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  • Subject: How To Play Marathon On Your PC: A Detailed Guide (Last Update)
Subject: How To Play Marathon On Your PC: A Detailed Guide (Last Update)

bah

Last Updated 4-29-05

Since writing this guide, the nice people at the site have put everything into one folder. All you will need is this file and a zipping utility to unzip the files. The rest of this write-up no longer really applies, but I'm not about to delete all that hard work!

It has come to my attention (from a few sources) that a new version of Marathon has come out. The new version can be downloaded here as it is version 1.6. It apparently has all the stuff in one file so there is no need to download anything else. I have not checked this file as I am on a 56k and that would take forever to do. information on how to play Marathon online is at the end of this thread. Again, I have not played online since I have a 56k. There should never again be an update to this post.

Because of the immense popularity of my original post, and the big return of Marathon topics, and due to the fact that many people had trouble with it and won't read into it anymore, I've made a second post here, with much more info about how to play, and some frequently asked questions too. If you've had trouble with it, I hope that this explanation will be a little better for you.

So what do we need to play Marathon on the PC? First off, we need a copy of Alephone. Alephone is a great program used to play Marathon 2 on the PC. It works by letting your PC understand the code used in the Marathon 2 engine. Since M2 and Marathon ºº (Infinity) both use the same engine, Alephone works for both. But the problem comes when you try to play Marathon on the PC, it uses a different engine that M2, so it doesn't work. Luckily, there is a solution, a free solution. That's right, did I forget to mention playing Marathon is totally 100% free? But don't worry, after playing it, you'll feel like playing M2 and Mºº, so you'll buy the Mac Action sack, which has Marathon in it, so you won't feel bad, in fact, I guaran-dam-tee you'll feel happy. As happy as Frankie would feel is he beat SketchFactor in a game of Halo 2! That's really happy! The solution is to download M1A1. M1A1 is basically a special M2 scenario, which happens to have all the Marathon levels in it.

So, here are all of the sites you must visit for the game:
To download Alephone, you must go to http://source.bungie.org/ and click one of the links on the right, depending on which system you use. The download is only a paltry 1.2 Mb, so even us 56k users can handle this one with ease.
To download M1A1 (Marathon) go to http://orbitalarm.bungie.org/downloads/alephone.html and find M1A1 for SDL v1.5. It's the third one down. This download is a lot bigger, weighing in at over 15 Mb, but it's well worth it, even over a 56k modem. You can also grab the Marathon music files from the same area, but they are really big files, and I got along fine without them, although the game did seem to lack a little something while playing it.
Do you have Winzip? You'll need it to extract the files. I'm pretty sure Win XP has a way to extract it all by itself, but just in case, here is a link to download it. You can use it for 21 days before having to pay, but you'll only need to use it twice, maybe three times if you get the music files for M1A1.
The Mac Action Sack can apparently no longer be bought.


So now you have the files on your computer, so what do you do with them? Well, first off, unpack them. Right-click on the file and find a selection that says extract here. Maybe it'll say something different, but the general rule is extract here. Maybe when it gets done downloading, it will ask you if you want to extract it, say yes. Do this for both files, and you now have an M1A1 folder and an Alephone folder. Here comes the tricky part, you need to open the M1Ai folder, open the Alephone folder, and drag all of the stuff from the Alephone folder into the M1A1 folder. It should look like this when you're done. To play the game, double click on Alephone. Voila! You are done!

I'll answer a couple of common questions:
Q. Is Marathon fun?
A. Yes. As fun as Halo? Maybe, maybe not. It depends who you ask.

Q. Is this the real Marathon? It says stuff about new levels and monsters.
A. No, not quite. Some people have said that M1A1 is a lot spookier than the real Marathon. I guess I'll agree since some areas were really dark, and scary. Don't play it if you're afraid of sudden noises.

Q. My computer sucks. Will it run Marathon?
A. The old Macs Marathon was made to run on suck too by today's standards. If you're on the net with your computers, I'll bet it will run Marathon.

Q. How do I configure the controls?
A. From the main menu, click PREFERANCES, Then click CONTROLS. From there, CONFIGURE KEYBOARD should do the trick.

Q. How do I jump/crouch?
A. Sorry, the only jumping you'll be doing is by blowing up a grenade at your feet. Or a rocket (I DON'T recommend using rockets to do this). You can't crouch either.

Q. There's no music, even though I have the files in the right place. What do I do?
A. I have been informed that the newest version of Alephone does not support the music. Ho hum, just play the music on a repeating loop if you really want to. I got through it alright without any music, although I'm probably the worse for it.

Q. How do I get back health, and save?
A. There will be terminals on the wall that allow you to do that. You also have an oxygen bar; it's the blue one. Yes, you will need to find oxygen, but not on very many levels.

Q. Is Marathon hard?
A. Hell yes it is! I'd place Marathon's difficulty of normal at Halo's Heroic. It also has a lot of switches to push and hidden doors to activate. Oh, and ceilings that come crushing down on your head. It's is not for the casual gamer.

Q. There are switches to far to reach. I can't activate them.
A. Use a grenade, or an overcharge Fusion Pistol blast. That should do the trick.

Q. I am so blaming lost on this level. Just tell me what to do.
A. No. Don't go to http://www.marathon.org/spoiler/s_index.html. It won't help you. But really, only go here if you can't beat it on your own. Don't just give up.

Q. I can't get it installed, what am I doing wrong?
A. Well, I'll probably regret this, but just PM me and I'll help you out. It helps if you tell me what OS you have (Windows 98, ME, 2000, or XP). From there, we'll try to see what's going on. If you're doing this for a Mac OS, good luck. Maybe one of the mods could help out with that part. Of course, there is always asking in the Underground if you're really stuck. Bungie will be more than willing to help out I'm sure.

Q. When I try full screen, it doesn't work. Now I can't even get it started.
A. There is a preferences folder. Delete it. Don't try running it in full screen again. It's picky about that.

Well, that just about does it. If I missed anything major, please tell me in a PM. I'll be sure to add it to this write up. For those that want to know, my original post about this is here.

And one more thing, everyone thank Louis Wu of Bugnie.org in their response to this thread (don't spam his mailbox). He made this all possible long before I had even heard of Bungie. Go Louis!



How to play Marathon MP (by Jager)

Okay, I've sorta seen it occasionally asked and skirted around in a few of the marathon threads, but i figured i'd try and consolidate all the info as well as prospective players looking to experience Marathon in a way never thought possible. You just haven't played Marathon until you've SPNK'ed your friends and Totz'ed them to charred and burned peices!

First, some information:

Marathon, in its original incarnation, was a LAN only MP game. This required(s) hooking up computers physically (in the modern days we'd use a hub and our ethernet ports, but back then, this could be through <gasp> serial ports!), turning on appletalk, and then going at it! Marathon featured replays so you can relive your and your opponents demise!

Today, that LAN feature hasn't much changed, except that Aleph One will also allow you to cross platform b/n other Aleph One users, no matter the OS. (see their network read me for details).

But Aleph One, after many, many years of hoping and praying eventually added in TCP/IP. This requires the host personally handing out his IP address to all the potential players(joiners) who all have to enter in the address into the IP field under the "Join Game" menu.

I myself have enjoyed a number of games with very little to no lag (check those damn firewalls!). I enjoy the fact that the host gives the map to all the players at the start of a game. This means you don't necessarily have to have the maps the host has.

The Catch is organizing a game; you have to find a willing host who can give all the joiners his IP address and the joiners must know when to join up. This can be accomplished by Phone, instant messengers, email, and Chapter websites.

My personal method comes from the Aleph One networking FAQ. In AIMS, go to File--> "Go to chat . . . " and type in "aleph one." You should find a hand ful of people who will be willing to let you join in.

If anyone has more information or questions, feel free to add to this thread. And if anyone is interested in playing Marathon MP, also feel free to add to this thread (i apoligize if this is more appropriate in the Classifieds), share your chapter that may have DB's devoted to Marathon MP, and in generally, throw yourself out there to be PM'ed and IM'ed for some matches.

You won't regret it!

[Edited on 4/29/2005]

  • 06.30.2004 10:10 PM PDT
Subject: How To Play Marathon On Your PC: A Detailed Guide
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  • still hates toast

Nice guide dude!

  • 06.30.2004 10:38 PM PDT
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I agree. You put alot of effort into this. Good stuff.

If anyone still has problems, you can also check out this guide. Although I doubt there's anything RS hasn't covered.

  • 06.30.2004 10:43 PM PDT
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Just to clarify a few things that are minor errors...

M1A1 is a complete conversion of the original Marathon to the Aleph One platform. They are exactly the same except for the beginning (when you start out in the cave), which is a tribute to Pathways into Darkness.

I STRONGLY suggest not using the spoiler guide. These games are worth every difficult hallway filled with Pfhor and ledge you just can't seem to get to. These are not just games, these are legends which all must conquer to become true gamers. You have no sight, little health, no fancy animations or graphics or anything. This is pure hardcore gaming.

Is the Marathon trilogy better than Halo? Helllllll yes. No competition. The Marathon Trilogy is the best series of games I have ever played - based on the story alone. And mind you, I have played a LOT of games.


[Edited on 6/30/2004 10:58:51 PM]

  • 06.30.2004 10:57 PM PDT

bah

I say, if people want to use the spoiler guide, let them. It's their choice. I personally found it to be quite useful on the last couple of Pfhor levels, as I couldn't figure out where I had to go to be teleported off. I basically only used it for the map on the level with no shield or save. I tried the level twice but died both times, so I decided to check the map. It helped a little, but I would never use it to play through the whole game.

[Edited on 6/30/2004 11:15:22 PM]

  • 06.30.2004 11:10 PM PDT
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Take everything ForceMorph says with a grain of salt.
It's true that Marathon is indeed one of the best game series ever, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. Of course, those people simply have no taste. ^_-

If you think M1 is amazing, the final few levels in Infinity will be some of the greatest gaming moments of your life. I was as mesmerised playing through again today as I was seven years ago!

  • 06.30.2004 11:10 PM PDT
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I just thought I'd point out that anything regarding getting the data off of the Mac Action Sack is covered in the INSTALL.Windows file in AlephOne.

[Edited on 7/1/2004 12:56:51 PM]

  • 06.30.2004 11:12 PM PDT
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Nice guide!

anyone know where the old marathon PC thread went?

  • 06.30.2004 11:21 PM PDT
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Very nice guide RIP, Keep them coming.

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  • 07.01.2004 10:42 AM PDT
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Yes, thank you Rip Saw. I have always wanted to play Marathon and now I can, thanks to you!

  • 07.01.2004 11:20 AM PDT
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Man, this is AWESOME!!!! Thanks for the guide, now I'll be able to understand Marathon's story and how it compares to Halo :)

The connection for M1A1 and the mp3's seems a little slow (around 2 hrs each), so if any mirrors become available, I'll be even happier (and very Thankful).

Anyways, thanks for the heads up!!!

GD

[Edited on 7/1/2004 2:24:48 PM]

  • 07.01.2004 2:21 PM PDT
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Question: Will Halo 2's story compare with Marathon's story? I don't know about you, but it does take some graphics and gameplay to truly immerse yourself in a game. And why is it taking 4 hours to download a 15 megabyte file? I have DSL and a very nice computer with 40 gigabytes and 2.5 gigahertz. Is it becuase of bandwith limitations, and the sudden increase in traffic at those sites?

[Edited on 7/1/2004 2:54:17 PM]

  • 07.01.2004 2:51 PM PDT
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Yeah, nice guide, man. Keep up the being cool work...

  • 07.01.2004 3:02 PM PDT
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The page:

http://orbitalarm.bungie.org/downloads/alephone.html

Seems to be down :(

  • 07.01.2004 3:04 PM PDT
Subject: Files are no longer available.

Goal: To seek the breast of darkness, and be suckled by the night.

It is totally, totally uncool to post a link to a 20 megabyte file on an extremely busy forum without warning the host of that file.

orbitalarm.bungie.org normally doesn't get very much traffic, so it's hosted on my home T1, along with ALL MY PAYING CLIENTS. This little post here cost me a fortune in goodwill (and two clients altogether) when a few hundred people on cable modems decided to grab this big honking file off a puny 1.5 Mbit line.

I've pulled the entire downloads directory for orbitalarm, and will try and figure out how to smooth over the ruffled feathers this post has caused - eventually the files will be made available again, but if anyone decides to do something bright like this again, do me a favor and WARN ME, so I can move the files to a line that can handle them better? Thanks.

  • 07.01.2004 3:07 PM PDT
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Yeah I found it strange that a few days ago the site for M1A1 was working quick and normal. Then today when I tried to download it again, it was beginning to close to 2 hours to download the file. After one of my long M1A1 downloads had completed it said that the file was corrupt and it wouldn't.
Hopefully someone can get a new link up soon.

  • 07.01.2004 3:17 PM PDT
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If I had a site, I would mirror it. I don't have a site, though, so I can't mirror it. Now, if we could find a site willing to host it...

  • 07.01.2004 4:05 PM PDT
Subject: How To Play Marathon On Your PC: A Detailed Guide
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When I got to download Marathon at http://orbitalarm.bungie.org/downloads/alephone.html it says the page is not found on my server. What do I do?

  • 07.01.2004 4:13 PM PDT
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Check Louis' post a few posts up.

  • 07.01.2004 4:19 PM PDT
Subject: Files are no longer available.
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Whoa! Sorry about that Louis...

Does anyone know if the Lh'owon Ar'kives could handle the bandwidth?? I don't know anyone who hosts there but I'll send an email anyway.

What kind of bandwidth are we talking about? I have a few options available, but not if it is a killer.

[Edited on 7/1/2004 4:25:59 PM]

  • 07.01.2004 4:24 PM PDT
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They have it there. It's also at the Marathon Archives.

  • 07.01.2004 4:28 PM PDT
Subject: How To Play Marathon On Your PC: A Detailed Guide
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This sucks i was really lookin forward to playin Marathon for the first time and it cant locate the server wtf??? When will it be up??

  • 07.01.2004 4:31 PM PDT
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...15mb... that is a hecka lot to me... I got 56k, I hope it runs... WISH ME LUCK!

  • 07.01.2004 4:35 PM PDT