Saving may be the best addition to games as a whole since the first caveman thought “man, I can’t wait until someone invents videogames”. It’s nice to think that you can walk away from a game and get back to it on your time. Now saving is easy and straightforward, but that was not always the case. Here are some examples of ways to save that did not quite work out as intended.
This one was more by necessity, as some game developers didn’t discover the battery and computer memory until the first Legend of Zelda, apparently. This actually worked okay for a while until games became more complicated and game developers discovered that people would just pass these easy passwords around to jump right to the end. That moment was when number, consonant and symbol hell broke loose. Passwords became cryptic keys a mile long, full of weird fonts and alien writing undecipherable by even the most brilliant main character of a Dan Brown novel. Hours of game time are lost because somehow, in this font, an N looks like an 8 and vice versa, so your entire code is wrong.
4. Earning Saves In-Game
Hitman 2 has this system, and this is a ridiculous idea. Hey, want to save your game? Sure! You just have to play the game some more to unlock the save! Next, the game unlocks a gun that puts bullets back together and knives that fix cuts.
3. Losing Lives When You Quit
Really, Gish? Really? Ending your game takes a life from me, and I start with 5? Well no worries, I won’t lose any more lives from you ever again.
This one is actually pretty good for the most part! It gives you a goal to get to, and lets you know where you will appear again if you quit before the next one. I’ve played through many games that worked like this and never had any problems…except for that one save. You know the one. You’re running from a group of enemies and right as the sniper trains on your head and fires…checkpoint, headshot. You’re left to watch in horror as the game reloads the moment you get shot over and over like some kind of digital Sisyphus. Or you’re cruising away at high-speeds in a Warthog and then…rocket fired, checkpoint, explosion. In those moments, a good save system becomes the worst system ever created, especially as you reload an older one and go through that section of the game again.
1. Leaving the Game System On While You Do Whatever
Back in the NES days, this was the preferred way to keep a good Mario 3 game going without redoing the whole game. You pause, leave the game on, and just walk away. It seemed like a good notion at first, until the real consequences kick in. You come back to a forgotten system, burning with the heat of a thousand suns. The game has welded itself to the system. Your dad chews you out for the power bill that has doubled. On top of all that, you have to turn the game off anyways because your friend wants to play something else by the time you can get to it! Not that that stopped you from doing it again, World 5 is totally hard.
What bad save stories do you have? Post them in the comments!