What's New

Feb 29, 2012

Hopper discovers rediscovers a long forgotten cheat code in Pathways v2.0. See the Undocumented Features section for details, along with a few words from Jason Jones.

Hopper also tracks down the origin of the 'Shocking Sphere' name. See The Labyrinth section. Hopper goes on to say:

The STR# 2001 resource has a spot for every monster, but some are blank -- the Blue Meanie and Barney are unnamed, and the Flaming Smokey Dude's spot reads "Stalker" (as the brown ooze re-uses that monster index in the 2.0 demo).

In Pathways 1.1, the names are stored with the code. Pain, Malice, and Deceit appear to be assigned to the BBM, GPMHoBoS, and FSD respectively. Malice and Deceit were mentioned in the original draft of the Hint Book, but the blue guy was "Greed" at that time. And if it were possible to see it, "Green Oooze" would make the growing list of typos in PiD.

I didn't turn up other strings of note. Wait, has "Psionic Disciplines" been mentioned before?

"Psionic Disciplines" in Pathways? These aren't the monsters you're looking for...

Earthtopus (Andrew Malcovsky) completes his minimum damage run through Pathways, racking up a total score of 90 (yes nine zero). He writes:

No Hunsinger's treasure, and I had to scrape just to get 80% accuracy (turns out the game rounds down in _all_ instances, be it 79.995% or no)...so there's room for improvement.

Room for improvement? Well there is always Hunsinger's treasure. Is a million dollars in treasure achievable or just... Fool's Gold?

Earthtopus (Andrew Malcovsky) and MrM12LRV (Joey Fernau) proudly present the PIDmaster Challenge. Take up their seven PIDmaster challenges or make up your own challenge. Try the logistically challenging "win the game with the lowest point total". Happy PIDmastery!

Feb 28, 2012


According to the Pathways manual crystals are objects with special powers. Once used they automatically recharge but after each use "they recharge more slowly until they finally shatter." The manual reiterates this point by stating:

Be warned: after each successive use, crystals (except the Yellow Crystal) recharge more slowly until they finally shatter and become useless.

So how many times will each crystal (other than the Yellow Crystal) recharge before shattering? Important information that every PIDer needs to know. Yet nobody does as this recent thread on the Story forum reveals. Why is it so hard to get a consistent set of recharge stats for the Crystals?

Earthtopus provides some useful tips for getting through the 12 waves of monsters on Ok, Who Else Wants Some?  Here is some general advice for this level:

dodge left, step forward and right in an arc curling around behind the Demon to clear out the front left, back left, back right, and stragglers behind me was my mainstay. Frag grenades first, then AK for mop-up. Careful reloading is key, as is equipping the right crystals beforehand.

Feb 27, 2012


According to the Pathways manual a sub-directive of your mission is to "collect any artifacts or treasure you may come across. These items will be studied by top archaeologists and may provide answers to the origins of the Universe." Right, so treasure is important.

But just how much treasure can you collect?

Well MrM12LRV <m12fernau@gmail.com> recently posted his final game stats, which included a treasure total of $943.4K. This figure was made up of $889.4K for the standard items in the game plus an additional $54K for a second Alien Gemstone recovered after eating the Easter Egg.

However, in this comp.sys.mac.games post dating from Feb 1994, Ron Hunsinger reported a very different treasure total, namely:

pts  $$$$$
 44  $889.4 (39/417.4K  before the final battle)
   + $162.0 [But I'm not saying where this comes from!]
 44 $1051.4 (which the game prints as "$1.514M").

So Ron Hunsinger collected the standard $889.4K in treasure but also accumulated an additional $162.0K?!!! Unfortunately he didn't reveal how he got this additional treasure. Though $54K of it could conceivably have come from a second recovered Alien Gemstone.

Earthtopus points out that $162.0K is in fact three times the value of the Alien Gemstone ($54K x 3 = $162.0K). Is it possible that Ron managed to collect an additional three Gemstones after completing the final level? If so, how?

We know it is not possible to duplicate the Easter Egg in the Cedar Box, nor is it possible to reuse the Easter Egg after you've eaten it. For obvious reasons it disappears from your inventory. It doesn't appear possible to go back down again to the final level as a vital door on Warning: Earthquake Zone is inaccessible. Even if you could go back down again how could you do this THREE additional times and STILL survive? It just doesn't seem possible.

So that leaves two other alternatives. Either there is additional treasure in the game that we don't know about or the figure is a hoax.

While the easy answer is the later, the fact that Ron Hunsinger reports his final treasure total as "$1051.4 (which the game prints as "$1.514M")" would suggest that this is a real observation.

If it is real, the pyramid is holding a secret that has stayed buried for nearly 20 years. The tru7h must be found. :)

Feb 26, 2012

Just because a monster doesn't have a death sequence in the Shapes file doesn't mean it can't be killed. The Black Crystal is a good example of this. The Black Crystal (yeah it's actually grey!) will petrify a monster, freezing it in its tracks and turning it grey. No shapes for this. So could the Black Crystal petrify Barney(s) or the Green Oozes on Warning: Earthquake Zone if you go back down after you finish the last level?

This early comp.sys.mac games thread also asked the same question but never actually answered it. Seems they couldn't find Barney. This post states that the Black Crystal kills everything other than Barney, but the poster never actualy tested it.

So let's get some clarity here. Having just tested it, the Black Crystal has NO effect on Barney or the Green Oozes if you return to Warning: Earthquake Zone.

And yes... we need a definitive Crystals section.

Feb 24, 2012

Hopper updates his PID maps. In a Story forum post he writes:


* The lower frame uses tabs and grids for better use of the space.

* Next to the Levels tab in the top-right, you can switch between standard and "light" (traditional print-style) layouts. The light version has details about item locations, and the inventory lists of the dead, which are temporarily absent from the full version.

Each map shows the locations for items, the dead, monsters, triggers, barriers, pods, save runes, and exits.

Feb 22, 2012

Hopper's PID maps. A gorgeous HTML implementation with extraordinary detail. Still a work in progress but definitely worth a look see.

Why Ascension is probably the most likely place you will see this resting dialog.

Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> in a Story forum post makes some interesting observations about the Bubbling Red Potion:

The Bubbling Red slows everything that happens in the game by half for one minute--that is to say, you get two minutes of relative haste to pack into a minute of unpaused gameplay. This effect extends across physical level change (but not teleporters).

and the Pale Violet Potion:

The Pale Violet is more of an ablative shield than a time-sensitive thing, negating the next 100 damage you take, also effective across physical level change.

Time for a Potions section perhaps?

Nexcraft <Nexcraft@gmail.com> writes concerning the ring of seven dead Ghasts:

What if the "ritual" being interrupted was actually a group of Sentinels turning into Ghasts? Sure, the headdress and tunic are different colors, but there's nothing to say there wasn't another group of Sentinels.

Nexcraft also points out that killing Barney is probably not on, even with health stats of 5500. Why? Well there is "a lack of any death animation (in the ripped frames)". Too bad. Of course, it may be possible to freeze him in his tracks like a Green Ooze. But that wouldn't really be satisfying enough. ;)

Feb 21, 2012

Wrock <tmilke1@yahoo.com> in a Story forum post points out that this resting dialog is obtained if you try to rest when a projectile is heading towards you. Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> points out that you get this dialog box even if the projectile is going to miss you. Presumably because the next one will definitely not miss if you try to rest at this stage. As such this dailog is not specifically related to Ascension.

Thanks to Hopper for screenshots of both these rare resting dialogs. Updated Ok, Who Else Wants Some? with the Alien Gemstone resting dialog.

Updated the Barnies?!!! section with a fifth reason why you might want to go back down through "Warning: Earthquake Zone". Is there a sixth reason? For obvious reasons there is no seventh reason.

Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> treads carefully on Watch Your Step but can he get to the Green Crystal without passing over an exploding purple Pod.

Feb 20, 2012

Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> provides further details on his non-damage way of getting past those pesky Green Oozes waiting for you on Warning: Earthquake Zone. 'Just don't look'... appears to be the advice. :)

MrM12LRV <m12fernau@gmail.com> finds two rare resting dialogs found in the game:

The message you get when you rest with the Alien Gemstone out is:

"You feel extremely weak, but are unable to rest and restore your
health. Something is very wrong."

Another message I got before while I tried to rest up in Ascension during a real play through was:

"You have a strange and inexplicable feeling that it wouldn't be very sly
to try and rest right now."

If you know why you get this odd resting dialog on Ascension then let us know.

On the subject of the Alien Gemstone, this comp.sys.mac.games post by Jason Jones confirms that the Gemstone is radioactive. Putting it into the Lead Box was probably a dead give away anyway. ;)

Feb 19, 2012

How do you get past the Green Oozes on Warning: Earthquake Zone? The Green Oozes are immune to all weapons and crystals and basically as soon as these guys start moving you're dead. The time honoured method has been to poison yourself so that the Green Oozes won't attack you. Even the creator of the game (Jason Jones) gave this advice. So it must be right... right?

Well Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> in a Story forum post has found another way. It appears that if you use a Bubbling Red Potion you can outrun (err... outwalk) the Green Oozes before they have time to move from their alcoves and block your path. Using a Bubbling Red Potion prevents you from having to posion yourself thereby taking damage. It also frees up Blue Potion... and a Thick Brown Potion (yuck!). But remember... Be Quick Or Be Dead!

Reading through the dead scripts and want to know who is who and what level they are on? Well this list will help you. Each dead guy is identified by their script (scri) number.

Feb 18, 2012

Do your dreams of a non-damage run though Pathways end at Watch Your Step? Or is there a solution to this fiendish mind puzzle. This is a bit like the fox, goose and bag of beans puzzle. Hardened PIDers need only apply. :)

Hopper extracts the monster health stats from the game. With 5500 health points is it possible to kill a Barney? Hardened PIDers with heavy ordnance need only apply. :)

Hopper extracts the P4 ammo count from the game but needs your help in verifying the results. Hardened PIDers with OCD need only apply. ;)

Hopper goes all mathematical on us, dividing by three, rounding down, splitting whole-numbers and fractional parts. What next... imaginary numbers? Who would have thought that Pathways could be so complicated. ;)

Hopper maps the 4 teleporter rooms on Where Only Fools Dare Tread. Of course, you'll probably need a map just to understand it.

On the subject of Where Only Fools Dare Tread, check out this typo found by Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com>. Hint: check the Inventory Window.

MrM12LRV <m12fernau@gmail.com> posts the latest stage in his magnum opus - the definitive Pathways map. You can also see it on the PID page here. Check out that detail.

Feb 17, 2012

Slowly the secrets of the pyramid reveal themselves.

In a Story forum post, Hopper writes:

Reading through the archives, I noticed the "4,000,000 square feet" reference from Bungie's press release. As I'm knee-deep in the deadPiD maps right now, I wondered how accurate that statement is.

The 25 maps in the full game contain a total of 11,255 sectors that aren't solid rock. (Basically, this counts all non-black squares from the sector map image.) A sector is roughly, I don't know, eight feet across? Nine at the most? That's a max of 81 square feet per sector, which gives us 11,255 * 81 = 911,655 square feet.

That's all? Under a million square feet? You'd need THREE more full games' worth of levels, PLUS the demos, to reach Bungie's "over 4 million" number. Somebody revoke their Realtor® license for false advertising!

Maybe they're counting the walls, you say, like measuring the outside perimeter of a house to estimate the square footage inside. Maybe nobody's found the secret shovel that lets you dig your own passageways. Well, each level is 32 x 32 sectors in size. The outer edges are always walls, so you only get 30 x 30 as usable space, but we'll be generous. Maybe those hallways are bigger than they look too: let's bump up our estimate to 10 feet on a side. 32 * 32 * 100 sq. ft./sector = 102,400 square feet per level. At 25 levels, that gives 2,560,000 square feet.

Even cheating the numbers heavily in Bungie's favor, we're sill not close to Merchandise Mart numbers. Are they counting unexplored catacombs we teleported past, somewhere in the 2000m between Don't Get Poisoned and Ok, Who Wants Some? Did they plan to ship a PiD 20/10 level pack with the missing square footage? Demand the tru7h!

So what happened to the missing 1,440,000 square feet of passageways and catacombs? Could they hold the secrets to the Staff of Malebranche, the shimmering brass hoop with portal-like properties, the ornate gold mask depicting a vaguely human face in great pain, and the statuette of a humanoid figure bending over something you don't quite recognize. The tru7h is out there.

Don't lose your head. Carlos did, found it and lost it again.

The Perfect Score.

Feb 16, 2012

The man never stops.

Hopper writes:

I created a set of full maps from the sector information. These are very similar to topsnark's, but without the annotation pixels. It also includes the (useless) Labyrinth map, and the "Ok, Who Wants Some" map complete with unreachable areas. Recreating the wall-drawing algorithm was an interesting exercise.

Note: these maps cover the full game, as well as the Demo v2.0 and Demo vA1. There are no differences between the maps in Pathways Into Darkness v2.0 and v1.1.

Hopper also provides the following chart to visually show the scale of the pyramid (both upper and lower levels). If you wish to test your data visualisation skills then create your own pyramid chart and send it in or post it to the Story fourm ... but remember Edward Tufte's "data-ink ratio". And a book I would highly recommend.

Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> contines his minimum-damage max points speedrun through the game... reaching But Wait!- That's Not All!. He has looked into the eyes of a Ghast... and lived, and has a theory about that ring of seven dead Ghasts.

Dead script discussion. Add your comments/findings.

Feb 15, 2012

Finally... the Dead reveal all.

Thanks to Hopper in this Story forum post for pointing out that Loren Petrich created a Script Reader for Pathways Into Darkness. You can get it from Loren's page here. Don't ask why I never spotted this before.

Anyway it works perfectly (thanks Loren and Ron Hunsinger). So without further ado here are the Dead scripts for:

Pathways Into Darkness v2.0  (Yes, they are slightly different from v1.1)
Pathways Into Darkness Demo v2.0  (Pretty much the same as the full game v2.0)
Pathways Into Darkness v1.1  (The original uncensored version)
Pathways Into Darkness Demo vA1  (some interesting bits!)

Now to make sense out of them all. One thing to note is that the dead are designated as:

Corpse Type: nazi
Corpse Type: dude
Corpse Type: cubn

Further evidence that the Spanish speaking group of treasure seekers were Cubans.

Feb 14, 2012

Because he loves you.

Hopper <hopper@whpress.com> writes:

These PiD images were extracted from the original Shapes resources and converted as faithfully as possible to transparent PNG files. My Perl converter script is included.

Three sets are included, for the full Pathways (v2.0), the "A1" demo, and the 2.0 "Power Pathways" demo. The images are organized by original Shapes resource IDs (starting with 128) and then by each collection's color tables (starting with 0).

Hopper writes:

These PiD shapes were extracted from the original Shapes resources and converted as faithfully as possible to Aleph One collections. The files are:

PID_Shapes_set1: first 32 collections from full PiD 2.0
PID_Shapes_set2: remaining 18 collections from full PiD 2.0
Demo_A1_Shapes: all 17 collections from A1 demo
Demo_2_Shapes: all 22 collections from 2.0 Power Macintosh demo

Unfortunately, the Pathways into Darkness file formats are not very similar to Marathon's, so some information was lost, and some useful information (like Marathon-style sequences) is not present in the PiD file.

In the "Developers" folder, I included the Perl scripts used for the conversion. (The conversion was done in two parts, with XML as an intermediate format for ease of debugging.) They're hardly commented, but might be interesting to future hackers. Some other scripts in this family are thrown in just for fun.

I had fun learning about another old file format (thanks to Loren Petrich and others who've gone before), and maybe someone out there will find this data useful.

But wait that's not all. A PID map reader/editor for OS X? Hopper writes:

FYI, I've been looking at the map format, and might be able to extract some testable info next weekend. I think I can pull out the item and monster placements, but I won't be sure I'm understanding the files correctly until I actually dump a few levels and compare them.


Feb 13, 2012

Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> posts a tip on how to avoid getting hit by the Greater Nightmare waiting for you at the start of Please Excuse Our Dust. I've added this to the Please Excuse Our Dust section.

Earthtopus also uncovers an old comp.sys.mac.games post which provides some helpful advice on how to deal with those tricky situations where you are attacked from multiple directions at once. The original poster was Ron Hunsinger. You can see the full post here.

Also in a Story forum post, Bob-B-Q <pwrofs7n@roadrunner.com> writes:

Random thought: the "cold, so cold" anonymous German on Lock & Load reminds me of Snowden's
dying words in Catch-22. Coincidence, probably.

It is worth pointing out that in the game, this dead German will say " I'm cold, so cold ..." over and over because most words you type in will trigger this response. In Joseph Heller's Catch-22, Snowden repeats the words "I'm cold, I'm cold" over and over, probably ten or eleven times, during his death scene. While certainly similar, was this a homage to Catch-22?

Feb 12, 2012

Lots of PID discussion on the Story forum over the last couple of days. In particular, details about the 'out-of-date' or 'before-their-time' weapons. Thanks to Alric <smacc85@hotmail.com> and Bob-B-Q <pwrofs7n@roadrunner.com> for most of this. One interesting piece about the Walther P4 from Wikipedia.

An improved version of the P38, the Walther P4, was developed in the late 1970s...

Walther P4 with Box

So it would appear that the German's were using handguns 30+ years ahead of their time!!!
Expect a Weapons section... soon(tm)

How big is the pyramid? Well take a look. I bet that never appear in the mission briefing notes. Still want to take that mission solider? Sir!... Yes Sir!
Expect a Heights and Depths section... soon(tm)

Feb 11, 2012

Added a new section to document the Release Dates for Pathways Into Darkness.

Also updated the Demo Version A1 and Demo v2.0 sections to reflect the more accurate release dates.

Jason Jones (Bungie Software) writes:

right, forward, back
never try to sleep

Added these helpful tips to the appropriate levels:

Where Only Fools Dare Tread
Ok, Who Else Wants Some?

Feb 10, 2012

I was looking through my archive of old comp.sys.mac.games posts from '93/'94 and came across this thread. It appears that back in Feb '94 (18 years ago) a guy called Rick Talcott was doing a zero-damage max points speed run through Pathway Into Darkness.

I was looking through my archive of old comp.sys.mac.games posts from '93/'94 and came across this post. It appears that back in Feb '94 (18 years ago) a guy called Ron Hunsinger discovered that the Cedar Box could duplicate not only your Survival Knife but also your P4 Pistol.

I was looking through my archive of old comp.sys.mac.games posts from '93/'94 and came across this post. It appears that back in Oct '94 (17+ years ago) a guy called Quanah S. Harjo pointed out that the weapons that the Special Forces team had were outdated?
Which is similar to this post today.

Now what are the odds that 18 years from now another group of like-minded individuals will be discovering the same thing... over again.

As someone once said... circumstances are cyclical.

Feb 9, 2012

Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> in a Story forum post makes an interesting observation about the doors to the Suffocation Room on I'd Rather Be Surfing. He writes:

A funny thing about the doors. Pedro says "They will open and wait for someone else." But the doors are closed when you get there, and stay open once you've beaten it. You can in fact run back into the level proper (I did once to save to see if I could). I will check on the way out if the trap resets but I have a feeling it doesn't.

I've added this to I'd Rather Be Surfing.

PID Trivia Question: If you're wearing the Gas Mask can you drink a potion?
Answer: Yes.

Feb 7, 2012

Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> in a Story forum post makes an interesting discovery. It appears that the Cedar Box will duplicate not only ammo but also your Survival Knife. Of course, why anyone would want to try this is another story. ;)

Feb 6, 2012

Josh Goldberg <mchief111@rising-studios.com> has vectorised David Candland's PID panel from his 'Ancients' poster, producing an excellent high quality version of the image. He writes:

A note about the Pathways poster

This isn't an exact vectorization of the poster. For one thing, I don't really know how to use Illustrator or any other vector-based software- I made the seperate parts in a really big .psd file, used a wonderful program named Vector Magic to convert them to .svg, and copy+pasted them into a .ai document. The .ai document probably has a lot of extra crap in it, especially considering Illustrator kept giving me weird errors when I tried to export/save as a .svg. I ain't got time pfhor that. No combined .svg for you. You get .ai and .png, with .svg of the pieces.

Also, the font used in the poster was Lithis Pro Bold - I only have Lithis Pro Black. There are so few differences it shouldn't really matter, but if you REALLY want to be authentic, try using Friz Quadtrata - that's the original PiD font.

You can see it here. Larger versions can be found at his Rising Studios directory here. Well worth a look.

Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> continues his journey into the heart of darkness killing all in his way. You can follow his exploits (and his stats) on the Story forum.

Feb 3, 2012

Curious to know what happens when you finish the last level and then eat the Easter Egg? Well Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> points out in this Story forum post that it has been documented in HB's Pathways Into Darkness Walkthrough in a Bonus Update section. Well I for one missed this update. But now it's added to The Easter Egg section.

Ever wondered what font was used for the Pathways Into Darkness title?
Red PID title
Well wonder no longer. Thanks to Hopper in this Story forum post for identifying it as Friz Quadrata. Details about this font can be found on this Wikipedia page. Seems like it has been used by lots of people. And the Wikipedia page has just been updated (This page was last modified on 3 February 2012 at 15:51) to reflect the fact that the font was used in PID.

GrimCleaver is this Story forum post points out that Pathways into Darkness is today's (Feb 3, 2012) featured article on Wikipedia. He took a screenshot "to preserve this historical moment forever!"

Jan 30, 2012

On the Story forum, Earthtopus <andrew.malcovsky@gmail.com> is attempting a zero-damage max points speedrun of Pathways Into Darkness... using Basilisk. He's reach the Labyrinth in one hour and 45 minutes without taking any hits. Getting further is proving difficult. If you have any advice drop by the Story forum and help him out. Here's his current status report.

Josh Goldberg <mchief111@rising-studios.com> has kindly scanned in his copy of David Candland's 'The Ancients' poster.

David Candland's The Ancients poster

If you want to see a larger, higher quality, version of the PID panel you can get it here (25.9MB). Josh writes:

The largest scanner I could find was 12x18, so three scans it is. A lot of the fading/speckling
is actually on the poster out of the box- I can't tell if it's low quality or vintage.

All three panels from the poster can be found at the Marathon's Story page, see links below.

Marathon panel (23.7MB)
PID panel (25.9MB)
Myth panel (24.5MB)