Let's Play Permadeath Speedrun

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/02/permadeath.html


For a lot of games I don’t even have to try and I die that quickly.


Ashens had some thoughts on the subject.

(Ooh, he has a new talk.)

For at least one of these, the death is within a second of starting actual play. I’m guessing it’s easy to die within a second or two even if you’re not trying to.

Though these are pretty old-school (or extremely retro) games. Modern games tend to avoid killing you off within a matter of seconds, thankfully. I had enough of that kind of gameplay the first time around.


Try Fallout 4 on Survival. You will die, repeatedly. Possibly before you even get out of the vault (the Pre-Vault stuff isn’t really gameplay. Just backstory. You can die during the Pre-Vault stuff if you really try). You can only save by sleeping, so if you haven’t done that in a while, you can lose a lot of progress (normal levels have quicksaves and it autosaves not just on sleep but entering and exiting new areas). Dogs will one-hit kill you in early gameplay. Plus, there are new and exciting ways to die such as diseases and over-encumbrance injuries. And no fast-travel, so forget popping a pill and quickly going to your destination.

It’s like a completely different game. You really have to think carefully about your character build if you ever want to quit dying every five minutes.


this is the best thing I have seen all week

All those survival and hard-core modes feel pretty retro to me, hearkening back to the days when games consisted of insane repetition (a legacy of arcades and the fact that games were both rare and expensive). I’ll leave them to the young’uns who haven’t already wasted too much of their youth playing the same damn bits of games over and over. I’ve got no patience (and too big a game backlog) to bother with stuff like that now.

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That sounds a lot like nethack. Getting an elvish wizard to survive past the Sokoban levels is an accomplishment in itself, since that’s one of the weaker character classes at the start of the game. On the other hand, a high-level wizard is powerful enough that one’s own stupid moves are a greater threat than most monsters.

What blows my mind is that people have actually made speedrun ascensions!


I think these young’uns were the primary market for Dark Souls. I stayed away from that game for a long time because I’m not really that into hard games. But then when I finally played it, it turns out it’s not really that hard. It’s just the way games used to be - you are actually expected to practice and get good at it before you win.


I remember when the NES was new my cousin, who must’ve been 3 or 4 at the time, really really wanted to play Super Mario. Oh, all right, here you go…
Life 1: walks into first goomba and dies.
Life 2: walks into first goomba and dies.
Life 3: walks into first goomba and dies.
Game Over.
It was unbearable. She wanted to try again but I quickly found something else for us to do!


I was intrigued by that game until I read about gameplay, at which point I “noped” out of there. Though that said, I do play a few games of that sort, just ones that I can potentially play for only a few minutes, and listen to BBC radio while doing so.

You might enjoy ManyATrueNerd’s “You Only Live Once” youtube series; he plays through both Fallout 3 and New Vegas including DLC on a single life bar with no healing. It’s ridiculous, and I’m holding out for him doing Fallout 4.

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I will have to check that out.

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