since 1995

November 23, 2022 (Wednesday) 11.23.2022

"Actually you're not real and right now, you're inside a computer game, where someone else is directing your actions and wearing a virtual reality body suit. That other person is now making you read this instead of playing the Marathon demo for the 36th time..."
Bungie Software.  Marathon Demo.  DON'T READ THIS!!!  November 23, 1994.

Happy Marathon Demo day.

This day 28 years ago the Marathon Demo v0.0 was uploaded to AOL by Tuncer Deniz (Inside Mac Games).

Marathon fans grabbed their CyberMaxx VR Headsets and entered the Bungieverse.

However Kevin Koy, chief executive of VictorMaxx, advised against prolonged use of their CyberMaxx VR Headset, adding:

"Users should always be tethered to their seats. Otherwise you can walk off a balcony."

But as every Marathoner knows... only you would survive the fall.

Happy Marathon Demo day.

November 21, 2022 (Monday) 11.21.2022

"Marathon 2 presently has no set release date. No, I don't even have an approximate one. No, I won't hazard a guess. No, I won't e-mail all the details to anyone "off the record." There isn't a release date yet. I will post as soon as I know what the release date will be."
Matt Soell (Bungie Tech Support). Bungie Announces Marathon 2. America Online. July 19, 1995.

Happy Marathon 2 release day.

Yes folks, this day 27 years Marathon 2: Durandal began shipping. The official shipping date had been November 30, 1995 but Cyberian Outpost had copies and was fulfilling their orders. In fact, the first copy of Marathon 2: Durandal rolled off the production line eleven days earlier on November 10, 1995.

November 19, 2022 (Saturday) 11.19.2022

"Back in the early days of Bungie, the team put a huge amount of thought into the background of the games, such as Pathways and particularly the Marathon series. The plot points were often hidden, so that they were only visible to people who looked for them."
Jason Jones. Interviewed By You. December 18, 2001.

Coinciding with the release of Halo: Combat Evolved on November 15, 2001 Bungie announced a new and improved with a new section called Halo: Tru7h and Reconciliation. Described as...

...a site dedicated to exploring the depths of our latest and greatest game. (We're in the polishing stage on this site now, and should have it online shortly.) You'll find strategy guides and tips to help you master the game, behind-the-scenes information about every facet of Halo's development, screenshots and concept art and music and other things you won't find anywhere else. Halo's universe is an extremely rich one, but Halo: Tru7h and Reconciliation will help you discover all its secrets.

As part of this new site Matt Soell announced on November 27, 2001 - Mister Jones and You.  A fan-based interview with the legendary recluse  Jason Jones.

The interview was published on December 18, 2001 and while heavily focused on the new game Halo, Jason did throw in a few nuggets about Pathways into Darkness and the Marathon series.

Including in the interview is the often quoted piece about how the Pillar of Autumn escaped the Covenant navy at Reach:

But forget the name, isn't it kind of suspicious that a single human corvette had any success at all against the Covenant navy, when in every previous battle the humans mostly just got sawed in half by particle beams when they tried to stand up to the aliens? (much less disabling four of their capital ships!) Do we know anyone who can work magic in fleet engagements against odds like that?

Ow. Somebody just kicked me under the table.

Jason goes on to admit that he couldn't believe how anyone ever finished Marathon or why Greg Kirkpatrick didn't shoot him.

Or why he stopped drawing after Pathways in Darkness.

Or what was obvious after Gheritt White, and what did we miss in Pathways?

Or why Bungie didn't talk for years about the Nar's coal powered starships.

Or why he would rather rewrite Marathon's quad rasterizer for the fifth time.

But I digress.

For the first time on the Story page here is in the full unabridged interview - Jason Jones Interviewed By You

November 13, 2022 (Sunday) 11.13.2022

"OK. There's never a guy there. He moved."
Jeoku. Marathon In-depth #6 Bigger Guns Nearby. November 13, 2022.

Jeoku continues his in-depth playthrough of Marathon with Bigger Guns Nearby. This one is shorter at just over 38 minutes.

Fair dues to Jeoku for filming his untimely demise at the hands of a seemingly 'rogue' Pfhor. This is the result of a trick Jason Jones used on some of his earlier levels.

Sources in the video include:

November 12, 2022 (Saturday) 11.12.2022

"Jumping and ducking could have been in Marathon, but true 3D would definitely be a nice addition (and probably a necessary one) to a future Marathon."
Jason Regier (Bungie Software). Marathon Magazine interview. March-April, 1997.

Back in the myths of time there was Marathon Magazine (aka MaraMag).

The first issue was launched in February 1995 shortly after the release of Marathon. It was conceived by Ben Chess who acted as editor for a total of 13 issues until May-June 1996. Like many electronic publications on the Macintosh in the mid to late 1990s it was distributed as a DOCMaker file. The magazine contained walkthroughs for both Marathon and later Marathon 2, reviews of 3rd party maps and apps, internet Marathon sites, etc.

Somewhat surprisingly Marathon Magazine was reanimated in March-April 1997 by Nik "Frost" Manak who acted as editor for four issues before closing for good in December 1997.

This second iteration of MaraMag was notable for containing interviews with Bungie employees. The first issue had an interview with Jason Regier who had joined Bungie in March 1996.

Jason Regier's first job was to work on Marathon Infinity converting the in-house Marathon map editor Vulcan into a commercially acceptable product called Forge.

He then worked on Super Marathon for Pippin and then Myth.

Jason Regier tallest guy center back

You can read the interview with Jason Regier from Marathon Magazine March-April 1997. Find out his views on Pfhorte, Marathon 3D, the Myth story and the Marathon movie.

November 10, 2022 (Thursday) 11.10.2022

"Only the most hard-core Marathon fans need apply..."
Bungie Software. Marathon 2 Auction Action! November, 1995.

Happy first copy of Marathon 2: Durandal Day.

This day 27 years ago the first copy Marathon 2: Durandal rolled off the production line and was put up for auction in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The box was signed by the Bungie team and came with a notarized Certificate of Authenticity.

Starting bid was $100 and according to Bungie... "Only the most hard-core Marathon fans need apply."

Find out who won, what the winning bid was, and who at Bungie signed the box here.

Happy first copy day.

November 6, 2022 (Sunday) 11.06.2022

My feelings and thoughts constantly migrate to binary opposites.
Durandal. Marathon 2: Durandal Come and Take your Medicine (Terminal 1: 1st message). November 21, 1995.

"Decompress the docking bay"... are the first words spoken by Durandal in Marathon. When reading this your mind will migrate to a binary opposite. Decompression is bad. You move on happy in your knowledge.

In a refreshing take on this early piece of manual text B-Va in r/marathon asks a simple question:

" So, the shuttle Mirata is on course to rendezvous with the Marathon, but Durandal decompresses the docking bay to apparently thwart that attempt? Wouldn't the docking bay need to be decompressed in order to allow the shuttle to land..."

Then that truth you held onto so tightly becomes... doubt.

Decompression is... bad?

The person who wrote the Manual text certainly thought so... even questioning Durandal's sanity for doing it.

To add to this conundrum you are able to land the Mirata's Maneuvering Pod in an empty MP docking bay at the start of Arrival because it is decompressed (open to space).

Because the docking bay is decompressed and there is no one around to restore an atmosphere you cannot exit it the normal way (via the stairs). Instead you must enter the ship via an airlock. Based on the map of the first level this meant exiting the open docking bay and floating in space up to the airlock.

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

November 4, 2022 (Friday) 11.04.2022

Ask yourself, "Is Hastur a Jjaro?"
Randy Reddig (Double Aught). (4th iteration). November 4, 1996.

Happy Hastur Day.

Yes folks, this day 26 years ago Double Aught opened Hastur's Workshop. Randy Reddig wrote:

A peek inside the mind of Double Aught's most feared denizen. With illustrations and step by step instructions, the thick veil of mystery is brushed aside as you learn to reproduce the devious tricks and nefarious polygons of Marathon Infinity's mapmakers.

Ask yourself, "Is Hastur a Jjaro?"

To accomodate this new addition the Double Aught front page had to be changed from this... to this.

Randy even created a banner for Bungie's own web site.

This of course meant that Greg Kirkpatrick was diverted from answering questions about Marathon Infinity's "Twisted Plot" to answering questions like... my map Sporkt... "Why It Don't Work?"

But I digress.

Today is Happy Hastur Day.

November 2, 2022 (Wednesday) 11.02.2022

Had a few queries about the Mirata's Maneuvering Pod seen in the Arrival chapter screen and in particular this piece from Jeoku's in-depth playthrough of the first level in Marathon. Folks wanting to know "Is that the back or the side?"

When Bungie released Marathon in December 1994 the hardcopy manual included a piece of concept art for the Mirata's Maneuvering Pod.

A little known fact is that when Bungie created an electronic version of the Marathon manual in DOCMaker format for the release of the Marathon CD in April 1995 they included a second piece of concept art for the Mirata's Maneuvering Pod.

This second piece is an earlier version of the concept for the Pod. Why it was included in the electronic version of the manual is unclear. When Bungie released the manuals in PDF format for the Marathon Trilogy Box Set in May 1997 this piece of concept art was not included.

Nathan Anderson on ArtStation put together a very nice piece of fan art some years ago on how the earlier Pod design might have worked.

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Last updated Nov 21, 2022