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
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.
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.
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.
wasn't a game, it was a secret project to electronically destroy the human soul. The game was harder than a diamond strap-on and did similar things to you when you played with it. Either that or it was a secret project to trigger latent psychic powers
, as that was the only way to get past the jet bike levels. It was proof that kids would spend four months subjecting themselves to thumbscrews if that was what they'd spent their birthday money on.
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.
There are five cases, but good luck beating even the first...Everything in Dick Tracy
seems deliberately crafted to be as agonizing and unfun as possible. If you can navigate the peril-filled city long enough to even collect two clues, you should consider yourself skilled and/or lucky. You can't cut corners either; even if you find the suspect you need to arrest (it's Numbers in the first case), you need to have all five clues gathered up or the police captain
chews you out for not having enough evidence...the NES
game is best fitted with concrete galoshes and sunk to the bottom of the lake
nearest to you.
I've never had the pleasure to beat this level. Never, and believe you me I have tried many times to no avail. I'm not even sure if I fully understand what exactly is going on. You are supposed to get through the level, I do understand that basic fact, but no matter what happens it ends with an explosion and me starting over. Cars are parked in the middle of the street and on sidewalks, there are pot holes, jumps, trucks, speeding cars ahead, speeding cars behind, sometimes jumping kills you, sometimes parked cars hit you despite being nowhere near them, sometimes you jump over a truck, other times you inexplicably come short of the jump. Seriously, what am I to do here? Lay down in a fetal position and cry?
Well, this game has been forcing me to do that for 18 years now and it still hasn't gotten me past this level.
The camera is saying "Do you get it? DO YOU GET IT?
Do you know how you learned that (laser cannon
) 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
You're breaking my BALLS
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.
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
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.
"The alternate title could be "DEMONICCHOCOBO MAKES THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE. REPEATEDLY."
"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."
, at reddit.com
"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?"
MURI DA!! MURI DA!!translation Boku no jitsuryoku deha... translation MURI DA!! MURI DA!!translation Koe rarenai...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."