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Marathon coming to iPad for free

Bungie's classic shooter ported to Apple's tablet courtesy of diehard developer fan, will be available soon gratis.

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Gamers who owned a Mac in the mid-1990s likely have fond memories of Marathon, a sci-fi shooter many consider the spiritual ancestor to Halo. Today, both games' developer, Bungie, confirmed that Marathon is coming back to a new Apple platform--the iPad.

Marathon will soon be available for the iPad for free, thanks to a big fan.
Marathon will soon be available for the iPad for free, thanks to a big fan.

Via, the company revealed that Marathon for the iPad will soon be available and was ported over by a rabid fan of the series. In an in-depth Q&A, Bungie interviews software developer Daniel Blezek, who has spent his spare time porting over the game since the iPad was released in April 2010. Originally set for release last fall, the game will be available shortly on the App Store--and it will be completely free.

According to Blezek, the iPad version of Marathon will run at 30 fps and will feature a set of onscreen controls adapted from the original keyboard commands. It will have a virtual left joystick for motion, with an "action" button underneath it. The right thumb will have primary and secondary fire controls above a button, which switches weapons. Though the original Marathon had no aiming reticle, the iPad version will have it as an option.

First released in 1994 for the Mac, Marathon is set during the year 2794 on board the huge starship Marathon, which is en route to colonize far-off worlds. Players assume the role of a security officer on board the ship who must repel an invasion by races of hostile aliens known as the S'pht and the Pfhor. The defense is complicated when Durandal, one of the artificial intelligences on board the ship, becomes "rampant," prompting him to take increasingly unstable--and homicidal--actions.

Marathon's arrival on the iPad will mark the second time a game in the classic series has been brought to a current-generation platform. In 2007, Marathon: Durandal, an updated version of Marathon 2: Durandal, was ported to the Xbox 360 by independent developer Freeverse.

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