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The 1983 platform game Jumpman by Epyx features 30 unique levels. The game gives the player the choice of playing the entire set of levels from beginning to end, or of playing a selection of levels based on their difficulty: "Beginner" mode is for levels 1 to 8, "Intermediate" for 9 to 18, and "Advanced" for 19 to 30. There is also a "Randomizer" mode that allows you to play the levels in random order. According to the documentation:

The Randomizer allows you to play a random selection of all levels, except the first level.

However, in practice the Randomizer works a bit differently. The order of the levels isn't entirely random: at least in the Commodore 64 and Atari versions of the game, the selection always starts with Level 12 ("Robots II"). It's only after this that the levels start playing in random order. Also, contrary to what is suggested by the documentation, Level 1 ("Easy Does It") is indeed included in the random selection. (I suppose the documentation could be read as meaning that the Randomizer plays a random selection of all levels, except for the first selected level, which is always the same.)

I have always wondered about this quirk of the Randomizer. Specifically:

  1. Is the fact that Randomizer always starts on Level 12 a (vaguely documented) bug, a technical limitation, or a deliberate design choice?
  2. If it's a bug or technical limitation, what is the cause?

closed as off-topic by Frank, Unionhawk, DJ Pirtu, Wondercricket, Timmy Jim Nov 15 '17 at 15:15

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about Game Design and Development are off topic. This includes speculative questions about developer intent, with respect to both mechanics and narrative. You might want to ask over at GameDev.SE, but be sure to read their FAQ" – Frank, Unionhawk, DJ Pirtu, Wondercricket, Timmy Jim

  • We don't allow questions that ask, "Why did they design it that way?" – Frank Nov 15 '17 at 12:29
  • @Frank: If you would be so kind as to point me to the guidelines where that restriction is explained, I would be happy to edit my question to bring it into compliance. (I didn't see anything specifically addressing this in the tour.) – Psychonaut Nov 15 '17 at 13:19
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    See our help page. Bullet 2 under the "Prohibit" section is what this falls under I believe. – Timmy Jim Nov 15 '17 at 15:15
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    @TimmyJim: I have edited the question to focus on the explanation of the possible bug or technical limitation underlying this behaviour. I believe this makes it similar in spirit to questions like Why is 3333360 the maximum score in Pac-Man? and Looking for more detailed explanation concerning SMB flagpole glitch. – Psychonaut Nov 15 '17 at 16:12
  • If the only change you're making is rewording from design choice to technical limitation, you're not actually changing the question; you're just trying to word around the close reason. – Frank Nov 15 '17 at 17:25

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