What is the most difficult thing you've done in a video game?

In a podcast I listen to, they discussed some of the difficult things people have done in video games. Things like beating a particularly difficult boss fight, overcoming a difficult game, or even getting a game to run on older hardware. So let us discuss what the most difficult things were that we did in games.

I am not a person that likes to play games on high difficulty. I normally just play games for fun and for the story, so I steer clear of anything too difficult. Forever easy-mode gamer.

But I do remember trying to beat that last fight in Quake 3 Arena. Tier 7, Elite. A 1v1 with Xaero. Holy shit for my small infant mind that fight was brutal. I struggled so much trying to complete that. I think it was over a summer holiday that I focused on trying to beat Q3A on a higher difficulty, and that last battle was by far the most difficult. I finally managed to beat him, and felt so accomplished. Strange that I’ve never thought about chasing that dragon again.


Hollow Knight had some tough bosses, and the “true ending” boss was definitely the toughest to beat. It was a good feeling managing to finally get it right.


Hands down, The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth, beating the hardest boss as “the lost” character.
Everything instakills you. My hands were shaking for a good 5 minutes after that.


Such a great topic!

I racked my brain to try and think of the most hard-core gaming achievement of my life and there are three that stand out.



When I was a kid (don’t remember exactly how old I was) we were at my mom’s friends house for a party of some sort. New Year’s or a birthday or something.

Naturally, I ended up in front of someone’s computer and they asked if I had every played a game called Hugo’s House of Horrors.

I had never played the game before, but when they launched it it looked similar to the command-driven adventure games that I was already playing like Police Quest and Space Quest. (I tried King’s Quest much later, but it didn’t speak to me as much as PQ or SQ did.)

The person whose computer it was (an old guy to my child eyes, though he was probably only in his 20s) said that he always gets stuck at a specific place.

There’s a part in the game where a dog is guarding a trapdoor to the basement and they could not figure out how to get past it.

He offered me R100 if I could figure out what you need to do to get past the dog.

I play the game and get up to the point where I need to get past the dog, and it’s pretty self evident what you should do, since you have a piece of meat in your inventory.

With a sense of premature triumph I type: throw meat

And what does Hugo do? Do you think he does the sensible thing? No, he discards the meat which destroys the item entirely. No picking it up off the floor. If you don’t have a save to load from, then you have to replay the whole game.

I replay from my last save, and this time I make a save right before the dog. After many minutes of cursing Hugo’s illogical behaviour (in the permitted to a child), I figure out the the command needs to be more specific: give meat to dog or give dog meat or something similar.

Presto! We are in! High fives all round, and R100 pocket money for me.

Figured it out without Internet access or a walkthrough in sight. Pretty major achievement for my ±10 year-old self.


Post-credits scene:

Oh wow! I see Hugo is abandonware and on the Internet Archive’s repository to play for free! There goes my evening…


Two: Getting games to run in Linux.

I love Linux. I love trying out different flavours of Linux. I love being able to hack at the most critical software of my system (though I haven’t done it in years) and I love the concept of a software system (and ecosystem) built a by community.

Once, I tried to switch over completely to using Linux on my home desktop and figured that if I could only get Diablo 3 to run under emulation (Wine / Cedega / Play On Linux), then that would be all I needed to make the switch permanently.

Sadly, I could never get it to be stable. It would run for awhile, then crash. I realised that even if I get it working once, all my work could be undone by a simple software update to any one of a million moving parts. There was also always the nagging doubt that Blizzard would ban me if it saw weird activity from my account.

I also discovered Warframe, which doesn’t even have a Mac client. So I’m stuck on Windows until Digital Extremes decides to add yet another platform to the list of stuff it’s going to support.

Still, I liked messing around with gaming on Linux to get a sense of the state of play. At one stage I decided to see if I could benchmark BioShock Infinite on Ubuntu vs. Windows.

At that stage I ran into an issue where some of the textures wouldn’t render right, and as I delved deeper into the problem, I discovered it was an AMD driver problem. A specific feature that BioShock Infinite used wasn’t exposed by the driver for the Linux version.

At that point I vowed that my next card would be Nvidia, despite Linus Torvalds flipping them the bird. I bought a GTX 970 for my next upgrade. Still have it.

Another game that had a Linux client, but which I struggled to get working was Digital: A Love Story. The dev uses an engine called Ren’Py, and there was something broken about the version that shipped with the game on newer versions of Ubuntu. So I hacked at it, basically getting the game to run on a newer version of Ren’Py or installing older versions of specific libraries in the game’s directory… I don’t remember exactly which.


It’s interesting to see the different narratives of Linux gaming out there. Here’s an interesting one from Engadget:

The headline makes it sound like the author is going to argue that Linux gaming is two steps from death, but the only point they’re making is that Linux gaming is where it is thanks to Valve. Which I wouldn’t classify as a particularly controversial opinion.

The first few hits on YouTube for “linux gaming” have more positive or neutral titles, and basically present the same facts — Valve released Proton, which is making Linux gaming more accessible than ever.

Sadly, DRM and anti-cheat services are still proving problematic for emulators and games like Warhammer: Vermintide 2 don’t seem to run on Linux at all.


Pretty much any progress I tried to make in Dark Souls


Think the hardest thing for me was when I played Dark Souls 1, the fight against Ornstein and Smough. Heavy under leveled character and shitty weapons. My great grandmother used to watch me play video games when there was nothing on the TV that she wanted to watch. With her silently side coaching under her breath and telling me when to attack and dodge was the funniest ever :mechanical_arm:

This is something I’ll always remember


Beat the Flamelurker in Demon’s Souls on my own for the first time. I didn’t think I would ever be able to do it and I lost count of how many times I tried before I did it.

Apart from that getting the platinum trophies for both Bloodborne and Nioh were not easy and is something I’m proud of.


F.E.A.R. on whatever the hardest difficulty there was. Never enough health or armour. Closest more modern title is probably DOOM.

Shout out to meatboy. That game se ma


Yeah, Meatboy… Hate that game. If we turn this into a list of games I gave up on out of frustration then Meatboy will top my list!


And then you watch AGDQ and rage some more because they finish the stages in no time.


I thought about a few more things.

So while I am not the guy that plays games at high difficulty, I cannot say the same about racing games. Shocker I know. I remember in Gran Turismo 3, there was one license challenge where you had to do a lap of the Nurburgring in a Mercedes Benz 190E. It was an almost impossible time to get, and for those that know, the Nurburgring is very long. It took a massive amount of concentration to finish it, let alone in a good time. I tried this challenge for 3 days, getting closer and closer to the time but never beating it. And finally I got it. It was such a feeling of accomplishment. But that was probably the hardest thing I’ve done in a racing game…to date…


That and pitting in AC :laughing: :laughing:


That was a pain in the ass

As was this

This one actually made me quit playing XCOM for a while


Holy dam knowing xcom well this is insane.

I must say I can’t really think of anything, Like yeah I have beaten a few deathwish missions solo on payday 2. But it just don’t seem to compare.

Funny thing is while looking into weapons for shadow of mordor some people complained the game is harder than darksouls and I am like wtf its such an easy game. So difficult can be subjective.


One other thing I just thought of. I finished Dishonered 2 without killing anyone. It’s not really difficult as such, but it is difficult to resist the urge to kill people when you have access to such awesome powers.


This is the triumph of Dishonored’s design.


Your post game me 'nam flashbacks, why would you subject yourself to that :flushed:


Oh yeah, Meatboy for sure. And any other platformers where you need agility.


Did that with Deus Ex

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