Marathon is a first-person shooter video game with a science fiction theme developed and published by Bungie and released in December 1994 for the Apple Macintosh. The game was Bungie's second foray into the emerging genre of games with a first-person perspective, the first being Pathways into Darkness, which was released in 1993. Marathon was released at a time when other early first-person shooters such as Doom were enjoying popularity amongst PC users, and it was widely seen as a Macintosh counterpart to Doom (which would not be ported to the Macintosh platform until 1995). The game takes place several centuries into the future in outer space and sets the player as a security officer attempting to defeat an alien invasion aboard a colony ship named the Marathon.
Although Marathon features action-heavy, first-person shooter gameplay similar to Doom and other contemporaries, the game is renowned for having an intricate story line that is also an essential element of its gameplay whereas most similar games devote minimal attention to plot for the sake of faster, simpler, more action-oriented gameplay. In addition to a single-player scenario with a rich plot, Marathon also features a multiplayer deathmatch mode through which up to eight players on separate machines on the same computer network can compete against each other individually or on teams. This functionality tremendously increased anticipation for Marathon prior to release, and won the game the Macworld Game Hall of Fame Award for the best multiplayer game in 1995.
Marathon is the first game in a series of three games collectively known as the Marathon Trilogy, which in addition to Marathon also includes its two sequels, Marathon 2: Durandal and Marathon Infinity, released in 1995 and 1996 respectively. In 1996, Bungie completed Super Marathon, a port of Marathon and Marathon 2 to Apple's short-lived Apple Bandai Pippin video game console.