From: (Claude Errera)
Date: 1996/02/22
Message-ID: <4gggui$>
X-Deja-AN: 140589811
distribution: world
organization: Oregon Graduate Institute - Environmental Sciences

Welcome to the first edition of the Alt.Games Marathon FAQ! I'm sure
I've left a lot out of this-I started it over two months ago, and 
then lost the time needed to finish it-so 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

All links are valid as of today, February 22, 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:

and the Grenade Jumping FAQ:

and coming soon, the Devil in a Blue Dress FAQ. (Did I miss any? I'm 
not including the Marathon FAQ 3.0 because it is no longer being 

This file will be reposted monthly, unless there is demand for a
more frequent posting (or all the info needs updating). It is also
available (in text form, currently, but soon in Web 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?

Claude Errera

    What kind of game is Marathon?
    Is there a PC version?
    How do I get more serial #s?
    Could someone mail me/post the game?
    Is there a way to start on any level I want?
    Are there any secret codes for Marathon?
    How about cheat programs?
    How do you take screen shots in Marathon?
    How do I find out what frame rate my machine is running at?
    Are there any useful commands not mentioned in TFM?
    Does Bungie rock, or what?    

    How do I get past Colony Ship/G4 Sunbathing/whatever?
    How do I get aliens to turn on in M2 net play?
    What's with the two greyed-out net game options in M2?
    Can I play Marathon over the Internet? 
    Can I play Marathon over a modem?

Modifying Marathon
    What's a good ftp site for Marathon stuff?
    What's available in terms of editors?
    How do I use this 3rd party Map/Physics Model/fucking thing?
    Are there any maps designed after real buildings?
    How can I use Shapes patches on PCI macs?

    How come lots of map crash on my 68K mac? Can I stop this?
    How come my net-games keep fragmenting and what can I do about it?
    How come certain key combinations don't work?
    How can I get 16-bit sound on M2?
    How come I can't make films off of saved games?
    Is there a way to make films of later levels?
    I can't get Music to work! What's going on?
    I couldn't get the real-time mic to work in M2. What's going on?
    Why can't I use the mic in M1? Everyone else can...
    How do I change views in net games/films?

Appendix 1: Marathon Web Sites


* What kind of game is Marathon?

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?)

* Is there a PC version?

Bungie has said unequivocally that there is no PC version currently
under development. Matt Soell, Bungie's online voice (
has stated that if they ever decide to do a PC version, he'll make that
very clear on this newsgroup. He's been pretty silent about it

* How do I get more serial #s?

Call Bungie at (800) 295-0600 and order them, for about $15 each.

* Could someone mail me/post the game?

Get a life, okay? 

1) Bungie's a great company-buy the damn software if you like playing 
   the game. 
2) It's illegal. 
3) M1 is 12 megs total, and M2 is 52 megs. These are a bit large for 

* Is there a way to start on any level I want?

Just hold down the Command and Option keys as you click on Begin Game.

* Are there any secret codes for Marathon?

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,
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

* How about cheat programs?


For adding weapons, ammo, health, powerups, oxygen, or objects (like
uplink cards), the cheater to get is Eggert Thorlacius' Marathon
Cheater 4.0. It currently works with Marathon, the Marathon Demo,
Marathon 2, the Marathon 2 Sneak Preview, and the Marathon 2 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

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

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.

* How do you take screen shots in Marathon? Command-shift-3 doesn't
seem to work.

Two ways:

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 not-free way (but it has other advantages) is to download Snapz, a
screen-snap utility from Ambrosia Software.

With either route, 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.)

* I see all these posts comparing frame rates for Marathon. How do I
find out what frame rate my machine is running at?

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

* Are there any useful commands not mentioned in TFM? (like using the
[] keys to speed up/slow down films, how to get frames per second, etc)

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.

* Does Bungie rock, or what?



* How do I get past Colony Ship/G4 Sunbathing?

Read the damn Spoiler Guide:


(This is a general answer for all spoiler-type questions. Go to

for other levels, of course...)

* How do I get aliens to turn on in M2 net play? I've checked the
aliens box in the Gather dialog, but they never show up!

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.

1) Add your own aliens to Bungie's net levels, using a tool like DOPE
   or Pfhorte.

2) Download one of the nearly 150 third-party M2 levels. A very large
   percentage contain aliens, and the same tools can be used to add 
   them to the levels that don't have any (or don't have enough).

3) Shoot your friends more.

* What's with the two greyed-out net game options (Keep Away from Rob
and Pile on Greg) in M2? Are they just cruel jokes perpetrated on the
adoring Marathon public by those meanies at Bungie? Or did they just
never get around to finishing them?

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

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.)

* Can I play Marathon over the Internet?

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

* Can I play Marathon over a modem?

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:

* What's a good ftp site for Marathon stuff?

Well, I'm biased...

The acknowledged mecca for all things Marathon is AMUG, the Arizona
Marathon Users Group. Their ftp server is usually (not always, but
usually) the first place Marathon stuff shows up on the internet.
Organized (hmph!) stuff can be found at

and new stuff that hasn't been moved over (generally the stuff you want
RIGHT NOW) can be found at

However, support for Marathon on AMUG has gotten quite poor in the last
six months, and 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 AMUG's Marathon Central:

and several pages with a significant amount of unique file content are
    Contains the home of MaraOS, a Marathon file manager, as well as some
    very well-done homegrown maps and some films. 
    Contains lots of stuff, on a nice fast connection. A bunch of good
    films can be found here. 
    A few nearly indispensable utilities for mapmakers, and some nice 
    maps, too. 
    Lots of films, of varying quality

And finally, let's not forget Bungie's own site:

http:/   and

Good for the demo (M1 or M2), some cool beta versions of M1 (hidden in
a file called Holiday Music), and a bunch of other random stuff.

All these, and many more, are listed in Appendix 1.

* What's available in terms of editors?

Depends on what kind of editing you want to do, and for which game. All
version numbers listed here are valid as of February 21, 1996. All
files are available at the HyperArchive NorthWest, and most are
available elsewhere as well.

For Marathon 1: 

Editor Type     Product (most recent version)

Map Editor      Pfhorte (1.0d25) 
                  Most useful interface 
                Mia (1.0b19)
                  "Cleanest" (tends to make more bug-free maps) 
                Marathon Map Editor (1.0d7) 
                  Last updated almost a year ago

Shape Editor    Pfhred (1.3) 
                  Lots of unique features, but still buggy
                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 Editor  Physics Model Editor 1.1 
                  Nice, and the only one

Utilities       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 resource for a new
                  Marathon scenario 
                Shape Shuttle (1.0b1) 
                  Can make patches (but nothing else) 
                Marathon Sound Transporter (not numbered) 
                  A pretty interface for sound patches

Documentation   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

For Marathon 2

Editor Type     Product (most recent version)

Map Editor      Pfhorte (2.0a10) 
                  The only editor currently available. Still in alpha
                  development (read: not feature complete and buggy) but
                  still quite powerful

Shape           Currently no shape editors exist

Physics         Alchemist (1.0b3) 
                  By the same guy who made the M1 Physics Editor

Utilities       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 0.3 
                  Gives you lots of info quickly on M2 maps

Documentation   Pfhorte 2.0a9 Guide (1.7) 
                  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)

* How do I use this 3rd party Map/Physics Model/fucking thing?

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

Physics Model

(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'd really like to play maps that are designed after real places. Do
you know of any?

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 From
descriptions refer to pages at the HyperArchive.

From Large maps (a-m):
    Kill this thing

From Large maps (n-z) 
    Oh Pfhuck 
    Rumba Office 
    The Woolen Mill 1.1

From Small maps (a-m) 
    Chuck's Maps

From Small maps (n-z) 
    UCSC Hahn Student Center

From Combo Packs 
    Hutch v1.0.1 
    Madd Ox/Hijacker

From M2 Large maps: 
    Stardate 9508.18

* I have a PCI mac, and every shapes patch I download crashes my
machine. How can I use these?

Okay, since there are only two M2 shapes patches (and only one of these
is publicly available), 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

* How come lots of map crash on my 68K mac? Can I stop this?

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.)

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."

* How come my net-games keep fragmenting and is there a way to cut
down/prevent it?

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

Strategies for minimizing the problem:

-Stick with maps that don't have huge amounts of open space (where you
 can see a lot)

-Be sure everyone waits a few seconds at the start of a game, so that
 everyone has a chance to join properly

-Let the slowest machine do the gathering (This is sort of a last
 resort, since it will slow down overall net play speed)

Other possible reasons for fragmentation:

Multiple versions of the game are in use (say, one player is using 1.1,
because the mouse control is better, and the rest are using 1.2).
Solution: Standardize.

Not everyone's using the same physics model. Solution: Standardize
(including on nothing).

Someone's got a modified app/shape/sound file. (This is a less common
reason, in my experience.) Solution: Standardize. (Seeing a pattern

Network traffic (non-marathon) is heavy. Solution: Tell everyone on
your LAN to quit it, you're playing an important game.

* How come certain key combinations don't work?

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?

* How come the manual says Marathon 2 does 16-bit sound, but that
option's always greyed out in the prefs dialog box?

Three possible reasons.

1) You haven't allocated enough memory to Marathon.

2) You tried the Sneak Preview before installing the full version. The
   prefs file names for these two apps are the same, and the full 
   version will run fine off the sneak preview's prefs. (Did you need to 
   enter a serial number when you played the full version for the first 
   time? That should have clued you in...) The sneak preview was not 
   capable of 16-bit sound, so the option was permanently greyed out.

   Toss your prefs, enter your full serial number, and the option should
   become available again.

3) You don't have SoundManager 3.1 installed. (To recap, you need a
   minimum of v3.0 for M1 to play music, and 3.1 for M2 to play 16-bit

* How come I can't make films off of saved games?


(That can be translated as "I don't really know, but my guess is, it
was too hard for Bungie to make it work.")

€Is there a way to make films of later levels? 

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.)

* I can't get Music to work! What am I doing wrong?

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:

-Do you have QuickTime v2.0 or higher and Sound Manager 3.0 or higher

-Do you have QuickTime Musical Instruments installed?

-Is the Music checkbox in the prefs dialog greyed out? (Try giving
 Marathon more memory.)

-Still greyed out? Have you allocated any sound channels (same prefs

-Have you allocated enough memory to Marathon? (In the Finder, click on
 the Marathon App (once), then select Get Info. If you set the
 bottommost number to 5000K or higher, you should have enough memory 
 (in most situations) to play music.)

-From Matt at Bungie: RAM Doubler (aka Satan-In-A-Box(TM)) will
 occasionally keep the music option dimmed even if you have all the
 requisite extensions and memory.  If you're using it, turn it off.

-If your karma is so bad that after all this, it's *still* not working,
 then just grab a CD with appropriately dark music, toss it in your CD
 player, and fire up Marathon.

* I followed the instructions in the manual, but I couldn't get the
real-time mic to work in M2? What's going on?

It's a bug. It'll get fixed, one of these days...

* Everyone else seems to be able to use the mic in M1, but I can't! Why

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.

* How do I change views in net games/films?

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 two programs
that you might want to check out. 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 was created by the
same person, and it's 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.)

Both of these tools can be found on the Utilities page of the
HyperArchive NW.

Start with this one: it has links to almost every Marathon site around:  or

    almost every downloadable file available for Marathon, links
    lots of files, links, local maps
    many marathon pages
    files, links
    files, links, discussion pages  or"
    tons of info about Marathon's background
    Bungie's home page
    info on netlink
    general info, links and
    Map of the Month pages
    general info, links
    info on M1 aliens
    files, links, local maps, Pfhor Anatomy page
    Marathon Magazine
    Mia Tutorial (old)
    Search the Marathon Map Makers Guild mailing list (down often)
    demos, files, links
    info, files, links (somewhat out of date)

    Ydnar's Pfhactory page
    Bach's pap/utilities page
    FrigidMan's maps page
    Ben Matasar's maps page
    Jim and David's Marathon Maps page
    Mad Hackerz maps page
    Harry Hahn's map/utilities page
    Mike Neylon's map page
    Durandal Map Maker's Club page
    Kelly's map page
    Coon's map page (old)
    Josh's map page
    Go wif Jeza page    
    Canyonlands page
    Bob World HQ page
    Devil in a Blue Dress page
    Fusion works
    Marathon West page
    Operation Tantalus page
    Specuthon page
Did I forget you? Mail you URLs to me! <>

The following people have contributed to this document, either by 
submitting questions or answers. If you feel I've left you out,
email me. (Jeff R.) (aaron sommer) (Dennis Taylor) (Zed) (Matt Banek) (Ben Chess) (gabe rosenkoetter) (Candace Sherriff) (Kay Chang) (george mcclelland) (Jack T. Lin)
Dan Martens (
rf reddig (

Last edited 22 Feb 1996 CAE
		  "Own what you do."