The Let's Play Archive

Descent II

by Star Man

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Original Thread: You're Going Down Again. Let's Play Descent II.



The stream page:

Previously, on The Mr. Godzilla Show!:

You're Going Down. Prepare for Descent.

As the universe continues its mission to remind me of how much of a talentless hack I am, Ragny has taken upon himself the effort of playing Descent 1 and II on INSANE.

Descent 1

Well, here we go...
Boring second stage
Surprisingly difficult third stage
Level 4 of Descent was uneventful
Descent 1 is starting to get a little tough.
Aside from that big fuck up in the blue door, I'm pretty proud of this one.

Descent II

I am insane
I was trained by the Kamikazes
I hope you enjoy watching me crawl through a level at a snails pace for 20 minutes
Enjoy 5 minutes of hide and seek with the first boss of Descent II
This is 24 minutes long and you'd have to be really bored to watch the whole thing.
I hate levels entirely composed of tight corridors.
At least watch the first ten seconds.
This one is a speedrun.
Goddammit Star Man, why did you make me reinstall this game?

Flanellette plots a course for the descent into madness.

Rumrusher depicts my experience during the Cyberia 2 stream.

Christmas with UZ.

- - -

What is this game?
Created by Parallax Software and published by Interplay in 1995, Descent is a first person shooter that is played with six-degrees of freedom. The player is able to move in any direction they choose. The player may move forward, backward, left and right, up and down, and can bank left or right without any restriction. This freedom of movement has been the game’s defining feature.

Descent II was released as a three-mission demo in 1995 and the full retail version was released in 1996. The game was very well received, and was given an expansion pack titled The Vertigo Series in 1997 and a loose port of Descent II was released on the Playstation called Descent Maximum in 1997.

In Descent, you were a mercenary with the call sign Vertigo-One hired by the Post-Terran Mineral Corporation (PTMC) to act as a material defender. PTMC mines across the solar system were overrun by an alien virus that reprogrammed the mining robots into killing machines. Your mission was to destroy the reactor of each mine so you could eliminate the threat of an invasion of Earth. But when the reactor was destroyed, you had to flee the mine by using the emergency exit or perish with the mine when it blew.

These objectives are the same in Descent II. After destroying the final mine in Descent 1, you learn that Vertigo-One must return to a PTMC base in the asteroid belt before you can collect your reward. It turns out that your contractor, Samuel Dravis, has acted on your mercenary contract and evoked a clause that allows PTMC to retain Vertigo-One for an additional 72 hours and that there is suspicion that the alien virus may be carried on your ship. After rearming Vertigo-One’s Pyro-GX, the ship is also equipped with a prototype warp core that will send the Pyro to systems outside of the solar system in order to destroy the mines in those systems.

This is your ship, the Pyro-GX:

What’s new in this game?
Thirty brand new levels, an entirely new bestiary of robots, ten new weapons in addition to the original ten from Descent 1, several upgrades to your ship, and new mechanics for navigating the mines.

Who are you guys and what are you doing?
I will be the main host and recording my gameplay for this Let’s Play. UZworm, Major_JF, and SeriousSirrus were my co-hosts for Descent 1, but I will be joined primarily by Taoto and Elephantgun for Descent II whichever poor saps I can rope into this. The last game’s co-hosts will likely make appearances at some point in this LP.

Because Descent and Descent II were originally released for DOS, that makes it difficult for many people to play the games on newer computers. I believe the Mac ports can be played on OS9, but without emulation for it, OSX can’t play it. Instead of playing Descent II on DOS Box, I am instead playing the game on Descent Rebirth (DXX-Rebirth).

What’s Descent Rebirth?
In 1997, Parallax released the source code for Descent to end users. The source code for Descent II was released in 1998. This has been a very valuable tool in keeping the games playable on contemporary operating systems. Rebirth allows for Descent to be played on any contemporary operating system and presents the game as close to the original as possible while giving features not available in the past.

You can find out more about Descent Rebirth and how to get your old copies of Descent and Descent II playing again by visiting the project website.

Descent can also be purchased at Good Old Games via download and will be up and running right out of the box.

Descent Links and Resources - The Descent message board.
Planet Descent - The other Descent message board. Also home to many Descent files and utilities for all three games.
Descent Rebirth - A Descent-engine project that allows you to play the game outside of DOSBox on any platform. It's goal is to present Descent 1 and Descent II in an environment that recreates the original playing experience. This LP uses DXX software.
Good Old Games - Digital copies of the Descent series and other games can be found here. DOS games found here will be played in DOSBox. See the Descent Rebirth website for setting up your games for play in DXX.
Moon's Descendarium - Moon's website provides demos and explanations on how to get through the game's trickier parts.

Part one of a documentary covering the history of Volition that discusses the making of Descent 1 and Descent II.

Features, Weapons, Accessories and Items

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