The Pfhor are a species of hostile alien slavers in the Marathon series.[1] They attacked the UESC Marathon in 2794.[2] They seek to control the galaxy and perform numerous evil deeds in the games, including ecocide. The Pfhor were ultimately defeated in 2881, when the Pfhor system was sacked by the combined fleets of the UESC and S‘pht’kr. By the time Durandal returned to Earth 10,000 years after Marathon 2, they are a distant memory.


The Pfhor are bipedal, somewhat taller than humans and have three red eyes and grey skin. Pfhor are generally thinner and lighter than humans and are superbly adapted for low gravity environments. The arrangement of their eyes was changed from a triangle pointing down in Marathon to a triangle pointing up in the later games.[3]


Little is revealed about Pfhor culture. They appear to have a rather complex bureaucracy, and according to Durandal their religion is "pathetically boring."[4] The only information that has been gathered about their religion is the presence of Sfiera, a goddess of lightning and passion. The Pfhor have an empire and specialize in slavery.


A distinctive aspect of Pfhor culture is the presence of a strict caste system.

  • Fighter: They are the most common type of Pfhor encountered by players. They all carry and attack with a shock staff. Fighters are further divided into colours which also decides their toughness in battle.[5]
    • Green fighters are of the lowest rank and can only use their shock staff as a melee attack.
    • Purple fighters have increased health.
    • Blue and orange Fighters are capable of firing energy bolts from their staff. They have increased health and a higher rate of fire.
    • Black fighters are the strongest of all, being faster and more aggressive than the blue fighters, and stronger than the purple. They use both melee and ranged attacks
  • Trooper: Troopers are Pfhor soldiers in vacuum-enabled suits. They carry an assault rifle with attached grenade launchers, similar to the player's.[6]
    • Green Troopers are the weakest and least aggressive.
    • Purple Troopers have increased health and are more aggressive. They fire grenades at an increased rate.
    • Blue-Gray Troopers have increased health and are as aggressive as the Purple troopers.
    • Black Troopers are the most powerful troopers.
  • Hunter: Hunters are heavily armoured Pfhor who are able to withstand the most damage and have shoulder-mounted plasma cannons. They are known to let out a howl whenever they identify an enemy. They are also known to be ruthless, leaving behind no survivors, even killing those who surrender.[7]
    • Brown Hunters are the weakest and most common variant.
    • Green Hunters have increased health and rate of fire.
    • Blue and Grey hunters are physically larger and have increased health and rate of fire.
  • Enforcer: The Pfhor Enforcers are classified as the most intelligent in the Pfhor infantry; they are a rank above Hunters. The Enforcers come in two sub-ranks, the Minor and Major Enforcers. They carry a rapid-fire alien machine gun. Later games have them carrying weapons that act as long-distance flamethrowers. They are tasked with keeping order among Pfhor troops and are known to attack them. They also play the role of interrogators as shown in some terminals.[8]
    • The Minors have blue skin and are weaker, slower, and have poorer vision.
    • The Major Enforcers, who have turquoise skin are faster, have sharper vision and increased health.
  • Juggernaut: The Pfhor Juggernauts or Utfoo Heavy Assault Crafts are the strongest enemies throughout all of the Marathon Trilogy. They are essentially large flying tanks. All Juggernauts are equipped with an automatic close-range weapon and a secondary guided weapon, both are dual-wielded. They are part of Battle Group 7's air combat wing, the 723rd Heavy Air Cavalry. They are infamous for decimating enemy resistance.[9]
    • Minor Juggernauts are grey in colour.
    • Major Juggernauts are orange in colour, have higher health, and shoot more often.
  • High Pfhor: The High Pfhor were the highest-ranking members of the Pfhor race. Not much is revealed about them.

Enslaved races[edit]

The Pfhor have several servant races who are forced to fight for them.

  • S'pht: The S'pht are a race of aliens, cybernetically enhanced by the Jjaro to terraform Lh'owon. They were later enslaved by the Pfhor. The S'pht are the most commonly encountered slave race of the Pfhor. Also known as compilers, they have metallic heads and long red capes, and are equipped with an energy weapon under their capes. Depending on the class of S'pht, they can launch various sorts of glowing bolts which, in some cases, home in on the target.[10]
  • Hulk: Hulks, also known as Drinniol, stand over ten feet tall and have almost no fat on their entire bodies, which forces them to eat constantly. They are incredibly strong and able to kill humans with one strike from their bare hands. They once led the most destructive slave revolt against the Pfhor.[11] The Nar claim they are gentle creatures even though they enjoy crushing Nebulons.[12]
  • Wasp: Wasps are a species of large flying insects that appear to be used to distract, confuse and injure any human who offers resistance. It is unclear whether they are directly controlled by the Pfhor or are simply used as weaponised pests.
  • Looker: Lookers are a small insectoid creature with lumps on its back, when shot or when in range of the player, it explodes violently.

Notable Pfhor[edit]

  • Admiral Tfear
  • Re'eer, a commander 5th class, studying the Pfhoric and Narsh languages and later potentially executed for stealing classified documents and feigning his own death or being killed by the Humans.
  • Rr'pt, a Pfhor commander loyal to Tycho, fighting against Captain R'chzne.
  • R'chzne, a captain aboard the vessel seized by Tycho. Killed by Tycho.
  • St'ngr, a science officer on Lh'owon was killed by the marine.
  • W'rrl, a science officer on Lh'owon, presumably killed by the player.
  • The Great Mother

Pfhor ships[edit]

  • Sfiera - Corvette that originally attacked the Marathon but was later taken over by Durandal and renamed Boomer.[13]
  • Khfiva - Battleship, Tfear's flagship in Marathon 2: Durandal.[14]
  • Hfarl - Refueling ship commandeered by Robert Blake to escape to Earth.
  • Sepfh'r - Admiral Tfear's flagship in Maration Infinity[15]
  • 65-f cr'etz'ih - R'chzne, later Tycho's scoutship.[16]