Feeds
90%
Marathon

Marathon for iPad

'Frog blast the vent core!'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

iGamer To hear PC gamers talk about how first-person shooters don't work on consoles because the machines don't have mice, you'd think that's how it always was.

Not a bit of it. A lot of us playing in the early to mid-1990s on the first FPS games made do with just two handfuls of keys.

Marathon

Marathon: back from the early 1990s in all its eight-bit graphics glory

I say this because the proof that FPSes are not at all dependent on a keyboard-and-mouse combo is the number of such games running on tablets; and if they can be played successfully there, they can be played on anything, console, PC or whatever.

The latest to do so is Marathon - doubly relevant here because, although little known now, it was one of the pioneers of the FPS genre. Its developer, Bungie, went on to create a title you may have heard of: Halo.

Marathon

3D environments... 2D sprites

Marathon arrived in 1994 about six months after Doom hit the PC, and its lack of fame wasn't so much because it was under the shadow of its meatier, more visceral rival, but was rather a result of being released on the Mac.

Doom's real success lay in its multi-player mode. Marathon had that too, but it was really a single-player game, and one that lifted the genre right out of the 'kill monsters, find key, open door' gameplay with a developing storyline that was a worthy piece of sci-fi in its own right.

Marathon

Pfhor whom the bell tolls

You start off fighting alien slavers who are out to plunder your colony ship - the eponymous Marathon - of its human crew, the born on board BOBs. But soon you discover, by tapping into the ship's many display terminals - no cut-scenes in those days - that they've been called in by one of the ship's computer, and gone "rampant" - become self-aware.

The cliché is confounded when it turns out said mech, Durandal, isn't bonkers but has been in communication with one of the slavers' pawn races, the fnarr-ly named S'pht, and has set the whole thing up to bring them there because they can free Durandal from his integrated circuit bondage.

Marathon

Terminal case: the story unfolds through computer screens

In return, the S'pht get freed from Pfhor subservience, and you, a proto-Spartan cybernetic construct built out of the body of a long dead man - hence your ability to reanimate when 'killed', a phenonomenological paradox ignore by most games - prove to be Durandal's pawn to keep the Pfor off his back.

Which involves much bloodshed, dispatching Pfhor warriors, various slave races, damage Marathon defence droids and more.

Top three mobile application threats

Next page: Terror on Tau Ceti

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.