To kick off the list, I decided to start with something from the Donkey Kong series. Crystal Caves was a pretty tough level. You could easily get lost within the many rooms/areas of the cave, and some of the golden bananas to get were difficult. I remember when I was young trying to get this one banana that seemed nearly impossible to get. You have this maze-like thing with the banana in the center of it. As you run through the maze, you are getting hammered with spikes, which are causing you to lose watermelon. It's pretty much impossible to complete this objective without full health. You need all the watermelons you can get at that point. Donkey Kong 64 was a fresh game with improved mechanics from the Donkey Kong Country series, but it had some tough levels, and Crystal Caves was the toughest of them all.
You're problem looking at this selection and saying, "Mystic Quest was so easy. Why is this on the list?" Well, the puzzle before getting the second crystal was pretty tough. In order to the unlock the ice pyramid level, you had to complete a puzzle. This one was tough because you had to push the ice blocks around to the right point. If you didn't match it precisely, you couldn't progress. Furthermore, if you put it against a corner, you couldn't move the ice block unless you leave the level, which resets all the blocks and enemies, who were a pain to get through as well. As easy as this game was, this shows that even easy games can have some frustrating elements to them.
Number 8 has something from the Pokemon genre. Out of all the Pokemon games I've played, the toughest level was Pokemon Colosseum's Realgam Tower. To begin, you have all these different paths you can choose when you first enter. It might not be too difficult to navigate, but the difficult part of it is fighting everybody. In the lower parts of the tower, you have to fight the four Cipher Admins Mirror B, Dakim, Venus, and Ein. Once you got the passes to open the top part of the tower, you had to fight five trainers, in a row, without healing. This wouldn't have been so bad if the trainers didn't have Shadow Pokemon that deal critical damage to your Pokemon. Also, when you beat the colosseum, you have to fight two challenging Pokemon battles with the heads of Cipher. This level is cruel and will test your abilities as a Pokemon trainer.
Sonic Adventure 2 Battle is the only Sonic game I've really gotten into playing. I didn't really care for the other Sonics, nor did I get too far in the ones I played. However, Adventure 2 Battle was the one that I played through and almost beat. The Upside-down Puzzle prevented me from beating this awesome game. So, you've just defeated the giant Sand Golem, and you think you have the game beat. Then, you are taken to another level. It's a ship in outerspace. Well, you have to get Eggman now. Here's the problem. There's one room that has a very difficult puzzle. This is the one that got me to stop playing. You'll eventually come to this room and here Eggman say, "Now you die" or something like that. Suddenly, Sonic is flipped over and sucked onto the ceiling above him. To navigate through this room, you have to find a way to use gravity to your advantage. You must use switches and get to the right areas while upside down. A tough one to contend with, but please, don't quit the game like I did and miss out on the excellent ending to such a great game. I regret not finishing this title.
Zack and Wiki is a pure puzzle game that has you play through a series of puzzles to find pieces of Captain Barbaros. These levels prompt you to think and arrange stuff so that you can get to the treasure. The hardest puzzle I came across in the game, so far, is Keeper of the Ice. This is a puzzle found in the second area of the game. You begin in a snow covered area that has a clock. Every time the clock strikes 12, a metal snow cleaner will activate and clear the footprints. If you are walking on the snow and get caught in the metal keeper's way, he will knock you out of the way, and you'll fail the level. The genius of this puzzle is overwhelmingly clever, and it's something really simple that any videogame player could miss. By safely covering your tracks, literally, you can safely cross through the snow and complete this puzzle. It's really rewarding when you best the guardian and watch him fall to your puzzle skills.
Super Paper Mario was an easy game with very little challenge. However, the Cragnon Block Puzzle is one of the most challenging parts of the game, and it's the most frustrating to boot. Well, you go through the level and hit the first block puzzle and think this is easy. You get to the second block puzzle and hit the blocks hoping to come up with an easy solution. Well, after hitting random, useless combinations, you have to to backtrack to the bridge at the beginning of the level and talk to a Cragnon named Jasper. He'll ask you to say "Please" five times. This is annoying because you literally have to type the word "Please" five times. If that isn't annoying enough, he gives you this super long solution that you can't possibly remember unless you write it down on paper. This is an example of how Nintendo gets you to solve a puzzle by talking to people, rather than just plow through the game and not talking to anyone. Also, it had to conform with Thousand Year Door's saying "I love you" 100 times.
Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was also a very easy game. You could breeze through the temples and defeat the enemies without ever dying. However, there's one quest in the game that is long, annoying, and it opens into a bunch of puzzles that you have to solve. There is no way you could do this without a strategy guide, unless you want to spend 15-20 hours just going from island to island and looking for anything suspicious. To start, you have to find the 8 Triforce Charts which is the hardest/most annoying part of the quest. Each time you solve a puzzle on an island to get the charts, you have to go to Tingle's Island and get it deciphered for 399 rupees, so it also turns into a rupee hunt as well. Once all your charts are deciphered, you have the easy part. Simply follow the charts and dig up the pieces at the island they represent. Sometimes, the picture of the island the Triforce Shards are at is obvious. Sometimes, the picture makes no sense, and you have to basically figure out where the chart is telling you to go. Overall, this is really hard, annoying, and frustrating. A lot of people only prefer 1-2 playthroughs because they can't stand this quest. As much of a good game as Wind Waker is, this quest really downs the replay value.
Super Mario Sunshine was a complete masterpiece and a great sequel to Super Mario 64. That being said, there's this one level that has a shine that is very hard to get, and I absolutely can't stand this level. Ricco Harbor. The very last shine is Yoshi's Fruit Adventure. To begin, you have to first unlock the Yoshi's egg by giving him the right fruit. Yoshi, for some reason, will always request the darian. This is the fruit that has spikes, and you kick it around like a soccor ball. Well, you have to pound on these two fruit containers until the darian pops out. Sometimes, the darian will roll off the ledge to an area that is impossible to get it to the Yoshi. At that point, you have to kick in the water and keep trying. Once you do unlock the Yoshi's egg, you have to make your way to the shine. Within Ricco Harbor is a tall platform that rises many feet above the waters. To get there, you must squirt Yoshi's juice at the Cheep Cheeps to turn them into blocks. You must progress from platform to platform and using the juice to turn the fish into blocks. Once you get near the final platform, this is where the level becomes a problem. You have to aim the juice just right to make sure that the fish-platform is high enough to jump to, but you are able to reach the towering platform. There are a few problems that make this level hard. If Yoshi runs out of juice, he disappears on you. If you fall into the water below, Yoshi will disappear back to his egg. You must get the darian and free him again. Furthermore, both you and Yoshi must reach the tall platform because there is a macaroni and cheese noodle thing blocking the passage to the shine. Only Yoshi's juice can clear it, so don't bother using F.L.U.U.D's many nozzles to reach the platform. Well, that's the most frustrating part of Super Mario Sunshine. If you were able to beat it, give yourself a pat on the back.
The second spot on the list goes to Kingdom Hearts because there was this one frustrating level that really annoyed me. As much as I wanted to put Hollow Bastion's Library Puzzle, I figured that the Leon and Yuffie battle was much harder. Once you clear Monstro, you are able to participate in the Pegusus Cup. Getting to Leon and Yuffie is a challenge in itself because the Heartless are pretty hard in this cup. If you are ill prepared with items, you resort to using Cure and your MP. By the time you get to Leon and Yuffie, your HP/MP is exhuasted from fighting the other guys. Leon and Yuffie is a very tough fight. You have Yuffie, a ninja who runs cartwheels around the arena and throws her shurikans at you. These things will follow you and strike you. Then, you have Leon running after you with his sword and shooting fire blasts. The main thing to do is to take down Yuffie first. You can smack her shurikans back at her to stun her. Then, beat without mercy. The only drawback is Leon who will get near you and slash a sword attack at you. Eventually, Yuffie will throw a blue shurikan that homes in on you and follows you around. Once you take care of Yuffie, the battle becomes cake. The reason why this is the hardest fight is because of Yuffie. She's quick, nasty, and heals herself when she gets low. Once you get her out of the picture, the hard part of this level is over. You can then take care of Leon and win the Pegusus Cup. Again, Hollow Bastion could have gone here, but the first thing that I encountered was the Leon and Yuffie fight in the coliseum.
And number one goes to...Zelda II: Adventure of Link's Great Palace. This was the most difficult part in the game because it was the final level. Getting to the Great Palace is half of the difficulty itself. The enemies are ruthless along the way, and you can die very easily by falling victim to a lava pit. If you are lucky to make it to the Great Palace, unscathed, you will soon be in low spirits again. The Great Palace is full of vicious foes who do tons of damage. It is very easy to lose the three lives you are given in this place. Once you die, it's back to Hyrule Castle where you must traverse through the caves to get to the Great Palace. Eventually, you'll stop going back to Hyrule Castle and starting at the entrance to the Great Palace. This is a bit better because you don't have to worry about losing lives on the way there. You can just head through the Great Palace as you normally would. Once you complete navigation of this level, you'll face a very difficult boss fight that can only be beaten if you retrieved a certain spell. If you didn't, you are screwed. Once you beat this difficult boss, you will get to the end of the game and face your final challenge. This challenge is either easy or hard depending on which strategy you use. Nontheless, Adventure of Link holds the position as the toughest Zelda game and number 1 most frustrating level on this top ten list.
Well, there you have it. The top ten most frustrating levels/puzzles. Some of these may have been easy to you, and if they were, congrats on beating, what I feel, are the frustrating elements. You are probably agreeing with some of the stuff featured on your list, but some of you are probably looking at this list and thinking, "This guy sucks at videogames". Either way, you have my opinion on the matter. Thanks for taking the time to read this list.
List by KingContributor (07/15/2008)
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