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sda loyalist
Ah, that's how you stopped the auto weapon switch. I will have to do that.
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-08-28 10:51:38 pm
The man made of sticks
11 / Io Sulfur Mine - 1:49 - AVI

At the yellow key, there's a pause that needs to be addressed.  In this game, if you have a cloak or invuln, you cannot pick up another of the same powerup until the one you have wears off.  I was lucky that the timing worked out perfectly here so that I could pick up the next cloak just as my previous one ended.

There's another pause at the reactor when I waited to charge up the fusion shot to destroy the reactor, which was done for two reasons.  First, my movement isn't perfect, so I wanted to be sure that I'd be able to finish the job in that one shot.  Also, the reactor's position makes it such that a fusion shot aimed slightly off would be absorbed by the nearby walls, so I wanted to have it lined up perfectly.  Killing the reactor in one blow was something I really wanted to have, since only a charged fusion shot is that strong... not even a mega missile can destroy that reactor in one hit. Smiley
The man made of sticks
12 / Callisto Tower Colony - 1:35 - AVI

Convenient powerup placement...
everybody wanna tell you the meaning of music
Good work! Gonna submit these to SDA when you finish all the levels?

Descent was always my favorite FPS back in the day... I suppose this makes me not a real FPS gamer or something. =p
The man made of sticks
Yeah, submitting will be the way to go... afterwards, I'll either go on to Descent 2, or take a break and get started on those Final Doom avis.
The man made of sticks
13 / Europa Mining Colony - 2:54 - AVI

I spent quite a bit of time on this and I'm happy with the result.
You're on a roll, stx. Keep up the good work! Smiley
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-02 09:44:43 pm
The man made of sticks
14 / Europa CO2 Mine - 2:22 - AVI

Quite annoying altogether... it implements a lucky cloak drop from an enemy, but it doesn't happen until the yellow door.  Too much luck for my taste, but I hopefully produced a smooth run anyway.  I question if my usage of the mega and smart missiles was the wisest, but there were few options open to me.

Also, be sure to check out Lag's site with the tables:

He has some new tools there, one of which helps time the runs.  Now if only we could get rid of the D1X bug that makes it crash if the demos reach a certain file size, which seems to vary for the level and for the person running it.  Silly...

Also, I installed Descent 2 and tried D2X, but it barely ran.  If our friend from the Descent community still reads this thread, we could use some help for the demo size problem mentioned before, as well as the D2X stuff.  When I ran the older D2X suggested by Planetdescent, I just get a black screen after the pilot select screen.  When I tried the newer one, it let me start, but the text in the menus were not displayed, the textures ingame were white, sound was lagged, and fullscreen didn't work right.  As such, running Descent 2 will probably be impossible for me, so I'll most likely be doing the Final Doom avi stuff after Descent 1 is finished.  I'm running Win2k, if that helps any.

I wondered if the Descent 2 issues are there because I have the anniversary edition, which seems to function differently when it comes time to patch them.
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-04 11:59:58 am
The man made of sticks
15 / Titan Mine - 1:49 - AVI

Rather easy and simple compared to many levels preceding it... nothing but hulks in this level.  There was also an invulnerability that would only have taken a few seconds to get, but gets skipped anyway...  lenient.

We also figured out what causes the client to crash when the demo file sizes get too high... and why the allowed file size seemed to change depending on the level (which was actually proven to be not true).  I tried to record a demo on lv01 again and the demo size upon crashing was significantly lower than it was before... and I had noticed that I had been downloading a lot of stuff and filling up the HD recently.  I cleared out a bunch of stuff that I had copied elsewhere, and suddenly I was able to record larger demos again.  I'm not sure what the D1X client is doing wrong to crash based on this detail, but my fears of not being able to finish recording any especially long levels due to those file size woes are gone.  Yay.

Also, just for kicks, I recorded a version of the lv14 run that doesn't use the PC midi music, but instead uses its equivalent from the PSX port of the game.  I doubt I could submit the run to SDA that way, but anyway:
Edit history:
elbryan42: 2005-09-05 02:28:21 am
Great work, Stx-Vile! You're making me want to play Descent. Wink

I love the idea of using the Descent PSX music in your vids. Since it doesn't change the gameplay. It makes the vids more enjoyable for sure. But I guess I can hum the music since I have it all memorized (I listen to it on a regular basis).

One thing though, I know it's the same track, but I don't think that music track is on that specific level on the PSX. It's on Level 5 for sure, but after Level 13, the PSX tracks just repeat.

On another side note I'm glad you picked that specific track. It's my favorite track on both the PC and the PSX. Smiley
The man made of sticks
I'm glad you enjoyed the little experiment... to be honest, I did not intend for this to be continued at all, but me and Lag thought the final level music (the same one used for lv05) is rather dull, so I planned to do it again, once I've reached the end of the game.  I already have a track in mind, even...

Progress: lv16 is another easy one... that is all.
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-06 05:12:42 pm
The man made of sticks
16 / Hyperion Methane Mine - 1:32 - AVI

Laser and missile platform enemies are introduced here... you'll see the laser variety not even 5 seconds into the run.  Quite an annoying level to optimize, even though the actual route isn't hard.
stx, excellent job on all the demos, I enjoyed all of them.

I was watching level... 11 I think it was, and laughed when you bumped into that Homing Hulk thing and you graciously slipped by him. Nice fusion cannon shot. It's amazing how well you're controlling your ship too.

Keep it up!
Off topic:  OMG head for the hills, Pocari's back Wink

On topic: Shocked Good job with this run!
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-08 01:45:37 pm
The man made of sticks
17 / Tethys H2O Mine - 2:05 - AVI

The gopher bots are introduced here, running around laying explosives like Bomberman...  they'll fly down the exact center of any corridor to make it impossible to simply fly past them, unless they turn around and try to fly right through your ship.

Also, LagDotCom returns with a run of level 01 in 0:33, played on the highest skill, Insane.  If you forgot (or never learned) how fast the projectiles fly on this skill, check it out:

This run also demonstrates how deaths can be used as potential shortcuts in this game, even though I don't use them as a personal preference.
I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
Heh, didn't have a very good reactor fight in that level. =\ That one bot kept getting in the way!
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-10 12:03:54 am
The man made of sticks
That actually turned out better than usual, since the lifter robot that came out of the reactor room before I went in is usually right in front of the entrance.  Once he stops you, the other robots move into position and screw up the whole ending.
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-13 03:24:19 am
The man made of sticks
18 / Miranda Mine - 2:16 - AVI

In a fairly stupid move, I deleted the comments I original had posted here... oh well, level was fun, music was good, something about robot blocking, moving on.
how many level have Descent ??  Shocked
The man made of sticks
There are 27 normal levels and 3 secret levels.  I'm not sure how the secret levels are going to be recorded yet, as the game will not allow you to select them from the level select menu, nor from the warp cheat code.  The best that me and Lag could determine would be perhaps having a savegame for the start of the level and making that a standard method of recording.  Of course, the trick there would be getting a save with 100/100 shields and energy, only the level 1 laser, AND the appropriate number of conc missiles, since that number varies depending on the difficulty level.
sda loyalist
If you run yourself below the starting stats you get them automatically, so that isn't too much of a problem. Leave the previous level with crappy shield and energy and no concs, and as long as you didn't pick up any extras, you're fine to save. Smiley
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-13 03:24:50 am
The man made of sticks
19 / Oberon Mine - 1:23 - AVI

A rather popular moon, as this is the first of three levels on Oberon.  Rather short and not difficult to finish, but requiring an annoying amount of robot cooperation to get the fastest runs.  For instance, I pushed the super hulk out of the way as I went to the yellow key room, but he very often blocks the passage back out.  Clearing out the robots near the main chute after getting the blue key was also annoying, as they don't cluster together as often as one would like, nor do the homing missiles always lock onto the desired targets.  I got a fair amount of cooperation overall, here.
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-14 12:16:33 am
The man made of sticks
20 / Oberon Iron Mine - 1:02 - AVI

A quick note about a small discrepancy in the game.  For each level, there's a small intro screen that tells you a little about the level.  Before this level, it says that you're proceeding to Oberon Platinum Mine, but the map and tally screen say that it's Oberon Iron Mine.  Oberon Platinum Mine is actually level 21... and the intro to that level says you're going to the Iron Mine, so they got switched accidentally.  I'm going by the names provided by the tally screen.

This level is as luck-related as any level in this game can get.  All three keys and held by robots, all of whom want nothing to do with the material defender and will quickly run off to hide in the maze-like corridors of this level, dropping mines along the way.  Luckily, the level is also as sequential as possible, so that you get the blue key, open the blue door and move on to the yellow key segment and so on.  Also, it's possible to anticipate the key carriers to some degree, but not always.  Here are the details:

The blue key robot is the strongest of the three, as a gopher bot is used as its base, and there are plenty of other gopher bots and green clawed robots in the area.  However, I've noticed that remaining in the start area for a short time will coax it to run by and actually head in the appropriate direction.  If that doesn't happen, I start over again... yeah, annoying, but at least it's the first key.

The yellow key is almost always in the same place right at the start, and its base is a drone, so it only takes a few shots to destroy it.  Only a short chase was required to catch it here.  I also get to pick up the fusion cannon for later.

The red key area is when I start hoping for luck, as the red key robot is hardly ever in the same area right at the start, nor by the red key door.  I go in that direction first in case fortune smiles on me, and it did here, as the red key bot was right by the door and was retreating and got a fusion shot.  I was quite happy. Smiley

Now, it's also time to elaborate on something that we noticed while examining these levels.  The fusion cannon is used to destroy the reactor with a single charged shot.  The charged fusion cannon is actually not THAT much more powerful than a barrage of quad laser, spread, or plasma fire, but here it was able to do instantly what it would take a plasma cannon and missiles about five seconds.  This is something that we didn't notice originally when we played the game so many years ago, but it appears that the fusion cannon is able to damage the reactor MULTIPLE TIMES as the beams pass through it.  Here's some examples of how this was factored into the routes:

- Levels 15. 16: the fusion cannon is very close to the main route, so it was taken not only for its ability to hit multiple robots in a line, but also for the multiple hits on the reactor and its instant destruction. Smiley

- Levels 17, 18: these levels don't have a fusion cannon as far as we know... boo.

- Level 19: this level has a fusion cannon, but it's enough of a trip to and from the main route to pick it up that I decided to save the conc missiles and use them in combination with the plasma cannon to destroy the reactor.  No big loss here, as the reactor room provided a cloak.

Probably not that interesting to you, I dunno, but that's just something that was considered in the routes, and maybe you didn't know about the fusion's advantage against the reactor.  I hardly ever used the gun when I originally played the game years ago, since I always had a level 4 quad laser and favored its ease of use.  In older versions of the game (pre 1.4, according to the change list) the fusion cannon used to be quite a bit more of an energy hog, so that's probably why it was neglected then.
Edit history:
stx-Vile: 2005-09-14 05:54:33 am
The man made of sticks
21 / Oberon Platinum Mine - 1:12 - AVI

Another one that turned out to be more brief than expected.  The only thing to explain here was the reactor room, which was memorable for adding a puzzle element to the mix.  Upon entering the room, three doors on the opposite side of the room open.  Entering and leaving one of them will open another hatch on another side of the room.  Entering and leaving this hatch will expose the reactor briefly.  Fortunately, with the fusion cannon equipped, one pass is more than enough.  It seems like the puzzle was a lot more difficult back in the old days... like much of the game. Smiley
stx-Vile the machine plows forward it seems. You're doing a great job with all this, stx. That's all really cool about everything you've mentioned in your last posts. The puzzle especially, and all that stuff about the fusion cannon and such.

6 more levels to go! Plus the secret levels. When everything is all set and done, are you going to send all of this to Radix?