Pro tip: changing the lift settings in Parsec

For today's pro tip, we go all the way back to 1982, just before the video game market crashed horribly. We go back to a home computer system/personal computer manufactured by a company now known for calculators and pitched by Bill Cosby.

No, really.

One of my favorite games for the system was Parsec. You had to shoot alien ships without overheating your laser, dodge obstacles, and manage your fuel supply.

Once your fuel reaches critical levels, a refueling tunnel will appear to test your maneuverability to get at the precious resource.

But, going through the tunnel (especially later in the game) requires fine control, which your craft just doesn't have.

Or does it?

Down in the center of the screen toward the bottom, you see where it says "LIFT 3"? That determines how fast your ship moves vertically. 3 is the fastest setting, and 1 is the slowest setting. How do you change it? By using the 1, 2, and 3 keys on your keyboard. Something not immediately obvious to me since I got this game without a manual many years ago.

So, by changing the Lift setting to 1

We can easily make it through the tunnel, refueled and ready for more action.

Just make sure you bump the Lift back up to 3 before you start shooting aliens again. Otherwise they're way more maneuverable than you are.

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