Obscure Video Games: Michigan: Report from Hell

Hell is other people

On its surface, Michigan doesn’t appear to stand out from the crowd of survival horror games that infested the PlayStation 2. A mysterious virus is turning everybody into monsters and you have to fight to stay alive. However, this is a Grasshopper Manufacture title, a studio that likes to do things a bit differently.

Let’s start with the name. Michigan doesn’t take place in Michigan; all the action here is in Chicago. The title comes from Lake Michigan, where a plane crashed and appeared to start the outbreak. The game was never available for sale in Michigan, Chicago or any other place in the USA either. It only saw release in Japan in 2004 and Europe the following year. Continue reading

History of QWERTY Keyboard

We have been using QWERTY keyboards for ages. Most of us have been believing that the unusual arrangement of the keys, rather than ABCD, is because the people who used mechanical typewriters in the past moved their fingers too fast–fast enough that it would jam the typewriters.

It might have been one of the probable causes which compelled active minds to think about arranging the keys in a random fashion, QWERTY. But, the story can be a total myth, or somewhat, less accurate. And it becomes more convincing after we read a piece of text tagged as a ‘research paper’. Continue reading

Alpha Protocol Hex Editing Money

Or take a hex editor to your saved games. Your saved games are in ‘My Documents\Alpha Protocol\Checkpoints’, where ‘default.sav’ is your last checkpoint save and ‘safehouse.sav’ your last safehouse save. BACK THEM UP BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING. You could note down how much cash you have in game, convert it to hex values and search for it in the saved game… but you can also simply search for text string ‘Money’ to find the location. In the left column, where the letter-number pairs are, find the spot that corresponds to ‘y’ in ‘Money’ in right column. Note the two groups of 00’s after that? Your cash is in the 2 or 3 bytes padded with those zeros. Replace whatever the cash numbers are with FF’s.