NOT ALL THE BUGS ARE YELLOW

In Chip's Challenge for the PC, there are one or two. . . well, OK, four or more, little glitches in the game. Microsoft has identified and documented four levels which contain "bugs" and there are several other little eyebrow raisers that could be undocumented bugs. Three of the bugs identified by Microsoft are actually beneficial to the player. The fourth will force you to exit the game. Here are the official and unofficial Chip's Challenge bugs.

LEVEL 20 (TOSSED SALAD). Chip can exit this level without picking up a single chip, because the Cosmic Chip Socket was left out. At one time, the Microsoft Knowledge Base contained an article on this bug but it no longer comes up in a search.

LEVEL 49 (PROBLEMS). Chip doesn't have to dodge any pink balls in the lower section of the maze, because when he runs over the bear trap release near the middle right side it fails to release a paramecia. This is another bug that the Microsoft Knowledge Base admitted to at one time, but it no longer comes up on a search of that data base.

LEVEL 70 (NIGHTMARE). Two of the bear trap releases on this maze don't work. One in the lower left fails to release a paramecia. One in the lower right fails to release a teeth monster. The Microsoft Knowledge base once documented these flaws, but again, the document is now unavailable. In addition to the documented bugs on this level, there appear to be two other odd cases. Near the center of the top of the maze, there is a bug caught in a bear trap. When Chip passes over the bear trap release, sometimes the bug simply circles around and winds up back in the bear trap. The same thing happens to a paramecia near the center of the left hand side of the maze.

LEVEL 88 (SPIRALS). There is a possibility that people who have the Entertainment Pack #4 version of Chip's Challenge have a chips.dat file which is slightly different from the more common version. Many players had written saying they were unable to solve the level after I posted the solution map (for the "normal" chips.dat).

Erik Arfeuille was the first person who supplied any details (from email, 3-23-98):

There definitely was a bug in my chips data file. I used the chip's editor and the instructions given to me by Richard Field [see the link to his site in Other Fan(atic)s] and was able to remedy the problem. If you have any knowledge of the Chip's editor: run it, load level 88 and check out square 29,13. On *my* Level 88, this square was blocked to the east by a thin wall! Level unsolvable. Via Richard Field's Chip's site, I learned that I wasn't the only one with this problem. Nobody knows why only some Chips.data files are corrupted in this way.

One player, Ruben Spaans, proved that the "corrupt" version is winnable (check his solution out in Tips and Maps), however, it is extremely difficult. Here are his comments on the situation (from email, 4-8-98):

...I believe [my "corrupted" Chips.dat] is not corrupted. The only difference between [it]and the ["normal"] one ... the blocked spot above the exit on level 88. I did a file compare, and this is the only difference... What's makes this a bit interesting, is that level 88 on both the Lynx and Commodore 64 is exactly like my "corrupted" version... Somehow the walkers aren't as aggressive on the C64 as on the PC, and therefore level 88 isn't at all impossible on the C64 (I haven't played the Lynx version, so I can't speak for that one). My theory is that Microsoft converted all the levels from the Lynx, with too [little] playtesting. Later they discovered that level 88 was way too difficult, so they patched it. Surely you know about all those non-working trap buttons and clone machines, so apparently they slipped up on many levels. But that's just my theory about level 88.... For the technical minded, the level 88 difference in [is?] at byte offset $EC5C in the Chips.dat file. The blocked square version ("corrupted") contains the byte $09, while the open square has the byte $00. So everyone with a hex editor can fix their file.

LEVEL 104 (JAILER). If Chip and a pink ball collide in a square that still holds an uncollected key, the result is a game-ending error. The Microsoft Knowledge Base used to contain an article on this bug, too. It seems to be long gone. (The article, not the bug!) The Microsoft Knowledge Base dod not include the information that different errors appear depending on which key is involved. For the east (yellow) and west (green) keys, the result is a General Protection error message box which allows for viewing the details or closing the application. For the south (red) key, a small, untitled message box with only one option ("OK") appears. When "OK" is checked, the rest of the Chip's Challenge screen turns black but remains on the desktop. It can be closed manually in the normal fashion. For the north (blue) key, the screen simply freezes up and the application must be closed manually. If the error occurred on the north key, the next time Chip's Challenge is restarted it will open at level 1, although it has not "lost" any scores or passwords.

LEVEL 109 (TORTURECHAMBER). In the lower right section of this maze, Chip is required to push a block through a set of force field squares. Occasionally, the block gets "stuck" instead of following the flow of the force fields. If this occurs, you will have to restart the level to continue. You can avoid the problem by using the mouse to click through this trouble spot, although switching from the arrows to the mouse will cost you a few seconds.

LEVEL 118 (MISS DIRECTION). There are two bear traps and two bear trap switches on this level. One of the bear traps is at the mouth of a creature-filled room near the center of the maze. The other bear trap holds a teeth monster at the edge of a passage just above the large ice patch which fills the lower section of the maze. The two toggles are in a narrow passage which Chip must enter to pick up a green key. The bear trap toggle just below the green key releases the bear trap at the entrance to the creature filled room. The bear trap toggle below and just to the left of the room entrance should therefore release the other bear trap, however it does not. The teeth monster on this level is never released from its bear trap.

LEVEL 128 (ALL FULL). There is a bug cloning machine near the center of this maze, beside a room with circling fireballs. None of the red buttons on this level appears responsible for creating bug clones, and no bugs are cloned during the entire course of Chip's journey through this level.

LEVEL 132 (MIX UP). This level may contain a bug similar to that identified for level 104. There is a teeth monster guarding a green key near the center right wall of the maze. If Chip and the monster collide in the square that still holds the uncollected green key, a general protection fault occurs.