Vid•mas•ter \Vid-mas-ter\ noun (c.1995): Bungie Software's definition of someone who has mastered Marathon to its fullest.

What It Means to be a Vidmaster

From the Marathon Trilogy manual[1]:

What does it mean to be a Vidmaster?

It is being balanced in the calm center of a whirling and untouchable tornado of destruction, while showers of grenades patter harmlessly around you and bullets crawl toward you in slow-mo.

It is when your brain develops a new bundle of nerves whose only function is to re-route impulses directly from your eyes to your finger muscles, so that you can twist and snap off a rocket long before you're conscious of the yellow blip in your motion detector.

It is when the difference between a roomful of alien warriors and a carpet of them is a matter of seconds. The word "vid" entered the Marathon lexicon during development of the first game, to distinguish the excellent players (particularly in net games) from the fodder. The Oath of the Vidmaster was inscribed into the skip-levels dialog (Command-Option-Begin New Game), to remind players of the highest level of excellence they could aspire to:

"I pledge to punch all switches, to never shoot where I could use grenades, to admit the existence of no level except Total Carnage, to never use Caps Lock as my "run" key, and to never, ever, leave a single Bob alive."

To do these things is to invite maximum peril and requires one to play the game as hard and unrelentingly as possible, at the highest level of skill: to play as a Vidmaster.

These three games, the Marathon Saga, are the best training and testing ground for Vidmasters. You can play against aliens alone or in a networked group through more than 80 levels. But the true challenge is surviving in one of the 50 included netgame arenas against other people. It is in such trials by fire that mighty Vidmasters are forged.

Rage hard...

Vidmaster Options

Screen from the Vidmaster Challenge levels

  • Other, even more extreme, tenets were added over time to those desiring true Vidmaster status, including:
    • Finishing the game using only fists
    • Kill everything on the level
    • Finish the level without taking a hit
    • Never using recharge stations
    • Reveal all secrets
    • Never using save game terminals (map text on the first "Vidmaster's Challenge" level, Try Again, reads "No saving for true Vidboys".)
  • It should be noted that starting and completing each level individually, using only the Weapons available on that level, has become a "non-optional" Vidmaster rule!

Marathon Infinity Vidmaster Challenge

A series of levels, collectively named the "VidMaster Challenge," were added to Marathon Infinity. Most of these levels are rehashes of existing levels from other games in the Marathon series.

External Links