Head of intelligence
Image: Nintendo Life

People are smart. Really clever.

We are the only species on earth that has the intelligence to understand our own existence. We’ve landed on the moon, created great engineering achievements, built massive buildings that pierce the clouds in the sky, and made giant leaps in science and medicine. Yes, we are a smart bunch, that’s all.

It’s even more embarrassing when we have moments where we really doubt our own intelligence. Moments that cause impostor syndrome and make you think “huh, maybe I’m not that smart after all”. When we have such moments, it is good to talk about them. Acknowledging your own minor failures and laughing about them in the company of your peers can be incredibly liberating. It makes us realize that we are all in the same boat, just trying to make our way through life as best we can.

With that in mind, we decided to share our own embarrassing gaming moments that made us question our intelligence; seemingly simple tasks or mechanisms that should, c theoryturned out to be a non-issue, and yet kept us on edge for far longer than we’re usually willing to admit, and the eventual reveal came as both an incredible relief and an extreme embarrassment.

or me actually stuck here? God…

Ollie Reynolds, Ball Dropper

Metroid Prime
Image: Nintendo Life

Playback Metroid Prime Remastered over 20 years after I first downloaded the original on the GameCube, it reminded me of a rather awkward moment during the opening chapter of the Space Pirate Frigate tutorial.

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

You see, at this point in the game, many of Samus’ core abilities remain intact; it’s only when you actually escape the Frigate and land on the nearby planet Tallon IV that she loses them all. So rockets? Check it out. Grapple beam? Check it out. Morph Ball? Check it out. I knew I had the Morph Ball because I tested it right after jumping off the ship. And yet…

About ten minutes into the game, you come across a locked door. Scanning the monitor ahead reveals that in order to open this door, you need to “insert a metal sphere” into a recess in the ground. Naturally, this of course refers to Samus’ Morph Ball ability, but for reasons I still can’t fathom, I must have spent a good two hours or so scouring the rooms I’d already visited looking for something spherical about object Again and again and finished.. Obviously, I didn’t find it.

No joke, when I finally realized the game was about the Morph Ball ability, I turned off the GameCube in frustration. “I’m clearly not cut out for this experience” I thought. I went back to it a few hours later when I calmed down and I’m very thankful for that because the onward journey was mainly simple swimming and it resulted in one of the most exciting gaming experiences of my life.

Metal sphere… Hahahaha. If you can’t laugh, you will cry.

Alana Haigs, Ninja Careless

Image: Nintendo Life

I’m ashamed, but Final Fantasy VI was one of the last Final Fantasy games I lost. However, 20 years after the game’s release, I did huge a mistake that shocked many people. I know others have done this too, but look, the game is pretty obvious about what you should do. So it’s time to confess. Final Fantasy VI spoilers ahead…

About halfway through the game, you find yourself on the Floating Continent. You rescued a former ally of Shadow who you found out was secretly working for the Empire and he decided to join the Returned until you run into Kefka and Emperor Gestalt in the Warring Triad, where Shadow leaves. Many happens and you are forced to escape the Floating Continent within a limited amount of time.

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

When there’s a time limit in the corner of the screen, I always panic, and so I see that clock ticking while I’m running around the Floating Continent trying to save the group’s life, and I’m like, “I’ve got to get out of here quickly“. I reached the end, and below me blackjack was sprawling, waiting for me. Then the game gave me the choice to jump or wait. Without even thinking, I chose “Jump”. And we ran away. It didn’t happen t onely twig that hey, Alana, there is a timer and the game is suggesting you wait. why If I said “Wait” and tried to jump again, the game would specifically suggest “You need to wait Shadow…”. The game literally flashed warning signs in front of me and I just ignored them.

It wasn’t until I got about five hours into the Ruin World and reassembled the rest of the Returners that I thought, wait, where’s my favorite ninja? As it turned out… he couldn’t. He’s dead forever and there’s nothing I can do about it. Oh! I did save the world and end Kefka’s reign as God, but with blood on my hands…

I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who did this, but when I told my friends they were shocked. I was branded a ninja assassin despite the Final Fantasy VI hallmarks. It’s not obvious how “fire magic heals a fiery enemy” – maybe if I’d done that as a kid I’d have felt a little better. But I was 20 years old. There was internet there it is.

Or I could just, you know, read.

Jim Norman, Arrow Dodger.

Lego Star Wars
Image: Eidos Interactive

The year was 2005. There was a game LEGO Star Wars on the GBA. Yes, this title may not match up with the others on this “best eva games” list, but it was still enough to get me hooked.

I’m lost. In the Lego game.

Anyone who has ever played a Lego game will be able to tell you that these levels are pretty simple. You move from a well-defined point A to an equally well-defined point B, solving a few not-too-brainy puzzles along the way and engaging in very simple one-button combat. Indeed, the 100% assembly that follows can be difficult, but my problem was with the first item on the above list: I got lost. In the Lego game.

There was one level (I forget which episode) where you ride along as R2-D2, dropping mines and using your lead the ability to overcome gaps. I emphasize lead in this case, because it was very important. After making it this far, I came across a large gap with a series of spikes across it. Unlike other gaps I’d encountered up to this point, I couldn’t see the other side. “I think it’s just a hole that leads to nowhere” I concluded by using R2’s limited hover ability to fly out, collect the pins, then fly back to my side. The safe side.

Then I found myself in a kind of dead end. Where could I go but this giant hole in front of me, nothing left unexplored? I kept shutting down my GBA and restarting the level – it had to be a hardware problem right? What I didn’t think about was the floating cloves I’d collected so many times lying in the shape of—you guessed it—arrows. All you had to do was follow the direction of the arrow and the scrolling screen would move with you, showing the other side of the pit.

Is it a shame to blame the hardware or my complete negligence massive arrow in front of me (keep in mind the GBA version was from an isometric perspective, making the direction even clearer) I’ll never know. But one thing I am sure of is that this 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, Pokemon Master

Image: Nintendo Life

Shortly after I received Pokemon blue on the Game Boy I decided to use my first ever Master Ball on Jigglypuff.

I even saved the game file… oops!

Gavin Lane, barrel blocker

Sonic 3
Image: Sega

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

For those not in the know, it was a rotating jumping cylinder that blocked your path in the Carnival Night Zone. The key to overcoming this is realizing that you can affect the bouncy bounce of the barrel by alternately pressing up and down on the D-pad, thus pushing the platform down far enough to access the next part of the level and spin on the dash. your merry way

With how basic Sonic 3’s controls are (D-pad and one button), you can’t stop until the timer runs out several times made me question my sanity when I finally figured out how to get around it. This was written by former NL contributor and Retronaut Stuart Gipp a few years ago, quite rightly warning anyone dim enough to be fooled by a bloody cask. No excuses. Excuse me.

stupid me

Ah… We feel better now that it’s off our chests. Now we’d love to hear your stories too. Have you ever had moments in a game that made you question your own intelligence? Moments about which until this day you were simply ashamed to tell someone?

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