Cheating To Pilot Victoriously a Game

WordPress Discover: Below

For the month of April 2020, WordPress has reopened its Discover challenges to help bloggers find ideas to write about. I didn’t see their prompt this morning. I set an alarm to wake me, got myself up and at my computer, with a cup of coffee to start me going, and I simply overlooked the prompt.

I thought to look back at the Discover feed to see if a Discover prompt had finally launched. I was dismayed but had an idea.

I saw the prompt for today is the word “below.” I looked back at my blog, and I saw that five years ago I wrote a post, when I was just setting out on WordPress, that fit the theme. While not changing the title of the post, I decided to update it with the word “below” in mind.

A Douglas Adams joke

My mother’s parents bought me the action game Wings for the family Amiga 500 computer when I was a young teenager.  The game grew on me, lending itself to a sense of being more deeply involved in playing games.

Much of Wings consisted of dogfights.  The box for the game contained factual information about WWI, and a narrative within the game took you through to victory in the year 1918.

I liked playing the game.  I just didn’t like being nailed by enemy fire.

Playing the game required extreme player ability.  The dogfights were mad. You flew with a view from over the shoulder of the pilot, in the cockpit of your craft.

Soon the pilot would turn his head. Enemy aircraft was nearing, and the time was then to go in that direction. If bullets hit your plane, you knew you were in trouble.

Then it was time for diving away and getting as far from the dogfight as you could.  If you could get an enemy in front of you, firing a volley ahead of him often meant he would fly right into it, and your trouble would be solved.

The gameplay meant that you were likely to get shot up no matter what happened.  The game fascinated me, but as soon as your pilot met his end, the game required you to begin the war over.  No one would wish for that, particularly with my Amiga computer’s loading time.

There was a workaround that would mean evading death, and hence becoming one of the best pilots of the war, to rival even the famed historical pilot the Red Baron–but it meant cheating, or what you call a “creative workaround.”

I found out by intuition that if enemy aircraft defeated me, I could hit the hard reset command for the computer, and then rebooting the computer would sweep away the game. What was the upshot? The diskette wouldn’t save the destruction of the mission, and I could try again.

With successive missions, your pilot became better at combat. With this method, playing even the hardest missions could be handled with an extraordinary pilot in your control.

Dimensions: 5455 x 3386
Photographer: Snapwire

No one should treat war lightly, and if the game reflected the time in the life of a teenage pilot at the outset of World War I, I would have gone to the grave. I am sorry, of course, not that I would have been shot down, but that I was so insensitive. However, I appreciate that my grandparents’ gave me the gift, and I reason that they had different views on war (and not computers) than someone from my generation.

How NPC is that?

I suppose I’ve done worse. Anytime I’m challenged in a game, I want to play with a competitive spirit–maybe I get that from my father.

Have you ever had to cheat at something innocent?

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