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Sometimes when using the beetle, it can fly quite a while before it starts to blink red and beep that it's going to run out of gas. But sometimes it can't go very far at all. One time I was in a narrow tunnel, and it would start beeping immediately after I launched it.

Does anyone know what goes into determining how long the beetle can fly? I had a few theories but none really held up under some simple testing.

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My theory is that it has a maximum range (which you can see if you fly in an open area). However enclosed spaces or otherwise, the way they mapped the level will shorten that range considerably (e.g., flying close to a certain area of the game that they don't want to to be reaching yet) or stop it all together (e.g., flying toward the extents of the level or too high will automatically make it flash red). – Jeff Mercado Nov 25 '11 at 7:06
@JeffMercado Are you saying that it's not X time or X distance, but rather that the level designers just didn't want you going somewhere with it? – Tesserex Nov 25 '11 at 8:03
Something like that. – Jeff Mercado Nov 25 '11 at 8:13
up vote 5 down vote accepted

From this thread:

It has a set "stamina" if you will, but they also programmed in places they did not want you to take it.

When you fly it in these areas, he starts to blink immediately to keep you from checking things out.

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