Poll Question 328 – Do you ever replay sections of mods that you originally cheated in?

Those readers/viewers who have been following or watching my recent playthrough of Coastline to Atmosphere: Phillip Sings Badly (Yes, the series is called Phillip Plays Badly, but if you watch the video for long enough, you will understand why) may have noticed I cheated on a particular section. In fact, I “cheated” twice.

The first time was because of what I believe is a design error – I left the buggy and progressed forward, only to come back and find the buggy behind a gate that had risen.

Now you could argue that I left the buggy in the wrong place but I argue “How is the player supposed to know?!”. In this case I used impulse 82 to spawn a new buggy. There was no way I was going to replay that whole section again.

The second time, linked to above, seems an absolutely unbeatable section. Every single time, I was instantly killed by a strider, even though I had 100 health points. That seems totally unfair.

Now because I was live on Twitch, I kept playing for a while and eventually used BUDDHA mode and continued. If I had been playing alone, I might have kept trying.

However, yesterday, I reloaded the section from the beginning and replayed it. I finished it in a few moments and felt cheated.

I felt cheated because it was very easy to do but not from where I tried last time. Yes, I know that might not make sense, so just watch the video if you can bear it.

This weeks question was formed from that exact experience. Often you just need to approach a situation with a different tactic and stopping playing and coming back another day is all it needs.

If somebody asked me “Did you cheat when play CtA? I’m not sure what I should say. Technically, I did cheat, but I also beat the section without cheating too.


Oh, if anybody wants my save file to see if they can pass that section from my exact situation, just let me know. In fact, I might make a mini-challenge from it.

Watch me cheat here – be warned, your ears might bleed.

Here is the full playthrough, either jump to 37:32 to see the start of the “event” or use the link above.

Your chance to vote

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  1. Zekiran

    I can’t say specifically because I’ve played a lot of mods and HAD to cheat on numerous occasions to see where I was going or to not die repeatedly. Usually if it’s a section where all I need to do is locate a specific door or figure out a trigger point I missed, I’ll go back almost immediately and try it again until it works.

    I remember that section of CtA that you’re playing … >_> good lord dude, it’s not hitting the strider because apparently you stop aiming the rocket launcher 🙂 I’m not entirely positive I remember what I wound up doing there, but it was a difficult section to be sure.

    …. Coastline to Atmosphere is one of those ‘broken’ mods, which I will have to retry using the newer maptap to see if I can’t get back there. One of the maps is outright broken and can’t be loaded, and/or my saves got weird after moving the games around/engine updates.

    But yes, I’ll resort to a cheat, but know full well that in some cases (particularly CTA and other such longer and better mods) it was very likely something that I just missed and needed to figure out, rather than a bad mod issue. (there are plenty of those, which I do not feel compelled to re-run through without cheating. usually if I had to once, and it didn’t become apparent immediately what to do, I figure screw it it’s the modder not testing.)

  2. I guess it depends on the mod itself, i’ll do my best to replay the part if the mod was enjoyable for the most part and abandon it if it ever goes too far more than i can handle.

  3. Jay

    Most of the time in mods, if I cheat, it’s because I’m stuck or something’s gone wrong with a trigger or the like.

  4. Hec

    Yes specially with the “Riot in Progress” mod for HL1. In that one I cheated almost all the time the first time I played it about some 10 years ago. I had a terrible remorse feeling for doing that, so 10 years later I played it “legally” (just guided by some video walkthroughs) and I quite enjoyed it.

    I think RIP should be covered by RTSL, in the “classic of the month” event. Of course the mod is difficult but it can be fixed to make it playable and enjoyable.

  5. If I had to cheat, then the author did something wrong. Now, whether it was intentional or unintentional, that’s really the question.

    If it’s an unforeseen logic gaffe, that’s one thing. Perhaps the mapper didn’t anticipate me doing what I did. Perhaps I’ll replay it just to see if that’s indeed what it was. But if it is the result of bad balancing or design (“You expected me to do what?” / “How was I supposed to know that?”) or becomes a habitual thing, then yeah, you’re pretty much getting a Think Twice at best from me.

  6. 2muchvideogames

    I try not to cheat if possible, unless there are glitches. Loads of mods had issues where I got stuck in the architecture or something other logic problem. Usually gravity change is enough to fix that. But I think the issue you are referring to is whether one should cheat if the difficulty was too high. It sux getting stuck in one spot over and over, ESPECIALLY on LIVE STREAMS. This is one of the reasons why I save up ammo for powerful weapons. Also, it helps to use different strategies when going up against stiff roadblocks like that. I think thats what happens when you replay a mod, you get into a different situation from the first time.

    RIP was very tough, especially in the beginning where save gems are few and tough enemies appear right in the beginning, alongside elaborately complex puzzles and secret buttons behind fake walls. Theres even a huge escort mission around the halfway point that spans maybe 3-5 maps. It is very difficult, no question, and it’d be hard not to cheat. But if I remember correctly, there weren’t any game breaking bugs or ways to get stuck (even with some buttons hidden in fake walls that took forever to find).

  7. I guess in a way, I’m the opposite of Zekiran. She’s played lots of mods and cheated a few times; I’m still very much a newbie when it comes to singleplayer mods and I’ve cheated never. In fact, I don’t cheat in videogames (Garry’s Mod excluded, mostly because I use that ‘creatively’ – i.e. to make crap – and need the tools hidden behind sv_cheats 1).

    Sure, mod designers don’t exactly have the opportunity for massive beta testing before release, so it makes sense to skip parts that are buggy or are a modder’s honest mistake. That said, I would rather spend an hour or two trying to beat it and then quit in frustration than see what’s beyond that particularly troublesome part through a quick cheat. It just isn’t my style. I’m not one of those hardcore difficulty-fanatics, I prefer to enjoy myself rather than struggle, but at the same time, I find that it sucks the joy out of everything if you need to ‘break’ the game to succeed.

    That said, I haven’t played enough mods to state for certain that I will never do so. But it’s most likely I’ll quit and never touch it again in that case.

    1. Zekiran

      Oh, you’ll get to that point, in some. 😉

  8. SPY

    Quit silly of me, but i only just noticed now that you played CtoA again Phillip, and even made a video of it. I have been watching the video above for about an hour or so i guess, (somewere past the part with the 2 striders in the small section).

    Its true, CtoA wasn’t tested thoghrowly at all. And that was a huge mistake. Back then i thought i still could do without testing. But please don’t forget, i did make this mod many, many years ago and still had to learn a lot back then, which proves. I hope i may say i have learned a lot.

    Biggest problem with mapping that i always have is that i can’t forsee what a player all can and will do. Thats why i always LOVE to see these playthrough videos, specially with spoken comment of the one who is playing it. Would have loved to listen in while you did, maybe you can give me a notice up front should you decide to play another mod of mine Phillip?

    Sorry that you did get stuck so many times, or died due to bad mapping.
    By the way, CtoA was for quit some time broken due to some errors that were caused by one of the Valve updates. But, a coder looked in to all my mods and made for each one a patch file, which fixes all these issues;

    – “Could not load library client.” when launching the mod.
    – Scene files not playing.
    – In-game menu.
    – Gameinfo.txt now has correct parameters
    – Missing game text in introductory level (leonHL2-2)
    – Jeep crash on third map (leonHL2-2c)

    The patch is called;
    Coastline to Atmosphere Patch – Source SDK 2013

    (don’t want to play links to other sites here, but maybe you could add it here otherwise, if you whish Phillip?)

    Will keep watching on now, again, love that video!
    Although i do feel your pain sometimes Phillip, when you get killed again, or get stuck again, just because my mapping was far from flawless.


    1. My playthrough already includes the patch.

      Would have loved to listen in while you did, maybe you can give me a notice up front should you decide to play another mod of mine Phillip?

      I announce my playthroughs on my Twitter account and often in other posts.

      I will be playing SM next weekend.

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