by Gary Simmons, The Battle Cat.
Ed's Note: The views expressed in this article are not those of anyone on the MaraMag staff, they're just here to make you laugh. Direct all flames, death threats, mail bombs, e-mail bombs, incindiary e-mail bombs, C4-coated e-mail bombs, smart bombs, and Dr. Kevorkian's home phone number to gsimmons@earthlink.net, not us. :)


Following is a brief dip into my sick little mind. Any thoughts resembling any actual thinking process is a coincidence and the author is not to be held responsible for them legally, morally, or any other fancy word. If you disagree with anything in this discourse you are right, you win, go away now. While you are gone, read some disclaimers somewhere else and assume they apply here. This whole thing was not my idea anyway, I was roped into it in a fit of pity as proved by the following email from Devon Belcher to Carl Lineberry and myself:


>hey guys - and Gary -
>got a request here. MaraMag seems to be going down due to lack of
>contributions. I chip in every other month or so, but that ain't >enuff. Tiff Kitten, you have some well - thought - out ideas on >puzzles (and how they suck). plus your very name is a draw. Cap'n >Plankton, you are swiftly becoming the netmaster, I know you have >some things to say about net design.
>how bout it? fire up a page or so of righteous commentary. We know >what we like in maps, and so few maps come close to satisfying even >minimal expectations.

*hands on hips doing black-snake-head-side-to-side movement* Wha fow you sayin' "hey guys - and Gary"? Yew foo! Ya'll got SOME nurv ta tawk trash like that ta me. Ahma gonna RAIN on yo mellon yew slack jawd foo! *elastic audibly snaps and panties slam to the pavement with a splat*

So who died and made YOU savior, Mr. Save The Whales??? I thought it was the survival of the fittest out here in "crap in your pants and die" land. Why da fhu should I go sloppin' my good name around like it was a wet towel snappin' a half-dead-over-the-hill-jock's butt? What gives wit dis yit? What's in it for you, EH?? Thot you wuz buzy or sumpin. What's in it for ME???!!!??? Yeah, ME, a "biggie" fer kriess sake!! Gotta lotta work ta do savin' the werld here n stuff like dat dere. I'll see what sorta hair ball I can hork up fer ya. Yew owe me man. Big time. Geez, th' loozers I
gotta tickle here.

Lick a frozen metal flag pole while a rabid dog yanks on your piss soaked pants cuff and your roller blades slip in the oil leaking out of your burning infant son that is setting your balls on fire that are useless now because some mugger just kicked them while you were preoccupied trying to stem the flow of blood from your twisted, broken nose that you got from your wife whom you just found out was lez,

the Battle Cat

End O' quote:

So, see? Not my idea. Boy, life sucks... anyway, here goes:


Betcha this is gonna sound preachy...
Avoid puzzles, unless they are easy, simple or come with a list of step by step instructions. Nobody hates being a Sherlock Holmes against someone else's Dr. Moriarty more than me. Take it somewhere else map makers, preferably to a map that is advertised to be a puzzle map. It just plain sucks to wander endlessly, studying wall textures when there are perfectly good Pfhor impatiently waiting to die at the hands of a pumped up psycho! Keep them logical. Keep them relevant to the story. Keep them to yourselves if you are genuinely trying to trick people. Test a puzzle on a friend and if he can't get it without trashing the flow of the game or without frustration, change it. I played a map that had a room full of ammo, you could see in through a window. I spent allevening trying to solve the puzzle. When I gave up and opened it with Forge, I saw it was a tease, there was no way into the room, and the doors scattered through out the map that I couldn't figure out how to open were just wall textures, nothing behind them but negative space. If you want people to play your maps, avoid this colossal waste of a players time. That map went into the trash.

Devon Belcher said it pretty well, 'I think Gary and I share a view of puzzles - the ideal puzzle is "wade through the alien blood you have spilled to flip a switch. Switch opens a door which is obvious, said door leads to an area full of aliens. Again, wade through their corpses to find another switch, etc."'. A clever puzzle is fun. Keep 'em fun and clever. MY personal favorite puzzle is the kind where you have to decide whether to use the SPNKR or the grenade launcher. Should I stomp on its chest as I run over it's corpse or do I pull down my pants and slide across the room on the blood? Avoid "Colony Ship For Sale" puzzles! I mean it was obvious
what was to be done, but doing it was tremendously tedious, if you got it wrong you had to run clean across the map to try again. Also one last whine, suicide pits and rooms are punishable by dismemberment. If you make a player have to kill himself to get out of a situation, you should kill yourself for creating that situation. Grrr. Mainly the point of my rant here is that we are playing a game. By definition a game is something fun to do. Keep it fun.


Welcome to the only other paragraph besides the "PUZZLES:" paragraphs that was meant to be truthful. When I was in the USMC, they taught us to fight dirty, use cover, use the enemy's weaknesses against him and to pick your own fights even if that meant running away. You don't look like John Wayne but if you have the choice of the battlefield to engage the enemy, you have the distinct advantage. The basic premise of combat is to kill the other
guy and break his stuff. The first guy to follow any rules of conduct or fair play died. If you run out of bullets, use your entrenchment-tool, a pencil, your teeth, whatever it takes. Never give anyone a chance... EVER. Ambush him, shoot him in the back, gouge his eyes out, throw dirt into his face, lie to him, spit in his face to distract him, and if you can make him suffer a little in the process, so much the better. Always remember the object of a net game, as in an actual war, is to kill the other guy and/or
gain strategic advantage for future carnage! Hey, just sneak up behind the guy. Nothing feels better than smirking at a tub of guts arching through the dusty Lh'owon sky. Honor is stupid in war and will only raise the rates of your health plan. Marathon is fun. Have fun. It's a game, right? Get him back. Just hit your action key again and do better next time!
... yep, it sounded preachy alright. Screw this, let's go have some fun.


If you are Muslim. Shout "Allah Akbar!!!" just before you suicide on someone's Marine.

If you are Christian. You can't suicide. Technically you shouldn't be here in the first place, just remember to turn the other butt cheek when shot in the ass.

If you are Jewish. You can't suicide. Oy vie, the guilt, suicide anyway, there's money riding on the score.

If you are Hindu. Cool, you can hold every weapon at the same time!

If you are Buddhist. Each time you action key back to life you will be a more advanced spiritual being until, as a point of pure radiant light, you leave the bounds of this earthly plane taking your CD with you. If you notice your forehead receding, your ears getting pointy and you have a new found ability to lick your balls, rethink your tactics, you have obviously been playing like the following people:


When you see your opponent in your motion detector, shove the guy out of his chair and kill his Marine. If afterwards he suddenly lunges to shove at you, you know he is just around the corner, so SPNKR his hinney. After that you are even but you are now two kills up on him.

If you can piss off your opposition, he will be a poorer player so keep your cool and make him lose his. Tell him his girlfriend is so bone dog ugly she would scare the buzzards off a gut wagon, you know his weaknesses better than I so you are basically on your own here.

Blind side your opponent by dousing his lights with a sucker punch. While he lies sleeping, swallowing his teeth, keep hitting his action key and rekilling his Marine. When he wakes up, tell him you fought off the intruder and were nurturing him back to health. Try to keep a straight face because this last part is important.

Play with someone dumber than you. There must be someone. Keep looking.

Take a big mouthful of clam chowder and fake barfing on your opponent. Good for several kills before he recovers, if you can reach his action key. Lick some drips up or loudly slurp up some puddles after his recovery, one more kill guaranteed with this maneuver.

Bash your opponent over the head brutally with a heavy, blunt object. You will feel much better and you will have the advantage for at least an hour.

Bring a real pistol with you into the game room. Each time you are killed, shriek a profanity and fire a shot into the ceiling. Soon you will start winning.


Playing with girls. When a girl enters a room, stand up before you grenade her into Valhalla. Action key doors for them and as they walk through, smack 'em on the butt. Leave a big red hand print. Never hit a girl in the tummy, instead nail her on that big honkin' hooter she calls a nose. Avert your eyes when you SPNKR them into the air so you do not see up their dress. Most importantly, leave ALL sexist comments in the locker room guys. If you are nice they will make you a sandwich during the break. Anyway the darling little tarts get their little feelings hurt because they are basically inferior to men; packing needless emotional baggage around,
screwing up on the math, and focusing on stupid relationships and stuff. Personally I never DID trust anything that could bleed 5 days straight and live. Those brainless, falsetto squeaking, estrogen spewing, tit racks!!! Hell, they ALL throw like girls, everyone knows that. So watch what you say around them, OK guys?

Playing with little girls. Tell them their Marine's colors has to be the same color as their panties. That way, heh heh heh...
YOU WILL KNOW snarf snarf snarf snarf, uh........................................... WHAT?!?!?! Quit lookin' at me like that... that's the last time I share!

Playing with the blind. Change their custom key settings.

Playing with homos. Don't ask. Don't tell. Complement him on his hair and when he turns to wink at you, kill his Marine. Ask him if the net arena could use some curtains, a painting and some new furniture and while he is preoccupied, kill his Marine. If YOU are the homo... geez, are you a homo? Uhh... if YOU are the homo, complement him on his hair, and when he turns to look at you funny like, kill his Marine.

Playing with fatsos. Place a huge platter of chocolate chip cookies made with REAL butter, roasted walnuts and covered with colorful sprinkles just out of arms reach. Every time he goes for a cookie, kill his Marine.

Playing with animal rights activists. Wear a fur hat and when the
imperious, self righteous zealot throws blood on you, flip out and kick the living crap out of him. Take him right to the edge of the river Styx. Then kill his Marine at leisure using gerbil bombs by stuffing balloons of baking soda and vinegar up the gerbil's butt. When the gerbil hits his Marine, the balloons pop and WHAMMO!! You really gotta throw them HARD though.

Playing with feminists. You can't. They wouldn't hang with a real man like yourself.

Playing with blacks. First you have to take a REAL assault rifle to the ACLU headquarters and take out that nasty din of spider faced vipers or they'll slap you with a hate crime law suit. That done, say, "Rodney King should have pulled over immediately" and while the player is beating the crap out of you, kill his Marine. Say, "OJ did it" and while the player is beating the crap out of you, kill his Marine. Say, "Michael Jackson is really a black guy" and while the player is beating the crap out of you, kill his Marine.

Playing with whites. Why bother? You need a challenge man, and while I got ya here, keep your dirty Mandango-jungle-love dewhooks off those white girl players! Remember to roll down the window before shooting and try not to hit your driver. Pull out your wanker and while the other player stares in disbelief, kill his Marine. Don't try this scam with the homo players.


SPNKR-XP SSM Rockets. Place these in the forehead, directly into the ear, on the toes, and up the ol' wazoo.

Zeus-Class Fusion Pistol bolts. Best when applied directly to the retina.

.44 Magnum Mega Class A1 bullets. To preserve decorum, one in each
butt-ock should suffice.

TOZT-7 Backpack Napalm Unit. Set to redden with "Flame", or better,
"Broil" to taste, basting them with their own juices every few seconds. When browned, remember to use a pastry brush to coat with pure farm fresh sweet butter then sprinkle with coriander and basil. Serve with a sprig of parsley, a jaunty tart red wine, and a bucket of festering guts.

WSTE-M5 Combat Shotguns. Planning a wedding this social season? You're in luck, escort the pregnant bride and her doting groom down the isle with two deluxe WSTE-M5 Combat Shotguns. These lovely marital aids come with a single trigger to ignite both barrels with no awkward fumbling in moments of passion. Place these elegant weapons snugly to the backs to the happy couples heads throughout the ceremony. Try not to cry.

MA-75B Battle Rifle bullets. Apply liberally and topically, helps to run up and plant the muzzle in the other guys chest. If you're playing with President Clinton yell, "Cheeseburger!!" and when he open's his mouth, launch a smokin' 40mm grenade down that lying gullet of his.

KKV-7 10mm SMG Flechettes. One should always apologize for pumping 1000 rounds a second into an enemy. Remember to say something poignant as you run giggling over his lifeless, eviscerated corpse.


Look guys.....HA! Made you look, am I on a roll or what? If I have failed to offend any special interest group I sincerely apologize, due to the restraints of time and energy and the vastness of political correctness I could not jerk everybody's chain. Please email me at
gsimmons@earthlink.net giving me your special interest group or realm of sensitivity training and I will promise to insult you one-on-one in the fashion to which you have become accustomed. Marathon is fun. Lets all have fun with it.

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