It Isn’t Hard, I Just Done Goofed: Moments When Video Games Made Us Feel Dumb


It wasn’t ridiculously hard, I just did it wrong. I wish I could say that only applied to the rare occasion in my video gaming life, yet it seems to apply to more than my fair share of cock ups and miserable attempts at trying to make a jump or solve a puzzle the infinitely harder way. Maybe it is because I didn’t bother to scout ahead to see if there is just a path to the platform, perhaps it is because I am actually standing on the last puzzle piece needed to progress. Either way, I have done some dumb things in gaming, and so have you. Let us delve into a few and laugh at ourselves and each other, I swear it is cathartic.

You see that platform with the shiny jewels? Do ya want the shiny jewels? Well of course I bloody do, they shine for me and I would be rude not to. Only problem is the jump seems near impossible, I keep jumping at the very edge of the platform, I am initiating the glide at the peak of my jump I even hover when it is optimal. I fall and fall and fall and fall. The only logical thing is to come back later at this point, I trot ahead and what do I find? A ladder to a platform miles above the previous one, allowing easy access to my precious gems. I can’t just stop and look around for a better vantage point, I want my shiny when I want it, this time it just so happened to be my undoing.

I’m in a temple and I’m shifting tiles around in front of me. I have a few clues to where the missing pieces are supposed to go but can’t help notice there is one missing. I turn around on the spot, waving the flash-light in every corner. I don’t move from my spot should I miss something, good thinking I assure myself. Needless to say I am stuck here for 20 minutes searching for the final clue, it isn’t on the ceiling and not on the walls, I’ve scoured the floor every inch. I think. Oh that was a weird shine of my fee-oh bollock it all I was standing on it. I spend all this time searching for something no further than my arm length away from me, guess that convincing idea to stay still wasn’t so effective.

I get a new power in an action game that allows me to fire at range on enemies, pretty nifty if you ask me. I encounter a bridge that can’t be released and thus made crossable unless the lever is released. What is holding the lever? A NPC, alive of course, refusing to allow me passage. Ignoring the Zelda trope of ” get new power-up, expect to use power-up for every encounter in the next hour” I look around for an alternative path. 10 minutes go by and I start whacking every pile of rubble should it be what I was supposed to destroy. Nope. 20 minutes and I’m feeling like I miss something so I went back before the bridge to see if there was any flashing interactables. Nada. 40 minutes, it finally sinks in….hit the guy with the new ranged attack I got.

The above one is an odd case of not necessarily missing the point but rather feeling out of character with the tone of the game. I didn’t feel like the badass who cared for no one I was supposed to be and as such didn’t really consider any thoughts that would lead that way. I didn’t really draw a blank for 40 minutes (okay I did but this bit is more important) so much as I didn’t buy into my characterization and approached the game differently. It’s odd for me to be in this situation as I usually play the goody two shoes but feel like causing a little mayhem here and there, pondering why this invisible wall is protecting this party member from falling onto the sharp rocks below.

Anyway I’m roaming around this battle arena of enemies riddled with holes thanks to yours truly, trying to progress. Except there wasn’t any magical staircase appearing or a door lock lifting up for me to immediately head towards. Okay let us scour around the area and search for questionable objects. Oh this weird lock thing seems to be holding all the doors up, I’ll just pop a few caps in it. Hmm, pistol didn’t work, let’s give shotgun a go. Boomstick has failed me, has it? Luckily RPGs always bring everything and the kitchen sink to the party…..WHAT. the damn thing is scorched black but fine, is this the true final boss? Am I fighting the mightiest enemy this game has to offer? Is this my showdown of epic proportions? Well no, as I just had to press the “Action” button and get it disengaged, so yes I did just waste tons of rare ammo on a box, it was an honest mistake.

As you might have gathered, I have my moments where the cosmos seems to conspire against me, when the planets align to spell out “I’m with dumb fuck”. Some games are obnoxious with their logic and conveyance, you really do just have to mash and try everything. Other times? Well what can I say, the old noggin needs to be greased up a bit or the gears just lock up and start drooling over each other. Fantastic fuckers they are when they get going though.

What have been your sudden moments of forgetfulness or general stupidity? Do you generally consider yourself savvy to most video game puzzles or challenges? Have you ever come back to a game and forgotten your best skills and perfect timings? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.


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  1. #1 by YvoCaro on March 9, 2015 - 2:57 pm

    As long as we’re being honest here… I don’t do well in Zelda games. The logic of what to use when just eludes me. Especially in Ocarina of Time, I think I’m the only gamer that constantly forgot that I could unlock things by playing a tune!


    • #2 by Prof.mcstevie on March 11, 2015 - 8:21 pm

      I had several goofs in Wind Waker because the deku leaf isn’t an everyday item to use, sitting there for almost an hour trying to figure out how to cross a gap on the second visit to the fortress. Of course you just pop it open mid jump to give yourself extra lift, however the other instance of my forgetting such a thing ended up in extreme environment platforming the world has never seen.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. #3 by paradigmshiftgames on March 8, 2015 - 12:44 am

    Jumped off a cliff 3 times in Tomb Raider today to then turn slightly to the left to find a path down… Yes, I felt as stupid as it sounds


    • #4 by Prof.mcstevie on March 8, 2015 - 12:49 am

      Hey, finding secrets in games can be brutal, fake walls and leaps of faith have to be found by practical efforts, if it means I walk around in lava then so be it.


  3. #5 by Red Metal on March 6, 2015 - 5:54 am

    I think we’ve all had experiences like this. For me, it was forgetting about the “run” button in Super Metroid and getting stuck at the “noob bridge” when I played the game as a kid.


  4. #6 by atkokosplace on March 4, 2015 - 7:45 pm

    This post had me rolling. Yep, i’ve experienced moments of brain fade! But that’s life…just gotta roll with it! Koko✿


  5. #7 by Matt on March 3, 2015 - 11:33 am

    That was brilliantly written and painfully true!

    I can’t remember any specific moment where my dumbness completely took over my brain and made me overlook obvious solutions, but it has happened a lot!


    • #8 by Prof.mcstevie on March 3, 2015 - 8:32 pm

      Brilliantly? I just sort of mused with a keyboard in front of me but thanks anyway.

      Wow, to have so many failings that you can’t remember specifics, that is quite a lot of mistakes you’ve made!


  6. #9 by RefresherTowel on March 2, 2015 - 11:52 pm

    Oh god, this post…Yes, we’ve all been there, hahahaha. The problem I have with these sort of scenarios (especially involving treasure you can see, but can’t reach) is that in half the games, if you explore forward too much, something will happen that will cause you to not be able to go back and get the treasure (a door closing, a new level, etc). So I always feel as though if I ignore the treasure right now and go ahead, I’ll lose it. I’ll spend hours looking for the secret to get to the treasure, only to find the secret is to go ahead…Makes me rage the fuck out, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • #10 by Prof.mcstevie on March 2, 2015 - 11:55 pm

      A big issue I had with the first Half Life myself, so many paths, never sure when I reach a no-going-back point. It’s brutal!

      Liked by 1 person

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