Game Info Basics Walkthrough Robots Weapons Game Info Game Info

Under construction

(1996, Parallax/Interplay)

Release Data


Initial shareware release
Full version released (CD-ROM)


Vertigo Series released (CD-ROM)
The Ultimate Edition / DI+II (2+ CD-ROMs; contains the D1 Anniversary Edition, D2, D2: Vertigo, and Descent Mission Builder II)


The second game in the series, DESCENT II: Counterstrike features 30 levels, including 6 secret levels; only the first 3 levels are playable in the Interactive Demo.  It has a plethora of new weapons, robots and robot behaviors (such as the Thief-Bot, who steals your weapons, and suicide robots), and lots of new features, including up to an 800x600 screen resolution.  The add-on mission, DESCENT II: Vertigo, has 20 levels (including 3 secret levels), with several additional robots and enhanced netgame capability.

DOS Demo/CD-ROM Versions

Minimum System

IBM/compatible running DOS 5.0+, 486/33+, 8MB+ RAM, hard disk, CD-ROM drive


Pentium+, 16MB+ RAM, SoundBlaster or compatible sound card with General MIDI

Install Size

10MB (Demo) / 50MB (CD-ROM, Medium) / 250MB (CD-ROM, Crazy)

Works With

Windows 3.1/95/98

Win95 CD-ROM Version

Minimum System

IBM/compatible running Windows 95+, 486/33+, 8MB+ RAM, hard disk, CD-ROM drive


Pentium+, 16MB+ RAM, SoundBlaster or compatible sound card with General MIDI

Install Size

50MB (Medium) / 250MB (Crazy)

Works With

Windows 95/98, XP

Sound Notes
As above, in XP, the DOS version will likely not have sound without VDMSound; the Win95 version should work, but you may have to use Compatibility Mode.  (I've actually never tried it.)

Network Game Support
Requirements same as Descent 1.  D2 has many more multiplayer modes and features, such as Capture-the-Flag and player handicaps.

For the CD-ROM versions, the CD is only required for the installation; if you want to use Redbook audio or chose an install level below Crazy (e.g. leaving some or all of the movies on the CD), the CD is then required to run the game. The Win95 version requires Microsoft DirectX; it comes with DirectX 2.1.

As above, for the original DOS/Win95 versions, eBay is a good place to start (I managed to find a few copies there); I've also seen a copy or two being sold by merchants. The DESCENT II: The Infinite Abyss 2-CD set (the one I was VERY lucky to happen across a copy of at an Electronics Boutique almost a decade ago), which has both Win95 and DOS installers, also includes the DESCENT II: Vertigo add-on mission, several additional multiplayer missions, and Descent Mission Builder II for Windows. There is also a DESCENT I + II CD set; this is equivalent to the GOG collection I mentioned above.

Open-Source Port

OS's Supported

Windows XP/Vista/7 (32- and 64-bit), Mac OS X, Mac OS 9, any POSIX-compatible OS (build from source)


The original game's data files: DESCENT2.HAM, DESCENT2.HOG, DESCENT2.S11, DESCENT2.S22, ALIEN1, ALIEN2, FIRE, GROUPA, ICE, and WATER PIGs, INTRO-H, OTHER-H, and ROBOTS-H MVLs (or INTRO-L, OTHER-L, and ROBOTS-L MVLs); these can be from the Demo, CD-ROM/Win95, or GOG versions; an OpenGL-capable graphics card.

Install Size (v0.57.1)

3.3MB (base), 48MB (with game data), 263MB (with game data and hi-res movies)


Other Ports

As with the first game, there is a port to the Macintosh PowerPC platform; I assume the requirements are the same for both shareware and MacPlay CD-ROM versions.

Notes:  See notes on DESCENT for Mac above.

Availability:  Again, try eBay or for the CD-ROM version; I am still looking for a reliable source for the Macintosh shareware.

Sony Playstation (PSX)
Unlike the first game, the Playstation version is not a direct port, but contains 30 new levels with similar themes to the 30 in the DOS/Win95 CD-ROM version.

Availability:  Check eBay or