Gary L. Simmons  rev 05/20/04  http://webwonks.org/Marathon/Obed/dummies.html
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Marathon (on Windows) for DUMMIES

 

 

Disclaimer: I’m a complete novice in the world of Marathon. I spent far more time just trying to figure out what I should download and what these games were all about than I have playing the game, so I put this FAQ together to help others.

Quick Summary

Marathon

  • Download M1A1 from Orbital Arm, and enjoy

Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity

  • Buy the Mac Action Sack CD-ROM from Bungie.net (USD$10)
  • Download Aleph One (Free)
  • Follow the instructions included with Aleph One (INSTALL.Windows.txt) to copy the scenario files from the CD-ROM into your Aleph One directory, and enjoy

About Marathon

Marathon is a series of first-person shooter games released for the Macintosh in the 1990’s by Bungie, the company now best known for Halo. The series includes:

 

  • Marathon
  • Marathon 2: Durandal
  • Marathon Infinity

 

The games are noteworthy for several reasons, among these that beyond simply being a run-and-shoot game they contain a coherent story, told in the form of dispatches from computer terminals you encounter while playing. And it’s a pretty good story.

 

While the Marathon series was released primarily for the Macintosh, you have several options for playing these games on Windows. Note that they are commercial games you must own to play, but demos are available for download.

About Aleph One

Aleph One (a.k.a. "A1") is an open-source version of the Marathon Infinity runtime for many platforms, including Windows.

 

Important links:

 

On its own, it's not useful since it doesn't have a game world (a “scenario” in Marathon parlance, “mod” in contemporary gaming jargon) - it's just a runtime. You need to download scenarios files to work with it. The individual games Marathon, Marathon 2 and Marathon Infinity can be considered scenarios for a runtime like Aleph One.

 

In contrast to modern games where you first install the game, then install a series of scenarios and finally select the active scenario from within the game, with older games such as Marathon (and hence, Aleph One) you actually replace the game’s original scenario files with the files of the scenario you want to play. Now that hard drives are huge, it’s practical to have one copy of Aleph One for each of the scenarios you want to play. If you use it to play M1, M2 and MI, you'll probably have three installs of Aleph One side by side.

 

Most of the information required to use Aleph One can be gleaned from the INSTALL.Windows.txt file included in the Aleph One download.

Marathon

Marathon was only released for the Macintosh. There is no official Windows version. There is an unofficial conversion of the game scenario to the Aleph One runtime which is freely available, called “M1A1” and this appears to be “blessed” by Bungie.

Easiest way to get started

  1. Go to the Orbital Arm :: Downloads :: Aleph One SDL page
  2. Download either:
    1. M1A1 for SDL v1.2 (includes all platforms)
    2. M1A1 for SDL v1.5 (Special Edition for Windows only)

 

I suggest you read the manual text (http://marathon.bungie.org/story/manual.html) before playing so you understand what’s going on.

More options

  • The Macintosh version can be run under a Macintosh emulator for Windows.

Marathon 2: Durandal

Marathon 2 was released for the Macintosh and Windows platforms. This is a commercial product you must own to play.

Easiest way to get started

Purchase a copy of Marathon 2: Durandal for Windows or Macintosh and use the scenario files with Aleph One.

 

Marathon 2 is still for sale as part of the Bungie Mac Action Sack for USD$10 at the Bungie Store (linked from http://www.bungie.net) which contains Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal, and Marathon: Infinity. See the INSTALL.Windows.txt file included in the Aleph One download for further instructions on what files to copy and how to transfer them from a Macintosh CD-ROM.

More options

  • The Windows version of Marathon 2 can (obviously) be played directly on Windows.
  • The Macintosh version can be run under a Macintosh emulator for Windows.

Marathon 2: Durandal - Demo

The demo was freely available for Windows and Macintosh.

Easiest way to get started

  1. Download the latest Aleph One build for Windows (http://source.bungie.org/)
  2. Download the Marathon 2 Demo files from the Aleph One/SDL site (http://www.uni-mainz.de/~bauec002/A1Main.html)
  3. Expand the Aleph One zip into a folder (e.g. “Aleph One – Marathon 2”)
  4. Expand the Marathon 2 Demo files (Images, Map, Shapes, Sounds and an MML folder with .mml files) into this folder
  5. Run alephone.exe

 

I suggest you read the manual text (http://marathon.bungie.org/story/manuali.html) before playing so you understand what’s going on.

More options

  • Download the Windows 95 demo from the Orbital Arm :: Downloads :: M2 Demo page.
  • The Macintosh version of the demo can be run under a Macintosh emulator for Windows.

Marathon Infinity

Marathon Infinity was released only for the Macintosh. This is a commercial product you must own to play.

Easiest way to get started

Purchase a copy of Marathon Infinity for Macintosh and use the scenario files with Aleph One.

 

Marathon Infinity is still for sale as part of the Bungie Mac Action Sack for USD$10 at the Bungie Store (linked from http://www.bungie.net) which contains Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal, and Marathon: Infinity. See the INSTALL.Windows.txt file included in the Aleph One download for further instructions on what files to copy and how to transfer them from a Macintosh CD-ROM.

More options

  • The Macintosh version can be run under a Macintosh emulator for Windows.

Marathon Infinity - Demo

The demo was publicly available for the Macintosh only. You can download the demo data files and run them with Aleph One under Windows.

Easiest way to get started

  1. Download the latest Aleph One build for Windows (http://source.bungie.org/)
  2. Download the Marathon Infinity Demo files from the Aleph One/SDL site (http://www.uni-mainz.de/~bauec002/A1Main.html)
  3. Expand the Aleph One zip into a folder (e.g. “Aleph One – Marathon 2”)
  4. Expand the Marathon Infinity Demo files (Images, Map, Shapes, Sounds and an MML folder with .mml files) into this folder
  5. Run alephone.exe

 

I suggest you read the manual text (http://marathon.bungie.org/story/manuali.html) before playing so you understand what’s going on.

More options

  • The Macintosh version of the demo can be run under a Macintosh emulator for Windows.

Notes on Emulation

A contemporary Windows box (~1GHz) is plenty fast enough to emulate a Macintosh capable of playing any of the three Marathon games. Here’s the simplest set of steps:

 

  • Download a Macintosh emulator like Basilisk II (http://www.uni-mainz.de/~bauec002/B2Main.html). Free.
  • Purchase an old Macintosh Quadra on eBay and copy the ROMs. Instructions are included with most emulators. < $20.
  • Purchase the Bungie Mac Action Sack at the Bungie Store (linked from http://www.bungie.net) which contains Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal, and Marathon: Infinity. $10.
  • Configure the emulator, and install the games directly off of the CD-ROM

 

Having done this, I have to say it’s not worth it – you’ll find that the experience using Aleph One is actually more convenient and enjoyable. Buy the Mac Action Sack, download Aleph One, and have fun!

Icons

Aleph One doesn’t come with an icon. The M1A1 package does. But if you want distinct icons for your copies of the three games, download these: