Hints Are For Losers


(permanent link) added: 2010-09-11 04:47:41 sponsor: Glowsquid (last reply: 2010-09-11 04:47:41)

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A Video Game trope related to Easy-Mode Mockery, this is when a game (or related medias, such as the instruction manual) taunt players trying to find help, either by inserting useless "hints" sections that only insult the player, not providing help at all or telling you to play the game like a real man if it do provide some sort of tips.

Especially common in older games, where it would be followed by telling you to check out the new fancy strategy guide only for 50$!

See also Easy-Mode Mockery. Rolling Updates
  • The manual of Brataccas intentionally leave several details vague, instead telling you to check a specific page for more details. However when you get to that page, it only says "This page was intentionally left blank.".
  • Donkey Kong Country 2 has a section in the manual called "Cranky's Hint", but there, Cranky just laughs at you and tell you to buy the Nintendo Power guide instead.
  • The SNES version of Home Improvement infamously didn't come with a manual, with a message before the title screen saying "Real men don't need instructions.".
  • The in-game hint system in Scarab Of Ra gives you several alert boxes in succession urging the player not to use hints.
  • Played with in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, where one of the hints shown on loading screens tells you that if you haven't gotten any better from reading the hints, you should just stop being so rubbish
  • In the puzzle game Push-Over for the SNES, you get hints if you stay on a level for too long. The hint for level 19 is "Figure it out yourself".
  • Early on in Crystalis, you learned the Telepathy spell, which could be used to contact one of the four Sages for a hint, though every now and then the "hint" you got would be along the lines of "Leave me alone, figure it out yourself!" (especially if you chose to contact Kensu).
  • The tutorial for the Spider-Man 2 video game has a voiceover that tells you to do Spider-Man-like things (like jump off buildings) and then mocks you for jumping off a building just because someone told you to.
  • If you consult Dr. Wright too often in the SNES SimCity, he'll get fed up and tell you to make your own decisions.
  • Sierra's Doctor Brain series has the ability to get hints for the puzzles, but it'll count against your end of game score if you use them. In the case of the third game, it'll reduce the value of that puzzle if the hint is specific enough, meaning you'll need to solve an extra puzzle to complete the region.
  • Infocom's InvisiClues -- a clue book with (yes) invisible clues, to be developed as needed by the player with an invisible ink pen -- did this constantly. For example, in the InvisiClues for the game Suspended, one set of clues (meant to be developed from top to bottom) went:

Of what use is the khaki cable?

You can't solve the game without it.
You can't solve the game with it.
You'll find one in your game package.
What khaki cable?

Is the cup of nectar useful?

Have you ever heard the expression "nectar of the gods"?
Have you ever tried boiling water at very high altitudes?
Have you ever seen the 1993 remake of "Citizen Kane" starring Sly Stallone as Charles Foster Kane?
Have you ever felt like you developed hints that you shouldn't have?

Among many, many other examples...
  • Plant Vs Zombies has an hint screen written by the zombies. Of course the game has a proper tutorial.
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