Prepare for Descent...
Okay, listen up assholes. I've actually made like one thread ever since posting in this place, and I have insomnia right now. Meaning, in my sleep-deprived delirium, I was thinking of random shit to try to get me to sleep, like how hot my neighbor is, or how much Darkwolf3128 sucks, or whether or not my pee will spin in a spiral if I twist my dick while peeing, or how awesome Descent was. What's Descent?
Only the greatest motherfucking first-person shooter that ever was created. And guess what, bitches? Imma write a hueg fucking post to tell you how much it rules and how much you guys blow for not playing it, because I'm tired as fuck right now and ANGRY. Maybe by the time I finish, I'll be anger'd out enough to finally get to sleep!
Fucked Up Controls
To this day, people wonder why I have the most batshit fucking insane key config when I play FPS games on my PC. They ask, "Hey Z, why the heck do you use F and V to move forward and back? How come you use W and X to jump and crouch? Why in the world do you invert your mouselook?" That's because these people are dumb and don't understand true genius. Ladies and gentlemen, I owe it all to this awesome game its awesomeness in control.
Think about all the first-person shooter games you've played within the last year: How many axes do you use? If you answered anything more than four, then you're a goddamn liar. You have forward-back (y), left-right strafing (x), look up and down (pitch), and look left and right (yaw). Hell, sometimes, you only need three to play the damn game (I played FarCry 2 without once turning left and right, because I'm awesome and you should worship me). You can do a technicality and say jumping and crouching is another axis, but that sort of shit will get you expelled from life.
Now, think about a typical shooter from nineteen-ninety-fucking-five. Back in the day, looking up was unheard of, and you're a goddamn visionary if you figured out to use a mouse to turn (in DooM circles, that was called using the "hax").
Descent threw all convention out the window, stomped on its corpse, shit on it, and then chewed on the remains and still had enough time to ponder the meaning of existentialism. That's because it brought in SIX MOTHERFUCKING AXES into the game to blow your goddamn eleven-year-old mind into pieces.
Yeah, bitches. Not only did you have x, y, pitch, and yaw, you also had up-down strafing and rotation. Think about that, fuckers. It had 50% more axes then every single
one of your shitty, specular-mapped, pixel-shaded garbage excuse of FPS you play today. Shit was ahead of its time. It was surreal, and your hands were spaghetti after five minutes of playing. This is the reason why you used a goddamn joystick.
One of these, asshole! Kids these days.
Look at those Sweet Grafx!
Speaking of specular-mapped, pixel-shaded garbage, back in the day, da Big D' was pretty rocking itself. Look at this sweet-ass shit:
Yeah, motherfuckas! Them be POLYGONS!
A full year before the juggernaut known as Quake came into the market, Descent was already showing fools how a full-3D FPS game environment was done. And it still looked better than that overrated piece of shit since there were more colors than three shades of fucking brown. It featured realtime light-sourcing effects, and the game made good use of dark and light areas. You had a flare launcher, and flares stuck to walls and will realistically illuminate dark areas (Descent II later gave you a headlamp, which made flares useless except for humiliation kills in multiplayer). Best part is that you didn't have to lower your weapon to do it! Game was ahead of its time.
It also had a neato demo recorder, which blew my mind at the time. I can save a movie on how much I suck at this game and play it again for memories? AWESOME!
Oh yeah, it also was based on a portal renderer
. Yeah asshole, that kind of portal. Choke on your cake and die.
Graphics Whores! It's the Gameplay, Stupid™!
Descent had a story of a "Material Defender," a snarky-ass mercenary hired by a huge conglomerate to rid their precious mines of rogue robots gone haywire from a virus. Now, it's his job to… blah, blah blah blah, fuck it, who cares, there's robots, they suck, and you're gonna murder the everloving fuck out of them.
BY LITERALLY BLOWING EVERYTHING INTO KINGDOM COME.
You know the drill, start out with a [strike]doomguy[/strike] ship in the beginning of the game with a dinky weapon, pick up weapons and powerups, fight hordes of enemies in narrow and claustrophobic corridors, find keycards, rescue human hostages, and make it to the end. All primary weapons in Descent share a single pool of energy (except the Vulcan cannons, which needed unique ammo), which can be replenished by picking up powerups from destroyed enemies or visiting recharging stations. Descent also had secondary weapons as well, in the form of high-yield explosive ordinance. You had your standard dumbfire concussion missiles, homing missiles, smart missiles, mines (useless in singleplayer), and the mega missile that was so huge it actually knocked your shit back a bit from the recoil!
A reactor sat at the end of each level, literally sitting around and waiting for you to punk it like a lil bitch (on boss levels, these would be replaced by a huge a fucking boss robot which served the same purpose). Blow it up and you win, right? No bitch, this ain't a cutscene! YOU GOTTA [strike]PRESS A[/strike] RUN! You had exactly 60 seconds to find the exit, fight your way pass any robots you have killed yet, and escape before the whole godforsaken place blew everything up into space dust. God help you if you didn't find the exit beforehand. Kiss one of your lives goodbye for sucking.
And, oh boy, were you gonna eat lives. Descent can be unforgiving. The enemy AI, unlike its contemporaries, actually was pretty intelligent
as far as 1995 standards go. On higher difficulties, they would try to dodge shots and pick you off. Higher settings of other games just added more [strike]demons[/strike] enemies to annoy you with. But in Descent, the robot population was completely identical across all settings, and raising up difficulty jacks up their murderous subroutines and enhances their taste of human flesh. Quality before quantity, folks.
The 3D graphics weren't just a visual gimmick. This game was true, full 360 degree 3D. You can go anywhere, move anywhere, look at any direction, and just basically create your own barf simulator. The full 3D environment and gameplay also had a learning curve. No, it's not going to aim for you. No, it's not going to automatically shoot enemies that are higher or lower than you. No, it's not going to tell you where to go. Yeah, there's a minimap, but good look trying to figure it out, because you're a dumbass and can't think spatially. Yeah, you blew up the reactor, now, good luck finding that fucking exit while the screen is shaking uncontrollably and every silicon asshole in the mine is gunning for you. Curl up, die, and go to hell – you're not worthy.
Going through the first level without puking from motion sickness is a sacred rite of passage for the Descent initiate.
Family Line Of Greatness
Descent (PC: 1995, PlayStation: 1996)
The one that started it all. Released for DOS on March of 1995 by Interplay and developed by Parallax Software, Descent presented the story of the Material Defender and his grand quest to [strike]save the universe from evil and corruption[/strike] make as much money as he can so he can go to some Tijuana hellhole and take jello shots from the bellies of a dozen underage hookers. I'll like Wikipedia sum it up:
The game begins with a briefing between a bald anonymous executive (in later games named Dravis) of the Post Terran Minerals Corporation (PTMC) and the player, a "Material Defender" (revealed as MD1032 in the briefings) hired on a mercenary basis to gather information about a computer virus infecting the robots used for off-world mining operations. The game progresses through the solar system, from the Moon to Pluto's moon Charon. After defeating the boss robot on Charon, the Material Defender is informed he cannot return to the PTMC's headquarters in lunar orbit, as there is a chance his ship may be infected with the same virus as the defeated robots.
It was released for Macintosh PCs a bit later, and this version included an enhanced soundtrack in redbook audio. A version appeared for the PlayStation with prerendered cinematics, a remixed soundtrack, and some snazzy lighting effects. However, this was before the days of the Dual Shock, and the controls were pretty terrible.
Descent II (PC: 1996, PlayStation: 1997)
After a short development time, a sequel was released. No shit, Zxerol? I wouldn't have guessed!
After the player has destroyed all of the mines in the solar system in the original Descent, he stops in the Asteroid belt for refueling. Dravis then contacts him and has a new mission:
"If you've studied your standard mercenary agreement, you would notice that PTMC reserves the right to keep you on retainer for up to 72 hours, post-mission. If you choose to decline further service, we may consider you in default of your contract, and your fee may be suspended, pending litigation. Good luck Material Defender. Dravis out."
The player's ship is fitted with a prototype warp core and he is sent to clear out all of PTMC's deep space mines, the last of which seems to run all through a planetoid, which is revealed in the final cutscene to be a large spaceship.
After it breaks apart, the Material Defender radios in to alert Dravis to his return home, but his warp drive malfunctions and he ends up in an unknown location. The camera then fades to that location and the ship appears, drifting towards the camera while it zaps itself with bolts of electricity. "To be continued" is displayed in fiery letters, and the plotline continues in Descent 3.
Descent II was pretty much the same, except the weapon loadout was doubled, there were more robot types, some twistier and nastier levels, and the overall AI was boosted a bit. So basically, it took an awesome game and made it what Voltaire termed "fuckawesome
A welcome new addition to the game was the GuideBot. This little guy made the game that much smoother. The GuideBot was your best friend, your bestest pal in godforsaken shithole of a universe. He always appeared near the beginning of the level, where you can bust him out from his cage and he'll tag along you like an obedient dog. His default behavior is to guide you to the stuff you need to finish the map: find all the keys in the order you needed them, then to the reactor, and then the exit. You can tell him to locate other stuff, such as hostages, powerups, or energy recharging stations. If he gets separated from you (which he will, since he gleefully zips around enemies while you're trying to deal with assholes attempting to shove mega missiles up your plasma pipe), he'll come back trying to look for you and making sad "I'm sorry" puppy faces. So while the levels were more intricate and dastardly, the GuideBot actually made things less confusing and to-the-point. The best part? It's completely optional if you want to you use him. If you accidentally freed him, you can actually order him to stay away from you if you're trying to be hardcore. But that just means you're a horrible bastard.
Less awesome than the GuideBot was the Thief Bot. He is as advertised: comes up to your ass and pulls the five-fingered discount on one of your powerups. Maybe it's something cheap, like a concussion missile. Or maybe he just took that NEW FUCKING PLASMA CANNON THAT YOU JUST FUCKING FOUND GOD FUCKING DAMMIT FUCK!!!!1. Whatever, he doesn't care, and if he takes it you'll have to kill him to get it back. Good look with that, he's fast, agile, and has way more hitpoints than you do, meaning you'll probably never kill him and get your shit back. Haha! That's what you get for sucking.
The soundtrack for this version is in redbook audio and music BY SKINNY PUPPY. YEAH SKINNY PUPPY WOOHOO! Eh, actually, I didn't care for it too much – I actually liked the alternative MIDI tracks. But people liked that shit, so I guess it just proves most people are mental.
If your rig ran on pure nitro, the game upped the resolution ante to 800x600 or even motherfucking 1280x1024
. Yes, shitdicks, that is higher than 720p. Game was so far ahead of its time, it was doing this "HD gaming" bullshit (or whatever it is you fucking hippies call it nowadays) before it was in fashion to do so.
A version called Descent Maximum was released for the PlayStation, which was kind of a remixed version of Descent I and II. It had Dual Shock support, which was much better but still wasn't quite the same.
Descent³ (PC: 1999)
Descent goes into the modern age! Coming in on a massive 2CDs, the game's engine was built from the ground up to utilize these fancy new things called "3D accelerators." Like a lot of games back at the time, it wasn't jumping on Microsoft's jock and supported Glide and OpenGL in addition to Direct3D (as well as a software renderer for the poor fucks). The graphics are fly as fuckin' hell, yo.
The single biggest gameplay change was the detachment of the series being a straight corridor shooter. Yep, ever since Unreal and Tribes and shit came out, the "in" thing was to do wide-open outdoor spaces. Feelings were mixed at the time when that was announced, and still is. There was plenty of corridor shooting to be done, but there was also quite a bit of outdoorsy combat on planet surfaces and cities and shit, too. These sections didn't feel nearly as tight as the tunnels. Due to the new graphics and improved level design, the tunnels and mines weren't as confusing and ambiguous as previous installments. Some regard this as a negative.
The lovable GuideBot now stays in your ship, and you can deploy or recall him back at any time. He also took a lesson in badass and can now be directed to attack enemies. He didn't do a lot of damage, but it was absolutely hilarious having him scream "Die infidel!" when attack enemy robots.
Yeah, there was a story too, and (unfortunately) it played a much bigger role than the previous installments. There was an actual in-game narrative, with character development and plot twists and all that other sort of shit. Look, guys, I appreciate the effort and all, but I only need the most tenable of rationale to blow up fucking robots. Fuck, look at Quake 3 and UT, which came up the same year. Yeah guys, learn a thing or two from the id school of storytelling.
There was an expansion released called Mercenary, where you play as a (surprise!) mercenary. Err, another
one. Whatever, I didn't play too much of it and I heard it wasn't that hot anyway.
So, the game was pretty good. The graphics were excellent, the game is pretty tight (the outdoor sections much less so), and it was overall pretty well put together, if less chaotic. Shoulda been a hit, right? Haha, the fact that there isn't a Descent IV should tell you something for assuming, asshole! Yeah, didn't do quite that well. People were either burned out on six-degrees-of-freedom or there was just a new generation of pansies that couldn't handle it. What a shame.
Oh, notice that it wasn't developed by Parallax? Well, it actually kind of was. Parallax was split into two studios before D3. Outrage was one half, and made Descent 3 and its expansion (and later to a game called Alter Echo, which I never played and probably blows). The other half became Volition, which made Descent: Freespace (no relation, see below). Outrage no longer exists, while Volition is alive and happily churning out thugsta simulators and Red Faction games.
Oh Great Zxerol, I Love This Shit, Is There More?
Bitch, what more do you need? You have the best first person shooters ever made! Fuck you.
Check out Forsaken
, back when Acclaim didn't completely suck ass. Did the whole six-degrees of motion and corridor shooter like Descent, but not as awesome. It did have snazzy 3D accelerated graphics (one of the first wave of PC games to do so), and was pretty fun.
You may have heard of Descent: Freespace and its more (in)famous sequel. You should, because they are killer awesome and you're not worthy to lick their shit-crusted feet. One thing: These aren't "Descent" games, i.e. first-person corridor shooters. They're actually space sims made by Outrage's sister company Volition after Parallax split. The "Descent" moniker was added during production to so as not to be confused by some other software product also named Freespace (the sequel wisely dropped that tag). Although not six-degrees-of-freedom (you couldn't strafe, even it'd make sense in space), it's still hella more complex than your pissy shit games that you fuckcocks play nowadays. Freespace had 26 different key bindings just for target acquisition.
You assholes' heads would explode.
(PS: Love you Falcon 4.0, plz don't beat me anymore).
There was also a game called Descent to Undermountain
. Completely had nothing to do with Descent other than using its engine. For one thing, it was a goddamn fantasy RPG. Never played this bitch, but Chris Avellone was a developer for it, and people here love polishing that guy's knob.
There's probably more Descent-like games out there, but they all blow and not worth your time. I can say this having not possibly played them, cuz I'm always right.
As for Descent 4? I'd love to see it, but it ain't happening. I'm going to go onto full-on cynical asshole mode and just say that people are too dumb to get it. Or rather, the market thinks people are too dumb to get it. Let's face it, if it doesn't have guns and people with squishy blood effects or space marines or whatever, no publisher is gonna sign onto your FPS. Tell me I'm wrong, I dare you. Furthermore, this whole modern idea of "streamlining" things is gonna suck ass for Descent. I'll tell you right now, they're gonna take out two axes so people don't get confused, and it's gonna blow. Look at your Xbox controller: that fucker has two thumbsticks with two axes. Where the fuck are you going to fit the other two? The fucking triggers? The PS3 has a six-axis controller, but I can imagine controlling your craft using motion control to be a PITA. And forget
about those fucknut PC gamers, them and their fucking Peggle and shit. Christ.
Look, there is only one way to control a Descent game proper, and that's with a fat honking mother of a joystick in one hand with a twist handle. Or rudders if you're fucking awesome. How many of you fuckfags still have a joystick? Huh? Huh? Yeah, I thought so. You guys all make me sick.
Sounds Great, Oh God of the Universe! I'll Just Boot Up Windows And... OH FUCK!
Yeah, Descent hates your Windows. Real men run real mode DOS with like two TSRs. Memory manag-- wha?
Good news, though! Parallax had released the source code for Descent in 1999 (yeah, only four years after release, because they're the shit). Source ports exist; the best probably is DXX-Rebirth
, which has versions for D1 and D2 in Windows, Mac OS 9/X, and Linux flavors. Just drop your .hog, .pig, and .ham files (I'm not bullshitting, those were the actual extensions for the packaged data -- I guess Parallax loved bacon) into D1X or D2X's /data dir, and let her rip!
Although Descent 3 is not open-source, it works as-is all the way up to motherfucking Windows 7 x64. Yeah, I just ran it ten minutes ago. It works and I'm awesome and you all can suck it. Game was so ahead of its time it runs on operating systems FROM THE FUTURE.
Note that open-source != freeware. Descent is still commercial software despite its age. Yeah, I know you know what that means
, don't be a punk! GOG
is offering ALL THREE games for reasonable prices! In fact, the versions of these games from GOG have been retooled to run on modern Windows systems, no source port necessary. Ultra-rad. I love the Polish.
To get you cheap and ungrateful assholes started, I got hold of the shareware versions of Descent I and II and extracted the game files for you shitdicks. Use the DXX Rebirth source port above, and put the files in a directory called 'data' (you'll have to create it). Note that there are separate versions of the source port for D1 and D2.
[*]Descent 1 Shareware Files
[*]Descent 2 Shareware Files
[*]Descent 3 Demo
My FPS is better than yours, and math proves it
Awesome rendition of the Descent II credits theme.
Awesome ship design or awesomest?!
MIDI music is the best music
Even in its third iteration, DooM is still trying to catch up to Descent
Sweet, Okay, Imma Blast Sum Robots, Thx Z!
no prob, now eat a dick
or talk how awesome descent is, i guess. thats coo too.