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Newly discovered Titanfall 2 bug lets you save a doomed ship and its designers have no idea why

Titanfall 2
(Image credit: Respawn)

A speedy Titanfall 2 player thought they found a secret trick to save a ship from destruction, but it actually turned out to be a rare yet oddly appropriate bug.

Reddit user Pappa_Scorch posted a gameplay clip to the Titanfall subreddit earlier this week with some surprising findings: the clip shows that one of the militia ships which is seemingly doomed to be shot down by IMC gunners during The Ark mission doesn't have to meet its fate. They rush out and blast through the gun emplacement, eventually soaking up enough enemy fire that they drop dead - but not before seemingly preventing the other ship from receiving its finishing blow. 

psa_you_can_save_the_ship_if_you_shoot_the_gunner from r/titanfall

It's easy enough to conclude this is a hidden event built in as a reward for fast players, especially since Titanfall 2 encourages speedrunning in several other ways. However, Respawn Entertainment creative director Mohammad Alavi, who scripted The Ark earlier in his career at the studio, hopped into the comments of the post to gently shoot down the theory. Alavi said the ship's destruction is a scripted event and what Pappa_Scorch had found was actually "an impressive bug."

"There’s a trigger that sets off a timer to blow up the ship - I think it’s just outside the elevator door and I don’t know how but you somehow skipped it - maybe jumped over it? But that seems unlikely," Alavi said. "It definitely has nothing to do with shooting the gunner. At least I don’t think - maybe shooting the gunner before the timer ends causes a domino effect of bugs we never found?"

Alavi revealed in a later comment that Titanfall 2 uses "a lot of hacks" to handle the length of The Ark's ship convoy, and as such he's very curious to know what happens to the fate-dodging ship throughout the rest of the level. It's little things, like a game developer genuinely having no idea what will happen in their game when one specific thing goes wrong, that remind you just how strange and special video games can be. 

Speaking of Alavi, his current project is working on a brand-new single-player adventure for Respawn Entertainment.

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.