Eternal X 1.3 preview 4
The Man on Dec 24th 2022
Eternal is one of the largest scenarios ever created for Aleph One, initially created by Forrest Cameranesi (Pfhorrest) and subsequently revised and expanded by a massive team known as the Xeventh Project, which, as of this writing (December 2022) now includes more than 40 people. Besides Tempus Irae, it may be the oldest scenario still being actively developed; it was first released in 2004 and has been refined and expanded almost continuously ever since. Features include, but are hardly limited to:
- 52 levels, some revisiting familiar locations from the Marathon trilogy and some being among the largest ever created for the engine
- A complex plot featuring dense political and philosophical themes, a tragic romance, time travel, major events from Marathon’s backstory, complex original characters, and returning faces from the Marathon trilogy’s cast
- A huge, acclaimed soundtrack containing nearly fifty tracks and lasting more than five hours (significantly expanded in 1.3 preview 4)
- Redesigns of most of the game’s familiar cast (new in 1.3), some old foes from Pathways into Darkness, and some new faces (some new in 1.3)
- Hundreds of gorgeous terminal images (many added for 1.3 preview 4)
- Five texture sets, encompassing 650 high-resolution textures, 12 detailed original landscape textures, and several separate human and alien environments
- A secret tracking system (new in 1.3 preview 4)
- More than 360 sounds, remixed or remastered in CD quality, in stereo where possible (new in 1.3)
- Atmospheric weather like rain and snow (new in 1.3)
- A “quicksave on level transition” feature (new in 1.3)
- A final boss battle of sorts (new in 1.3)
- Detailed documentation including illustrated field guides to Eternal’s weaponry, aliens, and humans, detailed credits, a meta-history of Eternal, and technical notes on how its maps and scripts work (new in 1.3)
The current development release, 1.3 preview 4 (released on 2022-11-23), is perfectly playable despite still being incomplete; it is now our recommended way to play the game. We’ll refrain from estimating the release date of 1.3 final, as we’ve overshot too many estimates to count (thank you, feature creep). The current “stable” build, 1.2.1 (released on 2021-11-07), is missing several features listed above but is still an enjoyable game in its own right.
The screenshots seen on the right are from a slightly updated version of 1.3 preview 4 (the only visible change in any of them is a modified texture in the upper-left corner of “The Midpoint of Somewhere”). Although they were taken on Normal (so as to show more monster types), we do recommend playing Eternal on the highest difficulty you can manage.
Notes for version 1.3 preview 4:
Current development release. 1.3 incorporates several new features, many detailed above.
173 downloads, 2 reviews, 5 screenshots, 5.0 rating
The Man on Sep 21st 2022
Rubicon X was released a long time ago, when Aleph One didn’t have bloom and when its monster activation limits were, by default, much higher than they are now. It hasn’t been updated since, so running it out of the box with no changes has several problems: monsters will randomly deactivate on several levels, and the bloom looks horrible because it defaults to overpoweringly high levels. I’ve created this plugin as an “all-in-one” fix for both these issues. It restores the monster activation limits to their intended values, and it makes the game look decent with bloom.
To run this, just put it in your Rubicon X plugins folder. (If you don’t have one, make a new “Plugins” folder in the “Rubicon X” folder – NOT the “Rubicon Data” folder – and stick this in it.) If you currently have Rubicon X running, you’ll need to quit the app and reload it.
Notes for version 1.0:
227 downloads, 1 review, 4 screenshots, 5.0 rating
The Man on Aug 13th 2022
Shared with Dr Sumner’s permission. These are his exhaustively detailed spoiler guides for every level of the original releases of Tempus Irae and Tempus Irae 2: The Lost Levels; they’re also accurate for the 2006 Aleph One conversion, but there will be notable differences in the upcoming Redux release (which will hopefully appear later this year).
These guides contain exhaustive walkthroughs of each level in both games with detailed information on their contents, including any bugs Dr Sumner encountered and information on every accessible terminal in each level, including images of each terminal screen and information on where to find them and when they are active. He also notes how he did in his playthrough.
These guides are attuned specifically to his play style: play on Total Carnage; use as little ammo as possible; collect all possible secrets and ammo; and defeat every enemy when practical – in short, one of the most challenging possible approaches to the game (especially since many levels provide limited shield recharges).
They’re also unbelievably comprehensive; the original Nardo spoiler guides, though admirable efforts, pale in comparison. Dr Sumner’s guides have provided us a wealth of useful information on bugs to correct for Redux (for instance, he notes monsters and items that don’t spawn in).
There’s much more where this came from, by the way. I’ll upload more of his guides soon enough.
Edit: I’m hosting several of his spoiler guides on my OneDrive for the time being (currently, Marathon 1, Marathon 2, Tempus Irae, The Lost Levels, Rubicon X, Phoenix 1.3, and Pfh’Joueur). You can find them at https://1drv.ms/u/s!AuD0MykSsmaRmx_NxpRgTRM69vgn?e=fgVHbX
174 downloads, 0 reviews, 0 screenshots, 0.0 rating
Gemini Station 2.0
The Man on Aug 12th 2022
Note: I didn’t create this; Dr Mike Trinder did. All I did was to convert it to a format compatible with modern Aleph One.
Gemini Station (first complete release: July 9, 1997) is a partial conversion for Marathon Infinity with 12 total levels, though players may not see them all every time they play it. Two are secrets and three are brief exposition levels, so it has seven proper levels, of which six are very long. Seriously, they’re huge.
I haven’t played through the whole thing in a while, but it was extremely impressive when it came out; as far as I know, it was the first scenario to incorporate several mapmaking tricks like airlocks and programmable teleporters. I last replayed it two or three years ago and felt it still held up.
As far as I’m aware, the only versions previously available were incomplete conversions that came with a shapes patcher that only ran on MacOS (and I’m not even sure they ran with modern releases). This version includes the patched shapes file, so you don’t have to bother patching the shapes. All you need to do is select the map and the shapes in Marathon Infinity and you’re good. (Make sure to select the shapes!)
Apart from patching the shapes and converting the map to MacBinary format, I haven’t modified any of these files at all; the readmes are even still in Mac OS Roman. Hopefully Dr Trinder won’t mind me making his scenario accessible to modern players; several people have asked for it on Discord over the years, so I figured I’d save people the trouble in the future.
In any case, I strongly recommend this, especially if you haven’t played it. It’s probably in my top 10 Marathon scenarios of all time, and the only things keeping it out of the top 5 are its short length and its relative lack of original assets (there are no new sounds and not many new graphics). However, it still looks phenomenal, and its map design would probably still seem inventive today. The writing is also fantastic.
Note: Screenshots incorporate Goran Svensson’s HD walls & landscapes, Freeverse’s HD weapons, and in some cases W’rkncacnter’s BRUTAL MARATHON plugin. I only spent about twenty minutes on these – they’re probably nowhere near the best sights Gemini Station has to offer. (Also, you probably shouldn’t actually use these plugins with it – certain game functionality is highly likely to break or not look as intended.)
Notes for version 2.0:
Converted from archives.bungie.org upload to formats Aleph One can read on Windows and Linux.
206 downloads, 3 reviews, 4 screenshots, 2.3 rating
The Man on Apr 1st 2022
Improved graphics plugins are all the rage these days, so I made my own improvements for Marathon Infinity’s graphics. These graphic replacements have been created using a mathematically perfect algorithm; it’s statistically impossible to create more perfect replacements. As a bonus, these will load almost instantly, unlike inferior graphics plugins. Just enable the plugin, load the game in OpenGL, and marvel at the power of the human imagination.
Note: The readme contains important information that will help you get the most out of this plugin.
296 downloads, 1 review, 0 screenshots, 5.0 rating
The Man on Mar 10th 2021
To be clear: I didn’t create this – it’s the work of James Hastings-Trew (of Tempus Irae fame). Hopefully he won’t mind me uploading this here.
This won the Bungie Mapmaking Contest back in the day – deservingly so; it’s a superb package in almost every manner. It’s become increasingly difficult to find, though, and the main version available requires running a patch on the classic Mac OS. Hence this upload.
Overall, this is a fun three-level pack with some great new textures. The story is fairly cursory (though well written), and it ends on a cliffhanger for an intended sequel that James never made because he got roped into Tempus Irae instead. TI is great, though, so no major complaints.
This is intended to run in Infinity; it includes a map and a shapes file. Further info is included in the “Simplici7y Megiddo Read Me” file found in the download.
777 downloads, 1 review, 3 screenshots, 4.0 rating
The Man on Dec 11th 2020
A set of remastered sounds for AOPID: http://simplici7y.com/items/aleph-one-pathways-into-darkness
These are 6 dB quieter than the originals (an attached text file explains why), but also significantly less noisy, much crisper due to the addition of higher frequencies that were absent from the originals, and in some cases free of substantial audio flaws like 60 Hz hum on a lot of the Headless sounds or digital clipping distortion on some of the explosion and weapon sounds.
Note that most of these are not exact reconstructions of the missing audio data, but best guesses that I put together in iZotope RX5 Advanced; in a few cases, however, I was able to use the CD-quality audio sources. Also, make sure you have 16-bit audio on, or you’ll get the original sounds. I also suggest pairing these with W’rkncacnter’s HD AOPID graphics for best results: http://simplici7y.com/items/hd-aopid-graphics
Notes for version 1.0:
1000 downloads, 0 reviews, 0 screenshots, 0.0 rating
The Man on Jul 27th 2020
My long-overdue remastered Marathon 1 sounds. They should be noticeably less noisy, crisper, and (in some cases) less distorted than the originals - even more so than my remastered Marathon Infinity sounds, since all of the original Marathon 1 sounds were 8-bit.
Includes a readme with a bunch of (hopefully) useful information, but you should be aware of a few caveats before downloading or using these:
These will only work with Aleph One, not the classic Marathon app.
These will only work with the classic Marathon files, not M1A1.
If, for some reason, you are still using an Aleph One version prior to 1.3: (a) you really should upgrade to the latest version; (b) if you don’t, you will need to quit and reopen Aleph One after selecting these in your preferences.
These are half as loud as the original sounds. You may wish to adjust your music volume.
Should you have any other issues, please let me know via one of the forms of contact included in the readme. Beyond that, enjoy!
Notes for version 1.0:
1250 downloads, 1 review, 0 screenshots, 5.0 rating
The Man on Apr 10th 2020
I’ve remastered the entire Marathon Infinity sounds file. The most obviously noticeable changes are that many sounds are much less distorted (with the side effect of being roughly half as loud as the originals – adjust your game/system volume as needed), and sounds will feature approximations of upper frequencies that were missing on the originals. Many sounds that were originally 8-bit (a good example is the “got item” sound) will also be much less noisy. Detailed information on the changes is included as a .pdf with the download.
This works with any Aleph One scenario that uses vanilla Infinity sounds. It also works with Marathon 2 on Aleph One - it probably won’t work with the vanilla Marathon 2 apps for either Windows or Mac. If you really need a version of these for vanilla Marathon 2, ask me nicely and I may consider making one (though because I’m in the process of remixing many of these directly from the CD-quality sources, I may not bother until I’m done with that).
Important: ALEPH ONE VERSIONS BEFORE 1.3.0 REQUIRE YOU TO RESTART THE GAME AFTER SELECTING THESE SOUNDS. (Bold and caps so you don’t miss it.) On the plus side, you’ll only have to do this once (unless you move back to the defaults for whatever reason). And you should really upgrade to 1.3.1 or 1.4pre2 – it’s generally a bad idea to run old software, and you can no longer even gather or join net games with releases prior to 1.3.0.
Notes for version 1.1:
Finally uploading a new version, primarily because I’d mixed up the “S’pht Door Closing” and “S’pht Door Opening” sounds. This is because the sounds file itself had them mixed up in the 8-bit sounds slot, which was what I was using to check that I’d uploaded the right versions of everything; and also because ShapeFusion also has them mixed up. (I’m supposing Anvil may also have mixed them up, but I haven’t checked.) In any case, the game seems to want them where the vanilla file has them in the 16-bit slots, so anyone else who wants to make new versions of the sounds should take note: The “S’pht Door Opening” and “S’pht Door Closing” sounds are mislabelled in ShapeFusion. (The mislabelling may also be true of the Pfhor Door sounds; I’d advise double-checking. However, I did not mix those up, because the 8-bit and 16-bit sounds for those are in the same slot.)
The other major change is that I have moved all of the sounds to the 8-bit slot rather than the 16-bit slot. These sounds are all 16-bit, but on the whole, the game doesn’t care one way or the other; it will still play them as 16-bit sounds. Note that, on old versions of Aleph One, you’ll need to restart the game after selecting these sounds. On the plus side, you will only need to do this once (unless you go back to the default sounds for whatever reason). This was due to a caching bug that was fixed in 1.3, so if you’re running an old version of Aleph One, you should upgrade to 1.3.1 or 1.4pre2. The advantage to moving them to the 8-bit slot is that if you accidentally select 8-bit sounds, you will no longer hear silence. Everything will sound really bad, but at least you’ll hear something!
(Note that I wrote the readme file to this version before the caching bug was fixed, so it won’t reflect that this step is no longer necessary in recent versions of Aleph One. I don’t feel it’s worth rereleasing the sounds purely to update the readme, particularly since I’ve by now remixed many of them directly from the CD-quality sources – expect a major new release sometime in 2021.)
I may also have revised a few of these sounds since 1.0. I didn’t keep detailed notes, so I have no idea what I changed.
Should you have any questions, you can contact me on the Pfhorums (same username as here), reddit (/u/aaronnotarobot), or Discord (Aaron#6608; you will need to be a member of the subreddit Discord – or some other Discord I’m in – to contact me). Enjoy!