Community Spotlight - For Carnage Apply Within
Posted by urk at 1/21/2009 2:17 PM PST
While most of Bungie fandom has moved on to our latest game, the silky-smooth, ultra-awesome, totally sweet title known as Halo 3, there are still a few scant patriots who spend their precious free time shooting around in our older, silky-smooth, ultra-awesome, totally sweet titles, Marathon and Myth.  Why would someone do that, you might ask?  It's a good question, one that the good folks at For Carnage Apply Within are more than willing to answer.  Scroll down to read what they have to say about themselves, and their games of choice, in their own words.

For Carnage Apply Within

For Carnage Apply Within has two primary goals. First and foremost , we offer members a place to gather for the purpose of playing classic Bungie games. Secondly, For Carnage Apply Within is a place to discuss all of the aspects of classic Bungie games including story, multiplayer game types, and map making. The group was founded by Game Junkie Jim and Sardonic13 in August of 2007. It was born out of the combination of two older, now defunct groups, the Myth Jumpers and Marathon Jumpers.

We play weekly games of Myth II: Soulblighter on Mariusnet, Marathon Infinity using Aleph One, and Marathon 2: Durandal on Xbox Live. Anyone interested in the games Bungie made before Halo is welcome to join the group and participate in the carnage.

Q. You dudes are playing some old ass games. What's up with that?

A. They aren't just old ass games, they are Bungie's old ass games. Marathon and Myth are old, but they are still a riot to play.

Q. Fair enough.  But is this just pure nostalgia - the quest to recapture the golden twinkle of a bygone era - or are you guys really enjoying your time with these titles?

A. It's not nostalgia in the sense that we are shunning current games in favor of some vague infatuation with the "good old days". For many of our members, FCAW is actually their first opportunity to play these games. If one is able to look past the outdated graphics, Marathon and Myth each offer an extremely entertaining experience. We play these games because even after a decade, they remain enjoyable and unique. Marathon and Myth are similar to a very good old movie. Just because the movie is old doesn't mean it that it is no longer relevant or enjoyable.

Q. Talk a little bit about each title's multiplayer experience. Are you rocking Macs, Aleph One, and/or using Xbox Live?

A. We currently play Marathon Durandal on Xbox Live, Marathon Infinity using Aleph One, and Myth 2: Soulblighter on Mariusnet.

Playing Marathon is similar to Halo. Many of Halo's tried and true game types (Slayer, Oddball, and King of the Hill) trace their origins to Marathon. It isn't difficult for someone familiar to with Halo to step into Marathon and immediately enjoy the experience. However there are a few differences, the obvious ones being the inability to jump or crouch and the "floaty" gravity. Marathon tends towards more close quarters combat than Halo. There aren't any sniper rifles or battle rifles to be found.

All of the levels are generously populated with weapons, although powerful weapons like the flamethrower are sometimes hidden. Players explode when hit with a rocket or grenade and scream in agony when set ablaze with the flamethrower. Corpses fly through the air and cover the floor. The action is always fast and furious, whether one is chasing opponents down tight corridors with the assault riffle or dual wielding shotguns in defense of a hill.

Myth remains one of the most unique video games ever made. While it is a real time strategy game, it forgoes building and resource management and dives straight into the carnage of tactical combat. One chooses an army before the game starts and doesn't receive any reinforcements. The absence of building and resource management shifts the focus to the tactics of terrain, troop movement, and timing. Perfectly balanced units, effective formations, 3D terrain, varied game types, and a touch of randomness make playing Myth something like balancing on a razor blade between resounding victory and utter defeat.

In Myth, the combat is relentless and the carnage is magnificent. What begins the game as a peaceful grassy knoll or a calm sandy hill is transformed into an obliterated, blood soaked mess. Explosions blast troops to pieces, sending severed limbs and gore flying. Fire arrows arc through the air and set the terrain on fire, scattering units. Lightening bolts reduce formations to smoldering bits. Melee clashes leave corpses piled high. With the wide range of maps, unit choices, tactical options, and game types, it is nearly impossible to play the same game of Myth twice. All of these factors combine to make Myth an extremely addictive game to this day.

Q. What kind of turnout are you enjoying?

A. It varies from week to week depending on what game we play, but we usually average from five to seven players. Marathon only allows eight players per game, while Myth allows sixteen. On occasion we've seen full games of Marathon and ten or more for Myth.

Q. There must be some hurdles to overcome when it comes to setting matches up, right?

Time zones. Our members live all over the world. That, combined with individual schedules, has always made finding a game time that works for all our members difficult.

Ensuring that everyone had the most recent version of the game used to be a problem, particularly back when new versions of Aleph One were being released on a weekly basis. But these days both Aleph One and Myth are relatively stable.

We play at the same time each week and alternate between Myth and Marathon on a month by month basis. This makes it easy for players to remember when the games are and keeps us from getting burned out on one specific game. We try to make it as easy as possible for members to simply show up and play.

Q. Are we talking the same core group of players, or do you see some ebb and flow with the membership?

A. There is a small core of members that make up the staff and take care of organization. Outside of the staff, there is some ebb and flow with membership. As with many groups and in general, members come and go. However, there are always at least a few people who have recently joined and are discovering Marathon or Myth for the first time.

Q. What about the current crop of multiplayer titles, Bungie or otherwise?

A. We've kicked around the idea of playing Halo 3 using Forged remakes of Marathon netmaps (we'll be sure to let you know when the Halo 3 Forge remake of 5-D Space is coming out). However, for our organized weekly games, we like everything to tie directly back to Myth or Marathon.

Many of our members are friends. Away from the organized FCAW games, we sometimes get together to play current games like Halo 3, Gears of War 2, and Left 4 Dead.

Q. So, you guys find time to play other stuff?

Certainly. We are all gamers and the FCAW games are only once a week. Our members' tastes include video games of all ages, genres, and platforms. If you went around asking all of our members which games they have played in the last month, the result would likely be an extensive and varied list.

Q. Are there certain aspects of newer titles you wish could be transported back in time for your old school gaming?

A. I've never been a big supporter of completely redoing an older game just to update the graphics. Especially games like Marathon and Myth, which I feel would loose some of their unique quirkiness if redone with an updated engine.

For me, one of the most underrated options in gaming is cooperative play. The coop option is the reason I've played through Halo more times than I can count. I've purposefully updated versions of classics like Doom and Half-Life just so I could play cooperatively.

Q. On the other side of that coin, are there some things that have been lost as time and design have plodded ever onward?

Thankfully the live action cut scene seems to be safely buried in video gaming's deep, dark past. Hopefully it will never return.

I don't know whether it's been lost or simply evolved, but the way in which a narrative is told in a video game has changed immensely since the days of Marathon. One of the biggest hurdles for younger gamers trying to get into Marathon's campaign is the narrative. Marathon requires that players actually read and try to understand the numerous terminals. By the time you've completed the game, you've read thousands of lines of text. That isn't something that younger gamers generally have the patience for. It seems like it has actually become more difficult for game designers to implement depth and complexity of narrative into a game because people aren't always willing to read large amounts of text like the terminals of Marathon.

Hopefully, dear reader, you've taken the time to read through this large amount of text without going terminal.  Thanks to the gang at For Carnage Apply Within for lending us the words, images, and the following video.  We enjoyed speaking with them and we're honored to see our dedicated fans still putting our past work through the multiplayer paces.

If you read this interview and want to try your hand at the Myth and Marathon multiplayer experience, again or for the very first time, give these guys a shout. They'll be glad to enlist you as a new recruit and slap a gun in your hand. But don't get too cozy. They might be helpful getting you up to speed, but once you're jacked in, it's Every Man for Himself.

Back in My Day

This week's Community Spotlight bucks the trend and doesn't come with an update to Bungie Favorites. It's also only a one week stint. The Community Spotlight proper will resume next week.
Marathon for Free! 

Posted by urk at 12/1/2011 11:34 AM PST

Happy Holidays from the Aleph One development community.

You might not have your head wrapped around the Holiday Season just yet, but the Aleph One development community is ready to drop some season's greetings on your unaware, slack-jawed face! Out of nowhere, they've just announced a new version of the Aleph One engine that not only makes playing Marathon a breeze on Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms, but also brings it up to date with the most modern bells and whistles.

Read on for the full press release, and hit the link below to travel back in time to a distant future where space-docking was novel, rampancy was in its infancy, and the only good Bob was a dead Bob.

Bungie's Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal and Marathon Infinity; polished, packaged and ready for download with the brand new Aleph One 1.0 engine.

December 1, 2011 - The Aleph One development community is thrilled to release version 1.0 of the Aleph One game engine. Since the release of the Marathon 2 source code, the team has worked diligently to deliver a cross platform game engine capable of bringing the classic Marathon games, as well as fan-made modifications to the modern Mac, Windows PC and Linux platforms.

Aleph One, an open source project, enhances Bungie's original Marathon games with modern OpenGL shader support, Internet co-op and multiplayer, modern mouse-look and gamepad support and plugin support for modifications.

To celebrate the 12 year development of Aleph One, the original Marathon games have been upgraded to take advantage of the new engine features.

  • Marathon has been updated with a modern HUD, high resolution graphics as well as extensive changes to the scenario to create the most authentic Marathon experience since 1994.
  • Marathon 2: Durandal has been updated with the high resolution graphics previously only available for the Xbox LIVE Arcade game.
  • Marathon Infinity has been updated with high resolution graphics.

All three games can be downloaded for free!

Marathon: iPad 

Posted by urk at 6/23/2011 11:00 AM PDT

The candles burn out for you; I am free.

Read Full Top Story

Tags: Marathon Series


Project Magma Releases Myth II 1.7.2 Public Beta 

Posted by urk at 3/22/2011 5:21 PM PDT

Play over the Internet for free!

Project Magma, the group of fans who volunteer their time to help keep the Myth game series alive and updated for modern day systems, has just released the second Public Beta for their upcoming Myth II version 1.7.2 update, and they need your help! Their news release is below:

"The second public beta of Myth II 1.7.2 is now available. Everyone is encouraged to install it and help test the next version of Myth II. It is compatible with previous versions, so you don't have to worry about any red games. A summary of the changes from previous versions can be viewed here. The goal is to find any bugs, so that we can fix them before the final version. To contribute feedback please join us on our forums.

For those who might not remember the Myth gaming series, pop over to Project Magma's What Is Myth? page, and also check out the Myth Wikipedia section."

Tags: Myth Series


Git Yer Visual Flair Here! 

Posted by sawnose at 8/25/2010 8:20 PM PDT

Halo 1 PC/Mac, and Marathon 2 XBLA players rejoice!

If you missed the news in the Weekly Update, (scroll down to the section with the orange block of game UI), players of classic Bungie games get a head start on making their Reach lobby appearance shiny by unlocking some special nameplate images.

Two of these need a few extra clicks on your part to become active, so we're letting you get started now - Halo 1 for PC/Mac, and Marathon 2: Durandal for XBLA. To unlock these emblems:

1. Make sure you're signed in to with the account that's linked to the gamertag you want to tie your Halo PC key to. If you tie it to one account, but only played Halo 2 and 3 on a different account, we CAN NOT help you combine them later to get the emblem for playing all 3. Choose wisely! Obviously, this also has to be the gamertag you'll play Reach with.

2. Visit your account page , then click the Game Settings tab, then the Nameplate Settings link below that.

3. Follow the instruction there to unlock your stuff!

4. Wait an agonizingly long 20 days until 9/14 when you get Reach and play it online

5. Return to the same Nameplate Settings page , where you'll be shown all the nameplates available to you, and you can choose one to use. Return there whenever you feel like changing things up.

6. Questions? Problems? Post here


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