We know that pretty much any game released today will have its quota of problems. But the early ones did, too. Only back then, most of those bugs tended to be in the player’s favor.

Of course, some might not think of those “undocumented features” as being favorable. It took an iron will to ignore the temptations of unlimited wealth or unlimited experience. And we all know how easily iron can rust. Ahem.

The great classic was Wizardry: Proving Grounds Of The Mad Overlord. For those few who may not be familiar with it, the game had mages and clerics, and a class called Bishop. Bishops could cast both sets of spells. They also had a unique ability to identify unknown magic items.

Wiz was stingy on inventory. We’re used to mountains of gear: all the stuff we have equipped, plus what’s lugged around in our backpacks. But this game allowed only eight slots for everything, equipped or not, and the slots were numbered (naturally) 1-8.

So the Bishop identified items by number. And the trick came with item #9, which, of course, didn’t exist. “Id item #9”, and the party received huge amounts of experience.

It was so easy: just pop down to the dungeon, id #9, then bop up the stairs to the stables for a free rest and skyrocketing levels. In no time at all, players had teams of six high-level Bishops parading through the levels. Now, that’s a feature!

A similar oversight happened in Bard’s Tale III: The Thief Of Fate. Someone who was farther along warned me I’d really need a thief in the party. So on my way back to the Adventurers Guild (where experience was handed out for jobs completd), I dropped off one character and created a thief.

We waltzed into the Guild, and suddenly experience points were being handed out in a flood. Not just for the thief, but for everyone! They were getting points for all the little errands they’d done in the past, along with the thief, who I suspect was the only one who should have received them.

Even worse (or better, depending on your viewpoint), you could pulls this off with a summoned creature. The party had a special slot for this. It was easy to call up any critter, walk into the Guild, and get those points all over again.

Might & Magic VI had the ever-full chest in Dragonsand. If you could survive the dragons, you could re-enter the sector over and over to fill your pockets with gold. A good thing, actually, since training cost money, and became more expensive the higher in level the characters became.

Of course, there are dangers, too. In Might & Magic VII, in the Hall Of The Fire King, you could stay in conversation with him after doing his errand, and keep getting experience for it.

A friend of mine literally spaced out doing that, something she hadn’t intended. She just got into the rhythm of hitting the space bar, and woke up to find the party had maxed out. Which totally screwed the game, as there wasn’t much point in going on, and she stopped playing with that group.

Ah yes, undocumented features. Ya gotta love ’em….