An eight-switch door puzzle became four but on what Marathon level?

 (July-Aug 1997)

Aug 19, 1997
The Marathon's Story page is closed for a summer vacation until the 8th Sept... BUT... keep you dazed and confused until then here is

The Summertime Blues Competition.

Seven HoT questions to sort the men from the boys, the Story freaks from the Sunday readers. You think you're Big Time, you're going to... yeah... yeah... yeah... get on with it... where are the questions?

...err... OK... but I warned you... here are the Seven HoT questions...

  1. Under normal solo play how may terminal messages are impossible to read in all three Marathon games (88 solo levels)? For each unreadable message please give the terminal no. and level name.

  2. From what Bungie level does this map screenshot come from?

  3. What was 2nd to last one way, but 2nd the other way?

  4. Three thousand and forty four pieces. Of what and where?

  5. The number thirteen is unlucky for some! But reversed it reveals a lie. What was the lie and where was it said?

  6. Throughout the three Marathon games a number of the colonists are actually named. Can you list them all? First or last names will do. Could there be more than seven? ;-)

  7. There were ten altogether, three were different and eight were the same but on what level?

If you think you know the answers then send them in. Get all seven right and enter the Hall of Fame. Remember though these are not your normal wussie competition questions these are HoT questions, the real McCoy, accept no substitute. And don't forget all those tips folks! The Summertime Blues Competition is open to employees of Bungie and Double Aught... not that it will make any difference. [laughter] ;-)

Oh yeah... finally got around to adding the long awaited Miscellaneous section.

Aug 15, 1997

You may find doors blocked or stairways retracted on the way, because the AI in control of these functions is damaged and behaving erratically.

Bigger Guns Nearby (Terminal 1)

Direct control of all doors except the Tertiary and Quaternary doors will be given to Durandal with indirect control of all other doors going to Durandal. The difference between direct and indirect control primarily has to do with the manner of opening the doors. Durandal will only open a directly controlled door when he is specifically asked to do so. Indirectly controlled doors are automatically controlled by Durandal to open when needed.

Bigger Guns Nearby (Terminal 2)

Unfortunately, I have received a distress signal from some crew who had sealed themselves off in one of the nearby access areas. They say that they have lost control over the doors and elevators on the level, and that the Pfhor have access to the area.

Couch Fishing (Terminal 3: 'Success' message)

<Date 2794.>

We've had to fall back along three corridors, but one group was cut off when the bulkhead door sealed shut.

Damn computers. Now, I know that Durandal has gone Rampant. Doors and elevators keep failing just when we need them. What good does a intelligence quotient of ten thousand do when you've got strangling hands around you're throat?

<Date 2794.>

I would shoot this terminal right now, if I thought that it would reach that damn AI. I might do it anyway, but ammunition is short. I've run out of ammo for my assault rifle, and the only flamethrower we had was lost when an elevator failed to function, and squad two was cut off. I understand that the aliens are taking prisoners. I'll hand it to them, they are better fighters than us. But I'll be damned if I'm going to be taken prisoner, my last bullet is for me.

Journal entries of Volker Von Müller - The Lost Network Packets

They say that every film tells a story. This one sure does! Find out why Durandal hates Kain Osterholt <> in his Marathon film strangling hands... Note you need Marathon installed to watch this bizarre film. Did Kain use his last bullet?

Aug 14, 1997
More sevens and threes in Marathon. This time on "The Big House". Check the Marathon Vidmasters' Page for details.

Aug 13, 1997
You want out? You gotta earn it! An interesting film of "The Big House" from Kain Osterholt <>. If you are use to expecting instant salvation. Think again. Mr. Blake is in no hurry!

While the eye differences between the Marathon and Marathon 2/Infinity Pfhor fighter have been recognised for some time Matthew Payne <> comes up with another six differences. Matthew writes:

Pfhor Fighter Differences List

1. M1 Fighters have four fingers (including thumb) while Infinity fighters only have three

2. M1 Fighter Projectiles have shorter tails than their Infinity counterparts.

3. When firing, M1 fighter's shock staffs glow brighter.

4. M1 Fighter's shock staffs have an almost polygonial look.

5. M1 Fighter's third eyes are below the two, while Infinity fighter's third eyes are on top.

6. M1 Fighter's eyes are sunk into the head instead of bulging out.

7. M Infinity fighters have vents in their masks

Hey, seven!

Aug 11, 1997
Jim Mitchell <> writes again concerning the Thoth like terminal on "We're Everywhere" and its similarity with a terminal on "You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!". See the Thoth section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Aug 9, 1997
Jim Mitchell <> writes concerning the Thoth like terminal on "We're Everywhere" and its similarity with a terminal on "You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!". See the Thoth section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Aug 5, 1997
Having nightmares? Monsters in dreams? Then the Marathon Vidmasters' Page has the solution. Sleep tight don't let the monsters bite! Only dead monsters in dreams.

Aug 4, 1997
For those of you who have asked "Where's Squeaky?" and what happened to his exploration of the Windows95 version of Marathon 2? Well Simon is in Boston at the MacWorld Expo. When he returns we'll hopefully be able to bring you the next installment.

Check out the Marathon Vidmasters' Page for some weird and whacky dream level films. It appears that many of the Infinity levels still hold secrets. They mu7t be found!

A little known tidbit passed on by Jason Jones (Bungie Software). On page 5 of the Pathways Into Darkness manual there is a screenshot of the main dialog showing a list of saved games ... one of them is called...

Gabe Rosenkoetter <> writes:

this heritage of sevens has run for a long time in relation to apple computers...

for instance, the official title of the Apple Lisa (the mac's predecessor, sort of) Office System included "7/7", and never was a true explanation given from apple... some people speculate that there were seven applications in the Office System (LisaGraph, LisaWrite, LisaCalc, LisaDraw, LisaProject, LisaTerminal, LisaGuide - i think, not sure those are right) that shared data between each other (thus the second seven) and worked as one (thus 7/7, a fraction equalling one)...

anyway, for more information related to this, see Tom Stepleton's Apple Lisa Web Page at

Aug 1, 1997
James Gurnee <> writes concerning the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Todd Bangerter <> writes:

I was reading the September 97 issue of Computer Games, and I ran across a review for Rebel Moon Rising on PC with the interesting sub-heading of "Marathon revisited for the MMX crowd." It mentions Marathon several times in the review, but personally, I have difficulty seeing where the comparison comes from. Anyway, it may be of interest to read, and I found the review online at:

You can read the review at Computer Games Online. Do a search on the name "Rebel". Apparently you play the part of a Lunar colonist trying to prevent Earth from thwarting your attempts at independence. Sounds a bit MIDAish. Part of the review reads:

Level design throughout much of the game is rather trying, as the levels are laid out in an often confusing and obscure manner - just like Marathon 2, actually - so certain gamers will probably enjoy them.

More details can be found at the GT Interactive page. Note the weapon inventory and the reference to Tycho!

July 30, 1997
Want to buy one of the remaining copies of original Marathon game? Well Jim Mitchell <> did and got a copy without a box. Puzzled Jim contacted Bungie concerning the missing box and this is what he found. Jim writes:

I recently talked with a Bungie's Jim Ruiz who made the surprising note that the factory that produced the remaining copies of Marathon no longer sends out any copies with a full box. The Marathon box saga has gone full circle and copies are once again being sent out without boxes."

As Thoth would say:

Circumstances are cyclical

However, thanks to Jim Jim will be get one of the last boxed versions of Marathon. Lucky Jim and nice one Jim. In years to come a boxed Marathon will be a collectors item. ;-)

Interesting piece of news sent in by Chris Camacho <>. Apparently Bungie's Doug Zartman is getting married. The Marathon's Story page wishes Doug and his future wife the very best. :-)

Chris wonders if they will call their first son "Bob"? ;-)

July 29, 1997
The Trilogy Sketches are now up at the Marathon HyperArchive. These secret pics by Craig Mullins are now revealed for the first time ever.The tru7th is out there...

July 28, 1997
Craig Mullins's Trilogy Marine pic is now on the net - courtesy of Simon Brownlee of the Marathon HyperArchive. It comes in two flavors - low res 500 x 586 pixels (61K) and hi res 1296 x 1520 pixels (1.2MB). You can see them here.

And the best is yet to come...

July 27, 1997
Added the Marathon Collage ad to Bungie's Marathon Ads section. This collage has been around for a while and still available on some old Marathon ftp sites along with other goodies... if you know what I mean. ;-) The collage contains some interesting screenshots which have their own story to tell. Read all about it in the Bungie's Marathon Ads section of Facts and puzzling things about... .

July 25, 1997
Exclusive Preview

New Marathon Art by Craig Mullins - courtesy of Simon Brownlee of the Marathon HyperArchive. Check out these never seen before Marathon pics:




More to come!

Bungie are hiring again! This time they are looking for a designer/artist to work at their brand new west coast studio. This individual will be responsible for creating the look and feel of a science fiction 3D game. Now what could that be?

Hastur's Workshop continues to be updated at Double Aught Software. Got a map making problem then the solution may be here. It's nice to know that even with a new game in the works the busy DA guys still have time to update their Marathon Infinity section. Long may it last. But who is Hastur?

Forrest Cameranesi <> writes concerning the controversial use of the Caps Lock key for running in Marathon. See the Origin of the Caps Lock key controversy! in Blasts from the Past.

Win 95 Marathon 2 Vidmasters? Well only time will tell... but hold down the ALT and ESC keys while clicking on Begin New Game in the Win95 version of M2 and you get THIS!. Thanks to Simon Brownlee <> for the screenshot.

Quake vs. Win95 Marathon 2 An interesting 8 round comparison at and the winner is...

July 24, 1997
Andrew McCormick <> writes concerning the line "Thousands are sailing" on a Jjaro like terminal on "Ne Cede Malis" pointing out that this was the name of a song...

...recorded by The Pogues on their album "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" (Island Records). The song is about migration to America during the potato famine, and keeping with Irish faith and tradition, in spite of hardships. The song can also be found on the "Essential Pogues" CD, also by Island.

The song "Thousands are sailing" begins:

The island it is silent now
But the ghosts still haunt the waves
And the torch lights up a famished man
Who fortune could not save

July 23, 1997
Steven Ryan <> identifies some more Macintosh error codes in Marathon. See the new Macintosh Error Codes section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Steven Ryan also writes concerning the line:

thousands are sailing

on terminal 2 of the Infinity level "Ne Cede Malis" suggesting that this may be from the start of an Irish song about the exodus during the Irish potato famine. The rest of the line goes "to America." Steven writes:

I don't know if Plantxy wrote it or just recorded it.

July 22, 1997
A number of people have noted the simliarity between the Tycho's "planet-sized brain" remark in Marathon Infinity and the "brain the size of a planet..." line from Marvin the deeply depressed robot in the Hitch Hikers Guide to Galaxy series by Douglas Adams. Here are some classic Marvin quotes from the first 3 books in the series. You'll note the other similarities too.

"Come on," he droned, "I've been ordered to take you down to the bridge. Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't."

The Hitch Hikers Guide to Galaxy

"`Reverse primary thrust, Marvin,' that's what they say to me, `open airlock number three, Marvin. Marvin, can you pick up that piece of paper?' Can I pick up that piece of paper! Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to ..."

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

"I was a celebrity," droned the robot sadly, "for a short while on account of my miraculous and bitterly resented escape from a fate almost as good as death in the heart of a blazing sun. You can guess from my condition," he added, "how narrow my escape was. I was rescued by a scrap-metal merchant, imagine that. Here I am, brain the size of ... never mind."

Life, the Universe, and Everything

Continuing on this theme Troy Lawlor <> writes:

Though I still believe the orgin of the Marathon Infinity level "Electric Sheep" comes from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", Electric Sheep are also mentioned in "Life, the Universe and Everything" of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series.

On page 192, a robot sings the following lullaby:

Now the world has gone to bed,
Darkness won't engulf my head,
I can see by infrared,
How I hate the night.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
Try to count electric sheep,
Sweet dream wishes you can keep,
How I hate the night.

This passage puts electric sheep, sleeping and darkness in one paragraph. Sounds like Marathon to me.

Yup... I guess old Marvin was in the Melancholia stage. ;-)

July 21, 1997
Day 9: of Simon's journey into the increasingly familiar.

More Macintosh error messages in Marathon. Steven Ryan <> writes concerning this line:

<unimplemented inline trap $A9FF>

on "Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!" (Terminal 2)

On the 68K Macs, instructions A000-AFFF are undefined by the hardware and used to jump to operating system routines (the a-traps). If you use new software on old systems, you can get these.

More Macintosh error messages on the way!

July 18, 1997
Kristofer Nelson <> points out that there was a Nintendo game called "The Guardian Legend" which was similar to Marathon.

Kristofer writes:

It's like The Legend of Zelda, each TV screen is a room, and as you move off the edge of the TV screen, you go into the next room. Each terminal takes up a room of its own; there are no enimies in the room. You can only save your game in special save game rooms (sound familiar?). There is a map of all the areas you have keys for; each time you get a new key, the map gets bigger.

You walk around in the world and the past and present are revealed to you in terminals, and they hint at how to finish the levels.

It was published in 1988. You are a cyborg, you can be transformed into a space ship and fly.

The first "terminal" reads:

If someone is reading this... I must have failed.
This star "NAJU" was our home,
but we were invaded by evil life-forms.
Everyone except me was killed.
I am going to try to activate the self-destruct device.
If I fail, I would like you to do this task so this cannot
happen to any other race.
The self-destruct mechanism
is protected by a safety device
which is located in the underground corridors.
Remove each seal and go deep inside NAJU.
If you destroy all 10 safety devices, the self-destruct
sequence will be activated.
I don't have much time.
I hope this message will not be read by anyone...
it will mean that I have failed.

Kristofer provides the text of other terminals which are vaguely familiar... as is in an old dream... but you can't exactly remember...

Here is one:

I put some weapons in these boxes.
Take them out of the boxes to use them.
Some weapons have been stolen by some of the life forms;
if you need these weapons
you will have to destroy the life-forms.
All the weapons need Power Chips.
You must search for them.

Oh!... and who does this sound like?

Wait, wait forever...
The seal for No. 3 will be removed.
What are you doing here? Do not wait here!

Was "The Guardian Legend" an influence on Marathon?

Ben Sawyer <> write concerning the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

July 17, 1997
After taking a break on Day 7 Simon "Squeaky" Brownlee continues his adventures in search of the fabled "lost" level in the Win95 version of Marathon 2. What further secrets will be revealed? The tru7h is out there!

Jim Mitchell <> points out that there is a second secret message from Jason Jones in the resource fork of the Marathon application on the Marathon Trilogy CD. If you know where the first one was you should be able to find this one easily. It begins:

You again?
We won't spoil the rest of it for you. Happy hunting. :-)

July 16, 1997
Day 7... yeah right!

Ever had a solo film cut off short at the end. You know the ones... heading for that final terminal or teleporter and the curtain closes... leaving you wondering what happened to the ending... that stylish bit where you took that last Trooper out with one punch. Well wonder no longer. Randall Shaw <>, better known to the Marathon world as Frigidman, may have the answer and a solution. Check the Marathon Vidmasters' Page for details.

You can also see Randall's recent Vidmaster films at this site. Fm does Acme Station... twice!... PLUS... 7 films of him testing out his Infinity Vidmaster levels (31-33). Apart from being fun to watch these Infinity Vidmaster level films have important historicial value.

Bungie's WebCam seems to be working again and Neil Schafer <> catches the action. See the Bungie WebCam Pics page for details.

July 14, 1997
Simon "Squeaky" Brownlee <> returns... and it's another tough day in the Pfhor garrison... tough for the Pfhor that is...

Jonas Eneroth <> replies to a mail concerning running the Win95 M2 map with the Marathon Mac app.

Subject: Re: M2
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 97 09:47:43 -0500
x-sender: "Jonas Eneroth" <>
From: "Bones" <>
To: "Hamish Sinclair" <>
Mime-Version: 1.0

>One question you might be able to help with.
>Is there a way to get the Win95 map working with the Mac app?
>Any help appreciated.
>Failing that it would be nice if Bungie released the extended
>Waterloo level as a single map for the legions of Mac Marathoners.
>I expect you'll start receiving mail about it soon. ;-)

I have run it straight on my Mac here at work... was a while ago though.  
Anyway, Portmaster just moves things around - it doesn't change too many 
things.  I may do a M2 Mac to M2 Win95 version patch...


Bungie Software Products Corp

err... well there you have it... or not?

Simon Brownlee <> sends in the text from the Read Me file which accompanies the Win95 M2 demo. The Read Me provides a brief summary of events in Marathon. Makes for interesting reading.


In a remote and now half-forgotten time, the human colony ship Marathon set out from Sol for Tau Ceti, 94 light years distant. The year 2794 found this fledgling colony in its seventh year, still suffering many hardships but striving for success.

That year, humanity made First Contact with the Pfhor, a ruthless race of slavers. The Pfhor attack came swiftly and without warning.

The Marathon was disabled in orbit and the colony overrun. Having been sent up to the Marathon in the first hours of the attack, you were the sole colonist left to face the onslaught. But you weren't entirely alone...

Damaged, one of the Marathon's onboard synthetic intellects, Durandal, struggled to organize a defense of the stricken vessel. Another, Tycho, was destroyed. The S'pht compilers ( cybernetic slaves of the Pfhor ) invaded the Marathon and rebuilt him, but in the process Tycho went insane.

Durandal struck a deal with the S'pht. In return for their freedom, the compilers agreed to rebel against their masters and give control of the Pfhor ship to Durandal.

After teleporting a boarding party to the giant Pfhor scoutship, Durandal transferred himself into its massive computer array and assumed complete control. Fearing imminent Pfhor retaliation, Durandal left Tau Ceti, taking the Rebel S'pht with him.

Three Terran months later, the Pfhor armada arrived at Tau Ceti and razed the planet to bedrock.

Seventeen years after the dust settled on Tau Ceti, Durandal found the lost homeworld of the S'pht...

Of course this is all Revisionist history. Note the complete absence of Leela's name. What about Leela? She struggled to organise a defence of the Marathon in the early stages of the attack. Leela was so loyal and tried so hard; she deserved better. Furthermore, it states that the colony was overrun. Lies... all lies... there were nine military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs down there... the Pfhor planet-side never stood a chance.

But we know the TRU7H!

Many thanks to Mike Trinder <> for sending in a BBEdit ad from MacTech Journal (Vol. 13 No. 5) which interestingly enough uses Marathon as a theme. Marathon Infinity created with BBEdit (177K). Included in the ad is a small shot of the Infinity source code.

July 13, 1997
Where's Squeaky?!!!

Simon "Squeaky" Brownlee <> has been missing in action for more than 49 hours!!! His fans begin to get anxious. Last we heard he was slugging it out with a group of irrate F'lickta on the Win95 version of "Charon Doesn't Make Change" Did he make it?

Somebody throws Hamish a pair of boots, takes his bubblegum and tells him to go kick bottom. Oh dear!... I'm too old for THIS!

July 12, 1997
Added The Alien Teleporter on Charon section to Facts and puzzling things about... .

Ty Klein <> points out that the Super Mega Carnage Room is also referred to in the Mac version of the Marathon 2 manual. Indeed it does... right at the beginning <sheesh> maybe I should read these manuals! ;-)

Ty also suggests that the Super Mega Carnage Room refers to the final room on "All Roads Lead To Sol". Could well be. Though then again... entering the room with a full clip of _bullets_ isn't going to do you much good. ;-)

July 11, 1997
What further secrets does the WIn95 version of Marathon 2 hold? Simon Brownlee <> boldly goes were few Mac Marathoners have gone before. Simon's log - Star Date 2811

Many thanks to George Jorgenson <> for sending this text from the Win95 M2 manual. It's part of a prologue section:

You enter the Marathon 2 world as a security officer, the Hero of Tau Ceti, and a living legend following your defeat of the alien Pfhor. With the aid of the rogue A.I. Durandal and the newly liberated S'pht race, you learned how to meet the Pfhor in battle and triumph over them.

But you're not at Tau Ceti anymore. This is a new world, with new rules for survival. Of course, many of the rules you should follow are just common sense - you probably want to waste the last three bullets in the clip before entering Super Mega Carnage Room; dodging, pointing up and down and keeping an eye on the motion sensor should all become instinctive - but others may take you by surprise.

Super Mega Carnage Room???!!!... now where did they hide that one?

Another interesting tidbit from the Win95 M2 manual courtesy of George is that the PC version allows for chatting during net game set up. The manual reads:

Chatting - In the Communication box you can type messages for all the other players to see while setting up the game. You can say things like, "You bite!", or "You're goin' down, sucka!" (again, try to be creative).

A number of people have written in suggesting that the Win95 M2 map changes are all a sick hoax! Nothing could be futher from the tru7h. Some of the changes are big... others are small. You turn a corner expecting to see something and it's... different... but...

Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...

Please note that Portmaster will _not_ convert the PC map to a Mac version as some have suggested. Portmaster _only_ works from Mac to PC and _not_ the other way round. Indeed Steve Campbell <> maintainer of the Marathon Hyperarchive Midwest, informs me that Bungie made the Win95 M2 map changes using the Mac map editor, and then ported the map to the PC using the PortMaster application (also a Mac app).

Rumor has it that the Win95 M2 sales have just doubled. ;-)

July 10, 1997
Simon Brownlee <> continues his journey into the heart of darkness and like Conrad's Kurtz discovers... the horror!... the horror!

Jonas Eneroth <> (Bungie Software) kindly sent in three screenshots from the Windows 95 version of Marathon 2 revealing the full extent of the map changes in "Waterloo Waterpark" and just some of the many changes in other levels. You can see the screenshots on the Win 95 Marathon 2: The Undiscovered Secrets section of Facts and puzzling things about... .

We think you'll agree that the Win95 version of "Waterloo Waterpark" is packed full for secrets making it - what some have described as - the definitive version of this level. Indeed some have gone so far as to say that the Win95 version of Marathon 2 is more like Marathon 2: The Director's Cut. Enhanced levels, new terminal text, additional secrets, and more Pfhor to kill...

Jim Mitchell <> forwards an interesting post from Matt Soell (Bungie Software):

Date: Wed, 9 Jul 1997 10:37:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: For the Marathon Vidmasters' Page

The following is from a mail message I just received from Matt Soell:

>The most recent inventory from our fulfillment house says that they have 
>413 copies of Marathon left.  Once those are gone, they're gone; the 
>individual games won't be reprinted (although the Box Set should be 
>available for some time).  I believe Marathon 2: Durandal has already 
>gone the way of the Dodo.

Ack!  The end of the single copies!  Better grab an extra one before it's 
too late!

Quick grab those CD versions of Marathon. They're the only ones with the original Marathon background music.

Zach Rivera <> writes:

In the HoT List on the Marathon Story page the second riddle says "If it had been 9 more it would have been more like home.What would have been more like home and why. What would have been more like home and why?"

The answer referred to the 9% oxygen difference between Earth an Lh'owon. Lh'owon being the answer.

But It also could be referring to the fact that in M1 you are one of ten Mark IV guys, you on the Marathon, and 9 saving the colony.

Heh... a blast from the past... nice one. Unfortunately I've no more HoTBobs to give out. :-(

Marco Turcios <> writes concerning the Simulacrums. See the Simulacrums section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Interesting stuff from the background to the soon to be released sci-fi film Event Horizon

The year is 2047: A rescue mission is sent to the outer reaches of our solar system to salvage the Event Horizon, a prototype spaceship missing for the last seven years.

A mission is launched to salvage the Event Horizon -- and, it is hoped, rescue any survivors of its crew. The ship assigned to the mission is the USAC (United States Aerospace Command) Lewis & Clark, a Search & Rescue Ship named for the leaders of the famed expedition that crossed North America in 1805.

Only when they are in deep space, however, does Weir divulge the secrets of the Event Horizon. Weir reveals that everything they have ever heard about the fate of the ship is a lie, but they are also completely unprepared for the truth. He explains that the Event Horizon was the first spaceship designed for faster-than-light travel, a concept which, they all thought, was physically and technologically impossible. The ship disappeared without a trace when the gravity drive, her revolutionary engineering process, had been engaged. Uneasiness becomes anxiety when Weir plays the brief, fragmentary recording that is the only clue to the ship's fate -- a recording of terrifying, inhuman shrieks and wails.

They're Everywhere! ;-)

July 9, 1997
Win 95 Marathon 2: The Undiscovered Secrets

Curiouser and curiouser... Cindy Hoffa <> points out that changes between the Mac and PC versions of Marathon 2 were discussed on some time ago. Simon Brownlee <> went looking and found the following long post on the subject:

Subject:      Re: where's the shotgun?
From:         "Gary L. Simmons" <>
Date:         1997/02/20
Message-Id:   <>
References:   <> 
<3303BE0D.ED0@Shore.Net> <> 
<3304D5BB.74EF@Shore.Net> <> 
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Organization: Earthlink Network, Inc.
Mime-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer:     Mozilla 3.0Gold (Macintosh; I; PPC)
[Fewer Headers]

Matthew Vaughan wrote:
> In article <>, Gibson <> wrote:
> > > Oh great!  You mean Mac and PC Marathons are different?  How special.
> > > Any PC players should state their platform so Mac only players don't
> > > waste their time giving bad advice.  I'll know better next time, I saw
> > > the PC notice, but didn't think anything of it.
> > >
> > > Gary Simmons
> > > the Battle Cat
> > Other than the differences in the first level.  I think they are the
> > same.
> Could someone post the PC version of this level somewhere? I'd be curious
> to see how it's different. (And any other levels, if they're different
> too.)
> --
> Matthew Vaughan
> matthewv at macconnect dot com (damn spammers...)
> Classical Music and Macintosh computers? Yeah, you could say I'm in the minority...


I was in contact with Gibson in email after this newsgroup posting and
he was nice enough to take the time go write out the differences in PC
and Mac M2. What follows is our conversation...

Gary Simmons
the Battle Cat

Date: Tue, 18 Feb 1997 23:00:18 -0600
From: Gibson <>
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: "Gary L. Simmons" <>
Subject: Re: where's the shotgun?

Gary L. Simmons wrote:
> Gibson wrote:

> Hey, thanks.  What other differences are there in the first level?  I
> really need to know for sure if there are any differences at all in ANY
> level of PC vs Mac Marathon before I go shooting my mouth off again.  I
> am an expert at Mac Marathon but I know absolutely nothing about PC
> Marathon.  Any help you can offer is appreciated.
> Gary Simmons
> the Battle Cat

It's been awhile since I did the M2 Mac levels (lot's of net play not a
lot of levels).  The only level that struck me as being different was
the first.  All the other levels seemed right.  I only played Mac levels
up to 14 so I'm not much help on the later levels.  But when I was doing
them on the PC I was consulting with a buddy who had done all the Mac
levels and he didn't notice any differences.

The first differences as I remember them.

- The switch on the back of the switch isn't there.

- In the room with the switch that changes the water level.  There is a
short raised wall around the ledge when coming through the diguised door
from the room that no longer has the switch on the back of the switch. 
(maybe this isn't different, i don't remember it from the Mac though)

- the room between the room with the 2 spiral stairs and the room with
water that is the mirror of the room with the switch on the back of the
switch. (this is kind of hard to do with words).  On the PC it looks
like an indoor pool on the Mac it has some water in the center and some
walls in the middle of the room.

- The window by the switch that open the door with the pillars across it
(leads back to the start area) is recessed.  If memory serves on the Mac
it is pretty much flush with the hallway.

- in the big divided room that leads down to the room with the rifle and
has a spiralish stair case up to a landing where you jump across to the
other side of the room.  The landing area is bigger and has a dead end
hallway that goes back towards the entry door.

- At the back of the room with the assault rifle are some stairs that
lead up to a room with some breakable machinery and a shotgun.  Whoops! 
Went to check, no shotgun, just shells.

- In the area with the water and a communications chip you can drop
through the bottom of the water into a channel that leads out into the
water areas that you can't get to in the Mac version.  Not much out
their but it was nice to visit.

- There may have been more windows looking out onto the outside water

One thing with the PC version is that when you transport into a new
level you don't always end up in the same polygon.  You will be close
but not always the same.  I've ended up on the wrong side of a door more
than once.

Simon points out however that the above is not totally accurate and indeed misses a MAJOR secret on this level... a secret so LARGE it could not be revealed... until now... are you prepared for...



If you know how to convert PC Marathon 2 maps so that they will work with the Mac version of Marathon 2 we need to hear from you. While it's possible to play the Win95 M2 demo map on a Mac the full version PC map is posing a problem.

July 8, 1997
John Jennings <> writes:

In the Marathon Scrapbook, in the concept drawing of the Magnum Pistol which simulates the reloading- there is a small caption at the top right. I cant exactly read it but it looks like...

oh no!... could this be some obscured profane message? ;-)

Thanks to Simon Brownlee <>, the maintainer of the Marathon Hyperarchive Northwest, the Story page will soon be in a position to know the truth about the Windows 95 version of Marathon 2. How different is it from the Mac version? Are there in fact Easter Eggs in it? A secret Marathon 1 level? Simon will be providing daily updates on his exploration of the mysterious Win95 levels. Where no Mac gamer has gone before... ;-)

If indeed there are differences it's not hard to see why they have never been reported. Few people will have played both versions and even those that have may have missed any secrets specific to the Windows 95 version. There is presently no map editor for the PC version (although PC maps can be opened in Forge and Pfhorte) so difficult to find secrets are likely to remain hidden. Remember the early days of Marathon prior to the arrival of map editors? There is also no PC version of the Marathon 2 Spoiler Guide so any secrets specific to Win95 M2 will not be reported. Indeed PC users are regularly referred to the Mac version of the Spoiler Guide thus compounding the problem.

The Story page will hopefully have the answers soon. Remember... the truth is out there!

To wet you appetite though. Here are some on-line reviews of the Windows 95 version of Marathon 2 courtesy of Simon. We think you'll agree that they make for interesting reading.

July 7, 1997
Scott Jaeger <> points out that today is the seventh day of the seventh month in 1997. Obviously we need to add something special to the Story page to mark the occasion. So I have. ;-)

July 6, 1997
In the search for the true identity of Bungie's Webmaster a number of interesting tidbits have been uncovered. Here are just a few. Thanks to Simon Brownlee <> for sending these in.

Apparently Matt Soell (Bungie Software) made a brief appearance on IRC #marathon back in July 1996, a week before Macworld Boston Expo '96 in fact. Matt used the aka "Tellus" and revealed the following:

<Tellus> We did have this one film of us going through M2 cooperatively one night...It was a huge film. We might still have it on a DAT somewhere

Does Bungie's cooperative M2 film still exist? Write to Matt and find out. Maybe they will upload it to their home page. Hopefully they did it with Style! ;-)

Alex Rosenberg (a former Bungie employee) also revealed the following about the Win95 version of Marathon 2 on IRC #marathon:

<MVBeast> alex: Are you gonna give the PCer's M1???
<alexr> MV: Nope. We did tweak a few of the M2 levels, so a bit from M1 does appear as an easter egg.

An M1 Easter Egg in the Windows version Marathon 2?!!! Now this is news! Can anyone confirm this? What bit of Marathon made its way into the Win95 version of Marathon 2? There have been rumors that certain levels were slightly different from the Mac version but no hard evidence to support these. Maybe one day we'll know the truth.

Oh yes... we'll leave the last words to Matt Soell. When ask which one of the Bungie crew he was... he replied.

<Tellus> What 'one' am I? I'm the smart one.

Yes... there's no denying that. ;-)

Thanks to Miguel Chavez <> for fixing the washed out looking graphic in the Marathon & The Micronaut Influence? section of Facts and puzzling things about... . Now you can see Bug and his shooting staff more clearly.

July 4, 1997
Happy Independence Day

The noose tightens around the neck of Bungie's Webmaster. The list of possible candidates is getting shorter... soon there will be only one.

More IRC #marathon gossip! Yes folks it appears that the true identity of Bungie's Webmaster has been whispered in the corridors of IRC. Back in late 1996 two Bungie people independently confirmed his true identity.

The first is Alex Rosenberg (a former Bungie employee) who apparently came on #marathon using the aka 'bungiedoo' along with a colleague hence the (alexr) at the beginning of his remark.

bungiedoo: (alexr) The WebMaster is his own diety.

The second is Jason Regier:

J_Regier: The almighty Webmaster mispelled it.

Could it be true? Does God work at Bungie? Well one individual at Bungie certainly acts as if he was a God!... but I digress. ;-)

Was the NAME of Bungie's Webmaster ever actually revealed on IRC? Well we'll let the seemingly 'anonymous' one sweat it out for awhile.

The Story page has had more confirmation that the Webmaster's preferred sign-off is "Cheers,". Indeed we haven't come across any other as yet. Thus we suspect it's a simple sig file. But keep sending those Webmaster mails in.

Scott Jaeger <> forwards this Webmaster post from Bungie's letter page. It's a reply to a somewhat bizarre letter dating from around Mar 1997.

Hi Bobby-

Likewise, I hate to be the one who has to break the news to you, but I just can't fob this off on someone else.

The entity you know as 'Bungie' is, and has always been, a scarecrow. A diversionary tactic. A front for a far more powerful (and infinitely more sinister) organization.

But, like any average aspiring megalomaniac, you fell for it. You barraged 'Bungie' with letters, you poured your money into their coffers, you devoted your life to your silly crusade against this 'Bungie'...while we waited. And plotted. And grew stronger.

And now that you're physically, spiritually and financially exhausted - and don't give us any of that "I have halted payments" crap, you're totally broke and we both know it - we will strike back.

To add insult to injury, we will most likely strike back through Bungie - simply to prove that even the weakest arm of our organization is more powerful than you can ever imagine.

Meanwhile, the rest of us - the ones at the top - will concern ourselves with more important issues.

They don't call me the Webmaster for nothing.

Note anything odd about the style? The large use of dashes perhaps? Not like the Webmaster's usual style! But a style very similar to...

Jim Mitchell <> writes in with a sure fire way of finding out who the Bungie Webmaster is. Get them all to do a Maths test! ;-)

hehehe... below the belt Jim... below the belt... ;-)

Miguel Chavez <> writes concerning the number seven. See The Number Seven section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Thanks to Jimmy Mitchell <> for sending in another film demonstrating the fabled Marathon cheat code in action. This one is in a net film. Watch as his opponents fall by the wayside as he CHEATS his way to victory! You have to watch carefully though... it's very fast... but very deadly. The film has been added to the Marathon Cheat Codes page.

July 3, 1997
Well the search for the true identity of Bungie's Webmaster has raised much debate. Please note I cannot print hearsay and slander... even if true. ;-)

First off I'd like to quickly dispell a rumor that has started on the net. Namely that yours truly is Bungie's Webmaster because I always use the sign-off "Cheers". A few people have written in claiming this. Chris, Forrest, Charles, and Peter... thanks guys.;P However while I do use "Cheers" I do not use "Cheers,". Note the subtle difference. Sometimes it is the little things that are important.

A number of people have written in saying that they also have had mail from Bungie's Webmaster with the sign-off "Cheers,". But does he/she use any others? Keep checking those Webmaster mails.

How many Bungie people use the sign-off "Cheers,"? Not many it would seem. Thanks to Simon Brownlee <> for finding this interesting usenet post:

Subject:      Re: id Software is dead!  Long live id Software!
From:         Jay Barry <>
Date:         1997/05/05
Message-Id:   <>
References:   <5kkjjt$m6j$>
To:           Alex Kubiak <>
Organization: Bungie Software Products
[Fewer Headers]

Alex Kubiak wrote:
>         This is all just speculation, but I think we're witnessing the
> final transformation of id Software into what they stated they were
> primarily all along: a technology-based company that specializes in
> developing bleeding-edge 3D gaming engines.


(none of this has anything to do with my employer, Bungie Software).

Absolutely.  The Quake engine speaks for itself - however, the 
'content' side of the product does as well.  The most apt synopsis
I've heard is "you're in hell - get OUT!" or "There's this geezer 
down some hole, kill him!".  Unless you're a drooling moron (and
apologies to all of you droolers out there) its not really the type
of plot that stimulates. (Yeah yeah, tell me "dOOd u suk quake r00lz" -
then wipe your chin)  Gaming is more than eye candy for many of us,
and there are many opportunities for companies who can create 
compelling content - art, stories and gameplay.

We'll see more of this in the future with all sorts of 'genres' - 
company A develops kickass engine and licenses said engine to company 
B who do content and release the product.

(the rest of this might be construed as a plug for my employer, 
Bungie Software)

And speaking of kickass engines, if any of you are into tactical 
combat games you might be interested in Myth.


jay barry
bungie software

Of course Jay Barry doesn't always use a sign-off... but... when he does. :-) Apparently you can check all this out by using the Power Search facility at Deja News. Just pop in an email address of the author you're looking for and watch them dance.

Simon also points out that all the Webmaster replies on Bungie's letters page are addressed to "name-" (i.e, a '-' after the name). Another trait? Yet the Webmaster doesn't split his/her sentences with '-'s like Jay Barry. A trait or a disguise?

Information made available to the Story page indicates that Jay Barry moved to Chicago around the end of April 1996. Bungie's present web page went live at the beginning of April that same year and the letters page didn't start until a few weeks later. Coincidence?

Aaron Snyder <> writes:

I can help you narrow the quest for the Webmaster's identity pretty quickly--who in Bungie is from New Jersey?

In one of the "Letters" pages, a fan complains about the page not being updated in a timely fashion, and the Webmaster's reply is (I'm paraphrasing, here), "Jeez, I go to visit Ma and Pa Webmaster in Jersey for..."

But it could be that the Webmaster's parents merely *moved* to New Jersey, after bringing up Junior.

Some people have asked why I didn't post the full address header from the Webmaster's email. Well here it is...

Received: from ( []) by (8.8.5/8.7.3)
with ESMTP id QAA25001 for <>; Tue, 1 Jul 1997 16:21:22 +0100 (BST)
Received: from ([])
	by (8.8.5/8.8.5) with ESMTP id QAA14984 for <>; Tue, 1 Jul 1997 16:21:13 +0100 (BST)
Received: by from localhost
    (router,SLmailNT V2.4); Tue, 01 Jul 1997 10:21:03 Central Daylight Time
Received: by from
    ( daemon,SLmailNT V2.4); Tue, 01 Jul 1997 10:21:03 Central Daylight Time
From: "Webmaster" <>
To: <>
Subject: Identity Crisis
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 10:20:38 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 4.71.0913.1
X-MimeOle: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE Engine V4.71.0913.1
Message-Id: <>

Make of that what you will.

If you've visited Double Aught's new look Infinity page you'll have probably noted the following graphical link to a well known Software company.

For those of you sufficiently immersed in the Marathon Story the 'duality' of this simple statement should be obvious. Indeed you should be able to rattle off at least two similar occurrences of it in the Marathon terminals. I shall say no more!

Rock on...

July 2, 1997
Would the real Bungie Webmaster please stand up?

Yes folks the mystery deepens or so it seems. The Story page received the following cryptic mail:

From: "Webmaster" <>
To: <>
Subject: Identity Crisis
Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 10:20:38 -0500
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
X-MimeOle: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE Engine V4.71.0913.1

Mr. Sinclair:

"Ever wonder who Bungie's elusive Webmaster is?  Wonder no longer."

An investigative reporter once wrote an article claiming that reclusive
authors Thomas Pynchon and J. D. Salinger were one and the same.  Pynchon

"Some of it is true, but none of the interesting parts.  Keep trying."

Of course, it's since been proven that they are two distinct individuals.


The Bungie Webmaster

Keep trying... indeed! :-)

The Story page never one to let a challenge slip away will now pose a challenge to the Marathon community:

Bring me the head of Bungie's Webmaster!

err... that was Ling-Ling... sorry...

Who is Bungie's Webmaster?

The race is on to find the man/woman behind that mask. Bungie's Webmaster has taunted the Marathon community for over a year now and it's time to end this charade. Is Jay Barry really the Webmaster or simply the person responsible for the technical side of the website? It's safe to assume that Jason Regier's comment on IRC #marathon was accurate as there was no apparent need for deception at the time it was said. Jason remarked:

JRegier: No prob... Jay Barry is pretty much our website/network guy.

If we assume that this is true then Jay Barry _is_ the Webmaster and the above letter is meant to mislead us _or_ he acts as website tech support leaving the more arduous task of letter writing to our mysterious friend above.

OK so when in doubt go to source of _all_ Bungie knowledge... the soul.

The soul's reply to the question "Who is Bungie's Webmaster?" was

He's the guy that answers the letters to the webmaster.

Right... good start. So what else have we got. Well... note how the above Webmaster signed himself/herself off with "Cheers,". This is not a cursory one off use of the term. No sir! Check the What's New section for Apr 11, 1997 and you'll see the same sign-off from Bungie's Webmaster to Christopher Norehad <>. Is our anonymous Webmaster prone to using the same sign-off? A fatal error for one who hides behind a mask. Check your Bungie mail folks and look for the following:

Put the two together and we may get Seven! Note do not trust any Bungie mail after the 1st July. Expect a flood of the Cheers virus to confuse us.

Those who are familar with the excellent usenet archive Deja-News might like to draw up a list of all Bungie people who have posted to usenet. Have they used "Cheers" in the past? Those with real time on their hands and stomachs of iron can read through the Bungie's old letter's page finding those little personal details left by our mysterious friend. Sometimes the little things can pay off. Know any Bungie dude who digs Harlan Ellison? The Bungie Webmaster does!

Lastly all correspondence to the Story page concerning the true identity of Bungie's Webmaster will be treated with complete anonymity (if required) provided that the evidence submitted can be substantiated in some way and can be published on the Story page. Rat on a friend today... tomorrow it could be you! ;-)

Bungie's Webmaster is coming out... and you can help... let's go to work... the truth is out there!

The following is part of a post by Greg Kirkpatrick (Double Aught Software) on It makes for interesting reading:

Side note: it's not fair to say that bungie did the m1 and m2 story and that DA did the M:infinity story. They were all done by myself in conjunction with someone else. If you want to lay the blame or credit concerning any of the stories, point your attention at myself. I was the responsible party for the story in all the games. As for the infinity "plot" it was a bit of an experiment in terms of seeing how much people could digest from a complex, hard to follow story. From the results, I would conclude that people like reading stories at about the 5th grade level of complexity. Which is fine. I learned the lesson. We'll forever stay off the Garden of Forking Paths.

<unsolicited plug>

The Duality story is going to rock.

Ben Semmler <> writes:

<<An eight-switch door puzzle became four but on what Marathon level?>>

Defend THIS! of course. ;D Might I also point out, that based on your pictures, the switches moved opposite the door, so that the player would have even more hell trying to flip the switches and run over to the doors.

Well spotted... invisible text and all. The screenshot is indeed taken from Defend THIS! but an early beta version of the level when the door puzzle had eight switches. And how many switches did you need to activate to open the doors? ;-)

Ben Semmler <> also writes concerning some interesting Bungie references in another commercial game:

I was reading the Story page, and I noticed one of the cheats (I'm still looking for that blasted cheats page. But I have found a number of the secret pages. ;P). The one I am referring to is ASLAG. Now, I found a game called Damage Incorporated (WizardWorks Group,, which uses the Bungie engine. In this game, you are a *marine* in a *special task force* which takes out terrorist groups and the such. When you begin a new game, you get to pick two other marines to help you. And guess what? One of their code names is "Aslag". Many, if not all, of the weapons in the game are similar to the weapons in Pathways. Here is a list of weapons (in the demo): Survival Knife/bayonet, AK-47, M-16 with 40mm grenade launcher, and an MP-41 Heckler and Koch machine pistol. Also, this was said in the Durandal Part 2 section:

"Michael Dawe <> writes:

Reading through my Marathon Scrapbook, I noticed that on a screenshot on page two,Durandal's name was mentioned! Look carefully...Medea, a character in the game of Minotaur,is weilding a sword. The weapon's name is Durandal. ..."

In Damage Incorporated, you receive radio transmissions from your ops leader back at HQ. His code name is "Medea". I guess this is another one of Bungie's ploys to take over the world. ;D

Thanks to Simon Brownlee <> and Forrest Cameranesi <> for pointing out more silly errors on the Marathon Cheat Codes page. Ooooh that's embarrassing. Thanks guys. :-)

July 1, 1997
Ah! a new month, a new page and a new...

Thanks to Scott Jaeger <> for pointing out an error on the Marathon Cheat Codes page. That could have been potentially embarrassing... thankfully few people tried it. Make sure you always have a back-up folks. ;-)

Marathon influenced by the Micronauts? Yes that old chestnut again... but you be the judge. See the Marathon & The Micronaut Influence? section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Go to What's New (May - June 1997)

Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

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Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Aug 19, 1997