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Pathways Into Darkness

Pathways into Darkness is a first-person adventure game for the Mac by Bungie (of Halo fame) that casts the player as a member of a U.S. Army Special Forces team on a mission to prevent an ancient godlike being from awakening in eight days and destroying the Earth. The team must enter a pyramid on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, reach the bottom level and detonate a nuke to stun the Dreaming God within, giving the Jjaro, a benevolent alien race, the time it needs to take more permanent measures to neutralize the threat.

However, during the team's deployment, the player character's chute fails to open, and the resultant impact knocks him out and scatters his equipment. When he comes to, he discovers that he is believed dead, and his team has entered the pyramid without him. Alone, and armed only with a flashlight and a survival knife, he must battle his way through the monster-inhabited pyramid, making his way down to the bottom to complete his team's mission.

Pathways into Darkness is notable for being the first texture-mapped game on the Apple Macintosh, as well as being considered the first true First-Person Shooter released on that platform. It was critically acclaimed, winning a large number of awards, and was Bungie's first major commercial success (it was the third-best-selling Mac game of the first half of 1994, after Myst and SimCity 2000).

In April 2013, a version running on modern Macs was released for free in the Mac App Store.


This video game contains examples of:

  • And I Must Scream: Death in the Pathways/Marathon verse is this. As the Nazis, explorers, and your fellow marines will tell you, when you die you are stuck in your body with very few of your senses left.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Used for much of the storytelling, with a special twist.
  • Armless Biped: The Headless. They consist of a gaping fanged mouth at about torso-level with a giant tongue waving around in the air, they bend over to vomit green brains at you.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The Cedar Box, which will duplicate any ammo you put in it over time.
  • Bag of Spilling: Due to the airdrop into the temple going pear-shaped (your primary chute doesn't open, and your secondary opens too late), you lose the bag of ammo you were carrying somewhere in the jungle, your M16 gets a bent barrel, and your Colt .45 is empty. When you finally make it to the temple a few hours later, all you have is your combat knife, watch, flashlight, and paper for maps.
  • Compound Title: Level "They May Be Slow…" is followed by "…But They're Hungry."
  • Deus Ex Nukina: Which leads to…
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The objective of the special forces team is to detonate a low-yield nuclear device on an Eldritch Abomination. Though to be fair, said device will not kill the abomination, just knock it out and bury it, buying Earth crucial time.
  • Drought Level of Doom: The first half the game, forcing you to use your knife to take down the weaker enemies.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Dreaming God.
  • Everybody's Dead, Dave: See how much you miss when your chute fails?
  • First-Person Shooter: The first from Bungie.
  • Fan Remake/Game Mod: Not for this game, but there's a Doom 3 mod that reimagines the first few levels up until you head underground.
    • The Mac App Store version could also be called a Fan Remake in that a fan did the work. However, it was ported from the original Mac release to Cocoa as a 64-bit app, with the original assets (sans one: the sound file), including the old application itself, being used.
  • Ghostapo: The player finds numerous skeletal corpses of a Nazi expedition to the pyramid back during World War II in order to recover the Dreaming God for use as a weapon, or other valuable and/or supernatural artifacts as a consolation prize. They provide an important source of exposition, as well the most frequent source of arms and ammunition.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: The Dreaming God is in a sleeping state (refered to in the manual as being the closest state to death such beings are capable of.) However, it is soon to wake…
  • Guide Dang It: The teleporter maze, among other things.
  • Have a Nice Death
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: One of the dead Nazis you encounter has forgotten everything except that death is cold.
  • Infinite Flashlight: Bad news: You have five days to complete your mission before The End of the World as We Know It. Good news: Your flashlight's battery lasts a week. By the time it runs dry, it won't be necessary anymore… one way or the other. Unless you cheat to get more time.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: The player has an encumbrance limitation on how much the Player Character can carry. As this limitation is approached, the character's speed will decrease until he is moving at a crawl. Considering that weapons, ammunition, and treasure all have weight, the player will need to be smart about knowing what to keep and what to discard. Late in the game the player can find a Bag of Holding which will reduce the weight of any items put into it, allowing more to be carried without encumbrance.
  • Invisible Monsters: The Wraiths can only be seen with the infra-red goggles. Conversely, the sole level where they are encountered contains three Banshees, which you have to take the goggles off to see.
  • Invincible Minor Minion: Banshees can only be destroyed with magic crystals; the Green Oozes and Malice (aka the Giant Purple Hellbeast) are completely invincible and must be avoided.
  • Late to the Tragedy: We hope you enjoyed your nap, because you won't be sleeping for a while…
  • Let's Play: By HB. Due to the difficulty of setting this up for any modern computer, this is the ticket to enjoying this game without spending a whole day getting a mac emulator running.
  • Locked in a Freezer: On the level "I'd Rather Be Surfing", A corpse posing as Schmuck Bait in a room with an open door and a closed door. When you enter the room, the open door closes behind you, normally not a problem, except the closed door in front does not open. The game console emits "Uh oh.". The corpse casually informs you that he was in the room until he suffocated and that the doors did not open until afterwards, and mentions that a group entered many years ago and one of them walked through the other door. Don the red cloak, which speeds the passage of time by slowing your metabolism. Sleeping further speeds up the game. Making more ammo during this time is optional since it will be obsolete soon.
  • Multiple Endings: Seven of them.
  • Night-Vision Goggles: Useful for finding invisible monsters and avoiding nasty rodents that are attracted to your flashlight.
  • Nintendo Hard: And unlike Bungie's later games, this one does not have difficulty levels.
  • Not as You Know Them: There are hints that the protagonist is also the protagonist in Marathon, having been brought back as a battleroid cyborg, and, later, given Jjaro implants.
  • Nazis with Gnarly Weapons: Most of the weapons and ammunition that the player ends up using for a large part of the game is recovered from the corpses of German soldiers sent to the pryamid during World War II. The weapons are in surprisingly functional condition considering they have been lying in the tunnels for decades.
  • Press X to Die: Setting the nuclear device the team is carrying to detonate prior to the player being able to reach a safe distance, setting the nuke off without carrying the rescue beacon to summon the helicopter (Although you can survive if you have enough time to get away from the blast radius on foot before it explodes), setting the nuke to explode after the day the Eldritch Abomination awakens, or just oversleeping the game can result in a game over.
  • Punctuation Shaker: The W'rkncacnter.
  • Shout-Out: One of your squadmates, when you find him in the later levels, laments that he won't be able to play Street Fighter with you anymore.
  • Spiritual Successor: The Marathon series is a very distant sequel which shares a lot of the same elements; there is even a historical record in the first game that talks about the events of Pathways.
    • It also shares many plot elements with Halo 3: ODST. In both you are an elite special forces operative who gets separated from his squad and must learn about what happened to your unit by interacting with inanimate objects/corpses. In addition both have to travel underground in order to secure an omniscient presence that has been affecting the world above.
  • Timed Mission: You're given five days to complete the mission.


    Creator/BungieMarathon
The Path Of The WarriorWorkPagesInMain/P to RPaul Bunyan
PariahFirst-Person ShooterPAYDAY: The Heist
Overlord MinionsAction AdventurePopful Mail
PararenaApple MacintoshPower Pete
Parasite Eve 2Video Games of the 1990sPilotwings
PathologicSurvival HorrorPenumbra
OpenArenaFreeware GamesUrban Terror

alternative title(s): Pathways Into Darkness
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