(Nov-Dec 1998)

Dec 31, 1998
Well a new year is almost upon us. Time to look back... or forward? What better way than to visit the newly updated Page 2401. The largest list of Marathon links in the Sol system. Alot of dead pages have been weeded out and some new ones added. If you think Marathon is dying on the web then think again. A New Era of Marathon is approaching... will you be ready?

Happy New Year to all the Story page readers... everywhere!

Dec 30, 1998
James Pillar (aka RuGGeR) of RuGGeR's Tavern is going to Macworld SF and is looking to join up with other hardened Marathon marines for an assault on the Bungie booth. You can't miss James since he's 6 foot 8 and built like a rugby player (hence the nick). You can contact James for "The Plans" at <Tavern@buyamac.com&lgt;. I wouldn't want to be in the Bungie booth when James and the gang arrive.

Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <JMChavez@aol.com> will also be there reporting on events at the Bungie booth. Hopefully he'll land a scoop like he did at E3 earlier this year. We'll be watching.

This interesting fact was passed on to me by Colin James <cjames@henninger.com>. It relates to the Double Aught net map pack Coriolis Loop. Colin points out that the level name "Controlled by Gamma Light" comes from the chorus in the song "Earth People" by Dr. Octagon. The level was created by Randy Reddig and according to Colin Kawakami who also worked at Double Aught Software this was some of the music Randy listened to while working on the Coriolis Loop levels. The song "Earth People" has a curious ending. It features part of a conversation between a doctor and a number of observers at a post-mortem. The text is as follows:

Observer 1: What's your theory Doctor?

Doctor: Strangulation! By horrifically powerful hands!

Observer 1: But is it not curious that this left deltoid muscle should be missing.

Observer 2: It's been torn right out!

Doctor: Gentlemen it wasn't torn. This is...

The Coriolis Loop map pack contains a total of 18 levels listed as follows:

Carnage Soccer
Carnage Soccer
Controlled by Gamma Light
Corpus Swinus
Hats off to Eight Nineteen
Grendel's Happy Cookie
House of Monkey
Mime Target
My Rod?
Reason with the Sky - Fast
Reason with the Sky More Complex)
Sand Serif Fast)
Sand Serif Good Looking)
Tour de Carnáge
Shadows of Brooklyn
UN Attack
Ways and Means 2

Most of the levels were created shortly after Double Aught completed the Infinity scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon". Building on this experience Double Aught created some of the most innovative and aesthetically pleasing net levels available.

The Coriolis Loop levels played host to the now famous Battle of Brooklyn (BoB) series. Check the FAQ section for details on this.

Dec 29, 1998
Michael Park <macgamer@ohana.com> writes:

All right, in one of the sections of your webpage, there was mention as to why you're called a "science officer" when you are more or less like a security officer. In response to this, someone at Bungie says that "in the future, science and security is the same".

Ok, so that makes some sense. But what about the Science and Security Bob crews in Marathon 1? If the officers were the same, wouldn't that apply to the Marathon Bobs? If you compare their stats in the physics, you will see that Science Bobs are weaker than the Security ones.

But as I've said, if Science and Security were the same, why have two sets of Bobs instead of one Bob doing both?

Ah yes this was Matt Soell (Bungie Software) back in Apr 23, 1996. Long story to this one. Back in Apr 6, 1996 Bungie updated their home page with Marathon info that was clearly out-of-date. The page maintained that we played the part of a "science officer" in the game rather than a security officer. This info was in fact based on an early press release for Marathon dating from July '94. The disturbing thing about all this was the fact that Bungie's page was actually updated with this old info in the first place. Not good. Matt Soell in Bungie's defence remarked at the time:

In the future, science and security will be one and the same.

Matt did go on to say however:

Actually, the character was originally supposed to be a science officer. It was changed rather capriciously in the Marathon manual. Someday someone will get around to that page of the site and change it so that it complies with future history as we know it. ;)

Of course if Matt hadn't been joking he would of had to explain the apparent difference between Science Bobs and Security Bobs. ;-)

Dec 28, 1998
Aaron Davies <agd12@columbia.edu> writes concerning Bruce Morrison's comments below:

Re the terminal browser in M1, if you look at the DITL associated with DLOG 132, DITL 139, you can see the entire browser box, options, scatological buttons, and all. Now we just need to figure out what CODE calls DITL 139. :-)

Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes:

Happy Puppy did a review of Myth II in which they acknowledged Mac gaming and gave it credit where it was due. After all the examples of PC gamer ignorance I've seen lately, this was a welcome change. http://www.happypuppy.com/

Good news for 1999 perhaps?

Dec 24, 1998

T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the ship,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a S'pht...


Merry Christmas to all Story page readers... everywhere!

The Marathon's Story page will be closed for three days over the Christmas period. Next update will be on the 28th December. Have a great Christmas and don't forget to check out what happens to those greyed out network game options on the 25th. ;-)

AT LAST... secret Marathon level 00 "A Good Way To Die..." revealed. Check the Blasts from the Past section for full details.

An amusing seasonal post appeared on alt.games.marathon from that infamous rogue Gary Simmons (aka Battle Cat). In case you missed it I've taken the opportunity to reprint it below. Thanks Gary!

From: "Gary L. Simmons" 
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Subject: Christmas on board the Marathon
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 10:22:07 -0800
Organization: EarthLink Network, Inc.
Mime-Version: 1.0
Reply-To: gsimmons@SPAMearthlink.net
Message-ID: <368134CC.38525D41@SPAMearthlink.net>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.04 (Macintosh; I; PPC)
Lines: 25

As usual around Christmas time when there is a war, the soldiers will
sometime lay down their arms and come together for a moment in warmth
and peace.  Such a thing happened on board the Marathon today.  Silent
Night was playing over the intercom system during a lull in the
fighting.  I happened upon a squad of Pfhor projectile fighters led by a
Purple Trooper.  An odd thing happened, we just looked at each other, no
one powered up their weapons.  I slowly took my hand from the grip of my
holstered .44 Magnum.  The Trooper stepped forward and offered his hand
saying gently, "Uhh er uhh ahhhh".  This was an awkward moment for us
both.  Soon we were all singing carols and sipping eggnog.  I reached
into a side flap of an ammo pouch, found my lucky Bhanta foot and gave
it to the Trooper.  In kind he gave me a small cylinder with a blinking
light.  It was magical, and as he turned to rejoin his squad of blue
fighters, a tear started to well up in my eye and I thought, "What the
HELL is going on here?!?"  I planted a rack of SPNKRs into the Trooper's
stinking butt crack and took out the rest of his squad with my MA-75B
Battle Rifle.

Merry Christmas everyone and happy CARNAGE in the new year!

Gary Simmons
the Battle Cat

What... no fists?!!! Just Vid It - With Style! ;-)

Dec 23, 1998
Sriranga Veeraraghavan <tranga@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU> writes concerning one the Thoth terminals on the Marathon 2 level "Kill Your Television". See the Thoth section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Bruce Morrison <wimorrison@FTC-I.NET> writes:

hey It's apparent the Story page has several answers to questions, so my question is: how do you access the built in term. browser in marathon?

what key combination is it?

To help illustrate what I'm talking about check out the DLOGs Box from the ResEdit file of the Marathon Application, script 132. do you know what the key combination is?

Odd stuff. While the Story page has lots of answers to questions it doesn't have an answer for this one. Anyone out there have an answer?

Dec 22, 1998
Back in Dec 4, 1998 Sylith Senjak <durandal2_@hotmail.com> and John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> both wrote concerning the possibility that Rolend's sword "Durendal" originally belonged to the Trojan hero "Hector" but the actual evidence for this was apparently lacking. Now Sylith Senjak writes again:

I found the backup evidence I was looking for.

In _The Story of Roland_, a story version written by James Baldwin, it says that when Roland is given the sword, written on the blade are the words "I am Durendal, which Trojan Hector wore".

In _The Iliad_ as translated by Alston Hurd Chase and William G. Perry, Jr., it says that after Achilles slew Hector, he stripped Hector of his arms and armors(page 343), though nothing is said about a sword.

Interesting stuff. More to follow on this. And page 343 no less! Coincidence or...

Marathon is now 4 years old, alive and kicking. Fans worldwide are still making maps and playing the game. Others are researching the story and unearthing facts and puzzling things about the game on a daily basis. Why? Why does Marathon still generate so much interest? This question is posed on RuGGeR's Tavern news section at RuGGeR asks:

To what do you attribute Marathon's prolonged success in the gaming community?

If you have an answer then fill in the on-line form so that a concensus view can be obtained. Remember... the answers are out there!

Dec 21, 1998

Happy 4th Birthday Marathon.

This day four years ago Marathon was released. Party on!

Bruce Morrison <wimorrison@FTC-I.NET> writes:

I was actually watching Star Gate SG-1 and I noticed that the staffs the Egyptian/Aliens use look a lot like Pfhor Staff, infact after looking through the Star Gate web page, www.stargate-sg1.com I noticed a lot of Marathonish pictures mostly in the concept art like unevolved Craig Mullins pieces.

If you check the Behind the Scenes section at www.stargate-sg1.com/behind/index.html you'll find some familiar looking graphics for the episode called "The Enemy Within".

Steve Rogers has posted a 6.2 meg Marathon song called "Durandal" at


Worth a listen. Great electric guitar sound unfortunately it's a .mov file rather than an MP3 so the quality is rather poor.

More Marathon Links you should know about.

The Marathon Player's Guild of Japan at http://mars.ru.u-tokai.ac.jp/
A great set of links to some interesting Japanese Marathon pages containing maps, utilities, vidmaster films, spoiler info, and even a Marathon comic.

Dec 20, 1998
Following up on Michael Zannetou's recent comments regarding a free copy of Prime Target on this month's Macworld (UK) cover CD I managed to get my hands on a copy. Hey a free game is a free game. Anyway it was interesting to note the Game Hall of Fame section which also appeared in the US version of Macworld. The article written by Cameron Crotty is essentially the same in both versions of Macworld except for the scoring. The US version of Macworld uses "mice" icons the UK version uses "stars" plus a numerical score. The odd thing about this is the actual differences between the US and UK scores. Here are just some of games and their scores.

US Macworld

Tomb Raider (4 mice)
Myth: The Fallen Lords (4 mice)
Myst (4.5 mice)
Riven (4.5 mice)
Unreal (4.5 mice)
Marathon Trilogy Box Set (4 mice)     

UK Macworld

Tomb Raider (5 stars/9.2)
Myth: The Fallen Lords (4 stars/8.4)
Myst (4 stars/8.5)
Riven (4 stars/8.0)
Unreal (4 stars/7.8)
Marathon Trilogy Box Set (4 stars/8.8)

So why does the US version of Macworld give the Marathon Trilogy Box Set 4 mice placing it below games such as Unreal, Myst, and Riven while the UK version gives it 4 stars/8.8 placing it above these games? Conspiracy or something more?

Nathaniel Krell <nkrell@mail.valueweb.net> writes:

A few years ago, I seem to remember that Bungie had a set of "Marathon Christmas Greeting Card" images availible on their website (i.e. S'pht decorated as Christmas Tree while Pfhor open presents or something like that). I neglected to save these when I had the chance, and completely forgot about them until last month.

Yes, it's been almost 2 or 3 years since it occurred to me to look for these again. Mea culpa.

Would you have any idea where I could possibly find these files? Thank you for your time.

Hey this is the Marathon's Story page where ELSE would you find this type of Marathon memorabilia? :-)
If I remember correctly there was only one card, the Marathon Holiday Greeting Card. On the back were the words "Home Pfhor The Holidays", Mark Bernal. The card looked like this. Enjoy.

Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> writes:

The other day I saw a mention of an Asimov story involving "a 'Big Computer' that becomes so powerful it eventually BECOMES God. " (This was a comment on a news item about claims that Earth technology has been stolen from aliens.) The story turned out to be "The Last Question", which has been put on the web at
It's a good read (aside from Asimov's usual dated tech). I won't ruin the plot, but it seems very familiar, as if from an old dream...

Adam "Rabbit" Rose <rosegang@earthlink.net> writes:

Since you have been dealing out addresses for alternative Marathon sites to the downed marathon.org, we'd like to add another to your list. It's Rabbit's Marathon Page (Maybe you've heard of it, we don't think you have...) and we're spreading a little Christmas Cheer. On Christmas Day 1999 (Or sooner), we're gonna release a Christmas Novelty Map Pack featuring all kinds of novelties geared around carnage at the holidays. We'd also like to collect maps from anyone with a Christmas related map. Well, over the next week, there will be more details at the site about this new project.

Here's the site-

Check RuGGeR's Tavern at for a growing list of 3rd party scenario links.

Dec 18, 1998
The Marathon Vidmasters' Page is BACK. Thought lost in the purge of '98 the Vid-files were secretly unearthed from the ashes and dusted off. The URL for the new Vidmasters' page is now

The page has been updated with the Marathon Trilogy Vidmaster Pack. All 88 solo levels completed on Total Carnage by Jim "BobJam" Mitchell. This film pack first appeared on the Marathon Trilogy Box Set CD.

Want a free copy of Prime Target? Michael Zannetou <mzannetou@dial.pipex.com> writes:

It might be interesting to note that the UK issue of macworld is giving away full versions of Prime Target this month. First Damage Inc. now Prime Target, whatever next? Are they trying to put MacSoft out of business??

For those not aware of the fact - Prime Target is one of three games which uses the Marathon 2 engine. Back in Oct 17, 1998 the Story page reported that Macworld UK were giving away a full free version of Damage Incorporated on their cover CD. As Michael points out... whatever next! ZPC perhaps?

For those of you looking for Bryan Mendoza's "The 10th Warrior" movie (QuickTime) you can now get it directly from the Story page. Two formats are available .mov and .sit for your convenience.

the_10th_Warrior.mov (28591K).

the_10th_Warrior.mov.sit (27026K).

The film, a homage to Marathon netplay, features the music of Underworld ("Cowgirl") coupled with rapidfire editing of netplay films and chapter screen and other artwork stills. The movie is BIG but well worth the download time. Make someone happy this Christmas... show them the movie! Hats off to Bryan for this superb job.

Vidmastery in Myth? Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> writes:

Thought you might want to take a peek at something. Dunno if you're really into Myth or not, but being the co-maintainer of the Marathon Vidmasters' Page, I thought you might like to check out the new Myth Vidmasters' Page at Myth Nontoxic. Feedback is warmly welcome. The URL is


Thanks, have fun.

First the Vid page's resurrection and now a Myth Vidmastery page?!!! Coincidence or...?

Dec 17, 1998
A number of people have commented upon the odd fact that Claude Errera stopped updating the Alt.Games.Marathon FAQ after version 1.7 (note the .Seven). Coincidence or... ?!!!

Marathoner's rally to the cause. Many people concerned with the recent loss of Marathon Central have expressed support in different forms ranging from offers of server space to resurrecting their old map pages as download sites. All very much appreciated. Offers of support, donations, suggestions, etc. should be made directly to:

Steve "Midwest" Campbell <campbell@okla.net> and James "RuGGeR" Piller <tavern@buyamac.com>

The rumor-mill reports that something big is on the way. In the mean time you can help out by pointing people to the Marathon resources which are still presently available on-line.

Take note of the links posted over the last few days. And here are just a few more containing helpful info.

Bungie's Forge and Anvil FAQ v2.0 at http://www.bungie.com/tech/forgefaq.html
People tend to forget about this page. It's basic but it's there so point people to it.

Hastur's Workshop at http://www.doubleaught.com/hastur/index.shtml
Advanced map-making methods from the Double Aught crew (past and present). This is what happens if you let map-makers design space stations.

The Marathon Hang Time Guide at http://fragile.discodog.com/
Described as the David Lee Roth of Marathon, Todd Keating shows you how to reach those hard to reach places. Best viewed while playing Van Halen's Jump. "I get up, and nothing gets me down. You've got it tough I've seen the toughest around...". Now where are m'boots?

Fm's Creations at http://www.inficad.com/~fm/
The man, the myth, the maps. Randal Shaw's very professional looking page. For the design conscious. Even seasoned map-makers will find some inspirational stuff here.

The Pathways Into Darkness Home Page at http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/dcoufal/pid/index.html
David Coufal's legacy to Pathway's fans. "My God it's still up!" is a frequent cry when people visit this site and long may it last. Has the honor of being cited by a Macworld editor.

A pile of links to 3rd pary scenarios can be found at RuGGeR's Tavern
Look under the Links section. The News section provides some info on the up-and-coming ones. Exciting stuff. Page is updated regularly so check it out.

Dec 16, 1998
Grieving at the recent loss of Marathon Central? Well dry those tears and stuff a fresh clip in your assault rifle. There's work to be done and we can all lend a hand!

Some important links that Marathoner's need to know so please pass them on!

I mentioned RuGGeR's Tavern yesterday at Well it was updated since then. So check it out. Lots of things happening in the Marathon universe that you should know about. There is also the Hotline version of the Tavern. Lots of goodies hidden away on that archive.

Michael Neylon's excellent Marathon Spolier guide can be found at http://pinky.wtower.com/marathon/. Bookmark the site and pass the info on. You'll also find the Tempus Irae page hosted there. Check out http://pinky.wtower.com/tempusirae/.

There is also Nick Lewis' "Thing What Kicks... Spoiler" at http://www.inlink.com/~nilness/ThingSpoiler/. This gives greater detail on how to get through the Infinity level "Thing What Kicks...". Again please point people who are having trouble with this level to Nick's page.

The Marathon Evil web site is at http://www.ntbbs.org/evil. All files are served off an ISDN connection according to Randall (Fm) Shaw.

Claude Errera's Alt.Games.Marathon Frequently Asked Questions. This is version 1.7 expertly compiled by Claude before his two year trip to Mars. Use with care since the info is based on events circa Sept 1996. Strangely nobody has bothered to update it since then. Conspiracy or something more?

Gabe Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> writes:

...you might point out in your comments on DV's release that if mac gamers want a demo, they have to go to www.realbytes.com (www.darkvengeance.com only has the windows version available and no further explanation).

Kind of sad really.

Dec 15, 1998
Remember the Marathon's Story page is at



But if you are reading this you already know. :-)

I forgot to mention this last week but Reality Bytes' new game "Dark Vengeance" was released. So what has this got to do with Marathon? Well the Creative Director at Reality Bytes is J. Reginald Dujour. Reg was responsible for all the art and graphics in Marathon. If you liked his Marathon work then give Dark Vengeance a look. Granted it's some four years on and the game has a completely different look and feel but you never know there may be some influences in there.

People looking for the latest Marathon files since the loss of Marathon Central should check out RuGGeR's Tavern on Hotline or on the web at

RuGGeR has collected stuff from the seven corners of the Marathon universe that few know about. His archive is one of the biggest and worth a raid! ;-)

This is just a taste of what RuGGeR's Tavern has to offer!

  Top Downloads 4/1/98 to 10/26/98
  Tempus 1.1 Installer.sit                                  636 times
  Evil-Installer-FULL.sit                                   607 times
  TrAVel.sit                                                           478 times
  Marathon Cheater 5.0.2.sit                                219 times
  TI.2-The Lost Levels.movie.sit                            169 times
  M-For Ever and Ever.sit                                  169 times<-MOTM July
  maraquake01.gif                                                 153 times
  EarthWars.sit                                                     151 times
  Metropolis.sit  (getinfo)                                       139 times
  Tempus Irae 2-The LostLevels .sit                        138 times
  Evil-Time.Becomes.A.Loop.sit                               97 times<-MOTH June
  the_10th_warrior.mov                                          91 times
  Mi shuttle.447.sit                                                  89 times
  LegoLand.sit                                                           88 times
  Evil-Crushed Hope v1.1 .sit+ others                    84 times<-MOTM AUG
  Mi Birdshit Hits Window.sit                                79 times<-MOTM Sep
  M1 Excalibur v14.sit                                         75 times
  Mi Incident at Quiliam.sit                                 65 times<-MOTM OCT
  Mi 'Last Rites' a solo by.sit                              59 times
  Mi TC Lara Croft .sit                                      48 times
  Ry'ada shot1.gif                                           45 times
Over 1.6 gig of Marathon (total downloads 4/1 to 10/26 = 38021)

Don't know how to get on Hotline? Then head over to the Hotline Home Page and grab the Hotline Client. The Tavern's IP is or you can use the Tracker to list the Hotline servers available. RuGGeR's Tavern and its mirror will be listed.

Remember the old Marathon Midwest Hyperarchive? Well you can see it at http://www.putnamcityschools.org/files/hyper.html. Ah nostalgia. But you haven't seen anything yet... trust me!

Dec 14, 1998
Some good news and some bad news. First the bad news. Marathon Central is still down and likely to be down for some time. The good news? Well the Central Arm mirror of the Story page is now back up and updated.

It is also likely that a new and improved Marathon Midwest Hyperarchive will be reactivated... God help us if this one goes rampant. Signed petitions to 193 at <midwest@okla.net>.

I got a kick out of this alt.games.marathon post. Some people have good memories. :-)

Re: where is marathon.org?
Author: Charon
Email: qrowh@square.org.spamsucks
Date: 1998/12/14
Forums: alt.games.marathon 

ScotStyle wrote:
> I can't get to hq all weekend.  anyone else?

	It's down. If yer looking for the story page, it's mirrored (and only
currently up at) http://smd033.smd.tcd.ie.

	Knows what smd means

And keeps thinking tcd
stands for TunCer Deniz...

Weird, huh?

Weird indeed. The tcd stands for Tuncer C Deniz actually. Not many know what the C stands for though. ;-)

But bookmark the URL since it's likely to the only reliable server for the present.

Dec 12, 1998
Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@vienna.at> writes:

I felt like playing Prime Target today, I don't know why. So I installed the demo of it onto my Mac from the cover CD of MacFormat, and played it a bit. It's known that Prime Target uses the Marathon 2 engine, like Damage Incorporated. So I saved my game, and went on to mess with the saved game file in Marathon Game Cheater by Eggert Thorlacius. But, of course, MGC crashed when I dragged the Prime Target file onto it. So I changed the file around a bit in ResEdit to make it a saved game file for Marathon Infinity. It launched fine, and I clicked on 'Max Everything!' to give me the max in weapon ammo and health etc. I changed the file back to a Prime Target file, and launched Prime Target. I opened the saved game, and noticed I got all the weapons available for the demo. Now this is where it becomes strange.... Weapon 1 is usually the knife (like the fists in Marathon), but I got a pleasant surprise!

What I saw was the arms of the Marathon Marine (You) holding some dynamite which you throw on the floor, and blows up when someone comes near it. I actually saw the Marathon Marine arms holding the dynamite. Want proof? Check out the attachment to this e-mail!

NOTE: The version of Prime Target that I used is a Beta Demonstration version, and maybe what I pulled off doesn't work with any other version

Harry's pics can be seen here. You can just make out the Marine's hands. :-)

Dec 11, 1998
Marathon Central is down and will be down for a couple of days so spread the word. The URL for the Central Arm mirror on Steve Campbell's server has been changed to http://2/marathon/story/  Unfortunately I cannot access this server to update the Story page there. Moans and groans to 193 at <midwest@okla.net>. Thus the only server up is this one... and hey you're reading it! :-)

The Duality Code Revealed?

Finn Smith <fcsmith@cs.brown.edu> writes:

About the duality.net code: Anyone who remembers Hats Off To 819 and the irc transcript with ydnar's explanation of the name should have no problem deciphering this:

19  3
8  19
s  c
h  s
Steve Campbell
Hamish Sinclair

All too easy.

The IRC transcript Finn refers to can be found in the What's in a Name section... look for the meaning of the "Hats Off To Eight Nineteen" map name.

Nathaniel Krell <nkrell@abc-xyz.com> writes:

Just looking for confirmation of a theory:
If we use 819 as a precedent, would 193 possibly be Steve Campbell?
19=S    3=C

Claude Errera <errera@grapevine2.com> writes:

Well, I don't know what other secrets lie out there (haven't had time to peruse the pages carefully ;) ), but 193 and 819 are obviously you and Steve Campbell. ;)

John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> writes:

I believe that '193 and 819' would be 'SC and HS'. Steve Campbell and Hamish Sinclair. Major props to you guys, indeed.

That would have to be the Duality code, as originally seen in the famous "Hats off the Eight Nineteen", with both its cryptic name and Duality prelude terminal message.

John Zero

Well the tru7h is out... or is it? Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@vienna.at> wrote to Greg Kirkpatrick of Double Aught concerning the mysterious Duality Code. In his reply Greg pointed out that 193 was also the address of his old appartment. However he would not reveal what was behind door #819. ;-)

Back in May 11, 1998 we made reference to a speech by Eric Klein (formerly of Bungie Software) at the Computer Game Developers Conference on the cross-platform issues learnt from the Marathon and Myth series. You can grab the text of his speech at http://www.cgdc.com/1998/vault/wcd000ee.doc

The online gaming magazine GameSpot have an interesting article on Macintosh gaming called Macintosh a Gamer's Perspective. Bungie feature heavily in this. Worth a read.

oops... an error on the Story page. Brent Thompson <stonehenge@garbage.com> explains.

Dec 10, 1998
Chad Poland <cgp@doubleaught.com> (PR at Double Aught Software) writes concerning their recent Duality page update:

...did you notice the code? :)

Code? Did anyone spot the elusive Duality Code?

Duality UPDATE

Shortly after uploading Chad Poland's cryptic comment (see above) Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> sent in the following reply:

don't know if I'm the first, but here's what I found in the main document source code:

<! -- design by smudge, code by shiner (altho he'll deny it if asked)>
<! -- major props to 193 and 819>

Nothing similar in any of the other pages I looked at, AFAIK.

Who are the mysterious 193 and 819? What other secrets lie buried in those Duality pages? They're out there!

Finn Smith <fcsmith@cs.brown.edu> sent in the following text from Randy Reddig's .plan. Randy for those of you who are not aware was part of the Double Aught team who created the Marathon Infinity scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon", he was also the creator of the award winning brain game "Troubled Souls". The text reads as follows:

speaking of which, i'd like to rant a bit about something that i was given quite a bit of hassle about when i worked with double aught: safety tape. :)

-every- 3d shooter this side of '96 has had it. and some before...even unreal, which is supposed to be pseudo-medieval. large areas of yellow and black diagonal stripes, small and large. some using it a bit more than others. it's standard tripe now. side note: i used to dig safety tape, and all those game designers need to give out props to the first game to use it, marathon. but, alas, the time has come to retire it. or at least give it a rest so that future games won't look like tired nostromo clones.

Finn asks:

Safety tape - another Marathon first?

Dan Hembry <durandal_777@yahoo.com> follows up on his Marathon-like weapons post of some days ago with some pics of the OICW. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Dec 9, 1998
Concerning the recent Duality page update and the character sketch of the Hoplite Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@vienna.at> writes to point out that the name originates from ancient Greece. Harry did a web search and came up with the following info on Hoplites on a page called "The last days of Socrates" at http://socrates.clarke.edu/aplg0234.htm

Hoplites were the heavily armed infantry. They wore helmets, breastplates, and leg armor made of bronze. In addition, they possessed a swords and spears. Their armor allowed them to withstand attack by arrows. On the negative side, though, they were much slower moving than the lightly armed infantry, which posed a major problem if required to make a hasty retreat or assault.

Harry also points out that Hoplites fought in the Greek/Persian wars, including the Battle of Marathon.

Harry wrote to Greg Kirkpatrick at Double Aught Software concerning the use of the name Hoplite in Duality. Greg replied:

It's a good name for a soldier. Hoplites were widely considered the best soldiers in ancient greece, and were widely feared throughout the eastern mediteranean. Go read the story of the 10000. 10,000 hoplites vs all of persia. They win.

It's interesting to note that the Duality page describes the Hoplite character as follows:

As the strong arm of Aristocratic rule, Hoplites are an elite body of militia who keep order. They are strong, fast, well-armored, and fitted out with frightening weapons from Humanity's past.

So it would appear that not only the weapons from humanity's past are being used but also some names. :-)

Gabe Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> writes:

You did notice that the duality.net update took place on the seventh day (duh) of the twelfth month (1 + 2 = 3), right?

Actually the update occurred on the 8th, shortly after 3am EST (Double Aught are based in Brooklyn). But yes the intention was obviously to release the update on the seventh. (YAS = Yet Another Seven) :-)

And now for some Oni news:

Reed Laughlin <blu9@scn.org> had the opportunity to talk to Alex Okita of Bungie West concerning the influences on Oni. Reed writes:

Gunnm / Battle Angel Alita has been confirmed by Alex to be an influence (minor) on Oni. This should be apparent to anyone who had seen both the Gunnm manga and the Oni trailer (short, cute ninja cyborgs with football style streaks under their eyes.)

You'll find a number of Battle Angel Alita pages on the web if you search for them.

What kind Macintosh will you need to run Oni? Reed put this question to Alex Okita and got the following reply:

He [Alex] also mentioned that it would run on a 233 604e... if it has at least a voodoo 1 card.

Dec 8, 1998
Double Aught's Duality page was updated today at approx 8.15 am GMT (3.15 EST). The page sports an overall new look and seven new screenshots, character sketches plus info and some story tidbits have been added.

Further info on the Duality page update. All screenshots are "software rendered" according to a source at Double Aught. Although the screenshots do not seem to show exposions illuminating their surroundings the same Double Aught source confirmed that "...explosions do create dynamic lighting..." and went on to suggest that ...the radius of the dynamic light is probably a little too small." Contrary to popular opinion Poly's do not spend their time wading around in blood but rather a substance called "Qualt". Don't ask!

Lastly the screenshot called poly.jpg (209K) shows a typical end of day scene at the Double Aught offices... the caption reads "You want to be paid for working here?". Greg Kirkpatrick was unavailable for comment. ;-)

Ben Fisher <ben@fisher.enterprise-plc.com> writes:

look what i found @ duality.net:

Separated from their human mothers at birth by the Factors, Polys are sold back to the aristocrats at the age of seven.


Hehehe... crazy stuff! ;-)

More Duality news!

Greg Kirkpatrick <gregk@doubleaught.com> (President of Double Aught Software) writes:

...the really funny thing is that by the age of seven polys are full grown!!


Dec 7, 1998
Blake a fake?

Brent Thompson <stonehenge@garbage.com> writes concerning the identity of Robert Blake. See the Robert Blake section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Dec 6, 1998
Thanks to Sarah Campbell <sarahc@esu.edu> and Finn Smith <fcsmith@cs.brown.edu> for spotting the deliberate error on the Story page. Yes I am looking forward to Christmas!. ;-)

Dan Hembry (email withheld for security reasons) follows up on Mark Levin's recent comments on a new Marathon-like weapon being developed for the military. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Mihai Parparita <mihai@mscape.com> spots another Marathon-like symbol. It's a good one. Check the That Marathon Symbol section for details. Warning this is a high bandwidth area. Be prepared for a wait if you are on a slow connection.

Dec 5, 1998
Some Oni news. The following was posted on the Oni Hotline site by Alex Okita (Bungie West). It concerns Oni gameplay. What's it like?

...the game play is more akin to Diehard. more frightenly similar is "Vigilance" but they dont have a hint of hand to hand fighting. imagine a cross between Tekken, Diehard, Vigilance, and any firstperson shooter.

diehard sites: (for those of you who havent ever even herd of the game)
vigilance site: www.vigilance.com

note: vigilance only visually resembles a *few* aspects of Oni. game play in Oni will far far far surpass the game play in vigilance. We arent using their engine, they arent using our engine. We wrote our own, theirs is meant for much slower machines... we wanted to do more.

Dec 4, 1998
If you have been reading the replies to the Slashdot post "Quake 2 Now is a Spectator Sport" you'll note that there were a number of games before Marathon that had a 'film recording' capability. It's not clear if Bungie's keystroke method of recording films is unique. Perhaps someone with a good multi-platform gaming knowledge will be able to answer this?

Some of you may have noticed the recent demise of the Voracious Rabbits Myth site. VRabbits was one of the last of the big Myth news sites and joins the ranks of The Fallen. Its closure comes as something of a surprise given the imminent release of Myth II. Of course other Myth sites will rise from the shadows yet as each of the big sites (VRabbits, Codex, Myth Non-toxic, MythFiles, etc.) fall something crucial to the Myth community is lost... namely "durability". One wonders how many of today's Myth sites will be around one year from now? The Marathon's Story page will be there to find out...will you?

The "durability" of the Story page is largely due to the hundreds of Marathon fans who tune in daily and who send in posts by the dozen each week. Without your support the page would be... Phhht! I salute you all. :-)

Occasionally I receive letters which put forward similar interesting possibilities yet appear to lack the crucial supporting evidence. Here are just two that the Story page received recently:

Sylith Senjak <Margaret_Silvers@mercersburg.edu> writes:

I remember that in your "Historical and Mythological References" section there was a bit about Socrates. He had a strange dream where a woman said that on the third day he would come to the land of Phthia. I was reading a section of Ovid's _Metamorphoses_ for a reference from an essay - the section where Odysseus and Ajax fight over who gets to keep Achilles' arms. In lines 158-159, Odysseus says, "Let the arms be taken/ To Scyros, then, or Phthia." Is this the Phthia of Socrates' dream? Hmm...

Wasn't Durendal supposed to have belonged to Hector the Trojan originally? And didn't Achilles take Hector's arms?

Similarly John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> writes:

On the subject of Greek names: I don't remember seeing a specific reference to this on the Story Page, but I seem to remember that Durandal is a Greek name by association. I was told in high school World Lit that in the _Song of Roland_, Roland's sword Durandal is the same sword carried by the Trojan hero Hector from _The Iliad_. This being, of course, an attempt on the part of the Medieval French authors to liken their hero to those of Classical times. That would make Roland's sword something like 500-800 years old, wouldn't it? Not much in battle, one would presume. But then, if Mjolnir Recon #54 is the same soldier from Pathways...

I asked John if he had any supporting evidence for this... and just who was this mysterious teacher? John replied:

Uh, now that you call me on that, I think I'm probably wrong, or at least without evidence. I did a simple text search on a couple of the online Roland texts available, and I didn't find anything in the text of _Chanson de Roland_ that refers to this mythological crossover.

However, I did find 'The Sultan of Babylon', a medieval French tale featuring Charlemagne and The Twelve Peers (including Roland and Oliver from 'Chanson'): http://www.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/teams/sultint.htm

There's a footnote to that says: "Durendal is the famous sword of Roland, given to him by Charlemagne who received it from an angel." So I guess that puts that one to rest.

The Hector reference is something I remember my high school World Literature teacher saying while we were studying Roland, and I remember correlating that with all the stuff we learned while going over the Iliad. The 'Sultan of Babylon' introduction says, "Charlemagne himself, who lived from 742-814, was counted as one of the Nine Worthies, a group which included three personages from each of the classical, Biblical, and modern (i.e., medieval) worlds. This status ranked Charlemagne with such important figures as Hector, Alexander, Julius Caesar; Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus; Godfrey of Boulogne and Arthur." Now that I've seen this reference, it may be that Charlemagne was the one with Hector's sword.

But then, I don't know. Maybe it's history major Jason Jones who knows!

Odd stuff. Maybe somebody out there will be able to throw some light on this?

Dec 3, 1998
Sriranga Veeraraghavan <ranga@CSUA.Berkeley.EDU> dug deep into the Marathon archives and found the following interesting alt.games.marathon posts:

From: Rod Lincoln <rlincoln@qni.com>
Subject: secret level
Date: 20 Feb 1997 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <330C47F1.2CF5@qni.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Organization: Suba Communications, http://www.suba.com
Mime-Version: 1.0
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0 (Macintosh; I; PPC)
I've heard there is a secret level in Marathon(00-A good way to die).
I've seen the map for it, but I can't get there.Can anyone help me???

From: clund@DIE.SPAMMER.DIE.notam.uio.no (C Lund)
Subject: Re: Marathon Home Video
Date: 19 Jul 1998 00:00:00 GMT
Message-ID: <clund-1907982124470001@ppp067.uio.no>
References: <35B0E975.75D7@cwo.com> <1998071906464000.CAA11431@ladder01.news.aol
Organization: University of Oslo, Norway
Newsgroups: alt.games.marathon
Piggybacking, I think this is called;
> Chris Cochran wrote:
> >>Did you know there's a 26 minute video imbeaded in the Marathon 
> trilogy pack disc? It's invisible and in the Gnop folder.           <<
In the middle section of that film, you see Bungie rummaging around in an
M1 level that I did not recognize... Was it a secret level in M1 (I never
found such a thing, and I don't see how I could have missed it)? It looked
quite interesting. There were large platforms facing space, and the player
was shooting pfhor off them. There were also several comments about
"shooting fphor into space", and some good long looks at some double
platforms and an area that looked good...

What level was that?
C Lund

The mystery of the secret Marathon level will be revealed... soon!

Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> writes concerning the weapons in Marathon. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Dec 2, 1998
I had another opportunity to talk with Alex Okita (Lead Artist at Bungie West) concerning certain parallels between Oni and Shiro Masamune's work on Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed. I asked Alex if it was their intention to tie Oni into the manga world with references, either explicit or implicit, to other established characters such as Major Kusanagi or Deunan Knute?

Alex replied that while they were influenced by the work of Shiro Masamune "shiro is probably the most influential artist in all anime..." there was "no tie ins since we're not working with anyone out side of Bungie at the moment." Alex continued "I dont think there will ever be a real tie in... as fun as that would be.... but I will keep things open so people like Darkhorse could come to us and ask if we want to make a new manga (I wouldn't mind that at all). I've been thinking about story branches lots."

Certainly if Oni is successful it would seem inevitable that a Manga comic based on the game would appear, along with Oni 2 and a possible movie if not a TV show. But that's the future.

Concerning other influences Alex mentioned "Bubble Gum Crisis" and "Armored Troopers Votoms" as being influential "I grew up with this stuff."

Before joining Bungie Alex worked as an artist at R. Talsorian Games, Inc., a company that makes role-playing games. A number of their titles are based on Manga characters

And now back to Marathon...

WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH! Thanks to Finn Smith <fcsmith@cs.brown.edu> for pointing out that Slashdot at www.slashdot.org has a news article entitled Quake 2 Now is a Spectator Sport. The direct link to the article is at http://www.slashdot.org/articles/98/12/01/1157229.shtml The article reads as follows:

Posted by CmdrTaco on Tuesday December 01, @11:57AM
from the crazy-games dept.

An anonymous reader wrote in to say "The 3D shooter Quake was one of the first games to allow the recording of a "demo" - ie, a game could be recorded for later perusal. Especially demos of the pros in action have been much in demand. Of course first you had to download the often large demo files - and of course you had to wait untill the game was finished. This may all change with the release of " FleetSpy", a streaming demo viewer. " Now if only there could be super bowl calibre commercial breaks for mind boggling special effects and fetching of snacks, we'd have something.

...one of the first games to allow the recording of a "demo"... D'oh! Quake (PC) was released Aug 1996 some one and half years after Marathon. A number of Marathon fans have posted comments to this already. Time to put the boot in folks. Stop the rot now!

Slashdot Update. Did I over react? Am I guilty of inciting an unruly bunch of Marathoners to descend upon Slashdot with SPNKRs raised? Gabe Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> felt that I had and points out the fact in the following letter:

It's really not all that advisable for people to go posting heavily on slashdot about how Marathon did this first and how it was so much more innovative.

First, Marathon was *far* from the first game to do this. Id-ites will promptly point out that Doom had recordable demos, but even that is irrelevant as computer games back through the 80s have had ways to make replayable records of games.

Second, who did what first in film/demo recording technology in general is not really the focus of the original /. article at all. The point was that, through a third-party utility, it is possible to stream Quake demos to viewers. That means that you can effectively have QuakeTV. Marathon is not capable of this, though it conceivably could be, if we could get our hands on the source code, which we can't. (It would be possible to make a dumb-term-esque version of Marathon that just read network packets but couldn't send any; you could cycle through player's views, but not partake yourself.)

Third, extolling the benefits of Marathon/MacOS will, inevitably, lead to a rampant platform war in a place like /., and it won't be in support of Windows. /. only "approves" (as a mob) of Open Source Software (Linux, Net/Free/OpenBSD, minix, etcetera), so implying something else is better will just make people angry. /. already has an obscenely high noise-to-value ratio; it's hard enough to get real content out of it as it is without starting platform bigotry wars (which is liable to happen unless one picks ones words *very* carefully). The same goes for saying something that's already been said - why repeat what someone else said just to see your name (or, more likely "Anonymous Coward") in print, and waste diskspace on the server and bandwidth for the readers in the process?

Just mho, of course.

(For mho as seen on slashdot, look at this)

Ben Reiter <reiterbe@pilot.msu.edu> writes concerning weapon bore size and the destructive potential or lack thereof of some of Marathon's weapons. Not for the squeamish! See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Dec 1, 1998
Quick Update! Check out this piece of fun from Alex Okita's home page.


Nice one! Pity the poor Trow!

Several days ago John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> suggested that Oni may have some parallels with the work of Japanese manga writer/artist Shiro Masamune (Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed). John did a search on the Net and came up with the following references for some of Shiro's work.

Incredibly, HotWired still has stuff on their server from 1996, when the 'Ghost in the Shell' movie came out:

There's also a couple of small QT clips, the most significant one being:

Here are the addresses of some cover images from Dark Horse comics. Their main site uses one of those impossibly-long gibbering code-string addressing systems to support online purchasing, but you can always go to www.darkhorse.com and search on "Masamune Shiro" if you want text and prices on the books.


As far as themes go, 'Ghost in the Shell" is a little lighter on armed conflict, so I see Oni having more parallels with 'Appleseed'. This series from the late-80's/early-90s (?) has 2 main characters who are ESWAT tactical police, one is the nubile young Deunan Knute, one of Shiro's typical cute and dangerous females, and her boyfriend Briareos, who is a former-human full-body cyborg. Briareos' type is fairly typical in the setting of the stories, which is a future utopian community called Olympus, which has its problems nonetheless (and thus police). Briareos' cyborg series is known as the Hecatochires, which is the Greek name for the "Hundred-Handed Ones", the primordial beings created by mother-earth figure Gaia (along with the Cyclops) in the early parts of Greek mythology. You'd do well to look that one up in Bullfinch's or any other basic Greek myth reference, it's fascinating. What's also fascinating is Masamune Shiro's unabashed use of Greek mythological characters and situations as a template for 'Appleseed'. I guess it's more covert if you're Asian, but it's pretty blatant for us Westerners.

Here's an image archive I found of Appleseed images:

and some pics from that same archive:
(Deunan is the girl, Briareos is the big dude with the electronic rabbit-ears)

My presumption is that Oni's Konoko is the middle sister of Major Kusanagi (GITS) and Deunan Knute...! 'Mr. Okita...?'

Mr Okita WAS available for comment. Check back tomorrow for the tru7h!.

Nov 30, 1998
Yet more character sketches at Alex Okita's (Bungie West) home page at www.okita.com. The one at http://www.okita.com/%7Esketchbook/sk019.html may be of some interest to Oni-ites.

Oni 2 no more?!!! Dave Aitken <DaveAJA@aol.com> writes:

Notice that the note in Alex Okita's sketchbook, "This character might find its way into Oni 2", now reads "This character might find its way into a future project".

I guess Alex is now languishing in the basement of Bungie West, under heavy guard.

Hehehe... no doubt awaiting transfer to Gr'ndl Prime (aka Bungie East) for conditioning. ;-)

Nov 29, 1998
Alex Okita of Bungie West has added a number of new character sketches to his home page at www.okita.com. If you want to get a feel for his work on Oni this is a good place to check. Concerning the last character in his sketch book for '98 Alex writes:

This character might find its way into Oni 2
(per chance there is an Oni 2)

Nov 28, 1998
Following up on Matt Soell's oddish tidbit yesterday Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@west.net> writes:

It's not seven in each side, it's six on one and seven on the other. But then, multiply them and it's 42 :-)

42 eh? Where have we seen that number before? Six 7's. Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...

Remember back in Oct 1, 1998 Matt Soell (Bungie Software) pointed out that Wired magazine would carry an article on Bungie software and their "stuff in development". Of course when the December edition arrived the Bungie article contained little NEW information. So what happened? Steve Campbell (Midwest) caught up with Matt Soell (ProudFles) on IRC and pinned him down on the subject of the supposed "reveal all" Wired article. Steve passed on part of an IRC log of his conversation with Matt Soell.

midwest: was there more that was supposed to be in the Wired?
ProudFles: I was told that the WIRED article would contain details of certain other projects.
ProudFles: Obviously it did not.
midwest: well
midwest: thats what I thought, only thought, obviously don't know..
ProudFles: That's cool, because we need to emphasize Oni for a while. We've taken too long to get the word out about it.
ProudFles: Other things can wait a little longer. :-)
midwest: Cool....
ProudFles: Now we just need to ship Myth II and get Oni ready for Macworld.

So there you have it. Obviously the time wasn't right for Bungie to reveal all just yet. With some 50 staff at Bungie East it's not hard to imagine that BIG things are on the way. What are they? Only time (and the Story page) will tell. :-)

Michael Park <macgamer@ohana.com> writes concerning "the voices" in the Marathon Infinity theme music. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Nov 27, 1998
Oh NO! Not more Oni news!!!

Matt Soell <matt@bungie.com> (Bungie Software) points out the following little known Oni factoid:

Did you notice that in "MarathONInfinity" the ONI occurs seven letters in, each way?

D'oh! Fool me once shame on you! Fool me twice shame on me! Fool me thrice shame oni. Damn and for a moment I believed him! Is this another case of Bungiematics?

John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> writes:

I get the feeling that Oni is based largely on the work of Japanese manga writer/artist Shiro Masamune. I'm not that familiar with a lot of manga, but I'm familiar with Shiro's _Appleseed_ series, and less so with his more recent series _Ghost in the Shell_, which has been mentioned already in connection with Oni. Put _that_ to Okita and see what he says.

Parallels I see in Shiro's work with Oni (and, by association, Marathon):
- Near future, "Bladerunner"-style setting
- Protagonist is a slender female 'special ops' agent
- Lots of highly detailed technology, esp. computers and firearms
- Tactical Police everywhere (including key characters)
- Large, fiercely independent supercomputers (key plot elements in 'Appleseed', and, I think, 'GITS') - Supercomputers and other cyborg characters named from Greek mythology

Nov 26, 1998
Happy Thanksgiving! Have a good one. :-)

Cy Delich <psychodelia36@hotmail.com> writes:

I was just reading through the News page for November and noticed the god/wierd word thing. In the pictures of the credits to 2001 I noticed a striking resemblence from the earth pict and the general term screen used in M2 and Minf. I'm probably not the only one to notice this, but in case I am.

Yup. The opening scene in the Stanley Kubrick movie 2001 looks very like the Final Screen in Marathon 2. Coincidence... or something more?

Dan Munter <d_munter@yahoo.com> writes:

enclosed is a .sit of the m1 music file, with the replaced instruments to make it qt3-compatible. i tested it on my computer (marathon v1.2) and it works fine. you can even use it under quicktime 2; for some reason the instruments aren't changed under qt2. yippie! a universal music file!

You can get Dan's Marathon music file here (53K). Dan followed Keith Palmer's instructions in the Marathon Music section. I've played a number of levels using his edited music file but found some unfortunate distortion. Nevertheless you might find it an improvement over the present sounding music under Quicktime 3.

Remember if you are looking for the old Quicktime 2.5 files you'll find them in the FAQ section.

No brown! In a move no doubt inspired by the recent introduction of the iMac Dualism, a third party Duality fans page, has received a new look. Gone is the Quakish brown theme, the page now proudly sports an overall... green tinge! With the sad demise of the humerous Duality Lies and Rumors page and the mysterious disappearance of Michiel Buisman, maintainer of the esoteric DUALITY-Sensible Violence site, Dualism now remains your only one stop shop for up-to-date Duality info. The Duality Boys, Dan and Tim, work hard to bring you the inside scoop on the Duality scene... before it happens! Their news page reveals that Double Aught's Duality site will receive a much needed update... in a "few weeks".

Regarding page updates an inside source at Bungie East revealed to Steve Campbell <midwest@okla.net> that the Oni page will receive another update early next month. Steve went on to say that Bungie have now seen the error in their ways and will be concentrating on plugging Oni over the coming months.

Nov 25, 1998
There has been alot of discussion concerning the use of the Marathon symbol in the Oni TCTF Supercomputer pic. Why is the symbol there and what does it have to do with Damocles?

First off what does the Marathon symbol represent?

Well we actually know this. Back in Apr 20, 1998 J. Reginald Dujour, Marathon artist and creator of the symbol, when asked what the symbol represented wrote:

I designed the icon to represent a world within a world... Marathon the spaceship being build inside a hollowed asteroid.

Thus the Marathon symbol represents the construction of the colony ship Marathon - the conversion of Deimos - which began in 2408. It does NOT represent Durandal since 'the rampant one' is represent by a sword, a sword etched on a computer chip (PICT ID = 10012 from the Marathon Shapes file).

Alex Okita has already pointed out that the Marathon symbol was put into the Damocles pic for "fun". To use the Marathon symbol in Oni for any other purpose other than fun would require some explanation on the part of Bungie's story tellers. The problem they would have is as follows.

Oni, if set on Earth around 2035-2050, predates the construction of the Marathon by some 350 years.

And now for something completely different.

After pointing out Gamespot's review of Half-Life, with its novel use of Barneys, wall health rechargers and realistic weapon placement, Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> returns with another Half-Life review:

...you might want to also see Computer Games Online's review. They similarly deny the importance of Marathon, acting like System Shock was the first game to ever have a story and Half-Life is the first game with an ambiguous ending. I think a lot of these PC game reviewers need to expand their horizons a little.


I'm afraid we're going to get alot of these. Please count to seven before replying. ;-)

Nov 24, 1998
Not more Oni news!

Bungie have posted renderings of four more characters to their Oni Characters section. The Communication Striker, the Elite Striker, Shinatama, and Griffin, the police chief.

Regarding the "Sword of Damocles" reference in Oni Dan Munter <d_munter@yahoo.com> writes:

hmmm. so, the "sword of damocles" means immenent danger, eh? something about a computer having some relation with a mythological sword sounds very familiar...

Yes indeed. Bungie seem to be making a habit of this thing. :-)

This was picked up from Bungie West's Oni Hotline server. Bungie East, Bungie West, and now... Bungie North (165K). Apparently Inside Mac Games magazine let slip the secret third Bungie office location. Good one guys. Next time read the press release! ;-)

The following text is taken from today's Mac Gamer's Ledge News page:

UPDATE: Damage Incorporated for free:
Yesterday, we reported that the full version of Damage Incorporated (originally published by MacSoft) was spotted on a cover CD of last month's Macworld UK Magazine issue. It contained version 1.2 of the game and 20 extra maps. We also just learned that you can also find the complete game (on a separate CD-ROM) included with the recent issue of MacFormat, another UK Mac magazine. MacFormat can be found in some larger bookstores in the U.S.

I guess nobody from Mac Gamer's Ledge reads the Story page since we reported about the full free version of Damage Incorporated on the Macworld UK Magazine CD back in Oct 17, 1998!!! Their loss I guess but it is kind of sad really. I imagine they don't know about all the Oni info here too.

Nov 23, 1998
More Oni news.

Yes folks the Oni info is coming in thick and fast. Steve Campbell <midwest@okla.net> got the scoop on some interesting Oni factoids.

  1. The Oni Trailer movie (11.2MBs) that was available for download on the net was called OniTrailor_small.mov implying that there was perhaps a larger version. Steve found out from Alex Okita that there was in fact a much larger version (600+MB). This was the version shown at E3 last May. It was transferred to LaserDisk.

  2. The soundtrack for the Oni Trailer was written and performed by Psykosonik. Psykosonik's leader, Paul Sebastien, also headed Power of Seven Inc. who did the theme music for Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity. The trailer soundtrack is quite excellent. If you can't get hold of the Oni Trailer movie then check out the Oni MP3.

    You can find out more about Power of Seven, Psykosonik and their albums in the Story Page's FAQ section.

Thanks for the info Steve. It will be interesting to see if Bungie West will also get Psykosonik to do the music for the final game.

Third party Oni pages are beginning to spring up.

John (Paver) Benac <johnbenac@usa.net> has an Oni page at http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Cavern/6448/. John is a regular visitor at Bungie West's Oni hotline server.

Miguel (Freewill) Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> also has a page at http://members.aol.com/jmchavez/mffmw/. Miguel's page has some Oni info but is primarily about Myth. Some of you might remember Miguel's excellent E3 report on Bungie and Double Aught. Miguel will be attending Macworld SF in January '99. The Story page looks forward to his Oni report from Bungie's Macworld Booth.

And now back to Marathon...

Michael Park <macgamer@ohana.com> writes:

Did you check out the motion sensor discussion on AGM? It's titled under the "net play tricks" thread. They are debating about whether or not the so-called "motion sensor" in Marathon really is a "motion sensor".

I'm sorry if I'm repeating this if you've already read it on agm (I'm summarizing what I've seen on AGM):

Basically, Marathon's motion sensor detects movement in a certain radius (15 meters). This is drawn on a 2-D surface (the sensor on the lower left hand corner of the screen). What people are getting confused about is the story explanation of this sensor; the motion sensor detects movement from only CERTAIN objects, such as Phfor, Drones, and S'pht. Notice I said Drones, because people theorized on AGM that the motion sensor was made to detect only organic moving life forms.

This was proved wrong, since Drones, Juggernauts, and Marathon Defense Drones are NOT organic life forms. Not only that, this "motion sensor" could also detect movement through walls. This is something a radar can only do.

It's a trivial thing, yes, but just how does this so-called motion sensor work? How could it be selective on what it detects (which would not make it a motion sensor) AND be able to detect through walls? Also, how could this motion sensor detect Bobs and Marathon Defense Drones as Friendlies and just about everything else as a hostile? Does it have some sort of built in IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) detector?

What do you think?

I've always found it futile to try and explain 28th century (25th if you wish to believe that no improvements were made to weapons and/or equipment during the 300+ year voyage to Tau Ceti) technology in terms of our limited 20th century knowledge. Durandal had it right about our "primitive minds" not grasping the complex nature of some of the technology at our disposal. ;-)

The Marathon manual simply says that the Motion Sensor "detects moving bodies" and can distinguish between "friendly motion patterns" and "hostile or unknown patterns". Actually this is not strictly true since invisible aliens and net opponents do not show up on the motion detector even if they are moving. So how does being invisible prevent motion dectection? Note also that pulsating magnetic fields interfere with the Motion Sensor?

Nov 22, 1998
More Oni updates:

Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> writes:

Alex confirmed that Bungie West is hard at work "driving to get something really cool looking for macworld in san francisco."

Who knows if this will be another video or some kind of demo, playable or not?

Miguel continues:

In regards to the connection with Marathon, if Oni takes place around 2035-2050, a quick look at your very informative Marathon's Timeline page shows that this would fall in an empty 'pocket' of undocumented Marathon history.

Yes indeed... though it is close to when Rampancy first appeared on the Earth-net. It remains to be seen however if Oni will fill some of this undocumented pre-Marathon history. Of course there is always the other games coming out of the Bungie East (Chicago)... the ones they are not telling us about... isn't that right Matt? ;-)

Martin Thorne <mthorne@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca> writes:

Maybe it's just me, but the gun that Konoko is holding in the large poster image at http://www.bungie.com/oni/Main_Image.html looks a lot like the HUD diagram of the .44 MMC from M1.

One thing about the old MMC that I never understood was that the diagram clearly shows it to be a revolver type weapon with a rotating thingy for holding bullets (I'm not up on gun terminology. I hope you know what I mean), but in gameplay the player obviously reloads the gun with a clip inserted in the base of the handle.

Bungie's press releases on Oni also talk about how "you can empty your clip into a pack of opponents", even though Kononko is seen with a revolver in the poster. Presumably this refers to a different gun.

Interesting point. In both Marathon and now Oni the gun does appear to be a revolver type weapon rather than an automatic. Certainly in Marathon the Magnum is loaded like an automatic. Perhaps in the future handguns will have that retro look?

Finn Smith <fcsmith@cs.brown.edu> writes concerning the Next Generation On-line news artcle which referred to Bungie West's San Jose offices as a "...retched hive of scum and villainy..."

Too bad that Next Generation isn't able to spell "wretched" correctly.

Yup. To "retch" is to vomit while "wretch" is a pitiable person or contemptible miscreant. I presume Next Generation meant the latter term. :-)

And now back to Marathon...

Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes:

Judging by Gamespot's review of Half-Life, more elements of Marathon have worked their way into mainstream PC shooters. We already knew about Barneys, and their semblance to Bobs, but it seems Half-Life also has something like wall-mounted rechargers. check it out at http://www.gamespot.com/action/halflif/review.html

Yes indeed. The review by Ron Dulin, dated the 20th Nov 1998, had this to say about health rechargers and weapon placement:

Weapon, ammunition, and health placement follows the same philosophy. You'll hardly ever come across an item that is just bobbing and spinning in place like some gift from the heavens. Valve has done a good job of justifying the typical health and armor meters. Freeman is wearing a powersuit, used by researchers involved in dangerous experiments. To regain health and armor energy, you must fill up at power stations. These are almost always located in logical places, usually near areas where dangerous work would be performed. There are no power-ups to be found. Weapons and ammo are taken from supply closets or the corpses of fallen security guards and soldiers. Even the more experimental weapons have their proper place - in the weapons research department of the facility. And late in the game, once you've left the research facility, the supply of ammo and first aid kits is believably scarce.

This sounds all sooooo familiar. Remember the first time you went to the Pfhor ship in Marathon? Weapons weren't exactly popping out the walls were they? The Pfhor Egg section makes reference to how the lack of UESC based weapons on the alien ship added realism to the story. The same can be said for Bungie's earlier game Pathways Into Darkness. Weapons and ammo where scarce and ususally found on or near dead bodies. When the bodies themselves became scarce later on in the game the Cedar Box had to be employed to duplicate ammo since it didn't make sense (story wise) to find ammo just lying around near the bottom of the pyramid

It's to bad that these ideas, innovative for 1993/4, are now being touted as the latest thing in the FPS PC genre. It's up to Macintosh gamers to enlighten their PC brethren.

Nov 21, 1998
More Oni news.

I had the opportunity to chat to Alex Okita of Bungie West concerning some aspects of their new game Oni.

First off the Marathon symbol in the TCTF Supercomputer pic. Why is it there? Alex replied "kinda just in there for fun". Alex wouldn't confirm or deny the possbility that there would be a tie in between Marathon and Oni in the final release.

What about the TCTF Supercomputer's name "Damocles" prounounced DAM-uh-kleez)? Alex came up with the name himself. He maintained that "it fits in with the story".

The Oni story is set on Earth "probably around 2035-2050". TCTF stands for "Terrorist Crimes Task Force"... did anyone get this right? Is Konoko a cyborg? This got an interesting response. Alex replied "i don't think that has been decided yet. i'd want her to be about 40% robotic but i'm not sure what the story will dictate."

The story will be told by "cut scenes in the engine" though the exact approach has not yet been decided. Konoko will be the main character for the single player and multiplayer will let you play the others.

More information to follow.

Alex Okita posted the following information concerning the public release of the Oni trailer movie first shown at Bungie's E3 booth in May this year.

"marketing" doesn't want to let anyone have it. they say that konoko looks better now than she did in the trailer. strange since the only change is a texture or two. sorry.....

Too bad I guess. Apparently it took about a month to make and if you were lucky enough to download a copy in the short time it was available at Alex Okita's web page at www.okita.com keep it well hidden. Bungie's marketing arm is long and their vengeance is all consuming.

Bungie West's San Jose offices are a "...retched hive of scum and villainy..." so says a Next Generation On-line news artcle. Sounds more like a topic for Bungie Rumors. Rest assured though the article is in the best possible taste... apparently they are all good friends. Who needs enemies when you've got friends like that! ;-)

Nov 20, 1998
Another Oni update.

Thanks to Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com>, Chris Hebner <chebner@erinet.com> and John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> for all quickly pointing out that the TCTF Supercomputer picture in the Oni concept sketches section shows a UESC Marathon's symbol under the name Damocles (prounounced DAM-uh-kleez). You can see the pic at http://www.bungie.com/oni/Concept_Art/TCTFSupercomputer.jpg

Miguel Chavez <JMChavez@aol.com> also writes:

Looks like a computer (TCTFSupercomputer) that goes by the name Damocles is making an appearance in Oni. Friend or foe? Maybe a little of both :)

The Sword of Damocles means imminent danger.

From Encyclopedia.com - Results for Damocles

In classical literature, courtier of DIONYSIUS THE ELDER at SYRACUSE. To show the precariousness of power and rank, Dionysius gave a banquet at which a sword was suspended over Damocles' head by a hair.

John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> also asks:

Bungie tease? Concept art joke? Or is Damocles a Traxus precursor?

Oh yes and before I forget. MarathON Infinity. Not many people know that. ;-)

Nov 19, 1998
Oni update.

Thanks to Devin O'Reilly <QuasiDevin@aol.com> and Tom Flanigan <tomflanigan@home.com> for both pointing out that Bungie now have a section devoted to Oni at http://www.bungie.com/oni/. Contrary to some opinion the game WILL be released simultaneously for Windows 95 and MacOS and is expected to ship in 1999.

The poster blurb reads:

A Dark Future.
An Uncertain Past.
And No One
Left To Trust

Sounds familiar.

Wired Update.

John Zero <jzero@onramp.net> writes concerning the Bungie article in the December issue of Wired magazine:

The Bungie write-up is three columns on page 86 of the December WiReD, in the "Must Read" short items section. It's not a big article, but it does occupy two-thirds of the page, and it has a cool photo of Doug Zartman (listed as 'Publicity Engineer'), Jason Jones and Alex Seropian posed on top of a downtown building (one would assume it's theirs). Doug has bungie-jumping gear on his legs, ready to go over the side, and they all hold the big rope. They all look tuff as nails.

The copy talks about Myth II as Bungie's biggest turning-point product. The writer takes the stance that Bungie is the last of the big independents, with most other game companies having "gone purely into development or sold out to a big house". It says that if Myth II is a big success, and the not-specifically named Oni does well, Bungie will essentially be a lone wolf among sheep.

Of Marathon, it says, "Bungie is _known_ for its content. Its 1994 shoot-em-up Marathon, the Mac's answer to Doom, earned the company a cult following among Apple users."

Of Oni, it says, "Coming next after Myth II: an anime-inspired title featuring the heroine Konoko. And if Bungie's success holds out, she's sure to smash Lara Croft's little nose."

err... is that it?

Dave Duffy <dave@darkside.eemsd.wustl.edu> put it more succinctly when he wrote:

All wired has to say is that Oni's main character is named Konoko, but you already knew that.

Yup over 6 months ago. So Matt Soell where is the REAL stuff?

Nov 18, 1998
Harry Al-Shakarchi <harry.al-shakarchi@vienna.at> sent in the following pointer to Gamezilla, an online PC game magazine, where he found an old but interesting review of Marathon 2: Durandal for Win95. The review, by Bob Mandel, is highly complimentary of the game and draws attention to some of its more notable features such as the story. Bob writes:

The storyline for this game is actually quite complex, far more so than the rather simple and often superfluous storylines embedded in most 3D first-person shooters.

Bob sums up the game as follows:

Bottom Line:
In the end, I highly recommend Marathon 2 as a fun and engrossing game that engages your wits and strategy skills as well your hand-eye coordination and your ability to destroy mindlessly everything in sight. One has a real sense of fulfillment after completing a level, and sometimes you just want to pause and take in the stunning backdrops during gameplay. It is certainly a pleasure to have a thoughtful and innovative player in the PC 3D first-person shooter market, rather than another company pandering cheap rapidly-thrown-together imitative clones hoping to make a fast buck before unsuspecting customers discover they have indeed wasted their money.

Good stuff. Somebody should really keep tabs on all these reviews. :-)

Back in Oct 1, 1998 Matt Soell (Bungie Software) pointed out that Wired magazine would carry an article on Bungie software and their "stuff in development". Well apparently the December edition of Wired magazine has the article. But what's in it? I guess you'll have to buy the magazine to find out... or...

Nov 17, 1998
Secret Marathon level 00... Double Aught? Does it exist? All will be revealed... soon.

Claude Errera <errera@grapevine2.com> writes:

Bizarre factoid that noone (but noone) ever noticed; On the original iteration of the HyperArchive NorthWest website, my front graphic was a hexagon map with links leading to maps, shapes, films, etc. The background picture of each chunk represented what was at that link-Shapes contained some altered Pfhor, I think (can't remember that far back ;) ), and so on. The background for the maps link was a screenshot of "A Good Day to Die", taken from that selfsame document you picture at http://www.marathon.org/story/secretlevel00.html. It was early enough in the Marathon third-party development cycle that I figured someone would notice and comment... there weren't that many maps out there. ;) (Noone ever did, though... making me think I was being rather too clever for my own good.)

(I wish I had a screenshot, or the original graphics... but I think I lost them all in a really, really big crash, and I don't know where all the backups went. )

All lost... like tears in rain! But someone may have preserved Claude's HyperArchive NorthWest graphic containing the screenshot of the secret Marathon level 00 "A Good Way To Die...". Check your hard disks!

Nov 16, 1998
Interesting post on alt.games.marathon from Michael Park <macgamer@ohana.com>. Part of the text reads as follows:

I just got a question, the Marathon Trilogy CD (if I can still remember) has PDFs of the Marathon 1 and 2 Manual on the CD, yes?

Why don't they have a Marathon Infinity PDF of the Manual on the Trilogy CD?

Also, why didn't they place the Introductory text (the first few pages of the manual[s] that introduce Marathon's ccomplex storyline) in the Trilogy Manual? It would've made sense to put them back to back for a good comparison of the differences between each game.

So why didn't they?

Did they think the manual was long enough already?

Yes, I know the Marathon Story page already has the Intro text, but new Marathon players won't know about the page at first and may not know about the manuals on the CD.

I must admit I hadn't spotted this before but yes Michael is right. If you bought the Trilogy Box Set but not Marathon Infinity you would not get the introductory text to the scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon. Why? Why did Bungie drop the introductory Infinity story pages? Page four of the Trilogy manual reads:


Much of the text and graphics in this manual are from Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity. We've included all the original Marathon manuals in Acrobat format on the Marathon Trilogy CD-ROM just in case you'd like to check out these manuals.

Not so! The original Infinity manual pdf is not there. Instead you have the Trilogy manual pdf with the missing introductory text. What happened to the Infinity manual pdf?

Nov 15, 1998
Ben Irwin <Jackelblow@aol.com> writes:

Okay, I found something that bugs me on the back of the Marathon box. It says that there are 45 levels. I think not! The total amount of levels is 27 solo levels (in which the back of the box only mentions solo levels). The 27 is counting level 0. Even if they were counting the netlevels, it wouldn't equal 45.

Here's a quote from Bungie:

<< An original, digital soundtrack heightens the intensity of play in more than 45 levels... >>

So, what's the deal here?

Ah the mystery of the missing 8 levels. Though those of you who remember the secret Marathon level 00 "A Good Way To Die..." will no doubt realise that only seven levels were in fact missing. Destined for the Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack no doubt. ;-)

While the Marathon box was used as an excuse to explain long shipping delays - "We're waiting on the boxes" - the "Marathon Home Videos" from the Trilogy CD revealed that the design of the Marathon box was in fact in a well advanced if not completed state long before the game was actually finished. Under such circumstances it's easy to see how things were advertised on the box which just never happened due to time and/or technical contraints. The moral of the story:

Don't believe everything you read.

Indeed you just have to read the Official Marathon Screenshots section to realise that few if any of the screenshots used on the Marathon boxes actually represent scenes in the game.

As to the legality of all this I'm afraid I can't comment.

Nov 14, 1998
Craig Hein <Craig95200@aol.com> writes:

The final screen to M2 references Manus Celer Dei, The Swift Hand of God, as the name for Durandal's Jjaro ship. I forget where, but at some point a mention is made (Kieran Wheeler in Latin in M2) that ships were named after gods. Well, many references have been made to us as the player being god, especially at the end of M Infinity. My theory is then that, given the graphic at the end on M Infinity is none other than the swift hand of god, OUR, the player's hand. Thus, perhaps Durandal named his Jjaro ship after us.....?

The origin of "Manus Celer Dei" (Latin for "The Swift Hand of God") is interesting. It was first used by Jason Jones as a net game name during development of Marathon 2. Steve Wood made reference to it in his Boston Macworld '95 report. For those who knew about Jason's Marathon skills in the early days the title was very apt. Its use again at the end of Marathon 2 this time as the name of Durandal's Jjaro dreadnought also made sense at the time. Durandal had said that by escaping the closure of the universe he would become a God.

The only limit to my freedom is the inevitable closure of the universe, as inevitable as your own last breath. And yet, there remains time to create, to create, and escape.

Escape will make me God.

<Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap (Terminal 3)>

Certainly by the end of Marathon 2 Durandal seemed well on target to achieve this goal. Our fate at this point was unknown. Last we heard we were off to some other ruined world far from the galactic core.

There is much to do in the next few months and our first stop will be another ruined world, this time far from the galactic core. There is a rogue star that has been passing through our galaxy for nearly a millennia.

We will meet it in one of the great voids between the spiral arms.

<All Roads Lead To Sol... (Terminal 1)>

Marathon Infinity of course threw all this up in the air... rewriting Marathon 2 from a number of different timeline perspectives. The ultimate objective being our successful transition from Jjaro based cyborg to übermensch or in this case Destiny. Infinity was all about finding the right path to our supposed "Godhood".

As Craig points out the Final Screen in Infinity makes reference to this and also shows a hand, presumably the players. Is this a subtle reference to "Manus Celer Dei" - The Swift Hand of God? But in this case our hand?

As to whether the events related to in the Final Screen of Marathon 2 still apply after Infinity is questionable. Certainly the fate of Tycho is unknown at the end of Infinity. As is the fate of Robert Blake and the remaining Tau Ceti colonists. Durandal is reborn as a Durandal/S'pht entity with an apparently changed personality and appears content to help the remaining S'pht find a new world to live on. As for us we are simply told to... Go.

But where?

Nov 13, 1998
Karl Boman <karl_boman@hotmail.com> writes:

Ok this may be a bit of wishful thinking but I thought of Marathon the minute I saw it...

In Time Magazine, there was some rather dull Time Digital thing in which they rated the top-players of the IT-business from 1 to 50. The number one was no surprise - Bill Gates. being a Mac-user, fan and general worshipper, I looked for Steve Jobs. And when I saw on which place he was, I almost fell over: 7. Are Bungie's arms that long already? Is this a secret message to us mac-users that the overtake has started for real?

Anyway, it's really spooky...

Yup... spooky! Then again it is Friday 13th! ;-)

Nov 12, 1998
Randy Reddig <ydnar@iatlas.com> one of the creators of the Marathon Infinity scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon" writes:

check out the following url


look carefully at the buildings. not they look oddly similar to the buildings on lh'owon. as if the lh'owon pic was a sketch repurposed... :)

If you are unclear as to what Randy is referring to check the recent mystery pic and also the Envy chapter screen.

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

Nov 11, 1998
Mark Levin <mglevin@uiuc.edu> sent in the first correct answer to yesterday's mystery pic. Mark writes:

The game of course is MDK, while using the sniper rifle. It's got the distinctive 3-pronged crosshair.

Yup. The screenshot was taken in the first open area on the first level. Just pop your head over the wall. The view is somewhat similar to Craig Mullins' rendering of Lh'owon.

Thanks to all the other people who sent in answers. First one wins though so you have to be quick around here. Mark's secret Marathon mystery prize is winging its way to him as you read this.

Nov 10, 1998
Ok no guesses as to what place this resembles but what's the game? Clue... it begins with "M".

Nov 9, 1998
The first-person shooter Unreal tops the "current favorite Macintosh game" poll at at Mac Gamer's Ledge. Marathon Infinity comes in at fourth with 7.7% of the votes! 7.7 I kid you not. Marathon 2 is placed second after Warcraft 2 in the "all-time favorite Macintosh game" poll. Marathon Infinity ranks fifth and Marathon is... seventh! :-)

Make your vote count!

Nov 7, 1998
Hey Marathon Central is back!

Remember to bookmark Marathon Central's IP address that way you can still get in.

Story page mirror sites can be found at:


Thanks to a nameless benefactor (you rule Jim!) the Story page has now obtained a copy of the original "eggheads" screenshot first seen in the December '94 issue of Macweek. You can see it in all its glory in the Blasts from the Past section. I've also added an index to this section so you can now navigate the remarkable past history of Marathon... and Bungie. Revel in those past events... some of which Bungie would like you to forget. Go on you deserve it... here's the list you'll find at the top of Blasts from the Past section. Don't tell Bungie now! ;-)

The 5th Dec 1994 MacWEEK screenshot
Marathon 20/10 Scenario Pack
A midnight walk on Lh'owon
The original Marathon box sticker
The eWorld Conference Transcripts
The AOL Conference Transcripts 17 Feb '95
The Origin of the Caps Lock key controversy!
The original Marathon's Story page
The Marathon Keychain
Early Marathon usenet humor
The Marathon Poster
The Compuserve CD
The Official Marathon World Wide Web Site
The Marathon Macworld Mayhem Tournament
The Controversial Macworld Marathon 2 Review
The Marathon Macworld Mayhem 2 Tournament
The Bungie 20% off Dollar
The Codewarrior CD
The CyberMaxx VR Headset
Bungie's Bungievision
The first ever Marathon screenshot

Oh yes... they'll be more... lots more...

Nov 6, 1998
Loren Petrich <petrich@netcom.com> writes:

Here's a URL on another way the rest of the real-time-3D gaming industry is catching up to Marathon:


We've seen terminal displays, non-hostile characters, even concern with storyline in some recent games, notably Unreal; here comes another Marathon imitation: modular player-character models.

In the Marathon series, characters are done as sprites -- 2D pictures. Most of the characters have only one sprite per pose and direction, but the player character (that Mjolnir cyborg marine) is an exception, composed of two parts: an upper part and a lower part. The lower part always uses the same set of sprites, while the upper one uses a different sprite set for each weapon wielded.

However, most of its competition appears to use only one set of player sprites or 3D models, no matter what weapon the player is wielding. Quake 1, for example, alternates between an ax and a generic gun, but that's about it.

However, Quake 3 Arena will feature player-character models divided into three parts: head, upper body, and lower body. Each part will have attachment points for the others, and the upper body will have an attachment point for one's weapon (a separate model). So it's something like the Marathon approach extended to full 3D.

Loren also writes concerning a recent Sandbox (Duality's map editor) screenshot at Dualism, a Duality fan site. See http://www.dualism.org/screenshots/sb2.jpg.

As I was downloading it for the first time, I noticed how the top of it seemed to look a lot like the space station in "Aye Mak Sicur" -- the lights seemed similar to those of the Jjaro texture set, and the walls a similar shade of green...

However, when the rest of it downloaded, I did see some un-Jjaro-ish things like those wall inlays (Double Aught seems to like making those, though I've seen some nice Marathon-engine examples like The Siege of Nor'Korh).

Could the resemblance be a coincidence? Or something more? :-)

Nov 5, 1998
If you are continuing to experience difficulties in accessing the Story page at www.marathon.org try the server's IP address Here are some URLs.

Don't know how to use Rescompare to make a Marathon music patch? Charles Srstka <csrstka@earthlink.net> sent in some helpful advice. See the Marathon Music section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Check out this great Marathon project - Wheels for People with Severe Disabilities - at www.rjcooper.com/wheels. Download it and tell you friends about it. You or they may know somebody who will get alot of enjoyment out of it.

Nov 4, 1998
Gabriel Rosenkoetter <gr@eclipsed.net> sent in the following .plan of Courtney Evans of Double Aught Software. It concerns Double Aught's up-and-coming first-person shooter Duality. You can read the full text below:

Login: goat           			Name: Courtney Evans
Directory: /home/goat               	Shell: /bin/csh
Last login Wed Nov  4 04:11 (CST) on ttyp4 from
No Mail.
Mail forwarded to: courtneye@earthlink.net
Duality moves ever onward... with the Aussies back on their native
continent, I'm still trying to recover from the massive changes that have
gone into the engine...colored lighting, decals, effects, the list goes on
and on. Coupled with the textures and characters Jihan and David are
making, wow. 

At the same time, still more changes are being contemplated, enhacements
that would greatly enhance a mapmaker's ability to tell the story of the

Duality has become a truly beautiful game to look at, which makes me very
happy, but there are other beautiful games out there. What we're facing
right now is how to make the game much more than just another beautiful
shooter. We have a terrific story to tell, with greater depth than any
story I've ever seen in a computer game, barring perhaps Marathon. I think
that even without advances to the character scripting, Duality will be
very successful at drawing the player into another world - but the stuff
we're working on now is going to one-up even the most sophisticated
story-based games.

More to follow. =)

Way to go! :-)

Nov 3, 1998
Concerning the question "What is meant by a first-person shooter?" the general concensus is that in such games the player is a single human/humanoid/cyborg/robot carrying all his/her weapons/equipment. The player spends most of the time on foot either walking or running, though swimming, flying and vehicle use can sometimes occur. The objective is usually 'kill or be killed' though elements of puzzle solving and player acrobatics are sometimes interspersed.

Randy Reddig <ydnar@iatlas.com>, one of the creators of the Marathon Infinity scenario "Blood Tides of Lh'owon" and whose earlier Mac game "Trouble Souls" won a Macworld Game Hall of Fame Award in 1994, provided this very succient definition:

a first person shooter (fps) is a 3d game played from the perspective of a walking or running character (usually) carrying some sort of weapon, which is visible all or most of the time in the foreground of the view. attaining weapons and ammunition is a key aspect to a fps, as is the necessity to attack at any given time.

Armed with this definition it is easy to see that first-person perspective tank or other craft based games don't fit. So the competition questions again.

Q1. What first-person shooter game for the Mac predated Marathon's release by some 5 months.

Q2. Name all the first-person shooter games released first on the Mac or at the same time as on the PC since the release of Marathon.

Q3. How many games using the Marathon 2 engine have been ported to the PC?

And what has this all to do with Marathon? Well all will be revealed soon! :-) Send those answers in. And don't forget the first-person shooter shareware games.

Nov 2, 1998
Some early replies to this month's competition and a certain amount of controversy. A PC version of Damage Incorporated. No way I say! But Dan Rudolph <rudolph.family@mcleod.net> writes:

I didn't think so either, but the GT Interactive Store lists a PC version of Damage Incorporated. http://store.gtinteractive.com

And there it is with PC specs but the box is MacSoft's. Has to be a mistake but you may know otherwise. If this is the PC version then where is the Mac version?

Some questions raised.

"Can we include shareware in Q2?". Yes.

"What do you mean by a first-person shooter?". A legitimate question and not an easy one to answer as one might initially suppose. Long before the likes of Wolfenstein, Doom, Pathways Into Darkness, Marathon, Dark Forces, etc. popularized the first-person perspective shoot-em'-up there were tank games like BattleZone, Arctic Fox, and Spectre. These offered a first-person view of a 3D-like world in which the objective was to shoot your opponent (computer or network colleague) first. Should these type games still be regarded as first-person shooters? And what about those games that combine both third-person and first-person perspectives? Should these be classed as true first-person? And for that matter what about those games that combine flight sims with ground based first-person perspective action. Don't flight-sims offer a first-person view? For example is Descent a first-person shooter or a flight sim, or both? Your views are welcome on this subject.

Andrew Malcovsky <jmalcovsky@winooski.k12.vt.us> writes concerning the missing month after "The Big House". See the Dates section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

Nov 1, 1998
Hey a new month... a new type competition... and that mystery pic. Many thanks to all those who sent in answers. Some were close but not close enough. Sorry. :-)

The mystery pic was called battle twirl and it was used as a background image on Bungie's Feedback page and Marathon 2 On-line Registration page from their second web site which went live back in Oct 1995. Come on... you remember the pages? If you registered Marathon 2 on-line you could have won a PowerMac from Power Computing. Anyway more importantly is the images used on the pic. Note the mixture of original Marathon aliens (incl. a Bob) and the new look weapons the player is holding. The combination is odd and suggests that the weapons were updated long before any of the aliens were changed.

New competition time. Three questions to test your first-person shooter Mac game knowledge.

Q1. What first-person shooter game for the Mac predated Marathon's release by some 5 months.

Q2. Name all the first-person shooter games released first on the Mac or at the same time as on the PC since the release of Marathon.

Q3. How many games using the Marathon 2 engine have been ported to the PC?

Get all three questions right and... impress your friends! ;-)

Go to What's New (Sept - Oct 1998)

Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

Go to Contents Page

Go to Facts and puzzling things about...

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie
Last updated Dec 31, 1998