For the next coffee break and by popular request, here are the detailed instructions for the ChemInvaders game in the Agilent ChemStation software. For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that for the first test, the game should not necessarily be started during an important analysis run, in the main window of the instrument view. The offline version is more suitable here. The game is an "Easter egg" and therefore unmanaged code. Info about other hidden games in Agilent hardware can be found in our blog entry linked.
The game is integrated into every 32-bit version of Agilent Multitechniques and OpenLab ChemStation software for GC, LC, LC/MS, CE, CE/MS and A/D instruments. The functional Multitechniques versions start with version B.01.01 dated September 2, 2004 and go up to the latest version B.04.03 SP1 dated March 6, 2012. All previously released OpenLAB CDS ChemStation Editionen (as of Dez. 2018) are also functional. This also applies to all patch levels released so far. Older 16-bit A.xx.xx versions as well as all GC/MSD Productivity ChemStation versions or MassHunter, however, do not contain the game.
The game is started by entering the command _LoadServiceChemInvaders from the command line and loaded directly into the main window of ChemStation. A separate menu line with the game commands <File|Restart> and <File|Exit> is also generated. ChemInvaders is a single player game, based on the well known arcade game Space Invaders, with high score table, button control, 800x600 - 256 colors graphics and 11 KHz, 8 bit, mono sound output.
Use the left and right arrow keys to move your base (injector tower) along the bottom of the screen to shoot down the endless waves of aliens rushing towards Earth. The space bar is used to fire the laser base. There are four shields (GLP icons) behind which the base is protected, with the shields being weakened by friendly fire or enemy missiles. The speed of enemy ships accelerates, with decreasing number of alliens. When shooting down the sporadically appearing mother ship (IC icon), you also get more extra points. The game ends when the player's laser base is destroyed three times or the invaders overrun the base line.
Shields / Bunkers
Invader 1. Wave
Invader 2. Wave
Invader 3. Wave
(50-150 Points random)
Tips & Tricks
- The highscore table is saved in a normal text file under ..\Chem32\CORE\highscore.txt. It can also be edited with any text editor.
- When the laser base is controlled, it moves continuously to the horizontal edge of the screen. Use the up or down arrow keys to stop directly and get the best shooting position.
- The maximum rate of fire is about two seconds. Therefore, you should not use the space bar to stop the movement, otherwise the time to fire will be prolonged.
- Unlike the original Space Invaders game, the alien waves move down one row when reaching the left edge of the window only.
- You start with a full three  lives on each new level.
- The window and thus the game can only be closed via its own menu bar under <File|Exit>. There is no "Boss" button.