Marathon Spoiler Guide

[About the MSG] [General Tips] [Marathon]
[Marathon 2] [Marathon Infinity] [3rd Party Maps]

General Tips


FIRST AND FOREMOST: THERE ARE NO SECRET CODES FOR MARATHON! Or for any of its sequals, for that matter. Bungie specifically removed these, as it can make these games too easy to beat. If you absolutely need to cheat, you can grab a saved game modifier from, and use that to adjust your statistics.

Assign the Caps Lock key as your run key. Always keep it down except when doing some fine maneuvering. If you do this, you may want to switch your action key (default 'tab') to the control key, such that it stays close to your weapon keys.

Learn to Grenade Hop (also called Jumping). This is very useful when trying to access a place that is too high off the ground to reach normally, as well as for crossing lava. The easiest way to do it is to face where you want to go, give yourself some running room, look down, then run at the point where you want to go, firing a grenade at your feet just before you reach a wall (or whatever). You will take some damage, but you should find yourself at the upper level. Make sure you don't fire right on top of the wall, because you will most likely die. Instead, , you want to time it to be just before you reach the wall in order to take minimal damage. You can practice this on the second level, 'Bigger Guns Nearby.'

Grenade Walking is also important. In this case, you usually just need to get up to a high step. Back up to the step, aim down, and fire.

You can also you SPNKR missiles instead of grenades...they'll take you much higher and farther than grenades, but are also much more deadly if mistreated.

Grenade Climbing is a difficult trick, and requires either full shields or invincibility, and a full load of grenades. You also need a place that is too high for a single grenade, and a good amount of straight wall that leads to that place. (A good example is the Deprivation Chamber on 'Never Burn Money'). Get back as far as possible from the goal along the wall (the wall needs to be perfectly straight). Then turn into the wall slightly (just a tap on the turn key). Aim down, and begin to run forwards. Launch a grenade. It should hit the wall and you will take some damage, but you'll be flying. As soon as your descent starts, fire another grenade down at the wall. Continue until you reach your goal. This is a very difficult maneuver to accomplish.

You can also reach high platforms with either the flamethrower or the alien gun in the low gravity levels (the Pfhor ship levels).

Exploding Bobs: cunning. Daring. Deadly. They are innocent colonist that have been converted by the Pfhor into exploding bombs. These can be tricky the first time you run into them, but there are some easy steps that you can take to distinguish between a normal Bob and the exploding Bob. First, normal Bobs will always say 'They're everywhere!' (well, assuming you haven't played with the sound file), while the exploding Bob will shout 'Thank God, it's you!' Secondly, exploding Bobs are always green. Finally, if shot with the pistol, exploding Bobs will spill yellow blood, while normal Bobs will bleed red. Thus, if a Bob is in question, fire one shot at it and look at the color of blood that spurts out.

On the lower skill levels, there is a limit to how much ammo you can carry (these are for Normal gameplay):

	50 	.44 Magnum clips
	25	Fusion batteries
	15	MA-75 clips
	8	MA-75 grenade packs
	4	SPNKR Missiles
	3	Napalm Canisters
Remember that you can also have a full load in any weapon, so theoretically, you have one more than what's listed above. It would seem that with higher difficulty levels, the above limits do not apply.

Some doors, such as ones on 'Couch Fishing', 'Cool Fusion' and 'Colony Ship...', can be propped open. These door are activated by a switch, and will close after a certain amount of time. However, if you deactivate the switch just before the door finishes opening, the door will stay in that position indefinitely.

From Jason Martin Levitt comes a simple methodology for approaching any level:

     1. Search for switches and room entrances by using
        map mode.
     2. Flip all switches.
         -If a switch stays on after you've flipped it, don't
          bother it again.
         -If a switch turns itself off soon after you
          flip it, that means either the change
          was permanent, temporary, or  reversible.
          a. permanent change -- the switch is permanently
             off -- you can't turn it on again.
          b. temporary change -- An event occurred that
             you need to deal with immediately. Generally,
             this means you need to run to some nearby
             place to take advantage of the change immediately
             after hitting the switch.
          c. reversible change -- For example, hitting the
             switch causes a pedestal to lower itself and
             stop. Hitting the switch again makes the
             pedestal go up and stop. Sometimes, you have
             full control in these situations i.e. you
             can stop the pedestal at any point.
     3. Look for switches in unreachable places on the walls.
             Use grenades or rocket launchers on those.
             [Ed: The Zeus Fusion Pistol will also activate some
                  buttons, but only on overload (hold down alternate
                  weapon button (default 'option') and wait a second).
     4. Look for entrances in unreachable places on the walls.
             Ways to get to unreachable entrances:
             a. Jump to them by using the "run" modifier key.
                Often, switching to map mode before making a
                jump makes it easier to see where you're headed.
             b. Use pedestals if they're available by jumping
                across them. Usually, you must be running to
                accomplish this.
             c. Use a grenade or rocket to boost yourself
                up by aiming it at the ground and firing.
                You do this by backing yourself up to the ledge,
                aiming at the ground, and firing.

On levels where you have friends, such as Bobs, friendly defense drones, and friendly S'pht, if you follow these around, you'll sometimes find additional secret areas.

You can abort looking at a terminal by pressing 'ESC'. This may be helpful if you want to grab more ammo or shields before leaving a level.

If you are looking for an alien weapon from one of the enforcers on the later levels, then put away that flame thrower! It'll toast both the alien AND the weapon. A SPNKR missile will also do the same.

Richard S. Keirstead describes a method for getting outside the Marathon or Pfhor ships:

	You'll need the following things to do this: a saved game of 
	Eupfhoria, and your cheater pumped up a bit so as not to be distract by 
	things coming after you. You also need to have a "short" physics model, 
	one in which the player's physical profile is that of a midget and your 
	line of sight is about knee-height.

	Enter this level then find your way to the octagonal room at the bottom 
	right of the map. Leading to this room is a gray-walled tunnel that 
	appears to be shaking heavily. This is also the same place an alien 
	teleporter drops you at one point. In the octagonal room, you can see 
	the Marathon floating in space through the slightly V-shaped window.

	Now you're "short" and can walk up onto the ledges of pattern 
	buffers and computer terminals. You can also walk up onto window sills. 
	This particular window appears to have no glass in it, you can shoot 
	right out into space.

	Just run at the window and in your stunted profile, you'll go right 
	through the window and begin walking toward the Marathon. Go ahead and 
	walk right up to it . . . it gets bigger and more pixelated as you get 
	closer. It is really huge. Go ahead and fire some weapons to see what 

	Now turn around a look back at the Phfor ship. I won't tell you what 
	you see.

	Bungie never expected you to be so short and there are other places 
	here and there in the game where there are no panes of glass in the 
	windows of either ship.

Marathon 2: Durandal

All of the above tips also work for Marathon 2, unless otherwise mentioned.

A player can carry 80 shotgun cartridges, maximum (save for Total Carnage, where that limit is infinite.)

Besides the weapons listed above, a shotgun blast can also activate (or destroy) a switch, as well as a single shot from the alien weapon.

Remember, you now have 2 fists to hit with. Bring up the second fist with the secondary weapon key.

The fusion pistol now will beep as you overload it (holding down the second firing key). The longer you hold it down, the higher pitch the beeping will be. Unlike in the demo, the pistol will only discharge once it overloads (in the demo, it provided a large blast that could be used for propelling oneself).

If you are stuck underwater, you can swim by continually pressing the run key. While you are swimming, you can move in any direction with the normal movement keys. This also works in lava, but you won't last long. When you reach the surface of the water, you'll jump out approximately halfway, allowing you to scramble out of pool and onto land. (In the demo, you had to repeatedly press the run key to do this). If you are having trouble getting out of the water (or other liquid), release the swim keep momentarily, then reengage it. You'll pop out a bit higher from the water and hopefully onto land. You can also move backwards out of the water, firing a weapon behind you to give you a bit more push out of the water (the Magnum works well here)

When underwater, the only weapons that work are your fists and the fusion pistol. However, the pistol doesn't fire a shot, but instead 'electrocutes' the surrounding area, damaging you and others nearby. A fusion pistol on overload will cause more damage and a larger area.

When fighting half-in the water (or other liquid), make sure your keep your gun pointed a tad upwards. Sometimes (with varying liquid levels), the shot from your gun will impact right there in front of you, and you'll take damage. Holding the gun slightly raised will help prevent this.

Weapons and ammo can be teleported in, thus it is necessary to explore every possible space in each level. Once you find an ammo stash, it may be worth the trouble to leave the stash after clearing it out, then coming back later, at which point more ammo may appear. An example of this is the shotgun cache on the first level.

Besides weapons and ammo, monsters can also teleport in, which can lead to nasty ambushes. However, this is always preceded by the alien chatter that is heard when an alien activates. Keep your ears open for this sound, and it may save your life.

Let the new improved Bobs fight your battles for you. They have good aim, and generally will go for the tougher aliens. Although they may die by doing this, your job will be easier.

If you are short Magnum ammo, kill a Bob: they'll drop an ammo pack (for the blue shirted variety) or another Magnum (for the dirty brown shirted).

Be careful when shooting through trellises and other such walls. Your shots may accidentally hit the trellis. Thus, avoid the use of grenades or SPNKRs if standing right in front of one.

The assimilated BOBs are back. As before, they are always in green. As before, they shout unexpected words ("Blast the vent core" is quite common among these types). They will never use their gun (either on you or others). They bleed yellow blood. Thus, the task of ferreting out the good BOBs from the bad is as easy as in Marathon. HOWEVER, there is a big difference when they die... not only do they still have a blast radius, but this occurs when the body hits a wall, not when they die. This can be very annoying... if you have two of the assimilated BOBs following you down a narrow hall, and you shoot the first one, its body can fly back behind the second one and then explode, sending the second one (now dead) flying towards you and causing you damage. Always leave enough space between yourself and the BOBs to make this happen. Also, you can use the assimilated BOBs as a weapon by killing one in the middle of a pack of other baddies.

As stated in a term on "We're everywhere", the new fusion pistol is VERY effective against Pfhor machinery...use it against the Hunters, Troopers, and the tank guys. Also, in the demo films that are played in the release version, you'll see a good technique with the pistol... using the overload shot as often as possible. However, be warned that the Hunters, if killed by a plasma pistol, will generally explode with a small blast radius that's quite painful.

M2 tends to run short of ammo. For that reason alone, you'll need to practice the technique of getting the baddies to fight each other. This is usually done by running circles around a group of baddies and/or running through the middle of two groups. You hope that a stray shot that was meant for you is taken by another baddie, which will then turn on the original firer, allowing battle to ensue. Once you have several baddies in this situation, its best to flee for cover until the sounds of battle have died out. Then return to the scene to finish off the remaining creatures. This works well with any projectile fighters, including Troopers, Hunters, Enforcers, and the tank guys.

There is a new type of Hunter in the game...its blue and MUCH larger than normal hunters. When it dies, it has a good sized-blast radius, and it will kill you if you are too close. Therefore, make sure you stay at a distance from these guys.

A general tip...when you drain water from one place, it usually has to fill up in another location.

Use underwater fights as much as possible. Most monsters become ineffective underwater, especially Troopers and Hunters, and getting oxygen on most levels is a simple task. Although it will take a while to kill many creatures with fists, its worth the trouble.

Save the power up canisters for as long as possible. For example, in "If I Had a Rocket Launcher, I'd Make Someone Pay", it is very important to pick up the 3x canister just before you continue past the airlock. As these (usually) don't regenerate, it important to make them count.

The Alien Gun is much more powerful that before. The main trigger releases a single shot of intense heat. The alternate trigger sends out two shots. If you hold both triggers down at the same time, you will get *three* shots from the weapon. A nice thing to have when there is an approaching front of Phfor. In order to get the alien weapon (beyond picking one up, that is), is to kill an Enforcer using your magnum, MA-75 bullets (not grenades), WSTE-M shots, or the plasma pistol. Any other method of killing one of these will destroy the alien gun as well.

Marathon Infinity

As before, all the above tips with Marathon and Marathon 2 work in Marathon Infinity.

The plot of Marathon Infinity is set up in a non-linear fashion; that is, unlike in Marathon or Marathon 2, where you visited every level, in order, it is possible with Marathon Infinity to miss some levels, or to replay some levels over. The following is a rough map of the level map; within the specific tips for each level, there is additional info on the progression of the story from that point.

(Letter's indicate `endpoints'..just move to the line that begins with that letter to follow the map)

1 -> 2 ---------> 3 ----> 4 --> 5 (A)
       \       /    \        /
        -> 26 -       -> 27 -
(A) 5 ----------> 6 --------> 7 -> 8 -> 9 -> 10 -> 11 (B)
     \             \       /
      -> 11 (B)     -> 28 -
RAGE (continued)
(B) 11 ---------> 12 --------> 13 -> 14 -> 15 -> 16 (C)
			        \             \       /
				 -> 6 (A)      -> 29 -
(C) 16 ---------> 17 --------> 18 -> 19 -> 20 -> 21 -> 22
     |\             \       /                           |
     | -> 6 (A)      -> 30 -                           23
     \                                                  |
      --> 12 (B)                                       24
                                                       25 -> END
                                                       31 (VidMaster's
                                                        |  Challenge)
	                                               33 -> END  

The KKV-7 10mm SMG (SMG for short) is a very nice weapon, providing the speed of the MA75 in vacuum or underwater enviroments. It's bullets can pass through water, so you can shoot at enemies through the water or other liquids.

You can carry 8 KKV-7 drums at all difficulties, expect for Total Carnage and its infinite limit.

*Sometimes*, the fusion BOBs will drop their guns, though the conditions are similar to how Enforcers will drop their alient weapons. However, this is not a guarentee on most levels.

Note that with the ability to includes different physics models on each level, there can be various loyalities of the enemies for each level. At the beginning of each level, watch for who attacks you, and who attacks your enemies. However, the Fl'ckta (the sewage beasts) will usually attack anyone, and thus, can be shot down quickly and easily.

With the non-linear format of Marathon Infinity, you'll find that you'll start several levels with no ammo and low health. This is unavoidable. Thus, saving ammo is not as important as it was with Marathon or Marathon 2. In general, there is a sufficient amount of ammo to use for Marathon Infinity.

Michael K. Neylon /
Last Modified: Monday, October 01, 2007