Welcome to the a.g.m. FAQ! If after reading this, you still have questions (or know of questions that belong here), feel free to send them along. (My email address is email@example.com.)
All links are valid as of September 3, 1996. I'll try to make sure that new ones make it in (you can help by mailing any I've missed to me), and broken/disappeared ones (like that word?) get removed.
This file will *not* cover information that's already covered in a current marathon FAQ. As of today, that list includes the
Marathon Spoiler Guide (Recently updated)
Grenade Jumping FAQ (offline for the time being, but downloadable here)
Devil in a Blue Dress FAQ (or downloadable here)
and the Net Play Tips FAQ (still in its infancy, but send questions, and he'll update it).
(Did I miss any? I'm not including the Marathon FAQ 3.0 because it is no longer being maintained.)
This file will be reposted monthly, and pointers will be posted weekly. It is also available in text form at
Any major (or even minor) errors should be pointed out to me, so that I can fix them.
Now, finally, when someone asks a FAQ on a.g.m, you can finally say, "Go read the FAQ!" Won't that feel good?
It's a first-person, 3D texture-mapped shoot-em-up in the same genre as Doom, among others. It's better than the rest, but it's in the same genre... (How was that for objective?)
Marathon for Windows95 will be released on September 6. (This is an official Bungie date.) In the meantime, you can learn about (and download) the demo here.
Call Bungie at (800) 295-0600 and order them, for about $15 each. (Or check out the Bungie Store, on the web...)
Get a life, okay?
Just hold down the Command and Option keys as you click on Begin Game. Likewise, for Cooperative play, hold down Command and Option keys as you click on Gather Network Game.
You mean besides that command-option thing up above? Well, maybe. It's possible to empty an entire clip nearly at once by holding down the fire key and tapping next and previous weapon very quickly (emphasis on very). I'm not sure you'd call this a cheat code, but it's certainly undocumented in any Bungie literature.
There were lots of cheat codes in the M1 beta (PATHWAYS, PZBXAY, TOASTER, FATMAN, PISTOL, FISHEYE, ISEEYOU, HAVESOME, OXYGEN, HEALTH, AMMO, ASLAG, and probably many more), but they were pulled out before release of the demo or the full commercial version, and they didn't seem to ever make it into M2 (although the really early stuff never got out...).
For adding weapons, ammo, health, powerups, oxygen, or objects (like uplink cards), the cheater to get is Eggert Thorlacius' Marathon Cheater 5.0.1. It currently works with Marathon, the Marathon Demo, Marathon 2, the Marathon 2 Sneak Preview, the Marathon 2 Demo, and the Infinity Demo. Its only shortcoming is that it requires a saved game in order to function. (That is, you can't use it to give yourself unlimited powers at the beginning.)
Also for both M1 and M2, you can use the Marathon Universal Patcher, which actually modifies the Marathon app to start your player out with greater stats. It was created by Naoki Yokoyama.
For M2 only, you can grab a copy of Tim Swihart's Maramacros. These are MacsBug macros, and as such require MacsBug, available at finer Apple ftp sites everywhere. Once installed (and they come with extremely detailed installation instructions), they allow you to give yourself anything you want, without the necessity of saving first. Extremely handy...
For all flavors of M2, plus the Infinity Demo, there's the Infinity Game Wimp. It's a lot like the Marathon Cheater, except that it adds some flexibility and ease-of-use for folks who like to cheat a little bit.
For M1, and for 68K only, there's the Plus Key Save Anywhere patch. This allows you to save anywhere using the Plus key. (Um, I guess the filename made that last sentence uneccessary...) Unfortunately, it doesn't work with PowerMacs, or with M2.
The free way is to hit Shift-5 *before* hitting command-shift-3. (The % sign (shift-5) gives more processing time to the OS, which allows the regular screen shot combo to work.)
The fancy free way is to download PIXs, an exclusive MacUser screen-snap utility available only from ZiffNet's MacUser web site or from ZiffNet forums on online services.
The not-free way (but it has other advantages) is to download Snapz, a screen-snap utility from Ambrosia Software. With any of these routes, here's a hint for getting clear shots (since screen shots are rarely instantaneous): instead of taking the shot during gameplay, replay the film and slow it down to nothing before taking the shot. (Obviously, this assumes you can get a film of the area in question. Remember Maramacros, if you're doing this in M2.)
Shift-/ (or ?, if that makes more sense to you).
This works for both Marathon 1.2 and 2.0. It doesn't work for 1.0 or 1.1.
Well, actually, the bracket keys thing *is* mentioned in the manual... and I don't know of any other ones. (Feel free to send 'em to me, if you do.)
Read the Spoiler Guide:
(This is a general answer for all spoiler-type questions. Go to
for other levels, of course...)
They don't show up because Bungie left them out of their net levels. (Whether this is a good or bad decision is totally a matter of personal opinion, but people seem to have almost religious convictions about it one way or the other. (Personally, I like not having them. They just got in the way of shooting my friends.) Bottom line, though.... that's the way it is, deal with it.
There are at least three workarounds.
Here's the old answer:
Well the wisdom for a long time was, they were planned but scrapped because of time considerations. However, recently Jack Lin discovered that if you enabled the menus in Resedit, then played Keep Away from Rob with one of the players taking the name Rob, that player will receive invincibility and invisibility for the duration of the game. "Rob" is then rated on his kills per minute.
Based on this info, it would be foolish to say indisputably that Pile on Greg doesn't work at all. (Here's a wild guess-I've never tested it: It's a variant of Kill the Guy with the Ball, where "Greg" can't actually drop the skull. Who knows... enable the menu, name one of your players Greg, and try it for yourself.)
Update: Noone else has been able to get this to work (and lots of people have tried). Bungie has said these games don't work, so maybe it's time to take them at their word...
You can try playing over the internet. There haven't been too many reports of success, but all the info you need to get started can be found at
There is some hope, though... Joe Kloss (of Netlink fame) has been hinting that he might release an internet-savvy version of Netlink... seems the problem is latency, not bandwidth. More info as it becomes available.
For playing over a modem, Netlink is the way to go (easily 5-10 times better frame rates than ARA). You'll find all the info you need to get up to speed with Netlink at
Once you're functional, you can register with the NetLink directory, to find folks to shoot at:
It can be shown that sidestepping while running forward is actually considerably faster than running forward by itself. To prove it to yourself, check out Bungie's M2 net level Everyone's Mortal But Me. Stand at the back of one of the alcoves, and run out towards the central pillar. You'll fall short. Now start in the same place, but turn a bit toward one wall or the other, and hold down your sidestep and forward keys simultaneously. You'll make it with ease...
The one caveat here is if you're already running forward, holding down the sidestep key will slow you down drastically. Basically, you need to start running in this configuration.
Well, I'm biased...
The acknowledged mecca for all things Marathon used to be AMUG, the Arizona Marathon Users Group. Their ftp server was the first place Marathon stuff showed up on the internet. However, their support for all things marathon seems to have dried up. (If you work for them, and you disagree with this statement, feel free to write and correct me. I'd be happy to be wrong here...) Organized (hmph!) stuff can be found at
and new stuff that hasn't been moved over can be found at
Since support for Marathon on AMUG has gotten weak, finding anything specific can be a bear. (Get ready, here's where my bias starts showing...)
Just about everything useful that has ever come out for either Marathon 1 or Marathon 2 can be found at the Marathon HyperArchive NorthWest:
One notable exception is a film archive. Also, some folks have had trouble getting large stuff with a web browser, so you can access the same files through the ftp side of this site:
Lots of Marathon web pages are linked off of Marathon Central:
and several pages with a significant amount of unique file content are not:
And finally, let's not forget Bungie's own site:
http:/www.bungie.com/ and ftp://ftp.bungie.com/
Good for the demo (M1, M2, or Infinity) and some other random stuff. You can also buy stuff (T-shirts, games, hint books) online.
All these, and many more, are listed in Appendix 1.
Depends on what kind of editing you want to do, and for which game. All version numbers listed here are valid as of September 3, 1996. All files are available at the HyperArchive NorthWest, and most are available elsewhere as well.
- Pfhorte (1.0d26)
- Most useful interface
- Mia (1.0b19)
- "Cleanest" (tends to make more bug-free maps)
- Marathon Map Editor (1.0d7)
- Last updated over a year ago
- Pfhred (1.3.1)
- Lots of unique features, but still buggy (although much better than 1.3)
- Marathon Shape Installer (2.0b1)
- Less buggy than Pfhred, but not as capable
- Marathon Shapes Editor 1.2b
- Can make patches
- Shape Shifter (0.8d68)
- Allows actual graphics editing
- Physics Model Editor 1.1
- Nice, and the only one
- NK Level Mover (1.0a2)
- Moves map levels between maps
- Object Placement Editor (1.4)
- A more convenient way to add objects to maps
- LiteEdit (1.0)
- The easiest way to change lighting types in a map
- Term Installer (2.1)
- By far the best way to install resources for a new Marathon scenario
- Shape Shuttle (1.0b1)
- Can make shapes patches (but nothing else)
- Marathon Sound Transporter (not numbered)
- A pretty interface for sound patches
- Map Select (1.0)
- Allows drag-n-drop selection of current map
- Pfhorte Handbook (1.3)
- Tons of info on creating maps. Not only for Pfhorte
- Pfhorte Users Guide (2.2)
- Less complete than the Handbook, but still useful
- Marathon Engine FAQ 0.6
- Very old, but still has a bunch of good info
- Pfhorte (2.0a14)
- The only editor currently available. Still in alpha development (read: not feature complete and buggy) but nevertheless quite powerful
- Marathon Wall Extractor (0.8b)
- Extracts wall textures from M2, and puts them into a special kind of M1 Shapes file, where they can be edited with standard M1 Shapes Editors
- M2 Shape Shuttle (1.0a3)
- Like the Wall Extractor, except that it lets you install part of a single textureset, instead of all four full ones
- Alchemist (1.0b3)
- By the same guy who made the M1 Physics Editor
- Hex! (0.99)
- Easy-to-use term editor
- Durandal Object Placement Editor (1.20)
- Does for M2 what OPE does for M1
- M2 Sound Converter (0.5b)
- Converts M2 sounds to resources, to make them easy to edit, then back when you're through
- MapInfo (1.3.1)
- Gives you lots of info quickly on both M1 and M2 maps, and M2 films
- Pfhorte 2.0a14 Guide (Final)
- A very nicely laid out guide to using Pfhorte 2.0ax
- Marathon Map Making Assistant (1.0b3)
- An AppleGuide document with basic info about M2 mapmaking (also works in M1, but is less relevant)
Take a deep breath...
For Marathon 1, in order for Marathon to work at all, there needs to be the following four files in the same folder (with these names):
Marathon (actually, this can be called anything)
and if you want to use a physics model, it needs to be in that folder as well, and called
(All of those names are case-insensitive: MAP works as well as Map which works as well as mAp, but NewMap or MapNew won't work at all.)
So, in order to use a third-party item (map, phys model, whatever), you need to move your original someplace safe (or rename it) so that it doesn't get overwritten by the file you move in. Then, simply rename the new file Map (or whatever), move it into your Marathon folder, and you're off!
If you download a shapes patcher (or sound patcher), you'll need to run it on your existing file. Be aware that many patchers are not reversible-if you've got the disk space, you should make a copy of your shapes file before running the patcher. (If you don't have the disk space, make sure you've still got your original Marathon disks or CD before patching these files...)
Music files are optional. (Marathon runs perfectly well without it.) If you decide to use a third party one, though, again, remember to name it
in order to make it work...
(See Music troubleshooting for more info about Music files.)
For Marathon 2, things are (supposed to be) much more modular. You can place any M2 file in the M2 folder, and it will show up in the Environment preferences dialog. (That is, at the opening screen, select Preferences, and then select Environment from the popup menu.) The problem is, it doesn't always work this way... sometimes Marathon gets confused as to which map or physics or shapes file was selected. The solution here is to move all unused files out of the Marathon folder.
You can also drag and drop any Marathon file (Map, Physics, Shapes, saved game, whatever) onto your Marathon app, and it will be opened.
To play a film is a bit more difficult. In theory, Marathon 2 should be able to differentiate between map files, and choose the one that matches the film you're trying to play. In practice, it doesn't work that way. It opens the first map, alphabetically, that it finds in the Marathon folder. If the film you're trying to watch isn't playing with the proper map file, try renaming the map file by putting a 0 (zero) in front of it.
I made a list of these up a little while ago. If you made one, and it's not on the list, drop me mail and I'll rectify that. All of these can be found using the Maps Search page at the HyperArchive.
Okay, since there are only two M2 shapes patches right now , I'll assume you're asking about M1. There seems to be a problem with the shapes patchers on some PCI macs (7500s and 8500s for sure).
Workaround: Open the shapes patch with Resedit, and copy the .256 resource. Open your Shapes file (or preferably a copy of it) and paste. (Answer YES, not UNIQUE in the resulting dialog.)
This works for MSE patches, and Shape Shuttle patches. Rescompare patches are harder... you'll need to find a machine that doesn't crash, install the patch there, then move the patched file back to your PCI mac.
Your simple map contains only one polygon, right? Marathon's engine can't deal with this, since it bases a lot of its decisions on inter-poly information (what monsters heard you on neighboring polys, where they can go, etc.). You need at least two polys for a map to function.
Steve was being frugal. The same code that keeps track of lighting types also keeps track of terms... so in order to add new term options, you need to add new lighting types (in the Edit Lighting Types dialog). This is a good idea anyway... maps with one lighting type are boring.
There are two steps to adding objects to a map-telling Pfhorte how many there are, total (and how to distribute them), and actually placing them. If all you do is add the objects to the map, but don't tell Pfhorte how to deal with them, you won't get any at all. (This is good, actually, from a flexibility standpoint... you can lay out your objects as you want them, but don't actually have to deal with them during testing if you don't want to.)
Go to the Object Placement Info box (from the Edit Menu), and fill in the boxes so that you have at least as many of that object to start as you'd like. (For much more detailed info on this, check FrigidMan's Pfhorte Guide.)
No. Well, sort of. There's a program (called M2 Crosshairs) that places a set of crosshairs on your screen. You fire it up, then start playing Marathon. It has a few caveats (it doesn't work on multiple-monitor setups, the 68K version has never been tested on a 68K machine, it's very hard to turn off temporarily), but if you must have a sight, this is it. However, in terms of a sight patch that actually gives you sights for each weapon in the game (like the M1 patch), no, there isn't one, because there are no shapes editors for M2. (There won't be any shapes editors for M2 until Infinity comes out, it seems...)
Contrary to (very) popular belief, there is *no* truth to the rumor that any map made on a PPC mac will crash a 68K mac. If the map crashes, there are bugs. End of story.
Type 1 errors usually mean you haven't allocated enough memory to Marathon. Solution: allocate more (via Get Info in the finder) until the crashing behavior goes away. (And turn off that nasty Ram Doubler!)
Type 11 errors almost always mean the map maker made a nasty mistake. Contact him/her and yell a lot.
Type 4 errors are some of the most common. They are usually (but not always) attributable to zero line length errors. If you're a map enduser (not a mapmaker), the easiest solution, by far, is to grab a copy of the very small, very handy program called Ignore Zero Divides. (It's available at finer Marathon sites everywhere.) This will cause your mac to ignore any divide-by-zero functions, and keep it from crashing with a Type 4 error. (This program is unneccessary on Powermacs, because the error checking Marathon does is a bit more robust in this area.)
You can find more information about specific crashes (and their causes) in the Pfhorte AntiCrash Guide.
If you're a mapmaker, and want to fix the problem, you're better off if it happens in a Marathon 1 map. That's because Pfhorte 1.0d25 can detect these errors, and make them very obvious when you open the offending map. (Try it-you'll see.) If you're trying to fix a Marathon 2 map, try Randy Reddig's solution:
"if you have a map with a dbz error somewhere in it, it is not impossible to correct. open it in marathon (keep in mind that i'm assuming you have a powermac), and walk around your map, looking at the most zoomed in map mode every few paces. a zero length line will usually show up as a bold green dot where there should normally be a crossing between a couple dim green lines."
Usually, it has to do with a big difference in speed among the computers in play (a problem that is exaggerated with a slower network, like localtalk or over NetLink Remote). Sometimes, it has to do with one or more players starting to move before everyone has completely joined.
Strategies for minimizing the problem:
Other possible reasons for fragmentation:
Some keyboards are not capable of four keystrokes at once, which is easy to achieve playing Marathon. And the Apple Adjustable keyboard has irritated many Marathon players, because trying to mix keys from the main section and the detached numeric pad is dicey at best.
Bottom line-if it bothers you enough, get a better keyboard. (Both the AppleDesign keyboard and the Apple Extended II keyboard handle anything you can dish out, Marathonwise.) And if that advice bothers you, consider that an unhealthy number of people have used Marathon as a justification for a PowerMac... what's a keyboard, in the grand scheme of things?
Three possible reasons.
Toss your prefs, enter your full serial number, and the option should become available again.
(That can be translated as "I don't really know, but my guess is, it was too hard for Bungie to make it work.")
Yes. Simply use the command-option trick described above, and the film will work up to the point that you either quit or save. (If you're playing Marathon 2, you can use Maramacros to get around the fact that command-option starting means you're armed only with a pistol, three rounds of ammo, and your fist. Or you can just use the Marathon Universal Patcher... (for M1 or M2).)
Well, if you're using Marathon 2, there is no music. (Except for the bit that plays during the opening credits.) You can't get it to play because Bungie removed the option (and replaced it with ambient sounds, which are way cooler).
If you're using Marathon 1, there are a few things to check:
It's a bug. It'll get fixed, one of these days...
Slower machines seem to have a problem with the mic. (We turn it off for net games, because if someone inadvertently hits his mic key, our Q610 freezes hard, and is out of the game.) Get a faster machine, or live without your mic.
This is actually a lot of questions, all rolled up into one. Starting with M1:
You can't change views during the game, but the delete key (or backspace, or whatever it's labeled on your keyboard-the key in the top right corner of the main bunch of keys) will toggle through views. (Control-H, which sends the same keystroke, will also work.)
In M2, due to a bug, you can't toggle through views during either net games or in films, unless there are other players on your team. (Everyone can have different colored shirts, but they all have to wear the same pants.) Bungie is working on a fix for this right now, and it'll show up on their web site as soon as it's done.
Assuming that there are players on your team, toggling views during films works fine. And if you're playing a cooperative net game, the toggling also works during net play. (Pretty helpful...)
So you've saved a ton of M2 films, but never figured out how to watch them, and you'd hate to toss 'em? Never fear. There are three programs that you might want to check out. All three were created by Naoki Yokoyama, and all three can be found on the Utilities page of the HyperArchive NW. The first is the Marathon Film Patcher, and it allows you to edit saved films in order to place everyone on the same team.
A more permanent solution is called the Marathon FilmHandling Patcher. It actually patches the Marathon 2 app to allow post-game carnage reports and toggled views on all films. (It's not recommended to use the patched app to play a regular net game, though, so this solution requires you to have two versions of the marathon app lying around.) The third option is the Batch patcher, which does what the film patcher does, for many film files at once, but with fewer user options.
Update-there are now two new apps that help with this problem. FilmEdit 1.0 allows you to change Team color, Shirt Color, and Player Name. Pfhilm Pfhixer 0.9b simply makes all players on the same team, and outputs a new film with a configurable extension at the end of its name.
There are lots of ways. The easiest is to run towards it, and fire a weapon downwards. (Any weapon you have works here... the pistol, the shotgun, you name it.) This should give you the lift you need to reach the ledge.
To save ammo, you can try one of two techniques:
Yes, the KKV shows up on level 2, as well. The easiest way to find it is to watch the built-in films... one of them shows the entrance to the secret area. (To watch these films, start the demo, but don't do anything once you get to the main screen. (That is, don't push the Begin Game button.) After a few seconds of inactivity, one of the films will begin playing. If it's not the one you want to see, hit any key, then wait again.
Yes, there is. This info comes originally from Tim Crother.
Open your Pfhorte app in Resedit, and edit MENU resource 1012. (This should be weapons.) Scroll to the bottom of the list, and insert two new items after Green Ball: Submachine Gun and Submachine Gun Clip. (What you call these two slots is irrelevant, but their position is not.) Close and save.
For anyone who doesn't feel like screwing with Pfhorte, a version of Duality (the net map that comes with the demo) has been modified to include two KKVs and a bunch of ammo, and can be found at the Marathon HyperArchive and the Marathon Hotlist.
Did I forget you? Mail you URLs to me! firstname.lastname@example.org
email@example.com (Jeff R.)
firstname.lastname@example.org (aaron sommer)
email@example.com (Dennis Taylor)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Banek)
email@example.com (Ben Chess)
firstname.lastname@example.org (gabe rosenkoetter)
email@example.com (Candace Sherriff)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Kay Chang)
email@example.com (george mcclelland)
Jack_Lin@brown.edu ((Jack T. Lin))
firstname.lastname@example.org (Dan Martens)
email@example.com (rf reddig)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Soell)