Frustrating platforming sequences in games


Can I just say right here that the “Reach the observation room” platforming sequence toward the end of AC IV: Black Flag is utter bullshit? And why MUST one start over at the beginning every freaking time when one fails, and watch an unskippable mini in-game cutscene? It’s maddening. Devs, please put checkpoints in these things FFS.

Particularly annoying is the fact that the stupid camera controls in this particular sequence do not let you line up your view in order to make a jump onto a narrow platform which if you miss, you fall to your death (and then have to repeat a bunch of stuff just to get back to the same spot). You might object that you can’t do the camera lineup thing because there’s a wall behind the character. Big deal, make the wall transparent like ONI did back in 2000 or so.

Another one that I remember from a game of yore was in Turok Dinosaur Hunter on the N64 back when. You had to jump from the top of one column to the other. At least in that one I don’t believe said columns were moving, unlike the platforms in AC Black Flag.

What others come to mind, Qt3 Hivemind?


I quit Black Flag for the same reason, but a different spot. Infuriating.


Every jumping puzzle in Guild Wars 2.


Ninja Gaiden. Birds. Bridge. ‘Nuff said.


I did those as soon as I could. The only disappointing part of the whole ordeal was that THERE WAS NO ACHIEVEMENT OR REWARD FOR COMPLETING ALL OF THEM. ARG! Such suck.


Mass Effect: Andromeda, Dragon Age: Inquisition. Fucking. Shoot. Me.


How is the Meat Circus not in this thread yet? I still haven’t got past it.


I rage quit Celeste, a game about platforming that I was really enjoying, in the extra world (Core? World 8?)

There was something about the level design and mechanics of that area that made me miserable. I didn’t even mind the endless retries on the B-sides of the other worlds because the mechanics were more fun.



This is Manic Miner, a 1983 ZX Spectrum game by Matthew Smith. It’s one of the Spectrum’s truly great games. This is level 4, Eugene’s Lair. Prior levels were modestly challenging, but this level said in no uncertain times “quit now, or you will feel pain.”

The whole thing relies on starting with the right timing, a second either side of it and you’re toast. And then, at the lower right, comes your first “pixel perfect” jump of the game. That’s right, you have to jump on the last possible pixel of the platform to make it across. You can stop and edge slowly back and forth until you get it, but then you’re likely to run out of air and die. So you have to eyeball it. And then, after you miraculously make it, you drop down and have to jump over those two poisonous plants onto the brick behind it, and again this is a pixel perfect jump except this time it’s even harder to judge because you’re jumping and trying to clip at closely as possible to the plant’s pixels without hitting it.

It took me days to get past this level when I was a kid, and that’s when I had time and patience to try, try, and try again. Oh, and Manic Miner didn’t have a save game system. If you died on any of its 20 levels before beating it, you had to start from the very beginning. At least you had three lives. ;)


I hate platforming as it is, but when games with terrible platforming controls decide to put platforming in I want to kill everyone.


Which leads me to my question, are there platforming sequences that don’t suck, even in platformers?


Not for me. Maybe something like Dishonored, but I wouldn’t really consider that stuff platforming for the most part.


In a non snarky way, I actually have loved some platformers. I loved the first tomb raider, I put a ridiculous number of hours into it. When it came out, the idea that you weren’t just moving through a 3d world on a horizontal plane, but could actually explore vertically, was mind blowing. That aspect of the game is still my favorite part of the TR reboots.

I think my anger quotient is directly tied to how bad the save system is in games with platforming. If I can save right before a difficult spot, and then just try again, that can be pretty fun. If I have to run through 10 minutes of stuff, to get back to that difficult spot, …you better hope I never see you in a dark alley.

My anger has reasons I tell you…REASONS!!!


Cat Mario


Ninja Gaiden. Birds. Bridge. ‘Nuff said.

Wow, I still remember that from ~30 years ago. It literally scarred me for life.