1. Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road
1988 | NES
Are you ready for this one? No, you're not. You'll never be ready. Because what you're about to see is literally the worst game intro of all time.
We've gone fairly easy on you up until this point. We've stuck to intro sequences that, while irredeemably awful, at least had some sort of entertainment value. The intro to Ikari Warriors II, however, is not so much crappy entertainment as it is a test of endurance. And if you can actually sit through the video below without skipping ahead, then you have the patience of a saint.
Ikari Warriors is relatively obscure these days, but there was a brief period in the mid-'80s when this series of Rambo-ripoff shooters ruled arcades with an iron fist. None were more awesome than the spectacular Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road, which was about a pair of Rambos in space and featured kickass graphics, then-insane levels of violence and lots and lots of voice samples, which were a rare treat at the time.
The NES, however, couldn't do kickass graphics or insane levels of violence, and its voice samples tended to sound like an old woman gargling. As a result, the home port of Victory Road was forced to find ways to make the basic concept of Rambo in space suck ass. But the programmers' greatest sin - their unforgivable sin - came along when someone on the team decided that, if you can't have decent voice samples, the next best thing is Morse code.
We'll say that again, because it bears repeating: Morse code. They even had the nerve to call attention to it in a blurb on the box, because nothing sells a game like an obsolete language consisting entirely of beeps. And the only time it really came into play was during the few cinema sequences, intro included. Instead of just scrolling the text along at a normal speed, each letter was accompanied by the appropriate code, which slowed it to a rate of about one letter per second. What would otherwise have been an unremarkably nonsensical 8-bit intro - in which bad weather sends the heroes to an alien planet - turned into a grueling slog through beepatronic hell.
Think you have the stones to watch it from start to finish? We dare you to try, punk: