Shockwave: the automatic save game feature by David Liu

text by David R. Liu <>

Here's how I think the Shockwave save game process works:

You start off with 3 attempts, indicated by the 3 green boxes in a virgin pilot's record screen. Every time you complete a mission, you get another green box. If you:

  1. fail either by giving up or dying, you lose a green box.
  2. get to and live through the end of the mission, but have less than x/x objectives met (failed to complete one or more mission ogals) then you don;t lose any green boxes, and get to try again.
HOWEVER, if you are misfortunate enough to lose ALL your green boxes, you have no more attempts left and then you are given an option:

STOP ends your game period, no save game, no advanced level you worked all night to reach, nothing.

PAUSE continues your saved game from a score of ZERO.

Thus, if you see the flatline FMV where you die and you accidently hit STOP a few times, you will likely axe your game without realizing it.

If you are careful about pressing PAUSE and STOP at appropriate times, i don;t think anyone will have problems with lost saved games. I've only lost one saved game, and that was from killing the power of the 3do during a mission.

I don't think there IS any save game bug:

Shockwave is strict-- no argument there-- and if you try to cheese it by cutting the power before you resolve your current sortie then you lose your record. However, everything else makes sense. You can't simply keep banging on stop or pause and expect nothing to happen. There is a screen after you exhaust all your attempts which says EXPLICITLY that if you press STOP, you will lose your game forever. So if some impatient and frustrated user hits his stop button 10 times during his death scene, the buffer simply causes him to trigger the "RESTART" (lose your game) option rather than the continue option.

In fact, several of the so called "BUGS" in this game are not bugs at all but people who have failed to read the manual or understand how this admittedly complex game functions.

I'll be surprised if anyone shows me a REAL BUG that truly cannot be prevented by some good common sense in Shockwave.