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So, about the BoBs...

Posted: Jan 7th '21, 02:25
by Blastfrog
Where are all the women? We only ever see male BoBs in the Marathon games. Are the BoBs all gay? Are they coming out of the booth to frog blast each others' vent cores? Are they just asexual? Genetically engineered in any way? Grown artificially in lab settings and not a human uterus? Is this even worth asking about?

Re: So, about the BoBs...

Posted: Jan 7th '21, 08:13
by Pfhorrest
The Marathon is canonically a generational ships, which suggests that there is some, erm, "generation" going on there.

I guess that could involve artificial pod babies, but presumably the women-folk were all safely off hiding in their quarters while the men-folk were out and about working and getting attacked by aliens because, you know, gender roles of the future!

Or it's just an engine limitation.

Re: So, about the BoBs...

Posted: Jan 8th '21, 00:28
by The Man
I always assumed they just didn’t have the system resources to represent two different genders, so they left Bobs’ gender ambiguous and didn’t bother representing secondary sex characteristics. Doug Zartman reads their lines with a wide enough vocal range that some of the lines could plausibly be interpreted as coming from either gender, though obviously there’s no consistency about this for a given Bob (again, system resources).

Or else it was 1995, and no one at Bungie (or really, much of anywhere) gave gender in video games much thought. (The company’s employees were largely [entirely?] male at the time.)

Re: So, about the BoBs...

Posted: Jan 9th '21, 07:35
by ukimalefu
the women are in 3rd party scenarios, or, marathon being marathon, in our dreams

also, it doesn't matter, I'm loyal to leela

Re: So, about the BoBs...

Posted: Jan 12th '21, 02:45
by Zott
Pfhorrest wrote: Jan 7th '21, 08:13 Or it's just an engine limitation.
I refuse to believe the Tiny BOB was a critical gameplay element and couldn't have been replaced. :D

Re: So, about the BoBs...

Posted: Jan 13th '21, 08:09
by The Man
If it was a limitation, it was probably more to do with memory than the number of monster slots. The game only loads the collections it needs, so the existence of the Tiny Bob wasn’t using any extra memory – it only loads Bob graphics on levels that have Bobs. (In fact, since the Tiny Bob is never actually used anywhere in Marathon 2, its contribution to the game’s memory usage is effectively zero on every level.) Adding more graphics to the Bob collection, however, would’ve resulted in loading more graphics every time the Bob collection loaded. Alternatively, adding another monster collection would’ve required loading that collection each time the collection is used. If you pay attention, you’ll notice Marathon 2 never uses more than three monster collections per level (except for the Windows 95 version, one level of which which uses… four). I even made a list a while back – I’m prone to doing odd things out of boredom.

Waterloo Waterpark: Bobs, Drones, Fighters (+ Compilers in Win95)
The Slings & Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: Drones, Fighters, F’lickta (first appearance of F’lickta; only appearance of tiny Fighters and tiny F’lickta)
Charon Doesn’t Make Change: Fighters, F’lickta, Ticks (first appearance of Ticks)
What About Bob?: Bobs, Cyborgs, Fighters (first appearance of Cyborgs)
Come and Take Your Medicine: Compilers, Drones, Troopers (first appearances of Troopers and Compilers)
We’re Everywhere: Bobs, Compilers, Hunters (first appearance of Hunters)
Ex cathedra: Drones, F’lickta, Troopers (first appearance of Water F’lickta)
Nuke and Pave: Cyborgs, Drones, Troopers (first and only appearance of Possessed Drones)
Curiouser and Curiouser…: Cyborgs, F’lickta, Troopers
Eat It, Vid Boi!: Compilers, Cyborgs, Fighters
The Hard Stuff Rules…: Cyborgs, F’lickta, Ticks (first appearance of Lava F’lickta)
Bob’s Big Date: F’lickta, Hunters, Troopers
Six Thousand Feet Under: Cyborgs, F’lickta, Ticks
If I Had a Rocket Launcher, I’d Make Somebody Pay: Bobs, Hunters, Troopers (first appearances of Mother of All Hunters and assimilated Bobs)
Sorry Don’t Make It So: Cyborgs, Enforcers, Fighters (first appearance of Mother of All Cyborgs)
For Carnage, Apply Within: Compilers, Enforcers
Begging For Mercy Makes Me Angry!: Enforcers, Hunters, Troopers
The Big House: Bobs, Enforcers, Fighters
This Side Toward Enemy: Compilers, F’lickta, Troopers
God Will Sort the Dead…: Bobs, Hunters, Troopers
My Own Private Thermopylae: Bobs, Cyborgs, Troopers
Kill Your Television: Cyborgs, F’lickta, Ticks
Where the Twist Flops: Bobs, Compilers, Hunters
Beware of Abandoned Rental Trucks: Cyborgs, Enforcers, F’lickta
Requiem for a Cyborg: Compilers, Fighters, Troopers
Fatum iustum stultorum: Bobs, Defenders, Troopers (first appearance of Defenders)
Feel the Noise: Cyborgs, Defenders, Hunters
All Roads Lead to Sol…: Fighters, Hunters, Juggernauts (first and only appearance of Juggernauts)

Infinity wasn’t quite as restrictive with which collections it loaded, often going to four. I’m reasonably certain this is a complete list of collections loaded in every level, although I may have missed one:

Ne cede malis: Compilers, Fighters
Rise Robot Rise: Enforcers, Fighters, Hunters
Poor Yorick*: Drones, F’lickta, Hunters, Troopers
Confound Delivery*: Bobs, F’lickta, Hunters, Juggernauts
Electric Sheep One: Enforcers, Ticks
Where Are Monsters in Dreams: Defenders
Acme Station: Compilers, Cyborgs, Fighters
Post Naval Trauma: Enforcers, Fighters, Hunters, Juggernauts
Where Some Rarely Go: Compilers, Fighters, F’lickta
Thing What Kicks…: Drones, Fighters, Juggernauts
Electric Sheep Two: Enforcers, Ticks
Whatever You Please*: Compilers, Enforcers, F’lickta
Naw Man He’s Close: Compilers, Troopers, VacBobs
Foe Hammer: Compilers, Cyborgs, Hunters, VacBobs
Hang Brain: Bobs, Compilers, Hunters, Troopers
Electric Sheep Three: Enforcers, Ticks
Eat the Path*: Compilers, Enforcers
By Committee: Bobs, Cyborgs, Drones, Fighters
One Thousand Thousand Slimy Things*: Bobs, Compilers, Fighters, Troopers
A Converted Church in Venice, Italy*: Bobs, Ticks, VacBobs
Son of Grendel: Drones, Fighters, Troopers
Strange Aeons*: F’lickta
Bagged Again: Defenders, Fighters, Troopers
You Think You’re Big Time? You’re Gonna Die Big Time!: Fighters, Hunters, Juggernauts, Troopers
Aye Mak Sicur: Defenders, Hunters, Juggernauts
Robot World Arena: Fighters
Two for the Price of One: Nothin’
Aie Mak Sicur: Defenders, Hunters, Juggernauts
Carroll Street Station: Defenders, Hunters, Juggernauts
You’re Wormfood, Dude: Defenders, Hunters, Juggernauts, Troopers
Try Again: Enforcers, Hunters, Juggernauts
If I Had a Rocket Launcher, I’d Make Somebody Pay: Hunters, Troopers, VacBobs
You think You’re Big Time? You’re Gonna Die Big Time!: Fighters, Hunters, Juggernauts, Troopers

Levels marked * also loaded ambient wildlife (Grendel, Mothrid, and/or Potato Anus), but because these were in the Items collection, they were always loaded in every level, so I didn’t bother listing them. (Also, note that just looking at the enemy list is not always reliable, since often times the physics modify what monsters are in what slots; one must also look at the physics… as well as what monsters [1] appear in the “monster parameters” list and [2], if not set to “random location” in said list, are placed in the level. To my understanding, if a collection fails either condition, it is not loaded. “Try Again” lists Bobs and Drones on the “monster parameters” list, but doesn’t have any placements for either.)

It is no doubt possible to come up with a similar list for Marathon 1, but that would require loading Pfhorte, and even I’m not that much of a masochist. Image
My guess is Bungie didn’t want to use the RAM it would’ve required to load twice the amount of graphics for every level that included Bobs (not to mention an extra set of sounds as well). Memory was at a premium in those days.

I should note that I kind of like how the levels restricted themselves to using a small number of collections; it helped give levels more distinct flavours, and it’s something I kind of miss about the vanilla games in the major total conversions, which often are quite promiscuous about their usage of monster collections. As a result, I’ve tried to make some maps that use fewer collections. If I’m not mistaken, the final level of WMAiD (which hasn’t been shown yet) only uses two monster collections right now, though it’s admittedly something of an outlier amongst my maps, but I have several others that only use four or so.

(I’m also aware that the above comment may have been at least partially in jest. As I said, I was bored. [MTongue])