Video games have given you rewards and reasons to do the impossible for decades. They’ll grant you more power ups, more lives, and in some cases, throwing in entire unlockable modes. However, some games like to take all your effort and regurgitate it back in your face while giving you the finger. Here’s nine instances of that very thing happening to you.
Beating the Subspace Emissary – Super Smash Bros. Brawl
You’ve finally done it. You trudged through eight hours of a cross-dimensional campaign that you won’t remember two weeks from now, battling it out against Kingdom Hearts ripoffs and repetitive stages, all because you wanted to unlock all the characters. Well, once you’re done fighting evil cyber-deities, who else but Sonic the Hedgehog shows up to save the hapless Nintendo characters? He shows up, goes Super Saiyan, and saves the day.
As disappointing as that is, you probably made the discovery that you had to go back into Subspace Emisarry to do mundane, hidden tasks to unlock characters like Toon Link. It’s bad enough we had to go through it the first time. For god’s sake, why not just have all the characters unlocked from the start? Most people who want that will just download a save state anyway!
Finding the Vault – Borderlands
After dozens of hours spent collecting loot and slaughtering psychos, all in the name of finding the mystical vault that houses all the loot we’ve ever dreamed up, we find out it’s pretty much a spiky vagina monster. Immediately following unceremoniously killing off a major antagonist, you’re left to drain its health bar to zero and put an end to all this bullshit.
It doesn’t help that Borderlands 2 basically renders what you did in the previous game pointless, since Handsome Jack was revealed to be pulling the strings the whole time. All that time looking for loot basically amounted to hitting that level cap.
Finding Symphony of the Night – Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles
While more of an easter egg, finding the secret unlockable game within Dracula X Chronicles certainly wasn’t worth the searching. You have to fall down a pit that is indistinguishable from a pit that causes instant death. Not only that, but this occurs while you’re on the run from a giant cerberus. After you’ve fallen, you fight through a bunch of fish men on some difficult platforms. While traversing down, go through a secret entrance and you’ll find Castlevania: Symphony of the Night in all its glory.
This would be worth it if the PSP version of Symphony of the Night was a good port. Sadly, it was not, and is actually outdone by the PSN version that anyone with a Vita could easily get his or her hands on.
Catching ‘em All – Pokemon
Ever since Pokemon Red & Blue hit the shelves, the prospect of collecting all 151+ creatures has been little more than a pipe dream. To do so would require at least two different copies of that generation’s Pokemon titles, and likely dozens of hours. What’s your reward? A pat on the back, and more recently, one more Master Ball. Because you really need one after you’ve already caught them all, right?! Not even counting the upcoming Pokemon X and Y, we already have over 650 creatures to scour our numerous Pokemon cartridges for.
Beating the Game Twice – Ghosts N’ Goblins
Renowned for being one of the most difficult games of all time, Ghosts N’ Goblins really craps in your mouth when you actually beat the game. After defeating the last boss, you’re greeted with this message: “This room is an illusion and a trap devised by Satan! Go ahead dauntlessly. Make rapid progress.” THAT’S IT! Then you have to beat the game again!
It doesn’t help that for doing so, the ending isn’t much better than the first time around. “The Story is Happy End. Being the wise and courageous knight that you are, you feel strongth welling in your body. Return to starting point. Challenge again!” Yes, why not keep playing the game that would make Mega Man cry?
Finding the Eight Pages – Slender
Eluding the mysterious Slender Man apparently won’t get you much reward. After numerous jump scares, teleporting monsters, and ruined pairs of underwear, your reward for finding the eight hidden pages is…death. Yep, your reward is death. Fairly anticlimactic. You can potentially unlock extras for beating the game under certain parameters, but I had a hard time beating the game as it is.
Of course the pseudo-sequel Slender: The Arrival added a whole bunch of content to the game, effectively making the Eight Pages portion worth it, but it was the original Slender that started the cultural zeitgeist, and still eventually sucked to beat.
Finishing the Fight – Halo 3
If there was ever an anticlimactic ending to anything, Halo 3 takes the cake. After slaying thousands of Covenant and Flood forces, you don’t really feel like you accomplished anything. Some people you don’t care about die, some enemies you’ve been fighting for a decade die, and some ship splits in half. You go back in a stasis pod, just like in the intro of the first Halo. “Finish the fight” didn’t mean anything but manufactured hype at the end of Halo 2, and how Halo 3 played out proves that.
It doesn’t help that it all means nothing by the time you reach Halo 4, anyway. The plot devolves into a “chosen one fufills an ancient prophecy” shitshow, when the point is that Master Chief was supposed to be a reflection of you (or at least he was originally).
Doing Well – Mario Kart
Here’s an easy target. Nothing says fun like playing a kart racer and kicking your friends’ asses, right? Nintendo disagrees. No, ever since Double Dash, you’re actively punished for being in first place. For one, your items are pretty weak most of the time. You’ll rarely see anything other than banana peels and fake item cubes. But what makes this the worst is that god damned blue turtle shell. It’s a heat-seeking missile that only targets the person in first place. It blows up, and your progress is halted for a few seconds, effectively knocking you back a few places.
This is made all the more terrible in Mario Kart 7, where the damned thing goes along the track, hitting anybody unfortunate enough to be in its path, making it almost twice as annoying. IT’s Nintendo’s way of making it “accessible”, but it honestly does little more than piss everyone involved off.