Engine differences between Marathon and Marathon 2

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Unless stated otherwise, these differences are believed to apply to all engines based on Marathon 2's code; in particular, Marathon Infinity and Aleph One.

Additionally, most of this applies to Marathon: Durandal, since its engine was written to emulate Marathon 2's gameplay as closely as possible.

  • New cosmetic features that were introduced in Marathon 2 include landscapes, ambient sounds, terminal picts, and scrolling chapter screens. M2's new gameplay elements included oxygen and health canisters, fences, liquids, teleporting monsters and items, the ability of the fusion pistol to blow up, and several new network gametypes. M2 also raised many of Marathon's engine limits, in particular raising the maximum number of polygons per level from 256 to 1024 and adding an additional weapon slot.
  • The formats of the game data files are incompatible between M1 and M2. Bovine is one attempt at a tool to convert some types of M1 files to the M2 format.
  • Grenade climbing is much more difficult in M2 (though still possible, as demonstrated by a number of films on The Marathon Vidmasters' Page).
  • The empty-the-clip cheat is only possible in M1.
  • M1 numbers its levels starting from 0 instead of 1. This can be observed in the level skip dialog box.
  • M2 introduced the Oath of the Vidmaster, which the player is instructed to take before using the level skip feature.
  • In M1, when you have a weapon with a partially emptied clip, you can replace it with a full one by picking up another weapon of the same type. In M2 and later, weapons on the ground are inert if you already have one (or two in the case dual-wieldable weapons).
  • M2 dropped support for in-game background music. However, this feature was later reintroduced in Aleph One.
  • M2 arranges HUD elements differently from M1, in order to leave more screen space for the player's view. Because of this, M1 scenarios' HUD graphics have to be redrawn in order to work in M2.
  • In M1, lava and Pfhor slime have no depth. However, dead bodies still vanish when they fall on them.
    • Additionally, in M1 the player takes damage whenever he's in a damaging polygon. In M2, the player only takes damage when partly or completely submerged in a damaging liquid.
  • In M1, the game automatically pauses while the player is reading a terminal; in M2, the game continues running in the background, so the player can potentially be attacked while reading.
  • In M1, when a player has two of a dual-wieldable weapon and only has one equipped, pressing the "2nd Trigger" key both brings up the second weapon and (if it's loaded) fires a shot. In M2, the key only readies the weapon; it must be pressed again or held down to fire.
  • The voice chat feature is broken in M2.[1]
  • Levels designated "Exploration" work differently in M1 and M2.[2]
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