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Descent Developer Network
Descent 1/2

Cool Tips

Cool Tips

This page holds my Cool Tips. These are generally tips, which result in cool effects. These effects are found out by myself. The only thing you need for them is Descent (usually a Commercial version, sometimes you need a special version) and they are all without altering the code of Descent, so don't worry! The Cool Tips are usually sent out via the DDL Mailing list (http://www.ladder.org/ddr) and then are stored here.

Note that the former Cool Tips 4 has been deleted, as it didn't work right... There might be new Cool Tips some time, but I don't guarantee that!

eMail author: Heiko Herrmann
DDL Mailing List

 

Cool Tip 1

This tip will work for Descent 2 Commercial only.

Did you ever want to bring a logo or a picture into your level? Well, there is the possibility to make a new texture with DMB and Descent II V1.2. But there is another hidden way, I tell you now.

Remember the PIGFARMER cheat? Well, after entering this and reducing your screen with the '='-key you will see a developer of Descent. Now we use this cheat for our use:

The picture you see after the cheat is stored in the DESCENT2.HOG and is named "JOHNHEAD.PCX". And you know what happens if a file is in your own custom HOG, too: The file in your custom HOG has a higher priority in your mission than the common file in the DESCENT2.HOG. So convert your logo/pic in a PCX and name it JOHNHEAD.PCX, then add it to your HOG, for example with DTX, HAMM or my Descent Manager. And your picture will be seen, when you enter PIGFARMER... (this cheat even works in Multiplayer...)

But please be sure that the picture uses a Descent-like color palette. Descent automatically adapts your colors to the Descent ones, but if you use Descent-unlike colors, your picture will look - well, flat and boring, like a picture drawn by a aged-6-child. So pay attention on the color palette of the picture.

 

Cool Tip 2

This tip will work for every Descent version including the shareware and OEM versions.

If you use the Descent Manager's SaveGame-Editor and want to edit the difficulty you will notice, that Descent Manager does not only offer the 5 normal difficulties Trainee, Rookie, HotShot, Ace and Insane but also the so-called "Slow-Weapons-Mode". I found out this funny mode by chance.

Well, what does that mode do? It will slow down every weapon from you and the robots! With this effect you can examine the Mega Missile for example at close range and from all sides! But the effect of a weapon is now nearly 0! That means you can shoot on a bot and it will not die! Also their shoots does not decrease your shield! Another effect of this mode is that all robots are now very fast (in contrast to the weapons speed...) They will really jump through the room! Well, I think best is, you try it on yourself or download the SLOW WEAPONS DEMO from my homepage!

Now how does this mode work? Well, every difficulty level has a number: 0 is trainee, 1 is rookie, 2 is hotshot, 3 is ace and finally 4 is insane! This number is saved in your SaveGame at Offset 5965 (decimal!) in Descent 2 (for example). Now as you might know every byte is has not only a range between 0 and 4, the range is 0-255! Now I tried to set mode 10 and that resulted in that cool effect! (I also tried 255, but the result seemed to be the same!)

Note: Descent 2 does have a handler for such unusual difficulties: If you reach a high-score the difficulty will be shown as "CUSTOM". This will also stand in the "PAUSE"-key's information screen!!

 

Cool Tip 3

This tip will work for Descent Commercial 1/2 and for Descent 1 Destination Saturn OEM.

In Cool Tips 1 you learned how to alter the face background when using the PIGFARMER cheat in your custom mission (HOG). But can you also alter the normal background texture (the one which is seen, when you reduce your screen window)? Yes, you can:

The way is exactly the same as with the PIGFARMER face. The only difference: The picture must be named with "STATBACK.PCX"

So for those who didn't read Cool Tips 1, here is it again:

The picture you see after reducing the window is stored in the DESCENT2.HOG and is named "STATBACK.PCX". And you know what happens if a file is in your own custom HOG, too: The file in your custom HOG has a higher priority in your mission than the common file in the DESCENT2.HOG. So convert your logo/pic in a PCX and name it STATBACK.PCX, then add it to your HOG, for example with DTX, HAMM or my Descent Manager. And your picture will be seen, when you reduce your screen size...

But please be sure that the picture uses a Descent-like color palette. Descent automatically adapts your colors to the Descent ones, but if you use Descent-unlike colors, your picture will look - well, flat and boring, like a picture drawn by a aged-6-child. So pay attention on the color palette of the picture.

You may also save both, a JOHNHEAD.PCX and a STATBACK.PCX, then you have two logos: one for normal, one hidden for the PIGFARMER cheat...

 

Cool Tip 4

This tip did not really work so I simply removed it.

 

Cool Tip 5

This tip will work for Descent Commercial 2 and for Descent 2 Destination Quartzon OEM.

I'm just experienting with the HAM and HXM files, and while playing with them I found a really cool effect that is possible with only one byte change in DESCENT2.HAM! Here's how:

Manual way:

  • First make a backup of your DESCENT2.HAM
  • Open DESCENT2.HAM in any disk editor (example: Norton Disk Editor or MS Visual C++'s open "as binary" feature) and go to the adress 16094hex! Change the value 6F to 6C!
  • Save the changes

Automatic way:

Now start Descent2, run any level and shoot with laser level 1 (<-that's important!). Big surprise!! You can even improve the effect using the DUDDABOO cheat (Bouncing weapons)!

You MUST see the effect, it is REALLY COOL to watch... After you have seen enough you can change the value in 16094hex to another value for other effects... (Hint: Garry Knudson's Polymodel Viewer PMView can help you finding a cool number!)

Get PMView by Garry Knudson

To undo this thing, just

  • Change position 16094hex back to 6F or
  • Rerun the COOLTIP5.EXE or
  • Replace the DESCENT2.HAM with your backup copy!

 

 

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