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"Simon Says" Mini-Game

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Okay...Repeat after me!

A Mini-Game that presents the player a sequence of buttons and challenges him to memorize it and repeat it. Usually this must be done multiple times, with each sequence adding one or more buttons. It may not involve button presses directly, but rather requires the player to memorize some combination of actions. For example, you may have to press a group of differently-colored switches in the order they light up or kill a group of mooks in the order they first appear.

This often involves a musical motif with the Player Character playing a musical instrument and the button presses each representing a musical note. In any case, this can be something of a Moon Logic Puzzle for people with poor short term memories. Thankfully, you can usually cheat using a pen and paper.

Note that this Mini Game isn't quite like the children's game Simon Says, as there is no trick of losing if an action isn't prefaced with some special denotation. Still, most people associate the game with repetition, so these mini games are often likened to Simon Says. They also bear a strong resemblance to the electronic game Simon from the early 80's, which was itself named after Simon Says.


A more difficult variant makes this into a Rhythm Game by presenting the sequence with specific timings and requiring the player to match them.

Not to be confused with Action Commands or Press X to Not Die.


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    Video Games 
  • Aquaria has a Simon Says Mini-Boss.
  • The Ur-Example of this may be the 1974 Atari Touch Me arcade game, making this Older Than the NES.
  • This was the entire premise for Flagman for the Nintendo Game & Watch.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, a Heart Piece was earned by playing a game of this with the Skull Kids in the Lost Woods, requiring you to memorize musical notes and play them back using the titular ocarina. The frog choir's game (active after receiving their first Heart Piece) was basically this. On crack. You had to match up every note as it was played. Fortunately, the sequence was fixed.
    • Also used during the Goron Dance mini-game in Oracle of Ages. You're given very little margin for error, and it must be completed multiple times. Oracle Of Seasons featured it too, but there was much more room for error.
    • Cadence of Hyrule has this as a Running Gag, where the player has to repeat classic Zelda tunes to wake up sleeping characters.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, used with the "Tiptup Choir" jigsaw piece in Bubblegloop Swamp, and again with a giant Ominous Pipe Organ in Mad Monster Mansion.
  • The Simpsons Game used this, requiring the player to play back the Simpson's theme in order to gain access to Matt Groening's mansion.
  • Mega Man & Bass has these in Astro Man's level. A gun will fire at you if you make an error.
  • A quest in World of Warcraft uses this.
  • There's a minigame in the first WarioWare where you do this, with the musical justification.
  • The Mini-Game "Clefairy Says" in Pokémon Stadium, pictured above.
  • The subgame to Veggie Guardin' in Wii Play: Motion, where the player must whack moles in the correct sequence.
  • Pitfall The Mayan Adventure has a similar game involving pull-levers in some bonus levels.
  • The WALL•E computer game uses a simple challenge of this style to open some of the doors.
  • Light Crusader features some doors that only open after the player goes through a few rounds of "hit these things in the exact order they light up."
  • Parappa The Rapper, Space Channel 5, and for that matter almost every other Rhythm Game.
    • The Rhythm Heaven franchise, while not all of its games are these, quite a few are basically this (Which, by the way, does not make it any less fun). A few examples: Shoot-em-up, Moai Doo-wop, Drummer Duel, Love Lab to an extent, Working Dough, Rockers, and parts of Glee Club.
  • One of the forms of tower calibration in Final Fantasy X-2.
  • Earthworm Jim 2's underwater level has a Simon Says game at the exit. There are 4 pinball bumpers with ridiculous sound effects and you must repeat the sequence played. It starts at a one note sequence then gradually builds to 12 notes. The level exit appears when you finally fail, but the power up presented depends on how far you go before failing.
  • Eternal Sonata has a part that's sort of like this, but with some of the level between each sequence. The buttons are keys on a keyboard, and you play part of a song. It's part of Chopin's Nocturne.
  • In Brave Fencer Musashi, the boss battle against Topo is a dancing contest that's one of these. In addition to repeating the sequence, you have to maintain roughly the same tempo. Make a mistake and a row of fans blows you into an electric field.
  • In Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly, one mini-game involves Spyro watching a tiki band play their drums and then repeating the drum beat back to earn a dragonfly.
  • In the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of Mass Effect, this is how you hack into any piece of electronics that litters the world. The PC version replaces this with something that actually looks slightly sophisticated.
  • Metal Arms: Glitch in the System has one part where the eponymous Glitch must pretend to be a spy-bot during calibration tests. Various movement and rotation instructions are given, and three mistakes earn a ticket to the shredder. Sadly, going ballistic with a weapon isn't an option.
  • Chrono Trigger has a plot-relevant mini-game that gives you a perfect replica of the main character to replace him at the moment of his Plotline Death and undo it. Fortunately, during the one time it's plot-relevant, you can still continue if you fail...assuming you don't mind parting with a large sum of money.
  • Ōkami has the Blockhead encounters: Attack one to see a sequence of weak points appear, then dot over the weak points in the same order to actually defeat it. Many players didn't initially realize that the order matters, which can add to the frustration of trying to take down Blockhead Grande for his Stray Bead.
  • Mario Party will always have several games that are some variation on this, whether it be playing drums, raising colored flags (which has false positives), picking fruits to give to Bowser, jumping on the correct color platform, etc.
  • Alien Hominid had one miniboss that was like this. Hit the wrong color and you got zapped to death and had to repeat the process.
  • Multiple Nancy Drew games include mini-games like this, but the best example is The Haunting of Castle Malloy, which has a drum minigame that even looks like a Simon toy.
  • In an underwater section of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, five torches were ignited in a certain order, and then extinguished. Mario had to relight the torches in the same order.
  • In Stubbs the Zombie, the showdown with the Chief of Police takes the form of this.
  • The Pinocchio Licensed Game for Sega Genesis and Super NES has Stromboli's Marionette Show, where Pinocchio must imitate sequences of dance moves demonstrated by other puppets (using controls unique to this level) or else suffer Produce Pelting.
  • The piano puzzle in The 7th Guest. The tune turns out to be the game's main theme.
  • The Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets game for the Game Boy Color had a DDR-style minigame with this sort of gameplay featuring Harry and Professor Flickwick, resulting in the amusing images of Harry doing things like shaking his tush at the screen or breakdancing on his head.
  • Gets you to a golden key in Fable III.
  • Also a Money for Nothing minigame in Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy.
  • One of the games in The Secret Island of Dr. Quandary, "Ape the Ape".
  • One of the minigames in Escape From The Mindmaster.
  • The deadly "manicure" scene in Brain Dead 13 is probably this... sort of. And you can tell by the way Vivi's clumsy fingers point in the direction of her next strike of her butcher knife on the chopping block table after her previous, failed one, which tells you that you have to quickly move Lance's hand away at the opposite direction of the way she swings the knife to avoid getting his hand chopped off. For example, if her finger points right on her first failed attempt, his hand must move left on her next attempt. The next sequence follows: Her finger —> down, his hand —> up; her finger —> left, his hand —> right; etc. After her repeated failed attempts, she will tire and say, "Hmmm... this don't look very sharp," thus ending the "manicure".
  • How the Dragon Rushes work in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai 3. If you press the same button as your opponent, the Rush ends early.
  • Earlier games in the Dream Chronicles series contain these in some form, often based on music instruments.
  • The Sly Cooper series has a few instances.
  • Done a few times in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. The first time is merely a really simple puzzle with blocks in the Pi'illo Castle basement, but later certain bosses will telegraph their attacks like this, with them moving a bunch of laser sights in a certain order and then afterwards shooting in the directions indicated.
    • Also, the Bye Bye Cannon attack in general, where you have to watch the order that Mario and Luigi are shot into the air and hit the right button when they land afterwards to do damage. Even more so for the Mad Skillathon mini game for this move, in which you've got to memorize increasingly long sequences of falling Marios and Luigis while the room for error gets less and less each time.
  • Super Beat Sports: Downplayed in Gobble Golf which shows each sequence and then gives the player two chances to match everything in it. Each target lights up ahead of time during the player's turn, but having the sequence in mind ahead of time makes it easier.
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed: The Fabricator bosses have a phase where the player needs to stand in the center of an arch and use their extending bionic arm to block spikes launched in sequence, as indicated by lights around the arch, before the boss' weak point is exposed. The Leader's helicopter also has a phase where it launches missiles in sequence, and the player has to anticipate which direction to block from.
  • In Untitled Goose Game, the two ladies sharing a table at the pub will play with the Goose by miming the actions they want to see (honk, bow, and flap). Play along, and they'll give the Goose a flower.

    Electronic Toys 
  • A closer Trope Namer than the children's game of Simon Says is the 1978 game Simon from Milton Bradley, which had colored buttons and musical sound effects.
    • A similar game called "Bop-It" was a strange-looking plastic gizmo that called out actions that the player had to perform on the object like pressing a button, pulling levers, or twisting the object. Its main mode was just doing the correct actions as they were called, though another mode was directly Simon.
    • "Brain Warp" also tasked the player with repeating commands one at a time, by rotating the toy so that the called color or number was oriented upward. One mode involved memorization and repetition: The first player chooses a first move, the second player repeats that move and adds a second move, the third player repeats the first two moves and adds a third, and so on.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Many of the "events" (read: stunts) on the Nickelodeon Game Show Think Fast required teams to take turns building a sequence in this manner, adding one each time. The first team to mess up lost. Examples included entering numbers on a giant push-button phone, throwing different colored paint balloons at one's partner, and patting the backs of three "gross uncles" to cause them to belch.

  • Before each showing of World of Color at Disney's California Adventure, a game called the Fun Wheel Challenge is played. Guests connect to a Wi-Fi network on their phones and play Simon Says... with the lights on Mickey's Fun Wheel as Simon. The winner gets to switch between one of four light patterns for a short time.


Video Example(s):


First Contact (Megamix)

You play this minigame by hitting the 'A' button in the same way that the Martian shows, as the alien will say something in a beat, and you must match said beat to translate him properly.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / SimonSaysMiniGame

Media sources:

Main / SimonSaysMiniGame