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marathon fpsNew games come out all the time, old games don’t. Seems logical doesn’t it?

Well, we tend to lose contact with the old days, the days of the games that brought the genre to what it is today. Days when they didn’t bury you under a ton of shooter games.

I’m not going to say that I don’t like the current generation of games. Much to the contrary, I love Halo and can’t stop playing Fallout 3.

A good ten years ago, Bungie (yes, the folks from Halo) released Marathon, the first game in a trilogy. The game wasn’t a great success, not because it was bad, but mainly because almost everyone was playing Doom at the time.

In 1999, Bungie made the Marathon engine (known as Aleph One to most of the fans) public. The open-source community received it with open arms, and later even upgraded it. The project is still active as of today.

The game plays similar to Doom, hence there is no mouse usage. All control and interaction is handled by the keyboard.

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Installing Marathon

Downloading the files free fps game
You will need the game’s engine (Aleph One) and the game files (which are used by the engine).

You can use the original game files (Marathon 1, Marathon 2 or Marathon infinity), or use one of the many mods made by the community.

Both the engine and the game files (scenarios) can be found here. Some of the many alternatives can be found at the bottom of the latter page or on this website.

Placing the Files

To run a scenario, just put the game files and the game engine in the same folder and run the program (no installation needed).

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Installing Upgrades

Some upgrades (high resolution textures and landscapes, among other things) can be installed.

The upgrade files can be downloaded from this site. At this moment, only HiRes Textures and Shots Fired seem to be available.

Installing HiRes Textures

The installation of these textures depends on the Marathon version you are running.

1. Installing HiRes Textures with the Marathon 1 game files (M1A1)

    a) Make sure your game files and engine are already in the same folder

    b) Drop the Rival DDS folder (which can be found in the downloaded ‘Texture Folders\Textures’ ) in your main folder. If necesary, remove the old Rivival JPEG folder.

    c) Move the Textures M1 script from the downloaded ‘Texture Scripts’ to ‘Scripts’ in your main folder.

2. Installing HiRes Textures with the Marathon 2 game files (M2)

    a) Make sure your game files and engine are already in the same folder

    b) Drop the ‘Marathon 2 Textures’ folder (which can be found in the downloaded ‘Texture Folders\Textures’ ) into a newly created ‘Textures’ folder.

    c) Move the Textures M2 script from the downloaded ‘Texture Scripts’ to ‘Scripts’ in your main folder.

3. Installing HiRes Textures with the Marathon Infinity game files

    a) Make sure your game files and engine are already in the same folder

    b) Drop the ‘Marathon 2 Textures’ folder (which can be found in the downloaded ‘Texture Folders\Textures’ ) into a newly created ‘Textures’ folder.

    c) Move the Textures Moo script from the downloaded ‘Texture Scripts’ to ‘Scripts’ in your main folder.

Installing Shots Fired

This upgrade replaces the graphics for the majority of the weapons.

First, make sure your game files and engine are already in the same folder. Then drag and drop the Scripts and Tex folders (contained in the downloaded archive) in your main folder.

old school games

  1. Bill
    February 2, 2009 at 3:41 am

    I just downloaded it... mouse control is available in the Aleph One engine, but it's pretty hideously bad. I couldn't get it to work in any sort of reasonable function.

    I really liked Marathon, but I don't think I can go back to keyboard only controls.

  2. gromit
    November 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    No mouse control? Is there something about these releases that doesn't allow it? Because I don't remember that limitation from the original games. The first marathon, perhaps... but marathon 2 and marathon infinity definitely had mouse-control options.

    -g

  3. T.J. Mininday
    November 20, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Ahhh, nothing like old school gaming. I can't recall, but I remember seeing a post somewhere about playing Doom and Doom 2 online as well.

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