Sign in to follow this  

Broken games (in the logical sense)

Recommended Posts

Lets expose those broken games that made us spend hours and hours trying to find out what we were supposed to do.


The only thing I ask is that you put everything inside a spoiler tag, leaving only the system and game name outside. This way people will be able to avoid reading a spoiler about a game they have not played yet.



in order to avoid any confusion, please do not read these posts as "I hate this game because of this". The truth is quite the opposite: some of these games are awesome. Metal Gear is a great example of that. I think it is awesome. The ideas they used in the game are great, just not executed as good as they could have been. Was it the developers fault? As a system developer I must say that I think it probably wasn't. Sometimes in order to meet a certain deadline the higher management decides to sacrifice quality, and that is exactly what I think happened here.


So... rant away without fear! Tell the world about that jump on TMNT's level 3, express your feelings towards whoever had the tornado idea in Castlevania 2 and, if possible, send me the address of the guy who though executing the (Alex Kid In High Tech World for Master System spoiler)

praying action 100 times in a row was a great idea.




Metal Gear for the NES

The game is totally broken. It is very unlikely anyone has ever been able to finish it without a guide. In order to finish it without a guide one would have to:

  • call every one of your contacts on every room of the game. Repeat every time your rank increases.
  • walk on random directions in the desert maze with your compass
  • punch every inch of wall on every room of the game
  • the same as above, but using the iron glove

And here is why:



Lets get caputred!

Someone will tell you that the best way to reach a hidden cell is to get captured. If after that you enter on a certain empty truck you will get captured. All the other enemies in the game will kill you except that guy. And if you are a normal person and have already entered that truck once and noticed it was empty, it is very likely you will not enter there again! After all, quoting mister Albert: only a crazy person keeps doing the same thing hoping for a different result.



The quest for the holy rocket launcher

The Arnolds hold a card you will need. But when you reach their room, none of your weapons work on them. In fact, if you talk to one of your contacts inside that room, she will tell you that they are invincible and there is nothing you can do except to run away from there.


Later you will find a hostage that will tell you that you need the rocket launcher to kill the Arnolds. But, probably due to a bad translation, the hostage that tells you that make it seems that the rocket launcher is outside the building. So you, being the fool that you are, start searching for it outside.


You go outside and try everything, even radioing your friends on every screen.Nothing works. You give up and thank the Gods of the internet for sites like GameFaqs. You find out that the rocket launcher was in that building the whole time. OK, let's pretend the guy did not tell us to go outside for the rocket launcher. So... where do we search for it? Well, there are two empty rooms that you can open with key-cards. Hummm... empty rooms... Since pretty much every room in the game you can open with a card contains something special and, let's face it, people are unlikely to secure empty rooms because... nobody will try to steal what is in there. Because there is nothing in there and everybody already has a nothing! 


Anyway, back to our empty rooms. We are smart. There is something fishy about empty rooms locked with the latest key-card you got. The key-card you found together with the hostage that told you to blow the Arnolds to oblivion using a rocket launcher. I got it! Let's search for the rocket launcher there, on those empty rooms. You try everything, you use all your items, you punch every inch of wall and you even try to contact all your radio friends. Once again, nothing works.


Time to take another look at those FAQs... What??? In order to get the rocket launcher you have to talk to one of your friends on a corridor full of guards??? Who in their right mind, during a stealth mission, would pull out their radio among 3 enemy guards and ask for a rocket launcher so they can blow up the other guards that are holding a key-card you need to infiltrate further on the enemy fortress???


And it does not stop there. Let's pretend someone had the foresight to attempt that. That person was probably trying to contact everyone on the radio on every single room. OK. I can live with that. There are probably a lot of people out there with a lot of free time on their hands. Unfortunately for them, even if they were doing that, they might have missed it. And the reason is that the woman with the rocket launcher will only answer you on the radio if you have a 4 star rank. Your rank goes up according to the number of hostages you rescue. It is very likely your rank is not 4 star yet when you reach that room for the first time. So, going back to our definition of "crazy", if you tried to contact the lady on the radio on that room and nothing happened, you will probably not try again.


Let's take this moment to rejoice another translation/conversion madness: somewhere in the game someone will tell you that the rocket launcher fairy godmother "is a snob. She will only talk to you if you are very classy". While Snake is very polite on the radio, always saying "this is Solid Snake. Answer, PLEASE", that is the only thing he ever says, so I do not know if that classifies as "classy". Let's do a little research... ha! The original version refers to your RANK as your CLASS. That is right, instead of the word "rank", it is the word "class" that appears on the screen. So the more hostages you save, the more your class increases. So... the more hostages you save, the classy you get!!! Oh well...


Anyway, after you discover the requirements for the rocket launcher, you pull out your radio and call the lady on the room full of guards. She tells you "one rocket launcher coming up!". OK... but where??? Please tell me where you put it lady! No? OK... In the end it turns out that you have to figure out on your own that she places the rocket launcher on one of those empty rooms we mentioned before... Couldn't you have answered the radio while I was in there? Safe, with no guards in my vicinity? Women...



Compass, I don't need no stinking compass!
Rinse and repeat the saga above for the compass. Only with the compass you can cross the desert full of scorpions. Only with the compass Snake is able to walk on a straight line. The pac-man physics that governs the Metal Gear universe does not help at all in that regard: when you are outside of buildings, in many places when you walk to the left side of the screen you appear of the right side of the screen. And vice-versa. The same rules apply for up and down.


But the compass is not only useful only crossing the 50 meters of desert, no sir. In fact, it is not even needed for that. You can simply take a ride on a truck and you will reach the same area. The strength of the compass lies somewhere else. Only with the compass you can cross the dreaded forest maze!


The forest maze is an area of the game you are able to access right from the beginning. At first it seems to be just a show case of the pac-man physics. It is a screen full of paths going out of the screen in all directions. As explained before, when you exit by the upper path, you appear on the lower path. When you exit by the left you appear at the right. So, what I am supposed to do here? Without the Nintendo hot-line? Nothing. Go away and finish the game. You got that right. Forget the maze and finish the game.


If you figured out how to blow up the Arnolds you are pretty much set for the end. Just get the oxygen tank, another card, see your boss killing one of your friends (who by the way seems to forget he is dead and talks to you on other rooms), and head for the final area. You are not supposed to reach the final boss without rescuing a few more people, but there is a glitch that 99% of the players end up finding on their own that not only allows that, but also make the fight way easier.


But you are not a person who likes to explore and discover things on your own. Nope. You are a Nintendo Hot-Line caller. And the hot-line guy told you that what you are supposed to do now is to use the compass to cross the forest maze, because there you will find the building where the Dr. Pepsicovich or something like that is being held. Only the Dr. knows how to destroy the Metal Gear. OK then, compass engaged. To the forest maze!


We are back at that screen where you keep appearing on the opposite side of the screen whenever you try to exit by one of the paths. The forest maze. We know we are supposed to use the compass to do something here. You are using the compass, but nothing happens. If only the Nintendo Seal Of Quality meant anything and this game had been tested at least once... What you are supposed to do here is to follow a path that, despite what some FAQs told me, seems to be random. So... enable your compass and start walking randomly on the maze, focusing on the upper left exits and eventually you will reach the building.


A non-insane programmer would have thought about placing some sort of signal indicating which exits the player was supposed to take. A player that reached that screen and enabled the compass would be able to know where he was supposed to go. Even though, if I am not mistaken, no one really told you to go to the maze,  you just felt like that day was a good day to explore. Forget about that mass-destruction weapon called Metal Gear, lets search for treasure! But, once again, no. If you go to that area and enable the compass, nothing will happen. Nothing at all! Only a psychic would be able to figure what to do here.


Anyway, you found the building. Yahoo! Right???



Structural integrity testing time!

So we found the hidden building where hopefully Dr. Cokevich or something is. The first half is a big gas chamber. You go in and you find a flash light. Cool. It lets us forget the fact that the game forces us to keep trying to open doors that only open with one of our 800 key-cards, and there is no way to know which card opens each door. The worse of all is that Snake is not a person with good coordination: he is simply unable to try a key-card on a door without removing his gas mask. That means that every failed attempt to open a door will cost a little bit of your health. After half-dozen attempts you are as good as dead.


But now we have the flash light. And... we have the flash light. No Doctor Sodavich, just a bloody flash light in a game with exactly 0 rooms where one would need a flash light. If you figured out what you were supposed to do here you are probably a very rich person. I say that because you have surely used those psychic powers to win the lottery a couple of times. For the rest of us, it is Nintendo Power guide time.


So here is the deal: you are supposed to punch a hole in a wall in order to proceed. None of your contacts will tell you which wall you shall punch. Heck, they won't even tell you to punch a wall or that there may be some secret passages on that building. No, no hint all. The only hint you will receive is that the rooms on that building are full of gas, which is something most people realize on their on when they enter the room and see the gas and start dying due to gas poisoning.


Well, if you went so far in the game it means you have transcended human emotions like frustration and hate. Unfortunately for you, that is exactly your mistake. If you'd let out your frustration, your anger, your hatred, if you'd let it all out and got mad as the Hulk you would probably be punching walls, which is exactly what the designers expected you to do. It seems that they thought that most logic reaction of anyone that reached that building was to start testing the masonry with their fists...


Anyway, you managed to punch the right wall and found the passage. You keep going down, use your flash light to illuminate some dark rooms, pass the dreaded pit maze that I won't even tell how stupid it is and you find an empty room. But you are smart by now. A little wall punching here, a little wall punching there and you find Dr. Sevenupvich's daughter. Great! You also realize that you are on the same building you had been taken as a prisoner and that you would have saved a lot of trouble if you had entered it using the other door (although I am not sure you can reach that door again after you leave that building. Someday I must try again, maybe using the compass).


We are still doctorless, but we know we can punch some walls to find stuff. So either we look at an online guide and find the wall we are supposed to break, or you can go and punch every single wall tile of the whole game. If you went for the guideless way you are screwed. There is another wall you must break, that is right. But that wall will only break if you punch it using the iron glove. No problem, right? Yeah... if it weren't for the fact that the wall is in a room full of gas. Remember when we mentioned Snake's lack of coordination? You will have to remove the gas mask in order to equip the iron glove. So, without knowing which wall to punch you will probably die before finding it. In the game designers' defense, the correct wall does make a different sound when punched.



Crazy physics
So you finally found the doctor and he tells you that the only way to destroy the computer is by placing exactly 16 explosives on it. What is funny about that is that you can reach the computer without ever talking to the doctor but, unless you did talk to him, the explosives will not work! It is like as if Superman was totally immune to kryptonite because nobody ever told him it was supposed to kill him.


Anyway, if you talked to the doctor you will be able to destroy the computer. After the computer is destroyed you receive the thing I hate the most in video-games: a count-down timer. Great... Now you have just a couple of seconds to kill the final boss and find your way out. Unless...

Due to the requirements for being able to destroy the computer, I believe most people who reached it without a guide have never talked to our jolly good doctor. That means that most people were not able to destroy the computer. But since the computer does not attack you and there is a locked door on that room, I believe most people spent a lot of time on that room trying to do everything they could in order to open that door. And that is why I believe most of them, like me, managed to find what I assume to be a glitch. What we found out is that if you enter the computer room and simply press right on the controller you will be warped to the last boss room. But since you did not destroy the computer, the timer will not be enabled! That means you can take all the time in the world to kill the last boss and find the exit.



But what about the Metal Gear?

In this game you have one mission, and only one mission: destroy the Metal Gear. It is described as being a walking tank capable of firing nuclear weapons. But you finished the game and never saw it, right? Right...


 It seems that due to technical reasons the programmers were unable to make the Metal Gear entity work correctly. So even though the bloody thing appears on the game's box, it was scrapped and you got to fight a big computer that does not fight back instead. Deal with it. By punching the developers.

Edited by Ferneu
  • Like 1

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you seriously just type that all off the top of your head, or are you copy/pasting that college thesis you wrote about everything that's wrong with Metal Gear? :lol:


I'm not disagreeing that the game has lots of issues, but what some people who never owned the original game forget is that it came with a map that showed the location of all items and prisoners, which keycards open which doors, which walls can be punched, and even what weapons to use on what boss.  So even though the internet didn't exist at the time, the game shipped with its own FAQ, essentially.  (front and back of included map linked below)


Unfortunately for me, one day as a kid I left the folded-up map in my pocket and it went through the wash in the laundry and got destroyed.  So no, I was never able to beat the game until years later when I could look up a FAQ on the internet :lol:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What about broken in the literal sense. 


Dogs of War (Amiga) .... you play your guts out in single or two player with a mate over and usually 3/4's of the way through the game  ..... boom!!! .... the picture disappears into a sea of machine code garbage. Even occurs on WinUAE emulation so it wasn't just my copy of the game

Captive ... ahh the Amiga had a few irritating goodies, this being another one. Evidently due to poor programming if you ended up on a specific planet around level 9 you could not progress any further as the programmers forgot to add in the necessary area exit code or something. I fell victim to this where I spent forever trying to work out the exit. If I'd known the programmers screwed it up I would have asked for my money back. As far as I am aware it was not fixed on the Amiga release. Not sure about the Atari ST version


Both of the above drove me crazy!!!!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you seriously just type that all off the top of your head, or are you copy/pasting that college thesis you wrote about everything that's wrong with Metal Gear? :lol:


I'm not disagreeing that the game has lots of issues, but what some people who never owned the original game forget is that it came with a map that showed the location of all items and prisoners, which keycards open which doors, which walls can be punched, and even what weapons to use on what boss.  So even though the internet didn't exist at the time, the game shipped with its own FAQ, essentially.  (front and back of included map linked below)


Unfortunately for me, one day as a kid I left the folded-up map in my pocket and it went through the wash in the laundry and got destroyed.  So no, I was never able to beat the game until years later when I could look up a FAQ on the internet :lol:


Ah, let me just make one thing clear: I think Metal Gear, despite the flaws I mentioned, is great.


Also, my condolences for you map. I do stupid stuff like that from time to time :)


I do not know if it is the first game of its genre (I think I read once the series creator mentioning the ideas came from an older game), but I would have loved to be able to play it back in the days. I would probably get stuck a lot earlier because, as you have probably noticed, English is not my first language and back in the NES days I had zero knowledge of it. But the whole sneak in instead of shooting everything, getting items and using them, an open world you could go anywhere instead of just moving from left to right... it was just so different, so awesome.


About the game map, it was available on several magazines I had, and after I played the game I was able to find it while searching for the manual. Since it was full of "KONAMI tm"  here and, I assumed it came with the game. But exploring and discovering stuff is something I really like to do, so using that map would have spoiled everything.


But yes, the map would have helped a lot, and if you question my kindness towards the game let me remind you that I even let out of my rant the part where there is no way to know which weapon is effective against each type of enemy :)


Anyway, I am going to edit my post in order to make it clear that my idea was just to discuss and talk about the flaws of the games. It was never meant to be a "I hate this game because of this" post.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

What about broken in the literal sense. 


Ha! That is tough! And if there is one thing I admire in those systems pre-internet is that, despite maybe the Amiga case hehe, the developers did provide some solid pieces of software. Yes, there may be a few glitches here and there, but 99.99% of the time you could finish the game just the way it was intended.


Nowadays you buy a blu-ray with the game and have download another 50GB worth of bug fixes.


May I just ask one favor? Even though you did not spoil anything, I think if we always put everything except the game name inside a spoiler tag will help to prevent others from making a mistake and ruining something for a person who have not played a game yet.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Why wouldn't you want to warn people away from a game that is intrinsically broken to the point where it is unplayable?


But what if I want to experience the soul-crushing disappointment of discovering that a game is completely unplayable only after investing hours and hours of my precious time into it?  Are you gonna try to take that away from me?

J/k.  I have no soul to crush.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this