You can Manual Override!
Watching the classic James Cameron’s Sci-Fi smash Aliens at the weekend, I found myself wondering, as I watched Bishop slowly crawl through (what seems to be miles of) piping conduits. Why is there always a manual override or switch right on the other side of the compound? Who’s designing these things to be so inaccessible? It’s almost like the engineers and designers want to put people through a maze of tunnels and obstacles, just to turn a light on. With this in mind, we have put together some of our favourite moments where things are not where they should be and need just a little helping hand to get the mission back on track. Yes sir… You can Manual Override!
Passengers – Fusion Reactor
Aurora Lane and Jim Preston are awakened ninety years too early from an induced hibernation on a colony spaceship called The Avalon . Transporting thousands of passengers travelling to a distant colony planet, the ship is hit by an asteroid field, causing extensive damage.
With the ship in danger and thousands of lives in their hands, Auroa and Jim replace a damaged control module administering the fusion reactor, but the venting system is busted. Jim realises he must open the vents manually from outside the ship, putting his own life at risk. A hot situation that cannot be cooled with a dip in the giant space pool.
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – Nidavellir
Looking to build a weapon powerful enough to defeat the titan Thanos, Thor, Rocket Racoon and Groot head to Nidavellir, a dying neutron star and one of the Nine Realms. Its core is orbited by a multi-ringed megastructure which served as the homeworld of the Dwarves. With the help of the last surviving dwarf Eitri, the quartet try to create a mystical battle-axe that will give Thor the powers he needs to defeat big ol’ blue!
Whilst jump-starting the forge was simple enough for an Asgardian, a malfunctioning gate prevented the forges from getting the fuel they need, and so Thor has little choice but to manually hold it open, whist the neutron start starts to cook him into a burning husk! Crispy chicken he is not!
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) – Fulcrum Release Lever
Indiana Jones, 11-year-old Chinese sidekick Short Round and singer Willie Scott, narrowly escape death at the hands of a Chinese crime boss, but thier mis-adventure leads them to the village of Mayapore. The villagers believe them to have been sent by Shiva, to save the community’s kidnapped children and to retrieve the sacred sivalinga stone.
Whilst exploring underground tunnels, Jones and Short Round get trapped inside a crushing spike pit. With the roof slowly moving down and with spikes coming from the floors and ceiling, the duos only hope is a “fulcrum release lever”, that is positioned on the outside of the trapped room.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – Warp Drive
Admiral James T. Kirk and the crew of the starship USS Enterprise facing off against the genetically engineered tyrant Khan Noonien Singh, who want revenge on Kirk for being exiled. A massive battle leaves the Enterprise with a damaged warp-drive, leaving the crew unable to avoid a deadly matter explosion heading their way. Spock goes to the engine room to restore the warp drive, sacrificing his own life for the crew. The only way to fix the wrap drive, is by entering a room flooded with high levels of radiation and restoring the power from within. Spock takes McCoy’s radiation gloves, but causally leaves the suit that could save his life. Because.. plot!
Jurassic Park – Push to Close
Traitorous computer programmer, Dennis Nedry single handily destroys Jurassic Park, when he haphazardly tries to smuggle out DNA off Isla Nublar. Shutting down certain systems to cover his criminal activity, Nedry leaves many of the parks gates, fences and security offline. But his demise at the hands of a Dilophosaurus leaves the park in peril, as many dinosaurs, incuding the T-Rex, escape the now power-less fences.
Unable to decipher Nedry’s code to reactivate the security system, Hammond and the park’s chief engineer Ray Arnold opt to reboot the entire park’s system. But the reboot tripped all the parks fuses, shutting down power to most systems. The only way to get them back on again is to manually prime and pump the fuses. And, of course, the fuse box is hidden down in a labyrinth of tunnels in a maintenance shed on the other side of the compound. The entire process involves pumping a charge unit, pressing a push to close button and then switching on each fuse switch. Complex stuff indeed.
Running man – Uplink
After a worldwide economic collapse, the United States has become a totalitarian police state with games shows being the number one way of pacifying the largely oppressed population. ICS has all the best shows including, The Running Man, a gladiator-styled game where runners attempt to evade the armed and dangerous stalkers.
Ben Richards, a police helicopter pilot wrongly convicted of a massacre, teams up with two resistance fighters in The Running Man game. The resistance need access codes for ICS’ broadcasting control room, and they only way of getting those is by manually hacking into an uplink tower, situated within side the game zone. Let’s juts hope maintenance never need to go down their mid game!
Aliens – Uplink Tower
When the a sneaky Xenomorph hitchhikes a ride on the Sulaco’s Alpha dropship, the tiny craft smashes into the Hadley’s Hope power plant. When you’re sitting on top of a 40-megaton thermonuclear reactor, smashing things is big no-no and, of course, the entire facility starts to melt down.
Ellen Ripley and the surviving Marines have but only one chance to get off the planet, the colony’s lone transmitter, an uplink tower, sat inconvenient at the other side of the settlement, which could be used to call the Beta drop ship from the Sulaco. Adding extra drama to an already precarious situation, the connection between the dish and the Marines is damaged, and they can’t align the dish automatically. This calls for a good-old-fashioned manual alignment job, which involves crawling through a hundred meters of piping conduits. Let’s just hope that Bishop does not forget the triple A’s for the portable terminal he has to take with him.
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“Hi Horror Fans – I would give you one of the best end of article speeches EVER, but the keyboard that does all my best work is on the other side of the room, and i’d need to manually sync it via Wi-Fi. So you’ll have to make do with this. Let us know what we missed and what you’d like to see next on Horror Land. Drop us a message in the comments below.