Retro: Fun Pfhor Everyone

on June 22, 2010 1:30 PM

Retro: Fun Pfhor Everyone

Before Master Chief became the gaming icon for his generation, there was a little Apple game developer called Bungie, and they made a game called Marathon. I waxed nostalgic for Marathon a bit ago, so I decided to give the series the full treatment it deserves.

If the symbol up there looks familiar, you probably first saw it when selecting your difficulty in the original Halo, and it’s one of the many touches that will make Marathon seem familiar, even if you’ve never played it before. Halo fans will appreciate some of the touches, like dual wielding shotguns and goofy level names. No dedicated grenade or melee button here, although you can dual wield your fists which makes for a badass (if ineffective) weapon.

Retro: Fun Pfhor Everyone

The first Marathon game came out in 1994 and is long out of print, but Bungie, in an act of incredible generosity, released the source code for the entire trilogy, which has allowed fans to create a new engine called Aleph One that runs on Mac, PC, and Linux. Durandal, the second game in the series, is also available in a graphically enhanced edition on the Xbox live arcade. However, all three official scenarios–as well as fan created ones, including the excellent fan sequel Rubicon–are available for free here. Yes, Bungie really did give it all away to the fans when they left to make Halo.

If you played Doom, Marathon will seem both incredibly familiar and totally unexpected. Marathon’s level design is way ahead of its time; while there’s plenty of carnage to be had, there’s also dark creepy corridors, puzzles, and mazes. It’s much more like Half-Life, an atmospheric shooter of puzzles and darkness in the atmospheric expanse of a broken space station thick with hostile and bizarre enemies.

The Alien Pfhor are reminiscent of the Covenant only in respect to diversity; the slaver race plans on adding humanity to its collection after encountering the colony ship Marathon. That is, unless, a certain cyborg soldier and his supporting AIs have anything to say about it.

Retro: Fun Pfhor Everyone

AIs–crazed or otherwise (mostly crazed) are a huge part of Marathon’s lore. 343 Guilty Spark has nothing on Durandal–a lovable megalomaniac bent on achieving true immortality by escaping from the universe itself. An AI created for the sole purpose of opening and closing the doors on a spaceship, Durandal decides that the alien invasion is the perfect time to assert his superiority over both races. Hilarious and philosophical, the AI is both friend and enemy throughout the series.  In Marathon 2, he’s actually the player’s commander and guide, aligning himself with humanity while following his own agenda.

Marathon Infinity, the final entry in the trilogy, is probably the strangest of the games. It involves time travel, with different exits to the levels throwing you into alternate time lines. Some of the most lonely and haunting levels in the FPS genre welcome you in your journey to stop an unimaginable horror from being born from a dying sun.

Other than a dose of incredibly old school multi-player (with familiar skulls) Marathon is worth checking out for being a very clever shooter with an engaging story at a time when you couldn’t use those words in a sentence without laughing. It’s a world apart from the brainless fun of the classic Doom. You’d never believe that a game with virtually identical technology and gameplay could be so radically different in so many different ways.

Educate yourself with some good old-school fun, and find out why Mac gamers crying themselves to sleep.

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business
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travel
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technique
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business
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animation
car
games
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music
news
Science and technology
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travel
hygiene
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invest
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Nutritious food
routine
training
video
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art
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tourism
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invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
animation
car
movies
music
news
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tutorial
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
Big data
business
Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine news
sports
Street fashion
travel
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
hygiene
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news Science and technology
tutorial
business
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
Reduce weight
Street fashion
The recipe
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
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technique
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Fashion magazine
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Motor car
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Street fashion
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
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Nutritious food routine
training
video
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
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business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
The recipe
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
Classic cars
Classic cars
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
Small tools
The recipe
Motor car
Science and technology
Lose weight
Reduce weight A bad girl
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
Motor car
Real estate
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
The recipe
Real estate
Motor car
Science and technology
tutorial
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
rendezvous
catering
catering
Reduce weight
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
catering
health
Lose weight
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
business
fashion
fitness
health
lifestyle
news
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
travel
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
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Real estate
technique
Fitness equipment
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nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
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photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
hygiene
industry
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
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sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
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car
games
Motor car
movies
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tutorial
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
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Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
hygiene
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
animation
Motor car
Science and technology
tutorial
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
Reduce weight
Street fashion
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
Classic cars
Classic cars
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
Small tools
The recipe
Motor car
Science and technology
catering
health
Lose weight
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
business
fashion
fitness health
lifestyle
news
Small tools
Street fashion
The recipe
travel
Motor car
Real estate
Fitness equipment
Nutritious food
hygiene
Motor car
Real estate
Motor car
Science and technology
Street fashion
Big data
Fashion show
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl < Reduce weight
Street fashion
Fitness equipment
fitness
nutrition
Nutritious food
routine
training
video
Yoga
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
hygiene
industry
invest
markets
medical
Motor car
Real estate
technique
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
Big data
business
Fashion show
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
A bad girl
appetite
attitude
movies
rendezvous
sex
toys
catering
health
outdoors
Reduce weight
science
stretch
training
business
cookbook
fashion
fitness
health
magazine
news
sports
Street fashion
travel
art
fashion
health
music
photography
sports
The recipe
tourism
travel
Fitness equipment
routine
training
video
Yoga
Classic cars
evaluation
technique
transact
Classic cars
technique
transact
business
Fashion magazine
Fashion show
Female models
fitness
health
lifestyle
Small tools
The recipe
travel
animation
car
games
Motor car
movies
music
news
Science and technology
tutorial
 / 
Andrew Vanden Bossche has gotten through life on the strength of his tremendously long and unspellable last names. He also majored in English and creative writing, and is now a student of journalism. His three favorite games are Ico, Half-Life, and The Final Fantasy Legend.