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Super Marathon is a CD-ROM-based first-person shooter video game for Pippin consoles. It was developed by Bungie and distributed by Bandai Digital Entertainment in 1996.[1]

FeaturesEdit

Super Marathon choosegame

An example of Super Marathon's use of the Pippin Launch interface.

Super Marathon bundles Pippin versions of the first Marathon and its sequel Marathon 2: Durandal. The player can select which of the two games to play upon launch.[2] The real-time 3D graphics push the capabilities of the Pippin hardware,[3] with the first Marathon producing higher frame rates with the tradeoff of a smaller interface window at a lower resolution setting.[2] Some of the levels in Marathon 2 were modified to conform with maps from the Windows release. The font size used by terminal screens was increased to improve legiblity on television.[4]

However, the first Marathon is unable to reproduce the music tracks from the original Macintosh release as QuickTime is not included on the CD-ROM due to memory limitations;[4] Quicktime 2.0 or 2.1 was required for MIDI support to work correctly in Marathon.[5] Both games also lack the multi-player functionality of their original respective releases.[3]

DevelopmentEdit

Super Marathon (Pippin)

Super Marathon (Pippin)

Recorded from an actual Bandai console.

Jason Regier, a senior programmer at Bungie, was responsible for most of the porting work. Even with reduced features, the game barely fit into the Pippin's default memory configuration and a memory leak in the Pippin OS would cause the console to restart instead of returning to the launch screen.[4] Adding a memory module to the console enables features which are not available by default, such as additional sounds.[6]

Alexander Rosenberg stated that Bungie was interested in adding Japanese support, but was unable to do so because the company received "zero technical support" from Bandai and never received a Japanese keyboard despite repeated requests. According to Rosenberg, the Bungie staff relied on personal contacts at Apple for assistance. The use of some early Pippin controller APIs that predate Apple's InputSprocket prevent Super Marathon from being able to run on a Macintosh.[4]

CollectibilityEdit

Bungie West shelf

Copies of Super Marathon and other games at Bungie's west coast office.

Because Bungie went on to develop a sizeable following for its Halo series of games on the Xbox platform, the Pippin @WORLD release of Super Marathon has become a sought-after item for retro game collectors.[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. @WORLD Software - Games, Bandai Digital Entertainment USA. Archived 1997-04-04.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Super Marathon (Pippin) by Die-Hard Gamer, YouTube. 2010-12-12.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Video Game Bible 1985-2002, p.61.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Marathon's Story - Subject: Re: super marathon by Alexander M. Rosenberg, Bungie.org. 1998-08-03.
  5. Marathon's Story - July 27, 2011 (Wednesday) by Hamish Sinclair, Bungie.org. 2011-07-27.
  6. Adding Memory to the Pippin (French) by Pierre Dandumont, Journal du Lapin. 2016-07-30.
  7. The original Bungie Trilogy: A Marathon retrospective by Brittany Vincent, Shacknews. 2014-09-19.

External linksEdit