Editor's Note: My Game Done Me Wrong

My Game Done Me Wrong

The relationship between player and game is one of harmony, balance, and symbiosis. Perhaps that's why it feels like such a kick in the teeth when our games turn against us.

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Yes, I do hate it when games suddenly jump up in difficulty and make you give up on them.

It happened to me with the first two fallout games. Fallout 1 was difficult, but not impossible, but I could never, ever beat Fallout 2. It almost makes me thankful that Fallout 3 was really easy.

FFX did this...

Oh god, it's even worse when a game flatout cheats. And even worse when noone but the direct witnesses of its cheating believe you

I was playing Lords of Magic for the PC when I was about 12. It's the sort of strategy game that takes a few days to beat a single match... I loved the game. It had an interesting mix of Strategy gameplay styles, sort of like Champions of Might and Magic (which is also a cheating stupid bitch too, but that's a story for another day). It had a neat magic system, and I really liked the factions. I'm all about Symmetry, and Lords of Magic oozed symmetry at every possible location. And all of the factions made sense, even the Esoteric ones... Life, Death, Chaod, Order, Fire, Water, Air, and Earth.. as a Fantasy fan for ages, these concepts were exactly as they needed to be.

Onto my actual story.. I was playing a game, as Order (my favorite by far), and for several days, I was dealing with the CPU opponents, either by capturing their cities, or destroying their capitals, or however I needed to... I had conquered all of them but death.. Death being by its nature, meant to be the last hurdle.. Each of the Games Factions had it's own unique super units... In My Case, one of them was Sir Lancelot.. Only I could build him, and I could only have one... even if I captured an order base, as Fire, for instance, I wouldn't be able to make one. It was the unique perk for being Order.

Well, It came down to just me and Death, and he attacks with a unit.. On the board, I thought it looked familiar.. but it couldn't be what it looks like, could it? The battle makeup window appears, and I see 50 Sir Lancelots. I couldn't believe my eyes, but there they were... The game, that I had cherished despite it being a pretty crappy game in hindsight... had kicked me squaw in the nuts.. I felt absolutely betrayed by the game. Of course Death Proceeded to stomp me into oblivion.

It was clearly a glitch in the game.. I've mentioned it to other people who played the game and they didn't report anything like it, but I haven't played the game since then. It's been almost 13 years... more time then had passed in my whole life at that moment, and I still can't bring myself to play it again.. Doesn't help that I destroyed the disc after that, but I could have found it again.. But I couldn't.

Interestingly enough, I wore out the manual for that game.. It came from the Era of gaming where PC games had big books, full of stories, and interesting nuggets of stuff to read. It had so much of the lore I craved from that game.. and for the most part, the game delivered that lore, in a choppy unbalanced sort of way.. but it was fun.

Until the day I was killed, by death, on the backs of 50 Sir Lancelots.

Civilization/Colonization.

Throughout my early years I had many lost weeks due to wanting to conquer the world.

My first inkling was when my Russian Army found it easier to maintain Democracy and called for it.
My second was the usual point where the Barbarians beat off a nuclear Destroyer armed with sticks.

And then came, on Call to Power, what would become known as "The Flooded Internet Incident".

In a scene straight from the Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Ask your parents, kids), my world power was making leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. My only worries were from the Zulu Empire, who had thousands of tanks on my border and the German Continent, that were racing ahead to some form of Cyberpunk Theocracy.

I didn't really care though. I had spies in all their major cities, and I owned the Internet. Anything they did passed directly through me.

Then one of my spies sent me a worrying report about Global Warming. Being the Machiavellian Ruler that I was, I made sure that the Zulus knew about Germany trying to destroy the world and a fleet of tanks left my border to invade Germany.

Sitting back and building up my defences, I steamrollered into research on reversing the Warming.

The Zulus landed and took Berlin with almost no effort required. The Germans launched their new V2s at Berlin and the Manhattan Project finally saw fruit.

Nuclear Winter hit the Globe and three of my Cities got hit with a Tsunami and disappeared under the waves. The Internet collapsed, as did the Hoover Dam and 13 other Wonders of the World. DESPITE them all having Force Domes which had just been completed.

Of course, my Empire turned on itself and went from a self-governing Democracy to Anarchy in one turn; which caused the Zulus to invade after my peace treatments went South.

So I rewound time, as I was want to do.

And it happened again. And again. And again.

I found there was no way to stop this happening apart from declare War and win against a World Power twice my strength on the other side of the planet within a space of about 40 turns.

And this was just on Medium (King) difficulty. There were three more harder, heavier cheating difficulties above that.

I gave up after that. When the computer admits it is outright cheating to win, what's the point in competing?

(See also Mario Kart) Nintendo Hard I can deal with. The Computer is a Cheating Bastard, I can't.

The New Colonization is far worse given that the very act of having Founding Fathers gives you an exponential growth force to fight off; which makes half the game pointless.

I feel your pain the_root.. Strategy games are notorious for cheating.. Playing Age of Empires with "Win by Wonder" turned on is basically a death sentence against some of the harder AIs... the computer clearly cheats, and can start building a wonder in several minutes, instead of the hour or so it takes for you to build your tech tree to that level.

I think this is the reason that I've never finished a JRPG. Not that I've played more than 2 but I found that both FFVIII and FFX did it to me, maybe I'll revisit them one day and actually complete them, but not anytime soon.

I know exactly how you feel in relation to Enchanted Arms, but i also remember that defeating that final boss after having come back later was shear joy, one of the best feeling i have had for finishing a game in years.

I was really afraid something like this was going to happen in Master of Orion. The first couple times I played the game - the original, back when I was young and the earth was cooling - the guardian of Orion completely kicked my tail any time I went near it. It seemed like it might have been an insurmountable obstacle. I negotiated peace with the other alien races and got elected to be the game's winner.

Then, after a few board games with my father that taught me the benefits of aggression, I decided that bug-shaped jerk wasn't going to beat me again.

Thankfully, in MoO the computer is not a cheating bastard (Thanks, _root!) and the guardian's tech level remains the same throughout the game. So by the time I rolled into Orion with a fleet of battlecruisers bristling with death rays and pulse phasors, he didn't stand a chance.

Good times.

Jiraiya72:
FFX did this...

No it didn't. The only, ONLY challenging fights in the games are in the custom monster arenas and the Omega Ruins (how I hate you, Greater Malboros).

That being said, the last time I recall that I felt betrayed by a game was at the ending of the latest Prince of Persia game. Talk about a wasted effort.

Ganthrinor:

Jiraiya72:
FFX did this...

No it didn't. The only, ONLY challenging fights in the games are in the custom monster arenas and the Omega Ruins (how I hate you, Greater Malboros).

That being said, the last time I recall that I felt betrayed by a game was at the ending of the latest Prince of Persia game. Talk about a wasted effort.

going through the game the first time, the 2nd to last Seymore fight and Yunalesca were both quite difficult.. could be impossible without really solid strategy.. but the grind in FFX was so stupidly easy, especially once you figured out how to utilize Overdrive -> AP.

Altorin:

Ganthrinor:

Jiraiya72:
FFX did this...

No it didn't. The only, ONLY challenging fights in the games are in the custom monster arenas and the Omega Ruins (how I hate you, Greater Malboros).

That being said, the last time I recall that I felt betrayed by a game was at the ending of the latest Prince of Persia game. Talk about a wasted effort.

going through the game the first time, the 2nd to last Seymore fight and Yunalesca were both quite difficult.. could be impossible without really solid strategy.. but the grind in FFX was so stupidly easy, especially once you figured out how to utilize Overdrive -> AP.

Ehhh... not to start a FFX debate on this topic, but honestly none of the Seymour fights ever awakened me from the half-catatonic state that listening to Tidus put me into. Yunalesca was a bit of an irritant if you didn't sacrifice an Aeon to her.

For me, it was final fantasy III and IV on the DS. I have no idea what happened, but Now I am locked in a room, and the only baddies around are ones that will kill me. I cannot go back to level up because for some reason I have to move this part of the story forward, but I cannot kill anything. in both games.

Odd, I forgot I have my action replay...

many many games do this it turns into luck at points

Final fantasy had this one boss that basicl ripped through my team that where ground into a fine powder of over kill and this monster boss just slaughtered me in 3 hits

Staor ocean till the end of time final boss hates players as well

I mean one time i asked the gmae why the hell did it hate me so much

i do this manly with ai snipers with perfect aim and games wherethe battles come down to sheer chance

and i also hate gmaes that say all out comes are random

MY ass

9outa 10 times the player gets the worse roll and fail at all checks

THANK YOU!!!

I swear to god I thought it was just me, that was pretty much word for word my experience with Enchanted Arms. At which point when asked by a friend, I gave him the game and told him to go nuts. Ostensibly it's loaned, but I'm ok bidding it farewell.

I know that feeling:
That's the way I felt when I first finished Fallout 3 (without the dlc), or when I tolerated No More Heroes until that Boss battle (which up until that point was the one slightly redeeming quality of the title) that ended up being a cutscene, or finishing GTA4 and realizing that I hadn't unlocked the rest of what you find in any other gta, or finding out Burnout Paradise was less burnout and more typical racing game or....
Never mind, this can go on and on.

Thank you Susan. I had the exact same problem. I was crushed to invest all that time into the game to never see the end. The faqs I checked told me I was using the wrong party. And the party I should have used were so under leveled it would have taken me another 60 hours of grinding.

Susan Arendt:
Editor's Note: My Game Done Me Wrong

The relationship between player and game is one of harmony, balance, and symbiosis. Perhaps that's why it feels like such a kick in the teeth when our games turn against us.

Read Full Article

Pshaw. I've beaten the Balog in "Temple of Elemental Evil" (took me a pair of charmed Ettins, Scorp, the Prince, several healers, and one and a half hours), and you couldn't deal with the Ice Queen? All my illusions are shattered. :(

Star Ocean: The Second Story for the Playstation did this to me. After spending a good few hours in an RPG with a fun, action-heavy battle system that was innovative for its time, my party of mixed science-and-sorcery battlers were more than ready to kindly inform the final boss that he was standing on our ending credits.

Cue my disappointed face after losing after thirty seconds to a move that had no charge time, hit multiple times as it shoved you into a corner, and wiped out my party's front line in one casting. Like the article's author, I too was convinced that I simply needed a different strategy. After six failed attempts utilizing various different tactics, most of which basically amounted to hopping around like a maniac on a pogo stick and letting everyone save the main character die, I was getting a little frustrated. Thus, I did the one thing I never, ever do: I consulted the internet.

Five different guides advised the same thing, essentially. "Back him into a corner and hope. This battle is mostly luck." After fifteen attempts, my hard-earned, ex-WoW raider patience broke, and I hurled the controller with a scream. The rest of the game had been no problem! Why, programmers? WHY?!

You're not alone when feeling this. Almost all of the RPGs I've played have moments like this. Whether it's the final boss of Phantasy Star Online Ep. I's impossible-to-miss kill spell (which I just needed to level up eight more times to barely survive), or the Ethereal Queen battle in Radiata Stories (with her ability to practically nuke the battle area, coupled with the fact that she only needs to kill you in the party), games I've played always seem to screw me over one way or another.

irefusetoincludenumbersinthisname:
Star Ocean: The Second Story for the Playstation did this to me. After spending a good few hours in an RPG with a fun, action-heavy battle system that was innovative for its time, my party of mixed science-and-sorcery battlers were more than ready to kindly inform the final boss that he was standing on our ending credits.

Cue my disappointed face after losing after thirty seconds to a move that had no charge time, hit multiple times as it shoved you into a corner, and wiped out my party's front line in one casting. Like the article's author, I too was convinced that I simply needed a different strategy. After six failed attempts utilizing various different tactics, most of which basically amounted to hopping around like a maniac on a pogo stick and letting everyone save the main character die, I was getting a little frustrated. Thus, I did the one thing I never, ever do: I consulted the internet.

Five different guides advised the same thing, essentially. "Back him into a corner and hope. This battle is mostly luck." After fifteen attempts, my hard-earned, ex-WoW raider patience broke, and I hurled the controller with a scream. The rest of the game had been no problem! Why, programmers? WHY?!

That game was weird...if you had a magic user you were doing something wrong though
seeing as how Clawde can do as much damage in 1 swing as a magic user can do with a 10 second cast spell with a 30 SECOND ANIMATION THAT PAUSES COMBAT FOR NO REASON*...and my opera could heal for twice as much with an ability that didn't have a cast time than...rhena?

Still don't blame you though, that game has too much secret stuff to realize what you're missing if you don't use a guide to tell you whats available

never bothered to kill sephitroth...didn't feel like fighting the two bosses before him because I didnt know i was supposed to equip all of my characters a certain way

*Even if magic was twice as useful as melee I wouldn't have used it for that reason. Part of the reason why I don't want to even try to kill seph again is because I wouldn't be able to bear another supernova. If you want a jrpg with decent combat play tales of symphonia/xbox version

Actually Baten Katos had a version of this, when you fight the emperor he uses a spell (every 8ish turns sometimes as early as the second)that kills one of your three party members. There are resurrection items but since its a card based game its not likely that you'll be able to sue them right away. I've had him use it twice before I get 1 res item to use and then he just immediately kills someone after I use it. The last boss is also insanely overpowered, but not in an unfair way.

Never had this problem with a game, and you better be damn sure no jrpg has been hard enough to do this. Then again I have a tendency to grind until I one-shot the mobs in the area, especially in FFX where I thoroughly enjoyed combat.

warbaloon:

That game was weird...if you had a magic user you were doing something wrong though
seeing as how Clawde can do as much damage in 1 swing as a magic user can do with a 10 second cast spell with a 30 SECOND ANIMATION THAT PAUSES COMBAT FOR NO REASON*...and my opera could heal for twice as much with an ability that didn't have a cast time than...rhena?

My party was Claude, Precis, Ashton, and Rena, for your information, so the only caster I had was Rena who was healing. I've heard Opera works wonders, but if I wind up needing an optional character to finish the game, odds are the game programmers were doing it wrong.

Magnatek:
You're not alone when feeling this. Almost all of the RPGs I've played have moments like this. Whether it's the final boss of Phantasy Star Online Ep. I's impossible-to-miss kill spell (which I just needed to level up eight more times to barely survive), or the Ethereal Queen battle in Radiata Stories (with her ability to practically nuke the battle area, coupled with the fact that she only needs to kill you in the party), games I've played always seem to screw me over one way or another.

You know, for some reason in PSO, it didn't bother me at all. I think because it's not really story-based; you're really only playing to grind, so doing it repeatedly didn't bother me. (Plus, I always had a healthy stockpile of Scape Dolls.)

Susan Arendt:

Magnatek:
You're not alone when feeling this. Almost all of the RPGs I've played have moments like this. Whether it's the final boss of Phantasy Star Online Ep. I's impossible-to-miss kill spell (which I just needed to level up eight more times to barely survive), or the Ethereal Queen battle in Radiata Stories (with her ability to practically nuke the battle area, coupled with the fact that she only needs to kill you in the party), games I've played always seem to screw me over one way or another.

You know, for some reason in PSO, it didn't bother me at all. I think because it's not really story-based; you're really only playing to grind, so doing it repeatedly didn't bother me. (Plus, I always had a healthy stockpile of Scape Dolls.)

I suppose you're right on that (I could never really find any Scape Dolls. The most I had at one time was two, and I gave one of those to my brother so both of us could survive the attack). Of course, games affect people in different ways. People do different things in the game, and get different results. Such was my case, as was yours. Unfortunately, my character no longer exists due to file corruption.

The final boss fight in Escape from Butcher Bay is the biggest cockblock I've seen.

Nearly finished Enchanted Arms, been playing it this week. According to one faq, as long as Atsuma's over 7000 HP I'll be right. I'm more annoyed at the amount of fights you have to endure for the final battle than the level grinding.

 

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