May 31, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update

Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <> writes to say that Bungie Sightings has been updated.

Michael Watson <> writes concerning the cryptic binary string (#101111011110111100001# is is a '7') on the exit terminal of Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!:

The great binary string. One of the oldest Marathon mysteries. I'm not saying it's solved, but this looks pretty close.

Back in the days of Marathon, System 7.5x was standard stuff, and it contained an error 7. An error type 7 just happens to be a "privilege violation error."

When the binary string appears in the terminal texts, it's during a paragraph about the Pfhor transporting a large cylindrical object (the bomb). This sounds like a privilege violation to me. (ok, long shot)

But in the next paragraph, the message is interrputed. Sounds like a privilege violation to me. (ok, another long shot)

Maybe someone out there with some deep knowledge of the MacOS could use this to shine some light on this ancient mystery?

For details on the numerous attempts to decode the binary string see the The 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg. An odd place to have it I know but this is the terminal that identifies us as Mjolnir Recon number 54.

"Kortana" mystery? Rob Swenson <> writes

I contacted the makers of the BLU-108 (earlier reported as a "Kortana" weapon in Falcon 4.0) and this is the response I've received:

*********** BEGIN FORWARDED MESSAGE ***********

On 5/31/00 at 8:40 AM McCrory, Donn <***[Deleted for publishing]> wrote:

Mr. Swenson, the Blu-108 submunition has been given no nickname by our company nor by the USAF customer. D. McCrory

*********** END FORWARDED MESSAGE ***********

I've asked David-Michael Cook <> to verify his source.

May 30, 2000 (Tuesday)

Nuke and Pave. Reagan not Nixon? PGBS (full name pending) <> writes:

I was looking at your page regarding Level Names, and not that it matters probably, but one of your quotes of a quote is probably wrong. The reference to nuke and pave is, I think, a twisting of a Reagan quote, not Nixon. Long before becoming President, Reagan advocated that the U.S. should declare war on Vietnam, bomb it completely, and go in and pave it.
We should declare war on North
Vietnam.... We could pave the whole
country and put parking strips on it, and
still be home by Christmas. 
        -- Ronald Reagan

I used it as a trivia quote, and no one could find any source that listed Nixon. It doesn't mean your quote of a quote is wrong, just possibly that the person who quoted it as Nixon might have been wrong...

Rob Swenson <> writes concerning the naming of weapons after legendary creatures or artifacts

This is one of the better sites on the Internet for information on current military hardware... at least in the US, but they /do/ perform some comparison. I'm not wholly surprised about the name. The military has a number of people who love mythology and love to name their weapons after cool, legendary (sometimes obscure) creatures or artifacts.

Here are a ffew quick examples: final got permission to add the scans of PC Accelerator's Halo previews from the May and June 2000 issues. High quality stuff. Worth a look.

May 29, 2000 (Monday)

Jason Jones explains the rationale for the Epilogue in the Pathways Into Darkness Official Hint Book on the Pathways Into Darkness page today!

Joseph Haake <> writes:

In A-10 Attack!, a runway bomb was also codenamed Durandal.

I've included a screenshot. Possibly the same bomb as the one in Falcon 4? (also, on the bomb it says "Mantra Durandal", dunno if thats at all interesting, but just in case).

Looking for a big scan of the E3 Halo movie flyer, the one containing the Official Halo Backstory? Then head on over to They've posted some links to higher resolution scans by a guy called Beamish.

It's not often that the Marathon's Story page gets sent Myth news. Sign of the times? Myth's Story page on the offing? ;-) Anyway Jason Beach <> writes to point out that registration for The Myth World Cup 2000 has now started. Go to for full details!

May 28, 2000 (Sunday)

Bungie getting tough?!!! Muhsin Miski <> writes:

Just checked back at the MGL site and found that they finally posted their e3 gallery. Some of 'em have Bungie employees goin' nuts with the camera. Also note that an iMac DV is set up, which is a good indication that Oni will run on the latest iMacs well. I'm also wondering as to whether that's a gun hangin' in the crotch area of the one guy (to the left of Doug) in that same picture. Is Bungie beefin' up security?

Direct links to pictures:

The guy with the gun (ok it's the back of a seat) is Peter Tamte "Executive Vice President of Publishing" at Bungie. Tough job... you can see why he needs to pack heat! ;-)

May 27, 2000 (Saturday)

Elbert Wall <> sends in this link to BLU-107 Durandal and BLU-108 bombs but couldn't find the name Kortana in connection with the BLU-108 bomb?

Good to see Halo feature in a Science Fiction Weekly E3 report on the "10 hottest upcoming SF computer games". You can read the full report here and also here. And while you're there check out a piece on Iain M. Banks' Phonetic Writings. Some might find it similar to Tro speak.

May 26, 2000 (Friday)

Way back in Mar 6, 1996 Greg Kirkpatrick (formerly of Bungie Software) wrote:

...I first heard the name in reference to an anti-runway bomb used in F-16 Fighting Falcon, and they spelled it 'Durandal'. Later, when I read the song of Roland, I saw the other spelling, but just assumed that the 'a' had come into it as an anglicization of the word and that the translator of the book had just kept the 'e' to use the original spelling. When we stuck the text in from "The Song of Roland" it seemed like it would have just looked like we misspelled it in the quote.

Nikolas Manak <> went on to point out that the full name of the Durandal anti-runway bomb was BLU-107B "Durandal". Now David-Michael Cook <> writes:

Found this in Falcon 4.0 (the flight sim): The BLU-107 runway bomb is codenamed Durandal, and the BLU-108 runway bomb (revision) is codenamed Kortana! Strange coincidence, even though it's not the same spelling of Cortana... hmm...

How interesting. What's going on here I wonder?

The following is an interesting quote from a recent Halo preview at GameCritics:

Despite having a veritable laundry list of 3D graphical enhancements (bump mapping, inverse kinematics, multipass texturing, etc.) and the game engine running fairly fluidly -- even on the modest Pentium III used during the E3 demonstration -- I wasn't overly impressed with the visual effects in the game. It was hard to be wowed over after getting an eye full of PlayStation2 games. Don't get me wrong, the graphics in Halo are still impressive. I just didn't think that it was the game's main selling point. I thought the creative direction and the depth of what they were trying to put into the game was far more noteworthy.

Nice to see a reviewer placing emphasis on Halo's "creative direction" and "depth". :-)

Eric R <> writes to say that Shogoki's Marathon Trilogy Page has moved to Well worth bookmarking since it has those excellent Bob Pictures.

May 25, 2000 (Thursday)

Jon Chang of the DEHc-3 Halo site has posted the back cover text of the new Iain M Banks book "Look to Windward". I've taken the liberty of adding this to the Iain M. Banks' "Culture" references in Bungie's Halo section.

In addition, I've added an interesting commentary on Consider Phlebas which ties in the opening quote from T. S. Elliot's 'The Waste Land'.

Miguel Chavez <> writes to say that Bungie Sightings has received a number of new pics from around the world. This is going to start a trend I can see. Miguel has also received a shipment of 1000 Oni Stickers from a company that wishes to remain anonymous. If you are stickerless and want some stickers then send a stamped addressed envelope to the Bungie Sightings' PO Box... which just happens to be #570643 (5+7+0+6+4+3 = 25 = 2+5 = 7).

Nathaniel Olsen <> writes concerning the shortlived BungieRumors site. Why did it close under suspicious circumstances? Nathaniel makes an eerie discovery:

I went to the BungieRumors site after reading the story page today. i found that one of the advertising bars at the top (the one that says "Don't make us kick your ass" with the marathon symbol next to it that morphs into "Federal Bureau of Investigation" with the FBI symbol next to it) has this address linked to it: I found it amusing and hadn't noticed any reference to it on the page.

Expunged from the system no doubt! During its short lifespan BungieRumors continually tried to alert people about the alarming connections between Bungie and the FBI. Sadly these warnings fell on deaf ears and those involved in BungieRumors... disappeared!

Postscript: you do not need to send me mail regarding the above phenomenon... ok? ;-)

May 24, 2000 (Wednesday)

Remember the old BungieRumors site? Well Harry Al-Shakarchi <> writes to point out a similar type page at called Bungie Reveals All. A tongue-in-cheek inside look at Oni and Halo. Not for the humorlessly impaired!

Colin Dickie <> writes concerning the game Damage Incorporated which uses the Marathon 2 engine:

I was doing some 'research' and I found that the cheat to get the flamethrower is to press <ctrl> and type 'tozt'. This is the only reference to Marathon I have found so far but I'll keep looking.

Looks like they never bothered to change the names of the cheat codes! ;-)

May 23, 2000 (Tuesday)

Quick update

New Halo screenshot up at This one's from Newsweek of all places. It shows the new-look Halo Marine model with a sniper rifle and an odd looking shape in the left corner. Friend or foe? Let's hope a high res version of this becomes available... soon.

Interesting forum post over at from Matt Soell (Bungie Software) concerning his more proactive role in seeding the Bungie fan community with goodies. Matt writes:

Re: Hey Matt . . . (a blatant opinion)
Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 23 May 2000, 11:30

In Response To: Hey Matt . . . (a blatant opinion) (Jester)

> Instead of releasing 95% of Halo to mags and gaming website, I
> think it should be more 50/50. Believe me, we the true Halo
> fans, would still jump the hoops for Halo.
> Whaddya think?

I don't know if I could put a number on it, but I definitely agree that Bungie should seed the community with more goodies. That's going to be a big part of my job soon.


Who better for the job! Memories, wishes, dreams... anyone? ;-)

Again from Matt Soell in a forum post at HBO comes this announcement about the availability of the new Halo E3 movie:

Re: Please, Matt, for the love of Durandal!
Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 22 May 2000, 17:51

In Response To: Please, Matt, for the love of Durandal! (Jeff)

How helpful of you to ask this question just as I'd received a definite answer to it. :-)

The trailer will first appear on the cover CD of a major PC gaming magazine. It will be their August issue, which hits the streets mid-July.

Shortly thereafter it will appear on the Bungie web site (or more likely, the Bungie site will link to some other site with incredible bandwidth where the files will be hosted) for free download. The movie, I am told, will be roughly 100 megs compressed, so this is quite a time investment for those of you without DSL or cable.

The fabled DVD version may happen if we can find a place that can replicate them cheaply, but so far this has not happened.

Who says I never give out hard info?


Wow Matt is even beginning to sound like the Story page... "fabled" DVD version indeed. Let's hope it's NOT A FABLE! :-)

Miguel Chavez <> writes to say that Bungie Sightings has received a mysterious pic from Norway. What could it be? Wasn't up when I looked so best check back later. has taken the trouble to scan in the WHOLE Bungie E3 press kit. Nice job. While the Halo info has already been scanned in at Halo Network there is some Oni and general Bungie info on it. The whole package is very nice. Worth a look.

On the subject of scans and Oni there is a nice scan of the flip side of the Halo flyer at Oni Central. Not sure if you should call it a Halo flyer given that the other side contains Oni info. So let's call it a Bungie E3 flyer. :-)

Matt Smith <> writes:

I was looking at the admin site when I came across a reference to blam. It seems that in when playing myth II on you can be blammed (kicked out) for misbehavior, by an admin.

There are even different forms of blam, such as mini-blam (for a small misgiving).

I got this off the site:

"The lock is the most common punishment. A player can be locked for any amount of time between ten minutes and forever. Single day locks are most often given out by admins. These are blams, and are usually "awarded" to players who've committed some minor offence. A lock for any larger length of time is referred to as an extended lock."
a full list of admin powers look at the explanation of punishments.

May 22, 2000 (Monday)

Jonathan Bahamon <> writes:

i was browsing through the magazines at the checkout aisle in my local supermarket when i came across this week's (May 22) issue of Time.

on page 100 (i think i don't remember too well) there was an article in part of a looking ahead into the future series of articles. this part talked about how we will fight wars in the future. it had an intresting picture of a futuristic soldier decked out in battle gear. what makes this so intresting was the fact that it looked startingly similiar to the UESC Marine from Marathon. from helmet sensors to upgrades such as invisibility, it looked like the ancestor of the Mjolnir cyborg.

i will try to find a picture on the net or scan it when i get the magazine in the mail. either way i'll send you a picture. or maybe someone out there could contribute a picture.

now that i think about it, the battle gear suspiciously looks somewhat like the Halo Marine's gear. maybe Cortana within the dark realms of Bungie leaked the designs to the Pentagon?

If anyone can get a scan of this please send it in. Thanks. got their hands on a scan of an E3 Halo flyer. The text and pics are the same as those on page 10 and 11 of Bungie's E3 press kit scanned in at Halo Network a few days ago though the layout is different and the background pic is easier to see. I've added the text to Official Halo Backstory section for the sake of completeness.

Another Marathon symbol in Myth? Raul Bonilla <> writes:

Is that the Marathon logo on the lava flow? Nahhh, couldn't be! ;)

Thinking about it, the last level of Myth II is named "The Forge" (almost like the Marathon Map Editor) and it takes place inside a volcano. Makes you wonder...

Mark Levin <> writes concerning the new Letters to the Webmaster channel on

I reloaded the page 7 times and all I saw were old letters... The script seems to grab them directly off the Letters to the Webmaster page itself, one letter contained a broken link to another Bungie page.

May 21, 2000 (Sunday)

Quick update

Louis Wu <> writes to point out that the Halo pic in the most recent Halo Network scan of Bungie's E3 presskit (page 14) is not new but rather a "chunk of the Halo banner from E3". You can see it clearly in this E3 banner pic. Thanks Louis.

The German Halo site Halo Network has now scanned in pages 14 and 15 (Halo FAQ stuff) from Bungie's E3 presskit. A new Halo pic can be seen on page 14. Well worth a look. You can now find scans of pages 10 and 11, 12 and 13, and now 14 and 15 at Halo Network.

Brian Retchless <> writes:

On's new little customizeable news thingy, there is an option for letters to the webmaster. I have subscribed to it, and there's one letter and answer each day. My question to you is: do you know if these are recycled letters or are they answering the letters in this form now?

Only one way to find out head on over to and add the Letters to the Webmaster to the your channel list. :-)

On the subject of 2154 people have now voted in the "What platform do you use for gaming?" poll. 1464 (67%) voters (at the time of writing) state that the Macintosh is their gaming platform of choice.

May 20, 2000 (Saturday)

Quick update

Caught this at The German Halo site Halo Network has now scanned in pages 12 and 13 (more Halo stuff) from Bungie's E3 presskit. This has the Halo backstory details which you can also found transcribed on the Official Halo Backstory section. Good quality scan. Definitely worth a look.

Sean Morris <> writes concerning the Hound. See the Missing Aliens section for details.

How many endings in Pathways Into Darkness? More than six? Is there are seventh? Find out the tru7h on today's Pathways Into Darkness page.

With all the recent discussion surrounding the recent cinematic-quality Halo movie at E3 it is interesting to note that Gamasutra has an interesting article entitled Cutting to the Chase: Cinematic Construction for Gamers. It's aimed at game designers and artists who need to incorporate cinematic sequences within their games in order to drive a story or heighten the impact of their title, and who have little knowledge of how to proceed. The article was originally published in the 2000 Game Developer's Conference proceedings. Interesting read.

Don't forget to go vote in the "What platform do you use for gaming?" poll on The current results are an eye opener. Out of 1399 voters (at the time of writing) 980 (70%) say they use a Mac.

May 19, 2000 (Friday)

Quick update

Two quick items both from Bungie. Caught these at First off Bungie have a job opening for a Quality Assurance intern at their Chicago offices. Here's part of the ad:

The Quality Assurance intern will primarily be involved in helping the QA manager and development team test computer games through play-testing and functionality and compatibility tests. This position requires an intelligent person who pays attention to detail, has good verbal and written communication skills and is knowledgeable about a variety of computer platforms and operating systems.

The other news item is about the E3 Halo movie on DVD. Max Hoberman (aka Yeroen) reports that based on their last poll 75% of those who voted were willing to pay $5.95 or more for the movie on DVD format even though it will be released free on the net. Good news. Hopefully we'll find the DVD in the Bungie Store... soon.

Miguel Chavez <> writes to point out that Bungie Sightings has been updated again and the site now also has a PO Box for people without access to a scanner to send hardcopy pics. The snail mail address is:

Bungie Sightings
P.O. Box 570643
Whitestone, NY 11357

Be sure to include a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope if you want your material sent back. found a semi-new Halo screenshot on the net. It originally appeared in the May edition of GameStar magazine (German). However this shot is a high quality version. It's a very nice indoor shot of a Covenant in action. You can also see that Halo ring motif in the background.

May 18, 2000 (Thursday)

Quick update

As noted on HBO the German Halo site Halo Network has scanned in pages 10 and 11 (Halo) from Bungie's E3 presskit. Note the (new?) font and the interesting background pic on the left. Very nice.

Jon Chang <> who was at E3 writes:

Just read the days updates for Halo stuff...based on what Jamie [Griesemer] told me at the show I think the Halo story is going under significant revision. It's almost to be expected considering that's the one element of the game they haven't actually done a lot in though.

I'm guessing that as they go on they'll adjust the story, elements such as the ship surviving in one form or another--or at least the AI-- to give the player some direction as to what target to hit next, basically following the engine's lead and making something that's non-linear without being totally ambiguous.

Do you remember a old series called Rogue Trooper? They used to run it in 2000 AD. In the first iteration of Rogue his dead buddies personalities were saved on combat chips which were then inerted into assorted pieces of his equipment always giving him aid in his mission...

There was also a great book called "Spares" by Mike Marshall Smith where a small helper bot called Ratchet from the beginning of the story knows it will be destroyed and dumps a dupe of it's AI onto a small chip for later use...when the main character later finds a gun ship he slots Ratchet's chip into the gun ship and it's good to go, though he can't interact with it while it's not plugged in.

Hell Terry Nation's Blake's 7, another great British Sci-fi show, had a personality attenuated AI called ORAC that was portable although it could be plugged into such things as a ship (in ORAC's case it didn't need to be. it was so powerful it could tie into anything within the range of it's network...which basically encompassed all terran computers ^_^)

Indeed later in Blake's 7 when they introduced another AI, albeit not as genius as ORAC, called Slave it survived being shot down in the last episode for quite some time before it's systems totally gave out.

Being given mission objectives by "a sentient computer on board their mother ship" may still be in some ways true...but development is just that...development ^_^

The ancient ring construct may also have an AI network for Cortana to dance in. :-)

Why did the whole Covenant fleet following The Pillar of Autumn? Sean Phelps <> writes:

From the third Cortana letter:
This enemy - YOUR enemy - has proven more irritating than I anticipated.
They own nothing which they have not stolen. I can barely make sense of
their incessant rhetoric, except to know that you seem to be their Devil.
Congratulations - you manage to make friends wherever you go and,
apparently, places you haven't.
First of all I'm going to assume that Cortana was speaking to the "player" in the above passage. That is to say, the persons who will be controlling the Mjolnir cyborg in the actual gameplay of Halo. Now I don't know about you, but if I were a religious zealot and I had a chance to kill the devil, I'd go all out with guns blazing. If the player (Mjolnir cyborg?) was the Covenant's devil, and he was onboard the Pillar of Autumn this may explain why the covs gave chase. Now there are religions and cultures where there are many devils and demons, so it's possible that to the covs the Mjolnir is some sort of specific devil, the devil of ass whoopin' perhaps... or maybe the devil who's so hated that they'll go after him no matter what.

On the subject of Halo's story there is an interesting thread on concerning an article at regarding the lack of games at E3 with "genuine innovation or a compelling narrative". One part of the article reads:

Even Bungie Software's Halo, perhaps the most visually magnificent game on display, a combination of first-person combat and real-time strategy, set on a staggeringly vivid landscape, didn't promise much greater narrative depth.
Some people took the trouble to write to the author and got back some revealing responses. See here and here.

May 17, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update #2

Benjamin Sones <>, author of the recent Computer Games Online E3 Halo preview and the one from July '99, writes to say that he's working on "big Halo feature" which will contain lots of new info. He also confirmed that the reference to the player being given mission objectives by "a sentient computer on board their mother ship" was related to him in an interview with Jason Jones at last year's Macworld Expo New York. This would suggest that the backstory has changed since then.

Quick update #1

Miguel Chavez <> informs me that Bungie Sightings has been updated with some new pics and some revealed identities. As always, should Miguel or any of his BS Force be caught or killed, Bungie will disavow any knowledge of their actions. This recording will self-destruct in seven seconds.

Thanks to Rob Swenson (aka Noctavis) on the Hotline server for pointing out this E3 Halo preview at Computer Games Online. They claim:

Our preview brings you the latest news and shots straight from this year's E3 show.

However much of the text is the same as that in a previous Halo preview by Computer Games Online dating from July 23, 1999. Go compare it. :-) While old, the preview does contain an interesting and perhaps forgotten piece of Halo story text:

Bungie plans to allow the player to discover things to do through exploration, or be given mission objectives by a sentient computer on board their mother ship, and the player will generally have several courses of action to choose from at any given time.

I draw you attention to the part "a sentient computer on board their mother ship...". The sentient computer is presumably Cortana but what is the "mother ship"? According to the Official Halo Backstory the Pillar of Autumn (mother ship) is destroyed by a Covenant fleet shorty after it arrives at the Halo. Of course since this preview text actually dates from July 23, 1999 the story may well have changed since then.

Staying with the Halo backstory the fourth Cortana Letter described two AIs on board the Pillar of Autumn. Cortana and a BW - AI Class III. A fact later confirmed by Nathan Bitner (former Producer and Creative Developer - Halo). The text also suggested that Cortana had taken refuse from this other AI by sharing "the circuitry of some hybrid war machine". Here's the quote:

Thanks to this slavishly loyal and humorless AI, I am now sharing cramped space with the circuitry of some hybrid war machine, itself complicated by such useless clutter as a conscience. I do not like sharing. Sharing is for children.

This ploy was also used by Durandal in Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity (Marathon 2: Retold). The hybrid war machine is presumably a reference to a Mjolnir cyborg (Battleroid). The fourth letter would also suggest that Cortana was working to some plan and that the Covenant were simply getting in her way. I quote:

There will be plenty of time for retribution; I cannot wait to get its hands on these psychotic zealots whose primary form of worship apparently takes place at the altar of orbital bombardment.

In the end, they will all be little more than nuisances. I am so close - you cannot imagine what it is truly like to hold eternity in your grasp! I wonder to what gods my enemies will direct their pleas. Perhaps I can convert them.

Thus we might conclude that the Pillar of Autumn's arrival at the Halo was not some random fluke. It is conceivable that Cortana had an influence on the destination even though the ship's captain logged a random course in the ship's AI (the BW - AI Class III). The ship's "non-random" course and apparent destination might also help to explain why the whole Covenant fleet followed the Pillar of Autumn after the destruction of Reach. Alternately the Covenant were simply after something on the Pillar of Autumn.

Something to think about. :-)

May 16, 2000 (Tuesday)

Quick update

E3 Halo movie on DVD with 5.1 Surround Sound! How much would you pay for it? are running a poll to find out your views on the subject. Apparently the movie is described as a Director's Cut which would suggest that it's an improved version over the one seen at E3. Unless of course that was the Director's Cut. Go vote.

Chris Hebner <> writes:

Just something to mention, in the E3 movie, if you only count the people that you can see (i.e. leaving out the dropship pilot), there are 7 humans taking on the Covenant. Probably not to mystical, but hey....

More seven stuff. The German GameStar Halo preview translated by CyberBob and Noctavis at was original seven pages long and started on page 70 of the magazine. Thanks Robert Zimmermann <>.

Hey... Happy Birthday to JG at Bungie. Have a good one! :-)

The real origin of Blam, Your Mom, and Dink revealed? Albert Sacks <> writes:

According to "A Treasury Of Military Humor", a book dealing with humor from the US armed force from the American Civil War to Vietnam, a "Dink" is a nickname for a Vietcong soldier. "Blam" a Vietcong fires. "Your Mom, Dink!!!" American dodges and taunts.
Were any Bungie people in Nam?

Nice find. :-) The book "A Treasury Of Military Humor" is by James E. Myers. Some details can be found here.

Jonathan Bahamon <> writes:

just got the june issue of pcxl. it has halo in a feature of nine games. it prety much reiterates what was stated in the previous issue though it focuses a little bit more into the single player game. the new multiplayer info may be outdated by now due to what we've seen at E3. but it should provide another reference for speculation.

no mentions of sevens or threes that I've noticed (yet), although there was a statement that was intresting:

"Getting information out of Bungie is like pulling teeth out of [sic?] hippopotamus."

wasn't there a mention of wall-hugging hippos a while back?

You can blame Matt Soell and his hippo fetish for this! ;-)

Manuel Blaschek <> writes:

I just found an intersting looking picture at: the Kaleidoscope Scheme "Zeff" looks really similar to the Covenant Energy Pistol. The author must've been hit by the Bungie mind control ray :-)

Ben Ramey <> writes pointing out that Inside Mac Games has launched a web site dedicated to new and updated Macintosh game software. The new site was created with assistance from Randall Shaw of The Mill

May 15, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update #2

The Official Halo Backstory section has been updated with a small piece of E3 movie dialog text previously unreported. In a forum post Michael Young (aka Bravehamster) writes:

One thing in the dialog caught my ears, when one of the BoB's said "This place sure has a lot of open doors for something that hasn't been touched for 100,000 years". So we have a good working date for how long the Halo has been abandoned.

Nice catch. :-)

Quick update #1

The Official Halo Backstory section goes live! This section traces the development of Halo's backstory as told by Bungie themselves. It excludes third party accounts of the story as reported on gaming sites or magazines since these can and do differ widely.

Additional story information can be gleaned from the Cortana Letters and the Halo Transmissions sections.

Bungie Sticker Tag is HERE! But not just stickers. Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill, Freespirit, FS) <> writes:

Bungie Sightings is now open for business!

Our purpose is very simple. Bungie is without a doubt inching closer and closer to world domination. Let us prove this by amassing as many pictures as possible showing Bungie Products in less-than-typical settings.

Got a picture of yourself wearing a Bungie "Don't make us kick your ass!" T-Shirt while standing in front of the Grand Canyon? How about your grandmother holding up a Marathon Trilogy box? Cool! Can you wave an Oni Door Poster from the top of the Eiffel Tower? Awesome! Take a picture and send it on in...

For those of you without scanners or digital cameras, we are working on reserving a Post Office Box for you to send us your pictures. If you include a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) we will send your pictures back ASAP.

Currently the site is 90% done. Due to some Javascript difficulties, the slide viewer is non-functional, but we'll get that fixed in a jiffy! Until then, you can entertain yourself by visiting our home page and trying to figure out what that green thing the Oni sticker is stuck to. :)



-- - Where the bs flies like it's nobody's business

Bungie Software will no doubt point out that they take NO RESPONSIBILITY for people being arrested for trying to stick a Bungie Sticker where it shouldn't be stuck! This assumes you get caught of course. ;-)

May 14, 2000 (Sunday)      Post E3 Blues

Quick update

Jon Chang <> of DEHc-3 HALO was at E3 on Saturday and kindly sent in this report of what he saw and was told:

Well E3 has come and gone and I got to see the new Halo movie/tech demo. It was very impressive ^_^ but of course left a whole bag of questions to be answered.

Afterwards I got to pull aside and talk with Zartman, Jamie and one of the artists, I think his name was Andrew(long hair around 5'8"), for a few quick questions.

Due to a malfunction in the Olympus voice recorder I was using I can't quote directly but...

The first thing I noticed were that you were the only marine of your type in the film. All the other human soldiers seemed to be unmodified traditional grunts, via the USCM from Aliens. I was pretty suprised considering that all of the screenshots we had seen up this point showed many "cyborg" marines and no humans...Then there was the now famous line "Cortana told us there was one of you on board..." delivered by a wounded marine as he's evaced. hmmmmm

This led to my first question are you in fact the only mjolnir marine(I definitely said mjolnir ^_^) and I was told "no comment" but that many of the single player elements were still in the works so comments might be misleading.

Coincidentally almost all of the shots so far have been taken from the purely multiplayer game and I was told that reading "too much" into them might be "misleading" to "myself" ^_^.

I also found out that the game, which is planned to be extremely non-linear, will have the player on his own most of the time though he will be able to aid and fight with other human units if he/she chooses to. This was a shocker for me as I assumed you would always be working with a small A-team of some type based on the guerilla warfare theme of the game. More and more like Marathon wheras I expected it to be a more action type Myth set-up...

I also enquired about the other 2 covenant races. We've seen 2 different classes of the one alien family (officer and grunt) but none of the others. Again I was told things change in the development process and left it at that...perhaps there will now be a singular alien race?

I enquired about some of the influences, especially the sci-fi guru Iain M Banks, and was told that he was definitely among the influences of the game but more importantly that there was a list of books handed off to Jamie to check out when he joined the team! However being that I was without pen/paper/voice recorder I didn't even bother to ask for a list...perhaps in a future email interview ^_^

Some other technical considerations I got were...

On the halo itself will have many different climates and have different times of the day.

Some other things of note, while Joe was doing a weapons, movement demo he zoomed on the marine and turned on bump mapping. You could clearly see and antenna mounted on the marine's shoulder. This had been a point of contention a few months ago on

I enquired about the use of standard case bearing ammo as opposed to caseless which ideally suited for specops type stuff(lighter, can carry more, etc...)
Initially I was told it was an asthetic decision but like all the technology in Halo it will all be rationalized...aka why are they driving around in jeeps when they obviously have V/TOL type technology for things such as the drop ship.

Thanks Jon. :-)

With the recent E3 news that Oni will have no multiplayer feature increased emphasis will have to be placed on the solo game and in particular the story. Will the Oni story tie into any of Bungie's previous storylines? The following is the Oni story as presently given in Bungie's E3 press kit:

Oni (pronounced "OH-knee"): Japanese for "ghost or demon"

A dark future...
An uncertain past...
No one left to trust.

It is the year 2032. Sprawling megacities dominate the landscape, and high technology is an inseparable part of all human endeavor - including crime. One of the most important law enforcement agencies is the Technology Crimes Task Force (TCTF). The TCTF's principle adversary is a brutal and shadowy organization known only as the Syndicate. For years the TCTF has attempted to infiltrate and destroy the Syndicate. Spearheading this effort is one of their toughest, most resourceful agents, an elite operative named Konoko.

Konoko eats, sleeps and breathes the TCTF. Because of the extremely dangerous nature of their work, all TCTF officers undergo rigorous martial arts training and are skilled in the use [of] a wide array of projectile and energy weapons. Even among the elite, Konoko proves to be exceptionally skilled, lethal at close or long range, armed or unarmed.

Konoko conducts many types of missions against the Syndicate, from recon to confiscation, from pursuit to assault; sometimes alone, sometimes with backup. But things are not always as simple as they first seem, and as she learns more and more about the Syndicate, Konoko learns too that intrigue and betrayal haunt the shadows of Oni.

Oni will be Bungie's first game with no multiplayer feature since Pathways Into Darkness, released in 1993.

In case you missed them there are some Bungie Booth pics of Halo and Oni at MacCentral here and here.

Contrary to what's been reported in a number of Halo E3 reports there doesn't seem to be any new Halo screenshots.

May 13, 2000 (Saturday)      E3 Last Day

Tyson Green (aka Ferrex) <> provides some clarification on the Halo movie end dialog:

Just a bit of clarification on that movie dialog, as requested. Turns out I goofed too, but I think I was a bit closer. Unless my memory has failed me again, the lines are:

BOB: Cortana told us one of you were on board, but I didn't believe her
*drop ship moves away*
BOB: You're staying behind?
Marine: Yes. My battle has just begun (might be "is just beginning").

Again, the marine's voice has an unusually monotone and metallic sounding voice, but this could just be from the helmet/commo he's wearing. I'll double check this tomorrow, and let you know if I've goofed again. I'm pretty sure that covers it, though.

CNET Gamecenter who have an E3 report entitled Halo Movie: Impressions also comment on the end dialog. Here's what they say:

The movie concludes with the dropship returning and the pilot saying that he had heard there was "one of them" on Halo but he didn't believe. Clearly, this hints toward the fact that the heavily armored human soldier is some sort of super commando.

Super commando eh? Or should we say Battleroid? ;-)

Tim Young (aka Tsao) <> who was at E3 writes concerning Halo's diameter:

During one of his Halo presentations yesterday at E3, Joe Staten said that the Halo was 10,000 *kilometers* in diameter.

At Macworld Expo SF last January Joe was telling a different story. At the Bungie Fanfest he remarked:

And upon closer inspection they find that this object is, in fact, a ring structure about ten thousand miles in diameter, it has some gravity, it has continents, different climate zones, all of that sort of thing. Most importantly, it can support life on the inside of the ring.

And on Day 2 of Bungie TV Joe stated:

It's 10,000 miles in diameter, it has an atmosphere, it has continents, and it can support life.

Looks like the ring just got smaller. ;-)

Michael Lake <> writes:

I was just organizing my channels on the new, when I noticed something odd: you cannot name the channels with names greater than seven characters long. If you do exceed 7 characters, it replaces the last letter(s) with an ellipse (the three dots: ...). I don't know if this works for everyone, but it has worked twice that way for me. The sevens, 'they're everywhere!'

Thanks to all the people who have written about the cryptic web link changes at Too many to mention. Looks like a webmonkey got hold of a keyboard though.

May 12, 2000 (Friday)      E3 Second Day

Quick update #3

Bungie confusing themselves? According to a transcript of Bungie's E3 Press Kit posted to the forums by Rob Swenson (aka Noctavis) the Halo is stated to be:

10,000 miles in diameter

But in the Halo movie brochure (see below) provided at E3 the Halo is:

ten thousand kilometers in diameter

Miles or kilometers?

I've taken the liberty of reprinting the Halo backstory details from Bungie's E3 Press Kit as transcribed by Noctavis:


The human race has a fledgling interstellar empire of eight worlds that are engaged in a war with an alien league known as the Covenant. Having destroyed the outer perimeter of the human empire, a Covenant fleet has turned towards Earth. A single human warship is dispatched to lure them away. The ship flees deep into space with the Covenant at its heels, and after many months, comes upon an ancient artificial world - a ring construct 10,000 miles in diameter known as "Halo." Damaged and running low on supplies, the crew picks this world to make a stand against the Covenant.

In Halo, the player is a human military officer on the surface of Halo. Working sometimes in concert with other humans, but more often alone, the player must single-handedly improvise a guerrilla war against this overwhelming and heavily armed alien force.

Quick update #2

Robert Zimmermann <> sends in further clarification on the Halo movie end dialog. Robert relates how Rob Swenson (aka Noctavis) was on ('s new Hotline server) and described the following:

Get this: At the end of the battle sequence (OOOOOhhhhhhhh) the VTOL craft picks up the last marine (who looks like Jason Jones) and the Mjolnir... and the marine says to him, "Cortana told me that there were one of you, but I didn't believe her" (something like that)

Again the reference to "one of you" appears. :-)

Quick update #1

Interesting to note that the end dialog in the Halo movie described by Ferrex (below) is different from that posted by Luxor at Halo Vault. Luxor wrote:

The final scene ended with this exchange, which I transcribed most of: "Cortana told us you were on board. You're staying?" And the reply: "Yes, my battle has just begun." And of course, the classic Halo theme and logo.

Perhaps we can get some clarification on this today?

Halo Vault posted scans of Bungie's E3 Halo movie brochure. One page contains the backstory. If you have problems reading it Mark Levin deciphered it and posted it to the forum. Here's the main part of the text:

The Story:

Hundreds of years from now, Earth's fledgling planetary empire has been drawn into a merciless war with a consortium of alien races known as the Covenant. Covenant technology is far beyond that of Earth, and the humans are losing. Whole planets are being destroyed. Billions have died. It's only a matter of time before the Covenant find Earth, and destroy it.

The most recent human planet to be discovered iby the Covenant fleet is Reach, population 700 million. The Covenant annihilate it utterly. A single human corvette escapes the battle. In a desperate attempt to lead the Covenant away from Earth, the ship charts a course for a distant unexplored system.

In a move that baffles the Commander and her crew, the entire Covenant fleet gives chase.

When the humans arrive at their destination, they find an alien artifact of enormous size in orbit between a gas giant and its moon. They have found HALO, a ring ten thousand kilometers in diameter, with a breathable atmosphere. On its inner surface, HALO has oceans, continents, varied climatic zones. It's a habitat.

The Covenant destroy the human ship in a battle near HALO, but a portion of the human crew escapes to land in scattered groups on the surface of the ring. One of the marines, more skilled than the rest, starts a guerilla war against the Covenant, trying to stop them from learning the secrets of HALO.

This marine is you. The game begins.

As Mark pointed out the reference to Reach comes from the Halo Transmissions and the description of the marine is very familiar.

Tyson Green (aka Ferrex) of posted a detailed description of the E3 Halo movie. It's in two parts: Part I and Part II. Here's part of the description that contains story dialog:

Looking down at the BOB, the Covenant surprises us with throaty, gurgling english. The line, if my memory serves me correctly, is right out of the zealot's handbook: "It is God's will that you be exterminated. We are His intruments." The BOB, whom I believe shares faces with Bungie's Jason Jones, counters with one from the bad ass handbook: "go to Hell!"

And in true dramatic fashion, just as the Covenant is about to execute the BOB (and strangely, you don't feel elated by this as you might in Marathon), there are explosions in the distance. The urge to cheer is definitely there when the marine, brandishing a Covenant energy blade, appears at the top of the hill and looks down on the scene for a moment. He charges, the Covenant fires, and what is apparently a shield can be seen around the marine as he takes the hits and barrels forward (apparently, those little lights on the armor are in fact parts of this shield system that Marathon fans will immediately recognize). One wonders if the Covenant energy shield isn't an analogue for this defensive mechanism. Either way, the marine isn't stopped, the Covenant is soon skewered, and the day is saved.

An unstoppable marine with Marathon-esque shields would have been enough. But no, Bungie had to push it over the top. As the dropship appears to extract the two, the BOB can be heard saying something like the following: "Cortana said there was one of you on board, but we never believed her." The coup de grace. The marine, who apparently elects not to depart on the dropship, explains that his fight is just beginning. We're not sure if it's a suit issue, but his voice seemed rather monotone and synthetic, leaving you to wonder exactly what is behind that visor.

Though, I imagine it's much more fun not knowing.

Gary Patterson <> writes:

A scan from the Halo materials handed out by Bungie at E3 (and scanned by the good people at Halo Vault) seems to show (right in the middle, on the fold) the Marathon logo. It's a bit faint, but I'm sure it's there!

While this is the same back design as seen in the original Halo logo it's now no longer obscured by the Halo title itself.

Etherlife has a very funny cartoon about Doug Zartman at E3. Hope Doug has a good sense of humor! ;-)

May 11, 2000 (Thursday)      E3 First Day

Quick update #2

Loren Petrich <> writes:

I'm sure that you've gotten more than your fill of news about the "ILOVEYOU" virus by now, but I do wish to point out that it seems like a real-life version of the bad VacBobs in Marathon Infinity, who run to you and say "I love you, man!" and laugh maniacally.

Chris Harvey <> writes:

I just looked at and the S????S link has now changed into this: SS????I?G

Quick update #1

E3 antics! You first heard of Bungie Sticker Tag at MWNY... now it's a reality! A source that wishes to remain anonymous, let's called him FS, writes:

I'm an unnamed source, please keep my name out of this :)

>From unnamed source:

Those of you fortunate enough to be attending E3, do ??? a favor and grab a bunch of stickers from the Bungie booth (whether Oni, Halo, or Bungie specific) and do your best ninja impersonation: Affix the stickers in the most unlikely of places (Blizzard booth? Lara's butt? [smile!]) and then whip out your instamatic and take some shots of said stickers... a record of the act of Bungie fandom! Keep those shots handy... more to come, soonTM.

p.s. This is not related to the E3 Photo contest over at, but don't worry, we'll take those pics as well. :)

E3 starts today! And the big news just in is from Matt Soell (Bungie Software) dropped a line to the HBO team concerning what people would see in the new Halo teaser trailer at E3. The short summary included this line:

a tidbit of dialog that is sure to set Hamish Sinclair's head spinning

Sounds like the Halo Story is taking shape. :-)

According to Matt the new teaser trailer will make the MacWorld NY demo look old and will be released to the general public. No release date has been fixed yet.

More news later today as we get it.

May 10, 2000 (Wednesday)

Two days ago Josh West <> pointed out that their was a sci fi novel called "Halo" by Tom Maddox. The story deals with a future where artificial intelligence and virtual reality have smudged the margins between human and machine and is set aboard a space station called Halo controlled by AI named Aleph. If you want to read the full text of this story you can find it on the net at the author's homepage at

or from:

Besides writing Halo, Tom has also contributed to a number of sci-fi anthologies such as the hugely influencial Mirrorshades: A Cyberpunk Anthology, edited by Bruce Sterling and Larry McCaffrey's Storming the Reality Studio. He is also credited with dreaming up the concept of ICE (Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics) used in William Gibson's cyberpunk novels.

More recently, Tom collaborated with William Gibson on the Kill Switch episode of the X-Files. The episode dealt with themes that are recurrent in both writers' work: sentient artificial intelligence, the lure of leaving this mortal coil for the silicon matrix, and ghosts in the machine.

Sound familiar?

On the subject of sounds and X-files Aaron Davies <> writes:

The loon sound from Infinity appears in the X-Files episode "Darkness Falls."

They're Everywhere! ;-) becomes The new look is no longer beta. Thanks for the great community page Max! :-)

According to a news item at Doug Zartman lays to rest any spurious claims that you can play an alien character in the Halo solo game. Not sure how this even arose. From a solo game/story point of view you play "a human character". Note the choice of words. :-)

Also at there is an interesting interview with Jaime Griesemer, Senior Designer on Halo. Definitely worth a read.

May 9, 2000 (Tuesday)

Mike Hughes (aka iGamer2000) <> of New Millennium Mac Games writes:

Here are the results of the Marathon Poll you talked about last week. The people have voted and Marathon 2 is the favorite Bungie game of all time. Also we are starting a new poll. Please answer it today. Discusses about whether or not it would be useful to start a Mac games magazine. Looking for input as we are thinking bout starting one up. Thanks.

Operation Desert Storm 0%
Minotaur 1%
Pathways into Darkness 1%
Marathon 20%
Marathon 2 36%
Marathon Infinity 14%
Weekend Warrior 0% (actually 1 vote)
Myth 15%
Myth 2 12%
Myth Chimera 1%

The Core becomes In what most surely rank as one of the top three build-ups in Bungie Fandom The Core maintained by Tyson Green (aka Ferrex) and Rob Swenson (aka Noctavis) moved lock, stock and barrel to a new domain name with Marathon overtones. The site presently retains the look and feel of the former Core site but news coverage seems to have extended.

Abhaya Hess <> writes:

I was playing Marathon 1 when I noticed something very interesting. I was pounding a S'pht compiler with my fist when I saw that everytime I punched him an image of the green marathon symbol was quickly flashed as part of the static. It was on the right side of his body. I did this several times just to be certain and I'm pretty sure of what I saw. Am I crazy? It was a S'pht minor(orange), which might make a difference but I don't know. Just thought it wasn't an interesting enough tidbit to point out.

May 8, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update #3

Josh West <> writes:

Hey, I read the section on the Marathon novel, so I thought you might like this. I ran across this book description just a while ago, but do not own the book myself.

Title: HALO
Author: Maddox, Tom
(Tor, 1991)

Mikhail Gonzales is dispatched to the Halo space station to keep an eye on a daring but costly experiment, the attempt to download the personality of a dying man into the station's artificial intelligence... Aleph.

Halo space station? AI? ALEPH!?!? hmmmmm.

More info on Tom Maddox's book "Halo" can be found here.

Quick update #2

Interesting to note that the title of Iain M. Banks' new Culture novel Look to Windward is a line in T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land":


PHLEBAS the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep seas swell
And the profit and loss.
                  A current under sea
Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
He passed the stages of his age and youth
Entering the whirlpool.
                 Gentile or Jew
O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,
Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

This verse was also used at the beginning of Consider Phlebas. As Thoth would say "circumstances are cyclical".

A line from T.S. Eliot's poem "The Hollow Men" appears in The Cortana Letters.

Quick update #1

Interesting Halo tidbit over at seems it has been confirmed that the two human characters in a recent Halo screenshot at GameCenter are in fact Bungie people, namely Charles Gough (Chucky) and Shikai Wang. Seems all members of the Halo development team have been similarly immortalised. Original source of this info can be found here.

More Core musings. Thanks to all those who have written in about the strange goings on at The Core. Ever the crazy one Miguel Chavez <> has saved the relevant posts for posterity. They are posted here with permission. Make of these what you can! ;-)

But what's really going on? Well back in April 1, 2000 Ferrex posted the following Core news item:

Ah, what a magical day... it's really too bad we've been too busy preparing a brand new site for launch to play any tricks today. Yessir, nothing in the way of non-launch work planned.

Looks like the tricks have begun. ;-)

Jon Chang <> writes to say that the ?B? link on the main page has now changed to ??S?. Jon writes:

?b? and ??s?

3 letters + 4 letters = 7

Is this really a new Bungie game or something more?

Oscar Göthberg <> writes:

I believe the Swedish movie referred to in today's news post was mentioned in some old letter to the webmaster at

I dunno if the movie airing tonight is just that one, though. I'll check it out, but it'd be cool if someone with a computer capable of digitising video could record the Marathon-related parts...

Already been done so it seems. You can see some video captures from the the Swedish movie which features Marathon 2 but under the title of Final Doom at

May 7, 2000 (Sunday)

Quick update

Robert Zimmermann <> writes:

more news:

has updated the site and now has the cover of the new Banks book ( Look to Windward, which is supposed to have more Halo references.

Take a look at that book cover it's set on an orbital (mini ringworld) like Consider Phlebas.

Some crazy stuff going on down at The Core site. Miguel Chavez <> who was up at some ungodly hour tracking events sent in two emails on the subject. You can read the first one here, and the second on here. Lots of speculation in here but hey that's what the other 7% of the Story page is all about. ;-)

Robert Zimmermann <> writes concerning Freespirit and the special May 15th announcement:

Well, I noticed that on the 15th on the WWDC 200 (where we might get an announcement as Free ehm spirit said) there are two major points, one is OpenGL and the other is Java, maybe this connects to Minotaur and not to Halo and OpenGL.

When asked to comment Freespirit replied:

Mumble, mumble. I don't have a script, sorry.

Sebastian Brytting <> writes:

Marathon was once used in a swedish(!) movie! Swedes can see the movie at 21.00 tomorrow, on TV4... I'll send a picture of the Marathon scene tomorrow night, if anyone from any other country wants to know.

(They changed the looks of the weapons though)

Sebastian sent his mail in yesterday so the movie is on today. Hopefully we'll get some pics.

SETI server back up and running according their tech news page.

May 6, 2000 (Saturday)

Sarwat Khan <> writes concerning Freespirit and the special May 15th announcement:

At first I was thinking it was going to be E3 related, but E3 is from the 11-13. But WWDC begins on the 15th. It's a strange venue for Bungie to announce something, but maybe we'll see OpenGL working on Mac OS X this time.

WWDC is the Worldwide Developer Conference. Freespirit was unavailable for comment.

According to a news item at the Core Bungie will not be announcing their new game at E3. Matt Soell was reported to have said:

There won't be a new game announced at E3.

There WILL be demos, behind closed doors to a handpicked crowd of industry and media elites, of a new game. But it won't be shown to the world at large, or even officially announced, for some time yet.


Bungie will no doubt be trying to replicate the hush hush atmosphere they created at last year's E3 when Halo was shown for the first time behind closed doors to the print media.

A number of people have written in pointing out that the main page now sports a ?B? link instead of the former ???. Looks like ? All very cryptic.

Dan Rudolph <> writes:

Glue the Moose did the music for Chimera, and then was apparently pounced upon to do music for other Myth scenarios. He may only be referring to the Chimera music, but as good as it is, I wouldn't be surprised if they have him doing something else.

Experiencing SETI blues? SETI Server getting you down? Can't upload? Can't download? Well Alan Stott <> writes:

Just got this from ISN...

10) AND FINALLY........,


Observers report seeing a "pulsating blue beam" destroy the 250 foot Rand Wilson radio telescope situated in Johannesburg, South Africa, reports the "Weekly World News" magazine. "It looked as if it had taken a direct hit from a category five hurricane, but the weather that night was completely tranquil," chief astronomer Dr Nigel Van Hecht is quoted, furthermore "We have concluded that it is the result of sabotage, and because of the uncanny nature of the weapon, we are strongly leaning toward the theory that the attackers were non-terrestrial."  and "It's conceivable that the aliens don't like us eavesdropping on them - and that this was their crystal-clear way of telling us to cut it out," the astronomer said. "Certainly they may have secrets they don't want us listening in on," he added.

ISN takes no responsibility for damage caused to your desktop PC as a result of downloading the SETI@HOME software via our links!

Sounds like a magnetic pulse attack to me. ;-)

Claude Errera <> writes to point out that the SETI problems are due to a data server problem. Well that's the officially line anyway. ;-)

Ross Wolfe <> writes concerning the level name "All Roads Lead To Sol...". See the What's in a Name? section.

Gabe Rosenkoetter <> writes to say that the Grendel scenario for Marathon Infinity is no more. Dead dead dead. Page 2401 updated to reflect this.

May 5, 2000 (Friday)

Quick update

According to a news item at Bungie are swamped with preparations for E3. Looks like camp bed time. Major site update on Monday says Max Hoberman (Yeroen).

Oh and when you're customizing your news page don't forget to check that Bungie Photo Archive. Some interesting pics in there. Hope you are collecting them all. :-)

According to a source close to Bungie, let's call him Freespirit, we should be seeing something quite unique on Monday May 15th. All he would say was:

Start sprinkling teasing little things here and there.

Sprinkle... sprinkle... May 15th... and counting.

Rob Swenson (aka Noctavis) <> writes to point out two news items at the Core. The first is from Daily Radar which carries the following news item on Bungie and E3:

Halo -- Sure, it was the big game of last year's E3 (along with Oni, which is fast approaching "whatever happened to?" status), but we're still wowed by Bungie's technical demos of Halo. This year, the company is promising to show us some actual gameplay, along with another secret new game. The engine is definitely there -- will the gameplay live up to it? Cross your fingers.

If true those attending E3 are in for a unique experience. :-)

The second news item at the Core relates to to a web site called Glue the Moose. Their main page indicates that they create music and sound effects for computer games and Bungie Software are one of their clients. They are also working on a super secret project! Well who isn't these days. ;-)

Dalan Galma <> writes:

In the "Frequency" ad I saw last night, they used a electricity sound to repeatedly introduce the critic's reviews of the film... the sound was none other than the "breaking wires" sound from Marathon 2... I don't know if it's Bungie-original, but still worthy of note.

On today's Pathways Into Darkness page... Who's that guy on the box, quick drop and in guys, and the subtle features of pyramid design. Now I bet you're curious! ;-)

May 4, 2000 (Thursday)

Confusion and Solipsism. Michael Watson <> sent in a little file with this message:

I gave this to Claude for the archives a couple of months ago, but I haven't seen it anywhere. (He probably forgot about it, or couldn't find a place for it.)

I give it to you, and ask what you make of it all. The tru7h isn't out there, it's in _here_.

Only for the terminally curious. All questions concerning this item to Michael at <> please.

Will Miles <> writes:

On Player height:
Even with all these mathematical things about Marine height, have you ever noticed how much shorter M1 Bobs are than M2 Bobs, and Vacbobs are even bigger. Just the visual size difference shows that you are a lot taller than M1 Bobs and about level with M2 Bobs (compare heights with other Marines on multiplayer, a good map for this is your basic Mars Needs Women)

The Pathways Into Darkness page got updated yesterday with an item on pyramid design.

James Gurnee <> writes:

The game "Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of TIme" ( ), was released around 1998, and here is some background info:

The game takes place around 2329 AD. It is the third in a series, where you are Gage Blackwood, Agent 5 for the TSA (Temporal Security Agency). A time rift has hit the present, and you must go back and find out why this rift exists and who created it. Visit the webpage for more information. I have finished the game so I can say the below accurately:

TSA (Temporal Security Agency) Emblem like three Marathon Emblems.
( -640x480, 307 Kbytes)

Inventor of time travel technology in the game: Elliot *Sinclair* :-)

The Sosiqui, an elder race, has been said (in the game) to have somewhat raised certain Human cultures, kind of like what the Jjaro did with the S'pht; at the end of the game (spoiler), it was revealed that the Sosiqui have escaped our universe, like the Jjaro (except the Jjaro were only said to have left our galaxy).

May 3, 2000 (Wednesday)

Elbert Wall <> and Muhsin Miski >> both point out that the Quake 3 Arena to Marathon conversion website now has a screenshot of a 'working' motion detector.

Closer to home Aleph One 0.10.1 has been released! Full details at The Source.

John Zero <> writes:

A column I saw today on Planetquake discusses the origins of netplay and how 'running around a maze shooting at stuff' got started with Wolf 3D and DOOM. It's at:

Remarkably, the author actually makes mention of 'our side' of that story in an 'Addendum' at the end of the article:

"1: A big apology to all those people out there who started on Apple computers and could legitimately claim that Marathon kicked things off, for them."

Well! This makes the author, Plummer, rather a gentleman and a scholar in the Quake world, doesn't it? I have sent him a note of thanks.

David Simon <> writes concerning the series Space: Above and Beyond:

In fact there were AIs in Space Above and Beyond, in the form of humanoid robots (identifiable by their funky looking eyes). They were commonly known as 'silicates' and were originally designed as a servant species, but eventually rebelled (Blade-runner style). We meet many silicates in combat, but the two who stand out in my memory were Elroy (a humour model who later adapted his talents to torture) and an entertainment model (pool-shark) played by David Duchovney.

The silicates were particularly fond of any game that involved chance, they loved gambling. This was due to the fact that their algorithms were designed to logically understand and analyse a set of variables, but when gambling there were too many variables involved making it a more exciting experience for the AI.

The Silicates eventually sided with the Chigs (the aliens) and became their willing labor force as well as mercenary soldiers.

If you get a chance, there is an excellent SAAB episode called "Who Monitors the Birds" which I think is a great piece of television. It has about 3 mins of dialogue in the entire episode, and it has a number of Infinity-like elements in it (namely a realistic sci-fi world which is counterpointed by surreal and inexplicable events with don't point to a tangible answer.) There are also flashbacks and distant memories... and a lot of shooting/hand-to-hand action!

May 2, 2000 (Tuesday)

On today's Pathways Into Darkness page... what was locked away for nearly 60 years can now be revealed. Walter's little secret!

Timothy Collett <> writes concerning last month's submission about the series Space: Above and Beyond:

Just wanted to set the record straight about Space. It wasn't a miniseries; it just got canceled after one season (and had a rather spectacular finale). It was about a colony (Tellus) that got ambushed by the first aliens we humans had ever seen, whom we dubbed the chigs. It later turned out that the government, or a branch thereof, at least knew of the chigs beforehand, and may have called them to Tellus Colony. Not an AI (though there are some of those...) but somewhat similar to a story I heard before, perhaps in a dream...

Elbert Wall <> writes:

there's a Marathon-like symbol

May 1, 2000 (Monday)

Max Hoberman (Bungie Software) reveals A new and greatly improved web site! It's in public beta phase. Go customize your own personal site. :-)

Io (pronounced "EYE oh") is the innermost of Jupiter's four largest moons, which are called the Galilean moons (the others are Europa, Ganymede and Callisto). Io was discovered by Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei on January 7, 1610. In Roman mythology, Io was one of Jupiter's lovers and the daughter of a river god.

Eylon Caspi <> writes:

I am enclosing a gif of the mysterious Marathon 1.2 CD glyphs. They are visible on the underside of the CD in a circular band close to the center hole. In the same band are printed in reverse, "MFD BY JVC" and "BP815 R1J13". Note, their reversal suggests that the mysterous glyphs are also printed in reverse. The glyphs and letters appear to be "pressed" into the plastic as part of the CD manufacturing process (except for the final "13" which is etched or scratched-in but buried in the plastic). These facts observations suggest to me that the symbols are not a Bungie artifact but a peculiarity of the JVC CD process. For reference, my Marathon 1.2 CD has bar-code "7 61521 00815 8".

You can see the Marathon 1.2 CD glyphs here.

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Last updated May 31, 2000