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                                                                         \ |
                            F       A       Q                             \|
                              Version 1.25

                          (as of May 30, 1995)
    Compiled by John D. DeCuir ( 

    This is the OFFICIAL Descent FAQ.  It provides pointers/answers to the
    most Frequently Asked and easily answered Questions about Descent that
    often get posted. 
    This is NOT a substitution for the README.TXT that comes with Descent.
    The README file contains vital information that every Descent-player
    should read.  This FAQ is intended as an up-to-date supplement, NOT
    a substitution.

    All specific names included herein are trademarks:  Descent, Interplay
    Productions, Parallax Software, FlightStick, Gravis GamePad, Pentium,
    Intel, Cyrix, Id Software, Doom, Quake, Apogee, Wolfenstein 3D,
    IBM, OS/2, OS/2 Warp, PC Gamer, CompuServe, America Online, GEnie,
    Microsoft Windows, Smartdrive, Return of the Jedi, Star Wars, Death Star,
    Virtual I/O, iGlasses!, VictorMaxx, CyberMaxx, Logitech, Wingman Extreme,
    Windows 95, CompuServe, Prodigy, America Online. Any trademarks not
    mentioned here are hypothetically acknowledged.

    Please note that my e-mail address has CHANGED to -- and PLEASE do not e-mail me for technical
    support, as I just write the FAQ.  E-mail Interplay (see below)
    for technical support issues.  Feel welcome to e-mail me for a copy
    of the FAQ, although there may be a delay.  Also, I occasionally pop
    in on the IRC in #descent as Bruin.

    This article is (C) Copyright 1995 by John D. DeCuir.  All rights
    reserved.  You are welcome to make copies and redistribute this article,
    as long as it is kept in its original form.


    Welcome to the Descent FAQ!  This new, reorganized version should be
    easier to find the information you're looking for.

    This FAQ is divided into 7 parts:
       INTRODUCTION:    What is Descent all about?
       GAMEPLAY:        How to play the game
       STRATEGIES:      Strategies and ideas on winning
       CHEATS/SECRETS:  The cheat codes, and secret places
       MULTIPLAYER:     Information on playing with 2+ people
       HOMEBREW:        Information on user-created levels and editors
       MISCELLANEOUS:   Everything else.

    Hope this will provide you with everything you'll need.  If you'd
    like to see something that isn't here, please don't hesitate to
    e-mail me at  And now, prepare for Descent.


      [1a] What is Descent?
      [1b] Wait, I read somewhere about something called Quake.  Isn't this it?
      [1c] But I already play Doom.  Why would I like Descent?
      [1d] What is needed to run Descent?
      [1e] Can I play Descent under OS/2?
      [1f] Can I play Descent under Windows?
      [1g] Can I play Descent under Windows 95?
      [1h] Where is the Linux port of Descent?
      [1i] Where can I get Descent?
      [1j] What are the differences between the different releases of Descent?
      [1k] What's new in version 1.4?
      [1l] Who created Descent?
      [1l-2]    How can I contact Interplay?
      [1m] Is there source code available?
      [1n] Is there a Descent newsgroup on Usenet?
      [1o] Does Descent support any VR (virtual reality) headsets?

      [2a] Help!  I'm lost in the maze.
      [2b] I'm having trouble controlling my ship.  Any suggestions?
      [2c] What are some popular control configurations?
      [2d] I can't find places on the map.
      [2e] Undocumented Map features
      [2f] What are the differences between the different robots?
      [2g] What are those yellow tunnels with sparkly things in it?
      [2h] What are those purple areas that new ships come out of?
      [2i] What are the relative strengths of the weapons?

      [3a] I think Descent is too easy/boring.
      [3b] I think Descent is too hard.
      [3c] The secret resource: Lava
      [3d] How do I beat the big bad robot at the end of level 7?
      [3e] A Walkthrough of Level 7

      [4a] What are the cheat codes?
      [4b] Is there a list of the secrets in Descent?

      [5a] Can I play with other people?
      [5b] Does each computer require a distinct version of the software?
      [5c] Why do different computers play differently on a net game?
      [5d] Can I play over the Internet?  (IHHD and Kali info HERE)
      [5e] What's this MILK thing I keep hearing about?
      [5f] Is there a good place to meet other players?
      [5g] What speed should I set my modem at for IHHD?
      [5h] A note about networking and Descent
      [5i] How can I play those neat Chaos levels by myself?
      [5j] What are some multiplayer tactics suggestions?

      [6a] Will a level editor be released?
      [6b] What kinds of level editors are out right now?
      [6c] Where can I find homebrew levels?
      [6d] Okay, I've gotten a new level.  How do I play it?

      [7a] What are the VCR controls in the Demo Playback?
      [7b] A Quick 'n' Dirty approach for stereoscopic (3-D) Descent
      [7c] I just died; where did all my stuff go?
      [7d] How can I skip past all the dialogue in the beginning of the game?
      [7e] How can I avoid motion sickness?
      [7f] I'm having hallucinations when I look away from the monitor.
      [7g] My frame rate is far too slow.  Any suggestions to speed it up?
      [7h] How can I measure my frame rate for my computer?

      [AA] Appendix A: Internet resources for Descent


    12/26/94  Descent 0.1 FAQ born by John DeCuir.
    12/26/94  A distinct, "Descent 0.5 FAQ" written by Seth Delackner.
    12/27/94  Merger takes place, including new information from
              Adam Pletcher from Parallax Software.
              Thanks Adam!   Descent FAQ 0.6 born.
    12/28/94  Added Ascii Art logo by Thomas Axelsson, created FAQ 0.61.
    12/28/94  Added lots of new info about robots, undocumented map
              features, control configurations, framerate.  FAQ 0.7 born.
     1/02/95  Added new Ascii Logo by Thomas Axelsson, some miscellaneous
              information.  Re-organized, created a new TACTICS section.
              Debuted with FAQ 0.75.
     1/03/95  Added minor info about OS/2 and GEnie.  FAQ 0.77.
              This FAQ was never released.
     1/03/95  Added Level 7 walkthrough by Mike Lorant.  FAQ 0.8.
     1/05/95  Added info about VCR controls, secrets.  FAQ 0.81.
     1/15/95  Added lots of information throughout the FAQ.  Created
              FAQ 0.85.
     1/16/95  Added/changed some minute detail.  Thanks to Adam
              Pletcher for adding/correcting info.  FAQ 0.86.
     2/9/95   Changed some info from Adam Pletcher.  Received
              blessing from the Parallax Software deities and
              went to version 1.0.  Thanks all! :)
     3/19/95  Updated FAQ to include info on registered Descent.
              FAQ 1.1 born.
     3/24/95  Included info on new cheats, DEVIL, Chaos tactics,
              official specs.  1.15.
     5/27/95  Added Win95 info, Strafe=Slide, Kali info, Devil info,
              and more WWW links scattered around the FAQ.  Also
              information about Interplay's player list database.  1.2.
     5/29/95  Reorganized the FAQ; 1.25.  Added all sorts of new information,
              too numerous to list here.


    The *official* source for the FAQ is at the World Wide Web site:

    The most current copy will always be held here, in text format

    On the Internet, specifically in the Usenet newsgroups,
    look for it in,,
    or e-mail for the latest version.

    Alternatively, look on the IRC in channel #descent and ask for it.

    To find a copy of the FAQ in WWW HTML format, look at, or  Some delays may occur 
    after the release of a new FAQ, however.  These versions are
    currently out of date.


-- [1a] ----------  What is Descent?

    "Descent is a heart-pounding, gun-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat experience."
         -from the README.TXT file in Descent

    "The sensation of speed is amazing, and the 3D, texture-mapped graphics
     make this game a genuine joy to behold."
         -PC Gamer

    Descent is a game from Interplay and Parallax Software.  It immerses
    you in a full 3D environment with 6 degrees of freedom -- you truly have
    the experience of weightlessness and zero gravity.

    You are a pilot who must rescue hostages and blow up the reactors of
    certain enemy mines.  However, there are many, many robot drones out to
    destroy you before you destroy them.  When the reactor blows, you have
    45 seconds to get out of there before you go with it!

    You are given an arsenal of different weapons, such as the Vulcan 
    chaingun-like gun.  Also, you have finite energy and shield strength,
    both of which may be replenished in the course of the game.

    Descent boasts true heightmapping and light sourcing -- the textures
    and feel of the game are absolutely real.  And the light effects are
    terrific -- try shooting a missile down a dark corridor and watch it
    light the walls along its path.

-- [1b] ---------- Wait, I read somewhere about something called Quake.
                   Isn't this it?

    No.  Quake is a game currently being designed by Id software, the makers
    of Doom.  Quake is promised to contain many of the features that Descent
    carries, such as true 3D.  But for now, Descent is wholly independent of
    the Quake project, and there is no overlap between the two.

-- [1c] ---------- But I already play Doom.  Why would I want Descent?

    Descent, unlike Doom, has a true 3-D environment with six degrees
    of freedom.  This means you have three axes of motion and three axes of
    rotation.  In other words, you can go in any possible direction that
    you want, not just walk around the floor.

    Descent also has 3D texture-mapped polygon enemies, and no flat enemy
    bitmaps like Doom has.

    Descent boasts unrestricted level design -- it's not limited to 90 degree
    walls (like Wolfenstein) or 2-dimensional layouts.

    This is nothing against Doom, of course -- Doom was a revolutionary game
    in its own right; but what Doom did for Wolfenstein 3D, Descent does for

-- [1d] ---------- What do I need to run Descent?

    According to the README.TXT, the bare requirements for running Descent are:
    - IBM PC compatible 386-33 or faster
    - 4 MB RAM
    - DOS 5.0 or greater

    Strongly recommended are:
    - 486 or Pentium processor
    - 8 MB RAM
    - stereo 16-bit soundcard with General MIDI support
    - a quality joystick

-- [1e] ---------- Can I play Descent under OS/2?

    Yes!  Descent runs perfectly under OS/2.  All you need to do is to increase
    your memory settings for a Descent object to 8 megs or more, and you can
    run it fine.  You should change "DPMI_MEMORY_LIMIT" to 8 megs or

    It even runs inside a PM window, although the frame rate
    isn't great... :)

-- [1f] ---------- Can I play Descent under Windows 3.1/3.11?

    You can, although it is not recommended.  There are certain timing
    problems which interfere with Descent's performance when you play
    through a DOS Window (whether full screen or windowed).

    The best performance will be achieved when you exit Windows entirely
    (by File/Exit), and THEN load Descent directly from DOS.

-- [1g] ---------- Can I play Descent under Windows 95?

    Yes.  Descent runs perfectly under Win95, with little, if any,
    configuration.  Just run a MS-DOS prompt and run Descent.

    For optimum performance, create a shortcut to DESCENT.EXE, right
    click on the shortcut, go to Properties, go to Memory, and click
    on "Protected".  Also, under Misc, change the Idle Sensitivity
    to "Low" (the leftmost position).

    There are currently no publicly-known plans for a special port of
    Descent to Windows 95.

-- [1h] ---------- Where is the Linux port of Descent?

    There is no port to Linux, and there are currently no plans for
    such a port to be developed.  For now, Descent will remain a DOS
    game only.

-- [1i] ---------- Where can I get Descent?

    You can download the 1.4 shareware version of Descent from the following

    :: Interplay BBS:  714-252-2822, 24 hours, up to 28.8k baud, 8N1
    :: Software Creations BBS:  508-368-4137, 24 hours, 8N1
                                or telnet to
    :: redeye BBS: +49.89.5460535, Munich, Germany, 24 hours, 28.8k,
       big Descent Area, free downloads
    :: CompuServe:  "GO GAMBPUB", in the Interplay software libraries
    :: America Online:  keyword "INTERPLAY", in the software libraries
    :: GEnie: type "M805;3", then search for "Interplay"
    :: FTP sites...
         in /pub/msdos_uploads/descent
           in /pub/incoming/games
          in /pub/msdos/games/interplay
         in /.17/games/incoming
    :: WWW sites...

    You can get the registered version of Descent directly from Interplay, or
    you can buy it in retail stores.

-- [1j] ---------- What are the differences between the releases of Descent?

    The shareware release of Descent was released in December 1994,
    and contains the first 7 levels of the game.

    The 1.2 version of Shareware Descent was released in Mid March.
    The 1.4 version of Shareware Descent was released in May.

    There is some confusion between the Shareware version and the
    Registered version.  Here's a summary:

      SHAREWARE:  Currently at version 1.4.
      REGISTERED:  The latest version is the one out of the box, 1.0.
                   THERE IS NO OFFICIAL PATCH FROM 1.0 TO 1.4.  There is
                   a beta patch floating around, but is is NOT SUPPORTED.
                   The official 1.4 patch will be released soon.

    Following is the official word on Registered Descent purchase
    information.  Thanks to Matt Toschlog for this info.

              Registered Descent Purchase Information

    There's been a lot of questions about purchasing Registered Descent, 
    so here's the definitive information.

    Registered Descent includes:

    30 levels (including the 7 shareware levels)
    Full save game feature
    4 new weapons
    New multiplayer games: cooperative, team anarchy, & anarchy w/ robots

    Registered Descent is available on both floppy and CD-ROM; the two 
    are identical and cost the same.  This is the only version of 
    Descent available at this time. 

    To order, call 1-800-INTERPLAY.  Registered Descent costs US $39.95, 
    plus $4.50 shipping.  For mail orders, see the file ORDERFRM.TXT, 
    included with the shareware version.

    European orders are UK#29.99.  Call (44) 707-675-757 (UK) for info.

    The Registered version is available through normal retail 
    channels (stores & mail order) now.

    A CD-Enhanced version will be available Summer '95 with lots of extra 
    features, including new levels & robots, more powerups, redbook audio, 
    and more animations.  There will be a reasonable upgrade path from 
    Registered to CD-Enhanced.  (This version will probably be called
    "Descent: Second Strike".  -ed.)

-- [1k] ---------- What's new in Shareware version 1.4?

    From the README.TXT:

1.3  Added: support for Virtual I-O's Iglasses! head tracking and
     stereoscopic 3D in 320x400 mode.  See the command line help
     for the switches to enable these new options. By default, the
     screen isn't rendered at the full resolution to keep the frame
     rate high.  However, with a fast enough computer you can toggle
     between the low-res mode and the fullest resolution by hitting
     Shift+F6 during the game.

1.4  Fixed: Level 7 Boss robot made easier to kill
            -joybios switch now causes buttons to be read via BIOS also
     Added: Full Save/Restore added to single-player games!  Use Alt-F2
              to save, ALT-F3 to restore
            HUD information added in VR modes

    Also, high-resolution modes (up to 640x480) are included.  However,
    don't get too excited -- the 640x480 mode is barely playable, even
    on a Pentium.  It's best for taking screen shots for Windows
    backgrounds. :)

    Also, the fusion cannon seeps less energy from your ship. (yay!)

-- [1l] ---------- Who created Descent?

    Descent was created by Parallax Software, along with Interplay Productions. 

-- [1l-2]   How can I contact Interplay?

    Interplay Technical Support can be reached 24 hours a day through their
    Automated Customer Service system, with representatives available during
    normal business hours.  Their phone number is 714-553-6678.

    Other ways to Get Cheats & Help:

    Interplay Productions          Interplay BBS: 714-252-2822
    attn: Customer Service         America Online: keyword INTERPLAY
    17922 Fitch Avenue                             email "IPTECH"
    Irvine, CA 92714               GEnie: type "M805;1"
                                   CompuServe: GO GAMBPUB
                                   Prodigy: email to "PLAY99B"
                                   Internet: email to

    Interplay also has a very cool World Wide Web site at the following

-- [1m] ---------- Is there source code available?

    Descent is a commercial product, and hence, no source code of the game
    is available, aside from the source code provided in the official

-- [1n] ---------- Is there a Descent newsgroup on Usenet?

    Yes!  Most sites carry the newsgroup "".  Ask your
    local news administration to carry it if they don't already.

-- [1o] ---------- Does Descent support any VR headsets?

    Descent directly supports 3 VR headsets:  VictorMaxx's "CyberMaxx",
    Forte's "VFX1", and Virtual I/O's "iGlasses".

    Type "descent -help" on the DOS command line for more information
    on the switches needed to activate these headsets.

Part [2].  GAMEPLAY

-- [2a] ---------- Help!  I'm lost in the maze.

    The transition from 2D to 3D is not an easy one.  While it can be
    challenging, once you're used to it, 2D worlds will just seem, well,

    The best advice is to keep checking your map (hit TAB).  How the maze is
    oriented once you enter the map screen is a view from behind your ship,
    with "up" going "up".  You can rotate the map around after you realize
    where you are to see where you want to go.  To zoom in and out, 
    slide up and down.

    Also, look for landmarks -- i.e. a room full of monitors, a huge cavernous
    room, or a room full of doors.  Keep returning to these rooms until you've
    explored every branch.

    One technique that may or may not work is to simply barrel down tunnels,
    not caring where you're going, just to kill enemies.  This has two
    advantages -- one, a lot of the enemies in the maze will be wiped out so
    you don't have to deal with them when you start exploring, and a 
    substantial chunk of the maze will already be mapped on your automap. 
    Once you get a large portion of the map, you can start exploring and
    looking for keys.  Of course, your mileage may vary.

    Another technique to keep in mind is to keep the lights of
    the tunnel to the top of the screen; this will orient you correctly.

    Mike Danseglio writes:
    "What sometimes works best is leaving your 'mark' in the maze.  Where
    Doom had dead bodies, Descent does not leave rubble of destroyed
    enemies.  Instead, seek out the monitors on the walls and blast 'em.
    They will explode and remain broken throughout the game.  This really
    helps with the "Have I been here before?" problems.
-- [2b] ---------- I'm having trouble controlling my ship.  Any suggestions?

    This is often the most brought up subject.  Like I said earlier, the
    transition to 3D is not an easy one.

    The predominant opinion is that the best setup is with a fancy joystick,
    such as the FlightStick.  This has lots of buttons and switches on the
    stick itself that will let you control the game.

    Failing that, the next best option is to use a normal, ANALOG joystick
    together with the keyboard.  I personally use the joystick to point 
    where I want to go and to use Z and X to accelerate and decelerate,
    respectively.  I don't suggest a digital joystick, such as the Gravis
    gamepad, because a large portion of that immersive experience is lost
    when you can't control how fast or how slow you want to turn.

    The least attractive solution is to use the keyboard by itself, although
    it has been known that a lot of players have become quite adept at this
    method.  The best way is to use the keypad for pointing, sliding, etc.
    and other keys (such as z and x) on the other side of the board for
    accelerating and firing.
    One suggestion that everyone should try, though -- have DEDICATED sliding
    keys!  For example, use W,A,S and D for slide up, left, down, and right,
    respectively.  This lets you slide while doing other things, such as
    turning, and will improve your gameplay significantly.

-- [2c] ---------- What are some popular control configurations?

     "I use a Wingman Extreme joystick from Logitech.  The
     trigger fires my weapons, the hat slides, and the rest of
     the buttons are default.  I use "A" and "Z" to accelerate and
              -John D., aka Bruin on #descent

     (FAQ Note:  Due to popular demand, all references to "strafing"
     have been eliminated, in favor of the more Descently Correct (DC)
     term, "sliding".  :)

    "The mouse is the best for me.  Pitch up is the mouse, y-axis
     inverted.  Pitch down is the mouse's x-axis.  Fire primary is
     mouse left button, and fire secondary is the mouse right button.
     (If you're using a 3 button mouse, use the middle button to fire
     the secondary, and right button to go forward.  W,A,S, and D
     to slide, and Caps Lock for a reverse view.  Reverse
     acceleration is left shift, and forward is space bar.  Everything
     else is default."
         -"vxl" on IRC/#descent

    "Mouse Y: pitch; Mouse X: turn (yaw); Mouse 1: primary weapon;
     Mouse 2: accelerate; Mouse 3: reverse; W,A,X,D: slide; Q,E: roll;
     C,Z,S: increase, decrease, stop cruise; spacebar: primary weapon;
     Left Alt: secondary weapon; Left Shift: slide mode for mouse;
     Left Ctrl: bomb.  I tend not to use the cruise control much."
         -Sean Gugler

    "Number pad as ship heading controls.  / above 8 is the flare
     launcher; the * is the bomb key.  My right hand is on the num pad
     with my pointer on 4, my middle finger on 8, and my ring finger
     on 6.  My thumb rests on 0, which is the thrust-reverse key.  My
     left hand controls forward movement, and rests on the right side
     of the main keypad.  Right shift is thrust forward, the alt is
     slide on, and ctrl is fire.  On the num pad, the 1 and 3 are 
     roll left and right."
         -Matt Ebel

-- [2d] ---------- I can't find places on the map.

    Remember that when you enter the map screen, the view is from behind 
    your ship, with up pointing up.  Use slide up and down with the map to 
    zoom.  (With defaults, use left alt + up or down.)

    Note that these controls were altered for the registered/retail
    version.  In this version, the sliding keys move the map around
    ("pan" it) and the forward/backward keys control the zooming.
    Also, by hitting the primary fire button, it resets the map to
    the view from behind your ship, as mentioned above.

    For the shareware version, to pan across the map (make the map move, as 
    if you put your hand there and slide it over), hold down "S" while moving
    the joystick/cursor keys.  Your new center of rotation will be the
    center of the screen, NOT your ship.

-- [2e] ---------- Undocumented Map features

    The following features are undocumented:

    (Shareware only) In the map, hold down "S" and move the control around.  
    You can pan the map this way.  In the registered version, use the slide
    keys to move the map around.

    If cheat codes are enabled (see above), hit "Alt-F" in the map screen.
    The entire map will appear.

-- [2f] ---------- What are the differences between the different robots?

    From the introductory info:  (Robots labeled ** appear only in the
    registered/retail version.)

    Class 1 Drone  (Yellow) :
        Standard utility robot, apparently modified for combat.  Should
        pose little threat alone, but could be trouble in groups.

    Class 2 Drone  (Blue) :
        Aggressive when cornered.  Relatively weak weapons, but fires

    Medium Lifter  (Green with arms) :
        Normally used to burrow through porous rock.  Recon cameras
        have witnessed this robot shredding anything in sight -- including
        hostages!  Stay away from this robot -- because he has no
        projectile weapons, your best bet is to fire from far away.

**  Secondary Lifter (Red, has one arm) :
        Usually used in groups of 2 or 3.  Advanced intelligence;
        fires in rapid bursts.

**  Advanced Lifter (Red, 4 arms) :
        Silent and fast.  Usually in groups.  Has a tendency to
        ram into you once it sees you.

    "Spider" Processing Robot (Red, 4 arms) :
        These mechs were designed to pick up rubble for processing in
        their body cavities.  Explodes into smaller spiders when hit.

    Class 1 Driller  (Silver) :
        This robot is vicious, as it fires its vulcan guns (chaingun)
        at you immediately when it sees you.  Don't stay in its sight
        too long!

**  Class 1 Heavy Driller (Dark brown) :
        Tough and armed to the teeth.  Proceed with extreme caution!

**  Class 2 Supervisor Robot (Blue, small; has antennae) :
        Supervisory; will increase the awareness of other robots
        nearby.  Often fast.

**  PTMC Defense Prototype (Grey & Dark Brown) :
        Fires rapidly without overheating.

**  Class 2 Platform Robot (Sleek; light brown) :
        Has lasers or missiles.  Big threat if cornered.

**  Class 3 Gopher Robot (Grey, small) :
        Generally known for laying bombs in its path.

    Small Hulk  (Green, bulky) :
        Standard borer robot.  Tough and agile.

    Medium Hulk  (Yellow/Brown, bulky) :
        Heavily armored for explosive deployment deep in mines.  Slow
        moving, but very dangerous.

    SuperMech  (Red; fires homing missiles) :
        These guys are like the hulks, but about 200% more angry.

    Mega Hulk   (Yellow, huge, cloaks) :
        This robot is huge and cloaks whenever you hit it.  It reappears
        somewhere else.  For hints on how to kill it, see section [2d].
**  "Boss"  (Red with enormous eye) :
        Like the Mega Hulk, cloaks whenever you hit it.

-- [2g] ---------- What are those yellow tunnels with sparkly things?

    These are areas which recharge your energy.  If your energy level
    is below 100, if you enter this area, your energy will be refilled
    to 100.  Note that this area has no effect on your shield level.

-- [2h] ---------- What are those purple areas with new ships?

   These are enemy generators, and they are VERY DANGEROUS.  Try to
   stay away from them, as new enemies pop out of them unexpectedly.
   There is no way to destroy these areas (aside from blowing the
   reactor, of course).

-- [2i] ---------- What are the relative strengths of the weapons?

   Espen Monnich wrote the following table:

  |Weapon     | Number | Damage  |  Total  | Energy  |
  |           |of shots| pr.shot |  damage | pr.shot |
  |Laser lv1  | 2 (4)* |  10     |  20 (30)| 0.25    |
  |  "   lv2  | 2 (4)  |  11     |  22 (33)| 0.25    |
  |  "   lv3  | 2 (4)  |  12     |  24 (36)| 0.25    |
  |  "   lv4  | 2 (4)  |  13     |  26 (39)| 0.25    |
  |Vulcan     | ca. 25 |  --     |  4      | 0       |
  |Spreadfire | 3      |  6      |  18     | 0.25    |
  |C. Missile | 1      |  25     |  25     | 0       |
  |H. Missile | 1      |  27     |  27     | 0       |
  |Bomb       | 1      |         |  24     | 0       |

  * () specifies the Quad laser. It shoots 4 shots, but does only 50% more 
    total damage.    

NOTE: This table is a bit unclear, because I have not considered the fire-
      rate for each of the weapons and the speed of the shot itself. For 
      example, the Spreadfire has a bit faster fire-rate than the Laser, 
      and the fire-rate and the speed of the shots for the Vulcan is very 


-- [3a] ---------- I think Descent is too easy/boring.

    Try the following:

    :: Don't use any cheat codes
    :: Increase the difficulty level of your game
    :: Use only one type of weapon, i.e. use only the normal guns
    Descent has many difficulty levels, and should appeal to every gamer.

-- [3b] ---------- I think Descent is too hard.

    It depends what you mean by "hard".  If you're having trouble controlling
    the ship, see the section above about controlling your ship.  Otherwise,
    try the following:

    :: Decrease the difficulty level of your game
    :: Try flying around an empty mine tunnel as fast as you can and
       as fluidly as you can.
    :: PRACTICE SLIDING!!  This technique will save you many times over
       when it comes to enemy fire.
    :: Learn when to (and when not to) use the different kinds of weapons
       you have.
    :: Practice, practice, practice!

-- [3c] ---------- The secret resource: Lava

    "I discovered something about the lava by accident, and a fairly
     costly one at that: the lava is REALLY explosive - like missiles.  This
     can be EXTREMELY useful:

     Suppose you're in level 2 (the one with the very large room near
     the start), and you're going to get the red keycard, which is defended
     by about 4 or 5 robots.  As you may recall, there'a large lava pit in
     the middle of the room, which at least one of the robots is always
     directly above.  Instead of aiming at the robot, aim at the lava right
     below it and fire a blast or two.  The blasts will cause the lava under
     it to explode, and blow the robot above it apart!  Also, since the shots
     are sufficiently far from the robot, it won't try to dodge the blasts!
     The Vulcan can be nice here: it's extremely high rate of fire turns the
     lava into an exploding pool of fiery death (what vivid language :).
     This also can work well against humans: fire above them so they dive
     into the lava, then blast the lava around them.  Either you'll kill
     them, or they'll accidentally shoot the lava and commit suicide - you
     get their stuff either way."
        -Scott Adams, via 

-- [3d] ---------- How can I beat the big bad robot at the end of level 7?

    Adam Pletcher of Parallax Software recommends:

   "Here's my method.  Once the smaller guys are gone, keep circling the
    pillar, always moving forward.  When he comes into view, lay on him with
    the quad lasers.  Keep your nose pointed at him, keep moving forward, and
    also slide up or down to avoid his missiles.  If the smart blobs from the
    missiles are getting too close to you, hug the pillar tighter or duck into
    one of the cross tunnels.  It should only take 5 or 6 passes like this to
    nail him."

-- [3e] ---------- A Walkthrough of Level 7

    BIG thanks to Mike Lorant (, also "Dense" on
    IRC's #descent) for writing this section.  Obviously, this section 
    contains major spoilers.  Read at your own risk.

    1. Getting the blue key

    At the start of the level go straight ahead up the ramp and follow the
    corridor around to the right.  At the room fly thru the far left hand 
    door and into a large room with a passover bridge in it.  Then exit 
    via the corridor directly above from where you started.  The corridor 
    will bend to the left and then dip down the slope.  Fly through the 
    corridor with the grating on the left hand side and out the other 
    end.  Follow the corridor past a T junction and around through the 
    rechargerator and over to the next T junction.  See diagram 1.  Turn 
    left and grab the blue key.

    Diagram 1
      /  R  \
     /  ___  \     B = Blue Key
    /  /   \  \    1 = 1st T junction
   |  |_____|  |   2 = 2nd T junction
   | 2   B   1 |   R = Rechargerator
   |   _____   |   E = Entrance
   |  |     |  |   X = Exit
   |==|     |==|
   | X|     |E |

    2. Getting to the blue door

    Head back to the second T junction and turn left where there should be a
    door in front of you.  There will be grating on the left hand side with a
    door down the end.  Continue up the rising corridor and down the other 
    side until you enter a large spherical area and to the blue door on 
    the southern side of the room.

    3. Getting the yellow key

    Pass through the small corridor into the room with a red star shaped
    structure and exit straight ahead (upward direction).  As the corridor
    points upwards watch out for the 2 cloaked Medium Lifters.  The corridor
    will level out again and continue following it.  It will then dip a short
    distance away and passes past a yellow grating with lava below it.  The
    grating that is above you sometimes contains a Class 1 drone so watch out
    for its missles.  It is recommended that if it is there you destroy it
    because it can be a hinderance when tackling the next enemy.  The 
    corridor will turn left at the bottom and at the end of it will be a 
    Supermech firing missles that lock on.  Level out and grab the yellow 

    4. Getting to the yellow door

    Return to the beginning of the level (where you started).  There will 
    be a yellow door on the left hand side, just below and behind the 
    ramp you came from.  See diagram 2. Go through the yellow door.

    Diagram 2

          |  |____
       |  |R |   _Y
     __|  |  |  |
     __         |     S = Start
       |        |     Y = Yellow door
       |   __   |     R = Ramp
       |  |  |  |
       |  |  |S |

    5. Getting the red key

    Pass down the long dark corridor with grating on the left hand side 
    with a yellow door down the end.  There will be a small cavity 
    directly ahead which you can fly up.  Go through there and fly to the 
    top.  Watch out for the Supermech firing missles which lock on.  
    There will be a cloaking powerup at the top and just over the other 
    side will be the red key.  Grab the red key.

    6. Getting to the red door

    Return to the start of the level and and fly up the ramp that you
    initially flew through when getting the blue key.  At the end of the 
    corridor go through the door straight ahead and you will enter a tiny 
    corridor with a door down the end.  See diagram 3.

    Diagram 3

  ___| 2|_
 /        \
1   /\     |
 \  \/     |    E = Entrance
  \ ____   /    1 = Go through on way to Blue door
       |  |     2 = Go through on way to Red door
       /  |
      /  /
     | E|

    As you enter the next room there will be a door on the top far left hand
    side.  After going through that you will find another corridor that will
    dip down downwards.  However, watch out for two secret doors behind you
    that will open when you are halfway down the corridor.  Two Automated 
    Scout Robots will come from those two chambers (left and right 
    side).  Continue down to the end of the corridor into a large arena 
    room.  The floor will be volcano shaped entrance with a red door on 
    the inner northern end.  Go through the red door.

    7. Killing the Shareware Big Boss

    Note that the red door will be unopenable from the other side so you will
    have no escape.  Read section [3d] for details on tactics to destroy
    him.  Good luck!

Part [4].  CHEATS and SECRETS

-- [4a] ---------- What are the cheat codes?

    Type the following directly in the game, regardless of your current
    keyboard mapping setup.

    GABBAGABBAHEY = Cheats enabled!
    SCOURGE       = WowieZowie Weapons!
    MITZI         = All Keys!
    RACERX        = Invulnerability On/Off!
    GUILE         = Cloak On/Off!
    TWILIGHT      = Shields Recharged!
    FARMERJOE     = Warp to Which Level?

    ***The following cheat codes work ONLY in the registered version***

    BUGGIN        = Turbo mode; everything (including enemies) speeded up
    BRUIN         = Extra Life!
    BIGRED        = SuperWowieZowie Weapons!  (includes ALL weapons)
    FLASH         = Illuminates a path to the exit
    AHIMSA        = Turns off enemy ships' firing
    BIOPSYTOYS    = Blows the reactor immediately

    You might want to change your "bomb" key to something that won't conflict
    with these codes, otherwise you might blow up before you finish typing
    it. :)

    Note that when you use cheat codes, your score drops to 0.  
    Hence, use these codes only as practice runs.  
    (Thanks to

    You CANNOT use the cheat codes in a multiplayer game, unless you
    are using a hacked .EXE file.  Please don't send me any mail
    asking how to do it or how to get a copy, as I will simply trash it.
-- [4b] ---------- Is there a list of secrets in Descent? writes:
    "In level 4 there is a long reddish tunnel which has a gate at the 
     end.. one you open the gate you see one of these purple areas on your 
     right... about 3 green medium lifter robots show up out of this area.. 
     if successful you blast them and three more show up you can shoot them 
     until no more robots come out, and think that's it right?  Well now 
     for the bonus... if you back out of the area through the gate you came 
     in, and come back in to the same area again...more robots come out 
     again... shoot them, until no more come out... the benefit is that 
     when you shoot them you'll get the blue sphere that replenishes your 
     shields... I did this about three times... (that is back out from the 
     area, and re-enter) and was able to replenish my shields all three
     times. After all the robots were killed for the 3rd time.. no more 
     came out but I had replenished my shields from 25 to about 85!  By then 
     I really needed the shields and it was the only place where I could 
     replenish them... I found this by accident, and will try the same on 
     other purple areas."

     Adliber also writes:
     "I found a hidden room by accident in Level 1...there is a hidden
      room in the ceiling and it's full of goodies; it has about 3
      or 4 packs of missiles and assorted ammo.  When you get to the yellow 
      area with the floating "stars" that replenishes your energy... find 
      one of the video screens on one of the corner walls...look up at the 
      ceiling, and you will see (faintly) a door... shoot at it and you 
      will be able to go up into that room... There are two entrances to 
      this area but the easiest one to spot is the one by the video screen 
      on the wall.  If you cannot see it... just shoot at the ceiling 
      where you see the video screen in this area..."

     First Level secrets by Sven Neuhaus:
     "1) From the start, turn right/down.  Next intersection, turn right.
      Turn left in front of the prison, turn right in front of the
      ventilation.  Now turn either right or left.  The next corner
      you are approaching has a secret entrance at the ceiling.  Contains
      vulcan ammo and rockets.

      2) From the start, turn left/down.  Follow the path.  Turn up to fly
      into the new room.  Fly towards the left back corner.  The wall
      there has a horizontal seam on it.  Fire at the door or fly close
      to open it.

      3) Inside the second secret, right behind the second secret's 
      entrance, but at the ceiling.  Secret contains a Small Hulk and a 

      4) Inside the second secret, turn left after you entered the second
      secret door.  Move down through the hole in the floor.  Turn right.
      There's a secret door with a shield boost behind it.

      5) From the start, turn right/down.  At the intersection, turn left.
      There will be a hole in the ground.  Move down.  Fly forward slowly.
      There is another hole in the ground at the very dark spot.  This
      leads to a room with a small hulk, the vulcan cannon and some energy

     David Wong writes:
     "Upon arriving at the Red Access door on Level 10, DO NOT enter the Red
     door.  There is a Vulcan cannon mech waiting behind a grill behind the
     doorway.  How do I get to that guy?  Stand at about a ship's length from
     the Red door.  turn to the left to face the wall.  You should see a
     seamed secret door.  If not, blast the left wall a bit and it will open.
     You see an EXIT.  Turn right around the corner and jump the Vulcan mech.
     After that, complete the level as usual, but after you blow the reactor,
     do not exit the usual one you see but exit the one you found behind the
     secret door.

     Then you will be transported to the ASTEROID SECRET BASE between Mars
     and Jupiter!  (Does that answer the question "why are there only 27
     instead of 30 levels in the registered version"? :)  When you arrive, be
     ready, because you will be greeted by no less than FOUR mini-bosses,
     fast "millenium falcon" flyers, stationary Sentry mechs, a host of other
     very advanced an unique opponents, and a CLOAKED VULCAN CANNON MECH...
     It pays to take your time and don't use the cheat codes."


-- [5a] ---------- Can I play with other people?

    Yes!  Descent is a full MP (multi-player) game as well.  You can
    either link up with a fellow player via modem, serial cable, or

    One of the advantages that Descent has over other similar games is
    that any player can join or leave the game at any time on a network.
    For modems, Descent's setup couldn't be easier.  For the vast
    majority of modems, a simple ATZ sets things up for Descent, and
    you're ready to go.  You can set this up in the multi-player setup
    menu off the main menu.

-- [5b] ---------- Does each computer require a distinct version of the

    No.  Each computer on a MP game can be running a copy of the Descent 

-- [5c] ---------- Why do different computers play differently on a MP 

    When a Pentium and a 386 are playing on a MP game, there is an element
    of "unfairness" to the 386-user.  In past games, such as Doom, the
    system compensated by reducing the Pentium-user's display to match the
    386 display.

    However, Parallax and Interplay decided not to take this route, and
    to have every computer play at the level it can play at.

-- [5d] ---------- Can I play Descent on the Internet?

    There are two major ways of playing Descent on the Internet.
    One is head-to-head, called IHHD, which requires access to
    a shell account (Unix).  The other is called Kali; it is
    multi-player, but requires a true TCP/IP connection  (like SLIP or PPP).
    You CANNOT play Descent over commercial on-line services, like
    CompuServe, Prodigy or America Online.

    One of Descent's shining points is that it can be played over the
    Internet using IHHD (Internet Head to Head Daemon - a program
    that allows modem games to work over the internet).  It's almost
    as fast, if not faster than a modem connection!  In order to get
    started, you need to get the IHHD software compiled for the unix
    machine you have your shell account on (sorry slip users).  On
    IRC in the #descent channel, type /dcc chat descender.  then type
    /msg descender files.  the rest is easy.  Once you have the IHHD
    Binary for your system, find someone to play.  (there's almost
    always someone on #descent in IRC who'd like to play).  One of
    you runs "tcpanswer", the other runs "tcpdialer
    machine_name_of_other_player".  Once you have connected, each of
    you should exit your comm programs (leaving carrier up of
    course), load Descent and select multiplayer game, then Establish
    Null Modem Link.  Presto!  You've got a IHHDescent game going.

    (thanks to Seth Delackner ( for this)

    Kali is a program which allows a computer on the Internet to join
    in any game in progress on the Internet.  It requires a TRUE TCP/IP
    connection (either direct ethernet or SLIP/PPP).  Note that TIA,
    the TCP/IP emulator, DOES NOT WORK with Kali (at least, not yet).
    However, SLiRP does.  See below for information.

    Kali can be used either in server or client mode.  In server mode,
    you run Kali by itself on your command line, and it will act like
    a server, keeping track of who is in the game.  As client, you
    run Kali along with the IP address of the Kali server you want to
    join, and the server will recognize you.  After registering, just
    run Descent and play a normal Network game.

    Kali itself is straightforward; the problem is that it requires
    a DOS (not Windows!) TCP/IP stack.  This means that you cannot use
    Trumpet or Chameleon TCP/IP stacks.  There are many TCP/IP programs
    out there, like SLIPPER or PPP.  Check the appropriate newsgroups
    for more information and for setup help.

    There are some 24-hour Kali servers running where you'll always
    find people playing.  Currently, there are two servers at:

    Note that Kali is *not* free; the shareware version allows for 15
    minutes of play; to play more, you must get the registered version.

    You can FTP Kali from in /pub/kali.

    If you do not have a SLIP or PPP account, you can still use Kali if
    you use SLiRP, another SLIP emulator.  You can find SLiRP at the
    above FTP site.

-- [5e] ---------- What's this MILK thing I keep hearing about?

    MILK is an effort by a couple of people to put together a
    multi-player interface for Descent that works over a SLIP/PPP
    account, direct Ethernet, or shell account.  It might be out
    by the time you read this FAQ.

    For more information, look at the WWW site:

-- [5f] ---------- Is there a good place to meet other players?

    On the IRC (Internet Relay Chat), there is always someone willing
    to play in the #descent channel.  Of course, they vary in
    degrees of skill, but you can often find someone good to play

    Also, you're bound to find a listing of IP numbers where
    Kali games are being played.  Also you're bound to find someone
    who wants to play IHHD.  Just ask!

    If you have no Internet access:  Interplay has set up a Descent
    Player's List.  Send mail to with your email
    address, city, state, country, phone area code, if you are running
    the shareware or retail version and level your of expertise in the
    text of the message to get put on the list!

    There are also two Descent Ladders out there.  A ladder is a device
    for measuring relative skills at Descent.  To check these out,
    look at the WWW sites:

-- [5g] ---------- What speed should I set my modem at for IHHD?

    Word is, modems set at 19200 baud (both in the terminal program
    AND in Descent) work better than 38800 baud for IHHD.  (Thanks
    to the gang on #descent for this info.)

    For normal modem play and Kali play, go ahead and set your modem
    to the maximum speed it can handle (usually 57600 baud).

-- [5h] ---------- A note about networking and Descent

    (Thanks to mdmbkr on #descent on IRC for writing this section.)

    Like most multi-player games, Descent uses packets to communicate
    with other players in the network.  Each packet contains information
    that each other player in the network uses to determine the
    coordinates and other aspects of the players.  For example, say
    you are playing in a 2 player network game.  Your computer will
    broadcast packets to the other player's computer, and the other
    player's computer will broadcast packets to your computer.

    Like we mentioned above, Descent allows all computers in the
    network to run at their full speed, unlike Doom.  Doom slows down
    the entire network to the speed of the slowest computer
    attached.  It does this by forcing synchronized transmission to
    and from all of the players.  Descent, on the other hand, does
    not require synchronized transmission.  This is why all of the
    computers will run at their maximum speed, and that certain
    delays (such as those associated with IHHD) do not affect the
    playing speed of the game.

    However, in some cases, long delays in the reception or
    transmission of packets can yield unusual results.  Please do
    not be alarmed; this is normal, especially if you are using
    IHHD or Kali.
-- [5i] ---------- How can I play those neat Chaos levels by myself?

    In registered/retail Descent, there exist 5 new levels called "Chaos
    levels".  They are intended for maximal enjoyment when playing
    multiplayer games.  However, if you can't play with other people,
    don't fret!  Load the CHAOS.MSN file into any text editor; there is
    one line that says "Type = anarchy".  Change this to "Type = normal". 
    Now when you select "New Game" under the Descent main menu, it will
    give you a choice of missions.  Select Chaos and enjoy!

    Note that this works only in the registered/retail version of Descent.

-- [5j] ---------- What are some multiplayer tactics suggestions?

    Carl Gilbert writes in

  o If you need to get away from someone, don't forget to use the bombs.
    We rarely actually damage each other with them, but they slow the
    pursuer down.

  o With 3 or more players, make a secret pact with another player and
    form an alliance.

  o If you're playing at work, get all players on a conference call.  After
    a few minutes, you'll swear you're using ship radios.

  o If you're low on shields, find a good hiding area, kill yourself, and 
    then return for your loot.

  o Recognize when your enemy slides horizontally.  Remember The
    Wrath of Khan?  Horizontal SLIDING is 2D thinking - exploit it.

  o Pretend to run out a door, but then do a way cool rotate-while-
    sliding maneuver and double back on your opponent.

  o If someone blows the reactor, wait in/near the exit doorway.

  o Never pick up that useless Fusion cannon.

  o Leave some goodies floating in the middle of a room and
    wait in the dark (said the spider to the fly).

  o Vulcan cannon doesn't have tracers.  Helps keep you hidden."

  What about specific moves you can use in multiplayer?

    Dan Gentry writes in

    "Since we've been playing against each other, I've noticed
    several distinct types of moves that one can do, and I thought
    I'd share them with you in hopes of getting some new ideas:

    1: Ambush Type 1
   	Basically, hide in a hole in the ceiling/wall/floor and
          wait for the other guy to blast by.  Pop out and send a
          missile up his tailpipe.
  	Also works with secret doors.

  2: Ambush Type 2
  	Find a large open space and situate yourself under an 
          overhang - preferrably in shadow - where you can see all
          of the exits to a room.  Wait for enemy to flyby and let
          the fun begin.

  3: Jousting
  	In a long corridor, make passes with guns blazing.
          Repeat as necessary."

 Darren Pong Lo continues the thread:

 "4: Circle of Death
     Especially in two-player battles, I find that a commonly evolving 
     pattern is that the two players just circle around and around, guns 
     blazing, until one dies or runs out of energy. Some opponents like to 
     break out of the circle and try to fly to where the other person will 
     be, but then what usually happens is that the circling resumes -- in 
     the opposite direction.

  5: The Millenium Falcon Evasion tactic
     I refer to the scene in The Empire Strikes Back, where the 
     Millenium Falcon escapes a fleet of Star Destroyers by plastering 
     itself to the hull of one, and then flying away with the garbage. 
     Basically, if you glue yourself flat against the wall near a door,
     somebody coming out won't see you. Then you can do one of two
     things: shoot them, or run through the door they've so kindly 
     opened for you.

  6: Guerilla Warfare
     Another behavior that often emerges in two-player games is that 
     they will get stuck on opposite ends of a short corridor. They will 
     both pop out around a corner, fill the air with lasers, then hide quickly. 
     This goes on until one decides to charge. The second player can then:
        a) kill the first player (duh)
        b) back off, at which point the sniping begins again in a new
        c) try to fly around the first player (so that the positions of P1 
           and P2 are switched)
        d) die. :)

  7: Exit-Guarding (CHEAP)
     If the reactor on the level is blown, you KNOW where your 
     opponent will come running..."

  Check the newsgroup "" for more information along
  these lines...

Part [6].  HOMEBREW

-- [6a] ---------- Will a level editor be released?

    A level editor will not be released directly by Parallax Software,     
    but they have released the specs for Descent levels.  This
    document is in a preliminary format, currently at version 0.10.
    You can get the specs from most of the FTP sites that Descent itself
    is located.

    Descent editors have already started to pop up!  The first one, called
    DEVIL, is a substantial effort.  See the next section.

-- [6b] ---------- What kinds of level editors are out right now?

    As of the time of this FAQ, the only level editor out now is one
    called DEVIL.  DEVIL, which stands for Descent Editor for Vertices,
    Items and Levels, was created by Achim Stremplat 

    The *official* WWW site for Devil is:

    DEVIL is a graphically-oriented Descent level editor.  It ONLY works
    with the registered version.

    There is also an effort by NCSA to move the DEVIL code to Win32 for
    use in Windows 95 and Windows NT.  For more information, look at
    the WWW site:

-- [6c] ---------- Where can I find homebrew levels?

    A good source for homebrew levels is right on the Interplay WWW site
    at  They are sponsoring a homebrew level
    contest, so check it out!

-- [6d] ---------- Okay, I've gotten a new level.  How do I play it?

    Chances are, there is a .MSN file included with the level.  If this
    is the case, just move the files to your Descent directory and run
    Descent as usual and hit "new game".  You should see a selection box
    with the name of the new mission file. Just select the new mission
    and play!

    If there is no .MSN file, you need to create one.  Create a file
    called XXX.MSN  (where XXX is any name you want) which includes:

name = PutDescriptiveNameHere      ;any name you want
type = normal           ;can be "normal" or "anarchy".  Omitted means normal
num_levels = 1          ;number of normal levels
FileName.rdl            ;level filename 1

    The important part here is the FileName.rdl.  Replace this with
    the .RDL filename.  Once you've done this, put the .MSN file in your
    Descent directory, start up a new game and you should see the afore-
    mentioned selection box.

    If there is more than one level, just change the num_levels to the
    number of levels and list the filenames afterwards.


-- [7a] ---------- What are the VCR controls in the Demo Playback?

    Down Arrow:        Pause
    Up Arrow:          Resume Playback
    Left Arrow:        Go back one frame
    Right Arrow:       Go forward one frame
    Shift Left Arrow:  Fast Reverse
    Shift Right Arrow: Fast Forward
    Ctrl Left Arrow:   Rewind to beginning
    Ctrl Right Arrow:  Fast Forward to end

    (thanks to

-- [7b] ---------- Quick 'n Dirty 3-D Descent

    Think Descent is incredible as it is?  Imagine playing it in
    a true 3D environment, and seeing your enemies literally float
    in space in front of you...

    If you want to whet your appetite for this without buying a $1000
    VR Helmet, try the following:

    Load Descent up in VFX mode (descent -vfx).  There will be two
    side-by-side screens in gameplay.  (The flickering is due to page
    swapping.)  These images represent the left and right images for
    your left and right eyes.  If you could somehow get each image to
    each eye, you will experience true 3D.

    Get two small mirror surfaces.  Make sure they are small (not
    much wider than a butter knife), and mount them near your face
    (either over or under your eyes) so that the left mirror is
    reflecting the left image (and ONLY the left image) to your left
    eye, and similarly for the right eye.  Now, adjust them
    so that an object in the viewport will converge.  At this point,
    you should be seeing in true stereoscopy.

    I wouldn't recommend playing like this for an extended period of
    time -- your eyes will get strained very easily.  Do it just to
    experience the 3D effect.  If you can't live without it, buy
    a VR Helmet. :)
-- [7c] ---------- I just died; where did all my stuff go?

    Your stuff (weapons, energy, etc.) remain where you died.  Just fly back
    where you died and gather all your stuff back.

-- [7d] ---------- How can I skip past all the dialog in the beginning of
                   the game?

    Hit "Enter" to stop the scrolling, or hit "Esc" to stop the entire dialogue
    and to bring you directly to the game.

-- [7e] ---------- How can I avoid motion sickness?

    Descent is a very immersive game, and you will likely still feel like
    you're inside Descent's environment for a short time after playing.  Many
    people complain of motion sickness, or feeling ill after playing a while.
    Try to follow the following advice if you're having problems.

    :: Blink occasionally.  During gameplay, you are staring intently
       at the monitor, your eyes dry out, and you are subject to
       strain, headaches, etc.  Blinking helps to yank you back
       in the real world occasionally.  (Thanks to Jon Hylands)
    :: Try different display sizes.
    :: Try sitting closer/further from the display.
    :: Try different machine speeds. 
    :: Try different input devices.
    :: Play on your friend's computer, and see if it is better/worse.
    :: If you have a sound card, try playing with/without the sound.

    Of course, if you have any medical problems while playing this game,
    stop playing IMMEDIATELY and call your doctor.

-- [7f] ---------- I'm having hallucinations when I look away from the

    You've been playing far too long, and you need sleep.  Go take a nap. :)

-- [7g] ---------- My frame rate is too slow.  Any suggestions?

    Try the following, in order:  (Thanks again to mdmbkr on
    #descent for help in writing this.)

    SOFTWARE solutions:

    :: Change the game detail to something simpler.  (F2)
    :: Reduce the size of the screen.  (+ and -)
    :: Switch to the status bar screen instead of the cockpit view.
       this increases speed, but minutely.
    :: Turn off the music.  This will also dramatically increase
       the framerate, especially if you have a less powerful CPU.
       Also consider turning off the digital sound effects.  You can
       use the setup program to make these changes.
    :: Reduce the resolution of the screen, if you are playing version 1.4.
       Type descent -help for more information.
    :: If running Windows 95, try dropping to DOS mode.
       (use Start/Shutdown/Restart the computer in DOS mode).  Win95
       really shouldn't have an impact on gameplay, however.

    HARDWARE solutions:

    :: Make sure Smartdrive is loaded, as it has a drastic improvement.
       See your DOS/Windows documentation for details (or just run
       Memmaker -- this installs Smartdrive automatically).
    :: Get a faster video board -- word is, the faster the video
       board, the better.
    :: Get more memory.
    :: Get a faster computer.

-- [7h] ---------- How can I measure my frame rate for my computer?

    While there is no (easy) way to directly measure your frame rate
    inside Descent, there exists a utility called 3DBench which will
    perform a benchmark test on your computer and return a value
    which represents your computer's 3D muscle.

    The program displays an animation of 3D polygons, and after that is
    done, it displays the benchmark number.  The higher the number,
    the faster (and smoother) your computer is in displaying 3D
    objects.  This utility is indispensable when tuning your computer's
    settings for optimum effect.

    You can FTP 3DBench from in /pub/kali.


-- [AA] ---------- Appendix A: Internet resources for Descent

    World Wide Web sites:
         ...official site for latest FAQ's Descent page
         ...Interplay's Descent Home Page
         ...DEVIL homepage
         ...Information on a Win32 Descent editor
         ...MILK homepage
         ...United Federation of Descent Players
         ...Sven's Descent page
         ...Level Alpha Descent Home Page
         ...CJS's Unofficial Descent WWW Page
         ...Phuer's Descent Page
         ...Descent & IPTunnel (on playing Descent via IPX routers)
         ...Prepare for Descent
         ...Atlantis Cyberspace has some more Descent related links
    Usenet newsgroups:             Discussion on Descent  Discussion on PC games as a whole
      alt.3d:                        Discussion on 3D aspects

    IRC channels:
      #descent:  general Descent discussion
      #milk:     discussion on MILK

    FTP sites:         in /pub/msdos_uploads/descent           in /pub/incoming/games          in /pub/msdos/games/interplay         in /.17/games/incoming   in /pub/kali

    Kali servers:


    Hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
    As a disclaimer, I do not work for any software company, and I am
    just a satisfied gamer who is extremely impressed with the Descent
    game engine.

    If you have any contributions or comments to this FAQ, please send
    them to me at on the Internet.  You'll get full
    credit.  Thanks!

    Happy Descending!

John D. DeCuir
..Prepare for Descent.