First mentioned in Marathon 2, the Nar are an alien race mentioned in the Marathon series, and even seen in terminal pictures, but never actually encountered in any of the games.
An extensive history was developed for the Nar by Bungie employee Rob Mclees:
"The Nar sprang into being exactly one week after the universe sprang into being. They are an ageless race of immortal beings who, in the four billion odd years of their existence, have yet to develop a written language. This tends to hinder their scientific endeavors as they speak entirely in metaphor.It would seem the Nar are not well-liked, or at least that the AI Durandal found them, or their tactics, irritating:
"The entire Nar homeworld has been developed. That is to say that the entire surface of the planet has a three-story building built on it. In other words, the Nar homeworld is encased in a three-story structure that covers every square inch of the planet's surface. On the lowest level (or "Ground Floor") we have the Nar - the laborers and foot soldiers of the Nar. Living on the next level (or "Mezzanine") are the C'Nar - the artisans and artificers of the Nar. At the nighest level (living proof that filth rises to the top of any medium) are the Cf'Nar and the CFN Kommandoes - the Cf'Nar are the "ruling elite" of the Nar (mostly managers or scientific research facilities and heads of huge industrial combines) and the CFN Kommandoes usually go up to "The Roof" to hone their martial arts and tend the sod."
- from The Marathon Scrapbook
"Our little trick with the Pfhor's defense drones didn't work as well as I had hoped. Apparently when the #%*@!ng Nar attempted to retake Epsilon Euobea from the Pfhor two decades ago they used similar tactics, and our friends here were prepared for it."The Nar were again mentioned in Marathon Infinity, where a Pfhor named Re'eer is making a comparative study of the Narsh and Pfhoric languages. There, Re'eer states his belief that Robnar the Nar High Seer, a prophet, had foretold of the occupation of Lh'owon and its possible destruction.
- from Marathon 2, Ex Cathedra, Terminal Four
- Map text on the Marathon 2 level, Ex Cathedra, simply reads "The NAR" -- despite their detailed background, this terminal and picture was their only noteworthy appearance in-game at that point.