How to quit vim’s easy mode (vim -y)
Simple. [Ctrl]-L gets you back into normal mode, then you can :q! or whatever as usual. Just posting it here so that Google and future generations of frustrated Vim users can find it.
I learned about vim -y today (from this thread), and it’s actually a pretty neat thing if you want to be able to basically give a Vim input to a newbie. Of course, GVim or MacVim (for Windows/Linux and Mac respectively), or indeed Cream, may be more appropriate for newbies who happen to have GUIs available. The only problem with vim -y is that if you know how to use vim non-easy mode, you suddenly find yourself in the same position as non-Vim users booting up Vim for the first time - how the hell do you quit? Just remember that Vim easy mode is basically remapped so that it’s in Insert mode almost all of the time. To get into Normal mode, you have to hit [Ctrl]-L.
Perhaps I should file a bug: the welcome screen for Vim says to type :q[Enter] to quit, when in fact, you need to type [Ctrl]-L then :q[Enter] to quit when in easy mode.