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Great Gaming Triumphs

Mark E

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After Jay's new topics in the General Discussion thread, I thought we could use a counter to the gaming failures one, discussing those moments that brought a smile to your face in classic gaming endings, or rare times when you succeeded against all odds to triumph over a game.


One of my favorites was finishing Final Fantasy IV, my favorite RPG ever. We're fighting off against the last evil bastiche and my party is wiped out except for Rydia, who has very few hit points left. No idea how much damage has been done to the boss, barely keeping the party above water.


Summon Asura, restores her hit points, she gets hit by the boss, near death again. Next round, heal her up to try and save her ass long enough to bring the group back. Another round rolls by, summon Asura again, this time she resurrects everybody, but they're all, wait for it, near death. Before I can do anything, Zeromus lets loose with another one of those attacks that hits everybody, killing everybody except Cecil and Rydia again. Cecil attacks and Rydia heals, while another attack slams into Rydia, killing her.


So now it's even worse. Down to Cecil. Best fighter, no question. But he doesn't have any magic to heal worth a damn, and life potions and spells are going to bring people back at not enough health to live. Out of healing potions. Cecil attacks. Nothing. Slashed, he's got one chance left. Revive Rydia in a vain hope, she gets taken out, Cecil left, badly injured, one last shot. Hit the attack button and BAM! Down goes the boss! I was floored, I never thought I had a prayer. It was the fifth time I'd tried offing him.


One of the closest shaves I've ever pulled playing video games, I'll tell you that. Now your turn ;).

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So my 7-year old and I are teaming up on "Frogger Beyond" for the Gamecube. It's really a fun, game. Great gameplay, graphics, sound, etc. We are cruising through all the levels, and then we come to the last boss.


This last boss is a serious punk. It's a hovering phoenix-like creature, and he bullseyes you with either ice or fire balls. You have to hop around a platform and trigger 4 numbered switches, in order.


1st phase is easy, then he regenerates. 2nd phase is pretty easy too, but now the switches are placed at random, so you have to hop around a little more to trigger them in sequence. 3rd phase, he spreads an array of fire around several squares, AND the switches are now MOVING all over the place. (and you still have to trigger them in sequence!)


If you get hit, you must start the whole boss battle ALL OVER again.


So we keep trying, and trying, and trying.


My kid wants to give up, but I, being the outstanding parental unit that I am, decide that THIS is going to be a teaching point about perserverance and the power of positive thinkings.


So after countless HOURS (I estimate about 8 hours total, not consecutive) of playing this boss level, I finally prevail and beat the level. My kid high fives me and throws a hug around my neck.


Man it was sweet! There's nothing quite so cool as being your kids' hero. It really became an exercise in frustration, but in the end, it was worth the tedium.

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Beating Mike in Mike Tyson's Punch Out is always my example as I put so many hours into that game. This isn't nearly as much of an accomplishment now as many of you reading this have finished it as well, but I knew kids in my school that were conviced it was impossible (even though Macho Man is harder for me).

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I don't know what it was, but I was always able to cruise through Super Macho Man. I do remember laughing my ass off the first time I saw those pecs bouncing up and down.


The gaming triumph that comes to mind for me was when I beat King in Virtua Tennis on the Dreamcast. Man... I spent hours upon hours trying to beat that guy. When I finally did, I was so pumped up. I walked around the house with my chest stuck out for the rest of the day. My wife had no clue why I was so happy, but she didn't see how tough he was. :)



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Well - there are so many things that I can think of off the top of my head.

But, since we are into classic gaming - I'll name two classics.


I was only 13 when I got my 1st real gaming system - a Tandyvision (Intellivision clone). At the time Mattel's console wasn't known for its arcade-type games - but they had a big hit with Astrosmash. (Think Asteroids,but with a ship on the moon surface).


There were a few books out at the time that talked about video games. My mom had just just bought me the paperback How To Master Home Video Games,by Tom Hirschfield. (Good read, if you can find it!) It had some tips on some Atari & Intellivision games - as well as some early Activision games. Anyways - I was really good at playing Astrosmash - & the world record at the time was listed in that book.


Here it is:862,780 - by Douglas Rochler of Huntington Station,NY.


I thought to myself that if I played long enough & with the pause feature the Intellivision had - that I could beat that world record.


So, one cold September Saturday. I sat down & got to work. As I progressed on, & the hours went by, everything was a blur. At one time I had almost completely lost all my extra ships - I only had 10 left. But then, as I was getting closer - my whole family (& believe me,getting everyone together was a feat in itself) sat down & cheered me on.


Finally, I passed the score. I had beaten the world record! I was so happy that I kept going & finally quit the game with a final score of just over 1,100,000.


Those were the days :)


Other accomplish is more recent. Finally beating Goldeneye on 007 mode - with no cheats & no help - now that was a big deal. I ran around that stupid catwalk for hours. But in the end - it was all worth it!

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My personal favourite was as much a consequence of my own stupidity as it was my luck. However, it was a tense, tense session nonetheless.


You see, for anyone who has ever played Devil May Cry for PS2, you'll probably know that the game allows you to save mid-level, storing your experience pts (in the form of orbs) and other skills you've acquired. The good folks at Capcom thought it would be an ingenious and exceptionally intuitive idea to hide the save option in the select button menu, and I played through 4 levels of the game without this knowledge. I had saved only when I was offered, i.e. at the completion of each level.


Now, level five ends with a pretty tough boss. After several failed attempts I decided to power up - big time. I spent about 3 hours running back and forth killing random monsters (and doing some secret missions) to ensure I had more than enough strength to dispatch of the boss quickly and easily. I bought a couple extra lives just to be safe, because I couldn't save till the end of the level, right?


So I was pumped and ready to kick his ass.


Instead he whooped me silly, life after life, till I was down to my last. How tragic - 3 hours of training down the drain, just cause this bastard's too tough (of course, it couldn't possibly have anything to do with my skills, right? ;) ) Being the superstar game player that I was, I didn't lose hope. I headed into the last fight poised and pumped full of adrenaline. Instead of just charging and hitting him blindly like I did for the past few rounds, I decided to go for a more strategic approach. After all, I didn't have much of a chance, so why not try something different? I jumped around more, dodged more of his shots, and avoided more fireballs. I had gained the upper hand!


But all was not well.


If you know anything about this boss, as he's about to die he bumps up his difficulty. And I was being pummeled once more. I saw shot after shot pound into my poor character and watched helplessly at the rapidly depleting life gauge. My heart was pounding, and I was going back to the blind "charge and attack" mode again. I wanted him dead. If he didn't die this round, I wasn't going to play this stupid game anymore. With about 1/20 of my life remaining, he left himself open and I landed a solid blow. He was K.O.


I was beaten to within an inch of my life and I survived.


What triumph.


For the next few moments, I sat with my heart pounding, face red, fingers cramped staring thankfully at the screen. I didn't even watch the cutscene.


That was my luckiest gaming moment.


But really, in retrospect, all I had to do was press select.

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Yar's Revenge Triumph:


I finally learned a few days ago, how to play to infinity.


Starts out on the red, blue, gray, then pink level. Once you get the thing to follow you around, it's all too easy to launch you r cannon and hit it almost every time. This gives you a new life. Your life count can't go over nine lives, however.


My old high score was about a quarter-million. A few days ago, I flipped the score counter at one-million with 9 lives, and decided that after 1 1/2 hrs, it was time to turn it off. I had beaten the game.


After about 350,000 on the pink level, it stops increasing difficulty. :cry:


Just thought I'd share a great moment in classic gaming. Yar's Revenge never gets old for me. :green:

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