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.
It’s a 3 level mini-campaign that’s notable because of the new texture sets.
The first level takes place in a corporate office complete with cubicles and 90’s style desktop computers. Graphically nothing like this has been done in any other Marathon scenario; it really does have a unique look to it. Seeing hostile aliens teleporting into a corporate board room or coming out of a washroom provides a…I guess you could call it a culture shock? Basically you’re seeing a huge dissonance between “normal” things and unnatural sci-fi things that don’t normally go together.
Even better, the terminals in this level are hilarious! It’s not often you see humor in Marathon scenarios, let alone humor done well, but these jokes were actually funny. The humor is situational; the Pfhor are attacking a small business and the human employees are in a state of panic, but corporate leadership is more concerned with profits and deadlines than the welfare of their staff. It’s poking fun at contemporary office work culture in a way that had me laughing out loud more than a few times.
Unfortunately, the mission objectives for this first level (and indeed all levels in Megiddo Game) were overly convoluted. Your first objective is to smash four wall panels, but they use new graphics so you’re not even sure what you’re looking for. Even worse, the wall panels are small and easy to miss. You are given vague directions to three of the four panels, but still you can expect to spend most of your time on this level trying to figure out what to do next, not fighting aliens.
Another part of the level requires you to find a pretty well hidden underwater passage. Such a thing might be OK for a secret area harboring extra loot for the player, but no, this is a mandatory part of the level.
For the level finale the player makes their way to the office roof and fights a fun battle against a large enemy force. I was a little puzzled to see a possessed drone among the regular Pfhor drones though, as that drone fought as my ally during the battle. That was probably a bit of erroneous combatant placement by the mapmaker.
The second level of Megiddo takes place on a derelict alien ship and uses a totally new texture set which looks awesome. This level also contains numerous secrets, but each secret is cleverly revealed to the player beforehand. Basically you are shown the secret loot cache, but it’s currently unaccessible, then as you progress through the level you can try and figure out how to reach it. This sort of baiting with hints is I think the best way to handle secrets, and it makes finding them the most fun.
The third and final level takes place on the Pfhor homeworld, and once again features a new texture set with some spectacular graphics. The creator of this campaign went on to make Tempus Irae, a famous Marathon campaign based on Italian Renaissance architecture, and in this level you can really see the architectural genius that led to his later successful endeavors. For example, part of level three contains a majestic Pfhor temple with spiral fluted columns that wouldn’t be too out of place in Tempus Irae despite its alien origins.
One last note — do not use HD texture plugins with this campaign because they are graphically incompatible with the new textures. The readme warns about this, and I can confirm this warning is valid.
This is a really unique campaign that’s worth checking out, just make sure to find a spoiler guide in case you get stuck.