I finished Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter for the 2nd time and have heard it described as a difficult game. It wasn’t easy (at least the first time through) but I never felt it was too punishing. It got me thinking about what the most difficult RPG is.
So what’s your vote for most difficult console RPG and/or PC RPG?
I’d definitely nominate one of the Wizardry series - Wizardry IV was pretty much impossible to beat without a walkthrough. Though it also kinda sucked. VI and VII were both pretty tough, too, and were actually worth playing.
Of modern games, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne was pretty brutal.
Breath of Fire 2 was ridiculously hard. By the second half of the game, every random encounter feels like an epic boss fight which leaves half your party dead, and all your items used up, with no way of getting more.
Wizardry IV is supposed to be pretty darn hard too, due to both the raw harshness of combat and crazy puzzles. A lot of people need a spoiler just to get out of the first room, and I never made it much farther than that.
That’s the one. I played it for a bit when I was on a bit of a retro-gaming kick several years ago. I very quickly resorted to a walkthrough, and then just gave up entirely because of the utterly insane rubix-cube of a maze that happens like halfway through.
The hardest RPG I ever played: the original Bard’s Tale. I never managed to have a party survive walking past the third building.
The second hardest RPG I ever played: Realms of Arkania Volume 2: Star Trail. The game universe must have been beset by some form of bioengineered super virus; every third step one or more of my party members became critically ill with some horrible flesh-melting disease.
I’ll say the original Final Fantasy on the NES. Granted I was like 10 when I played it for the first time, so maybe that factors into why I found it so difficult, but the final dungeon in that game was fucking hard.
In Might & Magic 1, I was wandering around the starter town when I fell down a hole into the dungeon, whereupon I was quickly killed by undead dragons or something like that.
Star Trail was also nasty. Combat seemed totally impossible to me. I only fought once or twice, but I think a lot of my guys died. Also, I didn’t have a sleeping bag, so some of my guys contracting horrible illnesses when I rested.
Alternate Reality: The city…Might still the be the only game that realistically portrayed potions (and thats not a good thing) - and then randomized them again after you restarte: ‘Ah, sweet green ones are now deadly poison…how nice. guess i’ll try again to make lvl 2.’
Also part of the lovely era of rpgs where it would delete your save game when you loaded it up to prevent you from that notorious ‘cheat’ of continuing your game from your last save after you die. I think early wizardry’s were in that club too…