New M1 Conversion

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Post Dec 5th '11, 23:19

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have never played the original Marathon. I've only played it's conversion, M1A1. Now, since the release of Aleph One 1.0, I'm ready to play the games (again) as they would of been played more than a decade ago, but M1 is still a conversion.

I see on http://marathon.sourceforge.net/games/marathon.php that it says, "This release is a meticulous conversion of the original game to the Aleph One engine, with many details and battles restored that were missing from the earlier "M1A1" release."


What's some differences between the Original Marathon, M1A1, and (most recently) M1? I'm looking for the most authentic gameplay and I'm curious to know the differences between them.
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ODST276
USA

Post Dec 6th '11, 00:41

ODST276 wrote:I'm ashamed to admit it, but I have never played the original Marathon. I've only played it's conversion, M1A1. Now, since the release of Aleph One 1.0, I'm ready to play the games (again) as they would of been played more than a decade ago, but M1 is still a conversion.

I see on http://marathon.sourceforge.net/games/marathon.php that it says, "This release is a meticulous conversion of the original game to the Aleph One engine, with many details and battles restored that were missing from the earlier "M1A1" release."
What's some differences between the Original Marathon, M1A1, and (most recently) M1? I'm looking for the most authentic gameplay and I'm curious to know the differences between them.


I have the original marathon (but I never beat it); What differences I remember of it is a massive HUD that takes up half the screen, some differences on Colony Ship for Sale and only being able to have one fist, and that the music sounded sillier because my computer's midi instruments were older. I remember it was still pretty much the exact same thing, with the exact same monsters.

My only gripe with M1A1 is the way the fog kind of looks yucky on levels with windows (I didn't mind the PiD opening). I think when Treellama says they did everything to make it true to the original, he meant it!


EDIT: Oh yeah! And another difference the original M1 had is that when you pressed the button in the middle of the menu, it made the waahhh sound, now I think it just does nothing.
Last edited by Shadowbreaker on Dec 6th '11, 01:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Shadowbreaker
Melbourne, Victoria

Post Dec 6th '11, 04:28

M1A1 has various differences to the original to name some

1. The HUD is different resembling the of M2/Mâ?? with horizontal energy and oxygen bars as opposed to vertical ones in the original Marathon
2. In the original on the main screen you can click the on the Marathon symbol it plays the spooky startup sound.
3. The PID startup. This has been removed in the new M1.
4. Player has only one fist in the original not two.
5. The levels in the original were numbered from 0 not 1.
6. The fan made levels Flashback and A Good Way to Die... weren't there, nor was the level Grendel lives recreating the early marathon beta.
7. PID and early Marathon beta graphics were not in the original.
8. The level Mars Needs Women was spelt in English not Spanish in the Original.
9. Polygons in the original could be set as Glue, Superglue and Glue Trigger, I am personally not sure what they do, but this is not supported by the M2 engine although M1 attempts to emulate them.
10. BOBs had a soft death animation in the original this is absent in M1A1.
11. There are extra or modified secret terminals in Cool Fusion, Colony Ship for Sale and Ingue Ferroque (I think thats all although there may be others) in M1A1 that weren't in the original.
12. The seven switches puzzle in Colony Ship for Sale Cheap is made easier and in my opinion ruined, it might be frustrating but it is supposed to be hard that is the point and what Bungie intended.
13. There were no liquids at least not in the modern sense in original Marathon but rather polygons that did damage, Minor Damage Polygons which tinted the screen orange and the player had to be standing the floor to receive damage and Major Damage Polygons which tinted the screen green and the player simply jumping over the floor would receive damage. The major damage effect is emulated in M1.
14. The cluts for some monsters are different in M1A1 for some monsters than the original Marathon e.g. the unused clut for the Hulks in the original Marathon has them as orange while M1A1 has them as a dark pinkish brown.
15. The alien platform sound in the original marathon is missing in M1A1, I think there may be other sounds missing or different too.
16. There are some minor differences in the map architecture itself for some levels (eg. vertices not in the exact same place) not sure on the details though.
17. The end screen in M1A1 combines the two end screens in the original, this is fixed in M1.

There are probably others too but these are the ones I can think of.
Last edited by Tfear7 on Dec 6th '11, 04:30, edited 1 time in total.
Tfear7

Post Dec 6th '11, 12:40

Thanks for the replies, I'm now on The Rose and have found a few differences in gameplay.
Most notably the lack of the Pid openning in Arrival (which I thought that was okay).
I also saw the "transport platform" that's right in front of Arrival's transport terminal is about .1 higher than the floor.
I couldn't remeber the hidden room with the ammo cache being in M1A1, but I guess I overlooked that.
It seems that the npcs are at different locations on some maps.

Any thing else I should look foward to in the levels in front of me that wasn't in M1A1?

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that the sniper's view (F7) wasn't in the original.

About these notable differences, do you think they're for the better.
Last edited by ODST276 on Dec 6th '11, 12:52, edited 1 time in total.
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ODST276
USA

Post Dec 6th '11, 15:40

Many of the differences are very subtle, and very numerous.

Just in Arrival:
  • The door behind you where you start wasn't making a locked sound
  • The fighters at the bottom of the stairs at the start didn't always activate properly if you went to the observation room and looked down at them, due to superglue not working in Aleph One
  • The compilers in the maze weren't properly engrossed in the terminals they were in front of, and would end up wandering around if they heard you fire a gun; emulating this behavior required 4 or 5 iterations to get right
  • The half door near the start wasn't making a door obstructed sound
  • M1A1 had too much magnum ammo in one location, where Marathon only had two clips
  • M1A1 was missing one magnum clip in another location, having only two instead of three
  • There was a missing fighter in the opening fight sequence(!)
Shadowbreaker would be about the last person on earth to notice this stuff, but Hamish did. And it goes on and on like that for every level.
Last edited by treellama on Dec 6th '11, 15:42, edited 1 time in total.
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treellama
Pittsburgh, PA

Post Dec 6th '11, 18:24

Treellama wrote:Many of the differences are very subtle, and very numerous.

Just in Arrival:
  • The door behind you where you start wasn't making a locked sound
  • The fighters at the bottom of the stairs at the start didn't always activate properly if you went to the observation room and looked down at them, due to superglue not working in Aleph One
  • The compilers in the maze weren't properly engrossed in the terminals they were in front of, and would end up wandering around if they heard you fire a gun; emulating this behavior required 4 or 5 iterations to get right
  • The half door near the start wasn't making a door obstructed sound
  • M1A1 had too much magnum ammo in one location, where Marathon only had two clips
  • M1A1 was missing one magnum clip in another location, having only two instead of three
  • There was a missing fighter in the opening fight sequence(!)
Shadowbreaker would be about the last person on earth to notice this stuff, but Hamish did. And it goes on and on like that for every level.


Just to add to this list:

Bob in the maze removed
Platform in the room overlooking the hangar fixed so it is no longer a suicide trap
Formatting of Trash terms in maze corrected (in fact all the terminals are now displayed correctly. thank you Mr. T)

The Compilers in the maze were very tricky and in truth they are not all perfect. We'll probably get it right on the 7th iteration. ;)

Cheers
Hamish
Godot

Post Dec 6th '11, 22:03

Treellama wrote:Many of the differences are very subtle, and very numerous.

Just in Arrival:
  • The door behind you where you start wasn't making a locked sound
  • The fighters at the bottom of the stairs at the start didn't always activate properly if you went to the observation room and looked down at them, due to superglue not working in Aleph One
  • The compilers in the maze weren't properly engrossed in the terminals they were in front of, and would end up wandering around if they heard you fire a gun; emulating this behavior required 4 or 5 iterations to get right
  • The half door near the start wasn't making a door obstructed sound
  • M1A1 had too much magnum ammo in one location, where Marathon only had two clips
  • M1A1 was missing one magnum clip in another location, having only two instead of three
  • There was a missing fighter in the opening fight sequence(!)
Shadowbreaker would be about the last person on earth to notice this stuff, but Hamish did. And it goes on and on like that for every level.


Well, since I see there's many slight differences, what about the somewhat big changes (i.e. battles, architecture, extra terminals)?

Since M1 is still a conversion, I know there will always be differences from the original, but how possible is it to play the original on A1 in the future, since it is, of course, based on M2's engine?
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ODST276
USA

Post Dec 9th '11, 16:14

Tfear7 wrote:2. In the original on the main screen you can click the on the Marathon symbol it plays the spooky startup sound.
3. The PID startup. This has been removed in the new M1.
4. Player has only one fist in the original not two.
5. The levels in the original were numbered from 0 not 1.
6. The fan made levels Flashback and A Good Way to Die... weren't there, nor was the level Grendel lives recreating the early marathon beta.
12. The seven switches puzzle in Colony Ship for Sale Cheap is made easier and in my opinion ruined, it might be frustrating but it is supposed to be hard that is the point and what Bungie intended.
13. There were no liquids at least not in the modern sense in original Marathon but rather polygons that did damage, Minor Damage Polygons which tinted the screen orange and the player had to be standing the floor to receive damage and Major Damage Polygons which tinted the screen green and the player simply jumping over the floor would receive damage. The major damage effect is emulated in M1.

I loved that VWAAAAAH sound!

I won't miss the PiD startup, because that was confusing to those who don't know the Bungie legacy. (Not that I think Marathon is attracting tons of new players these days, but still!) But if the Demo level is gone, that's sad. My most memorable Marathon experience is still first playing the demo with my roomie in the computer lab and surprising him with the rocket launcher I discovered. Is it available separately?

Things like one or two fists don't bother me. You can't hit any faster with two, so it's cosmetic, and using both fists makes more sense. I guess on the scale of being "true" in the in-game (is it logical/sensical to do this) sense to being "true" in the real world (is it accurately recreating the engine gameplay) sense, I lean slightly more toward the former. (This is why I wouldn't mind seeing balcony/bridge support, or a "realistic physics" option.) Similarly, using liquid/lava instead of damaging polygons makes more sense. I think M1 would have been done that way if the original engine had supported it. After all, that's why Bungie added it to M2 right? It's a change, yes (and for the better), but not a gratuitous one.

I remember the switch puzzle being very hard in the original. I don't know if it was easier in the conversion because it was, or just because I was more skilled at solving it.

I think I'm going to update the pkgsrc package to include the updated M1A1 for being closer to the original, but I might include both versions (original and hi-res/XBLA graphics) of the other two. Both versions are still available, right?
ChristTrekker

Post Dec 9th '11, 16:37

ChristTrekker wrote:I think I'm going to update the pkgsrc package to include the updated M1A1 for being closer to the original, but I might include both versions (original and hi-res/XBLA graphics) of the other two. Both versions are still available, right?

They are still available, but you could also just remove the hi-res plugins, and redistribute. That way you can distribute a small, updated M1A1 too, assuming the reason for including both versions is download size.

You can always use the original graphics in all three of the new zipfiles we distribute by turning the plugins off in Preferences.
Last edited by treellama on Dec 9th '11, 16:38, edited 1 time in total.
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treellama
Pittsburgh, PA

Post Dec 9th '11, 20:35

Treellama wrote:They are still available, but you could also just remove the hi-res plugins, and redistribute. That way you can distribute a small, updated M1A1 too, assuming the reason for including both versions is download size.

You can always use the original graphics in all three of the new zipfiles we distribute by turning the plugins off in Preferences.

OK, it's clear to me that I'm not quite sure how the design of the whole thing works. I didn't realize replacement graphics were implemented as plug-ins. [MLaugh] Maybe the best option, then, would be an "install note" that "the 1990s graphics versions" can be played by disabling plug-ins in Preferences. I thought there would have to be two installations of the game data in order to have both original and hi-res.
ChristTrekker


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