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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

This is wussy compared to older games.
The King of All Cosmos, commenting on Me And My Katamari

And that's for lulling me into great side-scrollers that are nearly impossible to beat!
Deadpool, after defeating Arthur in Marvel vs. Capcom 3

... What's the point of making a game if you... can't even... win it... so stupid....
Evan, Superbad

I mean, what's the point of playing if you can't win every time?
Jason Fox, FoxTrot

Okay. So then. Okay. Good evening. Good mor— Good afternoon. As you all know, I'm Akira Otoishi. Alright! This time, uh, I'm gonna do games for the first time. So then. Insta-death Mega Man. If I medicate, I'll be str—st... If I'll meditate, I'll be stronger. So I'm going to try insta-death Mega Man. So, you know, the start is like...

Otacon: He used to be a weakling, but countless trials over the years have toughened him up.
Snake: And by trials, you mean "Game Overs"?
Otacon: Yeah, you should know all about that.
—Codec conversation about Pit, Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Anthony: I didn't even beat Trauma Center!
Ashly: Nobody did, it's a fuckin' Atlus game.
Anthony: People beat Atlus games.
Ashly: No, they don't.

(camera switches to an army of buff ninjas)
Buff Ninja: Whaaat's up.

With a limitless stock of bullets in the compartments of these weapons, our firepower is unparalleled in coverage and destructive strength! These munitions have beaten back the repeated attacks of lone wolf pilots and our achievements have earned us a top position within our industry.
Dr. Ingram K. Daugh, DoDonPachi Maximum, basically saying "We at CAVE have produced many balls-hard Bullet Hell games and we're proud of it."

Good luck! You'll need it!
The host, Smash TV

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.

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)

We get off on your tears.

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

Satoru Iwata: 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.
Chief Arino: The people who made it?
Iwata: Yes. And because they make the games, they become good at them...
Arino: That's true!
Iwata: So you've got these expert gamers making the games, and then saying things like "This is too easy." And that's—
Arino: They're like, "We need to make this part harder!"
Iwata: And that is why you're reduced to complaining as you play.
Arino: So I'm jumping immediately into games made for professionals?
Iwata: Exactly.
Arino: Well, no wonder they're impossible, then! I see it now.
Retro Game Master, "Balloon Fight"

I would have to be paid a lot of money to go back and play NES games, I mean they were tortuously difficult.

When video game magazines featured high scores from the game for the first time [in 1996], readers were shocked to see no one had actually succeeded in beating the game. The ruthless level of difficulty became legendary among gamers at the time.
Battle Garegga Rev.2016 official website

Crash Course
Breath of the Wild offers little in the way of tutorials, waypoints, or any other form of in-game hand-holding. This is actually one of its most enjoyable features; as you learn from your experiences, you will obtain a powerful and genuine sense of accomplishment. The flipside of this is that there are many genuine challenges to overcome, particularly tough opponents, complex puzzles, and navigational conundrums. This is not an easy game.
—Excerpt from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - The Complete Official Guide.


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

Battletoads 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.

Everything in Dick Tracy seems deliberately crafted to be as agonizing and unfun as possible...the NES game is best fitted with concrete galoshes and sunk to the bottom of the lake nearest to you.
Sotenga on Dick Tracy (1990)

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.

Yahtzee: The camera is saying "Do you get it? DO YOU GET IT?"
Gabriel: Do you know how you learned that (laser cannon) was there in the last game? You jumped down, and you got shot, and you had to start again.
Yahtzee: Well, I wouldn't say you got shot. You got fucking shot.
Let's Play of Flashback (2012)

You're breaking my BALLS, Mario!
Super Mario Brothers 85 Former Trope Namer note 

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?

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.
Pat R. (not actually discussing Super Mario Bros. 2, but an even harder title: Final Fantasy II)

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

"Losing is Fun!"
— The official motto of Dwarf Fortress

"I swear, these games were programmed by the Joker!"
The Angry Video Game Nerd on various Batman games.

"Easy? It was on easy? That's their idea of fucking EASY?! Are they out of their minds?"
The Angry Video Game Nerd, realizing that he'd been struggling on the easiest difficulty setting of the Sega Genesis port of Dark Castle

"It's as if they programmed the game and then said: 'You know what? It needs an Expert setting'. And then they programmed it, but forgot to add it in the menus. It's a theory, but it's the best guess I can come up with. Why else would they make the game so fucking hard?!"

"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."
NippleBandit's rant about F-Zero GX

"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 
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!"
Gaming Hell on The Tower of Druaga

"I'm starting to understand why I had trouble with this as a kid."

"Hands down, this is the hardest 3D Mario game, maybe the hardest Mario period. The upbeat music, the pretty colours, slipping-sliding through some palm trees, that's all bullshit. This game is not a vacation; this is about being the best guy ever or getting your dick knocked off."

Big props to LISA for actually challenging me, and bigger props to pissing off the casual reviewers who said it was too difficult. I felt like I was actually being appreciated as somebody who bothered to learn about video games - we're talking about a man who janks up the difficulty to the highest as a physical tic, and sometimes that isn't enough. Mass effect was a bit easy, and Deus Ex would have been a decent challenge if it wasn't for the AI's godly aim combined with instant-kill headshots.

This shit is so HARD! (storms off)
Creator/Brentalfloss, "My Mega Man 9 Review In 5 Seconds"

"Then, in the mid 80s, we see the focus shifting back towards consoles, with the NES. Games start to take on the structure of having a set amount of stages and with this change the role of difficulty is transformed. Now the challenge becomes: 'How do we stretch out a 30-minute game into something that will take months to complete?' The solution? 'Nah! Just put a bunch of stupid fucking bullshit everywhere.' Cheap-ass one-hit kills, oblique puzzles, broken enemy spawns, impossible jumps, enemies that constantly knock you off a ledge. Go dig up an NES and tell me how many of those games you can actually complete. None of 'em! Don't lie, you probably can't even complete Bubble Bobble. Even the titles that were directed specifically at younger children make Dark Souls look like fucking DuckTales except that DuckTales is probably harder. Going forward, however, games would continue to become more and more approachable as developers found out that people actually like to win."


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