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Author Topic: The Word "Matcen"  (Read 3648 times)

Offline Scyphi

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The Word "Matcen"
« on: May 09, 2015, 10:56:32 AM »
Everybody here should have heard the word "matcen" at least once in reference to the robot generators in Descent.

But it occurred to me recently that, outside the Descent context, I have no idea what the word means. I had assumed it was some word that referenced to the base function of Descent's matcens, but after trying to research the word to find the meaning, I'm starting to wonder if it's even a word at all, because outside of Descent, I can find no real reference to the word actually existing.

The closest I've found is the German word "machen" which happens to mean "to make." As I know there is a fair-sized German fanbase for Descent, part of me is now wondering if "matcen" is either some variant of that German word that's gotten popularized by the fanbase, or maybe even some English corruption of it...

Or maybe I'm just over-analyzing it.

Anyway, does anybody else have any more clues to shed on this word, it's proper definition if it has one, or at least it's origin?
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Offline Pumo

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2015, 12:03:47 PM »
It's a shortening of Materialization Center, isn't it?
As IIRC that's how the robot generators were originally named on D1 (although I can't recall if it was either on the briefing or the manual).

Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2015, 12:30:52 PM »
Yep... Materials (or materialization) center would be my guess.

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Offline D2Disciple

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2015, 04:21:07 PM »
I, too, believe it's an amalgam of "Materialization Center." I want to say that this comes from the original D1 Faq included with the shareware game, but I'm not certain.
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline tueidj

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2015, 06:05:56 PM »
Along with matcens (which are the robot makers) the D1 code also references fuelcens (energy refillers), controlcens (the reactor) and repaircens. It seems like at one point there were plans for repair centres which worked like the fuel centres but replenished shields instead of energy. There were going to be special sound effects to be played as the repair sequence progressed, corresponding to the repair machine fixing each side of the ship (top/bottom/left/right/front/back).

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2015, 06:37:48 PM »
I forgot about the planned inclusion of repair centers. I'm glad they didn't - that would have broken the game in a lot of ways, especially on harder difficulty settings.
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Scyphi

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2015, 06:12:35 AM »
Likewise, such a thing would've imbalanced an already nicely balanced game, and we can't have that, can we?

Anyway, looks like I really was over-analyzing it (I thought so). Thanks for the input, everyone. :)
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Offline tueidj

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2015, 05:02:22 PM »
I forgot about the planned inclusion of repair centers. I'm glad they didn't - that would have broken the game in a lot of ways, especially on harder difficulty settings.
They could only be used a certain amount of times so it's not like they would be a "fountain of youth" style source of unlimited health. In fact the matcens and fuelcens share the same code...

Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2015, 06:17:14 PM »
I think Descent 3 had repair machines on two of the later missions... I think one of them was on the satellite with all those sharks.
The other one might have been in a secret area in the proving grounds?

Offline Scyphi

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2015, 05:06:43 AM »
Well, I know the Proving Grounds professed to having repair stations, but I personally could never figure out how to make them work.
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Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2015, 06:06:48 AM »
Press the switch to activate them and then bump into them.
When it works it should show some kind of animation.

Offline Ionized

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2015, 10:13:20 PM »
I remember seeing matcens that spawned shields and other powerups on that level but don't remember an energy centre style repair centre.

Offline Scyphi

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #12 on: May 13, 2015, 05:24:44 AM »
Well, they weren't really energy-center like tunnels of sparkly glowing things, they're more of...bulbs on a wall that you bump your ship into.
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Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #13 on: May 13, 2015, 05:54:00 AM »
I think the entropy multiplayer mode had repair centers in a more energy-center like fashion.

Offline Scyphi

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Re: The Word "Matcen"
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2015, 03:53:00 PM »
Something else I was never quite able to figure out. :P Seriously though, Entropy is a cool multiplayer idea, but perhaps a bit too complex for most players.
"I thought I had a great idea, but it never really took off. In fact, it didn't even get on the runway. I guess you could say it exploded in the hanger." -Calvin and Hobbes
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