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(insert title here)

Entry 1068 posted in: 3. Gamebits

Life is hard for a man who is relentlessly addicted to:
Cycling Manager 4 (Molteni rules!),
Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe (Felix Cars rules!) and, a newcomer that has been burning holes in my harddisk since a couple of weeks,
UFO: Alien Invasion (Atagong’s Green Alien Slime Destruction Team rules!)

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon trying to figure out where a slimy alien was hiding before I found out that I had been the victim of the stuck person in a game syndrome.

Game glitches are more or less common in most modern games and all of them are caused by buggy programming, insufficient testing and - oh! horror of modern times - stringent release dates.

I still remember that in Star Trek, the 25th anniversary game (1992), you had to stop an auto-destructing machine or something similar by switching a button. The crumby graphics would reflect this change; the switch pointed the other way and some blinking red light at a computer wall turned green to show you that the situation was back under control. But if you left the room, to solve another riddle, and came back to the first one (for whatever reason) the graphics had been reset. Suddenly it was red alert again all over the place. It cost me quite some time before I finally realised this was a bug and that the pixelated James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock wouldn’t be blown into a million little pieces.

Exactly the opposite happened with Little Big Adventure II. I have never been too happy with the sequel as it was:
a: a bit too linear compared to version 1;
b: an attempt in 3D gameplay while they had better used the diametric (or [pseudo-]isometric) graphics from the first part;
c: quite buggy…

At a certain point you could only escape from an underground fortress by using a flying saucer (aka an Esmer shuttle). If you returned later on in the game to the same location the only way to escape was to use the same shuttle. The problem was that you had taken it once before and that its parking spot was empty. It took me literally hours trying to find an (nonexistent) alternative way to escape, before I came up with the daft idea to walk onto the parking spot, enter the invisible saucer, sit down on an invisible chair and press a few invisible buttons. Lucky for me the game proceeded but there have been players who were stuck in LBA II, trying to catch a missing piece that could no longer be located, and had to start the game all over again. (For a post about the original Twinsen adventure, check Twinsen Ma Non Troppo.)

I better shut up now although I do have other examples:
stuck boats, horses and soldiers in Age of Empires;
confused doctors in Theme Hospital;
disappearing submarines in Submarine Titans,…

Not exactly a bug or a glitch but one of the funnier things in The Sims was the fact that you could deliberately kill a person by isolating him/her from the rest of the game. Watching them starve to death or seeing them drown in a swimming pool they can't escape from... but enough about my Hannibal Lecter fantasies…

Shark, from Shark’s Lagoon, has other problems to deal with. He had to find a new pond to put his perverse little games online and did this by creating a new domain called: The Sharks Lagoon. Somebody ought to tell him that it is possible to move domains from one server to another. But to ease the pain he has made an ‘add-on’ to his Nanny and Wendy feature that can be found on Rapidshare. More an interactive movie than a game it can be downloaded as a stand-alone application, not needing the original version. The narrative, as in most pervy storyboards, is not exactly Macbeth but further elaborates on the interaction of the dramatis personae, being a plumber Franck who has to overcome some leakage problems at Wendy’s home.

Macbeth for perverts, now there’s a nice idea.

A cavern.
In the middle, a boiling cauldron.
Enter the three Witches
First Witch: Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd.
Second Witch: Thrice and once the hedge-pig whined.
Third Witch: Harpier cries 'Tis time, 'tis time...
Wriggling nude bodies all over the place.

And by the way, the title of this post actually is (insert title here), should you be American and not fully understand the irony...

If you liked this post - you might be interested in this one as well: Illegal Aliens