Aug 23, 2000 (Wednesday)

The Marathon's Story page is closed for a summer vacation until the 11th Sept.

Until then... the news:

The Tau Ceti mirror of the Story page will be down until further notice.

Both the Pathways Into Darkness page and Marathon Vidmasters' page finally got updated. There's a summer puzzle for diehard PID fans. If you know the answer send it in. ;-)

Miguel Chavez <> writes concerning a Peter Tamte interview at MacEdition:

Interesting snippets:


Who will be funding the company? Microsoft? Apple? Bungie? All three?

Because of my experiences building a number of businesses, I now have access to more than enough financial resources to fund the company for the foreseeable future.


What do you see the computer game landscape looking like in five years' time, and do you see platform choice being as relevant as it is today?

There will be three categories, and each one will be strong:

* Certain game franchises will always be tied to just one platform -- for example Mario and Nintendo or Sonic and Sega.
* Certain games will have a single initial-release platform followed up by compatibility with multiple platforms later.
* Other games will be released on multiple platforms concurrently.

[In my opinion, he's hinting that Halo falls under #2]

Tom Van Sinden <> writes:

I don't know, I thought it was cool to have a complex plot... ;-)

Joe England <> writes:

I noticed that in the "School of Hard Knocks" episode of pokemon, near the end you can hear the M2 Water ambient sound. Also, in the "Thunder Showdown" (or something like that) episode, there is the 'sparking transformer' sound effect. I don't have a clip or anything to show - can someone help me out here?

Aarrgh.... I should have known something was up when Brian Retchless <> wrote in about me being on his Bungie Jumping site. But did I look? Aaron Davies <> was quick off the mark when he said... "Hey take a look". ;P

Mike Forman <> writes:

I don't know why, but I was reading through the journal of a person who helped start up a dot-com (since failed) and at one point he was talking about secret code names they'd assigned to their products. One of them was KillYourTV...

If interested see the 3/6/00 entry:

Aug 22, 2000 (Tuesday)

Interesting trailer movie on Apple's Quicktime site. It's a teaser for Robota: Reign of Machines an upcoming illustrated film book by Doug Chiang who was Design Director for Star Wars: Episode I. Check that sidewards Marathon-like graphic at the bottom of the page. While the premise doesn't appear to be new the artwork is pretty cool and it's worth checking out Doug's home page at

Those ubiquitous Marathon sounds again. Colin Dickie <> writes:

There's an ad on the radio here that's been going on for a while that uses some marathon sounds. It's for the New Homebuyers center which advertise $7000 for buying a new home.

The ad has two gangsters in it talking. It goes like this (as close as I can remember):
"Hey Louie"
"Yeah boss?"
"I think I found a way to get a husband for my daughter"
"Which daughter?"
"The ugly one"
"It says here that if she buys a new home with Homebuyers center, she'll get $7000"
"A new home and seven grand would make her look pretty attractive to me, boss"
(marathon 2 MA-75 loading sound)
"You keep your filthy hands to yourself, Louie"
"I'm sorry boss, I was just thinking!"
"How many times I tell you, don't think"
( 2 marathon 2 magnum firing sounds and richochets)

Aug 21, 2000 (Monday)

Dan Chancopeak <> of The Blink Products writes:

I found this Marathon like symbol today in a swiss newspaper. It's an advertisement of a Hospital called "Maternite Inselhof Triemli" in Zurich. A Hospital for "Woman, Mother and Child". They are looking for electricians for their internal technical service.

You can see Dan's find here. Ok purists will say that this has a double broken outer ring and therefore is not really Marathon-like but it's close... very close.

Graham Benedict <> writes:

I just saw the movie "What Lies Beneath", and at one point Michelle Pfheifer's (sorry, couldn't resist on the spelling there) is looking inside the window of a jewelry store, and for a brief moment there is a shot of a rack of pendants that resemble the Marathon symbol. I don't have a shot of this, but I just thought I'd pass it on so you can tell the story page readers to look for that if they go see the movie.

Sounds like the famous Marathon Keychain to me. ;-) If anyone can get a screen grab from the movie please send it in.

Aug 20, 2000 (Sunday)

Ryan Gould <> writes:

while looking for information on the new evil dead game i found what looks to be another coincidental marathon symbol. perhaps the marathon marine is really ash..

Jonathan Drake <> writes:

I've been hearing the sound effects used in Marathon all over the place for many of the more commonly used ones is the platform sound (used, among other times, in the infinity net level "The dead fields".) It sounds like an oscillating whine of some kind, though I can only recall one precise instant when it was used (In the film "Men in Black, when the tow truck is taking away the big cockroach's van, it is used as the boom motor noise.)
I've heard the lightning sound often, too, though I don't remember where- they seem to be common in movies...

Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <> writes concerning Saturday's Myth Gathering:

It rawked. This time, with the help of my trusty new Powerbook, I wrote a report overnight. I uploaded it and you can find the link on the BS home page.

Go check out the report. Pics on the way. As predicted Miguel and Kazem Edmond got on like a house on fire. Not sure whose house though. ;-)

Michael Watson <> points out that Marathon Scenario News has been updated. He also writes:

I just did some math, and 26.2 miles (the length of a marathon) is just barely over 42 km. 42!

Claude Errera <> writes to say that there are new Marathon maps at the Archive. Check for details.

Aug 19, 2000 (Saturday)

Thanks to all those who wrote in about yesterday's cryptic graphic. A number of you got it. I'll let Alan Greene <> who sent in the graphic explain:

The seven indeterminate mathematical expressions, those with no clear solution, or no solution, or an infinite number of solutions, sometimes all at once. I thought they were interesting, and seem very enigmatic when layed out together in a row. Any group of seven is worthy of attention. :) They caught my eye when I was flipping through a dictionary for something else. There they were, seven mysteries. They seemed to be a reminder that we don't always understand our inventions or discoveries. In this case, math, and the apparent impossibilities that it is capable of expressing. It seemed akin (in some disjointed way) to themes of identity and uncertainty in Marathon. Hell, doesn't everything? :D

mmm... seven...

Thanks to Benjamin Ramey <> and Harry Al-Shakarchi <> for both pointing out that Marathon and Myth were both featured in IMG's Top 10 Best Mac Games of All Time. As if we didn't know it already! ;-)

Aug 18, 2000 (Friday)

Don't lose your head...

Aug 17, 2000 (Thursday)

Adam West <> makes this interesting find:

I came across an interesting dsicussion of AI and SETI at

It's well worth a read.

I found this particularly interesting (AI Abuse? Rampancy supression/delay?):

"And there's scarce chance of containing the genie in a bottle, on Earth or elsewhere, according to one artificial intelligence theorist. To hem in an artificially intelligent being, "you can deny it experiences. You set its parameters so that it knows no reality wider than the task you've assigned it," says Randell Mills, a Harvard-trained medical doctor who's teaming up with a Johns Hopkins neurology professor and software company on an AI concept."

Shades of Bernard Straus?

And then there's this on Michio Kaku and Richard Doyle:

"Humans might also hedge their bets by "downloading consciousness into a machine," Kaku says. That would allow once "squishy" beings to be immortal, or even "supermen," Kaku says. But "people will probably go for a biological option" anyway because of a natural aversion to communing with machines."

JPL's Doyle, though a pioneer in AI at NASA and a Ph.D. in the field from MIT, disagrees. "I don't know if the answer is going to be as crisp as that. AI may take some inspiration from biological systems and on our side I think there's going to be a blurring over time between the mechanical and the biological. It may be that we're not going to be the purely biological systems we've been up to now," he imagines. "I'm hesitant to use the term ‘cyborg,' but that may the word in use that best matches what I think might emerge," Doyle says."

Ben Riley <> writes:

Some confusion over the identity of Leela:

Aug 16, 2000 (Wednesday)

A quick note from Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <> about the upcoming Myth/Bungie Gathering in San Francisco scheduled on the 19th:

Although not enough people rsvp'd for the myth gathering this Aug 19th here in SF, some of my fellow Clan Plaid brothers donated $200 of their credit at Club-I to pay for the gathering, so it's a go. I confirmed it earlier today at the club.

My latest post on it is below, please feel free to C&P from that message.


Albert Sacks <> writes:
Tell me if you think that looks like the Marathon 2/Infinity pistol. From the side it looks exactly alike to me.

Dennis Taylor <> writes:

Another amusing Conversatron link

Watch your back. :-)

Matt Boyd <> writes to say that Marathon Scenario News has been updated with a new scenario from Ben Potter called "There Is No Nature".

Aug 15, 2000 (Tuesday)

John Smith <> writes:

...take a look at the 34th entry. Looks kind of familiar, wouldn't you say?

Sriranga Veeraraghavan <ranga@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU> writes:

I was just at LinuxWorld today and the BSDi ( guys had these little cards that said:

We're Everywhere

with a picture of their rack mountable box underneath. I'll try to scan the card and send you a url.

Anyway, I though that this little tidbid might be interesting for the story page.

Tom Van Sinden <> writes:

Now, I wonder who that is... ;)

Aug 14, 2000 (Monday)

Greg Ingber <> writes:

Durandal pops up at the Conversation at

Rick Boyd <>l writes concerning the game Deus Ex:

Yes indeed, Daedalus is an AI. He also shuts down the power to a building in order to bust you out of a jail cell. Sound anything like Tycho in Marathon Infinity?

I'm thinking that guy didn't play all the way through Deus Ex before he sent the e-mail about the Marathon similarities. Otherwise he would have mentioned how Daedalus later merges with another AI to form a new AI named Helios.

At the end of the game, you get the option of merging with Helios to form a new entity to control the world, and the game displays the quote "If God did not exist, we would have to invent him." -Voltaire

Between the Hunter/Commandos and the merging AIs, it all seems very Marathonish, but not quite enough to draw any concrete parallels.

Mark Levin <> also writes concerning Deus Ex:

Another similarity between Deus Ex and Marathon is a type of human enemy who explodes when killed.

And yet another similarity (this time with a big fat SPOILER ALERT sticker) is that two of the characters are AIs who are fighting for influence over the player...

Yet more Deus Ex... R. Miguel Linius <> writes:

I just looked at the Deus Ex screenshot of the MJ 12 thingy and I noticed that at the top left corner of the image/ HUD there are a compass and what I take to be a health status display. Remember the images of the old Marathon 1 beta compass and status display?

Ryan Tansey <> writes:

In Hollow Man, there is a scene where motion detectors are activated and the shape representing movement on a screen are red triangles! At first it only showed the enemy as a triangle and I was expecting green squares for the good guys but they were triangles too. Fun either way!

Aug 13, 2000 (Sunday)

Justin Ancheta <> sent in this screenshot of the Deus Ex's Majestic 12 Commando. As Justin pointed out yesterday note the similarity with the Pfhor Hunter, the arm shields at least.

On the subject of Deus Ex and Marathon Robert Zimmermann <> writes

I too am playing Deus Ex for the last few days and even more suspiciously I see another common theme in the game relating both to Marathon and Halo. You play a "Cyborg" who uses nanotechnology. He has one interesting feature called infolink, which allows someone to send a message to the cyborg. A few missions in the game I got rescued by a strange character who called himself Daedalus. One of the NPC's suggested that it is an AI! and incidently always when you log on a terminal in Deus Ex you can read the file path: Daedalus:something.

Matt Francis <> writes:

Found this stash of articles written by and an interview of Larry Niven at

and also the official report of the buyout (old news, but what the hey):

On another topic, I found myself watching the pathetically silly "Lexx" series that runs on the Sci-fi channel and was surprised to hear numerous Marathon sounds including the S'pht'kr bolt and circuit board shortout used a few times. However, it really isn't worth watching the show to hear the me.

Aug 12, 2000 (Saturday)

Justin Ancheta <> writes:

I've been hooked on Deus Ex ever since I first brought it home from the computer store. Matter of fact, it's the first game that even comes close to Marathon as one of my old time favourites. :)

Anyway, I wrote in to point to a suspicious similarity between Deus Ex's big bad Majestic 12 Commando and the Pfhor's big bad Hunter. When I first saw it, all I could think of was "man, that's looks a heck of a lot like a Pfhor Hunter...and just as deadly, to boot"...

Picture on its way.

Anton Mates (aka SiliconDream) <> writes to say that his Starmap URL wasn't working but that have mirrored it at

Bungie Sightings did get an update afterall. Woohoo!

Ben Irwin <> writes:

I just started reading Stephen King's THE SHINING and I'm in the third chapter... Tony (Danny's imaginary friend whom is the thing that shows Danny his crazy visions, thanks to the shining) is showing Danny all these strange images, one of them is his father, Jack, walking down a hallway in the Overlook Hotel holding a mallet, slamming it into random points on the walls, yelling "come on out, Danny-boy! Come and take your medicine, take it like a man!" this is a fine example of the idea that "come and take your medicine" means you're in for an ass-whoopin.

Aug 11, 2000 (Friday)

Jon Chang <> writes to say that Amazon UK has confirmed shipping of Iain M. Banks' new Culture novel "Look to Windward". If there is one book to read this summer... this is the One. Check out the details at the Amazon UK site here.

Anton Mates (aka SiliconDream) <> writes:

I've put together a starmap showing Earth, Tau Ceti, iota Horologii and HD 177830, plus the directions and distances from Earth of the Pfhor homeworld and Galactic Core. The URL is

(It was actually supposed to be part of a post at Rampancy-- but for some reason the image won't load within the post until you go to the first URL and look at it directly.)

Anton's map was inspired by two names found on some old Halo signs at the recent Bungie fanfest in New York. The sign were originally displayed outside the Halo movie booth at E3. The names were:


See the What's New page on July 24, 2000 for more details.

Miguel Chavez <> writes to say that something will happen today for sure on BS. Woohoo... and if it doesn't... well we won't even go into that. ;-)

Aug 10, 2000 (Thursday)

Quick update

Missed this at the time but the Mac site Holy Mac! put up a short report on last month's Bungie Fanfest. It's by Michael Dinsmore who hooked up with a number of Bungie fans after the Fanfest and went for dinner. You can see him in this pic.

Started the processing of updating the many dead links on the Story page. Hopefully we won't lose any of the Story pages in the process. Thanks to Alan Lively <> for his help in this. Check the Gheritt White and The Number Seven for some interesting finds by Alan. Lots more to come.

Simon Brownlee (aka Squeaky) <> informs me that contrary to popular belief the Marathon Demo v0.0 is still available for download at the Marathon HyperArchive. And true to his word I did a search on the word "demo" and found the Marathon Demo v0.0 at The file is 3076K and dates from 25th Nov 1994. Mmm.... Blast from the Past.

And in case you missed it Marathon Central relocated last month from Arizona to San Francisco with little of no hitch. Thanks to Nick Esborn for his continued support of Marathon Central.

Elbert Wall <> writes to point out that the Marathon Resurrection site has a sneak peak of it's new site revamp. Looks promising. August 9th is R-Day apparently.

Aug 9, 2000 (Wednesday)

Miguel Chavez <> has posted a quick note on the forums concerning his Bungie Fanfest report and also five hour Myth Gathering in San Francisco scheduled for August 19th. Read the post for full details.

Back in July (4th) Aaron Vanderpoel <> note a striking similarity between the herd of small alien creatures in the E3 Halo movie and a creature known as a Graboid from the movie Tremors 2. Now Colin Dickie <> writes:

I had a "I wonder if Bungie knew about this" moment the other day. Remember a while ago, you were discussing the two legged creatures in Halo (the ones that someone said looked like that aliens from Tremors 2)? Well, I was looking through some of my new Magic: The Gathering cards and I saw this creature. It's called a Silt Crawler. I doubt Bungie got the idea from this though, the card only came out in the US about two months ago.

You can see a pic of the Silt Crawler here. Note that the Silt Crawler only has a lower jaw tooth/tusk like the Halo creature but unlike the Graboid which has both an upper and lower tooth.

There is an interesting addition to the above. At last month's Bungie Fanfest Miguel Chavez hired a company to install a DVD system to display the E3 Halo movie. When we tested the system using a low quality version of the E3 Halo movie the tech guy from the hire company noted immediately the similarity between the small Halo aliens and the Tremors 2 creature. It should be stressed that the tech guy had never seen the Halo movie before, was not a Bungie fan nor was he a reader of the Story page. So his comment was totaly independent and unbiased.

Paulo J. Macintosh <> sends in this highly appropriate acronym generated by C.Y.B.O.R.G.:

E.D.D.I.N.G.S.: Electronic Digital Device Intended for Nullification and Galactic Sabotage

If you have to ask who Eddings is... shame on you. ;-)

Aug 8, 2000 (Tuesday)

John Sumner <> points out another source for the Marathon Demo v0.0 on AOL:

Just wanted to let you know of another location where one can download the Marathon Demo version 0.0. If you go to Keyword: Filesearch, and then do a shareware search for Marathon Demo. There are a number of hits, but one of them is titled **Marathon Demo**

That's the one everyone wants....i downloaded it and played Arrival for awhile....very spooky with that platform sound :)

Here is an AOL address for the very window containing the Marathon Demo download:


If you want to learn more about the oddities in the Marathon Demo v0.0 (jumping Bobs, a pillar that swallows Pfhor, the spooky platform sound, and a very strange terminal) check the The Marathon Demo v0.0 section.

Mike Cramer <> writes:

Apparantly no one has played MDK2. On Doctor Fluke Hawkins' first level while running through the bowels of the space station "Jim Dandy," there is a moving platform that uses the same hydrolic platform sound. It's a difficult part so the player hears it alot! Bzzzz up, clank, Bzzzz down, clank, and over again and again!

Claude Errera <> points out another face in that Marathon LAN pic. Cpt. Sqweky has been identified. No relation to the infamous Squeaky.

Aug 6, 2000 (Sunday)

Forrest Cameranesi <> writes:

Not sure if anybody's mentioned this before, but I've recently been re-reading the classic "Space Odyssey" series, and something occurred to me today. The TMA-2/Big Brother/Zagadka monolith was at the Larange point between Jupiter and Io (except in the first novel, where it was on the Saturnian moon Japetus). And, interestingly enough, Halo is set at the Larange point between another gas giant and its somewhat terrestrial satellite, Threshold and Basis. Make sure 2001/2010/2061/3001 go on the Story Page's suggested reading list, if they're not already :-)

Yup. Hands up all those who remember this page (dates from Nov 14, 1998) and this page rare shot (dates for Aug 14, 1998). See also the The Unformatted KYT Term. Message section. The 2001 influences on Marathon are many.

Brian Retchless <> writes

I recently completed my fourth comic on my Bungie Jumping site, and this one is Marathon related. I thought you might find it funny or at least give me credit for the pun.

Colin Dickie <> writes concerning those ubiquitous Marathon sounds:

I was playing Perfect Dark (the Goldeneye-ish N64 game) today and noticed that the Marathon 2 ricochet sounds are used whenever a bullet ricochets.

Also in Escape Velocity: Override, when you launch Azdara fighters it uses the marathon 1 door opening sound.

On the same subject Michael Ash <> writes:

I happened to be watching Mad TV tonight, and they had a skit where at one point a man fired a pistol. It was the exact same sound as the Marathon 2/infinity pistol shot.

Somebody sure sold alot of sound effect CDs. ;-)

Claude Errera <> writes to say that there are new maps at the Marathon Archives including a set of mods that give Marathon players Unreal weapons.

Peter Cooner <> writes to say that Marathon Map of the Month site has been updated with the map for June. Hey better late than never.

Interesting post at from Matt Soell regarding Bungie's new email addresses. Yup they're Here's the text:

Re: Check out Marty's fancy new email addy... Posted By: Matt <> Date: 4 Aug 2000, 18:41

In Response To: Check out Marty's fancy new email addy... (mnemesis)

> When're you gonna get one, Matt? exists but I can't type it without pausing to reflect upon - and occasionally giggle madly at - the completely unexpected path my life has taken over the last few years.


Aug 4, 2000 (Friday)

Jacob Aberg <> writes:

I was checking my System info and saw an interesting comment about the Quicktime Extension. "Quicktime. It's everywhere!" ... Sounds familiar.

I'm attaching a screenshot.

On a similar note Candace Sherriff (aka Shebob) <> writes

C.Y.B.O.R.G. gave me:

S.H.E.B.O.B.: Synthetic Humanoid Engineered for Basic Observation and Battle

Which is what I feel like after playing through Deus Ex. The Deus Ex people have to be Marathon fans. At one point a woman in a tea house says "They're everywhere."

Sean Phelps <> also writes concerning the C.Y.B.O.R.G. acronym generator:

I input "Bill G" (as in Bungie's new Big Kahuna boss man), I got:

B.I.L.L.G.: Biomechanical Intelligent Lifeform Limited to Gratification

Aug 2, 2000 (Wednesday)

Andrew Nagy <> writes concerning the availablity of the Marathon Demo 0.0 on the web:

that's definitely not the only place to find the Marathon Demo 0.0. I got it from ZDNet while doing a search for MIDI. I think it was on the second page of results, and listed as only being two kilobytes. Previously I'd done a search for Marathon and gotten nothing but Infinity and Evil.

Or if the direct link works:

I had no idea I wasn't using 1.2 until I read about the Bob in the labyrinth, and suddenly remembered a weird flashing blue square I saw on the map. I'd learned what that meant in Blaspheme Quarantine and Mars Needs Women, but forgotten about the one in Arrival until now. Then I remembered something else intriguing - several times when entering the room with the pillar, I thought I'd seen an exploding Pfhor in the corner whose remains dropped off the ledge and disappeared into the floor. Before, I thought I was imagining the motion and just seeing the three .44 clips, but now I'm not so sure. I haven't got a good shot of him being crushed yet, but I have a few films where you can just barely see something moving around a corner.

I also have a film and three screenshots of one time when I was just messing around, and suddenly I noticed his corpse showing below the floor, just before the pillar came back down and caused it to disappear. I'll try send all of them as soon as possible after my iMac is working again.

BTW, I nearly screamed when I tried to start the demo 0.0 with a custom physics model, and it showed "0 PIRATED COPLAND BETA" in the HUD just before crashing. I have a screenshot of that somewhere too. I kept using 0.0 just because all my films and savegames were compatible, until I got the 4L version off a CodeWarrior CD.

Timothy Collett >> offers these acronyms generated by C.Y.B.O.R.G.:

M.J.O.L.N.I.R.: Mechanical Journeying Organism Limited to Nocturnal Infiltration and Repair
P.F.H.O.R.: Positronic Functional Humanoid Optimized for Repair
S.P.H.T.: Synthetic Person Hardwired for Troubleshooting
T.H.O.T.H.: Transforming Humanoid Optimized for Troubleshooting and Harm

S.T.R.A.U.S.S. (as in Bernhardt): Synthetic Transforming Replicant Assembled for Utility and Scientific Sabotage

Similarly Jared Cash <> writes:

I figured out that there's a pretty simple pattern for turning the names into descriptions over at C.Y.B.O.R.G. So, I figured we'd try Durandal again. First, I put in DURANDA and got:

D.U.R.A.N.D.A.: Digital Upgraded Replicant Assembled for Nocturnal Destruction and Assassination

Then, I put in URANDAL and got:

U.R.A.N.D.A.L.: Upgraded Robotic Android Normally for Destruction and Accurate Learning

So, by deduction, DURANDAL is either:

D.U.R.A.N.D.A.L.: Digital Upgraded Robotic Android Normally for Destruction and Accurate Learning


D.U.R.A.N.D.A.L.: Digital Upgraded Replicant Assembled for Nocturnal Destruction and Accurate Learning

You decide which one you like better.

Bungie fans... They're Everywhere! Joseph E. Haake <> writes:

Me and a few friends stalked a few other bungie fans, unknowingly.

Oops forgot to mention yesterday that Sibrax of Soon(tm) has posted an amusing report on the recent Fanfest. The "DIE SIB DIE" fan club eh? Man that must be big! ;-)

Aug 1, 2000 (Tuesday)

Ben Riley <> offers these acronyms generated by C.Y.B.O.R.G.:

A.B.O.B. (as in A-Bob, as in Assimilated Bob): Artificial Being Optimized for Battle
J.J.A.R.O.: Journeying Judicious Android Responsible for Observation
U.E.S.C.: Unit Engineered for Sabotage and Calculation

Another face identified in the Marathon LAN pic thanks to Daniel Chace <>.

Special thanks to Alan Lively <> who has been going through the Story page sorting out the dead links and providing alternatives (where possible). We'll be updating these shortly. In the mean time Alan found this interesting link:

The link to the Marathon v0.0 demo at the hyperarchive looks dead. I found it elsewhere. Strangely, the link below seems to be about the only place on the net to find it! Hard to believe, but Bungie doesn't even carry the v0.0 Demo any more. This alternative is quite an interesting link, as it also contains a review. Perhaps someone forgot it's there. SHHHH! Let's hope their memory doesn't return anytime soon!:
Talk about "Blast from the Past!"

Special thanks also to John Sumner <> was has been doing the same for the Marathon Vidmasters' Page.

July 31, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update

Following up on Tom Bridge's submission about C.Y.B.O.R.G. (Brunching Shuttlecocks' acronym generator) Harry Al-Shakarchi <> writes:

I tried some other words in this "toy" and got some interesting results:

ONI: Obedient Networked Individual
LEELA: Lifeform Engineered for Exploration and Logical Assassination
HAMISH: Hydraulic Artificial Machine Intended for Sabotage and Harm ;)
KONOKO: Kinetic Obedient Neohuman Optimized for Killing and Observation
TYCHO: Technician Yearning for Calculation and Hazardous Observation
CORTANA: Cybernetic Obedient Replicant Trained for Assassination and Nocturnal Analysis
SOUL: Synthetic Obedient Utility Lifeform

When I tried DURANDAL, I got "Names can't be more than seven letters, so use a nickname. How about "Tiger"?"

Heh. A 7 :)

Tom Bridge <> writes:

Brunching Shuttlecocks ( is running a special acronym generator. And so, I put in BUNGIE and out came:

B.U.N.G.I.E.: Biomechanical Unit Normally for Galactic Infiltration and Exploration

Okay, that's WAY too much of a coincidence for me.

Interesting to note that the acronym generator is called "C.Y.B.O.R.G." ;-)

Harry Al-Shakarchi <> points out that Lorraine Reyes and Robert McLees (both of Bungie Software) are engaged. Lorraine's web page at has the details. Lorraine was art/creative director for Bungie's marketing department and was doing the promotional art for Oni prior to the Microsoft acquistion. Although Bungie's marketing department is now closed Lorraine is staying on at Bungie working in games development instead of games marketing. We wish Lorraine and Robert the very best for the future.

July 30, 2000 (Sunday)

How good are your eyes? Sharped eyed Bryce Taenzer (email withheld on request) makes this interesting discovery:

On the page in the Infinity manual that has your registration codes, repeating across the bottom of the page is "Official Bungie Software Product". It repeats 14 times. You have 2 registration codes. The number of "Official Bungie Software Products" per code is 14/2 is...

Nice find. :-)

Muhsin Miski <>, Brandon Loberg <>, Jamie Reid <> and Michael Lake <> all point out that the Latin phrase "Non Facete Nobis Calcitrare Vestrvm Perinævm" on the Bungie coat of arms and the Pentathlon medals means:

"Don't make us kick your ass."

And before anyone writes in... I know this is old news... I know it was mentioned along time ago... on Miguel Chavez's excellent Freewill's Trip to E3 page to be exact. Now that's a blast from the past page if ever there was one. Go relive the nostalgia from E3 1998.

Jamie Reid adds:

Perinaeum isn't 'ass' but it's close to it though (anatomically speaking); it's between your inner thighs, if I remember correctly--don't ask why I know this :-) )

Miguel Chavez <> writes to say that his Fanfest update at Bungie Sightings is nearly ready. He's added a list of links to some fanfest pics already on the web. Watch out for an update later today. :-)

Concerning yesterday's Marathon LAN pic from the Fanfest Chris Barker <> writes:

Two tid bits about the picture i forgot to mention. One the powerbook right in front of the picture, that no one is at, is mine. and two, when Cannibal harry started to setup the laptop, he stated "One thing is not like the other, one thing isn't the same" thus the name of the photo.

Claude Errera <> also write concerning the Marathon LAN pic:

...directly to my left is Mike Gilley (Mike Watson's friend), and to my right (in the green shirt) is a guy who went by the name of 'Cryptochrome' in all the net games.

If you know the full names of the people in the Marathon LAN pic please send them in. Also if you have an interesting Fanfest pic and would like others to see it please send that in too.

July 29, 2000 (Saturday)

Chris Barker <> kindly sent in a pic of the Marathon LAN party at the recent Fanfest. You can see it here. Thanks Chris. If you have an

Bungie Sightings is back up so expect a Fanfest update from Miguel... soon(tm).

Elbert Wall <> asks

What's it say on those bungie medals?

The same as on the now rare Bungie Sticker. Latin translators active folks. ;-)

Colin Dickie <> writes:

Forgot to tell you that when the siege tanks in Starcraft fire they use the Marathon grenade firing sound.

Also, when I was in England a couple of years ago, I went to the science museum. They had a couple of computers there with a multimedia display on producing items (shopping trolleys and wool I think, strange combination). When you went to another screen, it would slide across and it would use the S'pht platform sound, the one that sort of goes rrrrrr, GGRRRrrrrrrr. As it were.

My site (26 Miles - The Marathon Guide) has moved to a better server, STAS. The new address is:

Geography lesson. Raul Bonilla <> writes:

Regarding William Spencer's letter, the Amazon river ain't close to Yucatan Penninsual. If you open the Map control panel, or view the little pict of the world in Scrapbook, you'll see that the first one is in Brazil, in South America, and the later in Mexico, in North America. They're as as close as Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty.

True... True.

July 28, 2000 (Friday)

Some musings on the fanfest (part 3)

Myth cow? Some Myth folks enjoy the... err... sights (124K) of New York. ;-) This picture was taken outside The Great Library (91K) at around 8pm Wed 19th.

One of the many Bungie giveaways at the Fanfest were a pair of Bungie Pentathalon medals (73K). Note the Oni and Marathon symbol arrangement. This is similar to an old Bungie Westcam pic dating from Mar 6, 2000.

If you have any interesting or funny pics (electronic format) from the Bungie Fanfest and would like others to see them as well then please send them in to the Story page. Thanks.

William Spencer <> writes:

I had yet another "hmm, I wonder if Bungie read this, or is it just a coincidence?" moment.

I ran across a graphic novella drawn by Frank Miller called "Hard Boiled", put out by Dark Horse Comics.

(I'm afraid I would not recommend it to most readers - it's an extremely violent story, excessively so in several parts. Not one of Miller's better books, as far I'm concerned. The freeway sequence would make a great commercial for airbags. Yes, it's an "Adults Only" book.)

Anyway, the central character is a cyborg, later a robot, programmed with memories "taken from dead soldiers". He thinks he's human - that he's an ordinary guy, with a good job as an insurance investigator, has a wife, a dog, and two kids, etc....but they're all falsehood. His Company uses him to forcibly eliminate the competition, and uses the false memories to keep him in line. He suppresses the memories of the horrible things he does and goes through (in the three issue series, he's completely torn apart and rebuilt TWICE), but they come back to haunt him in his dreams.


The battle sequences are bizarre - he, the cityscape, and passers-by will sustain horrific damage as he single-handedly decimates entire city blocks in pursuit of his missions. At one point in the first issue, an armored car, vulcan guns blazing, rams him - sending him crashing through a wall - and explodes. He survives.

Relationships to Marathon:
Well, the "cyborg who thought he was human" idea resurfaces again - sci-fi authors just can't seem to let that one go, can they? :)
He's programmed with memories from dead soldiers - reminiscent of Marathon's battleroids, constructed from dead soldiers.
He's able to kill hundreds of foes, single-handedly, without serious injury. (Serious for him, that is...)
He's haunted by his actions in his dreams.
He mentions at one point that he once fought in the Amazon. This was probably a false memory, but the Amazon is rather close to the Yucatan Peninsula of Pathways Into Darkness...
He carries a gun which looks an awful lot like an oversized version of the Magnum Mega-Class in Marathon 1.

July 27, 2000 (Thursday)

Some musings on the fanfest (part 2):

A few days before the Fanfest a group of Bungie fans gathered for dinner at Don Giovanni's, an Italian restaurant about 15 blocks from the Macworld Expo venue. The group was made up of hardcore Myth and Marathon fans. This group shot appeared on's Macworld NY 2000 page. Of course it was taken after the group managed to find the Long Line formation key (#2), prior to that it was a typical Rabble formation (#6 key).

In addition to all the Bungie goodies available at the Fanfest Matthew Dujnic of Area 337 Productions turned up with a copy of the cult classic "Bagel Shop" movie. Required viewing at all Bungie weddings and bar mitzvahs. In this pic (84K) Miguel Chavez, fanfest compère, attempts to raffle off the video. Hopefully the "Bagel Shop" movie will become a regular feature at future Bungie Fanfests.

Written on the wall of one of the Fanfest's toilets was the following inscription (57K). members were lost for words. ;-)

Microsoft's Halo™. Worth pointing out that Halo is now beginning to be referred to as Microsoft's Halo. ATI's recent press release for their new RADEON cards reads:

3 Texture Units - The only card on the market to support 3 texture units, RADEON will speed through games such as Microsoft's Halo™ since it can render multiple textures in a single pass

Sign of the times I guess. But the fact remains Halo is now a Microsoft game.

Interesting to note that Apple's new G4 Cube is 7.7 inches deep and wide and also weighs 14 pounds... hmmm...

July 26, 2000 (Wednesday)

Origin of the name Pfhor revealed? Nathaniel Olsen <> writes:

i get a word a day delivered to my mailbox. this is the one i got today:
WORD:    furtive    \fehr-'tiv\    (adjective)

: done by stealth
: expressive of stealth, sly
: obtained underhandedly, stolen

EXAMPLE SENTENCE: Acquiring the priceless rare painting was a furtive act that required Brandon's expertise.

WORD WISE: From French or Latin; French furtif, from Latin furtivus, from furtum - theft, from fur - thief; from or akin to Greek phor - thief; akin to Greek pherein - to carry. Date: 1612. Someone who is furtive 'carries things away like a thief.' The word comes via Old French furtif; from Latin furtivus - 'stealthy, hidden,' a derivative of furtum - 'theft,' which in turn was based on fur - "thief." This was either borrowed from or related to Greek phor - 'thief,' which came ultimately from Indo-European "bher" - carry (source of English bear) and thus meant literally "someone who carries things off." A ferret is etymologically a "furtive" animal.

Look closely at the wordwise section above. it says: akin to Greek phor - theft. not quite the same, but close. One could certianly argue that a slaver steals one's freedom. Perhaps this is what bungie were thinking when they named the pfhor?

Colin Dickie <> writes:

In the Starcraft demo, there is a marathon sound. When you change a terran siege tank from tank to siege mode, some little stabiliser legs come out, and it plays the first part of that hissing sound that is played on "Waterloo Waterpark" when you open the big doors with the switch.

Colin also writes:

My friend is just telling me (via ICQ) that he saw a Halo trailer on Foxtel. It was on Cyberzone on Channel 31 at 7:30 am and 7:30 pm the following night.

July 25, 2000 (Tuesday)

Waiting for a further update on the Bungie fanfest at Bungie Sightings? Well Miguel Chavez <> writes to say that they'll be a slight delay. He hopes to have a full update ready by the end of the week. You can read the details here. have posted 14 pics from the Bungie Fanfest (before, during and after the event).

Some musings on the fanfest (part 1):

A total of 161 people actually signed the guest book and I'm positive that we missed some who came late and didn't get a chance to sign in. The total attendance probably topped 200 which says alot about Bungie and their fans.

Some 50 people had already signed in by 4pm. David Josselyn (aka Narcogen) kindly manned the sign-in desk during the early part of the event. He can be seen here (far left) (170K) striking an authorative pose. Few got in without signing up while David was on the job. A number of people can also be seen sporting the Marathon Story page t-shirts. They were all sold out within minutes of going on sale.

During the rush to get a Story page t-shirt some guy handed me 5 dollars and said keep it! Pretty amazing actually. I still don't know what it was for. Anyway if the generous benefactor is out there they might like to know that the 5 bucks went to a good home. It helped one guy who only had 5 dollars to buy a shirt and the remaining 3 dollars went to Jon Chang who was selling the shirts. Jon actually broke even which was good.

The first person to turn up at the fanfest and who 'officially' got the first shirt was Tim Branin <>. Tim, his mother and sister actually turned up by mistake on Thursday. Talk about being early. Just as well Miguel was on hand to explain why nobody else was there. Tim if you're reading this I'll be posting your Story page shirt out from Ireland tomorrow.

Bungie were sporting their new limited edition Bungie "Ling-Ling" t-shirt. On the back was their 7-Step World Domination Plan (71K). A few lucky people won a shirt in a short Bungie quiz. If you don't know what the connection between Bungie and a missing dog's head is then you need to check the Blasts from the Past section.

On the subject of Ling-Ling. Finn Smith <> writes:

For those who were unable to get a Ling-Ling's head t-shirt at the fanfest, there is always the original here:

Of course, the text and images are different, and there is no 7 step plan for world domination on the back. have posted what is technically the unofficial official Halo 'Wazzup' parody movie sans incriminating evidence. This is not a movie capture folks but the real thing. How they scored this is not clear.

July 24, 2000 (Monday)

Back in Ireland... catching up.

During the setting up of the Bungie fanfest two odd looking signs formerly used at this years's E3 event were spotted. The text on the signs read:


SiliconDream <> has posted two interesting theories on these names and numbers. You can find then at:

and more recently at...

Robert Bloggs (aka Cannibal Harry) has digitized and posted Bungie's Halo 'Wassup!' movie along with the very funny Halo "GeForce2 card promo" parody. You can get them from his site at here. has obtained a rare piece of Halo art from Craig Mullins. Seems Craig was asked to do some artwork for Halo and this piece wasn't in the "right direction". Definitely worth a look.

Mark Hurd <> writes:

In July 15th's news, you mentioned MSNs "Number 7" banner. Just wanted to let you know that it was only promoting Windows Media Player 7, nothing cryptic :) Too bad.
July 21, 2000 (Friday)

The Bungie Fanfest was a blast. Over 150 people attended and were treated to a ton of amazing Bungie giveaways. Those who stayed to the end got to see two extremely funny Halo movies: Bungie's Halo "Whazzup movie" and a Halo "GeForce2 card promo" parody. A number of people filmed these so copies should be on the web...soon... right Rob! ;-)

The best bit though was being able to finally put a face to all those names I have known for the last five years. It was pleasure meeting you all. :-)

Results of the The "seven words" caption competition. And the winner is...

Nik "Frost" Manak <> with:
"She falls under Wishes, wouldn't you say?"

This was a play on Matt's "#1 is memories, #2 is wishes, #3 is dreams" mind grenade from last year. Nice one Nik. :-)

Runners up in no particular order:

Tom Van Sinden <>

"They're everywhere!"
"Doug, don't you have WORK?"

Mark Levin <>

"Want Gate's brain in a jar too?"

Allen E. Pendarvis Id (

"Well, what do you know? Myth 1.4."

Thomas Powers <>

"I just killed Sibrax. It was fun."

Jesse McInturff <>

"Why does Alex always leave this on!"

Michael Watson <>

"... And then we'll pretend Microsoft bought us!"

Normally Story page updates will resume when I get back to Ireland on Monday 24th July.

Signing out... I'm beat! :-)

July 18, 2000 (Tuesday)

Coming to America!

I've got my air tickets (thanks Claude) and my New York guidebook (thanks Miguel)... next stop the Macworld Expo and the Bungie fanfest.

The Story page will close until Friday at which point I'll try to post the results of The "seven words" caption competition. Network access permitting.

The "seven words" caption competition is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. Over 600 entries were received. Now all I have to do is select the best seven captions and pick an overall winner. Not easy. :-)

The Tau Ceti mirror of the Story page will be going down for the duration of my visit to the US.

July 17, 2000 (Monday) is back!

The closing date for The "seven words" caption competition is today Monday 17th July 7.17 pm EST. That's in a few hours folks. If you haven't entered you may regret it. Look cool this summer in a limited edition Marathon's Story page t-shirt. I'll be sorting through the competition entries on the flight to New York tomorrow.

The lamest Marathon sticker EVER... and it could be yours! Michael Watson <> a Contributing Editor at MacGamer's Ledge writes:

I was digging through a box full of junk earlier, and came across a small stack of stickers I made a few years ago in a high school Mac lab. Red and BRIGHT orange. What the hell was I thinking?

At any rate, they're printed with the text, "Welcome to the floor; Population: You." on the front. (Why would I have printed it on the back?) They're nothing special at all (AT ALL), just plain black text on a 1-1 1/2 inch by about 9 inch red or orange sticker. I've 25 of them, mostly red. If you see me at MWNY, blow me a kiss and yell, "Frogblast the ventcore!" in your best Doug Zartman/BOB impersonation and I'll give you one! (One kiss per person, please.)

I'll be wearing a grey or white MacGamer's Ledge shirt and a MWNY badge with "MACGAMERS LEDGE" printed on the front. (Be sure to check the name on the badge before you go kissing, though! ;-)) The stickers look pretty stupid, but hey, they're free!

Yes the lamest sticker EVER but hell there's only 25 of them (can we say "Limited Edition") and you'll make Michael happy!
Note: "Welcome to the Floor; Population You." is believed to be the original level name for the Marathon 2 net level "One Hit Wonder".

The Marathon Vidmasters' Page (and mirror) has been updated with two films from John Sumner <>. One's a no ammo "All Roads Lead To Sol..."

The Pathways Into Darkness has also been updated.

July 16, 2000 (Sunday) presently down. A storm which hit Connecticut (home of last night caused some power cable damage resulting in a power outage. Normal services will be resumed... soon. Thanks to Claude Errera <> for the update.

Only two days left in The "seven words" caption competition. The excitement mounts. The best seven captions and overall winner will be announced at the Bungie fanfest. If you're going to be there... get there early... I hear there's going to be some "campers" trying to get the first Story page shirts!

Dave Kozimor <> passes on a link to his Win95 Marathon 2 site. If you're have the Windows version of Marathon 2 you might want to take a look.

July 15, 2000 (Saturday)

Three days left in The "seven words" caption competition. Over 500 entries have now been submitted. Remember this is your only chance to get hold of a Marathon's Story page t-shirt without going to the Bungie fanfest in New York.

With the assimilation of Bungie by Microsoft it's not surprising that we see things like the following. Jeffrey Shush <> sent in this banner which he found while checking his email on (MSN). Seven is coming on the July 18th from Microsoft? Somehow it just doesn't feel the same.

Jonathan Andrews <> sends in this link ( to a Marathon-like symbol.

Computer Games Online have posted the second and third parts of their Halo preview. More new screenshots (including concept art) and parts of an interview with Jason Jones and Doug Zartman. Here's a story related quote:

"Wait a minute," you might be thinking. Doesn't the premise of this game bear a striking resemblance to a certain series of books by sci-fi author Larry Niven? Designer and Bungie co-founder Jason Jones is uncomfortable with the notion that Halo might be some sort of Niven knockoff. "Ringworld's a great book, but the point is that we don't want people to think this is the game of Niven's Ringworld, simply because it takes place on a ring-shaped artificial world... you'd be surprised how often people assume this." Jones explains. "In Niven's books, the Ringworld completely encircles a star, and is thus hundreds of millions of miles in diameter, whereas Halo is just a satellite orbiting a gas giant and is considerably smaller. In fact, structurally it's more similar to the "orbitals" in Iain M. Banks' Culture novels."

Whoa!... the Pathways Into Darkness page got updated. Not before time too. What next? The Vidmaster page...? Perhaps.

July 14, 2000 (Friday)

Quick update

"Our T-shirt is bigger than your T-shirt" <-- note 7 words long. :-)

Max Hoberman (aka Yeroen) <> writes:

Tell your House of Chang not to worry... this time. Our T-shirt has two neck openings and only one arm hole. This is a shirt for Bungie staffers, mangled and disfigured as we are, to wear with pride. In fact, we were only planning on bringing enough for ourselves, plus a few to raffle off.


Oh... a limited edition eh? Sounds familiar. Coincidence or... ;-)

Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <> writes to say that Max Hoberman (aka Yeroen) has posted some interesting fanfest news on the fanfest forum. Here's part of the text:

Pssst... wanna buy a game company?

Posted By: Yeroen <>
Date: 13 July 2000, 12:53

That's just a little hint at the great new Bungie shirts we're working on. If they get done in time, they're going to be an instant classic.

New Bungie shirts at the fanfest?!!! Reaction from the fiercely independent New York fashion house "House of Chang", designers of the Marathon's Story page t-shirt, was immediate:

This gives a new meaning to Vaporwear. It's a typical "Microsoft-like" marketing announcement to undermine sales of our newly unveiled Story page shirt. Even if we ramped up production to say 500 shirts we couldn't compete against the mega-like Bungie Corporation, they'd just hand out 5,000 FREE shirts at the fanfest. We'll be forced to give away our shirts FREE as well. It's a disaster... a total disaster... we'll be ruined.

But it's good news for fans. Now you have a CHOICE. A Marathon's Story page t-shirt or a Microsoft/Bungie t-shirt. What do you want to wear today? ;-)

Marathon-like symbol in Dark Reign 2? Chris Wood <> writes:

Check out the enclosed picture....

I was just browsing a site that featured E3 screenshots from Dark Reign 2 when I noticed that something was odd in this picture. Is that the Marathon logo on those buildings and the interface? Looks like it to me. Interesting...

Covenant and Hunter similarities? Muhsin Miski <> writes:

Hunter/Hound + Covenant similarities?

Coincidence or something more?

July 13, 2000 (Thursday)

Five days left in The "seven words" caption competition. Close to 400 captions have already been submitted. Got a funny seven-liner about Matt and Doug? Then send it in.

Hate the Marathon background music under Quicktime 3 and 4? I do and have been playing Marathon without background music for a number of years now. A sad loss I know but those days are now over! A reader who wishes to remain anonymous writes:

Since I note you're still maintaining the Marathon story page, and you still have the comments about the problems with the original music and later versions of Quicktime, I thought you might like to try this patcher. Along the lines of the suggestion on the music page of replacing some of the improperly-substituted instruments from the rather poor set in QT2, it makes use of the much richer set in QT4 (including the native GS instruments as well as the GM ones, which are what it now refers to as "substitutes") to get as close as possible to the original sound. In my opinion it's slightly better than the Music file you currently have a link to (though the choices are quite similar), and distributing a patcher is more legal as well as smaller. You have my permission to do so.

I also put the song titles and comments on which game level each originally appeared on in the Quicktime annotations, so if you use the music exploder on the patched file and open the MIDI movies you'll get nice titles. Yippee.

There is still some distortion on the first song (Landing/Arrival), perhaps because the Marathon app is mixing it down to play it. The others are all pretty clean now.

You can grab the patcher here (29K), I've tried it and the music is now very like the original with just a few differences but much... much... better than before. If you get an error while trying to patch grab a fresh copy of the original Marathon Music file, the one you presently have may have been altered in some way. Happy days are here again...

Tuncer gets sentimental? Robert Zimmermann <> writes concerning the Frogblast: The Ventcore Project (Marathon to UT conversion):

I have been scanning the Frogblast Forum at unrealengine and found this interesting thread started by Tuncer Deniz about some of his maps, which have been converted to the UT engine.

Now the intersting part is that later in the threat he writes:

posted 07-09-2000 09:15 AM

Man, those were the days! When Bungie had no money (now filthy rich) and we used to play Marathon alphas until 5 in the morning. I still remember the first time we played a net game of Marathon. It was the most fun I had ever had playing a game.

One of my fondest memories is always sitting behind Jason and watching him make Mars Needs Women (trivia: It was called Mars Wants Women but renamed to Needs a few days before Marathon went GM). It's the best Marathon level ever made, IMHO.



Tuncer has also posted a follow up to the above post in the same forum. For full details on the original level names including "Mars Wants Women" and a possible Spanish version of this name see the Original Level Names section.

Computer Games Online have posted a new Halo preview entitled Halo: Bungie dreams of rings and things, part 1. Apart from the high quality screenshots (some new) the article (by Benjamin E. Sones) is well written and contains some nice backstory tidbits. I've taken the liberty of posting some (actually alot) of the text here:

Most game developers eschew the enormous narrative potential that their media offers in favor of trappings that are more familiar... and more formulaic. Why bother to create an original fantasy setting when you can just borrow the one that J.R.R. Tolkien pioneered over fifty years ago? Science fiction games generally get similar treatment-if a game isn't an out-and-out license of either Star Trek or Star Wars. then it is probably a rip-off of one of the two, with bits and pieces from other popular sci-fi literature cobbled on.

Bungie has generally avoided that path in the past, and the premise of the story in Halo is a cut above what you might expect to find in a computer game. The game is set roughly 100 years in our future, where the human race has expanded into a fledgling interstellar empire consisting of eight colonized worlds. Unfortunately, humanity has found more than brave new worlds in their journeys among the stars-they have also discovered the Covenant, a consortium of alien races that have initiated a ruthless war against the colonies. Even worse, Covenant technology is far more advanced than our own, and the human race is losing the war. Entire planets lie in smoking ruin, and billions have perished before the Covenant onslaught. The aliens have yet to discover the location of EarthÉ but it is only a matter of time before they do.

"Reach" (former population: 700 million) is the most recent human world to succumb to the alien advance. A single human corvette escapes the battlefield and, in a desperate attempt to lead the Covenant away from Earth, they plot a course for a distant unexplored star system. Upon their arrival, they discover a massive alien artifact-the Halo-floating in a stable orbit at the Lagrange point between a gas giant and its moon.

The Halo is unlike anything that Humanity has ever encountered-a ring with a diameter of 10,000 kilometers. On the inside of the ring are bodies of land and water-oceans, continents, varied climatic zones, and a breathable atmosphere, all held in place by the centrifugal force produced by the ring's rotation. It is a habitat-an artificial world created by a previously unknown alien race and built with technology far more advanced than even the Covenant posses. The alien architects are long gone, but the culmination of their knowledge lives on in the form of the Halo, and if the humans could unlock that knowledge it might very well turn the tide of the war.

The Commander of the human corvette expected the Covenant to send an attack force to pursue him after he left Reach. Instead, much to his surprise, the entire Covenant fleet gives chase. The Covenant destroy the corvette in a battle near the Halo, but a portion of the human crew escapes and lands in scattered groups on the surface of the alien world. One skilled marine takes charge of those survivors he can find and launches a desperate guerilla war-a last stand to prevent the Covenant from discovering the secrets of Halo before humanity can.

The marine is you.

Apparently they'll be a part 2 called "The battle for humanity!".

July 12, 2000 (Wednesday)

Six days left in The "seven words" caption competition. Remember "if you're not in you can't win!" <-- note: seven words long.

Game over man... game over... Bungie are leaving the 7th floor for pastures new. The server is going down to be reanimated in Redmond... at that point it should be well and truly Rampant. In all the chaos Jim Ruiz <> passed on this comment:

...right now the place is such a mess with the movers and all, I can't find my desk!
Jim... Jim... I hate to break it to you but you don't HAVE a desk anymore! Not funny I know. Sorry Jim. :(

Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <> writes to say that has been updated. There's a small tribute to the seventh floor.

Terence Chua <> makes the point that Bungie's new Halo slogan... "Coming soon to a platform near you" is seven words long. It has also been noted that the "Coming soon to a platform near you" is the same as "Coming soon to a Macintosh near you" on the back of the Mac OS X t-shirts, Apple sent to the developers some weeks ago. Some one's idea of a joke or just a good idea reused. have posted a news item about how you can beta test the Xbox and presumably Halo. Looks like alot of people are going to be plain out of luck. :(

Matt Francis <> writes:

Larry Niven has written another article for, this time about terraforming. You may think its worth a read:

Some folks laughed at grenade jumping... come on firing grenades at your feet is dangerous... right? Well how about petrol-powered boots? Don't smoke while you're jumping! ;-)

Chris Fohl <> asks us to head on over to Star Wars Episode II site and those buttons down the left side. "Awfully familiar" he says.

Scott Nicholson <> writes:

I recently saw a Jeep commercial where the jeep was being put together, and I heard the marathon elevator sound used several times. I don't think this has been mentioned, since the commercial is pretty new, but I could be wrong.

July 11, 2000 (Tuesday)

Many thanks to all those who have responded to The "seven words" caption competition. I'll be sending out official notification that your caption(s) has arrived safely. Response has been excellent and there have been some outstanding entries so far (don't drink while reading these!). Remember you can enter as many times as you like.

PC version of Gnop? Aaron Vanderpoel <> did a web search for Bungie's first game "Gnop!" and came up with this site:

Here's what the Read Me for their version of Gnop! says:

Gnop v0.03
by Strategic Minds.

Gnop is a remake of the classic game "Pong," incorperating new gameplay features while retaining a similar look and feel to the classic.

Aaron wonders if this is all legal? Who's going to tell Alexander Seropian? ;-)

Aaron also points out that has been registered but it takes you to, a third party Myth site.

As many people have noted Bungie's Halo page now says:

Coming soon to a platform near you.

Rather than Windows and MacOS.

Blade Runner riddle solved! The Marathon Story next? Raul Bonilla <> writes:

The following article comes from:

Does that mean I'll have to wait until I'm 40 to read Greg Kirkpatrick's official statement?

Raul sent in the text from the article:

Director Ridley Scott has finally revealed the answer to a plot twist in his film Blade Runner which has been the topic of fierce debate for nearly two decades.

Movie fans have been divided over whether Harrison Ford's hard-boiled cop character Deckard was not human but a genetically-engineered "replicant" - the very creatures he is tasked with destroying.

Little suspicion was raised by the 1982 original version of the film, based on Philip K Dick's novel: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

But a decade later the Director's Cut edition - although deliberately ambiguous - convinced many that the hero was indeed a replicant and in a Channel 4 documentary Scott at last reveals they are correct.

'He's a replicant'

The acclaimed British director, who also directed Alien, Thelma and Louise and current box-office hit Gladiator, settles the issue when questioned on key aspects of the film's imagery.

In the Director's Cut version, the biggest clue for analysts was the appearance of a unicorn on screen while Deckard is lost in thought.

The image of the mythical creature appears again towards the end of the film when he picks up an origami model discarded by another character, Gaff.

As the replicants had no memories of their own, they had to be implanted, and fans interpreted the appearance of the model as a sign that Gaff knew what Deckard was thinking because it was an image shared by other non-humans.

In Channel 4's documentary On The Edge Of Blade Runner, Scott discusses the scenes and asked what they mean, he confirms with a grin: "He's a replicant".

Another hint in the film comes from the number of replicants which Deckard is hunting.

We find out that six had made their way to earth, one of whom was killed. Deckard is looking for four, begging the question: "Who is the fifth replicant?".

Blade Runner's futuristic urban imagery was hugely influential on later movies but at the time of its release it was a relative box office flop.

However the film noir-style movie proved to be a success when released on video with repeated viewings revealing hidden depths.

When it was first made, poor reception at preview screenings prompted the film's backers to call for a happy ending being added, as well as a voice-over from Ford.

Scott removed these for his revised version. "What we'd done was kind of a dark novel, it was rather novelistic," he said.

"I didn't really realise that that eventually became the true longevity of the whole film - you revisit it constantly like re-reading one of your favourite books. You always find you get sucked in again.

"I still think it's one of the best films I ever made," he added.

The documentary - which includes previously unseen footage - is being broadcast on 15 July, immediately after a screening of Blade Runner: Director's Cut.

Hardcore Blade Runner fans will find that remark about "Who is the fifth replicant?" a little bit too convenient.

July 10, 2000 (Monday)

Some good news. Jon Chang, clothing entrepreneur, has agreed to put aside one Marathon's Story page t-shirt as a prize for the "seven words" caption competition (aka. What the Hell is Matt Soell Thinking?). If you're not going to the Bungie Fanfest in New York then this is your chance to grab that coveted Story page garment. We'll be throwing a few other things in with the t-shirt as well... "bits and bobs" from the Bungie Store, surprise stuff. So let's review what the competition is all about. Take a look at the picture below, that's Matt Soell (smiling) and Doug Zartman, now in "seven words" what caption best describes this picture?

What the Hell is Matt Soell Thinking?<-- note this is seven words long

Now the caption doesn't actually have to be what Matt is thinking, it might be what Doug is saying, or simply a description of what is going on in the picture. The best "seven words" caption gets the Story page t-shirt and a grab bag of Bungie goodies. I'll read out the best seven captions at the Bungie Fanfest and announce the overall winner. The results will also be posted to the Story page. The competition is open to everyone, Fanfest attendees as well. You can enter as many times as you like. All judging will be done by yours truly. The prizes will be posted out to the winner (unless that person is at the fanfest).

Now for the hard part. The caption should be funny and MUST NOT contain any lewd or derogatory remarks (within reason). Hard I know but this is a family page remember, the fanfest is a family event, and this IS Matt Soell we're talking about. So you'll have to come up with some subtle seven worder to win. The closing date for the competition is Monday 17th July 7.17 pm EST. Remember this is your chance to win a Marathon's Story page t-shirt and other cool stuff.

If you're going to the Bungie Fanfest then please let Miguel know on the Bungie Fanfest Forum or contact him at <>. He'd like to get some idea of the numbers attending. Thanks. Also if you have a question about the fanfest then the forum is a good place to ask it.

July 9, 2000 (Sunday)

Great response to the "seven words" caption competition (aka. What the Hell is Matt Soell Thinking?). ;-)

What the Hell is Matt Soell Thinking?

What "seven words" best describe the above picture? Let's try and keep those captions clean though. Yeah hard I know but sometimes the subtle ones are the best. Keep them coming. I'll announce the best seven captions on the Story page after the Bungie Fanfest. You can enter as many times as you like.

The Covenant are HERE! Jared Cash <> uncovered their covert operations:

We were on a highway and getting ready to take an exit, when I noticed that the truck in front of us said "Covenant Transport" on it. I tried to see if there was any other information, but I couldn't find any. Well, today when I was driving back home, I passed a rest area and saw ANOTHER one. I got a better look at it, and decided to look it up when I got back home. I found their website:

They're already here, boys. Let's shove some ammo into that SPNKR, grab those double shotguns and get moving. They ain't takin' this planet.

Please note that the Story page takes no responsibility for damage done to Covenant Transport, their employees or their trucks!

Brehan Crawford <> of Inside Mac Games writes concerning his Mac Gaming 2005 article I mentioned yesterday:

As you mentioned, it is indeed quite a bit outdated. Worth noting, perhaps, is that it was actually penned (err... typed) in late March, quite a bit before the Bungie/Microsoft deal came about.

Perhaps it's time I turned away from a career as a futurist :-).

You never know... by 2005 maybe Bungie will have bought back the rights to Myth. :-)

July 8, 2000 (Saturday)

Bungie Day passed uneventfully... I guess everyone is busy packing up for the trip to Redmond. So to liven up the day after here's a rare pick of the 'boyos' (Matt and Doug):

If a picture can say a 1000 words this one would scream... well... at least seven. Just what is going on and why does Matt have that insane grin on his face?!!! If you've got a good "seven word" caption that fits this pic then send it in. I'm sure Matt Soell will offer a suitable prize for the best seven liner to ensure that it NEVER appears on the web. ;-) Remember only "seven words" that best describe the above scene. BTW this pic is dated 10/1997.

Lots of interesting new Halo pics out there. VistaCartel have posted the scans of the Halo preview from the August issue of Computer Games Magazine. These scans first appeared on's Hotline server. have also posted some high quality scans of the Halo preview in PC Gamer (Aug 2000). While these scans also first appeared on's Hotline server there are some additional unseen pics in the bunch.

Also mentioned at is the final results of PlanetXbox's Halo poll: "Should Halo be Xbox Only?". The results are interesting since this is a non-Bungie fan site and should reflect a wider gaming audience. An overwhelming 92% of voters expressed the opinion that Halo should not be Xbox only. Then again who listens to these polls?

Inside Mac Games have posted a tongue-in-cheek look at Mac Gaming 2005. Written by Brehan Crawford it mentions among other things Bungie releasing "GNOP! 5000" and "Leveler", a prequel to Myth: The Fallen Lords. Only one thing wrong... Bungie no longer own the rights to the Myth series so unless they buy it back before 2005 any Myth game will be released by Take 2. Small point I know but one worth reiterating.

July 7, 2000 (Friday)

Happy Bungie Day.

To coincide with the occasion we bring you this CNN report.

If you want to catch up on the latest news and gossip surrounding the Bungie Fanfest in New York check out the Bungie Fanfest Forum. Looks like the special surprises are lining up... Oni beta... Halo movie DVD... and the cult classic BagelShop video!!!

The Marathon Central mirror of the Story page is presently down. Details are sketchy at this point but there were rumors that the server was relocating. More details when I get them.

July 6, 2000 (Thursday)

Quick update

Going to the Bungie Fanfest in New York? Then Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) would like to hear from you on the Bungie Fanfest Forum. Miguel is trying to get some idea of the numbers attending. Hey Marathon's Story page t-shirt fans know it's more that 49 but Miguel wants to know he's having to make pizza for 100 or 1000? Anyway drop him a post if you can on the forum.

The text of the Halo preview in Computer Gaming (August 2000 issue) has been posted to the forum. Here's a story related piece:

"Wait a minute," you might be thinking. Doesn't the premise of this game bear a striking resemblance to a certain series of books by sci-fi author Larry Niven?

Designer and Bungie co-founder Jason Jones is uncomfortable with the notion that Halo might be some sort of Niven knockoff.

"Ringworld's a great book, but the point is that we don't want people to think this is the game of Niven's Ringworld simply because it takes place on a ring-shaped artificial world... you'd be surprised how often people assume this." Jones explains.

"In Niven's books, the Ringworld completely encircles a star, and is thus hundreds of millions of miles in diameter, whereas Halo is just a satellite orbiting a gas giant and is considerably smaller. In fact, structurally it's more similar to the "orbitals" in Ian M. Banks' Culture novels."

The ringworld concept actually does appear more often in sci-fi literature than you might think; in fact the basic concept is merely an extension of one idea for how future human space stations might produce their own artificial gravity (witness the spinning ring station in 2001: A Space Odyssey). Wherever the idea might have originated, Jones maintains that the objective is athmosphere.

"We wanted a setting that was dramatic and powerful, something with a giant presence, to serve as a suitable backdrop for the epic story we are trying to tell. We are planning something much more ambitious than an elaborate back-story in the manual and a couple canned cut scenes. We want to create memorable characters that struggle and change and develop. In a way, the ringworld, halo, is one of the main characters in this story and not just a static, unchanging world."

For more details on the Ian M. Banks' Culture references in Halo see the here.

Hot on the heels of Mark Levin's Halo Wazzup movie comes an Ian McConville's "WasDurandal" movie, a paraody on the Budweiser Wasabi ad. It's a 1.5 MB movie available at Just like the Halo Wazzup movie you have to know the original Wasabi ad to get the joke.

Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <> writes:

The Bungie Fanfest's date has been moved to Friday, July 21st, 4pm-8pm.

Detailed info can be found at


- The 10 minute DVD movie of Halo that left everyone at E3 drooling will be shown!

- Special guests from Bungie, Gathering of Developers and Take 2 Interactive

- Limited-edition Marathon Story page T-Shirt will be on sale.

- Prizes and giveaways for (hopefully) all attendees!

Benoit Nadeau <> provides some clarification on the Marathon 2 cheat codes mentioned yesterday:

Those "cheat codes" were in the M2 source code, but weren't compiled with the final version. This is because you can tell the compiler to not compile some parts of the code for specific versions, and that's what Bungie did for the final version of M2.

But since the beginning of Aleph One, we (the A1 programmers) forgot to tell the compiler NOT to implement the code for the cheat codes, so they were re-activated. Note that this code was made by Bungie, not us, so they are the "lost M2 cheat codes". Really.

But now (as of today), the cheat codes are off by default, and you need to edit the prefs to enable them. To test those codes, get any version of Aleph One (at

As I said in the A1 mailing list, the map code is exactly the same as the one from M1 beta. I think this code is kind of cool.

Also, notice the "jumping" code. Maybe the debuggers were fed up of grenade jumping ;-) ...

Remember... there are no cheat codes. Then you'll see that it is not the codes that cheat, it is only yourself.

Jeff Myers <> writes:

I noticed this from the Halo e3 Movie. The Halo marine seems to have Mathathonesq force shield on his battle suit. It did not seem like the "Bobs" had this feature in there combat armor (heck they didn't even seem to be environmentally sealed) I mean if they did have that type of shielding they would have survived longer then 6 shots. The Marine seemed to take quite a number of hits with no visible affects. I wonder if this means that we shall see the return of some of our favorite Marathon powerups, mmmmmm sprinkly shield..

PS: I have attached a picture showing the shield.

July 5, 2000 (Wednesday)

Sean Morris <> sent in a list of Marathon 2 cheat codes posted to the Marathon Open Source mailing list:

{_tag_health, "NRG"},
{_tag_oxygen, "OTWO"},
{_tag_map, "MAP"},
{_tag_invisible, "BYE"},
{_tag_invincible, "NUKE"},
{_tag_infravision, "SEE"},
{_tag_extravision, "WOW"},
{_tag_invisible, "BYE"}, // duplicate
{_tag_pistol, "MAG"},
{_tag_rifle, "RIF"},
{_tag_missle, "POW"}, // unimplemented
{_tag_toaster, "TOAST"}, // unimplemented
{_tag_fusion, "MELT"},
{_tag_pzbxay, "PZBXAY"}, // the alien shotgun, in the phfor's language; unimplemented
{_tag_ammo, "AMMO"}, // unimplemented
{_tag_jump, "QWE"},
{_tag_aslag, "SHIT"},
{_tag_save, "YOURMOM"

Remember... there are no cheat codes.

Frogblast: The Ventcore Project released an Unreal Tournament version of the Marathon map "Mars Needs Women". Here's their announcement:

To celebrate Independence Day, we give you Mars Needs Women. This is probably the single most-played network map ever made - even when considering games other than Marathon. In the days of the first appearance of Marathon (and I'm talking about the leaked beta that pre-dated the demo) there was only this one network map. Then the official demo came out and it too had only one network map - Mars Needs Women. When Marathon II: Durandal came out it would have seemed as though Mars was only a fond memory. However, after being reprised in Marathon Infinity with new textures Mars enjoyed a resurgence. Now in the twilight of the time of Marathon, Frogblast: The Ventcore Project is giving this progenitor of network maps new legs by bringing it to UT.

Mars Needs Women has easily been the single most-requested map for conversion to UT. Here it is - complete with the original textures. When was the last time you got nostalgic over a video game? Well dry your eyes and go get it from the downloads page.

More on those ubiquitous Marathon sounds. Steve Freund <> writes:

I just saw a commercial for Kirby 64 and in the commercial Kirby is featured launching a rocket out of his mouth using the familiar sound we hear in Marathon.

For information on where most of the sounds for the Marathon series came from check the Sounds in Marathon section.

This will put a smile on your face. Mark Levin has created a Halo Wazzup movie (Budweiser ad. parody). You can find it on or on the Hotline server at Worth the 6MB download.

July 4, 2000 (Tuesday)

Yesterday I posed the question Why are the Covenant sporting symbols similar to those seen on the Halo?. I went on to suggest four possible reasons for this. Alan Greene <> adds two more:

I was thinking that the Covenant were claiming their territory by making these markings on the walls. Maybe the hologram screen isn't part of the original contructs of the Halo, but were installed by the Covenant. After all, these symbols seem to be mostly cosmetic, rather than being built into the architecture.

Interesting possibility. If you remember in Marathon 2 the Pfhor had installed computer terminals in the S'pht ruins on Lh'owon. On "Charon Doesn't Make Change (Terminal 2)" we read:

The quality of the machinery is quite
extraordinary, and most of the computer
terminals are still functional even after
two thousand years.

This terminal is teleport-linked to others
that we installed in caves that are not
easily accessible. We also found some
additional tunnels by blasting away
barricades that were apparently erected
during the ancient battle.

Just like the Covenant the Pfhor were searching for a secret... the same secret Durandal (and you) were searching for:

We finally found Lh'owon sixteen hours ago
and are searching for something, a weapon
or piece of knowledge to use to stop the
Pfhor's conquest of the galaxy.

<Waterloo Waterpark (Terminal 1: 2nd message)>

This is almost identical to the Halo plot. Alan also suggests an interesting but odd plot twist which takes a rather Covenant viewpoint:

Wouldn't it be cool if the Covenant use these symbols as their language, and arrive at the Halo only to find that the exact same symbols have been there for thousands of years, causing some ensuing panic and desperation over maintaining control of the Halo so that *they* could figure out what's going on?

Aaron Vanderpoel <> writes:

The small heard of critters from Halo have quite a resemblance to the monsters in the movie Tremors 2. They are bipedal and apparently sightless, or at least no eyes. They also have a hairless exterior with a short thick tail to balance them.

Aaron sent in a pic of the creature known as a "Graboid" from the movie Tremors 2. More information on the movie Tremors 2 can be found here

Marathon legacy. For some time now the Story page has been reporting upon odd Marathon tidbits (for example cheat codes) left in games such as Prime Target and Damage Incorporated which use the Marathon 2 engine. Colin Dickie <> now writes:

Just dropping a line about a couple of other games that use the Marathon 2 Engine. They are Prime Target and ZPC. I noticed that the Command-Option begin new game cheat still works, but the programmers have not bothered at all to change the dialog box that pops up - it still has the Oath of the Vidmaster on it and tells you to kill all Bobs. Sloppy games designers, or deliberate?


July 3, 2000 (Monday)

On the back of the red Covenant leader in the E3 Halo movie you'll see some strange glowing symbols which are remarkably similar to those on a hologram screen and on the side of a building.

Question: Why are the Covenant sporting symbols similar to those seen on the Halo? Is there a connection between the Covenant and the mysterious builders of the Halo?

Based on what we know from the official backstory the Halo is an ancient ring construct abandoned by its builders long ago (perhaps 100,000+ years) and both the Covenant and the humans are searching the ring for a secret(s) which for the humans will turn the course of the war. So the Covenant are also new to the Halo yet they wear symbols once used by the builders of the Halo. How could this arise? Here are some possibilities:

  1. The symbols are simply some common but ancient universal language shared by many races in the galaxy;
  2. The Covenant are descendants or client races of the original builders and have retained the original language;
  3. The Covenant have encountered the technology of the builders before and have adopted (stolen) their language or place enough significance on their ancient symbols to wear them (possibly with reverence);
  4. The Covenant have wiped out or enslaved the original builders and assimilated their language.
We know that the Covenant are destroying mankind with religious zeal. "Your destruction is the will of the gods, and we are their instrument" says the red Covenant leader. The Halo Transmissions are filled with the same religious rhetoric. This is a Holy War. What wrong have the humans done to deserve such persecution? In Cortana's third Letter she says:

As for this world I encounter new ghosts every day. What I have found will either save or destroy you. This sanctuary, this unbroken circle, has effectively concealed its power for how long? Perhaps hundreds of thousands of years. Whoever made such a place must now live in chains; there is no other explanation for their absence.

This enemy - YOUR enemy - has proven more irritating than I anticipated. They own nothing which they have not stolen. I can barely make sense of their incessant rhetoric, except to know that you seem to be their Devil. Congratulations - you manage to make friends wherever you go and, apparently, places you haven't.

The Covenant view the Marine (the player) as "their Devil"? Is this simply because he's pretty good at killing them or because they abhor who he is or what he stands for. All indications are that the marine in Halo is a military cyborg similar to the one in Marathon. It is generally assumed that the Marathon marine has Jjaro implants. The final screen in Infinity relates:

But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won.
A man long dead. Grafted to machines your builders did not understand.

If the Halo marine is similarly endowed then perhaps this is the reason why the Covenant view him as "their Devil". We might speculate further that since mankind have created the marine they have committed some form of sacrilege in the eyes of the Covenant and thus must be destroyed with religious fervour. This might also explain why the whole Covenant fleet at Reach follow the single escaping human corvette... the Marine was on it. The Devil must be destroyed!

M.C. Avistetto <> writes: has a new poll up concerning the readers' ten favorite female PC game characters. Somewhere in the introduction they state the following about the votes they received:
"Among the most obscure gems was Leela, the ship-operations artificial intelligence from the Marathon games who went rampant at the end of Marathon 2: Durandal. "

July 2, 2000 (Sunday)

Quick update

hmmm... 79. Bungie up to their old tricks again. ;-)

John Zero <> writes:

I noticed that one of the human armor units in the more recent Halo screenshots bears a striking resemblance to a relatively famous fictional armored unit: the Ogre.

OGRE is the ancient (?1978) paper wargame which involves a passel of mid-21st century armored hovercraft and tanks versus a single, giant artifical-intelligence-driven supertank, the Ogre. Steve Jackson Games is the responsible party there. ( )

Take a look at this pic: That's the Mark V Ogre. Look carefully and you'll see that it is actually two tank chassis in one, having a second full set of treads to the rear.

Now look at this (resized) Halo screenshot: I've taken to calling this unit a 'tandem', since it obviously has the same tread configuration as the Ogre. (Looks mighty cool, too, I think.)

Then I got to thinking about it, and I realized that there was another similarity in the tanks of Halo and Ogre.

Here's the Heavy Tank from OGRE:

And here's the familiar Halo tank:

Looks like Bungie designers paying tribute to a great game of the past. It's a shame that OGRE has never been made into a computer game, but that may change in the future.

OGRE/GEV (as the game and its expansions are known) is still being published and is actually going through a little reprint renaissance. Check it out at Steve Jackson Games:

July 1, 2000 (Saturday)

Matt Soell <> replies to my concerns for the future online Bungie fan community in a keyboardless XBox world:

Keyboard support on XBox has been iffy for some time. We (Max and I) spoke to Jason about it around E3 and knew it would be a problem then.

It's true that the lack of a keyboard would make things like the current paradigm difficult to accomplish on XBox, or at least unpleasant to play with. I don't think that would destroy the community entirely, since so much of the interaction occurs outside, but it's definitely a problem that needs solving - especially for people who might own an XBox but not a computer - and we don't have an answer yet.

At the same time you have the problem, brought up by someone on the HBO forums in the last couple days, of people who don't want to slouch on their couch or living room floor with a keyboard in their laps.

On a personal level, if there is no community I have no way of paying the rent, so I want a keyboard, or at least the option to plug one in if you want. Max and I are pushing for keyboard support for reasons that should be obvious. I guess we'll see how much influence we really have. :-)

Let's hope that Matt and Max are successful. I doubt they'll be the only people pushing for a keyboard option.

On the subject of consoles and keyboards Bruce Morrison <> writes:

The PS2 version of Unreal Tournment will allow the use of USB Keyboards and Mouses, direct from a computer...

Interesting point. According to a PS2 Peripheral List at Daily Radar the PS2 will come with keyboard and mouse. Here's the text:

Bikkuri USB Mouse
Sony's own three-button mouse is USB compatible and has a scroll wheel. There are few games supporting it at the moment (although Armored Core 2 is reputed to support it in menu screens) but it will be indispensable when first-person shooters begin appearing in the US. And naturally it won't be called "Bikkuri" here. Oh, and expect other third-party PS2 mice.

USB Keyboard
Sony claims that any standard USB keyboard will function correctly with the PlayStation2, so our suggestion would be either wait for an official Sony PlayStation2 keyboard, or buy a nice black USB keyboard to match your system.

I seriously doubt that Microsoft will be left behind in this area.

On the subject of first-person shooters and consoles a Daily Radar feature entitled Unreal Tournament: The PS2 Story had this to say on the issue of 'control' and 'level editing':

The control issue is not an issue:
One of our concerns with first-person shooters on a console has always been control. However, Epic feels that they've seen controllable first-person shooters on a console (Goldeneye), and now that all PS2 owners will have at least one Dual Shock pad, they will be able to work out a good first-person control scheme.

Level editing is not out of the question:
One of the best features of both Unreal and its sequel was the intuitive editing tools that shipped with the product. In the past, level editing on a console was a pipe dream, but three things might make it work on the PlayStation2: the memory card, online capabilities and peripherals. The 8MB memory card may be large enough to store map files; online connectivity would enable users to create levels on the PC and download them with the PS2; and possible hard-drive peripherals would enable users to build and store their own maps right on the console.

Unless you've been in stasis on a colony ship heading for Tau Ceti you've probably heard that the E3 Halo movie has been released and is now available at a large number of sites. You'll find links on most of the main Halo pages. The movie is .mpg format and weighs in at a hefty 159MBs and is 9mins 44secs long. If you can manage the download it's well worth watching. The movie doesn't contain the narrator voiceover as heard in the earlier trailer.

Updated the Official Halo Backstory section with parts of the dialog from the movie.

Updated the Iain M. Banks' "Culture" references in Bungie's Halo section with the latest info about Iain M. Banks, Halo and Bungie.

Go to What's New for May-June 2000

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Sept 11, 2000