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The most basic weapon in the Marathon trilogy is the player-character's fist. It does minimal damage, but it is the only player accessible weapon that does not require ammunition. Obviously, you start with your fist in your arsenal and can never lose it, making it a weapon that is always available.

Unlike Marathon 1, Marathon 2: Durandal and Marathon Infinity allow you to use both of your fists to punch. Using two fists does not increase the rate of punching except in some scenarios such as Eternal, however, and you cannot use more than one fist at a time.[1]


Technical information

Damage statistics

  • The Fist does 12 to 14 hit points' worth of Fist-type damage when standing perfectly still.
  • The Fist does 50 to 60 hit points' worth of Fist-type damage when running.


  • The Fist takes 7 ticks, or 7/30 of a second, to ready.

Rate of fire

  • The Fist's attack takes 18 ticks, or 18/30 of a second, to completely finish.


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Walk up to an enemy (or BoB) and punch them.

Non-combative uses

Punching switches will trigger them, some switches even need punching to activate them. Punching circuits will destroy them in the same way that shooting them with a shotgun or grenade will. In Marathon 2: Durandal and Marathon Infinity all switches and circuits are able to be punched. This was intentional in order to provide players the ability to strictly comply with the Vidmaster's oath. There are some switches in Marathon that are inaccessible from the ground, requiring alternate means to trigger them.

Due to the fist's minimal damage, punching allies that are clogging passageways gives them incentive to move and does not waste ammunition.

Attacking another player with your fists is technically combative, but it is mostly used to insult opponents.

Advanced tactics

Punching while running will do more damage than standing still. A tactic often seen by Vidmasters is to weave in and out in a pattern that couples successive punches with the speed increase of running by timing the punch to land when the player is moving faster. There is no loss in the rate of hits but the damage can increase significantly.

Every single alien attack in the Marathon trilogy can be successfully dodged given the correct pattern of movement. The hardest to avoid are troopers and enforcers, but the basic principle is to begin the weave described above and adjust your movement to begin circling around the alien. When everything is timed correctly, you can successfully dodge or interrupt their attacks taking minimal damage.

Getting close enough to begin the weave requires developing the skill of dodging projectiles. For more information about defeating particular aliens please view the articles on those aliens.


Main article: Vidding

The Vidmaster's oath specifically mentions that players calling themselves Vidmasters must punch every switch. After complying with the original rules, Vidmasters often provide extra challenges for themselves and one of these challenges is to complete levels using fists only.

Due to particular level designs, some switches in Marathon 1 are not able to be punched. In the case of these switches, Vidmasters are allowed to throw the switches using other means.

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