just defeated D2 final boss

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just defeated D2 final boss

Post by carmatic » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:44 am

well what can i say, finished D2 at last, 13 years or so after i first laid my hands on a 486 or pentium computer and had my first experience of the guidebot and the thief

back then dualshock controllers didnt really exist, but now with the 4 axes and 14 buttons it makes combat maneuvres much easier ... i could effortlessly directly hit the rear of the boss with earthshakers .... the only slight inconvenience was that i had to afterburn while turning and sliding to move fast enough to get behind the boss, and i needed the invulnerabilities to survive the explosions from my own earthshakers... the major factor is that you can just about turn faster than the boss... the guidebot also tells you to 'get behind the boss and shoot' and says 'well done' to you after youve killed the boss

so after shooting a bunch of earthshakers at the boss, it goes down... funny that i didnt have to escape the level on a countdown, but then again i was planning on getting to the secret level after defeating the boss ... . maybe this could have been an opportunity for the guys at Parallax to insert a hidden ending

and yeah, this is the first time i've seen the ending sequence that is also the beginning sequence of D3... i dont understand something, Dravis sounded like he was worried about the player over the radio, yet in the opening of D3 he is portrayed as the main villain

::edit:: also... i read somewhere that there was supposed to be some kind of 'evil guidebot' in d2, evidently this never came to be?
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by vision » Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:54 am

Congratulations on D2!
carmatic wrote:i dont understand something, Dravis sounded like he was worried about the player over the radio, yet in the opening of D3 he is portrayed as the main villain.
It is interesting. I'm sure someone else has a better explanation but my opinion is that Dravis' apparent change of character had to do with the addition of a storyline to the franchise.

In D1, Dravis is totally flat. He's a stereotype of the lifetime corporate achiever who's spent too much time alone in his office crunching numbers. Even his personal life is based on a ROI.

In D2, this is slightly expanded. Dravis is the boss from hell. He got to the top one way, and that's by being ruthless and uncompromising. It's my opinion that Dravis' concern at the closing of D2 is not for the Material Defender, but for the ship. Pilots are a dime a dozen, but that Pyro is a hacked Israeli fighter with prototype warp-tech on it. Very expensive!

In D3 we are presented with a storyline, not just a background. To have a good story, you need a well defined antagonist and it wasn't a far stretch to ramp up Dravis' less desirable personality traits and make him fully evil. I really don't think the creators of Descent had the storyline of D3 flushed out before they finished D2, but the D2 ending was an exciting cliffhanger leaving lots of room to play with.

If you are really interested in the characterization of Dravis, I would suggest reading the Descent books by Peter Telep. They are very fun and the way he develops Dravis' personality is quite clever.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by carmatic » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:31 pm

good point, but then again if he was so worried about the ship why did he send the self destruct code to the warp core in the first place....


anyway,i think that they were more interested in the show than in the storyline, something like pro wrestling... hence they had a more and more defined role for Dravis , and also how they used FMV's in D2 and even more FMV's in D3 , but that might just be taking advantage of increasing storage space ....
personally i very much preferred the cheesy level designs of D3 to the purely mine-based D1 and D2 ... but if you can see past the paper-thin looks of the D1/D2 mines, there is something quite psychedelic about them, for example the very first level, Lunar Outpost, had half the level slightly tilted and there is no 'global' up direction

in D2 they went with a more thematic, traditional and formal approach to level design, which is both good and bad at the same time... good because it is like a framework which gives the creativity some direction to take advantage of the increased amount of textures that can be stored on a cdrom, and it also increases the quality of the level design so its alot less monotonous and disorienting... bad because it also causes the levels to conform quite rigidly to themes , so you have a contradiction between the gravity of waterfalls and the weightlessness of all the objects (and not to mention, fake and forced looking water), or levels where almost all the colours are red ... you dont get levels where there is lava and water at the same time but maybe thats a technical limitation... although the 'desert' theme of Baloris Prime and the green theme in Omega are quite nice
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Sirius » Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:35 am

carmatic wrote:you dont get levels where there is lava and water at the same time but maybe thats a technical limitation...
Nope, nothing stopping you from doing this if you want to (there are third-party levels that do just that) - I'd guess it's for artistic reasons if anything.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by sdfgeoff » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:17 pm

Lava + water = steam + rock

Then the steam condenses back into water.

Physical limitation where you couldn't have them in terribly close proximity to each other.
Eh?
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Alter-Fox » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:57 pm

Look at levels 2, 4, and 7 in the Vertigo series (the official D2 expansion). Those three are mostly water levels but they have lava in a few places (in level 4 it's on the ceiling!).
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by carmatic » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:07 pm

didnt D1 and D2 had limits on how many different textures they could have in each level? that was why i thought it was a technical limitation


but i really did prefer the D1 levels to the D2 levels, well at least the water, lava and ice themed levels anyway... i dont know how many people see having themed levels being a good idea, but i dont myself when it is done in such an obvious way, you could tell what episode you are in just by looking at the colour scheme of the level.... they said that the D1 levels lacked variety , but by the time you finish 4 consecutive identical looking levels, im not sure you will think D2 is an improvement... i like the D1 levels, as well as the first 4 levels of D2 , for being somewhat abstract and freeform, and not trying to 'conform' to a theme
to be fair, the actual level geometry is quite enjoyable, except for when they were sticking to conventions for the liquid effects, like the horizontal water/lava floor, the curved water/lava falls , the square 'sinkholes' of lava and the 'behind the waterfall' hidden areas...
the first few times you come across them, they add to the experience... but in D2 they are really overplayed... and i guess by looking at them through modern eyes, the water and lava effects are quite an eyesore
to me, the levels with the best geometry are the ice levels... gameplay wise , the first and last 4 levels are sort of tied, but then again maybe its because the first 4 levels are easy, and the last 4 levels didnt have the Thief in them

i havent played any of the expansion packs yet so i dont know if i will like those as well
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Top Gun » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:54 pm

It's funny...I've sunk some serious time into playing Minecraft over the last month or so, and its lava texture completely reminds me of Descent. :D
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Sirius » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:42 pm

carmatic wrote:didnt D1 and D2 had limits on how many different textures they could have in each level? that was why i thought it was a technical limitation
Yes, but it was the total number - a lava texture would count to it the same way a rock texture would - and also quite high. I think it was around 170, but at least over 100, and very few levels even got close to it.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:08 am

I like the ice levels best.

But I like ice no matter what game it's in -- probably because I just love the cold. My favourite map was level 15.
And looking at your last post, again I need to recommend the Vertigo Series. The mission meta-design (how the levels are laid out and in which order) is very D1, but the level geometry is very D2 -- you could say it's the best of both worlds based on what you said.
The only problem is there's only one ice level and only one alien level. But there's a bunch of new themes too (one of the secret levels is a sewer!).
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by carmatic » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:53 am

so i have been thinking of the 'bittersweet' cheat effect in D2 where the level gets all wavy and stuff, its kind of the same effect that D3 used for the microwave

since D2 had a bigger emphasis on liquids than D1 , like having entire chapters dedicated to water and lava, i was wondering if the 'bittersweet' effect was originally meant to be applied to the vertices of liquid surfaces only, but somehow they couldnt get it to work hence they abandoned it and resigned it to a cheat code which affects the entire level...
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Xfing » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:34 am

About beating D2... just did it myself a few days ago, and on Ace. That's the first time I count it, since Rookie is nothing. I have to admit, the alien levels of D2 are even more difficult than the final ones from D1. I used to think that D2 was lacking in difficulty significantly compared to D1, but in fact it gives more than enough in the final levels. The Limefrost Spiral levels are a huge pain as well, with Baloris Prime giving some reprieve, those aren't really hard.

The final boss was a nightmare.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Sirius » Tue Jan 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Yeah, I found that out recently as well. After an Insane/Ace playthrough of D1, I pretty much coasted through D2 - until I hit level 21 onward, at which point my reaction was something akin to "what the hell?"
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Xfing » Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:47 am

Sirius wrote:Yeah, I found that out recently as well. After an Insane/Ace playthrough of D1, I pretty much coasted through D2 - until I hit level 21 onward, at which point my reaction was something akin to "what the hell?"
Yeah... many things contributed to that. The levels were mostly small and claustrophobic, so running from robots was hard. Boarsheads are instant killers, but I like the challenge they provide. Spiders replace the green platformers from D1 very well, and those were some of the most lethal bots. Lou Guard spam is also evident, and that is what made D1 notorious in the first place (with the red Medium Hulks) - though they don't fire quite as often as their D1 counterparts, they seem to be a bit more mobile and eager to pursue, while the red Hulks were stationary. Another nightmare is the Spawn, small as they may be, they're some of the single most annoying robots, and among the hardest to take out (they are fast enough to dodge Fusion). Add the fact that most D2 robots have learned to fire where you will be in an instant instead of where you are now (or simply put, predict your movements), which makes it considerably trickier to dodge their fire.

So yeah, the Omega System is a great challenge. And a more sublime one than D1, instead of going all out with the fusion hulks the threat seems more evenly distributed and more based on AI.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:02 am

Another nightmare is the Spawn, small as they may be, they're some of the single most annoying robots, and among the hardest to take out (they are fast enough to dodge Fusion).
Omega cannon FTW. I mean, it's even called Omega Cannon.
...instead of going all out with the fusion hulks...
D3 Mercenary is the biggest culprit, not D1 :P. I mean, what was with those turrets? Mass Driver and Homing Missiles don't even make sense to be coming from that!
And all the MD stormtroopers being practically the ONLY mobile enemy in the level... Could the designers have been even a little bit creative?
It's worse because the rest of Mercenary was awesome.

/rant
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by snoopy » Wed Jan 25, 2012 11:21 am

I keep meaning to run through D1 and D2 at high difficulty again sometime...

Problem is, I'm down to a mouse right now, so I can't decide if I want to do it on a mouse, or build myself a teensy-based USB stick converter.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by ryguy64 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:48 pm

I usually use a joystick, but found the mouse to be great in single player. At least in D1, where the bots don't move quite as much. I could aim and shoot much faster when a bot was pretty much in front of me than with the joystick. It's when they are behind me that I run into problems.

That being said, I have played through D1 multiple times on higher difficulties (ace/insane), but only played through D2 once, and probably on trainee, just to say I did. A lot of it was because of what has been discussed here, about the later levels being harder, and the late middle levels being huge. I usually play up to level 9, sometimes 13, before I stop and don't come back. Although the last 2 attempts for D2 were stopped due to bugs in Rebirth. Maybe it's time to try again...
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by vision » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:28 pm

Even though I usually play on Ace, I don't like it very much. The higher difficulty makes the AI act really stupid and predictable. Just flying around causes them to jump right in your line of fire. So dumb. I think Hotshot has some of the best AI interaction but the damn lasers/missiles go soooo sloooow. Ace is my compromise. Insane really is insane, but in a bad way.

While I'm ranting, D2 is ugly, ugly. The textures give me a headache, especially Baloris Prime (yuck). However, the Vertigo levels visual style and geometry make up for unattractive regular campaign.


D1 rules. D2, meh. D3 = 2(meh).
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Xfing » Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:23 am

vision wrote:Even though I usually play on Ace, I don't like it very much. The higher difficulty makes the AI act really stupid and predictable. Just flying around causes them to jump right in your line of fire. So dumb. I think Hotshot has some of the best AI interaction but the damn lasers/missiles go soooo sloooow. Ace is my compromise. Insane really is insane, but in a bad way.

While I'm ranting, D2 is ugly, ugly. The textures give me a headache, especially Baloris Prime (yuck). However, the Vertigo levels visual style and geometry make up for unattractive regular campaign.


D1 rules. D2, meh. D3 = 2(meh).
Haha yeah, I think we kinda agree on that. Baloris Prime looks like orange ice cream. Such level design decisions make Descent 2 levels lack something when compared to D1. Damn, some of the best textures in the games are D1-exclusive, while those that have been carried over are all but unused.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Sirius » Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:17 pm

The Descent 2 levels don't make very much use of textures that were in Descent, indeed. For some reason, they seem to have been aiming for a more "colourful" style, but doing so practically inevitably makes it less realistic, and also made it age worse.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Xfing » Thu Jan 26, 2012 3:07 pm

Sirius wrote:The Descent 2 levels don't make very much use of textures that were in Descent, indeed. For some reason, they seem to have been aiming for a more "colourful" style, but doing so practically inevitably makes it less realistic, and also made it age worse.
The aspect of aging, true. Didn't think about it. The gimmicky, colorful designs of Baloris Prime and Puuma Sphere especially, have made D2 akin to 80s' sidescrollers. D1 on the other hand, looks much more "spacey" or "cosmic", even though its levels are ironically less remote. I especially like the white lab-like textures, prevalent in levels 2, 18 and 25. This is the apogee of Descent, imo. Also the cold, gray, industrial death-holes which are levels 12 and 26. Baloris Prime seems like a joke in comparison, vivid as it is.

One of the latest levels of The Enemy Within is a very nice throwback to D1 aesthetics. Probably level 24 if memory serves. Or 23.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Alter-Fox » Thu Jan 26, 2012 6:39 pm

Level 24? You mean the one that was ported from an old D1 level by Solrazor? :P
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Xfing » Thu Jan 26, 2012 7:23 pm

Alter-Fox wrote:Level 24? You mean the one that was ported from an old D1 level by Solrazor? :P
Yep, that's level 24. "Aurora Outpost". Feels a lot like "Titan Mine" from D1.

BTW, I wonder if it would be possible to extract the animated monitors (like the one that's directly in front of you in level 1 of D1) from D1.PIG via DTX and insert them into D2. I can't get animated D1 lava, not to mention the screens. Is it possible to insert this stuff into one of Descent 2's PIG files? Even if it takes some data replacing?
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Alter-Fox » Thu Jan 26, 2012 10:05 pm

I doubt it.
And the D1 textures are lower resolution than the D2 textures so that will be noticable when you have them both side-by-side in the same mine. It's going to look a little bit sloppy.
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Sirius » Fri Jan 27, 2012 12:08 am

That's to be expected - Aurora Outpost is literally a port of a D1 level.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Xfing » Fri Jan 27, 2012 1:42 am

Alter-Fox wrote:I doubt it.
And the D1 textures are lower resolution than the D2 textures so that will be noticable when you have them both side-by-side in the same mine. It's going to look a little bit sloppy.
Not if you play in low-res like I do. I may be weird, but the more retro my Descent looks, the happier I am, this also applies to Descent 2. I set all my Rebirth parameters to low-res, I even took the 11khz sounds. Descent has more charm that way, methinks.

And from what I saw, it's possible to insert or replace graphics in DTX2 frame by frame, so even those that animate should be replacable easily enough. I'll try and see.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Sirius » Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:24 pm

Yeah, you can do it, and stock D1/D2 have the same texture resolution (a whopping 64x64). D1 doesn't have a 640x480 cockpit - that's about it though.

If you're trying to replace D2 textures in the PIG (though really, even a POG would hit this) you're likely to run into issues with mismatches in the animation frame count. I think you can fix these by editing descent2.ham though.
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Re: just defeated D2 final boss

Post by Xfing » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:32 pm

Sirius wrote:Yeah, you can do it, and stock D1/D2 have the same texture resolution (a whopping 64x64). D1 doesn't have a 640x480 cockpit - that's about it though.

If you're trying to replace D2 textures in the PIG (though really, even a POG would hit this) you're likely to run into issues with mismatches in the animation frame count. I think you can fix these by editing descent2.ham though.
I'd be the happiest if this was doable simply in dle-xp, and it indeed is - as long as the texture doesn't have multiple frames. Textures exported from descent.pig get saved as bmps, and in case of animated monitors it is one bmp per frame, so there's not really much possibility of replacing an animated tile with another so that the new one animates. Adding the animated content to one of the .pig files should solve it, so that's what I'll try. If the pig file refuses to take in additional stuff, I'll see what I can do replacing the existing stuff.

EDIT:

I've checked, and it's perfectly possible to replace door animations frame by frame in dle-xp, so the same should hold true for animated monitors. The only limitation I can think of is the number of frames, it appears it should agree with the number of frames of the initial, replaced texture.
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