The Post-Terran Minerals Corporation (PTMC) digs up minerals on all nine planets of the solar system, employing humans and robots to do its job. Unfortunately, the mining robots are now being controlled by a hacker, and have taken the human workers hostage. The PTMC has tried to get the robots back under their control, but communication with the mining stations has been lost. In desperation, the PTMC modifies a Pyro-GX ship for combat and hires a mercenary, codenamed "Material Defender", to fly it. The mission is to destroy the infected mines and rescue human hostages, destroying any hostile robot that gets in the way.Descent
is a 3D first-person game that puts the player at the controls of the Pyro-GX spaceship. Descent
is notable in that the player travels through various interior locations (mines) but can do so in 720 degrees of movement. The ship however only moves forward and backward in any of the directions it is facing. The ship is able to use a variety of weapons scattered as power-ups throughout each level. They include: standard lasers, the Vulcan Cannon (a chaingun-like weapon), the Spreadfire Cannon (a rapidly firing, shotgun-like energy weapon), the Plasma Cannon (a rapidly firing energy weapon more suited for medium-range combat), and the Fusion Cannon (fires a ball of energy that's more powerful the longer it is charged it up, but could destroy the ship). All of these weapons, except for the Vulcan Cannon, use the ship's energy supply. The Pyro-PX is also capable of firing regular concussion missiles, homing missiles, proximity bombs (sits in the sky, then explodes when something gets close to it), smart missiles (more powerful homing missiles that fire out homing energy balls upon impact with their target), and Mega Missiles (the ultimate weapons of mass destruction).
The goal of each level is to locate and destroy the mine's reactor. Once completed, there are only 45 seconds to find the escape hatch to get out of the mine before it explodes. As progress is made through the game, the AI will adapt to player's strategies and attempt to prevent the player from reaching the goals.
- "Inferno" -- Working Title
- "Descent: Destination Saturn" -- Demo Version Title
- "Descent 1" -- Informal Name
Part of the Following Groups
The Press Says
If you used one of the cheat codes, you'd hear a female voice call you "Cheater" in a mocking tone.
A complete version of Descent
is available on Classic Games Collection CD featured with the July 2000 issue of PC Gamer Magazine.
The game was originally titled Inferno
and was to take place in space stations rather than mines.
In the readme file included with the registered version of Descent
, a "CD-Enhanced" version was promised to be released in the summer of 1995. Descent
had already been released on CD-ROM, but the "CD-Enhanced" version was to contain new levels and enemies, a Redbook (CD audio) version of the game's soundtrack, and 3D-rendered cinematics. Unfortunately, this version was never released. However, Descent II
was suggested to have been the CD-Enhanced version of Descent that they were talking about: it contains all of the features promised for the CD-Enhanced version, and retains most of the original Descent
's gameplay (along with some new features like an afterburner, energy-to-shields converter, and headlights).
The very popular KALI online matchmaking program, which emulates IPX over the Internet was created in the sole purpose of bringing online play to Descent. Indeed, it grew quite bigger as the time went on.
was to be a shareware game, and Apogee Software (one of the most famous names in shareware games) was going to distribute it for Parallax. Unfortunately the deal fell through...Apogee didn't have the finances to distribute the game, and Interplay came in to save the game from being canceled fully.
The game was still released as shareware, where you could download the first seven stages and purchase the rest from Interplay directly or in stores. As a token of the appreciation, Parallax added a thank-you message to "Scott Miller and Apogee Software" in the credits for the game.
A trilogy of novels inspired by the game was published by Avon Books. They were all written by Peter Telep
and first published in 1999:
- Stealing Thunder
Information also contributed by
Scott Monster and
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/1999 - #50 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
- PC Gamer
- April 2000 - #45 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll