TABLE OF CONTENTS
Playing Descent 4
In The Mines 8
Mine Centers 10
In-Game Options 13
Saving Your Game 14
Link Cable Operation 15
Questions and Answers 22
Customer Support 24
There are two controllers that Descent supports on the PlayStation. One is the "digital' pad
that comes with your PlayStation'", and the other is an "analog' joystick that must be purchased
separately. There are two ways to configure these devices; the first and simplest is to select
one of the default configurations that we have already set up for you. There are two selections
on Controls: preset and custom configuration.
There are four default configurations for the pad and two default configurations for the
joystick. To choose a default setting, select Control Pad from the Options menu (either within
the Main Menu or by pressing Start within a game). To select from default options, select
"Select From Defaults" in the Control Pad menu. The D-Pad flips through options, "Start" exits;
"X' selects the controller option displayed. The next time you start a level, this choice will
be encoded as part of your password. If you have a memory card, it will be saved the next time
you save a game.
If the available settings are not to your liking, you can customize your own configuration. Use
the Left/Right D-Pad to select the default choice which is closest to the configuration that you
want to use. For each function that you want to change, use the D-Pad arrows to highlight the
item and press "X" to change it. The very next button you press will be that setting. The only
way to change it back to what you had selected is to press the originally set button. (Note: if
the selected button was already being used as another command. its former place will become
blank and you may need to replace it.) To clear an item so that it doesn't have any buttons
associated with it, move to it using the D-Pad and press "O" to clear it.
While this method allows more flexibility it is not always the best choice. For instance, if you
don't have a memory card available, you will have to re-enter your configuration every time you
start up Descent. If you use a default configuration, your controller choice is saved in with
your password-saved game - see "Saving Your Game' on page 14.
When done defining your layout, press "Start" to exit. The next time you save a game using the
memory card, this configuration will get saved. However, if you do not have a memory card and
are using a password save, only the default configuration that you started from will be saved
with the password.
The first screen you will be presented with, after the introductory screens, is the Main Menu.
The Main Menu contains a list of options you can choose from. To make selections, use the
up/down arrows on the left keypad (the Directional Pad, or 'D-Pad') and Press "X" to select any
New Game Allows you to start a new game.
Combat Game Opens a menu where you can choose to start or join a two-player
game by way of Link Cable.
Load Game Lets you resume from a saved game if you have a memory card -
see "Saving Your Game" on page 14 of this manual.
Enter Password Move around the screen with the D-Pad to make choices, to select the
next digit in the password at the bottom of the screen, use the square
or the circle on the right keypad. Press "Start' to escape or Press "X"
to confirm a completed password.
Options Activates the Options screen.
Credits Displays the list of credits for the game: press any button to exit.
Up/Down on D-Pad controls credits scroll speed.
A red check mark in the box to the left of an option indicates that it will be activated in your
current game: Press 'X" to toggle a highlighted option on or off and Press 'Start" to exit back
to the previous menu. Left/Right on D-Pad toggles options as well.
Music Lets you scale music volume up or down.
Sound Effects Allows you to scale sound effects volume up or down.
Stereo Allows you to toggle between stereo and mono sound and music.
Full Screen Adjusts the size of your viewing field.
Calibrate Fine-tunes your game control. This option
JOYSTICK is only available if you have plugged a PSX-compatible analog joystick
into port 1.
Auto-Leveling Turns Auto-Leveling feature on and off.
Control Pad Takes you to the Controls menu. This option becomes "Analog
Joystick..." when an analog joystick is present.
STARTING A NEW GAME
To start a new game, select New Game, then choose your Skill level based on how much action you
think you can take.
Each time you start a new game you re given an opportunity to meet with a representative from
the Post Terran Mining Corporation and get the background on your mission. If you know your
mission and want to bypass this meeting, Press 'Start" or 'X" to bypass the movie.
The joystick will need to be calibrated to work properly. To calibrate your joystick:
1. Make sure the joystick is plugged into controller port 1
2. Go into the 'Options" menu.
3. You should see a menu item that says "Calibrate Joystick." If you don't see this menu item,
make sure the joystick is installed properly, and that its mode switch is set to "Analog."
4. Select 'Calibrate Joystick." You should then move the sticks to ail extremes - this means
that you should move the stick to each corner in turn. After you have done this, release the
joystick so that it can return to its center position. Then, while making sure the stick is
still in its center position, Press "X" to finish the calibration.
When you save a game to the memory card, this calibration information will be saved.
In The Mines
(Only available if assigned a button in your controls configuration.) Allows you to glance out
the rear of your ship. Hold down the assigned button to temporarily look out the rear; when you
release it you will return to the front view. If you want to switch indefinitely to the rear
view, quickly tap the appropriate button.
At specific sites within every mine there are energy centers that will boost your ship s energy
level. Although these centers will only boost your ship's energy level up to 100, it is
possible to achieve a maximum level of 200 by collecting "energy packets" that are scattered
throughout the mines. These energy centers have distinct gold walls with a sparkling energy
field between them. See the "Mine Centers" section for more details.
Exhausting A Weapon
If you exhaust a weapon, your ship auto-selects the next best one.
Your Ship As A Weapon
The objects in Descent are "physical" objects; you can ram into something with your ship and
possibly cause a response. For example, most doors can be rammed or shot open, while hostage
doors must actually be fired upon until destroyed. You can conceivably ram something repeatedly
to destroy it. If this happens to be a fighting method you've been reduced to, best of luck!
There are many robots in the mines of the PTMC, originally designed to carry out the day-to-day
hard labor required to keep the mines operational. Unfortunately, the invading force has created
countless deadly variations of these formerly peaceful mechanical miners...if they can blast
through solid rock, imagine what they can do to your little ship!
There are a variety of doors that can be found in the PTMC mines. Most can be opened by either
bumping into them or shooting them. There are some though, that can only be opened if you have
the appropriate access key. Others can only be opened if certain actions are performed or the
Reactor is set to self-destruct (i.e. the emergency exit). Hostage doors take several hits to
destroy, and there are also hidden doors.
To rescue hostages, you must touch them with your ship to bring them safely aboard. Of course,
you'll have fight through hordes of robots and blow down a few doors to reach them!
Designed for 'on the fly' replenishing of robots' power cells. These sparking golden grids will
also recharge your own power up to 100 units.
Automated centers that determine a mine's needs and assemble robots from surrounding minerals
and metals. Watch out for them, as they are very dangerous.
The power generator of the whole mine. Usually in a secluded place, far from the range of
day-to-day mine mishaps.
Throughout the mines are caches of missiles and ammo that you can pick up to restock your
supply, boosts for your energy banks and shields, and a number of additional power-ups and items
designed to give you a fighting chance against your merciless opponents:
These allow you access to the different security levels of the mines. Color-coded to match the
doors they open.
This will give your energy banks a boost, up to 200 units max. Energy Centers can deliver
recharge up to 100 units.
Gives ship's shields a kick. By getting shield power-ups, you can get your shields up to a
maximum of 200 units.
Gives ship cloaking ability for a limited time.
Makes ship invulnerable for a short time.
Gives you a bonus life.
Laser cannons have four power levels. The laser power-up will give you the next available
This power-up will modify your existing laser system to fire four bolts instead of the standard
This weapon rapidly fires explosive-tipped shells.
This gives you more ammunition for the Vulcan Cannon.
Fires a spread of energy at your target.
Fires bursts of supercharged plasma.
Fires destructive blasts of energy directly from the ship's fusion reactor. Holding down the
Fire button will charge up the Fusion Cannon until you release it. This can double the damage,
but can also damage your ship if you hold it too long.
All-purpose dumbfire rockets. Come singly or in packs of four.
Same size warhead as Concussion Missiles, but have a tracking device that can follow a target
around most turns. Come singly or in packs of four.
These bombs are dropped behind your ship. waiting to explode when something gets near. Can be
armed as a secondary weapon, or dropped directly by hitting the appropriate button if you
assigned one to Drop Bomb in your configuration.
When this missile detonates, it sends out tracking bomblets of heated plasma after the
Stand back when firing this earthshaker!
Press Start at any point in a game to pause the action and enter the Options Menu. You can
maneuver through the menu by using the up/down arrows on the D-Pad. Select the following options
by pressing "X'; to exit back to your game, press "Start. '.
Return To Game
This option is self-explanatory. Select it to return to game.
The Automap keeps track of places you've been. As you move through new territory, your progress
is drawn in by the Automap. To view the Automap from any angle, use the D-Pad to rotate the
image any which way you like. To close the Automap and return to the action, press Select.
The center blue object is your ship. Green objects are hostages - you will be able to see these
long before you can find your way through the labyrinth of mines to rescue them. The purple
ines sketch out the mine's entrance. The red, yellow and blue walls are locked doors. These
doors require the use of corresponding color-coded access keys for passage. Red, yellow and blue
objects represent key locations. Yellow areas are refueling stations. The Red area is the
Reactor. In Cooperative Mode, your teammate appears as a colored object marked with a
The same basic set of options offered in the Main Menu: Music, Stereo, Full Screen, and
Allows you to save your game (this option is only available with a memory card). See 'Saving
Your Game" below.
Allows you to quit your current game and return to the Main Menu. Use your D-Pad to select yes
or no (Y/N) and press "X" to make your selection.
Saving Your Game
There are two ways to save your progress and configuration in Descent: password and memory
card. If you do not have a memory card, then you must save your game using a password. However,
to maximize your Descent experience, we highly recommend using a memory card. With the memory
card, you can save and restore your progress quickly at any point. This allows you to progress
to higher levels much faster, as there's no need to replay the beginning portion of a level when
you restore your game. And you'll never need to reset your configuration or retype that
PASSWORD SAVE FEATURE
Each time you start a new level, a unique password is created that contains the current level
number, limited configuration information, and the highest level that you've been on. Start a
new level after changing any configuration items in order for them to get saved.
To save your game, press Start while playing fo display the Pause menu. The password is
displayed near the top of the menu. Write the password down, and check it for accuracy. 11 you
accidentally mistake a B for an 8, you will not be able to enter the password correctly! It is
recommended you write it down twice, carefully double-checking it each time.
To restore your game at a later point, select "Enter Password" from the Main Menu Then, use the
D-Pad to select each letter. To move to the next character of the password, press the "Triangle"
button. To back up, press Square. Since your password is complete, press "X" to accept. If you
get an "Invalid" password message, correct any mistakes and re-enter it.
MEMORY CARD SAVE FEATURE
While in the game, make sure you have a card inserted into
either slot. Then, select "Save Game" from the Pause menu.
You can then select one of five slots to save your game under.
If there is no space available, then you must either overwrite an existing saved game or go into
the "Erase Files" menu and erase some other files. You must be very careful when erasing files
because you can delete information that some other game has stared on the card. A better
solution is to use the memory card manager that is accessed by turning on your PlayStation'"
with no CD in the CD tray to delete files.
To restore a game, select "Load Game" from the main menu. Select Memory Card 1 or 2, then simply
move to the saved game that you want to restore and press "X'.
Link Cable Operation
To play against or with another player, install a Link Cable between the two machines,
following its own instructions. Start Descent on each machine and have each player select
"Combat Game" from the main menu. The screen will display a message saying "Waiting for remote
player' while it validates the connection. If you wait for more than 15-20 seconds with no
connection, press 'Start," then "X" after message to return to the Main Menu. If setup still
fails after retrying this procedure a few times, turn off both machines and make sure the cable
is connected properly on both of the machines. If it still doesn't work, call our Technical
Once you get connected, select "Start Game." One of the players will then be asked for the
various game parameters:
This lets you choose which mission file to use. There are three "missions" in Descent:
Descent: First Strike
The normal 27 Descent levels. These can be played in all modes but are best played in
'Cooperative" mode, so that you and your friend can blast away at the robots together.
A set of five small levels designed for fast and furious action
which can be played in Anarchy mode only. These levels are
small enough that it is very easy to hunt your opponent down.
A set of five levels designed for anarchy-only action like the "PSX Anarchy' levels, only far
more complex. Experienced players will find these more challenging because increased complexity
over small levels adds a more strategic element.
The description is the name that both players will see in their Combat Game menu.
This can be any valid level for the mission you have loaded. Play will begin on the level
selected and can continue to the other levels as play progresses.
Mode determines the type of game that will be played: ANARCHY is a player-only battle to the
death, where the goal is to hunt down and destroy your opponent.
ROBO-ANARCHY is the same as Anarchy except that, in addition, there will also be robots in the
game trying to kill any player they find. The goal is still to score a kill on your fellow
COOPERATIVE MODE lets you team up with the other player to destroy all of the robots in the
mine and complete the level. The goal: to get the highest score by killing robots, rescuing
hostages, and escaping the mine after destroying the level Reactor.
Determines several factors, from robot awareness and deadliness to time for mine destruction
countdowns. The farther the slider is to the right, the tougher the game. Once the parameters
are chosen, the person starting the game presses Start to begin the action. Some special rules
apply only to Link Cable Descent games:
When you fire a secondary weapon, a new power-up of that type is created at random somewhere in
the mine - this keeps the total number of secondary weapons in the game constant. If you see a
weapon suddenly appear in front of your ship, consider yourself lucky! Replacement power-ups
are also created when the effects of an Invulnerability or Cloak power-up wear off. Concussion
Missiles are the only secondary weapon not replaced. This replenishment does not occur in
When you bring up menus, the action does not stop as it does in one-player games. While you're
viewing a menu, your ship remains vulnerable to attack by the other player...and by the robots.
It's a good idea to find a quiet spot to hide in if you need to examine the Automap or
reconfigure your controls. If you are attacked while in a menu or if the reactor is about to
explode, the menu will automatically abort so you can deal with the problem.
Weapon power-ups are single-use only. When you kill the other player, the weapons he/she is
carrying are ejected as power-ups for you to take.
Other options include 'Time Limit" and Show Opponent."
Material Defender this is PTMC Security One. Prepare for descent insertion Level l.
PTMC Security One. please give flight systems configuration and mission briefing before descent
You weren't Given a mission briefing?
No, PTMC Security One.
How many missions have you flown son?
Great... why me? I always get the nubies. No offense, son.
None taken, sir.
You don't have to call me sir, my name's Russ. What's your handle?
Horus, sir...l mean Russ.
Relax. Now, about your configuration. What does your control panel look like?
I have a control pad in front of me. All of my simulators had a flight stick in them, Russ.
O.K. You're flying an older model PyroGX with Default Configuration l. Don't worry, they
pack as much power as the new ones. I flew one for 2O years.
This will be easy to use. See the left side of the pad in front of you with the
directional arrows? That is your main controller. It's just like a flight stick, the up
Pushes your nose down and the down pulls your nose up. The left and right bank left and
That seems simple enough.
Yep. it is. Now do you see the "L2" and "R2" buttons? They roll you counter-clockwise
and clockwise. That will help you get re-oriented if you flip upside down.
OK... but how do I select my weapons?
Your weapons ordinance selection is linked with your weapons firing buttons. The L1
button fires and Select+L1 arms your guns. Your lasers are the first weapon. These are
the primary guns for the Syssyx. Beyond that you ran pick up additional weapons in
other locations including: the Vulcan cannon, the spreadfire cannon, the plasma cannon.
and the fusion cannon.
What is the "R1' button for?
Those are your long-range ordinance; your missiles; The Syssyx comes armed standard with
dumbfire concussion missiles. Additional missiles the ship can pick up include. homing
missiles (if you get them/: proximity bombs (You can also drop these puppies using
Select + R2 button); smart missiles; and mega-missiles (good old earth-shakers).
Frag! These can carry a lot of ordinance.
Darn straight they can. One thing: If you pick up what the ship's system considers a
higher-level weapon, it will automatically switch to it. That's troublesome at times.
Great...now how do I move this baby around?
You see the Triangle button and X button in front of you? Those are your forward and
reverse. The Triangle Button accelerates forward and X button moves you in reverse.
Interesting...now what does Select+ L2 do for me?
That allows you to shoot out a flare. They'll illuminate any dark corridors, but they
only last a while. They also drain shot energy so be careful and don't go hog-wild with
Okay....so how do I bring up my map?
Just hit the Start button. That will bring up the ship's computer menu. Highlight the
automap and press your X button to Go into the map. Once there, the directional pad
will let you rotate the map around. Your Accelerate and Reverse buttons (Triangle and X
on this configuration) zoom in and out of the map. If you press the Start button while
here it will bring up a help menu, too.
Hopefully your ship isn't moving around when you do this, right?
Course not. son. One last thing - the Square and Circle buttons.
Oh yeah, what do they do?
They allow you to slide left and right. That comes in real handy in a fire fight. You
can use that to dodge missiles and other incoming attacks. You can do that while you are
moving forward too!!!!
Roger that. The Syssyx seems pretty easy to fly.
That's why I flew one for 20 years. son. Now here is a look at Lunar Base 1.
Point 1 - That is where descent insertion will place you.
Point 2 - Security door to reactor room. This requires a red security pass.
Paint 3 - This is where same PTMC miners are being held by the bots. We don't know why they're
being held, but you should make an effort to pick them up. The company has a lot of time
and money invested in training them far their jobs; blowing them up with the reactor
isn't going to score points with the suits upstairs.
Point 4 - These are a pair of undocumented passages in the regular mining maps. Security put
these in for emergency situations. The entrance Points are on the ceiling. Shoot them or
dump them and they will open up. This leads to Paint 5.
Paint 5 - As I said. the folks in security stash contin-gencu equipment in case of emergencies.
Up here you will find some Vulcan cannon ammo and a four-pack of homing missiles.
Point 6 - This is a refueling center. You should always locate these in any mine. They will
recharge the capacitors for your energy weapons, including lasers.
Point 7 - This is where intelligence currently p/aces the passcard for the security door at
Point 8 - This is the reactor. It takes about 10 shots to set it to blow. When it goes you'll
have between 30 and 45 seconds to get out. One warning: the bots have set the reactor
security measures to shoot at any corporate equipment, including your ship.
Point 9 - This is the emergency exit. It will only open after the reactor starts its self-
destruct cycle. When the countdown starts, this is the only way to the surface. If you
don't make it, you, your ship, and any miners you rescue will be blown to atoms. Note of
caution: this one is easy to find, others will be harder. I've seen men die cause they
don't find this before setting off a reactor. So you should really find the exit before
setting the reactor to go.
Got it, Russ. This will be a cake walk
Don't get so cocky, son. That's what the last Material Defender said.
What happened to him?
He didn't come back.
Good luck, Horus. Kick the drek out of those 'bots and may the...oh, never mind,
you're too young to remember.
Get Ready for Descent insertion level!!
Questions & Answers
You should have no troubles running Descent. Just in case you do have issues, here are some
Q: Why doesn't my joystick respond to the game?
mode switch set to Analog. and that it's properly calibrated.
Q: Hey! Why did some of my power-ups disappear'?
Certain power-ups will remove themselves from the game if they've been around four or five
minutes. This only happens to Concussion missiles. Energy power-ups and Shield power-ups dropped
by a dead player.
Q: I tried everything but I'm still stuck!
Don't panic. Read through the Customer Support section on page 24. Interplay's Customer Support
department will be happy to help with any problems you may have.