since 1995

January 24, 2023 (Tuesday) 01.24.2023

Somewhere in New York... they are waiting.

Came across an interesting pic on r/Marathon posted by GibsMcKormik which showed an apartment building with an oddly decorated facade.

And yes, as GibsMcKormik points out it does look remarkably like a Pfhor ship texture from Marathon.

The apartment building is actually No. 251 on East 71st Street in New York. If you pop "251 East 71st Street"  into Google Maps you will see exactly where it is located.

The building facade predates Marathon so either the Pfhor have been in New York since the 1970s or perhaps the facade inspired Reginald Dujour's Marathon textures.

You can read a short piece about this iconic facade on the website Ephemeral New York.

Of course New York is no stranger to strange goings-on. Back in October 3, 2022 we pointed out the former 'brownstone' office of Double Aught where Marathon Infinity was created and the Union St. Crew's frequent sorties into Carroll Street Station.

In New York they don't say "Keep watching the skies!"  they say "Keep watching the subways!".

Marathon artwork by myxomy on DeviantArt. December 13, 2011

January 21, 2023 (Saturday) 01.21.2023

Added  "nator"  to the  The Text That Never Was  section.

Wait... the what section?

Hard to believe but this section hasn't been updated in 22 years. Indeed few people have read it since it involves scrolling down the long list of items in Facts and puzzling things about...

Wait... facts and things about?

Yup... reading is overrated until it's too late...

©. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  Thanks to the Stanley Kubrick Archive.

But I digress.

Added "nator" to the The Text That Never Was section.

Wait... what's a nator?

January 19, 2023 (Thursday) 01.19.2023

"The flamethrower, for example, can be found on the sixth level, "Smells like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken" if you're really, really, really, looking for it."
Jason Jones.  eWorld Conference transcript.  February 7, 1995.

It's a pity Jason didn't add... if you're really, really, really, fast. Otherwise to quote Durandal " are, stuck at the bottom of a hole. How droll."

The following piece of art perfectly captures the frustration you experience trying to get the flamethrower the first few times.


Today Jeoku continues his in-depth playthrough of Marathon with the Jason Jones level Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!,  the fourth level of the Counterattack Chapter.

Sources in the video include:

The Wasps sure had it in for Jeoku on this level.

But I digress.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

If you know... you know.

January 12, 2023 (Thursday) 01.12.2023

"What happens in Marathon Infinity,  Sherlock?"

"I don't know.  But Lh'owon Command is flooding... again!  Circumstances are cyclical."

Doctor John Watson (Martin Freeman) and Sherlock Holmes (Benedict Cumberbatch) in the BBC mystery crime drama 'Sherlock'. A modern-day reimagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock and Watson ponder their current case as the flood waters rise in their 221B Baker Street residence.

January 10, 2023 (Tuesday) 01.10.2023

"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."
Jason Jones.  Re: Exploding Bobs???  January 10, 1995.

Shocking but true.

It might seem odd then that Bungie created two levels in Marathon where your mission is to protect Bob and failure to do so got you a sharp reprimand from Leela.

"Bad Robot"

According to the Marathon Manual:

It is your sworn duty as a security officer to protect Bob.

But I digress.

Today Jeoku continues his in-depth playthrough of Marathon with the Greg Kirkpatrick level The Rose,  the third level of the Counterattack Chapter.

According to Leela your mission on The Rose is simple... err...

Your mission here is simple. Keep as many humans as possible from being killed. Exterminate every Alien in the area. You can only leave after the area is secure

Marathon Bob doing his thing on The Rose.

Save Bob. Check.
Exterminate Aliens. Check.

Indeed... The Rose is set to both Rescue and Extermination. Tough for you and for Jeoku.

Sources in the video include:

While there is a lot more that can be said about this level one nice feature is the use of Marathon's dead Bob sprite. As you progress through The Rose you will come across rooms with dead Bobs in them. This creates an air of urgency and a sense of loss or in the case of Jason Jones... failure. The problem is that they are simply dead Bob sprites and there is nothing you could have done to save them. They don't count towards your finally dead Bob tally.

And lastly... Hats off the Jeffrey Lindquist (a.k.a. Sidoh) who beat The Rose with fists only and saved enough Bobs to satisfy Leela. His name is enshrined in the Hall of Vidmaster Valhalla.

What does MIDA stand for?

And what about... Il nome della rosa?

January 9, 2023 (Monday) 01.09.2023

Happy "Kill Bob LeVitus" Day.

What the fusk...

Yes folks, this day 26 years ago Power Computing Corporation issued the DISC II at Macworld Expo '96 in San Francisco. The DISC II contained a special demo version of Marathon 2: Durandal featuring Power Computing Evangelist Bob LeVitus (complete with Power Computing t-shirt).

It was actually a Shapes file for Marathon 2 which replaced the Bobs with Bob LeVitus sprites. The whole package was creatively called "Kill LeVitus Marathon".

So what you might ask?  The DISC II never made the impact that the DISC I made.

Well it did open the floodgates to replacement Bob sprites like Kill Gates Marathon, Kill Sculley Marathon (not the X-Files version), Babs and Babs Deluxe!

"Don't call me Bab."

"Gotcha!  Big boy."

In a wide ranging interview with Matt Soell by in January 2000 Matt was asked about the use of 'Nude Skins' and would Bungie ever support a thing like these? Matt replied.

"If the question is "Will Bungie go after those putting these skins up with legal action?", the answer is probably "no". It's unlikely we'll actually support them, in the sense that we'll distribute them, or provide resources for their distribution... but we'll generally stay out of it, as long as they're not really offensive. There was the Amazon Babes shapes patch for Marathon, and we left that alone. If it's really bad, we might contact the author, and ask nicely that they not be distributed."

Unfortunately we can't show you screenshots of the Amazon Babes shapes patch as this is a family friendly site.

Happy "Kill Bob LeVitus" Day.

January 6, 2023 (Friday) 01.06.2023

"Who is Freeverse and why are they messing with my Marathon?"
Luke Smith.  Marathon: Durandal XBLA Q&A.  July 17, 2007.

Added Bungie's interview with Freeverse's Bruce Morrison about the Marathon: Durandal on XBLA project.

This little gem of an interview by Luke Smith (lukems) was posted on shortly before the release of Marathon: Durandal on Xbox Live Arcade. See the Story page news remembering that auspicious release day.

The interview gives you the lowdown on who Freeverse were and the gang of Marathon nuts fans who took on the job. Why they decided Jason Jones' smiling face had to be on Xbox Live Arcade. And the enhancements made to the game, including the "brand spanking new"  Survival mode with four bespoke Survival levels. To quote Bruce Morrison:

"Survival is a giant truck that pulls up to your house one day, where a platoon of alien commandos jump out, kidnap you, and wail on you until you're dead. And then the truck explodes, just to make sure the job gets done. If you're lucky, you'll take out a few hundred of them before your final moments."

One wonders why they didn't call it Hell Hole. Oh wait... that was already taken in 1997. To quote Gary Simmons (aka the Battle Cat):

"There are no puzzles, no secrets, no cheesy circuits to plug in, just head to head non stop carnage till you die. When you live too long, set your difficulty up a notch. When Total Carnage gets too easy, split the map, add some more monsters or whatever and remerge it. When that gets too easy blind one eye with a soldering iron, nail your hand to your face, and play sitting on a lit camp stove while your little brother smacks you with a whiffle bat."

I think I will take the "platoon of alien commandos" any day.

Oh wait... I'm going off-piste here.

Fire up Marathon: Durandal on Xbox Live Arcade today... your little brother might be waiting...

Today's news item was not sponsored by Microsoft Corporation.

January 4, 2023 (Wednesday) 01.04.2023

After missing in action for several months the Marathon Trilogy games for iOS (iPhone and iPad) are back in the App Store.


Marathon 2: Durandal

Marathon Infinity

Good start to the New Year.

Rage Hard as they say on iOS.

Go to What's New for Nov - Dec 2022

Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Jan 19, 2023