I don’t know why video games today are popular. I mean, look at where they started. The original video games were all arcade games like Pac-Man and Asteroids. Boring and hard. When they got stories, the dropped the boring part, but some of them were still freakin’ impossible. A very good example of that is the game Dragon’s Lair. It’s an old game, but you can still find CD-ROM copies for the computer. I recently discovered my dad still had a copy, so I’ve been playing it. Well, trying to play it is more accurate.
Dragon’s Lair is seriously the hardest game I’ve ever played. When it comes to gameplay, it’s rather simple. You don’t always control the main character. You don’t need to know where to go. The trick is the timing. It’s a rather fast-paced game and if you screw up, you have to start over. You start off walking over a bridge. Your character falls through and these tentacle things start moving toward him. You have to mash down on the spacebar to make him swing his sword and then frantically push the up arrow to get him to climb up through the hole in the bridge while the tentacles are distracted. Easy, right? Wrong. If the timing is off by even a second, you’re dead. This sort of action does not stop any time soon.
It’s even worse that you only get 5 lives throughout the entire game. You don’t always start over at the beginning if you die within that limit, but once those 5 lives are up, you have to do the entire thing over again. This would make anyone go crazy.
I just don’t understand how games got past this point. In all honesty, I would have stopped playing after half an hour of a game like Dragon’s Lair if that’s all there was. Even Pac-Man can really piss me off. Games today can actually save your progress and have adjustable difficulty levels, but these old arcade games have nothing of the sort. They all had one difficulty level: impossibly hard. And yet video games survived. Boggles the mind.