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Marathon Zero beta screen

Screenshot of the Marathon Zero demo.

"Marathon Zero" was the working title for Bungie's sequel to Pathways into Darkness, which evolved into Marathon.


This early version of Marathon was first shown at the San Francisco Macworld Expo in January 1994. Faster and more elegant than its predecessor, the game did not make a large impact at the time as many people perceived it as an enhanced version of Pathways Into Darkness.

Following the Macworld showing, Bungie overhauled the game, which included a from-the-ground-up rewrite of its rendering engine. In its final public release, Marathon bore little resemblance to its early appearance.

Various stages of the so-called Marathon Zero were included with the Marathon Trilogy Box Set.

Features (and differences from Marathon)[]

  • Eight levels (two playable)
  • Compass included in UI
  • Unnamed spider-like monster, not seen in future versions
  • Weapons:
    • TOOL Mark IV Pistol (20 shots)
    • SPNKR-25 Auto Cannon (30 shots)
  • "Vac Suit" worn by the player
  • Horizontally-opening doors
  • "Grendel Lives" graffiti in tile graphics


  • An early joke title for Marathon that was reportedly kicked around the Bungie offices was "Pathways Into Uranus."[1]


  1. The Marathon Scrapbook, Bungie.org. 1997-05-01.

External links[]