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Friday Question: What are your most impressive failures?

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In the Trials series, your rider's standard position is not actually on the bike, but on his face.

In the Trials series, your rider's standard position is not actually on the bike, but on his face.

We have a special treat this week: Ubisoft has sent me ten beta codes for Trials Fusion on Windows PC. This is the third title in Red Lynx's awesomely fun and frustrating Trials series, and a direct sequel to the very popular Trials Evolution.

For those who haven't played the series, it's a side-view motorcross game, in which you control throttle and brakes and can also shift your rider's weight back and forth to achieve flips and land the bike safely after taking some huge air. It's less a straight-up racing game than a nerve-racking dexterity puzzle, though your finishing time is what gets recorded on the leaderboard.

What I mostly remember about Trials HD and Trials Evolution is my rider landing on his head over and over and over again. It is such an evil game, addictive and fun to be sure, but also chronically rage-inducing. In order to score a decent time, you need to ride the track near-perfectly. The slightest error will not only slow you down, but also most likely tip you off your bike.

Trials Fusion is coming to Windows PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4 in late April, but if you'd like early access to the PC beta, you just need to answer a simple question: What is your most memorable gaming fail?

I'm looking for entertaining stories of failure, be they funny, embarrassing, or heartbreaking. At the end of the day I'll pick my ten favourites and award them a code. To start you off, here are a few of mine...

Dark Souls II is, true to the franchise, very very deadly. There are many extremely dangerous creatures inhabiting its sprawling world, but few are as deadly as the player's own carelessness. The death that sticks in my mind the most occurred when I should have been in no danger of death whatsoever.

I was in the Iron Keep, a towering castle standing in a sea of lava. The tall, armoured knights who guard it are intimidating in combat, but Iron Keep has a lot of balconies and walkways, so an enemy knight with a sword has no defence if you can get him with a ranged weapon.

This was precisely what I was doing: a knight with just a sword was guarding the ladder into the next section of the keep, and I was on an adjacent walkway where he couldn't reach me. Rather than waste arrows, I decided to kill him with fireball spells. I'd worked out that it took about six to kill one of these guys, so I stood on the edge and pressed the button repeatedly. One fireball, two fireballs, three fireballs...

About the fourth fireball is when I remembered that casting this spell makes your character take a small step forward. With each fireball, I had taken a tiny step, and four in succession had carried me off the edge of the walkway. I plunged thirty metres into the lava below. After staring at the screen in disbelief for about five seconds, I burst out laughing. It was either that or cry.

Another memorable fail was when I was playing the single-player campaign in the original Starcraft. I decided that I needed to get my vehicle-producing factory built earlier, because I was certain it was the lack of vehicles that was costing me the game. I started the mission and got straight to work, putting down supply depots, building SCV drones, and getting everything queued up.

It was only when the factory was built and I went in to actually start producing vehicles that I realised I had neglected to set up any resource-gathering. I had built everything With the default minerals and gas provided at the start of the mission, but now it was all gone. I had no building resources, and therefore couldn't build any of the things I would need to harvest some.

I realised what I had done, blinked a few times, sighed softly, and restarted the mission yet again.

My last one wasn't just my mistake, but also my wife's. Many years ago we set up a co-operative game of the original Dungeon Siege, a Diablo-esque action RPG. It was a great game for co-op, and I still remember it fondly as one of my favourite multiplayer experiences.

That said, we did mess things up very, very badly at one point.

First, some background. In Dungeon Siege, death would not carry a big penalty, but you would drop your entire inventory (except equipped items) on the ground and become a ghost. Your ghost would then have to go to the nearest resurrection shrine to be brought back to life, and then go back to where you had died to pick up all your dropped gear.

We were exploring near one of the game's big towns one day when we found a man standing in the middle of a narrow mountain ridge. We spoke to him, and he very helpfully told us that the area on the other side of the ridge was full of very tough monsters, and we were not strong enough to fight them yet. He advised us to keep levelling up and come back later.

My wife and I conferred and thought, oh what the hell, let's go have a quick look. Predictably, this was a mistake.

Not far into this new area, we were attacked by very powerful skeletal archers. They bombarded us with arrows from across a narrow valley, and as we ran around to the other side to attack them, we were both turned into pincushions and died.

The problem was that we'd just come back from a big adventure and were loaded down with treasure we had intended to sell in town. That treasure was now strewn about in full view of a small army of super-powered undead bastards with a limitless supply of arrows.

The next hour or two consisted of many repetitions of the following: walk as a ghost back to the resurrection shrine, walk back to where we had died and pick up as much loot as possible, run back the way we had come, then get killed by arrows again.

Very, very slowly, over many, many deaths, our treasure began to inch its way back toward the safe area. With each death, our loot travelled maybe ten feet further away from those damned archers, until finally we were out of range of their arrows.

After that we agreed that if a friendly knight told us that an area was too tough for us, we'd take his word for it.

Your turn now, readers. Please share your favourite stories of video game failure in the comments below. Bonus points if it's from Trials HD or Trials Evolution!

 - James "DexX" Dominguez

twitter Screen Play is on Twitter: @jamesjdominguez

10 comments so far

  • World of Warcraft, 2005.

    Molten Core is the hardest dungeon in the game and only 1% of players can complete it. My guild is the most progressed on the server. We're storming through on our weekly raid.

    About half way through, we receive a message from Blizzard employee congratulating us on our success, and letting us know that they're watching us for research purposes. We are very excited. This is quite an honor! If we do well, there's a chance we'll be invited to the beta of the next expansion as a test guild. One hunter named Max is especially thrilled. He's dancing around between pulls and making his pet tiger, Rajah, do funny tricks.

    We're heading into the most dangerous part of the dungeon when we hear something odd: a sort of rumbling. Max gasps over voice chat. We look up the tunnel and see Rajah the tiger bounding towards us. Max must have sent him the wrong way, and now he's coming back, bringing dozens of enemies with him, including the four remaining bosses in the raid.

    They haven't reached us, so it's not too late. Voice chat fills with swearing. 'Dismiss pet!' we screech. Max panics and hits the wrong button. He sprays the enemies with arrows, sending them crashing through our raid.

    Those brave enough to stand their ground are immediately steamrolled. The rest of us flee. The enemies are merciless and dozens of us are cut down as we run. Only a ragtag few make it out of this instance and back to town. Max mumbles an apology as a few of our more 'hardcore' players log off in disgust.

    We receive another message from Blizzard: 'Thanks guys, that was.. interesting.'

    We never heard from them again.

    Commenter
    Happyburger
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 28, 2014, 7:21AM
    • My biggest was many years ago playing Lufia on the Snes. My brother and I were playing on and off with different save files and he had been through the Ancient Cave many times with some pretty sweet gear. I saved over his game.

      Another less impressive one was in GTA IV. Driving along and I had an accident head on. I was flung out of my vehicle only to hit a bridge and die.

      Commenter
      Joka
      Date and time
      March 28, 2014, 7:32AM
      • love the 1st 2 trials games. didnt realise it was coming to PS4.thought it was xbox exclusive . thats awesome news .

        I remember in the 1st game pretty much spending a whole day trying to get gold on the super mega track or whatever the really long one was called , so may times crusing into the last third with a perfect run and just blowing it on pretty simple obstacles

        Commenter
        Mongey
        Date and time
        March 28, 2014, 7:57AM
        • Oh man, that Gigatrack was extremely troublesome for a Gold/Platinum! Takes a bit over 6 minutes on a good run (if I recall), and whilst not overly difficult at any one point, it required your attention for the entirety of the track. Can definitely understand your frustration with that one!!

          Commenter
          Schmole
          Location
          Sydney
          Date and time
          March 28, 2014, 12:43PM
      • One that sticks with me was when I was playing Left 4 Dead. I'd only played a handful of games and was getting used to the maps, the weapons, and the different means of tackling the various special infected.
        It was the No Mercy campaign, and I was playing as Zoey. We were all newbies and there had been a great many tight scrapes. Zoey saved Louis from a witch in the subway when he foolishly opened fire. Louis rescued Bill from closets in the subway after he got too cocky and ran ahead of the group. Francis shot a Licker that had caught Zoey from behind cover, and as the group dashed for the elevator in the hospital, scrambling against the horde, the adrenalin had taken its toll. Zoey spent the whole elevator ride laughing uncontrollably while Bill stood in the corner of the lift just screaming.

        But we made it to the roof. With scant supplies I was concerned Louis wasn't going to make it. When the tank arrived our defenses crumbled - Francis had to abandon his post at the gun and Louis was surrounded. I knew if we let him die we'd be lost, so I threw out a flare and started shooting. I didn't see the tank come charging from my flank, but he hit me square and Zoey went flying, glancing off an air conditioning unit and shooting way out off the roof, falling to her death.

        I was stunned that the entire campaign ended so abruptly for me, and sat there watching the infected overrun the remaining survivors. The whole journey had been so hard fought, and I failed so spectacularly in my rescue attempt I started laughing just like Zoey in the lift.

        Commenter
        Lucid Fugue
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        March 28, 2014, 9:17AM
        • I was playing the Sims, had a couple living in a house together, had built up there lives reasonably well, (no bathroom accidents either), decided to make them fall in love and have a baby only to realise they were brother and sister. I felt so creepy. I kept saying to myself, "ignorance is no excuse."

          Commenter
          ryvman
          Date and time
          March 28, 2014, 9:49AM
          • I've done the infamous trick in Super Smash Bros Brawl using Fox on the Yoshi Island (Melee) stage. It was a really close match, all people had 1 life left and I got the Smash Ball. I completely forgot about the possibility of falling through that tiny gap when summoning the Landmaster, and I was all giddy going I've won! I've won!... and then I die because it fell through that gap.

            A recent instance of a hilarious failure was in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. This isn't really an instance of us doing well and then messing up, but a failure in communication. We were missing a healer for a raid, so we sent a call out. We got one, asked them if they read the loot instructions, they said no so we explained it and walked in. It all went fine until we kept dying on the boss that isn't particularly difficult as that healer kept standing on the glowing panels when they shouldn't. I was on voice chat with friends and we were wondering what the hell was going on. So we kept asking questions and then we got the one phrase that explained it all... I don't speak English. One of the party members took to Google translate and kept talking to the guy and we were cracking up the whole time. We got what we needed done so it wasn't a failure in that respect... but the whole experience was really funny.

            Commenter
            Raito
            Date and time
            March 28, 2014, 9:59AM
            • Sticking with the Trials theme... I was completely engrossed in Trials Evolution Gold for the PC for a long time. I managed to get a Platinum medal on every non-competition race, including all Extremes. That said, it was far from easy.
              I remember my most marked failure was when attempting Way of the Ninja (a notorious Extreme track). I had been practicing for 3 days, slowly learning the way to approach each of the obstacles in my path. Repeating, repeating, until I was able to get most of them down on a consistent basis. That said, putting together all of those sections into the one flawless run was not something easily obtainable. I remember sitting down for over 2 hours, just running the one track, making a silly mistake here and there, or not going fast enough and thinking "even if I do complete this, it won't be as fast as I want"... leading me to reset.
              After these 2 grueling hours, I found myself finally succeeding, making it over one obstacle, then another, until I was rolling over the three pillars at the end right before the finish line. All that was left was a single bunny hop to get me across the finish line and claim that Platinum medal I had worked so hard for.
              I roll over the first pillar, control my speed to land on the second, and just as I hit the gas to cruise onto the third my character stops responding and falls into the pit between pillars #2 and #3. I looked down to the controller between my hands... I'd bumped the back of it against my desk (was playing on the PC) and knocked the battery pack out of the controller!
              Frustration does not begin to describe my feelings! Failure :(

              Commenter
              Schmole
              Location
              Sydney
              Date and time
              March 28, 2014, 10:26AM
              • This is years ago now... but if anyone was playing MMO's back in the ye olde days before WoW was the big thing and korean point and click grindfests were still a novelty you would know about the little gem known as Ragnarok Online.

                The game was one of the first "asian/anime" aesthetics MMO's that made it out of asia. And for it's time (even now actually) has a very interesting Job system. Of course back then you didn't have the "Novice" area which meant if you wanted to level after the beginner intro course you would have to step out on the map and kill mobs w/ your trusty knife!

                Because of the art style most of the low level mobs are usually small and "cutesy" (ALL HAIL THE PORING!) so while walking across the map to another town (too low level for fast travel!) I come across is this small pink thing walking around expecting it to be the same as all the other easier mobs.... and promptly got my ass chewed as I saw one slap from this lil pink thing chew up almost 1/3rd of my measly HP. My ever helpful friend just watched whilst I ran around trying to get away... unfortunately it was also a very fast mob xD Was the most amusing death I have ever had in a game!

                Commenter
                RocK_M
                Location
                I want chinese take-away!
                Date and time
                March 28, 2014, 11:19AM
                • This just reminded me of the first time I saw pink rabites in Secret of Mana. Yellow Rabites were the very first enemies and went down in 1-2 hits at level 1. The pink ones, not so much!

                  Commenter
                  Lucid Fugue
                  Location
                  Melbourne
                  Date and time
                  March 28, 2014, 1:40PM

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