Funny Mode is a hacked version of the Minesweeper Clone. Written by Yuen 'Philip' Biu, it was used by the minesweeper community in China during the summer of 2008. The hack displayed 3BV as soon as a game started.
Li Feng sent a new world record of 9.78 seconds on intermediate to Authoritative Minesweeper on 05 Sept 2008. Two days later, Damien Moore posted the video on the Guestbook and asked for opinions. Some players were doubtful the game was genuine (Kamil, Rodrigo, Ronny) while others thought the playing style was fine (Joni, Manuel, name removed). However, no one could definitely prove anything was wrong.
This immediately changed when Rodrigo looked at the source code for the video. A line at the beginning should have read "Minesweeper Clone 2004-2005 Rodrigo Silveira Camargo version 0.97 beta" but had been changed to "Minesweeper Clone 2004-2008 Funny Mode By Abiu China version 0.97 june". Both strings were the same length, so the video played normally in the original version.
Rodrigo noted this proved nothing except that a few words had been changed. Damien remembered that he had passed along a letter several months earlier from Li Feng warning Rodrigo that someone had hacked Clone 0.97 to play UPK in Legal Mode. Despite Li Feng being a moderator, the score had not yet been posted on the Chinese ranking. name removed then received a message on Facebook from 'Abiu':
"This is a BUG of 0.97 but I don't know if the BUG also in Clone 2007. Just change the clone's ini files minesweeperclone.inf Show 3BV Stats = After End --> Before Start. Then you can see the 3bv after your first click. If not the 3bv you like, JUST press F2!"
Abiu claimed he had discovered the cheat in June 2008 and inserted the 'Funny Mode' text into the videos to be obvious. If he had wanted to cheat, skipping that line would have made it impossible to tell he was cheating. He then posted the discussion from the Guestbook into the forum on the Chinese ranking website. This prompted a response on 09 Sept 2008 from the webmaster, Zhang Shen Jia:
"Hello all guys, I was very busy in my job last several month, so never touch the Clone.
About 3 month ago, Yuan Biao(Abiu) told me that he made a Chinese edition Clone 0.97, and send a copy to me. I try it, and find that the video that save by this version have a great lag. After he solved the problem, I put this copy to website. And never find any problem then.
I know the 3BV bug early, but I think that if you know the 3BV before you start in exp mode, you will despair when you know it's a high 3BV board, and you will strained when you know it's a low 3BV board. In int mode, you will spend about 0.5-0.8 second to see the 3BV status, and increase your scores. After I know it, I doesn't use the bug anymore.
Yesterday, Shi Lei post a title in our bbs, he copy some passage by Rodrigo. Then I find this is a terrible thing. I doesn't find any new cheating method in this version, but I decided to delete the version in my site at once."
After a brief discussion, Rodrigo was able to persuade the community that a hacked official version did not qualify as a new official version, even if it still met community standards. He noted Clone 0.97 was an old version and that the bug does not exist in later versions.
The bug explained the strange pause Ronny had noticed at the beginning of the game - it was the time needed to look at the 3bv!
Unfortunately, Clone 0.97 is still the standard version for the Chinese community, as it is the only version that works without Chinese users having to change their computer setttings. For the rest of the world, only later versions are accepted for the World Ranking. It is hoped the next version of the Clone works universally.