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Descent 3 returns to Linux (and macOS) with an official modern port

By - | Views: 41,773

Ryan "Icculus" Gordon, a developer who has ported tons of games to Linux has done it again. Descent 3, has been re-ported and upgraded for Linux (and macOS).

Originally released in 1999, it was later ported to Linux thanks to the defunct Loki Software in 2000 and eventually in 2014 the Windows version came to Steam. The Linux port was old, not easy to find and many people likely didn't even know it was a thing today.

Speaking on their Patreon post, Icculus gave a little history of the game and Loki and goes on to mention multiple other titles they've tried to re-port without success. So when one does come along, they obviously jumped at the chance. The new port is 64bit, built with the wonderful cross-platform SDL 2 tech and runs on modern Linux and macOS. It also handles larger screen resolutions, improved cutscenes handling and the movie files have been encoded in Ogg Theora making the install a lot smaller.

I'm thrilled to be bringing this game back to a modern Linux audience. It was the first big project at Loki that I was in charge of, and I'm super-thrilled to be in charge of it again today.

Ryan "Icculus" Gordon

Thanks to this effort, you can now pick up Descent 3 in modern form on Steam for both Linux and macOS, which comes with the Mercenary expansion. If you already had it for Windows, as usual you get access free thanks to how Steam works. Icculus mentioned that it may come to GOG later.

You can support more work from Icculus on their Patreon.

Like with the recent re-port of Little Racers STREET, it's fantastic to see developers open to someone keeping their games alive and well.

Article taken from
Tags: Action, FPS, New Release, Steam | Apps: Descent 3
About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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logge Feb 1, 2020
This is cool! I am looking at the Loki Descent 3 CD on my shelf from time to time. I tried installing it some time ago and it failed miserably ;-)

Thank you Ryan for porting it again! (and all you other lifetime achievements for the penguin, of course!)
Pit Feb 1, 2020
Having already been Linux-only for a few years when the Loki version came out, I of course have that one standing in my shelf, too. Thought I had it installed on my laptop, but I think it's only on my other homes' PC, which is a few 1000km away. So I cannot tell how I got it working ATM.

At that time I didn't like it too much, especially the map system was utterly slow. So if it comes to GOG I'll consider a re-buy. I assume sending in a photo of the original disk set won't give you a discount?!
antisol Feb 1, 2020
Mine is just a regular CD, not a loki one, I had to download the Linux installer. It's been a few years since I tried it but I didn't have too hard a time getting it to work. IIRC the biggest issue I had was trying to get 1024x768 or whatever the maximum resolution was to work properly. I may have had to run it in a window.

But this is great news! 64 bit, higher resolution, support for modern machines - yay!

Does anyone know if there's an installer for people who own the CD? Or do I have to buy it again (which means waiting until it's available on a non-steam store)?
Pit Feb 1, 2020
Quoting: antisolDoes anyone know if there's an installer for people who own the CD? Or do I have to buy it again (which means waiting until it's available on a non-steam store)?

I thought there had been some installer help on the old LIFLG page, but that one is now on Github, and there I don't see it anymore :(
Maybe I'm getting old, and it never existed....
antisol Feb 1, 2020
Sorry, I should have been clearer. I meant an installer for this new version. I'm pretty sure I still have the old one sitting around in my archive :)
Julius Feb 1, 2020
Next stop, VR support? :)
rustybroomhandle Feb 1, 2020
I hope the rest of Loki's catalogue can make a comeback.
jarhead_h Feb 2, 2020
Already had it. Steam is telling me it's a 977MB install? Still? Even after the full port?

Also, any chance Freespace 1&2 are next?

Last edited by jarhead_h on 2 February 2020 at 12:19 am UTC
Audi Feb 2, 2020
Would love to see achievements added (just not any ridiculous ones that require crazy grinding game play or straight up luck to get)!
Hamish Feb 2, 2020
I literally just got the Loki version of this on disk delivered last Friday:


This is hilarious, especially if the port does come to meaning I never have to use the disk.

Last edited by Hamish on 2 February 2020 at 7:52 am UTC
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