Long, Unintelligible Passwords
Who Made it Famous: Kid Icarus, Paperboy, Castlevania, Prince of Persia, King' Bounty, Starflight
Although now a standard feature, the "Save Point" was once a luxury, not a right. In the Dark Ages of NES, gamers were forced to break out chisels and tablets in order to etch long, complex passwords just to avoid starting their games over when their moms invariably unplugged the system to use the vacuum cleaner. A note to developers of the Sega Genesis game King' Bounty, which featured a 64-character password input screen: Kids play games to avoid reading and writing, not practice.
Villains Who Follow a Predictable Pattern
Who Made it Famous: Mega Man, Super Mario Bros., Sonic the Hedgehog, StarFox, Bomberman, The Legend of Zelda, Super Metroid, Castlevania
You're walking down a dark alley when suddenly a masked man jumps out from behind a dumpster, scowling with a knife drawn. He shouts something unnecessarily dramatic, like, "You're dead meat!" He then proceeds to take two steps toward you, swing his knife, take two steps back, charge and repeat this pattern to infinity.
Not that frightening, is it? Especially once you recognize the weak spot flashing in red on his chest. Hit that three times-no more, no less-and he' guaranteed to collapse in a heap before exploding or flash red and white while fading out of existence.