Descent Speedrunning

Open to everyone! Email your .DEMs (already RARed would be nice, DEMs get quite big) to lagdotcom AT gmail DOT com. Preferably, record your demos using the v1.43 OpenGL port of Descent, which you can find here. Remember to patch your copy of Descent to 1.5 first though! For now I am only accepting pure speedruns: i.e. destroy the control centre, and exit through the chute. Later if this becomes more popular, I will add a category where you also collect all the hostages on the level. Note: Dying is fine, as you respawn. It might even be avantageous to die at certain points, in order to respawn back at the level entrance. This is in contrast with SDA's rules; so bear that in mind. :) The general consensus is that runs on Trainee, Hotshot and Insane are notable, just make sure you tell me which; they are categorised separately.

I've also written three utilities: ddsig, ddtime and demp. The first writes a 'signature' into the start of the demo; a message displayed upon playback, which can be anything you like. We recommend you use the AUTO function to label them to conform with standards; the syntax is "ddsig demoname AUTO:playername:difficulty", so for 01_0029T.dem I would use "ddsig 01_0029T.dem AUTO:stx-Vile:Trainee". DDTime runs through a demo and tells you the time it took to complete each level; this is useful to know whether to keep a new run or not! Syntax is simple enough. Demp is a general purpose demo processor with varied functionality, for example gluing together demos, or implementing a 'chase cam'. Syntax is a bit arcane, especially the switches. You can get all three in this package.
Ok, enough talking... here's the table.

For now, all of Drew's Hotshot AVIs are on his YouTube account, here.
Click here for my own speedruns.


1 Lunar Outpost 0:27
Fairly simple going, as you would expect from the first level. 2 1 9
2 Lunar Scilab 1:07
Not too difficult; tricky around the red key area though. 2 1 4 12 4
3 Lunar Military Base 1:11
I like this level, even if it has an annoying control centre room. 3 3 1 10 9 20
4 Venus Atmospheric Lab 1:37
Extremely frustrating level, due to the sheer quantity of robots in the way. 6 1 1 1 4 8 8
5 Venus Nickel-Iron Mine 1:37
Oddly designed, with lots of interconnecting tunnels. First homing missile hulk. 3 3Q 2 2 8 17 16
6 Mercury Solar Lab 1:30
Home of the vulcan robot, and you know it. 4 5Q 1 1 28 40 32
7 Mercury Core 2:43
First boss robot, god... robots that fire Smart missiles should be banned.
8 Mars Processing Station 2:19
Packed with the new red rammers. And very little weapon upgrades on route.
9 Mars Military Dig 1:34
So many bleedin' red robots. Have fun with the new nosebots.
10 Mars Military Base 2:09
First plasma bots here; but your main worry is the amount of homer hulks.
S1 Asteroid Secret Base 1:04
Argh, fusion hulks! MILLIONS OF THEM!
11 Io Sulfur Mines 1:49
Nice level design, though... you better like lava.
12 Callisto Tower Colony 1:34
Horrible! Unless you find all the invulnerabilities...
13 Europa Mining Colony 2:54
Another well designed level, chock full of your favourite variety of hulks.
14 Europa CO2 Mine 2:22
Very tough; every room tries to surprise you. Be wary.
15 Titan Mine 1:49
Pretty easy going; the only enemies are hulks. Should be like, level 6.
16 Hyperion Methane Mine 1:32
Many unnecessary areas make this level pretty short. Laser platforms!
17 Tethys H2O Mine 2:05
Full of mine layers, and interesting design.
18 Miranda Mine 2:16
One of my least favourites, with a hellish starting room and annoying robots.
19 Oberon Mine 1:23
Somewhat short and direct, but packed with stuff. Very green.
20 Oberon Iron Mine 1:02
21 Oberon Platinum Mine 1:12
S2 Asteroid Military Depot 0:09
Go straight forwards. The end. :)
22 Neptune Storage Depot 1:34
23 Triton Storage Depot 1:56
24 Nereid Voltaine Mine 0:59
S3 Asteroid Robot Factory 1:19
25 Pluto Outpost 1:44
26 Pluto Military Base 2:16
Narrow corridors of fun.
27 Charon Volatile Mine 1:47
El presidente awaits! He's pretty easy because of all the invulners, though.


31.10.05 Drew actually finished level 27, did all the secrets, and redid his times for the first 3 levels ages ago, but I only just got around to posting them. Seeing as these demos are unlikely to make it to SDA, here they will stay!
  • moon1 in 0:27 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • moon2 in 1:07 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • moon3 in 1:11 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • asteroid1 in 1:04 by stx-Vile on Hotshot, fun programming bug. :)
  • asteroid2 in 0:09 by stx-Vile on Hotshot, I'd say that's optimal...
  • asteroid3 in 1:19 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • charon in 1:47 by stx-Vile on Hotshot, not half bad at all!
24.09.05 Already Drew's done level 26! Only one left...
  • pluto2 in 2:16 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI).
23.09.05 Yes... that's 10 days between updates. So you get 6 demos, all with AVIs!
  • oberon2 in 1:02 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • oberon3 in 1:12 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • neptune in 1:34 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • triton in 1:56 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • nereid in 0:59 by stx-Vile on Hotshot
  • pluto1 in 1:23 by stx-Vile on Hotshot. Whew!
13.09.05 A double dosage of stx-Vile today, due to the fact I've been way busy.
  • miranda in 2:16 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI)
  • oberon1 in 1:23 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI)
08.09.05 Here's Tethys, with its surplus in mine layers!
  • tethys in 2:05 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI).
06.09.05 Yep, stx-Vile gives you another great run, and I give you a fairly crappy one on Insane!
  • hyperion in 1:32 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI)
  • moon1 in 0:33 by Lag.Com on Insane. Enjoy the death.
04.09.05 Another error in DDSig fixed; should work perfectly now. Also I've put demp in the tools pack, though the syntax is a bit cryptic. Ask me if you want to use it. :)
To business! stx-Vile trashes arguably one of the easier levels in style.
  • titan in 1:49 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI).
02.09.05 A slight error in DDSig which made it incorrectly parse demos on level 14 (you better believe) it has now been fixed. Also updated DDTime a little to show better output, and a total at the end. Download using the same link.
Another tough level; Drew's demo wouldn't make you think so!
  • europa2 in 2:22 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI).
31.08.05 No runs as of yet, but I have added the DDTime program to the DDTools package, and updated DDSig to have an auto-label feature. Also... upon creating DDTime, it told me I had timed by level 2 run wrong... oops... so I only beat Drew by one second. Sorry. :) It ALSO told me that Drew's level 12 run was in fact 1:34.99 seconds... not 1:35 as he had timed!
30.08.05 A real stickler of a level, flown through smoothly and professionally. Also the first time a recharge station has been used.
  • europa1 in 2:54 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI)! Very recommended.
28.08.05 Onwards ploughs the machine of stx-Vile!
  • callisto in 1:34 (fixed) by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI)! Got to love the level designer on this one.
28.08.05 Check off the level full of lava...
  • io in 1:49 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI). The first run yet that doesn't beat mine, because I haven't done one. :)
26.08.05 Huge fucker full of super hulks? Plasma drillers? Easy.
  • mars3 in 2:09 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI). Mine now officially sucks.
24.08.05 Aside from moving onto level 8 with its tiny tunnels and quirky music, stx-Vile kindly made an AVI of my new level 2 run. Get!
  • mars1 in 2:19 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI)... ah... yeah.
  • mars2 in 1:34 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI), pretty damn good!
23.08.05 This time Drew does something rather special; he takes on Mercury Core, the boss level and end of the shareware episode! He also does it rather quick. Very recommended by me!
  • mercury2 in 2:43 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI), putting my 3:47 on the shelf.
17.08.05 I've finally begun to fight back!
  • moon2 in 1:12 by Lag.Com on Trainee, that's 2 seconds faster than Drew on Hotshot.
  • moon3 in 1:25 by Lag.Com on Trainee; still slow, but better.
16.08.05 You guessed it.
  • mercury1 in 1:30 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI), much better than 1:54 on Trainee.
14.08.05 Drew's steamrolling continues, busting out this great demo.
  • venus2 in 1:37 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI), completely screwing my 1:58 on Trainee.
12.08.05 More Hotshot!
  • venus1 in 1:37 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI), Not quite 'demolishing' my Trainee time of 1:50.
10.08.05 Work continues on the Hotshot demos.
  • moon3 in 1:17 by stx-Vile on Hotshot (with AVI), really quite showing up my Trainee time of 1:49. Must redo!
08.08.05 stx-Vile has begun his work on Hotshot difficulty, and you can see his first two runs here! He also AVId them, links above in table.
  • moon1 in 0:29 by stx-Vile on Hotshot, equalling his Trainee time!
  • moon2 in 1:14 by stx-Vile on Hotshot, owning my Trainee time by 7 seconds.
03.08.05 Under the advice of a player from the Descent multiplayer community, the trick of 'chording' (or strafing) has been confirmed to exist; try to slide diagonally in 2 or 3 axes in the direction you want to travel, and you should go much faster. That said... here's some demos by Drew and I that demonstrate this!
  • moon1 in 0:29 by stx-Vile on Trainee, beating me by 4 seconds!
  • mars2 in 1:56 by Lag.Com on Trainee
  • mars3 in 2:47 by Lag.Com on Trainee (showing trichording being done rather badly)
02.08.05 Some AVIs are now outdated, and marked (OLD). I also created this tool: ddsig which can add a signature to the start of a demo file. See it in use on the existing .DEMs.
  • moon1 in 0:33 by Lag.Com on Trainee, an improvement of 0:02.
  • moon2 in 1:21 by Lag.Com on Trainee, grabbing another 2 seconds.
  • venus1 in 1:50 by Lag.Com on Trainee, beating myself by 13.
  • mars1 in 2:41 by Lag.Com on Trainee
01.08.05 stx-Vile made AVIs of Levels 1-5. Use (AVI) links to get them.
  • mercury1 in 1:54 by Lag.Com on Trainee
  • mercury2 in 3:47 by Lag.Com on Trainee
30.07.05 Luna has been finished off, along with Venus.
  • moon2 in 1:23 by Lag.Com on Trainee
  • moon3 in 1:49 by Lag.Com on Trainee
  • venus1 in 2:03 by Lag.Com on Trainee
  • venus2 in 1:49 by Lag.Com on Trainee
29.07.05 Page set up! First demo, fittingly enough on Level 1.
  • moon1 in 0:35 by Lag.Com on Trainee
This page generated by [Lag.Com] on Tue Nov 01 08:28:32 2005.