Player-character

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The player-character is the character that the player controls throughout the Marathon trilogy. This character is also referenced as the Security Officer in the Marathon manual. Bungie.com at one point referred to the player-character as a science officer. When asked for clarification, Matt Soell made a comment that the character was originally meant to be a science officer but was changed in the manual.[1]

The term "Marine" is often used to refer to the player-character. This terminology is used in Anvil, but it technically incorrect within the Marathon universe's story. The player-character is not a Marine.

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Basic Role in the Game

The Security Officer is arguably the main character of Marathon, the pawn that the player controls throughout the game. He is ordered around by almost everyone by the time the game is over (Leela, Durandal, Tycho, Robert Blake, Tfear, Thoth, the Jjaro), and completely lacks any free will of his own. He is better skilled, better equipped, and generally stronger and smarter than any of the BoBs he works with. More detailed examination of the man inside the body armor is done below.

The Tenth Mjolnir Mark IV Cyborg

When Bernhard Strauss boards the UESC Marathon, he takes ten highly illegal battleroids on the trip with him, mixed in amongst the rest of the crew to avoid detection. Throughout the game, references are made by all sorts of major characters to our nonhuman nature, continuously separating us from 'the humans' or 'your humans,' etc. For example, on Sorry Don't Make It So in Marathon 2, Tycho says the following:

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.

This, coupled with Tycho referring to how you're holding Durandal's primal pattern inside your head in the third game, and Infinity's ending screen that states, ...grafted to machines your builders did not understand... pretty conclusively proves that you are the missing tenth battleroid.

The Eternal Warrior

The eternal warrior mythos is the belief that a certain soul is reincarnated repeatedly throughout history at the times of great battles that upset the balance of power in the world. The battles first at Tau Ceti and then again on Lh'owon are massively important fights that determine the state of the Pfhor empire, permenently crippling it. This mindset is referred to twice in the game, both times in obscure terminals that are hard to understand at first glance. You can find the text in the KYT terminal and the NBM terminal.

Destiny

The player-character throughout the game is used to completely change the outcome of events, despite all odds. He drags multiple characters along with him, despite what they might want or will to happen. In the ending screen of Marathon Infinity, the last few lines (written by Durandal) read as follows:

Now in the quantum moment before the closure, when all become one. One moment left. One point of space and time. I know who you are. You are Destiny.

The christening of you as Destiny is important because it ties neatly and snugly into the eternal warrior idea; it's just expressed in a different manner. It's also interesting because, despite how much control you as Destiny may have had over others, you had no control whatsoever over yourself. You were used throughout the entire series. This idea is very prominent throughout the game and is emphasized repeatedly, though Infinity in particular is hypothesized to be the story of you gaining independence for the first time.

Memories

Throughout the game (though mainly in the first Marathon), the player-character talks about how things are familiar to him, as though he's seen them before in some distant memory or dream. He seems to live in a perpetual state of déjà vu. Two prominent examples are in the prologue in the manual text, where the player-character states,

You've always been a daydreamer. Your mind has constantly filled the time between activities with imagination. Now, you fall into your old habit, and begin to daydream about your childhood on Mars, your father's death when you were seven, and his last words to you, "Make me proud. Never lose your honor." You come out of your dream twenty two minutes later. Judging it safe, you thrust over to one of the empty MP docking bays. 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...

Durandal references something else the player-character's father said which raises questions about the nature of the memories.[2][3] Memories are also very heavy in the Gheritt White terminal, but opinions as to whether or not that's actually the player-character vary.

This also ties in neatly with the ideas of both being a cyborg and being the eternal warrior. First, as a cyborg, your brain was outfitted when you were given your new body, so displacement and vague memories of the past would be expected, fading as time progressed. If you were one of the battleroids on Mars, then it would have been a long time indeed. Also, many religions believe in memories from previous lives being accessible to those who have been reincarnated, which in turn ties in nicely with the idea of the player-character being the eternal warrior.[citation needed]

Past on Mars

From Beware of Low Flying Defense Drones, we have the following text:

In 2194, a war was fought between the Independent Asteroid Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492. These two small governments soon became the testing grounds for new weapons. 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.

The rampage of the Battleroid was short lived.

Twenty years later, the United Interplanetary League set up rules for the appropriate use and storage of Battleroids. Of course, any nation that used them for the allowed purpose, also had them lying about in stasis chambers in case of war.

Based on the creation interpretation of Gheritt White and your previous experiences of war as covered in your daydreams, it wouldn't be surprising at all if you were one of the battleroids on Mars's asteroids. Some theories posit that you may have some direct connection to other games outside the Marathon series. And seeing how everything else on the Marathon stemmed from Mars...

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