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Default Scorpias Lair - It's An Undocumented Feature

April 9th, 2008, 18:17
I have a terrible memory for bugs (and don't notice many of them) so none of these ring a bell but some readers may have fun with a trip down the memory lane of old "undocumented features" at Socrpias Lair:
We know that pretty much any game released today will have its quota of problems. But the early ones did, too. Only back then, most of those bugs tended to be in the player’s favor.
Of course, some might not think of those “undocumented features” as being favorable. It took an iron will to ignore the temptations of unlimited wealth or unlimited experience. And we all know how easily iron can rust. Ahem.
The great classic was Wizardry: Proving Grounds Of The Mad Overlord. For those few who may not be familiar with it, the game had mages and clerics, and a class called Bishop. Bishops could cast both sets of spells. They also had a unique ability to identify unknown magic items.
Wiz was stingy on inventory. We’re used to mountains of gear: all the stuff we have equipped, plus what’s lugged around in our backpacks. But this game allowed only eight slots for everything, equipped or not, and the slots were numbered (naturally) 1-8.
So the Bishop identified items by number. And the trick came with item #9, which, of course, didn’t exist. “Id item #9″, and the party received huge amounts of experience.
It was so easy: just pop down to the dungeon, id #9, then bop up the stairs to the stables for a free rest and skyrocketing levels. In no time at all, players had teams of six high-level Bishops parading through the levels. Now, that’s a feature!
Anyone remember other cool or funny bugs?
More information.
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April 9th, 2008, 18:17
I remember a lame one on Elite 2 frontier that I discovered. You could just keep pressing accept on a transport person mission and it would sub you the monies over and over.
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April 9th, 2008, 19:42
Realms of Arcania has a Dungeon in the town of what I know as Prem in the German-language version of the game.

The Dungeon gave lots of experience points just by entering it … And leaving it afterwards, of course.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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April 10th, 2008, 01:22
The most annoying 'undocumented feature' I remember was in U7. Seems to help keep your inventory uncluttered (you might remember they did away with slots and allowed you to simply pile everything on top of other things ) the designers decided that everytime you rested, all your keys would disappear (forever ). Suddenly, there were important doors I could no longer open!! Had to restart the game cause I got totally stuffed by that little 'feature'!!

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April 10th, 2008, 01:34
I remember a goofy bug in Diablo that a friend showed me where you could duplicate items. He'd drop items on the ground, run away, and them immediately run back and pick it up again and there would be two in the inventory. I remember watching him play the game (before I owned it) and he was so obsessed with cloning valuable items for money, and did it nonstop, that it got boring watching, so I just went out and bought my own copy and played it right, lol.
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April 11th, 2008, 00:36
Ultima VI, in its first release, was full of weird bugs.

In my sister's game, she discovered that Shamino had turned into a bed. The bed followed her around in party formation, attacked monsters, and engaged in conversations using the Shamino portrait and dialogue, but his on-screen representation was a bed.

This first release of Ultima VI had a bug where you could not actually buy any 8th-Circle spells.

In my game of Ultima VI, Lord British vanished from the game completely. He could not be found anywhere in the castle. So no more free healing for me. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that he had vanished permanently, as his schedule would take him to different parts of the castle other than the throne room, so it was saved into my game (and the game only had one slot).

When wandering the land of the gargoyles, I found that my party was being pursued and attacked by what appeared to be the top of a door frame from one of the gargoyle houses. When I "Looked" at the door frame to see what it was, the game told me "You see Nystul" and showed me his portait. Couldn't talk to him though.

I was never able to play through Ultima VII Part 2: The Serpent Isle without resorting to using the Hack Mover to open a particular door later in the game (when you need to proceed north to find Gwenno). Whatever quest flag that was supposed to go off to unlock then door never worked for me (or for my sister).

Not so much a bug as a design oversight, I kept two copies of the gameplay floppy disks for Wasteland on the C-64. I'd go into an area, kill all the enemies, and then leave without taking the items. When re-entering the area, I'd use that disk, and then swap it to a copy of that disk when exiting so that it saved that area's status on a "garbage" disk and I could go back infinitely. A similar trick in Bard's Tale III let me clone my better magic-users and not do as much class-swapping by removing characters from the party, changing their names, re-adding them, and making sure that they got saved to different disks. It was a cool way to dupe the more powerful items too.

Daggerfall had my favourite bugs of all. I loved wandering through the seemingly endless, repetitive dungeons only to fall through the floor and end up stuck outside the world. But the best bug of all was when I was playing the game and it locked up my computer. Couldn't Ctrl-Alt-Del, and I had to do a cold boot. When my computer rebooted, it gave me an error about not having a system disk to boot from. Booting from a floppy, I found all three hard disks inaccessible. Running FDISK from the floppy revealed to me that the partition data on all three hard disks was completely gone. I still blame Daggerfall for destroying all of the data on my computer, although I fully realize that it's pretty unlikely that the game could actually cause that to happen; it was probably a power surge or hardware failure of some kind.
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April 11th, 2008, 15:47
There was a feechur in Ultima 2 that let you get infinite ships. I don't remember exactly how it worked but if you moved in a certain pattern while you were battling a pirate ship your ship would be duplicated. You could build a bridge or wall of ships and I remember making hundreds of them.

There was another feechur in that game too. One of the shops was right on the map edge. If you robbed it you you would get money or (and?) random equipment and could move off the map before the guards arrived and when you re-entered the guards were reset and had forgotten about your crime. If you robbed it enough you could get great equipment early in the game (I remember getting a phaser which IIRC was the best weapon).

In Ultima 7 it was possible to get to the flying carpet at the start of the game before it was supposed to work. I didn't realize that was a bug until later in the game when I supposedly activated it and was confused because I had been flying it around most of the game.

In Arcanum there was a river that crossed the mountains at the top right end of the map. You're not supposed to cross the mountains until you've completed some quest or another but I found that if I clicked close enough together on the overland movement map it would put waypoints along that river. It took 50 or 60 (or more? I don't remember exactly) but I managed to get past the mountains.
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April 11th, 2008, 21:22
Daggerfall had great bugs, true that. The 'hole in the world' (enable debug options ad press Alt+F11 to warp to the latest safe spot) bug is still my favorite explanation for the vanishing of the Dwemer race.

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April 11th, 2008, 22:01
I like to think most people are able to resist exploits in single-player games. Multi-player is another matter. Exploits can take on a whole new significance then (and even ruin otherwise great multi-player games).

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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April 11th, 2008, 22:21
I would like to point out that I was taking advantage of exploits in Wasteland and Bard's Tale III when I was 15 and had just started playing computer games (that C-64 was my first computer).

Now approaching the age of 34, I generally don't have a problem avoiding exploits — unless they are a way of skipping a lot of mindless, repetitive, tedious gameplay segments. Though I usually just avoid playing games that feature much of that now. :-)
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April 11th, 2008, 22:44
Sometimes games just do something so incredibly stupid you have to, well, cheat. One of the Wizardry games (I think) had things that aged you. Eventually my entire team were all decrepit seniors that were worthless for adventuring. It turned out that later on in the game there was a fountain that would lower your age but my guys became so weak (and I had no way of knowing about the fountain) that I resorted to hex editing the save file to reduce the ages.
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April 11th, 2008, 23:25
Aha! I'm playing MM7 for the first time right now, and my characters are aging. I guess I'll keep my eyes open for a fountain!

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on. But it don't snow here. It stays pretty green. I'm going to make a lot of money, then I'm going to quit this crazy scene. — [Joni Mitchell]
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