The Descent Level Network is proud to present:

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by Razor Blade


Last Updated: 03/31/99

The Phobos Encounter is one of the greatest amateur level sets for Descent 2 Commercial ever made... It contains 4 levels (+2 secret ones) in a straight storyline. At this site you can learn about the levels and perils with tem, check out the awesome storyline, and much more.



The Story

The following is a copy of the transmission recently sent to PTMC Mercenary Pilot Vertigo 7. Please note that this is a top-secret document. Please destroy once read. Under no circumstances may you or any PTMC employee surrender this information to the press and/or to the general public. If disobeyed, immediate dismissal from the PTMC is inevitable.

Transmission follows...

! OFFICIAL PTMC DOCUMENT ! Do not distribute!

Transmitted from: PTMC Valhalla Tower Station MIL132
To: Vertigo 7
From: S. Dravis

Message follows:

Vertigo 7, we know from dealing with you in the past that you have quite the reputation for taking on the most extreme situations and prevailing. Here at PTMC, we are presently faced with such a situation.

About two years ago, there was an employee named Dr. Malcolm Doppler Phobos. Phobos had the silly notion way back when that automating our mines through use of robots was "a taxing endeavor that would ultimately end in failure." Well, nonetheless, Phobos gave in to the demands of his superiors and began construction of several mining robots. Through Phobos, the modern mining robot was designed.

Well, you see, there was a little incident. It happened at the Pluto Outpost MN4628 -- a medium-sized lab facility. I had been given orders by my superior, Suzuki, to dismiss Phobos from his job, due to a lowly performance in the past few months leading to the incident. I spoke to Dr. Phobos that night, and the news immediately infuriated the doctor. He immediate packed up the blueprints he was working on and left the Outpost. I chased him through the security doors, but as I exited the Outpost, the large headlight of my own Pyro-GX blinded me. Phobos made off with my Pyro.

I immediately dispatched two of our guards to take Phobos out of the sky. Phobos, while fighting them, nearly slammed into an asteroid. We were able to trace Phobos throughout the battle, as he annihilated the two soldiers. Then, Phobos himself vanished.

Good and over, right? Wrong. Two years later, I was in Valhalla Tower's control room, par usual. You see, we had a camera feed emitting from my Pyro since it was stolen. There was nothing but static on it, though. But, I noticed the screen reactivate. And I stood speechless.

The monitor was trained on a large, metal room. We suspected that perhaps the camera had been elevated... probably still mounted to the Pyro. Then, a man in a white lab coat walked to the dead center of the screen.

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Record follows:

[PHOBOS] "Good afternoon, PTMC. Good afternoon Board of Directors. I am Dr. Malcolm D. Phobos. This is my laboratory. As you watch, three of your ever-so-crucial mines are coming under siege. It's revenge time, sirs. I said this endeavor would end in failure, didn't I? It will, sirs. I will call off the takeover under a single condition. I want one billion dollars, and I know you can cough it up. Otherwise, utter chaos will ensue. You have no choice. I want the cash to be left at PTMC docking bay 7, at the Pluto Outpost. You have twenty-four hours, sirs. Ciao."


Phobos is a madman, Vertigo 7. And he must be stopped. PTMC has been looking into the matter and has decided that sending a mercenary such as yourself into the mines to destroy them is more feasible than funding a madman.

PTMC Intelligence has reported a possible way that Phobos changed the behavior of the robots at the three stations. Phobos, since he invented many of the robots, knows the Artificial Intelligence of the robots very well. PTMC Intelligence believes that such wide-spread chaos could only have been inflicted from within the hearts of the mines. We suspect that Phobos had created robots and sent them into the mines unbeknownst to us. The robots then began to alter the behaviors of the others, and voila! Pandemonium.

It's all a perfect and logical theory, Vertigo 7, and we have the evidence to support it. And that is your mission. Get into the three mines, and destroy Phobos' robots (Phobots) within. We suspect that the Phobots are equipped with an auto-destruct mechanism, so make for the exit when you destroy them.

That is all, Vertigo 7. Buckle up, and prepare for descent...


The Levels


preview.jpg (3296 bytes)

TRAC Research Complex

The first level of the Phobos Encounter. TRAC was a subsidiary of the PTMC. See what's gone wrong at the headquarters of Terrain Robot Analysis Coporation.

preview.gif (12446 bytes) Altaridge Falls Mine

This mineral extraction plant is one of PTMC's most lucrative ventures. And now, it's under heavy attack. Get the background on the mine and see what you must do.

preview.gif (12348 bytes) Magmarok Excavation

With scorching hot lava and many robots, the Magamarok Excavation was nearly unmanned. It only had four human workers. And, unforunately, that made it vulnerable for attack.

preview.jpg (4480 bytes) Phobos Command Center

PTMC has managed to track down Dr. Phobos to his secret laboratory. You have one mission: you must destroy Dr. Phobos. Details can be found by clicking on the link above.

preview.jpg (4264 bytes) Secret Level 1: Tryhys Zinkor

It remains to be known what links Dr. Phobos has to the alien empire. Regardless, many of these alien androids have been reprogrammed. Stop them at the source by infiltrating the Tryhys Zinkor alien base.

preview.jpg (5707 bytes) Secret Level 2: Gamma-1 Storage Depot

The artifacts found during PTMC mining projects are stored at various storage centers across the mining network. These stations are filled with heavily armed guard robots -- just the kind Dr. Phobos is looking for. He's reprogrammed the robots here -- and you must stop them.


The Features

The main features of this great level set are:


The Robots

Vertigo 7, PTMC Intelligence has reason to believe that Dr. Phobos has created at least three new robots in his attempt to takeover Shiva Station. We have tried to capture as much data on these robots as possible, as Phobos had submitted some of the plans to us for reviewing. Alas, our results are inconclusive, and vague at best.

Attached to this message are pictures of only a few of the new robots. Good luck, and prepare for descent.

phobot1.jpg (5620 bytes) Spherebot - Immobile Defense Robot

More deadly than even the Boarshead robot, the Spherebots serve as Dr. Phobos' personal bodyguards. They fire lobs of Homing Energy projectiles into the air. The projectiles lock onto your Pyro-GX and latch onto your ship, draining it of its shields in a flash. A mere four shots can destroy you. Going toe-to-toe with a Spherebot in a narrow corridor often proves fatal. Approach and destroy from a distance.

phobot2.jpg (9199 bytes) Project: Shuttle - Armored Personnel Carrier

The "Shuttle" was created to transport PTMC employees and various minerals from one part of a mine to another. Phobos has now outfitted the Shuttle with deadly weaponry, making it a formidable opponent. The two cannons in front fire bolts of heated Plasma. In addition, you may have to fend off whatever it was carrying -- whether it be friend or foe.

phobot3.jpg (9048 bytes) BlueX - Mine Corridor Guardian

The BlueX was designed with the intention of warding off alien ships from the mines. BlueX has the ability to create weaponry from the minerals surrounding it and launch that weaponry from any of its four massive arm cannons. This uncanny ability, similar to how the robot producers create robots, is used with extreme amounts of intellect. BlueX can appear in one mine and have a certain weapon. If it proves ineffective against the target, the BlueX robot can alert other BlueX robots across the mining network to upgrade their weaponry and prepare for an attack. In short, BlueX poses a new threat in every area.

We believe that Dr. Phobos has modified one particular BlueX robot, noted for its superior coordination abilities. Sporting red-colored armor, we have not deduced what his plans are for this modified BlueX... or should I say RedX?


The Reviews

Jay Hoeberechts says on the DCentral page: Just when you thought Descent levels couldn't get any better, they did. I'll say this outright: Phobos is amazing. Only a few little niggles knocked this one down from a 5 star rating. In Phobos' 6 levels, you'll be flying through all terrain types in all directions in order to stop the mad Dr. Phobos from overrunning PTMC's mines with his Robots of Doom (aka Phobots). Sounds like a fairly standard mission, right? Wrong. - Phobot Zone: The most cool thing about Phobos are its new robots. I'm not talking about rewired standard robots, as in Entropy, but actually new 'bots... With new 3D models, textures, and behavior. These are great, if a bit undetailed compared to the original ones. I especially like the X-Wing wannabe's, the BlueX's and RedX. Every level has a boss, too (except the secrets). In TRAC, there is the aforementioned RedX. Altaridge Falls has a modified red fatty boss, and Magmarok ends with a Smelter. As for the Phobos Command Center, it has Dr. Phobos himself, in... Well, I'll leave that for you to find. :) - Insert Witty Heading Here: Even without the 'bots, however, Phobos is awesome. The storyline is one of the more original ones I've seen in a while, but I won't tell you any more than I already have - You'll just have to go get the mission :). The texturing is pretty good, too, but there are a few alignment problems, which aren't very noticeable anyway. I quite like the layouts (especially level 3: Magmarok), which are complex, reasonably large, and have surprisingly good framerates. And the soundtrack is great (although it has no FM version for those of us with crummy sound cards.) - Grumf: So what did keep Phobos from getting a full 5 stars? A few small complaints... For one, the briefing backgrounds, however cool looking and nicely drawn, make the briefing text very hard to read. Also, (as mentioned before), some of the textures aren't aligned properly, and the lighting looks slightly odd in some places. And it's huge - the download file is over 1.7 megs... But that really couldn't be helped. Overall, though these small faults barely detract from Phobos at all - it's still well worth the 8-minute download. 4.5 of 5 stars!

Luke Schneider says on the R.E.A.L. page: Mission Overview: This is the second of Razor's great single player missions. Phobos improves over Chasm in just about every way possible. It's very apparent that Razor's skill has steadily risen as his experience with levels increased. The levels in Phobos are great, and the classic play is also riveting. Phobos has 4 new custom robot models (designed by Garry Knudson), cool briefing screens, and of course a custom MIDI soundtrack. - Highlights: Original ending and story / Good custom music / Tough, challenging play / High quality overall feel - Lowlights: Secret levels are too difficult / Bosses at the end of every level / Text in briefings is difficult to read. - Final Analysis: A great improvement over Chasm, and just a plain excellent series of levels. - Rating: Structure: 4 of 5 / Textures: 4 of 5 / Lighting: 4 of 5 / Originality: 4 of 5 / Playability: 4 of 5 / Objective: 3 of 5 / Features: 4 of 5 / Music: 4 of 5 / Overall: 4 of 5!

Heiko Herrmann said in the beta-testing phase: I must say that since Vertigo I never had that much fun in a single-player-level. I only had that fun in D1 main mission, D2 main mission and D2 Vertigo... So never before (not in Entropy and not in Orion) I got that feeling of a mission laying on me... Fabulous work, Razor!!!


The Download

You now know what you will be approaching. But before you download, please take a look again at your Descent 2 version and ensure that you have Descent 2 Commercial with the V1.2 patch installed on it. Only with this version you will encounter the full world of Dr. Phobos. If you only have V1.0 or V1.1 of Descent 2, please update to V1.2 first. If you only own Descent 2 Destination Quartzon or the Descent 2 Interactive Demo, simply forget it: these versions are not compatible to Phobos Encounter!

Notes for Macintosh users: Pyrocide plays fine on Descent 2 V1.2 for Macintosh. However you need the Mac unRAR utility to extract the PC EXE file. Get it here.

sign_download.gif (151 bytes) Download Phobos Encounter level set V1.0 09/19/97 (1703 kB)



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Phobos Encounter - A Descent 2 Level Series / Level design and construction: Razor Blade / Story and writing: Razor Blade / Robot designer: Garry Knudson / Landscape graphic art: Axis Experience / Briefing Graphics: Axis Experience / Robot briefing art: Razor Blade and Garry Knudson / Author informations: Heiko Herrmann /MIDI Music for Level 1 "Get Ya": Patrice Tarabbia / MIDI Music for Level 2 "Chaos": Luke Schneider / MIDI Music for Level 3 "Runner": Patrice Tarabbia / MIDI Music for Level 4 "Apathy": Luke Schneider / Credits Music "Robot Zone Remix": Patrice Tarabbia / Visit the original Phobos Encounter site at / This page was made by Heiko Herrmann for Razor Blade

LEGAL STUFF: You may NOT distribute the MIDI music found in this compilation, nor may you distribute the Phobos Encounter files without its TXT file.  The MIDI music is copywriten material used with permission by the composers.  The MIDI music may not be altered without the consent of the appropriate composer.  The same also applies to the graphics. The Phobos Encounter files are provided as-is and may NOT be distributed for profit.