October 31, 2006


So I've never really been much of a gamer. I like Tetris, I played a lot of Mario back in the day, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is hands-down one of the greatest games ever.

I'm taking a class on Machinima right now, so I started looking more into games. I was talking with someone at work, and he hooked me up with original copies of Marathon.

Bungie Studios made Marathon in the early to mid-'90s, originally for the Macintosh. In a slight bit of irony, Microsoft bough them in 2000, releasing Halo exclusively (at least at first) for Microsoft's XBox.

Long story short, Marathon is a FPS that predates Halo. While its graphics are obviously inferior. its gameplay and even its storyline are very similar. But when I played it via OSX's Classic, but it ran really poorly. It was unplayable.

So imagine my excitement when I found Aleph One. An open-source, cross-platform engine that lets you play any of the Marathon games (there are three) as well as independently-created games. Mac OSX, Windows and Linux are all supported.

So how well does it work?

To put it simply, damn well.

I've only run it on a Mac (my Linux box is, sadly, dead), but it is amazingly fast. My Powerbook and my G5 at work play it equally well, as does a Quicksilver G4 here at the office. Network play is awesome and really easy to use. The install (like I said, I only did this on a Mac) was a breeze, and even installing the provided hi-res textures was pretty easy.

Not often that I get excited about a video game, but here I am, excited.

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