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Questions for OLDER GAMERS

anne amère

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Hell yeah Malaki.

Its mainly because those games were different in a different time period. Games weren't as long and kids didn't have as much shit to do or availability, so we had more opportunities to play those Battletoads levels over and over again and get really good at them.

With different methods of gameplay came different expectations. The difficulty has switched for me, personally. Its harder for me to play through a moderate level 40-50 hour RPG than it is to play a challenging 2-3 hour game.

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Learn fast and being open minded of any possible solution, no matter how stupid it seems.

Saved my ass plenty of times just setting up bombs in a darknut infested room or switch to the wand/staff whenever I lost being able to shoot energy bolts from the sword due to being hit... Makes for a nice substitute most of the time.

2nd quest was just that, diving into the unknown and trying everything.

I remember the first time I finished Capcom's "Disney's Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers" on the nes with my sister, it made me realized how awesome coop gaming can be. Playing the game alone seemed practically impossible; not to mention not as much fun.

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Malaki is right, it's all about memorization. Games these days are completely dynamic, multiple solutions to 1 problem, back then it was up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Start...or die.

If it makes you feel better, I never beat Battle Toads without a game genie either, it was a poorly designed end level based on the arcade game designed to keep you pumping quarters.

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There was a different skill and mindset back in those days. You had games that were harder and you didn't see them as such. That was the norm. Now I don't call myself really an older gamer but I do remember that when playing Super Mario World on the SNES when I was like 5 that I was an absolute monster. I was so good at the game you have no idea. I knew that there was a different exit out of the bridge level if you flew under the entire thing. I don't know how I knew. Nobody told me but I just found it.

New games being all about a fun easy experience versus an actual challenging hard game is a change that seems to be here to stay. Both are fun but most people enjoy the same amount of fun for a significantly less amount of work.

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The "nintendo-hard" games are few and far inbetween, but once you find them they are fun as games that don't require much effort; imo the ones which require a lot of effort are more fun...

Case in point->

(perhaps easier than Silver Surfer on the NES but still very enjoyable)

Another great example would be upping the difficulty on your own like in the old days. In this case it's throwing in the "fast monster parameter" --> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1frEKQ3GN4E

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Regarding the 'Second Quest' in Zelda 1, I bring you this fantastic piece of historical copypasta from ABDN:

Years before this — one year before Super Mario Bros., even — there was a game called The Tower of Druaga. This game was essentially Pac-Man with a human protagonist. And not just any human protagonist — a knight named Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh had a quest: to rescue a princess who had been kidnapped by a demon named Druaga, who lived at the top of a sixty-floor tower. Gil’s duty was to wander the tower, slaying slime monsters with his sword, blocking fireballs with his shield, and finding semi-randomly placed keys with which to open the semi-randomly placed door on each floor. The hilarious catch of Druaga was that a player could climb all the way to the sixtieth floor, only to learn that he cannot win the game because he does not possess the necessary “hidden treasures”.

The “hidden treasures” in Druaga are the alpha and the omega if you’re talking about kleptomania as videogame design. On each floor, the location of the “treasure” is different, as are the criteria for unlocking it. The player starts each floor in a different location, and the layout of the maze floors are semi-random (one of many recognizable templates selected at random) though the treasure will always be in the same place of its respective floor on each playthrough. Some of the criteria for unlocking a treasure are alarmingly complex: stand in a particular square, face north, press the attack button fourteen times, step one square to the left, face south, press the attack button three times, step two squares right, face west, press the attack button eight times (I’m exagerrating slightly), and a treasure appears in a remote square visible to the player.

Watching a play-through of Druaga on YouTube will yield only questions in the mind of the uninitiated viewer; chief among those questions might be “why would someone want to play this?” In this day and age where Druaga is remade with polygons, paid tribute in dungeons in larger RPGs, the subject of many online strategy guides, and stuffed into portable classics compilations which are kind enough to include a list of the treasure locations and requirements in the instruction manual, it may be a tough question to answer. The solution to the mystery is that the overflowing crypticism was the whole point of Druaga.

No, the means for obtaining treasures were not originally published in “videogame magazines”: this was 1984.


Miyamoto had vocally appreciated Tower of Druaga for its ability to reach outside the game and inspire players to write things down and share conversations with fellow players. He wanted to do something similar with Zelda — where certain unassuming bushes can be burned down or certain unassuming wall tiles can be bombed, revealing staircases leading to underground caves where players can earn money or buy items. The “second quest” of the game, opened after completing the first quest, goes so far as to hide the majority of its dungeon entrances in completely obscure and arbitrary places. The game was structured this way, no doubt, to provoke conversation among friends.

So essentially, the tl;dr version is that the second quest was MEANT to be pieced together by the community as a whole by word-of-mouth (this is before widespread consumer internet, remember).

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"how the hell did you beat those old games on the NES?"

There are still some games I haven't beaten, like Ghosts and Goblins. The last time I tried to beat Blaster Master, I was near the last boss and the game froze, never to work again. I am still waiting for the right time, to execute my revenge. I still can't beat the first Ninja Gaiden without using continues.

"those games are so hard."

Yes, especially ghost and goblins

"battletoads is impossible without save states"

It is possible. It took me years to beat. Years. And a little luck.

"the first zelda is impossible without a guide (the 2nd quest at least)"

I love Zelda's difficulty. Zelda 2, on the other hand, that game will take some patience to master. Yet, I love that game's difficulty too. I also like to eat whole habenero peppers and have fully grown people punch me as hard as they can, so let's just forget about that.

"i can't imagine kids not GIVING UP for several of these games"

If there is a will, there is a way. It takes patience, faith, skill and hard work to beat a lot of those games from back in the day, and I'm proud to have been a part of it. I also think that a lot of games were designed to only be beatable by certain people. Many referred to this concept as "mastering" a game. You could actually be considered good at a game without actually beating it. Like if you could get to level 7 on Battletoads, but if you beat the game, you "mastered" it.

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Unfortunately those are times long past. I can't remember the last time I had an awesome conversation with a friend talking about the random stuff we found in a game that was totally awesome. Thinking back as far as I can I know I did it with SMW, Super Metroid and some other SNES games like the easter eggs in Super Mario RPG and Genesis games like Ecco. To a much lesser extent SM64 because by that time strategy guides became popular as well as your magazines with cheats and tricks and all that jazz.

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how the hell did you beat those old games on the NES

those games are so hard

battletoads is impossible without save states

the first zelda is impossible without a guide (the 2nd quest at least)

i can't imagine kids not GIVING UP for several of these games


Mostly with help from my friends, and using the candles/bombs on EVERY possible tree and walling until I found everything in every screen (As far as the original Zelda goes). Zelda 2 I never got very far in. Even when playing it now and days I find the game is still a GAWD DAMN BASTARD. :puppyeyes:

Though in all seriousness if I got stuck in a game I returned to it later after playing something else for a while.

Edit: Actually, I was wondering if anyone here was able to beat Strider back in the day? I couldn't get anywhere with that mess.

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All I have to say is: thank goodness for Virtual Console (and emulators). When you want the unforgiving challenge of the NES days, nothing quite does it like the original games themselves ^_^

Nowadays (here we go, old guy rant!!) most games are built so that even a four year old can beat it, and it requires a LOT of time but not a lot of effort. Well most games by Nintendo at least. Take for example Mario Galaxy... you have to play through a TON of levels before you get to the sufficiently challenging Purple Coin and 1-hit kill levels... and only a few of those are a real challenge. If you're good at the game you'd think you'd be able to blast through it like nobody's business... but you can't; you have to run and jump around easy-land for hours and hours before you get an actual CHALLENGE to face... it's hardly a "game" in the traditional sense when it's so easy. Twilight Princess, Windwaker, Metroid Prime 2 and 3, Prince of Persia (I'm just naming console games off the top of my head) - they're all like this to a large extent. Some of these can be played in a "harder" difficulty by skipping heart pieces and energy tanks, but they're STILL way too easy... they simply weren't designed to be challenging to someone who knows how to play (and it's quite easy to learn how to play).

And then there are games like Megaman 9. When I first got MM9, I tried every level and did not complete one of them - some of them I barely got a quarter of the way through. And it's not because of bad luck or cheapness, it's because the game requires SKILL and EFFORT to play. Now that's what I'm talking about! =D

Zelda 1 and 2 - ok, there are some mandatory hidden secrets that are just really crazy, but again that could be called a social aspect of the game (and they're not that bad when you can look up the answer). Metroid on the other hand... that game is the embodiment of unforgiving gameplay, so it's very excusable there ^_^

I played and beat Zelda 1 (both quests) and Zelda 2 and Metroid only a couple years ago, and they're not perfect, but I found the gameplay and challenge at a much better level than most newer games I've played. I'll admit Zelda 2 was frustrating as hell at some points, but playing the game to the end was SO worth it!

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You youngin's jess don' understand what pleasure you could git frum repeatedly doing something over and over until you just get good at that thar game. Do it again and again, dag-nabbit!

Yeah, it was all about repetition. All the games were pretty difficult and there was no one to turn to if you couldn't do it (unlike today, when parents often were gamers, themselves), nor was there any easier alternative, so you just played the shit out of the games you had until you beat them.

Repetition - it's what it was all about, man.

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Well, when you think about it this was in the 80s. There wasn't nearly the same amount of entertainment out there for kids. No internet, so no youtube, hulu, myspace, facebook etc... think of all the time we spend online now-a-days. TV networks haven't over saturated the airwaves with childrens networks yet. You were lucky if you had a Nintendo Power that was a special strategy guide issue for 1 single game.. A lot of it was just LONG days in front of a TV screen with nothing else to do (playing outside is so overrated).

In a lot of those older games about the only way (for me) to beat them was to just play them for hours and hours. I'd get a little farther each time, die, then start from scratch again knowing that there's spikes in the next room now. Battletoads is a good example of this method... lol.

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