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Video Game / Skool Daze

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Skool Daze is a 1984 computer game released by Microsphere for the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. The game places you in control of Eric, a schoolboy who must steal his report card from the school safe to prevent his expulsion. He must also avoid getting into trouble with the staff, as well as avoiding the fist of the school bully Angelface, the catapult of the tearaway Boy Wander, and getting tattled on by the Insufferable Genius Einstein (no, not that one). Get caught in your misdeeds and you'll be given lines as punishment; rack up 10,000 lines, and it's game over.

With a distinctly British sensibility, an anarchic sense of humour, and the freedom to ignore the main quest and just mess around, Skool Daze is fondly remembered mostly by British gamers of a certain age.

A sequel, Back To Skool, was released the following year. A Fan Remake named Klass of '99 was released for PC in, as you might expect, 1999, with a Game Boy Advance homebrew port released a few years later. Bully owes it quite a debt.

This work provides examples of:

  • A Winner Is You: If you complete the game, you see a message- "Well done! Go up a year"- before the credits roll.
  • Barbaric Bully: Angelface.
  • Cool Teacher: Mr. Withit, who constantly has his hands in his jacket pockets.
  • Corporal Punishment: Implied with Mr. Wacker, in both his name and how he always carries a cane. He threatens the kids with a caning, but it's never actually depicted in the game.
  • Delinquents: The player character, Eric, is attempting to hide his own delinquency by stealing his incriminating report card. Angelface and Boy Wander count too.
  • Fake Longevity: After you manage to open the safe, you have to reset all the shields in order to win the game. By forcing you to repeat the main objective, the creators artificially double the length of the game.
  • The Good Old British Comp: The game's setting.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: While all the main characters have default names, you are free to set your own. Needless to say, for a schoolchild playing the game the opportunity to name the staff, swot, bully and tearaway after people from their own school is a big bonus.
  • The Informant: Einstein will frequently tell the teachers if another student has been up to no good. He will also sometimes blatantly lie and tell the teacher that Eric hit him even if you haven't so much as looked the wrong way at him. Sometimes backfires and Einstein himself is given lines either instead of or as well as the person he's telling on.
  • Instant Illness: One of the random break-time events makes you have to avoid contact with The Bully Angelface, who has mumps. If he touches you, you instantly develop the illness and get sent home.
  • Insufferable Genius: Einstein. He answers every question correctly, but is also a massive tattletale.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: The main aim of the game is to get the combination to the school safe so you can steal your incriminating report card. How do you get the code? Hit the shields on the walls of the school with your hand or catapult so they start flashing, confusing the teachers into revealing one letter of the safe combination each. Then you have to hit the shields again to stop them flashing so your scheme doesn't get discovered. Makes perfect sense.
  • Meaningful Name: Most of the cast.
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: If you throw a punch or fire your catapult in view of a teacher, you will get lines. Angelface and Boy Wander don't receive the same punishment, even though they can get punished for other infractions.
  • Non-Giving-Up School Guy: When Mr. Wacker is chasing Eric to expel him, he cannot be knocked down with a catapult, and the pellets simply bounce off him. Likewise for Mr. Rockitt when he is trying to send Eric home if he catches mumps.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Get touched by Angelface when he has mumps and you will be pursued by the science teacher, Mr. Rockitt, who will send you home instantly.
  • One-Gender School: The game is set in an all-boys school. The sequel adds an all-girls school in a separate building.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Intentionally invoked in the game's title, and in most of the messages Boy Wander writes on blackboards.
  • Sadist Teacher: Mr. Wacker, the headmaster. More of an implied example as he perpetually wields a cane and threatens his classes with a caning, but never actually uses it in the game, simply giving out lines like the other staff (and expelling Eric at game over).
  • Scatterbrained Senior: Mr. Creak, the elderly history teacher. You must remind him of the year of his birth (by finding it out and writing it on a blackboard) before he will give you his letter for the safe combination.
  • School Grade Hacking: In Klass of '99, your report is stored on the school's computer and needs to be disposed of by this technique.
  • Shout-Out: Boy Wander writes on the blackboards about his love of a couple of Microsphere's other games, Wheelie and Sky Ranger.
  • Stern Teacher: All the staff, though Mr. Wacker most embodies this trope in appearance.
  • Teacher's Pet: Einstein. He begins every answer with "Please sir, I cannot tell a lie..."
  • Truth in Television: Ostensibly the mechanic whereby the nearest pupil is blamed for any misdeed regardless of their actual guilt was informed by the programmers’ own experiences at school.
  • Two-Teacher School: Well, four. There are only 15 students though.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: You can knock down staff and your fellow students by punching or firing your catapult at them. You can also get the named students in trouble by knocking over a teacher when they are close-by, causing the teacher to blame the wrong person. You even earn points for it!
  • Write What You Know: The game was developed by husband and wife team David and Helen Reidy. Helen had a background in teaching, and continued to teach part-time even while running Microsphere.
  • Writing Lines: Get caught doing anything wrong and you will earn lines from the staff. When you reach 10,000 lines, it's game over.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz