What gameplay moments made you question your intelligence?

Image: Nintendo Life

Human beings are smart. Really intelligent.

We are the only species on Earth with the intelligence to understand its own existence. We’ve landed on the moon, built great feats of engineering, built huge buildings that pierce the clouds in the sky, and made tremendous leaps in the fields of science and medicine. So yeah, we’re a smart bunch, all in all.

It makes it even more embarrassing when we have moments where we really question our own intelligence. Moments that stoke the imposter syndrome and make us think “huh, maybe I’m not so smart after all”. When we have those moments, it’s good to talk about them. Admitting our own minor setbacks and laughing about them in the company of our peers can be exceptionally freeing. It makes us realize that we are all in the same boat, just trying to navigate our way through life as best we can.

With that in mind, we thought we’d share our own embarrassing gameplay moments that made us question our intelligence; seemingly simple tasks or mechanics that should, in theoryit proved to be no problem at all and yet it kept us baffled far longer than we would normally like to admit, with the final reveal coming as both an incredible relief and an extreme embarrassment.

I really get stuck here? Damn…

Ollie Reynolds, ball pitcher

Metroid Prime
Image: Nintendo Life

Playing Metroid Prime Remastered over 20 years after booting the original on the GameCube, it reminded me of a rather embarrassing moment during the game’s opening tutorial section on the Space Pirate Frigate.

I turned off the GameCube in frustration. “I’m clearly not cut out for this experiment,” I thought.

You see, at this point in the game, Samus has many of her main abilities intact; it’s only when you actually escape the Frigate and land on the nearby planet Tallon IV that she loses them all. So missiles? To check. Grapple Beam? To check. Morph Ball? To check. I you knew I had the Morph Ball, because I tested it right after I jumped out of my ship. And still…

There’s a moment about ten minutes into the game where you’re faced with a locked door. The front monitor scan informs that, to open said door, it is necessary to “insert metallic sphere” into a recess in the floor. Of course, this refers to Samus’ Morph Ball ability, but for reasons I still can’t fathom to this day, I must have spent a good two hours combing through the rooms I’ve visited in search of some sort of spherical object. more and more and about... Obviously I didn’t find any.

No kidding, when I finally realized the game referred to the Morph Ball ability, I turned the GameCube off in frustration. “I’m clearly not cut out for this experiment,” I thought. I returned to it a few hours later when I had calmed down, and I’m so grateful I did because the journey afterwards was mostly sailing, and resulted in one of the most exciting gaming experiences of my life.

metallic sphere… Haha ha. If you can’t laugh, you’ll cry.

Alana Hagues, Negligent Ninja

Image: Nintendo Life

Shame on you, but Final Fantasy VI was one of the last Final Fantasy games I beat. However, more than 20 years after the game’s release, I made a huge error, which shocked many people. I know others have done this too, but look, the game obviously hints at what you should do. Then it’s time to confess. Final Fantasy VI spoilers ahead…

Halfway through the game, you’re on the Floating Continent. You rescued a former ally, Shadow, who you discovered was secretly working for the Empire, and he chooses to join the Returners until you face Kefka and Emperor Gestahl in the Warring Triad, which Shadow departs from. Quite happens, and you are forced to escape the Floating Continent in a limited amount of time.

when I told my friends they were shocked. I was branded as a ninja assassin

When there’s a time limit in the corner of a screen, I always panic, then I see this ticking clock as I run across the Floating Continent, trying to save the group’s lives, and I think “I have to get out of here fast“. I got to the end, and below me Blackjack was floating, waiting for me. Then the game gave me a choice – jump or wait. Without even thinking, I selected ‘Jump’. And we escaped. It wasn’t t once twig that hey, Alana, there’s a timer and the game is suggesting you wait. Why? If I had said ‘Wait’ and tried to skip again, the game would have specifically suggested “I have to wait for Shadow…”. Literally, the game put flashing warning signs in front of me and I just totally ignored them.

It was only when I arrived about five hours into the World of Ruin and I was getting the rest of the Returners back together that I thought, wait, where’s my favorite ninja? Turns out… I couldn’t. He’s permanently dead, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Oops. I still saved the world and ended Kefka’s reign as God, but with a little extra blood on my hands…

I’m glad I’m not the only one who did this but when I told my friends they were shocked. I was labeled a ninja assassin, despite the signs Final Fantasy VI gave me. It’s not obvious how “fire magic heals fire enemy” – maybe if I had done that as a kid I’d feel a little better about it. But I was in my 20s. the internet was there.

Or I could just, you know, read it.

Jim Norman, Arrow Avoider

lego star wars
Image: Eidos Interactive

The year was 2005. The game was LEGO Star Wars on the GBA. Yes, this title might not match the others on this list in the ‘best eva games’ rankings, but it was still enough to surprise me.

I got lost. In a Lego game.

As anyone who has played a Lego game will be able to tell you, these levels are pretty straightforward. You move from a clearly defined point A to an equally clear point B, solving some not-too-complicated puzzles along the way and engaging in very simple single-button combat. Granted, the 100% collection that comes later can be challenging, but my issue came with point one on the aforementioned list: I got lost. In a Lego game.

There was a level (forgot which episode) where you’re walking around as R2-D2, dropping mines and using your to float ability to bridge gaps. I emphasize to float in this case because, well, it was very important. After getting this far, I came across a large gap with a series of pegs running through it. Unlike the other gaps I’ve encountered up to this point, I haven’t been able to see the other side. “I suppose it’s just a hole that goes nowhere”, I concluded, after using the R2’s limited hover ability to fly, collect the pins and then fly back to my side. O safe side.

I then found myself at a dead end. With nowhere unexplored but this giant hole in front of me, where was I supposed to go? I kept shutting down my GBA and restarting the level – this had to be a hardware issue right? What I forgot to think about was that the floating gap pegs I had collected so many times were in the shape of – you guessed it – an arrow. All you had to do was follow the direction of the arrow and the scrolling screen would move with you, showing you the other side of the pit.

Whether it’s the embarrassment of blaming the hardware or my utter neglect of the massive arrow in front of me (remember the GBA version was from an isometric perspective, making the steering even clearer) I’ll never know. But one thing I’m sure of is how that gap still haunts me. If a Lego game – or any game for that matter – presents you with a giant arrow, kids, you should probably follow it.

Liam Doolan, Pokémon Master

Image: Nintendo Life

Not long after I had Pokemon Blue on the Game Boy, I decided to use my first Master Ball on a Jigglypuff.

I even saved the game file… oh!

Gavin Lane, Barrel Blocker

sonic 3
Image: Sega

This is something millions of us have come across, but I can’t think of anything so simple that has stopped me for so long: the ‘barrel’ from Sonic 3.

For those who don’t know, this was an inflatable rotating cylinder that blocked your way in the Carnival Night Zone. The key to overcoming this is realizing that you can affect the barrel’s springy bounce by alternately pushing up and down on the D-pad, thus propelling the platform down enough to access the next part of the level and rotate the dash your way. happy.

Bearing in mind how elementary Sonic 3’s controls are (the D-pad and a single button), be baffled by this until time runs out. several times it made me question my sanity when I finally figured out how to get over the thing. Former NL and Retronaut contributor Stuart Gipp wrote about this a few years ago, rightly warning anyone stupid enough to be tricked by a bloody barrel. No excuses, here. My mistake.

fool me

Ah… We feel better now, it’s out of our chests. Now, we’d love to hear your stories too. Do you have any moments in the game that made you question your own intelligence? Moments that, until today, you were simply too embarrassed to tell anyone?

Don’t worry, we’re all friends here. Share your story in the comments section below.

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