/-/S'pht-Translator-Active/-/


Scrapbook Pages 23-26
Posted By: REBDate: 3/5/02 1:22 p.m.

In Response To: Scrapbook Pages 19-22 (REB)

Page 23

allowed him to give mouths to the Pfhor. Mark revamped ad created a large portion of the textures, making them not only useful individually but also as a unified group. (He managed to hide his initials in one of the switch textures.) Mark also contributed a fair share of terminal art, including a caricature of Jason, Greg and Rob as Bobs on the level "Come and Take Your Medicine."

Rob wasn't content to simply revise older aliens; he created several new ones as well. One such creation was the "cyborg tank" with its michael jordanesque weaponry - the bouncing bomb, These were originally conceived as surgically-altered Bobs, an "enemy" the player might feel bad about killing. (Then again, some people like to kill Bobs.) Rob explains how the idea arose:

"Remember after you and Durandal hoofed it away from Tau Ceti, the larger force of Pfhor show up and rain on everybody's parade Being slavers they grab up what they can and turn the rest into sub-atomic salsa. Well I initially put forward the idea that you might run across these loin cloth-wearing shackled Bob's on one of the Pfhor ships (and at several locations planetside), but no one would go for it... so then I came up with the idea that the Pfhor have all this information on you from tapping into the information stored in the "Pattern Buffer Devices" that you dumped your "pattern" into all over the Marathon. So the Pfhor have a bunch of schematics and all this raw material but no experience this sort of advanced surgery and only 17 years to "get it right". So basically the "cyborg tanks" are these unfortunate Bobs that have been "radically, surgically altered" so that the Pfhor would have some hard guys of their own waiting for you when you got to Lh'owon! Of course none of this ever made it into the game."

Rob also created the S'Pht'Kr Defender, a sleeker futuristic alien. The defender only appears near the end of the game, but as the fabled lost clan of the S'pht race, they play a major role in the plot. Rob created the Defender in StudioPro; as an asymmetrical creature, every action it performed (shooting, raising shields, crashing) had to be rendered separately from every angle - about 40 renderings total. The result is one of the most visually exciting aliens in the game.

Like the first Marathon, there were a few elements that never made their way into the final game. Chief among these were the Zombie Pfhor. Originally, these were Pfhor fighters that had been mutated by the highly radioactive Lh'owon atmosphere. In a later version of the story these sadly deformed creatures were victims of a biological weapon developed by the S'pht rescued in the first game. Though close to being completed, the Zombies were dropped when someone pointed out that a superintelligent race like the S'pht probably wouldn't design a biological weapon that didn't actually kill its victims, but transformed them into shambling, blood thirsty savages.

Preliminary art was also done for a jet pack, but the idea was canned when the Bungie team realized that a player couldn't realistically control the jetpack and hold a weapon at the same time. Plans for a new alien weapon (which fired ordnance that exploded into dozens of damaging fragments on impact) were scrapped due to time constrains. Also scrapped was a writhing vine native to the S'pht homeworld, which flailed about at any moving thing in the vicinity.

Work on Marathon 2 progressed over a long hot summer and into the fall. Mindful of the problems that ensued after they announced Marathon's release date prematurely, Bungie took no chances this time. No release dates were offered. Some took umbrage at this, but most fans applauded Bungie's decision to play their cards close to their collective chest.

Note: "...He managed to hide his initials in one of the switch textures..." For more info about this, read this message and this other one.

Page 24 (Pictures)

Picture 1: Sketch of the cyborg tank. The biggest difference between this drawing and the final product are the arms (in the sketch, there are wires that connect the body with the elbows and the hands end up in spikes) and the head: There are also wires that go from the head to the body (or the other way around) and you can see it has a very human-like face, with an eye, teeth and a hole for the nose - I guess Bungie saved this idea for Soulblighter. The other eye is covered with an big, round, black glass that resembles a lot the Bob's eye implant (maybe it was there to make it obvious that the cyborg tank were modified Bobs.) One last thing to notice about the head is that it's pasted on top of the sketch - this was not the original head proposed.
Text: Concept sketch of the Cyborg.

Picture 2: See text.
Text: Mark Bernal's drawing of a Yeti.

Picture 3: Sketch of the Zombie Pfhor, probably the coolest monster ever conceived for the game. All the upper part of his armor is gone, including the mask; his legs are deformed, swollen; same goes for his hands and arms. While the left arm is still recognizable, the right one looks like the cross between a slug and a pice of mucus; the shoulder is so swollen the pfhor head is slanted to the left. Yet the fighter is able to hold the staff with this arm.
Text: Concept sketch of the infected Pfhor. You guessed it, he also never made it into the game because the Elephant man's lawyer thought Bungie copied his "look and feel" a bit too closely.

Page 25

Playtesting had become an almost constant process, occupying most of Bungie's time. Eventually Jason again issued an order that no one could go home without playing through the entire game. Over the course of the evening, someone stole Mark's hubcaps. Dough wussed out and stole away around 4 AM while nobody was looking. Matt was the last to finish, stubbornly plugging along until he finished the game at 9 AM. Having spent the twenty-four continuous hours staring intently at his monitor, Matt elected to take the rest of the day off and staggered downstairs to catch the first bus he could find.

A few days after this ordeal, Marathon 2 went "golden master." The team celebrated by eating a greasy breakfast at the Racine Cafe. It was agreed that, of the many lessons learned during the last nine months, the most important one was "Never eat at the Racine Cafe."

Marathon 2 shipped on November 24, 1995. The game consisted of 28 solo levels and 13 net levels. New network options included games like King of the Hill and Kill the Guy with the Ball. In addition, you could now play through the single-player scenario cooperately with other network players.

The arrival of Marathon 2 revitalized third-party map-making. The online archives which had been set up to collate all things Marathon were flooded with new editors and new maps. Interest in Marathon had never been higher. Marathon 2 was outselling its predecessor. Ryan Martell graduated from Duke at the end of 1995 and returned to Bungie full-time to start work on the Windows 95 version of the game. Fans wondered what Bungie would come up with to top Marathon 2.

As it happened, Bungie was wondering the same thing. After returning from a triumphant Macworld SF in January of 1996, Bungie's programmers and artists secreted themselves away in The Lab. Refusing to divulge the details of their work even to their coworkers (except fro the occasional reference to "exploding soda machines"). Preliminary design was done for what was to be called Marathon 3, but this was abandoned after only a few weeks because everyone felt the urge to step out of the Marathon Universe and try something different. Jason began a brainstorming process which culminated in the development of a tactical wargame code-named Myth. As far as Bungie was concerned, the Marathon saga was over.

Page 26 (Pictures)

Picture 1: Photo of the Bungie staff at their booth in Macworld Expo. Jason Jones is giving Alexander Seropian a very bad look.
Text: All together now, say "Computer Geeks!"

Picture 2: Photo of four Bungie members walking away from the camera in a parking.
Text: Heading home after a hard day's work.

Picture 3: Image used on the exit terminal of Nuke and Pave.
Text: Rob McLees' drawing of the Marathon player kicking some serious booty.

[ | Message Index | Read Prev Msg | Read Next Msg ]
Pre-2004 Posts


Replies:

Is the Marathon scrapbook online somewhere?zudo 2/23/02 3:54 p.m.
     Sorry, don't think so. I'd like to see it too. *NM*Callie21V 2/23/02 8:06 p.m.
           Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)REB 2/25/02 1:38 a.m.
                 Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)Fernando. 2/25/02 1:42 a.m.
                       Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)REB 2/25/02 3:04 a.m.
                             Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)zudo 2/25/02 3:09 a.m.
                             Re: Look What The Cat Drug In... (not typo)Fernando. 2/25/02 3:46 a.m.
                                   Abandonware?REB 2/25/02 5:24 a.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?Mark Levin 2/25/02 6:48 a.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?/hamish please readFernando. 2/25/02 6:49 a.m.
                                               ReadingHamish Sinclair 2/25/02 9:30 a.m.
                                                     Re: ReadingM-Class 2/25/02 3:15 p.m.
                                                           Re: ReadingDjof 2/25/02 5:00 p.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?Callie21V 2/25/02 9:38 a.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?M-Class 2/25/02 3:09 p.m.
                                               Re: Abandonware?Vid Boi 2/26/02 2:58 a.m.
                                                     Re: Abandonware?Hamish Sinclair 2/26/02 5:12 a.m.
                                                           Re: Abandonware?Dan Aris 2/26/02 6:06 a.m.
                                                                 Is that soon or Soon™ ?zudo 2/26/02 8:16 a.m.
                                                                 Is that soon or Soon™ ? *NM*zudo 2/26/02 8:16 a.m.
                                                           Oh yea, the action sack...I forgot that one. *NT*Vid Boi 2/26/02 8:29 a.m.
                                         Re: Abandonware?Malcolm 11/6/02 6:37 a.m.
                 Thanks REB! Great work! *NM*Callie21V 2/25/02 9:37 a.m.
                 Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4REB 2/25/02 11:37 p.m.
                       Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4Hamish Sinclair 2/26/02 12:14 a.m.
                             Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4REB 2/26/02 4:20 a.m.
                             Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4Matt 2/26/02 11:09 p.m.
                                   Re: Scrapbook Pages 3 - 4Hamish Sinclair 2/27/02 12:25 a.m.
                                         Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...REB 3/1/02 2:34 a.m.
                                               Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Hamish Sinclair 3/1/02 12:21 p.m.
                                                     Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...REB 3/3/02 4:30 a.m.
                                                           Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Matt 3/5/02 5:31 p.m.
                                                                 Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Hamish Sinclair 3/6/02 12:07 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Matt 3/6/02 12:05 p.m.
                                                                             Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Hamish Sinclair 3/6/02 1:03 p.m.
                                                                             Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...Speaker-To-Animals 7/3/03 10:09 p.m.
     I would if I had a scanner *NM*Vid Boi 2/24/02 3:38 a.m.
           I'd scan it all but i dont have the scrapbook!Ernie TMBM 2/25/02 6:54 p.m.
                 Re: I'd scan it all but i dont have the scrapbook!Callie21V 2/26/02 2:26 p.m.
     Actually...Hippieman [B.Org] 2/26/02 1:23 p.m.
           Re: Actually...Pedrof 2/26/02 3:37 p.m.
                 Re: Actually... (+Hamish)Djof 2/26/02 5:00 p.m.
                 Re: Actually...Matt 2/26/02 11:07 p.m.
                       Re: Actually...Hippieman [B.Org] 3/1/02 12:09 a.m.
           Re: Actually...archon 2/27/02 12:28 a.m.
                 Re: Actually...Hamish Sinclair 2/27/02 12:40 a.m.
                       Re: Actually...archon 2/27/02 9:18 a.m.
           Scrapbook Pages 9-10REB 2/27/02 5:49 a.m.
                 Typo!REB 2/27/02 5:55 a.m.
                       Scrapbook Pages 11-12REB 2/28/02 2:30 a.m.
                             Scrapbook Pages 13-14REB 3/1/02 4:47 a.m.
                                   Scrapbook Pages 15-16REB 3/2/02 2:41 p.m.
                                         Scrapbook Pages 17-18REB 3/3/02 4:21 p.m.
                                               Scrapbook Pages 19-22REB 3/4/02 9:01 a.m.
                                                     Scrapbook Pages 23-26REB 3/5/02 1:22 p.m.
                                                           I Want My Zombie Pfhor!REB 3/5/02 1:28 p.m.
                                                           Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!Callie21V 3/5/02 3:59 p.m.
                                                                 Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!Vid Boi 3/5/02 4:49 p.m.
                                                                 Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!Djof 3/5/02 5:10 p.m.
                                                                 Re: I Want My Zombie Pfhor!Boomer 3/6/02 4:18 a.m.
                                                           Scrapbook Pages 27-31REB 3/6/02 9:56 a.m.
                                                                 Thanks Raul! :-) *NM*Hamish Sinclair 3/6/02 10:09 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Thanks Raul! :-)D-M.A. 3/8/02 1:46 a.m.
                                                                             Re: Thanks Raul! :-)REB 3/8/02 9:48 a.m.
                                                                                   Re: Thanks Raul! :-)Hamish Sinclair 3/8/02 1:14 p.m.
                                                                                         Speaking of typos and errors...poena.dare #CP# 3/8/02 2:03 p.m.
                                                                                               Re: Speaking of typos and errors...Hamish Sinclair 3/9/02 4:52 a.m.
                                                                                               Then There Were Eightpoena.dare #CP# 3/9/02 9:19 a.m.
                                                                                         Scrapbook Pages 5-8REB 3/9/02 1:09 p.m.
                                                                                               Whoa! the man is back! Nice post. :-) *NM*Hamish Sinclair 3/9/02 4:11 p.m.
                                                                 Re: One last word...mnemesis 3/6/02 11:26 a.m.
                                                                 Re: Scrapbook Pages 27-31Vid Boi 3/11/02 4:18 p.m.
                                                                       Isn't F**k Microsoft 2 words?REB 3/11/02 6:41 p.m.
                                                                             Re: Isn't F**k Microsoft 2 words?Vid Boi 3/12/02 4:28 a.m.
                                                     Re: Scrapbook Pages 19-22Andrew Nagy 3/7/02 6:51 a.m.



Problems? Suggestions? Comments? Email maintainer@bungie.org

Marathon's Story Forum is maintained with WebBBS 5.12.