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. The real-time 3D graphics push the capabilities of the Pippin hardware, with the first Marathon producing higher frame rates with the tradeoff of a smaller interface window at a lower resolution setting. 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.
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; Quicktime 2.0 or 2.1 was required for MIDI support to work correctly in Marathon. Both games also lack the multi-player functionality of their original respective releases.
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. Adding a memory module to the console enables features which are not available by default, such as additional sounds in Marathon 2: Durandal.
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 CD-ROM relies on an early AppleJack input device driver that predates Apple's InputSprocket API, preventing it from being able to run on a Macintosh.
Super Marathon became available in the United States through Cyberian Outpost with the launch of the Pippin @WORLD console. However, according to Matt Soell, director of customer support, Bungie themselves only had copies on hand for archival purposes and never received quantities for their own web store.
In Japan, demo versions of Marathon and Marathon 2 were included with the Pioneer MPC-LX200 series, which was released on July 1, 1996. Pioneer, like Bandai, was among the few Japanese companies that obtained a license from Apple Computer to build Macintosh-compatible systems.
Because Bungie went on to develop a sizeable following for its Halo series of games on the Xbox platform, the Pippin @WORLD version of Super Marathon has become a sought-after item for retro game collectors.
- ↑ @WORLD Software - Games, Bandai Digital Entertainment USA. Archived 1997-04-04.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Super Marathon (Pippin) by Die-Hard Gamer, YouTube. 2010-12-12.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Video Game Bible 1985-2002, p.61.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Marathon's Story - Subject: Re: super marathon by Alexander M. Rosenberg, Bungie.org. 1998-08-03.
- ↑ Marathon's Story - July 27, 2011 (Wednesday) by Hamish Sinclair, Bungie.org. 2011-07-27.
- ↑ Adding Memory to the Pippin (French) by Pierre Dandumont, Journal du Lapin. 2016-07-30.
- ↑ LX200発売 (Japanese), Pioneer. Archived 1997-01-29.
- ↑ The original Bungie Trilogy: A Marathon retrospective by Brittany Vincent, Shacknews. 2014-09-19.
- Blasts from the Past: Super Marathon at Bungie.org
- Marathon Trilogy at Wikipedia
- Super Marathon at GameFAQs
- Super Marathon at Giant Bomb
- Super Marathon (Pippin) at MobyGames
- Super Marathon at Pfhorpedia, the Marathon Wiki
- Super Marathon at Universal Videogames List
- Super Marathon at Video Game Data Base (Portuguese)