back to article Marathon

Back in the early- to mid-1990s, the Mac wasn't considered much cop as a games platform. Sure, it had a sexier GUI than Windows boxes, but they could drop out into DOS and dedicate their CPUs' few tens of megahertz to games. Not so the Mac. But that didn't stop coders from trying to make the most out the Mac. Early …

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Unhappy

"Running on the Motorola 680x0, Pathways could never deliver a Doom-like experience"

Ever hear of Alien Breed 3D on the Amiga?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Running on the Motorola 680x0, Pathways could never deliver a Doom-like experience"

Alien Breed? That was a top-down down shooter. But yeah, I feel nostalgic for the classic Amiga titles from Team 17, Sensible Software and CodeMasters et al.

I was a PC owning Doom player, but was always curious about Marathon. I loved Descent on my schools shiny new PowerPCs multi-player across the school network - though we had to pass the game CD from one machine to the next before we got started.

The lighting was great in this game too (think WipEout meets Doom) when you cast a flare down a mine shaft.

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FAIL

"Alien Breed? That was a top-down down shooter."

Very good, Sparky. Alien Breed 3D, on the other hand, was not.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "Alien Breed? That was a top-down down shooter."

Gotta say I've always preferred the running and gunning of Doom to its successors, though a duck and cover while reload game is nice from time to time I like the run and gun for fun as well. Now it's mostly one and very little of the other.

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Gold badge

Re: "Running on the Motorola 680x0, Pathways could never deliver a Doom-like experience"

Alien Breed was 2D, but Alien Breed 3D was 3D, hence the 3D part of the name.

Plus there was Gloom and someone even ported Quake later on for high end machines.

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Spent many an hour...

...playing this in multi-player mode. Loved it.

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jai
Silver badge

ah nostalgia

god I loved this game! it wasn't just the gameplay, it was the depth of the story, that you got in dribs and drabs though the terminals. it was almost a cinematic experience. there aren't many games these days that offer that depth of back story.

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Haven't we had Marathon on El Reg once already? Or was that a port?

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I believe it was the iOS port, but I could be wrong.

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It led to the worst days for Mac fans...

What could have been more depressing than the buyout of our best gaming company by Microsoft? It was the dark days for sure.

So please excuse us our happiness at today's state of affairs, OK?

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Silver badge

Re: It led to the worst days for Mac fans...

Steve Jobs demoed an early build of Halo at one of the Mac keynotes back in 1999 (I think?).

The review neglects to mention it, but Marathon was one of the first FPS games with a LAN multiplayer mode. Back when the Apple logo still had stripes, this feature was a major cause of project slippage ;)

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Coat

I can't be sure but...

Wasn't Marathon the forerunner of Snickers?

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Joke

Re: I can't be sure but...

I once tried to enter a marathon, but the peanuts got stuck under my foreskin.

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Happy

Never played this

But the HUD display reminds me of BSS Jane Seymour, an early 90s romp around a semi destroyed spaceship.

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Multiplayer In Flight Fun

LAN play on Marathon 2 was lots of fun, especially using the infra-red local talk on the Powerbook 5300C to set up impromptu network matches on long transatlantic flights.

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Silver badge

The OS wasn't that much of a performance problem

The Classic OS didn't preemptively multitask, so it used CPU cycles only when you let it. The routes it exposed to the video and audio hardware also weren't all that much of an issue.

More of a problem was the Mac's high resolution display. As per the article, the small portion of the screen given over to the 3d display in the original Marathon was 320x240 — already larger than Doom's entire screen, at a time when pixel painting was definitely the bottleneck.

The Mac versions of classic games are usually worth checking out though. You're not going to find 640x480 versions of Prince of Persia, Chuck Yeager's Air Combat, etc, anywhere else.

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The Jesus Incident

A lot of the ideas revolving around AIs and rampancy were inspired by "The Jesus Incident" by Frank Herbert and Bill Ransom.

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ran fine on a 68040...

I was using a Quadra 630 DOS, and it ran Marathon and Marathon 2 with no issues!

Properly takes me back, I've likely still got the disks in the attic with The Collection of Crap!

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Anonymous Coward

Rubicon

Any fans looking to relive those times - but with an injection of a whole new story and improved graphics - would do well to look up Rubicon on the Aleph One engine. The Marathon engine supported 3rd party maps, physics, and story lines, and Aleph One not only keeps them alive but allows some improvements. One of the advances Rubicon made was having not only a great story line, but multiple alternative plots and endings depending on choices and performance at key points. Well worth a look.

Aleph One: http://marathon.sourceforge.net/

Rubicon: http://www.marathonrubicon.com/

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