Descent was originally released by Parallax Software in 1995. It was the first game featuring a full 3D environment (before Quake) as well as gameplay that allowed six degrees of freedom and multiplayer networking that allowed players to join and leave at any time. This release is not to be confused with the announced Descent WiiWare release in progress by G1M2: This homebrew release is a port of Parallax' original Descent source code, which was released with the restriction of non-commercial, non-revenue generating purposes.
The resource files from a registered copy of Descent (updated to V1.4a or v1.5) are required. The required files are called DESCENT.PIG and DESCENT.HOG and must be placed in the /apps/descent/ directory. The resource files from the shareware version or the "Destination Saturn" release are not suitable. The game will perform checksum verification at startup to make sure they are correct. If you purchase "The Descent 1 and 2 Collection" from Good Old Games you can be sure the files will be correct (and you get Descent2 as well, which may come in useful at a later time...).
Descent originally used midi music and the wii has no midi hardware. However it can play the songs by using timidity-compatible instrument patch files such as those found at the Freepats project. Once you have a patch set copy the .cfg file you wish to use to "/etc/timidity/timidity.cfg" on your SD/USB drive and put the patch files in "/usr/local/lib/timidity". Alternatively MP3 files can be used, by placing them in the music subdirectory and renaming them appropriately. The "readme.txt" file in that directory contains the list of required filenames. If you bought Descent from gog.com you can use the MP3 files from the "descent_soundtrack.zip" extra download. Not all the MP3 files need to exist, any that are missing will use the midi songs instead (which will be silent if there are no instrument patches).
The in-game controls are fully configurable from the Settings/Options menu. Each input option (Wiimote/Nunchuk/Classic) has its own individual profile. If the game doesn't seem to be responding correctly check that the current input option selection matches the controller that you are trying to use. The classic controller may require manual calibration since it doesn't store any calibration data internally. Hardcoded keys for menus are as follows:
|Move mouse pointer|
Multiplayer modes are fully functional since version 1.10. It can be a bit laggy at times, but overall works pretty well for a game that was never designed to be played over the internet. DOSBox clients can also connect and play; run "ipxnet connect descent.tueidj.net 2130" before launching Descent from within the DOSBox window. Note that due to the way DOSBox manages connections, it is not possible to retrieve your identity when rejoining a game (but it works for the wii version).
- Multiplayer/Network support
- Fixed a bug in the 64-bit square root calculation that caused random freezes
- Fixed stack overflows in vector intersection search
- Faster fixed point division
- Initial Release