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Aleph One Troubleshooting Guide
part of the Marathon Aleph One project (
Created: August 24, 2003
Most recent update: August 24, 2003
Document Purpose
Aleph One is a work in progress, and bugs are inevitable. Though we recognize that all bugs should, of course, be fixed, we acknowledge the reality that it can often take quite a while for a given problem to be resolved. This document exists to fill the gap: to acknowledge known bugs and to provide workarounds where possible, so users can best enjoy Aleph One in the present.

I only have Mac OS 9.
Im sorry to hear that. We have not officially abandoned Mac OS 9 – indeed, our intention is to continue to support it for some time – but there has not been a Mac OS 9 release build since March 23, 2003. This leaves Mac OS 9 players without the star network protocol, without player motion prediction, without netscripts, and without various other enhancements. We hope to have another Mac OS 9 release soon, but until then, Aleph One will be principally useful to you for single-player games or LAN games (see the Networking Users Guide for information on forcing newer Aleph One builds to use the old ring protocol, a requirement for interoperability with the March 23 Mac OS 9 build).

Aleph One wont start up. I get an alert or command-line message complaining about an XML parsing error.
The most common cause of this behavior is having an old-style Preferences file. A1 migrated from a binary Preferences format to an XML-based format some time ago, but unfortunately did not preserve the ability to read the old format. Delete your “Aleph One Preferences” file (use your OSs file-search capabilities if youre not sure where to find it) and try again.

Aleph One wont start up. I get an alert or command-line message about “Map”, “Shapes”, “Sounds”, and “Images”.
The answer to this is probably different depending on whether youre using a Mac-style (Mac OS 9, Mac OS X Carbon) build of A1 or an SDL-style (Windows, Linux, NetBSD, Dreamcast, Mac OS X SDL) build.

SDL-style builds still search for files with those exact names in the directory with A1 (unless custom MML, as with M1A1, tells it to look for other specific names). Be sure that you have the appropriate files and that they are proper SDL-style files (see INSTALL. or make sure you downloaded SDL-style files). Note that Mac OS X SDL can read both SDL-style and Mac-style files, though it finds them the “SDL way” (by name).

Mac-style builds are willing to start up as long as theres an Images file (found by name in A1s directory) and a Map file, a Shapes file, and a Sounds file *somewhere* in A1s directory structure. Mac-style A1s dont care what the names of these latter files are, but they do require that they have the correct Mac OS “type code” to be found. Consider using something like the Macintosh file typing tools (found at

Special note: we have received reports that unStuffing Marathon-related files with StuffIt Expander v7.x may cause you to receive this error. Using version 8.0 should help.

Im having trouble getting a major 3rd-party scenario (EVIL, Red, M1A1, etc.) to work right.
Due to these scenarios typical reliance on MML, and the way MML currently works, its generally best to have a completely separate A1 installation for each major scenario. That is, *avoid* dropping the M1A1 files into your A1 structure alongside Marathon Infinity etc. Also, if youre using a Mac, make sure the files have the correct Mac OS “type code”. Use the Macintosh file typing tools (found at

There should not be a problem having M2, Marathon Infinity, and add-ons for both all crammed into one big directory tree. As long as theres no MML involved (and there isnt, with these standard scenarios) you can dump them all in together and sort them out via Environment Preferences.

I only have the Marathon Infinity demo (or Marathon 2 demo, or Marathon 2). Will

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Mac Os And Old-Style Preferences File. (April 16, 2021). Retrieved from