We've all had it, haven't we? That clench of the collar and twitch of the neck as we feel the sudden urge to launch a controller against the drywall in resentment? That gruelling desperation to just call it quits and send our consoles through several layers of blood and bruised knuckles?
People rage quit every single day. If not in video games then in reality. Even I can confidently admit that, and I don't support it in anyway whatsoever. Yet it's a part of our personas and something that will never go away no matter how hard we try. Heck, it was only yesterday that I rage quitted out of eating the homemade vegetable soup my wife made me for dinner. I can say that without fearing the thud of a quick-fire book to the back of the head because when I told her that I was going to write an article on video games, her response was, "Meh, do whatever you want, Jord."
That was her way of saying, "I don't care. I'm not going to read it, mate."
So this is my safe place, and by blabbering on about video games I can treat this very article as my solitary confinement; my oasis in the desert so to speak. For she will never find nor scold me here, and so I can continue writing this in spirit, knowing my head will remain unscathed and clear enough to reminisce about things that actually anger me and give me an aneurysm. Who thought that was a good idea?
But anyway, as I was saying, rage quitting is a lot like a conscience in some respect; it never leaves, and when it knows you've had enough, it sure as shit will not hesitate to tell you in the most profound way possible. Through a tedious cackle it beckons us to fuel our rage gauges to the brim and overflow with a passion a little less positive than the one we once had ten minutes prior to firing up the actual game.
Throw your controller, Jord. Throw it right at that wall. The game's cheated you, trust me, it laughs.
... You should just... BREAK. IT.
Just thinking about all the times I've had that sudden urge tackle me like a tonne of bricks only makes me quiver with a sense of grievance and anger; two emotions a lot of us can never learn to control under certain situations. Me especially, evidently.
But no matter what, we always pick up the controller again, and we persist to finish what we once started. Sometimes that means spending an extra hour on a level, sometimes it means snapping the disc, buying a new one, and then finishing it three years later (Yes, I'm talking to you Army Men 3D, you horrible bastard).
We play. We pause. We play. We break. We cry. We die. We play. We rage quit.
That, my friends, is life; in and outside of the game. It's choosing to pick the controller back up again that takes the courage half of us weren't built for. But sometimes, and I mean SOMETIMES, rage quitting is our only option. Because without rage quitting at the most delicate of moments, I fear our sanity might just jump ship and leave us with the anchor.
So, in a way... rage quitting isn't so bad after all. Is it?
I present to you: TOP 10 RAGE QUIT MOMENTS IN VIDEO GAMES.
#1 - 'Tekken' - The Eddy & Christie Duo
Guaranteed we've all had that one mate at some point in our lives that has bragged about how their Tekken "skills" were too good to dare challenge, bitching and whining to every kid on the playground about how their moves were by far the greatest and no other player had dared face them and dreamt of winning.
I know I've had a mate like that. His name was Sam. And Sam was a little bitch when it came to Tekken. Why? Because his technique that he supposedly polished day in, day out, was to use the Eddy and Christie duo in EVERY. FUCKING. TOURNAMENT. EVER.
Looking back now, I remember the excitement coursing through my body as I set the PlayStation up in my living room on the big screen; hoarding snacks and preparing to have a massive "sesh with the lads." With a grin on my face and a tingle in my spine, I loaded up the game and scouted out my favourite characters; Hwoarang, Lee, Lei, and a bunch of others I knew I was relatively good at.
Of course, everything was going swimmingly until Sam stepped up to the plate and started plucking out his characters like it was something he had rehearsed four hundred times prior to arriving.
His first two characters; Eddy, and Christie.
Of course, he chose Eddy and motherfucking Christie. The jammy git.
Now, anybody who knows Tekken will know of this infamous duo, and if not, well, what can I say? They're a couple of wannabe street dancing, wibble-wobble dickheads that can kick you at an eighty-degree angle whilst executing a fucking hand glide.
I can see it now; the smug look on Sam's face as he plastered me with an endless volley of stupid kicks to the temple whilst button mashing the shit out of the "X" button. Giggling and nattering away as if he was putting in some level of skill into the game, when really he did nothing more than shit on the controller at one very rapid speed.
For that reason, I not only hate Sam, but I also carry a strong fury in my heart for Eddy and Christie, too.
Screw those guys, and screw you Sam.
RAGE QUIT: 1
SAM: -1 (I hate you).
#2 - 'Hotline Miami' - One Hit Deaths
It takes a special kind of person to take joy out of dying and then reviving to pick themselves back up again and smash that "retry" button in hope of getting it right the next time. That person, sadly, is definitely not me.
When a work colleague of mine recommended Hotline Miami, I initially thought, "Gee, that sounds awful," as he described the context and gameplay style. He mentioned the way the game worked out and how at times it was a little difficult, etcetera, etcetera. But what he didn't mention to me was that if you get hit ONCE in-game, it's all over. That's right, if you so much as get slapped it's back to the starting zone, my friend.
Hotline Miami, I'll admit, has a killer soundtrack, and that's exactly what kept me going back (even if I had heard "Hydrogen" by M.O.O.N. three hundred and forty bloody times).
It had that edge to it that I so desperately craved after slugging through a gripping and epic-length story-driven game. Like picking up a piece of fruit after binging an entire box of Quavers, it had that sweet taste that you didn't know you needed until tasting it.
Hotline Miami was kind of like that forbidden fruit; I appreciated it. But what I did not appreciate was having to REPLAY EVERY MISSION A MILLION TIMES OVER after getting hit countless times by grubby men with pig masks and baseball bats.
If you choose to play Hotline Miami, I give you my utmost respect. You have greater patience than I ever had whilst torturing myself through it.
You'll get hit. You'll die a lot. And you WILL hear Hydrogen by M.O.O.N. more than you'd probably like to, even if it is catchy as shit.
Enjoy that whilst I go delete the game from my hard drive cache.
#3 - 'Mario Kart' - Rainbow Road
There's no greater feeling than being in first place, is there? It's something every single gamer wants, especially when challenging a friend or two. It gives us that proud grin on our stupid faces as our egos inflate to a hundred and go beyond the likes of a rainbow in the sky.
Speaking of rainbow (you know where this is going)... have you ever heard of the rainbow road level in Mario Kart? Who am I kidding, of course you have. It's the level that literally has the power to destroy friendships and break apart families. Yeah, that one. The level I'm actually still afraid to play on against my wife; for I wish not for it to end in a divorce (I'm still trying to come up with an excuse for the soup).
Mario Kart is a wondrous game so full of colour and adventure, and with its glimmering little ray of sunshine and happy-go-lucky characters, it's no doubt everybody wants to dive right in and get going. With quirky levels and course design, there's always something new to look forward to and discover. So for when those rainy days come falling in and you've got nothing but a Nintendo Wii and a basket full of controllers, who's to say Mario Kart is off the cards?
What we tend to forget however, is that encased deep within the roots of the core of Mario Kart lies a sneaky little bastard who's willing to deflate your tyres before you even think about reaching the finishing line on any level. With a trap door for every second you feel you're winning, there's always something ready to pull you back and fuel your rage gauge to its spilling point.
"Oh, you're in first place? Here, have a motherfucking rocket up your arse!"
"Bet you're excited to be near the finishing line, aren't you? Would be a shame if somebody should say... hit you with this damn THUNDERBOLT BOLLOCKS!"
My friends, Mario Kart is a wonderful game. But not Rainbow Road; that shit can go to Hell.
You know what? The whole game can just go to Hell. I'm leaving my Nintendo in the cupboard where it belongs. I'm done with its antics.
#4 - 'Crash Bandicoot' - Tougher Than We Remember
Back in the day, Crash Bandicoot was one of the greatest platformers ever to grace the console, what with its loveable hero and memorable "RUTABAGA!" shout pouring out of a floating mask that literally made no sense whatsoever.
It was crisp, it was tidy, and it was an output for us kids and a way to spend many, many hours, just playing and enjoying life as any young kid should. With memorable level designs that varied anywhere from outrunning a boulder to spanking a hog whilst riding through a native village collecting apples, they all had a quirky backdrop and a challenge that made us cry for more.
Although, now that I think about it. What kind of drugs were Naughty Dog on back then? Who came up with this shit? Who even thought a bandicoot in blue tracksuit bottoms was a good idea? How did they even get this past the board?
Whatever it was, it worked. Because Crash Bandicoot told a story unlike any other, and with a fresh idea it was sure to gather the eye of most gamers back in the day. It was new, it was exciting, and it was overall a groundbreaking title that rocked the world for decades.
So what was the problem here? Where exactly does that little pocket of rage quit fit in to the equation?
Well, remember when the remastered version came out? When all of us childhood fans screamed as the N-Sane trilogy was finally announced for PS4? That was a time that felt special to most of us, because finally we were able to relive a tiny portion of our childhoods once more; if only for eight or nine hours or so. Then we'd proudly smile in accomplishment before merrily placing the game back onto a nearby shelf. It's a bloody shame it turned out to be stupidly difficult though, isn't it?
We all bought it, and we all had that same burst of optimism and pride coursing through our veins as we loaded up that first "N. Sanity Beach" level in all its glorious, stunning, high-definition charm.
We smashed the boxes. We stored away the apples. We jumped the gap—. No wait. We double jumped the—. No, hang on. We jumped the—. Oh forget it! Screw this game, honestly. With its exaggerated jumping levels and crammed in cesspits with turtles that don't know when to fuck off, it's clear we were supposed to rage quit from the beginning really.
Was it really as hard as we remembered? Was it really this tough back in the day? Or have our minds gotten so fixated on AAA strategy titles that commanding a simple jumping platformer has become too much for our brains to handle? Either way, Crash Bandicoot is harder than we thought, and we shouldn't be embarrassed to admit that.
Hell, even I still haven't completed the friggin' thing. No, I can quite surely confess that it still holds a place on my dusty shelf in my living room, for something as cruel as Crash Bandicoot shall be better left as a childhood memory; where things weren't so bloody difficult.
Stupid hedgehog wannabe.
#5 - 'Catherine' - Block Puzzles
Ah, Catherine, the game that quite literally nobody I've ever spoken to has heard of, nor is willing to play after I spend two hours slating it and all of its tedious charisma.
Like many Japanese puzzle games, you can expect a rather bulky adventure, where at times, not a whole lot can happen and you often wind up questioning yourself on why you're even still playing it. But then, out of the blue, something can really pull you back in and leave you scratching for more.
Catherine does a splendid job at doing just that. It gives you the feeling that you NEED to proceed and uncover the truth behind the story. However, by doing so you must slumber your way through monotone dialogue situations whilst navigating your character through a rundown bar with your friends, probably about a hundred times during your play through at least. That's the boring part of the game; the part that any idiot can power through without so much as lifting a finger.
It's the parts that come in between the bar scenes; the parts that challenge us in order for us to move forward and progress into the story. It's these parts I speak of that introduce the whole meaning of rage quitting and knowing when to aim your controller at your siblings head.
Throughout the story, you'll find your character in a sort of dream sequence where you must fight to the pinnacle of a tower flooded with blocks; some crumbling, some swiping away, and some almost downright impossible to shift. And if you do not reach the top or should fall, you not only fade into a shadowy abyss of a grave below, but also die in real life (edgy, isn't it?).
As you climb higher and higher, the challenges get harder, to the point of having very little time in order to complete these tests, and should you run out of time, it's back to the start, my friend! So there's no hope in finishing the game without so much as breaking a sweat, because Catherine does an excellent job at making you want to rip your own hair out and more.
But for the sake of the story, we keep playing, even past the countless rage quits encountered throughout.
Well played, Catherine. Well played.
#6 - 'FIFA Street 2' - Skill Bills
We all know a FIFA fan, don't we? Like somebody that devotes more hours to it than anybody else we know? As if it acts as a cornerstone to their entire gaming world and everything else stands next to nothing. It's these types of people that are so engulfed in a sports game that if they were to spend a similar amount of time playing the real game, then chances are they'd be scoring for Chelsea right about now. And yet, the same satisfaction can often come from merely pushing a button on a PlayStation controller. Can't it?
We all know a FIFA lover, and whether you love it or hate it, you can't deny that the franchise has made one HUGE impact on the gaming world, and no matter how little detail is changed each year, everybody still chooses to go out and buy it like clockwork.
FIFA Street was a whole new chapter in the football universe, and when it finally landed on the PlayStation, I knew straight away it'd be a smash-hit. With its new technical gameplay that required more strategy than just aimlessly smashing the circle button in hope of grabbing a cheeky goal, it was destined to be one of the greats and give players a more defined experience.
I remember borrowing FIFA Street 2 from my older brother way back when it came out. It was something I wasn't overly accustomed to, what with its trendy soundtrack and fancy dribbling skills that supposedly "paid the bills." It was something I wasn't overly sure of, but I was keen to give it a go and try and excel at in order to impress my brother. So for when he wanted to challenge me, I could kick seven shades of shit into the bastard and watch the smug look on his face dry out and slump into the carpet below.
The only problem was, I just wasn't very GOOD at the game. That's where the rage quit came in for me, and I'm sure you've had similar experiences at some point in the franchise too. Well, I assume so.
It takes a devoted type of person to become good at any one certain game, but to me, FIFA was something I just couldn't give much time to. It was something I just wanted to be the best at without so much as reading the instruction manual or following a tutorial. Sadly, that was my downfall, because quite frankly, I never quite made it past the first set of challenges. Instead, I chose to jam out to the soundtrack on the title screen. At least that way nobody could make fun of me.
In FIFA Street, you find several matches where winning is not determined by how many goals you score, but how many points you rack up, and to do that, you must show off your technical ability with the ball. Similarly to Tekken, you must learn an endless catalogue of moves just in order to keep your head above water, and should you so much as get tackled mid-game, then you may as well kiss your arse goodbye. You've probably lost.
If you can give it the time of day, then you may just stand a chance, but if you're unfortunately like me, then FIFA Street will be nothing more than a shattered disc fragment and a bad memory cashed away at the back of your broken mind.
God, I hate FIFA.
#7 - 'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' - Supply Lines
I hate to give anyone an aneurysm, but for the sake of the article, I feel it is only critical that I include this segment. That's right, the beloved San Andreas mission presented horrifically by our most hated character in video game history: Zero.
Luckily, this side mission was actually optional and wasn't stopping us from progressing through the game. But for all of those completionists out there, this was a thorn in your side you couldn't simply remove by hand. You had to undoubtedly force this bugger out of your skin with a pair of pliers and no painkillers to aid you. That's AFTER you bypassed all of the bullshit leading up to it, of course.
For those of you who do not know this horrendous segment, it is basically a timed mission where you must destroy several courier vehicles with a tiny red plane before your fuel runs dry. Seems pretty simple, no? Wrong. It is the reincarnation of darkness itself, and the grim centrepiece to any modern talk about frustrating levels in video games; next to the famous train mission, of course.
You'll crash and burn a lot, and you'll hear the squeaky whine of Zero even more than you'd ever expect to; engraving that petty squeal deep inside your brain for all eternity. Mocking, shrieking, groaning furiously as you control his stupid little red plane ten times over until you've reached wits end. He'll cry like a banshee as you repeat the mission, "LAUNCH THE RED BARRON!" as you speed away from the rooftop.
You'll crash. You'll burn. You'll die. You'll hear it again.
"LAUNCH THE RED BARRON!"
Fuck you, Zero. We're done. It's over.
#8 - 'Shadows of the Damned' - The Big Boner
Yes, this is a real game. No, I'm not making this weapon up.
If you've had the privilege of playing Shadows of the Damned, then you'll know exactly what part I'll be referring to. However, if, like most people, you have never even heard of it, then let me give you the context.
You are Garcia Hotspur; demon hunter by day, regular guy by night (Devil May Cry, anyone?). You come home to find your girlfriend, Paula, suddenly abducted by a force greater than evil. With an army of foes and a whole canvas of blackness between you and finding her, you are faced with the challenge of diving deep into Hell and bringing her back.
So, your box-standard video game really. It's nothing new when you hear it that way, but it's what lies beneath that makes it a more engrossing story unlike any other; a story I feel I'd be spoiling if I spluttered out all the juicy details in one paragraph. So for your own good, I'll leave it closed.
However, this certain section of the game is what causes any good gamer to suddenly become a bad gamer. Like tearing away any skill you thought you had and dashing into a plain of shit-ness in spite of your best efforts, it mocks you until you're rendered speechless.
You are tasked with equipping this weapon. Ahem, let me rephrase. You are tasked with equipping this "BIG BONER" and taking down the closing-in enemy forces approaching from a full 360 degree angle. Seems pretty simple enough when you put it like that. After all, we've done these kinds of missions several times before. So what makes this one so different?
Well, your reload time is stupidly slow for starters, and for every shot you take you have to endure Garcia spitting out the same cheesy lines like "TASTE MY BIG BONER!" before cycling on to the next enemy.
The demons approach faster than you think, and unless you time every shot just right and have a perfect accuracy, you may as well kiss your chances at pushing through goodbye, because let me tell you, you'll be hearing the word "boner" more times over the course of an hour than you've ever heard over the course of your entire damn life.
BIG BONER? Plenty of it.
RAGE QUITTING? Most definitely.
#9 - 'Dark Souls' - Dying, A LOT
I had a work colleague natter a monologue at me once, mainly about the thrill of a challenge and how dying was just a fun part of the experience in any given video game. He bragged mainly of course about Dark Souls and how he was able to breeze on through the campaign without so much as grazing a kneecap on the spiritual journey to the bitter end.
He of course, was not me. And me being me, I knew for a fact I wasn't ever going to finish the Dark Souls campaign, no matter how many hours I poured into it. Because honestly, I'm not even that good at gaming. I mean, I really do enjoy it, but when it comes to tactical approaches and hoarding hundreds of hours of playtime just in hope of being good at it someday, I fail horribly.
Dark Souls is of course a very special game, and a cult classic loved by millions of players worldwide. It gives you that spice and cutthroat edge that not a lot of other games hand you. Like tossing away the silver platter and forty minute tutorial level and instead just throwing you a big bastard for a boss and a stick to defend yourself. It doesn't for one second attempt to hold your hand, but more or less offends you for even thinking of asking for help or searching for the difficulty settings.
You eventually learn to overcome most obstacles in Dark Souls, but that is providing you have the time to face them and adapt at the pace it wants you to adapt at. As for me, that time seemed rather limited when attempting to balance work life and social life at the same time.
Dark Souls expects you to die. It even states that on the back cover of the box. Time and time again you'll fail until you stop and think to yourself, Hang on, I know what he's about to do now. I know how I'll defend it and counter the attack!"
That is something you must do, for every single enemy in the game. So finding your way to the end isn't the issue. It's having the patience in order to see it to the end, and no matter how many times you see those blood red letters spelling out "YOU DIED" on the screen, you must have the ability to swallow your pride and persist to the final showdown.
They knew exactly what they were doing when they developed Dark Souls. They knew it'd break us, and they knew we'd rage quit a billion times over through the thirsty growl for closure and acceptance from the unforgiving enemies thrown at us like rag dolls.
Dark Souls? Rage quit? You knew that one was coming.
#10 - 'Zelda: Ocarina of Time' - The Water Temple
If I had a penny for every time I heard how much people loved water levels in video games, I'd have zero pennies. That's because nobody likes water levels in video games. Not one. Even the big hitters like Zelda, of course. That's no exception for when it comes to those dark and gloomy segments that quite literally nobody wants to play through.
Water levels in video games have kind of grown a strong hatred over the years, and yet developers continue to throw them in as if completely oblivious to the fact that nobody really enjoys them. I mean, sure, they can look pretty and the water continues to look more and more lifelike by the year, but other than that, nobody wants to bother with them. If anything, they become the burden that you have to shovel your way through just so you can move on to the better parts of the game.
Zelda has and always will be a shining emblem on the gaming world, and whether you're an old timer or hipster in denial, there's no denying the fact that everybody has seen that little green tunic at some point or another. Everybody is aware of Link and Navi, and Zelda set the benchmark on gaming so long ago that even to this day it still has its number one spot cemented firmly at the brink of the stone pillar. That's something no AAA contender can challenge, because they know they've already lost the war.
It's true, no game is perfect, but Zelda: Ocarina of Time sure does set a pretty high bar for the rest of the industry. With a soundtrack so far ahead of its time and a fluster of colours so soaked up and gorgeously portrayed, everything about it is pure and downright beautiful. It has that squeaky clean feel to it that makes us want to come back time and time again just so we can get a new breath of fresh air as our favourite little forest child for a while.
But, where the sun shines down, a shadow is undoubtedly casted beside it. Holding a grudge over the light trying so hard to sizzle over the world, there's almost certainly going to be that black cloud willing to follow.
I speak now of the infamous water temple featured around the mid-way point of the story, with it's spiraling corridors and loopy levels, brain-numbing puzzles and a colour scheme morbidly blue and grey. Hours stacked upon hours we must've circled these same winding rooms, hoping and praying that something new might just reveal itself and help us move further into the game. But for every attempt, there was only error and a chance to start from scratch.
The water temple had a way of tricking us and making us think we were progressing when really we had no idea what we were doing. With so many doors and tiers piled up onto one another, we were left to fend for ourselves to try and find a way out; and so began the torture of reaching the end and locating that stupid little boss key. That's if you didn't rage quit and chose to never pick it up again.
... Like me.
... I only completed it a year ago.
KEEP PLAYING. YOU'LL PUSH THROUGH.
It's no doubt we'll rage quite on a daily basis. That's life, and we're just along for the ride; fighting off whatever it may or may not throw at us.
We throw a fit and slate video games the same as we would about things in reality, but no matter what, we ALWAYS pick the controller back up again and play another day.
We live and we learn, and we play because we want to. We overcome the obstacles that were once holding us back and pursue the end goal in sight; remembering that it was never as far away as we once believed it was.
Some days we just want to break down and cry when that burst of anger projects over the lump in our throats and through gritted teeth, but sooner or later, we learn to just laugh about it. We say to ourselves, "It's only a game. No big deal, right?" and move on. That's all we can ever do.
We keep playing, and we do NOT let rage quitting be the victor in our story. Unless of course you're playing Mario Kart.
Mario Kart can just go fuck itself.
- J Tury