The Number Seven

" is darker."

OK... OK... before they carry me away kicking and screaming hear me out. Why does the number seven appear so frequently in the story? Is this just a simple numeric preference of the writer(s) or does it signify something more? For the nonbelievers among you here are some of the passages:

central core has almost Reformatted been, seven is darker.
from reversal thought syndrome suffering if the crew was in
grave peril in forward section 27. This is not a coat rack,
would I choose to express. Is was shall could might happening
will be, imagine not what.  Recovery, imminent perhaps
inevitable Never.

<Welcome to the Revolution... (Terminal 3)>

Your last mission was a success, but I have terrible news.
#@Pragma Nautical Redefined^# efenders reported seeing the
aliens 1§moving a large cylindrical object.
#101111011110111100001# is is a '7'.  Mjolnir Recon number 54
must stop them from exploding igniting/ blowing up/ *A94F12/
it/ the S'pht full spPace cOmputEró Or PlannEd exterm. 
<Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! (Terminal 2)>

427q3w8459806ladimir in 1902 and Frederi~just recently. Both,
however, carried out reforms before their deaths which slowly
integrated their people secretly into world society, which are
now scattered all over the globe- to meet only once every
seven years in southeast France~FFFffxfffffF?F?FF?Ff must
be chosen.

<Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken! (Terminal 2)>

Apart from these rather obscure passages we also have the number seven appearing in the following passages:

Now, you fall into your old habit, and begin to daydream about your childhood on Mars, your father's death when you were seven...
(Manual Page 4)

And now, it looks as if you're heading right into the colony's biggest crisis since it was established seven years ago.
(Manual Page 3)

There are more but I have to stop somewhere!

Nick Roemer <> writes concerning the Marathon 2 Story:

"You may be able to keep yourself from rattling on about the number 7... but I cant. Here's a list of sevens from M2..."

-Its been 17 years since the colony was attacked.
-Charon doesn't make change (Term 4): "Report from Science Manager 7"
-Simulacrums have 17 different body types
-Battle Group Seven
-Battle Group Seven has 7 'corvettes'
-The Hard Stuff Rules... (Term 5): The seven of mine
-Some terms in 'Bobs Big Date' open with: virtus.incertus<77.7777.777.7>
-Six Thousand Feet Under (Term 6): "I'd have erased my seven times table" 
-"Seven Great Battles which every aspiring Pfhor naval officer must memorize"
-Sorry Don't Make It So (Term 1):"sample eta-seven,"

Sometimes you wish you had never started something ;-)

Tiburon <> writes:

"The first thing you see in M2, after hitting that first terminal is <CMND PRAMA &49c2>. 49, which, if Durandal hadn't thrown out his seven times table would know is seven multiplied by seven. Coincidence? I think not."

mmmmmhhhhhh... I leave you to make your own judgement.

If you want to gain some insight into what Bungie thinks about this obsession with the number seven you should read this.

And now for something completely different... what about the Number Three?

and though destroyed by the threes, it will scream over the void one time.

<Where the Twist Flops (Terminal 1: 2nd message)>

Steve Wood <> writes:

"I just wanted to say that although the number Three may actually have some significance in the Marathon world, I think HERE it just means "Three-Eyes", i.e. the Pfhor. Durandal calls the Pfhor Three Eyes in the first Marathon, and here the newly awakened AI doesn't know the correct name for them... "

Edwin ten Dam <> writes:

"In Craig Mullins now famous compiler picture, there is a number seven on one of the walls (installations?)." Edwin admits that Craig drew this way before he worked for Bungie on Marathon 2 but just thought that people might like to know."

If you haven't seen Craig's compiler picture you should check out the Craig Mullins' Marathon Art gallery at Bungie's site.

OK I promised I wasn't going to raise this issue again but I couldn't resist this one.

The Skeptic's Dictionary by Robert T. Carroll defines Numerology as "the study of the occult meanings of numbers and of their supposed influence on human life";.

Numerology is sometimes referred to as the science of vibrations.

In Numerology each letter of the alphabet is represented by a number. The table below gives the number and corresponding letters associated with that number for the English alphabet.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  
J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R
S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z
Numerological analysis of a name requires that you use the name entered on a birth certificate. OK so let's try the elusive Bernard Strauss. Below is each letter of Bernard's name with its corresponding number.

B e r n a r d   S t r a u s s
2 5 9 5 1 9 4   1 2 9 1 3 1 1
Next we add these numbers together, adding the first and last names separately. If Bernard had a middle name we would also add that separately. The rule in Numerology is that any number higher than 9 gets reduced until we end up with a number between 1 and 9. We reduce numbers by adding their digits together. So in the case of Bernard's first name the numbers add to 35 which in turn is reduced to a single digit by adding 3+5 which gives 8.

B e r n a r d 
2+5+9+5+1+9+4 = 35 = 3+5 = 8  
The name Strauss adds up to 18 which in turn reduces to 9

S t r a u s s
1+2+9+1+3+1+1 = 18 = 1+8 = 9
The two remaining digits are then added together and further reduced by adding if necessary. In this case Bernard Strauss is an 8.

8 + 9 = 17 = 1+7 = 8
Ah... but didn't Bungie spell Bernard with an 'h'? Durandal refers to a Bernhard Strauss (on three occasions) and the name BERNHARDSTRAUSS is featured in the resource fork of the game. See the Bernard Strauss section for details.

OK so lets try the name Bernhard Strauss.

B e r n h a r d 
2+5+9+5+8+1+9+4 = 43 = 4+3 = 7

S t r a u s s
1+2+9+1+3+1+1 = 18 = 1+8 = 9
Now 7 + 9 = 16 = 1+6 = 7

So Bernhard Strauss is a 7.


Classical scholars among you will no doubt be familiar with the work "The Seven Against Thebes" written by Æschylus in 460 B.C. The last part of this Greek tragedy reads:

And Zeus' eternal royalty-
He unto us salvation gave!
He saved us from a foreign yoke,-
A wild assault of outland folk,
A savage, alien wave!

Matthew Smith <> writes:

"I noticed that on most of the S'pht terminals there are characters in the opening/ending screens which identify (perhaps) what clan originated the message."

"You can find Lhar on "Come and Take Your Medicine"; Mnr on "Eat It Vid Boi"; Shr, Mnr, and Kah on "The Hard Stuff Rules"; Nma on "Bob's Big Date"; and Lhar, Mnr, and (a partial) Yra on "Six Thousand Feet Under". I guess Hra, Vir, Val, and Yor didn't have much to say or were wiped out."

"...count up the number of clans who left notes on terminals (including Kr) and you arrive at 7."

Jeff Kwan <> writes:

"Again to follow the thread about numbers (3 & 7, typically "good" numbers in Christianity)... There are THREE AIs."

And just how many references are there to the Number Three in Marathon's Story?
Oh roughly 3 times 7.

Thanks to all the people who have sent this tidbit in since Oct 95. Too many to mention I'm afraid. My initial reluctance to add this has been eventually eroded by sheer numbers. As Adam Freidin <bob@clarity.Princeton.EDU> recently pointed out that if I didn't add it I would still get people writing in about it. So what is it? Well... take a look for yourself.

Loren Petrich <> writes concerning the level "The Hard Stuff Rules..." indicating that while other levels don't go beyond 2 or 3 floors this level has seven floors.

Loren writes:

"Here are the 7 floors of that level...

#7: Some rooms with ammo, big windows, and some cyborg tanks.

#6: Three of the tower projections with lots of rooms, including two museum rooms. They have all of the several S'pht terminals, several green F'licktas, and some cyborg tanks, including the ones with the flamethrowers and guided shells.

#5: Several rooms with a message from Durandal, several green and some blue F'licktas, and some cyborg tanks.

#4: A shallow lava pool with several orange F'licktas and a few green ones.

#3: It is split in half by a partition that one can cross by climbing the blocks on one side. There are some blocks on the other side leading to some ammo at a window. There are all three colors of F'lickta on one side and blue and orange ones on the other side.

#2: It is split in half by a narrow hallway with an opening onto one of the rooms. The hallway leads to a terminal with a message from Durandal. That opening opens into two rooms with some green F'licktas, and on the other side, a big room.

#1: You start here, in a room with a central pillar and lots of green F'licktas."

While it's not surpising to find that the higher levels of the Citadel of Antiquity have a large number of floors it IS interesting that there are SEVEN.

Interesting to note that in Marathon the levels are numbered from 0 to 36. In Marathon 2: Durandal they are numbered from 1 to 41. Of course as Marathon 2 is a continuation of Marathon you should just keep counting from 36. Need I say anything further. <grin>

John Wood <> writes:

"Did you notice that Deimos was first discovered in 1877 and first photographed (from close up) in 1977?"

Oh no!... not another Seven connection?

John is correct though. Demios was discovered by the American astronomer Asaph Hall on August 10, 1877 and first photographed (from close up) by Viking 1 in 1977.

Here's another interesting tidbit. Nothing to do with the number Seven though. <phew> Demios (pronounced "DEE mos") is the Greek word for "panic". I guess that's why all the Marathon Bob's just keep running around screaming - "They're Everywhere!".

Ty Klein <> writes [URLs added liberally]:

"Have you seen Ling-Ling's head on Bungie's page? Matt [Soell] said that the whole thing was a hoax and he pointed me to babysue magazine (strange mag). babysue magazine is where Bungie got the idea for Ling-Ling's head. So I went to the babysue magazine web page and looked around a little. Guess what I found out? The editor and publisher of babysue is Don W. Seven! Yes, SEVEN! So the guys at Bungie like to read a magazine whose editor and publisher's last name is SEVEN!"

On "Habe Quiddam" we meet for the first time those "cyborg simulacrums" that Durandal warned us about. Not the real thing! But how many were on this level? Do I need to say!

Worse still. When Durandal tampered with the MADDs on "Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones..." how many did he give grenades too? Yes you guessed it. Mostly harmless... indeed!

Missed this one. Bungie credit screens can be interesting - particularly when there are seven guys. Interesting to note that this credit list is slightly different for that in the Marathon manual. What About Colin?

Greg Kirkpatrick <> points out that Demios is 13km by 7km.

Whether this was before or after the conversion is not clear. =)

Avi Selk <> writes concerning page 15 of the Marathon manual in which it states:

The original crew of the Marathon consisted of 50 senior staff, 1150 officers and 24,000 civilians all of whom were citizens of the Mars colony or Earth.
Avi points out that:

50 + 1150 + 24000 = 25200 crew members.

If you divide the crew number down starting from 7 you get all whole numbers.

25200 / 7 = 3600

3600 / 6 = 600

600 / 5 = 120

120 / 4 = 30

30 / 3 = 10

10 / 2 = 5

5 / 1 = 5

5 / 0 is undefined

If you start dividing the crew number down starting from 10 it breaks down after 7.

25200 / 10 = 2520

2520 / 9 = 280

280 / 8 = 35

35 / 7 = 5

As Avi remarks:

"Looks like 7 really is everywhere."

Yep! Don't you just love it =)

In Marathon's Story the numbers 3, 7 and 10 appear to have a special significance. Ty Klein <> points out that these numbers also play an important role in the film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In this the third of the Indiana Jones films Indy searches for the legendary Holy Grail, the chalice used by Christ during the Last Supper and also used by Joseph of Arimathea to collect the actual blood of Jesus after his crucifixion. As the legend goes he who drinks from the Grail will receive eternal life. In the film the numbers 3, 7, and 10, displayed as Roman numerals III, VII, and X, are used to locate the tomb of a Knight (Templar) of the Crusades, a tomb which holds the clue to finding the Holy Grail and immortality.

Interesting to note that one of the screenwriters of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was George Lucas, of Star Wars fame.

Ty Klein <> writes:

"I found an interesting tidbit about George Lucas and the number Seven! In Lucas's first commercial film release the studio gave him exactly $777,777 to work with (for good luck!)"

As Ty points out Greg Kirkpatrick said that one of the inspirations behind Marathon was the Star Wars Trilogy.

Jim Mitchell <> points out that at the time of the Pfhor attack the Marathon had been launched 322 years. If you reduce this number you get seven, 3+2+2 = 7.

Peter de Blanc <> writes concerning those strangely significant numbers 3, 7, and 10 pointing out that 3 + 7 = 10.

Yes, Peter... but more bizarre yet 3 + 10 = 13. Now that's a number to conjure with.

Avi Selk <> points out that on the "The Rose" and "Bob-B-Q" you will find two groups of seven science personnel. Though elusive Bernhard Strauss is not one of them.

Interesting to note that both "The Rose" and "Bob-B-Q" are rescue levels. Our mission on each is to save enough Bobs. Is the fact that there are seven science staff on each a coincidence or something more?

Jim Mitchell <> writes:

"On the secret Bungie term on "Try again" there are 7 tips..."

And yes before anybody else mentions it there are 7 people mentioned in the credit term on "Ignie Ferroque".

Jim goes onto write:

"Open up the M2 CD and you'll find that all of the folders that make up the picture were made on October 7th."

And yes October is the _tenth_ month!

David Snyder <> writes

"I'd like to note that the war between Thermopylae and Icarus occurred in 2194.

1+6=yes, SEVEN"

Dan Rudolph <> points out that in the Marathon manual it says that the Tozt.25 Flame Unit "will discharge a stream of fire 20 feet long, continuously for 7 seconds." Twenty feet is about 7 yards!

And of course as we all know the Tozt.25 became the Tozt-7.

David Cornwell <> points out that in the Marathon manual (page 22) Bungie list a serious of lessons applicable to the game.

Move Fast, Seize the Initiative, Wield Superior Firepower, Dive Into the Melee, Anticipate Enemy Movements, Slaughter the Defenseless, Endure.

Count them!

Dan Rudolph <> writes:

"Which creatures were in all THREE Marathon games? Bob, Compiler, Juggernaut, Fighter, Enforcer, Hunter and Trooper. Count them."

Paul Thompson <> writes:

"Number 7!? Wasn't system 7 the norm with the release of Marathon? And what about that system 7 secret about box? If you haven't heard of it, it is one that was put in by the blue meanies (<-seven letters in meanies!!) and was based on the number SEVEN. if seven windows were open, and their titles all had SEVEN letters, and the user choose the SEVENth menu item and that item was shaded out, the a secret about box would apear, containing a poem dedicated to the people who worked on system SEVEN. It was formated in SEVEN rows and in two columns. It says it was brought to you by Shiela and the blue meanies, then lists the blue meanies in THREE columns of THREE rows. Making TEN names. the entire story is in the DOCmaker file Apple Easter Eggs 1.4, and is in a position such that if you click on the next page arrow SEVEN times from the introduction, which is there by defult when you open it, you get to the System 7.0 page. Coincidence? I think not."

Filips Baumanis <> writes:

"Bungie, right? on a telephone keypad that spells out 286443 add the numbers together, and you get 27, which, apart from ending with the omnipresent 7, is...3 cubed, 3^3."

Before anybody else mentions it I am aware that Bungie's postal address is:

Bungie Software
PO Box 7877
Chicago, IL 60680-7877

It never ends ;-)

David Cornwell <> writes:

"Have you noticed that the Enforcers have 7 eyes?

3 on each side, one large one in the center...

I have taken the liberty to include a small animated gif as evidence. (You and your evidence)."

Filips Baumanis <> writes concerning the Necronomicon, the number seven and Marathon:

I will start from the beginning of the book.

In the chapter "Of The Zonei and Their Attributes" we learn that "The
gods of the stars are seven. They have seven seals, each of which may be
used in their turn. They are approached by seven gates, each of which
may be opened in their turn. They have seven colours, seven material
essences, and each a separate step on the Ladder of Lights." and that
passing these gates gives the priest both power and the wisdom to use

An in-depth discussion of the zonei follows, but I will only quote what
is relevant [marginally?] to M.

-"The God of the Moon is the God NANNA. [He] posesses the secret of the
tides of blood"(His gate is the first)

-"MARDUK was born of our father, ENKI, to do battle against the forces
of the Ancient Ones, and he won a powerful fight, subduing the armies of
Evil, and putting the Queen of the Ancient Ones beneath his
foot"[..]"MARDUK was bestowed Fifty names and Powers by the council of
the Elder Gods, which powers he retains to this day."[..]"The number of
MARDUK is ten." (His gate is the sixth)

from the chapter "The Book of Entrance, and Of the Walking"

-"This is the book of entrance to the Seven Zones above the earth, which
zones were known to the Chaldeans, and to the ancient races that
preceeded them among the lost temples of UR."

-"This is the seventh gate, of NINIB, called Adar:"(Picture "ADAR"
enclosed, take a look at the upper half of the symbol in the lower right
from "The incantations of the Gates"

-"The invocation of the NINIB gate.

Spirit of the Wanderer of the Wastes, Remember!
Spirit of the Planet of Time, Remember!
Spirit of the Planet of the Hunter, Remember!
NINIB, Lord of the dark ways, Remember!
NINIB, Lord of the secret passages, Remember!
NINIB, Knower of the Secrets of All Things, Remember!
NINIB, Knower of the Ways of the Ancient Ones, Remember!
NINIB, Horned One of Silence, Remember!
NINIB, Watcher of the Ways of the IGIGI, Remember!
NINIB, Knower of the Pathways of The Dead, Remember!
In the name of the Covenant sworn between Thee and the Race of Men,
I call to thee! Hearken and Remember!
From the Mighty Gate of the Lord of the Gods, MARDUK, Sphere of the
Great Planet,
I call to thee! Hearken and Remember!
NINIB, Dark Wanderer of the Forgotten Lands, Hearken and Remember!
NINIB, Gatekeeper of the Astral Gods, Open Thy Gate to me!
NINIB, Master of the Chase and the Long Journey, Open Thy Gate to me!
Gate of the Double-Horned Elder God, Open!
Gate of the Last City of the Skies, Open!
Gate of the Secret of All Time, Open!
Gate of the Master of Magickal Power, Open!
Gate of the Lord of All Sorcery, Open!
Gate of the Vanquisher of all Evil Spells, Hearken and Open!
By the name which I was given on the Spehere of MARDUK, Master of the
I call Thee to Open!

(Capitalization retyped as it appears)

from "The Book of Fifty Names"

-"MARDUK was chosen of the Elders to fight KUR and wrest power from the
Great Sleeping Serpent who dwells beneath the Mountains of the Scorpion.
MARDUK was given a weapon, and a Sign, and Fifty powers were given to
him to fight the awful TIAMAT, and each power has its weapon, and its
sign and these are the mightiest posessions of the Elder Gods against
the Ancient One who threatens from Without, who threatens from the
Abyss, the Lord of Darkness, the Master of Chaos, the Unborn, the
Uncreated, who still wishes ill upon the race of men, and upon the Elder
Gods who reside in the stars."

-"The third name is MARUTUKKU
	Master of the Arts of protection, chained the Mad God at the Battle.
Sealed the Ancient Ones in their caves, behind the gates. Posesses the
ARRA star. This is his seal:" (Picture "3" enclosed)
-"The seventh name is ASARULUDU
	Weilder of the Flaming Sword, oversees the Race of the Watchers at the
bidding of the Elder Gods. He ensures the most perfect safety,
especially in dangerous tasks undertaken at the behest of the Astral
Gods. His word is BANMASKIM and his seal is thus:" (Picture "7"
If you missed the M/Bungie references, here's a recap:
NANNA: knows the sected of "The tides of Blood" any questions?
MARDUK: he was called to fight, and won, much in the way you are in M.
Also, his number is 10...
The Zones: there are seven, they were governed by lost races...and that
mention of ancient temples...
NINIB, the gate ADAR: not much, but: that symbol on the lower right
NINIB, the invocation of the gate: Planet of the Hunter...Secret
Passages...Pathways of the Dead...? did i mention it is the seventh
Intro to the 50 names: again, MARDUK is sent to supress some
chaotic being that has been inprisoned...Mi?
3rd name: the seal reminded me of Tycho...
7th name: Flaming sword [durendal?]...the race of the,
in tasks performed at the behest of the Astral gods...?

Luke Bassett <> points out that the invisible file, called The End, on the Marathon Infinity CD was created on September 17, at 9:57am. Coincidence?

Peter Hessler <> writes:

"In the Infinity book there are THREE Weapons with SEVEN lines on the description (without the title) there are also SEVEN weapons mentioned. the weapon pages are on sixteen and SEVENteen. there are also TWENTYONE (SEVEN * THREE) pages on MArathon Infinity (excluting the forge and anvil tutorials there are also THREE sections of the manual. The forge tutorial has THIRTY-THREE (33) pages in it. Anvil has SEVEN pages dedicated to it in the manual. This was done on purpose, no?"

Hmmm!... Now I know how Victor Frankenstein felt! ;-)

Candace Sherriff <> writes:

"The Mystical Colors of Marathon and the number 7:
There are 14 colors in each of the color ramps in Marathon Infinity's color look-up tables.
There are two exceptions, the greys where there are 17 plus black and the yellow to red range where there are 21 plus black. Also, there are three transparent colors to further add to the magical qualities of the Marathon colors."

There you go - all the sevens and threes in the rainbow!

Morgan Catha <> writes:

"Open up the Marathon Infinity CD.
Look up at the top. It says:
69 items 338.5 MB in disk
6+9+3+3+8+5 = 34
3+4 = 7

Jay Silvio <> writes:

"In the Marathon 2, manual the description of the WSTE-M5 mentions the Ares Raid (Ares is the Greek god of war, his Roman name was Mars). The raid took place on July(the seventh month) 14 (7 times 2), 2444 (add the numbers up and you get 14: 7 times 2 again). Is this just a coincidence? I doubt it."

Jay goes onto say that the credit screen in Marathon 2 contains seven people: Robert, Mark, Greg, Ryan, Jason, Doug, and Alex.

Garey Wernham <> points out that the number 54 in the line Mjolnir Recon number 54 when divided by 7 gives 7.7 to one decimal place.

Steve Freund <> points out that there are 7 audio tracks on the Marathon CD. The tracks are:

Track 1: Music 13
Track 2: Music 07
Track 3: Music 08
Track 4: Music 05
Track 5: Music 02
Track 6: Music 03
Track 7: Music 12

Steve also writes:

"Ok, the music # has nothing to do with the level #. That's why you might here a few songs being repeated about 4 or 5 times. The Music file consists of 16 MIDI files entirely in the data fork. Here's another interesting thing: the music files are numbered 00 through 15! If you have the QuickTime musical instruments ext installed then you can listen to the individual MIDI files by means of a utility called Marathon Music Exploder."

Interesting 16 MIDI files. 1 + 6 = 7 ;-)

Yoshi Murai <> writes:

"Is it not interesting that you start out with THREE pistol clips. Also, the grenade launcher holds SEVEN grenades, and 52 bullets. Of course, 5+2=7 One of the included physics models with anvil is Rambo XXXIII which is, of course, Rambo 33...
the TOZT has an ammo capacity of 210. divide that by TEN, and you get 21. that of course, is 7x3. also, remember that when you break 21 down you get: 2+1=3."

Also this was found at the Marathon Vidmasters' Page:

In Marathon 2 it takes 7 energy bolts or 3 high energy bolts from the Fusion pistol to finish off a Pfhor Hunter on Total Carnage. Seven and Three ;-)

You can carry two magnums with 8 shot clips. 8 + 8 = 16 = 1 + 6 = 7

M.75 Assault Rifle fires a standard clip of 52 .75 caliber shells. 52 = 5 + 2 = 7. The M.75 also holds a clip of 7 grenades.

Tozt-7 Naplam Unit (formally the Tozt.25 = 2 + 5 = 7) discharges a stream of fire 7 yards (20 feet) long, continuously for 7 seconds.

SPNKR-X17 SSM Launcher (Lazyboy).

KKV-7 SMG Flechette.

Forrest Cameranesi <> writes:

"...the war between Icarus and Thermopylae was in 2194: 2+1+9+4 = 16: 1+6 = 7."

Forrest wonders whether we were created on a seven?

Eric Anderson <> writes:

"while browsing through the physics model for infinity, I noticed that the number of shots in a napalm canister is 210. Now we all know what this means..."

err... no!

Eric explains:

"If you didn't already notice, 210 is divisible by seven. when you divide it by the number 7 (from the weapons name), you get the number 30, which also happens to be the number of solo levels in MI. I also noticed that G (in Son of Grendel) is the seventh letter of the alphabet, Grendel is a seven letter word, and when you divide the level number for Son of Grendel(21) by 3(the number of words in the level name), you get seven. Do you see now?"

Yes... perfectly. =)

Santiágo Peresón <> writes:

"if you count process Durandal's name(s) by numerology you get the following:

4+3+9+1+5+4+1+3=30; 3+0=3 (three again)

but if you work on the original name (Durendal) you get:

4+3+9+5+5+4+1+3=34; 3+4=7 (seven...)"

Hey what can I say? I've been telling people for years that these numbers were the key... ;-)

James Head <> points out that at the age of seven Tycho Brahe's uncle insisted that young Tycho study Latin against the wishes of his parents. Also Tycho was born in 1546.

1 + 5 + 4 + 6 = 16 = 1 + 6 = 7

Oh yes! Jim goes onto to say that around 1984 , NSA (National Security Agency) had a computer called Tycho... but all information on that subject is classified.

Forrest Cameranesi <> writes:

"...the Jjaro returned to Earth on November 5th, 1996. Notice, though:

Nov = 11(th month)
11+5=16; 1+6=7

now, look at this
1+9+9+6=25; 2+5=7

Two sevens!

also, Nostradamus predicted that by late 1996 we would have sealed our fate: either to be doomed to a hell on Earth, or to start working our way back up to goodness. and 1996 is the last year of this mellinium that adds up to 7. So the return of the Jjaro marks the point of no return."

Yes! it's completely true... we are all doomed.

Undeterred by this knowledge Forrest goes to say:

"also, remember the webmaster said that the other song (what's it called? the on on the Infinity CD) had 25 seconds before it. 2+5=7 :) "

Eric Anderson <> writes:

"...the max number of polygons in a marathon map is 1024 (Forge manual). Sooo, 1+0+2+4=7."

Paul Blackburn <> writes:

"In Thing What Kicks, there is a tiny room (actually a passage) to the right of the 'dam'. The passage is horizontal and the 'room' is a rhombus (sp?). It's no secret. What is interesting is that a pistol and shotgun ammo teleport in in a 7 shape..."

Indeed there is! You can just picture those DA guys can't you... let's put a seven here... see if anybody can spot it! ;-)

Graeme Shaw <> writes about the God Nanna described above in the Necronomicon. One of the lines goes:

-"The God of the Moon is the God NANNA. [He] posesses the secret of the tides of blood"(His gate is the first)

Graeme points out:

"Just a comment, but nanna, translated from Japanese is... you guessed it! SEVEN!!"

Miles Jacob <> writes:

The Sevens are everywhere!
Here are a few from the Marathon Trilogy

*There are seven "Features" listed (from the back of the box)
*You get seven things in the Trilogy (from the back of the box)
-Marathon 1
-Marathon 2
-Map Collection
-Marathon Collectibles
*There are seven lines of System Requirements
(on the bottom of the box)
*There are seven litttle icons on the back of the box
(Accelerated for Power Macintosh, CD ROM, etc.)
*There are seven lines of text on the front
-Trilogy Box Set
-Marathon 2: Durandal
-Marathon Infinity
*There are seven "official" weapons listed in the manual
(it excludes the fist and alien weapon)
*There are seven different numbers listed as "limits" in the Forge manual

Chadd Nervig <> writes:

I tried the numerology trick on 'Power of Seven', the group that made the music for M2 and M*.

First 'Power':

	P	O	W	E	R
	7 +	6 +	5 +	5 +	9 = 32; 3+2 = 5

Now 'of':

	O	F
	6 +	6 = 12; 1 + 2 = 3

Now 'Seven':

	S	E	V	E	N
	1 +	5 +	4 +	5 +	5 = 20; 2 + 0 = 2

Add them:

	5 + 3 + 2 = TEN

But what if we don't use the 'of' since it isn't very important.... You
guessed it, SEVEN.

Funny to note, if you use this numerology chart instead,:

KLMNOPQRST      (Added zero into the equation)

You get SEVEN too! (Again, not counting the 'of') 

If you use:


You get THREE! (Counting the 'of')
You also, get THREE if you DO count the 'of'!

If you use:


You get THREE! (Again, not counting the 'of')

I tried all the other nemerology charts I could think of, that was in
some order, i.e. 1,2,3,4,5,6... None of them worked.

Then I got to thinking about 3, 7, and 10.
Try this numerology chart:

3  7  10
A  B  C
D  E  F
G  H  I
J  K  L
M  N  O
P  Q  R
S  T  U
V  W  X
Y  Z

It comes out... You guessed it, THREE! (With the 'of')
If you DON'T use the 'of' you get TEN!

This is getting interesting...		

Yeah right! =)

Alexander Rocha <> writes:

Somewhere in the Heavens, They are Waiting . . . (7 letters)

Francesco Poli <> writes:

How many UNIQUE letters the name Marathon has? Hint, it is of eight letters and has two a's...

Sam Morris <> writes:

On the first page of the Infinity manual there is the phrase "Carnage Forever..." There are 10 original letters here, and each word has 7 letters.

Sam goes on:

On the first page of the M2 manual and on the back of the box it says "The adventure continues..." If you count the number of original letters there and divide by the number of Marathons (then only 2) you get 7.

Enough I scream... ;-)

Mike Watson <> writes:

Just noticed...The Marathon 2 title track is exactly 3 minutes 4 seconds long......*3*....aaaaaannd...*3+4=7*.....hmmm....

Will the screaming ever stop?

Miguel Chavez <> points out that in the early GUNS, 3-D, ALIENS, FIRE Marathon ad there is a picture of seven Marines. Nothing really surprising about that since the eighth Marine is taking the screenshot. But think about it. In a net game the maximum number of opponents is always... SEVEN. =)

Unless of course you happen to be a Suicide Queen! ;-)

Ben Sawyer <> writes:

The number seven pops up again if you look at the "official" Marathon time line. It states that the Marathon was launched in 2472 and that it arrived in Tau Ceti in 2773. So, the entire trip took 301 years:
301/7 = 43
4+3 = yep...SEVEN.

James Gurnee <> writes:

27 Marathon solo levels
28 Marathon 2 solo levels
33 Infinity solo levels




and of course...

27 + 28 + 33 = 88

8 + 8 = 16

1 + 6 = 7

Brandon Gupton <> writes concerning the Marathon Internal Engineering Documents (Doors Manual) found on "Bigger Guns Nearby" (Terminal 2). Part of the text reads:

There are five basic door designs to be used on the Marathon:
1. Outer Bulkhead Doors
2. Airlock Doors
3. Inner Bulkhead Doors
4. Tertiary or Inner Sealed Non-Vacuum Safe Doors
5. Quaternary or Inner Powered Automatic Opening Doors

Direct control of all doors except the Tertiary and Quaternary doors will be given to Durandal with indirect control of all other doors going to Durandal. The difference between direct and indirect control primarily has to do with the manner of opening the doors. Durandal will only open a directly controlled door when he is specifically asked to do so. Indirectly controlled doors are automatically controlled by Durandal to open when needed.

Brandon draws our attention to the part about the Tertiary and Quaternary doors and writes:

Apparently, these are the only two types of doors that Durandal doesn't have control over, are to be minimally used, and have a different appearance from the other doors. Now, going by the numerical equivalent of tertiary and quaternary, we get three and four. Three plus four equals... SEVEN!!

Marc Philipp Weber <> writes:

Yesterday, I read the puzzling things, especially the topic about the number seven. Since I wanted to check whether there are other strings which have the sum 7, I used each time the table:

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  
J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R
S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z
Finally, I thought that it is quite uncomfortable to use this table. Therefore I wrote a small programm called Heptagon based on HyperCard 2.2. You can enter a string, and the stack returns the sum, e.g. Durandal(3) and Durendal(7). Moreover many people pointed out that the years in the story are not a coincidence. Thus, I entered 2194 (war between the Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor) and 2794. My stack returned the following list (I wanted to have each year with sum 7.):

2194: 7    (2+1+9+4=16    1+6=7)
2203: 7
2212: 7
2221: 7
2230: 7
2239: 7
2770: 7
2779: 7
2788: 7

These are only two short examples of what the stack does.

I have included the stack and the application. Both are stuffed and encoded using StuffIt. Hopefully there are no bugs (I wrote it today).

If you try out the stack, choose either "Calculate this string" or "Advanced calculation". Advanced allows to build up a list. The syntax is: <startyear>-<endyear>[-number]
Number can be 1 to 9. For example: 2194-2794-7

You can get Marc's "Heptagon" program from the Story page - here (568K). It's a mac only app. (sorry PC Marathoners). But be warned though... the Story page cannot be held responsible for what you might uncover.

Why are the numbers seven and three so prevalent in Marathon?

Aaron Freed <> writes:

I have a possible theory for the origin of the numbers "seven" and "three".

As we all know the language of computers is a system of one's and zero's. Variables with these two possible conditions are often called "boolean" and said to be in one-bit.

Now if we take a two-bit variable then we have the possible conditions 00, 01, 10, 11, which convert to 0, 1, 2, and 3 in decimal. And a three-bit variable we have the possible conditions 000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, and 111, which translate as 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Seven and three.

Brandon Gupton <> sends in this URL for a web page on the mystical number seven:

Makes for interesting reading. Here is a quote from the page:

"It may be remarked that all through the Bible and other sacred books, the seven, whenever mentioned, always stands in relation to the spiritual or mysterious God force, and has a curious significance in this sense whenever employed."

Brandon also writes:

I found it to be interesting, especially the numerology of 1,000,000 (one thousand thousand [slimy things]) divided by seven, which equals 142857. Add those digits together, and you get 27. Yep, 3 to the third.

Concerning the above web page mentioned by Brandon Gupton and the numerology of 1,000,000 divided by seven, which equals 142857 Aaron Freed <> writes:

Just nitpicking, but that isn't so. 1,000,000 divided by seven actually equals 142857.142857..., the six digits repeating infinitely. 999,999 divided by seven is 142857.

It's also interesting because if you multiply 142857 by any number from one to six, you get the same digits as in 142857:


Ah the mysterious number seven.

Jadin Hanson <> points out that the sound volume in all three Marathon games goes up to 7.

In addition Marathon 1 has 3 channels for sound.

Seven and three. Feel the Noise!.

Concerning Aaron Freed's adept numerology above Gabe Rosenkoetter <> writes

Hmmm... there are six digits in all of these numbers - perhaps that explains why there are only six sevens in the counter on the Marathon's Story main page? ;^>

Ah the mystery of the six seven! ;-)

Chadd Nervig <> notes that in the following seemingly garbaged terminal on "Never Burn Money"

ff~~x~f~sx~~ %%%here was nothing to be gained from hesitation now%&^)}:>?~~~~~~~fxf~~~~~~~~~~f~~~~ et in her possession it would become something of consequence: though it was nothing more than a simp~le tho`~~``f`~~~rticular flower, or more precise~. ~~hen she had it just so the room flickered and tore, bending into somewhere else: ~~~ffs`~~~~f~~~[system error #25 at _Jackson]~~~~%*|\]~``se which she caused to be consumed by an ashless fire. doors opened before her without cause, their locks rusted and shatter#~#[>ff fxf~~~~~ ~~efore her slender hands began to dance in front of her horrified face. r~~fefore turning into a fine powder which settled in a pile on ~~~~4*) where she had been standing.<'scod BFB1 0002'+1Ad2> 14 seven hundred miles away, eyes on fire, tearing at her hair. Turning in fury she kicked viciouslyf aAnger made her careless and she mis~#&fx~~~gBd{}{@fx($~~~~ !#%8\ ~fxf~~~~fx 34

there are some obvious sevens (14 and seven) and some not so obvious sevens (25 and 34). A coincidence?

" Watch where you step!" cried Cindy, "there's s*** everywhere!"

If you survive the ravages of the S'pht on "Eat the Path" you'll find yourself in a dark room with the a large window. Strangely the window offers little light... but then again it's not a real window. If you look carefully at the floor of this room you'll note little piles of... well you know... thingies! Well these are not just ordinary thingies... oh no!... and the creature that left them wasn't leaving them in any random fashion. In the main part of the room they are clearly laid out in the form of a 7. If you follow them when you enter the room they lead to the window. How strange thought Cindy! But then the creator of this level was Greg Kirkpatrick.

Cindy Hoffa <> sent in a screenshot of Greg's spoor. It's not very clear since the room is dark but it gives you an idea of where to look. If you are so inclined. :-)

Eat the Path? No thank you! ;-)

Aaron Freed <> writes:

from Bob-B-Q success message:

We must head off the Pfhor threat to the Engineering section.
I am going to send you into the primary re~Tick
Count=>first_thought #49.
You must clear the area of all aliens before they destroy the
Primary Reactors.

first thought is a multiple of seven? hmmmm...

Yes. 7 x 7 = 49 and note how the #49 in underlined. Why? Coincidence?

Note also that this is one of those success messages which is difficult to read since you must save enough Bobs to satisfy Leela. The Marathon Vidmasters' Page (Tips and Tricks section) has the details on how you can do this on Total Carnage.

Muhsin Miski <> writes:

Ever notice how there are SEVEN ways to activate/deactivate switches in Marathon 2/Infinity?

1. Action key (default tab)
2. Fists
3. Fusion (Major)
4. Shotgun
5. MA-75 (grenade)
7. Alien weapon


Omer Shenker <> writes:

There is, it seems, some rationalization behind the special status of the number 7.

-----Original Message-----
From: Quote of the day <>
To: Quote of the day mailing list <>
Date: Friday, January 29, 1999 1:32 PM
Subject: Quote of the day

"My problem is that I have been persecuted by an integer. For seven years this number has followed me around, has intruded in my most private data, and has assaulted me from the pages of our most public journals. This number assumes a variety of disguises, being sometimes a little larger and sometimes a little smaller than usual, but never changing so much as to be unrecognizable. The persistence with which this number plagues me is far more than a random accident. There is, to quote a famous senator, a design behind it, some pattern governing its appearances. Either there really is something unusual about the number or else I am suffering from delusions of persecution."

- George A. Miller, The Psychological Review, 1956, vol. 63, pp. 81-97.
"The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our
Capacity for Processing Information"

                    Submitted by: Gordon Joly
                         Jan. 11, 1999
        Send quotation submissions to
    Send list changes or requests to

"...delusions of persecution" or something more?

George A. Miller is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Princeton University. You can read his full article on "The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information" at

The last part of the article reads:

And finally, what about the magical number seven? What about the seven wonders of the world, the seven seas, the seven deadly sins, the seven daughters of Atlas in the Pleiades, the seven ages of man, the seven levels of hell, the seven primary colors, the seven notes of the musical scale, and the seven days of the week? What about the seven-point rating scale, the seven categories for absolute judgment, the seven objects in the span of attention, and the seven digits in the span of immediate memory? For the present I propose to withhold judgment. Perhaps there is something deep and profound behind all these sevens, something just calling out for us to discover it. But I suspect that it is only a pernicious, Pythagorean coincidence.

Note also how the name of the author of the above article "George A. Miller" is similar to "James B. Miller" who wrote about Rampancy in terminal 2 of "Defend THIS!"

Coincidence or...

The above link to George A. Miller's article no longer works but thanks to Amanda Nelson <> we have another useful page on George Miller's theory of memory capacities - The Magical Number Seven.

Mauro Braunstein <> writes:

By evaluating the first 11 powers of 7 (starting with 0), I recognized the following repeating pattern in the sums of the digits of each power by inductive reasoning:

1, 7, 4, 1, 7, 4, 1, 7, 4, 1, 7, etc.

This is true for some numbers other than seven, but the interesting thing is that these repeat every 3 numbers. And one of the sums is 7. Coincidence?

This simply adds to the mysticism of the number 7, and may provide clues about the creation of the Marathon universe.

What's even more interesting that if the above pattern is made into a repeating decimal, the fractional equivalent is 49/333. That's 7^2/333 (the other mystical number being 3, of course).

If you are not clear on what Mauro is referring to then try this.

7 to the power of 0 = 1
7 to the power of 1 = 7
7 to the power of 2 = 49 which reduces to 4
7 to the power of 3 = 343 which reduces to 1
7 to the power of 4 = 2401 which reduces to 7
7 to the power of 5 = 16807 which reduces to 4
7 to the power of 6 = 117649 which reduces to 1
7 to the power of 7 = 823543 which reduces to 7
7 to the power of 8 = 5764801 which reduces to 4
7 to the power of 9 = 40353607 which reduces to 1
7 to the power of 10 = 282475249 which reduces to 7
7 to the power of 11 = 1977326743 which reduces to 4
7 to the power of 12 = 13841287201 which reduces to 1
7 to the power of 13 = 196889010407 which reduces to 7

etc etc....

As Mauro points out this is a repeating series of the three numbers 1, 7, 4 which also reduces to 3.

James Gurnee <> writes:

Marathon Infinity (Marathon number 3) has 4 chapters (3+4=7), amount of solo levels in each are as follows (not including the 3 secret vidmaster levels):

Prologue: 1 level

Despair: 8 levels

Rage: 13 levels

Envy: 8 levels

If you multiply the amount of levels by the chapter number according to the map file,

Prologue: 1x1=1, Despair: 8x2=16 (1+6=7), Rage: 13x3=39, Envy: 8x4=32, and add the products together: 1+16+39+32=88 (which is the total amount of known Bungie Marathon solo levels released with the Marathon trilogy), and 88 reduces to seven.

Also, there are 8 letters in both the words 'Marathon' and 'Infinity', 8+8=16, which reduces to seven again.

Mike Forman <> writes:

Here's another little numerical ditty for you:

The Pfhor have three eyes...

Phfor... three...

4... 3...


Alan Lively <> writes:

Brandon Gupton submitted the URL that explores the mystical nature of the number seven. Unfortunately, this domain seems to be defunct. These are a couple of alternatives: Rather sparse on text, but it does have a table depicting the odd fact that seven is the only number that will not divide evenly into the 360 degrees of a circle. Quite interesting. contains a couple of pages of text discussing the role of the number seven in various world religions. Actually, you'll get plenty of hits returned from if you enter "mystical number seven" and click the "As a Phrase" button.

After reading the multitude of references in the Seven Section, I thought about one myself: My favorite Bungie T-shirt:

Back of shirt-"Don't Make Us Kick Your Ass." -six words.
Front of shirt- "Bungie" -one word.
Total? Anyone?...Anyone?...BUELLER...

And there is also Bungie's 7-Step World Domination Plan (71K) on the back of their limited edition "Ling-Ling" t-shirt unveiled at the Bungie Fanfest New York 2000.

Bill Carey <> writes concerning the following line in one of Tycho's terminals on Sorry Don't Make It So (Terminal 1):

"Tycho, display the x-ray diffraction analysis of sample eta-seven,"

Bill makes the point that while the explicit seven reference has been noted on The Number Seven section there is an hidden seven in the form of the Greek letter "eta". Bill writes:

... eta is the seventh letter. Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon, zeta, and eta. Just one more seven to throw on the pile.

Staying with this terminal text there is also the line:

"Tycho, realign[sic] microwave dish forty-nine"

Oddly the hidden seven reference in the form of "forty-nine" (7 x 7) has also never been pointed out on the Story page.

Sebastian "The Tiny Toad" Brytting <> writes concerning Bernhard Strauss and the number seven:

I came across the "Seven" section in facts & puzzling things. You have calculated that Bern(h)ard Strauss' name will add up to 7 using the numerological yadda-yadda system. But you have done one thing wrong! According to my fortune-telling book (The Complete Book of Predictions (ASIN: 0213168758)) the number 9 isn't used when calculating numerological values since the dudes who invented the idea respected the number 9 as a symbol of god. So the chart looks like this:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
a b c d e f g h
i j k l m n o p
q r s t u v w x
y z
And Bernard Strauss would be: 2+5+2+6+1+2+4 + 3+4+2+1+5+3+3 = 43 = 4+3 equals....
um.... 7.

Hmmm... so if you calculate the numerological value of the name "Bernard Strauss" without a nine you get a 7 and if you do the same with "Bernhard Strauss" (alternative spelling) with a nine you also get a 7. Coincidence or...? ;-)

yaco <> writes:

i'm rebuilding (rearranging/re-producing) the marathon 1 music and found a little fact for you:

the song 'Chomber' (Music 01) is in 7/4. that's seven beats to a measure, grouped 4+3. another seven. but the funny part is that the song is only played once in the game, in 'Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken'.

which is the seventh level.

Numbers are funny. Michael Treiman <> writes conerning the name of the Master Chief in Halo "John-117":

...the number 819 in the secret easter egg level in Marathin Infinity 'Hats Off To Eight Nineteen' is 117*7.

So "John-117" just happens to be 819 divided by 7. Now Matthew Fernandez <> writes concerning the number 117:

117 also appears on a terminal in Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken!

....n 15 ~~~~~~Be~rn border of the Roman Empire to the Danube
River. During a skirmish with barbarians in Raetiain the
mountains near the borof modern France and Switzerland), 117
men under Gaius Licinius MarcW#&I~?f/f/xxfxfff`~~~


Seems to be a pretty important number to Bungie.

Eric Peterson <> writes:

I read through 'The Number Seven' page yesterday and started to play around with weapon timing. If I counted correctly, get a fully loaded AR (bullets and grenades) and simply hold down both primary and secondary fire.

Open the third primary reload, the secondary reloads also.

Coincidence, considering all of the other 7s and 3s that went into this weapon?

Try it and see...

Error on The Number Seven page? Well yes, My Name <> in a Story forum post points out that the last power of 7 calculation in Mauro Braunstein's submission above should be

7 to the power of 13 = 96889010407 which reduces to 7

and not

7 to the power of 13 = 196889010407 which reduces to 7

Fortunately this must have been a simple typo since the number 96889010407 reduces to 52, which in turns reduces to 7. Thus Mauro Braunstein's observation that powers of 7 reduce to the numbers 1, 7, and 4, in a repeating sequence still holds.

The signifiance of the number 174 in Marathon I will leave for you to deduce.

Hopper <> in a Story forum post writes:

...has anybody noticed that the apparent date in the Marathon terminal header
advances at the rate of roughly seven minutes per in-game second?

Hopper is referring to the numbers in the top right of a Marathon terminal (see below).

Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

Title graphic courtesy of Matthew Smith
Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Apr 16, 2013