The Top 10 Games That Force You To Be Stupid

July 12, 2010

Games thrive on plots.  The problem is, plots require plot twists, and sometimes, those plot twists are immutable.  No matter what happens, you've got to fulfill that plot twist, even if it's abundantly obvious to everybody including cavemen that what you have to do is a really, really bad idea. Which is why you'll kill yourself, gladly follow imposters, and fork over world-destroying gizmos in these games that'll drive you crazy with how stupid you have to be.

Source: id Software

By Dan Seitz


10. DOOM

You've finally completed the first section.  You've killed the end boss.  You've got a ton of weapons and ammo.  You are ready to go to hell and really kick some ass.

Unfortunately, the only way into hell will kill you and leave you with a pistol and your fists in the absolute worst place you want to go into unarmed.  And there's no way around it; you have to step into the death-gate, let the game kill you, and wake up in Hell to earn the neat weapons all...over...again.


9. Metroid Prime 3

Source: Nintendo

So, you're Samus Aran, experienced Metroid killer and general badass.  You're hunting a shapeshifter, Gandrayda.  You land on the main planet of the Space Pirates, absolutely ruthless, soulless killers.  And suddenly, this Space Marine shows up.  He's got no bona fides, no way to prove his identity, but you absolutely have to come with him!  It's important!  No, he won't tell you why!

At least Samus mentions her suspicion of the situation, and she did need two people to operate an elevator, but still.  You expect a bit more from a Metroid hunter.


8. The Suffering: The Ties That Bind

Source: Midway Games

In The Suffering, you play Torque, a man possessed by his inner demons and trying to use that to fight all the outer demons that are pretty much killing everybody around him.  But it's Baltimore, so, what the hell, right?  If it wasn't demons, it'd be something else.

Anyway, Torque is trying to hunt down Blackmore, the man who killed his family and who seems to be responsible for all misery in the Baltimore area.  Hunting down a vicious criminal is kind of stupid in the first place, but the game decides to push stupidity to the limit with a leap of faith.  Well, kinda.

Want to go forward in the game?  You've got to jump in the pit spewing out demons.

Oh, and it's full of sewage, just to add to the fun.  Enjoy!


7. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass

Source: Nintendo

Link gets into a lot of trouble, but about half of that is because the guy is such a complete dimwit.  For example, he's stuck on a ship that's fatal to mortals, yet these four sisters are apparently trapped on the ship.  We say "apparently" because they have, literally, evil faces.  We're not kidding.  They look evil.

They also offer misleading advice, try to get you caught by the bad guys, and even snicker at you behind your back, which, okay, Link can't see, but still.  Even for a naive country boy, he has to be getting a little suspicious the third time they nearly get him killed.

6. Final Fantasy IV

Source: Square

Our heroes are faced with a difficult choice; save the girl the hero is in love with, or fork over the last of four crystals that will destroy the world.  Granted, by this point, the entire party has acted like a bunch of idiots, practically handing the bad guy, Golbez, one of the crystals by opening a door he couldn't and nearly getting killed, and this is a Japanese RPG. Common sense is in painfully short supply in the first place.

Still, they hand over the crystal   Because they're idiots, that's why.  One person, entire world.  One person, ENTIRE FREAKING WORLD.  Let's talk about "needs of the many vs. the needs of the few."  Thank God Final Fantasy isn't real or we'd all be dead by now.


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5. Metal Gear Solid

Source: Konami

For the five of you that didn't play Metal Gear Solid, here's a quick recap.  You hide in a cardboard box, and this somehow makes you invisible, proving all science in Calvin and Hobbes strips is accurate.  Also, you have to disable a really nasty military weapon called the Metal Gear.  How do you do this?  By inserting a card which was suspiciously provided for you to shut it down.  With a toggle switch!  That can only be flipped once!

This isn't really Snake's stupidity, but we really have to ask: who designed a nuclear key with a toggle switch between "Armed" and "Unarmed" and who configures that toggle switch so it can only be flipped once?


4. Assassin's Creed

Source: Ubisoft

Altair is so graceful and cat-like, it's hard to believe.  We practically expect the guy to lick his own butt or something as a character animation if you leave him alone too long.  So it's difficult to believe anybody could get the drop on him, probably because, well, they can't.  Unless the game makes you.

Talal, one of your targets, would really rather not be stabbed to death, so he sets up a trap for you.  And you, because the game requires it, have to blunder into this trap and fight your way out.  You know, because you have all the skill and grace of a cat, except when a vital plot point needs to be fulfilled.

3. Thief: The Dark Project

Source: Eidos Interactive

Garrett is a master thief and, as a criminal, naturally suspicious.  So when somebody comes to him looking for an ancient gem, offers him a ridiculous price, and then he discovers that finding this gem involves a very elaborate set of keys and tricks found only in several different locations, which gives you access to a church that literally has a sign saying "This place is full to the brim with pants-crapping terror and sheer evil, don't come in, you idiot," what does he do?

Accept the job, actually steal the evil gem, and, for some reason, actually think he was going to get paid and not get stabbed in the back.  We had no idea hardened criminals were so naive and trusting.


2. Silent Hill 2

Source: Konami

To be fair, James, our hero, is completely crazy.  Keep in mind this guy is in Silent Hill looking for somebody who's been dead for a couple of years, and he just won't give it up.  Even when the first thing he meets is a creature that spits acid.  Even when he finds a note explicitly telling him that if he keeps this up, horrible things are going to happen to him.

Still, even factoring in the insanity, the moment where you have to put your hand down a hole has got to be the kicker.  Even a lunatic has got to realize just what a terrible idea this is.  But you still have to do it, cringing all the way.


1. Tales of Symphonia

Source: Namco Tales Studio

So, in this classic RPG, you're hunting a bad guy.  A terrible guy, a hero of legend gone corrupt.  You have his name, his image, a lot of backstory about him, and you've got some geniuses in your party.

Which makes the fact that he's practically sleeping on your couch, mooching your beer, and watching 1000 Ways To Die instead of getting a job pretty glaring, as the entire party seems to fail to notice that the main bad guy, the one they fear and need to stop is...right...there.  Sure, our hero is a total idiot in other respects, but it's amazing Sylvarant and Tethe'alla made it, is all we're saying.


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