Oct 30, 2000 (Monday)

Colin Ferguson <cedferg@hotmail.com> makes an interesting observation about Halo, Starship Troopers, and gender roles:

After repeatedly watching the Halo E3 Trailer, I noticed another science-fiction literary inspiration in Halo. Since no one seems to have mentioned it before, I will now.

It seems like Halo was partially inspired by the book Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein (and if you have seen the movie version, do yourself a favor and read the book, and if you have not seen the movie, read it anyway). The first thing that I noticed was gender roles in the military. In Starship Troopers, the infantry is almost exclusively male. In the Halo E3 Trailer, all the infantry is male. Also, in Starship Troopers, the aerospace military is dominated by females, with over two-fourths of the officers on starships being women, and the dropship and fighter pilots being exclusively female. In the trailer, the pilot of the dropship has the voice of a woman, and I recall that the captain of the Pillar of Autumn is referred to as "she" in one of the Bungie press releases. Cortana is referred to as "her" by Private Gough in the trailer, though that might not have anything to do with Starship Troopers, but it seemed worth mentioning (perhaps a reliving of the good old days with hardworking, dependable Leela?) Anyway, this is not so much sexism, as it is psychological profiling. When someone joins the military in Starship Troopers, they do not get to pick the branch that they go into, but have it decided for them after the recruitment facility examines all his or her psychological records, school grades, anything that might suggest what that person's personality is best suited for. Apperently, the male personality tends to lend itself to infantry, and the female tends to lend itself to aerospace

Muhsin Miski <mmiski@mac-addict.com> writes:

I don't know if anyone else noticed this or not, but it may be possible that Marathon 2 was the first FPS that contains ejected (spent) shell casings.

Does it matter? Is it a big deal? No, not really. But today's standard 3D FPS seems to have this feature for realism. Gotta love it!

Can anyone confirm this?

Bradley Attfield <iku-turso@home.com> writes:

I was reading the weapons in Marathon section over again, specifically Tucker Berkmann's submission about the fusion pistol, when I remembered something from one of my physics courses. The following numbers are all approximate, my Prof has a way of 'approximating' things. ;-)

A question my professor posed to the class was as follows, "If a person were to grab the nodes of a 20kV battery, what current would flow through you and what would this mean in terms of energy?" Doing the math, saying that the power supply had a resistance of 2k ohms and that the person had a resistance of approximately 10k ohms, the amperage flowing through a person would be approximatley 1.67A, which translates into about 33kW of power, or 33,000 joules of energy per second. My prof then went on, using his 'approximations' to tell us that to heat one gram of water to 100 degrees celsius takes about 420 joules and that boiling it (presumably to vapourize it) would take another 2200 joules. In total, this would mean that in one second, 33kW will 'boil' *about* ten grams of water. (The approximations are horrible, yes.)

Extrapolating then, one second of exposure to 5.85 Terawatts of energy would be able to 'boil' about one and a half (nearly two) BILLION grams of water. Reversing the ratio, to 'boil' 100kg of water, (about 220lb, maybe a little heavy for Bob) would take about 5.6 microseconds at 5.85 Terawatts. Of course, this would leave nothing of Bob but vapour, and we all know that when we shoot Bob with fusion that he leaves a corpse, so to bring Bob to 100 degrees celsius (212 F), without vaporizing him, would take about 7 nanoseconds at 5.85TW. Interesting, no?

Oct 29, 2000 (Sunday)

Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> writes:

Something just occured to me. I've recently set my desktop to cycle through Mullins/Bungie art, and as it switched over to the chapter screen for "Citadel" I got to wondering: why is this ancient image of a S'pht remniscient of a Pfhor-built S'pht compiler, and not the old 'native' S'pht we see in the terminal pictures, or some other type of S'pht cyborg like the Defenders used by the Kr? The simplest explanation is that Bungie told Craig "a S'pht temple" and he drew a S'pht figure in there modeled after the S'pht he knew from Marathon - the compilers. But perhaps there's a plausible story explanation a well...

(And just who is that figure anyway? Could it be Yrro? It seems to be position like a figure of Jesus would be in a Catholic/Christian church. And if it IS Yrro, then my main question above becomes: why are Pfhor-built compilers remniscient of the Jjarro?)

Interesting and valid point. As has been pointed out before the S'pht we see in the game are the result of genetic engineering. The Final Screen in Marathon tells us:

The tireless, nearly immortal cybernetic crew of the
ship were the genetically engineered descendants of
the dead world below- the first of their race in
a thousand years to return to their ancestral home.

A terminal in Marathon 2 shows us what the S'pht originally looked like at the time of the Pfhor invasion of Lh'owon 1000 years before we arrive. So why is there a large image/icon of an enslaved S'pht in the ancient S'pht Citadel?

Oct 28, 2000 (Saturday) Off to the Opera

Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) sends his weekly Halo update to halo.bungie.org this week. Here's part of the text:

While I'm on the topic of art, I must note that I saw one of Paul Russel's new models and was utterly blown away. I can't talk about it in any degree of detail because to do so would give away key plot points, but what struck me most forcefully (apart from the perfect replication of the detailed and goosebump-inspiring concept art) was the amount of thought and backstory behind each alien race. Things look the way they do for a reason, not just because it looks cool. When the game is done we could publish a Halo bestiary with tons of cool background info. I'm not saying we necessarily will...just that we COULD. ;-)

Matt's Oni update is over at oni.bungie.org

Tom Van Sinden <TVansinden@earthtech.com> speculates:

I wouldn't want to spoil a surprise if there is one coming, (so feel free to use your editorial discretion) but I thought I'd send this along: Matt had said in a previous post to HBO: (http://carnage.bungie.org/haloforum/halo.archive.pl?read=43319)
"In defiance of expectations, I'm actually writing this update thingy. And this week it's at bungie.org, because I love those guys. At some point I'm going to have to decide on a permanent home for these dispatches. Actually I have one in mind already, but I can't tell you what it is yet. :-) "

In this post to Oni Central, Steve said: (http://carnage.bungie.org/oniforum/oni.forum.pl?read=5557)
"I know that I am going to put myself to the test, I am coming back. The time that I come back online will be determined by another source, but , the Bungie community in my opinion is small right now and there is so much more that can be done."

Coincidence? Hmmm...

Hmmm... indeed.

Ross Wolfe (aka Cpt. Sqweky) <eternalwar@hotmail.com> writes concerning Bungie's One Microsoft Way address:

NO 7'S? I think you should re-look. add up the numbers as though it were numerology, the path becomes clear.

Make sure that the numbers you add up are actual numerals, and not numbers spelled out in word form.

Oct 27, 2000 (Friday)

There can be only one way! Robert Zimmermann (aka Cyberbob) <robzim@gmx.net> draws our attention to the address given on Bungie's Jobs page:

Bungie Resumes
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way, Bldg. 19
Redmond, WA 98052

One Microsoft Way? A subtle hint perhaps. ;-)
No sevens in the new address though.

Max Etchemendy <mxetch@yahoo.com> writes concerning "The First Marathon" story given at the end of the Marathon manual:

The kill ratio of 1:33.33 given for the Battle of Marathon is correct. I have no idea how Bungie arrived on that "kills per minute" figure, unless Herodotus or some other historian actually gave the battle's length.

According to the manual 6,400 Persians and 192 Greeks died in the battle giving a kill ratio of 1:33.33 and a kills minute rate of 13.73. To kill 6,592 people at a rate of 13.73 per minute would take 8 hours. However at the same rate it would only take 7.77 hours to kill the Persians. :-)

Oct 26, 2000 (Thursday)

A source that wishes to remain anonymous would like to add the following about Konrad Sherinian (former Halo team member):

By the way, just to give you a bit more information, Konrad Sherinian was an important member of the Halo team. He was the programmer in charge of others in the area of AI for the characters in the game. He also did quite a bit of clean-up work on visual programming and is a network specialist as well. His loss will be felt.

Max Etchemendy >mxetch@yahoo.com< writes:

Bungie certainly is fascinated with the Persian Wars, aren't they? Another interesting thing to note: Thermopylae has more Marathon signifigance than I think has yet been noted...the 300 Spartans that were able to hold off about 200,000 Persians were very much like Battleroids/Mjolnir Cyborgs, in the sense that they were trained from age 7 to be "super soldiers." They spent over 10 years in a military academy where their final exam was to be left in the cold for three weeks and to survive! They were told that they shouldn't cry even if a wolf were eating them alive...yes, the Spartans were quite a group of people.

Scott Noblitt <snoblitt@hotmail.com> points out that Orbital Arm is again functioning (partially). There is also a forum.

Oct 25, 2000 (Wednesday) And now for something completely different...

Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <bs@bungie.org> the man with two... err wait that's another guy... writes:

I thought I would inject what I can into the discussion about the computer game Shanghai and its virtual Chinese fortune cookies, the phrase "It is good to be neither high nor low. Come easy, go easy." and Greg's Marathon level entitled "Neither High nor Low."

As always, if you scratch a little deeper into anything Bungie does, you'll find a little extra layer of goodies for your brain to munch on. So as soon as you mentioned that particular Marathon level and Shanghai, little bells rang in my head. After the medication wore off, I sat down on my computer and did some searching. Realizing I was sitting on top of my computer instead of sitting *at* my computer I promptly hopped off and began my internet search in earnest.

Here are some pertinent links to what I'm about to try to summarize:

http://www.tribuneindia.com/99may22/edit.htm (scroll down to 'middle ring')
http://www.asarian-host.org/karmagrrl/buddhism.html (check out her 'basic terms and definitions' ; the rest of the site is also very interesting)
http://www.britannica.com/bcom/magazine/article/0,5744,32279,00.html (poem)
http://www.buddhism.ndirect.co.uk/tobudha1.htm (search for 'middle way')

"It's good to be neither high nor low" is a buddhist saying. It relates to the belief that the way to Nirvana is through the middle, "as it steers a course between the sensual pleasures of the materialists and the self-mortification of the ascetics." Don't pity yourself and don't flatter yourself. Don't be a hedonist, but don't be a nihilist. In simpler words, don't go to extremes.

Of course, the concept of the 'middle' is not relegated solely to the teachings of Buddha. Norse mythology spoke of Earth as Midgard ("Middle Home"). Aristotle's "Golden Mean" defined temperance as a worthy pursuit . Freud's psychoanalytic principle said that the Ego ("self") was in the middle of the Super Ego ("conscience") and the Id ("unconcious"). In our modern times, controversial stances arose when a statistical concept called the "bell curve" was applied to social science studies.


How this all relates to Marathon is a little tricky. Is it just a hint as to the path you are supposed to take? Or is it a suggestion as to the mental state you should adopt while traversing the map? What about Durandal? Maybe it's a clue to his mental state! Or is Greg trying to subliminally get you to start chanting "Namu Myoho Renge Kyo"? Maybe it's all of the above! Eat the path indeed.

(I'll let others take a stab at how the number seven may play a part in the teachings of Buddha)

Then again it may simply mean that the best (and only) path to take on the level "Neither High nor Low" is the middle one. Of course there are films on the Marathon Vidmasters' page which prove this statement false.

Ross Fairbairn <rossco@metallica.com> writes:

I was listening to the version of Moby's "Southside" that features Gwen Stefani.

For the first 40 seconds you can definitely hear the Cyborg grenades bouncing around in the background.

I can't decide whether they are heat seeking or not, but there are so many of them that it's safe to say that this isn't just your average Cyborg

Sean Morris <legolas14@theglobe.com> writes concerning the level name Ex Cathedra:

An aquantance emailed me this excerpt from Confessions of an English Opium Eater by Thomas de Quincey. It is in the third paragraph at http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/opiates/opiates_writings1.shtml

And, first, one word with respect to its bodily effects: for upon all that has been hitherto written on the subject of opium, whether by travellers in Turkey (who may plead their privilege of lying as an old immemorial right), or by professors of medicine, writing /ex cathedra/, -- I have but one emphatic criticism to pronounce -- Lies! lies! lies!

Of course you have to read the full text to find out what the lies are! ;-)

Oct 24, 2000 (Tuesday)

Max Hoberman (aka Yeroen) posts another big news update on bungie.net this time on what Bungie's online team is supposed to be doing. Seems the team is now made up of four people Max, Matt, Peter and Stefan. Also birthday greetings to Stefan "My Modem is on Fire" Sinclair are at hand. Always good to see another member of the Sinclair clan survive another year. But... there can be only one! ;-)

Zach Stroum <durandal@u.washington.edu> writes:

Over at slashdot they've got this great link to an article about the "numbers" necessary for our universe, the addresss is: http://www.discover.com/nov_00/featlife.html  Here's a quick sample:

"The six numbers lurk in the universe's smallest and largest structures. To select one from the small end: The nucleus of a helium atom weighs 99.3 percent as much as the two protons and the two neutrons that fuse to make it. The remaining .7 percent is released mainly as heat. So the fuel that powers the sun— the hydrogen gas at its core— converts .007 of its mass into energy when it fuses into helium. That number is a function of the strength of the force that "glues" together the parts of an atomic nucleus."

Hmm, I'd swear I've seen that number before...

Interesting article worth a read.

Calandra Witten <callie21v@hotmail.com> writes:

After reading your note today about the fortune cookie in 'Shanghai,' I ran a quick search on the phrase 'Neither High Nor Low.' The most interesting result follows --


"It means that you don't want to have too much power nor do you want to be too poor. You want to be in the middle. You don't want to be a greedy rich man and you also don't want to be an orphan."

This fable is almost certainly where the Shanghai quote originated and is quite possibly the source of the level title as well. I shall leave yourself and the Cast of Thousands to dissect what relevance to the plot it holds. :-)

Oct 23, 2000 (Monday)

Quick update #1

A third major discovery has been made today on the Pathways Into Darkness page. This is an important find and should advance our knowledge of the early PID story! Kudos to Jacob Aberg <Jacob_Aberg@excite.com>. Sometimes the obvious just has to be pointed out to us. :-)

I was passing the time of day playing... err... Shanghai II: Dragon's Eye v1.05 (Feb 21, 1994) and was surprised to find (after winning) the following screen. Basically it's a Chinese fortune cookie with the following text:

It is good to be neither high nor low. Come easy, go easy.

I guess only Marathoners would stop to dwell on the significance of this. Of course we would need to ask Greg Kirkpatrick the creator of the Marathon level "Neither High nor Low" how he came up with the name.

Sorting the facts out. Andrew Nagy <removed0@hotmail.com> writes:

I read this a few months ago Uncle John's GIANT 10th Anniversary Bathroom Reader, by the Bathroom Readers' Institute. It's at the bottom of level, er page, 88, under the heading "Olympic Myths." I wonder what Bungie knows about this that we don't....

THE MYTH: The Olympic marathon distance was established in ancient times to honor a messenger who ran from Marathon to Athens about 26 miles to deliver vital news then died.

THE TRUTH: The marathon distance 26 miles, 385 yards was established at the 1908 games in London. It's the distance from Sheperd's Bush Stadium to the Queen's bedroom window.

I wonder if anyone's checked to see if the damage ratio adds up. And why are there only five marines in the picture? Of course, if there were seven, one would probably be unarmed, and another holding an alien weapon, but it still seems out of place as it is. Then again, there's a sketch of an AR-wielding marine before it on page 12 (1+2=3), and a sketch of a Bob after it on page 16 (1+6=7), so I guess it does add up.

Actually the above isn't totally accurate. In the 1908 Olympic Games in London the marathon distance was changed to 26 miles (from its original 40km or 24.85 miles) to cover the ground from Windsor Castle to Sheperds Bush stadium with 365 yards added so the race could finish in front of King Edward VII's royal box. It wasn't until the 1924 Olympics in Paris that the now standard 26.2 mile distance was established. You'll find some interesting info about this controversial Olympics here. "The Battle of Shepherds Bush" sounds a bit like the infamous "Battle of Brooklyn" series. See the FAQ section for details on this.

criostoir (full name pending) <taibhse@netwurx.net> writes:

Well, not having seen the original version of this film simply titled Drunken Master II I can't say for sure but seeing as how this film came out in Hong Kong circa 1994 but that means the production for that film either pre-dates or was concurrent with the original Marathon.

While I was typing this, Assault on Dome 4 just started on the SciFi Channel. Some of the elevator open and close sounds are the drone sounds used in Marathon II :-)

I have this suspicion that if you listened hard enough you could end up listing every other scifi/fantasy movie made recently. Maybe in the future we could limit the references to more obviously Marathon inspired ties? :-)

Marathon inspired ties?... not seen a Marathon inspired tie yet... oh wait I get it! All joking aside the point is well taken. Hey what was that sound?

Oct 22, 2000 (Sunday)

Curiouser and curiouser...

Two days ago a secret room was revealed in the Pathways Into Darkness demo v2.0. This secret didn't appear to be documented anywhere so we might conclude that it remained undiscovered for more than six years. But wait that's not all... it turns out that the secret room contains yet another secret. See the Pathways Into Darkness page for the tru7h.

Steven Sankowski <sankowski@coastalnet.com> writes:

On TV the other day they had a preview of yet another Jackie Chan movie, "Legend of Drunken Master". During one part however, I believe they used the "Sph't K'r Bullet Whizzing By The Player's Head" sound, to represent a spear being thrown or something like that. Boy, seems Marathon sounds are everywhere these days...

Good sounds never die they just keep getting heard and heard. ;-)

Oct 21, 2000 (Saturday)

Matt Soell's weekly Bungie/Halo update is featured at rampancy.net this week. Bullets are back it seems (never knew they were gone actually). As always I've taken the liberty of reposting this here so that we have the evidence to beat Matt with years from now. ;-)

Another dose of that "What The Hell Is Bungie Doing This Week?" goodness. Back for a return engagement at Rampancy.net, where men are men and women are Pallor.

- Jason wanted me to point out that much of what the Halo team is doing right now is long-term stuff; certain things will take weeks or months to finish, and some weeks there won't be much to say except "Still working on the same stuff." Unfortunately this is one of those weeks. Most of you know that Bungie tends to keep its mouth shut when it has nothing important to say, but Jason wanted me to make it clear. So. Are we all clear? Wonderful.

- The development team will be spending the next several weeks "reattaching all the things that fell off" during the engine rewrite. Boring little things, like bullets. :-) (And if you don't think bullets can bore, you've obviously never been shot.)

- The new visualization code is up and running. Much work remains but a big hurdle is behind us. Chucky and Matt Segur gave me a quick demo, running a camera across a test landscape and then up over it to give some sense of scale. Yum.

- You'll all be happy to know that Chucky's spirits have lifted immensely since your collective outpouring of love last week.

- I was hoping to excerpt some choice bits from a lovely essay about Seattle penned by our own Jason Jones. He asked for a little extra time to review what he'd written and add more profanity where necessary; as of this writing I do not have it. Perhaps in a future update.


Matt also sent in a weekly Oni update to oni.bungie.org.

Weekly updates must be contagious at Bungie. Max Hoberman (aka Yeroen) has posted a big (for him) news update at bungie.net. News items include: new jobs at Bungie, extensive FAQs and detailed articles in the works, reviving the Bungie Store, and plans for the next Bungie Fanfest.

More Halo news. halo.bungie.org have added some info on changes to the Halo team. New faces include:

John Howard (story)
Ed Smith (art)
Bernie Freidin (code)
Stephen Okasaki (job unspecified)

Konrad Shirinian (network code) has left the team and Stefan "My Modem Is On Fire" Sinclair (networking) is currently on loan to the Oni team (perhaps we'll see a network feature in Oni at some stage).

Raul Bonilla <biomeca@hotmail.com> sent in an enhanced screenshot from the Spriggan video mentioned yesterday (the one with the Marathon-like symbols on the cyborgs). This pic shows the symbols more clearly.

Oct 20, 2000 (Friday)

Secret room in Pathways Into Darkness demo v2.0 revealed! Yes folks thanks to Graham Cull <gscull@swbell.net> another Bungie secret has been uncovered... mmm... after some six years. Check the Pathways Into Darkness page for full details. What else is there left to find?

Luke <ekul@fiberia.com> writes:

Going through my AMV, I came upon my copy of Sailor Death Productions second Spriggan video, and seemed to remember... something. Sure enough, I started it up, and found this. Kinda hard to see, but on the left of each of these three cyborgs is, wait for it, the Marathon symbol, in all its glory.

Check it out, the direct link to the movie is "http://ww2.netnitco.net/users/panime/videos/sdprod-spriggan2vid.mpg"

and the actual movie page is "http://ww2.netnitco.net/users/panime/videos.html"

It's a 44.7 (yeah..) MB movie, so either leave it overnight or have a high speed connection.

Not too too many 'thon reference, except for the symbol, some kickass cyborgs, and some evil cyborg dude hooked up to the planed more than the Pfhor leader.

Now, if only I could find the actual VHS movie...

You'll find the Marathon-like symbols at 58 seconds into the movie. Here's a quick screen capture of the relevant scene. As Luke says the movie is big but if you have a fast line you might find it fun (lots of gun action).

Oct 19, 2000 (Thursday)

Interesting post on halo.bungie.org concerning Marathon/Halo related literature. Here's the full text:

Re: Halo-related Literature
Posted By: monkiboi <jacob_aberg@excite.com>
Date: 18 Oct 2000, 09:32

In Response To: Re: Halo-related Literatture (Carth)

Larry Niven's and Jerry Pournelle's Footfall also has some quite Marathon-like references in it, and the second chapter is called "Arrival"! Someone get Hamish!

The works of Larry Niven should be no stranger to Story page fans (see Greg Kirkpatrick's comments from 1996). Footfall (1985) by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle is a first contact/invasion Earth type story. Just as we had to repel the Pfhor from the UESC Marathon so too must Earth repel the invasion of the Thukthunthp (elephant-like aliens) from the planet. "Look out, the snouts are coming!" or should we now say... "Look out, the Covs are coming!".

"jackpot"?!!! Another Marathon cheat code revealed? According to IGN's GameSages site you can get the following Code for Marathon:

All weapons
Type "jackpot" during game. (A tone confirms correct entry.) Type "all" to access all weapons.
Submitted by Me

And to think that Bungie had tried to keep this hidden from us all this time. But we did find out about the BUTTHEAD code... right? ;-)

Oct 18, 2000 (Wednesday)

Marathon 2: Durandal - Become a murderous slave.

This title blurb caught my eye at ZDNet Australia in their software downloads library. While technically correct it's certainly a provocative description. ;-)

Setting the facts straight. James Klauder <JKlauder@excite.com> writes:

I was perusing the M1 manual the other day and had a look at the last section, "The First Marathon." This section had some inaccuracies. What is said here is that a fellow named Phidippides ran 26.2 miles from the Plain of Marathon to Athens, where he announced the Greek victory over Darius I of Persia. Then Phidippides died. This is nice and dramatic, but there is no ancient historical evidence that the runner died at all. In fact, the story of this run doesn't emerge in any existing text for over fifty years, and in that account (Plutarch's Moralia), the runner was not even Phidippides, but rather some Greek chap named either Eukles or Thersippus. The real Phidippides (according to Herodotus) actually made a more impressive run before the battle, running from Athens to Sparta (233 km) in two days, to enlist the aid of the Spartan army (who showed up too late, anyway).

Apparently you can blame Lucian (2nd century Greek satirist) for this.

Oct 17, 2000 (Tuesday)

Making Marathon more... err... sexy. Red Pimpernipple (full name censored) <rpimp@ees.eesc.com> writes:

I wanted to inform you that a long dead link has finally become live again.

Former dead link :

Title: Bacteria Joe Creative Marathon Page
old URL: http://www.bacteriajoe.com/marathon/
new URL: http://marathon.bacteriajoe.com

It has been a long frustrating task just to get the site up because of all the idiots that I had to deal with in the Detroit area. What is up and available is basically my few pages from 4 or 5 years ago. I plan to con- tinue my work and create more perversions for the game.

Great to see this page back. Check that extra (less obvious) link. Parental discretion required.

Staying on somewhat the same theme check out the latest update on the Marathon Scenario News page. Should have Alexander Seropian turning is his... bed. ;-)

Some chain pulling on the Pathways Into Darkness page today!

Muhsin Miski <mmiski@macpunk.com> writes:

Yesterday I was watchin' the Halo trailer for the billionth time, just to check out Apple's new QuickTime player, and I just remembered the part where the dropship was about to land and the leader of the squad said "dust off" to indicate the time period when the "hog" is detached and the dropship is ready to depart from the dropzone. Er... I may be wrong on that, but you get the general idea from the term.

Now, I also happened to watch Aliens that same night, where they too had a dropship, but an APC was being rolled out upon landing. Lo and behold the leader of the squad mentions "dust off" before the landing sequence. Not only that, he said he wanted a "clean dispersal," much like how they say "clean, tight dispersal" in the Halo trailer. All these terms were said during the same stages of their missions. Coincidence?

Just for the record, the standard issue assualt rifles seen in Aliens look very similar to that of Halo's. A picture can be found at http://www.geocities.com/usc_marines/pulse.jpg.

Oct 16, 2000 (Monday)

Whoa!... the Pathways Into Darkness finally gets an updated. But not with the answer to the Yellow Crystal puzzle. No sir. This update has maps galore, tons of secrets, and the "You've never been here" area.

The Big House at marathon.bungie.org gets a welcomed facelift thanks to Claude Errera. The page now sports some nice looking graphics. A great resource for scenario makers.

Oct 15, 2000 (Sunday)

For those who have asked about the "wall climbing black Hulks" you need to check the Marathon Secrets 1.5 entry in the Blasts from the Past section. You'll find them on secret level Level 00 "A Good Way To Die...". Just a little bit of Marathon nostalgia. One day we may even get to see them.

Updated the Cortana section with the many "Island Four" pseudonym puzzle submissions and final solution. While these were spread out in the What's New sections they are now altogether in the Cortana section. Read from Sept 28, 1999 onwards. Enjoy.

Oct 14, 2000 (Saturday)

In defiance of expectations... indeed. ;-) Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) posts his (2nd) weekly report as promised this time to the halo.bungie.org forums. I've taken the liberty of reposting it here... I do this alot right?

Matt's Halo Update 10/13/00
Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 13 Oct 2000, 20:45

In defiance of expectations, I'm actually writing this update thingy. And this week it's at bungie.org, because I love those guys. At some point I'm going to have to decide on a permanent home for these dispatches. Actually I have one in mind already, but I can't tell you what it is yet. :-)

- Did I mention last time that we're interviewing like mad? It's still happening.

- We've been looking at the floor plans for our new space, and things are starting to come together. Amusingly, just like the last time we moved, we completely forgot to allocate any space for a storage closet. Trying to rectify that. Lots of windows in our new space though.

- We're coming up on the end of a major engine rewrite. We're now very close to having the indoor areas kick as much ass as the outdoor areas, and consequently the game will be split more evenly between them (previously the outdoor stuff was going to seriously outweigh the indoor stuff). Whether you're outside or under a roof, in Halo things will look better than anything else out there.

- Jason is splitting his time between AI work and story work with Jaime and John. The AI stuff is still in the planning stages, but it should be very cool. The aim is to make it the most fun AI to play against (or play with, if it's on your side).

- There's also a new rasterizer in the works so we can take advantage of all the cool Xbox features. "Per-pixel everything," said Chucky, with a characteristically depraved grin.

- By the way, we're all very disappointed that none of you took the time to post a "Happy Birthday Chucky" message even though we made it a news item on www.bungie.net. Chucky's doing well, considering – right now we're much more concerned about Jason's habit of dumping his lunch on himself – but we were hoping for a little support from you guys.

- Rob assures me that my personal favorite tool of destruction, the mysterious "wall-hugging hippo," still exists. Thus we end on a high note. :-)


So we've got Happy Birthday greetings to Charles "Chucky" Gough, Jason, Jaime and John (The 3 J's) all writing the Halo story, a "secret" permanent home for Matt's weekly diary (sounds like another Bungie page in the works), and the mysterious "wall-hugging hippo". Personally I prefer wall climbing black Hulks. But you never know... you never know! ;-)

Matt also posted an Oni update on the oni.bungie.org forums. Here's the full text (yeah I'm doing it again!):

Matt's Oni Update 10/13/00
Posted By: Matt
Date: 10/13/00 8:49 p.m.

So I had this idea last week (actually the idea has been around for a while, I just didn't do anything with it until last week) that I should give you guys a regular progress report for all our titles in development (the ones that aren't secret, that is). Since Oni qualifies as one of these, and since a lot of things are happening quite rapidly with Oni right now, and since I forgot to write one up last week, it only makes sense that I give y'all a quick run-down of what's going on.

- We're at Beta 18.

- Marty just showed me one of the cutscenes with his sound work finally added. It's really choice stuff; when you get Oni, try playing with the sound off sometime to see how much atmosphere you miss when Marty's contribution is absent. NB: Please remember to turn the sound back on when you're done with that little experiment. Otherwise Marty will kill me.

- A while back we had these plans to do some cool marketing tie-ins for Oni, the sort of things we don't normally do. There was one very cool project in the works, and a few days ago a couple of us wondered "Oh yeah, whatever happened to that Oni [censored] that [censored] was doing back before we got bought out? Is that still gonna happen?" Well, it is. :-) I for one am really looking forward to it, and I expect many of you will buy more than one. On a related note, it should be a relief to some of you that Take 2 is all over this sort of thing and definitely has a marketing plan for Oni.

- Sneaking up on an enemy and using Konoko's back-breaker move is even more fun than just running up and beating the crap out of him. Joe "Fight Dirty" Staten is a big fan of stuff like this.

- The Screaming Cannon is aptly named. I remember back when we were testing Marathon 2, seeing a shotgun turn someone into Rice-A-Roni for the first time and thinking "They're gonna love this." The Screaming Cannon has the same sort of effect. :-)

- Chris Butcher said something that really impressed me: "Everyone agrees that our final level is really tough and immensely fun, but so far no two people have come up with the same strategy for finishing it." How many different ways of finishing are there? One must wonder.

- You might hear a familiar voice or two in Oni. ;-)


So we have cool marketing tie-ins for Oni (Oni GURPS perhaps... see What's New for Oct 8, 2000), a Screaming Cannon which makes Rice-A-Roni, and a tough final level. Sadly without a "save film" feature people aren't going to be able to share their in-game experiences in the same way as with Marathon and Myth.

Marathon|Rampancy Alpha 1.0 is now out. Check Marathon Rampancy for download sites. Marathon|Rampancy is a mod for UT which combines the multiplayer game design of Bungie's venerable Marathon with an all new visual style and attitude. The mod features new weapons, new physics, a redesigned HUD, a motion sensor, ammo clips, reload times, and new game types.

Oct 13, 2000 (Friday)     Whoah... Friday the 13th... gotta be bad!

Oops almost overlooked this submission in the 1000+ Story page mail backlog. Last Friday we drew attention to a cryptic "Island Four" (one of Nathan Bitner's pseudonyms) post which appeared on the halo.bungie.org forum. A number of people on the forum were quick to spot the sources of some of the text. Notably Carth and Pallor, and even Nathan himself couldn't resist helping out. Here's his second post:

Lovely Lyca
Posted By: Island Four < Island_Four@yahoo.com>
Date: 3 Oct 2000, 8:04 p.m.

In Response To: Re: My Return (Carth)

> "Tonight [puedo] write the verse but unhappy at she. "
> hmm... who's puedo? this online translator sucks. i coulda

Very poor translator. There is a Chilean poet rolling over in his grave as I speak.


Ah, Lovely Lyca ... Most of the sorrows of the earth humans cause for themselves.

Look up at the sky. Ask yourselves: Is it yes or no?

Where I live, everything is small.

And if you know God be not therefore a solver of riddles. Trust the dreams - they are the gate to eternity. From the greatest silence, I will return.

- Island Four

So quotes from William Blake (again) and the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Now Devin O'Reilly <psuedodevin@yahoo.com> writes:

Speed Kills is another Smashing Pumpkins reference; it's the title of a bside on the Stand Inside Your Love single.

Smashing Pumpkins! Well that's Nathan for you. ;-)

But back to Pablo Neruda. Pablo Neruda (pen-name of Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, 1904-73) won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971 "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams". Hmmm... "destiny and dreams". The line "Esta noche puedo escribir los versos mas triste sobre ella." from Nathan's post is a reference to Poem 20 of Neruda's early classic "Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada" ("Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair"). The poem begins "Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche" ("Tonight I can write the saddest lines" - translations do differ). An editorial review at amazon.com had this to say about the book "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair":

The 20 love poems of the title poignantly describe remembered affairs with two women: a girl from the poet's native town of Temuco and a classmate at the University of Santiago. The collection begins with intensity, describing sensual passion that slackens into melancholy and detachment in the later verses. The closing poem, "A Song of Despair," hopelessly dwells upon bitter emotions.

Hmmm... "melancholy" and "despair". Also interesting to note that Pablo Neruda is noted for translating the works of William Blake and William Shakespeare.

So what was Nathan's "Island Four" post all about? Idle amusement or some subtle clue to the plot of Halo? As Nathan says: "The search is not for the makers, but for the meaning. Always remember this. Many haven't."

Jordan Woodruff <jordan@llano.net< writes:

This has probably been sent in, but I just thought I'd point out that Ian Pitcher along with the AlephOne team has released a version of AlephOne that runs on Windows! I downloaded and tested the exe this morning while I was at work and everything runs just fine. Now if the build just had networking support.....

Mars as habitable as Canada? Sarwat Khan <sarwat@smtp.interlog.com> writes:

I thought you may find this interesting:


Particularly amusing since I'm Canadian :)

As always, there's some interesting posts at threshold 5.

Max Etchemendy <mxetch@yahoo.com> writes:

There has been a lot of talk about how assault rifle bullets are normally quite a bit smaller than pistol rounds. But this is definitely NOT true in the case of the M.75 and MA-75B. The Marathon manual tells us that the M.75 "fires 600 rounds per minute of .75 caliber shells." So it does indeed fire these enormous rounds. (I don't think something with that kind of caliber has been used in a small arm since the days of firelock muskets, but I could be wrong...this is a BIG gun!) Judging by the gigantic magazine on the M.75, it really does hold 52 of those huge shells. But the manual is also consistent with the comments about how high velocity assault rifle bullets are. It tells us that the AR fires "rounds of high velocity ammunition." Although we do know that its lack of teflon coating as well as its poor manufacturing causes its inaccuracy.

Oct 12, 2000 (Thursday)

Marathon and Quicktime 5. Raul Bonilla <biomeca@hotmail.com> writes:

Apple still got a lot of job to do with QuickTime's 5 new MIDI synthesizer. You can barely hear the background music, even at max. volume - an it still sound funny. The M1 Music patch for QT4 that you posted on your site some months ago works fine, but doesn't fix the volume problem. Same thing happens if you open any MIDI file on the new QuickTime Player (which sports the same interface as it's OS X buddy). I'm sending my bug report right... now.

Robert Zimmermann (aka Cyberbob) <robzim@gmx.net> writes:

more chater about marathon:ressurection - frogblast and marathon:rampancy working together

On the same note check out these Marathon related Unreal sites:

Frogblast:The Ventcore Project
Marathon Resurrection
Marathon Rampancy

And this Marathon related Half-Life site:


Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes:

Although the work on Marathon Arena (the Marathon-to-Q3 conversion we hosted) has stopped, the team has just made the source code to date available (and the latest alpha build, playable in Q3 Arena, should be available in the future).


Tom Vansinden <TVansinden@earthtech.com> has been keeping an eye on The Conversatron and notes that Durandal (and Tycho) have been gaining something of a reputation for themselves. He spotted two recent conversations at:



Only one of these made it to the archives it seems. See:


The better one "10772.html" has strangely disappeared. Tom also found this Tycho related one:


Let's talk... weapons. Aengus Carr <imonfire@spacewar.com> writes:

Leland's breakdown of the differences between rifle and pistol ammunition left out a few important details. First, comparing a .22 round to a 5.56mm (.223 caliber) round isn't really a good way to go about it. While they have almost the same caliber, the 5.56 round is almost twice as long, and the bullet itself is crimped into a casing which has a diameter of almost 50% more than the actual bullet. Not too mention that the 5.56 has several times the amount of powder in the cartridge that a .22 does.... Caliber is only one measurement of a bullet. The length of the bullet and the amount of explosive are very important in determining the uh, effect of imapct. Pistol rounds generally (a more informed gun-nut can correct me here, but...)have a travel speed of somewhere between 700 and 1000 Feet per second. A rifle bullet will have something closer to 2500 fps to 3200 fps (M-16 shooting 5.56). A 9mm is somewhat close to the caliber of a 30-06, but personally, I would rather be shot by the 9mm! My main point though, is that most rifles will do far more hideous damage to a target than a pistol, due to the characteristics of the cartridge: caliber, total size of bullet, and amount of powder.

That being said... When the man with the pistol meets the man with the rifle, only Clint Eastwood will survive...


Butch Massoni <bmass@ibm.net> writes:

not sure if this has ever been discussed, but after reading all the posts re: vacuum, i can tell you that a conventional blow-back operated pistol will work fine underwater. for example, a classic colt 1911 variation, operates via blow-back, not gas. the weapon functions using the recoil of the expended cartridge to eject the spent cartridge and grab the next one from a magazine and chamber it.

this was done in a swimming pool at a soldier of fortune convention in las vegas some years ago. the gun worked fine...the .45 caliber slug didn't go but about 10' under water, but nonetheless, the weapon functions under water. now, you wouldn't want to try this while having yer head under water!

Nick Martinolich <fett102@hotmail.com> writes

Here is an exerpt from Future Noir: The Making of BLade Runner

...measures Leon's emotions by involuntary fluctuations of the iris, capillary dialation (blush response), and changes in body chemistry (pheromones), sniffed out by its black, pumping bellows. The Question Holden asks are designed to provoke an empathic response, which replicant presumably have difficulty imitating.

The eyes did glow sometimes, the main reason for this, I believe, is for one scene where Deckard's eyes glow hinting he is a replicant.

The movie was made in 1982 not 1984

I know this isn't Marathon related, but I had to do Blade Runner justice.

Oct 11, 2000 (Wednesday)

Testing time! Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) <JMChavez@aol.com> writes:

New QT5 preview, avaliable here:


I noticed the following at a review done at macintouch.com

Apple has upgraded QuickTime Musical Instruments virtual MIDI synthesizer in Version 5 with an entirely new music synth. Providing support for DLS files and SoundFonts, the new software, like its predecessor, is based on instruments created by Roland.

Not having Marathon or the QT5 preview installed on my machine here, I can't say myself, but I wonder how Marathon's midi music plays on the new QT.

I'm sure someone will take the plunge.

If anyone is willing to take the plunge please let the Story page know. Thanks. I'd love to have the old music back without the need for patching. See the Music section for details on how to currently get the Marathon music back under Quicktime 3 and 4.

The eyes have it. Nikolaus Wegner <nwegner@home.com> writes:

The Voight-Kampff machine measures pupil dilation reaction rates, not reflectivity (at least in the book). Whatever other effects there are are probably not anything to do with this because owls' eyes are highly reflective naturally, and I don't think that they would put contacts on the actors (it was in ~1984, they probably couldn't do that!).

Here is part of the Blade Runner script (1982 US Theatrical Release of Blade Runner) in which the Voight-Kampff test is described:

Tyrell: Is this to be an empathy test? Capillary dilation of the so-called blush response? Fluctuation of the pupil? Involuntary dilation of the iris?

Deckard: We call it Voight-Kampff for short.

Max Etchemendy <mxetch@yahoo.com> writes:

Just in response to Tim Branin's comments: First of all, I have to apologize for my previous statement about rocket fuels. Tim is correct: rocket fuels do require oxygen (I do believe that fusion rockets are still an exception, but I'm assuming that fusion reactors are a tad bit expensive to fit into a rocket), so I'd better rephrase what I said; I meant to say that all liquid-fuel chemical rockets internally burn a mixture of fuel and oxidizer, expelling the resulting hot gas. The main point being that they =do= have their own built-in oxygen supply. Similarly, gunpowder requires oxygen, but as Bradley Attfield said earlier all ingredients necessary for combustion (including oxygen) are contained inside the cartridge. The question in both cases is why 28th century weapons manufacturers would not include an oxidizing agent in rockets/bullets when they've been included in cheap and effective projectiles for nearly a millenium (from the 28th century point of view, of course).

Forrest Cameranesi <forrest@bungie.org> writes:

Tim Branin mentioned that rockets carry their own oxygen to power their reactions. Thing is, many rockets use a hydrogen-oxygen reaction in the first place. Also, chemical rockets don't quite work on the same principles as normal file. Sodium and chloride will explode without any oxygen. You won't get licking flames, but you will get a big energy release.

Leland Tankersley <leland@tridsys.com> writes:

Regarding Tim Branin's comment on yesterday's [9th] Story page:

"...it seems to me that an assault rifle would carry larger bullets and shoot them with a greater force than a pistol"

This is not generally true. Modern assault rifles typically fire 5.56mm (or sometimes 7.62mm) ammunition. By comparison, a .22 pistol fires a round that is 0.22 inches in diameter, or about 5.8mm, and obviously more powerful handguns like the 9mm or .44 fire still larger bullets (9 and ~11.2mm).

Assault rifles fire smaller rounds primarily so you can carry more of them (in a clip, or on your person). However, they have a higher rate of fire, higher velocity and significantly greater accuracy. (Of course, in Marathon accuracy is dramatically _worse_ with the rifle.)

Dan Hembry <chlazza@hotmail.com> writes:

I figured I'd add my two cents in an area I know something about. (Heh.)

Concerning the rifle/pistol/shotgun ammo: I believe that currently in modern firearms the propellant used is actually a form of nitroglycerin, a high explosive. High explosives have no need for any kind of oxidizer because a high explosive is one that 'decomposes', releasing energy originally stored in chemical bonds in the material. This decomposition in turn releases a lot rapidly expanding hot gases and propels the projectile. However, if the UESC and/or Durandal went back to the old form of gun powered it would still probably work in a vacuum. Original gunpowder is a low explosive; that is, it burns instead of decomposing. Low explosives work by burning very fast, again creating a whole lot of pressure behind the projectile really quickly, and thus propelling it. However, in order to burn that fast, or in the confines of the bullet casing it needs a big supply of oxygen. There is no way that the amount of air needed could get into a casing, even if the bullet was already traveling down the barrel (overlooking the fact that in order to get the bullet moving you would need an oxygen source anyway). The oxygen source is actually mixed in with the burning material (generally a form of carbon or sulfur) in the form of an oxidizer (in the notorious blackpowder its saltpeter or sodium nitrate).

In response to Tim Branin and the rockets: true, fire can't exist without some sort of oxygen supply. For solid fuel rocket engines the same things applies as for the original gunpowder I talked about above. That‚s why they carry their own oxidizer as well as fuel (both in solid form), and can work in no atmosphere. We don't see solid fuel rockets in space much because they're a one shot deal. Liquid fuel engines can be refueled and reused, making them relatively cheap, for one thing.

Now the only problem is that can the weapon physically work without an atmosphere if the ammunition does? My explanation is that the AR uses a gas operated cycling system to load the next round. This would explain why it doesn't work in a vacuum (too little pressure) or underwater (flooded tubing). The SMG, on the other hand, uses a recoil-operated cycling system. Not only would this cut down on the inaccuracy apparent in the MA-75B and its predecessor, but it would also put it to good use. Clever design by Durandal maybe? :) The SMG would obviously work in a vacume, and it would also probebly work under water. If memory serves, a version of the Glock works under water, and is also recoil operated. If the Glock could do it, the KKV-7 could do it.

Nick Martinolich <fett102@hotmail.com> writes:

On the subject of the marathon elevator..
In an episode of Ed, Edd, and Eddy (cartoon on Cartoon Network) when the build a tree house the have an elevator and it has the Marathon elevator sound.

Oct 10, 2000 (Tuesday)

Fantasy Siege is DEAD... sort of. Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) in a halo.bungie.org forum post explains how the name Fantasy Siege (allegedly the name of Bungie's top secret game) came about. Here's the text:

Re: Whose idea was it?
Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 9 Oct 2000, 17:59

In Response To: Whose idea was it? (Narcogen =PN=)

> Makes me wince, too, Matt.

> Who came up with this?

Near as we can tell, Ed Fries said something about "a fantasy siege game" which then transmogrified through the magic of the press into "Fantasy Siege." It wasn't anyone's idea; it was somebody's mistake. :-)


But sometimes the tru7h is stranger than... well... the truth. Ed Fries didn't just say something about a "a fantasy siege game" he was actually quoted as saying that the name of the new game was "Fantasy Siege" in a Next Generation magazine article. Miguel Chavez (aka Freewill) actually scanned the article and posted it to the rampancy.net forum. Here's the link to the old post. I've also uploaded the magazine scan here. Here's the relevant part of the text:

For two years running Bungie has wowed the crowds at
E3 with the astonishing Halo, and according to Fries,
"What is even more impressive is Fantasy Siege - a totally
different type of game running on the same engine. The
engine is very important thing to us and is a huge part of
the deal."

So either Next Generation misquoted Ed Fries, or Ed was wrong <gasp>, or Bungie's new game WILL be called "Fantasy Siege" cause Mr. Fries SAID so!

The MS page will return you to your normal schedule shortly...

Oct 9, 2000 (Monday)

Raul Bonilla <biomeca@hotmail.com> writes:

As yet another Mac OS X Public Beta tester, I fall into the "let's-see-what's compatible-under-Classic" fever and one of the first things I tried was, of course, Marathon. I'm sending you screenshots of Anvil, Forge and the Trilogy. They're 100% compatible with the TruBlueEnvironment (they even run <drool>faster</drool>). I also tested Pathways Into Darkness with the same results, but Grab doesn't work well with 256 colors (it gives you a blank screenshot) and when I change the screen resolution all the Pathways windows went blank and it told me to switch back to 256 colors. Myth II doesn't like Classic.

Raul sent in some screen captures of Marathon (97K), Marathon 2 (121K), Infinity (85K), Forge (208K), and Anvil (213K). You know how the Story page always wants proof. ;-)

Matthew Bray <braym8@cs.man.ac.uk> writes:

They must have the title wrong, i'm sure this is an old image. http://www.gamasutra.com/features/artist_gallery/craig_mullins/work2.htm

Yup this Gamasutra feature on Craig Mullins was mentioned back in Jan 22, 2000 (see the What's New section). The reference to Marathon 3 while technically misleading serves a non-Marathon audience. Marathon Infinity was the third game in the series but the solo game "Blood Tides of Lh'owon" was originally billed as a scenario rather than Marathon 3. What is interesting about the pic is the accompanying text:

I wanted the ambiguity of not knowing the releationship between the marine and the broken alien pod ship. Is he administering first aid? Making sure it is dead? Scavenging? Destroying vital information? I think it is more interesting when you can let the viewer read into things a little. This one was used in the game.

This is a slightly expanded version of the text that appears on Graig's "Goodbrush" page. See the Printed Images section. The text reads:

For Bungie's Game Marathon. The player is doing something to a fallen comrade/enemy, either helping or scavenging. It is more interesting to allow the viewer to read into an image somewhat.

While this image appears as a chapter screen in Marathon Infinity the darkness of the image (on my screen anyway) makes it difficult to see the box and the cables connecting in to it. As Graig says - what the marine is doing is left to the imagination of the player. A cropped version of the pic also features on the cover of the Marathon Scrapbook. Another interesting tidbit about this pic is that it was in fact part of a much larger piece of artwork. The pic was cropped to make two chapter screens ("Despair" and "Envy"). This was originally highlighted by the now defunct BungieRumors (see the What's New section for May 5, 1998). Well BungieRumors maybe gone but here is a screenshot of that original news item (120K).

More weapon comments. Tim Branin <Sonofhydra@aol.com> writes:

As long as we're talking about weapons in vacuum, I'd like to clear up a few things. Previously Max stated that all rocket fuels work in vacuum. This is wrong, fire cannot exist without oxygen, that's why space bound rockets have oxygen pumped into them along with the fuel to create the explosion necessary for jet propulsion. Of course missiles designed for military purposes would not need there own oxygen source. As for pistols and assault rifles perhaps pistol rounds have prepackaged oxygen. Anyway, I'd also like to point out a few other things, when Durandul was redesigning the assault rifle why didn't he incorporate some of the Pfhor trooper rifle technology into it, I mean he can pilot a ship with an FTL drive, but not make an assault rifle that can work in vacuum. One more thing, I find it strange that a pistol round does more base damage than an assault rifle round, it seems to me that an assault rifle would carry larger bullets and shoot them with a greater force than a pistol.

Abhaya Hess <doctordude26@yahoo.com> writes:

I seriously doubt that the assault rifle was specifically designed without vacuum capability. It is very unlikely that they would go to all that trouble to prohibit its use just to help prevent a rebellion. After all, there are other guns that are vacuum enabled that are at least as effective if not more (such as the SMG :-) Also, I don't think that the "vacuum crime rate" is so terribly high that this precaution of gun control must be taken.

Oct 8, 2000 (Sunday)

Oni GURPS? It's a seeeeeee-cret. Jon "I got a Marathon's Story page t-shirt" Chang <grind@pop.superlink.net> writes:

Steve Jackson games has a want ad for an anime style artist on their site Oct. 8 2k. A few months back as you'll no doubt remember Zartman was hanging around Steve Jackson games and showing off some cool stuff to them....

At first I had hoped for HALO gurps but could it be Oni instead?

Here's their post:

"If you know anime and can illustrate like a "Manga Master," we may have some work for you. We are not ready to announce the project yet . . . it's a high-profile deal that will launch in 2001. For more info, write to our Art Director, Phil Reed, at phil@sjgames.com. For fast response, include URLs or attach files so he can see your work. And no, he won't tell you what the project is until you sign a contract. It's a seeeeeee-cret."

See http://www.sjgames.com/ill/

Interesting find. See the Story page's What's New section for Feb 5, 2000 for details on the original news item. You'll also find it on Steve Jackson's Daily illuminator page here (Feb 1, 2000).

Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes concerning Garth Melnick's submission on Blake's eye patch:

There is a flaw with this reasoning. Specifically, I think that Garth is comparing two different entities here: Robert Blake, a BOB, and the figure in the foreground of the "Simulacrums" chapter screen, who I believe is a sim. What's the evidence for this? The glowing red eye in the chapter screen is meant to correlate with the simulacrum dissection image in the second terminal of This Side Toward Enemy. In both of these images, the red eye is the left one. Additionally the image of the BOB's ocular implant in the first terminal of What About Bob? does not show any glowing red. Rather, they are an opaque grey. This can also be seen in the BOBs relaxing in the image from terminal one of Come and Take Your Medicine and the BOBs that appear in the game. I have attached an image with the relevant parts of the terminal screens. I see the "Simulacrums" chapter screen as a foreboding image of a sim in the midst of a group of humans who are unaware of the imminent danger it represents. The glowing eye is an artistic way of stressing the artificiality of the figure.

Also, eyes have an history of indicating authenticity in science fiction. In "The Terminator" one of the first visual indications of the true nature of the terminator is the injury and removal of his human eye, revealing the glowing red robotic eye beneath it. In "Blade Runner" eyes are a running theme in the film. A close examination of the eye with the Voight-Kampff machine is used to test if someone is human or a replicant. Several times in the film the eyes of replicants glow or are overly reflective (including those of an artificial owl), showing their difference from regular humans.

Ross Wolfe (aka Cpt. Sqweky) <eternalwar@hotmail.com> writes:

1. I saw this just tonight. On Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda, you can hear the elevator sound right at the beginning were the escape pods are being sent out into space. It's the lowering elevator sound, (you know, where it sounds like air decompressing.)

2. I havn't seen this personally, but a friend of mine attestses to it. On the X-files, there's anepisode where Mulder and Scully are in some sort of virtual reality game, and are going down an elevator, and the Marathon elevator sound is heard.

Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> points out that there are new maps at the Marathon Archives:

...a solo novelty map and a water-based netmap.


Thanks to all those who pointed out that Drako3 is in fact Ian McConville of Marathon Red fame. Thanks for the pic Ian.

Oct 7, 2000 (Saturday)... mmm... 7...

Concerning my recent exploits to keep the Story page updated (by using my old disused office) Ian McConville <Drako3@aol.com> writes:

Did you say, Matrix?

Here... I finally have something meaningful to hand over. It's not a story bit or a random blurb on ammo.... heh... just look... and giggle.

LOL... nice one! :-)

Regular updates from Matt Soell on Bungie's games in development?!!! Yeah right... get real! No wait he said so! In a "non-existent' post on rampancy net Matt Soell gave an account of a "week in the life" of Bungie Studios. I've taken the liberty of reprinting it here so that we have the evidence to beat Matt with next Friday! ;-)

Hey Matt! Oh wait, that's me.

Technically this post cannot exist because everyone knows I never post to Rampancy.net. :-)

Another slow news week draws to an end, and nothing new to chew on. What to do?


- Interviewing and hiring continues. We've picked up a few really good and very necessary people in the last few weeks. Microsoft reworked our area a few weeks ago to fill up the dead space with usable cubicles, and it looks like most if not all of them will be filled by the time we move to our new digs. (And before this shows up on the web somewhere with the headline MICROSOFT TURNS BUNGIE INTO SWEATSHOP or something equally inane, let me make myself clear: we asked for this, and we're no more cramped than we were before. The halls between the cubicles are a little narrower, iz all.)

- Max and I are thinking about Icons, Trivia, the Store, Source, Catch Phrases, Relational Databases, Two-Way Communication and a bunch of other stuff. What do these things mean and will they pan out? We - rather, you - shall see.

- The stuff that gets thrown around the lunch tables here is pretty exciting, especially when you're dining with Halo team folks and they talk about the story. So much is left to do, but it's like seeing da Vinci with an empty canvas or Nelson Algren with a fresh ream of blank typing paper: you know from what has come already that the work that is to come will be immensely satisfying. Unfortunately much of what we're doing these days is talking, conceptualizing, revising, figuring things out - all the intellectual grunt work that must come before we can get to the fun part of showing the results of that labor to the world. Although little bits of coolness may leak out from time to time. ;-)

- In weeks to come expect some sort of regular updates for all the games we have in development. The where and how will probably change, but I'll make sure you guys have SOMETHING new to think about, or at least a general idea of what we're up to, once a week or so - probably on Fridays so I can sum up the week that's just ended.

- Phrase of the day: "Microsoft Tasta Mo Lika Bungie Spice." And no, this doesn't necessarily make sense. But it doesn't need to.


Mike Cramer <kiodane@yahoo.com> writes:

Ok, I admit that the NeoGeo pic wasn't much, but I saw a review on Gamespot that just blew my mind.

Dark Reign is this 3D strategy game and it bears a symbol freakishly similar to the Marathon Logo. The included images (one smaller & cropped) are from the Activision site. (http://www.activision.com/games/dr2/). The symbol is apparently for a faction in the game, but looks like someone just took a bite out of the top of the Marathon symbol.


Robert Blake and that elusive eye patch. Did he have one or not? Garth Melnick <Garth.B.Melnick@directory.reed.edu> writes:

I was poking through the Robert Blake page and noticed that people had decided he didn't have an ocular implant. I went back and looked at the images of Jason-Jones-as-Blake, and I'm of the opinion that there is an implant on Blake's left eye. I've attached a picture that is pretty self-explanatory (photographic evidence!), but there are a few points I'd like to add.

The chapter screens may be innacurate, i.e. Blake wearing a green uniform versus a blue one. Similarly, he doesn't have an implant on his left eye in the 'Blake' chapter screen. My explanation is that either the chapter screen or the other images of Blake are horizontally flipped -- note in the chapter screen, his _left_ eye is in shadow.

The only problem with this is that my primary justification is the 'Simulacrums' chapter screen pic, and if we can't accept the veracity of the chapter screens 100% ... =)

The other Jason-Jones-as-Blake images allow for the possibility of an implant. There are some suggestions, but nothing as concrete as shown here.

Let me know if I've overlooked something, it's quite possible.

Hoping to stimulate discussion if nothing else,

On the subject of Bussard ramjets Justin Ancheta <jancheta@mail.sprint.ca> writes:

Just a little contribution to the ramjet discussion; I think it's already been pointed out but the use of Bussard Ramjets is also seen in Star Trek, especially in The Next Generation. curiously enough, the ramjets on board the Enterprise-D aren't funnel shaped, (like the funnel-shaped appendage on the Marathon) but are carried on the Enterprise in the shape of curved, glowing red end caps on the front ends of the warp nacelles. The fact that they are seen on almost every class of Federation starship (even the early Exeter-class ships) suggests that they are standard Starfleet equipment on starships; unlike that of a direct propulsion use, in the ST:TNG universe they are mainly used as backup fuel sources used to gather hydrogen (deuterium) for use in the Warp core.

there are even situations in the show in which the Bussard is used in reverse; to expel hydrogen gases instead of gathering them.

On the issue of weapons and vacuum Elbert Wall <elbertdw@radiks.net> writes:

Maybe it is a form of gun control. Having a gun that is not vacuum enabled puts a limit on where and when it can be used. It could stifle armed uprisings or crime.

Similarly Edmund Wilfong <DevianC@aol.com> writes:

The high powered weapons often don't work in vacuums. I would tend to think that this is because, in event of civil unrest aboard a vessel the rioters would be "pacified" by being introduced to hard vac. They'd simply evacuate the atmostphere and let the civvies dive for space-suits. Those that made it would have guns whose ammunition didn't work or wasn't powerful enough to penetrate the combat-suits of the guards who wielded the (rarer and more closely guarded) Fusion Guns.

Oct 6, 2000 (Friday)

Added The Marathon Comic to the Blasts from the Past section. If you haven't seen the comic it's worth a look.

In case you missed it Nathan Bitner (former Producer and Creative Developer of Halo) paid another visit to the HBO forums in the guise of Island Four. This is what he had to say:

My Return
Posted By: Island Four <Island_Four@yahoo.com>
Date: 3 Oct 2000, 17:12

Island Four returns, not with a vengeance, but with a warning.

Esta noche puedo escribir los versos mas triste sobre ella.

I will not let them ruin me.

I have regretted my long absence.

You will hear more from me. If you're lucky. =)

Speed Kills, but only the weak. The search is not for the makers, but for the meaning. Always remember this. Many haven't.

- Island Four


"In futurity
I prophetic see
That the Earth from sleep
(Grave the sentence deep)

Shall arise and seek
For her maker meek ..."


"'Lost in desart wild
Is your little child'".


Cryptic as always. Check the full forum thread for the source of much of the above text. It's not clear if Nathan is returning to Halo in any official capacity.

Moved the latest weapons discussion to the Weapons section. More to come...

Might have to start a new section on Bussard ramjets! ;-) Alan Greene <alan.greene@pop.mindspring.com> asks:

So is that what the lampshade-shaped object is on the front of the Marathon, a Bussard ramjet hydrogen-collecting device?

That's my interpretation. Looks like a radar but most likely a ram scoop.

Chris Hebner <chebner@erinet.com> writes:

Finn Smith wrote a pretty good speil there, but a Ramjet can't get more than about 25% the speed of light. There is drag scooping up the fuel, and you eventually can't pick up enough fuel to go faster (it take near infinite energy to speed an object up to light speed).

Michael Ash <mikeash@csd.uwm.edu> writes:

Although a theoretically perfect ramjet could theoretically accelerate forever, as Finn Smith said today, there are practical problems to that idea. A normal rocket does not need its exhaust to exceed its own speed. This is a simple application of Newton's laws. If your rocket is going 20,000km/h and its exhaust speed is only 10,000km/h, the rocket still accelerates. With a ramjet, however, you're picking up the fuel from space. In this case, the top speed of your craft is equal to the exhaust speed, since at that point you're spending as much energy slowing down your fuel as you get from speeding it back up as you shoot it out the back.

Michael (Call me Carl) Watson <mikey-sanSPAMMERS@AREbungieSPAZEROIDS.org> writes:

Uh-oh. You're about to confuse a lot of people with Finn's email.

"Theoretically, if you run a ramjet long enough you can approach the speed of light (although then you start dealing with the time dilation effects of relativity). "

This is a very misleading statement, and in need of some elaboration. I'll see if I can give some clarity to what Finn is talking about.

First, what Finn does _not_ mean is that the ship will reach the speed of light. (At least, I hope that isn't what he means.)

Let's imagine a man in a rocket. We'll call him Durandal. Let us also imagine a man, an observer, on the ground. We'll call him Tycho. Before we can begin, we need to define a frame of reference. We'll use Tycho's rest frame as an inertial reference frame as the source of our observations. (Unless otherwise noted.)

(Note: I'm not about to go into the all-too-famous "twin paradox." I use Tycho merely as a reference frame.)

Durandal leaves Lh'owon in his rocket. As Durandal approaches the speed of light (c), he begins really experiencing what's known as time dilation. (Remember, we're observing from Tycho's frame of reference!) Let's explain this dilation effect before continuing.

In our relativistic universe, you cannot move through space without moving through time. Imagine a two-dimensional grid. The x-axis represents the three axes of space, and the y-axis represents time. A line will represent our movement through spacetime.

Velocity, as we all know, is a value of distance traveled versus the time elapsed during the traveled distance. As you travel your distance, you move horizontally (on our graph) towards your destination. "Time dilation" refers to the slowing of time as you move through space. On our graph, if we move a great distance horizontally, and taken very little time to do it, our velocity is said to be high. Little time elapsed in our long, long journey. This is an effect of the high velocity (the definition of velocity becomes a qualification for the dilation) of our travel.

Back to Lh'owon.

Durandal is coasting along in his trusty ship, "Boomer." Tycho is monitoring him from his terminal on Lh'owon. As Tycho sees Durandal's velocity begins approaching near-c values, and after accounting for any Doppler-shifting of the signals, he notices Boomer's clock running slower than the clocks on Lh'owon. Tycho measures the distance traveled by Durandal (d), and compares it with the time it took him to cover d as measured by the clocks on Boomer. Tycho realizes that Durandal's moving at the speed of light! It isn't Tycho, either. To Durandal, it's the opposite, but to the same ends. To Durandal, his time hasn't dilated by a factor x, but the space he's traveling has _contracted_ by a factor x. Different effects, same outcome.

"What the f@#%!?"

The error is in the method of observation. While there isn't anything incorrect with this, we have to realize that Tycho has used the distance traveled in one reference frame (his) and the time elapsed in another (Durandal's).

In short, velocity is dependent on the observer, but it is impossible for a massive object (any object with rest (invariant) mass) to reach the speed of light in any reference frame.


Oct 4, 2000 (Wednesday)

"Freeze, Police. Hands on your head. Do it. Do it now." (109K). The lengths we go to to keep the Story page updated! ;-)

Tilo Probst <upito.probst@t-online.de> writes:

On your FAQ-Page there is a link to "what Bungie says" (about "marathon story").
If you click the link your are getting to bungie.com, but this an empty page
("ERROR ! The file you requested is not available.")

Oh no! Another piece of Bungie history bites the dust. What did Bungie say? Well I a quick search of the Story page archives reveals a number of versions of Bungie's famous "Stuff That Rox" page. Here's one version.

Finn Smith <finn_smith@brown.edu> writes:

An interesting property of the Bussard ramjet which you didn't mention in your update today is that their ability to go faster or farther than traditional spacecraft is somewhat counter-intuitive. Normally, you need to carry a larger quantity of fuel in relation to how fast you want to go. After you have completed burning that fuel you can no longer accelerate and move at a constant speed. However, with a ramjet you start out going slowly and can continue to accelerate for the duration of your journey. This is due to the fact that the faster a ramjet goes, the more hydrogen can be collected (because your gathering "funnel" is intersecting with a greater number of molecules in the same amount of time). The more hydrogen that's collected, the faster you can go and so on. Theoretically, if you run a ramjet long enough you can approach the speed of light (although then you start dealing with the time dilation effects of relativity).

Also: the "funnel" of the ramjet is usually assumed to be an electromagnetic field which allows a much wider radius of intake than a physical structure.

Max Etchemendy <mxetch@yahoo.com>l writes:

I'm writing to just bring up a couple of things about the current discussion of weapons in vacuum.

First of all, the original Marathon manual uses some interesting terminology to describe the weapons. It uses the phrase "vacuum enabled" when talking about the .45 Magnum's ammunition, and "[not] vacuum enabled" for the M.75 Assault Rifle's ammunition. This seems to suggest that vacuum capability is the exception, not the rule, that is, it seems to imply that the pistol bullets have been =actively= enabled.

If the reason for this does lie in the chemical propellant used in the bullets, then there must be some pretty exotic fuel involved! Maybe this also explains why the rocket launcher can't be fired in vacuum--after all, every known form of rocket fuel work in vacuum as well. Why, exactly, such an inferior form of fuel would be used by the U.E.G. (particularly in a setting where vacuum and oxygen-deprived atmospheres will be commonly encountered) is a mystery, unless the fuel is either very powerful (The M.75 is said to fire "high velocity ammunition" in the Marathon manual...) or very cheap, perhaps because it is more readily available on Mars or in the Asteroid Belt whereas other fuels would have to be shipped from Earth. This seems consistent with the obvious cost-cutting and cheap manufacture that went into the creation of the M.75 line, although it is a highly far-fetched idea that reeks of 1940s B-movies--I tend to prefer the former option of a very powerful but "oxygen-hungry" fuel. Then again, maybe the Bungie people just needed a quick lesson in physics/chemistry...oops, did I say that? ;-)

Similarly Bradley Attfield <iku-turso@home.com> writes:

Just wanted to throw in my two cents about the MA-75's ammunition.

Conventional firearm ammunitions do not require ambient gaseous oxygen to operate. All of the necessary chemical components for combustion are built into the propellant. This is what makes possible the firing of +P and other loads in which the cartridge case is mostly, if not fully, filled with propellant.

What this says about the uniqueness of the MA-75's ammunition is not mine to guess, but maybe those cheap, Martian built weapons were the next step in firearms development (though I'd have to say a step backwards if ambient gaseous oxygen was required for operation.)

Oct 3, 2000 (Tuesday)

Another Matrix style update from my old disused office (Room #...

Something I thought was already mentioned on the Story page but wasn't. Mikkel Eriksen <Carthagtuek@softhome.net> writes:

was looking through old pages on the story. and when i saw the bungie's marathon ads page blurb thingie,

planetoid-sized colony ship, slightly worn, runs great. 5spd.
bussard ramjet, A/C, cruise control, power steering, power
airlocks, all orig. parts, 25GW 300 billion channel AM/FM
radio. 90+ ly (all interstellar). Moving, must sell. Asking

i thought... Hey! Bussard Ramjets are from the Known Space series (includes the Ringworld Trilogy) by Larry Niven...

While the concept of a Bussard ramjet was used by Larry Niven in his novels the name comes from R. W. Bussard, who first postulated the idea. A Bussard ramjet is a rocket engine which collects its fuel and reaction mass from the interstellar medium as it moves through space. A collecting funnel at the front of the ship gathers the sparse material of the interstellar medium (usually hydrogen nuclei) as the ship travels. These are fused into helium in a nuclear reaction, producing energy which boosts the helium exhaust out the rear of the ship at high velocity, thus providing propulsion.

Garth Melnick <Garth.B.Melnick@directory.reed.edu> writes:

On the subject of why the MA-75 cannot fire in vacuum, I noticed no one had pointed to the relevant text in the Marathon 2 Manual.

Durandal states in his weapons briefing regarding the MA-75B: (emphasis added) "[...] Still here is the _oxygen-hungry ammunition_ that makes it impossible to fire in vacuum."

So I fear I must submit that the theories regarding a problem with enough gas to cycle the action, while consistent (I certainly think they make), are at least partially inaccurate -- it's the ammo that's the problem. Cycling may well be an issue, but I'm guessing the propellant in the ammunition is of some variety that cannot react without atmospheric oxygen. I'm not a chemist, so I won't theorize futher, but I thought this worth tossing out.

Oct 2, 2000 (Monday) If things around here aren't working, it's because...

Whoah! What's up? No Story page updates for two days straight? Is this the End? Well not really. I've just moved offices (building and city location) and presently have no ftp access. This update comes via my old disused office which still has a direct connection to the net. Picture the opening scene of The Matrix and you have a good idea of the conditions this update was carried out under. Hopefully the Agents won't catch me. ;-)

Simon Christensen <simon@zeroinfinity.f2s.com> writes:

On the subject of Halo/Marathon references in the books by Peter Hamilton, I have read the first book (The Reality Dysfunction) in the trilogy which includes the Neutronium Alchemist (that's the second book). I thought you might be interested in some of the possible Marathon/Halo references in it.

Note that this could theoretically spoil the book...

First off, in the back of the book is a timeline. The first date of note is that of 2047 (note the last digit). The event this corresponds to is the 'Beginning of Earth's O'Neill Halo'. One would assume that the Halo mentioned here is similar to the Halo in Halo, especially when it later says that there was a massive starship constriction program in Earth's Halo...

Next timeline entry of note is 2103. _Thoth_ base is established. Maybe I'm pulling at straws, but Thoth was the S'pht AI... And in Hamilton's books, many bases are run by an AI (usually the AI IS the station)...

Those are the only references in the timeline.

In Hamilton's works, there is a group, the 'edenists' who use genetically engineered organisms as starships and as huge orbital habitats. These organisms are sentient, and behave much in the way of an AI. One of these habitats, which is one of the main areas where the book is set, has a sarcastic attitude, and behaves very similarly to the Marathon AI we all know and love (except for the meddling in galactic affairs and trying to become a god). It's been a while since I read the book, but I also seem to remember another of these organisms (a starship this time) which had a personality similar to Leela, but I may be imagining it.

In the book, there are people who have had their brains and other miscellaneous bodily parts replaced or augmented by Robotic gizmos. The most teched-up of these characters we see in the first book are Mercenaries. The leader of the band we see (By the name of Reza) has had his skin replaced with armouring, is armed to the teeth, and is probably more robotic than human. Does this ring any bells?

Another possible reference in the book is the planet that the 'possessed' take over, Lalonde. It reminds me of Lho'won, right down to the name. No missing clans or anything here though, although there were unexplained 'disappearances' mentioned at the beginning of the book which were never satisfactorily explained to my reckoning...

The last of the references I noticed was that of the Neutronium Alchemist. Aparently it can be used to destroy stars, much like that lovely piece of hardware, the Trih Xeem...

Jon Chang <grind@pop.superlink.net> also writes concerning Peter Hamilton:

In the Peter F Hamilton universe there are giant organic orbitals called Halo's that grow themselves complete with nested AI that can learn and develop into fully emotive beings.

They are generally set up near gas giants to harvest the HE3 from them. The Halo's are capable of ingesting matter from space (re:asteroids) extracting enriched minerals from them and then producing whatever the inhabitants of the Halo need. Including of course weapons ^_^

Eric Trageser <MaxUser007@aol.com> writes:

Little snippet I can't recall seeing elsewhere...In the second book of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Starshield series it mentions the names of several "city ships" in the mad emperor Lokan's lost fleet. Sure enough, one of them is called the Marathon. The book's copyright is May '98.

Weis and Hickman's second novel in the Starshield series is called " Nightsword". The first book in the series is called "The Mantle of Kendis-Dai". The series appears to have a Marathon/Myth feel to it. Sci-fi mixed with fantasy. Might be worth a look.

Sept 28, 2000 (Thursday)

"It's a Halo marine helmet"... "No it's not"
"Is to"... "No it isn't"
"IS"... "NOT"

The dusts settles over the controversial Oni clip (264K). No wonder Bungie had the movie removed from the web back in '98. Can't have Bungie fans at each others throats. Halo vs. Oni fans... not a pretty sight. ;-)

Here's the final page of Miha's Marathon Comic:

Marathon Comic (page 12) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 12) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Nice last page. So who's going to continue this?

Simon (full name pending) <svmarek@mail.com> writes:

I've just finished a Douglas Adams book called Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. In the book there are many references to Coleridge, a distinguished poet. A particular poem is very important in the story, and one of the lines in the poem is "A thousand thousand slimy things". Ring any bells?

I tried to find the page of Marathon Level Names and their analyses to see if this had already been noted, but I couldn't find it. If you haven't read this book I'd advise it. Apart from being very funny, it contains some particularly Marathon-esque atmosphere. As well as many references to Electric Monks etc. ;P

Electric Monks eh? A Sentinel perhaps?

Joe England <fugitive_alien@yahoo.com> writes:

In the Insane Clown Posse CD "The Amazing Jeckel Brothers," there is the sound of a pfhor fighter carcass hitting the ground. It's on track number... 7 and exactly 25 (2+5) seconds into the song. Could ICP have a thing for Marathon?

Sept 27, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick update #3

The Oni experts weigh in! Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> writes concerning the Oni clip sent in by Max Dyckhoff (below):

Just wanted to chime in on the recent Oni/Halo issue concerning the TCTF suit design. Check out http://oni.bungie.org/archives/concept_art/tctf.jpg for a concept drawing of the TCTF suit and look at the anime drawing of it at http://oni.bungie.com/gallery/images/anime/large/12.jpg

The movie clip shows that the TCTF suit has double visors like in the concept drawing and anime art. But when looking at the TCTF from the side it indeed looks similar to the recent helmet design of the Halo hero.

Keep in mind that the first Oni trailer was not full of game scenes, but all animated and rendered manually by Alex Okita et al.

Similarly Dan Rudolph <drudo7ph@iastate.edu> writes:

The guy in question (Who is a TCTF Elite) is still in the game. You can find a good picture at


The TCTF elite and both versions of the Halo Marine have a small, billish structure on their helmet, but the TCTf elite's is solid, rather than having a notch out of the middle like the Halo guys. This structure also appears on the speeder bike Storm Troopers in RotJ as well as some real motorcycle helmets.

All of these, as well as the regular TCTF guys, have gold visors but I believe that's a anti-glare thing.

The visor covers a rather large area of the face in the TCTF elite and the old Halo marine, but only the TCTF guy has the multiple-paned visor.

Overall, they aren't all that similar. No more silimar to each than they are to any number of other sci-fi helmets.

Watch the Oni clip (264K) and make your own mind up. Are the helmet similarities just a coincidence?

Quick update #2

Nathan Schneider <nathan22t@yahoo.com> writes concerning the Oni clip sent in by Max Dyckhoff (below):

I brought this up in the oni forum a while back. It is not a Halo reference. Check it out here: http://carnage.bungie.org/oniforum/oni.archive.pl?read=3957

Here's the text of Nathan's post:

Am I seeing things?
Posted By: Nathan
Date: Sun, 9 July 2000, 5:38 p.m.

Just got the unreleased trailer. This may have been noted and discussed before but here goes:

Time index 1:08.23 till 1:09.24 of the 98 mock-up film. On the left side of the movie during this time period. Doesn't this look like the Halo marine.

I realize as I watch it in slow motion that it says TCTF on its chest and it has the familiar four spikes on the knee pads, but the helmet with the gold visor looks dead on the Halo first Halo marine. The second I saw it I was reminded of the Halo marine. I suppose it could be a "TCTF" or a "TCTF Tactical" which both have gold in their visors. But I'm betting its not.

- Nathan

So did Bungie (Chicago) borrow Bungie West's TCTF look for their Halo marine or was it the other way round?

Quick update

Max Dyckhoff <max@slightly-different.com> writes:

I wonder if you remember an Oni movie from way back, in 1998. It was not officially released, it was leaked from Bungie West - I can't remember the exact story behind it, but they didn't want it released. The movie starts with a body lying on some pedestal, with light rays beaming down, and then fades to a Konoko shadow over the Oni logo.

Anyway, I got a hold of this movie aeons ago, and understandably have not let it slip from my grasp. A friend (3of9) from rampancy Hotline asked me to give it to him, and I did so. When he watched it he noticed at time index 1:08 to 1:11 there is overlaid on the left side an image of what looks VERY like the old style Halo marine.

The helmet is identical, he has the same body style. Bits of the texture are different, he has different knees from what we saw of the old style marine, and the gun is one of the Oni ones, but it is very definitely the same marine.

What this signifies I have no idea. I can't remember when Halo started production - maybe the old style marine has always just been a place holder taken from the early Oni days or maybe they just slipped it in for a laugh.

This is also the movie that has a whole load of yellow Marathon symbols on a stack of boxes towards the end, which I believe you already posted news on a long, long time ago.

I have included the clip from the movie, with sound removed, for you to look at/put up, unless you already have the movie yourself (which I have no doubt you do).

Early Halo marine in 'unreleased' Oni movie? Make you're own mind up by watching the clip here (264K). As 3of9 (and Max) point out the Halo marine's helmet and body stance are clearly evident. This movie dates from May 1998 and was first shown at Bungie's E3 booth. It was later unofficially released but quickly removed from the web on Bungie's request. See the What's New section for the period June 16-20, 1998 for some details on the movie and the Marathon references in it. So who put the early glimpse of the Halo marine in the Oni E3 movie? Bungie West? Halo wasn't officially announced until July 1999 although work had commenced on it shortly after the release of Myth. Nice find 3of9 and thanks to Max for sending it in.

Claude Errera <errera@bungie.org> writes:

I followed your "blasts from the past" link just now... and was reading over some older stuff. There are a couple of letters published in MacWorld decrying the downgrading of M2's rating because of violence.

I was struck by the name of the second author - Matt Segur. it's possible it's just a coincidence... but my guess is that that's the same Matt Segur who was later hired as a programmer (and is currently working on Halo). :)

The same Matt? Let's hope he's working on that long promised Marathon 2 updater. ;-)

Marneus Calgar <mjolnir000@yahoo.co.uk> writes:

There are yet more Marathon sounds in the trailer movie for Journeyman Project 3: Legacy of Time. During the trailer this huge clam/crab/hand like thing opens up and slams downwards and makes the L'howon background "ka-boom" noise (the one on "What About Bob?"). Also at the end there are some shield shaped ships flying around, and one of them fires and makes the S'pht'Kr firing sound.

Miha's Marathon Comic... continues:

Marathon Comic (page 11) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 11) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Sept 26, 2000 (Tuesday)

Story page down but not out. A power outage took the bungie.org server network offline for close to two days. This coupled with the fact that Marathon Central is still down and the old SMD mirror is presently offline meant that there was no Story page for the whole time. Cripes... end of days stuff.

halo.bungie.org landed a nice scoop (along with Stomped) courtesy of Bungie when they received the very funny Halo/nVidia GeForce2 GTS video card movie. This is the high quality MPG version first shown at MacWorld NY 2000 in July. Well worth the download time. Seems if you pester Bungie for long enough they eventually come through. The fabled Marathon 2 updater anyone?

Miha's Marathon Comic... continues:

Marathon Comic (page 10) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 10) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Sept 23, 2000 (Saturday)

Matthew Smith <mps@postoffice.sandybay.utas.edu.au> writes:

Been poking about at the marathon mod for UT site, and it seems that they have been making great strides! most notworthy are the mp3s they've made for the mod. It's worth checking out!

It's http://www.planetunreal.com/marathon

and the mp3's are http://www.planetunreal.com/marathon/mp3.html

Also, for a laugh go to moviesrus.bungie.org!

Miha's Marathon Comic... continues:

Marathon Comic (page 9) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 9) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Sept 22, 2000 (Friday) (full name pending) <ekul@fiberia.com> writes:

I just found a pretty cool AMV at the "download videos" link at " http://www.duke.edu/~hl11/kusoyaro/"

Comes in at a hefty 54.5 MB, but I think it pretty much epitomizes the "He looked at his hands, but the fire in his eyes made him blink" type experience of the Marine's transformation to cyborg.

Clips from "Akira" "Ghost in the Shell" <--- of Oni refrence fame, and the ever-extraordinary, "Serial Experiments Lain."

The movie is called "Transformation" (54.5 MB MPEG) and features the track "The Becoming" by Nine Inch Nails. If you like anime or are just interested in the popular "Akira" and "Ghost in the Shell" it's well worth downloading. Large selection of other movies too. This site is probably going to get hammered by fans over the next few days so be prepared for slow download times.

Miha's Marathon Comic... continues:

Marathon Comic (page 8) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 8) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Sept 21, 2000 (Thursday)

Who wants to be in Matt's shoes? Back on Monday we pointed out that Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) answered an interesting series of questions (posted by Noctavis) on the rampancy.net forum (Matt's uncharacteristic move was possibly prompted by a certain news item). Anyway one comment seems to have generated a considerable amount of contoversy. Matt posted the following about the b.net server which is now housed at Microsoft:

The server boxes were physically moved but none of the code was transferred. Max and I are still looking for a programmer for the online team and Linux skill is part of what we're looking for. We've spoken to a couple people here who've made snarfy comments about us not using an MS server for b.net and we've ignored them. The most important thing is the integrity of the product. If MS were to produce a server OS that ran faster and crashed less than any of the unix variants out there in a series of independent tests, we'd use it.

On Wednesday (20th) Michael Eilers of Inside Mac Games posted the following as part of what could best be described as a rather silly news item (even for IMG standards):

Matt Soell indicated in a forum post several days ago that some Microsoft employees they have spoken with were unhappy that the Myth servers ran on Linux, as of course Windows NT is the platform of choice at the Redmond campus.

Somewhat unsurprisingly this lead to a fairly large thread on Slashdot entitled Microsoft Unhappy With Bungie's Use Of Linux. If you have a spare hour or so you might find it interesting. Matt's response? "Oh bloody hell". I've taken the liberty of reposting it here:

Oh bloody hell.

Obviously I can't say anything anymore without having it blown entirely out of proportion, especially by those with their own little axes to grind.

I make one off-handed remark about two or three people who are not in any position of authority over us offering their unsolicited company-man opinion about our server choice, and suddenly it's on Slashdot and IMG as "evidence" of impending doom.

There is no harassment or pressure or whatever you want to call it. A couple of individuals voiced their individual opinions and, as I mentioned in my original post, we ignored them. No applying of thumbscrews from up above whatsoever.

I hope this is clear, but then I thought my original post was clear.


Very clear... <sigh>. The bottom line of course is that Matt (and others at Bungie) may be less inclined to answer questions in future. :-(

The "seventh" page of Miha's Marathon Comic... (spot the error...err... artistic licence... sorry)

Marathon Comic (page 7) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 7) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Sept 20, 2000 (Wednesday) Hangover

Thomas Herzog <mcduke@mac.com> writes:

Just in case you're using Interarchy (the former Anarchie), I've been working on a Marathon wand (interface) for quite some time. I'm sending you the latest version, hope you like it. Feel free to distribute it on the Marathon's Story page :)

You can get Thomas' Marathon Interarchy Wand here (317K). Interarchy (formerly Anarchie) is an excellent ftp client from Stairways Software.

Miha's Marathon Comic... continues...

Marathon Comic (page 6) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 6) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Sept 19, 2000 (Tuesday) Fifth Anniversary

Do you know what kind of hat I'm wearing?

The party continues... under Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. Many thanks to all those who have written in wishing the Marathon's Story page a Happy Fifth Birthday (or as Matt Soell put it... "Happy Pfhift!"). Thanks one and all. Five years ago to this day the Story page went live. You can see what the page looked like back then here. Alot of water under the bridge since then and particularly this last year with Microsoft's acquisition of Bungie... but hey this is a party....

On the subject of Bungie and independent game development Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> writes:

Kind of related to Bungie...


10 Myths about independent development.

Well worth reading.

Since this is the fifth anniversary of the Story page... here is fifth page of Miha's Marathon Comic (coincidence?):

Marathon Comic (page 5) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 5) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Sept 18, 2000 (Monday)

Matt Soell (Bungie Software) answers some interesting questions on the rampancy.net forum. Here's part of his post:

I'm in the middle of writing up a doc on fanfests and what we're going to do for them. Again, in the past these things were never well-planned, not by us anyway; Miguel Chavez would do all the planning and execution, and we'd just pay for the pizza. And he usually had to call and remind us to do that. ;-)

Anyway, we want fanfests to get bigger and cooler, and we're working on it. If I get my way, you'll see a definite upward mobility in the coolness and fun levels of fanfest type activities. I would tell you some of the ideas we're working on but that would spoil the surprise.

We're also working on a couple bTV-style ideas, our intent being to regularly broadcast something cool and slowly conquer all media.

Ultimately I want Bungie to start talking a lot more about what's in store, without violating the cardinal "no bullsmurf" rule. There will still be some of the old-fashioned teasing going on because a lot of you seem to enjoy it and sometimes that's the only way I can say anything about Really Cool Things That I'm Not Allowed To Divulge Yet. But I want to feed as much data to the world as I can, and I want to use every outlet I can. Most of it will come from our site, but the key fansites will be a big part of it too. (And yes, Rampancy is one of the sites I want to be part of this.)

And then there were Pfhor. Miha's Marathon Comic... continues...

Marathon Comic (page 4) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 4) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

The Marathon Central mirror of the Story page appears to be temporarily down. No details are forthcoming as yet.

For those of you who have asked about the fate of the SMD (Tau Ceti) mirror of the Story page... well it's presently down as it moves to a new location and new network (no not Redmond). For the foreseeable future there were only be two mirrors of the Story page.

Sept 17, 2000 (Sunday)

Although slightly early Joel Page <ironfist@mac.com> writes:

To celebrate 5 years of the Story Page!

I thought it high time the by-now-ancient Bungie Coat of Arms needed a facelift and be brought screaming into the 21st century.

Go have a gander at:


QuickTime format, 320 x 240, weighing in at 1.9 megs or so (the Sorensen codec is truly manna from heaven).

Very nice. :-)

Dan Rudolph <Ace_of_Sevens@mac.com> writes:


It's mostly about sex in video games, but the guy mentions a few Bungie titles when asked what his favorite games are. At any rate, an interesting read.

Miha's Marathon Comic... continues...

Marathon Comic (page 3) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 3) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Thanks to Adam (MacAllah) Ghazi-Tehrani for finding the English version.

Bungie Studios to move to "Millenium Park"? According to a news item on IGN Xbox the Xbox team, developers, engineers, artists and all have begun to move to "Millenium Park", about two miles away from the main Microsoft campus. Bungie Studios will presumably be moving to this purpose built campus as well. Thanks to rampancy.net for the heads up.

Sept 16, 2000 (Saturday)

Miha's Marathon Comic... continues...

Marathon Comic (page 2) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 2) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Mike Miazgowicz <themaz@uclink.berkeley.edu> writes:

I was just watching the anime series Mobile Battleship: Nadiesco and noticed a very Marathon-like symbol in its intro credits. One of the main characters, Ruri, has the symbols appear on the back of her hands whenever she interfaces with the ship's AI Omoikane. To the best of my knowledge, the image is a manifestation of some sort of augmentation technology that Ruri, along with some other characters, was outfitted with. Some other various Marathon coincidences: the Nadiesco was a ship manufactured from Martian technology and was steeped in a govermental conspiracy; the story revolves around the battle between earth's forces and 'jovian lizards,' a group of rebel humans who had been using advanced FTL technology (they called it the Boson Jump) taken from an abandoned facility left by an unknown alien race; the storyline dabbles here and there with the idea of transcending time travel and multiple realities. It's a really good series, especially if you are into anime-style humor, and I would highly recommend seeing it if you are at all into anime.

You can see the symbol Mike is referring to here.

Sept 15, 2000 (Friday)

Elbert Wall <elbertdw@radiks.net> and Harry Al-Shakarchi <tomeone@bungie.org> both point out that Brad Custer of Macledge has created another Marathon desktop pic. The URL is


Following up on yesterday's item on Michio (Miha) Hashimoto's Marathon comic Adam (MacAllah) Ghazi-Tehrani <ryutoth@netscape.net> writes:

After digging profusely around some old Hotline servers from back in the day I found Miha's comic. There is also some artwork he drew. Check it out, it's in English and shows what is in the manual's intro. Now if somebody could just do the whole Marathon story line.

Great find. A quick search through the vast (7GB) Story page archives could only uncover the Japanese version of Miha's Marathon comic. So now thanks to Adam we have an English version. :-)

Over the next few weeks I'll post a page a day from the comic starting with page 1.

Marathon Comic (page 1) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (English version)

Marathon Comic (page 1) by Michio Hashimoto (aka Miha) (Japanese version)

Sept 14, 2000 (Thursday)

The gaming poll "Which kicks more ass?" at MacSlash has ended with Marathon taking the lead with 262 (41%) ofthe 634 recorded votes. Good work everybody! Don't forget to check out the comments under the poll results. :-)

David Warmind <wramdor_43@hotmail.com> writes:

Just thought I'd let you know, that yesterday (wednesday) it was 2490 years since the Greeks defeated the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.

Now that's history for ya! ;-)

Marathon Comic? Over the years a number of attempts have been made to start such an item. One of the best efforts was Michio (Miha) Hashimoto's Japanese version. Here's a page from the online version which sadly doesn't seem to be available anymore. Nick Martinolich <fett102@hotmail.com> now writes:

I have been thinking about starting an online comic set after Marathon: Infinity. I want an accurate story that follows and makes sence with the games...

Nick is looking for writers. If you want to give him a hand then please contact him at ICQ# (9201001) or email <fett102@hotmail.com>

Sept 13, 2000 (Wednesday)

Quick response to some of Nathan's cryptic musings (see yesterday). Concerning the lines:

"Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and nights."


"Say not, 'I have found the truth', but rather, 'I have found a truth'. For the soul walks upon all paths."

Joshua Inglima (aka 3of9) <3of9@3of9.net> made this interesting find:

"Self-Knowledge" a Chapter from "THE PROPHET" by Khalil Gibran

And a man said, "Speak to us of Self-Knowledge."
And he answered, saying:
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the
soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

On the subject of the quote:

In All Things Symbols Reign Supreme ... It Is Finished When Seven Becomes One.

Rick Lavoie <MuadDib8@home.com> writes:

I was reading up on Marathon's Story today and I stumbled upon this recent quote from Nathan which looked quite familar. The quote "In All Things Symbols Reign Supreme" can be find in the liner notes of one of The Smashing Pumpkins' recent album, "Machina: The Machines Of Gods. I've taken the liberty of scanning the appropriate page and attaching it. Its the title of one of the pictures found in the book which has an alchemy theme. You can clearly see the title below the plate. The second part of the quote is within the picture itself. It is very hard to see even with this high quality scan. It can be very faintly seen above the center glyph, between the two hands, and below the small sun. Apparently Nathan is a Smashing Pumpkins fan. Just letting you know the origin of this quote.

Similarly Devin O'Reilly <psuedodevin@yahoo.com> writes:

i don't know how much nathan will appreciate me spilling the beans so (i talked to him about this quote back when he first posted it actually), but the quote itself is a smashing pumpkins thing..."In All Things The Symbols Reign Supreme" and "It Is Finished When Seven Become One" are both inscribed in the Machina booklet. billy corgan, the lead singer, is a fellow chicogan [sp?]. the symbols quote is a reference to his corgan's latest penchant for zodaic signs and hidden meanings, while the 'seven/one' bit is presumably a reference to the number of pumpkins albums, and their impending disbanding.

Sept 12, 2000 (Tuesday)

Poll smash! Thomas Bridge <tbridge@westlake.com> writes:

There's a poll at MacSlash (http://www.macslash.com) as to which kicks more ass....the correct answer being Marathon, so let's show some solidarity and go out and vote.

You know what to do folks... go do it! ;-)

Slowly catching up on events over the last few weeks. Thanks to all those who wrote in about Bungie's Letters To the Webmaster finally getting an update. Still as wacky as ever. Good to see some things don't change.

This interesting post (reported below) appeared on the halo.bungie.org forum (on the 7th). Ever wonder what Matt Soell (former Director of Customer Support at Bungie) does now? Well Matt himself explains:

Re: Matt Does What???
Posted By: Matt <matt@bungie.com>
Date: 7 Sep 2000, 16:23

> But I know that Matt works for bungie, but what I don't know is > what matt does there.

The job title that would be on my business card if I had business cards is "Community Lead." I don't like the word "Lead" so I tend to use "Community Guy." Less pretentious.

Right now most of my hours are spent in what I think of as clean-up; getting all the support ducks in a row so people who bought our old games can continue to play them. The new final deadline for that is the end of September, though I hope to finish earlier. After that, I begin my real job in earnest, which is the process of making Bungie bigger than Jesus AND the Beatles through the assiduous cultivation of the community that develops around our games.

The other part of my job is being a Keeper of the Bungie Way. Basically this means I get to interact with all the MS teams who are doing things we used to do (like designing the boxes, for example) to make sure they do so in a way that's consistent with our attitude and values.

There are a couple other things I do that don't fit neatly into any category. Would Halo suffer if I dropped off the face of the earth? Only in the most subtle way.


"Man of mystery" Nathan Bitner (former Producer and Creative Developer of Halo) also paid a visit to the HBO forums and updated us on his current life status (see also here) Worth a read. He also offered this cryptic post (reposted below):

Re: Hiring: one (1) Nathan Bitner
Posted By: Nathan E. Bitner <NathanBitner@email.msn.com>
Date: 6 Sep 2000, 9:41 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Hiring: one (1) Nathan Bitner (dilbert)

> i would do it for free in a heart beat,

Uh-huh. Tell it to the landlord and the judge. Or you could actually live at Bungie, as most of us did at the end of Myth II (no comments from the Peanut Gallery please - at least I got the Ghols doing the wave on the first try - a demand by one of the marketing gurus :).

They are the only company I know of that had a cot to employee ratio of 1:6 at the time.

> provided that they just get me some one to move my crap from NC > to WA,

I could always buy your crap. After all, you can really never have enough crap. Not only am I short on crap, I'm also short on some furniture items, etc. And firing neurons. "a Hell in Heaven's despite" indeed. I heard that from a pebble once.

> I hate packing

Especially when it's crap. It's REALLY hard to pack - especially when you have to separate the crap from the crap.

Okay ... that Halo thing again:

While you continue your search for answers (your pain is that which breaks the shell of your understanding), I found an interesting message left in my inbox recently, (no, not from anyone named Cortana):

"Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and nights."

Whoever it was also directed a message at Hamish Sinclair as follows:

"Say not, 'I have found the truth', but rather, 'I have found a truth'. For the soul walks upon all paths."

The email was untraceable and any attempt I made to reply was sent back as an invalid address: it came from someone who clearly knew about Halo however - and apparently for a while ... and apparently from the inside. That much I can tell for certain. Unfortunately, that also means I can't divulge the email address.

Good luck ... I already have an idea of where to look myself.


Work that one out! Note also this intriguing quote:

In All Things Symbols Reign Supreme ... It Is Finished When Seven Becomes One.

found in this post by Nathan. Make of the above what you will. :-)

Sept 11, 2000 (Monday)

Thanks to all those who wrote in over the vacation period. I'll be catching up over the next few days so bear with me.

Elbert Wall <elbertdw@radiks.net> points out that there is Marathon Walpaper at


Albert Sacks <asacks@mindspring.com> writes:

Marathon 2 on NBC.

They were just doing a spot a few minutes ago on violent entertainment being marketed to teens, and had some footage of Waterloo Waterpark (the starting location).

Nick Mason <pfhor@optushome.com.au> writes:

More stuff from Conversatron.com...


Chris Camacho <nacho@satx.rr.com> writes:

I was channel surfing late tonight and I saw an infomercial with a doctor named Bernard Strauss. But the fun doesn't stop there, the infomercial was about a drug named Enerx. A "natural" drug that help the male sex drive.

The picture I attached is of such crappy quality because of bad reception and a crappy video card.

Thomas Herzog <mcduke@mac.com> writes:

I just watched the movie trailer for "The Cell" again, and it occured to me how much this red-dressed samurai-like apparently evil guy looks like Soulblighter. Maybe Myth II was played to get inspiration for this character?

Go to What's New for July-Aug 2000

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair Hamish.Sinclair@tcd.ie
Last updated Nov 1, 2000