The Pyramid

The Pyramid

"...strange rumors of an ancient pyramid- which is neither Aztec nor Mayan- "

Back in Jan 10, 1999 Aaron Davies <> wrote to the Marathon's Story page about the Pathways Into Darkness shapes file image:

Why is the shapes file distinguished by an ankh (Egyptian staff symbol)? Is it a joke on the pyramid?

The Shapes file icon does look like it has an Ankh (see below) behind the pyramid.

The Ankh is the ancient Egyptian symbol of Life. The pyramid in Pathways is described as neither Aztec nor Mayan even though it is located on the Yucatan Peninsula. The Ankh symbol would suggest an Egyptian connection.

Now Raul Bonilla <> writes:

If you take a look at the attached image, you'll see four things I've always wandered about the PID cover but never took the time to write them down.

1. The Pyramid

I'm no archeological expert, but that pyramid looks mexican to me. The manual introduction says: "...strange rumors of an ancient pyramid - which is neither Aztec nor Mayan...". All the Pathways icons include an egyptian pyramid, and since these cultures where the only ones that built pyramids (as far as I know), if someone asked you about a pyramid that was neither Aztec nor Mayan, you'd think: "Well, gotta be egyptian". Then again, if you were looking through the store shelves in 1993 and found a box with an egyptian pyramid in the middle of the jungle on the cover, with no explanation, you might buy something else instead that made more sense at first sight.

2. The Entrance

You have to climb to the top of the pyramid before reaching the entrance. Isn't the first level of the game called Ground Floor for a good reason? Of course the player might have discovered another door at the base of the pyramid after he realized that the door at the top of the stairs was closed.

3. The Hidden Monster

Who's this guy? It's a shame that the scariest monster appears before you enter the pyramid.

4. The M-16

Like the game introduction says, you're carrying a flashlight (that's probably in your belt), a useless M-16, a useless Colt .45, and your good old survival knife. But what happened to the M-16 when the game starts? The flashlight is on, the Colt .45 is in your canvas bag and the knife is ready to be use. Where's the M-16? Did you leave it outside?

Ryan Hunt <> writes:

Although it appears that the guy on the front of the PiD box has all the equipment that the Marine has, how do we know that he is us? It could be some other bub sent in. Or not.

Matt Heath <> writes:

Mr. Bonilla's observations about the PID box cover are very astute. Seems kinda strange why a guy should be lugging an M-16 rifle with him that's got a "muzzle bent just enough to render it useless" (according to the manual). The soldier can't be one of the other seven Americans who entered the pyramid first, because the manual says they entered the pyramid "nearly four hours" before the player does at 6:13 AM, and the cover shot shows early morning light in the sky behind the pyramid. This wouldn't work for a 2:15 AM time.

Matt is referring to this pic which appears at startup:

Interesting point about the timing. Given that the assault team is dropped by C-151 transport shortly after 0200 (2:00 AM) and you arrive at the pyramid at 6:13 AM "nearly four hours" after the rest of your team have entered then the team must have dropped very close to the pyramid to get inside in such short a time.

Tim Branin <> writes:

I'd like to make a few of my own observations concerning the opening picture for Pathways into Darkness. First off, sure the pyrimid looks Mexican in basic design. But I think the point made by saying, it's neither Mayan nor Aztec is that Mayan and Aztec architecture can probably be told apart, but this Pyramid may not have the subtle features seen in the other two cultures.

As for the entrance, I find that confusing as well. There was a shareware game called "Scarab of Ra", in which you went through a pyramid looking for artifacts and things. The game and interface were very much like PID. Anyway you began at the top and worked your way down, and as you progressed levels got bigger. this makes sense because as you go down a pyramid it gets bigger. Pathways follows no such guidelines, all the levels are basically the same size.

Apart from Ascension which is at the top.

The following pics were taken while visiting the Mexico and Central America section of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City (July 2000). Just doing a bit of PID research. ;-)

Thanks to Miguel Chavez for taking the last pic.

While the pyramid may look Aztec or Mayan note the Egyptian looking hieroglyphs first seen on "Lasciate Ogne Speranza, Voi Ch'Intrate".

Here's a pic of the pyramid from the end screen. Again this is similar to the pyramid on the box shot and start-up screen.

Page maintained by Hamish Sinclair
Last updated Mar 6, 2001