In the latest edition Ask RPS, our new inbox feature where RPS fans ask us questions that we then answer in public posts for everyone to enjoy, we’re turning our attention to that beloved and hated staple of video games: achievements. Ah, the achievement. Do not worry if they are good is it bad Today we remember the terrible things we did to actually get them.

The question came courtesy of Fachevachev, who asked: What’s the worst thing you’ve done for an achievement? Or, more generally, a time when you’ve focused on a specific goal in a game, achieved it (or given up), and then looked back and thought, “Why did I do that?”

Why, indeed. Come and find out what achievements our biggest games have spawned, and why not tell us about your own gaming shenanigans in the comments? We can all drown in our own stupidity together.

James: Many years ago, willingly and with common sense, I moved a garden gnome throughout the territory Half-Life 2: Episode 2 so I can stuff it into the rocket at the end. And for what? I knew in advance that there would be no extra cutscenes, no alternate endings, not even a voice confirmation line to be gained from the exercise; I did it about 20% for the achievement and 80% so I could tell my friends that I was carrying a garden gnome around for the entirety of Half-Life 2: Episode 2. None of them were particularly impressed.

I will say that having to take care of Chompsky the little gnome added an interesting challenge, especially trying to stop him jumping out of a car with no doors and no roof. But it’s ultimately just difficulty for difficulty’s sake, a gaming trick I’ve since come to despise. In addition, Gaben did send a dwarf into space in 2020, further relegating my efforts to the footnotes of decorative rocketry history.

Catherine: Like James, I also tried to follow Chompsky the Dwarf throughout Episode 2, but failed almost instantly, and couldn’t be bothered to restart. I was it’s close to get the Zombie Chopper achievement in vanilla Half-Life 2, which includes playing through Ravenholm using only the Gravity Gun. It was an amazing thrill for the first 80% of it, but my last and most reliable serrated saw blade went into oblivion when I shot a headcrab with it and I never saw it again, leaving me alone and defenseless in a swarm of hungry zombies. I really, really, really didn’t want to reach for my gun, but I also had very little life left and I didn’t want to do it all over again. I don’t regret the experience, though, as it was a fun challenge and made me think about Gravity Gun and Half-Life 2’s incredibly clever systems physics nonsense in cool new ways. One day I will come back and make it right.

I obviously enjoy the odd weapon test, even though it’s been years since I’ve managed to do it Alan WakeThe Gunless Wonder achievement, which to this day remains one of my rarest achievements. This includes getting to Cauldron Lake without firing a single bullet during the chapter “On the Road to Cauldron Lake” and man alive, that was intense. However, I regret it. why just why? Why did I stress so much in what was probably the most intense chapter of a very intense and scary game? Absolute madness. what was i thinking

A screenshot of Alan Wake showing Alan approaching town on a ferry.
Needless to say, when I played the Alan Wake remaster, I didn’t even try Gunless Wonder a second time. Once was enough.

Ollie: Some of you remember Patterns, that Linden Lab sandbox game that basically was Minecraft Alpha, but with triangles? I played it when it first came out in early access and had a lot of fun with it. Then I saw that there was a contest on the game’s forum for the most amazing build, and the winner got a top-of-the-line Alienware PC.

I spent over 30 hours putting together an impressive build that I called Eaters of Worlds, a painting of several Sandworm-esque monsters bursting through and tearing apart one of the small pyramidal planets of the Patterns. A non-standard construction that was as complex as it was grandiose. I was extremely proud of myself until I looked at the fine print on Alienware’s website and saw that the PC was only available for US members. And then, to top it all off, one of the developers emailed me saying that “as key members of the community” my brother and I should participate in this contest.

After that betrayal, I lost the desire to continue playing Patterns. It’s probably a really good thing, because I heard that the early access period was handled harshly after that, and then the game was shut down. But since then I am a broken man. This PC was meant to be mine.

Ezio knocks an enemy off a roof, presumably to his death in Assassin's Creed 2
Assassin’s Creed II feathers are clearly a common stain on many RPS Treehouser…

Alice Bee: I only have a boring answer to this question because I don’t tend to get hung up on things like cheevos – or if I start doing something, I get bored very quickly. For example, I tried to collect all the feathers of the Mother from amnesia Assassin’s Creed II, but after a few of them I realized that it was very silly and I shouldn’t bother. in games like Stardew Valleyi’ll try to make a nice farm but then i can’t be bothered to transplant things or move things around when it gets bigger.

In the past, I’ve spent a lot of time looking for specific things you need to do and gifts you need to give romantic characters in BioWare games or become best friends with. In fact, thinking about it, I can look back and ask myself, “Why did I put over 300 hours into the game? Dragon Age: Inquisition?”

Liam: I like idea achievements more than the act of actually receiving them. I feel like I start most games determined to get every gong, but quickly give up as soon as I’m asked to do something fairly innocuous like play the game a second time on a higher difficulty or something. I distinctly remember spending weeks trying to collect all the trophies in Assassin’s Creed II, only to walk away frustrated after trying to find the last freaking quill that would allow me to go platinum. He still regrets it. Maybe that’s why I don’t bother anymore?

Characters from Fortnite Season 3 Chapter 1, including The Foundation, who looks like Dwayne Johnson.
“He rubs lotion on his skin or he’ll get the hose again,” Liam sings every night in his sleep…

Unfortunately, my real answer to this question is that every other month I spend an obnoxious number of hours leveling up my battle pass in Fortnite to unlock a bunch of skins that I’ll ignore in favor of what I paid extra money for in the in-game store. I did it for years. I played this game on goddamn Christmas so I wouldn’t miss Doom Guy. There is no satisfaction in scoring that arbitrary goal, but when the next season rolls around, I dutifully do it all over again.

Hayden: I’m bloody love achievement. Steam Achievements, Gamerscore, Platinum Trophies, I want them all. I’ve spent many nights hunting for them and an achievement that is hard to get can put me off the game. Damn, emperor! achievement distracted me The Elder Scrolls Online fully! To get this awesome bell, you had to become the number one player in your PvP faction. No! Why should I do this? Also, I want this achievement and if I can’t get it, I don’t play!

The hard achievement I was trying to get was ManBearPig! in South Park: Let’s Go Tower Defense Play. It was an Xbox Arcade game where you place towers to defend yourself against an onslaught of cows, old people, demons, and more. Each character also had a basic attack that allowed them to throw a snowball for a small amount of damage. In the penultimate level, you faced the tough boss ManBearPig in the final wave. The achievement involved beating an entire level, including ManBearPig, without using a single tower on the hardest difficulty. Only snowballs! My friend and I tried for many years, but we never succeeded. But I don’t regret it. We went to different high schools, but this ridiculously difficult accomplishment helped us stay friends for a year or so longer before we finally broke up. I think it’s very nice.

And when Bloodborne inevitably hits PC, you can bet that Ed will be back there on the train with multiple endings.

Ed: I never get hung up on achievements. I really want to collect some rare items, but then I realize it’s really hard, so I don’t. I had something on my mind that I really thought about Bloodborneplatinum trophy for collecting all achievements and completing all endings.

I did the trick that most people did when I got to a point in the game where I was doing well in each ending and then uploaded the save file to the cloud. Then I reload it after marking each completion and voila, job done! Otherwise, I’m sure I’ve chased a lot of campaign achievements on the hardest difficulty, with Halo 3 and Reach comes to mind God, the stress.

Rachel: I don’t really like achievements either, but they are there Anguish where you have to wait 400 days in real time to wake up a king sleeping deep underground, so I set an alert on my phone’s calendar, completely forgot about it, and then downloaded the game over a year later to get the achievement. Yes, I could have moved the clock on my computer or watched a YouTube video to see what would happen, but this was something I felt the need to do myself. It wasn’t worth it either!

Take Rachel’s advice and just mess around with your PC calendar for this.

Rebecca: My initial reaction to this question was a slightly condescending statement that I wasn’t invested in achievement hunting. I was going to say that the time spent in the game ends naturally when I see everything that interests me. To be honest, that’s technically true. But then I took a closer look and realized that basically all of my most popular games on Steam are the ones where you can collect little bits of information about the characters, culminating in dressing them up in different costumes and such. And I realized how often I spent more time than I wanted to unlock an alternate outfit that I would never wear for a character that I thought was a solid B-tier at best.

The fact that I filled out Momo’s full profile on HuniePop should be openly written on a board around my neck while someone rings a bell above my head and takes me through the city center where I have to confess to everyone I meet that Momo makes my skin crawl, but I obsessively 100%-ed her route anyway.