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Terminals are the method of communication in the Marathon trilogy. Terminals are scattered throughout the levels and are setup to communicate with the player-character, informing him of mission criteria, background information, location of new weapons, statistics on new weapons, and anything else that other characters in the Marathon universe wish him to know.

See also: Category:Terminals


Terminal structure

Terminals begin with a splash screen that often indicates who is talking. Durandal, Tycho, and Thoth all have distinct splash screens. Leela generally uses the splash screen for a standard Marathon terminal.

Splash screens are not signatures, however, and there is no set rule that forces any character to use any splash screen. Most of the terminals have sign-offs to indicate the author. Text color is also used to help denote who is speaking.

After the splash screen there will be a number of pages with text on the right-hand side of the page and a graphic on the left. The pages will continue until there is no more text and will close with the same splash screen that it opened with.

There is often information in a header atop the text pages with items such as dates or servers. These headers usually do not change throughout a specific terminal and the information can give clues to key story elements. The information in these headers are not completely trustworthy and, in the case of dates, some are known to have been scrambled.

Authors can be interrupted or even changed in the middle of terminal output. This is often denoted by scrambled or garbage text and changes in font styles or colors. Some terminals have been blocked by outside sources, resulting in a barely readable terminal from the original author.


Main article: Teleporting

Terminals also serve as a means to transfer the player-character around the Marathon universe. In terms of the games, this transfer is from level to level. Within the universe, the teleportation can be from one ship to another, from ship to planet or moon, from one building to another, or in and out of stasis. Tycho often threatens to teleport things straight into deep space, thereby killing them.

Teleporting via terminals occurs at the end of a terminal's output, after the ending splash screen. In the first Marathon game references to jump pads were made at the end of any terminal about to teleport the player-character. The use of jump pads is not consistent and it appears that Bungie decided against using them throughout the games[1].

Secret terminals

Main article: Secret terminal

Some terminals are secret and can only be reached by performing a strange series of tasks. Most of these terminals give more detailed information about the story or hold seemingly random text. These terminals have been the focus of much study but it has not been determined if all terminals mean something to the Marathon universe.

Famous terminals

Incoming message from Thoth...
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UESCTerm 802.11 (remote override) Return/Enter to Acknowledge
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