Pathways Hint Book: Raw and Uncensored!

Pathways Hint Book

On the first Mar 5, 2002 Matt Soell (Bungie Studios) posted the following to the Story forum:

Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...
Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 3/5/02 7:31 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise... (REB)

I haven't found the Marathon Scrapbook files yet, or anything related to Marathon 3. But I did stumble across the uncensored unedited text for the Pathways Into Darkness Official Hint Book...


Following a request to scan the pages in Matt replied:

Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise...
Posted By: Matt <>
Date: 3/6/02 2:05 p.m.

In Response To: Re: Bungie Live Up To It's Promise... (Hamish Sinclair)

: Hey cool! Scan the pages in or send the pages over and I'll do it. Would make
: a great addition to the PID page. Thanks Matt.

No pages to scan; it's a Word doc. Most of it was published unchanged, but I compared it with the published version yesterday and there are some interesting edits. It might make more sense for me to just list the interesting changes.

I was chatting about it with Jason on the way in this morning and he mentioned he still had the original Pathways spec, including the original pyramid map on graph paper, but they're still in storage along with his TV and who knows what else. He told me he'd retrieve them next time he got something out of storage.


Matt very kindly sent in the interesting changes to the Official Hint Book and I've reprinted them below:

Pathways Hint Book: Raw and Uncensored!

In the course of excavating some of the dustier portions of Bungie's electronic archives in search of the original Quark files for the Marathon Scrapbook, I found myself in some odd places. The files weren't in the obvious place (the Marathon Trilogy Box Set archive) so I figured they'd been misfiled and started looking in other directories. My search eventually led me to a subdirectory of the Pathways folder called "Textuals." Inside were two files: an MS Word 5 doc called "Hints Text" and an unfamiliar document titled ZZZZzzz. Examination of the latter in BBEdit produced what appeared to be a snippet of Pathways source code containing the various items available in the game; presumably this was used to make sure the Hint Book didn't miss anything. This was useless on its own and did not appear to contain any shockers, although admittedly I only spent a few seconds glancing through it. This post will focus on the other document.

Some portions of the book were moved around slightly; some of the General Hints at the beginning are presented in a slightly different order, and so on. I don't consider these worth pointing out. There are also some edits made for obvious and mundane reasons (correcting grammar or punctuation) and I'll ignore these as well.

No maps are present; neither are any "points of interest" keys for the maps.

Word's "Properties" function lists the author as "Dan" (presumably Dan Meltz). The file was last modified 8 September 1993 at 2:00 PM.

It's interesting to note that some of the edits removed explicit or powerful hints from the final version. This is a very Bungie-esque editorial approach for a hint book. :-)


This is almost word-for-word how it appeared in the published version of the hint book, with one major exception. The published version ended with "[N]ow that you have the hint book, stop calling us all the time for hints! Please! No, just kidding again; call us anytime." The draft goes on to say, "In fact, feel free to call the game's author, Jason, at home whenever you need help:" and lists Jason's actual home phone number. Presumably this was a joke at Jason's expense by either Dan or Alex, and was intended to be caught during the editing process.

General Hints

The draft of the Left-Wall Rule hint contains this bit, which was edited out of the final release: "However, (and I put that in boldface to attract those of you who know the Left-wall-rule and were going to skip the rest of this paragraph,) you can not rely on this the way you can in some other games - there are important things in the game that you cannot get to using this rule."

The hint reminding you that you can pause the game at any time by clicking outside the main window originally contained something called the "Deux Ex Machina Trick." I'll assume that was supposed to be "Deus." Anyway, the trick is described as follows: "This is a simple, yet very effective trick: when you are about to die, right before the screen goes black, you can still pause the game. While it is paused, drink a Clear Blue Potion, and everything will be fine. What? You don't have a Clear Blue Potion? Then use a Bubbling Red or Pale Violet potion. What, you don't have any of those, either? Well, then you are S.O.L. bud."

In the initial draft, the hint about waking from sleep begins "When you rest, keep your cursor right over the 'wake-up' button. If you hear an attack, hit 'wake-up' immediately, and as soon as you wake up, try to dodge. This can actually work." The published version begins "If you are attacked while resting, you will wake up. As soon as you wake up..."

The Pyramid

The following two hints, present in the original draft, were edited out of the General Hints page in this section:

"Stab Headlesses. Don't waste your ammo on these things, especially when you encounter them singly. The ammo you save will be very useful on later levels. Trust me.

"Headlesses should not hit you unless they are in a group. Nine times out of ten, if you encounter a lone Headless, which happens often enough, you should be able to dispatch it without getting touched. This may take some practice."

Ground Floor

The draft of the hint book contains the following Q&A:

Should I go down the west ladder to Wrong Way! or the east ladder to Feel the Power?

It's perfectly OK to try going down both ladders. However, you will get killed within fifteen seconds on Feel the Power.
In the published version of the book, your projected lifespan on Feel The Power has been shortened to ten seconds. :-)

Never Stop Firing

The draft contains this hint, excised from the final book:

What is the funny looking yellow thing in the center-north room?

It's the yellow crystal. The one mentioned in the manual.

...But They're Hungry

In the published hint book, the hint about killing Phantasms ends with "Note: When you do get the crystal, don't start using it on everything you meet. The crystals do run out!" In the original draft, the paragraph continues: "Some meatheads find the Blue Crystal, use it as often as possible killing Headlesses, and then wonder how they are supposed to kill the Phantasms on later levels after the crystal has broken."

The "additional hints" paragraph in the published book ends with "...[L]ater, when you have to come back down, you will have to take the other route." In the draft of the hint book, the paragraph goes on to say "If you are low on ammo, you might want to clear the other side of this level before going on to Evil Undead Phantasms Must Die!"

The Catacombs

Wrong Way (Reprise II)

The published book says "I'll let you explore the [rooms] that may or may not have ammo in them. Be sure to get the Orange Crystal and the Blue Potion, though!" The original draft says "I'll let you explore the [rooms] that may or may not have ammo in them. I will tell you that you need to go in the center-south door to get the Orange Crystal, and there's something you might want past the center-west door."

We Can See In The Dark...Can You?

The Tru7h Revealed. In the hint describing how to ditch the "Stoopid Rat Things," the original hint instructed players to turn off their flashlights before admitting "Yes we are such evil people that we derive huge amounts of joy knowing that at least one person out there has torn out all of his/her hair trying to figure this out. We're evil, we're supposed to get off on that stuff." This was clipped from the final hint book and replaced with the more innocuous "The monsters aren't kidding when they say they can see in the dark; you can't."

A Plague of Demons

The excised first "hint" in this section is as follows:

The original draft of the hint book does not mention how useful the Infra-Red Goggles can be on this level.

Please Excuse Our Dust

The draft contains no mention of the circle of dead Ghasts.


In the draft, this section is titled "Sequel Justification."

In the draft, Eddings demonstrates the "Fire Crystal" rather than the "Ice Crystal," although this seems to be an error as the next sentence says Eddings used it to freeze things. Interestingly, in the original draft, Eddings freezes "several test animals;" this was changed to "several objects" in the final version.

The Monsters

This is titled "Creepies, Nasties and Beasties" in the original draft.

The Headless is given the additional "Latin" name "Expectorus Decapitus."

The Zombie description in the published book includes the sentence "Some Tlecoatcha report a legend of people inhaling this dust and dying, only to have their corpses rise as Zombies, the following night." In the original draft this is followed by "Most, however, dismiss this as pure fancy, and all show extreme skepticism regarding this claim." Additionally, the draft claims those who inhaled zombie dust did so because they mistook it for cocaine.

The draft does not mention that Phantasms are invisible in the infra-red spectrum.

In the published book, the description of Ghouls notes "If injured while attacking, the Ghoul will drop its rock in surprise. Some argue that Ghouls are somehow related to humans." The original draft takes this a bit farther: "If injured while attacking, the Ghoul will drop its rock in surprise, or perhaps pain. This alone makes it the most likely candidate for sentience. Coupled with the Ghouls' humanoid appearance, this makes for an unsettlingly strong argument that they are somehow related to humans."

The book's description of the Nightmare notes "Sergeant Eddings said that he had originally assumed that they were filled with some lighter-than-air gas. This fits well with his description of the forceful explosion that results from killing one." The original draft goes on to state: "However, this conflicts with his report that there was quite a bit of liquid, presumably blood, released in the explosion."

Special Monsters Some interesting proper names were dropped from this section. The Big Blue Meanie was named "Greed" in the draft. Likewise, the "Giant Purple Mutant Hellbeast or Barney on Steroids" was originally named "Malice" and the "Flaming Smokey Dude" went by the name "Deceit." Jason does not remember if these names were his idea or not, nor does he remember specifically why they were dropped in favor of the more colloquial descriptive names found in the final hint book.


This section is shorter and less informative than the version found in the final manual, but it has a bit more character. I have reproduced it in its entirety below.


Pretty. Pretty and green.
Pretty. Pretty and round.
Silver Bowl
Pretty. Pretty and silver.
Silver Medal
Pretty. Well, actually, Nazi paraphernalia really isn't pretty. Forget I said it.
Gold Ingot
Pretty. Pretty heavy, too. One found on Feel The Power, the rest found on Beware Of Low-Flying Nightmares.
Diamond Necklace
You really should wear it diamonds go with anything, even camouflage.
Pretty. Pretty and there's two of them.

That's it - everything else is either unchanged or changed so minimally that it doesn't bear commenting upon.

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Mar 9, 2002