The 10 Games That Accidentally Let You Skip Ahead
Although the "sandbox" game is becoming more and more popular as gamers realize it's really more fun to just run around doing whatever you want with a missile launcher than it is to follow what a game company calls fun, most games still have a linear order: complete this mission to get that doodad and complete the dungeon. But computers take everything awfully literally, and sometimes that translates out to some very fast (and sometimes hilarious) shortcuts.
By Dan Seitz
10. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Zelda seems to come up a lot in our video game articles, so why should this one be any exception? True, it's easier to complete the temples in the order you're supposed to, but why bother?
For example, to complete the Spirit Temple, you don't need the hoverboots, just the Longshot and some fast fingers to trigger the double jump, which will solve the silver rupee puzzle in that temple. Or you can complete the Fire Temple without visiting the Forest Temple and picking up the bow.
We wish we could do this in our daily lives. Like hitting the strip club while avoiding going to the ATM, or getting right to the nookie without going to the romantic comedy. Wait, we can do that last one with a good bottle of wine.
9. Final Fantasy
Source: Square Enix
Role-playing games are always tricky, and they take some of the fun out of role-playing, namely outwitting the DM and ruining his carefully planned adventure (you call it being a munchkin, we call it careful manipulation of the rules). Fortunately, if the programmers are the DMs, they've set themselves up for failure, at least as far as the original Final Fantasy is concerned.
Basically, once you clear the first dungeon, you can track down the items you need to fly around in your pimpin' airship, hitting every dungeon and looting it, and then coming back to the second dungeon and laying complete waste to the second boss in the game, who otherwise is a total pain in the ass.
Somehow, we think the developers have been getting back at their fans ever since.
8. Enter the Matrix
Source: Shiny Entertainment
Enter The Matrix tried hard to be a lot like the first Matrix movie. Instead it was more like The Matrix sequels. Tragic, we know, but on the bright side, the hacking minigame was pretty funny and you got to see Monica Bellucci and Jada Pinkett-Smith lock lips, so it wasn't all bad.
It did, however, crank the difficulty factor through the roof in some levels, but Shiny, the developers, at least hid some useful solutions. For example, there's an insanely difficult level late in the game where you have to avoid the Smith clones destroying the Matrix. Getting through this level is a nightmare as Smiths attack you left and right. But, by disobeying some instructions, you can skip to the fun parts. At the beginning of the level, the game tells you to go left. But if you go right, you can skip the level entirely.
Kind of like how you can just watch the first Matrix and forget entirely about the rest of them.
7. Super Metroid
Super Metroid was a teenager's wet dream back in the early 1990s. Complex, detailed worldmaps that rewarded exploration by giving you more health and ways to blow things up? Seeing Samus in a skintight outfit for completing the game quickly? Hell yes. But the one problem was dealing with some of the bosses. Some were weak, some were strong, but all of them were pretty well-timed to keep the game difficult.
Good thing you can just play them in any order. There's nothing compelling you to fight the bosses in order; with a little ingenuity, and a lot of repetitive jumping, you can fight them in whatever order you want. Of course, you'll spend fifteen minutes in a morph ball laying down explosives to blast yourself over an "insurmountable" barrier, and finding the items is more fun, but this isn't about fun, dammit! It's about cheating!
6. Deus Ex
Source: Ion Storm Inc.
Deus Ex combined the best of FPS play with the best of RPGs. You had a skill tree to update constantly, terrorists to kill, and lots of fun to be had, mostly by skipping huge parts of the game by exploiting the physics engine.
For example, in the opening of the game, open the doors to the UNATCO base and throw a gas grenade at them. Congratulations, you just beat the entire first mission. There are so many ways to break the game that there's actually an entire walkthrough dedicated to it. Have fun!