!!!The original trilogy contains examples of:
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Bernhard. Was he simply cruel to Durandal out of a power fantasy, or did he recognize the symptoms of Rampancy and attempt to stave it off as long as possible? Rubicon and Eternal follow each interpretation.
** And Durandal is subject to this too, mainly in whatever he is an AntiHero or an AntiVillain, or even an outright villain.
* AwesomeMusic: The Marathon 2 [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el5yD2Ayokw title theme]] and most of the ''Marathon'' 1994 soundtrack. ''Marathon Eternal'' uses the good remixes of the latter, and got a cool original [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x05wKCGhmmk title theme.]]
** Download the above and many other remixes [[http://themarathonmusic.com/ here]].
** "Leela", the similar composition and tempo clearly inspired the soundtrack of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' later on.
** "Landing" provides a perfect ambient score that starts off the first level of the game before you find out exactly what has happened to the Marathon.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: The earlier releases of the Aleph One version of ''Marathon'' started with the ''VideoGame/PathwaysIntoDarkness'' ShoutOut, which many considered to be this. Fortunately for them, there is a plugin that removes that segment, and then removed entirely in later builds. Funny, because Bungie considered adding something similar to ''Durandal'' and later ''Infinity'', but both times it got scrapped.
* BreatherLevel: Trips back to the ''UESC Marathon'' in the first game, expeditions into Thoth's domain in the latter two.
* BrokenBase: Not for the game itself, but for the ''source port''. Aleph One's makers ''really'' want to be as true as possible to the original releases - this includes absolutely refusing to implement 3D, crosshairs, and at one point, installing a enemy/NPC limit that, while true to the original games, broke nearly every Marathon mod - and being vocal about it.
* DemonicSpiders: The Pfhor troopers; they are the only enemies with near hitscan weapons (their assault rifles) that can do real damage on higher difficulties.
** Compilers can fly, have a homing projectile that can shoot around cover, are quite durable, and can turn ''invisible''. It doesn't help that they don't make any noise until they start firing at you, either.
*** There is a very simple secret to dealing with Compilers though: Punch them. Their recovery time takes longer than the duration between punches. With other enemies while punching you have to strafe to avoid enemy fire, but Compilers do not present this problem. Of course, if there's more than one Compiler at once that could prove more problematic.
* EarWorm: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaD87UjzsM4 Swirls]], a tranquil track that simply stands out in the soundtrack. Doesn't help that the first time you hear this, the game starts giving lengthy backstory text in the terminals (The History of Mars and the construction of Marathon in ''Couch Fishing''), not to mention that it's the track for ''Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap'' which includes Durandal's more famous rants (Escape Will Make Me God) and ThatOnePuzzle.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_MBPVC2tMM Splash (Marathon)]], by far the longest and most repetitive track in the game, which only makes the riff even more infectious.
** Ditto for [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxizUSV1EM8 Chomber]]. The fact that it's in [[ArcNumber 7]]/[[UncommonTime 4]] probably makes it even more infectious.
*** It's more (4+3)/4 than true 7/4, though.
* EpilepticTrees: ''Marathon Infinity''.
** Try ''the entire series''. Proof comes from the [[http://marathon.bungie.org/story/ Marathon Story Page]], where they've been doing WildMassGuessing since 1995.
*** It's more likely the KudzuPlot. A ton of subplots were introduced or hinted at and dropped in the first game alone ([[spoiler:JJARRO WERE AT TAU CETI, anyone?]]), and some plot points seem to contradict each other, and not because of Infinity's TimeyWimeyBall.
*** In some cases this is somewhat [[JustifiedTrope justified]], as a lot of the information we have about certain aspects of the plot (most notably the Jjaro and the W'rkncacnter) comes entirely from mythological references by the S'pht. It makes sense that over thousands of years information would become somewhat ShroudedInMyth.
* FridgeBrilliance[=/=]FridgeHorror: [[{{Fridge/Marathon}} Has its own page]].
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: Not exactly super popular, but in Japan the relative popularity of Macintosh computers and the slow decline of home-based ones (FM-TOWNS, X68000, PC-98 and so on) during that time resulted in a fanbase of a respectable size, and that is despite the general unpopularity of the FPS genre there. Perhaps befitting this, two regular contributors to the Marathon Vidmaster Page back in the day, Michio Hashimoto and Tomoaki Deguchi, are Japanese.[[note]]The Vidmaster page claims that Hashimoto "has put out more Vidmaster films on the net than anybody", which was true at the time, but by now other players have no doubt surpassed him, particularly if one counts third-party scenarios, in which case Dr John Sumner, who's vidded all of ''Tempus Irae'', ''Tempus Irae: The Lost Levels'', and the original ''Rubicon'' in addition to the whole original trilogy, is no doubt the record holder.[[/note]]
* GoddamnedBats or DemonicSpiders (depending on the difficulty level) -- Wasps, Compilers, Lookers, Pfhor Drones, Cyborgs with homing grenades, Ticks.
* HilariousInHindsight: This isn't the only [[http://marathon.bungie.org/story/thatmarathonbook.html Marathon Trilogy]]. D. Alexander Smith's series, beginning in 1982 and ending in 1990, even starts off with the shipboard AI going Rampant and raising hell for the crew.
* HoYay: Durandal/Security Officer has a small but decent following these days. Of all the [[MissionControl mission controls]] in the Trilogy, Durandal is the closest thing the SO has to a companion (the latter referring to himself as a "willing minion" in the M2 manual, despite his less-than-ideal situation at the start); every now and then, Durandal lets slip something more personal or emotional than usual, and in ''Infinity'' the two end up going to serious lengths for each other. Not to mention the secret personals ad in M2, with Durandal's asking for "a serious relationship in the galactic core", and Leela's describing the SO as "tall, dark, and handsome" (the assumption is that Durandal authored all of them).
* MagnificentBastard: Durandal. Also Tycho.
** Case in point: In the ending screen of Marathon 2 (which takes place [[DistantFinale many many years after the events of the game]]), [[spoiler: he returns to the Sol system in a [[CoolStarship Jjaro dreadnought]], playing cat-and-mouse with the human defenses near Pluto, and then suddenly warps into '''low Earth orbit''']]. The reason for all of this? He wanted to say hi, and make sure people still remembered him.
* MemeticMutation: "Frog blast the vent core!"
* MostAnnoyingSound: The [=BOBs=] constantly saying "THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!!!!!"
* NightmareFuel: [[NightmareFuel/{{Marathon}} Has its own page]].
* OlderThanTheyThink: These games helped pioneer the idea of story-driven first-person shooters before VideoGame/HalfLife1 (the game most often credited with this innovation) was even a gleam in anyone's eye. Marathon is also credited with being the first computer-based shooter to use the mouselook control scheme, and was at least ''one of'' the first shooters to feature secondary ammo and allied [=NPCs=] (the automated defense drones in the first game, then the [=BOBs=] in the sequels). It's also very likely the first game that allowed players to dual-wield weapons.
* ParanoiaFuel: The Lookers in Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap. Lookers explode on you, similar to simulacrums, but they are very hard to punch without getting yourself hurt, they can fly, and some are camouflaged (they look like shadows). Still, not too much of a problem, since one bullet kills them. However, on Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap, they are in nearly every dark corner and every other corner in a hallway.
** It's hard to emphasize how pants-crappingly scary this part of the level was.
** The camo Compilers in G4 Sunbathing. They wouldn't be very bad if they didn't get together in groups of ten or more on Total Carnage.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: This game introduced an incredible amount of things to the industry, being the FPS game that has a plot that is actually emphasized more than the action throughout the game, multiplayer modes other than deathmatch, vertical aiming, the ability for players to swim, AI-controlled allies… A few other games may have had these things, but not all at once. The list of things that this series introduced just goes on. Most of this was either overshadowed in favor of VideoGame/DooM's clout, or, much later, Franchise/{{Halo}}, which continued a lot of Marathon's legacy.
* ThatOneLevel:
** ''Marathon'': G4 Sunbathing, Bob-BQ, Habe Quiddam.
*** "Colony Ship for Sale, Cheap". This level's platform puzzle was so universally loathed by fans (you had to time a series of switch hits ''exactly right'' or you wouldn't be able to climb a series of stairs) that when the game was ported over to Aleph One they just left out the timing puzzle entirely and had the platforms automatically extend to the right locations (unfortunately, the original puzzle has since been reinstated in some versions of the game released since, much to various players' chagrin). It's also worth noting that the level's designer, Jason Jones, actually apologised for the level (most likely because of the puzzle) in the credits terminal for ''Marathon 2''.
** ''Marathon 2'': If I Had a Rocket Launcher (also [[Awesome/VideoGameLevels Awesome]]), Sorry Don't Make It So, Begging for Mercy.
** ''Marathon Infinity'': Acme Station, Hang Brain, You Think You're Big Time.
** The levels "Try Again", "If I Had a Rocket Launcher", and "You Think You're Big Time" were used for a secret Vidmaster Challenge that can be found in Infinity's final level, created by PromotedFanboy Randall "[=FrigidMan=]" Shaw. Fans are of divided opinions as to whether these are actually the hardest levels in their respective games, or even if they're harder than the original versions; for instance, "Acme Station" is almost universally agreed to be the hardest level in ''Marathon Infinity'', given how few people completed it on Total Carnage using Command+Option+New Game (Ctrl+Shift+New Game on Windows; only [[http://marathon.bungie.org/vidmaster/vidtipacmestation.html eleven people]] actually published successful runs to the [[http://marathon.bungie.org/vidmaster/vidmaster.html Marathon Vidmaster Archive]]. Note that these films are not viewable in older versions of Aleph One; it may be easier to go to [[https://www.youtube.com/user/VidmastersChallenge/videos this YouTube channel]] or [[https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5aQ6s5oj8SwttLVSTgGV-Q this one]], which between them have a lot of the old films.) Similarly, "Sorry Don't Make It So" is sometimes considered the hardest level in ''Durandal'' due to how difficult it is to manoeuvre in the level's narrow corridors; it's actually sometimes possible to [[http://marathon.bungie.org/vidmaster/vidtiprocketlauncher.html skip a large part]] of "Rocket Launcher". "Begging for Mercy Makes Me Angry!" is another common choice for hardest M2 level. From M1, "Habe Quiddam" is the one you're likeliest to hear cited.
* ThatOnePuzzle: The movable platform puzzle on "Colony Ship". Nothing else in the series comes close. (Note that it's possible, though difficult, to [[CuttingTheKnot Cut the Knot]] and [[http://marathon.bungie.org/vidmaster/vidtipcolony.html skip the entire puzzle]] via grenade jumping. The films here likely still only run in the original Mac release, though some of them may have been put up on one of the above YouTube channels by this point.)

!!!Various mods contain examples of:
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: That Lysander (of ''Rubicon'') is malicious is not in question. However, [[spoiler: despite appearing calm in the face of imminent death, he repeatedly emphasizes to the Security Officer that it won't matter if they kill him or not, and attempts to undermine their trust in Durandal--which, incidentally, would disincline them from finishing the job and smashing Lysander's core. Was he taking things as well as he appeared to?]]
* BossInMookClothing[=/=]DemonicSpiders:
** In ''Rubicon'', the enforcers. Dear god, I never knew a health bar could be drained so fast.
*** The Pfhor Chamberlains in the same scenario also qualify. They can't actually kill you, but they can strip your health bar down to the point where one hit from ''anything else'' will kill you, and they can do it in less than a second. Luckily there are only a few in the entire game.
*** The Salinger Plank gives us the insidious [=MaserBoBs=], wielders of the powerful, perfectly-accurate Dangi Maser. If he sees you, you're as good as dead; they're more-or-less the human counterparts to the Enforcers. Luckily, you can pilfer their Masers and the ammo to load it with.
** Many of the A'Khr (and a few of the Pfhor) in ''Phoenix'' have infuriatingly fast firing speeds. These are the main reason the scenario is NintendoHard.
* BreatherLevel: Some of the scenarios have these. In ''Pfh'Joueur'', for example, the levels on the ''Nor'Haket'' tend to be less difficult than the surrounding missions, and in many cases have more to do with puzzle solving than they do with fighting off aliens.
* BrokenBase: The entire Tycho Plank in ''Rubicon X'', both regarding the quality of some of the levels and which ending is the best.
** Regarding the levels, a few levels are reused with few modifications from the original game, which is almost universally disliked, and the combat is generally regarded to be almost impossible (and not in a fun way) on higher difficulty settings, but there are fairly strong disagreements regarding almost everything else.
** Regarding the ending, it's widely disputed whether the Tycho plank or the Salinger plank is the "better" ending.
*** The Tycho plank [[spoiler:involves betraying and "killing" Durandal (who may be a bit of a {{Jerkass}} but still generally comes across as something of a JerkWithAHeartOfGold) and killing a large number of scientists who were just doing their job, but it also appears to result in the virus samples being ''completely'' destroyed along with all knowledge of them. Lysander claimed the virus was incurable and that InformationWantsToBeFree, which (if we [[VillainsNeverLie accept him at his word]] - and since the game's tagline and main theme is "truth is the first casualty of war", we probably shouldn't) makes this arguably a superior ending for mankind generally, though it also becomes an extremely dark case of BlackAndGreyMorality on the player's part. On the other hand, the epilogue level, "Lazarus ex machina", strongly implies that we didn't ''actually'' kill Durandal; we appear to retain his primal pattern, and the level involves us inserting chips into a computer core, with the final terminal displaying Durandal rebooting.]]
*** The Salinger plank [[spoiler:has us ''capturing'' the scientists. Durandal retains information about the virus. He tells us that he won't use this information against humanity, but even if we accept that ''he'' won't, we are left with quite a bit of uncertainty about whether information can leak out via the scientists themselves. On the other hand, we don't kill large numbers of more or less unarmed scientists who were [[PunchClockVillain basically just doing their jobs]], nor do we betray JerkWithAHeartOfGold Durandal.]]
*** As a result, players ''still'' dispute which of these should be read as the BittersweetEnding and which of these is the flat-out HappyEnding (some TakeAThirdOption and consider both bittersweet in different ways). It's likely that the ambiguity was deliberate on the writers' part - again, "truth is the first casualty of war".
* NightmareFuel: See [[NightmareFuel/{{Marathon}} the series' Nightmare Fuel page]].
* ParanoiaFuel: Connected to NightmareFuel above; many of the scenarios get this way.
** The level "Roquefortress" in ''Phoenix'' is an excellent example: the level is extremely dark, if you take a wrong step you will die instantly, and enemies come from anywhere and everywhere and it is difficult to keep track of them. It does not help that many of the enemies in this scenario fly and don't make any noise until they fire at you, and can take away a whole bar of health in less than a second. Oh, and the level is set out in a completely non-linear manner so it's impossible to keep track of where the enemies have been released. Have fun! (Despite that, the level, as well as the whole scenario, is awesome, and one of the best examples of SceneryPorn created in the engine to date. The main creator has studied architecture extensively and it shows).
** The swamps on the Pfhor planet in ''Rubicon'' have alien noises as random ambient sounds. There are also Lookers in the swamp (whose chatter is among the noises that happen as ambient sounds), and it's next to impossible to see them even if you have liquid transparency enabled due to the thickness of the sludge in the swamp. Needless to say, when wandering through the swamp, you're pretty much constantly afraid that you're going to walk over a Looker and die.
** ''Rubicon'' as a whole invokes this in its tagline: "Truth is the first causality of war." To put it this way, the only person you can trust not to have it out for you [[spoiler: if you don't turn on him]] is Durandal--and even he makes some questionable decisions over the course of the plot(s).
*** Though in ''Rubicon X'', as it turns out, [[spoiler:Tycho also behaves surprisingly benevolently should the player choose to align with him - he probably qualifies as a fairly dark antihero at worst. He claims to have little concern with the fate of humanity in one of the game terminals, but his actions throughout his plank make this claim questionable. The worst actions he's responsible for are sending the player off to slaughter the Dangi scientists and kill Durandal, but the former is arguably justifiable from a utilitarian standpoint (knowledge of ''Achilles'' in the wrong hands would kill some 99% of humanity, so the safest recourse for humanity as a whole is to destroy all memory of it) and, as revealed in the epilogue, we didn't actually kill Durandal. Not coincidentally, this ties in with the scenario's dream story, which ends with the narrator destroying all record of his most dangerous work and fleeing.]]
* ThatOneLevel: Secret levels tend to be infuriatingly difficult, although there are exceptions (the last secret on ''Tempus Irae'' is [[spoiler:mostly an excuse for porn]]).
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