Dec 31, 1999 (Friday)

Happy New Year!

The Story page will be shut for the holiday period until 3rd Jan 2000. Barring any major Y2K problems we'll be back. The mirror will be offline over the short break.

At this time of year it's customary to review the last 12 months. So without further ado here are just a few of the highlights from the first six months of the year. The latter half of 1999 will be reviewed when we get back.

Jan 6, 1999 opens.

Jan 9, 1999
Michael Garrison (aka CYBERNATOR or Tiggs) wins National Macintosh Gaming Championship at MacWorld SF 1999. Randy Reddig (aka ydnar) sends in his films of the event.

Jan 12, 1999
The Oni page opens at

Jan 17, 1999
The Marathon Archives open at

Jan 19, 1999
Tuncer Deniz leaves Bungie to take the helm of Inside Mac Games once more.

Jan 27, 1999
Bungie opens a gallery of Craig Mullins' Bungie games artwork.

Feb 4, 1999
Marathon Central opens again after being closed for several months.

Feb 16, 1999
Story page receives the first Cortana letter.

Feb 17, 1999
Literary link between Cortana and Durandal (Durindana) spotted.

Feb 18, 1999
Martin Thorne discovers Marathon 2 title screen background on KPT Bryce 1.0 CD

Feb 19, 1999
References to "Blam!", the codename for Bungie's (East) new game in development, begin to appear.

Feb 28, 1999
Daniel Gentry completes Acme Station with no hits using fists only. Not so long ago this was considered to be one of the more difficult of Marathon's 88 solo levels.

Mar 5, 1999
Bungie's Soul starts to prove popular.

Mar 11, 1999
Pfhor font circulating on the net proves not to be the original.

Mar 18, 1999
Second Cortana letter arrives.

Mar 19, 1999
Cortana coverup.

Mar 20, 1999
Nathan Bitner says "I didn't do it!"

Mar 21, 1999
Jason Regier lead programmer on Bungie's Myth II leaves Bungie to work on Blizzard's Diablo II.

Apr 1, 1999
Story page's April Fool's joke. What will be the 2000 one? ;-)

Apr 15, 1999
Story page resurrects Jim & David's Marathon Map Page.

Apr 16, 1999
Bungie finally releases the Myth TFL 1.3 updater some 8 months after the beta release. No sign of the Marathon 2 updater though. ;-)

Apr 17, 1999
Matt Soell (Director of Customer Support at Bungie) casually drops his "#1 is memories, #2 is wishes, #3 is dreams" mind grenade. ;-)

Apr 20, 1999
Tyson Green (aka Ferrex) finally (for real this time) closes the Myth Codex site.

Apr 21, 1999
Bungie releases Oni soundtrack MP3s.

Apr 23, 1999
Bungie hires Peter Tamte (formerly Apple's Senior Director of Consumer Marketing) as "Executive Vice President of Publishing".

Apr 26, 1999
Who was Eric Klein, Jr.?

May 5, 1999
The Pathways Into Darkness page finally opens.
Bungie's Dear Bob letter uncovered.

May 11, 1999
Third Cortana letter arrives.

May 13, 1999
Bungie shows "Blam" behind close doors at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

May 21, 1999
Blam fan sites begin to appear.

June 3, 1999
The Pfhor section of Facts and puzzling things about... opens.

June 8, 1999
Weekend Warrior, once Bungie's most expensive game, becomes freeware courtesy of Pangea Software.

June 9, 1999
Bungie's "Mac Action Sack" product spotted.

June 17, 1999
Loren Petrich cracks the Pathways Into Darkness map file format.

June 19, 1999
Wendy Pini's Konoko artwork appears at Bungie's Oni site.

June 30, 1999
Fourth Cortana letter arrives.

July - Dec 1999 highlights to follow after the break! :-)

Somewhat expectedly GameSpot UK's Top 100 Games of the Millennium list did not contain any mention of the Marathon series. I guess these guys don't play Macintosh games. :(

Dec 30, 1999 (Thursday)

Miguel Chavez <> adds further to his "Bungie Gathering of Fans during MWSF 2000" announcement (see yesterday's news):

There is no age restriction, but I urge all minors to be accompanied by parent or guardian.

Since this is a private function, Club-I will not honor Club-I membership cards to this event. My apologies about that.

Note also that there is a $7 admission fee per person and people are strongly urged to contact Miguel at <> if they intend to attend. A low expected turnout may cause the event to be cancelled.

With Macworld just around the corner our attention turns to some of the big gaming conferences/events in 2000. First off is the Game Developers Conference 2000 scheduled for March 8-12th 2000 in San Jose, California. While Bungie are not (as yet) listed as exhibitors the Speakers list does contain Brent Pease, who up to quite recently was Project Lead and Lead Engineer for Bungie's upcoming 3rd person action game Oni. The Speakers list also contains Marty O'Donnell of Total Audio who is currently working on Bungie's Oni and Halo.

Some two months after GDC is the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2000 (commonly referred to as E3 expo) scheduled for May 11-13th in Los Angeles, California. While there are little details as yet for this show Bungie will undoubtedly be there in force.

GameSpot UK have post the next ten games (ranks 30-21) in their Top 100 Games of the Millennium list. Some surprises in there. Of course the Millennium doesn't end until the 31th Dec 2000. So they'll have to do it all over again next year. ;-)

Dec 29, 1999 (Wednesday)

Quick update

GameZnet's "What is the greatest game of all time?" poll seems to be down. Others report that the poll was reset. Earlier this morning the poll had Marathon placed first with over 18% of the vote.

Brian Blovett <> writes:

Gamespot recently named Bungie's Myth series as number 52 (5+2=7) in their top 100 computer games of the millenium. The URL is:

Gamespot has not revealed all of their picks yet. By new years day we should find out if Marathon made it to #7!

Will Marathon be in the top 50? Gamespot's chart apparently covers all gaming platforms.

Wow... take a break for a few days and what happens? Marathon becomes flavor of the week. ;-)

Marathon tops gameZnet's "What is the greatest game of all time?" poll. This should raise a few eyebrows. Go vote if you haven't already. The poll seems to have generated a number of long Marathon-related threads on the forum. Worth a look.

Going to Macworld Expo San Francisco 2000? Want to meet up with some diehard Bungie-fanatics and perhaps some Bungie dudes in a more intimate setting? Now's your chance Miguel Chavez <> writes:

Club-I, San Francisco's only PC gaming center and cafe will host a Bungie Gathering of Fans on Jan 5, Wednesday, from 7PM til closing. Club-I has 24 gaming workstations. The games of choice will be Myth:TFL and Myth II:SB I apologize for not being able to showcase other Bungie games, but there may be some last minute additions. Stay tuned :-)

For those that were not planning on attending MacworldExpo but still want to participate in a gathering of like-minded Bungie-fanatics, this is the place for you. As a bonus, we're scheduled to have some Bungie personnel in attendance. Have an obscure question you'd like answered? Here's the place to ask it! Wanna plead with the programmers to add one particular feature to their newest games, Halo and Oni? Tell it in person! Always wanted to try your skills against some Bungie employees? Bring it on!

Due to circumstances beyond our control, there is a $7 admission fee per person. With that in mind, I urgently request emails from interested parties in this event. If it appears that turnout will be too low, the event may be canceled :-( However, a small part of me, buried deep within my cerebral cortex, believes that it will not be canceled.

Club-I's kitchen serves an assortment of food, from salads to sandwiches. Also available is every computer geek's favorite: pizza!

More information as it becomes available. Any questions, feel free to email me.

Please remember, this event is not run by Bungie. This is a fan-driven event. Be courteous to your fellow attendees.

Relevant links: <- driving directions <- map

If you're going and want to meet up at Club-I please email Miguel at <>. Thanks.

Alan Greene <> writes concerning Bungie's seventh Christmas card (2 Marathon, 2 Myth, 2 Myth II and a seventh unknown card):

I returned from break today, and found my Total Codex waiting for me, along with the Myth II soundtrack, and the much-anticipated holiday postcards. Suffice it to say, the seventh card was a bit of a disappointment. It was simply a third copy of the Myth II card "On Smasher!". While the actual cards themselves were not a disappointment, I was expecting something unique for number 7. I studied all three of them, and the seventh doesn't seem to be different from the other two. Hm ...

Dec 24, 1999 (Friday)

Happy Holidays

The Story page will be closed for the holidays until the 29th Dec. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all the Story page readers worldwide a very Merry Christmas. Have a good one! We'll be back after the break.

Don't forget to use the holiday period to brush up on your Marathon skills for the National Macintosh Gaming Championship 2000 at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2000. The winners of the previous Gaming Championships can be found on the following pages: Macworld Expo New York '99, Macworld Expo San Francisco '99, and Macworld Expo New York '98.

Going to Macworld Expo San Francisco 2000? According to Matt Soell (Bungie Software) in a forum post Bungie will not have a playable version of Halo at the show. Matt wrote:

Re: Halo at MacWorld SF?

Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 23 December 1999, 7:47 p.m.

In Response To: Halo at MacWorld SF? (eva05)

MacWorldSF will be an Oni Love Fest. Halo will be there in some form, but you won't be able to walk up to a machine and play it.


Good news for Oni fans. :-)

Bungie are closed for the holidays. Their news page reveals the following:

We'll be closed for the holidays, but we've got a ton of surprises planned for the web page during the Macworld expo in early January. Til then this should hold you over, a special Konoko holiday desktop pattern. Enjoy!

Marathon's Story page wins another award. :) Jeremias Donnchadh <> administrator of the Thistle & Joe Virtual Scottish Pub & Coffeehouse writes:

Late for the birthday, but early for Christmas: we've awarded the "Marathon's Story" page our site's award! (We've been averaging 4 to 6 of these a year, so pat yourself on the back ;) ) The awards page is at:

and you can grab the award graphic at:

Congratulations, "Marathon's Story" is really a great site -- I've been looking in on it for a few years now and it's been the combination of the sustained scholarship on the Trilogy and the renewed interest from the HALO announcements that's kept me coming back. I'm only hoping that HALO's gonna run on whatever Mac I've got by then, so I can get in on the dissections myself... ;)

Again, good job, virtual beers are on us... ;)

Beer at a Virtual Scottish Pub?!!! No way. Virtual whiskies all round. Make mine a Lagavulin. Cheers! ;-)

The time has come for humanity to journey to Mars. James Gurnee <> asks you to head on over to and sign the Mars petition. Become a colonist today! Just don't be on the first trip. Look what happened to the Mars Polar Lander. ;-)

Jannes Peters <> writes to say that the Marathon Shrine page is now finished. Check out the Marathon pictures section where you'll find chapter pics and terminal art from all three Marathons and the 3rd party scenarios Tempus Irae and Evil.

Dec 23, 1999 (Thursday)

Liam mac Lynne <> writes concerning the inability of the M-75 Assault Rifle/Grenade Launcher to fire in a vacuum. See the Weapons in Marathon section of Facts and puzzling things about... for details.

William Spencer <> writes:

Just noticed this: the Marathon Automated Defense Drones bear a strong resemblance to the Civic Automated Defense Units in the manga (that's a Japanese comic book) AKIRA, by Katsuhiro Otoma. (Published some time ago by Epic Comics, and much better than the animation.) The Defense Units have the same design (four-legged sphere) as the MADDs. They are a little larger, don't fly, and they mount a tazer instead of a grenade launcher, but they have a similar role (defense and riot-suppression.)

The theme of Rampancy also appears in AKIRA, but on a biological scale. A powerful psychic, named Tetsuo, develops his powers with the aid of a government experiment, but he loses control. His body becomes merely a vessel, a means for his powers to exhibit themselves. He starts merging spontaneously with machinery - taking over its functions - and at one point his body undergoes a bizarre and unnatural growth, bursting out into great masses of flesh...sounds like Rampancy, if it happened to a human.

Marc Paveglio <> writes:

Have you watched Fox's new TV show called "Greed?" If you haven't, this is what it is set up like: a team of players competes by themselves for money by answering several questions. Each team has a leader which makes crucial decisions. Occasionally, team members are forced to turn on each other. As I sat in my recliner one night, watching it, I noticed something behind the team leader's podium. Could it be? I squinted again at my TV set and confirmed my first observation. A large (blue?) "Marathonish" symbol hangs behind the team leader! It is easily visible whenever the camera centers on the leader. Since my TV isn't hooked up to my Mac (although I could) I couldn't get a screenshot of it. -Just a tidibit to add to your page. If anyone can get a picture of it I would like to see it. Thanks!

If anyone can get a pic of this please send it in.

Benjamin Riley <> writes concerning the backstory to Warhammer 40k. This is part of a discussion on the mixing lo-tech and hi-tech in science fiction.

It is also worth noting that, in Warhammer 40k, the humans of the Imperium distrust technology somewhat. For example, here's a quote from the roolz book:

"...Before the Age of Strife, humanity's physical power waxed, but at the cost if man's spiritual strength. During this period, the even more distant Dark Age of Technology, the human race sold its souls to the glory of technology, forgetting their own magnificence in favour of the accomplishments of so-called science. Through the mechanical, biological, and alchemical madness of the Dark Age of Technology, which brought about the decline during the Age of Strife, mankind has come to its present age, a glorious age of conquest, where men's hearts will rule the stars, not their machines. What secrets the Tech Priests of Mars uncover from the distant past will no longer rule our lives. We will harness the technology we find, and not become slaves to it as we once were. Through human endeavour, and honest blood, sweat, and toil, mankind will rule the galaxy with the grace of the Emperor and finally attain our rightful plase as Lords of the Stars. ..."
-Introduction from Liber Doctrina Historicus

Claude Errera <> writes to say that Marathon: RED is the newest tenant in the Big House. Worth a look.

Clem Freeman <> also points out that the Marathon Scenario page has been updated. Another place to visit before Christmas.

Dec 22, 1999 (Wednesday)

Terrence Nowicki <> writes:

While musing over Marathon's 5th Birthday (and thinking about sending E-Greetings to the entire original Bungie staff), I made a rather odd discovery...

This year, 1999, is Marathon's 5th Birthday. Next year, 2000 (the LAST year of this millenium), will be it's 6th...

Marathon's 7th Birthday falls on the first year of the new millenium.

Well no #2 yesterday. Lots of people had their fingers crossed given the date. While I'm sure Matt Soell would have loved to have released this yesterday it was not to be. Somewhat ironically Id Software released their Quake 1 source code. Coincidence or... ?

While searching the Story page's Dec 1994 archives for Usenet posts yesterday I came across one old post that echoed the recent "lo-tech/hi-tech in Halo" discussion. Part of the post reads as follows:

I'd agreed with some of the posters regarding new weapons on Marathon that a shotgun was not "futuristic" enough. But lo and behold, after they confiscate the 10mm explosive shells in the movie, Hicks reaches into his backpack and pulls out....a shotgun. Guess there's some intangible appeal to cocking the thing.....

You can read the whole post here. Remember this post dates from Dec '94. report that Gamespot UK feature a Top 100 Games of the Millennium. It'll be interesting to see where Marathon features in this, if it features at all. Seems you'll also be able to vote.

Dec 21, 1999 (Tuesday)

Happy Birthday update

Ok... how could I not mark the fifth anniversary of Marathon without some Marathon nostalgia. So I dug deep into the Story page's 7GB archives to pull out five priceless usenet posts from Dec '94. Remember you had to be there to fully appreciate these but even if you weren't you should get a kick out of the them. Enjoy.

Marathon: Major Damage Turns Me Into Girlie Man

Early "Vidmaster" talk and criticism. Check out those films. Remember they only work with the Marathon Demo v0.0.

Marathon fisting session

More early "Vidmaster" talk. Another film that only works with the Marathon Demo v0.0.

The digital equivalent of masturbating

Guess what happens when you play the Marathon Demo for too long? ;-)

I have Marathon!

Marathon arrives! The first usenet post reporting the game... and what's described... the box! ;-)

I Have Marathon!!

Another early "I have Marathon thread" this one lead to now famous... "You didn't get a box? They pushed the game back 5 months for NOTHING??? " remark. ;-)

Happy 5th Birthday Marathon

Today five years ago Marathon was officially released! Relive the past in the Blasts from the Past section.

As reported on Inside Mac Games Bungie have released an official statement regarding the departure of Brent Pease, Oni Project Leader. The text reads as follows:

With the completion of the core components of the Oni game engine, Lead Programmer Brent Pease is leaving the project. Completion of the game design remains in the capable hands of the team, with engineering being managed by Senior Programmer Michael Evans, one of the founding members of the team. Oni development continues unabated, and new features for this unique action game will be on display at the Macworld Expo in January. The parting was amicable, and everyone at Bungie wishes Brent well in his future endeavors.

Justin Kitt <> passes on additional info about the back story to Warhammer 40k. This is part of a discussion on the mixing lo-tech and hi-tech in science fiction. Justin writes:

Right, from what I can find (and what I think I can remember), basically the humans had a period of huge galaxy wide expansion and technological advance, but they used a new propulsion system for their spaceships called a warp drive that took shortcuts through 'warp space' (think Event Horizon here, in a way). Unfortunately, by doing this they drew the attention of the forces of Chaos who inhadited this dimension, who then started attacking the humans, and corrupting their leaders with promises of huge power (both physical and psychic). They also cut off the solar system with warp storms which prevented any warp travel, and thus any FTL travel.

During this time, the colonies outside Sol had very few supplies to make new technology, whereas Earth and Mars erupted into civil war. In the 40K Universe, technological specs were kept in special STDs (I think that's what they were called), and were mostly kept on Mars. During the civil war, a lot of the storehouses of STDs were destroyed, and with no other records of how to make or repair the machines, the technology was lost.

Phil Saulnier (aka Manus Celer Dei) <> writes to say that Orbital Arm has been updated again. They've added 5 new maps: 2 netmaps, 3 solo. There's also another small netpack coming... soon. Orbital Arm is the largest resource for Windows Marathon 2 gamers.

Dec 20, 1999 (Monday)

Quick update

As reported on Inside Mac Games Brent Pease, Oni Project Leader, leaves Bungie.

Then there were eight! Michael Garrison <> writes concerning another error in the infamous Marathon Scrapbook:

I didn't see it mentioned on your list of 7 but this is also a factual error. Sorry my Scrapbook isn't handy or I'd give you the page numbers. Basically, in the part where it mentions how the first Marathon Mayhem Tournament was held after the release of Marathon, it states that I won a new PowerPC computer and walked away with it for winning. It was actually after winning the second MacWorld Mayhem Tournament that I won a PowerPC computer and it was shipped to me a couple weeks later. They actually didn't even have any "Set" Prizes for winning the competition that first year. With tongue in cheek at the time, I thought that Marathon must be doing well since Bungie had much nicer prizes for the second tournament.

Guess I'm too late for any prizes :( Of course, I'd be happy to give a "Marathon collectible" item to anyone who knew what the correct answer is :-)

If you know what Mike's prize was for winning the 1st Marathon Mayhem Tournament then send your answer to Michael Garrison at <>. We'll post the winner's name and answer here. What could that "Marathon collectible" item be I wonder?

Dec 19, 1999 (Sunday)

Muhsin Miski <> sends in a link to Courtney Evans' on-line resumé at Courtney was an employee of Doubleaught Software, Inc. prior to their closure and his resumé contains 18 high quality Duality screenshots, some of which have never been seen before. There is also some background info on Duality's story. The text reads as follows:

Duality: Introduction

Duality is a completely original, true 3D action game built on Doubleaught's proprietary engine. Doubleaught is a small company that split off from Bungie after completing Marathon II. Duality takes place on a distant planet, far in the future.

Duality's world is harsh - in many ways. The planet's axis points at the sun, so that one side is a perpetually baked desert, while the other is all darkness and ice. The narrow band at the equator is the only livable area. The human society on Duality is equally divided - at the top are the aristocrats and the Factors, a priesthood that controls the last remnants of ancient technology left on the planet, while at the bottom are the common people and the Polys, a class defined by physical deformity and doomed to the hardest labor. Deep within the planet's caves, and under the glaciers and deserts at the poles, wait the Builders - a sentient race laid low by a supernatural enemy many thousands of years ago. Slowly, they - and their enemy - have been reawakening.

The player is thrown into the midst of this world, with few clues to where he comes from or what he is. The player must fight well and think carefully in order to survive, and as more and more of the game world descends into civil war and chaos, the player's fight for survival becomes a fight to save humanity - and the Builders - from destruction.

I would like to draw your attention to the legal notice attached to this page:

Legal notice: Some of the images on this site are the property of, and copyrighted by Doubleaught Software, Inc. and are used here for personal purposes only. Public distribution or reproduction of any image on this site in any media is strictly forbidden. Linking to any page or image within this site for the purpose of distributing these images is likewise forbidden.

Please respect the authors wishes regarding the linking and distribution of images within this site.

Dec 18, 1999 (Saturday)

Continuing on the theme of mixing lo-tech and hi-tech in science fiction Stuart Willis <> provides further details on why the humans were of a low-tech status in Warhammer 40k.

Basically the Humans were fighting a big war against Chaos for a long long long time (a millenia or two). Damage and Casualties were extensive and built up over time. It was impossible to repair all the equipment that was damaged. Some stuff that was complex was just left to rust as it was too difficult and time consuming to repair. Because you weren't going to repair the equipment, there was no need to teach new engineers anything about it - time was of the essence. Slowly knowledge was lost.

Now, considering in Halo that Humans have been fighting a war against the Covenant. We don't know how long it's been going on for, or if it's before/after the Pfhor war (if they have any role). But its easy to hypothesize that they are in a similar situation to the Humans in W40k. They are using low-tech gear because it's: a) all they have left in working order;
b) easy to repair and maintain; or
c) all they know how to build.

I'm betting it's something in between a/b.

Robert Boggs <> also writes on the lo-tech theme in Halo :

People have been skirting around what I believe is the principle reason low tech weapons are being used. Simplicity is definitely a factor. The fossil fuels (or even water if you're using something like a hydrogen cracking fusion plant) to power your vehicles are probably plentiful, as are the raw materials needed to make good old slugthrowers, metal armor, etc...

The backstory as it goes so far, states that mankind has been pushed to the brink of extinction by the covenant. The mission to the Halo is a last ditch effort to find something to stop the covenant. Maybe, after a long protracted battle across countless, worlds, all we've got left to throw at them is this "low-tech" hardware.

Paul Eiche <> also writes:

consider the movie star trek: first contact. the borg adapted to all the energy weapons the enterprise's crew had, but when jean-luc busted out the tommy gun, they didn't stand a chance. too bad it was just in the holo-deck :)

Changing the subject somewhat Alan Greene <> writes:

I saw today that one level in Quake 3 is called House of Pain (Moo). Another is The Proving Grounds (Myth II), and then there is the appropriately titled The Bouncy Map. The lack of originality here is staggering, I'm sure you'll agree.

This is actually something that has been on my mind for quite a while now, the fate of esoteric level names. Of course, PiD and Marathon seem to have the greatest names for maps, often abstract, but usually with some tie to the story. Myth exhibited a less imaginative but more descriptive naming convention. With Halo, level names will be quite useless, since there will be no levels at all (for solo play, at least).

I wonder if we will see the return of more interesting level names, or if a deeper dive into convincing solo play will demand that this method of naming be dropped. For example, if Gonen's Bridge was named "Half-Cake, Jackson, Half-Cake", it would sorta ruin the mood. What do you think?

No esoteric level names in Halo? Comments are welcome.

James Gurnee <> writes:

Is the Marathon/Halo Reading List uploaded on the internet? If so, is it a secret page? or if not, are you keeping it to yourself?

Wow... people are so suspicious these days. Next it'll be the secret Oni page! ;-)

Dec 17, 1999 (Friday)

Z. Miller <> makes an interesting discovery about the title "Armor" - the original name for Halo:

Just thought I'd mention a novel by John Steakley (Who also wrote Vampire$) called Armor. Basically, Armor is about human soldiers in the future who fight bugs, like in Starship Troopers. (Another good book, but not so good movie.) But what reminded me of Marathon was Armor's protagonist, Felix. Felix has some sort of mental disorder like spilt personality or something, which takes effect in combat. He goes into a mode he calls "The Engine", where he becomes an invincible killing machine. Despite all odds, he survives mission after mission, while his companions die all around him. Just like how the Marine makes his way through the entire Marathon series, despite the fact that it would be nearly impossible to fight so much and live.

You can can find out more details about John Steakley's Armor at Here's a short synposis of the book:

A best-selling novel of military science fiction follows the battle of a one-man, atomic-powered, armored fighting machine on the alien planet of Banshee, home to a horde of berserk enemies of humanity.

Looks like another book to add to the Marathon/Halo reading list!

A number of people have written in about the invisible Myth beta on the Myth_TFL CD (v1.2) which has been reported on and picked up by and Myth Townhall. To avoid further mail on the subject I'd just like to point out that this was mentioned on the Story page back in Sept 13, 1999 by Joshua Jansen <>. Joshua wrote at the time:

I was tromping through the Invisible files of the Myth_TFL CD, and I found the Myth Beta [a beta which I, an iMac user, am finding some difficulty running.] hidden in:

Myth_TFL:tags:Local:myth.beta 11.27.96

Old habit: I checked the fork of the App in ResEdit, and lo and behold... I found another 'open letter.' The last lines should hold a pantsload of meaning to all of us.

From myth.beta.ppc: This is a window on the days before double-clicking or formations or waypoint markers, before the Trow or Fetch or the death of the Skr¾l, before we had a real user interface and we threw away a bunch of cool reflection code to make the rasterizer faster. Back when we all thought we'd be able to spend some time outside during the coming summer of 1997. But we've got physics and blood, and Ghôls can still pick up little bits of their enemies and throw them around. The dwarf hasnÕt changed much, but he moves a lot faster and has these cool things called satchel charges now. Networking works as well, and it wasn't too long before this build that Ryan and I detonated the first dwarven grenades in anger, during an early Myth netgame. Unfortunately the grenades were all his because the starting locations were unbalanced and I lost. Since then IÕve buried a thousand dwarves on, and my hatred of the little men has waned. Somewhat. So look around and have fun, but don't dwell too much on what you see. Now ... where did we leave Durandal? Jason December 19, 1997

Mark Levin <> writes to say that Matt Soell (Bungie Software) passed on the following details about some of his "Seven Errors in the Scrapbook Competition" prizes:

- One "Property of the Bungie Store" t-shirt (we don't actually sell these)

- The Walnut Has Two Faces, a priceless work of art by our own Quality Assurance guy, Ryan Hylland

- One videotape containing the short movie "Bagel Shop," originally submitted to us as part of a pitch by a guy who wanted to write and direct a Marathon movie. Answering the eternal question "Can't Bungie find someone who can make a cool Marathon movie?" with a resounding "No."

- One original sealed copy of Minotaur, guaranteed to have been shrinkwrapped by Alex Seropian, Doug Zartman or Jason Jones

Good prizes eh? :-)

Dec 16, 1999 (Thursday)

"What do you mean, they cut the power? How could they cut the power, man? They're animals."

Due to an unexplained outage the Story page offices were offline for most of yesterday! Sorry. :-(

Back in October the Story page ran the "Seven Errors in the Scrapbook Competition". The prize for spotting the Seventh Error was a signed copy of the Marathon Scrapbook plus a bunch of undisclosed Bungie goodies courtesy of Matt Soell (Bungie Software).

Yesterday the winner (Mark Levin <>) opened his "Seven Errors in the Scrapbook Competition" prize package live on the Bungie.Org Hotline server ( at 9 CST. Unfortunately the Story page wasn't there to document the event. However the list of goodies Mark won were as follows:

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

-Craig Mullins "Death of the Hulk" Mousepad

-Black Bungie folder containing:

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

-A Myth 2 folder (empty)

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

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

-An iron-on Bungie Patch

-A video named "Bagel Shop"

-A sealed copy of Minotaur

-A shirt reading "Property of the Bungie Store"

-A walnut with two faces drawn on it

Special thanks to Matt Soell (Bungie Software) for putting together the prize. It's amazing the amount of Bungie memorabilia that can still be found around the offices of the 7th floor. ;-)

Aaron Snyder <> writes:

Liam mac Lynne's comments about the paralells between Robotech and Marathon are interesting; there's another, albeit minor one, too: Juggernauts look astonishingly like Invid shock troopers (from the "New Generation" cycle).

It's also interesting to note that in one of the early versions of Marathon, "Grendel lives!" is scrawled on the walls with the Grendel mask created by Matt Wagner; both the Grendel series and the original Robotech comic books were published by the same company: Comico comics. post an interesting observation about the similarity of the Covenant aliens and the Drej in the upcoming animated movie Titan A.E. The basic stance and shape of the Drej as seen in the screenshots posted is remarkably similar to that of the Covenant. The Titan A.E. web page has a trailer movie. Matrix fans will no doubt recognise the use of the Lunatic Calm track "Leave You Far Behind" in part of the Titan soundtrack.

Theories on why Halo has "low tech" vehicles (20th century looking tanks & jeeps) and weapons continue to come in. Many are quite detailed but reiterate the main points already discussed. Thanks to everyone who has written. Another example of science fiction mixing low and high tech comes from Nathaniel Olsen <>. Nathaniel writes:

There is an example of a futuristic setting using more mundane vehicles. It is Warhammer 40k. It takes place in the 41st century. Humans use mostly treaded vehicles and bikes. They have very few hovervehicles dispite having the ability to make and use of bionics and connect man to machine so they can fight after death and maintain power armor and use starships. In this case there was a dark age, refered to as the Dark Age of Technology, where most tech. knowlege was lost. Now any mechanics are often refered to as priests or belong to the priesthood of Mars. Most technological devices have been maintained for ages through an equal combination of technical knowlege and prayer (written and spoken) to the god of mars and inscriptions on devices. I'm not saying that this is what happened, but it is possible that the resources may not have been there to create machines to send on this mission due to a decline back on earth or whatever planet they launched from.

Seth Graham <> writes:

I don't know if the Story page ever really deals with Myth-related items, but it seems Bungie has issued us all a challenge to find an as-yet unfound easter egg hidden in the game.

I quote, from the Myth Townhall news forum:

Subject: You think you know all the Myth II Easter Eggs? Posted By: Ryan Hylland

Think again. There is one Easter Egg that no one has ever found in our program. I don't want to give it away but here is a hint:

You'll need a hex editor installed to find the clue.

Have fun and good luck!

He has, also, emailed the people at with a similar message; go visit their site to see not only this, but some interesting screenshots one "redX" has pulled from his hexing of Fear.

Along these lines, I refer to a few suspicious lines from the Myth II Handbook, authored by Deathwhore (Charles Holt). In the section devoted to easter eggs in the Myth II game, we find this quote:

"The PC version of the editing tools contain as as of yet undiscovered easter egg. The programmer, Jonathon Haas, won't say what it is or how to trigger it, but did let on to me that they both share a separate file which gives it away."

This, obviously, would exclude the Mac folks.. and I'm suspicious that this isn't what Mr. Hylland is referring to (just a hunch).

When I got the Handbook, I did some poking. The only file I could find that both Fear and Loathing used (found via brute force; trying to modify files while either program was opened) was a file in the 'local' folder named 'myth2.' IMO, this is merely a lock file to prevent the opening of other Myth programs.. though I'm not 100% certain. :)

This search ended up fruitless for me, so I gave up until this new challenge was issued.

The Handbook /also/ has a line that suggests Myth may have more than the two known secret levels in it. The quote is thus: "Bungie would prefer I not say how many secret levels there actually are, but there are two that are widely known." (page 234)

Given that Myth II has 400-odd megs of data files, it's probably not hard to hide extra tags in there somewhere. If Holt's statement indicates there certainly is another secret level, I believe this is what Mr. Hylland is referring to.

Why do I harass the Story page with this? :)

Well, the readers here have an amazing track record with sorting out puzzles that Bungie hands it's fans. I can think of no better group to tackle the problem. ;)

I mean, when Bungie issues a challenge.. we gotta respond, right?

As Seth points out the Easter Egg is only in the PC version of Myth.

Dec 14, 1999 (Tuesday)

Liam mac Lynne <> draws some interesting parallels between the Robotech series and Marathon. Liam writes:

...has anyone noticed the similarity of appearance between the inhabitants of Haydon IV and the S'pht? Haydonites are from the Robotech: The Sentinels series, which is the third part of the American release of three unrelated anime titles through Harmony Gold USA in the late '80s. The Haydonites are a mixture of computer/robot and cyborg so advanced human technology is completely unable to separate them. Lots of mystery surrounds them, including the question of how they float in the air, and what is under their robes (Unlike S'pht, the Haydnites don't flash anyone to fire weapons). It's possible (and I'd be surprised if someone hasn't mentioned this before) that the appearance of the S'pht was influenced by the Haydonites.

More striking is Liam's final observation:

It's an interesting parallel that the planet Haydon IV was created eons ago by a race of progenitors of the modern races presented in the Sentinels series (this is out of the Jack McKinney book, _End of the Circle_, which finished (and cycled) the timeline of the Robotech story), including the Haydonites themselves.

A quick search of the web reveals a large number of pages devoted to the Robotech series. Here are just two well maintained pages:

Here is an interesting quote from the Robotech novels timeline:

c. -100,000 B.C Haydon, a race of people that have attained non-coporeal state of being, visits seven planets - Optera, Peryton, Karbarra, Praxis, Garuda, Spheris, and Earth - to engineer an evolution attempt in order to escape this universe and achieve god status and a reason for living. The Flowers of Life, originally found on Earth, are completely and utterly transplanted to Optera, Peryton recieves its mental generator, Karbarra is given a peat similar to the Flowers of Life, Praxis' population is gengineered to be females, Garuda's atmosphere is made into a Gaian one, and Haydon IV with its robot population is built as a storehouse/resting place for Haydon until an Event happens. Only Optera, with its Regis, remembers what Haydon actually looked like.

Sounds vaguely familiar.

Also from another Robotech timeline we have this quote:

Jul, 1999: A colossal meteorite impacts with Earth, coming to rest on South Atalia Island. Investigation reveals that it is an alien spacecraft. It is code-named ASS-1 (Alien Star Ship-1). Public announcements are that an asteroid 3 km in diameter, composed of great quantities of metal, impacted with Earth. The matter is treated as top secret until the chaos and confusion are brought under control.

and also:

Jun, 2000: Aliens' existence formally announced (excepting the fact of their size, which is kept top secret). Following this, framing plan for United Earth Government officially proclaimed.

Shades of Pathways Into Darkness perhaps? And the old United Earth Government pop up too!

As Liam points out the Robotech series dates from the 1980s.

Mail continues to pour in about the apparently "low tech" look of the vehicles (and weapons) used by the humans in Halo. If the Halo story is based 100s of years in the future where interstellar travel, AI technology, and military cybernetics are all a reality why do the marines run around in ground based tanks and four wheel drive jeeps? See yesterday for a large and varied response. See also the and Core forums for additional discussion.

Here are just a few more submissions to the Story page:

David Solorzano <> writes:

Alot of people have been righting in saying that Jeeps, tanks, grenades, etc. would still be used 800 years from now because they would be easier to fix than a Hovertank. Thats like saying that the military now should use bows and arrows because it would be easier to restring than fixing a jammed gun. Look at how far artillary and guns have progressed in this century alone. I doubt that if we could build Hovertanks 350 years from now that we would still keep around old technology because it can get repaired easier. 450 years after the creation of the hovertank they too would probably be easy to repair. Which means that

1. Our dates could be off
2. The ship sent to Halo could have been a museum ship
3. Bungie could have built near future Technology for Armor and then tried to fit that into Halo.

My guess is a mix of 1 and 3.

Interesting point #3.

SoSD (full name pending) <> writes:

In reply to 'Chris Hebner <>', who stated:

"If you were out in the field, and your vehicle broke down, which would you rather do: replace a broken tread in about 2 hours, or jack up a hover tank, remove the air skirt, patch it, replace it and test it before you go back into combat?"

There are considerations beyond reliability, however.. If you were using a large expensive hovertank, as shown in David Drake's Hammer's Slammers series of novels for instance, a mine, or shell that might disable a conventional tank via blasting a few treads off might only disable a single lift fan, which would merely reduce your maneuverability, speed, etc..

Other advantages being the gains in mobility, especially over mud, which has historically crippled tank formations, and gains in how large and heavy the tank can be.. (You can only put so much weight on the treads, before they become inconveniently wide, and unmanageable.. [As in the experimental German Mauss, of WWII]) ..Spreading the mass out with the ground effect allows a much heavier tank..

And finally, those Slammers tanks were far cooler then anything that went on treads ..:P

Anyway, based on the arguments I've seen on your page so far, I believe that the Halo story is set considerably earlier than 2800..

James Gurnee <> writes:

About the usage of Jeeps and projectile weapons (bullet guns) in Halo: This same thing happened on a Doctor Who episode. It was Genesis Of The Daleks, originally aired March 8-April 12, 1975. Anyway the story goes that the people on Skaro were fighting for so long that they were running low on supplies. So, even with advanced energy weapons, they had to fall back to the less advanced, projectile weapons. They also ended up using animal skins as armor. So probably, at least the Halo Recon Unit our marine is in is using low technology equipment not because they choose, but because they have no choice. Also, remember the Human empire is described as 'fledgling' in Halo.

R. Miguel Linius <> writes:

Marathoners expect to use (mostly) gunpowder-style projectiles and the weapons to project them. The rocket launcher seems to use what to us is current technology. The Marine (and Bobs in Marathon 2) are using .45 Calibur handguns and yet I am not aware of any shock and disdain in their use even though the Marathon universe is set at nearly 1,000 years in our future.

The precedent has been set for the use of such weapons in Halo. Let us expand the principle to include the use of near-future (to us) vehicles.

Let's look at it from a game development angle. Much of the appeal of Halo is that it looks realistic. The realism is heightened when we are able to see (and use) things that are familiar to us. Loud weapons spewing out tons of smoke make it exciting. Same thing with , say, tanks. These very things contrast the futuristic weapons and vehicles of the Covenant. Also, the use of nearly conventional devices reminds me of such wars as World War II, where there was a clear victory of the Allied powers over the menacing Axis powers. This invokes another level of appeal.

How might Bungie justify/explain this approach to Halo players? Perhaps our fleeing group of humans had no access to state-of-the-art technology, yet they managed to salvage ancient (by their standards) vehicles and weapons from obscurity and make use of them. Maybe the Covenant had destroyed modern human weapons and vehicles manufacturing plants and stockpiles, forcing the humans to restore and rely on relics of the past. These might have been relegated to deserted places, much like the war planes occupying a tract of desert near Tucson, Arizona.

Interesting point about the Marathon weapons. It should be remembered that while Marathon takes place in 2794 AD the weapons would probably date from the pre-launch of the colony ship in 2472 AD. All weapons (and cyborgs) being stored onboard for safe keeping. Also we did have a Fusion Pistol in Marathon. :-)

Dec 13, 1999 (Monday)

Envisioning the future is not easy.

As expected alot of mail regarding the Story page's observation that the vehicles and weapons used by the humans in Halo look very "low tech" for a story based 800 years into the future. Of course this assumes that Halo is based in the 29th century. It may not be.

Here are just a few of many comments received.

Andrew Simpkins <> writes:

Regarding the use of 'out of date' technology, eg. swords, horses, in a future environment: Check out any of Frank Herbert's Dune novels. IIRC the use of hand-to-hand fighting, swordplay and plain old treachery and deceit come to the fore in a space-faring society. More modern wepons, such as atomic weapons, are banned by galactic governmental decree. Another situation which is illustrated occurs on the planet Arrakis, central to the story. In the Dune universe great use is made of personal (electronic) shields. On Arrakis the planets dust storms and indigenous species remove the effectiveness of this method of defence.

I think where I'm going with this is that current, and future technology can be rendered useless by events even further in the future, in which case we, as a species, can fall back on any methods we have used in the past to overcome obstacles.

Hmmm... I don't think we've seen horses in Halo yet. But the point about Dune is a good one.

Doug Hanke <> writes:

The Marathon's Story page talks about why the vehicles in Halo look "less than futuristic." There may be a couple of reasons why the jeep looks like it does. The laws of physics aren't going to change much from now to 2472--a wheel will still roll pretty well now or 800 years from now. Wheels work pretty well on somewhat level ground, particularly when the jeep in the Halo movie looks as versatile as it does.

If you're on a long supply line (like the vessel that will land on Halo), you'd want to carry stuff that you could fix yourself or didn't need a ton of parts. 4-legged vehicles are kinda complicated and may need a ton of specialized equipment to repair. Hovercraft are really noisy, and wouldn't work in a vacuum environment. Wheels have been around a long time and will probably continue to be around for quite some time. They even work in a vacuum--witness the lunar rovers... :)

The Randal Hovertank was on Mars, which might be a lot closer to a major repair base than a Big Dumb Object.

Just a thought.

Agreed about the versatility of wheels. A case in point is the six-wheeled APC used in the film "Aliens". Lets hope the Halo marines have access to similar smart-guns with gyro-stablized support arms. :-)

Jesse McInturff <> writes:

...did you ever think to consider how incredibly expensive a hovertank or plasma weapons are? Then also you may need to think that, even though it's a bit cheezy maybe the Halo warship was launched not all that far into the future and it was just a generations space ship (you know, my kids go on to have BOB's and so on) and in all the fighting and stuff maybe records of this ship were lost. I dont think bungie would do something like this but we can just sit and see.

Interesting point. Do the humans in Halo have access to FTL travel? If as Jesse suggests they don't and must rely on sub-light speed travel as the Marathon colony ship did then perhaps we would expect to see old style equipment in Halo.

Michael Ash <> writes:

I just wanted to point out that while the major weapons of warfare have changed enormously over the course of history, the basic unit of an army has barely changed at all. Your standard grunt, whether clad in armor and carrying a spear or wearing camouflage and toting an M-16, is still pretty much the same. He may have neater toys these days, but despite all their rapid-fire killing machines they still carry knives. It does make sense that they would have fantastic weaponry, but they wouldn't necessarily have it everywhere. They are supposedly short on resources, and if you're going to send a couple of guys out on a dangerous mission, it would be a lot less annoying to lose a jeep than lose a fancy hover-whatchamacallit.

Good point about the knife. A case in point is the film Starship Troopers. Even with FTL technology the marines always seemed to end up fighting with the most basic of equipment. Kinda dumb... but then so was the film. ;-)

Michael O'Brien <> writes:

There has been some discussion of why the Halo demo shows 4WD vehicles, and such, when we currently believe Halo to be set in a Marathon time period which includes hovertanks, personal fliers, et al.

It seems to me that the most likely explanation is simplicity and reliablility.

Generally, the simpler a mechanism is, the more reliable and difficult to disable it's going to be. It seems that by basic laws of physics, something like a hovertank is going to be extremely complex, and therefore very prone to damage and breakdown. This is why the American military fell in love with the Jeep in the last half of the 20th century; use it, abuse it, insult it, it still ran.

If you're a Halo marine, and you are going to be trapped on a ringworld for an indeterminate time with little support or backup, would you choose a 4WD vehicle which has been so perfected over 800 years that it doesn't even break when you open up the crankcase and throw sand in, one that can be drop-kicked off a cliff by a Pfhor hunter and still be drivable once it's set upright; or would you be using the futuristic, hover-capable equivalent of the "Sergeant York": some hovertank that spends 9 hours on the repair racks for evey one hour of combat?

Just my thoughts on the matter.

So will the Halo jeep be unbreakable? I guess that'll be one of the first things that people will try to find out! =)

Similarly Chris Hebner <> writes:

I can think of a good reason why the equipment of the human in Halo seems so low tech. If you were out in the field, and your vehicle broke down, which would you rather do: replace a broken tread in about 2 hours, or jack up a hover tank, remove the air skirt, patch it, replace it and test it before you go back into combat?

Just because you have really advanced weapons, doesn't mean that you always use them. You want something that is durable, inexpensive and easily repaired by the soldiers on the field with as little training as possible. Keeping this in mind, the humans in Halo are lacking in a steady supplies. The more durable and low maintenance, the better.

As for the period of Horseback fighting... I seem to recall that the Polish used cavalry to combat tanks in the second world war.

And look what happened to the Polish cavalry. ;-)

Alan Greene <> writes:

I have some input for this "lagging technology" discussion. I think it may be more of an issue of availability than current developments. Maybe the marines on the ring have a severely limited supply of weapons in general, or that state-of-the-art artillery was destroyed on impact.

I would anticipate that any out-of-place machinery will be explained by the game itself.

Let us hope so. :-)

Terrence Nowicki <> writes:

As for the (lack of) Randal Hovertanks, the only explanations I can come up with are:

A) They are hard/expensive to produce, and since our current knowledge of the mission to the Halo shows that it may be partly a suicide mission, the UESC/UESG didn't want to risk losing any really high tech weaponry like hovertanks, they didn't put any on the trip.

B) The Covenant has destroyed them all.

C) They haven't been put in the game yet/ Bungie hasn't released any material containing them yet.

And many... many more comments. Sorry if yours didn't get added. Thanks to everyone who wrote in. Remember the Story page exists to question... don't be afraid to ask the question!

Dec 12, 1999 (Sunday)

Terrence Nowicki <> writes concerning the less than futuristic looking land vehicles used by the humans in Halo:

On the story page you added that "800 years ago, people fought wars on horseback and with swords...

However, the period of fighting wars with horses and swords lasted MUCH longer than 800 years, from beginning to end.

Perhaps Bungie are assuming that when humanity takes time to develop AI, military cybernetics, space travel, (not to mention teleportation), they also take "time out" from developing standard military means and weapons of destruction.

When you think about it that way, it sort of makes sense. A centuries long "slump" in that area of technology, as it were (may not be a bad thing, really...I'd much rather have space travel and AI than people coming up with new ways to kill each other...maybe Bungie shares those feelings).

A technology slump in military development? Possible but unlikely. But let us turn to one of the Earth/Mars history terminals from Marathon:

On January 6, 2345(Earth A.D.), at the United Earth Government Misriah food distribution center, what had begun as a commonplace food riot turned into a massacre. The UEG riot troopers who arrived at the scene had been informed that the rioters were armed. As the UEG troopers approached the scene in their Randal Hovertank, plasma fire began spraying upwards. In a flash decision, the commander of the Hovertank ordered his crew to open fire upon the crowd. It took only five seconds for over five hundred starving Martians to be incinerated.

<The Rose (Terminal 2)>

So if Halo is set in the Marathon universe and post dates the launch of the Marathon in 2472 AD what happened to Randal Hovertanks and plasma weapons?

More Marathon artwork from Rob Schultz <>. This one should bring a smile to your face. :-)

Dec 11, 1999 (Saturday)

Terrence Nowicki <> writes concerning my comments regarding the present day look to the vehicles and weaponary used by the marines in Halo:

...on the ninth, you asked this question about Halo:

Which begs the question how far into the future is Halo really set?

I'm pretty sure you pointed this out earlier, but we've been told by Nathan that Halo takes place during Durandal's 17-year search for Lh'owon. And since Nathan was on the Halo team, I think it's pretty likely that he knew what he was talking about...

Add that to the fact that the humans obviously have space travel and cyborgs...I think this shows it's a good deal in the future.

Terrence refers to the period 2794 and 2811 AD in the Marathon timeline, some 800 years in the future. Will wars be still fought with tanks and four wheel drive vehicles? Who can say? But 800 years ago we were waging war on horseback with sword and axe. We've come along way in 800 years.

Has Nathan Bitner (or his pseudonym Island Four) ever said that Halo takes place during Durandal's 17-year search for Lh'owon? No. He has only referred to the 17 year interval as, and I quote, "An interesting piece of time indeed ...". In fact only yesterday Nathan Bitner posted the following on the forums:

Re: Cortana AI reference
Posted By: Nathan <>
Date: 10 December 1999, 3:17 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Cortana AI reference (JŠgermeister)

> Except I believe they've already STATED that Oni and Marathon
> don't take place in the same universe.

> (: Jägermeister :)

Actually, to the best of my knowledge, Bungie has neither confirmed nor denied that Halo, Oni, Myth or Marathon - or any combination - take place in the same universe.

Now, certainly some obvious connections exist with Halo, but Bungie has never confirmed them beyond a comment and a wink. ;)

As for Oni, Bungie has again neither confirmed one way or the other as to what "universe" it may take place in. Again, at least until the end of October when I left.

Bungie (through either Matt or I) have stated in the past that there seem to be various odd connections that we've noted running throughout all ... or almost all of our games. Strange, isn't it? :) :)


Even if does turn our that Halo is set in the Marathon universe between 2794 and 2811 AD it still begs the question why the human race is still running around in ground tanks and four wheel drive vehicles. Think about it.

Dec 10, 1999 (Friday)

Matt Soell drops an interesting tidbit about Halo in a HBO forum post. The text of the post is as follows:

Re: Armor

Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 9 December 1999, 10:52 p.m.

In Response To: Armor (jayWHY)

Boy, nothing gets past you guys. :-)

Armor was the initial code name for what eventually became Halo. We worried that boring-but-palatable "Armor" might end up as the final name of the game if we couldn't come up with anything better (as had "Marathon" and "Myth"). So we switched to Blam and/or Monkey Nuts so we'd be forced to come up with a better name before we shipped. Besides, the game had changed so dramatically from when it was first envisioned that a change of name was in order.


Sounds like "Armor" was originally intended as a 3rd person perspective war game. Indeed the human vehicles and weaponary we have seen in Halo (so far) would not look out of place on today's battle field. Which begs the question how far into the future is Halo really set?

Joshua Inglima <> also writes concerning Bungie's use of the word "Armor":

Regarding the post yesterday about the "new" trademark...

If you click on the "Check Status" button on the page given in the URL, you will find that action to register that word was suspended on June 5, 1998. No further action has been taken since.

This gives me the idea that the "ARMOR" concept, or name was dropped.

It was filed on Sept. 24, 1997.

Check out Apple's new game page. Halo features in the "News & Features" section.

Scott Noblitt <> writes:

Okay Vid Boys, lets see how tough you really are -

I introduce to you the newest challenge, to Vidmaster all Escape!! levels. For all those who succeed, your "7" films will be posted on the Escape!! web site, along with a short quote from you concerning Escape!! and/or any other Marathon related thing. I will update the Escape!! web site to have a section for this soon. Windows 95 users can participate too.

Scott's Escape!! scenario can be found here. All films should be sent to Scott at <>

Jannes Peters (aka Wang) <> has put together a site called the Marathon Shrine which though still under development contains all the chapter screens to Marathon, Marathon 2, Infinity, Evil and Tempus Irae. Some other stuff too. Worth a look.

Updated Page2401 with Scott's Marathon Page and Jannes' Marathon Shrine.

Dec 9, 1999 (Thursday)

Pathways Into Darkness page has been updated with Richard Edgar's comments regarding the level name "Please Excuse Our Dust" and check out the seven hieroglyphics on "Lasciate Ogne Speranza, Voi Ch'Intrate".

John Poe <> writes:

Amazing what some bungie fans get =P. I wonder what it is new game, or something else who knows.

Sam Martin <> writes:

In the Rise Robot Rise final term, Tycho says:

Leave the strategizing to those of use with planet-sized brains.

Note the spelling of "us". It amazes me that people could make an AI that intelligent and still leave out something as basic as a spell and grammar checker!

Ouch! ;-)

Dec 8, 1999 (Wednesday)

Matt Soell revealed the following in a Core forum post yesterday:

Re: Where did #2 go?

Posted By: Matt on Tuesday, 12.7.99, at 1:34 p.m.
Response to: Re: Where did #2 go? (JŠgermeister)

: Or maybe it has something to do with hydra (actually, I doubt
: that...I think hydra is one of the unannounced projects ;)

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

#2 inches closer and closer...


Makes sense of course. Back in Apr 20, 1999 Angus McIntyre <> pointed out that Bungie were using server names such as: athena, ares, mercury, titan, neuron, atlas, lucy , and pong

And much much earlier than that, way back in July 3, 1996 in fact, David Coufal <> noted that Bungie were using Norse Gods names, references to Alexandre Dumas's "The Three Musketeers", Japanese food and some computer art by Heidemarie Seblatnig, and even "TuncerPC"!

As you can see we've been keeping a close eye on Bungie for some time now! ;-)

Chris Butcher <> writes:

Alan Greene is quite right that you can see the Marathon symbol in the terminal if you blur your eyes a bit. That's because you are in fact looking at the raw data of the bitmaps; there are two bitmaps there. One for B/W, one for click detection. Each is a 32x32 bitmap stored in a packed binary representation with two 16-bit words per line.

Here's the first bitmap:

00000000000000000000000000000000  ; 0000 0000 000F F800 001F FF00 0071
00000000110000011111111111100000  ; 00C1 FFE0 0181 FDF0 0901 FCF8 1203
00111010000000011111111101111100  ; 3A01 FF7C 3C07 FF7C 7C0B FF3E 7CFF
11111100111111111111111101111110  ; FCFF FF7E FCFF FF7E FE7F FE7F FE7F
11111111001111111111110011111111  ; FF3F FCFF FF9F F9FE FFE7 C7FF 7FF8
01111111111111100111111111111110  ; 7FFE 7FFE 7FFE 7FFE 3FFE 7FFC 3FFE
00011111111111100111111111111000  ; 1FFE 7FF8 1FFE 7FF8 0FFE 7FF0 07FE
00000001111111100111111110000000  ; 01FE 7F80 00FE 7F00 001E 7800 0000

The reason that (when you squint at the hex code) there appear to be four copies of the Marathon symbol side by side is because each line of hex code represents four lines of the binary bitmap. The only coincidence here is that the letters 'F' and 'E' appear brighter when blurred than the numbers '0', '1' and '7' do. :)

Ah yes! The image translators work for the construct program. ;-)

Tuncer Deniz of Inside Mac Games sees the light. Thanks to Nicholas Head (aka The Jug Slugger) <> for the spark! Tuncer posted the following to the IMG Forums yesterday:

Re: The Answer

Posted By: Tuncer Deniz (IMG) <>
Date: Tuesday, 7 December 1999, at 10:32 p.m.

In Response To: The Answer (The Jug Slugger)

> Ran out of the sack is right! It doesn't
> take Einstein to see that it must be (in
> some form or another) the source code!

That makes sense. Marathon source code release...


Dec 7, 1999 (Tuesday)

Mark Bassett <> writes concerning Liam mac Lynne's recent comments regarding the relationship between the player and Durandal:

I think there is certainly a hero/weapon relationship to be found here, but Liam may have it the wrong way round. In the terminal message "I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh", these are all heroes names, while we - though admittedly intelligent - are classified as "Mjolinir", the weapon of a god. Bearing in mind Durandal's eventual destiny, I wouldn't be too sure which of us is the hero, and which the weapon.

In fact, throughout Marathon 1 & 2 we only ever follow orders, i.e. we are employed as Durandal sees fit. It's not until Marathon Infinity, in the "Electric Sheep" levels, that we start making decisions of our own. This is also the same time that we start having the dream- sequences. You could describe Marathon Infinity as the part of the story where both we and Durandal finally "wake up" to full consciousness of what we are.

Unbroken silence from Mars. The Mars Polar Lander missed its seventh and final, high-probability communications window early this morning. Controllers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena now face the prospect that the landing craft has been lost.

Jobs at Bungie. Harry Al-Shakarchi <> notes an interesting job advert on Bungie's web page:

3D Interior Space Artist

It takes an unusual creative talent to know how an inscrutable alien race would have designed the interior structure of their ancient space relic. It takes an even more unusual talent to know what kind of curtains they would have used. If you think you are unusually creative and talented enough to address this difficult task, we have a job for you. Inscrutable alien references are a plus, but not required.


Design complete layout of game world structure. Conceptualize, design and create multiple interior spaces built out of smaller primative pieces. UV map and texture map all interior spaces. Create lighting system to effectively convey mood and atmosphere.


Be an excellent artist. Have a strong understanding of architecture and interior spaces. Be able to work with a team. Have experience with 3D Studio Max and PhotoShop. Have two years or more of professional experience. Possess the ability to work well under pressure and deadlines. Must be willing to take art direction well. BFA and a portfolio or demo reel that demonstrates an excellent breadth of artistic skills, ranging from realism to sci-fi.

As Harry points out this sounds like it's for Halo.

Tuncer Deniz of Inside Mac Games throws in his 1.9 cents concerning Bungie's event #2 on the IMG Forums. The text of his post reads as follows:

Re: Bungie Announcement #2

Posted By: Tuncer Deniz (IMG) <>
Date: Monday, 6 December 1999, at 10:24 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Bungie Announcement #2 (William Lemmon)

> Hmm...any possibility that it's a TCP/IP
> capable version of the Marathon series?

Hehe...folks, Marathon is dead and buried. My guess, new game (not Marathon related).


Who's going to tell Tuncer <>? ;-)

Dec 6, 1999 (Monday)

Interesting editorial in the latest Incite PC Gaming magazine (January 2000 issue) about the lack of good storylines in today's cutting edge games. The full editorial was posted on the HBO forums. Part of the text reads:

While I'm forced to laud developers for giving us fun, blood-soaked multiplayer mayhem with low PINGs, I'd also like to remind them that more than twice as many people play single-player games. Don't leave them hanging.

Mars Polar Lander phone home! NASA officials at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena still haven't been able to coax a response out of the Mars Polar Lander The Lander was scheduled to touch down about 500 miles (800 km) from the planet's southern pole last Friday afternoon and signal Earth after landing. So far... silence.

Alan Greene <> writes:

I have an observation about the hex term in Charon Doesn't Make Change.

Although it was discovered that the hex code turns out to be the black and white Marathon 2 icon, I think some may have overlooked a surprising coincidence. (And if this has already been pointed out, forgive me.)

If you look at the original text (hex01.gif), and blur your eyes (hex02.gif), you can vaguely make out four Marathon logos on top (hex03.gif). The dark parts of the text that make the lines inside the logo are 7, 3, and 0. It takes a little imagination and alot of preconditioning to see it, but I think it's there.

Of course, I would be hard pressed to say that this is anything but an amazing coincidence, but it's funny anyway. :) I have included the Photoshop file, in case that interests you.

You can see what Alan is referring to here

Dec 5, 1999 (Sunday)

Liam mac Lynne <> makes two interesting observations:

Working on the idea that Durandal was the sword of Roland, and the screen message including "I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh.", and the idea that the Jjaro created us:
Is it possible that Durandal ('the great manipulator') was our own tool throughout the series?
There have been many stories which have the weapons of the great heroes as intelligent; some such weapons could even be said to be more intelligent than their users. Certainly, there is Elric of Melnibone as a perfect example of a hero who is impotent without his signature weapon. While we are obviously not incapable of finishing levels without our guns, could we have completed the game without Durandal?

Second point:

It's been noted that the Tech.50 was renamed the Zeus Class Fusion Pistol in the game; keeping Michael Boeddiker's idea about the weapon being aboard for the "elite commando tactical troops" it might be well to see that Zeus' weapons were thunderbolts, much like Thor's hammer Mjolnir striking his opponents with the force of thunder. A suggestion that the Zeus Class was specifically designed for the Mjolnir cyborgs, perhaps?

Odd goings on at the Bungie Store? Joshua Jansen <> writes:

While meandering through the recent news at, I came across news about the "New and Improved" bungie store. Interested after having just preordered Chimera, I took a look.

I looked around- the search for 'Surly Dwarf Ale' yeilded the Myth II soundtrack, the GURPS item seemed interesting, but one thing stood out above and beyond all others, but only because I have been following Marathon for so long.

The 'Search Categories' area yeilded several choices. When one is chosen, the URL changes from
to [number]

the number is indicative of a group. here they are:

mundane enough? now try this. Here are the group IDs:
Bungie 7
Marathon 5
Myth 6
Oni 3

Bungie and Oni are 7 and 3? BUT WAIT! the plot thickens! HERE is where you get information for the various items[number]

The numbers 7 and 3 are not cataloged as an ID for anything yet [i imagine it is reserved for Halo, but that is conjecture], but the numbers 21 [3*7], 37, and 49[7x7] are.
37 is the Myth:TFL soundtrack
49 is an Oni teeshirt
[and heres the kicker]
21 is Marathon 2: Durandal Mac
3*7... interesting?

On another note- all of those who have missed the opportunity to grab the Marathon Box Set [like me]- FEAR NOT! Bungie is selling them again [or they just haven't stopped], and they are in stock. Get'em while they've still got the scrapbook!

If you've been keeping up-to-date on the latest NASA Mars mission you'll be aware that controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena have for the second night waited in vain to hear back from the Mars Polar Lander. The Lander is designed to search for traces of water on the edge of Mars' south polar cap. Scientists believe water used to be abundant on Mars. Pictures taken by earlier probes appear to show deep channels, canyons and possibly ancient lake shorelines - all features formed on Earth by flowing water.

Dec 4, 1999 (Saturday)

Quick update

The Top 10 Mac Gaming Thingies of the Millennium. Harry Al-Shakarchi <> writes:

Bungie's mentioned on :


id may have launched the craze for first-person shooters, but many will argue that Bungie made these games better. Though primitive by today's standards, Bungie's first shooter, Pathways into Darkness, offered lighting effects not found in other games of the time. And the Marathons combined spectacular action with engaging story lines-something id has never attempted. In these early titles, Bungie danced the "we've seen it and can do it better" two-step, taking a genre that had been tried-and found wanting-and polishing it to a fine gloss. With the Myths, Oni, and the upcoming Halo, Bungie is setting the pace-establishing awesomely high standards for other game publishers to follow.

Interesting article worth a read.

Bungie's Mac Action Sack was released in July of this year. Somewhat belately MacGamesNews reviews the contents in their top story: MGN takes Bungie's Mac Action Sack to task.

Terrence Nowicki <> writes:

Yesterday, after registering at the bungie store, I recieved a confirmation email.

I noticed the reply address on it was ""

Visiting "" revealed only bungie's ordinary homepage, just like did at one time.

This leads me to wonder...what could this "hydra" be? Event #2? One of the two unreleased projects, perhaps? Maybe Bungie has developed a free Marathon scenario and patch that allow internet gaming (or maybe they're distributing the source code under a code name of "hydra?")?

I supposed only time will tell...

The seventh card? Devin O'Reilly <> writes:

So, according to the Bungie Store, Christmas cards are again avilable, in several demnominations- "2 Marathon, 2 Myth, 2 Myth II and one more makes seven". What could the seventh card be? Anybody gotten these yet?

Similarly Alan Greene <> writes:

It looks like the new set of holiday postcards is a group of seven:

"This bundle includes seven cards - a full baker's half-dozen, including 2 Marathon, 2 Myth and 2 Myth II cards - and one more card makes seven."

If I remember correctly, the collection used to be just 12 Marathon cards. Wonder what the seventh is ...

Apple and Bungie. Harry Al-Shakarchi <> writes:

Got the new Apple eNews, here was one item:

4. The Myth and Nothing But the Myth

Myth--the award-winning, real-time 3D action strategy game from Bungie Software--has many fans among Macintosh gamers. And now, just in stocking-stuffing time, Bungie has released Myth: The Total Codex.

A great gift for those new to Myth, the Total Codex includes the first two games in the Myth collection--Myth: The Fallen Lords and Myth II: Soulblighter. It also comes with the official hint books to Myth I and Myth II; a CD full of maps, plug-ins, and fan-created multiplayer levels; and a brand-new scenario for Myth II called Chimera (which Bungie has posted on its web site, where Myth II aficionados can download it for free).

Myth: The Total Codex is available now for just $19.95. For more information about this exciting Macintosh gaming title, visit:

For a QuickTime preview of Myth II: Soulblighter, check out:

Seems like Apple and Bungie are VERY close, well duh, Tamte ;) Too bad this wasn't item no.7 hehe

Good news for PC Marathoners Orbital Arm has been updated with a few new Marathon maps for the Windows version of Marathon 2.

If you've been following the Halo news closely you'll note that there seems to be a number of new Halo movies in circulation. Two have been spotted on German game magazines and a third on the US version of PC Incite magazine.

Dec 3, 1999 (Friday)

Many thanks to David Leong <> and Michael Lake <> for both sending in scans of a third version of the Oni notepaper. You can see it here. This is the version Harry Al-Shakarchi described back in Sept 18, 1999 but we didn't have a scan of it.

Yesterday David noted (excuse the pun) that one of the Kanji lines on the notepaper reads:

buramu (blam) korutana (cortana)

Other versions of the notepaper can be found here and here. Thanks to Mike Cramer and Samantha Lynn for these.

David writes:

The kanji on all three are exactly the same, down to the position of the individual characters. It just looks like they dropped in a different picture of Konoko on all three versions.

Michael Lake <> also points out that Bungie have revamped their online store page. It now sports as definite look. Judging from the page you can still buy copies of all three Marathon games, plus the Trilogy Box Set and Pathways Into Darkness.

Bruce Morrison <> writes concerning Bungie's Soul:

Hummm it seems the Soul doesn't share Matt's enthusiasm.

Question: Can I have the Marathon Source Code?
The soul says: No. Feel free to bathe in our Ent Wash though.


Clem Freeman <> writes:

I just received this from the Leviathan team. It seems they have set up a repository for marathon net films. Seems like a good idea to me, and something to put on page 2401!


Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 10:17:36 +0500
Subject: Shades of Remorse

After 3 years it finally exists.

Black Snow Inc. (the producers of Marathon Leviathan) present the Shades of Remorse. The Shades will be the largest archive of netfilms in existence soon.

It's difficult to explain what we've done here, it's best to check it out for your self. You may follow the following line to the site.

The site will include daily updated, and the contest has started! Go! Now!

Clem also writes to point out that he is now responsible for updating Marathon Scenario News and Recruits. Lots of new scenario news (check out that list of scenarios in progress) and the page is updated regularly now. :-)

Dec 2, 1999 (Thursday)

Tom Van Sinden <> writes:

Well, I've been excited (like everyone else) about the release of Halo, and have followed the #1, #2, #3 topics with an almost obsessive interest. I finally couldn't stand it and emailed Matt Soell a few days ago about #2. To my great surprise and delight, he emailed me back yesterday! Below is the email. It follows pretty clearly the info from the IRC transcript posted today. I thought you'd like to have it for the Collection.

From: Matt Soell []
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 1999 2:52 PM
To: Vansinden, Tom
Subject: Re: #2

> This week? Maybe? Huh?

Probably not. Here's the deal:
I have it. As of yesterday morning, #2 has been officially and finally
dropped in my lap. It's now my job to bring it to the world. I could
release it right now if I wanted to. But I can't.
A few details need to be worked out in order that my employers and I can
continue our blissfully lawsuit-free existence. Little things that no one
told me about until yesterday. Blast. And there's a very minor technical
hurdle. More of a technical speed bump, really. No big deal.
But now that I actually have it IN MY VERY HANDS, we're a lot closer than we
used to be....and I promise to crack skulls mecilessly to get it out there.
#2 is on the way. Hot diggity!
* Matt

Matthew Soell
Director of Customer Support
Bungie Software <>

Sounds intriguing. :-)

Cortana reference in Oni? David Leong <> writes:

I don't know if this has been covered before, but perhaps this is of interest.

I got out my Oni notepad tonight (the freebie from the Action Sack) and the faint Kanji (Japanese characters) caught my eye. Behind the image of Konoko there are faint vertical lines of Japanese text faintly visable. Faintly is the operating word here. There are several words seperated by ones and zeros in each line. After squinting at these line for a while, I managed to translate a couple of them. Now these lines repeat, both within the "sentence" and also across the page. So while there looks like there are about 20 lines or so, there are only six unique "sentences" that I can pick out.

They are:

shinrai ni atai suru hito inai (there is no one I can trust)
kiki (this is the Oni kanji repeated twice) ... kurai shorai (dark future)
kako no aru onna (a woman with a past)
furu kontakuto akushon (full contact action)
buramu (blam) korutana (cortana)
warui keikan (bad cop)

I don't know but I suspect this is the same kanji used in the trailer.

There are a number of versions of the Oni notepaper. Here are Mike Cramer's <> Oni notepaper scans (Lo-res and Hi-res) and Samantha Lynn's <> Oni notepaper scan. Got a different version? Then send it in.

Dec 1, 1999 (Wednesday)

Quick update

According to a forum post at Nathan Bitner has announced his engagement. The Story page wishes Nathan and his fiance Misti the very best for the future.

Harry Al-Shakarchi (aka TomeOne) <> sent in the following IRC transcript of a conversation he had with Matt Soell (ProudFles) regarding the upcoming #2. The transcript has been slightly edited to remove nonrelevant conversation (remember this is IRC).

TomeOne: can we see new trailers soon?
ProudFles: New trailers?
TomeOne: Halo or Oni...anything?
TomeOne: a small black movie with a #2 jumping around?
ProudFles: Funny you should mention #2...
TomeOne: why?
ProudFles: I've got it.
TomeOne: what is it?
ProudFles: I'm not going to say just yet.  There are a few little things I have to do before I can release it.
TomeOne: ah
TomeOne: is it mac only? :)
ProudFles: But it's very, very close.
ProudFles: Hm.  There are many ways to answer that question.
TomeOne: hehe
TomeOne: ok..
TomeOne: and you say you will release it
ProudFles: Indeed.
TomeOne: is it a marathon scenario? :)
ProudFles: Unless someone kills me first.
TomeOne: hehe
TomeOne: so it's something you did, eh?
ProudFles: Not a scenario.  Nor is it something I did.
TomeOne: it's a collective effort then
ProudFles: You might say that.
TomeOne: ok
TomeOne: who else was involved, can ya say?
ProudFles: I could.....
TomeOne: but you won't
TomeOne: hehe
TomeOne: gimmie initials! :D
ProudFles: Not yet.
TomeOne: ok
TomeOne: and this will cause joy among a few, huh?
ProudFles: Yeah.
TomeOne: cool
TomeOne: even little old me? :(
ProudFles: Perhaps.
TomeOne: So #2 will be revealed this year, right?
ProudFles: Heh.  There's that date thing again.
TomeOne: :)
ProudFles: I don't know when it will be revealed.
ProudFles: It will be after I take care of a very minor technical issue and some slightly more important legal issues.
TomeOne: will it be free?
TomeOne: ah
ProudFles: Free, yes.
TomeOne: cool!
TomeOne: the few are poor university students then lol
ProudFles: It's what those poor university students do with it that's really important.
TomeOne: !
TomeOne: the cat just ran out of the sack
ProudFles: Quitting time....nice chatting with ya.
TomeOne: hehe
*** Signoff: ProudFles ()

As Harry remarks it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what #2 is.

One odd thing from the conversation is that Matt says "I don't know when it will be revealed". However in a recent forum post at (see What's New Nov 22, 1999) Matt said:

But and plus also. #2. Very close. Sooner than you think. Long before MWSF, I reckon. Happy happy joy joy.

MWSF (Macworld Expo San Francisco) starts on Jan 4, 2000.

Bungie are now listed as an exhibitor for MWSF. They'll be at booth #4327 (4+3+2+7 = 16 = 1+6 = 7). ;-)

Nov 30, 1999 (Tuesday)

Quick update

Nathan Bitner <> writes:

Boy, weird how these names (and planets) keep popping up, isn't it?

The news items reads as follows:

Monday November 29 12:44 PM ET Scientists Find Six Planets Outside Solar System

Scientists Find Six Planets Outside Solar System

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Six jumbo-sized planets have been detected orbiting stars outside our solar system, and five of the newly discovered objects are just the right distance from their suns to support life, astronomers said on Monday.

The discoveries, made with the massive Keck I Telescope in Hawaii, were a great leap for planet hunters, who have identified a total of 28 so-called extrasolar planets in the last five years.

The recently found planets orbit stars that are about as big, bright and old as the Earth's sun, and the planets range in size from slightly smaller to several times larger than Jupiter -- the largest planet in our solar system.

They are probably made of the same inhospitable stuff as Jupiter, the scientists said: hydrogen and helium gas.

But five of them are squarely in what astronomers call the habitable zone, which could allow the existence of liquid water -- a prerequisite for life. This makes them different from most of the extrasolar planets found before this.

``These (five) planets are just the right distance, with temperatures in one case around 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42.22C) -- like a hot day in Sacramento,'' Steven Vogt, an astronomy professor at the University of California-Santa Cruz, said in a statement.

Besides Vogt, the discovery team also included Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California-Berkeley, Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution of Washington D.C. and Kevin Apps of the University of Sussex in England. Their findings will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.

One of the planets, HD 192263, was also recently detected by a team in Geneva, Switzerland, the U.S. team said.

These scientists did not actually see the new planets, but detected their presence by watching for a telltale wobble in the stars they orbit; the wobble is caused by the gravitational pull the planets exert on the star.

No Earth-like planets are likely to be contained in these new planetary systems, Vogt said. Jupiter-sized planets in oval-shaped or eccentric orbits -- instead of the neatly stacked, circular orbits of our solar system -- would have such gravitational force as to quickly eject any Earth-type planet, he said.

But he said if these big Jupiter-sized planets are like the giant in our solar system, they may have numerous moons orbiting them.

``For a planet in the habitable zone of its star, such moons offer the possibility of liquid water and the eventual emergence of life,'' Vogt said.

Last week (Nov 24) Raul Bonilla <> noted that the Anvil splash screen contained an image of the AR machine gun from Marathon: Evil. Now Randy Reddig (formerly of Double Aught Software) writes to point out that he created the splash screen. The gun (referred to as the mwm-dn) was originally intended to replace the M2 AR in Infinity but it never made it into the final release. It was later reused in Marathon: Evil. The Anvil splash screen bears witness to a lost opportunity.

Charles George <> of Inside Mac Games writes:

...just thought I'd drop you a note about an interview with Lee Perry (art design for Anachronax). Scroll through and check out the question about his favorite FPS, I think you can guess the answer :).

Nov 29, 1999 (Monday)

Max Hoberman <> of Bungie Software writes:

Hey, that product code lineup is short a few players, you've forgotten the soundtracks!

Yes indeed. Check those soundtrack CD jewel cases.

Thanks to Michael Carrillo <> for sending in the letters on the Myth: Total Soundtrack CD case. Here's an updated acronym list:

Acronym Game
DMUKYA Marathon
MBIBTYB Marathon 2: Durandal
TBWSAF Marathon Infinity
TBWSAF Marathon Trilogy Box Set
WACCSMD Myth: The Fallen Lords
MRTEFCFY Myth: The Fallen Lords Soundtrack CD
TATRTSTS Myth II: Soulblighter
WUBNMH Myth II: Soulblighter Soundtrack CD
  Mac Action Sack
SPMLOAS Myth: The Total Codex
YYMMDBATC Myth: Total Soundtrack CD

More puzzles to keep you occupied while waiting for #2!

Eric Budd <> takes a shot at the Myth: The Total Codex acronym SPMLOAS

Here's what I've determined so far:
Chimera's a single-player expansion...

Single Player Myth (first three letters)

Hmm... after that, I'm not sure where to turn.

Well at least it's a clean one... some of the suggestions I've been getting are unprintable! ;-)

There is an interesting thread on Marathon sounds in the Marathon Central forums. Those sounds just seem to pop up everywhere!

Nov 28, 1999 (Sunday)

Tim Milke <> and David Retchless <> both point out that the letters on the bottom of the Abuse box are MOMDINKBLAM. This doesn't appear to be an acronym but rather a combination of some of Bungie's favorite expressions.

David also writes:

My version of Weekend Warrior came with the original Xclaim VR card, so it didn't have a box.

Weekend Warrior was Pangea Software's first commercial 3D game on the Mac. It was published by Bungie. It originally went on sale back in Dec 17, 1996 bundled with ATI's Xclaim VR 3D card. Made it extremely expensive at the time. In June 8, 1999 Pangea Software began distributing Weekend Warrior as freeware.

So the full list of Bungie box acronym's (ignoring ABUSE) so far is:

Acronym Game
DMUKYA Marathon
MBIBTYB Marathon 2: Durandal
TBWSAF Marathon Infinity
TBWSAF Marathon Trilogy Box Set
WACCSMD Myth: The Fallen Lords
TATRTSTS Myth II: Soulblighter
  Mac Action Sack
SPMLOAS Myth: The Total Codex

For those who have asked about the meaning of some of these modesty prevents me from printing them out full. You will find them on the Story page though. Here are the relevant entry dates:

DMUKYA and MBIBTYB on May 16, 1997 and May 19, 1997
TBWSAF on May 8, 1998 and May 9, 1998
WACCSMD on Nov 19, 1997 and Nov 20, 1997

TATRTSTS has never been discussed on the Story page but one guess is that it stands for "To All The Real-Time Strategists Tough S***".

As yet no real good guesses for SPMLOAS.

Nov 27, 1999 (Saturday)

James Gurnee <> points out that on the bottom of the Myth: The Total Codex is the acronym SPMLOAS. But what does it mean?

Bungie have for some time put acronyms on the bottom of their boxes. They began with Marathon. Here's a list:

Acronym Game
DMUKYA Marathon
MBIBTYB Marathon 2: Durandal
TBWSAF Marathon Infinity
TBWSAF Marathon Trilogy Box Set
WACCSMD Myth: The Fallen Lords
TATRTSTS Myth II: Soulblighter
  Mac Action Sack
SPMLOAS Myth: The Total Codex

There doesn't appear to be an acronym on the recent Mac Action Sack. If you have the Weekend Warrior or Abuse boxes you might like to check these for acronyms. Thanks.

Nov 26, 1999 (Friday)

Ok so you're a tough Special Forces dude and you find this really valuable Amethyst Ring... and it just happens to match the color of your nai...err... eyes... so what do you do? Find out on the Pathways Into Darkness page today!

Brandon Loberg <> writes concerning the weapon in the Anvil splash screen:

My thought regarding the EVIL assault rifle in the Anvil splashscreen is that it was probably the graphic from a prototype assault rifle created for Marathon 2. Notice in the "Durandal" chapter screen, the Marine is holding a large mini-gun that quite closely resembles the EVIL AR.

Those monkish gents at have just posted a scan of the Oni/Halo preview article from the German edition of PC Action magazine.

Nov 25, 1999 (Thursday)

Happy Thanksgiving. Have a good one! :-)

Stop and chat with Steven on the Pathways Into Darkness page. Learn about the bomb code change. Why was Steven confused and what happened to his missing text?

Robert Zimmermann <> writes:

I made 2 posts at the core, concerning the illegal movie (I am Austrian and have bought it legally) - just to let you know.

The transcipt:

Initial thoughts on the film:

Something that was not included in the public post:

> PS: And something else I forgot to say: The interview with Peter Tamte was conducted in a Chinese
> restaurant. (Bungie fans will get the reference).

Nov 24, 1999 (Wednesday)

The Big Blue Meanie makes an appearance on the Pathways Into Darkness page.

Bungie fixed their Contacts page but Stefan Stadlberger <> points out that their File not Found Page has the "Mullins Art Gallery" title as well. That Mullins guy sure gets around! ;-)

Raul Bonilla <> writes:

I don't know if it was already discussed in the Marathon story page, but here it goes: among the many images combined in the Anvil splash screen (also visible in about...) you can see the AR machine gun that appears in Marathon: Evil. It's not surprise, since Evil was developed at the same time with Infinity (and Anvil and Forge) by Randall Shaw and his group, and they were in contact with Bungie. It just strange to me that Michael Hanson decided to include this non-Bungie gun in Anvil (a Bungie product.) There could be a long story behind this, but I don't have a clue what it could be and I ain't going to theorize.

Good luck and watch out for Marathon Linux

Nov 23, 1999 (Tuesday)

According to Matt Soell in a forum post Bungie will be going to Macworld Expo San Francisco in January afterall. Matt writes:

By The Way...
Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 22 November 1999, 5:09 p.m.

I can now confirm that we'll be at MacWorld SF in January.

Just thought some of you would like to know.


More good news for Bungie fans this Christmas.

In another forum post at Doug Zartman (PR at Bungie) explains why Bungie do not wish the German PC Action magazine Oni/Halo preview movie distributed on the net:

Re: What's happened to our beloved Bungie??
Posted By: Doug Zartman <>
Date: 22 November 1999, 6:37 p.m.

> man this place just gets weirder and weirder.

Ain't it the truth! Love this industry.

This seems like a good time to weigh in on this issue. The whole thing is a result of a miscommunication between ourselves and our friends at PC Action. A couple of our guys recently went on a European press tour, and during a visit, did grant permission for a videotaped interview, not anticipating that video footage of the game itself would be distributed. Apparently, distributing video footage of press meetings is fairly common in Europe, while it is not so common in the US - something we didn't understand.

We're very sensitive about how any imagery of the game is presented. A lot of people will form their first impressions based on these images. This is why we prefer that this particular footage not be distributed any more than it already has been. It's a video tape of an image projected onto a large screen and thus has a lower image quality than the trailers we release to the web. Considering our programmers are being such incredible sticklers for details with this game, our marketing should be too. So we've asked PC Action to keep the footage off the web and they've graciously complied.

There will be further trailers of Oni and Halo released in the future, before those titles ship. Those will be of the same quality as the original Oni and Halo trailers that are now available. We think PC Action's a cool magazine and we're psyched about their interest in Oni and Halo, so one can expect to see new movies on their CD in the future. (Please don't ask me for an ETA - I don't have one ;-) )


Nov 22, 1999 (Monday)

Quick update #2

The Forums are rocking! Tim Young <> writes:

Matt hasn't just been busy on the forum; he's also posted some info to the forum.

Apart from his demonstration of his mastery of the pun, Matt includes this useful info:

"Halo is rocking along. Some of the Bungie West guys are here in Chicago for meetings and secret-sharing and whatnot. One of the super-secret projects you guys don't know about yet is beginning to roll in earnest. And that damn #2 thing is on the verge of being ready for prime time."

The whole post can be found at

Interesting? Indeed.

Tim is referring to another post by Matt Soell (Bungie Software) this time on the forums. I've taken the liberty of quoting it in full below:

Re: Matt (or Nathan)?
Posted By: Matt >>
Date: 22 November 1999, 2:11 p.m.

In Response To: Matt (or Nathan)? (Kamikaze)

> How has Bungie been working? Anything new to report?

Bungie is working just fine. Everyone's looking forward to eating Turkey on Thursday, with the exception of the vegetarians, and the people who wonder what we have against the Turks that would move us to cannibalism.


Thank you, thank you, you've been beautiful. I'll be appearing all next week at the Catskills.

We are always watching. I haven't posted much in the last week due to being busy with a great deal of thinking and writing along with the usual meetings and email, but that's just about over. For now, anyway.

Halo is rocking along. Some of the Bungie West guys are here in Chicago for meetings and secret-sharing and whatnot. One of the super-secret projects you guys don't know about yet is beginning to roll in earnest. And that damn #2 thing is on the verge of being ready for prime time.

What else would you like to know?


Quick update #1

Terrence Nowicki <> writes:

Event #2 is coming...

Event #2: Shipping long before MWSF.

Terrence is referring to the following post made by Matt Soell (Bungie Software) on the forums.

Re: Macworld and Oni <-- sounds right to me
Posted By: Matt <>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 99, 1:43 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Macworld and Oni <-- sounds right to me (H'Biki)

> but as i've said before, i'm just a dump Hucker, and i could be completely
> wrong. so, i hereby challenge someone from bungie to correct me if i *AM*
> wrong :)

Okay. :-)

In order for us to ship Oni in February, we'd have to be beta-testing NOW. Which we're not.

Never believe sources, unless they're me. :-)

But and plus also. #2. Very close. Sooner than you think. Long before MWSF, I reckon. Happy happy joy joy.


Good news. Perhaps Christmas is coming afterall! :-)

Jason Harper <> points us to another Marathon-like symbol this time from an organisation called UUSC. See the That Marathon Symbol age for details.

Raul Bonilla <> writes:

I went to Bungie's contact page ( to ask some questions regarding Halo and Mac OS X (will it be or just Halo?). The title of the page wasn't "Contact Bungie," it was "Mullins Art Gallery." After reloading, I read the source, and it wasn't an odd error:
                <TITLE>Mullins Art Gallery</TITLE>
                <META name=generator content="Adobe GoLive 4">

Looks like the old "reusing html pages" error. Happens to me alot! ;-)

Nicholas Head <> writes concerning the PC Gamer Halo article mentioned yesterday:

Regarding a talking weapon in Halo: Could this be inspired by the Iain Banks (non-Culture) novel "Against a Dark Background"? It's been some time since I read it but I remember that the story centred about the search for a "doomsday" weapon called "The Lazy Gun", which worked upon its victims by rendering quantum "improbables" possible. If I remember correctly it could also talk.

A sentient gun in Halo? Provided it doesn't say things like "THREE FRAGS LEFT" and "EXCELLENT" it'll be cool! ;-)

And now for something completely different Loren Petrich <> kindly sent in a pic of the Willardspider found in Tomb Raider 3 which Loren says is "a little bit like an Infess from Duality." But who's the guy on the right? ;-)

Nov 21, 1999 (Sunday)

Jason (Jones) immortalised with golden hair? Stop and chat awhile with Jason on "Need A Light?" in today's Pathways Into Darkness page. Find out about the tight PID schedule and learn how to kill the Big Blue Meanie. "If it bleeds we can kill it". have been busy over the weekend posting scans of various Halo preview articles. The latest one from PC Gamer adds some interesting info to what we already know. There's the possibility of a "firearm that talks to you". The Covenant are described as "genocidal space locusts" swarming across the galaxy. Halo will have an "engrossing cinematic sci-fi story"... hey that's what we expect from Bungie! :-) Go read the full article at hbo.

Nov 20, 1999 (Saturday)

On the Pathways Into Darkness page today... chat with Sean, learn about... the bomb code change, the thing that waits for you close to Steven's body, and the missing Conversation. Oh and more v2.0 censorship!

Austin Arnold <> points out a little known glitch on "Poor Yorick". He sent in two screenshots of the area in question. Basically it's a map problem. Just walk into the corner and find out.

Adam Rose <> writes to say that Rabbit's Marathon Page has closed but the Atlantis Crew's scenario "Beyond the Aurora" has moved to Bighouse section of Page 2401 has been updated to reflect this.

Nov 19, 1999 (Friday)

Why won't Darren reveal his name? Who is the mysterious "him"? You've got the Grenade Launcher but are you ready to face the Big Blue Meanie? This and more on today's Pathways Into Darkness page.

Dan Leventhal <> writes:

I was browsing sites about the old series "The Prisoner" and noticed that the first episode is named "Arrival"

Ah... The Prisoner! First aired in England on October 1, 1967 The Prisoner was originally scheduled to run for seven one-hour episodes but was expanded to seventeen. On the surface, an action/suspense show, but closer inspection revealed multiple levels of meaning and numerous possible interpretations, many of which are still debated today. Much like Marathon's Story. Check out these sites for more info on this classic cult series:

Nov 18, 1999 (Thursday)

Ed's dead, baby, Ed's dead. Good news for Pathways Into Darkness fans that Special Forces guy is on the move again.

An interesting slant on Nathan Bitner's Jason Jones/Castle Grayskull comments: Jeremy Stone <> writes:

Being a college student myself (and for some reason thinking that's when all this grayskull stuff happened) I think I have an idea about Grayskull. We refer to the CS department as the dungeon since it's in the basement of the administration building and has virtually no windows.

Sounds to me that Grayskull was the nickname of some woman's home that Jason was frequently visited. The tie to grayskull may be the appearance of the home itself, the 'sorceress' that has cast a spell upon Jason or many other possibilities. Just an idea.

Similarly Alan Greene <> writes:

I'd like to take a stab at this whole HeMan ordeal. My far-fetched guess is that Jason Jones was dating someone whose actual given name was SheRa. (For those that don't know, SheRa was the heroine of the HeMan saga.) I'll say that Jason spent a good amount of time over at her place, dubbed "Castle Grayskull" by the boys. Or not.

Reid McDonald <> writes:

Regarding the Tau Ceti astronomical data presented with the info on G.W. Henry, where the reader wonders what V and B-V are; I believe they refer to visual magnitude comparisons while using different filters on the telescope. V magnitudes will be less than B magnitudes, B-V shows difference. I'm no astronomy major though.

Nov 17, 1999 (Wednesday)

Quick update #2

Halo reference in Chimera. Tom Bridge <> writes:

While playing Chimera this week, I noticed something of interest. Aside from Doug Zartman's reprise of "They're everywhere" in one of the levels, I was astounded to find a Halo quote embedded within the game. ne'Ric, the fir'Bolg hero that you eventually meet has a quote in the field which says something similar to "my conviction is like my arrow in flight, your life shall only last until it reaches you." It warrants investigation.

Chimera is a free scenario for Myth II: Soulblighter. Check out Bungie's Chimera page for details on how to download. Or buy Myth: The Total Codex which contains the Chimera scenario.

Quick update #1

Mark Levin <> writes:

Did you notice, on the page regarding Nathan's winning character, they give his email address as ""?

Could it be true? Has Nathan joined Is this one of Nathan's many email addresses? One way to find out... try it.

Eylon Caspi <> unearths some interesting info about Nathan Bitner's early years:

Michael O'Brien <> writes:

: I'm afraid I must disagree with your learned readers Bruce Morrison,
: Neil Schafer , and Michael Young - Castle Grayskull was in fact He-Man's
: castle. The entire castle was formed from the fossilized body of a
: titanic pre-historic beast, and the entrance was through the skull
: (using the 'jawbridge'... nastybadpunthing.)

To be more specific, Castle Grayskull was home to the Sorceress. Prince Adam/He-Man would frequently visit the castle to seek her advice and instruction in saving the world.

A quick web search reveals one He-Man connection. The "Scrolls of Grayskull" issue 15 mentions Nathan Bitner by name:

: The winning entry to the Masters of The Universe "Create A Character"
: Contest was named "Fearless PHOTOG", not Photon. He was submitted by
: Nathan Bitner, (then) age 11, of Napierville, Illinois.


: Apparantly, this Nathan Bitner received a one-of-a-kind prototype of
: his creation, Fearless Photog.

Although this pegs one Bungie employee with a healthy He Man obsession, it does not explain the mystery of Jason Jones at Castle Grayskull.

For those of you unfamiliar with He Man and the Master's of the Universe, has an image of He Man riding Battle Cat, along with Castle Grayskull in the page background. Both images are from the original 1980's cartoon (this site is by no means a definitive source on He Man -- it just had images handy).

Nathan "HeMan" Bitner winner of the Masters of The Universe "Create A Character" Contest in 1985 at the age of 11. More details can be found at Nice prizes... one wonder what he got up to as honorary president of Mattel? ;-)

Roger Cordes <> also writes concerning the ubiquitous HeMan:

for the record:
I was obsessed with He-Man, and I can give you whatever answers you want concerning him or any of the other Masters of the Universe.

Grayskull was where the Sorceress, He-Man's most powerful ally and mentor, lived.

Skull Mountain was Skeletor's pad. (I can see where there might be some confusion)

Matthew Lewis Carroll Smith <matthew> offers this URL for those wishing to brush up on Castle Grayskull:

Story page readers leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of the tru7h. Jonathan Andrews <> writes concerning yesterday's email from Nathan Bitner and the reference to Greg Henry of Tennessee State University:

Since I just happen to live here in Nashville, TN (oddly enough, where TSU is located), I have gotten some information about Mr. Henry.

Gregory W. Henry


M.S., Astronomy and Physics, Vanderbilt University, 1979
B.S., Physics and Mathematics, The Ohio State University, 1974


Tennessee State University, Research Specialist, 1988-present
Vanderbilt University, Research Associate, Dyer Observatory, 1989-present
Henry Home School, Principal/Math & Science Instructor, 1993-present
The University of Texas McDonald Observatory, Supervisor, Scientific Support Group, 1982-88
Sacramento Peak Observatory, Site Manager, Cloudcroft Station, 1981-82
Vanderbilt University, Research Assistant, Dyer Observatory, 1979-81


International Amateur-Professional Photoelectric Photometry - Charter Member American Astronomical Society


Variable star photometry, automated astronomy with robotic telescopes, high-precision photometry, solar-type stars, planets around solar-type stars, chromospherically active stars, slowly pulsating stars

Mr. Henry has a quote on the bottom of his web page which is:

"The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
(Psalm 19: 1,2)"

Here is a link on the TSU Automated Astronomy Group's web site about the new discovery -

Oddly enough, searching around through their pages for interesting tidbits of info, I ran across pages of information about which telescopes are looking at what stars. The chief astronomer for the .75m APT (automatic photoelectric telescope) just happens to be Greg Henry. Then, as if the world couldn't get more perfect, I looked at the Data Sheets for the .75m APT and found that one of the stars that Henry was observing was:

HD      Name      V     B-V     Spect.    Date Range

10700  Tau Cet  3.49   0.727     G8 V    1993-present

Now, I'm not exactly sure what the V, B-V, etc are, but needless to say, this seems to be a good tie back to the Marathon...

According to a number of reports there would appear to be no new invisible files on the Myth: Total Codex CDs. Bungie have (in the past) made a habit of including invisible files on their CDs. While the old invisible Cortana text file from Myth: TFL (v1.3) is still present no new files have yet been found. Indeed a Clan Plaid review of the Total Codex bemoans the lack of extra stuff on the CDs and contrasts it sharply with the extras-packed Marathon Trilogy Box Set.

Nov 16, 1999 (Tuesday)

Quick update

Lots of Halo news over the last 24 hours or so. Four new Halo screenshots from a German game site called Incite gameXpress. Links and text translation can be found at According to a forum post on the Core there is a new Halo movie in the german edition of PC Action (issue 12/99). Shouldn't be long before that finds its way on the net. Seems there is a big publicity push by Take 2 Interactive in Europe.

The HeMan controversy continues. I blame Nathan Bitner for this! Anyway Michael O'Brien <> writes:

I'm afraid I must disagree with your learned readers Neil Schafer and Michael Young - Castle Grayskull was in fact He-Man's castle. The entire castle was formed from the fossilized body of a titanic pre-historic beast, and the entrance was through the skull (using the 'jawbridge'... nastybadpunthing.)

Further proof: when the hero's wimpy 'Prince Adam' secret identity wished to transform to He-Man, he would hold aloft his magic sword, and chant, "By the Power of Grayskull!" He'd hardly be referring to the lair of his nemesis, would he?

I'll just add here that Michael Young did think it originally belonged to He-Man's family. The real question of course is whether or not the reference to Jason Jones and Castle Grayskull is related to He-Man? Remember Nathan divulged the following about Jason's early College days:

I lived literally five feet (across the hall) from him for two years. Although the second year, he spent a good amount of time at Castle Grayskull. That, I'm afraid, I wouldn't be allowed to explain. ;)

Sounds like another fraternity thing! ;-)

Nathan Bitner (aka Island Four) writes:

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 01:55:33 -0800 (PST)
From: Island Four <>
Subject: Aquarius Rising


This message was forwarded to me from:

[email address deleted to preserve anonymity]

I thought you might find it interesting. This person told me that he (?) wished to retain his anonymity but that he wanted for you to have this. For whatever reason, he chose me for the conduit, so I am doing him the favor and forwarding it. There's certainly some interesting information in there. The title of the email is his, as is the "Cc" information. Make of it what you will.

-Island Four



(Seriously, it was forwarded to me).

Saturday November 13 7:34 PM ET Planet Found Beyond Solar System BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - A startling image of a planet passing in front of a bright star has confirmed what scientists before only could deduce with math - there are planets beyond our solar system. ``This is the first independent confirmation of a planet,'' said Geoffrey Marcy, a professor of astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley. ``It also gives us the first-ever measure of the size of one of these planets.'' Marcy's planet-hunting team had gathered mathematical evidence of 19 planets but could only infer their existence by measuring the wobble of nearby stars caused by the planets' gravity as they orbit. That changed last week. Marcy and his colleagues first detected a wobble in the star HD 209458, in the constellation Pegasus, on Nov. 5 from the Keck Telescope atop Hawaii's Mauna Kea. The team notified astronomer Greg Henry of Tennessee State University, who operates a cluster of remote-controlled telescopes in the Patagonia Mountains of Arizona. Henry focused one automatic telescope on the star, and observed it dimming visibly as the planet crossed in front of it - just as Marcy's scientists had predicted. The star's radiance dimmed 1.7 percent on Nov. 7. On Thursday, it happened again, seemingly verifying the scientists' calculations that the planet orbits its star every 3.523 days. Henry is predicting the same dimming next Thursday and again Nov. 22. ``We've essentially seen the shadow of the planet,'' Henry said. Marcy's team determined the planet to be a ``gas giant,'' similar to Jupiter, but its mass is just 63 percent of Jupiter's while it is 60 percent wider. A gas giant could not have formed so close to a star, Henry said, which supports the theory that ``extra-solar planets very near their star did not form where they are, but formed farther out and migrated inward.'' The star HD 209458 lies 153 light-years from Earth - almost a million billion miles. It is near the star 51 Pegasi, around which the first extra-solar planet was discovered in 1995. ``With this one, everything hangs together,'' Marcy said. ``This is what we've been waiting for.'' Follow this unfolding story and all extrasolar news at: Other Worlds, Distant Suns since 1996 providing science fact, not fiction to the Internet copyright 1999 Garber Astronautics portions copyright AP News =====

Some of you may remember Geoffrey Marcy. His name appeared (along with R. Paul Butler) in the third Cortana emails ("The Dissertation of R. Paul Butler" and "Honors Thesis of Geoffrey W. Marcy"). Both Marcy and Butler are scientists searching for extrasolar planets. Today's New York Times carries an article on their work entitled "Shadow Confirms Existence of Extrasolar Planets". More details can be obtained from R. Paul Butler's Home Page and Geoffrey W. Marcy's Home Page.

The Pathways Into Darkness page has an interesting concerning a similarity between the Dreaming God's manifestations and the classic science fiction film Forbidden Planet.

Neil Schafer <> and Michael Young <> all write pointing out that Castle Greyskull was actually Skeletor's castle and not HeMan's. Skeletor was He-Man's arch-nemesis. Michael adds further:

I think that Greyskull originally belonged to He-Man's family, but Skeletor took it over and made it evil, or something like that.

I must admit to being totally ignorant here... HeMan was before my time. ;-)

Loren Petrich <> writes concerning Core Design's Tomb Raider series and Marathon:

There are some interesting similarities in engine design. Core Design has used the same overall engine design for all of the Tomb Raider series, much as Bungie has with the Marathon and Myth series. As you may know, a Marathon map is composed of polygons, which are really generalized prisms. These are connected to neighboring polygons by portals. Tomb Raider has a somewhat similar architecture; each "room" is divided into sectors arranged in a horizontal square grid. These sectors can have separate sloped floors and ceilings. The rooms are connected to other rooms by portals, which can be horizontal, like Marathon's, or vertical.

The result is that the TR engine can do 5D space, just as the Marathon engine can. And I've found inadvertent 5D space here and there in both series. But some 5D space may be deliberate, and a possible example in Tomb Raider 3 may be the flying saucer in the level "Area 51", which is bigger on the inside than on the outside.

I also note a Duality connection. One of Duality's monsters was to be the Infess, which look something like a giant gray spider. And one of the villains toward the end of TR3 also looks something like a giant spider. Hmmm...

Nov 15, 1999 (Monday)

Way back in June 27, 1998 the Story page reported on the similarity between Oni and Ghost in the Shell. At that time what little was known about Oni came from Bungie's E3 Oni trailer (later withdrawn from public circulation). It was noted that opening scene of the Oni E3 movie was very similar to the cover of issue 4 of the Ghost in the Shell manga. Now Ivan Galaktionov <> asks you to take a closer look at this cover and in particular the machine below the prone Major Kusanagi. Note the red eye. Ivan writes:

Doesn't this kinda look like our friend the mech from oni?

Yes indeed. See the Damocles Unleashed page and also the Oni red eyes page and Bungie's Damocles Concept Art. (Oh what big feet you have Damocles!)

Concerning Nathan Bitner's puzzle about Jason Jones and Castle Grayskull (see Nov 9, 1999) Oscar Göthberg <> writes:

I just read in your news page the HBO forum post by Nathan where he said something about Jason Jones spending a lot of time at Castle Grayskull...

Castle Grayskull was HeMan's castle I believe, "HeMan" was the hero of some old series of action figures, cartoons etc back in the eighties.

Jason Jones a HeMan fan or is the Castle Grayskull reference something more?

As reported on Mike Trinder <> has released Chisel v 2.1.4. You can get it from his page at

Concerning the release of #2 (the albatross around Matt Soell's neck) John Woods <> writes:

They're waiting until December 14 6:05PM, of course.

Well if it's Saturday December 14 6:05PM we'll be waiting a long time. ;-)

Nov 14, 1999 (Sunday)

Story page updates grind to a halt as the Story page's AI focuses on SETI data. have the Stats to prove it.

The Pathways Into Darkness page is updated again. Why does the infamous Muller level "Happy Happy, Carnage Carnage" appear out of place in the Map file?

No answers to yesterday's PID puzzle. Not really a hard one either.

Nov 13, 1999 (Saturday)

With the Story page's AI busily crunching away on SETI data our attention turns to Pathways Into Darkness. Yes the PID page has been updated after a long sojourn. There's also a little competition for PID fans. What clue helps us take the right way out of The Labyrinth without some serious backtracking? Have fun.

Nov 12, 1999 (Friday)

Quick update

Matt Soell (Bungie Software) just posted the following to the forums:

Re: Oni, Halo, (-), and (-) !?
Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 12 November 1999, 11:54 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Oni, Halo, (-), and (-) !? (Hamish Sinclair)

> Of course Matt will correct me if I'm wrong here.

Hamish is, of course, correct. Oni will not ship in '99.

As for (-) and (-), they're not ready to talk about yet. But they're two real projects, not just theoretical future projects. They have code names and everything. :-)

And no, neither of them is the curiously absent #2...(which is an albatross I'm eager to unload onto the rest of you, so stay tuned).


Two projects... two code names... and #2!

Thanks to Harry Al-Shakarchi <> for pointing out a recent MacCentral article entitled More surprises in store from Bungie. Part of text reads:

"No, the Total Codex is not the much-speculated-upon third project," said Bungie's publicity engineer Doug Zartman in a recent e-mail to MacGaming.

Zartman points out that, technically, the new content in Myth -- The Total Codex isn't Bungie's at all. "The new scenario in the Codex, Chimera, was designed by Badlands, not an internal team," he says.

When will Bungie make its next product announcement? Even Zartman doesn't seem to know for sure. "I don't know when we're going to announce the next thing, but I'm fairly sure it won't be this year," he says.

So it looks like no joy for "some segments of the populace" this Christmas.

Sam Martin <> writes:

On a Star Trek DS 9 episode, a cardassian probe caused O'Brian to keep jumping into the near future to potential disasters that hadn't happened yet and then returning to where he had been before the jump and preventing the disaster. Also, on a Farscape episode, John Crighton came into contact with a miniature black hole and that caused him to jump forward in time to a specific time where a disaster happened where everyone died and the ship got captured. He then kept jumping back to before the jump happened and spent the whole episode attempting to prevent the disaster. Sound familiar?

Forrest Cameranesi <> and Harry Al-Shakarchi <> both point out that there is an interesting line in the Macledge Interview with the Chimera Project Leaders. The text is as follows:

Will the story continue beyond Chimera?

CB: Who knows? maybe we'll see Fenris toting a grenade launcher shooting aliens soon.

Make of this what you will.

For those of you following the exploits of the Halo SETI team in their mission to seek out the Covenant and boldly stomp all over the Bungie SETI team at the same time you'll be glad to know that their unit deficit was addressed last night with a massive 1000+ unit handback! It obviously pays to have influential friends. If you haven't joined up with the Halo SETI marines now's your chance to do so. Exciting opportunities await you killing alie... err... crunching data. ;-)

Nov 11, 1999 (Thursday)

PC IGN have an interview with former Bungie employee Jonas Eneroth. You can see his picture on page 30 of the Marathon Scrapbook. Jonas left Bungie for Eidos in Feb '98 and is now producer of Eidos' new strategic first-person shooter Project IGI. Described as a 'thinker-shooter' Project IGI would appear to be borrowing some concepts from Marathon.

Michael Zannetou <> writes:

I got this from, worth a read, interesting news:

The latest game concept from Bungie, a game called Halo, looks closer and closer to becoming a PlayStation2 game, sources close to the company told us today. Halo is a huge action-based game that boasts no levels or breaks in gameplay, complete freedom of movement and a potentially phenomenal physics engine that has been confirmed for both PC and Mac for autumn 2000.

While no official sources could confirm the PS2 game's existence, Bungie have said that they're looking into next-generation systems, including both PlayStation2 and Dreamcast. Still, despite the denials, publisher Rockstar have the console rights to Halo and have said on the record that they're definitely considering bringing it PlayStation2.

"I cannot confirm that Halo is coming for Dreamcast or next-generation systems yet," said an official at Rockstar today. "We do have the console rights, and I wish I could tell you something, but I can't. It's too far off for us to make any announcements yet."

We contacted Bungie, who gave us a slightly different take on the possibility of Halo coming to PS2.

"One important part of our multifaceted deal with Take 2 is that they have publishing rights to console versions of our next four titles (Oni, Halo and two unannounced games)," said Doug Zartman, Director of Publicity Engineering for Bungie Software Products. "So yes, getting unspecified games of ours onto unspecified consoles is a very high priority for us and them, and various options are being actively investigated. [But] it would be premature for anyone right now to claim that they know what titles will appear on what systems - much remains to be determined. Keep in mind that having the rights is not the same as exercising them."

Considering that Halo is definitely coming out for PC and Mac in autumn 2000, the potential PlayStation2 version is likely to come out after those. Bungie have been a rock-solid Mac developer through thick and thin times, creating both the Myth and Marathon series.

... our next four titles (Oni, Halo and two unannounced games). :-)

Nov 10, 1999 (Wednesday)

Bungie's mailing server is active again. Here's their list server announcement concerning Chimera and the Total Codex in case you didn't get it:


As a dedicated Bungie fan you've come to expect a little craziness from us every once in a while. But on November 15th, you might as well strap us into straightjackets. You see, that's the day we're releasing our new single-player Myth II scenario pack, "Chimera"-FREE OF CHARGE!

"What the hell is wrong with us?" asked Bungie CEO Alexander Seropian. "How're we gonna keep the Corporate fridge stocked with refreshing beverages if we give our products away? All kidding aside, this is pretty cool. What better way to thank the legions of Myth players for their devotion than to give them this awesome scenario for free?"

The most recent addition to the Myth world, Chimera tells the story of three heroes, veterans of the wars against the Fallen, who set out to confront a vengeful sorceress and the evil she has awakened. Developed by Badlands, Chimera features new units, characters and maps, and spins a new tale in the Myth universe. More details about the free Chimera download are available at

For those of you who insist on paying us for our efforts, Chimera will also be available as part of the new all-inclusive, eminently affordable Myth compilation, "Myth: The Total Codex". The Codex features the award-winning Myth titles, "Myth: The Fallen Lords" and "Myth II: Soulblighter", Chimera, the official hint books for Myth and Myth II, a collection of dozens of the best fan-created multiplayer maps, and the easy-to-use level editors called "Fear" and "Loathing." Head to for more details.

Myth: The Total Codex will ship on November 15th and retail for a jaw-droppingly low $19.99. It will ship as a hybrid title for PC and Macintosh, and is now available for pre-order from the Bungie store (

Since Myth: The Total Codex was a previously unannounced product this leaves one unannounced product remaining. Remember what Matt Soell said back in August (13th):

Neither Chimera nor the long-delayed #2 are among the two unannounced products.

And Doug Zartman in a World Without Borders chat on Sept 7th said:

#2 is coming up. We have more things to announce this year.

#2 is a mystery product (event?) that "...will probably cause great joy among some segments of the populace." to use Matt's exact words. Who these "segments of the populace" are is as yet unclear!

Back in Oct 29, 1999we pointed out that Bungie were not yet listed as exhibitors for the Macworld Expo SF 2000 though they were for the later New York Expo. Matt Soell provided an explanation of sorts:

Re: Bungie say it ain't SO!
Posted By: Matt Soell <>
Date: 1 November 1999, 5:21 p.m.

No, we're currently not registered to attend MacWorld SF.

This has very little to do with us (because we obviously want to attend) and quite a lot to do with IDG Expos (who put on the MacWorld shows and, judging by certain actions and policies, do not want us to attend the SF one).

We're confident that our great personal charm and positive attitude will help us reverse their decision. And we're positive that IDG Expos can't continue their practice of using the MacWorld Expo to mercilessly gouge Mac publishers indefinitely.

We do feel it's important to attend MWSF and we're trying to negotiate with IDG Expos so that we can. Those of you who are especially concerned, however, may wish to send an email to noting that you sure would be disappointed if your favorite game companies were not represented at the Expo in sunny California this coming January.


It would seem that IDG Expos received more than just a few emails on the subject. Matt Soell posted the following to the forums yesterday:

Re: More on Macworld
Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 9 November 1999, 5:57 p.m.

In Response To: More on Macworld (Char george)

Bungie is not signed up to exhibit at MacWorld SF 2000. Yet.

That doesn't mean we don't want to go, or that we're not trying to go. We're trying to work something out with IDG Expos (who run the Expos and are not the same as IDG) so that we can go. As soon as I know more I will post in all the usual spots. Probably here first.

In the meantime, I'd like all you fine, upstanding Bungiephiles out there to stop emailing IDG Expos. You did your part. In fact a whole LOT of you did your part. It's not helping us anymore. So please, lay off the kind people at IDG Expos so we can shmooze our way into their hearts and onto their show floor.


Nov 9, 1999 (Tuesday)

Sam Martin <> writes:

I made an AppleScript that can make the original Marathon terminals completely readable if you copy the ASCII from the "term" resource from ResEdit or something similar. It requires Tex-Edit Plus. Do you think you might want to use it?

Thanks Sam. Anyone would like to try Sam's Marathon Terminal Decoder you can get it here. Don't forget to send any comments/bugs reports/praise etc to Sam at <>.

Nathan Bitner (former Producer of Halo) posted the following to the forums at

Re: Jason Jones ... Nathan?

Posted By: Nathan <>
Date: 9 November 1999, 10:10 a.m.

In Response To: Jason Jones ... Nathan? (Arden's Web)

> I'll bet Nathan knows ... from what I understand, he lived on > the same floor of the same dorm with him for their first two > years of college (they were the same year). So you got any good > stories Nathan? ;)


Heh. Yeah, sure I could share some stories ... and then promptly be executed by Bungie people in dark suits ... or at least Seropian in a jeans and t-shirt. Oh, the stories I could tell - too bad Jason doesn't read here. ;) heh.

And actually, I lived literally five feet (across the hall) from him for two years. Although the second year, he spent a good amount of time at Castle Grayskull. That, I'm afraid, I wouldn't be allowed to explain. ;) Let Hamish try to sort it out ... he has about as much of a chance as trying to figure out why "the Greek flag" was thanked in the Minotaur manual ...

:-) :-)


This is the second time he has posted this "figure out why "the Greek flag" was thanked in the Minotaur manual" challenge. Must be a fraternity thing. I just hope the Greeks don't find out! ;-)

Good news for Myth fans Bungie finally announced Chimeria their free Myth II scenario along with the commerical Myth: The Total Codex package. So what's next? #2 perhaps?

The Reader Poll at the Core has Marathon leading with only 42% of the vote! ;-)

While Bungie's soundtracks still remain in's Top 100 Daily Top Game Soundtracks they refuse to climb higher. It's unclear as to how many uniques downloads it takes to get a track into the top ten.

#31 Strikers! (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#33 Halo Trailer (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#41 Konoko Chase (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#58 Into The Breach (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#77 The Siege of Madrigal (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#82 Marathon Infinity: Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#88 Marathon 2: Durandal Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#90 Epilogue (from Myth: The Fallen Lords) (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#95 Beyond The Cloudspine (TotalAudio (Bungie))

Nov 8, 1999 (Monday)

Quick update #2

This one's for Marathon! The Core has a new Reader Poll entitled

Which, if any, of the following games (or series... sequels and mods included) do you think you'll be playing most until Halo

Marathon is one of the options. Of course I wouldn't want to influence anyone's vote here but you know what to do! ;-)

Quick update #1

Alan Greene <> makes an interesting observation about the Ring Motif in Halo. Looks like the Halo level designers have been hard at work. It's all in the detail. :-)

Max Dyckhoff <> writes concerning the Ring Motif in Halo.

Owen Borstad <> also writes concerning the Ring Motif in Halo.

Added further speculation to the Ring Motif in Halo page.

Kendal Graves" <> writes:

...regarding the Cortana letters, and the mention of the fourth that we didn't know of. In the email detailed on June 30, Cortana mentions Mania. Just once, and with no explanation, other than the cryptic cart and plow over the dead. Mania..... possibly a FOURTH stage of Rampancy? With the tone of Cortana's messages and the tone of Durandal's as well, sarcastic, condescending, one can almost hear the insane giggling of the AI's in the background of the messages on the terminals. Cortana in particular seems to take some perverse joy in being hard to understand ( not to mention some of the Bungie folks as well, can Rampancy spread to humans too? ) Durandal as a Manic AI might help to explain his interest in us, and his attempt to explain his designs to us, even though he assures us that we won't understand. Just some food for thought there.

Mania? The fourth stage of Rampancy?

Nov 7, 1999 (Sunday)

It's the seventh so here's an interesting Halo tidbit. The Ring Motif in Halo.

Some climbers and some fallers in's Daily Top Game Soundtracks chart. Even with the best efforts of the Halo community the Halo Trailer fails to climb higher.

#18 Halo Trailer (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#30 Strikers! (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#38 Konoko Chase (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#47 Into The Breach (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#67 Epilogue (from Myth: The Fallen Lords) (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#73 The Siege of Madrigal (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#80 Marathon 2: Durandal Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#85 Beyond The Cloudspine (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#86 Marathon Infinity: Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))

Nov 6, 1999 (Saturday)

The Story page doesn't often post Marathon fan art... indeed the page rarely gets fan art. Not sure where all this fan art actually ends up. You'll find some artwork by Chuck Fox at the Marathon Hyperarchive Northwest along with Craig Mullins, though Craig's work can best be described as official artwork. Anyway Rob Schultz <> kindly sent along this rendering of a green Pfhor fighter. Nice piece.

Chris McDonald <> writes:

I read that some think S'bhuth might be an AI. I find this incredibly hard to believe, as he was described in the missing Infinity terminal to be catching a physical entity "by a spline" and flinging him into a pit. How exactly would a computer do this? Transporting? But could that be described as being caught "by a spline"?

Interesting point. A reason for dropping the terminal in the first place perhaps or a simple distortion of a S'pht myth?

Bungie's MP3 soundtracks all climb in the top 100 of's Daily Top Game Soundtracks chart. Cast your vote by downloading today!

#13 Halo Trailer (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#20 Strikers! (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#30 Konoko Chase (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#48 Into The Breach (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#56 Marathon Infinity: Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#57 Epilogue (from Myth: The Fallen Lords) (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#63 Marathon 2: Durandal Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#67 The Siege of Madrigal (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#71 Beyond The Cloudspine (TotalAudio (Bungie))

Nov 5, 1999 (Friday)

Thanks to both Jonathan Louie <tenchi@leland.Stanford.EDU> and Alan Greene <> for sending in the text of the standard (generic) reply from IDG Expos regarding Bungie's no show at Macworld Expo San Francisco 2000:

Thank you for your interest in MACWORLD Expo/San Francisco 2000. In response to your e-mail, Bungie Software has not yet reserved exhibit space for the show. We welcome Bungie Software's participation and we also hope that they will be joining us once again this January. Please contact Bungie directly with any questions regarding their exhibit status.

Nothing unusual about this. The bottom line of course is that if Bungie do not exhibit then there will be alot of disappointed Bungie fans.

Who said Vidmastery was dead? The Marathon Vidmasters' page has been updated with 26 levels from the decks of the original Marathon. John Sumner <> revisits the UESC Marathon to do battle with the Pfhor. The Vidmasters' page can be found at either:

According to Max Dyckhoff <> in a post on the encoded reply by the Bungie Webmaster IS decipherable. The full letter from the Letters to the Webmaster page can be seen below:

4966 2079 6F75 2061 7265 2064 6563 7970 6865 7269 6E67 2074 6869
7320 796F 7520 6D75 7374 2062 6520 7265 616C 6C79 2062 6F72 6564 2E2E

The Cyborg,


446S 6R27 7420 7461 6P6O 2074 6861 7420 736Q 6163 6O20 746S 206Q 652R 2020 466S 7220 616P 6P20 796S 7520
6O6R 6S77 2049 2063 6S75 6P64 2062 6520 796S 7572 2066 6174 6865 722R

Nice one! :-)

Bungie tops the poll at Multi-Player Online Gaming with over 50% of the vote. :-)

Bungie's MP3 track positions in the top 100 of's Daily Top Game Soundtracks chart.

#20 Halo Trailer (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#26 Strikers! (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#31 Konoko Chase (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#45 Into The Breach (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#52 Beyond The Cloudspine (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#58 Marathon Infinity: Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#64 Marathon 2: Durandal Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#66 Epilogue (from Myth: The Fallen Lords) (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#78 The Siege of Madrigal (TotalAudio (Bungie))

Nov 4, 1999 (Thursday)

Rock the vote for Bungie! Harry Al-Shakarchi <> writes:

Head over to and make your vote Bungie!!!!

The public forums at have come under heavy criticism from none other than Nathan Bitner (former Producer of Halo). Part of this forum post reads:

If I continue to log in and see 15 messages asking Bungie to make the game first person, I will be leaving this forum and finding either A) other forums where this doesn't happen such as the Core (not to disparage, but it's reached ridiculous proportions - it's not their fault) or B) staying away from the forums...

You can read Nathan's full post here. Since HBO is a highly active public forum reaching out to a wide and diverse audience of gamers it's hard to see how one can prevent this without overt censorship.

Tyson Green <> maintainer of the Core has posted an interesting Halo article called Welcome to Halo. It's designed as an introductory article for people new to Halo, Bungie, and Marathon. Apparently it was inspired by a discussion on the forum.

Bungie's Links page updated.

Some movement in's Daily Top Game Soundtracks chart. Check out the Bungie track positions in the top 100:

#21 Halo Trailer (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#25 Strikers! (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#32 Konoko Chase (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#67 Marathon Infinity: Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#75 Marathon 2: Durandal Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))
#77 Into The Breach (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#82 Epilogue (from Myth: The Fallen Lords) (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#88 The Siege of Madrigal (TotalAudio (Bungie))
#98 Beyond The Cloudspine (TotalAudio (Bungie))

To make your vote count you must download the full tracks from different IP addresses.

Nov 3, 1999 (Wednesday)

Interesting to note that there are nine pieces of music from Bungie games in the top 100 of's Daily Top Game Soundtracks. Both Oni tracks lead the pack but note that the themes from Marathon Infinity and Marathon 2 are still in there at 71 and 77 respectively.

#28 Strikers! (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))

#29 Konoko Chase (from "Oni Soundtrack") (Power of Seven (Bungie))

#38 Halo Trailer (TotalAudio (Bungie))

#66 Into The Breach (TotalAudio (Bungie))

#71 Marathon Infinity: Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))

#77 Marathon 2: Durandal Theme (Power of Seven (Bungie))

#91 The Siege of Madrigal (TotalAudio (Bungie))

#93 Beyond The Cloudspine (TotalAudio (Bungie))

#97 Epilogue (from Myth: The Fallen Lords) (TotalAudio (Bungie))

Ranking is based on the number of downloads of the full tracks. See the Power of Seven page for Marathon and Oni tracks and the Total Audio page for Myth and Halo tracks. However if you're thinking of doing multiple downloads to boost your favorite track in the charts here's what Matt Soell (Bungie Software) had to say on the subject at HBO:

Re: Halo music at 133?

Posted By: Matt Soell <>
Date: 2 November 1999, 11:49 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Halo music at 133? (Nathan)

I had the same idea, but Dave Joost told me that tracks downloads by IP address and doesn't count multpile downloads by the same person/machine.


Nov 2, 1999 (Tuesday)

Seth Graham <> writes concerning Bungie's non-appearance on the list of exhibitors at Macworld Expo San Francisco:

Finally, an answer about MWSF (which I have a vested interest in, due to me living in SF ;). I'll just point you to the URL.

Seth is referring to the following post by Matt Soell <> (Director of Customer Support) to the HBO forums:

Re: Bungie say it ain't SO!
Posted By: Matt Soell <>
Date: 1 November 1999, 5:21 p.m.

No, we're currently not registered to attend MacWorld SF.

This has very little to do with us (because we obviously want to attend) and quite a lot to do with IDG Expos (who put on the MacWorld shows and, judging by certain actions and policies, do not want us to attend the SF one).

We're confident that our great personal charm and positive attitude will help us reverse their decision. And we're positive that IDG Expos can't continue their practice of using the MacWorld Expo to mercilessly gouge Mac publishers indefinitely.

We do feel it's important to attend MWSF and we're trying to negotiate with IDG Expos so that we can. Those of you who are especially concerned, however, may wish to send an email to noting that you sure would be disappointed if your favorite game companies were not represented at the Expo in sunny California this coming January.


"...gouge Mac publishers indefinitely"?!!! Sounds like $$$ involved here folks!

Nick Dobbs <> writes:

The December issue of Macworld has something about Halo in it. In their 1999 Macworld Game Hall of Fame, in the Great Contenders section, here is what they say:

"If we get the additional space, we may have to open a room dedicated solely to Bungie Software. Bungie's Halo, a beautifully rendered third-person war game, is on track to be everyone's game of the year - regardless of platform - in 2000. This 3-D, hardware-dependent game, featuring both single-player and multiplayer modes, takes place on an artificial, ring-shaped planet and pits humans against an alien race. Both races have access to a remarkable array of weapons and vehicles. Unlike many current network games, Halo focuses on cooperative play. Bungie remains uncommited to the number of players the game will support, but the company assures us that no fewer than 32 people will be able to play at the same time."

I hope that Halo will still have plenty of multiplayer support for different modes of play besides cooperartive. Playing a 64 person game of Every Man for Himself would be super cool! I think it would be a better idea to have more than 32 people support in a network game.

Harry Al-Shakarchi <> points out that Bungie's Letters to the Webmaster page has been updated.

Blair Sherman <> writes concerning the level name "The Rose":

I think the name of the Marathon 1 map "The Rose" may have something to do with the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the sequel, called Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Willy Wonka randomly says "Who knows the way out of a rose?" at one point in the book. The level name may be referring to it being somewhat difficult, and therefore hard to get out of.

Very odd indeed. Perhaps we need to add Roald Dahl's books to the Marathon/Halo reading list? ;-) Just to point out the level "The Rose" was created by Greg Kirkpatrick and resembles in part a flower (rose?). However it's not clear if is this was intentional or just one of those "ink blot" things. If it was intentional then Greg may have been working with some idea in mind. Perhaps what Blair suggests above.

Nov 1, 1999 (Monday)

Nathan Bitner <> writes concerning his Kukri knife and alien height comments yesterday:

About the Covenant height and kukri knife.

Actually ... in a post just below that, I mentioned that blades of that type (with a little more curve, which I didn't add) are commonly referred to as kukri knives. I didn't say that I knew FOR SURE what they had armed him with.

As for the Covenant, it was the forums who had commonly been referring to the soldier as nine feet tall, so I jumped on the bandwagon. :) I'm not sure if Bungie has stated anywhere how tall that particular species or soldier is. At any rate, nine feet tall does seem rather appropriate though, so I won't scratch and claw too much. ;)

I've taken the liberty of reprinting the relevant posts from The Core web site so that you can see what was actually said:

some random idea

Posted By: Nathan on Sunday, 10.31.99, at 1:00 a.m.

Trying to be more like a true forum monkey, this idea just popped into my head and seemed somewhat cool ...

Sneak up behind a Covenant soldier (single-player) and instead of filling his body with a magazine of futuristic lead, lop of his head with your kukri knife and steal his uniform. Sneak into Covenant base ... and good grief, take things from there.

Damn, that could be a fun scenario. :)

I'll add that to the list of 30 or so others that Jaime and I used to write of before becoming a bit sidetracked ...



and in a follow-up post (note thread title changed) Nathan said:

On the Random Idea and a Myth II Netmap

Posted By: Nathan on Sunday, 10.31.99, at 2:10 a.m.
Response to: Re: some random idea (Daft Shadow =PN=)

: It would be even cooler in Net play. I mean, the enemy thinks
: your one of them! They're setting up an ambush, and your
: relaying everything back to the main base. Then you laugh as
: your men come in, surround the ambush, and blast em to hell!
: Ah, the joys ;-)
: Daft Shadow =PN=

No slip, by the way. That's what a blade like what you see in the screenshot is called - a kukri knife. At any rate, there's the minor problem of how do you pass for a nine-foot alien when you're a whatever-size cyborg. Maybe some other species that's part of the Covenant or something ... I just thought it sounded fun.

Then again, I had this awesome Myth II netmap idea called "Squirrels in the Mist", which would take place on a rainy map that had the volumetric fog (if you could implement it) ... possibly. Anyway, a tradeable unit would be squirrels. The would cost a relatively large amount, but you could send them off to go scout the enemy ... and the enemy would have to decide whether to waste the time trying to kill a squirrel (which is a REAL pain in the ass) or give his formation and army away. I thought it would be fun, but Jaime (Case) shot it down. :-) Wouldn't even give it a run. :) So now it's up to you to tell him that you think it's cool or tell me that it's just as dumb as he thought it was. ;)

heh. :)


Some more Halo news by way of HBO. A scan of a German Halo article, a call from Marty O'Donnell of Total Audio to put the Halo Trailer MP3 at the top of the game soundtracks chart, another Macworld Expo New York '99 Halo preview movie has been found (yes another one!), and more Halo SETI team stats (yes the Story page is in there... are you?).

Go to What's New for Sept-Oct 1999

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Dec 31, 1999