Disclaimer and Credits
Please note that this is a hybrid scenario. I take no credit for any of its custom content beyond level design, the opening text, and the title screen logo and subtext. All other credit goes to the creators of Project Conflict (for the enemies), Mararthon: Yuge (for textures), Female Bob Shapes, Marathon: Pathways Into Darkness (for scenery), Tempus Irae (for scenery), Rubicon (for scenery), Damage, Inc. (for scenery), Weland (for the menu screen), the logo in the title screen, Hardcore Sounds, Hardestcore Sounds, common use movie sounds, and some sounds I took off YouTube.
Also, this scenario is (arguably) best viewed in GL Shader graphics, mainly for the platforms.
With a new cast of enemies based on edits of RadBurn’s Project Conflict mod, Marathon: Shadervoid is a brutalist, structuralist, and continuously-mapped-for take on Marathon gameplay that takes place in a strange other dimension and deals thematically with humans’ war with themselves. Released here with two levels (one an introduction) and meant to have many more individual levels made for it over time, it is intended as an ongoing exploration of the possibilities of a certain efficiency-based level design formula, and infused with a kind of uncanny Lynchian horror never before seen in Marathon.
“Humanity is currently living in deep strain under the horrid reign of the Tribecom regime and their Erosion Task Force enforcers. Somewhere and in spite of this, a secret grassroots research and development organization has formed called Inteflow Enterprises, specializing in dimensional travel technology. They eventually find and access a dimension for the first time — a strange one consisting entirely of oddly arranged colorless block units, which are distinguished by varying light shades and appear to be carved out of a great void that mixes with liftable “door-like” blocks, earning it the nickname The Shadervoid. Its exact nature, and the source of its constructions, remain unknown; yet it is technically habitable with no sign of other life, and IE hope at least to learn from it and use it as some kind of refuge spot. As such, a team of members begin setting up and testing machinery near teleportation spots in several different parts of The Shadervoid, all while keeping communication signals with other crewmembers in their original world. However, at one point, signals mysteriously start to become intercepted, and the environment within The Shadervoid reportedly begins to falter in some respects, making teleportation problematic. Eventually, all signals are abruptly cut off. You, a guerilla fighter in the precinct that IE is based out of, decide with some fellow fighters to grab some arms and teleport into The Shadervoid to check on the crewmembers “just in case”. Yet there’s some sort of malfunction, and you black out.
When you finally wake up, alone…”
The scenario has no story and the buildup in the first level was terrible.
Sound design was terrible.
Too many fake terminals.
SMG is placed in an area that you can only get to after you've cleared the whole level so its effectively worthless.
After clearing the last level I had no idea how to exit.
Some things you accidentally did right:
-Made me appreciate the Assault Rifle, finding it was as exciting as the first time I played Marathon because when you get it you can finally start clearing rooms. The AR should have its own room to increase the feeling, same goes for the Napalm projector.
-The Shadervoid is an existential nightmare and is absolutely unpleasant to play. If you book ended what you have with classic regular textured exposition levels the sense of relief of getting back to normalcy would make all the unpleasantness worth it.