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Bug of the moment 2006-08-07

When we got a SoundBlaster 2 card for my 486 back in 1995 or so, one of the freebies shipped with the game was Electronic Arts’s Indianapolis 500: The Simulation. Aside from the irony of shipping two AdLib-only games with the OPL2 SoundBlaster 2 card, Indy 500 was a good fun game to play. Most of the fun came from driving the “right-way-wrong-way” (or was it the “wrong-way-right-way”) around the track and staging the largest smash-ups we could, and saving the replay sequences to disc.

Recently, my brother-in-law noticed that after a while of driving around the track in the wrong direction, the lap count goes funny:

But there is a stranger bug by far than this, which I have been aware of for years and was never able to capture. After failing to win any co-operation from my camera, I finally installed DOSBox on my Pentium II. Performance is actually very respectable, except that the rest of Windows grinds to a halt while I am playing.

As for the bug itself: select a 10-lap race and wait for it to complete. Smash up a few cars to kill the time. When the race is over all the remaining cars drive into their respective pit stops and park. Drive up to one of the cars and shunt it at about five miles per hour:

As you may have gathered, both the collision detection and friction fail and it drifts off through the crowd and finally disappears. A clearer view is visible from the action replay:

While approaching the pits, I also saw a bug that I’ve never seen before: the two cars in the picture below are behind two sets of wall but nevertheless still show right through it:

The above issue may be DOSBox-related as the crowd stands keep disappearing too but this does not occur in native DOS. I am not sure why DOSBox would cause such strange problems, though.

Posted 7th August 2006 – Comments and questions?