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Marathon

From The Cutting Room Floor
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Title Screen

Marathon

Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Bungie
Platform: Mac OS Classic
Released in US: December 21, 1994


DevMessageIcon.png This game has a hidden developer message.
DevTextIcon.png This game has hidden development-related text.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
TextIcon.png This game has unused text.
DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
LevelSelectIcon.png This game has a hidden level select.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article

Before there was Halo, Bungie made Marathon. It's one of the best (and most popular) Macintosh-exclusive games of the '90's that is not an arcade game clone. It even comes complete with a mouse-looking feature.

Level Select

Marathon-LevelSelect.png
Holding the Command and Option keys together while clicking on the "Begin New Game" button brings up a prompt to go to any level in the game. This also works for doing either a single-player or a network game.

Script Debug

Marathon-ScriptDebug.png
DITL ID 139 contains a script debug to see all of the game's scripts. It's unknown how it can be activated, but it is present in both of the sequels.

Unused Graphic

Unusedmarathonship.png
This was intended to be the Marathon, but later games portray the ship as more like a grey egg. Here, the ship looks more like half an asteroid, which makes sense because the Marathon was built out of Deimos in the story. Needless to say, the player never sees it throughout the game.

Unused Text

General

Under STR #128, line number 10 has this string:

"This beta copy of Marathon has expired and is
no longer functional. Call Bungie at
(312) 563-2000 ext. 21 for more information."

Also, under STR #150, Bungie inserted references to Copland and Windows NT under lines 18 and 19.

"COPY OF WINDOWS NT"
"PIRATED COPLAND BETA"

According to the developer message just below, these are cheeky placeholder strings to fill in space created by the removal of a cut weapon.

The first terminal in "Try Again" should display this as part of its message, according to the resource fork:

(*&)&
~~~~~~&>%*{%rhpe~~jy658[69l[il[70l
-0oli77765~~uI%OI&%

However, this is what's actually displayed in-game:

(*&)&
~~~~~~&>%*{The colony has been wiped out. Phhht! Just like
that.hpe~~jy658[69l[il[70l
-0oli77765~~uI%OI&%

The string "The colony has been wiped out. Phhht! Just like that." is found in the game's code at resource 9, offset 1798 and is not displayed anywhere else in the game. The "%r" in the resource fork is mistakenly interpreted to be this string.

Undisplayed Dialogue

This is the final location.

Good luck.

***END MESSAGE***

The last part of the first terminal message in "Defend THIS!" The game can only handle up to eight pages per terminal, and this message would have been the eighth page of nine.

***MESSAGE FROM LEELA***

You have not retrieved the Fusion Gun.  Return when you have
done so.

***END OF MESSAGE***

From the second terminal in "Cool Fusion." Apparently, the player would have been told if he/she didn't have the fusion gun. Instead, the terminal always allows the player to proceed.

Disabled Cheat Codes

At 4CA04, there are some cheat codes that were used during development that were disabled. These would have been entered by holding Control while entering one of the following upper-cased.

HEALTH OXYGEN MAP HAVESOME ISEEYOU FISHEYE BYE PISTOL
RIFLE POW TOAST MELT PZBXAY AMMO ASD ASLAG SAVE


(Source: Bungie.org)

Developer Messages

The music file has a message for those looking at it with ResEdit.

"Yeah, it's all in the data fork. Isn't that weird?"

As an easter egg of sorts for those using ResEdit or a similar resource editing tool, one of the developers inserted a message in the program itself under the TEXT resource fork:

 Hey you, looking through my resource fork:

 Because of time constraints, many of the interesting parts
 of Marathon (i.e., the texts, the chapter screens, etc.) were
 not encrypted like I've done in the past with Minotaur or
 Pathways.  This also makes globalization easier.

 So when you read all the computer terminals from ResEdit
 or find out what the final screen looks like, don't post 
 on comp.sys.mac.games or AOL or whereever you call home
 on the information toll-road and ruin things for everyone
 else.  Go find it in the game, and tell people how to get
 themselves there.

 I'd also like to say that Greg and I have only slept for 15
 hours in the last seven days.  <grin>

 I hope you guys are already working on level editors and
 figuring out the format of the "Physics Model" file!
 Competent programmers serious about doing any sort 
 of add-ons to Marathon should e-mail me on the internet
 at jon3@quads.uchicago.edu for help and (maybe) header
 files.

 Thanks,
 Jason (Dec. 18, 1994 1:57am.)

 PS.  In case you were wondering, you can't ever find the
 pirated copy of Copland in Marathon.  That item used to be
 a weapon that we took out late in development (the copy of
 Windows NT was it's ammunition) but that will find it's
 way into the Network Upgrade for Marathon.

A second message was added to the Trilogy version under the same fork:

 You again?

 Two and a half years after the wild coding Blitzkrieg that
 created Marathon, I'm back here removing the serial
 number protection for the trilogy release.  Without source.

 I had this really dumb idea back then that I'd have the
 game wait until April 1st 1995 before enabling a second
 layer of serial number verification.

 Ha.  After hacking out three dialogs from each of the 68k
 and PowerPC versions, with only MacsBug to light the way,
 I'm sort of glad I never got time to do that.

 Now Myth is the order of the day, and we're aiming for a
 early fall release.  The coming summer won't turn into
 the unairconditioned blur of boiling late nights ordering
 pizza and drinking powdered Gatorate to stay hydrated
 that 1995 was, but I imagine we'll keep busy somehow.

 I have this feeling it's going to be snowing again when I
 have free time again.

 So.  No serial numbers.  It's always bothered me that
 Marathon's public lifetime would be over when the last
 registration card or serial number list got lost.  Hopefully
 this is the version that I'll be playing in fifty years
 under emulation on some fuckfast portable the thickness
 of a sheet of paper that walks my dog, dresses me every
 morning and grinds up my food because I don't have any
 teeth left.  And hopefully it won't be running Windows.

 Later,
 Jason (March 17, 1997 4:39pm)

Map Messages

Several levels contain hidden messages in the map geometry that cannot be seen without using a level editor. Some levels have multiple hidden messages. The original capitalization of the text has been preserved.

JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI
Level Message
Never Burn Money JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI
The Rose NEVER STOP FIRING
The Rose poenas dare
G4 Sunbathing YOU MUST LOVE M-THON IT KICKS
Bob-B-Q BOB-JAM? APPLY GRENADES LIBERALLY!!
Shake Before Using... I RULE
Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire! CUPIDITAS PRAEMIUM SUUM EST.
Habe Quiddam ANOTHER ALL-NIGHTER
Neither High nor Low GK IS THE #1 VID At BUNGIE
Neither High nor Low JAY COULDN'T SLIP ON A BANANA
No Artificial Colors TUNCER / GK
No Artificial Colors CARNAGE RULES
Eupfhoria MAGNESIUM FLARES ARE KEWL!
Ain't Got Time Phor This... DCROMLEY
Ingue Ferroque JAy rokz greg

Revision Differences

The Trilogy version adds the ability to see the FPS by pressing the ? / and Shift keys. It also removes the serial number protection from the game.