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The Sonic 3D Blast "Level Select Hack" is so brilliant

ben profile image Ben Halpern ・1 min read

This a video featuring the developer behind the game Sonic 3D Blast. I had never heard of this "secret", but about 25 seconds into the video, I knew exactly what was going on, and it is brilliant. I suspect other developers will have the same "aha moment" when he starts describing what's going on. And if you are newer to software development, this is a classic example of what it takes to ship software sometimes.

I'm not a game developer, but I can already think of ways I could implement this type of hack in my own code. Hopefully I won't have to though.

Discussion

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Andrew Buntine

When I first entered the industry I was at a company who had written a custom CMS in ASP classic (pre-.NET). I noticed that every single file had the following statement at the top:

On Error Resume Next

After a couple of weeks I looked up it in the docs and found out, to my horror, that it's effectively saying "if there is a runtime error, just skip the offending expression and keep executing like everything is cool".

You could also do things like On Error GoTo SomeFunction that would do exactly what you'd think it might.

...Talk about dangerous programming! Hah.

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Ben Halpern Author

Nice. I'm sure everyone, with enough experience, has a tale or two like this.

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Stefan Dorresteijn

When I was learning C#, that's pretty much exactly what I did. Just try catch everything and have the catch do absolutely nothing. There I was, wondering why my application never did what I expected!

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Ryan Palo

Nice! When in doubt, catch everything and silently suppress it. Nothing to see here.

try:
    main()
except:
    pass
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Alberto Fernandez

It's amazing how the people can improvise when there are restrictions, I wonder why this is not being done in the actual gen games when something brokes.

This a very clever way to avoid the player's frustration from a frozen screen or load bug.

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Daniel Irvine 🏳️‍🌈

This is so great, makes me want to play the game again. Right after I'm done with Sonia Mania...