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Perseverance, Rationalization, & Damn Hard Games

Douglas Adams died about 10 years ago. In honor of that not-so-happy event, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an excellent entry in their "Gaming Made Me" series dedicated to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game. Check it out here. Note how much the article's author enjoyed the difficulty of the game. To quote her briefly:

The Hitchhiker’s game left me curious and perplexed in equal measure. Why wasn’t my Dad any better at extracting progress from the game than I was? Or my older brother? The game was truly difficult. You would play for a few hours, learning by trial and error what the correct responses were to get you past the earliest hurdles, actually not getting very far at all.

There are many games that I never finished because I lost interest or got busy doing other things. There are two games which I really enjoyed but stopped playing due to glitches. One is the original Fallout, which had a disagreement with my video card and got me so monumentally pissed that I didn't speak to it for 10 years. The other was Hitchhiker's, which came with a bad disk, and as a kid I couldn't figure out what to do about it.

That's how I remember it, though now I wonder if I just took advantage of the situation to quit. In fact, I think there's a chance that that the only "glitch" involved was that I kept dying, and 10 year old me was just so unprepared for that kind of resistance that I convinced myself that a disk must be bad. It really was a damn hard game.

It's available to play online, for free. The game in its monochromatic text-only glory is here, and a version with graphics tacked on is here. I'll be playing it through, one of these days...