|Bonus Video 01 - Multiplayer||Blip.TV||Polsy||YouTube||Download||Update|
|Bonus Video 02 - UZworm Kills Star Man||Blip.TV||Polsy||YouTube||Download||Update|
|Bonus Video 03 - Cheat Codes||Blip.TV||Polsy||YouTube||Download||Update|
|Bonus Video 04 - Destination Saturn||Blip.TV||Polsy||YouTube||Download||Update|
|Cyberia - Part 01||Blip.TV||Polsy||YouTube||Download|
|Cyberia - Part 02||Blip.TV||Polsy||YouTube||Download|
|Cyberia - Part 03||Blip.TV||Polsy||YouTube||Download|
|Cyberia - Part 04||Blip.TV||Polsy||YouTube||Download|
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.
In this game, you are 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 have been overrun by an alien virus that has reprogrammed the mining robots into killing machines. Your mission is to destroy the reactor of each mine so you can eliminate the threat of an invasion of Earth. But when the reactor is destroyed, you have to flee the mine by using the emergency exit or perish with the mine when it blows.
This is your ship, the Pyro-GX:
Descent was originally released as shareware in December of 1994, and the retail version was released in March of 1995. The game could be purchased on a series of floppy discs or on CD for DOS. Descent was ported to the Playstation and for Macintosh in 1996. Both ports feature remastered soundtracks of some of the game's MIDI music. The Playstation version also features a handful of fully rendered videos for the opening, ending, and the exit sequences of each mine (I do not know if the Mac version has video as well). Descent will eventually be released on WiiWare by Interplay, but so far there is no known release date. Screenshots featured on Interplay's WiiWare page show a new HUD for the Pyro-GX and it appears that the resolution of the game's textures have been upgraded a little bit. Hopefully this re-release turns out.
Who are you guys and what are you doing?
I will be playing this game from start to finish on Hotshot difficulty (medium-hard). Major_JF and UZworm will be joining me again after the madness we put ourselves through in the Short Game Theatre Mk. III with Cyberia.
Because Descent was originally released on DOS, that makes it difficult for many people to play the game on newer computers. I believe the Mac port can be played on OS9, but without emulation for it, OSX can't play it. Instead of playing Descent on DOS Box, I am instead playing the game on Descent Rebirth (DXX-Rebirth).
The plan for creating content will be to record a planet's worth of levels every week, then put up videos of each mine every three or four days. I'll let you all know when I'm recording gameplay in case you want to point something out to me.
What's Descent Rebirth?
In 1997, Parallax released the source code for Descent to end users. This has been a very valuable tool in keeping the game 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. I could play the game using D2X-XL, but I would then be playing the game with Descent II's improvements in enemy AI and features. And it's bloated with way too many features.
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.
The game's music in Level 2 isn't what I remember when I played it. What's going on?
The Playstation and Mac ports of Descent featured a remastered soundtrack for certain pieces of music. Whenever a mine with a remastered track comes up, I will be replacing the MIDI music with the remastered track. You can still hear the original MIDI track in the video by selecting the appropriate audio track if you download the video.
Descent Links and Resources
DescentBB.net - 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.
Part one of a documentary covering the history of Volition that discusses the making of Descent 1 and Descent II.
An image I made for UZworm:
The team banner for the multiplayer tournament that never happened:
Veloxyll tried his hand at creating a pirate flag for our ship of fools:
...but Musical_Daredevil came out on top and won UZworm's eternal affection: