Marathon Is A Secret Sequel To Pathways Into Darkness
The first major game by Bungie was a simple FPS called Pathways Into Darkness. In it, you’d explore a dark pyramid and fight the strange denizens of a dark god. It’s kind of Cthulhu-inspired. So what does it have to do with their much bigger future series, Marathon?
Marathon is much closer to what we’d call an FPS. Like Doom, you’d grab a series of big guns and blast a host of different strange alien species. Marathon was different from the rest thanks to a strange story that only got stranger in future installments — completely fragmenting into total madness by the time we git Marathon Infinity. Game stories back then were extremely basic, so just getting a lot of special mission text in every mission was a huge feat.
How are they connected? The Jjaro, an alien species, warn Earth of an impending evil being’s birth, and it’s heavily implied that the ‘Dreaming God’ in Pathways Into Darkness is the same evil being that later appears in Marathon 2, and heavily informs the story of the twisted Marathon: Infinity. The Jjaro are an important alien race that gains a greatly expanded role in Marathon.
…And Halo Is A Secret Sequel To Marathon
Bungie, the developers of Marathon (old) and Halo (less old) just won’t let go of a good idea. Halo is packed with Marathon references — but references aren’t enough to make a link. We need concrete story details! And Halo also has tons of those, too.
Let’s list all the in-universe elements shared by both games; Marathon-class space cruisers, an organization with the UESC acronym, aliens that will accidentally wipe out all life in the galaxy, an AI called Traxis IV, and the general theme of AI rampancy. Those aren’t direct links, so we have to go to Bungie Founder and CEO Alex Seropian for the details.
While Bungie denies a direct link, Seropian has stated that Halo’s Master Chief is an alternate-universe timeline resurrection of Marathon’s hero. That was always his intention, and explains why you can find Marathon logos literally everywhere in the game — and considering the timeline / alternate universe weirdness of Marathon: Infinity, the story does support a strange alternate future where a faceless cyborg killing machine must relive in a remixed universe. It’s a headtrip.
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