A really fun game made by Interplay.

Sometime in the future, the Post Terran Mining Company is facing a problem. In many of their mines across the galaxy (or solar system, I forgot), their mining robots have gone crazy. They're attacking the workers and producing additional, and more deadly, robots.

Enter Material Defender. He's just been hired by Samuel Dravis of the PTMC to clean up the mess. Equipped with the Pyro-GX, a one-man ship designed for zero-gravity work, he has to fly into the mines and destroy the reactor cores in each one to stop the robot production.

Insane zero-gravity action. Wicked multiplayer. That just about describes Descent.

As an addendum to the above notes about Interplay's Descent, it featured full 3-D graphics two full years before Quake hit the market. It did not make use of the FPU, since most computers simply didn't have a FPU.

Since it did not have the assistance of a FPU, the Descent engine made heavy use of fixed-point arithmetic for non-integer calculations. This method is reasonably fast, and I remember actually getting decent framerate running Descent on the diskless 33MHz i486 workstations in the basement of the public library I was working at in 1994. I later acquired a 100MHz i486 system, and was able to run the game in full 640x480 splendour and still get magnificent framerates. (There were no 3-D accelerators at the time, so this was really quite a feat.)

Descent made full use of texture mapping and Gouraud shading to create what was, in those days, considered to be an excellent gaming environment. You could fire a missile down a narrow hallway, and watch the glow from its tailpipe light up the walls around it as it flew by. The 6DOF (Six Degrees Of Freedom) aspect made it especially fun; everything was done in zero-G and you could rotate your ship in any direction you wished.

The only really sucky thing about it was that you had no Guide-Bot in Descent 1 to show you where to go, and some particularly maze-like levels could get really lame after wandering around in them for an hour, not knowing quite how to proceed to the next section. (The Guide-Bot showed up in Descent 2.)

De*scent" (?), n. [F. descente, fr. descendre; like vente, from vendre. See Descend.]


The act of descending, or passing downward; change of place from higher to lower.


Incursion; sudden attack; especially, hostile invasion from sea; -- often followed by upon or on; as, to make a descent upon the enemy.

The United Provinces . . . ordered public prayer to God, when they feared that the French and English fleets would make a descent upon their coasts. Jortin.


Progress downward, as in station, virtue, as in station, virtue, and the like, from a higher to a lower state, from a higher to a lower state, from the more to the less important, from the better to the worse, etc.


Derivation, as from an ancestor; procedure by generation; lineage; birth; extraction.


5. Law

Transmission of an estate by inheritance, usually, but not necessarily, in the descending line; title to inherit an estate by reason of consanguinity.



Inclination downward; a descending way; inclined or sloping surface; declivity; slope; as, a steep descent.


That which is descended; descendants; issue.

If care of our descent perplex us most, Which must be born to certain woe. Milton.


A step or remove downward in any scale of gradation; a degree in the scale of genealogy; a generation.

No man living is a thousand descents removed from Adam himself. Hooker.


Lowest place; extreme downward place.


And from the extremest upward of thy head, To the descent and dust below thy foot. Shak.

10. Mus.

A passing from a higher to a lower tone.

Syn. -- Declivity; slope; degradation; extraction; lineage; assault; invasion; attack.


© Webster 1913.

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