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A security guard was accompanying a group of space colonists on their trip on the huge space ship, the Marathon. Suddenly, aliens of the Pfhor race attack the ship and massacre the colonists. What's worse, the aliens damage the omniscient super-computers on Marathon. One of them is heavily damaged, and the other becomes insane. Caught in the midst of the battle between the two AIs, trying to stay alive in the onslaught of the Pfhor, the protagonist begins a desperate fight for survival.

Marathon is a first-person shooter, notable for pioneering the "free look" feature (moving the camera in all directions with the mouse). There is a variety of weapons that serve the hero in battle. Different types of enemies (organic or mechanical) take different amounts of damage depending on the weapon. The protagonist is also able to fire from two weapons (such as pistols) simultaneously. Shooting enemies is not the only thing to do in the game; it is possible to communicate with the damaged AIs of the ship by looking at messages they send you via computers. The story is unraveled primarily through those messages.


Marathon iPad Loading level
Marathon iPad Title
Marathon iPad Shields are running low
Marathon iPad Help - virtual joystick aiming fire

Promo Images

Marathon Screenshot
Marathon Screenshot
Marathon Screenshot
Marathon Screenshot

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The game was released as freeware along with the rest of the Marathon trilogy (see Links/Searches).


Halo can in many ways be seen as a spiritual successor to the Marathon series; a way of bringing their Marathon innovations to a bigger crowd. The following Halo features stem directly from the Marathon series:
  • Dual wielded weapons with dual firing modes
  • Weapon clips
  • The alien pistol, SPNKR rocket launcher, Needler, magnum megaclass and assault rifle are all direct descendants of Marathon weapons, right down to the names.
  • Rogue/Rampant AI constructs
  • Alien technology not even the aliens know what is (The Forerunner in Halo; The Jjaro in Marathon)
  • "Releasing an ancient terror from the stars upon the universe by activation of ancient alien artifact" (The Wr'knkacnter for Marathon, the Flood for Halo)
  • The UNSC in Halo is a redux of the UESC of Marathon's United Earth Space Council / United Nations Space Council
  • Also the Marathon logo is used repeatedly in Halo


Marathon is the first first-person shooter released to incorporate a number of features, such as the ability to look and aim up and down, rooms over rooms (though no true bridges), dual-trigger weapons, 4D space, health recharges which were fixed into walls and activated rather than picked up, eight-player deathmatch, the ability to see your opponents' weapons in multiplayer, voice communication and an easy way to save recordings of any game.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #64 overall among the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #44 Top Game of All Time
Information also contributed by Ace of Sevens, Andreas JS and PCGamer77

Related Web Sites

me3D31337 (62165) added Marathon (iPad) on Jul 20, 2011
Other platforms contributed by Unicorn Lynx (181593)