TR Contest: Most Traumatic Videogame Experience


Given what a great time I had reading all of your terrible toy stories last weekend, I’ve decided to keep the theme of asking you for horrific personal tales rather than have you just write your own lists. I’m sure I’ll get back to the original style next week, but I honestly can’t wait to hear what you guys have for me this weekend.

Obviously, the picture goes to what I think is a pretty reasonable symbol of videogame trauma, that of Aerith dying in Final Fantasy VII. Despite the fact I was so moved by FFVII that I wrote a 150-page college thesis on it, Aerith’s death didn’t have me in tears, although I researched several hundred online accounts of people who had. No, my most traumatic moment was in Ninja Gaiden, the original NES game, stage 6-2. I was never as good as videogames as the rest of my friends, partially because I got a Nintendo late. So when it turned out I had some skill at Ninja Gaiden, I was pretty pleased with myself, and was looking forward to being able to say I beat this well-known-as-tough game. Except I didn’t. Ever. Because there was one dude, on level 6-2, who just stood there on the other side of a chasm, waited until you jumped, and then jumped into you, causing you both to plummet to your deaths.

Every. Single. Time.

I’m not kidding when I say I got to that part in 6-2 hundreds of times, usually with all my men, and I would just die, over and over and over. He was off-screen until you jumped, so you couldn’t hit him. I tried everything. Nothing worked. I only found out years later that you needed a particular one of the special weapons from an earlier stage to beat him, which is something I never considered as a child–that the game would simply fuck you if you hadn’t randomly kept that special weapon–and of course, if you died once, you lost that weapon.

This is one of the many, many reasons I am a bitter asshole now. So give me yours. Rules are here, and remember, the contest ends at 3am EST on Monday. Have a good weekend, except for all those emotional scars I’m picking at.