I think Jared is a time traveler. On last week’s podcast, The Bearded One asked us what happened to Marathon for the iPad. We reported on that back in February, but the project seemed to have gone dark. And here, just yesterday, Bungie out of the blue issued an update of sorts and interviewed the designer behind the project. Turns out that things have been going well enough. The iOS Marathon port will hit the App Store for $0 as soon as it clears certification, which it appears, presently, to be in.

If you’d like to know more about the designer, check out Bungie’s interview with him. It has a lot information about his experience with the Marathon series, development of the port, and even has some advice for would-be programmers.


Development iPad game screenshot. More here.

I’ve plucked this notable out of it just for you. As most of you know, Marathon is an old FPS built specifically for a mouse and keyboard. It took a lot of revisions, but it appears as though the nut for this game has been cracked.

There are still a lot of controls. For now, there is a left thumb virtual joystick for moving, the "action" button is tucked under. On the right thumb, you have primary and secondary fire buttons; the weapon switch buttons are at the bottom.

There are a few hidden buttons as well. Touching the HUD motion sensor brings up the auto map. The left and right sides of the ammo display switch weapons and the center toggles between the ammo and inventory displays. The original Marathon didn't have an aiming reticule, and by default the iOS version sticks to that, but it can be enabled in the options.

There is also an option to tap-to-shoot, but two finger tap for secondary fire didn't make it into the final build. Sorry to the lefties out there, a future release will have adjustable controls!

In other news, Bungie is releasing the source code for its final title in the Marathon series, Marathon Infinity. It’s now “open source,” so I suppose there’s a chance that we could catch it on the App Store, too! That’s hot.

Have a look at some Mac Marathon gameplay while you wait.

  • Anonymous

    I never played the original.  Don't think I played a game associated with Bungie until Oni. But it wasn't till Halo: CE that I actually acknowledged their existence! 

  • Andy Raczynski

    i think the first game that made be say Bungie is great was their Myth series.  I can still see those dwarfs tossing Molotov cocktails at scarecrows :)  the physics in that game was astounding for the time.  My opinion of them has been going downhills since then, never really cared for Halo since i'm not into multiplayer (and the singleplayer portion of those games sucked at best).

    • nbast

       Marathon is MUCH older than Myth.  It was a more advanced contemporary of DOOM.

      • Adams Immersive

        And the Marathon saga began with the related Pathways Into Darkness. The only one I ever played. Time for me to catch up and play Marathon at last!

      • Mr. Reeee

        Pathways, wow, that was great! I played that quite a bit and Marathon, too. 

        The horsepower in the iPad is huge vs. Macs of that time. Can't wait.

        Speaking of classic Mac games, I'd still LOVE to see Hellcats and Hellcats Leyte Gulf released for iPad! 

      • Adams Immersive

        And the Marathon saga began with the related Pathways Into Darkness. The only one I ever played. Time for me to catch up and play Marathon at last!

  • Jonathan

    You can play the game on your Mac or PC via the Aleph One open source builds:

    http://marathon.sourceforge.net/

    Fwiw.

  • Aaron

    Path ways into darkness was great as well

  • Dmarcoot

    Oh if someone would do this for myth i would be in heaven. Myth could work great with gesture controls

    • Anonymous

      But only the Bungie Myths. Those later ones (by a different co.) didn't work so well.

      • Frumius

        That would be Myth III.  Both Myth I and II were Bungie and are alive and well, online multiplayer and everything.  Check out mariusnet.com .  You can play them AND Marathon on their servers, just not on iOS (...yet...?).

    • http://twitter.com/spongefile Tina Aspiala

      Take 2 owns the Myth franchise now! And according to this http://toucharcade.com/2011/06/21/take-two-on-tablets-the-economic-meaningfulness-of-ios-games/ they're not going to touch iOS.

      MEH. Opportunity utterly wasted by licensing crap. They buy the franchise and then just sit on it , letting it stagnate forever. So many awesome UI possibilities, argh!

    • http://twitter.com/spongefile Tina Aspiala

      Take 2 owns the Myth franchise now! And according to this http://toucharcade.com/2011/06/21/take-two-on-tablets-the-economic-meaningfulness-of-ios-games/ they're not going to touch iOS.

      MEH. Opportunity utterly wasted by licensing crap. They buy the franchise and then just sit on it , letting it stagnate forever. So many awesome UI possibilities, argh!

  • http://rebelord.wordpress.com Rebelord

    Finally, the legend of Bungie games moves onto the iPad with the help of a devoted developer. I've been playing Bungie games since Pathways into Darkness, and I've been completely hooked ever since.

    Now if I could just stop having nightmares of those floating blobs in those dark corridors.

    Now a new generation will learn the of the wonderful terror of Bobs screaming, "THEIR EVERYWHERE!"

    The one feature I hope would be supported is the video playback. It's always awesome when you can get your gameplay captured, and show everyone how much you pwn.

    • Anonymous

      The first time that I heard a BOB scream, "They're everywhere!," in the first level of Marathon was absolutely the most pants-crapping moment of my gaming life. It didn't help that the crazy bastard was hiding in a bulkhead so you didn't even know where the screams were coming from.

      • http://rebelord.wordpress.com Rebelord

        I would have to say that I had a similar experience the first time I saw a "Hulk" stalking the hallways punching through organic objects similar to my genetic composition, and thought, "RUN!"

  • http://twitter.com/ManuelMonsterr Manuel Gomez

    Another Re-skinned/Copy version of Doom MEH take off your nostalgia glasses this is crap , pure crap EW!

    • Frumius

      Sounds like your nostalgia glasses are fogged!  Marathon was a vast improvement over Doom.   I suppose everything is a re-skin of Doom?

    • Jon

      Doom... yeah, no looking up and down (vidding in Marathon parlance), cruddy graphics, cruddy sound, cruddy gameplay and no story worth thinking about--run around shooting things brainlessly... yeah... Marathon was just a reskinned copy... yeah... right... Just play the game already, and you'll learn better. (Play Colony Ship for Sale Cheap in the M1 game for starters)

    • Anonymous

      Of course(!) Doom had the ultimate multiplayer maps, and those in Marathon were just a cut-down subset, no?
      That's why we never got to play 'kill the nazi with the swastika' with jetpacks. In Berlin waterpark.

    • Anonymous

      Most of the console FPS look like like reskinned Doom games with fancier graphics and guns that get larger each time as they're obviously running out of ideas.

  • nomster

    Oh wow - been waiting for this sort of news for ages. I Cannot believe it's going to be free. Marathon II and Marathon Infinity were all the more dramatic with a greater variety of weapons, so maybe they will be paid versions with the original acting as a taster?

    Will be nice to have that Marathon Icon on the home screen!

  • Shamu

    well it looks garbage to me, knowing bungie im sure it isnt. someone care to explain to a dumb girl whats so good about this?

    • Jon

      It's the story... You start off trying to save the colony and the star ship, but as the story goes on, it gets more complicated... There are three A.I computers helping to run the ship. It turns out not all is well in AI-ville. One, at least, seems to have gone rampant (a phenomenon which is explained in the game). You interact with these computers via computer terminals. You can see this toward the beginning of the video. It is wise to remember everything you read, and even things that seem rather meaningless or trivial can have significant impact later in a level, or even later in the game. I hate to give away the game, but you can find out _everything_ about the story line here: http://marathon.bungie.org/story/ (oh, and 7 is a significant number for Bungie) 

      The two follow-up games take place later, and take you deeper into the world of the alien race--the pfhor. 

      -Jon

    • Anonymous

      I like to think it's the immersion and atmosphere (yes, partly down to the storytelling). One of those games where everything has been thoughtfully considered and implemented.
      Admittedly, modern games are usually also about experiencing a story, so it's less unique than when released; it added the depth, story, and aesthetics of adventures like Myst to the 3D point-and-click evolution of shooters that Wolfenstein and Doom were.

      That the balance, level design, and storyline still hold up better than many modern games is testament to Bungie's work and skill.