In the course of most human endeavors, there are milestones that forever change the landscape, and mold the direction in which that endeavor goes from that point on. Marathon is just such a milestone, in the field of Macintosh action games.
With this creation, Bungie has given us a new way of looking at first person action, and raised our expectations far beyond anything that came before.
Many third-party creations have been released to work with the Marathon engine, and within the Marathon framework. There have been sound patches, to alter (or augment) the sounds Bungie released with the game, music patches, to add different background music, shape patches, to alter the way some characters look, new maps, and entire reworkings of the Marathon environment, with some combination of the above. They all fit into two categories, though: enhancements made to fit into the Marathon storyline, or enhancements made to alter the stock Bungie characters such that they would fit into a new worldview. We asked:
Is there not a third alternative?
What if you left the Bungie characters alone, but changed their roles? What law says that what Bungie calls Pfhor need to be Pfhor? Why are S'pht the only possible role that Bungie's compilers can play?
What if you came up with an entirely new storyline, using Bungie's environment, but not related whatsoever to the U.E.S.C. Marathon? Would people play it?
...enter an adventure where what you are used to calling Pfhor are bloodthirsty pirates, roaming the stars for whatever they can steal. Those you have known as S'pht, or compilers, are Galaxans here, mysterious aliens from another place who hold no malice for humans, but don't like to be crossed. You are still a U.E.S.C. Marine, but the Marathon is not a part of your past. The scenery may look familiar, but make no mistake, you've never been here before...