Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox Video
Posted By: Lion O CyborgDate: 2/26/21 9:40 a.m.

In Response To: Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox Video (VikingBoyBilly)

: Let me try and give a perspective from the other side of the fence. It wasn't
: as great as you think; at least, it didn't feel that way at the time. Only
: in hindsight do I fully appreciate how special Mac OS 9 and below were in
: the 20th century. The problem was that it was the 20th century.

: This might be a foreign concept for the younger babies of the new millenium
: to grasp, but back in the 90s, we didn't have much to do, and web 2.0
: wasn't realized yet (this forum is a living fossil of early web 2.0), and
: emulation of different environments was very young and virtually
: unplayable. I had a feeling of FOMO because it looked like a majority of
: state-of-the-art games were heavily focused on windows and there was a
: stigma about macs being no good for gaming. I think part of this stigma
: came from most school computer labs being filled with macs for some
: reason, and of course you wouldn't see games like Marathon in the school
: mac lab unless the staff were incompetent and there were some smart,
: sneaky kids. The TL;DR was there were a lot of edu-tainment games that are
: mostly forgotten now, but I can say they were more fun than the CD-i and
: Mario's handful of attempts at teaching typing and making you do homework.

: The Mac versions of Prince of Persia and Lemmings and Odell Down Under are
: the way I remember them, and seeing the DOS variants (and hearing the
: General MIDI) feels weird to me. It was a lot like the SNES vs SEGA
: situation; one was legitimately better hardware in almost every way, but
: the other had BLAST PROCESSING, and despite all our obsessing over
: realistic graphics, you need a good processor to play an action-focused
: game and enjoy it. It took some years into the second half of the 90s to
: get some mac ports of Quake, Descent, and whatever else you want to name,
: but before then, the iconic game that came from Mac's exclusive library
: was Myst (and the other broderbund/cyan games nobody talks about like
: spelunx, riven, cosmic osmo, and the manhole, which I played a lot more of
: because I couldn't get anywhere in Myst). And it capitalized on Mac's
: strengths and weaknesses: an Extremely good looking adventure game that
: didn't even attempt to pretend to have fast-action gameplay. In the
: Microsoft corner, on the opposite end of the spectrum, was Doom.

: I think Marathon and Pathways into darkness did a good job at finding a
: balance between those extremes, and you all already played them so I won't
: explain how they do it.

: Once upon a time, my dad got a new G3 and a ZIP drive, and they had a few
: games on them; two of these were demos of Marathon and Pathways into
: Darkness.

: And having been exposed to them at a time "before they were cool"
: (right around the summer of '95 when I begged dad to buy this new game
: called Earthbound), I can agree that "ahead of their time" is an
: apt description. I mean that in a good way, but also, I was too young for
: these games. I would spend a lot of time wandering around and getting
: lost, and for some reason that fabled "15 aliens" closing screen
: never got me to beg my dad to buy it, and it wasn't because of the $70
: price tag because I had no concept of dollar value back then.

: It's not that I didn't like it; I would spend many bored afternoons wandering
: around the vents in Arrival and my cousin would attempt to scare me to
: break my concentration by immitating the aliens' sounds or repeating
: "they're everywhere." Did you know there was a BOB on arrival? I
: remember that and I was so confused that I didn't see any of them until
: The Rose when I finally got the full version. It might sound stupid now,
: but it was hard for me to figure out how to finish those levels. A major
: roadblock was that platform bridge thing on Blaspheme Quarantine, which
: they made Map 3 for some reason because I guess they wanted Durandal to
: make an appearance, but that was a huge difficulty spike. I think I
: finished it eventually, and I think the ending was just the same
: "order the full version" screen. PID's demo was another beast
: that took me until, humorously, 2012 I think.

: Several years later in highschool, I was at a friend's house playing halo,
: and he pointed at this mi=agnifying-glass-looking symbol and say
: "that's a marathon thing," and I was like "oh, Marathon. I
: remember that." The next weekend I let him play that marathon demo
: and he didn't seem impressed by it.

: Years later Aleph One would come out and I'd get to play it for free, and
: dosbox existed so I could play a lot of the dos games I missed out on. And
: Man, Marathon was way more than I was expecting, and I can confidently say
: I needed time and adult-level intelligence to appreciate the narrative
: (and 5-D space) bungie crafted in it.

: So it was ahead of its time (as was Earthbound), but there's a happy twist;
: it's getting better with age. And as much as I'd want to be an purism
: elitist and rant at all the newbies about how it was in the old days, I
: really think aleph one making it more accessible and attracting new fans
: is a good thing.

: And DOSBOX introduced me to stuff like Commander Keen! But the mac os 9
: emulators aren't as on-the-money as dosbox, understandably because the
: environment is a lot different from DOS, and while you can play the games
: archived on macintosh garden on basilisk II or sheepshaver, it has
: problems. More than I even know about, but one that I think I can wrap my
: finger around is the sound. The quicktime midi player had a neat feature
: of letting the software have their own samples for each instrument, but it
: doesn't really work well on the emulators. There is a noticeable
: difference between the .oggs on aleph one and how you hear the midis
: playing marathon in sheepshaver. It just doesn't sound the way it's
: supposed to. Lemmings, confusingly, will have music playing in some levels
: and not others, and hexen fails to play any tracks at all. A guy trying to
: recreate a hexen soundfont based on the mac music is having a lot of
: trouble working with those sample files and recreating them. I really wish
: the classic OS environment and its games could be perfectly preserved, but
: apple doesn't seem to want to support their legacy content and are pushing
: for new technology (and to empty our wallets). Fun fact: I took my old,
: dead CRT imac to a FIRST robotics group hoping one of the mentors and I
: could fix it, but they ended up throwing it away thinking it was garbage,
: so apple is doing a good job pushing this mindset on the populace.

: So in TL;DR, I appreciate the immense amount of love and work that went into
: making aleph one, and the PID OS X port. There was another game called
: realmz that got ported to OS X, but I never got the .mod music to work on
: it and now it won't start at all thanks to outdated X11 and I don't think
: the author is going to update it. So this, and a lot of other games, are
: lost to time for the time being.

: Thank you for putting up with my long ramblings, and now I need to go to bed.

That's fine, thank you. :)

On the subject of alternate perspectives, I was a mid 90s kid who only grew up in the 2000s so I actually missed out on quite a lot of mainstream games from that time in favour of other 90s ones and a few 2000s ones, not using the internet at all nor comprehending it until I started printing out Stellalune's Tomb Raider 3 walkthroughs in 2004 or 2005. I just discovered wikipedia in 2006 when looking up The Raccoons (it aired fresh on Bommerang that autumn, same time 2007 and has never aired in the UK since) and only used the internet more come 2008 when I discovered youtube back when it didn't suck and Zero Punctuation.

A lot of the games I missed out on were DOS classics too. I only heard of the OS long after I found I couldn't play Tomb Raider 1 natively on the family desktop anymore. I did see my dad play Doom 1's second & third episodes, but my first Doom game when I was that young was the original Doom 3, and I only beat it and the classic Dooms years later after Marathon in 2012. (I was on BFG Edition by that time)

My first shooter was actually Half Life 1 on CD bundled with Opposing Force (if you don't count flight sims like Freespace or Dungeon Keeper's first person mode) followed soon after by Halo 1, Unreal 1 and Quake 2. Since I was used to Tomb Raider 2+3 and Half Life 1, I just assumed that all those fancy 3D enhancements in 2.5D shooters like Build games was simply the done thing, especially as I had no concept of technical limits at the time. That made my foray into 2.5D shooters and fully 2D games that weren't edutainment graphic adventure games for Windows 3.1 a bit of a learning experience.

I knew about consoles thanks to my buddy across the street's Playstation but I was unsure about them as seeing Tomb Raider 2 on his PS1 with alien controls was weird to me, though I loved my cousins' Speed Freaks game on the same console (imagine Mario Kart meets Snoopy) so I was strictly a PC gamer until 2002 when we all got an Xbox for Christmas.

When I saw 2.5D shooters for the first time, it wasn't Doom or Marathon or Rise of the Triad but Duke Nukem Advance on GBA of all things, plus my brother's copy of Wolfenstein on GBA. That led to me playing Duke Nukem 3D in 2009 or 2010 (no games I played ever had the parental locks active), and then tracking down the original 2D games on DOS long after that, followed closely by Commander Keen and Jazz Jackrabbit.

Speaking of elitist puritans, I'm glad Marathon is getting better and slowly more easy to work with with age. After all, the Doom fanbase has its share of toxic purists too, if the Steam forums for Doom 64 and Eternal are anything to go by and that didn't stop some great mods on the engine like BDED, Brutal Doom 64 or Hedon. The plus side of Marathon currently being harder to work with is at least there's no Terry WADs, I'll say that much. :)

But to come back to the stigma against Apple and their older stuff:

Old Windows stuff also gets the shaft and we don't have a DOSbox like simple solution to fix it: some games I loved as a kid including Sesame Street Search & Learn with Sherlock Hemlock (only experience I have with Sesame Street besides a similar but crappy Elmo game), Tonka Construction and a lot of Magic School Bus games no longer work on modern windows. I don't have Virtual Box on my new laptop anymore nor would I know how to set up a decent VM for them. God help me if I decide to play Armed & Delirious one day...

Other old windows games do work but run way too fast, causing an untold number of glitches (like Pro Pinball Timeshock's GOG version) and of course there's on-disk DRM that prevents them running too, like my CD copy of Free Running or Sonic R.

Sorry for rambling myself but I thank you again for your look on the subject. :)

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Pre-2004 Posts


Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox Video *LINK*Tim "Mordeir" Branin 2/23/21 6:48 p.m.
     Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoSharkie Lino 2/23/21 7:01 p.m.
           Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoGodot 2/23/21 9:52 p.m.
                 Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoSharkie Lino 2/24/21 3:29 p.m.
           Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoVikingBoyBilly 2/24/21 4:40 a.m.
                 Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoSharkie Lino 2/24/21 3:32 p.m.
                       Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoGodot 2/24/21 10:01 p.m.
                             Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoLion O Cyborg 2/25/21 7:20 a.m.
                             Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoSharkie Lino 2/25/21 12:09 p.m.
     Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoGeneral-RADIX 2/24/21 2:30 p.m.
           Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoVikingBoyBilly 2/25/21 2:34 a.m.
                 Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoGeneral-RADIX 2/25/21 2:57 a.m.
                       Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoLion O Cyborg 2/25/21 7:44 a.m.
                             Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoVikingBoyBilly 2/25/21 6:12 p.m.
                                   Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoLion O Cyborg 2/26/21 9:40 a.m.
                                   Old Mac EmulationDurandal_1707 3/1/21 4:29 p.m.
                                         Re: Old Mac EmulationVikingBoyBilly 3/21/21 2:23 p.m.
                                               Re: Old Mac EmulationDurandal_1707 3/21/21 6:36 p.m.
                                                     Re: Old Mac EmulationVikingBoyBilly 3/22/21 4:36 a.m.
                                                           Re: Old Mac EmulationDurandal_1707 3/22/21 3:11 p.m.
                                                                 Re: Old Mac EmulationVikingBoyBilly 3/23/21 7:42 a.m.
                                                                       Re: Old Mac EmulationDurandal_1707 3/23/21 8:11 a.m.
                                                                             Re: Old Mac EmulationDurandal_1707 3/23/21 8:12 a.m.
                                                                                   Re: Old Mac EmulationVikingBoyBilly 3/23/21 3:31 p.m.
                                                                                         Re: Old Mac EmulationDurandal_1707 3/23/21 4:59 p.m.
                                         Re: Old Mac EmulationVikingBoyBilly 9/24/23 4:58 a.m.
                                               Re: Old Mac EmulationBob-B-Q 9/24/23 5:45 a.m.
                                                     Re: Old Mac EmulationVikingBoyBilly 9/24/23 7:02 a.m.
                                                           Re: Old Mac EmulationBob-B-Q 9/25/23 7:12 a.m.
                                                                 Re: Old Mac EmulationVikingBoyBilly 9/26/23 4:33 a.m.
                       Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoSharkie Lino 2/25/21 12:14 p.m.
                             Re: Marathon mentioned in Outside Xbox VideoGeneral-RADIX 2/26/21 4:40 a.m.
                                   Most "failed" media......Durandal_1707 3/1/21 4:30 p.m.
                                         Re: Most "failed" media......General-RADIX 3/3/21 9:00 a.m.
                                               Re: Most "failed" media......Bob-B-Q 3/4/21 7:53 a.m.

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