Ludicrous in-game explanations for normal in-game mechanics

  • Gears of War's Hammer of Dawn will wipe out a whole army, but as it's an orbital laser, satellite positioning and climate problems make it useless whenever the game doesn't want you to use it. But given that Gears and Gears 2 take place entirely on and around Jacinto, exactly how slow to aim is this thing anyway?
  • Ultima VII part 2 ran into a small problem as a result of being a direct continuation of an existing RPG. Having already levelled, recruited and looted for the entire previous game, the player started out far too badass. The solution? A magical storm which whipped away party members and turned equipment into random tat.
  • Half-life 2's HEV suit is a great excuse for fast sprinting and a visible HUD, but it falls down when you realise that its agility-boosting powers share a power source with the freakin' flashlight. Because there's never anything you need to run away from in dark places. Oh no. No tension-building contrivance there at all. Thankfully though, that was remedied in Episode One, via an equally plausible side-effect of H-L 2's climactic blast.
  • The game isn't the only thing broken in Jurassic Park: Trespasser. Protagonist Anna has a fractured arm, making her unable to reload any gun she finds. Thus, all firearms are single-use items, leading to much dino-based tension all round. Her busted limb doesn't, however, factor into her ability to use a rifle in the first place.

  • The splendidly-realised world of Bioshock doesn't have anything as crude as restart checkpoints. Oh no, it has Vita Chambers, which are an entirely different and more plausible replacement. Seriously. They use DNA and science and things.
  • The Priests in the Dragon Quest series allow the hero to confess all of his actions thus far, thereby creating a record of his progress. Quite how they manage to reboot his entire life at that point if he dies is unclear, but we imagine in involves some pretty damn focused praying.
  • In Metal Gear Solid, Snake calls home to update command on his progress. Though strangely, given the elaborate wrapping of the game saving process, no-one bats an eyelid when the actual job at hand is discussed in plain videogame terms.

  • Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force uses a Transporter buffer to beam equipment to your character as and when required, rather than having him carry around 15 guns at a time like many FPS heroes. Mercifully, the show's frequent transporter accidents never result in your finding yourself armed with a piece of fruit or a small wildebeest by accident.
  • Monkey Island's Threepwood explains his vast kit-carrying abilities via baggy-fit pants. Did you really expect anything more sensible?
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Link's gear magically dematerialises during his transformation into a wolf. Because where an elven boy can carry 30 bombs, a sword, a longbow, a boomerang and a shield at the same time, a lupine doing the same would just be ridiculous.
  • The hero of Terranigma essentially has a wormhole in a box, containing several rooms he can step into to arrange his inventory. It's part Tardis, part Matrix loading construct.

  • The zombie-spawning infection in Left 4 Dead obviously has the less obvious side effect of mutating its victims' ears into those of dogs, given that they react to high-pitched noises much more rapidly than loud ones. Nothing to do with the fact that the game would be impossible if they all came running at the sound of every single gunshot. Oh no.
  • Hitman's Agent 47 has legendary chameleonic powers, able as he is to blend in with any nationality of gang by simply donning one of their suits. It's fortunate that he's an ambiguous mixed-race genetic clone with five flavours of DNA flowing through his body, otherwise the fact that he's clearly a big pale bald guy would totally give him away.
  • In Cannon Fodder, your troops use "smart bullets" which will kill anyone except their comrades. Surely sneaking behind enemy lines to perform a quick ammo switch would be a sensible idea?

13 Worst gaming innovations of all time
From gameplay mechanics to design flaws - these are the most heinous offenders of gaming

Games that looked good on paper
But left us feeling massively meh


  • blacknight51792 - September 30, 2010 5:15 p.m.

    ONe of my favorites worth mentioning is the explanation for the unending inventory in the Tomba games: tomba swallows the items he recieves, then spits them back up as he needs them.
  • Metroidhunter32 - November 24, 2009 12:07 a.m.

    No Okami on the respawning one? Come on, mirrors that store your memories. That is quite contrived. And when has Link ever acted emo? And one final stab, IT TAKES YOU 40 HOURS TO BEAT A ZELDA GAME? YOU SUCK!
  • wiiking8 - August 2, 2009 2:40 a.m.

    I wonder how they explain the animal crossing pockets?
  • reaperman22 - June 19, 2009 12:15 p.m.

  • JTDC007 - June 6, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    Actually, vampires traditionally are vulnerable to running water, being unable to cross it. So nix the Legacy of Khaine one.
  • Madvillain - April 27, 2009 9:56 p.m.

    This article is great, always funny to try and put vgs in reality. The metroid shit in particular is hilarious!
  • battenfelder - April 27, 2009 2:44 a.m.

    non Chozo doors just dont make sense to Samus lol
  • Meatwad8888 - April 26, 2009 6:31 p.m.

    What about Giant's Knife (i think that's what it's called) from Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time? Doesn't it break when you hit something with it?
  • GreyDay - April 21, 2009 9:43 p.m.

    hahahaa. good images for this one.
  • Eo1spy - April 21, 2009 4:21 p.m.

    @Tomsta666 I remember that game! you could make your own dirt tracks. The boundaries of the map were cliffs, and somehow you could drive vertically up them, then when you kept driving forward then whooshing and flying back to the map occured.
  • nadrewod999 - April 21, 2009 5:29 a.m.

    No, everyone KNOWS that all people who have to save the world get their own air bubble (which is why they can't be instantly poisoned), and while some air bubbles don't filter out water (making them drown in water), every air bubble that can be used to double jump allows the user to push off the bottom of the bubble as it rushes up to follow the user. Yes, I did just make that up. nadrewod999 FTW!
  • Person5 - April 21, 2009 4:38 a.m.

    in GTA IV it was a terrorist threat I like in Earthbound the Onett police are famous for their roadblocks Also if you go too far out of the area in Halo 3 multiplayer you'll get shot by turrets
  • IceManYEA - April 21, 2009 4:22 a.m.

    Also in the GTA series, if you travel to a part of town you havent unlocked yet you get 4 stars for no reason. But i guess this was never justified or ludicrously explained so watever. Meh
  • NotSteve - April 21, 2009 2:59 a.m.

    Magic, double jumps are always magic. Or jets.
  • The_Zanger - April 21, 2009 1:34 a.m.

    Everyone knows that Link stores all his equipment in his hat. Its also filled with helium and is part leech, which stops it from falling of.
  • octagons - April 20, 2009 11:33 p.m.

    I remember in the original Far Cry if you tried to escape by boat a helicopter with a sniper on it would come out of nowhere and kill you in one shot.
  • Mavarious - April 20, 2009 11:24 p.m.

    Wait a minute, nobody called first... that means it's still technically up for grabs... in that case.... FIRST Has any game except the ones with powersuits explained how you can take 50 bullets to the face and still be in fighting shape?
  • Spybreak8 - April 20, 2009 8:57 p.m.

    Lol the doom Satan keycard statement made me think of probably having to play against him in Monopoly in Hell. "Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, MUHAHAHAHA". It is funny when you play an old game and smash into an invisible wall with a car or your face!
  • cookanator - April 20, 2009 8:13 p.m.

    nice article for never ending pockets should have added fable 2
  • jamminontha1n2 - April 20, 2009 7:53 p.m.

    I especially like how they explained deathmatches in unreal tournament 3 where each respawner only has enough power for a certain number of respawns. They should invest in a larger battery for those things.

Showing 1-20 of 51 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000