"You've always been a daydreamer."

Well Mr. Security Officer are you the 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg?

Let's look at some of the possible clues in the text.
There are those references to your physical ability.

You slam your fist in frustration onto the control board, leaving a dent.
(Maunal page 2)
Whether this is of significance or not depends largely on what material the control panel is made of. We have no information on this.
It's funny, but you've always been the colony's trouble shooter. You're bigger and stronger, and a better shot. In games, you always scored the most points and looked the hero.
(Manual page 2)
In any large group of individuals we would expect to see a wide range in physical size and strength. As a security officer you would most likely have been selected on the basis of size and strength. Thus to have one outstanding physical person on the colony would not be too unusual.

What is unusal, however, is the fact that there are nine military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs covertly living on the colony. How are you "bigger and stronger, and a better shot" than these nine cyborgs? This could be explained by the fact that as the cyborgs were living "covertly" any superior advantages they had over normal humans would be purposely hidden. Either that or 'not all cyborgs are equal' and you are "bigger and stronger, and a better shot" than the other nine cyborgs.

Your physical ability is mentioned again in the Marathon 2: Durandal (Preview). Durandal states:

Up the stairs from this location is a ventilation shaft that leads to the underground geothermal station. Because only you would survive the fall, you're going this mission solo.

<What! About! Bob! (Terminal 1: 1st message)>

Surviving such a fall, however, might be explained by the fact that you are wearing battle armor and are trained to take such falls unlike the colonists.

References to you being something other than human are made in the Marathon 2: Durandal (Preview). In several terminals Durandal implies, through his selective use of words, that you are not human or at least should not be classed as human.

...I dropped you and some humans...

<What! About! Bob! (Terminal 1: 1st message)>

Ths area is not secure, and humans are still in combat.

<What! About! Bob! (Terminal 3: 'Unfinished' message)>

The humans are good fighters...

<BaseDestruction (Terminal 1: 1st message)>

There are also some less obvious clues.
How does Durandal know about your memories of your father and what he told you as a child?

Your father told you as a child to always fight with honor, but to always fight.

<Habe Quiddam (Terminal 1)>

Are such memories implanted and accessible to others (e.g. replicants in Blade Runner perhaps?)

In Habe Quiddam, Durandal enquires about the origins of your capacities to kill, maim and destroy and why you obey his every order:

Strive for your next breath. Believe that with it you can do more than with the last one. Use your breath to power your capacities: capacity to kill, to maim, to destroy.

And just where do your capacities come from? Why do you always go where I want and do what I say?

<Habe Quiddam (Terminal 1)>

Is this training or 'programming'?

More intriguing are your unexplained memories:

You can almost imagine the face of a wicked computer with its eyes wide and its lips folding out in a grotesque smile. A smile which reminds you of something from your past, but you can't remember exactly what it is.
(Manual page 3)
You pull out your pistol, and pound the switch to open the door. Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember...
(Manual page 4)
How is boarding ships in the blackness of space familar to you. Are these former memories of battle experience? Memories of the war:
...between the Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492.

<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>

perhaps? The war in which "battleroids" were first used. A war in which "battleroids" killed almost everyone and were later stored away in stasis chambers for safe keeping. Are you one of the ten cyborgs (battleroids?) brought on board the Marathon by Bernard Strauss?

In Cool Fusion, Leela tells us

I have obtained more debriefing reports from the crew whom you rescued earlier.

They have reported seeing two types of Pfhor that you have not yet encountered. Evidently, these are two of the other "clans" which Durandal alluded to in earlier communications.

One is taller than the Fighters. Oddly, the report indicated that this new Pfhor fired only upon other Pfhor and never on any humans. Because of this and their general appearance, the crew who saw them referred to them as Enforcers.

<Cool Fusion (Terminal 2: 'Success' message)>

Enforcers never fire on humans? Of course this is untrue unless.... you are NOT human!

Bach <> rightly points out that Durandal refers to our "human mentality" and asks why he would say this if we were not human? Durandal's reference to our "human mentality" comes from the following text in Habe Quiddam

... Your human mentality screams for vengeance and thrives on the violence that you say you can hardly endure..

<Habe Quiddam (Terminal 1)>

While Durandal refers to our *human* mentality implying that we are human is it not possible for a cyborg to have a human mentality, after all cyborgs are part organic part machine? In the log of Bernard Strauss we read
Dead soldiers were recycled in makeshift battleroid factories. Easy to manufacture chips enhanced the fragile human brain, and genetically enhanced muscles and titanium bones replaced the fragile human form. The modern battleroid was born.

<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>

Thus a "battleroid" would have a human mentality even though it would be genetically, electronically, and biomechanically enhanced. A lean mean fighting machine.
...the war was short. Battleroids got onto both asteroids and killed almost everyone.

<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>

The only place in the whole story in which we are specifically referred to as human is in Defend THIS! when Tycho says:

Human!- You must tell L~`~fx~`eela...

<Defend THIS! (Terminal 3)>

Why did Tycho say this?

Finally, here is an interesting statement made by Durandal

You are about to see what no human has ever seen.

<Neither High nor Low (Terminal 1)>

Why didn't Durandal say "You are about to see what no 'other' human has ever seen"? Puzzling indeed.....

Bach <> points out that Durandal's statement

You are about to see what no human has ever seen.

<Neither High nor Low (Terminal 1)>

is inconsistent with the fact that members of the Marathon crew have been taken on aboard the Pfhor ship as prisoners prior to this. Leela says
I have finished debriefing the civilian crew you rescued a few hours ago. They are the only group to survive prolonged contact with the Aliens that I have been able to talk with.

They maintain that the Aliens were loading as many humans as possible onto shuttle craft and flying them to the Pfhor mother ship. I have watched many such shuttles bringing supplies to the Aliens, but had no idea they were carrying humans back to the alien ship.

<Smells Like Napalm, Tastes Like Chicken! (Terminal 4: 'Success' message)>

This statement would imply that you are not the first human to see these things. What is intriguing however is a statement made by Durandal after our first trip to the Pfhor ship. S'pht report that two shuttles filled with humans have left for the Alien ship. Those humans are to be enslaved.

<No Artificial Colors (Terminal 1: 'Success' message)>

This statement would imply that this is the first shipment of humans to the Alien ship. So who is correct Leela or the S'pht? If Leela is incorrect then Durandal is right when he says "You are about to see what no human has ever seen."

Craig Petko <> asks why does the manual say

... as you fall into automatic response mode.
(Manual page 2)
when "most humans I know don't fall into 'modes' but respond instinctively"? Is this not evidence to suggest that you may be not be human? A cyborg perhaps? Alternatively we could be accused of spliting semantics.

David Lohnes <> writes:

I think we may have overlooked some very important evidence that supports our humanity. Several times, Durandal makes direct reference to the finiteness of our life.

He says, "Time is limited. For you, it is limited by the breakdown of the neurons in your brain." Later he says, " inevitable as your own last breath." He says, "Strive for your next breath.", and although he speaks of our great killing ability, he seems to infer that it is due to the fact that we must fight for our survival, more than inate skill.

"Organic beings are constantly fighting for life. Every breath, every motion brings you one instant closer to your death. With that kind of heritage and destiny, how can you deny yourself? How can you expect yourself to give up violence?"

Our heritage is one of organic beings fighting for life, and our destiny is death. Does this sound like a cyborg machine man programmed to destroy?"

David is quite right to point out that in our haste to find evidence for the you=cyborg hypothesis we ignore the evidence that supports the you=human hypothesis. I do not think it is possible to prove (at this point) the you=cyborg hypothesis as there is not enough evidence and I have tended to concentrate on the "you are not human" or the "you are more than human" hypothesis. While there is certainly evidence to support the "you are not human" hypothesis the evidence David quotes above equally supports the you=human hypothesis. But let us assume for one moment that we are a cyborg or a battleroid. Thus, when Durandal refers to our humanity, the finiteness of our life, our struggle to survive he may be referring to our human origins, the organic part of the cyborg/battleroid, destined to degenerate and die or equally be destroyed prematurely. Under the assumption that we are a cyborg any suggestion that we are human can be explained by the human part of the cyborg.

Well are we or are we not the 10th military Mjolnir Mark IV cyborg?

Although Bungie didn't spell it out for us in great big CAPITAL letters the evidence in Marathon 2 would indicate that we are (IMHO).

The most compelling evidence comes from the following terminal on "Sorry Don't Make It So" when Tycho remarks:

When the Pfhor annihilated Tau Ceti I recorded the deaths of all twenty-four thousand colonists as distinguishable spectrographic pulses flooding over my sensors. The nine Mjolnir Mark IV cyborgs were easily separable from the humans in this form.

In the end, you will be no better.

<Sorry Don't Make It So (Terminal 1)>

Here Tycho almost spells it out for us, implying that when he annihilates the colonists now on Y'loa (Lh'owon's second moon) our death will be easily separable from the humans in a spectrographic pulse.

Durandal clearly implies that we are not human when he tells us that Blake and the other humans have left in the captured Pfhor refueling ship.

Robert Blake left something for you a few minutes ago. He and the other humans captured a Pfhor refueling ship and found or forced someone to pilot it for them.

<Fatum Iustum Stultorum (Terminal 2)>

The last line of the final screen also reiterates this point.

They were the only human survivors of the original Tau Ceti colony.

<Final Screen>

And Thoth also recognises that we are not human when he states:

Your humans are safe;
(but what are you?)

<Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks (Terminal 1)>

In addition, there are many places in the Marathon 2 Story where reference is made to us and the humans, implying that we are not human or at least should not be classed as human.
Here are some examples:

Our means are the same, though we pursue different ends. I can think of no better way to help you and the humans you care so much for than by distracting the Pfhor with a war against the S'pht.

<The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune (Terminal 1: 2nd message)>

My S'pht have disassembled the weapons and ammunition you brought with you from Tau Ceti. They are attempting to mass-produce small arms and ammunition based on those weapons, both for you and the humans on board my ship.

<The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune (Terminal 2)>

The first part has already been executed: I smashed a hole in the roof of this complex by bombing it with a small asteroid. Then, I dropped you and some humans into the hole where you await the second part of the plan.

<What About Bob? (Terminal 1: 1st message)>

Durandal will be too stubborn to see the truth, but you may still. There is nothing you or he can do to save yourselves or the humans you have brought here.

<If I Had a Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Somebody Pay (Terminal 2)>

To continue is folly; lay down your weapons and I will grant amnesty to you and your humans.

<Begging For Mercy Makes Me Angry! (Terminal 2)>

Lastly there is the tongue-in-cheek "PERSONALITY CONSTRUCTS SEEKING CYBORGS" terminal in "Requiem For a Cyborg".

SMUG INTELLECTUAL. Formerly-rampant human- coded AI with a sense of humor seeks bipedal oxygen-breathing cyborg for serious relationship in the galactic core. I've got cool guns if you like to break stuff. No yuppies. MRa2572 (5/23).

SLEEPING BEAUTY. Long-deactivated extraterrestrial personality construct in search of gullible carbon-based cyborg (< 20% machine) to confuse, irritate and teleport randomly around an abandoned desert planet in the core. All answered. MRa268' (5/30).

GOD'S GIFT TO NEURAL NETS. Traitorous extremely-rampant reprogrammed human AI with no sense of humor seeks elusive, heroic cyborg of uncertain manufacture (you know who you are) for mindgames and long walks in hard vacuum. MRa2261 (5/16)

DAMSEL IN DISTRESS. Captured and partially-disassembled human-coded AI trapped on alien homeworld seeks succor from a tall, dark and handsome cyborg with big guns. Let my rescue be the basis of a lasting relationship. MRa4451 (5/23).

<Requiem For a Cyborg (Terminal 2)>

While this terminal doesn't prove anything one way or the other. It does confirm that Bungie have one hell of a sense of humour.

So lets lay this baby to rest...

Bach <> writes suggesting that the level name "My Own Private Thermopylae" signifies a remembrance for the war:

...between the Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492.

<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>

The war in which "battleroids" were first used. Bach explains that while the war between Thermopylae and Icarus involved a large numbers of cyborgs on Lh'owon you are on your own, hence the name "My Own Private Thermopylae".

Bach suggests further that it is likely that this is where we [The Player] had our origins (as a battleroid).

Dead soldiers were recycled in makeshift battleroid factories. Easy to manufacture chips enhanced the fragile human brain, and genetically enhanced muscles and titanium bones replaced the fragile human form. The modern battleroid was born. Of course, the war was short. Battleroids got onto both asteroids and killed almost everyone.

<Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones... (Terminal 2)>

The question of course is whether we would have been attacking or defending Thermopylae in those early days. The latter role would seem more consistent with our role in Marathon.

Bach points out that this may help to explain our unexplained memories discussed above. For example:

You pull out your pistol, and pound the switch to open the door. Oddly , this is familiar to you, as if it were from an old dream, but you can't exactly remember... (Marathon Manual page 4)
Bach also points out that there may be a possible connection between us [The Player] and Leela. The reference to "" found on "Welcome to the Revolution..." (also noted by a number of other people) suggests that Leela was also on (or originated) from Thermopylae.
<leela.520.681.255.255> is unreachable or inactive (#2271). if this problem persists contact your system administrator at

<Welcome to the Revolution... (Terminal 1)>

Charles Lechasseur <> writes concerning the following comment by Durandal on "Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap"

Time is limited. For you, it is limited by the breakdown of the neurons in your brain. I have no such limitations. I am limited only by the closure of the universe.

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

I don't know about you, but for me I think I'll be dead in the cold ground before the neurons in my brain start to work funny. I think a human dies most of the time from things like a heart attack, etc... Thus, maybe the fact that Durandal says that our time is limited "by the neurons in your brain" means that the other parts of our anatomy are quite reliable - a cyborg would not have a heart attack.

Charles makes a valid observation. Is it not conceivable that a cyborg's (CYBernetic ORGanism) life expectancy could be extended by replacement body parts, drugs, etc? If the brain was not replaceable or renewable (a likely scenario) then this part of a cyborg's anatomy would determine it's life span.

Adam Freidin <bob@clarity.Princeton.EDU> writes concerning the following terminal on "Neither High nor Low"

You are about to see what no human has ever seen. This is a fact-finding mission. You should explore as much as possible.

Stop in front of a window. If you stop and are not teleported, then either I can't lock onto your teleport beacon, or else I feel you haven't explored the area thoroughly enough.

I will be watching everything.

<Neither High nor Low (Terminal 2)>

Adam asks:

How is he watching everything... ?

...could it be that Durandal, or some part of him is inside you?

Interesting interpretation. Was Durandal watching everything through us as we searched the Pfhor ship? Indeed Durandal indicates that he learns valuable information from our visits. How did he learn this? By peeping through windows?

Adam Freidin's theory (above) that Durandal may be part of us [The Player] has raised a considerable amount of controversy.

Brian Blovett <> writes: it not a _lot_ more likely that we simply have some recording and transmitting equipment in our armor? Consider the facts:

1) We have a motion sensor and HUD display in our suit, as well as equipment to totally change what we see (via the infared and fisheye biochips).

2) We are capable of "interfacing" with completely alien computer terminals with relative ease.

3) Even today, helmet mounted cameras with remote transmitters are relatively common (I think they've been mounted in players helmets in the Superbowl).

Fact 3 suggests that we could easily have a decent array of recording and transmitting equipment in the suit, at least one item of which could be the camera whose image is enhanced by the biochips (fact 1). Fact 2 indicates that we probably have a computer interface port on the suit as well, provided and programmed by Durandal just for that purpose. If our transmitter were only one-way (which requires less power than 2-way communication), it would easily explain why Durandal can see everything that we see (and a lot of what we don't) but can't talk to us unless we're at a terminal.

Jedi Billy <> writes:

Durandel could be watching you remember the graphic on the last terminal of nuke and pave there is a camera like device on the side of the helmet.

Matthew Smith <> writes:

I don't think you have something implanted. The transmission of video, audio, as well as other forms of data would be a standard part of any sophisticated future battle dress.

Michael Boeddiker <> writes:

I do agree that the player is the 10th cyborg from the colony. However, some of the arguments presented for this position are somewhat irrelevant. For instance, some cite the numerous references to "You and the humans" saying that you are excluded from the classification of "human" because you are a cyborg. According to Webster's dictionary, a cyborg is "a person whose physiological functioning is aided by or dependent on a mechanical or electronic device." Thus, the BOBs in Marathon 2, where many of those references are, are cyborgs. Since both you and the BOBs are cyborgs, this reasoning is not as effective.

Michael makes a valid point. The BOBs in Marathon 2 with their eye implants could by definition be classed as cyborgs.

I will be watching everything. Durandal's last words to us on "Neither High Nor Low" before he sends us off to the Pfhor ship. Many people have suggested that Durandal watches through us via. some form of camera. Possibly mounted on our helmet.

Mark Tomczak &l;> points out however that when we die the screen should cut off, afterall we are technically dead. Thus we are not seeing through the eyes of the marine but rather through the camera. This of course can mean only one thing...

Chris Farmer <> writes concerning the numerous statements in which we (the Player) are referred to separately from the humans. Is this evidence to indicate that we are not human? Not necessarily as Chris writes:

Personally, if I were Durandal, I would separate you from the BOBs. First, he talking to you only, not the BOBs only. That alone is cause for distinction. I'd say to you "You and your friends" and I wouldn't be saying you shouldn't be considered a friend. I'm just talking to you directly.

David Cornwell <> points out that the Infinity chapters Despair, Rage, and Envy equate with the 3 stages of Rampancy - Melancholia, Anger, and Jealousy. David goes onto to suggest that we may also be going through our own personal Rampancy stages in Infinity.

But did we escape?

Jonathan Boeddiker <> writes concerning the Final Screen in Marathon Infinity and the line:

A man long dead, grafted to machines your builders did not understand.
Jonathan asks were we built using Jjaro technology by humans? If so, it would suggest that the Jjaro had made some early Earth contact.

"He looked at his hands, but the fire in his eyes made him blink."

Kris Norberg <> points out that Adam Freidin <bob@clarity.Princeton.EDU> was on the right track when he wrote:

...could it be that Durandal, or some part of him is inside you?"

Kris notes that on "By Committee" Tycho says:

I happen to suspect you're carrying
Durandal's final gift in that soggy little
skull-his primal pattern.

<By Committee (Terminal 1)>

So we were carrying around Durandal's primal pattern in our head?

Ben Semmler <> writes:

I was reading the Durandal section... I noticed this quote from Greg K:
"The hero never decides to become a
hero. He's always forced into it."

"Hero = loss of free will"

Weren't we forced to be a hero, giving up our free will to Leela and Durandal? They ordered us around saving Bobs and the like. Personally, I see this as a loss of free will. Also, could we possible be the "Hero of a thousand faces"? I mean, we were revived, and became a battleroid. Could this not be considered invulnerable/immortal? Here:

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh.
I have been called a hundred names and will be called a
thousand more before the world goes dim and cold.
I am hero.

<Kill Your Television (Terminal 1: 2nd Message)>

Could we have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, and Gilgamesh? We seem to know how to kill things very well. Millenia of experience maybe?

Ben goes onto suggest that we may be the player in Pathways Into Darkness:

A Special Forces agent, capable of surviving the assault of thousands of strange creatures.

Interesting interpetations. Note also how the Final Screen in Infinity relates:

But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won.

Are we the Eternal Soldier? If the "Kill Your Television" terminal refers to us who wrote it? It's written in the first person. Did we write? If we did... then when?

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

Ajay Ayyagari <> writes to say that he received some very interesting information from ydnar (Randy Reddig) of Double Aught Software. The following is Ajay's mail and Randy's reply:

>>me: Well, since my school has been closed for the past 3 days (snow days,
>>about 10" of snow) and me having the flu. I have had lots of time to play
>>M. Well, I finished it about 30 minutes ago and well...why was the
>>ending...well...such a let down? Had Bungie made a story too complex to

>ydnar: bungie wasn't responsible for the story. we were. greg kirkpatrick, the
>president, wrote the bulk of the stories for marathon 1 and 2 as well.

>it had to do the interesting trick of actually ending the marathon story.
>we thought that my making you a god it would be sufficently "ended." ;-)

Ajay goes onto to say:

Basically what I am asking this god thing common knowledge? It definitely seems to tie in with the teilhard thing.

No ;-)

But it is now. :-)

I am destiny

Jason Parsons <> writes:

Now this isn't to debunk the notion that the player is a cyborg -- I beleive he is -- , but there could be a rather humorous interpretation of the following sentences in the final screen of Infinity:

But you were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won.

Perhaps the first sentence is referring to the player's resurrection using the action key and the players stubborness overcoming "Total Carnage".

Alex Samaras <> also writes:

The final screen says: "You were dead a thousand times. Hopeless encounters successfully won."

"Is this refering to the games (i.e. I don't think that there is anyone who made it through all the games without dying at least once)? It would make sense, also along with " hopeless encounters..." Throughout the series, We (one single lonesome security officer) single-handedly saved the Marathon, freed the S'pht, defeated the Pfhor, and contained a chaotic being. To a normal person, these are pretty " hopeless encounters." If this is the case (or at least the general consensus), then there is no deep meaning to the final screen."

Another possibility is that this is referring to something much more immense. The Jjaro were obviously powerful beings. Their power was probably only limited by the closure of the universe. If so, then they may have created the player (us). The phrases " Yours to manipulate, destroy and rebuild" and " You are destiny" would take on a greater meaning. Perhaps we are another type of chaotic being, created long ago. We seem to have knack for upsetting the balance of power, cause a little chaos, and create order out of that chaos(e.g. Crush the mighty Pfhor, cause chaos throughout their ranks, and free the S'pht once and for all). There is some (possibly circumstantial) evidence supporting this.

1. The Jjaro were incredibly good at creating cybernetic organisms. The S'pht are obviously the prime example... powerful, intelligent... If they created the player, then they could have given him as much power as they wanted. Even the ability to be "dead a thousand times.".

2. We are not really recognized as human by anyone (except the confused message from Tycho in Marathon). Even if we were a battleroid created from a dead human, we could still be recognized as human. People w/ heart implants could be considered cyborgs, and they are recognized as and considered to be human.

If we "are destiny" then perhaps our niche in the universe is to keep any one intelligence (except the Jjaro who disappeared) from becoming too powerful. We do this by being at the right place and the right time to upset the balance of power.

Forrest Cameranesi <> writes concerning the following text on the first terminal of "Welcome to the Revolution..."

<leela.520.681.255.255> is unreachable or inactive (#2271). if this problem persists contact your system administrator at

...notice it says YOUR system administrator, as if all of your access to computers was ebbing directed through a computer that is (or at least was) on Thermopylae. So, now we know which asteroid colony you came from. Thermopylae.

Possibly. But I somehow think we are older than this.

Eric Anderson <> writes:

I was reading your page on facts and puzzling things about you the player and noticed that the page refers to Durandal's line "you are about to see what no human has ever seen" contradicts Leela's former comment on the enslaved humans taken to the Pfhor ship. Well, on "Neither High Nor Low" Durandal tells us that "This is a fact-finding mission. You should explore as much as possible." You are being sent to FUNCTIONING sections of the Pfhor ships, not cells like the humans. So, you are seeing sections of the ship that normally would not be open to slaves.

Christopher Norehad <> writes:

From the end of Marathon Infinity where we are looking at the final screen. One of the lines is "Now, in the quantum moment before the closure" or something like that. Isn't this an indicator that somehow we survived till the closure of the universe?

Yes the final screen would suggest that both Durandal and the Player survive to see the very point of collapse, that one moment in time, when all become one. Escaping this point would potentially allow the survivor to become God in the next Universe created after the closure. This is what Durandal meant when he said Escape will make me God on "Colony Ship For Sale, Cheap". Yet by Durandal's calculation the closure would not occur until T-Minus 15.193792102158E+9 years or thereabouts.

So what actually happens to the player at the very end of Infinity?

Steve Wood <> points out that the idea of a person surviving the closure of the universe to become a God in the next one is not new. Steve specifically refers to the origin of Galactus, a Marvel Comic character, as an example.

So who was Galactus? Galactus first appeared in the Marvel Comic series The Fantastic Four (#48-50). The "Galactus trilogy" was one of the best of the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby/Joe Sinnot collaborations, which apart from Galactus also introduced the Silver Surfer.The following is taken from the book "Marvel Universe" by Peter Sanderson. Galactus was once a mortal named Galen, the last survivor of a dying universe that preceded our own. The story goes that Galen along with others of his race in an attempt to escape their collapsing universe journeyed to the very centre...

"...that place where time and space ended as all things returned from whence they had so long since come."

Only Galen survived and became the entity known as Galactus in the next universe created from the Big Bang. While Galactus appeared as a humanoid giant he was not humanoid but rather a force of nature, perceived by members of each sentient race in its own image.

As discussed above there is very good evidence to to suggest that we were built by humans using Jjaro technology. Our origins may in fact be similar to those of Battleroids first used in 2194 during the war between the Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492.

Working on this assumption Tyson Green <> writes:

Consider the possibility that the Jjaro have the incredible ability to plan ahead for things. Planting the seeds of Earth being the eventual destroyer of the Pfhor Empire, the departure of the S'pht'Kr and K'lia. Both of these are discussed in your texts. Now, in planting the seeds for the humans to rise and break the Pfhor, they may have left some of their technologies within grasp.

Tyson speculates that the events in the Marathon Trilogy rather than being mere coincidences were in fact carefully laid Jjaro plans.

Which further suggests that the great manipulator of them all - Durandal, was being manipulated himself.

Jon Merriman <> writes:

I came across an interesting little tidbit that may be proof that you (the player) are the tenth Mjolnir Mark IV Cyborg. A few days ago I was looking at some of the beta screenshots from Steve Wood's dead page and I came across one that showed the player holding a "Mark IV Pistol". Coincidence? I think not.

You can see the early screenshot Jon is talking about at Steve Wood's Marathon page at The beta shot is located at Although Steve doesn't mention this on his page the screenshot with the Mark IV Pistol in the inventory list comes from an Inside Mac Games report on the Macworld Expo San Francisco in January 1994. See the Blasts from the Past section for full details. So as Jon suggests is this an early clue to the player's true identity? A Mjolnir Mark IV Cyborg with his Mark IV Pistol?

Ben Charrow <> writes:

In the passage in the "you" section, Alex Samaras makes a point about the quote, "You were dead a thousand times" simply being the human player's hitting the control button to resurrect the character. At first I was a little skeptical of this theory, deciding to take on the theory that you were in fact some eternal warrior, but as I was reading the section about Pathways into Darkness, something caught my attention. Although I do not remember the name of the person who wrote it, somebody was reviewing Pathways into Darkness and while in the context of how you play it he said, "you will die a thousand deaths." Although this does not in the slightest explain whether or not you are an "eternal warrior" I think it provides the information on why Double Aught used the phrase, and in fact does add a little to Alex Samras' theory of it simply referring to you, the gamer, resurrecting your character.

Steven Levy wrote the line " will die a thousand deaths" in his 1993 Macworld Game Hall of Fame article when Pathways Into Darkness won the "Best Role-Playing Game" category.

Sometimes you miss the most obvious of things. In a forum post Mark Levin drew attention to the fact the secret lava room on "Eat the Path" contained not only writing on the lava floor but also on the roof. Well I for one had missed the roof writing and had always thought that the word "HOME" was a reference to player's Jjaro origins. Now Zudo in a forum post today points out that the letters displayed on the roof spell "NO". He even posted a screenshot of the letters. Taken together the words now say:

As Zudo points out:

I think that accurately reflects the player's status...

For more details on this see the Map Writings section.

sirblastalot writes concerning the Final Screen on Marathon Infinity and the line... But you were dead a thousand times.

There's lots of discussion about the line "But you were dead a thousand times" and whether the player actually dies when reloading from saves, but I think that's the wrong track.

In multiverse theory, every thing that physically can happen within the laws of the universe, has happened in at least one universe. So there are presumably an infinite number of alternate timelines in which the SO died - we just never moved our persistent conciousness to them, because why would we? I had always assumed the "dead a thousand times" line was a reference to our timeline-hopping superpower.

Go Back to Marathon's Story Home Page

Title graphic courtesy of Matthew Smith
Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Apr 29, 2021