At Moviepilot, we work hard, but we also play hard. And by play hard, I mean we play Mario Kart 8 on 150cc Frantic Hard CPU Mode (Sure, I know 200cc exists, but NOBODY plays 200cc).
There is rarely a period of the working day when the main corridor of the office is not filled with creative expletives spat forth by rage-filled Mario Karters. It really is a miracle that all of our controllers (and friendships) are still intact.
With this in mind, let's take a look at some of the most rage-inducing, potentially friendship ending, moments in my video game upbringing. Make sure to let me know about yours below.
1 - The Spiny Blue Shell of Death
Along with various portmanteau curse words, another phrase can often be heard coming from the gaming area. It is simple. It is curt. It is really fucking annoying: "Blue Shell".
The spiny blue shell has long been an addition of Mario Kart, and it's never been not annoying. The primary fact is this: It dicks over whoever is in first. What's more, it is usually fired by someone at the back of the pack, meaning it provides little immediate advantage to the player actually using it. It's simply there to piss off who is in first.
Of course, if you are in second or further back in the order, the Blue Shell is a sight for sore eyes, but if you are that guy out in front, it really feels like the world has conspired against you. Furthermore, it seems to strike at the worst possible opportunity - such as the last corner - turning your triumphant first into a measly sixth. Several times I have been screwed by a Blue Shell, leading me to instinctively stand up and walk away - only to immediately return because Mario Kart is obviously more fun than actual work.
In reality, the Blue Shell is actually an interesting game mechanic as it prevents the player in the lead from simply protecting their ass with a banana and cruising to victory, but that's of little consolation when it happens to you. On the other hand, avoiding a Blue Shell does make you feel like the smuggest son of a bitch on Earth.
2 - Quick-Scoping in Call of Duty
I recently returned to Call of Duty after a long absence from the franchise. I jumped onto multiplayer, fresh-faced and ready to partake in a fun, non-serious game with a bunch of other like-minded people. Minutes later I had abandoned the game and vowed never to use anything electrical again.
I used to be good at Call of Duty. I really did. Back in the days of COD:UO I was unstoppable with a Bren gun on Arnhem. Now, I'm simply fodder for sugared up kids running around with sniper rifles. I mean, snipers have always been frustrating (that's kind of true of real life too), but back in my day it was because they picked you off from a distance. Now they run up to you in the street, take a momentally peek down the scope and blast you away in a manoeuvre known as 'quickscoping'.
This is frustrating when it happens once, but the fact COD maps have shrunk in recent iterations of the game means the same kid if going to waste you about 30 times in 3 minutes. Of course, the more you die, the more desperate you get, and the worse you play. Eventually leaving you to that inevitable ending: the rage-quit.
It makes me feel old. It makes me feel confused. It makes me feel like Brooks in The Shawshank Redemption.
3 - 'Ganking' in World of Warcraft
In many ways, the gank is similar to the quickscope, in that it is the repetition of the same thing over and over again which induces rage. However, ganking has a much more sinister undercurrent, since the people doing it know exactly what they're doing.
For the uninitiated, ganking is the act of hanging around a player's dead body in World of Warcraft, only to kill them again immediately after they've resurrected. Y'see, WoW has two ways of coming back to life after death. You either return to your body and carry on like normal, or respawn at the graveyard with severe penalties. The former is obviously the preferred course of action, and gankers take advantage of this.
The thing is, ganking doesn't really provide any advantage other than (apparently) some sort of feeling of satisfaction - I mean, at least the quickscoper wants to win the game. Often the gankers are a group of much higher players, making it the equivalent of the all the high school kids pounding on a pre-schooler. This is the biggest rage-inducing element of ganking. A really hard AI boss or odd game mechanic isn't intentionally annoying you, it has no morality, no concept of right and wrong. Ganking, however, is committed by fellow members of the human race, leaving your only recourse to be screaming "What do you want from me?!" at the screen.
Ganking is, of course, not unique to World of Warcraft, and has more recently become a frustrating, if more avoidable element of GTA V: Online.
4 - Oddjob In GoldenEye 64
Raging in GoldenEye 64 really could end friendships, mostly because you were all sitting in punching distance of each other in the same actual room. Being killed by anyone is bad enough, but being blown away by Oddjob just added insult to injury.
Oddjob was the smallest character in GoldenEye, which automatically made him the hardest to hit. You need to remember that with the N64, you only had one analog stick to control movement. This meant actually aiming downwards, which was necessarily to hit Oddjob at a distance, was a frustrating exercise in controller squeezing. This was made even worse by the fact the game's auto-aim feature would continually reset itself to aim above Oddjob's head.
Because of this, GoldenEye soon developed 'House Rules' depending on which of your friends' bedrooms you happened to be playing in. "No Oddjobs" was certainly the most common, although no "Siberian Special Forces on Complex" was a close second.
5 - Trying to Escape a Pokémon Cave
So you're exploring Rock Tunnel in Pokémon Red/Blue, you're slowly running out of Pokémon and its time to get the hell out of there. You need a Poké-Center stat!
However, every inch of the place is crawling with geodudes and zubats, and they're all frothing at the mouth to piss you off. Sometimes you can get 10 steps before the attack occurs, sometimes you only manage to move a few feet until that obnoxiously loud and dramatic music kicks in and you're once again thrown into a battle you really don't want to fight. Cue carelessly bashing the A button until the whole thing is over.
When you consider the caves are also dark, twisted mazes designed to be confusing, these constant Poké-attacks are almost enough to make you rage-quit. Once again, it's the continued repetitiveness of this annoying element which really hits home. Pretty soon that Pokémon battle music will begin to haunt your dreams.
6 - The Water Temple
The Water Temple in The Legend of Zelda series, like tax returns and going to your weird aunties house of Christmas, is just something you need to get through. It's not going to be nice. It's not going to be fun. But it has to be done.
The Legend of Zelda is known for its various Temple levels, but all the games of the series have always reserved the most cryptic and annoying puzzles for the Water Temple. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, in the Ocarina of Time, the Water Temple featured constantly changing water levels. Each time this happened, you usually had to sit through a short cut-scene showing the actual change. This happened a lot, resulting in a lot of sighing and eye-rolling.
Secondly, the Water Temple is the only time you really use the Iron Boots, and once again you'll be using them a lot. However, the Iron Boots reduce your movement to a crippling slow crawl, meaning you'll be constantly entering the pause menu to equip/unequip them. Although this only takes about 5 seconds, that soon all adds up and you'll find yourself groaning each time you have to break the flow of the game.
Thirdly, the Water Temple was just hard - especially by N64 puzzle standards. Although this has never happened to me, I even heard rumors it was possible to permanently prevent the continuation of the storyline if you messed up the Water Temple, forcing you to restart the game. A terrifying prospect indeed.
Furthermore, you really do need to try and complete it in one single session. Raging guiting halfway through only causes more issues when you do eventually return, as you'll be desperately trying to remember what the hell you're supposed to be doing.
These are just seven of the most rage inducing moments from my lengthy gaming career. I'm sure you have some of your own. If you haven't smashed up your keyboard just thinking about them, feel free to stick them in the comments below.