Mecha Trigger: Control Your Mech By Typing Commands

Where's the manual? >HELP >MAN >PLEASE SHOOT GUN BETTER COMPUTER

In the far-flung future when we’re all stomping around in mechs, I’m sure some folks will still stubbornly refuse to touch a joystick, control pad, pedal, eye-tracker, muscle sensor, or tactical neural implant, insisting that they’re perfectly fine with just a keyboard. All right, Chuckles, you play Mecha Trigger [official site] and tell me how that works out. It’s a free mech ’em up where all your movement, aiming, jumpjetting, and laserblasting is controlled by typing commands into a terminal. It’s hilariously clunky and overwhelming at first, but that’s sort of rewarding. Have a go!

Take this sequence of commands:

legs jet -l 1
legs move -d 50
legs turn -a 90
pitch -a -20
scan
rarm fire -n 15

That’d make a mech hover up a little on its jumpjets, move 50 units forwards, turn 90 degrees, look down 20 degrees, lock onto a target, then fire 15 shots from its right arm weapon.

There’s a special feeling of helplessness being in the cockpit of giant mech bristling with weapons and not remembering what to do. “Oh, I’d dearly love to launch rockets at that other mech, but can’t remember the command to turn to face it let alone the one to switch weapons!” Handily, they’re probably desperately checking their manual too. Possibly with cybergoggles strapped to their head, as it has Rift support. Perhaps imagining that image might help you stay cool.

Along with AI to fight, Mecha Trigger does support online battles, but you’ll likely need to round up your own opponents. Definitely do finish the tutorial before trying either. I poke fun at interface stalwarts, but once you get the hang of creating macros to do several actions at once, playing with typed commands becomes more efficient and is merely far, far, far worse than other forms of control.

It’s very colourful and pleasant to look at and hear, I should say too. The dropship sequence for falling down through the clouds into missions is swell.

Created by folks on a game design course at Michigan State University, Mecha Trigger is a free download on Windows and Mac. Hopefully those Mediafire mirrors will hold up.

21 Comments

  1. SominiTheCommenter says:

    Windows?
    Shouldn’t that be

    legs jet /l 1

    then?

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’d make some witty reply about how we should have left COMMAND.COM behind and this should be in PowerShell, except I haven’t left COMMAND.COM behind and learnt PowerShell.

      • melnificent says:

        Even Robocop stuck with command.com (and DOS).
        The terminator was a diehard Apple user though, the T-800 used the Apple-II os in the original film. All those i-devices are just waiting for the rise of the machines.

  2. Kefren says:

    How come RPS has switched to “Game Name [official site]” instead of just making the game name a hyperlink (which is the standard practice way of webby things)? I hadn’t noticed it before, but then spotted it about three times today.

    • jrodman says:

      I’d expect different writers.

      I prefer subject-as-link myself.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      Huh. I didn’t notice ’til you mentioned it, but yeah, that’s weird and wrong.

    • frogulox says:

      I like the official site link because then I know if its a steam link or a site link or a devblog or whatever. Id happilly have the text with bracketted official link all as link.
      I feel like if this is what we all have to be worried about though we must live in glorious times.

  3. ikehaiku says:

    So, that’s Logo, but with Mechs instead of a turtle? I can dig that!

  4. Loix says:

    Pfft, I’m a Linux sysadmin. Controlling this is merely an extension of my day job.

    • jrodman says:

      Where is the orchestration layer?

      • LionsPhil says:

        Are you suggesting Vagrant or something to assemble and command whole armies of robots?

        I knew those damn DevOps types were up to no good.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Phasma Felis says:

    In the true spirit of command line haxxoring, I now want to set up a script-driven interface that allows you to play this like a normal game. (Completely removing all gameplay challenge, and trading it for coding challenge instead.)

    • haydar91 says:

      I think you can use those mice and/or keyboards with macro support to play this like a normal game.

  6. Ejia says:

    If you have a mechanical keyboard you can at least sound like you’re firing a steady stream of bullets even if you’re still typing commands to move your mech’s torso.

  7. b0rsuk says:

    It’s silly that out of all operating systems they don’t support the commandliniest – Linux !

  8. Alberto says:

    Holo.print “violence is senseless”
    Larm heart.sign
    Rarm heart.sign

    You should have some hidden commands to make friends or solve your problems in a positive way.

  9. Cinek says:

    Game that’s won by those who got better macro support in their keyboard.

    lol… silly devs did not predict that, did they?

    • Jimmy says:

      pitch -a -20
      > Prove you are not a script. Type the characters you see in the picture below, for the win:

  10. LogicalDash says:

    Honestly, I think a system like this would be awesome as an interface for a slow paced RTS if there were commands for “lock onto nearest enemy,” “fire heaviest weapon upon targeted base” etc. on top of the clunkyfuck movement commands you have here.

  11. Toupee says:

    Love the idea, but it really doesn’t make it easy to figure out the commands. Even the tutorial isn’t as clear as it could be.