For years, most adults thought video games were nothing but an expensive way to ruin their children's eyesight. It took a while to prove that games can be deeply moving and rewarding experiences, and that being a gamer isn't just about aggressively wasting time. Well, except when it is. As was definitely the case for people who did things like ...
Because Pokemon fans are all too familiar with the feeling of being picked last in gym class, some have gone to extreme lengths to beat an entire game with the suckiest pocket monsters in the bestiary. Take Ditto, whose gimmick is copying the abilities of other Pokemon, but generally with way less stamina. YouTuber Pikasprey was so determined to complete Pokemon Red/Blue with only a Ditto that he used a cheating device to get one at the very start of the game. Yes, he used cheats to make the game more frustrating. He also decided not to use any items, which are often employed to make up for Ditto's inherent lameness.
The Pokemon Company via Pikasprey
Early on, Pikasprey figured out how to use one basic move (Struggle) to deal a lot of damage, but then there was a glitch where Ditto permanently forgot how to do that, as if the game had become self-aware and decided to fuck with him. He eventually managed to get to the end through a combination of blind luck, grinding, and having nothing better to do that week.
What about playing the whole game as Rattata, a lil rat Pokemon? Not hard enough? How about swearing that losing even one battle means it's game over? That's especially rough, because even if you spend hours leveling up a Rattata, it can still be killed by a random critical hit (the "You can't polish a turd" law of physics). It took Twitch streamer Pokemon Challenges a month and a half of many, many dead rats to accomplish this pointless feat in Pokemon FireRed. Click here for a very happy, slightly traumatized nerd. Or better yet, watch this montage of all his deaths:
Then there's the holy grail of self-imposed Pokemon torture: finishing a game using only a Magikarp, the equivalent of winning World War II with a water pistol. Magikarp sucks so hard that it isn't even noticed by certain types of Pokemon. The strategy employed by YouTuber Meikachuchu essentially consisted of pumping this worthless mess full of items until it became ... still a total mess, but somehow a winning one? That's ... almost inspiring.
The Dark Souls series is responsible for more broken controllers than clumsy younger siblings and lax Chinese design standards combined. Perhaps that's what inspired Bearzly -- the same maniac who once beat Dark Souls with a Guitar Hero guitar -- to tackle the first game using nothing but his voice. Well, that and a program that can translate voice commands into game inputs. Basically, whenever he wanted the character to attack, he would yell "attack," every time he yelled "forward," his character would move forward, and so on. Presumably, screams of frustration were mapped to the most common action.
Speaking is already slower than pressing a button, but in this case, he also had to take into account the 1.5 seconds it takes for the program to process each action. That's an eternity for a game in which you're constantly being mobbed by demons trying to chop your head off. Watch (and hear) him very slowly killing the game's hardest bosses on his 112th try:
Despite losing his voice, nearly 500 lives, and by the end, his sanity, Bearzly finally managed to complete the game. In only 30 hours. That's a pretty good time even compared to people playing with a controller. Hey, who knows, maybe this "talking while playing games on YouTube" thing will catch on.
How Big is the Map is a YouTube channel devoted to finding out how big the map is. (Sometimes it's all right there in the name, you know?) Most of their videos are about 20 minutes long, and show characters walking, running, or galloping across the entire playable area of a popular open-world video game or horse riding simulator. But then they ran into Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Or swam into it, to be more precise.
As a pirate-themed game, Black Flag has lots of water, but did you ever wonder exactly how much? Turns out it's an ocean's worth. It took How Big is the Map four hours and 51 minutes to swim from one edge of the game's world to the other. That's almost five hours they will never get back, no matter how they weep and gnash.
We'll save you the trouble of watching the entire thing and tell you that, except for a part in the middle where our master swimmer gets bombed by some belligerent Spaniards, nothing much happens here. This is five hours of weird ASMR. Or ASSMR, we guess.
Playing the Diablo games without killing anyone sounds flat out impossible, but speedrunner DrCliche found a way: by making the evil creatures massacre themselves. In his pacifist Diablo II strategy guide, DrCliche explains the rules. You can't intentionally attack enemies, and you can't summon or hire anything or anyone to do it for you. But you can choose the Sorceress character and equip her with a thorn-covered armor that deals damage to all enemies dumb enough to run into it. As it turns out, that's 99 percent of them. The other 1 percent is Lord de Seis, an adversary that only uses ranged attacks and thus never touches your armor. Since this boss seemed more committed to self-preservation than the others, DrCliche had to cast a defensive spell would reflect de Seis' attacks right back at him. Too bad you can't just hack Ditto into the game.
After almost eight hours, DrCliche finished the game while adhering to Batman's no-kill policy. That is, he didn't kill anyone, but he also didn't stop them from dying in his vicinity. It's a technical victory -- the best kind of victory!
Construction and management simulation games are for those who want a little bit more than just violence and destruction. You know, like building hellish dystopias to torture people instead of killing them. Real advanced villainy here. RollerCoaster Tycoon is perfect for that stuff, since regular amusement parks already seem like they're built to make you suffer.
But RollerCoaster Tycoon's cruelest experiment doesn't even involve roller coasters. A couple of years ago, a player named RogueLeader23 set about building the longest possible hedge maze to find out how much time it would take for the park's digital visitors to find the exit. He called the result "Just a Walk in the Park," and it looks like this:
Atari via RogueLeader23RogueLeader23 started his experiment with just one guest, named Beverley P. But seeing how it took two in-game years for Ms. P. to even pass close to the entrance, RogueLeader23 decided to open up his maze to more guests. Fast-forward 50 in-game years and one guest, Regina F., finally crossed the correct path of Checkpoint 1 and was circling Checkpoint 2 ... out of five. After 70 years, no guest had completed the maze. Beverley P. had abandoned all hope, but RogueLeader23, as a man of science, kept recording her progress. Bear in mind that the guests are immortal, but they do feel hunger and thirst. And so they must forever wander these endless corridors yearning for death (or at least a corn dog).
Atari via RogueLeader23
263 in-game years later, the brave Regina F. finally found the exit, but has developed something akin to PTSD. Even outside, she still exclaims things like "I can't find the park exit" and "I have the strangest feeling someone is watching me." Her body left the maze, but her mind never did.
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