Apr 30, 2000 (Sunday)

Achenar1 (full name pending) <Achenar1@aol.com> writes concerning the double circle logo in Marathon Infinity:

I was walking around Grand Central and the streets adjacent to it in NYC. I don't know if anyone has written in about this but that double circle logo that apears in Marathon Infinity is everywhere. It's on buildings, trashcans, signs, everything. It's not a suprise that Double Aught used that symbol so much, it's probably all they ever see.

If anyone has a pic of this please send it in. Thanks.

Big Halo related post from Joshua Jansen <jejansen@yahoo.com>. Joshua writes:

it has come to my attention that something needs to be said about the connections between Halo and a Fox miniseries that aired in '95 called Space: Above and Beyond.

S:AAB Synopsis from "The Bitter End" website: "SPACE: Above and Beyond is a television show. It premiered in the fall of 1995 on the FOX Broadcasting Network. It is a one-hour drama about a squadron of brave, first-year Marine Corps fighter pilots whose mission is to stop a race of aliens out to conquer Earth, in the year 2063."

the primary reason i bring this up is because of this pict: http://www.gamecenter.com/Features/Exclusives/Top5e3/Halo/shot02.html

which, in itself is merely a good pict of some new technology in Halo. but, when taken into account with this: http://web-worthy.com/saab/images-issapc.html

and espically this one: http://web-worthy.com/saab/graphics/cgi/isscv.gif [the things on the wings are thrust-vectoring engines. two normal engines on the back]

which was invented several years before Halo was concieved, and also has a pair of wings, four engines- two of which are thrust vectored [see the tail of the Halo pict- thrust is facing down], and guns, you begin to wonder, like me, what inspired Bungie to write this stuff up.

S:AAB was admittedly based on the book by Robert A. Heinlein caled STARSHIP TROOPERS, as was the [mostly dumb but cool looking] movie of the same name.

Conclusion: Pict #2 is of a armored troop transport, and Ringworld isnt the only book inside of Bungie's collective head.

links to follow:

the better collection of the many fan pages:

a set of picts of the ISSAPC/ISSCV [armored personell carrier] (Bitter End)

The Aliens of S:AAB

Weapons of S:AAB [somewhat similar to Halo]

Apr 29, 2000 (Saturday)

Thanks to everyone who wrote in about the new Halo screenshots at Gamecenter.com. Quite different from previous shots. You'll find lots of discussion about these on the Core and halo.bungie.org forums. HBO suggest that the Halo screenshot of two human characters look suspiciously like two Bungie people. I'd have to agree with that.

What's behind the gold door? Find out on today's Pathways Into Darkness page. Creepy stuff!

Apr 28, 2000 (Friday)

"There is no gold" according to Muller that is... but a mystery surrounding twelve gold ingots is unearthed on today's Pathways Into Darkness page.

Mietek Bak <desp@poznan.mtl.pl> writes concerning a Marathon Infinity log in/out screen first seen on "Naw Man He's Close"

Did anyone notice that "marathon.0x0D.7" translates from hex to decimal into "marathon.13.7" ? 8)

You can blame Randy Reddig for that one. ;-)

Apr 27, 2000 (Thursday)

On today's Pathways Into Darkness page... Dustin Westphal discovers a missing Conversation with the Dead and John Zero gets technical with some weapon jargon.

John Woods <jfw@jfwhome.funhouse.com> writes concerning yesterday's submission about S'pht-like symbols of the Marathon CD:

I just happen to have three copies of Marathon, one boxed set and two promotional copies gotten from MacWarehouse. The original CD has the strange glyphs (which look like a perverse bar code), but the promo copies don't (they have a more normal-looking narrow/fat barcode). Another difference: the original CD was manufactured by JVC, the promos by Allied Record Company.

I haven't done an exhaustive search, but I didn't find any other CDs with the same kind of pattern.

Marathon 2 presently leads the "best Bungie game ever made" poll at New Millennium Mac Games. The only way to find the current poll results is to try and register another vote so it seems.

Apr 26, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update

New Millennium Mac Games is running a poll called "What is the best Bungie game ever made?" Why don't you tell them! :-)

S'pht symbols on the Maration CD? Colin Dickie <dicarch@mail.wantree.com.au> writes:

I've noticed some strange symbols on the underside of my Marathon v 1.2 CD-ROM. They are sort of square and look to be that S'pht language.

They are between the hole in the middle and the bit that holds the information, on the side that would face the laser in the drive.

Strange but true. The Marathon CD contains a pattern of S'pht-like glyphs. It's not clear how common this is. A quick review of some 20 CDs found no similar pattern.

Updates galore on the Pathways Into Darkness page. Undocumented features, cheats, a saved game to test your mettle, and sounds that are familiar.

Anthony Saunders <ajs4283@megahertz.njit.edu> writes:

as for this quote in the recent Oni Preview

"As far as our games generally are concerned, to quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 'we care a lot.' We don't rush unfinished products out the door, or develop games that we don't find personally challenging and exciting. It sounds like a simple thing, but there are so many terrible games out there, full of bugs or just not fun to play, that it makes you wonder if their developers actually played them before they shipped."

Um..... We Care A Lot is a song by FAITH NO MORE, not RHCP. It's on one of their early albums, might even be the title of the lp, but it's from before Mike Patton (mr. bungle, fantomas) sang for them, before they got big with their hit single, Epic. (i think that was the title of the single, any how...)

Apr 25, 2000 (Tuesday)

Harry Al-Shakarchi <ha99ab@badger.ac.brocku.ca> points out that Bungie are looking for an Art Intern for their Chicago offices. This could be your lucky break.

Matt Soell (Bungie Software) puts an end to the Myth III rumor in a forum post at halo.bungie.org. What could the "Team formerly known as Myth II" be up to?

DEHc-3 Halo, a Halo site with a difference, has posted some interesting info from amazon.co.uk about Iain M. Banks' new culture novel "Look to Windward". I've taken the liberty of reprinting the text here:

It was one of the less glorious incidents of the Idiran wars that led to the destruction of two suns and the billions of lives they supported. Now, 800 years later, the light from the first of those deaths has reached the Culture's Masaq' Orbital. A Chelgrian emissary is dispatched to the Culture.

Destruction of suns sounds very trih xeem like. For Iain M. Banks' "Culture" references in Bungie's Halo see here and also DEHc-3 Halo.

That infamous rogue Matthew Lewis Carrol Smith (aka poena.dare), a frequent contributor to the Story page and creator of many of the morphing animations on the page, posted the following to the Clan Plaid and HBO forums yesterday:

How to recognize Hamish in NY
Posted By: poena.dare #CP#g <matthew@mlcsmith.com>
Date: 24 Apr 2000, 14:54

For those of you who are going to be in NY at the MacWorld Expo and are interested in meeting Hamish Sinclair, you may want to know what he looks like. You can see a pic of him at:


Nice one! ;P

Mietek Bak <desp@poznan.mtl.pl> writes concerning the cryptic character strings in Marathon Infinity. See the Trash Terms section for details.

Chris Harvey <masternightfall@searchtheweb.com> writes:

while surfing on the Marathon's Story site I came across a link to something about Gilgamesh (in the KYT term section). The link lead me to a site that has a archive of Babylonian gods, heroes, and what-not. Being, interested I read several sections and was amazed to see the number 7 (!) appear several times in Babylonian mythology. Here are some examples with the number seven in them:

"and challenges Gilgamesh to remain awake for SEVEN nights."

"has SEVEN cloaks with which to arm himself."

"SEVEN warrior gods led by Erra"

"the SEVEN antediluvian sages who were sent by Ea."

Clearly you can see the number seven appears quite frequently in Babylonian mythology. If you want more of this stuff go to: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~cbsiren/assyrbabyl-faq.html Also I noticed that the Cthulhu mythos is a Babylonian myth, any connection?

Apr 22, 2000 (Saturday)

The Story page will be closed on Easter Sunday and Monday. Next update will be on Tuesday. Enjoy the holidays.

The Story page finally enters Celtic folklore. ;-)

Barnies?!!! They're everywhere! The Pathways Into Darkness page reveals a little known fact about Barney and his friends. Oh yes and since it's Easter it's time to eat that Easter Egg... right? Remember folks when the Jjaro send you on a mission always read the small print. ;-)

What are bungie.org up to? A number of people have pointed out that bungie.org now list a link cryptically called "???" at the top of their page. A new page? A new game? Or something more? Watch that space!

A slap on the wrist from Shebob (aka Candace Sherriff) <shebob@shebob.com>. Seems I have space to mention TROJAN for M2/Windows by Mike and that guy with the Italian sounding name but not for Shebob's new scenario Pfh'Joueur! ;-) Shebob remarks:

It is just full of "Marathon Story" or at least an alternative time line.

Best download it before Shebob gets mad folks! ;-)

Apr 21, 2000 (Good Friday)

Quick update

On today's Pathways Into Darkness page... are you prepared to face the ultimate nightmare? Hardcore fans need only apply!

Think your web page is tough? David Barabe, author of the true story behind the Marathon delay, brought to my attention The T'inator and subjected the Story page to Mr. T's pity.


Warning: you won't really find this funny unless you know who Mr. T. is... right sucka! ;-)

Some good news. Mike Sheley won the recent Minotaur competition (see What's New for Apr 6th). Max Hoberman <max@bungie.com> (Bungie webmaster) writes:

Yep, Mike Sheley got 'em all right on his second try.

>1. No. You cannot cast a forcewall while standing on a pentagram. So
>it cannot be "claimed" in this manner.
>2. The Astral Hammer spell will destory every wall and item on the
>screen if it is cast from a lore rune.
>3. Every player can yell "resolve", or someone can use the Stave of
>Ultimate Doom.

He also showed up with an old Minotaur page: http://members.aol.com/mrwiz/minotaur.html

Well done to Mike. No doubt some awesome prizes on there way courtesy of Max and Bungie. Mike also gets the official green light for creating that all important Minotaur page. Go Mike Go! ;-)

Max went on to add:

Hrmmm... what would really be cool is a Minotaur open source project ;-)

Matthew Bray <braym8@cs.man.ac.uk> writes:

the marathon arena team have updated their page with an implementation of the hud.


Apr 20, 2000 (Thursday)

Mike Trinder and Hamish (not the real Hamish ;)) Sanderson announce TROJAN for M2/Windows. Their press release reads:

We are delighted at last to announce the release of a new M2/Windows-based version of the classic M1 Total Conversion, TROJAN. Painstakingly hand-ported to M2 format, TM2/Windows is an almost entirely faithful recreation of the original 1997 M1-based version. Now M2/Windows players can share in the 26 levels of all-original bone-crunching solo carnage that is TROJAN.

TM2/Windows is now available from its download site at the Big House http://bighouse.bungie.org/tm2/ as a 9.3MB all-in-one installer package. Players need only add their original M2.exe and valid serial number to partake in the ultimate gun-toting pleasure-and-pain combo that is TROJAN.

Mac users can still download the original M1 version of TROJAN, of course; the address for it is, as always, http://bighouse.bungie.org/trojan/.

It will be interesting to observe the download statistics on this one.

In case you missed it Oni Central report an eUniverse interview with Power of Seven. Power of Seven did the theme music for Marathon 2 and Infinity and are presently working on the music for Oni. Power of Seven have a home page at http://www.p7media.com/.

Apr 19, 2000 (Wednesday)

GameSpot have an interesting Question of the Week article entitled "Which game do you think most deserves a sequel?" Strangely Myth is featured. While Myth had a sequel the writer Greg Kasavin (Reviews Editor) bemoans the fact that Myth II didn't measure up. Here's part of the article:

...I was nonetheless disappointed with Myth II, because ever since the old Marathon days, I've become increasingly confident that Bungie Software will continue to become one of the most prominent, most important, and most well-liked game developers ever. As far as I'm concerned, only Blizzard Entertainment has consistently managed to maintain prominent good standing over the years, but I think Bungie has come close and keeps getting closer.

The full article is worth a read.

Big response concerning yesterday's submission about Zeram and the similarities with Marathon. William Spencer <williamspencer@hotmail.com> writes:

Regarding the movie that Peter Shields saw:

It's called Iria: Zeiram the Animation. I've got a tape - the SciFi channel ran it in two parts a while back.

The plot can get hard to describe in all its permutations - I suspect that it was originally a television series, edited into the format of a pair of two-hour movies - but here goes:

Iria's a bounty hunter in training. She, her brother, and fellow hunter Bob go to rescue a disabled starship, and discover a mythical immortal monster (Zeiram) onboard. Apparently, a major corporation ("Tidon Tippidei", I believe), the corp they work for, was trying to use the beast in their weapons division. Iria's brother convinces her to abandon ship, but he stays behind to destroy the beast - blowing up the ship, with him in it.

Bob manages to escape by being downloaded into a computer matrix - he's the AI that was mentioned. He shows up later to help Iria.

Iria chases the monster around - it didn't die (being blown up only injured it, and made it mad!), but she keeps holding back because the creature has managed to merge itself with her brother. She's sure she can get her brother to reassert himself...but when he does, he begs her to just kill the beast and end it. And meanwhile, the corporation is chasing Iria and Bob around...et cetera...

She does kill the damn thing in the end, though, with the help of a _large_ teleportation matrix set up by the locals on the planet she's on. She slices it in two and vaporizes it, as I recall.

Not many immediate Marathon connections, although Iria does carry almost as much gear as the Marine does. :) (She has lots of interesting gadgets and spare weapons stored all around her person.) And Bob, while not a true AI (he's a "ghostcomp", as they called it in Gibson's _Neuromancer_), does give advice and assistance to Iria through the computer net.

Oh, and the monster does seem able to grow and "infect" buildings and machinery, somewhat like biological rampancy. A common concept in anime, oddly - it was used in Akira, Bubblegum Crisis, and undoubtedly many others.

And the idea of a large government/corporation using alien creatures to achieve its own ends is not new. Remember _Alien_? (I seem to recall someone mentioning a similar possibility in Marathon, that the UESC WANTED the Marathon to encounter the Pfhor...now I have to search through the Marathon Story archives...)

Dave Jenkin <djenkin2@chat.carleton.ca> writes:

There was an anime series based on the movie, Zeiram, called Iria: the Zeiram Animation's. I've seen the movie myself a few years back, but I can't recall offhand any similarities to the Marathon series. I don't know any extensive anime web sites, but the google search engine turned up a couple. Anime Gensis (http://www.anime-genesis.com/anime/iria.shtml) has both a plot summery and a picture gallery (http://www.anime-genesis.com/pics/iria01.shtml) that is fairly extensive.

David DeNee <deneed@rpi.edu> writes:

The movie (Zeiram) to which Peter Sheilds was refering is the live action version of an anime called Iria: Zeiram the Animation. The animation was released as a six part series in Japan in 1994. Zeiram is a nearly invincible alien wanted by the Tedan Tippedai Corporation for weapons research. The protagonist, Iria, is a bounty hunter in training. Bob happens to be a fellow bounty hunter who was killed early in the series and returns after having been transfered into a computer. As far as the technology goes, Iria has some of the most unique vehicles and weapons I've seen in an anime series. For more information of the anime you might want to search for Iria at www.anipike.com.

BTW, I've attached scans of the box for the dvd of Iria: Zeiram the Animation.

You can see David's scans here: scan 1, scan 2, scan 3, scan 4, and scan 5. I've had to reduce the quality of these for bandwidth reasons. Sorry.

Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> writes:

Head to http://us.imdb.com/Title?0103327 for info, http://www.cs.mun.ca/~anime/afs/images/namethat/iria1.jpg for a picture of the main character and http://www.zeiram.com/ with all sorta stuff about the anime and possibly the movie.

Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> also sent in this URL:


Apr 18, 2000 (Tuesday)

Peter Shields <kshield1@berkshire.rr.com> writes:

I was watching a marathon (no pun intended) of Japanese B-movies yesterday when I came upon a strange incident. In the early 90's action/sci-fi movie "Zeram," a female bounty hunter attempts to arrest a renegade 8-foot tall alien. Anyway, I noticed that the protagonist's pistol, AR/Grenade Launcher, teleportation habits and and armor were all VERY similar to the marine's in Marathon 1! Also, she hangs out/gets instructions from a cynically mirthfull AI named Bob. Not to mention the fact that two civilians in funny clothes end up in the middle of the battle, ala BOBs. Just thought it was worth mentioning. Unfortunately, this film is quite hard to acquire and information about it is scarce, even on the 'Net.

If anyone has any further details or screenshots on this please send them in. Thanks.

Sleeping on the job. On today's Pathways Into Darkness page... did Carlos and Javier have an easy ride?

Apr 17, 2000 (Monday)

Bungie say it isn't true!!! Chad Carino <shunter2@mailcity.com> writes:

I don't know how long ago it has been that anybody here has been on the average college campus, but in that environment (which should vary only slightly from that of Bungie's campus) the word "dink" is often substituted for the more offensive "dick."

Could it be true? Some time ago I had the opportunity to ask Greg Kirkpatrick about Bungie's use of the word "dink". Greg replied:

dink was brought in by Rob McLees because he is a sick man.. You should probably ask him about it.. it involves a long story about one of his friends..

So why not ask the man for the tru7h! ;-)

Bungie.org are holding a Marathon map making competition with a difference. The map must be exactly seven polygons, no more no less. Called Simplici7y the idea is to encourage creativity. Top prize is a Marathon Trilogy Box Set and a copy of Super Marathon for the Pippen! The latter being something of a collector's item. As is the Pippen itself. ;-) Check here for full details.

halo.bungie.org are engaged in a bit of market research. Their latest poll wants to know what Bungie game you first played. The results should prove quite interesting.

Apr 16, 2000 (Sunday)

More Marathon desktop art! Sam Morris <sam@netcity.co.uk> writes:

I too made a Marathon-esque background picture a while ago with phrases from throughout the game. It's at http://www.cortana.clara.co.uk/art_11.jpg

Sam continues:

...ages and ages ago, around the time of the discussion of the MacOS beta that had its Special menu renamed to Simulacrum, there was a picture floating round the Net of the Marathon textures mocked up in Unreal. I know I saw it on the Story Page at that time, but I can't find it.

Back in July 23, 1998 the Story page was sent in a desktop pic of a Mac running MacOS 8.5a9c2 in which the Special menu is called Simulacrum. You can see it here (145K). It lead to alot controversy not least for the ill-fated Marathon to Unreal Project.

Apr 15, 2000 (Saturday)

Ben Semmler <ben@torquerod.com> updates his Pathways Map Editor (Torch 0.9.1). See today's Pathways Into Darkness page.

Jonathan Bahamon <jbahamon@earthlink.net> writes concerning the Halo preview in the May issue of PC Accelerator magazine:

did you notice that when they asked Jaime Greisemer "What is your prediction for multiplayer in 2005?" he responded with the Halo III comment?

The question posed specifically asked about the year 2005.

2 + 0 + 0 + 5 = 7

And, after being asked this question, Jaime Greisemer replied

"You mean besides the incredible popularity of Halo III: Bob's Revenge?"

Note the 3.

It seems to me that Cortana is afoot!

Jonathan continues:

Post Scriptum: on the last page of the May issue of PCXL, it mentions that next month's feature story will again have Halo in it.

It's not often the Story page gets sent Marathon desktop art. However Chadd Nervig <chadd@shippedfree.com> sent in a piece called 'Tens of Thousands of Stars' (1024x768). It will drive you mad trying to decipher the jumbled text strings. Just the ticket for Story page fans. You can grab it here (418K) .

Apr 14, 2000 (Friday)

On today's Pathways Into Darkness page... how to kill a Demon folded in black clouds.

Matt Soel (Bungie Software) posted to halo.bungie.org forums concerning the possibility of Bungie TV at E3. The news isn't good. Here's the full post:

Re: BTV at E3?
Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 12 Apr 2000, 3:00 p.m.

In Response To: BTV at E3? (Goss)

> Has anyone heard whether or not Bungie will have BTV will be at
> E3?

Last time I saw blueprints for a booth, there wasn't any space allocated for a bTV studio. And if we tried to pull it together now I suspect the final product would have more problems than the last edition.

If we do BungieTV again we'll do it right. I don't think it'll happen at E3 though.


Let's hope they do it right at Macworld Expo New York in July. :-)

The HBO crew also have a Halo related interview with Mike Salmon Editor in Chief of PC Accelerator. Some questions relating to the Halo story and Marathon pop up. Worth a read.

Apr 13, 2000 (Thursday)

Web site surprise on bungie.net... coming soon! The following was posted on bungie.net:

We've been working on our special web site surprise since mid-November, and have now entered the testing phase. Incidentally, this eats up all of our time and energy, thus the infrequent updates. Fortunately what we're working on includes slick new automated news posting, archiving, and searching. Things are working well, and we'll have an official announcement as soon as The Man gives us the go-ahead. For now I'll leave you with this... teaser. Damn, I hate to be a tease, but it's better than nuthin'. Here it is: This new web feature will allow us to integrate the online communities for all of our games. Chew on that ;-)

Alex Samaras <asamaras@fit.edu> makes an interesting observation about the Phan Pfhar Sfaern-Wsawn Tshah. See the Simulacrums for details.

Jonathan Bahamon <jbahamon@earthlink.net> was in Mexico and found a Marthon-like symbol. See the That Marathon Symbol (part 2) for details.

halo.bungie.org got some clarification from Matt Soell regarding what appeared to be two different pistols used by the marines. Seems the pistol has gone through two distinct iterations hence the different look. HBO's Weapons in Halo is a pretty comprehensive piece of work uncovering a fourth Covenant weapon, a sniper rifle before the release of the Sniper screenshot, and also a very brief view of a marine with a Covenant weapon. It pays to be observant particularly when Bungie is concerned. :-)

Apr 12, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update

On today's Pathways Into Darkness page... are Cubans that tough?

Jonathan Bahamon <jbahamon@earthlink.net> kindly sent in a short review of the Halo preview in the May issue of PC Accelerator magazine:

i just got the may 2000 issue of PC Accelerator in the mail. i recommend you pick up a copy, since it has Halo featured in an article on teamplay based multiplayer games. it's three pages long (the halo part), most of which is taken up by beautiful screenshots of the game. i don't know if they been released before since i haven't seen any of the halo movies. but their is a halo movie on the pcxl disc but i don't subscribe to the disc version.

some intresting factoids on the article:

they asked jaime greisemer, senior design editor of halo, "what is your prediction for multiplayer in 2005?" (p.19) he responded:

"you mean besides the incredible popularity of Halo III: Bob's Revenge?"

whoa, this should tip off anyone whose had doubts on whether halo will be about marathon or not.

another intresting fact: in the article, the story of halo was described like this:

"single player will follow the story of a human ship that, upon being discovered by an alien fleet, leads the force away from Earth. Knowing they cannot outrun 'the covenant' forever, they land on an alien ring system. This ring system is uninhabited, leaving a mystery as to who created it (the Jjaro?!?). The ship's crew decides to make a last stand... and that is where the game begins."

Please note that PC Accelerator magazine have asked the Bungie community not to scan this article and put it on the web until after the magazine is off the store shelves.

Apr 11, 2000 (Tuesday)

Quick update

Michael J Ash <mikeash@csd.uwm.edu> writes:

Peter Kwan put up a great explanation on two's compliment, but he made a minor mistake. 1111 is not -8, it is -1. 1000 is -8 in two's compliment notation.

Another Halo screenshot has appeared on the web this time at Halo World. Robert Zimmermann (aka Cyberbob) scanned in a screenshot from the German GameStar magazine.

Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> writes:

Regarding Hunters, there was a thread on agm a while back about them, which might be worth checking out. Lots of extra banter, but there are some good ideas:


Loooooooooonnnnnng URL. But it does work! ;-)

Jon Chang <chang@signalpost.com> writes concerning the word Pfhor:

I was searching on another obscure word and this came up as a suggestion based on the other word which it couldn't find...not exactly pfhor but...

from dictionary.com

phthor \Phthor\, n. [F. phthore, Gr. ? to destroy.]


How appropriate. :-)

Peter Kwan <7pok@qlink.queensu.ca> clears up a few things about the number 32767:

The topic of 32767 has probably been beaten to death in the news lately but there are a couple of misconceptions that seem to be floating around out there. 32767 is indeed the largest value that can be stored in a signed integer of 16 bits. However, the reason it is not 32768 has more to do with two's complement arithmetic than storing the value 0 or using the 16th (most significant bit or MSB) to store a +/- sign as some have surmised. A 16 bit number can hold a total of 65536 values ie. 2^16. Most computer architectures use two's complement arithmetic to ease storage and calculations (it makes the circuitry required for addition and subtraction the same). In two's complement the 16th bit does indicate the sign (ie. a zero shows the number is +ve, and a one shows the number is -ve). However, the value is not +/- ____15 bit number_____ (for interest sake this form is sign and magnitude). Instead, a -ve number (ie 1______) needs to be 2's-complemented (0->1, 1->0, then add 1) to give the magnitude. That is, the number 1010 in two's complement would be -6 and 0110 would be +6. By extension 1111 would be -8 and 0111 would be +7 (the full range that can be stored). This means that a 16 bit number can store values from -32768 to 32767. For a more complete explanation check any decent computer architecture text (I'd suggest Computer Organization by Hamacher, Vranesic, and Zaky).

Bo Lindbergh's Marathon page has moved to homepage.mac.com/blgl/marathon. You'll find some essential Marathon utilities there.

Apr 10, 2000 (Monday)

Great response to Brandon Loberg's observation about the armored Pfhor Hunters. Organic, cyborg or machine? See The Pfhor section for details. As Luke Bassett <uke@divefreak.com> points out:

...the line between animal/computer/machine life in the Marathon universe has always been rather wavy...

While Chadd Nervig <chadd@shippedfree.com> was wandering about the level "Pfhor Your Eyes Only..." looking for deactivated Hunters he noted that the level was actually shaped like the Jjaro symbol in Marathon Infinity. Coincidence or something more?

Abhaya Hess <doctordude26@yahoo.com> writes:

I noticed that on the 3rd terminal of Smells like Napalm, Tastes like chicken! Durandal ends his transmission with the word "Vale" which is Latin for "farewell" (literally translated "be strong"), I just thought it was worth noting.

Apr 9, 2000 (Sunday)

Armored Pfhor or something more? Brandon Loberg <ktaur@mac.com> makes the following interesting observation:

I was reading over the "The Pfhor" section, and it seems amazing to me that everyone refers to the Hunters as living Pfhor ?species. On the level "We're Everywhere" (M2), Terminal 1 (first message) states:

Have you tried your new fusion gun against the armored Pfhor hunters yet? My S'pht rebuilt it with the sole purpose of short- circuiting Pfhor-built machinery.

This would mean that the hunters are simply robotic fighting machines. When you shoot them with fusion bolts they short out and explode. Of course there is always the question regarding the goo left behind by the dead Hunter. The Hunter Minor results in greenish-yellow goo (like Pfhor blood), but the Hunter Minor results in green goo and a Mother of all Hunters results in blueish goo. This can mean only one thing: the goo is actually some sort of mechanical fluid such as lubricant or fuel.

Are Hunters armored Pfhor or Pfhor-built machinery? Theories welcome.

Guns. Lots of guns. halo.bungie.org has put together a very comprehensive description of all the weapons we know of (so far) in Halo. Makes for interesting reading.

Apr 8, 2000 (Saturday)

What's in a Number? Sarwat Khan <sarwat@sarwat.net> writes concerning the number 32767 in Marathon:

...it's the largest 16-bit signed integer value.

That is, 2^16 (2 to the power of 16) divided by 2 (positive and negative) = 32768. You've got to store zero too, so it takes you down to 32767. It's 2^16 because you have 16 bits, each one being either 1 or 0. That's also why 16-bit colour is limited to 32768 colours.

16-bit integers are used a lot in games & stuff instead of full blown 32-bits, because you can store twice as many separate numbers. That is, for the price of one 32-bit integer, you could have two 16-bit integers (so by using 16-bit numbers, you cut down the memory you need in half). 32768 is a high enough number for many purposes.

And, BTW, if you ignore negative numbers, that jumps to 65535, (you don't divide by 2).

Similarly Stefan Stadlberger <stadlberger@yadur.com> writes:

2^16 = 65535 = FFFF (Hex)
65535 / 2 = 32767

You can enter a number between 0 and 32767. That are 32768 possibilities in total.

Chadd Nervig <chadd@shippedfree.com> expands the discussion to Pathways Into Darkness:

...the things about 32767 and 32768 and 3276.8 are all due to the fact that 32768 is 2^15, and more importantly, the largest number that can be contained in a 16-bit variable. (If you think it you should be able to fit up to 2^16 in a 16 bit variable, you're forgetting about negitive numbers. The 16th bit would be used to show negative or positive) It follows that Marathon stores its variables in 16-bit, and so the numbers can range between -32767 and 32767. I'm not sure why it's not 32768. Probably something Marathon uses as a flag for that variable or something. Also, Pathways probably stores the variable for the level depth in a a 16 bit variable, just like Marathon, but shows it as that variable divided by 10, on screen, since computers store decimals as whole numbers divided by other whole numbers.

On the Pathways Into Darkness page today new PID documents from Loren Petrich along with his partial Sprite identification list. Should help those wishing to create a PID editor or just want to explore the mysteries of the PID Shapes file. What secrets are locked away inside?

E3 in 33 days but no Apple! Stomped@E3 report that Apple will not be exhibiting at E3 next month. Bungie will be there though at booth #2900.

Apr 7, 2000 (Friday)

If you've been keeping an eye on the Marathon 2 Open Source project you'll be aware that the OpenGL extensions that come Mac OS 9.0.4. provide greatly improved OpenGL performance with the latest build. You can actually grab the newest OpenGL extensions in a separate package from the Open Source page courtesy of Harry Al-Shakarchi.

The Open Source page also makes this interesting observation:

Our counter is quickly approaching 32767 visitors. What's so significant about the number 32767, you ask? That's the largest number you can enter into any of Anvil's editfields. For example, you can only make the Rocket Launcher fire 32767 shots at once, and you can only give a Juggernaut 32767 units of health. The MuffinKing adds that the number 32767 is also the maximum positive value that an integer can hold in Marathon.

But it doesn't end there. The final level in Pathways Into Darkness is 3276.8m below ground. Oddly close to the digits 32767. Coincidence or... ?

halo.bungie.org have posted a high resolution scan of an overhead ship in Halo. There is also some discussion about the ship on the HBO forums. This is likely to be a human dropship.

On today's Pathways Into Darkness page find out how to bypass the teleporter maze on Where Only Fools Dare Tread.

Apr 6, 2000 (Thursday)

Max Hoberman (aka Yeroen) <max@bungie.com> (Bungie Webmaster) writes:

If we only had a Minotaur channel....

Hey how cryptic can one be? But the bottom-line is that Max is lamenting the fact that there is NO page on the net dedicated to Bungie's Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete. Minotaur was Bungie's second commercial game, released in February 1992. It was the first multiplayer-only game for the Mac and marked the debut of Jason Jones. Though out of print for many years Minotaur has recently become available again as part of the Mac Action Sack.

If you are a Minotaur fan and think you have what it takes to do justice to this complex and intriguing game then get cracking on a page. HOWEVER before you start here are three questions you need to be able to answer to prove that you are Minotaur worthy:

Answers should be sent to Max Hoberman at <max@bungie.com>. In the case of a tie break a fourth question will be issued. I'm sure Max will have a little surprise in store for the lucky winner. :-)

Robert Zimmermann <robzim@gmx.net> writes:

This is not Marathon related but funny: yesterday (actually today) I posted news on HaloWorld (http://www.haloworld.de) about Peter Tamte, Doug Zartman and Marcus Letho and their recent appearances in a German gaming magazine called GameStar. I guess you do not understand German, so I give you the direct links to the pictures, taken from interviews with them. Compare the names under them with the face and draw your own conclusion.




The first one appeared in January in the February issue and the second two in April, in the May issue of GameStar. (Yea they publish a bit early)

Confusing indeed.

Brian Retchless <tretchless@home.net> writes:

Last I checked you were still taking submissions for sounds from Marathon (/used in marathon) that are used in other media?

Well, the sound of the drone activating can be found in Beck's "Get Real Paid".. I couldn't tell you what CD its off of.. I uhh... lost the case. Yes. That's it.

The track Get Real Paid is from Beck's album Midnite Vultures.

Apr 5, 2000 (Wednesday)

I picked this off halo.bungie.org who in turn got it off the Haloplayers site. If you go to Ask Jesus you can get Jesus to bless your site. All done in the best possible taste so if you're offended please forgive me. If you want to see what the Marathon's Story page (Marathon's Parable Donkey) looks like just click here. Warning however! You might uncover some startling tru7hs. Such as Durandal being there's no Jesus like show Jesus! That the Marathon's Story Page is really a Tower of Babel document serving two and twenty purposes. And that the Story is...

... a complex parable revealed in a novel way unto a series of oracle interface terminals. As thee playest all three-eth games thee findest that not all the terminals art with GOD's help found and even whenneth found the damn text presented is sometimes GOD to interpret.

Amen to that! ;-)

I don't think we need another update today! Just go read that Marathon Gospel!

Apr 4, 2000 (Tuesday)

Going to America! "What the Hell is Hamish Sinclair Thinking?" Find out July 19-21th Macworld Expo New York. Can you handle the tru7h?

Check out the twelve waves on the Pathways Into Darkness page. You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!

Tom Bridge <bridge_t@cc.denison.edu> writes to say that tru7h.org is back up again. Seems an arm or two got twisted! ;-)

Apr 3, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update

Rob Swenson (aka Noctavis) of The Core writes again to say that they have just received a translation of the recent German GameStar Halo preview. Part of the preview reads:

Enormous Ringworld
With this overwhelmingly beutiful game world Bungie could have made the tales of the Brothers Grimm come to life without limiting one's imagination. However, Halo offers a solid science fiction story which is a bit inspired by Larry Niven's Ringworld: in the not too-distant future Humanity has built up a nice little space empire. But then they meet the Covenant, a technically advanced but diplomatically underdeveloped alien race. The discovery of the mysterious ringworld Halo, which circles an enormous gas giant, gives Humanity one last chance to turn the tide of the war. Now it depends on whom can be the first to get the ancient, hidden technology into their claws. A small troop of Humans face a numberically superior and better equipped Covenant force. Using guerilla tactics you can raid enemy bases for bettter equipment. The Humans and Covenant are only two of the species who have discovered the Halo. Besides other alien races you will also learn about the Halo's native inhabitants.

This backstory rendition is pretty much the same as that given at Macworld San Francisco and again the story is claimed to be set "in the not too-distant future". Oh yeah the Covenant are 2.5 metres in height! Gosh those sevens just never stop! ;-)

Lot's of news in Halo world. A new movie, new screenshots, and an interview with Max Hoberman courtesy of Haloplayers. In response to a question about Halo's storyline Max replied:

We always do our best to create interesting, involving storylines and universes. As many of you have already discovered, much of the inspiration for this comes from various books--most of the team are avid sci-fi/fantasy readers. Rest assured that the information about the story we've released to date barely scratches the surface.

Max also revealed that the Halo producer position (formerly Nathan Bitner) hasn't been filled yet.

Eric R <riscica@gmail.com> writes to say that his Marathon page which includes the excellent Bob Pictures will be closing. It's unknown when the page will return. If you have some server space to spare for a worthy cause please let Eric know. Thanks.

Rob Swenson (aka Noctavis) of The Core sends in a screen capture from the new Tribes2 preview movie. You can see it here. Check the floor symbol. Rob asks whether you note anything familiar? ;-)

Tom Bridge <bridge_t@cc.denison.edu> writes to point out that tru7h.org has experienced some strange transmission errors. It's not clear if the site is closed or closing. The change isn't an April Fool's joke since it began before April 1st.

Apr 2, 2000 (Sunday)

Confused about yesterday's little April Fool's joke? Then let me explain. What you saw was Bungie's second web page which dates back to October 1995. Designed by Art & Science it was state of the art at the time. Full details can be found on the Blasts from the Past page.

Good news for Pathways Into Darkness fans Ben Semmler <ben@torquerod.com> has created a program to edit the Pathway's Map file. See the Pathways Into Darkness page for details.

Apr 1, 2000 (Saturday)

April Fool's. Miss it? Then go here.

Mar 31, 2000 (Friday)

The Pathways Into Darkness page makes a startling revelation today. Who is that guy folded in black clouds? A Demon?

Mar 30, 2000 (Thursday)

Updated the Halo section to include the Halo submissions for Jan - Mar 2000. Now you can brush up on Halo's backstory, the Halo development team, connections between Bungie's early games, Halo, Larry Niven and Charles Sheffield, Halo GURPS?, deadly wall-hugging hippos, Halo/Culture ship names, and the Face on Halo. Lots of story tidbits in fact.

Another interesting post by Matt Soell on the halo.bungie.org forum this one regarding Halo's development. Note the reference to Jason and Rob doing the Halo story:

Re: How long??... is a piece of string...

Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 29 Mar 2000, 18:06

In Response To: Re: How long??... is a piece of string... (Dave Fin')

> How far through the production cycle is Halo's:
> a. Physics engine (%)
> b. Story (%)
> c. Solo game (%)
> d. Network game (%)

> Will you be so kind as to update those figures every 2 months?

People always ask me this, and I always refuse. It's difficult to quantify that sort of thing; what constitutes a story that's 48% done instead of 47%?

The physics are pretty much done at this point; there will certainly be tweaking done here and there but the bulk of it is ready to go. The bare bones of the story have been etched out for a while but a lot of the intensely detailed bits are still in Jason and Rob's heads. We're still concentrating on building the net game; there are nightly games here at the office. When that's solid, we start serious work on the solo game (certain preparatory work is being done now, but there aren't any complete missions you can play from start to finish).

> What is the greatest problem with Halo you have yet to overcome?
> And are there reasonable resources/measures in place to overcome
> them in a realistic timescale.

I don't know of any. We've been adding people to the team as needed, and everything is still progressing pretty much like we thought they would. There's been no real trauma to speak of in Halo's development so far.

> At the time of Halo’s release do you think that it will be
> considered "cutting edge" technologically, as well as
> having an undeniably great game-play/story-line?

Yes and yes.

> Is it reasonable to expect a finished product to ship within 2
> years from today? If not why not?

Sure, unless we all perish in some sort of Chicago-localized cataclysm. And no, I'm not saying the game won't ship until 2002, so keep it together.

> What is the criteria for becoming "crunch time"?

It's something that just begins at some point, usually a few months before we ship. Everyone starts working 12-hour minimum days, sleeping at the office, not leaving for days at a time. (Contrary to the impression given in the recent Chicago Reader story about Bungie, it's not like that all the time.)

> All the best Matt
> Dfin'
> "took the red pill"

See, there's your problem Dave. You're always popping these pills. It's not healthy, man. Someone get the bennies away from Dave!


This is the second detailed letter Matt has made in reply to a request for info from Dave Fin'. Back in Feb 23, 2000 Matt wrote:

Re: How's it going Matt???? RSVP
Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 22 Feb 2000, 16:46

In Response To: How's it going Matt???? RSVP (Dave Fin')

I don't blame anyone for being curious. But there's a difference between desiring more info and demanding it. ;-)

No one ever said all the fundamental, difficult stuff has been put to rest. No one from Bungie, anyway. The fact that it's not necessarily all done right now does not mean it will never be done. Skepticism is admirable in this age of extraordinary gullibility, but doubting the very existence of Halo is a bit much.

We have this situation with Halo where _everyone_ is watching us, and there are those who are eagerly waiting for us to make some misstep so they can be the first to criticize it. Because we are conscious of that (and also because the corporate marketing focus is currently on Oni) we're not to show off some features until we're totally comfortable doing so. If I keep my mouth shut about certain things it's generally for a good reason, though that reason might not be apparent to someone who doesn't work here.

But hey, in the spirit of greasing the squeaky wheel, here are some tidbits for everyone to squeak about.

- What has two triggers and belches flame? Bonus points if you can guess what the second trigger does. Speculation on public forums is, as always, encouraged.

- Beware of wall-hugging hippos. No, this is not a joke. Nor does it necessarily mean what you think it means.

- Cortana sure has been quiet lately. I wonder if that means anything.

- What will be in the E3 build, and will it be playable? No one knows yet, but when I do I'll let the forums know. We'll probably have some impressive downloadable goodies in the same timeframe for those of you who can't attend. (Figured I should toss in a straightforward one to keep you on your toes.)

- There will be a lot of surprises in Halo, but the old-school Bungie fans will perhaps be the most pleasantly surprised of all. I wish I could be around to see your faces the first time you see... well, you'll see.


I do believe the old-school Bungie fans are queuing up for E3. ;-)

Mar 29, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update

Will the REAL Hamish Sinclair please stand up! As is common on usenet threads get regularly hijacked. This thread on alt.games.marathon is no exception. Claude Errera is to blame (Msg 20 onwards). For those interested in correct pronunciation Matt Soell on Day 4 of Bungie TV was spot on.

Interesting post from Matt Soell on the halo.bungie.org forum which is worth reposting so I've taken the liberty:

Re: Matt? Pah!

Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 28 Mar 2000, 16:02

In Response To: Matt? Pah! (Troy Lawlor)

> I can see it now... "All will become clear soon."

You big meanie.

How about this:

"Change of direction" is one of those phrases that's vague enough to be interpreted (misinterpreted, really) as something of ominous import. It's not that way at all.

There's new footage coming which better represents Halo because it shows battle, not just a lone guy running around. For that reason it's a more accurate representation than the old footage, which was more of a technology demo.

There is no sweeping "change in direction" that invalidates your collective idea of what Halo will be like. Stuff is tweaked all the time, and will continue to be tweaked until we ship; there are differences, refinements, additions which make the old footage no longer truly representative of the state the game is in. If anything, the fact that we don't want to show old footage of the game is a sign of progress.

When you see this lovely new footage, and when you see what we're showing at E3, and as you watch the game continue to progress, I think you'll agree that Halo is still the same game we showed at MacWorld NY last year - just better.

Tru7h Technician
Bungie Software
"Making the Tru7h Hurt Since 1995"

Apart from the up-coming new Halo footage it is interesting to note Matt (and also Doug recently) using the word "tru7h" in their posts. I don't remember seeing this before.

Mar 28, 2000 (Tuesday)

Back... well sort of...

Robert Zimmermann <robzim@gmx.net> writes:


I guess it is a Marathon to HalfLife port named Rampancy, it is still pretty early in development and I think the developer could use some helpfull comments. :)

and also...

Even more Marathon related stuff. :=) Hobeaux has moved the Frogblast Projet to a new URL and updated the site: Now there is a UT version of Route 66 too, but still no Mars needs Women.


Mar 27, 2000 (Monday)

Down but not out! Due to a local hardware failure the Story will not be updated until tomorrow.

Mar 25, 2000 (Saturday)

Things to come? Bungie.net offers this cryptic news item:

We're working on something for this web site, however, and you're going to love it. I can't spill the beans just yet, but I'll have more info, well, as soon as possible.

Matt and Doug are at it again in this thread on halo.bungie.org. Seems Doug is picking up the tru7h habit as well. ;-)

Just testing. Peter Cooner <petri@bungie.org> writes:

if you put in hydra.bungie.com now, you get redirected to http://www.bungie.com/corporate/jobs.shtml hmmm:)

Back in Dec 8, 1999 Matt Soell offered the following explanation for the hydra.bungie.com address

Hydra's just a server name. A many-headed beast. No big deal.

Not a bad name to put to corporate use! ;-)

Mar 24, 2000 (Friday)

On the Pathways Into Darkness page today... the Black Crystal and the laws of gravity.

Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes concerning Sam Martin's submission yesterday:

The Marathon symbol spotted from the top of the Metreon in the MacAddict vid caps is actually the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art aka the SF MOMA.

James Klauder <JKlauder@excite.com> writes:

The story page has mentioned a couple times that the chapter screens in Ambrosia's "Ferazel's Wand" bear some strong similarities to Craig Mullins's M2 artwork. Well, there are some other similarities. I just got the demo off the April MacAddict, and several of the sound effects come straight from Pathways and M1. Particularly, Ferazel snd resource 478 matches PiD snd 10220, the phantasm roar. There are a few others, I think, but I haven't confirmed any. Also, in the course of "Ferazel's Wand," the player must traverse the _seven_ lands of Taraknorn.

Mar 23, 2000 (Thursday)

Quick update

Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes:

Not directly related to Marathon, but check it out:


Muhsin Miski <mmiski@mac-addict.com> writes:

While looking over some Tribes 2 screenshots that IMG recently reported, I noticed two familiar symbols... ;)

Attached is the image. You can also view it at


Sam Martin <smartin@wildwood.edu> writes:

Here's a frame from the September '99 MacAddict CD's staff video, "MacAddict Meets Metreon". Notice the part in the red rectangle. Look familiar? Here's a close-up, too.

Sean <myth2@pacbell.net> writes:

I was looking on the Bungie Art Gallery page at


and I had a weird feeling... looking at those pictures... If you count all the Marathon related pics, and not the Myth or Oni ones... there are exactly 17 pictures. 1 and 7. Dear god, make it stop....

Mar 22, 2000 (Wednesday)

Another Vidmaster film from a master craftsman. John Sumner <UTJohnS@aol.com> not only completes the final Marathon level Ingue Ferroque but goes back to visit the secret Bungie credits terminal. If you remember this one you'll also remember how tough it was... even with a rocket launcher. Watch how John makes it look like a walk in the park with only fist and magnum! Check the Marathon Vidmasters' page here or here for full details.

Well after repeated pleas I've started to update the Halo submissions page again. The last update was for Sept 18, 1999. To find the more recent submissions to the Story page regarding Halo you had to wade through the What's New sections. Not an easy task. Now the Halo submissions page has been updated to Dec '99 and subdivided into 3 sections:

Halo submissions for July 1999

Halo submissions for Aug - Sept 1999

Halo submissions for Oct - Dec 1999

So if you want to find out about Island Four, Armor, Halo's low tech look, the Greek Flag, the source of the Halo transmission quotes, Jason and Castle Grayskull, the long forgotten Halo weapons page, a picture of Nathan, SolCore, Halo orbits, and a host of other stuff you might find it on the newly updated Halo submissions page... if you look! ;-)

Mar 21, 2000 (Tuesday)

Jon Chang <chang@signalpost.com> writes:

There's a nice Bungie montage on the No. 21 March 2k ish of Design4 Discreet Users magazine. The montage has a bucnh of the Craig Mullins Marathon Pictures though the article only mentions Marathon and focuses on Bungie's game design as a whole with tidbits on Myth, Halo and Oni as well...

The Design4 website can be found at http://www.design4.net/. It's a bit slow though. Design4 is an international magazine for "users of discreet software". The March cover sports the title "Bungie Jumping: Bungie's Leap of Faith" and artwork by Craig Mullins. There is a short blurb for the Bungie article:

March - Profile

Bungie jumping
The recent renaissance of Apple has left those games companies that did not drop Macintosh development particularly well-placed. As Mike Salmond reports, Bungie is better placed than most

There is also an article on on-line gaming. Sounds like something worth getting.

Troy Lawlor <articape@alaska.net> spots another Blam reference not on the Blam page:

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but...

I got out my old Myth: TFL CD and remembered an old Blam refrence (that seems to have been largely forgotten) I had found and submitted to the Total Codex oh so long ago... and after doing a bit of research found it again.

The passage is at address 86D080 in tags.gor. It's nestled in the level code for Myth 1's secret level, "A Long Awaited Party":

"balanced skill and time just about
right, so can i forget Colony Ship
after All Roads Lead to Sol and, now,
The Great Devoid? the guilt has been
pursuing me like a cloud a angry
hornets for, ah, how many years is
that now? three? four?

18 (this one, mocking Tolkien) is my
last level for myth and it's getting a
little of the cut and paste treatment
like you'd expect. mark and i really
brought it together on 25, though, so
don't judge us by this one.


Anyway, it's just a little passage that's noteworthy if only for sentiment. It's obvious that Jason Jones is writing, and the fact that he made The Great Devoid may strike a chord with the comments Matt made about the Devoid relating to Marathon. The one that sticks out, of course, is the "blam." at the end. Funny that Jason would be writing that word while still hammering out Myth levels. It also is a little horrifying to think what challenges he'll bring to Halo... here's hoping your final goal in Halo isn't to run about the entire ring flipping switches with precise timing to raise platforms to your escape craft.

Mar 20, 2000 (Monday)

The mystery deepens on the Pathways Into Darkness page today. Who killed the Greater Nightmares?

Mar 19, 2000 (Sunday)

You've heard of the Face on Mars. Now we have the Face on Halo. Chris Hebner <chebner@erinet.com> writes:

I just noticed something about the day 4 of bTV halo clips. There is a bust in the landscape. I have no idea who it is or why, but I'm sending a jpeg that I hope will show it. I think that this shot is from 1:53 in the movie.

You can see Chris' pic here.

halo.bungie.org now have an FAQ section thanks to long time Marathon veteran Mark Levin. Definitely worth a read. Send all comments/corrections to <halofaq@bungie.org>.

Chris Vokey <vokbain@yahoo.com> writes to say that contrary to what Page 2401 says Blink Products and Rosebud Games are still active and working on new Marathon stuff. Marathon: Vietnam is still alive!

Need help with your Marathon scenario? Got some spare time to offer scenario builders? Then advertise on the Recruits page.

More skull action at Bungie Chicago

Mar 18, 2000 (Saturday)

On the Pathways Into Darkness page today - the secret Carlos cannot reveal. And yes it involves the number seven.

Alan Greene <alan@fontshop.com> writes:

In the movie First Wives Club, when Goldie Hawn's husband's Ferrari is being towed away, the sound of the tow truck platform is the same as heavy S'pht platform.

Rugby! That missing netgame option in Marathon 2. Simon Christensen <christen@webtime.com.au> sends in this interesting tidbit:

I believe that the name of the M2 net level "House of Pain" is a play on one of the finest Rugby grounds in the world: (that's in my opinion) Carisbrook, in Dunedin, New Zealand. It is commonly referred to as 'The House of Pain', and we all know that Bungie was originally going to have a 'Rugby' netgame... maybe this one was one of the Rugby levels?

Phil Hilton <philip.hilton@maine.edu> and Elbert Wall <elbertdw@radiks.net> both write concerning Fragstomp's Marathon Arena project which aims to bring all the network game play of Marathon to the Quake 3 engine. It's early on in development and they are looking for comments from Marathon fans regarding what they want to see in the final conversion. Visitors may post their comments on our website.

Luke Kirkwood <s342972@student.uq.edu.au> writes concerning an upcoming LAN gamefest in the University of Queensland, Australia (Sunday, March 19th 12-5pm). Marathon Infinity and Myth will feature along with a number of other games. Apart from the gamefest it is proposed to setup a gaming club for future events. Contact Luke for further details.

Mar 16, 2000 (Thursday)

It's tough being green!

Except on St. Patrick's Day!

The Story page will be closed tomorrow (St. Patrick's Day) March 17th.
Have a good one!

More Cuban mysteries on the Pathways Into Darkness page today. What happened to the missing Cubans?

Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> writes concerning the acronym TATRTSTS found on the Myth II: Soulblighter box:

Tsao <tsao@paxnimbus.com> from The Asylum suggests that Myth II's TATRTSTS may mean "Total Annihilation: The Real-Time Strategy That Sucks", as that fits in with Bungie's insult to Warcraft and Command & Conquer in TFL's WACCSMD.

Even better! :-)

Mar 15, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update

On today's Pathways Into Darkness page the start of the Cuban Conundrum section.

Matt Soell (Bungie Software) offers this clue to the acronym YYMMDBATC found on the Myth: Total Soundtrack CD box:

From: Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com>
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon,alt.games.myth
Subject: Re: Bungie Acronyms
Message-ID: <140320001102437439%matt@bungie.com>
Date: Tue, 14 Mar 2000 17:02:42 GMT

In article <forrest-07B35C.13560113032000@news.west.net>, Forrest
Cameranesi <forrest@SPAMLESS-bungie.org> wrote:


I'll give you a hint on this one. It's a poem.


Shouldn't be too difficult to work out now... right? ;-)

Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> writes concerning the acronym SPMLOAS found on the Myth: The Total Codex:

I think I've figured out the rest of the Codex acronym, using Eric Budd's start: "Single Player Myth, Lots..." (or Loads) "...Of Additional Stuff" (or Sh*t). The first interpretation is cleaner, but the latter would fit Bungie's recent tendancy toward profanity better.

Mar 14, 2000 (Tuesday)

Oh the profanity! Lots of responses to the new Box Acronyms section. However please note that sending in a string of profane words for a box acronym simply because they fit the sequence of letters doesn't cut it I'm afraid.

While the TBWSAF acronym was a series of profane words there was actually a reason behind it. As Matt Soell pointed out it was a tongue-in-cheek response to a rather profane letter sent in to the Bungie Webmaster. The letter was naturally censored and posted on the Bungie letters page. Thus the acronym has a traceable origin.

There also appears to be a tendency to simply string together a couple of words without the whole sentence making any sense. Not very Bungie-like I'm afraid. You'll note that the two earlier Marathon acronyms (DMUKYA and MBIBTYB) were Bungie/Marathon slogons and the two Myth ones (WACCSMD and TATRTSTS) appear to be derogatory comments concerning other games. In each case the complete sentence makes sense. I would imagine that the others do too. So thinking caps on folks if you're up for this type of thing.

Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> writes:

... Dan Rudolph suggested that, in Myth II's "TATRTSTS", the second "T" stands for "Traditional" instead of "the", as in "To all traditional real-time strategists: tough shit."

Yup makes more sense.

And now for something completely different. Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> sends in some Bungie related gaming news items:

From http://www.gamespy.com/gdc/rumors1_a.shtm :

Computer games take on TV, cliffhanger style

You play through three levels and your character is near death. What do you do? Buy more levels.

A new brand of computer games is coming to the Internet that will end before you reach the end.

No, we aren't talking about the latest game released before it was ready. We are talking about episodic games, or games that leave you hanging on purpose.

The idea is the brainchild of Jim Perkins, president and CEO of WEB Corp. The plan is to get the best Internet entertainment with original content from the best developers.

"We will be focused on games from the episodic standpoint," he said. "Like TV, we want to develop games that have cliffhangers, but interactive cliffhangers."

The plans are to develop games for the PC, PS2, X-box or any other system that uses the Internet. Once players complete an episode, they can buy more installments if they like the game.

"We want to get away from big games," Perkins said. "We want to deliver games in a series. The idea is deliver a new episode every one to three months"

The company already has agreements with Sunstorm and Paradox, as well as an agreement with Bungie to share technology, Perkins said. There are also plans to partner with an as yet unnamed Internet service provider.

The company plans to release its first episode in May. The genre and title are still unannounced.


Interesting, no?

-- From http://www.gamespy.com/gdc/jobs_a.shtm :

Bungie, which is working on high profile projects Oni and Halo, also had a presence and had a steady stream of people handing in resumes.

Diane Donohue, director of operations at Bungie, said the company enjoys coming to these shows so it can put a more personal face to the jobs process.

"Recruiting on the web is not that personal," she said. "This is a unique way of working. We like to show people that we work as a small tight team and we aren't a sweat shop."

Donohue said they were recruiting for all their projects, including Halo in Chicago and Oni in San Jose. They had done two interviews and received 20 resumes only an hour after the fair opened.

Mar 13, 2000 (Monday)

Don't lose your head! On the Pathways Into Darkness page today... we meet Javier and discover that the Germans knew alot more about the pyramid than we were led to believe. But who told the Germans back in 1938?

Added a new section to collate all the submissions to the page regarding the Box Acronyms. These date back to 1997.

Came across the following on alt.games.marathon:

In article <38c996db$0$19368@news.voyager.net>, Rigger
<rigger-INVALID-@voyager.net> wrote:

>Pie-rat wrote:
>> ok, so here i was, just reading the latest macaddict, right? i turn the
>> page, and whose name did i see popping out at me: gary simmons!
>> yup! check out page 65 of the apr/00 issue of macaddict and look at the
>> "screenshot of the month section" of the page. it's an oldschool marathon
>> screenshot of a blue fighter getting his guts blasted out, and it was sent
>> in by...the battlecat himself!
>Yeah; I caught that,too.
>> hmm. that looks like hell hole, too...
>Does, doesn't it?

Yeah looks alot like Hell Hole.

I uploaded a scan of that to the hl.bungie.org server.  I also sent it to
Hamish, so it may verywell be on the Story Page, I haven't checked yet

-Chrispy Nacho

Although I never received the screenshot I did find it on the hl.bungie.org server. You can see the MacAddict screenshot here.

Mar 11, 2000 (Saturday)

...don't worry about the vial. What vial? That vial. On the Pathways Into Darkness page today... the Ornate Glass Vial... and why your noodle is about to be baked! ;-)

Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> writes:

IMG has some stuff on game publishing on the mac, Bungie is featured. http://www.insidemacgames.com/features/00/macpublishing/

The Inside Mac Games (IMG) article is entitled "An Insider's Look at Mac Game Publishing" by Michael Yanovich and contains comments by Peter Tamte, Executive Vice President of Bungie Software.

Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes:

I played a fair amount of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game in my day, both in the arcade and on the Nintendo. Yesterday Liam mentioned that "the robots in the game do hover." I'm pretty sure that they do not. Check out the picture you have up. You'll note that the base of the robot is actually a single wheel, similar to a unicycle. That's what the robot moves around on

Obviously the Pfhor drones in Marathon 2 were an advanced model? ;-)

Mar 10, 2000 (Friday)

Z. Miller <Mrodar@aol.com> makes an interesting observation about the M-75 Assault Rifle/Grenade Launcher found on "Bigger Guns Nearby". See the Weapons in Marathon section for details.

Adam Ghazi-Tehrani <ryutoth@netscape.net> writes:

Fragstomp a Q3A clan is making a Marathon Infinity TC for Q3A. I posted a message at bungie.net, but not enough people have voted so PLEASE post this link: http://www.quakeheads.com/~fragstomp/ and post a "YES Please Make IT!" at the forum. Oh and anybody if you want a piece of this action and know the Marathon Engine got volenteer as a mapper, skinner, programer, etc.

Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> asks us to head on over to GameSpot's Matrix Poll and vote for Bungie. The poll asks your opinion about which developer would be best for the rumored Matrix game. The choices given are Shiny, Konami, Bungie, or none of the above. Presently "none of the above" is leading. Somewhat ironically Shiny Entertainment who were reported to have got The Matrix license are last.

Mar 9, 2000 (Thursday)

On the Pathways Into Darkness page today... the trouble with elevation. You have to let it all go, fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.

Liam Doughty <liamdoughty@netspace.net.au> writes:

Was just playing that great 1989 4-Player arcade game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's a great game, I do suggest you try it. Point is, attached gif looks entrancingly similar to a certain robotic character in a certain game.

You can see Liam's pic here. Liam went on to point out that the robots in the game do hover though not as high as the drones in Marathon 2 and they have a 'hatch' similar to M2 drones from which a spear type projectile is launched.

Mar 8, 2000 (Wednesday)

Matthew Coppola <neogodnine@thefragile.com> asks us to point our browser at http://www.2xhans.dk and says:

Do you see anything familiar on this http://www.2xhans.dk page? You should. It's a page for a clothing company called psycho cowboy. You shouldn't have to look to hard.

Check the flash animation. It's pretty obvious. If you don't have Flash you can see two screen captures taken of the animation here.

Terrence Nowicki <kablam@edmail.com> writes:

...on Monday you posted a link to Marathon maps made for Unreal. I'd just like to point out that a better (and, perhaps more original, though I didn't look at the maps at the link you posted) example would be Frogblast: The Ventcore Project at:


I believe they are the original group that started transferring Marathon maps to Unreal (currently only one map is released for Unreal Tournament, though it makes Melatonin look VERY nice), and may have also been the pioneers of King of the Hill maps in Unreal.

Send your name to Mars. NASA are offering you a chance to have your name included on the Mars 2001 Lander CD-ROM. Over a million names have been submitted so far. What happens to the names once they reach Mars is classified! ;-)

Mar 7, 2000 (Tuesday)

Seventh day of the third month... hmmm...

Follow the white rabbit... or was it the left wall? Find out on today's Pathways Into Darkness page.

Mar 6, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update #2

As reported on halo.bungie.org there now seems to be an official Lynx Phoenix website at http://www.mission-phoenix.com/. The site requires that you have Flash 4 to view the page. The Flash animation appears to be a cartoon version of the TV ad for Lynx Phoenix. It's pretty bad and there is no appearance of the Halo-like Lynx Phoenix logo. How odd! ;-)

The mission-phoenix domain is registered to Modem Media in London. This site takes you to Modem Media in the US where you'll find one of their clients is Unilever. Unilever happen to own Fabergé who are marketing Lynx Phoenix deodorant.

It will be interesting to see if future Lynx Phoenix ads continue to use the Halo font.

Quick update #1

Louis Wu <halo@bungie.org> of halo.bungie.org writes to say that he took a pic of the Bungie West trophy 15 minutes or so after Kristian and it also shows the odd fifth Marathon symbol. Louis's capture is certainly clearer so the squarish section is no mere artifact. Louis also points out that this trophy is clearly a different design from the one seen at last year's Tug of War competition. Looks like a new design. :-)

Kristian Attfield <finch2@home.com> writes:

It's Sunday at 2:04 MST and I went into the Bungie Westcam just to have a look. A gif is included of what is being displayed. That one symbol middle top definitly is not the marathon symbol, like the others.

You can see Kristian's pic here. This is in fact the famous Bungie "Tug of War" Trophy with an Olympics logo created out of Marathon symbols stuck on top. Back in Sept 18, 1999 the Story page reported about the Fate of the Tug of War Trophy stolen from the rightful winners... The Bungie Publishing team. Bungie's Spring Picnic '99 page containing pics from their Tug of War competition is still up. Presumably the Bungie West team are getting prepared for this year's event! ;-)

There is a thread on the halo.bungie.org forums which suggests that the odd looking Marathon symbol in the middle is a Jjaro variant. However without a second confirmatory pic I'd say the first is a transmission error.

Kazem Edmond <kazem_e@yahoo.com> writes to say that his Marathon Open Source Hotline site at has received an update

I thought that you might want to make a news update on M.O.S.

There is currently a Hotline Server, run by myself, at

Everything is coming along beautifully.

Here are some of its new features:

Many internal limits are now increased or gone.
Essentially complete compatibility with Marathon Infinity.
Several bugs are now fixed.
Can switch run/walk and swim/sink.
Can make screenshots.
Has a third-person viewpoint available.
Has tunnel vision available.
Has crosshairs for aiming available.
Can have animated textures.

The Hotline client can be downloaded from BigRedH.com. Don't forget the Marathon Open Source page at bungie.org.

Matthew Bray <braym8@cs.man.ac.uk> writes:

this has probably been mentioned before but a lot of marathon levels are available for unreal as well as a koth mod from : http://www.geocities.com/kobuster/koth/

Mar 5, 2000 (Sunday)

Max Etchemendy <mxetch@yahoo.com> writes concerning blast radii and heights in Marathon. See The Player's Height section for details.

Sebastian Brytting <zorkar@yahoo.com> writes concerning the cryptic character strings in Marathon Infinity. See the Trash Terms section for details.

Eric R <riscica@gmail.com> makes an interesting observation about the Marathon 2 level name "Thunderdome". See the What's in a Name? section.

Mar 4, 2000 (Saturday)

The journey continues on the Pathways Into Darkness page.

Ling Ling LIVES! Head on over to the Marathon Project Orphanage and you'll get the picture. Actually it is a picture. Nice one. :-)

Will Vuong <will@iliad.com> asks us to head on over to article entitled The Matrix Game Materializes at ActionAce. Apparenty Bungie West were in the running to make the game but lost out to Shiny Entertainment.

Gamespot have a feature entitled The Ten Most Disappointing Endings in games. And guess what? Bungie don't feature.

Gamespot have a feature entitled The Ten Best Endings in games. And guess what? Bungie don't feature.

Mar 3, 2000 (Friday)

Back in October the Story page ran the "Seven Errors in the Scrapbook Competition". Ok subsequently it turned out that there were in fact eight errors but after seven who bothers to count anyway? The prize for spotting the Seventh Error was a signed copy of the Marathon Scrapbook plus a bunch of undisclosed Bungie goodies courtesy of Matt Soell (Bungie Software).

In December the winner (Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu>) received his "Seven Errors in the Scrapbook Competition" prize package from Matt and listed the goodies for the Story page. Now Mark with the aid of a digital camera has photographed many of these rare pieces of Bungie memorabilia... like an original shrinkwrapped copy of Minotaur, a Macworld Olympics of Death sticker, and rare Bungie Walnut art (could start a trend here). Below is a list of the items Mark won and links to some of the pictures:

-Scrapbook signed by Doug, Matt, Mark, Nathan, Rob, and JJ (as well as 1 signature I couldn't read)

-Craig Mullins "Death of the Hulk" Mousepad

-Black Bungie folder containing:

-Bungie Dollar
-Oni flier
-TWO original chrome Marathon stickers
-A Macworld Olympics of Death sticker
-A sticker showing the Bungie Coat of Arms

-A Myth 2 folder (empty)

-An original Marathon 4-level Demo disc (unfortunately not sealed) containing, among other things, the enhanced CD music tracks.

-A sealed copy of "THE DISC" with the M2 Preview from Macworld '95

-An iron-on Bungie Patch

-A video named "Bagel Shop", front box shot

-A sealed copy of Minotaur, front box shot and back box shot

-A shirt reading "Property of the Bungie Store"

-A walnut with two faces drawn on it, one face and the other face

Mar 2, 2000 (Thursday)

Quick update

Another Stanley Kubrick reference... this time in Pathways Into Darkness.

Also on the Pathways Into Darkness page today - the M-72 Light Anti-tank Weapon (LAW). Why does it only ever appear in version 2.0 of the game?

Added a section to collate all the Lynx Phoenix ad news items over the last three weeks or so. Should help some people keep up-to-date. ;-) See the Lynx Phoenix ad section.

Georg Wedemeyer <wedemeye@Student.Uni-Magdeburg.de> writes:

I just browsed through the Marathon's Story page and my today's topic was Durandal Part 2.

I wanted to note just a small thing that I haven't found there. Roland died in the year 778 while defending a col in the Pyrenees. The first history book I consulted even said it was 777, but it seemed to be wrong. What a pity ;)

According to historians Count Roland was killed in 778 at Roncevaux and yes the date is suspiciously close to 777. ;-)

On the subject of Count Roland some might find it interesting to note that there is a comic book which recounts the epic French poem "The Song of Roland" (La Chanson de Roland). More details can be found at:

Roland: Days of Wrath

Mar 1, 2000 (Wednesday)

Max Dyckhoff <mcbd100@york.ac.uk> writes concerning the Lynx Phoenix deodorant ad that uses the Halo font:

I was watching something on Channel 4 (British TV) last night, and I caught the end of an advert for Phoenix from Lynx (the thing with the Halo-like text). Anyway, I kept watching, and at the next adbreeak I kept my fingers on command-S (the "start recording" buttons the ProTV card) and I managed to snatch all but the first second or so of the advert.

I cut down the size (I recorded it at full screen size) and cut the start of the next advert off the end, and it's now a meager 1.2 meg.

You can see Max's capture of the Lynx Phoenix TV ad at

marathon.bungie.org/story/_files/lynxphoenixad.mov (1214K)


www.marathon.org/story/_files/lynxphoenixad.mov (1214K)

Max continues:

I also took a screenshot of the text at the end, and did a little comparison with the Halo logo. I put an outline around the Halo "O" in red, rotated the "O" in the Phoenix word (literally, that's all I've done to it) and compared the two outlines. I think you'll agree that if you had some doubts before, this is conclusive evidence that it's the same font.

You can see Max's comparison pic here.

Here are some Lynx Phoenix poster ads:

Lynx Phoenix ad
close up of the word Phoenix
close up of the 'o' in Phoenix
Lynx Phoenix full poster ad
close up of Lynx Phoenix full poster ad
Lynx Phoenix full poster ad at bus shelter (night shot)
close up of the Lynx Phoenix full poster ad at bus shelter (night shot)

Go to What's New for Jan - Fen 2000

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie
Last updated Apr 29, 2000