Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Descent mission help and more WARNING: Spoilers inside!

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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Avder » Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:29 am

As discussed above, that level pack means the reactors do not have the correct hitpoints.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:27 am

Avder wrote:Excellent cloak route at the start. You could save a few seconds at the end by positioning yourself nearer the exit shaft as you kill the reactor and the two red hulks that guard it.
Thank you. I lost max 1 second there by it I believe. I had to choose - go near to exit, or take 2 extra homing missiles. I though that the reactor will stay little bit longer, so I decided to go for homers and destroy it faster.
Avder wrote:Also regarding secret levels, I think they need to be given a special exception from the "cold start" rule, in that you will have played through the levels they connect in. However, you should end those levels with a death so that you start the secret level with the base loadout.
You have to enter secret exit to play secret level, so dying after blowing up the reactor is not a way to do it. You have to finish the previous level with basics. I assume you just forgot :).
Avder wrote:Also the fact that you managed to create your save file while still showing the lightning from being spawned in the level is a good sign.
Yeah, that is what I was aiming for, I tried it like 6 times to take the save as early as possible. Also I believe, the early lightning is enough for run to be accepted.
Avder wrote:The best solution for any of this however would be to capture while playing AND demo recording so that the recording can be used to watch, and the demo file itself can be used by anyone to verify that all the robots are dead. In fact, capturing while playing could be better in some cases because the point values properly display as they are added to the score whereas the score just increments in demo playback. The players score is also the best way to track robot destruction in most cases, as one can see how much just got added to the score to infer what type of robot was just destroyed. Unfortunately, robots can be killed by missile fire from hulks and platforms, and then I do not think they count for the score. The robots death would need to be determined either by visually seeing the robot destroyed, or a powerup that could only have been dropped by a robot dying, or some other means. Because of the way robots can roam, simply seeing that a robot is not where it's supposed to be would not be proof of destruction at all.
I believe the demo is enough. It is not really hard to count changes in score. But I agree, it is the best way to check if you dont miss something. I always check it thoroughly before uploading on youtube. Robots killed by other robots make it sometimes problematic, as you said, there are no points from it. You have to find some different proof. Btw if you saw my secret level 1 run, you might be thinking, there is no proof that cloaked lifter died. And you would be right, on the vid I uploaded, you cant really see it. But with different resolution (wider), it is nicely seen, that cloaked lifter was destroyed by green platform robot. Fortunatelly :).
Avder wrote:It would be nice to have a special version of rebirth that tracks the death of starting robots for speedrun purposes. The problem though is that if we ever hope to get D1/D2 individual level speedruns on a website like speed demos archive, we will probably need to have some kind of authoritative executeable that can be verified as behaving virtually identical to descentr.exe and the d2 exe for in game purposes. Unfortunately, I believe the only way we will ever get D1 and D2 on those sites is to find an old 486/66MHz machine and capture the VGA output while playing. If we use a much more powerful machine, homers will be far too powerful. If we use a slower machine, too many frames will be dropped. We can compensate partially by playing in higher resolutions.
Yeah, version with tracking robot deaths would be great. Also Im skeptical about speed demos archive, as you said, we would have to play the original game..
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Alter-Fox » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:14 am

Marvin wrote: You have to enter secret exit to play secret level, so dying after blowing up the reactor is not a way to do it. You have to finish the previous level with basics. I assume you just forgot :).
I think Avder meant die before you blow up the reactor and then don't pick up anything. :lol: I know, I know, survival instinct makes that hard to do after all the bots are gone. :P
But if you do it really well, you could have the last bot kill you at the same time as you kill it!
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:57 am

"...and you die on camera during the exit sequence..." made me feel like I should die after blowing up the reactor. Probably just misunderstanding :).
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Avder » Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:42 am

Yeah, forgot about that. My bad. Just have to finish with less than or equal to what you normally start a level with.

Maybe rotate through all the weapon buttons to get the "You don't have the whatever weapon/missile" to pop up as further proof if doing this on camera.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:57 am

You would notice it, if someone fire some missile he didnt take at current level, so I believe it is not needed at all.
Anyway I stopped doing these insane speedruns for now and focus on hotshot deathless any%. I was always impressed by runs by stx-vile, so it feels little bit weird, since I realised I improved enough to be able to do them faster. So far I did levels 1-8. I will post those runs on youtube with better quality then in my previous vids and this time with "no cockpit" cam. Im used to play with cockpit, but I have to admit, it looks better without it.
Btw Im undecided about the version of rebirth for fusion levels. Stx-vile played it with that buggy version, where one fusion shot hits the reactor multiple times. That is a big help for saving time. Any suggestions? Personally Im more for more painful way, since I think this bug doesnt work in original game.. Or am I wrong?
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Lothar » Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:55 pm

Marvin wrote:Stx-vile played it with that buggy version, where one fusion shot hits the reactor multiple times. .... I think this bug doesnt work in original game.. Or am I wrong?
It's an original-version bug.

"Which version" is a pretty big deal for comparison of speed runs. The collision fix in Retro Mod was controversial on the Rebirth forums because people were used to the game having framerate-dependent near-ship explosions (due to a math error in the original source code) -- some people would prefer to keep buggy code if it's consistent, while others would prefer fixed code. But if you're trying to compare, you have to agree somehow.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Avder » Fri Apr 01, 2016 5:37 pm

Personally, if I were judging the validity of a run done on a modern version, I would have to consider if the original behaved in the same way.

In this case, the original had one shot fusion reactor kills, so I would say that any version that had that would be valid for speedrunning so long as the number of collisions per second were in the range of what framerates were back then (25ish*), and in fact you would be handicapping yourself by not using it in levels that have a fusion cannon.

At this point it's sort of an ascended glitch.

*I use 25 because two very well known games from around that era were programmed specifically with that number in mind: Doom and Diablo II. Both run their game engines at 25 "ticks" per second. I have to imagine Descent was coded such to achieve a similar framerate on then current consumer hardware.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Lothar » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:37 pm

Avder wrote:*I use 25 because two very well known games from around that era were programmed specifically with that number in mind: Doom and Diablo II. Both run their game engines at 25 "ticks" per second
That's actually the number we chose for homing missile behavior in Retro -- it's what felt "like old Descent" to the pilots who were present for the initial tests. MD-1224 in particular was instrumental in deciding that 30 fps homers were slightly too grabby but 25 fps homers seemed just right.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:50 am

thx for info guys. I personally prefer the fixed version, I consider this bug a bit lame. I saw, that even single segment speedruns are done with fixed version and I dont think someone will play or speedrun original game anymore. So I will probably try to beat him with fixed version and determine "new standart", but Im still not sure about it..
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Sat Jul 30, 2016 12:10 pm

I had a lot of free time last two days and addiction to running descent got me again :). I improved 3 of my "insane-max" runs:

level 1: I had 1:48, improved to 1:40 (could be 1:39, was 1:40.06 or something). But I'm happy with this time, not easy to beat I believe. You have to be really accurate with vulcan, otherwise you run out of ammo.


level 2: My old time was 3:08, now 2:58. I didn't play it much, so I should be able to do it better, but still a decent run I think.


level 22: I was stuck there for many hours and was surprised by how much it can be done faster. Old time was 4:02, now I have 3:33. Still, I did some silly mistakes: Lost 1 sec just after killing that red hulk before getting blue key - I somehow failed my movement. Another 1-2 secs by bad fight with one of these guys in blue door. For some unknown reason I started shooting missiles to reactor belatedly - not a big deal though, but still unnecessary mistake. But mainly I failed fusion shot to invisible drillers, which cost me 3 secs! On the other hand, roaming spiders and drones were placed perfectly, so it compensated these mistakes. Run under 3:30 is for sure possible, but very hard.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:36 am

Level 22 is a tough level for sure! It reminds me of level 22 of Descent 2, incidentally. Similar geometry at times, similar difficult robots. Descent 1, however, always provides just enough power-ups such as invulnerabilities that a player skilled at managing them will always succeed. You could gain like 2 seconds if you tried again and didn't miss any Fusion shots on the first try and didn't bump into walls like just before exiting the level.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Sun Oct 16, 2016 3:28 am

I tried it again and improved to 3:26. Still not a perfect run, but no silly mistakes at all this time + rng was nice to me (heavy drillers in reactor room could be placed better tho). I'm happy with the result for sure.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Sirius » Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:42 am

That little dance tagging the drillers while going down to the red key was cool to watch.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:24 am

Tried to do level 6 on Insane myself... the best I could do was dying two times. It's really a fun thing to start playing the game without saving and loading to see how far you can get, also nothing improves your skills like that does.

Descent definitely punishes indolence, it's better to be constantly on the move, or else the super wily bots will spring on you and take you by surprise. I have no idea why I'm rather passive in Descent - I have no problem jumping around in other games such as Doom etc. Maybe Descent just intimidates me more. Can't blame me with all those super dangerous enemies who can end you in a few seconds though...
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:46 pm

Xfing wrote:Tried to do level 6 on Insane myself...
Me too and improved my old rec of 100% run (4:18) to 3:51! It was quite a pain, so many bots can be roaming and cause you sudden death. I'm really happy with this time, my goal was sub 4min..
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by vision » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:14 pm

Marvin wrote:...improved my old rec of 100% run (4:18) to 3:51!
That's "insane!"
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:49 am

there it is:


also improved level 5 (old time was 4:41):
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by LightWolf » Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:15 am

Has anyone done levels 7/27 yet?
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Alter-Fox » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:08 pm

Heh, that would be interesting.
Especially 7. 27 isn't that much harder than a bossless map.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:45 pm

LightWolf wrote:Has anyone done levels 7/27 yet?
Not 27, but I did level 7:
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:39 pm

I totes need to get Fraps.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:35 am

Xfing wrote:I totes need to get Fraps.
Are you going for some speedrunning too? :)
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:15 am

Marvin wrote:
Xfing wrote:I totes need to get Fraps.
Are you going for some speedrunning too? :)
Nah, I was just talking in general. I can't beat most levels without dying, much less speedrun them, lol
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Wed Nov 02, 2016 8:03 am

Xfing wrote:
Marvin wrote:
Xfing wrote:I totes need to get Fraps.
Are you going for some speedrunning too? :)
Nah, I was just talking in general. I can't beat most levels without dying, much less speedrun them, lol
ah, ok.

Got a couple of improvements:
level 3: 3:21 (old was 3:36)
level 4: 2:56 (old was 3:06)

Also tried something new - level 15! Done in 3:39 :).
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:35 am

level 15:


Today I came back to level 9 and made an outline of route. But to be honest I don't expect anything. It is such a nightmare for speedrunning..
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Sun Nov 06, 2016 5:05 am

I DID IT!
Nothing super fast, but this level is just impossible to YOLO everywhere on insane. I'm convinced 7:20 is still by far the best reached time. It is also the only valid run I have (have one more deathless run, but while checking it afterwards I realized one robot was not destroyed). Here I'm sure everything gone - 31 drones, 18 secondary lifters, 11 advanced lifters, 5 cloaked lifters, 15 spiders + their babies, 15 baby spiders, 10 medium hulks and 2 super hulks. I was also forced to destroy many secondary lifters and spiders from matcen for 2 reasons. First, you need to be very lucky to handle it without destroying them when you go for red key. Second, some robots (especially one advanced lifter) like to infiltrates to the group of robots from matcen. Another problem of this level is energy. In this run you can see I had 1 energy + no vulcan before second recharge and no energy + nearly no vulcan before last recharge. If I didn't take 3 extra energy power-ups (which was planned) right after third recharge, then it would be game over.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by vision » Sun Nov 06, 2016 11:49 am

Marvin wrote:I DID IT!
That was spectacular. Level 9 is one of my favorites. I can see how you would be tempted to do that same pattern again and shave a few seconds off, but really, I doubt there is anyone in the world who could beat that. This should probably the seen as the standard approach for level 9.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:29 am

Thank you :). Some parts could be done better, but on the other hand I was really lucky at some others. And since this level is way to much RNG based I'm not going to try improve that.
vision wrote:I doubt there is anyone in the world who could beat that.
Do you know this guy?

He is capable of it for sure, if he cares, I believe.

I recently tried level 25. The route is clear here and there is a lot of space for maneuvers + 2 invulns, so I think it shouldn't be that hard.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Sirius » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:55 am

Yeah, he would be, and after so much practice I suspect he's flying as well as anyone else would. WR speedruns are a matter of memorization and then luck - and, yes, execution, but if you're dedicated enough to sit through all the resets, you're dedicated enough to get that right anyway. Descent doesn't even have the "frame-perfect glitches" many other games rely upon - so there's no question of whether you can physically push the buttons fast enough :)
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:03 pm

So, level 25 is done. Lost about 5 seconds at the very end, because the last heavy driller was out of his position (that usually does not happen), which frustrates me a bit. On the other hand I was lucky I survived that situation. I had 72 shields before facing him and he caused me damage of 76 shields!!! I survived just because I accidentaly took a shield power-up while trying to dodge some of his shots, lol. Final time is still good I believe, supervisor robots were cooperating extremely well in this run. I have never been done with them that fast.

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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:53 am

And me, I managed to do level 3 in one run without dying for the first time just now. Still didn't kill those two small hulks by the exit when exiting. Should have planted proximity bombs there I think. Also, in level 4 you need to go for the energy center first and clear it out, because otherwise you'll find yourself without any means to shoot. Only Insane actually forces you go be strategic about your approach, below that you can just do whatever the hell you want.

Damn is this game hard :evil: Guess there's no other way to git gud than to run levels on Insane without save scumming. It's like boot camp :D
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:05 am

Xfing wrote:And me, I managed to do level 3 in one run without dying for the first time just now.
Nice! :)

Proximities might work, but you have to be quick, they don't stay for long.

If you will keep playing on insane without saving, then you will be improving a lot for sure. And if you are "keyboard only" player like me, make sure your keyboard supports hitting all the combinations of keys you could potentially use at same time. I remember time when I though there is no way for me to play on insane without saving and now I'm speedrunning it :). And yes, I agree you need to thing about strategies on insane.

New run - Secret level 2:

Easy level to finish, but a bit annoying if you want be really fast. Driller part at start doesn't matter at all, you don't need to be super fast here, because then you have to wait for cloak. I'm usually there 1 sec before my previous cloak expires, in this run I was slower and was there just in time. Kill red mechs as fast as possible, then it is time for hostages. This part is problematic, openning the doors quickly is not easy, you miss really easily. Reactor room can be also bad, remaining red mechs like to randomly shoot to wall close the doors after that mega shot, which means game over for speedrun.
Once I did it in 1:42, but unfortunately one of red mechs in reactor room somehow survived. That run was close to perfect. But I'm not going for it again, I'm fine with just 1:44...
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:48 pm

Beautiful S2 run for sure! Keep 'em coming!

As for me, finally managed to beat Level 6 without dying on Insane. I feel like I've passed some sort of rite of passage, as that level is definitely not noob-friendly. Good thing about it though is that more encounters and situations happen reliably than are left to chance. For example, I can pretty reliably dispatch the Class 1 Driller and the Medium Hulk guarding the Quads without taking damage, as the homing missile seems to prioritize the driller, and the hulk is easy to shoot when he flies out in pursuit. Areas I feel least comfortable with are still the one where you get the blue key (though a "storm in guns blazing" approach seems to work best here), the optional area where the fuel center is (because the small and medium hulk from upstairs sometimes roam and sometimes they don't) and the colored door fork area, since the drillers always seem to jump me and peel at least a few shields off. This level is damn tough, 's what it is. Though I expect level 8 to be just as tough if not more so.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Sat Nov 12, 2016 4:36 pm

Level 7. Damn, thought I had it on try 4, but the boss actually did me in. He normally would have no chance of doing it, but he teleports quite often and he teleported right on top of me. These bosses have some real serious melee damage in addition to their payload...
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:43 pm

good job man:). Be prepared that level 8 is much harder than any of 1-7. At least that is my own experience.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:47 am

Marvin wrote:good job man:). Be prepared that level 8 is much harder than any of 1-7. At least that is my own experience.
Yeah, I know. Though I still can't do 6 reliably, I only managed to no-death it once in fact. Still, I believe progressing to another level after beating the previous one once is a decent way to skill up. I wonder how difficult Descent 2 is on Insane to do with no deaths.

EDIT: Level 7 done. It really isn't that tough once you remember to do a few things, such as using the grate in the yellow key area to snipe one of the medium hulks from the other blue door area. Funnily enough, Rebirth crashed on me just after the boss died at T-29, but all that was left to do was fly towards the exit, and every other robot was dead, so I consider this level beaten. Way easier than level 6 all things considered, I'm now expecting a nice curve from level 8.

EDIT 2: Level 8 done, lol. I find it quite ironic how I failed to beat it without dying so many times, mostly jumped by class 1 drones and little spiderlings, and the first time I finally managed to beat it, I had 158 shields left. Chance is a fickle thing, lol
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:34 am

Didn't play for quite a time, but today I tried to go for a new speedrun - level 21. No succesfull attempt yet, but at least I have a route and once I stupidly died after destroying the reactor:). I will try to make it, when I find more free time. Idk, what time I can get, but it should be under 5 minutes.
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Marvin » Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:50 am

level 21 in 3:45 :).
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Re: Going Rambo on D1 level 6 (And other levels)

Post by Xfing » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:04 am

Marvin wrote:level 21 in 3:45 :).
Holy cow, now that was a wicked time for a 100% run!
Descent 1,5: Level layouts done: 32/54 Secret level layouts done: 1/6
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