Your journey it began because YOU DIED
Out of your cell you ran and then YOU DIED
You pause to catch your breath,
And die another gruesome death,
So now you creep around each corner TERRIFIED
"You will not survive."
— Call of Duty: World at War difficulty selection screen, on Veteran Difficulty
"This is wussy compared to older games."
— The King of All Cosmos, commenting on Me And My Katamari
"This mode is difficult!"
"And that's for lulling me into great side-scrollers that are nearly impossible to beat!"
"... What's the point of making a game if you... can't even... win it... so stupid... wanna see what my dad has?"
— Evan, Superbad
"I mean, what's the point of playing if you can't win every time?"
— Jason Fox, FoxTrot
"My work is a thing to kill the player."
"Back in the NES generation... For example, let's say everyone debugs a game after it's finished. Everyone involved in its production would spend all night playing it. And because they make games, they become good at them. So these expert gamers make the games. Saying "this is too easy". That is why you are reduced to whining and complaining as you play."
Shigeru Miyamoto: There's something I've learned from making this new Mario title multiplayer.
Satoru Iwata: And what's that?
Shigeru Miyamoto: I realized that, fundamentally, Mario is a game where if you fail and lose a turn, you'll be sent straight back to the start.
"Introducing the hardest software ever."
—Cover page, Konami catalog of computer games (1990)
"Please have fun playing Mega Man 9, and when you inevitably ponder why this game is so freaking hard, please remember that Inafune-san has a decanter on his desk full of broken gamer spirits that keeps him perpetually youthful."
— Press release for Mega Man 9
"You know, when Nintendo gets just a bit mean, like in the last Mario worlds? In this meaning of the word, we can say this game is very Nintendous."
—The Italian Official Nintendo Magazine on VVVVVV
"See, the thing you gotta realize about games in the NES days was that lastability was even then a big issue. Games were anywhere from 30-60 bucks, and that's shit's steep. You couldn't pay for this with your fuckin' lunch money. The NES cartridge didn't have a lot of space, so developers had to mind their limits, but also try to make a game that lasted a long time so gamers got their fortune's worth. The easy out at the time was making a game that was frustratingly hard. Most of the time it was in cheap ways."
—Egoraptor, Castlevania 1 vs. Castlevania 2
"Unless you've played this game, you have no idea how hard it is. Let me try to explain, OK? Imagine if I were to draw a maze on a sheet of paper. I'm asking you to draw a line from the beginning of this maze to the end. You can't run into any dead ends, and you can't touch any of the lines. Now, while you're trying to do this, I'm moving the maze to the left. It would drive you fucking nuts."
Yahtzee: The camera is saying "Do you get it? DO YOU GET IT?"
Gabriel: Do you know how you learned that was there in the last game? You jumped down, and you got shot, and you hard to start again.
Yahtzee: Well, I wouldn't say you got shot. You got fucking shot.
"Now, I never reviewed Dark Souls, because other titles were out and my playtime was limited — and every time I sat down to it, it was like walking into a dark shed full of rakes, immediately treading on one and getting BLAT!-ered in the face. Other people with more time on their hands started telling me it was the greatest thing since tummy rubs, so I'd go back in the shed thinking, 'well, maybe there was just the one rake', before BLAT! in the face again. So I left it for awhile, but this week, with plenty of free time in my schedule I thought to myself, 'Last chance, I'll just keep tanking the rakes and maybe I'll somehow become really psychotically into being rake-faced just in time to be prepared for the sequel.'
"Keiji Inafune stated that this side game was developed for the Super Famicom specifically for younger kids that were unable to buy the new 32-bit consoles, or given their older sibling's Super Famicom as a hand-me-down, much like Kirby's Adventure was for the NES. While that sentiment is all well and thoughtful (more expensive cart game prices notwithstanding), Mega Man & Bass is definitely not an easy jaunt for the kiddy crowd... There's no reason to discuss the horror of having to re-battle the tough Robot Masters again in a row in the King Fortress. Those feel heavenly after experiencing Fortress Stage 2. No less that 4 bosses appear here: a massive tank, a hard-to-hit hovering plane, King himself with two attack forms, and a monstrosity of King merged with the plane and the tank, known as Jet King Robo. The plane fight is hair-pullingly rough as Mega Man has to hop from tiny platform to tiny platform, dodging rocket fists that'll plummet him to instant doom, all while trying to land a shot at the plane's weak point. Topped with a brutal level design, this is possibly the hardest stage ever produced in the series. And this was developed for kids in Japan that couldn't afford a new console?"
"I read, the other day, a post on some games website that hypothesized that, as a reaction against the Wii, we are entering a new era of valuing difficulty in video games. The argument was, it seemed to me, complete nonsense. Alien³ is basically why.
See, in Alien³ you have the following — you control Ripley, crawling around in dungeons trying to rescue prisoners. You have a time limit to do so, and three lives. However, there is nothing resembling a map to the prisoners. Thus it is basically impossible to do any given level on the first try. Only when you die are the locations of the prisoners uncovered in an excessively long sequence of watching their guts explode. And there are no continues...Compare this to VVVVVV, a non-Nintendo game I've been playing off and on for a few days now. VVVVVV is bracingly, cruelly hard. And yet it is easy to pick up and play. It does what you expect. And when you die, you feel consistently as though it's your own damn fault, not the game's for setting you up for failure.
Here endeth the lesson."
"Let's talk about the puzzles in this game. La-Mulana is not forgiving. La-Mulana is not your friend. La-Mulana stole your bike when you were eight."
"The Adventures of Bayou Billy is not the shittiest game in the world, but what it is is the most nipple-twisting, nut-aching, hair-pulling, ulcer-causing, butt-itching, frustrating motherfucker of a game you ever saw... Now, I know some people will come forward and tell you that the Gradius games or Ghosts N Goblins, they're a real challenge, and they don't know what they're talking about because I fucking guarantee you that nobody has beaten The Adventures Of Bayou Billy fairly — not without some kind of emulator or Game Genie or divine intervention."
"In all fairness, the 'real' Super Mario Brothers 2 wasn't much of a loss at all: it's like the Nintendo execs gathered in their board room in '87 and said, 'All right. We've just put out the biggest and best video game ever. Now we must get to work on the sequel, which naturally must use the same engine and graphics as the first game and be as maddeningly difficult and frustrating as our programmers' ones and zeros can allow. IT IS THE ONLY WAY.' Enter poison mushrooms, backwards warp zones, and Piranha Plants that don't play by Piranha Plant rules. I'll take a doctored Doki Doki Panic almost any day."
"In the old days, you didn't come back to a game again and again for anything as fancy as online multiplayer or user-created content. No, you came back because the games were freaking impossible."
— Bobby Ingram, "The 10 Most Irritatingly Impossible Old-School Video Games"
"The alternate title could be "DEMONICCHOCOBO MAKES THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. REPEATEDLY."
— Demonic Chocobo on I Wanna Be The Fraxy
"Most (normal) games will ease you into the game mechanics at least a little bit, and the ones that present difficult situations earlier have a "steeper" learning curve. Dwarf Fortress pretty much punches you in the nuts with the learning curve and steals your lunch money."
— gameprey, at reddit.com
"Losing is Fun!"
— The official motto of Dwarf Fortress
"I swear, these games were programmed by the Joker!"
"What sick psychotic fuck playtested this and said 'Yeah, you know what, dying all the time's alright, but I wish the game killed me more?'"
"Bowser-King Koopa has never had level designers of this quality!"
"Tell me, please, why does the GAME have to win? Huh? What happens when the game wins and I lose? Is there some huge fucking kegger waiting for it when it gets done? Is there money involved? Or perhaps the motives are more sinister. Maybe the game's family is being held hostage by another game and that game has its cock in F-Zero's wife's mouth and he's holding a cell phone up to her and F-Zero can hear her pained moans and cries for help and the asshole game then says, "You beat that cock-sucking human, or I'll blow her brains out." I COULD UNDERSTAND THAT. I CAN BE SYMPATHETIC."
"But, of all things, did you tell none other than Treasure to make it more difficult?"
— Satoru Iwata, discussing Sin and Punishment: Star Successor
MURI DA!! MURI DA!!translation
Boku no jitsuryoku deha... translation
MURI DA!! MURI DA!!translation
Mou dame nanoka? Dame nanoka? Akirame youka?translation
Muzukashi sugite susume nai...!translation
"The idea of struggling against a game that does absolutely everything in its power to put you down, where every level completed is another tiny and insignificant victory against the malicious game designer, has some sort of weird appeal... A lot of die-hard retro gamers often pine for the days when games were a real challenge—The Tower of Druaga exemplifies this in spades. So, if you're sick of modern games holding your hand with endless tutorials, and want a genuine challenge that will almost certainly crush your enthusiasm for all forms of electronic entertainment, be my guest!"
"I'm starting to understand why I had trouble with this as a kid."
"I cannot beat one game on my Sega Genesis machine. On my old Nintendo, I could beat a couple of them, but not Sega Genesis. It's impossible, and I refuse to upgrade to a faster, smarter machine because of it. I'm not blaming the machine, mind you. I don't get mad at it, or throw things at the TV when I get frustrated. But if I ever meet the guy who invented Sega Genesis, I'm going to beat the living shit out of him."
— Drew Carey, Dirty Jokes and Beer