Here are my demos from the original Descent game, circa 1995. You can download them to play them back on your machine, but you will need either (1) a running version of the original DOS-based game (I'd be impressed) or (2) one of the community-developed versions based on the open-sourced code (my favorite is D1X-Rebirth) along with the original game content. Or, you can just watch them on YouTube (coming soon).
I recorded these demos "back in the day" using the original Descent game -- at 320x200 resolution! I used D1X-Rebirth to replay the demos and take new screen shots at a higher resolution. Click on the thumbnail images to see larger versions. You can also see the description of each demo by using the "Show Description" link.
By request, here is a demo, recorded on ACE difficulty, of level 6 from start to finish. It's pretty much a "walk-through," and I exploit nearly all of the available secrets and goodies.
There is one room I do not enter, however. Next to the recharge center, there is a room that contains a vulcan cannon and ammo. These powerups are pretty well guarded, appropriately enough by vulcan pigs. I feel that the bounty provided by this room is not worth the cost of obtaining it. Hence, I leave these goodies and the robots to be blown to bits by the self-destructing reactor.
Note: I have changed the name of this demo from L6Ace to L6WTAce to be more consistent with my other demos. The demo has not been re-recorded.
Finish off the seventh level using an effective and reliable yet simple technique.
Watch on YouTube (Coming Soon)
One of the most frequently asked questions is: "How do I kill the level 7 boss?" Since pictures are worth thousands of words, I have recorded a demo that shows one way to do it. There are other ways, but this is the best I've ever encountered. It is reliable (works every time) and—best of all—simple.
I first learned of this technique on CompuServe, in their Action Games/Descent forum. It was "invented" by a regular there—Jim "Shooter" Reed, but others may have independently arrived at this solution. At any rate, Shooter calls it the "Shoot and Scoot."
Using this technique is amazingly simple, but you must have slide keys—not just "slide on." Enter the room and start circling by holding the accelerate key and either the slide left or slide right key, whichever would push you toward the outside wall. Then aim and fire at the 'bots as they pass. It's probably best not to aim much more than "halfway in," as this might alter your flight path too far toward the center. The key is to hug the outside wall. The red hulk's homers and the tracking plasma balls from the boss's smart missiles will not be able to negotiate the curve and will pound harmlessly into the wall behind you. (Might be interesting to look out the back window every now and then! :-) That's all there is to it.
The demo, recorded at ACE difficulty and thus called L7Ace, begins just outside the red door. In order to demonstrate to excess the effectiveness of this technique, before getting serious about taking out the Boss, I first destroy all of his minions.
Need help reaching the boss? Here's how I handle the entire level.
Watch on YouTube (Coming Soon)
Here's another walk-through. This one is of the famous seventh level.
I didn't have a suitable saved game, so I had to start a new game from scratch. I collect all the keys, rescue the hostages, and proceed to dispatch the boss. (See also L7Ace for a demo that covers defeating the boss.)
This demo, recorded at ACE difficulty, shows the location of the secrect exit on level 21. This exit takes you to Secret Level 2. The path from the reactor room to both the regular and secret exits is shown prior to blowing the reactor (so, the countdown is not underway). See L21Rctr to learn how to find and destroy the reactor on this level.
This demo, recorded at ACE difficulty, demonstrates how to expose and destroy the reactor on level 21. It begins just outside the red door that leads to the recharge center and the regular exit. The room has already been cleared, and the robot generators have played themselves out.
This demo, recorded at ACE difficulty, shows how to open the hostage doors and get through them before they close. All 'bots have been cleared from the central room prior to the start of the demo. The generators have not been tripped, and I don't trip them during the course of the demo. So, I guess this demo also demonstrates how to gain access to this room without tripping the generators (not too difficult, really :-).
Unlike the "Shoot & Scoot" (used to kill the level 7 boss, see L7Ace), there is no "magic bullet" for the level 27 boss. (Unless, of course, you count the "nine hour bug." :-) But fortunately, there are numerous invulnerability spheres available.
There are two keys to beating the level 27 boss: stay invulnerable and ignore the minions.
The large, upper room behind the yellow door is well-stocked with invulnerabilities and cloaks. I use only one of each to clear that room. That leaves two of each for use against the boss. In addition, there are two invulns in the red room itself. One is in the "pass-through" closest to the red door, and another is in the U-shaped room behind the door in the far left corner (from the red door). You must be aware of when your invulnerability is about to wear off and move quickly to another one. You don't last long in the red room once you start taking damage.
Once inside the red room, pay little or no attention to any 'bot but the boss. Only if your path is blocked should you worry about a minion. Since you should be invulnerable, just let them harmlessly fire away at you.
At the start of the demo, I grab a cloak and invuln behind the yellow door. Note that I grab the cloak first, which means that it will wear off first. Not only does this maximize my invulnerable time, but when the cloak wears off, I'll know that the invuln is about to do the same.
I then enter the red room, quickly locate the boss, and unload on him until he teleports. Ignoring all the other 'bots, I then search out the boss again. Since the boss is always in one of the four wells, I look for him by going from well to well via the pass-throughs.
When my invulnerability is about to wear off, I find myself near to the pass-through containing another one. I grab it and repeat the above procedure, except this time, I get the invulnerability in the U-shaped room. Keeping track of your invulnerability status is critical.
I am able to finish off the boss without need for another invuln. The countdown starts, and I escape the mine while still invulnerable! :-)
Note that there is a cache of weapons (most notably Mega and Smart missiles) behind and below the main red room. I did not make use of this stuff for two reasons: (1) I didn't need it, and (2) I found that I wasted considerable invulnerable time clearing the room.
Yet another walk-through. This one will help you finish the game.
Fortunately, I had a saved game at the start of this level, so I got to begin with my full complement of weapons.
The key to this level is to find the path of least resistance. For example, it is suicide to charge into the room directly across from the starting point without softening up the resistance. This can be done while invulnerable from behind the cage protecting the blue key. See the demo for details and for other examples.
After collecting the red key, I proceed to the red door but do not enter, because the boss is in "easy mode" due to the nine hour bug. See L27Ace for a demo showing how to beat the boss when not in this mode.