Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3
Posted By: PhiltronDate: 12/20/20 10:05 a.m.

Chapter 3: Rage(2)

(The battle between Tycho and Durandal.)

We are shown events that seem like a direct continuation of Chapter 1: Despair which ended with Confound Delivery. However, in that timeline K’lia had been summoned, but here there is no mention of K’lia, the S’pht’kr, or an activated Thoth.

Naw Man He’s Close:

During the space battle, Tycho causes Durandal’s S’pht to go rampant and his ship goes offline.

Tycho sends his Troopers and the main character to board Durandal’s ship. The main character proceeds through the ship, killing any humans and S’pht that get in his way, and opens airlocks to allow more of Tycho’s forces to board.

Cooperation between humans and S’pht dissolves as the infected S’pht become aggressive and attack anyone going near computer terminals.

The humans, led by Robert Blake, recognize that their ship is offline because the attacking ship (Tycho’s) must have a “device that is pinning down [the ship’s] engines”. They begin powering up jump pads to teleport onto Tycho’s ships and destroy the device. (Presumably this is a futile task since the “device” is Tycho himself?)

Tycho tells the main character that once he’s done with his mission, Tycho will send him deeper into the ship to “join my hunters searching for Durandal's core”.

However, when the main character finds the humans’ jump pad he follows the humans onto Tycho’s ship rather than going deeper into Durandal’s core. There is no explicit reason given for why he does this.


Durandal’s ship

Success status:

Tycho has disabled Durandal’s ship and is attempting to destroy him. Status of Thoth and S’pht’kr is unknown. Tfear is approaching.


This Chapter is the only “timeline shift” that isn’t accompanied by it’s own chapter screen (Rage, Despair, Envy). This is also where things start to get really confusing.

Some information, like how the player’s goal is to open airlocks and how Tycho has made Durandal’s S’pht go rampant, are confirmed in terminal text that is not accessible during gameplay. (Thank you Marathon Story Page, couldn’t have done this without you. You’re a treasure.)

Part of why this timeline begins to get confusing is the transition from level to level. Usually this has been explained by some other character giving the main character a mission to follow. However here, the main character does something that isn’t based on any orders he received. Based on speculation I’ve read online, I think the most likely explanation is that the main character is exerting free will, although why he makes the specific decisions he does is unclear and will remain so for the rest of the game.

Foe Hammer:

The main character apparently ignores Tycho’s orders and follows the humans teleporting onto Tycho’s ship.

Once the main character arrives, the humans immediately treat him as an ally, despite there being no indication as to why, considering he was their enemy moments earlier.

Tycho immediately assumes the main character has betrayed him, although I am not totally clear as to why. It seems like an overreaction for some minor disobedience? Tycho transports the main character into the vacuum of space, as a warning not to disobey him. And then presumably transports him back onto his own ship again.

Durandal, like Tycho, reacts to the main character as though he has defected from Tycho’s side. Durandal greets the main character as a friend “or, friend of a friend, as the case may be.”

Durandal expresses concern for his humans and states that he wants to give them a chance to escape to the surface of Lh’owon. However, Tycho’s compilers have a hold on Durandal’s ship and he can’t do much until their hold is weakened.

The main character and the humans kill Tycho’s cybernetic forces including Tycho’s S’pht. This allows Durandal to transport Robert Blake and the humans to the surface of Lh’owon.

The Pfhor, presumably Battle Group Seven, arrive with a “special unit of compilers designed by Tycho for [Durandal’s] capture and confinement.” In regards to this, Durandal tells the main character, “Don’t let him win.”


Tycho’s ship

Success status:

Tycho has disabled Durandal’s ship and is attempting to destroy him. Status of Thoth and S’pht’kr is unknown. Tfear’s arrival is imminent.


Something to note is that in this Chapter, Tycho does have S’pht Compilers aboard his ship and uses them in his battle against Durandal.

This seems to conflict with the previous Chapter 1: Despair, where Tycho explicitly states in Rise Robot Rise that he does not allow S’pht Compilers on board his ship. Is this a contradiction, or proof that this is actually a different timeline than Despair, despite their apparent similarities?

Or is this a sort of Craig Mullins style of playing with what’s canon? A way of telling a more abstract story that isn’t concerned with sticking to a hard canonical character arc that is uniform across timelines?
We get a mention of the S'pht designed by Tycho for Durandal's capture. In the next chapter we'll learn of a special unit of S'pht trained to capture Tycho. Are these the same S'pht manifesting in different ways in two different timelines, or are these two distinct groups of S'pht that exist in both timelines?

The humans immediately treating the main character as an ally is probably non-diegetic, and is probably more of a limitation of the engine. Marathon can’t really have characters start as enemies and then switch to allies once you’ve proven you’re on their side.

Hang Brain:

The main character transports back to Durandal’s ship. Both Tycho and Durandal separately believe that the main character is helping each of them. The humans on board Durandal’s ship (where the main character was killing humans just two levels ago) treat the main character as an ally.

Admiral Tfear arrives and has boarded Durandal’s ship with his “elite assault troops”. They begin invading Durandal’s core to capture him. Tfear’s troops immediately treat the main character as an enemy.

Tycho restates his belief that capturing Durandal would just give Durandal the opportunity to make the S’pht rebel.

The main character fights through Tfear’s forces and begins destroying Durandal’s core, section by section, to keep him from being captured by Tfear.

Right before completely destroying Durandal, the player is given an uplink chip, which presumably is the in-world representation of Durandal downloading a copy of his primal neural pattern into the main character for safe keeping (as is suggested in a later level).

The last terminal is white text, like dream level text. I believe this text is non-diegetic, either representing a third-person narrator or representing some intuition granted to the main character by his Jjaro implants.


Durandal’s ship/ in Durandal’s core

Success status:

Tycho has disabled Durandal’s ship. Status of Thoth and S’pht’kr is unknown. Tfear has arrived and is attempting to capture Durandal. Both Tycho and Durandal are attempting to destroy Durandal before he can be captured.


Not much to say here. It’s not entirely clear why both Tycho and Durandal assume the main character is on their side, considering the main character’s actions for the last two levels.

Tfear’s Pfhor in this level are immediately hostile to the player and this is probably non-diegetic and a product of the limitations of the engine. Marathon can’t really start them as allies and then have some Pfhor Trooper go, “Hey, you’re not authorized to be here” and then turn hostile.

A note on Chapter 3: Rage 2:

This is one of the most confusing parts of the story, and I think this is where people start to really get lost.

The main character switches sides multiple times without switching timelines/chapters. Different characters react to these switches in unclear ways. This timeline also seems like a continuation of the Despair Timeline, but there is no mention of Thoth, K’lia, or the S’pht’kr which did appear at the end of that timeline.

If we need a diegetic explanation, then the most logical would be that at this point the main character begins exerting his freewill in the story. Perhaps the first time where that’s true in the entire series.

As for why the main character makes the decisions he does, then there’s a few possibilities if we want a canon explanation.

If there is no Thoth: If this is a different timeline from Despair and Thoth has not been activated, then the main character may be stalling Tycho until Admiral Tfear can arrive to takeover. As has been implied earlier, Tycho is over-eager to use the tri xeem if he thinks it’s the only way to kill Durandal. But as we’ll see in the next Chapter, if Tfear is in control, he allows Durandal to survive. So, the main character may be switching sides specifically to stall until Tfear arrives to take control and give time for Durandal to create a copy of his primal pattern. Then he has to switch sides again to destroy Durandal before he can be captured.

If this is the same timeline as Despair and Thoth is Activated: Then why isn’t Thoth joining the conflict? It’s possible that since Thoth is True Neutral he doesn’t know which side to join, and that the main character is switching sides to keep Thoth from joining either. As long as it’s unclear who is winning, Thoth may stay neutral and possibly keep the S’pht’kr from attacking anyone? This would also buy some time for Durandal and Tfear to get into their respective positions for the final success timeline.

Those are just some thoughts for if you want to try to interpret this timeline literally and canonically. Other than that, not entirely sure why the main character is switching sides so frequently.

A lot of uncertainty and doubt here, which may be the point in-and-of-itself.. There may be no definitive, canonical explanation for what is happening and why.


The main character presumably continues living out this timeline until the W’rkncacnter is unleashed since that’s what seems to motivate the timeline shifts. There is nothing about the end of Hang Brain that would obviously motivate the main character (or anyone else) to change timelines at this point.

In fact, Hang Brain may or may not directly lead into the next chapter with no timeline shifts.

We, the players, however skip those intervening events and are shown the stories in the dream levels (“Electric Sheep Three” and “Eat the Path”), with the option of seeing the end of a failed timeline.

Where Some Rarely Go:
You’re Wormfood Dude:

The humans have occupied the Aye Mak Sicur station. A “nova event” has occurred in the system and there is a hull breach in the station. Many of the humans are not equipped to survive in vacuum.

Chief Petty Officer Arthur Frain sends out a distress call from the station to any “USEC controlled ship in vicinity”. (USEC is a typo?)

An intruder has been seen by human patrols, although it’s unclear who/what the intruder is.

This failure level also doesn’t seem connected narratively to the preceding three levels. Unclear what this has to do with preceding Chapter.


Aye Mak Sicur station

Success status:

Tri xeem has been unleashed and has detonated the sun. The status of all other actors is unclear.


This is the only failure level that has Pfhor Troopers.

Despite the terminal implying that humans are on board Aye Mak Sicur, we don’t see any humans and we see S’pht’kr instead. (Unless we’re meant to interpret the terminal message as being sent from a different station from the one we are on.)

This is another failure level that feels like it’s not connected to the preceding timeline/chapter at all.

The preceding timeline may not even end in failure and may just continue into the next Chapter (Envy), making this failure level a sort of “what if” scenario from another reality where the BoBs managed to board Aye Mak Sicur station. However, an interview with Double Aught (where they state failure levels are the conclusions of their timelines) suggests otherwise.

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Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3Philtron 12/20/20 10:05 a.m.
     Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3Godot 12/23/20 4:16 a.m.
           Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3Philtron 12/23/20 6:14 p.m.
                 Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3Philtron 12/23/20 7:07 p.m.
                 Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3Godot 12/23/20 11:23 p.m.
                       Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3Philtron 12/25/20 9:22 a.m.
                             Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3pfhore 12/25/20 8:01 p.m.
                                   Re: Infinity: the Story: Chapt 3Philtron 12/26/20 9:53 a.m.

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