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Descent II (PC)

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Title Screen

Descent II

Developer: Parallax Software
Publishers: Interplay (DOS), MacPlay (Mac OS Classic)
Platforms: DOS, Mac OS Classic
Released in US: March 13, 1996 (DOS), 1996 (Mac OS Classic)
Released in EU: 1996

EnemyIcon.png This game has unused enemies.
GraphicsIcon.png This game has unused graphics.
SoundIcon.png This game has unused sounds.

ProtoIcon.png This game has a prototype article

Descent II is the sequel to Descent, improving on the original with more weapons, themed levels, and super fast thief robots.


Read about prototype versions of this game that have been released or dumped.
Prototype Info

Unused Features

  • Seismic disturbances were occasionally mentioned in marketing blurbs for the game before release, but in the released game, they only occur from the Earthshaker Missile. The source code reveals that the intention was to allow seismic disturbances to occur at regular intervals with some random variation, and this code is still functional, but the default values disable them from ever happening.
  • Robots were able to spawn smart blobs on death, like how some spawn smart blobs when hit by an energy weapon. The BPER Bot is defined to spawn 4 when killed, and the briefing alludes to this by mentioning that they can be dangerous even in death. This feature is disabled, however, making this value unused.

Unused Graphics

Descent 2 has 6 separate graphic sets, with different palettes for each of the planets visited in the game. All graphics below are shown with the set used by the first four levels, set in the Zeta Aquilae system, but exist in the other 5 palettes as well.


The unused blue blob from Descent returns, now also defined as the Gauss projectile's sprite. As with the Vulcan projectile, it isn't rendered in-game.


As does the blue energy ball.


The slime is present, too, suffering heavily from the change in palettes.


And the landing pad.


The monitors from Descent 1 displaying the Spider Processor robot are present but not used in Descent 2. If they are used in a custom level, when broken they will use the graphics of another screen with the corners cut off, ruining the effect.


These three graphics go unused, all of them are set to scroll at a diagonal at a slow pace.

Unused doors, all of which are from Descent 1.

A large amount of rocks, most of which are from Descent 1, are not used in any of the game's levels.

Unused Robots

All robots from the original Descent remain, but most are not used in the Descent II levels. The Supervisor appears a few times in the Quartzon levels, with some upgraded behavior. Level 16 has a number of materialization centers that create the original cloaked lifter robot, but the rest go unused.

Included in the new robots for Descent II is a clone of the original Descent level 7 boss, with some slight stat differences. Its boss-like properties are removed, so it can't teleport and won't cause the countdown on death, it has 5000 HP instead of 4000, and causes a small amount of splash damage on death.

An unused robot with a green version of the original Descent's Heavy Driller model. It fires multiple homing missiles as its attack, like the Lou Guard enemy.

A green-colored Guidebot. Unlike the normal Guidebot, this robot is hostile and attempts to make suicide explosion attacks like the Omega Defense Spawn enemy.


The data for the Omega Defense Spawn, Smelter, BPER, Spider, and Spawn enemies is duplicated in the data files.

The Smelter duplicate gives 600 points of score vs. the normal's 500 points and can turn slightly faster, making a 360 degree turn in 6/10ths of a second compared to the normal's one second on the easiest difficulty, up to 1/5th of a second compared to the normal's 7/10th of a second on the hardest difficulty.

The Omega Defense Spawn duplicate gives 500 points vs. the normal's 400, has 70 health instead of the normal's 90, and plays the sounds of the Sidearm Modula enemy.

The BPER duplicate gives 800 points vs the normal's 700, has 85 health instead of the normal's 75, and makes the sound of the original Descent's Defense Prototype.

The Spider duplicate gives 700 points vs. the normal's 600, and has 110 health instead of the normal's 100.

The Spawn duplicate gives 300 points vs. the normal's 200, attacks more frequently, and makes the sound of the original Descent's baby spider.

Unused Weapons

All of the weapons from the original Descent remain. The blue energy ball remains unused, as does the silent Spreadfire blob, and weapon #8 remains uninitialized. None of the new Descent 2 robots use the Class 1 Drone and Spider Processor's energy balls, so those are effectively unused.

A duplicate of the robot version of the smart mine sub-projectile is included, traveling faster and doing more damage than the used one. The fast one travels at 40 units/second and does 15 damage on the easiest difficulty, compared to the used one's 35 units/second and 10 damage, up to 90 units/second and 35 damage on the hardest difficulty, compared to the used one's 80 units/second and 16 damage.

Super Laser


In Descent 2, to fit the new weapons, all of the weapon keys were changed to alternate between selecting two weapons, excepting the Laser Cannon, where the new weapon simply upgrades your normal laser to level 5 and beyond. However, a secondary weapon is still defined for the laser slot, also identified as the "Super Laser". It is hardcoded to only fire Laser level 4 projectiles regardless of your current laser level, and the name shows up overlapping the level in the UI. In the full-screen HUD, it doesn't show its name at all.

Unused Sounds

An unused earthshaker missile explosion, with the final game using the mega missile explosion sound for earthshaker explosions.

The sound played when an illusionary wall is set to fade out. In the release levels, only solid walls or forcefields are set to fade out, so this goes unused.

In addition, a large number of the robot sounds from the original Descent remain, but are unused in any of the release levels. Supervisors make a return in a few levels, and the original Descent cloaked lifter is created by materialization centers in the Limefrost Spiral boss level, and their sounds are also used by the Sidearm and their smaller Modula. Some of these sounds may have been used for early versions of the Descent 2 robots, given the use in the duplicate robots listed above.