Easter egg. Cell 95B. If you know what I am talking about, you belong to the selected few. If you have seen the faces at the end of the tall walls, you are not only a geek, you are mature, and you are either persistent or possess decent video game motor skills. Please leave a comment, I’d like to be your friend.

It could be due to boredom. It could be COVID related. It could be a lot of things. But nostalgia hit me this morning. I remembered the Doom-like game I once played because I didn’t believe it. Many years ago, rumours had it that there was a 3D video game hidden in Excel 95. (Back then, it was just Excel.) You’d have to follow a certain sequence to get to it. I have always liked video games but I don’t play them for two main practical reasons: I get killed instantly; and I get nauseous. My brain knows that I am sitting still but my sensory organs tell my brain otherwise. Shouldn’t all humans feel nauseous? I mean feeling nauseous means that my sensory organs and my brain are functioning as expected. Please explain to me what’s with all these gamers who don’t feel a thing?

Anyway, the sequence went something like this: go to row 95 and select the entire row. Tab to column B, go to Help/About. Memory was failing me, so I googled it. Here are the rest of the instructions apparently:

  1. Hold down ctrl-alt-shift and click on the tech support button
  2. A window appears called “Hall of Tortured Souls”
  3. Do a 180 turn and type “excelkfa”.
  4. Walk on the walls.

I don’t recall turning 180 nor typing anything, but I remember walking on top of those zigzag walls and having fallen many times. This was where persistence or video game motor skills would be essential. I have zero of the latter, so I must rely on persistence. I kept at it whenever I was on break. Eventually, I got to the other side and witnessed the scrolling credits and faces of developers, testers, and others who deemed worthy of mention.

No doubt a copy of Excel 95 is hard to come by these days. But I wanted to relive the experience; and of course, someone recorded it. Take a look. The audio is his/her own.

A few things came to mind. Why “tortured”? Did they feel frustrated facing some of the development challenges? Were they working under inhumane conditions? Dilbert’s boss problem? The reason is probably academic now. But I want to thank them for having created the game. It amazed me. Even now, it reminds me that people get creative no matter what the circumstances are. It is nice to see.

Originally published at https://flosolaw.com.

Ingredients: 15 years of tech, 5 years of law, 1.5 startups, 3 ounces of creativity, a dash of mischief. Stir.

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