Games that you did not understand but played anyway

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By JohnHassink

Ambassador (5665)

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06-06-2021, 20:42

Back in the day (mid 1980's to early 1990's), we didn't have the luxury in choosing what to play as we have now.
People older than, say, age 25 probably remember what I'm talking about. Wink
Games were pirated all over, and usually, you wouldn't have a manual to your disposal.

As for most games, we didn't need any manual, because they would speak for themselves.
There were some games though, that seemed fascinating, but were more obscure in their workings.
Still, I kept playing them, as I liked the atmosphere, the graphics, the music... even if I wouldn't ever beat them (of even knew if they could be).

Do you recognize this? I'll give some examples - maybe you have some of your own.

Putting up fences, fending off the huge ants, placing the beacon, waiting for the ship...
It's probably quite some intricate gameplay, which was lost on me.

Cosa Nostra
Sometimes, you kill a corrupt politician or police man, and the game rewards you for that (and tells you in Spanish).
The point of the game, I never found out. I just wandered around and shot people.

Death Wish 3
I just would shoot everyone to hell until I ran out of weapons.
The map system and the telex at the bottom right of the screen -
Didn't understand. Loved the music, which was a great factor in commencing play.

Kubikiri Yakata Yori
Actually beaten this game a few times, because the graphics and music fascinated me so much.
Even if I could only understand like 20% (and that's generous) of the on-screen dialogue and menu choices.
It's a visual novel type of game, but you can actually die in this, and there's a genuine dead end mid-game (which seems strange).
Anyway, an exception on this list, since I've beaten it a few times - still on the list because I hardly understood anything of what was going on.

Sailor's Delight
Liked playing as a robot and the musical rendition of "Drunken Sailor", but the actual game mechanics were lost to me.
I guess... prevent your ship from flooding on the inside and sinking?

Spy vs Spy II
Cool setting, based on a cool comic. But what to do?
You seem to be supposed to trap and damage or kill the other guy, but I never found out how.

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By wolf_

Ambassador_ (10092)

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06-06-2021, 20:55

Hard Boiled
I had my edition as part of the famous 30 MSX Hits from Premium 3, with a meager manual. Just wtf do I do with all these weird items you can pick-up? But yeah, nice title tune and funny/weird atmosphere.

By jepmsx

Master (242)

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07-06-2021, 09:51

I remember SD-Snatcher and Illusion City. But I used Spanish walkthroughs to play them. In Illusion City I used one from FKD-FAN which I have been looking for and I haven't found it. And I don't remember where I found the SD-Snatcher one.
In those walkthroughs the author use to make up a funny story to explain what was happening.
I also played Seed of Dragon because I loved the intro sequence and the first steps weren't very difficult. Although I couldn't finish it

By Randam

Paragon (1431)

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08-06-2021, 08:50

Shalom; I got pretty far in the game. Only boss 4 eluded me IIRC correctly (you can play the bosses out of order). But even the boat, the mermaid message, and the special thing you can do with the telescope I discovered back in the day. Made a gigantic map and found out there were 3(!) map errors in the game. Shame on you Konami Wink Talked to everything and every one if I got stuck at places, including coastlines, trees and rocks Wink

Mirai; I played and played. The flying bits I got through but then in like the second platformer part or something I got stuck because I couldn't jump high enough. Probably needed some gear to jump higher but didn't find any shops... Still haven't finished this to this day. I should look at this one at some point and try to see what was the problem. Still have the passwords...

There are probably more games like this, but have to think...

By AxelStone

Prophet (3189)

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08-06-2021, 15:57

Mainly JRPG, I played games like Xak with no idea of the history. Now I wouldn't be able to do it.

By Metalion

Paragon (1622)

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08-06-2021, 21:07

Well, I bought King Kong 2 back in the days, but of course it was all in japanese. So I tried a little bit to play, until I realize I was going nowhere. At the time, my father was working with a japanese guy who was living in Belgium. I asked for help, and the daughter of that guy, who was learning english and french, agreed to help me.

For some time, I meticulously copied all the dialogues from the game (in hiragana), and filled some pages with it. Then hand it over to my father, who forwarded it to his colleague, and then his daughter. It did not work for all dialogues. I remember some were translated by that girl as a series of incomprehensible jumble, as my hiragana writing was probably hopeless.

But it worked for some. I clearly remember that I learned about the knife and the spider, and also about the stick and the ogre.

Those were the days.

By Ivan

Ascended (9341)

Ivan's picture

08-06-2021, 23:26

Jack The Nipper. Played it without any idea of what to do.

By CASDuino

Champion (330)

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08-06-2021, 23:33

RasterScan. You're a ball and you land in stuff and you teleport and WTF!!!!!!!!

By ren

Paragon (1932)

ren's picture

11-06-2021, 19:31

OMG, cheers, I totally forgot about RasterScan! Definitely one of these weirdly intriguing games, never quite got it figured out I believe.
What comes to mind here is: Hard Boiled, Spirits, Sorcery, Inspectuer Z, StarQuake, Knight Tyme, The Roving Planet Styllus (not sure if I figured out back then how to pass those what are supposed to be doors), Manes, Xyzolog, Time Trax, ...

I did find it pretty frustrating not figuring out Knight Tyme, Time Trax, Inspecteur Z & Styllus (that feeling of 'must be missing something obvious here..') others perhaps I couldn't be bothered too much to pursue further. I always found StarQuake to be pretty intriguing, but that frantic enemy (spawning) stuff quite frustrating, never lasted for too long..

Howard the Duck
also comes to mind, but I believe I did figure out / complete that one :)
And yeah, didn't get far in Spy vs Spy either.. ;)

- somewhat related, perhaps, nice topic from the past: Ugly and obscure games that we love

By ray2day

Paladin (730)

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11-06-2021, 22:37

Shalom (indeed because of the Japanese texts), Feud and ofcourse Tele Bunnie (I didn’t know what to do back then, later (when I bought the original) I read the manual and it was a nice and funny game to play, and now when I see it again I really again have no clue what to do… so I just hop around and play it!). LOL!

By ~mk~

Champion (322)

~mk~'s picture

11-06-2021, 23:20

ren wrote:

Howard the Duck
also comes to mind, but I believe I did figure out / complete that one :)

I second that one, and add a few which nowadays I still have no clue how to play:
Digital Devil Story
Woody Poco

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