), Art Book. Which reminds me there was a poll about a Halo movie on DVD some time ago. And what happened to that?

Feb 20, 2001 (Tuesday)

A little news tidbit from Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) over on the halo.bungie.org forums. Seems Bungie are going to be updating/relauching bungie.com. About time some would say. The present bungie.com page doesn't represent their current status. This would help to explain all the current activity on the Bungie Webcam. The color of the new look bungie.com is obviously high on the agenda. ;-)

Matt also dropped a little hint about the next Bungie FanFest. The next one maybe be happening earlier than the July Macworld Expo event in New York. As always though Freewill's Bungie Sightings will keep you up-to-date on FanFest announcements.

Chris Purcell <cjp39@cam.ac.uk> writes concerning one of the cryptic character strings found in Marathon Infinity. See the Trash Terms section for details.

Feb 19, 2001 (Monday)

Thanks to Jonathan Bahamon <jbahamon@earthlink.net>, Matthew Wanlin <stoolgod@deadmoose.com> and Robert "Psyrixx" Sogomonian <psyrixx@psyjnir.com> for sending in screenshots of the Marathon like symbols from the Screaming Cannon HUD and a set of elevator doors. Matthew managed to capture both in one screenshot. The Screaming Cannon HUD is somewhat similar to an inverted Marathon symbol. The door has a Halo'ish feel to it.

Feb 18, 2001 (Sunday)

Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> writes:

...from the Conversatron Companions (http://come.to/askees):


From Marathon. Insane, and extremely powerful AI. Bent on becoming a god by escaping the colapse of the universe. The synopsis of this game is ridiculously long.

Heh... love that last part. ;-)

Jonathan Bahamon <jbahamon@earthlink.net> writes:

Here's another Marathon symbol spotting. This time it's in Oni.

I was on the Rooftops level when I first got a Screaming Cannon. Quite intresting. But my eye noticed in the lower left corner of the screen (where the symbol of the weapon you're carrying appears and also your ammo count) a familiar symbol. Apparently the Screaming Cannon symbol on the HUD is similar to the Marathon symbol. I would send a screenshot but I don't know how to capture screens in Oni. Maybe the guys at OniShots can help us out. ^_^

Now that I mention it, on that same level (Rooftops) the elevator doors also have a Marathon-esque symbol on them. You'll have to see it, of course. I'll try to see if I can get a screen capture or something. I think I recall reading somewhere that you can...

If anyone has screenshots of these please send them in. Thanks.

Matthew Smith <mps@utas.edu.au> writes concerning the yesterday's Webcam pic of Matt Soell and friend:

I think the hippo with the gold tooth's name is George from the cartoon series George and Martha.

Feb 17, 2001 (Saturday)

Quick update

Jacob Aberg <Jacob_Aberg@excite.com> writes:

Reading issue 94 of Edge (incidentally the issue where Oni is reviewed), I saw an article about the International Game Developers Association. Chairman? A certain Jonas Eneroth.

Excerpt: "'It can be fine balance between the super-geeky usergroup and something a little bit more casual and more rewarding that helps bind a community together,' explains Eneroth, drawing on his previous experience from the Chicago chapter, gained when working at Bungie."

Jonas Eneroth left Bungie for the greener pastures of London, England back in Feb '98. Some of you may remember his Bungie sign off "Jjaro Liasion Officer and "That Swedish Guy". He was a great contributor to the Story page offering us such gems as the infamous Monkey Boy Ad (205K), the Billy Bob Ad (302K), the Wayward Spleen Ad (322K) and the Alien Hot Dog Ad (294K). Jonas also made some valuable contributions to the Win 95 Marathon 2: The Undiscovered Secrets section. Good to see him still around in the gaming business and doing well it seems. :-)

Whoah! Matt Soell as you've never seen him! Timothy Collett <tcollett@hamilton.edu> just happened to hit the Bungie Webcam yesterday and got the shock of his life. He writes:

I...just don't know what to say.

Nor I. This is what Timothy saw (WARNING THE IMAGE MAY DISTURB YOU). No doubt this picture will be circulated to all schools in the Seattle region by Monday. ;-)

Taking time out from his hippos Matt managed to send his Halo update to Rampancy this week. Lots of little tidbits on Halo's development. Here's one piece regarding the all important story:

The script for Halo's single-player campaign is about 30% done. (Don't confuse this with the story itself, which is more-or-less finished at this point, and should completely satisfy those of you who like Bungie games for the story.)

mmm... 30% done leaves... 70%. 7 and 3... coincidence? ;-)

Feb 16, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update #2

Ross "Cpt. Sqweky" Wolfe <eternalwar@hotmail.com> also writes concerning the 2001 edition of the GameSpot Aptitude Test for PC games:

I'm taking it right now. You missed question 74.

74. Which of these units from Myth: The Fallen Lords did not appear in Myth II?
A. Forest giant
B. fir'Bolg
C. Myrmidon
D. All of these

Quick update #1

Marathon symbol in the snow? Marc <marcpav@mail.ptd.net> writes:

I may be stretching it here, but I can almost make out a Marathon symbol in this Bungie webcam shot. You can see the large circle in the parking lot snow, and the single line passing through it. Perhaps the inner circle was too tough to create with a car ;)

Perhaps someone is trying to leave a message? ;-)

John "Lophan" Jennings <John_Jennings@vanguard.com> writes concerning the 2001 edition of the GameSpot Aptitude Test for PC games:

Gamespot GSAT mentions Bungie games.

The article itself:


6. Which of these games features a female protagonist?
A. The Longest Journey
B. Oni
C. Urban Chaos
D. All of the above
link: http://www.gamespot.com/features/gsat01pc/p3_02.html


89. Watch this sequence. This sequence is from the introduction to which of these games?
[it lists a link to a mpeg movie for you to watch... it ain't Marathon 2]
A. Starship Troopers
B. Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri
C. Marathon II
D. Quake II
link: http://www.gamespot.com/features/gsat01pc/p3_15.html

General Bungie question

139. Which of these companies developed console games prior to making PC games?
A. id Software
B. Westwood Studios
C. Blizzard Entertainment
D. Bungie Software
link: http://www.gamespot.com/features/gsat01pc/p3_23.html

Matching Question:

91. Brawler              	A. Age of Empires
92. Death Knight         	B. Civilization: Call to Power
93. Heron Guard          	C. Command & Conquer
94. Hydralisk            	D. Dark Reign
95. Lawyer               	E. Dune II: Battle for Arakkis
96. Mammoth Tank         	F. Myth II: Soulblighter
97. Phalanx              	G. Shogun: Total War
98. Saboteur             	H. Starcraft
99. Samurai Archer       	I. Total Annihilation
100. Triple-rail Hovertank  	J. Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness
link: http://www.gamespot.com/features/gsat01pc/p3_16.html

Mike "ax" Henry <activex@shazbot.org> writes concerning the Bungie Studios web page mentioned yesterday:

Ironically, when I looked up the bungiestudios.com domain in Domain Search, the domain was taken on June 20, 2000.

What happened on June 19th, 2000? Hmmm.....

Here's a clue... Despair... Rage... Envy...

Feb 15, 2001 (Thursday)

Johnathan Telin <telinj4615@clarkstate.cc.oh.us> writes concerning that dating agency for computers mentioned yesterday:

Hey, check out that computer dating agency place. It now has Tycho and Leela! I found them on that new sidebar thing.

It's tough being an AI you know. I wonder if Leela and Durandal will ever get together? ;-)

An interesting forum post over at HBO points out the existence of Bungie Studios at www.bungiestudios.com. Bungie Studios is a site dedicated to publishing and distributing free music of high musical and artistic quality on the Internet.

As hinted at back in Jan 6, 2001 Halo (Xbox version) will be unveiled at Microsoft's annual Gamestock event. Gamestock kicks off on March 12th in Seattle, Washington. Interesting to note that in the Gamespot article which reports this news Bungie are referred to as Bungie Software and not Bungie Studios. Thanks to r.net for the heads up.

Feb 14, 2001 (Wednesday)   Happy Valentine's Day :-)

Quick update

Somewhere in the heavens... they are still waiting. It's not often that the Story page plugs a 3rd party Marathon scenario but today is Valentine's Day and... Return to Marathon has been released. Affectionately known as 'RTM', the scenario boasts three enormous levels, parts of which will be familiar to you... as if they were from an old dream. This screenshot sums up the atmosphere. Yup 184 years on and the derelict UESC Marathon colony ship has become a real nasty place... once more. Radioactive Hulks, genetic experiments gone wrong, nuclear-tipped SPNKR rockets, a coat rack, and right at the end you'll fin*~~`~~~`~` ~~~fxfff

Go on indulge yourself this Valentine's Day... but remember don't let RTM become... RTFM. ;-)

Michael "Infininight" Sheets <msheets@clanplaid.net> Myth Townhall Webmaster writes concerning the Soulblighter miniature mentioned on Monday:

Your post reminded me that I'd intended on finding out more about who made them. I found their site, but it seems they are in the process of going out of business! Oh well, guess we won't be seeing any follow ups with Myth III, or any reprintings, etc! :(


Michael has a number of Soulblighter miniatures still in their packaging but I doubt he'll be party with these yet. No Ral Partha prototypes though. Michael writes:

Re the soulblighter packaging:

It says clearly on mine:

Bungie Corp 1998

I've got multiple packages, they are all the same. Sorry I can't take a picture though, no digital camera or scanner.

If you have a Soulblighter miniature where the game's title on the packaging is spelled incorrectly please let me know. Thanks.

Alan Jackson <itsari@zfree.co.nz> writes concerning Andrew Nagy's request for info on the release date for "Dark Forces" mentioned yesterday:

From my recollection, it would have been 1995... and looking at
it backs me up with March 1995. So It looks like after Marathon to me ;)

Also, a Dark Forces faq dated 2/22/95 states Dark Forces will be released March, 1995, so it looks like they got it right too.

This doesn't mean the development started later, or that those features were announced later, however ;)

Well it's Valentine's Day and Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes:

Saw this link at r.net:


It's a computer dating agency. That is... a dating agency for computers.

The first signup on the list?


Feb 13, 2001 (Tuesday)

Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes:

I've heard it mentioned before on your site that some elements of Stargate SG-1's universe are similar to Marathon. For example, alien slavers with staff weapons and body armor; humans secretly fighting a distant war to prevent them from reaching Earth; alien enemies that you can only identify if they kill you, say something wrong, or look at you the wrong way (glowing eyes/charging the player); and powerful good-guy aliens that are occupied with intergalactic affairs, but occasionally beam in to tool on the slavers. Well, I was watching the show on Fox, and the preview for next week's episode (not sure if it's the latest) said "Suddenly·they are everywhere. Taking over SGC, one person at a time."

I think LucasArts Entertainment Company is fond of the phrase "They're Everywhere." In the demo of Grim Fandango (which works great with Virtual PC 3.0), Manny Calvera says it when he's being harassed by pigeons on a skyscraper roof. And in the cutscene between missions I and II of Dark Forces (available in the PC demo), a dying Rebel says it about the cyborg Dark Troopers.

Of course, the battle was short. DTs got into both Tak Base and the surrounding city and killed almost everyone.

Speaking of Dark Forces, I think it may have predated some of Marathon's supposed innovations. There was a lot of safety tape on Nar Shaddaa, huge welding arms attacked the player on board the Arc Hammer (they were as big and durable as Juggernauts), punches seemed to do more damage if you got a running start, and the mousebots were harmless. But I can't find out when DF was released. Do you or any of your readers know?

Everyone else probably knew this before I did, but I counted 25 pages in my Oni notepad. 2 + 5 = 7.

Here's something for those who have been reading about "Dogma 2001" on H.B.O recently. Rule #4 says:

There shall be no knights, elves, dwarves or dragons. Nor shall there be any wizards, wenches, bards, bartenders, golems, giants, clerics, necromancers, thieves, gods, angels, demons, sorceresses, undead bodies or space marines, stormtroopers, star pilots, humanoid robots, evil geniuses, mad scientists, or carnivorous aliens. And no freakin' vampires.

Well, it's a bit of a stretch, but if you consider the player and his basic battleroid backstory, it covers exactly 7 of these categories. Humans that developed battleroids: necromancers, evil geniuses, mad scientists (3) Us: gods, undead bodies or body parts, space marines, humanoid robots (4). 3 + 4 = 7. Blam!

Finally, I think I may have encountered a direct Marathon inspiration in DreamWorks and Warner Bros' 1998 miniseries, Invasion America. The pattern that appears when a ship decloaks, and when a Tyrusian's eye dilates, seems very similar in implementation to the teleporter effect in Marathon. I have a QuickTime clip of it, but I'm not sure where I could upload it.

Feb 12, 2001 (Monday)

A guy called Jag rips off Stefan "My Modem is on Fire" Sinclair's web page.

Colin Dickie <mjolnir000@yahoo.co.uk> writes:

I was looking around and found this 3D model... it looks very much like a Soulblighter from myth/myth 2

mmm... Soulblighter with a brain transplant? On the subject of Soulblighter if you happen to have a Soulblighter miniature with its packaging could you take a picture of the packaging or scan it in to verify the misspelling of the game's title? Many thanks. :-)

Marathon Infinity on Linux. Bungie.org gets Slashdotted.

Feb 11, 2001 (Sunday)

Bungie Webcam TV. Robert Chrzanowski <zirman@mac.com> and his friend have captured the Bungie Webcam every minute since Monday last and have compiled two movies of the captures. Find out what's really going down at Bungie Studios. The image enhancement tech boys will have a field day with these. Go grab'em:

Webcam movie from Mon 5 Feb (11.52) to Wed 7 Feb (11.34)
1-538_compressed.mov (2682K)

Webcam movie from Wed 7 Feb (11.44) to Sat 10 Feb (13.20)
539-4942_compressed.mov (15008K) yes close to 15MBs of Bungie secrets ;-)

Jonathan Bahamon <jbahamon@earthlink.net> writes:

Just for the sake of trivia, the action figure that is holding a gun to the Linux penguin's head is the Snake Plissen (spelling?) action figure from McFarlane Toys' Movie Maniacs 3 line. Snake is from the movie Escape from New York or something like that. He's played by Kurt Russell.

Never seen the movie so I'm not too sure on the spelling or even the movie's title. But it is a McFarlane Movie Maniacs line action figure because I remeber seeing it in my ToyFare magazine with that exact same pose and gun.

Feb 10, 2001 (Saturday)

Quick update

It's not often that an interesting piece of Marathon history from early 1995 lands in your lap. This piece is not only interesting but also quite important for what it revealed about Marathon's story very early on. So bear with me while I give you the background.

Richard Secker <super_secker@hotmail.com> from Stockport in the United Kingdom has been a Marathon fan since the early days but is new to the Internet. Thus he has been unaware of the Story page until quite recently. He wrote:

I'm just one of many Marathon fans sifting through the Trilogy's story in search of the answers. However, unlike most, the internet has been largely unavailable to me until recently, and my investigations such as they are have been primarily a solo activity.

Richard went on to say:

I have a rather old letter from Bungie, which I received in response to a few questions I asked after completing the first game.

Curious I enquired further about the letter and Richard replied that it dated from March 1995 and was from Doug Zartman. In it Doug had revealed some major aspects of the Marathon plot. Specifically that we were the tenth cyborg and that Durandal had not in fact forgotten about Bernhard Strauss.

You might say "we know all this" but remember this letter is from March 1995. Marathon was only a few months old. The plot was only beginning to be discussed online and the major topic was whether or not we were the tenth cyborg. Yet here is Doug Zartman in a (snail mail) letter telling Richard Secker in the United Kingdom the answer! But of course Richard wasn't on the Internet so was unaware of all this discussion.

Richard summed up his situation as follows:

I suppose the Marathon experience has been the same for many of us - on the one hand we enjoy trying to piece together the fragmented storyline from the enigmatic clues and hidden messages, but on the other our piqued curiosity demands satisfaction. I completed the game, absorbed the evidence, and wanted some form of resolution. I was utterly oblivious to the various opportunities for Marathon discussions available on the internet, so I decided to pose my questions to Bungie directly. I would not dare attempt such an activity today, as it would prove fruitless thanks to the veil of secrecy Bungie have rightly chosen to draw over the expanded Marathon plot. But I suppose in those days secrets weren't so closely guarded, and the reply I received from Doug Zartman was slightly more lucid than the cryptic messages Bungie now seem to like torturing you with.

Richard kindly scanned in the letter from Doug and you can read it here (97K). In it you'll find Doug explaining the old MWSF '94 screenshot, the Hound, the tenth cyborg, Enforcers firing on their allies, the fate of Bernhard Strauss, and the missing three levels in the game. Richard offers some interesting interpretation on these in this email.

Nice blast from the past! Thanks Richard. :-)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to Haloplayers this week. Realism and attention to detail is the main theme of the update. According to Matt "holograms" will be working soon. Perhaps we'll get to see the hologram of the Jjaro diplomat Ryu'Toth from Pathways Into Darkness afterall. ;-) The update also mentions the fact that the newly arrived Oni team have now joined with the Halo team to finish Halo. Obviously deadlines are looming.

weepul (fullname pending) <weepul@jps.net> sent in a screenshot of that Blam reference in Oni along with another screenshot showing the line "curiouser and curiouser". To be fair though this predates Marathon 2. See the What's in a Name section for details on the Marathon 2 level name "Curiouser and Curiouser..."

The explicit "Rampancy" reference in Oni has been noted in the past but these had from the beta version. Now Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> sends in a screenshot (66K) from the full game.

Justin Ancheta <jancheta@mail.sprint.ca> writes:

some people might be interested in knowing that at a local computer sale (the Computer Fest/Mac Expo in Toronto Cananda, at the CNE Automotive Building) there's a booth selling M2 for Win95 for something like $5 or so. (Cdn.)--i caught sight of it while pining away for a $75 (Cdn.) copy of Oni.

Whoa! You can stop sending in Linux hostage webcam pics. It's been up for ages now so it's not hard to miss. Thanks Dylan, Kristian, Michael, Dave, et al.

On the subject of webcam pics Jonathan Dickie <jonathan_dickie@yahoo.co.uk> writes:

Oh by the way did you notice on that shot on the 7th of this month there were 3 Hippos... those two numbers seem to mean something.. =)

Feb 9, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update

mmm... well the bungie.net Quick Poll changed again.

Well it all started back in Jan 18, 2001 when Alec Rojas pointed out that the Los Angeles Times had a front-page article entitled "Surgeon Gen. Links TV, Real Violence". Part of the article read:

"In another study cited by the authors, college students who played the violent Video game 'Marathon 2' generated 43% more aggressive responses in later tests than those who played a nonviolent game."

David "candyman" Candland (Bungie Studios) quickly responded with this humerous comment.

Now the full report is on the web (thanks HBO) and you can read the whole thing. Here's the interesting part concerning video games and violence:

The impact of video games containing violence has recently become a focus of research because children are theoretically more susceptible to behavioral influences when they are active participants than when they are observers. To date, violent video games have not been studied as extensively as violent television or movies. The number of studies investigating the impact of such games on youth aggression is small, there have been none on serious violence, and none has been longitudinal.

A recent meta-analysis of these studies found that the overall effect size for both randomized and correlational studies was small for physical aggression (r = .19) and moderate for aggressive thinking (r = .27) (Anderson & Bushman, in press). In separate analyses, the effect sizes for both randomized and cross-sectional studies was small (r = .18 and .19, respectively). The impact of video games on violent behavior remains to be determined.

Note the last line. Meta-analyisis for those of you unfamiliar with the term is the process of reviewing and summarizing the results of a number of studies in a clear and consistent manner to obtain a single overall conclusion. The aim of meta-analysis is to discipline research synthesis by the same methodological standards that apply to the original research. Two people applying the principles of meta-analysis to a given body of research literature should arrive at similar conclusions. If not, their differences should be traceable to explicit analytic choices that can be independently assessed. Disagreement among experts should become more a matter of method than opinion.

The 'r' statistic quoted above is the correlation coefficient which quantifies the direction and degree of a linear relationship between two variables. The correlation coefficient will always be between -1 to +1, with the sign indicating the direction of the relationship and the magnitude the strength of the relationship. If r = 0 there is no linear relationship, if r = -1 or r = 1 there is a perfect linear relationship. While the 'r' values quoted above are positive they are extremely small in size hence the conclusion:

The impact of video games on violent behavior remains to be determined.

And now for something completely different...

Well the Story page was sent a ton of Linux hostage webcam pics. The first seven came from VirtualWolf, Mostafa, Jonathan, John, Scott, Jane, and Alan. Now I know why the Internet slows down some days. It's full of webcam pics! ;-)

I also received a whole bunch of webcam pics from someone who would rather remain anonymous (in case you think they have no life, thanks LW). Modesty prevents me from uploading them all but here's one I can upload! ;-)

The Voodoo Extreme poll is over. After accounting for multiple voting Blizzard took first place with 29% followed by Bungie with 17%. Yeah there had to be a seven in there. The bottom-line of course is size.

On the subject of online polls Chris Boursnell <chris@boursnell.demon.co.uk> sent in this interesting pic from the new bungie.net quick poll. So much for online polls.

Feb 8, 2001 (Thursday)

Quick update

Somewhat earlier than expected but the bungie.net Quick Poll has changed. The topic of this one is highly appropriate given the shenanigans in the recent Voodoo Extreme poll.

Richard Persky <ouroboros@mail.utexas.edu> writes:

I was rereading older bits of the Marathon's Story pages today, and noticed that "Historical & Mythological References in Marathon" mentions one of Plato's references to Phthia, but missed the fact that the name comes from the Iliad: Phthia was Achilles' hometown. Plus, "Phthia" itself could be translated as "wasteland." Ah, the connections...

Oh, and had Bungie asked someone who knew Greek what the letter after zeta is, they'd have been told that it's eta -- zeta is only the sixth letter of the Greek alphabet, after all. So does this mean I should start calling eta "blamma", or should blamma come after omega?

Hey you know Bungie's record with Greek... err... or is it Latin? ;-)

Matt Soell had alot of fun with the Bungie webcam yesterday morning. Here are just a few of the things he got up too... Ridley Scott, Bungie's new game in development and... Marathon. Sorry we can't upload the other pics... this IS a family page you know. ;-)

Thanks to Sean Hickey <sphickey@loyno.edu> and Scott "kahine" Back <khaine@mbox.com.au> for both sending in this Bungie webcam image. Yes... another Bungie game beginning with "P". ;-)

Dylan "PfhorSlayer" Barrie <pfhorslayer@mac.com> went back in time to capture this Bungie webcam image from last Tuesday. Unusual sex practices of Soffish and Hippos? Maybe Bungie are trying to breed them? Someone call the cops! ;-)

Blam reference in Oni. Alex Karls <alexkarls@hotmail.com> writes:

On the last level of Oni, when you finally foil the villain's plot, part of the goal involves collecting information about his plan, and then reprogramming his computer to cause the plan to fail.

This is the tagline you leave as a message for the Villain.

"Blam! Love, little sister."

My image technology is better than yours... or something. Banzif (full name pending) <banzif@namt.pair.com> writes:

The book is MP3 The Definitive Guide. I have a picture at: http://www.banzif.com/mp3book.jpg

Banzif currently leads the Halo SETI marines in their search for the Covenant.

At the time of writing Blizzard was leading Bungie by 7 votes in the Voodoo Extreme poll.

Sibrax, master of the oneliner, is at it again. Why bother reading any other Bungie news site when you've got Soon(tm)? ;-)

Feb 7, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update #4

Michael Watson <mikeysan@bellatlantic.net> writes concerning that odd hard to reach "must be explored" poly on "Two Times Two Equals..." mentioned yesterday:

If I remember correctly, in "exploration" games, a poly set as "must be explored" simply means the player must map the poly. That is, they must see the poly, not venture inside of it necessarily. Therefore, one wouldn't need to grenade hop to a poly to complete a level as long as he or she could map it.

Interesting point and one that should be easy to test (though not on this level). Note the level "Two Times Two Equals..." is set to "Exploration" and there are about ten "must be explored" polys even if your version of Pfhorte doesn't indicate this.

Quick update #3

In true Marathon Infinity fashion we've gone back in time to grab an earlier image from the Bungie webcam showing that O'Reilly Associates book more clearly and Matt(?) setting up his Hippos. Yes folks we spare NO expense in bringing you the tru7h on the Story page... at least on the seventh day of the month. ;-)

Quick update #2

John "Doombat" Rychlik <iamtheone89@go.com> writes

The Voodoo Extreme poll: Bungie is in first with 29%, leading the 2nd place (Blizzard), who has 21%. Go Bungie!

Heh... looks they fixed Dynamix's 2000+ rigged votes from yesterday. Don't tell them about Bungie's though. ;-)

Quick update #1

Using enhanced image technology (a must have for all Story page readers) Tom Bridge <tbridge@westlake.com> made this discovery:

The book in the picture with the two hippos is MP3 in a Nutshell by O'Reilly Associates.

Who created the Halo logo? Thanks to two posts by Lorraine "mehve" Reyes (Bungie Studios) on the HBO forums we now have more details on who created the Halo logo. In Lorraine's first post she writes:

As for the Halo Logo, Salisbury (the same guy who created the Jurassic Park movie logo and a buncha other things) or rather, his studio, and I ironed out the current look based on what the Halo team and Bungie's then heads of publishing were going for. I tweaked it after we got the final files. :)

In a second post she added:

I remember the Halo team being awfully frustrated and disappointed with Salisbury after several months with dozens upon dozens of logo concepts the team didn't like (or hated, even)... Then I came along and, in a day, mocked-up a few based on a couple of their more promising sets. The guys liked 'em, the publishing team liked 'em, even Jones grudgingly nodded his head in approval. I sent the mock-ups to the studio and asked them to give us "something more like this!"

Sounds like an expensive logo. Now if you remember back to Feb of last year (yeah almost a year ago) we pointed out that the Halo font was being used in an advertisement for Lynx Phoenix (a deodorant for men). Some might also find it strange that Phoenix just happens to be the codename for Bungie's third game in development. Coincidence or... ;-)

mmm... and then there were two.

Feb 6, 2001 (Tuesday)

Quick update #3

A little light reading Bungie style. And is that a Case doll I see? Matt left his Hippo out too! ;-)

Quick update #2

Ah the fortunes of online gaming polls. Bungie are now riding high in the Voodoo Extreme poll. Keep on voting people!

Quick update #1

Poll update! Thomas Van Sinden <tvansinden@earthlink.net> writes:

The Voodoo Extreme poll has entered the third and final phase. Bungie is currently in third place. The VE Forum has quite a few people talking smack like, "Why is Bungie err, Microsoft in the list?"

Hopefully we can show them exactly why. ;)

Oops Bungie are now down to fourth (at the time of writing). HBO have also posted about this in their news.

Marathon 101. Here's an interesting post from alt.games.marathon to test your Marathon knowledge:

Subject: M1 From: Shebob <shebob@nospam.com>
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Date: Sun, 04 Feb 2001 01:25:00 GMT

In Marathon 1, in the map Two Times Two Equals... there is a must be explored poly up where you would have to rocket or grenade jump to get to it. I don't remember this being that hard to get out of.

I am converting this map for the Aleph One version of M1, does anyone remember why this poly would be there? A mistake?



What "must be explored" poly is Candace (Shebob) referring to in her post and does it need to be explored to finish the level successfully? If not can anyone explain why?

Bungie still top Voodoo Extreme's "Who is the best game development company?" poll... but only by 1% (at the time of writing). When we mentioned this on Sunday the gap was bigger.

The Fanfest related bungie.net poll we mentioned on Friday has nearly 400 votes (not alot compared to previous polls). So far 50% of voters have expressed a preference for a Fanfest in the evening. What's your preference?

Feb 5, 2001 (Monday)

Tired of downloading those pics of Alex and Max everytime you hit the Story page? Want to know what the errors were in the Bungie Fan Trivia Contest but can't be bothered to read through the last few weeks of news? Well I've moved the lot over to the Bungie Fan Trivia Contest (Errors) page.

For those of you who don't keep an eye on Stefan "My Modem is on Fire" Sinclair's .plan he has posted "Bob's Almighty Sig(tm)" which contains (among a number of things) 114 "Yo Mama" jokes. Stefan also writes in his .plan:

I picked up a copy of Oni this week, actually a few copies. Actually everyone here at Bungie bought 20-30 copies a piece to pad the first week's sales figures. If anyone needs hints on how to reach some of the secret levels shown on the box, you can consult this page for assistance.

Secret levels on the box?! =)

Ok Harry Al-Shakarchi first mentioned the "frogblast the ventcore" Marathon soundbite in Oni back in Dec 26, 2000 and I'm still getting submissions about it. But thanks to Jacob Aberg <Jacob_Aberg@excite.com> you can now hear it. Jacob writes:

Due to the wonders of OniTools, I managed to find and extract the "Don't frogblast the ventcore"-soundbite. I'm including it in a StuffIt archive. [48K]

Feb 4, 2001 (Sunday)

Bungie tops Voodoo Extreme's "Who is the best game development company?" poll... well so far anyway. Make your vote count.

Feb 3, 2001 (Saturday)

Ernie Scott <1840@mail.com> writes concerning the now very rare Pippin console:

I just remembered all about the Pippin and the Marathon port for it after viewing the Story page. I decided to take a jaunty stroll over to eBay to see if there was one for sale I could get a look at.


Turns out there was! It's ended and went for $415.00!

Well, ya cant win em all...

Wow pricey. Want to play Super Marathon then you need to buy a Pippin... want to play Halo then you need to buy a... (fill in the rest). ;-)

So where can you get a copy of Super Marathon? Well Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> saw a load of them at Bungie West. Harry writes:

Check out the attached photo (74K), it was taken during my visit to Bungie West in August '99.

Multiple copies of Super Marathon, and other Marathons (including M2 for Windows)

On the subject of Halo... Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his weekly Halo update to Battleground Halo. I actually had problems reading this with the Mac version of Netscape. Here's a tip... copy and paste the text into a text editor to read it. Anyway here's a piece from the update:

- Jason has spent most of the week working on the long-term schedule for the team. He also mentioned that he's reading Churchill's account of his WWI experiences. Significant clue to possible themes in the Halo story, or just a red herring?

Well we all know Matt and his red herrings... or are they sole? No carp! Bungie Trivia fans should be able to spot that reference. :-)

Anyway Halo now has "waves" and according to Matt they are "very sexy"... mmm... does Matt get out much these days I wonder? Waves of course can only mean one thing!

Private Wang: I don't know, sir... it's... it's...

Sergeant Lehto: What is it?

Private Wang: Well, I mean it's hairy in there... it's Covie's point.

Sergeant Lehto: Covie don't surf.

Blam!... a new range of Bungie t-shirts perhaps? ;-)

Jimmy Avistetto <villainy@juno.com> writes:

Concerning Mike Cramer's bit from yesterday: Aleph One on Dreamcast would be a great idea if it's possible, and I don't see why it shouldn't be just because Sega's pulled out of the hardware business. Underground Dreamcast development has been raging on this whole time; there is in fact a user-ported build of the original Quake available for the Sega Dreamcast, along with numerous hardware emulators and even the Linux operating system.

This brings one to wonder if it might be possible to port the SDL version of Aleph One to the Dreamcast using DC Linux, but that's a subject for the open source mailing list. ;)

Pathways into... Lego? See the Pathways Into Darkness page for details.

Feb 2, 2001 (Friday)   Space Hero. Or Space Dust!

Quick update #7

Whoa! Update #7... what's up with the Story page today? We haven't had an update #7 since the Halo unveiling? Jay Faircloth <anaphiel@earthlink.net> Marathon artist extraordinaire writes:

I just wanted to let you know that Raul Bonilla has posted a pair of desktops I made for his excellent M1 to Aleph One conversion at http://bighouse.bungie.org/m1/downloads.html.

The scenario is going to be a lot of fun when it's completed, and will hopefully bring the original M1 some renewed attention with those who may have missed it first time around. A demo is currently available for download at the same address.

Jay was runner up in the Gathering of Developers Oni Fan Art Contest and has also sent Halo artwork to HBO and to the Story page... see his excellent "Try again" (217K) piece.

Quick update #6

Tom Van Sinden <TVansinden@earthtech.com> points out that there is a new poll at bungie.net. It concerns the timing of future Bungie Fanfests so it's important to voice your opinion on this issue.

Quick update #5

Chris Butcher <butcher@bungie.com> writes concerning Super Marathon for the Pippen and its 80+ levels:

I was wondering whether it contained Infinity as well... my guess is that it doesn't, since "two epic stories" are mentioned on the back cover. A pity - it would have been the test of a true Vidmaster to complete all three challenges back-to-back using the Pippin controller!

Indeed... the Pippin controller would certainly separate the Space Heroes from the Space Dust. ;-)

Quick update #4

Special thanks to Chris Butcher <butcher@bungie.com> (Bungie Studies) for scanning in the front and back of the Super Marathon for the Pippen box. Many people won't have seen the box never mind played the game on the Pippin. The original scans were over 25MBs each so obviously I've had to cut them down in size for web viewing. Thanks to hotline.rampancy.net for the server space and the bandwidth.

Super Marathon box (front) (86K)

Super Marathon box (back) (123K)

You'll note from the back of the box that there are over 80 combined levels and the box contains screenshots of Marathon, Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity. Does Super Marathon contain all three Marathon games?

Love this bit of text... "From the first round of ammo to the last, it's your choice: Space Hero. Or Space Dust!" Who writes this stuff? ;-)

Quick update #3

Cody Miller <xkh009@hotmail.com> writes concerning that Marathon like symbol in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 mentioned by Mike Cramer earlier today:

The logo he is refering to is the Circa Footware company.


I know this because I own a pair of the ever comfortable 9100's. I would have writen this in but as you will see the Circa logo is not exactly like a Marathon symbol. Anyhoo just thought you'd like to know.

oops... double broken outer circle... strike one! Interesting to note if you check the That Marathon Symbol (part 1) section you'll find the Invisible Skateboards' logo which is very Marathon-like.

Quick update #2

Chris Butcher <butcher@bungie.com> (Bungie Studies) writes concerning the "Dave Dunn Contest" mentioned earlier today (see below):

nobody even bothered entering dave dunn's contest as far as I can tell. the copy of super marathon for the pippin made it up to redmond after the move and is sitting on my desk now. my goal is to somehow find a way of playing it - microsoft possesses a cornucopia of antique video game hardware.

however it may simply end up in jason jones' library of still-shrink-wrapped bungie software.

We hope to bring you some shots of the rare Super Marathon for the Pippin box. Failing that it might appear on the Bungie Webcam. Keep watching the... cam! :-)

Quick update #1

Back on Jan 18, 2001 Alec Rojas pointed out that Bungie's Marathon 2 had been specifically named in a Surgeon General's report on violence and video games. Now Louis Wu <halo@bungie.org> of HBO sends in this link (via danielt) from Famliy.org:


Bungie's Oni is specifically mentioned in a report on game violence and children. Here's the quote:

Daphnie White, with the Lion and Lamb Project, said "ratings creep" is also growing concern, as some teen games are becoming as violent than the adult games. A game called Oni is a prime example.

"It makes you feel the violence, and you can hear people's necks snap," White said.

Ouch! The big question of course is what effect all these reports will have on future action games.

Tom Bridge <tbridge@toad.net> writes concerning Question #26 in the Bungie Fan Trivia Contest:

I know *someone* must have pointed this out, but it's Tijuana, not Tiajuana in question number 26.

Tom explains for the benefit of the less culinary experienced:

Well, if you go and look on just about any map, you'll see, Tijuana, it's right south of the border in Mexico, beneath California.

If you look at this page:


You'll see, if you scroll down, this:

Big Mama Sausage
Big Mama and her spicy sister Tijuana Mama are the largest pickled sausages on the market. They offer a big, bold taste for consumers looking for a hearty snack. Big Mama is available in a pickled flavor and a smoked, non-pickled flavor. Tijuana Mama boasts "300% hotter", ensuring consumers looking for a HOT snack won't be disappointed! All varieties are sold in a single serve pouch.

Typos... They're Everywhere! Admittedly this doesn't really alter the correct answer. Who will spot the seventh error in the Bungie Fan Trivia Contest?

Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes:

A search for "Bungie" [on eBay] in title and description currently turns up 61 items in both computer games and sporting goods. This includes many compilations of Macintosh games and individual copies of Myth TFL.

One mint copy of Marathon 2 for Windows is also on the list:

And one individual copy of the Codex:

Unfortunately, "Marathon cartride" refers to a printer cartridge and not Super Marathon for the Pippin:

On the subject of Super Marathon for the Pippin did anyone ever win the copy Dave Dunn (Bungie West) offered for the "best idea or description" for what this was actually for? See the Bungie West tour on Day 2 of Bungie TV for details.

Mike Cramer <kiodane@yahoo.com> writes:

I don't know if you've noticed (or care), but Sega just pulled out of the hardware business. This is a sad time, not only losing a great system, but losing the chance to develop Marathon Aleph for Dreamcast. You've got to remember that the DC utilizes WinCE and Direct X for it's ease of porting. (Developers could use the Native or WinCE environments to be speedier.) Couldn't you imagine an "undergound" following of a console version of Marathon, or perhaps a disc image that would have every (good) senerio on it? Oh well, check out "Dreamcast programing" at yahoo or http://mc.pp.se/dc/

PS. Marathon like symbol in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, Jamie Thomas's T-shirt logo. No pic yet, but remember I told you. (circle inside a broken ring, at top and bottom. Sort of like (o).....)

Feb 1, 2001 (Thursday)

Fifth error in the Bungie Fan Trivia Contest REVEALED. At last month's Bungie Fanfest IV two of the trivia questions related to what people were wearing at Bungie's 1998 Halloween party. The questions were:

What did The Man disguise himself as for Bungie's 1998 Halloween party?

A. Trow
B. Journeyman
C. Fletch
D. Shiver

What did Max dress up as for Bungie's 1998 Halloween party?

A. Dwarf
B. Ghol
C. Soulblighter
D. Your Mom

Well the first question is straightforward. Here's the answer:

But what about the second question? Well the 'correct' answer according to Bungie is "Your Mom" but Max Hoberman dressed up as "Your Mom" at Bungie's 1999 Halloween party. Here's a pic:

Is that Max Hoberman? Ok the picture isn't very clear so I asked a well known face at Bungie to identify the people in the pic. That person replied:

Yeah, that was Max in the curlers, facial mask and pink robe. Mojdeh, his fiancee, is the woman in the foreground.

It was also confirmed that the pic was taken at the 1999 Halloween party.

So Max was dressed as "Your Mom" at Bungie's 1999 Halloween party. But was Max dressed as "Your Mom" at Bungie's 1998 Halloween party? Well the answer should be obvious... afterall if you dressed up in drag two years in a row you might be giving people the wrong idea... right? ;-)

Who will spot the seventh error in the Bungie Fan Trivia Contest?

Thanks to all those who wrote in about yesterday's weirdness on the Bungie Webcam. As most people pointed out it was a dog's head in a jar. It actually belongs to Peter "Mordia" Marks. Claude Errera got a close up shot of it while visiting Bungie in Redmond late last year. So why a dog's head in a jar? Well you have to go way... way... back.

Jan 31, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update

Rob "Noctavis" Swenson <noctavis@rampancy.net> of rampancy.net has scanned in a Computer Gaming World article on the great games in gaming history. Bungie gets special recognition in both the FPS and Strategy categories for Marathon and Myth, respectively. Here's the text about Marathon:

Bungie's landmark Marathon often gets short shrift because it was a Mac game. But this shooter was way ahead of its time, with a compelling storyline that actually was a story, great multiplayer options, and the first use of mouse-looking.

Respect at last? Head on over to r.net for the full scans. Thanks Rob.

Trevor Smith <ciao@teamsmith.com> writes:

In the Bungie Store, Misc. Bungie items are stored in group *7* (see the pic).

For some reason I've had a few enquiries about the Bungie "20% off" Dollar and whether or not Bungie will be honoring these. Well the Store FAQ says they will (in time) and Peter "Mordia" Marks (Bungie Studios) also made this point in a recent r.net post. Peter wrote:

We'll honor coupons from the old store, but not at this time. In short, its something which will be added

Of course if you live outside the US and Canada you have a problem. I suggest you contact <shopkeeper@bungie.com> for details on how they are going to handle international dollars. :-)

Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes to say that Bungie Sightings has been update. Miguel is looking for free server space to handle some large movies of the recent Fanfest. Perhaps Microsoft has some server space?

Interesting screenshot on the main page of the Marathon Open Source site. Hedgecutters?!!! Further investigation reveals that the screenshot is Screenshot0007.jpg. :-)

Jan 30, 2001 (Tuesday)

The Bungie Store is back online... though the range of items on sale is presently limited. You can pick up copies of M2 and Infinity but not Marathon and more surprisingly no Marathon Trilogy Box Set. Looks like the TBS is set to become a rare collectors item. Got your Box Set? No copies of Pathways Into Darkness either... but in fairness this and the Marathon series are available on the Action Sack. There are also no copies of Myth: TFL, Myth II, or Myth: The Total Codex available but plenty of Myth related merchandise. According to the Store's FAQ Take2 got all of Bungie's existing Myth inventory. Must have been just the games and not the related merchandise. Finally you can still get Abuse... and no I don't mean by writing to the Bungie Webmaster. ;-)

Sadly the relaunched Bungie Store presently doesn't take International orders due to Microsoft policy. :-(

Candace "Shebob" Sherriff <shebob@shebob.com> writes:

While converting the map Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap from M1 to run with Aleph One, I found a curious 7. (http://bighouse.bungie.org/m1/)

The Marathon 1 maps go through Map Demerger 1.0.1 by Tomoaki Deguchi, to create a Forge editable map. In Forge, the room with the annoying seven platforms, platform seven, the final one you need to align to get to the next area of the map is also polygon 7 in the map structure.

Coincidence? I think not.

Steve Hahn <hahn@corecomm.net> writes:

Just tell me these guys didn't see the Halo Wazzup! movie. Watch the Budweiser Alien ad on:


If you haven't seen the Budweiser Alien "Wazzup" movie I highly recommend it to you. Very funny.

On the subject of Super Bowl ads Apple's 1984 Ad was voted second best Super Bowl ad of all time by USA Today readers and web visitors. It was edged out of the top spot by Coca-Cola's ad featuring football player Mean Joe Greene. Check the top ten favorite ads here.

Jan 29, 2001 (Monday)

Quick update

Dropped Matrix-style crotch shot reveals wall hugging F'lickta. What the Bungie cam reveals. ;-)

Dustin Westphal <bachus@killerrobots.com> writes:

Ever heard of Earth: Final Conflict? It's a show that's been in syndication for a few years that was created by Gene Roddenberry before his death. In today's episode Da'an, a member of the alien race called the Taelons, teleported a space station to the rings of Saturn. There he met a Jaridian so that they could try to fuse. See, 8 million years ago the Taelons and Jaridians were the same race. The split into two seperate races and have been at war ever since. Well today we learned a nifty bit of info that was unknown till now. The Jaridian homeworld after the split is Tau Ceti.

Also interesting to note that the Taelons created the rings of Saturn a long time ago so that they could hide an automated outpost there. They've been watching us for some time.

For more info on Earth: Final Conflict check out efc.com

MacNN report that Apple will be exhibiting at the Game Developer Conference from March 20-24 in San Jose, CA. Bungie's Jason Jones and John Howard were due to give a talk at the conference entitled "Halo: A Case Study" but this seems to have been dropped.

Jan 28, 2001 (Sunday)

Quick update

Following up on the subject of cortana.org Ding (full name pending) <ding@bungie.org> points out that it "said something else" else earlier today. But what? Ding wouldn't reveal. A quick search of HBO revealed the following connection between Ding and MacLedge. As they say... curiouser and curiouser...

Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes:

Is this some strange coincidence/conspiracy, or do all 2.5" hard drives look like they have a sideways Marathon symbol on them?

Robert Zimmermann <robzim@gmx.net> writes:

I know its not really related...

But I just got my hands on an URL:
One of the stickers reminded me of something that might interest you:
Marathon. :)

Kill Your Television

Ding (full name pending) <ding@bungie.org> writes:

cortana.org changed again...

In case it's gone by the time you see it:

Page title is "Cortana told us that there would be more"

line under cortana.jpg is "....a new breath of fresh air!!"

Definitely Steve Campbell's work - who else uses 4 dots consistently in an ellipsis? :)

Who is the mysterious Ding over at HBO?

Jan 27, 2001 (Saturday)

Quick update

Trevor Ettenborough <trevor@ettenborough.net> (one of The Sevens) writes:

If this isn't you, then the reference to Seven alongside the name Hamish, is just freaky-weird.


Now that IS spooky! <cue X-files music...>

Dustin Westphal <bachus@killerrobots.com> writes:

Scientists Create First "True" Cyborg.


Looks like we are well on our way to creating a Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg. Scientists removed the brain and spinal cord of a lamprey and attached it to a light and small motorized vehicle. It then learned to control the vehicle and move it towards or away the light.

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to HBO this week. It included a number of additional Bungie tidbits. Here's a piece:

This week has been a difficult one for myself and the Online Team: apart from our usual responsibilities and pressing deadlines, this week we had to circumvent countless technical/legal/moral roadblocks to get the Bungie Store running, endure Mordia's blues harp after a broken pipe Poseidon Adventure destroyed his home, and deal with the ever-increasing heartache of the missing Soffish.

As Matt points out the Bungie Store is due to return on Monday, January 29th and the Soffish page has what appears to be a new webcam.

On the subject of Halo Matt revealed that aliens now sleep. They slept in Marathon too. You'd occasionally find a group of Pfhor propped up by their Pfhor staffs. Slackers! ;-)

Don't forget you can read all of Matt's Halo updates at HBO's searchable Halo update archive.

Thanks again for your continued thoughts and advice on a Story page search engine. I'm looking into one or two of these. Here's one end-user solution. Elbert Wall <elbertdw@radiks.net> writes:

Some search engines let you specify a domain to search, such as Lycos.


Whoah! The ever amusing Soon(tm) gets two updates in the space of (how many fingers am I holding up?) days.

Jan 26, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update

Concerning yesterday's item on the name Mnemonic Shadow seen on Alex Okita's site and whether or not it was an early codename for "Oni" Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> writes:

Oni's codename was always "Oni", "Mnemonic Shadow" was a name they thought they would call the game, but the game's codename was always "Oni."

I asked Harry if he had a source for this info? He replied:

Brent Pease is my source :)

Oni was the codename the game was given... For a while they thought it might be only the codename, but after thinking up other real names they decided Oni was best.

Thanks to all those who wrote in offering suggestions and indeed help concerning a search engine for the Story page. I'll be looking into these.

Oni in the shops... well some shops. Reports indicate that Oni is now on sale some three days before its official release (Jan 29th).

Just to note that bidding closed earlier in the week on that copy of Marathon and the two infrared network transceivers. $26... not bad. One wonders where this commercial looking pack came from.

If you're quick you can pick up a copy of Marathon 2 Durandal along with Diamonds 3D and Entomorph (all for the Mac) on eBay. At the time of writing (5pm GMT) there was about one and half hours left to bid!

Matt Boyd <boyd@wam.umd.edu> points out that the Marathon Scenario News page has been updated.

Jan 25, 2001 (Thursday)

Keeping up with the updates. The good folks over at halo.bungie.org have compiled all of Matt Soell's weekly Halo updates into a searchable archive. An excellent resource for the Halo community.

On the subject of searchable archives one can only shudder at the horrors that would be unleashed upon the world if the Story page was ever searchable. Having said that I have consulted a number of database experts on the possibility of adding a search engine to the Story page's 1000+ pages. All I got was... [laughter]

As noted in an Oni Central forum post Alex Okita (formerly of Bungie West) has updated his site okita.com. Very nice design. You'll also find some early Oni concept art. Worth a look. One piece is of particular interest. Apparently before Oni became known as "Oni" it was called Mnemonic Shadow... at least that's how one could interpet Alex's comment:

Logos that were in the works before Oni was called "Oni".

If "Mnemonic Shadow" was an early codename for Oni then Bungie's 'official' answer to the trivia contest question "What was the codename for Oni?" is in question. Of course Oni may have had a number codenames during its long development. If so then the question should have been phrased differently, for example: "What was one of the codenames for Oni?".

Bungie's downtime yesterday is explained in this Microsoft press release. Can't blame the janitor for this one. ;-)

Jan 24, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update

bungie.net back up.

Marathon Central is back up. Actually it was up earlier today and then went down again but is now back up. The first post appeared on the Marathon General Forum. Unfortunately I can't ftp into MC so the Story page mirror there remains out-of-date. :(

On the subject of ups and down... bungie.net is down (at the time of writing) and has been up and down most of the day.

S. Adam Richard <arichard@gwu.edu> writes:

This is just an interesting tid bit I found while trying to figure our what the word Addendum means after reading the fourth Cortana letter. And I found this at dictionary.com:

Addendum \Ad*den"dum\, n.; pl. Addenda. [L., fr. addere to add.] A thing to be added; an appendix or addition.

Addendum circle (Mech.), the circle which may be described around a circular spur wheel or gear wheel, touching the crests or tips of the teeth. --Rankine. Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

Looking further I found a Mechanism Terminology page at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~rapidproto/mechanisms/ that explains exactly what an addendum and an addendum circle are in realtion to mechanism. Ring Motif galore!

Well you learn something new everyday. Who says the Story page isn't educational. ;-)

Jan 23, 2001 (Tuesday)

Bungie pull out of Game Developers Conference 2001?   Back in Dec 11, 2000 Sean Phelps <seanphelps@home.com> noted that Jason Jones and John Howard were scheduled to give a Game Design presentation at GDC entitled "Halo: A Case Study". The talk was listed under the Game Design page but no details were given at the time. The conference page stated that an abstract was forthcoming. Now the talk is no longer listed. Searching by "keyword" draws a blank as does searching for Speaker's "last name". Oddly the old Speaker links given on the Story page (back in December) to both Jason Jones and John Howard still work.

The tru7h behind the word... S'pht? Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes:

Here are some more somewhat interesting passages from Uncle John's GIANT 10th Anniversary Bathroom Reader, by the Bathroom Readers' Institute. The first one almost makes me wonder if there's a close Bungie fan at the BRI. Or maybe Bungie took it from Aman, who knows?

Page 230: Who Painted the Elevator?

We found this list of words and phrases people use instead of saying "fart" in a book called Opus Maledictorum [copyright © 1966 by Reinhold Aman]. We figured, if you can't put a list like this in a Bathroom Reader, where can you put it? [snip]
Sputter: Sound imitations are sometimes useful: "I've been sputtering (or spluttering) all day." However, one can go too far with this if the imitation is too close to the real thing, as in "Who just s'phtttttt?"

Page 386: Tonight Show Part VII: The Carson Years

"The flexible scheduling helped the show's pacing, and put a lot of pressure on guests to perform. Robert Blake, a frequent guest during the Carson years, describes what it was like."

But was it the 'real' Robert Blake? ;-)

Jan 22, 2001 (Monday)

Max "Yeroen" Hoberman webmonkey over at bungie.net has posted some details on the recent Bungie Pentathlon. Who won what of the five events? As expected the bungie.net Quick Poll has also changed due to the release of the Pentathlon results.

And then there was... phoenix.bungie.org. The forum over at HBO has some disussion on the mysterious video which appears on the new PBO site. Who put the P into BO?

Jan 21, 2001 (Sunday)   Yeah it must be Sunday...

No coat rack for those invisible coathangers? Adrian Fawcett <fawcettal@hotmail.com> writes:

I noticed that the terminal 3 message on "Welcome to the Revolution" mentions:
"This is not a coat rack, would I choose to express. "

This reminded me of something, and I realized there is a similar line in the "So you're going to be the Bungie Webmaster" blurb along the lines of "and there aint no invisible coathanger that can stop them this time".

I'm not sure this is of any importance plus its a rather vauge link, although I find the Bungie Webmaster blurb sort of reminiscent of the Gherrit White terminals.

Adrian is referring to this piece from the latest Letters to the Bungie Webmaster:

Then he gave me a little guidebook thingy - "So You're Going To Be The Bungie Webmaster" - and told me I would start next Monday. This seemed bizarre at the time but I've since learned that most hiring in the technology industry is done in exactly this manner.

Over the weekend I read the book cover to cover. That's right: both pages. It was written in the didactic style of a tertiary syphiletic who knows the electric chair is three hours away and isn't sure that's a bad thing. Since it is impossible to single out any particular passages as better than any others, and it is extraordinarily brief, I present it here in its entirety.

So You're Going To Be The Bungie Webmaster:
Guidelines, Policies and Inspiration

First Edition, copyright 1995

Confidential - not to be distributed outside Bungie

Chapter One: Introduction to Bungie, Our Mission Statement, and Where You Fit In

BLAM yourmom DIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINK these will be the watchwords watch words watch them they're coming to get you just like they did back in poughkeepsie and there aint no invisible coathanger that can stop them this time...

The whole article "So You're Going To Be The Bungie Webmaster" is worth reading if you haven't allready. So what's the deal with the invisible coathangers and did the Bungie Webmaster really escape into the waves? ;-)

Bruce "Hippieman" Morrison <hippieman@bungie.org> writes:

I was recently making all my P-thon shapes 256X256 for A1. Anyway, I use alot of Mara 1 textures and I was working with one texture and I noticed something odd. On this texture, you'll notice the piece of paper on the wall. It seems as if its a map of some sort. I thought it was a PiD level,

A clue to the long lost secret PID level in Marathon? While the image isn't an exact replica of a PID map it does bear a resemblance to the map layout used in PID. And what's with the protruding red dot? Curious stuff.

Even odder is the fact that an additional 161 votes have been registered in the new bungie.net poll "Who do you put your money on for the 2001 Pentathlon?" since yesterday and the actual winners of the event have increased their lead by... wait for it... 1%. ;-)

Jan 20, 2001 (Saturday)

Quick update

Well Tom Bridge <tbridge@toad.net> said I should keep an eye out for Friday's Mac Gaming column on Macslash.com. And sure enough the MacSlash Gaming: Week in Review column has this to say:

The folks over at the Marathon Open Source Project have released the first upgraded texture package, bringing 24-bit splendor to the first great shoot-em-up made for the Mac. Okay, so Marathon is MORE than just a Shoot-em-up, if you want to see a great little bit of work, check out Hamish Sinclair's work on the Marathon's Story Page. He makes the conspiracy theorists look normal, but his dedication is impressive.

Thanks MacSlash... thanks Tom... err... hang on a minute! ;-)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sent his Halo update to rampancy.net this week. It actually covers more than Halo news. On the subject of the recent Bungie Fanfest Matt writes:

In general things went well, though there were definitely things that could have gone more smoothly. We already have several pages of ideas for making the next one even better. As always, the lion's share of the credit goes to Miguel Chavez, truly Bungie's #1 Fan and an organizational mastermind.

One wonders what "things" could have gone more smoothly? ;-)

Matt went on to say:

...the Second Annual Bungie Pentathlon has drawn to a close. The Halo team took first, followed closely by the Phoenix team in second, and the Oni and Sin-O-MatiXXX/Online Coalition tying for third.

The fact that the Second Annual Bungie Pentathlon is now over and the winner announced makes yesterday's new bungie.net poll "Who do you put your money on for the 2001 Pentathlon?" somewhat obsolete. Of the 231 votes so far 53% got it right. ;-)

On the subject of Halo itself this interesting tidbit surfaced:

Chucky performed some sort of bizarre coding miracle that allowed vehicles to navigate indoors, which they were not able to do previously. He demonstrated this to me by driving the jeep into a building, down several flights of stairs, and ultimately into a portion of the level known as The Shaft. Watching the sucker flip and spin as it plummeted to the bottom made my day.

The Shaft... mmm... now that name is familiar. ;-)

Sebastian Brytting <zorkar@yahoo.com> writes:

Not that it's relevant or anything, but in the first episode of a sci-fi tv show called The Visitor, one of the main characters plays Marathon on his computer. Yup. When will you add a "Marathon in the Movies" link on the story site? =)

Work... work... work! ;-)

John "Doombat" Rychlik <iamtheone89@go.com> writes

Get this: The Marathon fusion pistol does 30 damage and 10 random on the standard firing setting. The charged bolt does 80 damage with 20 random. What is my point, you ask? It costs 4 standard bolts power to produce one bolt that doesn't even do 3 times the damage. Thus, the second trigger has limited advantages. Although it is faster and toggles panels, it does ever so much less damage. I don't get it....was Bungie trying to force us to use the primary?

No... fists! ;-)

Jan 19, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update

If you want to read the full Los Angeles Times (Jan 17th) article on video games and violence in which Marathon 2 is cited you can find it here. The article is called "Surgeon Gen. Links TV, Real Violence".

There 's a new bungie.net poll up along with some news of the 2nd Annual Bungie Pentathlon... mmm... shouldn't that be Septathlon? Oh look someone registered the 7th vote... I wonder who that was? ;-)

Interesting to note that the last bungie.net poll clocked up 3076 votes since Dec 15th. Hmmm... 3+0+7+6 = ?

Surgeon General's warning... David Candland <davidc@bungie.com> Interface Designer at Bungie Studios sent in the following image inspired no doubt by the Los Angeles Times article on video games and violence. Nice one. :-)

Those Infrared Receivers.... Paul <PMAvers162@aol.com> writes concerning the copy of Marathon and two Infrared Network Transceivers noted for sale on eBay recently:

Whoa, a blast from the past. I havn't seen those suckers in a while. When I did, I rooted through my junk drawers and pulled 'em out. Grabbed a couple old Macs, hooked 'em up with the Gamelink's, and fired up Marathon ('natch). They worked amazing well, as long as someone doesn't walk between the receivers. Pretty speedy network play, and it looked to Marathon as if you were in a normal AppleTalk network.

Note that the auction price for these items has now risen to $26. Not bad.

Jan 18, 2001 (Thursday)

Alec Rojas <Abaddon@soulblighter.com> writes:

I Wednesday (January 17th)'s Los Angeles Times, a front-page article dealt with the US surgeon general linking TV and video games to violence. A fairly harmless article, right?

Here's an intriguing quote.

"In another study cited by the authors, college students who played the violent Video game 'Marathon 2' generated 43% more aggressive responses in later tests than those who played a nonviolent game."

43%, eh?
4+3 =7

Interesting to see Marathon 2 selected out for a study on violence.

They're Everywhere! Mostafa "Appleicious" Sadraii <mosadraii@hotmail.com> writes:

Here is a picture of a banner from MWSF. It's for a 3D modeling/animation software called Lightwave and I thought you may find it interesting. =)


Mostafa also posted a bunch of high qaulity pics of the Bungie Fanfest and Macworld Expo. Worth checking out.

Tom Bridge <tbridge@toad.net> writes:

I was leafing through some of my CDs (working with the iTunes capture engine) and I came across a CD I bought this summer. It's from a band named Eve 6 (Pop Rock group in the US) called Horrorscope. On the cover: A Purple haired paramilitary figure. Okay, cool, so Konoko's a rock star :)

Tom also says to check out Friday's Mac Gaming column on Macslash.com. Hey what could be up? ;-)

Jan 17, 2001 (Wednesday)   Errors... They're Everywhere!

Quick update #3

Michael Ash <mail@mikeash.com> writes concerning the Bungie Trivia Contest:

Question 13, option C is spelled "fletch", and I think they don't want that "l" there.

Oops... given the other Myth related options it probably should have been "Fetch". Of course it doesn't affect the correct answer... this time. ;-)

Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes concerning Question 9 "What was the original codename for Marathon?" in the Bungie Trivia Contest:

Interestingly enough, as I was watching Matt conduct the trivia contest, when the "What was Oni's codename?" question came up, and "Oni" was revealed as the correct answer, Matt said (paraphrasing) "Continuing our tradition of naming the game after something you wouldn't consider we'd name the game after... the codename" which of course went flying in the face of "Pathways into Uranus" as the answer for the Marathon codename question.

So why did they get it so wrong?

Quick update #2

Another error in the Bungie Trivia Contest? Why yes! Bungie's "correct" answer to their Trivia question "What was the original codename for Marathon?" is "Pathways Into Uranus". Yet the correct answer is "Marathon". Marathon was the original codename and it was retained. This is what it says in the Marathon Scrapbook on page 9:

Marathon had started as a code-name, and Jason had every intent of changing it before the game shipped. "What the hell are we going to name the new game?" was the focus of an extended brainstorming session in a Chinese restaurant at MacWorld SF earlier that year. "Pathways Into Uranus" was the favorite to win, but it was eventually rejected as too oblique. As time went on, the name Marathon seemed like a more appropriate choice for a game that was a grueling test of endurance; eventually the code-name became official.

I wonder who will spot the seventh error in the Bungie Fan Trivia Contest? ;-)

Quick update #1

How long have Bungie been using PVC Pipes to build their Macworld booths? Well... Bungie's "correct" answer to their Trivia question "What material did Bungie use to construct their first Macworld booth?" is "PVC Pipes". In the Marathon Scrapbook on page 10 you'll find two pics of Bungie building their Macworld Boston '94 booth out of... PVC Pipes. Yet this isn't their first Macworld booth. Bungie had a booth at Macworld San Francisco '94 (a Marathon alpha was shown) and earlier at Macworld Boston '93 (Pathways Into Darkness was sold from their booth). If you check the Marathon Scrapbook again this time on page 4 you'll find a pic of Jason and Alex at a Macworld Booth. The caption date is incorrect (note the old style Bungie logo). The pic is probably from Macworld San Francisco '94. See any PVC Pipes? Of course this isn't Bungie's first Macworld booth. Did Bungie use PVC Pipes to construct their booth at Macworld Boston '93? Were you there?

Bungie Trivia Contest now online. Bungie.org have put up an intractive version of last week's Bungie Fanfest Trivia Competition. Find out how knowledgeable you are about Bungie and their games. Take the test!

As noted earlier Bungie's "correct" answer to the question "What did the Disembodied Soul do to warrant eternal damnation?" is inconsistent with what an early Bungie Webmaster letter had to say on the subject. Mark Levin wrote in a rampancy.net post:

Mark Levin
Posted On: Saturday, January 13 2001, 11:42pm

Question 20: What did the Disembodied Soul do to warrant eternal damnation?

1.Leaked a Marathon beta
2.Ran Bungie's casino business into the ground
3.Back-talked to The Man
4.Sent Bungie the obscenity-filled letter that inspired the TBWSAF acronym

Correct answer: None of the above!

From the annals of the Webmaster (do a search for "Okay, here's simple question"):

Okay, here's simple question. Why is my Marathon Infinity CD half black and half yellow when the rest of the world's is half grey and half black?

Sam Miller, samm@ames.net


It was a printing mix-up. There were only about 1500 of the yellow-and-black infinity CDs printed before we burst into the CD pressing plant, captured the idiot responsible and sucked his soul into our web server, where he will answer tech support questions in his incredibly brain-dead fashion 24 hours a day for all eternity. Please feel free to torment him whenever you like.

As for the CD, think of it as a limited edition.

So what's to be done? All I want is another trivia contest in New York. You're going down, SD :)

Also in relation to the question "What does the Disembodied Soul call his dog?" the answers Bungie gave were

A. Scooter
B. Ralphie
C. Ling-ling
D. Roofus

Yet Traxus <traxus@bungie.org> points out:

The dog's name is Ralfie, not Ralphie.

Oops... are Bungie are getting their Soul stuff mixed up... or rewriting their history? ;-)

Jan 16, 2001 (Tuesday)

TheId229 (fullname pending) <TheId229@aol.com> writes:

Melancholy (sloth), anger, envy... kind of reminiscent of the seven deadly sins, eh?

Hey what's with all the blanks? Find out on today's update of the Pathways Into Darkness page

You know you've been playing too much Marathon when... Chris Bisoski <sanakiki@yahoo.com> writes:

Forewarning: I realize this observation may be of limited relavance, but here it is none the less: If you've ever seen a Furby with its fur torn off, it resembles the S'pht. I apologize for the uselessness of this message, but I thought you might like to know.

Err... don't try this at home folks... at least not in front of the kids! ;-)

Jan 15, 2001 (Monday)

Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> posts the first part of his official Bungie Fanfest IV report.

Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes concerning another interesting item on eBay:

Here's one more auction - a copy of Marathon with an interesting addition that I can't use:

Marathon with infrared transceivers? Here's part of the auction text:

The second part of this package includes Two Infrared transceivers. With these two Infrared transceivers, you can wirelessly network two Macs.. With these two Infrared transceivers, you can create an instant indoor network without cables. Simple to use, they require no extra software to insall or configure.

Thus, with MARATHON and these Infrared transceivers, you can challenge your friends to the ultimate battle in space-play MARATHON on beams of light. Although this package was put together to allow you to create what they call an instant, wireless GameNet, you can also use these Infrared transceivers for file sharing, or any other network activity between the two linked computers.

Talk about coincidences. Only yesterday we noted that Jay "Anaphiel" Faircloth came runner up in Gathering of Developers Oni Fan Art Contest. Jay had also submitted a Marathon inspired piece to the Story page a week earlier. Now Jay has submitted a Halo inspired piece to halo.bungie.org. It's a pic of the Halo marine and you can see it on HBO's Miscellaneous Art page.

Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> writes yesterday's item on Larry Niven's Man-Kzin Wars:

"Man-Kzin Wars III" is in the same universe as Ringworld, Niven's "Known Space" universe. The Kzin were one of the first races that Humanity fought with, and that example Keith gave of using the message laser as a weapon is a theme that is heavily pounded upon by Niven - the Humans tended not to make just plain weapons, as they had been at peace with themselves for ages, but instead found ways of using all sorts of high-energy tools (message and illumination lasers, fusion-reaction drives, etc) as makeshift weapons. The planet Canyon was captured from the Kzin by a giant digging tool. There are a number of Kzin in the Ringworld books as well (they are the human-cat things Keith mentions). And lastly, Wunderland is a planet. (Human colony worlds have odd names, like Wunderland, We Made It, and Canyon).

Note that Larry Niven's Man-Kzin Wars series was one of the inspirations behind Marathon according to Greg Kirkpatrick.

Jan 14, 2001 (Sunday)

Oni Central has posted the results of the Gathering of Developers Oni Fan Art Contest. Runner up was Jay "Anaphiel" Faircloth with "Dark Future, Darker Past". Jay recently submitted a Marathon piece to the Story page entitled "Try again" (217K). Nice to see more of Jay's excellent artwork. :-)

Keith Dickman <kjdickman@core.com> writes:

I was searching my tomes,(is that a word?) and found a book titled, "Man-Kzin Wars III" by Larry Niven, Anderson, and Pournelle and Stirling. Now, anything with "war" in the title interests me, so I opened it up. And guess what I found? On page 14, they refer to the Angel's Pen as, "Not your ordinary Bussard Ramjet. It would scoop up interstellar hydrogen to feed a fusion-pumped laser.( "Fusion pumped laser" why does that sound familiar?) The idea was to use it for communications. According to the story, the Angel's Pen was traveling at near light-speed when an unknown ship intercepted it. The Angel's Pen simply used the laser to cut the ship in half, they found dead human-cat things yadda yadda yadda. Even more interesting, is that on the same page it refers to one Director Bernhardt as the one covering it up. (it also refers to him as Director Harms).

There are also a few references to a "Wunderland" as some sort of city

Bernhardt eh? :-)

Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes to say that there are new maps at the Marathon Archives. 28 levels in 3 submissions (all net).

decapentaplegic over on the community forum of rampancy.net posted a URL to digicam shots of the Bungie Trivia contest. A total of 27 questions in all. However as Mark Levin pointed out there is at least one error in contest. Oh well. :-(

Jan 13, 2001 (Saturday)

Reports of last night's Bungie Fanfest are starting to appear on the web. You'll find individual reports by Appleicious, codetoad and SiliconDream over at rampancy.net. Rampancy.net have also posted 39 pics of the Fanfest from Cunbelin. A few of the pics are Halo related. One shows that large symbol on the outside of the Halo building and there's also one of the symbols on a screen or hologram. Might seem strange that of the small number Halo pics shown at the Fanfest two focus on these symbols... coincidence or...? For more details on these symbols see the Halo ring motif section.

Yesterday Muhsin Miski drew attention to Bungie's use of color to show different classes, ranks or units in their games. For example the same Pfhor fighter could be either green, red or blue. The color simply signified that the "carbon copy" fighter was different in some way. Now SiliconDream in his fanfest report writes:

Shikai Wang is adding visual character variations among classes of units, so they don't all look like carbon copies of each other.

This should be interesting to see. :-)

Jan 12, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update

Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember... Ross "Cpt. Sqweky" Wolfe <eternalwar@hotmail.com> writes:

I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but has anyone pointed out the a passage in 'The Dragonbone Chair' by Tad Williams? The passage is on page 246:

"Still, there was something achingly familiar about him, as if from some half-remembered dream..."

So, does this mean that someone at Bungie is a Williams fan?

Could well be. The Dragonbone Chair (Book One of the Memory, Sorrow & Thorn series) was first published in 1988. One can easily draw parallels between this series and the Myth series and we know from the "Toadkiller Dog" reference in the Pathways Into Darkness manual that at least one person at Bungie was a big fantasy fan and was probably familiar with the works of Tad Williams.

Bungie Fanfest IV day. Hopefully they'll be some updates from the fanfest shortly after the event.

Powered armor! Wayne Wight <wwight@bitgroup.com> writes:

An interesting article about combat exoskeletons. The sketches even look like the Marathon marine.


Bungie and colors. Muhsin Miski <mmiski@macpunk.com> writes:

I'm not sure if this was pointed out before, but all of Bungie's games from Marathon to Halo have had the enemy in a variety of colors. You know how there's a blue pfhor fighter and a red pfhor fighter, etc. Myth TFL and Myth II both contain enemy units with slight color variations. You'd thrall and soulless with different colors throughout the game, no doubt. Then comes Oni. In the demo we see that there are green strikers, red strikers, and even blue strikers. What about Halo? In the screenshots we've seen at least two different colored Covenants. What'll they have next? Do all these games use color to signify different ranks?

Jan 11, 2001 (Thursday)

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) went on a posting flurry at halo.bungie.org earlier today. I've taken the liberty of reposting two of the more interesting posts. The complete thread with numerous posts from Matt can be found here.

Re: Hey Matthew...
Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 1/10/01 8:10 p.m.

In Response To: Hey Matthew... (black flag and a red star)

: Hey, now that you're posting again, how about an update of some kind.

I'm just starting to get back up to speed. I didn't get access to my bungie.com email until earlier today, and I'm busy gearing up for the fanfest - where the next update will happen, live from my brain to the waiting ears of thronged Bungiephiles. And no doubt on the net soon afterwards.

: And who
: IS Cortana? I know you know.

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge." -Daniel J. Boorstin

: I find it interesting that you don't deny the
: "sarcastic bitchmonkey" label.

There are some insults I just won't dignify with a response.


Hey nice quote. One to remember. Here's that other post:

Re: Habe Quiddam Matthew
Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 1/11/01 1:52 a.m.

In Response To: Habe Quiddam Matthew (black flag and a red star)

: "Responding to legitimate questions with ambiguity or random quotes is
: really irritating." -Black Flag And A Red Star

I would consider the Boorstin quote neither random nor ambiguous, when read in context.

: Is Cortana Doug Zartman?


: What connections does Island Four Software have with
: Bungie?

None. That's like asking what connections McDonald's has with Bungie. Some Bungie personnel once worked at McDonald's, but we do not make Big Macs.

: When can we expect new material?

That depends on what you mean by material, doesn't it? If you mean "substantial Halo imagery and detail" you have only a little longer to wait.

: When will www.bungie.com be
: updated?

I believe at this point we're only waiting on our new web developer guy, who starts later this month. Max and David have been working on the interface design for some time, so now it's just a matter of getting it done.

: When will Matt answer our questions with solid fact?

I always answer with facts as soon as they're declassified. The rest of the time I can only hint at the tru7h.

: Why does
: Rage Against the Machine rock so damn hard?

That's a trick question, right?


Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes to say that there is YAN update at Bungie Sightings.

Jan 10, 2001 (Wednesday)

Quick update

Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes to say that he has arrived safe and sound in San Francisco albeit with a bad cold and is off to check out the West Bay Conference Center where the Bungie Fanfest IV is being held. His Bungie Sightings page hints at some possible Myth III happenings at the Fanfest.

The Bungie.net poll now tops 2500 and has been running for over 3 and half weeks. Something must be up... or not. ;-)

Well it was good news for Mac fans yesterday. Faster G4's with NVIDIA GeForce2MX AGP graphics cards and the drop dead gorgeous Titanium powerbook. Titanium... mmm... tasty. :-)

Michael Park >wanderer3.geo@yahoo.com> notes a possible similarity in themes between the secret Gherrit White terminal on "Never Burn Money" and the secret Durandal terminal on "The Rose". Michael writes:

Durandal's The Rose terminal also reintroduces the whole prison cell analogy. The whole thing about "living in a box" seems similar to being in a prison cell. When he says "all your destruction will be my liberation my emancipation my second birth", it sounds similar to the terminal when Gherrit "escapes into the waves".

Jan 9, 2001 (Tuesday)

Quick update

Less than an hour to go before the Macworld Keynote address.

Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes:

Just a quick note to say Myth II is now also available at:

And this one really cracked me up...

BUNGIE by The Dutchess of York? Actually it's one of those great typos. Check the book cover. :-)

Max Hoberman (aka Yeroen) offers some advice on bungie.net to those entering the Trivia contest at this Friday's Bungie Fanfest:

The contest mainly covers what we like to call "Bungie history and lore," so be sure to read up on your Letters, chat some with the Disembodied Soul, and study up on past Bungie happenings. Good luck! Oh yeah, and bring a #2 pencil.

Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> writes concerning the Marathon-like quote on www.macledge.com attributed to Durandal:

I think it should be pointed out that that "Durandal" quote, of course, is not by Durandal. It's from Ne Cede Malis, by an unidentified messenger (possibly Thoth, possibly Yrro, possibly something else entirely).

Agreed. The full text, which is not displayed in typical "Durandal green", reads:

thousands are sailing
the same self the only self

self willed the peril of a thousand fates

a line of infinite ends finite finishing
the one remains oblique and pure

arching to the single point of

find yourself
starting back

Jan 8, 2001 (Monday)

Quick update

Jon Thompson <jthompson@dymle.com> writes:

Check out www.macledge.com

It looks like they are planning a website redesign this week, and are using a Durandal quote in the page's title.

In case the page changes it presently reads: "Find yourself... starting back" -Durandal. Cryptic eh?

Miguel "Freewill" Chavez <bs@bungie.org> writes to say that Bungie Sightings has been updated (yet again) with more info on this week's Bungie Fanfest IV, further highlights from last year's Bungie Fanfest III and the Myth III plot revealed. It's all topped off with a Flash animation by Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith. Icing on the cake!

For Mac fans the big highlight tomorrow is Macworld Expo. The Keynote address by Steve Jobs starts at 9am PST. Details on how to see this event can be found here.

Jan 7, 2001 (Sunday)

The good folks over at halo.bungie.org logged yesterday's IRC MSXbox chat and have upped a nicely formatted transcript of the event. Participants included: Seamus Blackley (Xbox Advanced Technology Group Manager), Jeff Henshaw (Xbox Program Manager), Incabrain (Xbox site webmaster), J Allard (Xbox General Manager). Here's one interesting part:

sol_msxbox: Will there be online games from the get-go?
J_Allard: you know, we're huge fans of online...
J_Allard: and totally committed. we put an ethernet port on every box for that reason.
J_Allard: you're going to see a lot of innovation in this space (and experimentation)
J_Allard: you'll see some developers use it like the old playstation link cable
J_Allard: you'll see people put together little "lan parties" with inexpensive hubs
J_Allard: and gaming in gaming parlors
J_Allard: it will be really big in college dorms
sol_msxbox: mmmm, lan parties :)
J_Allard: and of course the ultimate is the full internet where all of those different groups
J_Allard: can play together.
J_Allard: the cool thing about the ethernet strategy is that you don't necessarily need to have
J_Allard: it connected to the intenret to get a multiplayer networked experience. you can
J_Allard: do it in these other environments
J_Allard: too
sol_msxbox: So, we're talking full-fledged clan battles in games like Halo
J_Allard: you can smell what xbox is cookin
sol_msxbox: nice teaser!
sol_msxbox: Along those lines, what do you say about controlling games like First-person shooters which normally require a key/mouse combo
J_Allard: we can probably talk more about the controller in a few minutes...
J_Allard: when we talked to gamers about what they want in a console, they said
J_Allard: "awesome controller".
J_Allard: we aksed about kb+m and they told us that they didn't really have much
J_Allard: interest in having 4 keyboards on the couch to play with their friends.
J_Allard: so we designed a rich controller and a good extensibility strategy

Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> points out that there are in fact two copies of Pathways Into Darkness for sale on eBay. One can be found here and the other here. Interesting to note that Pathways Into Darkness is described as a "retro-classic". In addition you can find copies of Marathon 2 Durandal PC, Marathon 2 Durandal Mac and Myth on offer.

Michael Watson <mikey-sanSPAMMERS@AREbungieSPAZEROIDS.org> writes to say that Marathon Scenario News as been updated.

Jan 6, 2001 (Saturday) Happy Birthday b.org

Microsoft's Bill Gates gave the keynote address at the Computer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas today and unveiled their Xbox console and controller. Some might find it surprising that Halo wasn't demoed. Instead "Malice" by United Kingdom-based Argonaut Games PLC and "Munch's Oddysee" by Oddworld Inhabitants Inc. were highlighted. Perhaps Microsoft felt it necessary to promote their third party Xbox developers on this occasion. It is quite possible that Halo is being groomed for unveiling at Microsoft's Gamestock 2001. Gamestock is where Microsoft traditionally demo their own games to the press.

bungie.org is two years old today. Happy birthday b.org !

Simon Tam <simo@u.washington.edu> writes:

If you turn on Subtitles in Oni, then when you get to the Evil Brain in level 2, you can see what it's saying each time it yells "UURRR!!!". Really funny stuff. It sounds just like the disembodied soul on Bungie's website. Maybe it's a distant cousin perhaps? Or maybe a cameo appearence by the disembodied soul?

Jan 5, 2001 (Friday)

Quick update #2

Matthew Wanlin <stoolgod@deadmoose.com> points out that Gamesmania have an interview with Nathan Bitner, CEO of Island Four Corp. There's also a picture of the man himself.

Quick update #1

Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes:

There's a single boxed copy of Pathways into Darkness selling on eBay right now.
Go... go... go... err... hang on a minute I've already got a copy! ;-)

It's always great to receive new Marathon artwork. The most recent piece received is by Jay Faircloth <anaphiel@earthlink.net>. It's a pic of the Marathon Marine (217K) on the level "Try again". Jay writes:

That level traumatized me for life the first time around, never mind the Vid-Master edition of it. I think I have that failure message memorized still. I have a couple more lurking in my brain that should see the light of day soon.

Note the detail on the body armor. Very nice. Jay explains that the piece was created (100%) in Photoshop 5.5 with a Wacom tablet on a PowerMac G4. A detailed explanation of how the piece was created can be found below Jay's image. Hopefully we'll see more from Jay in the future.

Got Marathon art? Then send it in. :-)

Pfhor bureaucracy at work? Zachary M <Mrodar@aol.com> draws a comparison between the inadvertent teleporting of Compiler Units to the inaccessible Resupply Tower 2 on "Where Some Rarely Go" and the teleporting of the F'lickta on the same level:

Maybe the reason the F'lickta were teleported in was due to a bureaucratic error. Bureaucracy never works right, and probably someone signed the wrong forms, or sent the paperwork to the wrong place, and the F'lickta were sent in by mistake.

Another update at Marathon Vidmasters' page. Something up? See also the Marathon Central mirror.

Jan 4, 2001 (Thursday) Times they are a changing

Quick update

Not Marathon related and no longer really Bungie news but according to Blue News and Stomped Gathering of Developers (GoD) have released info on Myth III: The Wolf Age (a prequel to the Myth series) in their promotional Gathering of Goodness calendar sent out to GoD's Fan Club. There is also the makings of an official Myth III site at myth.godgames.com. Myth III is to be developed by Mumbo Jumbo. One interesting piece of additional news is that the game is to be officially announced at Macworld Expo next week.

Peter Rahm-Coffey <rahmcoff@colorado.edu> writes:

A very blatant Marathon reference in Oni.

In level 2 (see http://oni.bungie.org/res/) you have to fight a "Deadly Brain". It is a human brain hooked up to a computer. As you disable it, it tries to leave its intranet. At one point Shinatama says that it's "Clearly, it's gone rampant...".

Yes while the concept of Rampancy is not uncommon in science fiction the term "Rampancy" was actually coined by Greg Kirkpatrick (formerly of Bungie Software). See the Rampancy section for details on its origin.

One interesting point is whether or not a human brain hooked up to a computer should be regarded as an Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Michael Park <wanderer3.geo@yahoo.com> writes:

I would like to point out to John [Sumner]that I did question if this was a mapmaking oversight and I also forgot to mention that I did check this out on Forge.

In response to Mark Levin, I'd still like to know why would the Pfhor teleport these F'lickta in to mess with their own compilers. If you hang around the area long enough, both the F'lickta and the compilers will actually end up fighting with each other. I'm not sure if this is because I ended up berserking the compilers (yeah, I know, one of the golden rules of the VidMaster) or if they were intentionally set in the embedded physics model to fight the F'lickta.

Which still doesn't make any sense. Weren't the Pfhor in this garrison short of compilers because they were teleported to the wrong area?

Where Some Rarely Go (Terminal 8)

internal unit communique
origin: Quartermaster 5th Class Ssh'uph
destin: unit Command
ref: Access Malfunction Resupply Tower 2
stamp: requisition

This is to humbly resubmit request for machinery and
expertise from Garrison Command for repair
of Access Door Mechanism on Resupply Tower 2.
Requisitioned Compiler Units from Lh'owon Command
inadvertently teleported to Resupply Tower 2 and
rendered inaccessible. Previous request
respectfully submitted to Perimeter Station 7AF
Commander 5th Class Re'eer (Attentive) prior to
untimely demise.

Could the area mentioned in the above terminal possibly be the area you're in before you reach the exit terminal. Notice that you run into a high concentration of compilers in this area while the rest of this level has barely any.

Apparently the Pfhor are having trouble with the teleportation systems in this area. Could it be possible that these F'lickta who pop in out of nowhere were also inadvertently teleported into this particular room from another part of the garrison? It makes some sense since the compilers that the Pfhor are missing happen to be also stuck in this particular room. But these teleportation systems sure have some dang good timing to send in the F'lickta the moment you decide to step into the room! Possibly part some sort of security system set to teleport in Pfhor that got misdirected to the F'lickta...?

Similarly Wayne Wight <wwight@marina.horde.org> writes:

Perhaps the teleporting Flickta in "Where Some Rarely Go" simply stumbled across a teleporter in another room. A lot of the levels with Flickta are riddled with teleporters that only need to be walked across to activate.

We do know from The Alien Teleporter on Charon that walk-in teleporter areas could be used by the Pfhor.

Jan 3, 2001 (Wednesday)

John Sumner <UTJohnS@aol.com> writes concerning the teleporting F'lickta mentioned yesterday:

Concerning the observation yesterday by Michael Park in the Marathon Infinity level "Where Some Rarely Go", two F'lickta are supposed to teleport in from the ceiling, so that is not a surprise. Also, according to Forge it appears there are a limited number (4) of additional F'lickta that could teleport there as well. However, the probability is set rather low (3), so not likely. Still, i went to that location in my saved game file and did not notice anything unusual. Let me also mention that F'lickta do teleport in at least one other level that i am aware of, that being "Charon Does Not Make Change" from Marathon 2.

But how do teleporting F'lickta fit into the story as we know it?

Mark Levin <mglevin@students.uiuc.edu> writes:

One possible explanation: The Flick'ta are being teleported against their will. Surely the Pfhor biologists would avoid fooling around with tranquilizer guns and nets and so on if they could simply point, click, and capture. Although I don't know why they would drop their valuable specimens 30 feet into waist-deep sludge :\

At long last the Marathon Vidmasters' page gets an update. See also the Marathon Central mirror.

The Bungie.net poll tops 2000... but then again it has been running for over 2 and half weeks. ;-)

Jan 2, 2001 (Tuesday)

Michael Park <wanderer3.geo@yahoo.com> writes:

In "Where Some Rarely Go" there is a circular room that is somewhat close to the exit terminal. This room is near a terminal that gives a description of the reproductive processes of the F'lickta. In this circular room you'll see F'lickta and S'pht battling it out (and occasionally taking potshots at you). It looks like your usual every day battle with the baddies...

But there's a peculiarity in this room.

If you step to the right side and immediately look up, you'll hear a teleporting sound. Normally a teleporting sound indicates the presence of certain monsters such as S'pht or Pfhor.

The thing is, F'lickta end up teleporting in!!! I saw the dang thing with my own eyes. I apologize for not having a screenshot for this but it's really not that difficult to spot. Flip the switch that opens the doors to the room, run to your right and then look left and up as you hear the "teleporting in" sound. You'll see F'lickta teleport in.

A mere mapmaking oversight, or something more? Who teleported these guys in? Tycho? The Pfhor? Why would they send F'lickta in to mess with their own compilers? Did Durandal send them in to distract the compilers in order to give you a chance to take them out? If so, where did Durandal get them from?

Weird stuff. I always thought F'lickta weren't so technologically advanced to be able to teleport around...

Odd stuff.

Max Etchemendy <mxetch@yahoo.com> writes:

I internally debated whether or not to actually mention this, since sounds in Marathon have long ago been proven to be simply ubiquitous. But the electronic trance song "Aspirin" by the group "X-Dream" features several uses of the S'pht'Kr plasma gun flyby noise. I don't know if this particular sound has been noticed elsewhere by anyone, but if not I suppose it's possible that X-Dream actually sampled the sound from Marathon.

Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes to say that the Marathon Archives has a pile of new stuff, including Aleph One converter tool, netmaps for Infinity and TI.

John Zero <jzero@fastlane.net> writes to say that The Marathon Project Orphanage lives again.

Jan 1, 2001 (Monday)

Nothing like a bit on the Cthulhu to get the year rolling. Jon Guyson <cyrax9tk9@yahoo.com> writes:

In the story section of your site you say that the name of the level "Strange Aeons" is from an H.P. Lovecraft quote "That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons where even death may die". There is a game called "Prisoner Of Ice" in which the apocalypse involving the return of C'thulhu is upon us and you indulge on an adventure of paraphysical travel to stop a madman who found a loophole which will let him take over the new universe when the old one is destroyed. Your character, at one point, uses that quote by Lovecraft to imply that inevitability can be eluded with the proper use of paraphysical travel. You also say that C'thulhu is the dead but dreaming God. The dreaming god is what the creature that lays dormant inside the temple on the Yucatan peninsula is refered to as in Marathon. Perhaps this implies that C'thulhu is the creature inside the Pyramid and he waits for the day when the universe collapses so he can become god in the new one like Tycho and Durandal want to be. This will be the aeon when death will die (C'thulhu will no longer be dead and dreaming as his death will die, meaning he will elude his death which occured in this universe by escaping into the next.).

Now doesn't that sound familiar, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...

Cortana.org has been update with a new popup page. Steve Campbell made this post about it on islandfour.org forum. You'll also find some discussion about it there too. The name "Phoenix" also appears again.

If you're following events in the Oni demo you might be interested in this post on rampancy.net. Of course you need to have access to Level 2 of the demo.

Go to What's New for Nov-Dec 2000

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Last updated Mar 1, 2001