The Let's Play Archive

Descent II

by Star Man

Part 3: Level 03

Featured Music - Level 03

Of the few gripes I have about Descent II is that it gives the player a lot of powerful new weapons so early. I don't know if it was an oversight or done on purpose by Parallax, but the gauss cannon is so powerful. In fact, there are two reasons why I would ever want to use another weapon. One is if I run out of vulcan ammo and the other is if there is a reason to hit an enemy with an energy weapon. The gauss cannon uses less ammunition per shot than the vulcan cannon. The projectiles are hitscan, just like the vulcan cannon, so it's very hard to miss your target. The projectiles are explosive so they have splash damage, which can damage you if you are too close to the blast.

So I'm going to try to vary up my weapon usage so I'm not wasting everything so easily.

When a medium lifter and an advanced lifter love each other, they make a diamond claw. The diamond claw is a very dangerous enemy. When shot at by energy weapons, the diamond claw fires green blobs that will seek you out, as if it were a detonating smart missile. The diamond claw should be engaged from as far away as possible, because even its explosion will knock you back and damage you, just like the theif-bot's. It usually drops more than one power-up upon defeat.

Sidearms are usually found guarding important items, mine reactors, or entryways. They fire bolts that look like the bomblets that smart mines release, but these will not seek you. It is also equipped with flash missiles and they can be quite bothersome. But their real danger lies in...

...the children that it spawns after destruction. Modula are only armed with flash missiles. While flash missiles inflict very little damage, a direct hit from a flash missile will cast a blinding white light and distort the sounds of gunfire around the player. If several modula are firing upon you, the effects of being hit by several flash missiles can disable your senses for long enough that robots can finish you off. They're also very agile, and can be found in the wild.

This is a teleporter. Teleporters lead to secret levels and are found in one or two mines of each system that you will visit. They can be entered any number of times and at any time as long as the secret level's reactor is intact. Teleportets can be used as alternate exits when the mine's self-destruct countdown is active. If you enter a secret level from a teleporter in a mine that has been incinerated, the teleporter will transport you to the next available mine. If you try to use a teleporter and the secret level has been destroyed, you will enter a cube with teleporters on all six sides and a message saying that the secret level is no longer accessible.

Secret levels contain a cornucopia of powerful weapons that you can acquire early or easily replenish. The robots in secret levels usually behave very differently, such as ITDs laying proximity bombs and dropping powerful items when they are destroyed. There are also many doors that can only be opened once and grates will materialize behind you as you move closer to the reactor.

Lastly, you cannot save your game inside of a secret level. In order to retrieve all of the items and destroy the reactor, you will have to do all of it in a single run. You can still save outside of a teleporter, so you still have an unlimited number of opportunities to explore every secret level and learn its secrets.

And finally, this is the end of the demo version of the game that was found on floppy disc and available as a download. The secret level cannot be reached, but you can find the teleporter and note its location when you purchase the retail version.