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GNU is Not Unix

Bungie Releases Marathon 2 Under GPL 155

bravehamster writes "Bungie Software has announced that at 7 pm CST tonight they will release the Marathon 2: Durandal source code under the public GNU license. Programmers need only apply, but gamers everywhere should reap the benefits." The press release is attached below. Or you can just cut to the chase and download the sit version or a gzipped version.

"Today at 7 pm CST Bungie Software releases the Mac source code for their classic game "Marathon 2: Durandal" to the net. This game represented the pinnacle of first-person shooter technology in 1995, and was the most successful of the highly-acclaimed Marathon series."

"Programmers only need apply: the code is in MPW format (Macintosh Programmers Workshop, which can be freely downloaded at developer.apple.com), and because various components had to be removed before public release, devising some workarounds will be necessary before the code will compile. Nevertheless, for those with the skills to manipulate it, the code can form the basis of all kinds of 3D, first-person perspective games, and we look forward to seeing what is done with it."

"The code is being released under the terms of the GNU public license, and Bungie does not offer technical support with the code. More information can be found in the ReadMe that accompanies it. You can download sit version or a gzipped version "

Update: 01/18 04:25 by CN : Jason Pellerin of Bungie writes: "I'd like to see a linux port, and I can donate some server space and time to help it happen, please write me at m2linux@bungie.com if you want to get in on the fun."

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Bungie Releases Marathon 2 Under GPL

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    M1/M2/MInfinty all supported multiple levels in a building through some cool geometry tricks. It's true that the engine is only 2-1/2D; in the same way that folding a piece of paper gives you two "levels" of a single piece of paper, the Marathon engine allowed folding of parts of a level to simulate actual multilevel maps. It works beautifully because the boys at Bungie are demigods.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    First off, i hope someone puts TCP/IP networking in it for netplay. Secondly, M2 (and for that matter, M Infinity) had a bug in the networking code that would cause odd behavior. I remember my friends and i wonder why we were the only ones in the map and then hear the other firing w/o actually seeing anyone or getting hurt. "Meet in the middle of the arena" we'd say, finding no one but our own dumb selves. So we'd kill ourselves with the rocket-launcher-turned-portable-elevator and hope the game would figure it out (that worked about 45% of the time). That's the only reason why I'd play other games more. Of course, now with Q2 open and some code from Unreal:Tournement... M2+Q2+UT=Me loosing wife, job, and life screaming "I got the most frags! Bwahahahahahahahaha!" Oh, and my favorite level: "You don't need to see my ID"
  • I love the main theme to Marathon. I've made it available here: ftp://hoju.res.cmu.edu/pub/marathon-t heme.mp3 [cmu.edu]
  • It's Linux port is in every Linux distribution that I've checked.

    Even old Mac games are going to make Linux better.

  • sv_noaim 1 - Now you have to aim carefully.

    Yes, it's an option. I'm going to stay out of the discussion on 2.5D vs. 3D, but Quake is a far more advanced engine. 3D acceleration and an extremely expandable design are the primary reasons, in addition to true 3D models vs sprites for other objects. And if you look at some of the projects that have sprung up to improve the Q1 source code, it's not as far away from Q2/Q3 as you might think.
  • I actually never played 2 - I played 1 and thought it was a much better game the doom family. But Id stayed out ahead with quake, and the rest is history.
  • Yes the game rocked, great sci-fi story, great networking, LOVED the double-barreled shotgun (with Terminator2-sytle cocking), even better was one of those in either hand - lots o pain!

    BUT -
    it was very frustrating that you could neither jump nor duck in this game. If you wanted to jump, you had to "grenade hop". Kind of lame for a character that's supposedly the ultimate killer cyborg.
    Also, the only decent weapon for area coverage (grenade launcher), SUCKED as a combat weapon - it was attached as an over-under to the most inaccurate automatic rifle ever imagined. Plus, it did very little in the way of damage. Now, do an over-under with a flechette gun, and THEN you'd have a decent weapon.
    (also would have been nice if grenades came in varieties; smokers, armor peircing, antipersonnel, etc.)
    I also was a bit disappointed in Marathon Infinity, at the poor quality of the video. Other games were doing way better at that time. Marathon Infinity had almost no improvement over Marathon 2 in graphics. It was just some tweaks to the physics models and a new set of levels.

    BTW -
    Bungie does have a super-kick-ass new game in development called Halo, and from the movies and screen shots I've seen, it will totally blow everything else away.

    I wish I had a nickel for every time someone said "Information wants to be free".
  • Mac doesn't make anything. Apple makes the Mac.
    ---
    "'Is not a quine' is not a quine" is a . [nmsu.edu]
  • actually, marathon and m2 supported multistory buildings. there's a single level with a 7 story building somewhere amongst the crowd.
  • This is kind of offtopic, but...

    Get those dual sawed-off shotguns and find a Pfhor, or a Trooper... And you've got to love the single-handed Arnie reload action :)

    And, for the record, the Marathon series has the best plot of any series (or single game) I've ever played. And Marathon 1 was the best...

    I wonder if someone would be willing to put music into M2... One of the things I miss from M1 was the music...
  • m2 had real 3d (you know, you had to aim up and down, not just point in the general vincinity)

    I can see that you are a real quake-expert; quake has this 'real 3d' that you speaking of in the way of shooting.

    As far as I remember (I have never seen marathon in action, so no marathon expert), the marathon engine used sprite-based avatars (enemies and the like), so no real 3d to speak of.

    To make that statement into a question, which GPL engine makes for better graphical quality, GLQuake or this Marathon2 one?
    Answers from somebody who is familiar with both (unlike us) are appreciated...

  • Not 14 (almost twice that age), not too ignorant, 1600 guilders PC (about $800). But most of all, not cowardice AC!
  • You could be putting shots that hit just 1 pixel over his shoulder.

    And this is what you define as 'real 3d shooting'. Interesting choice of words. Anyway, when you are running around with a rocket launcher kind of device in the real world, precision is not really that important (not getting your own hair on fire is I would imagine, is that in M2?).

    This was 1995.

    You said it was in the same time as quake I, so both engines that you are comparing were out.

    There's more to 3d than whether you are using sprites, or what rendering engine, or how many FPS you are getting!

    If 'real 3d shooting' is pixel-perfect aiming, God knows what you mean with more realistically (sp?) display, but I think all the properties you mention have a lot to do with 3d (although there is more of course, but not a lot more since we are discussing engines not game-graphics or whatever).

  • which meant using the blast from a gernade launcher to propel yourself in the air (at a cost to your health, of course).

    This is also a favorite past-time in team fortress, a quake I mod.

    My windows freinds who were Quake heads who came and watched (and joined) us playing were blown away.

    I just downloaded the demo [bungie.com], I'll install it tonight (see, you made me look :-)

    I personally know three people who bought a power PC for the sole purpose of playing Marathon.

    I know of people who buy Macs simply because they have the colour of fruit. I have never been impressed with the amount of thought people put into buying a Mac.

    I didn't mean to turn this into a whole "bash doom and quake" thing,

    It is amazing that it came to that at all, with your remark that "At the time, all my PC friends were playing doom2 (YAWN!) then quake came out. Still looked like crap next to M2". It's a crazy world I guess....

  • To make that statement into a question, which GPL engine makes for better graphical quality, GLQuake or this Marathon2 one? Answers from somebody who is familiar with both (unlike us) are appreciated..

    I just played the demo, so I can answer my own question right now. The engine of this game really really reminds me of doom, and it isn't the good old days either. If I realize that I just played GLQuake (also GPL'd recently) for about four hours this weekend while I also have quake2 & 3, and I couldn't stand this game long enough to find out how to look up or down, I know I have found out something about Mac-users once again (what's wrong with these people :-)

    Don't get me wrong, there still might be a great game there, that's not just about graphics, but the great graphics is just what Mac-users where always whining about in news groups. Also, only the engine is GPL'd, not the entire game.
    Of course I am also still happy that Bungie made it GPL. Sort of....

    As for Pfhreakaz0id's concerns of lack of pixel perfect 'real 3d' shooting, I think that's easier to fix in GLQuake than Marathon's graphic engine.

    Oh yeah, if that's not clear yet: Mac-users, as far as I am concerned all the sh*t you get from PC-users is well-deserved, stop boring us with your endless stories about your sucky system :-))
    (Moderate away)

  • I have m2 for windows, and m1 for mac. M2 even had voice taunts. It rocked. I beat m2 on a pc even though it crashed lots and sucked. The bungee guys auta gpl m3, cause it is old news, but it had a sweet level editor bundled with it.
  • Minotaur was not a FPS. It was a goofy sprite-based RPG. Not their best work, but probably one of the first commercial, graphical multiplayer games.
  • Mac IIe? I think you mean an Apple IIe which is NOT a Mac.
  • From the info I could find, Quake was released July 1996. Marathon 1 shipped XMas 1994, and Marathon 2 for the Mac shipped XMas 1995 -- Windows sometime later. So the games weren't out at the same time...

    As a side note, I remember thinking that Marathon looked really good on a Mac Quadra machine. However, seeing some screenshots just now, it does seem kind of cheezy, all blobby and bright colored. Plus the 'viewer' seems to be tiny. Strange how Quake (I,II,III) can spoil you.
    --
  • Actually, I doubt there's much useful in there for the modern Quake spoiled player. Perhaps the monster AI, but if you look at some screenshots it's clear that the graphic engine is not up to snuff with modern game programs.

    The best thing about Marathon was the story -- The background plot and how it was revealed to you really kept the game interesting. (Has any Id game since Castle Wolfenstien ever had a plot?) If all of the game content has been GPLed, I would love to see Marthon's plot and terminal text ported to a modern Quake II/III engine.

    For those who are interested: The Marathon Story site [smd.tcd.ie] has a ton of background information on the plot and various references in the game.
    --
  • Was this the one that had the microphone option for net play (so the players could talk to each other)?

    I didn't have the hardware to take advantage of it at the time, but I always thought that was a cool feature. It'd sure beat typing for coordinating attacks!
  • I seem to remember the Mac versions. Marathon1 was pretty cool for its time. Marathon2 was supposed to be very good also. With this and the Quake1 source we can probably expect more top notch open source game derivatives!
  • But the PC port didn't include Mac-PC networking, which effectively killed it.

    Incidentally, are Forge and Anvil (Bungie's editors) going to be open-sourced?

  • Unfortunately, the desyncing problem existed in all 3 Marathon games and was never fixed. The Marathon series used a very simple form of networking where each machine would play the game, and only the key-press/mouse-event codes were sent between. Effectively, each client thought that it had 8 keyboards attached to it. This method works fine if all data packets get delivered in the correct order and without delay, but if a couple of packets go missing, one machine may miss that keypress where I sidestepped out of the way of the incoming rocket, and from that point on, the game will look very different on each machine. The only way to avoid this would be to rewite the networking code in a client/server mode.
  • If I recall, System Shock was released in September 1994.

    Marathon was originally designed as the sequel to Pathways Into Darkness (released August 1993) and was first shown at MacWorld SF in January 1994. Marathon went through a number of rewrites during 1994 with it looking very similar to it's final incarnation by August and released in December 1994. I don't believe Bungie took much influence from System Shock.
  • I will admit that Mac gaming, especially at that time, was in a sorry state. We just didn't have the titles our PC friends did. But when Marathon came out, it was something that the PC users didn't have. It was ours.

    I remember DOOM well. I've played it both solo and network play and it just doesn't add up to Marathon. From what I remember (correct me if I'm wrong) the DOOM scenario went like this:

    Level 1 - Kill a whole bunch of bad guys.
    Level 2 - Kill a whole bunch of bad guys.
    Level 10 - Kill a whole bunch of bad guys.
    Level 50 - Kill a whole bunch of bad guys.

    That was it. The whole game. You just shot things. Your reward for clearing a whole level of bad guys was getting more bad guys to shoot. Mindless drivel.

    Mac gamers knew about DOOM. We just prefered Marathon. The graphics were better. The movement and game flow was phenomenal. There was a story to solve. (What was the DOOM story anyhow?) And the network play was phenomenal. I think had Bungie released Marthon for the Mac and PC together, a lot more of you PC gamers would have raved about this game.

    And in case you're wondering, I played DOOM before I played Marathon. You can accuse me of flamebait. I don't care. You say Mac gamers don't understand. You've got it half right. PC gamers didn't understand either. How could we? Our platforms were so far apart from each other that we couldn't help but flame each other.

    Now things are different. Titles are being released cross-platform. Mac, PC, and Linux. And now the flames are where they belong; when we frag each other.

    EF

  • M2 was the most entertaining first-person shooter I've ever played... it was great. I played it all the time back in high school (since they had PowerPC's at school, and I had a 386 :-p...) The single player was amazing, and the multiplayer was even better. This game is just sweet...

    Coincidentally, I was just in the process of making a Q3Arena map of one of the Marathon 2 levels (from memory, since I haven't played the game in 4 years :-)

    "Software is like sex- the best is for free"
    -Linus Torvalds
  • Yeah, I remember Disco Inferno. Think I still have it on one of my Macs. That's one freaky-ass map, man. Glad I don't have epilepsy. :)
  • blah blah blah hand-me-downs blah blah blah old blah blah

    As a gamer I have to object to this. What you're forgetting is that it's not the graphics and engine and so forth that make the game, but rather the gameplay. Remember Half-Life? IIRC, the Half-Life engine is modded Quake I/II engine. So what made this one of the best selling and highest rated FPS's around? Good solid gameplay. In an age where many games are moving more and more towards internet play, (Q3A, UT, and so forth) it was refreshing to see an innovative and well done game which really stood out in the single player arena. Even though it was done using "hand-me-down" technology, the gameplay itself is what set this gem away from the rest. Just because a company is the first to come out with a technology, doesn't mean they'll make full use of it's potential. I'm not trying to knock on Quake or Unreal, but there are many many cases of people making a great game using dated technology, with fresh ideas or approaches that really appeal to gamers. Just my two cents...

    ----
    Dave
    Purity Of Essence
  • Actually, Id beat Bungie to the flamethrower, you'll find it in one of the original wolf3d packs (I think Die Fuehrer, Die! perhaps?) and has also recently been included in Half-Life's Team Fortress Classic pack and also Kingpin. Just a minor correction here ;)
    ----
    Dave
    Purity Of Essence
  • All the decent games out there are proprietary.

    Aw, hustle on over to http://www.timecity.org/ [timecity.org] and check out the progress on Time City! Heck, Slashdot's own loveable Emmett Plant [slashdot.org] is in on this one, even.

    (I have to confess that the gameplay seems a bit over-convoluted to me, with this "time dilation" business — but then, if you don't like something you can use the code to roll your own system, right? Open Source Software, you know?)

  • The Marathon Trilogy had, IMNSHO, the greatest story line of any game I've played. I'm not going to claim that it's Hugo-quality SF, but it's the only game that I still go back to after four years just so I can read the terminals and try to piece together the remaining mysteries. It's certainly the only game I play solely for the story. (As well as the only reason I'll touch a Mac these days.)

    And I'm not the only one. The Story Page [marathon.org] has spent the last three years or so disassembling the storyline, the secrets and mysteries and trying to figure out just what was happening while we were punching our way through hoards of Pfhor. (Literally punching in some cases.) Several hundred MBs (!) later we're now diving through the source looking for comments that may shed some light of an interpretation of garbled text we've been mulling over for two years. Marathon fans are dedicated, to say the least (in the least insulting way ;-).

    And for those who think that Marathon is long past, just a Mac game from the Doom era that a handful of the obsessed are keeping alive, why don't you stop by the Story Page and grep for "Halo". Consider it backstory.

    (This little bit of insight into the Marathon fanboy mind, such as it is, was brought to you the number 7 and the letter Durandal. Beginning mocking...now.)
  • Hey, I've got nothing against these guys releasing their source, but do we really want the Open Source world of games to be about hand-me-downs?

    Because that's what this, and Quake 1, are. They're hand-me-downs. They don't fit the old owners, so they're passing it on to us. There's nothing wrong with hand-me-downs, I guess. It's a good, frugal way to put something to its fullest use.

    But who wants a wardrobe of all hand-me-downs? All the decent games out there are proprietary. Sure, companies like Id makes it nicer for us by giving out SDKs to work *with* the software, but that's hardly Open Source. I'd really like to see some kickass graphics come out as Free Software... Even if it was only "A Quest for Herring".

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • I think you have your sig comment misquoted - isn't it "It's best when it's free"?

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • I've looked all over the Bungie site for the Press Release. Does anyone know where it is or is this another unchecked story? I'm thinking some joker found the source code on the Bungie site and started a rumor that it is freely available. So where is the PR?
  • Next people will be writing games for FreeTSB
    IKIHBT,IJLS (I know I have been trolled, I just like saying) "FreeTSB, the OS that likes to say 'yes'"
    --
  • I see it as a take it or leave it thing. If a person thinks they can do good work with it then go for it. Far better than them not even starting because they didn't have it in the first place. While these engines aren't all that valuable anymore, I don't think it means they can't be useful. Although the usefullness of it is arguably limited.
  • Well... not a public pre-announcement at least. They've had us bungie fans knotted up for awhile knowing something cool was coming, but not telling us anything about it but some cryptic clues (which of course, is normal Bungie procedure)

    Just another dat in the life of the best game company out there.
  • You're rewriting history.

    First, DOOM was not a baby step up on Wolfenstein 3D. If anything, Wolfenstein was a graphical toy, a prototype of what was to come. DOOM was a monster, a game for the ages. There had been 3D games in a Wolfenstein vein before Wolfenstein (examples: Xybots, MIDI-Maze), but DOOM was something else entirely.

    Second, DOOM was certainly the major influence on Marathon. Heck, even Jason Jones has admitted this. He said that he was working on something more in a Wolfenstein vein until he saw the DOOM beta, and then he went in that direction.

    The important thing to realize here is that the PC was flooded with Doomalikes that have been forgotten. There was everything from DOOM-like RPGs (e.g. Strife) to DOOM-like games in which you flew instead of walked (e.g. Radix: Beyond the Void), and DOOM-like games with ground-based vehicles. On the Mac, there weren't *any*. Heck, there weren't even any shareware Wolfenstein 3D clones for the Mac until *after* DOOM was already available. So among Mac gamers there's a tendency to deify Marathon, even to the point where some people try to claim that it would have existed as is even if DOOM never existed (and some even try to say that DOOM is a knock-off of Marathon). That's not to say Marathon isn't a decent and playable DOOM-style game, but that you can't get a clear view of history through severely Mac-tinted glasses.
  • Why are all the ops talking about Natalie Portman and Beowulf clusters on Slashdot? It does not make any sense.
  • I wonder why they only released the second one, though? Here's the reason: There were three games in this series: Marathon Marathon 2: Durandal Marathon Infinity Of those though, there were only two code-bases: M.2 and M.Inf shared the same code base, with only minor tweaks between them (mostly in the Mac-specific stuff, such as InputSprocket support and a few bug-fixes). You could actually play M.2 maps with M.Inf, and didn't have to tweak them at all. So, what you're getting is still the "mature" code for the game.
  • I wonder why they only released the second one, though?

    Here's the reason:

    There were three games in this series:
    Marathon
    Marathon 2: Durandal
    Marathon Infinity

    Of those though, there were only two code-bases: M.2 and M.Inf shared the same code base, with only minor tweaks between them (mostly in the Mac-specific stuff, such as InputSprocket support and a few bug-fixes). You could actually play M.2 maps with M.Inf, and didn't have to tweak them at all.

    So, what you're getting is still the "mature" code for the game.
  • It was in wolf3d? I'll have to chach that out again...
  • Yeah, I remember playing the original demo.

    The full verion of Marathon had labelled some of the levels in honor of Beavis & Butthead. I guess at the time, it made it uber-cool but now it seems to make it a little dated.
    Still a fun game though. It also featured (for the first time)a couple of my favorite little bits in the FPS genre:

    1) The secondary firing key for multiple fire modes. I think Marathon was a first here.

    2) The flamethrower. I haven't seen this used in any other FPS but I really don't play that much any more. I remember putting this weapon into Tbyte's "X-Xar" and it was a very fun/deadly weapon against the foot soldiers. Alas, it'll be a long while until that game is released now. :(

    I noticed that Unreal has feature #1 but it won't be the first FPS I experienced this with.


    -Vel
  • On yet another personal note, I liked the style they used for regaining health. They used "stations" instead of picking up power-ups...nice feature.

    -Vel
  • i agree wholeheartedly! how many of us still go back and play text adventures on or apple ][s or C64s (those of us lucky enough to still have either)? They aren't exactly the pinnacle of technology, but they are still a great gaming experience. Forget about the graphics, and just enjoy a great game that makes you squirm in your seat if you're in the right mood. Listen to the Pfhor surrounding you in M1 in stereo, and realize that that was late 1994, and ran on a 68020. Good games are good games, regardless of technology or time period.
  • Technically, it IS an abbreviation (for Macintosh). It's not an acronym. :)
  • A couple of other bugs the coders might want to take a look at are that the Roger-Wilco-type talking during the game. This never worked on PowerPCs (it may have worked on the old 680x0's; I'm not sure), and it would add a lot to the (already fantastic) multiplayer part of the game.

    You have to make your maps carefully, because with particular polygons the game gets confused, and the player can become trapped or see strange artifacts.

    The game also tends to crash a lot with third-party maps.

    Saved movies (how many 8 year old first-person shooters, or even recent ones can save multiplayer movies?) don't save correctly with third-party maps, sometimes even with the standard maps. The game thinks that the movement data is associated with the wrong map, so you end up watch a movie where all of the players are walking into walls. Usually saving the map on the computer that hosted the game helps keep this from happening. There is a utility that can reassociate the movie file with the correct map, but it doesn't work well.

    The mouse on the PC version is WAAAY to sensitive, even when you turn it down in the Mouse Control Panel. Also, the keyboard on the PC version isn't accurate enough; it's only accurate to a certain number of pixels, so it's hard to have accurte aim.

    More on TCP/IP: I've tried playing Marathon over the Internet using programs that will make AppleTalk run over IP, and the results were very bad. The game chugged along with every packet, even with decent ping times. I think probably the network code would need to be rewritten entirely for this to work. I would be _very_ excited if someone managed to do it, though! :) It's hard get a LAN game together now that I'm out of college.

    There are probably a few other bugs I can't think of right now. Even so, I still think this is the best first-person shooter ever made. Fixing bugs like these would without a doubt make it the best.
  • Will Bungie be releasing the source code for Forge and Anvil, the physics-editor and level-editor for Marathon? With these tools you can manipulate just about anything in the game, but they were a bit buggy and hard to use. Updating them and releasing them for PC and Linux would allow many more people to create maps.
  • And the network maps and games were great too. Who can forget a good game of Kill the Man with the Ball, or King of the Hill. I expecialy like the premise of Kill the Man with the Ball, you fight to get the ball (which was a skull) and then you just run and try to avoid the others, because you can't use your wepons while you have the ball. and it is much easier to see what wepons your oponents are useing.


    -----
  • The M2 engine provided a lot of enhancements over the M1 engine (water and stability, to name two), so there would be little point in releasing the M1 engine. Marathon Infinity used the M2 engine, so there's no point in releasing it twice. What impressed me about Marathon was how well it looked and played on lower end machines. It didn't need the latest and greatest. I used to play it on my 66 MHz PowerMac 6100 with 40MB of RAM and less than one MB of VRAM and it was awesome!
  • First place is a tie between "Route 66" and "Waldo World Arena" If there's an ongoing project to do q3 versions of some of these levels, I'd love to be a part of it. Actually, I've got to weigh in with everyone going on about the marathon2/quake thing. Who has the better engine? Quake. (It came out a year later for God's sake!) Which was a better game? Marathon of course. Wonderful plotline, nice level design, challenging gameplay, and the best multiplayer weapons mix I'd ever seen at that time. Nothing surpassed (or even equalled) it in terms of story right up to Half Life, IMHO.
  • The thing to realize here is that for a relatively long time, DOOM wasn't available for the Mac, so Marathon filled the bill.

    Actually, the thing to realize here is that even the original Marathon totally blows away the DOOM series of games. I've played DOOM, and it sucks. Not only does Marathon look alot nicer and play alot nicer, the game also has a plot and makes you think.

    Personally I think M2 was the worst of the 3 games. M1 and Moo (as we typed Marathon Infinity on the BBs and NGs) had much better storylines. If all you care about is "hack and slash" (to borrow a term from RPGs), then M2 is more your baby. The DOOM and Quake families are even more so.

  • No, Mac users rave about Marathon because a) it had a very engaging plot, b) the graphics were vastly better than Doom (even better than Quake I, IMO), c) and it offered full up/down aiming long before Quake came out. Throw in a few other small touches like dual pistols, realistic rocket launcher, etc., and Marathon was definitely big jump over Doom, in the way that Half-Life was a big jump over Quake II.
  • M2 for Windows was probably the worst game Bungie ever released. I remember it being jerky on a 90 mhz Pentium, but running great on my 75 mhz PPC Mac. Also, the networking didn't include AppleTalk (IPX, I think), and the Mac version wasn't updated with IPX support, so no cross-platform gaming. Also, I seem to recall that Mac mods weren't supported, so goodbye 3rd party stuff.

    Worst of all is that, while Bungie's reputation in the Mac community was similiar to the reputation Id enjoyed with PC gamers, Bungie had no name recognition in the already crowded PC game market.

    With all those problems, M2 ended up being just another W3D/DOOM clone that was quickly dismissed.

  • I think that both are good games, but it's very obvious that DOOM spawned Marathon (i.e. Bungie wouldn't have written Marathon had they not seen DOOM).

    Actually, Wolfenstein 3D was the inspiration for Pathways Into Darkness, which I believe was Bungie's 1st FPS (either that or something called Minotaur).

    While DOOM may have had some influence on Marathon, it wouldn't have been much, since DOOM was only a baby step over W3D; but Marathon was a huge leap over PID.

  • I dunno, it's almost my main browser now that the PowerPC port is up. Waiting on M13 so I can have the PowerPc work in a milestone build, but I post with it most of the time.
  • They're similar, but not the same. System Shock looks like it was designed as more of an RPG, where Marathon is definitely a shooter.

    Also, the maps in Marathon are less crude than the System Shock maps. Shock's maps are all based on square grids. There are tilted floors, but they're sort of preset tilts. You can have a 45-degree floor that tilts from one side to the other, or a shallower tilt that takes two or three squares, but that's it. And it's all very griddy. Marathon didn't have tilted floors, but there was no grid, and walls could be pretty arbitrary.

    Both Shock and Marathon have a good engaging plot, though, although Shock, true to the Looking Glass style, is much less of an action game. Marathon is definitely a shooter.

    I've played pretty much every FPS to come along, but until Half-Life arrived (and then Thief and Shock 2 8), nothing was as engaging as the Marathon series. I have high hopes for Halo, too... And the Marathon references have already been surfacing.

    Josh

  • I'll second that! Quake...had it, played it, got bored. Same w QuakeII. QIII...well it's pretty, but still not in the same class with Marathon. Marathon, OTOH, is the only FPS I really ever liked! Like others have said, it's more than just blowing stuff up, although that's plenty of fun too. ;-) Here's a link [bungie.com] to Bungie's Marathon2 page. The screenshots they have up there really don't do much justice to the game though. They probably put some low rez stuff up there for faster downloading's sake.
  • nt means textus noneus

  • I'm a PC bigot and Doom was nothing compared to Marathon. I played Doom. I played Marathon II. When Marathon II came out I stopped playing Doom. I upgraded to Windows 95 for Marathon II.

    So call me a doom trasher - when the subject of Marathon vs Doom comes along I say I doubt Doom inspired Marathon. Even if it did, Marathon was clearly the result of Bungee seeing where Doom was, and aiming very, very far ahead of id software.
  • No Mac owner should forget this awesome game that came before Marathon. It had great graphics, but the real experience was in the sound effects. I remember playing this game in the dark on an LCIII and almost jumped out of my seat when a phantom, invisible except with two red eyes, came out of nowhere doing his scary sound. It was spooky!!

    Besides a good story, there was plenty of gore, monsters bursting, and you had to manage a variety of ammunition. You got an AK-47 with regular rounds, sabot rounds, a grenade launcher, and all sorts of crystals.

  • As someone who not only played but worked on maps and a map generator for the Marathon 2 engine, I'm wondering why they didn't release the Marathon Infinity code. (The Marathon series was a trilogy, with Marathon Infinity being the third and final chapter.) Infinity can load M2 map files, although there are some subtle differences in the engine and the texture sets were reworked. The main difference was the fact that Infinity allowed you to embed a physics model with each level in a map. (With Marathon 1 & 2, the phsyics model was stored in a separate file and was the same for all levels.) This allowed you to change the rules of the game from one level to the next, which was pretty cool.

    P.S. For anybody who doesn't know, the best part about the Marathon series is it's story [marathon.org]. I've always found the id games to be a real bore because they were missing this key element. I guess Bungie spoiled me.

  • I believe it creates the illusion of looking up + down through a technique called "Y-shearing" to move the viewpoint.

    You are correct. To be precise, what happens is that the view plane moves vertically up or down, rather than rotating around the center of projection. IIRC, Duke Nukem 3D used a similar approach.

  • Interesting. I've never played it, but a friend with a Mac has been raving about it for years.

    I remember watching a friend play it briefly. At one point, he opened a door and saw this weird flying creature he'd never seen before. He yelped in surprise and terror. This was not a person who frequently yelped, or felt surprise and terror. Like Half-Life, and unlike Quake, Marathon demonstrates that what really makes a game succeed is good play, design, and plotting. Great graphics technology won't wrap your mind up in the world of the game the way that a good treatment of these other elements will.

  • Oh yeah. Tons of third-party maps and levels. Most people used Bungie's textures though, so you'll have a hard time finding levels that don't use them. You can pick up a copy of the Mac Action Sack for 20 bucks at your favorite retailer, which includes the full Marathon series plus a few other bungie games, or you can also try and dig up a copy of Win95 Marathon 2.
  • I think this is a good start. Hopefully other companies will start using this as an example and releasing the code to their own programs.

    Hoping for more to come...

    kwsNI

  • The game was really cool too. It was pre-Quake but much better than Doom. The Net games were intense and charged. Good maps all around and a really intense soundtrack. You will be impressed if you play it.
  • Marathon 2 (M2) was definitely 3d. Though the monsters may have only existed in a plane, that plane followed you to where-ever your viewpoint was, so in that sense it mimicked 3d more than adequately. The world in which you move inside the game is completely 3-dimensional, rendered in real-time, and even allowed for 4th-dimensional maps. I won't explain that last thing. It's in there and it's an amazing feature which makes for some spooky gameplay.

    If you really want to get technical, none of this shit (d1,d2,q1,q2,q3,m1,m2,m*, etc) is 3-d since your looking at a flat 2-d screen. It's all an illusion. The illusion M2 present(ed) was/is as good as Quake1 and, as has already been stated, Marathon 2 was released a full year before Quake.

    Um, how can you tell from a static screenshot whether or not a game is 'real3D'?
  • I just submitted glTron as an article to Slashdot since I couldn't find it after doing a Search. Hope they post it, cause the game is fun!
  • One of the nice things about the Marathon series is that it didn't need too much bandwith to play. I could typically get 8 people to play networked games over a localtalk connection with no syncing problems. Hopefully, anyone who ports this game and modifies the networking of it will keep this in mind.
  • I've never heard of Marathon2, but judging by the responses here, I can see the most probably reason why. This was "initially" a MAC game. I've never had a MAC, and only used a MAC when I was 13 in school (Macintosh IIe, if memory serves me correctly.)

    Looking at Bungie's site [bungie.com], I see Marathon2 was released for Win95 in late 1996. This explains why I've never heard of it. I was too busy playing Quake and Command & Conquer at that time.
  • In agreement with your comments:

    Check out http://www.planetquake.com/qer/ - In a very short amount of time, two guys have done a good job of taking a lot of the technology from Quake2 and Quake3 and putting it into the Q1 engine. (Topaz has done a lot of work on colored lighting, and Phoenix has been implementing Q3-style "shaders" - Another guy has been looking into high-res textures, and released an amazing screenshot.) Topaz and Phoenix will be merging their code within the week, and hopefully soon they can be convinced to merge with Quakeforge, at least to some degree. (QF and QER have somewhat divergent goals...)
  • If anything, there might have been a nod to System Shock by Marathon, but again, the plot elements of Marathon are not new (AI ideas from Neuromancer, and rumor has it that the Pfhor are based on the Buggers from Ender's Game, even with the brief mention of them).

    However, I did that System Shock 2 (great game, wish it had a better rendering engine, thou) has some references to Marathon, of particular interest is that the alien species that take over the ship are picked up from Tau Ceti IV, the original planet that the Marathon colony ship was heading to.

  • No, but one of the many things you had to do in the solo game was do a thing called "gernade jumping", which meant using the blast from a gernade launcher to propel yourself in the air (at a cost to your health, of course).

    Actually, grenade jumping was not required in any of the Marathon triologies (although later 3rd party levels did require it). You *could* use it to get to secrets but it wasn't required.

  • Interesting. I've never played it, but a friend with a Mac has been raving about it for years. It can only be a good thing, particularly releasing it under GPL rather than "XYZ Corp's open source license of the week". I wonder why they only released the second one, though?
  • Look, I've played Quake, and if you pointed somewhat close to the guy, you hit him. In Marathon, shooting at someone on a ledge was very difficult. You could be putting shots that hit just 1 pixel over his shoulder.

    Actually, monstors in M and M2 were modeled as cylinders -- shooting over someone's shoulder would often hit. Shooting just outside of it would miss.

    Loved those games much as anyone, but I have to set the record straight on that.
    --G
  • by BJH ( 11355 )

    I remember when the original Marathon came out (Mac only, of course - Bungie, at that time, developed only for the Mac), and it was great - like a thinking man's Doom.
    Bungie were always very relaxed toward third-party maps, hacks, etc. They even released their own in-house level editor with Marathon Infinity, and carried on that tradition with Myth II, as well. Truly one of my favorite game companies.
    To check out more information than you could possibly want to know about the Marathon series, see here [marathon.org].

  • Most Bungie fans have known about this for a long time now, although there's never been any official confirmation or public announcement. In this case, lack of denial (in response to a direct question) was all the confirmation I needed.
  • M2 was the only one of the Marathon series that was both Windows and Mac. M1 and M-infinity were Mac only.
    It's what I played before getting Unreal, so that was a *mighty* long time to be a Mac gamer. I was not impressed with Quake, and preferred the single-person missions of the Marathon series.
    Some people were working on a port of the Infinity maps to Unreal, but I think they lost interest/steam somewhere along the way.

    Best part of Marathon: custom physics models. For M1 I made "Pope's Super Fist" which gave the Pistols faster shooting and exploding bullets (x1.25 damage so it wasn't some super cheat) and the Super Fist: it threw a Phor shot down the hall and lit up as it went, so you could see down dark hallways AND trigger remote switches.
    Then in M2 and Mi you got physics models embedded in the Maps, so each level could be in a different atmosphere like space or Zero-G.

    It was ahead of its time in terms of playability, and so what if it was sprites instead of polys??
    Heck I played through MI last year, just because!

    Pope
  • All of the zealotry over which FPS rulez is gratifying, I'm sure, but it might be revealing to continue this discussion after people have had a chance to actually look throught the code.

    First and foremost, this application was written with MPW. That means that it will require significant rework to get it to compile under CodeWarrior. Second, the code is 8 years old. That means it's written to versions of the Mac APIs that are long gone. I didn't look closely, but I didn't see any PPC support, support for UPPs, or many of the other tweaks Apple has forced on developers over the past 4 or 5 revs to the universal headers.

    Finally, even if you used the precise version of MPW used to build the program originally, it still wouldn't build because several chunks of code are missing. Don't get me wrong. I'm not faulting Bungie in any way. I think this is a great contribution on their part. But it's still going to be a while before someone steps up and gets this thing to build under a modern development environment on the current version of the O/S.

    Anyone gotten started on it yet? ;)

  • Funny thing about Marathon: Mac owners claim it to be the greatest first-person-shooter of all time, and PC owners never heard of it. The thing to realize here is that for a relatively long time, DOOM wasn't available for the Mac, so Marathon filled the bill. Now that's not to say Marathon is one of the bad children of DOOM, because it's an okay game. But this is why you only see Mac folks raving about the game :)
  • Mac gamers knew about DOOM. We just prefered Marathon.

    Shrug. I've played both. I think that both are good games, but it's very obvious that DOOM spawned Marathon (i.e. Bungie wouldn't have written Marathon had they not seen DOOM). So it's peculiar to see Maccies trashing DOOM so much; it ends up looking like sour grapes. But we Linux types are used to that :)
  • You're rewriting history.

    First, DOOM was not a baby step up on Wolfenstein 3D. If anything, Wolfenstein was a graphical toy, a prototype of what was to come. DOOM was a monster, a game for the ages. There had been 3D games in a Wolfenstein vein before Wolfenstein (examples: Xybots, MIDI-Maze), but DOOM was something else entirely.

    Second, DOOM was certainly the major influence on Marathon. Heck, even Jason Jones has admitted this. He said that he was working on something more in a Wolfenstein vein until he saw the DOOM beta, and then he went in that direction.

    The important thing to realize here is that the PC was flooded with Doomalikes that have been forgotten. There was everything from DOOM-like RPGs (e.g. Strife) to DOOM-like games in which you flew instead of walked (e.g. Radix: Beyond the Void), and DOOM-like games with ground-based vehicles. On the Mac, there weren't *any*. Heck, there weren't even any shareware Wolfenstein 3D clones for the Mac until *after* DOOM was already available. So among Mac gamers there's a tendency to deify Marathon, even to the point where some people try to claim that it would have existed as is even if DOOM never existed (and some even try to say that DOOM is a knock-off of Marathon). That's not to say Marathon isn't a decent and playable DOOM-style game.
  • Look, I've played Quake, and if you pointed somewhat close to the guy, you hit him. In Marathon, shooting at someone on a ledge was very difficult. You could be putting shots that hit just 1 pixel over his shoulder. This is more realistic in my opinion. Shooting this way in real life would be hard.

    I'm not saying that the 3d engine in OpenGL isn't more advanced! This was 1995. If you were asking "did Marathon2 more realistically (sp?) display the environment of it's game than QuakeI did?" then I'd say "hell yes." There's more to 3d than whether you are using sprites, or what rendering engine, or how many FPS you are getting!
  • There was a patch that fixed that shortly after M2 was released, as I recall.
  • And this is what you define as 'real 3d shooting'. Interesting choice of words. Anyway, when you are running around with a rocket launcher kind of device in the real world, precision is not really that important (not getting your own hair on fire is I would imagine, is that in M2?). No, but one of the many things you had to do in the solo game was do a thing called "gernade jumping", which meant using the blast from a gernade launcher to propel yourself in the air (at a cost to your health, of course). You were in a low-grav environment (space). If you had a powerup for health, you could do the same with a rocket launcher. The launcher "shook" and moved you when you shot it. It did variable damage based on how close you were. Also, if you killed someone with the rocket launcher, you got the treat of watching there body distintegrate into a bloody mess as it arched accross the room. It was especially spectacular if they were high on a ledge. As for "realistic" shooting. I mean you couldn't hit somebody clear across the room. If you used a fast, single point weapon like a laser pistol, or pistol, it was to difficult to aim. If you used an area affect weapon, like a gernade launcher or rocket launcher, the person could see it coming and move. I didn't mean to turn this into a whole "bash doom and quake" thing, but the fact of the matter is, Marathon1/2/Infinity was more a "thinking person's shooter". It stuck religously to a physics model. It had a good story. It had, as someone else said, a great balance of weapons. It had great team events. And most people never saw it. My windows freinds who were Quake heads who came and watched (and joined) us playing were blown away. Every one of 'em. I personally know three people who bought a power PC for the sole purpose of playing Marathon.
  • Doom came out and sold MISERABLY for the mac. Why? Because Marathon already existed and if you looked at the two side by side DOOM SUCKED.

    I'm sorry, but it's you that doesn't understand. I am not a Mac head. I don't even use the Mac anymore, I just had one at work then. But marathon rocked. As I mentioned in another post. I person know three Quake-I fanatics who came to one of our Marathon2 sessions and bought a powerPC for the sole purpose of playing Marathon2. That's how good it was.
  • Touche! OK, so I guess I was trolling a little :)

    I just got really tired of "Oh, you don't have a PC? You don't play Quake? You must really suck as a gamer" If I'd spent 1/4 of the time playing Quake most of those guys did, I'd kick their ass!



  • See above posts. I meant in terms of how you played it. You had to actually AIM up and down, not just point in the general vicinity. You had to get to funky places by using the recoil from your rocket launcher, among other things... I know this is passe' now, but at the time, NO OTHER GAME EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT IT. Remember. M2 was released well before Quake.
  • The Pfh stuff is from the Pfhor.

    also, there were lots of custom mods using "Pfh" stuff. Phfreakaz0id was my Marathon playing name.

    Anyone remember Disco Inferno? A mod of a classic multi-player map with lots of lava as I recall. The "disco" one just added a flashing strobe in the shape of a mirror ball :)
  • From the readme:


    "This is the Mac source. The sole known archive of the Windows 9x source was placed in a l
    ead box and shipped to one of our island laboratories for safekeeping. Unbeknownst to us, the boat c
    arrying the box made an unscheduled run up the coast of Madagascar, where the ship's captain hoped to
    catch the end of the annual Miss Middle Of Nowhere pageant. The ship was approximately six miles f
    rom shore when it was torpedoed by a one-man sub purchased from the Hammacher-Schlemmer catalog by a
    punter with more money than brains. Divers are still combing the sea floor looking for the box conta
    ining the Windows code, and if we ever find it I'm sure we'll let you know. Windows hackers with lot
    s of spare time may still be able to do interesting things with this code."



    Anyone else find that funny?:)

    -----

  • IMO Marathon 2 ranks up with Ultima, Star Control II, and System Shock 1/2, as one of the all time greats, as far as player immersiveness is concerned. The only game I feel clearly surpasses this one in quality and immersiveness is Half-Life (wow). Marathon 2 was also the first that I can recall that had something besides 'player 1 go kill player 2' style deathmatch.

    It was the first game that I could recall that had a full scale alien invasion where everyone else wasn't dead and you actually had NPC's alive and fighting at your side. The lack of a sense of being 100% alone was a relieving break from the standard fare.

    I'm gonna have a GREAT time playing this game and hitting those Durandal terminals and watching those NPC's go at it again :)

    By the way I could smell a GPL move coming from Bungee. I am not at all surprised by this news. Way to go!
  • I've set up an anonymous cvs server here:

    :pserver:anonymous@beetle.bungie.com:/home/m2lin ux/cvsroot

    login: anonymous
    password: pfhor
    module: m2linux

    ...for your source-tree grabbing needs. To submit patches, talk about plans and ideas, etc, please write me at m2linux@bungie.com.
  • by FascDot Killed My Pr ( 24021 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @03:37AM (#1363198)
    No, not the game--I've never heard of it.

    The fact that they didn't pre-announce when they thought of it is the best part of this news. They went ahead and did the work of removing the proprietary stuff, bundled it up and set an exact time and location for the release. THEN they told everyone.


    ---
    This comment powered by Mozilla!
  • by bravehamster ( 44836 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @04:51AM (#1363199) Homepage Journal
    The reason they didnt release the infinity source code was because infinity was basically a really advanced 3rd party mod that bungie published. Much like Chimera for Myth II, (cept Chimera was free). Anyways, the Doubleaught team created Infinity, so I'm assuming that Bungie needs their permission to provide the source code.

    -BH

  • by Pfhreakaz0id ( 82141 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @03:42AM (#1363200)
    I Played this game at the newspaper I worked at almost every night while we waited for the press to run on our Mac network with 20" monitors (page design workstations). It was SO much fun. We'd play with 8 players doing team events. Thousands of maps.

    It was a great series. GREAT solo play. A really good sci-fi story. You had to pay attention to the plot, get clues, not just blow stuff up.

    At the time, all my PC friends were playing doom2 (YAWN!) then quake came out. Still looked like crap next to M2 and m2 had real 3d (you know, you had to aim up and down, not just point in the general vicinity).

    Anyway, this is good game. These are the folks who did Myth, etc.
  • by jessimko ( 139100 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @03:55AM (#1363201)
    For some time people have been discussing what they would do if Marathon's source code went public. One of the most exciting ideas that may happen now is the use of OpenGL for rendering better looking graphics. There is already a freeware application available called MapViewer that lets you walk through Marathon levels in real time. (get it from bungie.org.) It uses OpenGL to eliminate pixelization and jagged edges. It now seems feasable to combine the OpenGL map viewer with the Marathon game code to create a more modern looking Marathon, some kind of a hybrid with all the graphical beauty of a game that's five years newer than Marathon.
  • by Masem ( 1171 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @05:12AM (#1363202)
    Marathon was released to the Mac world around the time that Doom II was about, predating Duke Nukem by a few months and also before the first wisps of "vaporware" were circulating regarding Quake - about 6 years ago, roughly. I remember it's release well because someone accidently let an early beta through, and despite the fact that it was only one level ("Mars Needs Women"), every Mac gamer was playing the beta. Sales of the game skyrocketed when it actually hit the virtual shelves.

    The storyline of Marathon is nothing new: one of the moons of Mars has been converted to a human colony ship and shot off to a new planet for colonization. Midroute, the ship is hijacked by an alien race called the "Pfhor" (pronounced 'four'), who begin to slaughter the humans. To make matters worse, one of the 3 AI, Durandal, apparently communicated with the alien ship, and has decided to do whatever possible to escape his computer prison.

    You are the ships only hope as a security guard (your true identity is still a mystery through the remaining games).

    At that time, the engine featured 8 player multiplay over Appletalk (not networkable :-/), a pseudo 3-D enviornoment: the maps were made of polygons in the x-y plane, with the ability to overlap polygons to achieve 4-D effects, but was limited in that no wall between polygons could have more than one opening), monsters and items were rendered as spirits, and various lighting effects. Liquids were only simulated, and floors and ceilings of each poly had to be horizontal and walls had to be vertical. Sure, that's a lot of limitations, but on basically 68030's, the game ran rock solid. Additionally, the ggame when beyond just shooting, providing a detailed story through terminals that you interacted with.

    Marathon 2 did a lot of revamping of the engine, allowing larger and more colorful textures, liquids, transparent textures, and more lighting effects, but not much else. The plot of M2 took off where M1 ended: you've saved the colony ship, but have been abducted by the rogue AI Durandal, who is looking to save his butt before the universe collapses in 1x10^13 someodd years (paranoid, aint' he?). To do so, you visit the Pfhor homework as well as the homeworld of a race they have enslaved, the S'pht, looking for a device that might be able to transport planets across universes. As your survival is controlled by Durdanal, you have but little choice to follow him.

    Marathon Infinity (the last of the trio) didn't do much to change the game engine, and mostly extended the story line and play to sort of wrap up the series... while the game play in Infinity is pretty good and the cleanest of the 3, the story at that point was a bit weak. IMO.

    By this time, however Quake for the PC was out, Quake 2 was in the works, and MacSoft was working on getting Quake ported to the mac; the Marathon series had fulfilled its goals to fill in that FPS game that the mac players did not have. While people have begged Bungie to make a 4th Marathon sequel, they will probably not, as work with Myth and Halo continues. Oddly enough, people will be watching Halo carefully - the story in Marathon actually includes elements from a Wolvenstein clone that Bungie created called Pathways Into Darkness, and the players expect to see a drop or two of Marathon references in Halo and Oni.

    One of the key things that made Marathon much better over Quake for me was the intelligence of the monsters: supposedly, the game adjusted the AI of the monsters as you continued depending on how well you played, and while it's hard to reproduce such events, I truely believe that is the case. Only recently has the AI of other games improved over Marathon's (that being Half Life), going above the basic 'charge the player'. The aliens in Marathon would seem to be able to cut around to your back if there was a way and get you trapped between two sets of them. They also seemed to know how to lurk well. Alot of this depended on the mapmaker's ability as well, but in general, the game was tough.

  • by blam! ( 139233 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2000 @06:20AM (#1363203)
    As Bungie's SysAdmin and resident Linux enthusiast, what I'd really like to see is a Linux port. I want to play Marathon again, dammit!

    My C skills are not the best, but I can contribute space for a cvs server, time to manage it, and time to manage patch submissions, builds and testing. And a mailing list and bugzilla db, if those are needed.

    If you want to get in on the fun, please email me at m2linux@bungie.com.

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