September 6, 2007

There’s a Mine Detector!

Filed under: Check It Out,Minesweeper — Katrina @ 6:12 pm

So today at work, I was bored and, thinking about that video I posted about the other day, felt like seeing what Wikipedia had to say about Minesweeper. Pretty interesting tidbits about the different versions. I had played the Linux Gnomes version last year when I was in California, since Chris Howell’s computer operated on Linux.

Anyway, then I came to the thing that blew my mind. The cheats section. Normally, I disapprove of cheats. But I was still curious. I’d seen one before that isn’t really a cheat since it doesn’t always work, but works most of the time from what I could tell. When you’re playing Minesweeper and you’re down to where you have to guess between two adjacent squares, try to click the exact middle between them, and it’ll be the number. Doesn’t always work, and might just be a myth, but something.

But today, I learned of an even better one! One that does work.

Alright, now, click your Start button. Programs. Games. Minesweeper. Open that up. Got it? Good. Now type in “xyzzy”. Then hit SHIFT. Now move your cursor around the mine field. While doing so, look up at the top left most corner of your screen. That top left pixel is changing colors, isn’t it!

Black means you’re over a mine. White means you’re good. :cute:

Apparently this has been a feature in Minesweeper all along, ever since Windows 3.1! I’ve been playing this game since I was nine, so this comes as quite the surprise. So I figured I’d give it a try.

Goodness. Impossible custom mine fields are actually possible. When you get into a point where you have to guess, well, you don’t have to guess!

Best of all, this means there’s a cure to the Eight Trap!

You know, when you’ve got a three by four block of squares with flags around the perimeter, with two squares in between, you know one of them is a mine, but there’s no way to know. You either open an Eight or you *gasp* hit the side of an Eight!

But no more! The absolutely horrible phenomenon of hitting the side of an Eight can just go extinct!

Of course, there’s downsides to the detector pixel. For one, it makes the game incredibly boring. Also, it makes the game incredibly slow! Certainly not worth it if you’re going for a best time. Really best to just be used when down to the end and having to guess.

Makes you wonder that you should have even known about it in the first place. Makes you feel kind of corrupted, kind of spoiled.

Oh, well, still a fun tool and adds a bit of spice to the game.

And I can’t say THIS wasn’t seriously fucking COOL!

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