Greetings From The Planet Hack.

Hack. Not a pleasant sounding word is it? It can evoke a lot of emotion from people, particularly from our little borough in this big ole' computer age. I am not here to parlay myopinion on hacks, merely to inform and educate (yeah, right). Am I a hack you're asking? No, far from it. I don't have the time, aptitude or urge. I'm not a devout anti-hacker either, engaged in a virtual "Holy War*" against the hack-race. I'm an observer, a stand-by in this whole affair. 

You know what I thought would be fun? I thought it would be fun to create a little activity --That's what my elementary teachers called them -- activities: It's basically a sham, a way to get kids to listen to what the teacher is saying, guising it as something fun. That's what I want to do-- trick you into listening to me. So I give you a whole mess of stuff I compiled pertaining to hacks.

Part One: What is a Hack?

I looked it up in the dictionary -- I think you might find it interesting what I found. Webster's defines hack as one of the following: 

1. To Sever or cut off, with several unskillful blows, with a sharpened object. Oops! That's hackthe verb, we want hack the noun. We'll start again. 

Webster's defines hack as one of the following: 

1. An implement for hacking (dur-hey!) 

2. A small imperfection (a nick or notch) 

3. A short, dry cough 

4. A stroke or blow (hmmmm) 

5. A punishment for naval officers (PLEASE say it's not #4) 

6. A former workhorse, now used as a saddle horse -- also known as a JADE (coincidence?) 

7. A taxi driver (are you looking at me? I don't see anyone else here so you must be....oh nevermind) 

8. People (usually a writer) who produces mediocre material . . . Why are you looking at me like that? 

Okay so that went nowhere . . . let's go on to part two.

Part Two: Know your Hacks

Since there is no ology associated with the study, definition and organization of hacks, I thought I would create one. I don't think anyone, hacks included, will deny that there are a variety of hacks to be found: some more infamous than others. What I give you is a basis for recognizing different breeds of hacks. I'm thinking of making flash cards for myself. 

The Mondo Zen Jedi Master of Hacks (hackus ambrosia) - These guys form the pinnacle of the hack pyramid. These are the guys that I find myself in awe of. They almost seem connected with some other plane of reality that I can't quite comprehend. Whenever I bare witness to one in a game (which is rare), They usually arrive in some biblically bizarre creation, as if sent from the heavens -- only to make some sort of vague declaration..."I've just created something...something's full of stars..." -- ***NIMBUS HAS EXITED THE GAME and possibly this existence. One usually has nothing to fear from this breed of hack -- he is not concerned with "earthly" matters. 

The Hack Pioneer (hackus ferox) - These are veteran hacks who have deemed it necessary to go beyond the confines of the game. I-76 bored them long ago -- they want bigger, faster, tougher, weirder, what have you . . . usually not a threat to the I-76 community, because they usually contain their exploits to themselves, like the Gods on Olympus, but occasionally you'll encounter one who has a bit of a morality issue. 

The Cowardly Conniving Hack (hackus Ignavia) - Not much to say here. This is the guy that doesn't draw attention to the fact he's hacked (neat-o rhyme). No giant tires, no spirit of 76 paint on everything he drives, no multiple turrets, not a single visible luxury, like Robinson Caruso..(Okay I'll stop singing Gilligan's Isle). This is the guy you just can't seem to kill -- "Man that's the toughest Pony I've ever seen". This is the guy with amazing combat stamina -- "That had to be more than16 Aim's". This is the guy who cheats just careful enough to be on this side of plausible denial. Important note: do not confuse this hack with the real deal -- It sometimes takes a wizened eye to separate the cunning hacks from I-76 vets, be careful who you accuse. 

The Flying Hack (Hackus Effugium) - From as far back as even prehistory, man has been fascinated with the concept of flight. Many hacks seemingly cannot cope with the Earthbound nature of wheeled vehicles, so they make them fly. Okay, if you insist on flying -- here's $50,now go to the nearest software store and go buy the newest Jane's Flight Sim (there's like a hundred!), you can do all the flying you want and nobody will yell at you, ya big freak. 

The Wannabe Hack (hackus parasitus) - These are the guys that ruin it for everybody. These kill-joys could mess up a wet dream. These are the Hack'76 bunch. Clarification: Not the person's responsible for designing Hack'76 -- Oh no, that would imply some semblance of skill, talent or ability on their part -- I'm talking about every other little adolescent punk who's got a copy (you know who you are). I really can't elaborate on this section, because I really, really can't fathom what is going on in these guy's heads -- jerks. Fortunately for us, later versions of Hack'76 are not widely available -- preventing these bozos from fireproofing themselves. Nothing compares to icing one of these losers with the handgun; it's absolutely poetic, man (a silent nod to Ax-L). 

The spaced-out Hack (hackus tardus taceo) - These must be the hollowed-out shells of M.Z.J.M.o.Hacks (the first one) when they shed their mortal coils. These guys just don't get it! I think all the hours spent reading hex has affected their abilities to communicate -- Ever try asking one of these guys to politely leave your game? It's like they can't hear a damn thing you're saying -- and God knows they can't read! Ever posted No Hacks or N/H! on your game name andhave one aimlessly wander in anyway? Maybe if we posted 00008800 001133FF 001033EEFF instead, they would f***ing understand! (Okay, so that wasn't real code...what can I say?). 

Part Three: Are thee a hack?

I've devised a little test to determine if one is a hack. Just hold the test stick in your urine stream. If the end turns blue: you're a hack, red: not a hack. If only it was that easy. Answer the following questions honestly. 

Question one: my favorite car. 

1. A giant monstrosity comprised of Buildings and terrain, propelled by some unknown force. 

2. A flame-painted school bus that weighs 3 lbs. for high speed racing and jumping. 

3. A Courcheval Royale (Black) with 120 lbs. of armor and 200 lbs. of weight shaved off . . .with unlimited ammo. 

4. A Manta with five HADES turrets and Red, White and blue paint. 

5. A flying Lep. 

Question two: My favorite weapon 

1. I do not use weapons . . . I hack to create, not destroy. 

2. Turrets that launch either cacti, giant donuts or Taurus' car 

3. Nothing out of the ordinary, but my secret weapon is an illegal paint value that affects gameplay. 

4. Anything that kills almost immediately (cherubs, Pyros, Car-E-Racers) 

5. What did you say? 

Okay now to the scoring: if you answered anything, you're a hack. As to what kind -- you canfigure that out for yourself.

Part Four: Thanatology for hacks

Thanatology is an ology that already exists, so I didn't have to make it up. It's most commonlyknown as the five stages. It can applied to virtually anything (grief, recovery, addiction,pancakes . . . etc.). So I give you the five stages of Pancakes . . . I mean hacking. 

Stage One: Denial 

We've all encountered this. "I'm not a hack. You can't prove I'm a hack." Sure dude, whatever. I forgot about the Clydesdale variant with tank treads, police paint and 82,500 lbs. of armor on each side, how silly of me. 

Stage Two: Anger 

Aquila: Hey, SPACE GHOST, I've asked you to leave our game, don't make me boot you 


Stage Three: Bargaining 

Come on! It's only paint . . . and wheels . . . and weight and a little more armor and one extra weapon and so on and so on. This individual may insist that his "need to be unique" is more important than the balance of the game. 

Stage Four: Depression 

The fourth stage is the truly ambiguous one, for everyone expresses depression in different ways. Some hacks may leave I-76 for other games, trying to find acceptance others may molest newbies, trying to rebuild their own shattered egos through hollow victories. Each hack will deal with their realization of addiction differently. This may be biggest cause of the "Vegetable hack," formerly referred to as the "Spaced-out hack".

Stage Five: Acceptance 

The fifth and final stage is a blessing. If hacks make it to this point (I'm afraid that most will be stuck at stage two, three or four) He/She has finally found his/her place in (or out of) the I-76 community. Some refrain from hacking, some police younger, more belligerent hacks and others have formed their own "splinter" societies separate for I-76, a haven and a halfway housefor hacks. Seeing them in their natural habitat is sometimes breathtaking.


Maybe someday, we'll understand hacks fully. Maybe someday all of I-76dom can be shared by everyone, Hacks and Non-Hacks alike. Maybe someday Activision will create an anti-hacking protocol worth a snot! I'm sick of it! Before we know it, Nitro is going to be as Hack-riddled as the first! Run for the hills! 

-- Aquila, frighteningly normal. 

*I would say Jihad, but it's already been used.