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HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:59 pm
by ArgonianLord
HeXen: Descent into the Abyss is the recent entry in my Heretic/HeXen mappack series. It's been a long time coming, because this project started way back in 2016, and I only just now finished it! Anyway, Descent Into the Abyss serves as a prequel to explain some events in Tower of Chaos: Special Edition that would otherwise remain unanswered until the next sequel to the story that picks up where my third mappack, A New World ended. This may sound like you need to play my previous works before tackling this, but don't worry because the story told here is still self contained enough that you will understand it.

Story Premise: The story puts you in the shoes of Kallaxitus the Gryphon Wizard, who is searching for an artefact known as the Ethereal Crown. According to legend, it is a magical artefact that will summon an army of celestial warriors who are eager to destroy Korax and his minions once and for all.

Gameplay: The mappack is split up into four large levels that may as well be four smaller hubs on their own. Because of this, I suggest you take breaks if you feel the maps are taking too long. (In hindsight I should've probably simply made hubs instead, but it'd be such a hassle to change now that it's better of staying as it is.) As for the way the levels play, standard HeXen fare with puzzles and sequences that need to be resolved in order to move onto the next map.

There is also the new "notes system" as I like to call it. The base code was based on Alando1's Temple of the Lizardmen III's PDA system. What this means is that sometimes you will find notes across the world (Identified by a scroll item pickup with text scribbled onto it) that you can read a bunch of world building lore in. This can be anything from dead people's last words, to arcane experiment reports and such. There's very few ones that MUST be read to progress the game, but the ones that are neccessary to progress will be identified by scrolls that flash almost constantly. This doesn't just make them look different from optional lore notes, but also easier to see in the dark. ANOTHER important thing about this system, you should bind a Drop Item key so you can throw the notes you've read already, otherwise they will begin cluttering your inventory.

The most notable new gameplay feature to discuss is the mods new classes that were made to ensure Kallaxitus is a wizard. This means the original Mage, Cleric and Fighter are replaced by three different kinds of Mages. This means you're essentially choosing a specific type of magic that Kallaxitus (The mappacks main character) has studied in his time with the Gryphon Brotherhood (An organization made up of the remaining wizards that survived Korax's initial invasion.) I will go into what the new classes do down below.

The New Classes:

Things all the classes share in common: All characters share the original HeXen Mages movement speed and jump height. Mystic Ambit Incants and Icons of the Defender also function like they do for the original HeXen mage (Icons give invulnerability and makes you reflect projectiles, while the Mystic Ambit incants restore mana)

Necromancer:

The Necromancer has four weapons, these are: The Gauntlets of the Necromancer, Ice Cone & Animate Dead Spells, Dark Serpent Staff and Raven Staff. The flechettes function like the Cleric's Poison Bomb flechettes.

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Elementalist:

The Elementalist has four weapons, these are: Magic Crossbow, Ice Wand, Fire Wand and Storm Wyrm Staff. The flechettes work like the original Mages Timebomb flechettes.

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Invoker:

The Invoker has four weapons, these are: The Invocation Wand, Magic Missiles & Heal Spells, Sun Staff and Staff of Cranvus. The flechettes function like the Fighters grenade-like flechettes.

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These classes are also available separately, so you can play other mappacks with these new classes. It's been tested and is compatible with the original HeXen, and Deathkings of the Dark Citadel. These classes were also designed without Deathmatch in mind. (Also note that the Necromancer may possibly be unable to resurrect custom enemies in certain HeXen mappacks that feature new monsters, unless they possess a Raise state in their code. All vanilla enemies will work just fine unless they are altered in some major way.)


Screenshots:

Level 1 Screenshot 1:
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Level 1 Screenshot 2:
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Level 2 Screenshot 1:
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Level 2 Screenshot 2:
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Level 3 Screenshot 1:
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Level 3 Screenshot 2:
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Level 4 Screenshot 1:
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Level 4 Screenshot 2:
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Downloads:

(Important note for playing the Descent into the Abyss mapset, lower your music volume a little bit so it'll be easier to hear the voice acting that appears during the cutscenes of the mod. You should also turn off the Randomize Sounds option, otherwise the voices of characters will change in pitches which will sound weird. Crouching is also enabled for this mappack.)

Descent Into the Abyss Mappack: http://www.mediafire.com/file/d4tj3ebd0 ... A.zip/file

Mage Specializations Gameplay mod: http://www.mediafire.com/file/c1gk95idp ... s.zip/file

(Descent into the Abyss's classes, but in a separate Pk3 that lets you play the original HeXen and other peoples mappacks with the Necromancer, Elementalist and Invoker. The custom classes were not designed with Deatchmatch in mind, so they may not work so well for that.)

Credits: (NOTE: If I've neglected to credit someone here, please let me know and I will resolve that immediately!)

Spoiler:



Copyright / Permissions.

Authors may NOT use the contents of this file as a base for
modification or reuse. Permissions from authors for the music included
have NOT been contacted, however, their credits are listed. As such, this
WAD may NOT be used for commercial or "for profit" purposes, either by
myself or other parties.

You may NOT redistribute this file without my permission.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 2:27 pm
by Ichor
I chose the elementalist (well, I chose random and that's what it selected) and I picked up the ice cone and animate dead spell, which is the second weapon for the necromancer (looks like a purplish frost shards). Is this intended? If so, then I'm guessing the second weapon for my class is somewhere else.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 3:30 pm
by ArgonianLord
Ichor wrote:I chose the elementalist (well, I chose random and that's what it selected) and I picked up the ice cone and animate dead spell, which is the second weapon for the necromancer (looks like a purplish frost shards). Is this intended? If so, then I'm guessing the second weapon for my class is somewhere else.


I've not discovered a way to make the weapons not appear for the other classes yet, so yes, your weapon is still in the first level. It's just in another part of it.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:45 pm
by Manhs
After the fun Tower of Chaos and A New World and their story, a new adventure begins!
I will play it very soon, hype :)

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 4:50 pm
by Ichor
There is a minor spelling error in Tyrone's First Note ("The search for the Ethereal Crown has been out latest..."), and Tyrone's Second Note doesn't show up at all.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:08 pm
by ArgonianLord
Ichor wrote:There is a minor spelling error in Tyrone's First Note ("The search for the Ethereal Crown has been out latest..."), and Tyrone's Second Note doesn't show up at all.


Noted, I'll get around to fixing the spelling error when I can. The second note appears on my end, so I'm not sure what might be going on. It's on a table in the room leading up to where Tyrone's final note can be found.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:12 pm
by ArgonianLord
Note: Another thing I forgot to mention in the main description is that I recommend you bind a "Drop Item" key, so you can drop the notes you've already read. Otherwise they will begin to clutter your inventory.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:29 pm
by Ichor
I mean I got the note, but nothing shows up when I use it. All others work but that one.

Also, there's this:


Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:47 pm
by ArgonianLord
Ichor wrote:I mean I got the note, but nothing shows up when I use it. All others work but that one.

Also, there's this:



Alright, yeah it was a case of the actual sprite itself missing. Gonna make another upload of the mod in a moment to resolve this along with the spelling mistake. As for the screenshot you linked me, yeah that's not a bookshelf you're meant to use. I've eliminated all other instances of that texture being used throughougt the map now, sorry if it made things really disorienting.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:08 pm
by ArgonianLord
Alright, the issues with MAP02 having more than one instance of the puzzle bookcases has been resolved, and the typos in Tyrone's first letter have been fixed. Tyrone's second letter should also be visible now, it's sprite was missing completely from the pk3.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 6:12 pm
by Ichor
I did manage to find the correct one. It helped some that there was a magical bridge and a note right before, which led me to think that this particular bookshelf was important.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:04 pm
by Ichor
The Dark Crucible and Serpent Halls Origins (I) also does not show up.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:38 pm
by ArgonianLord
Ichor wrote:The Dark Crucible and Serpent Halls Origins (I) also does not show up.


Looked through the sprites and noticed it was also missing. I've added it to my PK3 now and will update it again.

EDIT: Updated, so now notes will work as intended.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 2:33 pm
by whirledtsar
Okay, played through the first 3 maps as the Elementalist. As with your previous hubs, the atmosphere & level design are great. I don't love the new weapons though. All the Elementalist's weapons feel pretty much the same with minor differences, just not as satisfying & unique as vanilla weapons. It would be nice if there was an option to play as the original classes too.

A couple little things: https://imgur.com/a/UCKAiHz
1. This door in map02 gets desynced and rotates into the wall.
2. The skeleton enemies can't fit through this passage, so you can just sit there and snipe them.
3 (not pictured). You can skip alerting the flying chaos serpent in map03 by going down the hole that leads to a water pool.

Also, maybe its just me but the skeleton sprites are kind of ugly. The older Raven game Shadowcaster has a skeleton warrior sprite set that may be worth looking at.

Re: HeXen: Descent Into the Abyss

PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 5:32 pm
by ArgonianLord
fluffyshambler wrote:Okay, played through the first 3 maps as the Elementalist. As with your previous hubs, the atmosphere & level design are great. I don't love the new weapons though. All the Elementalist's weapons feel pretty much the same with minor differences, just not as satisfying & unique as vanilla weapons. It would be nice if there was an option to play as the original classes too.

A couple little things: https://imgur.com/a/UCKAiHz
1. This door in map02 gets desynced and rotates into the wall.
2. The skeleton enemies can't fit through this passage, so you can just sit there and snipe them.
3 (not pictured). You can skip alerting the flying chaos serpent in map03 by going down the hole that leads to a water pool.

Also, maybe its just me but the skeleton sprites are kind of ugly. The older Raven game Shadowcaster has a skeleton warrior sprite set that may be worth looking at.


I've not really got any plans on restoring the ability to play the original classes in the mod, simply because it'd make no sense in the context of the story unless you play the Mage, and I don't really relish the idea of telling players "Only play this class pls", feels a bit forceful. As for the new classes and their weapons, well, it was my first foray into making custom classes so there's some roughness to be expected. The Elementalist was meant to be the most bogstandard of the three.

1. I can't recreate the problem with that specific door regardless what I really do.
2. Might simply remove the skeletons in that room, because the alternative is make them able to squeeze through, and then they'll overwhelm the player and kill them in seconds.
3. Didn't know that, but I'll also keep it like that, as the chaos serpent doesn't exactly lock you into that section of map3, so you can escape if you wish.

Could use that, but they have the same problem to a lot of Shadowcasters enemies, lack of rotations for the attacks, which would just look awkward. I also didn't want to use Heretics skeletons, or the Death Knight sprite edit either, so the Dungeon Keeper skeletons will remain. If some other alternative with full sprite rotations for the attacks ever surfaces, I'll replace it then.