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Captain Kirk is said to be the only known person to have beaten the Kobayashi Maru in the original series, hereby referred to as KM in my question.

What irks me is, he apparently added a subroutine which magically tipped the scales in his favour. He says he "changed the conditions of the test". This is very ambiguous, as there should not technically be any loophole or simple turnaround by which someone can beat the KM, an unwinnable scenario. What modifications had he actually made? Is there any canon info? Or just speculation?

Which brings me to my second question. Is there any other person who has ever beaten the KM, and more importantly, is there ABSOLUTELY NO decision which leads to the user beating the simulation?

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have you watched the new reboot star trek movie, because it answers practically all of your questions. in the first 30 minutes. –  Himarm Aug 7 '14 at 16:11
Are you asking about the original series or the reboot? –  phantom42 Aug 7 '14 at 16:14
1. I was asking about the original. I've only just gotten around to watching star trek, so I'm watching all the movies in chronological order before progressing to TOS and DS9. I haven't watched the reboot, though. Could you quote please? –  CrazyMod Aug 7 '14 at 16:23
The test was built in such a way that it could never be beaten. So the only way to beat it was to tweak the question/test itself. –  nbz Aug 7 '14 at 16:43

1 Answer 1

First, a little background. The "Kobayashi Maru" test is as follows:

A lone Federation starship is patrolling the Neutral Zone border. The ship receives a distress call from a transport ship - the Kobayashi Maru - from deep inside the Zone. The Maru should not be trespassing where it is, but claims to be under attack from the Klingons. A "winning" solution is to successfully rescue the Maru.

Obviously, one response is to ignore the distress call.

If the captain decides to help, the single Bird of Prey attacks the starship. If the starship defeats the single attacker, three BoP uncloak and attack. Should the Federation ship succeed against 3, then five more ships appear. This continues until the captain flees or the starship is destroyed. Various books have been written telling how the different characters have worked through this situation.

Kirk, however was able to (have someone) modify the scenario. When he attempted to rescue the Maru, and was challenged by the Klingons, upon announcing who he was, the Klingons retreated and allowed him to rescue the ship.

Kobayashi Maru from Wikipedia

As a side note, by the time of TNG, the "KM" is no longer used to test the candidates. Instead, a variety of simulated emergencies take place, such as Wesley's attempted rescue of fellow students during a fire. TNG - Coming of Age

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The KM might well have been replaced or reworked by the time of TNG, but the episode you quote doesn't establish that. For one thing, KM was a training exercise for cadets (as per the Wikipedia article you reference) rather than a test for candidates. –  Harry Johnston Aug 7 '14 at 21:26
@HarryJohnston is correct. The test referenced from Coming of Age was part of the Starfleet Academy entrance exam, and not done by cadets already in the Academy on the Command track (like the KM). –  ssell Aug 7 '14 at 21:55
In the novel Sarek, Kirk's nephew also beats the KM test, by issuing a challenge to the Romulan (I am unsure when the specifics of the KM were established, but at this point the tes contained cloaked Romulans, not Klingons) Commander leading the attack on the Kobayashi Maru. Under Romulan law, the Commander had to accept, and could not fire upon the Federation vessels during the challenge, enabling the crew to rescue the KM. All Kirk's nephew (I forget his name) had to do was live long enough to enable his crew to make the rescue. He was acknowledged as the second man to beat the KM. –  James Sheridan Aug 8 '14 at 8:26
What source does the first Bird of Prey come from, and does that source reconcile that in Wrath of Khan, there is no first Bird of Prey - rather three Klingon (non-BoP) warships attack? –  Dronz Oct 15 '14 at 6:40

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