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Screenshot of descent
Author:Mike Wilberforce (Hellscrag)
Title:(The Final) Descent (e2b479b944d6dd97f6c459cae4cdaddc)
Filesize:8859 Kilobytes
Release date:23.03.2000
Additional Links: erc's QualityEthereal HellRetroquakeSecrets GuideTEAMShamblerTen Four
Type:Partial conversion
BSP: ✔ • PAK: ✔ • PROGS.DAT: ✔ • Custom Models/Sounds: ✔

Files in the ZIP archive
Files in the ZIP archive:
File Size Date
pak1.pak16748 KB23.03.2000
Descent.doc41 KB23.03.2000
pak0.pak5254 KB23.03.2000
Readme.txt3 KB23.03.2000

(The Final) Descent

Episode with 9 medium to large maps (including a secret map) in varying styles - Base/Wizard/Metal - with many caverns and fortesses, and a few new monsters.

Tags: medium, large, base, wizard, metal, cavern, castle, monsters, qwtid

Editor's Rating: Nice
User Rating:
4.1/5 with 43 ratings
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MegaQuaker 28 April 2010, 1:55
Pretty similar to Beyond Belief. While ultimately not as good due to inferior design and architecture, they both play equally good IMO.

This is especially true in the second half of the maps; the early maps are more average. Maps themselves range from 2 and a half to 4 stars, gets 4 stars overall for its length and overall enjoyment factor.

Also it's very much like another "Dimension of the Doomed", but a few good modified monsters and a modified weapon - and a surprise tacked on at the end - I won't spoil it! Old school fans should definitely play this.
Ron 9 May 2010, 12:58
I agree with the post by MegaQuaker, though I'm tempted to rate it higher then Beyond Belief. Come to think of it, if you were to put Beyond Belief, Soul of Evil (1) and the Final Descent together with a new start map you'd have a new and improved version of the original game.

About the design, it may not look like some of the graphical masterpieces we've been spoiled with over the years, but it doesn't look bad either. Some ceiling look really nice, curved and textured. The lights are rather cool too, with lots of variation and shadows. I really like the open stairs with the light coming from behind, they create nice shadows.

I was able to find all the secrets, (something that really pisses me off when I can't ...), they were well done, but they did often give you a little too much power sometimes. You can do stuff without a Quad and a Megahealth too, only it takes a little longer.

There will always be people bitching about the rating, so I will do so to and say this is an excellent release, still good fun after 10 years.
Of course you can't really say what release is better then the other.

By the way, the author, Mike Wilberforce, has a site dedicated to Unreal single player maps. He''s made quite a few of them too. It's at

MegaQuaker 10 May 2010, 1:40
You say you think it may be better than Beyond Belief, which is fine, but you don't explain how. I'd be interested in how you arrived at that conclusion.
Ron 16 June 2010, 8:31
I replayed Beyond Belief and it's also very good. But this pack is more unique with it's new(ish) monsters, the statues and new weapons. But like I said before, you can't really tell which is better, I just wanted to point out that this is a very good pack too, because I think "Nice" doesn't quite do it justice.
MegaQuaker 18 July 2010, 4:31
I sort of agree, the maps are merely nice but as an episode it's just a bit better than that. Found it well worth my time to play through, enjoyed it all especially the later maps.
hkBattousai 12 June 2012, 19:03
I was disappointed at the beginning of the game, because the maps were too simple and dull. However, the second part of the game was hilarious. Modified monsters were pretty good, and I fell in love with that modified machine gun. I rated this pack of maps with five stars.
rampancy Registered 24 November 2013, 5:19

really enjoyed it. some people may be put off by the odd scale of some of the areas in the first few levels. however there are nice areas in every map; sometimes they are a little low detail, but they are always nicely textured and what is there is good. the new weapons and monsters are nice and fit in well. it was just a little more difficult than the standard episodes, and had a very nice flow imo that saw me play through it in one day. i rate it a 4, the only weak point being the issues of construction noted above. i recommend this to everyone.

NightFright Registered 8 February 2014, 11:39

This is really good! Maybe the maps don't have as many details as other packs released at the same time, but gameplay is entertaining. The whole episode feels polished with a solid boss fight at the end. Personally, I would count this towards the classics.

dBAudio Registered 23 September 2014, 11:56

this is quite a bit of fun. easier than expected on hard skill, but it is nice to live through an entire map! like another said, very dimension of the doomed. the modified monsters were quite enjoyable. i was a little disappointed in the boss fight at the end, but not enough to downrate at all. i thought the construction was quite nice for the time as well. i'm going to play beyond belief to see how this compares, if i can make one at all.

dBAudio Registered 30 August 2015, 1:18

turns out, i prefer Beyond Belief. i've replayed BB recently, and this today. in the first few levels, i remember a lot of back-and-forth between areas, with little, if any combat in between. i've reduced my rating as well. however, i still enjoyed the later levels, and still deserves praise and a play or two.

FredBezies Guest 13 March 2016, 9:56

Great episode. Played it again today. Too bad I missed secret level, but for an episode made in 2000, it is really good.

I'm "fed up" with bigger and bigger levels, just in order to push engine limits.

Blood Vengeance Registered 1 October 2016, 22:00

Very underrated episode, in my opinion deserve 5 stars, very well done levels

JMP Registered 2 October 2016, 3:24

Played the first two levels. I don't get the comparisons to Beyond Belief. BB's architecture and layout feel purposely off-kilter to me. These levels are much more symmetrical than anything in BB. Visuals are plainer and secrets are easier as well. If the rest of the maps are like the first two, I'll give this a 4/5--consistently well-crafted but IMO not one of the greats.

MikeTaylor Registered 5 October 2016, 11:51

Mike Wilberforce (Hellscrag) really likes small rooms with a river running across the middle and a little bridge!

MikeTaylor Registered 5 October 2016, 14:33

Well, this is really very good -- I don't understand how I never came across it before. Back in 2000, when it was released, it would have been wonderful: essentially a whole additional episode for Quake, similar in length, difficulty and feel to the originals.

In 2016, of course, it feels relatively pedestrian: far too easy on Hard, where an astonishing amount of spare ammunition is provided. The brushwork is functional rather then elegant, in the 2000 manner, and the combats lack the variety and creativity of the best modern maps. But there is a substantial piece of work here, fun to blast through, and with enhanced version of some standard monsters that really work well -- not least the eponymous Hellscrag.

So even by modern standards I rate this a solid four stars. Well worth playing.

MikeTaylor Registered 5 October 2016, 14:33

Oh, I never figured out how to open the Nightmare entrance on the start level, even though I pressed the button in the Easy corridor. What did I miss?

MikeTaylor Registered 5 October 2016, 15:12

I never did find the entrace to the secret level, Lair of Nether Spirits, so I just map des1m8'd my way into it and played through. Most enjoyable, and very much of a piece with the other levels in the pack.

For anyone else trying to find that level the legitimate way, I am pretty sure the entrance is in The Graven Stronghold (des1m4), based on the fact that when I finished the secret level it plonked me into THe Fallen Palace (des1m5).

JMP Registered 5 October 2016, 20:00

@Mike -- To open the nightmare entrance, one has to visit the easy, medium, and hard sections first. You mentioned the plaque in the easy hallway. The medium and hard sections each have a plaque like that as well (in each case, it's above the teleport). Shoot all three plaques, and the stone wall in front of the nightmare teleport will disappear.

MikeTaylor Registered 6 October 2016, 10:10

Ah, nice -- thank you!

I verified that this works.

A shame I didn't find it myself, really, since one of my main criticisms of this pack is that it was too easy. Oh well -- I will know for another time.

dBAudio Registered 21 November 2016, 0:34

this is still really fun to play.

Hellscrag Guest 6 December 2016, 0:04

I'm really pleased to read that people are still discovering and enjoying this pack!

Back in the run-up to the release of Descent, I tested it extensively with friends, including in coop and deathmatch mode. Their feedback really helped me to improve the design of the first few maps beyond their most basic first incarnation.

This was not my first single player mapping effort, but it was the first that I released online. Sadly I have lost those early mapping efforts, one or two of which had more ambitious concepts than the first few levels of Descent.

JMP Registered 6 December 2016, 14:28


Good to see you here! One of the earlier commenters mentioned that you make Unreal maps. I used to love Unreal back in the day, so I checked them out and thought they were great, especially the Tashara's Cove pack. I still haven't finished Descent, but your Unreal maps are superb.

JMP Registered 15 July 2018, 16:48

Spent an evening playing this from start to finish and enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

First the negatives: there's a recurring use of certain architectural motifs throughout the episode, e.g. nearly every map has a small stream with a bridge across it, which makes the episode feel slightly repetitive. There's also one map that borrows heavily from The Wizard's Manse and IMO isn't very good.

And the positives: Apart from the Wizard's Manse retread, all the maps are quite original and intricately built. The layouts are often non-linear, but they're designed so that the player never has to do any pointless backtracking. The secrets are good: generally challenging, but not totally obscure.

The episode features many new monsters, weapons, and power-ups. They're all more or less modifications of existing Quake artifacts, so they don't feel like a radical transformation of the original game. The vibe is more "enhanced Quake." I found the new boss monster slightly underwhelming, but the rest of the mods are quite nice.

nxanthos Registered 4 April 2020, 7:14

A few thoughts upon making my final descent into this episode...

(1) The architecture and layouts aren't all that interesting compared to other classic episodes like Beyond Belief or Zerstörer, but they do the job, ensuring varied encounters and challenging secrets.

(2) One of the weapon mods is pretty fun, the closest thing I've seen to a Quake sniper rifle.

Mugwump Registered 14 September 2020, 23:56

A good episode, around id1 size and quality. The "new" weapons are anecdotal, the most interesting being the SNG variant that essentially turns it into a beefed up SSG with faster reload times at the cost of 10 nails per shot. Quite wasteful but minces a shambler in no time! The other one is a laser gun that comes too late in the episode to be of real use.

Escalate_krsk Registered 7 October 2020, 21:30

A very OK episode for Quake, featuring usual stuff... new levels, new weapons, and... unfortunately, it fails at delivering new monsters. We got some new variants of existing enemies (including boss Vore), but Hellscrag shoud have modified the skins. The boss's only difference is a Quake symbol on its body, while other "new enemies" just have the same old model, but slightly darkened.... Anyway, it plays quite good and I enjoyed it, though it could've been so much more.

FifthElephant Registered 13 February 2021, 13:13

Like a lot of people have said, this episode is mostly OK. Lots of room-corridor-room stuff and not too many interesting gameplay scenarios. Lots of little streams with a bridge running over it (almost every map for some reason). It never does anything too unique or daring, the latter levels are more interesting than the first 3 or 4 but almost every map follows the same structure. The author clearly is capable of some interesting ideas but didn't really run with them, like the room with the disappearing floor puzzle.

NailIn Guest 19 September 2021, 20:18

Old school and nostalgic. Nothing beats that.

Jehannum Registered 22 May 2022, 23:40

A really fun episode on skill 2. I'm not going to compare it to other episodes that have been released before or after this one because the only thing I'm interested in is the fun factor and did it make me smile while I was playing, or maybe swear a little, and it did ;)

I was a little bummed out to see Chthon resurrected in DES1M7 "Realm of the Lava God" as I always seem to be a magnet for his fireballs, but this time he went down without much arguement.

I don't remember where I got this originally, but it's been sitting in my Quake directory with its many siblings for, I dunno 20 years maybe? I'm glad I dusted it off to play it again. It was worth it. Thanks to Hellscrag for the work you put into it and for sharing it with us! You know, you could build a few more levels...

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