Favorite level in each Marathon game

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Post Sep 25th '12, 23:21

I thought I'd try starting another one of those 'favorite' topics just for fun. The question I'd like to ask is what is your favorite level from each Marathon game you've played (including fan-made ones) and why?

To start off the talk, I'll list my personal favorites.

M1: Bob-B-Q
This level has some pretty good lighting and nice architecture. I love the cross-shaped doorways. Combine that with a quirky, fun tune (What About Bob?), tricky combat, and a very Marathon-ish feel, and you get a very nicely done level. If I play it again, I'll probably get a very nostalgic feeling. Who knows.

M2: We're Everywhere
Yes, it's sewage. So what. It's got brilliant architecture, a nice big feel, and it's got nice pacing. Not the toughest combat around, but it's still enough to keep you on your toes. Also, I've played it a lot. That makes it nostalgic.

Infinity: You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!
Tough combat, nice architecture, very KTA-ish, pure mapping poetry. Okay, carnage-filled poetry, but poetry nonetheless. The Vidmaster version is especially tough and fun. The first time I tried the Vidmaster version (mind you, I was being a Spazeroid and playing on Kindergarten), it gave me a nice challenge. Fun. And the snarky terminals just seal the deal.

Aeon: Rise and Fall of Dugit
Awesome little tidbit of carnage-filled joy. That one sentence basically wraps this map up in a nutshell. I do admit being dropped into a battle right off the bat was a bit annoying, especially since you barely have enough time to get your wits about you before that Hunter on the rock takes off a bit of your newly-found 3x health. Ugh. Still, the pacing gets better as soon as you get your bearings.

Now, I'd like to bring up some honorable mentions.

M1: Ingue Ferroque, The Rose
Ingue Ferroque has some very nice action in it. Recently, I tried just skipping straight to Ingue Ferroque on Kindergarten. I managed to beat the level, but it was tough and, at times, annoying. The Rose is very nostalgic for me; I know the overall layout of the level very well, and that opening bit is just so iconic of M1 for me.

M2: If I Had a Rocket Launcher..., All Roads Lead to Sol
If I Had a Rocket Launcher... would've gotten my favorite spot if it weren't for the horrible texturing. Still, I guess that's a feature of all M2 Pfhor maps. Oh well. All Roads Lead to Sol is fun and very reminiscient of Try Again from M1; Lava, Juggernauts, some Hunters, etc.

Infinity: Aye Mak Sicur, By Committee
Aye Mak Sicur is an impressive level. By far the most massive and also the longest. It may be a chip-and-switch-hunt, but it's a good chip-and-switch-hunt. By Comittee is kinda fun, and it has some sadistic anti-BoB humor in it too. [MGrin]

Aeon: Asphodel Meadows, Frameshift Mutation
Asphodel Meadows is impressive and kinda fun, but nothing special. Same goes for Frameshift Mutation, I believe.

So, that's my take on the matter. What's yours?

Cheers,
Perseus
Powerful experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Sep 25th '12, 23:37

I love every map in Marathon Phoenix. No scenario will ever top the incredibly detailed masterpieces that A. Dolt churned out.


Unless Grendel happens to top Phoenix, and it's looking like it might.
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caffienemachine

Post Sep 26th '12, 00:49

caffienemachine wrote:I love every map in Marathon Phoenix. No scenario will ever top the incredibly detailed masterpieces that A. Dolt churned out.
Unless Grendel happens to top Phoenix, and it's looking like it might.

Heh, I don't think Grendel will top Phoenix. Aeon, just maybe. Phoenix, no. I know I can learn fast, but this is my first project. My first one. Ever. Ex Pluribus doesn't count, because it didn't even get to the mapping phase before I set it aside for later reference. So, yeah, Grendel will be another mediocre action scenario that just barely reaches completion. If it weren't for the plot, Grendel would be an absolutely pointless project. Oh well.

Cheers,
Perseus
Powerful experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Sep 26th '12, 03:01

PerseusSpartacus wrote:Infinity: You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time!
Tough combat, nice architecture, very KTA-ish, pure mapping poetry. Okay, carnage-filled poetry, but poetry nonetheless.


Pure poetry? It's one room. With infinite ammo and no cover. If that's what you consider poetry then I've written a poem I'm sure will impress:

Farts
Last edited by philtron on Sep 26th '12, 03:10, edited 1 time in total.
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philtron

Post Sep 26th '12, 12:16

M1 - Ingue Ferroque


M1 is my least favourite game in the trilogy, and to be honest I can't think of that many standout levels from the game. But this one certainly does stand out for me. Not really sure why, it's just a lot of fun and a really clever map, and provides a very epic climax.


M2 - Fatum Iustum Stultorum

So so many amazing levels to choose from. This choice could be different on another day, and I'd say most of the maps in the latter half of the game could take the throne here. But this one immediately sprung to mind as the most fun and interesting, tied in with the fact that it is such a pivotal point in the story. It' s so cool seeing the S'pht'kr for the first time, and the inclusion of the A-BOBs scares the shit out of you because they hadn't appeared in a while so they were a nice surprise. As well as that it has really nice mapping and the fact that it uses my favourite texture set in M2. All round a great level.


Infinity - Aye Mak Sicur

I imagine this one would get a lot of people's votes. There's not really anything you can say about it that hasn't been said over and over. It's just pure class. IMO the best level of the best game of the trilogy. Unlike the climaxes of the previous games, which were all guns blazing crescendos of violence, Aye Mak Sicur is relatively subdued, closing the trilogy in moments of eerie contemplation as to the player's very perception of reality. The architecture is so impressive and it just looks and feels amazing. There are some incredible levels in Blood Tides, some of my favourites would be Thing What Kicks, One Thousand Thousand Slimy Things and By Committee, but it's really hard to choose anything other than Aye Mak Sicur.


Evil - For This I Went To College

This scenario has some of my all time favourite levels, and particularly some of my favourite uses of the Jjaro texture set. We Be Ground Pounders and Code 42 are other big favourites of mine, but personally I think it's hard to top For This I Went To College. It epitomises Evil for me - it was absolutely terrifying the first time I played it. Not only are you reintroduced to those bloody devlins, but our old friends the A-BOBs make a surprise return as well. Really clever mapping requiring the player to traverse garbage disposal units and sewage pipes to get to key areas all add to the intrigue. Really it's just a great setting for a level - dark old spaceship, research laboratory, gigantic hanger, with lots of horrible monsters running around. I love it!


Rubicon - Core Wars

Aye Mak Sicur Part II. Again this would probably be an obvious choice for a lot of people, and I like it for a lot of the same reasons as I do Aye Mak Sicur. It's just a fantastic level in every way.



Phoenix - Neo New Mordor

Just amazing!
Last edited by CitizenKane on Sep 26th '12, 12:19, edited 1 time in total.
CitizenKane
Dublin, Ireland

Post Sep 26th '12, 16:54

@skraeling,

Okay, so the map itself isn't poetry. But the way the level plays out is nice. Just play Blue Danube over the top of it all, and you get an elegant ballet between you and the Pfhor. You dodging left and right with elegance, and the Pfhor shooting each-other in the backs. [MGrin]

Cheers,
Perseus
Powerful experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
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PerseusSpartacus
Somewhere in the 19th Century...

Post Sep 26th '12, 20:33

PerseusSpartacus wrote:@skraeling,

Okay, so the map itself isn't poetry. But the way the level plays out is nice. Just play Blue Danube over the top of it all, and you get an elegant ballet between you and the Pfhor. You dodging left and right with elegance, and the Pfhor shooting each-other in the backs. [MGrin]

Cheers,
Perseus


You're so dreamy!
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caffienemachine

Post Mar 25th '13, 12:14

There are a few standout levels in M2 and Infinity for me, but I was never so much of a fan of Marathon's levels. As for fan-made scenarios, the only one I have really experienced fully is Rubicon. Did a bit of TGI, Evil and Red, but never got fully invested in them. Anyway...

Marathon

Winner
Has to be "Bigger Guns Nearby" just the first time picking up that MA-75 and being able to go completely rambo was such a cool moment. Really loved the contrast of dank, dark corridors and eye-catching blues and greens in that level. Also, the first time I figured out how to grenade jump to get up to that napalm canister with the cloaked Sph't and the infrared goggles... Made me feel "supah-1337pro" when I was about 8.

Runner-up
I think this one is (controversially) Couch Fishing. It confused the hell out of me, but the feeling of being disorientated, immersed in darkness and with Pfhor on your tail somewhere was pretty awesome. Level design was top-notch, too. Don't know how hey pulled off that much complexity.

Marathon 2

Winner
"What About Bob?" no doubt. Because come on... Flooding an entire station with lava and watching it slowly chase up the steps behind you? That's awesome. Also, second pistol BoBs. We like this.

Runner-up
"Eat It, Vid Boi". Tons of enemies, tons of ammo, great secrets, good sense of scale... Everything is awesome - just no lava flooding, which puts it one step below "What About Bob?"

Marathon Infinity

Winner(s)
Just kind of any of the Electric Sheep and their partner levels. "Eat the Path" is especially great - love the symbolism and messages in that level... Kind of pushes the thought of the player past "run here, collect/shoot this, teleport here" and makes you question why you're doing it, what you're doing it for... That kind of stuff.

Runner-up
"Poor Yorick". Again, weapons are cool - especially the first time you get to see the KKV-7 - and the level design is just nice - has some kind of a flow to it and feels more organic and wild than many of the other levels, which I really enjoy.

Rubicon

Winner(s)
Again, with Infinity, the "Things May Happen" series with their accompanying levels. Same reasons as Infinity, too. Feels like they have more depth story-wise than what you do 'in the real world' of Rubicon. "Hard Vacuum" is pretty outstanding for this, too.

Runner-up
Prooooooobably "Honk If You're An Underpaid Cyborg" - it just feels like Marathon should. Dark, cramped air-venty stuff but with an equally good mix of open spaces. Also gains points for a tiny section where 'dynamic fluids' are kind of very roughly implemented (Yes, I have a thing for fluid simulations. It's not a problem. I don't need help. Honest.). Love "Five Finger Discount", too. Again, really authentic Marathon feel to it. Great sense that Haller's gone a bit mental and seeing his core with his chip has a kind of big reveal moment behind it much like when you see Durandal's core in "Hang Brain".

So hard to choose, though - I love it all really. Rubicon had an especially great atmosphere, though. Best scenario I have played thus far.
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EatThePath

Post Mar 25th '13, 12:44

Hm, such hard choices...

M1: Arrival. Strange choice, I guess, but it's just such a memorable way to start the game and hooks me in every time.

Runner-up: Try again. It's fun, is all.

M2: Fatum Iustum Stultorum, because a) so much ammo and easy-to-kill exploding BoBs, and b) Durandal is back, baby! [MGrin] It's always nice to see his snarky face again. For me, anyway.

Runner-up: Come and Take Your Medicine. I have never once done the quick and easy route on that level, it's just too much fun to run around and explore that huge map. ... well, also frustrating. But mostly fun.

Infinity: Foe Hammer, if only because I love taunting Tycho with my defection and then getting rescued from vacuum by Durandal. Also, the name is great.

Runner-up: Where are monsters in dreams ties with Ne Cede Malis, for sheer atmosphere in both cases. (Bonus: Least favorite is A Converted Fucking Church in Venice Fucking Italy.)
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SylithSenjak

Post Mar 25th '13, 17:57

Dude. You know abut the switch at the start of Converted Church right? The one that makes the level pretty much just a stroll through some lava?
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EatThePath

Post Mar 26th '13, 15:06

SQUIZZLER24 wrote:Dude. You know abut the switch at the start of Converted Church right? The one that makes the level pretty much just a stroll through some lava?


... apparently not. [MFrown]
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SylithSenjak

Post Mar 26th '13, 15:32

I dont remember the name of the 4th level of Marathon 1 but it hit me in the feels. Swirls was playing in the background and one of the terminals was about the CRIST orbiters and the declining condition of Mars.
Still Rampant
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Weezer14

Post May 19th '13, 03:43

Although Marathon 1's levels seem cheesy now, the game thrilled me when I played Marathon as a kid:

Defend THIS: The idea of being trapped in a room that slowly crushes you to death is terrifying.

Neither High Nor Low: I had just found out how the music was supposed to sound after enabling QuickTime Musical Instruments. I was about to see and hear the Pfhor ship for the first time, in all its full-screen low-res glory. Was not disappointed.

Ingue Ferroque: Favorite music. The organ solo starting at 3:56 is magic, a great swan song for the whole game.

Trivia: Every level in Marathon 1 has music in the key of C minor, with two exceptions:

* Blaspheme Quarantine: E♭ major (same key signature as C minor)

* Ingue Ferroque (last level): D major
joeyadams

Post May 21st '13, 04:37

Habe Quiddam made the runner-up for me. Great enemy placement, bad-ass music, scary time trials and lots o' buggers to practice the Zeus Class Fusion Pistol on.
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ftg.death.rhino

Post May 25th '13, 00:18

I just beat 2. I don't know what my favorite is, but I know which one is worst.
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craZboy557

Post May 25th '13, 04:59

craZboy557 wrote:I just beat 2. I don't know what my favorite is, but I know which one is worst.


Oh? Well, share!
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SylithSenjak

Post May 25th '13, 10:20

Well, I beat two, so I finally finished All Roads Lead To Sol.

Trying to beat that final room brought me to tears. And each time I died I had to slog through an easy but monotonous encounter.
It inspired me to post a question for the Bungie mailsack asking why they hate me.
Spoiler:
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Most of my suggestions for how to improve a game boil down to "It should be more like Halo."

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