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a [Marathon] map making tool


Ambience and Fux

The effect
February 3, 1999


Ambience is an effect for use with Chisel 2.0 or later that lets you make use of up to 172 ambient sounds and 149 random sounds in Marathon Infinity. It was written for Chris Veres as part of the Trojan ][ project.

Part of its use requires you to edit your Marathon application with FUX. If you don't have a copy of FUX yet, the latest version can always be found by searching at www.bungie.org.

What to do

Ambience uses the unused areas of the platform data in the Marathon app to instead store sound references usable by ambient or random sounds. You'll have to make a copy of the Marathon app and edit it with FUX to actually get these references to point to real sounds in your sounds file.

Run FUX and open your copy of the Marathon App.

Press the Platforms button to get this dialog box on the screen:

The platforms panel in FUX

The boxes you'll need to enter stuff into are in the bottom half. Because FUX is set up to edit this data as if it were platform defaults, you'll need your wits about you to actually enter the numbers. Some slots are in decimal, so they are easy, others are in Hexadecimal so you'll need your base16 handy and one is large enough to contain two sound IDs. This last one is the hard one. Just follow the instructions letter for letter and you'll be OK. Welcome to the wonderful world of Marathon hacking.

Each of the platforms in the top left box correspond to a bank in Ambience. They are numbered 0-8 just like in the Ambience effect. The boxes in the 'Defaults (unused)' section correspond to the sound numbers in Ambience. They are not numbered 0-15 just like in Ambience. Poo. Instead they are arranged as follows:

Fux field name    Ambience Sound number(s)      Entered as
Type               0                             Decimal
Speed              1                             Decimal
Delay              2                             Decimal
Max Height         3                             Decimal
Min Height         4                             Decimal
Flags              5 & 6                         Hexadecimal*
Polygon            7                             Decimal
Tag                8                             Decimal
unused0            9                             Hexadecimal
unused1            10                            Hexadecimal
unused2            11                            Hexadecimal
unused3            12                            Hexadecimal
unused4            13                            Hexadecimal
unused5            14                            Hexadecimal
unused6            15                            Hexadecimal
* The flags field is big enough to take two hexadecimal sound references, one in the first 4 digits, the other in the second four digits.

Decimal fields just take a normal sound ID number - if sound 200 is something you want to use as an ambient sound, then type 200 into the box.

Hexadecimal fields need the number converting to hex: sound 200 would be entered as 00C8

The Flags field takes two hex numbers end to end. The first 4 digits are sound number 5 in the bank, the last 4 digits are sound number 6. So, to enter sound 200 into slot 5 and sound 202 into slot 6, you'd have to put 00C800CA into the flags field.

Bank -1

Ambience uses bank -1 to signify the existing Ambient and Random tables in the application. You can edit these in FUX using the Ambient sounds section:

The ambients panel in FUX

and the Random sounds section:

The randoms panel in FUX
easy huh?


FUX can seriously screw up the application. Use a copy. Be careful with FUXed applications. It is not my fault.

Ambience re-uses some data that does not appear to be used by the application. Changing numbers here appears to be safe, but if the application were to look at these areas expecting to see default platform type data and find extended ambient sound tables instead, well anything could happen. Well, not anything - one thing will happen. Marathon will crash.

So far, this effect is safe. This serves as a warning that I will not be held responsible if your 27Mb Marathon TC goes down the drain because you used my effects on it. Back it up people :)

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