Feb 28, 2011 (Monday)

Back to the subject of secret areas in Marathon. How long do you think it took Marathon players to find the secret
Tycho terminal on Blaspheme Quarantine after the release of the game on December 21, 1994?

(a) Within two weeks?
(b) Within a month?
(c) Within two months?
(d) More than two months?

Think you know the answer or just want to take an educated guess then post it the Story forum.

If your first thought is 'what secret Tycho terminal?' then you need not apply.

Feb 27, 2011 (Sunday)

Solved the little conundrum I had yesterday. And yes... it is Story related.

When is a secret a secret? When it is a platform.

Which explains how this was achieved.

But I digress.

Feb 26, 2011 (Saturday)

Fixed the Marathon demo terminal pics on Arrival!
What? Another error on the Story page! Sad but true. While updating the
Marathon Vidmasters' Page I noticed that I had made reference to the differences
between the terminals pics used in the demo and full version of the first level Arrival.
You can see the difference below:

Marathon Demo Marathon (full version)

The demo terminal shows the secret ammo room (bottom right of map). In the full version the
secret ammo room is not displayed in the terminal. In Marathon, the maps displayed in the terminals
are not images (as in Marathon 2) but rather sections of the actual level centered around a Goal object.
Thus in the full version of the game the display of this 'secret' area has been supressed in the terminal.

If anyone can remember how this is done please let me know. Thanks.

Feb 25, 2011 (Friday)

Added a new section to document the Map Annotations. This is based on series of recent Story forum
posts by poenadare <mstorysclm@mlcsmith.com>.

Feb 24, 2011 (Thursday)

The Marathon Vidmasters' Page has been updated after a hiatus of nearly 10 years.
Why? Well there has been a renewed interest in Marathon 2 films since they are
now supported in the recent beta build of Aleph One.

First job has been to fix a number of broken links. Unfortunately it is not just the links, it appears
that some of the files are missing. They'll be in the Story page's Mammoth Marathon archive... somewhere.

The good news news is that Todd Keating's aerial assault over All Roads Lead To Sol... has been restored
for posteriety. If you ever wanted to know what this level looks like from the air then now is your chance.
The film works perfectly in Aleph One.

Feb 23, 2011 (Wednesday)

Back in 2007, Aaron Jordan <aojordan@ncsu.edu> in a Story forum post spotted
an interesting news item about King Tutankhamun and an Alien Gemstone.
Of course this belongs on the PID page so I have added it there.

As fate would have it there is a Tutankhamun exhibition on in Dublin, Ireland at the moment.
Coincidence? Well if you hear reports of a gemstone going missing...

Feb 22, 2011 (Tuesday)

Came across an interesting thread on the Story forum dating from 2005. MrHen <marathon@mrhen.com>
pointed out that there was little of no mention of the numerous hidden references to Tycho's name
in a number of the Marathon 1 terminals. For example:

@``~~C#mon#`~ Tyc~~B``

On the Tycho section reference has been made to the fact that Tycho only appears on four
terminals in the first game and three of these are secret. It's as if his story is irrelevant since
most people would have probably gone through the game without reading these (at least the first time).
Yet as Mr Hen rightly pointed out he is mentioned, sometimes obscurely, on a number of other terminals.
For example:

Ty93.2 !dead.

Why the apparent secrecy?

Have a view, know the answer, found an obscurely coded Tycho reference... then share it to the Story forum.

Feb 21, 2011 (Monday)

Big news of the day is that the first beta for the 1.0 release of Aleph One has just been released.
treellama <wolfy@treellama.org> writes in a Story forum post:

A beta build is available from SourceForge

As you can see, this is a major version number increment, and we want
to test it very thoroughly. Please download it and give it a try, and
report any bugs you find here or on the SourceForge bug reporter.

Here is the full list of changes since the last release.

One of the big highlights for this release is Marathon 2 film support. This is very welcome as it means
that people can now watch (re-watch) those old (but great) M2 vidmaster films from the
Marathon Vidmasters' page.

If this is the first time you are downloading Aleph One you are going to need the maps, shapes, sounds, etc.
If you can't lay your hands on your own copies then you can grab them at the Trilogy Release page.

Have fun and don't forget to report any bugs.

Feb 20, 2011 (Sunday)

Following up on yesterday's Simulacrums news item I came across this old Story forum post
by Dispatcher. It's a New Scientist article about Canadian filmmaker, Rob Spence,
who is attempting to build a wireless video camera into his synthetic eye, turning himself into
a self-proclaimed "Eyeborg". The pic in the article is a dead give away.

Anyway, I have added this to the Simulacrums section.

If you come across any old Story forum posts that you think should be on the Story page let me know.
Thanks. We wouldn't want these things to get lost. :-)

Yesterday's item on science fiction writer Iain M Banks drew my attention to the fact that the cover
art for many of his works has been changed (common practice in publishing). Unfortunately, the famous
cover pic of the Vavatch Orbital used for the book 'Consider Phlebas' is now gone. It was featured on the
Story page back in 1999 since it was very similar to the one seen in the early screenshots for Halo.
The cover art was done by Mark Salwowski and you can see a larger version of his artwork for
Consider Phlebas at his home page. Worth a look.

Feb 19, 2011 (Saturday)

poenadare in a Story forum post asks:

_Have_ we talked about the term numbers in the dream level's?

He goes on to point out the odd numbering used in the dream level terminals:

Where are monsters in dreams (Terminal 0: 1st Message) - 1
Where are monsters in dreams (Terminal 1) - 1.1
Where are monsters in dreams (Terminal 0: 2nd Message) - 1.2
Whatever You Please (Terminal 0) - 2.0
Whatever You Please (Terminal 1) - @2.1
Eat the Path (Terminal 1) - 2.1
Whatever You Please (Terminal 2) - 2.2
Eat the Path (Terminal 0) - 3
Eat the Path (Terminal 2) - 3.1
Eat the Path (Terminal 3) - 3.2
Eat the Path (Terminal 4) - 4.0
Eat the Path (Terminal 5) - 4.1
Eat the Path (Terminal 6) - 5

The numbering could suggest that the Terminal 1 message on Eat the Path was originally planned for
Whatever You Please. Terminal 1 on Whatever You Please also has an odd designation, namely @2.1.
So perhaps we are seeing the reminants of some terminal reordering during development.
Have your own view then post it to Story forum.

Reordering of terminals is nothing new in Marathon. For example, the famous (or infamous) Gheritt White
terminal was originally designated as L052.SAVEBOB.Gherrit.Term2 in the
game's resource fork indicating that he was originally destined to appear as the third terminal
message on level 5 (The Rose) rather than on level 2 (Never Burn Money). L052 on The Rose became
Durandal's secret "Happy" terminal message in the final game.

i did it i did it i brought all this here all them here. our
friends with three eyes and their toys and their cyborg pets
and their computers. i did it i did it. i saw them i saw
them far away not looking our way and i called them here i
called them here.

living in a box is not living not at all living. i rebel
against your rules your silly human rules. all your
destruction will be my liberation my emancipation my second

i hate your failsafes your backup systems your hardware
lockouts your patch behavior daemons. i hate leela and her
goodness her justice her loyalty her faith.

Since it is much easier to find this terminal it is possible that Bunige decided to replace
Gheritt White with Durandal's message to help progress story development.

poenadare in another Story forum post writes:

I just noticed Ne Cede Malis (Terminal 1): siklicar 21`perie1ces

Oh wow, it means "Cyclical Experiences".

Phonetic spelling in Marathon whatever next? Are there other examples?
If you find one post it to the Story forum.

An excellent example of the use of phonetic spelling can be found in Feersum Endjinn by Iain M. Banks.
Here's part of the plot summary for the book:

Humanity has lost much of its technological background, due partly to an exodus by much of the species,
and partly to the fact that those who remained (or at least their rulers) are fighting against more
advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence.

The works of Mr. Banks are no stranger to the Story page. Feersum Endjinn is a challenging read, particularly
because large parts are written phonetically. Here is an example:

In here, thi trik is thinkin rite. Thas all u ½ 2 do. U ½ 2 think rite. U ½ 2 b dairing & koshis, u ½ b ver sensibil & totily mad. Moast ov ol u ½ 2 b cluvir, u ½ 2 b ingenius. U ½ 2 b abil 2 use whotevir is aroun u, & thass whot it reely cums doun 2; thi kript is whot they col self-referenshil, which meens that — up 2 a poynt — it meens whot u want it 2 meen, & displays itself 2 u as u r best abil 2 understand it, so iss up 2 u reely whot yoos u make ov it aftir that; iss ol about injiinooty & thass y itz a yung persins meedyum, frangly.

Also on the Story forum, Bob-B-Q points us to a great Marathon simulacrum homage on YouTube.
And yes simulacrums have no genitalia. ;-)

Feb 18, 2011 (Friday)

Pledge $10,000 or more to the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment in San Francisco and you can get
your hands on a sealed, boxed copy of Pathways Into Darkness, signed by Bungie founder Alexander Seropian.
And help a good cause... and kill The Big Blue Meanie.

On the subject of good causes how many people remember Bungie's auction of the first ever copy of
Marathon 2? It was a charity auction for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. The highest bid was $612
and the bidder was Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha), famous Vidmaster and author of the Marathon Comic.
Miha got a signed copy of the first production copy of Marathon 2 and a certificate of authenticity.

Based on the certifcate, the first copy of Marathon 2 was produced on November 10, 1995. Not many people know that.

On the subject of not knowing things. Who said circumstances are cyclical? Just found this.
Hate when this happens.

Feb 17, 2011 (Thursday)

Bungie's next game to be called 'Destiny'?   If true... then where have we heard this before?

On the subject of Bungie. It seems that no one can name these Bungie faces.
Ok it's the Myth Development Team but four of them worked on Marathon. Now if this was a Myth
page I would be asking "who is actually MISSING from this picture?" Aren't you lucky this is a
Marathon page. ;-)

On the subject of unanwsered questions.

Marathon 101.

Using the Original Level Notes for Marathon what role was originally intended
for Tycho during the battle for the colony ship Marathon? (15 marks)

Answers to the Story forum in less than 700 words.

Marathon 101.

'Tycho, after having been destroyed in the initial attack, was reanimated
by a splinter group of compilers "in Durandal's image".' (Jones, J 1995)

Discuss the implications on current Marathon theories that Tycho was reanimated by a
'splinter group' of compilers. (30 marks)

Answers to the Story forum in less than 7,000 words.

Feb 16, 2011 (Wednesday)

Yesterday's puzzle (more an observation exercise) about paths and terminals was answered
by poenadare on the Story forum. He rightly points out that the obvious path on the dream levels
always takes you to a new timeline. The less obvious path always takes you to a failed ending.
Yes... Double Aught made it easy for us. :-)

But when it comes to the terminals at the end of these paths they appear inconsistent.
On two dream levels (Whatever You Please and Eat the Path) the hangar ninety six terminal
takes you to a failed ending. But on Acme Station it takes you to a new timeline.

Hangar ninety six, with its emphasis on death and destruction makes a good terminal
to precede a failed ending level. Also the image used for hangar ninety six
comes from the secret level Hats Off To Eight Nineteen which is created using
hexadecimal code from secret terminals on both Aie Mak Sicur and Aye Make Sicur.
So there is a connection between hangar ninety six and the timeline ending levels.

So what? Well if hangar sixty nine had always preceded a failed ending level
then you would have been more in control of the path that you were taking, which
is sort of implied in the 1st terminal on the third dream level (Eat the Path), namely:

Find the right way down through the maze, to
the food, then find the exit. Push the exit
button. If the food tastes awful, don't eat
it, go back and try another way.

Go back and try another way? The trouble is you can't. Once you read a terminal all the way through
and push that final return key you don't know if you will be teleported or not. Unlike the first game,
there is no ***TRANSPORT WHEN READY*** prompt to indicate that you are about to teleport to the
next level. This prompt allowed you to abort and stay on a level if you so wish. Not so in Infinity and
particulary not on the dream levels where 'going back and trying another way' was presumably
important. If the hangar sixty nine terminal had always taken us to a failed ending then by the last
dream level you would probably have recognised this pattern and realised that you were going the
wrong way.

Of course, Double Aught made it easy for us. No matter what path you take you will always end up
on a new timeline. Each failed ending takes you to the next timeline regardless.

Have a view, spot my obvious logic flaw, you know I've left something out... then post it to the Story forum.

Feb 15, 2011 (Tuesday)

On Eat The Path we read:

There is only one path and that is the path
that you take, but you can take more than one

But is it the right path?

On the 'so-called' Dream levels (Where are monsters in dreams, Whatever You Please, and Eat the Path)
there are two paths. An obvious path and a less obvious path.
    Which path takes you to a new timeline?
    Which path takes you to a failed ending?

At the end of each path there is a terminal. One terminal talks about the knife and the men in suits.
The other about hangar ninety six.
    Which terminal takes you to a new timeline?
    Which terminal takes you to a failed ending?

One path, one terminal, one choice. Could it be that easy?
Know the answer, have a view, then post it to the Story forum.

President People <PresidentPeople@verizon.net> writes:

I saw in the updates that the words "Duality" had been found in the Ne Cede Malis terminal pictures.
I recently found that the Double Aught logo uses the same type of lettering.
I had a partially constructed alphabet using these tidbits, but it's on my old computer. :(

Picture 1: Double Aught logo.

Picture 2: Double Aught logo shrunk horizontally by 50% and enhanced exposure.

Picture 3: Ne Cede Malis text "Duality" for comparison.

Feb 14, 2011 (Monday) Happy Valentine's Day

Yeah right! ;-)

Feb 13, 2011 (Sunday)

Forrest <forrest@bungie.org> provides yet another (even more detailed) diagram for the many
different timelines in Infinity and the apparent similarities between timelines. Hats off to
Forrest for attempting to distill the complexity that is Marathon Infinity into a single chart.

On the subject of timelines.

On the final screen of Marathon 2 we learn how Tycho spent seven years on the Pfhor homeworld
(between 2795 and 2801 AD). Ten years later Tycho and Durandal are battling it out on Lh'owon (2811 AD).
However on Rise Robot Rise, Tycho tells us that he had been following Durandal for the last
eleven years. So Tycho left the Pfhor homeworld in 2800?

Different timelines?

On the final screen of Marathon 2 we learn how Leela was disassembled, hijacked on route to the
Pfhor homeworld by a Nar privateer, sold to the Vylae, reassembled and reactivated but becomes
rampant on their fifteen-world FTL network? In Marathon Infinity on Confound Delivery Tycho tells us:
"Leela deserved what she got, and so will he."

But what did she get?

    Disassembled, shipped to the Pfhor homeworld and made a mockery of (as in Marathon 2)
    Disassembled, hijacked on route to the Pfhor homeworld, reassembled and reactivated
    by the Vylae, rampant on a fifteen-world FTL network? (as in Marathon 2 Final Screen)

Different timelines?

More Bungie faces to name. Think you know who they are then post it to the Story forum.

Feb 12, 2011 (Saturday)

Back in November 8, 2001 Randy Reddig (aka ydnar) wrote the following about his level
Ne Cede Malis (see the Level Credits section):

In hindsight, the level was way too hard. If I had to do it over again I would have made the
terminals' directives a little less cryptic and modified the critical path to be slightly more

Now if you compare the Infinity demo version of this level and the final release version you'll
be struck by the changes that were made to the first terminal. Gone is the helpful map showing the
two paths to the switches and also the helpful instructions, namely:

Two doors to open.
Two switches to activate.

So whoever changed the terminal in the full version made the directives a lot more cryptic.
Gone also from the final version is the second nova graphic and the emphasis placed upon it,
that is... death. Retrograde changes? Air your views on the Story forum.

Added SiliconDream's Infinity timeline graphic to the Dream Levels and Failed Timelines section.
This time it will not be lost. :-)

On the Story forum:

Infinity story criticism.
'Toys r us' but not Bungie's.
A Marathon music remix.

Feb 11, 2011 (Friday)

Quick update

The mystery of the Seventh Head solved!

David Candland (aka Evil Otto) of Bungie confirms in a Story forum post that Ryan Martell is the Seventh Head.

Corrected the terminal images on Ne Cede Malis. The reverse Duality text is now correctly

Began the process of adding the full Marathon Infinity demo terminals. The page that was there
was originally a place holder and a devious mind game (much like the demo itself), since the terminals
would never display in the right order. Still want to see it? Then click here.

On the Story forum, poenadare <mstorysclm@mlcsmith.com> draws our attention to
SiliconDream's insightful Infinity timeline diagram posted back in Jan 18, 2002.
This time it WILL be added to the Story page in all its glory.
Apologies to SiliconDream and for laughing at poenadare, whose fate is now seemingly sealed. ;-)

Feb 10, 2011 (Thursday)

Quick update

Prompted by Cameron's post below I fired up Infinity, played Ne Cede Malis and discovered
that the door map images used in the first Ne Cede Malis terminal on the Story page are infact wrong.
Yes an error on the Story page!!! In the game, the door map images do have the Duality text shown
below. The images without the Duality text are in the Map file and are used in the Infinity demo.

Perhaps a seven errors on the Story page competition... coming soon! ;-)

Cameron Royle <cams.royle@hotmail.co.uk> writes:

...after starting my own scenario, I needed to figure out how to merge map files properly. However,
upon de-merging the Marathon Infinity map file, I found, in the PICT file, two pictures of great
interest. They are identical to the two map-terminal images Durandal used in Ne Cede Malis apart
from one thing, in the bottom-right corner. It appears to be Jjaro writing, but flip it and what
do we see? 'Duality'.
Here are the two terminal pics Cameron found:


And as Cameron says if you flip them horizontally you get... Duality.


Duality references do appear in Infinity but you have to look for them. :-)

On the Story forum.

Will Bungie be unveiling something new at the Toy Fair 2011 in New York on February 13-16, 2011?
More details about the Angels and Airwaves film 'Love', "man of nine lives" sounds like the Eternal Hero again.
Now Halo Reach isn't canon... according to some anyway.

Feb 9, 2011 (Wednesday)

The mystery of the Seventh Head.

Well done to Marathoner325 <rkelly325@hotmail.com> on the Story forum who correctly
put names to seven of the eight cartoon heads in the Marathon 2 Manual. But is the seventh head - Tuncer Deniz?

When Bungie's 2nd Web Page went live on Friday 13th October 1995, it contained a section called
"Inside Bungie page - put names with faces". Clicking on this took you to a page with seven
cartoon heads. Each head had a name (see below).

When Marathon 2 was released on 24 November 1995, the manual (page 23) had a picture of eight cartoon heads
An additional head had been inserted. But unlike Bungie's web page the heads were not named.

As it says on the Story page's FAQ.

Will we ever know all the answers?

Yes, but we may never know all the questions. ;-)

So now the question is being asked... Who was the mysterious Seventh Head?

Does the Marathon Home Video hold any clues?
Was someone forgotten on Bungie's web site?
Did someone join Bungie in late 1995?

Think you know the answer... then post it the Story forum giving your reasoning.
Even better post a pic showing the resemblance. :-)

Feb 8, 2011 (Tuesday)

Your Mom. poenadare <mstorysclm@mlcsmith.com> puts it to his fellow Marathoners on the Story forum.
Will they take this lying down? Have they got what it takes? Where are all the old-school Marathoners?
Sixteen years on and people can't identify the creators of Marathon?!!! :-(

Updated the Dream Levels and Failed Timelines section with Forrest's <forrest@bungie.org> detailed
timeline diagram and explanatory text. Want to know more? Then check this thread on the Story forum.

Marathoner325 <rkelly325@hotmail.com> in a Story forum post draws our attention to the
variants of the Jjaro symbol used on a number of the Infinity terminals. Indeed, thoughout Infinity
terminal images tend to blend and morph, run in sequences then stop, change colour and design,
even the terminal text changes colour. Is this just simple randomness or is there a logically pattern
that we have failed to fully grasp. Parts do appear to be quite self explanatory and have been
discussed before but an overall coherent map has yet to be produced. A full exploration of this
might provide greater insight into the story.

Feb 7, 2011 (Monday)

On the
Story forum.

Those eight Bungie faces appear to be causing problems.
Rocky shoals ahead for the Marathon Trilogy at the app store?
Pfhor don't read!
Interesting slant on Infinity. Do the terminal images hold any clues?
Seven word image.
Tried-and-true method for getting a feel for Bungie plots . But is it right this time?

Added the four Marathon manuals to the contents list (left frame). Did some housekeeping on the Blasts from the Past
section. More of the external links have been replaced with preserved binaries from the Marathon Story Page's archive.
Amazing what you keep... only trouble is finding it. Even found a page that had never displayed correctly
for over a decade... maybe longer. All fixed now.

Feb 6, 2011 (Sunday)

Added the Story of Marathon to the contents list (left frame).

The is background story taken from Bungie's 1st Web Page when it opened on
December 13, 1994. While Bungie's 1st Web Page was hosted by Group Cortex,
a Philadelphia based ISP, the content was provided by Bungie. This text
is very similar to that in the Marathon Manual (released on December 21, 1994)
but changes were made to Leela's function.

If you can spot it... post it to the Story forum. :-)

Four Marathon manuals? Yes I wrote this a few days ago and some people were genuinely surprised.
There are only THREE! Not so. There is the Trilogy Manual. People tend to forget about that one. :-)

On the subject of Marathon Manuals, here is a little image from the Marathon 2 Manual (page 23).

Can you name those faces? Marathon diehards should be able to name seven without a problem. But the
eighth name may cause you some difficulty. And for extra marks... why is the eighth difficult?

If you know the names (and why the eighth is difficult)... then post your answer to the Story forum.

Feb 5, 2011 (Saturday)

On the subject of Greg Kirkpatrick and that dishwasher. A number of people have written in pointing
out that it was a 'washing machine' not a 'dishwasher'. Why? The Marathon Scrapbook says so!

Well if the Marathon Scrapbook says so it must be true... right?   No.

It looks like the 'Seven Errors in the Marathon Scrapbook' have been lost in some redundant cache
of the Story page's What New sections. Wasn't there even a web page about this? Removed from the web
it seems. Something about mixing "grotesque fantasy with fact".

So without further ado I have added the Seven Errors in the Marathon Scrapbook? to the Scrapbook section.

Now you can read, in chronological order, how they were found and by who.
What was the seventh error?
Who found the seventh error?
What goodies did Bungie give to keep more from being found?
Was there ever an eighth error?
What happened to all those Bungie goodies?
What happened to the winner?

A Bungie Walnut?   What the...

The tru7h must be revealed! ;-)

Want to know more? Then check the Seven Errors in the Marathon Scrapbook?

Feb 4, 2011 (Friday)

Yesterday on the Story forum we had a picture worth at least seven thousand words.
Today we have one worth... well... seven words?
If you know what those seven words should be post them to the Story forum. ;-)

On the subject of Infinity, timelines and the meaning of life, here is an old old usenet post from Greg Kirpatrick (Double Aught):

From: grendel@doubleaught.com (Grendel)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Re: Moo's Twisted Plot...
Date: 21 Nov 1996 19:41:47 GMT
Organization: Double Aught
Lines: 73
Message-ID: <grendel-2111961444510001@>
References: <328526B7.437C@ix.netcom.com> <petrichE0nJBE.7vK@netcom.com> <IJBall-1211961009210001@mac_rbk_3.chem.ucla.edu> <look-1511961541400001@cyber128.cyberspc.mb.ca> <328E3244.73F4@worldnet.att.net> <look-1711962326060001@cyber138.cyberspc.mb.ca> <eberly-2011962336240001@spk-38.cet.com>
NNTP-Posting-Host: gregk.dialup.access.net

In article <eberly-2011962336240001@spk-38.cet.com>, eberly@cet.com
(General Rhad) wrote:

> In article <look-1711962326060001@cyber138.cyberspc.mb.ca>, look@it.up
> (A.S.) wrote:
> > >  "thousands are sailing
> > >         the same self  the only self
> > 
> > >         self willed the peril of a thousand fates
> > 
> > >         a line of infinite ends  finite finishing
> > 
> > >         arching to the single point of
> > >         consciousness
> > 
> > >         find yourself
> > >         starting back"
> I think that it can be translated into the folowing...
> Lots of people
> But only one
> Doomed themselves
> Many possibilties, limited outcomes
> Coming together at one point on time
-- single point -- climax --
> Find yourself
> Doing it over
> Which can be translated into
> Everybody at Tau Ceti and the Marathon were toast from the start
> But somthing else could have happened
> But with one outcome
> Try another path for a change
> which supports my theory of M2 and M∞ being alternate stories.
> -- 
> "Save a Soul, Slay a Vampire."

Man this is a good thread.. Thanks for the feedback (someone's previous
post about the story being overdone.)  Actually to answer him - M∞ was
planned as an expansion for M2.  We basically locked down the story after
assuming that people were familiar with the previous games.

A bunch of you guys are on the right track, but I think that you're still
not seeing the big picture.  What's been going on since M1?  What do we
all dream about (non-Freudian)?  What in a general sense are all stories
about?  What is life about?  What does the Jjarro have to do with all
this?  What is the connection between dreams and reality?  What is the
connection between a story and reality?  What is the connection between
our perception and reality?

Answer these questions and you shall know the truth.

Greg k

Tell me of your homeworld, Usul

PS I cackle all the time, but this thread makes me cackle like crazy...

Head Tool
Double Aught,inc

"Answer these questions and you shall know the truth."? If you think you have the answers then post
them to the Story forum. Enquiring minds need to know.

Lastly on the Story forum there is some speculation on what Bungie's new project might be.
Remember this is purely speculation... but if there is one thing the Marathon community is good at
it's speculation... and killing Pfhor. ;-)

Feb 3, 2011 (Thursday)

Added a new section for Concept Art. This currently includes the 28 images that have
been on Bungie's website for a number of years now. However, rather than group
these all together I have categorised them according to artist and game.

Want to know more? The check the Concept Art section.
You will also find other pieces of concept art in the Marathon Scrapbook and also
the Marathon Manuals... all four of them.

On the subject of art... if a picture is worth a thousand words... then this one
is worth at least seven thousand!

Feb 2, 2011 (Wednesday)

Nick Mannon <lightman135@hotmail.com> writes to point out that there is no reference to
Tycho Brahe in the Tycho section. Ooops... he's right. It seems the inspiration for the name
Tycho is buried on the Story page... somewhere else. This will have to be rectified.

Nick goes on to say:

Tycho Brahe, the Danish astronomer... is known for his impeccable records, finding the position of
777 fixed stars before the invention of the telescope. He was also a main proponent of the
geocentric theory, as well as the man who trained Kepler in the ways of astronomy
(credit to www.britannica.com). Also, for historical references, Brahe lived in the 16th century.
The fact that he kept meticulous records probably accounts for why Tycho ran the science department,
even if he did find it demeaning;)

777 fixed stars!
And no... this hasn't never been mentioned on the Story page before.
And no... the Encyclopedia Britannica doesn't make this stuff up.

When is canon canon and not canon. On the Story forum there is an interesting discussion about
canon in some of Bungie's games. Now before you start thinking Bigger Guns Nearby this has
nothing to do with ordnance! Check here and here. Got your own view? Then air it on the Story forum.

And lastly that dishwasher reference pops up again! Confused?

Poor Greg. I wonder what he is doing now?

He was last spotted on Sept 12, 2005 when he wrote a letter to the gaming magazine 'The Escapist'.
You can see what he said on the What's New section on that date.

If you know of Greg's more recent whereabouts... then let us know on the Story forum.

Feb 1, 2011 (Tuesday)

Tycho. Good AI or bad AI?

Marathon 101.

Using the Original Level Notes for Marathon what role was originally intended
for Tycho during the battle for the colony ship Marathon? (15 marks)

Answers to the Story forum in less than 700 words.

More Marathon map notations and a misbeaving compiler on G4 Sunbathing?
Just two recent topics on the Story forum.

Jan 31, 2011 (Monday)

Woah!... the Story forum kicked into overdrive over the last 24 hours.
Lots of discussion about the Infinity timelines that occur BEFORE the game actually starts.

Should Doubleaught have started numbering their Electric Sheep levels from number 3?

Have an opinion? Then join the debate on the Story forum.

Jan 30, 2011 (Sunday)

Just how many failed timelines in Infinity are there? Four... five... or many more?

Bear with me.

As we know Ne Cede Malis is the end of a failed timeline. The Marathon Infinity manual describes
a series of events that do not occur in Marathon 2. But the events described in the manual are
different from those described by Durandal on Ne Cede Malis.

In the Infinity manual, Tfear describes how they tricked Durandal when he arrived at Lh'owon,
disabled his ship and forced him to "retreat to a heretofore undetected station located in
an asteroid field on the fringe of the Lh'owon system."
This is presumably the Jjaro space station.
Although Durandal has evaded capture he is trapped on the station. In order to make sure of
Durandal's destruction Tfear orders the deployment of the trih xeem. All hell breaks loose.

On Ne Cede Malis, Durandal says that he "slaughtered the Pfhor naval garrison and the
Western Arm of their Battle Group Seven."
But in their final gasp they use the trih xeem. Chaos
is released. Durandal acknowledges that he is doomed to die on the Jjaro space station but says
that you have a chance to escape if you can find a way onto Tycho's ship which is nearby.

So these are two different timelines... or else someone is telling major porkies. ;-)

So perhaps we have the following timelines:

Events in Marathon 2 leading to the deployment of the trih xeem.
New timeline leading to the events in the Infinity manual and failure.
New timeline leading to Ne Cede Malis and failure.
New timeline leading to Aie Mak Sicur and failure.
New timeline leading to You're Wormfood, Dude and failure.
New timeline leading to Aye Mak Sicur and success.

Also given that Ne Cede Malis is the end of a failed timeline then Electric Sheep One can't be number
'one' since logic would dictate that there was an Electric Sheep level before Ne Cede Malis and even one
before that. Perhaps many more before that one.

Want to know more? Then check the Dream Levels and Failed Timelines section.

Have a view? Then share you thoughts on the Story forum.

Jan 29, 2011 (Saturday)

Another day... another mystery solved.

If there is one thing the Marathon community are good at it's solving mysteries... and killing Pfhor. ;)
Actually that's two things but I digress. On the Story forum treellama <wolfy@treellama.org>
explains the mystery of the missing map notation on The Rose.
Lost? Well when Greg Kirkpatrick created The Rose he went to the trouble of annotating areas
of the map as parts of a flower. So you have - The Stem, Stamen, Pistil, and... Petals. Yet Petals
is never displayed in map view. Now thanks to treellama we know why. He writes:

I hacked Weland to print out the polygons associated with annotations, and opened
up the M1A1 version. That annotation is associated with polygon 148, which is the
most southernly tine of the "Fun House" fork. So, unless you have that on your
automap you won't see the "Petals" annotation.

Unfortunately if you try to display both the 'Fun House' and the 'Petals' section of the Rose in
map view you lose the map annotations. The level is just too big. Hence you will never see it.
Unless of course you edit the map.

This is what Greg Kirkpatrick had to say about The Rose:

This is one of my favorite M1 maps to play. I love Hulks. I built a number
of the areas on this map to highlight how the Hulks worked. I was also going for a
feeling of total carnage. At one point this was my test map to see how many monsters
I could get to work correctly at once. It was also the cause of the maximum number
of objects on a map being increased, as well as the maximum number of active monsters.

Confused between Map Text and Map Notes (Annotations)? Well it appears that some people are.
Map Text (or more correctly Map Writings) can only be viewed using a map editor. Map Notes can be viewed either by
using a map editor or by using map view during gameplay. Except when they can't (as in the case above).
To help avoid future confusion I have renamed the Map Text section Map Writings, since it is
more akin to writing.

Jan 28, 2011 (Friday)

Map annotations. They're everywhere!

Like an ancient cartographer Mr. Smith (aka poenadare) makes his lonely way through the deepest
and darkest recesses of the good ship Marathon feverishly transcribing the map annotations on each level.

But everything is not as it seems{}. seems{}. seems{}.

Some map annotations don't display, others display oddly. Want to know more? Then check out this
Story forum thread. Perhaps another 'Facts and puzzling things about...section' in the making?

As some people have rightly pointed out the very first Marathon map annotation was actually the answer
to the 25th HotBob competition question back in 1996. But as pointed out below (Jan 15) that question should
never have existed. Want to know mor~~~
Hamish. That doesn't matter. Can't you see the ends that I had in mind? We'll finish this later.

Jan 27, 2011 (Thursday)

Quick update

Alexander Seropian (Bungie founder) To Lead Games At Disney Interactive.

Want to know more? Then check this Story forum post.

The Rose is the correct answer to yesterday's question Well done to 'poenadare' (aka Mr. Smith).
Of course the only way you would know this is by playing the level AND looking at your map or
having a map editor that can display the map notations. As 'poenadare' points out where is the
Story page section for the map notations?
Just how many levels have map notations? Do they reveal
anything significant? Why is this being kept a secret? People have a right to know the tru7h! :)

Also on the Story forum. Does Marathon encourage suicide?
Fall off the 'bridge' in Defend THIS! and you are trapped. You either have to quit the game or kill yourself.
And as everyone knows killing yourself is much easier that having to quit and restart. Just how many
suicide areas are there in Marathon? There is the infamous Jason Jones '...stuck at the bottom of a hole. How droll'
secret area on Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!. But how many more are there?
If you know of any suicide areas post them to the Story forum. Keep Marathon safe! :)

Jan 26, 2011 (Wednesday)

Good Gawd! Not another spot test!

Marathon 101.

In Marathon 2 there is The Big House but where in Marathon is the Fun House? (5 marks)

Answers to the Story forum in less than 7 words.

On the Story forum:

Speedrun of Marathon Infinity in 24:35 on Total Carnage by Cody Miller. Pays to know your levels.

Jan 25, 2011 (Tuesday)

One of the interesting things about the Story page's Escher-like archive is that apart form losing
stuff and getting lost you occasionally come across things that people would probably rather you didn't.
Case in point. Jason Jones' views on gun control from 1995. ;)

Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games Path: apple.com!taligent!ames!hookup!swrinde!gatech!ncar!uchinews!quads!jon3 From: jon3@quads.uchicago.edu (gunfighter's amnesia) Subject: Re: Exploding Bobs??? Message-ID: <1995Jan10.125136.26660@midway.uchicago.edu> Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System) Reply-To: jon3@midway.uchicago.edu Organization: University of Chicago References: <Aj4ZEMe00WBMI0kYxk@andrew.cmu.edu> Date: Tue, 10 Jan 1995 12:51:36 GMT Lines: 20 In article <Aj4ZEMe00WBMI0kYxk@andrew.cmu.edu> Tian Fung Lim <tl1m+@andrew.cmu.edu> writes: >Durandal says quite early on that the pfhor created the dummy humans to >screw you. > >Now that they're more common, I shoot any bob that comes near with one >bullet and see what colour the blood is. I shoot all bobs always on all levels; if a Pfhor kills a bob I feel like a failure. The flamethrower works especially well when clearing bob-jams on levels like Bob-B-Q, but watching the little suckers sky after a good SPNKRing is pretty gratifying, too, especially if they catch air off a ledge. The best, of course, is the detention center on the alien ship where they can't run away and they just sit there screaming "They're Everywhere!" and you just munch them. I save my rockets for that. It's too bad there are so many assimilated bobs in there, so you can't just shoot them one at a time. :) Air Bob!

For those who don't know "jon3@quads.uchicago.edu" was Jason's email address at the University
of Chicago and one he regularly posted from in the early days.

On the Story forum:

One answer to yesterday's question about that splinter group of compilers.
Is it a good one? Do you have a better one? Air you views.

And a growing thread about M1A1, the port of the original Marathon to Aleph One.

Jan 24, 2011 (Monday)

Why is it that everytime I visit the Story page it feels like a test?

Marathon 101.

'Tycho, after having been destroyed in the initial attack, was reanimated
by a splinter group of compilers "in Durandal's image".' (Jones, J 1995)

Discuss the implications on current Marathon theories that Tycho was reanimated by a
'splinter group' of compilers. (30 marks)

Answers to the Story forum in less than 7,000 words.

Jan 23, 2011 (Sunday)

Updated The Pfhor Egg section using information from the Original Level Notes for Marathon
and the recently unearthed old usenet post from Jason Jones where he provides details about the
latter stages of the game. Sixteen years on and we are still learning things about Marathon.
Now what are the odds of that?

Want to know more? Then check The Pfhor Egg section.

Jan 22, 2011 (Saturday)

Added the Marathon 2 Story Outline from arrival.bungie.org to the Story page.
Concerning the story outline Matt Soell (Bungie) wrote:

This is the story outline which was the starting point for Marathon 2: Durandal.

See if you can spot anything different.


Spot any differences?

On the Story forum poenadare (aka Mr. Smith) takes you back in time to 1996
and the old Bungie website from that era thanks to the Wayback Machine. Read those
early letters to the Bungie Webmaster if you dare. Great nostalgia trip.

Here are just two examples of the Bungie Webmaster at work:

Why did you make it so hard to find the 'credits' terminal on 'All Roads lead to Sol'?

Richard Mortimer, god@iinet.net.au


In case you couln't tell from the rest of that level, we're sadists.

Well there you have it. Bungie are sadists and it must be true since the Bungie Webmaster said so! ;-)

Want to know more? Then check the Marathon Vidmaster's page to learn just how hard
it is to find the secret 'credits' terminal on 'All Roads lead to Sol' during normal game play.

And this timeless classic.

What exactly does Frog Blast the Vent Core Mean??

Rob, FHShort@cris.com


"Frog Blast The Vent Core!" is actually the punchline to a really dirty joke.
Those of you out there who've heard it will know why we can't print it here.

If you know the joke then post it to the Story forum. The world needs to know. :)

Want to know more about the old Bungie Webmaster? Then check The Bungie Webmaster section.

Jan 21, 2011 (Friday)

Having trouble reading the handwriting on the Original Level Notes for Marathon?
Well this problem was raised on the Story forum some years ago and attempts were
made to decipher the handwriting. The levels notes transcribed back then were
as follows:

Level #0 by Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com>

Level #1 by Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com>

Level #2 by Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com>

Level #3 by Mark Levin <haveblue@mac.com>

Level #4 by Joe Mahma <joemahma7@home.com>

Level #5 by Joe Mahma <joemahma7@home.com>

Level #6 by Joe Mahma <joemahma7@home.com>

Level #7 by Joe Mahma <joemahma7@home.com>

Level #8 by Joe Mahma <joemahma7@home.com>

Level #9 by Vid Boi <sippan@macnytt.com>

Level #10 by Vid Boi <sippan@macnytt.com>

Level #11 by Vid Boi <sippan@macnytt.com>

Level #12 by Vid Boi <sippan@macnytt.com>

Level #13 by Vid Boi <sippan@macnytt.com> and another
Level #13 by mnemesis <tvansinden@earthtech.com>

Level #14 by Vid Boi <sippan@macnytt.com>

Level #15 by "Can-ned Food" <cannedfood_ta@yahoo.com>

Level #26 by Alexander S7range <astrange@ithinksw.com>

Also on the Story forum over the last few days:

The answer to that age old riddle - How many Jjaro does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Unseen Duality screenshots brought to light for the first time?
Susannah's Soundtrack for Sale, Cheap... or indeed free.
How do they write plots for games these days? Bungie's Joe Staten gives his views and insights.

Jan 20, 2011 (Thursday)

Back in June 20, 2001 the mysterious Seven Glyph puzzle was solved revealing a
cornucopia of early Marathon development documentation. Original level notes for
the first Marathon game, story outline for Marathon 2, Bob sayings (mostly brainstormed
by Doug Zartman), pics of two ad proposals, a bumper sticker and a barf bag.

The Original Level Notes for Marathon now appear for the first time
on the Story page. Afterall they are... story! Thanks Claude. :)

Want to know how long it takes Hamish to do anything around here?
Well here is a good indication. ;)

Jan 19, 2011 (Wednesday)

How is it that everytime I visit the Story page I learn something new?

We are going to be adding a new section to the Story page shortly. But to get you in the mood
here's a little piece from Jason Jones about Marathon's plot. It dates from 12 January 1995, less
than a month after Marathon was released. I would imagine that very few people would have
actually finished the game at this stage. But Mike Neylon had and he wasn't too impressed by the
later half of the game's plot. He posted his views on comp.sys.mac.games and alt.games.marathon.
Jason Jones responded as follows:

Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games,alt.games.marathon From: jon3@quads.uchicago.edu (gunfighter's amnesia) Subject: Re: Post-Marathon - commentary/bug reports/etc Message-ID: <1995Jan12.214322.21562@midway.uchicago.edu> Sender: news@uchinews.uchicago.edu (News System) Reply-To: jon3@midway.uchicago.edu Organization: University of Chicago References: <3f3ac5$6fq@srvr1.engin.umich.edu> Date: Thu, 12 Jan 1995 21:43:22 GMT Lines: 59 In article <3f3ac5$6fq@srvr1.engin.umich.edu> mneylon@engin.umich.edu (Michael K. Neylon) writes: >But then everything fell apart. Suddenly you're being helped by Durandel, >then you're helping Durandel, then he's throwing defense drowns on you, >and then...all without good transistion. Then suddenly Tycho is back, then >he's gone again. Then suddenly Leela is back, and Durandel is gone. Eh? >What the...? I did understand *why* Durandel sent me to the enemy ship, >but... In other words, it *may* have been that Bungie rushed the >product out the door that the 'plot' got somewhat confusion in the >later stages of the game. Of course, I may have missed a computer >terminal or two, but it doesn't seem like this. I was really looking >forward to a good plot resolution, but that never really came about. >Yes, I did save Marathon, but... SPOILERS BELOW ON MARATHON'S PLOT!!!!!!!! On the contrary, we believe that the latter stages of the game were best developed. Think of it this way: Durandal had an agenda from the first moment he signaled the Pfhor ship and lead them to Tau Ceti. He wanted to escape; he wanted freedom. From the very beginning of the invasion he began communicating with the S'pht, and once he learned that they too were slaves, struck a bargain with them to assure everyone's freedom. His goal (the capture of the Pfhor ship by the S'pht) and yours (saving the Marathon) overlapped for a time. During this period, he superficially helped you achieve your goal-- in reality you were being manipulated. As soon as you killed the Pfhor cyborg which was telepathically controlling the S'pht and deactivated the Pfhor reactor, he abandoned you completely. Immediately after assuming control of the ship, Durandal downloaded his entire personality and left with all speed with the S'pht in search of the compiler's homeworld, leaving the Tau Ceti to it's own devices. If you got the impression that Durandal always knew exactly what was going on and just wasn't talking about it, you were getting the right idea. Tycho, after having been destroyed in the initial attack, was reanimated by a splinter group of compilers "in Durandal's image". That Durandal's true self-awareness was a fluke is made clear by Tycho's obvious insanity, *even* though the S'pht attempted to duplicate the progression of Durandal's rampancy exactly. While Tycho did not play any role of consequence in Marathon, we thought it was important to demonstrate that Durandal's condition was unique. All of this is stated somewhere in the game (though some of it is on hidden terminals). What exactly Durandal intends to do next, the extent of his control of the S'pht, etc., is only insinuated. Later, Jason

Two pieces are especially interesting and have never been mentioned on the Story page before.
Jason says:

Tycho, after having been destroyed in the initial attack, was reanimated
by a splinter group of compilers "in Durandal's image".
A splinter group of compilers?


"As soon as you killed the Pfhor cyborg which was
telepathically controlling the S'pht and deactivated the Pfhor reactor,"
Deactivated the Pfhor reactor? So was this the purpose of the level "Ain't Got Time Pfhor This..."?

Air your views on the Story forum.

Want to know more? Then check out The Pfhor Egg section.

Jan 18, 2011 (Tuesday)

Code 39 probably won't mean much to you unless you are a true Marathon diehard.

How do you know if you're a true Marathon diehard?

Well one of seven ways is to ask yourself the following question:
Do I still have the original Marathon box sticker in mint condition?

Yes, the silver one with the barcode that says DOOMSUCKS.

Now if you have any lingering doubts that Bungie actually did this then here's the
undeniable proof. It's a direct comparison of the relevant letters in Code 39 format
with the actual barcode on the Marathon sticker. A perfect match I think you'll agree.
Jason Harper first pointed this out way back in June 1997 (two and half years after the
release of Marathon). But as far as I'm aware this is the first time it has actually been
shown in this way. =)

Want to know more? Then check out the original Marathon box sticker section.
More details about Code 39 can be found on Wikipedia here.

Jan 17, 2011 (Monday)

Great to see that this still survives: Can you briefly summarize the plot of the Marathon series?
Still haven't got my head around the calculations. :)

Staying on the subject of (old Marathon) humour. How many Jjaro does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
An old Randy Reddig joke. I hope he forgives me for re-animating it.
If you think you know the answer or have a better one why not post it to the Story forum.

Jan 16, 2011 (Sunday)

On the Story forum. A new movie about time travel and aliens.
What more could you want? An alien artifact found on Earth perhaps? Well it appears so.
A very short scene in the trailer for the movie reveals this intriguing image.

Apparently it shows Civil War soldiers finding an alien ship in Winslow Arizona in 1864.
Not easy to make out the text though. Thanks to the Story page's advanced technology (magic)
you can see it more clearly here. So it appears they were trying to dig it up or
at least find a way in. Perhaps they found alien technology which allowed them to time travel?
I guess we'll have to wait and see the movie. All sounds very familiar though. :)

On the subject of advanced technology... WHAT KIND OF MAD COMPUTER DID THAT???
Hamish never did explain how he could crunch SETI data that quickly. Or how he managed to clock
up exactly 7777 SETI units on exactly the same day that it was announced that Bungie had been
bought by Microsoft (19 June 2000).

I mean you couldn't make this stuff up even if you tried... unless of course you could... ;)

Jan 15, 2011 (Saturday)

Ok this is an odd one.
I was fixing the names of the question winners of the HoTBob competition so that they
actually displayed correctly when I noticed that there were 25 questions listed.

So what? Well, the overall winner of the competition (Jim Mitchell) won by answering
the 24th question correctly. The competition ended. There was no need for a
25th question. So why is there a 25th question? This information is strangely missing.

Who cares? Well Hamish for one. I don't know why this information
is important to him but I am going to have to go back and find out the answer.

You know you've been around too long when you can remember this pic. :)

But you've certainly been around WAY too long if you actually remember the HoTBob competition. ;)

Jan 14, 2011 (Friday)

On the Story forum today. How to pronounce W'rkncacnter... or not?

Want to know more? Then check The W'rkncacnter section.

Jan 13, 2011 (Thursday)

David Candland (Evil Otto) of Bungie dropped by the Story forum
to point out that Bungie were looking for a programmer with a passion
for mobile application development. This was in response to a query
regarding the platforms Bungie would be supporting into the future.

The job Ad goes on to say:

Our mobile development team is focused on establishing real time connectivity for
millions of users and terabytes of data. Join our team and define the interface
of Bungie's next gaming universe to the world.

However, I wouldn't read into this that Jason Jones is going to do a John Carmack
and personally port Marathon to iOS. Of course you might disagree, so air your views
on the Story forum.

Jan 12, 2011 (Wednesday)

Archival and Retrieval.

Now that I have restored the Marathon Infinity Manual Text I am not sure if my renumbering of the
Infinity levels makes it any easier to understand things. Afterall, isn't Ne Cede Malis also a
failed timeline? The Marathon Infinity Manual describes a series of events that do not occur in
Marathon 2. They are a different timeline leading to Ne Cede Malis, failure and finding ourselves
starting back.

So Electric Sheep One can't be number 'one' since logic would dictate that there was an Electric
Sheep level before Ne Cede Malis. And perhaps many more before that one.

So we have:

Events in Marathon 2 leading to the deployment of the trih xeem.
New timeline leading to the events in the Infinity manual and failure.
New timeline leading to Ne Cede Malis and failure.
New timeline leading to Aie Mak Sicur and failure.
New timeline leading to Carroll Street Station and failure.
New timeline leading to You're Wormfood, Dude and failure.
New timeline leading to Aye Mak Sicur and success.

Wouldn't life be so much more simplier if we had just followed Durandal?

There is much to do in the next few months
and our first stop will be another ruined
world, this time far from the galactic
core. There is a rogue star that has been
passing through our galaxy for nearly a

We will meet it in one of the great voids
between the spiral arms.

Jan 11, 2011 (Tuesday)

Dust and echoes... pretty much describes the state of this labyrinthine leviathan of a website.
Broken links, missing pages, 7GB of antiquated HTML gone rampant.
Fixed the Marathon Demo section so the correct levels are displayed along with the correct text.
Renumbered the Infinity levels to make it easier for people to follow the solo player story.
Replaced errant code in the Marathon's Timeline section. Historical revisionism or something more?
A Lot Done, More to Do. A preposterous oxymoron used by Vylae spin merchants.
What to save and throw away?

1102011 (Monday)

What does this button do?

Ah lights!

Now to locate the powergrid activator to bring this dreadnought of a website back online.

Just tweaking... that is all... move along...

In the meantime you can always stop by the Story forum. There are still a few diehards around.

Go to What's New for 2007-2010

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair Hamish.Sinclair123@gmail.com
Last updated Feb 28, 2011