Apr 30, 2011 (Saturday)

Patrick Coan <damnglitch@gmail.com> writes about jump pads, the alien energy convertor and teleport beacons.
See the Jump Pads section for details.

Apr 18, 2011 (Monday)

A second beta build of Aleph One (1.0b2) is now available from SourceForge.
If you are an old timer like myself you will appreciate the fact that this will allow you to play
Marathon 2 and Infinity pretty much the way they were back in the mid-1990s. Yes, you have the option to add bells
and whistles but it is possible to get that old deja vu feeling once more. I highly recommend giving this a try.
Please report any bugs to the SourceForge bug reporter or here. Thanks to treellama for the heads up.

If you can't find your original Marathon 2 or Infinity files you can grab them for free at the Trilogy Release page.

Note that Aleph One (1.0b2) will only play back Marathon 2 films.

Apr 7, 2011 (Thursday)

Ok so we have a colony ship on a 300 year jounrey to a new planet. A small number of the crew are
placed in cryogenic sleep but the rest will be born, work, and die during the voyage. Two hundred and
fifty years into the journey someone is thawing out the colonists and killing them. Who could it be?
Durandal? Strauss?

Nope completely different story.

Apr 6, 2011 (Wednesday)

Carnage Central and Green Room. Two little known map annotations that were eventually lost... until now.
See the Map Annotations section for details.

What's in a Name? Not much... unless it's a trademark.

Apr 5, 2011 (Tuesday)

If, like me, you thought there were no map annotations in Marathon 2 then you'd be wrong.
treellama <wolfy@treellama.org> over on the Story forum points out that the net level
'Flight of the Toolator' has annotations. In fact, it has a total of sixteen annotations. If you
want to know what they are then check the Map Annotations section for details.
You can also find out what Greg Kirkpatrick said about his level.

Apr 2, 2011 (Saturday)

Fun's over... now back to the fun.

Apr 1, 2011 (Friday)

Fun, fun, fun.

Mar 30, 2011 (Wednesday)

The last of the Marathon map annotations have been added. What net levels have map notes?
Check the Map Annotations sections for details. Thanks to poenadare on the Story forum for
compiling the full list.

Mar 29, 2011 (Tuesday)

On the Story forum poenadare <mstorysclm@mlcsmith.com> completes the documentation of the map
annotations on the solo levels of Marathon. See the Map Annotations section for details.

Mar 28, 2011 (Monday)

On the Story forum poenadare <mstorysclm@mlcsmith.com> continues his mission to document
all the map annotations in Marathon. Eight levels and no map annotations? What's up with that?
Check the Map Annotations section for details.

Mar 27, 2011 (Sunday)

On the subject of the 'impossible' to find secret area containing Tycho's terminal on Blaspheme Quarantine,
John Sumner <jsumner@ut.edu> writes:

Considering that one needs to grenade jump onto the ledge and then somehow know to run in the direction
of the secret doorway makes me wonder how in world Greg expected someone to even think there might
be a secret of that kind? If I am not mistaken, there were no other secrets in the game that were
anywhere near that difficult to find. Moreover, there are no other levels containing TWO large secret
ammo stashes. Seems to me it is a bit unusual they would have that in any level.

Here is really where I am going with all of this... In the previous room the player visits
(the Quarantine Storage Area) before arriving in this last room, one of the terminal messages Durandal
leaves there states:

If you're looking for a hidden stash of ammunition that was left here by the Martian insurgents
three hundred and fifteen years ago, then I know that you shouldn't look in Quarantine Storage.
Who would hide huge amounts of ammunition in a storage area?

I know now that Durandal is being facetious when he says you shouldn't look in the Quarantine Storage
for it. But at one time in developing the game, perhaps it was intended for Durandal to be telling
the truth and he really did mean the secret stash was in the last room? That is, could it possibly
be that Greg originally intended for the ammo stash mentioned by Durandal to be the difficult secret
one and not the usual one meant? Perhaps at one time, the last room was meant to be the Quarantine
Storage Area. Granted, the one Durandal is really talking about is itself not an easy one to find.
But perhaps the ammo stash Durandal meant was added later and the difficult stash was either forgotten
about or left and deemed an easter egg for anyone to find that could.

John notes three reasons why the secret area is extraordinarily difficult to find:

(1) You have to grenade hop onto a low ledge. As the ledge is clearly visible and there is nothing
      on it why would you waste your health grenade hopping onto it?
(2) You have to know to run in the right direction of the secret door. While the opening of the door is time
      delayed it will only stay open for about five seconds.
(3) There are two secret ammo stashes on this level. If you found the first one why would you look
      for another?

In addition, here are some other reasons:

(4) No map clue. On some levels, secret areas are clearly shown in the terminals. While Bungie were able to
      suppress the display of secret areas in map view, there are no maps displayed in any of the terminals on this level.
(5) No audio clue. Unlike the secret area on Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken! there is no audio clue
      when you pass over the trigger poly. Without such a clue you do not know that you have activated something.
(6) Visual clue is obscured. The secret door that opens (visual clue) is located near the point that you enter the level
      and is down as long narrow corridor. As such, it is not visually obvious unless you go back looking for it.

Adding these ingredients together makes the secret area containing Tycho's terminal on Blaspheme Quarantine near
impossible to find without a map editor. So why did Greg make it so difficult to find Tycho's terminal?

And while you ponder on that conundrum ask yourself the following:
What's that grenade ammo doing there? Are the wall textures odd? Wondering what's on the other side of
the wall but afraid to ask? Know the answers? Then share them on the Story forum.

Mar 17, 2011 (Thursday)

It's tough being green!

Except on St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all Story page readers... everywhere!

Mar 16, 2011 (Wednesday)

Help solve Greg's little mind puzzle. More minds are better than one. :-)

Mar 15, 2011 (Tuesday)

Some good discussion in this Story forum thread about Tycho's secret terminal on Blaspheme Quarantine.
Was Tycho a good AI? How did Durandal help the S'pht during the early stages of the Pfhor attack?
Tycho teases. Impossibly hidden messages. Story telling the Greg Kirkpatrick way.

Have a view? Then share it on the Story forum.

Mar 6, 2011 (Sunday)

Long time contributor to the Story page, Todd Bangerter <tabanger@yahoo.com>, writes:

I tracked down a copy of August 1996 PC Gamer on eBay in order to get you Monkey Boy
for your ad page. Enjoy!

Thanks to Todd, the Story page now has the full color version of the infamous Monkey Boy ad
for the Windows 95 version of Marathon 2. Highly controversial for its time you can now
see it in all its technicolor glory on Bungie's Marathon Ads section. Nice one Todd. :-)

Mar 2, 2011 (Wednesday)

Why was it so hard to find Tycho's secret terminal on Blaspheme Quarantine?

Know the answer, have a view, then post it to Story forum.

Mar 1, 2011 (Tuesday)

The answer to yesterday's question... "How long do you think it took Marathon players to find
the secret Tycho terminal on Blaspheme Quarantine after the release of the game on December 21, 1994?"
was:   (d) More than two months.

Sixteen years ago on this very day the last big secret area of Marathon was uncovered.
It took the development of a Marathon map editor to find it though. Up to then all the secret areas
had been found the hard way - by careful observation, perseverance and sometimes... just plain luck.

Matthew Russotto described how to access this secret area on comp.sys.mac.games.
His post is reprinted below in full for posterity:

Path: apple.com!taligent!ames!hookup!newshost.marcam.com!news.mathworks.com!zombie.ncsc.mil!news.duke.edu!news-feed-1.peachnet.edu!gatech!howland.reston.ans.net!news.sprintlink.net!wanda.pond.com!wanda.pond.com!not-for-mail
From: russotto@wanda.pond.com (Matthew Russotto)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: Re: Marathon: Blaspheme Hidden Room?
Date: 1 Mar 1995 14:04:58 -0500
Organization: FishNet
Lines: 44
Message-ID: <3j2ggq$5s6@wanda.pond.com>
References: <jbrown41-2702952142280001@jamin-brown.umeres.maine.edu> <abergman-2802950255390001@td-college-kstar-node.net.yale.edu> <jbrown41-2802950822310001@jamin-brown.umeres.maine.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: wanda.pond.com

In article <jbrown41-2802950822310001@jamin-brown.umeres.maine.edu>,
Jamin A Brown <jbrown41@maine.maine.edu> wrote:

}Thanks, but I know about that ammo room. The one I am talking about is in
}the room you teleport from the room with all the elevators. You appear in
}the northern end of a hallway. Through the wall to your left is the pit
}with the slow door in it. To your right (according to MIA) there is a door
}leading into a room with lots of ammo, and what looks like a computer
}terminal. I've tried using the action key on that wall: nothing, not even
}the failure noise. I cheated and made myself invinsible, jumped down in
}the pit, opened the slow door, and blasted my way out of the pit. No go
}either. I'm wondering if it was intact in the demo but is impossible to
}get into now.

Nope, it is accessible, and it isn't even that difficult.  I sent in a
note about it to the Michael Neylon of Spoiler Guide fame, so it
should appear in the next version of that document.

          |                   |
          |                   |
          |    |---|...|---|  Y
          |    |   |   |   |  |
          |    |---|   |   |  |
          |    :       |   |  |
          |    :       |   |  |
|---------     |---|   :   |  |
|              |   |   |   |  |
|    _____     |   |   |   |  |
|    |    |    |---|...|---|  |
|    |    |                   |
|    |    |                   |
|    |     -------     -------|
|    |            |   |
|    |---------XXX|   |
|                     |
|                     |
On the part of Blaspheme Quarantine after the quarantine chamber, if you jump
up onto the back right side of the sniper ledges (near the X's), you will open
up a secret door just to the right of where you came in (near the Y).  Behind
the door is two rooms with ammo a-plenty and a terminal with a message from

At the time of Matthew's post the current version of Michael Neylon's Marathon Spoiler Guide
was version 1.2 (you can see it here). Three days after Matthew's post, Michael Neylon posted the following:

Path: apple.com!gallant.apple.com!trib.apple.com!olivea!hookup!caen!mneylon
From: mneylon@engin.umich.edu (Michael K. Neylon)
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon,comp.sys.mac.games
Subject: ANNOUNCE: Marathon Spoiler Guide 1.3
Date: 4 Mar 1995 12:35:28 GMT
Organization: University of Michigan Engineering, Ann Arbor
Lines: 27
Message-ID: <3j9mqg$40g@srvr1.engin.umich.edu>
NNTP-Posting-Host: lem.engin.umich.edu
Xref: apple.com alt.games.marathon:1177 comp.sys.mac.games:102662

The MSG 1.3 is now available.  It should be up at macgifts in a day 
or so., but if you need it any sooner, you can mail me and I'll
send you a copy.

The MSG is also at 2 WWW sites now:  the original at
and the mirror at the Complete Marathon Collection at
Check it out!

Because of the existance of decent map editors (MIA comes to mind),
the need for the MSG may seem unnecessary at least for now.  However,
once the 20/10 pack comes out and/or when the supposed extra levels
on the Marathon CD come out, you can still continue to provide me 
tips and hints for completing the levels, as well as secret rooms
and stuff.

Let me say that the MSG has been a fun and exciting project in both
documenting everything and preparing the WWW stuff.  I certainly
hope that I have provided a great service to the Mac community.

  Michael K. Neylon, Graduate Student           | Movie: "What is it?"
  Dept. of ChE, Univ. of Michigan               | Crow: "It's a plot device.
  mneylon@engin.umich.edu                       |   It's flimsy, so be
  http://www.engin.umich.edu/labs/mel/mneylon/  |   careful" - MST3K

Of course Michael Neylon continued to maintain the Marathon Spoiler Guide, but the era of the
Marathon Map editor had arrived and anyone could now find a secret area in a map the easy way.

But this is not the end of this little story. Ponder this. Why did Grek Kirkpatrick make it so hard
to find this text from Tycho?

Durandal!- I know of Strauss' abuse, of your shame on Mars.
But you cannot hide from your own past; such delusions belong
to the humans alone.

The S'pht reanimated me in your image, with prior knowledge of
how the second stage could be postponed. You should not have
helped them as much as you did; they have created an adversary
more powerful than yourself.

Does knowing this change in anyway how we view the story after this point?

Go to What's New for Jan-Feb 2011

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair Hamish.Sinclair123@gmail.com
Last updated Apr 30, 2011