Even though Captive is a fine piece of software, it still has bugs. Any programmer understands that it's almost impossible to write bugless code as soon as it gets a bit complicated. Here are the known bugs for the Atari/Amiga versions (programmed by Antony Crowther) and PC version (programmed by Anthony Taglioni based on Antony Crowther's original code).
Atari and Amiga versions
- The map generator will freeze when generating base 1 of mission 2316. It happens during the creation of the planet probe computers when the generator randomly seeks two dead ends (for the computer) with a free cell in front of it (for the encounter holding the clipboard/password). This map has only one valid spot, but the generator has unfortunately decided to create 2 computers. The generator is caught in an endless loop trying to find the second spot. The bug has been fixed in the integrated map generator of SuperCC and is impossible to play otherwise.
- Space station of mission 3613 doesn't have Trill. Since Trill can't be rescued, it becomes impossible to go any further.
- You can run faster than a speeding bullet, literally. This is easily achieve by firing a slow moving gas cloud from a spraygun while having the "Greaser" Dev-Scape turned on. You can even do the same when punching while running, and the droid will punch itself! This can severely damage the droids.
- A pushable wall will replace "Dark area" and water cells into normal cells. The serious bug is that it will also do the same with fire cells, allowing the player to break the labyrinth and access regions he's not allowed to access. The Captive code is written specifically to allow it to happen, but perhaps the danger of it was not considered.
- The maximum experience points the droids can get is 4,194,303 but can wrap back to 0 if you exceed this amount, so if you have played for months without upgrading the skills, you will lose all the experience points.
- Captive will crash following the "Game Over" animation after the droids are killed while being in space. To do so, you need to remove every single item from all droids, except 1 item. Climb in the lander, and once in space, remove the final item. After the animation and disolve effect, the game will crash. Yes, very rare and perhaps picky, but it can happen!
- The map generator of Captive 1.0 may create a puzzle clipboard (the solution) on the same cell that this puzzle affects once solved. This makes the solution unreacheable most of the time. This issue happens in 4380 bases and has been fixed in version 1.2 by forcing the creation of a fake wall where the clipboard is created. This makes the puzzle pointless since we can simply walk right through the puzzle's obstacle, but at least the player is no longer stuck without a puzzle solution.
- Quickly pounding on the up/down key while being under/over a ladder and while the inventory is displayed might not give enough time for the engine to ensure the droids are still under/over a ladder after changing floor. This might send the droids in an unexpected region of a floor such as in the middle of solid rock or in an unlocked region with no way of escaping. Also note that the inventory's mini-view has to be turned off for this bug to occur.
- When touching fire while using the Anti-Grav Dev-Scape (being upside-down), the feet are still the one getting the damage.
- Even though a droid is killed, its inventory is still accessible. Thanks to this, you can kill a droid (ie. remove the chest and hit a wall), put a single item in its inventory, and finally kill all other droids. Instead of getting a "Game Over" screen, Captive will keep running. Of course, you will not be able to see anything on the main screen, but you can still use the camera to guide your droids around. Since the droids are ghosts, encounters will not see them and the droids can use power sockets to cause damage.
- You don't need to be facing a switch/puzzle to activate its components. The switch can be on the opposite side of the wall you're clicking on while its cupboard is still closed, and you will still be able to activate its components.
- If we double-click an item while the hand is charged, the system will convert the item into an explosion on the first click and then drop the "explosion" on the second click before it has time to remove it from the hand. This will leave the explosion in place with a weight of 486.4 kg. If the double-click is done on an object on the floor, the explosion will be displayed as a bullet because the system isn't meant to display an explosion on the floor.
- The system will first move all flying items (thrown objects, weapon projectiles, electric bolts, etc.), then move encounters, and finally check for collisions between flying objects and encounters. This will occasionally make an object pass right through an encounter when the object and encounter move at the exact same time because the encounter moves to the cell that had the object and the object moves to the cell that had the encounter without both being simultaneously on the same cell for a collision.
- Gunners move on spinners like fire encounters move in fire. When it's time to validate the destination cell of an encounter movement, the system prioritizes the verification of a spinner before the verification of an encounter's immobility specification. To this effect, a Gunner next to a spinner will be allowed to move on it.
- If the Deflector shield is active, an encounter ammunition will bounce back and forth inside the droids' cell when fired right next to them. Although this seems like a small bug, it's considered medium because the encounter is not affected by its own hit (one of the major purpose of the Deflector)
- We can say it's acceptable for a camera to see on the other side of a door, but it shouldn't be acceptable to see on the other side of the base entrance. The color of the cells on the other side correspond to the cell the droids were standing when the camera was dropped.
- Although disabled when sleeping, the pause button still works.
- While seeing upside-down using the Anti-Grav Dev-Scape, the mini-monitor (activated with the remote control) will still show the upside-up image.
- Floppy drives of Atari ST version are labeled "DF0:" to "DF3:", which are labels for Amiga drives.
- Hitting "Pause" doesn't deactivate the buttons, even though they don't work.
- "Spraygun" skill is written "Spaygun" in the skills screen.
- Ending a mission in failure writes the message "Droid's have failed" or "Droid's are to be wasted" (the problem being with "Droid's" instead of "Droids")
- When an item is dropped in the hole of a ladder, it falls on the floor below. The bug happens when dropping an item above the hole of a ladder leading both up and down. The item should fall 2 floors down, but it only falls to the floor that has the ladder leading both ways.
- The radar in conjunction with the mapper may sometimes give the impression that there are encounters in solid rock. Understanding how the Map Generator works explains why this happens, but still, I'm sure it could have been avoided.
- Clicking anywhere on the keyboard screen will generate a keyboard click
- Elevator bugs
- Items next to the exterior side of an elevator door will be transported to the destination floor
- When an elevator appears after being called or disappears after being called, the animation might show the elevator heading in an impossible direction. For example, you might be on the first floor and the elevator animation will make it as if it's coming from the floor below, which doesn't exist.
- The code was written to move the droids and items inside a moving elevator, but nothing else. If you somehow trap a "Door Man" or "Brains" encounter inside an elevator, they logically should move away when the elevator leaves, but they don't. This is confirmed using the radar optic device.
- A bit similar than above, leaving a camera alone in an elevator will not move with it when the elevator leaves. This can be verified by viewing the camera monitor. The part where the bug is different is when we're asking the camera to generate a perfect view; this will restore the elevator through the "black window" of its doors.
- If you call an elevator and look through the window of a different elevator nearby, the appearing/disappearing elevator animation will be seen on this elevator even though the elevator has never been called. Furthermore, if the doors of the first elevator open at the precise time the other doors are closing, the black window will be displayed on the first elevator.
- In cases where an elevator leads to a solid wall in front of its doors, the map generator will sometimes generate an encounter in that solid wall making them appear like out of nowhere.
- As you might already know, there's a trick to increase the amount of "Flambos Gas" shots from 10 to 60 by dropping the canistor into fire (click here for more details). Internally, the game uses the same cell code to define grass located outside a base, but the environment check has been forgotten. Because of this, you can get the same result by dropping a canistor on grass. Same goes for a battery too.
- When the lander will reach a locked space station, the infobox will say "Landing successful" even though it hasn't landed at all.
- The Atari loading image says "Music and FX: SuperCC" and the introduction image (aka "the bouncing lines") says "Music by SuperCC on SoundTracker", but there's no music on the Atari.
- The planet probe can be dropped on the holamap to eventually display "Probe reveals a base" in the infobox. However, right-clicking a hand that has a planet probe will not immediately write anything in the infobox until it requires an update (item picked up, going into inventory, showing skills, etc.) to which the infobox will write "Disk has revealed a base". This string is very interesting since it mentions a "Disk" and not a "Probe" which is believed to be pre-Captive material (see the "Pre-Captive" page for details.)
- If you are standing on a ladder while sleeping, the up and down buttons are still enabled. The droids can change floor levels while sleeping! The same bug also occurs while being in a shop.
- Mothership and lander messages do not appear in the infobox while the droids are sleeping. For example, you can specify a planet/moon destination and then sleep while the mothership travels to it. Once reached, the droids will be woken up but the message "Arrived at destination" will not be written.
- A camera dropped on a dark area cell becomes invisible. We can see the encounters, fire hydrants, water, etc., but not a camera.
- Walls directly on the other side of a wall with an opened hole are not drawn. Although this doesn't sound so bad, a more important side effect is that the decorations related to the wall are drawn giving the illusion of floating decorations. In the example below, a raiser wall is behind the wall hole. As you can see, the button decoration is drawn, but not the wall itself.
- When creating outside maps, the map generator makes sure the lander doesn't land on water or on a wall. Unfortunately, it is possible that the lander lands right on the base entrance door or even right in the middle of the base.
- A camera cannot be picked up while it's standing in a door frame
- If the "Guru Meditation" message appears while the Anti-Grav device is active, the image below the message will temporarily be displayed upside-up.
- Quickly moving backward while an iris door is being opened or closed will always show it closed until it's fully opened.
- Group display can be activated pretty much anytime. Unfortunately, this causes some issues.
- At game start, it is possible to use group display to drag a chip onto a droid brain. The play screen turns into the expected computer screen with keyboard allowing you to name your character, but the group display remains. The result looks very odd.
- While being in space, having the group displayed while the lander hits the landing spot will have the information box read "Landing successful", but the lander will end up returning to the mothership instead of landing.
- Trill will not move toward the droids while group display is active.
- Floating encounters cannot access spinner cells. Once the code is modified to allow the access, nothing seems to be out of the ordinary, so it's assumed to be a bug.
- In the 1991 issue #28 of the magazine "The One", the programmer makes several references to the "Route-Finder" device whereas the device is actually called "Root-Finder" in the game. The programmer has confirmed that the real device name was meant to be "Route-Finder" but never paid any attention to the mistake since both names can be right.
- Hitting the pause, preference or "Zzz" button while recharging an item will stop the recharge process but not the fizzling sparks animation.
- If the game initialization discovers that the system has 512k of RAM, it skips the generation of the DMA sound file initially meant for stereo sounds. The bug is that the code jumps to the wrong address, skipping the bass and tremble adjustments, giving a different sound quality on those system.
- When pushing a pushable wall over a hole in the floor, both the wall and hole will disappear to give the illusion that the wall filled the hole. Yet, the hole on the ceiling of the floor below is still present and accessible.
- To give the illusion of movement, a pushable wall will vertically shake slightly when pushed. The bug is that all visible pushable walls shake when only 1 is moving.
- Impact on the entrance door (from the inside) generates the sound of something hitting a wall.
- A clipboard created on a dark area cell by the map generator will make the cell bright. It's easy to think it was meant to be this way to make it easier to locate the clipboard, but there is a code to support such a cell and the map generator does try to hide the clipboard in darkness; it unfortunately does it at the wrong time. As proof, a clipboard dropped on a dark cell by a droid will keep the cell dark.
- Water does not show under fake walls or ladders even if it comes from fire hydrants.
Logic bugs are issues that the programmer may have been aware but ignored due to their impossibility to solve easily.
- The Anti-Grav Dev-Scape doesn't work outside
- Droids have a third hand hidden somewhere. I mean, if your leader has weapons in both hands, who's hand is picking up things on the floor! And, by the way, droids are right handed.
- Grate traps should not work while the Anti-Grav Dev-Scape is active.
- Exploding generators will follow the root path.
- Water from fire hydrants won't extinguish fire.
- You cannot open more than 4 automatic doors. An automatic door is one that closes by itself after a short period of time, so it includes elevator doors and blue doors combined. The same goes for raiser walls, but they have their own separate timers.
- An exploding Zlot will leave the explosion into the hand. Although illogic and should be seen as a bug, it could have been volontarily made this way to let the player see that the weapon exploded, but it's doubtful.
- Mines can't be deployed anywhere than clear floor cells
- When a request is made to generate a real view of the camera while it's facing the droids, they are not visible
- The propulsion system of the Bug encounter lightens a floor with a hole
- Selecting one of the droid located at the back of the group as the leader should make the view obstructed by the head of the droid in front
- As described in the Miscellaneous page, exploding generators no longer provide electricity to elements requiring it, yet the base lights and elevators are still fully functional
- It is very unclear what detonates a mine. For droids, it detonates as soon as you step on it. For an encounter, it's on the next move after it has stepped on it. For a camera, it's even stranger; it's only when it leaves the mine but it won't detonate if you drop a camera on the mine or pick it up. Furthermore, blowing up the camera using it's auto-destruction feature will not detonate the mine under it.
- The fizzling sparks indicate that the hand is charged. Knowing that the charge constantly decreases, we can know how long it takes for a charge to deplete. Logically, depletion should occur much faster while the droids are sleeping, but it's not the case.
- When looking at a camera's view of an iris door being opened by the droids located on the other side of that door, the pushed buttons match those as seen by the droids. In fact, they should be horizontally mirrored.
The conversion to PC was done by Anthony "Tag" Taglioni. Captive was originally written for the 68000 processor and since this version had to be created for the x86 processor, it had to be completely rewritten based on the original code. To this effect, most bugs (if not all) of the Atari/Amiga version are present in the PC version along with the following bugs.
- The map generator will sometimes generate maps that are impossible to play. Fortunately, this always seems to happen at the very beginning.
- Although rare, the game sometimes freeze.
- It sometimes happen that encounters temporarily disappear while attacking. You can even walk through them while they are 'invisible'!
- Our mouse cursor cannot leave the edge of the screen, even partially. This makes it difficult to click on buttons that are on the edge, such as camera buttons.
- Encounters never leave a mine when destroyed
- It sometimes happen that the "Instant kill using the ladder" trick doesn't work.
- Shooting through "walls with holes" doesn't always work.
- The 'Vision corrector' optic has annoying red horizontal bars just like the 'Visor'
- The icon of a leg in our hand is corrupted.
- The graphic of a door might partially be drawn over a wall when looking through a wall hole.
- On some systems, throwing bolts of electricity sometimes never ends, as long as you don't move your mouse at all.
- The die doesn't always work when activated in the hand. It sometimes need to be removed and placed back.
- A map dropped by an encounter will always be "Basic". Bug or unsupported feature? Only Tag knows.
- When asked to orbit a planet on the Atari and Amiga versions, the Swan will reach the requested destination, move to the left side of it, turn 90 degrees clockwise (point upward) then start orbiting clockwise. On the PC version, the Swan will reach the destination, move to its top (pointing upward) then start orbiting counter-clockwise while still spinning clockwise.
Note that this bug is way too weird. It is almost impossible that the programmer missed it so we may have to consider the culprit to be the emulator. Either that or the programmer who stores the information in a memory region too short to handle a value that was only valid in 1990's technology.
- Raiser walls cannot be activated by firing on them
- Although the PC version has music, it doesn't always work well. Sometimes, volume is inconsistent or instruments stop playing when the Sound Blaster card is selected.
- A sound will be generated, regardless of the distance.