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Microsoft's version of Chip's Challenge

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Screenshot of the Microsoft version

Microsoft's version of Chip's Challenge, also known as CHIPS.EXE or MSCC, refers to the version of Chip's Challenge included in the Microsoft Entertainment Pack 4 and the Best of Microsoft Entertainment pack. The term is used to differentiate Microsoft's version of the game with Tile World's version of the MS ruleset.

MSCC is a 16-bit program, and therefore cannot be run on 64-bit versions of Windows, although there are several workarounds for this.

Differences from Lynx

Microsoft's port made a number of small but significant departures from the original Lynx game. They are documented in detail as the "MS ruleset", but those most notable to a casual player are as follows.

Aesthetic and gameplay differences

Objects do not move smoothly from one cell to another. Instead, they move instantaneously (activating any terrain they step on immediately as well), then have a brief cooldown before they can move again. This can make it more difficult to gauge when Chip is able to move, whether he's moving through an open area vs stuck on an invisible wall, or when he can slip between two monsters.

There are no splashes or explosions when objects move into water or bombs. This eliminates splash delay and makes some kinds of block-pushing much faster, but also makes it less clear when a monster has drowned.

MSCC only has two (possibly three) music tracks, versus the thirteen level tracks in the Lynx version.

All monsters, except walkers and bugs, are free to walk onto fire, where (except for the fireball) they will die.

Chip's arsenal of tools was made more thematically appropriate: the fire shield became fire boots, the water shield because flippers (and, unlike Lynx, Chip has unique artwork for swimming), and the magnet became suction boots. The cleats also became ice skates, which makes somewhat less sense.

It seems that many of the game's tiles were first named by the help file that shipped with this version. The original Lynx manual referred to game elements very informally, and didn't name any monsters (other than the tank) at all.

Level differences

A thin wall was removed in Spirals to compensate for changes in how walkers behave, which had made the level incredibly difficult. This happened sometime after release, as several players found they had the original Lynx version, which came to be known as the "corrupted" version.

The connections between traps and their buttons is swapped in Time Lapse and drastically different in Catacombs. (In Lynx, red and brown buttons connect automatically in reading order, so these manually altered connections are not possible.)

The central room in Skelzie is two cells taller, with an extra row of floor added at both top and bottom.

An ice tile was added near the southeastern corner of Perfect Match.

The hints in Lesson 3 and Paranoia were changed to reflect the redesigned boots.

The hint in Cellblocked was changed to reflect the different controls.

Hints in general were converted from all uppercase (a restriction of the Lynx version's sprite font) to sentence case, although the same was not done for level tiles.

In a number of Lynx levels, Chip initially faces north; however, when the level loads, he immediately turns to face south, so this is almost imperceptible. In several MSCC levels, Chip begins the level facing in a non-south direction and will stay this way until the player starts the level. These levels are Digger, Chchchips, Kablam, and All Full.

Gameplay differences between MSCC and Tile World's emulation


Although the game only shipped with two music tracks (which simply cycle per level), if the semi-standard sample MIDI "canyon.mid" was available, it would be added to the rotation as a third track.

A number of different keystrokes will add a secret Ignore Passwords option (likely intended for debugging) to the Level menu.

A new secret credits level, Thanks to..., fills the unused slot between the end of the normal game and first normal secret level. As this level can't be reached from the previous one and its password, TONY, is not mentioned anywhere in the game or manual, it is very difficult to discover casually.