Despite the fact that King's Quest V proudly continued Sierra's player-hating policy, it became the best-selling PC game from 1990 to 1995 (it was dethroned by Myst). The developers knew most players used frequent game saves to avoid death, so they came up with a sinister way to kill gamers -- they hid goals and items in locations you couldn't return to, but were necessary to win. Here's an example:
Early in the game, you might notice a rat being menaced by a cat outside an inn. You need to, for no clear reason, help the rat escape. If you don't, the game doesn't care, and that's where the treachery lies. In most games, failing a puzzle means you are killed and go back to a checkpoint. King's Quest V will let you play for hours before you discover that innocuous fucking decision to let a cat win a fight cost you your entire adventure.
Quick! You have three seconds to use the boot from your inventory on those pixels
in the middle of the screen or you will die two years from now!
Say you, like every player on their first playthrough, let the rat die. Later in the story, you are tied up and left in a basement. If the rat is dead, your choices are waiting while you die or struggling while you die. If you saved its life, your rat friend will appear and chew you loose. It sort of makes sense after you know it, but picture solving this without the Internet 20 years ago and you'll start to realize why gamers often seem so cranky.
"I always die at this part! If only I had more rat friends! W-wait a minute,
that's it! Cheese-scented pants!"