The Cannery is my simplest level ever. It's just one big tube with two outside alleys, in essence a one-room level. The only primaries are fusions (six) and quads (not quite two sets). The only secondaries are a single smart missile and two packs of proxbombs. This is a no excuses dogfight level that will test your 3D fighting skills to the max. This level should be especially fun on LAN, and will support team games as well as anarchy and ladder matches. I named this level in honor of the "Whoopass Can" trophy for the four-on-four team competitions held at east coast LANs, and LordDeath's Whoopass Cannery website.
June Bug is a 3D-intense peekaboo hit and run level. This one separates the true rat bastid from the rodent wannabe, and plays EXTREMELY fast, possibly the fastest I have ever seen for an all hit-and-run layout. There is a complete arsenal of items in here, including a single homing missile, but this level is unusual in that there are extra vulcan cannons. If played in Descentr this will not matter, and you'll be down to just one before long, but if using D1X it will be nearly impossible to prevent your respawning opponent from reaching a vulcan cannon with which he can harass you while he tries to get back to the rest of his items. I made this level in about 2 hours. There are only two cube shapes used, except in the reactor and exit areas. With no doors and no narrow tunnels, stealth and speed will rule the day. You can literally cross the level and back 6 or 7 times within the same minute.
The Halls of Iconia is a special level designed to blow your mind. There are a whopping eight locations where (if viewed in three dimension) that hallways and rooms in the level occupy the same space, but in fact they do not. This means the level is four-dimensional, and you *must* be able to think in four dimensions or you will become hopelessly lost and at the mercy of a skilled opponent. Fusion rules this rat haven, but there are two small rooms where in-your-face doggin skills are required. The weapon load may seem light to the first-time player, but the spreadfire and extra fusions are tucked in secret closets in the ceilings of tunnels. Note that the different colored doors are all different types, and they make different sounds, so you can tell which doors are opening/closing by the sounds they make. This level is very complex, and you will need a high amount of familiarity with it to compete here. It's almost entirely flat, though, so it should appeal to mouse and keyboard players.
The Blues is a small and very tight level dedicated to the blue weapons of Descent: the spreadfire and the homing missile. I included fusion cannons to add spice, so even though they are not blue, they are the blue's bastard purple cousins. :) You will need all your skills here, including your missile gathering talents, your rat instincts, and the ability to dogfight in a nasty 3D area. It will be hard to pin down a runner in this level, and camping the main room is a bad idea. You will need to be comfortable in the tunnel areas to compete here. This version has only two homings, so you will have to rely mostly on primaries to get the job done.
This variant of the Blues features the homing missile as the main element. With 12 homings instead of 2, the missiles play a critical role and you will have to weigh that into your strategy. The EH stands for "Extra Homers". Except for the missile count, this level is identical to the original.
Black Rose is certainly one of my finest levels. This one is small, optimized for the head to head Descent match, and tailored to play FAST. All weapons except mega are present. There is only one homing missile, so the smarties are likely to be a much bigger threat, and most areas are tight enough to make the fusion particularly brutal. There are two dogfight areas and two tunnel areas. The reactor's placement looms as a factor in games here, especially at the higher settings, so be prepared to account for it in your tactical plans. This level is dedicated to someone special in my life, and I took the time to make the level special, too.
Although Greenland was my first all-new level for Descent 1, you would never know it by flying it. That's because I made only D2 levels until fall of 1998 (with the exception of minor mods to my favorite First Strike levels: 10 and 20). Greenland is a theme level: it contains only weapons with green shots or effects (quad 4, plasma, smart missiles). There are two dogfight rooms, and almost all the action centers here. The armory and reactor room are both hidden behind secret doors, but there is a tunnel access to each. The tunnel elements are just enough to add flavor to the level. Greenland is a favorite of the Oklahoma LAN crew, and plays well in either head to head competition or open anarchy, on LAN or the net.
Three Sisters may well represent the dawning of a new style of Descent level. Traditionally, a level is constructed with only one orientation for Up and Down. In some cases, level makers have attempted to remove the sense of Up and Down entirely. Just about all the 3D levels I have ever played fall into one of these two categories. Three Sisters takes a new approach to creating a 3D environment. By putting together a collection of mostly flat rooms, EACH of which has its own unique Up and Down orientation, this forces players into a new situation. The need for orientation will tend to drive players to reorient to each room's floor when moving from room to room, and failing to do so will likely leave the player confused, at least briefly, and thus prey to any nearby aggressor. So making the transition from room to room is important, and it is likely to take a bit of practice. This level has two homing missiles placed right in front of the reactor -- if you want to put the homers into play, you will have to brave the reactor's fire and will likely take some damage doing so. This level should be easy to learn but hard to master, and if there is demand, I may do more with this theme.
Four Sisters is the second installment of the Siblings series for D1. Like it's cousin, Three Sisters, this level features multiple rooms each of which is oriented on a different plane, as if the gravity went in a different direction in each part of the level. Four Sisters is a bit larger than its predecessor, but it still plays great for head to head, and it is both large enough and packing enough firepower to support any size game on LAN. If more than four players are playing, you will want to break out the extra fusions tucked into my secret cache, located in the speckled-green tunnel with the striped walls. This level has two homing missiles placed right in front of the reactor -- if you want to put the homers into play, you will have to brave the reactor's fire and will likely take some damage doing so. I also put the spreader in the reactor tunnel, but it is easier to get than the homers, if you know what you are doing. I can get to the spread time and again without taking a hit, even on insane, but the point is that players who want the spread in play will have to go and get it, and that will entail some risk. I am especially proud of the "barn-shaped" column in the main room. That may well be the pinacle of my cube-mangling efforts: I can't believe I managed such a complex construct with just 26 cubes. Gwar gave me a great compliment during the beta test by suggesting I do something with the textures that would only have been possible if I had used about twice the number of cubes I actually used. :) Even though Four Sisters is larger and more complex, it should actually have better fps than Three Sisters because none of the rooms have as many columns as the main room in Three Sisters. Enjoy!
Twin Sisters is the third installment of the Siblings series for D1. Like it's cousin, Three Sisters, this level features multiple rooms each of which is oriented on a different plane, as if the gravity went in a different direction in each part of the level. There are only two rooms in this one, and they are identical, thus the twin factor. Yet they are oriented a whopping 143 degrees apart, much steeper than the maximum 90 degree difference in the other siblings levels. The lighting in each is also different. Signs proclaiming alpha and beta are scattered around to help remind you which half you are in at the moment. This level's main weapon is the spreadfire, but you will find uses for the other guns at times.
I love tunnel levels. My best level as a player is Fusion Rat's Paradise, and I have long wanted to create some more levels like it, yet different. Rat Hunt is one such. There are no dogfight areas in this one: strictly tunnel rat habitat here. The cutoffs are numerous and there is no safe place to camp. Fusion and homers rule the halls. There is an ammo dump where lots of concussion packs are stored in secret closets. These will eventually run out, but early in the action there will be plenty of concs available. An inexperienced rat may at first assume this is a Fusion Rat's clone level, but that is not the case. It plays very different from FRP. The main difference is that there are no "outside" areas that go mostly unused. Action in Rat Hunt is spread across the whole level, so the game goes a little slower and the missiles tend to stay in play because all the respawn areas are heavily trafficked. There are no long halls, either, so all the fighting is in your face.
This is a mod to D1 First Strike level 10. I removed the invulns, cloaks, mega, and most of the homers, added in extra guns and a pack of bombs, and shortened the area behind the yellow door. I also added a third energy bay in the reactor niche. I learned to play Descent in this level, and it remains one of my faves.
This is a mod to D1 First Strike level 20. I added 3 fusions, a second plasma, and a second set of quads. The level is otherwise unchanged. This is my D1 "home" level -- if you want my best game, this is the place to come. Ares Base was my original home level, but like my bud Karash, I found that my most-loved level was not my most dominant one, so I packed up my bags and moved my home turf to a level where (to date) I have never lost. To a fusion rat like me, it doesn't get any better than this.
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