Prime Target

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Prime Target
Action-Packed 3D Mystery
Engine: Modified Marathon 2
Levels: 28 solo, ?? net
A1-compatible? No
Developer: Wizard Works, Macsoft
Initial Release: 1996
Latest Release: 1996
Status: Complete
What's New:

Prime Target is a computer game which runs on a modified version of Marathon 2's game engine, similar to ZPC and Damage Incorporated. Prime Target is set entirely in Washington DC, although many of the settings are fictional.



The Player is a retired secret service agent, who now runs a security consulting firm in Washington DC. On election eve, 2004, he is summoned to an office building by his friend, Senator Catherine Mayfield, when she claims that the building is swarming with "well dressed men" with "guns in their pockets".

During the first level, the player finds the murdered Catherine Mayfield, and thus embarks on a huge mystery alone to find out who is responsible and what ulterior motives the murders had.

Quoted from the Prime Target manual: "A premise of the Prime Target story is that money buys influence in Washington. Many of the clues in Prime Target are based on actual events of this nature."


Unlike most Marathon scenarios and the trilogy, much of the gameplay focuses around searching dark office buildings and subway tunnels for clues and Access Cards; rather than being informed of a specific objective and being teleported out after it is done. The clues include radio earpieces, video discs (Can be viewed with your trusty Vidmaster (tm)), but mostly scraps of paper and strewn documents.

The player can travel back to any level he pleases, like in Pathways into Darkness, thus allowing consistent gameplay and a lot of non-linearity.

Usually the player is not presented with ammunition or health, infact there are no health or armor rechargers in the game. Instead, the player must slay enemies and rob their bodies, sometimes decisively saving the items they drop for later. Prime Target allows for enemies to drop a number of different items, as opposed to Marathon, which only allows one.


In Prime Target, new weapons have a tendency to be presented to the player without him directly needing to kill anything, although picking up the weapons of fallen enemies gives additional ammo.

  • The Knife: The Knife is the player's backup weapon, and doesn't require ammo to use.
  • Baretta: The player starts out with this weapon. He is only able to wield one Baretta.
  • Sawed-off Shotgun: The player is also only able to wield one of these. The shotgun works similarly to the Marathon shotgun, it fires an array of bullets and is effective against individual targets.
  • Machine Pistol: The "Loki Arms Mark V", quickly fires highly accurate bullets, which effectively stun individual targets at close enough range.
  • Flamethrower: The flamethrower fires burning globs of propane which explode upon impact.
  • Liquid Nitro Gun: The liquid nitro gun freezes targets, long enough for "one well-placed pistol shot". Frozen targets, including yourself, take much more damage and are smashed to pieces when killed like this.
  • Proxy Mine: The proximity mine is laid on the ground, and makes a beeping noise until someone steps on it, it then explodes.
  • Missile Launcher: Fires homing missiles at targets. The missiles are not capable of killing the player in a single shot, if he has full armor and health.
  • Electric Bolt Gun: The most powerful and rare weapon in the game, this fires balls of lightning that roast almost any target in one shot, and bounces off to hit others.
  • Bandages: Small kits dropped by many enemies, which restore a random amount of health.
  • First Aid Kit: First Aid Kits are larger, orange versions of Bandage Bags, which restore the player's health to 100.
  • Mega First Aid Kit: Mega First Aid Kits are even larger, green versions of Bandage Bags, which restore the player's health twice the normal maximum.
  • Armor: Armor is usually dropped by security guards, and restores about 50 of your armor. Armor reduces the damage done to the player when he is hit.


The enemies in Prime Target are all human, and most are supposedly bought up by the antagonists in the story. Most enemies have successively more powerful ranks, denoted by their colors.

  • Suit: The Basic baddie. Armed with a baretta, and not much else. Drops Baretta and bandages.
  • Security Guard: The most commonly seen enemy. They are much better shots and much stronger than the suits. Drops Baretta, Armor and bandages.
  • Skinhead: It is debatable as to whether these enemies serve the cause of antagonists in the story, but they still get in the way nonetheless. They are the violent gang members of Washington DC, and all wield shotguns and can be easily detected by their annoying snickering and rattling chains. Drops shotguns.
  • Fire Mercenaries: Guys armed with flamethrowers and unattractive mullets. Drops flamethrowers and bandages.
  • Ice Mercenaries: Tightly clad women armed with liquid nitro guns. They can be detected by their loud movement sounds, caused by their high heels. Drops liquid nitro guns and bandages.
  • Musclehead: As the manual describes them; "A shaved gorrila, in a suit, with a machine gun... Eesh, I shoulda stayed in bed." Drops Machineguns, bandages, and first aid kits.
  • Ninja: Very rare enemies that can take a lot of damage and disappear into a column of smoke. They throw shuriken, and can poison the player. They don't drop anything.

In addition to these, there are also rats and fish that act as living scenery objects.

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